Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Peterson's Prayer Guide - November 2006

“Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere.” Ephesians 6:18 Thanks so much for your faithfulness in prayer for us!

Praise God! The neighbor I mentioned in our last prayer guide has come to church faithfully ever since. She even brought her daughter and ex husband one day! I’d like to have the chance to really find out what she understands about the Gospel. Pray for more opportunities with her and others we’re relating to. Please ask God to open doors at a neighborhood event on the 19th.

I was amazed that I was able to complete the whole citizenship application in one day (7 hours on the computer!). I had expected it to take a lot longer than that! The hardest part was digging up dates for all the trips we’ve made outside the US since I became a permanent resident in 1987. What remains now is to gather all the required documents. I also discovered that this application is going to cost $500.00, which we just don’t have at present. Pray for God’s help in these last things so I can get it submitted. Thanks so much!

I have written a first draft of a newsletter, but we haven’t had time to get any further with it. We would like to lay it out ourselves, using a new Photoshop program, but that will take some time. Pray for the ability to learn this new program quickly, that we’ll be diligent to use our time well and have unity as we work on the content for this letter.

Esther will be finishing up her time in Chile and returning to Argentina as you receive this letter. Pray for safety on the bus trip across the Andes. Accidents on that treacherous road seem to be quite common. Pray for endurance and freshness as her team continues to minister and serve different churches each week. The constant change and lack of a place to really relax is difficult for her at times.

Josiah is helping with a “Kids Aid Society” event at his school on the 4th. They’re raising money to help homeless children in this county, and poor children in SriLanka. Pray for a good response from the community. On Nov. 10-11 he is also taking some special training through Focus on the Family called, The Truth Project. It will equip him to teach others a Christian world view. This was his idea and he saved up to go to it. Pray that God will show him how to use this in the days ahead.

We enjoyed the visit from our missionary friends last month and they seemed to be refreshed by our time together. Thanks for praying! We will host another friend, (Stewart Hunt) from Australia Nov. 3-4, and look forward to that very much. We hope to see his wife, the following weekend as well.

Thanks for praying for Gary’s trip to CA for Ray’s memorial service. Gary’s brother drove down to spend a day with him beforehand. Since she was unable to be at the service, Gary visited Ray’s sister in her home afterwards, which seemed to be much appreciated.

Gary’s sermon on Oct. 22 was “anointed in a special way” according to one friend. He sensed the prayers and felt at peace & excited about the opportunity as he shared about who God uses.

Nov. 22 is Gary’s birthday (the day before Thanksgiving this year!). Pray for a special blessing on this husband of mine, will you?

Here is his schedule for November. He’d be grateful for your prayers, for effectiveness in communication and eternal fruit from these events.
1 Monthly Christian Chamber of Commerce Meeting
1-3 Booth at the Florida League of Christian Schools Educators’ Conference
6 Special tour for Church of the Palms & video interview
7 Wordspring will be a polling booth for elections. Gary's working a long day as part of that.
9 Five hour program for 29 middle schoolers from Brush Harbor Christian School
10 Wycliffe Day of Prayer
19-21 Booth at the ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) conference

News From the Dudecks

Greetings to all our friends.

I want to relate a couple of things that happened last month that show just how close God is to our everyday lives. You'll need to read these few paragraphs carefully to get the full message.
As you know, my work in SIM is in information technology. A few weeks ago I was working on a computer that needed to have a CD-RW drive installed. For some reason that computer refused to recognize the drive. I tried everything that I could think of. I searched the knowledge bases and the internet for hints, and still it did not work. The next day, a Friday, I continued to try to get it to work. Finally about 4 pm I stopped and prayed to the Lord. I said, I know this is not a crisis, but we are supposed to ask for wisdom when we need it, whether it is a crisis or not. I finished praying, and worked on the computer some more. Within two minutes, I had it working! The Lord gave me the thought of searching the Microsoft knowledge base in a way that I had not tried, and the exact answer that I needed came up. It was something totally obscure that I could never have figured out on my own. The Lord showed me that He is right here.

The next Monday morning after that, I decided to ride my bicycle to work.
The weather forecast showed that it might be the last day this fall that it would be nice enough to ride the ten miles each way. We live on the outskirts of Charlotte, North Carolina, and the roads between our home and the office are rather narrow in places. I take a route that has the least traffic. That morning I was praying all the way, Lord, just let the drivers see me. As I was riding along at a place where there was not a lot of traffic, a car drifted to the right and clipped me with its mirror. The driver did not even stop, probably didn't even know she had hit me. It just tipped me over, and I was not really hurt. I got up and was able to continue on my way. The bike was undamaged. I had bruises on my wrist and thigh, and scraped knuckles. Another driver stopped to help, but there wasn't anything he needed to do.

I was thinking about why the Lord allowed me to be hit by an unattentive driver, just as I was praying that they would see me and give me space to ride. The fact that I was not injured, even though if the car had been six inches more to the right I might be dead now, was because the Lord had his hand on the car all the time. He was right there, and moved that car just where He wanted it to go. I don't know if He has anything else He is doing through that accident, but at the very least He a second time confirmed to me his intimate involvement in our lives.

The lesson of these two incidents is something that I really needed to have confirmed to me. There are two areas of ministry that I am involved in, beyond the SIM office, where I have been wondering what the Lord is trying to do, because He has not answered our prayers in the way that we need or want, and it is tempting to think that He is withdrawing himself from us.
The first of these is with regards to the strategic direction of my ministry. As you know, we started our ministry in the French-speaking world, and I have felt the stirring of the Lord for some time for the possibility of a new overseas assignment that would take us to French-speaking Europe. We have looked into opportunities in Switzerland that seemed like something we would like to do, but there are various obstacles that so far have prevented us from proceeding. I was beginning to wonder if we had misinterpreted the Lord's stirring in our hearts. It is nothing that the Lord couldn't change in a heartbeat, but He hasn't done so. It is clear to me that He is doing something, but it is not yet time for us to move forward.

The second area of ministry is called La Clef. It is a ministry that uses music to reach to the heart of the French people, by means of pre- evangelistic concerts as well as other efforts. In 2004 we took a team to the south of France where we worked with a new church plant, and had an effective ministry. But we ended up with a large amount of expenses that still have not been paid. We had prayed and consulted with those who were involved as to whether we should go ahead with the trip, and the answer was, yes, the Lord will provide. But now, over two years later, He still has not provided. It is tempting to think that we misunderstood His leading. But I am absolutely certain that He was and is with us, and He knows & is concerned about this need.

We currently are starting to plan and prepare for another tour in 2007. We are making plans to bring the director of SIM for France, Alain Soudrain, here to North America to help us raise awareness and raise funds for the expenses of both the 2004 and 2007 trips. Tentatively this will happen the first and second weeks of January.

It is clear to us that we need to assemble a team of prayer supporters and financial supporters on whom the Lord is putting a burden of interest for the French-speaking world. There is much more to the story of the La Clef ministry than I have mentioned here. It involves young French-speaking Canadians, who make up most of the musicians of the team.
If you would like more information please get in touch with me. You can also go to http://www.laclef.org.

Family news and prayer requests.
Pam finished her course of study in paralegal technology last spring, and has been trying to get her first job in a law office, but so far has been frustrated. Please pray with us that she will find the right job.
Jennifer is in 11th grade and doing well in school. She is active in the Committed Young Christians club on campus (yes, they have Christian clubs in North Carolina high schools!), and is standing firm for the Lord. She is showing interest in engineering, as well as art.
We are planning to go to Southern California for Christmas, Dec 21-26. We will mostly be with Pam's family during that time.
I am planning to visit churches and friends in Southern California in February-March 2007.
As always, we would love to hear from each of you.
P.S. If you would like us to send this to a different E-Mail address, or if you wish to be removed from the list, please let me know.
In Our Lord,
John, Pam & Jennifer Dudeck
jdudeck@zenia.simcsg.sim.org Charlotte, North Carolina

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Update - Esther Peterson

Hi everybody! Sorry it´s been so long since I´ve been able to write. A lot has happened so I´ll try to fill you in on everything. For one of our last weeks of the school in Corrientes our DTS team, a few staff members, and three girls from a nearby church went on a special camp that YWAM runs. It´s pretty secretive so I can´t tell you much about it, but it was a beautiful and challenging time and a special experience with God. We got back on a Tuesday and then we had to present our book projects, pack up all of our stuff for the outreach, and prepare a dinner of love for our leaders. A dinner of love is a special night of entertainment and good food designed to honor the special guests and let them feel the love of God for them. Our leaders gave us one in the second month of the school and then we got to give one for them. It was a really fun and special time but it was also a lot of work and stress right before we were leaving. We left on Sunday at 4:00 pm and it was really sad to say goodbye to everyone. Our team for Chile ended up as just three girls, two leaders, and a baby, the daughter of one of the leaders. The family in the school was unable to get the documents to leave the country and one of the guys and one of the leaders didn´t have the finances so they´ll be joining us for the second month in south Argentina. One other guy had to travel to get his documents and is supposed to be joining us here any time, but right now we don´t know where he is. But I know where I am. I´m in Chile! Woohoo!! Man, this is a really beautiful country. We arrived here last Wednesday. It was a really beautiful trip by bus over the mountains, and for Mirtha it was her first time seeing snow. Right now we´re in a little town on the ocean called Lebu in the province of Arauco. It´s gorgeous, the mountains and the coean and all the green. We´re ministering in a really neat church here. They have a great pastor and a dedicated congregation of adults and youth. They have services every night and a group of young guys plays the worship music every single night. It´s impressive. The church has been really good to us and we´ve had a great time with the youth. Twice we went to play soccer with them. We´ve done some dramas, helped out with some evangelism in the neighborhood, and done some preaching and teaching. Yesterday one of the leaders taught about intercession and I taught about mission with my translator, Mirtha. It was a pretty cool experience. We´re staying in three different houses. Mirtha and I are staying with this really awesome young family with one little boy. The father is a fisherman and a really a great Christian man. He felt like an uncle, exept that he spoke Spanish. He´s left for the rest of the week for part of his work. On Friday we´re leaving for another city for a week, and after that we´ll be at the YWAM base in Arauco for a week. We all feel really blessed here and would like to come back and visit some time. Well, that´s all the main stuff for now. Thank you all so much for your prayers, I´ve needed them. I don´t know what´s coming next in these two months, but I know that God has brought us here with a purpose and I´m excited to see what He´s gonna do. I love you all heaps and I´m so greatful that God has put you in my life! Esther

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Peterson's Prayer Guide - October 2006

I want to be a suit of clothes for the Lord Jesus. I invite Him to walk around in my body as His temple. My heart’s passion is to let Him think with my mind, love with my heart, speak with my lips and continue to seek and save sinners through me.”
Quote by Bill Bright in his book, God - Discover His character.

We’ve been asking prayer for our contacts with neighbors. In the past two weeks alone, we’ve had some fantastic opportunities both to build friendships and to talk about the Lord. One neighbor lady came to church with me yesterday and was deeply impacted by the sermon. She had attended a Catholic church years ago, so this is a new beginning for her. Pray that we’ll keep being intentional in these relationships and that God will use us as a light in this community.

Praise the Lord! I emptied my e-mail inbox for the first time in several years! Now I’m working hard to keep up with what comes in day by day so I don’t get so far behind again. Thanks for praying! When I told Esther I’d done it, she admitted that she didn’t think it was humanly possible for me to ever catch up. Yes, it’s a good feeling! Please pray for Gary to get on top of his work email too.

I have confirmed that I can keep my Australian citizenship while applying for US. I’ve studied the civics questions so I can pass the required test. Now I need to get on with the rest of the application. As I look at the next few weeks, there’s a lot going on. Pray that I’ll continue to make steady progress on this important job and get it submitted this month.

We want to get a newsletter done this month too. Pray that we’ll know what to include, and produce a letter that will inform and encourage our friends.

Gary will be going to Southern California to attend a memorial service on the 15th for Ray Posey, who went to be with his Lord in July. He was a special friend and mentor to Gary in his early years of mission involvement and was a groomsman in our wedding. Pray that Gary will be a blessing to Ray’s family as he shares with them part of Ray’s life that they probably didn’t know much about. Gary just found out Ray’s sister has advanced cancer and may not be able to make it to her brother’s memorial.

Esther will be leaving on Sept. 30th for a month of outreach in Chile with half of her DTS group. The rest are going to Peru. They will return to southern Argentina for the second month of outreach. Please pray for safety and good health as they travel around. Pray that they will stay close to God, and function well as a team. The girl who will be Esther’s interpreter hasn’t done it before and doesn’t know a lot of English, so they’re both a bit nervous about that (though Esther’s Spanish ability has improved a lot!) Pray that God will work powerfully through them to draw people to Himself.

Josiah had a good opportunity to talk to a fellow student on the bus this past week about the existence of God. There will be more such conversations to come with this young man. Pray that God will show Himself to be real and give Josiah wisdom to know how to talk with him. Josiah is still learning how to manage his homework load. He’s started refereeing soccer games again on Saturdays, and is glad to be earning some money. Drama group started again last week, so that is his regular Friday night activity. They do skits for the youth services on Sundays. Please continue to pray for safety as he gains experience as a driver.

We will be hosting a missionary family from the 7th-10th. Mark (the dad/husband) attended one of the jungle camps that we ran in New Zealand back in the early 80’s and felt called to be a missionary. He and his family have served in Ecuador for over 10 years now and are on their way home to New Zealand. Pray that we’ll be a blessing to the Pavelkas during their stay.

Gary’s work is both a joy and a struggle. He needs a strategy for how to go about “marketing” Wordspring - encouraging people to come and visit. Please continue to pray for divine creativity and some good people to brainstorm with about how to do it. Please pray for these items on his schedule this month too:

17th Special tour and orientation for new Wycliffe recruiters
22nd Preaching at the church we attend here in Florida

Gary writes: Today I got a call from a colleague saying that her husband was sick, and he had very special guests he was hosting here at our center. “Would you be able to show this person around for him?” she asked. “Sure”, I said, “Who is it?” It was a very influential business man/radio commentator/politician in central Florida, along with a prominent business woman. They came at my colleague’s invitation to have lunch and get acquainted with Wycliffe. He and I got to talk about the Gospel as we spent time together. What a great opportunity!

Last week I met a young lady already here for Wycliffe’s Training Camp for new members. She looked at me and said “Gary Peterson! Do you remember meeting me two years ago when I came for a visit? You showed me around and talked to me about Wycliffe?” I’m grateful I did remember meeting her, though I had to confess that I didn’t remember her name. I asked what she was doing here now, and she replied “I’m here because I’ve joined Wycliffe, and you were a part of making that happen.”

So thank you for your part in all that God is doing. We greatly appreciate your prayers for the events, contacts and divine surprises God brings our way. Have a blessed month!