Prayer Requests


Thank you all for praying! We ARE home here in the States. After a LONG and eventful three days of travel, we arrived home, about a week ago now, and have been going non-stop ever since! I apologize for not writing more sooner, but with doctor appointments, family visits, Thanksgiving preparations, and out-of-town family staying with us, the past week has truly been a whirlwind!

Once things settle down just a bit I will update you all more thoroughly. Thank you all so much for praying for us! Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we transition back into Stateside living!

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Thank you to all of you who sent birthday greetings yesterday on my birthday! Everyone here set out to make the day extra special for me, and I felt so blessed.

The day started with skype calls from family back in the States and ended with a very unique surprise party! I say unique because half of the family planning to attend were quarantined by the doctors just an hour or so before the party! My extremely thoughtful sister-in-law, Jenny (Ryan’s wife), planned way ahead and had sent cake mix and ready whip and party supplies down with Josh’s parents in August…and an extra-special treat as a present — Peanut M & Ms! Keila made a pie, too, and I just felt so blessed by everyone’s thoughtfulness.

On top of all of that, once we returned home from the party, some of our Indian friends came over with a cake they had baked to help us celebrate! We had a fun time drinking coffee, eating cake, and playing games! What a blessing!

Behind all of the planning of the parties was my wonderful husband, who also brought me flowers and surprised me with a great present for when we return to the States!

 

Birthday Flowers

These are the flowers Josh picked for me for my birthday!

 

 

Unfortunately, the influenza Josh’s dad mentioned in the last post has hit our village. The doctors are claiming it’s swine flu and quarantined part of the family because of exposure. Do be praying for protection over the village and quick recoveries of those who have become ill. From what I’ve heard about the swine flu back in the States, this seems to be hitting people a bit harder. Please also pray that this will not affect our ability to travel in a couple of weeks when we’re scheduled to return home.

As always, we so appreciate your prayers!

ps…Josh’s birthday is one week from today (November 5)! If you think about it, I hope you’ll send him a note and let him know you’re thinking about him!

Earlier this week, Josh took a trip with his dad upriver to another village. Here is what Josh’s dad had to say about the trip:

"Dear praying friends,

Today we returned from visiting the village of Maweni. Josh, Abraham,
Alberto and myself went up there to try and encourage our good friend
Paquito Rivas. He was one of our seminar students and we heard he was
going through a hard time. We were finally able to get enough gasoline
together to make the trip. It was good to get out and visit with him.
We had a good meeting with him last night and then again this morning.
I think he was encouraged by our visit. Please pray for him. He is a
good guy and loves the Lord and wants to live for HIM. He asked me to
remember to pray for him and his family. "We live in a village where
there are many witchdoctors and it is really hard to serve the Lord,
but I truly want my life to honor HIM."  He told me.

Speaking of witchdoctors, for those of you who have read Spirit of the
Rainforest, by Mark Ritchie, you know Jungle Man's son has deer spirit
and runs out of his house and village and is gone until the visitors
leave. His name is JeMoshawä. Alberto, one of the guys with us, is
JeMoshawä's brother in law. We had got in yesterday evening. We hung
our hammocks and Alberto left to head across the village to see if his
brother in law was still there. Paquito had made us supper and he came
to call us. As we were leaving, Alberto came back in saying his
brother in law was there and had agreed to see me. We agreed it would
be better to let it get later so there would not be that many people
around, so we went to eat first. JeMoshawä and i had been best friends
when i was about 10 years old but i have not seen him since, as every-
time i have ever been in his village, he somehow (through the spirit
world???) knows before hand that we are coming,  he gets agitated and
leaves and is gone until we leave. So when i heard he was still in the
village and had agreed to see me i was excited and prayed asking God
to give me the words that would penetrate the bondage that he is held
in that he might clearly hear the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. After
eating, we made our way over to his house and i was tense as we walked
into the dark house. We paused inside the opening, letting our eyes
grow accustom to the darkness, the shadows of the swinging hammocks
grotesquely exaggerated by the flickering light provided by small
diesel fuel flares, giving a fitting backdrop for the tenseness i felt
as i waited to be shown to JeMoshawä's hearth.

Since i have never been in his house before, i had no idea which one
of the 5 different hearths was his, so i assumed when Alberto made his
way to a lone hammock swinging in the center, that we were approaching
JeMoshawä's hammock, although i did find it strange that he would be
in the center. Well, it was not his, and Alberto was only asking the
kid in the hammock where his brother in law was. I was disappointed to
find out he was gone and knew once again we had missed him. His wife
assured us he had only just stepped out and we should wait. We not
only waited, but sent a kid to find him and let him know we were there
waiting for him. after a long wait, the kid came back in saying he
could not find him anywhere. We returned disappointed to the little
house where we had hung our hammocks for the night.

The next morning at first light, JeMoshawä's brother, Cojolomöshicö
walewä (fishing worm eater) (Hey, i don't name these guys)  came to
the house with a message from his brother. "I am telling you that my
brother was overcome by deer spirit and fled while it was still dark."
he told me, "he will not be back as long as you are in the village,
but he did leave a message for you and ask me to tell you that
anything you were going to tell my brother, tell me and i will give it
to him 'with the words that you tell me.'"

I feel confident Cojolomöshicö walewä will give the message i left for
him to his brother. I spent a long time giving him the salvation
message. I started with what the witchdoctors know about heaven, hell,
the Supreme Being and His beautiful land. Then using what the Bible
tells us, I filled in the blanks of how we can truly know that HE is
not the enemy god, but a God who loves them so much that HE sent HIS
only Son so that HE could live a sinless life and would be put to
death to provide the sacrifice for our sins. HE rose from the dead to
show us that HE truly had conquered satan! Cojolomöshicö walewä
listened very attentively and assured me he would tell it to his
brother just as I gave it. Sometimes the yanomamö are amazing in how
they can give back something verbatim almost as good as a tape-
recorder.  I pray he does so this time and with God's HOLY Spirit
calling, that not only JeMoshawä gets saved but that Cojolomöshicö
walewä would accept Christ as his Saviour as well. Pray with us!

Also please be praying; There is some kind of bad influenza hitting
the yanomamö, not in our village yet, but over on the Orinoco river, 6
died in one village, and we think 8 in another, but numbers are hard
to nail down, suffice it to say, many people have died over there. the
gov is finally starting to move, we are so stymied without fuel,
normally we would have been over there as soon as we heard about it,
now all we can do is notify the proper people and hope they do
something.  Again, we don't have a lot of information but it does
sound real serious.

Thank you all again for remembering us in your prayers!"

Our Return Date: As I had shared in a post almost a month ago (Oct. 6), Josh and I have prayerfully been considering returning home a little early because of some medical work I need done with the pregnancy. Thank you so much for praying for discernment in this area! We have decided that we will return home early to have the medical work done in the States. Though our tickets have not yet been changed, we are planning to leave here  toward the middle to end of November, in time to have the medical work completed. Please do pray with us as we wrap up our time here in the village. It is hard to believe that our time and current ministry here are nearly complete! Over the next few weeks, please pray for:

  • Our Ministry — Please pray that the ministry we have with the people here will be effective and fruitful. We so cherish the relationships we have built, and we pray that God will continue to work in their hearts and lives that they might take up the torch in ministering to their people.
  • Transition — Please pray also for our transition back home. Weighing heavy on our minds is the need for work! Please pray that Josh will be able to find a job quickly. At this point, we are not picky, and we are keeping our options open. We are hoping that Josh might even be able to find someone hiring for the holidays while he looks for something more long-term. If you know of anything or have any suggestions, please send them our way! (joshanderika@me.com)
  • Medical Insurance — We also covet your prayers as it relates to medical insurance. We still have not heard word on whether or not we will receive COBRA, though even if we do, we are very concerned about the cost of it. We would be thrilled if Josh could find a job that offers good medical insurance, but if that opportunity doesn’t present itself, please pray that we will figure something out. During pregnancy, the medical costs certainly add up quickly, and we have already experienced with Isabella the astronomical prices of labor and delivery…and that was with insurance!
  • Expenses from the field — We still have some remaining expenses from our time serving here. Please pray that we will be able to pay those expenses off quickly. We would love to be able to return home without the weight of that debt.

As always, we know that God is our Great Provider. We trust that He already has the details figured out, and we rest in that. Thank you so much for partnering with us in prayer and financial support. We know that we wouldn’t be able to minister here without your partnership, and we are incredibly grateful for you!!

E-mails: I have heard from a few of you that in the past month or so you sent us an e-mail but never heard anything back from us. Now, I admit that communication isn’t my strongest asset, as some of you know, 🙂 but I have really been trying! To some of you, I did respond, but it seems you never received the response, and to others, I never received your initial e-mail! The internet isn’t quite as reliable here, and we have had some trouble with our e-mail program. I apologize if it seems we’ve neglected you! If you did write but didn’t hear anything in response, please send your e-mail again! We so want to keep in touch with you all! Just bear with us–things are a little different here than in the States! 🙂

Temperatures: Some of you have asked about the temperature here. In all honesty, I don’t know what the temperature outside in the sun is. All I know is that it is HOT! 🙂 We do have a little thermometer on our porch here, which as I’ve shared before is part of our house. The top part of the porch is all screened, though, so it lets in a breeze (when there is one). Here on our porch, the temperature ranges between 80 degrees Fahrenheit and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. When it’s 80, it feels cool! Imagine that! Right now as I’m typing, it is four o’clock in the afternoon, things are starting to cool down, and the thermometer says 95.  It’s hard to imagine returning to Chicago temperatures of 20-30 degrees in just a few weeks!

Getting Sick is Just NO Fun: Thanks to those of you who prayed for me while I was sick. I didn’t have a chance to write much about it because I was sick in bed! The other night I was up all night with terrible pains in my stomach which left me running to the bathroom all night. The following day, I couldn’t keep anything down, and was just plain miserable! At one point we were very concerned because the pains in my stomach were so incredibly intense, part of me wondered if contractions were starting! Praise the Lord that I am feeling much better and the baby seems to be just fine–kicking away! I think that any type of stomach bug is just intensified when you’re pregnant because there’s a little baby in there pushing all of our organs in the wrong directions! 🙂 I’m still feeling a little weak just because I haven’t been able to eat much yet, but I am definitely getting better. Josh was a wonderful husband and took care of me in such a tender and loving way. I am so thankful for my husband!

I suppose I should wrap things up for now. We have some more pictures to add, so I will try to do that soon! We are so honored to share this journey with you!

The way the Internet is here, I’ve been having some trouble uploading pictures to the blog. I’m trying something a little different this time, and I’m hoping it makes adding pictures easier. Let me know what you think.

To view the pictures, just click on the link for our MobileMe gallery: Pictures of the past few days…

Tomorrow Josh and some of our Indian friends are taking me on a fishing trip upriver. Isabella is staying home with Keila. Please pray for our safety, but also that it will be a nice little “getaway.” Pray also that I’ll have peace about leaving Isabella. I hate to be out of communication in case of emergency, but I know she is in good hands … and ultimately the best Hands of all! I’ll post pics of our trip soon.

ps…I’m hoping to catch a bigger fish than Josh! 😉

Thank you all for praying for Isabella and also for my mom.

I apologize for not writing an update sooner. My days have been filled with taking care of Isabella and still trying to keep up with some other responsibilities.

Isabella’s fever has come down. On Thursday afternoon, we took her to the dispensary here in the village where there are some doctor interns working. They  took some blood to check for malaria (which was negative) and gave her a fever shot which helped to bring her fever down. Yesterday her temperature fluctuated between 99 and 100, for which we were greatly relieved. She still seemed clingy and lethargic and also developed a rash, which has since spread over her whole body.

She no longer has a fever, but the rash concerns us. We just returned from the dispensary again. They are not sure what the rash is or what is causing it. They are wondering if it is some sort of allergic reaction to something. I have no medical experience, but I’m a little skeptical of that only because we haven’t changed any soaps, detergents, lotions, foods, etc. However, they did give us some medicine to help with an allergic reaction (similar to Benadryl). We just gave her a dose, and she is napping now. We’ll see how she is when she wakes up. Please do continue to pray for her…that God would heal her body and also give us good judgement in knowing how to help her.

Thank you, too, for praying for my mom. The surgery went well, and she is home recovering. Please continue to pray for a speedy recovery and continued protection over her body.

Please do continue to pray for the work here. The Yanomamö can be a difficult people to work with at times, yet the needs are still very real. On the medical side of things, though there are doctor interns stationed here in the village, their knowledge and experience is limited, and the facilities are ill-equipped. Quite a few in the village have not taken their Neem faithfully and are now fighting malaria. Many babies and children are sick with fever. The other night a young girl gave birth prematurely, and the baby was unable to be saved. And another miscarried at about 4-5 months just two nights ago. Hearts are heavy. Pray for God’s healing physically and emotionally, and please do continue to pray for the very real need of air support here in the village.

Just a note to ask you all to pray for my mom, Alison. About a year or two ago she had back surgery for a ruptured disc. Because this didn’t solve the problem, her doctor decided to do a fusion of her lower vertebrae. During this last month when we were out of communication, she had another ruptured disc, resulting in another surgery. The surgery definitely helped and gave her relief from her pain. However, out of the blue, she had another ruptured disc over the weekend. The doctors aren’t sure if these ruptures are due to the fusion or due to her Parkinson’s Disease. She is scheduled to have another back surgery tomorrow (Thursday) at 1:30 pm CST.

Please pray for healing and hope. I haven’t been able to talk to her because she is unable to get to her computer because of its location in her home, but from what I hear, she is quite discouraged. Please pray for her. It is hard to be so far away when someone you love is struggling! Pray also that the doctors will have the wisdom and knowledge to fix the problem. If you would like to send her a note of encouragement to let her know you’re praying, just e-mail me at erika@mrk.com, and I will send you her address.

Thank you for lifting her up in prayer with us!

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