Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Team Update January 2009

Hello again from Wisconsin!  Here is a synopsis from the month of November and December.




We had a great visit at the Burr and Valley churches.  Pastor Alan and Irene Tripp have led these two congregations faithfully and well.  One thing I really appreciate about Pastor Tripp is, when he prays, he prays specifically and regularly for Nicaragua and church planting along with the local church and personal needs.  Alan and Irene will be traveling again to Nicaragua to help train pastors and leaders – something they have done every year except one since we began our partnership.


Casa de Dios celebrated their 4th anniversary as a church.  They did a wonderful job hosting the other two Hispanic pastors and their people for the service.  It was a wonderful evening with great music, great food and special awards given to some of the charter members of this new congregation.  Pastor Daniel and Faramis Munoz continue to give strong and faithful leadership to this congregation in Milwaukee.  Framaris will also be traveling to Nicaragua this year to help teach the ladies.


Ladies’ Retreat, which happens every other year, was a wonderful experience for hundreds of women from across Wisconsin.  Reenie and her leadership team did a great job planning and leading the two-day event.  It was an unforgettable and life-changing retreat.  Joanna Weaver did an outstanding job and the break-outs, skits and worship were huge plusses to the event.


We were privileged to be with Our Savior’s on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.  It is always a delight to be with the Krupps and the congregation.  Our Savior is transitioning this year.  Assistant pastor Stevan Sheets felt led to resign and take a staff position in Western Pennsylvania this fall.  Pastor Karen Scheel continues to serve in leadership on staff there, picking up a number of responsibilities for counseling, pastoral care, women’s ministry and leadership development. 


The last Sunday of Janesville we dropped in on Pastor Paul and the congregation.  Pastor Wilczek is giving good leadership to the congregation, who are facing tough economic news with the closing of the GM Janesville plant.  The pastor and congregation are still encouraged and working toward change to meet the present and future with faith.




I had the privilege of being with the Lakeshore congregation in Madison the first part of December.  Pastor David Treloar and the congregation are moving to a new location on the south central part of Madison, where they’ve entered into a lease agreement to have their own facilities.  This is a huge boost of encouragement because they are paying the same amount, have access to the facility 24/7 and no longer have to do the set up/tear down work as they have for most of the past several years.  It was a delight to be with the congregation and speak an Advent message of encouragement and hope to them.


Beulah was the last annual visit in the month of December.  Pastor Dennis Jones and the congregation are also encouraged with the work there in the Richland Center area.  Again, it was a joy to be able to share an Advent message with them.  I had a wonderful lunch with Dennis and Sela and caught up with their hearts and ministry. 


News and Notes


I met with the Nicaragua Partnership and Richard Concklin and the team continue to do a fantastic job monitoring and overseeing this vital partnership with our brothers and sisters in Central America.  Please pray for the pastor’s training team as they spend the week of January 11-19 in the country.  Team members include Alan and Irene Tripp, Matt Ohime, Framaris Munoz, Dan Bickel and Cindy Terry (translator).  Pray that the pastors and leaders will learn and be encouraged during this week.  Also, begin praying for the construction and medical teams as they prepare for the trip in February.  The construction crew will be helping to complete a two-story church in Managua.


The youth leadership team met this past fall and laid the ground work for the Middle School and High School camps.  The High school camp will be the last week of June and the Middle school camp is moving to the second week of August.  Pray for Chopper Brown and his leaders as they plan for this summer.


We would also ask you to pray for and remember our Pastors and spouses as they come together the last of January.  Dr. Jim Lo, Dean of the Chapel (Spiritual Formation Director) at IWU will be speaking. 


Special Note


Nicaragua Pastor’s scholarships – This year again we are asking for individuals and churches to sponsor a pastor to attend and participate in our annual training event in Nicaragua.  It cost about $300 per pastor for a week-long retreat/training event.  The money covers their travel, food, lodging, books and a small annual cash gift to bless them and their ministries.  Some churches have placed this in their budgets.  Some take up special offerings.  Some generously give it out of their missions or general funds.  However you do it, we appreciate your gifts.  We need 15-20 scholarships each year.  Please send your contributions to the Nicaraguan treasurer, Irene Tripp.  Her mailing address is:  E 15912 St. Hwy. 33, P.O. Box 388, Hillsboro, WI 54634.


Dates for your Information




11-13     DS Institute

12-19     Nicaragua Pastor’s Training Trip

25           Drop in visit

25-27     The Getaway (Pastors and spouses retreat)

31           Eau Claire Board




1              Spooner visit

8              West Allis visit and Board

11-19     Nicaragua Medical and Construction trip

15           Eau Claire visit

22           Darrow Rd. visit

25-26     IWU/Asbury visit


Leading a great team.


Your servant,


Dan Bickel

Wisconsin District Superintendent