The Lord saved me at the age of 15 as a result of the infamous 9/11 attacks. I had been attending the St. Amant Baptist Church in St. Amant, Louisiana, as a bus kid since I was five years old. I remember being talked to about salvation often as a child, but I don’t think I really understood it. When I became a teenager, my understanding of the Gospel changed. I knew that I was a sinner and that I must trust Jesus alone for salvation; however, my pride, rebellion, and self-reliance made me confident that my sinful lifestyle was okay the way it was without becoming one of “the church people.” Yet, when I heard that the Twin Towers had fallen to terrorists, I didn’t feel so invincible after all. As a result of that tragic day, I neither slept nor ate well because of the deep fear in my heart that I might go to Hell. God definitely had my attention. I thought, What if I had died in one of those crashes? On the next church service that came around, I fell under the conviction of the Holy Spirit for my sin and asked Jesus to be my personal Saviour. He has forever changed my life.
I was privileged and blessed to be reared in a loving Christian home. My parents made sure from the time I was a baby that I was at church three times a week. My kindergarten Sunday school teacher asked me in class if I knew for sure when I died if I would go to Heaven. I told her, “Yes, I would go to Heaven,” and I honestly thought I would because my parents took me to church three times a week and made me behave. She told me I would not go to Heaven, because being good does not save you. I realized I was a sinner and could not go to Heaven on my own. That day after class, I bowed my head and asked Jesus to come into my heart.
Through much prayer and listening to the Holy Spirit’s leading, my wife and I have decided to join forces with veteran missionary Brian Johnston and his family in reaching the people of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. Bro. Johnston has labored for ten years in the Toronto area to win souls, disciple believers, plant churches, and build a strong, pattern church, the Gospel Light Baptist Church. Our plan is to join his team in planting, multiplying, and strengthening churches all around the Toronto area.
I apologize if this letter reaches you later than it should. Time has flown by, and I can hardly wrap my head around the fact that it’s been two months already! Summer is almost gone, and fall is showing all around us. It’s been a good summer serving the Lord. On Canada Day Sunday, July 2, we had a very special patriotic program, where our teenagers sang a Canadian Christian rendition of “This Land Is Your Land.” We practiced it for several weeks, and in the end, it sounded very good. I was able to read a Christian patriotic essay written a very long time ago (over 100 years ago), when Canada had more of a Christian influence nationwide. The essay is called, “What Canada Wants.” I wrote something of a companion to that essay that I titled, “What Canada Needs,” and I read those for the program as well. You can see these all posted on the YouTube or Facebook page of Gospel Light Baptist Church of Richmond Hill, Ontario. This past July 28, my wife and I celebrated 16 years of marriage! We were able to take some time off to get away up North. We had the best time exploring a place we’d never been before, making memories, and remembering the sweetness of the old memories. I’m blessed beyond measure to have had my wife with me through these past 16 years.
At the beginning of August, we planned a youth activity where the teens invited and served a meal to their parents. It was a blessing to encourage them and oversee them, but all the ideas, the meal plan, how they dressed, and how they served the meal came from them. The Lord gave me the idea to have them plan this meal and take full ownership of its success, and I was not disappointed! They planned a big breakfast with several courses. They dressed in fancy outfits and treated this like a Michelin Star restaurant. August is also VBS month here in this region of Canada. For a week, I helped with the kids’ VBS in the morning. In the evening, I took our teens to the Teen Event. This was such a blessing. The Gospel was preached daily. The kids had a blast singing about Jesus and learning about faith in action. I even got to play a couple small parts in the live telling of the missionary story! For the Teen Event, we had nearly our entire youth group there, which made my heart so happy!
We are plugging away evangelistically. We’ve met so many people who need their eyes opened to the Gospel, but I’ll highlight just a few. Please pray for Rudy and Ezzy, an Iranian man and his mom, whom I have been visiting for the past few months, trying to get them to church. They finally came to church for the first time at the end of August! Rudy is a skeptical man who is burned out on Islam and very confused on religion and God in general. He has a heart open to spiritual things, but he can’t yet see himself as a sinner before God. Please pray for him and his mom. Pray for Raymond, a Chinese man I met several weeks ago. He’s interested in hearing more about Jesus, so pray I can get another opportunity to share the hope of salvation with him. Pray for Etca, Abdullah, Hamid, Thomas, Joben, Paul, Methat, and many others I’ve met out soul winning who need the light of Jesus. Pray for a recent outreach idea the Lord put on my heart that I’ve been working on—giving out New Testaments on the street corner. I’ve been burdened to share Scripture with people, so I’ve been going weekly to stand on the corner and give them out. I usually approach people and say, “Excuse me, have you ever read the Bible?” I was shocked by how many people said no. I was pleased, though, to see how many people said yes to my follow-up question, “Would you like to read it?” Several people have taken them so far, and many have refused. I’m always pleased to see them reading through them at the bus stop. Pray that the seed of the Word would take root in their hearts.