From the Assistant Director in training- October 2019

My Papa lived 33,757 days. Two thirds of his pilgrimage was invested in missionary work in Zambia where I was born. Later on he ministered on the island of Mauritius, then in Togo and Kenya. On August 10, 2019 his biological sons and spiritual families placed his earthly tent in Kenyan soil to await the rapture. Sage advice from my 92 year old father to new missionaries was: “Go slow, stay low and don’t blow.” His legacy was a gift received, a baton passed on, a treasured heritage. Only in eternity will we know how much fruit was produced by the seed God planted. At his Celebration of life, Papa’s African pastor shared, “You can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the apples in a seed.” In Psalm 90:12 Moses prays, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” My life is temporary. Everyone around me will spend eternity with or without God. This knowledge drives me to cultivate the soil of human hearts daily for His glory.    

 

Paul Fields (Assistant Director in training)

 

Missionary Updates -October 2019

Caitlan Reid in the Dominican Republic writes that she is preparing a curriculum on the fruits of the Spirit where she is a teacher/counselor in the Christian School. She is developing relationships individually & in small groups.  God has given her opportunities as she also coaches a basketball team in the school. Pray as she reaches out to the families and students.

 John & Karen McPherson  in Grenada ask prayer for Tyrron as he takes seminary courses, preaches in the church, and continues to build his house near the church.  Dorian did not affect them with rain which gave them time needed to work on the construction of the house. They were told that the church building and land may be sold. Pray for wisdom and leading.

 Our missionary in the Middle East reports that the political situation is often volatile. Pray for the  family as they have financial needs for their children’s higher learning and that scholarships may be provided. His father is suffering with cancer and would appreciate your prayers for his health. There is always a need for protection as they go about their work and ministries.

Tim & Jeannette Joyner in Uganda have arrived for a 4-month furlough to  share God’s blessings on their ministry. They reported that in their absence the 5-day club had an attendance of 119 the last night. Pray for Jeannette’s sister who is undergoing chemo for 4 stage cancer. They enjoyed a visit to the ODBM’s home office where they shared many needs and prayer requests with the staff.

 

From the Director - September 2019

We at ODBM are excited to have Paul and Marla Fields join us in serving churches and missionaries from our home office.  They come to us with 40 years of missionary field experience.  In January, Paul will assume the role of Assistant Director and Marla that of Office Assistant.  Kim and Chris Kuhr, who have faithfully served in the ODBM office since 2012, are continuing to serve in a new capacity.  Beginning in January, Kim will continue to serve as the Special Services Coordinator and Chris as the Special Services Assistant.  Both the Kuhrs and Fields will serve through visiting and ministering to missionaries, at Christian colleges, and in churches.  I am grateful for the experienced and gifted staff that God has provided.  They love serving others to help the Gospel advance and impact the nations for God’s glory.  Please pray for continued wisdom, strength, and protection as our staff serves at home and abroad.

 

Dave Smith (Director)

 

Missionary Updates -September 2019

Dan & Edna Cadavos in the Philippines need your prayers.  Edna suffers from 3 forms of cancer. This situation has allowed for many opportunities to share the Gospel & encourage other believers.  Dan  teaches at the Christian school, prays daily with students, pastors the local church, teaches Bible truths for couples getting married, & is active in a camp ministry.

A 6th music conference & family camp will be held in FranceKristi Colas writes that the theme is “Passing the Musical & Spiritual Baton.” A new project is to motivate kids in the churches to serve the Lord with music. Fourteen people are part of the team that Kristi leads called Ecclemusica which serves to help French-speaking local churches in worship & evangelism

ODBM missionaries serve in an area in Asia where there is increased government monitoring.  So far, visas have been renewed, but the climate is full of uncertainty. Dates for the Bible studies have been changed since students are not allowed to attend on Sunday. Some foreigners have recently been sent home. Times are fragile. Pray for wisdom and discernment as they seek to make disciples.

Jason & Melody Fitch in Washington  have celebrated 16 years of ministry with a record attendance of 63. Summer had been in full swing with camp and VBS. Jason teaches discipleship materials during the adult and youth SS. Their daughter taught the children’s SS class and provided special music . Plans for the fall include youth night, seniors breakfast, and a possible week night kids’ class.

 

From the Assistant Director - July 2019

Three weeks ago, I received a call from my unsaved sister telling me how discouraged she was in hearing on the news about the corruption that is so prevalent in our nation and around the world.  I had felt the same way.  I reminded myself & encouraged my sister that God is in control.  He is not incognizant of what is going on in this country, let alone other countries.  I had the opportunity to share with my sister several Bible passages.  John 14:1-2 says: Let not your heart be troubled:  ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions … I go to prepare a place for you.  Rev. 21:1 tells us that God will make all things new where God will dwell with us.  He will wipe away every tear.  There will be no more death, no more sorrow, & there will be eternal life in the New Jerusalem.  This Good News is what our missionaries share daily in 13 different countries.  May you have opportunities to share this hope with those who are discouraged and have no hope.

Kim-Axel Kuhr (Assistant Director)

 

Missionary Updates -July 2019

Alvin & Sharon Weiss are excited about souls that have been recently saved in Mexico.  Pray for their spiritual growth.  In June, Sharon had unexpected surgery in the US. The surgery was successful.  Pray for complete healing & regained strength.  VBS is scheduled for July 29th.  Pray for this time of preparation, including that of lost souls, both children & parents.

Often, Africans confess Christ quickly, but they find it difficult to join the church because it will require them to break with cherished false religion.  Seth & Amy Meyers rejoice for the few in South Africa who have counted the cost, confessed Christ, and are preparing to be identified with Him.  Pray for renewed minds & converted souls from the recent 3-day youth conference.

The ministry of Tim & Jeannette Joyner in Uganda is multi-faceted. Along with church planting Tim teaches Bible Doctrines at East Africa Baptist College.  Jeannette has become an accomplished cake baker & decorator.  Many are blessed by their hospitality.  Their ministry includes Bible studies, prayer meetings, Sunday school, worship services, conferences, public school religious ed., & more.

Don & Betty Ross continue on with film evangelism post-dubbing a few films each year.  Most recently, “Son of the Sea” has been produced in Tagalog for use in the Philippines.  Betty feels good after the amputation.  This process has helped to get all of the  infection out of her body.  Her leg is healing well & she will be getting a prosaic leg soon. It will help with balance & transfers, but not walking.

 

 

From the Director - June 2019

During a recent trip to South Asia I met a young national preacher. When he was young, his father was put in prison and then suffered from a mental illness. His mother was unable to care for him and his siblings, so they were sent to an orphanage. It was in this dark, lonely, and desperate place that he heard Bible teaching from a kind, national pastor. In time he understood the Gospel and responded in repentance and faith. After becoming a Christian, he began teaching other children the Bible. In time he attended and graduated from Bible college, married, and is now planting a small church in a remote village. He continues to teach children the Bible. This young man’s story reminded me of Paul’s teaching in Galatians 4 that God sent Jesus to bear our sin and redeem us so that we could receive the adoption of sons and become joint heirs with Christ. I praise God for the work of the Gospel through which Christ continues to transform orphans into heirs.

 Dave Smith (Director)

 

Missionary Updates -June 2019

The non-stop flight from Johannesburg, South Africa to Atlanta takes 16 hours.  Paul & Melinda Schlehlein were flying with their children when 5-year old, Owen whispered, “I can’t breathe.” Later they learned that he had a virus that caused his throat to swell to the size of a string. Praise the Lord, for help from Delta airlines, MDs, & friends. Owen is doing well.

In many countries in Asia it is common for missionaries to be bi-vocational. The apostle Paul was bi-vocational, working as a tent maker to supply for his earthly needs while serving local churches. Dr. Salem works full-time job as a medical doctor & serves in the church. There are severe financial shortages where Dr. Salem works, affecting the regularity of salary payment.
Tim & RoseAnne Bower are completing their last month of a previously unscheduled furlough due to civil unrest in Haiti. Conditions have improved, but there are still small groups of “bandits” lurking about.  They have had good family time & opportunities to connect with supporting churches & individuals while in the US.  Pray for their safety as they return to the field at the end of June.

Iglesia Bautista Biblica is now meeting in the gym of Bible Baptist Church in North Carolina.   David & Roxana Keiser have seen both spiritual &  numerical growth.  Church members are taking responsibility for different areas of service.  Pray for wisdom for important next-step decisions for the church, continued spiritual growth for church families, & salvation of friends of the church.

 

From the Assistant Director - May 2019

Just two weeks ago I was asked to take the Sunday school, which happened to be Easter Sunday. After asking God what I should share, several thoughts came to my mind that week. Being Easter Sunday I wanted to choose a subject that connected with Easter. The Lord lead me to one important element of Easter.  If it wasn’t for this one element, our reason for coming to Sunday school and attending the worship service to follow would all be done in vain. I asked the Sunday School class, why they were here this morning and why it was that they brought the Bible with them?  I asked for a one-word answer. Many came with good answers but none came up with the one word I was seeking. I was looking for the word,  RESURRECTION. Without  the resurrection there would be no Joy, Hope of Eternal Life, and no worship of our Creator. 1Cor. 15:13&14 says that “if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith”  Kim-Axel Kuhr (Assitant Director

Missionary Updates -May 2019

Much attention has been drawn to the recent fire in the famous Notre Dame cathedral located in Paris, France. Many people in Paris continue to express their frustration with their financial condition.  They don’t see their greatest need, the Savior. They look to the government for meet their needs. Pray for Kristi Colas as she plants seeds of the Gospel in this part of the world.

Praise God, for the renewal of Brian & Jennifer Buckley’s visas for this semester without any problems.  Brian’s language study is beginning to transition to more Bible training and preaching in this  language in Asia. Continue to pray for relationships to deepen with nationals and there would be increased opportunities to evangelize, disciple, & train leaders.

John & Karen McPherson are excited to see national leadership of the church in Grenada continue to develop. Plans for this summer include putting a roof on the home of Tyron the national pastor-to-be and then finishing the inside of their house.   Tyron desires to finish the last year of his seminary education.  Pray for the completion of his training.  Karen had knee replacement surgery & is doing well.

Scott & Shelley Krystowiak are encouraged by the spiritual growth of  the Prison Ministry Bible students.  There are 75 new Bible Institute students since the beginning of the year with students in over 200 different prisons. Pray for opportunities to expand to impact local jails. Scott & Shelley ask for wisdom as they begin Legacy International Seminary, a new ministry branch.

 

From the Director - April 2019

Open Door Baptist Missions (ODBM) exists and operates as a ministry of Morningside Baptist Church (MBC) in Greenville, SC.  While most mission agencies are para-church organizations that exist independently to serve local churches, the number of missions founded by local churches to serve local churches is growing.  ODBM’s offices are located in MBC.  This saves thousands of dollars in mortgage/rent, utilities, and office operation costs each year.  These savings are passed on to missionaries through reduced administrative fees which are then passed on to the churches who support them.  All biblically-driven mission agencies recognize the authority of local churches in sending missionaries.  As the Director of ODBM, I love that while our staff works in global missions, we perform our daily tasks in a local church.  I’m grateful for my local church (MBC) and the role it plays in allowing ODBM to serve local churches worldwide.

 

Dave Smith (Director)

 

Missionary Updates -April 2019

Alvin & Sharon Weiss are thankful for those who faithfully stand by them in prayer & support as they minister in Mexico.  God has used their supporters to show His goodness to them. Praise the Lord for a grandchild church of 40, which grew as a result of the efforts of a church plant after an earthquake in 2017. Another church plant bought land & needs funds for a building.

The kind of men that Scripture applauds is South Africa’s greatest need.  Paul & Melinda Schlehlein have found that the African men in rural areas are often slow to grow into mature leaders.  Cultural habits, like absentee fathering, delayed adolescence, & idleness hamper progress.  Paul meets almost every morning with gifted men to study the Bible & encourage them to mature.

 Tim & Jeannette Joyner in Uganda were invited to Kenya for Tim to preach at the wedding of a man who he has known since he was young. It was an encouragement to see the growth in the community & church they began 29 years ago. The Joyners are paying the fees (approx. $150 / term) for the education of  a saved, albino young lady, Mary Conquer. If you would like to help, contact the Mission office.

A man was an occasional attender at Stephen & Tammi Wess’ church in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The death of the man’s cousin opened the door for Stephen to share about the raging spiritual warfare on earth.  He then took him to Romans 8:28-39 & showed him that God will save, preserve, & sustain those who are on His side. After some time, the Lord broke down the walls & opened his eyes to receive Jesus. 

 

From the Assistant Director - March 2019

Our Director, David Smith & I, had the privilege of going to Myanmar (former Burma) for two weeks to look with our own eyes at the ministry that is taking place through ODBM missionary, En Khan Kham. Dave and I were both very impressed by the ministry that is taking place on the other side of the world. En Khan teaches at the seminary & follows up with graduates who are church planting. We visited an orphanage of 40+ students just outside of Yangon. The orphans are well trained in all disciplines but particularly so in the Word of  God. Two of the students were able to recite  Mathew 24-26. We also traveled to the Chin State along the border of Bangladesh. During the 5 days  we stayed there each of us taught & preached 17 times. What a blessing to see faithful attendees, including pastors, deacons, & local people, who loved God’s Word. They were so eager to hear & learn what we had to say. I am reminded in Col. 3:16 that God’s Word dwell in us richly in all wisdom so as to teach & admonish one another …… with grace. Kim-Axel Kuhr Asst. Dir.(Assistant Director)                                                                                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Missionary Updates - March 2019

Recently Barbara Soucy returned to Thailand for a 1 month short-term missions trip.  Annually she has made several trips to Thailand to serve in the ministry where she had been full time in the past.  For the love of Christ, she re-connects with the children in the school & adults to encourage, mentor, love & serve as she teaches, mends clothes, & visits those in remote areas.

Reports of civil disturbances are being heard from all over the world.  Tim & RoseAnne Bower have been familiar with reoccurring violence in Haiti during their many years of service.  Familiarity does not make difficult situations any less disturbing. Recently, the Bowers had to leave Haiti until the situation becomes more peaceful.  Pray for safety for those who remain.

 Caitlan Reid works at a Christian school in the Dominican Republic.  She is asking questions as did the disciples. How can these kids be saved when they don’t see that they have a need?  How can I help them see their spiritual needs when every other type of need seems to be fulfilled for them?  Am I having any impact on eternity? She has seen God working & is continuing with discipleship that connects to the heart.

Doug & Donna Lowery are excited about the ministry opportunities Doug has as he has begun Uber-ing and Lyft-ing.  He has reported passengers from 54 countries.  He continues to give out Gospel tracts and minister to passengers.  Later this spring they will be ministering in 3 churches. The annual NYSET Evangelism ministry in the NYC area is scheduled for the end of May. Pray for an effective team.

 

From the Director - February 2019

It was a blessing to start the new year by meeting with church planters and pastors.  Our annual ODBM Church Planters Conference was held in conjunction with the National ARCH Fellowship conference in Bradenton, FL.  Our ODBM group of 18 (representing churches from AZ, NE, NC, SC, WA & WV) joined over 200 pastors from all across America and some foreign countries.  While the bright Florida sunshine was welcoming, the fellowship around prayer and Bible preaching was even more enriching.  The sharing of blessings and burdens, and then praying for one another was time well spent.  While contemplating the ongoing task of proclaiming the Gospel to those who have still not heard in 2019, it seemed fitting to begin the year focusing on the needs and opportunities in our “Jerusalem and Samaria.”  Please continue to pray for ODBM as we strive to make disciples of Jesus and plant churches in America as well as in the uttermost parts of the earth.

Dave Smith  (Director)                                           

 

Missionary Updates - February 2019

In a recent prayer letter, Seth & Amy Meyers’  described 10 church plants in South Africa where they are/or have been involved. Some of these “churches” are mere church plants representing the gospel labors of at least 1 servant of God for years.  You may see shades of the church at Corinth, but Paul still called them saints.  Pray for a great work of revival & conversion.

 Brian & Jennifer Buckley continue to progress in their language study in Asia. Praise the Lord for the growth of a new believer in her faith. Pray for continued development of relationships, language acquisition, the spiritual growth of new believers, &  necessary funds for the continuation of language study for 2019. They need to raise an additional $3,500 for their studies.

 Dan & Edna Cadavos are excited about the great number of folks who have come to Christ  during the past year through their ministry in the Philippines. The growth in their mountain pastors’ discipleship/leadership program has yielded very positive effects to their outreaches and home churches.  Pray for Edna as she continues to battle cancer in her leg and hip.

There is great excitement as Ryan & Jennifer Horkavy come closer to completing their first church building in Arizona. Pray for all of the pieces of this project to come together without delay or problems. The area surrounding the church has seen the development of many houses with more to come. They are actively making disciples and training young adults for ministry.

 

From the Assistant Director - January 2019

...Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” (2 Peter 1:5-7) This passage encourages us, as believers to “give it our all” spiritually & grow in all 7 of these character traits. The workings of these traits begin the minute we are saved. It seems there is an importance to the order of their development:  1) Virtue, listening to the Holy Spirit’s prompting of sinful acts & thoughts in our lives & casting them out;  2) Knowledge, gained through the study of God’s Word; 3) Temperance, a self-controlled, disciplined lifestyle resulting in; 4.) Patience, waiting upon the Lord; 5) Godliness, a reverence towards God resulting obedience to please Him; 6) Brotherly Kindness will mark our relationship with others. and  7) Charity (Agape Love). As we begin the New Year may we be stretched with all diligence to exemplify these traits Kim-Axel Kuhr  Assistant Director                                                                      

 

Missionary Updates - January 2019

John & Karen McPherson ask for your prayers for fruit to arise from the church Christmas program & the New Year’s fellowship meal in Grenada. They will possibly be in need of a new meeting place due to the sale of the house & property later this month.  They would like to rent the facilities for a year. Pray for Tyrron to be able to continue & complete his seminary education.

The end of 2018 has brought unrest in Paris, France. Pray for safety not only for the missionaries, but also fellow brothers & sisters in Christ. Kristi Colas and the French team are excited about the interest young people have shown in missions work.  Internships, summer missions trips, and short missions trips 1-2 weeks in length are being considered.

 Pages are filled with gratitude for the many who have given out of abundance or out of little, over the years to help Harry & Melissa Peart to be successful in their ministry in Haiti. They are thankful for those who have given to them in so many ways.  As missionaries, they could not have lived in a 3rd world country, daily bombarded by Satanic forces, without faithful prayer support and encouragement.

Ryan & Debbie Meers are ministering bi-vocationally in Nebraska.  Their fall Trunk or Treat activity was a huge success with 130-140 children counted & 60 new contacts. They have tried a variety of things to connect with their immediate community.  Pray for more ways to connect with & minister to their neighbors, wisdom on moving forward with various programs, & more laborers so the ministry can continue to grow.

 

From the Assistant Director - December 2018

Psalm 66:16 tells us this: “Come and hear, all ye that fear the God, and I will declare what He hath done for my soul.”  Just yesterday my wife and I were at Penny’s doing some Christmas shopping. While Chris was looking at jewelry I began to speak to a store employee. I asked him if he were to die today would he know without a doubt that he would go to heaven? He said, “Yes.” Then I asked him, “If you were to die today and stand before God and God asked why should I let you into my heaven, what would you say?”  To my surprise  he answered “Because I repented of my sin and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.” What a blessing to hear these words. I came to another man who was there with his family and asked him the same two questions. He was unable to answer my questions. I shared with him how he can know for sure that he will have a home in heaven someday. He was so interested that he asked me for my phone number. We all need to declare with excitement, what He has done for us.  Are you?  Kim-Axel Kuhr (Assistant Director)

Missionary Updates - December 2018

Recent communication from Tim & RoseAnne Bower in Haiti give us a fresh reminder of how important it is to regularly pray for the safety of our missionaries. The situation in Haiti has been described as “heated.”  Schools have been shut down, roads blocked, & violence is present. Pray for peace & that innocent people will not be injured in the unrest.

Paul & Melinda Schlehlein wrote recently that 40-50 people gathered at their Sunday evening service in South Africa.  The prayer meetings of this little church are run completely by the people themselves. In this African village, there are mostly single-parent homes where the “golden calf people” worship  is sexual promiscuity. Pray for purity.

 Timothy & Jeannette Joyner serving   in Uganda wrote about some of the lessons that can be learned from the life of Moses. 1.  God did not seek Moses’ opinion or suggestions about going to Egypt. 2.  At times, God calls us to difficult tasks. God promises to be with us. 3.  Moses resists God as he doesn’t have all the answers, the abilities, or qualifications. God is all sufficient & His will is not an option.

September’s highlight was the baptism of 2 men resulting in 3 new members added to the membership of Steadfast Baptist Church in MichiganMark & Tacy Tolosa praise the Lord that the church is as strong as it has ever been since they started in 2010. They are grateful for the good spiritual condition of the people. Pray for Tacy’s recovery from recent cancer surgery & decisions about future treatment.