Update: 2019 International Messengers Staff Conference

Dear Prayer Partners:

Thank you so much for your prayers this past week. It was a huge blessing to see the ways God answered all our prayers in this short trip. Mary and I do see the hand of God at work through our ongoing ministry here in the states, but often there is something special that happens when we travel overseas. We come back feeling like God has packed 6 months of ministry impact into a 7-day stretch. Why? I believe it is our Heavenly Father sending his Spirit to work in the hearts of the people around us as a result of your prayer petitions.

We had a wonderful time with Pastor Zbyszek and Edyta. After 18 years of ministry together, they have become dear friends and we cherish our times together. It was fun to see how God is blessing their work, and we were able to do some important coordination for this summer’s English camp.

We attended the International Messengers staff conference Wednesday – Sunday. The 3 seminars we taught on forgiveness, anxiety, and mourning were very well received and impactful. Many good questions arose in these forums, and it was rewarding to see how the attendees processed and absorbed these often-misunderstood concepts. Here are some comments we received:

The anxiety session was an answer to my prayers for many months. My adult son suffers from anxieties that seem completely irrational to me. Thank you for showing a way to help him!

I was mistreated and deeply hurt by a former employer. Church friends keep telling me I need to go back and reconcile, but I know from experience this only results in more hurt. Thank you for showing me how the Bible differentiates between forgiveness and reconciliation.

I am writing a book with the stories of women who have lost a baby. Thank you for sharing the Biblical teaching about mourning. I will highlight the mourning process in these stories to help readers find a way to healing.

I prayed to give my shame to Jesus, but still—every time I remembered my sin I felt shame. Now when I remember my sin, there is no shame. I am forgiven. Thank you for showing me a way to give my shame to Jesus and truly leave it with Him.

These are just a few of the stories that Jen Nagy (our teaching partner), Mary, and I got to be a part of. It was a wonderful week of ministry, and we learned some important spiritual truths ourselves. Thanks again for your prayer partnership. It baffles me that the Omnipotent God of the Universe has chosen to partner with us frail, broken humans. But the scriptures are clear: God acts when we ask. Thank you for “asking” with us so that we all can see this beautiful fruit play out in real lives.

Please pray with us as we look to the future…

  • Praise, praise, praise for a wonderful, impactful trip!
  • We have been invited to teach for a week at a discipleship training center in Alexandria, Egypt this fall. Please pray with us that God will show us if this is his plan and timing.
  • Pray as missionaries use the tools we taught at the conference. Pray that God will direct them, and people will be healed
  • Pray for our preparations as we now are starting to plan for the summer Family English Camp. Pray for unity within the team as we look forward to serving God together.

Thank you!

 

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2019 International Messengers Staff Conference

Dear Prayer Partners:

I first of all want to thank everyone who prayed for us in response to our last letter. We made this special request for prayer because Mary and I and our ministry partners were feeling a tremendous amount of pressure almost to the point of hopelessness. God answered your prayers and the darkness has lightened. Of course, we still experience spiritual warfare, but the intensity level is much lighter. Thank you for standing with us through this time.

Mary and I (Mike) are looking forward to traveling overseas to attend the International Messengers mission’s European Staff Conference this next week. We are leaving this afternoon (Saturday, March 30) for a 10-day trip, returning on Monday, April 8. We are looking forward to connecting with and ministering together with our missionary friends from across Europe.

Prior to the conference, we will be spending 2 days with our friends Pastor Zbyszek and Edyta from Glogów, Poland. This time will give us an opportunity to connect with some of our camp ministry partners in the Glogów church and community. We will also be planning for the camp this summer. We want to bring some fresh ideas to this family English camp ministry and will meet with Edyta and Pastor Z so we can implement these in a way that will be fruitful in the Polish culture.

We will be driving from Glogów to Hucisko, Poland, a small town in the hills about 1 ½ hours north of Kraków. This will be our 5th time attending an International Messengers staff conference, and we have come to love the atmosphere and the people at these conferences. It is truly a family atmosphere.

We have been asked to present 3 training sessions during the conference, each giving specific counseling tools to missionaries. These men and women are on the front line, and often minister to those who are stuck in the hardest life situations. We are able to share some simple, powerful Biblically based tools that God can use to bring healing to hurting people. We also make ourselves available to meet one-on-one with missionaries or couples, and typically have a pretty packed schedule over the 3 days of the conference.

Thanks for standing with us in prayer as we make this trip. Please pray with us…

  • for Josiah (our teenage son) and our adult kids that God will care for, protect, and bless them while we are overseas.
  • traveling details and safety. It feels cliché to write this, but very small incidents could potentially derail our trip and ministry.
  • that God will give us wisdom as we make plans for the summer camp.
  • that God will connect us with the individuals who need our help and ministry.
  • that God will bless and multiply our training efforts so that these tools will be used to help many hurting families, couples, and individuals around the world.

Once again, we are so thankful for partners who stand with us—not only financially—but also in prayer. Thank you!

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Equip2Counsel 2019

Dear Prayer Partners:

2019 has brought us many significant opportunities. We continue to counsel several new individuals and couples. It is a gift to be able to see God’s hand so clearly bringing healing to these lives. We also have been invited to share and speak in several venues. For example, the youth pastors and leadership at Wayzata Free Church have recognized that there is a significant issue with anxiety among teens. We have been invited to meet with the high school and middle school youth groups to discuss anxiety, and to give some tools and teaching around how to address anxiety.

We have also been invited to travel to Poland to do give a couple of seminars with International Messengers. We are praying and strongly considering taking this trip in early April. These are just a few of the upcoming opportunities that God has put before us. We are excited to be a part of this ministry as God continues to open doors and grow the reach of this ministry.

We also write this letter, though, to humbly ask for your prayers. It seems that as doors continue to open, we have noticed an increase in spiritual attack. Circumstantially, things are going quite well in many ways—and we are so thankful for these blessings! But we have been noticing that the enemy has been attacking us on a more personal level. Revelation 12:10 says that the Devil is “the accuser of our brothers and sisters.” In the past few weeks, this is how Satan has been attacking us most effectively. Pointing out our weaknesses, and then sprinkling in some believable lies that make us feel small and inadequate. It feels like we are spending a lot of emotional energy fighting against these character attacks.

We would be so grateful if you would join us in prayer against these attacks. We know that Satan is so much smarter than we are. If our enemy is left unchecked, it will certainly have a negative impact on our team and our ministry. Please pray with us that God would intervene, embolden, and empower us to do his work. We want to humbly where God leads, but we pray that God would allow us to move forward with power for his Kingdom work.

Here are some prayer requests:

  • God will make it clear whether we are to travel to Poland this April.
  • God will give us confidence to do his work.
  • God will nullify the attacks of the enemy. There are so many ways the enemy could sideline our work. Please pray with us for protection and a clear path forward.
  • Pray that God would multiply the reach of our work through the trainings and seminars we give to others working in care and counseling.

Once again, we are so thankful for partners who stand with us not only financially, but also in prayer. Thank you!

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Snuffer Update from Lebanon

Mary and I just returned from a lovely nighttime stroll through the neighborhood here in Beirut. As we recounted a few stories from the week, it is clear to us that God had a plan for our time here in Syria. Mark Henderson had a vision of these counseling tools going out into the world and bringing healing to the nations.  It is so humbling for us to have this opportunity to bring these much-needed Biblical principles and tools to this tiny church in the ancient Syrian city of Damascus.

These Syrian church leaders came ready to learn. The material was new and some even challenging for them to process. We had wonderful, lively discussions as we unpacked God’s truths together. We wrapped up the 4-days of teaching and practicing forgiveness this evening, and we asked each student to share something important they had learned this week. Here are a few of the comments the Syrian believers shared.

“I forgave a friend who betrayed me, but still felt stuck and couldn’t get past the hurt. I learned I trust that I truly did forgive. But God showed me another part of the situation I still needed to forgive. Now I am truly free.”

“I was shocked to learn about ‘false forgiveness.’ It helped me understand how to help some people in my church who have never practiced true forgiveness.”

“God already showed me how to practice many of these principles in my own life, but you helped solidify these concepts in my mind and showed me a way how I can teach them to other hurting people.”

These church leaders are excited to go back to their own city, review the materials, and share them with their church, their community, and other Syrian churches. Mark’s vision is coming true. It is shocking to us that God has passed these tools directly into a desperately needy country as inaccessible as Syria.

We are so thankful for the time we have already spent here. For the next two days, we will be teaching about helping individuals who are suffering from trauma. The Syrian people have truly been traumatized by 7 years of war. The war is over, but many scars remain—both physical and emotional. The concepts we teach around trauma are complex and are built upon many principles that are totally new to people. We do not really know what we can accomplish in the few hours we have to talk about it.

Please pray with us:

  • God will guide us as we lead these discussions on trauma. We need wisdom to give information that the Syrian believers and aid workers can use as helpful tools.
  • God will bring healing as we meet with several people in the next couple of days in one-on-one sessions.
  • Thank God with us for the work he has already done.

We write this to you so that you can celebrate with us how your prayers and dollars are building the kingdom of Christ around the world. Thank you for standing with us in this important work.

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Flying to Lebanon Today

We are packing the luggage and printing our training materials as we fly out this afternoon. Just wanted to make you aware of a few things as you pray for us.

Here is our general schedule for the week.

Tue 9th Flight
Wed 10th Evening arrival, time with local church leaders and IM staff
Thu-Tue 11-16th Teaching with Syrian church leaders on forgiveness
Wed 17th Training Lebanese refugee workers on helping trauma victims
Thu 18th Flying back to Minnesota

We will be traveling Tues, Oct 9 – Thu, Oct 18. Please pray for God to do the following:

  • Keep Mary and I healthy and able to do the work during our travels. Mike’s facial pain has been flaring up a bit in the past month. Pray that Mike will be able to teach!
  • Protection for the Syrian believers during their travels through a volatile country and border
  • In the past couple of weeks, geopolitical tensions have risen slightly with Israel, the neighbor to the south. It does not appear that anything substantial has changed at this point, but please pray with us that God will go before us and give us smooth passageways.
  • Ability to train these practical tools effectively in a few short days, so leaders can use the tools to bring God’s healing to others
  • Special wisdom for relating to our Arab brothers and sisters living in a very different culture
  • PRAISE: God has provided the exact amount we needed to purchase the laptop for our young Egyptian IM missionary friend. He is thrilled to be getting a laptop, and as a bonus it appears that he may be able to join us in Lebanon and complete the training with us. God is good. Please pray that the Lebanese authorities grant him a vacation VISA when he arrives in Lebanon!

As you know, traveling to Lebanon is a bit more of an adventure than our typical trip to Europe. But with this comes some really amazing opportunities to build the Kingdom of Christ in a spiritually needy and hungry region of the world. Thank you for joining us in prayer. The miracle we are praying for is that a group of Syrian believers will become equipped to return to their own people with a working understanding of how to help others practice Biblical forgiveness within some of the hardest life situations.

We are amazed at the opportunities that God has given a computer programmer and office manager from Minnesota. Thank you for praying with us as we take this trip.

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Lebanon Trip, 2018

About this time last year, Mike had the opportunity to travel to Lebanon to train a group of Arab-Lebanese church leaders for a week. International Messengers regularly organizes a 12-week training course to develop young Christian leaders in the Arab middle-east. The men and women have given their lives to God’s work, often in predominately Muslim communities.

During the trip last year, Mike fell in love with this country and its people. We are excited to be able to return to Beirut, Lebanon as a couple and work in these communities again. We will be the first teachers in this 12-week intensive training, working with believers and church leaders from Syria. The church leaders will travel to Lebanon by bus from their war-torn communities. Though Lebanon itself is fairly safe, travel from this tumultuous region does have real risks. Please pray that God will protect these 6 men and women as they travel each weekend.

For the first 5 days, we will be working with 6 or 7 Syrian believers. Most of these men and women are well-educated professionals including a software developer, teachers, and trained musicians. This group includes a young man who was captured and tortured ISIS for several weeks before he was able to escape. We plan to spend this time focusing primarily on bringing healing to hurting people through the Biblical practice of forgiveness. We have been told that very few Syrian families have remained untouched by death or other traumas in this ongoing war. We are praying that these church leaders can bring God’s powerful hand of healing to their country and their people by teaching them how to lead others through a Biblical process of forgiveness.

Lebanon is a very small country (smaller than the state of Connecticut) and has a population of about 6 million people. During the Syrian war and refugee crisis, an additional 2 million Syrians have migrated to Lebanon and mostly live in large refugee camps. This huge influx of nearly 1/3 of its population has created some huge humanitarian needs in this country. After the training, Mary and I will spend a couple of days meeting and working with the Lebanese believers. Many of these believers work daily with refugees and face many needs each day. We will have some opportunity to present to these local believers and are praying that we can both be an encouragement and provide some simple tools to help in this refugee ministry.

We will be traveling Tues, Oct 9 – Thu, Oct 18. Please pray for God to do the following:

  • Keep Mary and I healthy and able to do the work during our travels
  • Protection for the Syrian believers during their travels
  • Ability to train these practical tools effectively in a few short days, so leaders can use the tools to bring God’s healing to others
  • Special wisdom for relating to our Arab brothers and sisters living of a very different culture

Once again, thank you for partnering with us in this ministry. We are so grateful to work alongside all of you in this ministry.

Mike and Mary Snuffer

Special Opportunity: Mike has been mentoring a young Egyptian International Messengers missionary who just finished his university studies. This young man is quite gifted as a leader in sports ministries. He was responsible for leading 25 Christian youth camps in Egypt this summer. He is hoping to serve in full time ministry and is starting to raise support but has no computer. He is currently trying to write support letters and organize his entire ministry with a cell phone. We would love to bring this young man a laptop when we travel to Lebanon to help him with his ministry and support raising activities.

Please pray with us that God will provide a laptop. As God leads, please let us know if…
…you have a laptop in good, working condition that you would like to donate to Mina (preferably 1-2 years old)
— OR —
…would like to donate money towards the purchase of a laptop

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Family English Camp Updates

The camp is going great. Thanks for your prayers this week! Just wanted to let you all know that there is a blog available if you would like daily updates for the camp, pictures, etc. You can find this blog at the following URL:

FamilyEnglishCamp.BlogSpot.com

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Family English Camp 2018

This evening (literally sitting on the plane as I post this) our Equip2Counsel team will be headed to Poland for our annual Family English Camp. We are excited that the entire team will be traveling (Doreen, Mary, and Mike) and participating all together in this ministry. In addition, our kids, KD Henderson and Josiah Snuffer, will be with us working as leaders and teachers.

Many of you have been faithful partners in this ministry with us for many years. It is wonderful to see how God continues to bless and touch lives through this work. In May, a team came and visited Minneapolis from our sister church in Glogow, Poland. We had the privilege of hearing a solo sung by a young woman from the church in Glogow. Both Ania (the soloist) and Gosia (the pianist) are college student who came to know Jesus at an English Camp. Each weekend they travel 120+ kilometers home from college so that they can lead worship with church family in Glogow. As these young women “performed,” the congregation was so moved not only by their musical skills, but it was clear that Ania and Gosha personally knew the Savior Jesus they were singing about.

Ania and Gosha are great examples of the “why” we keep going back to Poland. We are so thankful to be part of a ministry that is working with the Holy Spirit to move people forward in their relationship with God. Some move from atheism to a hope that God just might exist and He just might be good. Some decide to visit and begin attending Pastor Z’s Church or a Bible Study in Glogow. Others make a decision to entrust their lives to Jesus. Some, like Ania and Gosia, move into active Kingdom service and even positions of spiritual leadership.

We have a wide range of responsibilities at this camp. Mike and Mary are the American camp directors, partnering with Edyta and Pastor Z to lead the camp.  Our Equip2Counsel team will also be asked to be available for campers who request personal or marriage counseling. Doreen will be helping as our American worship leader. Josiah and KD will also be leading English classes, Bible Study small groups, team activities, working in Children’s ministries, and building relationships with teens and young adults. Our teens participate as full-fledged team members who carry a heavy load of responsibilities. It is fun to serve with them in ways that stretch our faith together.

Thanks so much for joining us in prayer. The trip dates are Thu, June 28 – Wed, July 11.

Please pray with us for this trip:

  • Pray for team unity amongst Americans and our Polish partners.  (John 13:35)
  • Pray for God’s protection over our family we are leaving here (Katherine S, Zachary S, Adrian S, and Michael H).
  • Please pray that God will work in the hearts of campers and move each one forward in his or her journey with Jesus.
  • We use indoor and outdoor class spaces. Please pray for dry class and activity times.

Mike, Mary, and Doreen
KD and Josiah

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European Missions Conference – Post Trip Update

Thank you all for your prayers for us while we were in Poland earlier this month. Just wanted to post a short note to let all of our prayer and support partners know how God worked through our ministry on this trip.

For the first two days (Wednesday and Thursday), Mary and I facilitated a seminar on the topic of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a simple topic to learn and has a huge impact on individuals who give up unforgiveness to Jesus. Since the seminar, attendees have already shared how they have used the tools in their own ministries at least a half-dozen times. We taught a couple of 1½-hour seminars on how the brain works and how to process emotions in healthy ways. Both seminars were well-attended. We introduced a lot of concepts which were new paradigms to the attendees and received very positive feedback from those who joined us during these sessions.

In addition, Mary and I met with several individuals and even a small group, giving training and helping some work through personal issues. God used these times to minister to these men and women.

On the whole, the week was wonderful. We came back jet lagged, exhausted, and both with colds. But it was wonderful to spend time with the International Messengers family. This week was also a clear validation for us that we are still doing ministry that is within God’s will and plan. We did see God’s hand at work throughout this week. About a half-dozen missionaries have asked us for additional training in counseling tools which we will be providing in the next 12 months.

We also wanted to let you know how God answered your prayers. God protected our kids while we were gone. Thank you for praying for them. My (Mike’s) trigeminal neuralgia did bother me during the trip, but I am thankful it did not keep me from teaching or from any of our responsibilities. Teaching with Jennifer Nagy was a great experience. She is a gifted woman and leader, and her wisdom and input really made the seminars a much richer experience for those in attendance.

Prayer Requests:

  • During the course of the week, we spoke with the President of International Messengers (Darwin Anderson) and the Director of Middle Eastern Ministries (Ben Oehler). We have been invited to travel to Beirut this fall to conduct training with some Christian Arabs, including some who live in the war-torn country of Syria. Please pray with us that God will give us clear direction in this matter.
  • Please pray with us as we begin to plan for this summer Family English Camp in Poland. We are excited that the entire Equip2Counsel team will be traveling together: Doreen, Mary, and Mike!

We cannot thank you enough for continuing to join the Equip2Counsel ministry in prayer and financial support. God is the one who guides us, sustains us, and uses our ministry to bring fruit. We are convinced that any fruit that we see is a result of God answering prayers.

Mike and Mary

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European Missions Conference

This next Monday, April 2, Mary and I will be traveling to Poland to attend the International Messengers European Missions Conference. This is an annual conference for IM (International Messengers) missionaries, providing fellowship, Biblical teaching, and staff care for the men, women, and families serving God overseas. It is such a treasured time for the missionaries. This year about 250+ are expected to attend.

Mary and I will not only be attending the conference, but also have several responsibilities hosting some elective classes and seminars for conference attendees. On Thursday and Friday we will be facilitating a two-day course about forgiveness. This course discusses Biblical forgiveness in depth, and give the attendees a way how to practice forgiveness. This is a powerful tool not only for those who attend, but also is designed to be shared with those the missionaries minister to.

We will also be co-teaching / facilitating two 1-hour seminars during the conference. These seminars are designed to help believers understand how our brains process information and how we can be in control of our thoughts and emotions.

We are grateful to be co-teaching with Jennifer Nagy.  Jennifer is an IM missionary working on-staff at an international church in Warsaw. She is an extremely gifted counselor who has been trained in the Equip2Counsel tools and using these for several years. It is exciting to see these tools being used by someone we have trained, and to work with her passing these tools on to another group of ministers.

Thank you for praying for us, our ministry, and all who are at the conference. Mary and I will have an extremely packed weekend. Here is an overview of our schedule:

Monday (April 2): Flying out from MSP airport.
Tuesday: Arriving in Krakow, Poland. We will spend a night in Krakow which will give us an opportunity to rest and begin to adjust to the time zone changes.
Wednesday: Driving to conference. Begin teaching two-day class on forgiveness.
Thursday: Day 2 of two-day class on forgiveness.
Friday: Full conference officially begins. We will be teaching a 1-hour seminar on taking thoughts captive. We will also likely meet with individuals throughout the day.
Saturday: Fellowship and meeting with individuals throughout the day.
Sunday: Last day of conference. Teaching a 1-hour seminar about being in charge of our emotions.
Monday: Drive back to Krakow, then fly home.

Here are a few additional prayer requests:

  • Pray for safety for our kids at home who will not be traveling with us.
  • Ask God to make us effective teachers, bringing freedom to our students and tools which can be used by the missionaries in their own ministry.
  • We will be teaching new material with Jennifer this week. Pray that God will bring synergy to our teaching and we will be an effective team.
  • I have trigeminal neuralgia, which can cause excruciating pain when I speak. Please pray that God takes this away and/or give me grace to communicate effectively.

Thanks so much for continuing to join the Equip2Counsel ministry in prayer and financial support. We are so grateful to have a prayer team partnering with us as we take these trips.

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