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Tom and Mary Holman 4-19-2017

Posted by Dawn Dresser on OP8er @ 8:52 PM

Thank you for praying for our trip to Ghana. Tom and I have our tickets and our visas in hand! We’ll be there for three weeks. Most of the time we’ll be working in Tamale, where we lived for ten years, and we’ll spend the last week visiting our friends in Chereponi so we can visit Anufo friends. I haven’t done translation checking with the Anufo for four years, so please pray that it would go well, and that our visits would be a blessing.

Tom’s mother has reservations to stay in a respite care unit at a wonderful assisted living facility again. Pray that her health would be good while she’s there.

Many thanks for your prayers,

Mary

Mary and Tom Holman

Reid and Carolyn Lamphere 9-27-2016

Posted by Dawn Dresser on OA9er @ 9:31 AM

Praising God in Vientiane!

 
      Vientiane is the capital of Laos.  Less a million people, on the banks of the Mekong River bordering Thailand.  The last time I was here was 8 years ago, when I considered jabbing a bic pen into my throat.  But that’s a story for another time…..
 
      Right now I want to tell you about an amazing opportunity in this country.  It’s going to be hard to not get bogged down in the telling of this - so many things that have come together.  Let me try to explain….
 
BACKGROUND:
 
1.   We want to start Athletes in Action in Laos.  I’m here to meet the national Campus Crusade director.  It’s all up to him whether we are allowed to have AIA.  
 
2.   My main goal in coming here was to help him understand that we want AIA’s strategic objective to be the reaching of the elite athletes of his country.  This is something most of our national leaders fail to grasp.  They start AIA but want to just use athletes as a tool to do evangelism.  This is good, but we want to see more.  We want to see a movement of multiplication take place on every high-level sport team in the country - starting with the most influential sport - which is usually soccer.  
 
WHAT IS ALREADY IN PLACE:
 
3.  The CCC leader took me to meet a Korean man who has been in the country for 12 years.  He has put together a Christian professional soccer team.  The team plays in the top National League in Laos.  Three years in a row they ended up in 4th place out of fourteen teams.  
 
4.  The reason that the team doesn’t do better is that they DON’T PAY their players!  It’s unbelievable.  The Korean guy has also started a school that brings young kids to live and study starting at elementary or middle school.  When they graduate from high school they move into the senior level of soccer and compete professionally - willing to play for no money.  But after a year or two they prove to be excellent players and receive offers from other clubs to play for big money.  
 
5.  The Korean guy’s desire is to see his players walk with God and serve the Lord in their soccer.   He told me that his players are kind of like the chicken that has just broken his beak out of the egg shell - but not yet fully entered the world.  They are not 100% discipled and strong in their faith when they move to another club.  When they are away from the Christian team they often stop walking closely with the Lord.  
 
THE OPPORTUNITY:
 
6.  This is EXACTLY where our Athletes in Action ministry can step in.  We can recruit an AIA staff team that will disciple the young soccer players while still together on their Christian team.  We can also place a chaplain with every soccer team in the country.
 
7.  Over 200 of the players from the Christian team (in the last 10 years) have played on every single professional team in the country.  60% of the current national team is comprised of players from this Christian team.  
 
8.  We have an incredible opportunity to influence the most powerful sport at the highest level.  It’s really unbelievable.  
 
      Please remember to occasionally pray for this country and opportunity.  It’s going to take work to build our capacity to make this happen.  
 
     OFF TO TAIWAN:
 
    My purpose in going to Taiwan is to meet with the Organizing Committee for the World University Games - second in size only to the Olympics (170 countries send over 7,000 of the world’s best university athletes).  This takes place in August of 2017, but I need to try to get official chaplaincy now.  Pray that I can actually get an appointment and get in to see someone.  And pray that they will allow us to choose and use the chaplains.
 
           Blessings in Christ,
 
Reid

Reid and Carolyn Lamphere 9-27-2016

Posted by Dawn Dresser on OA9er @ 9:28 AM

Greetings from Southeast Asia,

 I’ve been struggling with internet in the country of Laos (landlocked between Vietnam and Thailand).  This is the first of a 3-country trip - with a very different mission in each place.

 I’ll give you a prayer request for each of these stops - one at a time - starting with Laos.  I’m here to meet with the national director of our parent organization (CCC) in the hopes of actually beginning an AIA ministry.  He wants to start AIA in his country and he says that he has the building blocks to make it happen in a powerful way.  Pray as we discuss these things and as I meet with various people who could make it happen.  It’s rare that we get a national leader who is this excited about Athletes in Action.  Pray that I could leave here with a definite conviction about this and even a way forward.

I’ll let you know in a couple days how it went….and also give you the prayer requests for my second stop - in Taiwan.

       Thank you!

            Reid

Reid and Carolyn Lamphere 9-27-2016

Posted by Dawn Dresser on OA9er @ 9:28 AM

Greetings from Southeast Asia,

 I’ve been struggling with internet in the country of Laos (landlocked between Vietnam and Thailand).  This is the first of a 3-country trip - with a very different mission in each place.

 I’ll give you a prayer request for each of these stops - one at a time - starting with Laos.  I’m here to meet with the national director of our parent organization (CCC) in the hopes of actually beginning an AIA ministry.  He wants to start AIA in his country and he says that he has the building blocks to make it happen in a powerful way.  Pray as we discuss these things and as I meet with various people who could make it happen.  It’s rare that we get a national leader who is this excited about Athletes in Action.  Pray that I could leave here with a definite conviction about this and even a way forward.

I’ll let you know in a couple days how it went….and also give you the prayer requests for my second stop - in Taiwan.

       Thank you!

            Reid

Tom and Mary Holman September 14, 2016

Posted by Dawn Dresser on OP4er @ 4:19 PM

The final Gwoza Hills Luke Partnership Workshop is at the halfway point, and we’re feeling the pressure as we work on completing all the necessary materials. We and our teams have been working “overtime” on Saturday mornings and for an hour or two in the evenings. Tom and I had a good rest on Sunday! We thank God that we’ve all been healthy and that the electricity has been good most of the time. Continue to pray that all the materials for Luke to be published and for the Jesus Film to be produced would be submitted by the end of the year.

Tom’s sister took Mom to the emergency room last week because of shortness of breath and heart palpitations. She was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure. Please pray for her and for all of us as we adjust to this new situation.

We’re very grateful that you are standing with us in prayer!

Mary                                                                

Mary and Tom Holman

Reid and Carolyn Lamphere 8-23-2016

Posted by Dawn Dresser on OA8er @ 8:45 AM

One Last Thing

 
     There was an element to our “Road to Rio” Project that I don’t think I emphasized enough.  God did great things through our staff and leaders from around the world.  But he did equally great things IN these people.  In the beginning I mentioned that I wanted to have a long conversation and meal with each of our international staff (turned out to be 61 people) - and that it would require eating 5.9 meals per day.  Obviously the meal part didn’t happen.  But I was able to get quality time with all but about seven.  Many of them wanted a follow-up conversation.  
 
Friendships
 
    So many of the staff told me what a blessing it was to be with staff from all over the world and feel like they were part of a much bigger family.  It was fun to see strong friendships develop between staff from Myanmar and Zimbabwe, from Kenya and Colombia, etc.  They learned new ministry strategies as they talked to fellow staff from different cultures.  
 
Encouragement to Fight On
 
     Several came with a burden on their shoulders and left feeling completely renewed to charge the gates of hell.  I’ll close with the story of one of our Dutch volunteers who came up to Carolyn and me on the last day.  Her name is Janneke.  
 
      To begin, she asked us what the English name is for the “man chicken who makes much noise when he sees the sun”.  I explained that we call this “man-chicken” a rooster.  She went on about how the rooster is free and excited each day and he shouts loudly when he sees the son.  But, she also explained that if you put a rooster in a dark box, he will never “make his noise”.  
      Then she said “I was like the rooster in a box for 2 years.  I have had nothing that gives me a vision and joy to serve the Lord.  At this conference I feel like someone has picked up the box and shaken me out of it.  Right now I feel that I can fly and sing and be all that God wants me to be.  And I have had a clear call from God where He wants me to serve.”  
      Janneke went on to explain that there is an Olympic Training Center only 20 minutes from where she lives.  She will go 2 or 3 days each week to the Olympic Training Center and meet every athlete and begin building relationships.  
 
      Please pray for our staff around the world - that God will show them the path for seeing our vision realized:   A disciple of Christ on EVERY TEAM, in EVERY SPORT, in EVERY NATION.  
 
          Thank you SO much for praying us among the Road to Rio and now for praying for us during the battle in Rio. 
 
 Blessings,
 
Reid & Carolyn  

Reid and Carolyn Lamphere 8-22-2016

Posted by Dawn Dresser on OP12er @ 12:24 PM

The Closing Ceremonies

 
     A few hours ago the Rio 2016 Olympics came to an end.  Our Athletes in Action “Road to Rio” project has also ended.   But the 100+ Athletes in Action staff and leaders, attending our project, aren’t looking at this as an end.  Most are seeing this project as the beginning of a renewed trust in God to see sport chaplaincy expanded around the world.  
 
     But let’s back up and jump, one more time, into our battle in Rio.   
 
Day Passes to the Olympic Village
 
     If you remember, our original promise of having 20 chaplains serve in the Athletes Village was changed to only 4 official chaplains.  Our prayer then turned to finding ways for others from our project to enter the Village.  Through many different ways, in the end we had 43 people, from 26 countries, get into the Village - many on several days, some every day.  God opened the door wider than at any Olympics.  Thank you for your many prayers that allowed many of us to get to the people whose hearts had been prepared by the Holy Spirit.  
 
The Chaplaincy in the Village
 
     Our 4 chaplains did a heroic job - serving the many athletes with spiritual needs.  They were working nearly every day - 10-12 hours a day most of the time.  They were able to bless and encourage many Christian Olympians.  When Christian athletes learned about the Chapel, and where we were located, they were greatly blessed.  On one of my days in the Village I was able to spend a long time talking to professional golfer from China.  He seeks Christian fellowship wherever the golf tour takes him.  He was surprised and very happy that he could find fellowship in Rio.  
     One morning Carl was in the Chapel when most of the Fiji Rugy team came in.  This was the first year for Rugby 7’s to compete in the Olympics.  Fiji has been competing in the Olympics for exactly 60 years - and they’ve never won a medal.  In fact, throughout these 60 years they’ve only qualified 2 athletes for the Games.  Each year they get to bring athletes but on a “wild card” (the IOC wants every country represented so they give “wild cards” to the (many) countries that can never qualify an athlete.  This year the Fiji Rugby team actually qualified…..and they won the gold medal.  The first ever Olympic medal for Fiji.  100 years from now the people of Fiji will still speak of the Rugy team of 2016.  
And it just so happens that about a dozen of the players on the team are strong Christians.  They want to be a witness for Him wherever they go.  
 
Non-Christians in the Village
 
     We aren’t suppose to “proselytize” in the Village, but at times God opens doors for us to share the Gospel with non-believing athletes.  One of the four chaplains, Marcus, is Brazilian but for the first week not one single Brazilian athlete came to the Chapel.  A few days ago a Brazilian gymnast walked into the chapel and asked to see the Catholic priest - who was rarely ever there.  Marcus saw something in this athlete’s face that made him seem very desperate.  So Marcus asked the athlete if he wanted to talk.  His face lit up and he gave an emphatic “yes”.  For 90 minutes Marcus went through the scriptures, explaining the plan of salvation.  In the end, the gymnast made a decision to follow Christ.  
 

Tom and Mary Holman August 18, 2016

Posted by Dawn Dresser on OP8er @ 8:32 PM

Thank you for your faithful partnership in spreading the Good News in Ghana and Nigeria through the ministry of Bible translation.

Tom and I will be in Nigeria in September for the last Gwoza Hills Luke Partnership Workshop. Pray that we and the F and S teams would finish the Gospel of Luke and the Jesus Film in their languages. Luke needs to be ready for publishing, and the Jesus Film needs to be ready for the recording, so there’s a lot to be done!

The Waja team and I have made good progress in checking Mark, but we aren’t finished. Pray for wisdom about how to continue. Tom has been helping the Anufo team get ready for the consultant to check Genesis in September. Pray that the checking would go well.

God hears and answers your prayers, and the gifts you share with us also make it possible for us to keep on working. We couldn’t do it without you!

Mary                                                                

Mary and Tom Holman

Reid and Carolyn Lamphere 8-17-2016

Posted by Dawn Dresser on OP1er @ 1:23 PM

Lunchtime in Rio,

 
     Carolyn and I are about to eat a quick lunch and then go see our first Olympic event - after being here for 2 weeks.  We’ll be in the stadium at the Track & Field competition.  With traffic and time needed for security check we need to leave 4 hours early.  That’s one reason we’ve never gone to an event.  
 
MEETING MEXICANS
 
     God is placing more and more of us in the Olympic Village every day.  Yesterday I was in the Village with Carl and Abbey (from Mexic).  Abbey really wanted to make a connection with Mexico.  We finally hunted down the Mexico residence in this “city” of buildings.  She had a great time.  Her first stop was with some Mexican race walkers waiting in the lobby for a taxi.  She did a beautiful job of making them feel “warm” toward her and then she gave them one of our evangelistic DVD’s and a Spanish Bible.  The coach asked if Abbey could come and give a talk to his team - on how a spiritual dimension of life can affect our sport performance.  
     Then we walked upstairs to the office for the Mexican Olympic Committee.  After 10 minutes one of the administrators had sent an email to all of the 300-plus athletes, informing them that Abbey would be available for counseling and prayer.  Abbey was thrilled.
 
 
A VERY DIVINE ENCOUNTER
 
     A few years ago I went to Chile, South America and spent 5 days in the home of the doctor of the Olympic Team of Chile.  He want to start Athletes in Action in his country.  I stayed with him and his wife and his 17 year-old son.   They were a beautiful family - loved the Lord, excited about ministry.  But he wasn’t able to start AIA at the time and since then we’ve lost contact. 
 
     As we were leaving the Mexico delegation I mentioned to Carl and Abbey that I wondered if Pepe was still with Team Chile.  But we had to leave the Village and didn’t have time to hunt down the Chile residence.  10 seconds after I said this to Carl and Abbey, someone grabbed me from behind.  It was Pepe.  I couldn’t believe it.  We jumped on the Village bus and had only 3 minutes to talk before he and his team got off to go to the Olympic Stadium.  
 
      Just before he got off I asked about his wife and son.  He looked at me and was silent.  Then he said “I am divorced.  My son is dead.  He was killed in a car accident”.  He started to cry and then the bus stopped.  He had to get off.  He said he would come to the Religious Center to see me tomorrow(which is today).  The problem is I don’t have a pass for today.  Pray that I can get into the Village again and find Pepe.  Please pray for him, that God heal his heart and use Pepe to His glory.

 

Juan and Anne Fernandez - 5-18-2016

Posted by Dawn Dresser on OP4er @ 4:51 PM

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I just returned from a 14 hr. trip to Apolo to the Centro de Capacitación de Liderazgo Apolo (CCLA) and a first time visit to a Lutheran church in a rural community of Michiplaya.
 
About CCLA: In general the training at the CCLA was great. 17 students attended the 3 and a half day training. 4 people from the Baptist church, 4 people from the Lutheran church in Michiplaya, 3 people from the surrounding rural communities (Lutherans), and 6 people from the Lutheran church in Apolo. The classes were intense but very good. The two professors were from Cochabamba, from the Langham Institute - Bolivia. This is an International Institute that is establishing preaching schools (Escuelita de Predicadores) in Bolivia and the rest of Latin America (and around the world for that matter). They have an excellent curriculum focused on excellence on preaching. Their method is very dynamic and participatory and at the same time very challenging. At least the first couple of days it was very challenging for the students to get fully involved but the last day we could see the participation and the good results of the training. This has been the first Level of a total of three. We plan to have one level per year and in between a followup support session. We've been blessed by partnering with this training institute in Cochabamba. It took almost two years in building relationships and booking the training. Please pray for the Langham Institute, CCLA, the churches represented and the trainers.
 
After the training at CCLA, we went to the rural community of Michiplaya, 4 hrs drive and some walking to get there. About 3 years ago I met the pastor of this community and ever since he was very persistent inviting me to visit and bring some training to his church. Thank God this year we had the opportunity to go there. A couple of representatives from FIEL, the national church, came along as well. We had a great time with worship services, teachings and fellowship. The people in that small community were very loving and very hospitable and in need of support on training their leaders. We renewed our relationships and made plans for the future. Please pray for this church, their leaders and their community. 
 
Thanks for your support, prayers and partnership. Dios les bendiga,
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