Thursday, November 30, 2006

Peterson's Prayer Guide - December 2006

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Don’t forget to pray for us too, that God will give us many opportunities… Pray that we will proclaim His message as clearly as we should.” Col. 4:2-4

Thanks for your prayers regarding my US citizenship application. I found the document that I was missing and was able to finish and submit it on Nov. 10th. I especially want to thank the friends who offered to cover the cost of this. It is now completely paid for and we wait for the processing (possibly more than a year, we’re told). I’ll let you know when it’s all official!

We have appreciated the opportunity to talk to Esther by phone several times this past month. She should be back at the YWAM base in Corrientes (where she started) now, being debriefed and going through her graduation from the DTS. We are so grateful to all who have prayed for her during this time. God has done a lot in and through her! The whole team will travel south to Buenos Aires to attend a conference in early December. When that is over, she will spend a few days with new friends in that area before flying home (via Chicago!) on Dec.15-16th. We look forward to having her here for about 3 weeks before she begins college about 3 hours drive away on the Gulf coast of Florida. Please continue to keep her in prayer as she travels, says good bye to the friends she’s made down there, and then readjusts to life in the US. In light of her time there, she is re-thinking what courses she should take when she starts college. Please pray as she makes these major decisions.

Josiah really enjoyed the Truth Project training he attended ( All those who went through it were encouraged to choose a group of others to train to also teach this Christian worldview curriculum. He has quite a few people in mind to invite. Please pray that those God wants to do this would be available and make a serious commitment to participating.

Our newsletter hasn’t happened yet. It seems to have been a very busy month and we haven’t done anything on it since I last wrote to you. This coming week looks pretty full for me, but I would like to make a start on it and really work to get it finished and in the mail before Esther gets home.

We ended up spending Thanksgiving with some local friends and had a lovely time getting to know them better. I was able to pull some surprises on Gary for his birthday too, with the help of friends from our church. Attending an International Car Show in Orlando was part of the fun, and it seemed he really enjoyed it.

Gary already sent you some of the results of your prayers for his ministry opportunities. Thanks for your part in all of this! He also had a great response at the ACSI teacher’s conference last week. He has some follow-up to do now.

His schedule for the coming month is lighter.
Dec. 1st
He attends the Osceola County Chamber of Commerce breakfast. He’s still new to this and struggling to make contacts.
7th He will be sharing with a home-school group visiting the Wycliffe center.
10th He’ll be speaking in a missions class at another colleague’s church.
Pray that he can make some progress with the e-mail that has piled up. Pray for some more good opportunities in the community to tell people about Wordspring, and that some will come and visit. So far he hasn’t seen a lot of this fruit for his efforts (although it seems God has been using him in other ways he hadn’t expected!)

I am part of a parent support group for the students in Josiah’s school. I have taken on the responsibility of organizing the annual international potluck dinner for the students and their families on December 2nd. Please pray that I will do this well and it will be a good time of building relationships with other families. I’ve talked Gary into emceeing the event.

We look forward to welcoming Mom Peterson for two weeks with us over Christmas. Please pray for a safe flight for her on Dec. 19th, good health and a wonderful visit.

Each year we give a gift to our kid’s teachers and to our neighbors for Christmas. As we write the cards and go out to deliver these gifts, please pray that the love of Christ would shine through us and point people to Him and the real meaning of this special season.

Our small group completed a short DVD course on the HIV/ Aids crisis in Africa recently (along with other groups in the church). It stimulated a lot of discussion on what practical ways we could make a difference. We are writing a proposal for our pastor here and would love to see the ideas turn into something concrete that would make a lasting difference in this tragic situation. Please pray that we’ll be sensitive to God’s leading and obedient to what He shows us.

Gary has been invited to take part as a trainer in a Leadership Matters course next summer. He did the training himself about 7 years ago. It is put on by an organization called Intermission Training Alliance ( and there is a growing demand for it around the world. We are starting a fund for Gary’s travel for this. There are several possibilities of locations and details that need to be finalized in the months ahead. Please pray for this process, Gary’s preparation and the finances needed for the travel involved.

May the Lord bless you with His peace and joy as you celebrate again Immanuel, God with us.

Yours in His great love, Robyn for the Petersons

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

John's back home - Nadolski update

I traveled up to Marsabit (northern Kenya) at the end of last week and I met with David and BJ. They are missionaries with the Anglican Church of Kenya. David has a PhD from a Big 10 school and BJ is a veterinarian (trained at UC Davis). These guys do not receive salary from the church. Rather, they do some big water/animal husbandry projects and then use the extra income to pay for expenses when they don't get a salary. They are real strong in their faith (both of them are missionary kids) and strong in their love for the local people.

We traveled to three Yaa's (villages where the chief and elders live). We got back to Marsabit on Tuesday morning, in time for me to catch a flight back to Nairobi. I couldn't stay longer because David and BJ wanted to drive to Nairobi and buy supplies for the project. Since they were leaving and my work in Marsabit was done, I was free to come home early.

I got back to Houston on Thursday afternoon - in time for some turkey and pie. IT IS GOOD TO BE HOME.

Thanks to everyone for your prayers. I am convinced that your prayers were effective - even to the point of letting me do six weeks worth of work in three weeks.

Please know how much we (Marcia and I) appreciate your prayers, calls, cards (thanks for the many birthday cards and cards for Marcia).

A dear friend from Sheridan, WY read that I was touched by the new church in Western Kenya. He read that I gave some money to the church ($80) and he pledged to match the money. Please let me know if anyone else wants to give to this church. (It's amazing. They can build the whole structure for about $1,000. The concrete floor is extra.)

Feel free to give us a call as you can. We'll love to hear from you.

John (and Marcia - who's catching up on her sleep)

"Do not grow weary in doing good for at the proper time, you will reap a harvest if you do not give up." Gal 6:9

Monday, November 20, 2006

Update From Rona

Dear Grace Church Family,

It’s hard to believe it’s already been three months since my arrival in Spain. What a whirlwind of emotions and spiritual lessons! As Stella Nuncio can tell you, Dan and Lisa Leatherwood are a very dedicated couple who have been working in a hostile and closed environment here in northern Spain for the past seven years. The Roman Catholic church is such a strong presence here that it’s hard for evangelicals to get a foothold into the community, especially in small cities like Tafalla (pop. 12,000). The storefront ministry the Lord has given them was opened just under one year ago, and is located on the main street of the city. Many people walk by it every day but few venture in. It’s an all-purpose facility where we hold Sunday services, a Wednesday night women’s bible study, and English classes. There’s also an extensive library of books, both in English and Spanish, covering themes as diverse as children’s literature, personal/spiritual growth, religion/philosophy, marriage, and parenting. Even some great American novels like Moby Dick and Red Badge of Courage are included among this diverse selection.

When I first arrived on August 23, I was whisked from the airport in Bilbao to their home in Artajona (about 2 hours southeast). I stayed in their spare room for the first four nights, and then joined Lisa’s mother Elizabeth for a six-night stay at a Dutch-operated “albergue” (inn/hostel) on the Camino de Santiago. These Dutch evangelicals use this as a ministry outpost to try to witness to the pilgrims who walk this arduous 500 mile trek from southern France to the west coast of Spain. Camino means “way” and the intent is to point them to THE WAY, our Lord Jesus Christ. Pilgrims are offered a Gospel of John printed in their own language (Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, German, English) and shared with briefly during our dinnertime together. Although a lot of hard manual labor on the part of the staff, it was a truly memorable experience and one I’m not likely to forget.

I started taking care of two brothers (Javier, age 9-1/2 and Alvaro, age 7) on September 4. Their mother works as a radiology technician at a hospital in Tafalla and she needs someone to be with the boys during their two-hour lunch break, from 1-3 p.m., each school day. I give them lunch and then English lessons, both reading and writing. The boys are a handful and each day brings new challenges. Please pray for the salvation of Arantxa and Joakim, the parents, as well as the boys.

I’ve also cataloged all the books in the library so that there’s a computerized database. And now I’m working on a checkout card system so they can start sharing these books with members of the church family as well as those in the community. The Lord has blessed me with computer skills and administrative work experience, so I’m a “natural” for this job and I’m blessed to be able to help them in this way.

The English classes I’ve been teaching so far are mostly either one-on-one or have two participants. I teach teenagers mostly but also a couple of adults. The students here are required to learn both English and Basque (this is one of the four Spanish Basque provinces) and the teenagers are using these classes as a way to improve their English skills from a native speaker.

Our church is small and consists mostly of immigrants from countries in Central and South America. It’s been wonderful to worship with such a diverse group and to be made aware in a very personal way of just how great our God is, and to be reminded that He is worshiped throughout the world by people of many tribes and tongues. It’s a joy to sing praise songs that we sing at Grace, but to sing them in Spanish with my brothers and sisters here in Spain!

We had an early Thanksgiving celebration after church on November 12, with 17 people attending. Dan did all the cooking! He made turkey, stuffing, biscuits, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, jello mold, and apple and pumpkin pies. What a feast! It was a wonderful opportunity to share a typically American holiday with our church family and at the same time be reminded of how thankful we all are to be saved by our Lord Jesus Christ. I was reminded of how unique a situation this is when I saw four people talking to one another—one from Guatemala, one from Chile, one from Ecuador, and one from Cuba. How amazing and wonderful this is!

The Lord has been using this time to teach me many lessons about dependence. He has proven Himself to be all-sufficient for my needs, and in my times of loneliness I am continually reminded of His love and grace. I want to thank you for your prayers for me and for the folks here. It has been a real blessing to hear from many of you via email or letter, and I am truly grateful for your part in this ministry and outreach.

My email address is or letters can be mailed to me care of Leatherwood, Calle San Pedro 14, Artajona, Navarra, SPAIN 31140. Also, I’ve uploaded almost 100 photos from my time here to the following site, so do check it out:

I will be heading to Turkey in January to serve as guidance counselor at Oasis International School in Ankara. I covet your prayers for that time of service as well as for my remaining couple of months here in Spain. May our God richly bless you in a special way during this holiday season!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Update from John Nadolski

Greetings from Kenya and I hope that you are doing well.

I am doing well, even as I battle the sinus infection. It doesn't keep me from doing anything. It just hurts.

I went to church today, at a brand-new church. It's about a 40 minute drive from where I'm staying and it was all dirt roads. Car traffic was really light and we may have passed a few cars, but not very many. The local people are building the church, literally from the ground up. Imagine a wood pole-barn. They have the side poles up, and they will put metal siding and metal roof. I expect that they will have a dirt floor until they can afford the cement/concrete. The pastor was sick with malaria and we walked over to his house to pray for him. His house was small and he had six kids. I learned that he was married before and his wife and three of their kids died. They all died within three days so they never had a chance to get to the hospital. The pastor guesses that they died from meningitis.

The pastor walked back to the church with us and stayed for the service. I took some money and paid for his malaria medicine. They work so hard to raise the money for the new church that I was personally challenged to help so I gave some money for the building fund.

I'm scheduled to meet with the local govenor tomorrow and then travel to Nairobi tomorrow night. If all goes well, I will go to Marsabit on Friday. My partner in Marsabit has me booked on a flight with MAF. He said that we will tour the new sites and that we will be 'camping' as we go. He suggested that I buy a sleeping bag as we will sleep on a mat outside under a tarp. He also suggested that I bring along any snacks that I want to eat because he said that we will be eating the local food. I've been told that there's a missionary prayer: 'Lord, I'll put it down; you'll keep it down.'

Please pray that God gives me wisdom, discernment, health, safety and a heart for the people.

Thanks for all of your prayers.

God bless you,


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Esther Peterson - Back in AR

Hi again everyone! Sorry to any you who I haven´t responded to. I had very little internet time in Chile. Well, let me fill you in on my life. I was in the city of Arauco for two weeks.We thought we´d be going to Coronel for the second week but the plans changed. The first week we spent ministering in one church. I stayed with the pastor and his wife and five kids and, wow, they were something else- in a good way. The pastor was full of heart and had a good sense of humor. I got video of him dancing on stage during the worship and photos of him showing us the clown costume he uses for children´s evangelistic programs. His wife was also very loving and she liked to say ¨Amen¨ really loudly all through the services. The kids were great, too, and at least two of them want to be missionaries. I learned a lot at that church. Our third day there each of us three girls in my team taught the youth group on a different subject. I taught on having a quiet time with God, and this time I taught in Spanish. It didn´t go so smoothly. I was just praying that I´d be able to finish, but at least I did it. In the afternoon we went door to door evangelizing with the youth. This was really scary for me because I´d only done it once before, and because of the language barrier all I´d said was ¨hola¨ and let the others do the talking. This time I was the leader of three other youth. It was a little scary, but it went really well. I still wasn´t able to do much talking, but God went above my expectations. In the afternoons we often went with the pastor to do visitation. It was really interesting because he would ask the people for some cooking oil in a cup and then we´d all dip our fingers in and go around anointing the house and praying over it. Then he anointed the couple, if it was a couple, and prayed for their marriage. At first I thought it was pretty weird, but now I think it´s a pretty special way to bless the family. We also went to the hospital one day to pray for people. One morning we did an anti-drug event in a public high school. We did two dramas, one of our girls sang, and our leaders and the leader of the YWAM base in Arauco shared messages and testimonies. It was really more of an evangelistic event, and all in a public high school! Each night at the church we did dramas and one person from our group preached, including me, in Espanol! I preached for 22 minutes on truth and love based on the book of 2 John, and it went pretty well. I don´t know that any lives were drastically changed, but the words kept coming (relatively smoothly), I got a number of ¨amens¨, the people said they understood me, and I actually kind of enjoyed it. Thank you so much to all of you who prayed for me. God answered your prayers. The second week we spent working with the very small YWAM base in Arauco, practical work duty on the property, being involved in their ministries, doing a prayer table in the plaza, and doing intercession for the city. Our second day working with the prayer table a group from the newspaper came and took pictures and interviews. I was on the front cover of the newspaper the next day!!! They said I was going to be on the TV too but we didn´t have cable TV so we didn´t get to watch. In this time I also learned more about spiritual warfare. We learned what the spiritual strongholds in the city were, many of which came from the city´s earliest history and the religions of its indigenous people, and we prayed specifically against them, breaking all curses in the name of Jesus Christ. On the 30th of October our group of three girls and one leader left on the bus for Santiago, where we had time in the morning to shop for souvenirs before continuing on over the Andes mountains to Argentina. I was very excited because Santiago had all of our American fast food restaurants that I hadn´t seen in four months, and I took pictures of them all! We ate lunch at KFC, and my Argentine friends were very excited because they´d only ever seen it on TV. We traveled on to Salta, to the town of Metan, where I am now. Our leader then went back to his wife and son in the base in Corrientes and we met up with another leader, the family from our DTS who wasn´t able to go to Chile, and one of the other students, my partner for the Tango (I took tango lessons in the base and now we´re using it in the outreach. We´re ministering in one church here until the 23rd, and then we go back to the base to graduate. Wow, sorry this e-mail is so long, but I could go on for pages about all my experiences. It´s really been an incredible time. Please pray that we would be a blessing here, and pray for protection from spiritual attack on all the students, leaders, and our families. And please pray specifically for Alex, the other American student who´s with the group that just returned to Argentina from Peru. He´s having major problems with allergies and was in the hostpital the other night until 3:00AM. It can´t be easy for him to be in a hostpital in another country like this, and if he doesn´t get better he´ll have to go back to the base, miss the second part of the outreach, and not be able to graduate with us. Thank you all once again for being part of this adventure with me. The next e-mail will be sooner and shorter . Much love and blessings to you all!!!!!!! In Christ, Esther

Friday, November 03, 2006

Incredible Response from Gary Peterson

Incredible response!

People must be praying because I have never seen results like this!

I’m currently working a Wycliffe/Wordspring booth at a Florida Christian Educators conference in downtown Orlando at a large hotel off the huge Florida Mall. I brought around 500 brochures to hand out to teachers/administrators/teachers assistants and guests at the conference, not really expecting to give our half of them away.

Oh me of little faith! Halfway through the morning I had to call the office and ask for more – another 250-500 should more than do, I thought. I figured I must have talked with most people coming to this event by now. I confess I laughed when my boss showed up with another 1500. But by the end of the day I had gone through almost half of those, and I have another 6+ hours of conference to go today.

I have never seen such a response in all my years in Wycliffe. It is nothing short of remarkable. I can only attribute it to the prayers of His people.

Pray that these folk will follow through and that we will see much fruit for the kingdom. Pray that not only the teachers will be impacted, but their students and their parents as well. The potential long term effect could be tremendous.

Incredible opportunity

As I said, this is a Christian educators’ conference, and our display is on the second floor outside the conference rooms were they are holding workshops. So it was a real surprise when 3 kids stopped at my booth to admire my soccer ball that has “Jesus Loves You” in 63 languages on it. What were kids doing in the middle of this conference? When one of them asked me about the ball I was taken aback!

“What part of Australia are you from?” I asked. My sister and I are from Perth (where Robyn’s sister & family are, along with other relatives). “I’m from England” said the other boy. “We’ve been here on holiday for a week at Disney.” To make a long story short, they somehow wandered in to this convention and “happened” by my display. Within 5 minutes I discovered they knew little about God, so I started to explain the Gospel to them. The first lad (Harry) stood there listening intently while I went through the plan of salvation (the other two popping in and out from time to time, but hearing most of it). A couple of teachers had stopped by the booth while I was talking, but they quietly waited while I shared. Finally Harry’s sister said “We’ve got to go” and they were gone. The two teachers looked at me and said – “That was amazing!”

Not more than 15 minutes later two young men in their late teens/early twenties stopped by to look at my “Da Jesus Book” – the Hawaii Pidgin New Testament I also had on the table. I thought they might be part of the conference, though they looked a bit out of place with their body piercings and all. I opened the book and had one of them read John 3:16: “God wen get so plenny love an aloha fo da peopo inside da world, dat he wen send me, his one an ony Boy, so dat everybody dat trus me no get cut off from God, but get da real kine life dat stay to da max foeva.” Turns out they too knew little about God, so I got a chance to explain the Gospel to them as well. Incredible! They didn’t pray to receive Christ (they left when the teachers started coming out of the workshops), but I pray they will find a Bible and someone else to continue sharing with them.

Not more than 20 minutes later (after the teachers had gone back into another session) a middle aged lady walked by the booth, and I just greeted her. She had a conference tag on, so again I assumed she was a teacher/administrator. But the Lord led me to ask some probing questions, and I quickly discovered she didn’t have a relationship with Christ. In 5 minutes I got to again lay out the plan of salvation for her. Turns out she was a vendor at this conference (not sure what she’s selling). I gave her my card and encouraged her to call if she wanted to talk some more.

I sure wasn’t expecting to share Christ at a Christian convention, but God had to have orchestrated these appointments. Pray for these folk and for any other opportunities God brings our way.

Pray for Josiah too. He’s had some remarkable opportunities to share the gospel with a Muslim student at school. Pray for continued opportunities in his incredible mission field called “school”.

Brimming with gratitude to God for your partnership in all of this!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Nadolski Update and Prayer Requests

Tim and Marissa are married!
We never knew that weddings were so much fun, but thanks to the hard work of Marissa and her family, Tim and Marissa’s wedding was a blast. It was all so very well done. The flowers were perfect, the ceremony was formal, the reception was fun and Marissa was beautiful.

Phil gets a JOB!
Phil accepted a job as a Field Engineer with Cudd Environmental Services (branch of Cudd Pressure Control). They are based in Houston, but during the first year, Phil will be getting on-the-job training at several of their work sites. Right now, it looks like he will work in Louisiana, Tulsa (Oklahoma), and Grand Junction (Colorado). Phil is really excited and he’s really looking forward to this new challenge.
Phil traveled to Houston with the idea of getting a job around here, in the area near mom and dad. Phil prayed that God would provide the job, using Phil’s talents and passion. Phil prayed that God would open the doors that were suppose to be open and close those doors that needed to be closed. Phil received this job offer within two weeks of arriving in Houston. We feel like it is an answer to prayer.

Steve, studying hard in the middle of college
Steve attends Columbia College (Columbia, MO), studying business and law enforcement. Columbia College has a distance learning program through Cuesta College (San Luis Obispo, CA) and Steve takes his courses through Cuesta. Steve is studying business and law enforcement, and he’s in the middle of a busy semester.
Steve is going with his church on a short-term mission trip to Israel. They will be helping on an archeological dig and they will be sharing the love of Jesus with others. Steve leaves right after finals are finished in December and he returns right before Christmas. He’s making plans to visit mom and dad over Christmas in Houston.

John going on Living Water project trip to Kenya
John leaves on Saturday, November 4th, traveling from Houston to Nairobi. He’ll spend the first week in Kisumu, by Lake Victoria. If all goes well, LWI will get approval to continue the work they started last year. It will be a good project, providing safe water to over 20,000 people while including latrines and hygiene training for five elementary schools.
After John finishes in Kisumu, he’ll be working in northern Kenya on a new project in the hard-hit drought areas. Before the drought was over, there were animal carcasses all over the place and that added to the problems with typhoid fever and cholera. The LWI project will bring water tanks and small dams to spread out the water supply in different pastures. Maybe the livestock won’t overgraze an area so quickly if they can rotate to different water supplies. Here’s a couple of web sites that tell the story:
UNICEF report on East Africa
Report on Drought Conditions:
It is good to see so much productive work being done. John plans on being in Kenya for 45 days, arriving home right before Christmas.

Prayer Requests
God continues to teach us to depend on him. Just last week, we were sitting at the kitchen table with a list of unexpected bills. We prayed, not for the money but for God to be glorified. We figured God had a plan and we just needed to rest on that promise until God showed us His plan. As it turns out, God’s plan was better than the plan we put together.
God is good; all the time.
We covet your prayers:

Marcia doesn’t sleep well when John is gone, and she has all of the household chores to do. Please pray that Marcia will get the rest she needs. Marcia is going to try to get everything ready for Christmas, but we’ll see what slips.

John needs wisdom while he travels. He really needs a protective cover for health and safety, too. Please pray that he will have opportunities to share the love of Jesus.

Phil should start his new job real soon. We don’t know if he will live near Houston or when he’ll go on the road. Please pray for Christian friends, wisdom and safety for his new job.

Steve is busy at school and we pray that he does his best, especially since he took a week off at the beginning of school because of Tim’s wedding.

Please pray that Tim and Marissa will have a joyful life together, through Christ.