We have just completed our first of three months of furlough. God has been very good to us. We have seen all of our immediate family and are enjoying great times with all of them. Our meetings are going very well.
This past Sunday we had a meeting at Grace Baptist in Pelzer with Pastor Ziskowski. On Sunday evening we were at Tabernacle in Greenville with Pastor Logan. Both churches encouraged us and we enjoyed sharing in their ministries.
Our family is enjoying doing special music as we travel. Logan has also been piping at each church. Pastor Logan called our Logan up on the platform on Sunday PM and had him end the service with piping. He was teasing Logan (14) as he came up there that there were only 8,000 people listening in online. :) Logan did a great job and I recorded a small portion to share with his pipe band and teacher in Scotland.
Our next meeting is at Fellowship Baptist in Taylors. We're going to go to that meeting with a lot of kids. We'll be watching 5 nieces and nephews this weekend as their parents help their oldest sibling move into the dormitory at her Bible college. So, we'll have 11 kids at church with us! We appreciate your prayers for each meeting.
Our church continues to meet online in Scotland. The committee at the center we rent has not yet allowed outside groups to come back. Thank you for praying for the Andersons as they continue with furlough replacement in Scotland.
We are now down South in North Carolina. This past weekend was a busy travel weekend. On Saturday we went from LaCrosse, WI to Fremont, MI. We enjoyed spending the weekend at Katie's home church. It was a blessing to get to know the pastor and get caught up with the church family. We also enjoyed having two Aunts and a cousin attend a service.
On Monday and Tuesday we drove down to Lattimore, NC to spend time with my sister's family. Their pastor kindly invited us to share our presentation with their church on Wednesday night. We actually know the pastor at their church as my father preached a week of meeting for him when I was a child. It was fun to catch up with him. Speaking of "catching" the pastor took myself and my boys and nephews fishing this morning. That's one of the extra blessings of furlough.
Tomorrow, we pull out for the Greenville, SC area. We have a meeting at Grace Baptist in Pelzer on Sunday morning and one at Tabernacle in Greenville Sunday evening. All of Katie's immediate family are in the Greenville area. So, we're looking forward to seeing them all tomorrow night. Thank you for praying for our travels.
God has blessed our 5 meetings thus far. We had two this past Sunday. The first was in Sauk City, WI. Please pray for God's provision of a pastor for this dear church family. Their former pastor (Pasotr Lyndsey) and his wife are going as missionaries to Liberia next month. Please pray for the Lyndseys as well.
In the evening we were ar Fort Atkinson with Pastor Neal and his church family. This church is dear to us as they were the church family to our family (my mom and dad and sister's family) for the past couple of years. It was fun to connect with them and thank them for their ministry to our family.
This week we are parked (travel trailer) next to my brother's home on his wife's family farm near La Crosse, Wi. I have a lot of memories from this location as I grew up hunting on this farm. We haven't seen my brother and his family for almost 6 years. So, it is a lot of fun for us and our children to spend some time together. Tonight we have a meeting at Temple Baptist in La Crosse.
This Saturday we travel to Fremont, MI, my wife's home church and the church where we were married. We're only there in the area for two days but are also looking forward to connecting with Katie's Aunt's and Uncle's
On Monday we head South to my sister's in Lattimore, NC. Our midweek service that week is at Fellowship Baptist in Taylor's SC. Please pray for safety as we have a lot of travel to do this weekend.
We appreciate your prayers. God's hand has been evident in our furlough. Thank you for praying.
The article I wrote for our county newspaper came out yesterday. A lady in our church bought a copy and sent us a picture. Please pray that God will use the paper article and the online copy.
We had a busy travel weekend as we moved up to Wisconsin on Saturday. We parked our travel trailer at my brother's near LaCrosse and traveled from there to our two churches. Sunday was a full day as we left before 8:00 AM and got back just after 11:00 PM. Our first church was in New Lisbon where we enjoyed ministering in SS and the AM service. Our second church was in Lake Mills, WI. My dad pastored this church although it was in a different property at that time. We revisited the old church and parsonage properties. It was fun to show the kids around. I got saved in the basement of that old church building when I was 4 years old.
It was a blessing to see my brother's family. He has 4 girls and all of our kids have grown a lot in the last 5 years. We drove back to my parents house on Monday to spend the week with them. Next Sunday we have two meetings in WI and will spend the week with my brother's family. Thank you for praying for our travels and ministry.
Although churches can meet again in Scotland the property we rent has yet to invite us back. Please pray for God to open that door in his perfect timing. The Anderson made it out of quarantine on Sunday. I wish they didn't have to do that, but am thankful that they are beyond that requirement. Please pray for God's continued blessing upon their ministry.
Thank you for praying for our travels. All went very well. After 21 hours of travel we arrived at my Aunt's in Illinois last Thursday. My parents and grandma surprised us and were at the house waiting for us. Friday was a down day. Saturday we drove 5 hours to my home church and our sending church in Hudson WI. It was a great blessing to report to them on Sunday. After an afternoon service we drove to Des Moines, IA where we are enjoying a week with my parents. We are already making some great memories.
This coming Sunday we have two meeting in Wisconsin. We'll pull our travel trailer up to my brother's home in Galesville, WI on Saturday and be there for a couple of days.
About the flights, the first flight was full. I had a good witnessing opportunity with a young man, Dominic, who was going to Spain to teach English. The second flight was on what seemed to be a new jet and it was nearly empty. I've never flown on a plane where you could tint the windows by pushing a button. The windows were also larger windows. We thoroughly enjoyed the flight.
Praise the Lord! The Andersons have safely arrived and gotten one good nights sleep. They traveled in total for just over 24 hours. It's great to have them here getting adjusted to life in Scotland. Thank you for praying.
Just before our departure, I have the opportunity to contribute an article for a religious seciton in our county newspaper. The article will be printed on 23 July. Please pray for God to use it to awaken hearts in our area. I''ll put the text below.
God is Essential
If you google the question, "what is the official religion of the United Kingdom?" You will find that it is Christianity. Obviously the UK is open to people of all faiths or no faith. However, it has been interesting to me as a minister of religion to find that our "Christian" society views worshipping God as unessential.
How can a Christian nation not make opening places of worship a priority? Pubs have been in the news since the beginning of the pandemic. It has been abundantly clear and well publicized in what phase they will reopen. However, places of worship and faith groups have been marginalized.
God is the One who gave us life. He is the One who teaches us in His Word how to live our lives to the fullest. He is the One who sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sin. He also offers to us the gift of everlasting life to be received by faith in Jesus.
God is the ONLY one who fully knows the cause of this pandemic and the solution. But, as far as I know, we have not seen a national call to prayer at any time during the pandemic. When God healed our Prime Minister we appropriately heard words of thanks to the NHS, but how many thanked God for healing our Prime Minister?
We have not seen a nation on her knees before the God who holds our life and health in His hands. Our nation has not been asking for God's mercy or repenting of our national sin.
One wonders what God thinks of national disregard for Himself or national ignorance of His love towards us. Could this pandemic be a wake up call to stop treating the Creator and Saviour as if He is unessential? We do well to remember that God is ESSENTIAL.
"Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands (bondage) be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts a consumption (wasting disease), even determined upon the whole earth." Isaiah 28:22
Lord willing, later this morning (US time) the Anderson's will depart for Scotland. Please pray for their travels as they have a lengthy journey ahead of them. They will be traveling for about 24 hours due to lengthy layovers.
We're excited to be at this point and God is helping in all of our preparations on this end. We are pretty well packed and are starting to get excited to be on our way after a long time planning. We're very thankful for God's guidance.
The Anderson's joined us via Zoom from the States for our midweek meeting. It was a blessing to introduce them to our church family and to hear from Brother Anderson.
I will preach out two services tomorrow on Zoom and then turn things over to the Andersons. Thank you for your prayers for these transitions.
God gave us a good fellowship time yesterday. There were several missionaries from England, Scotland and Wales, about 10 in total. That was our last Zoom fellowship meeting for the Covid-19 outbreak. It's been good to get together. I preached a message on not stopping our run. Thank you for praying.
Please continue to pray for our furlough travels. Lord willing, the Andersons won't have difficulty with their flights and they will arrive on Sunday. Because of the recent worsening of the pandemic in the US, Europe has not opened it's doors to US travelers. The UK is open as far as we know.
Meanwhile, last night we went to check our flights and they had changed them. The flights they had rebooked us on originated in Paris. (No, we haven't moved and we still live in Scotland.) After an hour and a half on hold with the airline, I rebooked for flights on Thursday instead of Wednesday next week. This is all getting a bit tiring, but God is giving grace and guidance. Please pray that we can pass these final hurdles and get on furlough.
Thank you for your prayers for my grandfather's funeral. God blessed and it was a wonderful service which we were able to view online. I praise God for the godly heritage I and my family have been given.
Thank you as well for your prayers for our ministry online. We are very thankful to have finished our last recorded Sunday School and preaching services. We are now transitioning to Zoom in preparation for the Anderson's arrival as well as isolation ending. This is our 15th Sunday since lockdown began. Right now it does not look like we'll have service at our church location until the end of July.
I'm thankful for God's grace and guidance with, "The Journey" evangelistic and discipleship videos. I'm very happy to say that God has helped me, "finish the journey."
Season one is comprised of 15 evangelistic videos. Season two is 10 discipleship videos. The videos are 7 minutes long and have been put on The Journey Youtube page. The purpose of the Youtube page was to make the series available to other Christians and churches. Anybody can link to it with their own material, webpage or facebook page.
If you would like to see Katie's final Sunday School lesson of the Covid-19 lockdown, here is a link the lesson on our Facebook page.
I preached a message from Deuteronomy 20 for our AM service, "A Voluntary Soldier."
Your prayers for the Anderson's travel and transition are appreciated. They are scheduled to arrive here next Sunday afternoon. Our family will leave early the following Wednesday for the States. Thank you for your prayers for us and our ministry.