Recently, Naomi, our Youth Pastor’s wife, sang a special in our Morning Worship Service titled, “No Time for the King of Kings.” The words of the first verse and chorus are:
“Is the Christ crowded out of your busy life,
with the toiling that each day brings?
with the strain and the stress of the cares that press,
You’ve no time for the King of Kings.
No time for the King of Kings,
No time for the King of Kings;
Yet for business and pleasure you always find time,
But no time for the King of Kings.”
This was such a good reminder that it is easy to be distracted by the busyness of the day, and must ask God to keep our focus on Him rather than the “good things” that need to be accomplished. Yes, those “good things” need to be done, but not at the cost of time with our Lord. Balancing those is always important. Please pray that we would keep priorities where they need to be in our personal walks with Him.
The end of January and month of February was one of those extra busy times. As we mentioned in our last letter, we were so blessed as God sent volunteer workers – Pastor Bud & Connie Wells and Don, Leslie & Cameron Otto from Wyoming; and Don & Patty Beebout and Greg Sommar from Iowa to help construct a 12 X 16 ft. building that will be divided for use as a teen boys’ classroom and for storage. The 20 X 30 ft. cement slab they poured will be used for VBS and fellowship activities. We praise God for these dear folk and for His provision, allowing this to become a reality! The building has inside work to be finished, and a roof will need to be added to the slab for shelter.
Naomi has started a teen girls’ Sunday School class, and she hosted a party to launch it. Bev helped, and the girls really had a good time. Would you join us in praying for wisdom for Naomi, and for the spiritual needs of these girls, that they would desire to please and glorify God in their walk with Him. Paul wants to begin a teen boys class soon.
Next came our Valentine’s Banquet with twenty-one in attendance. Pastor Randy Miller of Northland Baptist Church in Flagstaff brought a very timely and challenging message, there were fun games, good fellowship, and a great time was enjoyed by all.
*Salvation – Leanne, Michael, Cicily, Darrel, Kito
*Several needing victory over addictions
We consider it a privilege to serve our God at Living Waters Baptist Church; He has been so good and kind! Thank you for praying for the work here.
Dear Friends in Christ,
Early this month, we had 3 snow storms hit, one right after another, leaving us with 37 inches of snow. Just beautiful! But not good driving weather. After the snow, we had several days of very warm weather and though it made the snow disappear, it replaced it with mud! We did get out on the Navajo Reservation once this month and had to leave behind paved road and returned home with about a pound of clay and sand stuck to our feet.
However, though not traveling out of town much, we have used the time to prepare for future ministry. Each summer, the Western Navajo Bible Fellowship holds a week-long conference here in Flagstaff at a campground at the base of Mt. Eldon. We have helped with this conference for several years now. Though Sam won’t be able to be one of the English speakers this year, he is again preparing an outline for the speakers to follow. This allows both English and Navajo sessions to follow the same study and also helps the speakers know what is to be covered for other speakers and avoids repetition on materials. The leaders have chosen the topic to be the “Fruit of the Spirit” for this summer’s study.
In July, at the same time that the Mt. Eldon conference will be starting, Sam will be leaving Flagstaff to head for Alaska. He will be driving to Seattle and taking the ferry to Ketchikan and then another ferry to the Prince of Wales Island. He will be pulling a trailer so that he can take up needed tools and equipment for the work and also provide transportation to and from the site. The cost of travel by ferries will be approximately $6,000 because of adding the trailer.
There are at present, 6 men that will be joining him for a week to install the septic tank and erect the exterior walls. Please pray with us for safety and completion of the work. We really don’t want the outside walls to be partially completed and then deteriorate by being exposed to the weather.
Pray with us for the needed costs for the construction. A local Christian man with a lumber business in the area has offered to supply the needed lumber and the septic is estimated at $6-7,000. Pray also that the materials will be available during the same period that our workers are available.
Once again, thank you for your prayers, as well as your gifts!
II Cor. 2:11 “Ye also helping together by prayer for us.”
So much has transpired in the last two months that it is difficult to know where to begin this update. It makes us realize all the more how we much we depend and rely daily on your prayers. We know there are many of you individually and corporately as a church family pray for us on a regular basis. There is no way we can ever convey our gratefulness to you in a satisfactory manner. Please know that we don’t take for granted the prayers offered on our behalf. We’ve seen the Lord answer your prayers for health, safety, ministry among numerous other requests. It is because of this we will attempt to relay a portion of His working in specifically these three areas.
On Dec. 19, we traveled to Steve and Sherry’s near Kingman for Christmas and to house and pet sit for them as they left the 20th and traveled to the Midwest for Christmas to be with Sherry’s family. On Saturday, Christmas Eve, David became very sick, shaking uncontrollably and eventually vomiting and having diarrhea. This did not subside. After calling 9-1-1 and praying they would arrive quickly, because we were 25 mile from the hospital in Kingman, they were in the house within 10 minutes. (Prayer!) He was transported to the hospital and spent the next 5 days there undergoing numerous tests without a definite explanation other than something had blocked his gall bladder causing his liver to react by driving his bilirubin number to 4, normal being 1. He was jaundiced and extremely weak. This in turn caused atrial fibrilation in the heart.
Having 4 dogs including our two, to care for at Steve and Sherry’s it was necessary to return to the house. The night he was admitted it had turned cold and rainy. Being in a hurry to get inside the hospital I did not pay close attention to where I had parked other than recalling it was under a light. One of the EMTs that had transported David was still in the ER. She suspicioned my dilemma and asked if I knew where I had parked. Admitting to her I didn’t even know what side of the hospital I had parked. After asking a couple of questions she had an idea where to look and walked me all the way to the truck in the cold and rain. Because of the driving conditions it took somewhat longer to get back to the house, but I was confident David was being cared for and knew God was completely in control. (Prayer!)
When we got back home we were able to see our regular PCP and she instructed us to go to our local hospital ER. This was due as a result to an EKG that was done in her office. We were there for 3 -4 hours and after a Diltiazem interveinous drip returned home. (Prayer!) In the following weeks we have found that whatever was in the gall bladder has passed and no longer a problem, liver function is good and after a heart ablation the atrial fibrilation has not been a problem and some prescription meds have been suspended. Again Prayer!
In our last letter November 2016 we asked prayer for several folks. Included in that list was Brian Jackson. This is Lela Jackson’s son. Those of you who have visited the Chapel will probably remember these two. The Lord saw fit to take Brian home January 27. He was a blessing to watch in his spiritual growth. The last six to nine months he was in church faithfully if he was not hospitalized. He had had one leg amputated below the knee and had several bouts with infection. Please remember Brian’s family in prayer. The funeral will be Saturday Feb. 4. Marshall will be doing the church service and David will be doing the graveside service.
Another event that is coming up is the February 25 wedding of J. Ray Cooper and Liz Black. We are having pre-marital classes with them and are excited to know they both love the Lord and are wanting to serve Him in their life together.
Also on schedule for February and March are demolition and remodel at the Chapel. The mobile home we bought when first coming to Arizona has served several families well for these 40 years, but has come to the end of service. It will be taken apart and sold for scrap. The garage on the Chapel property will be given a new facelift and roof. The garage will be used for storage and will be painted to match the church building.
We realize this update has been lengthy, but felt it necessary to have you aware of how important your prayers are to all those standing with you in reaching the world with the Gospel of Christ. Sometimes the details of an experience drive home the need to be in constant prayer.
When the Lord brings someone or some particular need to mind that’s the time to pray.
Prayer Requests: Praises:
Jackson family The many clear answers to prayer
Wedding Feb 25 Physical grow and spiritual growth at the Chapel
Safety for work crews while remodeling
In all the activity over the holidays we received so many Christmas cards and Get Well wishes and we want to thank everyone who sent gifts and well wishes, We tried to do this individually, but we may have missed some unintentionally.
January has been a very cold, snowy month, even here in this “desert” state! Pastor Bud and Connie Wells and Don, Leslie & Cameron Otto from Wyoming, Don & Patty Beebout & Greg Sommar from Iowa, came to help with a work project at the church. They were delayed a couple of days due to bad weather. However, like the faithful postman, they let neither rain, sleet, nor snow keep them from working! And they saw all of that!
One project they have worked on was to move the old storage shed and begin building a new one. The work on it is progressing well as of this writing. They have also poured a concrete slab for a covered shelter, which will be used for serving snacks during VBS and for other outside activities.
The wives have kept busy, too. They painted the modular inside, helped make decorations for our Valentines Banquet coming up on the 13th, as well as helping prepare meals for those hard-working men.
There is no way we can every repay these dear friends for their labor of love, but we do so appreciate them giving of their time, energy, and funds in order to see this come to fruition.
We are so thankful for the generosity of our church folk who have been giving once a month to the church building fund, and for others who have sent love gifts, making these renovations possible.
Earlier in the month, Gary had the privilege of speaking to three Awana groups at Maranatha Baptist Church in Peoria, AZ. Since Gary was involved with Awana many years ago, it was a blessing to see the good work that continues through this program.
Would you pray with us that God would continue to work in the hearts and lives of the folk on the Yavapai-Apache Reservation? Our desire is to see our mission go forth and lives changed for God’s glory.
Thank you for your support and encouragement. God bless you.
Dear Family and Friends:
Now that we are done with the first month of this new year, are you reaching any goals you may have made in January? So much can happen in a new year: we could grow in our faith, restore a relationship, Jesus Christ could return, a loved one could get saved, or even… We can make great plans, but if those plans rely on our own effort we miss out on pleasing God. Do you remember Hebrews 11:6? “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” This year may we please Him, believe in Him, and prepare to meet Him.
After our last letter we drove to California to spend Christmas with some of our family. To our great delight, Naomi’s Grandparents and Aunt Pat came with us to church both morning and evening. It was an answer to prayer to see some of our unsaved family hear the Gospel once again.
For the past week we have had the tremendous blessing of having a group from Iowa and Wyoming who helped us with work projects around church. These eight people built a shed, poured a 20X30 concrete slab, painted the fellowship hall, as well as some other needs we had. The shed is big enough for both storage and a classroom. We hope to eventually put a teen class here. The concrete slab is big enough for several picnic tables and will be helpful for fellowship meals as well as VBS activities. Eventually, we will need to put a roof over the concrete for shade. Our church will be greatly blessed for many years to come by the sacrificial love these folks showed as they served the Lord.
This past month Tri-City Baptist church of Forest City, North Carolina, has agreed to be our sending church. This is the church where we were members while Paul attended Ambassador Baptist College. We are thankful for Pastor Hollandsworth and the people there for being a great encouragement and help to us. We are thankful for the commitment they have taken to faithfully pray for us and the ministry here.
We are now having a ladies Bible study every two weeks. Naomi is teaching this study from 1Peter 3:4 on a “meek and quiet spirit” and from Titus 2 on the need to “teach the young women.” While the ladies at the Bible study are older, Naomi’s desire is to see them reach the many younger ladies in their lives. These ladies have a wonderful opportunity to disciple and witness to the ladies on the reservation. So many people have needs and hurts that only Jesus Christ can meet.
Please pray as we begin working with the teen girls. On February 9th Naomi is inviting the 5th through high school ladies to our home for a Bible study and activity. Even though it is nearly 70 degrees right now, she plans on a snow theme to teach the girls that God made them uniquely for His own glory (see Isaiah 43:7 and Revelation 4:11). Pray for the salvation of these young ladies and that they would choose to live for the Lord Jesus! Paul is in the process of preparing for a teen boys class. Please pray as he considers the right material, focus, and direction for this class.
Several years ago Paul was greatly influenced by a pastor who emphasized the need for worship that pleases God. Paul is taking some of those thoughts and is teaching on worship in the adult Sunday school class. This last Sunday we were challenged by the need to prepare for worship. From Ecclesiastes 5:1-3 we realized that we cannot assume worship takes place just because the church service began. Our hearts need to be
The family “secretary” was away for over 4 weeks attending the weddings of 2 grandkids, as well as our annual family get-together for Thanksgiving. Thank you to those who were praying as we traveled and “yes” the weddings were a good family time. We are so pleased that the grandson and granddaughter both chose Believers to spend their lives with and now praying that these new homes will put Christ in the center and bring Him glory!
We trust your holidays were full of joy and thankfulness for our wonderful Saviour and His work in your lives. Many of you sent letters with your Christmas cards, bringing us up-to-date with your families. In the way of Grammer family news, we are now awaiting grandchild #17 (Sam & Amber-3rd son) and great grandchild #5 (Faith and Drew Holton-a granddaughter). During the trip we were able to meet 2 of our great grandchildren, Peter Chick and Oliver Holton. It was a joy to finally be able to hold them and tell them they are loved; something we rarely get to do with so many miles between us.
Since we haven’t written for the past two months, I thought I’d get this one out a little bit earlier than normal for the month.
The Bible Doctrine classes are to begin again at the end of the month. Hopefully everyone will be back from their breaks and on schedule again. Please pray for these students. There is nothing like knowing God’s Word to motivate a Christian’s growth. Pray for faithful attendance and for more students.
Pray with us for opportunities to minister in the local native churches. We have had several visitors in our home as folks came into town during their holiday breaks and shopping but now things are settling down to normal schedules.
The radio station project is still progressing. This summer’s trip will hopefully see the septic tank installed (The cost for the septic is estimated at $6-7,000) and the exterior walls put up. We need to get it all closed-in in one trip to avoid weather damage. Then plans can be made to complete the interior in the future.
Sam would like to drive to Seattle and take the ferry to Ketchikan and then another ferry to the Prince of Wales Island. This way, he can take up needed tools and equipment for the work and also provide transportation to and from the site. The cost of travel by ferries will be approximately $4,500.
Pray with us for the workers needed as well as the costs. If you are interested in helping with this project, please contact us. We can put in the septic ourselves if we have the manpower. As we mentioned before, the lumber has been donated by a local Christian man with a lumber business in the area which we are thankful for.
Once again, thank you for your prayers, as well as your gifts!
II Cor. 2:11 “Ye also helping together by prayer for us.”
Veldhuis Christmas 2016 Prayer Letter
Dear Praying Friends and Family,
Uninterrupted fields of fruits and vegetables in every stage of cultivation, growth, and harvest fill the miles between reservations and remind us not only of our need for diligence and patience in the winning of souls, but also of our utter dependence on your provisions and prayers to realize our Lord’s full harvest. “Ye strive together with us in your prayers to God for us” (Romans15:30).
Indeed our deepest prayer and desire is that no Cocopah we encounter ever pass from this life with the cry, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved” (Jeremiah 8:20). Thus the “Fall break” from summer’s grueling load was gladly devoted to the follow up of camp and Bible Time decisions and endless overtime hours of landscaping work and church vehicle repairs preparing individuals and resources for our Nov. 3-5, 2016 Native revival meetings. Only the privilege and joy of leading 19 year old Adolfo to the Lord the final night could surpass our gratitude for God’s providence in allowing us to give Lydia to His service in her marriage to Jacob Jones a few days earlier.
Jacob and Lydia resumed their bus ministry and jobs in Gilbert, AZ east of Phoenix while Jacob pursues further Bible training and seeks God’s direction for their future with Lydia’s health problems.
Silas finished his B.B.A. degree in Industrial Technology Management in December and began a six month payed internship in robotic welding with Miller Corp. near Chicago IL on January 9th, 2017. He redeemed himself for leaving us without a pianist by fabricating strategic bus parts before departing.
Bless the Lord and each of you for rewarding months of searching junk yards and aftermarket, or antique part sources for sufficient parts to complete initial repairs on our 22 passenger bus yesterday. P.T.L. for safety using our three times larger bus on treacherous roads for fruit picking, larger Christmas pickups, and witnessing through the distribution of over 200 bags of citrus fruit. Some 60 individual gift bags and tracts were either handed out in person or at our Christmas party.
Thank you for enabling us to call others to salvation and growth through December 21, 25, and 31 special services. PRAY these labors will lead to true conversions and discipleship through ongoing ministries and revival meetings here with Pastor Joe Doyel of L.A.’s Emmanuel Baptist Mission, February 6-9, 2017.
Ever increasing demands from seemingly undiminished needs took a toll beyond vehicles on our health and correspondence. Dawn’s bronchitis prevented her from accompanying me to Treasure Valley Baptist Church’s mission conference. P.T.L. I could still drive the 1,000 mile trip to our sending church solo Nov. 9-13 and receive their enormous gifts for current church building, bus, and yard light projects.
A subsequent major tear of my left shoulder cuff has prevented a full night’s sleep since then and ruled out writing the individual notes we usually add to our letters. We personally appreciate and know of each of your prayers and gifts and are that much more grateful for your remembering these past blessings and future challenges.
Newly painted functional bus awaiting only a paid differential exchange.
Christmas gifts for plumbing, flooring and yard lights.
Personal gifts for house repairs, medicine, and dental work in Mexico.
Winter visitors, Michael and Rebecca Wilber’s, help wherever needed while in Yuma.
19 year old Adolfo’s profession of faith.
The Hastrich’s fruitful Kings Kids ministry and multiple other labors.
Physical therapy and assisted care for 45 year old Daren with recurrent crippling back infections.
True repentance, conversions, revival, and baptisms of Hart, Hayes, Sereno, Thomas, and Twist family members.
Michael’s February 23, 2017 shoulder surgery.
Lorie’s fair sentencing and return to the Lord.
Revival of Alex and Roxanna, Lorie’s sister, and better care of Lorie’s four 3-15 year old children.
No Cocopah deaths from misused casino profit sharing in mid-February.
Pray for Silas’ safety and direction during his internship in Carol Stream, IL, a suburb of Chicago.
Lasting, eternal fruit to God alone’s glory through our February 6-9 revival with Pastor Doyel.
The Hastrichs’ health needs and each of our strength and safety.
Gratefully Yours In Christ,
Michael and Dawn Veldhuis
Dear Family and Friends:
Recently I heard someone say, “Many would be a god but only God would be a man.” Isn’t it amazing that people intent on celebrating Christmas go through life serving self while overlooking the One called God with Us? Imagine celebrating the birth of the Servant of All while being consumed with self. This Christmas as we exchange gifts, let us not forget the greatest Gift. “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” 2Cor 8:9.
In our last letter we asked you to pray for our church ladies Christmas party. Mrs. Beverly gave a devotional and prepared a wonderful meal, while Naomi organized some games to bring everyone together and smile. Being an informal time, Naomi was able to get to know some of the ladies. This is an important part of the ministry which is often neglected because of the busyness of Sundays. We don’t often get to sit down and talk without children running around!
Thank you for also praying for our Christmas program. What a blessing to offer the Gospel to a full auditorium. Pastor Messick closed with a needed challenge to many of the parents and grandparents on the importance of the Bible in the home and life. Though not a typical Christmas message, the Gospel was clearly presented. Sadly, most of the kid’s families do not come regularly, so Pastor’s heart was burdened for these people and their homes.
As we begin a new year please pray for God’s wisdom. Three to five of the kids that come on the church van are twelve to thirteen years old. When the kids here reach their teen years they often stop coming to church. Without stable homes and a losing interest in Sunday class times for the younger kids, church often isn’t important to them anymore. God is giving us a burden to maintain a ministry to them through their teen years. Please pray that God would show us how to most effectively work with these older ones.
Wisdom in teaching and preaching
One complete family to be added to the church
Salvation of our children and the children at church
Wisdom for how best to reach the older kids
God’s provision this year!
God’s protection this month
God’s plan is perfect
We praise the Lord for each of you and depend on your faithful prayer for us. Merry Christmas to all of you and have a blessed New Year with Christ first in everything!
All for Jesus,
Paul and Naomi Sondergaard
Ruthanne, Nathan, Hannah, and Aletheia
Dear Ones in Christ,
A Christmas card we received stated it so well:
“JESUS is – The Lamb of God, to die for our sins.
The Prince of Peace, to change out hearts.
The Good Shepherd, to guide our lives.”
Our prayer is that each one reading this might know Jesus Christ in this way.
We sent our last semi-annual newsletter in August. Events since then were:
*Sept. 4 – Celebrating the birth of precious little Aletheia Joy, born to the family of Paul & Naomi
Sondergaard, our Youth Pastor & wife.
*Great visits in Sept., Oct., & Nov., from several friends and family members from Indiana.
*In Oct., we attended the annual IBIMI board meeting in Yuma and also the wedding of Lydia Veldhuis,
daughter of fellow-missionaries Mike & Dawn Veldhuis.
*Nov. 14 was a special day of remembrance. It was twenty years ago on Nov. 2 we were privileged to have a
part in the Lord’s beginning Yavapai- Apache Baptist Church (now Living Waters Baptist Church.) What a
blessing to review pictures of the Lord’s working during those years up to the present. We enjoyed wonderful
time of food and fellowship after the service with over 40 in attendance.
*Dec. has been a busy month with the ladies Christmas party at our home. It was a fun-filled evening with
nine ladies attending.
*The children’s Christmas play was held on Dec. 18th. It was based on the story of the candy cane and how it
represents Christ. Naomi did a wonderful job putting together the play and the children did their parts well.
We were thrilled to have several of the children’s family members attend. A blessing was seeing, after the
message, that God had worked in the hearts of parents.
*Kirt, Elida, Joseph (7) and Micah (6) still live in Glendale, AZ. Kirt is doing well after his triple bypass
surgery last January. So thankful for God’s healing in his behalf. Kirt continues his work as composite
artist for the Phoenix Police Dept. Thinking ahead to retirement years, they have developed their own coffee
business, ROYAL SOLITUDE COFFEE, a product of Elida’s family plantation in El Salvador. Elida is busy
with that, but mainly taking good care of her family. Both boys were involved in flag football this fall.
Joseph is taking guitar lessons, and Micah would also like to begin lessons. They are such fun and are
growing so fast!
*JD, Jenny, Jake (20), Zac (18), Hunter (15), and MaKayla (10) still reside in Conway, Arkansas. Having
just completed their third year of ministry at Grace Baptist Church, they are very busy, but enjoy the work
there. Jake & Zac are both attending Central Baptist College. Jake is a Junior and Zac is a Freshman.
The year seems to be going well for them. Jenny continues to homeschool Hunter, & MaKayla. Hunter’s
favorite pastime is playing basketball on a homeschool team. MaKayla loves drawing and crafts. Our
grandchildren are a tremendous blessing from the Lord!
We are so looking forward to Christmas with our family Dec. 28-31. We haven’t seen Jenny’s family since June, so needless to say, we are counting the days!
As we end this 2016 and launch into a new year, our desire is that in all we do God would receive glory, and that we would see fruit from God’s working in us and through us. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.
Thanks for your prayers for the second trip to Alaska this summer. The footers are now in place and the weather was good for the work. However, while in Alaska, we found that a septic needed to be installed and while there, the inspector was brought out and steps taken to begin the process of getting the tank. Instructions were given and we can put it in ourselves, but the cost (including shipping) is around $6-7,000. Then we can begin on the exterior construction.
The contractor that we had hoped to use has asked us to keep looking for a contractor because of the distance from his business to the site. He is a Believer and wants to help us get the station up and running and has offered to donate all of the needed lumber. Please continue to pray with us on this project for wisdom, as well as for the needed finances and the right contractor to use.
We just returned from a week of meetings on the Hualapai Reservation. Some of these folks are children of former students of the Bible School classes Sam taught there years ago. What a blessing to see their children being faithful, as well as their grandchildren. Not only did we enjoy the fellowship with them, we also rejoice in the decisions made this past week. Several made professions of faith in Christ and many more made decisions to be more faithful in their daily walk with our Lord. They have a faithful pastor and wife that they truly appreciate and who is a good Bible teacher and we praise God for them.
We expect to be gone for several weeks during November and December. We have a granddaughter getting married in early November and a grandson getting married in early December. We also have our annual family get-together at Thanksgiving. Hopefully we will both be home just before Christmas. We don’t expect to be able to get a monthly letter out while traveling so want to send out holiday greetings to you now. Don’t let the gaiety of the season cause you to forget the reason we celebrate!
Once again, thank you for your prayers, as well as your gifts!
II Cor. 2:11 “Ye also helping together by prayer for us.”