Saturday, June 22, 2024
Saturday, June 22, 2024
HomeAll The NewsSTATE MISSIONS: Skips In Our Rows


Prayer Request

Saturday while attending the Jonesboro District Brotherhood, Johnny Shew received a phone call that they had found his younger sister deceased. It appears she passed in her sleep. Please pray for the family during this time of sorrow.

Celebration Sunday

It was my privilege to be with Johnny Shew and the Faith Chapel family Sunday as they celebrated their third anniversary as a mission. The Spirit was present, and the building was full. I can hardly wait to see what God has in store for Faith Chapel once they get into their own building. The slab should be poured this week, and the Master’s Builders are planning to arrive there on April 3.

Skips in Our Rows

“And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).

It is necessary for the follower of God to stay focused on the task at hand. As a young boy, I helped my dad plow our fields.

Being a mere child of about 12, I had a lot to learn. One year, we were getting behind cultivating the cotton and dad borrowed a Ford tractor from a neighbor with a rear attachment cultivator, which I had never seen since I was raised around MT, A and B John Deere’s. Dad said, “Son, once you start, you are committed.” On the front end was a pointer set to center over the row to keep the plows where they belonged. It was extremely hard for me to put my trust in that pointer; after all, if it was not set right, it would mean disaster for the plants. I could not resist the temptation, from time to time, to look back over my shoulder to see if everything was all right. But, every time I looked back, I would swerve and make what was called a skip in the rows, plowing up the good plants for a few feet.

It was later in life when I read this verse and saw how much the comparison was for me of what Jesus meant in this verse. In earlier verses, several had made excuses about following the Lord. While they said they would, they then hesitated to do so.

How many of God’s children are in this same position? Having started out serving God like a house on fire, only to find later they have become one of those who look back. This verse deals with commitment, taking up our cross, which I believe does not mean we are to carry it but instead we are to get on it and follow Him. We do not want to be like the seed that sprang up and soon withered.

If you are finding it difficult to follow God, just maybe you are spending too much time looking back.

From Our Missionaries

Misión Creciendo en Cristo (Growing in Christ), North Little Rock: Juan Carlos Posadas writes, “Lucio de Jesús made his profession of faith last Monday. We spoke on the phone, and he was ready to receive Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He is aware of the miracle God did in his body, healing him from the intensive care bed, even when the doctors gave him no hope of life.

On Monday, March 13 we will begin to study the Bible with him, and will invite his sister, Marta to join us. Let us pray that they become disciples of Jesus.

“We are glad for the prayers God has answered regarding the Friday night meetings. This encourages us and maintains a fervent desire to continue seeking the Lord in a corporate way. We have several families being attacked by the enemy. Please pray for spiritual firmness and for non-believing spouses to become Christians.

“I beg you to pray for my father-in-law as he is in very poor health. Sayra will travel to Honduras on March 23 with the purpose of staying with him for a few weeks and presenting the gospel to him again. Let us pray for his conversion to the Lord and for his recovery of health if it is God’s will.”

Ebenezer, West Little Rock: Ruben Isturiz writes, “It has been a challenging week with some sick Ebenezer members. Please pray especially for Avelina Santos, she is our oldest founding member at 87 years old. She is the most faithful in attendance and service to the Lord. All of us at Ebenezer love our sister, and she inspires us. Pray for her health.

“Both the schedule change and some sickness caused our attendance this week to be down, but it was a good opportunity to continue to talk and learn about what a church should be — our family of family. It was a very interactive service, with worship and time for questions and answers. Thank God that, since its founding, at Ebenezer we have had harmony and an environment of God’s grace.

“I see how during this time people have come for healing, spiritual and emotional restoration of lives — people who were disconnected from the church and who would not be accepted in other congregations. I thank God for the restoration of lives.

“Thank you for your prayers. Pray for our membership meeting and training plans that will begin this month. To God be the glory!”

Faith Chapel, Flippin: Johnny Shew writes, “What a busy week we had at Faith Chapel! The building is progressing slowly but surely. The plumbing has been roughed in, and the floor and septic are scheduled for this next week if the weather cooperates.

“I attended the North Arkansas Association meeting at Pleasant Grove Saturday and shared with them a little about the mission. From there I went to the Jonesboro Association’s Brotherhood meeting at StoneRidge Camp and had a great meal and fellowship. I found out while I was there that my younger sister had passed away, so that meeting quickly turned sad. But I know she was saved, I know where she is and I know she is not hurting anymore. Praise God, she got to go home to be with Jesus.

“Sunday morning, we had our third anniversary service, and Paul White came and brought a very fitting message. After the service, we had a good BBQ meal, then I had to make a quick round trip to North Little Rock to be with my family.

“Thank you for your prayers for us, Faith Chapel and for Flippin. Also, please pray for my mother, my sister’s children and grandchildren and the rest of the family. We really do appreciate all of your prayers!”

The Table, Springdale: Clinton Morris writes, “The week flew by in a flurry of meetings, meetups, leadership moments and discussions of new ministries. It is so good to see the people of the church interact and the potential for the future.

“Please pray for Clement. He is thinking of starting a midweek conversation Bible study that we are considering naming ‘The Coffee Table.’ This will be such an amazing asset to the church and future discipleship.

“On Sunday, we put together blessing bags for our local homeless population. We often see homeless people standing on the side of the road in our communities or sitting by themselves in isolated places. We wanted to create a way to engage these people with the gospel while also meeting some of their physical needs. The church folks brought in essential items — Bibles, water bottles, oatmeal, applesauce with spoon, granola, washcloths, toothbrushes, soap, feminine hygiene helps and a few other items. It is so beautiful to see the hands and feet at work for our community. So many people are being encouraged through the ministry of this church. Please continue to pray for protection for those of The Table.”

Faith Journey, Benton: Bryan Clay writes “Faith Journey is enjoying the beginnings of the spring season. We sure do enjoy having the extra daylight, which means we can search for land in our target area for a little longer in the day. We were able to meet with a landowner in that area to try to get some leads. Please keep praying that God will open the doors to where He wants this mission to be planted.

“We had a lesson at Faith Journey about meeting people and finding our common ground with them. We did a fun, get-to-know-you activity that paired us up to learn about the things we have in common. In I Cor. 9:19-23, the Apostle Paul said we should find a way to connect with people where they are so we may be able to share the gospel with them. The Bible shows us that Jesus continually met people where they were at in their lives, and we should follow His example.”

Misión Gracia Soberana (Sovereign Grace), NWA:Roberto Marcelletti writes, “The Lord, by providence, gave us a beautiful week where we continue our work of intentional formation through discipleship. We are preaching our fundamentals to live a life pleasing to God and not failing to teach that each believer has a mission where God has placed him is a missionary. Sovereign Grace enables each member so that they can fulfill that mission with their family.

“We continue our three weeks where the candidates to be baptized attends their essential classes. The first thing we are working on is conversion, which is a true change the Lord produces and it is not by the will of man. There are six candidates who continue Sunday to Sunday with great enthusiasm for learning, thus preparing for baptism.

“Every Friday another group of six people is being discipled in our home. This week another family joined our discipleship.”

Epic Life, Pea Ridge: Jake McCandless writes, “‘I want to live my life for God now,’ was what someone told the connection group coach of our newest group.

“This week, I got a glimpse of what Epic Life could be and I feel we’re catching momentum. Amanda and I spent nearly every evening at a community event, and we had the chance to share about Epic Life at each one.

“We had a powerful Connection Group Wednesday night, and Thursday I had the chance to share our vision with a ministry student who is moving into the area. He said, ‘Sounds like you’re trying to live out the Book of Acts.’

“Friday, I sat in on our newest Connection Group and was in awe as I saw the community that had already been built and how great the coach was that led the group.

“On Saturday, Amanda and I had dinner with a couple interested in learning more. They too said, ‘This is the type of thing, we’ve longed for — like the Book of Acts.’

“The week culminated in the most moving worship time I have experienced in a long time. To top it off, we had four first-time visitors!

“It was an exciting week, even after personally spending a day in the emergency room.”