Friends, Family and Supporters:
in the precious name of Jesus!
I know this letter is
long overdue and I'm sure you have questioned what is taking place with Faith
in Action and where are Bill and Marlene? In this letter I will do my best to
bring you up to date on what has taken place.
not sure that all of you know the steps we have had to walk for the past two years.
Some have been good but a lot have been some of the hardest we have ever taken.
end of 2007 both Bill and I had colonoscopies. I was fine but Bill had a blockage.
With a trip to Haiti planned for December of 07 we had to schedule Bill's surgery
for January. Bill had the colon surgery and a mass was removed. Praise God it
was not cancer. After being home only a week he developed an abscess and had to
go back in the hospital to take care of this. Ten months following the surgery
and abscess he was sick almost every day. It seemed that he just could not get
well. During his recovery time I had to have vein surgery on my legs, and cancer
removed from my nose. Not long after this procedure they found another spot on
my head and they removed it also. The doctor was able to get it all and how grateful
the 25th of January, 2009 I felt very strong that we needed to have the family
over for lunch after church. It was very strong in my heart so I knew it was something
we needed to do. It was a time of laughs and memories not knowing was ahead of
us. On Monday we had a wonderful visit with a friend from South Carolina. That
evening was when our journey would begin. During the night on the 26th Bill was
awakened with severe pain in his stomach. It was very unusual for it never let
up. Early morning on the 27th he said call 911 and the girls. Little did I know,
at that point what would be ahead of us and the family.
was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with Pancreatitis. He was in our local
hospital for 51 days. During that time we were not sure he was going to make it.
There were times it was so close, but God had other plans. Thanks for all the
prayers, phone calls, visits and cards, they mean so much.
passed and we saw that Bill wasn't getting any better. He was on a TPN machine
for feeding; he could not have anything by mouth for weeks. My heart was hurting
so bad to see him like this but I held on with all the faith I had knowing that
God was in control and He would see us through this. After a lot of prayer we
decided to have Bill moved to Tampa General. He was put under the care of a Pancreas
specialist. It wasn't long before we knew that Bill needed to have surgery. March
31st he had the surgery and it was touch and go for the first few days but
Praise the Lord, God seen him through. He said that, He would never leave us nor
forsake us". I held to that word. It says in Psalm 18:2, "The Lord is
my rock and my fortress and my deliverer. My God, my strength in whom I will trust".
If you would like to read Bill's story you can go to www.caringbridge.com/visit/billburch.
Our daughter, Sandra, has done a wonderful job of keeping the journal going.
are blessed to have 2 wonderful daughters. Cindy, the oldest, is now a single
mom raising a 15 year old daughter with 2 older girls. Sandra and her husband
Scott have 2 children and they pastor a local church in Auburndale, Higher Impact
Ministries. Many of you remember our eight Haitian sons from the I'm Blessed boy's
home. Here is a list of where they are and how God is using them today.
- is now attending college in Tennessee. Doing well and is ministering and sharing
his testimony wherever he can.
Josue - is married
to his lovely wife Erika. They are in West Palm Beach, FL studying to finish his
Masters degree. Also ministering every chance he can.
- is working at a college in Utah. He is also finishing college and is doing well.
Gary - is working at an orphanage in Haiti.
He seems to be so happy working with children.
- is in Tennessee and has just finished with his Masters degree. He is married
to a lovely girl, Angie.
Yasmille - is married
and lives in Pennsylvania with his lovely wife Melanie. He is working and also
going to college. They are expecting their first child in January.
- and his dear wife Mandy have just returned to Haiti as full time missionaries.
He finished college in Canada and in his heart wanted to go back to his country
and build churches and share Jesus with his own people.
- is in Canada at Alberta Bible College. He has a couple of years left and then
he wants to return back to Haiti to minister.
thank God for sending sponsors to help make these dreams for the boys come true.
Both Bill and I are so blessed to have such a wonderful family. They are all serving
God and touch people no matter where they may be. With God ALL things are possible.
In June we celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary.
Now knowing if Bill would be able to attend but Praise the Lord he was. He is
getting better each new day. Since his surgery and removing half of his pancreas
he is now diabetic and on 4 insulin shots a day. He is managing very well. His
strength is returning and God is with us all the way.
plans are to make a trip to Haiti in February. Pray that we will be able to make
the trip. We thank the Lord for all of our staff for running the mission and keeping
God's work going. Please forgive us for not keeping in touch. We are trying to
do more as God provides the strength. Thanks and appreciation for all that you
have done for us. We cannot do it alone, we need you. More updates as soon as
from the Heart,
8:28 "We know all things work together for good to those who love God"
thanks and appreciation to you for the countless things that you have done for
us the eight boys, particularly me. I want to let you know that I'm grateful and
blessed, and fortunate to have known you and be raised by you. I am who I am today
because of you. I will boastfully say that wherever I go around the world. You
taught me well & now, I can stand on my feet and go out and teach others.
guys are my heroes; you gave it all for me to be where I am now. You taught me
how to fish so I wouldn't have to depend on others to get things done all the
time. I understand that if you would to look back on your time being in Haiti,
you may feel that you didn't accomplish much because you don't have the massive
compounds, vehicles, churches, etc. Compare to others missionaries who made that
their focuses, but pleas let me say, you guys are the true missionaries in my
book. Your goal was like Jesus, to build leaders, not buildings. I am sure that
Jesus would not be able to point to how many acres of land, buildings, & vehicles
he had but the world is packed with Christians now because he spent his time equipping
and making leaders. Haiti has great reasons to dream and hope for the future because
you spent your time wisely training your eight boys as Christian leaders. Don't
forget that! I have not found, seen or heard of a success story like yours from
any other missionaries. 100% of your children are pursuing God's call. You guys
can testify to that! You did a good job.
a fantastic wife today because you taught me who would be a Proverbs 31 woman
- a woman who seeks God. I am happy! Our plans and goals are not so clear as we
make preparation to go to Haiti, but one thing we are sure of is that we want
to remain in the centre of God's will - to build and equip more leaders for Christ.
I view you guys as the Abraham of our time who
by faith and action let go of everything, went to a place, helped people unselfishly.
I view you as the Moses of our time who chose to suffer affliction with the people
of God (the poor) than to enjoy the pleasures of sin (materialism) for a season.
I guarantee you that your reward will be more than the sand on the shore and the
stars in the sky. I assure you this.
I want to say thank you for your great gifts of love. We had a great wedding because
you put your effort and helped us in the moment when we were so stressed and couldn't
think of anything. Thank you for the blessing you've prayed over us and thank
you for giving yourself to God's services. We love you so very much and we look
forward to see how God will use us to work together in the future while advancing
His Kingdom here on earth. We love you very much and be strong in the Lord!
God at Work,
Ricot & Mandy