Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Keymar, Maryland

Right now we are in Maryland. We participated in a great missions conference this past weekend in the Keymar Evangelical Wesleyan Church along with other World Gospel Mission missionaries. We are staying with a retired pastor and his wife. We have eaten way too much food, but have had wonderful fellowship and made some new friends.

We are not scheduled at this time for a service on Sunday, but will be in Newark, New Jersey, on Monday evening, March 3, speaking in a college class which is learning more about missions and missionaries.

The weather is cold and rainy today in Maryland. As we go further north we will probably run into snow. Pray for our travel and that everything we say and do will represent Christ and challenge people with a lost world.

A new friend from our blog

Christa and Mark Graham with Matthew, Caitlin (back) and Abigail

We had a great time last week spending a few days near Raleigh, North Carolina, with a friend we made through blogspot. Christa Graham found our blog when she googled "Berdyansk". She and her husband are in the process of adopting a child from Ukraine, actually from Berdyansk. Christa, her oldest daughter Caitlin, and a good friend are in Berdyansk now, working on the adoption. They left Monday, Feb. 25th, and plan to spend a week in Berdyansk. We are praying that everything will go well for them. We were able to put them in touch with our field leader, Ernie Smith, and it was an encouragement to them to know that they would be able to worship on Sunday with a wonderful group of Ukrainian Christians.

Dr. Stephen and Ruth Ann Gunter

We also had the opportunity to have lunch with Frank's old college roommate, Stephen Gunter and his wife. Frank and Steve were roommates for approximately 3 1/2 years at Bethany Nazarene College in the 1960s. Steve is now Associate Dean for Methodist Studies and Research Professor of Evangelism and Wesleyan Studies at the Duke Divinity School. (Ain't all that a mouthful!) Anyway, seeing some of these old friends reminds us that we have aged as much as they have!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Old friends meet

Frank and Ken 44 years later

Another great part of our week in north Georgia was having the chance to meet an old friend. When Frank was a teenager at Lushington Hall in Ooty, India, one of his friends was another MK named Ken Anderson. Ken's parents were working in Andhra Pradesh in southern India. After leaving India, Frank kept in touch with Ken for a while, but then lost contact and 44 years have passed since they last saw each other. Recently Frank found Ken's email address through another old friend from India. He immediately re-established contact, and we made it a point to visit Ken and his family here in northern Georgia.

The Anderson family

Ken is now Dr. Ken Anderson, a professor of vocal music at Covenant College on Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. He and his wife, Lois, have six children. Lois is also an MK who spent part of her childhood in Mexico City. The two oldest children are young women. One is married and the other is now teaching music at Hebron School in Ooty, India. Their other children are four young men still at home, and they are a great bunch of kids. Ken and Lois graciously allowed us to stay with them for a few days between meetings and we have had a wonderful time with this lovely Christian family.

Communication potentials on the web

What a great week we have had! We left Clanton, Alabama, last Saturday and drove to Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia, which is just across the Tennessee-Georgia state line south of Chattanooga. We had services on Sunday morning in the Ft. Oglethorpe United Methodist Church. The pastor, Rev. Mark Davis, is a person who wants to see missions work around the world and in the local community. He is truly a missions facilitator.

Pastor Mark introduced us to a TV producer who loves the Lord and wants to help missionaries communicate their needs in a way that reaches the most people with their message. We really believe that this is going to be a tremendous help to us as we raise our support, both prayer and finances. On Wednesday we met with some of his people who interviewed us on camera and will produce a video for us that will be posted on a website designed especially for us with opportunities to broaden our support base. This is costing us absolutely nothing! What wonderful people to serve the Lord by helping Christian workers communicate their needs! We'll keep everyone posted in the coming weeks as to the status of our website.

Please pray that this will prove to help us communicate our needs and the needs of Ukraine. Especially pray that it will bring in the finances we need to reach Ukraine in September.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

101 Years Young

How could we have forgotten to post this news???? Yesterday, Feb. 8th, Frank's mother, Edna Dewey, celebrated her 101st birthday. We sent her flowers and talked to her twice on the big day. Her assisted living center had a nice party for her and she had several calls from old friends and family. Mom Dewey is the oldest living missionary in World Gospel Mission. She and Dad spent 32 years in India at South India Biblical Seminary. See some of the pictures posted earlier just to see how great she still looks. As she puts it so bluntly, "Just because you're old doesn't mean you have to look like a prune."

Many more happy birthdays, Mom.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

On to Georgia!

Well, we have one more day here in Alabama and then on Saturday we head to northern Georgia to a southern suburb of Chattanooga. Our stay here has been good. Wednesday morning we were awakened at 5:30am by the warning siren. Tornadoes were in the area. We were assured by our host that it was a severe thunderstorm warning, went back to bed, and then were roused again at 6am by another siren. We went down to the basement for about half an hour, then went back upstairs to our room. Clanton didn't have any tornadoes, but northern Alabama was hit along with Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas.

Our meetings on Sunday were good. In the morning we were at Rocky Mount United Methodist Church and in the evening at Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church. The people were incredibly friendly and interested in both places. We had a great time with both groups. We are praying that they will remember the needs of Ukraine and the Lord will ask them to support us and our ministry there.

One last thing: at a mall in southern Birmingham we met a tall, gorgeous young woman named Natalya from Ukraine. She was working at one of the kiosks in the middle of the mall. As we visited, she shared that she was from the historical, beautiful city of Lviv. That's one of the places we hope to visit one day. We told her about what we were planning to do, and she told us about her home. We love making new friends from Ukraine! Hopefully we'll find a few more during the coming months.

But for now, it's on to Georgia!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Greetings from Clanton, Alabama

Here we are in Alabama, heart of the South! Southern hospitality and good friends. We are staying with long-time friends of World Gospel Mission, Dr. Phil and June Simms. They are wonderful people who have helped many WGM missionaries through the years. Dr. Phil has been on the WGM Board of Directors for a long time. Some years ago they realized that missionaries traveling on deputation (oops! Home Ministry Assignment) often need a place to stay for days at a time. So they created a "Prophet's Chamber" on the second story of their lovely home. It is a suite of rooms with big bedroom, a sitting room, and bathroom. We have stayed there before and are there right now, enjoying their Southern hospitality.

Yesterday they took us to Birmingham IMAX theater to see the movie "Mummies: Secret of the Pharoahs." I really don't think it was their "cup of tea", so to speak, but we thoroughly enjoyed it. After that we went to eat in a great restaurant before heading back to Clanton. Here's a picture of them at the IMAX theater.

Our meetings have been small, but enjoyable. We have renewed friendships with a number of people who have prayed for us and supported us financially for many years. One of the things we have noticed is that some of the churches do not have many young adult couples who participate in mission meetings. Many of the folks have been senior citizens, lovely Southern ladies and gentlemen. Praise the Lord for them. But the church needs those young couples! Missions need those young couples! Pray that the churches will find a way to communicate the needs of the entire world to these men and women who are the future of the church and of World Gospel Mission.

We will be here in Clanton for another week. On Sunday we have two meetings, morning and evening, in Methodist churches. During the weekdays when our time is free we may do some antique looking, check out one or two historical sites, and catch up on our reading. I'll let you know how that goes when I write next week!