Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas 2011 Newsletter

Below is our Christmas 2011 newsletter- again the newsletter itself won't enlarge for reading so the content is below-I think blogger changed the way it is storing the files or something- or geez could it be me???

I just received an email from a friend that directed me to a youtube sight where the recent song “Where’s The Line To See Jesus” was sung.
      If you haven’t heard this song I encourage you to listen to it. It is a challenging question for each of us in this season, a time when the commercialism, materialism, and many activities tend to pull us into their grasp. As I listened to this song the other question seemed to be – when we sit with Jesus what do we say or ask? That question really catches my attention as I examine the Christmas narrative. Will I come before Jesus as the Magi did?      
Mat 2:11  And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped Him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
or will I just present Him with my personal wish list? 

      There have been many times this year when we have had opportunities to explore profound questions with people.   Questions like “How do you view God?”, “Who do you believe Jesus to be?”, “Do you know about the free gift that God desires to give you?”, and “What is a gift?”. These and other questions may come up at Coffee & Chat, the food and clothing pantry, camps, sitting at the bedside of a hospice patient, or any place when the Holy Spirit is opening the door.
       As a volunteer chaplain with hospice, my first encounter with our patients/family is to inquire of their desire for Spiritual Care. Even when they decline Spiritual Care services, we make sure the door is always open in the future.
     One patient who declined, within a few days called me to come as a volunteer to sit with and assist the patient for most of the day.  So throughout the day we talked of his ranching, his career as a geologist, worked on his motorized wheelchair, had wheelchair races (he has 2), helped him with tours of his art gallery, worked on his rototiller, and talked about his struggle with believing in God. Meanwhile Mary was spending the day with his wife.
     The Apostle Paul tells us that the mystery now manifested in His saints is Christ in you, the hope of glory. That is why one of my prayers is to be invited back. Every time we step into a home, we know that Jesus is present and He will orchestrate a right time for the important questions to be raised. 

Family News
    We were so blessed to have both Jonathan and David with us for a week in October.  It has been at least 7 years since we were all under the same roof . (Yes, Jonathan made it safely back from his motorcycle trip to Central America)  We had a great time clay pigeon shooting and getting the compound bows out. 
     Jonathan worked so hard while he was here removing awnings, patching stucco and pressure washing the outside of the house in order to get it ready to paint this spring.
     The next weekend  I (Mary) met my sister Kathy in Albuquerque to bring Mom up to Colorado for the week.  We had a great time and it went so fast.  I think she was ready to go home as we had her running with all the things we do.
     Then we were blessed again by getting to go to Alamogordo to spend Thanksgiving with family. 

     This is just a glimpse of why we can’t thank those of you who faithfully pray and faithfully give financially, enough for allowing us to be available 24/7 to bring the power of Christ’s redemption into life’s situations and homes in the frontier regions of SE Colorado.

     Most of all thank you Jesus for your Gift to all who will believe!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Search and Rescue And Dancing With Jesus and Grace

Below is our October 2011 Newsletter.

Please click on page- it will come up in a new window. If you will then click on that again it will enlarge so that you can read it!
For some reason it is not wanting to enlarge so the content of newsletter is below picture of newsletter
(will I ever get this computer stuff figured out????)

God continues to amaze us with His delightful  and unusual ways of using His children - Hope you will enjoy reading a few of those unique encounters.

Search and Rescue

   Labor Day Mary and I decided to take the day off and drive up to Cordova Pass at 11743 ft. elevation. This pass is closed because of snow more than it is open. Here you are in the shadow of the Spanish Peaks and the view is spectacular. Soon after beginning a short hike we heard a Sheriff’s deputy calling someone’s name. Wondering if we could be of help we circled back and met up with the deputy. He had determined the lost man was somewhere out on a ridge off to the right. We found out the lost man’s name (Tim) and said we would take the top of the ridge and try to intercept him. Without going into all the details, Mary and I found Tim out on the ridge. We chatted for a bit and then began leading him out of the woods. We soon met up with the deputy who had gotten a little turned around. On the way out Mary and I each asked Tim if he had been doing any praying while he was lost. We were hoping this would open up some conversation. Each time Tim just said “no”.
    As we were coming out a deputy who does Search and Rescue showed up with a 4 wheeler. We made it back to the cars and the 2 deputies, Tim, and Mary and I were standing around talking. The deputies told Tim how “lucky” he was to have been found and brought to safety so quickly. They assured him they would have found him, but also explained that they have never had it happen so quickly.
As we talked, Tim turned to me and said “you know when you asked me if I was praying and I told you no. Well I want to tell you that I had a peace about the situation out there.” Mary interjected “well we were praying for you”. Tim went on to tell how when he has been in the area before, his cell phone has never worked, BUT it did today. It seemed to me like a great time to give thanks to God and I asked them if they would mind me praying with them. No one objected so we stood in the parking area of Cordova Pass and thanked God for His provision and care that day.
    It is moments like that and many other situations that make InFaith a great name for our mission and what we do.

Dancing With Jesus and Grace
   “Grace”  has End Stage Alzheimer’s/Dementia and on my prior visits I have wondered if any ministry was actually taking place. But today we found “Grace” in her room and asked her about her pictures. You can’t understand most of what she is trying to say. Grace likes to hum and as we stood talking to her she began to hum. Mary listened close to try to figure out what she was humming. Being unsuccessful, Mary asked if she could sing Amazing Grace. She smiled. As Mary sang that and several other songs Grace took our hands and swayed with the music and smiled the biggest smile. That day there was no doubt that Jesus was in the midst of that room ministering to Grace.
   We walked across the street to see “Joy”. As she came to the door and saw us she exclaimed “God sent you when I really needed you”! Not only has she lost her husband this year, but last month her sister who raised her passed and she was having a really rough day. For the next couple of hours we encouraged her with God’s words to us to comfort and strengthen us in times like this. We also talked about how He uses these situations in our lives to stretch us and equip us for what He has ahead of us.

Same Mission– New Name
  The mission we serve with, which has been known in the past as The First Day Society, The Adult and Sunday School Union, The American Sunday School Union, and (most recently) American Missionary Fellowship, has changed its name to InFaith.  As missionaries, we walk in faith daily, depending on the Lord to meet all our needs, and to place us exactly where He desires to use us each moment as we serve Him right here in the United States.
  InFaith missionaries are called to a variety of ministries around the nation, but we are all united in our faith in Christ and our desire to tell others about Him. In changing our name, we have not changed our core theology, our day-to-day ministry, or our focus on the United States. We have simply changed the way we present ourselves publicly, in the hope that we can better communicate what we do as a mission.

Thank you for being such a vital part of this ministry with your prayers and support! We are so blessed to have you as part of the team!

Friday, September 9, 2011

We are Changing Our Name!

Have you ever had the thought that you would like to change your name? Maybe something that had a little different ring to it or that you thought fit you better.
     Well our ministry has not changed, but the mission that we serve with, American Missionary Fellowship, has changed its name to "InFaith." The mission continues to serve the Lord by bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people across the United States, as it has since 1817. In fact our ongoing effort to communicate the unchanging truth in a changing world is the primary reason for our name change. The new name is intentionally shorter and, we believe, more memorable. We pray it will open doors to growth for our mission and for the church in the United States.

     We ask you to join us in prayer for the release of this name and for our mission to continue to reach many people with the good news of God’s sacrificial love as we walk in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We still need your support! Please help us spread the word that former American Missionary Fellowship missionaries continue to serve across the United States, now under the banner of InFaith.

The things you love about our mission—our people, our passion for serving Christ in the U.S., our
history, and our love for each other—remain
Mary and I will be using a new email address. Please change our email in your saved address book to

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Email Problem Finally Fixed!

You are probably wondering why you haven’t seen an email from us in awhile. Well there were some changes made in our email and we were not able to get to our contact list until recently. But we are back and have a lot to share.

In one of our updates I talked about this area being categorized as “frontier” rather than rural. I should clarify this a bit in that that is true for most of the approximately 20000 square miles that we serve. The city of Pueblo (population approx.105,000) is on the north edge of our ministry area and is the closest town of any size to provide many of the essential needs.

Our ministry area is larger than 9 of the states in our country. This area takes in the counties of Alamosa, Baca, Bent, Custer, Costilla, Huerfano, Las Animas, Otero, Prowers, and part of Pueblo.Some of you asked, after reading my encyclopedic update, “what are some of the challenges to ministry in a “frontier” area?”

One of the very obvious challenges is the distances of travel. That really boils down to amount of time spent traveling and cost to travel. This can make for some long days and as we are all aware the price of fuel is not cheap.
More later.

On June 4th -7th we again were involved in the La Veta Rodeo Bible Camp. Mary was again involved with keeping the campers and staff well fed. I was asked to take on a different role this year as a team leader. This involved bringing devotions 2 times a day, and spending time one on one with a group of young men assigned to me. I also spent time watching them learn their particular events. Most of that watching was done while keeping the cattle moving into the chute for the team ropers. Being with them at their events at times gives insight as to possible individual needs. What a great time as we saw some accept Jesus as their Savior and others move closer in their relationship with Him.

In July we went to Alamogordo to close on our house in Tularosa (again). Thank you so much to all you who have been praying for this!

Kissing Camels at Garden of the Gods

Before we headed back to Colorado we picked up our 11 year old friend Ashton. He would join us for Junior High camp at Homestead Bible Camp. Ashton camped out with us for almost 2 weeks. He had never been to Colorado before so we showed him some sights in our area. He was surprised at all the vehicle time to get to places ( must be that Frontier thing again!)

This year we were blessed to be the Bible speakers at this camp, and spoke on being “Connected to God”. We got to speak to this great group of kids 6 times. Mary and I shared the times and again we saw some accept Jesus as Savior and many others deepen their “connection” with Him.

Prayer and Praise

In the course of a conversation with a recent high school graduate, about her plans for the future, Mary discovered that her reading level was very low. We already knew that another member of her family does not know how to read either. Mary is praying and talking to them about the possibility of letting her teach them.  Would you be praying for this also.  Satan wants to keep people in the darkness.
Also if anyone has taught adult reading please contact us with any helps or suggestions you may have!

Jonathan and Andreas have made it to Panama this past Saturday (Aug 27)  and are making their way back up through the same countries they traveled to get to their destination.   The trip has been awesome for them so far! Thank you for your prayers and please continue!

We are always in need of strong Christians to come along side us.
So many more opportunities for ministry are available, After school  Bible club,  teaching parenting skills, etc. The needs are so great- the opportunities abound- The rewards eternal!

Friday, June 24, 2011

June Newsletter

We're having a problem accessing our email list of those who desire to receive the newsletter by email instead of snail mail. I (mary) am not sure how to remedy the problem and want to apologize. I am trying to work on it but if you know of others who may have mentioned they haven't heard from us would you give them this newsletter link to go to- Thank you! A prayer that I can access the very large number of email addresses would be appreciated too!

Below is our June 2011 Newsletter.

Please click on page- it will come up in a new window. If you will then click on that again it will enlarge so that you can read it! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to see what the Lord is doing in SE Colorado!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Wild Frontier

I thought I would share with you a fact that I recently learned about the area where we live and serve in ministry.
I keep telling you that we are in rural South East Colorado.
But I was informed recently that we are not rural, we are considered frontier.

Here is the definition that explains that determination:

Frontier areas are sparsely populated rural areas that are isolated from population centers and services. While frontier is sometimes defined simplistically as places having a population density of six or fewer people per square mile this does not take into account other important factors that may isolate a community.

What are some of the challenges facing frontier areas?

Answer: The isolation and distances that classify an area as frontier results in long trips to attend school, shop for groceries, get health care, and reach other basic services. Public transportation options are often limited or unavailable in frontier areas, making access to needed services difficult for low-income households, the elderly and disabled. Frontier areas face seasonal travel barriers that can make travel difficult. For those living in mountainous areas, some roads and passes may be closed in winter, leading to longer travel times. Residents may find that winter driving in the frontier extends travel times because they need to slow down to adequately account for road conditions and limited visibility. Flooding caused by melting snow and heavy rains can force the closure of main roads for unexpected and extended periods of time in both mountainous and flatland landscapes.

The economy in frontier areas is usually based on a few specific resources or activities and so are more at risk of downturns and boom-bust cycles. Tourism, farming, ranching, logging, and mining are some of the businesses that are common in rural areas. Frontier communities may be more vulnerable to less desirable sources of business income, such as nuclear waste disposal. Frontier areas where much of the land is federally owned may lack an adequate tax base to pay for needed services. (In SE Colorado most of the land is privately owned ranch land which is taxed but not at the level of residential property, leaving the counties with a low tax base for services).

This information is from the Rural Assistance Center website. My added comment in parenthesis.

My intention is not to bring you facts that you can add to your trivia bank. My desire is to give you something that forms a picture, a mural if you will, of the people and the challenges to ministry in this area. For the sake of keeping this update from getting too long I am going leave you with this info and let the Spirit of Jesus paint a picture in your mind.

Next update I will give you some snapshots to add to this mural.
Tonight I will also extend the invitation of “come and you will see” John 1:39.


A little update from Mary-

Happy Birthday Sweet William!

Bill with his Mom and Dad this January