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Archive for April, 2008

The Lord gave me a good day of ministry at my church (Westside Baptist Church) on April 20.  The pastor and his wife were out of town for the weekend, so he asked me to fill the pulpit for the day.  It was an honor and a privilege to minister the Word.  The Lord graciously gave us a couple of visitors that morning, so we had 15 in attendance.  The evening service was lower in attendance, but we still had a good time of fellowship in the Word. 

This past Sunday I went to Hope Baptist Church in Hope, MI.  I enjoyed the fellowship with Pastor Neil Wiggins and the people at Hope.  I was able to teach adult SS, give a short blurb in the AM service, and present my ministry in the PM service.  I’m thankful for their generous gift, the increased prayer support, and the opportunity to see what God is doing in Hope.  Please pray for this small, struggling church out in the country.  They need to see the Lord bring to them some young couples to continue the ministry.

The Lord worked it out that I have to go to Lansing only one time this week.  Two of my final exams are take-home exams, so I need only to email them to my teachers.  Thankfully both of them are already done.  I have only one in-class exam and that’s on Friday.  I’m so thankful for how the Lord has met all of my needs and that I can complete this semester with absolutely no debt.  I’m also thankful for how He has protected me over the many miles of traveling back and forth. 

Speaking of traveling and Friday, on Friday evening I’m going to start making my way toward Quebec.  I will stay the night with some friends in Port Huron and then travel the rest of the 9 hours to my first church.  I’m excited about this trip to Quebec, but I’m concerned about how well my French will come back to me.  I’ve already translated my DVD script into French (I will have to read it live each time I show my DVD), and I have some sermons to translate by the end of the week.  Please pray for success in French and for the Lord to burden hearts about my ministry of Bible translation.  Please also pray for safety in travel as I take a rental car across at least 3,000 miles of Quebec.   

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I just found out recently that my trip to Haiti has been cancelled.  Dr. Bernard is already down there, and he said certain developments in the country have kept people from being able to travel.  This trip was primarily to meet with people.  So if we can’t meet with them, then there’s no use going.  The tickets for this trip will be applied to my trip in December.  I’m discouraged that I don’t get to go to Haiti, but I’m thankful that the Lord caused it to not happen now, instead of when I was in Chicago, Miami, or Haiti.  In additon to the problems in Haiti, I heard that American Airlines is also having problems–they have cancelled over 1,000 flights today.  I was supposed to go on AA for all legs of the trip.  Who knows what kind of mess I would have faced at the airport today. 

Pray for the translation team down there as they will have to get organized on their own.  They will lack the training we would have given them, but at least the translator, Daniel Telfort, already has the training he needs to begin. 

On a more encouraging note, an African student that I’ve been developing a relationship with noticed that I had an article in my backpack about the NKJV.  So he started talking about a new Bible program he purchased recently.  He is Catholic and does not claim to be born again, but he wants to have a Bible for him and his wife.  I was able to talk to him about what I preached this past Sunday–“man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”  In addition, another student came to class today with a NT from Gideons.  She said she has 5 others at home.  Apparently, Gideons comes on campus 3 times a year and are persistent in passing them out.  Pray that the Lord will use the Word that is already in the hands of these students.

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Fulfilled at Calvary

Ever since I met Pastor Dan Dickerson at the Baptist Mid-Missions home office, I have been looking forward to presenting my ministry at his church, especially since he invited me to come.  I knew that it would be a pretty intense day of ministry, since I would be teaching the combined adult SS class, preaching in the AM service (that is broadcast on the radio and on TV), and presenting my ministry in the evening service.  Though it was an intense day, it was also very fulfilling. 

The people seemed to be very attentive each time I spoke.  After the morning service, two different people told me that they had specific questions about Psalm 19 that they’ve always wondered about.  By God’s leading, I answered those questions for both of them.  And here yesterday was the first time I decided to use Psalm 19 as one of my main texts for that message that I’ve preached a few times already.  Praise the Lord for His confirmation. 

Since the message is broadcast over the TV, there is a countdown clock on the front pew.  It was a little unusual to have that thing staring at me the whole time.  I felt the pressure to make sure I finished on time.  But lo and behold, I was at my conclusion and there were still 7 minutes left on the clock.  What to do?  Well, I had a point in the message that I wanted to save for the evening service, but I decided I better go ahead and develop it now, because I definitely can’t end a TV service early.  Somehow the Lord helped me through that point–I had gone through the material a few other times at other churches so it wasn’t new stuff.  And somehow things turned out OK for the evening service, even though I stole a little bit of my own thunder. 

I was also looking forward to seeing some friends from my college days.  I enjoyed eating lunch with the Vandenbergs, but I missed seeing two others–one had emergency (minor) surgery recently and the other had to take his daughter to the emergency room yesterday so he couldn’t get back in town soon enough.  But I’m thankful for the other friends I made.  It was a joy to have several substantial conversations with people and to have individual ministry to them.  And they ministered to me too! 

I’m looking forward to my trip to Haiti on Thurs.  Dr. Bernard is already down there.  We plan on making sure everything is in place to begin the translation of the OT into Haitian Creole.  Please pray for a safe and profitable trip. 

Check out my updates on the “Praise/Prayer” and “Where Am I?” pages.

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My typical routine for a weekend ministry is to travel over on Saturday afternoon so that I can eat supper with a family in the church and then fellowship with them in the evening.  I was able to do the former this past weekend, but not the latter.  It ended up, however, working out very well.  The church set me up to stay in the Courtyard of Marriot.  I thoroughly enjoyed a chance to have a quiet room to myself, especially since I had a midterm on Monday to prepare for and the lesson for Sunday. Typically, I speak in multiple services on Sunday.  This past Sunday I spoke in only the Sunday school hour, and that happened to be the second hour.  A couple of other unusual things about this church: no hymnals, small fellowship groups that meet for prayer on Sun evenings, and meetings at a school on Sun am and Wed pm.  The church uses powerpoint for the music (and they sing only conservative music!), which proved to be very effective in aiding worship.  They meet in a school because, though they have land, they can’t afford to build on it at this point, since construction is so expensive.

Pastor Brown has given serious thought to how God wants him to lead his congregation.  I can say that I was greatly encouraged by the vitality at the church.  It had a wonderful mix of new converts and mature believers.  The people were extremely attentive as I spoke about the centrality of the Word in the believers life.  Also, the group I fellowshipped with on Sunday evening very actively participated in the discussion as they worked through applying the pastor’s message from the previous week.  All in all, it was a great blessing to see what the Lord is doing in eastern MI, even in spite of all the economic and other pressures. 

This Sunday I will be going to Calvary Baptist Church in Midland, MI, where Dan Dickerson is the pastor.  I’m excited about this opportunity, because it’s one of those very desirable situations that a missionary rarely gets–the pastor asked me to come.  And the church has already proven their heart for Bibles International because of their previous gifts.  I will be speaking in all three slots–SS, AM, and PM.  And I’ll be on TV and the radio.  So please pray for me.  I’m also looking forward to fellowshipping with friends from BJU. 

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