Picking up from where we left off, in the middle of July, our four oldest children flew out to California to spend time with family and go to camp. We finished in July with several meetings in Texas. We got to be a part of Christchurch Baptist Fellowship’s services on Sunday, July 24. I got to speak to the teenagers during Sunday school. Pastor Johnny Pope preached a fantastic message in the morning, and then I was allowed to preach in the evening. Right before we got to church, our car started acting strangely, with the power steering going out and the battery light flashing. I thought we had a bad alternator. It just so happened that the man running the teen Sunday school that morning was a fantastic mechanic and handled all the church’s mechanical needs. He found that our serpentine belt had broken, and he had it fixed in no time!
From there, we got to be with Pastor Adam Thompson and Capitol City Baptist Church in Austin, Texas. I preached to their Spanish church on Tuesday and then presented to the English church on Wednesday. Everyone was so kind, and they spoiled us while we were there. God is doing a great work there! Afterward, we spent a few days in Longview, Texas, at Emmanuel Baptist Church. The church had such a tremendous spirit. One of the best things was that I could spend time with one of the staff members, Bro. Caleb Benson. I did not remember at first, but he was one of the missionaries on deputation at my home church’s Missions Conference in 2008 when I surrendered to the ministry. Bro. Rob Hicks preached the message (who was also with us at Longview), and Bro. Benson had a copy of the picture of all of us men with Bro. Hicks taped in one of his Bibles. He had prayed for us by name after that meeting! What an incredible blessing and revelation!
After driving “home” to Indiana, I flew to California the following weekend to attend the Missions Conference at Harvest Baptist Church of Daly City. They had such a heart for missions and were so kind to me, as I was without my family. I got to meet some old friends and make some new ones. I also enjoyed a day in San Francisco with my brother and sister-in-law, with whom our four oldest children had stayed for a few weeks. We are so close, and while it was lovely to see them after several months, it’s hard to leave them behind again!
After my children and I flew back from California, we spent the following weekend in Indiana. We got to attend two churches on Sunday, August 14, including the new church plant, Living Hope Baptist Church, in Jasper, Indiana. Pastor James Young told me we were the first missionaries to come to the church since they started! We then drove to Memphis, Tennessee, for a midweek service at Calvary Baptist Church. Sadly, Pastor Robert Hooker, whom my wife knew from her college days, was out of town, but Mrs. JoBeth Hooker hosted us in her home and was such a blessing to us. We drove back to Indiana for a midweek service at Bible Baptist Church in Otwell. We had a blessed time with Pastor Fulcher and the church, and they voted to start supporting us that following Sunday!
Finally, we finished out August with a trip to Missouri and Iowa. Starting in Independence, Missouri, we spent that Sunday with Pastor Darren Tharp and New Hope Baptist Church. This church had some of the sweetest people we have ever met. After I preached in Sunday school, a young lady raised her hand for salvation and trusted Christ shortly afterward! We were richly blessed by our time there. They also voted in the evening service to partner with us! We then spent Wednesday, August 24, in Keokuk, Iowa, at Calvary Baptist Church. I had come by myself to their Missions Conference in December of 2020. It was my second meeting ever! Pastor John Heath invited us back, and this time, I was with my whole family. They also started to support us that night!
From there, we spent several wonderful days at Marion Avenue Baptist Church in Washington, Iowa. This church was such an incredible blessing to our family. We got to be with several of our old friends and meet many new ones. The preaching, special music, and general spirit of everyone were tremendous! I believe God met with all of us in a special way. I really cannot say enough good things about this conference.
Thank you for your prayers! After hearing back from multiple churches and the ones added this month, I am happy to report that we are now at 84% of our needed support, with more churches likely to report back soon! To God be the glory! My wife and I are now making plans to take a trip to Japan in December to meet the people of the Senri Newtown Baptist Church and, Lord willing, to try to secure housing. Our goal is to move to Japan by the beginning of March 2023. Please be in prayer that we can get our visas approved for our trip!
For His glory,