This song is about how Fred Potter got saved, written by Danny Minton.
It is our privilege to welcome you to the Charity Baptist Mission web page. We hope this will be a testament of what the Lord is doing in America and throughout the world.
In 1973, the Lord laid upon my heart to start Charity Baptist Mission Inc., here in Bristol, Tennessee. We started it because we were opening a children’s home in Mexico. From there the Lord continued to bless and increased the areas to other countries by which we could share the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour.
It has been truly a blessing to see how the Lord has used missionaries to reach the lost and see them saved.
We believe in the Authorized King James 1611 version of the Word of God. It has stood the test of time and we believe this is the only true Bible.
To God be the Glory!
Dear Faithful Prayer Warriors and Supporting Churches, December 2018 (click here for a printable version)
September Visits in Volinsky Region (bordering Poland & Belarus) were blessed as the National I.C. group of five visited in six different villages. Two of us visited all 360 houses in “Big Boondocks”. 18 years ago the Church’s reputation was ruined by a dishonest Pastor. Nevertheless, the Lord still worked in hearts and brought out 25 souls to the final Evangelistic service. On our visits, we saw five souls call on the Lord for salvation, and we trained a couple of men how to witness. The other three Brothers visited in five towns and saw 11 souls call upon the Lord, and as they trained the locals and challenged six Churches.
#1) Preaching in Mariupol before we pass out bread to the 150 needy who came! #2) People listening in the overflow corridor. We passed out over 700 loaves in six different locations as we preached the Gospel! Pictured to the right: #3) On trips we spend Friday and Sunday nights on the trains, sometimes for long hours. Pray they will be Fruitful.
In November, Berdyansk and
Mariupol visits were very fruitful. Two of us made visits for five days in
Berdyansk where 12 souls got saved. I then spent three days visiting in Mariupol
(three needy souls who were each missing a leg) and preaching to the crowds as
we passed out bread to the needy. 32 souls were saved as four Brothers made
visits to the needy. One brother even went to “Marenke” where some shooting was
going on near the front lines.
I’m not sure when, but the Churches wants me to return to do more visits in both Berdyansk and Mariupol. Many openly listened!!!
***December 9-13 Belarus
visits: I will join Brother Chuck Milton who introduced me to I.C.
(International Commission) in 2016. We’ll do one-on-one training of “How to
present the Gospel of Christ” with a group of students studying for the
Ministry. We will be visiting three different Churches in Minsk, Belarus
(***which are very closed to the spreading of the Gospel). Sunday Morning, I can
only greet the Church and give a 10 minute testimony.
*My training goals are the importance of: sharing your personal testimony, and using tracts in Witnessing for Christ!
January 19-28th Chernovetsky Region and Northern Moldova: I.C. National Team and I will be doing visits in 12 towns.
We praise the Lord for supplying the funds to print 40,000 (4”x6”) calendars on card stock with a salvation message on the back and 60,000 testimonial tracts. We’re preparing to print two more titles in Ukrainian.
December & January: Lakeside Baptist Church is witnessing in the same 15 villages as last year, as they distribute the 8,500 Evangelistic Calendars and tract packets. *Please Pray they will read the Evangelistic Calendars daily, so God’s seed will grow in their hearts through the messages about Christ and Salvation.
Pray for Vimal, Carthy and three Hindu Students from Southern India. (~450 Indian Students live here in all different parts of Kiev, -which now has a population of ~5 million.) They all learn in English at the University of Medicine. Pray the Lord will provide tracts which will be effective to reach them in their native language of Tamil.
To God be the Glory,
Please Continue Praying for our Children! Richard, Oksana, Elisabeth and David Maher
*Please use our Address:firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Praying Friends and
Family, August – September 2018 (Click
here for a printable version)
I hope this letter finds you all well in the Lord and rejoicing in His fellowship, service, and blessings. We are thankful to be back in Ukraine after two very busy months in the USA. The short break was a blessing and did us all good. We are thankful to have had the opportunity to see at least some of our family and friends, along with a few churches. The Lord blessed several of our meetings with one man responding to the invitation for salvation, others rededicating their lives to Christ, and another who is interested in missionary service.
The main objective for returning to the homeland was to help my daughter transition from life as a missionary in a foreign field to life as a child of God in America. We are thankful that the Lord was with us and helped every step of the way. First, Miriam had to get her driver’s license. With only one week to prepare she passed both tests. The Lord sent several good brothers in the Lord who helped us find a dependable car and insurance. The next big step was driving to Pensacola where we got her set up with an apartment and suitable furnishings to get her started. There were utilities to be turned on, bank accounts to be set up, used appliances to be found and delivered, etc. The Lord blessed Miriam with some wonderful roommates who are all attending PBI together as first year students. We are thankful to have had Miriam for the extra years. We miss her but rejoice that she is doing well and is in God’s will.
The time away was not only good for us but for the men in the church as well. They kept the ministry going and, as a result, grew in the Lord and His work. In addition to the usual pulpit ministry of teaching and preaching, they made visits, counseled, and ministered to the saints during the week. There was even a new visitor who has been attending faithfully since we returned. We are praying for his salvation. They also put in the main part of the sewage system for the new church building along with replacing the old entry stairway to the current building. In short, I was very thankful to see the Lord working in their hearts and blessing their desire to see God’s work advance in Ukraine.
As soon as we returned to Ukraine I had more blood work done to see if the cancer markers were all still good. A whole year has passed since receiving the first results of my blood work when there were three cancer markers that were just high enough to be flagged. Two months later they were elevated to stage two. At that point we rolled up our sleeves and decided to fight it. For the following eight months we threw everything we could at it. I lost about 25 lbs. but gained it all back after reintroducing things back into my diet. The trip to the U.S. had me concerned what the blood work would say after eating out so much while on the road. Praise the Lord the numbers all look good with only one being close to getting a red flag.
I figured a few words about our return trip may provide some comic relief. Our trip began with the typical Ukrainian bang! Our tickets required us to be at the Odessa airport by 3:00 a.m. for registration, which meant that we had to leave our house before 2:00 a.m. Our vehicle has turned out to be a great blessing and a tremendous trial all rolled in one. It decided to break down on our way to the airport. The Lord had everything in control when I ordered an extra van to carry our luggage. It actually was large enough for us all to squeeze into and get to the airport on time.
The typical problems awaited us at the Odessa airport. Everyone, from the check-in desk clerk to the shuttle bus driver, was grumpy and seemed to resent us for needing to fly out at such an awful hour. My two sons, Benjamin and Samuel, packed their U.S. military knives, which they received as gifts, in their check-through luggage. They met the local criteria of a legal “cold weapon” that does not require registration. (Yes, certain knives have to be registered here just like guns.) The security workers have been well trained to handle potential threats to national security, like us, and sprung into action. They took me and my two sons into a side room for questioning. Benjamin also packed an airsoft pistol which really escalated the situation. Two of the security officials were women who had quite an emotional disposition compared to the men in uniform with real automatic weapons. One of them was convinced that Ben’s airsoft pistol was a real gun. Ben offered to shoot himself with it to prove that it wasn’t. There was no sense of humor about this offer. Only an over emotional “NO!” The other cut herself while taking the knife out of its sheath. That didn’t help matters. First they called the chief of security, then the police, then the militia who all required photographs. Things here are a little tense because of the situation in Donetsk and Lugansk. They kept asking if Benjamin was military. It must have been the combat boots and camouflage he insists on wearing that tipped them off. Thankfully, they allowed us to go after signing some paperwork. I was comforted knowing that we still had time to get through passport control to our gate. Passport control, again, raised an issue about Benjamin being seventeen and in the country without visa or residency status. They detained him and would not let him leave the country. I argued that I had already inquired about this earlier with the authorities who said that underage children do not need a visa. They were going to write up a “protocol” on him and assign him a court case to pay a fine. In the end, they let him go with a warning and we made it to our gate in time. In hind sight this situation had the potential to turn bad but “the peace that passes all understanding” kept our hearts knowing that He was in control. Thank you Lord!
We are glad to be back in Ukraine and are trying to get settled into our home school routine along with getting things ready for winter. Please pray about our vehicle situation. It was taken to the shop after our departure to the U.S. and was fixed in time for our return flight. However, it broke down again on the way to the airport to pick us up. We’ve been sitting here without a vehicle for weeks now. This time the turbine broke and needs replaced which is not cheap. At this point I don’t trust it anymore and will try to sell it after getting it fixed. Please pray we can find a more dependable one. Please further pray for the Bible Institute classes to resume along with our paperwork for renewing our residency status, especially Benjamin’s!
We want to thank all who helped us out along the way and wish we could have had more time to make visits and see all of our family and friends. Lord willing, we plan to return to the U.S. for a furlough sometime in the not-too-distant future, when we will have more time spend with everyone.
We want to thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May the Lord bless you as you serve Him! Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!
That Ukraine May Know Him, Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10
“But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,” Acts 7:55 & “At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.” Acts 26:13
Our praying friends and family in the Lord, October, 2018
I reckon Saul of Tarsus headed down the road toward Damascus, pondering the events of the previous few days. The stoning of Stephen had unnerved him, particularly that look on Stephen’s face. What had Stephen seen that could cause such sublime tranquility while facing such satanic terror? A few minutes later and the maddened crowd was literally gnashing him with their teeth, and he seemed not to notice. Whatever he was looking at blinded him to everything occurring around him and to him. What object was so captivating that a riot in progress couldn’t distract him? I reckon Saul thought to himself, “If I could only see what Stephen saw…” when, lo and behold, the object of Stephen’s attentions stepped into view. All at once, Saul understood: His brightness eclipsed the sun in its strength; His glory exceeded everything else in view; His voice drowned out all other sounds; His words melted Saul’s heart. What else could Saul do but happily surrender? He asked for a name, and received in answer the name above every name: “I am Jesus.” What a change the “heavenly vision” made! Old things were passed away, and everything was made new. That same glorious spectacle is revealed to us today by the gospel. No wonder Paul, formerly Saul, said, “Preach the word.” The preaching of the cross might be foolishness to some, but it’s the revelation of the glory of God to all who believe. Hallelujah.
Well howdy, one and all. Let’s jump into this prayer letter with a prayer request. Please pray for Pastor Demir’s health. He’s had several bouts of severe illness, and we’re not sure whether the doctors are treating the symptoms or the cause. We’re not even sure if the doctors here know the cause. Just pray. Demir’s faithfulness and desire are humbling. The other day, at the close of our meeting, he excused himself and was sick outside. That evening, I dropped him off at home and told him I’d see him again on Sunday. Sunday rolled around and there he was, waiting for me outside his house. On entering the vehicle, his wife informed me he had been sick and in bed since I’d dropped him off three days before. He said he awoke that morning determined to go to church, and prayed for the Lord to strengthen him. He said, “What else do I have? This is my life; this is what I live to do.” Asiye, his wife, worries over him constantly. She tells him, “We already lost Bro. Ralph this year; don’t you even think about joining him!”
Our eleven churches are doing well. One of the indicators of spiritual health is how the members treat the pastor. Bro. Demir’s churches love him. At most meetings, someone always gives him something, be it dried goods, something from their canning, bread, or a dessert, anything to minister to his needs. That does my heart good to see their care demonstrated. They might not be able to give money, but they give what they can.
We’re now in Gypsy summer, and the temperatures are back up after the first serious cold snap of fall. Everyone is hurrying to get their wood cut and put up in preparation for the onset of winter. Our little family is doing well. We have made it through the first wave of seasonal sickness. I can’t say we’re looking forward to the next wave. Dixie Joy is attending pre-K here in the village, as well as doing A Beka at home. She calls the school that she physically attends “real school” and the DVD school “fake school.” The boys only attend “fake school” but are prize pupils. Carrick excels in language and writing, where Christian does exceedingly well in math. It is amazing how much information their young minds absorb even when you don’t think they are paying attention. The other day, their Aunt Verity held a history party, with the theme being Bible characters. Christian wanted to go as Moses. We asked, “What do you know about Moses? What would you say about him?” He then recited Moses’ life story in rich detail. After the party, his cousin Levi told his mama, “Christian’s story made us all look like wimps!” That means the world to me: knowing my little boy is learning the scriptures.
Please keep us in your prayers. Pray for our little children, for their physical and spiritual well-being. Pray for Hannah and me, that we’d be parents pleasing to the Lord. Pray for the work here. We seldom tell of opposition or problems we face, but know that there are plenty. Pray the Lord protects and keeps our hearts and minds. Pray for the work: We’ve got a ton, and we can’t do it without the help and power of God. Pray for the national pastors; the Lord knows the things they face on a daily basis. Pray that we’d be strong in faith, not staggering at the promises of God; that our faith wouldn’t be in word only, but in watching and waiting with joyful expectation. And, if you think about it, pray for our vehicle and home fund. I’m blessed to serve the resurrected Christ, who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all I can ask or think. Not only is He able, but He wants to, as well. He delights in illustrating His care for us all. Bless His name. Believe for us when our faith wanes, and we’ll do the same for you. The good Lord bless you all out of His abundant riches in glory.
Because of a living Savior, The William LeFevre Family
Dear Churches and Praying Friends, November 2018
"But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works." (Psa 73:28)
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Autumn has come to Bulgaria, and we are again thankful for the time when the summer work has ended and more people are able to come to church. This summer we have been busy working on our building in the village of Avren, and of course continuing with the regular village meetings.
Thanks to the Lord's wonderful provision, we were able to complete the first phase of our building project. The sanctuary and the entryway to the church is finished, as are the restrooms. Our goal was to have at least one church service there by the end of summer. We saw this desire fulfilled in September when we met for English church. A week later we met there again, this time for a Turkish meeting. Alish, the local pastor in that region has since held more Turkish meetings in the building, and we have begun to have regular English church services. We trust that this may be the building where the Lord saves our children, and many Turks. This week, when presented with the need for rugs in the church, the missionaries themselves gave to meet this need. Also, one missionary family volunteered to give their new piano to the church! God is supplying every need. Next month we should be getting a heater for the work room, where we will be binding Bibles and hymnbooks. To complete the next stage of our building we will need at least five thousand dollars. Please join with us in praying.
Last week our local pastor, Brother Alish, lost his oldest daughter. She was fifty-eight years old, and died of cancer. As she lay on her bed, she quoted the Lord's prayer three times, and then she died. A few years earlier she had professed faith in Christ, but this past summer got baptized. It was her desire to honor the Lord at her funeral, and God granted her wish. At the funeral there were over a hundred people present, most of them unbelievers. We were able to sing and preach on the street in their Turkish neighborhood, and many heard the gospel who might not ever come to church otherwise. The seed was sown. Several were interested in the preaching, and one even professed that she had been saved years ago. After hearing the gospel preached at the funeral she declared, "I'm going back to church, and I'm gonna be a Christian until I die!"
I lost count, but believe there were at least twenty new believers baptized this summer. I also want to mention that my family is still happy and healthy. Verity schools the younger children at home during the week, then attends a Turkish children's meeting in our village. Our grown daughters back in the states are a blessing to our hearts; remember to pray for them also.
Please continue praying with us and praising God for what He has done and will do.
In Christ, Zachary LeFevre.
Flour and Oil distribution in Bulgaria for 2018-19
The 2018 flour and oil distribution in Bulgaria was completed successfully. We thank the Lord for your generosity in assisting over 2,200 church families. Each family received 110 lbs. of flour and 5 liters of cooking oil. We would like to express our gratitude to all those who prayed and contributed to this ministry. The church families were very thankful for God supplying their needs.
Winter came late this year and many testified that the flour and oil reached them just at the right time. In one village there was a widow woman whose house had burned down a few years ago. Now she lives in a little room by herself. She had come to the end of her supplies for the winter and was out of food. She was going to start asking the neighbors for food when the truck entered her village and we began unloading the flour and oil. Praise the Lord, he does all things well. There are many others who have similar stories of God's provision concerning the flour and oil. Many poor and hungry children were able to enjoy freshly baked bread, through your faith and charity.
We would like to do the same for the upcoming winter of 2019. This will cost between 70 and 80 thousand dollars depending on the exchange rate. For $35 dollars we can purchase enough flour and oil to take care of a family during the cold winter months.
Again, thank you for participating in this ministry. "For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister." (Heb. 6:10)
In Christ, Rev. Mike Nixon Director
Updates from Romania
Dear Friends in Christ, November 2018
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We hope you are all doing well. We thank the Lord for the prayers that go up on our behalf of which I am sure there are many.
When I last wrote, I told you about the dedication service that we held in Avren, Bulgaria, which was the realization of Brother Ralph’s dream to have a church and a printing facility in that village. All the missionary families gathered to honor Brother Ralph and to dedicate the new building to the Lord by having a service to praise and worship Him. It was a very good service – some tears, some laughs – as we remembered Brother Ralph’s many years following God and then leading us in the way we should go. Again, we want to thank everyone who either prayed or sent in the support that was needed to complete the church.
On the 2nd of October, we held the first Turkish meeting in the new facility. One of Brother Ralph’s oldest friends, Brother Gary Armstrong, a pastor from Massachusetts with his wife, came to celebrate with us the birth of this new church. Brother Gary told the Turks about working with Brother Ralph more than 40 years ago and reminded us all of how our faithfulness is rewarded with much fruit. God has surely been faithful to us and has blessed us beyond measure. One of our Turkish national pastors, Brother Alish, who was saved under Brother Ralph’s preaching many years ago, also preached. We had a great meeting and are excited about what the Lord will do in Avren.
Several weeks ago, a young mother who comes occasionally to the Romanian church I lead, came to the meeting and asked us to pray for her child. I had known this woman as a beggar who only came to the church when she wanted to ask me for money. I rarely gave her anything, not believing the stories she would tell about why she needed money. This time something was different. She didn’t ask for money, she asked for prayer. Seems her 1 year-old son, David, had been born with a place in his spine that leaked spinal fluid. There was an open place on his back where this fluid seeped out constantly and never healed. She had been told by a doctor that if the child did not have an operation to close up the place on his spine, he would likely soon be paralyzed from that point down. We prayed for her child in the service. She told me after the service she had been getting money together to have the operation done but was afraid it would be too late. I had a little money with me and I gave her what would be about enough for the train trip to Bucharest where there operation would be done.
Last week at the Romanian meeting she was there again…this time testifying about how the Lord had saved her child. Apparently, when she got to the hospital in Bucharest and checked in, she was told that the operation would cost her twice what she had understood. She said she broke down crying in the room knowing she must return to Constanta with her child not having the operation. She said a woman staying with her own child in the same room had overheard her conversation with the doctor and told her that they needed to pray. She said this woman prayed with her in the hospital room. As she was on her way out of the hospital a nurse stopped her and told her the doctor would do the operation for the amount of money she had. The operation was very successful and her little boy was with her at our meeting. She was beaming as she testified about how the Lord had helped her. I was reminded how the lame beggar went into the temple leaping and praising God. I am glad this woman saw the Lord has something much better than silver and gold! I thank Him for answering our prayers, strengthening the church and putting faith in the heart of this woman. As always, we thank you for remembering us in your prayers.
In Christ, The Turners
The Reed Family, Serving with Charity Baptist Missions to Eastern Europe since 1992 “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Gal. 6:2
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, October 1, 2018
Greetings from Romania. We are honored to bring you a good report from Romania. In our last letter we spoke to you of a man named Elie. We asked you to pray for God to give him a good testimony as he drew near to death. We were truly blessed to have him leave word to his wife and relatives that he only wanted the believers to bury him. We have never been able to do this before and I was concerned. We were able to have a funeral service without any interference from the Greek Orthodox or Muslim priests. We were able to sing, testify, preach, and pray in four languages. Then we proceeded to carry his body through the village into the cemetery singing Turkish hymns and a short grave side service. The Lord gave exceeding above anything we could ask or think!
Teresa and I have an urgent prayer request about little Ricardo. He is in the town of Calarasi. He has leukemia and we have taken him and his mother for treatment several times in the last few months. The doctors aren’t giving him a very good chance to live. They also aren’t as concerned as they should be, because of the lack of plasma in his blood type and the fact that he is Turkish. His mother comes to the morning prayer meeting and cries out to God to heal her boy. Please ask your church and other believers to pray for this little boy. He and Nate have a special relationship and are good friends.
We’re so grateful the meetings are going better than ever. We have three
building projects going on in three separate towns. Jacob and I are very
busy as we prepare to suffer the unforgiving winter. We have been able
to stock our churches with wood. We have also been able to repair our
three cars and put snow tires on them for the winter roads. We have been
able to replace and repair a lot of things while painting our church in
Calarasi. We have been able to put flooring down in the two meetings in
Calarasi and this month, by God’s grace and continued prayer, to obtain
electricity for our main church building. After we obtain electricity,
we will have power to do some spot welding and we hope to put a fence
around the church property before winter. Please help us pray for these
things as the devil is always trying to hinder. We are so thankful for
everyone and the churches that have given to make this possible. We have
a lot more to do and will try to keep you updated as our Lord provides
strength and time to accomplish them.
We had a wonderful camp meeting in July. It was sad to be there without brother Ralph, but somehow, I feel he was present in each one of our hearts. We were able to travel to Bulgaria for the dedication of the church and printing house he had worked all his life to leave us. It has been over twenty years since we were able to be in an English meeting down there and what a blessing to dedicate this place as a perfect legacy to bro. Ralph. They hope to have the first Turkish meeting there next week. We just want to continue to carry on with the same spirt and desire he left for us and to get the gospel out through the Bibles and Hymn books he tirelessly labored on his whole ministry.
May God richly bless you the faithful! From Constanta and Calarasi, Romania
Nathan, Teresa, Nate, Jacob, Elmas, Rebecca, and Uriah
“Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course and be glorified, even as it is with you.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1
“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh… were without Christ … having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:11-13
The Jacob Reed Family Serving with Charity Baptist Missions to Eastern Europe since 2012 “And there they preached the gospel.” Acts 14:7
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, October 1, 2018
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I pray this letter finds you well in the nurturing grace of our Lord. We continue to thank you for your support and prayers.
On the 8th of June this year we buried our beloved senior missionary Brother Ralph Cheetwood. It was a bittersweet moment in time. But we have the hope of our precious Lord to reunite us on the streets of gold! We continue in the work that he left us to further the gospel to the Turkish believers here in Romania and Bulgaria. For over 35 years he has worked on the Turkish translation from the 1611 KJV bible and his legacy will live on throughout the ages.
In the past few months the Lord has given me the honor and privilege to watch over the meetings here in Romania for my father and family while they are on furlough in the States. It has been a blessing to serve these past few months and help further the gospel of Christ. I have had a burden to start a Turkish meeting in a small village called Pecineagra. This is the village where my wife grew up and we have started a prayer meeting in my father-in-law’s house where we feed and minster to them daily from both physical food and the translation and Turkish hymns Brother Ralph left us.
We have a great burden for a little boy in the Town of Calarasi. His name is Riccardo and he is five years old but has leukemia. My Father and mother have taken him to Bucuresti to have random checkups and treatments. They are very mean to the mother and haven’t given him much hope to live. Amelia is a strong believer and comes to the morning prayer meetings and cries out to the Lord for her son’s life. Just the other day she stood up to testify and said she had asked Jesus to give Riccardo plasma from his blood. They don’t have any in his blood type, so I ask you to give it to him from your clean blood. It really touched my heart when I heard her say this. This the second time this mother has had to go through this. Amelia’s little girl Alexandra had leukemia for years and was able to obtain plasma from her older sister, but Riccardo isn’t a match with his older sister. Alexandra is now cancer free, but it will take a miracle for Riccardo. We ask you to help us pray for this little boy and his family.
We also have a national pastor by the name of Bayhan. He is a great blessing to us and has a wonderful testimony. He has type one diabetes. We give him some money to try and help him every week with his family, but with the prices of insurance going up, he doesn’t have the money to pay it every month. He is raising two children that aren’t his just out of the goodness of his heart. If you would like to help a real national pastor, please let us know and I’m sure the Lord would bless you. Thank you again for all you do for our family and God bless you!
From Constanta, Romania, Jacob and Elmas Reed email@example.com
Dear Pastors, Churches, and Fellow Saints, July - August
"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." Acts 14:27, 28
In July and August we visited and presented our mission work at churches in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia. We had not been to some of those churches in years. It was a blessing to gather together and rehearse once again what God has done on the mission field in Bulgaria and Romania. It was a blessing to also hear from them what the Lord has been doing in their churches and ministries in America.
It is good to be back on furlough and not only to visit with the churches but also with family and friends. I am especially thankful for another opportunity to speak to our lost loved ones about their soul's need of salvation. God is dealing with them and our prayer is that they will open their heart's door and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. It has been encouraging to see some who were so hard and cold to God and the gospel to give ear and listen with open heart and mind. I believe they are in the place of Isaiah 1:18 where the Lord says "come" and "reason".
I love dealing and talking with people about their souls, but how much better it is when the Lord Himself starts to deal with them. We have seen this verse, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." John 12:32, work over and over again in the lives of so many in Bulgaria and Romania and also here in America. If we lift up the Lord Jesus Christ in song and sermon and tell of His great salvation then God will draw them unto Him. "Draw" means: to cause to move in a particular direction". May the Lord help us all to be like the Maniac of Gadara and take to heart the command that Jesus told him, "Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee." Mark 5:19
If you are interested in seeing the work presented or having us come and preach please call me at (828) 592-1498. If you should not be able to reach me at that number I can also be reached at (423) 878-5800. We're looking forward to seeing all of you and fellowshipping and praising God together.
All Because of Calvary, Matthew Welch and Family
Dear Friends in Christ, September 2018
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So much has happened since I last wrote that I hardly know where to begin. We have had everything from wonderful experiences seeing the Lord work miracles in the lives of those around us to heartbreaking loss that shook us to our foundations.
We have a ‘campmeeting’ here at the Children’s Home three times a year. All the missionaries in our group, both in Romania and Bulgaria, meet for five days of preaching, praying and fellowship. We always hope to see the Lord really move in and do great things. In our meeting in March, He certainly did! Three of our children (two in the Home and one biological) got saved! Johnny 9, Kelebek 10 and Creed 8. Sometimes, when young children get saved, you might wonder “Did they really get it? Did they really understand?” In the months since the campmeeting, it has been evident that they REALLY got it. They pray every night and almost always ask the Lord to save the other kids that are still lost. We recently had a mission group from Texas visit. After they had been here only a little while, one of the men said “I really like this place. I wasn’t here five minutes and your boy (Johnny) asked me if I was saved!” The salvation of our children is something that we have certainly prayed much about and we want to thank and glorify our Savior, Jesus Christ that He would do that for us.
In June, we had the bittersweet home going of Dara’s dad, Ralph Cheatwood. He served as a foreign missionary for over 40 years before going to take up residence in his eternal home. Brother Ralph was the driving force behind the great work that we are part of here in Romania and Bulgaria. We learned so much from watching him seek the Lord and not being afraid to follow wherever that might lead. He blazed the trail that we and the other families involved with us are following and, by God’s grace, will continue on. About reaching the Turks he said, “Love them and learn their language”. He preached to them in Turkish and translated the Bible for them into the Turkish language. We certainly miss him now. There were, however, already many believers, whom he called his ‘crowns’, who had gone ahead and were waiting for him as he entered that Eternal City. Even our own little Noah Cross was waiting for his Granddad. We thank the Lord for Brother Ralph’s leadership and example for us to follow as we continue on in this work.
Before Brother Ralph became ill, he bought an old house with a small cheese factory attached. He had begun working on converting it into a church and facility to print and bind Bibles and hymnbooks. In his last weeks, Brother Ralph asked us to finish this project for him after his passing. We, along with the other missionaries, raised the money and the work was done this summer on the building. On Sept. 23rd, we had a wonderful dedication service in the new building with all the missionary families attending. The church is finished and we have made much progress on the other parts of the building. This is a fitting monument for a remembrance of Brother Ralph. He was all about the local church and getting God’s Word out to the people. We praise the Lord we were able to see this done and thank all of you who offered prayers and financial support that this vision could be realized.
Thanks to all of you for your continued support of our family and this work. May the Lord bless you richly.
In Christ, The Turners
Dear Praying Friends and Family, May – July 2018
Apologies: First of all, I would like to thank each and every one of you who support and pray for our ministry in Ukraine. Our prayer letters are our lifeline to you back home who are “holding the ropes.” Many of you did not receive our last prayer letter until it was about six weeks overdue. The fault was mine. I wrote it in a timely manner and sent it to everyone on our e-mail mailing list and forgot to send it to our mission board. The oversight was called to my attention when a church contacted me to let me know that they had not heard from us in a while. Thank you for your patience and I’ll try to not be so scatterbrained in the future.
Upcoming short trip to the US: After much prayer it is clear to us that this is the right time to take Miriam back to the US. She will be attending PBI and working towards her bachelors of business administration (BBA) with the University of Northern Ohio, the latter of which she has been taking online classes for the last year. She has been such a blessing and help to us in our ministry here. It is very difficult to let her go. She loves God and has put His will first, waiting patiently for His guidance in this chapter of our family and ministry lives. Please pray for her as we take this journey together to get her settled in. We will be in the US for all of August and September. I would love to stay busy preaching and try to be a blessing while in the US. If anyone is interested in scheduling a meeting please contact me by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone after August 1, at (513) 376-1011.
Bible Club: This year marked our 18th anniversary of holding Children’s Bible Club. God obviously blessed this year with a lot of new older kids, many of whom received Christ as their Savior during the week. We averaged about seventy children with our highest day being eighty in attendance. This year’s theme was “Great Questions of the Bible!” They all received a lesson, then did crafts and memory work that fit the day’s lesson. Every day they were fed a small lunch and our youth group did a skit for them. There were plenty of prizes, fun, and games. They loved the sword drills and Bible songs. This year we began teaching them about the prayer altar. On the second day five older girls were dealt with and received Christ. They came the rest of the week and brought friends. On the last day we had 11 children respond to the invitation who had not yet received Christ after giving them an object lesson demonstrating the imputed righteousness of Christ to the believer and his sins being imputed to Christ on the cross. My friend Earl Wafford taught me how to do this years ago and we have used it in Bible Club every year since.
Youth Conference: Our youth attended the youth conference held in Limonski for the second year in a row. This year was a special blessing because my son, Benjamin, surrendered to God’s call on his life to serve in fulltime ministry. All of my older children are growing close to the Lord along with several others in our youth group. On the second day of camp, Sergei (Mowgli – see our last prayer letter for details), asked if he could skip youth camp to attend our midweek prayer meeting because he likes praying with us. He said that the first day of camp was fun, but a little spiritually dry. I told him that he would have to enlist others to the task of praying for God’s blessing on the camp. They started praying together for over an hour at a time at night and God blessed it!
Church Update: The building program for the church is going slowly forward. We are still saving for the first phase before actually breaking ground. In the meantime we poured a new concrete porch and stairs for the entryway of the existing building. The old one was an eyesore which we tolerated thinking that it would be temporary. We also put a nice wide awning over the entry so that there is cover during the snow and rainy seasons.
We are very encouraged by the return of my old secretary who left after being offended at several people in the church. I dealt with her once about getting right with God, but she didn’t budge and eventually turned all her bitterness against me since I didn’t repeatedly beg her to come back. She finally did return a changed woman...seven years later! She joined the church along with her new husband and they are doing great!
From time to time I’ll have a sister or two in the church complain that our church is too chauvinistic, that everything is for the men. I’ve assured them that there is no male conspiracy going on, just Bible-believing Christianity! Coincidently, those that complain are all divorced and still unmarried! Anyway, just to prove them wrong, we scheduled a women’s retreat where they had a great time of fellowship together with a fireside picnic in the country. Funny thing is that they requested that two men from the church help them with the fire and to be within calling distance should any wild boars show up! Other than the usual goings on we have a wedding in the works along with a baptismal service for several new converts.
Future Plans: Over the past year I’ve been waiting for several things to be accomplished before focusing our time and energy on beginning the work in Odessa. First, there is the trip to the US to help Miriam get settled in. We’ve been waiting on the Lord and now it is time. Knowing that we would have to leave for a month or two, I did not want to start something only to leave it for such a long time. The second thing was our full time Bible Institute. Over the past three plus years we have taught every class that is taught at PBI with the exception of Greek and Hebrew. There are several classes left that I will finish during the upcoming semester. With that accomplished I’ll have much more time for the work in Odessa. Lastly, there was the issue of giving time to instruct and prove my assistant for the pastorate. He is doing very well and will have his first dry run at the helm during our two months in the US. Please pray for him and his wife during this time.
Answered Prayer: We want to thank you all for praying for our various health needs over the past year. Since returning to Ukraine over four years ago, Naomi suffered through four miscarriages, the last of which almost killed her. We are only now learning how devastating the loss of blood is on a woman’s thyroid. She has been studying and working with functional doctors in the US and we are seeing great improvement. We are so thankful for the Lord’s mercies. My various health issues are getting back to normal. I haven’t felt very comfortable talking about it, but I’ve had my own private battle with depression over the past ten years. The only time that I felt normal was when I was preaching. My blood work revealed that I had stage two stomach cancer, very low vitamin D levels, adrenal fatigue, and bad cortisol levels, among others I don’t care to mention. In short, I was a mess. My wife rolled up her sleeves and took on the task of doing the research to heal cancer naturally. I went on a total vegetarian diet and included several cancer healing protocols over the course of four months. I want to thank my God and Savior Jesus Christ for His mercies on me and my family. My cancer levels are now back to normal; the skin cancer on my arm is healed; and for the first time in a long time, I’m beginning to feel like my old self again. Also, thank you for praying for our vehicle situation. After two months in the shop, they were finally repaired.
We want to thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May the Lord bless you as you serve Him! Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!
That Ukraine May Know Him, Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10 Click here for a printable PDF.
Dear Pastors, Friends, and Churches, May-June, 2018
It is with much sadness that I write this newsletter. My Dad, who was a pastor for many years, went home to be with the Lord in May. He had leukemia, then had a bone marrow transplant and lived about 17 years after the transplant. This was a miracle within itself to have survived that long with such an aggressive treatment and take chemotherapy. It is always a shock when someone whom you love departs from this life. He was a soldier for sure. God bless you Dad!
We made a trip to a Hispanic island in April and had a great Institute with approximately 80 attendees. Our American pastors taught, wept, and encouraged our Hispanic preachers. It is always a blessing to sit and enjoy the Word of God when it is preached, taught or just discussed, whether in English or Spanish. It’s also getting easier to enter in and exiting out of this country now.
I recently returned from Panama. We were preaching in the city and in the mountain Indian villages. While visiting a new work we crossed a huge river by a hanging bridge that spanned 75 to 100 yards. The community there had a very large stove with a cheese cloth hung over a pot for their coffee, and a hewn out tree trunk that served as a huge bowl to grind the rice with a pole. We gave out Bibles and gospel tracts and preached. Three people were saved, and it was only their 4th service. We also had a service at a building which “Help Ministries” assisted with in constructing. Around 150 children attended the classes and had a meal of rice afterwards.
Over the years we have seen this particular work become a base assisting several other works that exist in these mountains.
We now support several of these national Indian preachers. We also gave out Bibles and commentaries to our preachers and to several young men who are studying and preparing for the ministry. It is exciting to see what the Lord is doing, and the future that lies among these Ngöbe-Buglé Indians in Panama. Thank you for your prayers.
Joyfully Yours, Farren Caeble 1 Sam. 12:24
Important update from South India.
Dear Friends, August 17, 2018
We write to you with an urgent need for prayer. As some of you may already know, Charity Baptist Mission has a Children’s Home in South India. It is now monsoon season in where the home in is located, and this region of India is completely flooded. There is no electricity; schools are closed, airports are closed, stores are closed and some hospitals are closed. The dams were overflowing and the gates had to be opened to relieve some of the pressure; but it’s still raining, which is causing more flooding. On Wednesday August 15th around midnight Eastern Standard Time, the Children’s home was flooded with waist-deep water. The children and staff were able to get to a higher floor salvaging some items, clothing and school supplies for the children.
As of this writing on Friday August 17th at 8:00 P. M. EST, the Children’s Home is still flooded with water. It is very slowly beginning to recede. Right now the greatest need is to get food and clean water into the home. Thankfully, some friends in neighboring communities (located on higher ground) were later able to get in through the back of the home in order to get much needed essentials for the children and staff.
The home was opened in 1975 and has never experienced anything like this. This is the worst flooding South India has experienced since 1924.
Please pray for their safety. We know there will be a lot of repairs to be done after the water recedes. The home’s financial support has been really low lately, and there are no funds available to do this much-needed work. Please pray about this.
Sincerely, Mike Nixon, Director
“And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and
thy father hath killed the fatted calf,
because he hath received him safe and sound.” Luke 15:27
Our praying friends and family in the Lord,
Greetings from Dabravino, Bulgaria! It’s been close to a month since we were received “safe and sound,” and while we’re not quite back in the swing of things, we’re certainly closer. Every return trip requires readjustments. Returning to “life as usual” in Bulgaria is a relearning process. The first night in country, trusting adrenaline to overcome travel delirium, I went into town grocery shopping. Ambling through the store, filling my cart with what I deemed as necessities, I eventually made my way to check out. Placing my items on the conveyor, the attendant began setting certain things aside, eventually accumulating quite a pile. She then informed me her scanner wouldn’t read these items and asked if I wanted to put them back or allow someone else. Somewhere inside me, a voice said, “Welcome back!”
A week after our arrival, we headed north to Romania, to Casa Julia, for our Missionary Camp Meeting. It was the first meeting we’ve had without Bro. Cheatwood. Things were notably different, not bad, just different. Things change. We wish they could remain comfortably the same forever, but they can’t, and won’t. Change isn’t necessarily bad. Change awakens us to what is missing, and what was, and forces us to forge onward. No one felt more keenly the loss of Elijah than Elisha, and yet he didn’t wish him back, but rather sought the God who made him the man he was. We missed Bro. Ralph; every message reflected that, but we met to worship God. While there was a definite loss felt, there was also an unmistakable presence. I preached the first service on “The Empty Seat and the Missed Servant” from the twentieth chapter of first Samuel: David was gone, but he left a binding promise of perpetual kindness to Jonathan and his house; he exhibited a surpassing love; and he eventually enjoyed a glad reunion. It is a comfort to know that when inevitable change comes, it brings to light things we’ve missed. When temporary things pass, eternal things shine forth. It was a good spirit-refreshing, soul-restoring meeting, and I bless the Lord for it.
A few days following our camp meeting, we were invited to a Sofra in the village of Zlatna Niva. As you may recall from previous prayer letters, a Turkish Sofra is a meal of thanksgiving. When the Lord has done something extra special in someone’s life, to show gratitude, they hold a supper. They bid all who can, come to the feast. The supper is preceded by a service. Hymns are sung, then the individual is given the opportunity to declare the reason for the Sofra. In this case, national pastor Alish’s oldest daughter, Emine, wanted to give thanks to God for a clean bill of health from the oncologist. After her testimony, many others testified of God’s great kindness and mercy in relieving their distresses. Young Alish brought a message from Matthew on “Ask and ye shall receive,” regarding our heavenly Father’s love for His children. A young woman, herself battling cancer and touched by the testimonies and preaching, begged for prayer. We cheerfully obliged and are trusting God for her help. The service over, like all good Baptists everywhere, we eat. We dined on young goat, wild rice, cucumber-tomato salad, and fresh rustic bread, with a side of hot peppers. We wish all our believers would be that thankful.
We held our first big meeting of the summer last weekend, our first Bulgarian meeting without Bro. Cheatwood. We had planned for a modest crowd, around one hundred people, thinking most would be working. When the count was made, we had over a hundred and fifty. Pastor Demir called me that morning and informed me more people wanted to come than we had planned. So, we changed our plans and made accommodation for them. The service was excellent, with Bro. Zach preaching from the first chapter of John regarding the baptism of Jesus. That afternoon, four souls who had professed Christ in their village church were baptized in the Kamchia River. The Kamchia was flowing particularly swiftly that day, and after almost losing the last candidate and a few of the missionaries, no one else felt the urge to enter the baptismal waters.
For the foreseeable future, I’m helping national pastor Demir. He’s been ill for the last couple of years, suffering the after effects of a number of mini-strokes. Due to his health, he hasn’t been able to shepherd his meetings as he’d like. Prior to his initial stroke, Demir was as faithful a pastor as we have, always in church. Now he’s uncertain what the day will hold or whether his strength will sustain him. Still, he doesn’t complain. Rather, he says his change in health is the best thing that’s happened to him in a long time. In every meeting this last week, he’s testified that it’s better to have no strength and rely on the Lord than to know everything and be able to work but miss God’s will. He said for years he preached from the shallow pool of his own understanding. Then he had his stroke. He couldn’t speak hardly, and he wasn’t strong enough to walk unassisted. All he could do was lie in bed. He returned to his Bible and prayed for strength. He said the Lord opened His word to him, and everything was sweet, fresh, and new. He’s a different preacher now. He said today, “Sometimes when I come back from meetings, I can’t remember how I got there or how I got home. But in the church, during meeting, I feel like a young man, like I could do anything, and all I want to do is preach!”
The meetings have been strong, though sparsely attended. The other day in Venelin, four people came out. Still, we had meeting as if there were a hundred in attendance. We closed the meeting with an invitation for prayer. While praying, a horse wandered in. Demir, without missing a beat, said, “Lord, grant this horse whatever he came for!” The woman of the house, embarrassed, hurried the horse out. On the way home, the ladies who came with us were lamenting the size of the crowd, wondering aloud where everyone was. Asiye, Demir’s wife, said, “Tsk, tsk, tsk, only four people!” “Six,” Demir said emphatically, “the horse counts as two.”
The Lord sure has been awfully good to us. Before departing America, money came in to be put toward a future home, while still other money was designated for a vehicle. We’re a ways off from both, but closer than we were. We thank everyone who gave, and bless the Lord who put it in your heart to help. He’s a good God, and our eyes are upon Him, trusting Him to do what’s best. We miss you all. Pray for us. We love you and look forward to hearing from you. Believe for us when our faith wanes, and we’ll do the same for you. The good Lord bless you all out of His abundant riches in glory.
Because of a living Savior, The William LeFevre Family
Dear Breathren, July 2018
“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” Psalm 116:15
Missionary Ralph Cheatwood, hero of the faith, went on to be with the Lord last month. He was our Field Director and Pastor figure but also like a father to so many of us. Our children even called him Grandad. His presence will be greatly missed but we fully intend to carry on the work he began all those years ago.
Time marches on, and we strive to “Redeem the time”… The churches continue to do well. In Zlatina a lady stopped us outside on the sidewalk to inquire after the church there because she had heard about it from a believer she met while working in Western Europe. What a blessing that the testimony of the church stands strong even as it travels. Our family is doing well. I remain busy tending the flock with Pastor Ismail while Carrie and Cherith stay home on weekdays so Cherith can finish her home-school work. Esther is in America for a few more weeks – she had an unexpected opportunity arise to visit a university, work a summer job, and spend a bit of time with some children in foster care. Our older children are doing well also but could always use your prayers.
In my last prayer letter I wrote at length about our vehicle situation. The situation remains unchanged and we continue to pray the Lord keeps this car going while we wait, but some money has come in for a new vehicle. Of our $18,000 goal we now have a little over $4,000.
There are so many financial needs of the ministry but at the moment I feel compelled to highlight this one: Winter Firewood. The mindset here is to always be preparing for winter, and at this time firewood (which is controlled by the government) is more available and 20% cheaper. The closer winter gets, the less available firewood is, and it gets more expensive with each passing month. I would like to see Pastor Ismail and the church in Novi Pazar get firewood yet this month. My family also.
In closing we ask that you pray for the following: 1) The upcoming American camp meeting: the first without Brother Ralph. There are many young people yet unsaved. 2) Our children in America. Guidance. Wisdom. 3) The ministry here. Pastors and families, missionaries, churches, believers. 4) Avren. Work is going on in Avren as we strive to follow Brother Ralph’s vision and carry on what he started.
Thank you all for your faithful prayers and support. Because He First Loved Me, Brother Larry Leach, Jr.
Dear Praying Brothers and Sisters in Christ, May of 2018
Feb.18-25th: The I.C. National Ukrainian team and I made visits to 14 Churches in the Chernigovsky Region (just below Russia and Belarus). In Preparation for our visits, on Sundays during the months of September - November, I travelled to seven different Churches in both the city of Chernigov and in the surrounding villages of the region to stir them up by preaching on Evangelism and Intercessory Prayer. During our February visits, the Lord worked on many hearts and also saved many souls. I made visits in two difficult villages and saw four souls receive Christ. Two Sisters, who have been praying for their lost daughters and live in other towns, had me call them to explain the Gospel by phone. As the Lord was working in one of their hearts, you could hear her sniffling and crying. In all, the people listened well. It was obvious that the Lord was working on lost hearts through your prayers.
April 7-15th: Preached in six different Churches in different towns and taught two Bible studies in a town called “Unmovable” in the Sumskoy Region. Eugene, a 26 yr. old Missionary who is trying to Revive a small declining Church, invited me there to make visits and present the Gospel. We saw four people “moved” to repentance, and although many others were close, we left it up to the Holy Spirit to convince/convict them of their sin and need of salvation. 35 yr. old Alexsander complained to his mother that he couldn’t sleep all night because of my visit. 30 yr. old Michael who got saved, works for the Government to help released prisoners acclimate. He got approval for Eugene to start Bible studies with his parolees.
April 19-24th: I held a four hour Evangelism Seminar in the Chernovetsky Region with groups from five Churches. Many were challenged to be faithful in fulfilling their Ministry of Reconciliation and very happy to receive Brochures to Evangelize with. Afterwards while making visits in two villages, the Lord worked to open the hearts of two ladies, both of whom were recovering from broken hips. One received Christ after an hour of explanation, but the 79 year old Anna listened for over 3.5 hours on three different visits and finally said, “I never knew that I needed to ask forgiveness on the basis of Jesus’ Death as the payment for my sins”. Hallelujah! God opened her eyes and heart to receive His Eternal Salvation. On this trip I also travelled into Northern Romania to challenge two Churches about Evangelizing the lost.
***June 23 - July 1st: The I.C. National Ukrainian team and I will be visiting lost souls in Mariupol, Ukraine which is nearby the War zone. We will be visiting many families who left their destroyed homes and moved to Mariupol to survive. Most of these have no work and are reaching out to the local church there to help them in any way they can. These people are very needy and desperate! PLEASE Pray the Lord will soften and prepare the hearts of the lost through prayer. Also, Pray for the Churches and the Christians we will train as we go on Soul Winning visits with them and teach them how to testify and present Christ. * Also, Please pray for the five Bible Clubs which Lakeside Baptist Church will be holding in Ukraine and one in Northern Romania. We also thank you for praying for our Family, especially for my back and hips.
To God be the Glory, Richard, Oksana, Elisabeth and David Maher