Monday, December 15, 2008


The past few weeks have been incredibly busy, but things are starting to settle down, at least a little. Most of the time since my last post has been occupied with packing, shipping boxes to New Guinea, and wrapping up the details of my life in Springfield. My sending church, Grace Baptist in Springfield, had a commissioning service for me on December 6th. It was a wonderful service! John Van Gelderen, an evangelist friend, was the speaker, and the Lord used him to accomplish one of my goals for the service -- to motivate people to faithfully pray for me and for the ministry in Papua New Guinea. There were about sixty people in attendance, representing several supporting churches.

The following Monday, we loaded a rental truck and left for South Carolina, arriving on Tuesday evening. The trip was mainly uneventful despite a deluge of rain for the first five hours of traveling. I am now staying at my dad's house in Greenville, South Carolina until my departure for the field on January 3rd. I still have some details to care for, but the pressure has lessened somewhat. Thanks so much for your prayers during these days. The Lord has been and continues to be abundantly faithful.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Last Meeting!

Well, last night was my official last deputation meeting. I have definitely enjoyed the experiences of deputation, but is still good to be done and actually headed for the field. With the addition of another church and individual, I am now at 96%. I still have a couple of churches praying about support, so it seems that I may have 100% before I leave. God is so good!

In other news, I am staying busy trying to sort my belongings into get rid of, store at dad's, and ship to PNG. It's a bit harder than I thought it would be:-) I'm also trying to do all the things I can't do for another 4 years -- dentist, eye doctor, etc.

Please continue to pray that the Lord will provide strength and wisdom for these days.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

More Progress

Well, the last two weeks have been busy ones. I was in Latham, Illinois on Sunday, October 20th. I visited this church soon after I started deputation, so it was a blessing to return and see people that I already knew. Then this past weekend, I spent Saturday and Sunday in North Liberty, Indiana. I spoke for a kids' harvest rally on Saturday evening. The Lord worked and three kids went out to talk to someone about salvation. Then I had a part in both services on Sunday.

My support continues to climb. With the addition of another church and another individual (actually a couple), I am at 94%. The increase is encouraging as it helps confirm to me the Lord's direction and blessing.

Things are falling into place in other areas as well. Friday will be my last day at work. My church has scheduled my commissioning service for 2pm on Saturday, December 6th. I will then leave for South Carolina on the following Monday and Tuesday to spend the remaining weeks with my dad. I have tickets to fly out of Atlanta on the evening of Saturday, January 3rd.

Please continue to pray that I will stay focused and accomplish everything I need to in the weeks ahead.

Monday, October 13, 2008

On the Way!

A lot has happened in the last week or so. First, I added another church to bring me up to 89%. Then, Dad suggested I speak with the deputation director at my mission board to see what I should be doing when as my support level climbs. When I told him where I was at (that I am expecting another church to begin supporting me this month and at least two other churches are considering support), he said I should go ahead and begin making plans to leave! Yippee!

It is incredibly exciting and incredibly terrifying all at once. When I think of all that needs to be done in the next three months, it is a bit overwhelming. I gave my boss notice that I will be quitting work effective the end of this month. (My job has been incredibly flexible, allowing me to continue working while being gone for days and weeks at a stretch.) That will give me November to pack and get rid of things. My church will have a commissioning service for me in mid December. Then I will go to South Carolina to spend Christmas with my dad. Lord willing, I will fly out of Atlanta on Saturday, January 3rd and arrive in Papua New Guinea on Monday, January 5th.

Please pray that the Lord will superintend in all the details of the next several weeks, and also that He will bring in the remainder of my support. I still can't believe that the goal is actually in sight!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Victory Won

A lot has happened over the last couple of weeks, but I haven't managed to take time to write it all down. I have had several deputation meetings in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin that all seemed to go well. Once again the Lord gave safe journeys and kind people to help out along the way. My support has gone up a bit again. I am now at 87.5%. Just another step closer to the goal! Tomorrow I will head to Pekin, IL for a missions conference at Faith Baptist Church. They are already supporters, so I am looking forward to being with them again.

On a bit more personal note though, the Lord has been doing some amazing things in my life. I had been rather discouraged/frustrated regarding my effectiveness as a soulwinner. I have witnessed faithfully for years, but had never led anyone to the Lord outside of dealing with those that came forward at a church service. I had been told that the results didn't really matter, leave that to the Lord, He just wants you to be faithful. But I couldn't reconcile that advice with clear statements in God's Word such as "the harvest truly is plenteous" and "I have chosen you and ordained you that ye should go and bring forth fruit." Here I was preparing to leave for the mission field, but I wasn't seeing God use me to see souls saved here.

I made plans to attend a soulwinning seminar in Wisconsin in mid-September, sort of as a last ditch effort to get some insight on all this. The week before the seminar, the Lord really dealt with me about some areas in my life that I had been excusing/pushing under the carpet. They were nothing major (hence the excuses), but they were displeasing the Lord and hindering His blessing. I got those things cleared up and allowed the Lord to "clean house" so to speak. That was Saturday night. The next morning I was at my home church and a lady came forward for salvation. I dealt with her using the Romans Road method. In the course of our discussion, I showed her Romans 10:13 "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." I told her that she could plug her name into that verse, and that if she called upon the Lord, she would be saved. I fully believed that the verse meant what it said and expected her to as well. Later that week, I realized that just as I took that verse at face value and depended on it for my eternal security, I could depend on the other statements of the Word as well. That meant that the fields arewhite to harvest, whether they look that way to me or not.

All this enabled me to head to the soulwinning seminar with an air of anticipation, really expecting God to do something special. The seminar was Netcasters, taught by John Van Gelderen and hosted at Falls Baptist Church in Wisconsin. That week I learned a good method for giving the gospel, but more importantly I learned that I could depend on the power of the Holy Spirit (not anything in me) and expect Him to work through me in the hearts of those I spoke to. The Lord used me to lead two girls to the Lord that week and allowed me to have other conversations where He was clearly working. It wasn't a matter of trying to push people into getting saved or just having them pray a prayer, but clearly explaining the gospel and allowing the Holy Spirit to convict them and bring them to a point of decision.

I came home excited about the work God wants to do and will do through anyone who is surrendered to and depending on Him. I have been out witnessing in parks and neighborhoods several times in the weeks since and have continued to see God at work. Today I got to lead a teenage girl to the Lord, the daughter of that lady who came forward in the church service. I am starting to see the people around me in a whole new light -- as souls in need of a Savior.

I know this has been a lengthy post, but I just wanted to share the incredible work that God is doing. I am so thankful for the promise of Philippians 1:6, "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."

Friday, September 12, 2008

Traveling Again

It's been a while since I posted, but things have been rather quiet on the deputation front. This past Wednesday was the first meeting I have had since I returned from Wisconsin in early August. I enjoyed the short trip up to Geneva, Illinois and the opportunity to once again share about the ministry in Papua New Guinea.

The past weeks have been filled with work at my local hospital, various church activities, and attempting to schedule more meetings for the upcoming months. September is fairly busy with three meetings in IL, WI, and IN, but at present I have only one meeting each in October and November.

I now have a little over 84% of my support, and I'm still praying that the Lord will bring in the rest in time to allow me to leave for the field by late this year or early next year.

I leave Saturday to head to Barron, Wisconsin then I will be in Milwaukee, Wisconsin all next week for a soulwinning seminar. It will be good to be traveling once again. Thanks so much for your continued prayers!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Back Home

Well, I'm finally home for a few days. I spent the last week serving as camp nurse for a Wisconsin church's family camp. I didn't really know anyone going into the week, but ended up making a lot of friends and having a great time. The camp was held on the grounds of a small Bible camp in north central Wisconsin.

Since my last post, another church has taken me on for support, bringing me to 83.8%. Praise the Lord!

I'm now home for a little while, so I'll be able to get back to my home church and do a bit of work at the hospital. My next official deputation meeting is in early September. I will, of course, have some other deputation work to do with sending out more packets and contacting pastors. I'm still trying to schedule meetings for the remainder of this year and spring of next year, all the while hoping that I won't need them:-) All in the Lord's timing though.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Happy Camper

It's been a little while since I've been able to post here, but I've been busy at camp with only limited internet access. I am in the midst of my 5th week as the Camp Nurse at Camp Assurance. By God's grace, all the illnesses and injuries have so far been fairly minor. I only have one week left and am praying that it will stay this calm.

I have really enjoyed being a part of the ministry here. Due to a large number of campers for one of the junior weeks, I was able to be a counselor for a cabin of eight girls. During that week, one girl in my cabin was saved and two got assurance of their salvation. It is a tremondous blessing to be used in the Lord's service.

I have been continuing to travel on the weekends. I had a meeting in Corning, Iowa and another in Beloit, Wisconsin. (I will be assisting the church in Beloit as camp nurse for their family camp in a couple of weeks.) This Sunday, I will be visiting a church in Oak Park, Illinois.

The Lord has continued to provide support, bringing me to 79%. Please pray with me that the remainder of my support would come in by the end of the year, if that would be the Lord's plan.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Profitable Time

The last two weeks have been very profitable times for me personally, although not very active on the deputation side of things. I spent June 2-7 at the Wilds for a conference with my mission agency, Gospel Fellowship Association. It was a week of helpful workshops, encouraging messages, and enjoyable fellowship. I especially enjoyed hanging out with some other New Guinea missionaries, one on furlough, two short termers, and one on deputation.

When I left the Wilds, I intended to head to Wisconsin for a meeting in La Crosse. First, I was detoured due to the flooding in Indiana. Then, the flooding and mud slides in Wisconsin led me to cancel the meeting all together. I hope to reschedule it for later this summer.

This week I have been home for a change:-) My home church had special meetings with John Van Gelderen. It is the second week of meetings that he has had here since I began attending, and the Lord really used his messages to open my eyes further to some of the truths of His Word.

Tonight after church, I will be heading over to Camp Assurance, a small Christian camp in Eastern Illinois. I will be serving there as camp nurse and general utility person for several weeks this summer, while still doing some deputation meetings on the weekends. I'm excited to be a part of that ministry for a short time.

Friday, May 30, 2008


Well, it's been good to be in Greenville and catch up with friends and family. This past week, I took some time off and joined my brother and his family on a vacation in St. Augustine, Florida. We stayed in his RV at a campsite in Anastasia State Park. It was fun to visit various historic attractions (such as this lighthouse) in the mornings, then spend the afternoons at the beach.

I'm now back in Greenville for the weekend, then on Monday I will head to the Wilds for the annual GFA conference.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

May Already?

My last post was titled "Busy April," and it certainly was. So busy in fact, that I can't believe it's the middle of May already. The Lord has been good through it all though.

I spent April 19-24 in Cedar Rapids, IA for a mission conference at Friendship Baptist Church. I really enjoyed that week, as I already knew many of the missionaries. It was a time of real encouragement and spiritual blessing. The following weekend, I was in Green Bay, WI. There I was able to stay with an old college roommate. It was fun to meet her family and catch up on her life.

From there, I drove to Milwaukee, WI to spend a few days with some friends. Lake Michigan was beautiful although the weather was quite windy and cool. I actually saw a few snow flakes -- in the last week of April!

On Wednesday, April 30, I spoke at Bethel Baptist Church in Schaumburg, IL. It is quite a large church, but everyone was kind and friendly, so I didn't feel too overwhelmed:-) The next two weekends (May 4 & 11), I spoke in Fort Atkinson and New Lisbon, WI.

At present, I am in Greenville, SC to speak at Mount Calvary Baptist this Wednesday evening. I always enjoy coming to Greenville as I still have many friends here, not to mention 2/3 of my immediate family (dad, brother, sister-in-law, and 2 nephews).

I have been having a bit of difficulty filling my schedule for this fall. Please pray with me that the Lord will lead me to those churches in which He would have me minister.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Busy April

Well, the pace has certainly picked up in the last week or so, and no sign of slowing in the near future. On Saturday (April 12th), my home church hosted an area-wide youth rally with around 65 people attending. Of course, the days ahead were busy with preparation. On Sunday evening (the 13th), I had the opportunity to speak at a small church in Famersburg, Indiana. They support the Smiths, the missionaries with whom I will be working. Also this week, my church has been having evangelistic meetings with Mark Kittrell.

Friday, Belinda Richter, a fellow PNG missionary, will be flying into Bloomington, IL. She will spend the night with me, then on Saturday we will head to Cedar Rapids, Iowa for a Sunday - Wednesday missions conference. We'll come back on Thursday, then I'll leave Saturday for Wisconsin. And so it continues:-)

Being busy is a good thing though, as it means many opportunities to present the ministry in New Guinea and also opportunities to impact people as I share with them what the Lord has done in my life.

Please continue to pray for safety and increased support in the Lord's time.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Answered Prayer

Thanks so much for your prayers for the airstrip inspection. It basically went well, and the inspector gave conditional approval for a shorter airstrip. We will still need the approval of his superior but at least the first obstacle was crossed.

This past weekend, I had a deputation meeting in Aurora, IL. The pastor of the church is someone I had known as a child, so it was fun to renew old acquaintances and catch up.

This coming weekend, one of my supporting churches is hosting the statewide Illinois ladies retreat. I am going along with several ladies from my church. I am looking forward to the rest and fellowship, as my schedule will get very busy after that.

Thanks again for your continued prayers and encouragement.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Please Pray

I just returned from a three day missions conference in Woodville, WI. It was an enjoyable time. There were three other missionary couples that I had not met before, and it is always good to fellowship with other missionaries. The church was rather small but very friendly and took excellent care of us. Now I'm for the next week or so and involved with Easter activities at my home church.

I received a prayer request from my future coworkers that I wanted to pass on. I have mentioned before about the difficulties of our transportation situation. Our road has been completely closed for a few months now, and the nearest airstrip is about an 8 hour hike. On Thursday morning (Wednesday evening US time), some inspectors from the government will be coming out to look at our proposed airstrip. We need them to approve a shorter than usual airstrip in order to use the site we have available.

Please pray for safety for those traveling, good weather to allow the travel to occur, and favor in the eyes of the inspectors. While this is only a preliminary approval, it is very necessary in order to have an airstrip in our village. Praise the Lord that we have a prayer hearing and prayer answering God!

Monday, March 3, 2008

A Quick Note

I thought I'd better take some time to post a quick update. Since my last entry, I spoke in western Indiana and then went from there to Milwaukee, WI to attend a week long conference at Falls Baptist Church. The Lord really worked during the week and opened my eyes to truths from His Word, turning head knowledge into heart reality.

On Friday, I received a call from a church that I visited last February. They voted last Wednesday to take me on for support. That increase brings me to 61%. It is a blessing to see the Lord at work in this area.

I am now safely home again and trying to get caught up on housework and paperwork. I also am trying to put some time in at the hospital again after a 3 1/2 week absence. I don't hit the road again until mid-March, and I am enjoying the brief break.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Frigid Wisconsin

While I'm home again after another foray into a very cold and snowy Wisconsin. The snow sure does make for pretty scenery though. I was at Holmen, Wisconsin on Sunday, February 17th. I was slated to speak in the Sunday evening service, but the area received around 9 inches of snow throughout the morning and early afternoon. That made for a rather small crowd on Sunday evening.

On Monday, I drove about 30 minutes east to Sparta, Wisconsin where I stayed through Thursday. I enjoyed getting to know my hostess, a single lady with two cats. She collects flamingoes. I never dreamed that flamingoes came in so many shapes, sizes, and uses! I spoke in a church there on Wednesday evening.

I had planned to leave first thing Thursday morning, but the cold overnight (around 15 below zero), apparently did a number on my car. But the pastor very generously spent his time and energy getting it running again. I left Sparta around 2pm and arrived safely in Springfield to greet another snow storm. This has been quite a winter:-)

Overall, the trip had some unexpected turns, but, as always, the Lord was faithful. It never ceases to comfort me that He not only knows the future but controls it as well.

As an additional encouragement, I got a call Wednesday night from a pastor in Georgetown, IL. That church voted Wednesday evening to take me on for support. That increase brings my support level to 59%.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

South Carolina

As expected, February is developing into a very busy month. My few days away at the beginning though were both enjoyable and profitable and helped to provide spiritual strength for my schedule. Last week, I enjoyed being in my home church for the services on both Sunday and Wednesday. I had planned to speak in Schaumburg, IL on Wednesday (February 6th), but that meeting was cancelled due to a forecasted 10 inches of snow. Thursday morning, I started for South Carolina. I stopped overnight in the Cincinnati, Ohio area to go to the Creation Museum. That was very impressive and informative. I would highly recommend a visit.

This week I have had the privilege of being part of a mission conference at Heritage Bible Church. I and the other missionary wives spoke to the ladies on Saturday morning, then I presented my ministry in the Sunday evening service. It has been enjoyable, although a bit daunting as Heritage is a very large church, at least 5 times larger than any of my previous churches. But the Lord gives grace whether I am speaking to many or to few.

On Friday, I will head back to Illinois, then leave Saturday for Wisconsin. A case of extremes, as I go from warm South Carolina to frigid Wisconsin:-) But I'm excited to see the Lord at work there as well.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Home Again

It's good to be home again for a few days. I have been gone the past two weekends, first to Wisconsin, and most recently in eastern Illinois. I spoke in three churches and met many kind people. It is a blessing to see the Lord at work in ministries in so many places. I've been doing quite a bit of driving beside the flat, empty fields of Illinois. It's amazing how even their barrenness has its own sort of beauty.

I'm taking a couple of days later this week just to get away. It's easy in my busyness to forget the reason behind it, and I wanted to just spend some time with the Lord and catch up on things. February is shaping up to be a very busy month, but I'm excited to see what the Lord will do.

Keep praying that the Lord will accomplish His perfect work in me and get me to New Guinea in His time.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Snowy Trip

Well, I had rather an interesting trip to Wisconsin. As planned, I drove to northern Illinois Saturday evening and had a wonderful time with the pastor and his wife as well as a missionary couple that was speaking in their church the following morning. I attended that presentation Sunday morning and then left immediately for Waupaca. 4.5 hours later, I arrived without incident. This was a church of about 100-150 with many kind people. I spent the night with a lady in the church and enjoyed fellowshipping with her.

The fun started the next morning. It had snowed a little during the night, but the roads were pretty clear. I was about 15 minutes south of Waupaca when I encountered a snow plow clearing the shoulder of the state route. I swung out a little bit to go around him and encountered the unplowed snow covering the center line. I can't completely describe what happened next. I only know that I fishtailed a good bit and then spun completely around and ended up in the snow on the far side of the opposite lane, facing back toward Waupaca. I am very grateful for the Lord's protection in that the car did not flip (as I fully expected it to), and neither I nor the car were hurt. I called 911 and they sent a wrecker to pull the car out of the ditch. I was back on my way in about 30 minutes. I had another bit of a scare when I got on the interstate though. Going over 50mph caused a severe vibration throughout the car. I was a bit concerned and so called my dad and brothers to solicit advice. We finally determined that I had probably gotten snow in my rims by sliding sideways into the snow bank. As I continued to drive, the snow melted and the vibration disappeared.

So, all in all, it was a rather eventful trip. I'm headed back up to Wisconsin this weekend and am praying for a bit more boring time. I will be speaking at one church on Sunday morning and in another church about ten minutes away for a 1:30pm service. (They adjusted their service because of the Packers playoff game that evening. They're passionate about the Packers in Wisconsin! Good thing I'm not a Bears fan or I'd never get any support up there:-)

Anyway, I'd appreciate your prayers as I continue on the deputation trail. Please join me in praising the Lord for His gracious protection.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Prayer Request

I hadn't intended on posting again so soon, but I just got a message that I wanted to share. The next paragraph came from an email sent by Randy Smith, the missionary with whom I will be working. He is discussing the road that links us to the nearest town of any size where we can get mail, visit the bank, and buy supplies.

"The road is presently thoroughly closed. Our options for getting ourselves and supplies in and out of the bush have dwindled to the point that walking 25km to Nomane to catch a New Tribes airplane or paying SIL quite a bit of money ($380 to over $900 depending on how many of us are going and from what base the chopper is coming) are our best two options. Two days ago Brother Sailas and I flew into Nomane and walked home to Kiari. We saw first-hand the condition of the road. Two areas are especially bad and really cannot be fixed adequately without a machine of some kind. I am checking into purchasing a strong motorcycle or a four-wheeler for ferrying passengers and supplies b/t the Nomane airstrip and Kiari when the road is closed. Of course, we're still trying to get the airstrip moving ahead, but things move slowly in PNG. We are still waiting to see the new regulations that the CAA is supposed to be writing re rural airstrips."

The road has always been a challenge, but it has become more of a problem in the last year or so. I would appreciate your prayers about the situation. To get a little bit of an idea what the issue is, click here. Note especially the position of the rear passenger tire:-) This picture was taken just a few weeks ago, but the road was still passable at that point. It apparently has deteriorated even further.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Back on the Trail

Well, the holidays are officially over, the Christmas decorations put away (at least mostly), and it's time to get back on the deputation trail. Seriously though, I had a wonderful Christmas in South Carolina with all of my family (dad, 2 brothers and wives, & 5 nephews). Now, it's back to traveling again. Lord willing, I will be spending Saturday night and Sunday morning in northern Illinois at a church I spoke at last year, then I will head up to central Wisconsin for the evening service.
I got word yesterday from GFA (my mission agency) that my support level has been increased to compensate for rising insurance costs and the dropping value of the US dollar. Unfortunately, that means that my support level is now 55.5% instead of 63%. But the Lord isn't surprised, and He will still get me to the field in His time!