Monday, December 29, 2014

Ebola Update

Although the amount of attention that the media is giving to the ebola outbreak in West Africa has waned, it still continues.  Last week, the BBC had a good article detailing some of the current statistics.  Read it here.

Our work, in Gabon, is just one piece of the larger work of the Christian and Missionary Alliance.  Some of our colleagues are on the front line of the fight against ebola.  You may have heard of the very sad story that, due to fear and misinformation, a team of C&MA healthcare workers were attacked and killed in  September, while trying to care for and educate the people of Guinea.

Please continue to pray for our teammates in Africa, who continue their efforts to care for the victims and educate communities, in the name of Jesus.  Here is a story shared by some of our friends serving in West Africa, Stan and Jaynee W.:

Ebola: Desperation Yet Hope 
Stan passes out educational material to a shopkeeper.

Ebola’s spread continues to devastate more and more families—mostly in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and now Mali, where cases have been reported in the capital city, Bamako. The death toll is now above 5,400 and continues to climb (late November 2014 stats).

One of Ebola’s significant side effects is fear, which is creating panic in West Africa and the United States. Thanks to donations, we’re printing Ebola-awareness brochures in French and providing them to several of our local shop owners to distribute.

We also gave copies to a leader in our neighborhood who will hand them out in the local house of worship during Friday prayer times. This plan sounded great to us, since a Christian organization designed the brochures, printing John 8:32—“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”—on the back. 

Opportunity for God’s People

Fear also is affecting those living in a number of Ebola-free African countries where Alliance international workers serve, creating an alarming ripple effect:
A local church worker on an educational visit to a village.

  • Economies are suffering due to the decrease in tourism.
  • Food prices are increasing because of the lack of trade.
  • People are losing their jobs due to the decrease in commerce. 

In addition to these harsh realities, many parts of West Africa experienced a shortened rainy season this year. It is a recipe for disaster: the United Nations is predicting up to 750,000 people will die from starvation and malnutrition-related diseases in the next few months.

Amid this grim outlook, there is an opportunity for the Church to shine by reaching out in love to many who are in need. Please pray for revival in Africa’s churches and for God’s people across the continent to be a testimony to those who are suffering or living in fear—so that many more will be led into His Kingdom. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Mission Perspective to Christmas

Merry Christmas!!!  

Here is an infographic shedding light on how the current state of the Gospel message this Christmas season, 2014:

(This graphic can be found at:

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Heart Language

Can you imagine not having the Bible in English to assist your pilgrimage?
Some languages don't yet have an alphabet or anyone working on developing
one yet.
God's Word in a person's heart language opens their eyes to who God is, what His character is like, and how much He loves them. When people get the opportunity to hear the Scriptures in a language they understand best, life takes on new meaning and purpose as the Bible convicts and encourages them.

JeanMarc passing out Mp3 scripture files for playback on cell phones.
1000 Mp3's and DVD's of the Jesus Film have already been distributed
in Gabon, thanks to the SIL (Wycliffe) organization in Cameroon.
Allow me to introduce you to Pastor JeanMarc Mouele (pictured).  JeanMarc is the national director for scripture translation efforts for the C&MA Gabon (Christian & Missionary Alliance).  He lives near the Bongolo Hospital, where our aviation program is based in Gabon, and is passionate about getting God's Word put into the heart language of the people of the region.

The translation work is one of the projects that AMB (our aviation
This young guy is listening to the New Testament in
the local language of Nzebi.
project) is supporting.  Recently, Rob, our chief pilot, facilitated a proposal and the international workers based at Bongolo pledged over $2500 toward JeanMarc's work.  

Is there a need?  Recently, people from 5 people groups in Gabon have approached Pastor JeanMarc wanting the Jesus film to be available in their language.  Some of these languages don't have a translation of scriptures yet, so that will be the first step.  Please pray for these efforts.

Here is a short video from Wycliffe that highlights the critical need of additional translations, like the ones in Gabon.  

Friday, December 12, 2014

Family Items for Prayer

Thanksgiving- Sam & Megan's first snow in 7 years!
We are so grateful for many of you that are praying friends. Talking to our heavenly Father on each other's behalf is one of the most important things we can do as Christ-followers.

Here are some items that we'd ask you to reflect upon as you pray for our family:

Prayer for Megan (Nyack College), Joe (Moody), and Sam (high school) as they finish their semesters with tests, projects, and papers.

Pray for Joe and Meg and their travel plans getting back home (York, PA)

Praise that Sam made the honor roll in the first semester back in the US at a high school about 18 times the size of his small MK school in Africa

Praise for no complications and a full recovery from gallbladder surgery for Steve.

Steve speaking to the Fall Mission Rally in State College, PA
Pray for relief from intense heel pain (right foot) that Steve is experiencing after trying to restart his jogging routine.  Pray for an economical solution in finding a lower impact exercise (like biking) to replace this activity, especially through the cold, winter months.

Praise the Lord for the churches that responded to host us on a speaking tour the first half of 2015.  We still have some churches to try and fit in the calendar. CLICK HERE to see the tour schedule.

Pray that many would respond to support the ministry the Lord is calling us to in prayer and financially.  We have a significant needs at this time.  CLICK HERE to read more how to become a supporter.

Pray for the pilot recurrency training, starting in February, that Steve will do in North Carolina with JAARS.  It will total about 4 weeks and will be spread out through the Spring.  
Our kids at a reunion of their African MK high school 
(Rain Forest, Cameroon)

Praise the Lord for a gift of $1000 toward the upcoming flight training.  A little over $3000 remains to cover all expenses.

Praise the Lord for new teammates that are working toward joining our Gabon Team, serving at the Bongolo Hospital.

Pray for a young couple- the husband, who recently underwent a technical evaluation at JAARS for his skills as a pilot and mechanic.  Many of his skills were affirmed, but he does need some follow up work to be qualified to join our team.  Please pray that they have discernment for upcoming decisions.

Praise the Lord that He is blessing the ministry of Bongolo Hospital- over 1000 per month in 2014 have made decisions to follow Jesus as Lord and Savior! 

Pray for the local churches in Gabon to do the important work of disciple-making for all those that return to their villages after hearing the Good News at Bongolo.

Praise the Lord that Alace was able to attend a writers conference at the end of October in Chicago and get to visit with Joe.  Pray for her as she works to develop her writing gift to the next level, for God’s glory.  CLICK HERE to read some of Alace's wonderful writing.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

HE is the Drumbeat!

So proud of our son, Joe, and some of the international students at Moody Bible (Chicago) with a great song and video.  Check it out:

The New Normal

Hunting with Sam

Over the past 7 years, our family has used the term "the new normal" many times.  It helps us reset our mindset, adjust expectations, and stay engaged through all the transitions.  Changes are difficult for anyone and, for us, they most always come with saying "goodbye's" to loved ones and rearranged routines that we had worked so hard to adjust to.  It's not easy, to say the least. 

In the US, this home assignment, we are settling in to a new normal, yet again.  As much as we can, our family tries to enjoy things that your average American family might find themselves doing.  Today, it was a good, old fashioned, day of hunting. (Regrets to our other children, Joe & Meg... back at college)

Following a fun weekend with Steve's side of the family, Steve and Sam joined the hunting posse on Monday.

The hunting posse (L to R):  My bro, Dan, Sam, Jarrod (Dan's son), me, and Mark (Dan's son-in-law).

We got to our hunting spots in the dark (6am-ish)- we had hiked there on Saturday and marked them with a GPS.  As Sam and I got seated and began waiting for daylight to break, Sam said, "Dad... this is pretty cool".

We saw 4 doe, a dozen chipmunks, and a couple woodpeckers.  So, no buck for us on opening day.  Sam did get a nice siesta while I kept watch.

A closer look... a hunter at complete peace with his surroundings.