Thank you for your continued prayers and support. God continued to be good to us in February. I had the privilege of filling in for my pastor and preaching the Sunday morning service at my home church, Regency Baptist Church, on the 7th. It is always a blessing to be with our home church and have these opportunities. February 14-17, I volunteered to help drive our Christian school teenagers to a volleyball and basketball tournament in Pasco, Washington. We were hit with quite a bit of unexpected snow during the drive, but we praise God that we made it safely. The tournament was hosted by the Riverview Baptist Church. We got to spend time with old friends, as well as make some new ones. While there, I spoke with some pastors who indicated they would like me to call them and set up meetings to present our ministry at their church.
After driving back to California, I turned around and packed up for us to drive towards Wisconsin. We arrived on Saturday night, the 20th, where we met up with Karin’s old college friend, Kathy McGraw. We enjoyed dinner at their home, where we invited Kathy’s coworker Philip to church the next day. We spent Sunday at Faith Baptist Church of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, where we had a terrific time. I taught one of the adult Sunday school classes and then preached the Sunday evening service. We stayed in Pastor Dean Noonan’s home, where they were beyond gracious and hospitable to our family. Pastor Noonan and I had fun building a snowman with my kids on Monday morning with all the fresh snow that had fallen the previous night.
On Monday, we headed towards the Peoria, Illinois, area, where we took part in the Missions Conference of the LaMarsh Baptist Church of Mapleton, Illinois, on Monday and Tuesday night. The people there were so friendly to my family and me. We were able to present our ministry to Japan and spend much time getting to know the members of the church. We also had a reunion of sorts with several missionaries, including the Bull family to Japan, who stayed in our home during Christmas, as well as the Vincent family to the Philippines, whom we went through Candidate School with and who were appointed as FBMI missionaries the same time we were. We also got to meet Bro. Charles Newton, another fellow FMBI missionary to East Africa, and the Szwarga family, going to New Zealand. It was truly a wonderful conference. Pastor Brandon Dillard and his wife Melissa were so wonderful to all of us, and we were sad to have to say goodbye.
On Wednesday, we made our way towards Colorado, with a stop at Heritage Baptist Church of Lawrence, Kansas, on Wednesday night. Pastor Scott Hanks called me up to give a quick presentation of our ministry to Japan, and the members were all so kind to us. Finally, on Thursday, we visited our former church (from 2014-2017), Elmwood Baptist Church of Brighton, Colorado. I served as a deacon there, and my wife taught in their Christian school. It was while we attended Elmwood that I surrendered my life to be a missionary to Japan. I preached for their midweek service, and it was such an incredible blessing to be reunited with all of our old friends and meet some new ones. Pastor Gary Randall has always been so good to our family, and it was such a joy to spend time with him again. They voted to take us on for support before we even got there! We praise the Lord for their encouragement and strength to us.
Please pray that we will continue to schedule more meetings in the coming months. Please also pray for the salvation of Jessica; I was able to give the Gospel to her at a gas station where she worked in central Kansas.