Posts Tagged ‘Bible Baptist Church’

We were planning on going down to Charleston, SC, for a missions banquet at a supporting church, but the Lord decided to change those plans by sending Hurricane Irma. Thankfully, our friends in Charleston were not greatly affected by the hurricane, but we couldn’t have predicted the Wed before. So, that meant we weren’t leaving that Thurs but instead would stay home. That meant I got a week and a half of my life given back, because we would have been quite busy during the entire trip. What do you do when you are given your life back?

Well, we had worked so hard to get things done before the trip that we had nothing pressing to do last Saturday. Since my mom’s bday was coming up (Sept 13), we decided to celebrate it with her by an all-day trip to Shipshewana. We capped that off with a surprise stop at a church in the area, because the pastor helped me purchase a new porch swing frame for my mom. She was quite pleased to see it waiting for her. I didn’t realize how much that swing meant to her until she sent a thank-you. It’s the one that she had at her home in SC, so she spent much family time (with all of us) on it and did her devotions on it after my dad died. Now she can use it in her new home in MI!

I also got to spend lots of quality time with my wife and my son. Here are some of our favorite recent pics.

What I didn’t expect is that though I had 7 work days given back, I still got behind in emails! I had my urgent emails down to around 5, so I thought I could chip away at the 70 non-urgent ones. But instead, I couldn’t even keep up with the new emails that came my way. Thankfully, I’ve been able to get the number back down to 10, but that’s with writing 30-40 emails a day. I can’t imagine how far behind I’d be if I didn’t have those 7 working days given back! When I fly to Asia for two weeks, I’ll definitely get behind, because I’ll be doing a lot of traveling from place to place: 2 days to get there, half a day to fly to another country, half day to fly upcountry, half day to drive down-country, half a day to fly back to the first country, overnight bus trip upcountry, overnight bus down-country, half day flight to another location in the same country, and then almost 2 days to fly back home. Lots of traveling, but also lots of good ministry opportunities! I’m actually a little fearful of the safety in the second country, so pray for safety and protection!

With 2 days of training next week and 1 day of work meetings (constitution and Admin Group), I’ll be quite busy throughout the rest of the week. Then it’s two weeks in Asia, so don’t expect any blog posts until mid-October.

Pray for good meetings at Bible Baptist in Wakarusa, IN, tomorrow. We are excited to get back to this church, which is our newest supporter.

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On Saturday some of my friends and I moved all of my office items from the upstairs bedroom near the master bedroom to the far end of the basement. We figured that upstairs bedroom would work best for our son’s room. We also decided the far end of the basement is a good spot for my home office, since it meant we didn’t lose a guest bedroom. I’m not as excited about having to walk further to get to my office–not to mention having to use the stairs too!–but I think I like the new set-up. The new office is set up such that everything is within close reach, and my drawing table is not far away anymore. It’s in the same room as my desk now, along with my two guitars.

I’m thankful that my former office’s room’s walls were blue, because that meant I didn’t have to paint them a different color for our baby. I was definitely rejoicing in that small blessing when we found out we are having a boy! But other than having the room cleared (with a crib and a rocking chair currently in there) and the walls being blue, I feel like Oksana and I are walking into completely unknown territory. We have so many questions about the future. Here are some of Oksana’s questions:

  1. How can my stomach get any bigger? (she’s due on May 11)
  2. Will I truly love this child as I should? (she used to long to have children, but those desires cooled down some in later years)
  3. Will this child keep me from traveling and ministering for BI? (she doesn’t want to stop at all)
  4. Is it more economical to use cloth diapers?
  5. Will I survive the delivery?
  6. Can I teach him Ukrainian and Russian?

She has more, but these are the only ones I can think of right now. Here are some of my questions:

  1. Will I be able to tear myself away from playing with my son in the evenings so that I can get other work done?
  2. Will I get any reading done in the evenings? Still be able to workout at the fitness center?
  3. Will my child understand my English? Will I learn Russian with him?
  4. What will we do about his schooling?
  5. Will people have a hard time spelling his name?
  6. Will he keep my wife from getting anything else done at home? (she has many tasks to do for BMM and BI)
  7. Will we have strength as we age to play with him? (we aren’t exactly 20-year-olds having kids!)
  8. How much extra stuff will we have to carry around with us when we visit churches? When we go overseas?

Of course, the biggest questions are: will we be able to raise him to love the Lord with all his heart, mind, and soul? Will he embrace Christ as strongly as we would desire him to do?

Right now, we have more questions than answers, but our trust is not in ourselves, but in the Lord. And we have many examples around us of new parents who survived the transition into parenthood and successfully raised their children for the Lord. They encourage us to keep pressing forward to that inevitable due date of May 11.

On another note, we look forward to visiting churches in the coming weeks. We’ll be at a missions conference at Waterman Baptist Church in Kingman, IN, this week. And then next week we’ll join Bible Baptist Church in Wakarusa for their missions emphasis month. Then we head to Peoples Baptist Church in Frederick, MD, for their missions emphasis weekend. It’s going to be a blessed and busy two weeks!

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Oksana and I are thankful for a blessed time of fellowship and ministry at Bible Baptist Church in Wakarusa, IN, last weekend. We were impressed by the large number of young people who show a sincere interest in the preaching of the Word. We also enjoyed seeing the high interest level of the rest of the church, as well as a wide range of ages. The church had around 300 in the morning and probably a majority of them came back for our presentation the evening. Pastor David Harper has been there for many years, so he provides stability to the church. He said he’s overwhelmed at God’s goodness upon his ministry. We were also overwhelmed and thankful! We also enjoyed some great fellowship as we stayed with friends who have a small horse farm in the Niles area. What a great weekend!

On Saturday we begin a three-weekend trip to PA, VA, and NC. We look forward to reporting to 5 of our our supporting churches. We will cover over 2,000 miles, so pray for our safety. Pray also for effective ministry and that hearts would be encouraged to see what He has been doing in Bible translation around the world.

During the first weekend of March, I was the coordinator for my first ever missions conference, which was held at our church, Grand Valley Baptist Church. The emphasis was upon home missions, though we also had missionaries make us more aware of the needs in world missions. We were thankful to have a missionary going to China, a pastor/translator from Haiti, a missionary to Nepal, a missionary couple in Cambodia, and then Oksana and me. Our pastor gave the main message in the Sun AM service. I was particularly thankful for how excited the kids got about world missions, as they worked hard to complete their “passports.” It was a blessed time!

As I said, I wanted to emphasize the needs of home missions, so on Saturday we had discussions at the men’s breakfast and ladies’ tea about how we can create opportunities to give the gospel to unbelievers. Below are the ideas we came up with. We are now praying about how each of us can engage in these activities so that we could have an opportunity to “sow Scripture seed.” The idea to have this discussion came from an article in Answers in Genesis article, which can be found here.


  1. Ask Pastor what programs/outreach you could lead (if you want to start any new ministry at the church, you should speak to pastor first).
  2. Do random acts of kindness
  3. Share your testimony with others
  4. Fill a need anonymously
  5. Join a hospital support group, specifically at children’s hospitals
  6. Volunteer at Love INC (In the Name of Christ)
  7. Get engaged in Internet social media—find unsaved people to connect with
  8. Send e-mails to unsaved people you know
  9. Speak the gospel to your children and grandchildren, spending time with them to teach God’s ways
  10. Talk to people we work with or play a sport or while waiting for a bus.
  11. Get involved in a jail ministry—Forgotten Man Ministry is always looking for people to train and use
  12. Look for opportunities to give a tract or start a gospel conversation as you walk down the street, as you transact business in town, etc.
  13. Get involved in the elementary school Bible Club—Sue Meerman could use some other workers, esp men to help keep control, Mondays at 3:30.
  14. Volunteer at Positive Options (formerly, Lake Shore Pregnancy Center) – women counselors are needed for the girls who come in; men counselors are also needed for the girls’ boyfriends who may come in
  15. Get involved in ministries in our church to reach our own children and others— AWANA, VBS, Sunday School, youth group, etc.
  16. Complete the counseling certification so you can get involved in a Biblical Counseling Ministry in our church
  17. Host a free-meal/ movie night at our church (we can get the church licensed).
  18. Offer to start a free food/pantry ministry at our church. This too requires changes to the church kitchen.
  19. Start conversations or bring conversation around to biblical things with co-workers
  20. Speak to those who come to your home or work in your apt complex—vendors, repair men, suppliers, landlords, telemarkers, etc.
  21. Get involved at GVSU campus—Christian ministries who are trying to reach the students
  22. Tutor at a local school—GVSU, GRCC, etc
  23. Send tracts with your bills
  24. Do free work for your neighbors or others—shovel neighbor’s driveways, mow their lawn, walk someone’s dog, etc., in order to create conversations.
  25. Start a special interest group in your neighborhood, gardening, parenting, Monday Night Football Club, etc.
  26. Give a gift of free food to a neighbor
  27. Host a block party.
  28. Start a neighborhood Bible study
  29. Start a Bible study at work
  30. Help someone who is sick, injured, handicap, abused, needs a ride, etc.
  31. Speak to classmates at school, give out tracts
  32. Organize a charitable event/ yard sale
  33. Research on Craigslist for opportunities to volunteer at a function, help someone in need of goods and/or services, etc.
  34. Meet community needs—cleaning parks, volunteer at special events, help in public school, council meetings, school board, library board, etc.
  35. Join a group of some kind – but don’t overlook those who are most like us
  36. Pray before you eat at a restaurant, and even better, ask the waitress/waiter what request they have and let them know you will pray for them as you pray for your meal
  37. Look for people who are hurting, burdened, struggling, and let them know you are praying for them
  38. Visit the sick or those in nursing homes, or widows
  39. Reach out to veterans on social media or in person
  40. Take cookies or baked goods to those who visit the church
  41. Send out Get Well cards for families in the hospitals
  42. Display Bible verse(s) in the back window of your car
  43. Host international students in your home
  44. Have college students in your home for a meal or host them for a weekend, especially international students who are far from home.
  45. Start a puppet ministry—can post online as well.
  46. Include singles in your home and events
  47. Babysit children who need the Lord and give the gospel to them.
  48. Attend Farm Meetings.
  49. Start an ESL outreach ministry.
  50. Talk a walk with or without a dog to meet others who are walking.
  51. Do the same routine over and over again so that people will learn to expect to see you and may want to talk to you.
  52. Become a regular customer at a nearby establishment or restaurant, haircutting salon, grocery store, etc…
  53. Be a neighbor by doing a kind deed, cut the grass, shovel the driveway, give a gift of food, have a block party, etc.
  54. Show kindness to people/ kids at a bus stop (but be careful with kids since their parents may not approve of it).
  55. Join a baseball game (or other sport) with a group in order to be able to interact with the players.
  56. Check on getting involved in a crisis hotline ministry—where you help someone who expresses a desire to commit suicide, etc.
  57. Get involved in a rehab ministries are very effective since there are very many addicted people in the world.
  58. Develop friendships with unsaved people at your work, school, etc. Pray for God to lay one soul upon your heart and to love that soul through you.
  59. If you are ever at a loss for how to connect to unbelievers, ask the Lord to send them into your life.


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