Ed & Monica Newsletter Update
International Association of Missions
We greet you in what is typically the heart of our winter here in Northern Ohio, but what a welcome contrast to last year! Not only are we having a milder winter, but even Punxsutawney Phil has given the green light for an early spring.
What an exciting year 2015 was! First and foremost, we want to say thank you to everyone who made this such a special year. It is a fact that not all of us can go to the mission field, but we are as believers in Jesus Christ commanded to go (Matthew 28:19, 20). Monica and I are so happy to have represented you this year and be your hands and feet in fulfillment of this Great Commandment of Jesus.
Through your faithful prayers and financial support, you have allowed us to be your ambassadors and represent you as we participated in and encouraged the work of God throughout the world. While directly participating in the exciting work in the Amazon, teaching at our missions training center in Nova Lima, Brazil and working here in the U.S., we have been able to have facetime with over half of our missionaries this last year. It’s exciting to see and to hear firsthand what our God is doing throughout the world. Here are a just few highlights.
- We were able to be there as the twenty-fourth water well was drilled for another Sataré tribe in the Amazon jungle, bringing life-giving fresh water and the Good News of Jesus to a people who are truly “hidden” from the world. Plans are already being made where we can take a limited number of people from the U.S. on one of the well drills in late summer of 2016; if you are interested in participating, let me know as soon as possible, as these teams fill up fast.
- IAM’s boat in the Amazon, the Liberty, is currently being fitted for a medical and dental treatment facility on the upper floor, further expanding the outreach to the Sataré tribes and the river people; a project being funded mostly through our contacts by our brothers and sisters in Christ from the Singapore church.
- We now have five missionary families serving fulltime in Mexico, from Tijuana in the northwest, to Tepic, Nayarit, which is in Western central Mexico, to Reynosa in the northeast of Mexico. These families are running an orphanage, serving Huichol Indians deep in the mountains, working in Mexican prisons, holding Bible studies and VBS, building homes, medical and dental facilities as well as feeding and clothing the impoverished children of Mexico who suffer through no fault of their own. All this is done while sharing the Good News of our Lord and Savior.
- The Brazilian church continues to support and send Brazilian missionaries to six African countries. Additionally our mission in Nova Lima sent a large team once again bringing life-giving aid and the Good News of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to three of those countries in August. Our first ever Pastor’s Conference was also held in Namibia and drew pastors from five surrounding countries. It was a blessing to be in Nova Lima and debrief with some of the Brazilian team as they returned from Africa.
- Our local church here in Ohio was able to sponsor 130 children for Christmas in the small Amazon town of Maués. Additionally, the Brazilian churches were able to raise funds to support over 3000 children for Christmas in Namibia and Mozambique!
- English continues to be taught, and through it the Good News, in a very closed-access Asian country.
Why Missionaries Do What They Do
Sometimes I’ve been asked, even by Christians, why do families pick up and leave their secure and comfortable lives and move somewhere that is not. There are three things that come to mind. First, the Church is commissioned by Jesus Himself to go to “the uttermost” parts of the world and take His Gospel. There are no exceptions or hidden clauses, this command is to all Christians.
Second, those who go are often gifted with a “Holy Call,” or as the late Keith Green put it, a “Holy Kick!” This is a passionate and compelling move by the Holy Spirit. Of course, it would not be possible for some to go if the whole Church were not involved in the Great Commission, which means that without those “sending,” none could “go.”
Lastly, I’m not sure this is articulated enough today, but there is that Hebrews 11 “seeing by faith,” what is not there. In terms of the Gospel, let me put it like this. Someday, you are going to be in heaven and I envision, in my imagination, some little brown-eyed boy or girl walking up to you, yes you, and saying, “Because of you and your faithfulness, I’m here today.”
That vision compels me to keep going, and I hope it will move you to stay in the fight as well, because the day will come when we will forever enter the Lord’s presence in eternity.
Through all of this and more, for Monica and me, our single focus and goal continues to be to make sure that all of our missionaries in their various fields of service, get the support and encouragement they need to see the Great Commission fulfilled in our generation: to go, make disciples, baptize and teach. We want to see eternity filled, as recorded in Revelation 7:9, 10, and see some from “every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues.”
Continuing Your Support
In the last few months, both Monica and I turned 60 and while a new chapter in our lives unfolds, we are grateful for this last year, a year of transition and change, to have served the work of missions, with your help. As you make your financial plans for 2016 giving, please consider either a one-time gift or monthly gift towards our support. For your convenience, you can give by check or securely online at www.IAMUSA.org (please write “Director’s Support” in the “Description” field). All donations are receipted monthly and for those who desire, a self-addressed return envelope is provided with each donation.
From the bottom of our heart, Monica and I would like to thank you for your past support and encouragement as we look forward with anticipation at all that the Lord has for us in 2016!
We began last year with the hope to stay full time with Harvest and IAM, and I am happy and blessed to report to you that the Lord, through His faithful saints made that possible. Thank you for your support this past year and for your prayerful consideration in standing with us in ministry for 2016. We look forward with anticipation to what the Lord has planned for all of us in this New Year!
Serving those who serve,
Ed and Monica
“For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.” Isaiah 61:11