Monday, July 03, 2006

Friends report in

We've heard from a number of friends recently. See how many you know.

Our friends, Chip and Melanie Hill, in Indonesia, are enjoying the World Cup and building relationships for witness there. They have two boys now. Chip is a Presbyterian College friend. He's one of the best Christian thinkers I know.

Thomas & Carrie Davis, missionaries with Frontiers as associate director of mobilization, are in Mesa, Arizona. They have a new baby boy, Nathaniel (May 24) to add to their 2 1/2 year old Hannah Beth. Thomas is a PC friend as well, and has transformed from a Jerry Clower clone from Bethune, SC, to one of the foremost missions leaders in our nation, but you wouldn't know it from the picture here!

First picture left to right: Melanie/ Chip Hill and Thomas/Carrie Davis at our wedding in Clinton, SC, in 2001. Second picture: Thomas (right) and Chip (left) having a good time at the reception. For the record, there was no alcohol there.

James Kesselly, the executive director (or as he tells it, the servant with towel,) of ELWA Ministries in Paynesville, Liberia, has checked in recently to inquire about "the doctor," meaning our little Luke. He is a great leader and humble as they come. He is a Christian from the unreached Lorma people of Liberia and Sierra Leone, the tribe involved in the historical Amistad story.

Sara and Jim Meyer and their son Josh, with Greater Europe Mission, are having a big time this summer in their new home of southern Germany. She is a former hand model for TV commercials like Palmolive, etc., and Jim is a former TV commercial producer, both of whom gave their lives to Jesus and now develop media for Kingdom mission use. They are friends from my days at the US Center for World Mission in Pasadena, CA. We then reconnected when I did an internship in Singapore and we went to the same church there.

Lewis Mann is from Clinton, SC, a middle school and high school classmate and later fellow church members at one church which split and a second great church in Laurens, SC, that helped us heal. He and his wife Roxanne have 8 children, one with the Lord. He is now at Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY, and will be ordained July 16, at Chestnut Ridge Baptist Church in Laurens. I am privileged to give the Charge to the Candidate.

Selena Headley, a Fuller Seminary classmate, just got back from a life-changing trip to South Africa. Originally from Calgary, Selena has lived in Nashville for the past few years. Now it looks like she may be going to do work with HIV folks in community development in South Africa. Here she's holding a little HIV+ boy at an orphanage in South Africa.

Sam and Hope Kujiyat, our amazing friends from Jos, Nigeria, were in the States for the Azusa Street Centennial. I met them at Amsterdam 2000, the Billy Graham meeting for evangelists worldwide. Since that time we had them at our church in South Carolina for a visit. They both have been mightily persecuted for their faith by Muslims in northern Nigeria, and both have nearly lost their lives several times. Sam had to leave Hope in Minneapolis when she broke her ankle. She is recuperating with friends while he returned to the work in Jos.

David Kim, a friend from the USCWM and Operation Restoration, and his wife Susan have plenty to smile about. They are celebrating their second little girl, Lilly Joy. I think she might be named after David's mom who died when he was nine.

Amanda heard from her childhood friend from Fort Mill, SC, Anna Mobley Woodham, has moved with her husband to North Carolina. He was a youth minister in a Presbyterian church in Augusta, GA, and he has left the ministry to pursue a career in computers. Anna has her masters in social work now, and is looking for a counseling job.

Edd & Gail Stovall, our friends in West Union, SC, in the golden corner of Oconee County, have been in some difficult health issues lately. We met them in connection with our work on the Cherokee Prayer Initiative. Gail has surgery July 11, and Edd (Big Sugar) is dutifully taking care of her. Here's a picture of Edd in the Cullasaja Gorge in North Carolina near Franklin in 1999 when we were on the western NC segment of the Cherokee Prayer Initiative.

Daniel Oh, a friend from my time with Arrow Leadership, is a major leader in OC International. He is teaching this summer in Toronto, Colorado Springs, and an extended trip to Korea.

I hadn't heard from Teilang Kharmujai in several years. My Fuller classmate is now married to Larissa, and they have a son, Josiah with another child due in July/August. He is leading the Children and Youth Evangelistic Association in Shillong, Meghalaya State in northeast India. Teilang visited in my family's home before I was married one summer, and he continues on with that big smile of his. Notice his picture here walking to a preaching point in the mountains of northeast India and the church building they built.

Todd Nelson just announced that he made it safely back to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from a US vacation family visit. He and his wife Jeni and their two girls serve in KL. He is pastor of The Bridge International Church. We met while I was leading Operation Restoration in 1996. They wanted to go to the mission field, and I helped connect them with CPBC in Singapore which initially sent them as missionaries to KL. Now they are independent and minister both to the urban people there as well as the expatriate community.

I heard from Treva Tankard, the dynamic worship leader from Harvest Church in Washington, NC, and Mission Carolina friend who composed Mission Carolina's theme song, "O Holy Fire." Treva is a great servant of the church and really makes her husband, Tad, look pretty good in this picture. She's busy heading up a new local TV ministry until someone else can take over! Treva's fabulous.

Well, maybe you've seen a mutual friend here and caught up with a few new ones. Send me an email. Your picture might just show up on this blog too! Ha Ha!