Thursday, December 14, 2006

Decembers Interactive Missionary Letter

CONTAINER ARRIVES IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS It truly is amazing how just a few things from home will make you feel. Our container actually arrived late October but it wasn’t until December the 6th until the government allowed us to pick it up. How wonderful that day was, we have been celebrating ever since! We have gone from Ice Cold Showers to Toasty Hot Baths. Processed Cheese Spread to Home Cooked Meals. Air Mattress’s to Fluffy Beds from Heaven. We could go on and on. The home we are renting literally changed over night. The van and car also made it unscathed and - OH - I forgot to mention - we paid no taxes, which saved us over $20,000. Thank you for praying. God is good all the time. REGINA SINGS ANTHEM! In 2002 we began the lengthy process of becoming dual citizens of Costa Rica. Of course the plan was to enter Cuba as Costa Ricans. It was a good plan and we believe will still bear fruit. Regina was awarded dual citizenship on November 17 2006. God’s timing is always perfect. CUBA BLESSINGS! Last month trips were made into Cuba to encourage, supply and train the leaders of the fellowship. The reports, pictures and testimonies we received were AMAZING. Many have been saved, baptized and missions conferences are under way. What a tremendous Christmas gift!! BOSTON BOUND! During furlough David Melton at Boston Baptist College asked if I would teach a blitz course Jan. 8-19th entitled Philosophy of Missions and Ministry. My desire is to instruct the students in “What the Bible Says” about missions and how to have the power of God in their lives, which is the secret to effectual ministry that lasts. Please pray that I will be a blessing.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Waiting in Santo Domingo

Things are going well, I'm in a convenience store here in Santo Domingo (2 hours south of Santiago) waiting for our lawyer to meet me (once again) to go to the dock. It is going to be about a week long process (I hope) to get everything out of Dominican Customs and we are praying that we don't suffer any loss or have to pay any taxes. That may sound unrealistic but our lawyer believes that it is possible due to our brief time in the country. He is a elderly Christian man and is always next to me helping me "get through" the maze of red tape. Two weeks ago we made arrangements to bring in a 2005 Sienna Van through a government organization that helps Missionaries get established here - just this move saved us more than 10,000$ in taxes. Needless to say I'm one happy missionary right now but having been in places like Cuba and Costa Rica - I'm not counting my chickens - until they hatch. Last weekend we were attending a Dominican cultural seminar that is designed to help foreigners understand and deal with the Dominican culture and the boys stayed with some missionaries in Santiago. Keep us in your prayers.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Pneumonia Battle

Tiffany has recovered from a bout with Pneumonia. It has been a up hill battle. At one point Tiffany was in the hospital for 5 days severely dehydrated. This of course in combination with a new culture, new doctor, new hospital, got pretty tough but we circled the wagons, prayed and God sent us some help. Mrs. Barnes came from Costa Rica and took over at the house and took care of Jordan's home schooling which allowed us to concentrate on getting Tiffany over the hump. Praise the Lord for family. Several things went on hold during that time but I am happy to report that everything is "back on track" and we are anxiously awaiting our 20 foot container filled with all kinds of goodies as well as two vehicles that should arrive within the week. Please pray as we move into our new home that our belongings will arrive safe and sound and that we will not have to pay customs any taxes.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

October's Interactive Missionary Letter

THE TIES THAT BIND Reflecting on all that has happened during our first furlough this last year, one thing makes it worth it all – relationships. Spending time and growing closer together with those who pray and give so that we might go has affected us deeply and given us a greater sense of humility and responsibility. We have been encouraged and blessed by so many that it is impossible to mention just one. We are literally tied together and we are thankful for each and every one that prays and supports our ministry. We left August 21 and have begun the process once again of “hitting the beach”. We have encountered difficulties and trials but we are excited, prepared and ready to start another church. We need your prayers so that our family will finish getting settled in by the end of the year so that we can begin looking for property for the Church. PRAYERS THAT TIE While reporting, we asked everyone to pray that God would supply a place for us to stay upon arriving in the D.R., and obviously people were praying. In one of the last churches we were in, we met a wonderful couple. “Coincidently” they happen to have a house in the Dominican, “coincidently” it happens to be 30 min. from Santiago and “coincidently” they happen to have a car. Coincidence or Providence? We believe it was providence and we praise the Lord that God laid it on their hearts to allow us to stay here as well as use their car. We have plans on moving, by the end of this month, into a new home that we are going to rent in Santiago. We know that this transition would not have been as smooth if it had not been for Brothers and Sisters who were so willing to let God use them. Thank you for praying; truly your prayers tie us together. PRAYERS THAT BIND Reflecting upon the work we did in Cuba and the challenges that lie ahead with our new ministry here in the D.R., we are reminded of one of Grandpa’s famous prayers, which makes more sense to us now then ever before, “Please pray that God will bless us, bind us and stick us in a crack where the devil won’t find us”.

Friday, September 29, 2006

First Family Photos from the D.R.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Regina and I are in the Airport - WHEW - thought we would never make it.  LOL  Furlough has been great - relationships really make it worth it all.   We have been encouraged and blessed by so many of you I wanted to write in this evening and personally say thank you and Goodbye for awhile.  Really we are still tied together through the blog - what a blessing - really makes keeping in touch easier.   We will hit the beach late tonight (our first night insertion - SMILE - Plane Delayed out of D.C.)  and we will begin that process once again of setting up, getting the family settled as quickly as possible so that we can start another church.  Truly, we are excited.  We are both very optimistic and know the coming weeks are important and we covet your prayers. 

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Departure Set For August

Hope you and yours are having a great summer and trust you are experiencing His richest blessings. Regina and I are currently in Boise, ID and are headed out this morning to California before heading back to Lubbock for a Garage Sale Extravaganza (oh what fun). We wanted to make this official by letting everybody know that we just purchased our tickets for the Dominican and will make it to Santigo, Dominican Republic in August as planned. We are very excited about starting our new ministry there and need your prayers for traveling mercies.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Prayers Answered

First and foremost I want to thank you for your prayers. It is humbling to be a part of a large group of prayer partners, who when they pray, impact lives in such obvious ways. 1.) The baby is doing much better and on the 28th was allowed to go home briefly to be with her family. Praise the Lord! She is still on antibiotics in the hospital but we understand from the pastor that she is on the road to recovery. The doctors and nurses will continue to run a few more tests before releasing her next week. Thank you for praying. 2.) The pastor reported that he decided to preach his daughters funeral and did a fine job. Several times one pastor thought he would have to take over but each time he regained his composure. He was a blessing both to the saved and the unsaved but most importantly he really encouraged his entire family that were in attendance both at the funeral and at the graveside. They made it clear to us that they have no plans on abandoning their new work and will continue for His honor and glory winning people to the Lord and building His church. Thank you for praying. 3.) The pastor and pastors wife that stayed with them as you can imagine are exhausted and report that this has been one the most difficult times they have had to confront as leaders since our imprisonment in 2005. Several other things “popped up” during this crisis, which always seems to be the case, but the Lord has been good to their church and the Sunday before the funeral they had publicly baptized 8 new believers. They are proud of their church and their leadership team and told me to thank everyone for praying. 4.) The Cuban fellowships response to the sudden death of this pastors daughter as been excellent. Many members in Cuba have been a huge blessing and more than 28 people visted them yesterday representing believers as far has Pinar del Rio. Several here have asked how they could be a blessing to this couple. The pastor and his wife listed several expenses that they have had due to the funeral as well as there daughters hospitalization which is very normal. If you would like to participate in that then please send that to our account in the Missions Office marked specifically for this couple. Any extra received will go to help their new church get off the ground. Thank you for everything, especially the prayers. Keep praying that God will continue to sustain and protect those who serve Him in Cuba.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Prayer Needed

On May 31st of this year Regina and I sent out an update documenting the plans that were being laid to start a sixth church in Cuba. Sadly, the couple that was sent to start this new work lost their two year old daughter to a bacterial infection on June 22. What makes things even more difficult is that their six month old baby is currently in the hospital. One pastor and his wife, have literally not left their side for almost three days. We have also received reports that this has hit all the churches very hard. Regina and I are currently in prayer for this whole family and we invite you to join us, especially for the little one. In addition we invite you to pray for the leaders that are ministering at this time as well as the believers that surround them to uplift and encourage everyone.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

It’s Better to Soar with Eagles than Hang out with Turkeys!

We almost made it through all of furlough without a accident and then BAAMM!! For about 5 miles we were trying to figure out what the noise was all about when we started seeing feathers fly up the windshield. So I pulled over and found that “silly turkey” had cracked the front of our vehicle. A few feet higher and I would have been soaring to glory. Please continue to pray for traveling mercies for us while we are on the road.

In Other News

Regina and I have been from sea to shining sea on furlough. Regina spoke to several hundred ladies for Mother’s day at the Marriott Convention Center in Providence RI. She shared how she witnessed to her interrogators in Cuba and was able to give a clear presentation of the gospel - it went GREAT. I have been preaching up a storm in churches, high schools, men’s meetings, you name it and the Lord has been blessing. Eight received Christ and four were called into full time service just this last month. Congratulations to our friends and family at Noble Hill Baptist Church, our sending church, for calling Pastor Mark Conn as there first full-time pastor. We are excited about dedicating Tiffany to the Lord at Noble Hill on June the 12th. God is good!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Our Friends are Blowing and Going

We are very excited about what is happening in Cuba. As you know the four churches we organized turned into five churches last November. All the churches are growing both spiritually and numerically. MANNA Worldwide, approved our fifth feeding center for children last month. All this activity has generated a lot of communications and it is our understanding that we are going to have another “birth” very soon. It has been our experience that when opportunity comes opposition normally follows it, so we ask that you be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and pray for the pastors and there wives as the Lord leads you. Hope you enjoy the pictures.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Time Flies when your Having Fun

Wow - has it been two months already!! The family and I have been having a great time visiting our churches and have even got in a few new ones to boot. Tiffany is growing like a weed and is as cute as they come - everybody just adores her. Currently we are in Perryton, Texas doing a conference and head out to Oklahoma tomorrow. Please pray for traveling mercies and that God would use us these last few months in the States to be a blessing to the churches that have been so faithful in supporting us. BBFI has launched a new sight at and we have been blessed by the encouraging dailies that they send via e-mail. All you have to do is enroll! Regina and I shall endeavor to be more faithful to this blog and appreciate your patience. Hasta Luego until next week.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Prayer for Tyler

So many have prayed for us and we want to say thank you. We are in Ormond Beach doing a missions conference and we have not forgotten to pray for those who support us. We are presently in the waiting room at the Florida Medical Center waiting for Tyler to come out of the Doctor's office. His eyes have been really bothering him and the pastor here set up a appointment for him to see a Opthamologist. Please pray that his eyes get better. As far as the ministry goes - everything is great. Have a great day and Lord Bless.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Stork Flies (I mean slides) on Sunday

Tiffany came into the world this morning as fast as a Olympic Speed Skater. We slipped into the parking lot aprox. 1 hour before she was born. Upon arrival we waited for the security guard for 10 minutes to - unlock the door. SMILE This was one of Lubbock’s premier hospitals you know - so to console ourselves Regina and I joked with each other during two contractions that we were no longer in the third world - LOL - YEAH RIGHT!! Tiffany passed the Anesthesiologist with ease - who never made it to give Mama an epidural (a first for Regina). She slipped past our Doctor who didn’t make it until 20 minutes after she was born. And last but not least - she actually slid past the hospital who didn’t have time to admit Regina until 30 minutes after Tiffany was already down the Luge. Thank the Lord for the Registered Nurse from - Grenada - named Esther who delivered Tiffany (with a little help from a emergency doctor) into this Arena of Life at 2:47 A.M. She wins (from her nervous daddy who is sure glad she didn’t come in his bobsled made by Saturn) a GOLD MEDAL for SPEED and CUTENESSS! OUR BEAUTIFUL GIRLS HAPPY PAPA LITTLE BROTHER BECOMES BIG BROTHER

More Tiffany Joy, Timothy Jordan and John Tyler


Friday, January 13, 2006

January's Interactive Missionary Letter

A Whole New Ball Of Wax! A new country, new ministry, new relationships, and a new baby all in less than one year can be a little overwhelming. But for us it has turned into an adventure, blessing, honor and exciting responsibility. Why? Because of God's loving kindnesses and compassion which are new every morning according to Lamentations 3:23. We are confident that it is God, not chance, destiny or coincidence that has opened each one of these doors and that He, in His sovereignty has everything under control. A Wedding Anniversary to Remember! Lee and Ellen Barnes = unforgettable. These two faithful servants of our Lord have labored together for many, many years. Regina and I have never doubted their love for us, in fact I cannot remember one time when being in their presence when I wouldn't hear them say - we love you. Long nights during my courtship with Regina, I would spend with Bro. Barnes playing dominoes. Of course, I could never get the upper hand probably because I was always listening to Lee's fascinating stories of life during and after the depression. From minuteman shipbuilding to jumping trains from job to job Grandma and Grandpa Barnes did anything and everything for their family. When their son moved to Costa Rica to be a missionary they mortgaged their home to get that first church started and today this event is still talked about as one of the shining moments in our families history. They love and support all of us with unconditio! nal, unwavering faith even during the difficult times. They are themselves a gift of precious service - a man and woman of God. This weekend we honor them here in Bolivar, MO before moving down the road to visit more faithful supporters and Believe It or Not we are here celebrating their seventy fifth wedding anniversary. The Lord is good. is loaded with brand new material on the Dominican Republic and includes up to date prayer requests, needs and more. In addition to this you can download videos, photos for your missions conferences and most importantly you can view all our missionary letters now in HTML - and PDF - format. Stork Approaches! Tiffany, our bundle of joy, is "to be delivered" around the second week of February. It has been 8 years since our last son, Jordan, joined the family, and much has changed. On a recent tour of the facilities, the nurse told Tom and I that they had just installed Wi-Fi in all the birthing rooms. Wi-Fi? Can I ask who wants Wi-Fi when you're giving birth? Needless to say I told Tom that my birthing room will be a "no surfing zone" while in labor. SMILE

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Black Eyed Peas?

I sure hope you ate those black-eyed peas this year - I didn't eat any last year (they have no clue what black-eyed peas are in Cuba) and it landed me in jail. LOL Seriously, next week will be one year - a amazingly long time - since being forced to leave our "first love" and our guys there are still blowing and going. Praise the Lord! Regina and I have been blessed with a excellent Doctor here in Lubbock and he has given her the AOK to travel this week - just one more month to go before Tiffany's arrival!! We are looking forward to being with Regina's family this week to celebrate her grandparents - Lee and Ellen Barnes's 75 wedding anniversary. WOW!! Of course on the way we will be preaching for beans - err I mean black-eyed peas and having fun with those who have faithfully supported us over the years. Happy New Year!! We found this immaculately lighted tree in Lubbock last week which reminded us of the vine (tree) and all the branches (lights) that spring forth from Him.