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Divakars in India

Dear Pastor and Partners in the ministry,

Greetings in our Lord’s name.

We are doing well here in India after bouts with viral fever. The last three months have been very busy. We are physically exhausted but happy in the Lord. On a sad note, Joanne’s father, Mr. Eric D’Monte, went home to be with the Lord in July. He and my mother-in-law Mrs. Ann D’Monte celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in June with lots of family and friends around them. However, in July God chose to take Mr. D’Monte home. We had a funeral where God was magnified.

Praise!! We have been able to partner with one of our former students and his brother-in-law, Pastor Vishal, in establishing the Kamrang Baptist Church way up north in the state of Sikkim, which is at the foothills of the Himalayas. The church is located about 200 miles south of the capital Gangtok. Please pray for this ministry and everyone who is involved.

The church my parents started when they came to India as missionaries is 30 years old this month. Last Sunday we had lunch after church and then activities for everyone. Our Bible College has begun in all earnest; we have some good students this year. Please pray that God will bless the students and the teachers as we attempt to make an impact for the Lord in this wonderful nation.

Please pray for the ministry in Australia. I am happy to report that there is unity among the believers once more. There had been some ill feelings among them for some time, but God has worked in their lives and they are back on track now. Please pray that God would grant Brother Seth wisdom as he leads the group. Please pray for the young people who need God’s help in standing up to the world and its temptations. I guess this would be a prayer for every believer around the world and not just in Australia.

Please pray for an extension ministry Joanne and I are working on right now. There are a group of people living about 100 miles away from Mysore who have shown interest in the things of the Lord. Getting there takes 3-4 hours because the roads are so bad and because they are up at a slightly higher altitude. It rains a lot there. The people have decided to rent a four-wheel drive truck/van type vehicle once a month and come to church in Mysore. The situation does not allow us to start a church in that area. Christians are not really welcome there, but God has allowed this group of people to open their doors to us and we are going in. Please pray that God would give us wisdom and power in this situation.

The Children’s Home is going well; the kids are growing in the Lord and are studying well. However, we ask that you please pray for our neighbors who are developing their land and getting it ready to build houses. They have been trying to bully us in different ways. They’ve recently demanded that one of our trees be taken down because it was hindering them in some way. They are also demanding stuff from us, which we cannot comply with, without going through the proper channels. Please pray that they would do what they need to and not interfere with us.

Thank you for the blessing you are to us. May God bless you.

David and Joanne Divaker

Holmquist News

September 2013

Dear Friends,

We don’t take for granted your prayers to God in our behalf. It’s amazing and humbling to think that the following requests will be carried before the King of the Universe and that He will listen intently and answer according to His good will. Thank you for your fellowship in the ministry through prayer!

It’s not November yet, but there is a lot to be thankful for. We thank God especially for providing us with a house to rent on the growing west side of Rio. The house is located ideally between an established church where we are assisting and the area designated for the new church plant.

The church where we are now helping lent vital aid to us while we were working at the other church plant in Bento Ribeiro. Now it’s our privilege to be able to repay some of their help while the pastor of the church and his family struggle with health problems. Pastor Jose is in a lot of pain and needs shoulder surgery, but when it was time for him to have surgery the doctor told him he’d have to lie and say that he fell in order to be accepted as a patient. He didn’t lie, they didn’t operate, and that was months ago. Pray that God would bless Pastor Jose’s integrity and open a door for him to have surgery. While working with Pastor Jose, I’ve received invaluable mentoring in Brazilian culture and leadership. Lately, we’ve been working together to develop discipleship curriculum that we hope will be profitable in the churches in Rio and also in the missionary endeavors in the Amazon region.

We continue to make plans for the new church plant and hope to begin services early next year. As I mentioned in past letters, the property for the new church plant was donated to Melissa’s grandfather over twenty years ago. In His perfect timing, God is opening the door for us to begin work there now. While there is definitely an open door for ministry, there are also adversaries. A man has been parking his semi trucks on the property and has not removed them after several requests. He has also claimed that the property is his (we have documentation proving that it is ours). Please pray that God would move in this man’s heart to remove his vehicles from the property so we can begin using the land.

We’ve already met some people who live near the property who have shown interest in attending the church. One Brazilian friend returned to college after retiring to become an architect in order to help with the church building projects in Rio! He is currently drawing up a blueprint for the church. Another Brazilian man is moving closer to the property in order to help and he has pledged a large donation toward the construction of the building. It’s amazing to watch God bring the pieces of the puzzle together.

Please pray with us as we will need $30,000 to be able to construct a building on the property in order to begin holding services. We believe that God can provide what seems impossible. To that end, we’ve opened up a building account at Baptist Mid-Missions (information below). Before this letter was sent $200 came into the account proving to us that the God who sees, provides. Our prayer is that from this location the hearts of Brazilians would be lifted up in praise to the Living God and One True Savior.

Love in Christ,
The Holmquists

*To donate to the building fund please make a check out to Baptist Mid-Missions and send it to Baptist Mid-Missions, P.O. Box 308011, Cleveland, OH, 44130. Memo: Holmquist Building Project.

Muindis’ September

September 2013 

Dear Ministry Partners,

Boehme told of a story of a district superintendent of his denomination who went around meeting and listening to the pastor’s challenges and struggles they experienced in their small and varied congregations and no matter what, the superintendent would always end by saying to them, “Just be there for them.” Amid their tears and joys, “just be there for them.” Amid their struggles and victories, “just be there for them.” The illustration above became an encouragement to us this month and noting that we are to watch out for the souls of those over whom we have supervision, knowing that we must give account of them. Pressure could come from within or from without, but we are reminded, “Just be there for them.”

The month of August was filled with mixed activities that were either very encouraging or somewhat discouraging. It was of great joy to us and the church to receive Ashly McMillan to be with us in August. She was able to be with us for just about a month before she left in September. Although the plan was for her to be with us for a year, it could not be possible due to the lack of needed college documents to process work-permits and also due to the inability to do what she had promised to do. We did sincerely regret since we had given the church great hopes of not only the opportunity to learn music but also much expectations for the coming year. In that note, we will be demanding documents and testimonies from the pastors and parents and related institutions, in the future, before beginning the process for short-termers. We will be demanding that young adults must be accompanied by their pastors or one of the church leaders, if possible. The main issue here is maturity, management of oneself, and the responsibility that goes with handling culture stress in a different country. But remember, “Just be there for them.”

Please pray for our monthly fellowships to strengthen our faith as a church family. Pray for us to have wisdom and to grow spiritually out of different experiences and to deal with youthful issues affecting our church body that arose during the month of August. We praise the Lord for the positive steps taken to seek forgiveness and for restoration. It is our prayer that the Lord would give us “contrite hearts,” hearts that would sincerely see themselves as “miserable offenders” or “objects of pity.” A serious attempt to repent and really to know one’s own sins is, in the long run, a an enlightening and relieving process. And then we are made to remember, “Just be there for them.”

On the positive side, we thank you all for praying for us during our VBS this year. We were so blessed to have a total of 109 children who attended and we were filled with joy to see 19 of them place their trust in Christ Jesus. We have continued to see a great number of children come to our church, and new young people as well as adults. Please pray for five that have expressed desire to join the church by way of testimony and baptism. Pray for two American families working at the hospital, who have been attending our church for a month now, that they might be encouraged and blessed to make decisions to join the church while in Eldoret. Pray for our radio preaching program, “The Bible in Your Hand.” Pray for three men that I meet with them every Saturday for Bible training and practical exercises. Pray for our preparation for the church building process which is to begin next year and your financial support through BMM for the project is highly appreciated. Pray for our kids as Ian and Regina have begun their high school year and Rena is in grade four. Pray for Edna and I as we provide guidance and counseling to several families facing challenges in marriage and spiritual life. Pray for us to have the house livable, and move in by December 2013 so as to prepare effectively for 2014 summer missions’ teams. Pray for the four churches preparing for 2014 missions trip to Kenya. All in all, we keep in mind, “Just be there for them.”

We sincerely thank you all for the financial support, prayers, birthday cards, anniversary cards, encouragement notes, and much more. In the recent terrorist attack, we were blessed to hear and to know of your concern for us. Thank you very much for your love. “Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably” (Heb 13:18). Our desire is to do our work diligently and “Just be there for them.”

In God’s Hands,

Stephen & Edna Muindi
Ian, Regina, Rena
Psalm 95:1-7

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