Someone has said that "February is the cruelest month in the year." I'm not sure that "cruel" is the right description, but it certainly was cold! But, in spite of the icy roads, snow, and low temperatures, I bundled up like an Eskimo, ventured out, and attended two really important meetings. I was privileged to give greetings and a report to the WV State Mission Board during their February 3rd. meeting. These men of God spoke words of encouragement and commendation and assured me of their cooperation with getting my support rechanneled to the ministries of other Free Will Baptist International missionaries.
A few days later, I also enjoyed attending the quarterly meeting of the Kanawha Conference, my home conference of Free Will Baptist Churches. This gave me the opportunity to give my report and express appreciation to the pastors, deacons, and delegates representing fifteen member churches. While eating a delicious lunch, it was good to share news of Côte d'Ivoire and chat with many dear friends.
Let's turn the page of the calendar and enter into the month of March. I'm so glad that Spring will soon be here . . . guess I'll be able to get warm again, huh? Many of you know about the March for Missions campaign which takes place in our WV churches every year. During this time special services are held and funds are raised for the accounts of our home and international missionaries. I am speaking at several of these services in Beckley-area churches. I am looking forward to sharing in services with International Mission's recently-appointed Interim Director, Clint Morgan. Clint and Lynette are my good friends and we served together for many years in Africa. Please pray for Clint as he takes on the responsibility of leading the Mission for about six months. I also ask that you pray for former Director, James Forlines as he and his wife, Anita, seek God's will for future ministry. Thank you for praying for me as I share in these services. Thank you for praying that the March for Missions campaign will be successful - not just that much money will be raised, but that hearts will be touched and that individuals will surrender to God's call to go into all the world and preach the Gospel.
News from Côte d'Ivoire is very disturbing. The standoff between the two men claiming to be president worsens on a daily basis. There is much violence and killing in Abidjan as security forces and supporters of these two men attack each other. Thousands of people have fled the country. Please pray for God's intervention. Please pray for the Ivorian Christians to walk in obedience and be faithful witnesses during this very trying time. Please pray for the Verlin Anderson family, my co-workers at Bondoukou. Due to the need of medical attention, Debbie has recently returned to the States, along with their youngest son, Corbin. Verlin remains in Bondoukou and hopes to remain there until coming Stateside in May for their oldest son's wedding. Pray for Verlin. He has the gift of encouraging and is being used of the Lord to lift the spirits of hurting Ivorians during these difficult days.
Pray that the Lord's hand of protection will continue to be upon Verlin and guard him from all danger.
As I close, a thought comes to me from my morning quiet time. In his book, MY ALL IN ALL, Robert J. Morgan writes (in the February 12th. devotional) "Christ rules over all and makes all work for good, so we can cast all our cares on Him and be thankful in all things. This serves as a good reminder for me. Please pray that I will be able to cast all my cares on Him and that I'll be thankful in all things. Thank you for continuing to pray for my Mom. She is doing quite well considering her age and health issues. As her daughter and caregiver, I'm asking the Lord to help me serve her just as He would if He were here serving as her caregiver.
You are loved and appreciated. Thank you for being faithful partners in my going and serving in Côte d'Ivoire.
Love and prayers,