After spending five weeks north of the Mason-Dixon Line, it’s been very nice to get back to some warm weather recently! Sabrina, Joseph, and I were able to go conveniently to several meetings in the North since we were already planning to attend Pastors’ School. During that week at First Baptist Church in Hammond, Indiana, Bro. Ron Gensaw (missionary in Abuja, Nigeria) [pictured holding 1 yr. old Joseph] was there, and I excitedly worked out with him several details of our survey trip. We are greatly anticipating the visit to his work for the several days that we will be in Africa, if the Lord allows it. Sabrina and I are praying that the co-founder of our mission board, Dr. Mike Cox, and his wife will be able to accompany us.
So far, two churches have pledged to help us specifically with costs that we will incur because of our August trip. Additionally, a church in Iowa met a need and a “want” during its missions conference at the beginning of March. We had several things that needed repair on our Caravan, so members of a prayer group pitched in to get the vehicle fixed and running better than it ever has. Also, not long after we arrived for the four-day meeting, the song leader took me out to shop for a digital camera! He used his income tax refund to pay for a top-of-the-line machine that was even more than what I had desired to take on our survey trip.
Also in March, a pastor in Oregon make it possible for us to have our first meeting out West when he provided for our airfare (Joseph’s first time on a plane) and our hotel accommodations. After three days of challenging preaching, enjoyable activities, and delicious meals, we went soul-winning on Saturday. I joined one of the assistant pastors, and during one of our many visits, I was able to share the Gospel with a Muslim teenager at his door. The boy’s father was sitting in the living room, and he allowed me to keep talking with his son who soon bowed his head and asked Jesus Christ to save his soul! I was reminded once again that God can overcome any challenging situation.
A missions conference cancellation recently allowed Sabrina and I a chance to surprise her parents by coming to her hometown of Denham Springs, Louisiana, a week early; my mom drove the short trip from Long Beach, Mississippi, to be with us the next day. It seems that our relatives [Sabrina's parents pictured] cannot get enough of spending time with Joseph and spoiling him! We’re privileged to have most of April and May scheduled so that we’ll be able to stay with family often. Currently, God has blessed us with a total of eighty-five meetings scheduled in Mississippi and Louisiana alone! I am busily working to book meetings through the end of the year, with prayerful plans to be on the field of Nigeria by January.