Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Becca’s Summer

Greetings from the road with my parents!

Having just completed my first year at Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri, my summer plans are shaping up to be anything but ordinary. After moving out of the dorms, I joined my parents in Billings, Montana to spend three weeks with them on itineration. We traveled back and forth between Montana and North Dakota for nearly two weeks. We stayed in Montana just long enough for me to finally acquire an official Montana driver’s license! Since I was in Madagascar during the past seven years, there was no way for me to get a permit or license until now. I am so happy that I finally have it! Though we have spent several weeks together traveling, my time with my parents has come to an end. On May 31st I will return to Springfield, Missouri to begin part two of my summer life at Missionary Training and Renewal.

So glad to have my Montana driver's license!

So glad to have my Montana driver’s license!

Back in 2002, my family went through missionary training in preparation for the mission field. Essentially my brother and I went to “camp” while my parents sat through training seminars. It is at this “camp” that I will be spending the month of June as a chief. Missionary Kids are split into different groups based on age, and I will be working with the older kids as they go through “boot camp.”

My original MK group from 2002!

My original MK group from 2002!

Boot camp is an intensive MK immersion experience. Over the next few weeks, our goal is to mentally and spiritually prepare kids from 4th -12th grade for whatever the mission field might entail. We do this by breaking up in groups and sharing with them our personal experiences as MKs on the field, but also by praying over them and speaking into their lives. As far as the mental preparations go, there are a few traditions including: Eating Ministry, simulated Security/Border control checks, and MuKappa (camp)… Each of these activities is planned to prepare MKs for whatever may come their way while maintaining an element of fun. In eating ministry the kids must live by the motto, eat whatever is served with a smile on your face so as to not offend. We as MKs live by it, eating every strange food served. In the security checks, they are taught both patience and that life is not fair as we may confiscate their “contraband” or send them to the back of the line for some unknown reason. During the MuKappa phase, we go camping for a few days, living the bush life. Basically, because I, and fellow college-age MKs, suffered through it when we were kids, we are excited to put others through it as well.

Caleb and me at MuKappa camp back in the day!

Caleb and me at MuKappa camp!

I am so excited to pour my experience and love as an MK into the kids that we will be sending out this year. I remember how much I cherished my missionary training memories and I am still friends with most of the MKs I met during those weeks. I gained so much from my experience 13 years ago, and I can’t wait to give back this year!

I am still friends with the MK girls after all these years!

I am still friends with the MK girls after all these years!

After I finish MK training in Springfield, I will be returning to Montana where I will be an intern at Glacier Bible Camp helping with Family Camp, Teen Camp, Jr. High Camp, and Kid’s Camp. Then in August, once camps have ended, I will be saying goodbye to my parents as they head back to Madagascar for their next term and I head back to Springfield to be a launch leader for the new incoming freshmen at Evangel University this fall. Having my parents back in Madagascar without me will be a bit weird, but it will be exciting to see what God will do in my life here in America. I am used to being away from my parents but having them 10 time zones away will take some getting used to.

Me and my gal on the road again!

Me and my gal on the road again!

April is flying by, Tammy and I continue our travels. We have had numerous services, coffees, and lunches with friends and supporters here in our home District of Montana. It has been so great to see old friends and faces again. This past week we celebrated our annual Network Council by re-electing our superintendent Alan Warneke. During the council, I was asked to speak at the missions banquet on the value of Light for the Lost from the perspective of a missionary. It was a wonderful banquet and such an honor to share story after story of the value of Light for the Lost’s impact on our work in Madagascar. LFTL is the men’s ministries arm of missions and provides funds for Bibles and other evangelistic materials to spread the gospel. If your church does not already give to LFTL, let me encourage you to get involved.

What a privilege to speak at the Montana Ministry Network missions banquet!

What a privilege to speak at the Montana Ministry Network missions banquet!

Being asked to speak for this banquet got me thinking about the value of all the various missions programs that we have in the Assemblies of God. Not only is Light for the Lost a great support for missionaries like me, but so is Speed the Light and Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge.

Speed the Light is the youth ministries arm of A/G missions and it helps us greatly by providing essential transportation and communication to be as effective as possible on our field of service. Getting us where we need to go and equipping us to share once we do get there with PA systems, video projectors, and so much more! There is not a week that goes by that I do not thank God for the youth of America and STL as I crank up my Land Cruiser.

So blessed to have this great STL vehicle!

So blessed to have this great STL vehicle!

Boys and Girls Missionary Crusade (BGMC) is also a huge blessing. The BGMC program provides money to missions projects which are funded by the children of America’s A/G churches. We have had thousands of dollars given to Madagascar for various projects from translation and printing of Bible School curriculum to portable sound systems for the bush, and much more.

BGMC helps boys and girls learn about and give to missions.

BGMC helps boys and girls learn about and give to missions.

Recently BGMC made a promotional video based on one of our stories from Madagascar. It is entitled the End of the Road and it encourages children to be more Spirit led in their daily lives. You can download the story at this link THE END OF THE ROAD.

Tammy and I just cannot express our gratitude enough for the support that we receive as missionaries, not only in the great monthly giving that we receive from our partnering churches, but from the other great programs like Light for the Lost, Speed the Light and Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge. Together we are making a difference in the Kingdom! It’s a team effort!

Our partnering churches are so vital to our work!

Our partnering churches are so vital to our work!

Continue to pray for us, as we are just a few hundred dollars short of our goal for monthly support.

Our Upcoming Schedule
Sun. May 10 AM- Sidney Assembly of God, Montana
Wed. May 13 PM- Watford City A/G, North Dakota
Thus. May 14 PM- Scobey A/G, Montana
Sun. May 17 AM- Glendive A/G, Montana
Sun. May 17 PM- Faith A/G Circle, Montana
Wed. May 20 PM- First A/G Minot, North Dakota
Sun. May 24 AM- Freedom Church, Grand Forks, ND
Sun. May 31 AM- Christian Life Church Plymouth, WI

March Madness

DSC_0269

As many of you across America prepare to watch the college basketball playoffs known as March Madness, we are in the middle of a little craziness of our own this month.

Sharing about Madagascar at a recent missions banquet.

Sharing about Madagascar at a recent missions banquet.

March began with us speaking at Christian Life Center in Missoula for their missions convention. Being back in Missoula was special because we were able to spend a little more time with Caleb, our son, and our new daughter-in-law Alyssa before we hit the road again for good. The following morning, we left Missoula headed for Washington State, leaving behind the great little house we had called home since November. From here on out we will be living on the road as we journey across the northern United States, from March through June, making our way slowly east from Washington towards Wisconsin.

This house in Missoula has been such a blessing this winter.

This house in Missoula has been such a blessing this winter.

Our own personal March Madness finds us criss-crossing the state of Washington visiting friends, meeting with supporters, speaking in churches, and zigzagging our way back and forth across the Cascade Mountains from western Washington to eastern Washington and back again, even making a foray into Oregon to speak at People’s Church in Salem one Sunday evening. At last count, we have over 26 services or individual meetings on the schedule for this month.

Becca flew to Seattle during her Spring Break to spend some time with us.

Becca flew to Seattle during her Spring Break to spend some time with us.

Please keep us in your prayers for our constant travels. Our desire is to reconnect with as many of our individual supporters and partnering churches as possible, while praying to find favor with new churches and individuals who may feel led to invest in us through monthly support or prayer. Continue to pray for Becca, Caleb and our daughter-in-law, Alyssa. They are all doing well, but could use your prayers as they continue their college studies. Tammy also could use your prayers as she continues to work toward her Master’s degree online in various hotel rooms and houses along the route. Please pray for Madagascar which has been hit by severe rains and flooding this past month which has caused terrible damage to many homes and villages. We are so grateful for our mission team members back in Madagascar who carry on the work.

So fun to be able to visit one of Tammy's former college roommates during our travels.

So fun to be able to visit one of Tammy’s former college roommates during our travels.

It is a pretty crazy month, but it has been very rewarding to connect with many old friends and visit many faithful supporting churches. God is so good!

I’ve Got Your Back!

As we travel the United States this year sharing about what God has been doing in Madagascar, many people have asked us what is happening in Madagascar while we’re gone. The truth is… quite a lot has been happening, thanks to a great team of AGWM missionaries.

The members of our Madagascar mission team.

The members of our Madagascar mission team.

Our mission team, in many ways, is like a church staff. Each of us has particular gifts and talents that we use to help move the Malagasy Assemblies of God church move forward under a united vision. Unlike a church staff, our team is also like a surrogate family, when our real families are 10,000 miles away, we act as aunts and uncles to other MKs (Missionary Kids) and we live life together. We worship together, pray together, and we do ministry together. We like to use the phrase, “I’ve Got Your Back!” We look out for each other and when one of us succeeds, we all succeed. Tammy and I want to take this posting to brag on our teammates who continue the work in Madagascar while we are home on furlough.

Aaron Santmyire providing medical care to an injured Malagasy.

Aaron Santmyire providing medical care to an injured Malagasy.

Aaron and Heather Santmyire have been in Madagascar since 2007. They have two great kids, Isabelle and Josiah. Aaron has his doctorate in nursing and practices medicine through a mobile clinic in many hard to access places in Madagascar. In addition to his medical ministry, Aaron is helping to provide leadership to our team while we are in the States. Both Aaron and Heather teach at the Bible School and together they oversee the Assemblies of God orphanage.

Jay Rostorfer praying for people during an altar call.

Jay Rostorfer praying for people during an altar call.

Jay and Carey Rostorfer have been in Madagascar since 2004 and they have four wonderful girls. Two of them, Jordan and Constance, have returned to America, but their two youngest, Jael, and Candace, are still in Madagascar. Jay is a great preacher and does quite a bit of evangelistic outreach as well as Bible school teaching. Jay is also the National Commander for Royal Rangers and is over seeing the translation and printing of the Royal Rangers curriculum into the Malagasy language. Carey has a huge heart for worship ministry, women’s ministry, and leads a regular discipleship class for pastor’s wives, helping them to disciple and mentor the women in their churches.

Dr. Jim Thacker is helping our Bible School and other training programs in the country to move forward.

Dr. Jim Thacker is helping our Bible School and other training programs in the country to move forward.

Jim and Meg Thacker are new to Madagascar this past year, but are veteran missionaries with an education background having served in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Burundi, and several other countries. They bring their years of teaching experience to Madagascar helping our Bible school and extension schools to grow and expand. New curriculum is being translated and printed and new ideas are being formed to help improve the educational opportunities for our pastors and leaders.

Billy and Jo Wilson are greatly loved on the southeast coast.

Billy and Jo Wilson are greatly loved on the southeast coast.

Billy and Jo Wilson have been in Madagascar since 2012 and are also veteran missionaries who have served in the DRC (Congo), Kenya, and Rwanda. They have a heart to help mentor young pastors and develop leaders for church planting in the bush. They oversee our Madagascar Live Dead team on the Southeast coast, training church planters and building new churches where the church hasn’t gone before. They are such a blessing to that region and the pastors they serve.

Ernest and Elizabeth Kisinga are wonderful church planting missionaries from Tanzania.

Ernest and Elizabeth Kisinga are wonderful church planting missionaries from Tanzania.

In addition to these great teammates, we have others who help form a larger team, missionaries working with us from Tanzania, Romania, Reunion Island, and France. Together we are seeing the kingdom of God in Madagascar advance. Tammy and I are so grateful to have these wonderful people working shoulder to shoulder with us. We are so thankful that we can each look each other in the eye and state, “Hey Friend, I’ve Got Your Back!”

Our Upcoming Service Schedule
Feb. 8- Calvary Christian Assembly – Seattle, WA
Feb. 15- Columbia Heights Assembly Longview, WA
Feb. 16-18 Africa’s Hope Planning Meetings Springfield, MO
Feb. 22 AM- Libby Assembly of God Libby, MT
Feb. 22 PM- Troy Assembly of God Troy, MT
Mar. 1 – Christian Life Center Missoula, MT
Mar. 4 PM- Northwest Family Church Auburn, WA
Mar. 7-8 Faith Assembly Lacey, WA
Mar. 11 PM Yelm Prairie Christian Center Yelm, WA

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from our house to yours!

Happy New Year from our family to yours!

We hope that all of you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s celebration! This past month we were able to spend some great time with our kids as Becca came home from college at Evangel University and we were able to hang out together with Caleb and Alyssa (our new daughter-in-law) quite a bit. We were also very happy to be able to participate in a small family reunion with all of my family for several nights at a rented cabin, with all the cousins under one roof.

Tammy's parents and all the children and grandchildren together under one roof.

Tammy’s parents and all the children and grandchildren together under one roof.

Please continue to pray for Madagascar. While the date is not yet set, there will soon be elections held for new church leadership. Satan would love to bring division to these elections. Please pray that God would lead and guide the Malagasies to choose good leaders to these important positions.

I, Tammy, have been reading a book entitled, “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction” by Eugene Peterson. I think its an excellent title. The book is about the psalms of ascent, the chapters on Psalms 131 and 133 particularly challenged me, but each chapter was sprinkled with nuggets of truth.

We continue to do what we do so that the Malagasy people can find freedom in Christ from the  deception of ancestor worship and Islam!

We continue to do what we do so that the Malagasy people can find freedom in Christ from the deception of ancestor worship and Islam!

A long obedience in the same direction is a description of the process of discipleship to which we have been called. Upon our salvation, we have not arrived, but on the contrary, we have just begun. We have not entered a short and fast sprint but rather a life-long marathon. As we continue to study, learn and apply Scripture, we are progressively discipled, we become more like Christ. It is a life-long process.

So in this new year, when many of us are thinking about resolutions, diets and goals, let us not forget or give up on our long obedience to Christ in the same direction.

Happy New Year from Montana! Thanks for your continued prayers and support for our ministry and for Madagascar!

Happy New Year from Montana! Thanks for your continued prayers and support for our ministry and for Madagascar!

Thank you for your continued prayers and support as we travel the country this year. We are still in need of nearly $1000 in monthly support. But we know that God is faithful and the needed funds will come in. Below is our upcoming travel schedule. If you are in the area, we would love to see you.

Sun. Jan. 11 AM River City Church- Boise, ID
Sun. Jan 11 PM First A/G – Caldwell, ID
Wed. Jan 14 PM Nyssa Community Church- Nyssa, OR
Thurs. Jan 15 PM Lighthouse A/G Ontario, OR
Sun. Jan 18 AM NW Family Fellowship Great Falls, MT
Sun. Jan 18 PM New Life A/G- Lewistown, MT
Jan. 19-21 Montana Minister’s Renewal Great Falls, MT

Sun. Jan 25 AM Neighborhood A/G -Helena, MT

Sun. Jan 25 PM Boulder A/G – Boulder, MT

Sun. Feb 1 AM Dillon A/G- Dillon, MT

Sun. Feb 1 PM Ennis A/G- Ennis, MT

Wed. Feb 4 PM Hamilton A/G Youth – Hamilton, MT

Sun. Feb 8 AM Calvary Christian Assembly- Seattle, WA

Giving Thanks!

It is with great excitement that we share this news with you!

On Saturday, November 8th, four Malagasy pastors graduated from the West Africa Advanced School of Theology (WAAST) in Lomé, Togo, receiving their degrees in theology. This is an historic moment for the Assemblies of God in Madagascar. Though we have nearly 700 pastors in the country, it marks the first time ever that an A/G Malagasy pastor has received any sort of an advanced degree. Two of our students graduated cum laude (with honors) while another graduated summa cum laude (with highest honors). This French degree in theology, is similar to a B.A. in America, and is a huge step towards seeing many more pastors and leaders receive the education they need to help lead the Assemblies of God into the future. It is a part of our continuing effort to help the church to grow Deep and Wide.

Our four Malagasy graduates!

Our four Malagasy graduates!

This moment has been a long time in the making. Some of these pastors have been studying for early 14 years, taking correspondence courses from Global University classes in French. This was a long and slow process, one course at a time over a period of many months. Since creating a relationship with WAAST, last year, we have been able to serve more students, offer higher level education opportunities, and speed up the entire process.

Pastor Hasina graduated Summa Cum Laude, near the top of her class.

Pastor Hasina graduated in Togo this November, Summa Cum Laude, near the top of her class.

Providing training opportunities for Malagasy pastors to attain advanced degrees is crucial if we are to help the church become self-sustaining and indigenous. But offering this level of training is not cheap. Three times a year we fly French speaking African professors into Madagascar from West Africa so that they can hold block classes with our advanced extension school students, then after several years of study, those students that have enough credits must fly to Lomé, Togo to finish their final coursework and graduate.

Churches often ask us if we have a project in which they could participate. Would you or your church consider becoming a partner in this training endeavor? By sending us a quick email at nate.lashway@agmd.org you can get more information on how to join the Madagascar Dive Club. We have called this effort the “Dive Club” because we are helping pastors to dive deeper into God’s Word than they ever thought possible. These pastors are taking Greek, Ethics, Issues in Contemporary Theology, Administration and so much more. We are not only developing better pastors but statesmen who will lead the church of the future.

Our extension school students this past winter with one of their visiting teachers from Togo.

Our extension school students this past winter with one of their visiting teachers from Togo.

God is not done with Madagascar and in this season of thankfulness, we are thankful for all of you who make our work possible. Helping the church in Madagascar to grow Deep theologically, so that it can grow Wide and reach every valley and village.

Thankful and Grateful

Each time we come home, we get a new prayer card made to pass out to ask for prayer. Recently, we “house-sat”, between services, for a family from one of our supporting churches. When I was getting ready for bed, I noticed the mirror in the bedroom was decorated with many, many prayer cards. It struck me that we will never know the power of those prayers or the miracles that happened because they were faithful to pray. We want to say thank you for your prayers for us, for the Malagasy church and the ministry there. We do not take your prayers for granted. We greatly appreciate your prayers.

A bed room mirror covered in missionary prayer cards.

A bed room mirror covered in missionary prayer cards.

Here are some of the specific things that you can join with us in prayer:

The Call to Missions Pray that the Lord will call more laborers to Madagascar. As a mission team, we have identified several key areas of ministry in Madagascar where we have strategic needs. These include children’s ministry, university ministry, an international church plant and regional missionaries who would be willing to live and work in different regions of the country to mentor and encourage pastors as well as help in church planting. We don’t know how God will meet the needs that we see, but we know that He has a plan.

Personal Spiritual Life Missionaries are in no way spiritual giants. We daily struggle to die to ourselves, to walk in obedience and to keep in step with the Spirit, showing the fruit of the Spirit, not only in ministry, but with our family and colleagues. We need to take the time to study the Word and apply it to our lives.

Our first prayer card in 2002.

Our first prayer card in 2002.

Family Life Our family is going through several life transitions. Please pray for our son, Caleb and his new wife, Alyssa as they begin a new life as a married couple. Our daughter, Becca is adjusting to life in the USA and at Evangel University. We, Nate and Tammy, are dealing with an empty nest as well as traveling full-time this year. Pray with us that we not only adjust to these new circumstances, but that we glorify God and grow through them.

Team One of the top reasons that missionaries leave the field is because of conflict between missionaries. It is one of Satan’s oldest strategies, to divide and conquer. We are blessed with a great mission team, but just like a marriage, having a great team is a lot of work. Pray with us that our team will continue to learn to appreciate, value and respect each other. As our Africa regional director once told us, “One of the greatest gifts that we can give the Malagasy church is a united team.”

Relationships Pray with us that God will give us favor with the Malagasy Assembly of God Church. Pray for strengthened friendships with pastors and leaders. Pray that God will increase our love and understanding of them and their culture. Pray that we will value their partnership and their unique giftings and callings.

Safety and Physical Health Pray for traveling mercies for us as we travel and visit so many churches for the next 8 months. We have already put nearly 10,000 miles on our car! Pray that the car will keep running and that icy roads will melt before we get there! Please pray for our health, as we encounter new germs and viruses in the USA.

Our 2011 prayer card

Our 2011 prayer card

Everyday Stress Living overseas brings a unique stress. We often tease that we have a flat spot on our foreheads from banging our heads against the wall. And while we joke about it, routine chores can be mind bogglingly difficult in a foreign context. This year, while we are in the USA, we are enjoying the efficiency and convenience of America. But our new everyday stress includes packing up our suitcases and moving them in and out of a hotel or home 3, 4 or 5 times a week. Pray for us that we can keep a sweet spirit and not become irritable with each other as we grow road weary.

Provision As we travel, we often don’t know where we will stay or what we will eat, but we know, most assuredly, that we will stay somewhere and that we will eat something! God has been more than faithful, providing homes, shared meals with friends (old and new), and even great hotel deals on Priceline.com occasionally. He knows just what we need and how to provide it! Even though we are traveling the country this year sharing what God is doing in Madagascar in order to raise financial and prayer support, it has to be about more than that! We pray for divine appointments with pastors, friends, believers in churches, maids in a hotel, or waitresses in a restaurant. We pray that God will speak through us to encourage, to bless or to challenge someone. We don’t need to know the details of how God uses us, but pray with us that God will use us in someone else’s life as we travel.

Our latest prayer card

Our latest prayer card

Perseverance As we retell our story several times each week, the Lord confirms his call over and over in our hearts. It keeps us excited to get back to Madagascar. Training leaders and planting churches in unreached areas can be slow work. Day to day, it often seems that there isn’t much progress, but when we step back and recall all that God has done these past years, it is amazing. We want to be faithful to what the Lord has called us. Pray with us that we will run the race with endurance, fixing our eyes on Jesus. If you are praying for missionaries like us, THANK YOU!

Our November Travel Schedule:

Sun. AM Nov. 2- Central Assembly Great Falls, MT

Sun. PM Nov. 2- Fairfield AG

Wed. PM Nov 5- Bigfork AG

Sat./Sun Nov 8-9 Canvas Church Kalispell, MT

Wed. Nov.12- Light of the Valley Stevensville, MT

Sun. AM Nov. 16- New Life Christian Center Polson, MT

Wed. PM Nov. 19- Chi Alpha Missoula

Sun. AM Nov. 23- Christian Center Bozeman, MT

Sun. PM Nov. 23- New Beginnings Sheridan, MT

Tues. Nov. 25- Home Group Swant’s Deer Lodge, MT

Sun. Nov. 30- New Life Worship Center Missoula, MT

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.