Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Big Thanks!!!

I would like to have one post solely for the purpose of thanking those partnering with us for the sake of the gospel of Christ!

First, I would like to thank Pete Menendez, Tim Turner, and Pastor Paul for all the help they have been and will be in helping us be obedient to the Lord in fulfilling His calling on our lives. I also want to thank Pastor Matos and Pastor Hernandez for their Spanish lessons they have been offering.

Secondly, I would like to thank Woodside Baptist, FBC Sparr, Trenton First Baptist, First Baptist Salt Springs, and Fellowship Baptist (the last two mentioned just added 2/29/12) for allowing us to share our testimony at their churches and either supporting us or possibly supporting us financially. There are also individuals who are giving us to as well and Celia and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Though it will not be possible to minister to the Dominicans without the financial support, our efforts will be in vain without the support of your prayers. To those who have lifted our mission up to the Lord in prayer, we are grateful and plead that you continue to remember us, Pastor Jose and the Dominicans. Thank you!!!

I will have another post shortly listing specific prayer requests and other needs that have arisen.

What we've been doing of late

For the past couple of months we've been attending Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispana de Marion Oaks (First Baptist of Marion Oaks), a Spanish speaking church if you couldn't tell. Two of the pastors, Pastor Matos and Pastor Al Hernandez are giving us Spanish lessons as well during the week. Please be in prayer for our learning of the language as we still have a long way to go. Celia and I still struggle to comprehend the Sunday school lesson and the message (we really don't as of yet), but we think headway is being made. 

On October 30th, the Marion Baptist Association adopted Celia and I as their missionaries at the annual meeting held at FBC Ocala. The pastors present prayed over us and unofficially commissioned us as missionaries. I believe that was a first for the association. Many people have asked us why we are raising financial support independently instead of going through the International Mission Board (IMB). This past January, we met with an IMB official and discussed our calling and options. While we did meet the IMB's requirements, we declined from seeking their support primarily because of one reason. That reason being because the objective of the IMB at this time is to reach "unreached" people groups and the Dominican Republic is not considered "unreached." Thus, they would send us to one of those unreached places (probably somewhere in Asia). Instead of turning them down immediately, we fervently prayed for God's guidance and wisdom in the matter. Through much prayer, Celia and I both came to believe we would be disobedient if we did not attempt to go to the Dominican Republic. 

Currently, we are speaking at churches local (and afar...we spoke at Trenton First Baptist in Trenton, GA this past Sunday) sharing our testimony and seeing how the Lord uses it. It is a beautiful thing to be in a place where you cannot see the end but you have faith that God will provide because you are confident you are in  His will. Celia and I praise God for that, because we both know what it is like to be confused and searching as well. Though, I must confess, there is a beauty that comes in being in that place as well, and I wonder if in this life any of us will ever totally leave that state.