What an exciting week to be in the ministry! Sunday we were in Mississippi at Faith Missionary Baptist Church. Pastor Blackwell graciously welcomed us and I felt right at home as I preached! After the service Pastor Blackwell said they would be taking us on for support!
We are so thankful to be partnering with this dear church. Wade Biggs, pastor of Grace Baptist and a dear friend of ours, not only helped us get the meeting with bro. Blackwell as well as our Sunday night meeting with Hickory Baptist, they also let us stay in their home while we were in MS. The Lord has blessed us with so many dear friends!
Sunday night we were with Hickory Baptist in Picayune, MS with Pastor Steve Posey. The Lord blessed in the service as many came to the altar. It was awesome to see the Lord work in the hearts of his people! After the service, Pastor Steve invited us over for the traditional Baptist meal, fried chicken! Who could say no to that? Bro. Pose has been a friend of our family for many years. We were able to catch up on what all the Lord has been doing through them! Thank you Pastor Steve and Mrs. Posey for your friendship and hospitality!
Irony can be difficult to define, but you often know it when you see it. I can’t think of any better way to describe the plight of today’s Key City: Izumisano.
In the 80’s and 90’s, Japan’s economy was bustling and the only way to keep up with that growth was to expand. There was only one problem with that, though: Japan is an island! Seems like a big problem, right? Not to the Japanese. They just decided to build more island…
Literally. They started constructing an island in Osaka Bay in 1987 and in 1994 opened Kansai International Airport on that man-made land. They built the massive Sky Gate Bridge from Izumisano to the airport and even developed an entertainment park and Japan’s second-tallest skyscraper.
At first everything worked well. The airport was busy, and tourists loved the amusement park. Businesses flocked to the city. But then the global economy stumbled in the early 2000’s and traffic at the airport plummeted. Businesses abandoned the area and unemployment and debt from the construction of the airport began to take its toll on the city.
In fact, the fate of the city is in such a state that in March of this year, the local assembly decided to lease the naming rights to the city. What does that mean? It means that corporations will have the opportunity to rename the city for up to 5 years. That’s just ironic, isn’t it?
Almost 30 years ago, Izumisano City put its faith in a booming economy and built a marvelous, state of the art airport to take advantage of their prosperity, yet today, that same airport is drowning the entire region in debt.
This city has almost no Gospel witness, and they still don’t know who to put their faith in. They are sinking with their sin debt. Pray that we can join together to get the truth to Izumisano City.
This past week we drove 3,226 miles to meetings in MD, LA, and NC! It all started on Saturday the 8th when drove up to MD for our meeting at Calvary Baptist. We were blessed to be able to stay with the Brooks family while in Maryland. Pastor Leaman let me preach and present Sunday night. It was amazing to see how the Lord has been blessing this church! They just moved into their new building last June, and they have had many visitors over the past few months! After the Sunday night service, I was able to speak with a visitor for a while, and I realized he had never accepted Christ. I had
preached the Gospel in the service so I asked him what he thought about what I preached. This opened the door for me to be able to witness to him. He told me he wasn’t ready yet, but before he left the church gave him a Bible and Pastor Leaman had scheduled a time for them to meet. Please pray that he would be saved!
On Monday, we got up early and drove back to GA to get ready for our a missions conference in Louisiana! Tuesday was another early start to make it to Shady Grove Baptist in Bossier City, LA by 5:30 PM. We arrived at 5 PM with enough time to set up our display before supper. Pastor Sorrell and his wife were very encouraging to us as we ate together. That night we were able to hear Mark Coffey present the mission field of South Africa. He has been a friend of ours for a long time. It was a joy to see them!
Pastor Walker, who was the guest preacher, preached the same message my Father heard when he got saved. It’s hard to describe how much that means to me. If it wasn’t for a regular church member inviting him to church, I have no idea where my family would be. God is so good!
On Wednesday, we were able to meet with a woman from Japan, Mie, who is a member of Shady Grove. Our hearts broke as she told us how few churches she knew of in Tokyo. She could only think of one Independent Baptist. We praise the Lord for Mie, and Rebel and I had a great time talking with her!
That night I was able to present our burden for Japan, and tell our testimonies. Pastor Sorrell asked us a few questions, and afterwards they gave Rebel and I gift baskets. It is humbling to receive such precious gifts from these wonderful people!
Thursday was our anniversary, and we celebrated it by driving 12 hours back to GA! Believe it or not Rebel and I had a blast! We were able to go to a nice restaurant with one of the gift cards from Shady Grove! I’m so thankful for Rebel, and how God has blessed us!
New Grace Baptist
On Friday, we drove just a few hours to Concord, NC for our next missions conference with New Grace Baptist Church. Beth Johnson, from our home church, and the Waye family were there for the conference as well. It was good to be among old friends, especially those with a passion to reach the world with the Gospel!
Pastor Allen has only been at this church for about 5 years, but the Lord has used him greatly! The church has seen growth both in number and spirituality. The Truitt family was just one of those families that have been growing in this church. Matty, one of Bro. Truitt’s sons, has a passion for Japan! We had a great time getting to know each other, and sharing info on Japan!
Duane Moore, preached on Sunday morning about faith promise, and the Lord blessed! There was more than enough to take all the missionaries on at the conference!