Thank you so much for your faithful prayers and support as we have begun our second round of deputation. Though we would obviously rather be in the Philippines right now, we are truly enjoying serving the Lord on deputation. God has greatly blessed us over the last couple of months, both spiritually and materially. God’s hand of protection and provision has been very evident every step of the way, and I know that much of that is because of the faithful prayers of our friends all over the country.
Right now we are excitedly looking forward to spending the holidays with family. After five years on the field, it’s a big deal to us. Please continue to pray for Ruth’s parents, Scott and Debbie Christiansen, in the Philippines, where her mother continues in her battle with cancer. In recent weeks she broke a bone in her leg due to a tumor in the bone. She has since then undergone a successful surgery to set the bone. Please pray for rapid healing of her leg and grace for the entire family as they go through this difficult time. We would love to be with them as well this holiday season (and I think that they would love to have us there as well), but we know that they are where God wants them at this time.
Michael and Beth are doing quite well on deputation. After driving over 2,800 miles in the last 3½ weeks, Mom and Dad’s sanity is in question, but the kids seem to be doing just fine. I overheard an interesting conversation between Beth and Michael a few weeks ago. Beth was trying to convince Michael to go outside with her and play, but Michael replied, “No, it’s crunchy.” It took me awhile, but I finally figured out that he was trying to say, “It’s chilly outside.” With a three-year-old and a five-year-old, there’s never a dull moment on the deputation trail!
Ruth is homeschooling Beth as we travel and doing an excellent job! I am very thankful that God gave me a wife who not only has the ability to teach well but also has the character to stick with it in the ever-changing environment of deputation.
Progress on Deputation
The last several weeks have been extremely busy. God blessed us with a very full schedule through October and into November. During one particular timeframe, we were in a church service or conference event 17 out of 19 days in a row. It was somewhat tiring but very rewarding. Yet, in all of the busyness, God has continued to allow me to schedule future meetings! We are currently at about 31% of our needed support, and just last week two pastors confirmed with me that they will be taking us on in the very near future. God has been so good to us! Thank you for your faithful prayers and support. Please continue to pray that God will allow us to schedule the meetings that we will need in order to raise our support and get back to the Philippines.
Soul Winning Still Works!
In the two months since our last letter, Ruth and I have led 22 people to Christ!
Dividends on Your Investment
This past Saturday, November 14, I had one of the most bizarre soul-winning experiences of my life. I was driving through downtown Toledo, Ohio, when I saw a large gathering of people along the side of the road about a block from my location. I parked my van and walked towards the crowd. As I got closer, I realized that a parade was passing by. (I still don’t know what the parade was for.) I walked into the crowd and passed out a few tracts as the tail end of the parade passed by. It was cold and very windy, and the crowd quickly began to dissipate. I approached a lady who appeared to be in her fifties and offered her a tract. I introduced myself and learned that her name was Debora. She had her granddaughter with her, a cute little eight-year-old named Erin. I was soon to learn that appearances can be very deceiving.
I began witnessing to Debora, who was very open to the Gospel, but “cute little Erin” kept interrupting with childish prattle. Finally, I looked at her with a smile and said, “Do you think you could be quiet for a few minutes while I tell your grandma how to go to Heaven?” At that moment, “cute little Erin” disappeared! As I continued witnessing to her grandma, Erin began saying things that I have never heard come from the mouth of a child. She walked around us saying over and over, “The Bible’s not true!” “Jesus is dead!” “God isn’t real!” “You just told a lie!” She even growled at me at one point. Each time she moved, I repositioned myself with my back to her and kept on witnessing. Debora wanted to listen but was absolutely powerless to control her granddaughter. I assured her that Erin’s behavior didn’t bother me and finished explaining the Gospel. In spite of the cold and her granddaughter’s bizarre behavior, Debora bowed her head in the middle of downtown Toledo and put her trust in Jesus Christ!
Yours for souls,