Friday, November 4, 2011

Latest News from Finland

As the time has come to submit both a newsletter and prayer focus, we chose to make this email a dual-purpose one as it will save all of us some time (smile). Thank you in advance for understanding. We have been praying for TEAM FINLAND, our family, and our friends, and hope that all of you are doing well and being blessed.
We appreciate you!

Mark, Glenda,
Miranda, & Candace Alphin
UPCI Missionaries to Finland

Language Study
- Tarvitsemme paljon rukousta. Suomen on vaikeaa. We need much prayer. Finnish is difficult. It is a goal that we will achieve! We know that it is possible, because other many foreigners have learned to speak the language.  Your continued prayers for clarity and understanding will go a long way in helping us get past some of the mental hurdles that we face on a daily basis. 
Bible Studies - We are continuing to teach those who are hungry to learn! Pray that all involved would have spiritual understanding and wisdom. Learning about God and His Word is eternally important, and we want to do all that we can to offer the right information at the right time.
Miranda - She is continuing to assist the church in Copenhagen, Denmark as AIM until mid-December. We are praying that God shows her what steps to take as she makes plans for the future here in Finland. Additionally, she has been sick numerous times since arriving in Denmark, and needs a spiritual covering from infirmity.
Candace - Her school load is very heavy. In addition to her 12th grade studies, Finnish class requires 4 hours of class time each week in addition to a 'pile of homework.' She needs a covering of peace for her mind in the midst of the stress she faces on a daily basis.
Holidays are approaching - As the time for year-end celebration draws near, one's heart and mind tends to drift towards family. We ask for your prayers as we make plans to celebrate our first Thanksgiving and Christmas in Finland. Additionally, this will be the first Thanksgiving that we will not  celebrate as a whole family, as Miranda will be in Denmark. Thank you in advance to those who understand 'distance between loved ones' and pray for this need.
Planning for 2012 - We are in conversation with a number of people regarding missions trips to Finland. We need wisdom regarding these activities.


In September, we were introduced to Douglas by Joe, a young man who experienced salvation in Germany. Joe had been talking to Douglas about the Lord, and revelation was received regarding baptism. They made the 2-hour drive to our home, where we were honored to baptize Douglas in the wonderful name of Jesus. Douglas also received the baptism of the Holy Spirit shortly thereafter! It was altogether humbling and awesome to experience this within our own home. Thank you, Jesus, for another soul added to the rolls of glory!


 As of this writing, we have just completed our fifth week of classes. It is an intense course that requires many hours of independent study. Thankfully, our teacher is patient and willing to answer any and all questions that we have for her! We have also enjoyed establishing new friendships with our fellow students. Thank you to those who joined with us in prayer regarding a viable option for learning - He answered! And, to those who support us in finance, thank you for enabling us to achieve this goal.

On Sunday afternoons, we have a group meeting in our home and enjoy a visitor about every other week. God said in His Word that where two or three agree, He is in the midst of them. We are grateful for His Presence, for it is always in our home, but during group meetings He inhabits our praise in such a sweet and gentle way. We are not dismayed that our number is small, for everything happens in His time and season, and our family is excited about offering opportunities for others to enjoy His presence with us.

At the close of September, we enjoyed a visit from Robert and Jerolyn Kelley, our Area Coordinator. It was truly a pleasure to become more acquainted and share a part of our beloved country with them as well. The time of fellowship revealed a past connection: Glenda grew up in the church that both Bro. Kelley's sister's husband (Rev. James K. Stewart) and Sis. Kelley's grandfather (Rev. George W. Chambers) pastored in Columbus, Ohio. Glenda's father had also taught Bro. Kelley's Sunday School class. It Robert Kelley-Mark Alphinwas fun to recount the memories of days gone by! The Kelley's intercessor team in Scotland has been upholding us in prayer since we arrived in Finland, and especially since we began language studies. It has been of immense strength to us! We are very thankful for the Kelley's and their ministry, greatly appreciate their support of our family, and look forward to working with them to reach our region.
Last week, Miranda's computer ceased to function and it appears that she will need to purchase a new one as soon as possible. Currently, the AIM funds available in her account will not cover this expense. If you are able to assist in defraying the cost, we know that she would appreciate it.
Thank you in advance for considering Miranda's need. It is urgent, as she is assisting Pastor Chris Brett in Copenhangen as Executive Assistant. Additionally, she volunteers for UPCI Associates in Missions as Managing Editor of their e-newsletter. It is impossible for her to complete either of these tasks without a computer.

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