Missionary Evangelist: Offering services as an evangelist to missionaries and national pastors around the world. Has worked in 22 countries for the past 20 years in the areas of evangelism, starting churches and training of pastors.
In my last letter, I mentioned that our church was planning a trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo, known as the DRC for short. I want you to see how God directed us to consider this trip and then make it a reality. It all started about a year and a half ago.
A Burdened Man
Alan Bechtold, one of our bus captains reaching the Coralville, Iowa, area, had been picking up children whose parents came to the U.S. as immigrants from the DRC. Alan asked our pastor if he would pray with him about having a Sunday school class for the parents of these children. Our biggest problem was that many of these parents do not speak English, but they do speak French, the official language of the DRC.
A Volunteered Man
The same week they started to pray about this need, I went to our pastor, asking him if he thought I could help the church by teaching a new adult Sunday school class when I was in the area. You must realize that I knew nothing about Alan’s request to Preacher. We all were amazed at how God impressed upon all of us to start an adult Sunday school class for French-speaking people.
An Obedient Man
Mike Griswold, the bus captain who reaches the same group of children in the Iowa City area, within months of us starting this class, led a man named Paul to Christ. Paul was also from the DRC. Paul started coming to church faithfully, got baptized, and then willingly started interpreting for me in the class and during the morning services. Obedience in soul winning answered our prayer for an interpreter.
An Aware Man
Once saved, Paul would often say to us that the Gospel was what his country needed. He stated his desire to go back to his country to visit his relatives so they could hear the Gospel. He would often say that his country needed churches like ours because the pastors he knew of in his own country were only interested in getting money from the people. He became burdened for the people of his country.
A Visionary Man
For the last year, we would often talk about the possibility of going to the DRC to visit Paul’s relatives. We also wanted to see what God might want us do beyond just helping his family get saved. We talked to our pastor, Joe Brown; and eventually, being the man of vision that he is, he gave us the go ahead to plan this trip. Pastor got excited about the possibility of our planting a church in the DRC.
A Connected Man
John Hays, founder of “Pure Water for All” and a member of our church, has contacts around the world. He knew of a pastor in the DRC who uses John’s water system when starting churches. God gave us Pastor Isaac, who helped answer questions we had about the DRC.
The Macedonian Call
From August 11–18, 4 of us went to the DRC. We praise God for the close to 40 people who got saved during our trip. We were able to meet 3 young men who want to be preachers and spent time teaching them some Bible doctrine. One of those men is now in the process of trying to get into a Bible college located in another country. Caleb Garraway targeted Kinshasa with The Gospel Film during our time in the DRC and received over 250 contacts. Many of those indicated they got saved. During our 5 days there, people often read the tract we handed them and then tell us, “Where do you meet? Our preachers do not tell us this. Our preachers are interested only in our money. Our people need to hear this!” Then finally we met a man whom God used to really challenge us. This man wanted to know why we had not come to the DRC to start a church. I tried to explain the difficulties involved in doing just that. He would not accept my responses (excuses?). He finally said, “If the DRC has all these problems and dangers, then our country should be a priority on your list of countries to go to!” That statement was like an arrow that pierced my soul. Would you pray that God would direct us as to the next step to take in reaching the people of the DRC?
Upon our return to the USA, my pastor asked me to preach both services on Sunday, August 20. As a result of the morning message, 4 people decided to get baptized the next Sunday. A person who came that Sunday to view a relative getting baptized got saved and baptized as well. Praise the Lord! The messages I preached are located at https://vimeo.com/marionavenue. Hit the “load more” button; then scroll to the Sunday morning service, 8/20/2023 (preaching starts 46 minutes in), or the Sunday evening service, 8/20/2023 (preaching starts 1 hour 11 minutes in).
Thank you so much for praying for me. Your prayers are vital in helping me reach people in the DRC and other parts of the world.