This article was originally published in the August 2022 edition of ITMI Monthly.
It was a Wednesday morning when I got one of those calls you never want to get.
We try to operate ITMI as lean as we can in order to keep overhead from gobbling up funds that could go to those in need in the many places we serve. We work to keep a small staff who willingly wear multiple hats in order to address and deal with the many needs and challenges coming from many projects on four continents where the Lord has us currently serving.
On the morning of July 6th, Julie Hines, our Administration Assistant, received a call from Ashley, the daughter of our Financial Officer, Mark Burritt.
Mark has faithfully served ITMI, making sure we keep our finances properly reconciled and in accordance with acceptable accounting standards. Ashley broke the news that Mark had been struck by a car while on his early morning bicycle ride.
Mark was thrown up onto the hood and windshield of the car, and his bike was crumpled up and dragged across the 4-way residential intersection. Mark suffered a broken right foot, ankle, hip, ribs, and shoulder and was suffering a concussion and brain bleed. Mark’s injuries were severe enough that he was placed in the ICU.
Mark shared with me the afternoon of the accident that he believed he “…would miss a few days of work, [but would be back in soon].” Mark’s desire to be faithful to his ministry at ITMI, was evident even while not completely cognizant, due to the concussion and pain medications he was on.
Mark underwent surgery to repair his foot and ankle, and as of now, the doctors are allowing his other injuries to heal without invasive intervention.
Julie, Summer, and I have divided up the critical activities that Mark normally does, and we have committed to making sure that ITMI can still “…serve and empower godly nationals…” where God has led us to minister. Please pray that Mark heals fully and completely. Pray that we can find him some bookkeeping help until he is able to return.
Johan Leach called me a few weeks ago and humbly asked if we would pray with him and for his 1997 Toyota Land Cruiser's engine. It had failed and needed to be towed 11 hours to the nearest qualified repair facility.
Just the tow of the vehicle was a whopping $875 USD.
Johan needs this old yet valuable vehicle to do the many mission outreaches to the road-less and desolate Luvale floodplains of the Zambezi River, where we drill boreholes, develop Christian leaders, and plant churches.
L to R: Missionary intern, Zea, Lesley Leach, Johan Leach, and Joseph, a local pastor and leader, pray after loading up the Land Cruiser and leaving Chavuma to preach the Gospel and disciple in a remote village.
Zea, Johan, and Joseph having arrived in the village and parked the Land Cruiser (top left corner), now teaching, discipline, and worshipping with villagers.
Johan shared with me that this vehicle “…was of paramount importance as their ministry area covered 1000’s of square kilometers…” and most of it is on sand, dirt, mud, or water-logged roads.
Reaching the remote villages can require traversing very deep sand.
The mechanic’s prognosis is the old diesel engine is a good strong engine, but it is tired and broken and needs to be rebuilt.
The expected cost is $4600 USD. I say that if we could help Johan with $5100, he could get that vehicle back on the [dirt] road and also have enough to pay for the approximately $8.00/gallon fuel cost to get it back to his mission base in Chavuma.
Abid, our contact in Pakistan, has been quietly serving the Christian “slaves” in his surrounding communities. To this ministry, he has added traveling to the Afghanistan/Pakistan border to share the life-giving truth of Jesus to Afghani refugees that have fled their hostile and broken country.
Abid with youth he ministers to in Pakistan.
He has completed translating and laying out the first two of seven books of the Seven Areas of Life Training material (SALT) from English to Urdu, the main language in Pakistan.
He says the Biblical principles taught in the SALT material are revolutionizing the lives of young people and adults in their discipleship-starved country. If you feel led to help Abid and his wife and young son, I know he would be eternally grateful and would use the funds to minister to even more lost and broken people.
About the Author
Steve Evers has advocated for and served the ITMI partners as ITMI Director since 2001. Approximately once a year, Steve visits with ITMI partners in their countries and brings stories back to encourage supporters. Steve enjoys photography and mechanics, (both hobbies that have greatly benefited ITMI partners!) Prior to becoming ITMI's Director, Steve served on the Board of Directors for 4 years. Steve lives in Arizona with his wife, Darlene.
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