A great fourth quarter… and a song! Remembering a hero of our faith

Looking back on 2012, we’d like to honor our good friend and colleague, Ric Nesimiuk. Ric completed his journey here on October 21, 2012 after a difficult battle with brain cancer.

Those of us at the Disciple Nations Alliance came to know Ric and his dear wife, Gail, in 1996 when, after a successful career in real estate, they moved to Southeast Asia.

Ric and Gail applied their gifts to serve and love the Burmese people in the country of Myanmar.

Ric and Gail applied their gifts to serve and love the Burmese people in the country of Myanmar.

Ric and Gail both were active champions of the DNA training messages, and God gave them favor with many local Christian leaders. In 1988, Ric organized the first-ever DNA Vision Conference with future DNA leaders and champions from all over the world.

Of that time, Gail writes: “…remembering well how the first [Vision Conference] changed my own life and direction of ministry!! Bob and Darrow, you changed and filled our lives with God’s map for our lives … what an awesome adventure it has been!”

Ric was instrumental in helping bring unity to the Christian church in Myanmar, organizing many more Vision Conferences and training programs, and bringing key leaders together, often for the first time.

Ric was instrumental in helping bring unity to the Christian church in Myanmar, organizing many more Vision Conferences and training programs, and bringing key leaders together, often for the first time.

Aung Thet and his wife, Charity, are DNA colleagues in Myanmar. They write:

Our beloved friend Ric was a man of relationship. Whenever he came to serve in Myanmar, his priority was building relationship. He built a strong and deep relationship with the people: pastors, ministers and Christian leaders. 5-cropHe found the potential in the leaders. This was so appropriate in Myanmar, a country of relationship. Ric never rushed ministry. He connected the relationship of the leaders to be stronger and deeper. He looked for ways to bring leaders and people together. For several years, he raised money to bring the leaders together in Chiang Mai. They talked together, listened to one another, sharing the issues and problems. In 2006, these leaders formed the National Prayer Committee which is now effective and extending throughout Myanmar. The effort Ric has paid is fruitful. We keep building on the work he so cherished.


Where some persons may choose to coast in the last quarter of life, Ric and Gail have done just the opposite. Instead, they pressed deeply into their calling and shared generously from their gifts and abilities to bring blessing, reconciliation, and healing to others. In sports lingo, they’ve had a great fourth quarter!

What is not so well known is that Ric also had a song. He was trained professionally and loved to sing. In his final year, he was able to share this love and gift with others as well.

Take a minute and enjoy hearing him sing one of his favorite songs, “Overshadowed.Hear Ric sing! Following the first song, you can hear Ric tell his testimony and express more of his gift for music.

The point is to live life well, no matter how old you are. But, especially for those of us in our 50’s — take a principle from Ric, and don’t leave anything on the field in your fourth quarter. Make sure your “to-do list” represents the calling and priorities you claim to be most important in life. In turn, it may just be the best and most fruitful quarter of your life on this side of eternity.


Richard (Ric) Bruce Nesimiuk
May 29,1938 – October 21, 2012

Lyrics for the song mentioned above:


How desolate my life would be,

How dark and dreary my nights and days,

If Jesus’ face I did not see,

To brighten all earth’s weary ways


I’m overshadowed by His mighty love

Love eternal, changeless pure.

Overshadowed by His mighty love

Rest is mine, serene, secure.

He died to ransom me from sin,

He lives to keep me day by day,

I’m overshadowed by his mighty love,

Love that brightens all my way.

With burdened heart I wandered long,

By grief and unbelief distressed;

But now I sing faith’s happy song,

In Christ my Saviour I am blest.

Now judgment fears no more alarm,

I dread no death, nor Satan’s power;

The world for me has lost its charm,

God’s grace sustains me every hour.

Not a curse, but a blessing: caring for the differently abled in India

There are people in the world who see a problem and walk the other direction, and then there are people who stare the problem in the face, ask God what can be done, and respond in obedience to the often long, tough, amazing road ahead.

Geeta Mondol is the latter. Her problem was the lack of appropriate education for her son diagnosed with autism, and the lack of care for all differently abled children in her city of New Delhi, India.

Geeta's son, Samarpan, has inspired her to

Geeta’s son, Samarpan, was the inspiration for her work.

“People said it was his karma; let him work it out with his birth,” she says. To which her spirit revolted and she said to herself, Where are the Christians?! Autism is not a curse, and those who have it are equally made in the image of God–that is the biblical worldview. They are not to be cast out or tied to their beds, as is done to some of the children.

In India, Geeta describes, running schools has turned into a profit-making activity. Many classrooms have 60 children per teacher, and her son wasn’t getting the attention he needed.

“Until very recently, Christian schools were well known in the country for their discipline and inculcating good values among students; similarly, Christian hospitals were renowned for their quality service,” Geeta says. Where are the Christians when it comes to differently abled children and their families?

When Geeta prayed about this, God responded with a vision which has grown over the past five years into the robust Ashish Centre: an early intervention center for differently abled children and their families. “Ashish” means “blessing” in Hindi, reinforcing that all children are blessings from God.

Here, children participate in occupational, speech and behavioral therapies and receive vocational education. The Centre offers support groups for parents and training for other organizations.

The main purpose of the Centre is not simply to provide services but to produce a whole society where every person is considered valuable and important, where differently abled children and their families are properly supported. It is a long-term focus on changing the mindset and attitudes toward disability.

Presently, in Hindi, the national language of India, there is only one word to encompass the wide range of mental challenges: “pagal,” translated as “mad.”

“There are many types of disabilities,” writes Geeta, “and working with them requires skill, patience, creativity, intelligence, and a certain level of tenacity along with warmth … but most of all, what is required is FAITH and LOVE. Faith that makes us learners at HIS feet. We ask the Creator how to work with HIS creation. We look upon our children as being made in HIS image: unique, loved, and knit by God’s own hand.”

In 2007, this Centre opened its doors with 10 students. Today, there are 300 children on the waiting list and another 250 waiting to get onto the waiting list. Half of the students are receiving scholarships because, while the program is costly, the center has committed to serving everyone, regardless of caste, creed, race, religion or any other factor.

In contrast to traditional schools, at the Ashish Centre, there is one trained educator for every four children, plus one assistant for every two children.

The foundation of all programs at the Ashish Centre is a biblical worldview, and all staff complete a five-day training before they are allowed to work with the children. A biblical worldview allows the staff to see the children differently, which is the basis of the Ashish Centre’s methods.

“When you start viewing them differently,” says Geeta, “they start responding differently. When they start responding differently, you see improvement.” All children show 50-percent improvement in the first year, she says.

Many others have noted the effectiveness of the Asish Centre. In 2011, the Centre’s thrift store won the Intel Social Innovation Award for employing people with mental challenges. Replicating the Centre’s model, Geeta was invited to help set up a center in the Indian city of Bangalore, and the government of a nearby country now is asking her assistance. She also has seen transformation in her own staff as a result of the values upheld by the Centre.

These are the biblical values the Centre teaches and exercises:

  1. Each child is created in the image of God.
  2. Each child is created for a purpose.
  3. Each child is born with the potential to achieve that purpose.
  4. No one is exempt from giving back to society.
  5. All of us are differently abled.

Watch Geeta expound on this in under a minute:

A biblical view of disability – with Geeta Mondol from Disciple Nations Alliance on Vimeo.

A biblical view of disability – with Geeta Mondol from Disciple Nations Alliance on Vimeo.

Geeta and Raaj, her husband, are long-time friends of the DNA and formed their training for the Asish Centre from DNA worldview materials. Geeta first encountered the DNA at a Vision Conference in India in the ‘90s (when the DNA was still part of Food for the Hungry). From there, she joined a small team in India which was actively sharing these worldview teachings. She formally launched the Ashish Centre in 2007.

“While working with children who have special needs,” says Geeta, “what is required is not just a degree or a diploma in special education. What is required is the heart of a mother, the faith of a believer, and the humility of a person who may not have all the answers but does know One who has all the answers.”

To get involved in the Ashish Centre’s incredible work, e-mail Geeta at ashishcentre@gmail.com. Check out their website, and like them on Facebook!