Wednesday, 11 July 2018

prayerletterjuly2018

Dear Praying Friends,

Once again, thank you for interceding for us with our Father and for supporting us as overseas missionaries all these years.  We’re back in Singapore now, and hope in the Lord to fill most of the rest of 2018 with Gospel ministry here, including time in India as well.

The weeks in the USA gave us a good opportunity to visit family, especially Ruth’s parents.  We were also able to visit some supporters, though not as many as we had hoped.  Thank you all for your patience with us.  Ruth and I needed a time to refresh ourselves in mind and body. 

Since returning to Singapore in May, it has been our privilege to join in the ministry of Emmanuel Baptist once more.  They’ve allowed me to continue the series of messages for them on “We Are His People”, as well as to co-labor with them in the Gospel in other areas.  Ruth participated in a VBS.  I’ve taught some of the youths on several days.


Another assembly had me as camp speaker.  I spoke six times on The Works of Christ and The Works of Christians.  He saves us by doing the works of Prophet, Priest and King empowered by the Holy Spirit, so that, saving and anointing us with the same Spirit, we may follow Him and do Him service as prophets, priests and kings.  I don’t know of a more comprehensive way to understand Jesus, salvation, and the Christian life than PPK.  I’ve been talking about these things every chance I get for about twenty-five years and know I’ll continue doing so forever.

Please Pray:
·         That Ruth and I would be ready for every good work (ppk) at all times.
·         That God’s Spirit should be so pleased for us to be His co-workers (ppk), that we could make a real Gospel (PPK) dent in the thinking of the people we meet every day.
·         That we would seek the Lord (PPK) and His grace.
·         That our Father in Heaven would keep us safe in all our travels with Jesus (PPK/ppk).

Chit-chat:       We enjoyed the delights of seeing Ruth’s parents as well as our grandkids, during the time in the States.  In eleven years, the Lord blessed us with eleven grands.  Since my own beloved parents went to heaven in the past few years, Ruth and I hope to increasingly provide help and comfort to her parents in as many ways as we can.  We are beginning to plan the next year or two with that in mind.             As this is our thirtieth year as overseas missionaries, by now you might expect me to be able to say that I love to preach the Word of God.  And I really do, no doubt.  But teaching batches of pastors in remote rural places and conducting one-on-one Bible and theology sessions with young men who could possibly be doing the ministry long after we’ve turned to dust are also at the top of my list.  And if any of my buddies can be coaxed into the occasional 24-hours fasting and prayer session as well, all the better!  Our Lord Jesus has shown us to the way, in everything.



Tuesday, 17 April 2018

prayerletterapril2018



Dear Praying Friends,

May our Lord Jesus fill your mind continually, and may the Holy Spirit cause you to love and admire and become just like God’s Dear Son.

We split our time between Singapore and India since our last quarterly report.  In Singapore, I continued preaching in Emmanuel, advancing the series “We Are His People”, with such titles as “We Are His Holy Temple”, “We Are His Holy Priests”, and “We Are His Witnesses”.  Ruth continued to contribute to the Children’s Gospel ministries, too, as well as in other ways.

For most of February, Ruth and I were in India, where she taught Bible lessons in a School she’s been helping in for some years.  I conducted thirteen of my usual seminars for rural pastors.  To some Bible Institute students, I also taught the Book of Hebrews (6 hours), and Bibliology (4 hours).  I was able to preach about ten times in a couple of different assemblies including on Sundays, and, as always, it was a thrill and a privilege to uplift the Lord Jesus and His Gospel.




Back in Singapore again by the end of February, it was a blessing to be able to begin doing some teaching amounting to theological seminary subjects, for a few special brothers.

Ruth and I came back here to the USA for the second half of March, and our return to Singapore is set for the second half of May.  As always, thank you for your prayers to our Father in Heaven.  He is hearing you, so keep up that good work at His throne of grace.

Please Pray:
·        For the Lord to graciously maintain our physical condition so that Ruth and I are in good shape for our return overseas next month.
·        That the Gospel ministry opportunities would multiply and flood us like an ocean for the rest of 2018, most of which we plan to be in Singapore.
·        For a possible trip to Manila, Philippines, later this year.
·        That Ruth and I would be free from the need to see any more doctors this year!

Chit-chat:           It’s always amazing to encounter the love and the hospitality of all our friends in India and in Singapore each time around.  The yearning to be of help to all of them, Gospel-wise, and to join hands in the ministry with them, always keeps us eager to know how things are with them whenever we are away.                        As we’ve gotten to spend time with family members in the past few weeks, the true Christian fellowship has been very precious.  We love to see our offspring seeking our Lord Jesus and having His obedient mindset.  May He graciously grant this to us all.                        I’m grateful for this time in the States, for several reasons, not least of which is that Ruth and I needed some refreshment in body and mind.  God is love.

Blessings to you all,
Stephen and Ruth Schaefer
John 14.23

 “Serving with the International Gospel Missions” 

990 Calkins Road,  Rochester, NY  14623                           Phone:  585-334-9048


Saturday, 27 January 2018

prayerletterjan2018

Dear Praying Friends, 
Thanks for all your love and support for so many years.  And greetings from Asia, once again.  Since our last letter, Ruth and I did a lot of traveling.  From Singapore we came to the USA for eight weeks.  During that time we visited some family, presented our missionary reports to several congregations in Pennsylvania, and checked in with our mission’s home office in Rochester, NY.

We’ve experienced such kindness and warm hospitality from our friends and supporters for so many years now.  But it never ceases to amaze, and to cause us to express our gratitude to our Father in heaven, Who sends the Holy Spirit to pour the love of God into the hearts of His own.

Before mid-December, we flew out again, to start another planned 14 weeks overseas trip. So we’ve been here in Singapore for the past five weeks already.  As always, we are hoping in the Lord that we’d be able to keep up the pace we’ve set for ourselves in Asia, for the Lord’s sake, and for His Gospel’s sake.

Lately, I’ve started delivering a series of Sunday sermons related to the theme, “We Are His People”.  Specifically, thus far, “We are His Possession” (John 10.27-29), “We are His Body” (Colossians 1.18), “We are His Slaves” (Romans 6.16-19), and, this coming Sunday, with our Lord’s help, “We are His Friends” (John 15.12-15).  So far, and looking ahead as well, I am feeling thrilled at all the excellent, edifying, Biblical and Gospel doctrines which are woven into the passages highlighting our relationship to God our Savior.

Please Pray:
•    That Ruth and I would be able to stay healthy.
•    For our time in Singapore, as well as in India (which is to cover most of February) to be packed full of excellent Gospel opportunities.  Last time in India—July/August—I was completely drained by all that the Lord allowed us to do there.  Dare I hope for the same this time?  Yes, let me be ground to powder once again.  Plenty of time to recover in the resurrection.

Chit-chat:       The Lord keeps blessing us with grandbabies.  This time it’s another girl, Anna Hope Heffernan.            Ruth and I had some occasional physical challenges during this quarter, but seem to have come through ok, by our Lord’s kindness and grace.  At the very end of December, I had about ten days or so in which it was supposed I might have something seriously wrong with my bowels.  Thankfully, a surgeon here in Singapore was able to clear me of anything cancerous or otherwise.                We started living in our suitcases, exclusively, more than a year ago, and are finding it tolerable.  I’m glad the Lord gave me such a no-nonsense wife.  Admittedly, long air travel is tougher on us than it used to be.  But, God is love, and, as always, He helps us spring back to life soon enough.                As of January 3rd, Ruth and I have now entered into our thirtieth year of overseas missionary work.  And late next month we’d mark 32 years since joining IGM.  The Lord has been very merciful to us to keep us going. 

       
Blessings to you all,
Stephen and Ruth Schaefer
John 14.23


 “Serving with the International Gospel Missions” 
990 Calkins Road,  Rochester, NY  14623      Phone:  585-334-9048




Saturday, 23 December 2017

Christmas2017

      2017 has been amazing year.  We made an emergency return to the USA, and because God is in control, he knew we needed to be there because within a few weeks, Stephen’s father went to be with the Lord, and we were able to be with him.  Then a month later, Ruth had her successful surgery.  We came back to Asia and were able to be with Emmanuel Baptist Fellowship as they celebrated their 40th anniversary.  While back in the states for two months, we visited three of our supporting churches that we had some seen for a long time.  We also got to be with our fourth daughter, Lydia, as she had her 30th birthday.  Wow, is it possible we really have four daughters over 30, but we are so young!!  The next week was Thanksgiving, when we were blessed to be with three of our daughters and six of our grandchildren.  Our third daughter also had baby #6 during the last week of November.  We'll see that new grand baby next year.
      Then we returned to Asia for the third time, and that is where we are presently, remembering the birth of our Saviour with our church family, Emmanuel Baptist Fellowship.  May the Lord bless you as well during this Christmas season.

Friday, 20 October 2017

prayerletteroct2017

                                                October 19, 2017
Dear Praying Friends,

Thanks so much for your love and support, for Jesus’ sake.  In the past quarter, Ruth and I were able to return to Asia on July 4th, with nearly full strength for Gospel ministry.  Praise God.

Through your prayers to our Father, we had 4 very productive weeks of Gospel ministry in India.  These included my preaching every Sunday, teaching Matthew ch 5 and II Timothy in a Bible Institute, speaking in a day-long conference on the doctrine of salvation, and traveling to ten remote rural areas to teach ten groups of pastors various half-day seminars on the topics which we believe to be the most important and helpful to them, always hoping to exalt our Lord Jesus and His greatness to people.  

Ruth was very busy helping in the Christian school she’s been involved with the past couple of years. 


Thankfully, the several days we had in the school in Philippines, were also very good. There I taught the Book of Psalms and spoke in four daily chapels.  Ruth conducted English sessions each day as well.

For most of the three months our focus was on Singapore.  Besides preaching each Sunday, I was able to conduct a number of training sessions for congregational leaders (on sermon preparation and on worship leading), and otherwise pursue people with the Gospel.




Overall, I feel very grateful that things are getting back to normal for Ruth and me after the very unusual first half of 2017 we had.  Thanks for continuing to pray for us.  We’re hoping to have good health and strength and eager to plan for 8-9 months overseas in 2018, with our Lord Jesus’ help and blessing.

Please Pray:

·  For our travels here in the USA, as we’ve just returned from Asia, and have arranged to visit several supporters to make missionary reports.
· Concerning our next planned overseas trip (India and Singapore), which is to start on December 9th.

Chit-chat:  In Singapore, India and Philippines, it was a real thrill for us to enter into many dozens of personal, one-on-one, times of teaching and Christly fellowship.                     For several weeks in Aug-Sept, during the weeks we had a good bit of our air travels, Ruth needed to see another ENT who put her through examinations and tests.  It was a real stress-reliever to hear him say at the end of all that, that she seemed to be fine.                 Our daughter Elizabeth new baby’s due date has been moved up to mid-November.  May the Lord Jesus bless, protect and preserve her and the newborn.              Mary, our second daughter, and her family completed 4¼ years since first departing the USA for missionary service.  They came back from Togo, West Africa, for their first regular furlough, just last week.


              Hurricane Irma threatened the homes of quite a number of our family members in South Florida, but, at the last moment, it seemed to divert far enough to the west that they really got little more than a minor power outage and a few trees blown over, harmlessly.  May the Lord be very merciful to the families who suffered much more than that.                  

Blessings to you all,
Stephen and Ruth Schaefer
John 14.23

         “Serving with the International Gospel Missions”                               990 Calkins Road,  Rochester, NY  14623                        Phone:  585-334-9048

Friday, 15 September 2017

Sept 15,2017

We are presently in Cebu, Philippines, but tomorrow we return to Singapore.  In Cebu, both of us were blessed with the privilege of teaching at the International School of Missions, a ministry of Jesus Saves Mission of Singapore.

In all our travels, we are often asked about where we live.  Our answer usually surprises the questioner.  The answer is "we live no where." 
Remember, last October we gave up our home in India and became true itinerant missionaries. During our times in the states, we stay with family and visit supporting churches.  In Singapore, our church, Emmanuel Baptist Fellowship provides a room for us to live in.  When we visit India each year, we have our dear friend Gilbert who has opened his home to us.  And when we visit Cebu, the school takes care of us.  We have been greatly blessed. We basically have limited our visits to include: Singapore, India, and Philippines.

Thank you, Lord for allowing us to be your servants.  May we always be found faithful.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

July2017

The Schaefers in Asia    

     
                   

                                                July 3, 2017
Dear Praying Friends,

Hi, and blessings on you, and on all whom you love, from the Right Hand of the Father.  There is no other source of good things except through the Blessed Son of God.

Thank you for all your prayers for us, especially for Ruth, during the past few months.  In our Lord’s kindness, she has experienced enough healing from the tumor-removal surgery to be able to travel overseas for Gospel ministry with me.  She still has residual pains while eating, so please keep praying for her.  And thank you for your encouragements to me in light of my dear dad’s going to heaven in early March.

Somehow, we feel like the Lord has patched us up ok.  Our plan is to depart tomorrow, July 4th, for Singapore.  From Singapore we plan to make a couple of ministry excursions into India and Philippines, with His gracious help.  It seems my own calendar for teaching and preaching may be at least 1/3 full already, and as always I’m hoping for a schedule that will grind me to powder for Jesus’ sake and for His Gospel’s sake.

Please Pray:
·         For dear Ruth to get the full relief from the pains she’s been living with since her surgery in April.
·         That we’d make the best use of our time and energy during this 14 weeks’ trip.
·         That Ruth and I would represent our Lord Jesus well and speak His good words to everyone we meet.
·         For our flights, scheduled as follows, so far: 
Miami to Singapore, July 4th.
Trip to India, July 23rd to August 19th.
Trip to Philippines, September 11-16th?
Make our move from Singapore to arrive back in the USA by October 10th.

Chit-chat:          As you know, Ruth and I have spent most of this second quarter dealing with her health issues.  On Wednesday her surgeon gave her a new medication to try, and we’re waiting to find out whether it will help her.  But God is love, and we’re trusting in Him alone that 2017 will turn back toward “normal” for us now.                        Ruth has been a great comfort to me while we’ve been working with my sister and brother to take care of all my parents’ things.   I’m reminded of my parents all the time.            Our daughter Elizabeth is expecting to deliver us another grandchild in December.  In our Lord’s kindness, this would be our eleventh.                        In addition to everything else, we hit a new bump in the road four weeks ago.  Ruth seems to have been bitten by a brown recluse spider.  Yowie.  Thankfully, she’s nearly fully healed from that incident as well.                As always, thanks so much for your prayer on our behalf.

Sincerest affection and blessings to you all,

Stephen and Ruth Schaefer
John 14.23

 “Serving with the International Gospel Missions” 


990 Calkins Road,  Rochester, NY  14623      Phone:  585-334-9048