Good Friday and Easter. Two celebrations that everyone should have the chance to hear about. Please pray for the 150 students who are asking the Lord how they can each be a part of God’s plan to shine Jesus to the world.
How has April been? Clark turned 16 and Reece turned 20. Those are big deals! We love how God is growing our sons into men who love Him and love others!
April has also been full of activities with the students! Bonfires, grilling out, playing at the lake, anything the students think up… we love joining them in life.
Three weeks of classes left until graduation…the saddest day for us as we say goodbye. But exciting as the students enter the next season of their life ready to be used where God puts them.
Thank you so very much for partnering with us by praying for us or helping with our monthly support.
About a dozen kids and young teens in La Carucieña, Venezuela, sit outdoors in a circle as they study God’s Word through a Project Philip Bible study just for them. The dirt backyard is small, barely large enough to fit the group, much less the worn and rusted metal patio chairs.
La Carucieña is a violent area that only seems to grow worse during the current crisis. These young people often arrive hungry, so when possible, the leader gives them a glass of milk and a piece of bread to ease the hunger pangs. Though times are tough, these young people are finding hope in Christ.
Last year, 15-year-old Nordenys joined this backyard Bible study. She already has finished all the children booklets and received a Bible of her own. Now, she’s working on the Project Philip Bible study for youth.
“The Bible studies changed my life and gave me direction. We’ve all learned a lot,” she shares with a smile. “We are grateful to God for you.”
The Faith of One Woman…
During Graciela’s Project Philip training, the leaders challenged each person to search for someone to share the Gospel with. One day, while leaving church with her family, she met Ana, a lovely 93-year-old woman in a wheelchair, and her nurse. “After that, I began visiting them every Wednesday to study God’s Word,” Graciela says.
Ana told Graciela (pictured above) that she had never heard about the life of Jesus where she grew up. But when she began studying God’s Word, Ana gave her life fully to Christ at 93 years old and never looked back.
…Grew the Faith of Many
Graciela says with a smile, “Ana loved listening to the promises of God for eternal life because they gave her hope.” Ana was so moved by what she was learning that she shared it with her children, grandchildren, and nearly anyone she encountered.
Even as her health worsened, Ana still seized every chance to tell people the Good News, whether it was the doctor who visited her home or the neighbors she saw on her strolls with the nurse. At 96, Ana went to be with her Lord, but Graciela sees Ana’s legacy of faith.
Her nurse was far from the Lord, but today is on the path with Christ, thanks to Ana. She now attends church with her family. One of Ana’s daughters also accepted Christ.
Graciela says tearfully, “Ana, a specific person I did Project Philip with, influenced many people for Christ. Age and sickness are nothing when there is a will to serve God. How can I not thank the Lord for the life of that woman?”
ACHIEVING A DREAM
A New Strategy
Recently, however, Eugene’s hopes and prayers were answered. He met a fellow believer who told him about Project Philip Bible studies. Soon Eugene and several others received training to become Philips (Project Philip Bible study leaders).
“It was fantastic!” he exclaims. “I learned how to make contacts for the church and approach people on the streets.” He is especially grateful for the Bibles and Bible study materials that are crucial to growing churches in strength and in numbers.
A Growing Church
Though once tiny, the church is now growing! Since the Project Philip Bible studies began, membership has increased to 60. The group quickly outgrew the tent. Members recently gathered their money to rent a bigger space in a building nearby, where they now meet.
Eugene beams, “Our growth is because God is using Project Philip Bible studies to touch hearts in the area. It is a perfect strategy for the development of the local church. Thank you!”
Praise the Lord for a couple who recently began a Project Philip Bible study of 10 people in a Muslim dominated city in north-central Albania. May many come to understand the truth of the Gospel.
May the Lord provide safety and open hearts as Project Philip Bible studies begin in the most violent prison in Peru. Pray for many prisoners to experience the transformation of Jesus Christ as they study God’s Word.
Summer has begun in Florida and we will be in the high 80’s for the foreseeable future. Guess we’re not quite ready for summer yet, as we are headed up north this week. We have the opportunity to visit and speak at our supporting church in Ft Wayne, Indiana this week. We’re really looking forward to sharing how God is working in Africa and reconnecting with our church family. Pray that our words and interactions would glorify God.
Praise & Prayer:
We’re praising God that He has provided us a place to live for this next year. We have been house-sitting at AIM’s retirement center in Minneola, FL and must move mid-June. Another house has opened on the property, and we are allowed to continue to stay here. This is such an answer to prayer!
Alanna has been hopeful that she would be bumped to full-time in her current job. After 5 months, unfortunately it hasn’t happened, so she has started applying for other jobs again. Pray that she would trust God in this process and would follow His leading. She will be leaving for Turkey a week from tomorrow to co-lead a kid’s program for TCK conference (TCK = Third Culture Kids). Pray that these kids would know they are seen and loved.
Pray for strength and perseverance for Autumn as she has a very full month finishing up her 3rd year at SEU. This summer, she will be co-leading the oldest group of girls at Winshape’s camp in Georgia. Pray for wisdom and direction as she leads a new group of 15 girls every 2 weeks. They will spend the first week in the wilderness and the second week back at camp.
Anissa is in the process of applying to AdventHealth University’s Occupational Therapist Assistant program. This Wednesday she writes a 2-page essay on campus, from there she will find out if she will be interviewed for a position into the program. Please pray for her as she writes the essay and waits to hear if she will make it into the program for this fall.
Rod will be facilitating another online Coaching Skills Workshop the end of this month with missionaries and ministry leaders living across Africa. Pray that this training would be helpful in their lives and ministries.
Please continue to pray for the people of Mozambique as they start to rebuild their lives after the catastrophic cyclone that hit several weeks ago. If you would like to give towards the relief work, please click on this link: https://usgiving.aimint.org/project/famine-crisis-responseAny donations received to this project over the coming months will be used to provide emergency relief, supplies, and food to Mozambicans suffering in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai. This funding will either be deployed directly by AIM through its AIM missionaries on the ground and via their local connections and/or indirectly through supporting trusted partners who are actively bringing relief to Mozambicans in need.
We are so thankful for your continued prayers and support!
Our trip went SO well. Thank you for lifting us up in prayer and the ministry that we both are involved in.
Here are some highlights from our trip:
We were able to see all of our dorm daughters who are still at RVA, and many dear friends as well.
The time Rod had with the RVA leadership team was meaningful, insightful, and beneficial.
The conference for those working with Mu$lims from all around Africa went so well and we were able to connect with many coworkers.
Lori had a great time playing and spending time with the preschoolers of the workers at the conference.
We loved catching up with Lori’s brother and family who are serving at Rosslyn Academy in Nairobi, Kenya.
North Africa –
We visited the homes and shared meals with almost all of the workers with our company in this country. We could relate with the challenges of the work, and we pray we were an encouragement to them.
Rod co-facilitated a Life Coaching Skills workshop for 3 days and a training event called “4 Healthy Ways to Avoid Conflict.” This was a highlight for Rod as he finds it energizing and rewarding to equip the saints for service, so that the body of Christ might be built up. (Ephesians 4:12)
We received a LOT of positive feedback from the parents about the Third Culture Kids debrief that Lori was able to offer 8 kids in one of the cities we were in.
We feel like the Lord really directed our time on this trip to Kenya and North Africa. We continue to be open to see where the Lord might be leading us next. Thank you for your prayers for our time away.
As some of you might know, Mozambique just endured a very powerful cyclone. Here is a report from one of the missionary families on the ground there:
We just received a message from Robert and Karis chronicling the events of the last 4 days. It is a truly heart rending account: mother in a tree with a baby and not reachable because of raging waters, people gashed from flying roofing sheets, cars overturned and submerged, expectant mothers giving birth in the midst of disaster, people terrified and immobilized by fear, people killed by collapsed walls, snakes swimming by while trying to rescue people causing more chaos, rescue rafts capsizing. Robert and Karis having to make life giving or the opposite decisions. And the rain continuing, and no end to the disaster in sight, no way in or out save by helicopter. So far none has shown up. Do hold up these flesh and blood angels who are absolutely exhausted and without resources now, having given all they have.
When New York’s legislature passed the now infamous Reproductive Health Act (RHA) in January, the nation staggered and drew back in shame and horror. People are shocked and disgusted at the barbarity of a State legislature applauding the fabricated human right to kill preborn boys and girls. It was as if people of conscience suddenly found themselves in a waking nightmare, looking at the dark mirror of the nation only to find a corpse staring back at them. Legislatures, like NY’s, are the blind leading the blind, self-righteous because they fancy their personal whims as the standard for righteousness, even as Governor Cuomo continues to pursue enshrinement of abortion in the state constitution.
The RHA is bad enough even though its true evil is not fully understood by most. But the situation is worse than most people imagine. The NY legislature is actively pursuing five other bills persecuting pro-life activity and at least four bills designed to protect, promote, and pay for Planned Parenthood’s abortion business.
The dike holding back this flood of bills broke because abortion extremists fear that the Supreme Court case legalizing abortion (Roe v Wade, January 22, 1973) will be overturned. This would send the issue of abortion back to the States to decide for themselves. Cuomo’s fears are well-founded as there are several cases in the judicial pipeline that would give the Supreme Court an opportunity to do just that. Bottom line: NY is preparing to become an abortion tourism destination, like it was prior to 1973. If this happens, the abortion rate in NY will likely double.
Now, not only must pro-life Christians continue helping women say “no” to abortion, swimming against the cultural tide, but now we must also fight for CompassCare’s right to do the lifesaving work. The silver lining behind this cloud is the realization that all of this is actually the unintended consequence of national pro-life success. So, the opportunity to lead the nation’s abortion battle through service falls to NY’s pro-life Christians.
Recently a good friend asked me what I am feeling in the face of these overwhelming odds. My answer is a picture of a blacksmith. In making any object, his three primary tools are a hammer, an anvil, and fire. When the blacksmiths of state seek to reshape the iron of society into something different than what it is, they use the heat of coercive power and the hammer of legislation. All this effort is brought to bear against the anvil. When a blacksmith labors with his tools, it is the anvil that takes the beating and the hammer that breaks. My prayer is that God makes pro-life Christians the anvil. The State can hit us all day long with the hammer of unjust legislation, but we will not bend or break. After all, there is Biblical precedent for people of faith resisting the unjust dictates of pagan rulers because we serve a higher law and a greater King, One to whom all will answer.
Make no mistake, NY’s legislature has waged war on pro-life Christians. We need to keep our head if we are going to have a chance at winning. This will be a long and arduous road. We must stick to the strategy. Remember, CompassCare was born into the crucible of pro-life hostility that is NY, has been taking hammer strikes for decades, and saw this last blow coming for years. CompassCare developed and is actively implementing a strategy to both protect the livesaving work and continue to expand it. Pro-life people are angry and rightly so. Many Christians are waking up and so they should. Now is not the time to chase nifty pro-life novelties in a flailing attempt to recover some semblance of civility. Now is the time to let our righteous indignation steel our resolve.
CompassCare continues to be the nation’s pioneer at reaching and serving abortion-minded women in such a way that they have their babies. It has worked so well in Rochester that the abortion rate dropped 58% in the last eight years. So, Governor Cuomo and his band of legislative gangsters can legalize their favorite flavor of killing all they want, but it won’t matter if women don’t want abortions. Our lives are ordained by God for this time and in this place to demonstrate faithfulness to Him and love for our preborn neighbor who needs it most. Our job is to relentlessly endure, and in the enduring, expand. We must be the anvil upon which the hammer of the State breaks because we are people of faith, witnesses of the Word of God. As Jesus says, “Heaven and earth will pass away but My words will not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).
Join us at Ohmann Theater in Lyons on Thursday, March 28 for a pre-release screening of Unplanned.
Tickets are free ($7 value). Donations to underwrite the cost are being accepted.
Doors open at 6:00 pm, movie at 7:00 pm.
Following the movie there will be a short message by Jason McQuire of the Family Research Council.
Please encourage your youth pastor/leaders to consider bringing a group of young people. If you are a grandparent consider babysitting so young parents can attend. Invite friends and neighbors to join you. We hope to reach the next generation and those that are undecided with the truth.
Call us at 315-573-7833 or stop by the office to reserve your tickets. A limited quantity will be available at the door.