“The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.”
Greetings to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Kristin and I had a wonderful action-packed summer. Aside from the normal demands of our busy lives, we had the opportunity to travel and visit churches with the intent to present the burden in our heart for the Ssese Islands. I am excited to give you a recap of the excitement. The Lord is very good to us.
The shape of our summer began the spring of 2017. Brother David Brown, our assistant pastor at Bible Baptist Church here in Deland had his yearly youth rally. Kristin and I were blessed to be part of it and available to help out. During that youth rally, I was greatly blessed to spend a little time with A preacher from Alabama, Lee Cadenhead. This man has been and continues to be a wonderful blessing to Kristin and me. Not only do we greatly enjoy his intense firebrand preaching, he has proven to be an example of what it means to love the brethren. He would never say this, but I consider him to be light years ahead in this department. Furthermore, he has a wonderful church in Brewton, Alabama. RidgeRoad Baptist Church has become a wonderful place of fellowship that Kristin and I love to visit.
My point in explaining all this is that while brother Lee and myself spent time together at the youth rally in Deland, he invited Kristin and me to come to his Missions Conference in Alabama June 2017. The point of our visit would be primarily to observe. Honestly, I am sufficiently ignorant as to how deputation works. This was a wonderful chance to spend time with seasoned missionaries that could give us much needed advice and counsel. Yet that is not exactly how things played out, while we were there not only did we fellowship with these missionaries, but brother Lee treated us like we were one of the missionaries there for the conference. Whatever was in the program for the missionaries they included Kristin and me, even allowing me time to present our ministry to the church. They spoiled us beyond measure, it most certainly was unexpected. We had a wonderful time and learned a great deal, we were amazed at the love this church has for missions. The Lord greatly blessed and encouraged us in this.
Sad to leave, Kristin and I still had a long summer to look forward to. In July 2017 we made our way to Heritage Baptist Church in Titusville, Florida. We have some friends there, Micah and Sheri Rockwell, they put on a Vacation Bible School each summer. Kristin and I saw this as a wonderful opportunity to help out and allow their church to get to know us. Micah and Sheri did an excellent job putting on this vacation bible school. It was well thought out, well decorated and the teaching was excellent. They did a great job of clearly presenting the truth of the gospel with great depth, yet simple enough that children could understand. We had a wonderful time, of course, the most exciting part was that I was able to lead two boys to saving faith in Jesus Christ and Kristin was able to lead a young girl to Christ. When a child sits for nearly a week of clear bible teaching, they were ready to call upon the name of the Lord by the week’s end. We were greatly blessed by this opportunity, and hope we are able to help out again next year.
The month of July brought us another wonderful blessing. Kristin and I participated in our very first official Missions Conference. Eastland Baptist Church in Orlando had Kristin and me in for their annual conference. In preparation, we had our first set of prayer cards made (Thanks to David and Lauren Brown). Sister Lauren designed them for us, they came out wonderful and we are excited to have them. Secondly, we had our first poster board made. Thirdly, brother Ed Wirth helped Kristin and I make our missionary video, which also came out very well. Brother Ed was able to take my ideas written on paper and create them turning them into visual art. He did an excellent job. In the video, during the voiceover, a piano is being played. The song is called “Great is the Lord” it was written and composed by brother Jed Carson at Bible Baptist in Deland. He also played and sang this song for our wedding. It is of the utmost importance to us as we prepare to serve God in Uganda that we have the help and support of the people of our church. Thus far, they have been happy to do so. Having these wonderful tools available, Kristin and I took part in our first missions conference. As a result, the church there in Orlando decided to support us in this ministry we endeavor to take on. I’m not sure that I can explain to you what a wonderful feeling it is, and how encouraging it is to gain the support of the very first church to which we had the opportunity to present our ministry. This once again was wonderful encouragement from the Lord.
As July slipped away, August came around. The blessings just continued to come along with it. In 2010 I was headed to Egypt for yet another defense contract. I had been saved for nearly one year and due to lack of work opportunities in the US, I was on my way to Egypt. Before I would take flight across the sea I had to spend two weeks in Virgina Beach for training. While there, of course, I needed somewhere to go to church. I came across an interesting place, the Bible Believers Baptist Church just outside the Naval Air Station there in Virginia Beach. The pastor was Tim MacDonald, a conversation there with him would alter my life in a massive way. Pastor Tim preached in an expository manner, I assumed I had heard expository preaching since most preachers claim to do so. Yet, brother Tim preached line by line, verse by verse through the book of Acts. I had never heard this kind of preaching before, I was captivated by it, it was like a drink of fresh water to me. He and I spent nearly three hours after church one Sunday evening talking and fellowshipping together. The Lord would use his encounter in a great way. Brother Tim gave me a book and a CD by a man named James Knox, I was blown away at the biblical depth and clarity of the teaching that brother James produced. I came to realize that I may have been listening to possibly the greatest bible teacher alive today. Of course, brother James wouldn’t say that, but I believe it to be true. Brother James is now my pastor, I have been at the Bible Baptist Church in Deland, Florida pretty much since I left Egypt in 2012.
A second blessing would come from this meeting. Brother Tim MacDonald has a son that is now the pastor of Grace Bible Church in Mt Pleasant, South Carolina. He invited Kristin and me up to his church to present our ministry there. We were able to spend a few days with brother Chris and his family, this was a time that Kristin and I greatly cherished. We were able to present our ministry Sunday morning, and I had the opportunity to preach that Sunday night. We had great fellowship, went to another great church and our second official opportunity to present our ministry was found fruitful. Grace Bible Church is now our second supporting church. The Lord certainly knows how to encourage. What a great God he is!
Finally, our summer ended with Kristin and me back in Alabama. We were grateful for what brother Lee had done for us, so we went back there just to be a blessing in any way that we could. We were able to spend more time with brother Lee and his family, and just get a few projects done for him around the church and his house. He also had me preach at Ridge Road Baptist that Sunday night – the first weekend of September 2017. For now, we are back home. Bible school has started back up and the courses are heavy, brother James is pulling no punches this semester. We are excited for what the Lord has done for us, we are optimistic about the future, to say the least.
Please continue to pray for us, Kristin and I are working hard pressing toward accomplishing a list of goals that we need to have done by next summer. If you are interested in more specifics of those goals email me and I will send them out to you. Until next summer we intend to be home and focused on bible school. We serve a worthy Saviour, let him be exalted.