The Abegg Love Letters

To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ; mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance. -Jude 1:1


As Regional Leaders, we serve in Latin America to provide support & training to missionaries on the field. We work with partner ministries that focus on everything from theological education to medical care, from children’s homes to retirement homes. Our goal is to come along side organizations & amplify their impact for good and the Gospel. As a family we emphasize anti-human trafficking training, equipping & networking to end this horrific crime that effects so many, especially children.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Rumors of Glory

A Gringo’s Impression of Guatemala -Bus Travel to Solola


Lately I’ve been reminded how every person on this planet is “made in the image of God” (Genesis 1). Whether recognized or not, everyone reflects attributes of their Maker, and carries features of our common Father. As I visit cultures similar to, or radically distinct from my own, I constantly look for ways these features shine through. Often invisible to those who don’t know our common ancestry in God’s creation, to those who have open eyes and hearts, these clues are subtly visible as “rumors” of God’s glory. A sense of something forgotten by culture, or maybe still hoped for. Rumors that those who know the grace and mercy of The Father, have the privilege of confirming…


It’s the dry season in Guatemala. The pine dotted mountains of the South look surprisingly arid as our bus twists its way towards the town of Solola, near lake Atitlan. “Chicken Buses”, imported US school buses individually purchased, brightly painted and chromed out like an LA low rider, jockey for position around us.  Like hulking leap-frogs, they pass and cut one another off, grinding up the steep grade. Their goal: beat just one more competitor to the next stop where a few additional passengers wait for the standing room only space.  




I’m thankful our driver doesn’t feel the need to compete since our seats were pre-purchased from Antigua. It costs a few dollars more, but the peace of mind is worth every last penny. I recognize that each saved quetzal (Guatemalan currency) is probably precious to those tolerating the chaos, but I need to arrive ready for a meeting. That justifies the expense, even as a supported missionary, right? So why the aftertaste of remorse at a few dollars? I think it’s in part a “missional tension” in navigating seculular cultures for Kingdom purposes. Being good stewards of money balanced with time, energy and overall physical stamina. Yet the tension remains. Even so, it’s unnerving to have these wheeled works of art precariously passing and re-passing us. One in particular displays a bright yellow “Jesus Salva” (Jesus Saves) sticker sandwiched between two stereotypical truck mud flap silhouettes of reclining, naked women. Biblical truth expressed amidst gritty, earthy artistry. Faint echoes of God’s glorious handiwork. Rumors of His glory.

We jump ahead of another bus pulling away from the curb. A young man on the roof continues tying down bundles and boxes, keeping low to not lose his balance as the bus lurches forward. I check the silhouette of our own bus to make sure nobody’s rummaging around on the roof where my suitcase is. The windows are down allowing the scent of dust and diesel to drift through as we continue our slow uphill climb, the motor’s low pitch shifts between the grindings as gears are changed. We pass a pickup backed up precariously close to a precipice. Off the bed a man rakes piles of garbage that tumble out of sight.  From the acidic sweet smell, trash is burning somewhere below.



As we wind in and out of hills, multiple volcanoes in the distance help me keep track of our direction of travel. I can see “Volcan Fuego”, literally “Fire Volcano” in the distance. Last night missionaries Rick and Becky Mackey along with Justin and Jeimmy Smith sat with me atop our residencial enjoying sporadic, brilliant fireworks from this monster that laid waste to an entire town less than a year ago. Such beauty and power, but I prefer to keep a healthy distance. What an amazing world we’ve been given pointing towards a creator to be feared for His immeasurable strength yet loved for his incomprehensible mercy and beauty.  Glimpses of Glory seen through creation that suffers the consequences of sin.


We pass through various small towns, each looking relatively similar to the last.  Cement walls with glass imbedded on top to prevent trespassers. Some with more costly razor wire, but nearly all with rusty, corrugated steel roofs. Big red signs scream “Coca-Cola” with traditional logo before whispering the store’s name at the bottom. My favorite: “Tienda Tio Tito” or “Uncle Tito’s Store”. Next door the competition’s Coke sign (exactly the same make) merely mumbles “Tienda” or “Store” at the bottom.  Outside a wrinkled old man in traditional colored pants and a once white tank top leans against the adobe wall balancing on two of the stools three legs. His rubber galoshes are propped up on the rusted remains of a large engine. Judging by the dusty dog snoozing where the 3rd leg would rest, he’s been there a while.



Our bus pauses at an intersection. Sweet smelling “Elotes Locos” or “Crazy Corn” roasts alongside the road. A few cents gets you a large cob smothered in mayonnaise, ground cheese, fresh cilantro, chili powder and lime. Now I realize I’m hungry.  A girl looking to be about 6, wearing what was once a brightly colored Guatemalan dress, sits on a dusty black plastic beer crate selling bright avocados from a similarly faded red plastic wash tub. Mom (aunt, neighbor, friend?) sits behind her in a slightly less faded dress, slowly and methodically tapping away on an iPhone. What a mix, or rather clash of cultures. A man in a black leather cowboy-looking hat holds wood carvings up to the bus window, searching for a buyer. Crudely tooled images of toucans, sloths and Bart Simpson rotate in front of each window before we move through the intersection, no buyers here.



Billboards dot the scenery: cell phone companies, propane gas, hotel rooms by the hour, taco bell… we’re getting into the city now. We wind down a steep, tight road with a sliver of sidewalk on each side rising from the crowded street and pressing against the steel fences or concrete walls of storefronts.  Women in traditional outfits balance with impressive ease bundles of who knows what on their heads as they weave through the narrow spaces. A security guard in black uniform precariously balances his shotgun over one arm, unconcerned of where it’s pointing as he guides a taco to his mouth, juice dripping down his wrist to his sleeve. Now I’m really hungry.




Our bus pauses in front of a narrow alleyway, frustrating cars trapped behind us. The driver signals me forward explaining that my destination is a few blocks down the hill but there’s no space to stop. I climb down and am quickly handed my roller board, carry-on suitcase as the bus pulls away. Three blocks down the hill on this narrow, gravely sidewalk? I definitely should have brought my backpack this trip. Two blocks later I catch up to and pass my bus still stuck in traffic. The driver avoids my gaze.



Finally I arrive to the restaurant where I’ll meet UWM missionary Sarah Johnson and Jose Abel de la Cruz the director of Estudios Viña. Time for lunch, fellowship and further exploration of how the Lord would have our ministries work together. 

In various ways we all have the privilege of following the Holy Spirit’s lead to confirm the rumors of God’s glory expressed every day within the rich culture of Guatemala and throughout the world. 

What a blessing to be part of His Story!  

-Thank you to Bruce Cockburn: "Rumors of Glory" ------------------------

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205 Regency Executive Park Dr.
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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Abegg Electronic Love Letter -Tribulations, Triumphs and the Reasons We Need Your Prayers



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To those who have been called, who are LOVED by God the Father
and KEPT by Jesus Christ; MERCY, PEACE 
& LOVE 
be yours in abundance.      

-Jude 1:1

Thank God...For God.


Claudia and I met with our UWM supervisor yesterday. All three of us reflected on how the holidays weren't very restful due to crises in our region as well as worldwide with bombings, persecution, illness and death.  We understand that God is in control and has an eternal purpose in every minute aspect of His-story, yet I wrestle with His perfect wisdom vs. my inconsequentially small perception on all He allows to pass. I'm tempted to react immediately and try to "fix" each little thing, instead of first seeking what He's at work doing so I can follow.  In our conversation he shared a Psalm that encouraged me immensely:

"O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore." -Psalm 131
 


The Holy Spirit, through Scripture, helps us correctly orient ourselves in the universe, and reminds me I'm not the center... God is. 



 He clarifies the hard work we're called to, whether in US offices, medical clinics & classrooms of Honduras, pastoral trainings in Guatemala or Costa Rica, ER's the Dominican Republic and those grieving around the globe. God's spirit is present each of these places (as well as infinitely more). Yes, we're called to work hard. To engage with exhausted arms, trembling legs, taxed braincells & resources, insanely hard work! Yet in the midst of it all, we're called to deeply, intimately trust God. To, as the Psalmist says, be as a "weaned child with its mother..."  To trust His guidance and receive His rest even in the midst of the raging tempest.

So, as I reflect on the tears, struggles and pain that are mixed with the joys and victories, I begin to see a pattern of His hand at work, not meerly now and then, but surrounding and penetrating each and every moment of our existence with purpose and hope. It's for this reason I then thank God... for God.

Next Stop: Guatemala


Shortly I'll be headed to Guatemala, a country that has been in the news over the past year due to it's deadly volcanic activity. Similar to Claudia and my pre-Christmas trip to Honduras, my time will be dedicated to missionaries, their ministry partners and potential future partner ministries.

We have a new family of 4 attending language school in Antigua preparing for deployment to the Dominican Republic to join a growing team that's discipling and helping equip local churches. I'll also get to meet with the D.R. team leaders who will be in Guatemala at the same time. They have been caring for another couple on their team that is dealing with significant health issues. Please pray for healing for Gil Leon as he goes through treatment for a parasite imbeded in his brain, as well as his wife Danna and their family. He's recovering, but there are still many unknowns and decisions to be made. Pray for wisdom for me and the rest of UWM in helping everyone navigate this process. 

Another couple I'll be visiting lives in Solola, Guatemala where wife Sarah serves with Viña Studios creating Bible episodes for "Deditos". Think "Veggietales" before Disney got ahold of them, only with finger puppets. Check out one of their recent projects, Deditos Episode 10, it's pretty impressive!  Claudia and I have known her husband Kevin since he joined LAM many years ago. He's working with Centro Esdras to better equip pastors throughout the country, as well as teaching courses with another partner ministry, Seminario Biblico de Colombia

I'll also be meeting with the directors of each of these partner ministries as well as a few new potential partners. Please pray for wisdom for me as I engage each on different topics and levels. Pray for safety in travel and care, wisdom and strength for Claudia as she manages various events and continues guiding Jeremy & Nico through "The Abegg Institute" homeschooling program even as they recover from seasonal flu's. 

 
Upcoming Trip to Guatemala to visit UWM missionaries and Partner Ministries
Scent from one of the "Deditos" [Literally "Little Fingers"] episodes by Viña Studios

Support Update

Update on efforts to be fully supported by end of 2018:

Many have been waiting to hear about the results of our $2000/month campaign by year's end. We are so thankful to everyone that has responded, continues to pray, has given or committed to be part of our monthly support team! Before Christmas (see our Blog for old newsletters) we were $800/month short. As of last week, two weeks into 2019 it appears that we remain roughly $400/month short for this year. We are so thankful for everyone who helped improve our monthly support by a whopping $1,600/month during such a short support raising campaign! What a fantastic response and encouragement this has been. Special gifts and monthly support have assured that this year will be much more focused than the last without the constant concern of decreasing support.

We will have a clearer understanding of our level once everyone who committed to join or increase their support gives their first gift before the end of the month. Some have let us know they are affected by the government shutdown and a delayed salary. Please pray for them and others encountering unanticipated challenges. 

If you committed to join us please send in your donation. If you had planned on joining but find yourself in a surprise bind, please let us know so we can intercede for you. We are grateful the Lord put it on your heart to join us, and we seek and trust Him to provide according to His wisdom. 
 
Please pray for this last $400/month to be covered. Pray for those who make up our support team, be they prayer or financial supporters, to be blessed and guided by the Holy Spirit in all they do. 

If you want to join our team as intercessors or financial supporters, or just need to know how to do it, please contact me or use the info at the bottom.

Join Our Team

Prayer Team 

Send us a note and let us know you're an intercessor and want our intercessors updates!

Give Online

UWM-Missionary
Support Page

 

Give via US Mail

 Mail check with accompanying note stating:
"For the Abegg Family" to:
205
Regency Executive Park Dr.
Suite 430,
Charlotte, NC 28217
 

Give Via Phone

Dial 800-825-5896 and talk to a very helpful person!
 
Copyright © 2019 United World Mission, All rights reserved. 

Friday, December 21, 2018

Honduras Report & More - The Abegg's Love Letter as we close 2018


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To those who have been called, who are LOVED by God the Father
and KEPT by Jesus Christ; MERCY, PEACE
and LOVE 
be yours in abundance.      
-Jude 1:1

Ministry Updates: Honduras


Claudia and I just returned from spending over a week visiting, working with and caring for UWM missionaries in the country of Honduras.Thank you to all who were praying for us! We had some significant challenges on the trip, but our time was guarded and very blessed in terms of ministry, relationships and potential new partners for the future. We slept in 5 different beds over 8 nights as we moved through Tegucigalpa, La Ceiba, Balfate, Rio Esteban, San Pedro Sula and Guanabano. It was a particular joy for me to be re-acquainted with some of the ministry leaders I haven't seen since before 2013 and the UWM - LAM merger. 

Claudia and I heard time after time about the need for more workers in ministry and better training for those already in the field. My heart aches for the children in gang oppressed   poverty impacted areas of Honduras' North coast were missionary Heather Braden de Maradiaga serves at Centro de Desarrollo Infantil.For the Garifuna people that Wes and Cindy Williamson work with scattered throughout the Central American coastline, having only received the Bible in their language 2 years ago. For Pastor Daniel Romero of PIER a Reformed Honduran denomination, and the loss of his cousin to gang violence only 2 days prior to our visit. For the families and children as young as 4 picking through the garbage dumps of Tegucigalpa in a horrific cycle of poverty, and the ministry Amor, Fe y Esperanzathat seeks to break this cycle. For a country suffering from corrupt leadership, little economic hope and a desperate tangible need for the gospel. 

"When he [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest." Matthew 9

Thank you to all who make our ministry possible. The coordinating work of UWM missionaries and the connecting of partner ministries with the expertise and programs that help them respond to the spiritual and physical needs of their own countries in a culturally relevant way wouldn't be possible without you! 
 

God Bless
and a very
Merry, Christ Filled Christmas
to each and every one of you!

Merry Christmas from the kids of Amor, Fe y Esperanza the garbage village of Tegucigalpa! See our trip photo album at: Abegg-UWM Honduras 2018
With Pastor Rossel Medina of Iglesia Gran Comission Latin America.  See our trip photo album at: Abegg-UWM Honduras 2018
Heather and part of the staff of Centro de Desarrollo Infantil.  See our trip photo album at: Abegg-UWM Honduras 2018
Some of the housing along Honduras' North Coast. See our trip photo album at: Abegg-UWM Honduras 2018

Support Update

We're almost on track to be fully supported by the end of the year and able to focus 100% on ministry!

We are SO CLOSE to making our goal of $2000/month by year's end! For more details on the need, as well as past updates, please see our Blog.

We are thankful for those who have partnered with us over many years and those who have recently responded to the call! Your commitments have pushed us nearly 3/4 of the way to our goal! Here's where we stand: 
 
We're praying (please join us in prayer!) to have the additional $800/month met by YEAR'S END Please prayerfully consider joining as one of the final 7 people we need:
  • 3 new supporters (or increases) at $150/month or more.
  • 3 new supporters (or increases) at $100/month.
  • 1 new supporter (or increases) at $50/month.
If you want to join our team as intercessors or financial supporters, please contact me or use the info at the bottom. 
 

Current Work
and 

Upcoming Travel:


There is so much follow up from this trip. All of it a joy to anticipate deeper partnerships, healthier ministries and more people coming to know Christ through the work or our missionaries and partner ministries. PRAY for great productivity and favor as we seek the Lord and work to help ministries "take the next step" and missionaries to have their needs provided for both at home and in their fields of service. 

I'm in the process of planning trips to Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. Please pray for the Lord's direction and guidance. 


 

Join Our Team

Prayer Team 

Send us a note and let us know you want in!

Give Online

UWM-Missionary
Support Page

 

Give via US Mail

 Mail check with accompanying note stating:
"For the Abegg Family" to:
205
Regency Executive Park Dr.
Suite 430,
Charlotte, NC 28217
 

Give Via Phone

Dial 800-825-5896 and talk to a very helpful person!
 


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Thankful & Hopeful - The Abegg's Love Letter as we close November



To those who have been called, who are LOVED by God the Father
and KEPT by Jesus Christ; MERCY, PEACE
and LOVE 
be yours in abundance.      
-Jude 1:1

Support Update

We're almost on track to be fully supported by the end of the year and able to focus 100% on ministry!

Scroll down for ministry updates and prayer requests, but first, here's the #'s we're working with:

Over the past year we've been $1,500/month short for living and ministry expenses. Our goal is to increase our support by $2000/month by year's end. This will allow us to focus full time on ministry, put a little away for retirement (I'm hitting 50 next year) and have a small fund to cover emergencies. 

In this season of "Thanksgiving" we are so thankful for those who have responded! Your commitments have pushed us over 1/2 way to our goal! Through your generosity God continues to provide for our work and family needs.  EACH of your phone calls, letters or emails have been an immense encouragement, please keep praying as we wrap up the last month of our campaign! Here's where we stand: 
  • Oct. & Nov. supporter increases or new commitments come to $1,050/month. That's over 1/2 of the way to meeting our monthly goal for next year!  
  • Special gifts have ranged from $20 to just over $5000 = $7,200! If we could apply this amount to our monthly needs for the next year, these gifts alone would take us to 1/3 of our year end goal. However, since we're currently not 100% supported these gifts help to provide for our immediate needs as we work through this support raising time. Thank you!!!
We're still praying to have the additional $950/month met by the end of December. Please prayerfully consider joining as one of:
  • 3 new supporters (or increases) at $150/month or more.
  • 4 new supporters (or increases) at $100/month.
  • 1 new supporter (or increases) at $50/month.
  • 2 new supporters (or increases) at $25/month.
If you want to join our team as intercessors or financial supporters, please contact me or use the info at the bottom. 

For more information on our current ministry and support, as well as past updates, please see our Blog.

Ministry Updates:


Human Trafficking Presentations:
On November 13th I was able to do a 90 min. anti trafficking presentation for a group of  local Brazilian parents and youth. After the presentation, one of the teens told me that her mom made her come, "but after all we learned, I'm so glad I was here!"  How encouraging!
Please pray for future presentations and that those attending would not only learn of the dangers of sex trafficking, but to also make a difference by joining the fight and educating others.

 

Latin America Missions Mobalization:
I mentioned in my last newsletter about multiple Mexican missionary candidates and a Costa Rican from our region who attended an orientation for new, Latin missionaries preparing to "go into all the world" in partnership with UWM. This is an exciting missiological step for UWM, developing partnerships not only as ministries that RECEIVE missionaries, but that can SEND missionaries uniquely equipped to serve around the world...but as you know in our own fund raising, mobilizing missionaries takes money. God continues to provide, but we need to plan well how best to use His resources. Please pray as we wrestle through the creation of a plan to serve new & existing missionaries with as much financial wisdom as possible.

Ministry Updates:


Upcoming Travel:
Claudia and I will be traveling to and around Honduras to meet with UWM missionaries and partner ministries. PRAY for safety as we travel, discernment as we meet and plan with various ministry leaders and wisdom as we seek to encourage and care for our missionaries there. For multiple reasons I won't be sharing dates in this format but if you'd like to be part of our smaller circle of intercessors, please let me know.  We are also laying plans for a trip to Guatemala with a similar agenda. We'll keep you posted!

Anticipated Vacation:
You can also pray for wisdom on how and where to take a much needed family vacation. We've been given a special gift that will make this possible, and we're considering what would be best for all of us as a family. Thank you for your prayers!

 

Join Our Team

Prayer Team 

Send us a note and let us know you want in!

Give Online

UWM-Missionary
Support Page

 

Give via US Mail

 Mail check with accompanying note stating:
"For the Abegg Family" to:
205
Regency Executive Park Dr.
Suite 430,
Charlotte, NC 28217
 

Give Via Phone

Dial 800-825-5896 and talk to a very helpful person!
 

Meet the Partners We Work With: 

The Rahab Foundation in San Jose, Costa Rica has been a partner with UWM and previously LAM for many years. They are a Christ-centered non-profit organization devoted to healing and restoring the lives of those who have suffered abuse and exploitation due to prostitution and sex trafficking. They manage a fantastic program equipping women with marketable skills such as cooking, computation, sewing and business management, as well as providing anti-trafficking training not only in Latin America but more recently world wide.  Learn more at: UWM opportunities or Fundación Rahab.