Urgent Call to Prayer…Will You Please Join Us?


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World Mission Communications Team Asia-Pacific (WMC-AP)  Praying each morning from 9-10am.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:16 (NAS)  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6 (NAS)

B-17 Bomber Picking up Flak
B-17 Bomber Picking up Flak

Our WMC-AP team has a saying, “When we are over the target we are going to pick up flak.”  Just like a bomber in war, when it is flying over friendly territory, the flight is usually smooth and quiet, but the minute it gets close to or “over the target,” the enemy starts to throw up all the “flak” (anti-aircraft fire) possible. 

For more than a year, we have not needed to see a doctor for anything, then in the last 2 weeks we have been to the doctor three times!  Connie with a shoulder problem, then a drop of bacteria filled water off the roof landed in her eye and caused a major, immediate, issue; back to the doctor.  Then followup on the shoulder involving a 20 mile drive, and a 30 minute doctor appointment, followed by a 30 minute physical therapy appointment, required more than 12 hours!   As Connie says, “this is what happens when you live in a city of 37 million people and all of them decide to get on the road at the same time!”  Add to this, two weeks of cyclical fevers for both of us, most likely a result of mosquito born viruses, and a kidney pain for me (Todd) that had me hurting with every movement…and we definitely feel like we have been picking up all sorts of Flak!  It seems that almost weekly we have been adding another family member to the CPL (Cancer Prayer List).

"Been praying for you. You are in need of covering I think."
“Been praying for you. You are in need of covering I think.”

One of our prayer and financial partners who has been with us for more than 40 years (was my childhood Sunday School Teacher) and who does not have email, just sent us a card saying, “Been praying for you. You are in need of covering I think.” Truer words were never spoken!  We understand it for what it is.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 (NAS).  

We just returned from a tremendous training trip to Indonesia.  Click here for story. God was present great things are happening. The Kingdom of God is being advanced.  WE ARE OVER THE TARGET!

WILL YOU PLEASE COMMIT TO PRAY!

  1. We can only be here because we have a partnership team back home who prays and pays the price.  One of our Team members, Dr. John (our family physician) has walked the road alongside us since our return to Asia.  He completed our physicals, treated me (Todd) when I came home with a serious stomach infection, treats our kids, Connie’s brother, and is absolutely a vital link in ministry.  He has provided us with his cell number, home number, email, and has encouraged us to call anytime day or night if we need help.   As a Christian doctor he is so much more…he is a healer!   Dr. John has battled a serious infection and has been hospitalized much of the past 3 months.  Many of you will remember we paused our Daughter’s wedding reception on June 15th, and prayed corporately for Dr. John.  While our team here in Manila has prayed daily, it’s time to CREATE A WAVE of prayer.  Will you please join us in daily praying for this vital team member?  Will you do more than pray, would you even consider fasting a meal?   Dr. John needs a breakthrough! Pray for his wife Shauna and his precious family as well.  
    Heading back across the ocean again...
    Heading back across the ocean again…
  2. In 4 days (Sept 3rd), Connie and I will head for the airport to begin one month of conventions, meetings, and speaking engagements across North America.  We will be attending three Regional Work and Witness Conferences, promoting the mission projects here on the Asia-Pacific Region.  This will find us in Maryland, Ohio,  Oregon, Idaho,  and the Northern Alabama District.  Pray for safety as we travel, and that God would lead us to the teams, churches and partners that he has for the Asia-Pacific Region.  (Speaking and Travel Schedule)
  3. Pray for Connie’s shoulder.  The doctor has told her that it is frozen and needs specific physical therapy.   Leaving in just three days, this is not possible.  He gave her targeted exercises and instructions – we need healing.
  4. Pray for our family.  Within our close family we have several dealing with cancer.  It isn’t easy when you are across the world and want to be home walking the path with those you love.  Again…healing is needed.  We have another family member leaving today for yet another term defending the freedoms of our great nation.   We need prayer for his protection. 

We are not asking for an ice bucket challenge, or a gift of finances, we are asking simply for effective and fervent prayer!  We are definitely in need of covering.  In our years of mission service we have seen that God Answers Prayer!  Time and time again!   

Will you please be part of the answer by PRAYING!

 

“No loving God would banish someone to hell! If He would…then I don’t need a God like that!”


Your ChoiceHave you heard this said before? I have, many times, again just recently. Rev. Dave McGarrah helped me understand the answer in a message he shared a few years ago.

Dave said in summary, “You are correct, no loving God would give us anything other than what we desired. No loving God would force us to do anything contrary to our will. He has given us free will and allows us to exercise that will. It breaks God’s heart for us to spend eternity apart from him, but he is willing to give us what our hearts desire.”

If our hearts are set upon being apart from God in this world, and we despise the things of the heavenly kingdom at this time, then a loving father would not force us to be part of these things for eternity.

He loves us enough to give us what our hearts have desired, eternity with him, or eternity apart. He loves us enough to let us choose.  

So glad to be safely home back here in Manila.  Doing a heart check this morning.  Spending more than the norm time in the word and meditation.  Wanting to have my heart set on the things that matter.  Trying to choose well.

Flying Solo – But Not Alone!


similar to what I flew - photo from web
similar to what I flew – photo from web

Our first missionary assignment was in the Pacific Islands of Micronesia where Todd was a pilot for Pacific Missionary Aviation and I was Mom to a very active 2 year old and helped out in the office as needed taking position reports and such. When the Chief Pilot was out of the country and Todd had to make a flight to an outer island, he had engine trouble and ended up taking the engine apart on the coral runway and putting it back together. It was then that I made up my mind that I was going to get my pilots license, so I could at least fly a part to him if needed!

When we returned to the US after our 3 years there, God worked it out for us to join a flying club and get an incredible deal on renting the airplane. I got 42 hours in that month!!!! Had just one night landing and one other item to check off the list in order to take my test to be a private pilot. On my last solo cross country, with forest fires blazing, thunder clouds building and Borade Bombers flying across my windshield, I decided I had reached my goal and did not need the sign off. I was flying solo, but not alone! I was scared, but calm, nervous, but a weird sense of peace filled the plane. I believe God sent an angel to help encourage me. The voice of an older pilot came on my radio – as I was trying desperately to contact flight following, without any luck because I was over a ridge to avoid the heavy metal airplanes that were fighting the fires. He asked me if I knew where I was and I assured him I did. He asked a few other questions and then said he would relay for me. He did so and with a calm reassuring voice coached me along.

Because of the weather, I was hitting up and down drafts that were taking me beyond the 50’ +/- allowed by my husband instructor who insisted I follow airline standards because he did not want me flying if I was not proficient as he did not want to raise our four kids alone!

Solo but not alone…..I think that one of the reasons I didn’t feel alone in that plane was an experience I had while living on the island. When our youngest daughter was about to be born, Todd had to make an emergency medical evacuation of an 18 year old boy who would have died had Todd not been able to get him to the trauma center on Guam. I was solo then, had another missionary wife and a lady lawyer friend I had made, but no husband, mom or sister there….. God helped me through that in a miraculous way. With a smile on my face, and a peace in my heart, God was there in that delivery room as our daughter entered the world. I asked my friend Dawn to take pictures with my camera as I wanted Todd to know that I was OK through it even though he was not able to be there. Not something I could have done on my own, but God gave me the strength when I needed it, to get through what I had to.

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Similar to van I drove in SA – photo from the web

When we were stationed in the Ivory Coast and the civil war was really heating up, a decision was made to send the wives and children to South Africa for safety. Three moms and 11 kids got on the plane that night. Flying solo again…..but not alone. Once again, God gave me a peace and although it was not easy for our family, we made it our goal to help the other two families with smaller children make the most of the experience. When we arrived, we were escorted to apartments for each family and I was given the keys to an 18 passenger van and a map book of Johannesburg, South Africa. I was elected to be the chauffeur because I didn’t have any accidents on my record. South African vehicles have the steering wheel on the right side, and one drives on the left side of the road! I took a solo flight before I trusted myself with all those people. One of my sons went with me and one stayed with the girls. Our first trip around the block we got a flat tire!!!! But again, God gave me the peace and assurance that He was with me and we got it fixed and I was able to drive the families all around Johannesburg safely.

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Sunset over Manila – taken from our house August 15, 2014

Now we are in the Philippines. In the past 21 days I have been Solo 17, and the couple of days Todd was home, were a whirlwind of preparations for the next trip to Indonesia. Solo but not alone…. I am so thankful that God is here with me, giving me that weird peace, blessing me with beautiful sunsets, and good friends to chat with. Even though the monsoon rains, caused by a typhoon sitting offshore, increased the mosquito population. And since we do not have any screens on our house, they swarmed around me eating me alive. After I stopped counting at 44 bites on one leg, I started to get the tale tell symptoms of sickness. I am so thankful that it was not a bad case, headache behind the eyes, fevers and nausea, but not so bad I had to seek medical attention. I had my down days where I didn’t feel good and was frustrated with being solo again. But through it all I am reminded that I am Solo, but not alone!

Gospel music is what fills me back up. Not just listening, but singing along. So the solo times make that a little easier… Poor Todd and our kids have had to put up with this for years! When I have a good internet connection, I can watch You Tube videos of Gaither concerts. But when that is not working, I listen to the few CD’s I have over and over and never get tired of singing to my Lord. I am transported to the presence of the King when I lift my voice in song, and I’m Forever Grateful!

Closer to home


Closer to home
Closer to home

Todd has been gone for the past almost two weeks to attend several meetings at GMC in Kansas. Although I am fine staying here in the Philippines without him, I feel safe and love my work and all that, I still really don’t like it when he is gone. Todd and I had been praying before we came to the Philippines, about being in ministry together. I had a really good job, which I had enjoyed for several years, and that provided a large portion of our income, but we wanted to be in ministry together. We thought that was going to be at Hands of Hope Northwest!  In comes Mark Louw with an offer for us to come to the Asia-Pacific Region as missionaries once again. After much prayer and I do mean much prayer, we accepted the position.

Working together in ministry is a wonderful thing! Same time schedule, same goals, same passion for what God has set before us. We work really well together, as we complement each other with our individual strengths. Really it has been wonderful. Hard, yes, being away from our kids and the rest of our families and friends. And the swarms of mosquitoes I am dealing with right now! But so rewarding in so many ways! God is continually teaching us things, and confirming things through each other as we read and study His Word. It is really amazing!

As Todd was getting ready to get on a plane headed “home” to the Philippines, he said “one step closer to home.” That phrase ‘closer to home’ caught my attention and my brain began to whirl. : ) I told him that I was going to use that phrase for a blog update! And here it is.

Closer to home…..is this our home? In some ways the Philippines feels like our home, but every day we are reminded that our kids are in the US and that is our home.

Closer to home….is this world our home? In some ways it feels like our home, but every day we are reminded that our Savior is in Heaven and that is our home.

Closer to home….I like that phrase.  As the airplane carrying Todd and a few hundred other people slowly makes its way across the ocean to Manila, he is getting closer to home. And as we continue to work in ministry together here, growing in our relationship with our Savior – we are closer to home with Him in heaven.

How close are you to home?

What steps do you need to take today to get one step closer to home?

I love to watch him get 'closer to home'
I love to watch him get ‘closer to home’

Typhoon season is upon us…life as usual!


Storms world wide on 8/2/2014
Storms world wide on 8/2/2014

This is the time of year that storms build across the world! With the sophisticated weather tracking software available, you can look online and see the different storms and their intensity. This can either be a comfort or a concern, depending on your location or the location of your loved ones to those storm cells.

Typhoon Ramassan hit us here in Manila as a Category 3, which means that it had winds 111–129 mph and was considered a major typhoon. The local name for Ramassan was Glenda, and she came in like a lion but she left like a lamb!

Trees flattened by the wind and rain of Typhoon Glenda
Trees flattened by the wind and rain of Typhoon Glenda
Todd unclogging the drains out on the ledge to keep the house from flooding
Todd unclogging the drains out on the ledge to keep the house from flooding

 

A typhoon is a storm that has a circular pattern with the winds blowing counterclockwise (here north of the equator). As the storm comes across a point, the first half of the storm the winds will be blowing from one side, but as the eye of the storm passes over, the winds then change direction and come from the other side. Confusing I know, but that is just how it works….typically.

Glenda came in hard blowing rain and debris all over, but as the eye of the storm came over us, the winds died down and rain stopped, which is typical. But they never picked back up again! In like a lion, out like a lamb! And let me tell you I was so very thankful! Todd and I had spent hours out in the wind and rain trying to keep the drains from backing up and flooding out our house! We may be living in the tropics, but with wind that strong and rain pelting you, it is cold! I was miserable! But I was so thankful that I had a house to come into that only flooded from our roof and blowing rain, but never from rising water (we are on a hill). I cannot say that was the case everywhere! There was a lot of flooding and many homes were destroyed.

Water and relief supplies being packed in rice sacks to be trucked to areas hardest hit
Water and relief supplies being packed in rice sacks to be trucked to areas hardest hit

 

In comes Nazarene Disaster Response! The Philippine Field Office is really efficient at getting relief supplies together, bagged up, and shipped out to the areas hardest hit. There was a whole team of young folks and older ones alike that came together to make a difference in the lives of those impacted, by supplying the basic needs in the midst of yet another disaster. Some of those that came to help were some great folks from Rancho Cucamonga, California that had come a few weeks earlier (Work and Witness Team) to help rebuilding in the wake of Super Typhoon Yolanda.  Then, courtesy of typhoon Glenda, they missed their connection and had to spend a couple extra days with us! I am so thankful to be part of a church that cares about the whole person and lends a hand in times of need.

As I write this, we have yet another typhoon sitting out to the east of the Philippines. As I said this is the time of year…. This one is named Halong or Jose. They do not expect it to hit us, but as is the way of storms, it will pull in moisture from all around that will drop buckets of rain on the Philippines and cause wide spread flooding and the need for relief supplies will most likely continue.

Dr. Radcliffe home after heart surgery
Dr. Radcliffe home after heart surgery

In the midst of the storms of life, we have much to praise The Lord for! One of those big praises is that Dr. Radcliffe, surgeon at our Kujip Nazarene Hospital in Papua New Guinea (PNG) has been released from the hospital and is doing well! We are so thankful to all of you who lifted he and his family in prayer through this difficult time. The Lord continued to show His love and care and brought doctors and staff into their path that they had a connection with and they were comforted knowing that their doctors knew The Lord personally!

Regardless of the location of the storm, they are always an opportunity to let our testimony of the hope found in Christ shine!  We are so thankful that God has provided the opportunity for us to serve here in Asia.  We are also, so very thankful to each and every one of you who are also faithful in prayers and financial partnership.  Together many lives are being touched for the kingdom!  Thank You!!

Many Blessings,

Connie & Todd