We wish you all a very happy (Chinese) New Year! For our family, it is a year of new beginnings. We moved from Ohio to De Soto, Kansas (just west of Kansas City) in December and we are settled now in our townhouse here. Over the Christmas holiday season we enjoyed a family vacation to Florida and then visited with other family members back in the Akron, Ohio area. During that time Duane was hospitalized for three days in Akron City Hospital with abdominal pains. This was the third such episode he has had in the last three or four months. It was discovered that the cause of the pain was scar tissue affecting the small intestine in the area where he had major surgery back in Nov. 2009. The doctors did not recommend further surgery to remove the scar tissue and risk having more scar tissue developing. No other concerns were identified through other lab tests and x-rays, however they said there is always a chance he could have more episodes in the future and there is nothing he can do to prevent them. We appreciate your prayers for Duane.
Our son Sean continues to live in Cairo, Egypt where he works for an advertising media company as a copy editor. His two-year contract there ends in August of this year. He is looking into work and graduate school options after the contract ends. Please keep Sean in your prayers as he makes decisions about his future. Our daughter Erin is in her sophomore year at Judson University near Chicago majoring in Environmental Science and then our youngest daughter Shannon is a freshman at Indiana-Wesleyan University in Marion, IN. studying Biology. So, our family is scattered these days!
We moved to Kansas City to be closer to the Central Baptist Theological Seminary (CBTS). While we continue to be jointly-appointed missionaries with International Ministries, ABC-USA and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, we have entered into a new partnership with CBTS to expand upon their “Foundations” Program. We are helping to organize classes to give the pastors from Burma who are serving immigrant congregations the opportunity for further theological training in their languages (Karen, Chin, Burmese). The idea is to have these classes in various locations around the country where church leaders can more easily attend the classes one weekend per month. They will receive a certificate from the Seminary after completing the full program of ten classes. We are in the process of enlisting the instructors and hope to hold the first classes in the coming months.
In March, we are also looking forward to the arrival of a new shipment of parallel Karen-English New Testaments. The first printing was a couple years ago and sold out quickly, so we felt the demand required a second printing. Eventually, the plan is to have a parallel version of the Old Testament as well. Then, at the end of March we will attend the annual meeting of the organization, the “Karen Baptist Churches in the USA (KBC-USA)” who will be gathering near Denver, CO.
With the new year of 2012, we enter into an exciting three-year period of celebration within our ABC denomination. Starting this year, American Baptist International Ministries (IM) will begin celebrating 200 years of global mission. IM will kick off the three-year anniversary with a huge 7-day World Mission Conference (WMC) May 18 -25, 2012. After a six-year hiatus, the weeklong WMC is coming back to the Green Lake Conference Center in Green Lake, WI. The 2012 conference, which will include a 3-day call retreat, focuses on discerning God’s call to Christian service and how to make that call a reality. The theme for 2012 is “Mission3: Hear the Call”. (For more information visit: http://www.internationalministries.org/read/38513-may-2012-hear-the-call).
Moving forward into 2013, IM will be providing information about significant celebrations in Myanmar (Burma). Baptists in Myanmar are inviting American Baptists to their country to share in bicentennial celebrations. Two hundred years ago in 1813, American Baptist missionaries Adoniram and Ann Judson arrived in Burma as the first Protestant missionaries from North America. June 21-23, 2013, American Baptists in the U.S. and Puerto Rico will gather in Overland Park, KS for the ABC Biennial meeting. IM will bring its global missionary focus to the Biennial, celebrating the missionary service of the Judson’s under the theme of Mission3: Embrace the Cause! There will be many brothers and sisters from Burma participating in the Biennial program as well.
The year 2014 will include a grand finale: all the American Baptist missionaries will be brought back to the U.S. for a national bicentennial World Mission Conference to celebrate IM’s founding 200 years earlier in 1814 as the “General Missionary Convention of the Baptist Denomination in the United States of America, for Foreign Missions” and to launch us into our “third century” of global mission. The conference will be held July 19-26 at the Green Lake Conference Center in WI. The theme for 2014 will be: Mission3: Rise to the Challenge! We hope you will be able to participate in these special anniversary events in the life of our denomination.
Some have been encouraged by recent reports coming out of Burma about some positive signs that the military regime may be relaxing its’ grip on the country. There do seem to be some genuine changes, but there was a period of liberalization not many years ago followed by a change in leadership and things going back to what they had been, if not worse. So, much may be revealed with the test of time to see if these reforms will extend to the ethnic minorities as well as the Burmese majority population. The annual “Global Day of Prayer for Burma” this year is on Sunday, March 11th. Please invite your churches to participate in this observance by praying for the people of Burma especially that day. For more information about this event, you can go to: www.prayforburma.org or firstname.lastname@example.org Resource materials are produced by the organization “Christians Concerned for Burma (CCB)”.
We invite you to join us in praying for the following:
· The pastors from Burma who will be taking the “Foundations” classes over the coming months.
· The instructors who will be teaching the classes.
· The leaders of the KBC-USA as they have their annual meeting at the end of March.
· The upcoming anniversary celebrations within our ABC denomination.
· That the reforms will continue to happen inside Burma and that they will be far-reaching and long-lasting for the benefit of all ethnic groups living within the country.
· For good health and protection for our family (Duane, Marcia, Sean, Erin and Shannon).
We want to thank you all for your prayers and support for our ministry. We value your partnership and know that it is through your support that we are able to continue to serve as your missionaries. With our “Personalized Support Goal” (PSG) now at the 90% level of our total support costs, any amount you are able to give is greatly appreciated. Especially needed though are ongoing monthly commitments toward our support. Gifts can be sent to International Ministries and please be sure to make the check payable to “International Ministries” and mark the check in the memo: “for the ongoing support of Duane and Marcia Binkley”. Contributions may also be made electronically through the IM Website at: http://www.internationalministries.org/teams/48-binkley
May God bless you and may we all be faithful and fruitful in our service for the Lord in this New Year.
Duane and Marcia Binkley
Our new address is:
34212 West 90th Circle
De Soto, KS 66018
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