Author Archives: anyaGMI

[April 20th, 2020] Global Mosaic Adjusts

We agree with this message displayed at a church near our home in Virginia. People of faith must draw strength from the reality that God is in control and that our circumstances are not the result of a non-existent concept called luck. We also know that understanding and accepting this belief is currently a tough sale to those whose lives have been turned upside down and are experiencing both small and tremendous losses
I am hesitant to use the current explanation catchphrase, “welcome to the new normal.” It is not welcoming by any definition and we pray that it will soon become abnormal once again.

But for this update on Global Mosaic International we will share how this “new normal” is bringing modification and reshaping of the ministry.

Not because of “luck” but because of God’s providence, we found ourselves on this side of the world in the USA instead of Malaysia when the restrictive parameters of travel and face-to-face interaction came to all of us. Evelyn’s work and ministry before had been a combination of physical on-site teaching, counseling, and team development coupled with virtual on-line interactions.
She is now limited to being on-line. Instead of travels far and wide by car, plane, train, or bus she now has a five-meter walk from bed to desk. And sometimes she simply stays in bed since many of those with whom she interacts are in opposite time zones. If we sent you a picture of her work here and what it would be in Malaysia at this point – same scene. The only difference would be what you would see if you looked out the window. In Malaysia from the 36th floor, Kuala Lumpur downtown – 12 kilometres away. Here in Virginia at ground level, trees, and flowers – five meters.

An April teaching time in Northern Virginia has been postponed. Physical teaching scheduled in Uganda for May and August is postponed. Kigumba Christian Mosaic Counseling School students have tougher challenges in substituting virtual digital learning for physical face to face. We are attempting to support them to maintain Internet access. They greatly appreciate using the donated smartphones for digital learning. Planned teaching events from June through July in Malaysia have been postponed until 2021

Evelyn is focusing on a continued development of digital web-based teaching for now. Volunteer instructors are taping sessions from their homes, primarily in Malaysia. Administrative details for three formats are in process of formation. School of Lay Counselling, Life Walk Institute, and Psycholedu. This is a learning experience for everyone. The blessing of having so many great people step forward, often out of their comfort zones, has been a great encouragement to Evelyn.

I can say what humble Evelyn cannot. She has been their inspiration and motivator.

Our return date to Malaysia is, of course, dependent on multiple factors. Much to Evelyn’s angst, there is a real possibility that it will not be until 2021.

I, along with Evelyn, deeply miss our friends and life in Malaysia. It has been Evelyn’s primary residence and community for almost 20 years. I know that so many people there have loved and cared for her. She is truly independent, but all of us know that she sometimes forgets that concept of self-care. I am hoping to step up to the task of being her wing-man.

You see below a very odd set of pictures from our kitchen. Probably the only time a picture of a microwave has been included in a ministry newsletter. Just to let you know that a little bit of Malaysia is always with us
Thank you for sharing again in our life. We are humbled and honored.

Evelyn and Steve

[March 25, 2020] Global Mosaic Unknown

We have delayed sending out a new update until we had a better idea of our plans for the next months. Well, Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C have all gone up in smoke. Now we are, as is everyone else in the world, on Plan Unknown.
Our last update was on February 25 as we waited for the return of Paul and Kelli from ministry in Puerto Rico. Not sure who was happiest upon their return, the four kids or us. We then spent a few days with another son and his family in the Dallas area before returning to our home in Virginia on March 5. We relished making memories.

At that particular moment, we anticipated catching up with friends, visiting most of our other kids, spending a week in the mountains with friends and one of our granddaughters, Evelyn completing the online course with grades submitted, a couple of nights at the beach, medical appointments, hopefully unpacking some of the boxes from our hurried house move of last year, hanging pictures, and finishing up curriculum and teaching plans for Uganda and Malaysia.
Our intent was to travel to Uganda for a 2-week period in May and from there return to our home in Kuala Lumpur. Evelyn has extensive plans for June and July in Asia before returning to Uganda in August. Before we were able to jump into our planned schedule, the reality of a new normal for all of us arose to create detours and barriers.

I have mentioned before that the work of GMI never stops completely. Evelyn has continued to be in collaboration with individuals and teams in Uganda and Malaysia as they develop materials and resources for each location. I interrupt periodically to consult with her about where to hang a picture or whether to keep, toss, or display items unearthed from the boxes and to feed her.
Although the April and May Uganda trips were cancelled, Evelyn continues to support the leader as he endeavors to facilitate the courses we have already put online. With your earlier financial support, GMI is funding 3 individuals to pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in counseling through distance education. We are currently funding their monthly office rent and Wi-Fi expenses. With Uganda ordering all schools closed, KCMCS also has to come up with a different way to deliver the courses. We may also have to give these 3 students subsidies to continue their studies as they will be out of jobs, since they are schoolteachers. Please pray with us on these decisions.

On a side note: My heart and compassion from 40 years of being an intensive care nurse surfaced. I really wanted to volunteer and rejoin my friends who are on the front lines of this battle. However, as I rationalized, my brain and common sense won out over my heart and compassion. We do live in a senior community and we are a senior couple. So, I will stay on the sidelines for the moment.

Our current plan: we are staying inside. Still too cold anyway for Evelyn. I returned our rental car because, really, nowhere to go. As in Malaysia I get around on my bicycle. Evelyn spends many hours each day at her desks supporting the work. I continue to unpack and distribute.

Evelyn bought a ticket to Kuala Lumpur for June 1, because as of now she is still scheduled to teach in East Malaysia for four weeks starting June 21. The ticket can be altered for free for one year.

We are providentially blessed with resources, a beautiful home, physical health, an abundance of friends we love and who love us from a distance, and the sweetness of time with each other.

Our prayer is that on the other side of this all-encompassing crisis we will be ever more cognizant of community and God’s care. With all the cancellations abounding, it is good to remember that:

Relaxation – not cancelled.
Reading – not cancelled.
Family – not cancelled.
Sunsets – not cancelled.
Music – not cancelled.
Singing – not cancelled.
Laughing – not cancelled.
Charity – not cancelled.
Hope – not cancelled.
Love – not cancelled.
Gratitude – not cancelled.
Prayer – not cancelled.

God is still and always will be in control. In Him, we put our trust and hope.

Our life of adventure and travel has now come to this: Wii bowling in a senior community

For those unfamiliar with Wii. It is an interactive device often found in senior facilities to encourage movement and exercise. You do actually make the motions of bowling with a hand- held device as seen in pic. Not exactly a 12 pound ball but some skill. I hope to beat Evelyn, which is also a positive vibe. 

[February 25th, 2020] Global Mosaic Caribbean

Global Mosaic International is supporting recovery work in Puerto Rico – well, sorta.

The island nation has been recovering for several years from extensive damage caused by natural disasters. Many areas are still without power, housing, schools, places of worship, economic support structure, and transportation network.

This is a return to the Caribbean for GMI. A decade ago, a team ministered in Jamaica.

Our current support for ministry construction work in Puerto Rico is from a distance but still vitally essential. Evelyn and I are back in Texas overseeing the development and care of four grandchildren while their parents, Paul (from the cave run) and Kelli are on-site in old San Juan.

Paul is an elder at Second Baptist Church here in La Grange, Texas. This congregation has sent multiple teams over the past several years to Puerto Rico. Paul had gone without Kelli before. It was providential timing for us to be able to handle things here in Texas so they could minister together.

We are receiving great reports from them. Painting and roof construction are the primary goals but because of rain, they have needed to adapt activity at various points.

They left at 6 AM on February 20 and will arrive back here at their house by 9 PM this Thursday, February 27. I assume you can imagine why I am so precise on times. Evelyn and I had nine children, but we were 35 years younger then.

I also know that Paul and Kelli will be reading this and feel how greatly we love them and want to see them soon.

Apparently, the team is staying in housing right on the beach. Paul assured me as they left that it really is a sacrificial ministry of service.

Thank you for sharing this short update of GMI work. We covet your prayers as always and especially over the next three days.

The picture below is of the much-loved and delightful grandchildren.