Monday (Jan. 24), the Advisory Committee and I met with two new candidates seeking to serve as full-time missionaries. After our time together, the committee voted to recommend them to our churches at a called meeting of the Missionary Committee. The called meeting is to be held at South City (old Temple Baptist building) next to the BMA of Arkansas building on Feb. 10 at 10 a.m. These men truly have God’s call upon their lives. Please mark your calendars for this special meeting. Just imagine that you were being considered, wouldn’t you want people to come and support your call?
• Bryan Clay is a member of Celebration Baptist at Haskell. Baptist Trumpet Associate Editor Allan Eakin and pastor of Celebration said it was their church’s desire to plant a new church every five years or so. Bryan and his wife will be serving in an area between Bryant and Hot Springs that is beginning to see substantial growth. Thank you, Celebration, for your love for lost souls. We are excited to be planting a new work south of the Little Rock area.
• Roberto Marcelleti is a former church planter in Venezuela, having been instrumental in beginning three churches altogether. Roberto and his wife will be working in the Rogers area with Jake McCandless, pastor of Epic Church. Bro. Jake says his congregation is excited about working with Roberto and will be serving as the mother church. We have been praying for several years that God would send us someone to work with the Hispanics in that area and now, hopefully, God has answered that prayer.
Surviving the Storm
As I have watched the newsreels of the great tsunami in Japan a few years ago, I was taken back by the power of those waves and the utter destruction that lay in their wake. Then I thought that must be what our missionaries feel like. With Christianity being hit by a pandemic of epic proportions, I realized I had not correctly evaluated the damage it has inflicted upon our missionaries and their individual works. As I visit with these men, I can hear the discouragement that is all but overwhelming. It is hard to work for a year or two or three, then see your efforts and gains wiped out right before your eyes. The idea of having to start over is enough to cause men’s hearts to faint.
For the past two years, we have seen nearly a complete reversal in our works. None of our mission works are running near what they were two years ago. So, moving forward, we are going to have to be mindful of this in our evaluation of their results. It has not been business as usual.
Please join me in praying for our current missionaries and those the God will send to work with us in the future. Hopefully, this year we will finally see some light at the end of the tunnel and begin, once again, to gain the much-needed momentum.
From Our Missionaries
Misión Creciendo en Cristo (Growing in Christ), North Little Rock: Juan Carlos Posadas writes, “Saturday, we collected the donations from CityServe. That same day we called a family that only had a chair in their living room, which was in very poor condition and informed them that we had a living room set for their house. They do not attend church, but we have had the opportunity to meet them through the Community Service Program. Before they loaded the furniture into their vehicle, we had a time of prayer for the family and thanked God for the furniture that was provided for them. We hope to keep in touch with them and we pray that they allow us to share the gospel with them.
“María de los Ángeles is in intensive care at UAMS, and the doctors have said there is no hope of recovery for her. We will appreciate your prayers for the family, especially for her daughter, Mariana. When Mariana got married, her mother went to live with her, which is why she has told us that the separation will be hard, even though she knows they will see each other again in Heaven.
“Thank you for your support in prayer for this mission, God bless you all.”
Ebenezer, West Little Rock: Ruben Isturiz writes, “It has been a week full of challenges at Ebenezer. The father of one of the families in our congregation passed away on Saturday. Pray that, amid these circumstances, we will be a blessing to the family. I also have a family in quarantine and another with the flu. The challenges of this new wave of COVID have impacted the lives of our congregation.
“Last Sunday, our mother church canceled their services and only had it online. The Hispanic congregation also had an online meeting, without the families that are mourning and for those infected by COVID.
“Last Wednesday, we had our training via Zoom with the Awakening and Activating workshop of the ministry of novo.org. It was a good time full of blessings.
“This week the Berean Groups (cells) are suspended due to the sick members. We are praying that the circumstances will change next week and be favorable for the kingdom of God to advance in the midst of the difficulties of the pandemic.
“We are not discouraged, but challenged. We are on the side of the victorious; whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. To God be the glory!”
Faith Chapel, Flippin: Johnny Shew writes, “It was so good to be back to worship in person this week. We so need that fellowship and worship with other believers, and to just hear and learn from the Word of God. It is one of the ways He holds us up and makes the trials of this life bearable. Our number was down due to sickness in several families, but none of them have COVID. We also still have those that are just not getting out. I just pray that God will lay on their hearts what He wants them to do and that they would choose His will over the counsel of the world.
“We thank you for your prayers, for us, Faith Chapel, Flippin and our community. Please continue — God hears them and is answering.”
The Table, Springdale: Clinton Morris writes, “Sickness is going around, and many of our folks are out with the flu and COVID. My week was unexpectedly quieter because many of my meetings were canceled.
“I am working on videoing our teaching services so folks who are sick can have access. God is amazing. We will get through this, like everyone else has.
“I am excited to be getting many of our future plans off the ground. Keep praying for our plans that God will continue to provide direction, the people and the resources.”