Sunday, December 8, 2019

Great Meetings in Michigan

Pastor Paul Madonna
We journeyed to Michigan for a meeting this past Wednesday at The Covenant Baptist Church in Sterling Heights, Michigan. This church has been led by Pastor Paul Madonna since 2000. He has been on the staff here at the church since 1975 working as an assistant to his father who was the founding pastor of the church. We enjoyed eating supper with the pastor at his house and having fellowship with him as well as another missionary family that was there. We had a get together to meet the church folks before the service and then had an opportunity to present our mission second that night in the service. Afterwards we got a chance to visit with many of the church members about Thailand and the great need there. It was a blessing!
Pastor Doug Rogers
On Thursday we ate lunch with Pastor Doug Rogers from Berean Baptist Church. We were staying with our good friend Brother Mike Cox who lives in the town of Adrian. While at lunch Pastor Rogers asked me to come and preach the school chapel the next morning. We love their church and had attended their missions conference last October. On Friday morning we went to school chapel and I preached a message from 2 Kings chapter 7. God seemed to bless the time and I think I was a help to the kids. Afterwards Brother Kevin Chase (Administrator) had us stand at the doorway and shake everyone's hands.
Preaching Chapel
On Friday at lunch time Brother Cox and his wife had an old friend of mine over for lunch. Pastor Kelly Daniel who is the pastor of Harvest Baptist Church in Grasslake. Harvest Baptist Church is one of our partnering churches since before Pastor Daniel was there. In fact Thursday evening we ate dinner with Brother Bobby Toiler and his wife at Brother Cox's house. Brother Toiler is the previous pastor and was there when we attended their missions conference back in 2018. Pastor Daniel and I went to Bible college together and have been friends ever since. In fact we were both ordained at the same time on July 4, 2001. It was good getting to visit with him and see how the church is going.
Pastor Kelly Daniel and my family
On Saturday morning I went to Harvest Baptist Church in Grasslake, Michigan to go soul winning with their church. My wife and daughters had been invited to attend the Winter Wonderland Ladies Conference at Metro Baptist Church in Bellville, Michigan on Friday night and Saturday. So I went out door knocking for about an hour and half and I met many people while out. One teen boy trusted Christ as his Saviour and said he and his mom were looking for a church. I didn't get to meet mom, but Pastor Daniel will follow up with them. I met several others that were interested in coming to church sometime also.
Pastor Russell Tharp
Saturday evening we traveled to Central Lake, Michigan for our Sunday meeting with Bible Baptist Church there. This church is led by Pastor Russell Tharp who has been the pastor here 12 years. His son Matthew is his assistant pastor and together they are doing a great job reaching their area for Christ.
Teaching Sunday School
On Sunday morning I taught the adults in the auditorium. Then during the morning service I gave some testimony about the need in Thailand. There were some great special music by the choir and by the pastor's daughters. Pastor Tharp then preached a great message out of Luke chapter 7. In the evening there was a short piano recital by some of the kids. Then I was able to present my mission in the evening service and preach the evening message. The folks seemed to enjoy it and hearts seem stirred. The pastor also announced that the church has decided to partner with us. This is a tremendous blessing. On Monday we will be heading to Ohio for a meeting.
Choir Special


Tuesday, November 26, 2019

'Tell Me the Story of Jesus' in Richmond, Kentucky

Pastor John Doss
On Friday we started a new conference at Faith Baptist Church in Richmond, Kentucky. The church has been led by Pastor John Doss for the last five years and they are currently in the process of trying to build a new building. They have already purchased new property, Praise God. The theme for the conference was "Tell Me the Story of the Jesus."
Choir Special
There were four missionaries total there... myself, Missionary Jon Beil (Thailand), Esteban Marquez (Mexico), and Evangelist Rod Black. I was excited to see Jon Beil and get a chance to visit with him about Thailand. It is not very often that I get to be in another conference with a missionary going to the same country. On Friday night Brother Beil presented and Bro. Marquez preached the service. There was good special music tonight as well as at every service throughout the conference.
Bro. Kevin Holman
On Saturday morning we went to a breakfast at the church and then there was a bus ministry and soul winning meeting followed. After the meeting we went out soul winning. I was partnered with Brother Kevin Holman and two boys. Brother Holman is an old friend of mine from Texas. It was good to see him again this weekend. We knocked doors for several hours and I was able to go with the pastor's son Christian. Christian was a good partner and did a good job helping me out as we went. We were able to sit down and give the Gospel to several people, two of which made a decision to trust Christ as their Saviour. Praise the Lord! I pray for some of the others to make a decision for Christ one day.
Christian my soul winning partner
On Saturday evening there was a Thanksgiving dinner at the church before the evening service. I presented that evening and Brother Beil preached the service. Before I presented my daughters sang a special. It was a blessing to share our burden with the folks and help them realize the great need in Thailand.
My girls singing special
On Sunday morning I taught the high school class. Brother Gene Holmes is the teacher of that class. It was an honor to teach his class. Brother Holmes goes all the way back to Dr. Ford Porter in Indiana (one of his mentors) and has started many churches in his life including Clay Mills Road Baptist Church that is currently led by Dr. Jeff Fugate and home to Commonwealth Baptist College. (Dr. Ford Porter wrote the famous tract called "God's Simple Plan of Salvation.")
Bro. Gene Holmes
After the Sunday school hour Evangelist Rod Black presented his ministry. Then I preached the morning message. Many seemed stirred as people came forward at the invitation time. After the invitation there was a Thanksgiving dinner for those who road on the buses. Sunday evening Bro. Marquez presented his field and then Evangelist Rod Black preached a great message on holding the rope. It was a blessing and hearts seemed stirred again. Great way to finish out the conference. On Monday we headed home for a week for Thanksgiving and then we will hit the road again to Michigan. Please pray for good weather for us to travel in after the holiday is over.
Preaching Sunday Morning

Friday, November 22, 2019

Another Meeting in Alabama After All

After my last post about the missions conference in Athens, Alabama I said I was heading to Kentucky for my next meeting. Well, my next meeting wasn't until Friday so I was just heading to Kentucky to find a church to drop into Wednesday night. In fact I had actually been calling people as late as last Saturday to try to get a meeting somewhere for Wednesday night, but was turned down or no response. I prayed about it and left it in the Lord's hands. 
Pastor Logan (left) and Bro. Gibson (middle)
On Monday I decided to stay in Athens one extra day before heading to Kentucky. On Monday evening we stopped into the Publix store there in Athens to pick up a few items and while we were in the store a man came up to us and asked what church we go to? I told him we go to a lot of different churches.... he smiled and said are you missionaries? I told him yes, we were missionaries to Thailand. He introduced himself as Brother Mike Gibson the assistant pastor at Sweet Springs Baptist Church in Ardmore, Alabama. We visited for a while and he asked me if I had ever contacted their church. I told him that I thought I had talked to Pastor Brent Logan last year and he told me that he would file my information and look it over later. Then I told Brother Gibson that maybe I should drop into your church Wednesday night because I don't have a meeting. Brother Gibson told me they already have a missionary scheduled to come in. So, I figured there wouldn't be much point in me dropping in. I gave him a prayer card and we chatted some, then when we separated he told me that he would take my card to Pastor Logan and maybe he would have us in sometime later.
Pastor Brent Logan
On Tuesday we headed toward Kentucky and in the afternoon I got a call from Brother Gibson telling me that Pastor Logan wanted us to come and present the work Wednesday evening. We came back and did so. It was a blessing to be with the church and well worth returning for the privilege. Pastor Brent Logan has been the pastor here for three years and before that he started a church in South Carolina and was a missionary in Romania and Greece. The church is very missions minded and stands strong on the King James Bible. They actually had two other missionaries there that night, but the other two are already supported by the church, and they were just reporting. The pastor and his assistant felt this was of God running into me at the store like that and I believe it was too. In fact Brother Gibson said he doesn't ever shop at Publix, he was just there to get a Turkey.... It also shows that dressing like a Christian pays off in many ways, because that is why Brother Gibson stopped us. When you don't look like the rest of the world, people notice! We will be with Faith Baptist Church in Richmond, Kentucky tonight for the start of their missions conference. 

Monday, November 18, 2019

'Joy in Serving Jesus' in Athens, Alabama

Pastor CW Kennedy
This past Friday evening the missions conference started at Madison Street Baptist Church in Athens, Alabama. Pastor CW Kennedy has been leading this church for the past three years. The theme for the conference was "Joy in Serving Jesus". There were four missionaries present for this conference and they kicked off Friday evening with a meal and then had a missionary presentation before Pastor Kennedy preached the opening message.
Missionaries with Pastor's family
On Saturday morning two bus loads of soul winners headed out to hit the street after a short meeting. My two daughters split up and went with the pastor's daughters. I got to go with my favorite partner, my wife! As we knocked we met a man named James who invited us in. He was already saved (actually attends another Baptist church in the area), but extremely heart broken about having lost his wife recently to cancer. We spent about ten minutes visiting with him and I prayed for him to have comfort of heart. He thanked me for taking the time away from our soul winning to talk with him. We continued on and eventually met a man named Cosby who invited us inside his house as well. He attended a church in the area, but was unsure about his eternity. He allowed me to present the Gospel to him and then bowed his head and asked Christ to save him. Praise the Lord.
Mrs. Painter getting info for potential bus rider
On Saturday evening we had two services with an international dinner squeezed in the middle. In the first service we had a missionary presentation and then he preached. Then the dinner followed by another missionary presentation and more preaching. It was two great messages by Brother Chris Lanier (Mexico) and Brother Brandon Murdock (Germany). God really seemed to bless the entire evening! 
Preaching Sunday morning
On Sunday morning I presented my ministry to the adults and teens in the auditorium. After showing my video I gave my testimony going all the way back to how I got right with God when I was a deputy sheriff and surrendered to the ministry; later becoming a pastor and then a eventually a missionary. Hearts seemed stirred as many came up to me after the Sunday hour and told me that it touched their hearts. I then preached the morning service and turned the invitation over to the pastor. 
Choir singing
On Sunday evening there was several more good music specials. We had seen good music throughout the day and the conference. Then we had the final message preached by Missionary Mike Williams. He preached an excellent message on giving and how it is intended to work. Hearts were definitely stirred as many came forward at the invitation time.
Pastor's daughters singing a special
After the invitation time closed out they collected the Faith Promise commitment cards. The pastor told us that they would like to take on all the missionaries and we should know in about four weeks or so. We will be traveling back to Kentucky for our next meetings this week. We also bought our airline tickets this week for our departure. We are flying out on January 27th! We are excited but still in need of getting the rest of our support. I know many that we presented to earlier this year told us that they decide at the end of the year which missionaries they will be able to support. We are hopeful that this works out for us along with some of the meetings we have left. It is not necessarily that easy to get the timing down. We have preparations that have to be made in order to move to the other side of the world along with trying to get this ready and then coordinate this with having our support raised as well. Please pray for us about this and of course for traveling safety. We are getting to the time of year when weather can become difficult at times. May the Lord richly bless y'all and thank you for your prayers.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Great Meeting in Mt. Vernon, Kentucky

Pastor Mark Eaton
We traveled to Mt. Vernon, Kentucky to be with Central Baptist Church. This church has been led by Pastor Mark Eaton since 2006. On Saturday we went out soul winning in the morning time. We actually knocked doors in a nearby town called Brodhead that was about 15 minutes from the church. My wife went with one of my daughters and I took the other one with me. The very first door I knocked on I met a man named Lewis who was very friendly. After some friendly conversation I asked him if he knew he would go to Heaven when his life here on earth was over. He told me he definitely did not. He allowed me to take my New Testament and show him the map to Heaven from God's Word. When I finished, I asked him if he would like to trust Christ as His Saviour, he bowed his head and asked Christ to save him. He told me that he had something else he had to do the next day, but definitely wanted to come the following Sunday. When I told the pastor about him, the pastor told me that he knew him and had taken him through the plan of salvation before, but the man didn't want to ask Christ to save him at that time. One plants, another waters, eventually the harvest will come...
Lewis after trusting Christ
My wife took a lady through the plan of salvation, but she didn't want to trust Christ as her Saviour. Then I met a different lady later in the morning and she allowed me to present the plan of salvation. She was from a Church of Christ background but had been out of church for many years. I spent a lot of time teaching her against good works for salvation and baptismal regeneration. She also bowed her head and trust Christ as her Saviour. Praise the Lord!
Pastor Eaton playing instrument
On Sunday I taught the auditorium class and it went well. During the morning service the pastor had me give testimony. After some special music he preached a very good morning message on being thankful. He was going to be heading on a missions trip to Mexico the next day, so he was getting some Thanksgiving preaching in... pray for him and Brother Allen Johnson a missionary from their church who was taking the trip with him. They have a Bearing Precious Seed Ministry out of their church and the Lord is using them to help get scriptures to different parts of the world.
Special by the young people
On Sunday night the pastor had me present our mission and video. Then after the verse memorization time and the special music by the young people. I preached the evening message. The pastor told me after the service that he liked my message and that they would add me to a list to be supported in the future. Please pray for us as we journey to our next meeting.
Preaching the evening service

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Heading East

Pastor Ron Hon
This past weekend we began our journey eastward by going to Lighthouse Baptist Church in Marion, Indiana. Pastor Ron Hon has been the pastor there since 1997 and his church has been a solid light to this city for many years. He has a lot of great families at his church as well as many of his adult children there serving faithfully!
Preaching Sunday morning
On Sunday morning I taught the pastor's Sunday school class and then preached the morning service. The last ten minutes of Sunday school I gave my testimony about how I got right with God as a backsliden law enforcement officer and called into the ministry. This is a testimony that I don't actually give that often because my testimony usually starts with me being a pastor and then becoming a missionary. Several commented that my testimony was powerful to them and had a positive influence on them. I am thankful that the Lord can use something from my past and use for His glory! I also preached the Sunday evening message and at each invitation hearts seemed to be stirred. Praise God for Pastor Hon and his church! Also, pray for them as they move forward with some building projects.
Evangelist Craig Bryan
We then traveled to North Carolina where we would have a meeting Wednesday night. On Monday we went to West Park Baptist Church and stayed in their prophets chamber for several days. This church is one of our partners and Pastor Billy Sechrist has become a good friend over the past year. In fact while we were here in the area we got to visit with many friends and partners. One of these friends is Evangelist Craig Bryan who is a great soul winning evangelist. He always hands out smiley face tracts everywhere he goes and wins many people to Christ in the meetings he has. I thank the Lord for friends like these and the others in the area that didn't get mentioned but they are good friends too!  
Pastor Stephen Pope
On Wednesday night we drove to a meeting we had scheduled with Calvary Baptist Church in Union Grove. This church has been led by Pastor Stephen Pope for 28 years and is a tremendous church. We had dropped in last January for a service and got this meeting scheduled. We enjoyed it the first time we were there and were very excited to go back. Pastor Pope and his church are solid. They are busting at the seems and are building a new building across the road that will be an incredible building. I believe their church will explode once they move in as they are actually losing visitors that come because there is no room to get any more people into their old building.
Pastor Pope during announcements
Before the service we went out for the churches soul winning time by knocking some doors up the road. All the people we met said they were saved already and knew the church already. A good testimony to the pastor and the church's outreach influence. Then in the service I presented our mission and then preached the evening message. It was a good crowd to preach to as the amen's were often prevalent!
Preaching the evening message
After the service there was a fellowship in the new fellowship hall. While over there the pastor showed us the new building. It is going to be a fantastic building. We are excited for them as they are getting closer all the time to opening it up. We are heading to Kentucky next. As always, please pray for our safety. May the Lord richly bless y'all.  

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Missions 'the Heartbeat' of God

Pastor Delbert Davis
This past weekend the missions conference at Talking Rock Road Baptist Church of Branson West, Missouri started. The theme for the conference was "Missions 'the Heartbeat' of God." This church has been led by Pastor Delbert Davis for the past twenty two years. He is doing a fantastic job and the church has a great spirit among the people for missions.
Teaching Sunday School
On Sunday morning I taught Pastor Davis's Sunday school class which is called the Ambassadors Class. I taught a lesson out of Ecclesiastes chapter eleven on how to set sail with missions. God seemed to bless the lesson as several said they really appreciated it. During the morning service the pastor had all the missionaries come up and introduce themselves. Then one of the missionaries that the church already supports preached the morning message.
Central America Night
Starting on Sunday evening there would be a internationally themed meal each night of the conference put on by a different Sunday school department. The missionaries would do the judging of each group based on not only food, but the decorating and the dress of those serving. Every group did a great job of trying to emulate the area of the world that they were representing.
Being trained on the cutter
On Monday morning we went to work in the Seedline Ministry of the church. It is run by Brother Miles Wallis and they are producing a lot of Scriptures. In fact not too long ago they produced a bunch of Thai John and Romans that went to B.E.S.T. missions which is run by Dr. Bob Bowen and Bro. Curtis Hall which means they would eventually end up in the hands of someone like me in Thailand to hand out. We worked on French on Monday morning and Tamil on Tuesday morning. (Tamil is an ancient language still used in some places in India dating all the way back to the days of "doubting" Thomas the disciple.)
My wife and daughter working the stitcher machine
On Monday evening I presented my work by giving testimony and showing my video. I then preached the evening message. God blessed as many came up to me after the service and told me how much they appreciated the message and the truth that was given from the Bible. 
Preaching Monday night
Other presentations were given on the other nights by different missionaries. We enjoyed seeing the other fields and hearing the messages as well as the many different music specials. My daughters even sang a special on Tuesday night. 
Church kids singing a special
On Wednesday evening there was a special service taking place. They run a couple of their bus routes and had all the Sunday school classes come up and represent the different countries where some of their missionaries are at. They did a fantastic job! Since we were to be judges of who does the best, it was a difficult choice.
A class representing Africa
My daughters also sang a special for the second night in a row on Wednesday evening. I use to not have my daughters sing at churches but then I realized a few months back that it was robbing the churches of a blessing and them of an opportunity to serve our Saviour. Another interesting story is that we ran into the Player family here, I forgot to get a picture, but it was good to see them. When I was a deputy sheriff in Northeast Nebraska we use to attend the same church. It is amazing what a small world it truly is. Also, it is amazing that Brother Looper our assistant pastor at my home church use to serve as an intern here at the church. It is a small world!
Daughters singing special
Please pray for us as we are journeying back east for a series of meetings to try to finish up the majority of our deputation. (We do have two meetings for the very beginning of December.) Please pray for safe traveling and for us to get the rest of the partnerships that we need.