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ACCTS in action To assist in the development of Christian leaders in the armed forces of the world and in the establishment and growth of military Christian fellowships.
Building the Foundations of Military Ministry Picture yourself surrounded by over 16,000 South Korean military Christians who are praying, singing, and worshipping together…or assisting in the baptism of some 350 young soldiers…or joining Korean MCF members for their vibrant worship service from 5:30 to 7:30 in the morning. Those unforgettable events were just a few that Military Evangelism Observation (MEO) participants experienced during their program in Seoul last month, which was sponsored by ACCTS’ ministry partner, Mission Support Organization (MSO) in South Korea. MEO encourages the establishment of military Christian fellowships in countries that do not currently have MCFs. MSO started the MEO program as a result of the Association of Military Christian Fellowship’s (AMCF) World Conference in 2004. Each year MEO brings two participants from various nations that do not yet have an MCF to inspire them to form one and train them on how to do it. ACCTS staff members Bernhard Kaltenbach and Jim Greshel participated and led several sessions at the most recent MEO program, including one that helped delegates understand how four international organizations (ACCTS, AMCF, MMI, and MSO) work together to share God’s love with military personnel. Other classroom sessions dealt with leadership, Bible study methods, conversational prayer, and the “pray and plan” method. As Jim put it, “Today we began to build a foundation for MCF members to seek God and begin building the kingdom of heaven in their nation starting with the military.” Before leaving, MEO participants were challenged to form a military Christian fellowship upon their return home. However, some of them are returning to nations where Christians do not yet enjoy full religious freedom. Please pray for their wisdom as they move forward in God’s will and God’s way.
Suzy Neu With Christ “Heaven is a permanent residence … a place where we unpack our bags and stay forever … What a glorious thought to wake up in heaven and realize it is home!” C.L. Allen ACCTS staff member Suzy Neu went to be with her Lord on 24 June. In addition to her ACCTS involvement, Suzy was involved in Bible Study Fellowship for 35 years. During her time with BSF, Suzy served as children’s leader, teaching leader, and children’s area coordinator. Her role as CAC led her to Africa, and she deeply loved those she worked with and served in Africa. She was serving in her capacity as CAC in Harare, Zimbabwe when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Suzy loved the Lord and loved to serve Him, whether it was through BSF, her family, or her God-given talent of encouraging all whom she came in contact with. She was passionate about demonstrating the love of Christ to the people she met. She was a behind-the-scenes person who didn’t seek the spotlight, but whose loving, caring wisdom affected many lives. She and her husband Paul, who met in a Bible study, were married for 45 years.
Building a Foundation ACCTS is seeking ways to build a foundation for future ministry, and we can use your assistance – even if you have no “building” skills! Here are some ways you can help: •
Do you know anyone who serves on the board of a foundation, a church mission board, or any other organization that assists Christian ministries? If so, please consider sharing information about ACCTS’ international military ministry with them so that they can consider joining us in our work. We’d be happy to send you an information packet to share or, if possible, have a staff member share our ministry with them. If you are part of your local chapel, please consider asking the chapel to consider a designated offering for ACCTS’ work. Military personnel who attend chapel understand the importance of our work and will be more likely to assist us – we can make specialized bulletin inserts for you to include in your chapel bulletins if they give a designated offering. As you plan for the future, please consider including ACCTS in your long-term estate planning. Contact Bernhard at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on estate planning.
ACCTS IN ACTION • Page 2 • August 2012
You are in El Salvador, on a military mission trip, when you hear an unexpected knock on your door. You open the door and see four military policemen in uniform (including weapons) who say, “The base commander has directed us to take you to the military prison.” A scary incident? It could be -- but it turned out to be just an unplanned ministry opportunity during a June mission trip in Central America. ACCTS staff members Bob and Billie Jean Reifsnyder were in El Salvador leading a training team for ACCTS’ ministry partner, International Association of Evangelical Chaplains. As Bob followed the policemen out the door, Billie Jean began to prayer, wondering where he was going and why. About an hour later, however, Bob returned and was praising the Lord for having been taken to the military prison -- where he was asked to preach to the prisoners! The trip to the military prison was unexpected, but it wasn’t unexpected that God was working in the nation of El Salvador during the two weeks of their mission trip. The Reifsnyders and a team of teachers lead a class of military pastors in discussions on spiritual preparedness, Bible study methods, and ministering to soldiers and families under a variety of circumstances. They report, “This class is unique in that it is an example of government and evangelicals working together. As both groups explore how to do this, questions come up, words are newly defined and our desire is to share the Lord and teach how to bring the troops to know Him.” IAEC/ACCTS team members: Major General Clay Buckingham and Clara, US Army (Ret.) Chaplain (Colonel) Richard (Rich) Bower, US Army (Ret.) Chaplain (Colonel) Joaquin Maldonado and Vicky, Guatemala Army (Ret.) Lieutenant Colonel Rev. Robert (Bob) Reifsnyder and Billie Jean, US Army (Ret.)
ACCTS IN ACTION • Page 3 • August 2012
International soldier photos courtesy USDOD.
Escorted to Military Prison in El Salvador
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Rapid Growth in Central America AMCF’s Central American Vice President Joaquin Maldonado reports that strategies to promote military Christian fellowship in Central America have been successful. Some of those strategies include maintaining constant communication with MCFs, establishing a praying base of military Christians, and training every Christian military and police member to become missionaries within the armed forces. He states, “In the Central American region there is a rapid growth of the Christian faith amongst the military and police force…Every day, doors are being opened by the grace of God.” Colonel Maldonado praises God for the support of AMCF President General Lee, Pil Sup, ministries such as ACCTS and IAEC, and other related ministries: “Without their support for the Central America region of AMCF, this would be almost impossible.”
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PO Box 27239 Denver, CO 80227-0239 Phone: 1-800-487-8108 Fax: 303-986-4710 Email: email@example.com Web: www.accts.org
Association for Christian Conferences Teaching and Service
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Shown Here – Military Christian Fellowship Leaders from Guatemala, Panama, and Honduras
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ACCTS Prayer Reminder August 2012
Photo courtesy US Navy
“Lord, let me know clearly the work which you are calling me to do in life. And grant me every grace I need to answer your call with courage and love and lasting dedication to your will.” --Saint Meinrad Prayer Book, “Vocation Prayer”
Note: Staff member names are in bold print. 1 ACCTS’ annual leadership training program for young military officers, Interaction Rocky Mountain High, is in its final days. Pray that the participants will be open to hearing from God during their time in this program and implementing what they learn once they return home. Pray also for Harry Argo, Phil Exner, Mike Fligg and Dell McDonald, who are teaching them. 2 Praise God for the newly-started military Christian fellowship in South Sudan! Pray that military and civilian Christians there will have God’s wisdom in living out their faith and that the Holy Spirit will bring unity among believers. 3 Pray for ACCTS’ executive director, Phil Exner, and deputy director, Bernhard Kaltenbach, and the ACCTS board of directors as they lead ACCTS through the last two months of our fiscal year. 4 Pray for military and civilian Christians in Egypt. Egypt’s ruling military recently broadened its powers, which caused concerns among many Christians. 5 Interaction Rocky Mountain High ended yesterday. As participants return to their home nations, pray that the Holy Spirit will guide and help them as they seek to serve Christ and their country in their military careers. 6 An MMI coworker traveled to Nepal earlier this year to meet with and encourage military Christians. Pray that MMI’s efforts to get camouflage-covered Bibles to Nepal will come to fruition, and thank God for His faithful men and women in this nation. 7 The Canadian MCF asks for prayer as they are at a critical point in their history and need to make important decisions about future ministry. Please pray for their leaders and members as they work through this situation.
ACCTS prayer reminder • August 2012
8 Syria has seen uprisings and political unrest since March, and tensions are worsening. Please pray for Syria and the entire region, and ask that the turmoil will not spill over to other nations. 9 Pray for guidance for ACCTS staff members who minister to international military students studying in the US, including Vic and Marsha Grazier and Bill and Suzanne Lumpkin. Pray that others will join them in this important form of ministry at key military locations around the US. 10 Praise God for military Christians in Niger who recently started a military Christian fellowship! Pray that they will have wisdom in living out their faith in a nation that is 98% Muslim. 11 Praise God for Christians in Bhutan who meet for prayer and fellowship, and that their excitement about the 2014 AMCF World Conference led them to donate toward the conference. Pray that other military Christian fellowships will share their enthusiasm and excitement for the conference and prepare to send representatives. 12 Soldiers in the barracks of Guinea Bissau ask for prayer for their nation, which experienced a military coup in April. Pray that military Christians will stay faithful to Christ and act under His will during this difficult time. They were recently given some Bibles to distribute – pray that those Bibles will be read by all who receive them. 13 Pray that ACCTS will have success in approaching various foundations who could help us with financial ministry needs. 14 A conference in the Middle East earlier this year gathered military and civilian believers from several nations in the region. One said, “Gathering together here…and getting to know fellow brothers and sisters in Christ from different countries of the Middle East has shown me we are not alone in our situation and gives us great encouragement.” Praise God for
these faithful men and women and pray that they will continue to be encouraged, knowing that they are not alone. 15 Recently, nations that use children as soldiers have been in the news following the arrest of Thomas Lubanga in the DR Congo. Pray that Christians, both military and civilian, who are helping child soldiers return to their families and more normal lives will be empowered with Christ’s strength and wisdom for their difficult task. Praise God for the faithful military Christians who serve their nation in the DR Congo. 16 Pray for wisdom for military Christians in Colombia as they share Christ’s hope and peace in a nation that is plagued with rebel fighting.
23 Pray with Captain Klaas Steyn, director of the 2014 AMCF World Conference committee, and Major Rhett Parkinson, program director, and others as they prepare for this important training conference, which will be held in South Africa. 24 In September ACCTS staff members Russell and Helen Bielenberg will step down after over 20 years of service Christ through ACCTS. Praise God with us for their faithful, sacrificial service. 25 Please uphold in prayer Chaplain Col. Lelei Alfayo, who is the principal Protestant chaplain in Uganda as well as being the head of Uganda’s military Christian fellowship.
26 Pray with ACCTS as we prepare for next month’s 17 Mexico elected a new president in July, amidst staff and board meetings. Today and the following some allegations of a corrupt voting process. Please four days we ask for prayer for our board members keep this nation in your prayers, especially its Chrisand thanks for the service they give – today, please tian military men and women who are striving to faith- uphold in prayer Curt and Addie Belohlavek, Bryan fully serve Christ and Sherri Burt, and their nation. “Lying helpless, strapped to a body board, I and Ward and Jody would have felt utterly and inconsolably alone, Bursley. 18 Praise God for except for my faith that I lay in the hands of a 27 Today we Namibian chapGod who loves me and promises a future beyond continue praying lains who are involved in the redeath. And over the next few months I felt the for ACCTS board cently-established sure sense of, as the Quakers had expressed it, members. Pray for military Christian wisdom for David being held in the light.” fellowship in this Chang, Steve and southern African Molly Hoffman, and -- author Philip Yancey, after a nearly fatal car accident nation, and pray Sue Huggler. that unity among these believers will 28 Continue praycause great growth ing for our board of in the group. directors, including Phil and Rosa 19 From 20-23 AuLewis, Ed and gust ACCTS staff Elizabeth Lorenmembers Pete and zini, and Dean and Jacki Prindle and Deena Mills, and Harry and Linda thank God with us Waters will attend for their work with a CAST chaplains ACCTS. conference in the U.S. Pray that they 29 Today, please will be an encourclose out your agement to the prayers for ACCTS chaplains and chaplains assistants with whom they board members by asking God to bless and guide meet. Tony and Julia Pfaff, Ira and Jody Savoie, and Gary and Cathy Speer. 20 Pray that military Christians in Paraguay will stand firm in the faith and continue to serve Christ in all they 30 Pray with Christian Military Fellowship and Ofdo. Praise Him for their work for Christ. ficers’ Christian Fellowship in the USA as they seek ways to minister to soldiers and families who are 21 Pray with Dickson Ogwang and others who are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. seeking to bring reconciliation on all levels to people and groups in Africa. 31 During ACCTS’ September staff meeting, the AMCF (Association of Military Christian Fellowships) 22 Pray that Leslie Santee will be able to capture presidency will change hands from General Lee, Pil and produce compelling military Christian video Sup of South Korea to General Srilal Weerasooriya stories in Brazil and other areas to which she travels of Sri Lanka. Please pray that General Weerasooriya this year. will be given the Spirit’s wisdom as he leads our sister association, AMCF. ACCTS prayer reminder • August 2012