July & August 2018

Dear Friends in Christ,

Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;   2 Corinthians 4:1

Camargo:  The Iglesia Bíblica Bautista is trying to recuperate from having to dismiss my assistant.
Three of our teens, Paco, Javier and Cristian have pretty much dropped out, but still come to a few teen activities, so there is still hope!  Our church seems a little discouraged, some missing now and then.  Please pray we’ll recover completely and then some!

Door knocking – evangelism:  We’ve had record numbers of our people come out to knock doors, and have covered a large section close to our church building, this summer!  We are still following up on several who made professions of faith in Christ.  Bro. Joel has started leading people to Christ, being a good example to their three kids.

Teen Camp:  I took eight teens to camp in Huachichil, Cuauhuila in July.  Three of them made decisions to serve the Lord full-time and are working toward that!

Work Group:  Valley Forge Baptist in Collegeville PA helped us with materials and sent a group of 11 men and ladies to help us insulate and stucco the outside walls of our church building.  The building looks very nice, to the glory of God!  It is also cooler inside, thus easier to cool. The ladies helped get the nursery and bathrooms cleaned, walls painted and decorated.  Wow, what  a blessing!  What would have taken our church several years, was done in one week.  Every time we knock doors, someone says they’ve seen our “new” building on the corner.

Vacation Bible School:  We starting the first day with 56 kids, increasing every day, to 117.  The theme was THE WAY.  Some of the girls from the youth group made the back drop and road leading to the cross at the front.  We had great participation of our church people, many helped teaching, with crafts, refreshments and clean-up.  What a blessing!  I am thankful for our church!
Usiel and Jorge, who have been serving a year in the church we started in Anáhuac, Chihuahua, came down to put the VBS on for us.  What a blessing!  We have a couple of families who come some as a result of the VBS, and we are still working with others.

Civil Association:  We are trying to register our church as a legal entity, as being a service to the community.  This should allow us to have the property of the church in the name of the association and not just one person.  Please pray for this lengthy process!

Assistants:  I mentioned in the last letter that God has called Arturo to preach, and that he is helping me with the youth.  He is also teaching a kids class, and helping me every day with construction, various jobs around the building, as well with visits and such.
Jorge Orozco, brother of the pastor in Anáhuac, will be coming the middle of October, to work with us.  He is in his first year of Bible institute, on-line.  Though he is not officially engaged, he and his girlfriend who lives in Sinaloa, have talked of getting married next September.  Please pray that I know how to help these young men to mature, and grow in the Lord, that they would serve Him to the best of their ability, wherever He would lead!

Praise:  Good number out evangelizing, souls saved; Teen Camp & decisions made; Work group, construction; Great VBS; Assistants, Arturo & Jorge;
Prayer:  Church to recuperate, Teen boys to be encouraged; Follow-up – Evangelism & VBS; Civil Association; Assistants – God’s will.

In His Service,

I am not alone

The Lord is surely coming back in my life-time! I just turned sixty and realize that if I should die or the Lord would  come for all of us, whatever I will do for Christ I had better do now! I do not have time to feel sorry for myself, or to lose a single day mired in self-pity over missing Connie, though I do miss her so much!

All who are close to the ministry of First Baptist Church of Milford Ohio (FBCM) likely know that my life’s partner Connie went home to be with the Lord on September 6th of last year. I was asked to write a testimonial article about continuing the mission work after losing my mate. I am so blessed that I have not lost my mate; I know exactly where she is! The knowledge and hope (expectation) that she is with our Lord brings me such comfort and peace, and a sense of anxious anticipation. You see, in a little while I too can put off this house of clay and look full in His wonderful face! Having this peace helps keep me determined and motivated while I am still able. Letting up or doing less is just not an option.

Read the whole article…

May & June 2017

Dear Friends in Christ,

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1Corinthians 15:55 – 57

Camargo: Bro. Anselmo and wife Lina’s 17 year old son, Hugo, drowned in the irrigation canal in their village of San Ignacio, about 15 minutes from Camargo. Anselmo is faithful to services and door knocking, etc. Certainly a difficult funeral, as all in San Ignacio knew of Hugo’s life, that there was no evidence of God in his life, though we had tried several times to talk with him of his need for the Lord. In the message I told them that Hugo would want all of them to know that hell is real, that Jesus would not have died as our substitute if it wasn’t horrible, and that those who aren’t saved will go there. Then that Christ died to save them if they repent of their sin, turning their back on everything else they trust in, putting 100% of their faith in Christ, the Savior of the world. The small funeral chapel was packed and several more at the windows, at least 100 listened attentively to the gospel. At the graveside I told them that death is the proof we are all sinners, in need of the Savior. I challenged them to not let this death be in vain, that they would seek the Lord while they still have breath and hope. A week later, Anselmo convinced all 3 of his grown children and some of their families to come to the service Sunday evening. Please pray for Anselmo and Lina and their family, that God would save those who are lost. Alma, and her 3 boys are faithful to all services. We have prayed four years for her husband Meni to be saved. His parents made a profession of faith in Christ a couple of months ago. Meni came on Father’s Day, and heard, “It is impossible to be a good dad if you are not saved!” I had showed him how several times, but he still wouldn’t come forward at the invitation. Afterward I asked him if he would just surrender to God and be saved. He said, “Wednesday”. I told him if he died before then, he would go to hell, to which he thoughtfully said again, “Wednesday”. On Wednesday he did ask Christ to save him! Amen!

Building: We’ve gotten a lot done on the remodeling of the building the Lord has given us, but there isn’t any more money to be able to do much more for a while. Our people are tithing and giving, and have purchased all the ceramic tile for the auditorium and entry, all the way to the front gate, and have the money for the glue and grout to lay it, and they are praying and giving to pay to have it laid.

Teens: Satan always attacks those most vulnerable, those with the most potential to thwart his efforts. Some of the lost, religious parents here either hinder or prohibit their teen from attending or even speaking to our teens or Bro. Ismael, the youth leader. The amazing thing is the desire their teens have to know the truth. Please pray for our teens to be a witness, and reach the future of the Iglesia Bíblica Bautsta here in Camargo! We took 12 teens to camp, about 8 hours away. There was a great spirit, and the Lord used the preaching to bring one of our teens to Christ for salvation, and another for full-time service!! Amen!

Praise: Gospel preached at funeral; Meni & parents, teen saved; Building progress; Camp – decisions made

Prayer: Anselmo’s family and others who heard the gospel, to be saved, Building remodeling – God’s provision; Teens and their parents; Commitments made at camp to be real & lasting.

In His Service,

November & December 2016

Dear Friends in Christ,

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of my Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Psalm 91:1,2

Happy New Year! As we recall events and hardships of 2016, we need to remember that the past is an ally, not an enemy; God always knows and wants what’s best for us and for His glory! I know that if we will rest in God’s grace and be what He could use, for eternity’s sake, we’ll have a blessed 2017! Thank you so much for your faithful support, special Christmas gifts and for your prayers!

Camargo: The Iglesia Biblica Bautista is responding well, stepping up in Connie’s place. Several are getting involved in activities and responsibilities of the church. For some it is only physical, being more faithful to services and helping to serve, clean and such. We are discipling 7 people, who say upon completing their discipleship, they’ll teach a class, disciple someone else or help in ministry. We continue presenting the gospel, passing out tracts, door knocking, and in services. Some make professions of faith, that merely want to add more religion to their beliefs but have no desire to follow the Lord or make any change, but we keep looking for that person who wants to know! Alicia and Mariana, a mother and teen age daughter, whose family members were killed, and many other problems, made a profession of faith, but have plenty of excuses to not attend services. Since Connie’s death, I have preached 2 funerals, and her testimony has proved invaluable! One, a 17 year old who was running with the wrong crowd, was killed. He had asked his aunt who attends our church about salvation, so don’t know if he was saved or not. An older man on his death bed, trusted Christ a week earlier. Amen! After each funeral, a family member told me they were concerned for their soul. We are trying to help them, but have not made any headway yet.

Intern: I praise the Lord for Ismael and Sarahi and two boys! Mateo was born November 2, and both he and Sarahí are doing well! They are very committed; I tell him one time, and it will be done on time! The church is accepting them well, and they praise God for bringing them here to Camargo. Pray for them to know God’s will for their life, and for the wisdom I need to help them in their spiritual growth. Ismael put on the Christmas program on December 11, involving both Sunday school classes and the teens with a puppet presentation that he wrote. We had 65 in attendance. He took the services while I went up to Oklahoma for Christmas with the family. It was good for him, to do everything with services, discipleships and door knocking. I returned to Camargo in time for our watch-night service.

Family: Connie had so looked forward to being with the family for Christmas this year. I felt that our kids, grandbabies, Connie’s sister and family, her mom and dad and I needed that time together to remember Connie and honor the family that was her pride and joy. Bittersweet memories!

Praise: A blessed 2016; Souls saved; God and the churches we’re allowed to serve; Good Christmas; New baby, Ismael & their faithfulness; Great time with the family; Connie is with Christ, and not sick

Prayer: Souls to be saved, baptized, discipled, serving; Ismael, wisdom; My future and my family

In His Service,

September & October 2016

Dear Friends in Christ,

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:13

Camargo: The Iglesia Bíblica Bautista has struggled a little, obviously missing Connie very much. She passed away September 6 and her funeral was Saturday, September 10. As we were going up to the U.S. for treatment, Connie asked about the church in Camargo, “What about our 3 year-old?” My pastor assured me that I needed to take care of my bride, and that God would take care of His! I got back to Mexico on Wednesday Sept. 14th, and conducted a memorial service, with 65 in attendance. I challenged them with; “What would Connie want us to do now?” The Lord helped me, and I only broke down briefly a couple of times. I encouraged them to be faithful and take up where she left off, and not allow her investment in all of us to have been in vain. Several people gave testimony of Connie’s faithfulness to the church here, to her family, but especially to her Lord. Karla, one of the ladies Connie discipled, told how Connie carried a little 3- legged camp stool when they knocked doors, and sometimes had to sit by the street while Karla knocked the door. What few knew, was that for the last year except for doctors’ visits, Connie only went out of the house for services; to teach the kids on Sunday and Thursday, to knock doors and disciple some ladies. The main theme of the testimonies was that of Connie’s consistent example and testimony, and that she was always a lady in appearance, speech and actions. Her love for the Lord was obvious! We all knew her for her contagious smile! The church is rallying and becoming more faithful, so the Lord is taking care of His bride, and mine! Amen!

In October, fifty-five came out to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the church!

Several have sent money for Connie’s Memorial Fund for a church building here in Camargo. Thank You!

Ismael & Sarahi: The young couple I wrote of have moved here and are working with our teens, the music program, helping me with visits and much more. They’ve had 4 teen meetings, with several attending every time. They are a real blessing and the church seems to be accepting them well. Pray for them, and for me to have wisdom to know how to train them. Their son Diego is 3 and Sarahi is to give birth to a second boy any day now!

Permanent Residence: Shortly after arriving, I became an official Mexican resident! No more annual visas! Connie so wanted us to get these documents, but missed it by a few weeks. I hadn’t thought about having to change my marital status on all official documents. ): I have marked “married” on everything for 36 years! I sure miss Connie!

Family: All my kids helped me with the funeral, and they call to see how I’m doing. Andrew and his family came to Mexico the day after I returned, and cleared Connie’s clothes out, and are helping me with many things. Bethany and her boys also came to help me for a week! I am so blessed!

Praise: God’s grace and goodness; Good memorial service; Workers; Permanent Residence

Prayer: God’s comfort; Iglesia Biblica Bautista, Souls to be saved; Ismael & Sarahi, ministry & birth

In His Service,