Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Evans' Christmas Update

Dear Friends and Family,
We pray this finds each of you celebrating Christmas with JOY -knowing that Jesus came to earth - to show us what God is like - and to lay down His life for each of us - if we are willing to accept who He is - and acknowledge our sin and that we cannot save ourselves.

And the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Luke 2: 10 - 11

2008 has been an eventful year for the Evans family. The year started out with Mike in Kenya with us until mid January. Shortly after he returned to Union University, the school was hit by a huge tornado on February 5 that devastated the school and destroyed many dormitories and buildings on campus. Miraculously, no one was killed. Mike was able to stay and help with the clean up while the school was closed for 2 weeks. When we saw the school in August we were amazed at the building and cleanup that had taken place in just 7 months. Many students at that campus will forever remember God's hand of protection during that fateful February night. Mike is doing well in his Junior year at Union as a Christian Studies major.

In May, Bob and Susan saw their youngest, Maria, graduate from high school in Nairobi, Kenya. We also were able to visit Lisbon, Portugal, on our return to the States in July to revisit where we started out in language school in 1992 when Maria was just 2 years old! Maria is now completing her first semester at Union University and loving it!

Before leaving Kenya, we went out to Mombasa to meet our second grandson, Caleb Robert Ghrist, born May 17 to Maggie and Josh Ghrist and brother, Matthew (2 1/2 years). Maggie and Josh have served with Lighthouse for Christ for 2 years now. They are currently on stateside in Tyler, Texas until May 2009.

Bob and Susan also celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary in June! [guess who??]
Although we are sad thinking about returning to the field without children, we acknowledge that it is time:-)

The six month stateside has flown by and we are down to just a few weeks remaining. When we arrived in Decatur, Texas, back in July, we knew that the IMB was making some changes in the organization. During the last few weeks, those changes have changed the course of our future missionary service. Bob has been asked to be the Director of Finance for the Sub Saharan Africa Affinity Group. It will require a move to Johannesburg, South Africa, around July 1, 2009. We both have a peace about the position and the move, although leaving Kenya and closer proximity to the grandchildren is clearly a difficult thing. We covet your prayers for us
through this transition.

We want to thank each of you for your support of us in many different ways. Many of you pray for us and we want you to know we appreciate that and know it sustains us. Another simple truth is that we couldn't serve overseas as we have for the last 16 years without your gifts to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Those gifts are the means by which we devote ourselves
to full-time ministry, providing us with a place to call home, transportation, medical care - even the schooling our children received.

It is both a humbling and exhilarating experience to live life dependent on the faithfulness and generosity of Southern Baptists and others who contribute to our needs. Thank you! Please know that many people around the world are truly celebrating Christmas for the first time this year because of your sacrifice for God's Kingdom.

Bob and Susan look forward to returning to Nairobi in mid January. We have enjoyed the peace and quiet of our time in Texas living on a black angus farm outside Decatur, but it will be good to get back to work and ministry and to some Ethiopian food!

Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday, Jesus,

Bob and Susan

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

ADULT 5 sends BOXES to TROOPS!!!

Update on boxes sent to GIs as an Adult V class project. We started out sending boxes to all those on our list Oct. 2007, at which time we sent 1 emergency box to a GI in Japan who was having a difficult time. In November, the class sent 7 boxes + 2 (one in rehab and one at home) making 9.

Dec 2007- sent 7 boxes + 1 in rehab = 8
Jan 2008- sent 2 boxes-we missed Christmas = 2
Then we started sending boxes of goodies to those "In Harm's Way"
and wounded and cards to the others.

Mar 2008- sent 8 boxes + 2 (one in rehab + a friend of his in rehab)=10
May 2008- sent 14 boxes + 2 (one in rehab + a friend of his in rehab)=16
July 4th 2008- Sent cards of Appreciation to about 20 GIs
Sept 2008- sent 12 boxes + 2 (one in rehab + a friend of his in rehab)=14
Dec 2008- sent 14 boxes (the wounded in rehab is getting out )
Dec boxes included candy and home baked goods = 14
Total to date: 74 boxes sent to our soldiers.

Thanks for all your help- collecting personal items, food items, baking, monetary donations, helping sort and pack packages, writing addresses and mailing boxes. God Bless all of you.

Becky Culpepper

Monday, December 1, 2008

Angel Tree for Mission Families

First Baptist will celebrate this Christmas by sending gifts to each of our mission partners. Join us by working with your Bible Study Group or Department to adopt one of our families and bless them this Holiday Season. Call the Church or check with one of our Mission Committee members: Frank Maxwell or Jerry Howard.

As every year, First leads the way in giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Last year we took in over $13,000 toward these worldwide mission causes. This year our goal is $20,000. The first $15,000 will go to Lottie Moon and anything over that up to the goal will go for our mission partners to help with projects like building a children's home in Mexico. Pray about giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

Pastor and Mission Committee

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mission Group from Gulf Coast to Report Tonight!

Seven members from First Baptist Church traveled to the Beaumont area this week to help in our Church2Church partnership with Westgate Memorial Baptist Church and the Golden Triangle Baptist Association. Don't Miss their report in the Evening Service at 6:30pm tonight. Pictures will be on the website soon!
Continue to pray for those devastated by Hurricane Ike.

Update From Vancouver - The Connection!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008]

In the midst of the spiritual battle it is sometimes easy to take victories for granted. So I want to take a few moments to publically thank God for a few wonderful answers.

As a family we are working on the habit of gathering in the evening, reading a little scripture and praying for our needs. A few days ago Adam prayed for his DS (a video game) and IPOD. He was afraid that these had been stolen when our car had been broken into. But after he prayed, he found both and we thanked the Lord. It was a small thing, but meaningful.

When a child sees an answer like that it can stir him to pray bolder prayers. So this past Wednesday night we were praying and Adam prayed that he would not need another cast. The next day, Thursday, was his next Doctor’s appointment. He was scheduled to get a new cast for several more weeks. We didn’t want to stop him from praying, but Tiffany and I knew that this was practically impossible. But when he went to the doctor yesterday she felt confident to enough to send him home without any cast at all. Another answer to prayer. God is good.

Then there was an answer of another kind.

As we’re working on the movie, Kyle and I have been praying for a way to distribute it. We have connections to some individuals who do small scale distribution but nothing that could make world wide impact. Then yesterday, out of the blue, Kyle got an email from one America’s biggest movie making companaies.We had not contacted them and knew nobody at this place. Somehow they had found us on a blog and wanted to talk to us. Kyle called them back today and found out that they were excited about the trailer and were ready to screen the movie when it is finished.

Wow! Lesson learned. God answers as we ask. He just does.

So, this evening, before you watch any TV, gather your family around and pray about your needs. You never know what might happen.

John Martens
The Connection

Monday, November 3, 2008

Church2Church Trip to the Gulf!!!

First committed to help churches in need in Gulf Coast Area after Hurricane Ike!

Bobby Cox, our interim Education Minister along with Charlie Burns will lead a group to the Gulf Coast area of Beaumont to help with the continuing recovery from Hurricane Ike. They will leave next Sunday, November 9th after morning worship. Already nine have signed up to go and help with clean-up and repairs. If you would like to go, contact the office or Bobby asap.

Praise God for the opportunity to help our brothers and sisters along the coast who have been devastated by this storm. Although the media coverage has ceased, the need is still great. Pray about going. If you cannot go, pray about giving to our support of Westgate Memorial Baptist Church and the Golden Triangle Association. We WILL hold the ropes for these fellow churches.

Thank you church for caring!!! Pastor Ken

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pastor Attends Annual Chaplains Convention - Waxahachie

Greetings from Lakeview Conference Center located between Waxahachie and Maypearl Texas. I would like to ask you to pray for me as I join 176 Chaplains from all over the nation in this three day conference. Chaplains for our Baptist Convention of Texas serve the Military, Hospitals, Jails and Prisons, Law Enforcement and Disaster Relief. Some are full-time, part-time and volunteer. They are men and women of all ages and backgrounds who love the Lord and bring Jesus to those in various places and positions in everyday life. Pray for these front line ministers as they prepare and refresh for ministry.

During the conference, I have the privilege of being certified in ASIST - Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training. This training developed in Canada and has spread around the world with over 600,000 people being certified. It is provided through the BGCT as a way for churches and ministers to help intervene in the lives of people who are at risk to suicide. We are here to give life. Pray for me as I learn how to better help those in our community. Pray for First that we will be a life giving church. Have a great week and see you Sunday as we complete our series on PARADOX.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Connection Makes Movie! See Trailer ...

Hi there folks.

Happy Thanksgiving (Canada) & Columbus Day (US)

Just a quick note that the first (teaser) trailer for our film is up on You Tube. Click on it as many times as you want and pass it on to your friends. Put it in your Facebook, embed it in your web site, whatever you want. Just get this out there. The more exposure we get, the better. (If you have lots of time you can just watch it 45 times. That will help too. :)

(You can click on this link.)

Sorry if you get this message more than once, I'm just combining lists to make sure everyone gets this.

John Martens
The Connection

Monday, October 6, 2008

First Decatur Partners with Westgate Memorial!

First Baptist Church is partnering with churches in Beaumont to help with Hurricane Ike relief. The Texas Baptist Men were some of the first on the scene to help the thousands of people who have lost so much. Last night at the HBA Annual Meeting Leo Smith told me that we had served hundreds of thousands of meals and still hundreds of volunteers are in the Gulf Coast helping with tree trimming, clean up and mud outs. More volunteers are needed and BGCT has challenged the Church2Church initiative to partner with over 100 churches that have devastating damage. Watch this video by Pastor Raymond McHenry at Westgate Memorial Baptist Church and pray about going to help or giving to the relief effort through FBC Decatur.

Pray for our friends in the Gulf Coast that as the Pastor said God will bring good things out of the bad.

Missions Committee Approves Fund for Mexico!

Great Things are Happening in Mexico! Philip and Rebecca continue to lead the Children's Home on the Mountain to build new dorms for the precious children of Saltillo. Two houses are complete - a third is being built - the fourth is promised - First Baptist is raising $50,000 for the fifth. Pray about giving. In the last two weeks, over $5000 has already been given.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Connection - Maple Ridge, BC

Dear Friends,

Our family just got back from a quick trip to Manitoba. It was nice to get away and visit my family, some of whom we had not seen for 2 years, it’s just too bad that we had to spend more time driving than visiting J … or so it seems. Although the time was busy with long days and late nights and many kids (my one brother has 4 youth children), it was emotionally refreshing. Hopefully you’ll find me (more) cheerful and ready to go. I also had some time to mull over what we are doing, and how we are doing, and I was able to regain the focus that I believe the Lord wants us to have. I look forward to sharing with you all.

As you know, we’ll be starting the new school year in a few days. (I think some schools are already in action.) So this will be a great time of new beginnings for our church. To that end I want to commit the coming Tuesday and Wednesday (26th & 27th) to fasting and much prayer. If you can join in by either putting aside a solid meal and drink juice instead, or letting go of a luxury (like TV) during part of one of those 2 days that would add a lot of power to our church.

Yours always, John Martens

Visit their website at The Connection

Monday, August 4, 2008

Mexico Mission Trip

Our Missionaries to Mexico traveled to Casa Hogar de la Montana, Children's Home of the Mountains on July 18th-26th. Our missionaries were Chip, Sue, Robert, Rose, Rebecca, Christian, Brett, Andrea, Tammy, David, Suzette and Tia. They led Bible School and completed construction on one of the houses for the children. Below are a few of the great pictures that they brought back.

Keep Philip and Rebecca Askey and the Children's Home of the Mountains in your prayers. God is doing great things!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Connection in Canada is Filming a Movie

We are in the midst of our filming marathon. Fortunately we've been able to get some short breaks in between to get some rest (and get other work done). Today was all indoor shots - as we shot the closing scene of the movie. It rained all day. Tiffany and I also had to take Paint, our dog, to the doggy doctor. Paint either sprained her leg or broke it. But the Dr. thinks the dog will be fine. Just a lot of rest.

Tomorrw and Thursday we'll be filming outdoors. Please pray for dry sunny weather. We need this for continuity. There are scenes that continue in the movie but are shot several weeks apart. Tomorrow and Thursday we go pretty late. Tomorrw it's till 2 AM. I'm not yet sure about Thursday. Probably about the same. Pray for weather and that all goes well. So far God has been with us. It has been a lot of work but in the end God provided. For example, it took about 50 phone calls and about as many "No's" but finally one place let us use a Hummer for nearly free. (Other places were wanting to charge us up to 2000$.) That's just the way it goes.
Filming a scene at a restaurant.

John Martens
The Connection

Sunday, July 27, 2008

First Provides AC for Bolivia!

First Baptist Church joined with Wise Choices to provide Air Conditioning for the Ministry in Bolivia! Thank You!
The following letter from July 26th Copied from Wise Choices Blog ...

Saturday Night in Santa Cruz...Here we sit under the stars in the patio area of our beautiful surroundings at Hotel Yotau. It is the only place we can get a good internet connection. We certainly are modern missionaries! Anyway, the day was awesome and we are pleased to be able to report to you a good report.This morning, we hosted our PINC conference for the English Speaking Missionaries and the young women they influence. Suzanne and Sara first with the young women and spoke about purity and setting boundaries. The young women responded with enthusiasm and one of the senior girls from the Christian Learning Center invited them to come speak at the senior girls Bible study on Thursday night. This was something that God had laid on Sara's heart and an opportunity that she had been praying for as she prepared for Bolivia. There were many teens, moms, and missionary women who made a commitment to purity and they in turn prayed for our next week of sessions to be spoken in the schools and orphanages.This afternoon, 15 women who are volunteers at Centro de Vida, came for training. The discussion and training was very interesting to see the cultural differences between our two countries on the subject of adoption, abortion, stds, and so on. We presented them with a small gift from Wise Choices and also presented them with youth education curriculum which is in spanish. They were very thankful and appreciative. Their "graciousness" and appreciation for what we have offered are very heart-felt!We found out yesterday that we will be presenting purity and integrity to a group of 15 young women who have been in prostitution and/or have been sexually abused. So if you are reading this prior to our speaking...we certainly would appreciate your prayers!Tomorrow morning we will go to the Trinity Union Church and are looking forward to seeing and meeting more of the local English speaking missionaries. We hope to encourage them to pray for our team and for Centro de Vida. We will get a bit of souvenire shopping in at the plaza tomorrow and then back to the hotel to relax and get ready for the full week ahead of us.
Buenos Noches from Bolivia! Eve, Leslie, Suzanne, and Sara

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mexico Mission Group - Monday

First Baptist Church of Fisherville, TN and First Baptist Church of Decatur, TX are having a VBS at Miguel and Suzi's church in Saltillo. Here they are putting on a puppet skit for over 40 kids.

Pray for our Missionaries in Mexico this week. Go to for more information on the Children's Home of the Mountain.

They will be returning on Saturday!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Youth Student Life Camp

We got a call from Ron in Durango this afternoon and he had GREAT news! Two of our students that are with him at camp accepted Christ last night as their Lord and Savior. To say the least, we are all THRILLED! Keep praying for Ron, the leaders, and all of the youth that are there, and pray that the Lord will continue to do great things!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Camp Copass Day 1

We arrived at Camp Copass, got registered, unpacked, and headed to our first "Pep Rally."Craig Tackett and his band, "Jonathan Project," are leading our worship time. This group led us, last year and the kids loved them. Craig is also our camp pastor and last night we learned the similarities between "Humpty-Dumpty" and Job. Evening worship was followed by our cabin devotion time. We wrapped up the evening with a"Nite at the Theme Park" which included bounce houses, water slides, a dunking booth, sno-cones, cotton candy, and lots of games. Lights were out @ 11:00 with just a few rebels who had a hard time getting up this morning. Please keep all of our kids and leaders in your prayers this week. More updates soon!

Monday, July 14, 2008


Things have been swirling around the FBC Family this morning --

Students left last night at 10pm for Colorado and we just heard from Ron that they arrived there safe and sound and all is well.
Candy and a mob of kids loaded up at 11:ooam and headed for Camp Copass.
Chip and his group are getting the last details together to leave for Mexico. Whew!!! What an exciting Morning! Praise God for what He is doing among us at First.

Love God Love Students Love Children Love Missions -- It is an exciting time to be in Decatur!

Pray for each group to grow deeper, closer and more in love with Jesus as they share with each other and their world.

Fulfulling our Mission: To share the Joy of Jesus with our World!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wise Choices Group Heads to Bolivia!

Pastor –

Thanks so much for the prayer.

My group is getting geared up for our trip to Santa Cruz, Bolivia. We leave in less than 3 weeks. We will work with Centro de Vida (Center for Life) Pregnancy Center. We will be presenting “PINC! Purity and Integrity in Christ”. This will be given in Bolivian Schools (500 teen girls), 4 orphanages (60 teen girls), and the English speaking missionary women/mothers and their teens. Our team of four: Eve and Sara Roberts (my step-daughter), Leslie Hollis and Suzanne Juro. Sara and I speak a little Spanish and the other two do not. We will use translators. We are so excited to see what God is already doing and what He will do through this trip.

We leave on the 24th.

(click to email Eve)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Connection -- Martens celebrate 4th!!!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008 (11 PM)

These last days have been pretty wild (and wonderful as well). On Friday the 4th (go America!) we finished our first week of camps. With over 120 kids, it was quit a ride. Basketball, preschool arts, cheerleading, and (the very poplar and brand new) cooking for Kids. It was a wonderful time of outreach and ministry. On Friday we had a closing program with Timmy (the puppet) and presentations from all the different groups. I briefly shared about our church and invited the parents to come if they were looking for a church. It was all low pressure but hopefully planted an idea in their minds. Then at noon one of the teams put on a BBQ for all the kids and parents and we had time to just chat. Several people expressed a great interest in our church. There were families from Argentina, families from Korea that hardly spoke any English, and families from Scotland (don’t you love those British accents!) One parent told me “I really want some of this stuff for my kids. Can I enroll them in Sunday morning?” She was almost in tears as she spoke. I could tell there is a spiritual appetite. Please pray for her.

Friday night the big team from Little Rock Arkansas helped with the youth. It was a great big party for everyone. Tiffany and I also had one of our cousins visit us from Manitoba that night.

Kyle, Tiffany, Mikaela, and I were working shooting a few scenes for the movie. That went pretty late. Sunday morning we were up early to get ready for church. In the afternoon we were getting all the last minute stuff ready for shooting (movie) on Monday. In the evening we were to meet the 2 teams that were coming down for the next week of camps. Were we ever in for a surprise.

At about 7 pm Kevin finally heard from the 2nd team. This was the group that was scheduled to run our basketball camp. They were about to be turned back at the border. They were finally allowed in, but only after swearing (literally) to not work with children. So the rest of the evening we were replanning and trying to figure out how to stretch our existing team to cover the needs.

Yes, that is how this week started. Oh yeah, Tiffany also got sick, I developed a mild flue, and Adam broke his wrist. So now we’re running several camps. We are short staffed in all areas but (with a lot of stretching on everyone’s part) we are making it happen. Kevin has taken on the basketball and the team from Oregon has split themselves up.

Pray for Kevin as he takes up coaching for the basketball.
Pray for Pamela as she organizes the camps even while running a preschool camp of her own. Pray for energy and health.
Pray for Kyle as he tries to get all the shooting organized.
And pray especially that we find the people that God is drawing to himself and to our church.

Thank you First Baptist for praying and supporting us!
John Martens, The Connection, Maple Ridge BC

Monday, July 7, 2008

Rebecca R on Mission to Peru!!!

Pray for Rebecca who is on a Brio Mission Trip to Lima, Peru (6/30-7/13). Check out the website and search for her picture.
You can email Rebecca.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Connection, CANADA

Day 1 (June 30, 2008)

I told you it would get busy once these weeks started, but even with all that I knew would happen there are always a few exciting surprises.

Last night we had a meal at the church for a team from Arkansas and one from California. That lasted till about 9. Then it was baths and bed for everyone here. It was about 11 before we all got settled. I made a promise to myself that we’d be in bed by 10 tomorrow. (Remember those surprised?)

Well, today was Monday and the first day of our camps. We were all involved and had to get up early and get everyone ready to be at the school at around 8 AM. Kevin was over here and had to load a few things in the morning yet. I had some phone calls and stuff and was a little bit later. We all got there and got set up. I also missed my time of prayer and wanted to make sure I did that late.

Then it was registering about 100 children. My job was to visit the different families while our team handed out coffee and tea and an invitation to a free financial seminar. Unfortunately, nearly everyone came at about 9 so it took about 45 minutes to get everyone in the gym. But I met several very interesting families. One talked to me for a long time. They were just starting to look for a church. When they left, I went around and took a few pictures and visited the different rooms. Kyle felt sick and had to go home. I also hurried home.

About ½ of our house is used for church work. Our church offices are in the basement (which is really the first floor.) In the office, Wanda was working on the movie posters and I needed to just see how she was doing. Then I needed to rush to my messages. Because of Kyle’s busy schedule with filming, he needed all the videos for the next 5 messages by Tuesday. So I needed to have a solid idea of these messages by today. I worked and planned furiously. At noon it was back to the school for the closing and another time of seeing the parents. Good thing the camps were in the safe hands of Pamela (camp coordinator) & Kevin (team coordinator). After that I was starving and found some left over egg sandwiches from Sunday. I sat with Adam as he ate a soup and I devoured 3 sandwiches. Wow. Then back to the school again for a quick debriefing. I got Kevin’s camera so I could get the photos of the parents and identify the ones I had met and visited with. The memory stick did not want to read but finally I got it working. I tried working a little bit again. There were people in our back yard working and a few in and out of the office. Plus phone calls. But I had to keep my focus on those messages.

At 4 there was another closing. I was slightly late for that one. I visited with a few more parents and met a recent immigrant for Ireland. They were very interesting. (I love British accents.) Coming from a large family they were obviously lonely. I tried to figure how to reach them for Jesus. There were also several Pilipino families that wanted us to run these camps in their city next yet. They said they would help gather many families.

After closing up the school and saying thank you to the principal, I headed home and went over to the church for a time of prayer. God surprised me by visiting me in a powerful way. He taught me things and moved in my heart in such a powerful way – I just can’t explain it in this space – except to say that my heart was broken anew with how much God loves people and wants everyone to come to know him. After God had showed me this in a fresh way, I fell on my knees and begged him for the privilege of bringing many souls to know him.

Then it was home, a 15 minute jog, and a supper. Tiffany had an evening practice and had been in a hot school for 8 hours (as camp nurse) and didn’t really feel like cooking. Do you blame her? So after eating our very healthy Subway sandwiches, we hurried home so Tiffany could get ready for her 7 pm practice. One of our neighbors has asked us to watch their plants and lawn. Adam and I go over there to get the details. Meanwhile Tiffany rearranges the practice. Because Kyle was still sick – we think with the flue – and the church would be very hot she moves the band practice to our home. Besides, it would take an hour to set up the sound equipment. (Since we did not yet have bars on our location, the new sound equipment, purchased since the robbery 3 weeks ago, is being stored at our house.) So very soon, Catherine, Andrea, Tiffany, Lionel & Dorothy were here to practice.

Meanwhile, I headed back to the keyboard to work on the messages. There was a deadline. And how beautiful it was to work to the sound of angels singing in the next room! It was like being in heaven. While this is going on, Pamela was printing dozens of copies of a parenting flier to be handed out to parents this week. I took a look. It was beautiful.

At about 8:30 I took Adam to the skateboard park. He had asked me all day and I wanted do that for at least a few minutes. After all, this is one of his favorite activities. The day was been very hot, but the evening was turning out beautifully.

At the park the mosquitoes were out. How unusual for Maple Ridge! We don’t usually have any. The team from Little Rock was at the skate park. We visited and watched Adam. Then Adam comes to me with a hurt arm. He felt it was serious.

So we headed home where Tiffany looked at the wrist. She was concerned that it might be broken. We decided that it is best that we check out the hospital tonight. That might take a long time but tomorrow would be no better.

I stayed home and sat down with Mikaela to watch the end of the Mariner’s game. But within an inning, the phone rings. The intern who had driven all the way from Oregon had just arrived at the church. Initially Kyle was going to handle this but he was still sick. I ask the Matt, and his friend, Josh (part of the mission team coming next week) to drive to our place where I felt them what left over pizza and ice tea I could find. Finally at 10 PM, I was able to get hold of the place where they were to stay for the night. Then I drive them across the city.

I get back at about 10:30. Tiffany is still not back with Adam. ER waits can be 4 hours. So I put Mikaela to bed and wait.

Now, it’s midnight. I’m still waiting.

I share this with you so you might pray for us. I’m sure that if any one of our team shared their day it would be just as interesting as mine. So pray for all of us. Pray for Pamela as she handles all the details. Pray for Kevin as he deals with the team. Pray for Kyle that he get better quickly. Pray for our family and our core team. Pray that we meet and bring in some more team members.

Tomorrow will be another day. There will be struggles and surprised. Today, God brought some new people into our life, allowed me to worship him in a new and powerful way, and let me grow in the grace of patience. Who knows what tomorrow will hold?

John MartensThe Connection

Monday, June 30, 2008

Mission to Mexico 2008

Pray for our Missionaries to Mexico as they prepare to go! The trip is scheduled for July 18th-26th. Two vans will head to the border and then on to Casa Hogar de la Montana, Children's Home of the Mountains, where Phillip and Rebecca serve the Lord and children of Mexico.

Begin now to pray for these missionaries: Chip, Sue, Robert, Rose, Rebecca, Christian, Brett, Andrea, Tammy, David, Suzette and Tia. They will be leading Bible School and completing construction on one of the houses for the children. Support may be given to the Mission Fund.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Son Power Mission Trip Day 7

After 8 LONG hours of live recording, the musical is a "wrap." We really enjoyed this opportunity to praise our God in voice. We all can't wait until the CD is completed and sent to each of us.

Tonight, we finish up SonPower with a concert featuring Matthew West.

Tomorrow, we start the trek back home...pray for our travel safety. We so much appreciate all your prayers during this week. Can't wait to get back home!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Son Power Mission Trip Day 6

Today, we ironed out some final touches on the musical, we will spend 4 1/2 hours tomorrow doing a live recording of the musical we have been working on.

We went to the House of Hope, a home for troubled teens. Part of our group cleaned a house and readied it for tenants. The other part of the group fought the heat, humidity, and ants, to clean up aluminum that will be sold for profit for the Home. Finally, we spent a few moments with the teens who live in the Home. We continually thank God for our opportunities, today was a fantastic day!

See you all soon!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Son Power Mission Trip Day 5

After a sectionals rehearsal, we were set free for a day off! Off to MGM Hollywood Studios at Disneyworld we went!! We had a great day full of fun. It was really awesome to be reminded so many times of the great history Disney has had with our country. It was incredibly hot when we first arrived but, a rainstorm came in and cooled it off very quickly. We were definitely grateful for this! After wild experiences on the Tower of Terror and the Rock 'n Roll Rollercoaster, we ended the day with an amazing water/lights/laser/fireworks left many of speechless.

We are doing great and beginning to look forward to our return...KEEP PRAYING!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Son Power Mission Trip Day 4

Today started out with rehearsal along with 650 other folks literally from across the nation. It was pretty amazing to stop singing for a moment and hear that many voices celebrating our God! Mallory Johnson and Jonathan Wingo were selected from several other students who auditioned yesterday to sing during the worship service...they did outstanding and we were so proud!!

This afternoon, we drove about 20 miles east of Orlando to a town called Sanford. We met Pastor Gerald at Lifeway Community Church and then proceeded to distribute 700 flyers in the surrounding neighborhoods to help promote Lifeway's upcoming VBS in July. The temperature was in the 90's and pretty sure the humidity was in the 90% range as well...HOT & STEAMY!! It was awesome seeing our students take a stand for Christ and fearlessly going into unknown places all the while praying that one of the children in this town will have the opportunity to come to know Jesus as their Savior during this VBS.

Tomorrow morning, after rehearsal, we are off to MGM Hollywood Studios at Disneyworld.

We are doing fantastic and thanking God for His providence in our lives! KEEP PRAYING!!