On a hot summer day in July, members of the Missions Committee and Pastor Gregg Hensel met with Steve and Marlene Shickley, EFC ReachGlobal missionaries, to discuss their ministry in China and Thailand. The connection with the Shickleys began nearly three years ago as members of the missions committee began corresponding with several EFC ReachGlobal missionary couples in hopes of finding missionaries who might be supported by the church in the future as current missionaries retire. The Shickleys regularly sent prayer letters and newsletters to the committee requesting prayer support for the family and ministry in Asia. As a result, when the Shickley family returned to the States for a brief furlough during the summer months, the Missions Committee scheduled a luncheon meeting to receive first-hand information regarding God’s work in Asia.
Steve and Marlene have spent ten years as missionaries in China, working with the Tai Lue people group. During this time, they grew their family so that they currently have four children, three girls and a son. They have a house full of teenagers. Recently, the family members have had a number of surgeries, some requiring a return to the States to receive good medical attention. In each case our missions committee members have been upholding them in prayer. The Shickley family currently reside in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Steve is frequently called upon to travel into China for ministry support. Marlene is left to maintain a household in a foreign country often under trying conditions. Consider adding Steve and Marlene and the Shickley family onto your daily prayer list. In Psalm 86:6-7, King David prays, “Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; and give heed to the voice of my supplications! In the day of my trouble I shall call upon Thee, for Thou wilt answer me.”
The Missions Committee approved an action at its August meeting to financially support the Shickley family. Since Lois McMartin retired at the end of September, the committee will use the monthly allocation which supported Lois to begin financial support of Steve and Marlene Shickley. With this action, the church currently supports missionaries in India, Malaysia, China/Thailand, Spain, and the Congo, in addition to the home missions which support AWANA, Ambassadors of Reconciliation Ministries (local jail ministry), and the Japanese Diaspora ministry. Only through the generosity of our congregation are we able, as a church family, to support so many missionary ministries throughout the World.
It has become more difficult for missionaries to obtain work visas which allow them to remain in many of these countries. Once they are approved to remain in the country, the missionaries are often restricted in what they may do and say in their ministry. Personal safety also becomes a concern for some of our missionaries. Please take time today to pray for the missionaries we have sent with God’s message of salvation. May we be as faithful as Paul, who in Colossians 1:9-10 tells the church, “we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God”.
Don Remley, on behalf of the Missions Committee