One of the primary responsibilities of the Regional Communications Coordinator (my job – Todd) is keeping the global church connected with what is happening in Missions on the Asia-Pacific Region. We have taken it a step further. Since I am so blessed to have a tremendous team working with me, we are wanting to provide updates from the mission work on every region! One of our interns, a graduate from Olivet Nazarene University, Rebecca Moisio, who has been working with us here in Manila since October of 2015, has been doing a tremendous job of putting together these news pieces. (Feature image is from the Myanmar District Assembly – another post will be coming about that trip!)
We have received the most tremendous early Christmas gift this year. Connie’s brother, Curt, who has been on a journey of battling cancer, a truly battle-for-life, sent the following message this morning…
I had my three month scan this week and for the first time ever, I’m officially in remission…
I am so grateful for your prayers and support and encouragement through this journey and I do not want to minimize our joy or appreciation. But I have friends who are not so fortunate as I am. One in particular that I went to Haiti with a couple years ago is now in hospice and I can’t imagine what her youngest son, who is my youngest son’s age, is going through. It is a bitter sweet place to be. I have, throughout these couple of years, felt a strong confidence that things would work out. Even the couple times when my oncologist implied that I should make sure my affairs were in order, I was not swayed to think things would be different than they are today. Maybe it is arrogance. Maybe it was faith. Maybe it isn’t over. But today, I just want to offer you my sincerest appreciation and share with you our good news.
No one will ever really know the depth of grace that Deanne has afforded me by being with me at every Dr appointment, every hospital stay, every retching session, Piling blankets on me and holding me while I shook with violent chills, jumping up multiple times in the night to get me a pill or a drink or change the towels from the drenching night sweats. And so much more I don’t even remember from the chemo fog. My kids, Nathan, Danielle & Shad, Mitchell & Heather, and Mac were so strong and helpful with chores around the house and patient with my chemo grumps and quietly helping to keep me comfortable and safe. My father Vernon, often came over to try and help around the farm, and many of you have done things like planting flowers in our front flower boxes while we were gone, placing little plastic army men all over the farm that I am still finding to this day…
I really cannot adequately express what all of your support has meant to me on this journey. To both of us. If I can ever reciprocate in any way, it would please me greatly.
We are worshiping the Lord this morning in song. “You are good, all the time, all the time, you are good!” You can imagine that we are celebrating in a tremendous way today!
Thank you all for your incredible prayers on behalf of Curt, Deanne, their family and ours. We truly couldn’t be here without you! We are so blessed to have such an incredible prayer team!
Updates are being added to the bottom of this post. Please scroll down to see the latest updates!
Jam David, his caretaker, advocate, personal nurse, and so much more, has updated us with several highlights.
24 hours in a Regular Room: During his attending doctor’s rounds, the doctor made Roldan sit up and try breathing without supplemental oxygen. He also asked Roldan to use his IS (Incentive Spirometer – device to help him breath deeply and clear his lungs) more often to exercise his lungs and to prevent pneumonia. With his vital signs stabilizing, the medical team is now expecting him to eat more. His sense of smell and taste is messed up at the moment. His creatinine is good (measurement of kidney function). Still waiting for the rest of the labs to come in. We all need to encourage him and positively push him to do things.. this is where the length of his recuperation lies. It may lengthen or shorten everything. Ricardo is doing great being by his side as you all are too!!
Sunday Morning, I arrived to find him sitting up at the edge of his bed. He wanted to use the wheelchair and the nurse said that this is fine. We set a goal today of using the IS every 2 hours. Yesterday, he used it every 4 hours. That tired feeling plus his chest feels like not doing it is his enemy now…
For a rapid recovery so that he can leave the hospital,
And for his entire care team!
We have been overwhelmed at the outpouring of prayers and encouragement from around the globe. God is answering prayer – and you are a vital part!
16 December 2015
It is now Wednesday afternoon in Manila. Just seven days after Roldan had open-heart surgery to replace 2 valves.
We as a ministry team, visited him on Monday, which was 5 days post open-heart surgery, and were amazed as he took us on a short tour of the Philippine Heart Center’s third floor, walking!
We had prayer for him before we left, thanking God for the healing in his body and for the hope he now has.
We just received word a few minutes ago that Roldan’s Cardiologist has visited him and removed the bandages and drain, and has given him the green light to go home.
As Jam, one of his caretakers said, he is now able to plan for the future. What an incredible statement, full of hope and gratitude, seeking what God has for him in all of this.
Please continue to lift him in prayer as he recovers at home and travels back for monitoring of his Coumadin levels, one of the medications he will need to be on for the rest of his life. His recovery has been amazing – thanks to friends like you, across the globe, who have lifted him, the doctors and his team of caretakers to the great physician.
Over the last several months, we have been so very blessed to be part of planting a church in the downtown Makati area of the greater Manila.
We would like to introduce you to one of our newest attenders – Roldan Imbo.
Roldan has been an orphan for many years, living at the Village of Hope. In June of 2015, he began studying under scholarship at the Philippine Missionary Institute, pursuing a Bachelor of Theology / music.
Updates are being added to the end of the story.
Over the last few months, Roldan has been on a very difficult journey. In August he was diagnosed with infectious endocarditis, a bacterial infection of the heart valves. It apparently is a result of a reactivation of rheumatic heart disease. In the Philippines, with antibiotic treatment only, it has a mortality rate of around 80%.
During the ensuing treatment, Roldan experienced acute kidney failure and then liver failure. Through much answered prayer Roldan has overcome these obstacles and is now moving towards open heart surgery.
Roldan has truly won the hearts of the medical community. Several of the doctors have provided discounted fees. www.godskids.org has partnered with Village of Hope, and is providing a means for donations. Praise God, the more than $30,000 USD needed for the life-saving, open heart surgery have been raised.
Roldan is scheduled for a tri-valve replacement on Wednesday morning, December 9th, Philippine Time. This will be around 3pm, Tuesday, December 8th, (U.S. Mountain Time).
Would you PLEASE commit to begin earnestly praying for Roldan, for the doctors, for a successful surgery, and recovery. There is much power in prayer – and right now – we need a global prayer team to lift up Roldan, and his family from the Village of Hope!
*** Tuesday, December 8th, Evening Update
Roldan has been admitted to the hospital for pre-surgery preparations after a very long admission process (he was 21st in line for a room).
There are many key people who are part of this story – one is Ricardo. Ricardo has been part of a training program for young adults who are learning how to give back blessings to the community. He has been actively involved with Village of Hope, often working overtime at his job to fund his involvement with the mission.
Even though Ricardo was scheduled to leave and go on to a career-advancing training program, he postponed his training so that he could stay by Roldan’s side! Whether it be at home, at the hospital, at church, or traveling in-between, you will not find Ricardo far away – a formidable Guardian Angel!
From the people who are physically by Roldan’s side to those who are praying from around the world – everyone is needed! We will continue to keep you posted as the journey continues over the next few days.
*** Wednesday, December 9th, 12 noon update
We have been speaking with Jam (who is a nurse and coordinator at the Village of Hope Orphanage where Roldan has grown up) she is at his bedside around the clock with Ricardo.
This guy’s smile is contagious. He’s a trooper!
Roldan’s Thoracic Surgeon, Dr. Rhonnie Cacas, checking his heart before surgery.
IV line is in, and Roldan is just waiting now.
From Jam: “This is Roldan with his IV line already in. NPO (nothing orally to eat) since 5am. He is hungry but since he is ready, he is keeping it together. Monitoring his sugar too. Labs came in and they are all in the normal ranges! Oh thank God! Hemoglobin, platelet, prothrombin and thrombin time, magnesium, Na, K, Creatinine. Waiting for the orderly to shave his chest, and then it is off to surgery. The large needles for the catheter did concern him, but we are trying to help him keep his mind off of these things.”
We are praising God for the number of prayer warriors who are committing to pray: As of noon, Philippine time, there were 480 documented people praying for him from 26 nations. Nations: US, Philippines, Canada, Australia, NewZealand, Mexico, United Kingdom, Thailand, Vietnam, Azerbaijan, Japan, St. Lucia, France, Taiwan, Papua New Guinea, European Union, Indonesia, Northern Marianas, S. Korea, Guam, Singapore, Ghana, Qatar, Uganda, United Arab Emirates.
When Jam shared this with Roldan his response was, “Wow! (in his usual shocked reaction) Too many places!!”
Let’s get a few more places praying for Roldan today!
*** Wednesday, December 9th, 10:30 PM, Philippine Time
Thank you Lord for getting Roldan Imbo through his operation! Thank you friends and partners for praying. He just got taken to the recovery room. Please continue to pray that there are no complications and pray for a fast recovery. I can now breathe a little bit. Thank you for being there for Roldan.
The surgeon reported that the tricuspid valve had improved, so they only ended up replacing the Mitral and the Aortic, so only a two valve versus three valve replacement. He will be under observation for the next 24 hours for stroke, aneurysm, etc.
Hundreds are praying for Roldan from the following nations.
*** Thursday, December 10th, 11:00 AM, Philippine Time
Jam David from Village of Hope shared this great news today!
“He woke up! Smiled, gave us a ‘salute’ sign! – Oh that moment! 14 hours to go (critical post-operative monitoring). Now he feels hungry!
Thanking God also for the worldwide prayer group! (I have seen the update last night!) We can feel your presence from this part of the globe.
We managed to practice signs that he may use while in there if he can’t use his hands and lips. And he remembered! He is recuperating faster than expected, which is a good sign.
SPAGHETTI. That is what he wants to eat when he is able.”
Please continue to keep Roldan, Jam, Ricardo, and the team in your prayers – these are critical hours and days as his body responds to this life-saving but body-traumatic surgery.
*** Thursday, December 10th, 8:00 PM, Philippine Time
Roldan has now passed 24 hours since the heart valve surgery. Jam from Village of Hope, the nurse and caretaker for Roldan, provided this update tonight:
“Roldan’s intubation tube is out. They are continuing to keep a close eye on his heart rate because it is still faster than normal, at around 105. He was on Digoxin prior to the surgery (helps make the heart beat stronger and with better rhythm) and his medical team plans to put him back on it while continuing his Penicillin.
The nurse said that they will start him on clear fluids and if his throat can tolerate that, he may have a soft diet soon. He is begging his nurse to give him some pineapple juice – but that will have to wait for now. With the IV pain medication, he is in and out of consciousness.”
We are praising God for the progress so far! Please continue to keep Roldan, in your prayers.
*** Friday, December 11th, 1100 AM, Philippine Time
The journey of recovery continues it has now been 38 hours in the Recovery Room. Jam from Village of Hope has been able to be in Roldan’s room, talk with him, and encourage him. She shared this morning that she was able to tell him about all of the people praying for him, he was very encouraged.
Roldan’s heart rate is still elevated and he has been afraid to cough because of the pain. He is doing well on his breathing (deep breathing encouraged post surgery). Most of the lines are out. He will need to be transfused with additional blood as his hemoglobin is low. Doctors will also be running a urine culture to check if there is any infection. He will possibly transfer to an ordinary room anytime today.
“I am really thankful for this team…it is big and God made sure that every part has been taken care of. God is awesome!” – Jam David
Please continue to keep Roldan, Jam, Ricardo, the medical teams, and the Village of Hope family in your prayers!
These are truly some challenging times in which we live…but they are not so different from the times of the children of Israel in Egypt, the days of captivity in Babylon, the days of the First Century Church. The Word of God continually reminds us that if we are truly Christlike in our daily lives, that if we truly live counter culturally, that if we are salt and light, that we will be persecuted by the world.
19“If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. 20“Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.21“But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.… John 15:19-21.
7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid;do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:7-9
We bear testimony to God’s graciousness and provisionment as He has truly been with us wherever we have gone!
Connie and I have had a tremendous few months of ministry.
Traveling to Taiwan, teaching a seminar and visiting 20 of our churches over the course of 10 days.
Teaching a Course of Study to developing pastors in a house setting in a Creative Access Area;
Traveling to various locations here in the Philippines, speaking and teaching on behalf of Nazarene Missions International and Sunday School Discipleship Ministries International.
Helping to coordinate a joint motocross race and evangelistic multiple-band outreach concert.
Continuing to partner in Ministry (preaching every other Sunday when in country) at our Makati (business district of Manila) GenCon church plant.
Partnering in weekly small group Bible studies.
Small Group Bible Studies
Hosting weekly worship team practice and Bible study in our World Mission Communications Studio.
Helping to Facilitate two Regional Conferences and annual meetings in another location on our region. In this particular instance, we had over 300 delegates from across the region attending plenary sessions and workshops, along with evening worship services that reached nearly 500 in attendance each evening over the course of 5 days. The WMC-AP office (our team) handled all of the media and design support for the events, as well as logistics of registrations and reservations for delegates.
Pray for the timely return of our Visas. Our resident Visas expire on the 15th of November. We have been working on renewals for a couple of months, but due to various challenges, they are still in process. We need these soon for upcoming travel.
Upcoming trip to Taiwan for another 22 church visit, teaching trip, November 25-December 8.
Global NMI and SDMI conferences. Connie and I will both be going in different directions. Connie to the East Coast of the U.S. for the global NMI conference (she is NMI Coordinator for the Asia-Pacific Region), Todd to Europe for the global SDMI conference. Please pray that these conferences would be Spirit led, and that leaders would be open to hearing from the Lord as He provides His vision, plan, and purpose for these ministries.
Travel to Myanmar for orality story training.
Travel to a Creative Access Area to teach another Media course.
From now until the first week of February, we will be away from our home here in Manila for all but about 24 days.
Lord Willing, we are planning to arrive to Boise on December 23, to spend some time with our Family, for Connie to do whatever tests are necessary to be considered for a donor match for her brother Curt, who has been in an ongoing courageous journey against cancer, and to love on our new granddaughter. We will leave from Boise and begin 5 weeks of heavy traveling.
As I close, I thank you for taking the time to read this post, lift us in prayer, and partner with us in ministry. As we serve on a region of some 2.8 billion people, with 2,000+ spoken languages, 135 cities of more than one million inhabitants, and at least 1,270 Unreached People Groups comprised of more than 675 million people, please pray that God will help us to catch His dream and vision for this region.
May God bless you and your family, and help you to remember that in the face of the world in which we live, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid;do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Southern Taiwan: I know that it’s been a long time since we have posted on our blog – and I apologize. As we were climbing into the van for departure to the next church on our visit schedule today, we realized that our bodies are getting a bit tired.
In March we were full-speed ahead, getting ready for home assignment and the busy speaking schedule in the US and Canada. After traveling thousands of miles and sharing with so many of you, we returned to Manila June 23rd and by the 25th of June, I (Todd) was headed to Indonesia with our team.
Arriving back in Manila on the 1st of July, just 9 days later found Connie and I flying to Taipei to start a 10 day teaching and training tour across Taiwan.
We were so very blessed to share with the Yang Mei Church on Sunday the 12th, and then teach communications and Nazarene Mission International workshops for the Taiwan Pastor’s Conference during the week.
Friday afternoon saw us climbing aboard a High Speed Rail from northern Taiwan to southern Taiwan, reaching speeds of 186 mph!
Wow…covered in 96 minutes what would have taken more than 5 hours by car. We’ve never gone that fast on the ground and not gotten airborne!
Today has been a 15 hour day, traveling to and visiting with pastors and church members in 6 churches from the metro areas to the mountains, finishing with preaching in Chaozhou – a message of Faith and courage in going where God has called us to go.
Over the course of the next two days we will continue to visit and share with 10 churches (17 in all) preach two more services, and then climb back aboard the High Speed Rail on Sunday evening, returning to Taoyuan and then back to Manila by Monday – all Lord willing!
We are so grateful for the incredible partnership of the Taiwan District and all of those who have worked on transport, interpreting, hosting, and opening of their arms, hearts, and homes! God is so good. Please pray for continued strength and a special blessing on the church, people and nation of Taiwan!
Oh…one final photo…just had to share…a special friend who came to visit us for coffee! We thought we had left them back in Manila!
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.”
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.)
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
To share God’s love through aviation and technology; seeing isolated people physically and spiritually transformed in Christ’s name.