Dear Praying Friends & Family, Merry Christmas! We trust you had a blessed time with your family and friends.
Family Gatherings: During Thanksgiving we spent time with Paul’s family in California with his family. For Christmas, Naomi’s parents drove from Wisconsin for a visit.
Blessings and Prayer Needs: We had a simple Christmas service this year. The children played bells, sang two specials, and quoted Isaiah 53:5-6. The theme of the program was “Wise Men still seek Him.” Our desire is that each one would truly seek the Lord Jesus above all else.
This past Sunday, we had 11 children in Junior Church! It seemed most were misbehaving and not listening during Naomi’s lesson on Joshua and Caleb. But, after the lesson they kept asking thoughtful questions on Heaven, Hell, salvation, and sin.
Alex wondered if he was really saved since he still does wrong things. After the service, Naomi talked to him about his salvation. He said he is saved so Naomi then explained forgiveness of sin and living for the Lord. Please pray that the children would have tender hearts to God’s truth.
Please pray for Martha, an elderly lady in the church. Her husband Carl just passed away. We were able to visit Carl in the hospital and pray with him shortly before he died. What a reminder to live for Jesus and knowing for sure where your loved ones will spend eternity.
Please pray for deliverance from the control of sin. Many of the people here are held in Satan’s grip. John (the man Paul had been helping with Scripture) came to church with his family. We were excited to see them all come but then saddened as they left a few minutes later when they couldn’t control their 4-year-old. Simon (Rachel’s son) has been coming and was showing interest in spiritual things. But this week he got together with his girl friend and after drinking was arrested for breaking his parole. Many of the children who come reveal they too are starting down the same path of destruction. Please pray that God would gain victory in hearts as we strive to proclaim the life-changing truths of the Word of God.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
A simple “thank you” can barely express our gratitude for your notes of love, your financial support, and especially your prayer. Many of you pray for us daily, and we get to see God answer your prayer!
GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!
Love, Paul & Naomi, Ruthanne, Nathan, Hannah, Aletheia, and Andrew Sondergaard
Dear Family and Friends: “…My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 How we need the power of Christ in our home and church! But when we depend on our own strength, God’s power is missing. Jesus Christ must be preeminent!
We thank you for helping us bring these many needs to the throne of grace: Needs of Salvation: Please pray for Naomi’s grandpa, Frank Bird, who is 96. As far as we know, he has not accepted Christ as his Saviour. He has heard the Gospel many times. Pray that he would respond to God working in his heart.
Also, please pray for the children who come to Living Waters Baptist Church. Almost all of them come from broken, unsaved homes. Pray that they will turn to Christ. Please pray for wisdom as we teach the life-changing truth of the Gospel.
Needs of Health: Jack and Sharon, a couple who recently moved into the area have been coming regularly. Sharon’s daughter, husband, and two sweet little girls (Adelynn and Riley) visited several Sundays ago. Two weeks ago, the parents, Tyler and Danielle, were hit by a semi truck. Tyler is in a medically induced coma and on DNR (do not resuscitate). He will be taken off life support Thursday (Oct 17). Danielle is badly injured and in much pain. Thankfully, the girls (age 6 and 8) were not in the car. Please pray for healing, comfort, and God’s strength. One of the Native American ladies, Vida, has been having many healthy needs. Please pray for her and for her family who are unsaved and causing lots of stress.
Needs of Spiritual Growth: Please pray for John. A Native American man who made a profession of salvation earlier this summer. He came to church for the first time this past Sunday! Praise the Lord. He brought Jennifer and their two boys (Jonathon and Angel). Sadly, she did not stay in the service because the youngest boy would not listen. Paul has been challenging John with Bible truths. John expresses a disire to follow God. Please pray for Denny, a Native American lady. She stopped by our house a few days ago just to sit and talk with Naomi. Naomi encouraged her in the things of the Lord and prayed with her. We are not completely sure if she is saved but the door is open!
Thank you for your prayers! God is the only One who can change these lives!
We wanted to thank you for praying for our many requests and update you on the events of the last couple weeks.
Thank you for praying for our Vacation Bible School. The Gospel was presented each night and the kids memorized several Bible verses. We highlighted the life of Jonah to illustrate the need of obeying God, turning from sin, and believing God. Naomi’s parents and sister and brother-in-law were visiting and were a tremendous help throughout the week. Although we had fewer kids this year, it seemed we had their attention better. Please continue praying that they would each put their faith in Jesus Christ.
For the last several months Ron and Diana Love have been here helping our church and one other church nearby. The Loves are burdened to equip Christians in effectively sharing the Gospel. Last Sunday, in the evening service, Ron again challenged our people to share the Gospel. Please pray that these truths would get such a grip on our church family that our community might see and experience the life-changing grace of the Lord Jesus.
Also, that evening, a friend of Paul and Naomi’s (Jim Appel) shared his salvation testimony. Brother Appel helps churches with flooring and tile work and has been helping a church in Phoenix. While Brother Appel was sharing his testimony, a native man (John) came in. He is the son-in-law of Vida (one of the ladies who comes). He is recently out of prison and has struggles with drug addiction. John listened attentively to Brother Appel’s testimony. After the service John was about to leave when Brother Appel was able to take him aside and explain the Gospel more fully. John clearly recognized he was a sinner and on his way to Hell. Without being told what to say, John prayed confessing his sin (some specific) and put his faith in the Lord Jesus. Later he told Paul what had happened and expressed a desire to have a Bible study. Please pray that Paul would have wisdom in discipling John. And please pray for John: that God would gain victory in his life.
Thank you for faithfully praying. We are seeing God answer your prayers! To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. Jude 1:25
This morning my wife and I read Proverbs 18:10. The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.Praise the Lord for a place to run to daily for our safety, our needs, and our encouragement. Ministry Help: Recently, a church group from North Carolina visited while taking some young people on a senior trip. Since they came on a Wednesday,we took them to the reservation and passed out tracts and invitations to church. That night three adults (Rhonda, Christina, and Michael) came to the service. Fourteen children also came (several who had not come for a long time). During the service the young people from North Carolina led the kids’ program and their youth leader preached to the adults. It gave us a boost to have some help for the night as well as the continued results since. The following Wednesday night Rhonda came with her daughter and a man. Please pray for the salvation of the adults (Rhonda, Christina, and Michael) and for the children (Nevaeh, Alex, Bear, Brooklyn, Aleah, and several others). Neveah, Bear, Alex, and a few others have been coming since then.We have been blessed by having Ron and Diana Love here for several months offering short term help.God has given them a burden to help churches and they are leaving soon to help in another church.Ministry Needs: Please pray for one lady (Denny) who has been coming faithfully to Bible study. Naomi sat down with her at our house and gave her the plan of salvation. A couple weeks later,after the evening service she came to where Naomi was teaching the kids and expressed the struggle in her heart over salvation. Please pray that she will understand and believe the Good News. She had been coming faithfully and asked many questions but lately hasn’t been coming and seems distant. Please pray as Naomi tries to reach her and offer encouragement. Please pray for God’s wisdom as we consider the best option for the building we use for the kids programs and fellowships. It is an old modular that has been developing need for major repairs. We have been seeking counsel and it seems it may be better to put money toward replacement rather than repairing a modular of this age. In April we had a special offering and our people gave sacrificially. Ministry Blessings: It was a blessing to have so many ladies come to our Mother Daughter Banquet at the beginning of this month. Minnie and Key ara are girls who come regularly to church. Their adopted mom came for the first time. Please pray for Yolanda physical and spiritual needs. Nancy (Yolanda’s mom and Hattie’s sister) comes faithfully to ladies Bible study. Last Sunday she brought two grandsons who are 11 and 12. They were respectful, good listeners, and a delight to teach. Praise the Lord for children who will listen to God’s Word. When Naomi told them to invite friends, one of the boys said his friends were all lazy. That showed his character. Pray he will come to VBS! Their names are Hunner and Elias. Please pray as we prepare for Vacation Bible School June 3-6. Family Requests and Praises: Thank you for praying for Andrew for the last several months. Many have assured us of their prayers.Andrew’s specific praises:No genetic disorders found. UTI tests came back clear. God’s protection. Slow weight gain. Sweet smiles and responses to visual therapy. Andrew’s specific needs and prayer needs: Possible cranial band helmet to correct misalignment. Cortical visual impairment –he isn’t blind but his brain doesn’t connect with what he sees. Low muscle tone. Delayed development. Some feeding problems –swallowing and slow weight gain. Many of you have also been praying for Paul’s health. He has met with doctors and had several lung tests. Because of the breathing difficulty he was having, Paul has been avoiding nearly all paints and other harsh chemicals. In recent months Paul’s breathing has gradually cleared to where he is rarely having trouble breathing. We are praising God for answering prayer.
Praises: •Nathan prayed for salvation a few weeks ago. •New children coming to church•Tender hearts that respond to God’s Word•Protection of our church people with health needs –Mrs. Bev (skin rash healing), Patty (protection from a fall),and Rachel (healing from UTI). •Ron and Diana Love –a blessing to our ministry these last 7 months Prayer Requests: •Another couple to join us in the ministry here•Wisdom and provision in our modular building•Salvation and spiritual protection for our children•Vacation Bible School June 3rd–6th•Faithfulness of church people: Denny (lady), children.
Dear Family and Friends: A verse that keeps coming to my mind lately is Colossians 1:18 “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” O that the Lord Jesus may be most important and have first place in everything! O that He might be exalted in church, in our homes, in my words, in my attitudes, in everything! Let us make preeminent the One who has purchased us with His own blood!
Since our last update, Andrew has had several tests with various specialists. We are still waiting for some of the results including one test to check for genetic disorders. Because of the repeated UTI infections and problems with reflux, Andrew is on a medicine for a year to prevent kidney damage. When we wrote last, he was having several spasms/seizures every day. The doctors put him on a medicine for that and it has now been about a month since his last seizure. He is slowly coming off the seizure medicine and is becoming much more alert. Even though Andrew is now five months old, he still has very little muscle control in his neck but is doing some exercises which should help. In the last two weeks, we are seeing little encouragements that show God is answering your prayers!
Please pray for Rachel, a lady in our church. She is the one whose leg was removed last year. This past week, she told us she was struggling spiritually and had returned to smoking. Beverly and Naomi were both able to encourage Rachel and pray with her. They reminded her of the truths of Ephesians 6 and showed her the victory we all can have every day. Since their talk, Rachel has again been coming to church with her sister Beverly. Please also pray for Ida, a Native lady who has come to church off and on for many years. She called Naomi one night and said she was going to end her life. She has struggled with alcohol and drugs and was drinking that night. Later Ida then texted Naomi and said she was fine. Thankfully she did not commit suicide, but still needs the Lord’s help for victory over sin! Please pray for Jimmy, Joni, and Alex – the three brothers who have been faithfully coming to church for a few years now. They have become a hindrance to teaching the other children and are openly disrespectful to authority and often mock the Bible lessons. Alex, the oldest of the boys, is being influenced by wrong friends and seems to enjoy stirring up the other children. After repeated warnings, we finally had to keep them away for about a month. We assured them we want them to come to church and want the best for each of these children. Please pray that God will work in their hearts. And pray that God would give us wisdom in teaching these children the honor our righteous and holy God deserves. We are planning a visit and give them some Bible lessons they can do at home.
This last week we had special meetings with Evangelist Glenn Jaspers. We were challenged from the book of First John. It was especially refreshing for us to be taught from God’s Word.
In the preaching and teaching part of our ministry Paul is preaching through Romans on Sunday nights. Sunday mornings he began a study through the Gospel of Mark and has just began a Sunday School series on Baptist Distinctives.
• Little improvements in Andrew
• God providing our every need
• For the many who are praying for us
• Rachel and Beverly returning to church
• Denny: a lady who has been coming faithfully and desires to grow
• Visiting preachers: Glenn Jaspers, Troy Carlson (West Branch Camp), and Toru Marshall (NOW Ministries)
• Another couple to join us in the ministry here
• Ladies Bible study
• Wisdom and provision in the modular replacement
• Salvation and spiritual protection for our children
• Andrew’s continued growth and development
• Opportunities to witness to Andrew’s caregivers and other patients
• Spiritual growth: Ida, Beverly, Rachel and many more
All for Jesus,
Paul and Naomi Sondergaard
Ruthanne, Nathan, Hannah, Aletheia, and Andrew
Thank you for praying for our family. We are so thankful for God’s grace for our every need. On Sunday, Andrew was discharged from the hospital. Monday morning we met with an ophthalmologist who could tell Andrew’s optic nerve and retina are normal. That was a big encouragement and answer to prayer since we wondered if he could even see. There is some delayed development which refers back to neurology.
At the hospital, the neurologists referred us to a geneticist to identify a possible genetic disorder. Also in the next two months Andrew has appointments with urologists, neurologists, a neurosurgeon, and a geneticist. Please pray for wisdom for each of the specialists he sees. Though we still have many questions, we see God’s moment by moment grace, and we are thankful for so many who pray.
Also, please pray for Ladies Bible study on Monday. Many ladies have been coming and this time in God’s Word has been such a help and encouragement.
All for Jesus,
Paul and Naomi Sondergaard
Ruthanne, Nathan, Hannah, Aletheia, and Andrew
Dear Family and Friends,
We are writing this letter from Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Andrew is now three months old and is on his third hospital stay. Thursday of this week, we had an appointment with a pediatric neurologist who had several concerns with Andrew. After an x-ray and evaluation, the doctor urged us to bring him to Phoenix Children’s. Since being admitted, Andrew has had blood tests, an MRI, a CT scan, an EEG, and a lumbar puncture (his third). The primary concern for now is his head and arching his back. At one point it was suggested he had craniosynostosis (which would mean major surgery). We are thankful that was ruled out and instead he has plagiocephaly (which can be helped with positioning). At this point, we still have many questions as we wait for the results from the many tests. A secondary concern is for his eyes (which seem to have limited vision). On Monday, he has an appointment with a pediatric ophthalmologist. We plan to give a quick update after this appointment.
While in the ER waiting for Andrew to have a lumbar puncture (which is very painful), Naomi and I were listening to a recent revival service at Ambassador Baptist College. Before the message someone sang:
I trust in God wherever I may be,
Upon the land, or on the rolling sea,
For come what may, from day to day,
May Heavenly Father watches over me.
I trust in God, I know He cares for me;
On mountain bleak or on the stormy sea,
Though billows roll, He keeps my soul;
My Heavenly Father watches over me.”
In the last several months I have often challenged the people here to trust God no matter what happens in life. Now God is giving us the opportunity to do that too.
In recent months, the children at church have been very disrespectful, making teaching difficult. Our hearts are often heavy and burdened with prayer. A couple weeks ago, one of the twins wrote on his water cup, “I hate my life.” We addressed it and he broke down crying and said, “But, It’s true.” Jimmy is only eight! We took the opportunity to show our love and remind him that God has a purpose for his life. As we show compassion may God make a difference in these lives (Jude 24).
One of the ladies who comes faithfully recently asked Naomi to counsel her granddaughter. Sicily, a teenager, was recently expelled from school for anger and disrespect. Naomi has met with her once so far and expects to begin meeting regularly as soon as possible. Sicily is not saved but is open to talking about God. Please pray that God would open her heart to receive Biblical truth.
Rachel (the one who had her leg amputated) shared her thankfulness that God didn’t heal her leg but instead God chose to heal her heart. Her face radiated joy when she told us she was reading all through the Bible for the first time in her life. What a blessing to see God’s people hungry for God’s Word!
Our church building is made of two connected buildings. The main building is where we have the auditorium, restrooms, one classroom, and the office. This building was nicely remodeled a few years ago by several of you. The other building is where we have a kitchen, a nursery, two classrooms, and a large open area which is used for a
fellowship hall and children’s ministry. This building is an older modular with a flat roof. In the last year or so the modular has been showing signs of needing some major repair or replacement. Besides structural and electrical issues, there are several major leaks in the roof. A leaking roof isn’t too much of a problem in Arizona, but two weeks ago it was raining on Sunday morning and several buckets were collecting rain water. Please pray with us as we seek the best option for this building.
All for Jesus,
Paul and Naomi, Ruthanne, Nathan, Hannah, Aletheia, and Andrew Sondergaard
• Bill and Darlene: a couple we met in town and gave them a Gospel tract and invited them to church
• Healing and wisdom for Andrew
• Spiritual protection for our children (the church kids often bring inappropriate words, gestures, and attitudes)
• Ron and Diana Love (a retired couple) are here for the winter and have been a great blessing and help with the ministry
• We are so thankful for the Messicks and Loves who are graciously watching our children while we are in the hospital
• Many people who have been coming and responding to the messages (many first-time visitors or people who have not been to church for a very long time
Dear Family and Friends:
“Let everything that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the Lord” Psalm 150:6. This month we have been reminded that every breath is a gift God gives that we might praise Him. A breath is such a simple gift that is easy to expect and take for granted. May the tests God has allowed our family to experience remind each of us to praise God. A breath: a simple yet wonderful gift. Don’t waste the gifts God gives you! Praise Him today!
Thankful for New Life & Growth
We are thankful for many of you who expressed love and concern while Andrew was in the hospital. You gave encouragement when our faith was challenged, and God answered your prayers! Andrew is now home after spending 14 days in isolation in the Flagstaff hospital Special Care Nursery. While in the hospital, Andrew was healed from his UTI infection and has steadily regained weight. Paul’s parents graciously took our children to their house while we were at the hospital. What a relief to know our children were in good hands!
Although Andrew is out of the hospital, we still need to have some issues checked out. He struggles feeding and often arches his back and neck. He also favors turning his head only one direction. In December he will retake a hearing test since he may have partial hearing limitation.
Thankful for God’s Work
Please pray as we get back in our responsibilities both at home and church. It has almost been a whole month since Naomi has taught the church children or homeschooled our own children. Naomi and Beverly are planning a ladies Bible study this coming Monday evening and Paul is back to preparing messages. Thankfully the Lord allowed Pastor’s hospital stay to be at a time when we could fill in and then the Messicks could fill in when we were gone. Most of all we are thankful for God giving our health back. We are reminded of the need for more laborers for the ministry here.
Thankful for God’s Care
Recently we asked for prayer for Paul as he deals with being out of breath. He was finally able to get in to a pulmonologist who discovered that Paul has pectus excavatum (which is a structural condition where his ribs press against his wind pipe and heart). It appears that his breathlessness is due to his wind pipe being pressed and partially closed. We are thankful that he doesn’t have a lung disease that could only get worse but instead has a condition that can be corrected. Paul is now waiting to get in to a doctor who can advise on treatment.
Thankful for Spiritual Reminders and New Visitors
God graciously reminds us of our need to live every day for Him. On hearing of the death of Missionary Charles Wesco in Cameroon, we were reminded of the urgent need to live every day for eternity. “Only one life will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last!”
For the past month, a Native American lady named Denise (Denni), has been coming faithfully to church. She expressed her thankfulness for our church and the preaching of the Word of God. She often brings her son Scotty or her grandson Hayden. Please pray for their salvation and her spiritual growth.
Andrew is 1 month old!
Andrew’s 1st Sunday back and first visit with Dave & Becky DeFord.
A sweet visit from Mrs. Bev’s 94-year-old brother Bob and his family.
Thankful for the beautiful fall colors in Flagstaff.
• Care and healing for Andrew
• All of you for showering us with love and prayer through this time
• Protection for Patty (a widow in our church) who had a small fender bender
• Those who come faithful to every service
• Denise who brings her son and grandson regularly
• Adults and Children who hear God’s Word
• Provision through a job for Paul
• Continued healing for Andrew – hearing tests and arching back/neck
• All the nurses, doctors, and staff who received Gospel tracts (about 40)
• One complete family to become a part of our church
• Rachel’s son, Simon showed interest in having a Bible study with Pastor
• Simon’s girlfriend, Markina, who comes to some of the Bible studies and church services – salvation
• Church children to learn respect and reverence for God, His Word, and His house and for us to walk in the Spirit as we minister to them
• Wisdom as Naomi starts to homeschool again
• Spiritual protection and growth for our children
• Full time financial support if that is God’s will
• Another couple to come and help in our ministry
All for Jesus,
Paul and Naomi Sondergaard
Ruthanne, Nathan, Hannah, Aletheia, and Andrew
3475 E Rusty Spurs Rd
Rimrock, AZ 86335
Independent Baptist Indian Mission
2406 Main Street, Keokuk, IA 52632
319.524.7278 * www.ibimi.com
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God,
and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3