First Presbyterian Church
Las Cruces, NM



February, 2000 Missions Bulletin of First Presbyterian Church, Las Cruces, N.M. Vol. 2, No. 2

DO YOU SOMETIMES FEEL AMAZED OR OVERWHELMED BY THE COMPLEX SWIRL OF HUMAN EXPERIENCES TAKING PLACE AT A GIVEN MOMENT? There is the Christian slave girl in the Sudan who is being hamstrung so she can’t escape. A young Karen couple is enjoying the ritual of their marriage ceremony. A !Kung wife is delighted at having located a very large root for her family larder. A drunken Las Cruces father only a few blocks from where you live is unmercifully beating his little daughter because she yelled too loud. A Christian husband and wife, members of First Presbyterian Church of Las Cruces, are praying together after having read a meaningful Bible passage. An American missionary to a Mayan tribe in Mexico tries to decide whether or not to use money sacrificially given by stateside Christians for a short pleasure trip.

As members of First Presbyterian, we can’t know more than a minuscule fraction of what goes on in the daily lives of the missionaries we help support through our budget. But maybe it is good for us to remain aware that their lives are textures of experiences just as surely as our own and the lives of those we are close to. Missionaries value the prayers of those who know them and know something about their lives and work, and to that end members of the Mission Committee try to let you know a few things about what is going on in their lives. They hope this will help you pray with greater awareness and earnestness as you ask God to minister to their every need.

We can pray that, whatever is going on this day in the lives of Joel and Barbara Trudell, literacy experts working for Wycliffe Bible Translators in Africa, they will experience God’s presence, love, guidance, and comfort as they experience pleasure, alarm, pain, healing, indecisiveness, or whatever else is coming into their lives. The Wycliffe organization worried some about the threat of the Y2K bug for their work, since corrective measures in African countries were limited. They thank God that the bug turned out to be nothing more than a "gnat." And those that know and love the Trudells are thankful that Joel has recovered from the life-threatening malaria and typhus he suffered a few months ago. Some of you were praying for him as he returned to this country for treatment. Barbara and Joel regularly face the danger of contracting serious diseases that seldom plague us here.

Christian workers often are challenged by unanticipated financial needs. ---. Occasionally, missionaries have to leave their work for financial reasons. You may recall that Bob and Donna Waugespack were in danger of having to leave their work in Mexico a few years ago because the Latin American Mission would not allow them to remain on the field at such a low level of support.

Philip Prasad has enjoyed unusual success in bringing the gospel to the untouchables of Northern India, but, as he becomes older, he is feeling the physical effects of this demanding work. Elisabeth Prasad works hard, too, much of the time at the Witnessing Ministries of Christ headquarters in Fresno, California. Is there not a place in our lives for prayer for Philip and Elizabeth Prasad and those who work with them?

The all peoples imperative comes from God’s commitment to bless, without fail, all the people groups of the world through Abraham’s descendants. The promise is the backbone of the Bible and the scriptural foundation for our worldwide outreach and support for Christian missions in many places. God is using us and others to fulfill His purpose. We invite you to read and meditate from time to time on instances of the promise as listed in previous issues. The list will be restored in subsequent bulletins. You are also encouraged to save the bulletins and refer to them as a basis for prayer. In fact, the entire Lantern is a useful prayer aid.

Tom and Judy Harvey of Singapore are nearing the end of their busy first three years there. Tom continues to teach at Trinity Theological College. He also has traveled to Assam to help Eastern Theological College there, and he served as interim moderator of the local Presbyterian Church they attend. As the work expands he finds much planning and prayer required. He and his colleagues need our prayers as they face the expanding opportunities to train pastors, Christian workers, and the faculty of future Christian schools in Asia. Judy’s ministry to student wives has also expanded. Added to her Bible teaching is the necessity of getting the three Harvey children to all their extracurricular activities without benefit of a car. After an extra six months in Assam, the Harveys will spend six months in this country doing mission interpretation. Surely, you can sense that their work will affect uncounted thousands over many generations. Doesn’t this kind of thing justify prayer?

Ricardo Green, in Brazil with wife Reyna and his children, experiences continuing demands on his training and preaching talents. Some are surprising! Last fall he was asked to preach at a Presbyterian Church at 9:30 on a Tuesday morning! The pulpit was on a sidewalk, and Ricardo was given a microphone and asked to preach while elders and deacons talked to passers-by and invited them into the church for counseling and prayer. At the seminary in Fortaleza, Ricardo is teaching New Testament, Christian Education, and Pastoral Theology. In addition, Reyna expects to give birth to a new Green at the end of March. Even if you can’t know of every detail of the Greens’ experiences, you can imagine some of the texture of their lives and pray for them.

The folks at the Priscilla Bible School in Merida, Yucatan, have been adjusting to the loss of Seņorita Ruth Madera, first graduate of the school (1959) and the administrator for 41 years. Seņorita Yolanda Barrera took over as Administrator when Ruth Madera became ill and continued in that position after Ruth’s death in July. Like many similar institutions, the school operates on a shoe-string budget and depends on much volunteer participation. Thanks for the high levels of dedication and prayers for wisdom in allocating resources are much in order.

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