March 2021 Prayer Letter
Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
Greetings and Blessings from the Robinsons,
To everything in life and ministry there truly is a time and season. In many cases we may know what the Lord wants us to do, but it is always a trial of faith to wait for his time to do it. We have been in the States now for longer than we had originally expected, and to us it has seemed TOO LONG! We have trusted the Lord in the matter all along and we have continually presented ourselves before the Lord to seek his face in what he is doing in our ministry and lives.
During our time in the States we have served the Lord with all our hearts as we would in any other physical location; aside from strengthening the hands of the local churches around the USA, we have been able to financially and prayerfully support many efforts in Malawi through the ministries that have been established over the years. Although we have been doing as much as possible using internet communications and phone calls, I have hesitated to write to the churches frequently simply due to the fact that we have not been on the ground doing the work which we have always done in person.
I am more thankful now than ever before that the Lord raised up good ministers of the gospel in Malawi who have carried on so faithfully in our physical absence. This period of waiting has proven to me that they truly are autonomous, self governing, and being used by God for the ministry of the word! Please keep them in your prayers. Alex, Daniel, Marc Anthony, Nchachi, Chatonda, Goli, Miya, are amongst those who I pray for on a daily basis. The enemy greatly desires to weaken their hands, and their faith, but your prayers WILL strengthen and help them and I covet even just one earnest prayer on their behalf. 2 Corinthians 1:11 Ye also helping together by prayer...
As I mentioned before, timing is everything. There is indeed a time to wait and when the Lord says “Go” there is a time to take action! After a long season of waiting has passed, we are thrilled to let everyone know that the time for us to return to the field HAS
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BECOME OFFICIAL! April-21-2021 is the day we are set to leave thanks to your prayers and support!
As many of you know, my older brother John is the Pastor of Bible Believers Baptist Church in Hillsboro, OR. After knowing of our intention to return to the field for quite some time, and having prayed for us in the matter, he called and more or less asked me “what the hold up is”. I explained the financial restraints that were keeping us from being able to purchase tickets and make other necessary arrangements to return to the field. He asked me if my supporters know of our needs. My response was that the Lord knew and that I hesitate to mention our financial needs in our prayer letters because mission work is littered with “moochinaries” who always “need more money”. After giving me sound counsel on the matter, in his zeal for the Lord, he almost immediately started an online fundraising campaign, organized through their local church, mentioning that it would allow the saints to “carry us forward” on our journey “after a godly sort”, “lacking nothing”. We have been blown away to see the Lord’s people step up to help us get back to the field in downright quick order! I told Jennie that we must have been a bigger pain in the backside than we realized because you all are scrambling at the chance to get us out of here! All kidding aside, I believe that most of our supporters know and understand, as we do, that the time is short to work before the Lord comes and that the work must be done while opportunity remains. Within 24hrs we received enough one time support to be able to purchase tickets, and to pull out all the stops to making arrangements to head over to Malawi.
“Excited”, does not even begin to describe how we feel and “thankful” almost seems to be an understatement. Your generosity and care for lost souls around the world makes me thankful to be your missionary and to fulfill my part in your ministry in Malawi. May the Lord richly bless all who are financially making our soon return possible. May he also equally bless those many of you, who I have met over the years, who rejoice with us in the Lord's provision, but don't have the means to give towards this endeavour. I hope you know that we deeply appreciate your prayers for our family and the ministry which the Lord would have us fulfill.
As if this was not hard enough to believe, we also received a call from one of our supporting church pastors. He informed me that the Lord had given his church some missions funding, and that God put it on his heart to PURCHASE A VEHICLE for us when we get back to the field! I am blown away by what GOD is doing! Most of the time I am not the smartest guy in the room, but even I can see that GOD’s time has come!
After working, believing, and acting as though we had things set in order to go, God has moved and so now we are going. As you know, finances are only a necessary tool to help enable the work of the ministry. The unseen enemies that seek to hinder us from boldly sowing the seed, as we ought and which seek to stop the eyes and ears of the lost masses from the “hearing of the word” must equally be moved out of the way. We are no more able to do that by ourselves than we were able to provide the funds for ourselves. So we go knowing that the spiritual condition of the world-wide atmosphere has changed forever, and that it is more opposed to the gospel of Jesus Christ than ever before. We go with a deeper sense than ever before of our need for his divine protection and the necessity for God to move in the ministries which he will fulfill by our hand. Please pray for us and, never hesitate to send me specific needs that I can pray for you as well.
Psalms 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
July 2020 Prayer Letter
I hope and trust this letter finds you well and that you are faithfully abiding in your place of service. We are doing well thanks to the grace of God and are thankful for your prayers for our ministry and family.
As many of you know, I have struggled with chronic health issues for quite a while now. I appreciate your prayers for me as it has had such an instrumental influence in our lives over the past few years. It truly has been a time of hard trials and it is certainly not something that any of us would have chosen to involve in my life. That being said, I believe God is not only aware of this trial of affliction in my life but that he is also using it for my good and for the good of his work.
Pain is not something that can be avoided in life. Thankfully, many people are not called upon to deal with it as a chronic issue or until their elderly years. One way or another I know that we all have to deal with living in dying bodies. (for now Phil 3:21) I believe that living this way for a while now has had an effect on my outlook in life and my way of thinking. It has caused me to further perceive my own frailty (Psalms 39:4) and vulnerability on the grand scheme of things.
Thankfully, I continue to improve physically and I am learning how to identify what I CAN do and what I CAN NOT do. Furthermore, I am focussing my thoughts on appreciating some of the things that have happened as a direct result of the physical ailments which have become such an unwelcome part of my life.
Several months ago, after “trying” just about everything under the sun to find a remedy, I finally reached the point of realizing that I could not keep “putting off” my back issues, and decided to invest the time and finances required to make some headway on it. The main issue revolved around the fact that, to do any sort of medical procedure, you have to go through the rigamarole of the medical processes which requires you have to stay in one place for a while.
“Staying put”, especially while I was not on my field, did not mesh well with our ministry priorities at the time, but looking back on the past “chapter” of our ministry shows me that the Lord had a purpose in it all. Once I finally made the decision to find a physician and “stay put” for a while, the Lord brought a ministry situation across our path which I will forever be grateful for.
In the same area where there was a highly recommended doctor in southern Oregon, we were also made aware of a church that, “needed help”. After considerable prayer, council, and scriptural confirmation, we opted to rent a house in that area and start the process of my back procedures while serving this church that we were asked to help.
Once we were moved into the area, we took the leadership role in the church there with a fragmented handful of discombobulated people. The situation entailed a dead southern baptist church, around 400$ in the bank, a horrific church constitution, a pastor who had just given a two week notice, and a handful of people of whom more than half of them COULD NOT give me ANY kind of an actual testimony of their own personal salvation. In layman's terms it was a “soup sandwich”! Like many of you, I would have tucked tail and ran as far in the other direction as I could had it not been for the undeniable confirmation the Lord had given for his will there.
Due to the particulars of the situation, the Lord led me to depend heavily on the council of our sending church pastor as well as the local church pastors of Bible Believing Churches who serve in the Northwest.
Pastors in the Northwest of the USA generally see the incredible deficit of Bible Believing Churches in that area of the country as “an excuse” to support ANY Bible Believing effort being made in hopes of seeing an additional church come to be in the Northwest. This was especially true of the case in Grants Pass Oregon. Several pastors in the Northwest took it upon themselves to pray, call, write, and generally care about this work. Some of them came to preach at the church there and were a GREAT source of encouragement! The guidance and experience of these pastors who have worked in the area for years was invaluable.
There was really nothing to do with that “soup sandwich” other than to pull it out of the convention, rebuild the constitution, get out and knock doors, preach on the streets, restart with a new congregation, then hand it over to a Bible Believing Pastor. The “mission” had become clear. As the medical procedures went on, so did the Lord's work! It was with a GREAT deal of adversity, endurance, and God's good GRACE that Dayspring Baptist Church was started as a Bible Believing Church.
Although the mission was clear, the fact still remained that I DID NOT KNOW who was eventually supposed to come and take the long term pastoral ministry of this church. All we could do was to PREACH, TEACH, WIN SOULS, PRAY, and DISCIPLE anyone and everyone who showed any interest in it at all. Some folks got saved and baptized. A few availed themselves of regular discipleship, and overall the Lord put his hand over the work.
The word was put out that the church was looking for a pastor and we had some very wonderful men come to consider the pastorate. The first few men did not get any real confirmation or leading from God to actually take the church. By God’s grace, brother Gus Richardson and his wife Victoria came to consider the work in March of this year. The Lord moved in Brother Gus’s heart and gave him scriptural confirmation. Brother Gus was voted in as pastor in May of 2020. Additionally, the Glynn family (a family who was saved and discipled in the church in Portland) followed the Lord's leading to be sent out from the church which my brother John pastors, to go and help pastor Gus in the Lord's work in Grants Pass.
In ten months of “staying put” there, by God’s grace, the Lord was able to use us to take the leadership of a soup sandwich baptist church, constitutionally replace the constitution and bylaws, formally disassociate the church with previous affiliations, establish a spirit and attitude of reverence for the KING JAMES BIBLE, teach through a few books of the Bible, and hand over the church! https://dayspringbaptistgp.com/
To provide clarity as to our intentions of being there, we made sure to never take any funds or support from the church itself even as the Lord began to bring in miraculous provision. The Lord provided for our needs through your faithful support and that allowed us to leave the church in a good situation for the future. Dayspring Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Richardson has now taken us on for monthly support as well as a few other Bible Believing Missionaries. Please pray for Pastor Gus as he has his hands full and has a great responsibility. The Orthopedic Dr. in Oregon has transferred us to a Dr. in Tennessee where we are finishing procedures and awaiting the re-opening of flights into Malawi.We will be basing out of East Tn visiting churches while we are waiting. God Bless You!
March 2020 Prayer Letter
Proverbs 27:1 Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
Let me start by saying thank you to the many who prayed for us over the past several weeks, especially concerning the dysfunctional condition of my lower back. There is no doubt that the past few months, for us, have been a bit of a valley, but praise the Lord for his manifold mercies! Before, during, and after my first round of back procedures, I have had the blessing of receiving text messages, cards, emails, and phone calls from brothers and sisters who have been praying for healing in my lower back. These notes of encouragement have meant a great deal to me and the Lord has used them to really bless me at times when I really needed the extra encouragement. I am thankful to report that the Lord is indeed answering your prayers and that my back is recovering very very well! Thank you to all who asked the Lord for mercies on my behalf. I feel blessed to see God‘s healing hand at work and I have no doubt that it is because of your prayers. Thank you to each who prayed. The Doctor has me needing a total of four more procedures (none as intensive as that first one) so please pray for me to have wisdom on which ones to do, or not do, as we are trying to get back to the field as soon as it becomes possible.
Throughout the course of my recent back procedures I have endeavoured to maintain an attitude of faith, trusting that the Lord knows exactly what is happening, and that he has a perfect purpose in all of it. When I find my mind wandering down the paths of doubt or fear I have made repentance of such thoughts and feelings as a regular course of action.
I have been in regular contact with the folks in Malawi where political marches, mass public demonstrations, and even rioting have become more “normal” than at any time in the history of the nation. This political strife has an underlying “tribal factor” to it which is a major “no no” to publicly acknowledge. It is a long time fact that the the Tumbuka people have been outnumbered by the Chewa people since the creation of the political boundaries that were implemented during the colonial times. Whether this is the source of the conflict, or whether it is just an additional agitation to major political rivals, the fact of civil unrest continues.
As challenging as the civil unrest in Malawi has been, of late, it has taken a back seat to the pandemonium created by the world wide reaction to the current health concerns. Undoubtedly, Malawi must be amongst the least prepared nations for such challenges. Nationwide lock down has been nearly impossible to implement since most people live from day to day and generally depend on that day's work for that day's food. So far our churches are still having services, but everything is uncertain and subject to change from day to day.
1 Thessalonians 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
I was particularly blessed over the past few days to receive text messages from some of the men in Malawi. Seeing their response to the spiritual, political, and financial shifts that are taking place in response to the virus has reaffirmed in my heart that the men that are leading the ministries there are able to discern the imminent return of Jesus Christ. I will pass this one along to you all because it reflects a great attitude for ANY christian ANYWHERE to maintain in these times. In my conversation with him about his thoughts on this whole situation, Mac Anthony Mwandirire (Evangelist) said, ;
“Lets minister like we are about to be raptured tomorrow”
“even in this disease we can win some to Christ”
“we have worked a lot...I believe Jesus is near with my rewards in hand!”.
Hearing the absence of fear in his attitude, the anticipation for our blessed hope, and seeing his confidence at Christ’ soon coming was a great encouragement to me.
We are continuing to make plans for my remaining health procedures and our pending departure back to the field. Planning out logistics right now is very challenging and we would appreciate your prayers on our behalf for these things. Furthermore, please be prayerful for the hundreds of missionaries who are strewn throughout the world and are experiencing lockdowns and restrictions in foreign lands. Please be in diligent prayer for divine wisdom, and clarity for each individual missionary concerning what God wants them to do in their particular circumstances. Also be in prayer for the Bible Believing pastors and churches all over the USA, many pastors are finding themselves limited and challenged as they navigate how to best feed the flock that God has given them oversight of.
Please pray for Josh, Barron, & Cameil, each of these are folks around the town we are based out of right now and are recently saved but really need grace to surrender to the Lord’s leading in their lives.
I hope and trust that you are all well. The past several weeks have involved everything from church building and roof repairs, to brand new open doors in jail ministry. I am excited and blessed with ongoing reports from the pastors, and christian workers in Malawi. I am including some of the text messages that I have received recently in hopes that they will be as much of a blessing to you as they have been to me. It is really a privilege to watch these men continue to grow and to see them ministering in the faith that only God could build into them through His words. Here are a few snippets from my regular communications with my guys in Malawi.
“We just had a blessed time at the prison, Pastor Daniel preached and over 42 prisoners made the decision to receive Jesus Christ. I don’t have words to describe it, the Lord has just shown HIS might! It was really great! It looks like the Lord has opened up an ongoing prison ministry us here and they have asked us to write a letter to The Commissioner of Prison.” Mac Anthony Mwandirire (Evangelist)
“We had a strange situation at church today. We had a visiting young lady who was clearly attacked by a wicked spirit in the middle of a sunday school teaching. I was teaching about the heresy which denies the literal burning hell/everlasting fire and why the devil manipulates false teachers to teach this false doctrine. I was specifically teaching about how the Devil convinces the whole world to continue sinning and live a life without the fear of the Lord and his terror because the devil knows that hell was prepared for him and his angels. Suddenly the women jumped up and ran out the door and started shaking uncontrollably. She started crying out for help and barking like a dog. Then she started crying out in pain because fire was moving all over her body. She was completely overpowered. Man, it was terrible, we took her into an empty Sunday school class room and began praying for her. She gained her consciousness and told us that she was involved with vimbuza. [a traditional cult that utilizes the possession of evil spirits for healing and prophecy]. We then preached to her Jesus Christ and showed her from the scriptures that her involvement in vimbusa is a wicked sin before God. She was well convinced about the truth we had preached to her and afterwards she received Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and saviour. Afterwards we continued the service with her in her right mind. I believe she really made a sincere decision of trusting Jesus Christ.” Pastor Daniel Nyirenda
We also had Pastor Mtonga from a village about three hours from Mzuzu come and visit both Charity & Light Baptist Church. Pastor Mtonga was not trained by me but I believe him to be a sincere and faithful minister of the gospel. Since I met him a few years ago he has been faithfully involved in planting churches and ministering in local village congregations. He is a bricklayer by trade and seems to always be involved in personal work and church planting, wherever his trade takes him. He recently reached out to me about helping him purchase some roofing materials for his most recent church plant. I asked him if he would be willing to present his needs and preach in the local churches in the Mzuzu area. He agreed and then we set everything in motion for him to come and stay with Pastor Alex Mwenekifungwe. Pastor Alex and his wife Sarah graciously invited him to stay in their home and took care of him throughout the duration of the visit. I told both of the pastors that I approve who they approve and that my decision to support this effort would be based on their assessment of the situation!
1 Corinthians 16:3...whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters… With their approval I was blessed to put money towards the completion of his church roof!
My most recent MRI on my lumbar spine shows a terrific “annular tear” in my L5/SI disc. Additionally, the L4/L5 disc is bulging and pressing into my spinal nerve column. My most recent flare up has left me unable to walk for the past thirteen days. I am confined to bed rest for now and am looking to the Lord, trusting that He truly is still on the throne and knows what I have need of.
Unfortunately this is NOT the kind of back pain that “we all experience” in our lives! Back pain that can be treated with a bit of rest and a hot water bottle is normal. My back issues originated from a two story fall on a framing jobsite many years ago. Evidently, my youth is no longer able to simply “pick up the slack”. I am emphasizing this so as to help you best know how to pray for my situation.
Over the past few years, I have been systematically working through MANY possible solutions starting with the least expensive and least intrusive options, and gradually moving on to more progressive treatment options. Starting with massive weight reduction, complete dietary changes, personal exercise routines, we have eliminated known possible solutions, one by one, over the past few years leaving us with only a few real options on the table at this point. Due to the extensive research I have undergone, I am opting to forgo the final step of fusing my vertebrae together until I have exhausted ALL other available directions.
Episodes like this have happened multiple times while I was in Malawi, requiring me to drive myself, in horrendous pain, almost five hours to the capital, book an airplane ticket to South Africa (the closest country to Malawi with medical help) and then pay for accommodations and transportation, while I was attended to by the physicians in SA.
These situations have inevitably left my poor wife stranded in Malawi taking care of the kids, the mission property, the ministry staff, and whatever other aftermath there was from my sudden departure from the country without notice. Needless to say every time this has happened it has been tremendously hard on her.
Things with my back have gotten progressively worse, although it has not been for lack of trying. I am now scheduled for a procedure on January 6 at an orthopedic medical clinic in Medford Oregon. At my most recent visit with the doctor I was informed that this treatment will require a minimum of three to six months of total treatment & rehab. I hate to use up this much space to talk about my back, but the fact is that it has become a major part of our circumstances. The physical demands that come along with living in, and working in a third-world African country are greatly hindered by physical inabilities like this. I know that many of you are praying, but I am asking you to pray even more earnestly and fervently than you have in the past for the healing of my back. Jennie and I are looking to the Lord every step of the way as we have not yet faced this type of trial of our faith. Please pray for the Lord to intervene.I have no doubt that He could solve this problem with one look of his eye. For right now, our lives are somewhat “on hold” while we wait for my procedure which is scheduled for January sixth. Please pray for the Doctor who will be doing the procedure to be guided by the Lord. On a positive note, two souls have been saved in this area since we have been here. Philippians 1:12 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;
Well the past several weeks have seen us yet again “hither and yon”, involving us in some ministerial efforts that we had seen coming and others that we could have never expected. As we have mentioned in the past letters, we are blessed to have about as good of status in the country of Malawi as any missionary could want. We work under what is called a “Permanent Residence Permit”, a highly sought after permit amongst the expatriate community in Malawi and, undoubtedly we only received this status because of the prayers of the saints in years gone by. While our status is recognized as “permanent” by the Malawian government we are still required to “maintain” our visa once every year which required me to be physically present in Lilongwe at the beginning of September 2019. We were well aware of this date and had purchased tickets for me briefly return to Malawi towards the end of August in order to handle this and other administrative obligations at that time. As we mentioned in our previous letters, the country of Malawi is a bit more volatile lately than it usually is due to frustrations in recent elections. There have been riots in the streets and protests for the past few months which seemed to be coming to a head right at the time I was scheduled to arrive! Just days before my arrival the opposition leaders stated their intention to “seize” all the borders of Malawi, not allowing any person or cargo to exit or enter the country without their permission. I was scheduled to preach in three different churches on this trip and each of the pastors from Malawi contacted me separately notifying me of the situation and asking me to reconsider my plans to come. It truly was a fearful situation to think of flying into a “hot zone” of political upheaval, but the Lord gave me a certain peace about it so we prayerfully continued as planned. The day before my arrival in country the Malawi Government issued a fourteen day ban on all of the opposition plans and deployed the Malawi Defence Force soldiers from one end of the country to the other. Although the atmosphere was far from the “Warm Heart of Africa”, it was at least controlled, and completely non-threatening. I was picked up at the airport by my first convert and long-standing friend Alex Mwenekifungwe, pastor of Light Baptist Church. The preaching went on as planned and God seemed to move in a special way in each of the services. Although we stay in almost daily communication with the pastors and church leaders, I was blessed to see things in place that I had not even heard about during my months of absence. Pastor Daniel and Charity Baptist seemed to be doing better than ever before. They had done several things to the property and building to improve it including putting up a badly needed fence all around the church property. There were new chairs, new decorations, but most importantly, new faces! Pastor Daniel had gone through a lot over the time we have been on furlough. Possibly one of the most difficult issues was an attempt from representatives of a large “reformed theology ministry” based in Zambia and South Africa, attempted to subvert him and Pastor Alex to convert to the ideologies of Hyper-Calvanisitic theology. The subversion attempt was complete with dinners at expensive restaurants and offers of financial compensation. Thankfully both of these guys saw through the smoke and mirrors and were not deterred from the truth. In fact I could see more steadfastness in their doctrinal positions than ever before. The church Pastor Alex is pastoring is currently renting a single room building as a meeting place but will eventually need to be in a more stable situation. Please pray that the Lord will give me wisdom and grace to know how best to help him and encourage him in this area.
As many of you know, the unseen logistical challenges that missionaries deal with in the background of deputation and furlough, to make it from meeting to meeting, are laughable at best and downright terrible at least half the time. As missionaries, we tend to see the “Good the Bad and the Ugly” of everything involved with Foriegn Missions! From blown transmissions, and leaking RV roofs to church splits and church feuds, we see it all! Honestly, the good things we see and learn so far outweighs the negative, it is almost not even worth mentioning the latter! During the course of seeing all these things we also learn to mind our own business and run our own race, or at least we are supposed to. From time to time though, we do run across situations that really demand our attention and truly can be helped because of the nature of our missionary work. Such is the kind of situation we recently found ourselves aware of, in the south western town of Grants Pass Oregon.
During our furlough travels we were introduced to a fledgeling church that is in real need of some help. The 83 year old pastor recently retired and left the pastorate in a complete void. Currently the gap of leadership is being filled by Bible Believers Baptist Church in Hillsboro Or, some four hours drive north of Grants Pass. B.B.B.C. Hillsboro is pastored by my older brother John Robinson, and the church there is doing all they can to organize church services, supply the pulpit, and call for pastoral candidates until a permanent pastor is called to take this work and go forward with it. Having had personal interaction with this church and having been there when the pastor resigned, impressed on me the need to mention this in my prayer letter, and to ask for prayer for Dayspring Baptist Church ( https://dayspringbaptistgp.com/ )to receive the Man of God who God would want to go to Grants Pass and pastor this church. If you are currently pastoring a Bible Believing Independent Baptist Church and you would like more details about this church’s need, please contact Pastor John Robinson at BBBCpdx@gmail.com
Thank you to all of you who faithfully pray for us and support our ministry. Please pray specifically for the following:
- Dayspring Baptist Church to have a Bible Believing Man of God to pastor it.
- My Back Pain Issues to be handled well before returning to Malawi.
- Our remaining Church visits on furlough.
- Our return to Malawi in Gods time.
- The Churches and ministries in Malawi to continue prospering.
- Pastor Daniel Nyirenda & Pastor Alex Mwenekifungwe
July Prayer Letter 2019
Thank you so much to those of you who pray for our ministry and family. The last few weeks have seen us quite busy as usual. One thing I remember hearing over and over in my earlier years was the fact that,“Serving the Lord is NEVER boring, it may be hard at times, and it may not always be what you expect, but it will not be boring! My life and ministry thus far will certainly attest to the validity of that statement!
One interesting door which was opened up to me in recent weeks was the opportunity to preach in both Australia as well as Papua New Guinea. Late in 2018 we were invited by, brother Jason Young to come and preach in Australia. Since that time, we began to pray about heading over there during this furlough. A few weeks ago during a missions conference the Lord used a national pastor from PNG (pastor Willy) to bless me beyond measure! Missionary Joey Anderson was planning a missions trip back to PNG and he invited me to go help him. I was happy to go. As you may know, the flight patterns in that part of the world are such that Australia is a common hub for traveling in and out of PNG. With a few arrangements made concerning my furlough schedule the Lord miraculously made for me to go in every way. I immediately began to ask the Lord for souls in both Australia as well as PNG.
I was picked up from the Sydney airport and taken to the regularly scheduled Saturday street preaching outreach in Sydney. After a great time of street preaching and tract distribution,we were about to roll it up when we were approached by a 53 year old man named Ryan. It was clear that the Lord had been dealing with this guy and that he was under great conviction. While I DID expect the Lord to answer my prayers about having some fruit there in the land down under, I didn't realize it would be through street preaching within the first few hours of landing. So far as I know, Ryan was the first Australian I have ever gotten to lead to Christ! I hope he will not be the last.
The highlight of the Papua New Guinea portion of the trip was, undoubtedly, the preaching of brother Anderson in the PNG prison. He preached on, “The man after God's own heart” and GOD showed up there in that prison! There was truly a deep sense of God's hand working as the word was preached and many responded in an attitude of faith to the invitation. I was given a group of men that spoke enough English to be dealt with without a translator. The Lord once again answered prayer and allowed me to be a part of several grown PNG men coming to know Christ as their personal savior!
Since returning from that trip we have carried on with ministering in the local churches in the Northwest. We are so thankful for the many and unique opportunities that the Lord gives us to serve him while we are in the USA. We found out many years ago that visiting the churches is not just about raising support levels. It is about being faithful in “doing the work of an evangelist” in churches that may or may not support the work. It is not about filling out the status quo, but it is about ministering in the churches in the unique capacities he allows us opportunity.
The churches in Malawi are doing just fine. We are in contact with the leadership on a weekly basis as they continue to grow in their own ministries. Charity Baptist Church choir just finished recording their first gospel singing album and the choir director sent me a copy. I was so blessed to pick out the voices of folks who are now singing for the Lord.
Please pray that the Lord will give me guidance as of what to do for my back. It has become a real point of concern over the past few years and I am not really sure of how the story will end. It seems like it is ok for a while and then inevitably it relapses and when it does I become nearly worthless. It is totally debilitating. Since being back in the states, we have gone through an extensive process of eliminating solutions in order of how invasive the options would be. Starting with changes to the diet, weight loss, more exercise, learning proper body mechanics, stretching routines, etc. All of this is being done in order to avoid having the discectomy surgery on the herniated disc. I realize that I am too young to be having health problems, but I guess my back didn’t get the memo. I have had some really great times of pain free relief, but inevitably the same problem returns. We are now looking to take the next step in the search for a solution that can give me time to fully recover before heading back to the field. Please pray that the Lord will guide our decisions and that ultimately my back would be healed.
May Prayer Letter 2019
I hope and trust this letter finds you well. We are all doing very well. Let me say a special thank you to all of you who have prayed for my back as I seem to be having a season of relief. The blessing of this relief can not be overstated, THANK! YOU! to all who prayed.
I have continued to bounce around all over the country attending meetings and trying to be a blessing to the churches. Several people have expressed concern about the need for us to be “getting more rest” while on furlough. Please be assured that just because I am traveling a lot doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m not getting the rest I need on furlough. It is still a privilege to sleep for an average of six to seven hours nearly every night somewhere on some soft mattress and in some safe environment. Although I do sometimes feel exhausted I remind myself that every man who is thirty-seven years old (who is worth his salt) is burning the candle at both ends in one way or another. Please pray for continued grace in all of our furlough responsibilities.
Many of you realize that a sending church for any missionary is their greatest resource and lifeline outside of the Lord himself. Although our sending church in Fairbanks Alaska is a little off the beaten path, even when we are Stateside, I was recently afforded the opportunity to participate at the ordination services for my younger brother Paul. A few years ago after several years of faithful service as associate pastor Paul courageously accepted the ministry of senior pastor at North Star Baptist Church in Fairbanks Alaska. Having the opportunity attend his ordination was such a blessing to me. I was amazed at how the church has grown and prospered since our last attendance in person in 2014. What a blessing it is to see men and women still offering their lives as a living sacrifice to serve others in the pastoral ministry of the local church!
On the home front we are thankful to be traveling again as a family. After attending a Christian school in the Portland Oregon for the past few months, the kids are happy to be on summer break and I am happy to have everyone together again. Currently we are still out west attending missions conferences and visiting churches. Please pray for us to be a blessing wherever we go, and that the Lord will use us for his glory. We truly serve a great God who truly deserves the love and worship of our whole heart and soul, and mind.
We continue to hear good things from Malawi from pastor Nyirenda and pastor Mwenekefungwe. I was recently encouraged to hear of new converts in Charity Baptist Church two of whom walked the isle at invitation in a Sunday morning preaching hour. One thing that I have emphasized over the years is the need for basic discipleship once someone is saved. I am glad to hear that discipleship courses for those who have been saved are still carrying on in my absence.
Aside from the church people I receive messages and emails almost every day from random people in the Mzuzu area and really the whole north of Malawi. To say that we have a good report among the people there would be an understatement. Many times I have felt like our work is invisible to these people and that if we fell off the planet tomorrow that they wouldn’t even miss a beat. The constant greetings and messages I receive tell me that even if the people don’t respond to the gospel the way I wish they would, they DO know that we are there for a purpose and that there has been at least a some influence in their lives by our ministry there.
Please pray for the elections in Malawi which take place on May 21 2019. Our hope is not in politics or politicians, but we also know that wicked and unreasonable men can hinder the work of missions. Pray that the outcome of these elections would enable us to lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. Pray also that we would be able to continue to make the right decisions for the remainder of our time in the states, and that the Lord would direct our decisions as to the timing of our return to Malawi.