“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11 & 12)
We are nearing the end of the third month of this five-month furlough. God has used this busy, on-the-road schedule to greatly bless and encourage our hearts. We have had wonderful reunions with dear college friends who are still joyfully serving the Lord in the ministry, and we have met new friends who are excited about partnering with us and our ministry on the field.
In the month of September, we were in a new church in Louisiana. From there, we traveled to Mississippi to be with our supporting church, Open Door Baptist Church. It was wonderful to see the Moores still serving faithfully after decades in the ministry. We then headed to Kentucky, where we were with Pastor and Mrs. Steve Frost at Shawnee Baptist Church in Louisville for their Missions Conference.
After Kentucky, we drove to Arkansas to be with Pastor Danny Allen and Ambassador Baptist Church for their Missions Conference. Pastor Allen has been a dear friend of our family since he first came to visit our ministry in 2015. God used him to greatly uplift our children when they were going through a particularly difficult time. It was exciting to be a part of their services and to see how God has used the Allens for many years to minister to their church family.
From Kentucky, we headed to North Carolina. I had the privilege of reporting to Pastor Jason Watford and Spring Creek Baptist Church and also update our faithful supporters of Fellowship Baptist Church in Durham, North Carolina. We also presented our ministry to several new churches. During that time, we were able to stay with my brother Stephen and his family. They have a pulpit-filling ministry, which takes them to many churches in the state of North Carolina. Our time with them was joyful and refreshing!
In October, we drove from North Carolina to Evansville, Indiana, to be at Faithway Baptist Church with Pastor and Mrs. Stephen Russ for their Missions Conference. God used Faithway Baptist and the Russ family to uplift our hearts! Missy and I enjoyed going soul winning that Saturday morning with another couple in the church. We found many open and hurting hearts as we knocked doors in a neighborhood near the church campus. The following Monday, we traveled back down South to be with my sister and brother-in-law during their time of loss. Thank you to many of our friends who helped them in their time of need.
We were then reunited with our dear children in Omaha, Nebraska. We were thankful for the time they were able to spend with their grandparents. We had the honor of attending the 40th Annual Missions Conference of our home church, Midwestern Baptist Church. This year they had all veteran missionaries to report and show the faithful givers the fruit that abounds to their account in each of their fields. Of the five missionary families there, over 100 years of mission work were represented. It was incredible to hear how God has blessed each of the other couples’ ministries through their years of faithfulness. God used Dr. Darrell Moore to challenge us and those who were at the conference to do more for God.
After Midwestern’s conference, we flew to California to be with Pastor and Mrs. Trieber at North Valley Baptist Church for their Missions Conference. Our missionary heroes, Bro. and Mrs. Rick Martin were there, as well as five other missionary families. God stirred and convicted our hearts at every service as Bro. Martin preached about missions and faithfulness to God’s calling. Missy and I felt greatly loved and recharged after our time with Pastor and Mrs. Trieber and their amazing staff and church folks! Mark and Lauren had the opportunity to attend a couple of college classes on the days we were there, and that was a highlight for both of them. We are grateful for the strong stand that Pastor Trieber takes and for his unwavering faithfulness to follow the Word of God as he leads the different ministries at NVBC. We experienced revival in our hearts after their conference, and we made lifelong friends as well.
We will end October in Fremont, Nebraska, and then it is on to New Jersey. We have conferences and church services that fill each Wednesday and Sunday for the month of November until Thanksgiving Day.
We thank the Lord for His hand of provision and protection as we have traveled many thousands of miles. We have had five new churches commit to take us on for support. What a blessing!
When I think on this furlough so far, Ephesians 4:12 comes to mind: “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” God has used several pastors, missionaries, and church members to edify and encourage our family. We trust God is using our family to do the same!
The ministry in Thailand is thriving through an incredible Fall Program and the laboring of God’s choice servants, Team Thailand. It has been wonderful to see the pictures each week of new faces and hear of our faithful members getting involved each week. The team and church members alike have worked with great unity and diligence to make each Sunday effective for the cause of the Gospel. This past Sunday was the last day of the program, and each church had over 250 in attendance, with dozens of visitors, salvations, and baptisms. We look forward to returning in January!
May God bless you as you continue to serve Him. Thank you for your faithful prayers and support.