Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Please Pray for Dougg and LeAnn Custer

Please be praying for Dougg and LeAnn Custer during COVID-19:

  1. Our daughter, Katrina, who teaches at Black Forest Academy (BFA), is out of quarantine and with us for a few days as she begins her year-long home assignment. Every 6th year, she has to deregister and leave Germany for 366 days in order to keep her US social security. Pray for her as she is seeking God’s will about returning to BFA or going to another mission school. She is also in need of more financial partners.
  2. Dougg and his team are happy that the decision has been made for an in-person Discover WorldVenture Weekend on October 23 – 25! Of course, new protocols will be in place, and it will look a little different than previous weekends. But it is anticipated that it will be a meaningful time for those who attend. 
  1. For people who receive invitations to come to the weekend; space is limited to 20
  2. For safety and good health in travel and during the meetings themselves
  3. For those who are organizing the in-person interactions, especially with all of the Covid-19 precautions that need to be put into place to meet safely
  4. For meaningful connections between those who attend and those who are introducing WorldVenture and challenging people to consider missions
  5. That God would use this gathering to send more people into His harvest field 
The Cultural and Ministry Preparation training that was to be held in October, however, has been postponed until January, with the hope that it can be held in person. Since there are several missionaries planning to leave the end of January, the training will be conducted online if we can’t gather together. 

       6. Pray for Dougg’s training team as they are making plans for how to handle this vital ministry preparation over the internet if need be.

As the fall 2020 semester moves toward starting on college campuses around the country, please continue to pray for WorldVenture mobilizers as they seek to creatively reach out to students and other contacts they have at various schools. In a different approach to connecting with students, Gordon Ellison, a WorldVenture mobilizer, requests prayer for a new initiative at various colleges and universities with which WorldVenture has a working relationship. Since so many campuses are presently closed to outside guests, this would involve a ZOOM call with interested students who respond to an invitation to sign up for a one-hour presentation related to discerning God's will for their lives and their futures. 

        7.  Pray for receptivity to the proposal on the part of the representatives ("gatekeepers") on these campuses and for interest among their students. 
        8. Continue to pray that God would open doors for mobilizers to connect with those whom God is calling to be harvest workers.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Please Pray for the Mark and Charity Borisuk


Below are some ways that you can be praying for Mark and Charity during this turbulent time:

  1. We praise the Lord for a good opportunity to reengage with our house church in China. Mostly due to security issues, we had stopped attending last fall. Meeting with them via Zoom starting this spring has been a great opportunity to continue ministry to the pastor, parents, and Sunday School teachers who we meet with each month.
  2. We are thankful for the continued translation work at the IRC office. We have recently finished up and formatted for addition to the Chinese Bible Study Toolbox, a commentary on Hebrews by Homer Kent, as well as a Bible Atlas.
  3. We are currently working on nine commentaries which are at different stages in the translation/editing process and about 10 other books and resources. Please pray for a continued blessing on our staff and that these would be completed well and be a blessing to our Chinese brother and sisters.
  4. We are thankful for the ministry opportunities we are having in the US with family, friends, and churches (we just completed a joyous two weekends of ministry at churches in Illinois and Oklahoma).
As we rest in the Lord’s timing, please pray for continued fruitful ministry while in the US and that we would be able to return to China soon.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Please Pray for the Bennetts

- NCM LEADERSHIP: Please join us in prayer as we seek God regarding the leadership vacuum at New Creation Ministries. We believe that in God’s perfect timing, He will provide someone, or enable someone already on staff, to rise to the occasion and lead the school forward through the accreditation process and program development. Our missionary colleagues responsible for these tasks are currently out of the country…one on home assignment in the US and the other one stranded in Brazil due to Covid-19 restrictions. Our long term goal is to have a Rwandan in this position rather than a missionary. One of the most challenging requirements in this process of accreditation is finding Africans with PHDs to be on staff.

- REOPENING CHURCHES: Pray for wisdom for churches here to know what to do about trying to meet all the new government requirements in order to reopen. It feels as though churches are being held to a higher standard than every other organization. Requirements have been changed three times now. One of the requirements is that churches must install hands-free washing stations which are almost unheard of in this country. Another requirement is that churches can only meet on Sundays with a two meter distance between each person and they cannot hold more than three services. In a church like ours, that means only 20 percent of our congregation will be able to attend church in person, while the others will need to continue to participate online. Also, children under 12-years-old and adults over 65 are not allowed to attend church. So far only 20 churches nationwide have received permission to reopen

- BARB’S MASTERS OF MUSIC THERAPY DEGREE – Barb continues to plug away at fulfilling requirements toward her master’s program. One of the blessings of Covid-19 is that the school has moved all classes to an online format, allowing her to take classes she may not have been able to take while in Rwanda due to a required on-campus intensive. It has been a lot of work but the classes are going well and she is excited to be able to apply many of the things she is learning as she provides music classes to children being home-schooled.

- MEGAN AND MELISSA - Melissa and Megan are together in Minnesota and we are usually able to Skype with them on Sunday afternoons. After Gary’s brother’s wife passed away, Melissa went through a mini-crisis wondering how God could have allowed another significant person in her life to die, but through it all He has kept her close and she has really grown through it. Megan was blessed to work in the kitchen at a Christian camp this summer and will begin her final year of nursing school in the Fall (hopefully on campus). Her heartfelt prayer for the summer was that God would allow her to have a new friend that she could discuss deeply spiritual things with through her time at the camp. God answered that prayer in a beautiful way, encouraging both of them in their walk with the Lord. The girls plan to rent a place together with a few other friends from school so they can live together. Please pray that Megan has a great final year and for Melissa as she works extra hard to pay off school loans before embarking on entering flight school.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Please Pray for the Beakleys

Pray for wisdom for our leadership as we seek to open up our church services. Currently, we are only allowed to have 50 people in a service (total, including preacher, worship, and sound/deacon people). No singing is allowed, and masks are compulsory. An attendance roster must be completed, along with ID's and temperatures. Full sanitization required before and after. Very restrictive. The people here in RSA seem to be very afraid of the virus. We are hoping to open in a couple of weeks as we put our plan together. Much wisdom is needed as there are folks on both sides of the spectrum here.

Loving The Prodigal

I continue to talk with/meet with parents with wayward children. As parents, our hearts grieve for our kids who think they can find more joy in the things of this world as opposed to the things of God. We want to model the father of the prodigal son. The son remembered his father's kindness. That kindness drew the prodigal home. At the same time, we recognize that we can be the same kind father or mother to all our kids, and God allows some to respond to spiritual things and some to not respond. It's God that does the work. We hope to be the instruments in His hands to bring about change in our kids, but sometimes He allows our kids to be wayward to expose our pride that we, as parents, think we can "make" our children respond to the gospel. He crushes us as parents and strips us of our idols to force us to consider Him as glorious...and able to change us and our kids without our prideful recipes that we erroneously think can change hearts.

“God is not served by human hands as though he needed anything, but he himself gives life and breath and everything.” (Acts 17:25)

Pastor Ben