Sunday, April 5, 2020

Please Pray for Dougg and LeAnn Custer

Please pray for the Custers' during this uncertain time. Here are some ways that you can be praying for them:
1) We need someone who can take over the WorldVenture on-line learning system as the present coordinator is leaving in 2 weeks. 

2) Mobilizing for global missions is challenging when universities, Bible Colleges and churches are empty! Yet we know God's arm is not too short to move people, as they see many around the world dying from the Corona virus, who have never heard the name of Jesus. Our team is connecting with contacts with notes, via social media or through video calls. Pray God will mobilize people into His harvest through WorldVenture even during / using this pandemic.

3) Like all churches and ministries right now, WorldVenture is dependent on generous giving. We are well aware that some of those givers will undergo financial hardships during this pandemic and beyond. Pray that God will provide through whatever means He desires to use to keep WorldVenture able to fulfill its mandate of sending global workers to the billions who don't know Jesus.

4) Pray that God will give us opportunities to share the gospel with neighbors and others we come in contact with. Pray for Monica and Christy, to whom I sent the book "More than a Carpenter".

5) A praise is that so far things have been working pretty well for our WorldVenture personnel working remotely. Pray for continued good attitudes and progress in tasks that need to be completed.

Thank you for your love for us and your encouragement through prayer. We are grateful for you all.
Love, LeAnn and Dougg

How to Keep Calm During Uncertain Times

Today I was thinking about the recent instruction to make sure that you wash your hands long enough by singing the “Happy Birthday” song. I thought about how integral habits are to daily living. Habits are formed naturally, often without intentional forethought. New habits are hard to develop. Old habits are difficult to break.
I want to offer a few suggestions for you as you consider reshaping some of your own personal and household habits.
Don’t Sing Happy Birthday while washing your hands
Instead, choose a Bible verse or song phrase that will impart a biblical principle. Use this new habit to do more than cleanse the body, use God’s Word to strengthen the mind and heart.
Romans 10:17 reminds us that “faith comes through hearing the words of Christ”. W. A. Criswell said, “No word was spoken for God ever falls to the ground. Somehow, someway, in areas of life that we don’t understand and don’t know, God blesses it in his good purpose”. Use the new habit of frequent hand-washing to literally record audible sounds of God’s Words in your mind and hearts of those in your household. Instead of merely focusing on physical things, build a new habit that instills hope and faith against the very real fears we face in this uncertain time.

Don’t Worry

Paul gives a practical command in Philippians 4:4-9, don’t worry. Instead, he calls for establishing several habits of the mind and heart:
Don’t forget the riches of God’s goodness - “Rejoice in the Lord”. Start conversations in your home; brainstorm about ways you can rejoice in who God has revealed himself to be. Consider the ways you see his faithfulness and goodness in your lives, in the created world, in the ways he’s delivered his people in the Bible, in history, in your family lineage, etc.
Don’t forget God – Remember that God is near, “the Lord is at hand”. This can mean he is “not far from you”, (Acts 17) and/or that his return is imminent. Consider how much you would worry if Jesus was literally present in your home, sheltering with you. Talk about how different things would be in your household.
Don’t let worry rule - Replace to worry with prayer, pray specifically, purposefully and intentionally, instead of dwelling on things that create and foster anxiety and worry. Phil. 4:6 uses 4 different words do describe how to pray, instead of worrying:

Prayer - Engage God honestly with a meek heart

Supplication - Entreat God with humble requests

Requests - Explain the details of your agenda before God

Thanksgiving - Express heartfelt Thanksgiving, knowing that you’ve encountered the God of “Hesed” or steadfast love (see Pastor Daniel’s Sunday morning sermon from March 8th)

Don’t let worry rule - Rest in the promise of God’s protecting peace around your heart. Consider this as a “great exchange”…exchange worry with the promise that the God of Peace will protect you with His peace while you’re experiencing threatening circumstances.
Don’t let your mind and emotions run wild - renew your mind with “thoughts after God”, thinking on things that are true, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellence, praiseworthy.
Don’t forget to feed on God - Read, memorize, meditate and recite God’s WORD. Here are some favorites:

Psalm 19:7-11; Psalm 42:11; Psalm 46; Psalm 119:114; Psalm 119:165; Psalm 56:3; Isaiah 26:3; Isaiah 57:15; Isaiah 66:1-2
Romans 5:15; Romans 8:31-35; Ephesians 14:21; 2 Thess. 2:16-17

Don’t allow silence to become a blanket of gloom - Make your home a vibrant center of active, audible worship and praise; fill your home with good, godly music
Don’t keep your praise to yourself - Consider recording your worship to share with others, share music with others
Don’t despair - rest in the promise that the very God of Peace has promised to be with you in this trial
Don’t shut down - choose to obey God, practice these things as intentional, daily habits.
Don’t Isolate

I have had more touchpoints with people in the last two weeks than I normally have. These are because I’ve initiated them, but also many people have reached out to Janell and me. The most meaningful have been visual contacts through FaceTime, Zoom, and recorded YouTube. Other random emails and texts from people I’ve not heard from for a few years have been incredibly meaningful to me. This interaction is much different than normal but has been very fruitful and encouraging. Here are some ways for you to consider:

Start with your family, care group, neighbors
Reach out wisely, follow CDC guidelines

Use technology to share encouraging thoughts, scripture, helpful resources, music, poems, links, etc.

Cultivate intentional acts of love for others

Pray for people by name with specific requests for each person

Write out specific prayers and send them via text or email

Record prayers to send via WhatsApp, text, etc.

Offer to run errands for the vulnerable

Consider yard work and spring clean-up

Above all, DON’T LOSE HOPE.
Romans 15:10-14
“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people. Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples extol him. The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.I myself am satisfied with you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another."

Kent Kloter

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Coronavirus Playlists

Are you frustrated, fearful or even unsure of what the days ahead will bring?

Here are some song playlists to remind us about God’s goodness and care for us even during uncertain times:

Mike Chambers

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Please Pray for the Custers

Several days spent at Montana Bible College went great according to Dougg and Tim. Three students will be attending the Discover WorldVenture Weekend listed below. In addition, a Memo of Understanding was signed with the school for their students to do internships with WorldVenture in one of our restricted-access countries.
All of the candidates, who were interviewed on Febr. 24th and 25th did a great job and are now appointees with WorldVenture, planning to serve in Japan, Uganda, Taiwan, and places we can’t print! They gave rave reviews about the Pre-Field Training facilitated by Dougg and his team.


  • Thursday, March 4th, we leave for a ministry trip in Oregon.
  • March 7 Dougg will be doing two workshops on leadership at Pine Baptist Church in Halfway, Oregon. LeAnn will be speaking at a women’s event on "Playing Games with God". The preparation is done so please pray for the talks to be a help, challenge and encouragement to those who attend. And pray that many will accept the invitation to be a part of these events. Sunday Dougg will be preaching at the church.
  • March 9-11 will find us at the CB Northwest Enrichment Conference in Seaside where we hope to touch base with a number of pastors. Pray for good conversations, that they might know of people interested in missions in their churches, whom we could contact.
  • March 12 will be catching up with a few individual supporters.
  • March 13-15 Stanfield Baptist Church has also been a ministry partner with us since 1979 and we are looking forward to reconnecting with them this weekend!
  • March 17-19 Doug's team is hosting a Mobilization Pastor Gathering at our WorldVenture headquarters for the purpose of introducing pastors from TX, PA, NJ, and CO to the mission and our vision for making disciples around the globe. Pray they will connect with WorldVenture in such a way that they would want to partner with us in sending their members (who are a fit) to the lost around the world. 
  • March 20-22 Please pray for the Discover WorldVenture Weekend with 15 interested people from six states planning to attend. Pray that God gives them direction as to the next steps to pursue and that some would be desirous of serving with WorldVenture.
  • Dougg is involved with Jim Bull in organizing a golf fundraiser in AZ for WorldVenture. We need sponsors; please pray for them and if you are interested in giving, here is the link: 2020 WorldVenture Challenge. Pray that many golfers in the Phoenix area will sign up to be part of the fundraiser and that it will be a success.
  • WorldVenture leadership needs wisdom when it comes to COVID-19, the Coronavirus. With workers in 65 countries and staff coming and going, they are keeping close tabs on where the outbreaks are if our people would have adequate medical care in the event of contracting the virus, and whether they should be evacuated from their country of service or not. Short-term trips have been halted as we don’t want people getting stuck overseas, not being allowed back into the USA or having to be quarantined upon arrival.

Katrina was in charge of the props for the Black Forest Academy play.

Elli was recently baptized by her happy and proud dad.

Our Hawaii granddaughters at International Church of Oahu’s family camp.

Thank you for standing with us before the throne of grace!

Gratefully with Love,
Dougg and LeAnn

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Please Pray for Pablo and Judi Perez

Dear Prayer Team, 
   I (Judi) wish we could meet personally via Skype or Messenger etc. but this will have to do for now. Life has been almost a blur since we got back to Ecuador and keep on walking in the works that God prepared for is beforehand (Eph 2:10). The last several weeks have been especially humming with events that are not a part of the usual schedule. I'd like to share just a few of those with you.
   Luis and Fernanda Alba were married on February 2. They are committed to serving the Lord together. Luis and Fer are part of the church that meets in Ivonne's home. That church family went together to provide most of the wedding and reception. Unbelievers who attended were visibly impacted, and doors were opened for Luis and Fer to continue sharing their faith with people who had been very resistant.
   February 9, Nelson and Lolita Narvaez were commissioned as missionaries to Spain. When they understood the house church concept, they committed to sharing the gospel with as many people as they could, and have been instrumental in starting several churches. Their daughters, who are both doctors, live in Spain and they have decided to move there and keep on ministering. 
   One of the discipleship groups they started is in La Maná, a small town about 5 hours southwest of Quito. February 12 they took Pablo and two of his disciples, Gen and Galo, to meet the group and organize follow-ups. Gen and Galo will return to La Maná every other Wednesday and Pablo will teach via the internet video conferencing on Sunday evenings.
   La Maná has long had a reputation for being a center for witchcraft. Praise the Lord with us for this group of new believers and pray for their protection and continued growth.
Thank you for praying!
Pablo and Judi Perez

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

What is Reformed Theology?

I was a believer in reformed theology before I even knew what the term reformed theology meant. I believe it is so evident in the Bible that it is impossible to miss! In this two minute video, Kevin DeYoung gives a very simple definition of what reformed theology is and how it informs our daily lives. View it here:
Pastor Ben Davidson

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Please pray for the Peltons

Here are some ways that you can be praying for the Peltons as they serve the Lord in Chicago:
1.  We are considering where to move to the city when our lease is up this summer.  We need wisdom in this decision as we take proactive steps now to be ready to move this summer if indeed that is what we ought to do.
2.  We are reaching out to friends in Chicago over the next two months to consider partnering with us financially in our ministry with Cru.  Please pray for the Lord's provision for us.
3.  Pray for fruitfulness in our ministry as we disciple men and women.  Also, pray for opportunities to grow in our frequency and skill in communicating the good news of Jesus to Chicagoans.