Project Strong Tower - Strong Tower Family Ministries

Strong Tower Family Ministires is a project driven Christ centered organization with programs designed to reach children in danger. Through the love of Christ, our hope is that we are able to comfort each child with the comfort God. 2 Cor 1:4

Strong Tower Family Ministries is a project driven Christ centered organization with programs designed to reach children in dangerous circumstances. Through the love of Christ, our hope is that we are able to comfort each child with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:4, paraphrased. Founded in 2004, Strong Tower Family Ministries, began working on a long term project for children with cancer. Under the name, Cancer Kids for Christ, our family took a personal seven year battle and began a work to comfort children and families enduring this unthinkable disease. During our trial, God’s people poured out mercy and grace helping to define a vision for service. A service to the cancer community at large both domestically and internationally with a central focus on children. As put so eloquently by our then ten-year-old son, Chandlar, “I can’t fight this battle alone… Jesus will have to do it!” Later, in 2006 and again in 2007, our family embarked on a new journey to serve orphan children in Russia. The terms of their condition and negative future forecast, placed a new burden on our hearts for suffering children. Now with the plight of the orphan so vividly burned on our hearts, we heeded God's call to adopt. In almost an instant our family grew from four to seven with the addition of three siblings from southern Russia. The ultimate result was that a clear vision for service to children in danger was laid forth. The vision culminates in the entity we call Strong Tower Family Ministries!

Mission: Strong Tower Family Ministries mission is to develop programs designed to glorify the Father by serving children in dangerous circumstances, their families and caregivers with the love and knowledge of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit; to declare through the teaching of the Word that in suffering, God brings comfort, so that we may also in turn bring comfort to others in similar situations; to provide for the creation of various prayer and support channels; to have the right to engage in all forms of educational and benevolent work, all for the purpose of providing a caring and benevolent entity.

Strong Tower Family,
Meet Ernst Toerien, Missionary to Thailand. Below is a recent update from his ministry and travels. STFM is a proud supporter through our South East Asia project. Please read and consider joining our effort of supporting those whom God has called to leave their homeland to share truth among the children of the world!

Title:
3000 km long

Soli Deo Gloria
Get ready for a long letter again; about 3000km long.

Somewhere during the month of October both Betsie and I had our birthdays (thanks for all the letters and messages of congratulations!), but with everything happening, it got lost a bit in the rush. The irony is that when I was still a child I always wanted to have my birthday during the holidays, and now that at last I experienced it, I am wishing that my holiday will fall in the school term, because then I can celebrate it at home. How difficult it is too keep our humans happy )))

The few days between my last letter to you and the 13th I spend getting ready for camp: prepared 3 sermons; 4 daily Bible lessons; searching for the correct stationary and sports equipment at Baannokkamin; getting Nadja ready for the being away from mom for 2 weeks (as well as helping her to get through her first Thai school exams). Speaking of exams, Nadja did very good. She wasn’t close to the top of her class, but for someone who had less than 6 month of Thai language learning to then do all her exams in Thai and do so well, is very wonderful. We threw her into deep water, and she swam. Praise God!
Speaking of Nadja, she is really like became a Thai: she can sleep anywhere (bus, boat, etc.) but the one place she can’t sleep is her own bed. )))

Back to the 3000km long story. Saturday the 13th saw me at Baannokkamin at 9am. The idea was to get the minivan, be home at 10am and celebrate (eating tea and cookies – cake over here is just for the very rich, way to expensive) my birthday from 10 to 12am before leaving for the north-east. Well the car wasn’t ready because they wanted to wash it first –Thai people love clean cars.
By 11:30 I was home, so we had 30 minutes to gulp everything down. This was our first few minutes as team together. In total we were 10 people: Mary (Philippines); Johan and Jolandie (missionary couple from SA); Drinie and her sister Ellen (SA as well); Prajen, Nicky and her daughter Nana (Thai); Nadja and I.
After gulping most down and taking the rest with, we left on a journey which would be about 3000km long.

It was Saturday, so the road was very busy. Add to it that it was a long weekend (commemorating the day the previous king died 2 years ago), so we were more stopping than going. 500km might not seem far, but when you go at that pace, it suddenly becomes very far. On the way we stopped at a cattle farm to eat some fresh hamburgers.
After dark we arrived safely at Prajen’s mom’s house.
The next morning, Sunday the 14th, I preached at their church. It was the first of 3 sermons I planned to preach from the Gospel of John Chapter 3. Nicky and her daughter (who are Buddhist) attended the service, as they would attend every other meeting we had. They heard the Gospel and saw it in action daily. Please pray that God will give them New Life.

After church and an early lunch, we travelled further to the north-east to the church where Prajen’s brother is the main elder, and where we would have our first camp. On the way we again saw Thai culture at work. When we asked Prajen how far still to go, he answered 30 minutes. Well 3 hours later we arrived ))) Since then every time someone asked how far still to go, I will just answer 30 minutes.

Monday afternoon the children arrived and we played some ‘get-to-know-each-other’ games.
Tuesday morning the camp really started. Mary was the glue keeping everything together with all her catching games; Johan did the English lessons; Jolandie crafts; I did the Bible lessons and Prajen translated. The children became part of the attendees and the other 3 women were worth their weight in gold serving everywhere they saw the need making sure there were no hitches.
The church members prepared a sports field for us and always had great food for everybody to eat. I never had to ask when we will eat, or if we will have something to eat.
The camp themes centered around us as sinners; Christ’s death; the work of the Holy Spirit and New Life.
We started with 28 children and ended on Friday afternoon with 36. It seems as if the children enjoyed it and the locals invited us to come and do more camps. Most importantly though is that the Gospel was preached. Praise God.

Saturday morning early and we were on the road again travelling to Chiang Rai for our next stop: preaching in a local church the next morning and camp 2.
Getting there took even longer than the Thai 30 minutes ))) Just short of 13 hours on the road, but with most of the road winding through nature reserves, I enjoyed it very much. Beautiful mountains and valleys.
Wawa and Nana left the next morning from the local airport to Bangkok to catch their flight back to South Africa.
The sermon was ok, at least I think so.
The main elder’s daughter has an organic tea farm north of Chiang Rai, basically on the Laos border, and she invited us to come and rest on her farm for 2 days. The next morning, we left for her farm.
The time on this small farm was very relaxing. Praise God for His provision. The farm is very beautiful.

Wednesday morning, we drove south to the place where our next camp was going to be; about 20km south of Chiang Rai. We planned to have the camp at the elder’s farm, but after heavy rain they moved it to his house in the village.
The children attending were younger and less in number (18), but because the area was so much smaller, it was for the best. Due to unforeseen circumstances we could only start camp a day later than planned, meaning we had to do 2 days of our camp program in one of the days. With fewer children attending it was possible.

A learnt a lot about camping in Thailand and the differences between here and Russia. In short: it is peanuts to have a came in Thailand compared to Russia. No government organizations came to check up on us; the different churches prepared the territories for the camps as well as feeding all of us. Organizing more camps like this on a regular basis is very possible and the financial burden will be a lot less. Praise God.

Saturday we drove south to Uthai Thani, where I preached on Sunday. After church we immediately left for Bangkok and the 230km again was more stopping than going: everybody on their way back home.
Back home I planned to go and take Betsie out somewhere for dinner, since it was her birthday, but the power levels hit the zero mark. Betsie’s birthday had even less celebrations than mine. Luckily on Tuesday we had time to go and celebrate with Thai friends.

Being back didn’t mean time for relaxing. During our travels I learned that the government made new laws concerning foreigners and being in Thailand. To get visa extensions I need to get a work permit. To get the work permit you need to now show proof of income from overseas. Monday and Tuesday I ran around trying to find the necessary documents. Wednesday Prajen, Esther, Nadja (had to go with because Betsie working) and I went to the Labour Department to get our work permits extended. Praise God I read about these new documents, because the first document they asked for was the proof of income. 5 minutes before closing time we (Esther and I) got our extended work permits.

Although it was a huge step forward, it was not the end of the visa fight. Thursday I spend filling out visa extension application forms for the 3 of us.
Friday morning, we left at 9:00 by car for Immigration. The 17km took us just 2 hours to travel. This meant that by the time we got there we were pretty far down in the queue. We experienced again a lot of Grace and miracles from God. In the small by getting a parking space just as we arrived there; in the bigger that they help everybody who gets a number (closing time is 16:30; we were helped by 18:30); and in the really big ones, like how the police woman doing the final check-up of our documents saw a spelling mistake in Betsie’s name and after seeing it and thinking to send us packing to correct it, whispering to me that she will make as if she didn’t see it. She didn’t even hint at me paying her something in return. She just did it. Miracles all. Praise God.
Our visas were extended for a year.

I was very nervous during this whole process. How many times have I seen God doing miracles – 25 years at least, not counting the years growing up (making it 45 then). So why am I still nervous? Why do I still doubt? I feel like giving myself a nice hard kick!!! This just goes to show that I still have a lot of growth before me to even just get to a point where I can be compared to the dirt that Christ walked on. Praise God that He can use someone as week as me, as all of us, to work in His Kingdom. Just Amazing Grace. Nothing in ourselves; all from Him.

Betsie is doing good at school. Praise God for this job and the extra income. Praise Him as well for this field of serving Him at school.
Nadja’s school started on Thursday again. Doing her hair in the morning is now my task. Would rather not send a photo of how that looks like )))

On Tuesday Tirza, from Holland – our Dutch angel, comes for a very short visit. Praise God for her servant heart doing so much to us and so many other people all over the world. We are VERY much looking forward to her visit.

The other big thing laying ahead this month is finding a new flat and moving. We are trying to find something closer to Betsie and Nadja’s schools and cheaper. Pray that God will give us the right place. Nicky said she will help trying to find a place.

Then December with all its Christmas parties ahead – lots of planning. But before this, I just want to rest a day or 2. The energy levels are pretty low.

Praise the Lord for the successful Bible college at the church in Tyumen during October. The school is growing. May God be glorified through it. If everything goes according to plan then Nadja and I will join them next year in March.

Stay on your knees, please. Thank you so much for every prayer; for every e-mail; for every donation. Alone we can’t fulfil this task; together as a team we can. Without Him binding us all together we would get absolutely nowhere.

All honor and praise to God for everything. Soli Deo Gloria!

In Christ,
All the Toeriens (including those in Russia counting themselves as part of our family, and there are a number of them)

PS: Sorry again for the quality. This time I could keep it down to 4 photos.
Photo 1: Camp 1: Most of the children and the helpers.
Photo 2: Camp 2: The theme of the day was Christ as the Lion and Lamb.
Photo 3: Nadja and I with the Mekong river on the background.
Photo 4: The Mekong river is a few kilometers from the farm. The Me part means actually Mother, therefore the name of the river actually means Mother of the Kong. Laos is on the right side of the river; and Thailand on the left side.

Project Strong Tower - Strong Tower Family Ministries

2015 Orphan Outreach

Help Support 2015 Siberian Orphan Camp - Are you seeking an opportunity to share Christ love this Christmas? Prayerfully consider our friends in Big Lake Russia, Siberian Orphan Camp.

http://www.ourstrongtower.org/2015-orphan-outreach.html

ourstrongtower.org Strong Tower Family Ministries commitment to our friends in Big Lake Russia continues. Our team witnessed firsthand the tremendous work of the Lord being accomplished with Russian orphans and...

www.ourstrongtower.org

Blog

Read my blog on suffering for The Glory of God
http://www.ourstrongtower.org/blog.html

www.ourstrongtower.org Strong Tower Family Ministries

ourstrongtower.org

Our Strong Tower

ourstrongtower.org Christian Ministry for children in danger

2012 Big lake Mission - Worship

Chandlar Leads Worship with the children

2012 Big lake mission

Happy Birthday in Russian

2012 Russia, Big Lake

Wonderful mission - Ernst's Big Lake Orphan Camp

Wonderful mission - Ernst's Big Lake Orphan Camp

Project Strong Tower - Strong Tower Family Ministries's cover photo

ourstrongtower.org

Our Strong Tower

ourstrongtower.org Christian Ministry for children in danger

ourstrongtower.org

Our Strong Tower

ourstrongtower.org Christian Ministry for children in danger

www.ourstrongtower.org

Our Strong Tower

Incredible Opportunity!
Our friend in Siberia needs our help. Last year Chandlar and I visited a life changing ministry for orphans and street children. A Summer Camp used to share the gospel! The Lord's work is being achieved there and many children are coming to know Him through our friend Ernst and his family. In our visit we learned first hand that the house and facilities can only handle a limited amount of people so we left knowing that Strong Tower would be committed to help add on and build out the necessary structures to house the over 70 people who are present on any given camp day. This year's camps were even larger.

We have just learned that phase one, a much needed bathhouse (banya) can be completed by a local church team but it must be complete before the harsh Siberian winter begins again in September. Half the material is bought and is ready to install at the camp. We can help now by providing the funds required for the other half. Ask God to confirm if you should help. We are seeking $6,000 in 3 weeks. Any amount will help. Please prayerfully consider your roll in this amazing journey.
In His precious and powerful name, Jesus!
Michael

www.ourstrongtower.org Christian Ministry for children in danger

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Atlanta Recap

On April 25th, YouthReach held its third and final spring ministry briefing at the 1818 Club in Atlanta, Georgia. Personal stories were shared and a vision w...

goodsearch.com

Simply Do Good

Internet searches can generate funds for Strong Tower Famly Ministries. Everyone has used Yahoo to search the web so why not use it and have STFM benefit! GoodSearch gives a percentage of earned marketing monies to charity for routine internet searchs. Check it out.
TIP: Save GoodSearch page with STFM as the preferred charity as one of your home pages.
http://www.goodsearch.com/cause-selected/cancer-kids-for-christ

goodsearch.com goodsearch.com donates money to your favorite non-profit or school when you search the web, shop online & dine out!

One of the many beautiful reasons we are to go to the ends of the Earth!

[08/04/12]   The Lord provided safe passage for us in both Russia and Indonesia. It was amazing the number of servants He lined up so that we would not have to struggle with travel transitions. A special thank you to Max, Eleana, Ernst, Nastia, Irina, Victoria, Pastor Raymond and his many volunteers. God's hand is surely upon you all!

No words necessary, just praise!

Worship, Indonesian style!

Michael shares through a Russian translator in Max's Moscow church.

Max's deaf congregation gets to hear about our mission work. What a blessing for us.

Timeline Photos

God's Wonderful children!

Chandlar leading worship

The farm camp

Big Lake 2012

[07/13/12]   Waiting for God to our plane across the big pond. Big Lake 2012... In His hands.

[06/27/12]   Three weeks and counting until we return to Russia and meet new friends. Thanks to all who have prayed and provided to our mission. The Lord is faithful...

[03/19/12]   God has provided for Cecilia's Dominican Republic trip thanks to our supportors! Now we are pressing on towards the goals set for Russia and Indonesia. If you are prayerfully considering a gift, please direct it to Mt. Zion or Strong Tower. See the Russian Orphan Outreach event. We are grateful for all of our dear supporters! The Bagley Seven

[02/13/12]   Got old cell phones, laptops, ink cartridges and laptops? Donate them to us for recycling. Funds generated will benefit Kristan and Cecilia's orphan mission trip to Haitti.

[02/13/12]   Strong Tower friends, preparing for Russia, Indonesia, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Your prayers are deeply appreciated!

conhomeusa.typepad.com

How we care for orphans as a society shows what kind of society we are - ConservativeHome's Platform

Great commentary on the challenge orphans face and a faith-based solution.

conhomeusa.typepad.com Jedd Medefind formerly led the White House Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives, and now serves as President of the Christian Alliance for Orphans. “Government makes a very poor parent,” lamented a friend recently. She’s served children in the U.S. foster system for three decades and wasn...

[08/12/11]   Pray this morning for the Treu's Adoption fund raiser sale. Pray for His great provision!

2011 Lighthouse Family Retreat - Project: Cancer Kids for Christ

160 people converged on the beaches of Gulf Place Florida to enjoy rest, laugh and just be with God! Thanks to Nicole for capturing these and many more photos of children and their families.

160 people converged on the beaches of Gulf Place Florida to enjoy rest, laugh and just be with God! Thanks to Nicole for capturing these and many more photos of children and their families.

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2012 Big lake Mission - Worship
2012 Big lake mission

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