Missions Update Blog

Update from Rich and Merja Duke – December 2017

Dear Friends,
A Chinese student has a special reason to celebrate Christmas this year. Two years ago Summer accepted the opportunity to have an American friend through our friendship program. I matched her with a woman (Dawn) from our church and the two of them hit it off immediately. They met weekly for friendly conversation and it wasn’t long before Summer began to ask questions about Christianity and the Bible. Over time Dawn opened the scriptures and shared the good news of Jesus with Summer. After some time, Summer began to attend a Chinese church where she recived more teaching from God’s word. Her husband also attended sporatically. Dawn and Summer cotinued to meet as Dawn shared the goodness of God’s grace. On Saturday, I received a call from Dawn who excidedly shared that Summer had accepted Christ and was being baptized! Please pray for Summer to grow in her faith in Christ and for her to be a witness to her husband and others in her sphere of influence. 
Other MInistry Highlights
– We had over 30 international guests join our church’s Neighborhood Thanksgiving Meal. Several people from our church volunteered to be hosts for these guests. Many of the hosts became well-acquainted with their new friends and will be following up with them and inviting them to their homes.
– Our dinner and Bible study event “International Crossroads” continues to meet every-other Saturday. We are currently doing what we are calling “People of the Bible” series – looking at how various people in Scripture responded to God. Attendabce is steady as we have a core group of people who attend and bring their friends. A few of the internationals have been coming for quite a while and have been exposed to a good amount of scriptural truth. They need to take the step of giving their lives to Christ. Please pray for them to respond to the prompting of God’s Spirit and fully surrender to Christ.
Our hearts are full of thanks to God for all of you who pray for us and support us. Lives are being touched and lives are being changed through your prayers and giving.
In Christ,
Rich and Merja Duke
Support Address:
Horizons International
PO Box 18478
Boulder, CO 80308-1478
Home Address:
Phone: 303-551-3778


Update from Alton Cothron – December 2017

Dear Friends at EBC:


Yes, it is hard to believe but here we are almost at the end of another year. The Christmas season is in full swing with all the usual secular and commercial trappings. As Christians and servants of an Almighty and loving God it is important that we sort through all the fake, useless and non-glorifying “stuff” the world is throwing at us and find and elevate the true meaning of this season. That is not to say you can’t have a Christmas tree and exchange presents.

The words of the Psalmist in Psalm 09: 1-2 express what I am feeling at the present time, “I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth all thy marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most high.”  Certainly Christmas is a time of praise and rejoicing as we think and meditate on the magnitude of God’s plan of redemption.

Globally, the missionary enterprise has been changing very rapidly in the past few years. New and advanced technology has made some things easier, translation projects and travel to and from job sites, for example.Population shifts, emigrations are taking place that represent a big challenge and also a big opportunity for the church of Christ. Many once primitive and isolated people groups are being immersed in devastating acculturation processes My concern is that we as local churches understand what is happening worldwide and rise to the occasion with the necessary resources both human and material to meet the needs and opportunities staring us in the face.“For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou has prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” Luke 2: 30-32 My prayer is that we may see and understand these words as Simeon did as he held baby Jesus.

On a more personal note I can say that in spite having lost my dear wife in June of this year God has been very good to me and my objectives continue to be the same. I am enjoying the teaching opportunities that I have and look forward to many more. I had the privilege of spending Thanksgiving with my son and wife plus all the grandkids and great grandkids on that side of the family.

I do thank you for your prayers and financial support. For November I received via Ethnos360 $80.00. I wish you a very enjoyable and blessed Christmas and New Year.

By His Grace,

Alton Cothron



Newsletter from Brandon and Melinda Dockum – December 2017




Mold heaven =)  It’s so humid that the closets and cabinets and many other things grow mold without any other source of moisture than the air. But for me the smell is actually a bit nostalgic: I grew up in the jungle and especially my maternal grandparents’ house smelled strongly of it. We are less than a week into setting up house and are incredibly grateful to be in a safe environment and close location to those we will be working with. And coming from Colorado, it’s nice to see beautiful hills and mountains again surrounding us, a testimony of the beauty, power, and majesty of God in this place and in every place. We join the psalmist in Psalm 8 saying “How majestic is your name, God, in all the earth.”


Two days before we left Colorado, our officially stamped and authenticated birth certificates (consular reports of birth abroad) were in Washington DC. Big problem because we needed them in hand leaving for Costa Rica! After finally getting to speak with Shirley, the case worker, and explain our situation again, she over-nighted them to arrive the day before we left (at no extra cost). Praise God and thank you for your effectual prayers.


Since arriving, by God’s grace we retrieved a missing bag at the airport, survived food poisoning, and have gone through steep learning curves for things like learning how to get money, driving, banking, governmental processes, cell phones, and of course, life in Spanish – both the language and the culture.

Our second night in country we were all in bed early and suddenly the bed, walls and light fixture began shaking. Even the normally solid floor seemed to quiver like Jello and it kept getting stronger and stronger. Our oldest was asleep on the floor next to us, and as I realized it was a strong earthquake (6.4) I couldn’t think of anything else to do but hold a pillow up over her body in case something came crashing down. Welcome to life in a “seismic” place.

While cooking some breakfast oatmeal, an ant appeared to survive 35 seconds in the microwave. The lesson: we’d like to be as resilient as that ant, as was said of God’s people: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.” – Is 43:2

The almost non-existent onramps to the highways, I discovered, are not used for speeding up and merging with traffic. While attempting to do so, I almost killed a lady who had gotten out from a rideshare. Rather than get off the highway and get back on, the driver felt it was more efficient to pull over where there’s space – the onramp, as there’s no shoulder – and because the ground is often wet or dirty, she was walking nonchalantly back along the ramp. God has protected us and others from what seems like many near misses.

One of our biggest challenges has been trying to acquire Internet service: There’s only one effective provider in our area, the state company, and while we were promised that service was available, the “box” for connecting from the line in the main street is “saturated.” Our landlord has a son-in-law who works in the agency, but has cautioned us that any changes take a lot of time. Praise God a neighbor has been willing to try sharing their service for a while.
We have received a warm welcome at Iglesia Principe de Paz and have been introduced to the congregation. My oldest daughter has been talking all week about the dancers – kids who use flags to dance praises to God during the worship singing. The girls seem to be doing well.

We’re super thankful for God helping us find a place to rent and acquire some used furnishing and appliances from a missionary family who were transitioning to a different place. And praise God for our ProMETA counselors, seasoned missionary veterans, Ted and Juli Kautzmann, for helping us plan and prepare in very helpful and knowledgeable ways, including helping to connect us to the place to rent and the furnishings, not to mention navigate phones, banking, visa, transportation, and cultural factors.


-We made it! Thank you for praying!! We feel your prayers and support as we have slept extra well at the beginning, gotten our visas in process in record time, settled in our new home, and already have met many friendly people in our neighborhood. We couldn’t have done this without you!

-We come into this place wanting to stay humble, eager to listen and learn the “Tico” (i.e. Costa Rican) way of speaking, behaving, joking, connecting, thinking, believing, and valuing. Pray with us for this. 

-Please pray for us to find a good car for our family

-Pray for us to acquire reliable internet – that is part of what we need to do our job!

-We are still asking God to provide regular partners for the last $150/month. 

Become a Discipleship Partner


Don’t be a stranger!


We’d love to connect via email or Facebook.
You can also explore more on our website.

Our phone numbers have changed! To call or text, use WhatsApp.

Brandon: +506.8680.6431
Melinda: +506.8680.6459 


Connect via Facebook
Explore Discipleship Reimagined Website
With much love,
Brandon, Melinda & the Little Ones


Update from Warren and Carol Cheek – November 2017

Dear Pastor Bob and Becky and Saints of Englewood Bible Church,
We appreciate your ongoing prayers, encouragement, and the financial support you send to UIM for our UIM ministry assignment.
In early August we relocated from Redmond, Oregon to LaGrange, Wyoming in order to pursue a closer ministry partnership with UIM International (United Indian Missions) and Frontier School of the Bible.  We are settled into our home.
We continue to enjoy serving as the International Representatives for UIM as we travel throughout North America.  We represent UIM in local churches and church associations, missions and missions associations, Bible schools and Christian Universities, camps and camp associations.  We constantly are praying for and seeking to recruit short-term and long-term missionaries for UIM.  Currently we are recruiting a team of FSB students to serve on a UIM short-term team in the SW USA during the 3/9-19/2018 FSB spring break.  We are also encouraging students to serve as interns with UIM after they graduate from Bible college.
We also have the joy of serving as representatives for FSB and on the faculty and staff.  Warren is helping with overseeing all of the FSB students in their Christian ministry assignments.  We are enjoying the interaction with the students and alumni and visiting local churches and ministries they are serving.  This semester Warren is teaching 
Introduction to Christian Education and next semester we plan to team teach Christian Education of Children.
We plan to visit our Silas and Amanda, Emma, Isabella and Isaac in Bend, Oregon during the Thanksgiving week.  We are praying we can also see Elaine and Charissa.
Next summer we are planning to visit the First Nations Communities and Churches and UIM missionaries in Central British Columbia.
May God bless all of you.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Warren and Carol Cheek
UIM International


Update from Alton Cothron – November 2017

Dear Friends at EBC:

Once again it is time to share some thoughts and blessings with you. On November sixth, just two days away, will mark sixty six years since I first set foot on Brazilian soil. Without going into detail I can say that a lot has happened during these years. God, just as He promised, has been good and faithful. Yes, there were some difficult days due to illness, a few difficult people and even political turmoil but the Lord led us (including Ebba and our children) safely each step of the way. 

It is a joy to see God leading others the same way. I am now referring to Daniel Andrews (from Freedom Baptist Church in Chesapeake) and his Brazilian wife, Janine, as they labor with the Yanomami people in northern Brazil. They are busy, very busy in fact, learning the language and culture and building relationships with the people. Language and culture acquisition are tools that enable one to “get into” the hearts of the people. I encourage you to pray for Daniel and Janine in these areas. Don’t forget that there are a lot of “little” things like washing clothes, mowing the airstrip, cooking, fixing the leak in the roof, etc that have to be done also!

I am enjoying teaching, on a rotation basis, a lesson on Wednesday evening. I hope others enjoy it as much as I do! Also I continue to have some input into the life of a young man who is trying to turn his life around after some involvement in drink and drugs. His work schedule has made our visits more difficult. Lord willing I will go spend Thanksgiving with my son, Derly, and family in Charlotte, NC.

I continue to be grateful for your prayers and financial support. For October I received $80.00.

                                                                By His Grace,

                                                                Alton Cothron    


Newsletter from Brandon and Melinda Dockum – October 2017



Epic battle of protagonists

In three weeks we will move overseas to Cartago, Costa Rica. Two stories come to mind. Frodo son of Drogo vs Joshua son of Nun: both have a mission. They spy out the land, one filled with foes many times stronger. Both need courage. Both were tricked (Frodo into the spider’s lair, Joshua into an agreement with the Gibeonites).

Frodo got help from a companion, Sam, and unexpected help from near and far as he walked a path somehow appointed for him.
Of Joshua’s company of 12 spies, 10 reported terrifying odds: fortresses, numbers, and weapons (bodies) far beyond their strength. The enemy was dug in. And in most ways those 10 weren’t wrong. The other two, Caleb and Joshua, saw the same things, but they experienced and interpreted it differently. Why? Because of God’s presence with them. They were confident in God’s pledge to go before them to lead, protect, provide and fight for them (See Ps. 106:24).

Frodo or Joshua. What’s your vote?  

We are headed to a new place with a clear yet audacious mission. Battle rages for human hearts. Though the challenges of this new world tower high, our Strong and Good One offers courage for the fight he’s invited us to join. Courage and companions (see Teaming Up in Prayer).
Is God on our side?

Psalm 23 describes a God who understands, guides, provides for, and protects his own. Even in the presence of evil, danger, fear, and enemies, God’s unfaltering goodness abounds. But before we start claiming divine backing for the plans we make and words we say on own initiative (c.f.  modern Kenyan politics), here’s an important distinction. Joshua, in chapter 5 of his account, is ambushed by the Angel of the Lord. Joshua challenges, “Are you with us or with our enemies?”
“Neither” He responds.


Leading during the ghastly US Civil War, Abraham Lincoln grappled with this: “My great concern is not whether God is on our side; my great concern is to be on God’s side.” 

God isn’t here just to attend to our human purposes. We must align ourselves to God’s side and follow God’s plan for our participation in the great story of good overcoming evil in the universe. Isn’t this a big part of what Jesus means when he says, Seek ye first… [or paraphrased] make it your top priority to be a part of what God is doing and to have the kind of goodness God has? Everything else will be provided (Matt 6:33).   
We’re excited for this next chapter and we’re glad you’re with us as we together seek to align and realign ourselves with God!


-Praise God for helping Melinda finish up the practical part of her counseling internship. It has been a time God has used to stretch and develop Melinda! Thank you for praying!

-Next time you hear from us, Lordwilling, we will be in El Tejar (Cartago), Costa Rica! Praise God! Pray for a good trip with our little girls, for them to transition well in this adventure, and for a good start for all, especially in terms of relationships and friendships, in our new home.

-Already we have God and companions in country assisting and encouraging us. orienting us with how to bank, what’s needed for communications and paperwork, and finding a way to get around. Amazingly, God has already gone before and provided us a place to rent for a year! Again, thank you for partnering with us in prayer!!

-Our youngest is regularly sleeping much better – thank you for praying!

-We are asking God and presenting people the opportunity to partner for the final $150/month. Pray that vehicle costs (much higher than in the USA)  would be provided as well. One or more ways you could help is to pray for our finances, give a one-time donation, and/or spread the word! If you know someone potentially interested we’d love it if you connected us!

-Our visa costs, most of our furniture and appliances costs, and some of our vehicle costs are covered! Also, some wonderful people have signed up to partner for an additional $250 a month since we last wrote – praise God! We are honored and humbled to see God provide through you, including you who partner with us regularly and you who gave one time gifts (or both!)! Thank you for praying! We are encouraged and grateful!

Become a Discipleship Partner


Don’t be a stranger!

We’d love to connect via email or Facebook.
You can also explore more on our website.

Connect via Facebook
Explore Discipleship Reimagined Website
With much love,
Brandon, Melinda & the Little Ones


Letter from Maxine Morarie – October 2017

Hi all,

Ethnos360 celebrates our 75th year as a mission… (formerly called New Tribes Mission), so I decided to get on the bandwagon and share some of the early pictures I have from our early years in Tobité, the little village/camp where we spent 20 years “pioneering!” The picture above shows our friend Degúi (Day-goo-ee) in his jaguar skin headdress, with the black charcoal lines we saw on the men’s faces when they first came out of the jungles. When they went off to war with other groups, they would paint most of their bodies black as well – and often their chests were covered with the downy, white feathers of birds.

I’m so grateful for my sending church, Englewood Bible Church, that also had a name change – it was Englewood First Christian Church when they first decided to send us out in 1951! That church still contributes to my support. And since then, many supporters have come and gone, but God has never forgotten us. One of the early teachings we received in our training with New Tribes Mission was that God was our employer, and he would speak to the hearts of his people to help us with support and that we shouldn’t give that much thought! In all these years we’ve seen that is true… and you who are supporting me today have done so as God led you, surprising me with how you stepped in and did what God asked you to do, even though we have trusted our Employer alone and have waited on him to meet our needs. Bless you! And KNOW that any souls that have been saved over the years – are souls YOU have invested in!

I thank the Lord for those who have trusted me to finish the jobs that take years to complete: the first long one, the New Testament, and much of the Old Testament for the Ayoré people! I’m thrilled that it is undergoing some revision now, and soon the Ayoré will have a new edition of Scripture to the Glory of God. Please pray for my co-workers, Bruce and Alice Higham as they work diligently on this project and for the Ayoré who are assisting them. I can hardly wait to see it finished. What a privilege to see the church functioning in the two countries where Ayorés once roamed the jungles worshiping a little night owl, and calling the unknown God,


(The One Above Us). Some thought that the SUN was God, but with the Scripture in their language, they now know that the SON is GOD.

The dictionaries Ayoré/Spanish, and Ayoré/English versions – another very long project!

And now, what I call,

The Online Project!  This resource for the Ayoré will give them Sermons, Bible lessons, History of their Own People, Myths and Legends, Hymns, Scripture, and More.

No longer will they wonder where to access these helps, they’ll only need a computer – and yes, they are fast acquiring phones and other electronics, especially those living near cites. In fact, the recordings I made of the New Testament and some of the Old, are now on many of their phones, along with the Jesus Film that I was hard at work on this time last year. At first the Ayoré were those I had as an audience for this project, and then, I thought, “Why not translate everything to English and Spanish so that other’s can learn about this diverse and interesting tribal people!  And that is what has made this another LONG project – and you have trusted me with this.

Please be in prayer for me – that GOD will speak to someone’s heart to design the Website: Ayoré.com. I have been saving up for this last step, and soon will have everything ready to put into that person’s hands to get it up and running. If you know of anyone, please let me know.

I asked you to pray for more volunteers for the women’s ministry in Boulder County Jail – and the Lord answered that pray! As of now I have Dianne and Audrey, and if they hang in there with me that makes it possible for me to go in twice a month. Once with Dianne, and once with Audrey. If you are not receiving the reports and inmate prayer request via email, just let me know, and send me your email address, and I’ll make sure you get them:


May God help us all to ‘finish well’ as we serve Him together – prayer with praise being the most vital thing we do.

Love in Jesus,