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

Saturday, 24 June 2017

June 23, 2017

Blessings to all of you.  We’re in Miami preparing to fly on July 4th, with our Lord’s kind help.  We plan to split the next three months between ministry opportunities in Singapore, India and Philippines.  Please pray.  Ruth’s “final” follow-up doctor visit to the surgeon would be next Wednesday, and she’s still having lingering pain in her jaw. That’s why we’ve been delayed in heading overseas for the last month or so.  

Monday, 10 April 2017

April2017



                                                April 8, 2017
Dear Praying Friends,

May our Lord Jesus fulfil all your petitions.  The past three months has not gone exactly as we’d thought.  The ministry we’d planned to do in Singapore, Philippines and India started out exceedingly well, it seemed.  But once we’d gotten to India as scheduled in late January, Ruth went for an MRI which revealed a large tumor growing in her neck.  Turns out this was the cause of the hearing loss in her right ear that we’d mentioned in our last newsletter.  Due to this, we had to cut our first overseas trip of 2017 in half, to four weeks.

My father, Edward Schaefer, fell in his apartment in Naples, Florida, at the end of February, and had to be taken to the emergency room.  Because we were in Miami seeking treatment for Ruth’s neck around this time, it was possible for us to rush over to see him immediately.  In our Lord’s kind and wise will, my dad went to heaven directly from the hospital on March 4th. 

As a result of the above, Ruth and I have spent the past six weeks or more dealing with my dad and his things, as well as keeping appointments with doctors and clinics leading up to Ruth’s surgery to remove the tumor.  This surgery took place the other day, on April 4th, and everything seems to have gone as well as it could go.  She had the best of doctors. And though this was expected to be a tricky and tedious procedure, and though the tumor turned out to be “the size of an Idaho potato”, the surgeon said there were no real complications.  All through your prayers to our Father, dear friends.

Please Pray:
·         That our Lord Jesus Christ would be glorified in our lives in all things forever.
·         That Ruth would recover and heal very nicely from the trauma of the surgical procedure, and that when the final biopsy report comes it would definitively exclude any malignancy.
·         For the Holy Spirit to give us all the strength and courage we need for every day.


Chit-chat:          It was great to see our friends in the Gospel during our trip to Singapore and India in January and February.  May the Lord give them all the encouragement and faith they need to keep on keeping on for Him.                My dear dad was 89 when he went to the hospital.  He knew our Lord Jesus and had a very hearty faith in Him.  Once he knew the doctors were advising him they couldn’t help him get better, Dad really started rejoicing and saying, “Lord, come and get me!”  Thank God for such grace that enables us poor sinners to know how to die.                Ruth has been home from the hospital for a few days now, and I’m very encouraged that she is showing some improvement.  I don’t know how long it will be before she can resume all our previous travels and activities, but there’s no pressure.  I just want my Ruthie back to normal.                God is love.



 “Serving with the International Gospel Missions” 

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

 

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.