From the Director - October 2017

Our thoughts and prayers are with those suffering the effects of the hurricanes and the earthquake in Mexico. Irma & Maria were of particular concern as we followed their paths across the Caribbean, and were burdened for missionaries and national friends serving in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba. Then the devastating earthquake hit Mexico unexpectedly. We were relieved to hear that ODBM missionaries and their church family are safe in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Pray for the thousands of people still suffering in Puerto Rico and Mexico, and for the furtherance of the Gospel in those regions. Pray for Christians that while they endure their own suffering, they may be light and extend compassion to others. ODBM serves missionaries and ministries in both Puerto Rico and Mexico. Gifts may be sent to ODBM designated to help with needs in either country. We pray and strive to declare God’s marvelous works and proclaim His salvation to all nations so that they may give Him the glory due His name.

David A. Smith (Director)

 

Missionary Updates - October 2017

Puerto Rico Baptist College located in Puerto Rico has suffered physical damages to their buildings from the recent hurricanes.  Praise the Lord that lives were spared.  Water, food, electricity, transportation, & communication will be a challenge for months to come. Pray for God’s grace, mercy, & protection as well as the salvation of lost souls during this difficult time.

 Alvin & Sharon Weiss in Mexicoare grateful for the Lord’s hand of protection during the recent earthquake. As a result ofthe tragic collapse of a private school in Mexico City, the government is implementing very strict timely, documented inspection requirements on private schools. Pray for their Christian school buildings to pass inspection in time without great cost. 

En Khan & Lun Kham plead for faithful workers to do the Lord’s work in Myanmar. Right now the Bible school has 70 students. En Khan continues to visit missionaries in neighboring countries, holding seminars, evaluating ministries & encouraging them to stay true to the faith. Some areas of the country are experiencing religious tension & fighting with extremist groups.

Recently, Ryan & Jennifer Horkavy, wrote that Buckeye, Arizona where they live & planted a church is the 7th fastest growing city in the US.  This means more opportunities for spreading the Gospel.  Land/property update:  The church building is dried in with full stucco, doors, locks, and keys. Now the need is for experienced & licensed contractors for the HVAC, electrical, & AV work. 

 

From the Assistant Director - September 2017

God’s Word records for us in in 2 Chronicles 14 - 16:7 how Asa, king of Judahwas faced with an enemy (Ethiopian) consisting of a one million men army, while Asa had only half as many. Asa was a righteous man before God. He removed altars of the foreign gods in high places (the sacred pillars and wooden images). Asa commanded the people of Judah to seek the Lord God, to observe the law and His commandments. Faced with such odds, Asa cried unto the Lord, his God, and said “Lord, it is nothing for you to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on you and in your name we go…”   In Chapt.16 Asa is confronted again with another enemy, Baasha king of Israel. Rather then relying on the Lord again Asa depended on Syria to save him. The prophet Hanani rebuked Asa for relying on Syria. God took away a great victory which could have been Asa’s. Who are you trusting in when you encounter great trials in your life?

 

Kim-AxelKuhr (Assistant Director)

 

 

Missionary Updates - September 2017

For more than 15 years, “Terry” has faithfully served the Lord in a restricted region in Asia.  She builds relationships and shows God’s love to those around her while working a job.  The fruit from her labor can be slow but ithas great heavenly rewards.  Pray for wisdom, unity & love among co-workers, open doors to develop relationships, and a good work testimony.

Barbara Soucy is active in the ministries of soul winning,  encouragement, teaching English, and children’s work in Thailand. Two people were recently saved.  It is the rainy season in Thailand, and flooding can make travel difficult in the rural locations she often ministers. Pray for safety in travels, fruit from her ministry, and for the processing of her work permit

Alvin & Sharon Weiss praise the Lord for two men recently being saved, and for the Christ-honoring graduation programs at the Christian school in Mexico.  Pray for the graduates to follow the Lord’s leading, finances for the upcoming school year, wisdom for the teachers, and that the students will pursue Christ.  Lastly, pray for lasting fruit from summer camp and VBS ministries.

Stephen & Tammi Wess face the ongoing reality that people in the Las Vegas, Nevada area move often making church planting difficult. They praise the Lord for spiritual growth in their church family.  The Wess family leads their church in building relationships and making disciples in their community.  God has opened doors through Little League baseball to be salt & light in their community

From the Director - August 2017

Missionary Dilemma - Seth Meyers, missionary in South Africa  

Should I preach at a poor, village church if the pastor invites me? 
I’ve met a man who is a pastor in a village about an hour away. Though at our initial meeting he offered some good answers to my questions about salvation, since then I have seen several flags that he has been influenced by prosperity preachers. Since he asked me to come preach, should I go with the gospel on my lips for a congregation that may not have heard it? Or, since I know that it commonly takes people months and even years of studying the Bible to see the light, and since I may have been invited simply for the novelty of my melanin levels, and since my presence there may endorse his ministry, should I decline the invitation?

Missionaries face complex challenges daily. They need our prayers for safety, wisdom, discernment, boldness and grace while ministering to others.

David A. Smith (Director)
 


 

Missionary Updates - August 2017

Tim & RoseAnne Bower asked for prayer for real, old fashioned revival of hearts following the spring revival services in Haiti.  God has sent a new pastor with age & ministry experience to lead astruggling church plant that is broken.  Pray for healing of a discouraged people.  Praise the Lord for the spiritual nourishment from a recent week long Bible seminar.

Joel & Deanna Porcher appreciate your partnering in ministry in Ghana.  Joel has been teaching classes on Bible interpretation & the doctrine of the church. Pray for the impact on the students as future church leaders. Their recent radio series include the parables of Christ & marriage issues. They are involved in weekly outreaches in a nearby village, school & rehab facility.

John & Karen McPherson have a divided house this summer.  John is in Grenada & Karen remains in the US for needed dental work.  Tyrron, who is studying for the ministry has been teaching a teen class & preaching some during the summer.  He is also busy building his family a house.  Karen is interacting with piano students via SKYPE as they learn 5-6 beginner level hymns. 


Scott & Shelley Krystowiak have changed their US ministry name to Global Education Ministries.  This umbrella ministry includes More Than Conquerors Bible Institute (prison) & Legacy International Seminary. The new branch of their ministry is a distance learning seminary that is available online or by a DVD, providing a 10-courese, 30-credit hour Master of Biblical Studies Degree.
 

From the Assistant Director - July 2017

As the Assistant Director of Open Door Baptist Missions my wife, Chris and I, like the missionaries on the field, are supported by churches and individuals,.  We too regularly report to churches and individuals via prayer letters and personal visits.  We just returned from giving a report on our ministry to a church located in North Carolina.  This dear church family has supported us for over ten years.  With humility and gratitude, we expressed our gratefulness for their partnership.  There are not enough words to express our appreciation for the faithful support that we have received.  I am reminded by Paul from Phil. 4:17, “Not because I desire a gift; but I desire fruit that may abound to your account...an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to the God.”  It is fitting for me to thank each and everyone of you for your faithful prayers and support as you partner with ODBM missionaries around the globe for the sake of the Gospel.

Kim-Axel J. Kuhr  (Assistant Director)
 

Missionary Updates - July 2017

Dan & Enda Cadavos have confirmed the serious uprising in Marawi. It is about a 5 hour drive from their home in the Philippines.  The situation brings future challenges in ministry to thousands of refugees (mostly Muslim) from that “war torn” area.  The fighting is drug related & not over religion.  Pray for wisdom for the nation’s president, as well as peace & safety.

Brian & Jennifer Buckley have 99% of their support and recently bought tickets for their August departure to Asia. Pray for safe travel, physical, emotional, and spiritual strength as well as housing and language study decisions. Additional support is still needed to reach 100%. They have 60% of their passage fund and 91% of their language fund.

Jason & Melody Fitch are reaching out to the Washington community where they live. They collected an assortment of healthy snacks to fill a basket for a nearby fire station & visited an adult care facility.  Jason was the guest speaker at a youth rally in OR & one little girl accepted Christ as her Savior. Pray for the developing relationship with their next door neighbors & their salvation.

Caitlan Reid is a new missionary appointee with ODBM.  She will be serving the Lord as a counselor in Santiago Christian School in the Dominican Republic. Caitlan’s focus will be counseling from a Biblical viewpoint to meet the behavioral & spiritual needs of the children.  Caitlan also has a burden for orphans & those hardened to the Gospel by trauma

From the Director - June 2017

After a trip to Africa, British journalist Matthew Parris wrote: “Now a confirmed atheist, I’ve become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes …  Education and training alone will not do.  In Africa Christianity changes people’s hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.”  I witnessed this reality recently in Haiti. Millions of dollars have poured into Haiti since the devastating 2010 earthquake. Food, medicine, and supplies have met many physical needs, yet the poverty of the body and soul is rampant today. However, it was exciting to meet many transformed by the Gospel. I witnessed their joy, peace, purpose, and most of all love, that comes from Christ alone. Christians must never lose sight of this truth that Parris observed. While ODBM often communicates Christ’s compassion through meeting physical needs, our purpose, priority and passion remain preaching the Gospel, making disciples, and planting churches for God’s glory! 

David A. Smith(Director)

 

Missionary Updates - June 2017

Kristi Colas is excited about local churches in France helping a national missionary from Mexico reaching the lost on Mayotte, a French island where 97% of the population is Muslim. They packed a shipment of clothes, food and children’s Bible story CDs.  Pray God will use His Word in the lives of these living in darkness in Mayotte.

Tim and Jeannette Joyner are rejoicing for how the Lord is blessing the ministry in Uganda. Daphne, was saved after attending their Ladies conference. At the 5-Day Club, several children and one of their mothers also came to Christ.   Pray for these recently saved and that God would send two missionary families to help them in this growing ministry. 

Harry and Melissa Peart are praising the Lord for His blessing on their school for the Deaf in Haiti and for the great progress their students have made this year. In about a year the daughter of a witch doctor has learned to use sign language, write, read, sew and has also been faithful to church. Please pray for her salvation as well as for the many other deaf children they serve.

Elena Caballero has just returned from Guatemala and is giving God the glory for what she was able to accomplish. She was able to lay the foundation for a complete curriculum for teaching deaf children. She was also able to train a co-worker to continue helping national churches establish Deaf ministries. Please pray God will bring fruit for His glory.

 

From the Assistant Director - May 2017

If  ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above....  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (Col. 3:1-2)  The first verse applies to the believer and how he should live his life here on earth. The second verse gets to the point of admitting that unless there is an affection in your heart for the Lord Jesus you cannot seek those things that are above. As I am getting older, investing in the things above is becoming more important to me then ever before. It is so easy to get involved in worldly stuff only to realize laterhow much was wasted and invested in things of little lasting value. So how should we invest in the things above?  1)  Set your affection on Christ by loving Him and spending time daily in His Word.  2)  Fulfill the second command to love your neighbor as yourself.  3)  Proclaim the Good News. Your financial and prayerful investment in an ODBM missionary reaches around the globe as the Good News is faithfully proclaimed.

Kim-Axel J. Kuhr(Assistant Director)                    

 

Missionary Updates - May 2017

Barbara Soucy will be returning to Thailand soon for another short term opportunity to serve the Lord.  Recently she asked the Lord ifit was truly His will for her to return to Thailand, as funds had not yet come in allowing her to purchase tickets and start the visa process. This week she learned of the Lord’s goodness and pledged support of $1,000.  Our God is faithful.


►During the end of April, Alvin & Sharon Weiss celebrated with their church family in Mexico the church’s anniversary. Special services were held Wednesday through Friday evenings. Guest preachers included the pastor of one of their church plants. Pray God will use the preaching from His Word mightily for the salvation of souls and the revival of His people.

Dan & Edna Cadavos are busy with summer ministries in the Philippines. In mid-April, 60 campers attended their mountainside camp.  During May 17-21 a second & larger camp will be held with an expected 150 campers.  Pray for additional staff counselors. Please also continue to remember Edna in your prayers for healing of the cancer in her leg.  She is responding well to treatment.

Ryan & Debbie Meers continue to follow the Lord’s leading in the planting of Redeeming Grace Church in Nebraska. Pray that the Lord would lead them to core team members, direct them to the best place to hold public services, and provide much needed start-up funds. Pray for lasting fruit from the regular Bible studies, and for the salvation of one young couple coming to Bible study.

 

From the Director - April 2017

I remember preaching in a remote village one Easter morning several years ago.  I began my sermon by asking “what special day is today?”  No one could give the right answer.  Some thought it might be Christmas!  I remember thinking “how could they not know that today is Easter?”  The sad reality is that for millions around the world, Easter is just another day.  They have never heard the Good News that on that first Easter, Jesus, being God, willingly gave His life and shed His blood to pay their payment for sin.  Each Easter we celebrate God’s amazing grace, His unfathomable love, and His eternal salvation, but do we soberly reflect on those who need to hear.  This Easter, may we rejoice and give praise for Jesus’ resurrection, but also weep and pray for those lost in darkness. How will they hear? (Romans 10:14-15)

David A. Smith(Director)

 

Missionary Updates - April 2017

► There is light at the end of the tunnel, as Brian & JenniferBuckley have received 83% of their support for ministry in Asia. Pray for effectiveness as they finish their deputation ministry, as well as for safety and good health as they continue to travel in the US.  They have applied for their visas and are still in need of outfit and passage funds. Pray that God will begin preparing hearts.

Paul & Melinda Schlehlein ask for your prayers for the Tsonga people in South Africa: Try - Evangelism has just started in the nearby village of Try Try. Salvation - Many are showing interest. Overseers -The men are nearly ready for leadership. Courage is needed. New Materials - Discipleship books in Tsonga are underway. Growth is needed, spiritual & numerical. Ask God!

►The Middle East is home to Salem & Elvira Jaraiseh. Salem ministers faithfully in the local church. Hereaches out to develop relationships, for the sake of the Gospel, and works full time as a medical doctor. Recently a coworker came to Christ. Pray for spiritual growth. Pray also for wisdom as they raise their family for Christ as well as for health and strength to continue to be salt and light in a dark part of the world.     

►God has graciously answered the prayers of Ryan & Jennifer Horkavy in Arizona during a serious, extensive surgery for Jen. The doctor’s found no cancer. Pray for continued healing without complications as she recovers. Their son, Ben, is having oral surgery inApril so that orthodontia work can be completed.  Please pray that the upcoming surgery would be successful and for God’s financial provision.

 

Missionary Updates - March 2017

Elena Caballero is serving the Lord in Guatemala until May 26th. Her main focus is to train Elda Chavez, a missionary from Peru to teach and reach the Deaf for Christ.  Elena will also continue to develop a basic training curriculum for teachers of the Deaf. How can the Deaf reach their own if they’re not properly trained to teach the Bible in their own language?

►For 10 weeks, Seth & Any Myers have been worshipping in two “churches” weekly in South Africa.  They begin Sundays with a small English congregation in a town of 30,000. In the afternoons they meet at a lady’s home in a rural area for another service.  Recently, Tinyiko raised her hand, and gave her testimony of salvation, saying, “I have now entered at the small door.”

En Khan & Lun Kham praise the Lord for the successful completion of their school’s academic year in Myanmar.  En Khan has a busy schedule with the missions training program and seminars during March and April in the Chin State and the Sagaing Division. Pray for open doors to reach more people among other religions with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

►A local church property in Michigan has recently become available for sale.  Mark & Tacy Tolosa are excited about the possibility of a permanentbuilding for their church in Michigan. The property also includes a home. Currently they are meeting in a renovated store front in a strip mall in a strategic intersection of a rural recreational area. They are seeking the Lord’s direction.

From the Assistant Director - March 2017

I often have to be reminded, and I am sure many of you as well, that there are responsibilities that we must follow daily if we are truly a born again creation.  In I Peter 1:22 & 2:1, Peter gives us these instructions:  1. Love your brethren with a pure heart (a sincere and intensive love) and not one that is unfeigned (not hypocritical, or pretended); 2. In Chapter 2:1, Peter goes further and says that we must also lay aside all malice (dislike, ill will, or wickedness in our heart) and guile, (deceitfulness in word or action) and all hypocrisies (being someone you are not) and envies, and all evil speaking.  This is ourdaily task that we are to work towards with God’s help.  This is how we as believers are to express the new life in Christ Jesus.

Kim-Axel J. Kuhr(Assistant Director)

Missionary Updates - February 2017

► John & Karen McPherson have ministered to most of the 11 teens in the Teen Class since they were little.  Recently, one mother of 3 teens thanked Karen for their ministry in Grenada.  Her 2 boys had begun to follow after friends.  Because of their sister’s encouragement they started coming to church & teen class. Now they read their Bibles & don’tfollow their friends.
 
►Alvin & Sharon Weiss in Mexico praise the Lord for another soul saved & 2baptized. Many godly decisions were made at a family conference. Prayer is requested for complete victory in each of the couples’ lives.  Seventy women attended a ladies’ retreat & their Christmas program was well attended with many 1st time visitors. Pray for fruit in hearts and lives.

►This summer we wrote you about the health challenges that Michael & Lisa Miller were facing in Canada.  In July, Lisa had surgery to remove a tumor that was causing deafness in one ear.  After the surgery she suffered from dizziness.  Michael recently wrote that Lisa woke up almost 6 months to the date and the dizziness was gone.  Praise the Lord for his healing hand for His servants.

►During 2016, Ryan & Debbie Meers prepared to leave their home & employment to answer the Lord’s calling to plant a church in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Since their move in June, they have had a meeting for interested families & begun two Bible studies.  Ryan is bi-vocational & just began a new job.  Pray for faithful core team members, a public place to meet that is affordable & accessible.

From the Director - February 2017

Missionaries often face intense trials and challenges. Their engagement in constant spiritual battle often leads to despair. Like the Psalmist in Psalm 42, missionaries often feel abandoned and forgotten. They wonder if God still cares about them. While they may seem to be spiritual superheroes they are all too human, subject to discouragement and depression. They desperately need God’s strength and refreshment. We can play a vital role in encouraging missionaries to find hope in God. His grace is truly sufficient. He will sustain them when their strength is gone. He will satisfy their hunger and thirst. He will protect them when their enemies are surrounding them. May we faithfully pray for our missionaries and encourage them to set their hope in God, to remember His mighty works, and to find deliverance through praise.

David A. Smith (Director)

Missionary Updates - January 2017

► Dan & Enda Cadavos recently asked for prayer for effective revival meetings in the Philippines.  Dan traveled over rough terrain for around 8 hours from their home for special meetings in a distant province.  The meetings were attended by about 18 pastors and their congregations.  Dan preached for 3 days, morning, afternoon, and evening.  Pray for spiritual growth & fruit from the meetings.

►Brian & Jennifer Buckley pray that by December 2017 they will be in the place of God’s choosing in Asia.  Praise the Lord that their support level has risen to 69%.  They need 14 more churches to join their support team. Persecution continues in this part of the world, yet their vision is to evangelize, disciple, plant churches, &  train local church leaders.  Thank you for partnering with them to reach the lost.

►As we finish 2016, Emile & Dianne Barrouk press onward to deepen their relationship with the Lord and be a testimony for the Gospel to the people they meet and serve in the Middle East.  Many of their dear friends face hatred and difficult trials.  God’s work in this land has many lonely and dark times.  The Barrouks continue to develop relationships, make disciples, and encourage believers for Christ.

►Expansion in the USA-Prison ministry is exciting news for Scott & Shelley Krystowiak.  Students in over 125 prisons across 25 states are enrolled in the Bible Institute. The Krystowiaks are working with ODBM to develop a distance-learning seminary program for foreign missionaries, national pastors, & inmates.  Pray this new expansion will make a greater impact for Christ.

From the Assistant Director - January 2017

"But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:" (Matt. 6:19-20).  Our Lord Jesus frequently warned us against trying to hoard wealth in our temporary home on Earth.  Often much time and money is spent on ourselves so that we may live comfortably on this side of heaven.  We plan for advancement, education, investment, vacation, and retirement.  Yet as Christians, we would be wise to also consider eternal investments concerning our time, talents, and possessions.  As we enter into the new year of 2017 may we as pilgrims cast our eyes upon our future home in heaven and press on to impact others for Christ around the globe. Consider partnering with ODBM to make eternal investments for God’s glory.

Kim-Axel Kuhr (Assistant Director)