A Hero Passes (Written by Carlan Wendler)


Grandpa upon graduating Navy basic training at Farragut, Idaho.


“Pray that I would remain true to the Lord.”

That’s what my grandpa said when Michelle and I asked him how we could pray for him the last time we saw him. Ninety-one years old. He had served faithfully on his family farm growing up, in a Navy submarine in World War II, at the mission station and in a rebel prison during 20 yrs in Congo plus 17 more in France afterwards and for decades in retirement.

In my mind, he had already passed the “true to the Lord” test.

In the sovereign plan of God, he would pass the ultimate test two weeks later, in a hospital bed but surrounded by family.

My impulse is to “go philosophic” in the face of Grandpa’s death. I’m wired to engage the deeper, weightier things, to search for meaning in the jagged, ruptured edge of our earthly existence marked out by sin’s cursèd effect. But for Grandpa, I don’t really have to: he had completed his course and was receiving his medal of reward.

We, his surviving family, all prayed that God would not delay his death for even a moment. He was ready to go. I don’t mean that he had checked out of life and become unresponsive or listless. He was simply a boat at port (“Submarines are referred to as ‘boats,’ not ships,” he had taught me.) Rudders and planes locked, engines quiet, ropes coiled or fastened — his journey was almost complete. He had only to walk down that gangplank onto the dock of that glistening shore where his Savior waited to welcome him home.

I love my grandpa. To say that he inspired me to attempt great things for God and expect great things from God is understatement. I depend on him for a quarter of my genes but he had an outsized influence on my spiritual heritage. Grandpa taught me as much about  carpentry, agriculture, prayer, ministry, and trusting God as anyone.

And though this is a time of real sorrow for my mom (his daughter) and our family, this is also a time of real rejoicing. Grandpa knew Jesus Christ well. I saw Him shining in him all the time. His sins were forgiven. His heart and mind were at peace. He was prepared. After all, it was Grandpa who used to tell me as a boy,

“A missionary’s got to be ready to preach, pray, or die at a moment’s notice.”

(In lieu of flowers or gifts, we are honoring Grandpa’s legacy by planting the Word of God in Congo through the continuing work of missionaries with his mission,  Crossworld, accessible by clicking here.


Grandpa and Carlan in France in 1993.


M3 Medical Missions Conference and Prayer Cards!



Our prayer cards have just been approved and sent to the printers…yay!! If you would like one let us know!

We can’t believe how fast the time is flying! In a few short months we will be leaving for language school in France; we just got our confirmation in the mail postmarked from Albertville, France 🙂

This next week (2/15-21) Carlan, myself and his Mom will be flying to TX with two mail goals: 1) to finish packing the container that will be shipped to Africa 2) to present at the M3 Medical Missions Conference. We would covet your prayers!

Specific Prayer requests:

A) Prayer for strength for Carlan as he is packing up all the materials we need for our house in Africa, and that we will be able to fit everything in the container.

B) Prayer for wisdom as Carlan prepares for this conference. He is speaking for one of the main sessions and two breakout sessions. We also will have a booth which myself, Carlan, his mother Marilyn Wendler, and a volunteer from Serge will staff and field questions about the work in Africa. What an honor to be there and to have the opportunity to tell people about God is doing in Burundi!





The Wendlers’ 2016 Travel-Line to France & Beyond!

unnamedWelcome to 2016!

This year represents many small steps for the Wendler family as well as one giant leap [back] into international life and ministry.

We’ve constructed a rough timeline of travel between now and September, when we will hopefully be moving to French language school in Albertville, France. We have been deliberately vague with some locations (sorry, can’t specify further) but would be happy to furnish you with dates for any of these so that we can coordinate seeing you.

Thank you and we love you!
Carlan & Michelle

First Married Christmas

As the business of the holiday season starts to climax, a moment for contemplation and praise is in order. Looking back over this last year I am amazed at God’s work in our lives. He gets the credit for where we are now, and for crossing our paths those many months ago. And it is because of His great love and mercy towards us that we have something to celebrate. Christmas…Christ with us! What an awesome reality!

We shipped our Christmas decorations to a container in TX which will leave for Africa in a few months, but my parents graciously let us borrow a few decorations, and the Winslow family sent us our first nativity scene (as seen on the fireplace mantel).


Don’t worry, we have two stockings…I just need to hang the other one 🙂


We didn’t have Christmas tree topper, so Carlan got a single sheet of paper and voila!


A paper poinsettia ornament I made out of some old sheet music.


We have so very much to be thankful for!

“O God, take me in spirit to the watchful shepherds, and enlarge my mind; Let me hear good tidings of great joy and hearing, believe, rejoice, praise, adore, my conscience bathed in an ocean of repose, and my eyes uplifted to a reconciled Father.

Place me with ox and ass, camel, goat, to look with them upon my Redeemer’s face, and in Him account myself delivered from sin.

Let me with Simeon clasp the new-born child to my heart, embrace Him with undying faith, exulting that he is mine and I am His. In Him Thou hast given me so much that heaven can give no more.” Valley of Vision

Delicious and Easy Butternut Squash Soup


We’ve been living on a budget and trying some fun/easy recipes. This one is definitely one of our favorites! My mouth starts to water just thinking about it. Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Soup

2 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 medium carrot, chopped

1 medium butternut squash – peeled, seeded, and cubed

1 (32 fluid ounce) container chicken stock

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring chicken stock to boil. In a separate pan melt the butter and cook the onion, celery, carrot, and squash 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add to chicken stock and cook until soft, (around 40 minutes).

Transfer the soup to a blender, and blend until smooth. Return to pot, and mix in any remaining stock to attain desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper (or cayenne pepper if you like your food spicy hot).


Hope Burundi: Reappointed!

Some of you know (or realized) that we were in Philadelphia this week visiting Serge’s Serving Center (aka, Mission HQ) for a process known as “A&O” for “Assessment and Orientation.” This is the interview and evaluation process by which Serge determines if the mission is ready to send us (and we are ready to be sent) to the field. In our case, things were easier since this was Carlan’s second time around, but there is always more to learn and to master. We were approved yesterday and offered a five-year appointment, which is the maximum available, for which we are very grateful and excited. We would covet your prayers as we enter the next phase of fund-raising and pre-field preparation.


The Journey Back to Burundi

Next week (December 5th 2015) we leave on a jet plane bound for Philadelphia, another step in our journey back to Africa. The goal of this trip is to meet with the leadership at Serge, Grace at the Fray, and to Lord willing be approved and sent to back Africa as a married couple. Our hearts are yearning and eager to return to the team and the dear African people, and each step closer brings us such joy and anticipation. Yet, we remind ourselves that God is sovereign over our movement forward in this direction, and if he chooses to redirect our steps we know that His will is perfect. So with eager, yet surrendered hearts we step forward and prayerfully surrender our plans to His will.

Prayer Requests:

  1. Wisdom for the Serge leadership as they seek God’s will in the approval process.
  2. That we would be approved.
  3. Travel safety.
  4. Wisdom in all the decision making that the journey back to the mission field requires.