Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Why We Do Missions!

Twenty nine years have gone by since we held our first world missions conference. Our very first speaker was Pastor John Bell from San Antonio, Texas. The changes have been many since then. Now Pastor Bell is with the Lord. His son David Bell replaced his father as Pastor in San Antonio and our friendship between the churches and missions continued until his passing three years ago. Now David Bell’s son Matthew Bell is pastoring Destiny Church in San Antonio and our relationship continues with him and his leadership. We are connected through our church ministries with missions work around the world. Pastor Matthew Bell is with us in our conference this week. We welcome him and look ahead to the time when he will carry on his grandfather’s legacy of speaking at missions conferences across the nation.

Missions is an important legacy for every church to leave for each succeeding generation. God speaks to every generation to follow His commission to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

I was introduced to missions and to what I call a mini-missions conference when I was a teenager in my home church in Rice Lake. Something must have sparked in my spirit and I realized that this could be a good way to connect with people who were part of a world and vision that was far greater than my little world was at that time. I began to dream about doing something bigger for God.

The first thing we did as a new church plant in Shell Lake was to develop a small giving plan of support for missions. We increased our support every year. At the same time we noticed that the church budget income was increasing every year as well. That gave birth to the idea that we should begin a conference that would bring in missionaries where we could spend time together, pray for and encourage them, and help them to meet financial needs to carry out their work. I had no idea what the effects of that small start would turn into such as we see today. God has powerfully and abundantly blessed all the efforts of God’s people in this congregation, and He has blessed them individually with supply and increase in their lives.

Sowing into missions is a win-win situation in life. The blessings far outweigh the sacrifices. Wherever lives are at stake without a Savior, and wherever people suffer without any hope, and God’s people arise to bring the good news of salvation and provide physical support to help alleviate suffering, there will come an outpouring of God’s compassion and provision that makes it worth it all! Take Heart! Your efforts are being rewarded. We will not lose anything. We really win everything! Our treasures in heaven are eternal!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

California and Home Again!

Linda and I spent ten days in a couple far western states of Nevada and California last week.

The International Ministerial Association Conference was held at a great church in Bakersfield, California September 21-23. I am licensed with this association and have been with them since 1967. I have served on the general board for a total of 29 years and am now in my last three year term.

I was privileged to speak on Tuesday evening this year and God was with us and we had a very precious time of ministry. Dr. Timothy Warner from Hayward was appointed the chairperson for this upcoming year and I am personally proud of his credibility and leadership skills.

Linda and I joined Roy and Candie Peterson who live in Henderson, Nevada and where we stayed for four nights. They drove us to California where we visited the famous President Ronald Reagan Library. It is the same place where the last Republican candidates for the next President were interviewed on the forums.

Since I am very fond of President Reagan, the entire experience was so heartwarming and nostalgic for both of us. His burial site is on the grounds there.

We drove from there to Riverside, California and stayed in the home of missionaries Julius and Ruth Morar. They were extremely hospitable and kind to us. They rented a van to accommodate seven of us on a rush tour of some of the sights of Los Angeles which included Santa Monica Beach (no time to swim) and Hollywood, Beverly Hills and some great eating places. Julius’ son Jonathan, was our driver through the horrendous traffic of LA. (Seven lanes of vehicles bumper to bumper for hundreds of miles.) You can make 50 miles in 2.5 hours if all goes well. Jonathan is a part-time actor in commercials and plays so he knew his way around to see some famous sights.

We drove back to Henderson, Nevada on Saturday with Roy and Candie and took in one show of a teen-age hero of mine and Linda’s, Mr. Frankie Avalon. He brought back some fun memories of the 50’s and 60’s.

The scenery is completely different where we were than what we are accustomed to. All mountains, hills, and very dry land. I called it “rock heaven” but only if you like rocks! I personally like lakes and forests. So, it was a welcome sight for us as we returned to our lake and woods home on Tuesday night.

Just a little update to all the dear folks we love so much. You are the greatest joys of our lives!