March 2021 Prayer Letter

March 5, 2021 11:50 am

Dear Praying Friends,
This weekend, as the final service of a mission conference, the pastor asked for testimonies about the conference or recent days. I was eager to share with the church what I have seen the Lord doing around us over the last two years.

When I first heard the radio program Unshackled!, I thought the stories seemed so incredible that they had to be about a different time and place. At the time I was in college and thought, “surely those stories don’t happen as dramatically today.” Now, in my 27th year of ministry, I know those stories are not too far-fetched for the grace of God. I had said as much to a couple of men in church on a Sunday morning.

That same morning during the preaching service, I sat thinking about some of the people around me. Behind me was a man that, when I met him last summer, he said he was saved and had been a pretty good church attender; at least, he was until he quit going to church about 70 years ago. He didn’t seem to have much understanding of what a relationship with Jesus meant. Our conversation ended with me telling him I would be praying for him since his wife had just passed away. He planned to start coming to our church with his son.

A couple of months later, my new friend finally understood who Christ was and why He died. He placed his trust in Christ. He now comes to church with questions and an eagerness to learn about the Bible.

Then I thought about another man who sat a few rows in front of me that Sunday morning. About a year and a half ago—a few weeks after he was saved—I was visiting him in an alcohol rehab facility. The story he told me at rehab was every bit worthy of an Unshackled! story. He told how, many years ago, he stood over his (then) wife and her lover in the bedroom. As he stood there with a loaded gun ready to kill both of them, he realized that their lives were not worth going to prison over. He lowered the gun and left.

As he told me that story, he was nearing 60 years old and had spent most of his life drunk. His new wife, who was saved at our church earlier in the year, was ready to leave him because of his abusive alcoholic behavior. The sincere threat of her leaving caused him to call the pastor to finally get help.

Pastor showed him that his greatest need was for Christ to save him. This man received Jesus Christ that day and his hunger for the things of God skyrocketed as quickly as his desire for alcohol left him. He says he has never been tempted to drink since the day he was saved.

There’s not room to give details of the dozen people who have come to Christ because of the influence of this couple. Nor how we prayed just a couple of weeks ago as they went to the hospital at the request of a dying neighbor to explain the salvation that had changed their lives. We rejoiced when the neighbor accepted the Lord.

As I thought about these stories that Sunday morning, the pastor said something about living in darkness without God. A hard of hearing lady (herself saved out of an abusive cult), who speaks louder than she knows, leaned over to the pastor’s wife and said, “That was me! Before Christ, my life was so dark!”

I sat there and cried through the rest of the service thinking about how good the salvation of God is and how He has the power to change lives in incredible ways.

Because of our traveling ministry, we don’t often get to see the growth and transformation in people like we have over the last few years. As I tried to summarize all of this in a testimony last Sunday night, I was thankful to God for the privilege of serving Him globally through BIO, but also locally through a Gospel preaching church.

Thank you for helping us serve in this way.

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

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