Thursday, March 29, 2007

Costa Ricisima! - Esther Peterson

Wow, how can nine days be so significant? Over spring break I went to Costa Rica on a mission trip with a group from my Bible College. It was absolutely wonderful! Before we even got there we missed a connecting flight from Miami and had to take a later one. Because of this God gave me the opportunity to witness to a guy sitting next to me, in Spanish! He didn't accept Christ, but I know I planted a seed and it was an amazing experience. I think back to all the times in Argentina when I couldn't speak Spanish well enough to help much in evangelism, but by the grace of God He helped me learn!
I am continuously amazed at the beauty and creativity displayed by God in the world and people he created. You can see in the pictures (on my space: it was another little glimpse of Heaven. We spent our time in Jaco, on the West coast (home to Central America's largest brothel), working with a missionary family that graduated from our same college. We got to participate in their church services, one which meets on the basketball court of a tiny elementary school, and one that meets at a super fancy, expensive resort. During the week we worked in a slum called "El Cartel." It's a neighborhood full of drugs, prostitution, and abused women and children. We ran childrens meetings and a very special Bible study for the women, reminding them that no matter what they have done, or what the rest of the world thinks about them, they are loved and valued by God. On the last day, we painted the women's nails, something they never expected from us. It was very special for all of us. We also did a prayer walk for the city.
Our team was a wonderful group of crazy and committed Christians and I was so blessed by getting to know them more. The missionaries we worked with inspired and taught us. I was reminded that I'm not going to Bible college to get grades and a degree, but to learn and develop godly habits. I believe that what I learned in this week will make me a better student for the rest of my time at college. God is great! He also allowed each of us to be able to use our specific gifts in the work, be it singing, sewing, speaking Spanish, organizing, etc. I used a lot of things I learned in Argentina: dramas, songs, and most importantly, Spanish! On our day off we got to go waterfall jumping and splash around in the beautiful beach.
The country and city really captured my heart and I would love to go back some day. I'm believing with the missionaries that out of the children in that little slum will come pastors and missionaries who will change their culture for Christ! It was an honor to have a small influence on their lives. I want to thank all of you who prayed for me and supported me financially for this trip! I would say I've grown more from that trip than I have from all of my classes so far. It was a special blessing to be able to be a part of it. Praise God! He is so amazing! He deserves all of the glory for everything that happened!!!
Much love and gratitude to all of you, ~Esther~

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Nadolski Newsletter

Howdy Y’all from Sugar Land, Texas.

We want to update you on all the happenings in our lives. Sugar Land is nice this time of year. It is not real hot yet. It rains often enough that we don’t have to water the lawn very often. The nights cool off so that it is comfortable to sleep. God is good.

As you probably know John leaves for Kenya on Friday. He will be there about three weeks. He has several different projects that he will be monitoring and meetings to attend while he’s in Kenya. He has been active with our local church heading up their Men’s Ministries, teaching some of the Wednesday night Bible Study lessons, and co-teaching a Sunday School class. He has also been taking a class one night a week. Recently, he attended the Grace Church Missions Conference in San Luis Obispo, California. It was nice to reconnect with our friends and to spend time with our youngest son, Stephen.

Marcia has been substitute teaching almost daily, but several times it’s for half-day. She enjoys the challenge that each class can bring. In addition to the teaching school, she is on the Women’s Committee at our church. She has had the opportunity to be one of the teachers for the Wednesday evening bible study, help in the nursery, and teach Sunday School when needed. We have enjoyed having some friends from Wyoming (Al and Darlene Lesco) stay with us for a few days. It was WONDERFUL. We enjoy the company. You can visit, too. Texas is a lot warmer in the winter than most places in the United States.

Tim and Marissa are doing well and seem to be enjoying married life. Tim is still doing the same thing which is designing tools for eye surgery. Marissa’s working hard on her PhD program. In their spare time they are remodeling their house. They recently put up new siding and replaced the windows. The next project will be redoing the bathroom.

Phil is doing great. He has settled in Longview, Texas. He is enjoying his job and is learning all about the oil industry. Phil is working as a field engineer. Recently, he saw a blow-out (not a flat tire). A blow-out is when the pipe breaks off and comes flying out of the drill site at an extremely fast rate of speed. He was the one who shut down the blow-out so it couldn’t start a fire. He is traveling a lot. On one of the trips which was 9 hours of driving, he fell asleep at the wheel. God was so good. He only had a minor accident from this incident. Thank you for your prayers and for Phil’s guardian angel.

Stephen is currently in his junior year at Cuesta College. He is studying Business and next semester will start Columbia College to finish on his Bachelor’s degree. He is working part-time at a local skate park, too. This summer he will be working as the aquatics coordinator for the county. This means that he’ll oversee the guards and coordinate their schedules.

We would love to hear from you. Stay in touch and let us know how we can pray for you.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

March 2007 Newsletter from the Gunns

Hello from Utah! March 2007

Ministry Update
Our whole family attended our annual Christmas Conference in Portland this year and helped put on several aspects of the conference. Miriam helped lead several seminars for women and I (Rob) was on the prayer team, which involved staffing a special room where students could come and quietly reflect or pray about what God was teaching them. We also took written requests to pray for and were there to pray with anyone who needed it. It was a special time and many students seemed to really benefit from this little oasis from the 500+ people attending.

Jessica and Ethan love going too, and got to participate in a prayer “journey”, and other activities along with the students... Jessica even got to do a special skit with other staff kids in front of the entire conference!

In January a group of students from Biola traveled to our campus to do a joint outreach with our group. The goal: to break down some barriers of mutual hostility and foster some honest dialogue with LDS students. It went very well and we are trusting God for where it might lead. One LDS institute teacher even invited me to speak in his class sometime-unheard of!

In February, we did our annual Winter Retreat – the theme, Using your gifts in a Superhero way. Miriam created an experiential time where there were 20 stations with questions designed to challenge thinking in terms of gifts and relationships toward one another and God. In addition to enjoying a different kind of time with the students, we brought our kids and several of their friends (and the guide dog, Sentinel) along. We love exposing our children to the faiths of young people whom they look up to.

During our weekly meeting, Rob has been teaching a survey of the Old Testament and has enjoyed it very much. I am also co-leading a study of the Sermon on the Mount with one of our student leaders and continue with the guys in the group one-on-one. As always we encourage students to reach out to others by several means. On March 26 we will be showing the film End of the Spear on campus. As you know, Mormons have a large missionary effort, and we hope this powerful story of Christian missionaries will lead to some fruitful discussions about real faith.

Please Pray:
1. For fruit from the Biola visit, especially if the opportunity to speak really occurs.
2. For a good turn out for End of the Spear, and resulting chances to share Christ.

Update: Thank you for praying for the students we mentioned in our last letter who were considering joining the LDS church. At this time, neither one has pursued it and the guy has broken up with his Mormon girlfriend! We praise God for that, but please keep them in prayer-they are still vulnerable at this time in their lives!

Family News

In January, Jessica underwent surgery on both feet for some extra bones in her ankles that have caused her a lot of pain. She missed school for a week, then, a wheel chair for a week, then crutches. She is walking fairly normally now, but still cannot run and with soccer season immanent we are thinking she may miss this season. It has been hard for her but by-and-large she has handled it well without much complaining.

Ethan is doing great in school; he recently brought home his first 100% spelling test! He is very busy with AWANAs and got a trophy at the Grand Prix for design!

Please Pray:
1. For the spiritual battle for our children’s hearts- For example: Jessica’s soccer coach has practice right in the middle of AWANAS. (But in God’s grace, she can’t go anyway because of her feet!)
2. That we can keep up a good balance with home life and ministry.

Thank you for your faithful support!

The Gunn’s ~ 1627E 1700N, Logan, UT 84341 ~ 435-753-0280 ~

Monday, March 19, 2007

Greetings from Utah

Hello from the Gunns! We enjoy keeping up with Grace through the website, blogs, etc. It sounded like a terrific Missions Conference-hopefully we can attend the next one!

We want to thank the Missions board for their great job in keeping in touch with us. Thank you Stella Nuncio for your wonderful cards and the bulletin!

Grace will always be my home. I rejoice in their homegoing, but am saddened when I hear about John Rogolla and Francis Weatherman and others. We will have a great reunion someday.

God Bless you all

Rob Gunn

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Africa Bound - John Nadolski

It’s been a while since we’ve sent an update and prayer request. Thank you to all that have been praying for us on a regular basis - and to all that you pray on a less regular basis.

At the end of February, John was in California at the mission’s conference for Grace Church of San Luis Obispo. People asked John if he was going to Kenya. At the time, the answer was ‘No’, but a lot of things changed when John got back to Living Water International. You guessed it. On March 16th, John is heading to Kenya and he’ll be gone for about three weeks, working on water projects in western and northern Kenya. It means a lot to us to have your prayers on this trip. (see schedule below and pray for him each day)

We plan to send out an update about the family. The local school district is on Spring Break this week so Marcia isn’t working this week. Feel free to send us your prayer requests and we’ll be glad to pray for you, too.

God bless you and may He keep you safe in the palm of His hands,

John and Marcia

Living Water International trip to Kenya, East Africa (schedule below). I ask for your prayers. Please remember to pray for me on these days (or others), and I will be praying for you, too. Specific prayer needs:

- As always, pray for Marcia. John will be away for several weeks and Marcia normally
doesn’t sleep well when he is gone.
- There’s some friction between the different partners and this friction may lead to better
working relationships or worse problems. Pray that the Holy Spirit work on the hearts of those involved and that they respond wisely, through Christ.
- John will be working in two different areas: by western Kenya by Lake Victoria and in
northern Kenya by Ethiopia. Pray for spiritual growth of the Kenyan teams.

3/16 John leaves Houston and flies to Nairobi
3/17 Arrive in Nairobi, late at night
3/18 Church, worship, rest, and site seeing.
3/19 John meets with partners in Nairobi to discuss some problem areas.
3/20 Meeting in Kisumu (by Lake Victoria) with World Vision, CARE, and others.
3/21-3/24 Survey area and meet with school leaders involved with next round of drilling.
3/25 Church, worship, rest, and site seeing.
3/26 – 3/31 Work with partner in Marsabit to build water tanks and water dams – to help spread out water supply and stabilize grazing pressure.
4/1 Church, worship, rest, and site seeing.
4/2 Return to Nairobi and meet with government officials and other partners.
4/5 Fly from Nairobi to Houston
4/6 John arrives home.

Costa Rica Bound - Esther Peterson

Hi guys! Just a quick note to let you all know that I am going to Costa Rica. There is a team of eight of us from Trinity College who are going down to help a missionary who is a Trinity graduate. We don't know much specifically about what we will be doing there, but we believe we will be working with kids and youth. I have been giving the team some Spanish lessons and teaching them some dramas and kids songs that I learned in Argentina. We will be leaving on March 3 and returning on the 12. I would appreciate prayers for our health and safety, spiritual protection, team unity, and that God would allow us to be used greatly by Him to bring Him glory in Costa Rica!! Thanks again to all who have given! I have nearly all the money I need for the trip. I also wanted to present a need in case God speaks to any of you about getting involved in the ministry of a friend of mine. In Argentina I met an amazing woman who is even shorter than me who has been trying for years to go to Cameroon as a missionary. God has finally made it possible and she is leaving March 3 for South Africa, but is still missing the money for the flight from there to Cameroon. She believes it will be about $700 US. I have started supporting her a small amount monthly because she's so awesome and I want to be involved in her ministry. She's in need of more support because the church in Argentina doesn't have very many resouces from which to give. If any of you feel a touch from God and are interested in supporting her with a one time gift for her trip or on a regular basis, please let me know. I can get you in contact with her and let you know how to send gifts for her. Her name is Daniela Larroca. I pray God's blessings on everyone recieving this e-mail! May God surprise you all with his amazing love and may you experience the abundant life He came to give you!! Much love in Him ~Esther~

Peterson's Prayer Guide - March 2007

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

Aren’t you grateful that God gave us specific instructions as to how to fight the spiritual battles we face? He reminded us that our battles aren’t against people, and has made His weapons available for our use. Josiah and I have been memorizing Ephesians 6:10-20 recently and it has been a great reminder to us. May all of us be faithful to put on our armor each morning and gain victory in our battles.

Thanks for praying for Gary and his ministry opportunities. He shared with several hundred students, teachers, and parent-chaperones who came to visit in February. Word-Spring attendance has been way up for December – February. Gary had some incredible divine appointments this past month. The Perspectives classes he taught were a mix. The first two went really well, and the last one was very hard. But God had some things to teach him through that, so good has come from it. We usually mention some of the groups and tours he knows about for the coming month, but there are so many that come on short notice that we decided not to try and list them. Please ask God to help him and the team to be sensitive to the Spirit as they meet the folk who come, and that the visitors would be impacted through what they see and hear.

Sunday, March 4th I’ll accompany Gary down to Lantana, Florida to share at a mission conference at Maranatha Bible Church. He has spoken there several times in the past. Pray we’ll be a blessing and that God will orchestrate our contacts and conversations. Pray for safe travel as we drive the 6 hour round trip that day as well. It means an early start and late finish.

Gary was unable to run the half marathon last month and continues to have trouble with a calf muscle. Pray for healing and that he won’t become discouraged. He is cycling for exercise instead for the time being.

Praise the Lord with us that Esther is now employed part time and that she’s really enjoying her job at Chick Fil-A (a fast food restaurant chain owned by a Christian who doesn’t open on Sundays). This allows Esther to attend and serve in church on Sundays.

Praise that Esther got to help at the Child Evangelism booth at the Florida State Fair. She had the opportunity to lead a number of kids and a family to Christ. She was pretty excited about it as she shared with us what she saw God do. Her car wouldn’t start on a couple of the cold mornings we had recently. We’re going to visit her on Saturday (Feb. 24th) and hope that Gary can find any problems and fix them. She is taking mid term exams right now. She’s begun teaching Spanish to the 6 other team members who are going to Costa Rica for the mission trip during Spring Break (Mar. 3-11). Her finances for that are almost complete. She would be grateful for your prayers for the trip: safety, health and the preparation of hearts – for the team and for those they’ll be ministering to.

Josiah has been accepted to attend a 2 week “National Student Leadership Conference” on US Policy and Politics in Washington DC in June/ July. This is quite an honor and we are grateful that he received $1000 in scholarships. He still needs to find another $1000 to cover the costs. His referee job will help, but we’d like to find some local business sponsors as well. Pray that this will come together and that God will use it to help prepare Josiah for his future.

Gary’s Mom is experiencing some unexplained dizzy spells that make her sick and unable to function from time to time. Please pray for her as she deals with this.

My Mum has just completed 6 weeks of treatment for her bladder cancer. We were also relieved to hear that a reason was found for her deteriorating eyesight, and that it was treatable. Please pray the medicine will be effective and her sight will improve soon.

Allergy season is here! Pray we’ll stay healthy and able to keep functioning as we deal with them. Gary had several days off work with a bad cold last month, and we’ve both been feeling rather tired lately.

I am feeling overwhelmed at times with all that needs to be done. I want very much to get our home office cleaned out and organized better. Getting rid of old files is hard to keep up with. Then there are finances, taxes etc…and the e-mail that has piled up in my inbox again… Pray that I’ll know where to focus each day and see good progress.

Our church here is about to launch a 4 week campaign called, “Just Walk Across the Street”. As small group leaders, we’ll be pretty involved in facilitating it within our group. Pray that God will grow each of us in our heart for evangelism and that we’ll put feet to what we learn and become more effective in our witness to those around us.

God will not forget your part in this ministry! Thanks again, from the bottom of our hearts for all that you do on our behalf.

Robyn, for the Petersons