To say that we are living during unusual times would be an understatement. None of us could have predicted at the beginning of 2020, when this COVID-19 crisis first broke on the world, that we would still be dealing with its lingering effects in September. Worse yet, there seems to be no end in sight, and this virus has now taken on a political element. We would have never thought that churches on both coasts of our country would receive “cease and desist” orders from their local governments, all because they chose to obey God and physically congregate and worship.
From the communication that I am receiving from missionaries and national workers on the other side of the world, life and ministry are not easy for them either. A lack of work for church members, shortages of food and other necessities, and shelter-in-place orders make life and ministry difficult.
In spite of all that is going on, God continues to bless the ministry that He has called me to. In July and August, I preached in nine different churches; and in most of those churches, I presented the ministry of Spiritual Leadership Asia. God has given us some really good meetings in which we saw God step into the service and really deal with hearts.
My July travels included a Sunday morning service at the Calvary Baptist Church of Akron, OH, with Pastor Ken Horne. That same week, I flew to Atlanta, rented a car, and then drove to Charlotte, NC, where I preached on a Wednesday night for Pastor Tim Cruse and the Shining Light Baptist Church. The next night, I preached for Pastor Joe Campbell at the South Charlotte Baptist Church for their special Summer Thursday Night series. Friday, I drove to Anderson, SC, where I was housed for a couple of nights in the mission’s apartment of Oakwood Baptist Church. Sunday morning, I preached for Oakwood Baptist and Pastor Michael Jones. Sunday afternoon I drove back to the greater Atlanta area and preached that evening for Pastor Billy Ingram and the Canaan Baptist Church of Covington, GA.
Pastor Tim Cruse - Shining Light Baptist Church Charlotte, NC /Pastor Billy Ingram - Canaan Baptist Church Covington, GA
On August 9, I was home to join Pastor Pete Folger and the Cleveland Baptist Church in celebrating the ministry’s 62nd anniversary. God has blessed Cleveland Baptist through the years with only three pastors in its 62-year history—amazing. I was honored to be asked to preach the Sunday evening service. That week, my wife Denise joined me on a road trip to Florida. I was invited by Pastor Mark Siers to preach a special weekend emphasis for Volusia County Baptist Church in Orange City, FL. The next weekend, I drove on Sunday morning to spend the day with Pastor Gary Click and the good people of the Fremont Baptist Temple in Fremont, OH. The final Sunday of August, I was with Pastor Dan Novy at the Grand River Baptist Church of Painesville, OH.
Pastor Pete Folger - Cleveland Baptist Church Anniversary Sunday / Pastor Mark and Hope Siers - Volusia County Baptist Church Orange City, FL
Busy Days Ahead
As I look at my schedule for the next few months, I see much travel and many meetings. I am excited to be able to share the burden and need of impacting the Asian-focused nations of the 10/40 window. Please pray that God will grant great meetings and safety in travel.
Booking Meetings for 2021
I am currently working on booking meetings for next year. I am looking for churches that have a heart for missions and, in particular, understand the need for getting spiritual light into dark places. I am available for a special one-day missions emphasis service or to preach or participate in a missions conference.
I am happy to report that I am very near being fully supported, and I have begun to focus on raising support for the ministry of Spiritual Leadership Asia and helping national workers. It has always been our desire to raise and funnel money and resources to workers on the ground in the 10/40 window. We are building a network of laborers that we will help support as they go to the spiritually needy areas of the Asian 10/40 window. We thank God that some money has already been given and sent for this purpose!
Conference in Manila
Because we had to cancel this year’s Spiritual Leadership Conference of Asia in Manila, we had hoped to reschedule for March of 2021. Right now, it isn’t clear that we are going to be able to do so. The on-going virus crisis continues to be a real issue with renting our venue and limiting how many delegates we can have. Please pray that God will give us wisdom about this important conference. We may end up pushing it back to February or March of 2022.
Regardless of what we decide, I have already determined to make a trip to Southeast Asia next year to hold some meetings. We just need wisdom about timing and ask for God to show His mind in this matter.
Thank you for being a prayer partner and a rope-holder for Spiritual Leadership Asia. We could not do what we do without so many faithful people encouraging us with prayers and finances. God is good!