March Personal Update

March 29, 2017 10:17 am

Thank you for taking the time to read this longer personal report. In my regular prayer letter I had a really good story that I wanted to share. As a consequence, all the personal stuff got bumped out. So here is the all family news and ministry info that didn’t make it into the regular letter.

January—Back to PCC

We took James back to Pensacola for his 4th semester at PCC. While were there we enjoyed time with family and friends. It is always an encouragement to see people who have been serving in their places for 20 years or more. God doesn’t call everyone to stay in the same place for such a long time, but it sure is refreshing to see those who continue to eagerly serve the Lord where they are.

After the Florida trip, I was able to preach at Calvary Baptist Church in Sparta, Tennessee. Pastor Yockey is another one of those faithful servants of the Lord. We met about 20 years ago and he continues to faithfully serve the Lord. It was at Calvary that I preached a two-sermon series based on the same story that is in my latest prayer letter.

Eli and Katie Guiltner: Missionaries to Japan.

Missions Conference

We greatly enjoyed the missions conference at Faith Baptist Church in Jefferson City, Tennessee. We were not there as guest missionaries, but we were sure blessed to be a part of the week. This is the church we attend when we are home at the mission board office. At the conference we were reunited with old friends and made new ones. Ron and Sarah Smith are BIO missionaries serving in Cambodia. I love Ron’s consistency through the years that I have known him. The church already supports their ministry

Eli and Katie Guiltner were new missionaries for the church, but not strangers to our family. I met Katie several years ago when she was just starting to raise her support to go to Japan. You should take the time to listen to an interview I did with her in 2009. Though she’s now married and has a baby girl, her energy for ministry and passion for the Lord has not changed since we did that interview.

SMART training with missionaries and church members.

The Essentials of SMART Computing

At the Faith Baptist conference I taught a SMART class on basic computing. This is a ministry of our mission board to equip missionaries with the knowledge they need to be long-term servants of God. In the class I taught various things, but the biggest emphasis was on using a computer more efficiently and protecting the work they have already done so that the missionaries can be more productive.

A Temporary Good-bye

I had been concerned about the salvation of a friend. When he told me that he was going to go into Hospice care, I knew that was the best time to talk with him about his salvation since he was already thinking about eternity. When I asked him about his relationship with God he replied, “I’m good with God.”

I proceeded to lay out for him what the Bible said about being in good standing with God. He encouraged me to continue talking, but did not indicate either way whether he agreed with me or not. It was an awkward end to the conversation with him just staring at me and not responding. After a long stare he mischievously, in his ever playful manner, changed the subject with still no indication of what he was thinking.

I was very burdened and concerned for him, but while I consider him a friend, our relationship with one another has been a professional relationship. I had no appropriate way to see him outside of that relationship. When I heard my friend was back in the hospital (and it would be his last time), I drove an hour to visit him. I knew his wife was saved and that she would be at the hospital with him. I was pleased to talk with her and find out that she was confident in his salvation testimony. He was not in a lucid state when I visited, but his wife told me about when he was saved as a 12-year-old boy at a vacation Bible school class. I told her about the day I laid out the Gospel for him and that he would not respond either way. She assured me that he was playing with me and that he knew well what the Bible taught about salvation. I was relieved to get that information.

Getting ready to harvest goodies from computer printers.

Community Outreach

I had a good time earlier this month teaching a group of kids at our local library how to be hackers. No, not the kind you see on TV cracking into some secure network, but what I consider to be the real kind of hacker—a person who makes a piece of hardware or software do something that it was not originally intended to do. We tore printers apart and got motors and gears out of them for future robotics projects. I taught them a bit about what kinds of things can be harvested out of discarded technology so that it can be used and not sit rotting in a landfill. We did a class on basic electronic circuits and we made a couple of fun projects.

Though many of the kids at the classes were kids I had invited from church, we were able to build friendships with other children in our community that we can possibly minister to in the future.

Through previous community sign language classes that I taught at the library, we have seen a few visitors at church. This was my first time to specifically teach a community outreach class for children. I am excited to see how God might use it to bring others to Him.

California, Here I Come!

Bro. John Yingling (BIO President) and I will fly to California this weekend and spend a few days promoting missions and the board with the students at West Coast Baptist College. This is our first trip there and we are both excited about building this relationship with the school. I have several friends whose kids are at the school. I trust God will use this time to encourage the students to be involved in missions—whether it is through BIO or not.

Thank you for taking the time to come and read this longer (and less formal) version of my prayer letter. I know the official letter was quite a bit different than normal, but I have been so impacted by the life of Bro. Hamrick that I continue to think about those stories his children told even three months after I heard them.

Thank you for your prayers and continued involvement in our ministry.

March 2017 Prayer Letter

10:14 am

Dear Praying Friends,
At the end of last year I met a man, not on his deathbed, but at his funeral. I attended the funeral of a man I had never previously met—but I sure wish I had. Audley Hamrick was a career missionary working in New Mexico. I learned about him through stories that his five children told at the funeral. I wonder if these things could be said of you and me?

A Faithful Witness
Bro. Hamrick’s oldest son told the story of the hardest spanking he ever received. Bro. Hamrick spanked himself for an offense that the son had done. This was his way of teaching each one of the children that God took our punishment on Himself for our sins.

The youngest daughter told of a vacation trip she and her parents went on. She enjoyed a long, casual conversation with a stranger while her dad patiently waited beside her. As soon as she was done with the conversation, Bro. Hamrick stepped forward with a Gospel tract and began witnessing to the man. The daughter was convicted by the example of her dad’s concern for souls and how that she needed that same concern.

We should seek to use everyday events to share the Gospel of Christ with those around us. I had one such encounter last month when I witnessed to a friend who was near death but had never given me a clear salvation testimony. I was pleased to learn that he had accepted Christ as his Savior as a 12-year-old boy.

A Godly Example
The second child in the family told how patient and compassionate their dad was when she, in disobedience, led a group of other teenagers on a hike and got them stuck on the side of a mountain. In the dark, Bro. Hamrick climbed the rock face to rescue the group of kids. In his quiet, gentle way, he taught the lesson that God is patient and forgiving with us even when we are disobedient.

Another son told how, that as an adult who was frustrated and impatient with his co-workers, he sat down to read the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew. Even in his low-level rebellion against his parents, he began to see how his dad was a shining example of everything he read in the Beatitudes of Matthew 5. His attitude towards his parents and those around him began to change.

Finally, the third daughter told how that their parents were always willing to counsel the children and point them to the Lord—even when they crawled up in their parents bed in the middle of the night.

May we each look to God to help us be a witness and an example of what we learn in His Word. We should live out our lives in such a way that our children and the world around us can see that we are a child of God and seek to glorify Him. I look forward to meeting Bro. Hamrick in Heaven and thanking him for being such a powerful example for me.

For more personal news this month, please visit www.dpeach.com where I give a detailed report of the last couple of months.

You can download a printable PDF version of this letter.

December 2016 Prayer Letter

December 21, 2016 2:55 pm

Dear Praying Friends,
Merry Christmas! This time of year is a great reminder of why we are involved in ministry. Yet it is also an opportunity to slow down for a few days and enjoy time with family.

For a fifth year in a row I was privileged to represent BIO at Ambassador Baptist College during their missions conference. I enjoy being with the young people as they remind me that God is still calling people into the ministry to do His will. It is a refreshing and encouraging week for me each year.

We had a wonderful time of fellowship with other missionaries and pastors at our annual November Meeting at BIO. This year the meeting was held at Faith Baptist Church right next to the BIO office. The church took care of the audio recording. This freed me up to focus on interpreting for a few deaf friends and missionaries who were with us. If you would like to listen to the messages from the conference you can find them at the BIO website.

Merry Christmas!

One of the churches with an active deaf ministry near us is Belle Meadows Baptist Church. They invited our family to be with them for their annual Christmas party on a Saturday night and for me to preach on Sunday morning for them. We had a wonderful time with our deaf brothers and sisters in the eastern tip of Tennessee.

Many of you will remember the extreme flooding that Louisiana experienced in August of this year. BIO and Faith Baptist Church in Jefferson City, Tennessee organized a mission trip to help rebuild a couple of the churches destroyed by the rains. The damage is so extensive that the churches are essentially keeping the external walls and having to rebuild/replace everything inside. At least one of the buildings is scheduled for bulldozing. The church members are not able to dedicate a large amount of time to rebuilding their church because many of them have had to bulldoze their own homes and are in the process of putting their lives back together.

However, as horrible of an experience as they have had, there was a wonderful spirit of love and unity within the churches. While I don’t remember anyone expressly saying they were thankful for the flood, the vast majority of the church members were beaming with joy because they are actively experiencing the presence of God in a way they have never seen before. They were so thankful for the work we accomplished. I was so thankful just to be in their presence.

Thank you for your continued prayers for our ministry. Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Louisiana and consider reaching out to those in your community who need to see God’s love.

David Peach

You can get a PDF version of this letter for printing.

August 2016 Prayer Letter

August 11, 2016 9:18 am

Dear Praying Friends,
This month we celebrate 23 years of marriage and the completion of 22 years of ministry!

Attendees of the training school

Missionaries at the BIO Training School

Training School
We held the annual BIO Missionary Training School at our office in June. We hosted our missionaries who are working with the Deaf. This meant that Stephanie and I either taught or interpreted each class.

Bill Rice Ranch
I was asked to help preach and teach at the Bill Rice Ranch for two weeks in July. We enjoyed being back where our ministry began over two decades ago.

During the first week of camp we saw 4 Deaf trust the Lord as their Savior. There were 6 more who trusted Christ during the second week!

Norman was one of the boys in the class that I taught each day during the second week. It was exciting to have him come to me at the invitation and declare, “I thought I had to be baptized to be saved. I thought I had to go to church to be saved. Now I know that I need to trust Christ to be saved.” At that point, without any prompting from me, he began to pray and ask the Lord to forgive his sins and to save him! Pray for Norman and his spiritual growth.

I was also asked to be part of a team that was preaching to a group of Korean young people who came to camp. They are visiting the United States from a school in South Korea. Though they go to a Christian school, the teachers knew that many of them were not saved. I was only involved in their first of two weeks at camp. During their second week, after we had laid a very clear foundation for the Gospel, 10 of the students asked the Lord to save them with 3 others receiving help with assurance of salvation. Praise the Lord!

Ethiopian Ministry
On my trip to Ethiopia in December of 2012 I met Bizuayehu Assefa, a deaf pastor who quickly became a dear friend. Recently, after suffering a massive stroke, Bro. Bizuayehu passed away in July. Pray for his family and for the churches that he helped to lead. If you would like to help support Bizuayehu’s widow and the churches in Ethiopia with a financial gift, you can send that to the BIO office with his name clearly marked on it.
As always, thank you for your continued involvement in our ministry.

A printable PDF version of the August 2016 Prayer Letter is available for download.

May 2016 Prayer Letter

May 16, 2016 1:13 am

Dear Praying Friends,
We were blessed to visit several of our supporting churches during a recent trip to Texas. This included our sending church in Odessa. We greatly enjoyed reconnecting with people we have not seen in a few years.

We spent a couple of days with our dear friends David and Flora Hartsfield and I spoke in their church. The next night I spoke with a group of deaf refugees. I enjoyed seeing various churches work to reach these people that God has brought from the other side of the world. Our friend Debi coordinates this ministry to the Deaf. She is a faithful missionary with whom we have previously worked.

It was an honor to be one of the guests at a missions conference in Abilene. The pastor, Bro. Winn, was my youth pastor and best friend in high school. I have learned much from him and his family in the almost 35 years we have known each other. I am encouraged by his faithfulness.

Bro. Winn and I went soul winning together during the conference. I was thrilled to see his passion to share the Gospel has not waned. We both took on our familiar roles: he carefully and gently led a young lady to an understanding of the Gospel while I prayed silently and did what I could to keep Chaos, the dog, from living up to his name.

Photo of me and leaders at a Nigerian deaf school.

Visiting a deaf school started by Missionary Andrew Foster. Nigeria, 2009.

In Big Spring I had fun showing pictures of one of my trips to Africa to a group of Nigerian college students. Several of them attended a school that I had visited during that trip. Its is likely that they were there the day I visited their school!

Also in Big Spring I spoke in a deaf church started by a former missionary to the Deaf in Mexico, Jim Walterhouse. The church celebrated their 3 year anniversary a couple of weeks before we arrived. It is exciting to see how God is using our friends to further His work.

We then spent a week in Odessa with friends and family. I enjoyed preaching during all the Sunday services of our sending church while we were there.

In June we will host our annual training school at the BIO office. I will also be preaching again at the Bill Rice Ranch for two weeks this summer. We appreciate your prayers as we continue to serve the Lord in the coming days.

A printable PDF version of the May 2106 prayer letter is available for download.

March 2016 Prayer Letter

March 3, 2016 2:30 pm

Dear Praying Friends,
This new year has opened up a few new opportunities for us to serve the Lord in the ministry to the Deaf. As I’ve gotten focused on the work, I have been caught off guard as to how quickly time has gotten away from me. Recently I told a church that they were hearing my “new prayer letter” in person and that I would be writing the paper version in a couple of days. That was two weeks ago! Where has the time gone?

Sign Language Classes
As I did a few months ago, I am teaching a sign language class at two of our local libraries. In the previous class I was able to get one of the students interested in coming to church with us. She came faithfully for a couple of months but still has not made a decision for the Lord. We are praying that the Word of God will take root and that she and her children will accept the Lord.

I was asked to teach a class in an interpreter training program at Crown College in Knoxville. This is especially exciting since the majority of the students at the school are preparing to serve the Lord in local churches or on the mission field. I am thrilled at knowing that these students are serious about serving the Lord and about thoroughly preparing themselves in the area of deaf ministry.

Missions Conferences
We have recently been in two different missions conferences. One was at a church that has supported us for 16 years. It is a blessing to see many of the same faces that we first met so many years ago. The other conference was at the Campus Church of Pensacola Christian College. We were there representing our mission board as well as sharing our burden for reaching the Deaf. We talked with many students and enjoyed time with several old friends. Some are on faculty and staff at the school and others were classmates who have now been in faithful service as missionaries since we all graduated over 20 years ago.

Home
We are looking forward to a trip to Texas in a few weeks. We were asked to be in a missions conference in April that will take us to within a couple hundred miles of our home church. We look forward to visiting family and friends while we are there.

Ministry has been busy but enjoyable. We covet your prayers as we continue to train others in the work of sharing the Gospel with the Deaf.

A printable PDF version of the March 2106 prayer letter is available for download.

November 2015 Prayer Letter

November 23, 2015 1:52 pm

Dear Praying Friends,
Happy Thanksgiving! As Christians, we have much to be thankful for all year. I am truly thankful for the ministry God has called us to. That doesn’t mean the ministry is always easy, but it is comforting to know that we are in God’s will and He has a plan for all that takes place.

College
Our son James is now a freshman at Pensacola Christian College. He is almost done with his first semester. We look forward to spending Thanksgiving with him and my parents this week. James has grown tremendously in his maturity over the last year. We pray that God will use this time of school to continue developing him into the man God desires him to be.

PeruPerú
In October I needed to go to Perú. While it was a ministry trip with a specific goal, it turned out to be a personally enjoyable time. I have many friends in Perú and I enjoyed seeing a good number of them during my 3-week trip.

I preached 13 times in 7 different ministries. Six times were to the Deaf.

While in Perú I spent time with some friends from Argentina who were some of our best students when we were starting the deaf ministry in La Plata, Argentina a few years ago. This couple recently moved to Perú and are looking forward to greater ministry opportunities as they get more involved with the deaf community.

Interpreting
Stephanie and I are both continuing to enjoy a ministry as community interpreters. At times we aren’t called on much to interpret and other times we are almost overwhelmed with appointments. However, in the busyness of it all, I enjoy the opportunity to minister to the Deaf in a practical way. Recently, in a casual conversation with a deaf lady I had never previously met, I enjoyed seeing her face light up as she spontaneously shared with me her salvation testimony. Those are the times that I enjoy most about the many hours sitting and chatting while waiting for an appointment to progress.

We covet your prayers for our ministry. As with all missionaries, we enjoy when you can write a quick email and give us news about your ministry and tell us how we can pray for you too.

May God richly bless you during this holiday season.

A printable PDF version of the November 2015 prayer letter is available for download.

Peru Trip 2015

October 15, 2015 8:32 am

I haven’t said anything about my trip to Peru in any of my prayer letters because this trip was planned somewhat on short notice. Then when it did get scheduled it was nestled between a few other events that diverted my attention. But, I am a week into a three-week trip and you are just now reading about it.

Street scene

When I was here 24 years ago this road was all dirt. I don’t remember any buildings taller than 1 story on this street.

It is good to be back in my beloved Peru. I fell in love with Peru during my second trip here. That was in 1991. I spent 4 and a half months working at a church and school for the Deaf named Efata. Though my main purpose for being here isn’t Efata, they have been gracious in giving me a place to stay and providing me opportunities to preach to the Deaf. I really appreciate their offer of housing because I absolutely love being back here.

I am enjoying visiting many of my friends in and around Lima, but my main reason for being here is to spend some time with one of our BIO missionary families and see what I can do to help them and their ministry in various ways.

An added blessing is having some friends from the deaf ministry in Argentina who are also here at this time. My goal with them is to continue to encourage them in their work with the Deaf. I pray that as they are here in Peru they will get the extra training they seek as well as have a fruitful ministry among the Deaf.

I also get to play grandpa to their kids. After a visit with an older missionary couple this morning we are going to spend the day at the zoo. I pray that God will use this time of casual conversation to strengthen our relationship and that I can be a help to my friends in the ministry. I trust that God has us both here for a specific purpose and I want to be sensitive to what that purpose may be.

August 2015 Prayer Letter

August 17, 2015 9:09 am

Dear Praying Friends,
We have had a wonderful summer full of ministry opportunities and enjoyable reunions.

Training School
The annual BIO Training School was a blessed time of learning and fellowship. What made this year special is that we held our training sessions in the new BIO Training Center. This is the lower floor of our office building. The Training Center is in a “not quite complete” state. Using it in this condition helped us learn how we can better use the space while we can still make design changes.

The classes were tremendous and I always learn from them. I taught two classes: one on communication and one on a technology topic. I trust the missionaries also benefited from this special week of training.

Deaf Camp
Stephanie and I enjoyed a week of deaf camp at the Bill Rice Ranch together. Then I returned for a second week without her. I taught the first-time boys’ class and was able to pray with 4 young men as they accepted the Lord during camp. We had 16 young people trust the Lord as Savior during my two weeks at camp. There were 26 Deaf saved this summer at the Ranch.

Photo of me presenting award.

Pablo Ramirez working with BIO for 25 years.

Catching Up
During Training School I always enjoy spending time with other missionaries. This year I had an extra special treat in that I got to be with my friend Pablo Ramirez from Costa Rica. It was an honor to present him with a 25-year service award as he and his wife have ministered to the Deaf through BIO these many years.

Of course there were many old friends that we saw while serving at the Bill Rice Ranch this summer. We enjoyed seeing them all.

At Home
Last week I met Kevin, a deaf man who recently moved to my area from the other side of the state. Kevin told me that he had gone to the Bill Rice Ranch as a camper during the 90s. Though I don’t specifically remember him, we were there at the same time. Kevin assured me that he was saved, but he wasn’t saved at the Ranch. His father was a pastor and clearly presented the Gospel to Kevin when he was a boy. I am thankful for parents—especially parents of the Deaf—who take an active role in teaching their children about the Lord.

Thank you for continuing to help us carry the Gospel to those Deaf who aren’t privileged to learn about the Lord from their parents.

A printable version of this letter is available for download in PDF format.

May Prayer Letter

June 1, 2015 10:51 am

Dear Praying Friends,
A few days ago I was showing my parents around the historic city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee when we happened to meet a deaf friend. She requested that I interpret a funeral for her family the next day. This was the second funeral that my wife and I have been involved in as interpreters since our last letter. These are open doors to share God’s love and grace with hearing and Deaf who have questions about eternity.

photo of our daughter and pastor

Our daughter Leyla with Pastor David Cross

Our good friend and supporting pastor, David Cross met his savior the day before Easter. With the Lord’s help, he fought cancer for 12 years. Through everything that was going on in his life, he was a great example and role model for his family and the church. He will be missed. The ministry of the church will continue strong because of Pastor Cross’ preparation for this time and his sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s leading.

Graduations
We were able to attend the graduation of my younger brother when he received his Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) a couple of weeks ago. Our son graduated from high school this past weekend. It is hard to believe that he is old enough for this. However, he has shown great maturity over the last few months. That makes it easier to believe that he is ready, even if we aren’t. You can see pictures from these graduations at dpeach.com.

Preaching Opportunities
I have preached in two different deaf churches in the last few weeks. I also voice interpreted for our good friend Ronnie Rice when he preached in a hearing church in our area. I look forward to spending 2 weeks with Bro. Ronnie and Allen Snare this summer as I preach at the Bill Rice Ranch for deaf camps.

Right Place, Right Time
On a Wednesday night a few weeks ago the young people stayed with the adults instead of going to their normal youth classes. The interim pastor wanted us to spend more time together in prayer after the death of Pastor Cross. I prayed with some of the young people. When we finished praying and were just chatting, one of the young boys casually said to me, “I’ve been wanting to talk with someone about getting saved.”

What a wonderful open door to step through! I prayed with him and went to talk with one of the youth workers about his decision. When I returned, I asked the other two boys if they were saved. One confidently replied that he was. The other boy responded with long pauses between his words, “Yes. I think. Actually, I don’t know.” I was privileged to share Bible verses and pray with him to be saved.

Training School
Our biggest meeting of the year for the mission board is coming up in a few weeks. Please pray for us as we teach various classes to our new missionaries and some of our veterans. Some classes will be office procedures while others will be focused on being more effective ministers for the Lord. Training week is June 22-26. We would appreciate your prayers for this important meeting.

A printable version of this letter is available for download in PDF format.