The Ekstroms

David & Helen Ekstrom with CAM International in Guatemala

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Sat Jan 7 20:58:09 2017

Dear Friends at Windy City,

Thank you so very much for your very generous Christmas gift sent to the Mission for me. I appreciate your kindness so much.

How nice that the pastor and some other members of the church were able to visit Senegal. I think Dan Penny was in Wheaton when I was.

The visit of the youth to St. Louis, Mo. to work with Bridge of Hope sounded very special.

Encouraging members to join the Life Groups certainly sounded good.

The Lord bless each one and the different ministries each one is involved in.

I think I wrote that I went to Brazil for two weeks in September to see my brother who has worked there for more than 50 years as teacher in the Conservative Baptist Seminary.
He had cancer and I was so glad I went while he was still living. He went to be with the Lord the 26th of November.

My brother in law, Chuck Ekstrom went to be with the Lord in December. I believe he and Kay had attended Windy City when they lived in Illinois before they moved to Phoenix, AZ.

Thank you again for your kindness to me.

Very gratefully,

Helen Ekstrom

Wed Nov 30 14:22:06 2016

Dear friends,

I want to thank you so much for your continued support. The Lord has been very good to me in providing for so many years. In February it will be 66 years since David and I came to Guatemala. David has been gone five years now and the Lord has continued to care for me and I am very grateful.

Just this past weekend my brother Russell Shedd went to be with the Lord. He and his wife have been working in Brazil for over 50 years. In September I went to Brazil to see him because I knew he had an aggressive cancer. I was so happy for the chance to see him while he was still there. For many years he taught at the Conservative Baptist Seminary in Sao Paolo, Brazil. He also had a publishing house to publish Christian literature in Portugese.

I am living in an apartment at the clinic of a doctor with whose parents we worked for many years teaching at a Bible Institute.

The Lord bless you.

Very gratefully yours,

Helen Ekstrom

Wed Nov 16 16:30:57 2016

See a note from Helen.

Mon Jan 11 14:14:50 2016

See a note from Helen.

Sat Dec 12 13:50:59 2015

Emails between Bobbi and Helen last dated 11/15/2015
Dear Bobbie,

Thanks so much for your recent email. It's always good to hear from you.

I am doing well, thank the Lord.

This past weekend we went to the 100th anniversary up in the north of the country. The celebration started on Friday evening and ended about midnight Saturday night. They had a large tent and there were many people. I have no idea how many. It was raining but that didn't keep people away. One of the guest singers said that I had taught him a Scripture passage when he was a child and he had used that passage for one of the songs he wrote. Maybe that was 30 years ago. One can never tell the effect of God's Word.


Two years ago I was invited o that town to speak for the farewell service of their first foreign missionary, a young man they were sending to work in a State of Mexico where they have been very resistent to the Gospel. I was so pleased on our visit this weekend to see the young man and hear his good report of a begining church with a few families. He had just come for the celebration and left Sunday to return to Mexico.

The doctor who has been so kind to me is a candidate for president of the medical organization in the country so there's a lot of activity here today. If he is elected he's going to be busier than ever. He already has patients from7:00 a.m. and they often come until midnight.

Bobbie, in my email there was an article about grape seed extract which is proven as effective against cancer. Also tumerick.I did see a friend of mine whose tumor disappeared after she used it.

About my address: Maybe it is better to send the check to the Mission address in Dallas
8625 La Prada Drive, Dallas, TX 75228 . Tell them it is a Christmas gift.

We will be moving perhaps in December or it maybe January so my address is not quite sure right now.

Thank you so much for your love and care.
Love, Helen Ekstrom

On Thu, Nov 19, 2015 at 8:59 PM, Bobbi Clark wrote:
Helen,
HI. I wanted to let you know that my Pet Scan came back stable. No new cancer. Praise GOD.
I also wanted to know your current address with Dr. Herrera. I will be sending out your Christmas gift from Windy City.
I am getting ready to host Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday. I do not like how so many people hurry the food and family time to go shopping. The devil seems to be getting wiser in how he makes people forget the many blessings they have and think more about what they "must" have.
I do have so many, many blessings and I do count them as the old song says. When I am thinking about how God has provided, then it never enters my mind what I do not have. He provides all my needs.

Happy Thanksgiving,
Love, Bobbi

On Wed, Oct 28, 2015 at 3:03 PM, Bobbi Clark wrote:
Hi Helen,
So happy you are doing well and have Dr. Herrera. I too have 3 "adopted" daughters that I love as much as if I had given birth to them. They each enrich my life so much. Family comes in many forms.

I will have a Pet Scan on Monday, please pray that all is well. If it is, I will be able to go to Africa next April with a group from Windy City.

Thank you for the pray for Linda's family. Some are not believers. She tried so hard to bring them to the Lord.
I am praying that with her death, they will see the light and love of Christ.

So glad you are doing well.
Love, Bobbi Clark

On Tue, Oct 27, 2015 at 8:06 PM, David Ekstrom wrote:
Dear Bobbie,

How good to hear from you! I had wondered how you were.

I will pray for your friend Linda's family. So glad she was a christian.

So glad you could spend some time with your father. That gives you some special memories I'm sure. Many years ago I had the chance to spend 9 weeks caring for my father and step-mother. He passed away a couple of weeks after I returned here. I have always been grateful for the time I could be there.

I continue to get excellent care at Dr. Herrera's clinic where i live. He treats me as if I were his mother, and I have so much for which to praise the Lord. David has been gone almost 4 years and the Lord's care has been wonderful.

Special thanks to you and the Windy City Church.

Love,
Helen Ekstrom

On Sat, Oct 24, 2015 at 2:33 PM, Bobbi Clark wrote:
Hi,
Just thinking about you and wanting to catch up on how you are doing.
I pray you are feeling well and are enjoy what God is doing with you everyday.
I lost a dear friend yesterday to the same cancer I fight, Multiple Myeloma. Linda was a believer and I praise God for that. I know she is out of pain and in the Lord's mighty hands. I heard about a man who had a miracle of healing today and I wonder why Linda was not healed. But then I know that we cannot know the mind of God. But I do know that He loved Linda and is taking care of her now. Please pray for her family. She is a dear lady, loved by many but more by God.

I start seeing my round of Dr,s again next week. God was so good to let me go home to Missouri and take care of my dad, who just had knee replacement surgery. I was gone for 3 weeks and had to postpone appointments. I am trying to catch up with all my missed fall duties and around the house jobs. The garden does not put it self to bed and the produce does not can itself either. But thankful that I could be there for my Dad. We had a good visit because I am never there this long.

Hoping you are feeling well.

Love and prayers, Bobbi

Wed Jul 9 22:20:03 2014

See a recent letter.

Thu May 29 01:39:55 2014

See a letter from Helen Ekstrom.

Thu May 22 23:05:00 2014

See the 2014 Ekstrom video in webm format, use chrome if necessary.

Thu Apr 17 22:20:28 2014


My family in Brazil sent me a ticket to spend December with them. My sister also went from Mass. and we had a wonderful time with my brother and family. He has been a missionary there for over 50 years and is still serving and his daughter and husband have a publishing house for Christian literature in Portuguese.

After returning here to Guatemala, the doctor who calls me his mother removed a growth on my forehead that turned out to be epidermal cancer and I stayed here at his clinic until I went to Huehuetenango to teach for a week at the Berea Bible Institute. After that I had guests from California who are the donors of the Story of Jesus pamphlets.

They donated 146,000 that came to my house in Huehuetenango. These have been used especially in the public schools and have been a very effective tool to present the Gospel. Thank the Lord for the freedom we still have in Guatermala to give the Gospel in the public schools.

Now we are expecting 391,000 to be used in all of the country

Also the donors plan to send 120,000 Action New Testaments to be used throughout the country. At the moment these New Teataments are being printed in Japan. We trust they will be able to be brought into the country without paying duty. I have accompanied Rene, the Guatemalan missionary who works with me in the children's ministry to place the legal requests. I would appreciate your prayers about this and also that this material will be used by the Lord to reach many children.

Thanks so much to all of the folks from Windy City who continue to send towards my support.

Love,

Helen Ekstrom

Tue Oct 29 16:44:16 2013

See a thank you note.

Wed Oct 9 02:26:16 2013

See a recent letter.

Mon Jul 8 16:45:03 2013

Dear Tom,

Thank you very much for your recent letter and the questions you asked about my support.
The Mission doesn’t have any amount for retirees but sends whatever was sent to the Mission for us. I am on Social Security. Windy City, East Side Bible Church in South Chicago and Saratoga Federated Church in Saratoga, California have been basically the churches that are supporting me. Some individuals at Bethel Free Church have also sent to my support.

As far as ministry, I was working checking on the Jacaltenango Old Testament but the translators have been so busy that they haven’t had time to come and go over suggestions. I hope they still will

I have had the chance to teach the girls at the Berea Bible Institute during different two week periods. I had a week in January, a week in April, two weeks in May and two weeks in July. They were just five girls but we had a very good time.

I have a weekly Bible study with 6 or 7 ladies from town. We have studied Hebrews, Revelation, John, Acts and now we are studying the Book of Matthew.

I have many guests at the house and I am happy to have people come for meals and the night.

One recent activity was the distribution of the pamphlet [The Life of Jesus Christ]. I was sent 50,000 copies early in May and two weeks ago two men from David C. Cook company in Colorado came to see how we were doing in the distribution, As of last week we had distributed 38,000 and other copies were committed. Many of these were taken to the public schools. They used three periods in the classrooms to go through the pamphlet with the children and then the children could take it home. The pamphlet is really an evangelistic tool. We trust this will have permanent result in many lives.

I recently had cataract surgery and my eye is doing very well for which I praise the Lord.

Thanks so much for your support and kindness to me.

Helen Ekstrom

Sat May 25 20:00:26 2013

See a letter from Helen.

Sun May 5 13:43:36 2013

Dear friends at Windy City,
Thankyou so much for your continued support for me. I appreciate it so much.
The last couple of months have been very full and May promises to be also. I would like to ask for your prayers for a special project that has come my way along with the couple who work with me in the children's ministry.
We were sent 50,000 copies of the pamphlet The Story of Jesus Christ in Spanish. This arrived day before yesterday and today a group of about a dozen volunteers are coming to see how it is to be distributed. We are especially planning to give it out at the public schools in the Huehuetenango department. We pray it will be an instrument that will be used to reach many of the children for Christ.
We do have the freedom here in Guatemala to have Bible classes in the public schools and we want to take advantage of this to be able to reach a lot of non-christian families..
In June two of the men from David C.Cook company will be coming to check out what has been done and to hear testimonies of the children who have received this material.
Thanks so much for your prayers along with ours for this request.
Very gratefully
Helen Ekstrom

Tue Feb 19 21:02:54 2013

See Helen's thank you note.

Mon Dec 3 00:34:55 2012


Dear Tom,

Thanks so much for your note and the very generous Christmas gift from Windy City.

I'm sorry I've been so poor in corresponding. It seems like the days go by so fast

I have been able to work on the checking of the PopTi' book of Genesis. The translation team continues to work in their town but sent me this much to check.

I also have had a number of meetings on the board of the Berea Bible Institute.The last couple of years I along with Marilee Nelson and Becky Elias have been able to have some classes for the girls athe Bible Institute. We are really happy when we are given that opportunity. We don't know how many girls there will be next year. This year we had just four who now graduated. Classes start in January and end in October.

I also have a Bible study on Friday afternoons here at the house and usually there are five to seven ladies who come. We have studied the books of Hebrews, Revelation, John and Acts. Right now we are studying Romans and have enjoyed it very much.

Thanks ever so much your support.

Gratefully,
Helen Ekstrom

Thu Oct 11 20:40:52 2012

Dear friends at Windy City,


I want to thank you so much for still supporting me. I appreciate it very much.


After being with you in Chicago I flew to California where I visited some of our supporters


I was also in Arizona with several members of David's family whom I hadn't seen since he passed away


They drove me to Estes Park in Colorado where our Mission had a Convocation which was very special. It was good to see missionaries I hadn't seen for a long time.

In November it will be a year since David passed away. I still have a hard time realizing that he is gone.


I have been able to keep busy here checking some of the Jacaltenango Old Testament translation and also I have a Bible study with about 6 of us ladies and we are studying the book of Romans which I have enjoyed having to study.


I am still on the board of the Berea Bible Institute and have been in on quite a number of meetings since I came back. Their graduation was this last Saturday and there were 21 students who graduated from the different programs. School starts again in January..


One special prayer request I have is that they have run out of the Kanjobal Bible which was first printed in 1989. They have reprinted since that time but someone ran off with the money that should have been used for another reprint. I need to talk to some of the leaders of the K'anjobal church and see what should be done. The other day I got a request for 30 K'anjobal Bibles .I'm not sure whether we need to do some revision before a reprint..The Bibles are printed in Korea.


We have a risograph which is a great machine to make copies of anything. Last week we printed out 8,000 copies of the little workbooks for use in the Bible classes in the public school next year. Today we were gathering and stapling these booklets. We still need to do the teacher's manuals. We have the wonderful freedom to teach Bible in the public schools here and I believe there are close to 150 volunteer teachers who teach a class a week. The school directors seem to be happy to have teachers come in and teach the Bible.


Very gratefully ,

Helen Ekstrom
,

Thu May 10 16:54:44 2012

Here is their 2011 video, use chrome if necessary to view it.

Tue Feb 28 18:07:27 2012

Dear friends at Windy City,

I want to thank you so much for your continued support. Today I got Tom Thomas email so will write right away.

I was able to go to the States for a month and saw several of my family and some of David's too but didn't get up north.
Our mission has a convocation the 15th to the 21st of July in Colorado and I hope to go. I hope on that trip to be able to visit some of the folks who have supported us over the years.

In January I had the opportunity for teaching a couple of classes to the girls in the Berea Bible Institute and in March they are letting us have another week and two weeks in April. I'm very thankful for these opportunities.

I'm hoping to be able to check some of the Jacalteco Old Testament translation but haven't done so yet since I came back

Yesterday I had a five hour visit from Pascual Gaspar. He used to live with us and helped us with the Chuj Old Testament translation some 20 years ago. He has been pastoring in the main church in San Mateo for the last ten years. We knew that some of the pastors in the area didn't get along very well and were concerned.
Pascual told me that one of the pastors asked him when David died what they were going to do about the Lord's work. We considered David like our father and now he's gone. They decided to get the pastors together for prayer and 16 of the 20 pastors got together December 16 for prayer and they got their differences fixed up and they will meet again in March for fellowship and prayer. I was so pleased because when there is disunity God's blessing is removed.

Some supporters of the children's work expect to get here Friday and I plan to go with them and the couple who work with us with the children for six days up country so this couple can visit some of what they have been supporting. I am looking forward to that.

A family from Columbia, South America is here for three months and is encouraging people to really reach the children. I have been able to be with them for four days for workshops where they have been encouraging different groups to serve the Lord with their whole heart


Thanks again so much for your kindness to me.

Gratefully,
Helen Ekstrom

Tue Jan 24 12:39:10 2012

Dear Friends at Windy City Community Church,


Thank you so much for your gifts sent to me through the Mission.


It has been over two months since David passed away and the time has been very full with many things, but now I am back home in Huehuetenango again now.


A good deal of the first month was spent trying to get some documents fixed and they are still pending. The pastor with whom we worked for many of the years we have been in Guatemala has a son who is a pediatrician and helped us much in David's illness and passing. His wife also was the one who drove me here and there to try to get some of the paperwork done.


A neice sent me a ticket to visit them in Orlando. Two of her brothers live in the area so that I saw them. Also my older brother came for six days from another part of Florida and my sister from MASS. came for a week and a nephew from Chicago came for a few days. All in all it was a great family reunion.


Then a nephew of David's from Maryland sent me a ticket to visit them for a few days.


I got back to Huehuetenango in time to help with the orientation for the girls at the Berea Bible Institute and I hope to be able to help with the checking of the Jacalteco Old Testament translation. This was much on David's heart.


I do count on your prayer support that I will be able to serve as I should.


Very gratefully,


Helen Ekstrom

Tue Oct 11 11:57:48 2011

Dear Supporters,


Are you wondering if we are still in the land of the living? We hope this letter suggests a positive answer. The Lord has been good to us in keeping us in reasonably good health, so we feel we can still contribute something. Some of you have stood behind us in prayer and giving since early 1951. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! We know the Lord will reward you.


Diminishing mobility has diminished the time we spend away from home, but the Lord has provided people to take up some of our visions and carry them beyond our dreams, and has openned doors that did not even exist 5 years ago.


In 1977 we had the dream of getting the Scriptures in an audio format, and worked with cassette players, but for several reasons it did not work out. “Faith Comes By Hearing” has recorded and made available recordings of all the New Testaments in the various languages of Guatemala in several formats, and in the past 4 years or so we have been able to get the Old Testament in Chuj on MegaVoice players, and now on CD's. We are encouraging other language groups to do the same. When a vast majority of the speakers of any language do not read, and those who do are faced with 2 possible alphabets, audio is the obvious answer.


But in the past few months several of us from various organizations have been working on another angle – getting the Scriptures in both written and audio form onto the internet, with the audio being down-loadable. Many of the Christian radio stations in Guatemala that work in Mayan languages, transmit their programs on the internet, and we have heard telephone calls from the U.S. in Mayan languages, live on the programs. Praise the Lord with us for this door, and pray we will know how it can be made effective, and involve more of Guatemala's languages.


In late 1979 the New Testament in Popti' (formerly Jacalteco) was dedicated. In the past couple of years we have been encouraging the speakers of that language to translate the Old Testament too. The Lord has touched the hearts of several Popti' speakers to work almost full-time on translation, and we are giving priority to checking their work. As the various books reach an acceptable level of accuracy, we want to get them out on CD's The Lord has graciously provided the computers needed. Pray that He will provide for the support of these folks. One of them God has given extra good crops recently.


We want to get a report to you about the children's work, but it will have to be sent at a later date. This is already long overdue.


We just returned home from Guatemala City, where we did various errands, including visits to Dr. Herrera and the oncologist. Helen's report from the oncologist was very encouraging – no signs of any recurrence. The rest of the reports seem acceptable for two octogenarians.


God bless you “real good”.


David and Helen Ekstrom

Mon Apr 18 17:52:02 2011

5 Calle 12-126, Zone 1, Huehuetenango,
Guatemala
Holy Week, 2001

To you who have so faithfully stood with us over the years we want to express our gratitude. What is clear to anyone is that without your financial support we could not have stayed on the field and funded various projects. Not so evident to the casual observer is the vital part you have had by your prayers, but we are very conscious of this, and thank you from our hearts. You all deserve word of what we have been doing.

We had an interesting experience recently. Dr. Herrera's wife, Yoly, took Helen and me to an indoor pool where there are also several jacuzzis. After a time in the pool we went to a jacuzzi, where there was a man and a woman. Yoly got in next to the woman, and Helen and I sat down on the opposite side. The lady asked Yoly what we were to her, and she said we were missionaries who had worked in San Mateo. She asked what Helen's name was, and on hearing the answer, she said “Then he is David Ekstrom”. Then it was our turn to ask questions. We lived in San Mateo for about 2 years, 55 years ago, and rented a house from her father. Helen had had children's classes she had attended, (she was 5 or 6 at the time.) and had also talked to her mother, who did not want to listen, since she said her church said the Bible was too sacred for ordinary people to study. The whole family moved to Guatemala City sometime in the late 50's. Later Helen had a chance to talk to her mother who said she was in a Bible study group. Now the entire family has come to the Lord. One grandson is a foreign missionary, and another is finishing his preparation to enter the ministry. No doubt these are moments the Lord allows us to experience to encourage us.

Since the beginning of the year we have attended a series of workshops, till I hardly remember where home is. Mostly they have been training for new translators, but we have also learned, and coached the Jacaltec team – now down to 1 for all practical purposes. Then there was one on how to assess the pagan rites of passage – birth, marriage, death, etc. to see what there is that must be rejected, and what, if any, can be retained or altered so that conversion is not seen as a total rejection of community. In the midst of these things was the annual inter-missions conference where folks from many missions get together for fellowship and to sing and hear preaching in English. Helen has had opportunities to hold special classes with the women at the Bible institute here.

Pray with us for additional members and funding for the Jacaltec team, and for the Lord's continued blessing on the Lopez' work with children and with young people in our area. Thank the Lord with us for strength and health to continue working. Our aging bodies and minds need special help from Him. But “He who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead” is adequate for these much smaller things.

A Joyous Easter to each of you.

Your fellow-servants,

David and Helen

Mon Feb 21 21:21:34 2011

See a note from David and Helen.

Wed Jan 12 12:53:20 2011

This is just a brief note to thank you for praying concerning Helen's health issues. Yesterday we were in and out of the oncologist's office before we knew it. He found 2 small tumors, but feels that they are not yet cause for worry. He told her to continue her present medication, and that we should return in 3 months. We felt this was good news. Praise the Lord with us. We have read an article about asparagus controlling cancer in folks whom the docs had given up on, so hope to get canned asparagus to eat every day. It is cheaper and tastes better than most of the medications.

We will try to get a newsier letter out ere too long.

Gratefully,

David

Fri Dec 17 13:06:53 2010

For you who have been a source of blessing and encouragement to us this year in ways big and small, we wish


A Blessed and Joyous Christmas Season


This is probably the most “christmasy” that we have ever seen Guatemala. Brrr! It hasn’t gotten around to snowing, but the 25th is not here yet.


Saturday we had 2 activities 70 miles - 4 hours - apart. At 10 a.m. we were at a wedding in San Mateo. The groom was a young man, Ambrocio Domingo, from a remote village, whom we had helped through Bible school, and who later worked with us several years on the Chuj O.T. translation, and later on the recording of the Chuj Bible in audio. It was a truly Christian marriage. That evening we were invited to the 75th birthday celebration of Marcial Gutierrez. It was very big, with the very extended family present, and celebrated a bit late so that his youngest son and family could attend. They are missionaries to Argentina and are here for a short “home assignment” or what ever these leaves are called now-a-days. We have known Marcial since he started attending Bible school, performed his wedding, and have followed the family through the years in various pastorates. That’s why we were included in the very extended family. Neither of these happy occasions would have been except for the message of the birth of the CREATOR of the Universe who came to earth to be our SAVIOUR and LORD.


Earlier this month we spent 5 days with fellow-missionaries Danny and Daphne Foote for a workshop to teach fledgling Old Testament translators to set up and use the 16 new Sony VAIO computers donated for the use of translators working with AECM, an organization working to help Mayan Indian communities educationally and culturally, but with a special focus on translating the Old Testament where only the New Testament is currently available. This was like a pre Christmas present for us, who have the privilege of working as mentors to these new translators. We were delighted to hear that there are 10 projects in progress. Pray for them and us, as we work to expand the base for understanding the need for the SAVIOUR’s birth.


May God give you each a wonderful 2011.


David and Helen Ekstrom

Sun Oct 31 12:40:51 2010

Guatemala

Dear Aaron and Hur, (See Ex.17:8-13)

This report is long overdue. There was always something on which we wanted to have the final word before writing. If we keep waiting, it might be sundown first.

As far as getting the Bible out, our big push has been getting the entire Chuj Bible in audio format. First it was getting it all recorded and corrected. Then it was to send it off to Israel to get it ready for the MegaVoice players. Next we decided to get it onto CD’s for those who prefered that to the MegaVoice. That was finished several weeks ago, and our hopes are to get it onto radio stations that broadcast in Chuj. Currently we are working to get it in both printed and audio format on the internet. There are many Chuj “guest workers” in the U.S. who listen to Chuj broadcasts on the internet. In a matter of 25 years the Chuj have leaped from the 18th century into the 21st . Not everything in the 21st century is good or helpful. That is why people need the timeless truths of the Bible.

Translationwise we have been getting involved with AECM, a national organization interested in working within the Mayan cultures to advance the indigenous groups. One of its main drives is to see the Old Testament in all the languages of Guatemala. Almost all have the New Testament. We felt that our work in 4 Old Testament projects made it probable that we could help in that. We have gone to several workshops, teaching in one or two, and have tried to make ourselves available by e-mail or phone to those with questions. High on our list of projects is the Jacalteco, where we translated the New Testament. Another project has been encouraging groups to dub their languages onto Bible stories with finger puppets on DVD’s.

Medical issues have consumed more than 2 months of our time. First it was blood pressure and other cardiac related problems. Then about two months ago Helen found a lump in her right breast. This later proved to be an aggressive cancer, but so far there is no evidence of it anywhere else in her body. The mastectomy and subsequent healing and analyses to determine further treatment have kept us here till now, The Lord willing we will be leaving for home in a couple of days, and back to the work we love.

While here, David has been answering Spanish letters which are responses to Campus Crusades’ web-sites. Then for about 5 days we were working translating a booklet on revival into Spanish. May the Lord be pleased to use it to help bring revival here.

We have only praise to the Lord for His wonderful provision for our medical needs. Dr. Herrera, the son of a couple we have worked with since our arrival in Guatemala, has been our personal physician, getting us special rates for tests and at the hospital, connecting us with the right doctors, supplying us with medicines, and taking care of us in an apartment behind his clinic, where his father and step-mother live. Someone said it is like having your doctor at the head of your bed.

Thank you to many of you have had a part in making it possible for us to serve here.

David and Helen Ekstrom

CAM International, 8625 La Prada Drive, Dallas, TX 75228

Tue Oct 12 23:34:57 2010

Dear Supporters,


As Dr. Herrera said last evening in interpreting the Pathology Report to us, "It is a good news, bad news sort of thing".
Bad news - the tumor was a very aggressive cancer.
Good news - they found no evidence in any of the surrounding tissues and ganglia that it was anywhere outside of the tumor. But I took it that that did not guarantee that it is nowhere else in the body, since he went on to discuss average survival time, but as I commented to Helen, "Average survival time is made up of a wide variety of 'less than' and 'more than.'"


The labs are doing some tests this week to determine exactly the kind of cancer it is, to decide what kind of treatment is best, but no chemo or radiation is contemplated.


But as Helen and I commented, "Nothing has changed. Our lives are still in the hands of God to Whom we long ago committed them."


I was meditating on Psalm 90.12 this morning in the wee hours, and decided that this situation is a help in answering Moses' prayer - and ours - (Probably written when he was well over 100.) "So teach us to consider our mortality, so that we might live wisely." We want to live whatever time we have left, wisely.


Our love and gratitude to you all.


David and Helen

Sat Jun 26 15:36:48 2010

Dear Prayer helpers,
This is a note requesting special prayer. It seems that Satan is intensifying his attacks in the past several weeks in several areas.
In the Jacaltenango field the efforts to start a Christian school are being hindered by pride and jealousy, especially on the part of some of the younger element among the personnel. Pray that Renee and Nelly Lopez will be given the patience and wisdom to be able to encourage the church to go ahead, in spite of attacks against them personally.
In the church in San Mateo it seems something has gotten into the pastor to want to take everything into his own hands, and manipulate the church board, so they have shut out of the church the young people’s group and anyone wanting to back the group. In doing so they have removed from the school operated by the church, the director and some teachers, and replaced them with unbelievers. Pray we will know if we should go up there – possibly the 5th of July – with several others, to try to talk to the pastor and the church board. This dictatorial attitude is threatening to destroy the Chuj Church Association.
The leaders of the church in Sebeb are trying to drive out the pastor – one of the best men in that part of the work – because some members of his family in his home village are reported to have interfered in the romantic interests of a Sebeb church worker in their village.
On the personal health side, both of us have had some blood pressure problems which the doctor is trying to get stabilized, and a week ago Helen had a severe incident of tachykardia which required an emergency visit to the doctor. She seems to be doing well on the medication he prescribed.
Praise the Lord, we know it is His work, and He has given us the privilege of having a part in it. Thank you for praying.
David and Helen

Tue Apr 6 14:58:26 2010

See their Easter Newsletter.

Wed Dec 9 17:32:08 2009

See their December letter.

Tue Oct 6 15:15:37 2009

See their recent letter.

Sun Jul 5 11:56:37 2009

Dear Tom,

We wonder how things are going for you and at the church. We would have liked to visit while we were in Chicago, but did not feel up to it. We appreciate greatly the support of the church there.

Many of you may be wondering if we have fallen off the face of the earth. We apologize for the long break in comunications, but we have been absent from home for three and a half months due to health problems. We got back here 3 days ago, eager to get into the swing of things to whatever extent is possible and wise.

I, David, developed a serious back problem, and had to have 2 surgeries within a month, and a stay in another hospital due to a serious blood clot. Lately we spent time in the U.S. with various family members, but did not contact many of you, due to the difficulty of getting around. In all of this we have seen the gracious hand of the Lord in many ways: many phone calls and letters assuring us of prayer for us; many visitors from near and far, including one by 5 members of the board of the church we attend here in Huehue, who drove 5 hours each way to come for an hour’s visit and bring an offering. Many folks gave us money to help with our expenses. When the anesthesialogist for the second surgery became aware of the fact that I was trusting the Lord for salvation and care, he waived his fee, saying that it was an honor to serve the Lord’s servants. He is active in a Presbyterian church in Guatemala City. When we were suddenly notified that I needed blood donors, and I called our doctor friend to ask where we might find them, he “happened” to be attending the child of a man who had known us when Helen taught children’s classes in his home town 50 years or more ago, and he immediately came over to the hospital to give blood. He and his wife both work at the international airport in Guatemala City, and helped us there on our way to and from the U.S.

We could go on and on, but one huge blessing was that a doctor, the son of a pastor and his wife with whom we have worked almost since the day we arrived in Guatemala over 58 years ago, served us as if we were his parents, setting us up in an apartment where his father and step-mother live, right behind his clinic. He set up schedules for us with doctors, and clinics, driving us around, being in on the surgeries, seeing to it that we had the right medications, and helping us in countless ways. For all of this we praise the Lord.

Yesterday evening we were talking to one of the Chuj pastors, who told us that in most of the churches there are still many who are in bondage to witchcraft. Pray for him and other pastors as they seek God’s help in leading their people into true freedom. Envy between two of the older pastors has been causing divisions in some of the churches. We are in a spiritual battle.

I am regaining strength and mobility, and having less pain, but the events of these past months have made clear to us that we are no longer young. The Lord has raised up servants of His who can go on with the work He gave us the privilege of beginning. So we are asking you to pray with us for His directions as to whether we retire in the U.S. or find a way to radically change our life-style to be able to continue to contribute here for however long He sees fit. Thank you for your part with us over many years.

David and Helen Ekstrom

Mon May 11 23:39:24 2009

Dear Y'all,

Just a brief note to alert you to what our current plans are. Once in the U.S. we will let you know details as they work out.

5/15,16 we expect to be in Panajachel, 5/17,18 at home in Huehue to prepare for U.S. trip, 5/19 Guate City.
5/20- 6/1 in Chicago, 6/2-7 DC area, 6/8-18 Boston area, 6/19-24 Chicago area, 6/25 Guatemala again.

Looking forward to seeing most of you,

David and Helen

Tue May 5 14:38:29 2009

When Newberry Cox - the one who invited us to Guatemala to do translation work - felt the need to give a report on a developing situation about which he was not sure, he would say, "We report progress." But I think things are a bit better than that, PTL!

Two weeks down the line from the 2nd surgery and into medication to slow down my blood coagulation time again, we are due to visit the surgeon for another check-up, and the cardiologist for his take tomorrow. I can walk around fairly well, but sitting - as I am doing now - can quickly become torture, though I think even that is changing slowly. Today I tried to begin reducing pain medication. I will ask Dr. Herrera, with whom we are staying, if that is a good idea.

Tentatively we are hoping to go home for a few days the 16th of this
month.

Where has God been in all of this?
1. We have seen and heard from many many folks who are praying for us. 2. He has provided for the finances in many heart-touching ways.
3. I have become very aware of my need to live closer to Him day by day.
4. We have become very conscious of the fact that He has put in place co-workers who are well able to take over the work we have been doing, and take it in new directions we might never have gone. If He gives us the strength to return to our field, we should be able to give full attention to the kind of work for which we are best prepared.

Thanks to each of you for you love and care.

David and Helen

Tue Apr 21 23:00:21 2009

Dear Don,

This is just a note to answer your question about David. He had his second surgery on Sunday. The pain in his leg is intermittant. The doctor released him from the Hospital Monday noon and we are back at Dr. Herrera’s clinic where we have been staying. He has to have a daily shot because of the thrombosis he had after the first surgery. Little by little we trust he will get his strength back. We appreciate your prayers for us.

Monday, they hope to go up to Sebeb and move the recording equipment to the new studio and make the final push for the recording of the Chuj Old Testament.

Thanks so much for your care for us and the ministry here,

Helen for both of us

Fri Apr 17 12:18:56 2009

After time has passed and David has had no relief, tests were done, consultations were made and it has been decided that David will undergo a second back operation. The plan is to gain a better result with another surgeon, with a less invasive surgery and to be more complete in the operation.


David is to check into the hospital this Friday afternoon, 4/17, have his operation at 8am on Saturday morning, 4/18 and be released from the hospital on Sunday, 4/19.

Please again pray for safety, skill for the doctors and that this time things will turn out with a more positive result. We will have a special prayer time for David (and other prayer items) from 8am until 9am led by Steve Sywulka at La Misión in San Lucas for those of you who are able to join

Glenn

Thu Mar 26 16:51:57 2009

Just a brief note to request prayer for David tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. when he has spinal surgery for a severely herniated disc in the lumbar region. Thank you.

David and Helen

Mon Mar 16 13:58:42 2009

Dear Friends at Windy city community church,

Thank you so much for your continued support. The Lord has been very good to us and we are very grateful.

David & Helen

Mon Feb 23 20:28:35 2009

5 Calle 12-126, Zona 1, 13001
Huehuetenango
Guatemala
Mid Feb. 2009

Dear Tom,

I fear we have been very delinquent in not writing and thanking the church for its continued support and for its gift at Christmas time. We do appreciate both. The Lord willing we expect to be in Chicago during parts of May and June. We trust we can get to WCCC.
Praise the Lord for the New Year! And shame on us for having let so much time get away since our last report to you. Thank you for your patience with us, and your continued support in prayer and giving. We could hardly operate without either.
"Simply The Story" has been most of the story of the past several months as we have tried in one way or another, along with Jeff and Marilee Nelson, to communicate this teaching tool to various groups: pastors, their wives, teachers in the children's classes, and recently at the local Bible institute, Berea. The last half of January we had all the students and faculty - almost 50 people - for 9 full days. Nelsons and Ekstroms worked with students in groups, with the help and oversight of Mrs. Regina Manley, one of our teachers last September, who flew down and gave us 4 days of her time. Thank you, Regina. Then during the past 2 weeks Helen and Marilee have taught the 1st year students Bible Panorama, using "STS" as an important teaching tool. Both students and faculty have been pleased and grateful, and have been using this. It has been adopted as the form which the students are to use in the chapel services. Some of the students told Bible stories over the phone to their families. Several saw folks come to the Lord in one-on-one story telling. One young man told a story to the watchman at the institute who is a Christian, and then they had a blessed time of prayer together, thanking the Lord.
Recording for the MegaVoice players has slowed down due to interference, while we have worked on a studio building. The shell is now finished. We hope that a group from the U.S. may be able to come down shortly to do the inside work. Then the recording of the Old Testament can be finished. Pray we may find an effective way of getting these players into the hands of non-Christians.
Jacaltenango, where we lived from 1975 - 79, translating the New Testament, was, and continues to be very resistant to the Gospel. But we sense that the Lord's time has come for things to change there. Rene and Nelly Lopez, who are now working full-time with the children's work among the Chuj churches, have moved there to be closer to that task. Nelly has seen several people there come to the Lord, and others come back to Him. This month a couple from another mission, Tony and Carrie Taylor, are moving there with a special burden to work with the leadership in the few small churches in the area. Pray for both these families as they get settled, for the Lord's guidance and blessing, and for language learning skill for the Taylors. There are a couple of men trying to translate the Old Testament, but they need help.
Note our changed mailing address at the top of this letter.
Yours to spread the Word of Salvation,
David and Helen Ekstrom
CAM International, 8625 La Prada Drive Dallas, TX 75228

Thu Jul 10 19:12:41 2008

See their July 7th letter.

Mon Jun 16 12:53:06 2008

Dear friends at Windy City community church,

Thank you so much for your continued support. We do appreciate it so much. We enjoyed very much our time with you last December. How quickly the time has passed!

One of the highlights since we got back was last week when the mega voice units were dedicated. We hope someday we can get the rest of the Old Testament recorded and put on to these small units.

May the Lord continue to bless each of you!

In His love,
David & Helen Ekstrom

Tue May 27 01:21:48 2008

Huehuetenango
Guatemala
May 23, 2008
Dear Tom,
It has been 2 months since we last wrote to you and mentioned several things that were in the offing, so we need to catch you up on the Lord’s blessings during this time. We pray this will find you well and rejoicing in His goodness.
Our trip to Israel went well. We were with a group of like-minded people, and were told that the weather while we were there was really ideal – clear skies and not too much heat. It was wonderful to actually be in the places about which we have studied and translated over the years. They are more real to us now. One thing that impressed us was the huge number of tourists from all over the world, many of whom were true believers in Jesus, and whose very presence and active-ties there keep His claims before the nation. The Sunday we were there we worshipped with a Messianic fellowship. We thank the Lord for the kindness of those who made this trip possible, and folks along the way, both going and coming who made it a wonderful experience.
The weekend before the trip we were in New Jersey, entertained by a Brazilian pastor and his wife who have a large Portuguese speaking church. They were celebrating the 15th anniversary of the church, so it was a joyful time. Pastor Calixto or his wife met us at the airport, drove us around and got us to JFK airport for the flight out. He also met us on our way back and took us down to the D.C. area where we had a wonderful time with friends and family, and spent a lovely weekend with fellow missionaries who work with Hispanic churches in Delaware. Both coming and going we were royally treated by Dr. Arturo Herrera, the oldest son of don Arturo Herrera, with whom we have worked closely since we first set foot in Guatemala.
While in Israel we had the joy of meeting and visiting with Mr. and Mrs. Ed Zagofsky, who has worked with us on the MegaVoice project. He gave us a CD with the recordings of Genesis, Psalms and Proverbs in the format for loading the players. This was more symbolic than necessary, since he sent the same material to the team here over the Internet, and by the time we got home everything was ready to load the players with “God’s Story”, the New Testament and the 3 Old Testament books. Yesterday and the day before we were in Sebeb with a group of leaders, to teach them how to use the players so that real blessing and outreach will be the results. They were happy to have the players in their hands and see creative ways to use them. Plans were made for a 5-day tour around the field the 16th – 20th of June to get the players out into the churches. That is bad weather time, so pray for our travels and a good reception in the field. The players are being sold at a substantially subsidized price, but it is still a chunk for many of these folks.
David just spent 2 days with Tony Taylor on a fast survey of the Jacaltenango field, seeing both the challenging needs, and some encouraging situations. Tony and his wife Carrie are the ones we mentioned in our last letter. Pray that the Lord will lead them clearly.
Thank you for your gifts and prayers, which are vital.
David and Helen
CAM International, 8625 La Prada Drive, Dallas, TX 75228

Tue Mar 25 18:53:45 2008

Huehuetenango, Guatemala,

Dear Tom,

This is Easter week-end. Tomorrow morning we will be going to an Easter
Sunrise Service in one of the many churches here in town. But millions
around us have no idea that if the Christ whose death they celebrated
yesterday had not risen we would be devoid of any hope beyond this
life. But "Because I live, ye shall live also", letting them know is
what our task is all about.

The past month and a half have seen a couple of celebrations. The 21st
of February we were awarded honorary doctorates in linguistics by
Mariano Galvez University, in recognition of the translations we have
been involved with. Then the 11th of March there was a celebration of
the 50th anniversary of the Berean Bible Institute, which began as an
institute for Indian men, but has grown and divided into a Spanish
institute and several Indian language institutes. A very high percentage
of pastors in this department are graduates of one or another of these.
They gave special recognition to don Arturo Herrera and us as the
founders of this work. We feel that it has been the vision and work of
don Arturo and the present director, don Adolfo Perez, which the Lord
has used greatly for His glory.

We need to up-date you on the audio Scriptures project, which is one of
our priorities right now. 500 MegaVoice players are in cartons here in
our house. Recordings of Genesis, Psalms, Proverbs and the New Testament
have been sent to MegaVoice headquarters in Tiberias, Israel for
processing. If things go as planned, we will pick up the CD's on which
this material will be in the right form for loading the players, either
the 9th or 10th of April in Tiberias. (Yes, friends are giving us a trip
to the Holy Land between the 7 and 17th of April. Thank you, Lord.) When
we return to Guatemala in late April we will start to load the players,
and go out into the villages to give those who desire to purchase them
at a subsidized price, lessons on how to use them effectively as
teaching tools, not just entertainment. Pray that these will become the
means for a much greater outreach with the Chuj Scriptures, than just
the printed Bibles would be.

We hope eventually to have the whole Bible recorded. We would like to
see the same kind of program in some of the other languages in
Guatemala.

We have been out in several villages in the Chuj and Jacaltec areas and
been impressed with the tremendous need to work with the young folks.
That segment of the population is just exploding. Pray the Lord would
give us new insights on how to reach them. Just last night and today we
had a young missionary couple visiting who are open to the Lord's
leading to work in the Jacaltec area, but need to pray about it to be
sure. Pray for them. This would be a burden lifted from us in many ways.

The 1st and 2nd of April we expect to be out in a village assembling a
steel roof-structure for a church, and then head back here to fly out of
Guatemala toward New York and Israel on the 5th. Thank you for your
prayers, and your many gifts.

David and Helen

Tue Mar 25 18:52:34 2008

See photos from the March 25 letter.

Sun Feb 10 12:40:19 2008

Apartado 15, 13901
Huehuetenango,
Guatemala

Dear Folks at Windy City Community Church,

Greetings from the “land of eternal spring”, though just now it feels like the end of winter. But we are glad to be back and getting into the swing of things. There is much to do putting into use things we learned on furlough. We thank the Lord for a good 5 months in which we were able to visit with many of you. For the joy of those visits, and safety in 11,000 miles of driving we are grateful.

Since getting back we have been to the villages three times. The first time was to attend church association meetings to find out how we can work together with them to advance the work of winning people to the Lord and helping them in their spiritual life. The second visit was for a workshop with the teachers in the Supplemental Education Program out in the churches. Here Ovidio, one of our translators, introduced the Bible materials that will be used this year, which he had a large part in translating. Helen and Ambrocio, another of the translators, worked to teach how to use story-telling with questions to communicate with oral-learners – people whose learning style is through what they hear and not what is on paper. About 85% of the world’s population are oral learners, so we need to get this across to those with whom we work. This past week Helen taught the same thing to the wives of most of the pastors in the Chuj field, which we pray will make them more effective leaders among the women, and better able to teach their own families. I went up with Rene and Nelly Lopez who talked to the leaders about the Supplemental Education Program and how we can work more closely with the church organization, while I talked to them about the possibility of working with them on a building to house their offices, a recording studio, and a center for the production of printed materials of various kinds.

Last week Ovidio, Ambrocio and Ernesto, who is from another language but helps with the technical end of things, were in Sebeb recording Genesis. This will be used, along with the New Testament, Psalms, Proverbs and “God’s Story” on the MegaVoice players, which many of you saw. There is still a lot of detailed work to do getting these recordings formatted the way they need to be before putting them on the players.

We need continued prayer for the removal of all obstacles to getting these recordings ready to use, for God’s help in getting the players through customs, and for wisdom in distributing the players and teaching people to use them effectively. Also pray that we will be able to see a national organization capable of taking over the administration of the supplemental education program before too long.

Thank you for your continued financial help and prayer support.
David and Helen Ekstrom

We sincerely appreciated the opportunity to be with you and to meet some of you for the first time. May the Lord continue to use you as a means of blessing to many, both locally and world-wide.
CAM International, 8625 La Prada Drive, Dallas, TX 75228

Mon Dec 17 13:56:20 2007

David and Helen were ready to go to Mongolia in 1949 but political unrest prevented their going. They received a call from a missionary in Guatemala to come down and translate the San Mateo Chuj language into the Bible. They left in August of 1949. As previously reported, the long awaited day is now history. July 12, 2007, has come and gone, and the Chuj people of San Mateo Ixtatan have the whole Bible in their hands. Read their July 23 entry for more information.

They visited WCCC on December 16, 2007 to announce that at age 80 and 82, God has called them to their next assignment. Their literacy project is completed and now their audio project continues. They return to Guatemala next month to organize the distribution of self contained recorders of the Bible in three Indian languages as well as Spanish. Read their September 8 entry for more information.

Sat Sep 8 12:59:30 2007

We have been up through southern Canada, Boston, eastern PA, Delaware, and now are in the D.C. area. We have been visiting family, former colleagues, and supporters. We still have to travel across the southern U.S. to the West Coast and back to Chicago early in December. We hope to see you at that time. You probably received our letter about the dedication of the Chuj Bible, with a few pictures. Our current priority project is getting the N.T. in audio form for all the Indian languages in Guatemala that have a written New Testament. I do not see funding as the main problem, but the securing of the right to use previous recordings in other formats to put in the format needed for the MegaVoice players we hope to use. It would save us about $7,000 per language, of which there are over 20, as opposed to doing the recording over again. We are working with 3 languages right now. Each has its own problems, so we do not know which one will be ready to go first. The San Mateo Chuj, just dedicated, is right now being recorded, which may take the better part of 2 months.

Thank the folks at the church there for their continued support, and we look forward to seeing you in December,
David and Helen Ekstrom

Mon Jul 23 11:49:55 2007 (See also Their Photo Gallery)

Huehuetenango
Guatemala

Dear Co-laborers,

Praise the Lord with us! The long awaited day is now history. July 12th has come and gone, and the Chuj people of San Mateo Ixtatan have the whole Bible in their hands. Well over half of the 6,000 Bibles were sold that day, after a dedication service compressed due to the weather - before the service, not during it.

The planning committee had asked those of us who were coming for the service to take a route up through the heart of the Chuj area so that groups coming from the villages could join us along the way to form a caravan going into town. Most of us spent the night of the 11th at a town part way to our destination to cut down travel time the next morning. Even so we had to be rolling at 3 a.m. At 4 a.m. when we arrived at the point where we had to leave the pavement and head into the hills we were surprised to see a large number of trucks, buses, vans and pick-ups waiting for us, and about 5:30 we were joined by a lot more vehicles. ¬Someone said the total number in the caravan was 59. They were decorated with balloons, flags and banners stating the reason for the parade, the church represented, or just joy at the occasion. There were several different Protestant groups represented as well as traditional and charismatic Catholics.

But it had rained heavily in the highlands, and about 60% of the way to our destination we reached a steep, tight switch-back, which stopped some of the heavier vehicles. Someone finally called for a grader to come and clean the mud away. We were due in San Mateo to begin the service at 9:00, but it actually started at 12:25.

The service was held in a natural amphitheater among the ruins of the Mayan temple complex. ¬There was no building adequate for the crowd. The children from the Christian school marched in, dressed in red uniforms, accompanying the national flag, the Christian flag and the Bible. During the service the sun shone for short times, and it threatened rain, but the Lord held up the rain till the service had ended and the sale of Bibles was well advanced.

During the service there were speeches by the various groups and organizations present, the presentation of various groups including the translators, the giving of diplomas to various ones, a message emphasizing the Divine nature of the Bible, and the need to apply it to our lives, and then the formal presentation and dedication of the Bible by the head of the Guatemala Bible Society.

The following day some of us formed two small caravans and went down through some of the villages selling Bibles and leaving boxes of Bibles to be sold as there is a demand.

Thank you each one for your part by your gifts and prayers over the years which made this day possible. Pray with us that the Word will be applied by God’s spirit to the lives of those who read and hear. Our current project is to get this Word in audio format for those who cannot read.

Your fellow servants,

David and Helen Ekstrom

Thu May 10 18:13:02 2007

Huehuetenango, Guatemala May 9, 2007

Dear Friends and Backers,

We thank the Lord for you, your prayers and your gifts over the years, which have done more than we know toward the reaching of various goals. It seems we are about to see one more project become a reality. We received word a couple of days ago that the San Mateo Chuj Bibles should be in the Bible Society warehouse in Guatemala City before the end of this month. That should give time to finish preparations for the dedication on the 12th of July.

A good word came to us several days ago. We ordered 6,000 Bibles and wondered if we had set our sights too high. Then some of the leaders from San Mateo called us, saying that with the current demand for the few remaining New Testaments, and the high state of expectation for the Bible, they were afraid we had not ordered enough. We assured them that we could order a reprint as soon as we started to run low on stock. Praise the Lord!

The Chuj Missions Committee has taken on half-time support for a couple to work in 3 villages where there is the beginning of a small group of believers. The Committee is also working to try to expand the number of those taking part in its monthly prayer day for missions, and to help enlarge the amount of support sent to missionaries in Spain and India.

We now have a useable recording studio in the village of Sebeb, and just a few days ago the Lord sent us another young man, Ernesto Basilio, who it seems will work out as the second man we needed on the recording team. We spent a couple of days in Sebeb making recordings of various people's voices, who we expect will be readers for the recordings of the Bible for use on the MegaVoice players.

The last several days Ambrocio and Ernesto have been keeping the machinery rolling to finish the printing and assembling of the children's materials we need to leave ready for the months we expect to be gone. That is a load off our minds, and we thank the Lord for it..

We expect to spend 3 weeks in June in Brazil with part of Helen's family, return here for the Bible dedication in July, and then go to the U.S. for a few months. Pray that the Lord will direct in all the details. We hope to see many of you.

Pray that before we leave for the U.S. we can see functioning committees set up to direct the MegaVoice program, and the children's work. We would like to see these as permanent, so that when we return we can work with them, but they will still be responsible.

May the Lord's blessings be yours,
David and Helen Ekstrom CAM International, 8625 La Prada Drive, Dallas, TX 75228

Tue Feb 20 13:00:29 2007


Dear Co-workers,

This is just a brief note to let you know that a date has been set for the dedication of the San Mateo Chuj Bible. God permitting, it will be on the 12th of July at 10 in the morning in the town of San Mateo. If it seems a long way off just now it is because the target date for shipping from Korea is the end of April, probably several weeks time on the high seas and time in customs here in Guatemala.
It might have been in late June, but we have a very important family celebration in Brazil during the last half of June. We ask your prayers that the dedication would be a time when the Lord's name will be glorified, and that the Bible will have a good reception by the people and produce fruit for eternity.

Please pray too for the recording of large portions of this Bible to be distributed on a device known as MegaVoice, so that many who can not read can have the Word in audio form, on a solar powered device about the size of a large cell phone. We are sure that Satan is opposed to this, so we need your earnest prayers. Thank you.

David and Helen

Sat Jan 13 20:18:13 2007

Huehuetenango, Guatemala, Jan.13, 2007

Dear Support Team,

A day or two ago I was reading about Aaron and Hurs' vital part in Joshua's victory over Amalek, and was reminded to thank the Lord for you who stand behind us in prayer and financially. Some of you have stood with us for 56 years. Whatever results there may be here are in a large measure attributable to your faithfulness. Thank you, and we know the Lord will reward you. May He give you a wonderful 2007.

So far no delivery date for the Bibles has been set. They are being printed, but that is all we know. We hope to be able to visit family, friends and churches in the U.S. during the spring and visit Helen's family in Brazil in the early
summer, but it is hard to make plans just now. Pray that we might soon have some definite word. We continue to be encouraged by folks who can hardly wait to have the Bible in their hands. Work has begun on a list of possible readers for recording the Bible. Things move slowly, but they do move, for which we thank the Lord.

We promised to say something about our future plans, but just now we can only say that we are trying to turn various projects in which we are involved over to national groups, so that we will be involved only in an advisory or supporting role. We are just beginning to get into a project to teach the mothers in our churches how to reach their children for the Lord from a very early age. It involves doing the translation of a book of 83 lessons, and then teaching women who can in turn take the teaching to the women's societies in the churches. Helen was teaching a group of pastors’ wives this week.

ATBMG - Association for Translating the Bible into the Mayan languages of Guatemala – is a foundation set up about 12 years ago by a Christian family in Guatemala to support translation work and the production of materials
to promote growth in the Indian churches. So far the entire base of ATBMG is with the Venegas family, but they have worked with us toward the funding of the Chuj Bible, are wanting to be involved with the matter of audio Scriptures, and have expressed a willingness to provide legal coverage for the children's Bible classes in the
San Mateo villages, which we hope to see extended to some other language groups too. Praise the Lord with us for this family, and pray they will be able to get other folks interested in joining them.. They expect to support the men who are doing the translation of the book we mentioned above.

On Monday, December 4th we had the joy of seeing the ground-breaking for a school for training missionaries to go from Guatemala to the ends of the earth. This was the vision of the Guatemalan church, is being staffed by the church, land was donated by a couple from the church where it is being built, and large offerings and volunteer
labor have made considerable progress on the first building. Classes are scheduled to start in March. Pray for this project - CECAM - and praise the Lord for what His Spirit is doing.

Praising the Lord for His greatness,

David and Helen Ekstrom

CAM International, 8625 La Prada Drive, Dallas, TX 75228

Sat Dec 9 14:10:13 2006

Dear Teammates,

Just a few minutes ago we received a copy of a letter from the printers in Korea, informing us that they had the CD with the Bible on it, had looked it over and found everything in order, except one map of which there were 2 copies, one with a title and one without, and asking which to use. They said that as soon as they had the answer to that they would get started on the work. Needless to say they got a quick response. Praise the Lord, it sounds as if we are off to a quick start.

The first steps have been taken toward getting the Bible in audio form on MegaVoice. We would like to see work on the actual recording start in January. Pray for us to find the right readers and to be able to set up a good schedule with the recording studio.

A full month or our time and effort after turning in the Bible went into preparing for a workshop for the teachers in the church sponsored classes to teach Bible as well as reading and writing in Spanish and Chuj in the villages that speak Chuj. Pray with us as we seek the right people to take charge of that program so that it is no longer dependent on us.

Our translation helpers, Ovidio and Ambrocio, worked with us on the workshop project and preparing materials for teaching mothers how to lead their children to know the Lord and the basics of the Christian life, and a series of 8 simple lessons to use in working with unbelievers. They now both have places to work for at least the coming year. Ambrosio will be working with a church in reaching folks across the border in Mexico. Ovidio will be working with the radio ministry of the church in San Mateo. We hope he will find time to continue translating study materials. Both men have agreements with the churches to allow them to continue their studies on weekends and at special short Bible courses.

We were looking for some Christmas music to play, and stumbled on a record labeled "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth". I said to Helen, that all I wanted for Christmas was a new vision of Christ. And that is what we wish for each of you at this special time of year.

Yours that others might see Jesus,

David and Helen Ekstrom

Thu Nov 2 14:08:23 2006

Huehuetenango
Guatemala
November 1, 2006

Dear Supporters,

No doubt many of you are wondering how things came out with the type-setting project. We want to thank you for your prayers, and let you know that they were abundantly answered. In many miles of driving in Guatemala City’s traffic we were kept from even a scratch, and this keeping included being delivered from an accident that could have resulted in the death of the 3 of us in the car. Only God’s perfect timing averted this. Praise Him!

Our share of the type-setting project ended mid-morning the 26th of October, and we understand that everything was handed over to the Guatemala Bible Society the following day. Now we ask your prayers that getting this to the Bible Society printing presses in Korea, getting it printed and the Bibles to the Chuj people will move smoothly and without undue delays.

We are including 2 pictures taken at the time of the “proofing party”. On the 25th about 16 people got together at the Wycliffe offices where the type-setting was done to do one final check, especially on what had to do with formatting.
Each person was assigned to look at only one detail on a page – headers, even bottom of the columns of text, correct page numbers, does each footnote have a call letter at the proper place in the text, etc. There are something over 1,900 pages, but the job was finished in about 2 hours.
One picture shows the proofing party, the other shows Phil Leckrone, the type-setter, and his wife Cathy, the two men who have worked with us the last couple of years – Ambrocio behind Helen and Ovidio behind me. Helen and I are the old folks sitting down. Pray for Ambrocio and Ovidio as they look for the Lord’s leading for future preparation and ministry.

We will be writing later about our future plans.
Thank you each one for your part in this triumph.

David and Helen

Sat Sep 16 16:42:47 2006

Dear Co-laborers and Supporters,

This will be short, and we hope sweet. The past several weeks -
maybe months - have been an all-out effort to recheck the Chuj
Bible, with several of us reading each book to try to find any
errors of any kind, printing a new copy and reading that over again.
Some time yesterday we reached the end of the process, made several
back-up copies of the work on CD's, and started getting everything
packed for 6 weeks in Guatemala City. In less than 4 hours we should
be on the way. This is being written 9/16, about 9:00 a.m. One of
our faithful helpers, Ambrocio, will be with us for the first 3
weeks, while Ovidio finishes his studies at the Bible institute.
Then Ambrocio will go home and Ovidio will work with us for another
3 weeks. Phil Leckrone of Wycliffe will be doing the type-setting,
and we hope that after 6 weeks we will be ready to run out another
hard copy to be checked over carefully while Phil is gone for 3
weeks. When he comes back we will have to work with him getting any
corrections put in. Then we hope things will be ready to turn over
to the Guatemalan Bible Society to go to the printer. We are praying
for a dedication of the finished Bible around the middle of next year.

Pray with us for:
1. Safety in going back and forth between our
lodging and the Wycliffe office in Guatemala City traffic.
2. Keenness of eye and mind as we work with Phil.
3. That there will be no aimless delays in
getting the Bible to and from the printers in Korea.
There is a real air of expectation among the Chuj, both inside and
outside the church, for which we praise the Lord.

Thank you for standing with us in many different ways.

David and Helen Ekstrom

Fri Aug 4 12:53:19 2006

Dear Teammates,

We wrote to many of you over a month ago, asking you to pray about our trip to Dallas to see if something needed to be done for Helen's heart. We owe you a follow-up on that to thank you for your prayers and tell you how things stand right now. The cardiologist at Baylor in Dallas checked over the records from the cardiologist here, did not see anything alarming, but ordered a very thorough stress test, which failed to reveal anything of consequence. Praise the Lord for that. The cardiologist here had been having a difficult experience with a patient with a problem like he felt Helen had, and that probably was what led him to want to take preventive measures in a hurry.

But while we were in Dallas Helen stumbled and tore a couple of ligaments in her right wrist, so she is wearing a cast, but has had problems with swelling that we are having difficulty controlling. We are looking for a good orthopedic doctor here.

Meantime we are working to finish correcting the dump draft of the
Chuj Bible. We have almost finished the Old Testament, and are beginning the New. As soon as we finish correcting each book, we run out a new copy, and another person is reading that over to find anything that is still hiding there. Our hope is to have this ready for type-setting by the end of this month. Another project that has become very urgent in our thinking during the past several months is putting all the Mayan language New Testaments currently available here in Guatemala into audio format on small units for personal or small group listening. The big problem right now is to get these New Testaments in recorded form. There are such recordings in existence, but the ones who hold them have not been willing to allow us to use them. This may compel us to do new recordings, which would be expensive and time consuming. We are convinced that this project would vastly increase the results from the efforts expended in translation. Very few people are fluent readers of their own languages. Pray with us for this whole project.

We thank the Lord for each of you who uphold us by your gifts and your prayers. May He continue to bless you.

David and Helen Ekstrom

Mon Jul 10 22:13:06 2006

Dear Prayer helpers,

Thank you for your prayers for our trip and time in Dallas. We are
now back at home working on the Chuj Bible. The cardiologist at
Baylor did not feel that the ablation procedure was warranted at this
time, but ordered a full-fledged stress test, which did not reveal
anything of major concern. Thank the Lord for that. I feel that our
cardiologist in Quezaltenango was concerned about Helen because at
the same time he was dealing with a younger man with the same problem
who was not doing at all well. While in Dallas Helen stumbled on a
bad sidewalk and tore one or 2 ligaments in her right wrist. She is
in a short arm cast for a couple of months. This has slowed her down
- we get to help her in various things, but either of the men who
work with us can enter the corrections on the translation while Helen
looks on, so that works goes forward. We are certain that the Lord
had His purposes for our trip to Dallas.

While there we were able to visit with some family, see several
friends, and former colleagues and also present to various ones our
present burden for the work here. We can publish New Testaments and
Bibles by the thousands, but with very few fluent readers it does not
seem to be the best way to get the Message out in this
technologically advanced age. There is a little device called
MegaVoice, about the size of a cell phone, driven by built in
rechargeable batteries with a built in solar panel, easily able to
contain the whole New Testament (or even a Bible), and loud enough to
cover a medium sized room full of people. Our burden is to get
recordings of every New Testament in a Guatemalan Indian language,
and get them out on MegaVoice units. Pray with us that we may be able
to get these recordings, and then have the finances needed to get the
Message out in this way. Just now the finances are the secondary
problem. Getting the recordings is the big hurdle.

Thank you for praying with us,

David and Helen

Sat Jul 8 19:53:32 2006

This is being written from Huehuetenango. Thank you for your prayers and for passing the word on ot others there. We saw a competent cardiologist at Baylor, and after looking things over he did not recommend the procedure, though that is his specialty. He asked for a thorough stress test, and after looking over the results he felt that every thing is fine. But since we were near good medical help, and Uncle Sam was footing the bills, Helen tripped and tore one or 2 ligaments in her right wrist. So she came back with her arm in a
pretty blue cast for 6-8 weeks, to be followed by the same time with
a splint. So that means that someone else will have to do the
computer work for the rest of the corrections on the Bible. But we
believe that God sent us for a purpose,and part of it may have been
to present the project of getting the New Testament in the various
Indian languages in Guatemala onto MegaVoice units. I will write more
of that later.

Our greetings to everyone there,

David

Tue Jul 4 15:06:58 2006

Dear Prayer helpers,

This is just a brief note to let you know that as things stand now we will be flying to Dallas on the 22nd of this month to see a cardiologist the 27th for another evaluation of a problem Helen is having with arrhythmia. Two cardiologists here in Guatemala have recommended a procedure called "catheter ablation of arrhythmia". It seems to be a relative simple procedure requiring only an overnight in the hospital down here - maybe less in the U.S. If the doc in the US concurs, the procedure will probably be done before the end of the week, and we expect to fly back here the 4th of July. We really have not wanted to take this time out just now, since we are coming up on the end of the work on the San Mateo Chuj Bible, but the cardiologist here in Guatemala very definitely does not want us to put it off.

We hope to see some of you in the Dallas area. Thank you for praying for us, and especially that the doc in Dallas will know what to recommend.

David and Helen Ekstrom

Sun May 7 11:44:21 2006

Even before we came to the field 55 years ago, we were very aware of
the active missions emphasis of Norwood Park Baptist Church, and it
was one of the churches that early in our career helped make our
support more nearly up to mission standards. The consciousness of the
prayers of the folks there over the years has been a source of
encouragement to us. When we knew that the church was merging with
WCCC we were somewhat concerned about what would become of the
missions programs, so we are grateful to the Lord that it has not
only been continued, but even increased, and that NPBC's influence
has been used of Him to help others catch a vision of what they can
do to have a part in His world-wide harvest. May that part continue
to increase.

Yours gratefully,

Mon Mar 6 14:25:35 2006

Dear Friends at Windy City Community Church,

Thank you so much for your loving support. We do appreciate it very much. February 2nd marked our 55th anniversary of work in Guatemala. God has been very good to us in providing for us so graciously and also for giving us health and strength. David will go later this month and we do have much for which we are grateful.

We thank the Lord for you folks. We trust things are going well for the church there in Norwood Park.

The Lord bless you, David & Helen

Sun Jan 29 19:53:56 2006


Dear Team-mates,

We trust that the first month of 2006 has been a good start for the year. In several areas we have cause to rejoice, though there is one problem still with us we wish had disappeared with 2005. Pray that the Lord will accomplish His purpose in a major church split here in town. The Evangelical churches here are getting ready to celebrate the centenniel of the arrival of the Gospel in Huehuetenango, and the publicity generated by the split of the oldest church (99 years) does not help get a good hearing.

During the last week of 2005 we printed 5,000 booklets of 5 lessons apiece for the children's classes in the villages of San Mateo, and the first week of 2006 we met with the teachers to help them understand how to use the books. We have heard since that the classes have picked up new students now that there is more attractive material. We trust that this means we will reach more children for Christ. We have named a national coordinator for the program, and she has really gotten to work. Pray for Nelly Lopez and her husband Rene. We are also working to get legal recognition for the program, and to get it into a Christian school with some 300 students.

Two young ladies from the Jacaltec church in Pebilpam came by here on their way to study at the Guatemalan Bible Seminary, and told us that the Jacaltec New Testament is being used enthusiastically by the churches in the area. This was good news. We hope to get it in audio form soon and see if playing it while the books are being offered for sale may increase the interest among the general population.

Dr. Alfred Tepox, the United Bible Society consultant for the Chuj Bible project, was with us 5 days for what we hope will be our last checking session. The process of preparing the text for type-setting and printing is going more slowly than we had hoped. Keep praying for that.

Close to 25 years ago we had a vision of the 6 languages in our area each having the whole Bible. The San Mateo Chuj will be the 3rd finished; Mrs. Jean Stratmeyer is working on a 4th, and today may mark a milestone toward the 5th. Mr. and Mrs. Arvid Westfall, of Wycliffe Bible Translators, who translated the Acateco New Testament, are right now on a bus heading this way to look into the possibility of working with a group of Acateco men who have started working on their own to translate the Old Testament. They have gotten through Exodus. Pray for the Westfalls and the Lord's leading in this. And pray too for the Lord to send the right person or people to do the Jacaltec O.T.

Your fellow servants,

David and Helen Ekstrom

Tue Nov 29 22:08:26 2005

Huehuetenango
Guatemala
December 2005

Dear Support Team,

Since our September letter to you, things have not been overly exciting. Translation is not a spectator sport. The excitement comes later. Most of the time we have been working on 2 computers with 2 or 3 translators about 7 hours a day. Our efforts have been spent going over one book after another to do a final polishing. Helen has been working with Ambrosio revising the New Testament published in '93. Ovidio and I are trying to finalize the Old Testament. Pascual manages to break away from his pastoral duties in San Mateo, and works with whichever team can best use his help at the moment. The church in San Mateo now runs a Christian day school and a radio station in Chuj. Praise the Lord for that.

There was an effort to force us to change alphabets, but we finally decided we would only add an apostrophe to all the Chuj d's. Unfortunately the computer still does not know when a word is Chuj and when it is a name or a borrowed Spanish term, so many words have to be corrected one at a time. That means many hours of tedious work.

November 21-23 about 30 church leaders from various villages spent time
listening to the reading of portions of many books of the Bible, and
commenting on the choice of words, clarity of expression and other matters. Our feeling was that there was probably 98% agreement, and compromise was reached on the other 2%. All told we were thankful to the Lord for an encouraging couple of days.

And we needed some encouragement. Here the oldest church in
Huehuetenango just short of it's 100th anniversary has been split in a
heart-rending conflict, and we don't know how it is going to end, but
seeking a solution has taken many hours. At the same time jealousy between pastors is threatening to take several men out of their ministries in the association of Chuj churches. Please pray about these matters.

May the Lord give you a wonderful Christmas season. Thank you for standing with us this past year.

David and Helen Ekstrom

Fri Sep 9 12:36:14 2005

Dear Support Team,

You who receive this letter know that the Jacaltec New Testament has been very much on our minds for some years, so it is a joy to report to you that it is now in the hands of the people. Praise the Lord for all His help over the years. The dedication was scheduled for 9 AM the 20th of August. A caravan of 5 vehicles set out at 4:30 in the morning by the shortest and best route, hoping to get breakfast near the village of San Marcos where the service was to be, and be on location at 8:30. But the Lord had other plans. About 45 minutes down the Pan-American Highway we were blocked by a huge landslide, so had to turn around, come back to our starting point, get breakfast, and leave again at about 8:00 by the least long of the alternate routes. We arrived at our destination at 1 PM to find most of the people still waiting for us, eating the dinner that was supposed to end the celebration. Since it was starting to rain heavily and we had to return over unpaved roads, some still under construction, we skipped the dinner and got down to the reason for which we had come.

The building was packed full of people from various villages and even another town. There was a good bit of special music, a short message by Helen's nephew Jim, a pastor in Chicago, and then a short dedication ceremony, with recognition of the principal ones involved in the project and a dedicatory prayer. Then we set up things to sell New Testaments. Willy and Amarilys Peralta took on the job of handling sales, which left us free to greet the folks. We sold 173 New Testaments to people there and left 240 more with various ones to sell in other places. (There are still about 2,200 stored in our upstairs guestroom. Pray that these will start getting out to other places soon.) It was a blessing to us to see the joy of the people getting copies of God's Word in their own language. At 3:15 we piled into the vehicles and headed home, arriving at 8:30, and everyone found something to eat for dinner-supper before heading for bed and a well deserved rest. We praised the Lord that we had been able to accomplish our mission, and that the people had waited for us to show up. The next morning we all had breakfast together and the Bible Society folks headed back to Guatemala City. You will find a picture of the sales attached. Willy and Amarilys are in the foreground. Notice one lady holding 4 copies of the New Testament. Several people brought multiple copies to be able to give to their families and friends.

Jim and his wife Jan were with us for another week, but we stayed with more civilized touristing, figuring they had seen enough of the outback for one trip to Guatemala. We are now back to working full time finishing the Chuj Bible. Thank you for your prayers for the Jacaltec project. You can now praise the Lord for that, and continue to pray for promised $40,000 toward the printing of that.

Praising the Lord for His goodness,

David and Helen Ekstrom

The ship bringing the Jacaltec New Testaments should be docking any day and they hope to have those New Testaments available in early July. They heard that those New Testaments are already being recorded for distribution on cassettes. The men doing the recordings said that they were very pleased with the ease of understanding the text, which they had not seen before. They had a Dr. Tepox from the United Bible Societies to help with the Chuj Old Testament. They have finished the first draft of the Old Testament and have polished a revision of Proverbs that was published in 1993. They also want to revise the New Testament and Psalms that was published in 1993. David and Helen are on the recently restructured Youth Ministries team for CAM in Guatemala. Helen is on the Missions Mobilization team, and David works with the Media and Non-formal Education teams. There has been a surge of interest in the churches of Guatemala in sending out missionaries, especially to the Muslim fields. David and Helen have recently provided hospitality and transportation for visiting candidates headed for Africa, India and Turkey.

Biography