One of the overriding highlights for us this month has been watching excited young sons serve with their dads in the ministry. It’s difficult to describe the beautiful picture of strength and fortification this brings to a church. We are thankful as well for the amazing and positive church meetings we have had over the past month. Thank you to everyone who thinks of us and prays for us as we happily and safely travel. Our meetings continue in the Central and South U.S. and shift out West next year for eight months. Through eight months of deputation, our support is at 34%.
In the trendy, suburban town of Sewickley, Pennsylvania, Pastor Richard Gelfand is being used of the Lord to successfully unite two churches and reach many in a low independent, fundamental Baptist area. Bro. Gelfand’s son Richey had been saving money to take our family out for ice cream during our visit. The best ice cream I’ve had this year–thank you! While soul winning in Sewickley, Richey and I met Mike, a retired sailor who had worked the Mississippi River most of his life. He always believed in God and relayed times where he felt close, but he had been suffering from different ailments and surgeries and did not know for sure he was going to Heaven. He woke up that morning and learned how Jesus could rescue him from his sins and give him a home in Heaven forever without pain. Mike accepted Jesus and was saved after years of searching and not being sure of Heaven. To add to the blessing of it all, the fall season was setting in that day outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and we finished the visits with some custom coffee at a nearby shop, known to the locals as the “Inexpensive Starbucks.” Our times there were energizing, and we were able to be involved in all of the services and Sunday school. I taught the adult men, and Sarah taught the adult ladies.
About a month before this next meeting, Pastor Chip Ray invited us to join his conference after a change in our schedule. We were thanking the Lord for filling our scheduling hole with a missions conference and then finding out that Gene Wiseheart, Darrell Cox, and Rick Finley were the conference speakers. What a tremendous blessing that was! Assistant Pastor Caleb Ray (the pastor’s son) and I were soul winning. At the last house, we found Russell ready to listen to the Gospel, and he received Jesus as his Saviour. Afterwards Bro. Caleb and I were able to clearly explain eternal security to Russell, as he had been confused throughout his life about this. Please pray for Russell’s growth and attendance.
In Grove City, Ohio, Josh, a rugged-looking contractor, was home taking care of his kids when we knocked on his door. He never remembered hearing a full presentation of the Gospel. I spent the necessary time explaining the Gospel to Josh, and he was saved that morning. He seemed really surprised, thankful, and excited to discover that he could know for sure that he was going to Heaven. Missionary Dave Yoder and I were able to knock on several doors that morning. Dave led Abraham from Ghana, West Africa, to the Lord. In Grove City, Pastor Stan Slabaugh and his son Andrew of Bible Baptist Church put on an amazing missions conference, which included a trip to the Columbus Zoo and a ride in the Grove City parade, where thousands of John & Romans were handed out. A couple of days later, we were blessed to be in the Heritage Baptist Church Missions Conference, where Pastor Fowler and his son also serve with fervency and a big heart for people. Missionary Dave Yoder was the conference speaker. The excellent conference was capped with a bonfire and hayrides for the kids (they rode for hours). Our next meeting was with Pastor Ronnie Gilbert of Lakewood Baptist Church in Harrison, Tennessee. Many BIMI servants and saints attend here, as BIMI is right down the road. We were very encouraged and strengthened at this church like so many others. Pastor Gilbert and his son Gage enjoy working together while Gage prepares for his calling to be a missionary.