Archive for October, 2015

2016 GIBM Letters

Australia: Bill and Doyla Bramblet  April 2016

Dear Friends,

Thank you for praying for us and for the ministry here in Brisbane.  Our church attendance has been up and down in the past few months.  It’s great to have visitors, but we want to see people faithfully following the Lord!  Please pray that we will see more people saved, baptized and faithful.

Dean Last came for the first time on February 21st and trusted Christ as his Saviour.  What a blessing!   I’m looking forward to discipling him.  Also, the Sunday school class that Doyla teaches is bursting at the seams.  Our Sunday school rooms are about 100 feet square.  In that space we have a table and chairs and she is averaging 10 children plus 2 adults!  Most of the children who come are from non-church families.  It’s a challenge, but it is also a blessing and an opportunity.  We are looking forward to what God will do in those families.  Please pray for Dean and for our Sunday school.

We know that we are in a great spiritual battle.  Please pray that we will be encouraged and strengthened.  We are working hard to encourage ourselves in the Lord.  Thank you for your faithfulness. God bless you as you serve Him.

In Christ,
Bill & Doyla Bramblet

Brazil: Benjamin and Luciana Leaf February 9, 2016

Dear Pastor and Supporting Church members,

News From Batatais – SP!

We can only praise the Lord for all that He did id 2015! We had the privilege of being used of the Lord to see lives changed. Icaru has continued to grow in the Lord. The young people as well as the families have continued to move forward in their service also. We finished off the year having a Christmas presentation by the children of the church, that was put together entirely by the young people.

2016 has already been a busy year. In January, we were invited to be at two different churches. One church in the city of São Sebastião do Paraiso, the pastor asked us to speak both in the morning and evening. We spent the day with a family that has been going to that church. Little did we know that the family has been struggling in many areas, and the afternoon spent their, we were able to help and encourage them. The church services were also a blessing and we challenged the people to make 2016 a year in which they would serve Christ even more. We also went to the city of Orlândia, and spoke on a Sunday night. We saw one teenager raise his hand wanting to trust Christ as his personal Savior and about 10 people saying they wanted to be a better witness for Christ.

Back in Batatais, we are starting a study of the New Testament. We are developing all the material and the idea is to make a booklet to give to everyone to have. This material is for all ages and the hope is that is will help them gain a better understanding and appreciation of the Scriptures that they have.

Construction of our Building!

Neh 4:6 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.

The walls are going up! The easiest part of the construction has been reached…the walls and roof. We have now entered the hardest part, by Brazilian standards…the interior. The hardest part is the most expensive part. We have also used all the funds that we had saved up at this point. So we are now moving forward as funds come in. As we have mentioned before the Lord has done great things in getting us this far. In our previous letter we mentioned that we had a need of $22,000. The Lord has been faithful and a good part of that has been covered. We now need approximately $8,000 in order to finish the building which would allow us to finish the building and move to the permanent location and getting out of the rent. Please pray with us that the Lord would supply this need. If you and your church could help with this need it would be greatly appreciated.

Prayer requests!
Icaru – Young man´s continued Spiritual growth.
Tatinho – Man in the church that is on dialysis, awaiting kidney transplant, has had to put a drain in.
Property – Funds, US$8,000 in order to finish construction.
Church growth – for those that have been visiting our services. Also those that are young in the Lord that they might continue to grow and live for Him.

Serving Christ in Brazil,
Ben Leaf Family

Brazil: Don and Linda Leaf   March 14, 2016

Dear Praying Friends,

Baptismal Day in Cornélio Procópio:  On March 6, we were able to have a baptismal service. The Lord gave us a beautiful day so that we could use a swimming pool. There were eleven baptized. The ages ranged from eight to eighty. There were 56 who attended the service including unsaved relatives and backslidden believers. It was a thrilling service as each one gave a public declaration of their faith in Jesus Christ. Among the eleven, there are some special stories. Eight-year-old João is the son of one of our original members. Having seen him born, grow up in church and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior made his baptism a great blessing. Eleven-year-old Pedro started coming to our work when he was about 7 years old. He trusted in Jesus Christ through the Sunday School and, on his own, came and asked to be baptized. Reinaldo is 80 years old, lives in a rest home, and has very poor health. With the help of four of our men, he was lowered into the pool while sitting on a chair and was baptized. When I asked him if he wanted to give his public testimony by baptism, his answer was loud and clear, “Yes, and right now!”

Thankful for Our Church: We have written about the couple that began coming to our services because of an email we received from their daughter who studies at Bob Jones University. They also were baptized. In a personal conversation, they told me that, over the years, they had been in all types of churches. They do not consider any of those other “churches” as being of the Lord. They are so thankful to have found a church that loves and preaches the Word of God. We are thankful, also, because they have already been a blessing to the work.

New Ministry This Month: A group of our people have joined together to begin a monthly Bible club for children from four to twelve years of age. There are eight people on the team, and they are working hard to hold a well-organized and a strong Biblical evangelistic ministry to open doors to families through the ministry to the children. We have set a goal to reach at least five new families this year. We do appreciate your prayers for this work and for the workers.

Thank You for your faithful prayers for us,

Don & Linda Leaf

Honduras: Jason and Arlen Stevens  January 2016

Dear Friends,

What better way to greet you all then to borrow from the Apostle Paul according to the manner in which he greeted the saints that he was writing to in the church epistles. He said “Grace be unto you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ.”

We arrived in Honduras on Friday December 4th, but not without an adventure along the way. Our original flight was scheduled to depart from New York on Tuesday evening December 1st, but after my brother drove us from Philadelphia to the airport in New York, we were told that our flight from New York to Fort Lauderdale was delayed a couple of hours, which meant that we would miss our connecting flight from Fort Lauderdale to Honduras. However, one of the attendants did tell us that there would be a flight leaving Fort Lauderdale, Fl for Honduras on Thursday evening December 3rd, if we wanted that option. So to make a long story shorter, we took a big step of faith and decided to fly to Fort Lauderdale without knowing where we were going to stay when we arrived there. So there we were at our gate terminal in LaGuardia air-port in NY around 7:00 PM (my wife and I, along with our three children ages seven, five, and two months), and the Lord impressed upon my heart to call the pastor of a supporting church in Florida (Pastor Jim Callen of Eastern Avenue Baptist Church in St. Cloud). I called him and left a message for him, and he called me back within minutes and told me that their mission apartment was available for my family, and that he would be coming to pick us up at the Fort Lauderdale airport in one of their church vans. I was not thinking about him coming to get us; I only wanted to see if we could use their mission apartment, and we would then rent a car to drive there. So why am I telling you all of this? Well, because my wife and I were so humbled that this pastor went above and beyond to come to the aid of a missionary family that their church supports. He drove three and a half hours from St. Cloud, FL to Fort Lauderdale to pick us up at 1:00 AM Wednesday morning at the airport, and then when we eventually got back to St. Cloud it was almost 4:30 AM. In addition to that, after we attended the Wednesday evening service of the church the people then had a special time of fellowship with our family. Finally, Pastor Callen and another man from the church then made the three and a half our journey back to Fort Lauderdale on Thursday afternoon to take our family to the airport.

We know that God answered our prayer that Tuesday evening when we honestly did not know where we would go once we arrived in Fort Lauderdale, FL. We thank the Lord for pastors like Pastor Jim Callen who are truly submissive to the Lord, and willing to put others before their own convenience.

The month that we have been here has been about visiting with the people of the church in Quebrada de Lajas with the hope of encouraging them, and it seems as if some of the divisions are beginning to be healed. Please continue to pray for Noel and Sonia Yanes, and for Alberto and his wife Elida.

The church in Rodeo is still a burden on our hearts as well. The community is so resis-tant to the Gospel, and the Lord has impressed upon my heart that we need to be there far more often than our weekly Friday service. Pray that the Lord would give me grace and wisdom in this matter, because going to Rodeo more often would require me to not be in Quebrada de La-jas as much, which at the present time is probably not a wise decision.

A major need that we have now is for a well to be dug on our property. The dry season begins here in February and normally lasts until May at which point the rain season normally begins. Last year during the months of February through April we practically had no running water, and almost every day I had to drive to a brother’s house, fill up barrels of water from his well, and then transport them back to our house in our vehicle. Needless to say, that got to be pretty tiring after three months. Wells are very expensive here, so please pray that the Lord would provide for this need as he sees fit. We are grateful that one supporting church has al-ready contacted us about helping toward this need.

In closing, we want to thank the churches and individuals who gave us special offerings for Christmas. That is always a blessing, and we are very grateful for your sacrificial giving, and most importantly, for your faithful prayers for our family and ministry. Lord willing, our next letter will be for March/April 2016.

Because Christ is Risen (I Cor. 15: 19-20)
Jason, Arlen, Micaiah, Jeremiah and MaryEllen Stevens

Hungary: Mike and Lynne Carney April-May 2016

Dear Praying Friends,

WE HAVE ARRIVED IN HUNGARY! What a busy time we’ve had! During April and May I had the opportunity to present our work in 6 churches. In between we were very busy with traveling, moving, and life! In April I was able to sell our van to church that was just looking for one. Then we began preparing to make our move to Hungary.

In May we presented our ministry in the last church for deputation. From September 2014-June 2015, while still pastor of Lighthouse Baptist Church, I began visiting churches 2 weeks a month. Then we began our full time deputation travel as a family in July 2015 and finished just about 10 months later. We have had some good meetings and wonderful blessings along the way!

May 19th our container shipped to Hungary. Please pray it gets here without incident. We anticipate that it will arrive on July 4th. We will have 2 hours to unload! We greatly appreciate our sending church, Lighthouse Baptist, for taking care of this need.

Also in May our son’s Sean and TJ graduated from High School. Sean will continue school work to add to his transcript and prepare for college. TJ has decided to enter the US Air Force. When he took his placement test he scored a 97%. The recruiter told him he was qualified for any position he desired. He desires to study electrical engineering and was able to sign up for a position that will support that goal. I have to make a trip to the States with him this summer because he is still 17 and is too young to travel by himself. He will be 18 by the time he is in, but we did not know the job he wanted would open up as soon as it did. Then on May 24th we traveled with every allowable luggage packed to the limit to Budapest, Hungary. Our trip went well and we were warmly greeted by our Hungarian friends. This Sunday, May 29th, we celebrated our 20th anniversary at the church in Debrecen. It’s hard to believe it has been 20 years since this church began. We had great services and fellowship. I was given the opportunity to preach the AM service. The church was packed with about 60 people.

The international student ministry has really flourished and gave us the opportunity to see 21 nations represented in our services today. Pastor Zsolt has promoted his burden to reach the World to this church and God has been blessing. We already have a number of projects in the works and hope to give many more reports of the work God is doing here.

Thank you for your support and prayers!

In Christ,
The Carneys

Hungary: Mike and Lynne Carney March  2016

Dear Praying Friends, Friends,

In February I took the opportunity to travel to Hungary to make our preliminary preparations for our move to the country May 24th.  I had a successful trip and appreciate your prayers.  While I was there I was able to find housing, open a bank account, and meet with the office of immigration and naturalization. God blessed our search for a good place to stay.  We looked at 10 places.  Most of them were apartments that were going to cost us about $800 – $900 per month.  I was disappointed with the size as we were planning on bringing the whole family, but the last place we looked at turned out to be the deal we were looking for.  It is a large single family home with lots of space and two garages.  This was also $900 a month!  Pastor Zsolt Kovacs was a tremendous help with visiting all the properties and helping with our other business.

While I was in Hungary I had the opportunity to preach 10 times.  We had some good services with the church in Debrecen.  Their international student ministry with Debrecen University has been very successful. DU has about 5000 international students and the church has been trying to reach out to them with the gospel by providing bi-lingual services.  During the first Sunday I was there we had students from 11 different countries including first time visitors from mainland China and Taiwan.  Some of the regular students have become faithful to witness to other students and invite visitors.  Only the Lord knows how far reaching this testimony and opportunity might be.

When I returned to the states, by the next Sunday I was back on the road visiting churches in MO, OK, AR, and finally making a trip by myself to the state of WA.  I could write a letter about each of these meetings alone, and talk about their kindness, generosity, and response to our presentation and messages.  It has been a busy time, but a good time.

I do want to thank those who have helped with our projects and for the special offerings we received from Berean Baptist of Newport, NH, Southwest Baptist of OK City, Tulsa Baptist Temple, and Bible Baptist of Puyallup.  They have given considerable help with our relocating and travel expenses.   I also have to thank my sister Missy for giving a major offering towards a vehicle.  I guess I have to be nice to her now.   That project has been coming along as well.  We are still about $4000 short of what I was hoping, but we will be looking at our options when we get there.  Thank you for your prayers and support!

In Christ,
The Carneys

Hungary: Mike and Lynne Carney January 2016

Dear Praying Friends,

We hope you had a great Christmas and a wonderful start to your New Year! It was 20 years ago this year that we started our first church in Hungary. It brings back many memories and we are excited to be returning to the field this May. We had a great Thanksgiving visiting our home church and a great Christmas with my wife’s family in MS.

Since our last letter we have continued to press-on traveling the deputation trail. We started in the Northeast with ME, MA, QU, and NH then headed south to be in GA, FL, MS, and AR. Since our last letter 5 more churches have begun to send regular support and several churches have made public commitments during their services to take us on soon. This puts us up around 60% support with an additional 10% – 15% promised. I am planning on making a trip to Hungary in February where I will try to make some arrangements for housing for when we arrive in May. Besides the time I will be there, our church visiting schedule is very full. Between now and May we have at least one church every Sunday. We will also be in several mission’s conferences. We will be doing a great deal of travel so we will appreciate your prayers.

We also had a great blessing, while traveling in the South, my wife had the opportunity to lead our daughter Katie to the Lord! She had been asking a lot of questions, but we cautiously waited for her to bring up her spiritual need and she did.

I want to thank Burleson Blvd Baptist, Solid Rock Baptist, Steens Baptist, and Grayson Bible Baptist for their Christmas offerings and Southwest Baptist for contributing to the need of a vehicle on the field. We appreciate your generosity and kindness!

As I have been asked by churches in our travels, I would like to make mention of a few projects we will need to have funds for. Hungary uses 220 V., so we will have to purchase new appliances when we get there. It’s hard to estimate that, and I have some given towards this, but I think we will need about $2000 for this. We will also need to purchase a vehicle. This will be about a $10,000 for this project. I was looking at a van that could also be used to pick up others and found one I liked for about $15,000; I hope I will net about $5000 when we sell our current vehicle. Our sending church is willing to help us with the actual moving expenses to get our household goods to the field, which will satisfy one of our major needs. Thank you for your support and prayers!
In Christ,

Korea: Benjamin and Jae Parks June 2016

Dear Supporting Pastors, Church and Praying Friends.

May I Introduce You to Pastor Jangman Lee? As Pastor Min was going to take Sejong BBC, I have prayed the Lord to allow me another preacher to plant another Independent Baptist Church together somewhere in S.  Korea. As I have told you in the last letter, at the BBC Pastors’ National Fellowship Meeting  in March, I had challenged the pastors about the needs for new church plantings in Korea. The week after Pastor Min became the pastor of Sejong Church, I received a phone call from the Pastor of Ulsan BBC. Pastor Kim told me that, at the Fellowship meeting, Pastor Jangman Lee, who is his assistant for many years, felt the Lord was leading him to start another IFB church and asked me to help him for his burden for a new ministry. We got together in April, and we felt the Lord was leading us to work together and agreed to start a new IFB church in Daejeon City, which is one of the five metropolitan cities of Korea and a nearby city of Sejong City. Pastor Lee will stay in Ulsan until the end of the  year to finish his obligation to the church. In the meantime, I’d like to raise fund for the deposit for a building, about $30,000, and Pastor Kim is going to raise supports from the Korean BBC churches and pastors. I praise the Lord for His answers to our prayers. I’d like to ask you to pray for the needs to start a new church in 2017 in City of Daejeon. City of Pyungtaek and Starting of a Korean-Chinese Baptist Church. City of Pyungtaek has been one of the most important cities of Korea. It is about  fifty miles south of Seoul and is one of the port cities in Westcoast of Korea. Like the  Korean government has moved from Seoul to Sejong City, the US Army headquarter in Yongsan, Seoul has planned to move to Pyungtaek and has been under construction of the facilities for the last decade. The base started their move recently to their new  location. There is Camp Humphry already and now with the US 8th Army, Pyungtaek is  becoming more important military city in Korea. Not only that, Samsung is investing greatly there and building their electronic manufacturing factories also. And as the trade between S. Korea and China is growing, the number of Chinese people traveling and doing business in Korea has been growing also. For the current and future need of Chinese people in the area, Korean government is going to build a new China town in a nearby country side. It is growing to be one of the most important cities  in Korea.

Recently, a friend of mine, Brother Ahn, a lay missionary, has started a Chinese ministry for the weekly boat merchants who are carrying goods between the two countries. These merchants travel regularly and spend every weekend in Pyungtaek.  Brother Ahn had burden for these people and began the ministry to preach the Gospel to these Chinese using a Methodist church. As the ministry began to grow, he asked for my help and I have preached there for a couple of times and we saw thirty three Chinese  people accepted Christ as their Savior.  Now, the Methodist pastor, who was upset because of my involvement, has asked Brother Ahn to stop using his facilities. So, we began to search a building where we can start a Korean-Chinese Baptist Church, and by the help of another friend of Brother Ahn, we were allowed to use some store fronts without rent. They are close to the Boat  Terminal and vacant and not easy to find tenants. There are some works to do before we start using it. It may cost us at least about $5,000 to fix it up. We are praying for a Korean Pastor also who would start a Korean IFB Church in  this city and serve these Chinese people as well. In the meantime, Jae and I will travel there each week to preach and teach them the Bible. They come in from China on Saturday morning and leave for China on Sunday around noontime.  We have had a service on Saturday afternoons and early Sunday mornings. They have whole Saturday afternoon open, so I’d like to have Bible programs for them to help them grow in the Word. There is a Korean-Chinese lady, Gapsuk  Lee, and her husband who are very devoted to Chinese ministry. Mrs. Lee speaks both languages fluently and serves  as our interpreter.

As I pray for Pyungtaek and for this new ministry, I could see it has a great potential not only for winning and training of the weekly Chinese merchants who can be used for the furtherance of the Gospel in China later, but also for  the training of Chinese Church leaders which many Korean and American Pastors have been holding in cities of China  in spite of great sacrifice and risks. I see the possibilities of inviting the Chinese spiritual leaders to Pyungtaek and training them better with our fundamentalist convictions without any restriction or threat from the Communist government of China. I believe it can be a great opportunity for China Missions through God’s blessings.

Please pray for God’s wisdom and leadership in this ministry. Pray also for the financial needs as well. Thank you for your prayers and faithful supports for our ministry in S. Korea. Jae and I are so honored to be  partners with you for the salvations of souls and for the planting of Independent Fundamental Baptist Churches in this  wonderful country.

May God bless you all according to His riches in Christ Jesus our Lord!

Prayer Requests:
1) Salvations and growth of souls in our churches.
2) Pastor Jangman Lee and fund ($30,000) to start a new Baptist Church in the city of Daejeon.
3) Planting of a Korean-Chinese Baptist Church in city of Pyungtaek and its needs ($5,000).
4) Our health.

Gratefully in His Service,
Brother Benjamin Heewon Park

Korea: Benjamin and Jae Parks February 2016

 Dear Pastors and Churches,
Winning a Soul at a Soul Winning Clinic:
Since the beginning of the year, I have been teaching soul winning to our people every Saturday. Mr. Tak Lee is a typical Korean gentleman and he has been attending our services since last August. He liked our church and was faithful to all of our services and had told me that he was saved long time ago in an old Baptist church.On the last Saturday of January, at the soul winning clinic, I was going to show our soul winners how to win a lost person to the Lord with the tract I wrote on the name of the Lord Jesus. It was his first time to attend the clinic and he volunteered to be the counselee. I was a little bit surprised and was glad also that he was eager to learn how to win souls.

As I was talking and asking him questions in simulation, I realized that his answers and questions were real. In front of a group of soul winners, he prayed God for the forgiveness of his sins and accepted the Lord Jesus as his personal Savior. It is always great to win a soul to the Lord, but this time, it was extra special. It became a vivid lesson to our soul winners to see a man led to the Lord through one on one soul winning. I pray the Lord bless our efforts to win the lost in this city this year. We had a goal to win 200 people in 2015, but the last result was 51 salvations and 8 baptisms. We set the goal of 100 salvations in 2016; we became more realistic I guess. But I trust we will have another great year in 2016.

Korea Baptist Bible College:
For the last two years, I have taught English to our Bible College students. It has been a great joy and privilege to teach them and I pray the Lord send us more workers to be trained for the Gospel ministry in Korea. I also had a privilege to preach at the chapel of the last day of this semester. There were 11 students last semester, and four will graduate this March. We have a few new students to enroll but need more young Christians to surrender their lives for the Lord. Please remember in your prayers for us and pray for the rising of new generation of Fundamental Baptist Preachers in Korea.

Charter Service of Sejong BBC:
It has been a year and a half since we started Sejong Bible Baptist Church in the city of Sejong, Korea. The Lord has blessed us with faithful people and we are planning to charter this church on the first Sunday of March. We will, then, call Pastor Min who has been with us since last March to be the pastor. That will relieve me from pastoral duty and allow me to travel to preach and to help other churches such as Banpo BBC and Andong BBC as well as other like faith churches. I am also asking the Lord to give us another man so that we can start another Independent Baptist Church in another city somewhere in Korea.

Prayer Requests:
1) Salvations and growth of souls in our churches.
2) Charter Service of Sejong BBC.
3) Korea Baptist Bible College
4) Our health.

Gratefully in His Service,
Brother Benjamin Heewon Park

Mexico: Ernesto and Veronica Valtierra March-April, 2016

Dear Pastor and brethren,

“O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.” (Isaiah 25:1)

We rejoice in the Lord for every one of you, for the blessing that you are to us and to the work of God. We know your love and your sacrifice and we are grateful for them with all of our hearts.

We are happy to tell you that Areli will be graduating from medical school at the end of this month. On Tuesday, the 31st, we will be attending the graduation ceremony after five years of study (there are another five to go). We know that it is God who has given her the wisdom and the strength to continue. We ask for your prayers as she begins the next steps of her social service, her residency and her specialization in a few months.

March: We had our second missions conference with the theme “Who will say, Here am I?” It was a great blessing and the Lord answered many prayers. In the weeks preceding the meeting our attendance had been very low, but God worked in the hearts of our brothers, and we achieved our goal of continuing to support the work of missions. Bob Reed, the director of Global Baptist Schools (Seminario Baustista Panamericano) of North Carolina was with us for the conference. We also invited the Mendoza family, missionaries to the Muslims and the Neri family, missionaries to Ireland. God greatly used each preacher. We saw five people make salvation decisions. On Sunday, the last day of the conference, we also celebrated our second anniversary. It was a good opportunity for Brother Reed to preach to our guests. Praise the Lord, 2 people accepted Christ as their Savior!

April: We continue working with the new converts, and now we are discipling two new families. We thank God that they are growing and have made the decision to obey the Lord’s command to be baptized. Sadly, 2 other sisters were sick, and we were not able to be baptized, but we are trusting the Lord that they will be able to do so at the next opportunity.

As is the custom in our country, we celebrated Children’s Day at the end of the month. That’s always a great opportunity to enjoy fellowship, play, give candy and talk with the children about the love that our Lord Jesus Christ has for them.

We continue in our work of knocking on doors. We ask you to pray with us about this. In the last few weeks we have met with some very hard people. We know that the work is not easy, but sometimes we become discouraged, and so we do not want to do this work in our own strength.

Prayer Requests:
A bigger location
A van for the church
For Areli’s final exams
For wisdom to be able to lead the Lord’s church
For health and safety for the family.

Mexico: Ernesto and Veronica Valtierra  Jan/Feb 2016

Dear Pastor and Brethren,

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound” (Isaiah 61:1) Warm greetings to you all. Our prayer and desire, as always, is that all of you are enjoying good health and, more than anything, enjoying the peace of the Lord. We thank God that we are well and excited to be serving the Lord. Our daughters are continuing in their studies and helping us greatly.

January: This was a difficult month since in the first few days my 3-month-old niece, Regina, began to have serious health problems. Sadly, the baby died a few days later. We ask you to pray, especially for my sister-in-law, Nancy, who now wants nothing to do with God. In spite of our efforts to talk to her, she refuses any help. We thank the Lord that my brother, Rafael, continues to be faithful to church and is trusting that God will do a special work in his wife’s heart. At the same time, our attendance fell drastically. In some services there were only the four of us and two other ladies. Even so, we pressed on, asking God for help and direction. We continue to knock on doors, doing what God commanded us. February: In an attempt to have more contact with people, we began making balloon animals in a market where we knew there would be a lot of people. We began giving balloons to the children and sharing the word of God with their parents, inviting them to the church. Two weeks later, we could see fruit from our labor. We began to have first-time visitors; people who did not know the Bible. As a result, we shared the gospel with them and many accepted Christ as their Savior. Also, a brother in the Lord called me, saying that he was looking for a church with sound doctrine. He was able to visit us and now he and his family are attending faithfully. At the end of the month some of our ladies attended classes for Sunday School teachers in a conference hosted by Grace Baptist Church. That was a great blessing and now we are better prepared to teach our children.

Prayer Requests:
For a larger meeting place
For a church van
For Areli’s studies
For wisdom to be able to lead the Lord’s church
For health and protection for the family.

Thank You for Your Support.

Ernesto and Veronica Valtierra

Peru: Rob and Rebekah Greene March-April 2016

Dear Pastor and Praying Friends,

These last couple months, we made our first major trip on deputation. We traveled over 7,000 miles and visited 17 churches, in 4 different states. We raised roughly 12% of our support goal. We learned a lot through our first-hand experience. It was amazing to watch as God took care of us while we were on the road. The love offerings were very helpful as we had very little support when we started out. We only had to pay for a hotel two nights out of the two months we were on the road. This is due in most part to the generosity of church members, friends and family who let us stay with them while we were in the area. We were overwhelmed with generosity and kindness everywhere we went.

Nate adjusted well to the traveling. We learned that we can travel about six hours in a day  with him. He was sick when we first started out. We had to take him to the doctor a couple times, but he’s better now and God supplied for the doctor visits. He’s been a real trooper  through all of the change he has gone through.

We will be spending the next few months at home. I have a few churches scheduled in  Indiana for the summer. This has worked out great because it gives us time to regroup and evaluate all we learned in the past two months. It also gives us more time to get organized at home. We move out of our apartment and in with Rob’s parents just a couple weeks before starting this trip, so things were pretty much in disarray still when we left.

We had another surprise while we were traveling. We found out that Rebekah is pregnant  with our second child. Our best guess is that the baby is due in October or November. Because we were traveling, we were unable to have our first appointment with the doctor, so we know very  little so far. We are currently scheduled for an appointment the first week of June.

Thank you for your prayer and financial support.

Please pray that:
We will continue scheduling meetings(we are already scheduling for 2017)
For a healthy pregnancy
That churches will continue bringing us on for support

For Christ’s Glory,
Rob, Rebekah, Nathaniel Greene

Philippines: Christopher and Victoria Hunter May 2016

Dearest Prayer Warriors,

Greetings to you in the precious name of our LORD and Saviour JESUS CHRIST. Our Staff, assistant Pastor, and I have been in Luzon and Cagayan De Oro training and taking exams for our Principal, and Administrator’s training for our Church-School. The last three months have been extremely busy in preparations for our new 2016-2017 school year starting in June. We are praying that God will give us 200 students this year. We are still praying for $10,000 for our building construction for the second floor. The first floor is 90% complete and LORD willing will be ready for inspection by the fire department to issue occupancy permit for June. Our students range from K-1 up to High school level. We are very excited and have hearts filled with FAITH by the grace of GOD to take the next step.

We recently had our annual family camp. There were over 30 churches that came together this year with over 2,000 delegates. Each morning and evening was filled with powerful soul stirring preaching, and an old fashioned altar call. Hundreds of people came forward in revival. AMEN!  The HOLY GHOST moved powerfully during each worship service using each preacher and sermon to stir individual hearts.  Out of 2000 delegates, God touched the hearts of OVER 100 individuals that came forward for salvation and another 23 young people from our church that came forward in obedience to God’s command for scriptural baptism after salvation. Our eyes were filled with tears of joy as the altar was flooded with families, who by faith, surrendered to God’s call and will for their lives, and repenting of sin. What a wonderful REVIVAL! I had the privilege to baptize them in a pool of deep water in the forest camp site. Some of the people that were observing thought it strange that I stepped into the water with shoes, slacks, long sleeve, and necktie. IT’S TIME FOR CHRISTIANS TO LIFT THE STANDARD HIGH FOR JESUS AND NOT BE ASHAMED! TO GOD BE THE GLORY, HONOR, AND PRAISE!

We have spending much time in soul winning and discipleship, and by the grace of GOD we are beginning to see wonderful results. FRUIT THAT REMAINS!

We want to express our most heartfelt love and gratitude to you who so faithfully love us, pray for us, and support us in our ministry. You are an encouragement and essential part of our ministry. We treasure  your friendship and partnership in the LORD’S work. May God abundantly bless you this year. AMEN!

IN CHRIST JESUS,

The Hunter Family,

Philippines: Christopher and Victoria Hunter January 2016

Dearest Prayer Warriors,

Greetings to you in the precious name of our LORD and Saviour JESUS CHRIST. We recently hosted our 5TH Independent Baptist Youth Camp here in our church. By the grace of God, we had 400 delegates that attended. Every service was a GOD GIVEN VICTORY as young people came forward to an old fashioned altar and repented of sin and worldly living. By God’s grace we had over 100 youth that came forward and trusted, and received JESUS CHRIST as LORD and personal Savior alone for their salvation. PRAISE GOD! Your financial gifts allowed us to give FREE RICE to all of the delegates for 3 days. Registration was only P80 pesos ($2.00) very affordable for the youth in our area. We enjoyed cooking and serving the rice.

The HOLY GHOST moved powerfully during each worship service using each preacher and sermon to stir individual hearts. Out of 400 delegates, God touched the hearts of 46 young people that came forward, and made a personal commitment to enroll and study in Bible College! AMEN! Our eyes were filled with tears of joy as the altar was flooded with young people, who by faith, surrendered to God’s call and will for their lives. We are very excited for them and their big step of faith. Many quit their jobs and some even decided to give up their scholarships in their current secular college education, to enroll in BIBLE COLLEGE this coming June 2016! TO GOD BE THE GLORY! ONLY GOD CAN DO THAT! We praise GOD!

In addition, we want to express our most heartfelt love and gratitude to you who so faithfully love us, pray for us, and support us in our ministry. You are an encouragement and essential part of our ministry. We treasure your friendship and partnership in the LORD’S work. May God abundantly bless you this year.

IN CHRIST JESUS,
The Hunter Family,

Philippines: Lemuel and Taylor Javier May 2016

DEAR PASTOR AND PRAYING CHURCH FAMILY,

April is one the hottest months in the Philippines. Because of the lack of rain in the dry months; our water was rationed. We had running water only during the hours of 6pm to 5am so you can see how that would make things like showering, washing dishes, and laundry difficult. The water turns on at 6pm but there is not enough pressure to wash clothes until 11pm. My mother spent many late nights washing our clothes into the wee hours of the morning. Dishes would pile up until 6pm when the water began to trickle and then the days dishes would get done. Showers would be taken at 11 or 12 am if you wanted a hot shower. If you could not wait that late, or get up at 4am to take one, then you just use a bucket of cold water that was stored up the night before. This experience really makes us grateful for running water. Something that would otherwise be taken for granted.

During this hot season, we were preparing for and carrying out two youth camps and hosting three visitors from the states who came to help out. The first camp was a youth league designed for 6th to 12th grade. The second was youth congress for high school and college age young people. Both went well. Between the two camps we had 40 to 50 campers. More wanted to come but were unable. It is the largest group that these camps have seen.  I was able to preach at both camps more than once. One young man named Jether came forward for salvation after my preaching on the last night. Praise the Lord there is now one more that we will see in heaven. I also had the opportunity to counsel one young girl who professes to be a devout catholic. Please pray for Frances that she will ponder these things and come to accept Jesus as her Savior. She lives in Manila, too far to reach out again, but we hope to see her at camp again next year. We can see there is a need for an additional camp. It is something we are praying about for the future.

After the camps were over our guests went home excited about what they were able to be a part of.  We then had our first baptism service here for John Mark, Mike and Lenora (newlyweds), and willy. I was able to witness to two of these before camp and they accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. It was a great for me to be able to assist Pastor Angel Salvatierra in the water. Sadly, Taylor had to miss this first baptism because she was fighting amoeba for the second time. Pray for her that she will get rid of the amoeba and not having lasting effects. There was another young man saved before camp, JeMark, his sister, Jennifer, attends our church faithfully. They just lost their 28 year old brother to a fatal stabbing by their uncle simply because he would not give him fish. Please pray for the Mendoza family. They are obviously hurting. Their mother deserted them at a young age and this loss of the oldest brother is very hard for them.

There has been so much happening these past months. It is very exciting to see what the Lord is doing and to see where He will take us. We have a great burden for the youth of this Island. Kids come here from all corners to work, go to school, and come to camps. We have a great opportunity to reach them and they in turn take the gospel home to families we may never come in contact with. We are praying about what God will have us do, where he will have us settle, and what kind of ministry he wants us to start here. We can feel that He is leading us somewhere but we are not sure where it is yet. Until it is clear we will continue to labor at Christ Baptist church with Pastor Angel in whatever area he needs us. We are really focused in the youth department at this time.

Thank you so much for your love and support. We feel your prayers and your hearts. I am so grateful every time I open my computer and see a note of encouragement by email or facebook. Taylor is so encouraged when a lady or pastors wife sends her just a note to say that you are praying or thinking about us. Our children are thriving and happy. We cannot wait to see some of you again in the coming months. Please pray for things to go quickly and smoothly with Gilberts passport. We should have purchased airline tickets already but we cannot until we have his passport in hand. As it is, his passport has not been processed yet because the NSO made a mistake in the spelling of his name on his official birth certificate. We had to go through a process of having the clerical error fixed before we can get it. This is costing us more money and time. The American Embassy gave us 3 months to get if fixed and returned to them or they will close his application. If that happens, we have to restart the whole process and pay again for his passport. We have one month left of that time and still no word on the corrected birth certificate. We stated in a previous letter that we would be back the first week of June. It is looking like that will not be possible. Taylors Visa expires June 3rd but we obviously cannot leave without Gilbert so we will have to purchase an extension on her visa. We are hoping for Late June or early July at best. Taylor would really appreciate prayer that she will make it to be a part in preparation for her sisters upcoming wedding and have time with her before. We look forward to seeing the churches that have already contacted us. We also don’t want to miss out on time spent with you. You all mean very much to us as friends first, and loving supporters of the Lords work.

IN CHRIST,

LEMUEL JAVIER

Philippines: Lemuel and Taylor Javier March 2016

 Dear Pastor and Church Family,

To God be the glory! Things have been going well in Palawan Philippines during the last couple months!

In February

The church auditorium had a remodel and fresh paint in preparation for the ordination of Pastor Salvatierras. It was an exciting time! The men of the church were able to help us pick up the materials that we needed. Bro. Rudy, who is a carpenter, was able to help us put things together. Another big blessing in the month of February was our two week visit from the Petrick brothers, Michael and Jordan. They arrived at the perfect time to help us finish the church remodel on time and helped us with whatever we needed. They provided other materials and helped with preaching, music, soul winning, youth and choir. Yes! Choir! Michael led our new choir and he did a wonderful job. The folks here were very pleased and humbled by their servants hearts. They were such a blessing to us! During their stay, we visited the market and distributed Gospel tracts and I was able to speak to a tribal lady about the Lord. She was not able to read and I had the opportunity to read the tract to her and explain why Jesus died to pay for her sin. Sadly, she told me to leave because she was busy selling vegetables, but the seed was planted! We also traveled south to Brooke’s Point to visit with the churches I am helping with there as well. Michael and Jordan did a wonderful job with the music at both churches. The folks loved them and were amazed at how white their skin was and how blue their eyes were! I was blessed to be able to preach for both services as well.

March Madness in the Philippines!

March was also very busy. The church began an organized visitation every Saturday afternoon. I also started Good News classes here where I live every Saturday morning. During visitation, we also do Bible study with new folks that have the desire to do so. We started with one person and now we have two. The second person started a couple weeks ago and has responded very well with the lessons. We have seen a man and a woman both accept Jesus as their Savior and they both desire to follow the Lord in Baptism. I am supposed to meet with them this week and discuss Baptism with them.

The Lord opened a door for me to be able to speak at a mission’s conference at a church just south of the city. I was able to preach one night there and the church was infested with black bugs! In spite of that, I preached with liberty and I believe the Lord was in it.

Easter Sunday morning one of our young men was attacked during the services by a mad dog that wandered into the church during the preaching. He told me the dog came in and was headed to the nursery where my son, Gilbert, was so he stood in the door to protect him. The dog charged him but, thankfully, no one got hurt!

Taylor’s Visa

Most of you know that Taylor’s one year visa will be expiring in June this year. We plan to be back in the states to get everything squared away again, but our son, Gilbert, has to have a passport in order to travel with us. Last week, Taylor, Gilbert and I went to the U.S. Embassy in Manila to get Gilberts birth certificate. He was approved and they began processing his passport. We barely got back and the embassy called us saying his name for the PSA did not match his name on the supporting documents. The “L” was missing from his name, so it said “Gibert” instead of “Gilbert.” So we are back at the beginning again and working on getting this issue resolved. Fortunately, we still have three months to get it all finished!

Please keep us in your prayers!

In Christ,
Lemuel Javier  918-724-5097

Philippines: Lemuel and Taylor Javier  Jan/Feb 2016

Dear Pastor and Church Family,

The Lord opened a great opportunity for us to work alongside with a national Pastor, Angelino Salvaterra, of Christ Baptist Church in the Heart of the city. This church is 3 years old. I am so privileged to work in their youth ministry and to also handle another youth ministry down south in Brooke’s point. It is a three hour commute from the city; but it is worth it. There are two church plants out of this church.

December has been busy for us considering that this is the first Christmas in the field. Many activities took place in the ministry including preaching, teaching and the youth ministry. We also have seen two souls saved during these endeavors. Our youth brought several visitors to church and the Christmas Party. They all have heard the Gospel preached; but no decisions were made yet. Please pray for Nora, Gladys, Donna May, Ryan, Anthony, Arnell and Jenny. They were our new visitors last December.

I also went to Brooke’s point to be with the youth there. We had 45 in attendance from two church plants there. I am looking forward to see more things take place this year and more souls saved, baptized and discipled. This year we are taking our youth ministry to the next level. The youth have committed themselves to grow and win souls this year. As a part of our youth program I challenged them to be like Christ. Our theme this year is from Luke 2:52, where we read that our Lord increased in wisdom, in stature and in favor with God and man. This year I want to increase rather than decrease. Please pray for our youth that they will grow to be the next leaders of these churches.

We have been here 8 months now. It will be one year this coming June and we are loving it in spite of the things that we had to face. I thank the Lord for a wife and children who are willing and joyful to be here. I am glad we are finally settled here and growing. Gilbert, our youngest, is growing so big and hunky. He is happy jolly young boy. We are definitely blessed beyond all measure. Georgianna is turning four on February 1st and Glorielle will be two on March 7th. We are working with Gilbert’s paperwork to get his dual citizenship like his siblings. This may take one month or more but hoping soon. Taylor’s visa will expire in June this year and the immigration here will not take her paperwork because it has to be authenticated by the Philippine embassy in the United States. I desire for her to have a 13A visa which will be a permanent residence visa that will not expire. She will also be eligible for healthcare benefits here through me with a 13A visa. We will be coming back to the states in June when her current visa is up to complete the application and receive her 13A so that we may stay uninterrupted in the field. Plus, the kids will get to see their grandparents and other relatives for a short time. We also desire to have Gilbert dedicated in our home church, Bible Baptist Church in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. Taylor’s sister also is getting married in August and Lord willing everything will be squared out and we will be back in the field by September. So if any supporting churches that are close by want us to come and report to you we would be happy and privileged to do so. Thank you so much for prayers and financial support! We love and appreciate you and everything you sacrifice to be part of this ministry. May the Lord bless you abundantly.

IN CHRIST,
Lemuel Javier

Scotland: Russell and Janet Brinkley  February/March  2016

Dear Pastor & Praying Friends,

A Season of Growth

2016 is off to a great start with three people joining the church, the attendance averaging twenty-five each Sunday, and many new visitors.  Many of these families come from a different religious background but are seeing that their previous beliefs are unscriptural. Please pray for their continued growth and that they will decide to become part of our church family.

The youth class is averaging ten children each week, and enjoying their monthly activities with their teacher, Deana Hewston. We started a weekly Bible Study in a local coffee shop, and already have a young employee expressing interest in joining us. We have six people enrolled in our weekly discipleship classes and we have eleven ladies who attend the monthly Ladies Meeting which Janet hosts in our home.  It’s an exciting time here at Bible Baptist Church and we appreciate your support of this growing ministry!

Mothering Sunday

Mothering Sunday was celebrated on March 6th here in Scotland.  We honored the Mum’s present in service and gave flowers to each of them.  We are very thankful to see Mum’s bringing their children to the house of God!

Resurrection Sunday

Deana Hewston worked hard with the youth group to prepare a program called “He Is Alive!”  It was exciting to have parents visit for the first time and to have thirty in church for Easter services. As a result, parents have stated that they plan to return!

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

Soul-winning Seminars: Bob and Joy Martin Sept-Oct 2016

They went looking for the new King. He should have been easy to find since he was “head and shoulders above” any other man. His name was Saul and he was hiding among the

“stuff”. But the Lord knew where he was, and directed Samuel to inform the men to fetch him from among the stuff. I know this is “spiritualizing” but, I seem to be hiding among the

stuff of everyday life and the world from time to time. I need the Lord to “fetch” me back to His side because He knows where I am. Someone said “if you have ever been fetched back

by God you don’t want Him to do it again”. Actually, I need to be “fetched back” often. Sometimes He uses the Man of God and the Word of God to fetch me. So glad the Lord

loves me, knows where I am, and is willing to fetch me back again. That’s why I keep asking Him to do it using whatever means – it’s called “restore unto me the joy of thy salvation”.

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Weekend Witnessing Seminars

Dr. Bob Martin– GIBM Evangelist and Director of WEWS

October 2016 Newsletter Update (a review of the blessings of the Lord in

September 2016 and where we will be during the month of October 2016)

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A Shifting September

The month began with a partial schedule and then was completely rearranged by cancellations and new appointments.

September 4th, at Soul’s Harbor Baptist Church in Roanoke, Alabama where Bro. Fred Flowers is the pastor. Bro. Fred was scheduled for a trip to Israel but “messed up” his knee again and stayed home, but,  his wife and several of the church members got to go. The young lady on the right came under Holy Spirit conviction during the Witnessing Seminar back in July and called the Pastor’s wife a few weeks ago, who led her to the Lord on the phone. The Lord is abundantly blessing this church with souls.

September 9-11 we had the honor of attending and preaching at the Welcome Hill Baptist Church’s Jubilee. It was held in a tent on the church grounds so we enjoyed the heat and humidity, but what a blessing. Bro. Johnny Ivey (the pastor) has become a good friend and encouragement to us. On Sunday morning we had a special surprise. Dr. Keith Shumate, his wife, & daughter “showed up” at church. They had received our newsletter and found we would be at the Jubilee. Dr. Shumate started and pastored Landmark Baptist Church in Red Oak, Texas for many years, and then taught at Florida Baptist College in Tampa, Florida. He and his wife have been a special blessing and encouragement to us for several years.

 

Monday, September 12 we attended the West Georgia/East Alabama pastor’s fellowship which was also held at Welcome Hill Baptist Church.

Tuesday, September 13 we drove home to Vicksburg, Mississippi to spend 1 night.

Wednesday, September 14 we drove to Landmark Baptist Church, Red Oak, Texas where Bro. Harold Wells is the pastor, to preach the mid-week service. Bro. Bob Lewis is the pastor of Harvest Baptist Church in Waxahachie, Colorado preaching a revival, so we filled in for him instead & preached the midweek service at Harvest Baptist Church.

September 15 I attended an IBF pastor’s fellowship at Galilean Baptist Church in Cedar Hill, Texas with Bro. Harold Wells. It was good to see several pastors and staff members of different churches that we have known for some years.

Sunday, September 18 I taught a Sunday School Witnessing Seminar and preached version of the regular Seminar. Our daughter (really our daughter-in-law, but I call her our daughter) & 3 grandsons attended Harvest Baptist that morning. It is always good to see them. That evening we reported on our work during the year 2016 to Landmark Baptist Church, Red Oak, Texas, and preached in the evening service. Landmark Baptist Church has supported us with prayer and funds for over 10 years, but more importantly, have been our friends. Every time we have been to this church they have encouraged us to “go on” in the work of the Lord.

September 26th we were at our home church, Southside Baptist Church in Vicksburg, MS

I am endeavoring to get an early start on next year’s scheduling. If the Lord has impressed your heart about a Witnessing Seminar, a Missions Conference, a Revival Meeting, a Bible Conference, or Camp Meeting and we can be an encouragement or help, please e-mail us or call us. We would also enjoy reporting back to all our supporting churches about the work of the Lord during 2016.

The Order of October

October 2nd (am) we will visit Calvary Baptist Church in Lucedale, Mississippi where Bro. Jacob Bogard is the pastor.

October 5-9 I will be preaching the Missions Conference at Central Park Baptist Church in Carrollton, Texas. Dr. Delbert White is the pastor of Central Park.

October 16th we are planning on hearing Dr. Tom Wallace at Victory Baptist Church in Longview, Texas where Bro. Robert Page is the pastor. In the evening (afternoon service) we will be at Faith Baptist Church in Kilgore, Texas where Bro. Scott Thomas is the pastor.

October 19 Joy and I will be in Linden, Texas for the annual Bible Conference at Gleaners Baptist Church. Bro. John Worley is the pastor.

October 22nd I will be teaching an all-day Witnessing Seminar at Pine Grove Baptist Church in Powder Springs, Georgia. On Sunday the 23rd I will be preaching at Pine Grove Baptist Church.

We count it a blessing of God to know you and pray for you. Thanks to each of you for praying and helping as we travel and teach.

Bro. Bob & Sis. Joy

Soul-winning Seminars: Bob and Joy Martin May-June 2016

In years of observing the stream of life, it has become my biblical and observed persuasion that the noblest and finest of all dedications is that of witnessing for the Lord, and seeing people come to know Christ in simple obedience to the commands of our Lord and Christ. The problem we are encountering as we travel, is a wrong perspective about the Seminars. There has been so much teaching and preaching about programed “witnessing” as a system of giving out 4 scriptures, “praying a prayer after me”, and then giving the lost person “assurance” by certain scriptures. If that is what you are looking for in a Witnessing Seminar, you probably don’t want me to come to teach one. I teach the lostness of sinners, the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and salvation by repentance and faith. I teach that we should be a witness every day in every way we can. If we can be a help to you and your church, please allow us do so.

May Should Be A Great Month

May 1st I will be preaching for our Pastor at Southside Baptist Church as he is “away” preaching a Revival at sister church.

May 8th is Mother’s Day and we will probably be at our home also. Joy Loved Mother’s Day when we were in Costa Rica because Costa Rica has a different date for Mother’s Day (August), so she had the pportunity to have two Mother’s Days a year. Oh yes, their Father’s Day was the same as in the United States – only 1 Sunday. “I was robbed!”

May 9th I will be in Temple, GA for the East Alabama/West Georgia Pastor’s Fellowship.

May 13th – 15th we will be at First Baptist Church, Fletcher, North Carolina, teaching a Witnessing Seminar. This is a great pastor and church who love the lost. It is the second time we will be with these wonderful folks.

May 15th we leave Fletcher, North Carolina and travel to Faith Baptist Church in Crossville, Tennessee to be in the evening service with Pastor Bobby Clark and his good people.

May 16th we travel to Colt, Arkansas for Camp Meeting at Smith’s Chapel Baptist Church.

We had a great Witnessing Seminar and Service in April, and Bro. J. T. Baskins has already told me what to preach in Camp Meeting. That takes a lot of strain off my study time, after traveling so far in 2 days.

Weekend Witnessing Seminars

May 23rd – 25th we plan to be at Calvary Baptist Church, Wynnburg, Tennessee for their semi-annual Camp Meeting. Bro. Carl Southerland is the Pastor. This is a Conference each year where we can be spiritually refreshed and blessed.

We still have the weekends of May 6-8, May 20-22, and May 27-29 open. Contact for any of the above dates (601/618-4191)

Last year we were in 82 different churches and 1 foreign country. I taught 19 Witnessing Seminars, during which God saved over 65 people. We praise the Lord for His salvation and the help he gave to Christians, giving them a burden for a lost world without salvation. We pray that more souls will be saved, and more churches helped, this year.

April Was Busy Month

We began the month (April 3rd) at Smyrna Baptist Church in Union, Mississippi. This church is without a pastor and needed a “supply” preacher. It was good to renew some old friendships and God graciously blessed by saving a young man.

April 8-10th we were at Smith Chapel Baptist Church in Colt, Arkansas for the weekend. We began with a crawfish (“mud cats”) boil on Friday evening and then an all day Seminar on Saturday. Sun- day morning I taught (well, really preached), a message entitled “God’s book of tears” in Sunday School, and then the pastor (Bro. J. T. Baskins) explained John 3:16 and had a prayer meeting for the morning service. What a great service and time of repentance and worship as the Lord visited us in grace and power. It was an unusual time of worship and the manifestation of the presence of the Lord. One couple had been away from the Lord and each other and were involved in an auto accident. They got things right with the Lord and the church. Just one of many decisions that morning.

April 10th (PM) we were at Bible Baptist Church in Paragould, Arkansas and attended their 1st church play. It is really good to be forgiven and set free from sin to serve the Lord. Bro. Stacy Prater is the pastor of this great church.

April 17th the Lord in His wisdom had no place for us to serve. and we were home. That was good because Joy was sick with food poisoning (I’m sorry that I don’t have a picture of her when she was sick). We are glad our God knows the end from the beginning, and prepares the circumstances of our lives for whatever circumstance we may encounter.

April 24th I taught a Seminar during Sunday School, and preached the morning and evening services at Immanuel Baptist Church in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The Lord blessed by saving a young man during the invitation on Sunday morning.

April 25th thru 27th we traveled to Rendon, Texas for Camp Meeting at Community Baptist Church where Bro. Tony Graves is the pastor. We had Christians attending from many states, and God richly blessed. One preacher, a preacher’s daughter, one of the ushers, and an “old hippie” got saved. We have known Bro. Tony and his wife for many years and the church and this meeting have always been a blessing. A great time of fellowship around the Word of God was enjoyed.

April 28th and 29th I traveled with my pastor and another young preacher to a Camp Meeting at North Spoon Baptist Church in Popularville, Mississippi. North Spoon Baptist Church is definitely a country church with a big heart for the Lord. Bro. Billy Ray Bond is the pastor of this delightful church. Joy did not go with us because she needed to rest after all the traveling we have done. She said “I got a lot of things accomplished since you weren’t home”. Maybe some of you ladies can enlighten me, because really I don’t understand the meaning of that statement.

We praise the Lord for your praying and giving that we might fulfill the Lord’s ministry and see lost people saved. We bless you for praying and giving and are begging the Lord for His multiplied help and grace in your lives. Thank you so much!

Bro. Bob

Soul-winning Seminars: Bob and Joy Martin January 2016

One of the pleasures of being an evangelist, is our ties to Southside Baptist Church in Vicksburg, Mississippi. We are convinced that every missionary and evangelist ought to be permanently tied to a Baptist church by cords of obedience, love, and devotion. The churches I pastored would never support a missionary that was not tied to a Baptist church and a Bible believing and preaching pastor. I need a pastor (even though I am old enough to be his father). The work we do goes through our pastor. He is our friend, mentor, prayer partner and advisor. It is refreshing to find that our Mission Clearing House (GIBM) is of the same mind and heart also. May this never change.

Prayer List – please pray for:
1. The salvation of souls; in our own witnessing, and as a result of, the Seminars.
2. Our daily walk with the Lord; that we might have so much of the glory of God on us that the Holy Spirit can work practical revival wherever we go.
3. Our health; the ability to do the work God has for us, and has called us unto.
4. The continued provision of God; many churches do not have the ability to help with funds for the Seminars but our supporters enable us to go anyway.

February Should Be A Great Month:
February 5-7 we will begin the month with Bro. Mike Caldwell at Heritage Baptist Church in Winslow, Arkansas for a weekend Seminar.

February 15-17 we plan to attend the GIBF national meeting at Southside Baptist Church in Tampa, Florida. It will be a “glory time”.

February 21 we will be with Bro. Joel Marsh at the Iglesia Baptista Redención In Tampa, Florida.

February 22nd we fly from Orlando, Florida to San Jose, Costa Rica for the Bible Conference Weekend Soulwinning Seminars at El Faro, Hogar de Ninos (Lighthouse Children’s Home) in Tres Rios, Costa Rica. Bro. Larry Neff brings in pastors from Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama for this annual event. Lord willing, I will be teaching a short Seminar and preaching during the Conference.

February 28th we will be with Bro. Curtis Gibson at Charity B. C. in Abbeville, Louisiana.

God Gave Us Glory and Grace during January

We began the month at our home church and then traveled to Jonesboro, Arkansas to spend a late Christmas with some of our family. Both our son-in-law and our grandson-in-law are in the Navy and were home for the late holiday.

January 6th I preached at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Jonesboro for the pastor, Bro. Bill Legere, who was sick. This was the second opportunity we have had to worship or preach at Cornerstone with these dear folks. We are praying that the Lord will open the door for us to teach a Seminar later this year.

January 10th we took part in a Missions Sunday at Harmony Baptist Church in Ponca City, Oklahoma where D. R. Baker is the pastor. I have taught 2 Seminars in the past in this church and seen the people take hold of the concepts and the church grow. We had almost “white out” conditions on the drive to Ponca City. For Sunday School I taught the short Sunday School Seminar; especially for the people who had been saved the last year and a half. God saved this man during the invitation (I got to lead him to the Lord) and the Lord gave the church several more by salvation and by letter during the remainder of January.

January 15-17 found us at Grace Baptist Church in Whitesburg, GA for a Seminar. Bro. Jimmy Lester is the fine pastor of this church. To say that we had a “great time” would woefully underestimate the weekend. The Seminar was a time of refreshing for many members, and a time of Holy Spirit conviction for others. There was a sense of the presence of the Holy Spirit from the time we got to the church, and an expectation of what God was going to do that weekend. We sent the participants out to visit and they had good visits, but no one got saved. After the Saturday sessions a young preacher’s wife spent 30 minutes trying to convince me she was saved. God said “just keep your mouth shut and listen to her”. Sunday morning they stopped at the church to share with everyone that she had gotten saved after they got home on Saturday. Wow, what a start for Sunday morning, and then it got better. During the song service a lady came to the altar and got saved. In the invitation a young man and 2 more ladies got saved, and the husband of one of the women joined by letter. After the service one of the members was taking some people home and 1 of the boys wanted to get saved so the member turned around and brought him back to church. Before the evening service another church member came into church under Holy Spirit conviction and got saved. Great day at Grace Baptist Church! On January 24th they had 8 more lost people saved, which included 6 teenagers. Sunday evening we were at Souls Harbor Baptist Church in Roanoke, Alabama. The Lord told me the week before what to preach (“Forgiveness”), and the Lord had already been preparing hearts. Some precious saints got help and we praise the Lord for His work in people’s hearts. Bro. Fred Flowers is the pastor of this great church.

January 31st we were at Charity Baptist Church in Abbeville, Louisiana with Bro. Curtis Gibson. Bro. Curtis has been a missionary to the Gulf Coast for over 40 years starting numerous churches, getting a pastor, and then moving on to start another church. I also had the opportunity to teach the Sunday School Seminar at Charity.

Sunday Evening we were in Denham Springs, Louisiana with Bro. David Robertson and the good people of Mt. Olive Baptist Church. These folks have faithfully prayed and supported us for many years. What a blessing to get to see the saints one more time before we all go to heaven.

What a blessing to be used of the Lord to seek the lost for Christ and strengthen churches in their witnessing.

Bro. Bob

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

 Zambia: David and Cherri Rea April 2016

Dear Friends,

The last few months have been busy. God has opened doors to present the Gospel to the Islamic leadership of Zambia. In addition, we have seen one man saved after meeting him while I was preaching at an Islamic study center.

God is good!  We are preparing for the opening of Solid Rock Independent Baptist Church here in Lusaka, Zambia.

In Christ,
David Rea

Share

• Come in early and prepare the pastor’s office for him by turning on his lights, setting the temperature, preparing FYI sticky notes and placing them his desk.
• Make sure his office is stocked with items he uses daily. (paper paper, Kleenexes, pens, paper clips, staples, bottled water, coffee, creamer, sugar, etc.)
• Keep counseling books together. If the pastor asks you to find a certain book before a counseling session, you will be able to find it quickly.
• Never ask the pastor to do something that you can do. (making or receiving phone calls, receiving and sorting mail, preventing  interruptions and attending to trivial requests, hosting unexpected guests, etc.)
• Be careful never to isolate your pastor on very important matters. Ask God to give you discernment about ways of protecting him without becoming bossy with others and isolating him from his ministry.
• Don’t waste your pastor’s time with too much conversation and giving him too many unnecessary details.
• Never come across with a know-it-all or prideful attitude.
• Never give him negative information before his messages.
• At the end of the day, clean your desk, clean office floors, empty trash in his office and yours.
• Be flexible concerning your pastor’s desires. Although you might have your day planned, he might want you to do something completely different.

The rule of thumb when planning a banquet is, if you are honoring someone, you usually plan a sit-down dinner. If it is more of a casual get together, plan a buffet.  If possible, always opt to do a buffet. Sit-down dinners are more work and more expensive.

Tips for Planning Buffet Meals

• Get friends’ recommendations for good caters. Independent caterers are usually cheaper than large companies. Don’t be embarrassed to negotiate for price break or ask if they’ll throw in more appetizers for the same amount.
• Keep a laminated copy of proper placement of food for buffet settings on hand.
• Before food arrives, label area where want your food placed. You can do this by putting a slip of paper where you want each dish placed. This also helps others know where to place the food.
• Decide if you want to set up a for one or two-line buffet. For a one-line buffet, guests move around all four sides. For a two-line buffet, set table with twin arrangements of plates, food, silver, and napkins on each side.
• Use warming trays or crock pots to keep food hot.
• Don’t serve everything on buffet table. Use a different area for appetizers and another area for coffee and desserts.
• Make sure to leave space between dishes so that people can put their plates down to get food.
• Use small frames to label items such as decaf coffee, various flavored coffees, and sugar free desserts.
• Do not be afraid to use prepared foods when necessary; just display in a beautiful way.
• If serving a bland food, serve a tart or spicy food to complement it.
• Serve a cold dish with a hot dish. (Use crushed ice to keep certain foods cold)
• Serve a soft food with a crisp one. Bread sticks are an example of a crisp food.
• Use color in planning meals. If color is drab, consider garnishing with parsley, cherry, tomatoes, or beets.
• Plan a variety of foods by considering flavors, textures, and temperatures.
• If you use prepared foods, display them in a beautiful way.
• Plan an entree, a vegetable, a fruit or vegetable dish, and a dessert and beverage.

Entree -This is usually a meat dish. It could also be meatless pasta dish.
Vegetable -Fresh or frozen vegetables are the best for color, texture, and flavor.
Fruit or vegetable salad –This will also supply the color and flavor.
Dessert– They can be elaborate or simple.

Tips to Help Feed Large Groups

• The best meals to cook for large crowds are spaghetti and meatballs, soups and salads, and casseroles.
• Have everyone bring a dish and create big buffet.
• More selections equal smaller portions.
• Stick to easy recipes with simple ingredients.
• Use 6 oz. protein per person meat selection.
• Use 1 # 10 can of vegetables per 5 person.
• Use 1 potato per person.
• Use 1 head of lettuce per 5 people.
• Use a 9×12 main dish to serve 10-12 people.
• Add plenty of bread when feeding large groups.
• If you are not using chafing dishes, choose foods that taste good at room temperature.
• For an inexpensive meal, prepare 2 kinds of soups and 2 large salads. Add chips and cut-up veggies.
• Do not serve tough meats if using plastic utensils.

Tips to Help Prepare Drinks for Large Groups

• Use 1 lb. coffee for 50 8 oz. servings (2-cups cream).
• Use 1-cup tea leaves for 50 8 oz. servings.

Pokemon: What is it? by Matt Slick

Pokemon, which is short for “pocket monster,” has become a phenomenal success in America among children. There are cartoons and even a movie based upon the Pokemon characters. Almost every child in America is familiar with this fad and owns some form of Pokemon paraphernalia.

But, what is Pokemon? Pokemon was created by Nintendo in Japan in 1996. It is a role-playing game involving cards, Nintendo Game Boy, and TV cartoons. The cards have pictures of different Pokemon on them–more than 150 so far. The Pokemon are supposed to be “monsters” that have special powers and share the world with humans. The idea of the game is to have the children learn how to collect as many Pokemon as possible, train them, and use them against other people’s Pokemon by invoking the various abilities of each Pokemon creature. Pokemon can evolve and pass through various levels–100 being the highest. Colored energy cards are sometimes used to aid the Pokemon.

There are four basic types of cards.
1. Basic Pokemon cards which depict creatures that fight for you against other people’s Pokemon.
2. Evolution cards depict Pokemon that are able to evolve into more powerful creatures.
3. Energy cards are united with other cards to give the Pokemon more energy needed in carrying out the trainer’s orders.
4. Trainer cards are cards used one time and then discarded.

There are different types or categories of Pokemon: Bug, Fighting, Fire, Flying, Dragon, Electric, Ghost, Grass, Ground, Ice, Normal, Poison, Psychic, Rock, and Water. Within each type are several different Pokemon, each possessing various abilities. I’ve constructed a chart below of some of the categories of Pokemon.

Type of Pokemon Individuals found within category Various abilities found in Group Fire Pokemon Charmander, Charmeleon, Charizard, Flareon, Growlithe, Magmar, Moltres, Ponyta, Rapidash, Vulpix, Ninetails Scorching, heating, running, stomping, racing,
Electric Electabuzz, Jolteon, Magnemite, Magneton, Pikachu, Raichu, Voltorb, Electrode, Zapdos Lightning bolts, anti-gravity, explosions, Ghost Gastly, Haunter, Gengar Ultra dimensional, poison, mimicry, taunting Poison Ekans, Arbok, Grimer, Muk, Koffing, Weezing, Nidoran(Female),Nidorina, Nidoqueen, Nidoran(Male), Nidorino, Nidoking Silence, stealth, use of poison, use of claws and biting, breaking opponents’ bones.  Psychic Abra, Kadabra, Alakazam, Drowsee, Hypno, Jynx, Mew, Mewtwo, Mr. Mime Reading minds, teleportation, inducing headaches, high intelligence, consumes people’s dreams, hypnosis, confusion, evolves.

Within the game, evolution is taught repeatedly. There are special stones (Fire, Leaf, Moon, Thunder, and Water) that can be used to force some Pokemon to evolve into more powerful creatures. Of course, after normal development in skill learning, various Pokemon often evolve on their own.

Is Pokemon Dangerous?
Is Pokemon dangerous? Potentially, yes, it is. It conditions the child who plays the game into accepting occult and evolutionary principles. Haunter can hypnotize, eat a person’s dreams, and drain their energy. Abra reads minds. Kadabra emits negative energy that harms others. Gastly induces sleep. Gengar laughs at peoples’ fright. Nidoran uses poison. The Psychic type of Pokemon are among the strongest in the game. Charmander, Haunter, Ivysaur, Kadabra, and many more evolve. The children are taught to use these creatures to do their will by invoking colored energy cards, fights, and commands. Much of it is reminiscent of occult and eastern mysticism.

The Bible says to “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it,” (Prov. 22:6).1 2 Chron. 33:6 says, “And he made his sons pass through the fire in the valley of Ben-hinnom; and he practiced witchcraft, used divination, practiced sorcery, and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger.”

I do not see how allowing children to play with games that encourage fighting, reading of minds, use of poison, mimicry, taunting, teleportation, hypnosis, and evolution can be a good thing. This is not training a child to righteousness; it is accepting the occult and secular evolution. Is this what we, as Christians, want our children to meditate on? Of course not.

If children are conditioned to accept these things in youth, then they will be more likely to accept these ideas in adulthood. This leads people away from God’s Word and truth and not toward it. This is dangerous to a person’s eternal destiny.

More Information
• On the Pokemon rules website it states, “Carry your Pokmon with you, and you’re ready for anything! You’ve got the power in your hands, so use it!”
• One observer of children playing the game said that the children would afterwards mimic the game by summoning the Pokemon to attack others. This is occultic.
• Pokemon are summoned to do battle and to protect. This is equivalent to sorcery.
• Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water are frequent elemental themes found in Pagan religions, witchcraft, and Wicca and are used heavily in Pokemon.

The spiritual side of the world is real. There are spiritual elements and demonic forces at work, whose purpose is to lead astray and destroy:

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places,” (Eph. 6:12).

The enemy is powerful and cunning. The only light we have is the Bible, and we need to follow it and not give ourselves or our children into the hands of those who would introduce occultic principles in a role-playing game. Again, the Bible says . . .
“But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,” (1 Tim. 4:1).

There is nothing wrong with children having fun and using their imaginations; but when that fun involves the occult, it is dangerous. As Christians, we should be very concerned about what our children are involved in since they can be so easily influenced. They don’t need the influence of the occult or evolutionary theory to help them towards Christ. They need the truth.

You are over-reacting
Addendum–two months later:
This article has generated some interesting responses. I’ve been called delusional, bigoted, paranoid, and one who contributes to the decline of society because of my intolerant comments about an innocent and fun child’s game. One mother, who claimed to be a Christian, emailed me with heavy complaints and accusations and sought to justify her actions in encouraging her children to watch Pokemon. Well, that is her prerogative.

Have I changed my opinion? Not at all. Am I delusional, bigoted, paranoid, and a contributor to social decay? I certainly hope not. And from what I see in God’s Word and from what I have seen in Pokemon, I still stand on what I have said.

I expect people to not like it when their comfort zone is rattled and when I don’t tote the secular line and salute to “harmless children’s games” even when they teach occultism. By the way, I told the Christian mother that the Lord will hold her accountable for how her children are raised. I asked her if she wants to continue to encourage her children to play with cards that teach casting spells, evolution, and controlling forces to do your bidding. She emailed me back and called me some names.

Others have simply assumed a non-Christian perspective and made judgments about me and this article from their non-Christian point of view. That isn’t a problem. They are entitled to their opinions as am I.

Is Pokemon good? I don’t think so. Does it contribute to impressionable children accepting occult ideas? Yes, it does.

Another comment
I would like to thank you for your stand against Pokemon and other such materials. I understand how you feel when confronted by supposed “Christians” who oppose what you’re trying to do here. I think that it’s a sad time we live in when even the church members want to go around doing what seems right in their own eyes, and they tell you it’s o.k. because “we’re under grace so we don’t need to follow the rules anymore.” Let me say this, the majority of the problems we’re facing today in Christianity are here because of the lack of strong leadership. Most pulpits today are delivering feel good sermons that have little spiritual effect while our remaining power dwindles away due to the gross sins being committed right under our noses. I personally have been in churches that were supposedly “filled with the annointing” and watched the children in the seats in front of me playing Pokemon & dungeons and dragons while the parents “worshipped God.” Pretty sad.

But, let me encourage you to continue fighting the good fight and not budge even one inch in your convictions. Many times people in the church talk about unity, which is important, but not at the cost of compromise. We will all stand before the Lord and give an account for every word and action so let the truth shine out of you without reservation!

The church needs some warriors today who will stand up for what the Word of God tells us is right, regardless of any man’s opinions. Be that warrior!

Remember, the fear of man is a snare to your soul!

God Bless, David

Different Article:

Pokemon (short for POcKEt MONster and pronounced Poh-keh-mon) is now the rage among both Christian and non-Christian children in much of the world. What do these “pocket monsters” teach our children and what are the philosophies underlying this “innocent” game? Is this something that Christian children should be involved with?

Pokemon is a role-playing game similar to Dungeons and Dragons, MAGIC, and others, but with more subtle occult overtones. It is a copyright of Nintendo and was first created in Japan in 1995, where it was highly influenced by Japanese mysticism. Much of its character seems to come from Shinto (the traditional religion of Japan), Buddhism, Hinduism, other Eastern religions, and New Age philosophies. The game reflects Japan’s warrior past in its violence, with the object being to conquer other Pokemons through physical force or sorcery.

Besides the Eastern religious overtones, New Age concepts abound in the Pokemon cards.2 Each Pokemon is a certain “type,” which describes their “energy.” There are currently 7 types of Pokemon, including “Grass,” “Fire,” “Water,” “Lightning,” “Psychic,” “Fighting,” and “Colorless.”3 Many of the 150 Pokemons use violence to conquer other Pokemons. This violence includes gnawing, slashing, smash kick, fire blast, seismic toss, electricity, poison, psychic blasts, paralyzing, etc.4 This is not the “innocent” game that it is made out to be. Other Pokemons “evolve” through the use of “stones” (thunder, water, moon, fire, and leaf) which are items used to summon powers (the origin of these “powers” is not stated, but they are not from God).4 Training cards also include those that use “potion” and “super potion” to magically heal your damaged Pokemon fighters.

Many Pokemons evolve “naturalistically” to become other Pokemons… In examining the cards, it is apparent that macroevolution is being taught, since “species” that have evolved from other species are similar in appearance. In some instances, the term “evolution” is used incorrectly, since individual Pokemons are able to “evolve” into more powerful creatures. In essence, the game is teaching a kind of reincarnation.

Here are some examples of Pokemon types and what they do:

Name Attack Method
Jynx “Merely by meditating, the Pokemon launches a powerful psychic energy attack”
Abra “Using its ability to read minds, it will identify impending danger and teleport to safety.”
Kadabra “It emits special alpha waves from its body that induce headaches even to those nearby.”
Weepinbell “It spits out poison powder to immobilize the enemy, and then finishes the enemy with a spray of acid.”
Ponyta “Its hooves are 10 times harder than diamonds. It can trample anything flat in moments.
Machoke “Karate chop does 50 damage points”

“I will travel across the land
Searching far and wide
Each Pokemon to understand
The power that’s inside.
Gotta catch them all!”

The words above are from the Pokemon song that is sung at the end of the television program. Children are being encouraged to tap into the power of the Pokemon cards. Further instruction is given at the official Pokemon card site:

Carry your Pokemon with you, and you’re ready for anything! You’ve got the power in your hands, so use it!”5

Many children are taking this instruction to heart and literally carry their Pokemon cards with them everywhere. We are even seeing these cards appearing at our church and Christian school. Children are being encouraged to tap into supernatural power instead of the power given by God.6 They are told that the more cards they collect, the more power they will have. Many children are completely addicted to the cards and spend all of their free time playing with them. If nothing else, Pokemon has become an idol in their lives – being more important to them than God.

The use of Pokemon cards can potentially open doors to demonic oppression through the following activities:7

1. Possession (known or unknown) of occultic records, tapes, books, pictures, charms, tools, games, etc.
2. Seeking or giving consent to occultic power or occultic revelation
3. Fascination with occultic power, occultic revelation, or psychic phenomena, in general
4. Escapism through thrill-seeking, science fiction, soap operas, or some other addicting hobby/activity
5. Fascination with violence, especially violence devoid of justice
6. Meditation on anything other than God’s revealed truth
7. Chanting or other cultic/occultic forms of worship

The Bible’s teaching is clear about being involved in occultic activities. We are told not to become involved in sorcery or divination or consult with mediums or spiritists.8 The high penalty (death) for engaging in sorcery indicates the seriousness of this sin in the eyes of God.9

While Pokemon continues to gain popularity, its creators will continue to introduce new ways to become a Pokemon “Master.” At some point, in order to maintain interest in the game, it will become necessary to add new features/characters and alternate means to “get the power.” My prediction is that this game will add more New Age features, along with more violent and bizarre characters. Those who are involved in Pokemon will continue to be indoctrinated more deeply in the New Age philosophies. In fact, Pokemon resources are listed under New Age resources.10

Another threat to children who play with Pokemon and other role playing games is the tendency to become involved in more serious forms of role playing games, such as Doom,11 Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: the Gathering, and role playing games with even more occultic overtones. In fact, Pokemon sites often have links to these sites (wizards.com, etc.). The “Role Player’s Realm,” which links to Pokemon and other role playing games has the uninhibited URL “http://www.screaming.demon.nl/.” The association with the occult is fairly obvious.

Conclusions
Pokemon teaches the following concepts/philosophies that are counter to Christianity:
1. Violence as a means of obtaining power.
2. Evolution
3. New Age concepts (reincarnation, psychic power)
4. The use of occult objects (magic stones) to gain power over your opponent
Continued participation in Pokemon may lead to:
1. Involvement in the game that leads to psychological addiction such that the game becomes an idol in the life of the child
2. Involvement in malevolent role playing games (and people associated with them)
3. Open doors to demonic oppression

Recommendations
If your child has accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, I recommend that he be given the facts about Pokemon and what the Bible says about participating in sorcery. A child who is encouraged to pray about his involvement in Pokemon and follows the Holy Spirit will voluntarily give up participation with Pokemon-associated activities. Several children we have talked to have made this decision without being forced to do so by their parents. If your child has not accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, I would make the decision unilaterally and explain why he would not be allowed to participate in Pokemon-related activities. If your child is highly involved with or addicted to Pokemon, I would provide extra support for them and encourage and provide opportunities for them to engage in other, less threatening hobbies/activities.

References
Note: As a Christian, I will not knowingly provide a link to pages that promote non-Christian values/ideas. However, the URL’s are listed below so that you can confirm the accuracy of the information included on this page.

1. Much of the research information used to develop this page comes from wizards.com (http://www.wizards.com/Pokemon), the official Pokemon card site.
2. http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Labyrinth/6402/poke-level.htm
3. http://www.wizards.com/Pokemon/Rules/Welcome.asp
4. When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? (Isaiah 8:19)
5. From Reasons To Believe’s web site, “Dealing with Demons” (http://www.reasons.org/resources/papers/demons.html)
6. Leviticus 20:6-7 And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.
7. He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced sorcery and divination, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger. (2 Kings 21:6)
8. Malachi 3:5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.
9. Leviticus 20:27 A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.

http://www.newageinfo.com/res/meditat_data.htm
See “No Evidence of a Spiritual Realm?” (http://www.GodAndScience.org/apologetics.html)