We praise the Lord that He has kept us busy since we returned from Ireland in mid-September. After being home for less than a week, Linda and I drove to Michigan to start my fall preaching schedule. I filled the pulpit for a preacher who was on vacation before heading to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to preach a missions conference. From there we traveled back home for a few days and then on to Indiana for a meeting with FBMI. We then drove back to the Upper Peninsula for a revival meeting. In both meetings we were able to witness to people while out soul winning. Though none got saved, we praise the Lord for being able to plant the seed.
I preached a revival for my good friend, Pastor Steve Lang, whose church is located in Maple Rapids, Michigan. Brother Lang and his family have faithfully served the Lord in that small community for over 25 years. We then traveled to Missouri to preach during a missions-emphasis weekend. These fine people worked hard to bring visitors on that Sunday, and I praise the Lord that during the invitation, 5 people got saved. During the testimony time that Sunday night, one of the workers gave this testimony. While he was trying to lead a couple of young men to Christ at the altar, one of the young men kept interrupting him, but his interruption was not to create problems. Instead he kept saying to the worker, “Can I get saved now? Can I get saved now?” Now that is the kind of interruption you do not mind having when you are dealing with people about salvation! Amen!
A special blessing came to me in the month of November. When I first got out of college in 1982, I became the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Iron Mountain, Michigan. I had the privilege of being the pastor of a young man, Dave Carlson, for only two years before he went off to Bible college. During those two years, I tried to do all I could to influence him for Christ. After graduating from college and being an assistant for a few years, he and his wife started a church in Manchester, New Hampshire. He has been there now for over 20 years. He flew Linda and me out to New Hampshire so I could preach in his missions conference. What a blessing it was to preach to his people, many of them led to Christ by Brother Dave and his wife. We had a great time of fellowship. The truth is, I just sat back and enjoyed listening to him talk about the vision he had for the area. He is not satisfied with just being the pastor of a growing church. He wants to be a part of getting more churches started in the Northeast. This is a picture of us with Pastor Carlson, his wife, and veteran missionary Dave Maskey and his wife.
Here at my home church, we are now in the midst of preparing for our annual Live Animal Christmas Play, which oftentimes more than 4,000 people attend, with hundreds getting saved each year. As you think of it, please pray that God blesses our efforts with many souls getting saved. May God bless each of you with a very Merry Christmas.
Missionary Evangelist James Belisle