Xerggyo and Hil    February 19

Today I am feeling like my face is full of hot potato inside because of my double implant dental surgery.

Rosemary Walker    February 19

For those of you who somehow didn’t get my letter sent as an attachment from the AIM guest house, Matoke Inn, Kampala,

 Yes, with a lot of help from my friends at the AIM office in Toronto, I made it to the airport in good time, driven by Murray Schmidt, Diana Schmidt and my dear brother Dave. (I had also had lovely chats with my two other brothers and their wives before leaving.) Had a good time in the air, met some nice people and even watched that touching movie I’d heard about, The Help, on the first flight and a wild thriller on the second – kind of nice for a change after hardly setting my eyes on a TV for several months except when at auto shops waiting for new tires or a new starter.

So, praise God, the trip went well. I think it went up to around 85 F. today. It sure was hot and humid – especially after having had to sweep quite a bit of snow off my car just on Sunday before being able to see to drive to church in the morning and again after church!

Since January 1st, I’ve been here and there in the Toronto region, Stoney Creek, Ottawa, Brighton and Montreal saying farewell to churches and friends.

I spoke three times – at the Friends of Africa Fellowship (in Snowdon Baptist Church, Montreal),  at the meeting of Les Amis de l’Afrique (in l’Église Baptiste de Rosemont, Montreal) and in the Day of Pentecost Last Call Ministry, Toronto). They graciously prayed for me at these meetings, and I was also prayed for by the pastor and elders of Côte-des-Neiges Presbyterian Church, Montreal, on January 15th and of Knox Presbyterian Church, Toronto, this past Sunday, Yes, “parting is such sweet sorrow,” and I found it comforting and encouraging to be sent off with so much love by so many friends and my own brothers, Roxieanne and Bernace. When not on the road, I really enjoyed staying at brother Dave’s lovely little place near Lawrence and Don Mills Road. (Nonetheless, I’m pretty sure he breathed a sigh of relief after waving me off at the airport on Monday. J )

Well, I wanted to let you all know I arrived safely, and that my bags and those precious 100 Galcom pre-tuned solar radios with the entire Bible in French, Swahili, Lingala or Pazande  all turned up, too! I praise God and thank Him for these special gifts for the Congo! Now please pray:

-  for my flight into Bunia this Friday.

- for the radios to get through customs with a minimum of difficulty and then be mightily used of God to bring many people into the kingdom and to

  strengthen others in their faith.

- for good relationships with my colleagues and students.

- for wisdom and guidance as I settle in, receive more details on my assignment and establish a  reasonable schedule,

I just want to say how deeply I appreciate how so many of you have encouraged me personally, prayed, written and contributed financially to make it possible for me to return to serve the Lord in Bunia, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Thanks, too, for the promises of prayer support for my over here. Please forgive me for not writing you all personally at this time. For your information, my personal Cup of Cold Water project will be open again as of this Friday when I land in Bunia, allowing  me to bring practical assistance such as schooling or medical care, etc., to some as funds become available. Any who might wish to contribute to this fund are kindly requested to specify that their gift is for this project. Merci mingi , and God bless you all in your endeavours for Him and for those.

Please click here for my recent travel photos.

Perspectives Course

Please pray for the 34 participants in this intensive course on mission held at Knox this week.

Dave and Susan Jeffery    February 17

Thank you for remembering Dave as he dealt with some ALS-related accommodations in February. We ended up driving to Vancouver so that he could consult the physiotherapist on the ALS team at the G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre. That was time well spent. The physio approved the mild exercise he had already begun to maintain range of motion in his right shoulder. She also suggested a simple exercise for the fingers of his right hand which are stiffening to varying degrees. His range of motion has improved and discomfort levels are manageable once again.

As for the new dictation software purchased by CanIL for Dave’s use in keeping up with correspondence, it has been an unqualified success. It works much better than the rudimentary program he has been working with for the last few months.

Ann Chow    February 17

I'm travelling for a month now to Vancouver, Germany and London/Oxford.

Vancouver for Food for the Hungry board meetings at the end of this week and seeing my sending organization, City in Focus.

Germany for the International Leadership Meetings of their top 45 leaders from their alliances and International Council (board). I've just been asked to emcee one of their days (pray, pray, pray!) and will present our feasibility study on hosting their General Assembly for them in 2019.  Please pray this goes well and is approved. 

I then meet with another organization in Frankfurt about another potential conference at the end of 2019. 

Then off to Oxford to meet another organization about a future role with them, just working out the potential aspects they need.  

I'm really excited about the whole trip, and have been praying for discernment since last fall. Hoping and praying for decisions to be made following these meetings that clarify God's direction for the next couple of years or more.

Knox Dinner and Food Bank    February 17

Please remember Bill, Vicki, Jenn and Chris (regular leaders) and all the participants of the Tuesday night food bank program in their grief. Yesterday, one of the girls [MR] who has been with the program since the early days was found murdered in her apartment. She often served as a volunteer in the program. Understanding personally the horror of those who live on the street, she often provided others overnight accommodation. An arrest has been made. She was loved by many and would often venture into the danger zone to help others in need. Although this program has its times of uncounted challenges, these kids have become family for workers and regular volunteers. Please uphold everyone who loved her in prayer. Ask God for peace, safety and that all those who mourn will experience His Gospel being worked out in their lives.

Bill and Sheila    February 17

Pray for the security situation which has deteriorated lately. For Peace for this country. Bill and Sheila both are traveling this month and will be attending ISV leadership meetings in Budapest from 20 - 24 March.

Leah Hopp    February 16

The one lady that was getting harassed by her husband no longer works for me or the mission. She told me she wants to take a year off and I said we can talk again in December to see if her husband changes his mind about allowing her to work for the mission or not. He is generally known as a trouble maker. 

Please pray for a mission Women's Bible study that we are starting tomorrow on the book of Ruth. So far it's just four long-term missionaries, but one person wants to open it up for all short-termers also. I hope we can keep it small and consistent for now because we need to build trust & unity. I feel like having a revolving door of visitors and short-term people will be distracting and not allow some of us to share our thoughts as openly or be vulnerable. I find myself often disagreeing with one lady. My hope is that we can be encouraged through what God is teaching us despite our differences. 

Thank you for supporting me in prayer.

Hanneke Cost Budde    February 16

All is going well. God is good! 

The building will get the roofing done starting tomorrow. Today they do the wood work and then they put the corrugated roof on. 

Thomas needs a new motorcycle as the old one is showing too many problems and Thomas has gotten stuck several times. Thanks to the support from Knox we can buy him a new one. Will send you a picture when we get it. 

My mom continues to improve. 

Sylvia Dresser    February 15

Pray for encouragement for the Huberts at the Bible School in Merauke.

It was difficult to leave their 3 sons after the marriage of one and Christmas with all three in the USA. The Bruces will move to Merauke in April to organize the building of a house in Saman in May where they will do language learning and translation in the dialect in which we started.

Ruth Thomson    February 14

Some of the wildlife here.

At the moment I am in Porto Velho taping Bible stories in the local language.  That tribe is closed to the Gospel.  But Edina and I are working with a young woman who is perhaps the only Christian.  Some of her relatives confessed Christ but the chief threatened them and they backed down.  We have finished Jonah and are doing Bible stories in Genesis.  She is really good at it.  My time  in the Kayapo villages was very good.  It was very moving for me to see the harvest that I thought I would never see.  There were lots of baptisms, teaching, and meetings with the believers.  I will return to visit some of the of the other villages that I haven't been able to see yet. It will be hard to fit in everything with my limited time.  My return ticket is for April 14.

Mary Jane Fandrich    February 14

The  Real Thing


Lost again in Beirut. The wrong side of Hamra, turn left, turn right, just ask for the old Beirut tree. The what? Yamout street.

Lady, no one knows the name of the street.

What are you looking for?

Eventually I was found one block from the Co-op.

At 400 to 500 meters elevation there’s no snow, but last night at

700 meters  there was plenty. With thermal pyjamas, covered with a flannel night gown under three thick blankets,  with a quilt over that, it was a toasty night (wool socks inside my sheepskin slippers went to bed with me). Down in Beirut, my duvet has been sufficient. Cold water is harmless and possibly invigorating. The wood/benzine stove keeps the living room warm with Turkish coffee all around.

Mobbed by boys and girls, amazed to find Téte back again. A trip to Tyre produced another mob of boys and girls, about 300, eager for any assuagement of the boredom of hanging out as refugees until life begins again…….song, Bible stories and had crafts are soaked in with energy. The cast away women and often with children are welcomed at Beit el Hanane, Home of Warmth, in Beirut. But wait, come and see the school for refugee children in Beirut run by a church, 150 in the morning and 150 in the afternoon.

Tomorrow, God willing, Noah, David Sabra and I will meet at about three pm to discuss how to proceed with schooling for the HOH youngest crowd, three of whom you already know: Zeinab, Hoda, and Khaldoon, two girls and a boy. It would be great to find room for seven more.

Hopefully, one picture attached: Zeinab absorbing rice and bean dinner, laced with some beef. Very tasty.

Beth Huddleston    February 11

There is not a lot of improvement, however, they did have her standing between the parallel bars....I do not know if she has assistance to stand. There is now physio on the weekend, not just during the week.

She did seem to say a few mumbled words to a nurse once. She has alerted the nurses twice that she needed to be changed or go to the bathroom.

She has had no further nose bleeds and has been doing some needlepoint with her left hand, and eats etc with the left hand using it for everything

She was in good spirits tonight.

Some little improvements , but not a lot, and She has a long way to go.

The rehab unit is under quarantine now for an outbreak.

Apparently Beth is anemic and the doctor offered her to be scoped.

Nabeel Qureshi    February 9

Recent health update...click here.

Hanneke Cost Budde    February 9

I just got back to Tabora last night. I was so tired that I slept till 9.30 am! i took the bus as it saved me about 500 dollars. The trip was 14 hours. On the way we met a pick-up that had just overturned. Amazingly the 2 people survived but one was badly injured and one had maybe a broken or slashed wrist. It was still 2 hours from Tabora and we had to drive 35 km over rough road. They hoisted the poor man unto the bus and laid him in the isle. (This may have done him more harm but there is no ambulance) In town he was taken out of the bus and put him into a small taxi....I do not know the end of the story.We  all hope he is OK.

Today I went into town to get my internet paid so I am on line again.

Gord and Brenda Nickerson        February 7

A New Year .. A New Milestone .. A New Role


You may have noticed the 'teaser' in our last newsletter, after mentioning  all our kids' moves to distant states or countries, and wondered if a move was in the works for us now too. Well, yes, Gord was asked to take on a new role as the Josiah Venture Canada Director, as of January 1, 2017 which interestingly is also a new milestone, our 20th anniversary of leaving Canada to join Josiah Venture! And so, yes, this will mean a move back to Canada for us!  Gord has already begun to focus on his new role from our current home base in Chicagoland, while continuing a portion of his present partner relations responsibilities, in the transition.


If you recognized the city pictured above, seen just a few days ago as we flew into Vancouver, BC to take part in Missions Fest, you may have guessed correctly that this is the area where we plan to relocate. We say “area” because the Vancouver housing market is much too costly, so we are beginning to look into the possibility of moving about an hour out, around Abbotsford. The organization that processes all of JV Canada's donations (The Great Commission Foundation, or TGCF) has just relocated to Abbotsford as well.   (PLEASE NOTE their new address on the Canadian link below, if mailing a donation.)


We've been praying about this new role for some time now and sensing God's leading on a number of fronts. We are glad to be able to meet a need for JVC, and see this as a natural next step in ministry for us. And on a personal note, although it won't be easy to leave a home full of memories (14 years of them!) and teammates, friends and a church plant we've grown to love in the States, we are looking forward to moving to a familiar part of Canada where we have family (Brenda's parents, brother's family, plus extended family for both of us).  



There is much to be done before we make a significant cross-country, cross-border move like this, hopefully

 by this spring/summer. We would appreciate your prayer in this transition as we purge (pitch or recycle), downsize (sell stuff), pack (more than a suitcase this time), and then prep our home to sell (knowing the market in Carol Stream is not nearly as 'hot' as Vancouver's!) There is a lot to trust God for, along with moving expenses and mixed emotions, and in the midst of all this a full calendar of ministry events/trips (click here to see).

There is also a lot to thank God for as we look back at the past year. Take a look at Josiah Venture's 2016 Annual Report! (click here to see).

So in this new year we are thankful for new mercies, for our faithful God … and for “old” friends like you,
                        Gord & Brenda


Xerggyo and Hil    February 1

And also yesterday I call home, spoke with my parents, for about one hour.

My dad is collected avocado, tomorrow is starting to sell in every village. 

He has 300 trees of avocado. Every tree, produce 100-120 avocado, this trees are about 1.5 m to 2m tall, very small, because, is new plantation.

Last December was the time for tomato. He was really excited to told me every thing about his small land. 

Beth Huddleston    January 31

Following Beth's stroke of January 9, there has been no significant change for better or worse.

Waters from the wells of Malumba    January 30

Mahona washes his hands in the fresh water from Malumba [clinic] project, with a little help from his friends. The community will be blessed.

Mahona is patiently waiting for his government placement for his teaching position.

Wally Lee    January 29

Congratulations to Wally on his retirement. We all appreciate him. Wally and Bernie are very faithful Knox pray supporters and have a very special heart for KWM workers. Click here for the full story.

Mahona Pascal    January 29

I am going to hospital again tomorrow...I still have my amoeba and Typhoid. Mama Naomi is taking good care of me.

Jack and Mary Anne Voelkel    January 28

We send you a note of praise for Mary Anne's recovery, prayer for her teaching this Sunday, and a special request for our church. Click here.

Xerggyo and Hil    January 27

A new year is starting; what a privilege to participate together in this amazing adventure. 

We know, time by time you remember us in your prayers, we praise the Lord for your work in this Project too.

It is our first Winter time like a family, first experience to use a heater : what an expensive is the gas during this time; but we are surviving.  We have eleven windows in our house, today is -8 C the temperature outsite.  

Every day, we practice to speak  the local language, we are increasing our language and cultural skill; day by day, we learn new things; and we meet new friends. We have a wonderful friends in this short time and They help us to complete our first objective: to Learn the language and make a profound conection with the culture. 

Continue to remember us, for our health: the teeth treatment for Hil, and for my back.

Jim Mason    January 27

Please click here for Jim's Prayer sheet.

Elizabeth Matthias    January 25

Slowly making progress with my arm. Still typing with one thumb...

You can't get that request for health, among other things, out asap. 

The night before last I had a brutal attack to my digestive system leaving me utterly drained yesterday, and still weak today.  I was suspecting a mild food poisoning, but may be dealing with stomach flu.  I had to cancel last night's intro lecture to a small group of church counsellors in an inner city church, as well as counseling today...

Prayer support is critical to keep me going for the Lord!

Pascal Mahona    January 25

Have not been feeling well with my health since 5 days ago. I have lots of stomach pain not even to write message or to pick a any call. I am just home now and I will ask Mama Naomi if she has money  to go to hospital. Thanks

Knox Stained Glass Window Refurbishment    January 24

The stained glass windows on Spadina have become very bowed and in need of immediate repairs. An experienced company of stain glass artists is painstakingly removing each panel and replacing the lead and restoring the panels to their original beauty. Eve Guinan is doing the restoration of our stained glass. Overall the complete restoration will take about 9 months.  Each glass is being carefully removed.  Eve brings the glass to her studio where it is restored, This process takes a minimum of 6 months.  At the moment the timeline is that the window will be re-installed in October 2017. Cost for the Spadina window is about $155,000, including scaffolding. We will back light the windows and they should share their message with those passing on Spadina. 

Sandy Smith    January 23

Sandy and Carol Smith are very strong supporters of KWM work. Sandy had one stent successfully installed. Sandy is staying overnight at Trillium Hospital. Thank you for your prayers.

Hanneke Cost Budde    January 22

We (including the doctor and nurses) are amazed at mom's progress. She eats better, is more often sitting in the living room of the care center and is more coherent although she still forgets anything you say after a minute.

I hope to get back to Tanzania on February 6th.

Nabeel Qureshi    Health Update    January 21

Click here

Scott and Beth Hurd    January 21

Although we've been sending fairly regular EMAIL updates over the past few months, it has been a while since we sent a more complete prayer letter -- Pleaser click here for our latest letter with updates from Christmas and New Year's, and have included our latest update on Anne as well.

Please accept our deepest thanks for your continuing prayers for our family, and your partnership with us.

Elizabeth Matthias    January 20

I am enjoying life and ministry in Munich, but perhaps I've been moving too much for the wrist to heal well

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