Category Archives: Current News

In God’s Timing…Taking Those Great Steps of Faith…Please Pray.


Connie and I are so very blessed to have such a tremendous group of prayer warriors, partners, and encouragers!  I shared the below post on FB this morning.  Connie said, “Honey, you need to share this with our team.”

One of our team took this photo of our Monday morning prayer time this week.  This is the only way we can keep this ministry on track.
One of our team took this photo of our Monday morning prayer time this week. This is the only way we can keep this ministry on track.

This week the battle has been fierce, but Praise God, His word is alive, engaging, and always “spot on” with where we are in life. I was reading in Mark, and 1 Samuel today. As with so many of our friends, there are many “fires” that we are facing in life and ministry. We are tempted to try and take matters into our own hands, to forge ahead with the “solution” that we think is best.

Saul felt this same way. The armies were surrounding him, (1 Sam 13). Thousands of Chariots, and “soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore.” Samuel was suppose to arrive on the scene. Saul waited 7 days, his troops were starting to scatter. I can imagine he was just a bit stressed out. As a leader he felt he “had to do something.” So he did…acted ahead of God’s timing. Marvin Williams said, “Saul’s impatience was the ultimate display of his lack of faith.” Saul ultimately lost his Kingdom because of his actions.

Then in Mark 9:22-24, the man with the demon-possessed son comes to Jesus with what we see as an absurd statement, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” I can understand the father’s anguish. But Jesus replied, “If I can?? Everything is possible for him who believes.”

The father’s response is the cry of my heart during these days. “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.”

I keep reminding myself: We serve the Creator of the universe. The Alpha and Omega, the only God who sees the end from the beginning. Our God doesn’t write about history, he foretells the future!

Sometimes we feel the armies and battles closing in around us. We need to stand firm, commit to pray, and wait on the Lord and His timing.

Love this quote by Oswald Chambers – “Tune your anxious heart to patience, walk by faith where sight is dim; loving God, be calm and trustful, and leave everything to Him.”

Here are some major prayer requests from the Asia-Pacific Region. (Click blue links for the story from the Region.)

  • Students at APNTS gathering together to pray for the urgent need of 3 Nazarene families being questioned for their faith (today here in Asia).
    Students at APNTS gathering together to pray for the urgent need of 3 Nazarene families being questioned for their faith (today here in Asia).

    3 Nazarene Families: At this very moment, there are 3 Christian / Nazarene families who are being brought before officials in one of the countries on our Region.  We received word last night that this was going to happen today.  We started circulating the word to have 24 hours of prayer.  I was so blessed this morning when I arrived on campus and found a group of students in front of a world map, laying hands on the map, fervently praying for those families.

  • Father of Missionary from PNG:  Please pray for the father of one of our missionaries who suffered a fall.  It is so difficult to be thousands of miles away when your family is hurting.
  • Senior pastor hit by motorcycle:  In Myanmar, one of our senior pastors was hit by a motorcycle and suffered a head injury.  Please pray for Pastora Maa.
  • Please continue to pray for our kids.  It is so difficult for us being so far away.  We lift them before the Lord daily.  We trust that He is bringing people into their lives to help stand in the gap.
  • Please continue to pray for Connie’s brother Curt.  He continues his battle with cancer.  We pray for him and his precious family daily.

Thank you so much for continuing to pray and partner with us!

Yours and His,

Todd & Connie Lou

Warmest New Year Greetings from the Aebischers!


Warmest New Year greetings to you from the Philippines!  Connie and I wanted to take a moment to thank you all so very much for your partnership with us in mission here on the Asia-Pacific Region.   2014 was a very busy  year.  We took a few moments this week, to put together a short video for our churches and partners who have been following, praying, encouraging, financially supporting and partnering with us.

We pray that you have had a blessed Christmas and the start to a tremendous 2015!

May God bless and protect you, your families, and ministries.

Yours and His for the harvest,

Todd & Connie Lou

Sunday Morning in the Philippines – Typhoon Hagupit Update


Thank you to all of you who have been praying faithfully for the Philippines during this threat of Super Typhoon Hagupit.  As communications coordinator for the Region, it has been an extremely busy time.  We apologize for our personal blog slacking a bit.

We are doing well.  The storm is southeast of us and appears to be diminishing quickly as it comes over the country.  Praise God!

If you would like to have the live updates and information on the Nazarene Disaster Response, it is available at our regional storm tracking page:  www.asiapacificnazarene.org/typhoonhagupit

Thank you again so very much for your continued prayers and encouragement.  Once the storm blows through, we will be bringing an updated greetings.

Here is a global call to prayer video that we released a couple of days ago:

Greetings from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania! Safe Flight, Great First Conference…More Great Things to Come!


Dreary eyed travelers, somewhere over the Middle East on the 13 hour leg to Washington DC.
Dreary eyed travelers, somewhere over the Middle East on the 13 hour leg to Washington, D.C.

Thank you so very much for your prayers! The flights from Manila to Washington, D.C. went well, albeit they were some of the more turbulent that we have been on in our years of travel.

Several times throughout the flights we were all advised to remain in our seats, cabin service was suspended, and it looked like one of those scary movies, with things jostling around inside the cabin.   Needless to say, we were very glad to have our feet finally on solid ground.

Flying the long way around the globe to get to the States...saves a lot of money...just a lot of time in the air.
Flying the long way around the globe to get to the States…saves a lot of money…just a lot of time in the air.
Connie catching some much needed shut-eye in the terminal at Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Connie catching some much needed shut-eye in the terminal at Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Oh…have to throw this picture into the story.  Our air travel, with layovers and delays, took around 30 hours.  Connie was about ready to crash (while on the ground – no airplane involved) so I told her I would stay awake and be her guardian angel while she took a nap on the terminal carpet.

Control Tower with the sun rising through the sands of the Arabic Desert in Abu Dhabi
Control Tower with the sun rising through the sands of the Arabic Desert in Abu Dhabi

We made our way from Washington / Dulles International Airport to the Eastern Region Work and Witness Conference where we set up our table and banners, representing the Asia-Pacific Region.

General Superintendent Emeritus Dr. Jesse Middendorf
General Superintendent Emeritus Dr. Jesse Middendorf

There was a great turnout for the conference.  General Superintendent Emeritus Dr. Jesse Middendorf was the keynote speaker for the conference and brought two great messages.  He really hit a home run as he talked about the fact that going on a Work and Witness trip was not your only mission, a one-time thing, but rather an outflowing of your “life of mission.”   He also spoke on the power and necessity of prayer covering for these missions.  We definitely believe this!  There is great power in prayer.

This morning we are getting ready to speak at the Reading, Pennsylvania Church of the Nazarene.  After today’s meetings we will climb back in our little rental car and head three hours back to the area around the airport for a very early departure tomorrow morning for Boise, Idaho.   We will stop here briefly, (give great big hugs to our kids and family) pick up more presentation materials, another car, and then head for the Oregon Pacific District and the Northwest Region Work and Witness Conference.

Prayer Requests:

  1. Dr. John and Shauna Mullins and family.  See earlier blog posting.  We are planning to stop and visit/pray with them on Monday.   We continue to claim healing for Dr. John.
  2. Dr. Jim and Kathy Radcliffe.  Jim is our lead surgeon at Kudjip Nazarene Hospital in Papua New Guinea.  He will be heading into surgery on Tuesday, May 9th, here in the states, for the removal of an adrenal tumor.  Pray that it is benign and pray for rapid recovery.  Great story about Dr. Radcliffe.
  3. Jet Wing
    Many miles of travel to be made on this trip.

    Traveling safety.  We have many hours to drive and fly during this trip.  Yesterday at about 4pm as we were driving to Pennsylvania, I finally told Connie, “I just can’t go anymore.”  We found a McDonald’s parking lot, pulled in, and slept for about 30 minutes, so we could keep on traveling.

  4. Family. Like most families, we have so many who are in desperate need of a touch from God.  Please pray for healing for Aunt Bev, Aunt Sheryl, Curt, Ronan, our 6 kids (David, Dwayne, Jessica, Cale, Courtney, Landen).  This is just the start – the family list is long, but prayer makes a difference!

We will close for now.  Thank you so very much for your prayers on behalf of Connie for her shoulder and eye.

Connie with her super smile, sharing about our ministry at the Eastern Region Work & Witness Conference
Connie with her super smile, sharing about our ministry at the Eastern Region Work & Witness Conference

She is doing so much better.  You can tell that she truly loves what she is doing…I’m not sure that it is physically possible to smile any bigger!

Thanks for making the journey with us, for praying, partnering, encouraging and supporting.  We definitely couldn’t do it without you!  Together we are making an impact in Asia!

There are definitely more great things to come!  Stay Tuned!

 

“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.

renault3
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.

002
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

Typhoon Rammasun Making Landfall – Heavy Rain Here in Manila!


 

Typhoon Rammasun 1I (Todd) just returned back from the Central Philippines where I spent a few days working with a Volunteer Team from Rancho Cucamonga.  We were working to rebuild one of the churches destroyed last  year by Super Typhoon Yolanda.   My plan was to post some great pictures and highlights from this trip.   Things have been a bit busy, and this afternoon, the rains have increased to a steady downpour as Typhoon Rammasun places Manila directly in its path.

We appreciate your continued prayers.  Schools and embassies have closed, several evacuation orders have been issued for villages on the eastern shores, and everyone is keeping a very close eye on this storm.

Click here for details.

Updated Prayer Request for Our Nazarene Surgeon in Papua New Guinea!


RadcliffesPNG
Dr. Jim, Kathy, and their youngest children Josiah and Lydia.

The Asia-Pacific Team has been requesting focused prayer for Dr. Jim Radcliffe, his wife Kathy, and family.  Dr. Jim (the general surgeon at Kudjip Nazarene Hospital in Papua New Guinea) began having heart issues in May.   It has now been determined that Jim’s heart troubles were likely the result of having had an untreated heart attack, at some point in the past.

Jim and Kathy are currently in the U.S. and Jim has just been informed that he is a good candidate for the necessary heart repair. The surgery date has been set for August 4th. They are asking for focused prayer as multiple tests need to be completed and preparations made in advance of the surgery.

Radcliffe Surgery
Dr. Jim performing a C-Section at the hospital in PNG. Praying for his personal healing so that he can return to his healing ministry!

“We are praying for a quick recovery, the ability to complete our home assignment speaking, and to return to PNG in January,” said Dr. Jim. “Please also pray for the Lord to use this time and to guide us in all the changes of schedules and plans we need to make. We are resting in the arms of Jesus and trusting Him for His healing, in His time and Way.”

Jim and Kathy have served in Papua New Guinea since 1985. The Radcliffes have six children between the ages of 33 and 15.