January 27, 2015

Introducing a New Member of the Thailand Team!

Anna* is a teacher in Thailand who has joined the RMM Thailand team. We are so happy to have her as a part of the team in Bangkok and for the gifts and desire to serve Jesus that she brings. Anna is from the London, Ohio area and grew up attending London Christian Fellowship, which is now her sending church. She attended Cedarville University, studying Elementary Education and ESL (English as a Second Language) and had the opportunity to do her student teaching in Bangkok. Anna taught at the International Community School (ICS) and fell in love with the school and with Thailand. She had peace about returning and when a teaching position became available, she decided to return the following year.

Anna is now in her second year of teaching at ICS and has committed to an additional year. She teaches students in grades K-5 in a pull-out ESL classroom. She is very involved in many other areas of school life as well including: English testing for admissions, facilitating chapel, teaching an after school Bible program, and tutoring. Outside of school, Anna enjoys time with her friends, running (when it’s not unbearably hot!), studying Thai with a tutor, and going on adventures around Thailand with her friends. She is also working with a ministry called Lifesong whose mission is to rescue and disciple children found in migrant construction sites and slum communities. Anna participates in this ministry by teaching English classes to children of Cambodian construction workers and local Thai kids who don’t have the opportunity to learn from native English speakers. She has made occasional trips to Cambodia to support the Cambodian side of the ministry.

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Keith Scheffel Resigning as CFO

Keith Scheffel, who has served with RMM for the past 22 years, recently announced plans to resign as CFO, effective February 28. He has accepted a position with Layman, Diener, and Borntrager Insurance and Financial Services. We are very sorry to see Keith move on after such a long history with RMM, but we appreciate the spirit in which he is leaving and we wish Keith and his family many blessings.

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January 23, 2015

Exciting Day!

Please pray for Nixson and Rhonda as they return to Bangkok today (January 23). They need prayer to find housing in a central location (between school and work). They will both be studying Thai for a few months as a refresher and to learn the more formal Thai used in the Bible, so pray for quick language progress. Pray for them as they reconnect with old friends, rejoin the RMM team, and begin their work again.

Pray also for Jonatan who will be flying from Nicaragua, to the States to meet Rhonda and Nixson and will fly to Thailand with them. Pray for his cultural adjustment and as he learns language. Pray that he could meet key people to help with his adjustment. Praise God that he can meet his goal of going to Thailand after four years of preparation!

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January 22, 2015

Puzzles and Seekers: A New Year in Spain

By Pablo,* RMM worker in Spain

For us, 2015 literally started out with a bang! We were able to watch fireworks from the rooftop after our New Year’s dinner. For the dinner, we had roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, potatoes, carrots, brussel sprouts and parsnips, made by a good friend with my help. It was a risky thing to do, given that he has not made it for 15 years and my major ignorance of cooking and kitchen protocol. But it turned out splendidly and was timely as well. We finished eating just before the stroke of midnight, then stuffed down grapes, one for each of the 12 chimes of midnight, which is a tradition here in Spain. Some say it’s for good luck, and if you can’t get all 12 grapes down in time, something bad will happen during the year. A more probable theory is that the tradition began within the past 75 years or so to get rid of an abundant grape harvest. Of course, making a profit had nothing to do with it! But I digress.

Last year six of us celebrated the New Year together. This year one couple couldn’t because of his mother’s advanced skin cancer. It’s untreatable at this point. She’s in pain and requires family members to be with her constantly. This is probably the last New Year she will be with them, unless God does a miraculous healing. We’ve not had opportunity to meet her, and visiting people in the condition she’s in is just not something Spanish families do. But why not ask him for healing? He can do it!

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January 20, 2015

Hello from Sunny Costa Rica!

Liz is an associated worker with RMM. She is working as an assistant director of Vida 220, a discipleship training school based in Talamanca. She is mentoring students, working with local children and building friendships and discipling relationships with university students. She is from Plain City, Ohio and her sending church is Agape Community Fellowship.


Hello from sunny, warm Costa Rica! It's hard to believe how quickly the time has gone since I left Ohio back in September.

We are in the second to last week of Vida220 training Right now Elam Stauffer is with us teaching on the spiritual disciplines. We have a great group of students here, and it's been really fun getting to know each of them. There are four from the Hartville area in Ohio, two from Mexico, and six from Costa Rica—three of which are from the indigenous reserve where one of VidaNet's bases is located and where Vida220 training is held.

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January 15, 2015

Needed: Both Sprinters and Ironmen

By Keith Scheffel

I’m awed by super athletic achievements. I remember watching in admiration at the smoothness and relative ease at which Usain Bolt, aka “the world’s fastest man,” won the 100 meter and 200 meter race in the 2012 Olympics. Both those races were over in the blink of an eye. On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve stood in awe of my wife’s niece who has completed several Ironman triathlons. These grueling events take several hours to complete. I only wish I was fit enough to complete just one of the three legs of those triathlons—2 mile swim, 100 mile bike ride and 26 mile run!

At RMM we are grateful for both the “sprinters” and the “ironmen” in relation to financial partners. Sprinters are those who provide the burst of one-time contributions at the front end of a missions assignment. Ironmen are those who make monthly contributions for the duration of the assignment. We need both types. There are significant costs at the beginning of an assignment (plane tickets) that the sprinters help with. There are also ongoing costs (visa fees, housing, school) that need the monthly commitments of the ironmen. While both are needed and deeply appreciated, I’m especially grateful to those who are committed for the long haul.

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January 12, 2015

Not that Different: An “Ordinary Life” at Home in North Africa

By sisters, Sarah and Candice (staff writer) Names changed or last names omitted for security in online version of this article

When we think of RMM workers living overseas, we picture a foreign culture, with a difficult language, strange food, and a religion that we don’t understand. For kids like Charis (11), Joy (9), and David (6), who moved to North Africa as young children (David was born there!), it’s what they’ve always known. Speaking with the children, via Skype, I was struck again by the normalcy of life for them. Charis had been making a pumpkin pie when I called and talked to me while wearing her apron. All the kids ran to bring me samples of their Arabic and French writing and pictures they had drawn. In the background was a steady stream of canary chirps and the shouts of their twin toddler brothers, Conrad and Philip. As we chatted, I got the sense that the kids think about living in North Africa not as “another culture” but simply “home.” For them, America is the second culture which they visit and adjust to as needed. In their little town, they lead a life that feels ordinary—getting up and going to school every day, sometimes arguing with their siblings, having playdates and making bracelets with friends, etc. Feel free to eavesdrop as their parents and I talk to them about life as it is right now...

What are your favorite things about living in North Africa?

David: My favorite things are making forts in the living room out of pillows and playing on my bicycle.

Joy: I like different places. I like a town where we visit sometimes because it has trees and green grass, and I like the town where we live because it has a bunch of hills and sunsets. I like the food—like couscous and tagine [a dish eaten by dipping bread in a common bowl] and also beets and peas.

I like the holiday Ashorah [10th day of the first month of the Islamic calendar]. All the kids are happy because they get stuff from their parents.

Charis: Friends, fresh bread, milawi [crispy flat bread served warm with tea in the afternoons].

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From San Jeronimo to Bangkok

RMM workers were first asked to come to Jonatan’s village, San Jeronimo, Nicaragua, during a severe drought in 1976 in the hope of being able to secure a water source for the village. Dan Byler presented Christ, the source of Living Water, to Jonatan’s grandfather who became one of the first believers in this village, and his family later also accepted Christ. Never underestimate what God will do with a drought and a cup of water.

Jonatan felt the call to missions at the age of sixteen and began dreaming and working for when this time would come. Preparation to go overseas required finishing high school. Because there was no high school in his village, Jonatan would get up at 3:00 a.m. once a week to either ride a horse or walk, traveling three hours (each way) for five years to the town which offered a high school education. Jonatan also received Christian education courses which were taught by his father, who is a pastor.

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January 08, 2015

Locally Grown: Grantsville’s Bridge to the Middle East

By Tim Yoder

This story begins long before anyone at Maple Glen became a part of it. It is a story of how God, through the power of his Holy Spirit, begins to draw people to himself and allows us to become part of something bigger than ourselves.

Abdul and Nany* grew up in Muslim families in Iraq. As a young person, Nany was drawn to Jesus and wanted to follow him, but was forbidden by her family. After Abdul and Nany married, Nany and her mother-in-law would occasionally attend church. It was soon discovered that Abdul and Nany could not have children. When Nany and Abdul’s mother would go to church, together they would ask Jesus for a child. After six months of asking Jesus for a child, Abdul’s mother told him that he also needed to go to church and pray for a child. Abdul and Nany went to the church and prayed. As Abdul prayed, a very nice feeling, something “electric,” went through his body and tears began to run down his face. The next month Nany was pregnant and they knew that the baby was from Jesus. Soon they were enjoying their son Hassan.

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January 07, 2015

Change of Plans for the Esh Family

There has been a change of plans with a family that we hoped to send to Thailand this month. We are disappointed to inform you that Conrad and Vicki Esh have decided not to join the RMM team in Thailand. They have reached this decision after a period of uncertainty and prayer. They have sought advice from RMM, their Mission Support Team and a professional counselor. We are sorry to lose Conrad and Vicki, but we are releasing them from their planned assignment and we wish them God’s blessing as they continue to seek and follow his leading.

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January 05, 2015

RIC Construction Photos

Construction is underway at the RIC! Leon Ruch from Beiharz Artchitect Inc. in Defiance, OH designed the floor plan for the remodel and Weaver Commercial Contractor from Wooster is doing the construction. Plans are for the office wing to be finished near the end of January and RMM staff will move offices in February. We’re super excited about being in one building instead of two!

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December 22, 2014

Behold: A Christmas Play

RMM is excited to present a Christmas play by Esta Felder* from her new book of “plays and readings from a biblical perspective.” These plays have been performed at many special events in the Middle East as part of a Christian theater ministry. The book is available through Amazon but due to security reasons we cannot provide a link or title of the book. But we do welcome you to contact us at info@rmmweb.org and we can share that information with you. The book is perfect for a church library or as a resource for creative presentations of many kinds. More information on the book will also be included in the January Mosaic.

BEHOLD


Characters: Rich Man, Poor Man, Mary

Running time: 3-4 minutes

Setting: The Rich Man (dressed in very rich clothes) and the Poor Man (in very poor clothes) stand upstage left and upstage right. They do not acknowledge each other until the end.


Rich Man: All my life I've been successful at everything I've tried. It helped that I was born into a good family and was able to get the best education. Eventually I earned an excellent reputation as an astrologer and scientist. As far as my personal life, I married a woman I adored and we had a beautiful son. So you see, I was doing as well as anyone can in this life.

Poor Man: From the moment I was born, my fate was sealed. My father was a shepherd and his father before him. I started working in the fields as far back as I can remember. Out in the fields there's not much to do but think. Sometimes I would wonder about God. He obviously set all this up but, beyond that...well he certainly wasn't thinking about me. That's the only thing I was sure of.

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