Before > After?

Posted by Candice Scatliff, With 0 Comments, Category: Newsletters,
Before... And after.
At 4:40 am, while we blissfully slept, the power went out. Without power, our valiant sump-pump stopped. This is the same sump-pump that had been keeping our basement dry during the record-breaking snow and rain accumulation in the Midwest. And while we rested, the basement filled with a few inches of water. When the power was restored at 9:00 am, the pump evacuated most of the standing water in our basement, but it was too late. The damage had been done. We had joined the thousands in our area with water damage. We are thankful we were home when it happened (as we had just returned from Home Mission Assignment a week earlier!), we are thankful our insurance company has been easy to deal with, and we are thankful that we are able bodied and capable of doing the restoration work ourselves to undo the damage that was done. But it sure has added a bit of chaos to our arrival home. Additionally, this adds a new element of challenge to having two families in one household. The finished part of the basement that we lost was my home schooling space, and the place where the boys and I spent most of our days at home. Again, I’m brought to thanksgiving: Our housemates are flexible and accommodating. We are treating these past few weeks (and a few more to come, I’m sure!) as establishing a new normal, just in a bit of a smaller space. 🙂
Tom's five students this month.
At the office this month, Tom has been mentoring university engineering students that have chosen to spend their spring breaks with us. Over the course of three weeks, Tom mentored five engineering interns and encouraged them to consider using their skills, passions, and education in missions. May their time at SonSet Solutions have an impact on shaping their future. May you enjoy your Easter weekend as we celebrate the resurrection of the Risen King!

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Water.. Gospel!

Posted by Candice Scatliff, With 0 Comments, Category: Blog Post, Newsletters,
We are home! We arrived home mid-February and are busy getting back to life in Elkhart. While we were away some exciting advances were made on the SonSetLinkTM remote monitoring system. Tom is part of the engineering team behind this system and one of his colleagues, Cody, and his wife, Emily, travelled to Kenya in January to test the effectiveness of this satellite-based monitor on India Mark-II hand pumps. The India Mark-II pump is the most popular water pump worldwide yet no current system exists to monitor it. Our engineers have come up with a solution to do just that.
For many in Kenya, depending an India Mark-II hand pump like this one is just a way of life.
The ministry partner Cody visited in Kenya uses these water pumps as a door to establish churches in new communities. The partner first installs a water pump in a new community and begins to preach by it on Sundays. Through this sharing of the Gospel lives are changed and people begin to come to Christ. As this continues, a church community is established and a church body built up. After a while a leader is trained up to move to a neighbouring community to begin the process again, starting with a new water well. Through this process the Gospel is being advanced in remote areas of Kenya. We couldn’t be happier to help support this ministry by providing SonSetLinkTM remote monitoring systems to help our ministry partner keep tabs on the health of the water wells. You see, the communities where he is installing them lack the skill and equipment needed to fix them when they are broken. And because they are very remote communities, no cell service is available. Previously, the only way for our ministry partner to ensure his wells, which are his lifeline in establishing the church and maintaining a relationship with the community, are functioning properly is to visit them. However, travel to do so is burdensome and time consuming.
Cody installed the equipment, and showed the villagers how to maintain it and install the next ones.
With the SonSetLinkTM remote monitoring system installed, the partner can easily check the health of wells with his cell phone and spend more of his time on ministry. Now that’s using technology-based solutions to advance the gospel worldwide!
In Other News...
On the home front, the story is Water... Damage. But that's a God-story, too, of our local church walking with us and bailing us out. But that's a story for another day.

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Getting our dose of Vitamin “Eh!”

Posted by Candice Scatliff, With 0 Comments, Category: Newsletters,
Yes, we are still in Canada finishing up an eight-week tour of updating churches and supporters. We’ve spent most of this time in the Manitoba area, but the last two weeks we’ve ventured west across Canada spending time with people in Alberta and British Columbia. We are now on our way back to Manitoba and encountered our first real Canadian winter storm of the trip.  We are thankful the weather has cooperated up until this point! Tonight we will wait out the storm in a hotel until we can get back on the road and continue on to Manitoba.
The snow forced a "timeout" in our travel plans. 60+ km/h winds are no fun!
This coming Sunday, our last Sunday on home mission assignment, will be spent speaking at a new (to us) church in Brandon, Manitoba, sharing our story with an adult Sunday school group. On Tuesday, February 6th, Candice will be sharing with the women’s Coffee Connection group at WEFC, a church in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We will depart for Indiana on the 7th. Between now and our departure we will continue to meet with supporters and friends.
Last time we visited our supporters in BC vs. now!
This journey has been one of incredible blessing: Not only have we had the honor to share what the Lord has done, but we’ve also been encouraged and loved on. I must admit being on the road for so long has its challenges, and the kids are ready to head home, but our prayer is that we will finish well during these last few days.

In Him, Tom and Candice and the boys

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2017 In Review

Posted by Candice Scatliff, With 0 Comments, Category: Newsletters,
As I scroll back on my phone through the photos of this past year, I’m in awe at what has all taken place. Here’s a recap of it for each of us and our ministries:

Matthew – Newly-minted four-year-old Matthew spends his days trying to keep up with his big brother. Not wanting to be left behind or left out, he begs me to ‘do school’ with him along with his brother. He enjoys riding his bike, building rockets, knock-knock jokes, and pretty much anything Lego. Matthew has a very active imagination and still talks about being worried the cooked crocodile we ate in Congo would bite him back when he ate it.

Jonathan – It’s been a big year for Jonathan, transitioning from age five to six, finishing kindergarten and enjoying grade one. He lost his first tooth while we were in Congo, joined the swim club in Elkhart this fall, and is flourishing in school.  At the time of writing, he aspires to be an astronautical engineer. He figures it’s much safer to be the one designing the rocket than to be the astronaut inside it. Riding his bike, writing stories, and ‘tinkering’ (engineering inventions from craft supplies and household materials) are his all-time favorite activities.

Candice – It’s been a year of speaking engagements, from being the keynote speaker at a conference in Manitoba in the spring to reporting on Congo at Ontario Christian Gleaners this fall. Much of 2017 has been shaped by our time in Congo: from preparation before departure, establishing the feeding program at Pioneer Christian Hospital while there, and now reporting on the program and providing follow up from afar. In addition to the Republic of Congo, Candice traveled to Dominican Republic to assist in community development projects. Homeschooling the boys is where her heart remains, and she is thoroughly enjoying studying along with her two little pupils.

Tom – Tom continues to love his dream job of putting his engineering mind to use creating technology-based solutions to advance the gospel worldwide. He loves learning from his like-minded plaid-doting colleagues and enjoys shooting off model rockets with our boys.

As a family, some of our highlights of the year were sleeping under bug nets while serving together in the Republic of Congo this past spring, getting acquainted with the other Canadian Reach Beyond missionaries at our 50th anniversary in Ontario this fall, and opening our home to a family of six who have been living with us for the past three months. Two thousand seventeen has been a rich year for growing our relationships with each other and stretching our faith.

On the ministry front it has been a very diverse year. In addition to our projects abroad, Tom finished the new generation of the SonSet radio, a solar-powered fixed-tuned handheld radio used as a ministry device in countries around the world.  These radios are tuned to Christian stations and are sent to ministry partners in areas without power and often without literacy. An order of 5,000 of the new generation radios has been placed, with more than half of these already spoken for by ministry partners. Tom continues to work on the software development side of adding a recorded audio bible to the radio and looks forward to completing the project in 2018.

The first prototype of the electronic power protection (EPP) system that’s designed to save radio station broadcasting equipment from bad power is completed and is in its final testing phase. This prototype unit is destined for ELWA hospital in Liberia in the first quarter of 2018 for final field-testing.

As for the satellite-based water well monitoring system he works on, over 250 units have been shipped this year alone and they are operating in 14 different countries. These satellite monitoring systems help ensure wells are healthy and operational. Tom also continues his software development project for Radio Lumiere, a radio station in Haiti, to move their audio content from hard copies (such as CDs and audio cassettes) to digital. As the progress moves forward, there’s a possibility of Tom heading to Haiti in early spring to provide training on the new software system.

We are currently in Manitoba on Home Ministry Assignment (HMA). This means for the following six weeks we will be meeting with supporting churches, mission committees, supporters, family, and friends to provide updates on our ministry and be transparent about our support needs. Unfortunately, this past spring our health care insurance provider in Canada stopped offering coverage to missionaries residing in the USA. Because of this change we were forced to move to a much more costly USA-based health insurance plan. This mandatory move has resulted in our monthly ministry expenses being significantly higher than our current monthly support. To put it plainly, we are now short $1,032 per month. We are relying on the Lord’s will to be done regarding this scenario. As such, we will be sharing about this shortfall during our time in Canada, but we want to ensure this prayer request doesn’t overshadow our praise regarding what God has done this past year with the ministries we are involved in.

Our church schedule for the next few weeks is below. We would love to see you during our time in Canada and thank you, personally, for your support and share with you what the Lord has done.
December 10: Walnut Hill Bible Church (Baraboo, WI) December 17: Winnipeg Evangelical Free Church & Seraph Evangelical Free Church (Winnipeg, MB) December 24: Grace Bible Church (Dauphin, MB) December 31: Westend Community Church (MacGregor, MB) January 7: Christian Life Centre (Morden, MB) January 14: Parkside Gospel Church (Dauphin, MB) TBA: Faith Fellowship Baptist Church (Brandon, MB)
Enjoy this Christmas season as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas!

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5, 4, 3, 2… Never mind. Scatliff Newsletter November 2017

Posted by Candice Scatliff, With 0 Comments, Category: Newsletters,
 
Family photo op in front of NASA's "Rocket Garden". (Like our homemade t-shirts?)

5, 4, 3, 2... Never mind.

After a whirlwind of speaking engagements and project deadlines at the office earlier this month the family drove to Louisville, Kentucky to partake in the Global Missions Health Conference. This conference is an annual event that gathers thousands of mission-minded people for networking, learning, and encouraging. During the three day conference there were plenty of interesting workshops, speakers, and time to catch up with people we’ve worked with over the years. For example, a doctor we served alongside during our time in Shell, Ecuador eight years ago, and a nurse from Impfondo, Congo we served with just a few months ago. It was a great time of encouragement.

After the conference the family took a road-trip vacation. With the cooler packed with food and staying at friends’ of friends we made our way to Cape Canaveral, Florida. This is the home of Kennedy Space Center and an absolute thrill for our geeky family. We spent three days at the Space Center and thoroughly enjoyed it. There was a rocket scheduled to launch on our third day, which we were all exceptionally excited about, but unfortunately it was scrubbed with just four hours left on the countdown clock. In the words of six year old Jonathan “That’s okay, look what we get to do instead!” referring to the fun of just spending time together. Sometimes kids just get things right.

 
There's no place like home!
After our 1900 km (1200 mile) trip home we are now back at the office for two weeks and preparing for a trip to Manitoba. We will be speaking at supporting churches in the Manitoba area from December 17th through the end of January. We are still putting together a schedule and are eager to meet with groups, speak at functions, and visit churches. Please contact us if you’re willing to host an event or simply want to hear more about our work, time in Congo, and plans for the coming year.

We appreciate you and the sacrifices you make to keep us in ministry. If you are in the Manitoba area, we look forward to seeing you and thanking you in person!

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Household of Ten. Scatliff Newsletter September 2017

Posted by Candice Scatliff, With 0 Comments, Category: Newsletters,






Our household of ten is starting to get settled – thank you to those who sent words of encouragement! Mid-September we traveled to Ontario, Canada to attend Reach Beyond Canada’s 50th anniversary celebration. The week was spent attending training sessions, getting to know our fellow Canadian missionaries who serve in various countries, and hearing about the future direction of the Canadian office.  It was a great week. Although the office is relatively small, it’s interesting to note that we had missionaries representing every inhabited continent of the globe.

While in Canada we provided a report to Ontario Gleaners, the partner organization that provided the dehydrated food items for Pioneer Christian Hospital in Congo. I’m honoured to have been asked to return and speak at their annual fundraising dinner in the spring.

We are now back in Elkhart and it’s full steam ahead on work projects.  I’m encouraged to hear that our colleagues at the Elkhart office have been able to assist ministry partners that have been affected by the recent natural disasters in the south by providing consultation and assistance to help radio stations get back on the air. Thank you for your sacrifices and support so we can continue serving in missions.

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A change of season. Scatliff Newsletter August 2017

Posted by Candice Scatliff, With 0 Comments, Category: Newsletters,
The change of season at the end of August has always been a time of transition, new beginnings, and excitement: Starting a new grade, taking off to university… Getting married! This fall Tom and I will be celebrating our 10-year wedding anniversary with yet another new beginning.

October 2007

After hosting dozens of family members, friends, interns, and yes, sometimes even strangers in our home over the past three years we are now embarking on a new adventure. On August 31st a family of six (a husband and wife, along with their four young children) will be joining us in our home for the next few months. The reasons for the move are many, but above all else we feel blessed that God has provided us a home and look forward to sharing it full-time with others. We don’t expect the transition to be easy, but we do feel that it is right. We would appreciate prayers for this merger of lives, especially during the initial transition period. Oh, and for some sort of calm. There will be six children age six and under living in the same house. I think this is going to be really great for my prayer life.  

The Scatliff Homeschool Academy is back up and running. Jonathan is now in Grade 1 and Matthew begins Pre K this year. We are still very much enjoying homeschooling and the flexibility in schedule it provides; a lot of travel has been planned for the fall.

Jonathan's first day in the Scatliff Homeschool Academy's Grade 1 class.

In September we will be attending Reach Beyond Canada’s 50th anniversary celebration hosted in Mississauga, Ontario. It will be a time of connecting with our missionary colleagues (coming in for the celebration from all over the world!), receiving training and counseling, and spending time with the team in our sending office.

At the office at home here in Elkhart, Tom continues his work on firmware for the new version of the SonSet® radio and has shifted some of his time again to Radio Lumiere, a Christian radio station in Port Au Prince, Haiti (the one he visited for a few weeks last winter). He is engineering wireless sensors for tracking ambient temperature and voltage coming in to the station from generator and city power supplies. One of the station’s computer servers is frequently crashing and he’s trying to determine the cause. Perhaps a pattern between ambient temperature, voltage, and server faults will emerge and point to a solution to this problem.

I (Candice) continue to be a consultant to the Nutrition HELP feeding program in Congo and have a number of speaking engagements booked throughout the fall. While we are in Ontario in September I will present a report on the feeding program in Congo to Ontario Christian Gleaners, the organization that provided the dehydrated produce for the program.  I am also scheduled as a guest speaker at two women’s ministry group gatherings in November (something similar to the Ladies Rally I spoke at in Manitoba last spring).  Although I can’t say public speaking is my favorite, I do appreciate the opportunity to share God’s story of what He has done in my life. This past August 9th, I celebrated my 11th anniversary as a sister in Christ.

We appreciate you and all you do to keep us in ministry. We hope you, too, are looking forward to some new beginnings this fall.

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We are home! Scatliff Newsletter July 2017

Posted by Candice Scatliff, With 0 Comments, Category: Newsletters,
We made it home to Elkhart, Indiana late June and now July, too, is nearly behind us. Our time in Congo has given us a lot to think about and certainly challenges our day-to-day decisions.  If you are willing, please pray for the Lord to make it clear how we are to advance in ministry in the years to come.

Candice leading a nutrition class in the Dominican Republic.

This past month has been filled with much activity. I (Candice) was part of a 10-person team from People’s Bible Church in Indiana to travel to Dominican Republic. We assisted a Kids Alive ministry site in the city of Santo Domingo during the first week of July.  Kids Alive, the same organization I assisted in both Haiti and Peru, is establishing a new school for underprivileged kids in the Dominican and I was able to provide nutrition training to the school’s cooks as well as parents of prospective children. They are set to open the school this August.

Tom’s return to the office in Elkhart has been very welcomed.  He helped host an Open House at SonSet Solutions, where we work on loan from Reach Beyond. The Open House was held on Saturday, July 22nd and introduced the ministry to hundreds of individuals from the surrounding community. The day included many hands-on stations featuring our technology that is used to advance the gospel worldwide.

Jean (who we met in Congo) takes his SonSet radio around with him wherever he goes.

Tom’s main focus at the office has now shifted to updating the firmware on the new version of the SonSet Radio. When he finishes this, five thousand radios will be ordered for our ministry partners located around the globe.

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It was worth it! Scatliff Newsletter June 2017

Posted by Candice Scatliff, With 0 Comments, Category: Newsletters,
Seven weeks in Congo have come to an end. By the time you receive this we, Lord willing, will be boarding our first of three flights taking us back to Canada.  I could give you lists of jobs completed, challenges endured, and parasites we’ve had to remove from our bodies… But all I want to tell you is that it was worth it. And I don’t think there’s a better way than to tell you about Emily.

Emily

Emily suffers from epilepsy. A few weeks ago she had a seizure and fell into her cooking fire. Her family rushed her to Pioneer Christian Hospital where surgeons did their best to save as much of her extremities as possible. Try as they did, the damaged sustained to her body resulted in losing most of her right arm and parts of her left. The family, now hours away from their village, employment, and home, were stressed at the thought of a long-term hospital stay. Staff and missionaries did all they could to assist the family, but Emily’s prognosis was not good. She wasn’t healing and was becoming more frail by the day. An infection would have been lethal. Then it was discovered that the money given to the family to provide food for Emily, which is only available in the most dire of situations, was being consumed in the form of alcohol by her daughter, her supposed care provider. Emily, now a burden to her family, was not being fed.

Emily is one of many patients in difficult situations at Pioneer Christian Hospital, where we have been serving these past seven weeks. The 60-bed facility serves some of the most vulnerable – refugees, indigenous people, and those suffering from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and leprosy. The hospital, like many in the developing world, is strapped for resources and could not provide for the nutritional needs of patients. That was left to the patient’s care provider. For many though, like Emily, that system wasn’t conducive to healing. And without nourishment, healing is impossible.

In 2016, after a visit to PCH, God burdened me with the seemingly impossible task of creating a feeding program that would meet the nutritional needs of all inpatients. We prayed and begged God for provision.

We launched a funding campaign for such a feeding program, and the Lord provided! This trip to Congo was my return to implement the program by hiring and training staff, ironing out distribution logistics, and transferring these responsibilities to local staff. Operating on a strict budget and within limited space and skill, the hospital now meets the daily nutritional needs of all inpatients – a feat that was once seemingly impossible, now fulfilled by God!

When we arrived, Emily was already a patient at PCH in the post-surgery ward, under the difficult circumstances I described above. The feeding program started a few weeks into Emily’s hospital stay, and thanks to those hot nourishing meals, she is recovering! She is now healing well, in good spirits, and is gaining strength and independence by the day. Her story is only one of many that I have witnessed, and will be one of thousands during the years to come.

  

From the bottom of my heart (and Emily’s too!) thank you for your support of this program and sending us back to the Congo to implement it.  You have made an incredible difference in the lives of so many people.

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Hello from Congo! Scatliff Newsletter May 2017

Posted by Candice Scatliff, With 0 Comments, Category: Newsletters,
Bats live between the ceiling and the roof of our house, you can hear them scurry during the day and fly at night. The refrigerator only operates four hours a day (when the generator is on) and the national fuel shortage means there’s no replacement once our propane tank for the stove runs out. This week alone we’ve lost power every night, ran out of water twice, and internet connectivity is… Sketchy at best.

Welcome to the Congo!

Exploring a local palm forest

Our family of four arrived in Africa at the beginning of May, after a wonderful week in Montreal connecting with supporters and friends. Since arriving in Impfondo, Congo we’ve come to appreciate rising early with the sun to get productive before the scorching heat of the day saps all energy and going to bed early (because that heat did indeed take our energy!). Our main purpose here is to help establish a feeding program for Pioneer Christian Hospital, a missionary hospital that serves refugees, indigenous groups, and the local population mainly afflicted with HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, and neglected diseases like leprosy. I traveled here a year ago to help support the hospital in combating rampant malnutrition in the area. As part of that trip, it became quite apparent that the hospital itself needed a program to help nourish its patients. A funding campaign was launched in late 2016 and funds were raised to provide such a program and now we are back here in Congo to implement it.

Our time here was off to a rocky start as multiple family members were sick for the first few weeks. Never again will I complain of having gastrointestinal illness run through the family when I actually have access to a washer and dryer! Hand washing and line-drying during the rainy season has its challenges, I tell you.

The "Nutrition HELP" staff cooking the meal

But alas, now most days we are fairly healthy and we’ve gotten down to work! After recruiting, training, and panning out some logistics, the feeding program has started -- Praise the Lord! We’ve hired two local ladies to prepare the food and although they were considerably nervous and a tad overwhelmed during our initial meetings, they’ve now completed their first three days and things have gone swimmingly. Today after work I took them to the market to purchase fabric. As a gift for encouragement we are having special aprons made for them as official uniforms. Both Feli and Marie cheered at the news. I thank God that the Nutrition HELP team’s dynamics has shifted from one of nervousness and distrust, to one of friendship and support.

Feli and Marie getting ready to serve the patients

In addition to the feeding program, my time has been spent working on a partnership to set up an organic garden here on the hospital grounds. Poverty, malnutrition, and disease (which are all interrelated) are rampant here in Impfondo. The goal of the garden is to not only produce food that will be used to feed patients, but also provide an example to the community of sustainable agriculture to increase food security and, when successful, increase socioeconomic status by selling excess at market.

Tom’s work, in contrast, has been more varied in nature. His engineering skills and willingness to help has led him to working with the electrical system, solar panels, and communication system (VHF radios) at the hospital; he’s helped out with auto mechanics, at the radio station, providing live translation of church services, and assisting staff members with their computers. His to-do list varies from adjusting wheelchairs to installing car parts.

The kids have adjusted fairly well. Unfortunately three-year-old Matthew has probably been sick at least half the time we’ve been here so far, but we are thankful our colleagues are nurses and doctors so we have many eyes on him.  We’ve continued homeschooling during our time in Congo, but are trying to emphasize lessons in social studies, life skills, and applying biblical principles – things we are all learning, to be sure.

Thank you for your prayer and financial support. It is what sustains us! Without you, we simply couldn’t be here. May God bless you for that.

In Him.

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