Monday, October 22, 2018

OPEN HOUSE: RACHEL'S VINEYARD

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 /www.rachelsvineyard.org/. 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!

NEWS FROM THE CANCER CARE MINISTRY

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.

AN UPDATE FROM AL & MICKEY WILLIAMS

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.
Al

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.

Friday, September 21, 2018

AL & MICKEY WILLIAMS: PRAYER & PRAISE BULLETIN, SEPTEMBER 2018

PRAISE ITEMS:
1. FAMILY – We praise God for our family. We don’t get to see them often enough, so when we DO get together, the time is precious to us. Because Justin lives several hours away, it was special having him visit us on August 19 and even “jam” a bit with his grandpa Shertzer, too.

On September 3, when my sister Margie and I visited with Dad, we had a special treat: James, one of the residents at Dad’s retirement home, joined us for a game of Scrabble. So what’s so special about that? James is 100 years old!

On September 8, one of my longtime wishes came true – I got to have one-on-one time with Jeremy’s
daughter, Everlee (9 years old). We had fun talking, making things out of Playdough, and playing with a paper doll house. On the evening of September 18, Justin was riding his motorcycle on a highway in western PA when a deer ran out in front of him. He hit the deer, but miraculously managed to keep the cycle on both wheels! We praise God for His protection over Justin.

2. WORKING VIA THE INTERNET - The past several weeks have been quite full. I’m thankful for good internet service and the ability to interact with our many colleagues across Asia. As you will read in our Prayer Items, I have been depending on this service a great deal. Last week I attended the Risk Management Network meetings. In addition to the general topics, I was able to discuss with others the increasing risk issues in some Asian countries and gain information from those who are dealing with similar issues. This was very helpful. Next week is the next round of risk assessment and contingency planning meetings for Wycliffe USA and a new information distribution initiative. I will be at home in Pennsylvania while most of the team is gathered in Orlando for those meetings. I’ll be joining them via internet video conferencing for the three days of meetings. I’m thankful to be able to participate in these discussions.

PRAYER ITEMS:
1. TYPHOON MANGKHUT – As hurricane Florence battered North Carolina on September 14, typhoon Mangkhut was causing a path of destruction across the northern Philippines. Pray that God would use these disasters to draw people to Himself.

2. MICKEY’S HEALTH – On August 27, I saw the “electrical” cardiologist. The good news is he didn’t feel the results of my 7-day heart monitor were abnormal. The bad news is we still don’t know why I sometimes get short of breath with little exertion. I’m watching my blood pressure to see if there’s a correlation. Pray we can get this figured out. In the meantime, rejoice with us in the news that the urologist found no signs of bladder cancer during my check-up on September 7! My next follow-up is in March 2019.

3. ASSISTING COLLEAGUES IN CRISIS – Some of our colleagues serve in countries that are not favorable to the Gospel. One such country’s government has recently taken an aggressive stance. Al has been providing council to our colleagues who serve there. Pray for wisdom for him and our colleagues. And pray for God’s protection and endurance for them in the face of opposition.

4. AL’S TRIP TO THAILAND IN OCTOBER – Soon I’ll be back in the air on my way to Bangkok, Thailand to join the security team watching over a gathering of about 250 people at a leaders’ conference. There are always interesting opportunities to both assist in caring for the conference participants and often to join in their conversations. I greatly appreciate your prayers for safety in travel and a problem-free conference.

5. OUR TRIP TO MICHIGAN IN OCTOBER – One of our supporting churches near Detroit is having their annual missions conference in late October and asked us to be part of it. Pray for us as we prepare for the meetings and as we travel there and back.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

AL & MICKEY WILLIAMS PRAISE BULLETIN, AUGUST 2018

PRAISE ITEMS:
1. ONLINE FACILITATION – The three online sessions went very well and the risk assessment we completed is now moving on to the next steps in crafting this project. The end result is that information will be available on languages and people groups who do not yet have access to the Scriptures in a language that speaks to their hearts. Our hope is that this information will generate prayer for these people and for God’s provision of personnel to translate the Scriptures for them. I (Al) have been asked to continue to assist with this project, so I thank you for your prayers and ask that you continue to pray for this important project.

2. TRAVEL TO THAILAND – My (Al’s) trip to Thailand went very well. The group I went to speak to had scheduled me for a 20 minute session with the full group. Then they asked if I could continue for another 20 minutes the next day, and then asked if I could continue for a 60-minute session later that day. They work in some very challenging situations and the topic they asked me to speak on was how to deal with hostile interrogations.

Interacting with them has given me a great respect for them and where they work. It has also given me many things to bring to the Lord in prayer on their behalf. Thank you for praying for me during this trip. I hope you will join me in continuing to pray for our teams who work in challenging places.

After I left the conference, I went to Bangkok to conduct a security survey of the facility where we will be holding a leadership conference in October. It was a good visit and now I’m looking forward to joining with others on the security team to watch over that conference. I’ll be telling you more about that trip next month.

3. FAMILY TIME – On August 11 it was a treat for Al and me to spend a little time with our son Jeremy and his kids, his friend Sue Hutchinson and her kids (Sue and Jeremy were classmates in the Philippines and her parents are Wycliffe colleagues of ours), and my father (Elmer Shertzer) at his retirement home.

4. MICKEY’S HEALTH – Thanks for your prayers! Our insurance company gave its approval of the special CAM Heart Monitor that my doctor requested, so I wore it for seven days in July. A few days after I returned the monitor, I received a call from my doctor, personally checking to see how I was doing and to explain the results. There were many abnormalities and they correlated with the symptoms I was experiencing, so he wants me to see a cardiologist who specializes in the electrical workings of the heart. Please pray for wisdom for Dr. Bernabei as he sees me on August 27 and for Al and me as we process the information / suggestions for treatment.

PRAYER ITEMS:
1. THE MONTH AHEAD - I (Al) will be working from my home office for the next few weeks. The online risk assessment project team will next meet in Orlando, Florida in September, but because of other projects and needs, I have decided I will best be able to help them remotely rather than join them in Orlando. I will also be attending the Risk Management Network meetings in September, but this time they will be held in our area, so I can attend and still be home each evening. In addition to these, I’ll have the daily tasks related to the groups across Asia that I handle via email and internet calls. Thank you so much for your encouragement and prayers. It is great to see the progress in the translation of the Scriptures in Asia and the impact this is having in the lives of the people there. Each of you play a significant role in that progress and we greatly appreciate your partnership.

2. COUPLES IN CRISIS – Our hearts are heavy as we write this. One of the couples we’ve been praying for and seeking to help is now in the process of divorce and two others look as if they are heading that direction as well. Please continue to pray for these couples who are near and dear to our hearts. Pray for wisdom for us and the counselors from whom some of them are still seeking help for their troubled marriages. And pray that each couple would draw closer to Christ and to each other and have a desire to work hard to restore their marriages.

Friday, July 13, 2018

AL & MICKEY WILLIAMS' PRAISE BULLETIN, JULY 2018

PRAISE ITEMS:
1. JEREMY AND THE KIDS – Thanks so much for praying for Jeremy and the custody situation! God has worked in amazing ways! After we sent out the ‘brief update’ asking for prayer, Jillian and Jeremy met on July 11th and came to an agreement regarding the custody of the children, so they no longer need to go to court regarding this issue in September! Praise the Lord! Do continue to keep Jeremy in your prayers, though. The divorce is still not finalized.

2. HEART CATHETERIZATION – Thanks so much for your prayers regarding my (Mickey’s) heart catheterization on July 11. In the days prior to the test, God provided peace for me. In fact, instead of fearing the procedure, I was actually eagerly anticipating it! After the procedure, the doctor gave us the good news: the blood vessels look great and there is no blockage! Praise the Lord! However, we still don’t know the cause of my symptoms, so the doctor has ordered a new kind of heart monitor that I will wear for 7 days (if insurance approves). Pray for a clear, accurate diagnosis.

3. KARAO NEW TESTAMENT PROJECT – Thanks for your prayers for our colleague, Sherri, as she works to revise the Karao New Testament. God has provided a capable Karao speaker to help Sherri with the revision on a consistent basis, and her original helper has also returned to the village and helps as needed. Praise the Lord! Pray for this team as they work to get God’s Word ready to be published and into the hands of the people.

PRAYER ITEMS:
1. ONLINE FACILITATION - Thank you for your prayers for me (Al) as I facilitate a risk assessment and risk management plan for a new project that is being developed. This assessment, involving 12 individuals (in several different countries and time zones) representing six organizations, began on July 10 via internet video conferencing and is going very well so far. We will have two more sessions (July 13 and 16), so we value your continued prayers for good internet connections, good participation in the sessions, and results that will serve well as this new outreach is put into practice. I’m already hearing from those that are participating in (and will use the results of) these sessions, that they are pleased and thankful for this project.

2. TRAVEL TO THAILAND – Preparations are going well for my (Al’s) trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand on July 20 to join in a conference for one of the groups working in a nearby country. I have been asked to provide some individual training during this time with them, as well as to provide a presentation to the whole group on how to handle a particularly risk-prone situation that this group faces. I have also been asked to stop in Bangkok for a day to conduct a facility risk assessment at a location that has been chosen for a
conference in October. I’m looking forward to having these days to work with this team in individual and group sessions. Please pray for safety in travel and good interactions with these precious people.

3. COUPLES IN CRISIS – Thanks for your prayers for these couples. We see glimpses of God at work. Pray for wisdom for the counselors they are (or soon will be) seeing regarding their troubled marriages. Pray that these individuals would be drawn closer to Christ and to each other, and be open to working hard to restore their marriages.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Al & Mickey Williams Update

Dear praying friends,

Many of you have written asking how the custody hearing went last month for Jeremy. Thanks so
much for your prayers for Jeremy and the four kids. Jeremy was given 50/50 custody of the children until school starts this fall, but on September 17th, he and Jillian must go before a judge in court to come to a more permanent custody settlement. Please keep praying! Photo (L to R, Back row 1st): Sullivan (10), Everlee (9), Colvin (7) and Vaughn (6).

On another note, I (Mickey) saw the cardiologist in June because of shortness of breath, chest pain, and palpitations. He ordered a treadmill stress echocardiogram and I failed it, so I am scheduled for a heart catheterization on July 11 (this Wednesday) in the morning. I’d appreciate your prayers. In all honesty, I’m wavering back and forth between feelings of anxiety (because my cousin recently had a heart catheterization done and it caused him to have a stroke) and complete peace (when I have my eyes on the Lord instead of on my circumstances).

Thanks so much for standing in the gap with us!!!

Mickey and for Al, Jeremy and the kids