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Tuesday, January 25

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Hanneke Cost Budde, Tanzania

“We have our tree up and most kids are now at home... Pray for Jacky who is worried that she might not be a good mom...she is and I told her so but she feels inadequate... Which mom doesn't?! Pray for a good Christmas and for all of the kids to recognize the importance of receiving the greatest gift: Jesus Christ. Pray as I need a retirement visa which is a bit complicated to get.”

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Colin & Rachel McCordic

January 25

We have been so blessed with kindness and generosity since the moment we stepped off the plane—literally. We both took a bit of a tumble stepping off the plane, and instantly Chadians were there to help us up and make sure we were okay. After another COVID test and speaking with a helpful gentleman about finding our lost luggage, we walked out of the airport and were greeted by Peter, Colin’s team leader.

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Jack & Mary Anne Voelkel

January 22

We arrived in Bogota and had a precious time with the former General Secretary of the Colombian student movement.
While we waited an hour or so for a ride to the home of dear friends who are taking us in for the night, we got to see the Intervarsity link staff workers who had been out of the city when we first arrived and we were able to connect with them and encourage them as they reapply for visas. (Which have so far been denied)

The student movement was having a workers’ retreat and we were able to greet them and love on them.
Now Jack is feeling better, we’re settled in a comfortable home for the night, and tomorrow we will be speaking in the church of our friends and then taking our Covid tests and finally going to a hotel to get ready for our very early morning flight on Monday.
But we do have a few prayer requests:
1) First of all, for Jack’s ongoing healing, 2) for our ministry tomorrow at the same time of your meeting at Knox, 3) for our long 21 hour trip home on Monday.

And Flash! We just received word that our daughter, Lisa, passed out at home, fell, and broke her wrist. She is in hospital not only to have surgery on her wrist but to try and discern why she passed out. We would appreciate your prayers for Lisa and her husband, Juan Gabriel. 

Rosemary Walker

January 22

The Lord has helped me adjust and to settle into an enjoyable new life and ministry here in Ville Saint-Laurent, a north-western municipality of Montreal. When you can move again, come by for a meal or a cup of coffee and a chin-wag!

Attached please find my prayer letter. Sorry that I never found the time to write you over the Christmas holidays. I was in Ontario for three weeks, visiting Whitby, Toronto, Caledon and Gananoque. Among other things, I saw my brother David in Shepherd Village five or six times, got the attached letter printed at the AIM office in Scarborough, attended Knox Church on New Year’s Sunday, and managed to see my nephew Cameron and his wife and children, visiting from BC..

My last stop was in Lachute, Quebec, north-west of Montreal, visiting a friend. Barbara is a teaching assistant for my weekly International English and Bible Class on Zoom. By the way, if anyone would like to be a “mystery guest” in our class, please just let me know. A mystery guest is introduced by name, answer students’ questions, and, in turn, asks them questions. It’s fun! Just be in touch if interested. We’d love to have you join us for half an hour on a Tuesday morning.

Friends, I’d just like you to know that my personal “Cup of Cold Water” Project remains open with AIM Canada to help me continue to support worthy causes in Africa. Over the years, I’ve been able to assist quite a few Christian students with their fees for higher education. When on the ground in the DRC and Tanzania, the Lord enabled me to assist numerous individuals directly with things such as their children’s school fees, bus fare to get to the burial of a family member, food for a hungry family, a “gas bomb,” hospitalisation, having an operation, medical fees (including for seeing an ophthalmologist and/or buying a pair of glasses, going to the dispensary, medications), dental fees, and the purchase of Christian children’s books for distribution, etc. When at Nassa Enjoying the weather with my friend Barb in Lachute.
Theological College (NTC), I helped a couple of our students buy chickens and chicken wire, and paid three others to take care of my
garden and vegetable patch!

More recently, I helped an NTC student get a computer after the screen on his broke, and I’m currently committed to assisting two brothers I knew at NTC to get their Bachelor of Theology degree over the next two or three years by remote learning from Africa International University, Nairobi, Kenya. If anyone wanted to help me with these or other worthy causes in Africa, gifts can be sent directly to the new address of AIM Canada in Scarborough, below. Please include a separate piece of paper with a clear note that your gift is for Rosemary Walker’s Cup of Cold Water Project. Official tax receipts will be provided by the mission. 

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S and I

January 22

Photo

Students learning about the Biblical, Historical, Cultural and Strategic aspects of the global church through the Perspectives Course. (Photo from before the pandemic; online is less photo-exciting 😂)

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Travel

We are scheduled to land in Brazil on Feb 1st. Please pray all visa issues would be completely resolved and for seamless re-entry. The Perspectivas team is making decisions for this year; we ask for wisdom re: pandemic transitioning.

Gord and Brenda Nickerson

January 22

Thanks again for your prayers and tracking with Brenda and I and the Josiah Venture ministry!
Here are some prayer requests for Feb 2022:

* This past week Gord facilitated the beginning of a Youth Pastor Cohort (via Zoom) for Canadian youth pastors. On Feb 1st we'll be having our next call together and discussing Chapters 1 & 2 of Dann Spaders book 4 Chair Discipling: Growing a Movement of Disciple Makers. Pray that this will be a wonderful time of networking and growth for those who participate.

* Over the last few months our Josiah Venture staff from all 16 countries have been praying and discerning what God has for this ministry over the next 3 years. Although each of our countries have developed specific 3 year plans our overall focus/emphasis will be:

1. Be with Jesus - we want our staff to abide in Christ, become like Christ, and know him deeper every day.
2. Do what Jesus did - we want our team to walk like Jesus by passionately reaching lost students and discipling them into maturity. (Re-organize around Christ’s priorities and keep returning to the basics.)
3. Develop ourselves, student leaders, and youth ministries in the ways of Jesus - We want to imitate Christ by developing student leaders and youth ministries in multiplying ways— by increasing their skills, competencies, knowledge, and character.

Please pray for our 360 missionaries as we seek to make these 3 emphases a daily priority.

* It's been 5 years since Josiah Venture launched the JV Online Prayer Room! Over those years, there have been close to 49,000 times that someone has used it to pray for our missionaries and students across central and eastern Europe. Praise God! Check it out at our website: www.josiahventure.ca

* Brenda and I continue to be in the midst of winter travel. Pray for safety on the roads. We'll be returning home to BC sometime in mid-February.  

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Left to right: Amy (living in Louisville Kentucky working as Communication Director for missions organization called Life in Abundance). Me. Brenda. Grandson Leo (4 yrs). Brad (living in LA working as graphic designer). Katie (married to Dane). Baby Remington (Remi)-3 months. Ellie Rae (2 yrs). Dane (Son-in-law, married to Katie. Works as a videographer and just accepted a job at a church in Dallas). All 3 of our grandkids belong to Katie and Dane.

Mary Jane Fandrich

January 22

How and where and why to give
Then Jesus spoke to them again saying……..John 8:12
He repeated Himself.
You shall be my witnesses…..
Prepared in advance to do good works,


Sometimes, the good works are easier to do than the witnessing.
Witnessing to what? It’s easy to get involved in this theology or that, or this denomination or tradition, or that. The other day, while soaking up the comfort of community with a praying group in Toronto it was noted that Putin is said to be a regular member of the Russian Orthodox Church. (Surprise all around.) We should pray for him.
He’s as trapped as we are in our humanity. And the same resource comes to us all, when we confess our sins, the blood of the Lord Jesus cleanses us from all sin.
What? Really?
So what do we witness to? He has redeemed us and changed us and reconciled us to the Father. Wow!
So what about giving and receiving?
Lately, a lovely young person purchased sugar, flour, eggs etc. because she likes the cake that gets put together for any occasion. But, there are two five pound sacks of sugar, plus some from a former sack, five pounds of flour, and a fresh tray of 18 eggs just purchased, sitting waiting to be called upon in my cupboard. It’s good to ask what the recipient really needs before giving.
American institutions splash money around the world without knowing how that money will be used. Carpets, drapery, and perhaps a nice car sometime appear rather than the physical needs of the population.
The most effective work was done by an American young missionary on a motor bike, riding at night through the fighting in Syria, to reach the camps where refugee boys were holed up in tents. He would go in and sit amongst them and tell them Bible stories. The pockets of his baggy pants were full of Bible story books and gospels. After months and winters of doing this, he was run out of the country by the camps’ religious leaders. Sometimes he would turn up in the boys’ dorm at the orphanage to read Bible to the boys sitting on their beds. His invitation to accompany him never became practical.
Such efforts are impossible for large institutions to support. Institutions work with institutions.
But the personal work is done by individuals who know the needs on the ground.

On Saturday, February 5 there is an open invitation to the local mosque.
Pray that God’s witness will be simple and true, and that wisdom will be given for what to say and do.
You will be my witnesses…..Prepared to do good works. 

Mobirise

Leah Hopp

January 21

I will be conducting training sessions with my community health team in order to increase the length of each health lesson that we already have in our curriculum. Sometimes a few key points are forgotten or left out so we will review the most important aspects together in order for them to feel more comfortable and refresh their memories. Ugandan schools opened up again this month after nearly two years of being closed. We will teach at two primary schools every week along with our regular home-to-home lessons.

Jack & Mary Anne Voelkel

January 21

Dear friends, we cannot tell you enough what a difference it has made to have Prayer support as we move from one city to another. We had a wonderful time with our family near Bogota. Then we spent a week in Bogota particularly ministering to the woman whose husband died of Covid she is the general secretary of the student movement there. We also prayed with a young man who forgave his father has come to Jesus and wants to serve the Lord with his whole life

Since then we have moved on to two other cities a week each ministering to pastors and wives meeting with old friends laughing together sharing meals together praying together it has been a fabulous trip

Photo: Jack praying with Jonathan

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Ian Shugart

January 20

An Item for Praise and Thanksgiving: Ian finished 5 weeks of radiation treatments this week without incident or noticeable side effects. We want to thank our friends on the prayer chain for your faithful support from the beginning. We want to testify to the Lord’s love and faithfulness.
Ian and Linda

Paul McLean

For an update on our shared mission of Bible translation in Taiwan, please see my recent blog post

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Barbara Hanna

January 15

Barbara died at 9:30 Monday, January 3.

Barb was born in the United States and studied nursing and Bible in Philadelphia. She joined (CIM) OMF after graduation and went to Thailand in 1954. Barb and Grant were married in 1956. They worked in South Thailand for 11 years, Grant in literature and Barb nursed. They moved to Bangkok and Grant was involved in OMF Publishers. Barb continued nursing in various places as needed. In 1988 Grant was diagnosed with two potentially fatal conditions and they returned to Canada. Grant died in 1997.

Barbara was buried at the Westminster Cemetery on Monday, Jan 10, at 11am.  
There will be a Zoom funeral next Monday, January 17 at 2pm 

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Luke & Yuko Elliot

January 13

Thank you for your prayer concerning the snow load danger on the old main building. We finally had two or three days of thaw leading up to camp. A great deal of the snow melted and, on the second day of camp, the rest of it slid off the roof.

Carluci and Christina dos Santos

January 12

I am sending you some pictures of our ministry trip to Santo Domingo. It was a great joy to have Christina and the two girls with me visiting this church and their social project in a very impoverished area. It was a very moving and touching experience to see these kids express their faith and even praying and blessing us.
We did have an excellent family time and sunny holiday as well. Too bad Nicoli and her husband Erik could not join us because of their work. 

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Luke and Yuko Elliot

PRAISE:
• that James and Maki Buss have joined our ministry team and were able to find a home that suits them well
• That our architect has been very helpful and accommodating in the face of the many challenges inhibiting our building project 

Hanneke Cost Budde

January 10

Once again, warm greetings and a very happy, belated , New Year!
I know it has been a few months since my last news letter. Sometimes it is not easy to keep up with letter writing. Life has been very hectic over these past months:

- The building of the small house was a huge job and I had to supervise all the workers and making sure that the right materials were used. Every day I had 8 to 22 workers at my home. We had rune out of rainwater and I had to buy bottled water for all these workers as the weather was extremely hot. It was urgent to get this done as we only had 2 bedrooms for the girls and baby Daniel. All the boys were planning to come home over Christmas, which was wonderful!! But I had to make sure that the building would be ready for them.
- I was teaching at the Bible school for 2 weeks. We had some new students and they are so motivated to study God’s word. It is a delight to teach them and to have open discussions and good questions. Three students have graduated this las year. Our next semester starts next week and we hope to get new students for the first year. I have finished the translation of the first part of the Old Testament survey and just need to make a few corrections. Then I will print it out and bind it for each of the students.
- I also needed to work on getting my retirement visa… This was a bit of a challenge. However, it really is the Lord we serve. He knows the heart of men. I will just continue to serve our wonderful and faithful God.
- As usual, the Lord provides: I went to the immigration office in Tabora. The new head of our immigration was a man who used to work in Shinyanga and he remembered me quite well. We even helped Joram, an albino student, together. Joram is now a lawyer! We had a great talk and I was sent to another office where I received all the needed help. God is good! I needed to get a police report from the head office in Dar es Salaam. For this I had to go to our regional police office to get my fingerprints and application for this report done. I had to go at least 4 times. My finger prints are so light that they were not readable. The police officers at the forensic office were so nice and we had a great time at their office. They were so helpful. Finally, it took 3 officers to try and get my finger prints. Not just my fingers were covered with ink but my whole hand! I asked if I could take a video and put it on YOUTUBE! We all had a good laugh and yes we succeeded! They brought me soap and water to clean my hands.
- Getting supplies, transport, paying the workers, etc. was a huge job and we had quite a few challenges. One major issue was the window panes that had to be put into their frames. I had to pay for special putty. It is quite expensive and has to come from Arusha. The first bucket was completely cracked. “No problem! It will be fine!” The result was that when the house was to be used, the window panes came out as the putty was bad! They did come and fix it without any extra charges.
- I had a couple of trips: First I had to pick up Christina (Kiri) on November 25th. She has finished her Secondary school and is still waiting for the results.
Baraka had to be picked up on December 1st. His marks have improved but the teachers want to meet with us when I take him back this coming week. He is more helpful, spends more time at home and has done all the homework that he was given!
Faraja came home on December 10th.
Kiri’s family wanted her to come for a visit. She is 18 and she wanted to try to go for the visit. Before we dropped her off I took Baraka, Faraja, Kiri and Jacky with Daniel to Mwanza, where we stayed for 3 nights at a nice hotel where they have a swimming pool. We celebrated our family birthday there and we had a great time. We spend one day visiting the orphanage where I am helping 2 of the handicapped kids: Kashinje and Sayi. I was able to buy a walker for Sayi. (The boy who had fell out of a tree and broke his spine. He somehow manages to move his legs by using his hips)
The kids had made a collection of their clothes that were still good but were too small. The kids helped me pick out treats and sodas for all the 78 kids who were there. I also left some money for other needs of the two kids. Everyone was so happy to see us and they made us lunch and sang for us. I always hope that my kids will realize how God provided for them by not having to be in an orphanage where there are workers coming and going, where the food is very basic, and where some of the medical care is lacking.
On the way back we visited with Kiri’s aunt and Kiri stayed with them for a couple of days. The visit was a great success and she is now more often in touch with them by phone.
Covid is also playing havoc here. However, most people are still not using masks, there is no social distancing and we have packed crowds in churches, at soccer games and other gatherings, I decided not to attend church with the kids. We watched services from Canada and had our prayers at home. Christmas was great. Mahona joined us for Christmas eve and Mfaume had also showed up. We had a few small gifts like a t-shirt and pens. They were so happy! However, after Christmas we had a party at friends where two of the people have been struggling with Covid. I got sick 2 days later. Little Daniel also had a fever but after taking some anti biotics and extra vitamins, he is doing great! He plays, drinks well, giggles and tries to talk. So cute!
It has taken me to get my energy and my appetite back after 2 weeks but I still cough a lot. God is so good!

These are the latest adventures. May the Lord bless each of you and may you experience peace in your hearts during these trying times! Hold on to God’s promises:
Mathew 11:28 “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” 

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Mary Jane Fandrich

January 1

Thank you Walmart, my reticent Afghani neighbors crossed paths and greeted me happily. It was our first personal meeting in three weeks since the misunderstanding about a housing visit. (That story some day.) This morning, Stolen in hand, I returned to the door to wish them Merry Christmas, and met the other ‘father’, husband’, ‘cousin’ ? and we had a chat about the former unfortunate meeting.
Upon a return from the garbage, we met briefly again on the walk, and he asked about the Stolen! Did I make it? It was very good! God has his ways and means!
Another pleasant Stolen delivery to my Mexican (little English) neighbor who invited me before Christmas to her church Hispanic Christmas Party: paella (?): good food, no one spoke English, good Christmas story in Spanish, lots (!) of children, and the English teacher was happy to receive some copies of Bible story books I keep in supply. When the dancing started, my friend took me home.
A visit to another Afgan family found two teenage boys bored during the long Christmas holiday. I’m hoping to deliver a Crokinole game some time later, and a Stollen to wish them Happy New Year.
The Gospel is deliberately delivered with every visit, occasionally with scripture if Arabic is possible, or simply the offering that we are so glad that Jesus the Messiah has brought them to us to share His love and peace.
There are seven or eight families with whom personal visiting has been repeatedly possible including meals, tea, and extended conversation. They see Jesus repeatedly coming to them.
And it’s Christmas! So a peep behind the scenes:
Five Days of Over the Top Family
Home time at Christmas 2021
We were sixteen, 8 grandchildren: Anna and Esther (Christina and Stefan); Grace, Sophie, and Matthew (Eric and Midori); Theo, Nicolas, and Alan (David and Asako) plus a friend from university with Esther. We ate a lot, thanks to Asako’s expertise in the kitchen, we jammed a lot thanks to Christina and years of violin lessons for all the kids, and spent a wonderful morning watching the kids throw each other and the dogs into David’s heated pool. I just watched from the safety of the Jacuzzi.
God has blessed us excessively. Stefan and Theo chewed over the doings of the stock market, and Theo beat everyone who opposed him at Crokinole, our favorite Canadian game (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crokinole).
Eric and Midori and family had flown all the way from Langley, British Columbia, where they now reside, and Stefan and Christina drove the 17 hours from Upland, Indiana.
Theo flew in from San Francisco where he now works.
The whole time was a big pleasure just watching the whole troupe play.
Stefan or Theo or David picked me up every morning for five mornings to watch and enjoy the company and shenanigans. Suddenly, as we sat down to eat (again) my cell phone brought the voice of Khalad, “Where are you! I haven’t seen you in three days.” He’s unwittingly calling for Jesus, Who lives in me!
We met subsequently at his apartment to meet, unexpectedly, a young man he had met at the mosque, from Britain, English speaking and we shared the Gospel again
God has place me with people newly arrived from Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Jordan, Afghanistan, Palestine, Ethiopia, Eritrea, with a good group of Spanish speakers, from Mexico, and a good group of American Africans.
Lots of children in the playground and swimming pool. Lots of opportunity to share God’s love and peace that we enjoy so much.
As we step into the New Year, may we know God’s Presence and Goodness in our lives. 

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Hanneke Cost Budde

December 31

After a recent dinner party, I  started feeling totally wiped out, like having a bad cold. I found out that one fellow who has not been well had gone to a fully packed church. Daniel also was sick the day after and had a high fever. He started coughing. I took Jacky and him to the hospital. He is on antibiotics and extra vitamins. I feel a lack of energy and sleep a lot.
The bishop is also sick...who knows how many will be affected!?
Have a wonderful New Year! We will have pizza and extra snacks and ice cream soon. I will have another snooze now...

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