Below you’ll find several stories, letters and updates about my “life. It’s exactly what the link claims it is: my blog. It’s mainly intended to keep people up to date about my ministry. The quarterly prayer letters will be posted here as well as any other additional updates or stories. Thanks for taking time to read.

March 2020 Newsletter

Celebrating Christmas at the Festival of Lights.

Christmas was a little different this year. Ryan was on-call for the technical team over Christmas so, instead of taking a long vacation we took the weekends in December to go on small trips around the Johannesburg area and spend time together as a family. On Christmas day we swam with friends and had a braai. Just one of the perks of having Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere.

New Year’s was fun as we continued our tradition of having a board games party. We also had a huge scare in January. Ryan had a bad reaction to a new brand of deodorant that was complicated by a virus. This took two emergency room visits and eventually two weeks to clear up.

After a lot of prayer and discussion, we felt it is time for us to step down from the ministry from TWR and pursue serving God in other avenues. So, Ryan is preparing his projects to pass on to someone else. We know this is huge news and there are a lot of questions. Here are a few of the basics:

Why are you leaving TWR?
During making plans for furlough we realized our reason for returning was to stay in South Africa. The ministry of TWR was not on our hearts anymore, and we felt a clear leading from God that our time with TWR was done. The vision of TWR is still something we believe in, but God is clearly leading our hearts to something new.

What will you be doing next?
We love South Africa. Ryan is eligible for a critical skills visa so he is going to pursue working in Johannesburg doing Software Development. If Ryan is unable to acquire a job offer before the end of May then we will be returning to Colorado Springs to be closer to our families.

When should I stop sending money for you?
The end of June. Our last day is May 29th, but TWR pays missionaries an extra month of salary since we are required to give three months notice. This gives us a little bit of a cushion time to find work. Please consider taking your contributions and giving them to another missionary. We appreciate your giving for Kingdom work and hope you will keep sending that money to support God’s work. If you do not know who to support next, please pray and consider supporting Tyler and Amy Mullis. They are good friends of ours doing good work within TWR and your support would be greatly appreciated. If you have more questions, send us an email and we’d be happy to answer them.

Ary and Owen’s Corner

Ary ready for the first day of school.

In January Aryanna started going part time (three days a week) to preschool. She absolutely loves it! She is doing P.E., Music classes and Computer classes. We are also happy that she is able to get more social interaction with her peers.

Owen ready for an imaginary dive!

Owen is much more talkative now that Ary is in school and he can get a word in edgewise. We are starting to see his imagination and creativity. He is very active but he also loves reading books.

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December 2019 Newsletter

One of the things software developers do together is something called a “hack-a-thon.” Developers from different backgrounds come together and write software for a common purpose.  Recently a group called Indigitous has been putting together hack-a-thons for Christians.  This year Ryan got to participate in one that happened in Pretoria over a weekend.  He worked with two other developers to try and make a discipleship site more accessible to blind users.  It was a good time to meet other like minded developers and work on something a little different.

Looking back on this year, Elyse is sad that she was not able to work with TWR. There was just no need for her skills at this point. However, she has not been idle. The best thing that has happened these last few months is the progress of a student Elyse volunteers with every Thursday. Elyse listens to reading but with this student she does more. He is a student who speaks English as a second language so he struggles. In the last month, something has clicked. He has started reading better, focusing, and finishing his work. He is still far behind but his teacher said, “He always does better every week after you have spent time with him.” Elyse is so glad to be able to be there even if it was just to help one kid do better.

Rare family photo with everyone looking in the same direction.

We had Thanksgiving with our church on November 23rd. Everyone brought a meat dish, a side or a dessert. You know Elyse, she had to cook more. It was a wonderful time to remember what we are thankful for and celebrate with our South African Family.

We will be in South Africa for Christmas as well.  It’s Ryan’s turn to be on-call to solve any technical issues during the holiday season.  This means we won’t get to travel anywhere for the summer break. However, we will still be celebrating Christmas with Elyse’s friend who is a single mom and her family.

Ary and Owen’s Corner

Ary and Owen playing on a re-purposed tractor.

Ary has a vivid imagination and is forever playing make believe. She is becoming very artistic. She loves coloring, stickers, painting, and any opportunity to make something pretty. Ary is developing strong friendships with kids at church and school. She is always excited to read our Jesus stories and go to Sunday school.

Owen is a completely different child than last year. He speaks very well. He is happy. Right now his favorite thing to do is climb and jump, which makes mommy wonder if he will make it to his next birthday sometimes. He is still on a wheat free diet which can be challenging here in South Africa but we have adapted well to it.

Listener story

Every day I am blessed with everything I need, not always what I want, but God knows what is best for me. TWR broadcasts the most encouraging messages which I listen to as often as I am able to; messages based on God’s Word, the Bible. I glean nuggets of eternal truths, leading to a deeper knowledge and understanding which become wisdom and peace in my life. As I put into practice these lessons, others also learn who Jesus is. He is the Light of the world. We are created in His image and must shine for Him in our daily walk for others to follow.

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Riots and Protests

Burned and looted buildings. Tires on fire. Angry shouts in the streets as protestors stand on one street and the police stand on the other. People having to evacuate banks and malls because the riot is coming their way. Streets blocked by buses and taxis. These were some of the sights of Kempton Park and Johannesburg in September.

Protests, riots, and strikes are common in South Africa. You are prepared for them but you also don’t take a lot of notice to them unless they are close to you. Then you get out fast. People don’t pay attention to what people are protesting about because they are too focused on the violence that is done. The protests and riots achieve nothing positive. This month people have been protesting businesses hiring people from other African nations over South Africans. There are a lot of complexities to cause the tension; however, during this protest, I did not see evil men who wanted to hurt this country. I saw desperate men who just want to survive and feed their families. Please pray for these South Africans that they can find jobs to care for their families. Pray that as a country South Africans will help their neighbors. Pray against prejudice.

The other protest that happened is a protest about violence against women. Domestic violence is rampant in South Africa. There has also been an increase in kidnapping, raping, and killing women. There has been an increase in abandoned babies and young unmarried women being arrested for these abandonments. People are standing up and saying this must stop. Women need to be respected and valued. Please pray that as we can be part of that change. Pray that we can help women in need. Pray that our Women of Hope programs and prayer groups can help women hear the truth of Jesus and encourage one another. Pray for the hearts of men in this country that they would hear and accept Jesus. Pray that they would start seeing the women as God sees them: as precious daughters and valuable pratners.

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September 2019 Prayer Letter


Playing in Marloth Park

From the end of May to the beginning of July, we seemed to be constantly moving. We spent three wonderful weeks with family in the States. We got spoiled with fun and food at both grandparents’ homes. We got to meet our niece for the first time. Some of the highlights were visiting the zoo, feeding sharks and stingrays, fishing on Papa’s boat, and playing at lots of playgrounds with cousins.


Elyse feeding a kudu

When we got home we immediately started packing up our home. God provided a perfect new home for us. We now live in a townhouse with an amazing kitchen for Elyse and a public park right behind our house for the kids to explore and play.
We also had a chance to visit Marloth Park, right on the edge of the Crocodile River.  We spent a weekend away with some friends and had some zebras, warthogs, giraffes, baboons and even kudu come right up to our door.

Ryan published the first version of the new LinguaDMS uploading application just before our trip to the US.  It was great to have this finished so he could relax.  After getting back his focus has been on catching up with all the other projects fixing small bugs and updating documentation.  Currently most of his time is working on going back to the Producer’s Tool.  It’s been nearly two years since he’s made any changes and it needs a few long outstanding bugs fixed.

Ary and Owen’s Corner


Showing off firework art

Ary and Owen are growing like weeds. They seem to have unlimited energy. They love slaying monsters with their stick swords, playing in the dirt, climbing and jumping off anything. We are so thankful they are in better health now that we have moved.

Ary and Owen love going to school once a week. They are so excited to see their teachers and friends. Elyse is teaching Ary to read. Ary is excited to read but not a big fan of the hard work. Owen speaks more articulately everyday though when they are playing, Ary tells Owen exactly what he should say.

Listener Story

Hi there TWR.  Thank you for your broadcast in times that can’t be easy. I’m in Zimbabwe and found an old SW / MW radio which I retrieved after many years because of the power shedding in a country torn by greed and corruption. We only have 5 hours of power some days, so finding you again has been such a blessing in the long dark hours of the night on 1170MW. I listen to the DStv Channel 855 (TWR Africa) when we do have power. Many thanks again and may u be blessed in your service.

– A Listener in Zimbabwe

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This term in South Africa has gone quite different than I expected or wanted. When we were on furlough last, I told you I was going to be more involved with TWR and writing more programs. I wrote one program and it was a stretching and encouraging experience. However since I completed that program, my skills have not been needed at TWR. I was frustrated that my plans fell through but after my sulking was done I started asking God what He had in mind for me in ministry. I love my children and love caring for them but I was also looking to do more. God has slowly been growing me in the area of hospitality. It took me surrenduring my plans and putting my “yes” on the table; to listen to God each day and go in the direction he leads; to take the next right step and have that be enough.

There are a lot of beggers on the corners of the roads we drive. There are so many, we don’t know who to help so a lot of times we don’t help anyone. One day while driving to the grocery store, we passed an old man. I felt a stirring from the Holy Spirit to give him food. I got extra food for him and the next day went to give him my little bundle. I couldn’t just give him the bag of food without blocking traffic so I had to park my car and get out to give him the food. This also meant I had to talk to him. I was nervous. I didn’t know what to say and truthfully I can’t remember what I said but we started getting to know each other for a few minutes. The next week I gave him another bundle but this time the Holy Spirit told me to invite this man and his room mate to our home for supper! Invite over a complete stranger? You must be hearing wrong. But that thought wouldn’t leave my mind and the feeling of urgency to do so. I first asked Ryan to see if he was ok with it – if he wan’t, that would let me off the hook… but he was ok with it.

God told me that we should be inviting the poor, the sick, the ousiders, the unwanted to our tables. I was an outsider and He invited me. I can now sit at God’s table and enjoy his food and presence. Being hospitable to these people is a way to show them the love of God. It is the way Jesus ministered with people most of the time. I decided to follow Jesus’ example. I invited Fred over for supper. Nothing magical or exciting happened at that supper. We got to know each other better and shared a yummy meal together. Ever since then, when I bring Fred’s package we sit and chat about our week for about 10 minutes. We will definitely be inviting him and others over again.

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June 2019 Newsletter


The Seder meal we took part in on Good Friday

By the time you receive this letter, we will be in the US visiting family.  In 2017, just after we left Colorado, Elyse’s brother had his first child.  We haven’t had the opportunity to meet our new niece and wanted to take some time this year to celebrate and see our families. With the coming three-week break, life and work have been winding down a bit.  Ryan has been making small bug fixes to both the TWR Africa mobile applications and the new uploading application for online content.  Things need to run smoothly in our absence so its been a time for focusing on sorting out bugs and making sure everything is able to be handled by others in TWR.  Please pray that we have a restful time and that TWR will not need to contact Ryan for any software related issues.

easter egg hunt

Easter egg hunting with friends

We celebrated Easter with our pastor and his family.  Easter in South Africa has a different vibe to it.  Here Good Friday and the Monday after Easter are public holidays.  The months of April and May include at least three other public holidays therefore many families take Easter weekend for vacation time. Easter services are usually not well attended, but most churches have a service on Good Friday.  This year our church held a Seder meal service to help us reflect on the significance of the cross. The Seder is a very family oriented service so it engaged both the adults and the kids.

Ary and Owen’s Corner


Ary and Owen proud of their ability to match shapes

It seems that most of the past two months Aryanna and Owen have been sick.  It’s been mostly colds with coughing and sniffling, but we had two visits to the emergency room because Ary was struggling to breathe.  With the changing of the seasons and winter coming, we’ve been struggling to keep the kids healthy.  Please keep our health in your prayers.

Other than that, it’s been business as usual.  Elyse continues to do homeschooling four days a week with the kids.  Ary always enjoys the activities Elyse comes up with and usually jumps with excitement when asked “Do you want to do school?”  Owen is a big boy now that he turned two in March. He keeps gaining new vocabulary and loves to emulate his big sister.

Listener Story

Thank you TWR for giving me an opportunity to know the love of God upon my life. Through your programmes I learnt that there is no need for me to condemn myself that I am a sinner. Jesus Christ died on the cross for me. I used to think that my sins are too much that I may not be forgiven. But one day as I was listening one of your programmes I had a courage to forge ahead with my spiritual life. The thoughts I was hearing whispered in my mind that I am a sinner, stopped thru the advice I got from here. Thank you TWR I am no longer a slave of sin anymore.

– A Listener in South Africa

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The Persecuted Church in Nigeria

My dear friends,

Our brothers and sisters in Christ in Nigeria need your prayers.

Church leaders in Nigeria report that 6,000 Christians, mostly women and children have been murdered since January. According to Open Door, which is a charity that provides aid to Christians who are persecuted for their faith, Islamic radicals who are allied with Boko Haram are “descending on the villages in the night or in the day and carry out cruel attacks against innocent people, including women and children.”

There has been an outcry to the government to stop the slaughter but so far they have done nothing. Appeals have been sent to the United Nations as well. Many people are fearing that Nigeria will become a county of genocide comparable to what happened in Rwanda in 1994.

My words can not fully convey the desperation of the situation in Nigeria but here are some stories that can help.

How can we help our persecuted brothers and sisters?


Pray for God’s protection over these people.

Pray that people would not fall away from Jesus because of fear.

Pray for the people carrying out the attacks that they would be stopped. Pray for God to convict their hearts. Pray that they would be saved. God did it for Saul. Why can’t he for Islamic radicalists?

TWR is building a powerful 200,000 watt transmitter that will be able to broadcast into all of Nigeria plus some of the surrounding countries like Cameroon, Niger, and Benin. We hope to have programs broadcasting by the end of 2019. There is hope in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Please pray the people would hear the message of the gospel and believe. Pray that our programs would encourage the believers in Nigeria.

Do you want to do more? Give to the TWR Oasis Project or to Open Doors. You may not be able to go but you can support those who can.


Cyclone Idai

Many of you were hit with a cyclone bomb with wild blizzards and terrible flooding. We are sorry to hear of the destruction that the storm left in its wake especially for those of you in Nebraska. We have been encouraged by the stories we have heard about how people are pulling together to help each other. Please know you are in our prayers.

At about the same time, Africa was also hit with a terrible Category 3 cyclone. Cylcone Idai hit Mozambique on March 14th but it also affected the countries of Malawi and Zimbabwe with storms and flooding. South Africa even had some power outtages due to Idai. This storm came out of no where and no one was prepared for it. The official count so far is about 1000 dead but so many are missing that we may never know how many people died in the floods. Searches for missing people have been called off so they can care for the living.

Cylcone Idai destroyed about 100,000 homes, about 1 million acres of crops, and washed out many roads. People in the port town of Beira in Mozambique were clinging to rooftops and trees even a week after the storm hit. People are struggling to find food, clean water, and shelter. To make matters worse, cholera has spread among the crowded survivors. 1400 cases have popped up in the last week. Rescue workers and relief organizations have flocked in to help but there is so much need and not enough help.

TWR’s shortwave and AM broadcasts have not been disturbed as we broadcast from Swaziland. We are still sending out a message of hope to our listeners who desperately need to hear it in their time of despair. Pray that our listeners will hear the hope that is found in Jesus and will turn to him.

Some of our local ladies who are a part of our Women of Hope ministry have started a collection of blankets, clothing, non-perishable food, and money to send to other Women of Hope groups in Mozambique.

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March 2019 Newsletter

Taking a break after playing at our favorite playground

At the end of February, Ryan released the first version of the new uploading app for our partners to post content on TWR’s platforms including the TWR360 app.  This is a huge milestone for a project that has been a long time coming.  After we work out the bugs with this release we will begin to add new features that will help us get programs to listeners faster.

Early in February Ryan released new versions of our Apple and Android TWR Africa apps.  The developer of the Android version wanted to focus on other things so Ryan was given responsibility of both versions of the app.  Listeners to our Johannesburg station enjoy the app as an alternative way to listen to TWR Africa and to catch up on last week’s programs they were unable to catch live.

A family walk

Late last year, our Swaziland transmitter was turned slightly so that our programs could reach more of Somalia. One of the programs was an audio version of The Jesus Film. We received 500 listener responses from Somalia saying how blessed they were by the broadcast. Praise God for his Word reaching their hearts.

Ary and Owen’s Corner


Ary and Owen leaving for their first day of school

The week after Christmas we spent some time at Mculu and Gogo’s (Grandpa and Grandma in Siswati) farm in Swaziland. Ary and Owen had so much fun chasing chickens, feeding pigs, and playing with their “cousin” Nina. We went sightseeing too. Gogo took us to the first church started in Swaziland. It is still there and going strong. We climbed a mountain. It was quite steep and Ary climbed up and down all by herself.

Now that the new school year has started, Elyse volunteers once a week at the school our church runs. She listens to kids read. We are just starting with three letter words right now but by the end of the year, the kids will be reading simple stories. While Elyse volunteers, Ary and Owen go to school. They love school and their teachers.

Listener Story

By the same grace I am free from captives. Yes, I am free now. I was in strong devil’s bonds. I could mess around with other girlfriends leaving my wife at home. I could pretend to be righteous before my church. I was a secret sinner. Not everyone could recognise it. I don’t really know how to say it. I gradually begun to realise that God was condemning my pretence. TWR, by God’s grace, has totally contributed to the change of my life with one of its programs – ‘100% Worship”. I have a story on what happened that day. It was during the hour of 100% Worship. I was singing the songs played during the program. I later realised a flow of water fell from my eyes. My whole body became weak. Then I realised that I was among the fellowship members praying in my house. God touched my heart through those songs.”
A listener in Malawi

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Shine as Lights in the World

What do we like to complain about most?

If you live in South Africa, the answer is load shedding. You can complain with everyone and anyone about load shedding and they will happily join in bashing the company who provides electricity to all of South Africa.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with load shedding, it is when the power company turns off your power for a couple hours during the day on a rotating schedule so that the system doesn’t crash. However, even though the company puts out a schedule for when the power outage will happen in your area, they do not follow the schedule that they put out. You never know when your power will go out and for how long it will last. Fortunately, it usually only lasts a couple of hours.

A week ago while I was reading my Bible, I came across Philippians 2:14 ” Do all things without grumbling or complaining” The Holy Spirit brought to my attention that when I speak to people, whether I know them or not, it is easier to complain about load shedding, the weather, the government ect. Yes, those things frustrate me. But instead of always dwelling on them and complaining how hard it makes my life, maybe I should be thankful that I do have electricity most of the time. I should be thankful that I can store a month’s worth of meat in my freezer because I have electricity. I can have a fan running in my kids’ rooms because I have electricity. I have the money to go out for dinner on those rare occasions when we don’t have power and I can’t cook a hot supper. I have a place to charge my phone so I can communicate with people especially my family across the world. I never think to thank God for electricity when it is always on but now that it turns on and off, I am more conscious of the blessing I have.

Instead of complaining, I choose to be thankful and satisfied with what I have. I am also starting to be prepared for when I don’t have it. The power going out in the morning is exciting to the kids now because it means we are taking a walk to the playground with a snack. I now make sure I have a meal on hand that can be made without cooking until we can get a portable gas stove. We have a lantern and candles if the power goes off at night. The power going out is also a blessing because it forces us to be creative and spend time together and with others around us.

Also speaking positively about these kinds of difficulites to others makes you different. You are not joining the crowd in complaining. It is just one of the ways you can ,”be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,” which is Phillipains 2:15.

In a time when we celebrate the Light of the World coming to us. Let’s share some of that light. Let’s show people the joy in our lives in spite of troubles because we have Jesus in our lives. One small way to do that for me is not starting a conversation with complaints but with goodness and the blessing in the weather and load shedding.

Merry Christmas from the summer in South Africa. We love you all. I hope you experience the blessing of the season where we celebrate God’s greatest gift to us: Jesus.

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