The Haas Family Christmas Letter
The Missing Link, Inc.
P. O. Box 40031 | Cleveland OH 44140 | U.S.A.
440-282-1683 | 440-960-1871 Fax
From Our House
=====> to Yours
What an amazing year this has been! Beyond our wildest dreams, this family picture was taken in Italy, where an anonymous friend sent our entire family for a wonderful three-week vacation this past spring.
Only God knew how sorely we all needed this marvelous time of resting and renewal. Breathing in the
crisp Mediterranean air and laying back in the beautiful sunshine, sent us home with clean lungs and warmed hearts, ready to face the enormous challenges of the year ahead.
Our entire family wishes you a blessed Christmas and a glorious New Year as we step into this New
Millennium, with all its uncertainties and exciting opportunities for ministry.
Our Children Are Leaving the Nest!
Heidi (25 on Dec. 12) - In August, Heidi left the nest for Switzerland, her daddy's homeland, where she's temporarily living with her aunt and uncle until she can find a place of her own. Uncle Eberhard was certain she'd come just in time to help give him the shots he needed. Oh, how Heidi enjoys giving shots!
After completing language studies, she went on to more intense voice lessons and then found work first in a doctor's office and now at a city hospital, to provide her with a source of income. She's trying to work her way into the paramedic field there in Switzerland.
This summer, she plans to return home for eight weeks to spend time with her brothers and sisters and keep up her paramedic certification by returning to work with LifeCare Ambulance, her real passion and joy.
Over and over again, God has proven Himself faithful to Heidi as she finds her niche in this new land. Just when she starts feeling alone, God sends along another lost tourist or needy friend, seeking her help, and again she knows she's in the right place at the right time.
Heidi deeply loves the Lord and is reminded daily of God's Omnipotent Hand each time she looks up to drink in the awesome beauty of God's creation in this land of rich heritage. Pray for her as she faces daily challenges being in a new country, dealing with a new language, new job, new school, etc.
Monika (22) - Monika keeps on smiling in spite of the many difficulties she's faced this year. Her sweet spirit has done much to help her climb some very discouraging hurdles.
In September, Monika left for David Wilkerson's Mt. Zion School of Ministry, but her joy and excitement were short-lived. By October, she had to return home after unbearable pain throughout her entire body reduced her to the use of a wheelchair. After a thorough two-hour examination by two Cleveland Clinic physicians, she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue disorder for which the cause is still unknown.
Medicine helps her to get some rest at night and physical therapy exercises keep her busy three times a day. We're now trying to find the right medication to help her cope with the pain. The choice is narrowed because of the asthma with which she also battles. In the meantime, she still stays involved as much as possible with Impact Youth Ministry at
church and longs to return to Bible school in January - an impossibility without God's intervention.
Please pray that God will give Monika the rest she needs at night, lift this continual pain, bring complete healing, and fill her soul with His joy and peace, regardless of her situation. I'm sure she would enjoy hearing from you.
Rosemarie (13 on Dec. 16) - Our talented, seventh grade, babbling brook, academic whiz kid. This year she's occupied with distance-learning through Alpha Omega Academy Online. Her teachers and classmates are literally scattered around the globe.
This past year found Rosemarie on the campus of Oberlin College surrounded by a bunch of college students debating with her about the existence of God and the accuracy of the Bible. Was she ever delighted! If there's one thing Rosemarie can do best, it's debate! The students had gathered to listen to a campus preacher but wound up finding debate with a kid more unique.
Rosemarie's been busy practicing for performances with S.W.A.T. (Students With A Testimony), attending youth services, singing with the youth, and finishing the requirements for Missionettes crowning at church. This girl just seems to live in a whirlwind of activities.
She never seems to tire when it comes to curling up in a corner with a good book, writing stories, or spending time designing a web page. We pray that God will be glorified in all these skills and that He will use Rosemarie's life as a fine Christian influence.
Paul (9) - "Motor mouth!" That's our Paul. With his healthy lungs, love for an audience, and fascination with computers, God must preparing him to become a high-tech preacher.
Wednesdays finds Paul caught up in the Christian scouting program at church. He and Peter have been practicing for our Christmas musical.
Because he really enjoys music, it was a thrill for him to have the opportunity to study violin this year. He's been pulling straight A's on his written work and is diligently trying to learn the scale. We're not sure which he loves most - music, spelling, his fish, playing with his dog Schatzie, riding his bike, reading, or playing on the computer. His interests have definitely widened this year.
Paul continues with vision therapy. On top of the music and vision exercises, he has now added speech therapy exercises. Well, by the time he's done, his ears, eyes, and speech ought to be fine-tuned!
Mom and Dad have been so proud to see the way he finds courage to stand alone for what he knows is right. Pray that God will give Paul a real desire to know Him in an intimate way.
Peter (7) - We're convinced this young man's guardian angels have been working overtime this past year. We will not soon forget the evening Mom missed Peter at the supper table and followed a strong impulse to check on his whereabouts. Reaching the top of the stairs, her eyes caught a glimpse of Peter, about to put his second foot out the window, onto the roof. Her blood-curdling scream and leap for the window and Peter, sent the bedroom drapes plunging to the floor and the entire family running to see what was the matter.
Afterwards, we made sure he understood he was quite welcome to use the front door any time he felt a need to exit.
Peter learned to ride his bike this year and also began roller blading in full gear - something else to keep his guardian angels from getting bored. One day when we announced that we were going to do something very special, Peter excitedly asked, "Am I going to the dentist?" Obviously our pediatric dentist has won this little boy's heart.
Pray that God will protect this energetic son of ours and help him focus his boundless enthusiasm on things that will help him grow into a fine Christian boy.
Barbara (Mom) - When God made a way for us to spend three wonderful weeks, resting in the sunshine of Italy this past spring, He must have known how sorely we would need it for the year ahead. Having our two oldest daughters leave the nest just a few weeks apart, was quite a milestone in our family. Monika unfortunately had to return, needing much medical care. However, with the help of the Lord, she plans to leave for school again in January.
Our ministry went through major improvements this year, when we moved our entire web site in-house on our own web server. We're facing exciting new challenges with all these changes and really need God's help to keep up with all this new technology. God heard my cry! He has been so good, sending me high-level technical support, excellent computer equipment and now a wonderful friend and helper, who came along just in time to keep me from unraveling at the seams.
The ministry level has been soaring. Our weekly Bible stories are now being sent by the hundreds to more than 25 nations, reaching from Australia to Zambia. Over 67,000 people have now visited our home page. Hundreds have come looking for multilingual sermons. So many have written us about the wonderful Christian resources they have found on our web site.
Our Internet ministry has sent us many, searching for help with urgent needs. So many are struggling to break free from pornography. Because of our growing database of resources, we are able to point many to practical help and Christian residential programs to help them deal with life-controlling problems. We continue to send out a steady stream of books to suicidals. So many are hurting and seeking helping in crisis situations, not knowing where to turn. Others send sincere questions, wanting to know what the Bible says about their predicaments.
We covet your daily prayers. Follow each of the links I've included here and let us know how you might be able to volunteer your time or resources.
Chaplain Mario (Dad) - As a young man, I always questioned the love and existence of God and the purpose for my life. Early on in my life's journey, I wanted to be a communist, but God, in His Divine love, redirected my footsteps, after having gone my own way.
Looking back, I can see how God used me to train others to duplicate what I'm doing. One couple has served faithfully on the Philippine Islands and in turn trained many others. Several are pastoring and sharing the good news. One is successfully training others in Europe, traveling to many nations sharing the Gospel.
I've spent more time this year helping and counseling hurting people as they reach out to us - like the truck driver, separated from his wife, trying to find his way back to God and home, the inmate living under the fear of generational curses, the mother whose daughter was murdered.
One of my highlights was to visit and encourage our main foreign translator and troubleshooter in Italy and to meet the person in charge of Teen Challenge of Italy. We enjoyed such a refreshing, great time of fellowship, but my heart was broken to hear they had closed down two buildings for lack of workers.
Another highlight of the year was when I received a beautiful letter of commendation from the retiring head chaplain for Ohio state penitentiaries, under whose supervision I've served since 1980.
Our great emphasis on the home front has been on training inmates in fundamentals of the faith. Our ministry needs others who are willing to be trained and become committed to walking in our footsteps, bringing hope to the hopeless.
I cannot thank you enough for the powerful effect of your prayers over this past year. Together, may we continue bringing deliverance to the captive.