Sunday, September 12, 2021

Remembering 9/11 and Anchor Adventures Kickoff

 Memories are funny things. One event can bring sadness and pride. I remember my grandmother calling from NY. She and Grandpa watched the Today show religiously, and it was on from beginning to end. Grandma called to tell us about the attack in NYC.  She told us Grandpa was watching and saw the second plane coming, and he said, "It's on purpose. It's an attack." What a sad day for my Grandpa who fought in World War 2 and lost a son in Vietnam.

We turned on the tv, and I stayed glued to it all day. I watched the towers fall, and I knew that someone within the US had helped plan this attack, and had aided and abetted the enemy into gaining access to entry in the US, entry with knives into the airport, and prior entry to the WTC to plant the explosives which brought the buildings down in a controlled demolition. I saw the people jump to their deaths. I saw the fire at the Pentagon, and the crash site of flight 93. For days, I heard the stories of the brave Americans who fought back, not soldiers, ordinary citizens. I read the news articles in the papers and Time magazine. The memories are etched in my mind.

I remember the feeling of unity in the nation. No one was pulling the race card, protesting against religion... Instead, everyone including dance halls, bars, clubs... were posting God Bless America and Pray for the Troops. Every color volunteer went into those buildings and brought out the bits and pieces of what was left of Americans. Not African Americans, black Americans, white Americans... Americans. American flags were everywhere.

In just 20 years, this has all changed, and the man called the president of the United States handed the same people responsible for these attacks the country of Afghanistan on a silver platter. What a slap in the face to those who died in the attacks, those who died trying to rescue the victims, and the soldiers who fought to free two countries from the grips of terrorists. 

Today, as I look back on these memories and events, I have two thoughts. First,  while we heard many testimonies of those who died who knew Jesus as Saviour, how many more did not know Him and went into a horrible eternity? Second, while I will fight to keep America free with words, and perhaps someday if necessary with actions, the only thing that will really make us free is trusting Jesus Christ as Saviour and telling others about Him.

This second thought is why we kicked off our Anchor Adventures kids program this weekend. we have spent a month preparing the decor, creating a script of adventures, and passing out flyers. The results, we had two visitors on Friday, and 10 visitors in church today. Six of the visitors today were kids.We are tired, but we know that God blessed our efforts to reach people for Christ.

We had 50 people in church today. it has been awhile since we had that many, and it was very encouraging. even with the somber beginning of our service as we remembered 9/11, the spirit among the people was uplifting. We had one visitor baptized.

Prayer Requests:

Unspoken that will require prayer for a long time. Two sisters who are pregnant, both with some health complications. Our kids program for continued growth. That more governors will join in the stand against vaccine mandates... that airlines will release their mandates and countries will open.


Saturday, September 4, 2021

To Everything There is a Season...

 Summer in Maine was very different this year. It rained through most of July. August has been fairly mild, and September has opened with cooler temperatures, and changing leaves. The birds and squirles have been gorging themselves at my feeders. I think winter is going to be long and cold.

Just as there are physical seasons in our world, there are seasons in people's lives and in church ministries. Our church has gone through many changes over the last three years. Last year was especially difficult, and the changes it brought to our church and people were not all what we would have wanted. For awhile, it felt like we were having to restart the church due to those who had remained home for so long. Even now, we still have some who attend sporadically or come to only one service. I always thought the falling away would be the very liberal churches, but I am seeing once strong Christians sliding further down the slippery slope. This is not just in our church; I am seeing it in pastor's I once looked up to who have changed the Bible and doctrine. I am seeing it people who cannot let go of the past and have allowed it to control them to the point of it destroying ministries and homes. America needs revival; churches need revival, and individuals need revival.

An exciting new season is starting for our church as we kick off our kids ministry Anchor Adventures. We are having a three day kickoff beginning Friday, September 10. We have at least two new families who are interested in coming, and we have several others we are working on. Please pray this will bring not only kids to church but their parents as well.

In the past few weeks, we have seen some terrible political things which have cost American lives. My brother rode Patriot Guard for one of the soldiers killed in Afghanistan. I read a post from two missionaries I know who have been in contact with missionaries and national pastors in Afghanistan. Two Christian men were taken by the Taliban. One was crucified, and the other was dragged to death. Other stories through various Christian groups have surfaced of Americans being on the phone with Christians in Afghanistan and the those Americans could hear the gunshots as the Taliban entered the room and killed the Christians. Afghanistan is just one country in which there is political unrest and Christian targeting. Nigeria, Haiti, China, and Myanmar are also dealing with these issues.

Please pray for some very special unspoken needs in our family. Two of my sisters are pregnant, so prayers for them are appreciated. We still have need of someone to help with our youth and music. Please pray that God will do some miracles and open up travel without restrictions of any kind. I have had a request for help in China, and I would still like to fulfill my trips to England and Europe.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

World Events Indicate Christ's Imminent Return

 Although the events that have been happening for the last year, and the most recent events in Afghanistan are terrible, they are also exciting. The Bible is unfolding right before our eyes. God is letting man set up the world for the return of Christ. Wars and rumors of wars are becoming a prominent happening: Myanmar, Afghanistan, Haiti, Nigeria... Pestilence like covid and other diseases which are now being talked about are turning the world upside down. Natural disasters like earthquakes, flooding, droughts, wildfires are increasing. China and Bill Gates are talking about darkening the sun and creating weather. It has been said a Russian hacker found a database that uploads real time info of anyone who has received the covid vaccine. Although it may not be true, the world is being conditioned to accept the Mark of the Beast. NYC is demanding you be vaccinated in order to participate in society.  Even so come Lord Jesus.

With all that is happening, the urgency of the Gospel being preached should be very strong, yet we see so many Christians sitting on the sidelines. Church is either nonexistent for most, or is a one time a week ordeal of performing a duty. If the preacher goes over by 10 minutes, the people start looking at their watches. While American Christians perform their duty, the Afghani Christians and missionaries are facing death just for naming the name of Christ. Reasonable service is presenting your body a living sacrifice. The Afghani's and many other Christians around the world are not only doing this, but are physically dying for Christ as well.

Over the last year, our church has seen many set backs, yet my dad, the pastor, continues to try to push the church to grow not only in numbers but in faith. We are finally getting ready to kick off our kids program. It seems that every time we were ready to get it started, something hindered it. Please pray that our three day kickoff event will bring in children and their families. 

My mom's health is improving, but she does still need prayer. She has two torn muscles in her hip, and the way she has been walking is now effecting her back. She has had a few spells with her blood pressure as well.

Since mom has been ill, I have been teaching the ladies' class. We began a secret sister program to try to encourage each other. Please pray for our ladies, and pray that mom can get back to full time with them.

I am still waiting to see if things will change in England and Europe as far as travel is concerned. Right now, I know that I am where God wants me, but it is hard to not be able to fulfill what I had promised. I have heard from two of the missionaries I helped. One is in Canada, and their ministry is growing. They have a ministry which reaches many nationalities including Arabic people. The other missionary is in China. Although he is meeting on a regular basis, two national pastors were raided by the police on several occasions. One has been told to cease and desist from services, and the other signed on with the government church in order to stop the police harassment. The missionary in China also requests prayer for his wife and son's health, and for his other son who is in medical school.

Please continue to pray for the state of Maine. The governor is trying to mandate that healthcare workers be vaccinated. Please pray that the attorneys, who are working to protect our freedoms, will be able to keep this mandate from being upheld.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Millennial Summit and Mom's Health Update

 What a great time we had at the Millennial Summit! There were about 35 people including our guest speaker and Q&A representatives. I missed getting pictures of the Q&A sessions because I was so interested in the questions being asked and the answers being given. One couple was passing the church and saw the sign for the Summit. They came in, joined in the games and activities, and the husband trusted Christ at the end. During the week, my dad, a young preacher from N. Carolina, and a few other people went out soulwinning. In total for the week, 8 people trusted Christ, including the son of one of our members. I truly believe God knew who needed to be at the summit. Pastor Nick white preached a very good message for Christian Millennials. We had some technical difficulties and did not get that sermon recorded. Preston Taylor preached our Wednesday night sermon, and it is on our church Youtube page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtlcXTbBrwVQVpBSOKbOOgA?app=desktop&view_as=subscriber&fbclid=IwAR0zPAnBBJaol-dNb3yVk2KR4rZOpJ0q8vYqkI44D0U-2L2DefK4uD2t6Oc

Mom's health has been crazy since January, and she finally seemed to be on the mend. However,  a month ago, she tore the top and second muscle of her hip. She starts therapy tomorrow (gotta love socialized medicine.) Please pray that the muscle heals quickly, and that she can gain full function of her hip. 

We have had so many things planned for our church ministries, and then they fell through for various reasons. Please pray as I work to get an English language class started. The two ladies who were supposed to come changed their minds. Pray also as we begin our Saturday kids program again. We are in desperate need of workers who will be faithful. 

Please pray for our church. We are in need of  helpers for our youth, music ministry, and a different building. Many of our members are elderly, and our current building has an extreme number of steps to climb to the auditorium. My mom has not been able to climb the stairs for more than a year due to her health, and she is the pastor's wife. 

Please pray for the state of Maine. I don't usually post a political spiel, but I believe what is being proposed in our state and other states is something that we need to be praying about. Our governor is talking about shutdowns, masking, and mandatory masks and vaccines for school kids, health workers... Please pray that Mainers will take a stand. Our CDC has a chart which shows the covid cases in a bar graph from January last year through this year. The highest number of cases were between December and May. These were the months that the governor mandated masks and threatened fines and jail if businesses and individuals did not comply. According to the CDC of Maine, over 800,000 people have received both doses of vaccine leaving only a little over 300,000 across the whole state who are unvaccinated, yet the case numbers quadrupled in the last month, and Boston, Israel, Gibraltar, Singapore have all shown the highest rates of infections in their areas are in vaccinated people. Our governor, is basing her decisions on lies and not the science. Please pray as there are lawyers and freedom groups who are working to bring our state together to fight these harmful decisions our governor is trying to force.

Please continue to pray that the airlines will end all the craziness with masking, testing... My parents and I have money tied up in airlines which we cannot use. Not only is the effecting our family travels, but it is also effecting my ability to travel to help missionaries. The countries I had promised to be in are still closed, so please pray that they will open soon.

Please pray that either the people in power, who are making evil decisions, will be saved, or that God will simply remove them.

Friday, July 16, 2021

A missionary is a missionary no matter where he is.

 It is no wonder that Jesus told us to go in order to fulfill the Great Commission. I have sent out hundreds of e-mails to local businesses regarding the Millennial Summit. Only a handful have responded, but the places where we have actually gone to in person have given us great feedback and support. The next few days will be busy with putting the final touches on everything, lining up the last of the donations of gifts, and prepping all our helpers. Please pray that God will use the summit to reach many of these young people with the Gospel.

I would like to share my heart about what it means to missionaries to be suddenly uprooted from the field by something out of their control and forced to return to the States for an unknown period of time. I was in Puerto Rico teaching when covid hit. This year, I had been given opportunity to lead some of my students to Christ. In all of my journeys to PR, I have led about 12 students to Christ. When I found out that the country was remaining closed, and that school would not be in session for the rest of the year, I had to quickly make plans for coming back to the States. When I am in Puerto Rico, I am paid for teaching, and it is with that money that I pay for my expenses when I am not on the field. I am usually only home a few months, and then I head to a new place for several months to a year. Because my time in Puerto Rico was cut short, my at home funds were also cut short. When I am in the States, I try not to use missions support for expenses. 

Since returning to the States, I have been caring for my mom who has had major health issues. Because of her health, my dad and I have not left her alone for any extended periods. My dad is the pastor of the church, so many times he needs to go to the church or to visit members... This leaves me at home to be with my mom. My mom's health, and the covid situation have kept me from getting a job. I have applied to many online jobs, but so far none have accepted my application. I have been paying for many health products for myself and my parents as well as my cell phone bill and a few other expenses. I try to help with groceries as well. While I do not want to use missions support when I am at home, I may soon be forced to do so. 

I am involved in our church as much as my mom's health will let me be. From January to April, my mom was not able to be left alone at all due to blood clots on top of her other health issues. I stayed with her during that time so that my dad could pastor the church. Mom and I only went out for doctor's appointments. When mom was finally able to get out of the house, I was able to get back into my areas of service in the church. I teach the young ladies Sunday school class, play the piano, and fill many other needs that come up. At this time, the needs I am filling have to do with the Millennial Summit: PowerPoint creation, footwork to get the info out to the community, emails, packets for the attendees... even though I am home, my service has not ended, and nor have my needs.

I think sometimes churches assume that because someone has returned to the States for an unexpected furlough, they no longer need support. As you can see this is not the case. I think also, that sometimes churches think a missionary is only someone who goes to a foreign country, so if they are the in States they are not a missionary. A true missionary is a missionary wherever they are. The things I am doing at home for my family and our church are the same things I do when I am on the field. Just because a missionary is in the States does not mean they are no longer serving, and it doesn't mean they do not want to return to the field. Sometimes, God has other plans for the missionary, and that missionary who has been moved out of their zone  many times needs more prayer and support than when they are on the field. 

I have a goal of at least completing the promises I made to missionaries in England and Europe. Right now, those countries are still closed because of covid. when I finish those trips, I will see what the world situation is as far as traveling, safety... If I am not able to serve overseas, my plan will be to return to the States and serve pastor's wives in the same way I have served missionary wives.

Now is not the time for me and other missionaries who have been uprooted from their fields to quit, and it is also not the time for churches to stop praying and supporting missionaries who are home due to the political situations around the world. Yes, Paul was a tent maker, but he could not always make tents at every stop on his journeys or when he was back in Jerusalem. Many times he spoke of those who were meeting his needs by their giving and prayers.

I am working on creating a class to help other ministries teach English to the many foreigner we have in our state. We have two African refugee families in our church. A church north of us has many Russian refugees, and other churches have pocket peoples of other nations. Maine is becoming a melting pot. Then of course, we have the Millennials. The average age in Biddeford is between 25-35 years old. I have thought of several outreach ideas which will require money to implement. I am not sitting still and doing nothing while I am home. There is a world to reach right outside my door, and I truly believe Jesus is coming soon. Jesus said occupy till I come, and that is what I am doing whether overseas or on US soil.

I was thinking about history in regards to the Bible. The flood occurred about 2000 years after earth was created. Jesus came about 2000 years after the flood, and we are living about 2000 years after Jesus came. I truly believe Jesus will come in my lifetime. 

My goal in what I said above is to help churches and pastors think before ending missionaries' support just because they cannot yet return to their field. Needs don't end because governments make bad decisions. If anything, needs for most missionaries have become greater whether on the field or in the States.

Prayer Requests:

That airlines and countries will end all the covid restrictions

My mom's health

The Millennial Summit

The decisions being made in the Supreme Court in regards to abortion, voting laws, health, the Constitutional rights, and so much more.

Cuba- Now is a time when missionaries may be able to get in and give the Gospel to very receptive hearts.


Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Preparations and Prayers

 It has been a busy couple of weeks. Dad and I have been working on the Millennial Summit creating powerpoints, flyers, and more. I designed a logo which was added to the flyers and powerpoints, and my brother created a QR code. We passed out around 100 flyers to businesses to post in the windows and on their community boards. We only had a few tell us they couldn't post without corporate permission. We had our first non-church related hit from a flyer. Yay! Please pray that the city will allow us to put a banner across the main street. Some businesses have also offered to donate gift cards or merchandise.

I have been working a garden this year, and it is looking great. I have a good number of tomato plants which have grown strong and thick, and they are now getting loaded with tomatoes and blooms. I have some squash, cucumbers, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and several types of lettuce and herbs. I have been seeing the tips of my sweet potatoes clipped. I thought it might be a rabbit, but tonight, I discovered a mom and two baby skunks in the yard. I think they are the culprits. Hopefully we can get rid of hem without a smelly encounter.

Yesterday, I met two of my college friends. We watched seals at the ocean and had a nice dinner together. It was a good time of fellowship with Christian friends. I am hoping to see another college friend this week.

We continue to have visitors to our church. Tonight, we had two men come. Chris has visited in the past when he came to Maine on vacation. He brought his dad this time. It was a blessing to have them with us in church.

Please pray as we have some needs for help in several areas including our youth ministry, sound room, and music ministry. I am also working on getting our language classes started. Life has changed for the two ladies who were asking about it, but I want to use the class as an outreach to others.

Please continue to pray for countries and airlines to open fully. Pray about a case being taken to the supreme courts regarding the illegality of enforcing masks... and denying flights... for those who do not mask, vaccinate...

Please pray for Maine. The libs have struck down every bill brought to protect women and girls and to prevent the governor from having soul power during emergencies. Pray also for some other issues which legislators are trying to correct before the session fully ends.

My sister Janna has had some health issues after donating plasma, and my sister Julie is expecting baby 7 in January.

The church in Puerto Rico is finishing up the electricity and putting in the ceiling in the building which Hurricane Maria destroyed.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Family Time

 The last ten days have been fun. My brother brought his family up from Tennessee to spend time with us. We went to the beach several times, and my sister in law and I collected a lot of shells, sea urchins, and crab shells. We also found several live crabs and hermit crabs. My twin nieces and I explored tide pools and played with little shrimp. We also built sand castles, flew kites, and took a long drive through the country. My brother caught a striped sea bass and was very proud of it. We spent some time with my sister who lives north of us as well, and explored a tidal island.

Now life is returning to normal and busy. We are prepping for our Millennial Summit in July and have been working out a lot of bugs in the sound and video systems. My brother helped a lot with tweaking our sound system. My dad was at his barber and was talking to him about the summit. He is a millennial and was so interested that he marked his calendar in the middle of the conversation. We are preparing for 200, but we were told we may need to plan for more summits in the future because this new idea will probably pique a lot of interest in the millennial community. 

We are expecting grandbaby 21 in January. All of my siblings are working on music and Scripture memory with their kids, and it is enjoyable to hear even the littlest say their verses and sing. I sang two specials with my twin nieces when they were here.

While waiting on countries and airlines to fully open, I have had several offers for teaching positions at Christian schools here in Maine. Please pray that God will continue to lead me through the doors He wants me to go through.

We had a lady saved and baptized during the last two weeks. Please pray that our recent revival will have opened the eyes of our church members to the need for faithfulness and outreach.