“But when HE saw the multitudes,
HE was moved with compassion on them,
because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
Then saith HE unto HIS disciples,
The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
pray ye therefore the LORD of the harvest,
that HE will send forth labourers into HIS harvest.”
“And I, brethren, when I came to you,
came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom,
declaring unto you the testimony of GOD.
For I determined not to know any thing among you,
save JESUS CHRIST, and HIM crucified.
And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom,
but in demonstration of the SPIRIT and of power:
that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men,
but in the power of GOD.”
Some items in this month’s newsletter:
- Visit from the Klein family/Edwin and Shirley and family and update
- Earl and Tasha
- Frankie and Scarlet
- Fort Smith/Van Buren
Greetings, dear brothers and sisters in the LORD JESUS CHRIST and friends. We thank the LORD for HIS continued goodness to us as we seek to serve HIM. As we begin to share this month’s newsletter, we would like to ask the patience of those who are already aware of some of the recent ministry events here in Blytheville, AR and who have been faithfully praying with and for us, as we attempt to share some of these events with other readers. Thanks.
Earlier this month, the LORD blessed us with a visit from the Klein family of Missouri. Prior to the Klein’s arrival, it was suggested that we spend some of our fellowship time at a park and this was fine with us. For a good amount of the time at the park, most of the children were playing a game together. Not too far away, there was a mother pushing her daughter on a swing. The child was looking intently at the other children playing the game. At some point, seeing how the child was preoccupied with what the other children were doing, there was the mind to ask her mother if she could join in and thanks to the LORD she did. While the children were playing our sister Debbie Klein began conversing with the mother.
Later on, as the mother and daughter were leaving the park, a tract for the mother and a wristband with the imprint “Believe on the LORD JESUS CHRIST, and you shall be saved” was given for the daughter and accepted. Almost immediately the mother said, “Pray for my family!” It was communicated to her that we would, LORDwilling. The mother gave the names of the family: Edwin and Shirley and their two children. Shirley went on to say that she was Catholic.
Some days later while out on the doors, to our surprise the LORD directed our steps and answered our prayer to be able to meet with this family once again. However, Edwin was not present at that time.
Since soon after beginning to go out on the doors in this city there has been a strong opposition to the Gospel and the things of the LORD and at one point there was the mind just to hang packets on the doors of homes instead of trying to engage people in conversations. This had changed some at this point and occasionally knocking on some of the doors had resumed.
After arriving to Edwin and Shirley’s house, Shirley surprisingly asked, “Did you pray for my family?” It was assured to her that we did. There is a very, very strong Catholic presence in their home. It was mentioned that all of the family (extended) were also Catholic.
Thus, we were very thankful to the LORD for the opportunity to speak with Edwin and Shirley’s son Ashley about the LORD JESUS CHRIST. Ashley was told how GOD is holy and perfect and how HE cannot be in the presence of sin and that our sins separate us from GOD. It was mentioned to Ashley of how John the Baptist proclaimed, “...Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Ashley mentioned that he hears this verse every week at church. Though we are not sure of the measure there seemed to be something that evening that by GOD’S grace, may have “clicked” in Ashley’s understanding of this verse. Thanks to the LORD, while this conversation with Ashley was taking place, Shirley was listening in.
The LORD allowed the door to remain open with this family and we were welcomed to come back anytime in the afternoons, in the will of the LORD. Shirley intensely mentioned multiple times and at different times throughout the conversation to “Pray for my family!” as well as a reminder before leaving their home that evening.
Several days later, the LORD allowed another follow-up visit with Shirley and her children. Once again, Shirley wanted to know if her family was being prayed for. Thanks to the LORD, we were able to assure her again that (by GOD’S grace) they were being prayed for.
The booklet, “What is the CHRISTian Faith? (If the Bible was Your Only Resource)” written by our brother Randal P. Amos was shared with the family. In addition, a copy of the “Good News for You” children’s music CD which has songs like, “SAVIOR of Sinners”, “Free, Free, Free”, “Believe on the LORD JESUS CHRIST” on it was shared alsohttp://saintsserving.net/collection.php?id=11.
During this visit it was communicated that Ashley was taking a P.R.E. (Parish Religious Education) class and that he had already gone through his 1st communion. Ashley was asked if he knew what 1st communion was and if he knew who should take it and why. Thanks to the LORD, he honestly answered that he did not.
Shirley was asked if (when she was younger) if she did these things (rituals) and if she understood them. She answered that she did. So in response to Ashley’s answer of not knowing about these things (rituals), Oliver suggested to Ashley that they should get together and study about these things sometime. Shirley eagerly said, “Saturday! Saturday!” which was a time that had been prearranged earlier during that visit but was later rescheduled for today at 5 p.m. when Edwin would be home.
During today’s visit after meeting Edwin and talking about things of life, the LORD allowed Oliver to share his testimony (having been raised Catholic) as well as the Gospel with this family, for which we give the LORD thanks. While sharing, it was mentioned that it is through the LORD JESUS CHRIST alone and the WORD of GOD alone that a person can be right with GOD and not from religion, good works or rituals. Unfortunately, as these thoughts were being shared Edwin did not seem to receive these truths in the manner that Shirley did, who seemed to be listening intently to all that was being said.
Towards the end of the conversation an offer for a Bible study was extended and after waiting awhile Edwin replied, “I’ll give you a call.” Soon after, Shirley mentioned that their son Ashley could use it (the Bible study). Before leaving, once again Shirley said, “Pray for my family.” It is our desire that in the near future Shirley (and her entire family) will know the reality of prayers uttered on their behalf and answered by a GRACIOUS FATHER in their receiving HIS BELOVED SON, the LORD JESUS CHRIST’S finished work in dying on the cross as the only perfect sacrifice for the penalty of their sins. We would ask the continued prayers of the saints on behalf of this family to be born again, in the will of the LORD. Thanks.
Earl and Tasha were met while out on the doors and both professed to be born again. These two souls seem to earnestly have a desire to follow the LORD but have been disillusioned with many of the unbiblical spiritual activities that take place where they are presently fellowshipping. The booklet, “Is It Possible To Meet As A New Testament Church Today?” published by Gospel Folio Press was shared with them.
Frankie and Scarlet were also met while out on the doors. There seemed to be a genuine desire from both to want to learn more about the LORD JESUS CHRIST. Both Frankie and Scarlet mentioned something to the effect that having tried many things in search of pleasure that they were tired and were ready to try the LORD JESUS CHRIST.
Tommy believes that he is a good guy. It was mentioned to Tommy that he must be born again in order for him to enter into heaven.
Steven hopes that he is going to heaven but he does not know how. A Gospel according to John was shared with him.
Nate is looking for “a church” to go to. Unfortunately, Nate thought that all he had to do was go “to church and be baptized” in order to go to heaven.
“O” said that he will get right with the LORD soon. “O” was asked if he could guarantee that he would be around the next day. He said, “No!”and then gave the real life example of how his mother was here one day and died the next. “O” was given a “Think of Your Future” booklet.
As was mentioned above, there has been a strong opposition to the Gospel and the things of the LORD in this city unlike many of the other places that the LORD has allowed us to be in. We found it interesting that while out on the doors on two different occasions, that two different people (one a CHRISTian and one an unbeliever), who live in two different parts of the city, mentioned “That there is a lot of sin in this city.” We would ask the prayers of the saints on behalf of the souls here in Blytheville, AR, in the will of the LORD. Thanks.
We thank the LORD for the work that continues to go on in Fort Smith/Van Buren areas. Our brother Alex continues to be in touch with some of the residents from the Senior Retirement Community, for which we give the LORD thanks.
In addition, brother Alex is still in contact with some in the Anderson family. One Sunday evening, Mr. Anderson sent a text asking prayer for his sister Rhonda, who was going to have heart surgery the next day and that she did not know whether or not she was born again. By GOD’S grace, communication was made with brother Alex and thanks to the LORD, his mother and he were willing to go to the hospital that evening to visit with Rhonda. Thanks to the LORD, while visiting there was an opportunity to pray for Rhonda and a Gospel tract and a Gospel according to John was left for her to read. In addition, Rhonda’s son Chase was there with her and he was invited to come to the Bible studies at the Anderson’s house, in the will of the LORD. Once again (as was mentioned in last month’s newsletter), we give thanks to the LORD, WHO is able to “Rejoice the soul of...” HIS “...servant...” and WHO has rejoiced our souls in HIM.
As we begin to bring this newsletter to a close, more and more we are realizing our need to pray and seek the LORD’S help and guidance in every area of our lives. This is a good exercise and we are learning to be more thankful to the LORD for the realization of this needed dependence on HIM. In addition, we are realizing the TRUTH of HIS WORD which says, “I am the VINE, ye are the branches: he that abideth in ME, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without ME ye can do nothing.”
With this in mind LORDwilling, we would like to share the following portion from the WORD of GOD with our dear brothers and sisters in the LORD JESUS CHRIST. Thanks.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the LORD, and in the power of HIS might.
Put on the whole armour of GOD, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,
but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of GOD,
that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with TRUTH, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the SPIRIT, which is the WORD of GOD: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the SPIRIT, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the Gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”
In closing, we thank the LORD for the faithful prayers of the saints. In addition, we thank the LORD for the encouragement in HIS work which HE has bestowed on us. We thank the LORD for each of you and wish you well.
With love, in the LORD JESUS CHRIST, WHOSE “...name is called The WORD of GOD,”
Oliver and Tisha Leigh John-Baptiste
Brethren, pray for us.