G and C, Kenya (as of April 30)
Asking for wisdom to navigate COVID-19 chaos and to know how to encourage local leaders in keeping their fellowship alive and well but also knowing how to reach out to the broken world around them. Their Sudanese son John, is also a high risk for contracting the virus as he is still recovering from TB. So prayer for his health and bible translation project are needed. Praise points are the increased time to prepare for leadership meetings, a house in the country with plenty of water, room for a large garden and increased meetings with a number of key emerging young leaders via Zoom.
A. Funk, France (as of April 16)
I have been able to create kids programs and videos for my online church meetings, participate in many team meetings, and enjoy meeting with friends in video chats. I have also been able to connect through telephone with an older lady in my running group who recently had a family member commit suicide. I am asking for prayer for me and this lady as we walk through a difficult season of life together. On a positive note there has been an increase in people attending online church meetings and participating in the church group chat.
Mike and Carolyn Reimer, Winnipeg (as of April 20)
They are thankful that after adding 150 additional missionaries to Avant in the merger last year there is still a feeling of family and missionaries are caring for each other. That their Winnipeg office has been able to stay open with the finance department taking turns. Also that they have enough to eat, a warm house, clothes and a purpose in life. They are also thankful that Derek and Kirsten have been able to raise all their support in their work with YFC. They ask that you pray with them for God’s wisdom for their kids in to how to adjust their plans due to the pandemic. Devan as he continues to raise support, and that he will be able to travel to Kansas City for the final step in his training. Also for Carolyn as she figures out what changes need to be made for the Bible Day Camp she directs in August.
M and H, Spain (as of June 2)
They are slowly coming out of the national lock down. Yet they are required to wear masks in public, keep their distance from others, and they must stay inside their province. This means that the Discovery Bible Study that M led is on hold. Most of their connections have been through online video chats. They’re praising God that B and C have finished school and that H has been back at School (ECA). They are asking for you to pray with them for continued health and staffing needs at ECA for the next school year and for the DBS to start up again.
Jeremy Warne, Sicily (as of May 28)
Jeremy has been through quite a lot in the last couple of weeks. His apartment was broken into by his landlord’s son who struggles with a drug addiction. Thankfully Jeremy wasn’t hurt and only money was stolen. Through this Jeremy has had good opportunities to share the gospel with his landlord and his wife. He has also been able to start practising with his baseball team again and there church has started meeting in their building. Jeremy asks that you pray with him for his landlord and his wife, along with their son. Also for his teammates and his language teacher. He asks that we pray for him as well that he would proclaim the gospel clearly as he should.
Adam and Luba Nikkel, Ukraine (as of May 8)
Adam and Luba have still been able to continue to connect with orphans who have phones since the orphanages have closed their doors to protect the kids. They’re also trying to figure out how to remodel their summer programs for the kids. As for church they have been able to meet online through Zoom. They ask you to pray for the kids that they don’t feel abandoned since people aren’t able to visit, and for the single moms trying to put food on the table for their little ones. You can praise God for ways to connect with the grads and orphans online, and that God has continued to lead them through these uncertain times.
Daryl and Molly Porter, Ukraine (as of June 9)
Daryl and Molly have been stuck in Alberta as they have been unable to find flights back to Ukraine after their home assignment. They are also figuring out how they will plan their retirement as they announced back February that they will be stepping back next October. Now that their timeline has been thrown out the window they are unsure of how that will play out. They are asking you to pray for continued gifts towards the Lighthouse ministry project, a Ukrainian pastor for the Bridge Church and for someone to come to Krivoy Rog to help with SEI follow-up.
Dave and Judy Wright, Northern Saskatchewan (as of June 9)
Dave and Judy are praising God for His continued faithfulness as their ministry took a turn because of COVID-19. They were able to continue the second level of Establish with a northern group and the first third with another northern group. Things went quite smooth with the material through video conferencing but still wasn’t the same as face to face interactions. They have had good feedback from participants saying that they have gone from feeling insignificant to a sense of greater value through Christ’s work on the cross. They ask that you continue to pray for wisdom, strength and team unity as they continue to implement Establish. Also for their meeting with team leaders in Ontario as they explain the foundations of Establish, and for their trip to BC to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.
Tom and Candice Scatliff, Indiana (as of June 10)
Tom and Candice are celebrating their 6 years of ministry and are deeply thankful for the continued support and prayers from those who have partnered with them. They are also thanking God in the ways that He provided for the Congolese people that they were working with a year ago. The garden that was planted and the radio systems that Tom was working on have been an incredible blessing in the midst of the pandemic. Also continue to pray for the health of their son William.
Shirley Unger, Germany (as of June 21)
Shirley has completed her time in Germany and is back in Winnipeg for a home assignment over the summer. She has completed her self quarantine but she is still looking for a vehicle to help her get around to visit.
Rudy and Wilma Toews, Paraguay (as of June 3)
Rudy and Wilma are very thankful for all the encouragement that they’ve received over the last two years as they’ve dealt with Rudy’s health issues. Despite these setbacks they still have a passion to reach the lost and desire to back on the mission field soon. They recently had a cistern built by some Spanish construction workers. Rudy felt the need to share the gospel with them even though their Spanish isn’t great. So they invited them for a BBQ and invited some other missionaries who can speak Spanish and they shared the gospel with them and all five accepted Jesus into their lives. They were connected with a pastor who will mentor them as they walk with the Lord. Along with these men and Rudy’s health you can pray for Rudy and Wilma as they are missing Giovanni, since he decided to live with his biological family.
Ruth Dueck, Winnipeg (as of April 27)
Ruth has been using her time during the lockdown to pray and fast since she is no longer able to meet with her Japanese student (Yurika) and her daughter. She is able to keep in contact with the students through texting and calling. You can pray for these students Ruth is ministering to as they are away from family and having to deal with everyday life on top of the pandemic. You can also pray that Ruth is refunded her plane ticket from March when she was supposed to travel to Japan for some church conferences.
Roland and Marilyn McQuade, BC (as of April 8)
Roland has still been able to work from home creating training videos for their summer missionaries working at bible camps. Please pray that camps will be able to operate in some capacity so that kids will be able to hear the gospel. In a previous newsletter they mentioned the need for One Hope Canada to make up 20% of their finances due to the passing of a number of financial partners. Since then they have made up 10% of that need. So with that need, pray also for wisdom for ministry leaders this summer as they plan camps that will look very different, and also thank God that he has provided Roland and Marilyn and their kids with jobs and other provisons.
Ernest and Effie Dyck, Latin America (as of June 24)
Ernest is super full this week with online meetings of check-ins with team members, a couple of new classes on House church topics, and the on-going coaching times.
Effie’s days have been packed with making sure she takes “eyes off the computer” breaks. Her team in Tegucigalpa are taking seriously the learning how to write Bible stories. Unfortunately they bit off a very ambitious project – to write lessons for a whole year for their church’s home groups! Other than Effie’s mind working hard to keep Bible story details in the right story, and juggling on-line meetings – she is doing great! Her prayer request is not to grow weary in reading and rereading the written lessons while guiding each one through the process; and that she can get them to a point where they can actually help each other in editing their lessons.
Kirk and Pattie Durston, Ontario (as of April 27)
Kirk has been able to pour 100% of his time into creating online content for his website; kirkdurston.com. They have been able to connect with a lot more people through this online platform than previously through speaking engagements. This new platform is through Power to Change, and is called Digital Strategies. Patti has been able to train mentors who are able to help answer questions from people who have read Kirks material. Kirk is asking for that you would pray for creativity as he creates new material. Patti asks that you would pray for new mentors and the wisdom to know how to respond to the many people who have concerns and questions especially in these times.
Lorne and Joan Geisbrecht, BC
Continue to pray for Lorne and Joan’s grandson.
Jerry and Ang Doerksen, Okinawa, Japan (as of May 13)
Jerry and Ang have been teaching back at school since May 26. During the lockdown they enjoyed the smaller groups of students that they were able to teach online. This created some very meaningful conversations. Especially with a young Chinese student that Ang had. She said that she could feel the warmth from the Christian teachers, and loves it when they pray for her. They also enjoyed the benefit of their family growing closer together and getting to share experiences that they otherwise wouldn’t have seen. They are asking that you pray for them to know how to love those around them, their students, for churches to continue to meeting again, unity in the staff at school, for new staff coming who have visa troubles, for current relationships with students, staff and people in the community to move deeper, for a chance to connect with their family and friends, and for wisdom in discerning if they should stay in Japan past 2020/2021.
Bernice Hildebrandt, Germany (as of April 26)
Germany is hoping to ease some of the lockdown restrictions for schools on May 4. Students from grades 11 and 12 will be allowed to return to school, under strict hygiene and social distancing rules, so that they will be able to complete their final exams by the end of the school year. There has been no decision on allowing elementary school children to return so we, at CSK, continue to plan lessons and provide materials for remote learning. Parents are now very busy supervising lessons at home. Last week my co-teacher and I met with our whole class online. The students were very excited to see one another again, and spoke about how much they miss school and being together in person. Parents and students are trying to make the best of these unusual times, but it is challenging for everyone.
I appreciate the prayers of my church family so much. I am healthy and doing well. Though there are apparently cases of COVID-19 in my small town, most people around me are very cautious and this is not a hotspot. Thankfully Germany is also allowing us to leave our homes for exercise, so my daily walks have been very therapeutic. There are lots of uncertainties about the future, but God provides an anchor for me. I recently heard a meditation on Jesus' words to the disciples when they say him walking towards them on the water during a storm. "Take courage. It is I. Don't be afraid." Mark 6:50. So in the midst of all that is changing in our world, I know Jesus is here and his presence brings peace and calm.
Pamela Walford, Suriname (as of June 16)
Pamela just arrived in Winnipeg, last week and is currently in quarantine. Before she left Suriname, she had started a food bank with the help of Rachel and Joshua. Joshua has also been participating in an impromptu bible school with Pamela to deepen his faith. There is much to pray for, Rachel needs prayer to locate food for the food bank and to help take care of the ladies group, along with her daughter Annabella. Also pray for the ladies group and the election aftermath. You can pray too for Joshua that his faith will continue to deepen.
Phil and Amy Cunningham, San Diego (as of June 17)
Phil and his family are in the process of moving their ministry to Montana. They are still with YWAM and plan to continue with STEPS of Justice. They are asking you to pray with them for the house that they are moving into, that they will be able to get a closing date by July 2 which is when they plan to be in Montana.
Matt and Andie Plett, BC (as of June 24)
Currently Matt and Andie and their family have sold their house and are focusing more on fundraising. Things have definitely been different this spring then we originally had planned. We are currently planning on a departure date of July 20. We have been busy working on our web page and connecting with supporters. Our support has been coming in and we are very encouraged. The YWAM Victoria team are connecting weekly via Zoom. It’s been great as we see God directing our path. It is slower than we would like but know and trust in His timing. We would love prayer for the location we are to land when we arrive in Victoria. Our original plan was to stay in our camper for the first month or so while we worked on finding a more permanent place to live, but with the pandemic it has made that search a little more difficult.