To all of our praying partners:
I (Pat) am in Australia and about to fly up to PNG. I will be going to the island province of New Ireland again. I will be working with the Feni language group this time. We will be checking Romans, Ephesians, 2 Peter, 1 John and Luke. Lots to do. The Feni people live on an island off the coast of New Ireland. Travel to New Ireland by water is treacherous so we would all appreciate your prayers for their safety. It is not unusual for their small boats to capsize or break down at sea, resulting in loss of life. Pray that we will be able to complete the consultant check of all of these books in three weeks. And as always, pray for health for the participants and their families back home. Thanks you so much for standing behind us with your prayers! I will try to keep you all updated if/when I have internet access.
In His Love,
Pat & Mel
Wycliffe Bible Translators
Accomplished January-March 2018
3.7 Million Pounds Gleaned from the Fields
2.1 Million Pounds Shipped in the Potato & Produce Project
A total of 5.8 Million Pounds Collected and Distributed
17.4 Million Servings of Fresh Produce Provided
654 Events Held and 4,950 Volunteers Engaged
News And Events
Feeding Hungry People — That’s Why We’re Here
On average, SoSA donors and volunteers, with the support of farmers, provide food for almost 235 thousand people every week.
In Ohio, George Jensen is Known as “Tater” — There’s a Reason for That
Jensen has gleaned with the Society of St. Andrew for about 20 years. He thinks (at age 80) this might be his last year of leading the gleaning effort in Ohio. Meantime, he’s gearing up for the 2018 growing season, providing this encouragement: “We want to give the producers a reminder since it’s getting close to planting time. We pray for bountiful harvests; so bountiful that we would appreciate the leftovers to help feed the hungry of this country,” Thanks for years of great work, George.
Greenhouse Gleaning in Georgia
How do you glean in Georgia in March? Why not go to a greenhouse? Sam “The Gourdmaster” White is director of The Village Community Garden in Sylvester, Georgia. He also volunteers with SoSA. He and our Georgia office coordinated with food educators on “Ancestor’s Day” to collect greens and vegetables to create healthy and delicious salads.
Florida Gleaning Season Continues
Larry Rood is our gleaning coordinator in North Florida. He says “It’s a lot of work, but I do it because I’m passionate about helping those in need and keeping food from going to waste. Recently the Anastasia Island Community Journal ran a nice story about churches and schools gleaning with SoSA.
Chicago Area Potato Drop
Located in the nearby town of Burr Ridge, the Zoroastrian Center of Chicago knew there were many feeding agencies helping to feed the poorest people in and around the Windy City. They worked with SoSA for a potato drop that supplied plenty of potatoes to the Illinois Food Bank, Loaves and Fishes, the Interfaith Food Pantry, and several local food pantries. Zoroastrians believe in “good thoughts, good words, and good deeds” — a SoSA potato drop is a great way to participate in all three!
Greetings from PNG!
The 2nd course of our Oral Bible Translation project has just ended. The teams are taking home their audio translations of the Easter story in Mark along with a few of Jesus’ parables and teachings. We did run into some technical problems with computers and software, but everything worked out in the end. The Bungain language team came with 3 new members, which gave them a steep learning curve.
We were all blessed through the daily devotional times of singing praises and sharing from the Word together. Pray that as the teams return to their villages, the recorded Word will spread not only from phone to phone but from heart to heart.
He is Risen!
Pat and Melenda
Bible Translation – Life Transformation
Greetings from the President
We have stepped into the Holy Week. This year the last words of Jesus are ringing in my heart: „ It is finished“ (Jn 19:30). These words did not reflect his despair; it wasn’t any spontaneous cry. We are told that Jesus indeed “knew that all was now completed“(v.28). In the same way as he was very much aware about all the events he would face during these crucial days in Jerusalem; crucial days for the whole humankind. In this clear knowledge Jesus’ profound trust in his Father was reflected. What was now completed was his Father’s redemption plan; it was his Father’s ultimate will for his life, and Jesus had fulfilled this will to the very end, fully.
Outwardly, it didn’t look like anything would have been „finished“. Outwardly, Jesus was dying at the cross, and no-one except Jesus himself did see or understand the great truth about the fulfillment of God’s redemption plan. Even after God had raised Jesus from the death it was hard for people to take in this great change that had happened. But it was certainly far more difficult to believe it at the moment when Jesus took his last breath at the cross.
How is it with us – do we see the victorious radiance behind the cross as a sign that God’s redemption plan is completed – now?
Our Bishop Christian Alsted taught a class on UMC structure and Book of Discipline last week, and participated at the continuous education days for UMC pastors. We are grateful to God for his teaching and his inspiring presence among us.
Our IT specialist Rein Laaneser will have a knee surgery in the middle of April. Let us pray for a successful surgery, and for his fast recovery.
On April 15 our seminary students and faculty are invited to lead a worship service in Tallinn UMC. As the Course of Study session is also taking place over the same weekend we hope to involve these students also, and it is our prayer that we would all together proclaim a lively message about our risen Lord. We are grateful to God for our seminary faculty who have been willing to teach at the Course of Study sessions, and we can see how this couse has already provided new students for the seminary.
We are grateful to God for the confirmation that the Central Conference Theological Education Fund has awarded financial support to all our projects, and we shall receive these funds soon. We ask for your prayers about balancing Christian love and righteous claims in our dealings with students who still owe us their tuition money, so we would receive the missing amounts into our budget. We are grateful for all supporters, and keep them in our prayers.
Have a blessed continuation of the Holy Week,
President of the BMTS
Accomplished January-February 2018
2.3 Million Pounds Gleaned from the Fields
1.6 Million Pounds Shipped in the Potato & Produce Project
A total of 3.9 Million Pounds Collected and Distributed
11.8 Million Servings of Fresh Produce Provided
431 Events Held and 3,411 Volunteers Engaged
News and Events
SoSA Indiana Begins Feeding People in the Hoosier State
SoSA’s Indiana office has begun to collect and distribute food. The brand-new office held its first event, bagging and sending 165 pounds of apples to a distribution agency to feed hungry families in Indiana.
February Potato Drop in Mississippi
Decatur United Methodist Church combined Shrove Tuesday pancakes and a mission project — bagging more than 3,000 pounds of sweet potatoes. Church members coordinated with SoSA to start Lent by feeding hungry neighbors.
Servants from various organizations walked over to the Tampa Convention Center to pack leftover produce from a Food Expo into boxes and ultimately onto large trucks and vehicles to serve local ministries and food banks. Servants came from Hyde Park United Methodist (48), Abe Brown Ministries (9), Dream Builders (3), New Hope United Methodist (6), University of Tampa (2), and First United Methodist – Lakeland (2).
Organizations benefiting from the fresh, high-quality fruits and vegetables were Feeding Tampa Bay (and all those that it serves), Good Samaritan Mission, Open Arms, Dream Builders and several banks in the Orlando area. The gifts of each person serving contributed to the success of the project; there was something for everyone to do and everything done was much needed.
This project will alternate between Orlando and Tampa over the next several years. It will be in Orlando next year on March 9, 2019. Mark your calendars and plan to join us. If you’d like to volunteer for future gleaning projects, sign up here.