Category Archives: Uncategorized

Missionary Update: Danger in Nicaragua

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Added Note: Last week I was able to meet with Rigoberto face-to-face in Vancouver, WA. Thanks to Mark Olander who gave Rigo a ride down from Olympia and to my son-in-law, Ben Sadler, who drove me to Vancouver for the meeting. The most recent update is that Rigoberto and his son, Juan Carlos, are leaving their families in Olympia for reasons of safety and are now traveling back to Managua to check on the condition of their home and see if conditions have improved in Nicaragua. Please pray for their safety and their wisdom as they plan to continue the work there and in Central America. And please pray for the political climate in Central America to settle down and return to peace, so that they can continue to preach the Gospel and plant new churches.

As 1 Timothy 2:1-4 commands us, “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority (this includes Daniel Ortega and the Sandinista party of Nicaragua), so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,  who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 

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Missionary Update from Papua New Guinea

 

And then there were three….

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As the Goheens and we have prayed and evaluated the church planting work ahead of us, our own capabilities and weaknesses, and the future needs of the future Kaje church… we have felt the need to add on another family to our team.  So after months of prayer and emails we finally had two weeks of long discussions about theology, church planting strategy, philosophy of ministry, parenting, gifting and abilities, personalities and more (Basically speed dating), and now we are excited to introduce you to the newest members of our team! The picture below is the Meyer family (not to be mistaken with the Myers family).  They are Christopher, Lillie, Linda, and Silas.  They are Germans, but we try not to hold that against them :).  We love them and can’t wait to get them moved into Kaje so they can begin learning the Kaje Language and culture.  Be praying for them as they prepare to begin purchasing solar equipment, lumber milling equipment, plywood for floors, screen for windows, corrugated roofing iron, water filtration, water storage tank or bladder, pipes, a stove etc.  They have a lot of planning and transition ahead of them!

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Meeting Solo…

After an hour flight over dense jungle the chopper finally set down in our village of Andarum.  With the rotors still turning, we stepped out of the chopper into the blazing sun and were met by almost the entirety of our village and then some.  The Kaje have been waiting eagerly for over 3 months to meet Solo.  And as hundreds of smiling faces and hands reached out for him, I surveyed the crowd and saw people with skaby skin, pink swollen eyes, dirty hands, and snotty faces.  And knowing these poor people have little to no concept of germs and sickness…. I felt emotions rise up within me to guard and protect Solo’s fragile life from them… But what could I do? Run him up into our house and hide him from them?  Imagine what that would communicate.  Jen and I talked about it before we arrived, but in that moment we had to choose again to trust God with Solo’s health as he was introduced to the Kaje people for the 1st time.  Pray for us as we continue to choose to trust God with Solo’s health in an area with malaria, tuberculosis, skin diseases, and more.  In this way we show our love for the Kaje people as they love on Solo. And they can’t get enough of him!

Here are some question we were asked by the Kaje upon our arrival:
Does he nurse like our babies?
Does he cry like our babies?
Does he poop and pee like our babies?
Can he Speak?
Does he understand your language?

 

bPlease Pray For Us As:

  • We are having our first literacy class’s graduation in a week.
  • Class 2 of literacy starts up two days later with 16 new students.
  • Abby prepares a post literacy class to encourage the 1st16 students to keep growing in their ability to read and write.
  • A Bible translation consultant is coming in on July 6th to check the comprehensions and accuracy of the Bible portions Taylor has been faithfully translating these last months without us.
  • The Meyer family is coming in for a few days on July 13thto be introduced to the Kaje and to begin planning how and where to build their house.
  • Continue trusting Jesus for the health of baby Solomon.

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A Daughter’s Take on Faith and Suffering

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Now that I’m free to share, I’m going to write more openly about what my family has been going through.

My father, who has been battling Parkinson’s, spinal stenosis, and Type 2 diabetes, has yet another burden to add to his list. We found out he has an incurable form of Leukemia. (You can read the longer details here. https://principlesforlife.org/…/principlesforlifeministries/)

We are not unfamiliar with grief and fear, as the last 2 years have been horrific roller coaster rides of watching every aspect of my parents’ lives change due to both gradual and sudden health concerns. It’s a strange place to be, to know they are in such a state to die any minute but that they could also go on living for years.

The reason I want to be honest about it is because we all, essentially, have to live in that same state: knowing any minute it will all be taken away. I just get to feel it thrown in my face a little more poignantly than some, on a regular – sometimes weekly – basis.

The main concern I have is not that the world understand how hard our lives have been the last several years. Life is hard. My concern is that people understand why so many of my posts and so many of my updates go back to Jesus, God, and my thanks for Him.

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Whether you know this or not, I’ve had a lot to complain about. In many ways, my life has sucked. Not much about my days that makes me stand up and cheer. I get to watch two of my favorite people that I depend on the most for love, support, care, guidance, and hope walk through lives of hopelessness that just keep getting worse.

So how come I filter everything (as best I can) through a faith-based filter? And how come I have faith in a good God who is in control of everything when I look around at the universe that is truly filled with so much self-centeredness, indulgent pride, disinterest in the cause of the needy, that is violent and rageful even in the name of peace? Passive and compromising, intellectually engaged and often heart empty? A place where people are destroyed in the name of defending a cause, where love is so absent from so many of the things we strive for and seek to attain?

All of the above horrors? Those are WHY I believe in that God. The death we all await, and fear and dread? That is WHY I know there is a God in Heaven. Our moral compass that drives you and me to do both wonderful and HORRIBLE things in the name of the things we love, it’s embedded in our hearts. And if a greater God than us didn’t, hadn’t created us with souls that knew THIS PLACE ISN’T RIGHT we wouldn’t know, in our souls, that we were made for something better. We wouldn’t keep striving. We couldn’t claim that there is a right and there is a wrong if we didn’t know it deep down that there IS something called GOOD. We’ve all just distorted it to fit a particular mold, and, in essence, we’ve screwed it up.

But my hope, my belief in God, it shows me how there is a plan for redemption. It shows what a life COULD be. It shows me how I want to be and who I want to become. It provides a webbing and brings a framework to the senseless lives we live, seeking in agony a meaningful existence in a world we know will just someday end for us. Because we believe in a Higher Purpose, even when we say we don’t.

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Apart from Christ, I would be nothing. It’s a life and a world I could do without. But unless I have hope of an eternal promise that finally brings fruition to everything I’ve fought for and believed in, in everything I do, WHAT WAS THE POINT? If I can see with my soul’s eye everything my heart wants and desires, all the good God intends for all those of us whom He loves, I can see why all this horrible, terrible mess of this life actually makes sense. It can even show me how and why God has used my parents’ suffering and helplessness for so much good.

It means that the fear, the misery, the agony, as well as the desire to just give up and get out of this place filled with the previews of what Hell is going to be actually keep my feet planted here as long as I can, so I can share the hope we all need. Without God, there truly is no hope. And I’ve seen it. I know it. And for as long as I have to stay here in this godless life of pain and suffering and evil, I will seek after God and impart His goodness into the lives I know. And I’ll do that fearlessly, because God is the only thing we don’t have to be afraid of in this life if we can and will receive His love and gift.

I love each of you. Without hesitation, and ENDLESSLY. Because Jesus first loved me.

Becca

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Romans 5:18-21 (NLT) Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.

God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/…)

Gary Requests Prayer

Dear Friends,
This is Cheryl writing.  We are in need of prayer support right now!  Yesterday was a difficult day as we received some very unwelcome news from Gary’s oncologist.  As you know, if you had a chance to read Gary’s recent message, the doctor had told our whole family who gathered in his office to hear the results of Gary’s bone marrow biopsy, that Gary did NOT have leukemia or some other blood disease.  We were ecstatic!
Well….. yesterday late afternoon, the same doctor called and said that a final test came back showing mutations in the genes in his blood cells. Long story short, Gary DOES have CMML (Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia), a type of leukemia that has no cure.  Evidently it is in the beginning stages and the only treatments are not curative but can help the symptoms.
This doctor is leaving his practice to go into research. So Gary will have blood work every two months to follow the disease and will be seeing a new doctor in four months.  We had never heard of this disease and are trying to educate ourselves via the Internet.
We KNOW God is still just as FAITHFUL and PRECIOUS and LOVING and ALL-WISE as He always is.  We are just trying to process the human emotions that come with hearing great news (we thought) to hearing that there is a disease present with lots of unknowns.  We love you and thank you for caring about us!!!!!
Gary adds, “I am calming myself with the words of Job who said, ‘The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.’ Our lives are not our own. Jesus made that clear from the moment we began to follow Him. So no complaints here. But surprises are often hard to deal with, especially when you want to live long and minister to family and friends.
Speaking of that, I intend on continuing this blog. However, with very low energy, I may have to keep it to one or two posting per week. Pray for God’s wisdom and strength in all that we do. Remember, I am still battling type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease, and spinal stenosis.
In Christ’s Love,
Gary and Cheryl Schwarz