I want to apologize for the long delay in posting this update Things have been very crazy ever since I got back from the missions trip, but now, things are settling down a bit and I took my car to get some recalls fixed on it, so while I have some down time, it gives me a prime opportunity to write and let you know what God did.
First of all, I would like to take the time to offer my sincere thanks to all of you who prayed, and those of you who were able to help with the expenses of this trip. Both were a great blessing and I cannot express my thanks to you enough. Through you. God reached many souls who would have otherwise maybe have never been reached! Only eternity will reveal the fruit that has been given to your account, As the apostle Paul said to the Philippian believers in Phil 4:16-17 it is not out of desire to receive a gift, but that fruit may abound to your account. I truly believe many will be in heaven thanking you for the part you have had in world missions even though in this life you never will meet them.
The trip to Antigua started out very interesting. The team left very early on Saturday morning, Dec 20 to get to the airport in time for our flight. shortly after leaving we had a windshield wiper to malfunction causing a delay in our arrival at what we thought was the international airport in Atlanta. We had to do something about the blade because it was raining that morning. As it turned out, when we finally arrived at the terminal it was only the domestic side of the airport and we were about ten minutes away from the international terminal. They had done some recent renovations, so by the time we found the airport and unloaded all the luggage we were very crunched for time. Before we got everyone checked in, the machines shut down, meaning that no one else could be checked in and there were four of us on the team that had not gotten our bags checked. To make a long story short, we missed our flight to Antigua. The next 3.5 hrs were spent in prayer and phone calls being made to the airlines to get something worked out. It is not every day that you have a fight going to Antigua. For a while, we were thinking that the trip would have to be canceled. However, God allowed us to contact the right person. Using a different airline, they flew the team up to NYC in LaGuardia where we then took a bus to JFK and spent the night in the airport before flying out to Antigua early Sunday morning. Even though none of that made sense humanly speaking, I know that God had that all planned out. Even though this we had many numerous witnessing opportunities that would not have come otherwise. On the way down, I sat next to a Buddhist young man who lived in NYC but was on his way to Antigua to visit his mother who lived there. I offered him a gospel tract and told him a little about our mission to Antigua. He took the tract, and who knows what God will do in his heart in the days ahead.
Well, we ended up missing our first two services we were supposed to have in Antigua, but the rest of the time was marked by God’s blessing and tremendous fruit. During the course of our stay, we had the privilege of conducting two different three day vacation Bible Schools The first one we saw six precious souls accept Christ as personal Saviour. Both Bible Schools were a great blessing and the pastors were very encouraged by what they saw. While we were there, the team put together a Friday night teen rally and we saw somewhere around 75 teens attend. The majority of them were from nearby churches in the island. I had the privilege of preaching to them on the life of Samson, and to challenge them to a closer walk with God. In addition to the VBS events, and the teen rally, we had ministry in the poor house singing carols to the older people and a scripture reading, one nursing home service, and a service in a girls home. Some of the ministries we planned on doing when we got there did not work out, because the missionary we were working with was getting ready to come back on furlough, but as you can see those gaps were filled by many other worthwhile ministries. Two girls were saved in the girls home , and nearly all 8 responded in some way
We were also able to get into a public school to do an assembly toward the end of our time there. We also did a three day program in a Christian School as well, Several were saved in the Christian School. God gave me the privilege of dealing with one boy in particular in the Christian School who had just been saved a few minutes prior to coming to talk to me. When I talked with him, I asked him if he had ever placed his faith in Jesus alone for salvation before, and he told me, “yeah, just a few minutes ago when I was in my seat I prayed and asked Christ to save me and this was the first time I have ever done anything like this” HALLELLUJAH! I nearly had a fit right there! It was such a blessing. From there, I just went back through the plan of salvation and gave him some verses on assurance and prayed with him encouraging him to start reading his Bible on a daily basis.
God gave us the privilege of conducting a new year’s service, which they call an “all year’s service” This service lasted from 10 pm till 2 am the next morning. It was a great blessing of hearing testimonies, singing, and two messages from God’s word as well as a time of refreshment at the end. I drank something the pastor made called “bush tea” it was a very strong tea made with ginger in it. That would sure make you wake up at night! Ha! We also got to go Christmas caroling with this church the week before.
One of the great joys I had while there was being able to preach a number of times as well as helping two with assurance of salvation, but we also had the opportunity to help the missionary we were working with to complete a project he had been working on for some time. He was repairing a retaining wall in his back yard. I also got to mow his lawn a couple times while we were there. Imagine mowing grass in Dec and Jan. Ha! Anyway, it was a great blessing to be able to assist this missionary with some needs around his compound. One thing the Lord really taught me on this trip is that missionaries sometimes need help with physical tasks as well as church events. This is a great form of ministry as well!
In all, we as a team, know of 13 precious souls that received the gift of Salvation. and many others that received assurance. Thanks again to all who prayed and gave of resources to make this trip a reality.
The trip even during the times of shopping in the markets or sightseeing was a great time of ministry. During these times we could hand out Gospel tracts and share Christ with those around us. And the neat part about this trip is that God has opened some other doors of possible ministry for me in the near future. I am in the planning process of another missions trip in the near future. I trust that you will pray with me as I make the arrangements and Lord willing, more details will be coming in the future on those ministry opportunities.