International Ministries

Hoefle-Magal - International Ministries The latest from Joel Hoefle and Patricia Magal https://internationalministries.org/teams/377-hoefle-magal.rss Prayer Requests for Myanmar <p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:SplitPgBreakAndParaMark/> <w:EnableOpenTypeKerning/> 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mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} </style> <![endif]--> </p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">Please join us in praying for the people of Burma/Myanmar. People often ask us if what they are reading and hearing from the media is true about changes in Myanmar. And yes, there are changes. We do see glimmers of hope. Please pray for God's heart to keep guiding the will of the people.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">We are greatly concerned for people suffering throughout Myanmar particularly in the Kachin State. (60,000-70,000 people have been displaced since last June.) Efforts are being made to get these families every basic need. We believe that God has the power to meet their needs.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">As far as our work in Thailand, please continue to pray for the staff of NLCF (New Life Center Foundation), and all of the many families who are gaining support from this amazing outreach. We see God so clearly within the staff and the students. The issues are so complicated within human trafficking.... but we are seeing an openness and knowledge by the local ethnic people to do what God is asking them to do. It is amazing to see people who in spite of trauma take such risks. We believe that this is God's hands in our lives. May we all support the locals in their efforts adding to God's voice that they are truly loved. &nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">And lastly, within our own family, our eldest daughter, Nika will be staying in the United States. She will be going to Eastern Mennonite University. We ask for your prayers for her and us. We celebrate that we will grow again in many new ways this next year.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><br><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;"></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">If you'd like to know more about what's going on in Myanmar, read this article and watch the BBC report.&nbsp; </span><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>JA</w:LidThemeAsian> 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QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading"/> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";} </style> <![endif]--> </p><p class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17564726"><span style="font-family:&quot;Tahoma&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;color:#0383ED"><span style="color:black; mso-style-textfill-fill-color:black;mso-style-textfill-fill-alpha:100.0%"><span style="color:black;mso-style-textfill-fill-color:black;mso-style-textfill-fill-alpha: 100.0%">http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17564726</span></span></span></a></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;">&nbsp;</span></p> Fri, 24 Aug 2012 15:12:48 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/44371-prayer-requests-for-myanmar https://internationalministries.org/read/44371-prayer-requests-for-myanmar Little By Little We Draw Closer To Each Other <p></p><div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.917969); ">&nbsp;Little By Little We Draw Closer To Each Other ----- &nbsp;By Trish Magal</div><div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.917969); "><br></div><div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.917969); "><br></div><div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.917969); ">Just as the sun sets, the girls arrive in two vans which they have managed to squeeze in over forty people. Our neighbors can hear their excited voices squealing as they race up all the stairs to our door. Freshly baked lasagna hangs in the air. Their eyes are filled with happiness and each one bows in greeting. They step over the threshold and feast upon the foreign surroundings. Never before have they seen a kitchen with counters, sinks, an oven, and a refrigerator. One student points to a small rice bowl and tells me that she has eaten out of one just like this one in her own home. She touches her heart indicating how good it is to eat rice from it. Another student notices the Lake Superior Agates from MN and asks if they are Joe's. "Yes," I answer wondering how she connected them with him.</div><div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.917969); "><br></div><div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.917969); ">We are all hungry but I know ritual is very important here. I speak on behalf of my family welcoming each person into our home. I want them to know how much we love each one of them. And how excited and happy we are to share Valentine's Day together. The House Mother beckons a student to present us with a gift on behalf of all of NLCF. Normally, traditional Ahka cross stitch is done by one person but they beam as they tell me many students have had a hand in doing the work. It is a community effort. I look at the beauty of the exact stitching and realize that they chose the mossy green, ceylon and lapis blue colors because they knew what I would like.&nbsp;</div><div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.917969); "><br></div><div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.917969); ">Just before lining up to get food, the House Mother again stops us and says that they would like to pray for our family. What would we like them to pray about? I feel awkward because I feel that we already have enough. So, I divert it by saying we would rather that they pray for the people in Burma. Joe's recent trip took him into the world of 60,000 refugees. Their lives are so hard. Use their prayers to God to help them. They wait again until finally, Joe speaks and says that we wish we could speak Thai better. This makes us all laugh together. No one understands this better than they. They are all ethnic minorities who have grown up speaking their own tribal language. They understand how difficult it is to learn Thai. And many are trying to learn English, Japanese, French or Chinese as well. &nbsp;</div><div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.917969); "><br></div><div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.917969); ">The students are satisfied with our answers and begin to pray in deep earnest. It is not a prayer in unison. Rather, each person beckons her own individual prayer on our behalf. Forty voices join and fill our room. The sound of it reminds me a massive surround sound of bees. The voices seem to circle up and around us until a shift. The whirling subsides and the room falls quiet. We feel calmer, closer and warmer.</div><div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.917969); "><br></div><div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.917969); ">It's time to eat. And each girl steps into line and eagerly looks down the counter with its heaping pans of homemade lasagna and fresh green salad. There are still more treats to come. Cupcakes topped with Snowcap candy from the States. And small oranges. Some girls may have seen photos of foreigner food but have never had enough money to eat it. And out comes a camera to keep as a memory.&nbsp;</div><div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.917969); "><br></div><div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.917969); ">This time I have remembered that they often find our food a little bland. So, we have roasted hot Thai chilis to add some spice. There is plenty of sweet mayonaise dressing for their salad. And I notice a few of the students helping themselves to what they could find on our counter adding fish and soy sauce for a bit more of salty taste. I make a mental note of this so that I will have it available for next year along with a bowl of sugar.&nbsp;</div><div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.917969); "><br></div><div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.917969); ">The girls spill out of our kitchen and go into the dining room and living room to find just the perfect nook for relaxing. Many happily sit on the floor. They look comfortable and happy to simply be able to enjoy themselves. They do not have to be rushed. They do not have to take care of anyone. This is a rare treat. Now it their time to talk and listen and eat. Every once in a while there is a delicious swell of laughter. It feels luxurious.</div><div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.917969); "><br></div><div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.917969); ">I notice an empty chair next to a girl who I did not know very well. I have always been drawn to her beautiful welcoming smile but she attends Thai school. We begin to talk and I am able to figure out that she loves learning Chinese. I ask her to say something in Chinese and she laughs telling me that I am beautiful. And we laugh again. We are comfortable together. &nbsp;Soon, another girl sits down on the other side of me. I know her better. She has a sharp, curious mind and often asks me questions about the world or what foreigners like. I realize that now I am the one that is under her intense scrutiny. She blurts out that my stomach is big and my arms are even bigger. I laugh knowing that she means no harm. In her culture people speak openly about such things. It is good natured comment. And I swallow back the thought that I &nbsp;am offended. It reminds me of those innocent comments made by a 5 year old who can not lie. I glance out of the corner of my eye, and I catch Joe grinning from ear to ear. He has fully understood the conversation from where he is seated and is enjoying my predicament.&nbsp;</div><div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.917969); ">&nbsp;</div><div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.917969); ">The meal is done. And the girls ask if they can see Joe and my bedroom and bathroom. I don't mind. And they race up the stairs behind me. They catch their breath. &nbsp;We have a bed. Each girl walks over and taps the mattress before gingerly stroking the quilt. Again, a camera comes out and girls take turns posing on it including the House Mother.&nbsp;</div><div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.917969); "><br></div><div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.917969); ">They look around and I notice their eyes seeing all the books filling our bookshelves. I know that they have don't have access to a library and even if they did there is little time for anything else but house work and the rice fields. They look closely at some of my own artwork. And seem interested in a collage that I made about myself. And then it is time to go back to the others.</div><div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.917969); "><br></div><div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.917969); ">I find some of the staff on a small balcony. And together, we gaze out at tiny lights shining in the darkness. I comment that life is changing out there. Soon more houses will be built. More people will be trying to provide for their families and will move closer to the city. We glance up to the sky and see stars almost as if we are all saying a prayer and looking for guidance and strength. Below us, laughter wanders up as the staff's little ones and my youngest daughter are hamming it up playing some sort of tag game. I can hear the smallest laughing the hardest. And I smile as I think about how much she reminds me of her mother.</div><div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.917969); "><br></div><div style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.917969); ">I thank God for all of this. And especially for these amazing people.&nbsp;</div><p></p> Tue, 14 Feb 2012 19:00:00 -0500 https://internationalministries.org/read/41864-little-by-little-we-draw-closer-to-each-other- https://internationalministries.org/read/41864-little-by-little-we-draw-closer-to-each-other- Reflections From 2010 <span>Dear Friends:<br><br></span> <p style="line-height: normal;"><span>It’s hard to believe that Christmas and the New Year are already behind us. Like many of you, we too find ourselves thinking about this past year and reflecting about our lives. Thailand and Burma are places that have a combination of so many extremes. Death and new birth. <span>&nbsp;</span>Sadness and Joy. There is not a day that passes that we do not see or hear about people working to change a desperate situation. Everything from migrant workers who came all the way from Burma to do construction work and then when finished were not paid at all; to a recent situation where a young family from across the border who had been trying to set up a new way of life here, had their working father/husband die suddenly in his sleep. (He and his wife and 3 children under the age of 4 had all lived in a small single-room home.) &nbsp; All of these people now face one thing in common here in Northern Thailand; they are now new targets for trafficking, as defined by either labor abuses or human slavery. They have few options as they live as displaced people in extreme poverty.<span>&nbsp; </span>And without citizenship, they have few if any rights. &nbsp;Our hearts ache for them, but our spirits are also moved to take action.<span>&nbsp;</span> <br></span></p> <p style="line-height: normal;"><span><br></span></p><p style="line-height: normal;"><span>At this time of the year, we reflect on the similarity of what Joseph and Mary must have felt as</span><span> </span><span>parents to a child of impoverished, marginalized refugees.<span>&nbsp; </span>God’s intervention in human history, deliberately siding with the poor and oppressed of the world by embracing their vulnerability in the midst of a deadly empire is a story of action too. We are so grateful for your partnership with us, responding to the needs here on the border, and wanted to let you know how much your acts of prayer and support mean to us.<span>&nbsp; </span>This is the type of action Jesus modeled for us all.</span></p> <p style="line-height: normal;"><span><br>I think it is some of the realness of the situation here and what is at stake that gives us purpose and allows us to face these injustices. Once you know someone personally who is suffering from this type of oppression or see the impact of deep poverty in an entire generation, you cannot push it out of your mind. And this motivates us all to get involved. If we look closely, we are able to see the divine unfolding of a plan that it is far more creative and encompassing than we could ever orchestrate by ourselves. And we can say that this is simply the work of God.<span>&nbsp; </span>We join together at this time of the year to unite in this call to action both in the U.S. and here abroad.</span></p><p style="line-height: normal;"><span><br></span></p><p style="line-height: normal;"><span>Finally, we'd like to express our deepest gratitude for all of the support we've received this past year from our entire faith community.&nbsp; Your prayers, visits, letters and financial support have made this a remarkable year for all of our projects.&nbsp; Look for another post next month on our 2011 ministry needs when we return from our visit across the border.&nbsp;&nbsp; <br></span></p><p style="line-height: normal;"><span><br></span></p><p style="line-height: normal;"><span>Blessings and Peace to all.<br></span></p> Sun, 02 Jan 2011 19:00:00 -0500 https://internationalministries.org/read/31426-reflections-from-2010 https://internationalministries.org/read/31426-reflections-from-2010