Sunday, July 3, 2011

Greetings from Malawi!

The commercialism surrounding Christmas in the United States has not fully made its way to Malawi. This is a good thing. Additionally, we’re in no danger at all of having a white Christmas…it wasn’t as hot today as it is sometimes but it did get above 80° F.

We do have our Christmas stockings up (my folks sent them to us) and the fake tree that I’ve been using since the 1970s. One (or both) of our cats managed to break our Denver Broncos’ ornament and we haven’t yet put up either of our bowling Santa ornaments (the classic one from the 1970s with the gold bowling ball nor the newer one with the black bowling ball). Of course these are unimportant in the scheme of things but are kind of fun from a sentimental standpoint.

Beth and the kids had their last day of school before the break on Friday and the College students finish finals for the semester on Thursday. The break is nice but this will certainly be a Christmas unlike any we have experienced before. However, we can take comfort in the fact that our God and Savior, who took human form and was born and placed in a manger some 2000+ years ago, and who the holiday is supposed to be about, has not changed nor will He ever change…He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Please don’t forget us if you are sending out a Christmas letter this year. An electronic copy would be fine but if you want to mail a copy to us at my folks’ house, it will get to us eventually. You can mail stuff to us at

Dan & Beth Trumble
5930 Castlewood Ln
Colorado Springs, CO 80918

Some of you should soon be receiving a Christmas letter from ABC but some of you are probably not on the ABC mailing list and thus won’t get it through the mail. However, you can also access it electronically by following this link Please take some time to read it and find out about what God has been doing through ABC and some of its graduates. As you support us, you are also a part of this ministry! Please keep our family and ABC in your prayers.


Page 1 of the ABC mailing mentioned above
Here is a recent picture of the “professional” (as opposed to laborers and grounds workers and the like) staff of ABC Malawi (professors, teachers, medical personnel, admin sorts, etc.). From left to right are ABC Christian Academy Staff, African Bible College staff, and ABC Community Clinic staff. Beth and Dan are indicated with green arrows. Photo by Matt Floreen.

Christmas Stockings at Dan’s folks’ house from a prior year (6 of these are now hanging in our house in Malawi)

A-Newer Bowling Santa

B-Classic 1970s Gold Bowling Ball Santa

C-Broncos ornament (now busted, somewhat like the current Broncos’ season)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

STEAM XXV - Trumbles in Malawi - Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from Malawi!

In the famous hymn by Johnson Oatman, Jr. we sing

Count your blessings Name them one by one.
Count your blessings See what God hath done.

Today, we truly have many blessings to count…blessings too numerous to count but let me list a few of them here anyway:

1. Family – God has blessed Beth and me with 195 months of marriage (16 yrs, 3 months) and 4 healthy kids. Children are, indeed, a blessing.

2. Friends – We have many friends in the United States as well as a number of new friends in Malawi including ones from South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Malawi, and the U.S. We were particularly blessed by friends and family who helped us through the ordeal of moving…both loading the container to ship to Malawi and clearing out the house so that we could leave. Moving is awful but it’s good to have friends that can help bear one’s burdens.

3. We have been in Malawi for 10 months now and overall the adjustment has gone well. The

African Bible College Christian Academy where Beth teaches and the kids attend is a good school and provides a good learning environment and caring teachers for the kids. Beth has fit in well as she has re-entered the classroom as a full time teacher after a 13-14 year hiatus. My finance background serves me well in my role as the ABC Financial Controller and we enjoy living on the campus of ABC. It’s good to be part of a ministry that is shaping young people for service to God. There are some pretty neat students at ABC and they are going to go out into the world and make a difference.

4. Stuff – we are not supposed to hold on tightly to the things of this world but we have been tremendously blessed materially (which contributes to the agony of moving…see number 2 above). Malawi is a poor country and there are many, many people who can hardly dream of the kind of material comforts that we take for granted. When purchasing a bicycle takes one and a half month’s worth of wages, you are in a place that I cannot really relate to, even though I can observe it firsthand. I’ve never gone hungry because there was no money for food but that’s a real issue that faces people in Malawi. Our gardener recently asked for an advance on his salary so that his children could eat breakfast before going to school.

5. Prayer partners and update followers – We have more than 600 email addresses on our distribution list for updates such as this one. It’s pretty neat to have that many people engaged and interested in our lives with many of them remembering us in prayer.

6. Financial Support – God has provided wonderfully for us through the donations of people like you. Substantial funds were raised up-front which helped cover costs for moving and shipping our container. God also provided a car for us shortly after we arrived. On an ongoing basis, we also continue to receive God’s provision. It’s a bit of an adventure because we don’t know from month to month exactly where the money is going to come from, but it does come (we have a number of regular monthly donors but we also have quite a few that give on a more periodic basis-- either one-time or just every so often--and thus we don’t know from month to month how things will work out…but things do continue to work out). Thank you for allowing God to provide for our needs through you.

7. Salvation through Jesus - Of course, the best gift of all is the salvation that we have in Jesus Christ who gave His life to pay the penalty for our sins. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and we are blessed to be counted as God’s children because of what Christ has done for us.

So, there’s a count of some of our blessings. But again, our blessings are really too numerous to count. However, we can rejoice that God is an infinite God who loves His children individually and personally. Wow.

Thanksgiving is not a holiday in Malawi so today was a workday. However, tonight we had a big Thanksgiving feast at Jack & Nell Chinchen’s house (Jack and Nell founded ABC and are now both in their 80s but still active with the ministry of ABC). There were something like 75 people or more. I understand that there were 6 turkeys prepared and I think the sweet potatoes I had tonight may be the best I’ve ever had (Connie Dehnert made ‘em and boy were they nice). So, we’re far from home (at least our earthly home) but we still had a very nice Thanksgiving dinner.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Happy Black Friday shopping to those of you who participate in the chaos. Thank you for your ongoing prayers and financial support for our family.


The Trumble family at Thanksgiving dinner.

Some of the other people at the dinner and some of the food

Dessert Table!

Check out some of the nice china that was being used.

STEAM - Trumbles in Malawi - 22 Nov 2010 - Refugee Camp

Greetings from Malawi!

The rains have finally come. We have had rain (or at least a sprinkle) for four days in a row so it seems that the dry season is over. Wednesday will mark 10 months since we arrived in Malawi. I turned 40 on the 10th of November. My Colorado driver’s license was expiring that day and I had not obtained a Malawi license yet so I went to the office where such things are handled and was told that I needed my Temporary Employment Permit (TEP) stamp in my passport first. My TEP was approved in April but the paperwork has yet to come through and so I don’t have the needed passport stamp yet. So, I drove over to the immigration office to see if I might obtain the stamp in my passport. The parking lot at the immigration office is fairly minimal but a car was going to come out of a space so I waited for it. As the driver negotiated his way out of the parking spot, he backed up a little too much and bumped another car and then he just drove off. I was going to attempt to back into the same spot and I hit the same car…Happy Birthday to me! I had just recently acquired business cards and the first one I handed out was to the wife of the owner of the car.

In the end, I still didn’t get the passport stamp or my driver’s license. I now don’t have a valid driver’s license anywhere in the world.

The pastor of the church we attend heard me talking about a Taco Bell 7-Layer Burrito. He and his wife made a quick trip to the States and he brought me back a Taco Bell 7-Layer Burrito in his carry-on luggage. He bought it in California on Tuesday, the day before my birthday, at about 5:30 pm and I ate it on Saturday, some 80+ hours after purchase. The tortilla gets a little slimy/clammy through the process but overall it wasn’t bad at all. It might be the first ever Taco Bell 7-Layer Burrito in Africa!

On Saturday, Will and I and a few dozen folks from ABC (a mix of staff and students) made the journey north to the Dzaelaka refugee camp where about 10,000 displaced Africans live. This is a pretty dire place. Dry and without much foliage, it is populated by people from Somalia, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (the DRC, formerly Zaire). Unless the refugees have specific specialized skills (such as medical or teaching), they are not allowed to work in Malawi so they sort of sit in this no-man’s land where they are not home but where they can’t assimilate into the nation in which they currently reside (and some have been in Malawi for years).

In the morning we broke up into groups and spent some time visiting residents of the camp, and in the afternoon, Mingoli, a group made up of ABC students and led by Kelly Dehnert, put on a little concert and Jonathan Robson (another ABC missionary) spoke through a translator to share some Scripture from 1 Peter.

The group that Will and I were in during the morning visited briefly with a Somali family and then spent a bit more time with some people from the DRC. Ronald and Chisomo, two ABC students, shared the Good News of Christ with four people and before we left Ronald led them in praying to receive Christ as their savior. Ronald shared in Chichewa, which the man understood, and he translated into Swahili which the others understood. Please pray for these new believers who are in quite a tough situation.

Evance, the man from the camp who led our little morning sub-group is also from the DRC. I asked him how many languages he speaks and he rattled off several, none of them English (which, admittedly wasn't fantastic but it was good enough to communicate with me). He said he speaks Swahili, French, Tshiluba, Lingala, Bemba, Nyanja, and Mbunda. Pretty amazing…here’s a guy who possesses fantastic linguistic ability and he is stuck in this camp with his life essentially wasting away.

Please pray for the refugees in this camp and the ABC students who will continue to try to minister to some of them. While their situation in the camp is very tough, we know that God is in control.

To read more about the camp, check out pages 2-5 of the document to be found at this link

Please continue to pray for our family. Beth and the kids have only 3 weeks (including this week) before Christmas break at the Christian Academy. The college semester ends about a week after that. There seems to be little doubt that this will be the most warm-weather Christmas that any of us have ever experienced.

Thank you for your continued prayer and financial support. As you consider your year-end giving, please remember the Trumble family and ABC.


for the Trumble family

Pictures from the Refugee Camp

Note the lady behind Will who is pounding something into flour. She was really pounding away (see inset).

I’m not sure where the sticks come from, but they drag these long sticks to their houses to be used to help support the thatch roof

Will and Titu (tall guy, and an ABC student) with a bunch of kids in the camp

Evance is the multi-lingual guy. Ronald led the man to his right in prayer and he in turn led 2-3 other to his right in prayer to give their lives to Christ.

STEAM XXIII - Trumbles in Malawi - 4 November 2010

Greetings! Today I am sending out a little different STEAM message. I am asking you to consider donating some money toward the purchase & distribution of Bibles and other evangelistic endeavors in Malawi.

Michael and Igna Janse van Rensburg are new to ABC. As the academic year approached there was an urgent need for a teacher at the ABC Christian Academy and this family who was living in South Africa responded on very short notice and moved their family of 5 to Malawi in August. They only found out about the possibility of coming to ABC at about the beginning of July and received official word that they were coming on July 16 and then in early August they drove from their home in South Africa to Malawi. Igna (and yes, it is spelled that kind of includes a Germanic guttural sound when you say it properly) teaches 3rd grade at the ABC Christian Academy and Michael (when pronounced properly it kind of sounds like MIK-el but there’s sort of a guttural sound in the middle there somewhere too…I mostly just call him Michael like one would pronounce it in the States) is working in a badly needed maintenance/facilities role at ABC.

Michael has got to be one of the most gifted evangelists I've ever known. He talks to people and leads them to the Lord. I went shopping with him once and it was kind of a pain because he ends up talking to people and it takes a long time. Anyway, one of the things that he does in his job at ABC is to oversee the dozens of manual laborers that we have on the campus. These are grounds workers, carpenters, brick layers, painters and the like. Michael does devotions with these guys in the mornings before work…he leads the devotional times most days and then ABC students come on Fridays to speak. Many of these workers do not have a Bible but Michael would like to see those who want one to have one.

Michael rode with me yesterday to a men’s Bible study group that we attend on Wednesdays and mentioned this issue to me. He had contacted his old church back in South Africa but they are unable to help fund this Bible purchase at this time. So, would you be willing to help pay for some Bibles and possibly other evangelism-related expenses that he will incur? Michael would like the workers to pay something for the Bibles so that they appreciate them and value them but these guys are pretty poor so the purchase would be subsized to some degree. Many of the workers take home less than the equivalent of $75 per month and even the highest paid ones would rarely, if ever, take home as much as $200 from ABC in a month). Over 30 of these guys have expressed in interest in a Bible…most would like a Chichewa Bible (Chichewa is the main language spoken in Malawi) but a few want an English Bible and then there is a desire for one in Portuguese and one in Timbuka (another language spoken in Malawi). The money he collects from these guys for the Bibles will get rolled back in and will be used for further ministry.

It won't really take a lot of seed money to get started but I'm asking you to consider making a donation to support this effort to provide the Word of God to some folks here in Malawi. Even if you do not wish to support this effort monetarily please pray for Michael as he shares the gospel with these workers and others with whom he has contact. Pray also for boldness for the rest of us who are not gifted evangelists but still need to be ready to share the reason for the hope that we have in Christ.

After the family moved to Malawi Michael hired a young man to work at his house and led him to the Lord. I asked him about others who he’s led to the Lord here in Malawi and he said that there were “plenty”. As I spoke with him this morning (and keep in mind that he’s been in Malawi for less than 3 months) and asked him about people he’s lead to the Lord he mentioned Francis, Mark, John, Godfrey, Chifundo, Noah, Naston, Alick, and Emerson. I said something like, “You’re always looking for opportunities [opportunities to witness to people]” and his response was, “Oh yes.”

Not long after the family arrived in Malawi some kids were at our house and Hanna , the 6 year old came to me with a hurt toe and she was asking me for a plaster. Huh??? What's a plaster?? Anyway, apparently that's what a South African calls a bandage. Now, nobody has ever accused me of being particularly gifted in the medical arts but I helped here rinse off her toe in the tub and I got some bandages on her toe and it seemed to go okay. Happily she still has the toe and it seems to be fine...she is quite the cutie. Lydia, the 13 year old calls me ‘Uncle Dan’. They are a nice family.

Whether you can give us some funds for this effort or not, please keep this family in your prayers. Igna has left today to fly back to South Africa where her Mom is in bad shape. About a week ago a dog bit her arm and face and there is some question about whether she’ll be able to keep the arm. After the dog attack she had a stroke and has been unconscious for most or all of the time since then. She even stopped breathing on her own for a time on Monday but is breathing okay again now. Michael says that she is a nominal Christian but that she has not given her life to the Lord so pray for her physical and spiritual health as well as the family as Mom spends some time in South Africa while Dad and the kids stay in Malawi.

Below is a picture taken in early August before the family left South Africa. The couch they are sitting on in the picture belongs to friends of theirs. It’s a very nice couch. If the couch could be sold and the proceeds used to purchase Bibles, we would probably have plenty of money for this effort. Alas, the couch is not being sold for that purpose.

If you are interested in contributing to this effort, for now I would ask you to respond to this message and tell me how much you wish to contribute. I do not have a final answer yet regarding what mechanism we will use to move the money to Malawi but if we get adequate commitments we can possibly move forward with the purchase of Bibles this weekend with the idea of distributing some of them early next week. However, this will not be run through ABC like support for our family is done. While there will be benefit to some of the ABC workers through this effort, it will not be limited to ABC people and is not an official ABC ministry. For those of you who tell me that you wish to contribute I will send a follow-up message with the details of how to do that.

Thanks for your prayers for the Van Rensburgs (even though their name is “Janse van Rensburg” we just call them “Van Rensburg” here at ABC) and for our family.


Michael & Igna and their three children. Hanna is 6, Reinier is 10, and Lydia is 13 (Lydia is in Jim’s 8th grade class at the ABC Christian Academy).

STEAM XXII - Trumble Missionary Update - 11 October 2010

Greetings from Malawi! Itsure is warming up here. I’ve heard October referred to as“Suicide Month” and it definitely is getting hot as we move towardthe summer months. Chichewa is the main language spoken in Malawi(although English is used for higher education and even in Parliament). One of the early things I learned to say after arriving in Malawi was,“Kutenta kwambiri” meaning that it’s very hot. We hadsome pleasant months in June, July, and August but now it’s starting toreally get hot. One might even say it’s “Africa-hot”here!

Saturday was Stephen’s 9thbirthday. A bunch of kids came over to spend the night and that wassomewhat successful although there was a fairly large age range represented andStephen didn’t always feel like he was the center of attention (becausehe wasn’t) and that was a bit disappointing. Another lesson of reallife I guess…Our own selfish desires are not always fulfilled.

Before we moved to Malawi, oneof the things that Stephen consistently identified as one of the good reasonsfor moving to Africa was the fact that the power goes out. The power,indeed, does go out a lot but on the campus of ABC we have some generators andthus we are protected from a lot of the inconvenience of power outages. We didn’t remember to turn the power off for dinner but before we atedesert, Steve threw the breaker switch and plunged us into darkness and we atedesert (cake and Fanta floats) without the main power…we did have somecandles and there was at least one flashlight in use some of the time.

Stephen’s breakfastrequest was “bacon” and we had bacon and eggs for breakfast(I’m not sure he had any eggs but some of us did).

Today, Monday the 11thof October, Stephen is 9 years and 2 days old. I was 2 days past my 9thbirthday when my mother died in November 1979. So, as of tomorrow, all ofmy kids will have had more time with their mother alive on Earth than Idid. It is good to have a mother and we’re blessed to have Beth asmom (and wife). As an adult and as a parent, I have a greaterappreciation for what my Dad went through in raising my sister and I after ourmother died. I was 9 and Amy was not yet 8 and Dad suddenly was thrustinto a position where he had to try to fill the roles of both mom and dad, dealwith the grief of losing his wife, and dealing with all of the logistics ofgetting us back and forth to school and feeding us and such. For yearsDad would consistently drive the morning portion of the carpool so that hewouldn’t have to drive the afternoon portion which would have beentougher to coordinate with work.

A few years ago a church friend,Dennis Andrews, dug out an old copy of our church’s newsletter. This was the November 1979 version in which Connie Wallace, a friend of mymom’s, had written a piece about my Mom.

Quoted here is a part of thatnewsletter:

(Editor’s Note: On this past November 12th,God called Home one of His dear saints, Gladys Tumble. This month, inplace of our usual pastor’s page, we asked a close friend of Gladys toshare some of her thoughts with us.

What a joy it always was to be with Gladys, or even to visit with her on thephone. Now the memories of those times we re-live and cherish, and howglad we are to have them, for her friendship was one of God’s dearestgifts. Her joyful outlook will be what we remember best, and Proverbs15:13a provides an apt description of it: “A happy heart makes theface cheerful”.

The make-up of Gladys’ personality was surely the work of the MasterCraftsman, and how we delighted in her company! Who among us could notrespond to her smile? She had a capacity to have a good time, laugh atherself, and see the funny side of everyday situations, which was sorefreshing. And when she said, “Hi Friend! How are you?”,she really wanted to know, in detail! She knew how to listen andwas not quick to make judgments or give advice. Her interest in peopleseemed to know no bounds, and what an encourager she was. One of thegreatest reasons we loved her is the same reason we miss her…she met needsin our lives. And she freely shared with us her own life—her joysand concerns about her family, friends, health, job; and when she felt afailure in some area—a weakness or sin, that she shared, too. Sheknew us and she let us know her. She was a friend.

Over the years, a picture of her growing-up years as a red-haired,freckle-faced girl on a Washington wheat farm took form in my mind, as sheoften spoke of the close and loving family life she enjoyed, and of the friendsshe had, many of whom she kept in contact with and loved dearly. Gladys’ father died when she was a senior in high school, and though sheloved him and missed him acutely, she saw it was through his death that she andher brother made solid decisions for Christ. Her mother went to [be] withthe Lord only last year. Their relationship was special; she so respectedher mother’s consistent, practical walk with the Lord and Gladys wasfaithful to her in every way—in correspondence, sending pictures, visiting,etc. And her relationship to her brother, Howard was no usual one either,as evidenced by her accounts of their childhood and how they continued to writeweekly.

Throughout her college and single years, she made friends with people whom shecontinued to pray for and love. Then, in 1969 came the bigevent—marriage to Jim, whom she often referred to as “myJim”. And there was no doubt in her mind that God had givenher the best of the best! Last year she even wrote a short article forValentine’s Day which was published in the local paper; it ratherembarrassed Jim, but it aptly described her admiration for him! This isnot to say she did not share rough spots in their relationship, but themarriage they had was a real-life example of a Christ-centered marriage to manyof us. Then in 1970 and ’72 came Daniel and Amy and, once again,she was convinced that God had given them the “cream of thecrop”! They were a great delight to her, and again we had anexample of Christian parenthood from Jim and Gladys.

In June, 1978, came the first of the battle with cancer. The next yearheld many hard times, most especially the physical therapy following surgery,then chemotherapy with all its side effects. And though she admitted tothe difficulties, sometimes through tears, these things only sidelined her forshort periods, then she was up and greeting life and its duties with her usualcheerfulness. It was a beautiful combination of what I came to call“grit and grace”. In May of this year she wrote to an oldfriend in Washington, sharing with her what she had learned and how shehad profited through this experience. Among several things she wrote thatshe had seen God’s love in a new way and that she was certain of Hiscontrol. She came through it with what she called a “rock-ribbedconviction” that she would continue to walk with Him, no matterwhat. She was thankful for the hearing she had with unbelievers due toher bout with cancer, as she shared the reason for her hope. The dailythings of life with Jim and the children were appreciated even more, such asthe opportunity to tuck in the children at night and to do their mending. She called Jim a “tower of strength” and was so thankful forhim. And she said that her relationship to Christ had been renewed as shehad been drawn closer through such a trial. And she was overwhelmed bythe love of His people toward her. Toward the end of the letter, shequoted a woman who was dying of cancer: “Affliction is not learningyou have cancer in your body. It is living without peace and withouthope”. Gladys went on to say that she was encouraged about thepeace and hope that do not depend on health.

Gladys’ life revolved around relationships. Even people who hadknown her for a very short time felt her love and warmth. Though Gladysperceived herself as a very ordinary person, there was nothing ordinary abouther relationships as wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend—her lifewas literally poured into people. In everyday, practical ways she livedout Romans 12:10: “Be devoted to one another in brotherlylove. Honor one another above yourselves.”

Gladys wanted the credit for anything good in her life to go to the Lord, so itwould be fitting to end this with a prayer. “Thank you, Lord, forthe precious gift of knowing Gladys. It was a joy. Thank you forher relationship to You and that she now sees you face to face. We needand accept your comfort. Help us to somehow fill the void of her leavingby being more loving toward one another. In Jesus’ Name,Amen.”
--Connie Wallace– one friend among many

Friday is Mother’s Day inMalawi. Take a moment to thank God for your mother. If your Mom is stillliving, why not take a few minutes to drop her a note or give her a phone calland tell her how special she is to you? For those of you in the UnitedStates, your mother is probably not expecting typical “Mother’sDay” greetings from you this week (since Mother’s Day is in such adifferent part of the year in the U.S.). Surprise her and tell her youlove her.

Jack and Nell Chinchen foundedthe ministry of African Bible Colleges in 1976. They are both in their80s now but they are still active in the ministry. Jack’s office isright across the hall from mine in the Administration Building where I work andthey are our next-door neighbors. You could say that Nell is the“Mother of ABC”. This is Nell’s renewed call for prayerwarriors:

A Message From Nell Chinchen


The mother of Charles Wesley once said, "The handthat rocks the cradle rules the world"... I would like to add to thatstatement..."by prayer."

Empires may tumble; stock markets may crash... but thework of God upheld by prayer will remain steadfast, unmoveable on that solid Rock.

African Bible Colleges was founded by prayer, expanded byprayer, encompassed Africa by prayer, and as we "enlarge the place of ourtent; lengthen our cords, and strengthen our stakes", during theseuncertain days, we need you to become a prayer warrior with us.

Our goal is 100 prayer cells, with one or two ("Iftwo of you will agree as touching anything on earth it will be done for you byMy Father which is in Heaven") praying together once a week for AfricanBible Colleges and its missionaries.

When Jack and I began the first African Bible College inLiberia, West Africa, we had over 500 people praying for us and our childrenevery day. As a result...we now have 3 African Bible Colleges...Malawi,Liberia, Uganda...3 radio stations, a clinic, a Christian academy...and many ofour own children serving in Africa with us and others in Christian ministry.

But that was over 30 years ago!!! Let us renew that vigil!

If you would like to join this army of prayer warriors,please respond below.

We will keep you up to date on special needs ...and youwill be encouraged as together we watch God do amazing things for thefurtherance of His Kingdom in Africa!

In His Grace,
Nell Chinchen

This letter can befound on ABC’s website here: If you are interested in responding to her call forprayer, follow the link and fill out the simple form at the bottom of the web page.

Thank you for yourcontinued prayers for our family. This week Beth and the kids don’thave school as the week is sort of a “spring break” althoughI’m not sure hardly anyone really calls it that. I am taking a fewdays away from the office as well and we’re going to get away for a bitand go to Zomba Mountain to a cottage that a Christian family allows missionaryfamilies to use for a reduced rate. Please pray for a restful time andgood family time.

Finally, please prayfor the African Bible College students. While the costs of theireducation is significantly subsidized, they still are responsible for payingsome of the costs and this can be a very big challenge for some of them. Today I met with a number of students and a few of them will be forced to leavecampus and not attend classes until they meet some of their financialobligations. ABC does offer a way to provide partial sponsorshipfor students. If you are interested in helping any students, let me knowand I can perhaps point out a few specific ones (or you can choose your ownstudent by going to

Thank you for yourcontinued love, support and prayers.


Stephen (center top) and the kids at his birthday party. Inthe second picture, see Stephen with the red “You Are Special Today”plate with pasta and a white chicken sauce that he had chosen for his birthday.
Stephenand his cake. As this was his ninth birthday on October 9th,it was his “golden” birthday -- see the number 9 in gold (actuallyyellow) M&Ms.

Baconfor breakfast. Note the arrow pointing again to the red “You AreSpecial Today” plate.

Inimage of the church newsletter (actually an image of a copy of the newsletter)that is quoted above about Gladys Trumble, my Mom.

STEAM XXI - 26 Sept 2010 - Trumble Missionary Update

Greetings from Malawi!

Friday marked 8 months since we arrivedin Malawi. Beth continues to be very busy with teaching 2ndgrade and I don’t seem to run out of work doing Finance stuffeither. Things are very busy but our family is doing well. Thankyou for your continued prayers for us as we serve at ABC.

In my work in the Admin office,I am not on the “front lines” of ministry as much as some peopleare but I know that it is important to have good foundational administrativestuff done so that some of the other good work can happen. Let meshare a story here about some of that “good work” that is beingdone by some ABC graduates. I am following that time-honored tradition ofjust repeating what someone else has said. In this case, I am quotingKelly Dehnert, a professor here at ABC. He gave me permission to use thefollowing paragraph which he had used in one of his updates.

Today I took Jonathan Robson (one of the newfaculty members), Dr. Henry Krabbendam (from Covenant College), Shea, an ABCgraduate and his friend to Kachere Prison for Dr. K to preach. Kennedy,the graduate, has formed a new prison ministry with another graduate and theyare moving ahead quickly serving in the prisons in Lilongwe. In the last threemonths they secured chairs, a tent-like covering for the prison courtyard, somebooks, maps and other teaching materials to begin several grades for thejuvenile prison. There are four teachers presently and they are workingon four more volunteer teachers for the prisoners. The prison providedone small room that they could lock all their materials in duringoff-hours. The prisoners, ages 12 to 18, will now be able to be inschool, many of whom have not been in school before! It is amazing howthe prison guards and authorities have taken our graduates in to serve the childrenat Kachere. Kennedy and Yohane spent four years while at ABC developing alove for the prisoners in two prisons in Lilongwe. It is thrilling to seethem continue in this ministry – Pleasepray for them.

Tonight the new headmaster atthe ABC Christian Academy stopped by my house and we talked for a while. It’s interesting to see how God provides. A year ago he was workingbut not doing the kind of work that he really wants to be doing but instead wasdoing whatever needed to be done to support his family. He deliveredpizza, chopped wood, did a little tutoring, and received some help from hischurch but basically he just found a way to make ends meet. This is a manwith years of teaching experience and a Masters of Education and this was notthe way he dreamed of making a living and providing for his family. However, God was preparing his family for Africa (even though he didn’tknow it at the time) and now that they are here, he is doing the kind of workhe wants to do (and that he’s good at) and he’s actually living ina better house now than he was a year ago and God continues to faithfullyprovide for his family’s needs. God is good.

While I was working atCompassion I allowed myself to be lulled into a sense of security. Goddoesn’t promise to give us good employment or a reliable paycheck but Hedoes promise to meet our needs and while things may not go anything like theway our finite minds have them figured out, none of our challenges comes as asurprise to God and He does have it all figured out in His perfectplan. What a blessing to serve the One True God and to know that Heis in control.

Some of you will see this intime and I would ask for your prayers for tomorrow morning as I share in thedevotions for the ABC Community Clinic. Part of what I will be doing isasking forgiveness for my behavior on Friday afternoon. There was a staffmeeting and the leader of the meeting was having trouble getting people to bequiet so that the meeting could proceed and I was getting hotter and hotter andfinally just exploded and shouted at the people for a bit and stormedout. I don’t think I’ve every behaved that way in aprofessional environment before (certainly not in front of that many people). Some of what I said (shouted) may have needed to be said but itcould have been done in a more mature way. I posted something on Facebook about it and a veteran missionary said this:

Culture shock. How many months have you been there now? Hmmm. Ihad a shouting match with my co-worker in a team meeting sometime during thefirst 3 years we were on the field. Couldn't leave - it was our flat we weremeeting in! Hang in there. Do the Matt. 18 thing. Be encouraged. :-)

So, I don’t know if it isculture shock or just my natural sinful self but I will be sharing indevotions. Please pray that God would use this situation for His gloryand that I would have the right words as I speak. Devotions are scheduledto start at 7:30 am local time (11:30 pm Sunday night in Colorado).

Our gardener, Justin, makes about$85 per month. He also gets supplies for tea and for lunch and this isquite a good deal for a gardener. He is the third of 5 sons in his familyand seems to be the only one of the adult sons who is responsible. Fromwhat he says, some of the others seem to smoke and drink away what theyearn. Recently, his mother was sick with what sounds like spinalmeningitis. She was in a public hospital in Blantyre, one ofMalawi’s largest cities, but it is up to family and friends to provide foodto patients. I’m not sure if the hospital provides anything in theway of food, but if they do, it isn’t much. Since there are nodaughters in the family, Justin’s wife was caring for his mother and thefinancial burden fell on Justin. On Thursday his mother died and soJustin has traveled down to Blantyre to take care of matters. It iscommon for employers to provide for a coffin and money to transport the body asfolks don’t tend to have the money to take care of these things (acoffin, body transport, and food for the funeral can all be covered for lessthan $300). Please pray for Justin and his family during this hard time.

Finally, let me correct amisstatement I made in the TOAST message sent out earlier in the month. In the very last picture in that message I indicated that my Dad was readingthe Bible as part of the Christmas 2010 celebration. I understand thatwhat he’s holding in that picture may actually be a hymnal, not theBible. Also, Christmas 2010 hasn’t occurred yet (but is less than 3months away!)…the picture was from December 2009, not 2010.

Please keep us in prayer.


Kids on the first day of school

A couple of new teachers at theAcademy were involved in a car accident a week ago Friday. It happenedright outside of ABC’s main gate. Thankfully they were not hurtbadly. They were in the silver/gray car (note the deployed airbags).

A fun picture of Anny, one ofour cats, on the screen door. The dog is Daisy, the Dehnert’s dog.

STEAM XX - Trumble Missionary Update - 4 September 2010

Greetingsfrom Malawi!

First, let mefollow up on the prayer request sent out a week ago related to the head-oncollision of Katie and Lydia (mother and daughter) with a fuel truck. Thank you for praying and please continue to pray. Lydia had a terribleburn or bruise (or something) from the seatbelt but has returned to school andshould be okay. Katie broke a bit of her pelvis but it’s near the topof the pelvic bone on one side and apparently if you’re going to have abusted pelvis, this is the way to do it. More seriously, her kneecap wasalso busted up quite badly and on Sunday last week they transported her toBlantyre (about 300 kilometers away) and she had surgery. I’veheard that she will need to remain in the hospital for 2-4 weeks total. Katie’s husband and the kids’ dad was killed in a car accident lessthan 2 years ago in Malawi and so besides the physical recovery, please prayfor the emotional health of the family. Thanks for all of yourprayers. In last week’s update I had said that Lydia’s sisteris in Beth’s 2nd grade class but that was incorrect. Lydia is in the 3rd grade but none of the Bartlett are inBeth’s class.

Augustwas quite a cool month. I even wore a long-sleeved flannel shirt to workone day. It’s been a busy several weeks as lots of new missionariesand staff have moved to Malawi for the first time or returned after a visit tothe States. We have new families from Australia, South Africa, and Indiabesides the new families from the U.S. There are several young singlepeople here to teach at the ABC Christian Academy (where Beth teaches and thekids attend). It’s quite a busy time getting everyone from the airportand situated into their new living quarters (and retrieving bags thatdidn’t make it on the scheduled flights). Since we came to Malawiin the middle of the school year at ABC, we missed the normal orientation thatis held for new staff but we got to join new staff for orientation in Augustafter having been here for more than half a year. I even presented someof the orientation for finance stuff. One of the activities was ascavenger hunt into town on a minibus to acquire certain itmes. Picturesof the scavenger hunt can be seen here: .

Beth and thekids have completed the 3rd week of school and while it keeps Bethincredibly busy, it is good. She has kids from Malawi, the U.S.,Zimbabwe, Korea, and South Africa (and maybe others that she cannot remember atthe moment) and the school has over 20 countries represented in the studentbody. Jim is not in favor of homework but the kids are doing okay.

We havefriends on campus who employ a cook named Steve and he has done some work forus as well. Our son Stephen thinks that cook Steve is the best and we doenjoy lots of the food that he makes. Anyway, our friends were headedback to the States for a short time and shortly after they left, Steve came byour house. His wife had gone to Blantyre and was very sick in agovernment-run hospital and they wouldn’t even tell Steve what was wrongwith her but his wife was not doing well at all. Beth did some worktrying to figure out how one might go about getting a person transferred to aprivate hospital but before anything was resolved with that, we found out thatSteve’s wife had died. Steve travelled through the night toBlantyre and his wife was buried the next day. Steve has 3 children agedabout 11, 6 and 2 and now he’s a single parent. Then, within about2 weeks, his father died (several hundred kilometers away) and so he had todeal with that as well. Please pray for Steve and his kids as he has alot facing him. In less than 6 weeks our son Stephen will be the age Iwas when my mother died. Single parenthood is a tough deal and I’mglad I don’t have to do it.

Beth and Icelebrated our 16th wedding anniversary on the 13th ofAugust. We went out to dinner and friends kept the kids overnight. It is good to be married.

ABC is a bitlight on administrative staff and so I end up being involved in quite a bitmore than basic finance duties. In the past 30 days we’ve had tosack three workers (in Malawi, we refer to firing someone as“sacking” them) for theft. On Thursday I dropped by ourlawyer’s office with some labor law questions. Right now I’msigning virtually all of the checks for the College, the Academy, and theClinic. It is busy, busy!

In my financerole I get to be the “bad guy” in trying to collect studentfees. It is neat to see how some students who are adequately paid-up ontheir school fees are sometimes willing to transfer funds to other students whoare in need of help.

In the updatethat I sent in early August I had intended to include a picture of our cats butfailed to include the picture in most (if not all) of the updates I sentout. I have currently misplaced the camera cord that I need to downloadpictures from my camera (although another guy on campus has a way that he canhelp me). Anyway, I am including the cat picture in THIS update (see below).

Thank you foryour prayers for our family as well as for the ministry here at ABC. Please remember Katie and Lydia (the accident victims) and Steve (whose wifeand father died) specifically in your prayers. Also remember the collegestudents, some of whom face significant challenges in trying to raise the necessaryschool fees. Dr.Henry Krabbendam from Covenant College is a guest lecturer at ABC for a littlewhile. He is big on counting trials as joy the way we are instructed to do inthe book of James. Living in Africa can present lots of opportunities forcounting joys. Please pray for us that we would count difficulties asjoy!

Pleasesend us messages to letus know what’s going on in your lives!

Dan (for the Trumble family)

The picture was taken by Elizabeth and shows Sunshine and Anny. Sadly, Sunshine has now gone missing so we’re now down to Anny and Floppy, Anny’s mom. It’s kind of too sad. Sunshine was a nice looking cat.

Two pictures of Elizabeth from the scavenger hunt during orientation. (Beth and the backof Steve’s head are in the second picture).

STEAM XIX - Trumble Missionary Update - 3 August 2010

Greetings from the depths of the Malawian Winter!

We have now been in Malawi for more than 6 months and things are going well. The weather has been very pleasant and the break from school has been nice for Beth and the kids. For Beth, however, the break is over as she works toward getting things ready for a new school year that begins on August 17. The College classes begin the following week so things are going to get cranked up here pretty soon.

We took about a week and spent some time together as a family on vacation. We split our time between Zomba Mountain which was quite beautiful and cool (we had a fire burning in the fireplace for much of the time) and Blantyre where the country’s only operational movie theatre is located. We saw a movie which was fun. We saw Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang (aka Nanny McPhee Returns in the USA). The “Big Bang” in the title is related to a bomb during World War II, not some Darwinian theory. For some pictures of our time on Zomba Mountain, follow this link:

My responsibilities have increased and I’m now involved in some of the financial operations of the Clinic and the Christian Academy as well as the College. I’ve also been working some with immigration issues for new non-Malawian staff and lately I’ve become more involved in security issues. Last week Children of the Nations, a ministry with a location not far from the campus of ABC, had an incident. Dr. Ty Krehbiel, a doctor who is spending a few weeks in Malawi, related the story this way:

--saw a guard from "Children of the Nations" in clinic today, they got broken into last night. apparently it was 10-20 men, they beat him with clubs, got him before he could blow his whistle. then they went straight for the safes in their main office and then went door to door taking computer equipment and anything else that was valuable. --interesting side note, also saw a white woman who stepped on some glass while trying to get away (followed by a quick surrender), they stopped the heist to bandage her foot, took all her computer stuff but didn't do anything to her. so, apparently they got some moral boundaries, maybe?

Anyway, apparently there has recently been an uptick in crime in the area in which we live and on Thursday I attended a community meeting of leaders. The effort is sort of along the lines of a ‘Neighborhood Watch’ program but because the police presence is not as robust as one might hope, the group agreed that households in the area would each contribute a certain amount each month to help fund security efforts. The funds will be used to hire some staff to man roadblocks and do patrols. The meeting lasted almost 3 hours and was conducted almost entirely in Chichewa. Of the maybe 75-90 people in attendance, I was the only non-Chichewa speaker…a LONG meeting. However, I ended up on a committee and we’ve already met once and will meet again within the week. Additionally, I have been involved in some security meetings on campus over the last two days.

Overall, I have felt quite safe in Malawi and I don’t think we’re in a lot of danger on the campus of ABC but it’s true that we are fabulously rich by the standards of most Malawians and thus we could make attractive targets.

The Eppersons, a family of 5 (including grandma) moved onto the ABC campus within the last several weeks and have been a real blessing (read more about their ministry here: They have a 13 year-old-boy (Ryan) and a 9-year-old girl (Kimmy) and we see quite a bit of them. It is has been good for Jim to have a friend with whom he can spend time). Quite a few sleepovers have occurred. Our son Will turned 11 on Friday. The Eppersons came over and we had a Mexican meal. A couple of other boys from campus also came and spent the night.

It has been a busy school break as many “regular” ABC residents have been gone (either on furlough or back in the States for a while before returning soon) and there have been many visitors to the campus. Last week we had a container from the Stateside office in Mississippi arrive. It contained textbooks for the College and the Academy, as well as some desks for the Academy, some dental equipment for the Clinic, and an assortment of personal goods for various families, including ours. Follow this link for container-unloading pictures: One of the things that came on the container for us was the complete series of Star Trek Deep Space Nine and we’ve been watching about one episode per night and Ryan Epperson has been joining us (tonight some of us watched two episodes). Fun!

Watch these two videos to get a feel for what unloading a container at ABC is like:

2. Follow a box as it comes off the container and goes into the gym -

Prayer Items

· For the way that God has allowed us to adjust to our new lives in Malawi

· For the many new teachers and other staff who are joining the ministry for this coming academic year (and beyond)

· For continued good health

· Security – pray for the safety of all on the campus and also those in the community. Pray that those who would wish us harm would be thwarted in their efforts and that ABC’s response to the security concerns would be a testimony within the community.

· The upcoming academic year – pray for the approximately 300 students at ABC Christian Academy (where Beth teaches and the kids attend) as well as the approximately 240 students (including about 80-90 new freshmen) who will be attending the College

God is using this ministry to prepare Africans for ministry and we are blessed to be a part of that. Through your prayer and financial support, you can also be a part of the ministry! Thanks for your continued prayers and financial support!


Dan (for the Trumble family)

Beth and Will on a hike we took on Zomba Mountain. Keep in mind that this is in the midst of winter (it’s a bit different than winter in Colorado!)

Will on his birthday with his cake

In June we acquired 5 cats. A Momma and 4 kittens. During our vacation, one kitten went missing. The Sunday before last another one had a losing battle with a vehicle. Here are the two remaining kittens. Picture by Elizabeth.

STEAM XVIII - Trumble Missionary Update - 3 July 2010


Our family has now been in Malawi for over 5 months and we are thinking that we will stay in Malawi for quite a few more years. Both Beth and I have places here where our gifts are a good fit and where we can be used by God to fulfill his purposes for the African Bible College. Right now our plans, as God wills and enables, is that we would try to make a trip to the United States about one year from now. We would come home for about 6-8 weeks and spend some time with family and friends in Colorado and Iowa. We would return to Malawi in August 2011 and plan to serve in Malawi for two additional school years (the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years) after which we would come back to the States for a furlough year before returning to Malawi in time for the 2014-15 school year).

Of course the expense to travel with a family of 6 across the world is substantial and it would be very wonderful if someone would like to contribute frequent flier miles toward getting us home. We have enough miles to hopefully cover the tickets for some of us (although most of our miles are American Airlines miles and there are currently no AA partner airlines that fly into Malawi so we might end up driving to Zambia to catch our flight…we shall see). There are partner airlines of Delta/KLM and United that service Malawi so if you have miles with one of those, we’re still interested in talking J!

Also, why not plan on coming to visit us here in Malawi sometime? How many opportunities do you have to visit friends in Africa? If you think you might be interested, let us know!

Steve & Marion Spencer are long-time missionaries with ABC (Marion’s folks are the founders of ABC). They have recently left to go back to the States on furlough. Steve is interested in elk hunting in Colorado. If anyone can offer and advice or if you might be willing to take Steve (and perhaps a son or two) hunting this fall, let me know and I can put you in contact with Steve.

We have recently acquired 5 cats…a mom and 4 kittens. For a little while they were being kept inside the house but they were a mess and they now don’t live inside the house anymore. We’re also watching Nacho, a small dog, while Nacho’s owners are in the United States this summer. They will be back in August but for now we’ve got an indoor dog and 5 outdoor cats. Elizabeth has written quite a bit about the cats on her blog and I urge you to check it out. She is not a strong speller but she’s a fun writer with a fun perspective.

Please keep the African Bible College students in your prayers as they gather school fees for the upcoming semester. The fees for room, board and tuition are only about $700-$800 per semester but in a country where many people make only $1-$3 per day, this is a substantial challenge for many students and their families.

Keep Praying!


Dan (for all of the Trumbles)

On July 3, at the residence of the U.S. ambassador to Malawi, there was an American Independence Day celebration for American citizens. Here is our family. More pictures from the party:

First Picture: Elizabeth with Anny Jo, her kitten. More cat pictures:
Second Picture: Nacho (the dog we’re watching) with my office building in the background.

The Trumble Family on Father’s Day. More Father’s Day photos:

Dan watching some World Cup Soccer at the Student Center.