Friday, June 25, 2010

STEAM XVII - Trumble Missionary Update - 21 June 2010

Greetings from Malawi!

Today is the winter solstice and is the shortest day of the year in the Southern Hemisphere. As I write this I’m sitting in the African Bible College student center watching the Swiss-Chile World Cup match with several Africans. I’m wearing my Brasil soccer shorts I bought when Beth and I visited Brasil together a few years ago. I’m not necessarily rooting for Brasil in the World Cup but my soccer apparel options are pretty limited (I do also have a Brasil shirt which I’m not sure fits me anymore plus a shirt from a Honduran soccer club who used to use the exact same logo as the Denver Broncos but with a different color scheme). So, while this is the shortest day of the year and while it is much cooler than it was when we arrived in the midst of the summer, it still is not cold. I can easily walk around outside with my shorts and a short-sleeved shirt without a jacket and I’m fine.

Beth and the kids finished up regular school at the ABC Christian Academy last week and Beth has spent some time since the end of school taking care of things in her classroom and stuff. When we arrived in January the school year was already underway and of course there were lots of things to adjust to with the new school, new teachers, new environment, new climate (hot and humid!), and new culture but we survived in one piece (more or less) and we are glad for that. God has sustained us wonderfully through these first 5 months here in Africa.

Near the end of the school year there was a chapel where some parents got up to honor certain teachers and one of the parents of a child in Beth’s class said this (or very nearly this…I’ve tried to transcribe it from the video I took with our digital camera).

I want to convey many, many profound thanks to Mrs. Beth
Trumble for filling in
the shoes of Mrs. B [Mrs. Breuninger, the teacher
Beth replaced] who left…Under
normal circumstances when a good teacher
leaves there is always anxiety – will
we find a good one?—and I want to
assure you that Mrs. Trumble has proved to be
the best teacher in Mrs. B’s
shoes. My kid, for example, has transformed to be
honest….I think every door
in our house is stuck with Accelerated Reader,
Accelerated Reader and this
was not the case before and I want to say thank you
very much to Mrs.
Trumble. I wish and hope that Mrs. Trumble will be with us for
a long time
to come. On behalf of all the parents in grade Two-1 I want to say
thank you
very much.
(check out the video of the parent sharing: ...the young man in the video with the U.S. flag draped over his shoulders and “USA” carved into the back of his hair was departing later that day for South Africa where he attended some World Cup games, including the first two U.S. games which were both draws).

It had been many years since Beth had taught regularly in the classroom but from this man’s testimony, you can see that her return to the classroom has gone pretty well.

Jim has struggled some with the adjustment but the other kids have done pretty well. Please do keep Jim in your prayers. You might remember how it was for you when you were 13 years old and if you throw in a school and country change on top of everything else, that can be a real challenge. Please pray for a close friend for him and that he would be able to see the positive aspects of being in Africa.

June 6th was graduation for the 16th graduating class of the African Bible College in Malawi. A representative of the President of Malawi as well as the United States Ambassador and several others spoke at the commencement. The President’s representative said that he would recommend to the President that he (the President) attend the graduation in the future. ABC graduates from prior years have already found their way into prominent positions in one of the major church denominations in Malawi as well as in the communications industry. God is using ABC as part of the preparation for many future Malawian leaders and it’s kind of neat to be a part of that. To see pictures of the Senior Banquet (which was held the night before graduation) and graduation, follow this link:

Shortly before graduation we had the main computer from the Finance office stolen. The computer wasn’t much of a computer but it did have quite a lot of historical financial information on it. Happily, we had a backup. Unhappily it was from about 2 months prior and thus a lot of information had to be re-entered. However, it was good that most of the data was restored.

I have gotten more involved with the ABC Community Clinic as one of the clinic’s main finance people has left and I have a good working relationship with Becky, the lady who has been charged with improving some of the processes at the clinic. Hopefully before long we’ll have some good budget processes implemented at both the Clinic and the College and that will help us be better stewards of the resources that God has provided to this ministry.

The game has ended and Chile won 1-0 over Switzerland. Truly soccer is not a high scoring sport.

Praise Items
  • For a successful end to the school year.

  • That all of our family is currently in pretty good health

  • Food, Skype, House, TV,


  • That the school break would be refreshing for Beth and the kids

  • Good friends for the kids, especially for Jim

  • The recent graduates of ABC who are out finding where God will use them.


Beth & Dan at the Senior Banquet

Peter Bodde, the United States Ambassador to Malawi, and Dan. Don’t you think the Ambassador has a funny smile (if that’s what you call that grimace)?

      STEAM XVI - Trumble Missionary Update -- 22 May 2010

      Greetings from Malawi! The weather here has turned quite pleasant. It is the dry season but the rainy didn’t end so long ago and there is still a lot of green (of course, being from Colorado where not much grows, my standards for such things are rather low).

      Beth and the children have about 3 ½ weeks left at the ABC Christian Academy and it will be good to reach the break! The College students only have two more weeks. Just like in the States, this end-of-school-year time is a busy time of with lots of extra activities. We will soon have a Senior banquet, baccalaureate, and graduation. Last weekend was Super Saturday which is a fun day (kind of like a track & field day) of competition amongst 5 teams: The four classes of students (Fresh, Soph, Junior, Senior) plus a staff team. The rules for qualifying as “staff” are fairly lax and Will (our 10 year old) participated in the 400 meter relay, the 100 meter backwards run, and the 3 legged race. Beth took 4th in the women’s cycling event. I was part of the staff tug-of-war team (which we won, by the way). On Saturday evening folks gathered on the “football pitch” (the soccer field) for food. There were 3 bonfires set up and there was even an opportunity to do s’mores (although these s’mores weren’t exactly what we are used to in the States…the chocolate was from a chocolate cookie). I can’t imagine that the bonfires did a lot to improve the soccer playing surface! To see some pictures, follow this link

      Earlier this month the college had Spiritual Emphasis Week. The Monday was a national holiday but for the other 4 days, regular college classes were put on hold. Students met in small groups in the mornings in people’s homes for prayer (I hosted one group in our home) and then there were two worship/chapel services each morning and another on Tues-Thur evenings. Bob Botsford, senior pastor at Horizon Christian Fellowship in San Diego was the key speaker but there was a whole team that came with him including other speakers as well as some musical guys who led the students in song (in a much more enthusiastic way than my Presbyterian roots prepared me for). Pastor Botsford shared several messages on Hope from various scriptural passages. On Friday evening the Junior/Senior Banquet was held on Friday evening (the whole student body, not just the Juniors and Seniors, is invited to attend). This was my 4th Junior/Senior banquet but the first in almost 21 years. For the first time, I finally went with a girl (Beth).

      This past week there was a dedication ceremony for a new building that is being largely financed by Evangelism Explosion. EE will be able to use the building as a training center during ABC breaks but during the school year it will provide additional classroom space as well as additional women’s dorm space. It’s neat when the body of Christ can unite for His glory in the way that ABC & EE are doing on this project.

      We have had a bit of sickness in our house over these last 2 weeks or so. Each of the children has missed time from school. There was one day where Elizabeth and Will stayed home and after a while, Stephen came home too. Mostly it’s been diarrhea/upset stomach kinds of stuff and not horribly unpleasant. Beth hasn’t been 100% during this time but has not had to miss any teaching days. I’ve been fighting a cough for quite a while now and last Tuesday I went to the ABC Community Clinic where I was diagnosed with bronchitis and prescribed some medicine. However, it’s now Saturday and I’m still sick (I’m not totally debilitated but I’m not exactly at the top of my game either). On a positive note, the cost for seeing the doctor and filling 3 prescriptions was about $23-$25…less than my co-pay used to be for the doctor’s visit alone! So, medical care is cheap. On the other hand, I was in a store where I saw flour tortillas and the price worked out to more than $8 for a package of 8 tortillas…I did not purchase any. Gasoline runs at over $5 per gallon.

      This message has gotten rather long but if you’re still with me reading, let me mention a few additional things. Please commit these issues to prayer:


      · For the way that ABC is investing in the lives of future leaders who will take their Christian witness into their spheres of influence.

      · For the provision of a new headmaster who will be moving to Malawi with his family in August to serve as the headmaster of ABC Christian Academy for the next 3 years.

      · For the united work of Evangelism Explosion and African Bible College on this new building project


      · Trumble family health and strength to finish the school year well.

      · Staff needs – Have you ever felt God tugging at your heart to explore short or long term service in missions? If so, let me encourage you to consider coming to ABC to serve. You might be surprised at the way God can use your gifts here in Malawi. Of course each year there is a need for college professors, teachers for the Academy, and medical staff for the Clinic but we also have other needs that might not be as immediately obvious:

      • Facilities/Maintenance - Our main facilities/maintenance guy recently moved back to the States with his wife (who was a teacher at the Academy and is now expecting their first child). The African Bible College campus has more than 40 buildings sitting on nearly 50 acres that need to be maintained.

      • Accounting/Finance - My area of focus thus far has been on the college side of the ministry here in Malawi. However, there are two other key finance people, one each at the ABC Christian Academy and the ABC Community Clinic, who are both departing within the next 45 days. Please pray for the provision of qualified people to step in and fill these needed administrative rolls.

      If you feel God leading you to overseas missionary service but don’t know how your particular gifts could be used at ABC, why not contact me so that I can put you in touch with someone who can help you explore where your gifts might fit?

      Elizabeth has a blog. Why not check it out for her unique perspective on things:

      Thank you for your prayer and support!

      Dan ~ for the Trumble family

      Whether I deserved it or not, I was in one of the pictures with some of the luminaries on the day of the building dedication. Included in the below picture are the presidents of Evangelism Explosion and African Bible Colleges, an international board member of EE, and the founders of African Bible Colleges (and some others, including me).

      Beth and Dan at the Junior/Senior Banquet

      Trumble kids in front of one of the fires on the football pitch on the evening of Super Saturday

      Elizabeth, Stephen, and Will with hedgehogs (the real one was found not far from our house)

            STEAM XV - Trumble Missionary Update -- 3 May 2010


            We have now been in Malawi for 14 weeks. As we move toward winter in the Southern Hemisphere it is getting cooler and that is a blessing. Beth is teaching 2nd grade full time and it is truly a time-consuming job but she is enjoying being with the kids.

            Beth gets to be on the “front lines” of ministry as she interacts directly with the children in her class. There are several nationalities represented by the children in her class including Malawi, Korea, India, The Philippines, Zimbabwe, and the USA.

            It is certainly keeping her busy but she enjoys being with the kids and she says that some of them give good hugs. Stephen is one of only two children in the class who live on the campus of ABC. The others all live in the surrounding community. She does enjoy being with the kids and she says that some of them give good hugs.

            My role is a bit farther from the “front lines” of ministry but I do believe that the finances are a foundational piece of the ministry and it is important for the financial management to be sound so that other parts of the ministry can effectively be carried out. However, this week I’ll have some additional opportunities to interact with the college students as this next week is Spiritual Emphasis Week. Today, Monday, is a national holiday (Labor Day) but on the other weekdays, the normal college schedule is suspended and the college students and staff will be engaged in worship, prayer, and hearing the Word preached by Bob Botsford, pastor of Horizon Christian Fellowship Church in San Diego. People from the community are also invited to attend the evening services. There will be daily morning devotional/prayer times and I will be hosting one of the group’s (of about a dozen students) in our house for these times.

            Davie, the guy with whom I work most closely with in the office, is a young Malawian man who is getting married to Constance on Saturday. This will be our first wedding in Malawi (or anywhere outside the Unites States for that matter) and ought to be an interesting experience.

            In March, Kelly Dehnert, the music professor here at ABC, led a group of students on a musical tour in the United States. The group is called “Mingoli” (meaning “beautiful sound” in Chichewa, the language spoken in Malawi). This was the first time ABC had done something like this and it was very well received. It was a great opportunity for some of these African students to share with churches and other groups and to challenge the perception of Africans as being only needy and in want and having nothing to offer the world. Certainly there is great physical poverty in Africa but the people are made in God’s image and they have many gifts and talents. This tour was a neat opportunity for them to glorify God by sharing some of their musical talent.

            These are some direct quotes from some of Kelly Dehnert’s updates over the last several weeks:

            So, on return we now need to work through some of the angst it creates to go into another country that is not your own. One comment upon return was that they didn’t know their country was so “backward”. The first reaction is to simply hate your own country and see only the good in the newly experienced country and no good in your own. It is hard to process through the failings and strengths of both countries…because they both DO have failings and strengths. It once again brings me around to the recognition that we cross cultures to bring the gospel to bear on both our own culture and our neighbor’s and it challenges us both. It also helps to remember this world is NOT our home.

            After this tour I became all the more convinced of our need to stand beside our brothers and sisters insisting that God has made them and they have abilities and talents that come from Him. It is not in their best interest for us to become their paternal providers. They don’t need more of that from the West. They need training and encouragement. Their talents were really on display on this tour!

            One of the Mingoli members is currently working to raise the funds necessary to start a piano studio for children. She is a fine musician and is seeking to fulfill the cultural mandate God has given each of us. She is not seeking handouts, but “working with her own hands what is good” that she can provide the only such music training in Lilongwe. It is very exciting to talk to her and see her eagerness to be trained to apply the gospel to all she does.

            If you are interested in hearing what Mingoli sounds like, follow this link and if you choose to purchase any of the tracks the proceeds go to benefit the ministry of ABC.

            Finally, there are several positions for which we have need. If you or someone you know is feeling God’s call to missions, please pray about the possibility of serving at ABC.

            · Elementary school teachers for next school year

            · A facilities/maintenance manager

            · Doctors (options for both short-term and long-term service are available)

            · Mass Communications Lecturer

            · Athletic Director (starting Fall 2011)

            If God is calling you to missions but none of these positions seem like you, contact me anyway. You might be surprised how God will use your gifts!

            Prayer Items :


            · For God’s continued work through the various ministries of ABC, especially for the successful Mingoli tour to the United States

            · For Beth’s adjustment back into full time teaching after a lot of years off

            · For the good way that the family has adjusted to life in Malawi


            · For God’s blessing on Spiritual Emphasis Week – that students, staff, and members of the community who hear the Word would be blessed

            · For Davie and Constance’s wedding on Saturday and their marriage – that the wedding would go well and that they would model a biblical marriage

            · For a strong finish to the school year for Beth and the kids as well as the college students.

            Thank you for your continuing prayers and support.


            Dan ~ For the Trumble Family

            Beth’s 2nd Grade Class

            Trumble kids with the banner for Spiritual Emphasis Week

            Ever wondered what happens to a glass Fanta bottle if left in the freezer for too long?

            Thursday, June 24, 2010

            STEAM XIV - Happy Easter! 4 April 2010

            “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen!” (from Luke 24)

            Happy Easter from the Trumble Family! Jesus is risen indeed! Today, Easter Sunday, marks 10 weeks since our family arrived in Malawi at our new home on the campus of The African Bible College. Without the resurrection of Christ the African Bible College’s chief aim would be moot.

            The chief aim of African Bible College is to train Godly men and women for Christian leadership and service. The curriculum is designed to prepare the college’s graduates for Christian vocation. The degree is designed to be either terminal or preparatory for further education. Students are being trained for Christian leadership; consequently, the college desires students who are committed to God’s guidance and dedicated to the Lord’s service.

            Praise God for His perfect plan of salvation and for rescuing those who He has called to belief in Jesus, the only means by which we can be saved from the punishment we all deserve for our sins!

            ABC has a Christian radio station which broadcasts to the local community and in addition to Christian music and Christian teaching, people have the opportunity to take classes by radio. To get a sense for what some of the content is like, follow this link: About a week and a half ago a man named Mr. Waya Kamsepa came by the campus. He was hoping to meet with Jack Chinchen, one of the founders of ABC, but Dr. Chinchen was not available so I met with him. He wanted a Bible so that he could follow along with the radio broadcasts. He also expressed a desire for a diary (something to write in). I didn’t know exactly what to do but how can you turn down a request like that where someone is looking to get their hands on the Word of God? I told him to come back the following week and on Thursday he did, indeed, come back. I had not done a good job of finalizing the process of getting my hands on a Bible for him but he waited while we found one in the book storage room for him. I talked to Beth and she had a little book with pages in it and only a few had been used so she ripped those out and I was able to give him the Bible and the little book. I prayed for him before he left. Please be in prayer for Mr. Kamsepa.

            Beth and the kids are on a two-week Easter break from school and in Malawi Good Friday and Easter Monday are national holidays so I get a bit of a break from work in the Admin office as well. Last week was the first week of the break and we went with some friends to the Lujeri Tea Estate for an extended weekend. This is located in a huge tea growing area and is very beautiful. There are two houses at the tea estate which are available to be used for overnight stays and our group used those two houses. The tea estate is near Mt. Mulanje and it was fun to spend some time near a mountain after living most of my life near the mountains of Colorado. We went on a very pretty hike a ways up the mountain. We live in a world tainted by sin but there are still some very beautiful creation out there.

            For pictures of the tea area and the place where we stayed, follow this link:

            For pictures of our hike and Mt. Mulanje, follow this link:

            Prayer Items


            o For Christ’s ultimate sacrifice of His life and for his triumph over death

            o For the men & women studying at the African Bible College.

            o For God’s creation and the opportunity to enjoy it.


            o For Beth as she takes over one of the 2nd grade classes full time upon return from the Easter Break

            o For the kids at the Christian Academy and the students at the college as they enter the home stretch on the school year after they return from the Easter break.

            o Pray especially for the college students as many still have fees which are due next week. Some are at risk of not being allowed to finish the semester if they cannot make adequate progress on paying their fees. The amounts still outstanding are modest by U.S. standards (often less than $500) but are a significant challenge for some of these students who come from very modest backgrounds.

            o Pray that Mr. Kamsepa (the man who came to get the Bible) would be blessed as he studies God’s Word and that God would use him to bless those around him.

            Thanks for your prayers and support!


            Dan (for the whole Trumble family)

            Trumbles after the hike. Dan did much (MUCH) perspiring on the hike.

            There were snails at Lujeri Lodge. Here are the Trumble boys and Shea Dehnert and a bunch of snails.

            Mt. Mulanje in the background, tea in the foreground.

            STEAM XIII- Trumble Missionary Update - 14 March 2010

            We have had an eventful couple of weeks since our last STEAM update went out.

            You may recall that in the last STEAM update I mentioned that a couple of ladies on campus were seeking medical attention outside the country. On a happy note, Amy, who had gone to South Africa to seek treatment for a bulging disc, was in traction for a while and that didn’t work but she ended up having surgery and it was a success! It has greatly relieved her pain and she will rejoin her family this week after being away for almost 3 weeks.

            On a not-so-happy note, this week we lost our doctor. Holli High, the wife of the doctor at the African Bible College Community Clinic, left to go back to the States to follow up on a suspicious mammogram she had here in Malawi. On Thursday morning we learned that she does have breast cancer and by Friday afternoon, James (the doc) and his two boys (Wesley, 7 and Chad, 10) were on their way home. Ashley, their almost 2-year-old, had traveled back to the U.S. with her mom. Please be in prayer for the High family as Holli is facing surgery and chemo therapy. Selfishly, we hate to lose them. Besides the medical expertise that James provided, they are a nice family and were going to be one of the families who was going to be staying in Africa through the North American Summer months (a lot of people will be gone over those months but our family is sticking around). Chad was in Will’s 4th grade class and is a real nice kid. There has been some good news of late from an x-ray and some bloodwork and it appears that the cancer has not spread to other parts of Holli’s body so that’s something for which we can be thankful..

            Many of you may know that my mother passed away in 1979 from illness related to breast cancer. Ruby Bostrom, a neat older lady in our church in Colorado Springs, sent a message about 2 months ago in which she included the following:

            Dan, your mother , Gladys, and I were very good friends and she taught SS in my dept. I was the supt. of Beginners for I think over 20 years. Those were the days that our attendance was "bulging" to some 30 plus children and 3 teachers plus Bev Lovelace as pianist and I led the singing. Dan, I think you were older and I had Amy in the dept. Later your mother came to help. It was common knowledge that her time on earth was limited---it was a morning service and cong. was singing "How Great Thou Art" and Warren and I were standing across the aisle from your mother and dad and we were singing the 4th verse and I looked over and when we came to the line that says "and take me home" your mother looked into your dad's eyes and smiled and that scene was indelibly printed in my memory box. To this day when I sing that verse, my heart brings that to mind. And I am not sure I ever shared that with you. Talk about "tugging my heart" that has. And then for you and Beth to meet and now are going to the mission field, my heart is with you in a very special way--a part of you is in my heart of hearts.

            We arrived in Malawi on Sunday the 24th of January. On the following Sunday, the first time we attended church here in Malawi, we sang How Great Thou Art as part of the service. The church is International Bible Fellowship and it meets on the campus of the African Bible College. It’s awfully convenient to get to as it might be as close to our house as the Lantz house is to our church back home (some of you don’t know Merle & Diana Lantz but to give you an idea, if Jim, our 13 year old, were to leave our front door at a sprint, he could easily be sitting in a pew in less than 60 seconds and 30 seconds might not be out of the question).

            I had shared previously that Elizabeth was going to be repeating sixth grade next year and that we were on a pretty intense schedule of extra tutoring (5 hours every two weeks with her teacher and 5 hours every week at home). This creates a pretty tight schedule when piled on top of Elizabeth’s other homework but we have been pounding it out and it’s mostly been me working with her on math and so that gives us some good father-daughter time (sometimes it’s better than others). On March 5 Elizabeth did some testing with a lady here who has some expertise and this past Friday, we got the word that Elizabeth is dyslexic. I knew her brain worked differently from mine (and a lot of people’s) and in some ways this can be very wonderful but in other ways it’s really challenging. However, with this knowledge, we should be able to move forward in a more productive way while trying to intentionally overcome some of the challenges that this dyslexia creates.

            On March 3 our container arrived with our household goods. It took just over 11 weeks from the day in December when we loaded it until we received it. This was one of the fastest times people in these parts have seen for a container to get to ABC from the States. It is a blessing to have many of our things (for me, it’s especially good to have our bed back) but it has also created a level of additional work as we figure out how to get things set up and stuff. It is a blessing to have so much but there is an element of a curse in having so much as well. Before we left we purchased new appliances that are 220 volt rather than the standard 110 volt we use in the States. Most of the appliances seem to work well and that’s great. There has been some challenge finding the right part to hook up our new stove so it has been sitting in the middle of the floor in our kitchen while we continue to use the old stove that we’ve been borrowing.

            In a strange way, but kind of on a related note, on the day we loaded the container in Colorado Springs, there was an accident involving another missionary who was shipping some stuff on our container and helping with the loading process. This person slipped and fell and broke a couple of fingers and at least one rib. The hand ended up requiring surgery and now this person is doing better (although still not back to normal). Anyway, this ended up producing several thousand dollars of medical bills and the person who fell had no medical insurance so I have accepted liability for paying the medical bills. The person has worked to try to receive grace on the bills with some success and we recently received word that one company that had billed a little more than $6000 has agreed to a 50% charity discount and so that company is now owed only about $3000. We are still waiting to hear about the other 4 bills.

            It is an interesting experience raising support from others after so many years of having a regular salary which was guaranteed every two weeks (it all comes from God anyway and it wasn’t really guaranteed but it is easy to take that regular provision for granted). We are approaching the point that will mark one year since we began seriously pursuing the idea of coming to Malawi to serve as missionaries with ABC and God has graciously provided very adequately for our financial needs. On one hand, when considering the regular financial commitments that have been made, we are still well short of our full support level. Based on specific regular commitments, our support level currently stands at about 57%. However, through one time and periodic gifts besides the monthly/annual commitments, God continues to meet our needs very adequately and we were even able to purchase a vehicle soon after arriving and that has been a blessing. However, we don’t know exactly how the future finances will work out and I would ask for your prayer in relation to that. I have rolled the pension money I earned for my years of service at Compassion into an IRA where I can gain access to it if necessary. There are income taxes and a 10% penalty for accessing that money early so it’s less than an ideal proposition but it’s a blessing to have that as a fall-back option. I’m quite aware that most of the students who attend African Bible College (and certainly millions of Malawians across the country) would have no similar financial resources to fall back on.

            Finally, there is a group of African Bible College students under the leadership of our friend, Kelly Dehnert, who are currently on a short tour of a few States in the U.S. where they are sharing their musical ability and showing some people in the States an example of some of the quality of students that make up those attending African Bible College. The group is called ‘Mingoli’ (which means ‘Beautiful Sound’ in Chichewa, the primary language spoken in Malawi). For each of the 6 students, this is their first time to visit a Western country and from the news we hear, overall they have handled a fairly grueling performance schedule and the culture shock of visiting the U.S. very well. Please be in prayer for the people involved in the tour and that God would use this visit by these remarkable students to touch the hearts of those who hear. For an example of what Mingoli sounds like, follow this link ( and choose the “Listen Now” option in the upper right corner of the web page that opens.

            Our family has now been in Malawi for 7 weeks. Until yesterday, none of us had ventured more than 25 miles from our home since we first arrived at our house but yesterday we took a trip with Connie Dehnert and two of the Dehnert kids, Shea and Janelle, to Lake Malawi where we played in the warm water and enjoyed a time of recreation. Lake Malawi is the 10th largest lake in the world by surface area but the 4th largest in terms of water volume.

            Finally, let me highlight some staff needs that ABC will have next year. If God has been calling you, or someone you know, into missions, please consider coming to serve with ABC in Malawi. Some key openings are the following:

            o One or two doctors to serve in the Clinic.

            o School teachers for the Christian Academy (where Beth will be teaching 2nd grade)

            o Facilities/Maintenance – the young man who has been overseeing the maintenance on the campus is leaving in May. We could REALLY use someone with good maintenance skills.

            Prayer Items:


            · Our container arrived quickly and in good shape overall

            · Amy who has been delivered from the pain that the bulging disc was causing her.

            · High guys (the doctor and his sons) arrived home safely and that the initial indications are that the cancer has not spread.

            · God’s provision for a discount on the medical bills for the person who was hurt on container-loading-day


            · Mingoli in the United States – for continued safe travel and good health and that the performances would be God-glorifying and that some valuable cross cultural exchanges would occur.

            · The High family as they work through treating Holli High’s cancer and adjusting back to life in the United States. The 2nd and 4th grade boys will rejoin their old school so they won’t be in a totally strange environment but changing schools in mid-March is less than optimal.

            · Financial provision for the Trumble family. Both for the medical bills for the person who was hurt and for ongoing expenses. Pray also for this person’s continued recovery from the injuries.

            · Elizabeth’s dyslexia and our response to it

            · Beth as she takes on a greater and greater load of teaching her 2nd grade class in preparation for the time when the “main” teacher of the class departs for the U.S. to have the couple’s first baby and Beth has the leadership of the class all to herself.

            · For me (Dan) that I would have wisdom to propose the right changes to the finance processes of the College and that I would add real value to the administrative side of things.

            Thanks for your prayers and support!


            Dan (for the Trumble family)

            Our piano comes off of the container. This is the piano my mom used when she was young.

            Mingoli, the musical group touring the States

            Stephen in the sand at Lake Malawi (Will can be seen behind him).

            For more pictures from our Lake excursion, follow this link:

            STEAM XII - Trumble Missionary Update - 2 March 2010


            Thank you for your prayers for the Trumble family and the ministry of the African Bible College here in Malawi. Sunday marked 5 weeks since we arrived and we are doing well. We had a time after we were here where the rains were not coming like they need to but now we are experiencing rain most days and it will hopefully be a good year for the maize crops which means people will eat (sort of an important detail of life, wouldn’t you say?).

            Beth is now helping out with one of the 2nd grade classrooms. She will acquire the class full-time in April when the current teacher and her husband leave to go back to the States to have their first baby. Beth will gradually acquire more and more responsibility over the next few weeks and then soon the classroom will be hers. The last year Beth was regularly in the classroom as a teacher before this was the last full school year before Jim was born. That was 1995-96 so it’s been a few years. Please pray for her as she makes this transition.

            I am working in the office and learning about the finances. Malawi is an interesting place. Here in Malawi many, many things are paid in cash (and even a lot of the checks we write are made out to cash with the idea that the people will take the checks to the bank and take cash out). The largest bill in circulation is worth about $3 so large numbers of bills are being moved around a lot. Paying bills in the United States is a piece of cake. Here, you often physically take the payment to the office of the entity to whom you are paying. It’s crazy inefficient but you don’t trust the mail system.

            The kids are adjusting well overall. Elizabeth’s 12th birthday is Thursday. Elizabeth is a very special girl who has many wonderful gifts. She’s an artist (see some of her work at this link: E-Art). She sees the world differently than most of the rest of us which is pretty neat in many ways. However, it also means that her brain works differently than many of us and so there are some things that are a real struggle for her. One of these is math where she is behind where she should be for 6th grade. Her reading level is also not where it should be. We have met with her 6th grade teacher here at ABCCA (African Bible College Christian Academy) and we are on a fairly intensive tutoring schedule with her. 5 hours every two weeks with the teacher plus 5 hours per week at home. I am working with her on math and it’s some fun to spend time with her and some frustrating because she can’t see some of the number relationships which are so obvious to me. Elizabeth is going to be held back and will do 6th grade next year. This is probably good as it will give her some chance to catch up on some of the things in which she is behind but please be praying for her as she tries to catch up and as she deals with being held back (she seems to be dealing with it pretty well at this point).

            We have been using mostly borrowed furniture since we arrived but it sounds like our container will arrive tomorrow. Some students will help us unload the container and move stuff. It ought to be interesting.

            Prayer Items


            · For a relatively good adjustment to our new home

            · Safety & Health

            · Provision of a good vehicle at a reasonable cost


            · For the ongoing adjustment. Pray especially for Jim that he would find joy in being in Malawi and that he would develop one or more really close friendships

            · Elizabeth’s tutoring and for a special birthday for her.

            · Pray for the health of those on campus. We have two ladies (both are wives and mothers) who are seeking medical attention outside the country while their husbands and some of the kids stay here in Malawi. Amy is in South Africa (see attached message) and Holli is on her way to the States.

            Thank you for your continued prayer support!


            Dan (for the Trumble family)

            A picture of our family in our front yard taken on Sunday.

            Our new car. A 1996 Toyota Ipsum

            A large stack of bills

            If you wish to see a more extensive collection of pictures from our first full month in Malawi, please follow this link:
            Malawi Feb.

            Thursday, February 11, 2010

            STEAM IX.1 - Trumble Missionary Updates - We're on our Way!

            ( This update is in the wrong place, but I can't figure out how to place in the right place. So this is just the way it will be. )

            Just a quick update:

            We are in the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport and we have checked our bags, received our boarding passes, and cleared security with hardly a problem!

            Our flight to Amsterdam is scheduled to depart at 7:45 PM tonight. We have a long layover in Amsterdam and then we travel on to Nairobi and then a quick stop (we don't even get off the plane) in Lusaka, Zambia and then on to Lilongwe, Malawi, our new home. We are scheduled to arrive a little after noon on Sunday, 24 January in Lilongwe.

            The check-in process went nice and smooth (unlike last time).

            Praise the Lord, we are on our way! Thanks for all of your prayers. Please keep praying!


            Dan (for the Trumbles)

            In Albert Lea, MN, a little north of the Iowa/Minnesota border, is a restaurant with a very good name.

            STEAM XI - Trumble Missionary Update - 5 Feb 2010

            Greetings everyone!

            We are approaching the end of our 2nd week of living in Malawi. We are kind of getting the hang of things. The kids have begun school and Beth has attended her first staff meeting. She will be taking over teaching one of the 2nd grade classes in April. I am learning about African Bible College’s finance processes. There seems to be a real place here for me as many of the accounting practices could use some significant upgrading and I think my years of experience working with Compassion International’s finances in multiple different roles should prove quite valuable.

            There is a local family moving back to the UK who is selling a vehicle that we will purchase. It is a Toyota Ipsum (aka Toyota Picnic). Before I came to Malawi I’d never heard of it either. It’s kind of like a minivan in that it seats 7 but it’s really more of a car.

            Please keep praying for us as we continue to adjust. We have been warmly welcomed by people on the ABC campus but it is still quite an adjustment. The humidity is a challenge and while we have been provided loaner beds and some basic furniture, our household goods in the container we shipped are still weeks, if not months, away from arriving.

            Please pray for good health and safety for our family as we get used to a new climate (and a place where they drive on the left side of the road!). The attached document contains some Facebook posts of mine. This provides a bit more of a day-to-day look at some of the things we’ve been dealing with.

            Thanks for your support.



            Will & a gecko that met an unfortunate end (see the attached document for more about the gecko in the Jan 31 post)

            Kids before church on Sunday

            I find the phrasing on this coffee package interesting

            STEAM X - Trumbles Safe Arrival in Malawi - 26 Jan 2010

            Greetings from Malawi! We have arrived!

            Malawi is sometimes called, the ‘Warm Heart of Africa’. I might quibble with this description a bit and substitute the word ‘Hot’ for warm. It’s Africa hot here! When we landed in Malawi it was about 78-80 °F. Keep in mind that over the last 4 weeks that we had spent in the Midwest, it might have gotten above freezing on 7 days but most of the time it was well below freezing.

            Follow this link to see some of the wintery pictures (including many from an ice storm) from Iowa:

            We departed Minneapolis without incident and arrived in Amsterdam on Saturday morning. We got off the plane, stowed some of our carry-on luggage in some lockers, and got in line to clear immigration and while we were standing in line, I counted the passports and had five of them. However, there are six of us so we pulled out of line and checked and sure enough, there were only five and the one that was missing was mine. Yikes. I talked to someone from the airline and they sent me back to the gate where we had de-planed. The plane was still there but was already in the process of boarding for the next flight (this is maybe 90 minutes after we had landed). I talked to a guy from the airline and he went onto the plane and CAME OFF WITH MY PASSPORT! Praise the Lord! If I had lost my passport and been unable to recover it, I might still be hanging out inside the Amsterdam airport. Yikes. God is good (even when we’re stupid). We took the train into the city and ate some Dutch food and took a canal tour. Three of the kids slept quite a bit through the canal tour so those ended up being some expensive naps.

            For pictures from Amsterdam:

            We went back to the airport and it was snowing outside and they de-iced the wings before we departed. After a brief stop in Nairobi and a touch-down in Lusaka, Zambia we arrived in Malawi at about noon on Sunday (we are 9 hours ahead of Colorado time in Malawi). All of our luggage arrived fine and we cleared immigration and headed to our new home on the campus of the African Bible College. So, after the trouble we had with trying to depart from Minneapolis earlier in the month, this trip was remarkably uneventful. Unfortunately the change of tickets to the later date ends up costing almost $2800 more than what we had paid for our earlier flights but the extra time we had in Iowa was really good.

            We are kind of getting adjusted. It will be several weeks (at least) before our container with household goods arrives but people have pulled together beds and some other pieces of furniture so we are not sitting around in an empty house (or sleeping on the floor). People are being very kind to us and we are having dinner at different people’s houses for much of the week. We did manage to do some grocery shopping yesterday.

            Thank you for praying for us and supporting us through this transition. Please continue to pray for the adjustment as we all begin to fit into our new roles. We found out last night that Beth will be taking over teaching one of the 2nd grade classes starting in April when the current teacher and her husband head back to the United States to have their first baby.

            Prayer Items


            · Safe and successful travel

            · Arrival in Malawi on God’s timetable and the extra time in Iowa that we had before moving to Africa

            · Good health

            · The beginnings of a good transition to our new home


            · The transition to the new culture and our new responsibilities can be a bit daunting. Please pray that we would approach it with a sense of adventure and in dependence on God.

            · Health – it’s malaria season and we haven’t begun taking our malaria medication yet. Additionally, we may be exposed to a bunch of new viruses and stuff here in Africa so please pray for God’s protection of our health.

            · We have had some very generous financial gifts and December was a strong month. However, our ongoing committed support level remains below 60% so please pray for God’s financial provision for us. While we don’t know exactly how God will meet our needs, we know that He is faithful and that our needs will be met. We certainly have much for which to be thankful.

            Thanks for your prayers and support (financial and otherwise).


            Dan (for the Trumbles)

            Follow this link to see several Malawi pictures from our first couple of days

            Four Trumbles standing in front of our new house

            A thermometer in the shade at the Dehnert’s house on Monday

            STEAM IX - Trumble Missionary Update - Departure for Africa (or NOT)

            A funny thing happened on our way to Africa…we didn’t make it out of the country.

            Yesterday morning, the six Trumbles, along with Beth’s brothers Doug and Bill, and Bill’s wife, Julie, piled into Bill & Julie’s 15 passenger van (modified so it only fits 11 now but has more storage space in the back) with a bunch of our junk. This is the vehicle I refer to as “The Prison Transport” but Julie prefers to call it the “Party Transport” or something like that. Anyway, we piled in and drove the approximately 300 miles from Oskaloosa, Iowa, where we’d been staying with Beth’s folks, to Minneapolis, Minnesota where our flight was scheduled to depart at 7:45 pm on Monday night, January 11.

            We arrived at the airport and got our enormous volume of stuff inside and worked on adding labels and stuff and then when I went to check in, a funny thing happened: They wouldn’t check me in.

            Leah, the agent we were working with, didn’t like the fact that we had one-way tickets to Malawi but no visas for entry into Malawi. Her system told her this was a requirement. At some point, Leah’s supervisor was also brought into the discussion. So, what to do? I called Malawi between about 2:00 and 2:30 am Tuesday morning in Malawi. Apparently I was supposed to have a letter from African Bible College stating that my Temporary Employment Permit paperwork was in process. I didn’t have the letter but the president of ABC (who lives in Malawi) someone with the home office in the United States and I eventually received the letter via email. The airline people didn’t really care about the letter. Jan Harper from the ABC home office spoke to Leah’s supervisor but the airline folks still were not satisfied. Eventually, the supervisor’s manager also weighed in on the situation but the song the airline people were singing really didn’t change. Apparently this basic process has worked frequently in the past with other ABC missionaries but perhaps after the recent attempted terrorist incident on Christmas Day or for some other reason, the enforcement of the rules has been changed.

            In the end, we did not resolve the issue in a way that would allow us to board our flight and thus we returned to Iowa. The Trumbles arrived back at Dad & Mom Boender’s house at about 2:00 in the morning after stops by Doug’s and Bill & Julie’s houses to drop them off at their homes.

            Donna Palmertree, one of the ladies that works in the home office in Mississippi, sent a message today and part of what she said is quoted below:

            I’m so sorry about the little hiccup in your plans … we were all blindsided but ultimately, we have to know that God’s in control and He sees things we don’t. What an extreme blessing that you have family that you get to enjoy a few more days before leaving the country and as I was told on one of our mission trips to the Ukraine about a situation we were in “It just adds to your mission testimony!” It will be cool and encouraging to see how God works this out.

            Well said, Donna. God IS in control. We do not know exactly what His purposes are during this time but we can trust that He knows what He is doing. So, we have a bit of an adventure on our hands (and a bit of extra time which is also a blessing)!

            Please pray that we would be able to obtain the necessary visas quickly. I am told that the processing of the Temporary Employment Permit can take months. Please pray for miraculously quick processing of my application and that approval for our full family would be given quickly. As long as we are able to use the tickets within a year, we will not forfeit the cost of the tickets so that is a blessing. We might face some change fees for the tickets but that is a much better situation than if we had to walk away from the full cost of the tickets.

            Elizabeth was running the camera for much of the time and did a pretty good job of capturing some of the events. Below are a few pictures but if you want to sort of see the progression of events, You can view pictures here:

            Thanks for your prayers for our family during this time!


            Here's me with Leah (the agent) in my left ear and someone from ABC in my right ear.

            I bought internet access and sat there working with stuff. Fun times!

            Stephen taking a break

            STEAM VIII - Trumble Missionary Update -- Imminent Departure

            Today, Sunday, is our last full day in the United States for a while. Tomorrow we drive from Oskaloosa, Iowa (where we’ve been staying with Beth’s parents) to Minneapolis where we will board our flight to leave the country.

            This morning during the service at Beth’s old home church (and the church where her parents and her 4 brothers are members), we had a few minutes to share about the ministry of the African Bible College and that went pretty well.

            We left Colorado on December 23 and have had a nice time in Iowa. Stephen (our 8-year-old) and I took a trip to South Dakota where I visited my Aunt Dorothy and four of my cousins. We also spent one night with my friend Blair Andrews in Omaha. It’s cold in South Dakota. The last night of the trip we spent in Sioux Falls. The morning that we left the internet said the temperature was 28° below zero. We will soon be experiencing temperatures 110° (Fahrenheit) warmer.

            It would be nice to have a few more days to wrap things up before we depart but that’s kind of the way it goes. We will leave Monday morning to drive to Minneapolis and we will fly from there to Amsterdam where we will have a long layover on Tuesday. We will hopefully leave the airport and see a bit of Holland. From Amsterdam we fly through the night to Nairobi, Kenya and after a short layover in Nairobi, we fly on to Lilongwe (perhaps with a short stop in Lusaka, Zambia on the way).

            In the Christmas Day update I sent out, I said the following:

            We will finally have some down time over the next couple of weeks and I will be sending out some more details related to our Washington D.C. trip and the packing/shipping adventure. These will be sent under the TOAST heading rather than the STEAM heading under which this message is being sent. (TOAST = The Outstanding Adventures of Six Trumbles ).

            As it turns out, there wasn’t as much “free” time as I might have hoped and I still have not sent any TOAST messages on this trip. One may still go out today or tomorrow but that may be it for a while.

            Thanks for your prayers for our family! Please pray for travel safety, our adjustment to life in Malawi, and our general sanity throughout the process!



            For the Trumble family

            Beth’s 40th birthday was Monday (January 4). The night before her birthday she spent some time with some old high school friends (Beth, Julie, Gwenda, Kathy). On Beth’s birthday, we visited some of Beth’s aunts. Pictured are Aunt Marilyn, Aunt Bernice, Mom Boender, Aunt Dorothy, Aunt Kathy, and Beth.

            The first picture below is Stephen and Dan at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The second picture is from Orange City, Iowa later the same morning that it had been -28° in South Dakota.

            First picture: Pastor Dale Visser and Dan. Pastor Visser is the pastor of Beth’s home church in Iowa where we shared this morning. Since this picture was taken last Sunday I have shaved and so we don’t look as similar anymore. The second picture shows me with the boys (with some snow) on Friday.
            The approximate route of our travel to Africa (if it goes as planned)

            STEAM VII -- Merry Christmas from the Trumble Family! 25 Dec 2009

            In John 1:45 Philip finds Nathanial and says to him, “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” This is the very Jesus whose birth we celebrate on Christmas day: The promised Messiah!

            Merry Christmas to each of you on this cold (at least it’s cold in Iowa!) Christmas day! Let us remember that God gave us the greatest gift ever when Jesus came to Earth as a human. Let us also remember that Jesus was born so that He could ultimately die (and be raised to life and thus conquering death), providing a way for us to be saved!

            Trumble news:

            We have had a busy few weeks. In late November, just before Thanksgiving, we drove to Iowa where we spent Thanksgiving with some of Beth’s family and then we drove out to the Washington, D.C. area with a stop in Pittsburgh along the way. We attended a wedding for Dan’s niece and returned to Colorado on Tuesday, the 8th of December. We moved most of our household goods to a warehouse on Saturday, December 12, and then on the morning of December 14 we loaded the container and shipped it off. We had a lot of wonderful help from friends and family and survived the ordeal. We celebrated Christmas in Colorado on Saturday the 19th. On the 20th Will and Elizabeth played piano in church and both Beth and Elizabeth sang. On Wednesday, December 23, we departed Colorado to head toward Iowa and we arrived yesterday, Christmas Eve where the Iowa family Christmas get-together was already underway.

            This morning in church, all of Beth’s immediately family were together. Counting Beth’s folks, her siblings, and all of their families, there were 43 family members (including two unborn babies) in church this morning (if my count is correct). There were a few missing but that represents a large portion of this part of her family (she had oodles of first cousins and other relatives).

            We will finally have some down time over the next couple of weeks and I will be sending out some more details related to our Washington D.C. trip and the packing/shipping adventure. These will be sent under the TOAST heading rather than the STEAM heading under which this message is being sent. (TOAST = The Outstanding Adventures of Six Trumbles ).

            In less than 3 weeks, on January 11, our flight departs from Minneapolis and we will be on our way to Malawi, Africa!

            Last Sunday, December 20, was our last Sunday in Colorado before the move to Africa. Some of our family participated in the service and you can hear and see some of that by following the below links:

            Elizabeth singing O Little Town of Bethlehem:

            Will playing Angels We Have Heard on High:

            Elizabeth & Beth playing We Three Kings:

            Please respond to this message with any questions you may have about any of this stuff. It’s fun to hear from people.

            Prayer Items:


            · Successful packing and shipping process and that the container is on its way!

            · For the great help of friends and family (especially Merle & Marty) in the shipping process

            · For Dan’s folks who hosted us in their home after we shipped moved most of our household goods out of our house.

            · For safe travel, even in wintery driving conditions, to Iowa

            · For Beth’s folks who will be hosting us during most of our last 2.5 weeks in the States before we move

            · For God’s faithful provision


            · For some rest and good fellowship with family during these last days before we depart.

            · Financial Support - Our ongoing committed support (that has been communicated to us) puts us between 50-60% of our full support level. We know God is faithful and will meet our needs but some additional financial partners in this endeavor would be very welcome.

            · Container - That our container which contains most of our worldly possessions would travel safely and speedily to Malawi. The estimate that was given by the organization we’re working through said the estimated time of arrival for the container is February 28, more than 6 weeks after we are scheduled to arrive in Malawi.

            · House - That our property manager would find good renters for our house soon.

            · Dan’s Malawi employment permit – That it would be approved without any problems.

            · Health – pray that God would keep us healthy as we work through the process of getting to Malawi.

            Thank you for joining us in this ministry through your prayer and financial support!

            Dan for the Trumble family



            phone: 719-238-3995 (for a short time longer while we’re still in the States)

            On Sunday the 13th of December, our church commissioned us as missionaries being sent by the church. Here is a picture of our family during the commissioning service.

            Loading the container to ship stuff to Malawi.

            My last day of employment at Compassion was December 11 and my colleagues threw a very nice going away party for us. Pictured here are Beth and me with most of the folks from the Finance division at Compassion

            STEAM VI - Happy Thanksgiving from the Trumbles! 26 Nov 2009

            Happy Thanksgiving from the Trumble Family!

            Our family has very much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. We left on Tuesday night to come to Iowa and drove through the night, arriving in Oskaloosa, Iowa on Wednesday morning. During the church service this morning I made a list of several things for which we can be thankful. Below is that list (with a bit of added commentary in blue).

            · DogsBoth of our dogs have new homes. Maggie ended up with a Compassion colleague’s family and Oreo is now living with Beth’s brother Doug’s family

            · Car BatteryOn Tuesday, Beth was scheduled to take Maggie to her new home. At some point in the morning she moved our van and backed it up in the driveway, then when she went to leave to take Maggie to her new home, the van wouldn’t start. My Dad came over and jumped the battery and Beth took Maggie to her new home. Then, when she went to leave, the car wouldn’t start again and she got another jump and I talked with my Dad about taking the van into the place where we had recently purchased the battery. Dad took it to the store and they looked at it and said, “That’s not our battery” (or something along those lines). Dad called me and as I thought about it, they were right. We’d put a new battery in my truck recently but NOT the van. Poor Dad. Anyway, the battery in the van was old and bad and a new one was put in. Thankfully this all happened before we left on our trip later the same day. God is good. From Iowa we’re heading east. We’ll spend a night in Pittsburgh and several days in the Washington D.C. area (plus a night in Delaware). Anyway, it’s a long road trip and car troubles would be very nice to avoid.

            · Container StuffThe process of moving overseas can be quite daunting. I was in Nicaragua the week before last and was ready to move ahead with paying the shipping company for the 40 foot container we planned to load on Monday, November 22 (last Monday). I got some pushback on going with a 40 footer rather than a 20 footer and in the end, we did go with the 40 footer but delayed the loading date to December 14. This will allow other people in Malawi time to get stuff sent to Colorado Springs for loading on the container. As these other folks purchase space on the container, this will also help defray our costs. Also, Marty, one of my stepbrothers is allowing us to use his place of business as a loading site. It will be great to get this part of the whole process behind us but in the end, things are working out well.

            · Family Our immediate family is a blessing. Beth and I have four neat kids. God has blessed us richly.

            · Extended Family - in laws – It is a blessing to have large, extended Christian families on both Beth’s side and my side of the families. It would be harder to move overseas without their support!

            · Friends/supporterswe now have over 500 names on our list to receive our STEAM updates (such as this one) and over 100 people who have contributed financially (or indicated that they will do so). Our ongoing communicated support level is at 51% but we know additional support will still be forthcoming.

            · Safe travelwe had a safe journey out to Iowa, even as we drove through the night.

            · Opportunity to take tripthis is going to be a neat trip. We are in Iowa for Thanksgiving and then will be heading east (as detailed above). The kids have never been to Washington D.C. and this will be a neat time to see some of our national treasures before we move to Africa

            · AppliancesWe have ordered appliances (washer, dryer, range, refrigerator, microwave, air conditioner) to ship to Africa and they have all arrived at this point (or at least most of them have arrived). In Malawi, the electricity is 220 volt in Malawi and hopefully everything is working out with all of that.

            · Peanut butter (Jim was sitting next to me in church and suggested this addition).

            Pastor Dale Visser delivered the message this morning at Beth’s old church, 1st Christian Reformed Church of Oskaloosa. His sermon was titled “Sweet Peas” and was closely patterned off of Johnnie R. Bailey’s sermon of the same name ( In 1904, Howard Morgan, the young son of G. Campbell Morgan, D.L. Moody’s success as manager of the Northfield Bible Conference Center, was very ill and asked his mother, “Sing to me about the sweet peas…You know, the sweet peas, gift of God’s love.” She realized he meant Sweet Peace, the Gift of God’s Love ( Pastor Visser read from 2 Peter where in verse 4 it refers to the fact that God “has given us his very great and precious promises” and he went on to share seven of God’s Precious Promises that begin with the letter “P”. These are things for which we can be thankful:

            Pardon – for those of us in God’s family, our guilt has been placed on Jesus Christ and we are pardoned!
            Purpose – Jesus died for me and I now have a reason to live
            Precepts – God has given us His Word to guide us
            Providence – God is in control
            Provision – God provides care and guidance
            Presence – God is with us
            Peace – Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.
            Of course, we also have many other things to be thankful for. Here are some additional “P” things for which we can give thanks:

            Presence of God in our lives



            Pastors (Can you imagine a tougher job than that of pastor? Perhaps Christian school principal would be similarly difficult).

            Play – Isn’t it wonderful that God allows us to have fun? Wouldn’t it be nice if the Denver Broncos decide to actually show up and play tonight against the Giants?

            Plans (God’s plan for our lives)


            Priceless (The gift Jesus gave for us: His life)

            Pork – the other white meat


            Parmesan Cheese

            Peppers (especially the crushed red variety)

            Packing (such as for a move to Africa)


            These last two on my list are not as pleasant as the other things but we are to give thanks in all circumstances .

            Some addition news (and prayer) items:

            I went to the doctor’s office this past week and had lost 16 pounds since about late June or early July. I also had some blood work done and my diabetes is doing much better. For those who understand such things, my A1C was down to 5.8 from 7.0 this past summer. This is a really positive development. I could use some help with blood pressure and cholesterol and I still need to drop more weight but there is some movement in the right direction on some health issues and that’s something to praise God for.
            My final day at Compassion is scheduled for December 11. One month later, on January 11, we board our flight to leave the country and move to Malawi.
            Packing & Shipping – after we return to Colorado on December 8, we have just a few days to finalize things before we pack our container. We will be moving stuff to our loading place on Saturday the 12th and will have 2 hours to load the 40 foot container on the morning of Monday December 14. If you live in Colorado Springs and are able to help on one or both of these days, please let me know. We need help.
            Anyway, happy Thanksgiving! Let us remember how greatly we have each been blessed.

            Thank you for your support!


            for the Trumble family



            phone: 719-238-3995

            A note our daughter Elizabeth prepared.

            We had Thanksgiving dinner at Steve & Jan’s new cabin (Steve is Beth’s oldest brother). Pictured below are sister-in-law Julie with Beth, Dan and nephew Luke, Steve & Jan’s farm, and the cabin where we had Thanksgiving dinner.

            There are those who think that Pastor Visser and I look similar. Here is a picture of Pastor Visser and Dan.

            STEAM V - Trumble Missionary Update - 11 Nov 2009


            Today is November 11. On December 11, one month from today, I finish my employment with Compassion. On January 11, two months from today, we depart from Minneapolis and arrive in Lilongwe, Malawi on January 13 where we will be living on the campus of the African Bible College. After more than 16 years working at Compassion this is quite a big change for all of us but Compassion has treated me very well through this separation process and that has been a blessing. We will be shipping major appliances as well as furniture and other household goods. We were going to try to ship goods before Thanksgiving but that may not happen now. Figuring out how to ship this stuff overseas has been one of the least pleasant aspects of this whole process. Please be in prayer for us as we continue to work through those details.

            We need to find a good home for our two dogs. Oreo & Maggie are about 3 years old and we’d like to place them with a family before Thanksgiving. They are free to a good home and would come with some “dog accessories” (kennels, leashes, etc.).

            We continue to see God’s provision for our financial needs and even though our support level is only at about 50%, we are moving forward trusting that God will meet our needs. We know that there are some additional commitments coming so this 50% number will go up some..but even if it doesn’t, at least we’ll be able to eat every other day! (just kidding). Seriously, though, if you have been sitting on the sidelines wondering if we’re really going to go (we are!) or whether we might reach our support goals without your help (we haven’t!), please pray about whether God might be leading you to partner with us financially.

            We are planning to spend Thanksgiving in Iowa with Beth’s family and then will be driving to Washington D.C. We’re going to visit Brian & Debbi Dutton in Pittsburgh along the way and we will be staying with Chris & Julie Keller some while we’re in the Washington D.C. area. Anna Chambers, one of my nieces, is getting married on December 5 in Washington D.C. We will then be back in Colorado for about 2 weeks and after an early Christmas celebration with my family we will leave Colorado and go to Iowa where we will spend the Christmas holiday and enjoy a time of fellowship with people from Beth’s family.

            I am sending this update from Nicaragua where I am for a brief trip with Compassion. It is a real pleasure to have this final opportunity to visit a Compassion country and spend some time with Compassion colleagues from several different country offices before my departure from Compassion. I fly home tomorrow.

            Beth submitted some of Elizabeth’s artwork to Kainos Cards ( and a couple of her pictures were accepted to be offered for sale on their site. Kainos Cards offers the ability to order a personalized card online and to then have it printed and mailed through the postal system to your intended recipient (so your work is all online but the person to whom you send the card actually gets it in the physical mail). Follow this link to see the card that is being offered using one of Elizabeth’s pictures:

            I had the opportunity to record a segment for Compassion’s ‘My Best Day in Ministry’ series. You can hear the audio recording by following this link and clicking on the pink button:

            Prayer Items:


            · For God’s constant care and provision

            · For better health in our family after some sickness in the kids

            · For Compassion and the wonderful way they have worked with me through this process


            · That all the details would come together with shipping our container

            · For good health and safety in travel over the next two months

            · For the kids to feel peace about the move to Africa

            · That we’d find a good home for both dogs before Thanksgiving

            Thank you for your support!


            for the Trumble family



            phone: (719) 635-5109

            Jim turned 13 in October. Below is Jim as well as a special card that Elizabeth made for him.

            Yesterday Nicaragua became the 17th country in which I’ve eaten Chinese food. Fatima & Yamileth, two Compassion colleagues, are also pictured. Yesterday was also my 39th birthday.

            Friday, January 15, 2010

            STEAM IV - Trumble Missionary Update - October 22, 2009


            13 years ago last night we were in the hospital giving birth to Jim, our firstborn (actually, Beth was giving birth and I was just standing there doing the “supportive husband” thing). He was born at 5:26 PM which was right about the same time as the beginning of Game 2 of the 1996 World Series between the Yankees and Braves. We are now the parents of a teenager! Yikes! Stephen, our youngest, turned 8 earlier in the month.

            Plans continue to roll for our move to Malawi. Yesterday I talked with my boss about my departure from Compassion. My final day could be as soon as November 24 or I might end up doing some work still into December. However it works out, I’m down to my last few weeks at Compassion before departing for the mission field. It will be quite a change after 16 years! God willing, we plan to go to Iowa for Thanksgiving and then travel to Washington D.C. for a wedding on December 5. The boys will finish school on December 18 and we will depart for Iowa sometime during that next week (hopefully after celebrating Christmas early with family in Colorado). We will depart from Minneapolis on January 11 after spending some time with relatives in Iowa. Someone at work directed me to a travel agent who has obtained some outstanding prices for the six of us to fly to Malawi for less than $6000. If you have much experience with paying for airfare to Africa, you will appreciate this excellent price.

            I have been in contact with an organization that will help us ship a container with household goods. We haven’t finalized those arrangements yet but hopefully will fill and ship the container within the next few weeks. There is a real chance that we will arrive in Malawi before our goods so we may have the opportunity to exercise some “missionary flexibility” right off the bat.

            There are still some questions about our financial support but we are confident that we are in God’s hands and that He will provide for our needs. When we look at the committed (and communicated) ongoing financial support, we are at about 45% of our overall goal but there are still people out there who have said that they will support us financially but for whom we do not yet have an amount. We have received some encouraging news on the fundraising front over the last couple of weeks. Thank you to those of you who have already agreed to provide financial support!. Of course, additional support would be very welcome. Please pray about how God might be leading you in that regard. We also face some significant up-front costs including the airfare, the shipping of household goods, and getting set up once we are in Malawi (including the purchase of a vehicle). The jobs we will be filling in Malawi are full-blown missionary positions. We will receive no salary for the work that we do. We need faithful prayer and financial supporters like you!

            On the evening of September 20 we did a presentation to people at church. On October 1 I had an opportunity to briefly address some church leaders and I have done several presentations to people at work. Tomorrow, Friday October 23, I am the speaker at the Grace Presbyterian Church annual men’s steak fry (if you are a man and are in the Colorado Springs area, you are welcome to join us…contact me for details). It looks hopeful that we may be able to present our ministry to another church on November 15. If your church would be interested in hearing about our ministry in Malawi, please let us know!

            Finally, let me encourage you to follow these links to learn about “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind”. He is an amazing young man from Malawi and several years ago he spent some time at ABC Christian Academy (the Christian school that is part of the African Bible College ministry in Malawi and where Beth will be teaching).

            Video Clip:


            Prayer Items:

            · For God’s sovereign plan. He’s in control. We are not in control. And it’s okay!

            · For the faithful prayer and financial support that God is raising up for us. We now have more than 450 names on our update list including many Compassion friends from all over the world.

            · For four pretty neat kids.


            · Please continue to pray for Jim. As of yesterday, he is a teenager and that can be a tough time of life. If your parents move you to Africa in the middle of your 7th grade year, that can be cause for some anxiety.

            · That the details for everything would continue to come together. This is a pretty daunting process!

            · That our hearts would be focused on doing what God wants for us and that we would find joy in obedience to Him.

            · Health – pray that God would keep us healthy as we work through the process of getting to Malawi.

            Thank you for your support!


            for the Trumble family



            phone: (719) 635-5109