July 30 was the official end of our 2023 Special Emphasis campaign, but don’t let that beat you out of a blessing. Anytime is a good time to support State Missions. In fact, funds generally continue to come in until fall. So, if you have not had an opportunity to take up an offering, it is not too late. Every effort is appreciated.
This coming Sunday morning, I will be with the Kingsland Baptist Church and Pastor Rick Bolin. Unless I hear from you, this will be our last appointment concerning Special Emphasis. A very special thank you to all who helped us this year to “Send the Light.”
Visiting my Daughter
I was blessed to be with the Bridge Baptist Church in Mountain Home and Pastor Hershel Conley. I say “daughter” because we were privileged to be the sending church for them. Highland Hills was the mother church and, having planted Highland Hills, I feel I had a part in it. Just like kids will do, The Bridge has gone on to be the sending church — “mother” church — for Faith Chapel in Flippin with Missionaries Johnny and Karen Shew. Wow, guess that is going to make Highland Hills a grandma!
Former pastor/missionary Jim Tollison suffered a severe heart attack early this year, and he and Becky need our prayers. Having lost about half of his heart, he is finding it tough to rebound.
Advisory Committee/Directors Fall Mission Tour
August 21-22 have been set aside this year for our mandated annual trip to the various mission fields. This is a very taxing but beneficial trip as it gives our missionaries an opportunity to share their world with us and to take care of important business. I appreciate all those who selflessly serve on our committees, giving their time to serve our association. Pray for our safe travel.
From Our Missionaries
Misión Creciendo en Cristo (Growing in Christ), North Little Rock: Juan Carlos Posadas writes, “We had a tremendous week full of blessings and challenges, we had 23 volunteers and 55 children attend our Vacation Bible School. In addition to their time and personal abilities, the members of the church donated food, sweets, snacks, cookies, fruit, juices, water, etc.
“We had several children who attended our VBS for the first time, some who returned and those from the church. Bicxeli (12) received Christ as her Lord and Savior. Larissa, Reina, Andrea, Michael, Vanessa, Fatima, Daniela, Elder, Ian Carlo and Victoria, all over the age of 10, expressed their desire to learn more about Jesus. This week, we will invite them to watch the movie ‘God is Not Dead 1,’ as this requires an immediate follow-up. Please pray for each of these children, that God will continue to work in their minds and hearts, and they can make their profession of faith.
“We had the opportunity to talk with Alexis and Magaly, Luca and Elia’s parents. We realized their need for some furniture for their house and we shared a twin bed with them, with its mattress and pillow. We also gave them an entertainment center. They do not have a church, and we invited them to join us. On Sunday, they all arrived, and we hope they will continue to visit us. Let us pray that God will continue to do the work in their lives.”
Ebenezer, West Little Rock: Ruben Isturiz writes, “Sunday was an inspiring service as we saw Pedro Noriega and his son, Douglas. Pedro had been sick for a long time with kidney disease, and we had been praying for his healing. Just to see him attend and see him looking so much better was a joy. Keep praying for his health.
We also continue to give the workshop on ‘Gospel Movement.’ This week we were teaching another way of sharing the gospel through the ‘Romans Road.’
“As I wrote to you last week, we took five days of vacation, and it was a good time to connect as a family and enjoy our children since we are in that time of transition where Rubencito, our son, is going to college and Zuly, our daughter, is in her last year of high school. Pray for us as a family that God will give us wisdom on how to continue guiding our children.
“After the Celebration service, I went to give the Bible study to the baseball players, and it was an inspiring time. The Arkansas Travelers and the Arkansas Naturals were together. There were 13 Hispanic players, and the theme that I touched this Sunday had to do with salvation, so I presented the gospel. Pray that the seed sown will germinate. Thank you for praying and supporting us in the ministry; to God be the glory!”
Faith Chapel, Flippin: Johnny Shew writes, “We had another wonderful week at Faith Chapel, with a few out, but still a really good number. We are so looking forward to being in the new building, but we are also going to miss the old rented one where we started, and where each of our members has joined us.
Most of our memories as a mission are there. The Lord has blessed us richly there, but I thank God we have outgrown it.
“We just have to finish the new one. The insulators finished this week! Praise God, one more thing. We are pulling wire and starting the ductwork this week. That will be most of what we do. It all just takes time from here.
“We thank you all again for your support and prayers. They mean so much to us. Please continue, and please join us in prayer for Bro. Dayle; he could use them. We have three unspoken prayer requests that we ask you to join us in, the Lord knows who they are, and we pray that He will meet their every need and heal them according to His perfect will, and His riches in glory, in Jesus’ name, amen.”
Faith Journey, Benton: Bryan Clay writes, “We had a great lesson on glorifying God this week. We discussed what it means to glorify God through our life choices, our obedience, through our praise, worship, prayer life and how we handle the trials and tribulations of everyday life.
“We also came together as a group to discuss what the future of Faith Journey looks like to each family and what they feel would be the best way to achieve their needs within the Missions’ long-term goals. We feel that knowing what your congregation needs to help grow in their faith and setting up ways to meet these needs is essential in making a mission successful in the long term.
“Please continue to pray for our efforts to grow Faith Journey into a mission that glorifies God and furthers His kingdom.”
Misión Gracia Soberana (Sovereign Grace), NWA: Roberto Marcelletti writes, “This week was very busy! On Friday, we finished our first Bible evangelism seminar, and on Saturday, we were invited to the Arvest Ballpark where 800 school supplies were going to be delivered and we were able to evangelize the children and their parents through a drama.
It was wonderful. It was an experience to see all the brothers who were able to join us and share the gospel with those attending the event. Unfortunately, since we do not have a portable sound system for this type of event, the sound was not good. We trust God that for future events we can have a portable sound system to help us.
“In our Sunday service, we delivered the certificates to the participants of the biblical evangelism seminar and preached a sermon where the objective was to teach that every Christian is a missionary and his mission field is the community where God has placed him.”
Epic Life, Pea Ridge: Jake McCandless writes, “As I said last week, summer is ending soon! My teacher wife is not excited, but we’re both excited to have the opportunity to make an impact with Epic Life this fall. This week, along with our groups, many from Epic Life went to a conference together.
I actually spoke at the conference in Northwest Arkansas that focused on ‘overcoming’ in the last days. If you follow my Stand Firm column in the Trumpet, you know this is something I teach on regularly, but in church, I keep the teaching balanced and focused on the whole counsel of God. One of the greatest take-aways for our group at the conference was to see how the model of our mission work is aimed at being prepared when events like COVID-19 happen again. It really helped everyone see the vision more clearly, especially hearing from the other speakers how such an endeavor needs to happen in all our churches.
“Along with learning together at the conference, we had three first-time visitors come with group members. There is a ground swell of interest in Epic Life in Pea Ridge and beyond. Please pray that we can capitalize on that interest and that a meeting place will become available.”