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HEATHER & JASON FADER
The medical student who is working with me (and serving as Kirundi translator) walks with me to my clinic office, where an old man is waiting outside the door with his clinic sheet. She exchanges a few words with him, and tells me "I think he has Parkinson's Disease, or something like that." I start with surprise and then recovering, ask them to come inside. Sure enough, this old man has come all the way from Tanzania because of a tremor which seems consistent with Parkinson's. I have not yet found any real treatment options for Parkinson's in Burundi, and I doubt his rural outpost of Tanzania has better options. I grab a bottle of Sinemet out of my office drawer, and I say to my student in French, "I don't make a habit of bringing medicines from the United States, mostly because we want to support Burundian supply chains. But, you see, my grandmother passed away a couple months ago. She was a wonderful and lovely woman. My grandfather asked me to go through the medications she left behind, to see if any would be useful for Burundi. The only one that seemed useful to bring back was this medicine for Parkinson's. This bottle won't last forever, but I hope it will help him feel better for a while." Turning to the man, I continue, "I don't see that many patients with Parkinson's, and I wondered whether I would find any before the medicine expired, but lo and behold, you are my first patient back, and it's precisely what you need." My student gives me a look that says, "Do you want me to tell the patient all that?" Yes, I do. I watch my patient's face light up with joy and profound gratitude on hearing the story of his medication bottle, and I think about the beauty and the probability of this moment.
ERIC & BRITTANY PEDERSEN
A Moment of Great Opportunity Over the last 10+ years, I have listened to a lot of students share about the way their lives were changed during their time in InterVarsity. Almost every student has a story about how God used a conference to change them forever, to realign them and send them off in a new direction. That is why I love conferences! It's not just about the late nights, moving worship and great memories. For many students, conferences are the starting point of a new trajectory in life. That is why we need YOU to pray. Prayer Requests: As we work to relaunch the UW chapter, we are praying that: 1. Students to see how wonderful Jesus is and make the decision to put him at the center of their college life. 2. Our chapter becomes bonded together by a vision to see students transformed by Jesus back on Campus.
JULIO & KATIE ISAZA
January is always an interesting month. The first part of the month is usually quiet as people are still on vacation. The Christmas tree comes down and Christmas decorations get put away. School doesn’t start up until the middle or end of the month, so kids are off school right when we are in the midst of starting up routine and ministry. It’s time to plan and begin meeting about ministry plans for the upcoming months. It involves phone calls and reconnecting with ministry partners, as well as looking at goals and planning out the calendar. This year it includes starting to plan for a short summer home assignment and all of the details that go along with that. It has also included, for me, hours at the computer as I’ve been working on a writing project for Covenant World Relief. They invited me to help write/create the Kids Helping Kids curriculum this year. This week that has meant the children are finally off to school and by 7am I have my cup of coffee and I am at the computer writing. Thank you for your prayers.
A Spanish friend said to me, "I feel I have so much to learn. I just want someone to pour out their knowledge (of the Bible) to me." We talked about it and decided to do a Bible study together. Although she attends church, she admitted that she had never done a Bible study before and was anxious to see what it'd be like. This was a conversation we had back in October, and nothing has happened until this month. It has taught me patience and trust in God's timing, which hasn't been easy to learn. Just last week we met to decide how we'll do the study. On Monday, we will begin a Discovery Bible Study reading the book of Ephesians. This method of study will allow the Bible to speak to her itself rather than me or someone else pouring out knowledge to her. In this way, she'll gain tools to study and read on her own too.
NILS & ERIKA CLAUSON
2018 has been a year filled with new challenges and rhythms, but God has been faithful, and we have sensed his nearness to us in our times of rejoicing and lament. We share some highlights from this past year: The women’s discipleship group continues to grow in their understanding and experience of God’s love and the love between us is growing as a result. We just celebrated Advent together and prayed for hope, peace, joy and love for us all in our hearts, families and world. Working in partnership with various outreach ministries continues to be a blessing. We are currently collaborating with Fuentes Libres (women’s community bank ministry), Semillas de Salud (The Seeds of Health ministry partnering with Fuentes Libres) and FUNDEFAM (community development organization in Monterrey). Our boys are enjoying 8th and 6th grades at Oaxaca Christian School. Matías is still playing basketball while Lucas decided to give tennis a try this year. Maya is attending the Montessori school where both boys attended for the first 3 years we were here in Oaxaca, and her Spanish vocabulary is growing so fast! Please continue to pray for them all to grow in their understanding of God’s love for them and their sharing of that love with others. This fall Nils started a dual master’s program at North Park University in non-profit management and Christian ministry. He has enjoyed his first semester, but it has been a lot of additional work for him, so we appreciate your prayers as we all continue to adjust to a busier schedule. We are so grateful for your prayers, support and partnership with us in ministry in Mexico! May you experience God’s shalom in your lives, relationships and communities in 2019. Dios les bendiga, Erika, Nils, Matías, Lucas & Maya.
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