Thursday, December 31, 2009

December 2009

Make a Wish

By Laura Carter

How do you feel about New Years Resolutions? Are you like me in that you love a fresh start? Or have you tried and failed enough that you would rather not even make a list this year? Do you see this time of year as a hopeful time or rather a time to just continue fighting your bad habits? Do you really believe that 2010 could be an amazing year of growth and change in your life? Or are you giving up before you even begin?

Let me encourage you to make a wish this year! Most of us think that the word wish means to hope for something that is nearly impossible. Yet according to Webster the word wish is: “a thing or object desired”. So what is it that you desire for 2010? How do you figure out what to wish for? If you are like me you can think of a hundred things that you would like to work on in your own personal life. But what one thing would be the most important, the most beneficial?

I would like to share a few thoughts with you that the Lord has brought to my mind as I try to decide what wish or desire do I need to have for the year ahead. I re-read Psalm 1 just recently and was amazed at how the theme is so fitting for this idea of starting off right in 2010. Verse 1 says,

“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.”

Did you know that the word blessed means the happy condition brought about by obedience? Think about that for a moment. Think of the peace and the tranquility and the trusting calmness that comes when we are being obedient to God. Could you describe the majority of your past year in that way? I know that I could not. Would I like to describe next year that way? You betcha! Is it possible? Let’s read on in verse 2,

But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he
meditates day and night.”

It is possible if we are making our wish, our desire, to be the Lord and his Word. Was your focus on knowing the Lord better last year? Or was that just a side-note, an item to cross off on the 'to do' list each day? I know that I want my delight to be on 'knowing my Savior more and more each day, literally'. If I make that my desire, verse 3 tells me that there are some results to my faithfulness:

"He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers."

I love to picture a huge weeping willow tree blowing in the wind when I read this verse. It is a healthy, prosperous tree. This tree can withstand any storm as well as provide shade or food for man or animal. It is reliable, trustworthy, and a strong tree. You are firm and trustin the Lord in whatever situation comes up in your life. You are bearing fruits that God uses to grow and bless others. Whatever you do that is according to God's plan will prosper. But if you do not make the Lord your desire, there are results for that choice too. But they are not things that I would wish for and I dont' think you would either. Verses 4-6 say;

"Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish."

So, what will your wish be? I hope and pray that as you read through Psalm 1 and think about your New Year's Resolutions, that you will make your relationship with Jesus Christ your top priority. I know that for me I am encouraged by the thoughts of peace and delight that can describe my life when I am faithfully seeking after him. Will you make Jesus your wish this year?

Return tickets purchased!

By Scott Carter

We praise God that he has provided above and beyond all of our expectations! We have been "career missionaries", since 2004 and God never ceases to amaze us in the way he uses people and churches to not only provide for our financial needs but to remind us on a regular basis that he is in control and we are simply his servants whom he sends to accomplish his will. What an awesome God we serve!

We are currently just under 99% of our monthly needed support ($77 remaining)! We have purchased tickets and will be returning to Colombia on February 2, 2010. God has also seen fit to provide additional finances, so that we will be able to pay the costs of renewing our visas and cover the cost of shipping our furniture, etc. from the Bogota area to the Colombian coast.

Thank you to all of you who have given financially and especially thank you to those of you who have prayed for God's provision. We truly feel loved by you and are reminded of the fact that we are going exactly where he wants us to go and at his appointed time, not our own.

Santiago Update

By Scott Carter

First of all, thank you to everyone who has asked us throughout the year about the health of Santiago Medina (see April Update), the son of our Colombian coworkers, Alfredo and Juana Medina. Santiago was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma earlier this year and just finished his last round of chemotherapy in November and has also completed several rounds of radiation treatment.

After finishing chemo and prior to the radiation treatment exams were done and they were told that only a small amount remained in his neck and that his spleen, stomach and chest were all clear. We recently received the following words from Alfredo:

"We just had the appointment with the oncologist in order to do all of the exams (to see if Santiago is clear of cancer), thinking that this week we would have to hospitalize Santiago, but the doctor surprised us, she thinks that we should do nothing at this time so that Santiago's Christmas in not ruined. She asked us to return the first week of January for all of the final exams and at least for now we get a break..."

Please continue to pray for the Medina family. This has been a difficult year for them and they are anxious to get an all clear in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Philippines Trip/Santiago Update

All I have to say after my trip to the Philippines is "wow, what an experience"! I believe I spoke around 12 times in a span of 4 days! I say 'I believe' because to be honest it was a total blur and I lost my voice due to a cold after the first main session! But what a joy!

My travel companion for the week was a very good friend, Jerry McManus, from one of our supporting churches in New Jersey, Victory Bible. Victory Bible Church and one of our individual supporters provided the funds for this trip and both Jerry and I thank them both for their giving towards this amazing, once in a lifetime experience. I'm glad I had Jerry to share the experience with and I know God stretched him a lot as well.

We left on a Monday and went to bed Wednesday morning at 3:00AM and had "only" been traveling around 24hrs straight. Travel for the most part was without incident and Jerry and I joked at the end of the trip that the only form of transportation that we did not use on our trip was a train. We traveled by: plane, bus, taxi, jeepney, motorcycle sidecar, and boat. A few Filipinos wanted us to ride one of the bike taxis but we determined we didn't want to kill a 15 year old trying to peddle 2 fat white guys up-hill on a bike!

I learned sooooo much from the Filipino believers there and I am so glad that I went and that Jerry was able to accompany me. What a joy it was to not only be able to share God's Word with them but to learn from their lives and the way they do ministry. I'd like to challenge you with just a few things I learned about missions that I hope will be an encouragement and a challenge to you as well.

1. Their understanding of 'true sacrifice' and 'counting the cost'. I had one college student tell me he didn't have any other way to give more (I say more because he was already giving as much as possible) towards missions but he felt that if he skipped a few meals a month and ate even more rice than normal, he would have more to give to his local church and missions. We have no idea often times what it means to 'sacrifice' for the cause of Christ.

2. Their understanding of the importance of prayer. Jerry and I participated in a prayer meeting and I wish you could have seen their 'prayer list'. They spent time corporately in prayer for the salvation of lost family, friends and co-workers and missionaries around the world. They told us two very important things. First, they felt that their times of corporate prayer should be more about emphasizing the salvation of lost people than 'health related' prayer requests. That's not to say they don't pray for those things they just choose not to spend the majority of their time as a church focusing on those things, as they are all about reaching lost people and seeing them discipled for Christ. Secondly, they are financially unable to support as many missionaries as they would like, but they still view these people as 'their missionaries' and pray regularly and fervently for them. Yet they don't feel that prayer is the 'least' they can do but rather 'the most they can do', regardless if they are able to help financially or not.

3. Their missions budget exceeds their overall church budget. They see missions (reaching lost people both locally and internationally) as not something that 'we do' but rather a mindset of 'everything we do is about sharing Christ'.

There is much for us to learn regarding missions from our brothers and sisters in Asia and South America. After all, they are the ones sending the most mis
sionaries around the world these days! Just a few things for you and me to think about...

Jerry McManus,
Pastor Errol Parpa (Filipino pastor and Campus Bible Fellowship Director
and myself

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Brief Update

See the News in 5 Video Online!

Where we've been

We have been all over...and had a wonderful summer! We are so thankful for the time we had with Scott's family in New Jersey. We enjoyed helping with a garage sale, watching a baseball game (Scott and Jackson even got to go see the Phillies-Go Fightin Phils!), playing at parks, and just being together with our cousins, aunts, uncles and grandpop and grandmom.

We were also able to to get down to Washington D.C. to visit some monuments and museums but especially to spend some wonderful time with Laura's brother Mark and his lovely wife Jennifer.

As we left New Jersey towards the middle of September, we spend a week and a half in Ohio with our friends, Dan and Julie Ogg. They were kind enough to let us stay with them during that entire time and they still invited us back afterwards! We enjoyed being with our friends at Grace Community Church ( and also our sending church, Faircreek Church ( As always, we were deeply encouraged by our many friends and supporters in the Dayton, Ohio area. At the end of September we continued on to Iowa.

What we need
Please pray with us earnestly in regards to our shortage of monthly support. We desperately desire to return to Colombia in January and we trust that God can bring in the $583.70 of committed monthly support that we still need. We've seen God bring in over $400 in pledged monthly support in the past month and he has reminded us of his faithfulness and has continued to confirm our calling to plant churches on the coast of Colombia.

However, our mission agency, ABWE ( requires that we be at 100% before returning to the field (a wise policy btw!). If you desire to partner with us financially, through a tax deductable donation (monthly, quarterly, annual or a one-time gift) send us an email and we will tell you how to do so, or see the right sidebar of this page. Please pray, God is working!

Where we're headed
  • We will be in Iowa until Nov. 13
  • Scott will be in the Philippines (Bacolod City area) speaking at a Bible Conference for Campus Bible Fellowship. Please pray as he will be preaching/teaching many times during a 9 day trip.
  • We will be at our sending church, Faircreek Church ( in Fairborn, OH speaking at the mission's conference on Nov. 15.
  • We will be spending a week in the Dayton area, Nov. 16-20.
  • Scott will be leading a Good Soil Evangelism & Discipleship Seminar ( at one of our supporting churches, Immanuel Baptist Church in Arcanum, Ohio, Nov.20-21.
  • We will be attending another supporting church, Grace Community Church ( on Nov. 22.
  • We will be enjoying Thanksgiving in New Jersey with Scott's family during the week of Nov. 23-28.
  • We will be at North Valley Baptist Church, Carbondale, PA with college friends James and Andrea Schmidt, who started the church there after graduating from BBC (
  • From there we will be heading back to Iowa, where we will remain until our departure for Colombia, Lord willing at the end of January. (Add or subtract a quick trip by Scott to Colombia to keep visas valid and whatever else God throws our way!)
Santiago Update

As were writing this, we got a phone call from Juana Medina, Santiago's mom. Juana told Laura that he will be going through tests on Friday and Saturday (Oct.16-17) to determine the next steps of treatment. Santiago is doing very well after finishing around 7 months of chemotherapy. He is eating enough food now to make up for his lack of appetite during chemo his mom says. Please continue to pray for them as they try to work through and process all of the emotions and stress that come from having a child battling cancer.

We will post more when we get another update from Alfredo and Juana.

Some Random Pics of our recent travels

Monday, August 17, 2009

News in 5 and Major Santiago Update!

See our latest Video Update by clicking here!

Laura received an email from Juana and in it she informed us of Santiago's test results after 6 months of chemotherapy of his Hodgkins Lymphoma.

Juana told Laura that the results showed that the cancer cells are no longer in his spleen and that they have been greatly reduced in his chest and neck.

The Medina's are encouraged that the treatment appears to be effective so far, but Santiago will still need another 6 months (one week in the hospital, one week home) of treatment.

Please continue to pray for the Medina's and for Santiago.

Please Pray for:

1. Strength of Santiago's body (he is very weak and has trouble walking, etc.)
2. Physical and spiritual strength for Alfredo and Juana.
3. Alfredo as he continues to progress towards turning over ministry and tries to meet all of the other demands on him (constant battles w/the insurance company, etc.)
4. Alfredo and Juana's monthly support. Alfredo is a bit discouraged that he has not been able, due to time constraints, to really go after the contacts he has in Colombia, Dominican Republic, Spain, Peru and other countries.

Pray that God would provide for their financial needs so they can join us and the Boyds in January in planting churches on the coast of Colombia.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Santiago cancer update

by Scott and Laura Carter

At this time we are waiting to hear from Alfredo and Juana regarding the results of this past weekend, to see if the cancer treatments are being effective.

Please continue to pray with us as we are all anxiously awaiting the results.

Thank you to everyone who has been praying and also asking how he is doing. Alfredo and Juana truly covet your prayers during these difficult times.

Do I really want to grow?

By Laura Carter

Good evening to everyone. We greet you from Erial, New Jersey. First of all, we would like to apologize for not getting this updated sooner. There is a story here that I am going tell you about. Hopefully by the end you will sympathize, laugh, and then thank the Lord for difficult times that truly grow us in our walk with Him.

But first, I will quickly recap the last month. We left Iowa at the end of June and spent a week at Twin Lakes Camp. It was a great week filled with many blessings. From there we spent a day in Arcanum, Ohio, with our friends from Immanuel Baptist Church. This was a wonderful time spent renewing friendships and feeling the love and support we receive from this church. After that it was on to Dayton, Ohio, where we spent a few days with our great friends Erik and Leah Dayhoff. We appreciate their wonderful hospitality. As our time in the Dayton area was short, we briefly shared time with a few friends and supporters. But don’t worry, we will be back in September to see the rest of you.

After Ohio, we went on to New Jersey where we are now settled. Soon after arriving in New Jersey , we went on our vacation to Maine. We decided to camp some along the way but that turned out to be quite an adventure due to all the rain. We enjoyed a calm week in Maine searching for sea glass, kyacking, finding endless cool rocks, exploring the ocean, and spending time with Pop-pop and Grandmom. The kids also enjoyed spending the money given to them by our friends and supporters at Haddonfield Bible church.

After Maine, it was time to get back to real life. Cornerstone Fellowship of Erial, New Jersey, is one of our supporting churches and they have been so gracious to let us stay in their parsonage for the time that we are here. The kids have had the privilege of attending Bible school at both Grace Bible in Barrington, and also Victory Bible in Hammonton. We are looking forward to being with more of our friends and supporters here in New Jersey over the next few weeks. But most of all, we have enjoyed being near Scott’s family. The 6 grandkids have had fun getting to know each other and we look forward to much more time together this month. Pop-pop returned to his childhood as he set up a ‘water extravaganza’ in his back yard for the kids to enjoy. Grandmom has stepped right up to Aviannas constant thirst for more books. We treasure the time we have with our family here.

Now onto the reason for the delay; life. Last week was a week to remember. I have a health problem that I am working hard to resolve but it decided to rear its ugly head last week with no warning and no explanation. When I have these flare-ups, I am in survival mode and virtually everything in my life is on hold. So Scott stepped in to ‘hold down the fort’ in our house. During that time three things happened that we could have lived without. We backed our barrowed van up and broke out the back window, Scott’s computer totally died, and my only valuable piece of jewelry (besides my beautiful wedding ring) was lost while being valued by a jeweler. Thankfully on Saturday, I began to feel better only to have to step in for my poor husband who ended up covered in poison ivy and throwing out his back. Aching and itching is not a good combination and so by Sunday night he went searching for relief in an emergency room. As I write this he is not itching as much, but is still in a lot of pain from his back and walking around like a zombie from muscle relaxers.

All of that leads me to share what I am trying to learn these days. Why in the world did God have to cause all of that to happen in one week? Why did he allow it to happen at all? Why do I feel picked on? Why is it that I am always looking for someone to blame? And then on the other hand, I struggle with guilt, like, these problems are nothing compared to the things my close friends are going through. What is my problem? These are questions I battle all the time. Do any of you ever ask these questions? Well, I don’t have any easy recipe for dealing with all of this, but I do have something that you can focus on everyday, good and bad. Scott has been so good to help me think through and try to really understand a very important truth from God’s Word in order to better handle these things. The truth is simple. It is that Jesus Christ, my Savior, chose me and died for me. That is it you say? That is it. So how does that fit into my life and my day to day struggles? Where would I be without him? What do I truly deserve? Why did he choose me? How can I complain about anything in my life when Jesus Christ went through so much for me? The truth I have been focusing on lately is that Jesus loves me. He loves me more than my husband, more than my children, more than my parents and family. How can I possibly doubt what he is doing in my life when I let that soak in. How could he want less than the very best for me when he loves me so much.

So where are you? Do you savor the truth that you are so loved by God? Do you savor the truth of what Jesus did for you? I hope that through our struggles you can think through your own and pray for the Lord to remind you of how much he loves you.

Monday, June 15, 2009

June Update 2009

"Bitter Sweet" by Laura Carter

It was my turn to write this month and I have really been looking forward to it, except for the fact that I haven’t known where to begin. My understanding is that a blog site is a place to just talk and tell what is going on. So rather than narrowing down my ideas or trying to organize them very well, I am going to do just that, talk.

We are so thankful for the five months God has given us here in the United States. It has really been a very precious time and we still have eight months to go! Going on furlough is a bitter-sweet necessity. During these five months we have clearly felt the bitter and the sweet. Let me share the sweet things first. As you know, we have been staying in Oskaloosa, Iowa, with my family. This has been the sweetest of all. My parents live on a beautiful acreage with corn and bean fields all around and with woods and a small creek running around the property. We have enjoyed looking for deer antlers, mushroom hunting, and just good old exploring. They also have a pond near the house where we have enjoyed fishing on several occasions. And of the course, the fresh asparagus and strawberries that my parents grow have been truly enjoyed by all. We have enjoyed all of these activities so much, but it is the ‘who’ that we share them with, that has made them so special. My parents, my sister and her husband and three daughters, and my brother are the who. We praise God for their love, generosity, patience and time. And of course there are many other sweet things such as time with friends and extended family, worshiping in English, resting, reflecting on the first term in Colombia, reading, watching a good movie, soccer games, baseball games, swimming lessons, attending Christian school, concerts, reading with grandparents, raising chickens, having a pet turtle, guinea pig and gecko, sharing about Colombia and many, many more sweet things.

As for the bitter moments, thankfully the Lord has been gracious and we have not felt many. Of course the news of Santiago has been the most difficult. He continues receiving chemotherapy treatments and is doing well. They will know in July if the treatments have had any affect. Please continue to pray for them. The Lord has given his parents, Alfredo and Juana, a peace and a faith so strong that it could only be from the Lord. Scott will be spending next week in Colombia with them, so hopefully we will be able to share more details when he returns. Being far from friends who became so special to us is part of the bitterness of furlough too. Receiving news of fellow believers who have fallen into sin has also brought some bitter moments. But our God is so great and these bitter moments have brought us to our knees more and more.

So what is next for us? We will spend the month of June here in Iowa. During this month we are looking forward to a week of Bible school at Bethel Baptist Church in Oskaloosa, spending a week in South Dakota, camping with my family, and packing for our move out East. Our first week of July will be spent at Twin Lakes Camp in Indiana. From there we will head to Immanuel Baptist Church in Arcanum, Ohio. After that it’s off to ABWE headquarters in Harrisburg, PA. And then on to our final destination of Erial, New Jersey, where we will be able to spend time with Scott’s side of the family as well as several of our supporting churches.

We praise God for the time we have had here in the States so far. We thank Him for families who love the Lord and love us. We will once again experience some bitter–sweet moments over the next month as we say good-bye to my family and transition on to New Jersey where we will be able to make precious memories with Scott’s family. Thank you for your prayers and kindness to us. Please continue to pray for spiritual growth and maturity in our lives and in our children’s lives as well. We recognize that we have eight more months before we head back to the front of the battle lines. We have to be well-prepared and as spiritually strong as possible. We are thrilled to think of all that God has for us and know that he will be our strength as we seek to live out the gospel.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Santiago has Hodgkins Lymphoma

Our dear friends and fellow co-workers Alfredo and Juana Medina recently found out that their four year old son, Santiago is in Stage 3 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. As many of you know we are praying and planning to go to Santa Marta to plant churches with the Medina family. While we recognize that this could change those plans some, we are more concerned with Santiago's health right now and ask that you would join us in fervent prayer with and for them. The Medina's have faced many attacks and discouragement's lately in ministry and we all feel that someone (Satan) does not want us going to Santa Marta to start a new work!

Please be praying for the Medina family during this time in the following ways:
1. That the chemotherapy and radiation kills all of the cancer cells in Santiago's body. That God would do a miracle and restore Santiago to good health.

2. That God will give a special comfort during this time to Alfredo and Juana. Being parents and watching your child suffer and facing the possible loss of life if God doesn't intervene is always difficult.

3. That Alfredo would be able to balance life and ministry as he continues to minister at the church in Tenjo. Pray for Alfredo as he must step away from many duties in order to care for his family at this time.

4. For Alfredo's mom and two sisters. That through this difficult time they would come to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

5. That Santiago would not get too sick from the treatments. He has been dealing with the typical symptoms of chemotherapy treatment (fatigue, lack of energy, sickness, etc.)

6. A special blessing for Juana as a mom from God.

7. That God would be glorified in all of is!