Thursday, December 13, 2018

Reunion with Old Friends in Georgia

Pastor Landers
This past weekend we were reunited with some old friends in Whitesburg, Georgia. We visited the Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Whitesburg. It is led by Pastor Dexter Landers. He is an old friend that I attended Texas Baptist College with in Longview, Texas. He is doing a wonderful job leading this church. I also was excited to see his parents Brother Dexter and Kathy Landers who had us over to their house for a meal on Saturday night. We were next door neighbors when we lived in Longview, so it was good to see them and fellowship with them. The Landers work on staff for their son. His dad is an assistant pastor and his mom works in their Christian school.
Brother Dexter Landers Sr.
Mrs. Kathy Landers
We started out on Saturday with me preaching the soul winning meeting. I taught on being a productive soul winner. Then we went out soul winning. It was pouring rain all day as Winter Storm Diego was heading across the area. Fortunately it was warm enough to all be rain where we were at. Although, it was a very cold rain. We had a great time out door knocking, talking to many people along the way. Our group didn't see anyone trust Christ, but we did our part by warning folks and we invited many to attend church. 

Pastor's wife soul winning with my family

Pastor Landers and two of his boys
On Sunday morning we had a great time meeting many of the church folks. They have about four different adult classes. We attended the pastor's class. Then we went to the morning service and enjoyed the special music. The pastor's son Ryan was leading the music and did an absolutely fantastic job. He is only 15 years old and carries himself very well. One of the specials we listened to was the Sunshine class sing a Christmas song. The pastor's dad teaches this class and they did a great job getting up to sing. Then Pastor Landers preached a wonderful message about growing your faith.

Choir singing special

Sunshine Class
Pastor Landers preaching
Then on Sunday night I preached to the teenagers. It is a great group of kids that have a great spirit about them. Many of these kids will grow up to do some great things for God. In fact in the evening service the teens had an ugly sweater contest. The winner was a kid named Luke who was wearing a Hillary Clinton sweater. No contest there! Then during the service they showed my video and I gave testimony about our mission. After that the pastor preached another message on growing faith. It was a great service and we had an absolutely fantastic time. God is blessing this church. Pray for them as they are seeking to build a fourth building on their property... a new auditorium. 

Ryan Landers in festive apparel Sunday night

Friday, December 7, 2018

Great Time in Athens, Alabama

Pastor Kennedy
This week we hit the road again and rolled into Athens, Alabama on Wednesday. Our meeting was at the Madison Street Baptist Church. It is led by Pastor C.W. Kennedy who has been the pastor here for a little over two years. We presented our ministry on Wednesday night and I preached the evening message. We enjoyed spending time getting to know some of the people afterwards. Pastor Kennedy is doing a great job leading the church and they recently finished remodeling their auditorium. It is absolutely beautiful!

Out door knocking on Thursday
On Thursday morning I went our door knocking and visiting with Pastor Kennedy. We were out for several hours and I really enjoyed my time with him. It is always fun to do the Lord's work and fellowship at the same time. While we were out Pastor Kennedy led an older lady to Christ who is going to come to church with him on Sunday. Praise the Lord!

Missionary Stan Kiefer and his wife took us out to lunch and we enjoyed spending time visiting with them about Southeast Asia. Brother Kiefer will be heading back to the Philippines in January. Then we ate dinner at some friends house in the area. The Snider family who go to Madison Baptist Church in Madison, Alabama. We stayed with them during the missions conference last June at their church. They are a wonderful family and we appreciated their hospitality for the evening.

At the Snider's house
This weekend before we left for Alabama we were out visiting on the Karen bus route and following up on contacts. We had signed up several new bus riders and had arranged to pick a couple of adult ladies on Sunday morning. One of the ladies my wife had met out door knocking on Thursday night. Her name is Tin Win, she used to be Buddhist, but told my wife she recently became a Christian by getting baptized. My wife was able to sit down with her and explain the Gospel to her, explaining to her that baptism doesn't save anyone. Tin Win bowed her head and trusted Christ as her Saviour, she began to cry and gave my wife a hug, continually thanking her when she left. God is good. The other lady that came is Kler Say, she is already saved, but wants her husband to be saved. Please pray for him, he told me he would come to church but then did not. I will be home the last several weeks of December and will try to get him to visit church and talk to him more about Christ. Both ladies are starting to go through "Grow in Grace" booklets, please pray for their continual growth. Also, pray for us as we travel to Georgia for the weekend! 

Tin Win and Kler Say on Sunday

Monday, November 26, 2018

Great Thanksgiving in Independence and Lincoln

Pastor Darren Tharp and his wife
Last Tuesday we travelled from Texas to New Hope Baptist Church in Independence, Missouri for their special Thanksgiving service that evening. This church has been led by Pastor Darren Tharp for the last seven years. The church seems to be in excellent shape as the pastor took it over under difficult circumstances, but has led it with a steady hand. The spirit of his people was excellent and he has several capable assistants helping him.

Great crowd for the service
They had a Thanksgiving meal with the church family and then a service to follow. There was a great crowd in attendance. During the service the pastor had me give testimony and show our video. Then he had me preach the evening message. I preached from Romans chapter one and the Lord seemed to bless the service. At the invitation time there were two who came forward and got saved. God blessed the entire evening and we were blessed to be in attendance.

Pastor Tharp at the invitation time
On Wednesday we travelled to Lincoln, Nebraska to be with our family over the holiday. They were having a special service for Thanksgiving on Wednesday night. It was good to be back in a service there and see many of our converts and church people. I enjoyed visiting with Brother Zawlatt, one of our church ushers. I led him to Christ and baptized him back in 2013. He just returned from a trip to Burma to visit his family, so we had much to visit about. 
Brother Zawlatt
The pastor had me get up and give a testimony about how our deputation is going. It was followed by many others giving testimonies as well. Brother Travis Miller gave testimony about how Bible college is going for him down at Heritage Baptist College in Lawrence, Kansas. He gave a great testimony. We are thankful for the great training he is receiving!

Brother Travis giving testimony
  The pastor's wife, Faith Painter, gave her salvation testimony too. (Our daughter-in-law.) It was a heart stirring testimony that had several in tears including my wife. Praise the Lord for His workings in her life. She also testified about having her kids raised in a Christian home and how important it is!

Mrs. Faith Painter giving testimony
The assistant pastor Brother Josh Looper gave his salvation testimony and gave testimony about our church. While he was speaking he asked me if I remembered him saying he was only going to be in this church 3 months and he was moving out West. I shook my head yes, as I remembered him saying that to me. Then he gave testimony about falling in love with our church and now he has been here for 6 years and is the assistant pastor at our church.
Brother Looper giving testimony
Mrs. Megan Miller also gave testimony about her salvation. She talked about how my wife knocked on her door and led her to Christ. She talked about how my wife had influenced her in helping reach others for Christ. Mrs. Miller is a Sunday teacher, Bus worker, Junior church worker, and a Deacon's wife. Her son is Travis Miller who now is in Bible college at Heritage Baptist College. Door knocking works folks! Most of these people in our church were reached through door knocking. The Miller's are a great example of a whole family getting saved through this practice!

Mrs. Miller giving testimony
We went out visiting on the Burmese refugee route on Saturday and I had a chance to knock on some doors and meet some new people. I was able to lead one Karen girl to Christ and signed her up to come on the bus route on Sunday. We were excited about a chance to reach into this household and try to get the whole family to come to church. Her name is Paw Say, please pray for her entire family to be reached. Unfortunately, a blizzard hit early Sunday morning and the bus didn't run. However, I will be here one more week before we head out to Alabama and Georgia for some meetings, so I will be following up on this Karen family personally next weekend. The Sunday services were very bare bones because of the blizzard. However, the spirit was good and we enjoyed the service anyway.

Ladies Quartet singing the special Sunday morning

Monday, November 19, 2018

"Light in the 10/40 Window" in Center, Texas

Pastor Danny Dodson
We just finished attending the 2018 Faith Promise Missions Conference at Central Baptist Church in Center, Texas. This church has been led for 32 years by Pastor Danny Dodson. This is a very solid church with a strong staff too. His song leader is Brother Eddy Grimes who has been there for 31 1/2 years. There is something to be said for longevity in a church ministry! The church is also very strong on missions which is always refreshing to find. As you tour their beautiful facilities you see the missions emphasis put on it at every corner!!! 

Brother Sneathern
The conference theme was "Light in the 10/40 Window." The main guest speaker was Missionary Elvis Sneathern from Mt. Pleasant, Arkansas. He is the former pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church there in Mt. Pleasant. He preached some great messages all throughout the conference. There were many other guest speakers that played a part in the conference as well. Men of God like Pastor Ken Graham of Victory Baptist Church in Benton, Arkansas; Pastor Rusty Silvertooth of Fundamental Baptist Church in Livingstone, Louisiana; and Pastor J.D. Weido of Bible Baptist Church in El Dorado, Arkansas among others. All of them preached great messages!

Pastor Weido
I was actually just in Pastor J.D. Weido's church the week before coming to this conference. It was a privilege to get a chance to be with him and I was excited at the message he preached on Saturday. He pulled out a picture of Pastor Wiley Bennett who was one of my best friends in this life. Brother Bennett passed away a number of years ago, but was formerly the pastor of Woodland Hills Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas. Brother Weido also pulled out a pair of Brother Bennetts shoes. He talked about what a great missions minded pastor Brother Bennett was and who was going to fill his shoes? It was a great message and he also used a great illustration with ten apples and how the tenth belongs to God and what over the tenth will you be willing to give to God... he then held up an apple core and asked if all we would give God would be the core? It was a great illustration and message.

Pastor Weido Preaching!
We were privilege to be hosted by Randy and Tammy Hagler. Miss Tammy is one of the bus captains at the church. After she heard about the ministry we had in Lincoln, Nebraska to the many Burmese refugees there she asked me if we would like to go visiting on her bus route with her on Saturday afternoon. She wanted to take us to visit a Burmese family that rode her bus last Sunday and then to knock some doors and see if we could get some new ones. (Their town has a community of Burmese refugees living in it too.) We were glad to go with her as we love to go visiting and soul winning. Plus, we especially love to talk to the wonderful Asian people that are from the part of the world we are going to as missionaries!

Tammy Hagler and the family that rode last week
While knocking some doors we ran across two girls from a Buddhist home walking in a parking lot. Their names are Nee Ler and Moo La, they were born in Thailand. Miss Tammy Hagler started talking to them, but asked my wife to take over when she learned they were Buddhist. My wife uses an illustration book that combines pictures with the Bible verses that is particularly helpful in dealing with Buddhist. It is not a simple booklet but a rather an in depth booklet with much detail and explanation. We often use this in Thailand with the verses of course in Thai, this booklet my wife used had the verses in English. These girls had been told about Jesus before, but were unsure about their eternity. My wife was able to thoroughly explain the Gospel to them from this booklet and they made a decision to bow their heads and ask Christ to be their Saviour. Praise God! They even wanted to go to church on the church bus, but unfortunately their parents said no, we are Buddhist. I had actually knocked on the door of their parents earlier in the afternoon and spoke to them about Christ. They would not except the Gospel because of their Buddhism... that is unfortunate. Please pray for God to work on their hearts so that this family can be changed forever through the power of God's Word! This is exactly what we are in this thing for... the souls of people.
Nee Ler and Moo La
The conference was jammed packed with preaching and singing. We enjoyed a lot of good music. On Sunday my wife taught one of the girls Sunday school classes and I also preached the junior church. It was great to see their workers in action as they do a great job with the kids. Brother Walters in particular did an excellent job at managing the junior church. You can tell that he puts a certain level of excitement into it that only a person who loves what they are doing could do! On Sunday night the church voted to take us on for support. We praise the Lord for another partner in the ministry!

Special music
Brother Walters in Junior Church
We are headed to Independence, Missouri to be with Pastor Darren Tharp and New Hope Baptist Church for their annual Thanksgiving service on Tuesday night. Pray for our safe travels and for us to be a blessing to these folks on Tuesday night. Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!       

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

From El Dorado, AR to Houston and San Antonio

Bro. Weido
Last Wednesday I was honored to visit the Bible Baptist Church of El Dorado, Arkansas. It is led by Pastor J.D. Weido. He was out of town preaching, but I was greeted and hosted by his son, Joe Weido. He and his wife, Stefanie, took us out for dinner before the service. We enjoyed the fellowship with them very much. At the church Bro. Lee Gilkey led the service and he had me give testimony and show my video before preaching the evening message. After the service everyone came to get prayer cards from our table and many visited with us about Thailand and the great need there for a long time. The people were a blessing and Pastor Weido is doing a great job reaching this area!

Bro. Gilkey
We then headed to Houston to be with Helmers Street Baptist Church. This church was originally start by Brother John Duckett 69 years ago. (I knew his grandson Brother Paul Duckett very well.) It is now led by Pastor Jacob Mendoza. We were supposed to go out soul winning with Pastor Mendoza on Saturday morning, but he called me on Friday to tell me he was sick and needed me to do a funeral for him on Saturday morning at his church. I was glad to be of service, so I preached the funeral on Saturday. It was little bit difficult because it was for a lost man whose wife was a Jehovah's Witness. The auditorium filled up with a lot of friends and family. I knew most of the crowd were Catholics and my message would not be popular. However, I preached a very strong and clear salvation message and four made decisions to trust Christ as their Saviour at the invitation time. I praise God for the four, but sadly, multiple dozens walked out of there as lost as they came in. 

Pastor Jacob Mendoza
  Pastor Mendoza has been the pastor here for four years and is building the church back up. On Sunday, I presented our ministry and then preached the morning service. God blessed as the people seemed excited about the work that needs to be done in Thailand.

Pastor Lee Ambros
On Sunday night I went to Iglesia Bautista Libertad in Langwood. It was originally started as an English church by a man named Brother Bryan King. This is the man who led Brother Lee Ambros to Christ 22 years ago. Now he has been the pastor for the last 5 years and the church has really become a Spanish church due to the predominate population of Spanish folks living around the church. They had a great crowd in the evening service and the people were very friendly toward our family. I presented our mission and preached the evening message while the pastor interpreted. During the invitation time the pastor had the church vote on taking us on immediately for support. Praise the Lord for a new partner in our mission to bring the Gospel to one of the darkest parts of the world! 

Preaching Sunday evening
On Monday we headed to San Antonio to Texas Baptist Church for a night of their missions conference. It is led by Pastor Keith Bell who is also the founding pastor of this great church. This church supported me for a year when I started the Lincoln Baptist Church in 2002, so I have known Brother Bell for a long time. 

Pastor Keith Bell
Pastor Bell and his wife along with other guest
Dr. Bob Bowen was the guest speaker for the conference. Brother Bowen has been a great influence in my life since 1998. This past year he has dealt with a lot of health issues for both himself and his wife. He had a major neck surgery last Spring, although, he did look the best that I have seen him look since that surgery. In fact he told me he was returning to Thailand in January. Brother Curtis Hall was also at this conference with B.E.S.T. ministries. I presented our ministry and then Brother Hall presented his ministry. Brother Bowen then preached a great message on the importance of the Word of God in this world! It was a great sermon and hearts were stirred.
Brother Bowen preaching
We will be heading to Center, Texas for the Faith Promise Missions conference at Central Baptist Church. We are excited because there will be a great emphasis on the 10/40 window. Thank you for your prayers and support.     

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Great Conference Out in the Hills of Parkersburg, WV

Bro. Steve Heindriech and Pastor Mike Lamb
My daughter Rachel had surgery on Tuesday morning and it went well, so my wife and I flew out to West Virginia on Wednesday to be with the Landmark Baptist Church in Parkersburg, WV for their missions conference. Pastor Mike Lamb has been the pastor there for 31 years. He has been a faithful man of God and God has really used him to build a great church. Dr. Steve Heindriech (former missionary to the Philippines) was the guest speaker for the conference and he preached fantastic messages each night. Even though he wasn't feeling his best, he gave a full effort each night! God really used him to stir hearts!

My soul winning partner Willy
On Thursday morning we went soul winning on the bus. The pastor dropped us off in different areas and came back to pick us up after about an hour and 45 minutes. I went with a young man in their church named Willy. We had a great time witnessing and and talking to many people. It was almost time to be done when a young lady walked by named Morgan. I invited her to church and talked to her for a few minutes. She told us she was going to be having a baby and has been thinking about God and church lately. She said that she wasn't raised in church, but she wanted to raise her child in church. Our conversation then turned to her eternal destination. She said she wanted to go to Heaven, but didn't know if she could make it or not. I then took time to show her God's map to Heaven from my New Testament and she bowed her head and trusted Christ as her Saviour! Praise God!

Brother John Corbitt
 After soul winning Brother Morgan Corbitt took my wife and I out to lunch. His parents joined us. His mom had been my wife's soul winning partner that morning and his dad was able to come from work. John Corbitt is a police officer in the city there and is also the song leader at the church. Praise God for good laymen who serve God and also serve their community as well. His son Morgan asked us to go out on his bus route on Saturday, so we did. I went with him visiting on Saturday and my wife went with Miss Jessica the bus captain. While out I met a man named Shawn who lives in Dayton, OH. He was just visiting at one of the bus kid houses and I had an opportunity to witness to him. He bowed his head and trusted Christ as his Saviour after I showed him God's map to Heaven. Praise God for another sinner coming to the Saviour!
Brother Morgan Corbitt
Saturday evening they had a international dinner. The food was fabulous and after we ate the missionaries gave their presentations. Seven presentations in a row really stirs hearts for the great need of this lost world! I was moved as I watched the other presentations. We have a job to do to get the Gospel to this world! I forgot to mention that my wife and I were staying with the pastor's parents Kent and Lavaun Lamb. We thank them for how generous they were while we stayed with them.

Kent and Lavaun Lamb
 On Sunday morning we road the bus and we had a chance to talk to the kids about Thailand. It was a great time and we really enjoyed meeting all the kids and the workers that work with them. They have four bus routes at this church and they do a fantastic job of reaching out their community. Pastor Lamb and the church have been reaching out to this community for many years. It has been effective at reaching them one by one in this community. My wife and I have been in some great churches across this nation and we were just as impressed with this church as any of them. Great spirit and attitude among the people, you can tell they really love the Lord. God is using this church! 

My wife on the bus
Almost everyone who was there on Sunday morning was back for Sunday night with the exception of the bus riders. In fact I even saw a few of them there Sunday night. I was amazed at how full the services were every evening. We enjoyed the missions emphasis that is in the church. As we travel one thing I find is the churches that seem to be greatly blessed the most are ones that have a strong missions program. Sunday evening service was a fantastic finish to the conference. Brother Heindriech preached his testimony and hearts were stirred. Pastor Lamb called the trio back up after the invitation to sing the special again, it was very heart stirring. He made a passionate plea for the Faith Promise commitments and then they baptized one person. It was a great finish to a great conference. We headed back to Lincoln on Monday and will be taking off for Arkansas to be there on Wednesday night and then to Texas by this weekend. Please pray for travelling mercies for us. We keep a busy pace but are looking forward to a week off around Thanksgiving to help us recharge for the road again!      

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Launching into the Deep in Lawrence, Kansas

Pastor Scott Hanks
We travelled on Wednesday from Marion, Iowa to Lawrence, Kansas to Heritage Baptist Church for their Faith Promise Missions Conference. Their theme was "Launch Out Into The Deep." Pastor Scott Hanks is the pastor of this wonderful church. They had seven different missionaries in for the conference and Dr. Bob Smith from the Trinity Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas was their guest speaker. Dr. Smith preached some great messages throughout the conference.
Dr. Bob Smith
Coming to Heritage Baptist Church was a little bit of a home coming for us. Not only had I been privileged enough to preach for Pastor Hanks from time to time over the years, but my son got married in this church. My daughter-in-law is Faith Painter, who use to be Faith Smith, her family attends this church. In fact her parents took us out to eat Friday night. It was great to spend some time visiting with them.
Bro. and Mrs. Kirkland Smith
We also had the privilege of seeing Travis Miller who is attending the Heritage Baptist College here at the church. Travis comes from Lincoln Baptist Church where I use to be the pastor. Interestingly enough my wife led his mom to Christ out soul winning on a Thursday night in 2009. She had an Episcopal background. Then I was able to later lead here husband to Christ who had a Catholic background. I was also able to lead Travis to Christ that year. The whole family got baptized at our church and became faithful. Now his dad is a deacon in our church and his mom is a Sunday school teacher and faithfully runs our African bus route in our home church. Now here is Travis at Bible college training for the ministry. God is a great God!

Travis Miller
While here I also was able to have an old reunion with Brother Shawn Ham. Brother Ham and I went to church together as little kids at a church in Lincoln, Nebraska. He is a friend and good brother in Christ. Back when he lived in Nebraska we would sometimes go and win souls together. It is great to see him and his family faithfully serving in this great church!

Brother Shawn Ham
On Thursday afternoon we went out on the soul winning bus being driven by Pastor Hanks himself. While out door knocking I was able to meet Matthew. He said he was unsure about his eternity, so I took my New Testament and showed him God's map to Heaven. He bowed his head and trusted Christ as His Saviour. He asked a lot of questions about the church program for the family and wants to get his wife and two children into church.

Pastor Hanks leading the soul winning!

Matthew after getting saved!

My wife's soul winning partner, Shania

On Thursday evening Pastor Hanks had me give testimony and present our ministry to Thailand. It was a great time giving testimony in this church that I am so familiar with the folks in. Truly a great work is being done here in this church for the cause of missions. Dr. Bob Smith was preaching great messages each evening. Pastor Hanks set a goal for the church to add 15 new missionaries this year!

On Saturday morning they asked me to go on a Lawrence bus route and visit a Chin family from Burma that comes. They sent a bus worker from the route that knows the family with my wife and I, named Adrienne. She introduced us to the family and my wife and I visited with them. They weren't sure if the husband was truly saved, so they asked me to talk to him. I spoke to him a little bit in the Burmese language, but my Burmese is not very strong. However, his English is much better than my Burmese and he gave a testimony of trusting Christ when he was a teenager in Burma. We visited about the land and area that I have such a heart for and then moved onto make some other visits. The family came to church Sunday morning.

Adrienne and my wife Saturday morning
Maung and his family on Sunday
I taught the boy and girl teen Sunday school class on Sunday morning. The had a special before I taught the lesson and even gave me a nice love gift afterwards. I was very impressed with the teachers, helpers and the kids themselves. The entire program here is very first class. Then I preached teen church during the morning service. God blessed with one getting saved during the invitation time. It is good to be used as a tool of God!

Special in Teen Sunday School Class
Update: My daughter Rachel was supposed to have surgery on Monday morning, but we had to switch surgeons, so she will be having surgery on Tuesday morning now. We will travel to Lincoln tomorrow from Lawrence so we can be there for the surgery on Tuesday. Then because of time frame and the logistics, my wife and I will be flying out to Parkersburg, WV for a missions conference. Please pray for the surgery to go well and for our travels, when we fly back we drive to Arkansas. We definitely stay busy with our meetings!