“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations . . . .” (Matthew 28:19) We traveled 2,050 miles in November and saw 62 souls come to know the Lord as their personal Saviour. I started the month in the Atlanta, Georgia, area with one of my former college students, Dexter Landers. Pastor Landers is doing a wonderful job leading his church in the area of missions. The church increased their Faith Promise commitments and set goals for new missions projects.
I traveled to Gulfport, Mississippi, where I preached at Temple Baptist Church for my good friend, Pastor Steve Crane. During the week I went soul winning with Pastor Dan Carr of Faith Baptist Church. On Friday night I preached at the annual BEAMS Rally hosted by Red Creek Baptist Church and Pastor Scotty Rayburn. Red Creek Baptist Church took an offering for the purchase of BEAMS Bibles. We thank God for fine folks like these who see the importance of believers in foreign countries receiving a copy of the Word of God in their language.
I had the privilege to teach a three-hour class at Hyles-Anderson College to the missions students. My objective is always to convey the importance of placing Bibles in the hands of believers who have never owned a copy of God’s Word; many have never even seen a whole Bible.
On November 14, Missionary Andy Long sent word from India that our container of Bibles (54,000 Scriptures) had arrived at the port in Sri Lanka. It was possible they would arrive at his home in Northeast India sometime in December. We knew we would have to negotiate a price for delivery and that we were dealing with a corrupt government.
On November 18, I boarded a jet headed for Southeast Asia once again. My goal was to introduce the new program, Teaching All Nations to missionaries and national pastors. I had previously set up appointments with several men I’ve known for many years who are serving the Lord in Thailand, Myanmar, and Cambodia. Each leader and a selected group of men would go through two days of training and instructions. The goal, using this material, is to train new leaders and to start new churches throughout Southeast Asia.
November 23 was the first anniversary of First Baptist Church Nawong, led by Pastor Eddie Arold. Pastor Arold and his church had worked very hard and had an attendance of 224. Many received Christ. It was a real blessing to see many of my old converts still attending church faithfully.
On Sunday afternoon Brother Eddie and I went to the hospital to visit a dear Thai friend and great personal soul winner, Khun Chusak, who had been diagnosed with liver cancer just 44 days previously. About 5 minutes after we arrived, Chusak went to Heaven. He was only 46 years old, leaving behind a wife and 3 children. They have nothing and will be forced to start life over without the breadwinner in the home. Khun Chasak’s was the first funeral held at the church. For 3 nights, family and friends came and heard the Gospel preached. Chusak was a future Christian leader in Thailand; someone else will now have to step up.
The next weekend I flew to Mae Sot, a city in Northern Thailand on the border of Myanmar (Burma). I taught the TAN program to 2 Filipino missionaries and 2 Burmese national pastors. Manny Sinoy has ministries to English, Thai, and Burmese people. He has a Bible college with 6 full-time students and also oversees an orphanage. God has greatly used Brother Sinoy to help smuggle Bibles into Myanmar.
Several days after my arrival in Thailand, Andy Long called me again and said that the Indian officials were demanding $10,600 to release the container of Bibles, which was over 3 times the amount we had expected to pay. I got word to my wife, and she immediately began making arrangements to send the amount needed to cover the first $5,000, but we still needed $5,600. My wife said that God had given her the verses in Romans 5:3-4, “. . . but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope . . . .” She wasn’t excited over the patience or the experience but praised God for the hope!
Into all the world,