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.
We had a great blessing this summer, which really refreshed our spirits—my wife’s parents came for a visit! We had the best time playing Rook and virtual bowling, going thrifting, and spending time together. My mother-in-law got to be a part of a discipleship lesson my wife was doing with a lady, and my father-in-law went soul winning with me multiple times. Up to this point, we hadn’t seen them in two years!
In July, we had several activities for our youth group that were such a blessing. First, we went on a trail hike at a local nature preserve. It was fun showing the teenagers one of the beautiful trails that I discovered during the most difficult days of our lockdowns. We had a blessed time of seeing God’s creation and some time together in the Bible. Later, we invited all of our teens to a “Youth Conference Watch Party” to view the FBC Hammond Youth Conference. Next, we participated in an all-day Youth Tent Revival Meeting in Peterborough, Ontario. All month long, we were blessed with a majority of our youth group in attendance, which included a new addition, but at the Tent Revival, we had a big spike in new teens coming! This was a huge blessing to see so many teens come with us.
In August, we got to help in a Vacation Bible School at a sister church in Newmarket, Ontario, which we usually take part in every summer, COVID time notwithstanding. In the morning, I was able to help them with the VBS. Many of our families brought their children, perhaps even more than I’ve ever seen come in my time here at the church. Daily, the children learned Scripture, heard Gospel preaching, learned a missionary story, and were filled to the brim with enthusiasm about Jesus and His Word. In the evenings, the same church puts on something for the teens called the Teen Event. Several of our teenagers came, and some new teens came as well. This year, I got to be the team leader of one of the teams. It was fun trying to act like I wasn’t almost 40 years old, and though we didn’t win, we had a great time bonding through activities and the preaching of the Word of God.
We’ve tried to make the most of the summer and complete lack of restrictions to knock as many doors as possible. Our church participated in the “Fill America/Canada” campaign, where we banded with hundreds of churches across America and Canada to focus on giving out Gospel tracts, and the combined efforts of our church totaled over 2,500 tracts given out in a two-week period. In our last letter, I wrote to you about Alex, whom I finally got to witness to, but unfortunately, I’ve not been able to find him at home since. Please pray that I can get in contact with him and have the assurance that he is truly saved. In my personal soul-winning time, I met a Jamaican lady named Cathy, who was very friendly and was open to hearing the Gospel. I set up a time to come back with my wife so that we could sit down together with her, and at that meeting, right there on her front porch, Cathy got saved! Pray for her husband, who needs to be saved as well. Another person I met is a man named Anvar. He is a Muslim man from Kyrgyzstan (the first person I’d ever met from this country). He is very open to talking with me, though he is confident that he will be able to outwit my arguments for the Gospel. The main problem isn’t whether I’m up for going toe to toe with his false religion; the main problem is the language barrier. His English is only good enough to have general conversations, not the deep ones we’ll need to have to preach the Gospel to him. He speaks Russian as well as his native tongue, so please pray that I’ll either get a Russian translator who’ll consistently be able to go with me or I’ll be able to use Google Translate without it messing things up in some embarrassing way.
His servant and yours,
Playing virtual bowling with my wife’s mom and dad
Helping in Vacation Bible School at a sister church in Newmarket, Ontario
Special music at the Youth Tent Revival
All-day Youth Tent Revival in Peterborough, Ontario
Youth group picture after our trail hike
The teens got to help out at a VBS in another church in the area.