I am happy to announce that your State Missions has gotten off to a good start in 2022. We have been blessed to add three new missionaries this year and to witness some of our works growing ever closer to maturity. All the lives that are changed, souls that are saved and families spared through the work of your missionaries is a direct result of your faithful prayers and generous support of State Missions.
Again, I encourage you to make a special effort to drop by and pay these men a visit. What a wonderful way to encourage them and you might even buy them a meal.
On Aug. 1-2, the Advisory Committee and I made our annual fall tour to all our current mission locations. We were uplifted and encouraged as we heard report after report of how God is blessing your efforts through State Missions. We even heard of one of our newer ones having plans to organize sometime next summer! Praise the Lord!
Pay It Forward
While the time for our Special Emphasis officially came to an end on July 31, we want to take a moment to thank those who have given and want others to know that anytime is a good time to take up an offering for the purpose of saving lost souls.
I am also looking forward to making many of the local associational meetings this year. Please be understanding as several meet on the same day. We will do our best to get to as many as possible.
From Our Missionaries
Misión Creciendo en Cristo (Growing in Christ), North Little Rock: Juan Carlos Posadas writes, “In the prayer meeting last Friday, Jose David, a young man of about 22 years, expressed his desire to pray and ask God for forgiveness for having been away from Him for some time. We prayed with him and offered to formally study the Bible through discipleship. We hope God will produce the desire in his
heart to seriously study His Word.
“We concluded our series of studies in Proverbs on Sunday with the study of the Virtuous Woman from chapter 31. We thank God for the book of Proverbs that teaches us about wisdom applied to our daily lives.
“We are praying for God’s direction regarding the spiritual care of tweens. The discipleship material we use is for older ages and they need more than Sunday meetings. Perhaps the Awana program could be the answer, but that would require more human resources willing to serve. Let us pray for the volunteers to serve and all the necessary resources to better attend to the needs of pre-adolescents.”
Faith Chapel, Flippin: Johnny Shew writes, (8/7) “We had another great week at Faith Chapel! We didn’t break our attendance record again like we had the past two weeks as we had several members out, but we did have our second-best attendance ever, and our best-ever for under 16 years old. Praise God, even our return visitors are bringing visitors!
“We met with the Missionary Advisory Committee on Aug 1, and they were very supportive. They prayed with us and encouraged us. After they made their rounds, Bro. Paul let us know that they had voted to recommend us again. We thank God for that, for those men who take their responsibility to God and to the BMA of Arkansas so seriously and for the kind and loving way they go about it.
“We thank God for you also, each and every one of you in the BMA that prays for us, supports us and allows us to do this with your blessing and support. It is truly humbling, and we will continue to try our best to be faithful to our calling where God has placed us.
(8/14) “We had another great week at Faith Chapel! For the third time in the past four weeks, we set a new attendance record, and the week we didn’t set a record was our second most ever — what a month! We had 42 Sunday morning and we also had a new record for under 16 years of age — we had 15. Praise God and thank You for bringing them.
“This is an amazing time for our mission. We are growing and need a new place to meet, so we are working on our plans to move forward with our own building on the beautiful piece of land we bought last year. We are praying for the Lord to open the doors He wants us to walk through. We know He will meet our needs, according to His riches in glory, because we are here to do His work, not our own.
“Thank you again for your prayers for us, Faith Chapel, Flippin and the work that God gave us to do here. Please continue because He is hearing and answering them.”
The Table, Springdale: Clinton Morris writes, “We had our one-year anniversary since we started meeting at Old Pine Coffee Roasters. We had a party that included a sermon from Joshua 4 about why we set up reminders to see how God has worked in our lives and to give Him praise. We made a gift basket for the owner’s family of Old Pine. They have been so gracious to allow us to use their place rent-free and also have given us free coffee, such things are unheard of these days.
“We are working hard at developing our kid’s ministries alongside of Erin and Chris. We will be excited to see how the 4–8-year-old class helps the kids. Our 9–12-year old’s will be sitting in the main service, but we are developing a special small group for this age group.
“I finally got back on the bike and road 27 miles this week. I plan on getting much more riding in, but I am so thankful that I am beginning to feel well again. Thanks to everyone who has been praying for my health.
“DeAnna is knitting hats for the homeless. If folks have extra yarn or would be willing to donate some yarn, it would be very helpful.
“We began posting advertising for Tablecon, and already we had a family check in on the church. I’m so glad to see that more people want to check out what God is doing.”
Faith Journey, Benton: Bryan Clay writes, “I hope everyone has been blessed or has been a blessing this week. We are already thinking ahead to Christmas at Faith Journey. We are starting to gather items for sending out in shoeboxes for The Everlasting Smiles Shoebox Ministry. These shoeboxes will be filled with useful items, full of love and prayers.
“We have started doing some one-on-one discipleship in our ministry, and we are being more deliberate about growing relationships with individuals that are coming into our ministry. Please pray that the Lord will send people into our presence that are seeking Him and help us make meaningful connections.
“We talked on Deut. 6:4-9, which tells us to love the Lord our God with all our heart and repeat these things to our children. We discussed how we should live by example, always teaching and showing the love and grace that Christ has given to us. We used the three A’s as a guide to showing these things to our children —Attention, Affirmation and Affection. We must show up for our children, let them know often how proud we are of them and show daily affection that meets the needs in our children’s hearts.
“We are helping each other build a stronger, closer relationship with our Savior and deeper, richer relationships in our families. I hope everyone has a wonderful week!”
Misión Gracia Soberana (Sovereign Grace), NWA:Roberto Marcelletti writes, “We have been reading Ezek. 14:1-5. When the elders of Israel went before the prophet Ezekiel to ask God questions, God knew there were idols in their hearts. God created us, and He created us to worship Him. Human beings are always worshiping something or someone; if it is not God for which we were made, we will be worshiping an idol.
“I saw it precisely this week as I was reading a very recent survey of pastors in this country where they pointed out which modern idols had the greatest influence on congregations — comfort, 67%; control and security, 56%; money, 55%; success, 49%; social influence, 39%; political power, 32%; and romantic love, 14%. What controls our hearts is where our treasure is — our priorities — and the Bible is emphatic in telling us to lay up treasures in Heaven (Matt. 6:19-24). There are only two kinds of treasures — the earthly and the heavenly — and the treasure we choose will be the one that governs us. In the face of this worrying survey, let us preach for people to set their sights and look for heavenly treasures.
“This week was very busy. Thank God, we were able to make contacts and build relationships with the people with whom we are working. Tuesday, we had a visit to our apartment from two women. One was visiting her daughter, and we were able to share the gospel with her. Thursday, we continued to disciple a woman and her granddaughter for the third week of discipleship, and we are praying for her husband. Friday, we continued discipling a woman, but that day she brought her mother and began the discipleship. Saturday, we were invited to the apartment of one of the families we are discipling, and we met four people and shared with them about our work in the Northwest area of Arkansas and we were able to talk to them about the gospel.
“Sunday, we were visiting the Fellowship Baptist Church in Bella Vista during Sunday School and sharing the church planting project that we are developing. That day, we were accompanied by seven people we are discipling.”
Pea Ridge: Jake McCandless writes, “This week our Connection and Launch Group shared our ‘Kingdom Dreams.’ We were blown away to hear we were all being led in the same direction — to prepare our lives and homes to host friends and Bible studies. Things I thought might never come to fruition were already in motion.
“We were also offered a meeting site in a local nutrition shake shop. The ultimate highlight was when a student led the kid’s breakout discovery Bible study. This same student wasn’t even vocal about faith when our group began last fall.
“I’m not given much space, but I want to trickle out the origin story of the Pea Ridge mission. Six years ago, my first book (Spiritual Prepper) was released. It was written to help individuals prepare spiritually for the challenges now and in the future. I then pitched a follow-up book, Church Prepper, about how churches should prepare for future challenges. The publisher was interested but asked if I had put any of these ideas into practice. I was busted. It was all theory.
“Little did I know that a few months later I’d be introduced to leaders of the Iranian underground church. The church in Iran was and is the fastest growing church in the world. I also became friends with a former Voice of the Martyrs team member who had founded the Church Persecution Preparedness Institute. These experiences and others began to shape my approach to church. (To be continued)”