In Psalm 68:9, David made the statement: “Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary.” That is a perfect description of how we have felt over the last several months of our deputation. Though hardly comparable to David’s trials, the deputation trail certainly does get wearisome from time to time. Since our last prayer letter, we have been in Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, and Rhode Island. While David certainly had his difficulties, I don’t think he had a five-year- old and a three-year-old in the back seat asking how much longer till the next cave. In all seriousness, we have had our times of weariness along the way, but God has continually amazed us with His “plentiful rain.” Time and time again, He has confirmed that He is with us and that we are following His plan, not ours. I wish that I had time to tell you all the stories of His provision and protection, but for sake of space, we’ll just have to stick with the highlights.
God has really blessed our support over the last couple of months. Between May and June, six new churches have taken us on for support, and one of our long-supporting churches significantly increased their monthly support amount. We are now receiving nearly 56% of our needed monthly support, with another 6% promised over the next few months! Praise God! We are hoping and praying to be back on the field by March of next year. I know that God’s timing is perfect, so I’m just hoping that His timing will match my timing in this particular situation.
Some Things Tick Me Off!
I would like to thank those of you who faithfully pray for our health and safety as we travel. I can testify that your prayers truly make a difference. In late May while staying at a pastor’s home near Albany, New York, I decided to take my two children for a walk in the woods. During our trek, I was violently attacked by a bloodthirsty tick! In an attempt to be like the Apostle Paul, I tried to shake him off, but to no avail. He had to be removed with tweezers. About 2½ weeks later, my lack of apostolic characteristics was further exposed when it became obvious that the nasty little creature had infected me with Lyme disease. We caught it early, and I was able to immediately begin taking an antibiotic. Two weeks later, it appears that I have fully recovered with no long-term effects. Praise the Lord!
Please continue to be in prayer for Ruth over the next couple of months. She is now seven months pregnant and due to give birth to our third child in late August. Please pray that God would give her strength as we travel. She has a great spirit, but all the travel can be very strenuous. Thank you for your faithful prayers and support. I know that your prayers have a major part in God’s obvious hand of blessing on our lives.
Several months ago, we published my first (and only) book, Soul Winning Still Works. I wrote the book with two goals in mind. First, I wanted to encourage soul winners. Second, I am trying to raise some money to help with our airfare when we return to the Philippines. God has really blessed our sales, and many have made donations specifically to help with our airfare. In just over four months, God has allowed us to raise over $2,500! Praise the Lord!
Dividends on Your Investment
The first verb in the Great Commission is “Go.” I am a strong believer in keeping the “Go” in the Gospel. However, some of my most exciting soul-winning experiences have come outside of my scheduled soul-winning times. It never ceases to amaze me when God brings a person to me who is just waiting for someone to offer to give him the Gospel.
It was the evening of Tuesday, May 17. I had just finished preaching an intense message from Proverbs entitled, “If Thou Forbear.” It was the final night of the annual missions conference at Highpoint Independent Baptist Church in Elkridge, Maryland. It had been a wonderful conference, but I was exhausted. On our way home from the service, we stopped to get some gasoline. As I pumped the gas, a vehicle pulled up at the pump behind us. A lady got out and began pumping her fuel. As soon as I saw her, the Holy Spirit began convicting me about the message I had just preached. I felt like the Holy Spirit was saying, “You just preached about passing out tracts. Are you going to give that lady a tract?” I immediately began making excuses why I couldn’t or shouldn’t approach her. “It’s dark, Lord; she’ll probably freak out if I walk up to her. Besides, she doesn’t look happy at all. She’s not going to accept a tract.” After a minute or two of arguing with the Lord, I gave up, walked over to her vehicle, and offered her a tract. She looked slightly surprised but was more than willing to take the tract. I told her, “There are some Bible verses in there that will tell you how you can know for sure that you’re on your way to Heaven. You’d like to know that, wouldn’t you?” She replied, “Yes, I would.” Her name was Brittany, and a few minutes later, I had the privilege of leading her to Christ right next to her vehicle under the gas- station shelter at 10:00 at night! Our God is awesome!
I met Nate on Sunday afternoon, May 22. That weekend we were staying at a missions house owned by a wonderful church in Eden, New York. When we arrived back at the missions house after the morning service, Nate, who was only 11 years old, pulled up behind my van on a four wheeler, pulled off his helmet, and said, “Hi!” I was startled and asked him if his parents would mind him talking to strangers. He said, “No, you’re not one of those weird strangers, trying to give me candy or something.” A few minutes later, I gave him something a lot better than candy. After about 20 minutes, Nate bowed his head and put his trust in Jesus Christ! The next day I saw Nate again and jokingly asked him if he was still saved. He said, “Of course! God gave me eternal life!”
Yours for souls,