Modest Dress Illustration

A girl bought an iPad, when her father saw it, He asked her “What was the first thing you did when you bought it?

“I put an anti-scratch sticker on the screen and bought a cover for the iPad” she replied.

“Did someone force you to do so?”

“No” “Don’t you think it’s an insult to the manufacturer?”

“No dad! In fact, they even recommend using a cover for the iPad”

“Did you cover it because it was cheap & ugly?”

“Actually, I covered it because I didn’t want it to get damaged or   decreased in its value.”

“When you put the cover on, didn’t it reduce the iPad’s beauty?”

“Actually, I think it looks better, and it is worth it for the protection it gives my iPad.”

The father looked lovingly at his daughter and said, “Yet if I had asked you to cover your body which is much more precious than the iPad, would you have readily agreed???”

She was mute…..

The father made a great point to his daughter, “Indecent dressing and exposure of  her body will reduce her value and respect.”

Share

Dear Ladies,
I just came across this article in my files and  thought you might appreciate it.

Why the Pastor’s Wife is the MOST Vulnerable Person in Your Church
Written by Joe McKeever

We’re all vulnerable…Everyone who walks in the church door can be helped or hurt in what happens during the next hour. Whether saint or sinner, preacher or pew-sitter, oldtimer or newcomer, child or geezer, everyone is vulnerable, and should be treated respectfully, faithfully, carefully.

No one in the church family is more vulnerable than the pastor’s wife.  She is the key figure in the life of the pastor and plays the biggest role in his success or failure. (Note: I am fully aware that in some churches the pastor is a woman. In such cases, what follows would hardly pertain to her household.)

And yet, many churches treat her as an unpaid employee, an uncalled assistant pastor, an always-available office volunteer, a biblical expert and a psychological whiz.

She is almost always a reliable helper as well as an under-appreciated servant.

You might not think so, but she is the most vulnerable person in the building. That is to say, she is the single most likely person to become the victim of malicious gossip, sneaky innuendo, impossible expectations and pastoral frustrations.

The pastor’s wife can be hurt in a hundred ways—through attacks on her husband, her children, herself. Her pain is magnified by one great reality: She cannot fight back.

She cannot give a certain member a piece of her mind for criticizing the pastor’s children, cannot straighten out the deacon who is making life miserable for her husband, cannot stand up to the finance committee who, once again, failed to approve a needed raise, or the building and grounds committee that postponed repair work on the pastorium.

She has to take it in silence, most of the time.

It takes the best Christian in the church to be a pastor’s wife and pull it off. And that’s the problem: In most cases, she’s pretty much the same kind of Christian as everyone else. When the enemy attacks, she bleeds.

The pastor’s wife has no say-so in how the church is run and receives no pay, yet she has a lot to do with whether her husband gets called to that church and succeeds once he arrives.

That’s why I counsel pastors to include with their resume a photo of their family. The search committee will want to see the entire family, particularly the pastor’s wife, and will try to envision whether they would “fit” in “our” church.

The pastor’s wife occupies no official position, was not the object of a church vote, and gives no regular reports to the congregation on anything. And yet, no one person in the church is more influential in making the pastor a success—or a resounding failure—than she.

She is the object of a world of expectations … She is expected to dress modestly and attractively, well enough but not overly ornate.

She is expected to be the perfect mother, raising disciplined children who are models of well-behaved offspring for the other families, to be her husband’s biggest supporter and prayer warrior, and to attend all the church functions faithfully and, of course, bring a great casserole.

Since her husband is subject to being called away from home at all hours, she is expected to understand this and have worked it out with the Lord from the time of her marriage—if not from the moment of her salvation—and to have no problem with it. If she complains about his being called out, she can expect no sympathy from the members. If she does voice her frustrations, what she hears is, “This is why we pay him the big salary,” and “Well, you married a preacher; what did you expect?”

She is expected to run her household well on the limited funds the church can pay and keep her family looking like a million bucks.

And those are just for starters!

The pastor’s children likewise suffer in silence as they share their daddy with hundreds of church members, each of whom feel they own a piece of him, and can do little about it. (But, that’s another article.)

What we owe to the pastor’s wife …

  1. We owe her the right to be herself. She is our sister in Christ and accountable to Him.

My wife was blessed to have followed pastors’ wives who cut their own path. So, in some churches, Margaret taught Sunday School and came to the woman’s missionary meetings. In other churches, she directed the drama team and ran television cameras. A few times, she held weekday jobs while raising three pretty terrific kids.

And, as far as I know, the churches were always supportive and understanding. We were blessed.

Allow the pastor’s wife to serve in whatever areas she’s gifted in. Allow her to try different things, and to grow. But do not put your expectations on her, if at all possible.

Do not try to tell her how to raise her children. Do not try to get to her husband through her with your messages or (ahem) helpful suggestions.

  1. We owe her our love and gratitude. She has a one-of-a-kind role in the congregation which makes her essential to the church’s well-being.

Recently, as I was finishing a weekend of ministry at a church in central Alabama, and about to drive the 300 miles back home, a member said, “Please thank your wife for sharing you with us this weekend. I know your leaving is hard on her.”

How sensitive—and how true, I thought. That person had no idea that my wife underwent surgery two weeks earlier and I had been her nurse ever since, and that in my absence, my son and his family were taking care of her, and that I was now about to rush home to relieve them.

Church members have no clue—and no way of knowing—regarding the pressures inside the pastor’s family, and should not investigate to find out.

What they should do is love the wife and children and show them appreciation at every opportunity.

  1. We owe her our love and prayers. While the Father alone knows her heart, the pastor may be the only human who knows her burdens.

Pray for her by name on a regular basis. Then, leave it to the Lord to answer those prayers however He chooses.

If we believe that the Living God is our Lord and Savior and that He hears our prayers, we should be lifting to Him these whose lives are given in service for Him.

Ask the Father for His protection upon the pastor’s wife and children—for their health, for their safety from all harm, and for Him to shield them from evil people.

Pray for His provisions for all their needs, and for the church to do well in providing for them.

Pray for the pastor’s relationship with his wife. If their private life is healthy, the congregation’s shepherd is far better prepared for everything he will be asked to do.

  1. We owe her our responsible care. What does she need?

Do they need a babysitter for a date night? Do they need some finances for an upcoming trip? If they are attending the state assembly or the annual meeting of the denomination, are the funds provided by the church budget adequate or do they need more? Is the wife going with the pastor? (She should be encouraged to do so, if possible.)

Ask the Holy Spirit what the pastor’s wife (and/or the pastor’s entire family) needs, and if it’s something you can do, do it. If it’s too huge, rally the troops.

  1. We owe it to the pastor and his wife to speak up. Sometimes, they need a friend to take their side.

If your pastor’s wife has a ministry in the church, look for people to criticize her for a) dominating others, b) neglecting her home, or c) running the whole show. To some, she cannot do anything right.

You be the one to voice appreciation for her talents and abilities, her love for the Lord and her particular skills that make this ministry work.

Imagine yourself standing in a church business meeting to mention something the pastor’s wife did that blessed someone, that made a difference, that glorified the Lord.

Imagine yourself planning in advance what you will say, asking the moderator (who is frequently the pastor) for a moment for “a personal privilege,” without telling him in advance.

And, imagine yourself informing a couple of your best friends what you are planning to do, so they can be prepared to stand up “spontaneously” and begin the ovation. (Hey, sometimes our people have to be taught to do these things!)

The typical reaction most church members give when someone is criticizing the pastor’s wife is silence. But you speak up. Take up for her.

Praise God for her willingness to get involved, to not sit at home in silence, but to support her husband and bless the church.

  1. We owe them protection for the pastor’s off-days and vacations.

After my third pastorate, I joined the staff of the great First Baptist Church of Jackson, Mississippi, and quickly made an outstanding discovery. The personnel policies stipulated that the church office would be closed on Saturdays and the ministers were expected to enjoy the day with their families.

Furthermore, when the church gave a minister several weeks of vacation, it was understood at least two full weeks of it would be spent with the family in rest and recreation and not in ministry somewhere. As one who took off-days reluctantly and would not allow myself to relax and rest during vacations, I needed this to be spelled out in official policy.

When a pastor is being interviewed for the position and when he is new, he should make plain that his off-days are sacred. The ministerial and office staffs can see that he is protected.

The lay leadership can make sure the congregation knows this time is just as holy to the Lord as the time he spends in the office, the hospitals or even the pulpit.

  1. We owe them the same thing we owe the Lord: faithful obedience to Christ.

Pastors will tell you in a heartbeat that the best gift anyone can give them is just to live the Christian life faithfully.

When our members do that—when they live like Jesus and strive to know Him better, to love one another, to pray and give and serve—ten thousand problems in relationships disappear.

Finally, a word to the pastor’s wife …

It’s my observation that most wives of ministers feel inadequate. They want to do the right thing, to manage their households well and support their husbands, keep a clean house, sometimes accompany him on his ministries, and such, but there are only so many hours in a day and so much strength in this young woman. She feels guilty for being tired, and worries that she is inadequate.

The Apostle Paul may have had pastors’ wives in mind when he said, “Not that we are adequate to think anything of ourselves, but our adequacy is of God” (2 Corinthians 3:5).

We are inadequate. None of us is worthy or capable of this incredible calling from God.

We must abide in Him or nothing about our lives will go right.

One thing more, pastor’s wife: Find other wives of ministers and encourage them. The young ones in particular have a hard time of it, with the children, the young husband, the demanding congregation and sometimes, Lord help us, even an outside job.

Invite a couple of these women for tea or coffee. Have no agenda other than getting to know one another.

See what happens.

After five years as Director of Missions for the 100 Southern Baptist churches of metro New Orleans, Joe retired on June 1, 2009. These days, he has an office at the First Baptist Church of Kenner where he’s working on three books, and he’s trying to accept every speaking/preaching invitation that comes his way. He loves to do revivals, prayer conferences, deacon training, leadership banquets, and such. Usually, he’s working on some cartooning project for the denomination or some agency.

Miscellaneous Organizing Tips

We all are looking for new ways to organize. I hope these few tips help you!

  • Get rid of cereal and snack boxes by placing them in airtight glass jars.
  • Replace wire hangers with matching plastic hangers.
  • Take clothes that you haven’t worn for one year to Goodwill.
  • Throw away old makeup. Replace mascara every three months…replace foundation and concealer each year…replace lipstick, eye shadow, and blush every two years.
  • Throw out old spices. You should replace most spices once a year. Test…smell the spice…if there is no scent, there will be no flavor.
  • Throw out last year’s Christmas cards. Be sure to record any addresses to your phone or computer before you throw them away.
  • Throw away any canned goods that are past their expiration date.
  • Avoid using folding closet doors for young children’s rooms. Hang Curtains with tie backs over closet area and place dresser with drawers inside closet area so that children can easily get their clothes.
  • To help children stay organized, use clear storage for small art and craft supplies.
  • Use shoe boxes and bank-check boxes (both lids and bottoms) as drawer dividers.
  • Place all your instruction manuals in a three-ring binder.
  • Use one shelf in your linen closet for party essentials, such as candles, place cards, napkins, and vases.
  • Put things where they work for you: vitamins by the juice glasses, coat hooks in the garage by the car.
  • Keep a small basket on the coffee table to keep TV remotes.
  • Store sheet sets in the same room as the bed. If you have limited closet or dresser space, put sheets in a box under bed.
  • For children, keep a light-weight wicker basket at the foot of their beds to hide blankets and extra pillows.
  • Place a small whisk broom and dustpan in each bathroom for a quick pick-up.
  • To help keep track of children’s shoes, place a shoe basket by the front door.
  • To help children stay organized with their dirty clothes, keep a two-compartment hamper in their room. This helps them learn to separate the darks from the lights when they undress.
  • Use a mini flowerpot with drip tray near the sink to stash sponges, steel wool and food scrapers.
  • Always have a spare set of car/house keys in another place.

 

Helpful Tips When Preparing for Guests

Being a good hostess does not require a formal education, but it is helpful to know a few basic tips. Some of the following tips I have learned by trial and error.

Several years ago, my husband and I became stewards of a large home. After we moved in, I was so excited about having the room to entertain, I invited twelve pastors and their wives over for dinner.  Since I had moved from a house that had one bathroom to a house that five bathrooms, I did not bother to check the supplies in each bathroom. During the evening, a distinguished pastor sheepishly had to come to me to ask for toilet paper…number 1 rule…make sure all your bathrooms have plenty of toilet paper, hand soap, and air freshener.

  •  Supply feminine products to guests by putting those items in a pretty box or bag and place on the back of toilet.
  • Clean house before guests arrive. Do not rush around cleaning parts of house while guests are there.
  • Chill drinks and make extra ice.
  • Arrange furniture to maximize seating for everyone.
  • Make sure table is set before guests arrive.

 Overnight Guests

 Overnight guests can sometimes feel uncomfortable being in an unfamiliar room. Try to make your guest room as comfortable as possible.

 Items Needed for a Guest Room

  •  A clean bed with extra bedding
  • An iron and ironing board
  • A comfortable reading chair
  • A good lamp and good selection of books
  • A good mirror
  • A clock
  • A box of tissue
  • A small sewing kit
  • A small trash can
  • A good supply of plastic hangers in the closet
  • A writing desk with pens, pencils, paper, scissors, and envelopes
  • A power strip for guests to plug in cell phones and other electronic devices
  • An index card with the code for wireless internet placed in desk drawer.
  • A welcome packet with information about the area
  • A folding luggage rack (this makes a convenient place for a guest to put his suitcase) 

Tips to Make Overnight Guests Feel Special

  • Leave a welcome gift and note.
  • Leave two Hershey kisses or Mint Patties on pillows.
  • Have a basket of fresh fruit, two stemmed glasses, and two bottles of water.
  • Keep a snack tray available in the kitchen. This tray could include microwave popcorn, oatmeal bars, and individual bags of peanuts, hot chocolate mixes, and herbal teas.
  • If your guest room is large enough, keep a compact fridge and stock it with waters, sodas, juices, and other snack items.
  • If your guests have to share a bathroom, you might keep large terrycloth bathrobes in the closet.
  • Place a TV with a DVD player and inspirational DVDs in guest room.
  • Place a stuffed animal on a child’s bed to make him feel more secure.

 Tips for Supplying a Guest Bath

When preparing for a guest bath, think about things that you might find in a nice hotel or an upscale Bed and Breakfast. You find nice plump towels, great toiletries, and fresh, clean smells.

Items Needed for a Guest Bath 

  • Towels and washcloths
  • Extra toilet paper and tissues
  • Disposable cups
  • Fresh soap
  • Extra toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Body lotion and moisturizer
  • Shampoo, conditioner, hair spray
  • Deodorant
  • New toothbrushes ,toothpaste, mouthwash
  • Waste basket
  • Air freshener
  • Razors
  • Bubble bath or bath oil (always a special treat)
  • Plunger under the sink
  • Night light

You might also consider keeping common medicines such as aspirin, anti-diarrheal pills, acid reducers, and a first-aid kit in your guest bath.

2014 GIBM Letters

Washington Church Planter: Seth and Meagan Mau September 2014

Greetings from Tacoma, WA!

Last Sunday, September 14th, we celebrated our 1-year Anniversary at Amazing Grace Baptist Church. We had the honor of having Pastor James Nolan of Bible Baptist Church, Cathedral City, CA as our guest speaker. Our previous attendance record was 26 and we more than doubled that record! That Sunday we had a total of 61 in attendance and the wonderful part is that 35 of those were first time visitors. WOW! While that number seems amazing…it gets even better! Those 35 visitors came from the result of just ONE visit. It was like a “snow-ball” effect. I met husband and wife Edwin & Michelle who live just around the corner from us. I invited them to church. They invited their own brothers and sisters. The brothers and sisters brought their own children. The children invited their friends and so on. I have never had this happen before! It just goes to show, you never know what can come out of a single visit or the next door you knock on. God blesses the effort. Door knocking still remains a vital part of church planting and continues to be an effective way to reach souls. Pastor James Nolan preached a clear gospel message and 2 people raised their hands for salvation. We pray that they might all continue to come!

It was the hand God that planted Amazing Grace Baptist Church here in Tacoma. It is so wonderful to be a part of it, and to see God grow His church. Our Wednesday night Bible study is held at our home. We have a small core group of faithful people that come nearly every Wednesday.

Prayer Request: Our monthly support has dropped down a bit. I work a part-time job to help in our personal finances, but the necessary funds for the church is struggling. We are raying for churches who haven’t supported Amazing Grace Baptist Church to help us by “getting on board” with monthly support for the ministry God has planted here in Tacoma.

Thank you for your continued support.
The Mau Family

2015 GIBM Letters

Brazil: Don and Linda Leaf November 25, 2015

Dear Praying Friends,

Special Activities: The ladies of Cornélio Procópio had their annual Spring Tea on the 14th of November. There were 36 ladies present for this activity. Many of these were unsaved friends invited by our ladies. One of the visitors was a lady who used to live next to us. We had invited her many times to come to church, but she always had some kind of an excuse. Recently, she had one of our ladies do some sewing for her, and while at her house saw some of the decorations that were to be used for the tea. Because she wanted to see how it would look, she came to the meeting. She is unsaved and, according to her, does not attend any church. All of these ladies heard the Gospel that day. We are praying that the Word and the love shown them by our ladies will work in their hearts.

Discipleship: The couple that we wrote about in our last letter, are now coming faithfully to Sunday services. They are studying a discipleship program with our national worker, and are understanding more and more of the Word of God. They are saved and are devouring the Word, both in the discipleship studies and in church. A couple of weeks ago they asked what they needed to do to become members of the church. They come from a church of which we cannot accept their “baptism”, but they have stated that they are willing to do whatever is necessary to become members.

Unusual Conversions: A few months ago during hospital visitation, an 80-year-old man trusted Christ as his Savior. He has serious health problems and has lost his sight because of diabetes. He lives in a home for the elderly which, compared to US standards, is not the best environment. His family has basically abandoned him. We have a team that goes and picks him up for Sunday School each week. He is unable to attend the other services because of his health condition. When I ask him how he is doing, he always answers the same. “Since I became a Christian everything is different and better. The best part of my week is to go to church, to be with the brethren, and to hear about the Bible. If I could, I would go alone in my wheelchair.”

A few weeks ago, I spoke with a young man in his 20s about trusting Christ. He said that he was interested, but was not ready to make that decision. This past Sunday, the 80-year-old father of one of our ladies accepted the Lord as his Savior. After explaining the Gospel to him, I asked him if he wanted to accept Christ. His answer was, “Of course. Why wouldn´t I?” It is very unusual for us to see older people accept the Lord, but what a blessing to see them saved before it is too late.

PLEASE PRAY:
1. Coming baptismal service: possibility of 7 people
2. Children´s Bible club twice a month: 6 – 8 children attending
3. Back surgery for one of our musicians

Thank You for your faithful prayers for us,
Don & Linda Leaf

Brazil: Don and Linda Leaf  August 18, 2015

Dear Praying Friends,

Special Activities: In our last prayer letter, we spoke of the planned 8th year anniversary of the work in Cornélio Procópio. Our Lord blessed the meetings with good preaching and good attendance. On the first weekend in August, we also had our annual missions conference. The son of one of our members who is the pastor of a Baptist church about one hour from Cornélio Procópio was the speaker. Again, the Lord blessed as the people were once more challenged to be involved in evangelizing the lost, personally and collectively. The Lord worked in the hearts of our people. A faith promise for missions doubled the amount of funds being given for missions. The people also promised to give above their regular tithes and offerings for the payments of the land we purchased last year. The promised offering will pay one third of the monthly payment.

Discipleship: Several months ago, we went through a discipleship program with the purpose of preparing some of our people to be able to use the material themselves. This is beginning to happen with some of those who did the study using the material with others. We believe that true church growth is dependent upon consistent and energetic involvement of the membership and not just upon the leaders. Soul winning and discipleship should be normal activities of every member of the church.

Can You Help?  In June, we received an email telling us about a Brazilian Christian in the US that was looking for a Baptist church in or near Cornélio Procópio. When we spoke with Debora, she asked if we could help her parents who were Christians, but had received very little Bible teaching. She had gone to the US to study in a Bible school and recognized how little she and her parents knew about the Bible. After meeting her parents, they began a weekly Bible study with the national worker.

Moving Forward: We have seen growth in the Sunday School. A goal of an attendance of 50 has been set with the prize being a special luncheon. There also are rewards for attendance, memorization, and bringing visitors. This growth is forcing us to find a way to increase our classroom space. Our Sunday worship service continues to run between 55 and 60. Three people who attend regularly are not saved. Those who are saved continue to show spiritual growth.

Thank You for your faithful prayers for us,

Don & Linda Leaf

Honduras: Jason and Arlen Stevens  July/August 2015

Please forgive the lateness of this letter. I had planned to write it and have it sent out in early September, but then it dawned on me that it would be better to wait until the birth of our baby, instead of having to send out a separate letter informing everyone about the baby.

We are happy to report that Arlen gave birth to our third child, and first girl on Saturday September 19th at 11:11 AM in the morning. Fortunately we were not far from the hospital (at my parents’ house) when she started to have strong contractions, because once we got there the baby was born in just over two hours. Our baby’s name is Mary Ellen Stevens, and her weight at birth was 7.6 lbs. Both Arlen and Mary Ellen are doing fine, and we thank everyone who have been praying for them both.

We are sad to report that our close friend, and fellow missionary to the people of Honduras Mike Lane went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Monday August 31, 2015. He was sixty-three years old. I say sad to report, because he will be greatly missed not only in Honduras, but in the United States as well. From knowing Brother Lane though, I am sure that he empathized with what the Apostle Paul said in (Philippians 1:21), which reads “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Many of you know that Mike Lane and his wife Debbie were the missionaries that my wife and I worked with for our first two years in Honduras. Even when we separated from them to start two works, we still maintained a close friendship with them, often visiting them at least once a week. I learned many helpful things from him, and it was such a blessing and encouragement to my heart to have a fellow American brother in Christ living near me who I could confide in and pray with. He was a man who diligently sought to finish the course that God gave to him, and I have no doubt that the Lord has already said to him “Well done thou good and faithful servant:” (Matthew 25:21).

According to Brother Noel the attendance for the services has been steady, but good attendance certainly does not excuse a divisive spirit amongst some of the members. I would like to ask everyone to please continue to fervently pray for Brother Noel and Sonia Yanes, and for Brother Alberto and his wife Elida. We have a group of men from the church in “Quebrada de Lajas” going to our church plant in the community of “Rodeo” eve- ry Friday. They are trying to finish the inside of the temple building, and then conducting a service in the home of a faithful family of the church: Brother Porfirio, his wife Elvia, and their six children. Please remember to pray for this dear and faithful family.

While here in the US I have been busy in numerous ways with my sending church. In addition to working about three days a week at my church, my wife and I helped out with Vacation Bible School in August, and it was my privilege to preach the final service of a three day revival that our Spanish ministry hosted in September. We praise the Lord for one lady who made a profession of faith in Christ at the end of that service.

Thank you so much for all that you have done, and our doing to help us reach the people of Honduras with the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Lord willing, our next letter will be for September/October 2015.

Hungary: Mike and Lynne Carney July 2015

Dear Praying Friends,
In May and June we spent most of our time in the Northeast.  I was able to present our ministry in 8 churches.  Since we were presented as missionaries in September I told the church here in Holbrook that I would try not to be gone more than 2 Sundays a month.  This has worked out very well.  Generally, when I had an opportunity to be in a church, pretty much anywhere, I took it and scheduled churches around it.  Between September and June I was able to be in 46 churches.  This was quite a blessing for a part-time deputation schedule.  As of our last report we are at about 40% support with more churches that have promised support.
This next month will be a big month.  On July 5th Lighthouse Baptist Church will be celebrating their 41st anniversary.  On that day our founding pastor, Bruce Turner will preach Sunday School, I will preach the AM and our new pastor, Brian Crump will preach the afternoon.  This will be the service where Brother Crump will be beginning as Senior Pastor of the church and the church will be sending us out as full time missionaries.   It is difficult to leave a church after 8 years, but I am confident in the leadership of Pastor Crump and look forward to seeing what the Lord will do with him there.  I have been pastoring, traveling, and trying my best to schedule meetings since September and it will be nice to focus on our calling to Hungary and turn the reigns over to Pastor Crump.
After our sending out service we hit the road pretty hard.   We have a pretty busy schedule from July to October.  In November we will be back in the New England area, but we already have 5 churches on the schedule for that month.  We have a number of churches scheduled after that, but I am stilling doing all I can to fill the rest of the schedule. I would like to be in Hungary by June 1, 2016.  In June the first church we planted will be celebrating their 20th anniversary and I hope to be there to celebrate it with them.
If you are able to send support please address it to GIBM, 602 Manco Road, Lewisville, TX 75067.  However, be sure to designate the support for Mike Carney, or The Carneys.  The GIBM has a number of missionaries and individual support has to be designated. If you need to contact me for any reason my mobile number is (781) 510-2489 our Facebook page is listed below, and my email is: carneys2hungary@yahoo.com.  Thank you so much for your support and prayers.
Missionary Mike Carney
Korea: Benjamin and Jae Parks December 2015

 Dear Pastors and Churches,

Gumi Bible Baptist Church: On Nov. 29th, Jae and I were invited to attend the 13th anniversary service of Gumi Bible Baptist Church in Gumi City of Kyeongbuk Province, S. Korea. The church was started by the late Pastor Kyeongmo Jin. Brother Jin started the church in a very difficult place, where there had been three more attempts to start and build a Fundamental Baptist Church but never been realized before. Brother and Mrs. Jin had worked very hard to win souls and build the church. I remember him bringing some of the young people from the church several times to the youth camps of Riverview Baptist Church in Pasco, WA. Five years ago, Brother Jin, in his early forties, suffered a stroke and left his family and the struggling church behind. The church was not strong enough yet to call another pastor and there was a discussion to close it down. Mr. Young Kim, who was and is the only deacon of the church, and Mrs. Jin refused to abandon the church. They kept the church open for three years with the help of an elderly Missionary Daehyun Kim who had come to the church on Sundays to preach. Two years ago, a young pastor, Pastor Ho-young Ahn, accepted the call of the Lord to pastor this young church which already had suffered so much for the cause of the Gospel. Since then, I have been supporting this pastor and the church. It was a wonderful anniversary service. The Jin children were not little kids anymore. The son has completed his military duty and ready to go back to college, the oldest daughter is in college, and the youngest is finishing her high school. They all were very active in serving the Lord alongside with their mom. Pastor Ahn’s children serve the Lord with their music. The oldest son plays the piano, the daughter plays the guitar, and the youngest boy likes bringing his friends to church. Mrs. Ahn, who is also a school teacher, plays the flute. Deacon Kim and his family also love the church and serve the Lord with Pastor Ahn.Everybody was serving the Lord in some way and I could not withhold my tear when I saw how the Lord is working for this young church and blessing them. They have worked hard for this service and invited their friends and neighbors to the service. There were 33 people in the service. After I preached three souls responded to the invitations and I dealt with two men and they both accepted the Lord as their personal savior by the Grace of God. The other promised to come back for salvation for she had to leave after church. I’d like ask you to pray for this precious church. Pray that these precious young people grow in the love of God and God’s work so that they would be kept pure and holy in this sin wretched world. Pray for Pastor and Mrs. Ahn and Mrs. Jin as they are working hard to lead people to the Lord and build their people for God’s Glory. And pray that I would know how to help them and be an encouragement to the church.

Visitors from the States: During the months of October and November, three families from the States visited us in Sejong. Brother and Mrs. John Kingsmore from Western Hills Baptist Church of Glendale, AZ visited and encouraged us. Brother and Mrs. Young Chung, our old time friends from our ministry in Pasco, WA, came over and had a Sunday service together, and Mrs. Chinsoo Yi, a member of our church in Tacoma, WA, came and had fellowship with us. Their visits were great encouragement for me and Jae. It was such a great blessing to see our praying friends again and to show them what the Lord is doing with our lives in S. Korea. ”

Salvations of Souls in Sejong Church: After the summer season, it seemed like we were not winning anybody to the Lord. We went Soulwinning every week, passed out tracts and talked to people here and there, but nobody was interested. We have prayed and asked the Lord to give us souls and give us power and wisdom to win souls. And then the Lord began to bless us again, besides the two men I led to the Lord in Gumi Church, we saw three people accepted the Lord in our services in Sejong Church. For the last two Sundays, we had privilege to lead a mother, her son (not in picture, he is the mom’s brother who is a member of Sejong church) and daughter to the Lord who was visiting us. Please continue to pray for us that we would win souls constantly in Sejong City and South Korea.

My Sickness: As I have mentioned in my last letter, doctors diagnosed me as I have this herniated cervical disc. I have been under a constant pain on my neck, left shoulder, arm and hand. The MRI image shows my 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 vertebra are all narrowed, and there is an inflammation between numbers 6-7 which causes so much pain and numbness. I am trying to avoid a surgery. I am doing a little better this week, but covet your prayers.Once again, I am very grateful for your love, prayers and financial supports. It is our honor and privilege to be able to preach the Gospel and reach lost souls in S. Korea with you all.
Prayer Requests:
1) Banpo BBC (Pastor Lee), Andong BBC (Pastor Chung), and Sejong BBC.
2) Salvations and growth of souls in our churches.
3) Wisdom and power of God upon our lives.
4) Our health.
5) Gumi Bible Baptist Church for their growth.Gratefully in His Service,
Brother Benjamin Heewon Park

Korea: Benjamin and Jae Parks October 2015

The First Family Camp: From the beginning of this year, I have been publishing daily devotional books bimonthly for our churches and people. And in early August, there was SJBBC family camp in a Christian camp with the theme of “Daily Personal Devotion”. We had Pastor Taepyung Lee of Banpo Bible Baptist Church as the camp speaker and 22 campers from 7 families in SJBBC attended. Most of the campers were fairly new Christians and it was a blessing to see these young Christians challenged and encouraged for personal walk with the Lord and for spiritual growth in the knowledge of the Bible.

I also started, in September, an Adult Sunday School on Sunday morning at 9:30 to teach and train our people for spiritual growth so that they could be equipped for one to one discipleship program.

The First Anniversary Service of Sejong BBC: August 30 was our one year anniversary. I have invited Pastor Seongjin Lee from Mokpo as the guest speaker and we had Revival Meeting from Friday night to Sunday night. It was the first meeting of its kind, and our people worked hard to invite people to hear the Gospel message. There were several visitors but no one was saved during the meeting. On Sunday morning, we had 35 people. Even though many did not show up for the meeting, we have several prospects that we are working on for their salvations. Pastor and Mrs. Min, Jae, and I are canvassing the area high rise apartments with fliers and tracts to let people know about our church and we have passed about 10,000 fliers and tracts since the beginning of the year. A new batch of 10,000 fliers is printed now and will be distributed during the next several months.

60th Anniversary of the First Bible Baptist Church in Seoul: In 1954, the Foster family came to Korea as the first independent Baptist missionaries and started their first church in Seoul in Sep. of 1955. On the first Sunday of Sep., 2015, there was a celebration of the church’s 60th anniversary. It was a great gathering of people and pastors together to thank the Lord for the Gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord and for the messengers who brought the message of salvation to this land. I, as a fruit of American missionaries’ ministry, want to thank you for sending us your missionaries to this country 60 years ago and for your continued efforts and sacrifices for salvation of Korean souls.

Now as one of your missionaries myself, I do not have a proper vocabulary to express my gratitude for the privilege to partner with you for the Gospel ministry in Korea, except “Thank you very much and God bless you all for your love and supports!”

Prayer Requests:
1) Banpo BBC (Pastor Lee), Andong BBC (Pastor Chung), and Sejong BBC
2) Salvations and growth of souls in our churches
3) Wisdom and power of God upon our lives
4) Our health: A doctor diagnosed that I have a disk on the neck and it’s no fun to have pain on the left shoulder, arm and hand.

Gratefully in His Service,
Brother Benjamin Heewon Park

Korea: Benjamin and Jae Parks August 2015

Dear Pastors and Praying Friends,

Two More Baptized in June: We had another baptismal service on the last Sunday of June and two adults, Mr. Jong-jin Kim and Ms. Min-jeong Kim (they are not related) were baptized in a portable pool which was set up at Brother Park’s back yard. Brother Kim and his wife attend our services every week from Daegu which is about two hours away from Sejong. They want to move to Sejong next year. Please pray for their spiritual growth in the Lord. I am grateful for your prayers and financial support which make all our works possible for us to do in Korea.

The Charter Service of Banpo Bible Baptist Church: On July 12th, there was the Chartering of Banpo Bible Baptist Church which we started right after our arrival to Korea in 2013. It was their second anniversary as well. Banpo Church runs about 20 people each Sunday and they were organized to be an Independent Baptist Church. We celebrated the event with many pastors and people from sister churches in Seoul. Praise the Lord for His grace allowing us have another Bible believing, Gospel preaching, Baptist Church in one of the most affluent places in Korea! It would not be possible without your prayers and supports, so thank you again for your parts in this ministry.

The First Vacation Bible School of Sejong BBC: Vacation Bible School is very dear to my heart. I was saved in July of 1969, when there was a VBC in a small Baptist church of our town. I was there for a day and was invited to be back to their Wed. evening service, where I heard the Gospel for the first time and accepted the Lord as my Savior. We had our first Vacation Bible School and it was a great time. There were about twenty young people and eight adult teachers and helpers involved together. The Lord saved three precious young people into His family. Please continue pray for the growth of those young people and of Sejong Bible Baptist Church.

There will be our first Church Camp next week, and the 1st anniversary celebration of Sejong BBC at the end of this month. A three day evangelistic meeting is planned for Aug. 28-30. Please pray for this special event so that God would save many more souls and them to be added to the church.

Thank you again for all your love, prayers and helps for our ministry here in Sejong and in S. Korea.

Prayer Requests:
1) Banpo BBC (Pastor Lee), Andong BBC (Pastor Chung), and Sejong BBC.
2) Salvations and growth of souls in our churches.
3) First Anniversary Evangelistic Meeting (Aug. 28-30).
4) Wisdom and power of God upon our lives.
5) Our health.

Gratefully in His Service,
Brother Benjamin Heewon Park

Mexico: Ernesto and Veronica Valtierra Nov/Dec 2015

Dear Pastor and Brethren,

“Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, And thy thoughts which are to us-ward: They cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: If I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.” (Psalms 40.5)

We want to thank you for your unconditional support during 2015. We know that for some it was a difficult year, but by the grace of God you continued to be faithful to Him. We pray that the Lord pour abundant blessings on each of you.

November: We had an activity for the kids to teach them that as Christians we do not celebrate Halloween or the Day of the Dead. During this month, my wife and I celebrated our birthdays; we thank everyone for your calls and prayers and are very thankful for the opportunity we have to serve our Lord. We spent Thanksgiving with fellow missionaries, talked about our ministries, and enjoyed good food and fellowship. Door to door evangelism continues to be a priority in the church, unfortunately some church members have stopped participating, and we ask that you keep them in your prayers.

December: Pastor Menez from Indiana came to visit us this month and preached on Wednesday night. The message was a blessing and very encouraging to the church; we have been going through a difficult time as some members have stopped attending. Please pray that the Lord continue to give us wisdom and strength to keep going despite the hardships. We praise the Lord that a family was saved; they are attending church faithfully and will soon be baptized! We had a special service on New Year’s Eve and many members expressed that it was a blessing to not be starting the New Year in a worldly environment. We are very thankful for everything God has allowed us to accomplish in 2015 and our prayer is that this year we will do more for Him.

Prayer Requests:
Funds to rent a bigger place
A vehicle to start a route
Spiritual growth of the church
Wisdom to lead God’s church

Mexico: Ernesto and Veronica Valtierra  May/June 2015

Dear Pastor and brethren,

“For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord”. Psalm 33:4-5

We pray that you are doing well. We thank the Lord for giving us health and taking care of us, and for always supplying each of our needs. Each day He gives us grace and strength to continue working in the ministry. We thank the Lord for our daughters, Areli and Andrea, for always being willing to help us, but overall because we can see their love, effort, enthusiasm, and dedication to do everything for God.

May: we started the month with new visitors, thanks to the hard work of the members who have understood the importance of sharing the gospel. The classes we have given on how to soul win have been very helpful. We ask your prayers for the Rojas family, that their desire to work won’t cease; since their arrival they have been a blessing and are always willing to help so the church will continue to grow for the glory of the Lord. We had a Mother’s Day celebration and did everything we could so the ladies would have a good time, and of course had a special meal for them.

June: there is not a more important reason for the church than to share the Good News. We continued to go on visitation which is our commitment before God and you, knowing that you have trusted us as your missionaries. Unfortunately, we are surrounded by charismatic churches but this motivates us to keep sharing sound doctrine. We have some people that we will keep visiting, it is our prayer that soon we will be able to give you the good news that they have accepted Christ as their Savior. We celebrated Father’s Day at church with sports and good food, which was a different experience for some of the men. They were able to spend time with their family, without the need for alcohol or any other worldly influences.

Prayer Requests:
Vacation bible school (starts Monday 17th)
A bigger place to meet
Health of Bro. Hugo (cancer)
My wife’s health
My daughters schools (Areli and Andrea)

Thank you for your love and support,
Ernesto and Veronica

Peru: Rob and Rebekah Greene  October 2015
Dear Pastor and Praying Friends,

I am currently the mission’s intern at Lighthouse Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. My family is preparing to begin deputation in January of 2016. We were endorsed by the Global Independent Baptist Missions board at the GIBF Meeting last September. We will be using them as a clearinghouse to help us with some tax details and such. We are sent out from our home church, Lighthouse Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Attached to this email is our testimonies and statement of faith. You can also find these and more information about us on our website greenefamilymissions.com.

We are looking to present our ministry in the Indiana area for the first two months of 2016, while we finalize the transition. In March, we are scheduled to be at the mission’s conference at Southwest Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; we will be in Colorado Springs during the latter part of September. In late October, we will be in Mobile Alabama. As of now, we have a pretty open calendar. For a more detailed, up-to-date calendar, you can visit the calendar on our website.

Currently, the best days to call me are Wednesdays and Thursdays while I am working a part- time job and interning. You may reach me on my cell phone number: 317-697-2413. You can also email me any time at thegreenes2peru@gmail.com.

Thank You,
Rob and Rebekah Greene

Philippines:  Christopher and Victoria Hunter December 2015

Dearest Prayer Warriors,

Greetings to you in the precious name of our LORD and Saviour JESUS CHRIST. Here is a quick update on the progress of the construction of our new building. By the grace of GOD, The LORD has touched the heart of the local construction material business dealer here in Don Carlos. They have given our church a line of credit of $25,000 for construction materials and told us that we can “PAY-AS-ABLE”. They are very happy to assist our church and have not given us a time limit to pay off the $25,000 loan of construction materials.  By the grace of God we have taken them up on their generous offer and have been constructing for the last two months since October until now, and we have just reached our credit limit of $25,000. In all of my 20 years here on the mission field of the Philippines this is my first time to ever have this kind of favor from the LORD. PRAISE GOD! TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
Please help us pray for the amount of $23,000 to pay off this loan. There is NO RUSH and NO PRESSURE to pay it off, but we would like to see the amount “PAID IN FULL” by the grace of GOD, As Soon As Possible. We desire to keep a very good testimony with their family and business. “FOR WITH GOD NOTHING SHALL BE IMPOSSIBLE”(Luke 1:37) We have already given $2,000 from our church starting last month.  I believe that the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY has given us this favor because of your continual prayers and fastings for our family and ministry. Our LORD and Saviour JESUS CHRIST has given us a HUGE BREAKTHROUGH here in our ministry. We have already started using the new unfinished building for children’s Sunday school classes, and nursery. It is such a tremendous blessing to walk on the 2nd floor of the new building. By the grace of God, both floors will be used this coming JUNE 2016 – 2017 school year. Please pray for our INDEPENDENT BAPTIST YOUTH CAMP on December 21-23, 2015. Our goal is 500 young people to come from all over Mindanao. This new building will be used to accommodate our delegates next week. Please pray that many young people will follow GOD’S calling and surrender their lives to JESUS for FULL TIME MINISTRY.  I will send you a full report of our GOD given victories after our youth camp. We are very very very excited to see GOD move once again in the tender hearts of young people here in the Philippines.

TO GOD BE THE GLORY GREAT THINGS HE HATH DONE.

In CHRIST JESUS,
The HUNTER FAMILY/Your Missionaries to the Philippines

Philippines: Christoper and Victoria Hunter October 2015

Dearest Beloved Prayer Warriors,

Greetings to you in the precious name of our LORD and Saviour JESUS CHRIST. Praise GOD for the moving of the HOLY SPIRIT in the ministry. We give GOD praise for over 500 in attendance during our 10TH CHURCH ANNIVERSARY here in Bible Baptist Church Don Carlos. GOD gave us a fully packed and overflowing Sunday morning worship service. Our High school students were in full uniform and attended with their parents. The Parents were so happy to hear their children sing unto the LORD. Our speaker was Pastor Eric Barbaso. He is 63 years old and has been in the ministry for 46 wonderful years. The LORD used him mightily to preach the WORD of GOD. All of the members, especially the young people of our church did an excellent job of decorating the front of the auditorium. The ladies teamed up to cook and serve the food for all of our guests during the special day. Everyone was so busy working together to “serve the LORD with JOYFULNESS and GLADNESS of heart”. It was so exciting and encouraging to my heart to see everyone so eager to serve and take care of their own area of responsibility. By the grace of GOD every department was handled with love and care for the glory of GOD.

We have seen over 1,700 precious souls receive JESUS CHRIST as their LORD and personal Saviour in the past two months. We have increased our outreach and soul winning efforts more and more because we believe that our LORD JESUS CHRIST is coming very soon. We have also had 40 baptisms within two months. PRAISE BE TO GOD!

We would also like to say thank you for the financial blessing that you sent to our family here in the mission field of the Philippines, at the end of September. It was SO UNEXPECTED that my wife and I could not help but weep together unto the LORD, in prayer, with tears of joy and gratefulness. GOD BLESS YOU. Words cannot begin to express our gratitude. We can never pay you back but THE LORD SHALL SHOWER YOU WITH HIS BOUNTIFUL BLESSINGS THAT MONEY CANNOT BUY! Thank you for giving to the LORD! Thank you for loving our family and the people of the Philippines. It is so wonderful to know that God answers prayer.

As prophecy is unfolding in ISRAEL and the signs of the times are appearing everywhere. “Let us not grow weary in well doing”, but rather “be stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord”, because CHRIST JESUS IS COMING SOON! LET’S GO SOUL WINNING!

In CHRIST JESUS,
The Hunter Family,
Psalm 91

Philippines Christopher and Victoria Hunter July 2015

Dearest Beloved Prayer Warriors,

Greetings to you in the precious name of our LORD and Saviour JESUS CHRIST,

Thank you for your faithful prayers, fasting, and financial support for our family, and ministry. The LORD has given us 159 students in our church-school this year. Each student is thoroughly grounded in the WORD of GOD everyday. Every week we have scheduled soul winning, and discipleship, in each student’s home, with their parents. Every family welcomes us into their home, and are so eager to listen to what we have to say because their children are students in our school. What an awesome, GOD given privilege, to have bible studies every week without any hindrance or negative response. GOD is building HIS CHURCH, one family at a time. We believe in HOLINESS, lifting the standard high, and upholding biblical principles, so that our students have an environment conducive of learning, and a testimony that lifts up CHRIST JESUS our LORD for all the world to see. Truly, we are a peculiar people to those around us, and by the grace of GOD, we have a very good testimony with our neighbors, local Government, and police officers here in our small town of Don Carlos. By GOD’S grace, our testimony is now spreading out to neighboring towns, and families travel far to enroll their children in our school. AMEN!

“BEHOLD, HOW GOOD AND HOW PLEASANT IT IS FOR BRETHREN TO DWELL TOGETHER IN UNITY!”  (PSALM 133:1)

It has taken my wife and I, many years of prayer, constant training, and MUCH patience, to train others and teach them how to be effective and useful in the ministry. By the the graceof GOD, all of our hard work is benefiting us now in the long run. The ministry runs so much smoother, and efficiently now. God has used us to love HIS people, and train them. It is a great joy to see the LORD, changing lives through soul winning, and discipleship. These men and women have given their lives to full-time ministry. Many of these used to walk in darkness and wickedness, now they are walking in the light with JESUS. We are so blessed to be in a ministry wherein lives are being changed. It is a privilege to work side by side with these my brethren in the faith, who love the LORD JESUS CHRIST.

Please continue to “hold the rope for us” as we preach and lift up CHRIST JESUS our LORD and Saviour, here in the dark land of Mindanao. “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) God Bless you.

In CHRIST JESUS
The Hunter Family

Philippines: Lemuel and Taylor Javier  July/August 2015

Dear Pastor and Church Family,

Let me just begin by telling you what the Lord has been doing for the last five weeks of being in the Philippines. Since we arrived on June 11th we are blessed beyond all measure of how our gracious, merciful and loving heavenly Father that has given us so much that we do not deserve. God providentially blessed us with a home not too far from the church. My wife, Taylor could tell you everything about it, just ask her and no doubt in my mind that she will give all the details you want to know. Another thing is a car, yes a car! Not that I am tired of commuting but its easier to go somewhere having a car of your own. God provided just the kind of car we were looking for within our budget.

Most important thing besides home and a car is a place where we could worship the Lord with His saints. Oh how I love to be with God’s people. Our first Sunday was so awesome, though still adjusting with jet lag and the heat, we felt so welcome. I was given an opportunity to preach one Sunday. Taylor and I also joined the choir as well. Filipinos really love music! We are planning to spend most of our time with Bible Believers Baptist Church in Santa Monica Puerto Princesa, Palawan to work alongside with Brother Mark Varney. I desire to visit different like-minded Baptist churches in the city to be encourage and minister in any way I can. I am looking forward to seeing people saved and baptized and disciple.

This month Taylor and I are praying for salvation for Edith and Ian who are leaving to New Zealand the end of this month. There are also many student renters that live across the street, and next door that are also lost and needed to be saved. The Lady that owns the place across the street is very open for me to start a Bible study with the Students that live there. She herself goes to a Baptist church in town. Our next door neighbor is a police officer and now has a boarding house and review center for student police there in her home. Her renters we got to say hi to and talk with a couple weeks ago. Please pray for courage and the Holy Spirit leading. I am so thankful for the ability to speak the language and communicate to others pretty easily. It is certainly a blessing. My wife can testify that the people do speak English; but communication is still harder if you use English. She is taking Tagalog lessons from a friend and tutor. We desire that she will easily learn to converse and understand Tagalog.

The Lord has blessed us with many friends already. We have friends at our house frequently staying the night (they are students at the university and we live in the center of all the their company and fellowship. The Lord has also blessed us with a couple and their 5 year old son to be friends with. They have helped us every step; finding a house, finding a car, finding anything we need. Our daughter, Georgianna also has gotten close to their son. They love to play together and get along well. Through a course that only God could plan, they were helping us as we looked for help at the house for Taylor (cooking, laundry, etc…) and our search was unfruitful. As it turned out I mentioned one day that I would love to have her (she is a good friend and AMAZING COOK) she talked to her husband and it was a good fit for them as well. Now Taylor has her friend helping her every day and my daughter has hers as well. We are blessed, and I hope, are a blessing to her. All of these things could not be accomplished without you all. Thank you so much for your FAITHFULNESS!!

Lemuel and Taylor Javier

Prayers requests:
Taylor’s immigrant visa to be sent and process.
Brother and Mrs. Varney to arrive safely August 6th
Outreach: Bible Study And one on one Soul winning
Our boxes to arrive soon
Taylor’s pregnancy and everyone to stay healthy

Scotland: Russell and Janet Brinkley: December 2015

Dear Pastor & Praying Friends,

Holiday Bible Club: The Perth public schools take two weeks of holiday each October. This year, we felt the Lord leading us to move our Summer Bible Club to this opportune time in October. We hosted a three day western-themed event and had a consistent group of kids come each day. Two families have continued coming faithfully! It was a church-wide effort and what a blessing it was to see the Lord provide the increase after all the hard work.

Spiritual Growth:
• Our Sunday attendance is averaging around 20 each week
• 6 believers recently started a weekly one-on-one discipleship program
• 3 first time singers sang a special during our November Sing-All Service
• 9 women are eager to start having Ladies Meetings every six weeks
• Youth group starting monthly fellowship and activities to increase visitors
• New church outreach of “Bible Study on the High Street” starting soon

Christmas Outreach: December has been a month packed with many happenings for Bible Baptist Church. We started with our annual “Operation Candy Cane” where we passed out the sweets with a Christmas gospel tract in the city center. The youth group provided a costumed Christmas singing program one Sunday and the church collected a special Happy Birthday Jesus offering the next. The youth also decorated gingerbread houses during their weekly youth club and had a birthday party for Jesus. Keeping Christ the focus!

Serving together,
Russell, Janet, Taylor, Dylan & Danielle Brinkley

Scotland: Russell and Janet Brinkley Aug. / Sept. 2015

Dear Pastor & Praying Friends,

Tract Distribution at Highland Games:
In August, the Bible Baptist Church family descended upon the large crowd of visitors during the afternoon portion of the Perth Highland Games. We gave out John & Roman Booklets as well as Gospel Tracts & Invitations to the church. We spoke to many people, handed out many tracts and everyone from the church had
a part in it. That’s what it’s all about! Reaching Scotland together for Christ!

Hosted Fellowship Meeting:
In September, we hosted the annual Scottish Independent Baptist Fellowship meeting at our church hall in Perth. This year, we had eight missionary families from around the UK join us for a day of preaching, singing, fellowship and fun. Our family is grateful to have friendships with other laborers here. It’s always an
encouragement to us when we can schedule time together for godly fellowship.

Welcome Deana Hewston:
Deana Hewston, arrived in Scotland on September 9, 2015. She is a single lady missionary who has joined our ministry efforts here in Perth. Deana will be heading up our youth program, leading the youth choir, providing special music, and help lead our Holiday Bible Club.

Serving together,
Russell, Janet, Taylor, Dylan & Danielle Brinkley
Phone: 972-221-5600

Scotland: Russell and Janet Brinkley June / July 2015
Dear Pastor & Praying Friends,

Many Open Doors: We had 22 people at our annual 4th of July Church Cookout, with 4 families visiting for the first time! Our hall-keeper Hugh brought his wife along and one family is a result of Russell’s chaplaincy work. Many answered prayers! Our unfriendly next door neighbor, who became unhappy with us two years ago about the height our landlord had the hedges cut, has apologized to us! She was just diagnosed with breast cancer and she said she realized that life was too short to hold grudges. She even invited Janet over for a cup of tea and this is another family who came to the 4th of July cookout. Russell took it upon himself to mow a neglected area of grass in our neighborhood and one pleased family brought him flowers and chocolates. Janet was able to witness to two Jehovah’s Witness ladies at our front door. An Englishman, with a summer work contract in Perth, has been visiting our mid-week service after looking at our church website. (www.bbcperth.co.uk) We witnessed to a plumber working in our house, who is new to the area. A family who has faithfully been attending our Sunday services, recently moved closer to Perth just so they can attend the mid-week service too! A young single mother just started a weekly discipleship class with Janet. Janet was invited to become a Unit Helper in the Girl Guides Youth Program.

Summertime Fellowship: We praise the Lord that God has given all three of our children their own special friend here on the mission field. With another year of homeschooling behind us, we look forward to the fellowship opportunities that the summer brings. Russell and Dylan hosted a Missionary Men’s Campout leading up to Father’s Day in June. They camped for three days in the beautiful coastal city of Oban and had a refreshing time visiting with the other missionary men and boys. Our family took a short trip to Cornwall, England to visit with fellow missionary Kent Gossmeyer. It was a much needed holiday and the fellowship was sweet.

We feel that God is really at work here in Perth and we are so excited to see what He has in store. Thank you for letting us represent you here and for your prayers!

Serving together,

Russell, Janet, Taylor, Dylan & Danielle Brinkley

Soul-winning Seminars: Bob and Joy Martin October 2015

At a Bible Conference the other day, a Pastor and I discussed having a Soul- winning Seminar at his church. He felt that his members did not have the tools needed to be a witness for Christ, but said that it would have to wait until next year because his calendar is full for the rest of 2015. On the morrow I asked him why he would make his members wait until next year to be enabled to witness for the Lord. His reply was “that’s the same question the Holy Spirit asked me last night”. We are now doing a Seminar this month at his church. If you are in the same quandary, let me know, and we will see if something can be worked out for this year!

September Was a Whirlwind of Spiritual Blessing:  We began September at Water Valley, Mississippi visiting Faith Baptist Church the Sunday morning of the 6th. Our friends, Bro. Lynn Potts and his wife work out of Faith Baptist where Dr. Bob Hill is the Pastor. A great church with a great school and ministry. That evening, through the following Wednesday, we were at Faith Baptist Church in Lambert, MS to spend Camp Meet- ing with Pastor Randall Boatner. We had a great meeting, and God opened some doors to teach Soul-winning Seminars in different churches. I had the opportunity to present the ministry, as well as preach in this meeting.

Sunday, September 13th we were in LaGrange, Georgia to visit with Faith Baptist Church and the pastor Bro. Don Yancy. This church has been through the fire, losing many members, but now they are winning their community to the Lord. They are baptizing every Sunday as God saves souls. One of the large vases in the pulpit area shows how many lost people have been saved. The vase with white marbles has a marble for each person saved this year. What a blessing. We also got to fellowship with one of the young men from the Children’s Home in Costa Rica that is serving at Faith Baptist. What a blessing to see God using him.

That evening we were at Souls Harbor Baptist Church in Roanoke, Alabama. What a great pastor and church. These folks are doing so much right to see the lost saved.

The next day the Georgia/Alabama Pastors Fellowship was held at Souls Harbor. I was blessed to preach and the Pastor’s son got saved. When I said “I was 27 years old, a music and youth director, a drunk, and lost” the Holy Ghost spoke to him and said “you better quit playing games on your phone and listen to this, because this is the last time I am dealing with you”. At Souls Harbor you also get to preach standing on the Rock and the Word of God (literally), as the picture shows the area behind the pulpit. What a glory time we had! We have met some great men of God who pastor great churches and stand for the truth of the Word of God.

The next weekend I taught a Seminar at Hebron Ridge Baptist Church in Quitman, Mississippi. Precious people who are seeking to serve the Lord. A young lady attended the Friday evening Seminar and got saved at home during Saturday visitation.

On Monday (Sept. 21) we drove to St. Joseph, Missouri for the national GIBF meeting at Bible Baptist Church. It was just what Joy and I needed to encourage and help us to go on for the Lord in the work that many times drains us phy- sically and spiritually. Each message spoke to our hearts and helped our Christian walk.
Wednesday evening, Sept. 23rd, we were at Colonial Baptist Church in Rogers, Arkansas. Dr. Claud Slate is the pastor. I got to share the ministry of the Seminars, and also greet the Spanish church.

September 27, we spent the day at Berea Baptist Church in Terry, Mississippi. Bro Van Carter is the pastor and we are looking at teaching a Seminar next January 2016. This is a small church in a small town with plenty of lost people.

A Pastor asked me “how much does it cost for you to come and teach a Seminar?” I had sent him an info booklet about the Seminar, so I said, “you didn’t read the info booklet did you?” His reply was “no”, so I said, “we come on a love offering basis only”. His reply, “so how much money do you need?” I said “It’s on a love offering basis only”. In this newsletter update let me explain: We come and teach a Seminar, only asking for a love offering and a place to sleep. If the church cannot afford a place to sleep, we are more than happy to supply our own. Please, do not let the size of your church, or your financial circumstances, determine the will of God. We desire to be of help, enabling Christians to reach a lost world for Jesus Christ.

October Promises to be a Wonderful Month!
October 3-4 – Soul-winning Seminar at Oak Grove Baptist Church, Noxapater, MS
October 4 (PM) – Green Pond Baptist Church, Green Pond, AL
October 9-11 – Old Paths Baptist Church, Meridian, MS
October 11 (PM) – Open
October 16-18 – Open
October 20-21 – Church Planting Conference, Wilson Creek B. C., Battlefield, MO
October 22-23 – Annual Bible Conf., Gleaners B. C., Linden, TX
October 25 – Open

If we can be of help in any of the “open dates” above, please call or e-mail us: bobjoymartin@earthlink.net  Cell Phone – 601/618-4191

I cannot finish this Newsletter Update without thanking all of you who pray for us & support us financially. Because of you, we have been able to teach 14 Seminars (13 churches in the U.S. and 1 nation-wide conference in Cambodia), preach 3 revivals, preach 8 Bible conferences, participate in 2 Missions Conferences, and visit 34 churches to get acquainted with pastors in preparation for teaching a Seminar. We know of 36 people who have gotten saved in the Seminars, and time will only tell of others who gave their heart to Jesus Christ, because of the impact the Seminars had on their lives. Thank you so much!

Bro. Bob

Soul-winning Seminars: Bob and Joy Martin August 2015

August Was a Remarkable Month:  We began the month (August 2nd) at Bible Baptist Church in Justin, TX where Bro. Nolen Partridge is the pastor. This is a great church with a great pastor. Sunday evening we were sent by the Holy Spirit to Northside Baptist Church in Carrollton, TX where the pastor (Bro. Mark Dillalio), preached to our hearts (we need preaching unto also). What a blessing to attend church with our children & grandchildren.

August 4th Bro. Frankie Hunt and I left Dallas, TX and flew to Phenom Phen, Cambodia (5 million people) to preach and teach a Soul-winning Seminar. The accommodations were great, but the food was contrary to our digestive systems. You have not eaten real Mexican Food until you eat it in Cambodia (sarcasm). Our hearts were stirred by the spiritual darkness of the land. God allowed us to be used of Him to invade that darkness with the Gospel. The attacks of satan were intense, but we had the privilege of functioning under the protective hand of the Lord. Bro. Frankie preached the 5th Anniversary service of Grace Baptist Church of Pochentong, Cambodia and I gave my testimony. We had three lost people saved during the invitation, including a 70+ year old man. There were 137 pastors, church leaders, and deacons in the Seminar, and 26 people got saved when we sent them out on the streets to witness. After teaching these men and women how to teach their members to witness and win souls, they committed themselves to the task. God sent them back to their home churches all over the nation of Cambodia and Vietnam to witness and teach their people to witness. You can see more pictures & info at our website www.wesws.com and click on “CambodiaUdt”.

August 16 we reported on the trip to Cambodia at our home church (Southside Baptist Church). What a blessing to report to the church that had underwritten much of the trip and the work of missions to another country. I had the opportunity to wear a 100% silk shirt; it is the normal attire for missionaries and only costs $10.00. The church in Cambodia sent presents for our church, our pastor, the pastor’s wife, and my wife.

August 21-23 I taught a Soul-winning Seminar at Welcome Hill Baptist Church in Powder Springs, GA. The pastor is Bro. Johnny Ivey, and God has abundantly blessed. Sunday evening they had a testimony time where the church committed themselves to witness each day, seeking souls for the Lord. At the end of the service they had cleaned out the tract rack. The evening service found us at Ridge Road Baptist Church in Hiram, GA.

August 30 we were at our home church (Southside Baptist Church). God saved the pastors youngest son, and after the service saved a lady who does not attend church, but came with her friend. Sunday evening we attended Warrington Independent Baptist Church here in Vicksburg, Mississippi, not knowing that it was their 5th Sunday “popcorn preaching and singing” service. I had the honor of speaking about the Weekend Soul-winning Seminars and also preaching a 9½ minute message. Bro. Marvin Curtis Jr. is the pastor of a church with a marvelous history of service to missions & the Lord.

Once again we thank you for praying for us (there’s some really nutty drivers out on the road), and also for giving that we might go and teach churches that normally would not be able to underwrite a Soul-winning Seminar. We know that the reason we have the health to travel and do the work of God is because the people of God pray. We understand that it is the Lord, but we also know that He works through you so He can work through us. We so appreciate your faithfulness. Please know that we pray for you also and thank you so very much.

Bro. Bob

Venezuela:Hector & Erica Garcia  June/July 2015

Dear Churches, Family, and Friends,

We hope this letter finds you doing well. We would like to thank you for your prayer and support.

Project VIDA (LIFE) was started by a national pastor, Rafael Ramírez, as a way to preach the gospel in places were the church is not openly accepted. The idea behind this project is to teach: Values, Integrity, Development, and Abnegation using biblical principles. With VIDA as his platform, he has been able to teach God’s word in schools such as, the Airport Security Training Facility, the Formation School for National Guards, as well as public schools. Once a week during the month of May, Bro. Josúe and I traveled to La Guaira to glean from Pastor Rafael (far right) and Bro. Alexi (far left) as they held different activities and classes using this project.

In June, we decided to put into practice what we had learned. Immediately after introducing the project, we were invited to present at local schools. The Pi Suñer High School Principal, allowed us to hold two sessions with the students. We were overjoyed to see 84 total in attendance. Later that month, another session was held for the faculty and staff.

It was a real blessing to see our members involved and promoting this project. One couple even introduced it to their son’s vice principal. At the La Pedrea Elementary, Km 13, we were asked to speak to the faculty about, “Responsibility, and the Importance of Fulfilling your Duties.” This class was so well received, that we were ask to present it to the parents as well. We were overwhelmed with excitement when we were informed that the class was made into a requirement for parents before picking up their child’s final report card!

Project VIDA, has also been a way for us to begin working with the National Guard Post in El Junquito. It is a small post with 52 guards; however, they have been very receptive to the classes. Due to the post size, many of our sessions consist only of the 10 to 15 guards on duty.

At this year’s Jr. Camp, we were blessed to be able to take 5 teens. Yohniquer and Yohn Ángel, are a direct result of the Bible Study started in May, at one of our newest outreaches in km 14. All five campers returned excited, fired up and ready to serve the Lord. We are very eager to see how God will use them in the future.

Prayer Requests:
* Please pray that the Lord would continue opening doors through Project VIDA.
* Pray for the work with the National Guards. (Here, they act as another police force and are constantly being dispatched and put into harm’s way.)

Your Missionaries to Venezuela,
Hector & Erica Garcia

Zambia: David and Cherri Rea October 2015

A 6am call for help…
My phone rang at 6am, “I need help. Can you help me?” Many here are looking for jobs, money or other material things, so I ask, “What kind of help do you need?” The young man responded by saying, “I want to know God. How can I know God?” We set up a time to meet that evening when he got off work. That evening Chris accepted Christ as his Saviour. Later he told me how his whole life had been changed. He expressed his gratitude. I told him it was nothing I had done, but it was all what Jesus had done for both him and myself.

A friend brought to our Bible Study…
As we began regular Bible studies with Chris, he brought a friend from his work. The Bible study was on God’s free gift of Salvation! It was a joy to see one young man bring another young man who then also got saved!

A truck driver who knew he could die any day…
During evangelism one Saturday, one of our new Chinese tires began to go flat. Since they were just put on the day before it seemed odd that one would go flat. I stopped by a roadside tire repair man and he took the tire off, checked for leaks and re-seated the bead. While this was going on my son Jacob and another young man were sitting in the van. “Hey, why don’t you two get out and go tell someone about Jesus!” I said. “Who?”they asked. I said, “Well, anybody! Go over there and tell those people!” Off they go. They come back and told me that a man in a truck wished to speak to me. “I need the word of God” he said. I began to preach unto him Jesus. He talked about almost dying in a traffic accident while driving his 5 ton truck and his realization of the danger of driving here. He said, “I could die any day driving my truck.” He did not accept Christ that day, but he did come to church. On a follow up visit with this man, he called on Jesus to save his soul.

A young man who desires to serve God…
Two young men came to our home to witness to me. They understood salvation but they were taught little else. They both were 12th graders who have just graduated from High School. This visit turned into a 2 hour Bible study with them. One of them, Jeremiah, came back to visit my home the following week.
We are now doing Bible studies three days a week for about 3 hours a day.

The container arrived…
Our container arrived safe. No problems with customs. We got it off loaded and unloaded. We are still trying to get the home set up and organized. The pressroom is almost ready and we hope to set up the printing press in the next few weeks. Our first projects will be another trifold tract from a full letter sheet of paper (qty. 25,000) , and a 20 page doctrinal study book on salvation (qty.5000). We have already distributed many of these that were printed by us in the USA. These have brought in much fruit. Thefirst two men above were saved as a direct result of handing out those booklets. We can print the booklets for under 10 cents each. So $100 can print 1,000 – 20 page booklets. $100 can also print 10,000 of the trifold single page tracts. In the last few weeks we have handed out about 10,000 tracts.

A young man who desires to serve God…
Two young men came to our home to witness to me. They understood salvation but they were taught little else. They both were 12th graders who have just graduated from High School. This visit turned into a 2 hour Bible study with them. One of them, Jeremiah, came back to visit my home the following week. We are now doing Bible studies three days a week for about 3 hours a day.

Zambia: David and Cherri Rea: August 2015
Dear Friends,
We have arrived safely in Zambia. Our first week was consumed with setting up our home. The time quoted for the transit of the container was 5 weeks less than the actual arrival time. This means we are living with only what we could carry on the plane for the first five weeks in Zambia. Everything takes longer here. In speaking with one veteran missionary he said this, “We would make a list of ten things we needed in town. When we went to town, if we accomplished  one thing, we were successful.
An example of this is our stove. We purchased a small Chinese oven that runs only on propane gas – no electricity. This is because everyone in Zambia is now under load sharing. Not enough power exists to meet the demand. This means we are without power for about 8 hours each day. The problem with the stove is the lack of propane! It has been sold out for the last month. But the first Tuesday we were here propane arrived. I got to stand in a line for 4.5 hours just to pay! It took another hour or so to fill the tank. Thankfully I was able to find a large (48kg) tank that should last us more than a few months.
We have already had MANY opportunities to witness. We are rationing the few tracts (700) we brought on the plane with us. They could be handed out in under an hour if we did not do this. I was able to tell a sweet lady about Christ. She had never heard of Jesus. This is rare in Lusaka – most consider themselves to be Christian – but it is almost universal that they believe in works to save them. Last night we visited a lady who came to church last Sunday. Her name is Grace. But Grace trusted in works. I was able to tell Grace about grace, and how salvation is not about works. It was a wonderful visit.
While filling up the van I was able to strike up a conversation with two of the gas station attendants. They are both Seventh Day Adventists. I said, “Did you know that in the Law you are prohibited from leaving your home on the Sabbath!?” They were shocked. As we talked they asked to do a Bible study with me. My notebook is filling up with men who desire to study the Bible. Many will not pan out – but SOME will!
Next week we start intensive language study 6 hours a day. We are able to speak with many people as English is the national language. But to be more effective we need to learn the local tribal language. I have also been asked to begin both a discipleship program and evangelism training. These will happen Saturday afternoon. In addition I am able to meet with the young men in the church on Fridays – this time will be one of relationship building and teaching. So next week will get BUSY.
Once the container arrives we will be able to set up the printing press. The combination of soul winning and discipleship, printing, language learning, home school, setting up a garden and chicken (broiler and layer) operation will keep us VERY busy. The greatest blessing is that we can always find people who are open to hear the wonderful words of life!

 

Outreach Ideas for Small Churches

35  Outreach Ideas for Small Churches

  1. Sponsor a school or classroom
  2.  Annual revivals
  3. Christian-Family movie night
  4. Neighborhood dinner
  5. Community festival
  6. Halloween alternative
  7. Honor community heroes
  8. Christmas play
  9. Community garden
  10. Buy school supplies for poor children
  11. Parents’ night out or Mother’s morning out
  12. Homecoming…invite former members back
  13. Recognize veterans and military
  14. VBS
  15. Community thanksgiving service
  16. Church day camp (Good soul-winning and training tool for children)
  17. Day trips for senior citizens
  18. Senior adult programs, lunch
  19. Church yard sale
  20. Free carwash
  21. Host English as a second language class or a computer training class
  22. Grief ministry (Check obituaries and deliver baskets with goodies and a pastor’s letter)
  23. Grandparents day
  24. Mother’s day and Father’s day
  25. Church Anniversary
  26. Nursing home ministry
  27. Report card rewards and recognition
  28. Lock in or lock out
  29. Door-to-door food collection for community food bank (Good way to hand out tracts)
  30. Christmas parties for seniors, kids, families, target groups
  31. Volunteer recognition (Could be for church volunteers or community volunteers)
  32. Addiction programs
  33. Single adult or single parent programs
  34. Neighborhood inventories and assessments
  35. Prayer ministry

Jelly Bean Story

 Little jelly beans, tell a story true
A tale of our Father’s love –
Just for you and me.
Green is for the waving palms
Red is for His precious blood
Black is for the sin He washed from your soul and mine
White is for our hearts now clean from sin
Purple’s for the sadness of His family and friends
And Yellow is for the glory of the day He rose again.
Now you’ve heard the story, you know what each color means.
The story of our Father’s love told by some jelly beans.
So every morning take a bean, they’re really very yummy.
Something for the soul, you see, and something for the tummy.

If you need coloring pages and stories for Resurrection Sunday check out http://ministry-to-children.com/childrens-ministry-links-for-easter/. This is a great resource for Sunday School lessons, coloring pages, video clips, etc.

Strongholds That Hinder Our Prayers

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

The word translated “strongholds” in this passage also means “fortresses or to make firm.” Just like military forts are established in firm places such as hilltops, Satan also attempts to establish strong forts in our minds to hold our thought life captive.

Paul defines strongholds as arguments, pretensions, or thoughts that set themselves against the knowledge of God. Any beliefs entrenched in our own thinking and are contrary to God’s revealed truth are Satan’s strongholds. It is these strongholds that hinder  our prayers.

Satan’s strongholds fill our minds with fear, anxiety, hopelessness, and failure. These are thoughts that tell us there is not hope for our current situation so why should I bother to pray…not even God can help me out of this mess. All strongholds make us doubt God and His power.

Consider these strongholds and Scriptures to counter attack these thoughts:

• My husband is hopeless. He’ll never change. 1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

• I’m just a carnal person. I’ll never be free from lust. Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

• I’m getting older…I feel so useless.  Feebleness and disease are inevitable. Psalms 103:5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

STRONGHOLDS in the mind are formed three different ways…as arguments, as pretensions, and as thoughts contrary to the knowledge of God.

1. Strongholds that are arguments contrary to the knowledge of God…these are not arguments with other people, but they are battles that go on in our minds and draw conclusions by our reasonings.

2. Strongholds that are pretensions contrary to the knowledge of God…these are when we exalt our own reasoning over God’s divine revelation and depend more on our own reasonings.

3. Strongholds that are thoughts contrary to the knowledge of God. This same word is used in 2 Corinthians 2:11 and refers to Satan’s schemes…these are thoughts that we allow Satan to plant into our minds and deceive us into thinking that they are own thoughts…but they are really thoughts against God’s will.

These strongholds are formed by:

• Justifying or reasoning situations of life without looking to God for guidance.
• Drawing our own conclusions without consulting God’s Word for validation.
• Setting our rationalizations above God’s revealed will in Scripture.
• Devising schemes for handling life situations contrary to seeking God’s purposes for living.

These strongholds can hinder our prayer lives by turning us into double-minded people. We, on one hand, profess to live by the authority of God’s Word, yet at other times, we allow our lives to be directed by our own human reasonings. Our double-mindedness tries to balance our competing agendas. We pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,”

Neil Anderson says, “Double-mindedness determines to have a Plan B of human reasoning to fall back on in case the Plan A of God’s revealed will doesn’t come through. As long as we hold a Plan B in reserve, we’re not able to pray with faith and confidence for God’s Plan A to come through. Double-mindedness leads to instability and weakness and makes us unstable in our faith and ineffective in our prayers. Much is at stake when we try to embrace God’s agenda without letting go of our own.”

Our only weapon to break a stronghold is God’s Word. Jesus used the Word of God as a weapon to defeat the “schemes, devices, reasonings” of the devil in the wilderness. With each of the devil’s suggestions to Jesus, he included a reason why Jesus should act upon his suggestion. He tried to use human reasoning to build a stronghold in Jesus’ mind.

James gives us four steps to demolish strongholds in our minds:
James 4:7-8. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

First Step: Submit to God…by submitting to God’s will and acknowledging His Word in our lives, we are more able to resist the devil.

Second Step: Resist the devil…by exposing Satan’s lies with God’s Truth and exercising our authority over him with God’s Word, we are commanding Satan to move over and make way for God’s will.

Third Step: Draw near to God…by drawing nearer to God in worship and resisting the devil, two things will happen…God’s will becomes stronger to us, while Satan’s strongholds become weaker.

Fourth Step: Be spiritually cleansed…by using God’s Word in prayer to spiritually cleanse our hearts, we can confidently enter God’s Holy Place with clean hearts to pray and to worship Him.

God’s Timing Is Not Always Our Timing

Have you ever felt as if God was not answering your prayers the way you told Him to answer them and at the exact time that you told Him to answer them?

God promises to give us the desires of our hearts but not always according to our time table. We must not rush God and leave the timing with Him.

God has a plan for each one of His children, and He wants what is best for them. He always answers prayers in three ways … No … Yes… and… Not at this time. Sometimes we must wait before God gives us the desires of our hearts. It is our human nature to want to rush things up for God and do things in our own strength.

The following story is a great illustration about how a little boy tried to help the caterpillar become a butterfly.

One day a little boy was playing outdoors and found a caterpillar. He carefully picked it up and took it home to show his mother. His mother agreed he could keep it if he promised to take good care of it.
The little boy got a large jar, placed plants in it for the caterpillar to eat, and put a stick in it for the caterpillar to attach itself. Every day the boy watched the caterpillar and brought it new plants to eat.
One day the caterpillar climbed on the stick and started acting strangely. The boy anxiously called his mother. She watched the caterpillar for a minute and then explained to her son that the caterpillar was making a cocoon, and it was going through a metamorphosis to become a butterfly.

The boy watched the changes of the caterpillar with amazement. Thinking it was taking too long and too much of a struggle for the butterfly to emerge, the boy took a pair of scissors and snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger. The butterfly quickly came out of its cocoon, but it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings and had to spend the rest of its life crawling around like this, and it was never able to fly.

Sadly, the boy learned that it was necessary for the butterfly to struggle to get out of its cocoon. It was during this struggling process that the butterfly pushed fluid out of its body and into its wings. If the butterfly didn’t go through that struggle, it would never be able to fly. This boy’s intentions were good, but his helping hurt the butterfly.

Consider Joseph and how God worked in his life. Every step of the way in Joseph’s life..in the pit…in the prison, and in Potipher’s palace, God was working out His perfect will. God needed a man in place to accomplish His perfect will at His perfect time. Think about Esther! God put her in a position of influence at the exact time to save her people.

Many times we want things in our lives that might hurt us. Because God knows us and knows what is best for us at the exact time, we must be patient and wait for His perfect timing. We must give God a chance to work and to work by His exact timing.

 Page 1 of 21  1  2  3  4  5 » ...  Last »