Dear Family and Friends:
The fall and winter have been a blur of activity for the Blands.
The trip to Chattanooga for the Missions Conference at First Presbyterian was a great, great blessing. Another trip to Chattanooga for the funeral of our good friend, Dr. Jack Evans, was a sad time. The trip to Chillicothe, Ohio for the funeral of our niece, Melissa, my brother Bill’s only child, was also a sad time.
I returned with bronchitis and a sinus infection with trips to the ER and two walk-in clinics. I was out over two weeks from work. Both Joshua (our grandson) and Bernie were down with the infection. It was a sick household for two weeks. That left us in a big hole. We are now trying to get caught up around the world.
The good news is that church volunteer work groups from Shiloh Christian Union, Heritage Christian Union and Storms Chapel Christian Union in Ohio are here for a couple weeks and Richard Barber is bringing a group from Stoutsville. We have several couples also who are volunteering. The help is greatly needed and appreciated. They are building new check-out bins for summer teams and refurbishing a section of the office for the MSSM ministry. Two new culverts at the entrance to Teen Missions are being installed and two mobile homes will be re-roofed.
AROUND THE WORLD
The work there is growing under the leadership of Nelson and Maggie Chimbila The O’Haras, along with two staff men named Moses, are expanding the work on the Sudan border at Koboko.
Four Bible Schools at three bases are operating. Josiah, from the MSSM department, was willing to go temporarily to take over the bases since Mat and Heni returned to Canada for medical reasons. This summer, the Wylies will lead a TMI team to Borneo, Indonesia, which now has seven Bible Schools operating and will graduate 124 students in September.
Madagascar has four new circuits totaling 24 Sunday Schools running. A motorcycle team goes there this summer. We now have 120 Motorcycle Sunday Schools operating and praying for 213 by 12/13/13 and 1000 points of light in this decade.
Weddings are being planned for three TMI couples: Adam Bauman and AmyAnn Chambers, Joe Carlson and Allie Kozlowski, Sam McCracken and Redika Marbun. Josh and Sarah Adams were recently married, also.
Steve Petersen and Ryan Fast are sharing TMI at Winter Jam concerts in 47 cities. There are a minimum 8000-15000 at each concert. Winter Jam is a concert ministry of the Christian band, New Song.
Among all of the problems, there was a great blessing when Tara Brozman (Robin and Maxine’s daughter) informed us she was pregnant and due in September. There was a lot of rejoicing at the Bland household.
As we always do, we are sharing with you all our Christmas picture.
Front row left to right: Cathy Bland Stringer, Catherine Noel Stringer, Bernie Bland, Tara Brozman, Maxine Bland. Top row right to left: Robin Bland, Bobbie Brozman, Bob Bland, Joshua Stringer and Randy Stringer.
As always, we had a great Christmas with our family and we are looking forward to next year with our first great-grandchild!
Thank you for being so faithful to Bernie and I. Pray for our health and ministry.
In His Love,
Bob and Bernie