Note: If you haven’t already done so, please go see our new website at BMAofArkansas.com. This is the landing page for all things related to our state association. From here you can also visit our new State Missions website (bmaARmissions.com) by clicking on the logo or from the menu.
I dropped by Johnny and Karen Shew’s home last Tuesday night (March 1) to look over their building plans and discuss some changes along with other topics. While he decided to hold off right now until they overcome the lingering effects of COVID, they are setting themselves a growth goal and, once reached, it will be time to “turn some dirt,” hopefully later this year.
Last Thursday (March 3), I had the privilege of driving around the future area of the soon-to-be Faith Journey Mission under the leadership of Bryan Clay. He and his wife, Kelley are truly excited to be serving as your missionaries and he says this is a dream come true. They have already been recruiting folks for their core group. It is evident by the new subdivisions in that part of southwest Saline County that it is destined to grow.
Wheels for Jesus
On Monday (March 7), Bryan and I traveled to get the church van that was donated to Life Journey in Fort Smith (the recently discontinued work). Bryan is very youth-orientated and is thankful to have something to transport them around. I want to thank our churches who have remembered their missionaries when replacing their vans. In fact, all new mission works need just about everything to help them when starting up.
This past weekend, Roberto Marcelletti, our other new missionary, spent time in the Rogers-Springdale area looking for a place to live. They hope to be on the field sometime later this month. I am looking forward to working with Roberto and Patricia in the coming days and getting to know them better.
From Our Missionaries
Misión Creciendo en Cristo (Growing in Christ), North Little Rock: Juan Carlos Posadas writes, “On Saturday afternoon, the ladies of the church gathered to begin the series of studies on women in the Bible. The first character to study is Sara. They did not finish, but each of the attendees promised to continue with the study at home and meet again to share what they have learned. In our Sunday meeting, we studied Proverbs 13.
“At the beginning of the week, we received the news that the father of Sister Yolanda died. He lived in Chile, and it was not possible for her to travel and be at her father’s funeral. I ask your prayers for the family, especially for our sister, Yolanda.
“About a month ago, we had a visit from Nahum, Liliana and her three children. They were planning to move to Little Rock. Nahum is a friend of Jamin, who invited him to join us. This weekend, they visited us again and let us know they had already moved and that they plan to congregate with us. We hope we can bless their lives and that the Lord allows us to guide them spiritually.”
Ebenezer, West Little Rock: Ruben Isturiz writes, “We had a good Celebration Service. A young man I knew years ago visited us for the first time, but he was disconnected from the church. Pray for Uriel.
“We finished a series of messages based on to the questions that Jesus asked Peter: ‘Who do you say that I am?’ The other question that we did was, ‘Jesus, who am I to you?’ (my identity in Christ).
“The Berean Groups (cells) of west Little Rock and Bryant continue to function. We need to activate SW Little Rock. Pray for God to reopen this door.
“Saturday, we were able to organize and give responsibilities to our young people in their own activities. It is the seedbed we have for the future of Ebenezer because 50% of them do not know about Christ. They are very enthusiastic about getting together and bringing their friends. Be praying that God may bring fruits of this ministry. To God be the glory.”
Faith Chapel, Flippin: Johnny Shew writes, “We had another great week at Faith Chapel as we matched our number from last week, but with several different people. We had some return this week that haven’t been since the second wave of COVID hit. We also had some return visitors and one first-time visitor. Praise God, He is bringing us through this.
“Last week, we went to Cornerstone Baptist Church in Bentonville to pick up a large amount of furniture and furnishings they gave us. We thank God for them and their generous gifts. We pray that they will bear much fruit for the Lord in their new location.
“So many have helped support us over the last two years, and so many continue to. We thank God for each of you — individuals, churches, associations — for allowing Him to work through you. Without your faithful support, we could not do this. Thank you for your prayers most of all. God is answering them!”
The Table, Springdale: Clinton Morris writes, “The week felt long, but that had much to do with the weather. The rain has made it gloomy. I had several conversations with people throughout the week, a few that were noteworthy. I am praying for a few of our people that have been out for a few weeks now due to sickness and other reasons.
“We have had over 20 people the last two weeks, which has been exciting. We are looking forward to our studies advancing and a few of our additional small group study times getting off the ground.”
Faith Journey, Benton/Hot Springs Area: Bryan Clay writes, “First, I would like to thank the BMA of Arkansas for helping Celebration Baptist Church in Haskell send me and my wife Kelley as missionaries to the Benton/Hot Springs area. Two years ago, in March of 2020, we began to pray for this opportunity and are very excited to get started building this mission and leading people to Christ.
“My first official week as a new missionary gave me the opportunity to show Bro. Paul the area that God has laid on my heart to start this mission. I was encouraged to hear him ask, ‘Why don’t we have a church here already?’ We spent time traveling the area and discovering the fast-growing area that includes numerous new constructions of subdivisions, as well as plans for new schools in the area and new businesses.
“I have been praying for God to bring people into our lives that may be part of this new church plant and that God would open doors for me in the Benton community so that I could get to know people that He could use to start this mission. God has already been answering those prayers. I received a message from a new friend who knows of the church plant, and he invited me to a monthly Men’s Bible study that is supported by men from the community. These gentlemen were very eager to hear about Faith Journey and came together to pray over our new church plant.
“The next step with Faith Journey is to begin to assemble a launch team. We are praying that God will send the people He wants to use to build this mission and begin to win souls to Christ.
“Please continue to pray for God’s guidance as we begin the exciting, but humbling, experience of starting a BMA church from the ground up. Faith is a journey, and that is what we will cling to as we follow what God has planned for us.”