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.
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.
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.
Our Work permit was granted last week (we had applied in June) and we immediately made application for the Entry Permit.
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:
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.
Church service with some of the MAF team in Mt. Hagen.
Fresh day for a flight!
Praying for the delivery of the new Caravan from Mareeba to Papua New Guinea.
Todd checking out the Caravan at the MAF Mareeba base.
Todd and Stephen Charlesworth standing in the shade of the wings!
Checking out the Caravan at Mareeba, Australia.
Arriving at the MAF, Cairns, Australia office for meetings.
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!!!!
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
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.
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!
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.
Please, 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!
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.
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.
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.
Seattle-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.
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???
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!
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 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.
She 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!
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!
To share God’s love through aviation and technology; seeing isolated people physically and spiritually transformed in Christ’s name.