“This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes” (Psalm 118:23).
With more joy than words can describe, James had the privilege of baptizing ten believers this Sunday! I believe all of the adults were saved just this year, while most of the children were practically raised at this church, trusting Christ at home with their parents or in a children’s class.
While many more have made salvation decisions in 2014, a total of 15 have followed Christ in believer’s baptism.
God has been blessing exceedingly abundantly above all we could ask or think. Through the generosity of His people, He provided a reliable minivan and a comfortable house in the Tampa area for us to use. He has given us especially sweet fellowship with our home church, extended family and friends. It is a joy to report to our supporting churches and observe them remaining true to God’s Word.
I once heard the story of a man whose neighbor was trying to install a television antenna on his roof and was really struggling to get it done by himself. The man walked over and offered to help. He had a collection of nice tools and everything needed for the task. When they finished the job, his neighbor looked at his rather impressive toolkit and asked what he made with such tools. “Friends mostly,” the man answered.
Since we have been home, God has given James many opportunities to use his carpentry skills, not just to make friends, but to express our gratitude to those who have been a blessing to us over the years, whether our home church, pastors, friends or other ministries.
We continue to receive positive reports from the work in Pilar. Pastor Crowder is encouraging the men to take on more leadership. One man, Hector, is now translating (from Portuguese to Spanish) on Wednesday nights, while Carlos is still interpreting on Sunday mornings. Our prayer is that God would work during this time to reveal the next pastor for this work.
If you are a leader, whether in your church, work, home, or community, then you know the value of a good leadership team. In order for a ship to steer its plotted course, everyone must be rowing in sync and in the same direction. In this case, I’m referring to deacons. We just cannot thank the Lord enough for the godly men He has placed in our church who have displayed courage and commitment to do what is right.
Our prayer is that God will call one of these men to pastor this work. Toward that end, I (James) will begin to teach a homiletics course on Sunday nights during our discipleship time. The goal is that each of the men will be able to prepare a Bible message and will become comfortable speaking from the pulpit. Pray that God would soon show us who He would have to fill the role as national pastor.
An enormous THANK YOU to Temple Baptist Church in Dade City, Florida for their overwhelming gift toward the property fund this month. Praise God for each of our supporters who have given a total of over $31,700 so far! Each step toward the goal leads to more opportunities for finalizing the purchase. Once we have an additional $30,000, we would like to begin negotiations again with the property owners. Please keep praying!
- $47,100 in land fund
- Generous gifts for land fund from churches and individuals
- Spirit-led church leadership
- Sweet spirit in our congregation
- Funds to purchase property for the church – praying for $30,000 more
- Nov.14-18 –Missions Conference