Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Look Back… Go Forward

It is appropriate that Thanksgiving and Veterans Day are so close to each other. We all need to be thankful for the veterans now and in the past who sacrificed for our freedom, lifestyles, and relative ease of modern living.


One of the greatest freedoms we have is the license to worship Jesus openly. This is why we live. So think on this… if you are saved and truly practicing your beliefs, you too are a veteran. That being a veteran of the life and freedom Jesus died to provide for us. Military veterans sacrificed for freedoms and Jesus sacrificed himself for ALL mankinds freedom.


Lot to report here: Jim and Carol West (UK) are in their 87th year now. God can use the "old-sters" as well as the youngsters. From the Philippines… Margarito Cabrera reports that they had 22 baptized this year with more planned. Margarito also mentioned several new converts. And from Surinam, South America… remember Ethan Champlin, that was here a few months ago? He mentioned raising funds for radio towers to get the Word out through the jungle. Well, funds are there for the towers and they are awaiting His provision of additional equipment needed. Progress!


Staying in South America: Chesley Howell is about 1 month away from departing for the mission field of Columbia. Pray for a smooth transition at this hectic time. Josh and Allie Miller along with new baby Corban are on the verge of leaving for Peru. Passage funds are still needed. Bret Anderson and family are adjusting to the culture and language of Spain. They have been there for several months now. 


GBC supports 2 missionaries in Israel. Both are at the epicenter of major religions, cultures and end time events. May they have numerous opportunities for effective witnessing. Chris and Faith Anderson in Mangalia, Romania continue to raise funds for their ministry house.


On a broader scale: mission board ABWE had 82 new mission appointees last year to more than 20 countries. As well, 3 new fields opened. ABWE now has 1000 missionaries in 70 countries.1


Each bullet statement above has much more background info to it. Please note that these are only a few of our mission family here at Gospel. Always remember they live rich, dynamic lives yet are subject to illness, flat tires and bad weather… just like us. Pray for them, reach out however you can and remember… time is short… eternity beckons.


In closing, General George Patton had an uncle killed during Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg. On his tombstone is the quote… "In Christ Alone, Perfectly Content". How true… how true. As always, humbly we give God all the glory!


1ABWE International. / Year in Review


Mission Fact: About 227,000 long term missionaries went to the field in 2020. This is down from 430,000 in 1970. That is a 47% drop and that is all denominations claiming to be Christian. Many factors are to blame such as a rise in short term service, governmental politics and a changing financial world.


Delusia Sage journals/International Bulletin of Mission Research


Monday, November 1, 2021

Ngepi

Our life can be so hectic. It will be Christmas as soon as you finish reading this brief article… well, almost. Yet we have the same amount of hours and minutes each day as there has been since Adam and Eve. So let's reshuffle our priorities and make every minute count.

Busy we are, here at GBC. Our church family here and abroad have been seeing fantastic things getting done for Christ. Such as.....


  1. October 16 saw our fundraiser for Chris and Faith Anderson (Romania).This will be an ongoing project through February 2022 as we help raise funds for them to purchase a ministry house in Mangalia, Romania.

  2. K.W. to Israel reports a 98 year old woman receiving Christ as her Messiah! It is never too late!

  3. World Vision (GBC supported) responded to emergencies other than the pandemic in 48 countries. That is over 27 million people assisted.

    Let us lift up our missionaries, their Mission boards and ourselves for opportunities to serve… "watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." Ephesians 6:18
    Now another foreign work we support…

  4. Josh Florence and family in Papua, New Guinea reports having several specific needs met by their supporting churches. Nothing is impossible for our God! Josh also tells about 4 believers baptized… it was their first baptism at the new church.


So you see; God is ever working, ever present and so ever loving to us. Thus remain committed and remain focused.    


I mentioned earlier how quickly Christmas was approaching. Don't wait till the last moment to shop… don't wait till the last moment to get working for Jesus with whatever He has put to you to do. For He is coming back. That is a fact: not an opinion.


Note: We are about a month out from the Kentucky trip via Covenant International. Please clean out those closets and get usable, clean clothing and housewares to the church. More on this coming by way of announcements.


Did you notice the title of this Missions Minute? It is an African word from a village in Namibia. It means "Get a life". The only life really worth getting is one with Jesus. To God be the Glory!!



Mission Fact: William Carey (1761-1834) is known as the father of modern missions. A skilled linguist, writer and printer, Carey was a self motivated learner who taught himself Latin, Hebrew, and Greek. He influenced many to go to the mission fields… especially India. A true hero of the faith, William Carey translated numerous languages into the native tongue.            


What Christians Want to Know: 10 Famous Missionaries 


Thursday, September 30, 2021

Look Up!....and Drive On!

 Well, it's officially autumn and that brings with it a very busy schedule. Such as my beloved Philadelphia Eagles taking on the rest of the NFL, raking tons of leaves and on the horizon Christmas. So much will be happening that Christmas planning is not a priority just yet, but our mission fundraiser October 16 is! Please pray you can help… help is always good… and come out to support our missionaries to Romania, Chris and Faith Anderson.  


Yes, we are busy and our schedule is getting more crowded. Yet think about our missionaries and their hard working mission boards. For instance:

  1. Scripture Memory Mountain Mission (Camp Nathanael) in Kentucky saw 20 individuals saved this past summer. Now they follow up, disciple and encourage.

  2. Dexter Kirby on St Vincent Island (Grenadines) had their world rocked with a volcano eruption/disruption of daily life in April. Many people there lost their homes, livestock and hope. He writes that the ministry goes on and that people are being helped via the church he pastors.

  3. Andrew Garcia (Honduras bound) continues to raise support as they were recently blessed with 6 more supporting churches.

  4. Family to the Pamiri people group; The husband has had a difficult time this summer as while on furlough, his youngest brother drowned in a tragic accident. This set him back but today he and family are back in mountainous Central Asia. Pray for this family as the God of the universe strengthens them daily.

  5. ABWE mission board (of which GBC supports several missionaries) reports 82 new missionaries left for the field between late 2020 and now. Pray for a rich harvest from their respective fields of work. Recall that there are 2.9 billion people who have never heard the gospel!1


Think on this… Brazil 2010; a man named Jenuan is exposed to something contagious. Today he has "infected" at least 32 people who are spreading it on 4 continents. It's not a disease but the cure! For Jenuan was introduced to Jesus! He went on to start a Brazilian run and supported mission board and today has 32 missionaries in 12 countries.2 Let us always remember that the mission field is right outside our doors as well as in Brazil, Romania, and every place in between.


So "O thou that hearest prayers, unto thee all flesh comes" Psalm 65:2 KJV. Never lose faith in the God who hears our prayers...". Let everything that has breath praise the Lord"! Psalm 105:6 



Mission Fact: Per mission board Advancing Native Missions, there are 4,100 people groups in South Asia. By their statistics, 3,682 of that number are still considered unreached. Obstacles include but are not limited to, many languages as well as cultural practices, political systems and poverty. Remember… nothing is impossible for our God!!3       


1: ABWE Annual Report 2020. page 3

2: ABWE year 2015. Fact Sheet page 30 Issue 4

3: ANM Official Guide, 2021


Thursday, August 26, 2021

Opportunity.... Grab It!

In honor of heading back to school we will now have a pop geography quiz. 

First question: What is the capital of Romania? 

Second question: What famous mythical character called Romania home?


How many of you reading this wish they got in on the ground level of buying stock in Apple? or Google? or Facebook? Would have been a pretty good return for your initial investment. Opportunities in front of you, not acted on, are opportunities lost. The world of missions has opportunity; we need to move on them or they will pass us by.


Often we think of missions being "out there somewhere". Well, GBC has several members of our church "out there". Chris and Faith Anderson are working hard at this very moment in Mangalia, southeastern Romania. It is located on the Black Sea thus a bit of a mecca for vacationers.


Modern Romania is only about 160 years old in the sense of the term yet is quite diverse. Physically it is ⅓ mountainous; ⅓ forested and ⅓ city-town and farms. Most of the population is ethnic Romanians with the main religion being Romanian Orthodoxy.


On the world history scene, Romania was liberated from Nazi Germany in 1944 and became a satellite of the Soviet Union in 1948. However, with the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1989, we now see Romania in NATO '04 and in the EU '07. Big changes for them as the opportunity to spread the Gospel opened up.


Chris and Faith have an ongoing church ministry in Mangalia as well as a coffee shop ministry. This summer has them (and their family of 7 children) keeping quite busy with Faith leading a girl's Bible study. As well, they lead a Bible study in a nearby village… church on Sunday's… as well as keeping up with a busy, busy home life.  


Understandably, much goes on at their home. They even have a youth group meet at their home. Needs are there as an opportunity arose in the recent past for them to obtain a ministry house. Now this house would be multi-functional thus a real boost to their ministry. The GBC staff is planning a fundraiser in mid-October on a Saturday to help the Anderson's raise the ministry house funds needed. Please pray about helping that day or at least attending and having some fun… and good food… .with us. More to follow on this soon!! Look for it!


So you see… opportunities do come along knocking on your door. We as a church body recently sang the hymn "Build My Life" on a Sunday morning. In part, the lyrics spoke out saying… "Lead me to those around me". Maybe we can't go to Mangalia, Romania today but we can help our brothers and sisters there by praying, coming out in October to the fundraiser and never stopping giving our Lord and Savior all the Glory!!

 

Mission Fact: The population of Romania has steadily declined in the last several years. This is partly due to a declining birth rate but migration to western countries is the primary reason. This is a trend being seen in many former Soviet Bloc countries.


Answers to the quiz:

  1. Bucharest

  2. Count Dracula of Transylvania


All Romanian facts, figures and information is credited to Wikipedia and Britannica: Romania Facts. 2020.


Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Step It Up

I can recall while on a long march during my army days, our sergeant extolling us to "step it up or you WILL be left behind." He was attempting to motivate us to work harder, push on and not to quit. Let me encourage you to continue on as we get the saving knowledge of Jesus out to a dying and lost world.

I receive many mailings, emails and info from mission boards and other sound Christian organizations. All tell a worthwhile story or of a need. However, I love to read about the victories we as Christians can claim.


For instance: Advancing Native Missions (ANM) reports that from 2016 to 2020, 103,000 Bibles were distributed in North Korea... yes, that North Korea. From Vietnam; 3 unique people groups are hearing the Gospel for the first time. From Mongolia: in 1994 there were fewer than 10 proclaiming Christians in the whole country, today in 2021, there are over 50,000 Christians.1 From far away Bangladesh, John Sircar writes that the government has shut down train service and long distance buses. Despite these inconveniences, John states they are still building a pastors house and witnessing. They have difficulties we in America can only imagine. Dr. Sircar says "The Lord is so good. He is taking care of us."2


Moving along… every place where TWR (Trans World Radio) shares the gospel there are people who have never heard it. As well as those who need to be discipled, which is of eternal importance. From Yemen (where Christian missionaries are few and far between). "I found an episode of your broadcast (TWR). So, would you tell me about this God you are talking about?"3 That was from a listener in Yemen. GBC supports Duane Gow (TWR) as well.


Taking a different tact here now. Closer to home: remember our VBS recently past? Well, that's a mission work right here in our backyard. The Burmese children ministry is another God honoring work that you don't have to travel too far to engage in. 


Let us never forget why we are here. Our main purpose in life is to honor and worship our Lord Jesus Christ. Be not afraid, though our time to witness will one day be past. "The Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6. Nothing else needs to be said… lean on God's promise and step it up. Time is moving on rapidly. All Glory and honor to our Lord Jesus Christ!!!


Mission Fact: As Josh and Allie Miller get set to head to Peru this December, the population there will have grown by 2,500 people... .per week.3 It is a rapidly growing field needless to say. The Miller's are expecting child number 3 in August so please pray for a safe delivery and that they're plans for departure go on unabated.


  1. Advancing Native Missions: Spring 2021 Impact Report.  page 6 and 7

  2. Prayer letter: June 2021.  Dr. John Sircar

  3. TWR; spring info card. 2021

Monday, July 5, 2021

Remember

Ever been told that you are "living in past?" That's not a bad place to be unless you adamantly refuse to ever enter the present. As we remembered the Memorial Day weekend last month let us take a moment to contemplate how and why we are here.

 

The "how" is sobering and often a somber thought. We take a minute to thank our veterans, thank our Lord and Savior for the one's who died for our freedoms and thank our Heavenly Father for the mission we are on. We express gratitude.

 

The "why" is also right before us. For our mission of reaching the lost is not yet complete. We must drive on. No one said it would be easy... it's a lifetime of toil and sweat but the rewards are eternal. Let us never look back too very long as it is quite difficult to go forward using only the rear view mirror.

 

Ecclesiastes12:13b "Fear God and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man". There we have our marching orders. The word of God is clear so let's look at a quick update on some of our "troops "in the field.

 

1. (Name Removed) in Israel wrote in March about heading to the town of Hebron to visit a Muslim family. Fairly routine event for someone living in Israel. However, since she last wrote Israel has been involved in a shooting war with the terrorist group Hamas. This is not a fairly routine event.

2. Josh Miller/family are heading to Peru this fall. They are the most recent addition to our mission family.

3. Chris and Faith Anderson in Romania reported in April of their intention to continue on with the purchase of the house they are in. This greatly aids the ministry effort. A sizable payment was due and the Lord saw fit to provide. Pray for the political and social atmosphere in Romania as events unfold.

4. (Name Removed) to the mountain people of inland Asia. Visas were finally issued and as of this writing they are still on track to head back to Asia. Covid continues to slow their departure somewhat as testing and vaccinations must be in order.

5. The volcano that erupted on St. Vincent (Grenadines) altered the ministry of Dexter Kirby but it did not end the on going work. The radio ministry and Bible College work continues. 

 

The late Dr. Jerry Falwell once said..."Nothing of eternal value is ever accomplished apart from prayer."1  So true. Let us never slack off from this duty and may we never forget the sacrifices our honorable war dead made. For this allows us to continue on our appointed mission.

 

We certainly live in some wild and often crazy times. This too will pass. However… the love and mercy Jesus rains does on us never will pass! To God be the Glory!!

 

 

Mission Fact: We live in tech filled world of over 8 billion people. Trans World Radio (Guam) has the capacity to reach almost half of those people... that's over 3 billion people. All of China, Micronesia, Malaysia and 2/3 of India are able to tune to the Good News of Salvation.... in their native language!2

 

1-World Vision; spring 2021

2-TWR.org  May 2021.   page 5 of newsletter

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Mourning Time

Recently I attended a funeral of a dear Christian lady. She died before her time so the funeral was a whirlwind setup, emotional and somber. Despite being a Christian of good example, it was a wakeup call to me, as none of us really knows what the next hour holds; thus the title of this Missions Minute, "Mourning Time".


You may recall me stating that we need to get out of our comfort zone and witness. For our individual mission field is right outside our doors and includes everyone... every country. Lynne lived her life that way and I am grateful for the time I knew her.


We are all aware that our missionaries face the same COVID trials, financial hurdles, and crazy weather patterns we do. However, are any of you waiting for a foreign government to allow you to return to your field of work? The S. family to Israel and KR to South Korea are waiting for just that. There are several others as well. Their visa applications are pending but progress has been made in both cases.


Any of you ever experience an active volcano? Dexter Kirby and family on St. Vincent and the Grenadine Islands, is doing just that as of this writing. Dexter continues to minister to the people and has opened the doors of the Bible school there to shelter displaced locals. Our job is to declare, talk about, and share all about Christ. We have the fantastic privilege of talking about our eternal Christ, what He did for all mankind, and what He did for us personally. Look for those opportunities to be a missionary right here.


Independent Faith Mission (IFM) has on their mission newsletter these words, "Standing Firm in Troubled Times". Their troubles are our troubles... all of which Christ says to bring to Him. Through Jesus we can stand firm! Pray for Dexter, the S. and K.R. families, and remember that our "mourning time" will soon turn to Morning Time, as Jesus returns! To God be the Glory!!


Mission Fact: Over 100 people died in the minute or so it took you to read this brief article. Death is inevitable but where the soul spends eternity can be changed. We have work to do.


Bob I. - Missions Director