Archive for the 'Prayer Letter' category

October 2020 Prayer Letter

October 15, 2020 2:31 pm

Dear Praying Friends,
The craziness fun of camps and training school is complete for this summer. COVID-19 was not powerful enough to keep eight (8) deaf young people from accepting the Lord as their Savior!

Photo of David teaching at the BIO Training School.
Teaching at Training School

Training School
We had a great group of missionaries at our annual training school. In attendance were a couple of new missionary candidates, a husband and wife couple who joined the board within the last year, and several veteran missionaries. We had classes in finances, communication, health, family, and spiritual matters.

Trip Update
In our previous letter, I had mentioned three possible trips later this year. One has been canceled (Chile), the second one is still tentative (Spain) and the third has been postponed (Togo).

Passport Renewal
My current passport will expire soon. As I prepared to send it in with the renewal application, I looked through it and was reminded of the places I have been in the last nine and a half years.

This passport began its life when we were living in Argentina. Recent good news from Argentina is that a couple that we taught sign language have finished seminary training and are now raising their support to go to Romania as missionaries. On a sad note, a friend in Argentina who we met shortly after his salvation and got to see the start of a rapid transformation in his life, succumbed to cancer a couple weeks ago. He was a great testimony for the Lord.

Picture of passport pages with visa stamps.

This passport also holds reminders of trips to five different African countries. One of the blessings of visiting places more than once is the joy of seeing the change in Christians as they mature and continue to serve the Lord. One man in Nigeria came to me and quoted back to me my outline from when I had preached in his church 10 years prior. What a strong reminder that people are always watching and learning from us even if we think what we say and do isn’t that important.

I also remember the emotions of a delayed flight out of Lima, Peru. While waiting for a part to repair the plane, I would miss the funeral of a friend who had passed away during my trip.

This passport reminded me of the joy of visiting friends in Costa Rica who had previously only been voices on a telephone or text in an email. I remember the great pleasure of meeting Pastor Bizuayehu in Ethiopia for the first time after only having met through email. Also the tearful reunion with his wife five years later when I returned to visit after Pastor Bizuayehu’s death. In this passport is the visa stamp from the Philippines where my wife and I had the privilege to travel together for the second time. The first time was recorded in my first passport 20 years previous.

I am thankful for the memories of the ministry God has called us to. And, I am grateful that you are a partner in each of these wonderful reminders of changed lives.

You can download and print a PDF version of this letter.

June 2020 Prayer Letter

June 15, 2020 12:36 pm

Dear Praying Friends,
I was reminded a couple of weeks ago that, even when things don’t seem completely out of control where I live, I should still remain sensitive to what others may be experiencing. I had a video call with a missionary friend from college a couple of weeks ago. She asked me how I was doing with the pandemic and lockdown situation. I told her that nothing really had changed for me other than I wasn’t traveling and speaking in churches. For me, I didn’t feel like this was all that big of a deal.

As we were wrapping up the call, I asked her how she and her ministry were doing. A few minutes later she was holding back tears as she told me that the COVID-19 disease and its affects were forcing her to seriously consider shutting down the work she has built over the last 15 years. While none of this has impacted me in any tangible way, she has been dealing with the stress of ministry-altering decisions every day for the last few months.

She knows God has a purpose and plan, but she is still faced with the decisions she must make in the process of following God’s will. This experience helped me see that, while my ministry hasn’t been affected much, other godly people may be struggling under the weight of the world’s situation.

We should be aware that others around us could be affected much differently than we are and that they may need our prayers and encouragement. And, if you are needing some extra encouragement, feel free to send me an email or text and let me know how I can be praying for you.

Online and In-Person Events
This time of modified class schedules and distance learning has opened up new opportunities for missionaries and Bible institutes. I have recorded a few classes for the Deaf that our missionaries have used as part of their regular Bible programs or church services.

Though much of my normal camp speaking schedule has been altered, I am thankful to be speaking again at the Bill Rice Ranch in a few weeks.

Our annual training school for missionaries has moved from June to July.

Upcoming Trips
Pray with us about three international travel opportunities we have coming up. These trips depend on travel restrictions being lifted and financial backing. First, we are looking at a multi-week trip to Chile. The other trip would be a combined visit to Spain and Togo, Africa.

If you would like to donate towards one of these trips, you can send a donation made out to BIO with the name of the trip you would like to support. Thank you for your continued prayers.

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

March 2020 Prayer Letter

March 12, 2020 10:18 am

Dear Praying Friends,
Thank you for praying for our ministry. I have indicated in a couple of recent letters that there were some big projects that I needed to take care of for the BIO office. Along with being the Director of Deaf Ministries, I am also the computer department. One of the recent projects was upgrading all of our computers to Windows 10.

I am pleased to say that all went well. Knowing you were praying for me was a big encouragement for the task. Though we don’t have many computers that needed the upgrade, the whole process can be stressful in making sure everything is in place for recovery in the event that something goes wrong.

SMART Classes
We have a ministry through BIO called SMART (Specialized Missionary and Resource Training) where we seek to train missionaries in practical ways. A couple of weeks ago I helped teach a group of missionaries during one of our SMART sessions.

Three of the four families represented in the training are, or will be, working in restricted access nations. We chose our classes based on what we thought might be most helpful to that particular group. In this case we taught portions of three of our specialty classes.

Terry Childers and I taught about staying safe during domestic and international travel, preparing for emergencies at home and on the field, and various topics from our leadership development course. We create new training modules on a regular basis. These classes are open to any missionary even if they are not with BIO.

Our recent class was taught during a church’s missions conference. During a conference a church can provide training to missionaries who are already at the church. The missionaries don’t have to tie up more time and money traveling to us for training. Contact Bro. Terry Childers about having one of our trainers come to your church’s missions conference to teach your guest missionaries. More information can be found at biomissions.org/smart.

BRBI
The week I taught in our SMART ministry, I also taught a class for the Bill Rice Bible Institute. I am teaching the practical side of missionary ministry. In the class I talked with them about the application process for becoming a missionary. We talked about how to choose a board—with the guidance of your pastor—that is a good fit for your ministry. Then we went through the questions that are asked in the missionary application and interview process. The goal with that class is to help young people prepare for ministry and know what pitfalls commonly make it difficult for someone to take the next step in missionary service.

I enjoy reading about the history of missions and the inspirational philosophy of missions, but I also enjoy teaching the practical side of the missionary’s ministry. Through our SMART ministry and teaching young people in programs like BRBI, I trust that the Lord will allow me to help build durable missionaries who continue to serve the Lord for many years to come.

Thank you for your continued support in the work that the Lord allows us to do through BIO by training missionaries—hearing or Deaf—to continue to serve the Lord faithfully.

There is a PDF version of this letter available for download and printing.

November 2019 Prayer Letter

November 26, 2019 12:42 pm

Dear Praying Friends,
It is always good to know that people are praying for us. This summer while waiting for my bags at the Nashville airport, Evangelist Dave Young, a friend from college, sent me an odd text message. Based on the message, I figured he was standing in the same room watching for my reaction. I found him and we had a chance to catch up for a few minutes before our bags arrived. At the end of the conversation he said, “I pray for you every Tuesday morning, my friend.”

Thanks, Dave. Knowing people are praying for you, and them telling you they do, is very encouraging.

Clayton
Between weeks at camp this summer, I attended the funeral of a friend from church. He was a man known as a man of prayer. Every Wednesday evening when Clayton and I were at church together, he would come to me and tell me that he had prayed for me that morning. Then he would inevitably follow that up with, “Well, actually I pray for you every day.”

I would then thank Clayton for his prayers. But Clayton is gone now.

Our prayer card from Mrs. Gellos’ Bible after she passed away.

Mrs. Gellos
A few weeks ago, at the funeral of a friend of 31 years, the family had the contents of her Bible on display. I’m sure the items had been rearranged during the visitation time, but the included picture was sent to me from the funeral. Our family’s newest prayer card was sitting right on top of the items from Mrs. Gellos’ Bible.

When we saw her this summer she knew she was dying of cancer. As my wife and I sat in her apartment with tears in our eyes, she put her hand on my wife’s arm and, with a big smile, said, “Don’t cry for me honey. I know where I am going and I will be just fine.”

I know Mrs. Gellos is just fine; but, we still miss her. This is the first prayer letter that I am sending out after she passed away. In the past, the day after sending out my prayer letters, I would get a short email from her. She would let me know that she was praying for us and she would ask follow-up questions to prayer requests that I had written about in previous letters.

Do You Pray?
For several years I have tried to emphasize to churches that they should be praying for missionaries. Over the last few months I have lost two of the people who were praying regularly for my family and me. Are there others to take their place?

I ask this not because I am looking for a flood of people to write and say they are praying for me (though I appreciate it when you do). My main interest is in encouraging you to make praying for missionaries a regular part of your personal time with God. As you meet missionaries and other servants of God, get to know them in a personal way and make them a serious focus of your prayer ministry.

At this time of Thanksgiving, we are thankful for you and your prayers.

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

April 2019 Prayer Letter

April 29, 2019 10:53 am

Dear Praying Friends,
We celebrated the Lord’s resurrection by attending our local church and having a nice meal with family. Though we enjoy ministering to churches and missionaries away from home, it is also nice to be home to participate in local ministry when we can.

Office Ministry
Certainly a large part of our work is serving the missionaries who minister through BIO. The first part of the year is always taken up with paperwork that must be submitted for tax reporting on behalf of the missionaries. It is neither enjoyable nor glamorous; but it is an important part of how we serve the missionaries. This keeps them from having to deal with all the extra tax paperwork that would come their way if they did not work through an agency such as BIO. We can’t take all the burden away from them, but we do what we can to help them avoid an unpleasant IRS visit.

Selfie at the Deaf Rally at Palmetto Baptist Deaf Church

Preaching Ministry
I preached in two evangelistic meetings in deaf churches recently. One was a four-day revival campaign. Another was a one-day rally in which I was asked to give a simple and clear Gospel presentation. It is an honor to be given that task. We did not see anyone saved in those two meetings, but I am confident that God’s Word was clearly presented by the various preachers who were involved.

I trust that fruit will grow from these two meetings.

Bill Rice Bible Institute
I have been teaching a missions class in a Bible institute at the Bill Rice Ranch for the last two years. Some of the classes I teach by Skype, and others I am there in person. I pray God will use these young people in ministry for years to come. None of my students this year have indicated that God is calling them to full-time mission work, but they are open to the Lord’s leadership. This class will help them have a better understanding of how to minister when missionaries visit their churches.

Camp Ministry
A couple of weeks ago I was in a deaf church when a man came up to me and signed, “In 1996, when I was 16 years old, you preached at camp. I understood the Gospel. You prayed with me and I got saved.” Then he gave me a hug.

It is times like this that I am reminded of what a privilege it is to have an impact on the lives of young people through camping ministry. There are thousands of Deaf (and hearing) who have been saved because of camps that preach the Gospel. It is an encouragement to me when I meet someone who tells me they were saved at camp.

I will be at the Bill Rice Ranch again this year for four weeks. Serving in camp ministry is such a privilege. Whether you are a camp speaker, a camp worker or a supporter of camp ministry, allow the Lord to use you in making an eternal impact on the lives of young people in the coming months.

You can download a PDF version of this letter for printing and posting at church.

October 2018 Prayer Letter

October 30, 2018 3:17 pm

Dear Praying Friends,
When the year starts to come to a close everyone seems to be amazed that it is almost over. I’m not sure why we are surprised by that every year, but we are. And, so here we are again towards the end of another year.

Nigeria Trip
Due to visa delays I haven’t taken my trip to Nigeria yet. However, it has been rescheduled for the end of November. I will be visiting a missionary family in a closed country for Thanksgiving before making my way to Nigeria for 10 days. I’m very pleased to celebrate Thanksgiving with a family who lives in a spiritually difficult field. I am praying that I can be an encouragement to them.

Thank you to those who have given funds for my trip to Nigeria. God has supplied the need through you. Putting off the trip by a couple of months has also helped with the finances needed for the trip.

As you may recall, the purpose of my trip to Nigeria was to be there for deaf camp. While I hated missing the camp, I was very pleased to hear that many were saved during the week. I believe the number was 38 salvations.

Nigerian Memorial
A celebration of the life and ministry of Pastor Peter Ashade (a former BIO missionary who died 12 years ago) will be held while I am in Nigeria. Bro. Ashade, Deaf himself, started several churches for the Deaf. On my last trip to Nigeria I visited the 5 churches he had been pastoring when he died.

Bro. Wale Orekan, a Nigerian national and missionary to the hearing, got involved with the deaf churches. He has been training deaf men to be pastors in those churches and to start new ones. I am honored to be back in Nigeria to celebrate what God has done through Bro. Ashade and Bro. Orekan.

Personal News
Since the last letter we have taken our son back to college at PCC, held a couple of individual training days with missionaries, and been involved with church missions conferences. It was our privilege to be with a deaf church in St. Louis that we had not visited previously. There were at least 4 unsaved Deaf at the conference. Though none of them made a profession of faith that week, I was encouraged to see the love that the church had for the lost. One of the men in the church was so passionate about seeing his friends saved that he was in tears as one lady continued to refuse to accept God’s forgiveness. This exchange was an encouragement to me and I trust that we will soon have news of her salvation.

Before the trip to Nigeria we have meetings in Atlanta, North Carolina, and the Washington, D.C. area. In North Carolina I will be visiting Ambassador Baptist College once again. Their missions conference is always a blessing to me. I trust that God will use me and the other mission board representatives to be an encouragement to the students concerning their involvement in world missions.

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

August 2018 Prayer Letter

August 2, 2018 12:09 pm

Dear Praying Friends,
“Thank you for being here. If you were not here, I would not be saved.” These were wonderful words to hear from 12-year-old Russell who had gotten saved the previous night. Russell is a hearing Korean student who came to the Bill Rice Ranch as part of a larger group trip to the United States. I was privileged to teach the hearing Koreans during the last week of Deaf camp.

Preaching at the Bill Rice Ranch

Even though they had each chosen American sounding first names, they still used their Korean last names at camp. At least until the last couple of days when they all decided to choose a new last name. They ended up with names like Watermelon, Strawberry, Banana and Mango. As someone with the last name of Peach, I choose to believe it was out of honor and respect. Though, I’m not sure.

Thank you for your prayers concerning our ministry at the Bill Rice Ranch this summer. I enjoyed seeing Deaf saved in each of the four weeks as I preached and taught alongside the other ministry workers. In total there were 18 Deaf saved in the weeks I was there along with dozens of hearing young people.

Nigeria
I am excited to go to Nigeria to be with my friend Wale Orekan for his summer camp. I was there in 2009 when Bro. Wale was getting started in Deaf ministry. Now he is very involved in training the Deaf to be pastors. I will be speaking in a week of camp for both hearing and Deaf. Camp will be September 3-8, with the whole trip going from August 31 to September 13.

The cost of the trip is about $2500. That includes the plane ticket, visa, lodging, food and possibly helping my friend Frank Laurent from Tanzania join me for the week. If you remember I visited Frank in September of last year. By connecting Bro. Frank and Bro. Wale together I think we can see some collaboration in ministry that will help both of them as they seek to reach the Deaf for Christ.

I have been able to do several of my recent trips without needing to raise extra funds. However, on this trip I need your help. Any donation you could make towards the cost of the trip would be a great help. You can send donations to BIO marked “Peach Nigeria.” Thank you for your help to make this trip possible.

You may know that I had planned to do a trip to Nigeria last December. For some reason God did not give me peace about the trip at that time. But now I am very excited to see what God will do while I am in Nigeria for almost 2 weeks.

25th Anniversary
Last month I wrote about my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary. Now Stephanie and I are celebrating our 25th. We look forward to many more years serving God together. We will celebrate August 28th, just before my trip to Nigeria. This is also the start to our 25th year of full-time ministry.

Thank you for being a friend to our ministry and to us personally. We appreciate you praying about how God would have you support the Nigeria trip.

A PDF version of the letter is available for downloading and printing.

June 2018 Prayer Letter

June 12, 2018 4:03 pm

Dear Praying Friends,
Thank you for your continued prayers and financial support. As mentioned in my last letter, I have some computer and networking projects I’m working on in the office. Thankfully, God has helped me complete one of them. I attribute that to your prayers and help from good friends. Even though some of these projects seem to be outside my abilities, I am encouraged by the completion of this one.

Local Ministry
During the last three months I have preached more than usual in churches in our area. I was thankful for each opportunity. This included a couple of services in a deaf church and being a “warm up” speaker for a church heading into their missions conference. I also helped with some interpreting during revival services where my friend Ronnie Rice was preaching.

Mom and Dad Peach's 50th Anniversary Celebration

Mom and Dad Peach’s 50th Anniversary Celebration

50th Anniversary
April marked my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary. My two brothers and their families were able to join Stephanie and me as we celebrated Mom and Dad’s 50 years together. I don’t say it often enough, but I am thankful for the good parents God has given and the example in marriage they have been for our family.

Non-Local Ministry
My best friend during my high school years was my youth pastor, Phillip Winn. He later pastored in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas while I have ministered in several places. We’ve not lived close to one another, but we stayed in touch for the 30 years we’ve been apart. Bro. Winn passed away in July. The church he was pastoring in Abilene graciously invited me to spend Memorial Day weekend with them for the purpose of honoring Mrs. Winn as she is preparing to move away and minister to her aging parents.

While I was in West Texas I got a chance to preach at our sending church and visit friends and family.

I will be headed back to the Bill Rice Ranch this summer. I am honored to work alongside Ronnie Rice, Allen Snare and all the staff at the Ranch for 4 weeks of camp. It is a wonderful evangelistic opportunity. There are Deaf who will be at the Ranch this summer who will understand the Gospel for the first time. Please pray for the four deaf weeks starting June 11.

BIO Office
Along with being at camp this summer, we are gearing up for our annual Training School with our missionaries. We have three families who will be with us this year. One works with the Deaf in South Africa. One family has worked with the Deaf (in Peru) and desires to get a new ministry started with the Deaf in Italy. The third family is headed to Haiti as hearing missionaries. After training school we trust they will go to the field with a desire to equip people in their church to carry the Gospel to the Deaf around them.

Thank you again for your prayers for our ministry.

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

March 2018 Prayer Letter

March 28, 2018 11:49 am

Dear Praying Friends,
What a wonderful start to a new year! I am excited about what God is doing in, and through, our ministry.

James and me inside the Colosseum.

Italy
In the last letter I asked you to pray for a trip to Italy that our son James and I were taking at the end of the year. We spent the transition from 2017 into 2018 on a plane over the Atlantic ocean and arrived in Rome on the morning of the new year. We enjoyed walking around seeing, in real life, sites that were previously only pictures in a textbook for me.

We enjoyed the typical sites. I was very much interested in the history of Rome as it affected the world we read about in the New Testament. I was struck by the fact that everything was so old and that nothing we would ever visit in the US can compare to the historicity of that ancient city.

While visiting St. Peter’s Basilica it was our privilege to speak with a non-religious Canadian couple and share some of the differences in the teachings of the Catholic church compared to the Bible—particularly in what the Bible teaches about sin and our need of a Savior. Though I’ve seen how the Catholic church changes its doctrines from place to place, I was still amazed as to how different the church in Rome is compared to other countries I’ve been in. The church seems to integrate much of the false teaching from each local area it moves into.

We had a good week-long visit with Shane Rice and his family as we were there to encourage them and talk about future possibilities of deaf ministry in Italy.

I have made a photo album of our trip available if you would like to look through it.

SMART: Leadership Development
During the missions conference at Faith Baptist Church in Jefferson City, Tennessee I was asked to help teach one of our mission board’s SMART modules. This is a practical training curriculum that we have developed to “build more durable missionaries.” Though I have taught various subjects for SMART, this was my first time to teach our Leadership Development course. As is typical, I learned much more in my study and teaching than in the two previous times I have sat through the class.

Our SMART classes are available to any missionary who would like to attend. We do not require that they be affiliated with BIO. If your church would like to host a SMART session during your conference for the missionaries in attendance, please contact me and I will be happy to give you further information.

BIO Office
Part of my ministry in the office is in maintaining our computer systems. I am working on a couple of big projects that will update our infrastructure. I mention this to say that I covet your prayers on these projects. These are the kinds of projects that, if I do them well, no one will notice. Yet if something goes wrong it could mean days of stressful recovery to get back to where we were.

Thank you again for your prayers for our ministry.

A PDF version of our prayer letter is available for download.

December 2017 Prayer Letter

December 15, 2017 4:15 pm

Dear Praying Friends,
Merry Christmas! In my last letter I told about the 18 who were saved on my Africa trip; however, I only gave details about Ethiopia. I also visited Tanzania and Zambia. Since then I have spent time at a couple of Christian colleges representing BIO.

Tanzania

Photo of me with the pastor and his wife.

Pastor Frank and Deborah Laurent

I was with Bro. Frank Laurent on my trip. Bro. Frank is a Tanzanian national who came to the US for Bible college and then returned to Tanzania to start deaf churches. Frank is Deaf and a man of God. The Sunday I was with Frank we met in the church’s new auditorium. The building is not complete, but it is usable. We saw 13 Deaf give their lives to Christ that day. Several of them have been baptized since then.

Bro. Frank mentioned again and again how important it is for Christians to visit the field and see the work for themselves. He is strongly convinced (as am I) that a trip to visit a missionary will change your life and your view of missions. If you would like to visit Frank, or any BIO missionary, please contact me and I will do what I can to help equip you for such an opportunity.

Pray for Frank and his wife Deborah. On December 11 Deborah gave birth to a baby girl. This is their first child. I pray God will use Frank and Deborah to mold baby Priscilla into an honorable servant for Him.

Enjoy pictures from the Tanzanian portion of my trip.

Zambia
Zambia was a refreshing time with missionaries Yohannes and Kidist Getaneh. Bro. Yohannes is an Ethiopian national who has been working with the Deaf in Zambia for almost 17 years. The Lord has used him to train more than 2 dozen deaf pastors who have started churches throughout the country.

After one service with the Deaf, we all went out to the main road in front of the church and handed out tracts. In a short while the Deaf brought out some chairs for Bro. Yohannes and me. The ones passing out tracts would bring the hearing folks from the street to talk with us. We saw 3 hearing people saved as a result of that ministry.

Colleges
Dr. John Yingling (President of BIO) and I represented the board at Pensacola Christian College for the Campus Church’s missions conference. I am thrilled to think of what God will do with the young people preparing for various ministries through PCC. I trust we will see many on the mission field in the future.

At Ambassador Baptist College, Bro. Terry Childers (General Director of BIO) and I had a wonderful week sharing our burden for missions with the students. I absolutely love the opportunities I have had to befriend the Ambassador students over the last several years.

Italy
Our son James and I will be visiting BIO missionaries Shane and Kathy Rice in Italy. Pray that we can be an encouragement and help to them during our trip from December 31 to January 12.

You can download a PDF copy of the letter for printing.

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