Thursday, July 30, 2009

encouragement from discouragement!

Yesterday we had another problem with our children's ministries. It seems as if every week there is some problem. I know the devil does not want this ministry to continue so he fights very hard to discourage it.

After the problem I arrive with the children at Church and I'm explaining to some of the people the events that just took place. I begin to tell them how much the devil does not want us working with the children. I then tell the folks how the devil has fought every step of the way. Before I'm finished with my story I'm sure they are now as discouraged as I am.

Then Brother Alen says, "Doesn't he (the devil) know that he's already lost the war!" The moment this satement was made my discouragement, as well as everyone else that was listening, turned to encouragement! One minute we were all focusing on how strong the devil is, which always brings discouragement. The next minute we were focusing on the Savior and the vivtory He has given to us all!

Too many times I have focused on the enemy instead of the Victor! Brother Alen taught me to focus more on Jesus and less on the devil! Jesus has already won the victory! My discouragement quickly turned into encouragement all because of Jesus!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Working in a Catholic country

Last week some of our bus kids came to me and said, we can't come next Sunday our sister, which is one of our kids, is going to be baptized. What? Where and by whom? The answer, the Catholic Church. The little girl is probably about 6, and I was very disturbed by this. They will throw a big party today after her baptism. They love every opportunity to party and get drunk. I think they will baptize her mainly so they can party.

This is just one more reminder for me of where I'm at. This is a country that is a strong hold for the devil. He has these people bound by religion. I pray that through the preaching of the Gospel many of these people will be set free!

The older sister of this little girl wants to be baptized in our Baptist Church. She has been saved and I will try to get her mom and dad's permission. Please pray that God will open their hearts and allow their little girl to obey God.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I'm back!

Our group from the States are gone. I took a day off and now I'm back in the swing of life in Croatia. We've been having great services. Usually we are way down in the summer and we pray for the fall. This summer has been really good. I pray it continues.

I spent 10 hours yesterday putting in two ceiling fans in our church. If you are wondering why it took so long, it's because I had no idea what I was doing. So far the Church hasn't burnt down. If it doesn't burn before Sunday then I call my work a success.

These fans are going to be a blessing. It's been very hot here lately and it's hard for people to sit in 90 degree weather.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Souls saved in Zagreb!

The vbs and revival are officially over, but the work is not. Monday I took the group to the capital for site seeing and soul-winning. We spent the day there and saw 14 souls call upon the Lord Jesus! That was an exciting day. I led 5 to the Lord myself! This brings our total to 24 souls saved. I was so excited, yet so burdened because there is not an independent Baptist Church in Zagreb. There are 1,000,000 people there and not 1 Independent Baptist Church. Please join me in praying for a laborer to go to this city!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Revival - day #4

Sunday we ended our revival! We were at Varazdin for the morning service. We had one first time visitor. The service was great and Bro. Jeff did a great job.

That evening we finished in Cakovec. We had 34 Croatians there. Bro. Jeff preached to the adults and I preached to the kids. I had 22 kids. We packed both vans out and it was great. My wife has been going to another Gypsy village and picking up kids there. I think she had 9 in here 7 passenger van and I had the rest in a 9 passenger van. We had kids sitting on top of each other.

There was an excitement in the Church and I think that this week was a great blessing to our people.

Soul-winning and Saturday picnic #3

Saturday we spent the morning soul-winning. I took half our group to Varazdin and Bro. Rich took the other half to Cakovec. Both groups passed out many tracts and there was one saved.

After Soul-winning we all met at the church and headed to the river for fellowship and food. This is what all Baptist in every country have in common. Picnics at the river in Croatia are like the old fashion picnics in America. There are no modern facilities, and you are basically away from civilization.

Everyone had a great spirit and we had a lot of fun. It was nice watching the group from Ohio playing with the Croatian kids. It was so funny watching them trying to communicate with them. The children did not mind the language barrier. I could tell they were really enjoying themselves.

As we left the river we provided a story for this group that they will be able to share with their church back home. The river has been flooding because of all the rain so on all the main entrances they have piles of dirt to keep people out and to keep the water from getting to their crops. Well a little dirt does not stop Croatians from a picnic. They told me Brother Johnny we can make it over the hill with our vans, and we did. However, They said nothing about how we could get out. It was a lot steeper on the other side of the hill. As we were leaving I lead the way and I made it over the hill. Brother Jason was driving the rent a van and he was not as lucky as I was. Let's just say he almost made it. I looked back to check on him and his van was at a strong angle and it looked like it might tip. We all ran to them and got them out. Then we were able to get the van off the hill and by God's grace we found another way out of that place.

All in all it was a great day! God blessed and protected!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Vbs and revival day #3

Just a quick note to say the Vbs ended great. The kids have been so excited. This will be a big boost to our children s ministries at the Church.

We spent another day out soul-winning. So far 10 people have trusted Christ. Many have said they will be at the Church on Sunday.

I am anxiously waiting to see what God is going to do!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Vbs and revival day #2

We had another great day yesterday! The day started with VBS. There was about 33 kids present, and they all had a great time with the program. It started with a big puppet show. It was really neat, the group of Americans that are with us worked the puppets and some of our people did the voices. I don't know how, but it all worked out.

The group also spent a lot of time in town passing out tracts and witnessing to people. Bro. Bartlet, the pastor, won a lady to the Lord today. He and I were both so excited about it!

The day ended with our revival meeting, and it was out standing! Brother Cox preached a great message on God's grace. It was exactly what our people needed. Also we had a much better crowd tonight. Many of the people we had lost recently were there. Following the service there was much fellowship. This was a blessing to me.

One little girl in the church said, I think I'm going to cry when they leave.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Great Start!

We had a great start to our VBS and revival meeting. Our guest, 15 Americans arrived on Tuesday from Toledo Baptist Temple. We have hit off great and the Lord has already blessed the time they have been with us. Their ladies are organizing our VBS. They brought a lot of things from America with them, and the kids had a blast. There were about 35 kids show up for the first day. For Croatians standards this is great. Most Croatian parents would not let their children go to a Baptist Church and especially not with out them.

While the ladies were handling the VBS I took a group of their men into town for Soul winning. We had 5 saved! Praise the Lord!

That night we started our revival meeting and Brother Jeff Cox from Kansas City preached. He did a great job. We are looking forward to tonight's service. Please keep this week in your prayers that many more souls will be saved!

Monday, July 6, 2009

I Pledge Allegiance!

I came across this on another blog and really enjoyed it, hope you do as well!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

People, People, People!

Why do people have to be people? I heard one preacher say, "I'd be a great Pastor if it weren't for people." I think as a missionary sometimes I feel that way. This week has been rather difficult. Most of the problems have stemmed from people. We are almost finished with the New Testament in the translation that we are doing. My good friend James Rasbeary said to me, " get ready for a fight from the devil." How prophetic he was, after he made that statement it seems everything has went wrong.

Just yesterday I called one of two sisters that come to the church in Varazdin to see why they haven't come lately. They informed me that they are taking a break from Church. They said that since they have been coming to Church they have had problems in their lives. Who doesn't have problems? I tried to inform them that their decision was a bad one and a dangerous one. They both have been coming to our church for about 7 years. We have spent much time an energy on them, trying to help them to grow. Tori was good friends with one of them. It amazes me how people can be faithful to church for 7 years and have friends there, then they quit and not even tell anybody.

At first I was a little angry, but then I realized this must have been a little of what the Lord felt. The difference between Him and I is that He is perfect! Isn't it wonderful that the Lord loves people! No matter how difficult or strange they may be He loves them. Isn't it wonderful that He wants to use you and I to love them as well. He wants to love people through us!

I don't understand people! I probably never will, but I do know that we are to allow the Lord to love them through us. The normal ones and even the strange ones!

Friday, July 3, 2009

We're not in Kansas anymore! #3

Yesterday I spent my morning at the dentist office. She told me I had a few teeth to fix, and my insurance here covers it, so I said why not. Big mistake! I go in, sit in the chair, and brace for the worse. Then I begin to here the drill, and she says open wide. Wait a minute, I think she forgot a step. Wasn't she suppose to give me a shot or something to deaden my mouth? I don't have a lot of practice at this. But I do remember 18 years ago going to the dentist and he gave me a shot before he drilled. For a minute I thought maybe she was communist and hated Americans. Maybe this was her way of getting a little revenge for the Berlin wall thing.

Well I embraced for the worse. At first not much pain, but then I think she was hitting something that she was not supposed to. As a natural reflex I tried to stop the drill with my tongue. After all it was my only defense. The dentist just said don't do that sir. My response was, It hurts. She said, just a little longer. I think what she meant was buck up and be a man.

She finally finished, and honestly it wasn't that bad. I might even go back and have my other tooth fixed.