Dear Family and Friends:
First Peter 3:15 tells us to be “ready always.” These two words have the sense of readiness for action before the opportunity ever comes. Throughout this month, I have been challenged by the example of many people who were taking advantage of opportunities God gave them to share the Gospel. Oh, that God’s people would be “ready always” to tell others of the good news of Jesus Christ!
After a month of deputation travel, we returned home one week ago. God was gracious and allowed us to travel over 6000 miles without accidents or problems with our van. We saw God bless each meeting and use His Word in the hearts of many people. Along the way we had meetings in six churches (2 in Iowa, 3 in Indiana, and 1 in Missouri). We were also able to visit four solid churches for midweek services when we didn’t have scheduled meetings.
Our first meeting was on a Wednesday evening in Marshalltown, Iowa. The next day at church while Naomi was outside washing windows and Paul was repairing a door, we received several alerts on our phones for tornado warnings. Moments later we watched an EF3 tornado tear through town causing tremendous damage.
After visiting several churches in a short time, we were impressed by the creative ways people took advantage of opportunities to reach the world with the Gospel. One church had their Sunday morning service at the county fair (where many unsaved heard the Gospel). Another church has a group of people who meet every Tuesday morning to assemble Bibles that are shipped around the world. We were able to join them in assembling several hundred Spanish Gospel of Johns. Other churches used their opportunities with an addictions ministry, an outreach in the city park for children, and Bible studies held in homes each week. What a challenge to think of the opportunities God gives us every day to share the Gospel with others.
We praise the Lord for many of you we met for the first time. It felt like we met friends at each church. We were greatly encouraged when so many of you promised to pray as we serve the Lord here.
We are thankful for Pastor Gary and Bev Messick for their faithfulness while we were gone. Each week we were encouraged to hear how people were coming and being taught from God’s Word.
This past Sunday, Rachel was able to come to church for the first time since her leg amputation. She was in great spirits and gave testimony to how she has drawn closer to the Lord through the experience. She told how she is reading her Bible more now and is already in Ezekiel. Simon (her son), Marquina, and Kelley brought her (all of whom are unsaved).
The day after we left on our trip, one of the men in the church passed away. Bob and Patti have been a faithful part of the church for about three years. Thankfully he had a testimony of salvation and was a consistent example of serving the Lord. Please pray for this Saturday when we will be having a service for him.
Children fed the goats near one of the churches.
• Safety and great meetings on our deputation trip
• The great encouragement and blessing so many were on our trip
• Several first-time visitors again lately
• God’s provision for our family in many ways
• One complete family to become a part of our church
• Brendan and Danielle – faithfulness
• Rachel: continued healing, testimony before her family
• Spiritual protection and growth for our children
• Comfort and wisdom for Patti after Bob passed away