In Memory of Micah Gifford
On the evening of December 7, 2006, our dear friends, Dale and Marsha
Gifford, received the most horrifying news that any parent could ever
receive. Two somber soldiers, a sergeant and a chaplain, came to their door
and said, “We are sorry to inform you that your son, Cpl. Micah Stephen
Gifford, was killed by an IED in Baghdad, Iraq today.”
Cpl. Micah Gifford
Marsha wrote, “Our hearts are broken. But I am so proud of him and his walk
with the Lord, his faith, and his optimism. He was such a blessing. Oh!
We’ll miss him so! But I’m happy for him, too. Heaven is such a wonderful
place. We can’t even imagine it!”
Dale (minister of the Skyline Church of Christ in Auburn, California) wrote,
“My son said on his web site, just before he left for Iraq, ‘Don’t pray that
I come home soon. Pray that the people who are causing us to stay there can
see the light and change their ways without harm coming to them.’ In life,
my son was unable to bring light to the good people steeped in the Muslim
faith. Perhaps, through his death, he can motivate those of us left behind
to do the right thing and bring the light of God to the world of Islam.
“Marsha and I have determined to go beyond lip service to spreading the
Gospel. The blood of our son has motivated us to do what we should have done
for the blood of our Savior long ago. We are not only giving $5,000 to WEI;
we are, on this day, committing ourselves to participate in the teaching of
the Gospel in Albania or any other Islamic-saturated country. We have long
known that God is using WEI in a most effective way among the good people
trapped in the Muslim religion. We want to help your efforts! The task is
daunting, and the path is unsure, but we must do something.”
While he was a student at Harding University, Micah was a linebacker on the
football team. One of his fellow-students writes, “Micah was not only a
soldier of this great country, but more importantly, he was a soldier of
In lieu of flowers, the Giffords have asked that contributions be sent to
May God bless the memory of Micah Gifford, and may the Lord bring comfort
and strength to his grieving family.
Winning Albanians to Christ
Çimi Kafexhiu, minister of the church of Christ in Durrës, Albania, just
keeps on sending exciting reports. God is obviously blessing him and those
who are working with him.
On November 16, Çimi wrote, “We rejoice with the angels in heaven for four
new souls added to the body of Christ in Durrës.
“On September 12th, Sinela Gjeci met Christ at the cross (baptism) and was
connected with His blood and received the forgiveness of sins.
“Also on September 17th, Dorjan Paja was born again of water and the Spirit.
“On October 4th, Laureta Arapi (my wife’s cousin) declared Christ as her
Lord and Savior by being baptized in his name.
“On November 5th, Arlind Veshti confessed Jesus and was
baptized in His name.
Çimi Baptizes Arlind Veshti
More recently, Çimi reported two more baptisms in Durrës: Klajdi Bido, a boy
in his last year of High School, and Iva Demka, a girl in her second year of
High School. Çimi says, “Overall, the church in Durrës had 14 baptisms in
2006.” Almost all of them are faithful so far. Praise God. Most of them
continue to study the Bible with teachers here in Durrës.
“There are about 8 teachers who are teaching Bible through English using WEI
materials on a full time basis. Included in this number of teachers is our
secretary Suela Kurti. She is teaching beginners on a full schedule.
“The four girls of the AIM [Adventures in Missions] team in Durrës have
become a blessing to the church. They are a great
influence on the new students coming to learn English.”
AIMers Anna, Rachel, Sarah, and Robbie
Bledi Valca and three other young men have been studying under Steve
Stamatis at International Bible Institute of Albania for a year now, and all
have experienced tremendous growth.
Bledi says, “It is amazing to consider that we have completed one year of
studies. During this time we have had 26 courses, over 1000 hours of
classroom studies, and countless hours of private studies.
“It is by the grace and the mercy of God that this has happened. May He
receive all the glory!”
New Birth in Elbasan
Bledi and his lovely wife Valbona, travel from Tirana to Elbasan twice a
week to work with the church.
In his most recent newsletter, Bledi gave some thrilling news. He said,
“Ilir Kura, the husband of our sister Vera, put on Christ December 24. The
same day he celebrated his 45th birthday. His son Igli and Darina (one of
our members in Elbasan) have studied with Ilir.”
Ilir’s baptism is especially exciting to those of us who have known and
loved Vera. She is a real servant at heart and casts a tall shadow of
influence in the church in Elbasan.
Praise God that Vera and Ilir are now one in Christ.
Bledi Reads Scripture at Ilir’s Baptism
Christians in Kenya
In December, Nkurunziza Jean De La Paix, wrote, “Two ladies and a young
man were baptized this morning. The young man is a WEI student. He is called
Rudi Bihojo Anderson. He was born in 1985, and he is a Congolese by
nationality. He lives here in Kenya as a refugee in a place called Dandora.
He has been a Muslim for three years.”
Recently, Jean wrote, “This last Saturday, 6th of January 2007, Charles
Anunda Nyaega Mogoka received his baptism and accepted Jesus as his Savior.
He is 49 years old. He is married and has three children. He enrolled in WEI
on the 9th of June, 2006. His daughter, also, has shown an
interest in Christ.”
Charles Anunda Nyaega Mogoka Is Baptized into Christ
News from Cambodia
Betty Nance, longtime WEI teacher and supporter from Tuscumbia, Alabama
writes, “I had an email from Marie-Claire [McDonough] today about the work
in Cambodia. She said my student who was baptized while I was there is still
coming. Other students are also being baptized.
“My student, Kim Yim (standing next to me in the picture) was a very sweet
young man. He came to school one day and asked, ‘How long does it take to
baptize someone?’ I responded, ‘About 30 minutes with the preparation
getting to the water.’ Then he said, ‘Where do you baptize?’ and I told him
I thought there was a baptistery where the church met. Then I asked, ‘Do you
want to be baptized?’ and he responded with a big smile, ‘Yes.’ I took his
hands and said, ‘Then, you will be my brother in Christ.’ I was so happy to
have him worship with me for two Sundays before I left for
Betty Nance, Kim Yim, and His New
Brother in Christ
of Bible Scam
Bob and Jan Towell issue the following warning: “The man responsible for
scamming thousands of dollars in 2005 in a scheme to smuggle Bibles into
Libya is unfortunately still at work. In the past few weeks, brethren in
Austria, Switzerland, England, and Italy have been approached with
variations of the original scheme.
“Please be aware that at least some appeals for help to get Bibles into
Muslim countries are fraudulent. If you would like the benefit of our sad
experience in evaluating a request you have received, forward the request to
If you would like to teach people about Christ through regular mail, please
contact Debbie Henry at the Gresham office
If you would prefer to teach through email, contact Bob
and Jan Towell at BobTowell@aol.com
Tom, Angie, Brianna, & Bianca Langley
As we begin the New Year, we are thankful
to God for last year’s blessings, and we are looking forward to new
challenges and opportunities in 2007.
This year, the Maryville office has agreed to take on a greater role in
promoting WEI worldwide, and we are looking forward to this challenge.
I want to share with you some very exciting news about a new WEI program.
The program is called our World English Institute Short-term Mission Grant,
or WEISTM Grant. The purpose of this grant is to provide up to 20% of the
total cost for individuals who wish to participate in a short-term mission
using WEI material. Raising money can sometimes be a daunting task,
especially for full-time students, or those with ongoing family financial
obligations, or those living on fixed-incomes. Therefore, we hope this grant
will give potential WEI teachers the incentive to continue their fundraising
efforts, and encourage them to answer the call of the great commission.
The blessings and benefits of teaching the Gospel in a WEI short-term
mission are numerous. Many of our short-term teachers have made the decision
to serve full-time in the mission field. The WEI short-term mission has also
served as a catalyst to deeper spiritual growth and development, especially
among our younger teachers. Many of our teachers have returned from the
mission field with a more dedicated desire and commitment to serve God in
their local home churches.
We immediately began praying that God
would provide money to begin funding this grant. He answered our prayers,
and we now have a designated account with an initial contribution for this
fund. Please consider partnering with us in the further funding of this
grant. One hundred percent of your tax deductible contribution will help
send someone to the mission field to share the Good News of Jesus to a lost
and dying world.
For more information about the WEISTM Grant and an application brochure,
please call or write us here at the Maryville office.
Love, ---Tom & Angie
Dick and Maudine Ady
It is inspiring to watch God work in the world removing mountains of
opposition, tearing down walls, and penetrating the enemy’s strongholds.
For example, Bob Patterson (WEI webmaster) sent a picture of one of his
students—a handsome, well-dressed, smiling young man in the world’s most
populous country. Bob said, “My student was baptized this week and is going
strong. He is now studying The New Life each day. Doesn’t he look happy?”
Fred Uptagrafft sent a picture of one of his students in Malawi and said, “I
am glad to send you a photo and a few words about Dokiso Beston Munthali. He
was baptized sometime before May 29, 2006. On 9-6-06, he enrolled in
A multi-purpose building is under construction in Tirana, Albania, and
everything is on schedule. By early June, the building project should be
complete, and if another $45,000 can be raised for furniture and appliances,
it will be ready for use. The church, WEI, and IBIA will all be using the
facility to build up the kingdom of God in Albania and beyond. The new
building will be dedicated to God some time this summer in conjunction with
a big WEI short-term mission effort. The Lord is blessing the work in
The story goes on and on. God is using WEI in 189
nations. More and more people are becoming involved in WEI, and more and
more students are enrolling. Expenses are mounting up, but we are confident
that God will provide the needed resources.
If you would like to invest in eternity by including WEI in your will,
please contact Jim Fox at
email@example.com. Jim is an attorney by profession, a former elder,
and a member of the WEI board. He will tell you how to use your estate to
lead people to Christ long after you are gone.
Maudine and I thank you for your ongoing support and encouragement. Because
of your generosity, WEI ended 2006 in the black. Thank you!!!
Our hearts are full of love and gratitude. May God bless you with a happy,
healthy, fruitful 2007.
---Dick and Maudine