A Visit to Cornerstone Christian School for the Deaf

Earlier in the month of August, my wife and I were able to be with Cornerstone Christian School for the Deaf in Angeles City, Philippines. We were there in my capacity as Director of Deaf Ministries for BIO. The school hosted a training seminar for teachers of the Deaf which was offered to teachers of other schools in the area. We had three different Christian schools and one public school represented in the seminar. Also interpreters from other church ministries joined us.

This was a training seminar to help teachers know how to better communicate with the Deaf. Of course, it was also an evangelistic opportunity. There was one teacher who was unsaved. She did not get saved during the seminar, but we are praying that she will remain in contact with the Christians who invited her to participate and that she will eventually see her need of salvation.

Along with the school training, we ministered in the deaf church. Through interpreting, special music and preaching, both my wife and I enjoyed serving with the Cornerstone Baptist Church. It is an actively growing ministry. We had 67 who came to church that Sunday. Soon the church will have to knock out some walls or find a new place to meet. A great problem to have.

Because of specialized ministries like this, missionaries are able to get into some countries that would otherwise be closed to traditional ministry. Certainly the Philippines is not a closed country. Missionaries are being trained and sent from there in exciting numbers. It is encouraging to think that some of the people we trained this summer could be ministering in restricted nations among the Deaf in the future.

Maybe God has blessed you with specialized training that you could use to help reach the nations for Him. Would you pray about using your talents to train missionaries and national workers to better carry out the great commission in their area? It could be through a training seminar like we conducted or it may be as full time missionaries in a foreign land. If you have questions about how you can serve the Lord in missions, please contact us and we will do what we can to help.

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Becoming a Twenty-First Century Sending Church

Mission leader and pastor, Mark Stachura said, “The mark of a great church is not its seating capacity, but its sending capacity.” Every church should be a sending church. The standard model of a sending church is found in Acts 13. After fasting and praying, the church in Antioch sent out their two most capable ministers in obedience to the Holy Spirit. What does a sending church look like today?

A sending church is led by the Spirit of God

Acts 13:2 says, “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” In this day and age our own church programs and plans seem to take precedence over missions. It is important to realize that the church at Antioch took the initiative in being led by God. The above verse says, “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted…” Simply put, they sought God! The Word of God is clear in this regard. Hebrews 11:6b says, “…he (God) is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Furthermore, it wasn’t just Barnabas that was seeking; it was the entire leadership of the church. A sending church is one that seeks God and is led by the Spirit of God.

A sending church is obedient to the Spirit of God

Acts 13:3 says, “And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.” I believe that God has missionary candidates in every local church that He desires to send out. Some never hear the call, while others hear it but do not heed it. The church at Antioch was in tune to the needs of their community and the world. The talk in the foyer after church was predominately spiritual talk and that of meeting the needs of the world (Acts 11:27-30) not the upcoming football season. This environment fostered a heart to serve and to give; a heart that was obedient to the Spirit of God. It is no surprise, then, that this church immediately sent out their very best in obedience to the Spirit of God.

A sending church participates with the Spirit of God

After Paul and Barnabas’ first term planting churches in Asia Minor they came home for a furlough. Acts 14:26-28 says, “And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled. And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles. And there they abode long time with the disciples.” The church in Antioch yielded their beloved Barnabas and Saul to the Lord, but their missionaries were never far from their heart. They prayed for them often, and they rejoiced to see how God used two of their own throughout Asia Minor. And then, during the missionary team’s furlough, they loved on them and ministered with them and to them (Acts 15:3,35). Wherever Paul traveled he expected believers to participate with him (Acts 21:5, Romans 15:24, 1 Corinthians 16:6). The Apostle John also encouraged participation in missions in 3 John 5-8.

Today opportunities to participate with the Spirit of God in missions abound. Our standard of living enables many to give generously to missions. The Internet, printing press, radio and other forms of communication equip many believers to support the work of God in powerful ways. Our modern day technology keeps us in constant contact with our missionaries, and modern travel encourages shot-term missionary trips. Every local church should be a sending church! Oswald J. Smith said it succinctly when he said, “The mission of the church is missions.” We will be a sending church if we are led of the Spirit, when we obey the Spirit and when we participate with the Spirit of God. “The Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become,” Henry Martyn, missionary to India and Persia.

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Prevent Roadside Breakdowns From Becoming Disasters: Prepare an Emergency Kit

I begin by encouraging you to prepare an emergency kit to carry in your vehicle. Over a span of fifty years I have traveled a million ground-miles on three different continents—driving most of it myself. A wide range of unexpected situations have occurred. Besides numerous flat tires, I’ve also dealt with engine compartment fires and several electrical system malfunctions while out in the middle of nowhere, just to mention a few. I am thankful that in nearly every situation the problem was corrected in less than an hour. I attribute that to two things. First, God’s good hand being upon me. Secondly is the fact that I try to keep an emergency kit in the vehicle at all times. So, I present the following list of items one should carry in their vehicle to help with common roadside emergencies.

Photo of car pulling trailer

A Basic Emergency Kit

  1. Extra fluids: Different kinds of fluids are used to lubricate and/or cool a vehicle’s engine and transmission. In each case the various fluids are contained in the right location through the use of gaskets and rubber seals. When a gasket or seal fails it allows fluid to leak out. If you’re prepared, you go to your emergency kit, grab the correct bottle and use it to top up the necessary reservoir until you can get the leak repaired. Here are some extra fluids to carry:
    • One or two quarts (liters) of engine oil.
    • At least a half-gallon of coolant.
    • One quart of automatic transmission fluid (ATF) if your vehicle has an automatic transmission.
    • It could prove helpful to have a pint of brake fluid and some power steering fluid too.
  2. Assorted electrical fuses: Fuses are designed to fail so they can protect expensive electrical parts from being damaged by electrical malfunctions. For example, on a fuel pump circuit, a twenty-cent fuse is supposed to burn out first in the event of an electrical overload. This is done so as to protect the very expensive fuel pump from burning out. The repair might be as simple as replacing the fuse; so, having some assorted fuses could help you from being stranded on the side of the road.
  3. Emergency tow strap: A tow strap s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-s when pulling another car. Using a chain is okay but it causes a very hard jolt when pulling since chains don’t stretch.
  4. Old serpentine belt or fan belt. When putting a new serpentine belt or fan belt on your engine, look at the old one before you discard it. If it is not broken or falling apart throw it in your emergency box as a spare; even new belts occasionally fail or get damaged.
  5. A working jack. Be sure to have the correct jack-handle and lug-wrench. See if there is any kind of locking lug nut present that would prevent your wheel from being stolen. If so, be sure you have the key for removing it and that it gets stored in the same place every time.
  6. Check the spare tire. Your car might have the spare stored up underneath the vehicle. If so you should make a “dry run” and lower it. This will confirm that the retaining mechanism will actually release when you need it to. Occasionally check the air pressure in the spare.
  7. A reflective triangle or signal flare.
  8. A good set of jumper cables.
  9. Good flashlight along with some spare batteries.
  10. A fire extinguisher with an ABC rating can be used for electrical as well as oil-based fires.
  11. Ground-cover: something to put on the ground when you must lie down and look underneath the vehicle. A plastic shower curtain or large piece of cardboard works well.

Having an emergency kit during a breakdown could mean the difference between being stranded on the roadside—perhaps for several hours—or whether you get rolling again after a short delay. Most of these items can be purchased for $100 and can fit into a medium sized box.

I encourage you to put together a vehicle emergency kit and PREPARE TO MEET THY EMERGENCY.

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Training School: God’s Glory, Our Excellence

It is time for our annual training school. This year’s theme is God’s Glory, Our Excellence. Our key verse is 1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

Every year we try to edify and encourage our missionaries, while at the same time educate our newer missionaries in financial reporting, policy and taxes. This year 13 Deaf and hearing missionaries are traveling to attend. These missionaries represent countries in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.

Pastor Mark Campbell of Faith Baptist Church in Jefferson City, Jack Bufkin of Legal Shield, Richard McMillen of Pulpit and Pew Finances and Pastor Ronald Kuhns of Gospel Lighthouse Baptist Church will be our special guests.

Please pray for this week. We may make some of these sessions available via video or audio. Stay tuned!

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Solving Problems While Heathen Watch

And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.

—Genesis 13:7

Abram and Lot—the main characters in chapter thirteen—were recent arrivals to this region which was heavily populated with idol worshipers. As acquaintances were made, the local residents found out that these men were strange indeed; they had no idols of any kind, and had no regard for man-made deities! If their curiosity drove them to the point of asking Abram, “In whom or what do you trust for protection? Who or what do you worship in order to be blessed and prosperous?”, they would have been given an abstract answer, “My God cannot be seen by men’s eyes; He is invisible, I worship Jehovah.”

In the previous paragraph notice the word abstract. My guess is that idol worshipers don’t easily comprehend an invisible, untouchable deity; after all, they can actually see and touch theirs. As problems and needs arise in the life of an idol worshiper they go before their deity, follow a specified ritual and expect their god will take care of the matter. This illustrates an important principle of how the world walks by sight, not by faith which is the opposite of a Jehovah worshiper. Instead of abstract words it might carry more weight to have an actual, visible demonstration that Abram’s invisible God was in fact real and willing to work on Abram’s behalf.

With that in mind we look at verse seven again and see that it tells us there was contention and strife between God’s people. Even true believers do not have some magical immunity against problems in their human relationships. However, it should always be remembered that the world watches us as we work through our problems. The way in which our conflicts are resolved should demonstrate the nature of the One Whose name we bear. That is what makes our text so significant: the idol worshiping Canaanites and Perizzites couldn’t figure out how Jehovah worshipers resolved their problems since they didn’t have charms, fetishes or use any kind of tangible objects.

In the previous chapter (Genesis 12:10-20) Abram had learned a shameful lesson of what happens when we lean on our own understanding. Pharaoh, seeing that Abram relied on deception, sent him out of the country. Could it be that the Egyptian head of state said to someone nearby, “If that is how Jehovah worshipers deal with people, I hope I never meet another one!”

There are many places to apply these thoughts but I am thinking especially of cross-cultural situations where missionaries dwell among heathen people. So, when missionaries are dealing with people problems—for example, national pastors or even other missionaries—the locals need to see how the One Whom we represent can solve problems without using charms, cultural mechanisms or physical force. We must remember that we live among the Canaanite and Perizzite—they are watching. Let our conduct be the means by which they see that the Spirit of God and the Truth of God’s Word can solve any kind of dispute. This is as much a part of making disciples of Jesus Christ as to stand before them and preach a sermon.

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