“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
With the old year (that just such a short time ago was the new year) having come to an end, and the new year (which will in a very short time become just another old year) just begun, it is such a comfort to know that no matter the changes that may come in the year ahead, our Lord and Savior will never change! He is always faithful!
We wish to express our thanks to all of you, our partners in this Kingdom work, for the blessing you are to the ministry and to ourselves personally. You are a very essential part of this, and we are endlessly grateful to you all.
2019 was an epically busy year for us! We are thankful for all that was accomplished.Quite a few “firsts” happened for the ministry: 1) The first Low German Sunday School Curriculum project was launched, with three volumes for preschoolers being published. A teacher’s guide and an activity pack accompany each student volume. 2) We organized and held our first Low German Music Festival in the Winkler Heritage Park this past summer. It went over very well with many requests to make it an annual event. 3) Our first trip to Europe also happened this past year. What a blessing it was to connect with the many friends and acquaintances we had from Germany. It was such an encouragement to see more people becoming aware of and develop a burden for our colony brothers and sisters, who are so desperately looking for hope. It was amazing to see how God is at work, taking our feeble efforts to places we never dreamed of going. 4) Although Jason and Teya had long been helping us out here and there, this past year for the first time we worked out a regular schedule where they would come and join us in the office and help us out with numerous projects. Without their help with all the graphic design, story writing, filing, and organizing (so much “behind the scenes” work), we would be drowning in unfinished projects. 5) Diedrich and Andrew, took several trips, just the two of them, this past year, which is also a first for this ministry. With all the projects needing to be completed from the office, this seemed to be a good solution, especially for trips that were for meetings, conferences or other “non-performance” work. In January they went to Mexico for meetings, and in November to Paraguay for various recording, editing and other ministry related projects. 6) Our first CD project with Andrew and Deanna is finally complete! All the recording, mixing, editing and mastering is finished. All that is needed is for the actual CD’s to be pressed. So look for that CD to be available in the very near future! This is also the first project to be recorded in our own home studio! 7) On a personal note, our first grandchild was born this past year, and she has been another huge blessing. Praise the Lord!
The year ahead is quickly filling up with bookings and projects. The plan is to continue with ongoing projects such as singing and preaching the Word wherever the Lord leads, the Sunday School curriculum, and the devotional stories and booklets. There are several additional projects we hope to focus on this coming year.
1) Due to an increasing demand for a notated version of our Low German songbook, we believe the Lord wants that to be one of the projects we focus on this year. It has been a “longterm” project, but hopefully it can finally be completed this year. 2) We began a children’s CD project with Nettie’s niece, Savannah Peters, this past year. The hope is that it too will be completed very soon. 3) Also, due to many requests, we are prayerfully beginning Christmas CD projects, one in Plautdietsch as well as one in English. We are excited about these projects, and are ambitiously hoping to have them finished for Christmas 2020! Along with the dates and deadlines already booked into our calendar, 2020 is shaping up to be another busy year!
One of the first things to happen in this New Year is Diedrich’s trip to the Little Belize colony in Belize. Because of the many projects needing to be continued from the office at home, we have, after much prayer come to the decision that we will respond to this invitation by Diedrich going by himself to help out with the new church while the pastor is away. Diedrich will be there for several weeks in an advisory and assisting role, to be an encouragement and mentor, and just help out in any way necessary. It was a difficult decision to make, but we feel at peace about it. In this way Diedrich is able to help out a church group that is near and dear to our hearts, and Nettie is able to continue working on the projects and commitments that had previously been made. Your prayers for us during this time will be greatly appreciated.
Two special new developments:
1) For the past few years, as the ministry has grown and gotten busier, we have been in earnest prayer about how to manage all the requests and invitations. It seemed the needs far outweighed our abilities to meet them. We often felt very overwhelmed and our hearts ached every time we had to turn down a request. We know the needs out there are huge, and we will never be able to meet them all. But it came as a real answer to prayer when our son, Jason, asked what it would take for him to join us on a more official level! Talks began in earnest and prayer continued. It seems we have another team member! We are in the fundraising stage now, hoping to help Jason raise enough funds to start working with us officially, on a part time basis. He will continue to do a lot of what he has already been doing, but also expand to helping with the translation and publishing of materials, and recording music with us. He is a talented young man, and is eager to serve His Lord! Will you commit to praying with us that God would send faithful donors to support him? We truly need the help, and we know God sees the needs and is capable of providing above and beyond what we need!
2) Our son, Andrew, and his wife, Deanna, have been such a blessing to the ministry these past few years. We rejoice with them as they look forward to beginning their own family very soon with the anticipated arrival of their first child! Their plan is to continue in the work, and so we ask that you also pray for them as they navigate the changes that are coming to their lives, and as they seek to balance ministry and family life.
Praise God for:
* A fruitful and blessed year that has passed. We saw God’s hand move in mighty ways.
* God’s faithful provision this past year
* Jason and Teya’s willingness to serve the Lord by helping us out in so many ways.
* The help and support we receive from our sons Matthew and Mark. There are so many little things they do to help that are often unseen and under-appreciated. We praise God for their desire to live for Him and serve Him in whatever ways He leads them.
* The joy that comes with the gift of children being born into the family.
* Diedrich’s upcoming trip to Little Belize. The time apart will be strongly felt by the whole family! Pray that we will all be faithful to complete our various tasks and commitments, and that God would be honored and glorified through it all.
* The support for Jason to come in on God’s schedule, as well as the funding for all the projects to be completed.
* The health of several members of the family who have been struggling lately.
* Andrew and Deanna as they start to prepare for a “new normal” once their little one arrives. Pray also that, if the Lord wills, the baby would be healthy, and that recovery and adjustment would be no more difficult than absolutely necessary.
* Much wisdom as we make decisions and try to balance the busy-ness of the ministry and family life.
You may contact Diedrich and Nettie Friesen by email at [email protected], and also on Facebook.
Andrew and Deanna Friesen can be reached by email at [email protected].
For more information about Multi-Nation Missions Foundation (MMF), go to multinationmissions.org.
If you wish to donate to Diedrich and Nettie or Andrew and Deanna, you may do so at multinationmissions.org, click on the Donate page, and scroll down to where you find them listed.