Jan/Mar 2012 Newsletter

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THE HEARTBREAK OF HARDSHIP

Living and working in Colombia, we have the privilege of seeing the Lord do many great things. We have marveled as He has worked in incredible ways and privileged us to be a part of His work. This has been one of the great thrills of missionary work and has been our joy for some forty years now. But along with the thrill of this work, there are times when the hardship we live amidst and see on a daily basis is the cause of great heartbreak as well. To see such suffering is something we cannot witness without being moved to help. As a result, we began our benevolent fund many years ago and use these funds to help the heal the hurt in the most desperate of cases.

Obviously we cannot meet every need we see or heal every hurt. In most cases, it will be the Gospel that changes hearts and lives and improves the lot of most people, anywhere in the world. But there are times when it seems that Satan attacks the innocent and so many pay for sins they did not commit. When these people are members of the church, and faithful to the Lord, we cannot but step in and help. It is in these moments we turn to you to share in the privilege of extending a helping hand to a worthy soul.

There are many cases I could speak of. For example, a few years ago we helped one of our young preachers when his daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia. He could not afford the treatments and seemed condemned to watch his precious little daughter slip from this life. We stepped in, thanks to your generosity and were able to provide for her treatment. Little Emily stepped back from the doorway of death and is now a lovely young lady, just blossoming into the beautiful young woman she is destined to become.

Today I will mention another family. They have been members of the church for many years. The husband fell away and abandoned his wife and four children to the harsh economic realities of a society where there are few honorable jobs for women. Since her children ranged in age from 16 to 4, she could not easily leave home to work; we set her up in a tamale business. We bought her about $500 worth of cooking utensils, kettles and a wood burning stove. She worked at home and was soon earning a decent living.

Then, her son was hit with a near fatal case of hemorrhaging dengue that nearly killed him. In her desperation to save him she spent her funds for purchasing the materials she needed for her business and lost what she had worked years to build up. We stepped in again and helped a bit. If that were not enough, within weeks she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of lupus and soon was totally paralyzed. With four children still at home, their situation became critical within a very short period of time. When her only hope seemed to be the indecent proposals made to the teen aged daughters, we stepped in to help along with the Colombian church.

For some eight months now we have been helping with her treatments in the hope of seeing her restored and again able to be there for and support her family. Yet the cost of her treatment is around $250 per month. Normally, we do not take on long term commitments as we do not have the funding to sustain that type of expense. Yet it was either that or watch her die and then wonder what would happen to four children, two of whom were still under the age of seven. We shouldered this responsibility and she has recovered to the point where she can now do many things for herself. However, it will still be some time before she can again work and support herself and her family.

Time and time again we are confronted by such heart rending situations. We simply cannot help but to reach our hands into our pockets and help. And when faced with such situations we often share the heart break with you as well. Many times in the past we have been thrilled to see God’s people reaching out to help someone who is part of our Christian family, even though most have never met this suffering servant of the Colombian church. So as we are well into this new year, we again turn to you and ask that you shoulder this responsibility with us and help us extend a helping hand to this family and others like them. Please share generously with through our benevolent fund and help heal the hearts broken in the hardship of poverty and suffering. Please consider making a monthly donation to help with our benevolent fund so we can continue to help those who desperately need help.

CAMP PROJECTS AND WORK CREWS

Our camp project is still moving forward, much slower than we had hoped, to be sure, but it is still moving forward. We had hoped to have at least one more cabin finished before the deaf church camp, were we expect to have as many as one hundred people at a camp where we only have beds for some forty six people. As a result, we will have to use tents this year to house the people that will be coming. This demonstrates the critical need we have to get this project moving forward.

We still hope to have a couple of work crews yet this year, including one where some people will come down to help with the deaf camp and then remain and work at the camp for another week or so. And we have a flexible group from Bethlehem that is willing to wait on Jeanie’s treatment and see if they can still make it for their trip this spring. If we can manage these two crews, we expect to see some significant progress at the camp yet in the first half of this year.

We are still looking forward to the summer work crews as well. One is scheduled for the first ten days in August with as many as eight or ten people from Conneautville, PA. There is another group which may be coming from Virginia in the latter part of July. So there are still possibilities for coming to Colombia on one of these work crews and helping us get this project rolling yet this year. Why not make your plans to come down on one of these work crews or schedule one for the February or August period next year. In that way you can be a part of this exciting ministry to serve the church in Colombia.

UPDATE ON JEANIE

Since my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer at the end of last October, our life has been filled with specialists visits, surgery, and now followup treatments.  This has taken up most of our time.  Jeanie has been quite a trooper through all of this, calmly facing whatever she has had to deal with.  We are thrilled that Jeanie’s cancer treatment has been moving along fairly well.  After a truncated chemotherapy due to an allergic reaction to the chemo drugs, she decided to have radiation therapy which began in mid-January and she has now completed four weeks of treatment with three weeks remaining.  She has had only a fairly mild reaction with some rash and itching, but it is considered “normal” and has not caused her any major discomfort.  We hope and pray that the remaining treatment does not produce any significant problems and that it successfully does what it is designed to do, which is eliminate any cancer cells that may have remained after her mastectomy.  We thank you all for your prayers, thoughts, and words of encouragement and ask that you please continue to life her before the Lord as we move forward in this challenging process.  

Thank you for your continued prayers for Jeanie’s health!

COLEGIO PENIEL SCHOLARSHIPS

The scholarship form are off in the mail, if you haven’t received yours yet contact us. If you would like to support the same student for the 2012 school year let us know ASAP. If you would like to support a student through the scholarship program fill out the coupon to the right and let us know.

WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Need a project for your:Sunday school, small group, youth group, VBS, or church?

Consider raising funds for our Church Camp Project: Cabins, Septic System, New Well, Swimming Pool, Electric Hookup

If you would like to make a donation to the Colombian Christian Mission please use the donate now button on the right or send in your check to:
Colombian Christian Mission
PO Box 95
Rittman, OH 44270-0095