Thursday, December 27, 2018


Dear Friends, Brothers, & Sisters,
Thank you for what you did for our summer Youth Camp! Together with our church Biserica Crestina Baptista “Sfanta Treime”, we took 65 young people to the beautiful mountain village of Voronet, in Suceava County, Romania, for a week August 27- Sept 1, 2018. The theme was “Which Way? Discovering God’s Will” for your life, using the scripture Psalm 119: 105 “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path” and other scriptures.

Each teen meditated on the importance of the Bible’s presence in our lives (2 Tim. 3:15-17), salvation
as God’s will (Eph. 2: 1-5), using Christ as our role model to maturity (Rom 8:29 & 1 John 2:6), and finally inspiration that comes from God for decisions for your life (Phil 4:6 prayer, Heb 2:4 spiritual gifts).

The towns/villages represented were: our city Piatra Neamt, also Bodesti, Negresti, Dobreni, Bicaz,
Damuc, Racoasa, Suceava, Vaslui, Scantea, and Roman where evangelistic work is being done. We
also had 6 youth from Casa Ray Orphanage and 6 from Santa Maria Orphanage.

The youth camp is an important way to jump start a youth coming to church. This year, 2 youth were
baptized for a total of 14 youth from our camps in the last four years being baptized. Pray for them!

Vacation Bible School this summer was a hit! Together with our church, we hosted a week of Children’s VBS in July with the theme “The Kingdom of Heaven” with parables from Mt 13. We served kids ages 5-15 from our city, two orphanages, and a host of villages. Overall we met with 140 kids during the week. Each morning we held a program at the church with city & orphanage kids, 40-50 kids each day. Each afternoon we went to a village and shared our message. The villages we went to were BARGAUANI, ROMAN, POIENI, GARCINA, and BODESTI where evangelistic work is being done by our church. Between 10-60 kids. Every night we did something special with the youth group. We were glad & blessed to have as helpers Americans Diana & Bob Webb and Leah Miller. The kids had a fun time learning about pirates, treasure, and saving for the Kingdom of Heaven!

We hope our efforts in these activities will have eternal impact. “Talk about (God’s law) when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you getup... Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” (Deut 6:7-9)

-Lucian & Rebecca Avadanei, Emily & Ruben
My Brother’s Keeper Missionaries

THANK YOU for your involvement in our ministry, your prayers, and your gifts!

Domnul să va binecuvânteze!

May God bless you and your families this Christmas season and always!

This year we had our family’s furlough for 4 months in the States. We renewed our service with MBK (3 years) and visited friends & family. We welcomed a little baby boy, Ruben Roy in our family in September. We have been blessed with having had members from our church (Sfanta  Treime Baptist, in Piatra Neamt) involved with us in the activities, like last year. This year’s activities, among others, included:
- We had a Children’s Day picnic on June 1 in the village of Garcina where we have our children’s
program. There were 30 children, some old some new. We were happy to have some helpers from the
youth group come out and help with games & crafts!
- The ministry vehicle, 2009 7-seater VW Touran, has not had any problems or major repairs since
purchasing it last summer, Praise God! We have used it this year dutifully in our activities.
- We had an idea for a couples’ meal at our church on Dec 1, after attending one in the States. We
had 22 families/ 80 people total in attendance for the evening, and the youth served. It was nice for
the families in our church to fellowship, and we introduced a study to start in Jan with youth pastor.
- We received the Christmas shoeboxes from MBK &will have a Christmas program Mon Dec. 17th. One in village of Garcina, 40 kids, and one at the Ion Creanga Orphanage, also 40 kids. We also received an invitation to another orphanage in our city, 25 kids. Look for pictures afterwards on the blog!


1. Al’S TRIP TO MALAYSIA – My travel to Malaysia went well. The flights and layovers were long but thankfully uneventful. During my time in Penang, I was able to have very significant meetings with both the SIL Malaysia staff as well as my co-workers on the SIL Asia Shared Services Team. These opportunities to have face-to-face discussions with those leading the work in Asia help a great deal in my understanding of the situations they face as well as their understanding of what I have to offer. One of the most significant meetings I had was with the newly elected Director of SIL Malaysia, the outgoing Director, and the Field Security Officer. We were able to work through issues that needed immediate attention as well as setting plans for significant follow-up in the months ahead. Thank you so much for your prayers for this trip. God has heard and answered.

2. HEALTH AND STRENGTH – We praise God for the measure of health and strength He’s given this month as I (Mickey) have spent every day with my ill father. We don’t take this blessing lightly. God is good!

1. MICKEY’S DAD – December has been a challenging month for Al and me (Mickey) and our extended family. On December 2, literally overnight, my father (Elmer Shertzer) went from
being an active 90 year old man involved in lots of activities at the retirement home to no longer having the strength to stand on his own. Within two days he was bedridden and unable to do anything for himself, which frustrated him greatly.

His decline over the past three days was also dramatic as he could no longer eat or drink and became unresponsive. My sister and I were with Dad every day of his illness, helping him and showing him our love. He has been a good father and taught us to love and serve Jesus and to do what we can to help others. We praise God for allowing us to be able to help him in his time of need and to share Christ’s love with the staff and other residents on Dad’s floor in the process.

Thanks so much for your prayers for our entire family and for Dad. This afternoon (Dec. 21) at 2:34 PM, Al and I had the privilege of being at his side when God took him to Heaven. We rejoice at his ‘promotion’ but we grieve our loss, too. Your continued prayers for our entire family during this time are much appreciated. (Note: in the coming days, there will be an obituary with dates, times, and locations of the viewings and funeral posted on the Andrew T. Scheid Funeral Home website.)

2. MULTIPLE EXTENDED FAMILY ISSUES – The challenging and complex issues continue for many of our extended family, so thank you so much for continuing to take these needs to our Father. He alone can provide the wisdom and strength (physically, spiritually, and emotionally) that each of us needs in these difficult situations.

3. FINANCIAL PROVISION – Thanks so much for your prayers for God’s provision of the shortfall in our financial support. We are happy to report that one of our supporting churches has written to say that they will be increasing our support for the coming year. We praise God for this and continue to look to Him for the remaining support that we need in order to continue aiding the Bible translation efforts in Asia.

4. JUSTIN – Our son Justin is going through some challenging times right now and needs God’s wisdom and strength. He and his wife have separated and are in the midst of divorce proceedings. On top of that, Justin has a painful herniated disk in his neck and has been off work since early November. He’s had chiropractic treatments and a cortisone injection in his spine, but it will take some time before he sees improvement. Pray for God’s healing touch, peace, and provision financially. He will be off work at least until mid-January.

Monday, December 10, 2018


Dear friends and family,

As you know, my father, Elmer Shertzer, has been under the care of hospice because of gangrene on his one toe that is complicated by poor circulation in his legs, congestive heart failure, and stage 4 kidney disease. Because of the bad circulation, amputation was ruled out as a viable option.

Since last Saturday (Dec. 1), Dad has declined rapidly. He was ambulatory with his walker on Saturday, but didn’t feel well enough to go to activities or meals. On Sunday, his legs were so weak he couldn’t stand without my sister Margie and I holding him up (which we only did in order to transfer him to a wheelchair to take him to the bathroom or to the table in his room for meals). His breathing was also erratic - cycles of apnea (no breathing) followed by labored breathing. This usually signals that death is near, so I notified my brothers in Alabama.

On Monday, Dave and his wife arrived. On Tuesday, Steve and his wife arrived. It’s been an emotionally and physically draining week for all of us. To our surprise, Dad is still alive, but he is very weak and the gangrene has begun spreading into the rest of his foot. The medicines they give him round-the-clock to keep him calm and pain-free also make him very groggy. He often says, “I want to go home!” or “I want to get out of here (skilled care).” He’s also verbalized his deep desire to go to his home in Heaven. One day when he said that, I told him he needed to talk to God about that. With great desperation he looked toward the ceiling and pleaded “Jesus, please take me Home! I want to come Home!” We all thought he was going to get his wish granted early this week, but God hasn’t seen fit to come for him yet. We don’t know why. Maybe it’s so we – the family – can shine the light of the Gospel to the staff and other residents.

Pray we’ll be good witnesses for the Lord during this challenging time and ask the Lord to give us the physical and emotional strength we need to keep going. On Saturday, Al begins his return trip to the US. His first of three flights is scheduled to leave Malaysia at 8:25 PM local time (7:25 AM Saturday in Pennsylvania). He is due to arrive in PA about 6:45 PM on Sunday. It’s been hard for him to be so far from home during this challenging time for Dad and our family. Please pray for his safety in travel and peace of mind.

Thanks so much! God bless you all!

Mickey (and for Al and our family)

Monday, November 26, 2018


1. TRIP TO MICHIGAN – Thanks so much for your prayers for Al and me as we participated in a missions conference at one of our supporting churches in Michigan on Oct. 24-28. God blessed us with: a. Safety on the roads and no car trouble. b. Good health and the ability to participate in all of the meetings and activities. c. Visits with family and friends. d. New acquaintances at the church and “on the road”. I, Mickey, was especially thrilled to talk with several Filipinas at a rest stop on our way to Michigan! It was like being ‘back home’ in the Philippines! ~smile~

2. GOD’S TIMING – On Oct. 24 (just a couple hours before Al and I were scheduled to speak to the youth at the first session of the missions conference), I felt compelled to call my Dad in Pennsylvania to see how he was doing. This was definitely God’s timing, because at that very moment Dad’s doctor was there examining the sores that she’d been treating on one of his toes. Less than a week before, when she had examined the toe, she had recommended Dad see a wound care specialist, but the soonest appointment he could get was Nov. 7. She was concerned to find that a small spot of gangrene had developed since she had examined the toe and now recommended he be admitted to the hospital for treatment or possible amputation of the toe. As soon as I hung up from talking with the doctor, I called my sister Margie to let her know what was happening. She had just arrived at Dad’s retirement home that very moment to visit him – God’s timing – and was able to take him to the hospital and help him over the next two days while he was a patient there. If she hadn’t been there to help Dad, my participation in the missions conference would not have been possible.

3. ONLINE RISK MANAGEMENT MEETINGS – We made good progress during our November 1 video conference on reaching a final proposal for the Live Online Listing of Bibleless Peoples that Wycliffe USA is considering. This risk assessment and risk management process for such an information sharing program has been quite interesting as I facilitated the discussions and brought input from my experience. This proposal will now go to the Wycliffe USA leadership and a development team who will work out the details on how this will be put into action.

4. AL’S TRIP TO KANSAS CITY – November 6 found me flying to Kansas City to join with a team of security trainers to work with a large group of college students preparing for overseas mission service. Over the next five days, we worked with them on dealing with threats such as carjacking, government interrogation, hostage survival, and many other issues. One of the roles I played was a government interrogation officer. It was a good opportunity to help them see what it is like to face an uncomfortable official situation like this. I was very impressed with the dedication of these students and will be praying for them as they leave in January for four-month overseas assignments alongside experienced missionaries. 

1. MICKEY’S DAD – When Dad was in the hospital, the doctors soon realized that amputation of his toe was not a viable option because of his many other health issues. The gangrene has now totally taken over his toe, so his doctor recommended he begin receiving hospice care. We praise God that is still able to enjoy many of the activities at his retirement home. He is ready to meet Jesus, but all of these changes are rather overwhelming for him and have taken a toll on him (and our family) emotionally. Thanks for keeping all of us in your prayers.

2. MULTIPLE EXTENDED FAMILY ISSUES – We’d appreciate your prayers for wisdom and strength (physically, spiritually, and emotionally) for us and for some of our extended family members who are going through very challenging times.

3. FINANCIAL PROVISION – We have been blessed to be part of the work of Bible translation since 1984. We would like to keep on doing so for as long as God enables us to do the work, but many of our financial partners are now elderly and no longer able to be part of the work financially. Would you pray with us for God’s provision of the $735/month that we need to make up the shortfall and be able to continue in this ministry? Thank you!

4. AL’S UPCOMING TRIP TO ASIA – November 30, I will be on my way to Penang, Malaysia for consultations with the leadership team working there on their safety and security preparedness. I will also be participating in planning meetings with the SIL Asia Area team as we look into the months ahead and set our priorities. I very much appreciate your prayers for this trip and look forward to seeing how the Lord answers.

Monday, October 22, 2018


Rachel’s Vineyard & Undefeated Courage will be offering another Open House at the new Columbia, PA retreat house. All are welcome! Rachel’s Vineyard & Undefeated Courage provide ministry and compassion to those who grieve children lost in the womb, particularly through abortion. Rachel's Vineyard is a structured and guided weekend group retreat, developed by Dr. Theresa Burke, based on biblical readings and exercises of forgiveness and healing. Retreats are available to men and women of any faith. More information about retreats is available at / The house will be open to tour/explore from 12-2 on SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10. Retreat team-members will be available for hospitality and conversation. The address is 1029 Lancaster Ave, Columbia, PA 17512. There is limited parking behind the retreat house. Please park in the front lot of Sahd’s Metal Recycling next door, and walk over. God bless, and thank you!


Click here to read about the latest happenings from GCCM.

And here to learn about how you can support local students and the Cancer Care Ministry.


Dear friends,

A great deal has happened since we wrote to you in September. It has been a challenging time and we are
greatly blessed to have each of you praying for and supporting us each step of this journey. The Risk Assessment meetings last month in Orlando, Florida were a great success. We decided to gather the larger team again for the next meeting November 1. This will be an online conference again of twelve people
from six organizations. I (Al) have been asked to facilitate this session and work toward a conclusion that we hope to put online by the middle of 2019. I’m looking forward to writing to you about that development as the team puts it all together and rolls it out. The focus is on prayer for the Bibleless people of the world and I believe it is going to be a very exciting development.

As we wrote to you in September, I was busy preparing for my trip to Thailand for the Global Leaders
Meetings. At the same time, a crisis was hitting several of our teams in a restrictive Asian country. Several
teams had to leave for their home countries and several others are under a great deal of stress. I have spent
quite a bit of time working with a Crisis Management Team formed to deal with this crisis and the leaders of
this group. They, like many others across Asia, are serving in some very challenging situations. This threat is far from over. I very much appreciate the opportunity to help them and we will all appreciate your prayers for wisdom and direction.

As that crisis was unfolding and the date for my departure to Thailand was rapidly approaching, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit just north of the city of Palu in Indonesia. The city of Palu and the surrounding area were heavily damaged by the earthquake but the disaster did not end there. Shortly after the earthquake, a tsunami wave swept from the south, up the bay and over the northern half of the city.

The destruction was unimaginable. At last report, nearly 2,100 people are known to have died and an
additional 5,000 have been reported missing. I have visited Palu several times to provide safety and
security training to the teams who have been living and working in this region. My heart aches for those
who lost their lives and the thousands who have been injured. Several of our families were able to evacuate
Palu City on military transport to another city where they are recovering from this tragedy. There are a
great many unknowns ahead for them and the people they work with and serve in the Palu area.

I am so thankful for the opportunities I have had to serve them and I thank each of you for making this
possible. Last week one of those family members wrote to me to say:

“I’m very appreciative of all your training and experience that you shared with me a few years ago... I wish we hadn’t needed it, but even in the midst of this I can see that things have gone relatively smoothly compared to what could have been and a large part of that is due to how you have helped us in the past.”

Please pray with me for the people of Palu and these dear families who have been impacted by the earthquake and tsunami. May the Lord bring healing and direction for their future ministry with the people of Palu. October 4, I left home for Bangkok, Thailand and the Global Leaders Meetings. I joined a team of four to provide safety and security oversight for the conference of 230 Leaders and staff from around the world. It was a great opportunity to look back at what the Lord has been doing in our ministry of Bible translation and language development, and to look to the Lord for His leading for the future.

In addition to keeping focused on the two crisis events I am assisting with in Asia, I was able to listen in on the presentations and meet personally with several of the leaders that I serve in my security and contingency preparedness roll. It was a full and encouraging week. I’m home now and Mickey and I are preparing for our trip to Michigan next week for the mission conference at Five Points Community Church in Auburn Hills. We are looking forward to seeing our friends in that area as well as telling the stories of what we are seeing the Lord doing through the work in progress in Asia. November 6, I plan to be back on an airplane headed to Kansas City and the Fusion program at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. I have been asked again to join the team of trainers for this last week of the training section of the Fusion program that is preparing students for a semester of overseas service alongside veteran workers in some very difficult and challenging locations. You may remember my participation last year in this training in hostile interrogation and hostage survival. It is intense training and has served well in preparing the students for the work ahead of them. I will appreciate your prayers for the group this year as they learn from these intense sessions. We also thank you for your prayers for our family. We are going through some very stressful days and your prayers and encouragement are so precious to us. Our trust is in the Lord and we continue to look to Him for our strength. You standing with us is very precious.

We will also appreciate your prayers for our financial support needs. We have been blessed to have many
faithful individuals assisting with our financial support during our 36 years with Wycliffe, however, in recent years, many of those individuals have passed away or are no longer able to assist with our financial support. This reality, along with increasing expenses, has left a shortfall that is becoming quite challenging. Please pray with us that the Lord will provide opportunities to share our ministry with Wycliffe with others who will desire to join our team for the future.

Thanks and God bless you.

Prayer & Praise Points:
1. Praise for the good Risk Management meetings in Orlando, FL in September and a good internet
connection for Al to participate in them remotely. Pray for the continuation of those meetings that will
be done online November 1.

2. Praise the Lord for safety in travel and during the Global Leaders Meetings in Thailand in October.

3. Pray for wisdom for Al as he assists teams in a restricted Asian country where the government is
becoming more hostile toward the Gospel.

4. Pray for the Indonesian people and the teams working there who have been affected by the
earthquake. Pray for God’s healing touch and for direction for the teams regarding future work there.

5. Pray for good health, safety, and wisdom to know what to share as we participate in a mission
conference in Michigan from Oct. 24-28.

6. Pray for Mickey’s father’s health in our absence.

7. Praise that Mickey’s sister (who has been living with us since early Feb.) is available to help Dad and
care for our house and pets while we’re away.

8. Pray for multiple extended family issues that are a great concern to us.

9. Pray for Al as he travels to Kansas City in early November to be on staff for the Fusion course.

10. Pray for God’s provision financially to enable us to continue serving with Wycliffe.