Saturday, June 22, 2024
Saturday, June 22, 2024
HomeAll The NewsSeason's Greetings

Season’s Greetings

      “So much has been given to me that I have no time to ponder that which I don’t have” (Helen Keller).

      As has been said, “Time and tide wait for no man.” I may be the only one that feels this way, but doesn’t it seem that time has sped up? Surely this past year must have missed a couple of months as my preparation for deep frying my birds seemed all too familiar — but what a joyful time it was.

      Having narrowly escaped death back in April (99% blockage), this was a very special time for me. Having my wife Vicki of 54 years and our children and grandkids around the table, I could not help but stare as I fought back the tears of emotion as I praised God for at least one more.

      Please do not become so busy or distracted that you fail to look around you and count your blessings. Sure, hard times come; but they also go, most of the time. With freezers and refrigerators used to preserve so much food that we and our loved ones cannot eat it all in on sitting makes us blessed beyond measure. Even so, Thanksgiving, come quickly again next year.

A Call to Prayer

      The battle for lost souls is raging as world opinion calls for the denial of God and for His Son, Jesus. Surely, we are planting in very unfertile ground. Please, I am asking our churches to set aside a few moments in a service to pray for our missionaries in our state as well as the world. Take time to address God’s throne directly for these men and woman on the front lines of a great spiritual battle. “I cried unto the Lord with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication” (Psalm 142:1).

From Our Missionaries:

Misión Creciendo en Cristo (Growing in Christ), North Little Rock: Juan Carlos Posadas writes, (11/19) “We are moving forward with the playground. The equipment is already installed, and the ground is level. We still need to install the safety surface and the fence. The children already want to use it, but they must wait until we finish it. We have invited the congregation to help spread the rubber mulch on Saturday. I hope to have everything ready, so we do not have delays.

      “On Wednesday, Nov. 15, the congregation gave me a surprise party after the discipleship meeting. A group of brothers and sisters burst into the Fellowship Room singing the traditional birthday song of our churches, and carrying balloons, cake, tacos, etc. We rejoiced and ate delicious food, played games and finally, they prayed for me. I thank God for another year of life that has allowed me to celebrate with my beloved brothers and family.

      “Sayra didn’t go to church today because she is sick. I will take her to the doctor tomorrow. Please pray for her. Today we finished studying the book of Hebrews. According to my notes, we began the Hebrews series on Jan. 8. It has taken us almost an entire year to study it, but it has been a great blessing in my life. I hope the congregation has enjoyed it.”

         (11/26) “On Sunday, we had a Thanksgiving lunch. During the service, Yesmer and David gave testimony of their lives and expressed personal reasons for what God has done in their lives. Oscar López preached based on Psalm 103:1-5, inviting us to praise God for all the favors we have received from Him. After enjoying the food, each member of the congregation was able to express the reasons why he or she was grateful to our Lord.

      “At night, Sayra and I went to the theater to see the play Beauty and the Beast, in which Fernanda is participating as an ensemble. The theater offers a buffet dinner before the show. Everything was delicious, and the play was very fun. We thank God that He has provided work for our daughter. Jose Carlos came to visit us during the week and, as always, he played with the church band. He very much enjoys serving our Lord in the worship team. We are happy because he is doing very well at the university.”

Ebenezer, West Little Rock: Ruben Isturiz writes, “Our Home Groups had a week off for Thanksgiving. Part of our congregation takes the opportunity to visit family outside of Arkansas. It has been two weeks with low attendance, but we have not stopped with our celebration service every Sunday.

           “Be praying for our activity on Dec. 16, when we will have our special Christmas service. We will be telling the biblical story from 4 BC to 1 BC. We will try to tell the story of the first Christmas chronologically.

      “Every Tuesday, I continue teaching my class at the Arkansas Hispanic Missionary Theological Institute. This week will be my last class for this semester, and on Dec. 5 we will celebrate the end of the semester. It has been a privilege to teach; for me it is a passion.

      “Thank you for your prayers, we appreciate them very much. May our God be glorified!”

Faith Chapel, Flippin: Johnny Shew writes, (11/19) “We had a wonderful week at Faith Chapel! We had a great worship service, with very good attendance, even with several out. We had a guest speaker this week — my fellow state missionary, Jake McCandless, came Sunday morning and spoke on The Truth On Israel. It was a great, and timely message, and was received well by our mission!

         We are so thankful that Jake, Amanda, Addie and Andrea were able to come and share with us God’s Word concerning Israel. I would highly recommend you having Jake come and share his studies and message with your church.

      “The state electrical inspector came this week for his pre-drywall inspection and gave us the go ahead to continue with our building. He found no issues and was actually quite complimentary on the work we have done. As he left, he said, ‘Y’all are fine, I don’t need to come back.’ Praise God, one more thing! We have just a little work to do on the refrigerant lines inside before that is complete, but as soon as that is done, we will be ready for drywall! That is always the big transformation in a building project, and we are looking forward to that being complete as well!

      “We thank you for your support and prayers, and we are so thankful for you and your faithfulness and love toward us.”

         (11/26) “What a wonderful Thanksgiving week we had at Faith Chapel! We had a lot of family in at the Shew house, and plans, prep and cooking took up a big part of our week. We had a great time and ate way too much, but it was all so good! We are so thankful that they were able to come, and we missed those that couldn’t.

      “We had a good number for worship on Sunday. ‘In Everything Give Thanks’ was our message from I Thess. 5:18.

      “We didn’t get a lot done at the new building this week though, just a little bit on the refrigerant lines. We will finish them this week, and then schedule drywall. It is coming along nicely!

      “We are so thankful for this association, and for each of you, your support, your prayers, your faithfulness to God, the love and kindness you have shown and continue to show us and for allowing us to be your missionaries in Flippin. We are truly blessed, and we thank God for you.”

Faith Journey, Benton: Bryan Clay writes, (11/19) “Keeping with the theme of the month of Thanksgiving, we wish to share our thoughts on several things we are thankful for in our lives. We are looking forward to spending time with family and friends this week. We are so thankful that God has blessed us with loved ones that are a constant support and always pouring into our lives every day.

        Next, we are blessed by the people who are faithful to Faith Journey, whether it is them attending every week, financial support or the countless prayers being said on the mission’s behalf. We are extremely humbled and thankful for all these people. Furthermore, we are so grateful for the BMA of Arkansas Missions and our sending church, Celebration Baptist Church in Haskell. They are always there to show our mission great support and have given so much wisdom to us to help lead us in the direction we need to follow to grow Faith Journey into a thriving place to come and serve our Lord.”

         (11/26) “I hope everyone enjoyed Thanksgiving with their family and friends this week. We are so grateful for the time we have had with our loved ones and thankful for the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

      “We have been missing our worship leader and his wife for the last several weeks. This great couple has been ministering to the people of San Pedro, Belize. Please be in prayer that the Lord will continue to bless their efforts and many lives will be changed through salvation.

      “Please remember to pray for those who may not be enjoying the holiday season as much as some of us because of the struggles they may be facing in their lives. We sometimes forget that life can be hard due to trials that we face in life, whether it be health related, anxiety and stress, or financial factors that leave us unable to feel the joy that is associated with the holidays. Sharing your faith, praying with a friend or lending an ear to listen to someone may make all the difference in their world. Don’t forget, you may be the only Jesus they will see today, so be a light in their lives as we are called to do as children of the King.”

Misión Gracia Soberana (Sovereign Grace), NWA:Roberto Marcelletti writes, “I am excited to inform you of all God is doing through Sovereign Grace Church. We ended a week where, even though many traveled to celebrate Thanksgiving with their families and we could not meet in our small groups, we were able to meet and thank God for the transformations He is producing. Every week, we see people taking steps to grow in faith and commit to Christ.

      “The sisters are meeting on Saturday afternoons for rehearsals for our first anniversary on Sunday, Dec. 3 and our Christmas service on Dec. 17.

      “Our motto is ‘A church of disciples, disciple.’ What a joy it is to see how Iris, Yoli and Maryed are discipling Angeles, Nanie and Beatriz. What we do with them, they already do with others. Praise God.”

Epic Life, Pea Ridge: Jake McCandless writes, “The Sunday before Thanksgiving, we had our November Preview Night and had two first-time visitors check out the study. Each of our Connection Groups had good crowds. We know this next month will be tough as Christmas time always is. We find holidays are especially hard on our Connection Groups.

              “We’re looking forward to a couple of shifts at the first of next year in strategy as we target leaders and work harder in my own neighborhood. Additional leaders will greatly expediate growth and expand our impact.

      “I also had the chance to preach at Faith Chapel in Flippin last Sunday with Johnny Shew. It was incredible to see what God has done there! It encouraged me on what could happen in Pea Ridge.”