Sunday, February 28, 2010
Tom preached with power for 5 services. He made the importance of missions so crystal clear. The church's mission's commitment for 2010 was up considerably from last year.
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Two people were saved during the conference. Tom led a Korean English professor to the Lord on Friday night and Bro. Ferguson led this young man to the Lord after the service on Sunday morning. It was such a blessing to see him baptized because he represented 3 generations that had been saved from his family through Calvary Baptist Church.
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The ladies of the church gathered together after the final church fellowship supper Sunday night for a group picture for me. Each one brought a little gift to present to me at the end of the service Sunday evening. My heart was so touched and humbled at their kindness and generosity.
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A ladies' singing group that consisted of two Americans and two Koreans. They sang a beautiful rendition of "People Need the Lord" both in English and Korean.
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Friday, February 26, 2010
The first night of Mission's Conference here in Daegu was truly blessed of God. Many folks were at the altar at the close of the service. But the highlight of the evening was at the conclusion of a fellowship supper following the evening service. Daniel, Tom's translator for the conference and a professor of English at Daegu University, had invited two fellow professors to come to the service. One man is a Christian and the other man Daniel has worked with, witnessed to and prayed for for over 20 years. Tom struck up a conversation with him and began sharing the gospel with him. As everyone who was cleaning up and standing around were discreetly listening and praying, Kyung-seo Park bowed his head and prayed the sinners prayer. Afterward everyone began clapping with joy. What a precious sight! Praise the Lord!!!
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Here is Kyung-seo Park with Tom and two other professors from the University of Daegu. Daniel, the man second from the left who has been translating for Tom, has prayed for and witnessed to Kyung-seo for over 20 years. He invited him to come to church tonight. The man on the far left is also a Christian and has prayed for Kyung-seo also.
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Thursday, February 25, 2010
We had a good night's rest our first night here in Daegu and have felt very good today. No jet lag...PTL! Of course our day was made extra special with the news that our Maddy had asked Jesus to come into her heart last night as Dawn was having devotions with them. There was no service scheduled for tonight so we have just enjoyed the time with our precious friends, Bro. Larry and Kay Ferguson. As always, the members of the church have planned to feed us to death (and it could happen as much as I love Korean food.) This is Tom's fourth trip to Korea and my third. We are always blessed by the sweet spirit of this church which is about 3/4 Korean and 1/4 military. The conference begins tomorrow night and we are excited to see what God is going to do.
Above is a picture of Bro. Larry and Kay Ferguson who are doing such a tremendous work here. (See my post "Memories of the Past: Larry and Kay Ferguson)
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Bro. Daniel, who is Tom's translator for the services, treated us to a delicious lunch today. He went to college for a while in Little Rock, Arkansas and finished his P.H.D in English at the University of Seoul. He operates a school that teaches English to Korean children. He is a dedicated Christian and such a help to the Ferguson's in the ministry here.
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Here we are with Bro. Chuck, a textile exporter from Nigeria, who was saved three years ago when Tom preached his second Mission's Conference here in Daegu. It was such a blessing to hear how he has gone on and grown in the Lord and is such a vital part of Calvary Baptist Church.
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Bro. Chuck invited Pastor and Mrs. Ferguson and Tom and me out tonight for a delicious dinner and some wonderful fellowship. (You will notice how often food is mentioned in my posts from Korea (-: ) These sweet people will NOT let you go away hungry!!!
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Walter and Dalene Clark and their five sweet children were with us for our Mission's Conference last week and were such a blessing to us. They have a special connection to our church. Back in 1993 Walter was on temporary duty here in the Mannheim, Germany area and Tom picked him up and brought him to our church. While in the car together Tom made a statement to the fact that he thought it was easier to find a U.S. military church in Germany that preached the gospel than a German church that preached the gospel. Walter never got away from that statement and eventually surrendered his life to bring the gospel to the Germans. He and his family have been in Germany now for about 7 years.
They just sent us this picture that they had made of us with their family at Mission's Conference. We will cherish it!
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
It is about 7:30 p.m., Wednesday,February 24, here in Daegu, South Korea. (11:35 p.m., Wednesday, in Germany). We have now been up about 28 hours. We left Frankfurt Tuesday night at about 7:00 p.m. for a trip that will take us from Germany to Korea to Hawaii to California and then back to Germany. Tom will be speaking in two mission's conferences and one service on Wednesday night in Hawaii. The first conference will be at Calvary Baptist Church in Daegu, S.Korea, pastored by our beloved friends, the Larry Fergusons. Larry and Kay were in our church in Germany while he was stationed there with the army. He surrendered to preach at our church and they have now been missionaries in Korea for almost nine years. The second conference will be outside Los Angeles, CA and I will write more about that when we get there. Tom will also speak on Wednesday night, March 3, in Hawaii. I'll be posting blogs about that trip as well at a later time.
The flight to Seoul/Inchon was uneventful and LONG - - almost 10 hours! When we arrived at the airport in Inchon we were met by Kay Ferguson's brother, who lives in Inchon, and he drove us one hour to the train station where we took a two hour bullet train ride on to Daegu. We were quite the sight trying to negotiate getting on and settled in the train with five pieces of luggage, but there were several very kind Koreans who offered to help us on and off. PTL!! Bro. Larry and his assistant, Bro. Lee, met us in Daegu and took us to the church. The Fergusons have a very nice apartment in the church and we are staying in their guest room. We have just finished a bowl of hot soup and showers and are heading to bed. Will post more along the way.
(The picture is a "self portrait" that we made on the bullet train".)
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The KTX train that we took from Seoul/Inchon to Daegu, Korea. It traveled at 250 K's per hour!!! It took us about one hour and forty five minutes to travel a little over 300 miles. That's me about six rows back on the left.
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Sunday, February 21, 2010
Pictured above is the team of men who came from Chattanooga,TN at their own expense, to help us with the 'Haven of Rest' missions apartments at our church. Bro. Mike West, standing behind Tom, is a helps missionary who has given his life to putting teams of men together with have various building skills and know how and helping missions works such as ours with building needs. Several of these men have come before to help us and they are always a blessing to us. Thank you Mike W., Harold, Jay, Mike M. and Roy.
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Thursday, February 18, 2010
Last night began the most important week of all at Rhein River Baptist Church - - our annual Mission's Conference. We have four missionary families with us this week: the Walter Clark family, veteran missionaries here in Germany; Joshua and Melissa Booth, on deputation to England; Julie Smith, on deputation to Spain; plus, one of our own church families, the Calins, on deputation to go to his homeland, Romania. In the picture above is Daniel Calin standing in front of their display table. Dr. Jeff Alverson is our keynote speaker and his message last night was a tremendous blessing.
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Kamala, one of our sweet ladies from Nepal, dressed some of our teen girls in traditional costumes from Nepal and they were part of our children of the world parade on the opening night. Second from the right is our Emmy.
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From left to right: Julie Smith, Shannon Panjwani, Phyllis Simensen, Melissa Booth, Dalene Clark, Julie Lancaster, Joyce Alverson and me.
We had a great time at a luncheon for the missionary ladies. We enjoyed Thai food and wonderful fellowship together.
Here we are posing for the camera using Melissa's 'gorillapod', a tiny, flexible tripod that you can literally set up anywhere using the timer on your camera. I think everyone's camera got a chance at sitting on the 'gorillapod' and we had fun posing.
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Saturday, February 13, 2010
A little surprise for my sweetheart when he came home from Men's Prayer Meeting today. The message on the door was "I love you, Tom" and inside was one of his favorites - baked penne and Italian spinach. Dessert was lemon cake baked in my special heart shaped pans. I think he liked it!
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This cute little pair are sitting on the table outside the door to our apartment especially for Valentine's Day. You can't see the words on the heart very well but they say "Love Never Melts". A friend gave this to me a couple of years ago and she said when she gave it to me, "When I saw this I thought of you two". Aw-w-w-w-!
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Tonight many of our couples enjoyed a time of food and fellowship together at the Mai Thai Restaurant in Viernheim. As it turns out the restaurant was packed and obviously understaffed so we were there for an unexpected long time. But that did not prevent us from having a marvelous time. While we were waiting (nearly 2 hours) for our food to come we enjoyed sharing some fun things such as ...the thing that first attracted us to our mates and how long after meeting our mates were we married. And it seemed nearly everyone had a funny story to share about love, courtship and marriage. And to top off a wonderful evening we had as our special guests Bro. and Mrs. Bobby Brown who entertained us as you can see in the pictures below. It was a very nice evening!
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Bro. Bobby and his little "friend" who entertained us while we were waiting for our meals to come. The area where our group was sitting was not entirely private so there were several Germans who listening intently and were obviously amused as Bro. Bobby and his friend entertained.
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Of course I love to post pictures of food, so I couldn't resist a picture of Bro. Bobby's sweet and sour duck.
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Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Eva is a single German woman who actually moved from east Germany to our area about ten years ago just to be able to attend our church. She has served as a Sunday School teacher for many of those years, as well as our church bookkeeper. Sometimes Eva is extremely helpful in guiding us through German beauracracy. She loves cats and presently has two. We actually gave Eva our cat several years ago because I had some health issues and could no longer have "Muffin" in the house. Eva loved her and spoiled her, but a couple of years ago had to have her put down because of complications of old age. Eva is part of our family and we love her in the Lord.
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Monday, February 8, 2010
After much prayer our son-in-law, Mitch, decided last year to make a huge career change and will begin law school tomorrow. He passed the entrance exam with flying colors (which is a big deal in itself) and now the real hard work begins. He has worked for the police department of Chattanooga for the past 15 years and will continue to do so until he completes law school. He will commute from Chattanooga to Nashville for night classes. It is going to be a huge undertaking, but if anyone can do it, Mitch can. Dawn has already proven she has the stuff it takes to support him in this endeavor. We are so thankful for Mitch. He is a real American hero: not only has he helped protect his city for 15 years, he has served in 2 gulf wars and continues to be ready to serve through the army reserves. We love him and pray God's blessing on him.
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Now I am not a football fan - mainly because I don't understand the game! Tom loves American football but unfortunately he doesn't get to watch it here in Germany because we don't get AFN television. But our good friends at the Central Hotel make it possible for him to watch the Super Bowl each year by providing a beautiful suite for us, complete with a living room and bedroom (I usually have to leave it to Tom after the first hour). The Central Hotel (picture above...isn't it beautiful?) is where we put the missionaries who come for our Christmas Retreat in December. We do thank our friends at Central for making this possible.....EVEN THOUGH OUR TEAM LOST!
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Sunday, February 7, 2010
What a blessing our ladies had at this year's 2010 Euro-Wide Ladies' Retreat hosted by Rheinland Baptist Church in Landstuhl, Germany. The theme was "Designed Destinations". The theme verse was Ephesians 1:11 - "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:" The ladies of Rheinland did a marvelous job decorating the auditorium like a cruise ship. All the workshops and messages reflected this nautical theme. This year's speaker was Patti Appleby (picture above) of Women of the Well Ministries. She taught us, through the life of Joseph, about 12 unavoidable ports of call on our voyage to heaven. The music was just wonderful, as well. Our Julie added so much to the retreat with her piano accompaniment of the group singing as well as the special music. Emmy was a blessing as she sang a beautiful song about serving the Lord with all your heart.
Thanks to Kathy, Bro. Woody and all the ladies of Rheinland for making this such a special weekend for so many missionary and military wives.
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My workshop was entitled "In the Bridge". The bridge of a ship is the center for power and steering. I encouraged the women to be women "in the bridge"...women who make a difference for the cause of Christ and who influence others by their lives. Mary of Bethany was our example. Her life counted for Christ and was memorialized by Christ. The four characteristics of Mary that we studied in Mark 14: 3-9 were (1) She did what SHE could and did not compare herself to others. (2) She did what she could in the face of criticism and misunderstanding. (3) She knew the value of time and did what she could before it was too late and (4) She loved the Lord supremely and that caused her to give her best.
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The auditorium was decorated like a cruise ship's dining room, complete with round tables and white, linen table cloths.
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Here are a few of our ladies at one of the tables "enjoying the cruise". It was such great fellowship together.
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This is the sun room of the hotel that we stay at every year. It is one of the most charming Gast Hauses I have stayed in in Germany. We have become friends with the owner and our ladies look forward to staying there every year.
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Here are our ladies after the closing service of the retreat gathered "on the deck" of the ship. It was a wonderful weekend for the ladies of RRBC!
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Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Thousands have come through our church in the 17 years we have been serving the military in Germany. There are some that come and go but make little impact. Then there are those who come through and are forever a part of the fabric of the ministry of Rhein River Baptist Church and who become like our family. Larry and Kay Ferguson are two of those people...they made a tremendous impact while they were in the church and have continued having an impact for the cause of Christ as they have gone on in the Lord. They are two of our beloved, "adopted" children. We will be seeing them in Korea in a few weeks. Above is a picture of Larry and Kay with Tom and me made on our last trip to Korea. I also posted above some pictures made at their wonderful church, which is equal parts military and Korean. The ladies presented me with a beautiful Korean Hanbok (traditional Korean dress) which is one of my most treasured possessions.
God is using Kay in a tremendous way and I wanted to post her testimony. She is such a special lady.
I was saved on 11th January 1982 in Junction city, KS at the Calvary Baptist Church. Pastor George Wright led me to the Lord and he married us that Saturday afternoon. My husband was a soldier stationed at Ft Riley, KS at that time. We were looking for a nice church to have a wedding and my husband, Larry, contacted Pastor Wright and set up a pre-wedding counseling session. My husband was a lost person who grew up in Tennessee attending a Baptist Church with his grandparents. Although he was lost he knew the right church to enquire about our wedding. But for me that was God's divine appointment! We met Pastor Wright for pre-wedding counseling on that Monday prior to our wedding and I was asked a question which now I often ask others, "If you died right now, do you know you are going to heaven?" Guess what my answer was, "I have to die to know that!" I had been going to church all my life but that day for the first time in my life I heard a clear presentation of salvation!! I asked Jesus to save me that Monday evening in the pastor's office and was baptized that Wednesday. We then had our wedding on the following Saturday. After I got saved, I attended the church off and on for a few years but never grew in the Lord and didn't have assurance of my salvation until some years later.
My husband got reassigned to Mannheim, Germany in 1988. There we lived in government housing on Columbus street and someone for Rhein River Baptist church left an invitation at our door. I convinced my husband to take me to church on sunday and I began to was seeing my husband come to know the Lord as his Savior and his call into the ministry soon after his salvation. I saw my son come to know the Lord, then my mother came to visit us and she was saved. We both grew in the Lord under Pastor and Mrs. Lancaster's ministry and discipleship. Watching them serving God with joy and seeing them loving others to Christ day in and day out caused us to have the same desires in our heart. I praise the Lord for such faithful servants like Pastor Lancaster and my Christian womanhood role model, Mrs. Lancaster, who loved me and mentored me by her godly life style.
There we learned about God's Great Commission, Faith Promise giving for missions, not knowing one day we would become missionaries to carry the gospel to the utmost parts of the world, in South Korea! We have been m missionaries for the last 9 years in South Korea reaching the U.S. military stationed there and ministering to the local nationals as well. My husband, Larry, has started two churches since we have been here and is now the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Daegu, South Korea.
I enjoy being a pastor's wife along with other responsibilities such as his personal secretary, church administrator, events coordinator, nursery director, ladies' Sunday School teacher and many other areas he needs help in. But most of all, I am grateful for the many opportunities God has given me to lead many souls to the Lord; alsong with the opportunity to disciple them and then seeing them go on to serve God is the great joy of my life.
All because of Jesus, I am who I am today!
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Tuesday, February 2, 2010
This afternoon was mine and Tom's special time with Emily on her birthday....a shopping trip to the mall. While Opa isn't a shopping mall kind of guy, he gladly went along for Emmy. We began with pastries and three separate varieties of coffee at one of our favorite restaurants in the mall. Afterwards we presented Emmy with her birthday loot and we were all on our own for one hour. Emmy headed to her favorite shops, Tom went to T.Com in the mall to negotiate new cell phones and I remained at the restaurant and studied my notes for my workshop at Ladies' Retreat. When we got back together we went together looking for a new charm for Em's charm bracelet. She selected a tiny heart that opens up to hold 2 tiny, tiny pictures. We finished our day at an Italian restaurant....more food! It was a special time for us.
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God provided for Tom, Emmy and me to go on an Alaskan cruise together a couple of years ago. It was THE trip of a lifetime and to be able to share it with Emmy was such a blessing. Here Emmy and I are in our cabin getting ready to go the a formal dinner.
I am so blessed to have four of the most wonderful grandchildren in the world. Each one is different, but they are all equally wonderful! Emily was our first grandchild and God was so good to bless us with a little granddaughter who had such a sweet, loving heart and who always tried to show us her love...even though we were thousands of miles apart. She has kept that sweet, loving heart for all these years and Tom and I are so thankful that God gave her to us. It seems surrreal that she is 18 and getting ready to leave for college. Emmy, we love you with all our hearts and wish you the happiest birthday ever. Below is something I wrote to Emmy a few years ago, but I am going to update it because the sentiments are still the same...
TO MY EMMY.........
Happy Birthday, Emmy! I can't believe you are EIGHTEEN YEARS OLD! I so much want you to know how much I love you and how special you are to me....and how just plain SPECIAL you are. I know my words cannot tell you all that is in my heart, but I want to try. I am thinking back eighteen years...Grandymother, Aunt Jan and I had our ears glued to Mommy's birthing room door...waiting...waiting..and then Waaa!!!! You had my heart from the first blood curdling cry!! From the very first you had the sweetest, most gentle little personality. You had an adorable way of talking, singing, turning on a faucet of tears, twirling in a new dress, and "smoosing" to the camera. I never wanted you to grow up...but YOU DID! And here is the best part: you have gotten sweeter, more gentle, more caring as you have grown. And, hey, on top of it all you are lots of fun to be around. No generation gap in our family!! But you have grown into a beautiful young woman who is caring, compassionate, loving, unselfish...a young woman of character. Best of all you love the Lord and want to serve Him. Emmy, I love you with all my heart and am so thankful that you are my granddaughter. Happy birthday, Emmy!
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What a celebration we had last night in honor of our Emmy's 18th birthday. About 30 friends and family gathered together for a surprise dinner and was she ever surprised! The picture above says it all. After dinner many folks shared what a blessing Emily has been to their life. It is a memory that Emily will be able to remember forever.
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