Thursday, April 17, 2014


On Monday morning, while we were working at the main office for Operation Nehemiah (in the Levi's home ;) I heard a song called 'Grace and Peace' by Fernando Ortega  & this sadness & desire for others to know His grace and peace came over me and I was burdened to pray for those who are struggling. It is very clear to me, now, that I would have continued doing what I was doing in the kitchen had this sadness not come over me and I am now comforted to know that the God was bringing us into what He was doing in the lives of others.  After awhile, I asked Roger and Emma to join me, because I was just so burdened. "Where two or more are gathered, there I AM..."

Later, around 1:30 pm, we called William's brother's cell phone in South Sudan in order to reach William (8:30 pm there) and Jon answered Michael's cell phone!! He shared that they had had a most difficult day, as some events of the day were extremely discouraging and very concerning. As he explained his concerns and the trials that were faced by others earlier that day, I started to cry and shared with Him how the Lord had moved us to pray... and we got to pray with him before our SKYPE credit ran out. 

The next day, we hear from Josh after several days being out of the regular communication online that we normally have. He had been at an Out Post where the internet is nil. And he simply got on fb to send a long message about how he loved and missed everyone and how much he was looking forward to coming home. (This is the first time he has expressed that so fully)  I just happened to get online just then, so we were able to chat.  It turns out he had been in his first fire fight on Monday.  It's hard to accurately read emotion in a facebook message, but he sounded excited about it, but also a bit relieved and of course, his initial communication of love was an indication of the emotional impact it had on him.

So both our boys were struggling more than they ever had before on Monday and the Holy Spirit had us interceding for them and way beyond them for others. I don't believe that unless we pray, God's hands are tied, but I do believe that our Father wants His children to be a part of what He is about in this world and there we SEE His glorious love and mercy and power at work and we come to know Him more and more! Oh how I praise his name! What a comfort it is to my mother's heart, that our Father would draw me into what He is about in our children's lives and beyond! Oh how I rejoice in God our Saviour!!

He is real!! He cares and He knows what He is about and He is doing this glorious work of revealing Himself to His children and drawing them to Himself. 

Sharing one of many of Steven Curtis Chapman's recent songs that show the fruit of what they have suffered and the fruit of clinging to the Lord in trials!!

Lay your head down tonight
Take a rest from the fight
Don’t try to figure it out
Just listen to what I’m whispering to your heart
‘Cause I know this is not
Anything like you thought
The story of your life was gonna be
And it feels like the end has started closing in on you
But it’s just not true
There’s so much of the story that’s still yet to unfold

And this is going to be a glorious unfolding
Just you wait and see and you will be amazed
You’ve just got to believe the story is so far from over
So hold on to every promise God has made to us
And watch this glorious unfolding

God’s plan from the start
For this world and your heart
Has been to show His glory and His grace
Forever revealing the depth and the beauty of
His unfailing Love
And the story has only begun

And this is going to be a glorious unfolding
Just you wait and see and you will be amazed
We’ve just got to believe the story is so far from over
So hold on to every promise God has made to us
And watch this glorious unfolding

We were made to run through fields of forever
Singing songs to our Savior and King
So let us remember this life we’re living
Is just the beginning of the beginning

Of this glorious unfolding
We will watch and see and we will be amazed
If we just keep on believing the story is so far from over
And hold on to every promise God has made to us
We’ll see the glorious unfolding

Just watch and see (unfolding)
This is just the beginning of the beginning (unfolding)

Also highly recommend his other songs FINISH WHAT HE STARTED, TOGETHER, FAITHFUL, QUESTIONS, and many others form his last two albums BEAUTY WILL RISE & GLORIOUS UNFOLDING

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


If you do not already know, we, Lueken’s have taken the step of faith to go full time with Operation Nehemiah. We hope to send periodic updates in the future to share ministry prayer needs & God’s faithful interventions! 

For the past year, William Levi had been asking us to join Operation Nehemiah full time.  He has lived for the past 20 years trusting God completely to provide for his family as he raises awareness, prayer support, and funds for Operation Nehemiah. As God moves on people’s hearts, He takes care of the Levi’s & the people of Borongole, as well.  Officially, our home had already become an Operation Nehemiah (East) office, out of which Jon sends his updates and we have done what we could to support Jon and also promote the ministry in small ways.  Since the time when Roger was unemployed last summer, we have been more earnestly praying about this, but still hesitating to take this step of faith as we have done in the past. For some reason it has been more difficult to take this next step than ever before.  But in many ways we have been literally hemmed in by God!!

Monday, March 31 was our first official day of full time work for Operation Nehemiah and we spent the morning in prayer and planning. Later, in the day, I emailed about availability of exhibitor tables at the MASS HOPE Conference 3 1/2 weeks away (April 25 & 26). By the next day we were overwhelmed by God’s clear hand moving on the heart of the coordinator to see if he could squeeze us into a lobby space with a handful of other ministries and the cost of the booth was exactly what God had just provided!! There are a number of other specific blessings that came from this and we were so blessed by this encouraging door that God opened, even though we inquired so late. 

We see God’s faithfulness daily providing for the needs of each day, so we trust His manna will continue as He directs our steps!!

We are praying about a travel itinerary in order to share about Operation Nehemiah as a family. We are hoping to go to a few more CONFERENCES this year when Jon is with us. Even better, we would like to set up speaking at CHURCHES or sharing in HOST HOMES. Would you be willing to invite some of your friends to come to see pictures & hear about what God is doing in South Sudan? PRAYING about heading SOUTH the latter 1/2 of JUNE to the MIDWEST in late JULY, NORTHEAST late AUGUST & SOUTHWEST in the FALL.

In addition, God is giving us insight and wisdom into Roger’s health & exhaustion issues. In the meantime, his not having to get up before 5 am to drive bus is giving him a better nights sleep, and daily he now has time for us to pray & work together on things for Operation Nehemiah & beyond as the Lord directs. Though his need for sleep has not changed, we already see a marked improvement in other areas and rejoice in God’s leading.

"Every morning in the planning of your affairs, 
acknowledge your own disability & 
commend yourself to the work of His grace in desire & action.
Entreat Him for help that Christ may live through you."  ~Samuel Ward


So good to hear Jon’s voice (4/10), he was upbeat and honest about how busy they have been, stating over and over how he has his struggles and burdens, but how much he loves it there & that God is good through it all! 

SURVEYING THE LAND - They have been very, very, busy,  spending extensive hours each of the past 8 days doing necessary survey work on the farm (Arco) with a gentleman, named Brian McKay, who is a part of the team that went over in March. Jon says that every day they tromp over miles of farmland, which he says is massive and so beautiful, and he hopes will one day be the place of his future home (the Levi’s already have picked out a spot for their future home there in the farmland).  They had almost completed walking the outer boundary after all these days and now they will spend another week or more, walking it yet again, pounding boundary stakes in as they go. He said, “I am not complaining mind you. I absolutely love it. I feel like I’m back in ALERT (Disaster Relief Training) as we’re in the wilderness, miles from the nearest person, with a 40 lb. back pack trekking in and out daily.”  Brian has been training Jonathan and another young friend of his, to use the surveying equipment asking them to lead the way and figure it out. 

BRICK PRODUCTION has waned because of the current political upheaval in the north of South Sudan and it’s effect on economic development, but Jon said they recently made some contacts that were interested in bricks. PRAYING for the Lord, to order this, bringing forth business and the the provision for needed materials and all that is needed to go forward. 

They were not able to purchase DRIP IRRIGATION SYSTEM before heading to South Sudan, but Jon feels that is God ordering their steps as the surveying is consuming alot of their time and the wet season is starting. 

HE ASKED US TO PRAY that God would provided for three things:

1.) The needed DRIP IRRIGATION EQUIPMENT to set up a trial area of farmland before going into the dry season in October.

2.)  The TRAINING COURSE he & Roger want to take in June. EQUIP International in NC. offers a week long intensive called  FARMING GOD’S WAY, taught by missionaries who have farmed and methods of drip irrigation in 3rd world countries., in hopes that he can learn more about it before he returns in late summer or early fall, as the Lord leads. We just found out from our South African friends on PEI, that there is a DVD Training Series by Brian Oldreive called FARMING GOD’S WAY. Hoping we can order it and surprise him!!

Farming God's Way/Intro to Foundation for Farming
This is a course in which the principles Foundations for Farming and Farming God's Way begun by Brian Oldreive in northern Zimbabwe will be presented... The use of various forms of drip irrigation will also be discussed.  While these methods will be covered, basics in agriculture will be the emphases for the class because it is of vital importance to understand the nutritional needs of plants and the conditions needed for them to flourish.  The participant will leave with a better understanding of not only how to grow food, but also how to integrate the information into a method of Christ-centered discipleship.
3.) PRAY for more permanent WORKERS ON THE FARM (Jon would like to be one of them) as there are no dedicated people to work farm on a regular basis.

Jon also finds that people come to him for basic MEDICAL attention and as Robert Kirkman, who is an EMT & has other medical training said, First world medical training does not adequately equip you for the needs presented to them in South Sudan. Jon and Robert Kirkman hope to be in the US for the late October(19 - 31)  Missionary Medical course through EQUIP International so they can be more appropriately equipped to help as needs arise. Thank you for PRAYING for the Lord to order their steps and provide, so they can follow through on this training.
MMI is a two-week course designed to equip missionaries with diagnostic skills and appropriate treatments. MMI enables the missionary to do physical exams, and to process the information gathered to come up with an accurate diagnosis, and a recommended treatment.

Something else to PRAY for is on Wed. evenings, William has begun a new discipleship course of foundations in the faith and the Word and lots of people are coming.  The need for a strong foundation is great in a country that has been ravaged by war and families surviving in refugee camps. Now God has them in a more stable place where they can grow in Him. 

We will be setting up a speaking itinerary for after Jon returns, Memorial Day, May 26.  If you would be willing to have us, as a family or with William & his family, to share at your church or if you would be willing to host us sharing with some of your friends in your home, please let us know!

He is so faithful and He knows what He is about in the hearts of people everywhere!
In Him Who keeps us,         Roger, Patty & Emma

PS. We happened to call last night (4/14)  to ask William a question and Jon answered and said a number of things had happened to make it a particularly difficult day. So thank you for your continued prayers for all there in Borongole. So thankful we could pray with him and entrust all into God’s sovereign care.

TESTIMONY OF GOD’s FAITHFULNESS for the Team as they departed for South Sudan

March 23, 2014 
If you haven’t already heard this, we just had to share this wonderful testimony of God's faithful/timely provision, after asking the Lord to order the packing & check in process at the airport, for those going to South Sudan, which can be stressful & expensive!!
With the help of some friends, we spent the afternoon Thurs. packing, organizing donated items, rolling clothes, & determining what light/heavy items should be packed in which of 3 duffle bags to get them all to weigh 50 lbs. Yay! Done!
THEN the next day (2 days before departure) another package arrived with donations from Missouri containing toiletries, school supplies & the cutest handmade prairie skirts with matching tops & we just HAD TO find a way to get these into Jon's bags.
THEN we got a call from a sport shoe store saying they had 6 pair of soccer cleats to donate! When Jon came back home with them, he said we just HAD TO take these to his brothers in South Sudan! We made a decision right then that we would trust God and take a 4th bag, praying that they would either discount or wave the fee all together, but if not we would cover the $200 extra bag fee.
THEN we got a call from a kind donor who apologized over and over for being late and wondered if we could still take donations of clothes etc. So I said, that if she had called a few hours ago, I would have said, sorry we couldn't, but she called at the perfect time, since we had just decided to take an extra bag and God had provided that very morning so that we had the funds to cover it. Now all we needed was a bag. She said that she actually had a bag and wanted to give $ toward the extra bag fee. When she arrived she already had 30 lbs. of donations (clothing, first aid, school & sewing supplies) in A HUGE GREEN DUFFLE BAG and gave us $60 toward the extra cost. I was overwhelmed and in awe of God's perfect timing and abundant provision. Her bag was so easy to pack and we still had room after it reached 50 lbs. which is significant!!
AT THE AIRPORT, the team of 10 could take 30 bags for FREE (3 per person) but there were 32 total, so it was decided that rather than pay $200 each for 2 extra bags we would break up 2 boxes of transmitter radios and stick them in as many containers and bags as we could and not go over weight. This BIG GREEN DUFFLE BAG had plenty of room and was the only one that ended up being overweight and the overweight charge? It was $60, just what that kind donor felt led to give! God is real, He is with us, and He is SO good!
Oh, and I totally forgot to add that the lady at the counter tagged 31 bags!! Whether we counted wrong or she tagged a bag twice we will never know, but she insisted the computer said we had 31 bags and asked how we would pay the $200 for the extra bag. William hesitated and was so puzzled and kept going over the numbers of bags that each party had & suddenly a women showed up and asked what the problem was & when the clerk explained, she said, "No problem, forget about it, let them go, it's fine." She had remembered the Levi's from their trip in 2009 and knew what they were doing was helping others on the mission field and authorized the mysterious 31st bag would not be charged!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A new place to share what God is doing!!!

As we, Lueken's, continue our journey of faith, we wanted a place to proclaim the many ways God has been and is faithful to us, His children, as we seek first the Kingdom of God...
We will be sharing prayer needs and praises for all God is doing and things that have blessed us as a family as we endeavor to follow Him!