Affects of COIVID - 19 on our Missionaries
Please ask for God to grant our family health and protection here.
Join us in covering each of the national translators and their families in prayer at this time of intense spiritual warfare as we launch scripture for the first time in their language.
Pray for the impact of scripture to be multiplied because of the current situation.
We are praying that isolation efforts in this country are effective at stemming coronavirus for a vulnerable population with a fragile health care system.
Thanks for asking about us! Yes, we’re feeling overwhelmed. On top of locust swarms devouring crops to the east, internally displaced people to the north, Lassa hemorrhagic fever in countries next door and everyday malaria, now there are confirmed cases of coronavirus in our country of residence. That is why we are here. In the midst of uncertainty, we count it pure joy to bring hope and courage to people through Bible translation. Yes, translating God’s Word is part of essential services.
Emotions are mixed as we prepare for the launch of the newly printed New Testaments. It’s true that because of government limitations on any gatherings, we can’t invite everyone to a big celebration of the New Testaments. But on April 18 we are still planning to release the New Testaments and scripture phone apps. With people feeling unsettled, there are many opportunities for people to spend time absorbing God’s Word and listening to God. This is the same prayer we have for ourselves and for you at Granada!
Like many of you, we mostly stay at home and limit our outings to a minimum. Andy is working on scripture phone apps. (Send Andy a text or email if you have an Android phone and want to test-drive one of the apps). Both boys are now schooling from home as well. We are planning to remain at our current location in order to avoid international travel. The safest place is always in the center of God’s will. Pray for us to be good listeners to the Holy Spirit and for boldness to trust Him to do more than we can think or imagine (Eph 3:20).
Thanks for lifting us up in your prayers!
- For wisdom for the Cambodian government in decisions related to laws that will protect the Cambodian people and curb the spread of the virus.
- For the protection for our team and the Cambodian people from this virus, especially the poor. For peace in the midst of a lot of fear that is circling about the virus.
- For the Cambodian church to rise up as encouragers and those who spread hope and tangible help to their communities.
- For wisdom for me and my teammates in how we can be a blessing to the communities we are in, in the midst of minimal social contact with others
On a personal note, I am healthy, and I feel safe where I am. As the window of opportunity for international flights continues to close, I still feel peace about staying here in Cambodia rather than evacuating back to the States.
It’s been a struggle but also a joy to adjust to the daily life changes due to the virus, and to figure out how to make good use of my time each day, since I am not meeting face-to-face with youth as I was before. It's challenging to find new rhythms of staying connected to my English students and youth from the youth group virtually, but I'm hoping to keep trying and to find some rhythm in staying connected.
Along with my team here at YWAM, I have been going out to villages to distribute health information to village leaders so that they are more aware of the signs and symptoms of the virus, and how to protect themselves and their families. We have had some positive connections with village leaders, and meeting with villagers seemed to calm many people’s fears, especially the older population who is very fearful of the virus. Along with a team of others from YWAM and other believers in the Stung Treng community, we were able to cover most of the main areas of the province to get this information out to villages that may not have access to valid news sources, so we hope that this will be information that helps to prevent the spread of the virus!
Even though there are no major outbreaks here yet, we are still bracing ourselves for the worst, as we all know that numbers can jump quickly and without warning. It will be incredibly challenging for many hospitals here to effectively treat the more severe cases of the virus due to the lack of ventilators and other life-saving equipment available in-country. For that reason among others, if and when an outbreak occurs, it has the potential to hit hard and take many lives.
In addition, as we're all aware, there is a huge financial impact that comes along with the virus that hits all of us, especially the poor. With Cambodia being a developing country with many people living day-to-day, changes in the economy will impact especially those who are already living on the margin. We already see that happening in some ways even before any outbreaks occur here. Because I’d rather err on the side of preparing for worst-case scenarios instead of relaxing because there are not yet any major outbreaks, I’d love to ask you to join me in praying for Cambodia for these specific areas.
Thank you for praying! If there is any way I can be praying for you and your family, please let me know. I would love to pray for you too!
Dear GranadaOriginally, Steven was going to be the main speaker for our April Missions Sunday. However the Lord had different plans and he was not able to make it. Steven wanted to share a few thoughts and prayer requests."When we were there in 2013, you were an amazing partner and friend to us. We are so amazed and blessed that we have a Church like Granada who continually cares for us and our ministry! Here are a few things that we are very grateful!Maintain our facility - The Lord has provided the means to maintain the River of Comfort facilityStoring Clean water - We have the ability to store clean water for our seniorsSeniors are safe and can continue to do things like garden etc. that they enjoySeniors have been able to gain basic health insurance but remain pretty healthy during this timeReceive great gifts - especially the women have appreciated it and been able to give gifts that they have made2018 Granada team - We loved having the Granada team join us and do ministry with us. Such a blessing!Great Board - We are so thankful to have a great board that continually advocates for us!Thank you for your continued prayers Granada! Your partnership means so much to us!
- Pray for continued good health for the seniors at River of Comfort
- Pray for increased financial support
- Pray for provision for an kitchen
- Pray for Gods favor for wisdom and strength for us
- Pray for good communication, for good connections and that we would be able to make good progress on the sites in spite of working remotely.
- Pray for spiritual growth and faithfulness and peace during this time
- Pray continued safety for the whole family
So far we and our children with their spouses (and our granddaughter!) are healthy - and we are all able to work from our homes.
As of today many shops in Germany remain closed, except grocery stores, pharmacies, banks. Church services don't take place, but some churches have online services. I (Dan) had to postpone my trip to Senegal that was planned for March 22. Thankfully, we both can do a lot of our work from home. I will try to do the website teaching for the ndut team (and possibly two other teams) in Senegal via Skype. Pray for good communication, for good connections and that we would be able to make good progress on the sites in spite of working remotely. We are hoping to get the website for the Ndut team up and running ahead of the NT+Genesis dedication planned for the end of October. The next planned workshop is in Congo brazzaville June 20 to July 4. Pray for wisdom and timing for either booking flights - or rescheduling.
Our Director in Germany shared with us some thoughts in an email today on the subject of hope in this time of worldwide crisis - that we need it, and that it needs to come from outside of us. In this context she shared some verses on hope from Romans 5.1-5, and Rom 15.13 - think this last verse would be an appropriate one to use as you pray for us... I especially like the German New Geneva translation, which reads something like this (my translation from German) :
" So it is my prayer that God, the source of all hope, give you full joy and full peace in your faith, so that your hope would become ever more unshakeable through the power of the Holy Spirit "
- Pray for Neighbors: That I respond well to my neighbors. My automatic response to friends and neighbors nearby is to bake them a batch of cookies to express kindness and the hope of returned normalcy … but I’m afraid my apron strings are tied now as there is so much fear of the virus being spread by folks who don’t even feel sick … Hmmm. BUT I still want to minister to those nearby (my neighbors). Please pray that I can determine what I can do that will truly minister to them – to point them to a God who does care and is the source of all comfort.
- Pray for Health: That I make wise decisions in terms of my own health. Because I am in that vulnerable category (due to age, and longstanding medical conditions) I also need wisdom to know how to respond in terms of people contact, and the grace to live well in solitude for the foreseeable future
- Pray for Provision: For my little community of Pine River … that God would provide in amazing ways so that those whose bank accounts will be impacted by the closure of schools, churches, and service industries will still have their needs met, and will be pointed to God so that He will be glorified. I believe only the Lord can pull this off!
- Pray for Spiritual revival: I have to say it. That there will be repentance of our pride in our national “greatness” and instead a humble recognition that only God is great – so that everyone will lean on Him for discerning responses, rather than relying on human ingenuity. We may be intelligent, well educated, and with a plethora of resources … but only God is omniscient! I say this with three fingers pointing at me as well as the one pointing outward to those in our national, state, regional, and local governments.
Contributing to the cause of Bible translation, now through sociolinguistic consulting, is a joy. This week I had a chance to again encourage a colleague in her academic writing. It takes a lot of grace and humility to put one’s work before the eyes of another for critical review. It has been so good to be able to work with her … to enjoy this collegiality.
I also received an e-mail from a former student asking for prayer and advice in approaching a knotty dialect situation where he is currenting working (Cameroon, Africa). I did my best to give him avenues for consideration that could help him determine whether a revision of a New Testament was advisable, as well as the possibility of potential use of that same New Testament in a related language variety. I so enjoyed the collegiality of interacting with this former student. He and his wife were so easy to work with when they were students in my class, and still a joy to interact with as peers in missions.
This week the five of us working on the “understanding language ecologies” (ULE) questionnaire brought it to pilot stage. It has been great to contribute in collegiality with the four men, and now be blessed by the collegial cooperation of two special couples, friends from my years in Papua New Guinea, who are willing to help us pilot test the questionnaire. The goal of this work is to track the changes of the sociolinguistic environment of languages through the years of a translation program.
I also received my statement from Wycliffe this week. I felt such a great sense of gratitude for the faithfulness of my financial supporters. These dear men and women (whether as church polities or individuals) continue to partner with me and make it possible for me to continue in collegial contribution to the cause of Bible translation throughout the world.
You too are part of the collegiality I have sensed this week. The power of coordinated prayer with and for me is vital. How I thank you. It also has been so good to be able to hear from some of you and to pray with you for issues that you are facing. You honor me. In truth we are colleagues in the best sense of the term – here on earth, and in the praises of heaven to come.
Prayer Points for this week - May 11-17:
Meetings - I have one or more Skype meetings scheduled every day this week but Tuesday. By definition skype is a conversation, which, if it is to be productive, is based on listening well, hearing between the lines when necessary, and responding clearly.
Technology - Skype depends on technology working well – including the interface between me and this machine. Thank you for praying that the computer – program – ether net – and I would work in a pleasing symphony of coordination – so that these meetings can occur!
Work – That I will have the creativity to be able to work with positive productivity, balancing both life and responsibilities as a consultant, in the conscious awareness of the Lord’s companionship and direction.
May the Lord bless you, my friends. I wish for you a very, very good week – surrounded by the Lord’s presence and evident love.
Updated: 8/20/2020Prayer Requests:Dear Friends,
Warm greetings to you from St. Louis! I trust you and your families are doing well and staying safe during these interesting times!!
The Spencer clan is doing great. Sam and Charlotte start classes at John Brown tomorrow, and Lord willing, will be able to stay through Thanksgiving! Stephen begins high school and Esther will be the 6th grade.
We have submitted our first important application with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET)! This is big news! We have been working on this document for the last 18 months! Praise the Lord!! Our next application will be with the Council on Higher Education (CHE), regarding accreditation. We are hoping to submit this application in the next few weeks.
One of the our most pressing needs is to develop Student Module Guides. These are a glorified syllabus. Every student receives this document for every course. We have a team of educators writing SMG’s for our business courses (our first degree will be a Bachelors in Business Administration). Now we must focus on our Bible and liberal arts courses.
I’m looking for Christian university professors here in America to donate the following courses (see below), which we will take and blend with a South African course model. Please note, we are only doing this to meet government requirements for curriculum approval.
- Old Testament Survey
- New Testament Survey
- Comparative Religions
- Christian Theology
- Essentials of Philosophy
- World History
- Introduction to Fine Arts
- Introduction to PsychologyThank you for your help! I know everyone is busy, but I am under deadline and I need assistance sooner than later!!
- Pray for Malawi as a nation that they will be protected from the virus spreading further. Their health system cannot cope with large numbers of sick people, and people will fall into further poverty and hunger if the country has an extended shut down.
- • Pray for the students in public primary and secondary schools who do not have access to books or E-learning. They rely on the notes they copied from the chalkboard. Pray that the notes they are studying will help them continue to learn during the shutdown of the schools.
- • Pray for the youth in our sponsored communities (villages). Pray that they will continue applying their Why Wait? Biblical life skills in their day-to-day activities, and for great spiritual growth during this time! Pray they will not fall into temptation, but use this time to do good and serve others!
- • Pray for the hundreds of kids and youth who can no longer visit SAFE Haven’s programs during this shutdown. Pray they and their families remain safe, and the building and equipment at SAFE Haven is protected from theft or damage.
- • Pray for the many people that have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior through Bible study groups and the Our Savior’s Church Ministry that was begun at Kachindamoto. Pray they can continue meeting during this time!
- Pray for the released inmates who became Christians and received discipleship and training while in prison. Pray that they will stand in their faith back in their communities. Pray God will use them! Some of these prisoners are being released because of the virus.
- • Pray for justice in the country following the court’s announcement about finding corruption in the last presidential election. Pray for the new election July 2, that it is fair, no violence and accepted by all parties.
- • Pray for our 88 caregivers (preschool teachers) and 44 cooks to be kept safe as well as the 1,186 little girls and 1,033 little boys in our CBCCs.
- • Pray especially for the gogos in Malawi who will be some of the most vulnerable to the virus.
- • Pray for God to provide just what is needed. Like many other ministries, we had several major
fundraisers cancelled due to the virus --- But God!
Charlotte Day celebrated her 90th birthday April 30. She has shown us what it means to be face to face with our sisters and brothers in Christ in Malawi and face to face with our Lord as we pray for one another.
Thank you Lord for…
• Protecting all our village communities as well as us as SAFE staff from the COVID-19 virus until now. It has only been found in the 3 larger cities so far.
• The good seed of God’s truth that has been planted in gogos, children, youth, teachers, students and inmates as they wait to see if the Corona Virus is going to reach their area.
• Charlotte Day’s successful surgery for a broken femur. Giving thanks that she was able to celebrate her 90th birthday with her family – She is well on the road to recovery here in the U.S.
• Charlotte’s Birthday with a Purpose that helped to raise funds that will meet some of the needs in Malawi during this shutdown.
Last Updated: 7/30/20
- Pray that the Lord may keep us strong in faith and that we will play our part to protect ourselves and others from contracting the virus
- Pray that God will provide for the guardians taking care of ByGrace kids, for wisdom and provision. Loss of jobs will soon lead to impoverishment.
- Pray for wisdom and extra funds for ByGrace to reopen in the Fall.
- Pray for Stephen as he continues to minister to people in Africa as president of African Enterprise
"Thank you so much for you love and continued support. We are praying for all of you, our friends and partners and we know we are in this together. May the Lord heal the nations of the earth. May Lord manifest his power and knowledge in helping us find a solution. May the Lord use this season to bring many souls to Himself. May the Lord bless Granada."
- Schools have been closed in the last two weeks and at least for another two. Hence, all our children of ByGrace Children’s Home are living with their guardians, usually relatives living in the slums and other poverty-stricken areas. Currently, those from Nairobi are travelling back to their villages where they think they will be free from the virus. Unfortunately, the government has confirmed that some cases are being exported into the rural areas from the urban areas, just like the first around 15 cases of those who tested positive imported the virus from abroad – US, UK and Italy, among others.
- Most people are working from home including Stephen and I. This is a sharp learning curve for most students and staff. Thankfully, I have been already teaching online and Stephen has already been having most of his international and African board meetings online. We however have been experiencing some frustrations due to some delayed processes and procedures emanating from those who do not want to transition and those who are facing various limitations. I continue to pray that we will make good progress and continue offering our students the much learning and services that they need from us. We also pray that we will be able to minister to each other even as we go through a very difficult season.
- The Mbogo family is still full house (20) as the semester continues through online learning. We have set tight rules with the children and as a family we are doing our best to keep adequate social distancing. We are taking the opportunity to learn new skills and pray for the nations of the world.
- While food and other supplies are accessible, their cost has escalated even as the Kenya shilling has drastically weakened.
- Stephen continues his powerful ministry as president of African Enterprise. Visit their website to see their powerful work: https://africanenterprise.com/
- Pray that the Lord may keep us strong in faith and that we will play our part to protect ourselves and others from contracting the virus
Last Updated: 8/20/20
- For “Aisha” and other “Aisha’s” and “Hasan’s” who have believing conversational partners, that God would open their eyes to the gospel through the loving witness we are giving.
- For continued direction and progress in making the Window to the World ESL curriculum an excellent and well used vehicle for connecting with those the Lord is drawing to himself.
- For Matt and Jenna as they finish up details for the wedding and their new home. That we all would be filled with God's spirit of LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS AND SELF-CONTROL.
- For Steve and I as we fly to Des Moines this coming Sunday, the 16th (Matt's 30 birthday! and my sister's anniversary!) For good health precautions everywhere and that we would be a huge source of encouragement to everyone we meet.
- Thank God with us for his rich provision and the health that we both have!
I want to start by saying from the bottom of my heart a HUGE THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYING FOR US AS WELL AS FOR YOUR GENEROUS GIVING.
It has been quite awhile since I’ve written.—I won’t make excuses! You understand the realities of Covid life as well as I do! We pray you have kept well. Steve and I have pretty much stayed at home, even having our groceries delivered by InstaCart, which I used for my dad long-distance for several years! I have been able to go back to the early morning YMCA routine, which has been a life-saver for me physically and emotionally and mentally—getting those endorphins going! Steve and I have also been walking our dog and have gone to a nearby mall to walk inside when it’s just too hot!
You likely know that I have a hard time with inactivity! God has wired me (and you, too!) uniquely and with a purpose. He gives me joy when I am using the gifts He has given me.
Well, I was minding my own business (literally as well as figuratively) a month ago when I read an ad in CRU Headquarters’ weekly on-line communication.Do you have 1 hour a week for 4 weeks to spend in a video conversation with an intermediate/advanced-level Middle Eastern English speaker? Help someone improve their English and explore spiritual topics.
Immediately I called to sign up, and thus began an amazing new friendship with a young woman I will call Aisha. We are having so much fun! I talk and laugh with her several times a week! She is thankful for the opportunity to improve her fluency and ability to communicate in our crazy irregular English language. I have taken some opportunities to share some lessons God has been teaching me. I asked her if she, as a Muslim, believes that God created the world. She did. I then said, "Recently when I was reading Bible, I was thinking about God creating the world in 7 days. He wasn’t in a hurry. He could have created the fish and the lions on the same day, but he didn’t have a need to “multi-task” and hurry. So why do we? It only increases our stress and worry!” She agreed. We speak on a video chat via WhatsApp.
I have been making steady progress with huge encouragement from our Global Mobilization Outreach Strategies team. I have written up the “Charter” that is needed for this project to be recognized and approved. I also have organized all of the work we have done in the past year and a half on the re-formatting and editing in our Shared Google Drive! This makes all of my files available to all with access to them to work collaboratively. I am grateful to say the least!
Last Updated: 7/30/20
- Pray more people would be hearing the Gospel message
- Pray FEBC can continue to be creative in presenting the Gospel message
As for the broadcast, we have every morning during weekdays a live morning talk-show from 08:00-10:00. Then we have a total of 5 different weekly live talk-shows on different topics, done by quality Christian specialists in the evenings, often with live guests in the studio. Additionally, we do have daily DJ hours, music, some recorded programs (Guidelines, Stories Within…). Besides the broadcast in the Kyrgyz language we do have a total of 3 hours daily broadcast in the Russian language. Most of the Russian language broadcast is live from the studios in Moscow and St.Petersburg. Special thanks to FEBC-Russia.
Female: Aisda (23): “Your broadcast about friendship today was great. It makes good sense that I need to be a friend in order to have friends. Somehow, your words hit me right in my heart. I can see now, why I am so lonely. I am making a decision to change and become friends to others. May God help me.”
We continue with the Kazakh broadcast 24/7 via Internet and social media. Every morning during weekdays we have a live morning talk-show from 09:00-10:00. Then there is another daily talk-show we call “Noon Tee” (12:00-13:00). During the afternoons and evenings we have a total of 5 different weekly live talk-shows on different topics and done by quality Christian specialists. Additionally, we do have some recorded programs (Guidelines, Stories Within…). Besides the broadcast in the Kazakh language we do have a total of 3 hours daily broadcast in the Russian language. Most of it is live from the studios in Moscow and St.Petersburg.
Male: Alli (42): “You talked about the temptation to get wealthy fast. Usually, there are big disappointments later. Putting material wealth above spiritual always leads to bad consequences. In my life, more wealth lead to disagreements and problems in marriage. I understand that it is healthy to work, provide for yourself and family. Real joy is in the good work, not in wanting more. I would like to tell your listeners, that they would not fall for getting rich fast. There are too many evil people who tempt you to invest in getting rich fast, even though, they know that it will lead you in to huge disappointment.”
Last Updated: 8/20/20
Isaac Manogarom passed away due to the COVID virus in June of 2020:Follow this link to watch the wonderful virtual memorial service that was made in his honor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmZw3MX4iE8&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR0EQbDX0nsMzbVv4le-C1dg7Wob_2YXnZe6AKCKPVGqC8wX7cwylq2FpccWhats next:Sitara plans to pursue her education with a medical degree in social work. While Tarun plans to take a break for a year to gain experience before pursing an MBA from BIOLA or Chennai.Moving Offices:For over twenty years, they have done ministry through a spacious office building. Many Joys, struggles, new ventures, hours of prayer, singing, brainstorm sessions, and fruitful ministry has all come from this office space. Now the 50 year old building is a cause of concern for the owners and they are considering complete demolition. So it is time to find a new space closer to the STEPS home that can be used as a space for ministry.Words from Tara Manogarom:Isaacs passing has left me bereft of everything that I knew and held dear. Though our grief is deep for this irreplaceable loss, we are challenged to carry the vision and mission of STEPS Home forward. Our immediate priority is to see that the STEPS girls continue to remain in a safe and protective environment. That they receive a fulfilling, enriching education and training that would lead to a lucrative career and enable them to live independent and stand strong, taking their rightful position in the world as godly, independent, well educated, caring, empathetic, individuals.
Pray for Tara, Tarun and Sitara as they mourn the loss of Isaac.
Pray for wisdom in the future leadership of STEPS Home
Pray for continued funds for the STEPS home
Pray for the 18 girls that mourn Isaac and continue to grow in their faith in his absence
Last Updated: 7/30/20
- Pray Lord may intervene in the current situation
- Pray to continue turning our eyes to Him who has conquered
- Pray for the poor who are in dire need
- Pray for Ministry to Continue
Funds received for this were used to make food packets that were distributed to many needy pastors and other in all counties served by TLAfrica. People were joyful to receive this assistance! The needs continue but there are others organizations that specialize in relief work, and TL Africa is glad to cooperate with them and help distribute relief supplies to all communities they reach.
Thousand Hills University
Great progress is being made on construction as funds are available. The most recent building project was the TLAfrica Conference Center Building Project. About $20,000 is needed to complete the next faze of the construction project.
The piggery has several mother pigs and a growing number of piglets. The chicken facility for the Sabbath Egg Project now has 400 hens and soon will be in full operation. A recent Women's Empowerment loan enabled a group of women to purchase sheep under Salome's supervision. Thats just one of the ways these micro loans are being used.
- Pray Lord may intervene in the current situation
Last Updated: 8/20/20
- Prayer for the family as school and work are all from home
- Prayer for health precautions with three kids
- Pray for continued faithfulness in ministry and home life
- Prayer for Salary deficit as a result of COVID
I have the general changes common to all of us in SoCal, but many missionaries who are with SEND International are facing more changes. Our folks in the big country in East Asia have been evacuated; Spain is under total lockdown (they get fined for being out of the house unless they’re going to the grocery store, pharmacy, or hospital). Nearly everyone in well-developed areas has had at least the same kinds of closures we’ve had (if not more). I’ve not heard yet what’s going on in rural Russia or rural Thailand. So, in-person ministry is certainly rare these days, but our communities still need the hope of Christ — now more than ever. Our folks are trying to be creative, reaching out via social media, texting, FaceTime, etc. to their contacts.
Eric and Josie are also very active at Granada. Josie makes it a point to serve both in the preschool and elementary departments when she is able. Currently, she leads a weekly small group of elementary students. So great to have her serving with her Church family.
Last Updated: 8/20/20
- Pray that these times of orientation would build a supportive learning community for these new global workers and provide them with the onboarding, encouragement, and training needed to prepare for fruitful future cross-cultural ministry.
- Pray for everyone to have adequate bandwidth and for freedom from technical difficulties.
- Pray for our member care team and other presenters as we invest in these new workers.
Thank you for your prayers! The Reconnect Retreat last month for home service missionaries went smoothly in spite of the complex mix of in person and virtual participation. So many good conversations! It was particularly moving to hear how God is moving through their ministries in Ukraine, Yukon Territory, Japan, and China!
We’re writing now to ask for your prayers THIS NEXT WEEK as we conduct Member Orientation (MO) for our newest appointees August 23-28. This will be our first fully virtual training, with 9 people spread from Washington state to central Russia (10-hour time difference)
In addition, please also keep the following needs in prayer over the coming weeks:
- Some missionary marriages are struggling and under attack. There are two we are currently working with, though no doubt there are others we are not yet aware of. Pray for softening of hearts, rebuilding of trust, improved communication and understanding, healing, and divine protection on these couples.
- Bruce is beginning his second year in the MA Counseling Psychology program at Moody Theological Seminary. This fall he will be studying Group Theory, Systems of Counseling, and Integrative Methods. Pray for discipline to balance work, school, and life and wisdom to incorporate concepts and skills learned into missionary care and development.
- Our son, Zach, will finish his internship this Friday, and then two days later will drive to Illinois to begin his final semester of college. He is also applying to begin an MA program at Denver Seminary in January. Pray for good closure for his internship relationships this week and his college experience this fall.
- Linda's 86-year-old mom continues to battle some chronic health issues that affect her ability to sleep and function and she seems to be getting weaker. Please continue to pray for her.
Last Updated: 7/30/2020
- Please pray that the seeds of the gospel will fall on good soil during this season of uncertainty and that people will find hope and salvation in Jesus.
- Pray for God's protection for Cambodia and her people--a major COVID outbreak here would be devastating, as hospitals are sub-par at best.
- Pray for God's provision for the poor who are being most impacted financially by the pandemic, and pray that the Cambodian church would be the hands and feet of Jesus to those who are suffering most.
- Diane's grandmother recently passed away. Prayer for her and the family and they grieve.
* In the early days of the pandemic, our team decided to focus on health education, distributing accurate information, and encouraging our church leaders to reach out with the good news of Jesus in the midst of wide-spread fear and unknowns here. Our teammate Scott designed a health pamphlet, and Fede put Bible verses on hand sanitizer for widespread distribution. As things have progressed, we're now trying to mobilize the churches to help those who are hurting financially due to this pandemic through food pantries and practical means. It is awesome to see God's people come together to help those in need.
* Cambodian churches have gradually moved to meeting online. First, Fede invited each of the pastors to make a video message to share via Messenger. After doing this for a few weeks, they began trying to meet together online through platforms like Messenger, Google meets, or Zoom. Most of the smaller house-churches have now resumed meeting normally, but the larger churches with church buildings have to wait for the official permission from the government before opening their doors.
*Recently the whole EFCSW Cambodia team (Swards, Hernandez and Elise Paty) met for a mini-vacation and retreat. It was a blessed time of connecting and rest.
Thanks to many of you for your sweet messages to us after last month's email. We got away for a week to France for our anniversary and didn't even have to do quarantine going there or coming back! It was so refreshing to be somewhere completely different and we enjoyed great weather, food, and fun.
Since last writing we have had news of several difficult situations for our colleagues around the world. The wife of a team leader died in India from a brain aneurysm and was buried there; 2 other families have just been asked to leave Morocco at short notice; several colleagues are stuck in countries they don't want to be stuck in. Please pray for all those affected. On top of all that, the terrible explosion in Beirut has impacted many as well. Several of our teams are ministering to residents. We cry out to God for mercy. We remember Jesus' words: In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33.
All the more reason to be praying during these challenging times! We will be joining many others (from our org and other orgs) for 40 Days of Prayer & Fasting starting on Aug 24. Individuals are encouraged to do this in whatever way they feel the Lord is leading them and we are looking forward to being united in purpose during this time. If you want to read more about it, check out this website where you can find many resources and more information. If you are interested in joining in, do let us know! You could choose one day during the 40 days when you will focus prayer on specific needs mentioned in the website or you could choose one day a week to join in. We anticipate connecting deeply with our Father and that He will hear our prayers and do His work among the nations.
Below find something a friend of ours wrote that we thought was quite thought provoking.
A Corona Lesson
It all started in one city. Within just a few weeks, it was all the city could talk about. Then the province was widely affected and in a precious few weeks the whole country was talking about it. People seemed to catch it everywhere. Work, weddings, travels, and meetings all became occasions for it to spread. Soon it was breaking out into other countries by people both coming and going.
In only 8 months, it had spread to 213 countries and territories and there were 22.5 Million people affected. Actually, EVERYONE was affected in some way. Rich, poor, educated, uneducated, people from every imaginable race and language...everyone seemed to catch it. Nobody could hide, even if they tried to isolate themselves.
I think you know that I am talking about the Coronavirus (COVID 19), but that is not my point.
My point is this. COVID 19 has taught us a very important lesson for prayer. Once something starts to really spread, the whole world is interconnected. In only 8 months, every nation on earth is talking about and shaped by something powerful that happened in one little place in one city.
We have learned a lesson about the power of multiplication. Now, we need to pray that "the rumors of your kingdom" would flood the earth. No place is safe. No country can prevent its entry. When revival spreads, it will take the whole world. Look at the proof all around you in the past 8 months.