earthen vessels, East Africa, and the gospel
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Posts from — March 2012

Ministry Updates with our Partners in New England

We were encouraged by our time with Medway Community Church as we participated in their first missions conference. So many of the people expressed great kindness towards us and their interest in what God is doing in Tanzania. The church organized an international dinner for Friday night (March 23). The next morning, the conference attendees rotated through four missions-themed workshops. And, on Sunday, we were introduced in the worship service.

I was asked to prepare a workshop for Saturday on “How do you Know You are Called to the Mission Field?”  My big idea was “God has given us means by which we can have confidence that our lives are occupied with works that glorify God.” Those means are (1) personal desire; (2) spiritual qualifications; (3) church affirmation. Much of my thinking on this has been influenced by Charles Spurgeon’s Lectures to my Students and Kevin DeYoung’s Just Do Something. You can view the visual part of my workshop online here.

On Wednesday, we traveled from Medway, MA, to Windsor Locks, CT, to meet with Calvary Baptist Church during their midweek service. We updated the congregation regarding the progress in our pre-field ministry since we visited them in July. This has been a privilege of  our pre-field ministry: to give an account of God’s blessings to our partners in the gospel and know that they are eager to give thanks to God along with us.

The ladies of Calvary Baptist Church threw a baby shower for Laura on Friday night (March 30). We are truly overwhelmed by the generosity of our friends who have helped us prepare for the arrival of our son–which should now be less than 4 weeks away!

March 31, 2012   No Comments

March: The Other Month for Missions Conferences

Churches apparently like to schedule their missions conferences in either October or March. We are participating in a few such meetings this month.

On March 11 I was in Rockford, IL, with First Baptist Church. They invite one missionary to speak each Sunday throughout the month. Since I have lived and worked in Rockford for a time, serving a church there is something of a special interest. God blessed the fellowship and worship services with a great interest in his word and the work in Tanzania.

We drove up to the North side of the Detroit metro area to join Macomb Baptist Church for their services on March 18. They invite two missionaries to speak for them each Sunday throughout this month. I preached for their morning worship service and talked about our ministry in the evening. I had the blessing of sharing the day with a missionary who has been serving in vocational ministry for 45 years. May God be pleased to grant me the grace to persevere faithfully that many years!

Our last missions conference of the month will be this weekend with Medway Community Church in Massachusetts. They have already partnered with us; so, we are looking forward to this being a good opportunity to get to know one another better. A friend unexpectedly provided the means for us to fly Laura out to Boston. Otherwise, she would have to sit out on our road travel until the baby arrives. The church and I are both glad she can join us!

March 21, 2012   No Comments

Laura and Children

Occasionally, when I’m not sure where my wife is, I find her with the church children. Somehow, they can sense that she was once an elementary teacher or just that she likes children. I took these pictures of Laura in her element recently (click the image to enlarge):

March 14, 2012   1 Comment

Pre-Field Meetings to our South

We have been told that the best strategy for winter travel would have us schedule meetings in the South. For various reasons, we haven’t been farther south than Springfield, IL, for church meetings until February 26 when we visited Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church in Cincinnati, OH. (Yeah, depending on your definition of South, we haven’t been there yet). Thankfully, this has been an exceptionally mild winter in all the places we’ve traveled.

We met Pastor Strassner at Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church on a previous trip. On this visit we shared our presentation DVD and I preached for their morning worship service. The congregational signing was planned to coordinate with my sermon from 2 Corinthians 4. We were blessed to spend the morning reflecting on God’s glory in the advance of the gospel.

The Strassners and Us

We traveled even farther south to join Faith Memorial Baptist Church in Richmond, VA, for their services on March 4. I spoke in each of their meetings that day. They responded very positively to what is happening in Tanzania. The best man in our wedding is currently a member of Faith Memorial. Needless to say, we enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with his family.

Our friends, the Kasprzyks, and us at Faith Memorial Baptist Church

March 5, 2012   1 Comment