An Unexpected Journey

Len and Betsy Phillips are missionaries who have served in Honduras; Bolivia; and Norcross, Georgia. Recently, God has guided them to a new ministry. They shared in a past ministry blog post entitled “Praying for Clear Vision” about how God was directing them in a new way and asked specifically for prayer in making a decision. God answered prayer, and Len and Betsy share this praise and an update in their latest ministry blog post. Check it out and learn about the #Sunshine God provided through prayer supporters.

“Not long ago we asked for your prayers for clear vision and direction. Thank you for praying! Your prayers, and ours, have been answered. God is leading us to Albania!

“Jesus has provided an exciting opportunity for us to serve at the GDQ International Christian School in Tirana, Albania. Len will put his almost-completed Masters of Education to use through administrative duties as Middle School/High School Principal. Betsy will step into teaching Middle School Bible classes and will also coordinate Lower School Chapels.

“GDQ was founded in the fall of 1993 to support the efforts of the evangelical Protestant missionary community in Albania by providing a Christ-centered, academically enriching international education. Currently, about 75% of the student body are the children of missionaries serving in Albania and the remainder represent expatriates involved in the international business sector. Students and staff represent more than fifteen different mission sending organizations and come from Asia, Europe, Africa, North and South America. The vision of the school is to instill in students a God-honoring Christian worldview so they might have maximum influence for the glory of God in and through their lives.”

Lessons from Home

Ann Seaney writes in her prayer letter about her experiences being back in the United States on homeland ministry assignment and what God has taught her. She also shares what Bolivia may have for her in the future as she finishes her time here.

Ann Seaney

Ann Seaney is a missionary in Bolivia.

“It was my first time in five years to be driving in a snowstorm. The snow was heavy and falling quickly. The interstate was snow packed and slick. My heart was thumping as I tried to keep my car on the road through limited visibility and at the same time not be intimidated by the vehicles that ‘flew’ by me, seemingly unconcerned with what I viewed as a dangerous situation. During that very long two-hour drive, I was comforted by the truth that God saw me. He knew right where I was! He knew what I needed, and He brought me safely to my destination. How thankful I am for answered prayer and for the truth that God’s eyes are always on me.

“These months of homeland ministry assignment have given me opportunities to see what God is doing in the lives of others. What a joy it was for me to visit with World Gospel Mission retiree Marilyn Van Kuiken, the person who introduced me to WGM. She continues to be a witness for Jesus in Crown Point, Indiana, where she now lives. I was blessed to hear of her continued eagerness for Bible study and her desire to live in a spirit of contentment. I’m so thankful God allowed our paths to cross many years ago and that He continues to keep His eyes on us where we are today. It is also a blessing to see what God is doing in local churches. It was a thrill for me to tag along with my cousin Nancy Deeter on a Wednesday evening to see firsthand the ministry she is involved in as the director of the nursery through the preschool program at First Baptist Church of Geneva. I was especially blessed to see the opportunities they provide for children with special needs. I’m so very thankful that God sees these little ones and is providing for their needs.

nurse

Retired WGM missionary Marilyn Van Kuiken.

“Thank you for your prayers for me as I travel and have opportunity to share the cause God has given I am beginning to sense the urgency to return to Bolivia and take up the responsibilities in the treasurer’s office. It is good being with family and friends here, but I am needed to share the load of responsibility and ministry in Bolivia. I’m eager to see what opportunities God has for me to be involved in the church and community.

“Less than 100! That’s the number of days left until I will be applying for my visa to return to Bolivia. That’s not many days, and they will go quickly! Before those days are up, I need to have my support team confirmed. God has supplied the cash I need for the immediate expenses of returning to Bolivia, but I still need individuals who will commit to monthly support, which will cover the expenses for my two-year term in Bolivia. At this time, I lack $450 in monthly support. Would you be willing to partner with me by committing to give monthly? If 15 people will commit to give $30 a month, my goal will be met. Will you be one of the 15? You can donate online at www.wgm.org/seaney.

nancy

Ann had the opportunity to help her cousin Nancy at a ministry for children with special needs. Photo Credit: Ann Seaney

He Loves Us- Oh, How He Loves Us!

Rick and Lori Lampen are missionaries in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. When trouble struck two people in their church, faith, grace, and healing took place. Hear the amazing story of how God uses the hard things in life to teach lessons to those going through the suffering as well as to those supporting them from their church community.

MC story 1

Photo Credit: Rick and Lori Lampen

Gerson, an English high school teacher, accompanied students from their Christian school to a retreat. On the trip back to Santa Cruz, their chartered bus swerved to miss a cow meandering across the mountainous road. The driver lost control, and the bus careened off the highway! Gerson suffered the worst injuries and was bounced back around the mountains to Santa Cruz on a hard wooden board in the back of an ambulance.

His family and church friends never left his side. After two weeks in ICU, and then surgery to repair a broken jaw, Gerson was released from the hospital. Within days, the worship leader of the evening church service directed the attention of the congregation to the back left corner where Gerson, still in his neck brace and with his mouth wired shut, stood participating in the song service! What an answer to prayer! Gerson lost nearly 40 pounds—but never wavered in his belief that our loving Father had him in His hands.

Andrea, a newlywed full of life and dreams, fell off the back of a motorcycle taxi on her way to work one warm Santa Cruz day. In God’s providence, as the taxi driver frantically searched for someone to help Andrea, a group of medical students carrying an oxygen tank happened to pass by! An ambulance raced her to the same hospital that Gerson had recently left.

After a delicate five-hour brain surgery, the surgeons only gave Andrea a 10 percent chance of survival. Thirteen days on a respirator in ICU and many prayers later, Andrea was sent to a stepdown unit. Her husband, Daniel, a self-employed entrepreneur, stayed by her side through the long days and worked through the nights on his computer, maintaining his business. One of the most difficult aspects of the situation was the fact that Andrea experienced memory loss—even commenting after seeing their wedding picture, “Your wife is pretty—but that’s not me!” The entire family joined Daniel and Andrea to celebrate Christmas in the hospital. One month and one week later, Daniel took Andrea to his father’s house where family members helped him care for her. They would find her humming the praise and worship songs from church. She is considered the Christmas miracle patient!

MC story 2

Photo Credit: Rick and Lori Lampen

Pray for Andrea who continues to receive physical therapy each day and needs treatment to the right eye where the optic nerve was damaged in the accident. Her memory is improving, and although she cannot remember Daniel’s name, she now knows he is her husband. Their prayer is to fulfill the plan God has for their life!

Andrea returned to church last week for an emotional celebration of God’s faithfulness to us. Once again she brought us to tears as she slowly walked—albeit with help—to deposit her offering at the altar, especially since we knew that the previous Sunday, she had not even been able walk! How Daniel contained his joy as he played the keyboard and watched his beautiful bride sneak him a sweet wave, accompanied bythat million dollar smile, was unforgettable.

Prayer: A Different Kind of Gift

Rick and Lori Lampen, Bolivia

Rick and Lori Lampen serve as WGM field leaders in Bolivia.

The biggest shopping days of the year are behind us, but every day of the year is an opportunity to give to someone in need. This Christmas, consider giving a different kind of gift—your prayers. Lori Lampen, missionary to Bolivia with her husband, Rick, shared this creative idea in their December 2015 prayer letter.

“I glanced up at the clock. Oh, it’s almost time. Kaylynn, our daughter, had asked me to pray for a meeting that was just about to begin. As I headed off to spend some time on my knees for her, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Every young lady needs a praying mom.

“Jessica’s mom died when she was a young girl. She graduated from the Bolivian public university with a degree in pharmacology and will marry Mateo in January. She loves the Lord deeply and is a leader in the church, but a new job and the stress of wedding planning is great.

“Elizabeth’s mom died three years ago. Poor health makes it difficult for her to finish her university studies in communication. She teaches in the Compassion center sponsored by our local church. The number of her students doubled after another center closed and sent their students to us. A recent breakup with her fiancé has brought emotional turmoil.

“Dayana’s mom lives and works in Europe. Dayana studies nutrition at Bolivian Evangelical University, sings with one of the praise bands at church, and helps in the church nursery. Learning to cook and bake gives her and me a chance to have some good heart to heart talks.

“There is not room here to tell the stories of Haydee, Noelia, Francia, and so many others.”

Make an impact on your knees.PRAY: Join Rick and Lori in praying for the young Bolivian ladies listed above, let Lori’s idea spark your own creative juices and start a similar prayer campaign in your local church, or use the email icon on www.wgm.org/lampen to let Lori know you want to be paired with a specific young woman in Bolivia. Whatever you do, make an impact in someone’s life through your prayers!