All posts by Todd Aebischer

A Medical Evacuation Every Day…and Then This One!


When I received this message from one of our pilots, Paul Woodington, who serves along with his wife Clare in Wewak, one of our 6 MAF bases, situated on the N. Coast of Papua New Guinea, I had to share it with you!  Be sure to read to the end…you will be blessed!


I send you this email about yesterday’s drama for me and the Wewak team. The Pryors are a very thankful family for the help we provide for their family and ministry…yesterday it was extra special.

Jesse Pryor is a second generation missionary in PNG. They have built a clinic and many times we have helped MEDEVAC seriously ill patients.

Yesterday I received a request to MEDEVAC Jesse’s son out of Samban. It was one of the most difficult and complex decision making tasks I have undertaken. But, we did our utmost to help.

It was late. I was already flying a MEDEVAC from Edwaki to Wewak, a man with a broken leg lying down in the plane in considerable pain. The Caravan was over half full and heavy. Yet, the task was to divert for an hour late in the day. Land in Samban. Pick up the family of four, three of which are large. Think about the weight and tail-wind for takeoff. Factor in a draggy surface penalty and recent rain. How low was the fuel? What reserves did I have?  How close to last light? Could the man with the broken leg manage another hour in the plane?

On the surface, it seems I would not be ticking many boxes so I declined. After a rethink, I found I could tick all the boxes if I diverted direct to Samban not via Wewak. Jacob (base agent) was invaluable acting as intermediary between myself on the radio and the very concerned father.

So, we lifted 10 people out of Samban, one a small baby. The Caravan with a four knot tailwind became airborne half way along the strip passing 200 ft over the fence.

It made me realise how fantastic this plane is and to thank God for His wonderful provision of the Cessna Caravan for the SEPIK area of Papua New Guinea. As I engaged the autopilot and looked back at the load, I felt a pang, a tear jerking sensation. I experienced a real community feeling on board.  Elijah, the Pryor’s son with a burst appendix, was throwing up in a bag comforted by his big sister. Another woman was attending to the man with a broken leg, which was badly swollen. Katie, Jesse’s wife, was showing another lady their newly adopted PNG baby. I shared what was left of my lunch and passed around water, and gave pain killers to the stretcher patient.

I want to share this with you because this plane makes a real difference to people’s lives. The Pryor family needed us for their own family this time. We were able to help in the most difficult of circumstances. Not many planes would have fuel for an hour diversion or the capacity to lift this load out of a marginal airstrip.

When the plane landed at Wewak, it was near dark due to the overcast. When I got home it was dark.

This week I have done a MEDEVAC every day. Despite the difficult times we are all living, the mission community here is pulling together!


Here in Papua New Guinea, on average, we fly 41 flights each day, visit more than 200 airstrips (communities) each month, and provide more than 500 medical evacuations each years.  For many of those living in these communities, we are their only connection to the outside world, short of a several days walk…a walk that in this case… for this missionary family… would have been impossible with a ruptured appendix.

This is only possible because of the MAF Family.  This family is a united team across multiple countries and cultures.  You are part of this team – and we thank you so very much.  Thank you for your continued prayers, partnership (encouragement and financial) and for your commitment to impacting the isolated people of the world with the transformative message of hope and healing through Christ.

Yours and His for the harvest,

Todd & Connie Lou

Our MAF US Profile and Donation Page

Bibles for Ambuluwa!


What does a day in ministry look like for us here in Papua New Guinea?  I don’t think we will ever fully know what to expect…other than to expect the unexpected!

Usually our days involve regulatory meetings, hosting meals, shuttling arriving and departing guests, security issues, or any number of other logistical elements of coordinating a team of some 130+ national and expat team members spread across one of the most geopolitical diverse countries in the world.

I have asked our pilots that we if have any flights with space available going out and returning, to please let me know.  During any given month, we land at an average of 212 airstrips across PNG.   It is truly essential that as Country Director, I develop a good understanding of the villages, people and partners that we are serving.  So grabbing a chance to fly out and back is always a pleasant change to the daily schedule.

All too serious, I’m looking out as we make our way through the mountains to Ambuluwa.

On Thursday morning, I received an unexpected surprise.  A flight was headed out to Ambuluwa, about 35 minutes away from our home base of Mt. Hagen.  I checked my schedule, moved a couple of meetings, grabbed a headset, and climbed aboard one of our 6, GA8 Airvans and headed to Ambuluwa with pilot Remi Van Wermeskerken.

Descending into the mountain valley, the dirt strip is seen out Remi’s window.

The village of Ambuluwa is nestled high up in the mountains at an altitude of 6,150 feet above sea level.   The significantly up-sloping dirt airstrip is surrounded by towering, lush, green, jungle rain forest.   As we circled the airstrip, I was surprised at the numerous waterfalls tumbling down the steep mountain faces hemming in the Ambuluwa valley.

I had the opportunity to meet with residents of Ambuluwa, and ask about the impact of MAF. What does MAF mean to them?

Landing up the airstrip, we came to rest at the top where the airstrip plateaus.  As is normally the case, the village residents came out in great numbers to meet the MAF plane.

This man was showing me the path through the mountains. 1 1/2 days walk to the nearest road.

As I asked the residents about options, they informed me that the closest road was nearly 1 1/2 days walk…for them.   For us…it would probably be closer to 2 or more days.  MAF represents their lifeline for medical evacuations, supplies, and on this day…BIBLES!

As the freight and passengers were unloaded, Remi met with a man who had come to get Bibles.  I was humbled as the man took everything we had and asked if he couldn’t please get more.  More people wanted to have their own copy of the Bible in their language.  We emptied our box and assured the man that more would come on the next plane.

Climbing aboard the plane with more passengers for the return trip to Mt. Hagen, I reflected upon the impact of MAF.  Today, for the village of Ambuluwa, we had brought much more than physical nourishment, but hope, joy, and peace through the delivery of the Word of God.

What other impact does MAF have?  Well in 2016 alone, across the globe, we:

  • Partnered with more than 2,000 organizations such as Samaritan’s Purse, Campus Crusade, Wycliffe Bible Translators, the Nazarenes, and more!
  • Served in 37 countries
  • Flew more than 60,600 flights to remote, isolated locations
  • Daily delivered more than 41,800 pounds of precious mission cargo to build God’s Kingdom

The total impact is difficult to measure.  But as once tribal fighting  villages, are now erecting churches, and  the morning mist is welcomed with praise and worship songs,  it is easy to see that MAF truly is helping to transform isolated communities physically and spiritually in Christ’s name!

Now, sitting once again in my office, looking out on the ramp as Remi is departing with another load of hope for the village of Simbai, I find myself reflecting on how this can happen!  None of this could be possible without the MAF Partners and Families standing behind us!  You are the wind beneath our wings!

I close with this quote, one of my favorites from John Wesley:

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.” 

Each day Connie and I thank the Lord for allowing us to have just a small part in His plan for reaching the ends of the earth.  And we thank the Lord for each of you…who partner alongside of us!  Today it was Bibles for Ambuluwa…how about tomorrow?

Yours and His for the harvest…

Todd and Connie Lou

Our MAF partner page.

Hick-ups with a purpose…a pilot’s journal


Connie and I are so blessed to be leading such a tremendous team of servants.  This is a great story written by one of our pilots about a couple days in the life of MAF!

Story and photos Remi van Wermeskerken

Today was a bit of a mess. My schedule was supposed to have been Madang-Nankina-Madang-Dusin-Madang-Simbai-Madang-Simbai-Madang with the Airvan P2-MEW.

The first Hick-ups: No passengers and bad weather
But… the flight to Nankina couldn’t happen because the truck bringing the passengers and goods had broken down. Fortunately the passengers to Dusin were ready, but as they didn’t have a full load we added 75 kg of goods for Simbai. I landed in Dusin as the low cloud was getting worse I and took off just in time, perhaps by two minutes, or it would have been completely closed in. Simbai, which is only a 7 minute flight from Dusin, was completely closed by low clouds. After trying to get down and trying to find a hole to descend through, I had to return to Madang as my fuel was starting to run low.

More Hick-ups: Cancellations, to many overnights and the plane due for inspection
By the time I got back to Madang, weather in Simbai had improved enough to go there again but the passengers for the second flight to Simbai had cancelled. We had to figure out how to most efficiently get me and the plane to Simbai and to Goroka as there was no loading back home to Madang and the next morning I’d have an empty load to Goroka to get there for training with Sebastian Kurz. With already 3 nights away from home this week, I wasn’t too keen on another night away. When we found out that there were 3 passengers from Simbai to Goroka, it seemed the right thing to do to save MAF a lot of expense and just fly Madang-Simbai-Goroka and overnight there. However we figured out that my plane would be due for an inspection before the end of the week and Sharlene Coker, Flight Operations Coordinator, suggested that I swing by Mt Hagen today to swap planes which changed the routing to Madang-Simbai-Mt Hagen-Goroka.

The Outcome of the Hick-ups: A last minute compassionate flight..

Sebastian flying ‘casual‘ to assist an urgent flight request.

The rest of that flight was quite uneventful and because I was quite high in duty hours, I was looking forward to having a short day, getting to Goroka by 2 pm and calling it a day. But whenever we seem to have a short day (seldom…), something happens. And as my plane was parked and being washed in Goroka and I was ready to go home, Sebastian dropped by and suddenly things got urgent in the office. A man came in asking for a charter to pick up his daughter in Chimbu, who had just given birth to a baby who had died. The clinic in Chimbu did not have formalhydrate so they needed the mom and body of the baby brought to Goroka for burial as soon as possible. It was now 3 pm and the weather didn’t look all that great. Sebastian, who wasn’t even in his flight uniform as he only wanted to check on the next day’s training program, was very keen to help this distressed family. So we quickly got the plane ready, and took off to show Christ’s love to this family.

When boarding the plane it was hard for the mother to let go of her beloved baby for a few seconds so she could climb into the Airvan.

It was very difficult to see the mother constantly kissing her little deceased baby, knowing that she will not have a mother-child relationship with this baby she had carried for 9 months. I can’t imagine the agony she must have been in.

The passengers boarding the Airvan P2-MEW.

It was good to be able to support her and the family during their sad time.   What started out as a very frustrating day with lots of hick-ups, turned into a day where all those circumstances caused this flight to Chimbu to happen. If all had gone according to plan, there wouldn’t have been time to add the Chimbu flight.

Another Last Minute Call: A Medevac

Sebastian calling his Goroka base for a weather update while on the ground at Wabo, he finds out about the Junkaral medevac request

Only a couple of days later, when we were about to leave on our last training flight of the day, there was suddenly another emergency call from Jungkaral. A young teenager had fallen out of a coconut tree and badly broken an arm and a leg and they wanted to know if we could assist.   To pay for the flight, they only had seat fares for two people to Madang. So we had a lot of decisions to make. Madang was out of the question as we’re training in Goroka and I would end up with way too many flight and duty hours at the end of the month. Because we don’t normally fly to Junkaral and could fill up the plane, this medevac would have to be declared as a charter flight.   After discussing this with Sebastian, we decided that this is one of those medical emergencies that MAF has some extra funds for. So we departed towards Jungkaral. Due to the late afternoon, clouds were already up to 10,000ft so we had to climb over those and then start a rapid descent into Jungkaral.

Upon landing we were amazed that the community was carrying the boy without a stretcher or mattress without him crying or complaining, even though he had multiple broken bones. Many of the women were wailing, as if someone had passed away.

We got the young man to Goroka in the late afternoon and our base staff transported him to the hospital. I don’t even want to try and imagine what they would have done if MAF had not been able to help and the community would have had to transport him through the jungles for days or weeks to the nearest hospital.


Your prayers and partnership are what keep our planes “Flying for Life!”

Thank you for partnering with us as together we connect isolated people and see lives physically and spiritually transformed in Christ’s name!

Todd and Connie Lou

Our Partnership Page

 

The email we were waiting for…has arrived!


Hard to believe that a month has passed since we arrived in Cairns, Australia, to begin the orientation process with Mission Aviation Fellowship.

One of the key pieces to this journey has been obtaining the work permits and entry permits so that we can enter Papua New Guinea (PNG) in a proper manner.   We have been working on gathering documents and submitting them since June.

On Friday evening we received the email we had been waiting for!  “The entry permit approvals have been sent to the consulate in Cairns!”  The last step in the process is to take our passports to the consulate and have them place the Visas in the passports.  Lord willing we will be all set paperwork wise by Tuesday the 12th of September!

Cairns Support Office

So..what’s next?  We will finish our mission orientation here in Cairns on Friday, September 15th, and then be looking at the flight / logistics to get ourselves to Mt. Hagen, in the Highlands of PNG.

We’ll keep you posted – but did want to get this praise out to you!  God is so very good!  Everything in His timing! Thanks so much for your continued prayers and partnership!

Took a quick walk through the Mangrove trees at the airport. Look out for the Crocs!!!

Prayer Requests:

  • Successful completion of the orientation time and wrap-up here in Cairns.
  • Political situation in Papua New Guinea
  • Personnel transitions in PNG.  There are several new arrivals to the team.  Praising God for the provisionment, but recognizing that there are certain stresses on the current team as us “newbies” arrive.

Todd and Connie Lou

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord… We’re so thankful that He does!


Over the Ocean – close to Cairns, Australia – a LONG flight (14 hours).

According to the dim glow emanating from the LCD screen in front of me, I am writing to you from 34,000 feet approximately 500 miles off the eastern coast of Australia.

What a whirlwind of activity the last few months have been.  Packing up our home in the Philippines, preparing for the quadrennial General Assembly in Indianapolis (June), arriving in the States on May 5th, speaking across the nation from the West Coast to Ohio, officiating our Niece’s wedding in Central California, a family reunion in Idaho, a mission open house at Mission Aviation Headquarters in Nampa, taking EVERY opportunity to love on our kids and grand baby, and now…preparing to descend to a new chapter south of the equator!

We’re glad that the Lord has promised us, “He knows the plans He has for us,” because a year ago and even as late a today, I certainly wouldn’t have anticipated this plan!

On Thursday morning, we met at a local restaurant with our kids and parents for a late brunch and then headed to the Boise Airport to say our good byes.   At the airport we were informed of a baggage embargo (limiting the number of checked bags allowed during this period of the year) and so we began the process of unpacking our action packers to turn 6 packers into 4.

Our prayer is always that we represent Christ well, regardless of the circumstances faced, and so thanking the counter agent for her understanding (as she processed our passports and tickets and gave us time to go and re-pack all of our bags) we started unloading in the lobby of the airport.  The young counter agent was from Guam and we had shared our connection of living in Micronesia back in the 90s and how much we had loved Guam and the people there. There was a connection and I think she was amazed that we weren’t having a typical “passenger meltdown.”

About 25 minutes later, as we were repacking, the counter agent came up to us and said that she had worked with her supervisor, had pulled some strings, and that we were going to be able to send all 6 bags, and be charged no luggage fees for the extra two pieces!  Connie was in tears of joy!  So we re-packed a third time and sent the bags through.  (Thank you to our girls and parents for helping us navigate this small hurdle!)

And then our flight was delayed….  Before we even said goodbye to family, we were informed that the smoke on the West Coast had snarled traffic in Seattle and that our flight was pushed back an hour, giving us just 9 minutes connection time in Seattle.  Then pushed back again, and now we would be arriving after our connecting flight was to have departed.

I’ll tell you, technology is great!  While we were sitting at the gate, we received an email from Delta alerting us that they had gone ahead and cancelled our reservations for today and re-booked us for Saturday, getting us into Cairns late Sunday night.  Not what we wanted to hear…but at least we were informed (thank you Delta for doing a good job of keeping us informed!)

Connie, seeing challenges as opportunities to make new friends!

And so… quick keyboarding by desk agents, some more “strings pulled” a reroute through Salt Lake City, and rather than having to go home, come back and repeat the checkin, security, wait game a day later, we made it to LAX and are flying on our original international flight and will be landing in 57 minutes in Sydney.  What did we gain?  New friends and new connections with more people who will hear about what God is doing!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”  Jeremiah 29:11-12

Connie and I rest in the assurance that He does have our plans in His hand.  Our job is to remain patient and to look for the opportunities to be “Salt and Light” and to respond in a counter-cultural way…to respond with grace and peace regardless of what we are facing.

Then God can use us wherever we go.  I just smiled in amazement once again as the desk agents came up and gave Connie a hug after closing the gate and leaving (while we stayed waiting patiently for our re-booked flight).

Thank you Lord for another day to serve!  And thanks to each one of you who continue to pray and encourage us along this journey.

Todd and Connie Lou – from Cairns to you!

And then…The New Chapter Begins!


It is truly amazing how the Lord works.  If you had told Connie and I that we would once again be serving on the front lines of missions through mission aviation, we would have smiled and told you, “that chapter in our lives has passed.”  We so truly believed that it had…and then…

You know…that is one of the greatest statements when we are serving the Lord, “and then.”   And then something that we never imagined happening…happens!

In October of 2016, we were contacted and asked to consider the Country Director position with Mission Aviation Fellowship in Papua New Guinea (follow this link for a more detailed  review of the assignment).  We turned down the idea as a “distraction.”  We were very happy with our ministry on the Asia-Pacific Region and in Manila, and we didn’t see any need for change.

And then…a contact in December, and then again in January of 2017, finally got us to really thinking and praying about whether the Lord could be in this request.  After discussions with our Regional Director and the Global Mission Director (Nazarene Missions) we were given the green light to pursue additional discussions with Mission Aviation Fellowship.

In February we travelled to visit the Mission Aviation Fellowship operations base in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, met with the PNG National Board for MAF, and then visited the leadership / support team, office and facilities in Cairns and Mareeba, Australia.  The trip was very enlightening and the Lord’s hand was evident.

The rest has now become history!  We returned to the U.S. and had a very heavy speaking schedule through May and June, finishing with the quadrennial General Assembly in Indianapolis, Indiana, the last two weeks of June.

Now it has been meetings, orientation, paperwork, finalizing details with the Nazarene Missions and working through the transition with our World Mission Communications Team.

The days are short!  I (Todd) had the incredible opportunity of officiating my Niece’s wedding in Central California last week – what an honor and privilege.  This next week we are spending a few days with family for a family reunion,  having an open house / reception on Sunday, July 30th, (see this link for details) packing up our bags and heading to the new assignment on August 3rd.

Your prayers are greatly appreciated! Please pray for:

  • Wisdom as we make the necessary arrangements prior to our departure.
  • Family relationships and time together.  It’s challenging when we spend so many months away from our biological family.  We dearly love them and miss them greatly when we are apart.
  • The transition  as we learn a new culture, language, and mission team.  That God would give us sensitivity and wisdom way beyond ourselves as we learn our new roles and understand the ministry that He has called us to.
  • Resourcing.  This is a partner-funded mission assignment.  We truly believe that what God calls us to He will provision. This has been our experience for all of the years that we have been serving in missions.  We just need to be faithful in praying for connections with those whom God is leading to partner with us in the very tangible area of finances.

So many of you have travelled this mission journey with us for many years, for than 26 now.  We are so very thankful for your words of encouragement, prayers, and financial partnership.  We couldn’t be on the field, crossing borders and barriers with the gospel,  without you here praying and paying the price. THANK YOU!

We had a favorite verse that we shared in our publications back in 1991 when we first started our journey into Mission Aviation.  We are proclaiming it once again as we close:

12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service.  1 Timothy 1:12

Rest assured that we will be sending out more updates as we begin this new chapter….and be prepared for hearing the incredible stories of…. And Then God Showed Up!!!!

 

“When we work we work, but when we pray…God works!” – Lucado


The early days, Pacific Missionary Aviation, Micronesia, 1995

Prayer truly does make the difference!  From the islands of Micronesia in 1992 to the islands of the Philippines in 2017, we have seen God answering prayers all along the journey.  Many ask how they can partner with us – please – partner in prayer!  Over the course of the next two months, our speaking and traveling schedule is very intense.  Our prayer is that it will be more than just “speaking,” but that it will be “sharing” the message that God has for each church, group, convention, friend and family member.

 

 

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7

Will you join us in praying?  Here is a brief summary of the upcoming couple of months so that you will know better how you can partner with us in prayer. (Click here for detailed speaking schedule).

  • April 10-14, Last full week of prep here in Manila before headed to U.S.
  • April 17-19, Asia-Pacific Resource Center team building – Philippines
  • April 23-28, Out of Manila travel / meetings.
  • April 29th, 3rd leg of  National Race Series at Motocross Messiah Ministries
  • April 30th, last Sunday before departure from Philippines – MMF / Makati
  • May 1-3, Keynote speakers Metro Manila District Nazarene Youth International Camp
  • May 4, Depart for U.S.
  • May 5, Depart Boise for Columbus, Ohio
  • May 6,7, Faith Promise Convention, Ohio
  • May 8, Return to Boise
  • May 9-14, Home in Idaho – Intermountain District Assembly
  • May 15-25, Washington Pacific District Speaking Tour
  • May 27 – June 12, Kansas District Tour, driving from Idaho to Kansas.
  • June 16-18, NW Ohio District Missions Convention – Speakers
  • June 19-30, General Assembly, Major involvement with productions.

 

So Much for Which to be Thankful!!!


sunsetting_piWell, it’s almost 9pm here in Asia on the night of Thanksgiving.  It has been a full day –  in the office, meetings, chapel service, ministering with team members, answering scores of email.  Now the sun has settled brilliantly into the blue oceans on the western side of the Philippines, as it makes its way to bring Thanksgiving Day to North America. God is good!

I have stopped several times today and pondered how thankful we are.  How thankful that God has given us one more day to serve.

 

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
    let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
    and extol him with music and song.

For the Lord is the great God,
    the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
    and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
    and his hands formed the dry land.

Come, let us bow down in worship,
    let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for he is our God
    and we are the people of his pasture,
    the flock under his care.

Psalm 95:1-7 (NIV)

Jessie and Noortje were able to come and experience our jeepneys!
Jessie and Noortje were able to come and experience our jeepneys!

Every day is truly a gift from Him.  We thank God for the safety of travel over literally tens of thousands of miles by air, train, jeepney, bicycle, car, and foot.  How many times have we narrowly avoided accidents?  Through it all, God’s protective hand has been with us.

House Bible study.
House Bible study.

We thank God for allowing us to serve in many capacities.  From sharing the story of missions and challenging others to use what God has placed in their hands; their time, talents, skills and passions… to sharing in house Bible studies, or traveling to different countries encouraging, sharing, and teaching.

Connie traveling, sharing, speaking, teaching - Myanmar.
Connie traveling, sharing, speaking, teaching – Myanmar.

Then there is the “outside of the box” ministry that we are so privileged to be a part of.  Meeting at the motocross track each Sunday, sharing the word of God with those who might never enter the four walls of a traditional church.

The Motocross Messiah Fairground Fellowship officially recognized on November 19th.
The Motocross Messiah Fairground Fellowship officially recognized on November 19th.

We celebrate that on November 19th, we were able to recognize the Motocross Messiah Fairgrounds (MMF) fellowship. We are now a recognized organic church ministry!

Tangible hands and feet of Christ during times of greatest need.
Tangible hands and feet of Christ during times of greatest need.

But more than being recognized as a church, we are a faith community that is living out what it means to be the tangible hands and feet of Christ.  To serve our brothers and sisters in their times of celebration as well as their times of greatest need.

Journeying life together. We are so blessed by our Filipino Family.
Journeying life together. We are so blessed by our Filipino Family.

One of our greatest blessings for which we are thankful – YOU!  We are so blessed to have family, friends… faith communities literally around the world who lift us in prayer and partner with us in ministry.  We are continually overwhelmed that you have allowed us to serve as your ambassadors here on the Asia-Pacific Region.  This is an honor and privilege that we do not take lightly.  We couldn’t be here without you there.  Together we are making Kingdom impact.

Connie traveling to share in Myanmar
Connie traveling to share in Myanmar

Today, as you gather together as friends and family, sharing the goodness of our God and giving thanks, know that 15 hours away, across the international dateline, on the other side of the world, we are giving thanks and praying for you!  Thank you for being such a vital part of our team!

May our Lord abundantly bless you and your family during this season of Thanksgiving.

Yours and His for the harvest,

Todd and Connie Lou

 

And We Know That He Hears Us!


IMG_0209

It is rainy season in the Philippines!  What does that mean…it RAINS and when it rains, it can be monsoonal!  Such was the case yesterday (Sunday) at the Motocross Messiah Fairgrounds.  The morning started out sunny with coaches and riders on the track, enjoying the freshness of a new day.

 

Then as 10:30am approached, the sky suddenly began to darken, the winds picked up to a force that had the dust pelting our eyes, and the rain started.   It began as a sprinkle and as we gathered under the tent as we do each Sunday morning, the sprinkle turned into a downpour, that turned into torrents of rain, that were then whipped by the wind horizontally through our shelter that has only a roof and no side walls.  While it may be the tropics, it had suddenly become cool and as Sam began to share the word, I looked down to see that my legs below the waist were soaked.  Other riders were shivering and the thunder of rain and wind was making it next to impossible to hear Sam share.IMG_6532

I was frustrated to say the least.  We had new riders there, first timers, and our whole purpose for being there, under a tent, in the dirt and dust, is to share the love and Word of God.

And then it happened…. God began to flood my mind with torrents of scripture, like the rain…

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” (James 1:5-8)

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” (1 John 5:14-15)

You of little faith,” Jesus replied, “why are you so afraid?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it was perfectly calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the sea obey Him!  (Matthew 8:26-27)

And then I felt the Lord asking me… “Why haven’t you prayed… you preach it and teach it…exercise your faith!”

As Sam tried to speak over the sound of the rain hammering down against the roof of our shelter, I began to pray, “Lord, for the sake of those who are here for the first time, so that the power of Your Word may be proclaimed, please Lord, come against this rain.”

My eyes were closed as I was praying these words and suddenly there was a calm, I opened my eyes to see that the rush of wind had stopped and the torrents of rain ceased.  There was nothing but a gentle sprinkle…and it remained that way for the duration of our morning service!

Faith, Sam, Joshua and Caleb Tamayo
Faith, Sam, Joshua and Caleb Tamayo

I was BLOWN away… but why should I have been… I serve the Lord that, “even the winds and the sea obey!”  Lord I believe… Please God… help me with my unbelief… and He does…  Time and time again!

We serve the Lord of all creation!  We have access to a powerhouse through prayer that most of us barely even consider.  Please… be encouraged… take your concerns to the Lord!  These things that we ask in accordance to His will… He hears…  and He Responds!

In just over 48 hours, Sam, Connie, and I will start our travel to the states for 18 days of speaking at the Regional Work and Witness Conferences on the East Coast, West Coast, and Central States.  We will also be speaking at several churches and Northwest Nazarene University.

IMG_2380Please, commit to pray! Please commit to pray for safety of travel, health, pray for Sam’s precious wife, Faith, and twins who will remain in the Philippines, but most of all, that God would direct us to where he would have us, give us spiritual sensitivity to where he is at work, and give us the courage to obey in speaking and doing what he would have us to speak and do!

We believe that God has great things in store for the days ahead – we desperately need you to call upon the Lord and partner with us in Prayer!

Yours and His,

Todd, Connie Lou, and Sam and Faith Tamayo

 

 

A difficult time…your prayers are truly needed…and appreciated!


I truly believe that far beyond the cultural challenges and language barriers, the most challenging aspects of serving overseas are those times when your family is hurting and they are there…and you are…well…not there, at least physically.

Many of you have been walking the journey with us for many years and you know that over the past couple of years, Connie’s brother and sister-in-law, Curt and Deanne Landreth, have been walking the journey of a very aggressive cancer.  One that has proved resistant and resilient to about every medicine and treatment approach tried.

Curt standing in the gap as surrogate grandfather with our only grandchild...baby Noortje.
Curt standing in the gap as surrogate grandfather with our only grandchild…baby Noortje.

Earlier in July, Curt and Deanne left for Seattle to be close to the University of Washington Medical Center where Curt has been receiving an experimental treatment.  Unfortunately, on July 8th, he was taken from their apartment to the hospital and admitted due to concerning medical conditions.  He has not left the hospital since then.

When we work…we work. But…when we PRAY, God Works! – Max Lucado

You have prayed with us before and we are asking now that you take a moment and pray specifically and earnestly for the Lord to do a miracle in Curt’s life.  While we don’t know what that miracle is going to look like, Curt loves the Lord, his faith is strong, but just like Moses in Exodus 17, Curt is growing weary.   We are asking the Aarons and Hurs of today, to come alongside and lift up the arms of Curt and Deanne in focused prayer.

  • Curt_Hospital
    Curt receiving a visit by friends.

    Pray that the allergic reactions would resolve.

  • That the Doctors would have wisdom with treatment protocols.
  • That Curt and Deanne would be strengthened physically, emotionally, spiritually.
  • That their faith and trust in the Lord would be clearly evident, and that they would be a beacon of light in the cancer treatment unit.
  • And of course…if God would will it…we are praying for a healing miracle that would be so profound that the medical community would have to proclaim that truly, there is a God!

We would also appreciate your prayers for Connie.  I know that in the perfect world, she would like to be right there physically…but we know…that as we pray many times through the day for them…we are walking this road with them spiritually.

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” 1 John 5:14-15 NIV. 

Thank you for continuing to journey with us in prayer.  We covet them more than you could know.

Todd and Connie Lou