Saturday, February 23
Phase 2: Sylvia Dresser’s replaced knee is healing well. Lift up Diane Dadian, Elaine Esser, Pam Stedman, Patsy McCarthy, Eleanor Crabtree, David Evans, Marg Roth, Mrs. Owen, Gladys Linthicum, Beth Huddleston and Jim Mason.
Our patient. it looks like the doctors did a great job. His leg looks more straight. God is good! He sends you his greetings!
Following Bill's knee replacement surgery, he reports. "Everything seems to be proceeding well, so I'm very grateful. Still a ways to go before I climb Kiliminjaro, tho.
"Appreciate your concern & your prayers."
After almost 4weeks Jacky is walking again. She is quite happy.
We are now in Mwanza.
Dr. Isidore arranged for Jacky's MRI, which will be done tomorrow morning. Ngassa had his X-ray taken and blood work done. He is good to go for the corrective surgery on his leg. This will be done on Saturday morning.
If anything shows up on Jacky's MRI Dr Yusuph, the neurologist will make a special trip to come to the hospital on his day off to do an EEG.
The Consultation and treatment for Jacky will be about $300/-
For Ngassa it will be just over $1000/-
Pray that his surgery will be a success and that he can walk better.
Pray that a solution to Jacky's problem will be found and for God's healing.
I included a picture I took of her today.
Norma D'Cruz, a faithful Knox member and KWM supporter, grandadaughter, Laya, co-stars in a fun commerical.
Thursday I am taking the bunch to Mwanza. We will register at the hospital for Jacky and Ngassa. Jacky's MRI will be about $200/- and Ngassa I don't know yet but I expect it to be about $500/- (am waiting for a message from Dr. Isodore.)
Ngassa’s surgery will be on Saturday. Pray for him as he is still traumatized from all the previous surgeries and is scared of having to go through all the pain again. At least he lets me know how he feels so we can all pray for him knowing what to pray for.
Hope that he will have recovered by the time you come and that a solution to Jacky's medical condition will be found.
Please join with me in thanking God for the good working relationship that Tinah and I have. We have been meeting together on Tuesday afternoons to strategize about community health. She has also been coming to the villages with the community health team on Wednesday and Friday mornings. I appreciate her insight and feedback.
Thank you for the spiritual support and many prayers!
Naduk and baby Immanuela are doing well. I saw them on Friday. Naduk's mom is living with them for now as her maternity leave is finished. Her mom takes care of the baby while Naduk walks to the villages to teach health.
Thanks again for all your continued prayers and support...we so much appreciate your partnership in this ministry!
These have been busy days of ministry and we look forward to sometime getting an opportunity to visit and give you some firsthand updates. Until then here are some praise and prayer items:
* Praise that Amy was able to transition back to the States (Louisville Kentucky) from Czech Republic and that God led her to a new ministry as the Communications Director for a mission organization called Life in Abundance (www.lifeinabundance.org). Brenda was able to spend a week helping her to find an apartment and begin to settle in.
* Praise that over the last few months I have had many opportunities to connect Canadian Churches with Josiah Venture Canada and the ministry to youth in Central and Eastern Europe. This has included teaching a seminar at Vancouver MissionsFest, participating at Youth Worker Conferences in Winnipeg, Montreal, and Abbotsford, teaching for a week for Briercrest College on Vancouver Island, attending a Multiply Disciple Making Conference for Pastors and Ministry Workers, and many other meetings along the way. Praise God for the good connections that have been made!
*Praise God for a significant grant from a family foundation that has allowed us to cover the expenses and attend these key events.
*Praise God for the many ways we have seen him work through the JV Ministry over the past 25 years (see the Year End Report that i have attached).
* Pray for our upcoming JV Canada Board Meeting taking place on March 1.
* Pray for the Canadian churches that are preparing for short term mission trips to Eastern Europe this summer.
* Pray for Gord as he prepares to teach a cross cultural youth ministry class at Steinbach Bible College in March.
* Pray for Katie as she and Dane are expecting their second child (a grandaughter for Brenda and I!!!!) in May. Pray for good health for both Katie and the baby during this last trimester.
Luke and Yuko Elliot
Please click below for our second prayer letter of the year with plenty of photos and not too many words.
And if you have time for a few extra words, please read on . . .
We recently saw a report that the United Church of Christ in Japan (the largest denomination in this country) expects a 70% fall in membership by 2030. If we are honest, the evangelical churches planted in Aomori Prefecture by OMF and TEAM missionaries over the past 60 years will experience a similar decline unless something extraordinary happens. Please pray with us that God will do something extraordinary here. If you have read Endo Shusaku's "Silence" (or watched the movie), you will perhaps recall the antagonist's assertion that Japan is a swamp and that the tree of Christianity can never survive in this swamp. Many accomplished people have come to Japan over the years, full of vigorous enthusiasm to "do the job right," only to discover that "doing the job right" doesn't have the same effect here as it did back where they came from. The Adversary has Japan on spiritual lock-down, and only the "finger of God" can end it.
This month's prayer letter features Aomori United Church. Will it still exist 10 years from now? The log chapel in the Hakkoda Mountains that they are responsible for is already down to two members, one in his 70s and one in his 80s. Part of the reason is that many of the farms have closed and many of the families have moved away. The other reason, though, is that none of the children of church members ever came to faith.
Luke's mother is doing research at Hirosaki university on handing down the Christian Faith from generation to generation (and how that didn't happen very much in Aomori Prefecture). In a recent prayer letter Luke's father wrote: "We feel it is time to take what we have learned and pass it on, so she [Luke's mother] is striving to gather stories and polish language skills needed to share on a wider level (written material) as well as encourage these middle aged Christians to pray and believe their grown children can still be saved" [emphasis added].
At the Evangelical Church of Aomori (where we attend worship service on Sundays that we are not visiting elsewhere) we look around and we see that lovely, devoted couple who have 5 grown children who never came to faith, that other couple who have 4 grown children, only one of whom is even considering coming to faith, yet another couple with 2 grown sons with families of their own who have decisively rejected church and their parents' faith, another 2 in that family and 3 in that, and quite a few middle aged women whose husbands and children have never come to church, let alone come to faith. Out of our generation, only one man still comes to church. There are two or three people our age who grew up in the church who are believers living in other parts of Japan . . . but only two or three. Will this church still exist 10 years from now?
With only one or two exceptions, we never even see the unbelieving children of the aging members of the Evangelical Church of Aomori. But we have met two young families at Aomori United Church who are not believers but who still occasionally attend church for the social and moral value. Please pray that we can further connect with these families and that they will come to faith.
Greetings from my excited first experience with Swiss snow shoes. Great fun.
Thursday I am taking the bunch to Mwanza. We will register at the hospital for Jacky and Ngassa. Jacky's MRI will be about $200/- and Ngassa I don't know yet but I expect it to be about $500/- ( am waiting for a message from Dr. Isodore.)
Ngassa's surgery will be on Saturday. Pray for him as he is still traumatized from all the previous surgeries and is scared of having to go through all the pain again. At least he lets me know how he feels so we can all pray for him knowing what to pray for.
Tomorrow, at “dawn’s early light”, we wing our way to Mexico City, then the next day, on to beautiful Cuernavaca, to participate in the annual retreat of the United World Mission missionaries.
If you don’t have time right now to read our short letter, take a look at the photos, and offer a quick but heartfelt word of intercession for us and the 50 colleagues who will participate in the retreat next week.
With a great joy, it is my habit to write to letters of thanks to those who have especially blessed me for sure, I have appreciated indeed you lovely heart to me. For sure you have done a lot to me to my school fees and health also with many gifts and the encouragement you gave me to trust to God. I thank our heavenly God for each of the talents and abilities he has given you. I am keeping asking him to show you new and creative way you could use for his glory. I'm granting the holy spirit to strengthen and help you to do very progressive things than you have ever done before. Keep on shining in the lord seriously in all you do in you all your path ways. THIS IS MY THANKS TO YOU AND FRIENDS WHO HAVE BEEN HELPING ME UP TO THIS, I PASSED WELL TO MY NATIONAL EXAMINATION WITH THE DIVISION 2 MAY LORDS NAME BE LIFTED HIGH
Praise God for:
• His goodness and grace
Please pray for:
• TV recording in our basement tomorrow (Feb. 15)
• Our contacts from the S1kh temple
It has been very cold and snowy in Brampton. However, almost every day we give thanks to God for providing us with abundant food, clothing, and warmth here in North America. We think of the poor in Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh and other countries where folks struggle to survive the cold temperatures without heat (and food!) in their places of residence.
Tomorrow, we will be recording at least two videos in our basement. This is not an easy task - there must be adequate technical, logistic, mental, and spiritual preparation. Please also pray for the young graduate, Jake, who will be doing the recording. He is looking for a full-time job.
Please pray for us for wisdom as we meet with folks whom we befriended at the S 1kh temple where Deepak takes music lessons. We want to share Ch _ rist as we sensitively explore our friendships with chai (tea) or a meal.
David passed away last Thursday, February 7th, at about 10:00 in the evening. He was 93. David had a wonderful day with many visitors, and then about 4:00 he started to begin his journey home to the arms of his Saviour. We were there with him, along with other friends as he passed peacefully.
David was head of AEF (Africa Evangelical Fellowship, which merged with SIM in 1998), and served as a missionary in Africa many years. Margaret, his wife, died of cancer and after 3 years of living alone, he as an 80-year-old married Joan whom Margaret and he had known well from their mission days.
In their latter years, the Evans were blessed with a condo which had a big balcony with a mountain view, and within were all the mementos, photos and carvings of a lifetime in Africa. The family is scattered around the world, but they had good, warm contact. All the grandchildren are strong Christians.
David was “Elder Emeritus” at their large local Fellowship Baptist church on Vancouver Island, B.C., and experienced great fellowship and support there. He prayed for Knox faithfully, following all our prayer bulletins. A treasured servant of Christ who was cheerful, mischievous, full of life and warmth, content in the Lord, a testimony to God's faithfulness.
David wrote Daily Encouragement, meditations on 365 Bible passages which have an encouraging theme. For Feb. 7th, the day of his own home-going, we are referred to Numbers 7:89, where David's comments on Moses are true also of himself:
"Here is a man drawing near to God...Here is a man hearing the voice of God."
A true man-of-God, not only gave meaning to the word “gentleman”, but was also a gentle man. Another reason to look forward to heaven, more conversations with David.
Finally, today we were authorized visas until October, 2019. Thanks for all the prayers.
There’s a training for culture, ethnicity and diversity at the TIM Centre, led by Development Associates International, good people. Paul is a long time friend of mine and they have a team of trainers for this. May be a good idea to add to the bulletin in case people are interested?
Marliese is in Switzerland with her brother and visiting her mom regularly. My preaching/teaching sessions will soon be upon me. I’ll try to do so in French and once in Arabic. Please pray for us both in our different situations.
After leaving Don and Norine just now I moved quickly through security, had a LONG hike to get to my gate—and then heard zone 4 being called to board! I’m zone 5—I didn’t sit down...! So it seems that the flight will not be further delayed, nor annulled, and I’ll soon be departing Canadian soil.
I do thank you with all my heart for all your love and goodness to me in its many forms, and for all your support in the work to which the Lord has called me—not possible without you!
...After the 30 minute delay and a further 30 minutes of de-icing we took off. I enjoyed about 4 hours of sleep! Interesting passenger next to me—headed off to a Kadula (sp?) conference in Tel Aviv... A former Jew... Some good conversation—she’s searching, but feels she’s “found” her answers... We are soooo blessed to know the Lord!
Jacky is still not walking and often has a lot of pain. The doctor in charge of from the Kamanga hospital in Mwanza, where Jacky had received all her medical tests and treatments, visited us today and had dinner with us. He checked Jacky and will have some other tests done. I had requested a brain scan as Jacky had been severely abused in the family and had her head bashed on the cement floor and later was hit by this mother with a huge padlock on the same spot on her head. The doctor who we had been seeing had told me that that was not the problem and had ignored it. Doctor Isodore asked me after watching her move if she had ever had a head injury!! He will take care that she will get the necessary tests done. He also prescribed a new medicine which will reduce her pains and help her walk a bit better.
He also sent me the official report of Jacky's medical findings. I have attached it to this email
So, we thank God for this visit and the help we hope to get.
Just picked up a little hard cover at the Canadian Bible Society entitled Christmas Is Coming but Waiting Is Hard.
Which reminded me of Isaiah 40:31...."they that wait upon the LORD........."
So the flight into Beirut went semi-smoothly, that is, there was no boarding pass for the last leg from de Gaule to Harriri, so an Air France agent had to gerrymander one which took a little time.
Hit the ground running: first to a grocery to begin the molasses and tahini etc. for the orphan food supply, and then to the nursing home to stop in on my 89+ year old cousin who was in fine fettle complaining about being moved (three years ago) out of her home.
Then walking back in the dark and rain to a small hotel where her son had signed me in for the first three nights, since he and his family is out of town.
Before returning to HOH on Tuesday, I'll stop off at Near East School of Theology (NEST) Seminary and meet up with Saragh to plan some university Bible Study for students connected to Intervarsity Christian Fellowship at AUB. Then the walk through God's plans for the next three months will begin.
Setting up the halfway house for the girls will be paramount.
"They that wait upon the LORD will soar on wings like Eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they will walk and not faint" Isaiah 40:31.
Everything has worked out on schedule. Marlliese is with her brother. We visited her mother before I left for where I am now. I have 4 preaching/teaching meetings while here - Tunisia. Please ask for prayer for both of us.
On Friday, we waited the all day from 9 am to 5 pm. for our student visa interview. In the last minute they said: "Sorry we have no system, come on Monday." We see what happen on Monday.
Thanks for your prayers. My niece is much better, so that is one answer to prayer.
However, please continue to pray for Jacky who shuffles around like an old lady. She has severe pain in her knee joints and lower legs. This is now for one whole week and it makes it very hard and discouraging for Jacky. (For all of us it is painful to watch and not being able to give her any relief)
Mahona writes her little notes of encouragement and Ngassa and Mfaume are doing anything for her to cheer her up. This is so lovely to see. Naomi, my worker, is so supportive and encourages her all the time. Margreth is home for the weekend and is doing Jacky's laundry... What a lovely family I have!!
As she cannot walk without some support and I will try and get a walker for her.
I am also trying to get in touch with some doctors in Holland who can maybe give me some advice as to where I could take her in Holland as we don't have all the medical tests available in Tanzania.
I thank you all for your continued prayers. God is able!!
Have a great day!
I will keep you updated.
Happy me and kids
In January, the Missions Hub had a visit from Missio Nexus ( a coalition of 200+ international sending organizations, like Wycliffe Bible Translators, Avant, OMF, and TEAM, which are the funding partners at the Missions Hub. ) They've wrote a rather lovely article about us. [click below] I just wanted to send along the attached article as a sort of pre-view, along with these pictures which may also be published: https://photos.app.goo.gl/aA9KAQotpmDhzbph8
Jacky has been diagnosed with Erythromelalgia, a neurological disorder that affects her ability to walk and causes a lot of pain. There is no known cure. She has been given some gel to reduce the pain in her muscles and this seems to help a bit. Now she has not been able to walk for 3 days.
This morning Jacky was in much pain in her knee joints. She was in tears and feels quite discouraged.
She walks with great difficulty.
Please pray for her healing and for the Lord to take her pain away. May He reveal to her and us why this is happening. If she needs more investigations in order to get better help, we need to know where it would be best to take her. I was wondering if Kijabi hospital may have equipment to deal with this kind of problem?
This evening I hope to see her neurologist and get some advice.
when I went to pick her up from school she could barely stand. She had taken her shoes off...They felt like heavy weights on her feet and her feet were painful and swollen. This time there did not seem to be a certain stress which can cause the attacks.
We treated her with the special Gel, which my friend the Pharmacist had ordered from India. He bought 8 tubes which would have cost about $50/- but he told me to just take them! God is so good and having this family in Christ is wonderful. I know many of you are praying for her.
Later she let me read what she wrote in her diary this evening: Keep trusting in God . He has a purpose and is teaching me something new.
She is such a lovely girl! Mahona , Ngassa and Mfaume have been very caring and helpful, which is so wonderful.
Mahona is home getting treated for another bad sore on his chest. It has been quite painful but he keeps being his cheerful self and was making us laugh during dinner this evening.
My niece, Martine is in the hospital. She had her appendix removed and was send home the next day without any antibiotics. This is now the norm in Holland. A week later she had to go back due to a high fever. She was given an antibiotic but 2 days later she had t go back again. She has an infection where they took out the appendix. She was given other antibiotics. However Martine has bad reactions to most antibiotics and now she is back in the hospital on an I.V.
Please pray for her that it will work and that she won't have another bad reaction.
God is good and He does answer our prayers! He also is the great Physician and is able to heal us from every disease!
Thanks again for your prayers and may the Lord bless each of you!
We are doing okay here. It is very cold and Hil is enjoying the snow. In a week we will try for our visa again. Hil's grandmother had a stroke last week, so we are sad about that.
Bill was scheduled for his second knee surgery today at Parry Sound hospital but it has been cancelled due to a large volume of emergency situations yesterday at the hospital necessitating cancelling all elective surgeries for today. He is extremely disappointed/frustrated especially because of the ripple effect this cancellation has on his girls (and Nancy) who are lined up to help him post op at home.
He has been given an alternate date, Feb 13th, but it will be all the post op planning that will be the challenge.
He would appreciate prayer over the next day or two as he and Lori try to figure all this out.
Jacky is enjoying her new school and has had no symptoms for almost 2 weeks!
Ngassa passed his Secondary school with division 2! That is fantastic and now he can aim for a higher education. Mfaume needs some prayers. He seems much quieter lately and I wonder what is on his mind. He said he is fine but I think something is bothering him.
He also past his Physics exam and he is looking forward to continue his pharmaceutical studies.
The work at Malumba continues. While I was not able to walk very well, Thomas has been holding the fort. He has had to deal with many new clients but also several clients living with HIV/AIDS have come back to us. Another HIV client has died this past week and again there are more orphans and a widow who lives with the virus. Thomas is doing quite a bit of Home-Based care with people who just cannot make it to the Government dispensary. We have made groups in 4 villages in our Ward. Thomas visits 2 of the groups each week. Please ray for his travel as the roads are washed out. It is also discouraging for him to deal with situations like a deserted elderly woman who lives on her own so no one is feeding her. Now she is so weak she crawls on her knees to get around. Another case is the woman living with HIV left with some little ones and a baby who is very malnourished because the mother has no milk. We have discussed this case but as the woman has no clean water and very poor hygiene. we feel kind of powerless to help this baby and the mother.
So, we continue to have many challenges but God is good!!
We are having some great rains and we hope and pray that these will continue and that the people will have a good harvest this year.
Heather, Patsy's daughter, has had a significant stroke. She is in hospital in Ottawa. Patsy was to travel there with our cousin Martin Stewart today. Martin is a Surgeon and lives in Uxbridge. Her son Tim is enroute to Ottawa at this time. My sister Christina and I will continue to provide direct support for Patsy after she returns.
Please ask our friends to pray for Heather, her son Connor, Tim and Patsy.
Thank you so much for praying for snow camp. In the face of harsh challenges posed by the unusually large amount of snow fall in December we made some last minute revisions to the program and, by God's grace, every bed was filled and the program went very well. We will send a Prayer Letter with photos in the near future.
Although we didn't get a chance to communicate specific prayer requests over the winter holidays we are grateful to report that our various sermons and presentations went well and we are encouraged by the growing level of interest in and support for the vision of a revitalized Aomori Christian Center.
Josiah's former daycare class had a reunion at our place the other day. His classmates and their siblings are now becoming old enough to attend camps at ACC, so please pray that some of them do. A few of the families have connections to church so please pray that we and the other missionary family with children at the same daycare can build on those connections.
Luke has been asked to read books on Monday mornings to the children at the elementary school our children attend so please pray that that will strengthen our relationship with the children in our local school district.