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Mathenas’ Prayer Letter: May-Sept 2011

Thank you for praying!

May-September 2011

Dear Co-laborers in Christ,

II Thessalonians 5:17 “ln everything give thanks: for this is the fill of God in Christ Jesus.” “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.” Philippians 1:3

Thank you for time and time again coming to our assistance with your prayers and financial gifts. We are blessed to be laborers together with you.

As a result of your prayers and gifts, we have many blessings to report:

In May, nineteen moms attended our special Mother’s Day Service. Later in the month, we had the privilege of seeing three follow the Lord in Believer’s Baptism.

In June, the first year of pre-school came to a close and summer projects began. Carrie kept Pat busy painting, cleaning, sewing, and making new materials for the pre-school while Robert worked to construct a roof for the sandbox.

In July, it became evident that Robert needed to return to the States for medical needs, many of which he tried unsuccessfully to resolve here in Grenada. As he prepared to leave, you gave and prayed. During this lime, Pal and Carrie had Summer Reading Classes.

In August, Robert arrived in the States and immediately had an unplanned operation. Complications from the surgery sent him to the emergency room, and he was admitted to the hospital for several days. Meanwhile, Pat and Carrie had limited church services and the children memorized Psalm 139 to earn the school supplies provided by your gifts. In the midst of this, Carrie also finished enrolling eleven students for the second year of pre-school.

In September, Robert returned to Grenada from his medical leave He will be on
medications for several months due to a very aggressive infection. Again we say thank you for all your prayers and financial gifts that helped with all the expenses of this trip.

The time between prayer letters has been too long and we apologize. It is not because we are unthankful, but due to the circumstances. We really appreciate your support during this time.

In Christ,

The Mathena’s
Grenada, West India

Fredericks’ September 2011 Prayer Letter

September 2011

Praise the Lord for His faithfulness and enabling.
After 8 ½ years in Thailand I am slowing starting to realize how big and difficult the task is that is before us. Yet in it all, we can see the hand of the Lord working in Thailand.

New Life Baptist, Chiang Mai
The rainy season has been dry concerning new visitors and people being saved. We had one young man (about 24) who was saved and baptized and has been faithful to services since. We have also had a young man (about 23) who has left the church in order to marry an unsaved woman. It is always difficult to see people fall out of fellowship with the Lord, but we thank God for the way He continues to work in many lives. Sakhorn (Bible school graduate last year) has started taking on more responsibilities in the church and now leads a weekly discipleship class as well as a new teen Sunday school class. Next month he will also teach his first class in the Bible institute. It is encouraging to see him continue to grow and serve the Lord. The Bible institute has grown and now includes five men. Three Thai men have enrolled and have all expressed an interest in serving the Lord in some capacity in the future. We now have Bible Institute classes four times a week (two in English and two in Thai). We continue to teach English at the North Chiang Mai University and are trying to make an impact with both the students and professors. Additionally, another opportunity has presented itself to help Thai High School teachers in Northern Thailand with their English skills. Although teaching English is not my priority, this is a very effective way to meet and develop relationships with other Thai professionals. Thailand is a relationship based society, so sharing the gospel is much less confrontational when presented amongst those with whom a relationship has been established.

Newsletter Ministry
The newsletter ministry is finished with mixed results. We were proud of how the members of New Life Baptist church responded by faithfully distributing the newsletters each month. Unfortunately, the responses have been almost non-existent. We can rest in the fact that God’s Word has been spread and perhaps seed has been planted for later harvest.

Family News
In addition to the excitement of our son getting married in January, we just found out that our oldest daughter will be having our first grandchild in April 2012.

Prayer Requests
Please pray for the professors Mike works with: Aom, Ying, Noh, and Ann for salvation. Also, continue to pray for the many backsliden: Ahm, Mae, Bhun, Ayima, Maem, Tom and Ann. Pray for the Bible school students: Tom, Matt, Tiang, Dtom, and Sombhun,. Pray for the Sullivant family (presently helping in Chiang Mai) as they seek the Lord’s direction for their future ministry. They have been such a blessing to our church in the two years they have attended language school, and we will be sorry to see them leave but excited about their future ministry.

We pray God’s blessing on you as you continue to faithfully serve the Lord!

For Christ in Thailand,
Mike & Francis Frederick

BWMOM, Thailand

Holmquists' October Prayer Update

October 6, 2011

Dear Friends,

Yesterday I took a test drive in a car that we were thinking about buying. My neighbor Moses the Mechanic came with me to check out the car. The car salesman wanted to show Moses that the engine, steering and brakes were good, so he got behind the wheel and we raced off. We went over both cobblestone roads and areas of heavy traffic weaving between cars at high velocity, stopping on a dime, and making tight u-turns in front of oncoming traffic. All of this within a few blocks of the dealership! That experience is a good metaphor for our first month in Brazil. We have felt a little like being in a race car – not an out of control car that is spinning and smoking. No, we’ve felt God’s providential hand masterfully turning the wheel. But it has been fast and furious nonetheless. We’re thankful God is in control. We’ve had multiple opportunities for preaching and ministry since our arrival. There is no lack of open doors for ministry. What we need is wisdom from on high to know how to discern what is the best thing to do in the midst of all the good things we could choose to pursue. May the Lord give wisdom and send more laborers into His harvest.

It’s been a good day. As I sit here, I am looking at keys and a contract to a building that God has provided for us to rent. After weeks of negotiation and prayer, today I was able to get the keys. The whole story is really amazing. Our colleague Joy saw a phone number painted on the building as she walked by one day. I called later and our team went to see the building. It was a former pizza place (store front) on the main commercial avenue of the neighborhood.  Everyone who has seen it has commented that it is in an excellent location. Our Brazilian friend Pastor Jose helped us as we began to negotiate with the owner. After several weeks of negotiations and paperwork we were finally able to sign. Pastor Jose was able to get the building for 20% less per month than what the owner was asking. Beyond that, the owner allowed Pastor Jose to write the contract (!) and include clauses that would protect us in the present and help us in the future when we look to purchase a building. I’ll try to post pictures on our blog in the next few days.

Transforming this pizza shop into a building conducive to holding services will take some creative work. We estimate the remodeling costs to be around $2,500. We will also need to begin to purchase items such as a sign, a pulpit, furniture, etc. We are trusting God to provide. Our team has gathered resources to give toward the project. Also, Brazilians burdened for the church are willingly giving of their time and resources. We’ve also opened a special account at our mission designated “Holmquist Building Account” to make it possible for those led by God to give toward this project. Praise the Lord with us that He has provided a building, but we know that a church is made of people not brick and mortar. We want to be faithful in meeting people and spreading the word of truth.

A few weeks ago we held an evangelistic outreach for young people of the neighborhood. Thirty minutes after the start time, twelve young men came. We later found out that many are involved in drug and alcohol abuse. Most listened intently as the Gospel was preached. One young man, Fabio, seemed particularly interested and wants to continue to talk.  We pray that God would open his eyes and that he would seek God and His glory.

Remember, the car ride I talked about at the beginning? We ended up buying that car today. The salesman called it a “white fly” because he said it is extremely difficult to find that particular car with low mileage, in good condition, and in our price range. We thank the Lord for leading us to this car. Incidentally, we didn’t get to bring it home today because the deposit at the bank won’t go through until tomorrow because the bank workers were on strike for part of the day!

Well, it’s been a good day. Now if the Detroit Tigers could win tonight……

Praise: For the Lord providing a meeting place to rent and providing us with a car.
Praise: For a good youth meeting.
Please pray for Fabio and the other young men who heard the Gospel.
Please pray for God’s provision and wisdom as we begin to remodel and
plan to hold services.

By His grace and for His glory,

Brendan (BJ), Melissa, Myla, Ellie, Daniel and Flávia Holmquist

Brasil (21) 3734-2867
US (517) 580-0704

Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

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