WCCC Missions
Committee

Missions Committee

Left to right back row : Dick Greenman, Tom Thomas (chairman), Don Tveter and Don Fiddler. Left to right front row: Carrie Fakhoury, Debbie Tveter, Diana Morales, Bobbie Clark and Tracy Fiddler.

Latest News

Thu Sep 15 14:34:23 2016

See the New Missions Committee Photo at Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman.

Fri Apr 29 16:49:07 2016

See a photo of the prayer before the Senegal trip.

Fri Nov 20 18:51:40 2015

See a thank you note from Christina Payne.

Sat Aug 22 18:19:04 2015

See a thank you from Bethany Jeffers.

Sun Jun 7 14:58:14 2015

See the new missions committee picture.

Mon Dec 1 17:31:36 2014

See a thank you letter from Pastor Victor Veramendi Salas in Peru.

Thu Aug 14 13:58:40 2014

On Sunday I changed an email address in the program that does the posting and sends out emails. Unfortunately the editor split the one line over two lines and disaster resulted. So since then there have been updates to Bislew, Burke, Dyck, Fischer and Gouzoules. All the missionaries are at: http://www.dontveter.com/missionaries/index.html

Don

Sat May 25 19:38:08 2013

See a thank you from Angel and Natalia LeBron for the committee's support for their mission trip to LA.

Mon Dec 3 13:54:36 2012

Merry Christmas 2012!
Dear Missionaries of Windy City Community Church,
We are so blessed to be praying for you and hearing about what God is doing in your ministries! We want to encourage you with a Christmas gift and update you on life at Windy City church.
This year, Windy City has focused on the B3 plan. B3 stands for “Brick by Brick,” with each brick being a verse of scripture that the Windy City family has been encouraged to memorize each week. The church has encouraged its members to memorize and meditate on 50 different verses this year.
Pastor Steve is currently taking a sabbatical and we have missed his presence in the pulpit. At the same time, we are grateful to have heard, at length, from several of our missionaries: Vince Burke, Dick Greenman, Chris Gouzoules, and Helen Ekstrom. We were also very glad to hear from Susan Moers who retired this year. She has served with TEAM in Papua , Indonesia and been supported by Windy City for 35 years. We have been grateful to visit with her several times since she returned to the Chicago area and we pray God’s blessings for her as she adapts to life in the United States.
In addition, a special prayer group was begun this year. This group specifically prays for public, private school and homeschooling educators and the needs of the children in these areas. With many points of tension this year between the School Board and the Chicago Public School teachers, this prayer group provided a special place of encouragement for teachers. Everyone was grateful that the Chicago teachers’ strike came to a resolution after 10 days.
The Missions committee at Windy City is excited that this year the church elders have shown an increased concern for publicizing missions and the needs of missionaries supported by Windy City. Regular communication between the committee and the elders has resulted in greater mutual respect and recently, the elders prayed for all of Windy City’s 18 missionaries during their day of prayer. A recent trip that was made to support one of our missionary families was to Memphis, Tennessee. A small group of Windy City members joined Don and Sharon Lee in the reconstruction of their home so they can better minister to people in the Memphis area. What a joy for us, as a body, to help out a missionary family in a hands-on way!
In addition to supporting our missionaries, Windy City shows God’s love to children overseas by sending shoeboxes through the Operation Christmas Child program. This year the church sent shoeboxes for 242 children! We are excited to further be involved with God’s work overseas in this small way.
All of us at Windy City are grateful for each of you, obediently serving Christ, whether in our stateside communities or outside the USA. Thank you for being His salt and light right where you are!
We wish you a blessed Christmas 2012!

Your WCCC Missions Committee

Thu Oct 18 19:08:06 2012

The following is a video done by the organization that sponsored a short-term mission trip to Los Angeles that Angel and Natalia LeBron took in the Spring of 2012. For Chrome, Firefox or Opera click here. For Internet Explorer click here. The music has been removed because apparently it is copyrighted.

Thu Apr 5 20:29:54 2012

See the thank you card from Angel and Natalia for the committee's help in making their trip to LA possible.

Thu Sep 22 21:21:05 2011

See a thank you from Awana.

Wed Jun 29 19:01:15 2011

A thank you from Camp Awana.

Wed May 4 22:38:44 2011

The new missions committee photo is up.

Thu Apr 14 17:32:12 2011

From: Beth Greenman, concerning her mission trip to Tunisia.

Dear 'family',
My heart has been strengthened by your words of encouragement, prayers and offerings. All of us are interconnected by the blood of Jesus, we are one family, one body, and we are the bride of Christ. What would we be without each other?
As my first deadline for support raising approaches (April 15), I am excited and expectant. The Lord goes before us, and he surrounds us with his strength to walk when we arrive. I am praying the first financial goal will be reached, that the Lord would provide to those who would give, and that the timing would work out with checks and deposits arriving by Friday. Would you pray specifically for this in these next two days? Right now I am encouraged to see I will definitely be doing the week-long training here in Chicago! I really look forward to this!! If the Lord has the trip to Tunisia in mind for this year, I will go! Pray also for me that I will stay encouraged.

much love,
Beth/Eli

Tue Apr 5 22:48:41 2011

Here is Beth Greenman's letter requesting support for a missions trip.

Thu Mar 10 12:55:50 2011

Tom Thomas – chairman and treasurer
Dick Greenman – secretary
Bobbie Clark – bulletin updates, missionary addresses and emails
Tracy Fiddler – missionary prayer list and bulletin updates
Don Fiddler – missionary bulletin board
Don & Debbie Tveter – WCCC missions’ web site
Dick Nielsen

Sat Dec 4 15:46:55 2010

WCCC collected $3315 for Missionary Christmas and sent each of our 16 missionaries $210.

Mon Sep 13 12:27:30 2010

The WCCC missions committee sent $300 to Camp Awana for Rachelle Boblett and received this response from Camp Awana “Where Christ Is First” A ministry of the North Side Gospel Center.

As Camp Awana 2010 comes to a close, we’d like to extend another “thank you” to you our summer intern supporters. This summer we have worked as cabin leaders, lifeguards, swimming teachers, activity directors, maintenance helpers, cooks, dishwashers, roofers, and my favorite, sewer unstoppers. God has opened many doors to the kids through us and we have been stretched to do jobs some of us never would have imagined before camp began.

During the second week of girls camp we were unexpectedly in the kitchen and 3 of our mail interns graciously agreed to help cook. They did a wonderful job and learned a few things about cooking in the process. Did you know knives are sharp? They just barely escaped the week with 10 fingers.

During boys camp we had a need for lifeguards, so our head lifeguard worked with some of our staff giving them a crash course on lifeguarding techniques and how to teach swimming lessons. These girls then spent 3 weeks maintaining the beach, lifeguarding and teaching swimming lessons.
Because the last week of camp was a small group, we were able to work on many maintenance projects. One of these was to find out why we were having a recurring sewer problem in one of our latrines. One intern had the privilege to help dig up the sewer pipe and fix the problem. That was a doosey.

Most importantly, we have been able to share the gospel with many children who had not heard. We even had a Russian girl who spoke no English attend camp this summer and through an interrupter we were able to share the gospel with her. She had never heard the story of Jesus before. Wow, what a blessing!

God has blessed us all through your generous giving and we want you to know that you had a part in spreading the gospel this summer and we want you to know how much we appreciate it. Please keep us in your prayers this fall as we return to our various colleges. This has been a wonderful experience for us, but it has blessed many others also.

Thanks again,
Camp Awana Summer Inters

Mon Jan 25 12:50:33 2010

The committee for 2010 will be:
Tom Thomas – chairman and treasurer
Melodie Brummitt – secretary
Bobbie Clark – bulletin updates, missionary addresses and emails
Tracy Fiddler – missionary prayer list and bulletin updates
Don Fiddler – missionary bulletin board
Don & Debbie Tveter – WCCC missions’ web site
Dick Nielsen

Thu Dec 3 16:35:30 2009

WCCC contributed $3,517 for Missionary Christmas. We sent $220 to each of our 16 missionaries.

Mon Nov 9 13:54:22 2009

The latest news from a missionary, Mark Fisher, that is on WCCC's support waiting list, currently at Fort Hood.

A Chaplain friend’s Medic saved the life of the female police officer and the shooter. You can watch the Medic’s interview on CNN.


The surgeon who worked on the female police officer did Mary’s gall bladder surgery last week. Also, his duck hunt in SD was cancelled; otherwise he may not have been here last Thursday for this terrible tragedy.

Mary’s appt. with the surgeon on Thursday at 1430 was cancelled, since he was needed in the ER. They will be taken out Monday. She is still experiencing some pain and burning.


Cadence International

Mark Fischer


Mon Jun 29 13:02:01 2009

Hello Windy City,

I just wanted to thank you for your support to allow me to go to Italy. God has been working hard here and it is cool to see how that unfolds in Italy. Thanks again and I will see all of you soon!

Love, Becky Boblett

Mon May 18 12:04:24 2009

Hi Steve and the Windy City Missions Committee,

Its Russell Dietrich here just sending you a note to tell you how grateful and humbled I was by your generous support of my trip this summer. My jaw dropped when Steve told me! I couldn’t believe it. Support raising has taught me how fortified I am with Christian support both locally in Urbana, but also in Chicago. Steve mentioned that I might be able to have an opportunity to share my experience with the church or the high school youth group and I would be honored to. We can touch base in the fall. And it won’t be too hard to stay in touch! And thanks to you, Steve, for your support and for bringing the letter to the committee. I’m excited for the summer and it’s been nice to hear God’s approval through your generosity and blessings!


Thanks again,
Russell Dietrich

Sat Mar 28 22:55:49 2009

See Tom's photo collection from Missionary Sunday.

Mon May 5 14:42:24 2008

WCCC’s list of missionaries for future consideration


Vince and Lori Burke with First Love in Manila, Philippians

I bought a sandwich for three street kids, ages 10, 12 and 15. I gave them the sandwich and made them sit down with me for a minute. With my limited Tagalog, I told them a little about Jesus. We get to do this a lot. I think God has been speaking to us about kids. Kids are like wet cement spiritually, you can almost pour them into any shape you want. Teens are a little tougher, more like clay which you can mold and shape, pliable but you have to work at it. Adults, well, by that stage you need hammer and chisel to effect spiritual change. So, why not give more time and energy to that most responsive segment of the world…the kids? I just met with the board of AWANA Philippines. I agreed to serve on the board in an active way. Perhaps this is one way we can proactively engage ourselves in reaching the myriad of kids representing 50% of the population of the Philippines.

Lori and I decided to head for Chicago and attend Kelly and Tami’s graduation. We leave for Chicago April 30. We return to Manila May 19. Pray for Julie and Vinny who will remain behind in Manila.


Mark and Mary Fischer with Cadence International in Texas

Cadence has launched their new website, http://www.cadence.org/
In March the Killen Soldiers’ Hospitality House had a ground breaking ceremony for the new tennis and basketball courts.

In 1999, they began raising funds to buy a 16-acre plot of Chapparal road. The new house was opened at that site in 2003, and included bunk rooms and meeting areas. The goal is to get soldiers out of the barracks on weekends. They can sleep in the bunk rooms and parents have even stayed there when visiting their soldiers.

PrayFAST (Pray For A Soldier Team) is a prayer ministry based at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. This ministry reaches out to soldiers at their deployment time with an offer to have someone pray for them while they are away and for three months after they return. Praying for the Soldier the additional three months helps the soldiers and their family members to rebuild their relationships after the deployment.


Michelle Akavuti with Greater Europe Mission in Slovakia

I have been pretty busy as I accepted a full-time teaching job in February which goes until the middle of April. I love to teach so it has been a lot of fun being able to teach Jr. High kids. Luckily I have been able to make it to Tahoe a few times to balance work and fun and I am hoping to be able to go one more time before the snow goes away.

I want to thank you all for your prayers as I have been home. Support raising is definitely not one of my favorite things to do but knowing that there are people who support what I do in Slovakia has encouraged me.

I would like to ask you to specifically pray for me personally. I have some big decisions that need to be made in the next couple weeks concerning ministry. Please pray for wisdom as I look to God for direction. I would also like you to pray for Big House this summer. Big house is the annual evangelistic summer camp we have in Slovakia for High School students.


Aaron and Stephanie Thomas with ABWE, in Papua New Guinea

We are currently at 74% this month. We have 6 supporting churches and 23 individuals that are a part of our support team. We are thankful to God that He has allowed us to be able to be involved in our supporting churches and get to know these people on a more personal basis. It is our desire to stay involved and closely linked with all our supporting churches and strive to know each one on a personal basis. We are trusting God to continue to lead us where He would have us minister and pray we can be a blessing to those we encounter daily.

We have also been busy starting to get some of the things needed for our house in PNG. They don’t call it the “Land of The Unexpected” for no reason! We are thankful that we have lived there before and are able to put some things on our list that otherwise we may not have thought of. We are also working on our passports and other paperwork to begin the very long list of things that need to get done before we leave.


Devin and Kaori Laverman in Japan with WorldVenture

They visited WCCC Women’s Missionary Guild on Thursday, May 1, 2008.


Paul and Becky Beck in Philippines with World Venture

Maybe 2008 will be a year of new beginning for you! Faith Academy is in desperate need of staff for the 2008-2009 school year, especially in the area closest to my heart—the Physical Education Department. One of our teachers is going on home assignment next year and the teacher that is returning from home assignment to replace her has been requested to teach science next year because of the teacher shortage in that department as well.
We need teachers in the area of Science, Math and PE. Since we are short teachers in PE, Faith is not able to offer Drivers Education because I am teaching all Physical Education to help make up for the shortage there. The Elementary area also needs many teachers in all levels. Please be praying and check out the website, www.faith.edu.ph. Maybe YOU are the answer to this need, or you know of someone who fits this category.

Tue Feb 26 22:04:22 2008

PRAYER
Please pray for Tim Gioia and the New Orleans 08 Team:
New Orleans:
For Castle Rock Church that will be hosting us. For some relief and energy as they continue to minister to the community.
For Rock of the Ages Baptist Church that they may find a pastor.
For the city in general as it continues to recoup from the hurricane.
The Team:
Our leader Kent Hansen who will handle a lot of logistics.
For patience with each other both on the trip down and while working together.
For safety at the work sites.
God teaches us.
For Me:
A clear head to make good leadership decisions.
Energy
The ability to stop and enjoy what God has for me.

Sat Jan 12 16:57:45 2008

Tim Gioia writes;
I just wanted to touch base with you about what's going on in my life. I applied to MissionYear, the organization that I talked to you about and the application process has jumped to warp speed in the last few days, I should be doing an in person interview in the next week or two. I'm still not 100% sure that I want to go on this trip but I am in constant prayer about it. I also wanted to let you know that I am leading a trip down to New Orleans in the first week of March with TIU. Thanks for everything and I will be in touch.

For His Kingdom,
Tim Gioia

Wed Dec 19 11:17:24 2007

From Vince Burke

Dear Friends and Family, December 2007

Have a Happy one everyone as we give Thanks to Christ for giving us hope and making us merry by taking and fixing the mas, (old English for mess, haha) we’ve made of life.
I squeezed, (or should I say “stuffed” get it, turkey-stockings haha) a couple of holidays into one letter. How stewardly and parsimonious of me. Can you find Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas in my opening sentence?
I met a young man named Daniel at a Bible Study recently. He told me he was from Myanmar. I asked, “So what’s going on in your country?” I guess that was the right question…it turned his crank and he talked for the whole trip. I was truly fascinated by his depiction of the problems, frustrations and injustice his countrymen experience under a harsh military junta. These things he said stuck with me.
1. “Myanmar, formerly Burma was the field of missionary giants Adoniram and Ann Judson in the 1800’s,’ he said. I decided to refresh my memory and read up on the Judsons and was again inspired by the strong commitment and sacrificial nature of these great servants.
2. “The world has forgotten my country” The UN and others have been enormously unsuccessful in improving the dismal situation in Myanmar. Daniel is fired up to bring the gospel to his homeland in hopes of effecting change.
3. “Pastor, would you help me gather materials to return and use in ministry and training. Would you help me and would you consider coming to Myanmar and train pastors sometime in the future?” We are meeting occasionally to work on the first request. As to the second request, we’ll see, pray!
We had a great visit from Frank Carmical from Dallas, Texas. Frank and I worked together at Plano Bible Chapel in the 80’s. We took a day trip to Corregidor and enjoyed an informative tour of this historically rich site. Frank, is working with Awana, and has devoted himself to sparking interest in reaching children around the world in the age group 4-14 years, (called the “4-14 window”). I’ve been prompted to consider how I might make an impact in this way as well. The needs are so great. Tucked away in the shadow of big news about a mall explosion, a bombing at a government building and a failed coup attempt, was a tragic story of an 11 year old girl. She hanged herself. Why? Her note was a sad expression of frustration over the abysmal poverty she experienced.
Somehow, no matter where you go or how you look at it.
..kids suffer and hurt the most in this crazy world.
Pray for us as we continue to ponder how God may be nudging us to touch the 4-14 window. Pray for us as we consider how Awana could work here and how we might foster that possibility.
As I close, please consider how you might pray for these things.
1. I’m pursuing the possibility of leading a team of Filipinos to Kenya to experience ministering in the Kibera slums of Nairobi. Pray for God’s timing.
2. I’m continuing to serve as Chairman of the First Love Philippines board. I’m not doing a good job. Pray for me. It’s hard to stay on top of the various roles I’m called to fulfill. Pastor, Corresponder, Discipler, Father, Husband, Teacher, Board Member, etc. Pray that I can adequately lead this board and get the necessary work, (which I don’t always
understand) accomplished. Pray for Lori, who wears many similar hats as well as having to put up with me, haha.
3. We have a group of 25 young people from Peoria, Illinois coming to Manila for a short term missions trip, June 11-24, 2008. Pray for us as we prepare for this.
4. 2008 marks the year when the Tagbanua Scriptures will be completed and presented formally to the people. This tribal group was first impacted by the gospel through the ministry of the Connor family, (Lori’s mom and dad), in the 70’s. This is a watershed event. Lori’s family will be coming for this celebration. Pray for this landmark event.
5. Pray for our future. Kelly and Tami graduate college in May of 2008. Vinny graduates High School.
We have a lot of decisions to make as this transition approaches. We have been told that kids need their parents more after college than after High School. The rationale for this relates to the new absence of structure that college provided. Housing, food, schedule, all are prescribed for you in college. After college these become challenges. So pray, its hard at times to be far away.
6. Pray that the Lord would provide us with a car that has an automatic transmission. I am thankful for the FX Tamaraw, (a local version of a mini-van), but I suffer a bit in the knees because of the small driver space and constant shifting in Manila’s unique traffic. I’m not sure we “kneed” another vehicle, just testing the waters and seeing if it’s possible.
7. Pray that we can completely clear the deficit in our account, things are ok but we are still behind. If you want to help us out in this way, just holler and I will be glad to share details with you. Our contact information is below.
8. Please pray for our immigration status. We are in the process of getting a long term visa for the Philippines. The expense for this for a family of four is very high. Our tension level is also high right now because we are not sure if the guy getting our visas is actually going to do it or take off with the large amount of money we have already invested. This is a biggie, please pray. We are at the mercy of what seems like a merciless system.

Well that’s all folks. We love you all and wish you all God’s best. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your support. Thank you for being on our team.
In His Grace,
Vince and Lori Burke and kids

OUR SUPPORT ADDRESS :
FIRST LOVE INTERNATIONAL MINISTRIES
P. O. BOX 15836
LOVES PARK, IL. 61132
(*Specify your gift is FOR BURKES)

OUR MANILA ADDRESS;
VINCE AND LORI BURKE
MCPO 2016
0706 MAKATI CITY
MANILA
PHILIPPINES

EMAIL: vinceburke60068@yahoo.com

Tue Oct 30 00:39:57 2007

From Tom Thomas:

Tribute to Lois Balzer, WCCC member

As Christians, it is sometimes much easier to wait for our salvation to come to us, rather than to facilitate it; to spread his word as he has asked. Let me tell you about one of our Lord’s very special facilitators’ right here among us. He called and she answered.

Lois Ruth Varnell was born the fourth of four children to Glenna and Harry Varnell right there in the house that she currently lives in on West Circle Avenue right here in Norwood Park, Chicago, Illinois. Her family has been a part of our church community for a very long time. As for Lois it would not be long before her family and all who know her would find out that the humble streets of Norwood Park were just her starting point; God had plans that would take her far from here.

This type of life’s mission does not get started without the support and direction of two very special parents. Early in her life Lois’ mother, Glenna felt God’s desire for her service. She followed the direction God provided her, traveling to Chicago’s South side from her small Ohio town to attend the Baptist Missionary Training School. While faithfully attending to her classes at the Baptist Missionary Training School in Chicago, she attended the Garfield Park Baptist Church where she met a handsome young man, Harry Varnell. Glenna’s mission ultimately would be detoured; she was told by administrators that she would have a hard time adjusting to life as a missionary and she should not plan on going overseas. Glenna was crushed; why had God brought her all this way? How was she to serve him? Enter, Harry. Harry was there to console and comfort and eventually to ask Glenna to be his bride. Together they would build a family strongly devoted to God and spreading his word. That would be how Glenna would serve God; she would provide God with four messengers; two of whom would travel to other continents to help grow his church. She would teach her children that the greatest joy is to be in the service of the Lord, and they would be joyful.

Lois attended Norwood Park Grammar School, Carl Schurz High School for one year and then the newly opened Taft High School. While in high school Lois was involved with the Church youth group. At that time the pastor of NPBC was Leonard Giddings who himself had returned from being a missionary in Africa. Pastor Giddings would often leverage his experiences in Africa and other of his missionary stories to bolster his sermons. For some reason the missionary life stayed right there on the front of Lois’ mind most of the time. Then one Sunday night Pastor Giddings had invited a guest missionary to speak about his experiences. He showed a film of his school or college in one of the East African countries; and that is when the Lord and Lois had agreed upon where her life would go; God was calling Lois in the direction of her future, and she listened and was obedient.

After High School was completed, Lois would attend Wheaton College where she majored in Christian Education and minored in Anthropology. About her third year at Wheaton she decided it was time to commit, “out loud.” During the semester Evangelistic Services they asked for students who would be willing to become missionaries. He called; she answered. Now, she would have to share this information with her parents. Her parents were very supportive of her decision, so much so that her father even wrote a letter to her in support of her decision.

In further pursuit of her calling Lois followed in the footsteps left in the very cold northern snow of Minnesota by her older sister Betty, 6 years her senior. Betty, as it turns out, was on the same path of service to the Lord; fortunately for Lois, Betty was a few paces ahead blazing the trail. By now Betty was married and she and her husband were off to the African Continent.

With college completed it was time for Lois to get off to Bemidji, Minnesota. The Church had taken her on as their missionary and in there kindness, provided a car, Dick Nielsen’s parent’s car and a very warm car robe. Lois was going to no tropical climate; Minnesota can sometimes get a little chili.

While in Minnesota is appeared her dream to mission in Africa had stalled; but she never lost her way. There was a reason to be in Bemidji these few years and she prayed to God to provide those answers. At Oak Hills in Bemidji Lois met Ellsworth Balzer, the answer God was providing, a young man who was hoping to mission in Africa one day. Why not get married and together they would provide a very strong voice for God as missionaries in Africa.

Lois and Ellsworth had a very simple ceremony here at EPBC and headed back to Bemidji to continue their work and complete all the necessary details for their eventual departure to Africa. While in preparation of their departure it seemed that God was going to provide them with a child to bring with them.

Stephen was born on Easter Sunday, a very special day for us Christians and he was a very special child. Unfortunately, he had a very difficult time in the birthing process that in the 1950’s doctors just did not have the tools and preparation that would have been vital to Stephen’s health as they do today. Stephen simply could not get enough air at a time that air was vitally needed; he would suffer brain damage as a result.

This was devastating for Lois; for Ellsworth; and especially for Stephen. Why was God doing this? They were a “go” on all fronts. Happily married with a child on the way, they had even been accepted by the mission board. What would they do now? They were ready willing and able to do his work, but with Stephen’s condition they could not go to Africa, he would not survive in the jungle. Through their tears and disappointment they prayed for answers; God would provide them, he always had.

Well, while taking care of Stephen and praying for God’s loving hand to direct them, Lois would learn that she would have another child before Stephen’s first birthday. There were some complications but eventually a very healthy Priscilla entered into the world and joined the family. God would provide a very difficult answer and now they had to decide how to proceed. A wonderful couple had agreed to accept Stephen to care for him; they too were being called by God and this was where he needed them. It was difficult for them to leave Stephen; but God’s will be done; they would say good-bye to him and leave for Khartoum, Sudan that February.

Lois spent the next 10 years 500 miles south of Khartoum in a village area called Doro. During this time period they would eventually welcome daughter Eunice and son Nathan to their growing family. Ellsworth had built a “bush” hospital where they tended to the needs of 75 leper patients. Lois taught women in Arabic. Their location was so near the equator that there was no twilight time; just day time, then sudden darkness. Dust storms known as “Haboobs” by the local people would blow up suddenly during the dry season making the roads impassible most of the five months of rainy season. They cooked on a wood burning stove, boiled and strained all their drinking water, made their own bread, strained and boiled their milk, skimmed the cream off the cooled, refrigerated milk to make their butter. Thankfully, their time in Bemidji was not too much unlike this, so they were prepared. Well, maybe Bemidji was a little better.
The Moslem influence was getting more prevalent and one day as they were listening to the BBC news on their battery operated radio, they heard that all missionaries in southern Sudan were to be expelled. The next day a policeman from the post two miles away came to hand deliver their official departure notice, less there be any confusion as to what was expected. It was a very sad time for them to leave their work and the people they had grown to know. With all the upheaval at hand, it was a bad time to pack up and go, leaving these patients and the local Christians to fend for themselves.

They were given only seven days to vacate; pretty bad timing considering Lois was six months pregnant with Rhoda. They did what they could then said their goodbyes. As they drove off on the afternoon of the sixth day, armed guards were approaching to insure their departure. They drove the 500 miles to Khartoum with son Nathan, then five. Meanwhile, they had sent word to their two daughters who were away at boarding school to meet them in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. After spending two weeks in Khartoum, Lois and Nate flew to Addis Ababa while Ellsworth drove the truck to meet them there. Once reunited the family was allowed to stay in Ethiopia for three months before they refused to renew their visitor’s visas as per Ethiopia’s agreement with the Sudanese government.

The family eventually boarded a plane and flew across Africa to Nigeria. They were told that if they wanted permanent visas they would have to leave the country and apply for visas before entrance. Instead they went to the Liberian consulate in Nigeria and got their visas almost immediately. Rhoda was born in Nigeria and they went to Liberia with a one month old baby. A wonderful coincidence was that Ellsworth was greatly needed in Liberia. A new hospital was needed and being delayed while waiting for someone with his building skills. They lived on the ELWA radio station’s compound beside the Atlantic Ocean.

Lois worked editing tapes for broadcast on the radio station which she could do at home while caring for the baby. She also taught piano as well as kindergarten. She spent 12 years counseling and following - up with people who corresponded with the radio station. She averaged about 25 people a month who became Christians and needed help in growing in their new lives. In her spare time she put together a resource library for others self-directed study.

In 1977 while Lois was involved counseling, Ellsworth was killed in an accident on his motorcycle. A local Liberian young man had lost control of his car and hit Ellsworth’s motorcycle on which he was Rhoda behind him. They were off enjoying a nice Sunday afternoon joy-ride until this trauma occurred. Rhoda was thrown and sustained fractures of the left arm and right leg. Ellsworth was in a coma and died after three days. Later, Rhoda shared that that last thing her father said to her was how much he loved her.

War in Liberia started back in 1979 when Samuel Doe killed the president of Liberia, William Tolbert. It was a very bad time in the country for the next ten years until Charles Taylor started the uprising and war on Christmas Eve of 1989. There were war conditions basically for the next 7 years and three times ELWA radio and hospital were shut down.

Lois retired in 1990 after being a missionary for 36 years, 23 of them with Ellsworth, all of them at the will of God.

You may know that Lois is recovering from some surgical procedures related to colon and liver cancer. She will be leaving us in the first half of August to move back to Minnesota. There she can be near family as she undergoes Chemotherapy treatment. We will miss her anchoring down that back pew in church and we wish her the very best, wherever God’s plans take her.

Thu Sep 27 19:13:31 2007

See a Newsletter from Christine Deyerler and the additional photos.

Sat Aug 25 18:47:18 2007

From Andrew Koetsier
Dear friends,

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! Grace and peace to you all. Thank you to all those who partnered with me in our ministry this summer. Whether you contributed financially, through the vital work of prayer, or through just a note of encouragement, I consider you a blessing and gift from God.

In this final update, I want to give you a report on what God has done since I last wrote you (July 30th) and give you an idea what the future may hold.

Debrief

Our last two debriefs (the first was July 30-August 2 and the second August 13-16) went well. Again, it was so encouraging to see how God had answered prayer and worked in and through the Edgers this summer. It was humbling to see how God had answered prayers even specifically that we as a staff had prayed throughout the summer. God truly has given so many expanded vision of Himself an His work in the world through this summer. Pray that God would continue to fan these passionate flames for His name in the coming year!

At both of the last two debriefs, I had the honor of giving the final commissioning to the students as they left for their homes, families, and schools. I encouraged them and myself to remember what God had done this summer. Looking at the example of the Israelites who crossed the Jordan River, we asked the question of "what do these stones mean to you?" (Joshua 4:6) How will we remember God's faithfulness this summer?

I also encouraged both them and myself to continue engaging in the journey He has called us on. As they return from the mission field, they are still on mission. The message of the gospel still stands preeminent. We want to have the same passion as Paul who did all things "for the sake of the gospel" (1 Corinthians 9:23). How will we intentionally engage in the living out and sharing of the gospel now?

Candidate Orientation Program

In my last update, I asked for prayer as I went through the candidate orientation program at Pioneers from August 5th-August 10th. I am pleased to report that after a series of interviews and a week-long orientation, I have been accepted as an appointee with Pioneers!

What does this mean? Well, now that I am an appointee I will be working with a pre-field coach in forming a plan to get to the mission field long-term. I also can now begin raising support. I still have another year of seminary, but please pray with me for wisdom in making these steps toward the field. The next major step will likely be another trip to east\north Africa sometime in the year after I graduate to survey what God is doing in the teams and ministries over there and how I might best fit into His work there. Pray that I will seek the Lord and His timing in all of these things.

Back to School

So, now I am back at school at Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, IN...another year of learning and growing to come. To give you an idea of the things I will be thinking about, my classes include Hebrew Exegesis I, Philosophy of Ministry, Intercultural Communication, and Marriage and Family Counseling. I am also looking forward to helping lead the college ministry at my church here in Warsaw. If you are ever in the area, be sure to give me a call!

I am thankful for the opportunity to share some of my experiences this summer with you, but I would also love to share in yours. How did God work in your heart and life this summer? Are there ways that I can pray with you? Please email me and let me know if you feel so led.

Thank you again for your support and prayers. I am truly in awe of what God is doing. My prayer for you is that you would catch that same vision, that Christ Himself would be your treasure above all else. Keep up the good work in the Lord!

For His Glory Among the Nations,
Andrew Koetsier
PIONEERS Appointee
574-527-2203

Mon Aug 20 11:55:52 2007

From Lois Balzer
Dear friends,
This is to update you on the way life is going for me and to ask for your continued prayers. I moved on August 11 to live with my daughter and family in Minnesota as I go through treatment for cancer on my liver. I know the Lord will be with me so I am depending on Him who never fails. Praise Him!
Please continue to pray for the work at radio station ELWA in Liberia to be effective for our Lord! Please continue to pray for the SIM ministry getting started again in the Sudan for god’s special working! I say “Thank You” sincerely for your important part in my life and service. I am continually grateful! Here is my life verse: “Thou wilt show me the path of life; in thy presence is fullness of joy.” Psalm 16:11.
Trusting in our wise and trustworthy Lord always,
Lois Balzer

Mon Aug 13 13:50:25 2007

From Lois Balzer
THANK YOU!
To my dear friends at Windy city:

I want to thank you so very much for the special evening you took part in by attending the reception for me on Sunday evening. It was a very encouraging time for me and a good opportunity to praise the Lord for all His faithfulness as we went to Africa as missionaries of His dear sake. I thank you very much for coming and for the cards and gifts presented to me. I will certainly miss my church and church family as I move to Minnesota to live with my daughter and family. It is not easy to leave but it is god’s will for me now. Many thanks to those who planned the evening and to those who took part! Many thanks to those who provided the delicious refreshments!

I will give my address: c/0 Hinson, 15307 320th Avenue, Frazee, MN 56544, 218-334-8587.

Thank you for your prayers as I face cancer treatment. “Turn your cares into prayers, child of God why anxious be?” May the Lord continue to bless here at WCCC!

With love and prayers for you, Lois Balzer

Day by day and with each passing moment
Strength I find to meeting trials here
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.

He who know each heart beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best
Lovingly it’s part of pain or pleasure
Till I reach my promised rest.

Tue Jul 31 12:53:15 2007

Andrew Koetsier writes:
Hi praying friends,

Thank you so much for praying for the first debrief of our Edge students two weeks ago. We had a great few days reconnecting with the Edgers and hearing their stories. It was so encouraging to hear what God is doing among the nations and to hear the way God is moving in the hearts of the students.

Tonight, nearly 60 more students coming back from 10 countries arrive for our second debrief. This is the biggest group of the three debriefs. Would you pray for us again this week? (If these requests sound familiar, that is because they're the same ones I included with the last update :-)

-Pray that the Holy Spirit would use this time to continue (and in some cases begin) connecting the experience of the summer with how He would have them grow in their relationship with Him.

-Pray for sensitivity and discernment for the debriefers (myself included) as we listen to their stories and help them process the experience they have just gone through.

-Pray for rest and good health. Many are returning with little sleep in the past few days and some may be sick.

-Pray for good communication with family and friends. Coming back, they have many stories to tell and a whole month of experiences to share. Pray that God would be preparing key family and friends to listen and to share in the work God is doing in their lives.

-Pray for wisdom and discernment as many of these students are seeking God's direction in regards to their future in missions. Pray for clarity as they each seek to take the next step God has in store for them.

Personally, pray for wisdom and discernment as I lead a time of prayer on Tuesday night and then give the final commissioning of the Edgers on Wednesday night as they prepare to return back to their homes, families, and schools. Please pray that the Holy Spirit would point me to His words for them, not my own. We pray that this time would be memorable not because of what I or any other staff member might say or do, but because of what God might do in all of our hearts.

As a follow-up to the other prayer request I gave you, I have decided to continue and do the Candidate Orientation Program at Pioneers next week. Pray for focus and openness to what God would teach me in this week. During this time, I hope to gain more of a picture of what God would have me do in missions and in my future ministry.

Thank you again for your partnership in my ministry. My prayer for you echoes that of the Apostle Paul for the Ephesians:

"For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe..."
Ephesians 1:15-19b (ESV)

For His Glory Among the Nations,
Andrew Koetsier
Pioneers Mobilization Intern

Mon Jul 23 13:26:12 2007

Rachael Boblett writes,

Dear Missionary Guild and Windy City,

Camp is going great! The first two weeks my cabin was 8th & 9th graders. It was a mixed bunch of girls all at different spiritual levels, I guess you would say. Many loved asking questions about a wide range of Bible topics. They all seemed to want to learn more about Jesus. One of my girls accepted Jesus as her Savior. She had been through a hard time with her dad’s death a long while ago but she was searching for answers and I’m so glad she found Jesus! God brought to me those girls and they were so silly and fun. They worked out their arguments well and we all had a great two weeks together. I’m really thankful for your prayer. I can see and feel the Lord working! God as well has been speaking to me and showing more of Him to me, through what other leaders say and what the kids share with me. These two weeks I’m a mariner leader (high school). I have a great cabin of half girl workers, also two girls from our church! All are saved and ready to find out more. Just yesterday I told them about the Bible study I do and they all are interested. I’m very excited about the rest of this week. Only four days left, then Solid Rock (high school boys/girls) and I will be a leader. I’m some a little nervous because its going to be all new to me doing Solid Rock as a leader but it should be great. Keep praying and thank you so much!

Love, Rachael Boblett

Sun Jul 22 11:52:02 2007

From Christine Deyerler
Hi friends and family :o)
I cannot believe it, but our team has been in Cairo for a month now, and we have less than one week left. I wanted to send you one last email before I am back in the states and will be able to share with you, in person, my life for the past five weeks.
I want to thank all of you who took time to send me words of encouragement over the past four weeks. They have been a true blessing to me and the team to hear that you are thinking of us and praying for us. We would love if you could continue to pray for us to see new things, hear new stories, and to still be fully present in this place - a place that has been our home, and a place that we may never be in again.
Yesterday Marian, Barney, Marcus, Dan and I went to the home of an elderly, sick woman. It was such a blessing to sit in the filth and garbage of her one room home and cry with her as she told her story. Her husband died 7 years ago and her children abandoned her. But her faith, despite her poverty, was so much richer and so much more beautiful than I will ever have. We will be returning to her home tomorrow afternoon to clean and spend more time with her. I cannot wait.
I have very little time to share with you what has been happening since my last update, but I know that the last five days will be spent in Mokattam in an effort to internalize the sights, smells, and feelings of the community I have grown a heart for. It has been a struggle to avoid finding comfort in the knowledge that home is so close. But I have been praying for a sense of urgency that God would place deep desires in my heart to seek what He has left for me here that I have not found just yet.
I miss you all. Know that we are so very blessed to be Americans. I look forward to sharing with you very soon.
All my love, Christine

Tue Jul 17 14:02:51 2007

From Andrew Koetsier
Dear friends,

Greetings from sunny, sticky Orlando! I pray that you are enjoying life with our Father wherever He has placed you. It seems like just a short time ago that we were sending out all of our short-term teams from Wheaton. Tonight some of them (track one) are returning after just over 4 weeks on the field. As these 24 students on 6 teams come back, would you pray for them?

-Pray that the Holy Spirit would use this time to continue (and in some cases begin) connecting the experience of the summer with how He would have them grow in their relationship with Him.

-Pray for sensitivity and discernment for the debriefers (myself included) as we listen to their stories and help them process the experience they have just gone through.

-Pray for rest and good health. Many are returning with little sleep in the past few days and some may be sick.

-Pray for good communication with family and friends. Coming back, they have many stories to tell and a whole month of experiences to share. Pray that God would be preparing key family and friends to listen and to share in the work God is doing in their lives.

-Pray for wisdom and discernment as many of these students are seeking God's direction in regards to their future in missions. Pray for clarity as they each seek to take the next step God has in store for them.

On a more personal level, I can report that these past four weeks have been a great blessing. I have been doing a lot of prayer letter writing and distributing, giving the prayer partners for our students fuel for informed prayer. I have also enjoyed the opportunity to lead prayer for our mobilization team several times a week. We, as interns, have also had an opportunity to learn a lot about Pioneers and all of the different facets of a missions organization and support team. I am increasingly thankful for all of the people God raises up in support roles so that His work "on the field" may continue.

In August, I am planning on going through candidate orientation here at Pioneers. This is the major step in going as a missionary long-term with them. I will not be going to the field any sooner than a year from now (I have one more year of seminary to complete), but am seeking to prepare the way for long-term missionary service. Please pray for that process, that God would continue to guide me as I seek to take steps toward the field. Please also pray that I would be open to the Spirit's leading if He calls me in a different direction.

Thanks again for your prayer support! I would not be here without you. Thanks to those who have supported me financially! I am pleased to report that I received all of the support I needed for this summer plus more! Our Father is truly One who knows how to give good gifts to His children. Praise be to Him!

For His Glory Among the Nations,
Andrew Koetsier
Pioneers Mobilization Intern

Sun Jul 15 20:29:30 2007

hii friends and family :o)

how is everyone? i miss you all so much, but my experiences in Cairo and
Mokattam continue to get better as the days go on. i cannot believe we are
almost at our halfway point of the trip - we leave Cairo for Los Angeles on
July 26! thank you for those who replied to my first email, and i want to
apologize to those of you who are receiving this email from me as the
first. our access to and time we are allotted for Internet is very limited,
so i prepared a list before coming into the city today to be sure not to
miss those i want to share my experiences with. i hope you enjoy and will
look forward to reading your replies!

so i am just going to dive in - these past two weeks have been pretty
challenging for me and the team as a whole. the realities of Mokattam
continue to press on our hearts as we realize that God never meant for His
people to live and play in garbage. the town is like nothing i have ever
seen before: the main street of Mokattam is lined with shops and tea houses
and bakeries, while the side streets are people's homes that are covered in
garbage and flies. the comfort that we find in knowing we can come home to
air conditioning and a comfortable bed and a hot shower and nutritious
food in America in a few weeks is not something the people of Mokattam will
ever experience - this is their life, and there is very little hope for
escape.

at this point, i have served at all five of our sites - and each offers a
really different side of Mokattam. starting tomorrow, Deen and I will be
teaching computer skills to the workers at APE in Mokattam. i have been
tagging along with Betsy and Christian, who are the two other staff,
teaching English there as well as in the school twice a week in the evenings
for the volunteers for the handicapped ministry. the handicapped ministry
is much more like a sickness ministry, one in which we go in pairs with two
Egyptian volunteers to the homes of sick women in the town. we sit with
them, pray for them, and sing for them. it is a humbling experience to be
invited into their homes and to be able to bless them and be blessed by them
ourselves. Sisters of Charity is the orphanage, which is where i served
this morning. we go and do laundry for a few hours, which is actually
pretty hard work. my hands were still sore this morning from last friday!
then we went to the babies just in time to feed them before their nap.
there are really little babies up through about maybe 18 months - and they
are all so beautiful. many of them are sick and they are almost always
dirty.

this team is the most diverse community i have ever been a part of, and it
is growing me. this past week we have been focusing on living in unity in
our devotionals, which we do every morning on the roof of our apartment
building. the passages are already chosen, and a different member of the
team leads every morning. we have been facing the challenges that come with
placing fifteen college students with such different backgrounds to live
together and spend most of the minutes of five weeks together. but God has
been faithful, and is showing us that He placed this team together for a
reason, no one is here by mistake. through the conflict and frustrations,
we have been encouraged by one another - we are actually going to start
doing individuals encouragements throughout the week that i hope will
continue to build our team up as a strong, servant-hearted body of Christ.

the kids here love us. "hello, whats your name?" is all we hear as we walk
to our cafeteria for our meals. they are fascinated by the Americans that
have come to Egypt, and are generally very welcoming and friendly. we have
struggled to keep our apartment building a space for us to retreat and to
feel safe, away from the constant attention we receive from the Egyptians.
we have made friends with a little girl named Christine. she speaks a few
words of English, but loves to just be present with us. (this is definitely
something we have been practicing too - the ministry of presence. just
spending time with them, because our Arabic vocabulary is still pretty
small). she sat on the roof with us last night during our community time,
as we shared what God has been doing in our lives. i had my arm around her
and she sat silently, resting against my side. it felt so good to just sit
and receive love from her, even though i knew she didnt understand what was
going on.

i have been having a different experience than much of the team. first, i
am white and second, i am a woman. this might not seem like news to anyone,
but it certainly means something different in Egypt. they treat me like a
celebrity here, and i am just beginning to embrace the attention. the kids
all want to touch me and talk to me, the adults all want to have
conversations and tell me just how happy they are to have us here. marcus
and i spent two evenings and one afternoon getting to know a family from
upper Egypt (which is actually South Egypt and it is the more wealthy part
of the nation). they were so generous, offering us food and their company.
it was definitely an experience i couldnt imagine having in the States, and
one i will not forget.

we have been taking Arabic lessons one night a week the past few weeks in an
effort to gain more vocabulary to talk to the people here. there are very
few people who live in Mokattam who know more than "hello" and "welcome to
Egypt," making it really difficult to communicate with them. the language
barrier continues to challenge us, but i have realized that without the
courage to try and have a conversation, we will never be able to receive
from them.

a lot of the team has already or is still currently experiencing sickness.
diarrhea, colds, and vomiting have all been pretty common throughout the
past week. if it isnt one person, its another. we had a scare when Dan
thought he might have to have a minor operation here - but with a lot of
prayer and rest and some medicine, he is feeling much better. but i know we
would all appreciate your continued prayers for health and protection as we
take increasingly more risky steps into this culture.

us ladies got two Egyptian students who are now living in our room with us
at the beginning of last week - their English is very good, and they have
been able to add a different and valuable perspective to our experience here
in Egypt. OH, and we went to the Pyramids on Saturday! it was incredible.
i crawled into the bottom of the second pyramid with some of the team, and
had my first camel ride with Marian :) next weekend we will go on our
Mid-Project Retreat to the Red Sea! i hope to be able to tell you more
about that when we get back.

I realize this is already soo long, and it doesn't even skim the surface of
my experience :/ but i hope you can be encouraged by the struggles and the
joys that mark my experience thus far. If you want more, I would also
encourage you to check out our trek journal. The website for our team is:
http://www.urbana.org/feat.trek.2007.cfm?recordid=956 . There is one up
now, and one more completed journal, as well as a few video blogs, that are
on their way onto the website - so continue to check for updates so you can
follow along, through Marian's eyes, our experiences. I look forward to my
next chance to hear from you!

All my love, Christine

Mon Jun 25 13:06:34 2007

From Lois Balzer

Happy 4th of July! May our beloved America observe this Independence Holiday by recognizing our God who so wonderfully has blessed us since our forefathers arrived in this country. May the gospel message of our Saviour Jesus Christ continue to be preached and honored and embraced. In our deep concern, let us PRAY that curtailing actions on Christians will stop!

Many thanks for your support gifts as well as for your prayers and interest! I greatly appreciate your participation in my life as I keep connected with missions particularly work in Sudan and Liberia. Please PRAY for me as I face colon surgery on June 25 followed by five days in the hospital and two weeks recovering at home. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee because he trusteth in Thee” is so good a scripture and the song, “In the Hollow of His Hands” helps!

Thu Jun 21 11:57:08 2007

Dear friends,

Greetings from Orlando! I am now sitting in my desk at the Pioneers Edge Office in Orlando, Florida. My internship has been simply great so far. And now I finally have some time to write to you all.

First of all, I wish to thank you for praying for orientation and specifically my prayer ministry. God has answered prayer in such a beautiful way. I know that many of you have prayed and are playing a vital part in my ministry here. Below, I would like to give you some highlights of what God has done and is doing in the hearts of many this summer.

Prayer Appointments

Going into orientation as the prayer intern, I spent a lot of time praying about what ways we could integrate prayer as a central element in our time together with the students. One of the ideas we brainstormed about was the idea of prayer appointments. These prayer appointments became a key point of connection between the Edgers and the staff. Each appointment consisted of a student meeting with two staff\volunteers for about twenty minutes simply to pray together. Originally, I had put together a plan for 90 prayer appointments (we had about 115 students but this was a new and optional thing). Praise the Lord we had around 100 sign up. This whole thing was new and we did not really know how it would go, but God did His work through it and through us. What a joy to see our staff lifting up the students in prayer on a very personal basis!

Prayer Night

Tuesday night was designated a night of prayer for the nations. As prayer coordinator, this evening was my responsibility to plan and design. All in all, we had six prayer stations set up in the main building we were meeting in. Each station focused on a specific region or continent of the world (i.e. Africa or SE Asia) and sought to pray for the peoples, missionaries, and teams of those places. The students were then split up into groups that
"journeyed" through the world, praying as they went. It was cool to see the creativity of each of the stations (two staff volunteered to run each station) and the way the diversity of God's people was displayed. After going through the prayer for the nations, everyone returned to the meeting place and continued worshipping and praising God for over an hour. It was exceptionally encouraging to see God using this event to broaden the vision that our students had and to really realized God's heart for the nations through prayer.

General Thoughts

As you can see, God did some wonderful things through prayer at orientation. A spirit of worship and prayer was keenly evident in the hearts of so many. All in all, orientation went off with few hitches. This is quite remarkable for running a nearly week-long orientation with over 115 students in a new location. Praise the Lord all of the teams have arrived safely on the field.

This summer we have teams in Ghana, Benin, Sudan, Kenya, Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, Bolivia, Washington State (working with Mormons), Japan, China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Israel, South Central Asia, Montenegro, Greece, Jordan, Mongolia, and Russia. Please keep these teams in prayer as they seek to be lights to the nations. As prayer coordinator, I am seeking to develop a prayer network for our short-termers this summer. If you, your small group, your Bible study, or family have a heart for one of these nations, I would love to connect you with info about them and what our teams are doing there. I am actually looking for people that would be willing to commit to pray for these teams throughout the summer. So, if you're one of those people or you think you might want to be, let me know :-).

Thanks again for your prayer support. I really know that I could not do this ministry without you. I pray the Lord is revealing Himself to you more fully wherever you are and that you are seeking Him daily. If you're in the Orlando area this summer, let me know! I'm living with another guy in a trailer on the lake here on the KOA campground. My address for the summer is:

Andrew Koetsier
The Edge
10123 William Carey Dr.
Orlando, FL 32832

My cell # is the same: (574) 527-2203

There really is so much more I can tell you, but I know that your eyes are getting tired. Thanks for reading and praying. Keep runnin' after Him!

In His Grace,
Andrew Koetsier
Edge Prayer Intern
Pioneers Tue Jun 12 12:45:23 2007

Andrew Koetsier
Pioneers Edge Prayer Intern

Greetings from Wheaton, Illinois!

We have hit the ground running here at Pioneers Edge orientation. My internship officially started on Thursday and it is now Monday and we have over 110 college students here for an intense three days of preparation before they head out literally all over the world on their summer missions trips. I don't have a whole lot of time to write right now but I would like to ask you to pray for our orientation:

-Pray for energy- many of us are running 15 hour or more days as we pour every minute into these students. Pray that God would give us the strength to serve them well.

-Pray that God would be preparing the hearts of the Edgers for the work He will be doing in and through them this summer.

-Pray for the prayer ministry (which I am coordinating). Praise the Lord we have been able to set up nearly 100 individual prayer appointments throughout the week (this is a new thing this year). Pray also for Tuesday night, our night of prayer as we pray for the nations. Pray that the students would gain a bigger vision of God and His heart for the nations.

Thank you so much for your partnership in prayer. I will update at week's end to report on what the Lord has done.

In Him,
Andrew Koetsier
Pioneers Edge Prayer Intern

Mon Jun 11 12:36:33 2007

Rachael Boblett May 2007

Dear Friends and Family,

Hey everyone!!!! I am so excited to be going back up to Camp Awana for 7 weeks this summer and serving alongside my sister, Becky, who is now a leader. Becky and I have been busy this past year. I have been going to school at Oakton Community College finishing up my associates degree and I will be transferring to Northeastern Illinois University, studying to become a teacher. Also I have been working at a Daycare in Skokie, with three year olds that are so cute and fun. Becky and I are also are apart of Breakdown Chicago’s dance team which is a group that shares the message of integrity, character, and purity to peers to schools around the Chicago area, it breaks down societies lies about sex, relationships, and the media. I am also involved with Jr. High and High School ministry at Windy City Community Church being a leader as well as leading bible study for girls. Also I have been involved with Camp Awana with weekends helping out anyway needed and also summer with being a leader, kitchen staff, life guard, and much more. As I said before I am really excited to serve up there this summer.

Becky and I will be up at Camp Awana starting June 23 till August 11, and will be apart of the Summer Staff Shared Program. Camp Awana’s Summer Staff Shared Program is a program designed for college-age students wanting to be involved in camp’s ministry. This program enables college students to raise support in order to be able to come to camp to serve God as well as not worry about college expenses. I want to thank those who supported me in years past and encourage you again to generously give to me and my sister. God has big plans for camp this year and also for me. I can not wait to be a cabin leader and share the good news of Jesus Christ to them. The love Christ has for each of us, that he died on the cross as a payment for our sins, so that we can live forever with Him and have the many other riches we receive because of Him. Please pray for me as well as my sister Becky as we are going to camp in less than a month. But don’t only pray for us but the hundreds of campers running around camp that need to hear the gospel and need the life changing love of Jesus Christ.

As you will read in the brochure, I will be raising $195 dollars per week bringing it to a total of $1,365 for the seven weeks but that’s just me, its double including my sister. We are praying that we succeed our goal of total of $2,730. We are asking you, whether family or friends, that you would support us both with donations and prayer! I am so excited that we are going to be apart of camp’s ministry but most of all, God’s work. Thank you in advance for contributing to this ministry, your prayers and support are truly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Rachael Boblett

Mon Jun 11 12:31:24 2007

Rebecca Boblett May 2007
Dear Friends and Family,

Hello! I am writing you to tell you what I am planning to do for the summer. I will be a first time leader at Camp Awana and will be up there for seven weeks. I will be serving along side with my sister, Rachael who is a returning leader. This was my senior year in high school and with that comes work academically and athletically. I am a two sport athlete in gymnastics and track. Next year I will be attending Cornerstone University and studying Physical Education and youth ministry, I also will be running track there. Rachael and I are both involved in Breakdown Chicago, which is an organization that breaks down society’s lies about sex, relationships, and the media. Rachael and I are in the dancing portion of the presentation. I also attend high school group at my church regularly and teach the pre-school age children on Sundays. With all the chaos with all the activities I am with I am looking forward to spending my summer up with these kids to teach them about Jesus Christ.

I have been going to camp for a long time, I started going as a camper in third grade and have not missed a summer yet. I went on to be a girl worker and volunteered my summers and weekends to help the camp staff prepare for the meals and the cabins for all the kids. This year is my first chance to be a leader and I will be staying at camp for seven weeks starting on June 23 till August 11. During my service at camp I will be a part of Camp Awana’s Summer Staff Shared Program which helps college age students to raise money so that they can volunteer their summers at camp and not worry about finding money for college expenses.

I know God has big plans for all the kids that come up for the summer. I know that God has big plans in my life also and I ask that you lend support and prayer to help me help these kids grow to know more about Jesus Christ. As you will see in the brochure, I need to raise $195 per week which will end up being $1,365 for all seven weeks. Including my sister, our goal is to raise at least $2,730 by the end of the summer. I am asking that you would support us in our summer plans so that we can stay up and help these kids. I am really excited that I can be up there that long and hope that you will be able to contribute to this ministry to help us out. Thank you, for all that you will give and all your prayers for camp.

Sincerely,

Rebecca Boblett

Thu May 3 12:19:53 2007

Hi Christine Deyerler, and greetings from the Windy City Community Church missions committee!

Thank you for the wonderful letter explaining your plans for a missions trip this summer. Windy City Community Church is always excited have the opportunity to support young people on short-term missions trips, and we're extra thrilled to help out students from our own congregation! We have sent a check for $250 to Intervarsity to help with your costs in this project. And of course you can count on us to pray for you this summer, as well the time leading up to your departure. I have no doubt that God will use you for His glory and bless you immensely in your missions work this summer.

Please keep in touch and let us know if there is anything specific we can pray about for you. Also, if you would like to give a short presentation at a church service either before you go or when you return, let me know and I can see if we can work that out.

In Christ,

Steve Schmidt

WCCC missions committee
Steven & WCCC Missions Committee-

Thank you so much for your generous donation to what I am confident will be a transforming summer. I will be sure to send you my prayer requests in the coming weeks, and thank you in advance for your support of God's plan for my summer. I would love to do a presentation during a service upon my return; I will stay in touch with you up until my departure and we can hopefully work that out. For now, I would really appreciate prayer for our group's preparation and fundraising. We are raising all of our money as one large group, with the total number being about $52,500. Perhaps just prayer that God would lead those who hear about our summer plans to worship Him in this way, by contributing to the spread of His love across the globe.

Please extend my thanks to all of the members of the committee.
In Him,
Christine Deyerler

Letter from Christine Deyerler

Saturday April 21

Letter from Andrew Koetsier

Mon Apr 2 12:21:15 2007

I express my deep gratitude for your kindness, prayers and financial gifts to provide for me as a retiree from overseas service! It is a meaningful encouragement to realize how God cares for my needs through you as I seek to serve Him in ways possible now. I sincerely thank you very much for your help!

I ask you to please continue to pray especially for the two countries in Africa where God sent us, and you were part of our team! I am every grateful you enabled us to serve in Sudan and Liberia.

I am very grateful for the monthly support gifts from WCCC. Thank you!
Lois Balzer

Fri Mar 2 13:17:14 2007

Dear Windy City Friends,

I wish to express my deep gratitude that you are taking part in my retiree support requirement. You are a great blessing and encouragement to me by so doing. THANK YOU!

I praise the Lord for His care and provision through you. I certainly appreciate these monthly support gifts. May the Lord continue to bless this ministry at Windy city and through all of our missionaries!

In Christ, Lois Balzer

Sun Feb 4 14:09:03 2007

Hey friends near and far!

Greetings from very cold Warsaw, Indiana. I haven't checked, but I think its like five degrees outside...brrr. Reminds me somewhat of my cold days in Russia :-).

How are you? I hope the Lord is working in your life in mighty ways and would love to hear from you sometime. I know it's a little late for the traditional Christmas-time life update\Christmas letter email, but we're going for something like that with this.

Currently, I am now in my second semester at Grace Theological Seminary working on my Masters of Divinity with a Cross-Cultural Ministry emphasis. This semester is a busy one academically as I am taking 15 credits and auditing 3 more (full-time seminary is normally 12 credits). To give you an idea, my wonderful classes include Old Testament Theology, Bible Exposition, Applied Cultural Anthropology, Theology of Missions, Leadership in the Local Church, and the one I'm auditing is Hebrew Grammar II. Auditing Hebrew for fun? No, I'm not that much of a geek. I took a year of Hebrew at Moody and the credit has transferred. Now I have to review and catch up to speed before I hit Hebrew III in the fall.

God has blessed me with a great place to live with my aunt and uncle here. He's also blessed me with a flexible part-time job at "the Green Banana." Yeah, the name's a little weird, but we sell used books and do some web design. My responsibilities center mostly on posting books for sale on line through Amazon's marketplace.

I'm also excited about getting involved with a church down here that I've been going to for the last four months or so, Warsaw Community Grace. In talking to the youth pastor last week, it seems they have some needs in the area of college-age ministry. Hmm...I might have a little experience there. Pray for wisdom and discernment for the ministry and what part I should play in it.

As you can see, between the 15+ credit hours, 15ish hours a week job, and church, life is fairly busy. But as I look at it, these are all good things that God has placed in my life and I pray that He will give me the strength to be a good steward of each.

Now, to my main prayer request of late. I have applied and been accepted for a summer mobilization internship at Pioneers. As you may remember, Pioneers is the mission organization through which I went to Kenya in the summer of '05 and which I am praying and heavily considering going long-term with. I also helped out with the orientation and debrief for their short-term program, the Edge, in the summer of '06. I would like to ask for you to pray with me as I consider if this is what God would have me do with my summer.

As a mobilization intern, I would be in a sense a member of the Mobilization department at Pioneers in Orlando this summer. The main purposes of the internship would be to mentor other young adults in missions, gain experience working in a missions organization, and developing a deeper knowledge and heart for the unreached people of the world. Most of my ministry would be in conjunction with the Edge, the short-term ministry of Pioneers, which this summer is sending around 150 students on 25 or so trips to unreached people groups throughout the world.

The main concern as with most of these things is financial. This is a support-raising position. So in order to do this, I would need to raise support and at the same time would not be working expressly to make money toward my last year of seminary. At the same time, I recognize that God has shown Himself eminently faithful in this area in my life and have no doubt that if He wants me in Orlando this summer that He will provide a way in both those things. So, I would humbly ask that you pray with me as I seek to discern what God would have me do and be able to make this decision confidently in the near future.

Well, that's all for now. I would love to hear what is going on in your life. Thank you for your prayers and please let me know if there is something I can be praying for you about as well.

In His Strength,
Andrew Koetsier

Tue Sep 26 15:22:09 2006

John Barcanic
Assistant to the President
International Teams/USA
As you know, there has been quite a bit of change here at International Teams in the last year. We have a new president, Dr. David Schroeder, former president of Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary in New York. He has re-arranged the staff somewhat and in the process has asked me to serve as Assistant to the President. (Not to be confused with administrative assistant -- he has one of those as well! :-) In this role I'm working closely with David on strategy, building relationships with our various constituencies, staff management, and leadership development.

Unfortunately, like many mission agencies, International Teams is facing a season of financial challenge. David started his presidency with his work cut out for him, and one of the unenviable decisions he had to make was that of letting some staff go. In all 7 staff were released, including Kathy. This makes it all the more important that we be able to receive the support we need. Kathy is now working for Sonlife, a youth leader training organization, but the net effect for us as a family has been a financial loss. We know, though, that God is both great and good and He will provide. We look forward to seeing Him work.

Please let me know if you have any questions or need further information at this point. We appreciate your prayers and considering our financial needs for the next year.

John

Fri Sep 22 17:15:21 2006

June 29, 2006
Dear Prayer and Support Team,
Greetings from Elgin! I first have to apologize for the long delay in communication. We have had some major computer problems lately. Just when we thought it was fixed, something else went wrong. All that to say, we got a new computer in May and I had to put our database in the new computer by hand. All 400 entries! Yikes!
Things at International Teams are going well. We have a new president, David Schroeder, and he sees some real potential in John. He is giving him more and more responsibility and John really loves the opportunity to do some real coaching and leadership development with our team leaders all around the world. He has been working with the new team leaders in Spain, and in May we worked with the team from Russia with some vision for the next year and team dynamics and conflict.
We are in the middle of our summer training for new missionaries and this has been the largest training we have had since International Teams has been in this building. Twenty five people from all over the US, including a group of eight going to Zambia this fall. It has been a blast to have them here and I will miss them when training is over at the end of the month.
Katelyn just finished 8th grade and will start high school at the same school. I can’t believe she is growing up so fast! She has made some really great friends and is enjoying school very much. She is very excited about taking AP Literature next year. She reads constantly and I can’t seem to keep up with the library books. She drew a self portrait in Art class and it was chosen to compete at the state level. We should find out in the fall how she did. The school gave her an outstanding award for her picture. It looks like she took a black and white photograph of herself instead of drawing it freehand.
My health issues are a never ending story it seems. I had two more surgeries since our last newsletter. In December we thought I had another hernia so I saw a new surgeon. He went in only to discover that there were no new ones, but that maybe the previous two were not healing properly. He did the less invasive route, hoping that would fix things. But it didn’t, so in May I had surgery number six. It went amazingly well and I was released from the hospital two days early. I’m healing slowly and see the surgeon next week. It’s still too early to tell if this will be the last, so we are praying that the Lord will heal and I will be done!
My father called us late the night of June 2nd to tell me that my mother had passed away. She had been in the hospital for seven weeks but it was still a big shock for the family. No one else in the family is saved, so it has been a difficult time for all of us. My father asked John to do the funeral service and he did a wonderful job. Please pray for my family that they would come to know the Lord and that they would find peace in this time.
Thank you so much for all your prayers and support. We are so grateful for each one of you and we couldn’t do what we do without you. It is such a blessing to be able to serve our Lord here at International Teams.
Serving Christ,

Kathy, for John and Katelyn

Kathy Barcanic
Projects Manager, Equipping Ministries
International Teams

Sun Sep 3 14:05:18 2006

To friends near and far, from Andrew Koetsier

Just a quick note to let you all know my new contact info since I moved down to Warsaw, IN to attend seminary at Grace Theological Seminary. Here it is:

Address:

483 E Lynnwood Dr N
Warsaw, IN 46580

Cell: (574) 527-2203

Everything is going well at seminary here so far. I'm taking 12 credits this semester and with the advanced standing I received from Moody (30 credits) have a solid start toward my degree, a Masters of Divinity with emphasis in Cross-Cultural Ministry. My aunt and uncle have been gracious to host me here in Warsaw which has been a huge blessing so far and I know will continue to be. I am still on the lookout both for a part-time job and a church to attend and get involved with here.

Much thanks to those of you who prayed at any point for my church's youth\college age trip to Mexico in July. Despite challenges of having 130 kids in one camp, limited electricity and water, and language and cultural differences within leadership, God proved sufficient for our every need.

The trip was genuinely a time of growth in my life and though it was difficult at times, your prayers sustained us. God did His work in His own unique way in bringing many children to Himself for the first time and many more into closer fellowship with Him. I can truly say I have a bigger vision of God and some new, amazing Mexican friends because of what God allowed us to experience. If you want to hear more about it, just shoot me an email or give me a call. If you want to see some pictures, I have them posted at:

http://new.photos.yahoo.com/akoetsier/albums

and for those who have facebook at:

http://grace.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2005079&id=163801646

The first link has a few more pictures from Mexico than the second and also includes my pictures from my Kenya and Sudan trip last summer if you're interested.

I also have started a blog (no promises on how faithfully I'll update it :-), but if you're interested it's at http://www.xanga.com/KoetsyClaus

I pray all is well with you. I would love to hear from you and about what God is doing in your life. Shoot me an email, give me a call, send me a funny card, whatever :-).

By grace through faith,
Andrew Koetsier


Thu Jul 20 13:08:38 2006

Hi friends near and far,

I hope you all are having a blessed summer. Attached to this email is my prayer letter for a trip this summer to Mexico with my church here in Michigan. I would appreciate any prayer on our behalf as we will be going pretty 24\7 for these upcoming 12 days and need all the grace God will provide. Praise the Lord...all of my needed support plus more has come in for the trip. God is good and provides abundantly more than we ask or imagine!

I pray that God is working mightily in and through you wherever you may be. Drop me a line...I would love to hear how you are doing and how I might be praying for you :-).

In Him,
Andrew Koetsier

Andrew Koetsier
P.O. Box 165
Clarklake, MI 49234

God's Direction
Last year, God granted me a wonderful summer serving the Lord in Kenya and Sudan thanks in many ways to the prayer support I received. Through this experience God has led me in the direction of long-term, cross-cultural missions. Toward that end, I am seeking further preparation for ministry starting this fall at Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, IN. I will be pursuing a Masters of Divinity with an emphasis in cross-cultural ministry in hopes of being involved in church planting and teaching\discipling.

The Task At Hand
In the meantime, God has provided an opportunity for me to be involved along with my local church youth and college-age in a short-term mission trip to Oaxaca, Mexico this July 20-August 1. I am going with a team being sent by Skiff Lake Bible Church to work alongside missionaries Terry and Helen Vanderwerf, CAM missionaries that our church supports.
Our primary focus on this trip is to assist in a camp for somewhere near 200 Mexican children. We have the opportunity to come alongside Christian Mexican families and help provide a free week of camp to these both materially and spirtually needy children. We will be participating in short plays with a clear and understandable message, doing a lot of the legwork of setting up and running the camp, and will have a lot of time with these kids, showing them love of Christ. To many of them, this will be the experience of their lives and their first exposure to the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.
I am very excited to see what God is going to do this summer through us and I would like to ask you to consider being a part of our team. Any mission trip is just as much about the "senders" as the "goers." Below are some specific ways you can be praying for the trip.

Pray:
-That we would be open to God's preparation of our hearts to serve Him this summer
-That God would prepare the hearts of the kids we will be ministering to
-That our team would be characterized by a spirit of unity
-That we would be an encouragement to the Mexican church in Oaxaca
-That ultimately God would be glorified through this trip

I thank you for keeping me in your prayers and look forward to partnering with you in taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to the children of rural Mexico.

In Christ,
Andrew Koetsier

Thu Jun 1 11:11:36 2006

Rachael Boblett, member of WCCC will be going back up to Camp Awana for two months this summer from June 17th until August 12th. This summer she will be again apart of the Camp Awana Summer Staff Shared Program, which is a program designed for college-age students wanting to be involved in camp’s ministry. This program enables college students to raise support in order to be able to come to camp to serve God as well as not worry about college expenses. “I can’t wait to see what wonderful kids God will bring to me this year at camp. I am so excited that I’m going to be a part of camp’s ministry but most of all, God’s work”. The missions committee has contributed $300 towards her support.

Mon May 22 12:41:04 2006

Dear Friends and family,

Hello from Upland, Indiana! It’s a pleasure to finally report about our spring break mission to Brazil. Praise is to God. He worked in tremendous ways during our stay there, in our hearts as well as the hearts of those in the town of Assis Chateaubriand.

As we headed to the children’s home at Lar Batista (Baptist Home), about 40 kids ranging from toddlers to 25 years old, our pan was to mostly spend our time building relationships with the kids and being an influence, while at the same time painting some offices for them on the side. With God, we were able to do so much more than this.

We arrived there Sunday March 26 knowing we had been invited to fill in a 15-minute segment of a program about linguistics that the local college’s Literature Department was putting on at the local Cultural Center (a public community facility). This was the night of Monday the 27th. During the segment, a girl on our team that is from Ecuador gave her testimony in Spanish and we performed a skit called the Ragman (Jesus taking the sins of people in the form of rags, dieing on the cross and resurrecting) as well as a few worship songs. The professors liked our presentation a lot along with what we had to say and invited us to visit the college itself the next night to do a presentation two class periods long which turned out to be an hour and a half.

During this second presentation, four of us including myself gave our testimonies, and we also performed choreographed dances and the Ragman skit. After we sang a few worship songs we had an awesome question and answer session in which people asked about what it was like to be a Christina going to College in the US. This really opened up the doors for us to say anything. The students really thought through what we had to say and we were the talk of the school. Later on we were told that they never heard the gospel spoken in such a natural way. This was a huge victory for the Lord and we could really feel Him backing us up. That night one of the professors that had given up his class time for the students to come see us invited us to go to the local TV station Wednesday at noon so they could have an interview for the whole town to see. We went in and started with a song and the doors were opened again. Their main question was shy we were there, at an orphanage during our own spring break. God’s love was really able to show. We were then told we were the talk of the town (of about 30,000 people). As a team, we learned how to rest more in God’s hands and wait on Him.

I start to feel uncomfortable when I speak only of the team. We became part of the Lar Batista family. We did everything together. The couple who head the home go by Mai and Pai (Mom and Dad) and along with the children, are some of the most loving people I have every met. Pai is truly a man of God and it shows in how God has provided so much for them. It’s amazing how God demonstrated His power during our short stay. Upon leaving we were able to visit Iguacu Falls, the second largest in the world after Victoria, about three hours from Assi Chateaubriand. This only strengthened our concept of God’s power.

I’d like to ask that you pray for the town of Assis. For this enormous seek that has been planted, and for the home of Lar Batista, that God will continue to provide plentifully and that they may be a light in their town. Please pray for finances, for we still need to pay off a considerable amount of money that was borrowed for the trip. Please also pray that we will continue to see God’s guidance being back in the US. I thank God for His faithfulness to us and thank you for being a fundamental part of this all.

The Lord and Savior bless you. Praise be to Him,
Ben Greenman

Mon May 8 13:21:34 2006

WCCC held a Heritage Sunday on May 7, 2006. We celebrated the 85 year history that Norwood Park Baptist Church brings to our church. Missions held an important part of the celebration. We had a group of Moody Bible Institute students helping with the children’s programs. One girl, Stephanie, saw our picture of the Penney family and mentioned that she had baby sat for their children while on an African trip last year. Then she turned to page 7 in our bulletin and pointed to a picture of the Dennis Gruddas missionary family who served in Ivory Coast, Africa in the 1970s. She said that the youngest boy in the picture had saved her life. The Moody student group had found themselves in a life threatening situation and this boy, now a man, stood up to the situation and probably saved the lives of the group.

Sat Apr 1 13:23:50 2006

Ben Greenman, son of Dick and Lori Greenman, our missionaries to Argentian, South America, joined a group of 20 young people from Taylor University to go to Brazil for a Spring Break Mission, March 25 through April 2, 2006. Ben writes, "Please pray faithfully for: our team to be vulnerable in sharing our lives; God to prepare our hearts spiritually for the Brazilian culture; God to prepare the hearts of the children to receive the message of Christ; group unity; and no hindrance in the language barrier."

Mon Mar 27 14:20:02 2006

Hello!

Thank you greatly for your contribution and support for the team. Please pray for preparations as the trip draws nearer.

God bless you all,
Ben Greenman

Mon Feb 20 13:58:50 2006

Dear Friends at Windy City Community Church,

Thank you for being such a great source of encouragement to my patents Dick and Lori and the rest of our family. Please pray that the Lord may truly be able to work through the team in everything we do, that we would be able to really impact people’s lives permanently. I pray all’s well in Norwood Park.
Sincerely & God bless,
Ben Greenman

Ben is at Taylor University. Annually, Taylor World Outreach sponsors short-term missions projects over spring Break (Mar.25-Apr. 2). This year, teams will be traveling to Brazil, Daytona Beach, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, New Orleans, and Russia.

I am excited about the opportunity to minister in Brazil at the children’s home Lar Batista in the town of Assis Chateaubriand (roughly three hours northeast of the Paraguay / Argentina border). We hope to share Christ’s love with these orphans as we develop friendships and share God’s word and also assist with work projects.
Ben Greenman

Fri Feb 10 12:28:49 2006

We have been watching the situation in Venezuela since our missionaries Vern and Holly Dyck were forced to leave. Not only has the country kicked out the New Tribes missionaries it has also affected other organizations. The following is from a letter to Tom Thomas from fellow missionary aviation classmate John Miller, who currently supervises the home base hanger of Missionary Aviation Fellowship in California.

We'd like to enlist your prayer support for the mission situation in
Venezuela, since Pat Robertson made his unfortunate comments about Hugo
Chavez recently. Our MAF staff have finalized a contingency plan that has trigger points on Jan 27 and Feb 11. Unless there is a reversal of the government ruling, all of our people and aircraft will be out of Southern Venezuela or out of the country by Feb. 11. Any missionaries that are still in the interior now and depend on our services are aware of our timeline and know that they need to be out of the interior before we leave or they will need to find other means of travel. At this point in time, we are not sensing any elevated security risks to our staff in Venezuela.

Fri Feb 10 12:19:57 2006

In 2005 the missions committee had a budget of $57,600. The following is a listing of our expenses.

Missionary Salaries - $52,846
Special gifts to missionaries - $3,325
Special gifts to organizations - $300
Other special gifts - $435
Honorariums for speaking at WCCC - $300
Disaster relief - $400
Expenses for missionary dinners and meetings - $68.99
Postage - $14.80

Total Expenses were $4,843.79
Total spent by the missions committee was $57,689.79

Our special missionary Christmas offering was $2,392.
We sent each of our 15 missionaries an additional $185 Christmas gift.

Sun Dec 18 21:21:40 2005

Windy City Community Church with the help of the missions committee, sent to the Salvation Army $1,905.00 in November.

Tue Sep 6 16:25:22 2005

Hey all,

As promised, here's a link to a number of the photos
from our trip to summer. I'll be editing the titles
(so you can figure out what's going on), adding some,
and generally tidying it up as I have time to work on
it. But here they are:

http://photos.yahoo.com/akoetsier Thanks again,
Andrew

Tue Aug 30 17:52:43 2005

RACHAEL BOBLETT-- Church member and high school graduate, Rachael Boblett, is going to work at Camp Awana in Fredonia, Wisconsin this summer, beginning on June 16 going through August 13. She has been a worker for the past four years and now wants to be a cabin leader in a program called Summer Staff Shared Support Program. They would like her to raise $185 per week, and she would like to work 8 weeks, making the total $1480. The missions committee would like to encourage her by supporting her with a $300 gift.

ANDREW KOETSIER-- Andrew Koetsier is a Moody Bible Institute senior who has been helping with WCCC College Sunday School class. He preached the April 24, 2005, see the sermon listing at the top of this site. He graduated on May 14th with a B.A. in Bible (Biblical Languages-Greek and Hebrew).

He is going with PIONEERS to Kenya from June 20th to August 12th. They will be learning the language and culture of the Turkana people, a largely unreached tribe in the northern region of Kenya. They will also have interaction with Sudanese and Somali refugees. 50% of the $3950 is due on June 1st, and the remainder on June 20th. As of the first week of June he had 75% of his full amount. We sent him $135.

Andrew left for Kenya on June 23rd. This included a 24 hour flight schedule plus a 12 hour drive to Lodwar. He plans to stay for a few days with the Pioneers missionaries who are coordinating and leading the trip. The next two weeks he will be staying with a national pastor learning the language and culture. Then he will be on a week long survey trip into southern Sudan followed by three weeks of assisting the church planting team.