In Ezekiel 34:26, the prophet makes the wonderful statement, “There shall be showers of blessing.” I will never cease to be amazed how God’s blessings seem to come in clusters or, as this verse says, in “showers.” However, to be perfectly honest, I would have to say that over the last couple of months, there have been times that God’s amazing blessings on our family and deputation have felt more like a torrential downpour during typhoon season in the Philippines than a gentle shower. We have been absolutely overwhelmed by God’s goodness. I wish that I could tell you everything that He has done since our last prayer letter; but, as usual, I’ll just stick to the highlights.
In July we had the privilege of attending the Candidate School at FBMI, our missions agency. Bro. Bosje and his team did a tremendous job, and we left Candidate School very encouraged and ready to tackle the deputation trail once again. In July and August, God blessed us with many wonderful meetings and allowed us to be a part of two great missions conferences. Our schedule is filling up, and our support continues to climb; between promised and actual support, we are now nearing the 70% mark! We would like to say a special thank you to Pastor James McKinnies and the Willis Baptist Church for inviting us to be a part of their annual Missionary Christmas. We were absolutely overwhelmed by their incredible outpouring of love and generosity on our family.
Of course, though most of you already know, I should mention our greatest blessing of the last two months: Andrew James (AJ) Morrissey, our third child, was born on August 12 at 6:01 p.m. Thank you for your prayers. He and Ruth are both doing very well, and, though I certainly don’t know God’s will for his life, I think that I can safely say that AJ, much to his mother’s chagrin, has acquired his father’s preacher lungs.
Soul-Winning Blessings – Dividends on Your Investment
In the last two months, God has blessed my personal soul winning in a way that I have never before experienced, and I can’t wait to tell you about it. It all started on a Tuesday morning in downtown Toledo, Ohio. I was taking care of some errands when I met a young man by the name of Malik. Malik was 20 years old and stood six feet five inches tall. When I met him, he was obviously going somewhere important. He was walking briskly, but he stopped to take the tract that I offered him. He seemed very open to the Gospel, but he told me that he was going to a job interview on the other side of town. Recognizing his obvious interest, I offered him a deal: if he would allow me to share with him what the Bible says about going to Heaven, I would give him a ride to his interview after we finished. He eagerly accepted my offer, and we stepped under the shade of a tree where I began witnessing to him. For whatever reason, Malik had two or three different cell phones in his bag that day, and every three to four minutes, one of those dumb cell phones would start beeping or buzzing. After the fifth or sixth interruption, I grinned at him and said, “I don’t think the Devil wants you to hear this.” Malik looked back at me, and, as serious as could be, he said, “Well, I want to hear it!” Over the next half hour, he heard it, and Malik got saved that day!
The following Saturday, I went to visit Malik at his home. I had purchased a Bible for him, and I was hoping to meet his mother. When my wife and I arrived at Malik’s home, he wasn’t there, but eventually his mother Tia came outside to talk to us. She was very kind and thanked us, with tears in her eyes, for trying to help her son. I gave her the Bible for Malik and asked her if she was sure that she was on her way to Heaven. She replied that she was very sure, but upon closer investigation, I quickly discovered that Tia was trusting her good works and, more specifically, in her sincere efforts to do right. Though she already believed that Jesus had died to pay for her sins, she had been taught that she still needed to do something to show her sincerity in order to be saved. Her exact words to me were, “It depends on you.” Over the next hour, I very carefully and gently showed Tia the truth that we are saved by grace, through faith, not of works. Towards the end of my Gospel presentation, in an effort to show Tia that she had been trusting in herself, I used the railing behind me to illustrate what it means to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.” I stood next to the railing to illustrate those who believe they are going to Heaven strictly because of their good works. I then placed my hand on the railing to illustrate those who believe that Jesus died to save them but still think that their salvation depends at least partially on them. I then sat down on the railing to illustrate those who choose to put their complete faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work on Calvary. As I finished giving this simple illustration, Tia began to weep. I waited for her to compose herself; then I looked at her and said, “Tia, if I can be blunt, when I met you an hour or so ago, you were in group number two.” With tears running down her face, Tia looked at me and said, “It’s true. It’s true! I have been in group number two, but today, I’m changing to group number three!” The following day I picked Tia up for church, and at the invitation, Tia walked the aisle and was baptized. The following Sunday, Malik came to church with Tia and brought his 18-year-old brother Andrell with him. That morning I was out of town, so my dad walked down the aisle with Malik, and he got baptized. The following Sunday, Tia, Malik, and Andrell all came back to church, and they brought a friend named Darryl. After the service Andrell and Darryl both got saved. That night Darryl came back to church and got baptized. The following Sunday morning, Andrell got baptized! All I can say is OUR GOD IS AWESOME! I love it when God’s blessings come in showers! Thank you for your faithful prayers. Please don’t stop!
Yours for souls,