Well, October came in with a bang! We have been going non-stop on the deputation trail, and we thank God for all that He has done and everything He has provided. We certainly could not do all of this in our own strength. We thank the Lord for all of you who are praying for us as we go out. We truly can feel it!
On October 1, we drove our RV from Crossville, Tennessee, to Charleston, South Carolina, for Coastal Light Baptist Church’s Missions Conference. This was a special conference for us because Pastor Sears used to be my Sunday school teacher when he was the assistant pastor of Regency Baptist Church in California (our home church). He encouraged me to be more faithful to Sunday school, which I started doing. Years later, I would go on to teach that same class! We had a wonderful time full of activities exploring the area and hearing some great preaching by Pastor Shannon Scott. One day, we took a rowboat tour through a cypress swamp and got caught in the middle of a huge rainstorm. We all got soaking wet, but it was great fun and something we will never forget!
After that, I got invited to meet my brother-in-law and some men from other churches for a two-day fishing trip on the Gulf Coast of Florida. This was a fun time for my sons and me, and it was nice for them to see their cousins, whom they hadn’t seen in a month. After this, we visited Victory Baptist Church of Charleston, South Carolina, and met Pastor Josh Mendenhall and his wife Amy. They were so gracious to us and invited us back for their Missions Conference in November! We then drove towards the Chicago area but stopped for a meeting at Central Baptist Church of Pontoon Beach, Illinois. Pastor Palmani and his wife were great hosts to us and truly showed the love of Christ to our family.
We then flew from Chicago to San Francisco to be with the North Valley Baptist Church in Santa Clara, California, for their Missions Conference. I have been to this church so many times over the years for various reasons and have always had great respect for Pastor Trieber and the ministry there. I don’t have enough room in this letter to talk about how good everyone at their church treated us, especially all of their staff. We, along with five other missionary families, got to present our work to the church and speak in the school’s chapel services and Golden State Baptist College. We felt truly honored and blessed to be with this dear church.
After that conference ended, we flew back to Chicago the following day to be at Valley Baptist Church of Oswego, Illinois, the very next evening! Again, this was a unique conference, as Pastor David Hemphill was formerly an assistant pastor at our home church, and I have known his family for a long time. They were excellent hosts, and it was such a blessing to be with them. The keynote speaker was Dr. J. B. Godfrey, Vice President of BIMI. It was a blessing to hear about all his years of missions experience, and his messages were such an encouragement to my wife and me. While out soul winning, my wife and I got to present the Gospel multiple times. One young man named Cesar was sure he had trusted Jesus as his Saviour but still seemed to struggle with eternal security. Would you please pray that God would help him with that?
Just before the end of that conference, we received a call about a church in Marion, Iowa, having a Missions Conference starting that Sunday. One of their missionaries was unable to make it due to contracting COVID. It worked great for our schedule, so we were able to join Gospel Light Baptist Church! Pastor Tim McCurdy and his wife were so nice to our family. We got to stay in their home, and my kids had a fantastic time playing at their house. This was yet another church to absolutely shower us with love and encouragement. We met many new friends and praying partners there, and I was so glad that God allowed us to join them for their conference.
Finally, we headed back to South Carolina (where we left the RV). We immediately flew out to Phoenix, Arizona, to be with the Spanish Department of Valley Baptist Church of Mesa, Arizona, for their Missions Conference. This was entirely different than what we had been doing, as everything was in Spanish! Dr. Dan Siemer was the keynote speaker for the conference. It was great to hear him preach so amazingly in Spanish! I got to give my testimony in Spanish, which I was a little nervous about doing, but God gave me the grace to do it. The warmth of the people of this church was incredible. We so thoroughly enjoyed our time there and all the excellent international food. It was an absolute pleasure to be with Pastor Gerson Cardenas and his wife, as well as Bro. Josue Silva and his family, with whom we stayed. While out soul winning with the church, I came across an 18-year-old young man named Samuel. God allowed me to share the Gospel with him as he was trying to install his car stereo. He trusted Christ as His Saviour and got something far better than a stereo! Please pray that he will come to church and continue to grow.
Please continue to pray for us as we continue to travel across the Eastern end of the country. We are looking forward to all God will do in November!