Ladies Bible Study (Rescheduled): Rescheduled for this Friday, January 19th at 7:00PM
Teen Progressive Dinner: All Teens are invited to attend a fun night of food and fellowship as they partake in a Progressive Dinner. Please meet at the church at 4:30PM on Saturday, January 20th.
Jr. Church Committee Meeting: The next Jr. Church meeting will be on Sunday, January 28th after the Morning Worship Service
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Join our Missionary e-mailing list! When one of our missionaries sends us their prayer letter or other updates, it will be sent to you via email. Also check out our Missionary notebook that is located in our Church Foyer with all the latest updates! Remember to prayer for our missionaries!
Fall 2017 Update Camp Northfield
God did so many wonderful things this past summer. We had the privilege of opening up our camp to 165 campers. Of those campers, 33 of them made life changing decisions, and of those 33 decisions, 12 of them received Jesus Christ as their own personal Savior! What a great God! If just one camper came to know the Lord, all of the hard work, sweat, and tears would have been worth it!
The Lord also allowed us to start and finish many projects around here! We recently had a large work group come and do the following: Replaced split rail fencing with 21 trees, worked on the deck at the Boys staff building, painted some bathrooms and outside siding in the Hilltop, did some remodeling on the inside of the Girls and Boys Staff buildings, and much more. Earlier this year, a church came and remodeled the bathrooms in the Hilltop. We now have showers again! This made things so much more convenient for our families and guests that stayed in the Hilltop Lodge. Visit our Facebook page to see some pictures of the progress that has been done this year.
The last event of the season is coming up next month. Christmas Banquet! We almost filled to capacity both nights of this special event, and look forward to this year! It is a very special time around here, because we get to share with everyone all of the blessings of 2017, and we get to share our vision for 2018. Nothing will get you into the Christmas spirit like Camp Northfield’s annual Christmas Banquet! We cannot believe that this is the third year of this event. It has grown every year!
Thank you all for your faithful prayer for this ministry. We could not do it without you! Please pray that God continues to provide during the off season. We are trying to host more events, or more rentals to combat the low financial times the winter months bring. Pray that God continues to bring folks to our off season events. We look forward to what God will do this coming off season!
2017 Summer Staff
Without our hard working staff, we could never host such a great camping experience to all of the children in the Northeast. This group worked tirelessly from June 21 all the way to August 6. God was able to use some of these staff members to lead 12 souls to Christ. What a great experience!
We also had the opportunity to minister to five of our local churches this year through our Camp Northfield Ministry Team. After working hard all week, this group ministered through music, testimony, and serving on Sunday. What an honor it is to work along side these servants of the Lord!
Quest for 600
Last year, during Christmas Banquet, we set a goal for 2017. The goal was to reach out to 600 campers. So far, we have opened our doors to 465 campers! That is both summer time campers, as well as retreat goers. We are close to reaching 600 campers, and we know you can help! We have one final event here at camp, at that is Christmas Banquet! We are hoping to have over 100 attend this very special event, and that will bring us within 35 of reaching our goal!
2017 Project Updates
1999 GMC Pickup
The people of Calvary Baptist Church helped us find and purchase this vehicle. This pickup had only 44,000 miles on it! It has already been put to the test by picking up these donated restaurant booths. They will be used in the Hilltop Shoppe.
It came with a super easy to install fisher plow and Bethany Baptist Church donated a sander that attaches to the rear bumper. We are ready for winter!
Boy's Staff Remodel
In 2016, this building was saved from crumbling to the ground. The whole building was lifted in the air to make way for a new, suitable foundation. Pictured to the right is one of our faithful volunteers digging a peir.
Thanks to Merrimack Valley Baptist Church, Lebanon Christian Fellowship, Calvary Baptist Church, Faith Baptist Church, and First Baptist Church of Enfield, this deck is well on its way to being complete! Now, wouldn't something like this look nice wrapped around the Hilltop Lodge?
Hilltop Lodge Windows
What a blessing it was to have new windows installed by men from Somers Baptist Church! The siding was painted to match just a few weeks ago.
The split rail fencing was long overdue! It has served for many years, but it was time to go. The new arborvitae trees will serve as a great visual barrier as well as providing nice ascetics to the main entrance.
Maple trees will line the road leading up to the cabins and the Hilltop Lodge. What a beautiful drive it will be when the leaves change color next year!
Hilltop Lodge Bathrooms
Thanks to the men of Bethany Baptist Church, the Hilltop Lodge now has showers! No longer is it necessary to walk across the parking lot to the shower houses.
It was no easy task re-routing all of the necessary plumbing to accommodate two toilets, four sinks, and two showers. Pex pipe makes it so much easier to run and drain, making it more resistant to the freezing weather.
Off-season fund drive
As many of you know, Camp Northfield has always operated under a no-debt philosophy. This has allowed us to never be bound by monthly responsibilities. Unfortunately, when projects need to be done, and improvements need to be made, we rely mostly on volunteers and designated offerings. So much has been improved this year, but that has left us with a very low general fund for the off-season.
We are putting together an off-season fund drive called "$5.00 for 5 months." In this fund drive, we are asking every reader of this email, and every reader of our newsletter to simply donate just $5.00 every month, for 5 months. This will allow us to get through this very difficult time, as well as give us a head start for next season. Would you pray and ask God if He could use you to support us during this time? We know that He will get us through the off-season, and we are looking forward in seeing what God will do in 2018! $5.00 for Months
Aris Alfonso Update: September 15, 2017
Dear friends and prayer partners,
To God be the glory, great things He has done!
I am so thankful to all of you who prayed for my trip back to the Philippines. God gave me
safe travels. At last, now I am enjoying every moment with my family, serving the Lord
together is a wonderful thing.
I am now back to work where God called me to spread the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Few days after my arrival, I was able to witness to a 78 year old man, 83 year old woman a mother and 3 young people who got saved. I praise God for using me again to witness to my own people.
Last Sunday, September 10th, we had groundbreaking ceremony after the worship service, at the church lot that we bought through your help and Immediately after, was the welcoming party for me. We are looking forward to see our church building built soon only by the grace of God.
Next week, we will begin with the walling and filling with dirt to elevate the land because it is 4 feet below the road level. We need about 30 dump truck loads of dirt. Each load costs $60. We thank God for His provision. Thank you for your love, prayers, and support. You are always mentioned in our prayers. Please continue to pray for us.
The Lord bless you all.
By His Grace,
Brother Aris Alfonso
Edmondsons: Boston and Beyond : November 15, 2017
Dear Partners in Ministry,
Where have we been?
It has been about a month and a half since I have sent my email prayer letter. Since that time, Deb and I have been on the road, which makes it difficult to keep current with weekly prayer letters.
Our time away started when we left Boston for Franklin, Tennessee, where we visited our son, daughter-in-law and three precious granddaughters. From there we traveled to Ottawa Kansas, ministering in a missions conference with Calvary Baptist Church, (supporting church) the pastor of Calvary introduced Deb and me as missionaries serving in Boston and Beyond. That is a good description of what we do, following human connections from Boston to other places around the world. Our time in Ottawa was a blessed time as we were reacquainted with a very supportive and engaged church family.
Our next stop was Ankeny, Iowa where we spent most of two weeks. Our primary responsibility was to minister at the Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary annual missions conference. This was a blessed time of challenging and being challenged to remain faithful to our calling to make disciples of all nations. My conference theme was Proclaiming Christ in the Globalized City (no surprise there). If you would like to see my rough speaking notes you may do so on my blog, Life and Ministry.
While in Ankeny, we also attended two cell groups of Saylorville Church. We had a wonderful time sharing our ministry report and vision for future ministry. Both groups were encouraging, and some continue to stay in contact. We have also been in three supporting churches in New England since returning home.
What are we doing now?
As I write, Deb is preparing a halal Thanksgiving dinner for several Muslim friends. When I went to pick up the specially prepared turkey at the local falafel shop, the proprietors chided me for not visiting them more often. In fact, they refused to give me the turkey until I sat and drank tea with them. Please pray for these folks who are originally from Palestine. The dinner for our Muslim friends will be this Friday night.
We have a second dinner planned for Sunday evening. A large immigrant family from China will join us for dinner that evening. The purpose of these dinners is to give testimony of the love of God by developing authentic relationships. It is our prayer that some of these relationships will result in opportunities to share the love of Christ which sent Him to the cross.
This weekend Dr. Vernon Rosenau (president of Baptist Mid-Missions) is coming to Boston for a visit. He will be spending time with Deb and me to discuss the potential and importance for city church planting globally. Those of you who have been consistently praying for us, know how important this meeting could be--Please pray.
Charity (one of our interns) just came from a Bible study with the glorious news that one of our friends has just passed from death to life!
In late December, we leave for Iowa where we will spend the next several months reporting to our supporting churches (check the prayer requests below). Until then, Deb and I will be continuing our ministry to individuals in Boston and Beyond, preparing for our departure to Iowa, speaking in one or two supporting churches, and spending time with my earthly brothers and sister.
Pray for my Sister
Recently, we discovered that my older sister, Linda, has stage four bone cancer which has spread throughout her body. She is fully engaged in battling the cancer, but I, along with two other brothers, thought it wise to gather at my sister's home for a family time. Please pray for us we think together about family issues and eternal matters.
This is Great Commission ministry,
Bill and Deb
Praise & Prayer
- We need a house sitter while we are in Iowa this spring. Please pray that we can find a reliable person or couple to stay in our home from January through May.
- We are working at increasing our support base by more than $1,000.00 per month. We also have an immediate goal of increasing the amount of people to whom we send our prayer letter to 1000 people. We have increased our prayer letter email list from 320 to 430 people thus far.
- Please pray that we fill every Sunday with meetings until we have reported back to all of our supporters and until we have 100% of our needed support. If you would like a meeting contact me .
- We are asking God for wisdom as we organize for future ministry to the globalized city. Especially pray as we will be meeting with Baptist Mid-Missions president Vernon Rosenau to discuss this.
November 17: Online School of Church Planning organizational meeting
Thanksgiving Halal Dinner with several Muslim friends
November 18-22 : Dr Roseau of Baptist Mid-Missions arrives in Boston to discuss Global-City Church Planting
November 19:Thanksgiving dinner with a large mainland Chinese immigrant family
November 23: Thanksgiving with family
November 26:Speak at Trinity Baptist Church in Concord, NH
November 29-30: Team North America Strategic Planning Meeting Cleveland, Ohio
December 9-10:My brothers and sister will meet together for an Edmondson time of reflection as my sister fights cancer.
Press on Support Needs to find more information on how to give. Press on the sub-headings for information on the individual projects.
Please let me know if you are giving to a particular project.
Edmondsons: This Week in Boston September 25, 2017
Dear Partners in Ministry,
Due to a heavy schedule, This Week in Boston has not been sent since September 4. Therefore, today, we will rehearse a Moment, which illustrates both our evangelistic ministry, as well as our internship program.
As you may know, we invite interns to learn how to apply their Bible knowledge by spending four months with us in Boston. The following factual story will help illustrate the value of such an internship.
One evening, a friend, with whom I had been studying with for several months, came early for an evangelistic Bible study. Being tired after a long day, and looking forward to a break before our study, I wondered to myself, why is he here an hour early? But sensing there might be a divine reason, I decided to probe a bit by asking questions like: How has your Bible studies been going? Where are you at spiritually? These questions revealed a clear understanding of the gospel, prompting me to ask, “What yet needs to happen for you to believe?” He replied that he was waiting for The Moment. I knew, then, that our friend was ready to pass from death into life.
At about this time, Andrew Eddy, one of our interns, joined us for our scheduled study. The three of us worked through the study, which I believe was on the life and ministry of Jesus, but at the end of the study, we turned to John 3:36, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not believe the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
I asked him, “What does the one who believes in the Son have?” He responded: “eternal life.” Then the question, “Do you believe Jesus Christ died in your place for your sins?” He responded, “Yes.” The follow up question…”What do you have?” His eventual response, “ I have eternal life.”
Of course, there were many exchanges and concerns addressed as Andrew and I ministered the gospel to our friend. Andrew later wondered why I was so blunt at times. He did so, because we had taught him that good relationships lead to gospel opportunities. Andrew was concerned that my bluntness would fracture our relationship. I was able to explain that our relationship had become strong enough for me to speak bluntly about his need to believe in Jesus, and that the time was right.
I cherish these moments when the gospel not only bears fruit, but a disciple is also instructed in the proper application of their belief system.
Our friend is now preparing for baptism, and Andrew is making ready to leave Boston to find his place of ministry. When he finds it, he will take a little bit of the Boston ministry with him.
This is Great Commission ministry,
Bill and Deb
Marshall Updates: September 7, 2017
Dear Praying Friends,
We saw the surgeon, Dr. Saifi, yesterday. He was very pleased with the progress so far and commended me for my exercising.
The part that I was not happy about was that he reiterated that I am still six weeks away from total recovery. He stressed that it is important not to get into any heavy work yet including the gym. The good news is that I am feeling much better and stronger each day. With that said, Anna and I feel it is important that we begin to schedule meetings with our supporting churches to bring a report of our last term in Mali. We are looking forward to being able to see each of you again.
Thank you for your prayers and many get well cards that I have received.
Marshall Updates: October 22, 2017
Dear Praying Friends,
Thank you for your prayers for us as we have begun to report back to our supporting churches.
Word has caught up to us via our cardiologist concerning the heart echo that was taken on September 29th. He is a bit concerned that there is leaking around the new aortic valve. We went to see our surgeon, Dr. Saifi, this past week who wants to keep an eye on it. But for the moment, nothing seems to be too serious. I did explain to him that I am feeling much better and he has allowed me to go back to the gym with light exercising.
We would appreciate your prayers for us as we begin a trip to Florida on Monday. We will be meeting with our home office personnel. On our way down and back we will be stopping in to see friends and family and take care of some business. We are also hoping to reconnect with a supporting church in Belmont, WV. We appreciate your prayers for safety as we travel.
Serving together with you,
Rich and Anna
Karen Hall Prayer Letter Update July - September 2017
What does religion without a true knowledge and fear of God look like? Here’s a sample from Kiari based on the events of August 1, 2017. In the course of that day, I attended the mourning house for Moses, a wellrespected man who died unexpectedly in the early morning hours; sat with the wailing family of Obet, a female relative of Moses who had been killed based on ungrounded suspicions of causing his death by sorcery; and visited Kathy, who had less than week left to live because of heart failure. All of these deaths occurred in the same subclan within one week of each other.
This particular clan group is considered to be faithful adherents to the local Foursquare Church, a Pentecostal denomination. This local church recently hosted a nationwide conference complete with visiting preachers, officials, and a live band. It appears, though, that no village or church leaders objected strongly enough to stop the young men who coerced a “confession” from Obet at knifepoint and then brutally ended her life. After hearing of the incident and being summoned urgently to visit Kathy for medical reasons, I followed the path and crossed the stiles that were splattered with Obet’s blood. Clods of dirt had been carefully packed onto the surface of one stile to cover the blood. Farther along we were met by young men who joked that we should be careful because people were out killing women today. Another lady we met reassured me that I shouldn’t be worried for Moses because they had already terminated the sanguma meri (“sorceress”). A day later a leader in the local Seventh-day Adventist denomination was flummoxed by my objection to the killing. Even Moses’ wife, who had been under suspicion and beaten by the same men who ended Obet’s life and is a very religious woman, seemed comforted by the fact of Obet’s death. The men believe that they are prolonging their own lives by terminating women who may be able to cause illness and death by sorcery. Medical explanations for illness and death are often rejected, and fantastic stories of the specific sorcery acts of the women are circulated and taken at face value. A week later I sewed up the severed finger of Kathy’s younger brother, who had mutilated himself to show his intense grief over her death. Because Kathy was a woman, there were no accusations of sorcery made on her death. How do you converse with and evangelize people who trust in their religiosity to save them while condoning and participating in these kinds of acts? That is something that I have been pondering a lot lately, and I believe the greatest need is a true knowledge of God. He is the Creator, and Satan is the created. He is the Giver and Taker of life. He is the righteous Judge before Whom we will all stand. Please pray for continued opportunities to converse on these topics with both men and ladies in the Laswara neighborhood as well as for the work of the Holy Spirit in convicting those involved directly and indirectly. Pray for Obet’s husband (Samuel) and her three adult children. Pray that Yunefe, Moses’ wife, will believe in Christ’s work on her behalf. Thank you for your prayers for the literacy classes. A new adult session with ten students (including two men!) started this week. Please pray for these students as we read and discuss a small portion of Scripture before each class. Five of the students are from the Laswara neighborhood, and five are from my neighborhood (Ap). The Scripture portions are derived chronologically, moving from Creation to the Fall and the promise of a Redeemer to the Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ. As the students gain reading ability and finish the reading primer, they start reading and answering questions about the Scripture portion themselves. Pray that the Holy Spirit will work in their hearts. A special answer to prayer is that Susan, Ese, and Erengine— who completed the the first session—are coming again to get the benefit of review, and Esther (who most likely has metastatic breast cancer) is also attending. Please continue to pray for Sine, Mary, and Genge, who continue to come and read Scripture portions for literacy purposes. Please note that our abilities to communicate with the outside world have recently become a bit more limited. The power supply for the cell tower in our own village has been dismantled by disgruntled locals, and we can only occasionally get signal from some other towers. This means that replies to email may be delayed as much as a week, depending on availability of time to travel to areas within Kiari that may have reception. Thank you for your patience with this.
Please pray for . . .
1. The salvation of a couple in my neighborhood.
2. The new adult literacy students (Abraham, Jon, Maria, Margaret, Rose, Lindsy, Esther, Sabet, Ruth, and Meri).
3. Former and continuing students (Erengine, Ese, Susan, Genge, Sine, and Mary).
4. Sunday school teachers who have taken over teaching responsibilities again (Kristina and Alice).
5. The possibility of starting a new literacy and discipleship class for church ladies this fall.
Thank you for your prayers for the Holy Spirit to work in hearts here!
Volante Prayer Letter Update August 2017
We kicked off the month of August with Calvary Baptist International School Kindergarten Graduation and School Awards Ceremony! What a joy it was to recognize these 70 little ones. The highlight of the day was to hear two of the KG boys preach the gospel to a crowd of some 600 - parents, teachers, and students. They quoted Bible verses, sang, recited poems, and put on a drama. I had the joy of closing the program with the gospel message and five parents responded to the gospel.
On August 9, we left for a four-day vacation with the entire Bethesda family. We were 30 in number because Annor Prince stayed behind for exams on his university classes. We enjoyed a day at the Accra Mall, the La Palm Beach Resort swimming pool, a tour of Accra’s historical land marks, a trip to the beach and, of course, we had to eat at Papaye for the best rice and chicken in Ghana.
On August 15, we took a good size group of 55 people from our church to attend the Pastors and Workers Conference,hosted by Dr. Ted Speer in Kumasi. The conference theme this year was on Eternal Security, which is a very misunderstood doctrine here in Ghana. I had the joy of speaking twice during the conference. The youth slept on mattresses in a school room and the pastors roughed it at a near by hotel.
On a very sad note, I had to leave the conference early on Friday to drive seven hours north to Bolgatanga to help Pastor Peter Addai bury a dear servant of the Lord, Mr. Willy. He was only 49 years old, he served as an assitant pastor, and he also taught second grade in the public school in Gurugoo. Willy was married to a faithful wife, had six children, and was a pillar in the communite. We had the joy of leading 5 men to Christ as Savior during the funeral service. Thank you for your part in all that we do for His glory and praise!
Volante Prayer Letter Update July 2017
The summer months zoom by like a speeding car at the Indy 500! We hold on and try to enjoy each day as much as we can, but time will not stand still. The end of May, we had the joy of hosting the Missions Team from the Campus Church of PCC headed by *Dr. & Mrs Reese. Each year the PCC team comes well prepared to help our Christian school host a special week of evangelism camp ministry. We take two classes of students each day (around 110-120 students) through a special program of fun activities, Bible stories, singing, crafts, and Bible memory. We divide the group into color teams, and the competition to win is intense. Each year we see many of our children trust Christ as Savior. During their two week visit, they also taught in twenty-four different Bible Clubs and two youth meetings, spoke in seven different prayer meeting services, taught ten Sunday lessons, conducted ten Children's Church services, participated in an open air meeting, and helped host the Victory Games in Atebubu, as well as going on visitation and soulwinning. By the time they flew out of Accra, we had seen 230 people confess Jesus Christ as Savior. We thank God for your faithfulness!
On June 20th our second missions team from Bible Baptist Church in Chickasha, OK, and Guide Baptist Church in Hilliard, OH, arrived for another powerful two weeks of ministry. They did many of the same things as the PCC team, but they helped us with two very special programs as well. First, they helped us celebrate our 21st Anniversary as a church. What a wonderful day we had with over 900 in attendance and sixteen people coming to trust Jesus as Savior! Second, God opened a great door for us in Jama, a village in the northern region of Ghana. Pastor Peter Kontor is our missionary there. Last year, Pastor Kim and I stopped in to visit the Chief of Jama, and he invited Pastor Kim back this year to preach to all his sub-chiefs and queen mothers. On Monday June 26, we arrived at his home in Jama. He had invited over 100 dignataries to hear the gospel. Pastor Ben gave a testimony, Pastor Kim preached, I gave the invitation, and 45 of his leaders and family members prayed to receive Christ as their Savior. The town children showed up out of sheer curiosity, and we saw 30 of these children pray after the service was over.
Edmondsons in Boston Updates (July- September 2017)
Hursts update Letter: May—June 2017
We are thankful for God’s sustaining power through the busyness of the summer months and for the fruit He has brought forth that abounds to your account.
On May 1st, Labor Day in the Philippines, we held our annual Family Day. We enjoyed many activities that brought our church family closer together.
The month of May also included our first Vacation Bible School. Using the theme “Take the Road to Jesus,” we encouraged the children to choose Christ as Savior and be His disciple for life. We praise the Lord for about fifty children attending each day and the many salvations as a result.
Right after VBS, three of our young people attended Music Camp at another like-minded Baptist church in Manila. Mary Joy concentrated on violin while Edjay and Adrian studied trumpet and trombone.
We thank the Lord for the many visiting parents on Mother’s and Father’s Days. We presented them with respective mugs honoring their service and en-couraged them to raise their children in the ways of the Lord.
A PCC missions team with sixteen members came to help our ministry for two days. They assisted with Bible clubs, our public school ministry, teacher training, youth fellowship, and soul-winning. Our people enjoyed interacting with the team and seeing their heart for the Lord. It is always refreshing to have visitors from the U.S. with a desire to serve.
With the beginning of the schoolyear in June, we were able to start back our minis-try to the public elementary school. We teach Christian values for thirty minutes to the morning and afternoon sessions of nine fourth through sixth grade classrooms. We are grateful to the seven church members who give of their time every Friday to make a difference for eternity.
On June 19, MetroView Baptist Academy began its second year of school. We offered K5 in addition to the K4 we started last year. Praise the Lord for the ad-ditional eight students enrolled in MVBA, bringing our total enrollment to twelve. When the new teacher for K5 backed out just two weeks before school started, Kaitlin willingly stepped in not knowing how long she would have to teach. She prepared the teacher materials, organized the stu-dent papers, and decorated the classroom. After a week of teaching, she was thankfully able to hand it over to a newly hired national teacher. Kaitlin assisted for a few weeks, teaching Jennifer how to use the A Beka curriculum. School has been pro-gressing smoothly but please pray for the salvation or spiritual growth of each of the twelve students.
Our three children’s Bible clubs continue every Saturday morning in addition to soul-winning. Through these outreaches, we have been able to share the gospel with parents ,and many children come to church on Sunday mornings.
Marshall Update: July and August 2017 updates
July 7, 2017
A quick update on my health. We have an appointment set up for July 19th to talk with the heart surgeon in Albany. He will talk to us about the surgery and set a date for it. We will keep you informed when we know more.
We do have an urgent prayer request. We learned that papers were served to the Baptist church in Niamakoro that our mission started – telling them to vacate the property within 10 days. They claim that the property (after 20 years) does not legally belong to the church. You can imagine how upset everyone is. One of our missionaries, Cindy Faile, has written us an update on this situation. The letter below is what she wrote.
“Thank you so much for the outpouring of encouraging words and commitments to pray for the church here in Bamako. I apologize for not writing with more news sooner but I really didn’t have any more news until today.
We had a good service this morning – still in our building and on our property – in spite of some really good rainfall that lasted most of the morning. The rainfall, too, was a blessing. Anyway, Pastor Andre announced that some of our church leaders were able to contact the Justice Minister and Minister of Religious Affairs in the country this week. The necessary papers are ones already in our hands. Assurances have been verbally given that this situation should end well for us. Our lawyer now can begin to follow through proper channels to see the whole thing through and, Lord willing, finish this debate once and for all.
A similar situation has been going on for some time with Campus for Christ’s property here in town. Apparently it’s the same people who brought that complaint up as the ones who have brought complaint against us. The overall feeling is that it boils down to a way to work out some hostility towards Christians. The process has the potential to drag out for a long time. Please continue to pray for a quick resolution.
Some good that is already coming out of this is seeing how this situation is motivating the young people, not just at our church but in the Church overall in Mali. Churches all over Mali have committed to pray. The young people in particular have called for a week of prayer and fasting throughout the country. Maybe this is one way God has intended to get the attention of His children here and cause us to start taking our walk with Him more seriously. We all need those reminders at times.”
Please join us in praying for this situation and for the church to be able to resolve this problem quickly.
July 20, 2017
We enjoyed helping out with the DVBS at the Baptist Church of Northville last week. It was well attended. The boys and girls got very excited about funding a well in Mali. This really encouraged Anna and me to see the partnership that was exhibited to encourage the churches in Mali.
Yesterday we had our appointment with the heart surgeon in Albany. I am scheduled for surgery on August 14th. We are disappointed that it isn’t sooner as this is really delaying our visits to our supporting churches. I continue to work on our presentation and small jobs here at the house. Thank you for your continued prayers for us.
August 12, 2017
Just a quick update concerning my operation. Monday I will need to be at St. Peter's Hospital in Albany, NY by 5:00 am. The great news is that after studying the CAT scan (which was done with the pre-op exams last Monday), the doctor feels that he can do the heart port operation rather than splitting the sternum. We are thankful for this as it is less invasive and has a quicker time of recovery. Already, we are seeing that the Lord is answering many of your prayers.
Thank you in advance for your prayers for my operation on Monday.
August 14, 2017
Thank you for your prayers today. We are very grateful for God's answers to prayer. We were suppose to be first on the list of surgeries for Dr. Saifi, but we found out that a short surgery was put in ahead of us. So Rich's surgery didn't actually start until 10:05 am instead of seven in the morning. We began to get a bit concerned when Four o'clock rolled around and we still didn't have any word. We were told that he had gone into surgery at 8:30 am.
When Dr. Saifi came out to talk to us at 4:30 pm, he said that it took longer than he had hoped as they had to go back in and put in more stitches to seat the valve and stop all the leaks. This happened twice. He did get the heart port surgery, so that is good.
We were able to go back to see him by 5:30 pm and then were allowed back in another hour. When we returned at 7:30 we were allowed to stay for an hour and a half and they took out the breathing tube. He is doing much better and we trust he will get some rest tonight. They have him in ICU and are monitoring him very closely.
August 14, 2017
Thank you to those who are praying for our family during this difficult time. We do appreciate all the notes and letters that you are sending.
We praise the Lord that our daughters have been able to help us during these first few days and weeks. They have been taking turns being here with us.
Rich made a lot of progress today in that he was sitting up this morning and walked twice today - once to a new room a long ways down the hall in the progressive unit. he is no longer in the CVICU unit. He has been in a lot of pain as is normal after surgery and hasn't gotten much sleep with all the work that the nursing staff does all day and all night.
Please pray that he will be able to get some good sleep and feel more rested and in less pain. Please also pray that no infections will develop. So far, so good.
August 17, 2017
God is answering your prayers. Rich was able to get some rest and is feeling much better. The doctor is planning to let him come home tomorrow. We praise the Lord that he has been able to walk three times the last two days and today he was not dizzy while walking. Each day he sees improvements which is very encouraging. We just want to thank all of you who have prayed for us.
August 18, 2017
Thank you for your prayers for us. It took a while, but Rich was discharged today. We drove home in a rain storm, but since then the sun has come out. We are both very thankful to be home.
Some have asked for our mailing address. It is 1391 County Highway 107, Amsterdam, NY 12010.
Thank you for your continued prayers as we walk through this time of rehabilitation
August 22, 2017
It has been a week since my surgery and I am feeling much, much better than that first day. I realize that this is because of the many, many, many prayers that have been offered on my behalf. Thank you for your notes of encouragement and promises to pray. I am truly a blessed man to have so many friends.
The hospital released me and has put me on an exercise program to help the heart to heal properly. This is going quite well and I can feel my strength increasing each day. Also, I thank you for praying for Anna because this was quite stressful for her. She was very thankful to have the help of our daughters for the trips back and forth to the hospital and the initial care at home.
Marshall Update: June 2017 (2 updates)
Edmondson Update: April 26, 2017
This Week in Boston
Dear Partners in Ministry,
Moved Quickly Forward
Since my last communication, God has providentially put us on an express ministry train to China, but first, a quick update on other happenings in Boston.
In the last month, God has quickly moved us forward: 1) a new believer has been baptized (His testimony will be the subject of a future prayer letter.), 2) another friend placed his faith in Christ, and is now asking questions about church membership, prayer and confession of sin, 3) the International Baptist Church an orthodox Christian association has a new pastor. Our church family voted unanimously to call Toby Stevens, who will be officially installed on the last day of May. This will help Deb and I to focus on strategic-urban-global church planting, which includes personal evangelistic ministry, recruiting and training church planters for the urban centers of the world, and networking world-class-city church planting.
While this is being written, Deb and I are waiting to board a flight for Beijing, China. We had planned on leaving for China May 9, but when our visa was approved ,the dates were changed to April 19 - May 19. So, after a scramble, here we are waiting for our flight.
As you may recall from our last update, our ministry goals for this trip are as follows: 1) We hope to follow up on the many disciples who began their spiritual life in Boston, helping them to remain faithful, and to move forward in their Christian lives and ministries. 2) We will network with the body of Christ in China, so that we can help facilitate global-church planting. 3) We desire to learn more about China and its people, in order to more effectively minister to Mainland Chinese in the USA. 4) We will work at developing new evangelistic relationships with not-yet Christians, in order to start new evangelistic Bible studies on-line.
Since news of our ministry trip spread across the IBC diaspora, requests have flowed in asking us to visit various areas of China including the east, northwest and southwest of China. All of these offer rich opportunities for expanding gospel ministry and are in accordance with our listed goals. This is an area you could consider be a blessing to China.
Whereas we have the needed funds to travel to Beijing and Shanghai, we do not have the money needed to travel to other areas of China. For instance, we have been asked to fly to Dali, China, but this would cost $900.00. As has been explained to us, there is great opportunity in Dali to learn about the Chinese Church, and the culture of China. In addition, we would be introduced to friends who do not yet know Christ. This is one example of several ministry opportunities.
If you would like to join us financially in this ministry trip, and help us avail ourselves of these opportunities, would you consider sending a gift to Baptist Mid-Missions in the name of Bill and Deb Edmondson? If you do so, be sure to send us an email to email@example.com, letting us know the amount you are investing. This will help us know what we are able to spend and where we are able to go.
I hope to send updates in the following weeks as the situation allows.
This is Great Commission ministry.
Pray for us,
Bill and Deb
Praise & Prayer
Thankful for a life of ministry
We thank and praise our God for His providential movement and blessing in the life and ministry of the International Baptist Church.
We are very thankful for God's provision through churches and individuals for this trip.
Please pray for us as we seek God's will each day in China.
Please pray that we will have the needed funds to travel domestically in China.
Pray that we will achieve the outlined Great Commission goals while in China.
Pray for a new baptized believer and a new baby in Christ.
Pray for Toby and Susan Stevens as they assume the role of Pastor and Pastor's wife of the IBC an OCA.
We need more than $1,000.00 a month of new support. Since the IBC has called a new pastor, they will cease to support Deb and me. In addition, we will need more money for ministry expenses (the IBC paid a large portion of this). In order to care for this need, we will be reporting back to our supporting churches throughout this coming fall and next spring. Please contact me if you would like to schedule a meeting this fall or in the spring of 2018.
There is obviously room for new supporters to join us in this blessed ministry. Would you consider getting the word out to any Great Commission Christians who might be interested in joining our financial team?
Actually, we are not alarmed about our lack of support. Having experienced God's provision for 40 years, we, with excitement, look for His provision.
We are on our way, and opportunities for effective Great Commission ministry abound, but finances are limited. If you would like to join us as we follow God and minister in China, would you consider sending a gift to Baptist Mid-Missions in the name of Bill and Deb Edmondson? If so, let us know, so we can budget additional travel in China.
Press on Support Needs in order to find more information on how to give. Press on the sub-headings for information on the individual projects.
Please let me know if you are giving to a particular project.
Marshall Update: April 2017 (2 updates)
April 19, 2017
Dear Praying Friends,
We enjoyed a wonderful Easter celebration with our friends at the churches of N’darla and Mouzoun. After the Easter message we had a nice communion service. For some this was their first time ever around the Lord’s table. We have encourage them to share Christ with their friends and neighbors. They are the key link for Christ there in the bush. Please pray for God to give them courage to share the gospel and pray for more believers to join them at these small churches. (Their pastors will be returning from Bible school at the end of April.) We finished off our Easter day with a very worshipful English service with others in the English community.
We have been able to complete the last two wells we had scheduled. After two long days of drilling in the heat at the church in Kinsiga, the pastor there (Moise Keita) expressed what an answer to prayer this well was for his family. I asked him to explain. He said that it is not easy for pastors in the bush to make a living. Also when people get saved they are generally ostracized by their families so they come to the pastor for help. This well represents a solution to this problem. He said, “Now I can grow gardens to feed my family and the Christians also can grow gardens. We will even have enough to share with the community that has shunned us.” I like that kind of thinking. When I asked him what kind of pump he was going to use to get the water out of the well with, he just said that he didn’t know, but if God provided a well he can trust Him for a pump. We enjoyed a wonderful evangelism meeting with the help of several other pastors. The Jesus film had not been shown there for a couple of years.
We are busy finishing up some important jobs here at the mission before leaving for the USA on May 1st. Thank you for your prayers as we turn over responsibilities to others during our absence. Anna is enjoying her last two weeks of classes and prayer times with the different pastors’ wives. Thank you for your prayers for these important opportunities of mutual encouragement.
Serving together with you,
Rich and Anna Marshall
April 22, 2017
Dear Praying Friends,
You have to see it to believe it. I just received this report from Pastor Ag Infa. God is building His church in Timbuktu and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. Easter in Timbuktu and the church was packed out and 8 young people were baptized. Praise God for His faithful servants who are preaching the word in northern Mali.
Rejoicing in Christ,
Rich and Anna Marshall
Marshall Update: April 3, 2017
CAMP NORTHFIELD SPRING E-NEWS (March 2017)
"Why Men Love Going to Camp"
Recently, I read a book by David Murrow entitled, Why Men Hate Going to Church. In his book, he mentions a major gender gap arising between men and women within our American Churches. This gender gap has increased over time, and even made its way into our Baptist churches. He furthers his argument by stating that this gender gap comes about through churches entering what he calls, “maintenance mode.” “Maintenance mode” can be defined as a church that has lost its vision and purpose of discipleship training/making, and preserving the status quo becomes the main focus. This church resists change and eventually leads to complacency, apathy, and decline.
What is to be done? Should we change for the sake of changing? No! We must ensure that our churches never fall stagnant to the Word of God, and must continue to help our churches grow. Remember, the church is the people, and it is made up of both leadership and congregation. As church leaders, we must ensure that the spiritual health of our congregation is the nucleus of our ministry. As parishioners of the church, we must maintain a level of honesty and accountability and tell our church family when we are struggling. That is where camp and conferences can help!
Our 5th core value of Camp Northfield is “serving.” Serving our community as well as our local churches is one of the pillars of our philosophy. Camp is here to aide your congregation to love God, and to be a place where God and Jesus Christ is the focus. Our goal is to provide more events for men, and their families where they can relax, recharge, and refresh. Many times, this is done through work parties and special events. This year, our calendar provides many opportunities for men to come to camp. Check them out!
April 26-29, Work Days
Our plan is to open the cabins, turn all of the water on, install a shower, and other miscellaneous jobs. We need electricians, carpenters, plumbers, and other skilled tradesmen for these days. Bring your chainsaws, your family, and appetite to this event! We will need them all! Please call or email us to let us know if you are coming. Overnight accommodations and meals are provided. Phone: (413)498-0256 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
April 29, “Staff House Remodeling Meeting”
The Saturday of the work days, we will be hosting a special meeting about our plans for our staff housing house. We are in the midst of remodeling three of our staff houses and one of them, We would like to convert this house into an intern house. We will need laborers and tradesmen for this job! This building will need to be lifted, reinforce the foundation, new sills, and replace the floor joists. The meeting will start at 10:30 A.M. and a buffet lunch will be provided. We would like to show you the house, and show you the work involved. Bring your family!
June 3, Motorcycle Benefit Ride
Calling all motorcycle and BBQ enthusiasts! Bring your motorcycle and appetite to this first ever benefit ride. Even if you do not have a bike, but still love to eat, this event is for you. Church teams or individual teams will face off for their chance to earn the title of BBQ champ. There is even a travel trophy at “steak!” The theme will be an overall “Best BBQ,” so bring your favorite recipe, your best grill, and BBQ away! Whether it is your famous cheeseburger, steak, ribs, pulled pork, or brisket, our panel of judges will be happy to test them for you! You can sign up your 1,2,3, or 4 man team by calling the office, or registering below.
May 19-20, Father/Son Retreat
Men, this is your opportunity to set an example for your sons. You will have an opportunity to share experiences and hear Biblical messages geared just for men and their sons.
September 15-16, Men’s Retreat
After a long, hard, laborious summer, this is your opportunity to sit back and relax. You will hear dynamic preaching, taste great food, and leave refreshed!
2017 Quest for 600
At our annual Christmas Banquet, we shared with the attendees our goal for 2017. Our desire is to see 600 campers come through these doors. In 2016, we had 434 total registrations. Having a goal of 166 more campers may seem unachievable, but Christ reminds us in Matthew 21:22, “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” Will you partner with us in prayer or financially to help us meet this goal?
This newsletter will go out to roughly 1,000 individuals. If only 1/4 of us reach out to one child, and encourage them to camp, we could easily meet our goal! Will you help us by encouraging just one camper?
Perhaps you live out of state, or no longer have any more children or grandchildren in your home, but you would still like to help us with this goal. I was preaching in a chapel last year, and a young lady came up to me afterward and said she had $70.00. “Is this enough to come to camp,” she asked. Our scholarship fund was designed for that very child. If a camper wants to attend camp, we would like to send them! As of now, we have $510.00 in our scholarship fund. This not even enough to send two campers to camp for the summer. There are many families in our churches that would love to send their kids to camp, but cannot afford it. We like to work with these families, and allow them to send their child for nothing or at a reduced price. This is where your support can help through the scholarship fund! Click the link below to be redirected to our giving page. Thank you again for your faithfulness to the next generation!
How far would your gift go?
$10.00 a month - Permits are a necessary part of our daily operations. Food and building permits are a requirement for us to safely run camp. This gift, would help cover the cost of our food establishment, and one building permit.
$25.00 a month - This would allow a single camper to enjoy a full week of camp. It would pay for their lodging, meals, and even allow them to have $15.00 extra dollars to spend at the Bivouac (bookstore)!
$50.00 a month - Who likes taking cold showers! I know our campers do not! $50.00 a month would cover the cost of propane to heat the water in our shower houses.
$100.00 a month - Anyone who has ever operated or cared for a swimming pool, knows of its cost. This would cover the cost of the chemicals needed to maintain a proper water balance.
$200.00 a month - “Brrrrrr….It’s cold outside!” Thanks to a gift like this, we are able to maintain the Hilliker Lodge’s temperature a constant 55 degrees, and during events, up to 68 degrees. Or a comfortable temperature to your liking!
Thank you again for all of your faithful support to this ministry!
Volante Update (March 2017)
All my life I have endeavored to be the kind of person that makes a difference. So I pray and plan and pray again. We as a church family have seen God do so many amazing things in the ministry here in Africa. When I stop and reflect on some of our greatest victories, I must think about you, our faithful supporters. Many of you have supported our family for over 20 years now, and some for almost 24 years going. One of the greatest joys is to welcome many of our supports who bravely cross the ocean and come to see the ministry here in Ghana with their own eyes. No slideshow, video, pictures, or verbal report touches your heart like walking into a church service and seeing the many lives that have been reached for eternity because you gave. It is with a grateful heart we write to say thank you for choosing our family to repsresent you in Africa!
BLESSINGS ON OUR TRIP TO BOLGATANGA - IN 10-40-WINDOW OF AFRICA
Last month, Pastor Atta and I had the joy of taking my son-in-law Evan to Bolgatanga to visit our missionary church planter, Pastor Peter Addai. We went to encourage Pastor’s family, visit our Bible School student in Bolgatanga, and expose Evan to another one of our daughter churches. While there we also had the joy of winning five people to Christ, some during Saturday visitation and some responded to the message on Sunday monrning. Evan also had the joy of teaching in the children’s church ministry. Please pray with us for the funds to protect the church property from flooding during the rainy season. We need to construct a 300 foot wall at the back of the property to control a small river that overflows its banks and floods our property three to four times a year. The wall will cost $2,500.
NEW MINSTRY BURDEN FOR PASTOR SAMUEL APPIAH FOR ATEBUBU, GHANA
Early in January of this year, Pastor Samuel met with me to share a burden God was laying on his heart to pastor the church in Atebubu. Please let me explain. Two year ago, being led of the Lord, we as a team of pastors in Techiman along with Pastor Kim Hayes and my dad, Pastor John Volante, went to plant a new church in Atebubu. Atebubu is about two hours drive east of our church in Techiman. After the big kick off service, we secured land and started building the church building. Each week a team from our church led by Pastor George Korsah would go to Atebubu for soul winning and discipling of the new beleivers in a Thurday night Bible Study. One Friday afternoon, after going with Pastor George to Atebubu, Pastor Samuel shared with me that God was calling him to go full time to stay in Atebubu to be the pastor of the church. We prayed and talked with Pastor George and Sister Vester, Pastor Samuel’s wife. Vester was then taken the following Thursday to view the ministry in Atebubu. This month Pastor Samuel is searching for a place to stay in Atebubu and needs to raise a least $3,000 to get the building secure for worship. Please pray for God’s blessed hand of leading in these big transitions in the ministry here in Techiman. Thanks so much.
Pastor & Mrs. Stephen J. Volante
Karen Hall Update (Jan-Mar 2017)
Dear praying Friends and Family, January–March 2017
Thank you for your continuing to remember Kiari in your prayers. This letter’s being a little delayed means there is plenty to fill you in on. After Christmas I spent three weeks in town at another mission’s compound with good fellowship and a chance to stock up on supplies for the Kiari team and me. Praise the Lord that teammates Jeff and Elizabeth Owens returned on March 7 with a new short-term couple (Matthew and Rachel Potter) accompanying them. It has been busy gettingeveryone settled in and oriented, but everyone seems to be moving along well in their roles now.
Literacy classes with the three ladies are going well. In the last few weeks, it seems that things have started to click for them, and they are now starting to become a little more independent. Though the class is technically a Siar literacy class, I also desire that they will be able to read the trade language, Tok Pisin. Just today I exposed one of the students to a Tok Pisin Bible and asked her to read a portion of the same story we had read in Siar. She managed to read it with minimal assistance from me. I wasn’t sure how their learning would cross over to Tok Pisin, but the confirmation of that today was a blessing. Recently we have shifted a bit, and a major part of the class is spent reading the Siar Scripture portion together; I used to read it to them as a short Bible lesson at the beginning of each session. It is amazing the difference in their interest in and comprehension of the story when they are reading it themselves (with assistance). Since we have started doing this, they have been asking more thoughtful questions. I explain and give background information when necessary but mostly let the Scripture do its own teaching. Erengine, in particular, has been very faithful when the other two have skipped for various reasons. We are proceeding chronologically through the basic narrative of the Bible and are almost ready to read and discuss Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf. Please pray for Erengine, Ese, and Susan as we continue through the month of April. Two weeks ago a children’s literacy class was started. Attendance has ranged from 8 to 12 eager, rather rambunctious learners. Occasionally I have had to ask students to please come out from under the large table where we sit and to pay attention to class. Overall, their progress is much quicker than the adults, and they are already reading sentences that utilize the eight letters we have covered. Please pray for these students also as the same Bible lessons are being taught at the beginning of class. Their attention waxes and wanes, but they were particularly attentive during the lesson about Adam’s fall, the curse, and God’s promise of a Deliverer. Please pray that they will internalize Biblical truths about God, man, and Satan and ultimately act on those by calling on God to help them. The medical work continues Mondays and Fridays and provides opportunities for evangelistic contact. Please pray for Roslyn, who had a question about a tract she received in the clinic’s waiting area. It was an insightful question
regarding her perception of the role of church attendance in striving to gain God’s favor. She was willing to let Scripture challenge her thinking. Pray also for Miriam, a girl who is being physically abused by her father in their remote living situation. Pray for the salvation of her and her father, for healing, and for the village leaders to take quick and appropriate action for her safety.
Please continue to pray for:
- The salvation of a couple (Gafenu and Hawiyem) in the Ap neighborhood where I live.
- Skill in directing conversations in a spiritual direction in the Siar language.
- The Holy Spirit to bring conviction of sin to those in my neighborhood, to those who have been exposed to the chronological teaching, and to children in the Sunday school class.
- Inroads for the Gospel with men.
- Gohenare, Mega, and Sabe, three elderly ladies who listen to and critique the Siar Sunday school lessons.
- Esther, an inquirer who has returned to the village after receiving medical treatment.
- The children’s Sunday school class as we cover the trial, crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Christ over the next three Sundays. Please pray in particular for those from unbelieving homes (Susan, Piboi, Kande, Tuksi, Nana, and Kaunsil).
Thank you for your prayers for the work here. Lots of sowing is being done; pray for a harvest from the Lord and in His time!
For the sake of His Name in Kiari,
Marshall Update: March 12, 2017
Thank you for your prayers for Anna. She meets with her physical therapist once a week. Teresa keeps giving Anna new exercises each week as she sees her progressing. Anna is healing quite well, but it will take a bit more time.
We asked for prayer concerning our well evangelism program. These are proving to be very positive with many of the villagers attending. We are combining our efforts with local pastors who seem to be very excited to be a part of this program. Because the villages are not set up with their own pumps yet, we decided to bring our own electric pump and generator to pump water for them for this event. It is a big hit. We get to the village early enough in the afternoon to get set up and start pumping. It is a delight to see how many people have shown up with buckets, and barrels, and tubs. We gave them notice of this event well in advance for them to be prepared. As the afternoon wears on, we set up for our evening projection and evangelism program. Everybody goes to eat their supper until about 8:00 pm.
We get the evening program started with a music video of the Timbuktu choir. When we see that the people have assembled, Rich gives a short 20 minute evangelistic message and introduces the film of Jesus. At the close of the film, one of the national pastors presents some final remarks and an invitation, but we haven’t seen anyone come to Christ through these efforts. We are confident that God’s Word will be at work in their hearts long after we have moved on. We are encouraged to know that there are pastors in these locations that will follow up on these events.
Please pray that the machines will function correctly. We experienced some technical difficulties with our last showing. We plan to do our next evangelism outreach in N’tidiambougou on Tuesday.
Serving together with you,
Rich and Anna Marshall
Edmondsons in Boston Update: March 4, 2017
It has been a one and a half months since I last communicated with you, and much has happened. First, let me update you on news from our previous prayer letter. In order to understand this update, you may need to refresh your memory concerning our last update.
- At last count, there are 12 on-going evangelist Bible studies. Please pray that these studies will produce Christians. As a result of one such study, a new baby Christian will be baptized in late March.
- We have two interns coming this summer, a third in August, and a forth next summer.
- Jean Tsen is faithfully raising support to join the Boston team as a vocational missionary. She is now at 17%!
Reporting and Support Raising
Deb and I will be reporting back to our supporting churches in the Midwest from January to June of 2018. We will also be caring for support needs during that time.
Firstly, the International Baptist Church, an orthodox Christian association, (IBC an OCA), elected Song as its second deacon. As a second item, at the request of the man being considered as an assistant pastor, the IBC an OCA agreed to wait on that decision.
Exciting New News
A church is considering sending Deb and I to China. The purpose of this trip is as follows:
- We hope to follow up on the many disciples who began their spiritual life in Boston, helping them to remain faithful, and to move forward in their Christian lives and ministries.
- We will network with the body of Christ in China, so that we can help facilitate global-church planting.
- We desire to learn more about China and its people, in order to more effectively minister to Mainland Chinese.
- We will work at developing new evangelistic relationships with not-yet Christians, in order to start new evangelistic Bible studies.
Even More Exciting News
From the beginning, our God-given goal has always been to minister to the world in Boston in order to minister to the world outside of Boston. It remains our intention to facilitate global-church-planting in world-class cities by ministering to the world in Boston and by networking with the body of Christ, locally, regionally, continentally, and internationally.
For this goal of global-city-church planting to be achieved, a pastor and pastor's wife team is needed to shepherd the IBC, an OCA, allowing Deb and I to focus our energies on evangelistic and networking ministries. It appears that God has designated a couple to fulfill the role of the pastor and pastor's wife of the IBC an OCA.
Toby and Susan Stevens have been part of the Boston ministry for many years. After interning with us, Toby, along with Susan and their two young sons, raised their support to become church planters in Boston. Once the church becomes fully self-supporting, their intention is to remain with the church as pastor and wife. Toby and Susan are one with us in ministry philosophy and share our passion for global ministry, with Boston as the launching pad. The final church vote calling Toby as the Pastor of the IBC an OCA will be either the last week of March or the first week of April. Please pray with us that there will be 100% unity in this vote.
This is Great Commission ministry. Pray for us, Bill and Deb
Praise & Prayer
Thankful for a life of ministry
- Please pray for us as we work to develop new evangelistic relationships.
- Please pray for ongoing evangelistic Bible studies, and for one person who has finished his evangelistic studies but has not yet believed. Pray that our Savior will save. In addition, pray for one person who is preparing for baptism.
- Pray for the IBC an OCA as we vote to call Toby Stevens as our new pastor. Please pray that we would be 100% unified.
Reporting Back and Additional Support
Recently we have reported back to several of our supporting churches. Please contact me if you would like to schedule a meeting, either this year or in the first half of 2018.
We now need more than $1,000.00 a month of additional support. There is obviously room for new supporters to join us in this blessed ministry. Would you consider getting the word out to any Great Commission Christians who might be interested in joining our financial team?
Since we need to focus on raising additional support, we will limit fund raising. This means that we will not be asking donors to give towards the ministry home projects or for educational costs. In fact, the $650.00 in our educational fund will be placed into our China trip fund.
Our ministry trip to China will cost at least $5,000.00. With the $650.00 from our educational fund and the $190.00 which has already been placed in our passage account, we have $840.00 committed to our China trip. When we have finished raising the needed funds, we will go to China in order to minister to many church members who returned.
Press on Support Needs in order to find more information on how to give. Press on the sub-headings for information on the individual projects.
Please let me know if you are giving to a particular project.
Marshall Update: February 28, 2017
Dear Praying Friends,
Thank you for your prayers. Anna continues to heal and was able to attend the bush church of Mouzoun for the first time again on February 22nd. She still has to keep her leg elevated, but has more mobility. Please continue to pray for complete healing. She is eager to begin her regular walking schedule again.
Last week we were able to drill the well at N’Darla which will service an elementary school, the church, and the village. We praise the Lord that all went well and the well was drilled and cased in one day. The next day we finished up and came on home. We enjoyed our time with the school staff while on site.
We have had lots of guests in the guesthouse lately. Rich continues to make improvements and repairs as he has time. The building is almost all painted now.
Thank you for your prayers as we begin our evangelism outreaches for the three wells that we have drilled thus far. We plan to begin this week. We have some of the national pastors helping us. Pray for wisdom as we get this new outreach off the ground.
Serving together with you,
Marshall Update: February, 2017
Edmondsons Update: January 15, 2017
It is a new year with new opportunities and challenges. In this letter, the opportunities, and challenges of 2017 will be communicated.
God has provided us with ten ongoing evangelistic Bible studies with an additional study imminent. One individual who is still finishing up our series of 15 studies is actually preparing for believer's baptism.
Seven of these evangelistic studies are local (in person) while three of them are by means of online video conferencing (GoToMeeting), but this changes weekly since many of these studies are with international scholars who tend to move back and forth between their homeland and Boston.
It is a tremendous blessing from God to be entrusted by God with these precious individuals. Please pray that the gospel will be made clear in each study, and that each individual will respond in faith and be saved.
We need to work on our support level. It has been quite a while since we have reported back in person to our financial supporters. The combination of this along with an increase of insurance costs and the inevitable deterioration of committed support has made it an imperative to work at increasing our monthly support. We are currently reporting to one supporting church per month, but, in 2018, we will take several months and report back to all of our supporters. In addition to this, we need to increase our supporter base. This means speaking in new churches or asking individuals to join our financial team.
Deb and I have lived by faith for a long time, and the Lord has taught us that He is faithful. We enjoy raising support, because our cause (making disciples of all nations) is worthy. Therefore, since our God is faithful and our cause is worthy, we will be proactive rather than fretful.
Tomorrow is the beginning of our annual business meeting in the International Baptist Church. We will introduce several items which will not be voted upon until several weeks from now. We will be considering an assistant pastor as well as a second deacon.
The potential assistant pastor is a semi-retired pastor who loves our international disciples and is a gifted teacher of the Word of God. His main roll is teaching both on Sunday morning as well as other discipleship studies. This allows me to focus on evangelism and administration.
The potential deacon is a one of our Chinese disciples who has shown himself to be faithful. In fact, since his conversion and baptism, he has not missed church and has been consistent in his ministry responsibilities. One day, he may very well return to China. If he does so, he will go back a changed person--eternally saved and profitable for ministry.
This is Great Commission ministry.
We now need more than $1,000.00 a month of new support. We are reporting back to our supporting churches once each month. Please contact me if you would like to schedule a meeting in 2017. Also, we will be contacting our supporters about reporting back in 2018.
There is obviously room for new supporters to join us in this blessed ministry. Would you consider getting the word out to any Great Commission Christians who might be interested in joining our financial team?
Since we need to focus on raising additional support, we will not be asking donors to give towards the ministry home projects or for educational costs. In fact, the $650.00 in our educational fund will be placed into our China trip fund.
Our ministry trip to China will cost around $5,000.00. With the $650.00 from our educational fund and the $190.00, which has already been placed in our passage account, $840.00 has been committed to our China trip. When the funds are raised, we will travel to China in order to continue Great Commission ministry with disciples made in Boston.
Press on Support Needs in order to find more information on how to give. Press on the sub-headings for information on the individual projects.
Please let me know if you are giving to a particular project.
Praise & Prayer
Thankful for a life of ministry
- Please pray for us as we work to develop new evangelistic relationships by means of Deb's cooking classes and English Corners (conversational English is taught to those who have English as a second language).
- Please pray for the ten ongoing evangelistic Bible studies, and for one person who has finished his evangelistic studies but has not yet believed. Pray that our Savior will save. Also, pray for one person who is preparing for baptism.
- Pray that the small nucleus of the International Baptist Church will increase.
- Christmas Sunday was the highest attended Sunday of the year at the International Baptist Church. There were many new friends in attendance including several children participating in our special children's church. One child from China taught the lesson to her mother, an immigrant from China-I think it was the first time either one of them had heard the Bible taught. Also, several new evangelistic studies began as a result of Christmas at the IBC. It is uniquely the privilege of the IBC to have more not-yet-Christians than believers in some services.
Marshall Update: January 11, 2017
Volante Update: December 2016
Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!
We would like to shout a very “Blessed Christmas” to each and every one of you who faithful prays for us and supports the ministry here in Africa. We know without the blessing from heaven and your faithful support we could never accomplish the will of the Lord here in Ghana. We miss you all and can’t wait for the opportunity to come and report in person in the near future. The older we get; the faster time seems to fly by – truly these past few months have been filled with some of our greatest joys and some of our most difficult trials in the ministry! In June had a special visit from Pastor Kim Hayes and Brother Kelly Boyd who came to help us celebrate our church’s 20th anniversary. We had many dear friends in attendance and over 1,000 representives of the fruit of our church’s ministries gathered for two days of joyous celebration. I was in the hospital just days before the anniversary and didn’t know if I would even be able to attend, but God was gracious. The malaria and kidney infection were treated, and I regained my strength. In July we had a special visit from three dear ladies from First Central Baptist in Chicopee. Our daughter Angela turned 10 years old and went down into the waters of Believer’s Baptism and joined the church. The end of July I was in Cape Coast to help our daughter church, The Living Word Baptist Church celebrate
her 7th Anniversary. Then in August I had the joy of attending and speaking at the Pastors’ & Workers’ Conference in Kumasi with Dr. Ted Spear & Dr. John Wilkerson.
We also had the joy of hosting our 4th annual youth camp. We had preaching, teaching, singing, and comedy competitions during the camp that made it so very special. Our son Samuel took first place in the preaching and has been preaching and teaching each week every since. In September I flew home to speak and serve in the Worth Baptist Church mission’s conference. Thank you Pastor Tyler for this great privilege! Thanks you Worth Baptist Church for your love and faithful support!
While home I also visited Bible Baptist Church in Chickasha, OK and Calvary Baptist Church in Easthampton for the installation service of my dear friend and brother James Peterson. Just before flying back to Africa I visited my children and grandbabies in Atlanta and attended Pinecrest Baptist Church for the send-off service of Evan & Rose Vandevander. My son-in-law is working with us here in Techiman on a one-year training internship. Pray for the Lord’s leading in Evan’s life and ministry.
In October we had a very emotional send-off service for Jim, Dona, & Julia as we said goodbye to them as our faithful teammates in Ghana. Jim has received a call to pastor Calvary Baptist Church in Easthampton, the church my dad founded back in 1988.
Right after the Peterson’s left we hosted our 16th annual Faith Promise Missions Conference here in Techiman and raised again our Faith Promise giving for another year. October -November were months of constant sickness in our family and trials in the ministry. Our hearts were broken by a “long-time” friendship that broke under pressure. There were days we have wanted to pack and quit. Our Lord saw us through the storms, and peace has returned to our church family. It’s not everything we can share in a public email, but our hearts have been truly broken. This month we are praising God for the unity and peace he is bring back to our pastoral staff and school leadership – Thanks for praying!
Greetings from Camp Northfield December 2016
Christmas Banquet 2016 Recap
Our second annual Christmas Banquet was filled with singing, laughing, and praising God for His goodness! We are so thankful for all of the folks that came out to support camp and this fundraiser. These two nights are turning out to be a great tradition for many people across New England. If we continue to grow, we may have to add on to the lodge for more seating! This is the event where we give a recap from this past year, and propose our vision for the year to come. We thank all of you for coming, and hope that you can join us again next year!
Vision for 2017
We will be hosting our first 3 day, 2 night winter camp in 2017. Most schools are out for February break, and students are looking for something to do. Look no further than Camp Northfield! Tubing, snow-shoeing, hiking, and other activities will be a part of this one-of-a-kind event.
II Timothy 4:7 states, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:" Our vision is to see our campers "Carry the Torch" of faith to their friends, family, and classmates. Our focus will be on finishing strong, and living without any regrets.
We will be launching a new program here at Camp Northfield. This program will focus on recent High School graduates, and bring them on for a year-long internship. The only obstacle in our way, is lack of housing. We will be renovating the "old brown house" to make way for suitable housing for our young men. This fundraising campaign will begin in 2017.
Why is a discipleship ministry important? Watch how Camp Northfield has changed the lives of our staff members. (Click photo above to be redirected to YouTube)
From our camp family to yours, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Beliasov Update: December 2016
Dear Friends and Family,
Have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year! Thank you for your part in our lives.
May we always remember....
Jesus was "born that men no more may die."
Marshall Updates (December 2016)
Here are more village pictures of where we drilled last week. I can’t believe I forgot to include the chief in the last letter. Target him in prayer for salvation. As you know, where the heart of the king is, so goes the kingdom.
We enjoyed a very nice Christmas with our daughter, Amber, It included wonderful worship and preaching services with the national believers and a nice Christmas dinner.
Thank you for your prayers for Amber’s safe arrival. She came in safely last week with her baggage. She had a good trip and even got to see her cousin Lindsey in Paris.
Tuesday we headed out to our next well site – Diema – a small bush village about 75 kilometers outside of Bamako. Because the road was quite bad in places, it took most of the day to get the equipment to the site. We did have one wheel fall off the compressor, but God marvelously worked so that all the parts were right there so Rich could put it back on. We had a flat tire on the compressor as well, but had a spare ready. It was dark by the time we arrived in the village.
Wednesday morning work started on the well and we were very surprised to hit water with our second drill stem. We kept drilling and ended up with a well of 59 meters and abundant water. We were able to case the well and be finished by Wednesday night.
Anna and Amber enjoyed helping out some on the well site, but they also enjoyed visiting and helping the young pastor’s wife with lunch. We had some very good conversations with her to encourage her. They are missionaries from Burkina Faso and are adjusting to their new ministry in the bush. They are doing very well and the work is moving forward slowly. Thank you for your prayers for Pastor Bartholomew Mano and his wife, Onorine along with their three boys.
The following day we moved the well drilling machines to the next well site and drove on back to Bamako.
We are looking forward to returning to the two well sites with a clear gospel presentation soon. The chief in Diema let us know that we are very welcome to return and share the gospel with his people. He said that Pastor Bartholomew has already shared the gospel with him.
On the road again! The pastors from the bush who are in Bible training are back in school. Anna and I have volunteered along with Pastor Brehima Coulibaly to fill in as pulpit supply in their absence. Last year was a joy as we watched these young churches mature in their walk of faith. We are praying that this year the believers will increase their faith and boldness to share the gospel with the other villagers. This week was a special joy as one of the families wanted to dedicate their baby to the Lord – Baby Martha. Already we are making plans for Christmas celebrations with the believers.
We continue to get news from the Living Water Project personnel. They are rejoicing this year that the UN has responded to their request for help. Because of the ever increasing cost of diesel, the project felt that if they could off-set this cost with a solar system, that would be a big help to them. The UN responded favorably and have helped them to install solar pumps, panels, and batteries on each of their deep wells. The bonus in all this was the UN was able to set up sufficient solar power to operate their underground cold rooms. We praise the Lord that even though we are not there, and can no longer make visits because of security this project continues to more forward. This is not true of most projects that have been installed in the north.
After some delay and a few repairs on the drill rig, we were able to take it to Ntidiambougou, a village about 65 kilometers away. We had one glitch which was quickly resolved. We began drilling Thursday at noon and were able to finish up a nice 63 meter well by Saturday noon. The well delivers a substantial amount of water. This village has only one open well which gets muddy quickly. Because it is not fit to drink, they were forced to go 2 kilometers away to another village that has a deep well. They were so excited to have a clean water source come to their village. Though this is a medium size village, last year the missionaries who brought the gospel to them baptized eleven new believers. Please pray that they will some day have a local pastor of their own to lead them. We will be returning to have a well-side service to bring glory to God for what He has done in their village. I will of course, present the gospel and encourage others to step forward and follow Christ. Please pray for God to prepare the hearts of the people to receive His Word.
We are excited to have our daughter Amber joining us for Christmas this year. Please pray for her to have a safe trip this next week as she flies from Texas to Bamako. She has agreed to join us in drilling a second well in another direction about 75 kilometers from Bamako.
The Edmondsons: This Week in Boston
December 1, 2016
Dear Partners in Ministry,
I just finished the tenth evangelistic Bible study with Thomas. This lesson covers the early life of Jesus. Next week, we will talk about the death of our Savior for our sins.
This study with Thomas is one of seven evangelistic studies we host on a weekly basis. Four of these studies are local and three are by means of online video conferencing. The life story of each participant is different, but each is learning how God desires to enter their lives to give life. Please pray that faith will come to these precious friends.
One friend has temporarily moved back to Boston, which allows his wife to learn about the Savior by means of our studies. Another friend in Shanghai encouraged his wife to join us for a dinner. She is extremely busy doing research, so we may not have the opportunity to teach her the gospel until she returns to China.
We met a husband who is visiting his wife who lives in Boston. He hopes to join her someday. We continue to met other members of this immigrant family. This may be the entrance into the immigrant community for which we have been earnestly praying. Please continue to pray.
The opportunities continue to increase, as do the number of those who desire to learn about ministering in this way. At the time of this writing, I can think of four potential interns hoping to spend four months in Boston learning to minister to the world in the cities in order to minister to the world outside our global cities.
Recently, a pastor of a supporting church reminded me that we in Boston are very blessed. This faithful pastor ministers in a small rural town, so evangelistic ministry is limited (How many times can you share the gospel with the same person?) He reminded me that our privilege of sharing the gospel with the world in Boston is in deed a tremendous blessing from God. May we respond in faithfulness and effectiveness. Oh, and he sent me some home roasted coffee--he's a good pastor:-).
Partnering in Papua New Guinea November – December 2016
Karen Hall—serving the Siar people in Kiari Village
Dear praying Friends and Family,
It is tempting to start this letter with another “exotic” village experience to draw you in. Believe me, I could come up with a few—some rather funny, some rather medical, some distressingly frustrating, but all just part of everyday life here. However, this time at least, there are plenty of things more worthy of your reading time, so here we go!
Praise the Lord that the linguistics workshop I attended the last week of September was well worth the two weeks out of the village. I was able to spend a week getting brushed up on linguistics topics and rubbing shoulders with many who had “been there, done that” and were able to offer valuable help regarding the Siar language. Though Papua New Guinea is linguistically one of the most diverse places in
the world, there are still families of languages within the country that
share common characteristics. It was very helpful to sit down with
some who had worked in the broader language family to which Siar
belongs and get some direction regarding the breakdown of the different
parts of the verb and how best to represent that in a meaningful
way for a reader of Siar. Siar verbs consist of a main stem (the root
meaning) and up to seven different optional or not-so-optional affixes (or “add ons”) that complete the meaning of the verb. It is quite common for me to rattle along quite fluently until that final verb occurs, at which I have to stop and sort through those seven items mentally before I can spit it out. I often find people finishing sentences for me
as I sputter helplessly on the sidelines of my own conversation! Yes, that still happens almost six years into language learning! Not only did the Lord orchestrate getting the contact to attend this workshop, but also He has allowed for continuing mentoring from some of the presenters. This is a real answer to prayer and a good step toward getting a Siar grammar nailed down. Praise the Lord also for the beginnings of Siar literacy classes! The Lord allowed the primer to be completed more quickly than anticipated and also provided three ladies with no reading experience who were willing to be in the first class. Though being older learners makes their progress slow, there are definitely glimmers of understanding. Please pray that those glimmers will become more consistent and reliable enough so that they can read independently.
They certainly seem to be motivated to attend and also enjoy the classes. Please
pray that the Lord will continue to guide in the development of this part of the ministry and the long-term goal of Siar materials for people to read, including a Siar Scripture translation. We hope to make it through 11 letters by the end of the first week of December. Praise the Lord that He has provided national church leadership during my co-workers’ absence from Kiari. The Owens return has been pushed back due to a delay in paperwork processing for their new baby, and the Smiths returned to the States approximately three weeks ago to finish furlough and put their third child in college. The Lord allowed Silas, a national church leader, to return from his short-term mission work across the river in order to provide much-needed leadership. Please uphold Silas, Paul, and James as they work together to lead the church over the next few months. Currently I am teaching through the chronological lesson series in the children’s Sunday school class. Teachers and Sunday school helpers are sitting in on all the classes in hopes of their being able to teach through the curriculum the next time around. Several of the older children really seem to be getting the truths about God, man, and Satan that are taught in the Old Testament. Please pray that they will continue to attend and understand their inability to help themselves as we continue teaching through to the fulfillment of God’s promise of the Deliverer in the New
Testament. Please pray that the teachers and helpers will also be clear about the concepts and main truths that are communicated in the curriculum.
Please continue to pray for:
1. The salvation of a couple (Gafenu and Hawiyem in particular) in the Ap neighborhood where I live.
2. Skill in directing conversations in a spiritual direction in the Siar language.
3. The Holy Spirit to bring conviction of sin to those in my neighborhood, to those who have been exposed to the chronological teaching, and to children in the Sunday school class.
4. Men who are already literate in the trade language to show interest in the Siar Bible lessons. (Praise the Lord that James Hoi took a lesson to read a week ago.)
5. Gohenare, Mega, and Sabe—three elderly ladies who listen to and critique the Siar Sunday school lessons. They have interesting comments and questions after we read the lesson together each Saturday afternoon.
6. Esther, an inquirer who is currently in town receiving treatment for breast cancer.
7. Safety, wisdom, and patience over the next few weeks as I “solo” in the village.
Thank you for your consistent support in prayers, letters, emails, and gifts. You are an encouragement to me!
Hursts Update: September — October 2016
Dear Pastors & Praying Friends,
Thank you for faithfully upholding us in prayer. We praise the Lord for the many answered prayers and continue to trust in His promises, such as 1 John 5:14: “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:”
New Staff … We have been praying for additional staff, spe-cifically someone to help with our music program. In June our existing staff member came and explained that he needed to re-turn home because of some family issues. We trusted that God would provide and He quickly showed Himself faithful. A pastor contacted us to ask if we still needed help. Instead of additional staff God replaced our single young man with a couple. Casper and Krizzia joined us at the beginning of Sep-tember and are a welcome addition. Both have musi-cal abilities with Capser being able to lead our choir. Krizzia has also been a great blessing, helping with our children and youth girls.
Couples Fellowship ... .Another consistent prayer request has been for more men to be involved in the min-istry. God answered in multi-ple ways bringing us many young men, additional adult men and also more couples. Our latest fellowship had seven couples involved. It is a blessing to see couples and families participating in the ministry.
Soul-winning and Baptisms ... We praise the Lord that we continue to have around twenty individuals each Saturday coming out for soul-winning. God brings us new visitors every Sunday and we have been able to begin a number of Bible studies because of the people we meet during soul-winning.
JM is a twelve year old boy who was saved earlier this year. His parents, strong Roman Catholics, prevented him from coming for a while and would not permit him to follow the Lord in believers baptism. The Lord an-
swers prayer! They did finally allow him to be baptized! He is involved in our discipleship pro-gram and is very bold in inviting people to church and sharing the Gospel.
Bible Quiz-Bee... .It was a blessing to participate in an event with other churches of like faith. Our young people continue to grow and mature in the Lord which is a praise but also answer to prayer. Seeing the way they act and compete with others is a great encouragement. Our young ladies taking home the top prize was a good bonus showing their diligence in learning the Word of God and applying it to their lives.
School Ministry … For two years we have been praying for an opportunity to minister in the local schools. Praise the Lord for opening the door for us to teach the Values Class eve-ry Friday in one elementary school to all the 4th, 5th and 6th graders. There are sixteen classes, each having 40 + students, which has given us the blessing of sharing the Gospel and teaching Biblical values to around seven hundred children each week. Please continue to pray for this outreach opportunity and for us to reach the local High Schools as well as the pos-sible opportunity to speak to a teachers group.
Library Books … We previously mentioned a need of children’s books for our school and want to thank the Lord and two churches willing to be involved. One church has shipped us multiple large boxes of books and another has given so we can purchase books.
Thank you to everyone who prays and gives that we are able to minister here in the Philippines. You are each an important part of God’s work here in Antipolo.
Edmondsons Update: This Week in Boston June 2016
Surgery and Ministry
This is Deb writing, as Bill is recuperating from his surgery four days ago. We appreciate many who said they would be praying. What was supposed to be an outpatient procedure turned into a two night stay at the hospital. Just minutes before the operation, our doctor walked in with some sobering news. After viewing Bill's scan, he told us this surgery was going to be more complicated than he thought. Instead of one hour, it took 2 1/2 hours . The doctor confided in us that he was “sweating bullets!”
The reason for the longer surgery and hospital recovery was because the cyst in Bill’s throat was bigger than expected, and not contained to a small area. The doctor said there is a high risk of it coming back. They always do an oncology test on these things, but they are rarely cancerous. We will know the results on Monday.
Please pray on both counts, 1) that the cyst does not return, and 2) that the growth was benign. And of course, Bill would appreciate pray for his speedy recovery. I am making him take it easy, ( trying to:)
The days before, during, and after his surgery, we were blessed as a church by the ministry of Dr. Jeff Newman, and his wife, Sherry, who
were here from Iowa. Dr. Newman did a series of lessons on the subject of the stewardship of biblical relationships.
Please pray as we continue with our summer ministry outreach, through cooking classes, conversation partners, and a July 4 picnic at the Charles River.
We recently met two young ladies who might be interested in our “English corner”, which will be a once a week gathering for those who want to practice their English skills. We also just made friends with two Muslim young ladies, from Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, who are very interested in coming to our home. We met them at our climbing gym. Please pray for them, as well as two Muslim students from Holt Business School, who frequently come to cooking class. Bill was able to engage one of them in a conversation about what she believes. She gave him some suggested book titles to learn more about her minority group in China, She is a Uyghur, ( pronounced weeger).
This Sunday, the IBC will have a baptismal service for Peter from Taiwan. There are several other friends who are considering Christ, and we are beginning to engage others in evangelistic relationships.
Thanks for praying
Peter from Taiwan will be baptized.
June 30-July 4
A teen ministry team from Trinity Baptist Church will join us for a few days of ministry and instruction.
At the BMM summer conference, (an all-mission meeting) the Church Planters and Developers (CP&D) will also be gathering. Bill has organizational responsibilities within the CP&D.
Pray for Bill's recover from surgery. A busy summer is ahead.
Pray that the IBC baptismal service will launch Peter into a life of abundant and obedient Christian living.
Trinity Ministry Team
This is an excellent opportunity to pass life giving principles of ministry along to teenagers. Pray that we will be good examples of living Christ before our community.
CP&D Ministry Team
As North American church planters, we have an excellent opportunity to disciplize the cities of the world by ministering effectively to the world in our cities. Please specifically pray for us, that we will become one group with loving commitment towards one another, and a passion for networking Great Commission ministry in North America.
Marshalls in Mali: Updates June 19, 2016
We enjoyed a wonderful celebration last Saturday with the graduation of Barthelemy Diarra from our Bible School. He is moving on to Ghana for further study.
Anna had a fun afternoon last Sunday with the Tamasheq girls from Timbuktu who are students here in Bamako. These are girls that we have known throughout our ministry in Timbuktu. We enjoyed a time of mutual encouragement and building one another up. After teaching a lesson on choices we make, she had them share praises and lessons that God is teaching them. This led to a lot of discussion and challenges to live for Christ here in the city. We had a time of prayer for each other and ended up with some snacks.
We have asked you to pray with us concerning the well we are drilling. This past week , despite all of our efforts, we are still not finished. Though we were successful in recovering all the drill rod, to our great surprise and horror, the rock hammer was not attached. To get the whole story, you can read the attached report on the well. I have talked with well drillers here in town who have agreed to help me recover the hammer. There is a tool that I need to look for that will make the job possible if the hammer is in an upright position, and not laying on its side in a cavern. After these well drillers have understood the story on this first bore hole, they agree with us that Satan does not want this well to be successful. Could we ask you to band together with us in prayer against the powers of darkness? We need this rock hammer back as it is the only hammer we have. We are becoming very weary in well doing and we need to finish this up so we can move on. We would appreciate your prayers in this. Along with drilling the well, we have many other responsibilities to keep up with.
Tuesday evening, coming back from the well site, we were side-swiped on a traffic circle by a UN water truck. The ordeal took about four hours that evening. We were in and out of police and gendarme offices, making friends along the way. Everyone agreed that it was not our fault and the UN settled up with us the next day at their base camp. As the men from the UN told us, “The Almighty arranged for us to meet each other.” We left on good terms with an open invitation to return any time.
Although we have encountered quite a few difficulties, we are encouraged in the Lord. Thank you for your prayers.
Hursts Update (April-May 2016)
What a Privilege to serve the Risen Saviour. Thank you for your partnership in reaching Antipolo City with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Your prayers and financial support are greatly appreciated.
Holy Week Outreach … Every year thousands of people walk up the hills from Manila to the Antipolo Cathedral as a form of penance. From around 8 pm Thurs. night until the early morning hours of “Good Friday”, the roads are impassable by car because of the crowds. Within an hour twenty-seven of us passed out six thousand Bible tracts and two hundred fifty John and Romans. We praise the Lord for the opportunities to share the gospel and the few who trusted Christ.
Anniversary ... In April MVBC celebrated seven years. We praise the Lord for what He has accomplished in and through this ministry and the lives that have been transformed for eternity. It was a privilege to have Pastor Ohm as our guest speaker. We had great services and fellowship with forty two first time visitors. Praise the Lord for eight salvation decisions.
Youth Camp … We were able to take seventeen young people to camp this summer. Many of them worked to raise the funds needed so they could attend. It is always a blessing to see how God works in the lives of teenagers when they get away from the things of this world. We pray that the decisions made will be lasting ones and truly reflect a change of heart not just a brief emotional decision. One of our young men, Victor, trusted Christ as his Saviour. Please con-tinue to pray for him and all of our youth.
Bible College Students … Last fall we had two of our young people who began attending Bible College. Both did very well and Mary Joy finished the school year at the top of the Freshman class. Over the summer they both continue to show great maturity in leading six different Bible clubs, helping around the church and leading in the area of music. RJ is currently learning to play the piano and both have been a great blessing. Pray for them to remain faithful through their schooling and throughout their Christian lives.
Salvations and Baptisms ... Adrian, Apollo, Jim, and Nelson were among a group of eight boys whom we met the first Saturday of 2016. They were all playing basket-ball and one of our ladies was able to share with them the gospel during our soul-winning time. All eight professed to trust Christ. Five of the young men, including the four listed above have been very faithful to attend church, extra events, disciple-ship and even desiring to go soul-winning. The last Sunday in May, I had the privilege of baptizing the four and Victor, who was saved at youth camp. Please pray for these young men that they will continue honoring the Lord with their lives and grow up to be godly men, husbands, and leaders.
Good News Hoops ... We are thankful for Brent Gellos and his team who were again, a great blessing and tool to share the gospel and bring young people to church through basketball. Three days of clinics and tournaments resulted in over eighty salvation decisions.
Note: Many more pictures can be viewed on our Metroview Baptist Church Facebook.
On May 3, 2016, we returned to the U.S. for two weeks to attend Andrew’s graduation from Abeka Academy. We spent our re-maining time visiting family and friends while getting him settled and prepared to work for the summer. He will begin attending PCC in the fall. Please pray for Andrew as he adjusts but also pray for us, since both of our children are now away at college. It was a great blessing to see our daughter Kaitlin. Please pray for her summer work at camp and two remaining years of school.
Thank you for your prayers and partnership!
More souls to be saved, baptized, and discipled
Teachers for our School and Church Interns
For the first day of school, (June 20) to go smoothly
A choir leader to help with our Music Ministry
Children’s books for school library
God’s continuous provision and protection each day
Visitors consistently because of soul-winning
Spiritual growth among our members
New families visiting and joining MVBC
Partners like you!
Volantes Update (May 2016)
The Lord blessed our churches in Techiman with yet another great Easter outreach ministry to the people in the Techiman district. For the last three years, we have not invested money in preparing a large Easter meal for everyone who attends. Instead, we invested our Easter funds in preparing a nice supper for all those who go out soul winning, Monday through Thursday from 3-6 PM. After going on visitation, we meet back at the church to eat supper and share testimonies of what God did on the visitation teams. On Friday morning, we held a Good Friday worship service; and in the afternoon, we hosted a children’s Victory Games. Over 300 children participated in the games, and 30 responded to the gospel message at the closing program. The children’s awards were given out during the Easter morning service with many of their parents present to hear the gospel.
Just a few weeks after Easter, we had the joy of hosting our dear friends: Rusty Baker, Pastor Tim Matthews, and Pastor Brian McLaughlin. Pastor Brian is one of our supporting pastors from Fairview Baptist Church in Decatur, AL. It was a world wind tour of a small portion of our church planting ministries to give Pastor Brian a better understanding of our church planting methods in Ghana. He got to know the dear men that make up the Techiman church planting team. What a blessing it was to have them minister to our pastoral staff at a special fellowship meeting at the caves near our home in Techiman.
Last month I had the joy of traveling to both Johannesburg, South Africa, and Brisbane, AU, with my son Samuel. What a wonderful father and son time we had! (Well, except for getting arrested in Souh Africa for not having written permission from Michelle to travel with my son.) Good Shepherd Baptist Church in Albany Creek has supported us as missionaries in Ghana for about eight years. I was invitied to speak in their missions conference this year. The hospitality, friendship, and love showered on us by the church was simply amazing! We are currently planning on hosting a soul winning boot camp with several people from the church in 2017. Can’t wait!
Marshalls in Mali: Updates on the Pump (June 2016)
After two or three days of preparation, we headed back out to the well site this morning to flush the well and retrieve the rock hammer. We got all set up to work with the mud solution today – the pit dug and canals opened, our flush tube is nicely laid out – everything ready for action. We went to engage the mud pump and nothing! Long story – short – I have a frozen piston in the pump. After working on it all day, we have taken it apart and brought it into town to see if I can’t press it out. I am in contact with the company back in the States to see what to do about the problem. This will be the first time that I have ever used this mud pump. It is obvious that the Islamists must have used the drill rig and trashed the pump. I will work on it tomorrow to see what I can do to revive it. I am very thankful that we are not too far out of town for all this trouble. By the time we get through this well, we should be in very good shape for the next one. Thank you for your continued prayers for wisdom.
This morning while we were at the work site, we received news that one of the bush pastors, Pastor Benjamin Thera, died last night. He had a serious stroke last year and has never fully recovered. We will be attending his funeral on Friday afternoon. Thank you for your prayers for the family.
Thank you for your many prayers. Some have already written back to see how things are coming along on the mud pump. The good news is we were able to remove the piston with a 20 ton press and have cleaned up the cylinder. The valve seals were completely shot, but I was able to find some make shift rubber seals in the African market here in Bamako today. I had to do a little work on them to make them fit, but it looks like it will get me by until I can get some parts out from the States. I have a very good friend who has offered to get these parts out to me.
This afternoon was completely given over to Pastor Benjamin Thera's funeral. The church was packed out. It was a very good service there and then many went to the grave side service. It was a very God-honoring funeral. Please pray for the family who are grieving their loss.
Your prayers would be appreciated for tomorrow's activities as we put the pump back together on site. The days are very hot - most likely building up for a rain.
Praise the Lord with us on the safe arrival of our 10th grandchild! Joy had a safe delivery and Mommy and baby are doing fine. She has two little boys now.
Praise the Lord the pump works. After another good day of working on the pump, it is now reassembled and tested. We are very pleased with its performance and feel we will be ready to use it on Monday.
We feel your prayers were very effective in helping to get the piston back into the cylinder! It was quite the challenge.
We are including a picture of Gabriel Peter, our newest grandson and his Daddy. He weighed in at 9 lbs 2 oz and 21 3/4 inches long. Thank you for your prayers for Peter, Joy, Daniel, and Gabriel.
Yesterday, we spent most of the day trying to locate and get enough water to use our mud pump. The traditional hand dug wells give very limited water. Early afternoon we found a drilled well only two blocks from our property that gives abundant water.
The big surprise to us was that the mud solution that we mixed is disappearing somewhere down the hole. Where it should have only taken 5 or 6 barrels, we have mixed up in excess of 40 barrels. We are going to try something different tomorrow. We also have a local well driller who has promised to come by and lend a hand. We are finding that this is becoming quite a community project. It might be that God just wants us to get to know some of these people in the new Banankoro development.
Pastor Samuel and Nana came by tonight and would like to share their thanks to all who contributed to the Gao Parsonage. They will be moving in the end of this month and are very excited.
Thank you for your prayers. We so much appreciate them.
Marshalls in Mali: May 29, 2016
This past week we received our first big rain which not only brings in cooler weather but is a start of a much needed rainy season. Many farmers will begin planting now that the big rains have started.
This week also marks a milestone for well drilling. We took the drill equipment to its first job site which is 12 miles from our mission station. One of the missionaries here has a medical clinic that he is building. When he heard that we were ready to drill, he came with a request for help. I was happy to respond because I needed a location close by to prove the equipment. Now there is good news and bad news. The good news is that the equipment runs great. We were able to drill successfully to 67 meters on the first day. By day’s end, everyone was very weary, so we drew the drill stem up one length as usual, to pull the rest of the stems and case it the next day. The next day proved to be a bit challenging. While extracting the drill rod and hammer, we ran into a blockage, whereby not even 500 psi air pressure would blow through. This has set us back considerably. We will go at it again Monday with our mud pump to try to free up the blockage and pull the rest of the stems out. This I am sure will take several days. We will be careful to keep you informed as to how it turns out. Meanwhile, we would appreciate your prayers that the Lord would give us wisdom as we work. I am training a couple of guys as we go. This is good experience for them.
Thank you for your prayers.
Edmondsons in Boston: May 6, 2016
This Week in Boston
A Letter to a New Friend
Recently, I received an email from a new friend who desires to pray for us. He asked for information which would enable him to pray wisely. Below is my edited reply to him. I thought it might be good to remind all of our supporters of where we have come from, and where we are going.
Thanks for taking an interest in us. I remember you from the BMM family gathering last summer. I will just start writing until I get tired or boring.
Deb and I came to Christ through the ministry of Campus Bible Fellowship and Hal Miller. Deb was a high school track star, academic achiever, all-around good person who came from a conservative family in small town Iowa--she was protected in many ways. I, on the other hand, was an Iowa wrestler whose father died while I was in the eighth grade. My mother was not able to control me, so I lived the rebellious life characteristic of the 60’s and 70’s in the USA. My gods were myself and wrestling. It was my worldview that one was either a wrestler, a cheerleader for a wrestler, or your life did not amount to much--seriously. However, the party life and wrestling success did not satisfy. It was my loneliness that drove me to search for meaning. It was Hal Miller who opened the Word and introduced me to Christ. It was the fall of 1975 that I placed my trust in Him. Deb also came to Christ at the University of Northern Iowa through the ministry of CBF. Both of us are products of BMM ministry.
We have five children and eleven grandchildren who are spread all across the country (missionary kids). We are thankful to God that all of our children and their spouses desire God, (their ecclesiastical affiliations vary). Mostly, as a father, I remember all of my short comings . So all I can do is thank God that our children desire Him at all, and for Deb who did an awesome job raising them. Our family gathers every other year at Christmas--quite a time for sure.
After training for ministry at FBBC and the Baptist seminary in Broomfield Colorado, Deb and I raised support to serve with CBF/BMM at Notre Dame. After 10 years with BMM, we resigned in order to accept the pastorate at the church we were attending in South Bend, Indiana. Deb thought it was a bad idea, and it was. The next three years were brutally hard, evil, but character building. When the dust settled, I was teaching at FBBC&TS. I taught there for three years. It was a time of recovery, and systematizing ministry thoughts necessary to teach courses on local church ministry. However, it was not long until it was clear to most involved that living life and teaching at FBBC&TS (however important) was not our calling.
One vision has always captivated us. This common vision for ministry came to Deb and me very early in our budding relationship. While still at the University of Northern Iowa, we accepted an invitation to have supper with a family from India. From that day forward, we have been impressed with the potential to speak the gospel to the global-world from our local-world. We have come to understand that it is not only the mobile academic communities that are missiologically strategic, but also the immigrant communities that are connected globally. We came to understand that globalized cities are "prepared by God" cities, enabling us to do what God has called us do: disciplize the nations. And this is what we are endeavoring to do.
I have burdens for ministry and abilities to minister, but the two do not perfectly match, which is a source of frustration, prayer and soul searching. What I would like to do--my unrelenting passion--is to join God in building a multi-ethnic church that mirrors the demographic of Boston. How God seems to have gifted me is like a Philip the evangelist type, able to meet people where they are at and draw them to Christ. Most of those who come to Christ in Boston eventually leave Boston. Actually, this is why we came here, ( to minister to people who will minister to their other world by returning to it), but we would like a few to stay:-)
We have a few folks who represent our core group, with others staying for several years before moving on to other parts of the world. This is our second church plant and a third plant is beginning under the ministry of Toby and Susan Stevens, who trained with us. Our joy of life is our world atlas, which doubles as our guest book. It contains hundreds of names of folks who have visited our ministry home, many who have been engaged in evangelistic relationships.
I have come to understand that my burden of ministry, to minister the gospel to all kinds of people in the city, will only be fulfilled by networking, recruiting, mentoring, and teaching others the principles that must energize such an endeavor.
A couple years ago, while bending over to itch my ankle, I was drafted into the team leader position of the Church Planting and Development division of Baptist Mid-Missions North American ministries (true story). Although understanding the importance and honor of the appointment, I did not desire or aspire to it. But I have come to understand that this place of servant leadership could be used to network global church planting. So until my brothers realize their mistake, I intend to do just that: network for global church planting by effectively ministering in the cities of North America. Yup, that's what I will do if the Lord enables.
This may be more than you desired. I just want to say thank you for your service to the Lord. Such service has resulted in the rescuing of folks like Deb and me. Men like you have made a meaningful life possible for folks like us.
I will put you on our email prayer letter list. You can reference our Supporters Website at interglo.org
Please pray for Chris who was recently baptized and returned to China, Peter who is preparing for baptism, Jason who has finished evangelistic lessons, but has not yet received Christ, Haomeow, Luke and Jun who have just begun evangelistic lessons; 11 weekly studies (8 online, some to China), my wife, Deb, who has multiple ESL partners, cooking classes, and evangelistic Bible studies. Finally, I have a thyroglossal duct cyst that need to be removed. I will have throat surgery on June 10.
June 10-15: Dr. Jeff and Sherry Newman will be joining us for a week in ministry.
Funeral: Bill and Deb will be attending a funeral in Iowa this weekend.
Surgery: Bill will have surgery to remove a thyroglossal cyst on June 10.
Beliasov Update: May 2016
How do you know when God is at work around you? It could be one moment when scores of people come down an aisle to give their lives to God. It also could be a steady stream of people one by one over longer time deciding to make God bigger in their lives. It has been an amazing privilege to see the latter happen in the lives of many young people around us over the past 3 months. It started with one boy who recovered from a terrible decision in November to truly give his life anew to God. Other students saw his new seriousness for God and started considering their own lives. As a Bible teacher, Paul has been amazed to see who comes through his door next with spiritual questions. We count it a blessing to be here for such a time as this, when God is moving in the hearts of our students here in Indonesia. Thank you for your prayers for our mentoring opportunities and how God is working around us in lives that that we may not have direct impact on, but we get to see the fruit. We believe this is a special time in our school, and we look forward to seeing God’s hand continue to work.
Seeing many students get serious about God has been the biggest blessing of the past few months, but here are a few other updates on our activities:
- Miriam was able to head up a swim team at school as we for the first time hosted the annual swim meet of international schools from Central and Eastern Java. She did a great job training the elementary students and is looking forward to building on the swimming foundation that was established this year.
- Paul coached the high school girls basketball team again, and the team was very successful throughout the year including winning their international school conference championship.
- Our children stayed active with Noah playing varsity basketball and winning his age group’s cross country race for our school conference. Noelle ran 3K cross country and swam on the elementary swim team. Nadia was able to join the swim competition as well and swam three 25 meter races as a 6 year old.
- Miriam has been blessed by being part of a Bible study on Hosea and seeing the deep truths of God’s love shown through this often-ignored book.
- Paul has continued his studies toward a Master’s degree in Christian Ministry with an emphasis on Global Studies. He is thankful for fast Internet to help facilitate research for papers and uploading assignments!
- We were able to host a couple day visit from our bosses with ABWE. We were glad to be able to show them the beauty of Central Java
- Over Easter week we hosted a Christian former student from Bangladesh who is studying in an English college in Jakarta. It was a blessing to have her and see how God has worked in her life to bring her here for further training so she can serve God in the future as a teacher herself.
Looking ahead to the summer
- Paul and Noah will go to the US at the end of May for just a few weeks to spend some time with Paul’s parents and speak at a couple churches.
- Later in the summer Miriam’s mother and a nephew will come to Indonesia for a couple week visit.
- We look forward to seeing the opportunities God gives us in Central Java this summer.
- Paul will head up the planning for the school opening camp Retreat in early August. He is excited that a college friend who is in Australia will be able to come and be the speaker at the Retreat. We are already seeing God prepare hearts for that time.
Karen Hall Update: April 2016
Thank you for your prayers over the past few months. Recently I have been spending time reporting to churches and visiting relatives in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. It has been encouraging to reconnect with family and friends and find that most are walking faithfully with the God that they know and love. I am happy to report that 100% of my monthly support has been pledged, and I am ready to return to the field “on time.” Approximately a month ago, the Lord supplied the remaining percentage through the monthly pledge of a local New England church. Though raising the needed amount within a one-year furlough seemed faith-stretching last spring, the Lord has provided for what I believe is His work in Kiari.
January, February, and March were mostly spent in the New England area reporting to churches. The mild weather ensured that no meetings were cancelled and even made for some good pond ice and the opportunity to give a little skating help to the new little skaters in the family.
The Siar literacy effort has received some help since my last letter. Through the giving of churches, the Lord has provided a desktop-publishing program to aid in the design and printing of primers and readers. I have been working to learn its kinks before leaving for PNG by creating a few early readers based on stories recorded by native speakers of Siar. An individual has provided suitable paper for the primer covers as well as a heavy duty stapler and staples. A heavy duty three-hole punch (for the Bible lessons to be put into binders) and reading glasses (for those who may have trouble with reading the primers) was provided by an organization in Indianapolis.
I have purchased tickets to leave the States on May 10 with final arrival in the village on May 19. Please continue to pray for that trip as well as continued traveling in the Midwest as I wrap up visiting supporting churches.
Please continue to pray for these requests:
- The salvation of Esther, an inquirer in Kiari who has breast cancer.
- The Spirit’s continued work in Maiyu, Sabe, Gohenare, Mega, Janet, Sambet, Nani, and Faima, who completed the chronological Bible classes.
- The salvation of the Gafenu family, who have appointed themselves as my guardians in the village.
- Continued progress during furlough toward creating easy-to-read literature for new readers in the upcoming Siar literacy program.
- Co-workers Jeff and Elizabeth Owens as they prepare for the arrival of their third child in August.
Hursts Update: Jan-Mar 2016
It is difficult to believe that three months have already passed in 2016. We praise the Lord for what He con-tinues to do in and through the lives of our people, and we thank you for partnering with us to reach Filipinos with the Gospel.
2016 Theme … We began the New Year challenging our people to “Stand In The Battle.” It has been a blessing to see many stand strong even in times of great trial and affliction. There are also those disheart-ening times when individuals turn away from the church and Lord because they would not or could not stand firm for Truth and Righteousness. The Christian life is truly a spiritual battle, but God has provided the resources for us to “stand against the wiles of the devil”
MetroView Baptist Academy ... In January the Dept. of Education returned and approved us to operate K4 & K5. Please pray for our school as we continue to finalize student enrollment and some staff positions.
Spiritual Leadership Conference … In February we attended the SLC-Asia in Manila; taking eight to 12 people with us each day. We were greatly encouraged and refreshed, but the ultimate blessing was seeing our peo-ple, even new converts want-ing to hear the preaching of God’s Word. We appreciate Dr. Chappell and Lancaster B.C. for hosting the event and providing great preaching and resources.
Youth Valentine Banquet ... On February 13th we had a banquet for our teens. That same weekend many local High Schools had their Junior/Senior Prom, which is in almost all cas-es an overnight event with minimal supervision. That may seem hard to believe, but it happens every year.
We offered this evening banquet as an alternative and praise the Lord for the 26 participants who enjoyed a free meal, good clean fun and games, and a challenge from God’s Word..
New Families … In our year end update letter we asked for prayer for two families that had begun attending MVBC. Roland and Claire have since joined MVBC and are very involved in the minis-try. Romeo has returned to work in Korea, but his wife Joanne and their two children continue to faith-fully attend our Sunday morning services. She has since trusted Christ as her Saviour and desires to fol-low the Lord in baptism when her husband returns this year. Ivy also meets with her weekly for discipleship . Please pray for the continual spiritual growth of each and their faithful attendance in church.
Salvations and Baptisms...We praise the Lord for the many salvation decisions and two bap-tisms so far this year. The second week of January we were out soul-winning and seven teenage boys were playing basketball. They all took the time to listen to the Gospel presenta-tion and made professions of faith in Christ. They began attending every service and five of them have continued to remain faithful. Please pray for their will-ingness to follow the Lord in baptism, and for the per-secution some are receiving from family members.
Family Update … Andrew has completed his Senior year requirements and will be graduating from Abeka Academy on May 14, 2016. We will be with him in Pensacola for two weeks then we will return to the Philippines and leave him and his sister to work over the summer and begin classes in the fall.
- More souls to be saved, baptized, and discipled
- To begin a Deaf Ministry in early 2016
- Teachers for our school—K4—K5
- A choir leader to help with our Music Ministry
- Children’s books for school library
- God’s continuous provision and protection each day
- Visitors consistently because of soul-winning
- Spiritual growth among our members
- New families visiting and joining MVBC
- Answered Prayer
Marshall Update: April 15, 2016
We are so thankful for Jay and Falene’s visit. They were a big help and an encouragement to us. The Lord gave us a wonderful time with them. They were able to go to Segou with us for Esther’s wedding. We enjoyed connecting with Levi and Adeline Kamate, our good friends who used to be in Timbuktu with us. Jay got to see what a Christian African wedding was like.
Please take a look at the pictures from Gao. It will do your heart good. When Jesus told Peter that He will build His church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it, He meant exactly that. These believers are standing on God’s promise. Not only are they doing it in the hottest desert in the world, but it is one of the hot spots of Satanic oppression. You have to take your hat off to Pastor Samuel and staff, and when you do, please bow your head and thank God for them.
Now I just hung up the phone with Pastor Samuel and asked him if he could use some help to finish up the parsonage that the Islamists destroyed. He said he would let me know. Three hours later, he got back to me. The items that still need to be finished are the tin roof, set the toilet and sink, finish the electric, plaster the outsides and replace one outside property wall. Then there is the store room that needs doors, windows, and plastering. The total for all this comes to $4200 not including labor. The church folks are helping out with the labor. What do you say? Can we pass the hat among us to get him in by the dead line of the end of June? I personally will pledge $300, so that makes it $3,900. Would anyone like to join me? Will you pray about it and ask the Lord what you can do? Thank you for your prayers for all the ministries up north. We wish we could be there to help them, hands on, but it is just not secure enough for any outsiders yet.
If the Lord burdens your heart to help with this need, please send your gift to Faith Baptist Mission, P.O. Box 866, Eagle Lake, FL 33839-0866 and mark it for Gao parsonage – Mali.
Peterson Update: April 2016
We have been covered many miles in the last few months. In January, we started on our way to the Mount Abarim Conference and reached one our supporting churches in Virginia. We left from there on Sunday and traveled to Tennessee. The next day we traveled to Arlington, Texas.
We had a wonderful Mount Abarim conference at Worth Baptist Church. There were challenging messages from God’s faithful servants from across the country. We were able to renew old friendships with those who have prayed and supported us. The Lord gave us the privilege of preaching and presenting our ministry in two churches right after the conference.
On January 25th we traveled to Plano, Texas, to spend some time with the Romat family. They were members of our church in Easthampton and moved to Texas due to a job transfer. We had a wonderful time with these dear friends. I will be returning to their house in mid-July for a mission’s conference in their church. Pray that through this conference more contacts would be made, as this church will be inviting many other churches to come.
On January 28th we left Texas to travel up to Montana to see some of our children and grandchildren. We stayed in Pueblo, Colorado, for the night and traveled up to Helena the next day. We arrived safely in Helena, Montana, at around 9:15pm. It was a little fun with the high winds of 35 to 60 mph, but God kept us safe.
During our visit, we visited three different churches and spoke about our ministry in Ghana. We spent some quality time with our family as we will not see them again for several years. It is hard to believe that the next time we are home on furlough our oldest grandson Jonathan will be 15.
We left Montana on February 21st for Rochester, New York. Rachel was in need of a teacher/baby sitter, so mom comes to the rescue. We had been on the road for about 6 hours when all of sudden the car just stalled out in middle of nowhere - thirty miles from the nearest town with ‘NO” cell service. A gentleman by the name of Ray Smith stopped and help us out. It turned out that the alternator died and killed the battery. The strange thing was that the light on the dashboard never came on. Ray’s mechanic said that he would fix it, but we had to wait for an alternator to come overnight to Car Quest. The next morning, I went to the garage to bring the car. When they looked to see where the alternator was located and that it would take 8 hours to do the work, the mechanic recommended that we drive to Spearfish, South Dakota, to the Ford dealership to have it fixed. We traveled four hours on just the battery to energize the car with no trouble. When we arrived at the Ford dealership, they did not have the alternator or the serpentine belt. After locating an “aftermarket” alternator, it took over 7 hours to replace. We stayed the night in Spearfish and met up with a friend of Rachel’s. We were back on the road by 11:30am on Wednesday and traveled to Iowa. As we traveled, we received word that the expense of our mishap was covered by the Kiddy family and Riverview Baptist Church in Pasco, Washington. God is so good! We finally made it to Rachel and Tom’s late Thursday night. I left for Massachusetts on Monday morning, February 29th as I had some appointments scheduled.
In January, we were informed by Sovereign Grace Church that they were taking us on as one of their missionaries. We praise God for this new partnership.
We are still under supported, but the Lord has been providing our needs. We are praying that Lord will bring us closer to 100%.
We have meetings scheduled over the next few months. Please pray with us about these meetings.
We had to renew Julia’s expired passport and received it with a letter stating that her green card was returned. She is now an American citizen and no longer needs the green card. Praise the LORD for this!
We are looking into tickets to return to Ghana, and praise the Lord that our tickets have been paid for by First Baptist Church of Enfield. We also need to renew our visas to travel. We plan to returning to Ghana the end of July. Rachel is due the to deliver their 4th child (their 3rd son) on June 10th. Please pray for her safe delivery and she has now resigned from her job to become a stay at home mom.
We do have an urgent prayer and financial need relating to our housing and vehicle. We have been told by our landlord that he will not be renew our lease on the house. He plans to build a hotel on this lot and next lot which he owns. When we return we will need to find a new house to rent. We need about $4000 dollars for the house which will be for three years. We also need about $5000 for vehicle. We have some money saved for both of these but not enough.
We want to thank all of you for your faithful prayers and financial support of our ministry. May our Lord richly bless you all.
Marshall Update: March 26, 2016
Update on the compressor: This week did not go too well. There are a lot of factors involved, but the transitor asked me to come with him to talk to the custom’s officers on Wednesday. As a result, the transitor was able to get the signature he needed. Everything was in order to pick up the compressor when the transitor called me to say they had discovered a complication that was created on the border. Please pray that this will be resolved and we will be able to pick up the compressor on Tuesday.
Tuesday we celebrated a wedding at Mouzoun for the young man who leads the services there. We took some people from the Bamako church with us and had a simple bush wedding and meal. We were very impressed with the pastor’s message and challenge to the couple. We will include a couple of pictures.
Thank you for your prayers for Jay, Falene, and Ethan’s travels. They arrived here safely last night with all their baggage. We are so excited to have them share Easter with us here in Mali.
Edmondson Boston Update: March 19, 2016
Fulfilling our calling in Boston is a blessed but arduous task. I am absolutely convinced that God has enabled us to join Him ministering the Great Commission in a very strategic place. In a publication sitting before me, I read that Malden (the city where Deb and I live) is the home of at least 60 language groups and one of the most globally diverse communities in Massachusetts. The same publication features a picture of the Boston skyline dominating the near horizon. Indeed, Malden is part of urban Boston, and the subway system connects Malden to the vast immigrant and international student communities of Boston.
Dear Father, please help the International Baptist Church (IBC) join You in growing a just, equitable, and righteous church. Please give the IBC wisdom to build, “the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth,” a place where every kind of person is effectively cared for, a discipling center that will equip individuals to start discipleship centers wherever they go. Please give the IBC wisdom to build a multi-ethnic church that ministers to the whole world of Boston (every ethnicity, university/college, rich and poor, sophisticated or simple minded). Help the International Baptist Church be a truly orthodox church in every good sense of the word. Without Your supernatural empowering, this will not be done. Make us into a church that is able to do Your will globally.
It is in the name of Jesus Christ we pray.
When our Father answers this prayer, we will have the model, foundation, and launching pad for the urban-global church planting movement. Then it will be time to launch the next phase :-)
Marshall Update: March 19, 2016
It has been two weeks since we have brought the compressor to Bamako customs. It is a bit unusual for it to still be in customs. Monday the transitor asked me to come down to talk to one of the offices. It was profitable and after getting an understanding, the paperwork has moved to the final office for its signature to be released. Complications in the latter part of the week with the internal computer system has prohibited this from happening (so I am told). The transitor called me yesterday and has asked me to go down with him again this coming Monday to see what we can do. I would appreciate special pray for this. The longer this is delayed, I could face storage charges which are not really my fault. Please pray that the paperwork will be completed this coming week.
We have been enjoying a great ministry with our bush churches each Sunday. We look forward to a great Easter celebration with them. One of the leaders of the Mouzoun church, Daniel M. will be getting married this Tuesday. We plan to attend the wedding which is usually a big celebration for them.
Coming our way is a special event this next week. Please pray for Jay, Falene, and Ethan as they travel to spend Easter with us.
Volante Ghana Update: March 12, 2016
The first days of this year we were busy meeting to prepare budgets, plans, and goals with our pastoral staff in TECHIMAN. Then for the rest of the month of January, I spent time in the USA visiting four of our supporting churches and helping with the hosting of the 50th anniversary celebration of the Mount Abarim Baptist Mission. Much of my time was used compiling and preparing the Mount Abarim “2015 Annual Report” which can be viewed on our missions website at mountabarim.org. or you can write me and request a printed copy be sent to you in the mail. I also squeezed in a very important three-day visit with my three older children and their families in Atlanta. My cup overflows!
February I hit the ground running with our many building projects with the funds given during the Mount Abarim Conference and from special love offerings from Bible Baptist Church Chickasha, Oklahoma, and Worth Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas. These are our current building projects.
- The Techiman church main building – we are starting to pour the concrete support pillars and lintels for the main structure of the building.
- The Cape Coast church building is structurally almost complete. Praise the Lord! We are currently working on quotes for the rough electrical, the plastering of the walls, and purchase and installation of the doors.
- The New Krobo adult church building - all the walls and windows are complete. We are building the trusses and should have the roof on by the end of March.
- The Atebubu building – the foundation is complete. We are casting the floor and have all the blocks on the job site to start laying the walls.
- The Jama building - we have cast the floor and have the blocks on the job site, but we have run out of funds to move forward with the laying of the walls.
- The Bamire Road church building has been tied up in court for the last eight months. Praise the Lord we won the court case last Wednesday and are only awaiting our court documents to commence construction. The foundation is complete, and we are ready to cast the floor.
- The Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary building - We have finished the foundation and are pouring the main support pillars. This building is a two story building. Lord willing, we hope to pour the second floor by the end of the month.
With great joy I ask you to join us in fervent prayers for our upcoming Easter evangelism outreach this month. All the plans have been made and shared with the leadership of the church. Now we must prepare the tracts, invitations, banners, programs and transportation for this wonderful event that is the highlight of our church calendar. This year I will share the Easter service with my dear father, Pastor John Volante. No man has loved me more or worked harder to see me remain faithful in the ministry. He has been my “human” rock and anchor in the storms of life.
I would be remiss if I did not shout a great big thank you to my dear mom for coming to my aid with Michelle gone on Grandma duty. We also praise the Lord for Bible Baptist Church in Chickasha for buying my parent’s plane tickets to Ghana again this year.
Please pray about helping us buy a strategic piece of land in Bamahu, Wa, Ghana for a new church plant for $2,750.
Edmondson Boston Update: March 5, 2016
Sunday night Deb and I flew to Milwaukee where we met Steve Butler (North American Administrator of Baptist Mid-Missions). Together we traveled to Maranatha Baptist University in order to recruit church planters for North America. Maranatha actually has a Masters of Urban Ministries degree in their seminary. One requirement to earn this degree is the completion of a four month internship in Boston. Please pray that future church planters will enter the Urban Masters degree program and join us in Boston for our internship.
We have a wonderful blessing to share. Today we received news that a young couple in our church delivered their second child. Several years ago, this couple came to Christ through the ministry of the International Baptist Church. Since then, they have had more than their share of difficult times. They named their second child Isaac.
Marshalls Update: Compressor Journies (February through March)
March 7, 2016
I want to take this opportunity to thank each one of you for your many prayers for me on this trip. God gave me complete safety and really facilitated the paper work in an extra-ordinary way. Though I had to change three flat tires on the compressor, I consider myself very fortunate, given the horrible stretches of road that I had to cross.
On one occasion we had a truck driver falling asleep, 10 o’clock in the morning. He drifted completely into my lane and there was no escape for me. To the right the trees were too close to the road to dodge him. If I pulled our truck and heavy compressor to the left to get out of his path, he might wake up and try to correct himself and pull back into me. It was a head-on collision waiting to happen. Relying on my horn to wake him, he pulled back to his side just in time. It really shook me up and I wondered if I would have the courage to keep going. If I counted one truck roll-over there were at least a dozen. One accident we stopped to ask about and were told that another vehicle was involved where three people were killed. Though I can control my truck I share the road with others whom I have no control over. Thank you, thank you for your many prayers on my behalf. It was truly good to get back home and get some good rest on Sunday.
Now we will work on getting the compressor out of customs so we can put it to work for God’s glory. There are many who are waiting for this help, including a mission hospital and a Christian school. We continue to praise God for this wonderful provision.
March 5, 2016
Rich traveled until quite late last night and then slept for a few hours before continuing on his way to Bamako. They were having a very good trip and were on better roads for a while. This afternoon, they had another flat on the compressor which means they are down to one spare.
Rich says the road has deteriorated as the man riding with him told him it would. (He traveled to Dakar on a different, better road.) It is very bad and he is having to just creep along to not damage the truck or compressor. He isn't that far out of Bamako, but thinks it may take until ten tonight before he makes it in. Thank you for your prayers for him as he hasn't had a full nights sleep since Monday night.
Rich just walked in the door. Thank you for your prayers. He dropped the compressor off at the customs office outside of Bamako. Thank you for your prayers for the paperwork which will probably take a couple of weeks.
March 4, 2016
Thank you for praying in a miracle. Rich had no problem leaving Senegal, but once he got into Mali, he was told that the chance of him getting his paperwork done on a Friday in time to leave today was very unlikely.
Well, God answered your prayers. Even though all the paperwork was not completed, he was given paperwork to continue tonight with an escort and can complete the rest once he arrives just outside of Bamako. Thank you so much for praying.
He is still looking for some spare tires for the compressor as the next 80 kilometers are even worse than what he has come over. So pray that he will find some before the scheduled departure.
After an hour and a half wait past the scheduled time, Rich is finally rolling again. Please pray for safety on the rough road ahead with the night driving. They were able to find two spares although they are a bit smaller than the other tires. It would be wonderful it they did not need them!
We cannot say how thankful we are for all of you who are supporting us in prayer. God is certainly answering and it is exciting to see.
March 3, 2016
Thank you for your prayers for Rich. He kept rolling until three in the morning which put him down the road a ways and past the first long detour. He slept until about seven and hit the road again at 7:30 am. I checked in with him at noon and they are having a good trip - rolling right along. They hope to be at the border by early afternoon our time in about two hours. Please pray that the formalities - which include sending information to Bamako, having it work its way through the customs offices there, and then it being sent back to the border will not take too long.
May God bless each of you who are seriously praying. We can see that God is answering prayer every step of the way.
Thank you to all of you who continue to pray Rich back to Bamako. He was having a good trip until he hit some very bad roads. He says it is the worst road he has ever seen and he has seen some bad ones! He had two flats on the compressor in the afternoon. Praise the Lord, God had the men who packed the container put in two spares for him so both of them are in use now! He hopes to pick up some used tires when he gets into Mali tomorrow morning to have as spares if he needs them. He found the front axle to be very hot and discovered some emergency brakes just lose inside when he pulled the wheel apart as he changed the tires. He got rid of them and the wheels are doing better.
He drove very slowly because of the bad road and finally made it to the border this evening at 8:45 or there abouts.
Please continue to pray for God to facilitate every part of the process of getting through the border tomorrow morning. It is closed for the night so he is still in Senegal. He doesn't anticipate any problems when he leaves Senegal. He has already seen the transitor on the border and he will do what he can to speed things up. Paperwork has to be sent to Bamako and work only goes until about three in the afternoon before everything shuts down for the weekend here. Thank you for your prayers that the necessary papers will be sent to the border so Rich can continue his trip.
We are so encouraged by all those who are praying for this trip. It is amazing how God has helped thus far and we are confident that He will continue to do so.
March 2, 2016
Rich left the port at 8:00 pm. As his transitor said he did have to have a balice and he waited an hour for the internet to work well enough to upload the information on their system. Please pray that God will facilitate the border crossing with all the formalities.
Thank you for your prayers for a safe trip. He says there is a long line of trucks on the road. I just talked to him again two and a half hours later and he is finally out of Dakar and on a secondary road headed to Mali. Please pray for safety and no tire or car problems.
We are very grateful for your prayers. God is answering them.
February 29, 2016
Rich was able to rest most of the day today. He did need to go to the port to sign a couple of papers and stamp them. The paperwork seems to be moving along well. Thank you for your prayers.
Please pray that the container and compressor would be released tomorrow. Pray that they will not put a "balice" on it - as someone told Rich today that if they do, he has to return through Kaye and it will be a very complicated affair making him spend a day or two on the border. The man was quite sure that they would do that because he was driving his truck into the port to hook up to the compressor. God is able to facilitate this - so please pray with us. The road to Kenieba is shorter and not as rough and the border crossing would be much less complicated.
Pray for the logistics of removing the compressor from the container as well. The man who rode to Dakar with Rich has offered to help in that process.
February 28, 2016
Thank you for your prayers for Rich. He has arrived safely in Dakar and was able to see his transitor and give him all the papers necessary. He plans to take them to the port tomorrow and will keep Rich current on the situation. Please pray for the soon release of the compressor and the safe discharge of it from the container.
Rich was able to find an inexpensive hotel near the port. Thank you for your prayers that he will get some good rest tomorrow.
February 27, 2016
Thank you for your prayers for Rich as he drove today. He got much further down the road than expected. He had a good day and just kept driving - from six in the morning until 8:30 at night. He had no problems on the border and prepared them for his return trip.
He did say there were about 200 kilometers of very bad road through an animal reserve that he will probably take a long time to get through on the way back.
He has stopped for the night in a town about 6 1/2 hours from Dakar.
One other request we forgot to mention - please pray for the paper work that is in the offices here in Bamako. It isn't moving very fast. Please Pray that God will move it along. Corruption tends to be a problem. Pray that the papers will be ready by the time Rich returns. Thank you so much for your prayers.
February 17, 2016: Marshalls Update
The team from the Baptist Church of Northville left over a week ago to rejoin their families in the States. We thank them and do give God praise for all that they were able to accomplish while they were with us. Back to back with the Northville work team, we had our annual field conference. We handled important business and enjoyed fellowship.
There was a bit of urgency for us to get move out of our small apartment so that Cindy Faile could settle in. She has just returned from the States and will be involved with teaching at the Bible Institute. So immediately after conference, Anna and I took a deep breath and began moving all of our belongings. We are thankful for the other team members that came alongside of us to help with the move. Though everything is not finished in the larger apartment, we hope to accomplish that in the next few weeks. Thank you for your prayers concerning all this.
If the container with the compressor on board arrives on time in Dakar, I will need to leave here by the 26th to go receive it. I will be taking the F-350 dump truck to tow the compressor to Bamako. This is about a two day trip empty one way. I will certainly have plenty of paperwork to fill out and crossing a border will not be easy. I would certainly appreciate your prayers for this. We will keep you updated on the progress.
January 31, 2016: Marshalls Update
It has been a whirlwind of activities for the past ten days. We welcomed Bill Donnan and Mark Nestor on January 19th, the first two members of an eight member work team from Northville Baptist Church to help us rebuild the apartment here in the guesthouse. They helped to organize and get things started to build cabinets. The rest of the team arrived Saturday night, January 23rd. Immediately, Sunday morning we all went to the bush churches that we have ministry with. Pastor Klueg was scheduled to preach and all the African believers enjoyed the English song (Great is Thy Faithfulness), that the team presented.
The men have really worked hard all week and accomplished a great deal. The list of jobs is long, but they are making great headway. The guest facilities are already looking very nice.
Pastor Klueg was busy all week teaching a module to the Bible school students on Different World Views.
While all of this hard work was happening here, Eric Eriksen back in New York was successful in loading the air compressor into a rented container to ship to Mali. We are very thankful to him and his team who made this happen. That was a huge job. Please pray for safe passage and for God to facilitate its arrival.
Thank you for your continued prayers for us as we minister here in Mali.
January 2016: Beliasov Update
Selamat tahun baru or Happy New Year! The new year is upon us, which causes reflection on the past year and anticipation toward the future. First, in recent days you may have read about the attacks in Jakarta. The good news is that it turned out to be a very small scale attack, and the Indonesian government has done an excellent job tracking extremists. We are a few hundred miles from Jakarta and are safe, while we have some colleagues in the city who also were very safe during the attacks. So we praise God for His protection.
Next, to review the close of 2015…
- The close of the year led to some very serious mentoring opportunities. There are a few young people in our circles that made very poor choices with their lives. On the positive side, we see how God had cultivated relationships to put both Miriam and Paul in positions to speak truth into the lives of these young people. We continue to meet with them on a regular basis so that you for your prayers
- Miriam was able to direct the annual elementary Christmas program at our school again. She did another fabulous job, and the true message of Christmas was able to be shared through this program.
- God gave Paul speaking opportunities on top of his regular Bible classes. He was able to share a couple times in chapel and then at two different English church services in town. We are thankful and humbled for these times.
- Our children continue to grow and stay busy with activities. Noelle acted in the Christmas play, while Noah is playing on the school varsity basketball team. Nadia loves her kindergarten class!
As we look forward to 2016…
- Miriam will continue to work with a few new mothers in her position as a lactation consultant
- Paul will continue to lead the youth group at school, coach girls basketball and teach classes
- Paul will continue working on his Master’s degree on-line
- Miriam and Paul will continue to mentor young people in the community here
Thank you again for your prayers and support. At the end of almost every letter we put this same message, but we truly feel blessed by you all in so many ways. Thank you.
January 2016: Karen Hall Update
For the first time in five years, I didn’t have to stay inside to avoid the whooping, gleeful, mudslinging youth that make their way through the village on New Year’s Day. Anyone who steps outside his dwelling is fair game to receive a coating, so it seems a better choice to remain hidden inside, listening to the whoops and taunts of different clan groups as they progress along the ridges, playfully challenging each other at clan boundaries. In contrast, this year, after I spent New Year’s Eve with many old church friends in a beautifully decorated home, New Years’ Day was spent trying to stay warm at a quintessentially New England event, an outdoor hockey game! It was a great privilege to be with all of my immediate family for Christmas and share it with the nieces and nephews. I am happy to report that my support has increased to 95% of what is needed to return to the field, and it looks as though I will be able to return “on time.” Thank you to those of you who have prayed regarding this. It is the Lord’s working, and I praise Him for it. Thank you to those of you who prayed for my co-worker’s daughter, who required medical treatment in Australia. She seems to be doing well, and the Lord watched over the various mission buildings in their absence from the village. When I return to the village, I will be focusing on tribal language literacy for a period. This will involve teaching the Siar people to read and write in their own, previously unwritten heart language. I believe that this is an important part of evangelization and growth for the church in Kiari. Currently about 30% of them can read with varying degrees of comprehension in the trade language. Those who are literate in the trade language, as well as those who aren’t, seem to have great enthusiasm for the possibility of being able to read in Siar. I hope that creating literature in Siar—the language in which they think, show affection, and debate—will be effective in reaching the hearts of key village leaders as well as growing and discipling Christians. Work on a literacy program began with Dr. Grace Hargis’s visit in May 2015 and is continuing even on furlough. Recently I have started systematically laying out each letter, diphthong, and syllable combination that will need to be covered in the Siar primer. The primer is the initial teaching tool that native teachers and I will use to teach the Siar people to read and write in their own language. I hope to use Siar community school teachers to help develop the actual primer once I return to the village. They seemed to have good enthusiasm for this task when we created a few prototype pages in May of 2015. If you develop literate people, you need to provide them with literature. Currently I am working on transcribing and formatting simple recorded stories into booklets that will be used as early readers. As the people progress in their ability, I hope to provide them with installments of the already translated Bible lessons that were used in the ladies’ evangelistic Bible study. The ultimate goal of the literacy work is first to evaluate the need for and interest in a Siar Bible translation and then to proceed toward a Siar Bible translation if it seems to be a viable, profitable project for the Siar people.
Please continue to pray for:
- The salvation of Esther, an inquirer in Kiari who has breast cancer.
- The Spirit’s continued work in Maiyu, Sabe, Gohenare, Mega, Janet, Sambet, Nani, and Faima, who completed the chronological Bible classes.
- The salvation of the Gafenu family, who have appointed themselves as my guardians in the village.
- Continued progress during furlough on creating easy-to-read literature for new readers in the upcoming Siar literacy program.
- Continued safety in travel and increase to 100% of needed monthly support.