It is hard to know where to start. I want to tell you about our time last week at our Partners International leadership planning meetings. We had leaders come in from each of PI's 10 areas of the most difficult and least reached areas of the world. These area and international leaders came with reports and met to set plans for the year. Greg and I were privileged to host in our home a man who planted the church among the Dani tribal group in Papua New Guinea many years ago, our international leader for disaster relief, and a city leader of Oasis India who leads a team that rescues minor girls from human trafficing- age 5-17.
Can you imagine the conversations around our dinner table several evenings as we asked questions, listened to them discussing issues with each other and hearing story after story from their personal experiences? Wow. Can I just say that those of you on our support team OWN A HUGE PIECE of what is happening. If you are involved in our ministry, you are evangelizing the church in China, Indonesia, West Africa, Central Asia, India, etc. You are making a tangible difference in the lives of the extremely poor. You are giving clean water to those who did not have access to it. You are training pastors, women and children. You are on the front lines with those being persecuted for their faith. That is what this ministry is about.
A brother in the Middle East disappeared last week during our meetings, and several days later we got word that he had been taken to prison, persecuted for his faith and was later released. Yesterday we got word that he is now experiencing internal emotional struggles when faced with going back to the same area. What did they do to him? How is his family and the church he belongs to doing in the aftermath of one of their own having this happen to him. Please pray for him and those like him who face these issues regularly. One leader shared that 6 of his top leaders (he was showing us a picture of 2 of them) are now gone- martyred for their faith within the last year. Wow.
We also heard story after story of very exciting church growth and of many coming to Christ. I was able to share with these leaders about the training provided globally by Kidzana to equip leaders in children's ministry. They asked great questions and I think Kidzana will end up becoming a blessing to our partners. Connecting them with this valuable resource and explaining how the training works made me feel like I had thrown a 3 pointer at the buzzer in the last quarter of the professional basketball playoffs! What a privilege to meet and encourage these brothers and sisters!
Anita, from Oasis India, has never been in the US before. She is a wife and mother of 2 girls. She goes on brothal raides to rescue and rehabilitate girls. She is beautiful and articulate. She says to see Slumdog Millionaire. It is acurate and deals with some of the issues. There are layers and layers of issues, which it didn't go into, but is totally true. Greg and I took her to see an amimal display at Cabella's (moose, elk, grizzlies, etc.), Lake Cour d'Alaine in ID, Spokane Falls and WALMART! She told me she got a second wind and jetlag fled when her gaze traveled around the inside of our Super Wal-Mart! That was so cute! She has become a treasured friend. Anyone want to go with me to Bangalore and visit Oasis there? We are invited!
I could go on all day, but I will have pity on your schedule. Our son, Jesse, is in Timbuktu right now. It is very hot there and the church is small. There are many Muslims with less than a percent of Christians. Jesse and Taylor met the country leader and traveled together 1000 kilometers across the country of Mali toTimbuktu. They will be there for 17 days. Please pray that they are able to bless the church there. They want to be servants, not tourists.
My knee is healing. It has been almost 3 weeks since surgery and I did steps last night with no pain. I start PT tomorrow. On Friday I went to the doctor and had it checked to make sure it wasn't a blood clot because of it hurting in the same place and way it did last summer when I had a clot there in my upper calf. There was no clot. I still have the bakers cyst behind my left knee, and it has enlarged and moved into the top of my calf also. That hurts, but isn't it all relative when you think about Saheed being persecuted last week? Or the girls being kidnapped into the sex trade?
Thank you for your love and prayers. And thank you for reading this and for anything you are doing to help those less fortunate. Greg and I hope to raise our support back up to 100% to lessen the amount given to Greg in salary to supplement our support. We desire to see more go to these partners I have told you about. If you want to know more about how to become part of our personal ministry and support team, please send me or Greg an email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. May the Lord bless your day! Nancy Fritz (509)990-8465