WAGNER URGENT UPDATE: Ebola & Evacuation

WAGNERS update 7-29-14ACTION: With great sadness we inform you that we have to leave Sierra Leone for a short time until the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is controlled.

WHY: The Ebola virus has begun infecting people in our city and civil unrest is a growing concern. Up until this week, we’d been planning to stay and were taking appropriate safety precautions. Unfortunately the outbreak has reached a point where our work and family activities are significantly restricted. It appears that things are likely to get worse before they improve.

WHERE & HOW LONG: We are initially going to LBT’s home office in Aurora, IL for debriefing and discussion of plans while we wait to return to Sierra Leone. We are evacuating with essentials and valuables and saving everything else in Sierra Leone for our return.

HOW WE FEEL: Heartbroken. We write this with tears and deep disappointment. We were seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of cultural stress and adjustment, a difficult pregnancy, and much sickness. We were seeing a way forward. Now we have to leave. While we know God’s ways are greater than ours, our emotions are raw. It’s especially difficult to leave our local partners, the work, our neighbors and friends. Most people don’t believe that Ebola is real or that it’s as bad as it is. We feel burdened to plead to God for their physical lives but also their spiritual lives. We plan to return. We plan to see the Word going forth and touching lives… in Themne.

FINANCIAL SITUATION: As evacuation plans continue to develop, we don’t know what our situation will be for the next several months. We know we have unexpected travel costs and living expenses as we keep our home in Sierra Leone and live in the USA for a short time.

URGENT PRAYER REQUESTS: Please pray…
– we can obtain an emergency passport for Isaiah (2.5 weeks old).
– we would be able to get tickets to travel with family visiting—Ruthie’s mom and Josh’s sister and brother-in-law. (Praise God they’re here to help us!!!)
– for the epidemic to be controlled and that people would believe!
– for encouragement, strength, and protection for the Themne translation team.

Thanks, Team, for standing with us,
Josh, Ruthie, Elijah (2yo), & Isaiah (2.5wks)

Missionaries with LBT to Sierra Leone

http://www.lbt.org/missionaries/jrwagner.php

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His Eye is on the Sparrow

John, Cris and Family-Jonni Silver Web readyBy Jonni Sliver

I come from a long line of worriers. That isn`t one of the qualities I am most proud of, but I see it popping up now and then (with more “now” than I care for.  Those of you not genetically inclined to fretting are probably already saying to yourselves “what’s the point of worrying?” You are right of course, and we know it, with 90% of our brains, it is the 10% that trips us up. Praise the Lord, He loves his daughters, even when we fret, and His has lovely, precious means to remind us that we really don’t need to fret at all. Cris is a good example.

Cris has been living in a house on the Miriam Home/Bible school campus for six months now. She is a precious young mom, born in the Philippines, married to a mighty North Dakotan, John, who happens to be an engineer working on international oil rigs. Through his job he got to know the AFLC churches in Brazil, and he decided to bring Cris (7 months pregnant when they arrived) and their two year old daughter to get to know this lovely country. The only problem was that John is six weeks on the ship and six weeks off. He was here just a short time before he left for his on ship time, because he wanted to come back in time for the birth of his daughter. Cris is a pretty brave young lady, being in a new country, with a language she was just starting to learn and a very active little girl. She fit in wonderfully to our family, and her little Leota won everyone’s hearts.

During the six months John had to do two shifts on the ship, but they were planned so he would be back to take his little family home. The timing was important because not only did Cris and Leota’s visas run out the beginning of June, but Cris had to be back in the U.S. by June 6th or she would lose her green card.  But plans don’t always work the way we want them to. Problems came up on the ship and John’s return kept getting postponed. By the middle of last week it was clear that John wouldn’t be here to accompany Cris and the girls home, but Cris is spunky and wasn’t intimidate.

Then Tuesday came – just two days before Cris and the kiddos were to take off, I received a call from Pr. Silvio, on vacation in the north of Brazil. He remembered that Cris would need authorization to travel outside of Brazil without John. This document required a notarized statement from John, hard to get in the middle of the ocean, and would normally take at least a week to be approved. But, since Cris is living on the campus of the Miriam Home our administrator, Surai, was able to ask for the help of the juvenile court judge. Based on his respect for Surai, and the fact that Cris had copies of every birth certificate back to her great grandma, the document was ready by today, Thursday morning. Four hours later she was in the van, on the way to the airport, with everything she needed in her carry-on bag.

His eye is on the sparrow, on Cris and on me. Why worry?   

Amanda Bellefy Update

Greetings from Ecuador,

As I’m writing this, I’m outside watching the biggest and prettiest hummingbird I’ve ever seen fly in front of me.  The school year is coming to an end here at the Bible school.  The students are taking finals this week and they graduate on June 14th.  Next week I will be going with them to Cuenca as they will have a week of practicals before they graduate.  After they graduate, I will be moving to Cuenca for the summer and house sitting the Pillman’s house as they are in the states until August.  I was in charge for most of May as the administrator was in the states, and praise God nothing too major happened and I think it went well.  I taught her literature class and a class on the book of Ruth during that time, which really helped my Spanish.  I got a 6 month tourist visa, so I have until November to get my missionary visa.  I have all the papers that I need except one-the church’s registration papers.  The place that has the registration papers is currently without a manager, and so I am waiting for them to get a manager so that they can sign the paper.  It sounds like such a simple thing, but I have been waiting for this paper for 2 months already, so please pray for this.  Yesterday we had a fun adventure chasing our chickens-I have decided I never want chickens (unless I can watch the entertainment from a distance).  I have been working on a play based on the book of Hosea and the book Redeeming Love.  I just finished it and it will be performed by the students in August, I am told.  This summer I will be working in Cuenca, and Rachel (the administrator) and I are organizing a Kids’ Camp for the month of July.  I will be working on making the Bible lessons for the teachers this coming week.  Thank you for all of your support and prayers.

Prayer Requests:
1. For the students as they graduate, that they would continue to grow in their faith after leaving Bible school (Pocho, Kevin, Taty, Johanna, & Raquel)
2. For future students in the fall
3. For my missionary visa
4. For the summer Kids’ Camp

In Christ,
Amanda Bellefy

 

Wagner June Update

TRANSLATING THE BIBLE INTO THEMNE

201404 Themne Checking-3 (1) web ready

 

These are books of the Old Testament that have been drafted into Themne.* These particular ones have also made it through the next step of commenting by external reviewers, who focus especially on clarity and naturalness. To address accuracy, we will soon be hosting an experienced consultant from Ghana (later this month). He comes periodically to check the translation work and advise on progress. May our time be productive and give a boost of energy to the team!

*Themne is the mother-tongue of over 2 million people in Sierra Leone (30+%). Our family has been assigned as translation and Scripture engagement advisors among the the Themne. The translation project began nearly thirty years ago, and the current team is in the process of revising and checking a draft of the Old Testament.

wagners update 6-2-14 web ready

Thanks, Team!

Josh, Ruthie, Elijah, & Baby due in July
Missionaries with LBT to Sierra Leone
http://www.lbt.org/missionaries/jrwagner.php

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Weekly Texts for Prayer: Text “BIBLES” and your name(s) to 612-208-7680
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Monthly Email: Sign up!

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Pillman’s Thank You

 

Pillman's Thankyou_WMFWeb readyIF YOU HAVE TROUBLE READING ON THE PICTURE THE MESSAGE IS BELOW.

Dear friends of the WMF,
This month we had the blessing of a ministry team visiting from the AFLC Bible School.  They worked with the church youth to share Jesus with the children at the Bilingue elementary school.  Justo was involved as well and did a lot of translation.  Many children expressed a desire to know the Savior.  Thank you for your part in the Lord’s work here in Ecuador.  He is transforming lives!
In Him, Just, Tricia, and family