All of us can look back at this year and know that it has been a strange time. There is no doubt that this year has presented each of us with frustration and difficulty. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t had a friend or a loved one sick with COVID-19. Thankfully, most of those loved ones have recovered, but life hasn’t returned to normal. Unfortunately, we are not sure how soon, if ever, life will return to what it was pre-COVID. No one could have predicted this event at the beginning of 2020. However, it is comforting to know that our great God has all things under control, and He is using them to accomplish His purpose.
God blessed my travels and meetings in 2020. Looking back on my calendar, I was able to be in 36 churches. I preached several mission conferences and many one-day special mission emphasis Sundays. At times, I also preached in one church on Sunday morning and another on Sunday night. All in all, God gave us favor in travel and in the pulpit as we shared the great need of bringing the light and hope found in Christ to the spiritually darkest parts of our planet.
There were a few moments of frustration with the travel stipulations because of COVID. In my last update, I shared that I was planning to preach a mission conference for missionary Ricardo Portillo, in Nicaragua. In order to make that trip, I needed a COVID test within 36 hours of travel. I was scheduled to make this trip the Saturday after Thanksgiving and into the first week of December. I took my test on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and I needed my results by 6 a.m. on Saturday morning in order to travel. I could not make the trip without a physical report indicating that I had tested negative for the virus. I waited till 10 p.m. on Friday evening for the test results. They didn’t arrive by that hour, so I canceled my flight. I am grateful that American Airlines refunded the cost of my ticket. However, it was a disappointment that I had to cancel at the last minute. At 11 a.m. on Saturday morning, I received the email stating that I was negative. Had I known my results were going to be in at that time, I could have made the trip. These are the kinds of issues that currently make international travel difficult. These issues also make it hard to plan any kind of short-term overseas work. Some countries want travelers to quarantine for two weeks once they arrive at the borders. I know people have strong feelings about the new vaccination; however, it might be required to travel internationally. Please pray that God will give wisdom and discernment in the days ahead.
Beyond physical meetings, I have been a part of several virtual meetings too. By utilizing modern technology, we have had opportunities to communicate, minister, and encourage missionaries and ministry leaders around the world. Niranjan, our Asian Director, has organized some weekly Zoom meetings with key missionaries, and national leaders, that enable us to learn about what God is doing in various 10/40 Asian Focused Nations. Each week we focus on a particular country and ask these leaders to join us in the Zoom Conference call. Through these meetings we are able to communicate and encourage those on the front lines in some very difficult places.
As I look at my calendar for 2021, I have over 30 meetings already scheduled. My current 2021 itinerary is available at my website www.kevinfolger.com, as well as www.sl-asia.com. I do have some open dates next year, particularly next summer, late fall, and early winter.
Spiritual Leadership Conference Asia 2022
Because of the ongoing COVID issues, Dr. Chappell, Brother Niranjan, and I have decided to push the Manila SL-Asia conference back another year, to March 1-4, 2022. If you would be interested in being a part of this great conference, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Not every preacher would be able to preach at this meeting, but just to experience it is life-changing. If you are a young person interested in mission work, this meeting would fan the flame already in your heart to serve the Lord. I wish every Independent Baptist college in America with a mission program would consider making this trip an option for their mission students. If you are a member of an Independent Baptist church and would be interested in being a part of this meeting, speak to your pastor and with his approval reach out to me.
Prayer Focus Nation: Myanmar
Please pray for the nation of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. It is a country of 54 million souls. This is the place where Adoniram Judson spent many years of his life (1812-1850) doing mission work. God used him to translate the Bible into the Burmese language. Because of his work in translating the Bible, preaching the Gospel, and planting churches, the impact of his life is still being realized in Myanmar. Yet there is still a need for more men and women to serve the Lord in this needy country. Almost 88 percent of the population claim Buddhism as their faith, while only 6 percent claim Christianity. Please pray for more missionaries and laborers to go to this spiritual harvest field.
For the Lord’s Great Cause,
Pastor Dan Preston - Bethany Baptist Church, Lubbock, TX.
Homer Independent Baptist Church, Homer, AK.
Missionaries Greg & Judy Feinhauer, Pastor & Mrs. Jake Gerasimof - Homer Independent Baptist Church, Homer, AK
Pastor Doug Duffett - Bible Baptist Church, Fairbanks, AK
Pastor & Mrs. Jesse Johnson - Bible Baptist Church, Woodward, OK
Pastor & Mrs. Tommy Odom - First Baptist Church South Brevard, FL, Pastor and Mrs. Doug Kepple - Whitter Lane Baptist Church, New Castle, IN.
Pastor Jim Blalock - Beacon Baptist Church, Jupiter FL.