D’Friesens Praise and Prayer Letter09/05/20151It has been a busy but blessed winter for us. We had quite a few bookings in January and February. Most of March, we were preparing for our trip to Paraguay and Bolivia. We had a very good trip, meeting many new people and learning much about the work being done among our people. As many of you know, in January we signed on with Multi-Nation Missions Foundation. We are thankful for God’s leading in this, and for the support and encouragement we have received from our friends and family. We are enjoying working with them and look forward to seeing what more God has in store.
Many have asked us how joining MMF has changed what we do. The short answer would be that it hasn’t really changed what we do at all. The idea was not so much to change our ministry but rather to enable us to do more of it. We needed the stability and accountability that being part of such an organization would provide. This way we are part of a charitable organization, recognized by the government of Canada, and that in itself opens more doors for us. It also makes it possible for supporters who wish donate to our ministry to receive tax deductible receipts. The plan is that as financial support increases, we will increase the amount of time we spend in the ministry. Also as finances increase, we can expand into other areas such as the production of more Low German materials and resources,Bible Study and Sunday School materials, for example.
Our recent trip to the Plautdietsche Medien Konference in Paraguay, and our visit to Bolivia once again opened our eyes to the dire lack of resources available to the missionaries and the new believers coming out of the colonies. Just imagine for a moment,that you are a brand new believer and you are longing to learn more about God’s Word and the Christian life. However, there are no books or resources of any kind in a language you can read. Or imagine that you have agreed to teach a Sunday school class but you have absolutely no resources in a language that either you or your students can read. Imagine how you would feel if someone told you that in order for you to learn about Jesus you first had learn a whole new language; that the language you have grownup with and is the only language you can speak or understand is not good enough. Or that you must learn either High German, or Spanish before you can learn about God and His love for you. How long would you persevere? Bible societies and missionaries will spend 25 to 50 years learning a language that only several thousand people speak in the entire world. And they will spend millions of dollars translating God’s Word and hundreds of other resources into this almost obscure language, just so they can learn about God. Are our tens of thousands of Low German speaking Mennonites not equally deserving? Does God not love them just as much? Does God not want them to get to know Him, to come to Him, and to grow in the knowledge of His love? This is the passion that drives us. These people need God as much as we do, and most of them don’t even know it. We have the Good News that can set them free from the hopeless yoke of legalism and bring them into a true relationship with Jesus Christ.
God has placed in us the desire to bring them this good news in their own language. And we can do this through music, through children’s story books and other reading and study materials, and through the preaching of the Word both live and on the radio. More and more of the young people are learning about the internet and are asking that more be made available in Low German. It was so encouraging to meet with other missionaries and visionaries at the conference who share the same passion. We praise God for what is being done and the advances being made, but we were also made aware of how much is still left to do. Our heart’s desire is to be a part of the work God is doing among our own people, and to share with them resources that will help them first of all come to Christ, and then to grow in Him.
When we are not traveling and singing at various functions, we live a very normal but busy life. Diedrich and Jason continue to work on the farm in between trips. Jason is looking forward to attending Bible College this fall. Andrew has finished his second year of Bible college and will be working at home during the summer. His job will be two-fold:
1) helping us get our office and studio finished and set up and working on some of our new recording projects.
2) Helping us with our major home renovation project.
Our two youngest sons are still in high school. Matthew will be graduating this June, and is looking forward to a busy summer of singing, going on a youth missions trip to Nicaragua, and possibly working at a Bible Camp for a few weeks. Then, in fall he hopes to find a steady job and start saving money for Bible College in a year or two. Mark also plans to go on the youth mission trip. He will also be singing with us, and helping Andrew with the renovations. Nettie, is seemingly always busy trying to keep the household running smoothly, arranging all the music, doing the bookkeeping and office work associated with the ministry, and booking all our engagements. There is always plenty of work to keep us all busy.
1) For God’s protecting hand in all the traveling we do.
2) For sons who are still willing to help out in this work.
3) For very supportive and encouraging extended family and friends.
4) For the opportunity to show our love for Christ by serving Him.
1) For continued protection on the road.
2) For wisdom in balancing family life and ministry.
3) For sensitivity to God’s leading as far as which ministry opportunities to accept and which to decline.
4) For sufficient financial support to carry out the tasks we believe we are called to do.
Our latest CD is on order at the pressers! It should be here within the next few weeks. It is called “Fa de Kjinja” and as the title suggests it is geared more to children, but hopefully will be a blessing to parents as well.