Thursday, January 31, 2008

Peterson's Prayer Guide - February 2008

Show me where to walk, for I have come to You in prayer. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God. May Your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing. Psalm 143: 8b, 10

Josiah is going to lead another Truth Project group on Wednesday nights from Feb. 13 – end of May, this time at our church. Gary and I will be helping. It will be advertised to the whole church, so we don’t know how many will attend. Please pray that those God wants to participate will come. Pray for wisdom, strength and sensitivity to God’s Spirit as we lead. Pray that God will transform the thinking that has not been according to His truth in the lives of all who attend. Thank you!

Josiah is at a stage in high school when he needs to start making decisions about college. Gary hopes to take him on an exploratory trip sometime in the next few months to check out a couple of colleges he’s interested in. We would be so grateful for your prayers for our son as he considers what course of studies to pursue, and where God wants him to go. He is interested in taking 6 months to do some kind of mission experience before starting college as well, so there are lots of details to work out.

Esther is considering spending her summer in Australia (winter there). She’d like to work on my sister, Jenny and her husband’s dairy farm to get some extended time with her cousins (4 girls and a newborn baby boy). The farm is struggling because of the drought, but at this stage it looks like it may still be a possibility. Please pray again for all the details. This will be both exciting and a little scary for Esther as she has never spent time in Australia without her family before. We are also thinking about what we will do this coming summer, and would appreciate your prayers as we consider several options.

In a lot of the recent prayer guides, we have referred to programs on Gary’s calendar called A-Z Adventure and Mission Encounter. These are 5 hour mission education programs for elementary aged kids (A-Z), and youth. To learn about these programs,
check out to see the Discovery Center where Gary runs many of his programs. Check out: Here are some comments from Gary:

January has been a great month. I’ve often gone to work early and come home late. We’ve had lots of kids go through programs. The feedback from the students/teachers/ parents has been most encouraging. Anthony, a 5th grader, really came alive with the challenge to missions. He bought some books in our “Village Shop” to help him grow more in his understanding and vision for missions and Bible translation. God has begun a work in his life, and your prayers were a big part of it.

Here’s what’s on the calendar for February:

1st A-Z Adventure & Mission Encounter for Family Educators of Florida (35 participants)

3rd Gary teaches lesson 5 for Perspectives in Jacksonville, Florida. Check out the Perspectives course at

4th Perspectives, Ocala, Florida

5th Perspectives, Gainesville, Florida (home of the Florida Gators UF)

7th A-Z Orangewood Christian Academy 46 participants

8th A-Z Adventure for First Academy Home School (35 students + 14 adults) & Mission Encounter for Sarasota Christian (45 7th graders + 10 adults)

9th Mission Encounter Program for Living Word Church young adult group

14th A-Z Adventure for Real Life Christian Academy, AZ ( 42 participants)

15th A-Z Circle Christian Home School & Christian & Heritage Academy (76 participants)

16th Special tour and program for First Baptist of Central Florida 30-60 hearing impaired. We have an interpreter to sign for the deaf.

21st A-Z Winter Haven Christian School (19 participants) & special tour for Church of the Palms Sarasota (senior citizen group)

22nd A-Z Christian Home Educators (41 participants)

22nd Gary speaks in the evening to the Cub Scout Troup at 1st Baptist of Orlando

25th Our 24th wedding anniversary

28th Crusaders Christian Home School group

Yes, it’s very busy and we are deeply grateful for your prayers!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Missions Conference, January 27th - February 3rd

Sunday Morning Worship Services
8:00 , 9:30 & 11:00 am

Rev. Dana Ostby is our featured speaker at this year’s missions conference. Dana was a church planter and seminary student at the Evangelical Theological Seminary of Indonesia (ETSI) from 1984-1987. Dana returned to California in 1987, to marry Sue, a missionary to Thailand and a fellow Biola missions major. After completing masters degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Dana and Sue returned to Indonesia with OC International. Dana taught New Testament and missions on the islands of Java, Sumatra and Bali. Dana helped found the Indonesian National Research Network and JP23 missions network, now known as the Indonesian Peoples Network. Sue has been fighting a rare form of Parkinson’s Disease since 2004, when the Ostbys returned to the US. Today, Dana is a special assistant to the president of OC International and serves as part-time missions pastor at Grace Bible Church in Arroyo Grande. Dana and Sue have three missions savvy and surfboard crazy teenagers: Karis (17), Nicko (15), and Alisha (13).


Sunday, January 27th @5:30 pm, Ministry Center
Missions Dinner, $5/person, $20 max/family
Space is limited, Childcare provided after dinner (0-5 yrs.)

Monday, January 28th @6:30 pm, Ministry Center
Ladies Salad Supper w/ Ann & Esther Wright
Contact Debbi at 543-2358, ext. 118

Friday, February 1st @6:30 pm
Missions Movie Night - We will be showing the movie "Amazing Grace"
Rated PG, Munchies provided! Limited childcare available, contact Travis Hasson at 544-2682.

Growth Groups are open to all this week!
Come, enjoy a more intimate time with one or more of our missionaries. To ensure enough seating & for directions, please RSVP to the Growth Group host. Call the church office for more information re: Growth Group schedule.

Dr. Danny Martin, our Pastor of Vocation and Missions, will be speaking on February 3. He is founder and President Emeritus of Mission to Unreached Peoples in Seattle and Ambassador-at-Large for Tentmakers International, the tentmaking arm of the World Evangelical Alliance. Danny is continuing to serve last year’s speaker, Rev. Peter Xu, in the training and placement of Chinese missionaries who will serve as tentmakers throughout Asia as part of the Back to Jerusalem movement. Danny’s Ph.D is in Vocational Counseling and he has assisted thousands of believers in discerning God’s will in their lives. Danny spends 4-6 months per year in Asia, training and placing Asian missionaries.
So, please come join us for a fun week meeting our missionaries and seeing how God is working at Grace and Beyond.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Overton Update

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your prayerful partnership with us as we serve the Lord together in Russia. We pray that your holidays have been blessed by worship, family and reminders of God’s great love.

Tonight, January 13th, Jim will be flying to Siberia. His travels will take him to Krasnoyarsk and the Russian Republic of Khakasiya (nearly the geographic center of the Asian continent).

The main goal of the trip is to support church-planting missionary efforts. During his travels, Jim will be visiting with two PIONEERS misson teams and with local Russian Baptist leadership.

Jim will be dressing warmly because the January temperatures in Krasnoyarsk and Khakasiya are constantly sub zero.

Connected with these events, we are asking you to say a short prayer for us right now and as often as you think of us between now and January 23rd (when Jim returns).

Here are our prayers requests:

Safe travels
Good health for Jim & for Ruth and the kids
Wisdom regarding leadership decisions
Pray also about the question of our long-term residence in Russia. This year Russia is changing its law on foreign residence. Many missionaries (including us) are uncertain if they will able to receive the new style residence permit (something like an American "green card").

Thank you for your prayers and partnership with us as we are seeking and serving the Lord and His kingdom.


Jim, Ruth, Ben, Greg and Leeza Overton

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Willis Newsletter

Dear Partners in the Gospel,

We have had another boy! His name is Joshua James Willis. He was born early in the morning on September 7th. He weighed nine pounds even and was twenty-one inches long. The labor took over 24 hours but he came out fine with no problems or health concerns. We are very thankful to God for a healthy baby boy. As you can imagine our parents were very happy about their new grandchild. They came to the hospital and were there the entire time. We even brought Wade and he was able to see Josh in the nursery. He pointed his finger at Josh and said, “What’s that?” and we all smiled and said “That is your baby brother!” He may not have understood what that meant back then, but now he knows that he is not alone anymore in our family. He has really taken it well and even kisses his brother on the head now.

As for Tricia, she made a great recovery from the delivery and was doing fine until a disc ruptured in her back. We immediately had to call an ambulance to come and take her to the hospital because she could not move. Once we arrived at the hospital, the doctor took an MRI which showed us that a large piece of her ruptured disc was pressing up against her spinal cord cutting off nerves and causing severe pain. She had been in a car accident about three years ago and really injured her back. Now it seems as though this injury had gotten worse. So she had to go through having a micro-surgery on her back to take the piece of disc out. Now Tricia is doing much better. Although she is still going through a lot of pain, she is slowly recovering. She cannot do any lifting or bending over to carry the children. So what this means for me is that I am caring for her and the children full-time until she heals. It will take another four to six weeks before she has recovered from this. In the meantime, I am learning what a difficult job mothers have. It is quite a challenge and I ask for your prayers. Now I can understand and appreciate all moms everywhere.

At this time, I am also preparing for a trip to Siberia, Russia in March. In Siberia, we will be taking a group of about 15 men and women to do a follow-up conference in a place that already had one of our teacher training conferences. It is very important to keep in contact with all of the teachers who receive our training so that they can be encouraged and strengthened with additional training. In this way over the years, discipleship can take place and leadership qualities can be developed even further. Our work in this area of Russia is increasingly becoming more and more important as we are seeing many things changing politically in the Russian government. So we may only be able to train these teachers for a little while longer. While God is holding open the doors in Russia, we need to take every possible opportunity to help the people in Siberia. I ask for your prayers as we help them in this time of need.

For those of you who are reading our newsletter and you are not currently partnering with us, we ask that you would consider giving to our ministry on a monthly basis. Or you may desire to give an end of the year gift to our ministry. Please call the church office to find out where to send your gift. Thank you for considering this.

Please continue to pray that Tricia will make a full recovery from the back surgery and injury that she has had.

We love and appreciate you all. You are making our ministry and our family needs possible with your partnership and prayers!


Bob, Tricia, Wade, and now Josh!

Nadolski - After Election Suffering in Kenya

Hello Friends,

Last week, the people of Kenya voted for their president. As it turns out, the incumbent pushed throught the election results and the opposition is fighting to get a fair count on the voting. The police and military control the streets, shooting indiscriminantly, stopping any kind of truck traffic.

I've talked to several people in Kenya, including all of the LWI partners. All of them tell the same story:

- it's not safe to go in the streets
- there is no food or supplies
- there is no fuel for the vehicles or generators
- no generators means no water is being pumped from the wells

Below is a newsletter I just received from Kenya. Please read it and get an 'eye-witness account' and please pray for the people of Kenya.

People in Kenya are sharing the little they have with others who have less. If you want to donate to the people of Kenya, please check with the church office.

God bless you, John

Saturday January 5, 2008

Mombassa, Kenya

What do you do when the lines reach 300 people in front of you and you don’t know if you are going to get into the grocery store? My friend Clive & I had been to several stores and we could not find milk, bread, and many other basic things in any store. The petrol stations where closed for 3 days because there was no fuel. Thieves came to the house next door a few days ago, but the guard happened to see them before they broke in and sounded the alarm. Riot police are surrounding the police station a block from our house to protect some of the people inside.

The Bible speaks that there is going to come a day when a man will work all day for a loaf of bread. What do you do when you have money and there is no bread to buy? We have heard of these kind of things happening in other countries of Africa, but never before like this in Kenya.

On Wednesday I was able to buy a few hundred dollars worth of maize & flour after begging & pleading that this is for people who do not have anything.

Yesterday, we moved early before the demonstration rally, to some areas that people are really hurting. We only had problems on the Malindi Road near Kisanuni when the people started motioning for us to turn around, so we did. We found out later that the people were rioting and police shot and killed one person. We were able to go around the problem through Nyali and on out to Bamburi where we found the pastor on his knees praying in the church. The presbyters were able to get the food to other pastors & friends. They were so thankful for the little we could bring. I have received several SMS's of thanks from Maritini, Bakoli, Likoni. Some do not have anything in the house. Shops have been closed and there is no bread, milk, cooking oil, kerosene, available. We were able to beg at one petrol station to get enough diesel to keep going.

Today the planned demonstrations failed in Nairobi and Mombasa after the police moved in with tear gas. Again I went to buy what we could this morning and took supplies to the church in Kisauni. Next I went by the house of a Muslim friend and give him some maize. We also took charcoal that cost three times the normal price.

One Muslim friend who lives across & near the Likoni ferry told me he was up all night protecting his property. There is a bar (owned by a Kikuyu man) next door to his house and the people came to burn it three separate times. They had to be alert because the fire would spread even to their house.

Two different pastors called me & said it is so good to be alive this morning. We thought we were going to die during the night. Shops were being burnt all around us.

Another pastor has left his family here in Mombasa & traveled up country to Molo. His family had to leave the area because of the burning of houses.

As we were leaving the house yesterday morning, a Baptist pastor came to the gate and said we lost everything last night and we don’t have any food or anything. He said they even stole our mattress. We were glad we had just been able to get some food and clothes to help him a little.

Another man who works for me at times called and said they did not have anything in the house, so we were able to help him also. He said that they had organized the men in his area to protect the property with bows and arrows and panga’s. They told the police to please stay out, we will not kill the thieves, but will bring them to the police station. The night before the looters had broken into many of the shops and took everything. Another Kikuyu friend who had a hardware shop lost everything and all his wielding equipment.

Please pray for peace to return to Kenya.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Petersons’ Prayer Guide - January 2008

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind….Love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:37-38

As we begin a new year, I want to learn more of what the above verses mean and have them worked out practically in my life. I’ll be praying the same for you.

Well, Christmas has come and gone for another year. I hope yours was as enjoyable as ours. It was lovely to be able to get together with friends we don’t often get to spend time with during the year. We spent Christmas day just as a family, and it was fun and relaxing. I enjoyed having everyone’s help in the kitchen. Gary did a great job of cleaning up afterwards too. (:

We asked you to pray for our contacts with teachers and neighbors. There were some good interactions with quite a few of them, and I trust that we can make time during the year to build on these. Pray especially for our relationship with a Muslim family who live nearby.

Both of our kids were able to work for part of the holidays, so are grateful for the income that brought to them.

This past month we were surprised by an offer from supporters of a substantial gift to help us in our ministry. We both felt that a more reliable vehicle was the highest priority right now (our latest acquisition has some problems that we can’t easily or inexpensively fix, but it has proved to be a good temporary solution). God put it together for our friends to purchase a car for us from another Wycliffe couple who are soon returning to the field. Praise the Lord with us for this amazing provision of a 1998 Honda Accord that we pray will serve us for many years.

December was a great month for Gary. Tons of kids come through Wycliffe and the feedback was most encouraging. One of the many highlights came during the “Christmas Around the World” program. 441 people took part in it over the two days. Though it was primarily aimed at Christians, a Boy Scout troop showed up on Saturday (saw the ad in a paper). From their answers to Gary’s question, “What is the true meaning of Christmas?”, it was obvious they didn’t know. But before the day was over, they heard a clear presentation of the gospel. He had a chance to follow up with several of the Scouts afterwards, too – wow! There was even a Buddhist lady from Asia who was thrilled her kids learned about the true meaning of Christmas. She said all she and her kids knew of Christmas since coming here was what her kids learned in public school. We pray that God will continue to speak to all those who came. Thanks so much for praying!

January schedule – so far. No doubt there will be more groups coming than are currently scheduled.
7th – School and college resume for the kids.
10th – Josiah turns 17
11th – A-Z Adventure - Cornerstone home school group
14th – Church of the Palms seniors group
17th – A-Z Adventure - Regency Christian Academy
18th – A-Z Adventure - Christian School & a Home School Group
24th - A-Z Adventure - Two different schools
25th - A-Z Adventure – Two different schools
25th - Robyn’s birthday
29th – WordSpring is a local polling place for the 2008 presidential primaries. It’s a 12+ hour long day for most of us. Pray we will be a witness to the community as they come in. We can’t directly talk to them about our ministry unless they specifically ask. Last election, out of 1,100 voters, over 200 did ask, so we got to share with them.

May God’s richest blessings be on you in this brand new year of 2008.

Warmly in Christ,
Robyn & Gary Peterson