minus40 report

February 7, 2012

February 2012 Newsletter

Dear Praying friends,

A bit over 100 days and we will begin our return to the Arctic. We have added three new supporting churches with two pending since we started furlough. We have reported to many of the churches that currently support us if they contacted me and asked for a meeting. Our travels have taken us recently to Texas, Florida and Ontario. I’m writing this from Buffalo, NY and will be in Western Ohio this coming Sunday. Meetings in Michigan, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida will keep us busy through March.

Please specifically pray that the meetings in Wisconsin and Michigan will result in new support. Also please pray that the work of reporting to supporting churches will result in God meeting our needs for the far North. I have scaled back our wish list to two items on a must have list. We need our truck’s 4X4, shift on the fly feature repaired and we need a snowmobile in Tuk.

While stopped waiting for traffic a driver in a minivan plowed into the back of our truck right before Christmas. The eventual repair actually improved the overall condition of the vehicle. As well, we had a $2700.00 engine repair in Texas that solved a serious and potentially dangerous problem for Arctic extremes. You may also remember the heater core issues of September 2011 that were resolved in Ontario. Barring new difficulties and addressing the remaining 4X4 concerns, our vehicle will be in better condition than it has been for years. (By the way, it is a 2002 model with 226,000+ kilometers on it)

To go to Tuktoyaktuk without a good, reliable snowmobile would be foolishness. I said in an earlier wish list that $6,000.00 would get a reliable used snowmobile. I stand by that figure, but I am actually asking the Lord to provide His choice for me. Less or more, whatever He wants. So could you pray the remaining meetings might bring provision for this need as well?

Angie is in College in Florida and Lois and I are bona fide empty nesters. Adjustment is part of life and some changes are welcome and some are not. We constantly find His grace is sufficient. Our camper is pretty empty without Ang, but we are happy she is preparing to serve the King someday. We prayed for the Lord to put each of our children on the front lines and that is exactly what He is doing. Becky is in Rankin Inlet, Steven is currently in Inuvik, and Angie has inquired about Islamic people groups. Our hearts yearn for our 3, soon to be 4 granddaughters. However, Lois and I agree we would have it no other way. Children in the centre of God’s will are more to be desired than fine gold.

The ministry in Inuvik is operating fine without us and we sorely miss the people there and are counting the days until we meet again. Under new leadership they will have to look elsewhere for pastoral guidance and direction, but they will always be the recipients of our love and prayers.

Our sending church is going through a pastoral change and we are in prayer it will all turn out well. I have tried to be pulpit supply as often as my schedule allows. Leadership transitions are rarely crisp and precise events. Difficulties rise and fall and change is inevitable. These changes should be smooth with the Holy Spirit, but experience has us taught us to keep our eyes open. I will keep you informed of pertinent victories or necessary changes.

 

Thank you for your prayer and support,

Steve & Lois

Texas/Florida update

The holiday season came and went and we were blessed to spend it with family and friends. It was truly a joy to have some friends from the Arctic with us and the blend of North and South was special for us. We said goodbye to Becky, Nathan, Hayleigh and Alayna as they returned to Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.

Lois, Angie and I are currently in Houston, Texas visiting her brothers and then we are on our way Pensacola, Florida to take Ang to PCC. We then will be official “empty nesters.” But we are so happy Ang is getting to go to college. It has been a dream of hers for some time. She has delayed college a couple of times to stay plugged into and invested in our ministry in the Arctic.

Our trip down to Texas was almost uneventful other than a nagging camper 12 volt problem. While here, our truck developed a starting problem and while it is in the shop for repair I have a bit of time to update our website.

January has been a bit on the lean side financially, as the meetings have been sparse. The post Christmas and New Years weeks are usually this way and thus our scheduling the Texas trip. But the Lord has been good and we are going to be fine.

Just before Christmas a guy rearended me and my truck was damaged. Insurance covered the repairs and a great body shop called “Walt’s Body Shop” near Columbiana, Ohio did an awesome job with the repairs and it was finished just in time to take off for this current trip. The truck is a 2002, and it looks better than it has for years! Roman 8:28 proves true again!

Dec 2011 Newsletter

minus40 report

 

 

This newsletter is a bit different in that I need to provide vital address changes and news. I do want to first express thanks to the Lord for his blessings and safety on our furlough. We have 3 new supporting churches so far and was recently informed a fourth church will add us to their mission family very soon. That makes four out of six. The remaining two churches have indicated they desire to support us but financial constraints are delaying their doing so.

                Canadian supporter should take note of the support address change. Please send your support to

PNBM-CA

163 Pine Valley Drive, Unit 16

London, ON  N6J4R1

Nothing about PNBM-CA has changed except the books and banking will be done in London ON by a professional. Any questions about this change may be directed to me personally or Bro. Gary Forney at 867-777-3360.

There are no changes for PNBM-USA and American support.

                We have a cell phone that can be used to reach us while on furlough whether we are in Canada or the US. It is 907-347-7993. You can text us as well if you prefer. Yes, I know I said “text”. Old dog, new trick. Miracles never cease.

               

                Below are some praises to report:

Vehicle repair/maintenance:

4 – LT 265/75R/16 load range “E” all-season tires – Need met by a Canadian church

Front windshield – Need met by a Christian businessman

Aluminum diamond plating for the front of our Camper that was damaged due to traveling on gravel roads. – Need met personally

New heater core and related parts – Need met by Canadian churches

 

Tools/equipment:

SPOT 2 Satellite Messenger (emergency locator device) – Funds provided by an assistant pastor

Antenna for a Marine Radio – Need met personally

 

Expenses:

Balance of our Camper loan – A huge portion applied personally. Under 5 K left

Travel funds – Need assisted by our sending church

 

Additional blessings

We have had an electric fireplace and mantle given to us by a wonderful church in Hagerstown, Maryland.

Many good love offerings have sustained us.

Alaskan churches and friends met our needs over and over again this past summer.

I purchased a new parka with a financial gift from a friend.

Last but not least, we have seen several come to Christ in the services where I preached. Several have been challenged by the messages and I am honoured to be used by our Lord.

               

                Please pray for continued safety as we travel, and for our truck to endure the rigors of furlough. We have traveled 28,706KM or 17,837miles since leaving Inuvik in June. Also, Angie will be going to college this January and we hope you will pray for her and Lois and I as we officially become empty nesters.

                Thank you so much for your faithful prayers and support. We are truly thankful and recognize the difficult financial times we live in. Your support is seriously appreciated and considered precious.

                We also want to wish each one of you the best over this CHRISTmas season.

Steve, Lois, and Angie Donley

October 2011 Update

In mid-October we took a week to deer hunt in Southeast, Ohio. All of our kids and Grandkids were with us. This was an amazing feat since they live all over the Arctic. Nathan, Becky and their two children Hayleigh and Alayna; Steven, Holly and their little Eve; and our Angie were all camping together. No “deer” were seen or harvested, but three “dear” were always there! It was a throwback to the days when we gathered for this annual hunt/camping event in which friends and family from far and wide participated. Maybe 30 years ago it started when just my dad, brother and I hunted deer. This year at 82, dad was there and so was my brother, Bob. When it was all over the kids all scatter and went their own way getting back to their lives and we are left with only a great memory of the last deer hunt together.

Currently we are in in North Carolina. On Sunday, Oct. 30, we are with Pastor Bryan Greene and Lighthouse Baptist Church in Rolesville, NC. The following Monday – Friday I am representing Points North Baptist Mission at Ambassador Baptist College for their annual Mission Conference.

God has met the need for several or our needs. Below is a list of the blessings.

Vehicle repair/maintenance:

        • 4 – LT 265/75R/16 load range “E” all-season tires – Need met by a church
        • Front windshield – Need met by a Christian businessman
        • Aluminum diamond plating for the front of our Camper that was damaged due to traveling on gravel roads. – Need met personally
        • New heater core and related parts – Need met by Canadian churches

Tools/equipment:

  • SPOT 2 Satellite Messenger (emergency locator device) – Funds provided by an assistant pastor
  • Antenna for a Marine Radio – Need met personally

Expenses:

  • Balance of our Camper loan – A huge portion applied personally. Under 5 K left
  • Travel funds – Need assisted by our sending church

Additional blessings

  • We have had an electric fireplace and mantle given to us by a wonderful church in Hagerstown, Maryland.
  • Many good love offerings have sustained us.
  • Alaskan churches and friends met our needs over and over again
  • I purchased a new parka with a financial gift from a friend.

 

Gettysburg, PA update

Our Gettysburg report begins on Saturday night as we enjoyed fellowship with Bro. Jeremy Mitchel and his family. We enjoyed a meal and fellowship, renewing a friendship that started around 1995 or so. Sunday morning we had a wonderful service at Gettysburg Bible Baptist Church where Dave Mitchel is pastor. Jeremy is his son and assistant. After a good morning service we all went to Pastor Mitchel’s home and enjoyed fellowship with the entire Mitchel family. Dave’s dad was there and we renewed our friendship with him. The elder Bro. Mitchel was pastor when the church started to support us in 95 or so. Three generations of preachers sat at a meal with us, and the food was as great as the fellowship.

Sunday night took us to Lighthouse Baptist Church where Pastor Bob Gray leads the church. Lighthouse has also supported us since 95 or so. We had a good service and a wonder time of fellowship after with refreshments and great discussions on the Arctic, churches and whatever else needed solved in the world! The membership was very interested in the Arctic and we were thrilled to thank them face to face for consistent and faithful support.

Tomorrow morning we pack up and head to Ohio for some down time. We need the rest after a great trip to Ontario, Hagerstown, Maryland, and Gettysburg PA. We leave encouraged, and honoured to be associated with such wonderful churches.

Hagerstown, Maryland update

We had a wonderful conference at Harvest Baptist Church in Hagerstown, Maryland where Dr. James Moore is the Pastor. Dr. Moore and the folks of Harvest Baptist love missions and missionaries and we were the beneficiaries this week.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Gene Burge and as usual Dr. Burge made faith promise missions come alive from the pages of the Bible and crystal clear in our hearts. It was Dr. Burge who recommended me to Pastor Moore. Around 2002 or 2003 Bro. and Mrs. Burge came to Inuvik for one of our early mission conferences and immediately our hearts were knit together. I was surprised to see shortly thereafter Dr. Burge featured our ministry in the Baptist Mission to Forgotten Peoples “family news.” Since I was not a BMFP missionary, Lois and I were greatly honoured and figured since we were not BMFP they were considering us “kin!”

At the close of the conference Sunday night, the other missionaries in the conference, The Lyons family to Spain, and Miss Nancy Butkevich missionary to Siberia/Russia and Lois and I were waiting for the church to dismiss by manning our display tables. Upon dismissal, Dr. Moore greeted the missionaries before the congregation did and informed the Lyons and Miss Nancy that the church had just voted to increase their support! Approaching me he extended his hand and declared the church had just voted to add us to their supported mission family! It had been nearly 15 years since a church took us on while we were standing there. What an encouragement and boost to our resolve to honour God with every fibre of our being.

Dr. Moore had inquired as to my upcoming schedule and I told him of my meetings in Gettysburg, PA this Sunday. After finding out I did not have the coming Wednesday booked with a meeting, he invited me to come back and preach at Harvest! What a gracious Pastor and church.

Ontario update

Lois and I leave Ontario tomorrow (Sept 19) and head toward Hagerstown, Maryland. Our time in the Greater Toronto Area has been quite nice. Our first conference was with Pastor Alcock and Brampton International Baptist Church. It was an exciting conference and the church had its best attendance ever the Sunday the conference ended. Next we reported to Heritage Baptist Church in Barrie. Pastor Pennell was a gracious host and very encouraging. We ended with Pastor Wiebe of New Life Baptist Church in Maple and helped celebrate the church’s second anniversary by participating in their mission Sunday. New Life is an exciting young church.

We thoroughly enjoyed the fellowship with Pastors, church families and fellow missionaries. The campground we stayed in was quiet and relaxing. One of the best things about the trip was that we know of two souls that came to Christ on the particular Sunday I preached in Brampton.

Our truck is still in need of a minor repair. We still have issues with the heater. I had planned on picking up the part at a junk yard and complete the repairs myself when we get settled in the next campground. But Pastor Wiebe rallied his church family to give toward the need. Their generosity met the need to buy the part new and forgo the junk yard plan. We praise God for meeting our need and we head south in good health and joy in our hearts.

I emailed the believers in Tuktoyaktuk a few days ago just to keep in touch. I told them of our travels and offered encouragement in the Lord. One response came back and it touched my heart. “We pray that you will eventually become our Spiritual Leader.” This simple expression of hope affected me deeply. Would you join this believer in Tuktoyaktuk in the same prayer?

September 2011 Update

Dear Praying friends,

We had driven 14,164 kilometers (8,795 miles) since June 13th, most of which has been with our camper in tow. I must give sincere praise to the Lord for His watch care over us. We have had no problems with our travels at all. One day we decided to stop earlier than usual for our evening meal only to find an accident had happened on the route we were travelling while we ate. Some would call that coincidence, but I believe it is a physical peek into the realm of spiritual warfare. Thank you for praying for us.

Our reunion with family and friends has been sweet but cut short all too often. The pressing need to report to supporting churches and visit prospective supporting churches has kept us busy. In four days we will depart for Ontario to participate in two mission conferences and report to one church. We close September in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and Hagerstown, Maryland. September started by Lois and I celebrating our thirty-third wedding anniversary. We celebrated by meeting up with family at a Cabelas in West Virginia, enjoying a meal together and spending some precious time with our granddaughters.

Our website is up and running and features a video of our ministry. Go to: iceroadpreacher.ca More content is going to be added as I provide it to Paul Conner. Paul, who is youth pastor at Greater Vancouver Baptist Church is the brains and technical maestro behind the website and video. You can contact Paul through paulconner.ca.

We have a cell phone that we carry with us while in the USA. The number is 907.347.7993. In Canada we are limited to email only. minus40@northwestel.net. Pastors, please feel free to contact me if I have not yet contacted you to schedule a meeting between now and late May of 2012.

We hear good things from the churches in the Arctic and are homesick already in a way. That is one of the most difficult things to understand and explain about being a missionary. Our hearts are truly pulled in two directions. One to the place we loved first and the other toward the place we love because of God’s love. The key to dealing with this is to accept God’s Word as our final authority. Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? So we have to reject the deceit of the heart whether we are pulled north or south and do the task before us heartily as unto the Lord.

We again wish to express our gratitude for your faithful support and prayers. We have added 2 new supporting churches and neither one was expected or booked when we left Canada. That my friend is the result of prayer and a wonderful God.

Steve, Lois and Angie Donley

July 2011 Update

Dear Praying friends,

Lois, Angie, Miss Barrie Greenfield and I left Inuvik on June 13th. 39 hours later we were in Fairbanks, Alaska. In another 60 hours I was heading for Rock Crossing Bible camp to preach at teen camp for the 8th year.  The camp staff left Fairbanks around noon and by 11PM we were approaching the camp by boat after the hour and a half portion of the trip on the Tanana River. The hearty staff roughed it at camp for 16 days, some sleeping in tents, showering with water heated on an open fire and battling the ever present mosquito hoards.

There were two weeks of teen camp, one for aboriginal kids from villages in Alaska and a couple from Canada. The other week was for the teens of Bible Baptist Church in Fairbanks. These two weeks were back to back and surrounded by the backbreaking work of a wilderness camp that had to be set up and tore down.

I am told there were many decisions at camp. I do not stay for the invitation after I preach. During a closing appeal with heads bowed and eyes closed, I turn over the service to Bro. Dean Ojala to do as the Lord leads him. Bro. Ojala is the camp director and visionary for Rock Crossing. (A vision realized by great personal sacrifice and callouses.) I leave the invitation to Bro. Ojala to conduct because sometimes teens will respond to a preacher for less than spiritual reasons. Also whether the altar is full or empty, neither pride nor pity can assault me if I remain uninformed.

Back in Fairbanks, Lois cared for the Ojala’s home and kept things organized as 23 people passed through using the Ojala’s house as a bed and breakfast of sorts. Several eventually came to camp and some came for a door to door ministry to the Arctic villages of Alaska.
I leave for another week of camp in 5 days, this time in Vancouver BC, with Pastor Conner and Camp YES. While not nearly as remote as the Alaskan ordeal, it will be 22 days in Christian Camps this summer, and my body is in rebellion every step of the way!

The end of July will see us leave Alaska for the lower 48. By then, we will have had some important truck repair done, dentist and doctors visited and the camper prepared. Our next duty will be in mid-August to teach at Missionary Candidate School for Points North and All Points Baptist Mission. September aims us toward Ontario and October has a week of deer hunting scheduled. So yes, we are taking some family time and R&R this autumn. We are really looking forward to it.

Please pray for us as we travel. Keep Lois’ health in your prayers. Travelling is not as easy as it once was for either of us, but especially for Lois since the viral episode that took her hearing on one side and has left her with residual problems.

Thank you, Steve, Lois and Angie Donley