Jul 3, 2012
It has been a good and very busy home assignment year. In addition to ministry in churches and time with family and friends, it was our goal to get as spiritually, mentally, and physically healthy as possible for a return to Mongolia. As we began our final preparations for return to the field, the stress caused a number of things to come forward that we were not aware were still issues. International Ministries leadership decided that it was best for us to postpone our return so we could first work through these things. As a result our departure has been delayed for two months. It is our prayer that these needs can be resolved and that our return to Mongolia will be possible in this time frame. Thanks for praying for us as our plans change and we seek the Lord’s provision!
Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe in Mongolia, ministries we left behind have been growing well in our absence. Before the end of our first term a year ago we had established a counseling center in Darhan with a coordinator, Bayanjargal, and a team of counselors to also counsel and train others. In the intervening year of our absence this team of Mongolians has trained and certified 20 more counselors. A graduation ceremony was held for them earlier this month. This month they also have held a two day marriage and family seminar organized and led by the team and its new trainees. The needs of many are being met through personal counseling and ongoing ministries like Celebrate Recovery addiction support groups.
It is wonderful to see this kind of faithful service and fruitful ministry from the Mongolians we had prepared for this ministry. And it is great to see God working through them even in our absence and that what we left behind is growing on its own so that we can focus on establishing similar new ministries elsewhere. This will be our intent upon our return as we make the move from Darhan to the capitol city of Ulaanbaatar. It will be new territory for us with many adjustments. Please pray for our family as we prepare for this move. Thanks so much for your ongoing support and prayers!
- Pray for God’s wisdom, direction, and supply through the next two months as we seek to resolve issues important for our return to the field.
- Pray that through this delay and change of plans we would trust and lean on the Lord, and that we would experience the health and vitality we need for returning.
- Pray for resilience and perseverance through the many adjustments we will be making as we transition away from home assignment.
- Pray for wisdom and continuing fruitfulness for Bayanjargal and the counseling team in Darhan as their ministries expand, and pray for many to experience change and growth through these ministries.
Jul 3, 2012
Thanks so much for all your prayers.
- We’re finishing up final details for our retreat this year. We have 40 people on the waiting list! We’re really wondering about the idea of starting a second retreat somewhere else in France (it’s still an unofficial idea, but who knows?). We could use prayer. Please pray specifically for our small groups, that the Lord will lead and that He will work deeply in the hearts of the ladies who attend; also that the Lord will especially help all the group leaders this year, giving them wisdom and ability to lead the groups in an effective way.
- I’m beginning to make long lists and am trying to set days aside to get ready for my year in the States (I leave the 12th of July). I’d appreciate prayer. Several people have offered to help, and I think I’ll take them up on it. I’m trying to really fix my priorities.
- Our evangelistic Bible study is going well. Please continue to pray for the Tunisian lady who is comparing Christianity and Islam. I spent an afternoon with her, talking to her about a book that she gave me that tries to prove the Bible is wrong. In the Bible study we point out clearly that Jesus is the only way. She takes notes, but always tries to find ways that Christianity and Islam are similar! Pray for conviction by the Holy Spirit.
- I have two Americans who are coming to stay with me for a wedding we are all attending the 9th of June. The son of a Catholic couple I know is getting married. I don’t know these two girls, and I have no idea where they’re at spiritually, but I don’t think they are Christians. Pray that I will have chances to share with them.
In Him, Lel Fickett
Jul 3, 2012
Saracoff Summer 2012
Our church is a busy place – something is always happening. One of the best
ways of keeping people up to date is through our website (our church really uses
this resource). It is also one of the ways we present ourselves to the world. We
really need a Content Manager (CM).
This ministry is for somebody who is disciplined. The majority of the work is
posting and deleting items to the site once or twice a week. The CM also peruses
the site once in awhile to check for errors and note where updates are needed.
This may require soliciting the ministries for the needed text and pictures.
- Familiarity with using a computer. Have you used a simple word processor? Do you use Facebook or other form based online services?
- Willing to learn the tasks required (training provided). You’ll be working with our webmaster Robin Schoenborn.
- Good communication skills.
- Attention to detail.
No software needed (PowerPoint and Word are helpful, but not required).
Contact Robin Schoenborn if you are interested, 695-9887.
Jun 15, 2012
Oct 23, 2011
It may be fall in North America, but it’s the rainy season in Nairobi. Today’s impressive thunderstorms alternated with scorching sunshine- everyone should come experience some high-altitude equatorial weather!
The school year has more than begun, and I’m 1/4 of the way through my first year as Director of Curriculum, Accreditation, and Professional Development at Rosslyn. I just came back from a conference where I discovered that other schools call this position Director of Teaching and Learning- much less of a mouthful! I’m consistently humbled and stretched in my new job. I feel like it’s definitely what I’m made for and definitely way beyond my capacity; I suppose that’s often the hallmark of God’s leading. Each day I’m challenged to solve problems without much of an experience base, and I feel like administration isn’t as immediately rewarding as teaching. There are lots of “aha!” moments with kids in math; there are fewer with adults who have their own jobs to do. But there are rewarding interactions, like praying with teachers in crisis or helping them think through classroom decisions. I try to keep in mind that my job is to pour into teachers so they can pour into kids, to support the school in developing its curriculum and maintaining its accreditation so that it can better serve the Church with a big C. (And when that doesn’t work to make me feel better, I still get to teach one period of Algebra. For at least 45 minutes a day, I know what I’m doing!)
Despite the challenges, I’m absolutely confident that God has placed me here in this position at this time for His own purposes, and while I might not be able to see them as readily, I still trust that they’re there. As evidence of this trust, I’ve committed to another contract at Rosslyn that’ll last through May 2014. Who knows what adventures will come in these next 2 1/2 years?
But before I jump too far ahead, I owe you a report from this past summer. I was refreshed by my visit from Anna Christensen- we had grand adventures, and it was especially kind of God to put us together while the wildfires were threatening Los Alamos. We were able to keep track of the news of our hometown together and praise God for sending rain at the right time. Soon after, the medical camp at Karura (my church) also went well. The volunteer training and coordinating that I was responsible for were very successful, and I really enjoyed working side by side with my mom that day.
One of my worries as the school year started was that I wouldn’t have friends- so many of the important people in my life here had moved back to the States. But of course it was ridiculous for me to worry. God has provided heart-friends in some of the new staff, other friendships have deepened, and I find myself having to, um, slightly prune my social life rather than long for it to grow…
On the subject of friends, I’d appreciate your prayers for a couple I’m close to who were robbed at gunpoint last weekend. Now before anyone gets too worried, know that they live in a different part of town than I do, and there are a number of reasons they were more vulnerable to attack. They’re physically fine, but please pray that God uses this event to draw them to Himself, and pray for the robbers to have repentant hearts. I’m a little shaken myself; there have been a string of robberies in my extended group of friends recently, but this was the first one with threats of violence. I trust God as always; this just reminds me of my need for protection.
So please, do pray, and join me in thanking God for…
1) A new job that’s stretching and humbling.
2) Great summer visits from Mom and Anna, especially the during fire.
3) Refreshing new friends this year.
4) My safety over the last 3 1/2 years- I’ve never had a major incident.
5) The successful medical clinic- I learned a lot by coordinating the volunteers, and God provided for me and through me.
Finally, join me in asking God for…
1) Vision for my job and understanding of how it’s God’s best for me. Please pray for me to exhibit fruit of the Spirit especially when challenged.
2) Peace and safety for my friends who were robbed (and for me).
3) Right involvement at church.
4) Students at Rosslyn come to know and live out more of God’s plans for their lives.
5) The right car at the right price- I have saved up enough money, but I still haven’t found the right vehicle.
I’d love to hear from each of you, even if it’s just a line or two on how your family is doing! I appreciate your continued prayers and friendship as I’ve been away longer and longer.
Jul 27, 2011
Hello friends and family,
Just a short catch up! God is soooo good! By God’s grace He pulled me through to the end of the BSc OT course. I am now sitting in that phenomenal place between the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next. What a chapter that last one has been and what an incredible chapter the next one will be! I feel as though I’m on the cusp between the two as I enter a two-month page turning home assignment beginning next
Tuesday, the 31st of May. Before I go enter that phase however, I need to share with you a little bit of how the last chapter ended.
For you who have been following my journey the past couple of years, you know that from an educational perspective the ride hasn’t necessarily been a smooth one with beginning the Master’s programme and ending with a Bachelor’s. One of the messages that the Lord has been teaching me through some great spiritual mentors here is that “there is NO loss in the Kingdom.” God has demonstrated that to me once again this past month. My primary purpose for entering the MSc programme at Northumbria University was so that I could get the qualification to train occupational therapists in Kosovo. My two-year Associates degree as a Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant was not going to be sufficient. After I did not pass through to the second year of the Masters I was informed by the department head at the university that even if I had graduated with the MSc, I still would not have been qualified to train therapists, I would have to get a Masters degree in Education, so she suggested that I continue with the BSc and then take an online education degree course. So, the vision for training therapists was put on hold and my job description was re-written to exclude OT training of Kosovars. The purpose for continuing with the BSc programme then was to become a fully qualified OT according to European standards (they do not have a two-year degree assistant programme) so that I can practice in Kosove. Just a month ago, I met with a board member of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists who not only told me that they wanted to support me in my efforts to develop the field of OT in Kosove but according to their standards, I only have to be a qualified OT in order to train others up to the same level of education that I have. So, in the end, God redeemed what was lost and I have finished with the qualification needed to do what was initially intended, to train therapists in Kosova.
I want to thank all of you who have stood with me during this journey in supporting me both in prayer and financially. It always just awes me when I think of how the Lord has totally blessed me through you. Thank you for praying through the rough waters and celebrating with me for each passing essay and exam! This couldn’t have happened without your participation. I look forward to being able to express my thanks to many of you in person as I’ll be in the states (which if you remember from my last update, is an answer to prayer!)
I would like to ask for your continued prayer support as I begin my speaking tours. I know that God is going to work powerfully in each church He puts me into this summer. My prayer is that the Lord will open up heaven over each church and that the fullness of the Kingdom of God will fall upon each individual, by the power of His Holy Spirit, as He draws them into their destiny as beloved heirs of the Kingdom. My desire is that the Lord’s prayer, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Will come alive into the heart of the church and whole communities will be transformed as a result. I’ve learned that if I ask for little, that’s what I get, so I’m done settling for crumbs when God’s lavishes me with a banquet. If one life is transformed, that’ll be great and we’ll celebrate, but I’m going for the whole community so that they can go for the whole world! I’m asking that you will continue to stand with me in trusting God for the GREAT BIG THINGS for His Kingdom! Thank you!
Here is my travel itinerary the next couple of months so that you can be praying me through it:
- 31 May – leave UK and enter CA
- 5 June – Grace Chinese Alliance Church in West Covina, CA
- 8-11 June – Attending ABBA love conference in Vacaville, CA
- 12 June – Attending Bethel church in Redding, CA
- 17 & 19 June – AGAPE Chinese Alliance in San Diego – Training and “speaking” (US)/ “preaching” (UK) J
- 21 June – Longbeach Alliance in Longbeach, CA
- 26 June – Wayside Chapel Community Church – (Stateside home church)
- 3 July – Alliance Bible Church in Prescott, AZ
- 10 July – Riverside Christian Alliance in Riverside, CA
- 17 July – Glendora Alliance Church in Glendora, CA
- 24 July – Wrap up at Wayside
- 27 July – Leave CA
- 28 July – arrive in UK (pray they let me back in!)
- 30 July – 5 Aug New Wine Conference in UK
- near 15 Aug – return to Kosova
Here is this update’s miracle testimony: My housemate was on a visit to CA a few weeks ago, while there she stayed in the room of a young man who was away on a short term mission trip. This young man is from Australia, just before leaving his home country to attend a school in Redding, CA, his computer, passport and money were all stolen. The church helped him to get another passport and replenish his money for school. The thing that bummed him out the most concerning his computer is that his
whole Master’s thesis was on that computer and he didn’t have a back-up copy anywhere. After arriving to the states he was able to purchase a new laptop. The computer was brand new, never been used. One day, after booting up his computer, what should happen to pop up on the screen? ……. Yep!!!! His Master’s thesis! True story! God cares for absolutely everything we care about! There is NO loss in His Kingdom! God is sooooo good!
Thank you again for standing with me, many blessings, Di
Jul 18, 2011
- Good health and strength as he travels many miles through remote rugged terrain to minister to village pastors.
- Discernment in how to encourage the village pastors and help meet their needs.
- Protection upon Billy and the pastors and their congregations from the drug wars that currently plague Mexico.
- Softening of hearts to be open to receiving the gospel among the villagers.
- Spiritual growth and firm foundation in the Lord for those who receive Christ as their Lord and Savior.
- The Lord’s provision for the needs of the people, especially those who suffered losses during flooding last year.
Jul 18, 2011
Thank you so much for your prayers. Many people were praying for out retreat, and God answered mightlily. We had 204 ladies and we had to turn down over 10 more. The theme was “Forgetting or confronting our past”. The messages from Joseph were very profound, and many women were touched concerning things in their past. For some, it was the realization of forgiveness that needed to take place, for others, it was family secrets that needed to be talked about because they were affecting family relations, or losses that had been denied and needed to be healed. There was a lot of sharing in the small groups, and the testimonies were very powerful at the end of the two and a half days.
We had a special evening the second night to celebrate our 40th year of the retreat. We had a choir, skits, a dance (see picture above) and a short DVD tracing the history of our retreat. We ended with a fake cake that someone had made with 40 burning candles. The committee went up on the stage to blow the candles out. It was so wonderful to think about what God has done in the lives of women over the last 40 years.
I would appreciate your prayers now as I prepare this week and next for our week-long course on inductive Bible study. We have 7 ladies coming (two pastors’ wives) It will take place from the 14th to the 21st of this month.
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