ARE YOU A GOOD LISTENER?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

James tells us that we should be a people who are “swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (James 1:19). There is certainly a gift that can be learned in becoming a better listener. James is concerned with the anger of man, within the context of this particular verse, when he concludes the thought with the fact that “the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:20).

Our concern should be that we work on our anger, if that indeed is a problem. It is easy, while having a “spirited” discussion with someone, to not listen to them but to use those moments to feed our own anger. We need to take time to listen to those who are talking to us.

Someone has come up with “Six Steps To Becoming A Better Listener” and they are worth repeating here. You will note that they form a LADDER — one that we should be able to remember.

L — Look at the person speaking to you.

A — Ask questions.

D — Don’t interrupt.

D — Don’t change the subject.

E — Empathize.

R — Respond verbally and non-verbally.

It is possible that we sometimes leave the impression with others that we really don’t care what they have to say. It is usually unintentional. We are to be a people who are engaged in the soul-winning business, and as a result we must be good listeners if we are to be effective in the communication of the gospel.

Dave Chamberlin, via Findlay church of Christ, Sparta, TN

Posted in Front Page | Leave a comment

WEEKLY NEWS, AUGUST 15, 2021

LADIES BIBLE CLASS

Sixteen ladies have signed up to attend the Ladies Class that will start up again on Wednesday, September 15th, at 10 AM, in the Fellowship Room.

The ladies will continue in the previous study book, starting with “James.” Ladies, if you cannot find your book, please let Gail Darnell know, so she can order more books. Also, if you are new in our congregation and want to attend Ladies Class, let Gail know that and she will provide you with a book.

Several ladies will teach again, at this time we don’t know which teacher will be first.

MASK WEARING

Since the vast majority of our congregation is at this time fully vaccinated from the COVID virus, wearing a protective mask is now optional in our services. But we encourage the unvaccinated and those who feel more secure with a mask to continue wearing one.

MEN’S SPECIAL GATHERING

Man up! — How Iron Sharpens Iron: Preparing to Pass the Baton to the Next Generation

On September 18th, the Cherokee Home for Children will be hosting a day for men (only!) to come together in brotherhood and camaraderie to hear some terrific speakers and have fun doing some “manly” things. There will also be a BBQ and demonstrations on lots of activities enjoyed by men.

There is a sign-up sheet at the back of the auditorium. Men, please sign up before the dead-line, SEPTEMBER 1ST !

BEAUTIFUL FOOTPRINTS

“And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”” Romans 10:15

KENYAN EVANGELISM MISSION REPORT PART 2

Photo by Adrianna Calvo on Pexels.com

We are pleased to hear from the Emperados in the Philippines in part one the following report. Remember them and the work of the Gospel there. For the elders, Ken D

Dear Family and Friends,

Howdy! From February to July, the MOSES team collectively had 28 baptisms. Despite the lockdowns and restrictions, the MOSES team still does the best we can to do outreach and help sustain the churches we have planted. A few of these churches though, I could not reach due to lockdowns and travel bans. I can’t even ask the evangelist on the neighboring province to check on these churches because they are not allowed to cross borders.

Photo from Becky Emperado

I was hoping to be able to travel and visit churches in April, it seemed like the government was slowly lifting some of the travel bans. Things change here quickly, the governor of Negros Oriental, where we live, declared once again a strict lockdown order for the past three months. On July 16, the strict lockdown was lifted, but traveling outside of Negros Oriental is still difficult. The restrictions for exiting or returning to Negros Oriental is very complicated. It is very frustrating.

However, it doesn’t stop my “outreach work” through the radio, Messenger, Facebook, and YouTube. Technology really works though I am technologically challenged, but I have found new friends and partners who have helped me at the radio station (sound engineers and technicians). I really appreciate their help a lot.

Through the radio, I have made contacts and established new relationships. I am invited by a denomination to speak to their young people. Several adult-livelihood groups invite me to their gatherings every weekend to speak. Every Friday night I teach on online counseling techniques and relationship enrichment class with members of the church in Manila. I have several weekly counseling sessions over the phone or through Zoom with people who contacted me from the radio programs. God has really opened more doors for the Emperado family mission.

My counseling program has reached a very unusual client. His name is Ace, he is an American Filipino from California, near Hollywood. He studied film making from the University of Southern California. His classmates are the guys who made Spiderman and Star War movies. He is planning to start a film making school at a beautiful white sands beach property in southern Cebu. I am having counseling sessions with him and his Filipina girlfriend. Since I don’t charge any counseling fee, the film maker offered to help and improve my counseling programs and online classes I am doing. He is helping me set up my office like a little soundproof TV studio, so I can record my programs better. I am thankful for his patience. I am a slow learner! He is helping to train my daughters, Jennylyn and Jennylou on how to help me record and do film editing. If I can get this figured out and set up, I will be able to teach, encourage, and counsel folks in all the churches we planted, particularly the MOSES workers and preachers, regardless of the government long lasting travel bans between islands. Please be praying for all our efforts.

Posted in Weekly News | Leave a comment

STEADFAST

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

According to the American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms, the phrase ―stand fast means, ―to be firm or unyielding. It also reveals that: ―This idiom, dating from the early 1600s, originally was applied to an army holding its territory against the enemy. The phrase ―stand fast occurs in our English Bibles, as well. Actually it is translated from the Greek word ―steko which is defined as, ―to stand firm, to persevere, to persist, to keep one’s standing (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon).

With all this in mind, let’s examine a few of the ―stand fast passages in the New Testament and notice the different ways we are to ―stand fast in holding our territory against our enemy – Satan.

Stand fast for the Lord. “…so stand fast in the Lord, beloved” (Phil. 4:1). First and foremost, we must stand for the Lord. If we don’t stand for Jesus, then we stand for the world. Christ must come first in everything in our lives.

Stand fast in your Christianity. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1). Christianity is about maturing and moving forward. Standing fast in this mindset and lifestyle keeps Satan at bay.

Stand fast with the brethren. “Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ…that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Phil. 1:27). Standing fast with the brethren in fellowship, worship, and work strengthens our ties and helps all.

Stand fast on the Bible. “Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle” (2 Thess. 2:15). We must be those who stand upon the Bible and stand by its teachings. We must learn them, live them, and defend them. This keeps us safe.

Stand fast through faith. “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong” (1 Cor. 16:13). It is only through faith and trust in God that we will do any of these. It is only by standing through thick and thin with our faith intact that we will persevere all the way to heaven.

If we always stand fast in God’s ways, we will be in good standing with Him and He will make sure we stand in heaven forevermore. So Christian – stand up – stand fast – stand your ground – don’t let Satan get any headway.

  • Edd Sterchi, Broadway church of Christ, Campbellsville, KY
Posted in Front Page | Leave a comment

WEEKLY NEWS, AUGUST 8, 2021

WITH SYMPATHY
Kay Paige, the sister-in-law of Henry Kattner, passed away on Monday, August 2nd, in Angleton, TX. A memorial service will be held on August 24th. Our love, prayers and condolences go out to Henry and all those who are dealing with the loss of this loved one.

Prayers are asked for the family of Sherry Wills’ brother, Brian Taylor and his wife, Christina. Christina’s mother, Nell Orr, passed away on Tuesday afternoon, August 3rd, after a battle with cancer. Sherry and Ken attended the funeral that took place on Friday in Amarillo. Our sympathy, love and prayers are with the Taylor and the Orr families.

MASK WEARING
Since the vast majority of our congregation is at this time fully vaccinated from the COVID virus, wearing a protective mask is now optional in our services. But we encourage the unvaccinated and those who feel more secure with a mask to continue wearing one.

GOSPEL MEETING
The Lone Grove Church of Christ, 2625 County Road 202, Lone Grove, Texas Llano County
Will have a Four Day Gospel Meeting, August 15-18, 2021
Sunday Morning — 10:30 AM Evenings — 6 PM
Topic: The Church Jesus Built
We are invited to attend these Four Days of Worship, Study, and Fellowship
As John Garza, Preacher Directs us in this Celebration, Worship, and Study
Various song leaders will direct us as we lift our voices in Praise Fellowship will follow our worship services.
The invitation is extended to us all!

THANK YOU NOTE
Ken & Gail Darnell would like to thank all for the prayers and thoughts of concern for our family during recent illness and passing of Sara Gibson. She was a strong woman of faith, so we are comforted. We will see her in heaven but will miss her until then.

PRAYER OPPORTUNITY
Let’s Cover LLANO ISD in Prayer! (A community effort)
We are invited to go to one of the four Llano school campuses this afternoon, Sunday, August 8th, to pray for the staff and students as a new and challenging school year begins.
Packsaddle Elementary . . . . at 4:30 PM
Llano Elementary . . . . . . . . . at 5:15 PM
Llano Junior High . . . . . . . . . at 5:36 PM
Llano High School . . . . . . . . at 5:55 PM
If you feel more comfortable praying from your vehicle, that’s ok. Just come and pour out your prayers onto each campus.

BEAUTIFUL FOOTPRINTS

“And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”” Romans 10:15

KENYAN EVANGELISM MISSION REPORT PART 2

Photo by Adrianna Calvo on Pexels.com

This is part two of the latest news from our brother Sylvester on happenings in the Nigerian work. Please keep this work in your prayers. For the elders, Ken

Dear Brethren, please find attached the reports of my work for the last quarter. Thank you very much for your wonderful support. Sylvester Imogoh

1] Mission Printing:
A huge leap of progress for us in this OPM this quarter was that we had the wonderful collaboration from Mission Printing [Arlington, Texas] who gave us funds and we completed the first off-site printing for them here in Igarra. We printed a total of 180,000 booklets from their series and we shipped them to the 3 agents/distributors they have in Lagos, Abak and Ebonyi state of Nigeria. But they also allowed us the privilege to retain 60 boxes for us to distribute from here. Although we did have some challenges with the high cost of paper because of inflation, and we had a devastating storm on May 5th that ruined some of the work, but we feel so blessed to have their partnership in this great work of Evangelism in Nigeria through the printed pages. And much more important is the FACT that this has become a wonderful method of enhancing the work in Nigeria because this is a relatively cheaper process and easier since they bypass the hurdles of shipping.

2] Power Generators and Printers
Because power supply from our national grid is next to zero, we depend on power generators almost one hundred percent for our work. And as our workload continues to increase, that is how our uses for the generators do also. The generators we have had for now are smaller in capacity [about 15 kva] and they do not serve for very long. We buy them for between $2000 and $2500 but they do not last a year before they start showing signs of troubles. And we spend time and money on repairs often. Since the inception of the press in April 2016, we have purchased not less than 4 generators. Now we are advised to try and get better generators. What we need is not only far more expensive, the Engineers also advise that we try to get two such that we can alternate their uses and allow time for the spare to cool off. One New Perkins Generator of above 20 kva capacity is now selling for about $8,000. And we need 2 printers for the computer department.

3] Another Postage Increase
Just a few years ago, the Nigerian postal system increased overseas postage from N150 to N700 minimum postage. That elicited outcries from so many quarters as we saw it as outrageous and arbitrary. I was one of those who sent a protest letter to the Postmaster General in Abuja. But [as usual] there was no rethink. Now to everyone’s surprise, in May, the postal department has again come up with another postage increase now from N700 to N1500–minimum. We know for sure that the Present Muslim Administration wants to cripple the economy of Nigeria before they leave in 2023
Not only postage, other necessities have seen hikes in prices – such as foodstuffs, fuel, and oil. And that has sparked further inflation in transportation and all other aspects of the economy. And that amounts to more sufferings and frustrations for the people AND all these are part of the catalyst for the ongoing agitations and violence.

4] Prayer Requests
I have continued to ask for your prayers for me and my family – for safety and health.

Partner With Us In The OPM
As you can see, we have been trying to make significant positive impact in the work of evangelism in Nigeria through this ministry of printing and supplying printed materials for evangelism throughout Nigeria. Please find a way to help us do more of this good work . We currently have a deficit account balance.

Posted in Weekly News | Leave a comment

H.O.P.E.S.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

One of the great needs of the church today is for our members to be more evangelistic. We have more people living in our world today and yet fewer people becoming Christians and being involved in the life of the church. There are people all around us, we have neighbors, co-workers, family, and friends who are not Christians. Most of us talk with these people every day, yet when was the last time we had a spiritual conversation with them? Talking about God, Christ, the church, and the Bible can be challenging even awkward, especially if we are not in the habit of talking about our faith. So how can we take our daily conversations with our friends from everyday concerns to a spiritual discussion? The following is a helpful acronym that may be able to help us. When you are talking with someone think of the word H.O.P.E.S.

H – Home. Talk to your friends about their family, their children, grandchildren, and the places they have lived; share this information about yourself with them as well. Show them that you are genuinely concerned and interested in their family and their home.

O – Occupation. Talk to your friends about their job, what they do for a living, how their day at work went. If they have served in the military or went to college, ask them about their experience. Share your work and life experiences with them too.

P – Preferences. Talk to your friends about their likes and dislikes, foods they like or dis-like to eat, restaurants they may like to go to or want to avoid. Ask them about the type of car they like to drive, or their favorite holiday. Share your likes and dislikes with them also.

E – Entertainment. Talk to your friends about their hobbies, places they like to go on vacation, ask them to share their vacation memories, and talk about what they like to do when they have a day off. Share your common interests and things that you like to do for entertainment as well.

S – Story. Talk to your friends about their religious beliefs, talk about where they grew up going to church, or if they ever went to church. Ask them if they ever have become a Christian, ask them how they became a Christian or why they are not a Christian. Have them share their faith and religious story with you. And then as you listen to their story, ask them if you can share how you became a Christian, and why you believe what you believe. Point them to the scriptures and use this opportunity to set up a Bible study with them and invite them to come to worship services with you.

The next time you are talking to a friend, remember H.O.P.E.S. and may we each realize the urgency in bringing our lost friends to Christ.

“And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever” (Dan. 12:3).

Mark T. Tonkery, Camden Avenue church of Christ, Parkersburg, WV

Posted in Front Page | 1 Comment

WEEKLY NEWS, AUGUST 1, 2021

WITH SYMPATHY

Janet Fietz lost a good friend in her granddaughter, Savannah’s grandmother, Rita Hawkins’ death. Rita passed away on Friday, July 23rd. The celebration of life is scheduled for August 8th.  Our sympathy, love and prayers are going out to Janet, Myron, Savannah and to all others who are grieving this loss. May God be their comfort.

A NEW UP-TICK OF COVID IN LLANO COUNTY

Llano County Medical Director, Dr. Jack Franklin, informs us that as of July 26th, there are in Llano County 1,265 confirmed COVID cases, 509 probable cases, 54 fatalities and 53 active cases. Some of these involve vaccinated persons, some are break-through cases. The best thing yet is to be fully vaccinated! Wearing a mask will also put a check on the spread; as always, in every walk of life, our decisions should be wise. Stay informed  

ANOTHER STEP FORWARD

As you may know, we have been following a modified mask policy in recent weeks. The elders believe this has gone well, and in view of improving conditions, we believe it is time to take another step toward what used to be “normal”. The vast majority of our congregation is now fully vaccinated from the COVID virus, which allows us all to be more confident about the future.

Beginning today, Sunday August 1st, we will be making masks optional for all fully vaccinated persons. We encourage the unvaccinated to continue protecting themselves with a mask, but if you are fully vaccinated you can choose to go without a mask if you desire to do so. If you feel that you need to continue wearing a mask, then please do so. Please note that we will also no longer dismiss by rows at the end of services. spread; as always, in every walk of life, our decisions should be wise. Stay informed!

GOSPEL MEETING
The Lone Grove Church of Christ
2625 County Road 202
Lone Grove, Texas Llano County
Will have a Four Day Gospel Meeting August 15-18, 2021
Sunday Morning — 10:30 AM and Evenings — 6 PM
Topic: The Church Jesus Built
We are invited to attend these Four Days of Worship, Study, and Fellowship
As John Garza, Preacher Directs us in this Celebration, Worship, and Study
Various song leaders will direct us as we lift our voices in Praise
Fellowship will follow our worship services.
The invitation is extended to us all!

BEAUTIFUL FOOTPRINTS

“And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”” Romans 10:15

KENYAN EVANGELISM MISSION REPORT PART 2

Photo by Adrianna Calvo on Pexels.com

This is part one of the latest news from our brother Sylvester on happenings in the Nigerian work. Please keep this work in your prayers. For the elders, Ken D

Dear Brethren, Please find attached the reports of my work for the last quarter. Thank you very much for your wonderful support. Sylvester Imogoh

NIGERIA OUTREACH PRINT MINISTRY Reports April- June 2021

Highlights of OPM

v 165,000 – Total number of books printed in the quarter

v 536 – Total number of shipments made in the quarter

v 56 – Total converts recorded in the quarter

v 3 New congregations started – 1 in Edo and 2 in Delta states

v 4 WBS Seminars conducted in Edo and Akwa Ibom states

v 2 Restorations

Summary Reports of OPM

1) This has been a most challenging quarter for the OPM. We have had the most productive efforts, just as we had the most difficult times to work in. But in the end we equally had the most fruitful results for our efforts. Everyone has been so fulfilled and happy!

2) We continue to have consistent increases in the demands for our materials for evangelism throughout the country. As the materials are spreading, that is how fresh requests are coming from preachers and congregations who had not known about us earlier. This gives us more work to do and makes us fulfilled. Except that we are constantly facing the challenge of meeting up with such demands.

3) We shipped gospel materials to 4 preaching schools for staff and students evangelism work.

4) We shipped materials for work in Prison Ministries in Uyo, Abak and Auchi

5) More doors have recently been opened for us to ship materials for evangelism to far Northern states of Sokoto, Taraba, Adamawa where Islam has dominated for years.

6) Materials were sent to several congregations and to preachers for evangelism in both rural and urban works.

7) These materials were also used in World Bible School seminars both here in our local outreach efforts through schools and in faraway southeastern states of Akwa Ibom where M B Archibong has been achieving good results

8) Other regular ways in which we have used the materials in this quarter are:

i. The Ugbogbo Community Outreach ministries of door-knocking, tracts distributions, hospital visits, house fellowship, etc.

ii. Ugbogbo Market Evangelism which is an outreach method through rural markets whereby our members simply display or hand out tracts to their customers in the market or in stores.

iii. Schools’ Evangelism whereby our brethren who are teachers take tracts to school and share with staff and students.

iv. Vigilantes and Police and Military check points on our roads receive tracts regularly through this avenue. Some vigilante groups now come to my office to get boxes of tracts if they do not see anyone on the road for a while. At least 2 vigilante officers are now members through these efforts. And they have helped us to reach out to so many road users.

9] We have continued to improve on ways to use the tracts in conjunction with our benevolence efforts. So each time we give out foodstuffs, Bibles, Reading Glasses and other aids, we equally give the recipients some gospel materials to take home for studies.

10] We continue to receive encouraging reports of religious people who study their Bibles with the help from these books and want to learn more about the church of Christ. There is an on-going Bible study plan in Asaba Delta state between a pastor and church founder in that city who called me and I connected him with our brethren.

Posted in Weekly News | Leave a comment

Am I Being A GOOD SIBLING?

Photo by u0421u0430u0448u0430 u041bu0430u0437u0430u0440u0435u0432 on Pexels.com

As the oldest in my family, I was held responsible for my younger siblings’ actions. There were times I would be put in charge. There were times I just happened to be with them when they got in trouble or hurt. Suddenly, it was my responsibility. I should have been watching them, I should have warned them, I was the one who should have known better. I should have known not to grab the rope swing and jump off the shed in the back yard. Israel was told to warn, speak out, and to dissuade those who are wicked from their evil ways (Ezekiel 3:18,19; Ezekiel 33:8,9).

God also focuses on the erring righteous. “Again, when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself” (Ezekiel 3:20,21).

The key words are found at the end of verses 19 and 21, “and you will have saved yourself.” Not that we will have helped save the other person. No, the emphasis is placed on the fact that our own soul will now be saved because we at least tried to warn and teach the person the right way. When I was a child, there were times when I would warn my siblings and try to explain the rules, but they chose to ignore me. When it came time for punishments to be handed out my parents took that into account. If I could honestly say I had tried and told them not to do it, but they went ahead and did it anyway, then usually my parents would let me off the hook and focus on the erring sibling. Are we going to be able to say I tried, I really tried, when we stand before God on judgment day?

Brad Tolbert, Monticello church of Christ, Monticello, AR

Posted in Front Page | Leave a comment

WEEKLY NEWS, JULY 25, 2021

WITH SYMPATHY
Restor Emperado, older brother of our Philippine missionary, Richard Emperado, died June 28th of a stroke in the Philippines. Due to COVID lockdown, it took three weeks to deliver his ashes to Richard for a service and burial Saturday, July 7th. Our condolences, love and prayers go out to Richard, Sandra and to all in the Emperado family, and to all who mourn the loss of Restor. May God bless all in their grief.

Sara Gibson, mother of Susan Darnell (daughter-in-law of Ken & Gail Darnell), passed away on Saturday, July 17th, at the Greenville, TX. Hospital. Funeral services took place at the Commerce church of Christ on Saturday, July 24th. Our hearts go out in sympathy and love to Susan, Evan, their children and to all the other loved ones and friends. Prayers go up to God that He will be the needed comfort in this time of grief and loss.

GOSPEL MEETING
The Lone Grove Church of Christ
2625 County Road 202
Lone Grove, Texas Llano County
Will have a Four Day Gospel Meeting August 15-18, 2021
Sunday Morning — 10:30 AM Evenings — 6 PM
Topic: The Church Jesus Built
We are invited to attend these Four Days of Worship, Study, and Fellowship
As John Garza, Preacher Directs us in this Celebration, Worship, and Study
Various song leaders will direct us as we lift our voices in Praise Fellowship will follow our worship services. The invitation is extended to us all!

MAN UP: HOW IRON SHARPENS IRON
Preparing to Pass the Baton to the next Generation
On September 18th, the Cherokee Home for Children will be hosting a day for men (only!) to come together in brotherhood and camaraderie to hear some terrific speakers, and have fun doing some “manly” things. There will also be a BBQ and demonstrations on lots of activities enjoyed by men. More information will be in upcoming bulletins.

ANOTHER STEP FORWARD
As you may know, we have been following a modified mask policy in recent weeks. The elders believe this has gone well, and in view of improving conditions, we believe it is time to take another step toward what used to be “normal”. The vast majority of our congregation is now fully vaccinated from the COVID virus, which allows us all to be more confident about the future.
Beginning on Sunday, August 1, we will be making masks optional for all fully vaccinated persons. We encourage the unvaccinated to continue protecting themselves with a mask, but if you are fully vaccinated you can choose to go without a mask if you desire to do so. If you feel that you need to continue wearing a mask, then please do so. Please note that we will also no longer dismiss by rows at the end of services.

BEAUTIFUL FOOTPRINTS

“And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”” Romans 10:15

KENYAN EVANGELISM MISSION REPORT PART 2

Photo by Adrianna Calvo on Pexels.com

We love to hear from those we support in the mission field and hear what they are doing in the places they labor for our Lord. This is part two of a two-part Mission Cambodia News & Update: July 2021 from our fellow workers, Dennis and Sharon Welch. Please keep them in your prayers. For the elders, Ken D


HOSTING
In the realm of the face-to-face Villa Monorom has quickly become a retreat and weekend getaway spot for many of our beloved friends in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, Khmer and expat, both believers and those who have not yet accepted the gospel. We pray that our hospitality reflects the hospitality demonstrated and taught by Jesus in the Scriptures and that it glorifies the Father.

Photo from Dennis & Sharon Welch

Brothers from the Bible Schools in Battambang, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap spent a day at the farm. All of us were encouraged!

OUTREACH
We would love to have more to share about recent outreach ministries, but because of the current situation there isn’t much to report. Dennis takes occasional day rides through the local countryside and chats with people. Most often, the local people are distant and fearful of another of those foreigners who might bring the dreaded disease to their community. That is really the heart of the matter. Instead of being perceived as a bearer of good news, we are frequently seen as a threat. We’re welcome to buy their products, but not hang about for a chat. Please pray for open doors and more frequent opportunities to engage with those who have not yet heard, turned and then been healed by the precious blood of Christ. By the way, all religious gatherings are currently banned.

PRAYER RIDES
We have tried a few times to schedule the next Prayer Circles Cambodia (PCC) ride for prayer and outreach to remote locations, but between travel restrictions and the refusal of the guesthouse managers to allow us to stay, we currently have nothing scheduled for the near future except an occasional one-day ride in the local area. We did invite the prayer riders for a Memorial Day weekend getaway. Four of the team, two with families were able to join us. It is wonderful to fellowship with this group.

FARM
We prefer to get out in the early mornings to get our exercise by doing various projects and chores on the farm. We were able to find a used riding mower that cut our grass-cutting time from three days to three hours. Sharon and Sreypov have done amazing work around the exterior of the house with their flower jungles. LOL! There are some new projects on the way, but more on that later. We are at the beginning of the rainy season so this beautiful setting, created by God is vibrantly green.

Photo from Dennis & Sahron Welch

Birthday family time together celebrating Dennis’ 64th birthday with Sreypov, Sreykhuech, Sharon and Theary

FAMILY
We’re delighted to announce that granddaughter, Autumn graduated from high school last month in Texas. We really wanted to be there to join her and the family in celebration. We miss our family in the States so much, but travel is difficult with the current restrictions. In Cambodia we celebrated several birthdays and other holidays together.

CLOSING
We have been constantly petitioning the Lord to be clearly shown His plan for ministry. What we see is what has been noted above. If there is more, or something new and different He has not yet revealed that to us. We continue to work, serve and be patient as salt, light and love to those around us. What we clearly do know is that we treasure the relationships, prayers, support and love He has provided us in you. Thank you for walking this journey with us (nearly 13 years). May the Lord bless you all with everything you need.

Eternal love and blessings,
Dennis & Sharon

Posted in Weekly News | Leave a comment

AN UNCHANGING GOD IN A CONSTANTLY CHANGING WORLD

Photo by Nothing Ahead on Pexels.com

None of us foresaw the changes that 2020 would bring when we welcomed in the New Year. None of us would have ever thought that churches would close their doors for a time, that neighborhood stores and restaurants would go out of business, that professional sports would be cancelled, or that laws would be passed that mandated social change. Sure, we’ve seen how certain events had brought about some changes in the past, things like war, desegregation and banning God from public schools, but none of us had seen changes like this before. These changes are challenging the fabric of our nation and even the core of our faith. They are challenging us to rethink our priorities and allegiances.

Lest we forget amid all these changes, one thing has always been and will always be a rock-solid constant: our God is an unchanging God in a constantly changing world. The Bible is consistently clear: God never changes.

“For, I the Lord do not change” (Malachi 3:6).

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

“God is not man, that He should lie, or a son of man, that He should change His mind. Has he said, and will He not do it?” (Numbers 23:19).

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with Whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17).

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end” (Lamentations 3:22).

“In the beginning You laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing You will change them and they will be discarded. But You remain the same, and Your years will never end” (Psalm 102:25-27).

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary” (Isaiah 40:28).

There is comfort, security and hope in the fact that our God is an unchanging God. Our God is not affected by governments, riots or diseases. That year 2020, that brought unexpected changes, did not and does not affect our God. In a world that is constantly challenging us to make social and even religious changes, this gives us comfort. He is our Rock in a turbulent world (Psalm 18:2). In a time of doubts and uncertainty about how Christians should respond to new laws and expectations, we find security in that God and His Word never changes (Isaiah 40:8). In a world where confusion clouds our futures, God’s unchangeable nature offers us hope, both now and forever: “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God…The Lord reigns forever!” (Psalm 146:5-10).

None of us anticipated those changes. Even so, there’s no need for despair. Our God is an unchanging God in a constantly changing world. You can trust Him!

Joe Chesser, Fruitland Church of Christ, via Jackson (MO) church of Christ

Posted in Front Page | Leave a comment

WEEKLY NEWS, JULY 18, 2021

ANOTHER STEP FORWARD
As you may know, we have been following a modified mask policy in recent weeks. The elders believe this has gone well, and in view of improving conditions, we believe it is time to take another step toward what used to be “normal”. The vast majority of our congregation is now fully vaccinated from the COVID virus, which allows us all to be more confident about the future.
Beginning on Sunday, August 1, we will be making masks optional for all fully vaccinated persons. We encourage the unvaccinated to continue protecting themselves with a mask, but if you are fully vaccinated you can choose to go without a mask if you desire to do so. If you feel that you need to continue wearing a mask, then please do so. Please note that we will also no longer dismiss by rows at the end of services.

IMPORTANT UPDATE
We need to update our “In the Military“ list. If the people on the list are your relatives or friends, please let me know their current status, if they are still in the military or not.
Please call me at the office number, 325-388-6769, Monday through Thursday, 10 AM to 2 PM. Leave a message if there is no answer.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Helga (secretary)

MAN UP: HOW IRON SHARPENS IRON
An upcoming event for our men and preparing to Pass the Baton to the next Generation.
On September 18th, the Cherokee Home for Children will be hosting a day for men (only!) to come together in brotherhood and camaraderie to hear some terrific speakers and have fun doing some “manly” things. There will also be a BBQ and demonstrations on lots of activities enjoyed by men. More information will be in upcoming bulletins.

BEAUTIFUL FOOTPRINTS

“And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”” Romans 10:15

KENYAN EVANGELISM MISSION REPORT PART 2

Photo by Adrianna Calvo on Pexels.com

We love to hear from those we support in the mission field and hear what they are doing in the places they labor for our Lord. This is part one of a two-part Mission Cambodia News & Update: July 2021 from our fellow workers, Dennis and Sharon Welch. Please keep them in your prayers. For the elders, Ken D

GREETINGS FROM CAMBODIA


Dearest loved ones, we are incredibly grateful for each of you who have journeyed with us and stood beside us from so many miles away. Thank you for partnering with us through your prayers, love, support and encouragements.

Dennis and his three little helpers moving rocks to stabilize the riverbank. Photo by Dennis & Sharon Welch

OUR HEALTH
Our health and welfare has remained good as we are getting regular exercise, mental challenges and restricting our exposure to disease. Our spirits remain high and uplifted because we dwell with Jesus in peace and hope…and we have amazing relationships with spiritual and physical family all over the world. That said, the brief news you read below may mislead you into thinking we are discouraged. We are not. We remain hopeful in the grace, peace and love of Christ Jesus.

COVID-19 UPDATE
While we hear good news coming from the USA and Europe, Asia, including Cambodia is in the most difficult period yet for the spread of COVID- 19. Our country took early precautions that worked well for over a year. Then, a group of four foreigners broke the quarantine rules, visited many locations and cities/towns before they were found to be positive. Since then the rate of cases and deaths per day has steadily increased with cases detected in every province of Cambodia. The jabs are not yet available to our area. Even our daughter who works at the hospital has not yet received hers. Please pray for Cambodia and all of Asia.

ONLINE MINISTRY
It seems that the spirits of people are lighter now in the West. Here, and other places in Asia there is a dark, heaviness about. As you can imagine, this makes any face-to-face ministry more difficult. However, so much of various business activities have moved online that it has been easy to put more effort into online ministry, like our coaching activities.

COACHING
In brief, we are blessed to spend most of our evenings (like working second shift) online with Zoom doing coaching related work — coaching, training, coaching course development, coach training prep and professional development. Embracing the Solution Focus (SF) approach to ministry, parenting, grand parenting, personal development and professional development has been a game-changer for us. It is just a better way to allow the Spirit of God to work His will in us and through us. We pray that God will continue to use us to spread the word about SF, and to use SF to spread the Word. If you would like to find out more we would be happy to share more with you.

In which quadrants do our thoughts and communications dwell? While we sometimes spend too much time in the lower two, we’re striving to draw and build from Box #2, headed toward Box #1.

Photo from Dennis & Sharon Welch

Posted in Weekly News | Leave a comment