Saturday, October 12, 2013

Preaching in his own backyard

It's not often that a preacher has the opportunity to preach in what is practically his own backyard, but Jeff did just that this past Sunday.

Through a referral from local pastor Rodney Queen, Jeff met with Hershel Sizemore, pastor of Lighthouse Baptist Church, earlier this summer. That meeting led to an invitation for Jeff to preach and share gospel partnership opportunities at Lighthouse Baptist last weekend.

And where is Lighthouse Baptist Church located? It sits just outside the old pecan orchard that was part of the family farm that Jeff grew up calling home. He was an Air Force brat, living around the country and even in Germany as a child, but the 125-acre farm owned by his grandparents in South Bibb County always provided a sense of home. For years, Jeff hunted that land, worked that land, and even helped to build many of the fences that still stand there.

Maybe that's why he felt so at home with the folks at Lighthouse Baptist. Or maybe it's because they're such friendly folks. Or perhaps Hershel's enthusiasm about our ministry was just contagious. Whatever the reason, we're grateful for the opportunity to worship, to share, and to partner with this church family.

We need more churches and individuals to join us as gospel partners. Can you help?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sharing with Harbor City Baptist Church

A couple of weekends ago, our family had the privilege of traveling down to Melbourne, Florida, to share Scotland's need for the gospel with Harbor City Baptist Church. Many times, we're limited to just meeting folks in the formal church setting, but this trip afforded us some great informal fellowship times, as well.

Our host family, the Austofs, welcomed us with a wonderful meal on Friday night, and we enjoyed our time with them all weekend. They just encouraged us to treat their home as our home, and we felt like family.

 Before our trip, several pastor friends had encouraged us to try to meet Myrue Spivey while we were in Melbourne. Myrue pastors Grace Bible Sanctuary in nearby Palm Bay. We had breakfast with Myrue on Saturday and came away so encouraged in the Lord. In fact, if you google the word encourage, Myrue's picture should come up in your search results. If it doesn't, well, the folks at Google just might not be as smart as everyone thinks they are!

We spent Saturday evening with the family of Harbor City's pastor, Jeff Mitchell. Jeff's wife, Shelley, prepared a wonderful meal for us and, somehow, our unsocialized homeschool children (two of ours, eight of theirs) managed to have a wonderful time together (as did the adults)!

Sunday was a wonderful day of worship at Harbor City. Jeff was able to preach on the transforming power of the gospel in the morning worship service. We enjoyed some great fellowship with Ron and Roxanne Cunningham, along with Wayne Smith and his daughter, Melanie.

Then, on Sunday evening, Jeff spoke more directly about the spiritual darkness in Scotland, as well as the two gospel opportunities in which our family is currently involved. We use visual images to communicate these realities and, as always, the folks marveled at the beauty of Scotland and were shocked to learn how far the country has drifted from its strong Christian heritage. (Speaking of Christian heritage, check out the photo of the 1599 Geneva Bible, below.)

On Monday, the Lord graciously provided beautiful weather for a family beach day, including some great seafood.

Several people committed to partner with us this weekend in our gospel work. Won't you become a partner, too?