A unique opportunity for you and an amazing opportunity for our church!

I don’t often forward notes from others, but I just received a note from my parents, veteran missionaries Fred and Rachel Whitman, that you do not want to miss.

First, they talk about a unique opportunity: an Italian Christian History Tour, led by my Dad.
It is unique in three ways:
1. It may be the last tour my Dad organizes
2. It would be a great opportunity for you to enjoy Italy, learn about our history and have a greater understanding of the need of the country.
3. For a tour of its kind, it is truly a great deal.  My Dad never makes any money off it…he loses money every time, but he considers it worth it because of what it does toward raising awareness in the hearts of the participants to the needs of Italy.

The second part is regarding our new deacon!  As a church body we were able to vote on a new deacon for our church body.

Soon, we will update you on our furlough plans, but this message is time sensitive, so without further ado, happy reading, and we hope to see many of you here!
(If you subscribe to both letters I apologize for the redundancy!)

Jon and Melodee  

Continue reading

Share!Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPrint this page

Earthquake – Safe…again!

Sunday we had our worst earthquake yet.  In fact, they are saying that it was the worst earthquake in 35 years.

Our family was having breakfast in preparation for church when the earthquake hit.
The chandeliers were swinging, the glasses were clanging and worst of all the floor was moving, much like you would imagine being on a ship in a bad storm.  We weren’t sure if we should try to leave the house or not.  We probably should have run downstairs and out the door, but were in shock!

We thank God for protection.  Amazingly there was no damage, no people directly killed by the earthquake.  Similar earthquakes killed as any as 300 people in the recent past.

However all is not well.  Noah’s school will have to find classrooms for three classes from another school whose building was damaged.  Even worse, over 2000 people in the region were left homeless or displaced and the cathedral and concert hall in Norcia where I have played were both destroyed. You can see a few pictures that Melodee and I took.

Norcia square

Norcia square

The first picture is the outside of the cathedral in the main square, which now is no longer standing.

Here is what it looks like now.

 

 

 

The other two are of the  concert hall, both inside and outside.

Norcia concert hall

Norcia concert hall

Norcia

Norcia

Here is what it looks like now.

To see what is left of them you can see the drone images from the fire department.
You can see video here.

Also another video here.

 

In this video first you will see the concert hall (an old church) and then the basilica in the main square.

Certainly this city will never be the same.
Pray for God to work through this situation for His glory and to continue to protect us!
It is no coincidence that Sunday we were able to give our a booklet titled “Where is God in earthquakes?”  We have also offered them on TV and radio.
Pray especially for those who we have the privilege to come in contact with through radio, TV and personal contact.

Share!Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPrint this page

Seven Praises and Seven Prayer Requests

As we get into our fall activities here, I give you a few items to praise God for and prayer requests for you to print out and share with your family, friends and church.

The Whitmans in 2016Praise:
1. No known cancer for two years.
2. Ten years in Italy as missionaries
3. Gospel opportunities coming our way.
4. New Young Couples group
5. Vacation Bible School
6. God’s continued provision.
7. More men being equipped for ministry.

Prayer:
1. Preaching
2. Training men in the church, especially pastors and deacons
3. Health for our family
4. Furlough plans
5. New Young Couples Ministry and pastoral care
6. Evangelism and church planting
7. Salvation of our children and personal/ministry growth.

Thank you for praying!!

 

Share!Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPrint this page

Thank you for praying for our 2016 Vacation Bible School!!!

You prayed, God answered!

We had an exceptional week of Vacation Bible School thanks to the hard work of many members of Centro Evangelico Battista, Calvary Baptist Church in Grand Rapids (our sending church) and Partners in Discipleship International.
Our theme was “God Always Wins!”, which is courtesy of Children Desiring God Ministries.

In my last note I asked a specific prayer request for one child with a difficult family background. Unfortunately, that child was not able to come to the Sunday event, but please keep praying for him!

I am thankful for Daniel and Elizabeth Ransom, my exceptionally gifted co-workers, for this wonderful video!
Enjoy!

Share!Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPrint this page

Birthday presents: early, on time or belated?

 

Noah's birthday joyWe all love birthday presents. 
Personally, I don’t even care if they are early, on time or belated.  I just love a good surprise!
Most people like to celebrate their birthday, one way or another.
(I say most because I have discovered that there are a few out there that really don’t love birthdays…I can’t say I can relate!)

I have had many memorable birthdays, but there are two that are related to my adventures as a cancer patient. 
One was a belated present.  A second one was a day early.

I remember my birthday in 2010 like it was yesterday.
I was still healing from my first tongue surgery. It was a perfect day for grilling.  As I savored my steak with family I just had this feeling…there was something wrong in my tongue.
The next day I got the call we had not hoped for.  The lesion that they had taken out of my tongue was squamous cell carcinoma. Classic tongue cancer.
They scheduled me on the spot for another surgery because they were afraid it could have spread to other parts of my tongue, or worse, to my lymph nodes.
This time they took out more tongue and most of the lymph nodes on that side of my neck, leaving the rather conspicuous scar that I admire when I shave.
God allowed that call to come one day after my birthday. You could call it a belated birthday present.  I was able to enjoy my birthday without considering all the ramifications of life after cancer diagnosis.

Six years later here I was, waiting for more news.
How ironic… another birthday diagnosis! This time it was the day before my birthday.
Dr. Riccio is a hard man to read.  He knows how to joke around, but when it’s time for the important stuff, you couldn’t find a more serious person.
He felt around my mouth and neck silently, then re-read the ultrasound report, went over six years of charts. Now we awaited the conclusion.

He finally spoke up after a few seconds of eternity. Here goes… *Gulp*
“Six years have passed since your first diagnosis. Only the first tumor was invasive.  The other three tumors were “in situ” tumors , therefore non-invasive by definition.
Since it’s been over five years since your first and only case of invasive cancer, you are considered statistically and clinically in remission!
Your lymph nodes were a concern, but both the ultrasound and the checkup confirm that they are just reacting to a less than perfectly functioning system.  After all, we can try to fix you up, but your tongue, salivary glands and lymph nodes work poorly. Only God creates things to work the right way!”

I am not sure what excited me more: hearing that the odds of a recurrence are slimmer every day, or that he acknowledged our Creator as the only one that truly can do things the right way!

So what now?
We will continue regular checkups.  But now only twice a year.  My job is to always be on the lookout for what is going on in my tongue and neck for any suspicious changes.

One last blessing from the day.  Probably the most important one.
I thank God for good health news.  It seems that for the time being, death is less imminent. Unfortunately, sooner or later, unless Jesus returns, death will take us.  As the common saying goes: “it’s like shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic”.
But oh, that God would use us to bring souls into eternity with Christ!
There is more celebration in heaven for one sinner who repents than for ninety-nine good health reports!

Please…don’t stop praying for us! We pray that we can make the most of every opportunity.


For more personalized news, directly in your inbox, check out our mailing list signup box on the top right of this page!

Share!Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPrint this page