Saturday, 4 March 2017

March 4

My father, Edward Schaefer, went to heaven this morning at 4 am.  He had been in the hospital ICU here in Naples, Florida, since Tuesday night, and it appears he was suffering from total kidney failure. We are so thankful for so many blessings, let me mention two.  First, Ed was full of faith in our Lord Jesus and trusted in the merits of Jesus alone for his righteous standing before God—and so he was very ready to go be with the Lord.  And second, we are glad that, in God’s kindness, we were able to be here in Naples with him this week in his last few days among us.  Thank you all for your prayers for our family at this time.

As you have been praying for Ruth's upcoming neck surgery, we'll keep you posted as to the timings.

 

Thursday, 9 February 2017

update

It appears our two-month’s missionary journey is being cut in half.  Via an MRI Ruth has had done here in India this past Saturday, we learned she has a pretty large tumor behind her right ear.  She’s been referred by our ENT in Miami to a surgeon specialist at the University of Miami.  (He nor his colleagues are willing to touch it due to its rarity, size and location.)  She has an appointment with the specialist in Miami for Feb 22nd.  Please pray with us that Ruth will get the best possible relief from this thing, in the mercy of our Lord and Savior, and that we’d be able to resume a reasonably aggressive overseas ministry program soon.  So far, our time here in India has been excellent.  I’m sorry it will be cut short, and that our visit to Philippines would have to be postponed til later in the year.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

prayerletterJan2017



                                                January 21, 2017
Dear Praying Friends,

Blessings to you, in the Lord Jesus’ Name.  During the final quarter of 2016, Ruth and I were heartened to continue in the Gospel ministry in India.  Thank you for your faithfulness in prayer to our Heavenly Father on our behalf, as always.

It was my privilege once more to teach about a dozen seminars in our home in India to several men who pastor or otherwise do the Gospel ministry of our Lord Jesus.  Topics included “The Minor Prophets”; “Life of Christ”; “Decision-Making”; “Canon of the NT”;  “Ecclesiastes, Christian Philosophy, The Eternal State”;  “The Reformation”;  “The Modern Denominations”; “Destructive Modern Biblical Criticism”;  and “Combatting False Theology”.

The Lord Jesus blessed us with quite a number of other opportunities which we were glad to join.  Some of these were in teaching special groups and in conducting prayer and Bible study sessions.  We joined a new church planting effort on several Sundays too, where I was asked to speak and answer questions.

We traveled to Pune once again to teach students involved in Gospel ministry in slum areas.  There I taught 8 hours on I Corinthians, and 9 hours on the History of Christianity (esp. the Reformation).  Ruth continued her ministry of teaching Bible chapels to the children in a local school near our home, as well as to rev up her work on Christian curriculum development for the Indian context.

Please Pray:
·         For our health and strength as we’d now travel much more than before.  Ruth has been having a few small problems with her heel, her back and her ear.  By God’s grace only can we do anything. 
·         That our schedules would be packed with moments in which to influence people everywhere with the true, glorious Gospel of our Lord Jesus.  This overseas trip would extend from January 24th til March 21st, Lord willing, and would take us to Singapore, India and Philippines.
·         For all our loved ones, especially our parents in South Florida, while we are overseas.




Chit-chat:         
  •  In December Ruth and I had the double privilege of visiting an assembly in Kansas which has supported us as missionaries for fully 30 years, as well as to see our daughter Elizabeth and her precious family, who moved out there a few months ago. Elizabeth’s fine husband Benjamin is now serving the Lord as a pastor in his home state of Kansas.    
  • It was very nice to enjoy our first Christmas in the USA since 2004 this time around.  But we missed our Singaporean friends a lot, with whom we’ve spent nearly every Christmas for 17 years running.                      
  • We had to wait until a very late date to book our flights back to Asia, but Ruth was able to buy them at only half the normal price.  How?  The Lord’s love and mercy, of course!                 
  •  Ruth has had a few small health issues, but is “patched up” and ready to fly off to Asia with me on this coming Tuesday, January 24th.  The only thing left is to throw a few things into our suitcases before we head to the airport for the next two months of ministry overseas.              
  •  In the coming year, we’re planning to pursue Gospel ministry in the same countries we’ve been working in during the past few years, but in different proportions. Lord willing, we won’t get overly tired out.


 “Serving with the International Gospel Missions” 

990 Calkins Road,  Rochester, NY  14623      

 Phone:  585-334-9048

 

Monday, 14 November 2016

New Chapter

If our lives were a book, tomorrow would be a new chapter for us.
 
We've had some very interesting chapters: 10 years in Grenada - church planting, children's ministries, and Bible school.  By the time we left Grenada all six of our daughters were born and helping us in the Gospel ministry. 
 
Next were the Singapore chapters: helping with a new Bible college, being members and helpers at Emmanuel Baptist Fellowship, making tons of memories and friends, and the girls growing up into young ladies. 
 
Our India chapters began with both Hannah and Mary being off at Bob Jones University, and then like dominoes they all kept leaving until now we have an empty nest!  In India we had some great years at Bharat Bible College and then later "free-lancing" in the city of Hyderabad: teaching pastors, conducting women's meetings, helping in schools, and helping in new church plants.
 
Tomorrow's new chapter begins with our giving us our home in India and going to the states.  But I didn't say moving to the states, because technically we would not be living anywhere.  It is now time to think about our own parents.

We hope to make three or four trips overseas each year, to the same countries in which it has been our ongoing privilege to conduct the Gospel ministry (particularly India, Singapore, Philippines and Togo). We still want to make a difference overseas for the sake of the Gospel.

During our "in-between" times in the USA, we can give more assistance and comfort to our beloved, aging parents, as as to join in Gospel ministry opportunities which the Lord may open to us, including making periodic missionary reports and participating in missionary conferences.
  
We covet your prayers, emails, words of encouragement and your friendships.


Saturday, 10 September 2016

Sept 2016

Hi!  The Lord has been giving us strength for many things since the last blog entry. Thank Him!  After weeks of happily continuing our usual Gospel ministry program in India, Ruth went to Togo in early August, when our daughter Mary had delivered her third baby, a girl, Alethia Eve Ward. 

Soon after that, Stephen went to Pune, India, to teach in the School of Missions there.  He covered the Life of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Pentateuch, and Jesus as our prophet, priest and king.  This involved about 30 hours of teaching time over eight consecutive days, til he went to join his dear wife, and the Wards, with their new baby in Togo. 

There, the folk were gracious to allow Stephen to teach Pastoral Theology to the senior students in their Bible school, for a good 48 hours of classroom time, over a two week period.  Now that that’s finished, he’s trying to recover his strength!!  It’s been mostly rainy and warm here in Togo.  Rainier, at least, than it usually is in our part of India.  As Manny and Cyrus are active little grandsons, they are eager to take the grandparents out for walks, and they like to throw grass, sticks and rocks into the stream. 

May they, and we all, grow up in the Lord Jesus, to think of Him and talk of Him continually forever.  Then the Father will be pleased with us, as He is with His Son.  Soon, in our Lord Jesus kindness and grace, we would be headed back to India, as scheduled, for eight solid weeks of gospel ministry before heading off to the USA for the holiday season.  This would be our third Thanksgiving and Christmas in the USA since 1988.  God is love.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

prayerletterJuly2016

         

                

                                                July 20, 2016
Dear Praying Friends,

Thank you so much for all your support in prayer to our Father.  So far, 2016 has been just about as busy as ever for us, by the kindness of our Lord.  Thanks for being patient with us, too, as it has been a few extra months since our last newsletter.

This year, it has been our great privilege to teach students preparing for Gospel ministry to the slums of India, at Pune, where I gave introductions to the subjects of The Book of Psalms, The Holy Spirit, and The Doctrine of Salvation.

I spoke in Sunday assemblies on The Love of God (I Jn 4.7-14), The Burnt Offering (Lev 1), Day of Atonement (Lev 16), For Me To Live Is Christ (Phil 1.21), The Glory of our Lord (Jn 1.14), Christian Fellowship (Ro 15.7), The Image of God (Ge 1.26-28) and Jesus, Our Prophet, Priest and King (I Ti 2.5).

Several disciples of our Lord Jesus came to our home so I could teach them regarding Bibliology, “What is the Gospel and How are we to preach it?”, The Grammatical-Historical Principle/Interpretation of Figures of Speech, Interpreting prophecies like Hosea 11.1, ‘Biblical Criticism and Theology, from 1700 to the present”, The Departments of Theology, Dispensationalism, “Jesus our Prophet, Priest and King,” A Marriage Seminar, “The Biblical Means of Grace,” An Overview of Church History, and The Holy Spirit.  Also in our home, Ruth taught two seminars on “Conducting Children’s Gospel Ministries.”

In a gathering of believers who came together for two days’ seminars I taught five hours on The Doctrine of Salvation, and 2.5 hours on What Is The Gospel And How Are We To Preach It?

Spoke in two separate pastors’ fellowship meetings, for about two hours, each, on Lessons For Pastors Drawn From I Timothy, and on Jesus, our Prophet, Priest and King.

We traveled to Singapore at the invitation to a church’s annual family camp.  I spoke a total of eleven times in eight days.  The camp theme was Decision-Making.

 

Please Pray:
·         That our Lord Jesus would be glorified, and His Gospel clearly explained, every time we open our mouths in the many opportunities He’s given to us.
·         For Ruth and me to be sustained in health and strength, physically and, especially, spiritually.

Chit-chat:          We’re grateful for the opportunity to visit some of you, as well as a lot of our loved ones, in the USA, during part of March, April and May.                 During those weeks, we were able to visit 16 churches, and in seven of these we came to make our overseas missionary reports.                 Back here in India, Ruth continues to contribute time and effort in a local Christian school near to our home.  She’s increased her involvement from two days per week last academic year to three days per week since we got settled here again.                               As a result of the contacts I made during the last ten days of June, it now appears that my ministry calendar is going to be about as full as my body would allow during July through October.  Thank the Lord!!

“Serving with the International Gospel Missions” 

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