Wednesday, 15 September 2021 20:39

September 2021 News Update

September 2021

Dear Friends,

What a marvelous adventure this Christian life is. Of course, there are struggles, but, oh the joys that come to us in serving the Lord.

In July Phyllis and I returned to Hot Springs, Arkansas, where we had our first church ministry. Grace Bible Church was planted in 1971, and I had the privilege of being the founding pastor. The church had a Golden Anniversary celebration. A number of the charter members are still in the church, as well as some of their children and grandchildren. It was a great time of rejoicing in what the Lord has done in and through the ministry of that church. It has touched literally thousands of lives through various ministries over the years, and also produced a number of people who have gone into ministry. We are also rejoicing that the church has remained true to Word of God with a free grace gospel and emphasis on verse-by-verse Bible teaching. They have continued to grow under the ministry of Pastor Mark Goad, and just recently sold the building we met in for many years in order to put up a new structure, the old one being too small to accommodate the congregation.

Back in Kiev we are beginning our 29th year as missionaries in this part of the world. Word of God Church is doing well under its Ukrainian leadership, growing both in number and spiritual maturity. The Bible college is back in session. Although our enrollment is down this year, we still have a full schedule. It seems that a lot of people have gotten into the distance learning mode and do not want to leave home in order to study. Of course, we believe that face-to-face teaching is best, but we are in the process of developing online courses. This is a big undertaking, but it seems necessary at this point.

I just finished teaching a two-week module at Word of God Bible College on the subject of Soteriology (the doctrine of salvation) and will be teaching courses on Old Testament historical books (Joshua through Esther) and another course on the major prophets (Isaiah through Daniel). In addition to the college, I preach once and sometimes twice on Sundays, plus two online classes during the week. Other than that, I am free!

Many of the Covid-19 restrictions are still in effect, but people are becoming less fearful of becoming infected, and the government mandates are being eased. It is still necessary for Americans to get PCR tests before entering the country, but vaccination is not required. The vaccination papers are necessary in a number of European countries, and this makes for some frustrations. I had plans to go to Estonia to teach for a couple of weeks there, but they require vaccination papers, so I postponed the trip. I tested positive for Covid early this year, so, I assume, I am now immune and have no need for vaccination.

We are so thankful to the Lord for His mercy in giving us health and stamina, His grace in allowing us the privilege of serving Him here. We also praise the Lord for all of you who pray for us, encourage us, and support us. Thank you.

By grace alone,