Dear Team Members,
Greetings from us Cases living out of cases! This update is from our home town of Fitchburg, Massachusetts where it is cold and a few snow showers, but not bad yet! So far low temperatures hover around the freezing mark. On December 6th we head to northern Maine so imagine we will really see cold weather. Soooo glad we brought our winter boots, and warm clothes. Some days already I (Cherrie) am wearing three layers not counting my winter coat!!!!!!! Charlie says I always pack the kitchen sink, but this time it is our winter woolies and vitamins to keep well! When people see our Florida license plate they must think we are crazy!
In the city of Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republic, it is estimated that there were as many as 4 million Native inhabitants before European contact in 1496. By 1570 that number had been reduced to 125. In Central Mexico one third of the Native people died of smallpox within ten years of exposure by the Spanish conquerors.
Our trip last year to Guatemala was extraordinary. We were able to help 119 families make their homes safer. Caleb and I are planning to serve on the Stove Team again. Our church, Hope Covenant is sending a 8th Stove Team, January 19-29, 2013. This year the team will have 20 members and we are planning on completing 140 homes.
Last week it seemed everyone was saying “It doesn’t seem it is already time for Thanksgiving.” We kind of feel that way too and wonder where the autumn has gone, realizing that winter will be just around the corner. We do trust that you were able to have a special time with family and friends this past Thanksgiving weekend. It seems so many have forgotten the real reason for the season and instead of it being a time of Thanksgiving it has become a day of “things” with black Friday now turning into black Thursday as well.
Thanks so very much for your faithful prayers and support. I can’t believe that Christmas is just around the corner and the New Year right behind it. These past few months have been busy and stressful and I thank the Lord for providing good health and strength to meet each challenge. There are exciting things happening with the Mengen church these days and we are thrilled to see the Lord at work in the hearts of the believers here in our village. Here are just a couple of examples.
Dear praying friends,
As the days fly past, I have put off, for WAY too long, sending out an update. We do really value your prayers, and altho’ Doug has taken the recent biopsy results ‘in his stride’ he was also disappointed to hear that the small break in the corner of his mouth is cancer. We have no surgery date as yet, and the plastic surgeon said that they plan to cut conservatively, and hopefully have no need of any skin graft. Doug’s endoscope in October was normal for which we are thankful.
Greetings from Steve and Sandy Aholt,
We are experiencing the feeling that many others are experiencing during this holiday season. Your feelings can try to get you down.
Let’s give God the glory that He deserves. He has made all things possible. He alone is worthy of our thanksgiving.
Below are some verses that God has given us. They are given to remind us of the thanksgiving that we should be giving to Him.
Mr. Despicable Jonathan Kopf, August 28, 2012 I looked at him, but I couldn’t force myself to look directly into his eyes. He was despicable. The scum of the earth. Murderer. Wife beater. Child abuser. He was sitting on the log next to me under my wife’s bark roofed cooking hut. Why had he comeContinue reading Hewa Tribe: Mr. Despicable
Thank you for your love and prayers and gifts! We are deeply grateful for your part in sharing the love of Jesus with our Hewa tribal friends here in Papua New Guinea. Thank you!
It has been exciting to help John George build his new house next to our house here in the ‘Yifki’ village. We are very grateful for the men who have volunteered to help us cut lumber from local trees and for the men who have helped build his house. John, Jessi and their three daughters have moved into their new house while John continues to work to make it comfortable.
Greetings from Sanford, Florida!
Our Fall Pre-Field Orientation concluded on Friday evening and we are very thankful for the week that we were able to spend with our new associate members. Their ministry locations will be in South America and Asia-Pacific. One of the attendees said, “I came with so many questions swirling around in my head and I think I have gotten every one of them answered! I was able to take care of a lot of business and solidify a lot of concepts.”
Dear family and friends,
God is SO good! I am often wowed by His mercy and love. His grace overwhelms me. I am amazed at His wonderful creation. I will share just one example of how God’s creation was recently viewed as something spectacular by my first and second grade students.
We have been studying birds in science class. As some of you may know, I am an amateur bird watcher. I began bird watching when we lived in Thailand. I saw hundreds of different species in the jungles around our house. Over the years I have seen birds in many other countries as well. These include hoopoes, cockatoos, hornbills, cassowaries, and many other smaller and brilliantly colored species. God truly showed His creativity when he was creating birds!
As we bounced back and forth through the waves and many rapids on the Biak River, I looked over at my dad who lay lifeless in the bottom of the boat. At times, it seemed like he was really struggling to even take a breath. We had no airstrip near us. Would we make the two day trip downriver to the nearest airstrip in time?
Dear family and friends,
October has been a whirlwind of activity for us in the cities of Warsaw and Wroclaw, Poland to Prague, Hradec Kralove, and Vysoko Myto, Czech Republic as we had a great time visiting 4 of the 14 teams that we supervise and attended meetings where we met several national partners that are working with our colleagues; it has been exciting to see them have such a passion for their communities hear and receive the good news of Jesus. November has begun with yet another trip to Austria for a leadership meeting with colleagues and it was very encouraging. The icing on the cake was being able to see Trey’s parents in Prague, Czech Republic and spend a few days with them touring the city. Prague truly needs to be on your ‘bucket list’ if you want to see a breathtakingly beautiful city!
This past Friday morning was my normal “skype schedule” for talking with our Wana co-workers. The helicopter was supposed to be going into the Wana tribe on Friday morning so I asked Esron if it worked out for the helicopter to make the scheduled trip. Esron then explained to me that it didn’t work out for the helicopter to go in as it was down for repairs.
Dear Team Members,
Greetings from us Cases living out of cases! Your prayers have meant so much!!!!!!!!!! We have gone from around 85 to 24 degrees Fahrenheit and what a shock it has been! At present, possibly from sitting so much, we are having some back problems, and Cherrie is having difficulty with light-headedness. So we appreciate your continued prayers, not only for us, but for our daughter Esther who has been having migraine headaches, for our daughter-in-law Janelle as she recuperates from back surgery (she is coming along really well- thank you for praying).
Hello there! It’s been awhile since I’ve written, mainly because I’ve been fighting through 3 colds in the past 2 months. Talk about being “under the weather”! Thankfully I am much better now and just in time for a lot of activity at the Brickyard!
“I hope I can keep ahead of her,” I thought as Sarah’s lesson time approached. Although I only have five music students this semester, they are all practicing and progressing, unlike sometimes. One student is fighting tooth and nail to learn piano, and though it has not come easy for her, she has kept at it and consistently practiced. What a joy to work with her!
Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow!
Dear Family and Friends,
Thanks for joining with us in ministry here in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. We have a number of items to praise God for this month and share them here with you now.
1. Ruth participated in a week-long evaluation of Sous Espwa’s partner, PWOFOD, which is a diaconal training program. She enjoyed the opportunity to visit the field and see and hear what God is doing through the work of these faithful servants. One comment that came out of the evaluation often was that the impact of PWOFOD‘s ministry is much greater than what any of us had realized. One of these impacts included implementing literacy classes. Nearly 53% of the population of Haiti is unable to read and write. One young man shared that he had been a part of these classes for a little over a year. When he began, he could not write his name. “lf you ask me today to read the Bible, I could do it.“ And we did. We chose a passage in the Scriptures and this young man read it beautifully. His life has been changed!
There are a few kids in our village who are extra-special to me. One of them is 4 year old Sinsia. This morning she was here with her mom Cecilia and little brother Benjamin. While Cecilia was busy sewing, I was trying to do a little translation work. Kind of hard with 2 of the cutest kids in the world running in and out of my office.
Dear praying friends and supporters,
We are doing well. Sandy had an inner stitch removed, by laser, to lower her inner ocular pressure. She goes back in two weeks to have the pressure checked again. The doctor said that he may need to remove one more inner stitch, if the pressure is not controlled. Please pray as Sandy remains under doctor’s care.
Dear praying friends,
Please forgive me for taking SO-o-o-o-o long to let you all know that Doug and I arrived home safely – YES… it is a week ago!!
We had a WONDERFUL time away, and thank the Lord for all He did to make the time so special, and for being able to be productive in Wewak, in helping to revise/compile the 3 primers, 3 readers and work on 3 library books in the less than 2 weeks we had to work with two Owininga believers, and Hope Sharp our Sepik Literacy Consultant, who went over and beyond to see everything go ahead so quickly, with great pictures, and Nobi Kennell who is typing up the teacher’s manual. We were blessed too, by all the ladies who cooked and served great meals to Doug and I, and the Owininga language helpers. We are also VERY grateful to Jason and Toni Stuart for their love and vision to work with and encourage the Owininga church and other churches which continue to serve Him and live for Him in their isolated villages. Sometime in the new year, Jason is planning on heading into the Owininga and taking the new literacy materials with him, and doing a teacher training course.
This past month has been quite a whirlwind and held a lot of surprises for us. Just a month ago I was writing about my upcoming trip to Asia Pacific, my bags were all packed and I was ready to go. I had been experiencing a lot of shoulder and arm pain so thought I might should have a doctor take a look at it and maybe give something to take for it while on my trip. No sooner had I mailed our last news letter out and I was diagnosed with 3 ruptured discs in my neck, with the doctor advising surgery as soon as possible as it was beyond what medication could help. Wow, what a shock that was to us and what a change of plans. Two weeks ago yesterday I had my surgery. The surgery was a success and my post op follow-up last week showed that everything was staying in place and “no loose screws” – ha. Now it is just taking some time to heal and no lifting beyond 5 lbs for at least 6 weeks. Probably one of my biggest challenges is swallowing as I still have a lot of swelling in my neck area.
Dear family and friends, It is a wonderful blessing that we know how to read! Maybe you haven’t thought about that in a while, but I know that I have. Of course part of this is due to the fact that I am teaching emergent readers as well as helping to develop the reading skillsContinue reading October 2012
Sandy’s mom, Blanche Fraizer, fulfilled her wishes to be absent from the body and to be present with the LORD! She peacefully passed from death unto life Tuesday evening at 6:17 p.m. This was on her husband’s birthday and on Aaron and Stephanie’s 12th wedding anniversary.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” – 2 Cor 5:17
A Church is Born in Biem!
When we first arrived in Papua New Guinea in 1996, one of my first students at Numonohi Christian Academy was an energetic young man named Brandon Buser. A senior that year, Brandon was in my computer applications class and was also my teacher’s assistant. What a joy it was this past week, therefore, to be able to share in the joy of Brandon’s ministry as he and his wife and children, now missionaries to the Biem people, saw the first fruits of a church planted on a remote island off of the north coast of PNG.