We never take for granted all that it takes for you to keep your missionaries on the field. The work of the members of our supporting churches, the time it takes to properly distribute the funds, and the love with which all this is done is not lost on us. Thank you.
June 19, 1982, was a very special day. Forty years ago, 35 baptized believers signed the church covenant that officially birthed what is now Mount Hebron Baptist Church. I would not begin to try to calculate how many thousands of souls have been reached because of those humble beginnings. Mount Hebron Bible Baptist Institute was shortly thereafter placed under this church. Hundreds of men and women, who have been taught Bible principles in this institute and trained by this church, are serving as pastors, missionaries, evangelists, assistant pastors, and the wives of these men.
Forty years later, what began then is still going on. Pastor Jonathan planned a very appropriate commemoration of that event on Sunday, June 19, 2022. Bro. Jesus Acosta, who was saved and baptized in this church and is a graduate of our institute, is a master artist and sculptor. Pastor Jonathan commissioned him to sculpt a bust of my father, Dr. L. H. Ashcraft. The bust was unveiled that day in a moving service. The first church building has been refurbished and restored to its original state and was dedicated as the “L. H. Ashcraft Auditorium.” Very appropriately, it will serve as the main building of the institute that Dad established in 1963, almost 60 years ago. Thank you, Jonathan, for your thoughtfulness, not only in dedicating that day to a great servant of God, but in maintaining the Bible principles and practices he taught and upon which this ministry was founded.
Well, nostalgia is wonderful, and it is important to remember our past, but that only serves to help us prepare for the future . . . and the future is bright. Emily and I took two of my grandsons, Jonathan, Jr., and Tommy II, to SMITE camp with Bro. Jerry Purtell in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We had a wonderful time. The camp was a wonderful experience for them, and we enjoyed our time with them. They were with us for 17 days. Emily and I have completely recovered from our nervous breakdowns. 😊 Seriously, they are wonderful kids, as are all my 13 grandchildren and 2 greats.
Bro. Dagoberto Bahena pastors Iglesia Bautista Monte Horeb in Tlapa, Guerrero, about 200 miles southeast of Mexico City in the mountains of Guerrero. Bro. Bahena is the product of the ministry of Dr. Ralph McCoy, a great missionary who was instrumental in helping my father make the decisions that allowed him to come to the mission field. Dr. McCoy is the father of Becky Patterson, widow of my dear friend, Bro. Mike Patterson. (More nostalgia, but it is important for you to know how God has used some of His great servants.) Bro. McCoy started and pastored Temple Baptist Church in Lubbock, Texas. Temple Baptist has faithfully supported us ever since we arrived on the field in 1969. My good friend, Bro. Steve Miller, is now the pastor. It was under Bro. McCoy’s ministry that my wife Brenda and her family were saved, and Brenda surrendered to the mission field.
I have had the privilege of preaching in a yearly Pastors’ and Workers’ Conference in Bro. Bahena’s church for 13 years. I was there June 27-30. What a great church! Twenty-five pastors and missionaries attended, among them, 4 of our graduates. Several young people surrendered their lives for full-time service. It is an honor to serve with men of God who have stayed true to God’s Word.
Last Thursday night, Emily and I went soul winning with 85 other people in our weekly soul-winning program. It was a joy to lead Carlos, a 12-year-old boy to Christ. I never cease to be amazed at what a simple joy it is to witness for Christ.
Thank you for all you do to keep your missionaries on the field. We are so grateful to God for you. We pray for you.
Yours for souls,
Bro. Tommy and Emily Ashcraft