We wanted to give everyone a comprehensive update to where we are currently and what our plans are.
*We are currently back and forth a couple weeks at a time between VA and NC. Mainly because the living arrangements just aren’t suitable for long term stay for me and my son so we stay there a couple weeks and then spend a couple in NC where we can get a lot more done that is good for the both of us. It is good for Darlene too because she can focus on her treatment and not have too much obligation or stress on her plate dealing with having to do too much. However, it is a challenge because I must homeschool full time as well as take care of a lot of additional work and ministry on the side.
*I have been able to go fairly frequent (weekly) with a brother in our home church to the Kenansville NC jail to do outreach and discipleship. God is really working in some of these guys lives and I do not believe this is just tell you what you want to hear ole ‘jailhouse religion’. One of the guys we have been discipling in particular pray for brother Vince, he is already being used in a mighty way to speak into the lives of many of the guys that he meets in the jail, so much so that he has received letters from guys who are out now thanking him for the influence he had to turn their lives completely around to walk with Christ! Amen! Do not downplay the significance of these things. These guys could be returning to the streets to commit crimes or continuing to be a bad influence in society. Praise God for their change.
*I have been able to go when I am in town to the Chinese Bible study in Virginia. A few weeks ago I was able to speak and in a few weeks I will be able to go to a different home Bible study and speak with a group of Chinese college students. Please pray for that event.
*The Taiwanese professor that has the Chinese bible study in his home is now in Taiwan for a few months. Please pray for him and a very close missionary friend of mine who now lives in the same area and just had to move out of China because of security issues. I have arranged for them to meet while they are in town and we pray that God could use that meeting in a way that will bring glory to him through this contact and potential partnerships that can help get the word to the whole world and disciple.
*Both Darlene and I are about to start a full summer semester (3 classes) at Liberty University. We have 5 classes remaining to get our Master’s degree in education. We really feel peace in our hearts and a drive to do this so we know the Lord is directing this for a reason. Lord willing, in any future overseas mission we get involved in this could be very valuable if we need to take on a bi-vocational position doing work/ministry or just needing to get a work visa to stay in country. In many countries, having a seminary degree is not enough and can even give you unwanted attention from the authorities. Raising funding is very difficult for those that are considered Baptist as we are, especially if you are not under their official mission organization umbrella. Most churches support missions through this alone and are hesitant to try to support anyone outside of that or not a part of their local church. This makes it very challenging for us, but that is ok, we would rather struggle along and be honest with God in our service to him than put on a facade but be hindered from serving God to our fullest under the bureaucracy of an organization that tells you what you can and can’t do for God every day. It is unfortunate that so many care so much just about what ‘looks good’ to others and not being concerned about what God really wants in daily obedience to Him. If there is one thing we know is that you can’t fool God and that we will all be judged for the things we do in this life, we are focused on the real life to come.
*We have been praying about the future of missions. We are open to churches or individuals who want to do short term trips to China, Thailand or elsewhere. We are not able to go as a family currently but I am able to go on short term trips as they arise and as the Lord leads. Currently dealing with Darlene’s health issues we know in general we are where we need to be at least for this season in life. We have prayed about a few places like the Middle East, Russia, and even Panama but have not received any clear future direction. We do believe that the Middle East may not be an option because of the pollution levels and Darlene can’t be in any environment like this that may trigger her illness. We have especially been praying about Panama because we have been there a few times already. Years ago we were actually considering a position with an organization that wanted to plant a church among the Chinese diaspora in Panama which is actually quite large from when they came to work on the railroads years ago. There has also been a great increase in recent years from new immigration from mainland China and Taiwan. This could be an opportunity for us to try to reach and plant a church among the Chinese in Panama. Please pray for God’s direction for us.
*Our family, church family, and old friends. We have been trying our best to spend time to help out, fellowship, and be a witness to all in our lives. For me right now I am a firm believer that one of the greatest ministry responsibilities you have is to raise your own children to know and love God as best as you can and teach them God’s word. If you really want to know something that I have found that is really good for kids, then check out the Superbook program from CBN. It is really good and makes it a lot easier to explain certain stories in the Bible when they can actually see it in a way that they understand. Of course please continue to pray for Darlene, she continues to get a little better every month. She got some good results with her tests last week and the doctors are hoping in another month or so she should be where she needs to be to start lowering her medication and move her onto the next phase.
*Pray for Brother Bud, he is a former associate Pastor now serving in the Philippines. His wife is also experiencing some health issues at the moment. We haven’t talked with them about praying to plant a new church in Chesapeake VA. If it is God’s will for this to happen pray that the Holy Spirit would guide him and that the Missionhog ministry would be able to provide the level of support needed to help fulfill our role in assisting a potential new church plant.
Pray for our potential new partnership with Whiteshead Grove Baptist church in Smithfield VA. We had a good meeting with them a few weeks ago and pray for the Lord to lead. The current Pastor interestingly used to work for the BBN radio network.
*Pray for us this Sunday the 14th as we go to Mount Nelson church in Eureka NC to speak a little at their Palm Sunday event. We are blessed to have this opportunity.
Thank you so much for praying for us and supporting us. We are trying to get the online donation back up again soon as we are experimenting with some new plugins for the site but you can always send a check to our home church to help us keep going. The link above to our donation page has all the information there for now. Thanks again and please contact us anytime at email@example.com if you want to speak to us. We are happy to hear from you! In Jesus name, AMEN!