Category Archives: Prayer Requests

Disaster Response in PNG


IMG_7722Five days after returning from my time in the US to say goodbye to my brother @curtlandreth and spend time supporting my family after his loss, we experienced the most severe earthquake PNG has had at 7.6 on the richter scale.  We woke around 3:42am to the bed shaking and soon realized the whole house was shaking severely.  We thought we would ride it out and stayed in bed for a few more seconds.  When we realized it was not ending and the shaking actually intensified, Todd suggested we get out of the house as it is on stilts and perhaps not built to withstand such a force.  I grabbed my cell phone and torch (flashlight for you Americans) put on my robe and headed for the door.  Todd was trying to get the keys into the locks while swaying with the quake as it continued to roll.  One door open, then working on the metal security door, finally getting that open as well and we were outside!  We quickly went down the stairs and away from the house as the earth continued to shake.  It slowly started to quiet down and our pulse rates with it.

Todd headed to the other compounds to check on staff, and called others.  Thankfully we were able to get back to sleep as the power was now out and so an early morning in the office was not going to be very productive, and with that severe of a shake, the possibility of fissures in the road was likely and so traveling in the daylight was deemed to be much more prudent.

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The aftershocks continued and were at a level of 4.0-6.0 and are still occurring three days later as I write this update.

Tuesday morning I was briefed on the need for photos of the area and so Mandy Glass who is the Comms Officer for our Base and I climbed into a Caravan with her husband Mathias flying along with Luke Newell and three Government Disaster Response Team members.

The photos were sent to MAF I Disaster Response and Security to review and issue a press release.  You can see that below, along with a link and directions on how to view the images on a google map so that you can see the exact location where the picture was taken.

Please keep PNG in your prayers! Pray for safety as our pilots continue to do med-evac flights and for those on the ground helping people dig out from the numerous land slides. Pray that MAF will continue to see isolated people physically and spiritually transformed in the name of Jesus as we work with different agencies and organizations in the response to this disaster.

 

173 Earthquake Survey Flight[2]173 Earthquake Survey Flight[3]

The Finish of a Race Faithfully Run….


It was Wednesday morning January 31st here in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea.  I was headed out the door to the mission base when I received the message from Connie’s sister…”Todd…please have Connie call me ASAP.”

Those kinds of early morning messages or phone calls are the ones that you pray you never receive – but they are a part of the process of life…

Curt bringing cheer to those around him, December 2014, with Christmas lights mounted on his IV Pole!

Since 2013, we have been praying for Connie’s brother Curt. The way he handled his diagnosis of cancer and the ensuing journey for the past 5 years have been an inspiration to all that have known him.  He has been an incredible example of what I believe the writer of Hebrews was describing;

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2 (NASB)

Curt has rallied so many times that we just knew he was going to once again, come through and be back on his farm with his family… but this time, the Lord had different plans…

God was in the midst of it all.  I was so praying that we would be able to get Connie home in time to spend some precious moments with Curt before his home going.  God answered our prayers!

So thankful for Jan Bell who has been helping us with travel arrangements for years.  Within just 15 minutes, she had a flight booking arranged for Connie (requiring Connie to be checking in to a flight within 1 hour.)

How we want to remember Curt…full of life and energy!

Some 44 hours later, Connie was at Curt’s bedside and our prayers were answered,  she arrived in time to share some very special moments together before he slipped into sleep and then into the arms of the One upon whom he has been fixing his eyes…Jesus.

Please commit to keep Connie, Curt’s wife Deanne, their kids and grand kids, parents, and the whole family in your prayers.  We are human and separation brings grief, but the faith that comes through a personal relationship with Jesus, brings a peace which absolutely surpasses all human understanding…  A peace because we know that this isn’t “Goodbye,”  it’s simply…  “See you tomorrow.”

More precious memories….

The service for the celebration of Curt’s life will be Saturday, February 10th in Meridian, Idaho at Ten Mile Christian Church at 3 pm.

Watch Your Language…


Down Under in Australia still:

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Tree Tops Lodge – Guest House where we are staying in Cairns, Australia while studying language

Learning a new language is always an adventure!  We are learning Tok Pisin which, is the trade language used by Papua New Guineans as there are some 800 +/- different languages in PNG!  Luckily for us, Tok Pisin uses quite a lot of English and German words that are spelled slightly different but have very similar meanings to the English and German words they came from.

Here is Genesis 1:1 in Tok Pisin

(Read it out-loud as the sound of it helps you understand the words.)

STAT  1:1

Bipo bipo tru God i mekim kamap skai na graun na olgeta samting i stap long en. 


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A few years ago, Gary and Eleanor Zweigle, from Tumwater CotN in Olympia Washington, introduced us to the Gideon Bible App that has many of the different translations of the Bible in one very easy to use App. The App has the entire Bible in Tok Pisin as well as an audio version of the New Testament.  What a great help that has been to hear the language spoken and read along with it!

Although there are many familiar or similar words, there is a tendency to “Pidginize” English words to make them sound like Tok Pisin which, does not work!  Tok Pisin is an independent creole language that originated as a Pidgin. There are some words that we have been advised not to use! Some words that in English are very common and do not have a negative connotation, and yet their Tok Pisin equivalent can be offensive.  We need to really watch our language!

Friday, August 18th was a Staff Development Day that we were blessed to attend along with the MAF Staff in Cairns and also the folks from Mareeba.


Living Wisdom Workshop

Dr. David Riddell of Living Wisdom, Nelson, NZ, was the presenter and we worked through a lot of helpful information on leadership and making friends with your mind. He explained what that means and how it helps each of us deal with all the different things we deal with. He wrote a book on this and once the dust settles a bit for us, I will have to see if I can download this book!

Praises:

  • Connie Lou’s new passport with more pages came back this week!
  • VP and Nirmala’s (our colleagues) Visa/Entry Permits were granted this week!

Prayer Requests:

  • Our Visa/Entry Permit process. We are still waiting for the paperwork to be approved so that we can obtain our visas.
  • Please continue to pray for our language acquisition.
  • Pray for VP and our Regional Director as they will be going to PNG for meetings Monday, August 28th to Thursday, August 31st.

 

We are only able to be here because of the prayers and financial partnership of you, our friends and family!  If you are interested in partnering with us financially, please visit the MAF US Website – Be sure to mark your gift –  Aebischer #8214 

Thank you so very much!

Todd and Connie Lou

Update from Down Under – Meetings, Meetings, and More Meetings!


Some of the Manuals we are working our way through

As we finish up our first week Down Under, our heads are full with all the information that has been given to us in the meetings with various leaders and department heads.

We are thankful for jet-lag that has helped us to wake early in the mornings so that we can get a lot more reading done before we head to the MAF Cairns Office for each day’s meetings.

The team at Mareeba with Nirmala, and VP beside Todd

On Monday we met our colleagues VP and Nirmala on our trip to visit the Mareeba site.  We are so excited to be working with them in this capacity.

Our room at Tree Tops with our luggage.

 

We have a nice apartment in a complex owned jointly by MAF and SIL missions. It is located just north of Cairns by a few miles. We are doing training here while we await the finalization of our entry permits and visas. It is a 3-step process. 1) Work permit, 2) Entry Permit, 3) Visa.

Praises:

  • Our Work permit was granted last week (we had applied in June) and we immediately made application for the Entry Permit.

Prayer Requests:

  • Connie’s passport was getting low on pages so we also had to apply for a new passport through the embassy in Sydney, and it should be back the last week of August.
  • Also for the finalization of the Visas / Entry Permit process.
  • We start language school on Monday and this last through about the 3rd week of September.

Thank you for partnering with us in prayer!  We know that God hears and answers your prayers and we so appreciate your willingness to lift us and this new ministry in which He has placed us to the Father.

MAF has just added a new profile bio for us!  You can view it here:

https://www.maf.org/Aebischer

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.

 

And We Know That He Hears Us!


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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.

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    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

And The Journey Continues…With Purpose..


Connie_Seattle 2Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.  It is Tuesday, May 10, we have found Connie’s favorite spot in any terminal, a place in the sun where she can be warmed.  It’s hard to believe that 8 weeks of our lives have flown past at speeds that even make this pilot’s head dizzy, and we now find ourselves waiting for Delta Flight 167, that will launch us back to our home and family in the Asia-Pacific.

It has been an incredible 8 weeks, where we have touched and been touched by the lives of people in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and throughout the beautiful Canadian cities of Vancouver, Penticton, Nanaimo, and Victoria.  New friends have been made and we have found once again that no matter where we travel, we find family in Christ!

As we flew from Boise to Seattle this morning, we reminisced at how many times we have packed our action packers with supplies and equipment, walked into terminals, sat at gates, and watched the monitors for the silent reminder that we were minutes away from yet another chapter in our lives.

Connie_sleeping
The fatigue of the weeks taking their toll…finding rest in the terminal.

This morning though, the fatigue of the weeks and the emotion of yet another departure, this time leaving our first Granddaughter behind, took its toll.  As I write, I assume the role that I so eagerly and passionately accepted nearly 28 years ago, that of keeping watch over the love of my life, the friend of my youth, and my forever ministry partner.  Who could have imagined when at the age of 9, rowing her around the ranch pond in my little wooden rowboat, that that would just be the beginning of many such journeys across much larger ponds.  But why???

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Sam and Todd praying together before the race.

My ministry partner and brother Sam Tamayo, reminded me of why this past week when he posted 2 Chronicles 7:14  “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

We have a story to tell… a message to share… that there is a living God!  A God who loves us beyond measure, a God who loves us unconditionally.  A God who sent his Son, that even while we were enemies of Him, He died for us!  (Romans 5:10.) A God who is capable of bringing peace, reconciliation, and healing if we will, Humble ourselves, Pray, Seek His face and Turn from our wicked ways.  In the midst of a world without peace, this is the message we must proclaim!

 

noortje
An angel in the garden – baby Noortje

And so…the journey begins once again WITH PURPOSE!  Even as Connie shared, through the tears of leaving baby Noortje behind, we must go.  We must stand in the gap and be messengers, so that other babies, moms and dads, can experience this promised forgiveness, reconciliation, and healing.

Thank you for your continued prayers and partnership with us.  The confidence and trust you have placed in us to be your ambassadors is humbling, a responsibility we don’t take lightly.   May each of us remain faithful and may each of us look for opportunities to live our lives, wherever we are, WITH PURPOSE!

 

 

Please Pray – 17 Month Old Daughter of Missionary Family Headed for Heart Procedure


Please pray for Audrey Riggins as she will soon be undergoing a heart procedure in Manila, Philippines, to close a PDA (patent ductus arteriosus).

Audrey is the 17 month old daughter of fellow missionaries – Asia-Pacific Regional Finance Coordinator Scot and Jill Riggins, who live and serve in the Philippines.

pdaShe will have an echo (echocardiogram) on Friday, February 19 to determine the size of the PDA as well as if/how it is affecting her heart. If she is completely healthy, she will have a catheter procedure on Saturday, Feb. 20 to close the PDA.

Pray with us that:

  • She will be able to have the procedure without complications,
  • That her heart will be found to be healthy,
  • That her recovery will be quick.

The Riggins write, “We have had peace through this journey, and we are so thankful for the prayers of many. We have sensed them, been encouraged by them, and see that they are making a difference for us!”

We will keep you posted.  There is definite power in prayer and your prayers are needed!