Prayer and ministry updates from Jeff & Mary Ann Anderson.
“Yes, Lord!” July 2019 Update
Dear Praying Friends,
July has been full visiting family, friends, supporters, churches and a nearby Bible camp. Even though we are not wealthy materially we are rich with new and longtime (some decades long) relationships personally and for the ministry the Lord Jesus has entrusted to us. We are truly blessed. August will be similar. Here are life and ministry updates for your continued intercession and giving as the Lord leads.
1. Connecticut trip: June 29-July 8 we were in New Haven, Connecticut visiting our son Amos, his wife Laura and their kids Ethan and Lydia. It was great being with them and the kids are growing really fast! A few highlights were:
*The 30th we worshiped at Groton Bible Chapel and after the second service we gave an update on our ministry to a room full of people. We were encouraged by their attentiveness and questions which continued after the meeting and into the parking lot. We were affirmed in the direction of the Lord’s leading.
*On July 5, at Yale University, we heard a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence from an original copy printed in 1776 and Frederick Douglass’ passionate speech he gave on July 4,1852 about setting American slaves free. Wow what timely timeless powerful words that need acting upon in our time!
On July 7 we worshiped at Trinity Baptist Church in downtown New Haven. After the service we had a picnic in a park with people from Trinity so it was nice to get to know some of them.
Each day I explored New Haven’s multi-ethnic neighborhoods on foot including the nooks and crannies, and shadowy alleys. I saw lots of deep need and great potential. I was very pleased to learn that Trinity is ministering with five other churches in a housing development near the Anderson’s home. Their ministry is called Bridges of Hope and they tutor students and mentor families, including having Christ-exulting worship and biblical devotions. They do this in cooperation with New Haven’s Housing Authority. They are bringing the Light (John 8:12) to dark places.
Left: Mary Ann reading to Ethan. Right: Mary Ann and Lydia in a stick tent.
Lydia, Laura, Amos and Ethan Anderson
Right: Jeff and Amos at Yale University. Left: one of the early Gutenberg Bibles on display at Yale.
2. Thrive Retreat [from Mary Ann]: I had the privilege to attend a Thrive Retreat in Beaver Creek, Colorado for four days this month. The purpose behind the Thrive Ministry is support and encourage women who are serving in foreign countries. This retreat is held three or four times a year throughout the world and I have known about it for years but have not been able to attend, until now. In an article by a Thrive staff writer Tawni Miller, she wrote “The top five needs of women serving overseas include: to be spiritually mentored; to feel connected; to be known/understood/prayed for; to have a close friend; and time away from ministry & life responsibilities.” I highly recommend this retreat for North American missionary women who are serving on foreign fields. They host a retreat in Colorado every summer and the others are in different regions of the world. They will soon be holding a conference for global women in ministry.
The messages, prayer times, fellowship and laughter were just what I needed. All the women who attended were prayed over many times before, during and after the retreat. We were also pampered in several ways, which at first I was resistant to. In fact, it was a reason I was reluctant to go. But the Lord taught me many things through the experience and I wept as I just relaxed and received the Christ-like love poured out from the thirty volunteers. My experience on this retreat truly gave me insight into my own foreign service experience in Niger and the Philippines. I left feeling encouraged, affirmed and supported. It was a great way for me to be refreshed and renewed after our thirty-three years of ministry in the Philippines.
Through the retreat I also gained insight and affirmation for my desire to mentor, encourage and support other women who want to grow and develop in their personal life which will lead to enhancing their ministries. All4Christ has a motto that says, “The life of the minister is the life of the ministry.” I would like to build on that idea and say “The life of the woman is the life of her ministry.” I believe that when women are affirmed, supported and receive guidance while serving in ministry, they will be able to endure the hard times, grow in their own lives and they will gain the stamina needed to be fruitful in ministry. Please pray that the Lord will guide me as I develop my plans for group mentoring of women in their personal and ministry development. The training I will be taking in Charlotte and Asheville this Fall will teach me how to do that.
3. Updated Schedule:
August 3, All4Christ get-together and dinner, Detroit Lakes, MN
August 4, Lake Eunice Evangelical Free Church, Detroit Lakes, MN
August 19, Visit with leaders of International Messengers in Clear Lake, IA. to discuss how their missionary training program can assist ACTION in training our missionaries
August 28-September 6, Spokane, WA
September 3, Visit International Messengers’ training facility in Libby, MT
September 15-20, Elim Retreat, Eagle, WI
September 28-October 5, Mary Ann will attend Group Discipleship Training in Charlotte, NC
October 5-7, Greenville, SC
October 7-11, Pastoral Training in MemberCare conference, Asheville, NC
October 17-20, Open Door Baptist Church, Troutdale, OR
October 18, Chapel at Open Door Academy
October 19, Mary Ann will speak at the Open Door Ladies “Coffee Fellowship” (10:00-12:00)
October 20, Open Door Sunday school
October 20-21, Visit Gary and Melita Root, our former neighbors at 2nd Mile, Skamania, WA.
October 27-November 3, Grace Church Mission Festival
November, possible trip to Philippines for two to four weeks
4. Videos: Here is a Dropbox link if you would like to see a couple videos made recently. The testimony was recorded while I was at the ACTION office in June and the other July 7 during ACTION Philippines’ annual Friendship Day at 2nd Mile.
5. Update on All4Christ: The boxes of books we shipped from Eagen, Minnesota June 10 arrived in Manila in good condition July 25. Some were distributed at a follow up conference July 29 in Sariaya, Quezon and others will be distributed during a conference August 12-15 in Koronadal, the capital city of South Cotabato. A follow up conference for the Balubad area pastors and workers is being planned for possibly September. It will be at 2nd Mile. We are in discussion about going to the Philippines in November to assist with the development of All4Christ.
Boxes of books and Bibles arrive in the Philippines in great shape.
6. Pray for my brother-in-law Les Bollig and his family: My sister Kris’ husband, Les, has had four major surgeries since last September. Doctors say it’s a miracle he is alive. God has extended his days on earth. Mary Ann and I have cried out to God for Les’s salvation for years. Last Friday we went to Sioux Falls, South Dakota where Les is hospitalized after a massive brain stem hemorrhage a couple weeks ago. He is improving but his progress is touch and go. Saturday morning we arrived at Les’s room before the others did and the nurses were busy elsewhere. Les was awake and rested after a good night’s sleep so we asked him if he knows Jesus as his Savior and he clearly responded “sure do.” During these God-ordained minutes alone with Les we read Scripture and prayed for him. We asked him two more times if he was sure Jesus was his Savior and if he had peace with God (Romans 5:1) and he clearly said “yes.” Pray for Les during these very critical days and for Kris and their adult daughters Sylvia and Lesley.
Conclusion: Recently I reread Romans 16:1-23 and 1 Corinthians 16:10-24 where Paul sends personal news, clear instructions and heartfelt greetings to good friends and faithful co-workers. Paul had not yet been to Rome when he wrote his letter to them so those he mentions he met while ministering in other places. Others he may have known only by their good reputation.This is how he typically closed his letters and this gives us insight into the warmth of the Apostle’s personal relationships and the broad-based fellowship of the early believers. Paul’s list of names also shows the mobility of the primitive Christian community. His greetings went to Romans and Greeks, men and women, prisoners and prominent citizens and crossed cultural, social and economic lines. What a wonderful model of Gospel-centered inclusion the early church is to our churches today in the midst of the diverse wider-communities in which we live. People tend to think of Paul as a hard-driving, totally focused theologian, pioneer missionary and church planter. He was all of that but he was not a hardhearted “lone-ranger” type. He had a tender heart and many loyal friends and coworkers throughout his trail-blazing ministry. He knew how to build and maintain friendships for both his personal life and his ministry.
By the way, as a disaster response worker another thing I must point out from 1 Corinthians 16:1-4 is that the collection Paul is referring to is for the needy Jewish believers in Jerusalem. Gentile believers primarily in Philippi, Thessalonica and Corinth located in the Roman provinces of Macedonia and Achaia (modern day Greece) gladly gave financial aid while Paul teaches that this is a normal part of the Christ-followers life. This was cross-cultural relief and development ministry. Beautiful! (For more background read Acts 8:1; Acts 11:28; Romans 15:25-27; 2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9.)
As I read the verses listing Paul’s good friends and faithful co-workers, I was reminded again just how much Mary Ann and I are extremely grateful for your friendship and partnership in life and ministry. We are not, and never have been, “lone-ranger” people and missionaries. We sincerely thank God from the depth of our hearts for you! I shudder to think where we would be without the Lord Jesus and our friends and partners. We would be totally lost and alone. But our God is good and always does good (Psalm 119:68) by giving us friends and partners like you.
God’s richest blessings to you and your loved ones today!
“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.” (Psalm 39:7)
Our Lord, come! (1 Corinthians 16:22)
Sincerely in Christ,
Jeff & Mary Ann Anderson
4400 36th Ave N, Apt 222
Robbinsdale, MN 55422
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