October 2013 Update
Steve & Mary Jo Mills (1976)
Dear praying Friends,
Thank you to the many who took the time to respond to our email.
Thank you to the many who have written to express their sadness with our diagnosis and not being released to go back to Togo! It has been difficult for us to accept this (to say the least) but we are both confident that this is what the Lord wants in our lives). He has led so boldly in ways that we could understand or see His desire in our lives. We are finding it a challenge to find the ministry that excites us and moves us like the medical ministry did for so many years. Thank you for your prayers in this regard. With the change in status we are in need of additional support and would ask that you pray with us that the Lord would see fit to make up the difference of close to $300 (at this time)! We know the Lord can do exactly that. We are thanking the Lord for the job He has given to Mary Jo to make ends meet. It is amazing how the Lord, once again, opened up a position for her to work in during this transition period. He has provided in so many ways for us, and we are so very thankful for that.
We were able to spend some time a few weeks ago visiting an ESL class in action under the recommendation of our leadership. We were so thankful for the individuals [three (3) who were taking the class but needed some help in the area of FRENCH to understand what was being asked of them in English! That's right French! It was a treat to be able to talk to these people and answer their questions about the English via French. The instructor stated that in all of the years she has been teaching ESL that she has never encountered a French speaker or they have all been other languages, mainly Spanish. Even though this did seem to be appealing to be involved with them, there is still the aspect of Steve not thinking clearly that popped up from time to time and even though this may be unusual, we are still going to look at the possibilities of working with a ministry like this once we are back in Togo to close out our house and ministries! Yes, we will be going back after the first of the year to take care of this. We are so thankful for a close friend who will be joining us to help us pack things up. We are stepping out in faith and trusting that the funds will come in to purchase the plane tickets and send things back via a container. This is one expense that we are asking the Lord for also as this will probably cost around $5000 to do so. Mary Jo will be going through all of our belongings to see what can be sold, given away and the other personal belongings, which we would really like to bring back to the States by a sea container. We met with a Pastor from one of our long time supporting churches who is willing for his church to help us, and we are so very thankful for this. You can think of what a task it is to move here in the States, and now we will be doing that from Africa. So, we are planning on going back to work on the details mentioned above.
Steve spoke to our disability lawyer and she felt we won't hear anything until after January near the same time as we are in Togo. So, we sure do appreciate your prayers. The Lord knows His perfect timing in all of this, and we are so “green” in all of these matters. We just are trusting Him for direction in the way things move on it and the right person to be handling all of this for us.
While we are home at this time, Mary Jo had to have her knee scoped as she had quite a bit of pain in it. The surgeon feels that this may “buy” about 2-3 years before a full knee joint replacement is necessary, but we will know more as time goes on. As with so many people in our age bracket, we both show signs of joints showing their age and wearing out, particularly after Steve’s falling (backwards) down the basement stairs, without any injury!
We know that a colleague Daniel Stoner could use our prayers as he and his family just began language school (in France) but his time was cut short for now as he had some physical problems after arriving there and was diagnosed with a lymphoma. After his initial treatment in the US, it was very encouraging in that the Cancer was slowed down considerably. But, he has treatments scheduled until near Christmas time and needs our prayers. Please pray for Dan and his family. Thank you for praying. If you would like more information, don't hesitate to contact us.
Thank you for continuing to pray for the medical staff at HBB. We just learned that Dr. Ebersole has been cleared medically to return with his wife (Melody-obviously) after a 2 year stint of some pretty serious medical issues. This will be a big help as Russ has literally been a “God-send to many hundreds of the children in Togo. God has truly given him a gift of caring for all those “little people” there in Togo. Please continue to pray about this staffing and financial need of the hospital as financial concerns are even more important at this time. We are also looking at the opening of the new hospital up in Mango where they will need to have committed people, both Nationals and others, to the great work of sharing the Gospel with these beautiful people. If you know of someone who can fill this void, have them contact us for more details. We need nurses, doctors, IT people and the list can go on. Please also prayer for our colleagues in Mango as they face discouraging times with Togolese who feel it is necessary to be paid more for the ministry they will be involved in. We make it a necessity to keep the costs for the patients down to the barest minimum, and so many can not pay even that. So as always, we depend on what the Lord brings in to and for this work that He has given us to do.
We would like to thank those who have continued to pray for our kids. We received word immediately after our son, David, went to see his girlfriend in Nairobi, Kenya. Yes, you read that correctly, Nairobi! The Lord was watching over David as he was supposed to be at the very restaurant that the terrorists were. Some of his girlfriend's friends were killed and so we would ask that you pray for Tina's friend's and family that there would be comfort at the time of this tragic loss. One of the blessings for us at this time has been the possibility of being somewhat closer to our daughter, son-in-law (Eric) and grandchildren. If you would like to see our grand kids, we would encourage you to stop by Face Book as Kellie attempts to provide us with current pictures of our grandkids, (Jonah and Jesse) who have got to be the cutest grandchildren ever. :o))
We love you all and are so very thankful for you all as we follow the Lord’s leading and direction in our lives at this time. It is a very precious thing for us, knowing that you are “hanging in there” with us as the Lord changes our lives in so many ways right now. We do thank and praise the Lord for you all.
Steve & Mary Jo Mills
1144 Slayton Ave.
Grand Haven, MI 49417-1944
Mills Website: www.mills.abwe.org
Togo Website: www.togo.abwe.org
Telephone (Cell): (616) 613-6562
16 October 2013
I'm working on putting each person's email address on a spreadsheet and wondered if you could respond to this letter by indicating which address you are receiving this letter at. It may be that you only use one (1) address if so, this will make my job easier. However, if you have two (2) or more, it is still easy, I just need to record which one to use. Also please indicate which church you were members at, when you signed up to receive the letter. This will help me more than you will ever know.
So, to recap. please use this form letter and resend it to me: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will indicate the address you are using on my spreadsheet. Part of the problem is that the service we use records your address but not your name and so I need to re-enter your name to be sure you get our letter.
You should be hearing from us soon as we are finalizing the letter.
In His Service,
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