Pastor Joe Hyde, Pastor and Mrs Dan Dewitt
Dominique and Nathalie Theiller, Garib Garziz (France)
Muriel and Emmanuel Duvieusart (France), Nigel Gordon (UK)
Pastor Steve Neal and Bill in Turner
My trek through Kansas was arranged by Pastors Steve Neal (First Baptist Turner), Joe Hyde (First Baptist Parsons) and Dan DeWitt (First Baptist Caney). My purpose was twofold: share my own needs as a missionary/evangelist and offer my help to the churches in the evangelization of their neighborhoods.
I conducted friendship evangelism seminars in Turner and Parsons and also preached at their Sunday morning services. In Parsons, although the service was short, two people responded to the invitation to receive Christ. Pastor Neal told me that he found a lot of sermon material in the seminar.
In Paola and Overland Park, I shared highlights of my ministry and sought to encourage the believers. I had a very uplifting experience at First Baptist Ottawa with Pastor Joel Fredrikson whose father Roger is a very well-known Statesman. At the end of the evening, Joel told me, "You have planted a seed in my mind for a city-wide crusade." Of course, this made me very excited, and I told him there was no reason why Christ should not become the talk of the town since it was relatively small. There are about 40 churches for a population of 13,000. Twelve of the pastors have formed a pastors' fellowship and they have already begun to undertake common projects. Also, Ottawa University is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches and has some large halls and gymnasiums, perfect venues for a multifaceted campaign.
Let us pray for Joel as he shares the vision with others. This could be the spark to inspire others. I am certainly willing to do what I can to make it a priority in my schedule.
My last visit in Kansas was with the First Baptist in Sedan: a town of 1,900. It is a small town where people still leave their cars unlocked and the keys in the ignition! The pastor, James Dean McNamara told me that he is bringing my needs before the missions' committee.
It had been three years since the last Next Generation Alliance conference. What a joy to have fellowship with my colleagues again. There were five delegates from France. Providentially, a church allowed us to use their headsets so I could interpret for them simultaneously.
The countries whose needs were laid before us were many and urgent: Sudan, Nicaragua, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Niger, Liberia, Tanzania, Eastern Europe... The doors are open for training thousands of national evangelists and seeing tens of thousands turn to Christ. As I consider my own involvement for just 2010, my heart's cry is, "Lord, please bring in the resources!".
As you prepare for Christmas, may the Lord bring much joy to your household. Please remember that you are a vital part of this ministry.