Archive for March, 2011

March Prayer Letter

March 9, 2011 8:10 pm

Dear Praying Friends,
We have just finished summer vacation and the school children are returning to classes. Yes, they really do things backwards in the southern hemisphere. We even walk upside down! We had a good summer with a couple of relaxing weeks, but we are ready to get back into the full swing of ministry.

I appreciate your continued prayers for my friend Victor. Many people are praying for his salvation and he has shown some signs of understanding his position before God, but is still completely reliant on his own ability to earn his way to heaven. Victor, for those who may not remember, is an 86 year-old bicycle builder who has become a dear friend to us.

Recently one of Victor’s clients told me about a deaf man who lives near Victor’s bicycle shop. It took three visits to the man’s house to finally make contact with him. He is in his forties and does not know any sign language. He made it clear that he was not interested in church and did not want us visiting him. However, I told the family that we offer sign language classes at the church. They seem to be interested in the classes. Pray for Walter and his family that we will be able to minister to them and see them saved.

Our sign language students in the church are doing well. One lady is interpreting anything we throw at her. Even with the basic vocabulary she has, she has an amazing ability to interpret what the preacher is saying. She will continue to improve as she gains more knowledge of sign language. Both she and her husband will be going to the Deaf Association with me to take classes and begin getting involved in the deaf community. We also have two other students who are beginning to interpret. We are excited about how the students have matured in their sign language skills over the last couple of months.

For the last two months I have gone to another deaf church to preach for them. I will be doing this on a monthly basis. I took some of the students from our church to help them get a bigger burden for the Deaf in the country. I will be taking different workers for our church with me each time I go.

Pray as we look for other churches where we can train Christians interested in the deaf ministry. We are currently talking with one church in the city of Buenos Aires about teaching a class there. We would like to be in a few other churches before our time in Argentina comes to a close later this year.

It is hard to believe that we have been in the country for a year. We arrived on March 17 last year. While some things in the ministry seemed to take a while to get started, we are thrilled at how far things have progressed recently. Before we can confidently say that our ministry is done here, there are a few other tasks that we feel the Lord would have us accomplish. Please pray with us that we will have wisdom and direction over the next few months.

March 2011 Prayer Letter PDF

Prayer Needs

March 7, 2011 10:48 am

Two recent events have brought to mind how helpless we are to humanly control all that happens. However, God, through prayer, can give grace and comfort.

Last week a friend from high school lost her husband in a car accident. While I have not kept in close contact with Debbie through the years, I think of her fondly when I look back at the God-given opportunities for ministry. We started picking up Debbie on the church bus when I was probably 15 or 16 and she was about 12. She grew up in a family situation that is foreign to me. God graciously saved her and she has been a spiritual encouragement to me. Each time I have seen her through the last 20 years since high school, I am excited to see that she still loves the Lord and is eager to please him.

My heart is broken for her and her two children at the thought of losing her husband, also a committed Christian who served the Lord. I can’t imagine the pain and heartache she is experiencing. But, I pray that the Lord would give her grace and strength during this time and in the weeks, months and years to come as she continues to look to the Lord for help.

This weekend my dad was admitted to the hospital. Currently we still don’t know the extent of what is going on physically with him. While this certainly does not seem to be a life-threatening problem, it reminds me of how far away from home we are. It is not as easy as jumping in a car and driving 6 or 16 hours to be with him and Mom.

As I was praying this morning I thanked the Lord for His mercy. But I also thought about the many missionaries I know who have gone through tough emotional times because of illness or death and were not able to be close to family during that time. Let me encourage you to find out what is going on in the lives of the missionaries you support and pray for them as you would want to be prayed for when going through heartache.

Back to School!

March 3, 2011 9:22 am

Yes, it is just now March, but it is time to start the new school year in South America. Most of the younger children started this week while the older grades have a couple more days of freedom. This means that ministry will be ramping up again. Through the summer months we have been surprised as to how much things slow down in everyday life as well as ministry. Certainly things have not shut down completely, but vacations have kept us away from many of our normal activities.

We have been a little disconnected from the deaf community during the last couple of months because of the vacation time. But this has given us time to focus on polishing up the interpreters we have in the church. There are 3 ladies who are starting to interpret. While they are all at different levels, they are progressing well. Two of the husbands are learning sign language as well, but as seminary students they have not been able to dedicate as much time to the deaf ministry.

This week I also go back to school. Sign language classes in the local Deaf Association start again. Two of the church members will be going to sign language class with me (though they will be in a different level). They are not going because they feel they need more instruction than what I can provide. Rather, they are going as an opportunity to connect themselves more to the deaf community. That thrills my soul! While we are not yet done in Argentina, we feel like we could walk away at any time and God would continue to do a great work through the students.

Please continue to pray as we seek God’s leading daily in the ministry.