July 2016

Latino Ministry As you all know, before I had my heart attack I went to the Payne County Jail every Sunday afternoon to preach to the Latino men incarcerated there. A few months ago I received a phone call from a Mexican man, father of one of the young men who had been in the jail here. He could not find his son and asked me for help locating him. His son’s last known contact was in the jail in El Paso, Tx. By means of the internet, we found and called the phone number of the El Paso city jail and talked to one of the officers about Daniel Bernabe. He told me that Daniel was in the jail there charged with illegal entry into the United States and would be deported soon to Mexico. When Daniel’s father called me back, I told him this news and he was happy and relieved to receive it. Daniel’s father told me that the Word of God that I had preached to Daniel when he was in the jail here in Stillwater had helped Daniel spiritually. However, Daniel had tried to return to the U. S. A but had been caught at the border. Recently, I received another phone call from Daniel’s father because Daniel had not come home after his supposed deportation and they are praying for him and worried about him. Roxanne did some more research on the internet and found that Daniel had been extradited back to Stillwater to appear before the court for not coming back to court upon being released on a PR bond the first...

June 2016

Dear Pastor and Brethren: Update on Our Evangelistic Outreach Opportunity! Although we just started praying about and appealing to our supporting churches about doing a postcard mailing to residents in our zip code area, we already have some positive feedback and monies given for a good start. As of this writing, I have $1000.00 that has been given to begin this effort leaving us with only $3099.34 to have enough to do the mailing. Next month I will give more details, but may this suffice for the moment to encourage you brethren in this endeavor to pray and give as the Lord leads. Latino Ministry This month Roxanne and I have dealt with ten Mexican men through the court system, giving them good literature and a Bible to read. Instead of listing their names here, I would just ask for your continued prayers for this effort, that the Holy Spirit of God might move upon the hearts of some of these young men and give them an interest in the things of Christ, especially salvation. We had somewhat of a scare with a young Mexican couple whose baby developed a high fever after having received his vaccination shots. Raquel and Rigoberto have a baby boy of four months named Christopher who Roxanne normally accompanies to the doctor to help and to translate for them. However, this time Roxanne did not go with them because they thought they could understand enough to do it without her help. At about 10:30 that same evening, Roxanne got a call from Raquel who said that Christopher was listless and red in his face,...

May 2016

Visitors from England! One Sunday morning this month, we were delightfully surprised to find that an elderly couple from England had walked from their rental house to our little church building to attend our Sunday morning church service. They had come from Cambridge, England to Stillwater to visit their new grandson, had seen our new sign, and not having a car, walked to our service to worship the Lord with us. Their son and daughter-in-law attend Sunnybrook Christian Church, a large religious society here in Stillwater, but they came to visit with us. We received them as warmly as we could, and they participated in the responsive reading and congregational singing as much as they could. My message was from John 10:1-6, “The Good Shepherd.” The Lord gave me good liberty to preach His Word, and I was able to make some good pertinent applications as well as preach the gospel. After the message they told me that there was a conservative movement within the Church of England trying to influence English society with a conservative view of the gospel. They then thanked us warmly and dismissed themselves to walk to their rental house. We thank the Lord for that opportunity to share the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ with them! Evangelistic Outreach Opportunity! Brethren, we have been encouraged to think and pray about engaging ourselves in an evangelistic outreach to our community that involves a postcard mailing to residents within our zip code area. Stillwater has two major zip code areas. The one in which our church building stands is the 74074 zip code. It has 8722...

April 2016

Dear Pastor and Brethren: Two New Books My sponsoring church’s pastor, Bro. K. David Oldfield, has written two new books entitled, Jesus Wept, A Biblical Study of Pain, and The Lord’s Prayer of John 17. Presently I am reading, Jesus Wept, to help me deal with the physical pain which I have daily. It is a fresh look at the problem of pain and is a good read. Both books are available at Amazon.com. Latino Ministry This month I have dealt with Alfredo, Agustin, Leopoldo, Evin, Alvaro, Eduardo, and Marisol. Of these Mexicans, the most interesting is Marisol who lives in Enid with her boyfriend, Oscar, and her three children. As you know, I try to speak to each one of these people about their need of the Lord. This time, Marisol responded along with her boyfriend, Oscar, in a way that we have not experienced before. Marisol is Roman Catholic but lives with Oscar who says he is a Baptist. Two of the children are hers by another man and the other is theirs together. As Marisol had to be processed through the legal system, Roxanne and I accompanied her to translate for her and the officers of the intake portion of the jail. Meanwhile, Oscar had to wait for us to finish the process. After the walk-through and registration portion was completed, Marisol joined us in front of the courthouse where we talked to them both about the Lord for more than an hour. We are not sure that Oscar has truly been regenerated because he seemed to be confused about some spiritual things as we talked...

March 2016

Dear Pastor and Brethren: Rejoicing in the Resurrection! On Resurrection Sunday morning, I preached on the subject “Consider Hirn!” from Hb.12:3 in conjunction with Jn.8:45-50. Most Easter season messages deal mainly with the suffering of the Lord on the cross of Calvary, but He suffered a great deal of mental, emotional, and spiritual anguish before He ever reached the cross. It was that suffering that culminated in His suffering and death on the cross. In experiencing all of that suffering, He never once sinned against His Father, never once failed to impart the testimony of His deity, and never once failed to show compassion on those to whom He ministered. What a great Savior we have! Happy About a Visitor! I know that for you established churches a single visitor is not very much to be happy about, but to us it is a real blessing to have a visitor. Sis. Maginnis had a granddaughter that passed away from heart failure. It was her granddaughter’s husband that Sis. Maginnis invited to our services. His name is Royce Barber, and he lives in Perry, Ok., about thirty miles away. He has not come back to our services, but at least he heard the gospel! Our New Sign! I have been asking you all to pray about us getting a new sign for the church. We now have the sign and it is installed. Bro. Dick Gaches was instrumental in the installation and painting of the posts, for which we are thankful. We are showing two pictures of the change for you to see; the old sign is incomplete and the...

February 2016

Dear Pastor and Brethren, Despite being sick, both Roxanne and I, with respiratory infections the first Sunday in February, we have had a busy month. The first week, I dealt with Pedro Lopez, Agustin Segura, Alvaro Castillo, Pablo Gonzalez, and Raul Barcenas. Raul Barcenas is one of Enrique Barcenas’ brothers to whom we gave a Spanish Bible and a booklet entitled “Ultimas Preguntas,” translated “Ultimate Questions,” which is a message dealing with basic Bible truths. Raul expressed some interest in attending our services but lives so far away in Tuttle, Ok., that it makes it almost impossible for him to attend. Additionally, I had to go to the hospital for an echocardiogram on my heart, and finally, that first week mixed in with everything else, I gave five piano lessons. During the second week of February, I preached on Sunday and then on Monday dealt with Enedina and her son, as well as Omar, Alvaro, and Castulo. Roxanne dealt with Maria and Raquel and helped to translate for the delivery of Raquel’s baby boy. I gave a citizenship question review to Ramon, translated a Victim’s Impact Panel for two Mexican men, Natanael and Daniel, and gave five piano lessons. The third week, after preaching on Sunday, I worked with German, Cecilio, Ramon, and Raul while Roxanne worked with Elba giving her an English lesson. Additionally, I gave four piano lessons. It seems as though I am going to lose two of my piano students and the influence I have on their lives. The fourth week, after preaching Sunday, Roxanne worked with Raquel and her new baby at the hospital,...

January 2016

Dear Pastor and Brethren: A New Year Begins! With joy we look forward to seeing the blessings of our Lord upon us for the new year, for our hope is in the Lord! We need such blessings as renewed health, renewed zeal, a clear vision, and renewed energy to work toward the fulfillment of that vision. Only the Lord can grant us those blessings, and we pray that the Lord might be pleased to do so. We need your support, both in pray and finances, to continue to do what the Lord has called us to do and to increase our efforts as the Lord supplies the need. The salvation of souls and the addition of them by scriptural baptism to the mission work is paramount on my mind. Brethren, by the grace of God I preach the gospel in one form or another every time I preach, not just occasionally. The call to repent from sin and to exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ must be included in every sermon or I am erring in my manner of preaching. Whether it be topical preaching or expository preaching, it must be done with the goal of presenting Christ as the one and only sufficient Savior for unworthy sinners. Whether it be doctrinal teaching or devotional admonishing, it must draw the attention to Christ from whom comes all doctrine and upon whom all devotion must rest. If preaching be done in that manner, it is but one short step more to call the sinner to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Missionary Activity I continue to preach...

December 2015 Report

Dear Pastor and Brethren: An Active Month with Latinos I believe this month was the most active month in the Latino ministry that we have ever had since moving to Stillwater. Due to increased activity with Latinos in the court system we have been able to reach more of them with a gospel tract and verbal testimony than ever before. Our exposure to them goes beyond the courtroom because we are often asked to help them do the paperwork for three to four different offices that are part of the legal requirements demanded by the court. Such activity gives us more insight into their lives and more of an opportunity to get to know them and lay a ground work for witnessing to them. Instead of giving you a list of names, please pray that the Holy Spirit of God might work in the hearts and minds of these people and make them receptive to the gospel, drawing them to Himself for salvation and scriptural baptism. Mission Work Attendance and Activity We continue to have five people in faithful attendance to the services and one visitor who comes sporadically, Charlotte Renfrow. We are still working at procuring another sign that will improve our image to the community. We have had real difficulty finding a sign business that will make a nice sign for us. One such company strung us out over several months and finally made it so difficult that we stopped working with them. We are now working with Irwin Sign Company, and they seem to be much more promising with what they have to offer and the...

November 2015

Dear Pastor and Brethren: A Difficult Month November has been a difficult month for me because of cataract eye surgery. My doctor said that my complications made me one person in one hundred patients with whom he has had to deal. I had asked other friends who had undergone cataract surgery what it was like, and it seemed to be a relatively simple procedure. For me the procedure was relatively simple but after the procedure, I couldn’t see correctly. The focal distance between my two eyes was so great that it made me dizzy and the anesthesia that the surgeon gave me caused an adverse reaction that made me so sick that I couldn’t bear to move without having severe nausea. Finally after two operations and much awkwardness and nausea, I am now adjusting to my new eyesight, but it consumed a whole month of time to get to this point of visual clarity without dizziness. A Return Visitor Sis. Connie Gaches’ sister, Charlotte Renfrow, has visited our Sunday morning service twice this month. She had visited once during the last two years but has decided to visit again with us. Hopefully, she will continue to come and hear the Word of the Lord. Because of my poor eyesight, I had asked Bro. Dick Gaches to preach a series of messages on the subject, “The Priesthood of the Believer.” These have been good messages, clear and succinct, and beneficial to the listener. Pray with us that the Holy Spirit of God might deal with us all through the preached Word and especially with our visitor. Latino Ministry Although our...

October 2015

Dear Pastor and Brethren, We thank the Lord for His goodness to us. I feel like I am getting a little stronger physically as I enter the ninth month after my heart attack. Most of the time Roxanne drives the car and accompanies me wherever I need to go. However, lately, I have driven the car to the church services on Sunday mornings and Roxanne drives us home. After preaching for 45 minutes or so, I am usually quite tired and don’t have the energy to drive us home. During the week, Roxanne drives us to the places we need to go, and so we continue to minister to the Latino community as well as get our errands done. We did get sick with a stomach virus during which I lost another five or six pounds, but we have recovered from that although I haven’t been able to gain back my weight. I have gone from weighing 185 lbs. to weighing 160 lbs. and don’t need to lose any more weight. All my old clothes don’t fit me any more and I think I look like a scarecrow. Nevertheless, the Lord enables me to preach His blessed Word and that is what counts. You may be wondering what I do during the week besides studying for Sunday services. Not long ago I sent each of my supporting churches my outline study on the doctrine of ecclesiology. Now I have prepared, along with the help of Roxanne, a book of fifteen songs and hymns that the Lord has enabled me to write called, “Songs of Praise.” I have written this...

September 2015

Dear Pastor and Brethren: A Quiet Month September has been a quiet month with just normal activities occurring. I am preaching on the Gospel of John chapter seven that deals with the Feast of Tabernacles and discussion on the Person of Christ. By the grace of God, I am pointing out the perfections of the Lord Jesus Christ, the God-Man, as they are contrasted with men and their treatment of Him. He was reviled, blasphemed, scoffed at, and doubted. He never sought to get even, fight back, revile, or scoff at His detractors. He engaged His enemies in honest debate that they couldn’t win, all in an effort to turn their hearts to God and righteousness. What an example for us to follow – God manifested in the flesh! Latino Interaction We have worked with the following Mexican men and women in our attempt to reach the Latinos in our -community. Salvador Olvera, Castelo Figueroa, Noe and Yolanda Perez, Daniel Martinez, Natanael Moreno, Elba Villasenor, and Raquel Barcenas. I have mentioned the name of Enrique Barcenas many time over the past years. He called me and said that his father died September third. We sent him and his family a sympathy card. Because of his immigration status, neither Enrique nor his brother could go their father’s funeral. We send Enrique Bible study material but he never responds to any of it. Please remember this outreach ministry in prayer. It is difficult to reach these people due to their family ties to Roman Catholicism. Health Update On September 23rd, I was given an ultrasound on my aorta and carotid arteries...

July 2015

Dear Pastor and Brethren: Preaching! The Lord has enabled me to return to the pulpit to preach once again! I have preached three Sundays this month with visitors coming each time. The first Sunday I preached, my physical animation was a bit slow so that it took me a little longer than usual to get the message out. The second and third times were better, and I feel as though I am preaching more fluently now. The visitors we had were my elder son, Nathan, and his family who came two different Sundays and the Alfred and Cheryl Smith family from Ponca City. Neither of them were new visitors, but we were happy to have them in our services. Nathan and Amber assisted me in the work with Amber playing the piano and Nathan directing the music. Their assistance helped me to reserve my strength for the preaching. Mexican Ministry! Roxanne had the opportunity to work with Raquel twice this month and the Lord gave me opportunity to work with Baltazar Torres (I wish I had opportunity to tell you his story). Additionally I dealt with Josue Perez, Jorge, Castulo, Elmer, Noe, and Enrique. I am not able at this time to visit with them in the jail due to my health. Nevertheless, I try to do all that I can to reach them with a Bible or a gospel tract. Social Visit Finally, we were delighted to have a short visit with Sis. Christine Walker and her family members from Bible Baptist Church in Columbus, NE. They were on their way to play the violin and the viola...

June 2015 Report

Dear Pastor and Brethren: Restarting Again! By the strengthening grace of the Lord and the effectual work of your prayers, I am once again getting back to doing a little bit more than I have been able to do the last month. I have been given permission by my cardiologist to restart cardio rehabilitation, doing so on the 26th of this month. Physically, I am now able to walk from our house to the mailbox and back, a distance of 600 feet at a normal rate of speed. By the time I get back to the house I am breathing hard, so that I have to build up my stamina once again. In addition to my increase in the physical realm, I have also been able to increase my spiritual activities. I taught a Bible class sitting down for an hour with a Mexican man, Jose Vergas, on the 20th of June, and have given a witness to several other Mexican men such as Josue Perez, Pablo Gonzalez, Enrique, Baltazar and Daniel. Musically, I am not yet able to sing because of a congestion that I have had over my vocal cords since my heart attack in January. However, I think that the congestion is beginning to break up and hopefully the Lord will enable me to sing for His honor and glory once again. I am playing the piano for our services and am increasing my playing time in that area as well. The singing is so much better with accompaniment. Additional Activities and Blessings Roxanne and I have worked diligently on my book, Ecclesiology: A Study of...

May 2015

Recovery Setback I had been doing well at the rehab center going three times weekly to exercise lightly for an hour each session. Then my cardiologist arranged an appointment with a electrophysiologist for a consultation on implanting an ICD, or in other words, a defibrillator. To shorten the story, I was implanted in my left shoulder beneath my collar bone with a defibrillator/pacemaker on May 26th in Tulsa at the Oklahoma Heart Institute. During the process, I had an adverse reaction to the morphine they gave me for pain which caused a sudden drop in my systolic blood pressure from 116 to 64 leaving me quite weakened and in much pain. This caused a delay of another day in the hospital to find another pain reliever and for observation. Now I am home but under strict limitations for six weeks due to the surgery. I cannot raise my left arm above my shoulder (there goes song leading) nor pick up anything over ten pounds. I’m not allowed to use the vacuum cleaner for fear of pulling the leads out of my left ventricle and atrium. Furthermore, I’m so stiff and sore that I can’t play the piano with my left arm and feel the need to carry it in a sling. I’m not permitted to return to rehab for six weeks and so will lose all the benefits from the exercise that I had gained. On the bright side of all this, the Lord gave Roxanne and me traveling mercies to Tulsa and back, a nurse that found a pain reliever that I can tolerate, and an electronic device...

April 2015 Report

  Dear Pastor and Brethren: New Visitors! We had new first time visitors attend our Sunday morning service on April 12th. Mr. and Mrs. Phil and Teresa Banfield and their son, Austin, visited with us and heard a good message by Bro. Gaches from II Peter 1 on meekness and temperance. Bro. Gaches had put an advertisement in the newspaper, and we think that our visitors came as a result of the advertisement. We didn’t get much opportunity to talk with them after the service because they left as fast as they could. We have not seen them again. We often wonder why people come to visit with us if they don’t want to hear a good sermon from God’s Word. We did our best to be friendly and make them feel welcome. We asked them where they lived, but they did not give us their address so we could make a follow-up call on them. May the Lord’s will be done. Continued Recovery I was doing well in my rehabilitation efforts when I had a setback in my health progress. My ejection fraction, which is the percentage at which my left ventricle pumps blood to the rest of my body, fell from 30-35 percent to 10 percent leaving me desperately weak. My cardiologist therefore scheduled a heart catherization for me to determine if there was more blockage that they had missed the first time. They also arranged for me to wear a life vest to prevent sudden death arrhythmia. I had the heart catherization on April 20th. No additional blockage was found, and my cardiologist told me that...