Accustomed to Surprise: English Camp

Another fantastic trip.

We are so thankful for your prayers as we arrive back here in Minnesota and continue to assess what God has accomplished. This year there were many first-time campers. Most of these campers would not consider themselves to be believers or followers of Jesus. We were so thankful for the opportunity to pour our time and God’s love into these lives for a week. God worked in so many ways. As leaders, Mary and I observe how God is working through so many different activities, relationships, and through the biblical teaching.

Every camp is different, and every camp is the same. We have become accustomed to God working in surprising ways. When we arrive, we don’t know who God is going to bring, or how they are going to be touched. We just dig in and get to work, expecting God to do miracles.

I think this is how we develop our faith. We listen to the Holy Spirit and then choose to take the risk God asks us to, trusting that God is going to do something amazing. One of the passages the campers studied was Acts 3:1-13. It is about Peter and John healing the lame man outside the temple gate. I suspect that the Holy Spirit prompted Peter to say, “Get up and walk.” Can you imagine how scary it must have been for Peter to say these words to a lame man? I am sure it was intense, but Peter had spent enough time with Jesus to expect something amazing. He expected this lame man to get up and walk.

I think these are the same faith muscles we all develop during each camp. When we go, we have come to expect God to do the surprising. I suspect many of our partners reading this—when you give financially and pray with us—are also expecting God to do some amazing stuff. Together as a huge team, we all do our part by faith, and expect God to do the surprising at these camps.

I wish I could tell detailed stories about how God works through our counseling ministry at the camps. In addition to teaching and leading the team, Mary and I individually met 13 times with campers. God worked in these meetings through forgiveness, breaking down strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:5), and even freeing one from an addiction. It was so fulfilling to be a part of this ministry as God set some men, women, and teens free this week through our counseling ministry.

Thanks again for standing with us through prayer and your financial support!

Follow-up/answers to prayer requests:

  • Team unity was amazing. Team members from 4 countries, at least 10 cities, and more than 12 churches. Many met for the first time at camp. God is good: We saw our team practicing the many biblical “love one another” principles.
  • God protected our family (Katherine, Zachary, Adrian), allowing us to focus on our work in Poland.
  • God moved in the hearts of campers. Agnostics became seekers. Highly religious began to question the value of their religiosity. Seekers gave their hearts and lives to Jesus and entered his Kingdom. So awesome to be a part of!
  • Weather forecast for the camp was rainy all week. Mostly sunny skies and beautiful weather all week. We did have rain, but this interrupted our scheduled activities only twice all week. Thanking God for the great weather!

Please continue to pray with us:

  • Still not refunded: Delta’s web-site double-sold us tickets. Delta has been giving us the run-around for 3½ months now, and they still have not refunded the extra tickets. It is an $8,500 bill. Please pray with us that God will work this out and the tickets will be refunded!
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Poland English Camp, Part 15

As we finalize our preparations for our upcoming trip this week, we realized that this year marks the Snuffer’s 15th English Camp in Poland. 15 years ago, who would have thought…

But here we are. And we are thankful for the opportunity to serve again this year. With 3 kids preparing for college this fall, Mike, Mary, and Josiah will be the Snuffer representatives this summer. God has provided us with a US team of 38 from churches across the mid-west. It is a team that includes a healthy mix of both rookies and veterans of the camp. We are excited to have a family of 9 from Tennessee joining us this year. The family has an evangelistic ministry to churches around the world, sharing the gospel with circus-style skills and other unique artistic abilities. We look forward to seeing how God uses this family to connect with Poles and share the gospel.

In the past few years, God has used our counseling gifts to minister to Poles at the camp. In addition to our normal role, Mary and I expect that we will be counseling every day. It is rewarding but exhausting work. Josiah will work both in the children’s ministry and with teenage kids.

For the first time in 15 years, through a set of circumstances that we do not totally understand—we were fully supported without sending any letters this year. Of course, this is in part due to our supporter’s gracious gifts. But Josiah was fully supported this year, and no Equip2Counsel dollars are applied to him. We are so thankful to God for this blessing, but still need your prayer support.

Spiritual warfare has been especially intense in the past month or so. Please pray for God’s protection for our entire family as we travel to Poland. Mary and I were exchanging prayer requests with a team member who said, “The enemy is worried. It must be that we are going to have a great camp this year.”

Thanks so much for joining us in prayer. The trip dates are Thu, June 29 – Wed, July 12.

Please pray with us for this trip:

  • Delta’s web-site double-sold us tickets. Delta has been giving us the run-around for 3 months and has not refunded the extra tickets. It is an $8,500 bill, which is causing us some stress. Please pray that God will work this out before we leave on Thursday and Delta will give the refund.
  • 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, Zachary, Adrian).
  • Please pray that God will work in the hearts of campers and bring many to his Kingdom.
  • Weather forecast for the camp is rainy. We use indoor and outdoor class spaces. Please pray for dry class and activity times.
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Life Changes, Travel Changes

Most of you already know that our ministry partner and dear friend, Mark Henderson, went to be with our Savior this past Wednesday evening. Even as we are mourning the loss, we needed to make some difficult decisions.

The Snuffer family will be staying for Mark’s funeral this Monday. As a result, we have cancelled next week’s trip to Budapest, Hungary.

Mike, Mary, and Adrian will be traveling to Glogow, Poland the following week: April 2-10. This will give us a chance to do some planning for this summer’s English Camp, and we will also have the opportunity to mourn with Mark’s many friends in Poland. It will be an emotional trip, but we are thankful to be able to be with our dear friends in Poland.

We know that you are keeping Doreen, Michael and KD in your prayers. Thank you for praying that God will bring comfort, peace, and his presence to the Hendersons.

Please pray with us for this trip:

  • God will work out these late changes in our flights.
  • God’s name will be glorified as we remember Mark and his impact on many Polish people.
  • Mary and Adrian as they will be representing God by loving the students from the US (Heritage Christian Academy) and Poland (Aslan School).
  • Pray that God will give all of us the emotional strength to be others-focused as we are feeling the weight of loss.
  • Pray for Josiah, who will be home here in the states. It is difficult to leave him home.

Mark’s funeral is scheduled for Monday, March 27, 11:00 am at Wayzata Free Church. Visitation will be at the church one hour before the service.

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International Messengers Conference. Budapest, Hungary

Once again we have mixed emotions as we plan an Equip2Counsel trip. We feel like we are leaving ministry partners and family members as we head oversees without Doreen and Mark Henderson. God has sustained Mark through some awful, dark days as the Henderson family continues to fight the cancer in Mark’s body. But as a team, all four of us prayerfully decided the ministry must continue to move forward in the face of this opposition. Please continue to keep Mark and Doreen in your prayers. They would love to be traveling and ministering with us! We are hopeful that the four of us will minister together again, and ask you to join us in prayer for God to work and bring about this miracle.

Mary and Mike Snuffer will be traveling to a facility in the small town of Balatonszárszó, Hungary, about 1½ hours southwest of Budapest, Hungary. We will be meeting up with over 200 missionaries from International Messengers for a week-long conference. This weekend is designed to be a time of rest and encouragement for the missionaries who are continually investing their lives into men and women throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Northern Africa.

It will be the 3rd time the Equip2Counsel team has attended this annual conference. It is a great opportunity to have an impact on many missionaries. In the past, we have seen God work by providing counseling tools to missionaries for their ministry. It has also given us the opportunity to invest in the lives of couples and individuals, watching God bring healing and much-needed encouragement.

We will all be traveling Mar 26 through Apr 3. Mary and I will be leading a two-day seminar prior to the conference on Wednesday and Thursday (Mar 29-30). This small-group setting gives us an opportunity to go deep with a few missionaries, providing them with some training in counseling tools for their ministry. The rest of the conference is filled with special speakers and activities, but Mary and I will be making ourselves available to meet individually with missionaries or couples. God has already set up a couple of important appointments for us. Please pray that God will use these meetings to bring healing and encouragement—Mary and I know we are incapable without the Holy Spirit showing up and doing the work!

Mary and I are bringing both Adrian and Josiah along with us to minister to the many teens who will be attending the conference with their parents. Please pray for them to make quick connections and have an eternal impact on the kids they build relationships with in this short time.

Mary and Adrian will be continuing on to Poland for 10 days after this trip, but we will send another post next week with information about this trip.

Prayer Requests:

  • Please continue to pray for Mark and Doreen as they fight cancer.
  • Pray for the two-day conference, that God will raise up a few missionaries with a strong tool-set to bring healing to others.
  • Mike has been suffering from pain in his face (trigeminal neuralgia). Please pray that God will control these symptoms during the training sessions.
  • Pray that God will arrange meetings with the missionaries who need to talk with us personally.
  • Pray that God will use Adrian and Josiah to minister to teens in Hungary.
  • Please pray for all of us that God will use this time to build us up!
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Equip2Counsel – 2017 Begins

As we start 2017, we have a lot to thank God for and some major prayer requests. Due to Mark’s illness, we were more limited in our ability to take trips, but we continued to support and train missionaries through Skype and other internet-based tools. It is great to be able to use internet technology to continue to minister and equip ministry leaders and missionaries around the world.

We are also thankful 2016 gave us one of the most impactful English Family camps we ever attended. The Holy Spirit showed up in powerful and unpredictable ways. It is not an exaggeration to say that nearly every person who attended the camp was impacted in some way by God. It was a blessing to have a front-row seat and watch God work!

Many of you have been praying for Mark. Thank you for your prayers: These have sustained Mark over the dark and trying road of the past 17+ months. When he received his diagnosis, he was given about 3 months to live. We are so thankful that he has outlived this diagnosis by over a year. He is certainly not out of the woods yet, but God has been faithful for the past year and a half. We are trusting God and continue to pray for complete healing. He was recently approved for a new immunotherapy treatment. We are hopeful that God will use this treatment to heal Mark from the cancer.

As a team, we have decided to attend the International Messengers missions staff conference in Budapest, Hungary. We have been given the opportunity to spend a couple of focused days training missionaries with some counseling tools. We are still working with the mission to determine the content of this training, but are excited that God has given us this opportunity to equip missionaries who are working in the field with some simple yet powerful counseling tools.

Thanks for your ongoing Prayers:

  • Praise: We are thanking God for your continued financial support through the uncertainty of Mark’s sickness. These gifts are so important so that the ministry will continue to move forward!
  • We are hopeful that God wants Mark to be a part of the trip to Budapest, Hungary this spring. Please pray that Mark will be well and able to minister with the team.
  • Mike has contracted a condition named Trigeminal Neuralgia. This causes an extreme amount of pain in his face. Please pray for healing.
  • Please pray that God will remove the many obstacles to ministry that continue to pop up.

Thank you for standing with us in prayer and financial support!

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English Camp – Thanks for your prayers!

This year more than any, we were aware how much we were being sustained through prayer during camp. So we wanted to update you guys right away as we have just returned from our trip a couple of days ago. It was another fantastic camp, and we saw God working in new and powerful ways.

The actual camp ended this past Sunday. We had a wonderful, amazingly fruitful week. At the end of the week, Mary and I were beyond exhausted. In addition to our leadership and teaching responsibilities, Mary and I did about 5+ hours of counseling per day. Nearly every moment of every day was either working or an attempt to get a few hours of sleep. Our day started at about 6am and went to 12:30 or 1am. All of your prayers certainly sustained us when our energy and bandwidth for ministry ran out.

The results of the camp were amazing, though. 21 adults and teens that we know of indicated that they made decisions for Christ. Another 12-15 said they were processing this decision but we’re not ready yet. Mary and I personally saw two individuals commit to following Jesus in the counseling sessions. In a camp with approximately 50-60 teen and adult unbelievers, this is an incredibly high percentage for 7 days of relationship building. There is no explanation accept God’s Spirit showing up and answering your prayers.

Mary worked with the kids each day. The feedback on the kids program was so positive. So many parent were coming up and telling us how much their kids were talking about the activities and even the Bible lessons. Parents were so open to allowing their young children to be taught–not only English–but also the lessons from the scriptures. What a rare opportunity to introduce Jesus to the kids of unbelievers.

Thanks in great part to your prayers, God gave me (Mike) a boldness to preach the gospel directly and plainly this year. We were so busy that many of the teachings were prepared in the minutes before I needed to share them with the entire camp. Our theme was “Lose to Win.” Our message was: following Jesus is a life of blessing achieved by giving up all that we hold dear over to Jesus’ control. Not a very good sales pitch, but apparently God’s Spirit was present. Because many responded to the teachings that were presented throughout the week. Though not all accepted Christ, I am pretty sure God Spirit reached every heart. Some hard, closed hearts left the camp more open to learning more about the gospel. Many closed and open hearts surrendered to follow Jesus. Believers were challenged and chose to surrender more of their lives to Christ. Many American and Polish team members were stretched and experienced how they could be used by God to truly change lives through ministry.

What a blessing to be a part of this camp. Be confident that your prayers were moving God’s Spirit and the hearts of the Poles. You guys who stood with us in prayer have every right to rejoice with us as fellow workers. Though our hearts were extremely heavy not having Mark and Doreen with us, it was really encouraging to have their kids Michael and KD serving with us.

We so appreciate you prayers. Thank you for your faithful support of our ministry.

Mike and Mary

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Poland English Camp 2016

It is with mixed emotions that we set out for our Poland English Camp today. As many of you know, Mark is being treated for Esophageal Cancer. He is undergoing chemotherapy treatments this week. (See Mark’s Caring Bridge for more information). As a result Mark and Doreen recently had to make the difficult decision to stay home from this trip. Though it is sad to be working with only half of our team, we continue to trust God that he has a plan for us this week. The entire Snuffer family–Mike, Mary, Katherine, Zachary, Adrian, and Josiah–will be traveling today. In addition, Michael and KD Henderson will be traveling and working with us in Poland.

The spiritual warfare has been especially intense this year. Though the past few months have been difficult, we believe these sacrifices are an indication of the way God is going to use this ministry to change lives. We are definitely invading enemy territory as we walk into these camps. In a typical camp, 40-60% of the campers would describe themselves as unbelievers. In the earliest camps we attended, it was extremely exciting when 1 or 2 campers would dedicate their lives to Christ. In the past five years, God has really flipped the tables. It is now not unusual to hear the 15, 20 or even more have chosen to follow Christ.

This year we have been hearing from our partners in Poland that some unbelieving student are signing up and saying, “We aren’t really coming for the English. We want to learn about Jesus.”

It has been a privilege to be partners with this little church in Glogów, Poland for 15+ years. While it is exciting to be able to come back to the US with large numbers of individuals who have marked a “yes” on a survey–it is so much more rewarding to watch these same people transformed over time. Many who accepted Christ in past years are now active in the local church and are also partnering with us in this camp ministry as coordinators, worship leaders, translators, etc.

Thank you for joining with us in prayer as we work at the camp this week. We have seen year after year how God responds to your prayers. We have already been aware of your prayers in the past few days as God has been at work. Please keep the following list in your prayers throughout the week:

  • Pray that the team members from MN, IA, and Poland will practice love towards one another. (Jn. 13:35)
  • The Snuffer family and Henderson kids are somewhat emotionally depleted coming into this camp. Please pray that God will provide us with exactly what we need in order to be able to invest into the lives of others.
  • Pray that God will protect us by blocking the spiritual attacks we have been experiencing in these past few months.
  • Pray that God will change lives. This includes unbelievers, believers, and even us as team members.
  • Please pray for Michael and KD Henderson, who will be traveling without their parents.
  • Please pray that God would encourage and bless Doreen, who is home giving care to Mark.
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Romania and Turkey Trip Report

In the weeks that have passed since we returned from this trip, it has been fun to see how God has used this ministry to produce fruit. We have seen a lasting impact with couples and individuals who continue to meet and work with the tools we shared during our few days in Romania. It has been encouraging to hear how this has impacted ministries and opened doors into the lives of men and women who these missionaries are ministering to.
Our time in Turkey had a different focus, but was also a great time. We were visiting some good friends in Instanbul, and were able to see first-hand the work they are doing both in this city and throughout the country. It was clear to us that this family is fulfilling a purpose in the community, and we are excited about the outcomes which can already be seen and the future potential of their work.

As you may know, modern-day Turkey was the center of the church for centuries. Antioch, Ephesus, Galatia, and many of the churches mentioned in the New Testament are located in modern-day Turkey. Our friends’ vision is not only for a church to be re-established, but for this country to once again become a center that is impacting the world. It seems like an impossible goal, but one that is worthy of God’s attention and blessing. Please join us in praying for God to work powerfully and miraculously to bring this about.

Mark’s Health

Thank you for your prayers for Mark’s recovery and for his endurance on this trip. After six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy, as Mark sat down on the plane, the realization hit that he was flying away from all the experts and caregivers who had been keeping him alive. The thought, “What in the world am I doing.” Seemed quite reasonable. But even as we left Minneapolis on that first flight, it was clear to all of us that God wanted Mark to make the trip.

The cancer certainly slowed Mark down a little during the trip, but he was a vital member of the team and participated in the teaching and the ministry throughout the week. God even used his sickness to help build relationship with the missionaries who felt even more loved because he had traveled to Romania in the middle of his cancer treatments.

Mark’s radiologist, who is a believer, was instrumental in helping to ensure that Mark was ready and able to make the trip. Though it was scary for him to get on that airplane, he didn’t realize how much of a miracle it was until he returned to the States and began to meet with his doctors.
“You traveled to Europe? Are you serious?”
“I can’t believe you were healthy enough.”
“You received the most extensive radiation we ever give. Most people end up in the hospital for weeks after this kind of treatment—not traveling overseas.”

But God was faithful. Not only did Mark survive, but he was able to encourage and minister to many.

This past week, after three more rounds of intense chemo, Mark’s cancer has been declared, “In remission.” Six months after a diagnosis of stage 4 esophageal cancer and a prognosis of 3 months left to live, we are rejoicing and thanking God for his miraculous healing. We look forward to the work that God has for Mark and for our team in the future.

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Cleared for Travel

As promised, we just wanted to post a quick update and let you know Mark has been cleared for travel. Mark and Doreen will both be traveling with us to Romania and Turkey as we get on the airplane this evening.

Thanks so much for your prayers. Looking back 45 days, we didn’t really expect Mark to be healthy enough to travel at this point. But even the doctors have been surprised by Mark’s strength after 6 weeks of intense treatment. What a testimony to God’s provision and His healing power. Please continue to pray for Mark as his strength continues to return.

We are so grateful, excited, and praising God because both Doreen and Mark will be traveling and working with us this next week!

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Bucharest, Romania and Istanbul, Turkey

Dear Friends and Prayer Partners:

We are days away from traveling to Romania and Istanbul. Though we are looking forward to the going and doing the work, it has been an intense few months leading up to our trip. As you know, Mark Henderson has been in treatment for Esophageal Cancer for the past five weeks. The treatments have been difficult, but Mark’s strength through the process has surprised even the medical staff. Thank you all so much for your prayers and support through this process. We are certain Mark’s surprising endurance through the treatment is a result of God answering prayers.

Though Mark is doing surprisingly well, there are still some tests that need to be completed before he is cleared to go. Please be in prayer with us that God would give the ‘OK’ and the strength to make the trip. We are trusting God, though, whether or not Mark and Doreen are able to travel with us.  Mike and Mary are still going to be traveling and doing the work in Romania and Istanbul. God knew about the cancer before this trip was scheduled, and will accomplish whatever work he has planned for the team members who make the trip.

We leaving this Friday, October 23, traveling first to Bucharest, Romania and meeting with a group of missionaries and ministers. Our friends, Tom and Jill Clark, are missionaries in Bucharest and will be hosting us and have been coordinating the training.  We look forward to partnering with the Clarks and sharing some counseling principles and tools with these missionaries in Bucharest.

After 5 days in Bucharest, we will be taking a short flight to Istanbul, Turkey, to spend a couple of days with our friends. We are looking forward to spending a couple of days with them and hope to be an encouragement to them.

Some of our supporters have requested that we create a calendar so you know how to be praying for us each day of our trip. We so appreciate your prayers as we travel and do this work!

Date Activities Please Pray…
Fri 10/23 – Sat 10/24 Flying to Bucharest …for Mark’s health and strength as he travels.*

…for our travel to be without issues.

Sun 10/25 Spending the day recovering from jet lag and with the Clarks. …that we will sleep well and at night. Jet lag is a challenge!

…that preparations for our training will go smoothly.

Mon 10/26 – Wed 10/28 Counseling training and workshops

One-on-one training with individuals and couples

…that God’s Spirit will guide the training sessions and workshops.

…that missionaries will be further equipped to meet the needs of the Romanian people.

…for strength for our team as we will still be experiencing jet lag.

Thu 10/29 6am – Flying to Istanbul
Thu 10/29 – Fri 10/30 Spending time with our friends in Istanbul. …that we would be an encouragement to the family we are visiting.
Sat 10/31 Flying back to the US.

*We will send a follow-up post to let you know if Mark and Doreen are going to be able to travel with us.

Please pray for the following throughout the week:

  • Pray that Mark Henderson will have the strength to make the trip.
  • Pray that God’s spirit transcends language and cultural differences as we teach.
  • Pray that the missionaries will be equipped with new counseling tools and principles in order to better meet the needs of the people of Romania.
  • Pray for our children who will be back here in the states.
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