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December 2010 - Blogs
No service Christmas night (Saturday). Our calendar is acting funny. In one view it incorrectly shows we are having church on Saturday night, in another it correctly shows that we aren't. See you Sunday. And we hope you have a wonderful Christmas day full of Jesus. Computers!
Missionary Prayer Updates
Pottengers (Kisumu, Kenya)
- We are certainly praising God as we remember and celebrate in a special way His birth and His incredible love for us. Thank you for praying for us as we celebrate our first Christmas away from family and friends in the States.
- On Friday we hosted a Christmas sing which was more like an eve service with food and dessert. There were 24 of us and one young man serving here short term, told us how nice it was to finally feel the Christmas spirit.
- We also want to praise God for a beautiful Christmas service this last Sunday in which Matt led and taught. He used music, children to act parts of the story out and did a wonderful job teaching specific truths that we think some people had never heard. We were also exhorted by the Word to surrender like Mary, trust like Joseph, evangelize like the Shepherds and worship as the wise men did.
Please pray for:
- Pastor Stephen as his elder brother passed away – that family would be saved through this and for strength for Pastor Stephen as many pressures are put on him in times like this
- Our travels and night away – we are joining some friends at a fellow missionary’s guest house out on a farm our Wed. to Thurs.
- Jacob, Well and Grace – as they travel to Kisumu our Thurs. to spend Christmas with us! Yea!!!!!!!
- P4 health – Joellie is better but could use prayer for better night sleep, and KG still has a deep cough
- The children who received the Lord at Kid’s Camp
- Thank you for your prayers! You are precious to us! May you all have a very Merry Christmas and be blessed in the Lord’s presence!
Holyde’s & London Team
Lauren Shibata (London)
Praise and Prayer requests!
- Praise! God provided a cheap plane ticket to visit family and friends for Christmas! He even provided someone to purchase it as a gift! Praise God!
- Prayer - im prayerfully flying out tomorrow to Ca! I have a layover in NY. Please pray that we don't get snowed in anywhere and that the weather conditions are safe for flying. Landon and I tried to fly out on Sat but got snowed in. I even boarded the plane and watched a whole movie, but had to de-board! The airport was complete chaos! Praise God Landon was able to catch a flight to Boston yesterday and I have one tomorrow to NY! =D
- Praise God! He is opening more doors for outreach and connecting with people! It is a blessing to get to know them more! It's amazing how many different countries are represented here in London! Prayerfully they continue to want to know God more and have more questions on how to know Him more!
- Prayer that time with family and friends goes well and is blessed! Can't wait to see everyone!
Mark Piester (Russia)
George & Meagan (Mexico)
John Michael & Abra (Israel)
Carolyn Gardella (El Salvador)
- Pray for us as we’ll be preparing for the start of the new school year. We will be planning the semester with our 6 new student leaders.
- Please pray that God will prepare us to coach the student leaders well.
- We just had a retreat for the student leaders. The students left the retreat excited about the vision, more equipped to lead, encouraged, and having sought the Lord during our time together.
SENT / STAY Prayer Requests 12/15/11
- Adjustment back to life in London
- Direction on church building and when to start full time Sunday services
- Salvation of London
Lauren Shibata (London)
- Praise God outreach is going so well still! He is going before us, guiding and directing us! God is blessing it and the gospel is going out to more people! Prayer that it continues!
- Praise! We're going to order gospels of John in other languages and we're also printing some here to hand out and have available!
- There are alot of muslims and people from nepal (Hindu and Buddhist) that we met this week. Prayer that they seek God, He reveals Himself and get's ahold of their hearts, and they believe! =)
- Praise God! He was faithful to provide another month! Prayer for continued support would be awesome! =)
- Prayerfully I can spend the holiday's with my family. I'm praying for a cheap plane ticket to visit family and friends for Christmas. And a safe flight! I don't like to fly... =/
Luke & Frida Merrill (London)
- Thankful for new ideas and excitement to reach the homeless and needy in our area.
- Thankful we'll get to visit Frida's family in a few weeks. We'll go beginning of Jan for Frida's nephew's dedication.
- Thankful for wonderful families who are such a great support and encouragement to us!
- Pray for opportunities to share Christ, especially now at christmas.
- Pray that we would be encouragers wherever we go... with friends, family, at work etc.
- Pray for soft heart as we read God's word.
Matt & Peggy Pottengers (Kisumu, Kenya)
We have so much to praise God for as usual.
- We first want to thank you for praying for Kid’s Camp. It went so well with 100 kids each day, even a little more the last day. We had volunteers come from the church each day and really spend time with the children. The Gospel was preached everyday and everything was set up for the children to learn Bible verses each day and they did! Several children responded to the Gospel and Peg got to pray with one older girl who wanted to be saved and was very emotional. She and Mama Blessing led her to Lord. What an honor. The children loved the theme song that Matt wrote called “Decide to be Different” and it continues to echo in our home with KG. Smile! It was blessing to be a part of and even Joellie did amazing each day. We truly praise God for CCL’s first outreach.
- Thank you for praying for our health. We are all doing fine but have lingering effects of the cold.
- And thank you for also praying for the team from Knoxville. They arrived home and are now trying to adjust back to life after a trip here. Smile!
Please continue to pray for:
- Kizito – that he would surrender his life to Jesus.
- Location of church
- Safety and wisdom during this Holiday season
- P4 health in this busy time
- God to be glorified in this Christmas season in our home and at CCL
George & Meagan Ramirez (Mexico)
- For healthy pregnancy
- For the ministry – that the lost would be saved and the body would be built up in the Lord
- for God's love so present at Shoreline CC
- attending three of my nephew's concerts this week
- for God to continue to water the seeds I had the privilege to scatter during travels of the past 6 mos
- for the meaning of God's name "prince of peace" to be experienced in a transformational way by those facing this year's Christmas season with emotional difficulty
- that I can be a blessing to my family thru the holidays
- for me to have wisdom to keep time set apart to seek God for next year's plan & God's guidance be apparent as I make choices
- C- Week
One of the beautiful things about ministry is how necessary it is to constantly check in with the Lord and seek His will for facilitation and direction. As we seek the Lord, He guides and confirms His will in beautiful ways. Sometimes this involves change, and one such change is upon us!
I will be overseeing children’s ministry. All of us pastors have been on our knees in seeking God’s guidance, and this change is something the Lord has initiated and confirmed. My wife’s and my mind and heart are definitely invested in how best to shepherd the children, especially with our 18-month old son and another child coming in June! With youth classes growing and events at the high school such as FCA, Pastor Brian will be able to focus even more on youth ministry.
We are excited for what the Lord is doing and will do through children’s ministry as we seek to assist in giving Jesus to what is most precious in the life of a parent. God bless you!
Missionary Prayer Requests 12/1/10
Lauren Shibata (London)
Praise and Prayer Requests!
- Praise for wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving dinners! One was for a rehab center and one was for our fellowship. The Lord was definitely moving and healing at the rehab center. Everyone was very thankful for the things the Lord is doing! We were all fed and stuffed to overflowing spiritually and physically! =D Amazing time of praise and really good teaching from PT.
- Praise God! He recently reminded me why I was here and of the things He put on my heart while i was still in Morro Bay! Pray that I move forward with bible studies, discipleship, outreach to soho, etc.
- Praise/Prayer - it seems as if the Lord is definitely moving and changing things around here ministry-wise. We don't know how it will end up looking, but direction on how things look, what things are important to keep, things we should leave out, and how we spend our day to day time as far as bible studies, team time, etc.
- Continued Prayer for hearing the Lord on whether to stay living in this house or moving to a new place.
Landon Rogers (London)
- Please pray and thank the Lord for:
- The focused purifying of the team that He is working at this time.
- It is beautiful to watch and requires Him at ever step.
- His Spirit to descend upon us to empower us for ministry.
- The snow, which reminds me daily of His grace he blankets me with.
The Merrills (London)
WE'RE SO THANKFUL
- We received our passports today... Luke's with a 5 year, unrestricted Visa!
- We're feeling much better this week. A great thing as it's getting colder and colder here. Maybe snow this weekend.
- God is working in North London, and it's fantastic to be a part of it
- Frida's brother and wife just had a beautiful baby boy last Saturday!
- Luke's cousin also just had a healthy baby boy on Saturday :)
- We're continuing to search for a Sunday morning venue... larger than the Hampstead House.
- A friend (from Lee Abbey) of ours' father passed away suddenly last week. For him and his family in this really tough time.
- We're beginning to get more serious about research/planning for opening a cafe. That Jesus would be the center!
- Our work schedule has changed a little. That it would be a change allowing us to grow closer to Christ and each other.
The Rameriezes (Mexico)
- Praise the Lord the baby is doing great, continue to pray for a healthy pregnancy
- Pray for the ministry and direction regarding starting a Christian school
Mark Piester (Russia)
- Pray for my upcoming trip to Russia from December 15 - January 14, 2011, where I will partner with local churches to purchase and distribute 500 Christmas gifts to needy children & orphans.
- Pray for the children who will receive gift packages in the cities of Urozhainaya, Orel and Rybinsk. Pray for the children attending these celebrations to be held in December and January.
- Pray for Pastor Viktor Balyberdin, his family and church as he balances his responsibilities between church, family and jobs.
- A heartfelt thank you for your ongoing support and prayers which give me the opportunity to serve God and the Russian people. Praise to the Lord for his ongoing work of changing and redeeming lives of children, young adults and people for eternity - God is at work through your prayers and financial support.
Sharon Porterfield (Thailand/Burma)
"Our God is an awesome God!"
- The Lord provided for Moe Hser, Lay Lay Sha and Samuel to take an all nigh bus to McKean to try to help Gyi Khu - they were classmates in high school many years ago. Mark, a missionary friend picked them up at the bus station & took them to Gyi Khu at McKean Rehabilitation Hospital He prayed for her for an hour, then left. I was at the Reading The Bible Through Karen Eyes conference and talked to them late afternoon - Lay Lay Sha told me Gyi was now talking and singing - I called Mark and we praised the Lord together! However, when I arrived to McKean after the conference Saturday evening, I realized that Lay Lay Sha was able to get her to read the Bible and sing out loud, but she still wasn't having conversations with anyone other than shaking her head "Yes", or "No" We all went to a Karen church together the next morning - Gyi Khu, her mom, the two FBR patients (Lat K' Baw & Ban Mee), Moe Hser and family, and another one of my Karen daughters, Paw Day Wah & her family (they came from a mountain village 3 vehicles and 4 hours away to see us!). The Karen were so excited to go to a Karen church! I have known the pastor and his wife for many years & we helped them start this church many years ago, so it felt like 'home"! Paw Day Wah saw relatives at the church that helped them get back to their village - PTL!
- When we returned to McKean, I discovered that there is another Karen girl at McKean! We visited her and found out she, Eh Moo, is a girl that I prayed for two years ago when she was horribly burned in a car accident at 18 years old! I was so exited to see her & see how beautiful she is now after many skin graft surgeries, & she was so excited to know that others had prayed for her! We arranged for her to move to Gyi Khu's room right away, so they can prayerfully become friends and Gyi Khu will talk to her. Please pray this is God's answer for Gyi Khu, as her mom is very tired and we cannot find anyone to hire to help take care of Gyi Khu - thank you!! That evening Mark arrived with a Picture Bible for her - she would not say "Thank you", but Lay Lay Sha had her read the Bible so Mark could hear her voice, then he prayed for her and Eh Moo (who he also recognized and told her he had prayed for her!) before we left with a carload full of clothing, stuffed animals, Bible & hymnbooks to take back to Pa La U by night bus!
- Amazingly, there's more!! I stayed in Chiang Mai & the next day my friend Judi took me to a discount store to buy a Christmas tree, decorations & gifts for Gyi Khu and Eh Moo before I got on the plane for Bangkok. Judi decorated the tree while I talked to the P.T. Dept., the finance office, the doctor, and the social worker. The P.T. Dept. let Gyi Khu return to her room for a few minutes to see the tree & told her to wheel her wheelchair by herself, which she did! She also said "Yes" when asked if the tree was pretty! Judi then prayed & took me to the airport - we were so full of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord! Please pray Gyi Khu will continue to improve, strengthen her mom, and use Eh Moo to breakthrough whatever Gyi Khu is struggling with - she still hears voices in her head, so she still needs deliverance from this!
- I was also able to see my friend, Debbie, who has decided to put her life in the Lord's hands and not receive further medical treatment for her cancer. We had a great time rejoicing together that the Lord has already overcome this world and we are living in victory. Please pray all around her will be encouragers for her and not question her decision from the Lord after she cried out to Him to know His will for her - thank you!
- Grandpa" Joe, "Grandma" Joann, Bua and Daniel all left for California last night to have a memorial for James Garwood, Bua's husband & Daniel's father. Please pray for the Lord comfort and strength for all of them - thank you!
- I'm on my way to Pa La U today, after picking up 80 Christmas stockings at my friend's in Bangkok, to fill for Karen children. Please pray for the Lord's provision and wisdom of what to buy that can fit into these stockings for such needy children - thank you!
- Please pray for all we know to come to know the real reason for this season - Jesus!
Carolyn Gardella (El Salvidor)
- We are defining leadership structure in the movement and preparing to challenge some students to lead for this next year. Please pray for discernment and wisdom in this process. We’ll have a retreat for those leaders from December 16-17.
- There are about 20 committed women involved. Please pray for guidance as we think of some creative ways to encourage unity and depth.
- There are a handful of men in VE. Please pray that God would continue to raise up men to lead on campus. Praise: This month, a couple new guys got involved!
Leah & Balazs Stanzel (Hungary)
- Once again we need your prayers please. We were informed today that after this Sunday we are no longer allowed to meet in our building for church or any other reason. Our neighbors in the building have been successful at getting us removed because they do not like the type of people who come to our church. We have not been willing to segregate those who come (which is what they required of us) so they have told us that this will be our last meeting there. We have a big outreach (Christmas tea) planned there on December 3rd that we are no longer able to have there. Please pray for us to quickly find a new building in this area of town that is large enough and costs very little. Please pray for the church to grow in faith through this.
STAY Prayer Updates
The Sweeneys (Camp Joy, NY)
- We had an awesome first visit to summer campers from the Bronx. We got to visit with two families in their Bronx apts. The kids were excited to see Uncle Paul, Aunt Dar and our pres. Uncle Jim from Camp Joy (that's what their camp here at CBF is called). Jim got to pray with two parents and an adult child to receive Christ....what an evening of ministry! After a few weeks, when Jim feels we are city smart...he'll send us without him.
- This Thursday when we go down, Paul will do a Bible study with the family that saw salvation two weeks ago. I have never been in such huge tenements before....some apartments had 4 or 5 locks on the door! It's a different world...we've never locked a door in the homes we've lived in! So, that's our praise!
- Pray for the sale of our house upstate. We have run into a snag...the appraiser for the buyer went to the town building inspector to compare records of the house...and was told we were in many violations, most occurred before we purchased the house. It is 100 yrs old...sooooooo, the list is long! There was no problem when we purchased the home...but then banks were less fearful of giving out mortgages. One structure, a gazebo, was built 1914 and the town has no record of it although it is on the survey map! Yikes...so Paul meets with the building inspector at the house Thurs morn. Please pray for clarity of records, for mercy for offences, wisdom and peace. This could stop the sale. But we know that God's will will prevail (:
- C-Week ïÂÂ
- Boat Parade Outreach