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December 2017

Volume 13, Issue 12

Pastor’s Corner

Sunday, December 3, 2017, marks the beginning of Advent. “Advent” means “coming” or “arrival.” During the season of Advent, we celebrate Christ’s coming into the world and watch with expectant hope for his coming again. In its historical origins, the season of Advent was patterned after the season of Lent, a six-week period of penitence and preparation for Easter. Similarly, the four weeks of Advent present an opportunity for communal discernment and personal examination, as the church prepares to celebrate the Nativity of the Lord and looks with hope for Christ’s return.

The Companion to the Book of Common Worship states that, in Advent, we expectantly wait for the One who has already come. We anticipate the promised justice of God’s new world, yet we praise God who raised the “righteous branch” to rule with justice and righteousness. We hope for the restoration of the afflicted, the tormented, and the grieving, yet we delight that healing has come in Christ. We long for the beating of swords into plowshares, yet we rejoice that the Prince of Peace has appeared. We yearn for the barren deserts of our inner cities to flourish, yet we laud the desert Rose that has bloomed. We dream of the land where lions and lambs live in harmony, yet we acclaim the child born to lead us into the promised land.

Christ has come! Christ is risen! Christ will come again! In Advent, we are living between the first and the second coming of the Lord. The dialectical tension of maranatha [alternately translated “Come, our Lord!” or “Our Lord has come”] — placing us between memory and hope, past and future — may strengthen our Advent liturgies. Perhaps we need to cling to the ancient cry of maranatha! and its paradoxical meanings so we may freely embrace “the new thing” prophesied by Isaiah (Isaiah 43:19) that God is doing among us right now. The tension and paradox we find in Advent shapes our celebrations during the season.

Let us pray: “Holy God, heaven and earth may pass away but your realm is eternal and your promise is sure. Leaven our hearts with hope as our redeemer draws near. Help us to heed the signs of the times, so that we may be ready to stand before Christ, our judge and savior; in whose powerful, glorious name we pray.” Pastor Tony

Halstead Bible Fellowship: email address: Please join us at 112 West Third Street, Halstead, KS, – Sundays at 9:45am.

Pastor Visitation: If you would like a visit from Pastor Tony, please call 620-951-4438 ©

In Our Family

Pray for: Dan Evans recovery from hip replacement surgery * Everyone traveling for Christmas holiday * Habtom and Heather’s preparations to return to Ethiopia *

Praise for: Habtom Kebede passed his citizenship test. *

December Birthdays Happy birthday to You!

6 John Haspels, Sr

18 Sianna Haspels

10 Wilmer Quispe

Missionary Updates:

John & Gwen Haspels,


Oct / Nov. 2017 Click on the icon to read the Boma Bulletin.

Serving Christ Together, Gwen and John Haspels

John & Joy Haspels, AIM, Nairobi, Kenya:

Dear friends,

We praise God for the rains that the country has enjoyed. Most of the country has turned green and the effects of drought a being overcome. There is still a time of struggle for the people of Northern Kenya whose livelihood was destroyed in the drought. Now, however, there is grass for the livestock that are left and sufficient water for people. In most of Kenya the crops are looking good and there is water. Even in the desert, where black rock stretches from the horizons, green has taken over (picture by Eddie Andersen in Northern Kenya).  Pray that the Church will use the blessing of rain to point people to Christ! Continue to pray for the ongoing political situation. The last election is currently being challenged in the courts. A decision should come out this week. Continue to pray for peace!

Thank you for your prayers for our South Asian Ministry (SAM) team. There continues to be opportunities to develop relationships, but little openness for the sharing of Christ. Please pray specifically for A and his family. The missionary family currently involved in his life is leaving the field. Pray the Lord will touch his heart and for someone to disciple them. Pray specifically for Y. She is struggling with knowing Christ and how that fits, or doesn’t fit, into her culture. Pray specifically for the D family. After years of friendship and sharing by many missionaries, pray for a breakthrough! Pray specifically for M. He is a renowned journalist who is seeking the real Truth as his life comes to its final chapter. Pray for wisdom for the missionaries sharing with him. Pray the Lord will reveal himself! And pray specifically for S. We have been sharing with him and his family for many, many years. Though we have had many interesting conversations, he has not been open to hearing about our savior. Pray for that door to open.

Pray for the kids these next couple of weeks. This week is full of tests, then final exams for the term start next week. These next couple of weeks are also full of band and choir concerts, sports tryouts, and other end of term activities. The upside is that these activities mean the term is coming to a close and the kids will be coming home soon. We are looking forward to December and having a full house again. Thank you for your continued prayers for all these things. You are all very much appreciated. I have attached our latest prayer card, feel free to print as many as you may want. Thank you all, John and Joy.

Just a thought: In light of the political shenanigans going on in this country, some of which the church is involved in, my devotions this morning covered Romans 12. May the church that belongs to Jesus here, and where you are, show these things to the world: “let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight…” (esv). Go bless!

Thank you for your prayers and support. You are all very much appreciated. In Christ, John and Joy, Acacia, Charlie, Sianna, Tierra Haspels

This is our new online giving page:

Habtom, Heather, Faith & Hope Kebede, Box 1111 (c/o John Haspels), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: *

Dear Friends and Family, Grace to you in abundance from our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.

Thank you each so much for all your prayers and support. We are extremely blessed by your partnership with us.

Habtom passed the interview. Praise God! God is so good. Thank you, Jesus! However, the interviewer had never heard of a non-military individual expedited so she wanted to check that out. So, what does that mean? Well, Habtom passed but we do NOT have the final go ahead. We are believing for a phone call Monday or a letter soon giving us a swearing in ceremony date. Thank you to everyone who has prayed for us and with us over this process. We have a few more things to finish before we can go to Ethiopia. Passports, visa applications and tickets. Please Pray for a smooth and quick process.

Exciting news for me, Heather, was I was able to have laser eye surgery done on my eyes. It was my 40th birthday present a few years early. What an amazing thing to see clear!! It is amazing not to have to mess with contacts and solution. I am just overwhelmed with God’s goodness and the wisdom he has given doctors for technology. Thank you for praying for me. I told the Lord if the price is below my birthday gift I will take it as a sign from him that I am meant to do this. It was only 10 dollars under. I now have 20/20 vision! It has been a very long time since I could see that good. Praise Jesus.

Faith and her cousin David have started basketball at the YMCA. They are both enjoying playing together. Hope and Luke are not getting as many walks in because the mornings are cold. But they sure enjoy library time. Josiah is growing fast. He loves his jumper and the new game he is playing is to drop every toy you give him. Big sisters are great for that game. All three kids are fighting a cold so we appreciate prayers for that.

Please continue to pray about finances. Some upcoming cost are tickets to Ethiopia approximately $5000 for all of us. Origin visas for Habtom and I that will allow us to work in Ethiopia without work permits, will cost $200 each so $400 total. Habtom’s passport will be between $190-200 because we hope to expedite it.

Thank you for all your prayers and support. Thank you for partnering with us. We would love to pray for you or praise with you. Send us an email and let us know how we can partner with you!

God bless you, Habtom, Heather, Faith, Hope and Josiah

Anne Adrian, ISI, Lakeland, Florida

My dear Partners in Ministry,

This is such a busy time of year for all of us, I know!!  Thanksgiving is next week and because of students’ exam schedules we are having our Christmas Party just one week later, on Dec. 1st!!  Craziness, I know!!  But that’s what is required for us to take advantage of the opportunities to share the message of God’s love in Christ with our students – this IS the reason we celebrate 😊 at all – in His mercy God has given us the gift of salvation and all the blessings that entails!!  It is Good News indeed!

So I want to ask you specifically to pray for us during this season!  PRAY    

  • For our Christmas party on Dec. 1st that all the Lord will put together the right group of people – students and Americans; for our speaker, Lloyd Hamm, that the Lord will direct him in the words he shares and fill him with the Spirit; pray that students will see more of Christ and will take initiative to learn more of Him, perhaps even taking the step of putting their trust in Him.  Pray that all the details- food, games, transportation will all come together in such a way to glorify God.

  • Pray that we as an ISI Team will have peace and joy as we organize all the details and trust in God’s plan when things don’t go as we planned 😊

  • Pray for the Ladies Gathering the second week of December when we will be talking about the Christmas story as they help me put up my Nativity scenes in my home and enjoy some Christmas treats.

Thank you for your faithfulness in prayer for us!!  We thank God for you all!!  I plan on sending you a regular update after these activities so you can hear how your prayers were answered.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, remembering God’s many good gifts to us all!

In the joy of the Lord,


Ministries for Everyone

Adult Sunday School: This class meets at 11:00 a.m. every Sunday after service, led by Pastor Tony. All are invited and encouraged to bring a friend.

Prayer Meeting: Prayer every Monday at the Neighbor’s Store and Pantry at 5:00 p.m. All welcome!

Fellowship Group: A Fellowship Group, for the study of God’s Word, meets at 7:00 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month at Halstead Bible Fellowship. See Steve Page for more information. Open to everyone.

Bible Study: Please join this Bible Study each Wednesday morning at 10:00. The study is held in our homes. Contact Joan Bailey for more information.

Men’s Breakfast: Second Saturday at Golden  Harvest. 8:00 am. A time of fellowship for all men.

View the Calendar online.