Friday, August 9, 2013

Fourth of July Service

Tom preaching the special Fourth of July service at Moriah Baptist Church in  Ft Oglethorpe, GA.   He wore his Marine Corp dress blues that the soldiers in our church in Germany presented to him several years ago.  


New Missionaries To The Military

We have given the rest of our lives to raising the awareness of missions, and in particular the field of military missions and to also challenge young men and couples with the need of missionaries who will take the gospel to our troops stationed on foreign fields.  Tom spoke at Bethel Baptist Church and Tri-State Baptist College in Walls, MS a couple of years ago and Patrick Wolfe, who was a married student at Tri-State at the time, surrendered his life to military missions .  It has been our privilege to encourage Bro. Patrick and his wife, Sheila, as they have pursued this commitment through Baptist International Missions.  We were especially privileged to be able to pin their official BIMI pin at the conclusion of their first year of candidate school.  They would love to go to the  U.S. military in Germany if the Lord opens the door.

The Patrick Wolfe Family


Happy Birthday, Tommy ~

My sweetheart celebrated his 73rd birthday on May 9.  He is the most energetic and passionate person I know.  He is more excited about serving the Lord than he has ever been.  Happy birthday, sweetheart.  I love you.

Mark's Physical Issues

Mark after his first surgery to try to eliminate the nerve pain  - a neck fusion.  

We are so grateful for all the prayers that have been lifted up on behalf of our son, Mark.  Mark recently had his 10th surgery - 9 of them in the last two years:  2 hernia surgeries, 4 heart ablations and 4 back related  surgeries. His heart rhythm issues are much better for which we are so thankful.  But none of his back related surgeries have eliminated the debilitating and excruciating nerve pain in his leg.  As I am writing this article he has an appointment in a couple of weeks with a neurologist to see if he can help find the answer since the orthopedic route has not been successful.  Please continue to pray for Mark.  He has had the sweetest spirit through all of this -- always smiling even when you know he is in severe pain.
Julie has been his rock through it all, always close by his side to help and encourage him.  Their heart has been with their people at Grace Baptist Church in Weisbaden, Germany.  Our former associates at Rhein River Baptist Church, Larry and Phyllis Simensen, are filling in for Mark.  Please pray for the church and that the Lord will give wisdom as to the future.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Lord Is My Shepherd - Ps.23:1

         From "A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23"  by Philip Keller

"It is no accident that God has chosen to call us sheep.  The behavior of sheep and human beings is similar in many ways... Our mass mind (or mob instincts), our fears and timidity, our stubbornness and stupidity, our perverse habits are all parallels of profound importance.

Yet despite these adverse characteristics Christ chooses us, buys us, calls us by name, makes us His own, and delights in caring for us."

Alex Graduates From Bible College

About 7 years ago a young man from Eritrea visited Rhein River Baptist Church. We had many English speaking international people visit our church because they were curious about an English speaking church.   But the gospel is powerful and many times that curiosity turned into conviction and we saw many Germans and other nationalities saved as a result.  That was the case with Alex.  After he was saved he had some ups and downs, but soon he got on track and wanted to serve the Lord.  God worked out all the details for him to be able to attend Crown College in Powell, TN,   In May we were thrilled to be able to attend his graduation.  He is doing some grad work at Pensacola Christian College and then wants to take the gospel back to his country.  

A Special 50th Anniversary Treat ~

I never cease to be amazed at God's love and care for His children.   He not only gives us our daily needs but many times He showers us with such extraordinary love and care that we cannot help but be amazed.   He did that for Tom and me recently.  We were scheduled to be in a mission's conference with Pastor Greg Boyle and Faith Baptist Church in Spokane, WA the week of our 50th wedding anniversary.  We had made the decision that we would celebrate our anniversary after the conference was over.  But to our surprise and amazement  the church presented us with a special anniversary gift:  a stay at the gorgeous Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane.  Our children got in on the surprise and we were able to spend three fantastic nights at this beautiful hotel.  Thank you to Faith Baptist and our sweet children for giving us this special memory.  Here are some pictures.  Gorgeous, huh??


Going Back 50 Years ~

Fifty year ago we spent part of our honeymoon in Gatlinburg,  TN.   On our last morning we ate breakfast at the Pancake Pantry.  That started a family tradition to always have breakfast there on our last day in Gatlinburg.  As part of our 50th anniversary celebration we went back to Gatlinburg and, of course, had breakfast at Pancake Pantry on our last day.

                                  Gatlingburg 2013 2013-05-07 003

My Sweetheart and I at Pancake Pantry ~

We sat right here 50 years ago.    I love my sweetheart more today than I did then.

                      Gatlingburg 2013 2013-05-07 002

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Celebrating 50 Wonderful Years

Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart

On April 5, 1963, I married a tall, thin, outgoing southern guy who was the epitome of a southern gentleman.  Sad to say I married him ahead of the Lord.  I was a young, struggling  Christian and Tom was unsaved.  I hear Tom give his testimony from time to time and I don't recognize the man he is talking about.  I am very thankful for that.  When we met he was still trying to cope with his mother's tragic suicide and trying to 'turn over a new leaf' in his life.  He was successful in hiding much of his past from me.  But praise the Lord that He watches over foolish young girls.  One month after we married Tom was gloriously saved and I surrendered my life completely to the Lord.  Shortly afterward Tom surrendered his life to preach to gospel. There certainly were challenges in the early days and we like all couples have had storms and valleys, but mostly we have enjoyed the blessings of God on our home and our marriage.  I am so thankful for a husband that loves the Lord with all his heart and serves Him passionately.   And I am the beneficiary of that love and passion.   I love you, Tommy.  Thank you for 50 wonderful, wonderful years.  

Monday, August 5, 2013

More Fruit of Military Missions ~

"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."  
Mark 16:15

Serving our U.S. military is so tremendously rewarding!   For the last 20  years we have served our military stationed in Mannheim, Germany through Rhein River Baptist Church.   The rewards in terms of soldiers and members of their families who were saved and  impacted during those 20 years are immeasurable. We saw many soldiers surrender to full time Christian service who are now serving as pastors, missionaries and Christian educators.  There are BIMI missionaries serving our U.S. military stationed on foreign fields around the world who could give this same testimony.   But there is another reward of military missions on foreign fields that is not as widely reported, and that is the opportunity to reach nationals and internationals with the gospel.   Our military base at Mannheim, Germany closed in August of 2012, but because we had preached the gospel to every "creature" there are men and women of various nationalities who are serving the Lord today.  And we praise the Lord that we  were able to leave a strong, international independent Baptist Church when all our military were gone.  Here are a few "more fruit of military missions".

The Stefan Calin family.  Stefan, who is Romanian, and two of their children were saved at Rhein River Baptist Church.  His German wife, Sandra, was saved before they came to RRBC but she did much of her growing there.  They both were right arms to us in ministry.  God has called the Calins to take the gospel to Stefan's homeland of Romania.  They have already completed their deputation and are on their way to the field.

The Sever Astancia family.  Sever and Mihaela are both Romanian .  They became a part of our church as a result of other family members who were in our church.  They are now planting churches in Romania.

Alex Abraham is a young man from Eretrea who lived and worked in Mannheim. He started attending RRBC with a friend and was s saved and called into full time Christian service at RRBC.  In May he graduated from Crown College.  His desire is to take the gospel to his homeland.  

Marina Francisco and her family were all saved at Rhein River Baptist Church.  Her family was one of many international folks we reached through our military church.  Marina's father is Angolan and her mother is French.  She was in my junior Sunday School class for several years.  When she started coming to church she could not speak English and I spent one afternoon a week helping her with her English and studying her Sunday School lesson.  It was at one of those sessions that Marina received Christ as her Savior.  She is now a junior at West Coast Baptist College.

Patrica Lentz is a sweet German young woman who was attending Mannheim University.  She was invited to Rhein River Baptist Church by an American exchange student.   It was on her second or third visit that she received Christ as her Savior.  She began growing immediately and became a happy, excited Christian.  She just finished her sophomore year at West Coast Baptist College.

Benedict Efionayi was a Nigerian living in Mannheim, Germany.  He was invited to Rhein River Baptist and soon after got his life right with the Lord.  He began growing in the Lord and was soon enrolled in our Faith Bible Institute and teaching our African Sunday School class.  God began to burden his heart to take the gospel to his own people back in Nigeria and that is where he is today.


Micheal Nnavick is also a Nigerian who was invited to Rhein River Baptist Church.  He became one of our most faithful members and also enrolled in our Faith Bible Institute. Micheal, or big Mike, as we called him because of his height, became a excellent student of the Word of God.  He also became burdened for his people and is now back in Nigeria doing ministry in remote villages and wherever he can preach the gospel.

Happy Birthday To Our Maddy ~

On May 5 our Madison Nicole celebrated her 12th birthday.   Tom calls her a "twelve-ager".  She is our middle granddaughter and the most outgoing of Dawn's three children.   Maddy is such a blessing to us.  She loves to spend the night with Opa and Oma and we love having her. We cook,  play games, watch videos, and read books.  We sometimes have to rest after a visit from Maddy. (smile)