Dave and Becky DeFord Dec 2017

IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS

Dear Prayer Warriors,                                                            Dec. 2017 update

  

   Although Thanksgiving season 2017 is officially gone according to the calendar, we want to convey to you some of the blessings and answers to your prayers and ours the Lord has showered on us these past six months.

 

   Not in any particular order; travel safety we experienced since leaving Arizona May 2, 2017. We traveled 18,600 miles covering 22 states.   During that time we were blessed to be in all but two of our supporting churches. We also had the opportunity to visit many churches for the first time. Some of the churches we were familiar with and some we had no prior knowledge of, but we’re grateful for the hospitality extended from each one. It was a blessing to be asked in multiple churches we visited to explain the need for missionaries and pastors willing to consider the Native American fields as well as the Western states.

 

   We purposely tried as best we could to visit as many reservations and designated Indian lands to determine the population of good sound churches in the area. Sadly, as was stated in our last letter they are desperately lacking.

 

   There were two very personally encouraging Missions Conferences we attended. It is always an encouragement to see young folks (and not so young) surrending to the Lord’s command to encompass the world reaching the lost. It was a blessing for us to meet some of them, spend a week getting acquainted with them and their field of service.

 

   We are very thankful for the health and stamina the Lord gave to each of us to pursue this trip. If directed, we would do it again.  

 

   We are in Arizona now for December and January visiting family, mission churches and updating with doctors.

In His love and ours,

 

Dave and Becky DeFord

Requests for prayer: Health needs

                                  Strong, growing Indian churches

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Gary & Bev Messick Oct 2017

Dear Ones in Christ,

Two years ago, in celebration of our 50th wedding anniversary, our children gave us funds toward a trip to Washington, DC to tour our capital and see the Vietnam Memorial. It took two years to work it out, but we left on Sept. 21. We wanted to report to the three churches that had sent out workers to help with our church remodeling. We arrived at Marshalltown, IA. on the 23rd planning to report to Fellowship Baptist in the evening service on the 24th, but learned that Bev.’s sister, Janet, was near death. Pastor Hannahs graciously let us report during the Sunday School hour so that we could leave for Indiana after the morning service.

We are so thankful for the precious time with Janet before she went to be with Jesus on the 28th. Bev and her eight siblings have always been very close, and Janet will be greatly missed. But it is such a comfort to know our separation is only temporary.

What we saw as a random choice for a date for our trip back east, we realized was clearly orchestrated by God. At the same time, we learned that Bev’s sister-in-law, Bernice was in critical condition. We cancelled our trip to DC, which allowed us more time to be near her and visit with family. As of this writing, we are thankful to still have Bernice with us. We would appreciate you prayers for her and brother Bob during this difficult time.

While there, it was a blessing to report to First Baptist Church in Goshen, IN. and then First Baptist Church in Wayland, MO.

On our return trip we were so thankful to spend a few days with JD and Jenny’s family – our Arkansas kids.

We arrived home safely on Nov. 1st after traveling over 6,000 miles. We are so very grateful for the many acts of love and kindness shown us along the way.

We can’t begin to thank Paul and Naomi enough for efficiently carrying on the work in our absence. Not only were our “regulars” faithful in attendance, but they saw some new folk attending services, as well.

Many have asked about Paul’s health and we are including an update from him.

Thank you so much for your prayers and thoughtfulness for me these past three months. As you know near the end of summer I began experiencing shortness of breath and congestion. It got to where I was out of breath every day and often could only get through simple tasks with great effort. Needless to say, I was very concerned and sought some medical help. I had an x-ray (which showed some inflammation), a pulmonary function test (which showed decreased lung capacity), some blood work (which ruled out heart problems or blood clots), and I had a CT scan (which ruled out COPD). I was also taking several supplements to help with inflammation and lung health. And I changed my diet to avoid dairy (which tends to cause congestion) and limited gluten (which can cause inflammation.) The next step was to get a referral to a pulmonologist to determine the exact cause and prescribe a treatment. It was frustrating knowing I needed to see the doctor, but the referrals were never sent. As we waited and kept calling the doctor’s office, I gradually began feeling better. And now today I feel almost normal with just an occasional feeling of breathlessness. In a couple weeks I have an appointment to see a doctor. Although I don’t feel I really need to go, I am hoping to get some advice on prevention and maintenance of lung health. Thinking back over the experience I think perhaps I had some inflammation or a virus in my lungs which gradually cleared out. Having an experience like this reminded me that I cannot take good health for granted. And it taught me to depend on God’s people to pray. So many of you have never met me – yet you prayed – and God answered your prayer!

All for Jesus,

Paul Sondergaard

We appreciate each of your prayers and how much you have encouraged us in the ministry over the years. God bless you.

Serving Christ with you,

Gary & Bev Messick

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Sam & Janet Grammer Oct 2017

October 2017   

Dear Friends in Christ,

We have had several opportunities to serve the Lord this month: 

                *We both were teachers at a Parenting Conference on the Navajo Reservation.

                *We have been able to share the Gospel with folks that God puts in our daily life as well as times                             of counseling in our home.

                *We were able to have a small part in a Missionary Conference on the Hualapai Reservation.

                *We filled in for a pastor that had to be away from his church on the Navajo Reservation.

                *Each Sunday evening, Sam teaches a Theology class on the Navajo Reservation. 

                Please continue to pray with us for the faithfulness of the students and their spiritual growth as a result of studying God’s Word.

                Janet has not been able to do any visiting in the local nursing home this month as her partner and translator, Helen, is recovering from surgery.  Hopefully, we can make a visit before the month is over.

                It was 45 years ago (1972) that we left the east coast to minister among the American Indian people.  Our main goal has been to train the Indian Christians to serve the Lord.  A large percentage of our ministry has been in the Southwest part of the US; New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Utah and Nevada.  There were several tribes that we have worked with and some of them from all over the country that came to the Southwest for schooling.  However, We have also had ministry opportunities among the Sioux, in North Dakota, the Carrier in British Columbia, an Indian tribe in Mexico, and the Shimshian, Tlinglit and Haida in Alaska.  These opportunities lasted  from  a week to over 3 months. 

                Sam has also gone on short term mission trips overseas to teach doctrine classes.  These were largely financed by tribal churches here in the southwest; in Nicaragua, India, and twice to Russia.  This was exciting to us as we saw the American Indian Christians reaching outside their own communities to help other Christians.   We have also been blessed over the years  to see them send some of their own into the mission fields besides serving on their own reservations.

                At present, we are busy in Arizona, but each summer, we have spent 2-6 weeks in Alaska working on developing a building for a Christian radio station that will hopefully reach several small Indian villages with the Gospel.  The radio station project began as a result of one of these times spent in Alaska.  Once the building is completed and the station up and running, we are praying for someone with computer knowledge that wants to serve the Lord by manning this station and deal with any computer problems.  We are making progress as the Lord supplies the funds.  If you should desire to be a part in this project, gifts can be sent to our office address and marked for the Alaska Radio Project.

                   What a thrill to watch God working out His plan and using us.  Your support and prayers have made this possible.  Thank you so much for your faithfulness over the years.   As long as God blesses us with the ability and opportunities to serve, we hope to continue until He takes us Home.  Thank you again for your prayers for our good health and our safety with all the travels through the years.  

                       

II Cor. 2:11 “Ye also helping together by prayer for us.”

In Christ,

Sam & Janet Grammer

                          

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Gary & Bev Messick Sept 2017

SEPTEMBER 2017

Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.”

Psalm 146:5

Dear Friends and Supporters,

We are so blessed! You may recall from our last letter that the highway road crew graded the back of the church property so that it would drain properly during heavy rains,all at no charge.

The driveway is fairly steep and it is hard to get good traction without throwing gravel. Again, Gary talked to the supervisor of the road crew and asked if it would be possible to get some of the grindings from the old asphalt, as it packs down much better than gravel. Within a couple of days they brought out seven loads and graded and packed it down. Praise the Lord!

And, once again, they would accept no payment or gifts, saying they just like to a be of help to the community. God just continues to provide and meet needs in very unexpected ways!

We would appreciate your continued prayer about the possibility of acquiring the modular the highway crew is presently using as their office, when they are finished with it in about a year. As we mentioned in our last letter, our modular is in very bad condition and definitely needs to be replaced. Gary has made contact with the company that is leasing it to the highway department, but we are still needing more information. God knows our need, and we are trusting Him to supply in His time and in His way.

Concerning the health problem of Paul, our Youth Pastor. After several tests, some things have been ruled out, for which we are most thankful, but we still don’t have a definite answer to his breathing difficulty. He is waiting to get an appointment scheduled with a pulmonary doctor. Please keep Paul and family in your prayers.

Recently, a mother from the Reservation, came to services with her two-year old daughter, and last Sunday, Mary from, Camp Verde, saw our church sign and decided to visit. She now wants to bring her ninety-year old friend.

We will be making a trip back east the last of September to visit family, and would appreciate your prayers for safety in travel, and for Paul & Naomi as they “hold down the fort!”

Thank you for your concern, prayers, and support on our behalf. God bless you.

In Christ,

Gary & Bev

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Michael and Dawn Veldhuis Oct 2017

Veldhuis October 2017 Prayer Update

 

Dear Praying Friends and Family,

           In contrast to our recent “monsoon” season’s waterless tumbleweed whipping sandstorms, we have used every available means to water the seed sown through summer ministries and maximize the fruit of your provisions since our August letter.

            Only eternity will tell the role your prayers played in giving the Word free course (II Thess. 3:1) and delivering Natives from the unrelenting, pernicious pull of traditional spirit worship and her children: substance abuse, pride, violence, indolence, and every imaginable sin of the flesh.

            Eternal fruit from Bible clubs, Bible studies, church services, camps, revivals, witnessing, prayer, or any other ministry is thus the work of Him “with whom nothing is impossible” and “who shall deliver us from every evil work” (II Timothy 4:18). “Surely serving Him is a grace of unsearchable richness.” (Eph. 3:8)

            How grateful we are for Brother Nam’s full repair of our newest 15-passenger van and our safe 600 mile trip home in the older one after the death of its battery in the wilderness of Apache Creek’s Deaf and Youth Camp. BLESS the Lord for the growth and greater faithfulness of participants in this camp as well as both Bill Rice West Branch Camps.

            Amon, Clara, Justice, Lilly, Lilah, Marcus, Talon, and other grade schoolers are growing through Bible Clubs and Sunday School while Airus, Jere, Mariella, Molly, Tyler, and Tyrus are doing individual or group Bible studies with Jacob and Lydia or their youth group.

            Bible studies and care packages are helping Christoferson (“Happy”) overcome threats of violence or pressure to do drugs at his Native high school in Oregon. PRAY we’ll find the optimal tools to disciple Happy 1400 miles away and Ani, Cayden, Cleo, Cylas, Jazmin, Kayden, Maya, Rosie, Sencia, and Talon here. The latter all disappeared into foster care or elsewhere after their major summer spiritual decisions.

            Sixteen year old Tyrus took a giant step forward in participating in Bill Rice’s West Branch youth rally near Phoenix September 9, 2017 with four other Cocopah and dozens of teens. Mariella still did not understand the gospel, but subsequently began weekly Bible studies with Lydia. PRAY they will lead to a solid conversion of this thirteen year old young lady and deliverance from the substance abuse and tuberculosis of her highly dysfunctional family.

            PRAY for her mother Sarah’s salvation while in rehab at Yuma’s Crossroads Mission as well as for that of Arturo, George, Millie, Sherri, Stanford, and others through our own Native Revival Meetings October 26-28, 2017. PRAY these meetings will bear as much fruit in the Alvanez, May, Miller, Hart, Serrano, Soto, and Thomas families as our September 23rd bake day did in the lives of Alexis, Airus, Justice, Mariella, Molly, Shirley, and Valerie.

            Your prayers for God’s power in effecting true conversions and growth are as important and appreciated as they are for the camp meeting preparations. Thankfully, accommodations, meals, funding, vehicles, and travel plans that are well underway locally with Yuma’s supporting churches and miles away with Natives from True Vine Baptist in Phoenix or on distant reservations.

            We sincerely ask the Lord to multiply and return the untold blessings of your prayers and sacrifices for every opportunity or challenge before us.

            PRAISES:

  • Jacob and Lydia’s commitment to indefinite Cocopah youth work after their excellent summer start.
  • Sufficient control of Lydia’s lung diseases to resume part time teaching.
  • Jacob’s participation with me in Treasure Valley Baptist Church’s Pastor’s School.
  • Heritage Baptist Church’s surprise 26th anniversary celebration of our Cocopah ministries with many of you August 14, 2017. Your combined unbelievable gift for our first vacation since coming here (possibly after the camp meeting).
  • Blessed missions meetings with Faith Baptist Churches of Washington state and Yuma Aug. 28th and Sept. 19th.
  • Daren, Edward, Felipe, and Shirley’s faithfulness despite serious health problems.
  • Hope Baptist Church of Toledo, OH’s new support and huge gift towards our church yard lighting.
  • Silas’ seeking a good church upon accepting Miller Welding’s excellent job in Wisconsin.
  • The return and help of winter visitors Michael and Rebecca Wilber.

PRAYER REQUESTS:

  • Locate and follow up young people removed from homes by social services.
  • Overcome the official tribal upsurge in Spiritism with the gospel and the Word.
  • Time off work and the right messages for our camp meeting preachers.
  • Installation of church yard lights and treatment of Quonset corrosion from the 2015 flood.
  • The Wilbers and Hastrichs’ recovery from chronic health conditions and each of our strength and safety with the greatly increased revival and Christmas labors.

Faithfully Yours In Christ,

       Michael and Dawn Veldhuis

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Sam & Janet Grammer Sept 2017

September 2017   

Dear Friends in Christ,

 

This month, Sam started teaching the Theology  classes at the Diyin Bizaad Institute (Navajo for “God’s Word” Institute).    The classes are 2 hours each week on the Doctrine of Soteriology (salvation).  Though fall has definitely hit northern Arizona, the weather is quite nice at present- but the snows will soon be upon us.  Pray with us for the faithfulness of each of the students, both in their studies and in attendance, as well as for safety for the weekly  travel (1 ½ hr each way). 

 

 Not only do we travel for these classes, but often for meetings to help the local churches and pastors.  We have some meetings lined up for the coming month and often get “last minute” calls to fill in as needed.  We are thankful for each opportunity to minister and thankful for God’s protection over the years.

 

Thank you for praying with us as the Navajo tribal leaders considered altering the “mission site leases” in hopes of discouraging Christianity and return the people to their native Indian traditional religion.  They had wanted to restrict and even rescind the present leases for lands being used for churches and ministry outreaches.  They held meetings at 4 chapter houses that divide the nation into sections (similar to counties within our states).  These meetings were heavily attended and Christians made a strong appearance causing the tribe to put off action for the present in this area since they didn’t have the support they had hoped for.   This was a definite answer to prayer.  Thank you.

 

Janet’s partner in visitation has had some health issues that have limited their nursing home visiting.  Pray for Helen that the Drs. will have wisdom as they try to resolve some of these problems. 

           

We are rejoicing as one of our elderly ladies left us this month to join her husband before the throne of our Heavenly Father.  Sallie and Gordon Yazzie were previous students when Sam was teaching at the Bible School here in Flagstaff.  They were faithful in their ministry and left a good example for our younger Christians to follow.

 

                         II Cor. 2:11 “Ye also helping together by prayer for us.”

 In Christ,

Sam & Janet Grammer

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Tom & Elaine Baucom Sept 2017

September…… 2017

 

Dear Friends Of Tom & Elaine,

 

I’d have to say, the past 6 months have been a roller coaster ride for me physically. Finally, my doctor has concluded that the (3) different medications I was taking for my nerves is not helping me. I’m right back where I was before taking those awful mind-altering drugs. (Prozac, Trintellix & Cymbalta) There is a still a lot of shaking and anxiety. But I’d rather do this than be zoned out all the time. The operation on my hand for carpal tunnel went well also. I have an appointment with a Neurologist on the 15th of this month. I long for the days when I can be normal again. Please pray for the doctors and specialist to find what’s causing my disorder, please!

 

At the end of this month the Church folks here are giving my wife and I a special anniversary and recognition service. (Oh, it suppose to be a secret) But they went ahead and told me to keep it under my hat. They know I’m like a kid around Christmas time….snooping around. This event will mark my wife and I being married 44 years and being at the Church here into our 30th. year. To God be the Glory!

  

Also, we’d like to recognize one of our young men in the Church. His name is Mike. We were there when Mike was born. We have watched Mike as he finished and graduated from our academy. We watched as Mike finished 2 year of Criminal Law courses at Pensacola College in Florida. Just recently Mike has been accepted into the Police Academy here in Ontario. Mike will be working toward a position here on our Reservation. Elaine and I are so happy to be part of Mike’s training towards his career. Mike will be good for the police force.

 

The Church is about to get all their sports events and vacationing over with for a while. These events sure punch holes in the pews of our Church. We still have people that have made professions of faith and need to be baptized, but we just can’t seem to get them cornered long enough to get them in the water, if you know what I mean. I kind of like to see a little bit of faithfulness before we put them under, amen?

 

My family is doing great. All is well and healthy. I have some wonderful, wonderful news I’d like to share with you soon. It is just too good! I know you will shout for joy when we share it. But for now, just know GREAT NEWS is coming!!!

 

Let me say again as in our last Newsletter that we are so THANKFUL for you remaining with us during our sickness. We are looking forward to feeling better one day! My wife is soooo gracious to me. Everybody is. “THANK YOU” dear friends for believing in the Baucoms!

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David & Becky DeFord Sept 2017

Dear Prayer Warriors,                                                                                 Sept 2017 update

 

   We are in Central Indiana until mid October when our plan is to travel to Kentucky, Tennessee, visiting friends, and eventually into North Carolina by the end of October.   We are excited to have opportunity to be a part of Ambassador Baptist College’s Mission Conference. During this month of September we will be taking part in Thompson Road Baptist’s Faith Promise Conference the week of the 24th. They have been faithful prayer and financial supporters for 30+ years.

 

   We keep in contact with Pastor Yazzie and the work at the Chapel. Good news on their behalf is a gift of $5000 to aid in the purchase of a church van. This will greatly help in picking up children and aiding those without transportation to and from services.

   June was spent mostly visiting our supporting churches and family we hadn’t seen in months and years. It was a refreshing time and we enjoyed the hospitality of each and every one that we visited.

   The month of July we took advantage of cooler temperatures to the North and traveled the states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Our goal was to explore the numerous reservations in those states. We went through several areas and reservations of Ojibwa and Chippewa. Ever present on these reservations and designated lands is a casino which produces some economical benefits for the people, but we did not find Bible preaching/teaching churches that would provide for their spiritual needs. To say there are none would be an assumption because some areas are not accessible to non-Indian travel.  

 

   Two mishaps along the way included a flat tire on the 5th wheel due to construction debris on the road and replacing the front bumper on the truck because a picnic table at a campground jumped in front of us.

  

   After the northern leg of our trip we traveled back to Indiana through Iowa and Illinois. We will be headed back to Arizona from the Ambassador Mission’s Conference for the months of November, December and January.  

 

   Please be in prayer for a young couple in Indiana who have expressed their desire to follow the Lord’s leading in ministry opportunities with the Indians. This is an answer to many praying for more workers. Praise the Lord.    

 

   In His love and ours,

 

Dave and Becky DeFord

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Grammer July 2017

Summer time is VBS time!  One evening we were able to help one of our fellow missionaries  who work  among the Yavapai-Apache people.  Their theme was a cowboy theme and we took our 2 horses down and gave the kids rides.  The kids seemed to really enjoy it and we must admit that it was fun for us too.

 

The church in Flagstaff is having their VBS this week and while Sam is in Alaska, Janet is helping with odd jobs that help the program to run more smoothly.  These programs are seen as fun by the kids, but the workers realize that it is a way to reach young lives with the Gospel of Christ.  Our prayer and goal is to see our youths begin their lives on the right path and serving God.  We do enjoy serving God!

 

It has been a joy watching God answer prayers and meet needs on the Alaskan Radio Station Project.   One of those answered prayers is in regards to the weather.  The Island has an annual rainfall of 120” per year which means rain almost every day.  We were praying for good weather and for the entire week, God held back the rains so that the men weren’t hindered in their work.  We prayed that the cabin would be completely enclosed this summer and our men were able to see that accomplished.  They are presently on their way home, but Sam has a few more days to complete some other goals before he begins his drive home.   Please continue to pray for him on this trip to Alaska.

 

This past month has been a “check-writing” month!  There were personal dental and health bills in Arizona as well as traveling,  shipping and building expenses in Alaska.  None were small but neither were any of them options.  Praise God that He gives peace and promises to meet ALL our needs.  So we wait in anticipation to watch God meet each of these needs and enjoy the peace that He gives us.  Thank you to each of you that have a part in God’s supplying.  We do recognize you as an important part of our ministry.  Even more than finances, we need the prayer support that you give us.  THANK YOU!!

 

Please pray with us for the Navajo nation.  They are feeling threatened by the Christian influence on their reservation since the Tribal council only recognizes the Peyote religion which involves their medicine men and the use of the hallucinogenic  drug  obtained from the cactus plants.  Presently they are having chapter house meetings at 5 different “chapters” (similar to counties) around the reservation to address “mission site leases”.  (Since the reservation is owned by the tribe, the use of any of their land requires a lease; whether for homes, businesses, churches…)  They would like to revoke the Mission/church leases, or revise them, to make it more difficult for the Christian churches to function.  Our prayer is that Navajo Christians will attend these meetings and make their voices heard and not feel that it is a waste of time to speak out.

 

                                 

                 II Cor. 2:11 “Ye also helping together by prayer for us.”

 In Christ,

Sam & Janet Grammer

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