The fall is our busiest time of the year with regular obligations, occasional invitations to share and the many local association meetings that keep us on the road.
This week is setting up to be another busy one with an appointment on Tuesday with attorneys concerning a church closing, our annual visit with our auditors at the office on Wednesday and Thursday’s Central Arkansas association meeting.
It has been good to be able to assemble with our churches after having had our opportunities disrupted in 2020 and 2021.
I have been asked to attend Highland Hills’ homecoming services Sunday. I look forward to returning there as it was my first and only attempt to plant a church. The 10 years I was there were some of the highlights of my years of ministering. God truly poured out His blessing on that work. Having left there in 2009, I am happy to see her continuing to be a light in that part of the state. Paul Vincent is currently the pastor and is doing a great job. It will be good to see old friends and to make new ones.
From Our Missionaries
Misión Creciendo en Cristo (Growing in Christ), North Little Rock: Juan Carlos Posadas writes, “Rosa and Ramon invited us to have coffee at their house. When we arrived, they introduced us to Mireya, who is a university teacher in Mexico and has recently moved to Arkansas. We had a nice conversation and were able to share some biblical principles.
We invited them to our prayer meeting the following night. Additionally, we informed them that neither Sayra nor I would be there, since my mother-in-law’s flight would arrive at that time, and I would be teaching the Bible Study Methods class at the Bible Institute.
“The next day, Rosa, Mireya and Rocio arrived at the meeting. Incredibly, they brought a guest! Let’s keep praying for them.
“On Sunday, we celebrated our worship meeting within the framework of the independence festivities of the countries represented in our congregation — Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Chile. Each representation shared customs and characteristics of their country. Some brought typical costumes and each family prepared typical meals. We broke piñatas and played in the green area of the temple. We had a nice day of communion.
“María Luisa, a lady from Honduras, visited us for the first time. She integrated easily into the group and participated in all the activities. We pray that she continues to attend.”
Ebenezer, West Little Rock: Ruben Isturiz writes, “Today I feel nostalgic because baseball season is over and so is my chaplaincy for the season. It is a blessing to know every Hispanic player I spent time with as a chaplain. This is my 10th season and each one has been special. Each season, I teach them the Word of God, pray for their needs and am a friend in the season.
I minister not only to the Travelers players but also to the visiting team. This year, I provided chaplaincy to boys from the Dominican Republic, Panama, Mexico and Venezuela. Thank you to those of you who pray for me and support me; you are a team with me.
“At Ebenezer, we are already preparing for the men’s retreat. We will be studying the book of Titus. I will be leading a workshop on the inductive Bible study method based on the letter of Titus.
“We have four brothers from Ebenezer enrolled in the Arkansas Missionary Baptist Theological Institute. In three weeks, I can see their growth in the knowledge of the Word of God. To God be the glory!”
Faith Chapel, Flippin: Johnny Shew writes, “We had a great week at Faith Chapel, with a new second most ever attendance. We had two first-time visitors that we almost already knew. They were friends of some of the first members that had invited them and told us about them and had been watching online for a long time.
They hadn’t been attending church since COVID and came to visit. It was almost like welcoming old friends, and we were so happy they came. We are praying they will return.
“We have been very busy trying to finalize our plans and counting the costs for our new building. We did see some visual evidence of the work this week. We put up the street sign on our new road — Faith Chapel Lane — and we put up two large signs saying ‘Future Home of Faith Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, Come Grow With Us.’ You can see pictures of them on our Facebook page, and you can like and follow us there. It seems to have generated a lot of interest and excitement, not only in our members but in the community as well. We are excited about what the Lord is going to do in Flippin, in us and with us.
“We thank you for your support, and especially for your prayers! Please continue praying fervently — God is hearing and answering them.”
The Table, Springdale: Clinton Morris writes, “We are planning a baptism service for Gio. I am so excited to see what God is doing in his life and the direction he is headed. Pray for us as a church as we figure out how to continue to engage him and his precious family. They have now moved 40 minutes away and this makes in-person meetings very difficult.
We are looking into some halfway meeting points to have a Bible study.
“DeAnna and I are taking a 10-week break from running our Monday evening event at our house. The holiday season and the event are clashing. So instead of stressing, we have decided to take a break. We will be restructuring the event in January.
“I have had so many great meetings with people these last two weeks. I also have been on a bit of a roller coaster when it comes to plans. It seems like everything is stacking up from October through November. I am praying for strength to see me through these next few months.
“I had three amazing discipleship opportunities/conversations last week. The Table has leaders who are growing both in the knowledge of who God is, and in their ministry directive. I stand in awe of what God is doing. He is tackling all the issues, one by one.”
Faith Journey, Benton: Bryan Clay writes, “Faith Journey has had a busy week. I had the privilege of working alongside The Master’s Builders for a day at our mother church — Celebration Baptist Church in Haskell. These great folks have come to help build walls and get us moving forward on the addition to our present building.
It has been a pleasure to get to know these men and their wives and to see how God is using them to help local BMA churches and missions to expand God’s kingdom. They are great examples of people doing God’s work.
“We are continuing our study of Joshua this week. In Joshua 9, we can see that it is so imperative to consult with God in all decisions before we make them. The chapter reminds us of the importance God puts on His promises and oaths and we, as Christians, should feel that same importance in keeping our promises and oaths to those in our lives.
“Please pray for Faith Journey as we continue to reach people in our community and that we will have a productive week in building the kingdom of God.”
Misión Gracia Soberana (Sovereign Grace), NWA:Roberto Marcelletti writes, “And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26).The word Christian comes from Christ, who was the founding leader of this movement. A Christian is someone who has been bought through the sacrifice of Christ, who has been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and who,
in his life, displays clear evidence (fruits) that manifests itself in a change in his life. Since there is a before and after in the life of the new believer, a real Christian is a person who has confessed to being a sinner before God, who has asked God for forgiveness for those sins (Acts 2:38), who has accepted the sacrifice of the cross as the only thing who can cleanse his sins (Rom. 5:9) and who has come to confess Christ as Lord and Savior (Rom. 10:9-10). And his life gives evidence that this transformation has occurred. “So by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matt. 7:20).
“We also have the nominal Christian. Nominal means by name only. It refers to people who identify with the Christian movement without living by the standard set by Christ. Hence, there is an obvious contradiction between what they profess and what they live in practice. Which one do you identify with?
“Monday, God glorified greatly as I was evangelizing in Springdale and three people accepted Christ. Another woman reconciled with the Lord, and we are going to visit her this week to begin a process of discipleship with her and her husband.
“Tuesday, we continued to evangelize, and we were praying for four people. Thursday, we began to disciple a young man, and on Friday we had the meeting of our small group of seven people. We were worshipping with songs and sharing the lesson of our weekly discipleship. Saturday, we went to the Hispanic festival that was celebrating the daily care where Patty works. We were talking to a couple, and we invited them to our small group. They accepted the invitation and will accompany us next Friday.
“Almighty God has opened doors and people are being touched with the gospel. When we live the gospel, we are making it visible and as we live the mission of God, the Holy Spirit brings conviction in people and people accept Christ. Glory to God by His wonderful grace.”
Epic Life, Pea Ridge: Jake McCandless writes, “This Sunday is our first corporate gathering. Sunday, Sept. 25 at 5 p.m., we are hosting our first collective gathering worship night. We will be using our rented space — Legacy Tea & More. The worship band from our mother church, Epic Church NWA, will lead in worship.
Connection group members will be sharing throughout the worship time, and I will also share. We’re super excited about the response we’ve had in invites.
“Our meeting space is in an awesome location but isn’t furnished or equipped for such an event, but God has provided. Epic Church has provided use of any needed sound equipment and chairs; Fellowship, Bella Vista has given us a soundboard and That.Church in Cabot has given us a sound system and lighting. Through the startup funds provided by you through State Missions and the BMA of the Ozarks, we were able to cover other needs and purchase signs. Pray that those who have shown interest will come.
“I look forward to sharing the results of the gathering next week. We will follow this gathering up with a preview night of our Connection Group studies. We were also blessed to have a first-time visitor to our Connection Groups this week.”