The Western District Welcomes You!

Thank you for visiting the Western District Foreign Mission's Department blog. Our intent is to provide you, the pastors, ministers, and saints of the Western District and the United Pentecostal Church International as well as our friends who would like to visit a place to be informed of events happening in our district and to share their thoughts concerning missions with us. We appreciate you taking the time to look over our site, to read the different posts, and last but not least to share your thoughts.


Missionaries traveling in our district:

May 2012

~Dwane Abernathy - Belize, Central America
~Robert McFarland - Israel/Palestine

June 2012

~Robert McFarland - Israel/Palestine, Middle East
~Jason Long - Nicaragua, Central America

July 2012

~Crystal Reece - Tonga, South Pacific
~John Hemus - United Kingdom, Europe

August 2012

~Crystal Reece - Tonga, South Pacific
~Cynthia White - Jordan, Middle East


Sunday, November 28, 2010

~Finland - the Alphin family will be there soon!



As some may remember from our Finland presentation, our family's journey into missions began nearly 10 years ago. Our AIM term, served under Mark and Robin Shutes in Estonia, covered the period from 2005 through 2006, and a full missions appointment was granted in the fall of 2007. In March 2008, our family's first deputation stop was at Pastor Dewayne Kirk's parsonage in the city of Corinth, Mississippi, and in October 2010, Mark completed our last destination with Pastor Don Demyan in Exeter, California.

As many know, we have been waiting on our residence permits since the applications were submitted on June 30, 2010, in New York City, NY at the Finnish Consulate there. Originally, we were told that the process would last just about six weeks. However, those 45-55 days stretched into 90, and we continued to wait. Honestly, we never thought we would spend the 2010 holiday season in the USA. However, we understand the value of waiting on God's timing. So, what about those permits? Well...

Four Permits and a Wedding

One of the upcoming events in fall 2010 was the wedding of our goddaughter, Alyssa, to a wonderful young man in our church, J.C. Branham. While we dearly love them both, we were ready to put God's will before our attendance at the nuptials if need be. However, God knew how important our attendance was to both of them. During one of his prayer times, J.C. was telling God that they really wanted us at their wedding and God told him that they'd have to marry in November (unknown to us until recently). The wedding date was set and the days ticked by. On November 20, we were honored to be a part of their ceremony and watched as Alyssa and J.C. exchanged their vows.
 At the reception, J.C. pointedly told Glenda that we would be "free to go to Finland on Monday." She laughed and said, "Yes, right!", knowing that God would do it in His good time. Then, on Monday, November 22, an email was received from the Finnish Consulate telling us that our residence permits were ready, and on November 23, Glenda's dad had the pleasure of opening the package, calling us in Arkansas, and sharing the news that all four permits had been granted. However, the fun doesn't end there! The approval date on our permits is November 11, 2010-the date of our 21st wedding anniversary (and day 133 of our wait). Talk about an anniversary present... wow! Our outbound interview with Foreign Missions is scheduled for December 7, and we are hoping for a departure before year-end in order to celebrate 2011 in the land of our calling. This would also give Robert K. Rodenbush, EME Regional Director, the opportunity to celebrate "a new country with a resident missionary" prior to his retirement on December 31, 2010.

When God does it, He does it right, and we couldn't be more thrilled! Thank you to everyone who has supported us by becoming a part of TEAM FINLAND through either prayer or finance. When next we write, we will be on Finnish soil in Helsinki, Finland!

May God richly bless your holiday season!

"Faithful is He who called you, who also will do it." (1Th 5:24, MKJV)

The Alphin family
November 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

~TRUST - Why is trust so rare?


There’s no dissent. Everyone agrees. Trust is a good thing and distrust is a bad thing. Everyone I`ve talked to says trust is essential to success in business and worthy personal relationships. Honesty, integrity, and fairness are not only moral virtues, they`re wise life strategies.

So why is trust so rare? Because you don`t get it by wishing and wanting. You earn it by your actions. Sure, everyone wants to be trusted, but there`s a price – you`ve got to be trustworthy all the time. That means being scrupulously honest even on little things and especially when it might be costly. Honesty is not just telling the literal truth, it`s conveying the truth. Thus, deception through clever wording, half-truths, or calculated silence destroys trust as surely as a lie.

Honesty involves truthfulness, sincerity, and candor. If you want to be trusted, everything you say must be true. You can`t mislead or deceive, and you can`t rely on legalistic loopholes or hide behind excuses like, "You never asked." Sometimes you`ve got to volunteer information, telling people what they need or want to know, not just what you want to tell them.

But that`s only the beginning. Trustworthiness is more than honesty. It includes integrity, promise-keeping, and loyalty as well. If you want to be trusted, don`t get caught up in gamesmanship and self-justifying excuse-making. Put principles above profit.

Yes, trust is hard to earn and just as hard to maintain, but if you have it, your life will get better. You`ll have the loyalty, devotion, and admiration of family, friends, and co-workers, and you`ll have the freedom, power, and security that come from being believed.

Trust me. Whatever it costs, it`s worth it.

Author unknown ( maybe from

Friday, November 26, 2010

~Six Truths About Trust - Am I Trustworthy?

TRUST(worthy) - Am I worthy of trust?

Bill Clinton lied about having sex with "that woman, Monica Lewinsky." The Reverend Ted Haggard lied about having sex with a male prostitute. Martha Stewart lied about insider trading. Enron, Adelphia, and WorldCom executives lied about profits. New York Times reporter Jayson Blair lied in his reporting. Los Angeles Laker Vladi Radmonovic lied about how he got injured. And Scooter Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney`s chief of staff, lied about how he leaked information about CIA agent Valerie Plame.

And these examples barely scratch the surface.

Lies like these generate so much cynicism that many people assume they`re being lied to all the time.

In this climate, the concept of trust -- real, bona fide 'I believe you' trust -- is not merely rare, it`s an extremely valuable personal and institutional asset. If you want to be one of those who possesses this asset, consider these six truths of trust.

1. The more honesty costs, the more trust it buys. Telling the truth, even when it hurts, is the most potent trust-builder.

2. There are no little lies. Every lie undermines the foundation of trust.

3. Lies are like Styrofoam cups; you can try to bury them, but they won`t disappear. Old lies are as corrosive to trust as new ones.

4. While honesty and forthrightness don`t always pay, dishonesty and concealment always cost. Cover-ups make things worse.

5. Lies breed other lies. It`s harder to tell just one lie than to have just one potato chip. Once you start lying, it takes an ever-growing bodyguard of new lies to protect the old ones.

6. Don`t be seduced by the "fight fire with fire" excuse or all you`ll end up with is the ashes of your integrity. Self-justifications aside, you can`t lie to a liar or cheat a cheater without becoming a liar and a cheater.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

~Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Wednesday Nov. 24th, 2010

In 1979 while traveling in Guadalajara, Mexico I observed a very old Indian man leading a burro down a very busy thoroughfare; the burro was laden down with sugarcane to the point that I almost felt sorry for the animal. The sugarcane was hanging off of both sides and nearly dragging the road; it was obvious even to the untrained eye that it was a very heavy burden.

I am quite certain the sugarcane was being taken to market and would be sold - more than likely this is how the man made his living. While studying this man and his beast of burden I was reminded of the following scripture:

Psalms 68:19 "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits , even the God of our salvation."

Another familiar scripture I would like to bring to your attention is:

Proverbs 10:22 "The blessing of the LORD , it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it."

REMEMBER to count your blessings! Every day we experience and are recipients of His blessings and the benefits He bestows upon us.

Psalms 100:5 "For the LORD is good ; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations."

May we all take time this 'Thanksgiving' season to give 'Thanks' to Him from whom all blessings flow. Thank God for the following: The Word of God, Truth, Salvation, Family, The Church, friends and good health.

To all the readers and followers of this Blog - thank you for every prayer and every dollar given in support of our wonderful missionary family. Many of them today are away and will not be able to celebrate with their families as you will. If you would, please take time to send them a note of 'Thanks' for their missionary service and labor of love.

From all of us at the Western District Foreign Missions Department:

Donald O' Keefe, Director
John Thomas, Secretary and Regional Director
Jerry E. Powell, Promotion Director
John Shivers, Regional Director
Richard Grandquist, Regional Director

Numbers 6:24-26

The LORD bless thee, and keep thee : The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

Jerry E. Powell
Western District Foreign Mission' Blog

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

~Remembering the First New England Thanksgiving

A Little History of Thanksgiving

 In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn't until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

Thanksgiving at Plymouth

In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers—an assortment of religious separatists seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith and other individuals lured by the promise of prosperity and land ownership in the New World. After a treacherous and uncomfortable crossing that lasted 66 days, they dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod, far north of their intended destination at the mouth of the Hudson River. One month later, the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay, where the Pilgrims, as they are now commonly known, began the work of establishing a village at Plymouth.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

~In Memory of Rev. C. M. Becton

MESQUITE, TX – November 17, 2010. Last night, Rev. Cleveland M. Becton, a great Apostolic leader and hero, passed away. Here is the information found at his home church website.

A prince and a great man has fallen. . . .”
     – II Samuel 3:38

It is with heavy hearts that Emmanuel Pentecostal Church announces the passing of our beloved Pastoral Elder, Rev. Cleveland M. Becton. Bro. Becton entered eternity peacefully and comfortably while surrounded by his family at approximately 10:45 p.m., November 16, 2010.

We grieve because of the vast emptiness his promotion leaves in our lives; we give thanks for his indelible impact upon our church and the world; and we rejoice in the God of his Salvation.

Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful…. Enter into the joy of your Lord.”

We love Bro. Becton!


Born September 21, 1928, in Jackson, Tennessee, the second son of parents, James M. and Christine M. Becton. At the age of two our family moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, where my mothers brother, Reverend G. H. Brown pastored a Pentecostal Church. We did not immediately attend the church that he pastored, however, after attending the First Baptist Church for a short period of time; my parents felt that we should make a change. This was the beginning of our experience of Pentecost, both parents receiving the Pentecostal experience.

It was in the summer of 1940 in a revival meeting with Brother Odell Cagle that I received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and was baptized in the Name of Jesus. From that time on I remained in the church.

I was always interested in learning to play the piano and when I was ten, I began to take piano lessons and a year or so later I began lessons on the accordion. I immediately began to play both instruments in church services. At the age of 15 I left home with my parents consent and properly chaperoned and played for a Stamps Quartette. At the age of 16 I was teaching piano and accordion in the Stamps School of Music in Dallas, Texas. This was the summer of 1945 and I had a strong feeling that this was not the life for me. It was really more than just a strong feeling; I actually heard the audible voice of the Lord.

Pentecostal Bible Institute was opening for their first year in Tupelo, Mississippi. It was the fall of 1945 and I became a pioneer student with about 28 others for the very first term. It was in the second semester of that year while in a weekend service in Iuka, Mississippi, that I felt the call into the ministry. I was 17 years of age and started in the evangelistic work when that term ended. My first revival experience was in Nashville, Tennessee. My evangelistic days continued until the fall of 1950 when I took my first church to pastor and that was in Bay City, Texas.

While growing up in the church in Little Rock, Arkansas, a family by the name of Dyson was also members of that church. They had several children and one of them; a daughter was about the same age that I was, her name was Margie. We started out at very young ages liking each other. This continued through the years and we were married in 1947 and she became right away an evangelists wife and three years later a pastors wife. We will be celebrating our 55th Wedding anniversary this year, happily married.

We had three wonderful children: Rudy was born in 1948 and traveled with us from the time that he was 3 weeks old until we settled down to pastor when he was 2. Ronald was born in 1952 in Bay City, Texas, where we continued pastoring until 1957. In 1957 we became the first pastor of a small group of people in North Little Rock, Arkansas, and it was there that we had our third child, a daughter and we named her Renee. This made for us a wonderful and complete family.
We moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1960 to become the pastor of the West Nashville Pentecostal Church, later the name was changed to the First United Pentecostal Church.

Positions that I have held in the United Pentecostal Church are the following:

1952-1957 Youth Secretary of the Texas District

1958-1960 Home Missions Director of the Arkansas District

1961-1967 Secretary of the International Youth Division UPCI

1968-1976 General Secretary of the United Pentecostal Church International

1978-1981 Assistant General Superintendent of the UPCI

1982-1998 General Secretary of the UPCI

1982-Present One of two speakers on Harvestime

1999-Present Honorary member of the General Board of the UPCI

In the 1998 General Conference, held in Greensboro, North Carolina, I felt that I should not let my name stand any longer for the position of General Secretary. Brother Jerry Jones was elected at that conference to succeed me.

A total of 25 years as General Secretary came to an end December 31, 1998. Since that time we have lived in Texas attending Emmanuel Pentecostal Church pastored by our son-in-law, Richard Flowers. However, we are not retired. We travel most every week and enjoying life as we always have.”

Elder Becton served EPC as Pastoral Elder to the church in Mesquite, TX, lending a wealth of experience, wisdom, insight, and his Godly example to our entire staff and congregation. Prior to joining the pastoral staff in 1999, he served for a total of twenty-five years as the General Secretary of the United Pentecostal Church, International.

He and his wife, Margie, were married in 1946, and have been blessed with three childrenRudy (now deceased), Ron, and RenĂ©e (Flowers)—five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. In his leisure time, The Elder enjoyed reading, exercising, and studying God’s word.

These two video music clips were recorded in May of 2009 while Bro. Becton was ministering during our annual 'Mission's Thrust' conference and 'Leadership Seminar.

~Some Points to Ponder

Points to Ponder

  • An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.
  • The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing
  • For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.
  • A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition.
  • Success is a ladder you cannot climb with your hands in your pockets.
  • Anything not attempted remains impossible.
  • Being willing makes you able.
  • A champion is a dreamer that refused to give up.
  • To get what you want, STOP doing what isn’t working.
  • Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.
  • Tough times never last, but tough people do.
  • The best things in life aren’t things.
  • There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.
  • Vitality shows not only in the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over.
  • Accept challenges, so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.
  • Excellence is not a skill, it is an attitude.
  • If you want to stand out, don’t be different; be outstanding.
  • Change is difficult but often essential to survival.
  • Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.
  • Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart.
  • Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude toward us.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

~Satisfaction Through Significance

Satisfaction Through Significance

Why is it that as they get older, highly accomplished people often feels a need to measure their lives more in terms of the impact they have rather than by what they have?

Management guru Peter Drucker called this the shift from success to significance. Success is achieving your goals; significance is having a lasting positive impact on the lives of others.

For some, the emerging desire to be significant is just another form of vanity -- a yearning to achieve a kind of immortality through good deeds long remembered. For others, it’s simply a desire to live a worthy life.

Whatever the reason, when people begin to think more deeply about significance, they tend to place greater emphasis on enjoying what they already have and enriching their lives through service to others.

The irony is that living a life focused on the pursuit of significance is more personally gratifying than one devoted to climbing the ladder of success. As author Stephen Covey warns, it’s no good climbing to the top of a ladder that’s leaning against the wrong wall. Not many people say on their deathbed, "I wish I’d spent more time at the office."

The thing is, when we worry less about whether we have what we need to be happy, we become more likely to achieve happiness. When we use our heads, hearts, and wallets to make a positive difference in the lives of others, we’re rewarded with a sense of pride and satisfaction that’s hard to get any other way.

Success can produce pleasure, but only significance can generate fulfillment.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

~A Thanksgiving Message - " thankful unto Him and bless His name!


It is a time when our thoughts turn to turkey and dressing, pies… and overeating. Many are excited about the coming rush of back-to-back football games, family outings, Black Friday… where does one’s mind stop? We must take care not to forget the reason behind the name of the holiday.

This year I find myself in a unique situationliterally caught between two worlds. My heart is torn between my desire to be in the land of my calling, Finland, and the call of family and my love for America. However, as my thoughts turn to Thanksgiving, they are not all about our calling. Please consider my following thoughts and consider how they may translate into your life.

I am thankful that God brought truth into my life!

I remember the path I was walking when Jesus stepped into my life and gave me a second chance. How wonderful it is to know the Jesus loves me that much. The life that I had been living placed me on a path to destruction. He rescued and brought me to a place where He can trust me with the souls of an entire country. As I contemplate what He has done, I see no other option but to answer 'Yes' when He speaks.

I am thankful that I am an American!

The popular media deluges us with pictures of those who hate America, yet ignores the fact that in every country in the world, there are lines of people waiting for an opportunity to have a chance to come live 'The American Dream.’ In spite of our 'problems,' we still live in the greatest country on earth! God has blessed us, and the whole world recognizes it.

I am thankful for my friends!

The last thirty-two months have allowed me to touch lives that I would have never met. The friendships along the way have been so refreshing, and I thank God for each one. Many of you have touched our lives in ways that are hard to express.

I am thankful for family!

This season is especially unique to me. My father-in-law, Rev. Jack Sword, is currently recovering from a hip replacement, and has another scheduled next month. I am reminded of how thankful I am that the Sword family knows the comforting and healing power of Jesus.

On my side of the family, there is turmoil. My father, Bartes Alphin, is currently hospitalized due to heart problems. The doctors are working especially hard to help him regain strength, thus far without success. Sadly, most of my family does not rejoice in the hope that Glenda’s family holds dear, so confusion tends to reign at times. I am hoping that through this trial, 'little brother' can be a light of salvation to my brothers and sisters. As I spoke to my father on the telephone last night, his thoughts were on Heaven. He told me he has been thinking about the wondrous beauty of his future home. I could hear the expectancy in his voice as he commented, "I’m not ready to rush it, but I can’t wait to get there!” The peace of knowing his final destination was so sweet. Yes, I am thankful for family. I pray that I can become the Christian my father is, for I am so thankful for my heritage.

I am thankful for health!

This past year has been a 'wake-up call' for me. Although I would never admit it in the past, I lived my life as if I were indestructible. You know those thoughts, 'God has a call on my life and as long as it is unfinished, nothing can hurt me.' We may not verbally say those words, yet we all think them from time to time. As I watched my blood pressure rise and my energy level fall, I began to realize just how important one’s health to living an overcoming life. I remember my father’s first heart attack, suffered while he was in his 50’s, and I am not far from that age bracket. I am thankful that I have an apostolic doctor and friend who is helping me regain the 'territory of good health' that I have lost.

I am sure that as you read through this your own life was woven in your thoughts. I want to end with one of the most difficult scriptures to obey:

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
I Thessalonians 5:18
Do I thank Him for my hypertension? No, but I do thank Him for giving me the warning that I must be more conscious of His gift of health.

Do I thank Him that my father is ill? No, but I do thank Him that I can be a light of salvation to my family.

Do I thank Him for the pain that my father-in-law is experiencing? No, but I do thank Him for giving man the knowledge to invent artificial joints that will allow him to regain his mobility.

I thank Him for the friendships generated, those who have received the Holy Ghost, and the miracles that have occurred through the ministry He has allowed us to enjoy.

I am thankful that the United States has the ability to send and finance missionaries so that we, and others, can share the gospel to the whole world.

I will forever be thankful to the truth of His love as He has rescued me from my past and gave me a bright future!

I encourage you to take a moment this month to make a mental list of the things that matter to you and thank our Savior for His rich blessings.

Mark Alphin, missionary to Finland


Friday, November 12, 2010

~Missions for YOUR children - An Opportunity to TEACH and TRAIN!

**Note! - Are your children involved in Missions? Do you encourage them to pray for our missionaries? How are the children in YOUR church participating in Missions? Are you teaching them about different countries and the missionaries that labor and serve there? Do your share reports of miracles and great evangelism thrusts and the many people receiveing the Holy Ghost around the world?

What an opportunity we have to involve our children!  Have you ever had or considered having a
'Childrens Missionary Faire,' or a 'Sunday School Missionary Faire?' Of course there are many other things that can be done also...for more information contact the WD Foreign Missions Dept. or send me an e-mail at


The Alphin Family, Missionaries to Finland

Jesus Loves You, No Matter Your Age
By Bro. Alphin
I want to share a couple of exciting testimonies with you. They are about two people who both wanted to receive the Holy Ghost. One was young, and the other was much older.

During a service in Napa, California, Jesus' presence was so sweet. While everyone was praising Him, I noticed a young girl praying while sitting by her mother. When she finished, I went to her and asked if she would like to receive the Holy Ghost. She answered, 'Yes.' I then asked her if she believed Jesus would fill her with His spirit right then, and she replied, 'Yes.' I asked her to say a simple prayer with me, and we asked Jesus to clean her heart and forgive her of anything that made Him sad. Afterwards, I told her that since her heart was clean, Jesus would give her His Holy Ghost. She began to worship Him, and in just a few minutes, she was speaking in a language she had never known as Jesus came to live inside her heart.

After a service in Exeter, California, I was talking with the Pastor in his office when his wife brought a lady, who was about 84-years-old, into the room. She said that she did not want to leave without receiving the Holy Ghost. After we prayed a prayer of repentance together, she began worshipping Jesus. In just a few moments, she started to speak in tongues as He came to live in her heart.

Both of these people received the gift of the Holy Ghost in just a few minutes. When you pray, just remember that Jesus does not look at your age. He looks at your heart. He will fill anyone with His spirit when they make their heart available to Him. It does not matter if you are 5 or 85! Jesus loves each one of us and wants to make His home in our heart!
Prayer Requests

We are still waiting for the government in Finland to give us permission to live there. Sometimes, it takes a long time to hear them say 'Yes.' Will you help us pray that we don't have to wait so long?

Our family will need to find a place to live in Helsinki that is big enough for all four of us, but also doesn't cost too much money. Sometimes, it's not so easy to find exactly what we need! But, we know that Jesus can find us the perfect apartment, or house, to live in. Will you pray that He will help us?

Thank you for praying with us. We enjoy sharing with you! :)
A Cool Prayer Tool Idea!

We want to share a cool prayer tool with you! Before we became foreign missionaries, we had the most amazingly fun job at our church: teaching children why it was important to believe what our pastor, and their parents, were teaching them about the Bible. We had a Bible study with them every Wednesday night! We talked about so many different things, but one of our favorites was prayer. God talked to us and gave us very special lessons, and one of them included a craft: making a prayer wheel for them to use during their prayer time at home! We also made special prayer wheels that we used with them at church, too.

We thought that you might enjoy making a prayer wheel, so we decided to share ours with you! We hope that you like this idea!

Directions (you'll want to ask an adult for some help):

Print the prayer wheel (you may need to save as a file on your pc first before printing). The prayer wheel works best when it's printed on thicker paper, but it could also be printed on plain paper, then glued onto something else.

Color it first, then cut it out and finish it however you would like. To make it turn, you can use a brad (it's a round gold thing with 2 pieces of metal that bend outwards - they can be bought at an office supply store). If you can't get one, ask an adult for another good idea!

Did you know? There are currently over 500 people living in Finland who are 100 years old or more!

The Lapponian herder lives in the northern part of Finland. It is used by the Sami (the people who live in the Lapplands) to herd and guard reindeer. They are supposed to be a very friendly type of dog!


The Mark Alphin Family - UPCI Missionaries to Finland
Mark, Glenda, Miranda, and Candace
c/o UPCI Foreign Missions Division - Account #98894
8855 Dunn Road, Hazelwood, Missouri 63042

**Pastor and Parents - use this as an opportunity to teach and "...train up a child..." Teach them to PRAY, to be COMPASSIONATE, to be CARING and CONSIDERATE of others!

Please share the above with your children and the children of your church. REMEMBER, many missionaries were called when they were children!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

~Thai-Gram - November 2010


November 2010

Last week we visited Robert and his Thai wife, Pat San. Her husband told her she did not need a spirit house in her salon. Instead, we dedicated her new beauty salon to the Lord. She felt she needed to work on Sunday to make money. I told her if she put God first and came to church on Sunday morning God would bless her business. She made 200 baht on Thursday (opening day), 400 baht on Friday and 600 baht on Saturday. She came to church on Sunday and Pastor Jaran dedicated their children to the Lord. Sunday afternoon she opened her beauty salon for a few hours and made 700 baht! About $23.00, but a very large amount in one day. Most Thai people work all day to make half that amount.

Mary is teaching her a Bible study, believe with us for her salvation.

Funny story: Phat San gave in the offering Sunday. Her husband asked how much she gave. She replied, "Mary gave me a Thai Bible to read and Jesus said when you give offerings to not let your left hand know what your right hand gave. So I cannot tell you."

~Robert, Pat San, their two children and Pastor Jaran and his wife

Dedicating their two daughters to the Lord

Pat San's new beauty salon

If you haven't already, please add to your email's contacts/address book.

God bless each of you.

Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support,

~Ed & Mary Simmons
Bangkok, Thailand

Ed & Mary Simmons
8855 Dunn Rd.
Hazelwood, MO 63042

Please continue to pray for all our missionaries around the world. They are depending on YOU!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

~Haiti Averts Disaster, It was YOUR prayer, not luck

Haiti 'got very lucky' as Tomas skirted island  - from USA Today

Flooded steeet in Haiti
USA Today called it "luck;" I call it an answer to prayer. Thank all of you for praying. The hurricane grazed Haiti and did minor damage as it headed out to open water.

People wade through a flooded street Friday during the passing of Hurricane Tomas in Leogane, Haiti.


 Tomas headed to  open water

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Hurricane Tomas pushed northward from Haiti on Saturday, leaving villagers to mop up, evacuees to return to their tents and most everyone relieved that the country did not suffer what could have been its first big disaster since the January earthquake.

The storm's western track caused widespread floods, wind damage along the far edge of Haiti's coast and is blamed for the deaths of at least eight people. It was a serious blow, but far better than had been feared in a nation where storms have been known to kill thousands, and more than 1 million quake survivors were living under tarps and tents.

"It really didn't dump a lot of rain on us, so we got very lucky," (they didn't know how many people were praying on their behalf) said Steve McAndrew, Haiti earthquake relief coordinator for the American Red Cross.

Haitian civil protection officials were still receiving reports from the remote mountainous countryside and the storm's outer bands continued dropping rain on the north. Floodwaters covered streets in Leogane, the town closest to the epicenter of the Jan. 12 quake, and about a foot of water stood on a thoroughfare of the flood-prone northwestern city of Gonaives. Mountain towns were cut off by flooded roads and landslides, including one reported by U.N. peacekeepers in the mountains near the southern port of Jacmel.

But it was clear that the most-feared catastrophes were averted: Earthquake camps were not torn apart by wind, storm surge did not drown the oceanside slums, the La Quinte River — which has twice drowned Gonaives above the first stories of its buildings since 2004 — stayed in its bed.

U.S. Marine helicopters buzzed the southern coast from the USS Iwo Jima, reporting back good news.

"It sounds like from what everybody's seeing that it's no worse than after a major storm here. There's some standing water out there but nothing's washed away," U.S. embassy spokesman Jon Piechowski said.

Aid workers and the government in part credited mitigation efforts — for instance a U.S. Agency for International Development-funded effort to dredge and reinforce the La Quinte after the last catastrophic flood there in 2008. Haitian civil protection coordinator Nadia Lochard, who oversees Port-au-Prince, said lives were saved because people listened to the department's advice.

But given the tumult during last-minute preparations of the storm, it is clear things could have been much worse if the storm had veered to the east.

The U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported shortages in shelter material and other items, including rehydration salts for a cholera epidemic that officials were concerned the floods could spread. That danger remains, and medical workers were working across affected areas Saturday to contain the spread of the outbreak.

Despite official instructions to abandon earthquake camps in the capital, the vast majority of people remained in their tarps, leaving evacuation buses to drive away empty. Many were concerned that the storm was a pretext to evict them, or that bandits would steal their belongings while they were away.

In camps that did flood in Leogane — and the capital in post-storm rains that fell Friday night — most people left only at the last minute. Others remained, surrounded by rising waters and yelling for help.

At the government's flagship relocation camp, Corail-Cesselesse, chaos reigned long into the night. Disorganization between various aid groups and confusion among the nearly 8,000 residents sparked a near-riot as the evacuation got underway. The residents had moved to the remote location with the promise that it would protect them from storms, but the government-selected, internationally approved site turned out to be a dangerous flood plain.

Once the evacuation got underway, several thousand people were packed into an abandoned hospital named for the wife of a former dictator. A loud crash at the back of the building around midnight sparked shouts of "earthquake!" and a panic ensued. Three people were injured and had to be sent to a real hospital.

"They were evacuating people but they weren't telling them where they were going," said Abenel Rezuis, a 30-year-old resident of the camp.

Tomas weakened into a tropical storm early Saturday but regained its hurricane strength in the afternoon with to winds of 75 mph, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.

The hurricane was located about 250 miles north-northeast of Grand Turk Island and was expected to continue moving to the northeast into open water. All storm warnings were discontinued.

Thank you everyone for your prayers. Disaster averted in Haiti! It was not luck as USA Today proclaimed.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

~The Finland Flashpoint - October 2010


Deputation: Complete! And now...

Our family began deputation on March 4, 2008. For 32 consecutive months, we have traveled across the United States and Canada, sharing "Finland" and the vision that God has given us. Many of you have shared your hearts, finances, and prayers with us as you accepted a burden from the Lord for Finland. For this, we are humbled and grateful. We were privileged to witness miracles, signs, and wonders as God allowed us to be tools used for His glory. We shall never forget the things we experienced, the friendships we gained, nor the grand sights we saw across our beloved USA. We are also grateful for the Lord's protection and safekeeping as our van carried us over nearly 130K miles. Numerous incidents that occurred during our travel proved God's miraculous intervention on our behalf. He is truly our Keeper and Protector!

So, what does the horizon hold for our family now that this deputation is over?

We are focusing on tying up our "loose ends" so that a quick departure for Finland is possible once our permits are finalized. Mark is tweaking our evangelism plan and also preparing training materials. Glenda is completing a compiled revision of our Growing with God books, the children's doctrinal foundation curriculum that we published in 2001 and 2003. She is also working to stay abreast of Team Finland. Candace is working hard on her Junior year of high school, and Miranda is our right-hand assistant with computer projects. Of course, there is the seemingly never-ending packing job that goes on, and on...

And What About Those Elusive Permits?
Mark spoke with the Finnish Embassy in Helsinki, Finland, about our residence permits just this week. All they will tell us is, "They are in process." We ask that concerted prayers for a positive and quick answer be sent Heaven-ward. And, if one would happen to know a Finnish lawyer, we would gladly welcome that information as well!

"Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded." I Peter 2:6

To be confounded means "to be mixed or blended in disorder; perplexed; abashed; dismayed; put to shame and silenced; astonished." We are certainly none of these! God is in control. He would not place a calling on a family, then confuse them - it is simply not His way! Therefore, we choose to rest in His timing. We thank you in advance for your prayers and faithfulness to His vision for a country that desperately needs to hear the Truth proclaimed upon its soil.

"I will say of Jehovah, my refuge and my fortress; my God; in Him will I trust." Psalm 91:2

Flag of Finland

Republic of Finland/Suomen Tasavalta/Republiken Finland

Area Coordinator: Timothy C. Olson

Population: 5300000
Area: 130,560 sq. mi.
Capital: Helsinki
Languages: Finnish, Swedish (both official)
Religions: Evangelical Lutheran

Formerly a part of the Swedish kingdom and later an autonomous Grand Duchy in the Russian Empire, Finland has been an independent republic since 1919. Finland is eleventh on the 2006 United Nations Human Development Index and ranked as the sixth happiest nation in the world by a subjective independent scientific study. The Republic of Finland is a member state of the United Nations and the European Union.

Please continue to PRAY for Finland and the Alphin family, soon to be resident missionaries on location in Finland.

~A Report from Costa Rica by Bro. Schwarz

*This report was copied and pasted form Bro. Schwarz's e-mail (Italics, Bold and font color were added by me)

Bro. Powell,

Thanks for posting the prayer request for Costa Rica. Today is looking better, but we really need sunshine. We were hit really hard with rain. There are 23 confirmed dead several still missing,roads and bridges washed out, any number of mudslides, over 3000 in shelters, many homes destroyed. We have reports of several pastors and members that are isolated and now they face food shortage. One pastor called me yesterday and said that the store had a few bags of rice but not much of anything else. Some members have suffered property loss but so far we know of no damage to church buildings. This is a severe blow to the country as the economic amount will be huge. All crops that are planted or ready for harvest are damaged. Recovery will be slow but lets pray that in this difficult time that people will turn to God. Lets pray that the church can lift Jesus high in this time so that the ones who feel hopeless can find hope in Him. All things even the difficult and bad things can be turned around so that our God will shine through us. Thanks for all you do for us missionaries.

May God recompense you for all you do,

David Schwarz

P.S. All the missionarys and AIMers are safe.

Thank you for praying! Please continue to PRAY for Costa Rica and Haiti as they deal with the effects of natural disasters. There are and will continue to be many needs for sometime until things are back in order. If you are led of God in any way to help please contact Compassion Services at Click on the following link:

Friday, November 5, 2010

~Please PRAY for Costa Rica

by Stephanie Rivero (missionaries to Costa Rica)

 Please pray for Costa Rica! We have had a tremendous amount of rain the last few days that has caused a lot of flooding. A landslide left 20 dead and several people still missing. Almost a million people are without water. Several bridges are flooded, many schools closed, and almost all major roads are closed. National... emergency here. Not sure if any churches affected. Please pray for CR!

Please continue to pray for our missionaries as they deal with natural disasters which happen in their countries. Many people are affected by these events, including our brother and sisters in the churches there.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

~URGENT Prayer Request for Haiti


From Missionary Ron Brian:

Please pray for Haiti

Although Hurricane Tomas has been downgraded to a Tropical Storm, it is expected to regain strength in the next two days. The current models from the National Hurricane Center shows Tomas passing directly over Haiti as a Hurricane toward the end of the week.

We cannot express enough how devastating it would be to Haiti if Tomas progresses as predicted. The current path would have it passing directly over Port au Prince which continues to have thousands of displaced people living in tents. It would then continue to cross the country and would be passing over St. Marc--the area which is suffering from the Cholera epidemic. The rains, high winds, and massive flooding that would result from this storm could potentially take thousands of lives and destroy the little progress that has been made in recent months to rebuild from the earthquake.

Even if Tomas does not regain strength enough to be upgraded to a Hurricane, the flooding from even a Tropical Depression could be devastating if it takes the projected path.


See Hurrican tracking map below:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

~Name the Airline

How well do you know the Airlines?
For those of you who travel a lot this should be a breeze, others maybe not so easy! Give it a try and see how well you do from memory before using the internet or asking someone nearby.
From the column on the left choose a word or words (there are forty) and complete the column on the right. This is not a test and you receive no reward. It is just for fun. If you would like to reply and let me know how well you did if would be appreciated. 
1. Sin
1. ______gap___ Airlines
2. Air _an_____________
3. Jam
3. Air ____a___________
4. Port
4. Air Jam_____________
5. Shine
5. Air ____u___________
6. And
6. Air ___shine_________
7. Front
7. Air ___ ____and_____
8. North
8. Air  __dia__________
9. South
9. Air  F___ce_________
10. Jet
10. __________kok Airways
11. Air
11. ________ental__ Airlines
12. Gap
12. _________Pacific Airlines
13. Malt
13. ____________tier Airlines
14. Gal
14. In_____________ence Air
15. New
15. ___________west Airlines
16. Bang
16. Sky____________Airlines
17. In
17. ___________west Airlines
18. West
18. Jet _____ _______Airlines
19. Ask
19. Al___a_________ Airlines
20. Ore
20.  ____________can Airlines
21. Sun
21. ______romex____ Airlines
22. Zeal
22. Br__________ish Airways

23. Sky
24. Depend
25. Continent
26. Blue
27. Romex
28. Way
29. Tin
30. Con
31. Tier
32. Tug
33. Line
34. It
35. Is
36. Way
37. Ran38. Franc
39. Cat
40. Hay