Nepal, Brazil, Ethiopia and Fires in Reverse

Looking west toward where we live (but still some distance away)
Photo from

As I write this, Sharon and I are at our son and daughter-in-law’s home due to a mandatory evacuation in our area as a fire is headed our way. We are confident that the fire fighters will be able to contain it before it reaches us but wind gusts up to 70 mph make it uncertain. Fall season in our area annually makes fire a threat—and the past few years have been especially severe.

We remember Sharon’s grandma Maines being with us in 1978 when I couldn’t get home due to road closures, as the fire burned within a quarter mile from our home. It was quite a scare for Sharon’s grandma then, and for everyone both then and now.


I am scheduled to fly to Addis Ababa in two days where I will join fellow Global Training Network staff members Mark and Gayll Phifer-Housman and Richard Wallace to conduct Divine Expedition trainings Phases 1, 2, and 3. The Ethiopians we are training have been dealing with their own tragedy. Two weeks ago I received the following message from Gayll:

“Sixteen of our Ethiopian recent grad/student missionaries (the young people we taught this summer) were on their way to a remote training site to prepare to go as missionaries to a resistant unreached people group. They were in a bus with 60 total passengers.  The bus crashed and 3 of our young friends were killed along with one other passenger.  Three other CMM “goers” are seriously injured and in great pain in a hospital far outside the capital. The 10 that have been released from the hospital are on their way to the training site in the care of our dear co-worker, Biniam and Tariku  They are all in a serious state of shock.”

We were unsure that our training would proceed until Gayll emailed again:

“Linus and Richard, They (the Ethiopians) want to move forward with the training as planned. They feel that it’s the most helpful to not stop doing the mission.  So we are on for the trip. I am sure we will all be involved in some grief counseling.”

Gayll Phifer-Houseman from our last training

Assuming the fires at home will be contained, and that Sharon will be safe, I will leave Wednesday night as scheduled.


While we were contending with evacuations and planning for Ethiopia, Sammy Diab (Divine Expedition Brazil leader) and Moses Male (one of our Master Trainers in Uganda) were leading multiple trainings in Brazil.

Training in Olinda, Brazil

Here is a photo of Litos ( one of our Brazil Master Trainers), Sammy and Moses presenting certificates to two of the training participants.



Led by Divine Expedition Master Trainer Jane Hawkins, husband Pete, and a growing team of trainers, the Divine Expedition material has been formatted for a small group study and interaction. Phil Graf and Brazilian Tony Ademo put in a lot of work to develop this for an eight-week group gathering. You can tell by the smiles and the hearts how it was received.

Thankful hearts connecting with the Heart of God


Phil Graf, Tommy Vos, and Mike Davis just returned from 14 straight days of Divine Expedition training in Nepal. We have a growing number of Nepali’s who are advancing as trainers themselves. Phil is an amazing coach and Mike and Tommy did a great job training, as did the emerging Nepal Divine Expedition leaders.

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Can you pick out Phil, Mike and Tommy?

It has been a fruitful month. In the words of the apostle Paul,

“For a great and effective door has opened to me [us], and there are many adversaries.

(1 Corinthians 16:9, NKJV)

Please pray for all those who have been training and those being trained.

Pray for us as we travel and train in Ethiopia in the days ahead.

Pray for Sharon while I am away.

With great gratitude for Christ…and for you,

Linus and Sharon

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