Charity Baptist Mission, Inc.

 

       Founder                                               Est. 1973                                                   Director

 

      Rev. Fred Potter               P.O.  Box 692  Bristol, TN  37621-0692                Rev. Mike Nixon

 

      Tel. (423) 354-0342  or  (423) 878-5800               e-mail cbmission@juno.com

  

 

 

Radio Broadcasts

 

A Few Words

From Our Founder

Rev. Fred Potter



"Heard a church bell ringing"

This song is about how Fred Potter got saved,

 written by Danny Minton.

Bolivia & other Hispanic countries

Bulgaria

Mexico

India

Romania

Ukraine / Moldova

United States

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

Articles Of  Faith

    

 

Recent Updates

 

 

Facts About Our Founder

 

 

CBM Our Story

 

 

Disclaimer

 

updated 2-19-24

     

 

 

Brookside Baptist Church 2024 Camp Meeting Dates:

 

March 25th - March 29th & October 21st - October 25th

Service times:

Monday - Friday 10:00 AM, (2:00 PM prayer meeting) and 7:00 PM

 

For more information call: (423) 646-1352 or (423) 878-2771

 

Watch the live streams at: youtube.com/@brooksidebaptistchurchtn1954/streams

 

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Missions Updates

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February 2024

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlity,
so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” 2 Corinthians 11:3

This verse of scripture comes to mind as I see what is discussed and debated on social media these days. We now have a bigger platform and opportunity to voice an opinion or doctrinal stand than any other time in history. I feel that this opportunity is really far more than most of us need. Much is said argued and debated. My fear is for a lost and dying world, and many times a departure from the simplicity that is in the gospel.

I’ve been blessed many times in the past months of seeing this simplicity exemplified in the lives of the believers here. Tracy and I currently go to seven village meetings each week alongside Pastor Ahmet and his wife Gulzade. We see the gospel testimony in their lives and also in the lives of those in the churches in each village. Many of these faithful believers have limited education and some are even illiterate. The majority could not debate about Calvinism or Arminianism or many theological subjects, but they do know Jesus.

“…and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus” Acts 4:13. What a wonderful testimony to have and it is the witness that many have here in Bulgaria. The greatest witness a changed life and an ever-present Lord working and interceding in daily lives.

To see and hear the testimonies of God working in their lives is what spreads the gospel to others and truly makes a difference in the lives of others and the world that we live in.

In the village of Yankavo, we have the testimony of one who was sick literally unto death. He was placed in the morgue and left for dead. Our God revived him and raised him up to testify of the goodness and grace of God. This is what affects and gains the attention of unbelievers, the manifest presence of God in our lives, not the different stances we have on this issue or that. Do not get me wrong we need to stand for truth, but the greatest thing we can do is give the world Jesus and a changed life. I will get off my soapbox for now, but I am so thankful that I can be around the simplicity of Christ preached and believers who have been with Jesus.

We are doing well here in Bulgaria. The winter has been a little snowier and colder this year, but we have enjoyed the snow days yet missing having the children with us as those days come. We enjoyed Christmas together in our empty nest, and thank God for the technology we have to be able to talk to and see the faces of all those we love.

I want to take this opportunity to thank each one who sent cards and gifts for Christmas. The extra support which was sent as Christmas gifts is always a blessing and we are very thankful for each and every gift given. We welcomed the new year very thankful for what God has done in our lives. He has worked in ways personally that we really never imagined possible and for that we give him glory.

The yearly flour and oil distribution is in progress. Please pray that all goes smoothly and that many will be blessed because of this. God has always been faithful in this endeavor and for this we are thankful. We also have the construction project in Avren where we will be able to have a larger meeting area for church, a kitchen and housing for visiting preachers. We see this as a place for us to be blessed and to be a blessing.

Pray also for our vehicle situation, we still have our van, but while we were on furlough insurance was purchased for the van. To make a long story short, whether deliberately or by accident, it was never entered into their system, so in the eyes of the police we had no insurance. Because of this the plates were removed from our van and we cannot get new ones until June of this year. Our hands are tied and there is nothing we can do but wait. We thought of trying to purchase a small car in the time being, but thankfully Brother William Lefevre is allowing us to use his van while on furlough. God provides!

Continue to pray for Kylie as she attends school in the states. She is doing well and made the President’s list her first semester. We are so proud of her. Pray also for our other children and grandchildren. God has been so good to us.

God bless you all and thank you for your prayers and faithful support,

Brother Keith Blalock      (A printable PDF version with pictures is available here)

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Dear Churches and Praying Friends,                                                      January 2024

Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of
faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; Desiring to
be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.  1 Timothy 1:5-7

I thank God that I have found the end of the commandment: charity.  While others may rant and rave about the law and commandments, I continue walking down the old road of preaching the gospel and loving sinners.  We are seeing souls saved and lives changed, new converts baptized; young believers sing the hymns every chance they get, and love to hear the Bible preached.  The Lord keeps supplying the needs and adds blessing upon blessing: love, joy, peace, answered prayer, fellowship, new doors of opportunity opening, sinners coming to church and hearing the gospel, and then, more joy.  James tells us that "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." James 1:27  A great part of the work in Bulgaria is ministering to the widows and fatherless - people who suffer in poverty.  Sometimes their situations are heartbreaking.  But, praise the Lord, the poor have the gospel preached unto them!  Christ came to the poor and needy, to sinners.  If the son of God came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, should not we minister to the same people?  Most Americans miss one of the greatest blessings of heaven: that its citizens will hunger no more, nor suffer from heat or cold.  The poor saints appreciate it.  Our ministry is not to provide heaven on earth by providing their necessities, but to give them the invitation to the great marriage supper of the Lamb.  The master has said unto his servants, "Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind." Luke 14:21  Charles Wesley sang it this way:

Come, sinners, to the gospel feast; Let every soul be Jesus' guest;
Ye need not one be left behind, For God hath bidden all mankind.
Come, all ye souls by sin oppressed, Ye restless wanderers after rest;
Ye poor, and maimed, and halt, and blind, In Christ a hearty welcome find.

While we go to the heathen preaching the gospel, we remember the poor by all means, but the gospel is our message.  Seeing children fed or clothed warms our hearts, but seeing sinners reconciled to God is glorious.  Nothing cheers this preacher more than seeing sinners come to church and hear the gospel for the first time.

Brethren, pray for us.  Pray for the sinners in Bulgaria.  The Lord is supplying every need.  He supplies the spirit through your prayers.  We desire the spirit's aid, and it is given through your prayers.  Please, keep praying.

In Christ,
Zachary LeFevre    (A printable PDF version with pictures is available here)

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September – October 2023

“Tomorrow is the new moon, and thou shall be missed because thy seat will be empty”. 1 Samuel 20:18

Dear Pastors, Churches, and Fellow Saints,

Greetings from all the saints among us and the God of all comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3

I was saved in July of 1979; with that salvation came a desire to see my loved ones also be saved. The Bible says after Andrew received Jesus, “he first findeth his own brother Simon and sayeth unto him, We have found the Messias, which is being interpreted the Christ, And he brought him to Jesus...” John 1:41- 42 Isn't it wonderful when the ones you love come to the Lord Jesus Christ and receive him as their Lord and Savior? I highly recommend going to your family first and telling them, as the man in Mark 5, how great things the Lord had done for him and had compassion on him. Mark 5:19

My brother Kevin passed away in September; he knew his time of departure was at hand. I had the privilege of seeing Kevin getting saved and then being called by God to be a preacher of the gospel of Christ. Kevin was as Paul was; he was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. Romans 1:16 He was also a pastor and held gospel services in prison for many years. Please pray for his wife, Barbara, and their four boys: Nathaniel, Daniel, Samuel, and Gabriel. Not long after Kevin went home to be with the Lord, my son-in-law Tyler Lyon also went home to be with the Lord. Tyler and I had some good Christian fellowship especially the last time we were together. We took a walk and talked about the Lord and how good God was. We never knew that would be the last time we would see each other in this world, but we knew we would see each other in the world to come.

Please pray for my daughter Sarah and their two children, Arabella and Luke. Kevin and Tyler’s seats are empty now and already missed. But thank God for the Lord's promises in his word; one day soon, we will reunite with them; therefore, we comfort one another with God's words of hope. 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18

As for the mission work in Bulgaria, we have also started a special revival meeting where we bring in as many villagers as possible and hold a special men's meeting once a month. We are also getting ready for our flour and oil distribution. We give each church family 110 pounds of flour and one gallon of cooking oil. We have been doing this for many years and have seen that God is faithful, and the church people are thankful. God continues to bless his work here.

All because of Calvary,

 

Matthew Welch and family      (A printable PDF version is available here)

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Dear Praying Friends and Family,   August - October 2023

This overdue prayer letter is longer than usual because it not only covers three months’ time, but it highlights my recent trip into the war-torn regions of Ukraine. I hope it is a blessing to you and will give you some insight into what is going on in Ukraine, as well as our plans for the ministry God has called us to finish.

The months of August and September were spent updating our supporting churches and attending a couple weeklong missions conferences. We traveled to Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and California. The Lord blessed and manifested Himself in these meetings…enough said!

For over a year we have prayed about taking a trip into Ukraine. Many details had to come together to make it possible: scheduling around my meetings with our supporting churches; waiting for the Lord’s timing; our men in Ukraine needed time to prepare; and I invited Brother Kline to accompany me, whose schedule also had to be taken into consideration. The Lord wonderfully brought everything together during the second half of October.

This trip was important and necessary for several reasons. First, I wanted to assess the situation in our region personally and seek the Lord’s will about returning to Ukraine with my family. Secondly, our men wanted me to encourage the saints and see, firsthand, how they have been ministering to those affected by the war. They wanted to organize a local outreach in addition to a trip into the regions once occupied by the Russian armies. Thirdly, our ministry has not only survived the war but is thriving, and I needed to ordain my right-hand man, Alexei Kalinin, and put him into the pastorate. I asked Brother Kline to participate in the ordination because he helped teach Brother Kalinin in our Bible Institute. Fourthly, I needed to give Brother Kalinin full power of attorney over my house so that he could take care of my legal issues in my absence and put it into his or the church’s name if Russia ever got control of the region. One of the first things to take place when Russia annexes a region to itself is confiscation of property. An American citizen’s property would be at the top of the list in such a situation. Lastly, all our homeschool curriculum is in Ukraine, and it would cost well over a thousand dollars to replace it, so bringing back the materials would help finance the trip.

The quickest and easiest route was through Moldova. Missionary Paul Hamilton graciously agreed to meet me at the airport and drive me to the border of Ukraine. We had a great time of fellowship, and the hospitality he showed us was first class! He confirmed for me one important issue affecting our region. Russia’s 14th army is currently located in Transnistria with much equipment, which is only twenty miles from my house.

I left the USA on a Monday, and it took three days to arrive at my home in Ukraine. As we approached the Ukrainian border, we passed one of the tent cities erected to house those fleeing the war. It is still there waiting. Once across the border the effects of the war were immediately seen. Many residential homes were abandoned, and property was neglected. I arrived just a couple of hours before Wednesday night’s prayer meeting and the church wanted me to preach. That night I first heard for myself the sirens that sound when Russia launches an attack from the air on our region.

The next two days were spent ministering locally to those affected by the war. We preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to around 100 people they respectfully listened, but no one responded to the invitation. People gladly took literature and were thankful for the help. One woman suffering hardship because of the war burst into tears to receive diapers for her 24-year-old, handicapped son.

On Friday afternoon we traveled to Odessa to have my passport translated and notarized and have a power-of-attorney made for Brother Kalinin. We had a great time of fellowship. He told me God’s working in his life and how the Lord was leading and teaching him as he led the church during these hard times. We saw the signs of war: bombed buildings, barbed wire, barricades, military checkpoints, etc… Odessa has been hit by many drones every night, and I wanted to get out of there before nightfall, but we were delayed. The air raid sirens began to sound, which was a little unnerving, but the people themselves paid no attention, going about their business as if all was normal. What a great picture of God’s sirens sounding from His word and the world behaves as if judgment is not coming.

The following two days were spent with our church in revival meetings. The preaching, singing, special music, testimonies, and dinner on the church grounds together made the trip worthwhile. The ordination service Sunday evening was, in fact, the culmination of years of prayer and preparation in the ministry. What a blessing it is to know that the church, which began as a prayer request, is now thriving on its own in Ukraine. May the Lord help us do it again!
Preparations had to be made before taking the five-hour trip into eastern Ukraine. A test arose when our van began acting up and we could not resolve the problem. It was having difficulty starting and it would stall out on hills. The last thing I wanted to do was load it to the max and take it into a war zone. After some prayer and consideration, I rested on the thought that God’s people were praying for us. So, we left as soon as curfew ended at 5:00 am Tuesday morning. The van acted up a bit then the issue seemed to resolve itself! Thank God!

We had another guest help us on this trip: Brother Oleksandr Illchenko from Zhitomir, who wanted to participate. Our church in Ukraine has supported him for many years and has financed several of his multi-city evangelistic outreaches. During these outreaches he made contact with many groups of Christians all across Ukraine which later helped us to know where help was needed the most. He met us in Rozdilna and made most of the preparations for our trip ahead of time. We had 800 care packages of food (12 lbs. each); 600 loaves of bread which were baked in wood stoves by two churches in the region; over 1,000 packages of rice; and lots of literature all to be handed out in five towns in two days.

The first town on our route was a village where about 40 or 50 people were gathered waiting for us. After introductions we preached the Gospel and gave an invitation. The people here were very different from those in the Odessa region. They had endured an occupation of the Russian army and wanted to hear what we had to say. Ten people came out of the crowd upon the invitation to receive Christ as Savior! It has been a long time since I saw this kind of response. It reminded me of the 1990’s after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

I’ve not seen it like this since. It creates a bit of a quandary. I’ve gotten used to dealing with people, one on one, and even refusing to lead people in a prayer if I was not satisfied that they truly understood the Gospel. But in dealing with crowds, I’ve always kept D. L. Moody and the Chicago fire in mind. Who knows what is going to happen in these regions in a month? This could literally be their last opportunity to hear and respond to an invitation to receive Christ. I preached Christ and the Gospel as clearly as I knew how. The rest we trust to God. The literature and care packages were gladly received.

There was a larger group waiting at the second town. After preaching the Gospel we gave the invitation and thirty people separated from the crowd to be saved! I was in a state of disbelief and went over things with them again making sure they understood the purpose of the invitation. They insisted they understood and were sincere in their desire to receive Jesus Christ as Savior. We unloaded all our supplies in this town and had to return to our storage garage and load up again.

We made a quick visit to one of the families in a town called Partyzans’ke who were saved when Alexei and Oleksander visited back in May. His name was Oleg. He was a wealthy man before the war, but his house was completely destroyed by a Russian missile. His backyard workshop was now their new home. One night while sleeping, Oleg and his wife were awakened by a rocket that came right through their roof into their sleeping quarters about three feet from their heads. It did not explode! God takes care of His own! While we were there another rocket hit just a field or so away. This was normal for them. No one panicked.

The next stop was called Blahodatne, which means “Grace.” It is as if the spirit that was in those Russian soldiers (see Eph. 2) had such hatred for the word itself that they destroyed this town. They dropped bombs on all the houses reducing them to rubble, yet there were people still trying to live there. They were gathering their bricks and trying to erect small structures to live in before winter hit. We preached the Gospel, gave an invitation for salvation, led seven people to Christ, and handed out the aid and literature. One woman said, “Thank you for the food and literature, but I wanted to ask if your organization has the ability to help us with lumber so we can put a roof over our heads before winter?” I felt very small and was reminded of the Apostle Peter’s words, “…Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee...” I told her that she was God’s child now and has prayer. Somehow God would take care of them and that I would ask the churches in America to pray for them as well.

We had one more meeting that night. I do not know how many people were saved. There was no room in the building for an invitation and we had to lead them to Christ where they sat. We made it to our lodging barely before the midnight curfew an hour north of Kherson, which was shelled 60+ times that night.
The following morning, we loaded up the van and drove right up to the border of Kherson, only a few miles from the front. There was a large crowd waiting. It took two trips to get all the aid and literature to the location. Brother Oleksander and I both preached to the crowd, while Alexei and Casey went for supplies. At one point, while preaching, we heard an explosion of a rocket. The people casually turned their eyes in the general direction and then returned to listening to the preaching. Then you could hear the Ukrainian army’s response of multiple rockets being fired. Again, I do not know how many people received Christ during the invitation.

Suffice it to say that the Lord allowed me to preach the Gospel and lead more people to Christ in two days than I have in the last two years. Please pray for us that we can continue to work with these people.

The trip provided insights and spiritual lessons into the tactics of the enemy (1 Pet. 5:8). The first involved the minefields. As we drove, we passed many fields, some with warning signs and others without, where the Russians buried thousands of mines. There are many mission fields that the enemy has occupied for centuries. Pioneer missionaries need to prepare the field by removing the mines before it can have a harvest. The second thing I noticed was in the town of Snihurivka, which was occupied by the Russians for several months. Every gate was marked after they systematically went from house to house. They spray painted a big “0” if they posed no threat to Russia. They painted a “+” which meant it was a positive threat and that someone was probably killed there. What if our adversary the devil went through your neighborhood? Would you be a positive threat to his kingdom and plans? The last was in a town called Novopetrivka where we met Serhei. He and his wife didn’t listen to the warnings and stayed in their house while everyone else in their village fled from the advancing Russians. They were caught between the two armies. He showed us one rocket casing that exploded about 20 feet from the mouth of his cellar. He and his wife thought that all would be okay. After all, they didn’t mean anyone any harm. However, he realized who his real enemy was when his wife went outside and tried to make a phone call. A Russian sniper grazed her head with a bullet. As Christians called to “endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” we cannot be neutral in this war! Those that compromised the most with the enemy in Ukraine fell first and suffered the worst. He showed us many little metal arrows, called flechettes, that the Russians use in their cluster bombs. They were small but very deadly. It only takes one to kill you. I was reminded of the “fiery darts of the wicked” and how important it is for us to put on the whole armor of God.

It is difficult to quantify the blessings of this trip. The souls saved, the aid people received, the literature distributed, the ordination of one of God’s choicest saints in Ukraine, the saints encouraged, each individually, would have justified the expense that went into this trip. However, personally, for me it was that my head and my heart are united again. I have a renewed burden. We plan to return to Ukraine after the hard winter is over. It is only a matter of where and when. I am praying that we can just return to our home and continue the ministry as planned, but we may have to find a safer location with a better exit route for a time. Please pray for the Lord’s guidance as I make another trip in March.

Thank you for all you do for the Lord in helping us do His work in Ukraine. May the Lord richly bless you in every way.

That Ukraine May Know Him,

Christopher Rue

Philippians 3:10     (A printable PDF version is available here)

https://ruemissions.com/august-october-2023/

https://www.facebook.com/p/Rue-Family-Missionaries-to-Ukraine-100068352738533/

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Dear Churches, Pastors, and Friends,                           September –October 2023

It saddens me to tell you, but one of my lifelines, my mother, went to be with her Savior on October 21st. She was instrumental in my conversion, and having a deep respect for God and the Bible. She had been very sick for some time and will be deeply missed, but we know she is with Dad and “those who have gone on”. Thank you for all the condolences!

My wife is getting good reports with her cancer and is currently taking physical therapy. The medicine she takes has side effects which cause a lot of discomfort. Please continue to pray for her. She has traveled quite a bit with me this fall as I preached in churches from Florida to West Virginia. That was a blessing!

The situation in a particular Hispanic country is only getting worse. They estimate almost a million people have left the country and they are still experiencing blackouts in cities of a million people! On this last trip I was told that doctors in this country are now using electrical tape instead of surgical tape to bind the incisions of those having surgery! Please pray for this poor country.

This last year we have helped with several projects in addition to supporting Hispanic pastors. American pastors and churches have been so great to help me over the years. Of course, those who go with me see the needs first hand. They meet these great people, feel the burden, and see the hunger for the Word of God. This year we bought mules and several bicycles for our national preachers. I would like to tell you of a new project we saw about a year ago where the nationals were trying to build a structure with their few resources. The pastors which were traveling with me promised to help. This year they sent money designated for that church to have a building. There is something I want to say here: there is a lot wrong with America, but you cannot complain about how American churches have always been a vital part in international missions! I believe that is why America is still around - otherwise we would have been gone a long time ago!

Thank you, pastors and churches, for being such a great blessing to this Hispanic country over the years! I wish you could go and experience the services in this Hispanic country and meet these great people!

Joyfully Yours,

Farren Caeble  A printable PDF version is available here)
1 Sam 12:24 

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July - August 2023

And they put it in the hand of the workmen that had the oversight of the house of the Lord, and they gave it to the workmen that wrought in the house of the Lord, to repair and amend the house: 2 Chronicles 34:10

Dear Pastors, Churches and Fellow saints, grace unto you and peace be multiplied. 1 Peter 1:2

For some time now we have had a burden to repair and amend the church in Avren, Bulgaria. Part of the church is finished where we work on songbooks, make Xerox copies of scripture and meet to have church services. The Lord has really used these facilities and has met with us here. Part of the building was an old home that "little by little" was caving in on itself. Well, we all knew what had to be done, but it was going to be a big job. First, we had to take the old house down to where it was stable and then reinforce it and repair it. To get there it took 13 long hard weeks, but the Lord blessed and we got the house of the Lord "dried in". We still have more work to do, but the house is no longer caving in.

In 2 Chronicles 34:8 Josiah – “sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of the Lord his God.”

2 Chronicles 34:14 says “when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the Lord, Hilkiah the priest found a book of the law of the Lord given by Moses.”

It seems that good things happen when God's people repair the house of the Lord. They not only found the book of God, but also had one of the greatest observances of the Passover ever witnessed.

2 Chronicles 35:18 I believe it's a picture of Calvary to us which are on this side of the crucifixion. In other words, when you get interested in the house of the Lord you will find God's book, the Bible, and in turn Calvary will find its rightful place in our hearts. We still could use some help to finish the building, and I know God is in it. Brother Ralph Cheatwood had a burden to have a place for God's people to come together and worship Him, and to God's glory, it is coming to pass as he desired. Please keep us in your prayers.

All because of Calvary,

Matthew Welch and family        (Included are some pictures of the construction in Avrin)

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Dear churches and Praying friends,    October 2023

 

As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:10)

 

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

 

We trust this letter finds you rejoicing in the promises of God and serving him continually. We certainly thank God for your continued support of the ministry here in Bulgaria. We think about you and pray for you often. Certainly, the heavenly father has you also on his mind. He is not unfaithful to forget your work and service to his son, Jesus.

 

I would like to share a few pictures of the ministry here.    (A printable PDF version with pictures is available here)

 

Our chief work is in the village churches where we preach on a weekly basis. We had eight people saved and baptized this year, due to the national pastors serving faithfully.

 

As you know, each winter we distribute one hundred pounds of flour and five liters of cooking oil to each family in the churches here. This past winter the total amount was over 76 tons of flour. In a place and time where there is little work to be found the flour and oil are a tremendous blessing!

 

For over twenty years we have been feeding children in the village churches. Recently there was a young lady that came to a prayer meeting and got saved. She said "when she was little she used to eat at the church and would watch the others pray over the food, but she never prayed herself until that day when she asked Jesus to save her." We thank God for the seeds sown in the hearts of these children which continue to bear fruit.

 

We continue to print and hand bind Bulgarian and Turkish New Testaments. These are distributed free of charge throughout Bulgaria. Also, we are working on putting the Turkish Bible on the internet both in text form and audio. Currently, a reliable translation of the gospel of John can be listened to by Turkish speaker’s worldwide, and has been heard over a thousand times.

 

In the village of Avren we continue to work on our church ministry building. The Bible work room is finished, along with one room where we meet for church. The main room for the church, and the kitchen remain unfinished, but slowly, the work continues.

 

All this is by, through, and for the good God that we serve. Please continue to pray for us in this ministry that we might reach as many as we can with the gospel, and so that Christ would receive the worship of those he died for.

 

In Christ,

Zachary LeFevre   (A printable PDF version with pictures is available here)

 

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Dear friends and supporters,                  Fall 2023

 

As we bid farewell to the warm days of summer and welcome the crisp air of fall, we want to share with you the abundant blessings we have experienced on the mission field. Our recent trips to the West and Northwest have brought us closer to various Native American communities, where we have witnessed the power of God's love firsthand.

 

Our journey began in the West, where we embarked on a mission to work among the Navajo people of West Gallup and Crownpoint, NM. The harvest of souls was ripe and plentiful as we engaged in a week of Vacation Bible School and Evangelistic meetings. We are thrilled to report that several individuals were saved, and one of the new converts was baptized. The Navajo community exhibited great enthusiasm and a hunger for spiritual growth plus the church was filled every night. We rejoice over the team of 47 Choctaws and Cherokees that labored arm in arm to reach these people and obey the Great Commission. What a blessing to missionaries that have labored for years in the field to see the Lord raising up tribes to reach tribes!

 

Moving northwest, we arrived at Fort Hall, ID. We found the members of Faith Baptist Church excited, and we were ready to participate in their Vacation Bible School program. Their commitment to spreading the Gospel was evident when the tribe changed the rules and decided not to allow visitors (Christians) to knock on doors for VBS. So, the church members got the word out themselves resulting in just as many kids attending as when we knocked on doors ourselves! We had a successful week with the Shoshone-Bannock tribe, Hoopers Creek Baptist Church. Missionaries, Brother Joe and Mrs. Lela Copley, taught on the battlefield of the mind. Elena and Daniel had the privilege of sharing object lessons with all the children, showing how the enemy fights, but victory comes through the Lord Jesus Christ. We ended the week with a young lady receiving Christ as her Saviour. Praise the Lord!

 

Our journey further continued to the Kalispel reservation at Usk, WA, where we attempted another week of Vacation Bible School. The tribe decided to shut down the building they had allowed us to meet in and we had to leave, but glory to God for the time we were allotted! Sometimes it’s a stronger witness to be kicked off and respond in a Christ-like manner. The whole episode probably spread like wildfire through the reservation! Lord willing, next year we will see the Lord work in this tribe.

 

However, as we continue to spread God's word, we must address an urgent need. Our trusty companion, the 2013 Ford van that has tirelessly transported us to various mission fields, has recently hit a remarkable milestone of 300,000 miles. While it has served us faithfully, there is a pressing need for a new van to ensure the continued success of our mission work. We trust that the Lord knows our needs and will provide a solution in due time.

 

Upon returning home in September, we went to AR and Concord Missionary Baptist Church for their fall revival. The Lord came by and the altars were full. The week ended with a young man giving his life to Christ.

 

As the turn of winter approaches and since our return home in late September, there are numerous tasks to catch up on from weeks on the road. This week, however, we are blessed to be part of Native American Men and Women Bible Conference at Grace Indian Baptist, Talihina, OK. A time to encourage God’s Native American people to put their hand to the plow and labor for the Master.

 

In conclusion, this summer has brought a bountiful harvest of souls on the American mission fields. We have been blessed to witness a growing hunger for the Gospel among the Navajo people, and also blessed to have worked among the Kalispell, and the Sho-ban people this summer. We praise God for an encouraging revival at Cowlitz Way Baptist (Kelso, WA) and the fellowship with our dear friends at Yaak Community Church (Yaak, MT), Foundation Baptist Church (Coeur d’Alene, ID), Old Paths Baptist (Hays, KS), Grace Navajo Baptist Temple (Gallup, NM), Chi Ho Tso Baptist (St Michaels, AZ), and, First Landmark Missionary Baptist (Highland, AR). We are grateful for the love and support we receive from all our supporters, and we thank you for standing by us in prayer and encouragement.

 

May God's love and grace surround you in these last days before He comes!  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2.

 

In Him,

The Higginbothams; Mrs. Shirley, Elena, and Daniel   (A printable PDF version is available here)

 

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Dear Praying Pastors, Brothers and Sisters,              Fall of 2023

Praising the Lord for answering your Prayers for my Summer trip to Ukraine! It was a blessing to see Him open great doors for the Gospel to be proclaimed and the Seed to be planted in many hearts both young and old.

In many one on one (and one on two) visits, the Lord worked in many hearts to see 16 souls call upon the name of the Lord for Salvation as well as four straying sheep got their hearts right before Him!

On one visit, I went to speak with a Sister’s husband, but he, due to fear, never came home after work. While I waited, I witnessed to his mother who received the truth and believed the Gospel calling upon Christ for Salvation.

*** PLEASE Continue to PRAY for those UPROOTED from their homes due to Bombing or because their area is occupied! THEY are very open to listen to the Gospel and are thinking about their relationship to God!

The Lord also Blessed with opportunities to teach in many VBSs in Western Ukrainian towns where most displaced families are living. Many of these families have seen God’s Goodness through local churches helping them find housing and offering them aid or help and therefore they now allow their children to attend.

(Used a large Evangecube to explain salvation to hundreds of parents and children who received brochures and N.T.)

*This summer our son David helped his uncle Slavick (Oksana’s Brother) with many projects like repairing roofs and houses damaged due to shrapnel from bombings. He also assisted in constructing some necessary structures as they prepared the territory for the Evangelistic Camps. He really enjoyed helping in these camps which were outreaches for the many displaced Children living in and around the city of Odessa.

YOUR PRAYERS and OFFERINGS: God has used them to supply His Spiritual Army with Spiritual Literature and Strength to stand and Proclaim the Glorious Gospel of Salvation through Christ! Over the 620 days this war has lasted, we in conjunction with another faithful Missionary, Brother Mark Priem, have printed and distributed 2,500,000 plus Testimonial brochures, Chick Tracts, Gospels of John and various booklets. Please Continue to Pray for those brethren laboring faithfully despite the danger to reach out to millions of displaced lost souls. *(ALL Offerings designated for Printing Will be used to supply Spiritual Seed to sow in unreached hearts!)

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National Bible Counseling Conference in Omaha, NE was extremely informative and spiritually beneficial. We are preparing ourselves to deal with the myriad of traumas which most Ukrainians are dealing with mentally.

2023 Furlough Meetings: We have truly enjoyed our travels every weekend as we give updates at our supporting Churches. We’ve also been edified as we gave our update while participating in five great Missions Conferences where God was moving! We thank the Lord for blessing us with two new supporting Churches and are still praying for five more since ministry needs keep increasing. We are still praying the Lord will give us direction for our return to Ukraine. Please Pray with us to that end so that we can see His Will clearly!

Pray for lost Max a 35-year-old lost Ukrainian who listened very well over a cup of coffee in Oshkosh, WI.

Pray for lost Justin (36) whose life is falling apart. He came to the Missions Conference and we spoke for three hours. He came back and fellowshipped with the pastor and then the Assistant Pastor for three hours.

* Pray for my learning to speak Ukrainian (I understand most spoken Ukrainian, but cannot speak it yet!

* We do have an unspoken health need that we need Him to resolve for us! So please lift us up in Prayer!

For the Souls of Ukraine,

Richard, Oksana, Elisabeth and David Maher

Please Call me (513) 969-4229! To set up a Visit to your Church! Thankful for your faithful prayers, support and genuine love for our family, Oksana’s family and especially for the souls of Ukraine!  (A printable PDF version is available here)

 

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September 2023

God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:9

Without a doubt I am so thankful for the faithfulness of God.  We greatly enjoyed our time of furlough and seeing everyone we were able to see while we were in the states.  We are disappointed in not being able to visit all our supporters, but we are so thankful for what we were able to do.

God allowed us to have a good time with our family and for that we are also grateful.  We are entering into a new experience in our lives with an empty nest, but we look forward to seeing what God is going to do in Kylie’s life and ask that you remember her in your prayers.

We are still adjusting to being back in Bulgaria and face many cultural challenges.  We came back in order to apply for our new Visas.  This is the first major thing on our agenda, (but an important need to be addressed) and we’re thankful every time for God’s helping hand each time we do this.

I’ve been blessed to be in a few meetings since I’ve been back, and am enjoying the sweet spirit in the church each time I’m there.  I’ll be back to the meetings in full swing in a week or so after our Visas are secured and we get new tires on our van (which I’m currently waiting on for delivery as I write this letter).

We are in the middle of a construction project in the village of Avren.  The Bibles and hymnbooks are printed and stored in one of our buildings there.  There is also an upper room where the “Coats for Kids” clothing is stored, and where each week we have English and Turkish services.  This building had a house attached to it which was to the point of collapsing.  We felt the best option was to level that structure and build a new one.  This project has been going on for several months.  It is now in the dry with new walls, roof and windows, but it will still take around $20,000 to finish the building.  The insides will need flooring, electrical, plumbing and furnishings.  Then we will have a larger place for the church to meet and a kitchen with a fellowship hall.  This will include a room for visitors, and indoor bathroom -- a unique luxury in the village!  This will allow us to expand the printing ministry and the “Coats for Kids” closet.

We ask that you pray about this need and what you may do to help.                                 

I’ll close by saying thank you again for your faithfulness and love you have shown our family over the years.  We look forward to serving the Lord together with you.  Please continue to pray for the people here, as God opens the doors for ministry.  We are looking to serve Him, and step through any door of opportunity he opens, whether it be with the Bulgarians, Turks or Ukrainian refugees.  I believe with what’s going on in Israel, that the time to serve the Lord is now. 

 

God bless you all.

Brother Keith Blalock     (A printable PDF version is available here)

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The Higginbothams

 

Missionaries to the Native Americans of North America

 

Dear Supporting Churches,                          Spring/Summer 2023

We hope this newsletter finds you in good health and high spirits. We wanted to take a moment to update you on our recent spring trip back east and the time we spent visiting supporting churches. We are truly touched and grateful for your continued support and encouragement.

In late February to early March, we faced some unexpected challenges when the rear differential of our van needed to be replaced and worked on in Paris, TX. In April, during our stay at Bristol, TN, it had to be rebuilt the 2nd time. Thank you, Lord, for Brookside Baptist Church in Bristol letting us stay and pointing us to the right shop! Then again in May, while at a revival at Levelcross Baptist, Levelcross, NC, it had more problems with the same issue. We had to leave it in the shop at Bristol, TN for two weeks, and utilize the mechanic’s rental discount to continue our journey to Woods Hole, MA, where we rode a big ferry over to Martha’s Vineyard.

Our time on Martha’s Vineyard allowed us a rare opportunity to meet with the Wampanoag Tribe and hold a three-day meeting inside the historic Aquinnah Community Baptist Church. Established in 1693, this is the oldest Native American Baptist Church in North America. The original wood framed building, built in 1698, was moved to its present location, “up the hill” in 1850. We met with missionaries; Gerry Locklear, Glen Holman and sidekick, Vic, , Larry & Regina McKinney, & Joe, Lela, and Mya Copley, for a three-day meeting and were blessed with a chance to sing, testify, and preach to the congregation. It was a great time to spread the Gospel and encourage the church to keep on keeping on till the Lord’s return.

The next Sunday, back in America, our family and Bro Gerry, visited Mashpee Baptist Church, also part of the Wampanoag Tribe. Daniel had the incredible opportunity to preach in the historic old church, which was a truly humbling experience. While in Rhode Island, we saw the grave of Adoniram Judson, missionary to Burma in the 1800’s, Daniel stood behind the pulpit where Wampanoag Native, Blind Joe Amos, preached the Gospel to his people, and we saw a plaque for Stella Abiah Ryan, a Wampanoag lady that went to Donga Sudan, Africa in the early 1900’s as a missionary. It seems America has come so far, but now fallen so far. With our time there over, we left the Wampanoag people and headed back to Bristol. We were relieved to finally have the van repaired and hurry back to Oklahoma.

With our return to Choctaw Nation, we had two days to catch up on yard work, unload and reload the van and start the month of June with VBS at Grace Indian Baptist Church in Talihina, OK where Daniel preached one night and a young boy accepted Jesus into his heart. We moved on to Indian Baptist Missions Camp at Canadian, OK. It’s a family camp where the workers try to provide a VBS experience for the kids as Elena taught teen girls, we worked with the music, help run sound, worked with the crafts, and Daniel spoke in the Men’s Missions hour.

The end of June saw us at VBS/camp at Springhill Presbyterian Choctaw Church. It was a great week of teaching about putting on the whole Armor of God. We truly thank God for all He has done and feel blessed by His Presence in our journey.

We are home now preparing for the big trip west. Please keep us in your prayers as we hope to make the trip in our faithful, old van that has almost 300,000 miles on it since it was given to us in 2014. We praise the Lord for the help to cover expensive costs by friends in Randleman and Greensboro area. Also, friends at Brookside Baptist Church in Bristol, TN are helping with the newsletter from now on. Thank you all in Jesus Name.

We thank our friends at West Park Baptist, Jacksonville, FL for their faithful help, printing and mailing our newsletter for over 40 years. They were the 1st church to put us on for monthly support, helping with repairs and tires for the “old bus”, buying Bibles to be given out, and praying so faithfully that God would save sinners where we minister. May God bless those involved for your faithful service to Him!

In looking back over the past three months, there were other churches we went to and others saved. We thank God for the ability to go and help people, love them, and warn them. You may be reading this and say, well not many are coming or not many are being saved, but it’s really up to God to give the increase. He just told us to “Go ye”. (Mark 16:15) And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Once again, we want to express our sincerest gratitude for your unwavering support and encouragement. Let’s continue to work together until Jesus comes and we’ll be so glad we were faithful.

In Him,

The Higginbothams, Mrs. Shirley, Elena, and Daniel    (A printable PDF version is available here)

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Dear Pastors, Churches, and Friends,                                        July - August 2023 Newsletter

 

The situation in a particular Hispanic country is worse than the last trip - but it could not be otherwise with the current world situation. I read an article that discussed this countries sugar cane exportation and production. In 1970, it was producing 8.5 million tons of sugar. Last year they produced less than .5 million! This figure is at an all-time low - dating back for over one 100 years which reflects its current economy. The people that do have jobs are now being paid a salary of $16 a month!

 

But we know many times the economy does not dictate the spiritual condition of a country. It was a blessing to see people still excited about serving God. They have not lost their passion for winning souls and planting churches. The number of churches that have been organized continues to grow from year to year.

 

One young lady really touched my heart when she told me about her conversion to Christ. She is an English teacher and as a Catholic, knew “absolutely nothing” about the Bible. Her grandmother had died and left a Bible to her. She had such respect for her grandmother that she began reading and said the BIBLE literally "led her to the Lord.” She told me her favorite verse is Romans 10:17. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Never underestimate the power of the Word of God!

 

Joyfully Yours,       (A printable PDF version is available here)

 

Farren Caeble 1Sam 12:24

 

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May - June 2023

...but if thou canst do anything, have compassion on us and help us. Mark 9:22

Dear Pastors, Churches and Saints,

Greetings from all that are with us and love the Lord Jesus Christ.

Some things only God can do. I have gone to God's people for help and I have had God's people come to me for help. I would like to help each one; and I am burdened and sometimes bewildered when I can't help them, but thank God for the Lord Jesus Christ that said "bring him to me". Matthew 17:17. The all sufficient One, the One who is able. Hebrews 7:25 We all know someone that is tormented by one or more of the devil's fiery darts or an unclean spirit. But, I am encouraged that when we couldn't help them, that we are admonished to have faith as a grain of mustard seed. This is a very small seed, but the potential of what can come from that seed is enormous. The same is true with faith, ìt only takes enough to believe. The question was asked in Psalms 78:19 "Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?" Or can God help this loved one of ours that has been taken captive by the devil and is in his snare? 2 Timothy 2:25

I find myself very much like the man in the text from Mark 9:17-29, when the Lord told him "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth". "And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief."

In Zechariah 3:2 "the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan;". Some things only God can do. When we pray and fast and we have as Hannah, a sorrowful spirit, and pour out our soul, and when something means more to us than a meal and faith takes us to a prayer altar, we will see the impossible take place!

May God help us to have faith as a grain of mustard seed, to the end we might see others get help from "Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood". Revelation 1:5

Please keep our loved ones in your prayers.

All because of Calvary,

Matthew Welch and family     (A printable PDF version is available here)

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Dear Friends in Christ,             September 18, 2023

Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As I mentioned in my last letter, we made it through a summer filled with some unexpected trials. In hindsight, without having had to face these difficulties, we would have missed experiencing God’s mighty, gentle, strong and kind hand as He guided us through each situation.

At the beginning of summer, when Johnny and Blue were leaving for Germany, I experienced what we feared could be a heart attack…chest pain, difficulty breathing, etc. I wound up in the emergency room of the municipal hospital, which anyone who has had the misfortune of needing medical attention in Romania knows, is usually worse than the ailment that brought you there. Over the next weeks I had numerous tests (heart ultrasound, angiogram, CT scan of lungs, thyroid and abdominal ultrasounds and dozens of blood tests) which, in the end, found nothing that should have caused such symptoms and kept me in bed for about two weeks. The doc said if the symptoms reappear, they will investigate more. Thank the Lord, He raised me up right about the time our next trial would unfold.

After a news story broke about horrible conditions and treatment in a nursing home in Bucharest, the government declared all nursing homes and children’s homes would be investigated. A couple of days later, a van showed up unannounced with officials from 7 or 8 different agencies and raided our Home. Police, Fire Department, Health Department, Consumer Protection, Ministry of Finance, Child Protection and others were all represented. After a day and a half combing through our records, talking with the children and workers, and inspecting the Home, Thank God, they had only a couple of issues. One, we had to install a video security system and, Two, they closed our kitchen until we could remodel it to meet new European Union requirements.

They gave us until September 15th, about 2 ½ weeks, to have everything done. It was going to take a huge amount of work and a huge amount of money that we didn’t have to get it all done. I have to be honest, I had my doubts we could meet the deadline. I told the kids “We don’t have a choice. We are going to start the work and trust the Lord to help us get it done and get the money here to pay for it. It’s God’s house. You are God’s kids. I can’t do it, but He can!”

All the kids who were available helped as we put in new ceilings, light fixtures, stove exhaust fans, an extra sink, new metal shelving in the pantry, new windows in the kitchen, and converted a toy room into a worker’s dressing/bathroom. We also had to close off the kitchen from the living room which had been wide open.

Several of the kids worked with me day and night and the Lord helped in so many ways over this time. It seemed each morning Sandy would come over and tell me about someone who was sending money…one day a precious widow sending $50…the next a church sending $1,000…each day the expenses being taken care of until a couple of days ago, a church in St. Pete, Florida, promising to take care of what was left. The Lord provided exactly what was needed.

On the 15th, the inspector came and was amazed we got everything done and done so well. I thank the Lord for each of you who sent what was needed. I pray you are blessed as much as we are seeing God move mountains for us. I am thankful for Dara, Sandy, our kids and the Home workers who labored tirelessly so that we could have our kitchen back.

Finally, for a week in August we were blessed to host a mission group from First Baptist Church of San Antonio. They are our long-time friends, actually now family, who started visiting after one of their deacons was stationed at the nearby American military base some years back and came to the Children’s Home church. Together we held a 3-day mini VBS with some very poor children in a nearby village and painted the entire downstairs of the Children’s Home. Most of all, they were, as always, a huge blessing and encouragement to all of us here.

As I said at the beginning, it was a summer filled with challenges. Thank the Lord, we didn’t have to face them alone. Our God is faithful. Thank you again to all of you who helped us through your prayers and your giving.

“Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.”  2 Chronicles 20:17

In Christ,

Dave, Dara, Sandy and the Kids   (A printable PDF version is available here) 

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Dear Friends in Christ,     September 2023

Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Summer has come to an end… the kids have returned to school. We had an enjoyable summer, but it was not an easy one. Besides what I’ll write below, I had some health issues, we had a major inspection at the Home and we hosted a mission trip. I’ll write another letter this week to tell you about those.

Johnny and Blue have been our kids for seven years, since Johnny was seven and Blue was three. Their grandmother, a believer in our Turkish church, asked us to take them because her daughter, their mother, had gone to Germany to work and left them with her. The grandmother was older and in poor health and wasn’t able to care for them.

Johnny and Blue immediately became part of the family. Johnny bonded with our son, Creed, and they became inseparable. Blue was a bright, sweet little girl and we quickly grew to love them as our own. They both loved the church and, Praise the Lord, both were saved and baptized a few years after we got them.

At the end of this past school year, the mother came back and said she wanted to take them for a visit to Germany. She said she would bring them back after a few weeks. Her being their mother, we could do nothing to stop her even though we didn’t feel good about it, to say the least.

After she got them to Germany, she contacted us and said that she was not bringing them back and that we should forget about them because we would never see them again. You can’t even imagine how deeply this affected Dara and me… they are our kids! They call us Mommy and Daddy and, having gotten them that young, we were now the only family they really knew. This was their life and that life had been stolen away from them.

Everyone knows me as someone who can fix problems and find ways to work things out. Everyone asked “What are you going to do? How are you going to get them back?” I was lost. There was nothing I could do that would bring them home.

I prayed “Lord, you are the only one who can bring our kids home. You sent plagues to change Pharaoh’s heart and I know you can do something if it is Your will.” I decided I was going to beg God to intervene and then put my trust in Him to hear my prayer and to answer it the best way… Maybe not the way I was hoping, but I was trusting in His goodness and knowing that His way would be best.

Over the summer, we were able to talk to Johnny and Blue a little bit through messages. They were devastated, homesick, and losing hope of ever seeing us again. Their mother and some other relatives there in Germany tried to pressure them not to believe in Jesus, but to convert to Islam. Johnny told them he would not give up his faith in Jesus Christ and refused to go into the mosque with them. He even testified to the hoja (Moslem priest) through a translator about what he believed.

I told them to keep trusting God…. we were all praying. A couple of weeks ago, Johnny wrote that his mother, seeing that they were so unhappy, said she would be willing to bring them back, but she didn’t have any money for the trip. I told Johnny I would gladly pay for their bus tickets if she would bring them. After a heart wrenching week of “yes, she would, no, she wouldn’t”, they boarded the bus and came home.

Johnny and Blue are back home and just started back to school. You can’t imagine the impact on our family seeing God intervene in an impossible situation when we helplessly cried out to Him in prayer. How can we ever doubt His goodness? Praise His Holy Name!

“The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles” Psalm 34:17

In Christ,

Dave, Dara, Sandy and the Kids         (A printable PDF version is available here) 

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Dear Praying Friends and Family,           June - July 2023

I hope this letter finds you all well in the Lord and awaiting His soon return. This situation in Ukraine is turning into the very thing I feared it would, a prolonged conflict that could go on for years. Just when we thought things were settling down, Russia pulled out of the Black Sea grain deal and then drones and missiles began hitting the very places that we often frequent in Odessa, like the building across from the Odessa Polytechnic University where there was a Children’s Science Museum, a grocery store, our barber, and our family’s dentist (See photo). One of our church families lost their newly renovated apartment due to the drone strikes in southern Odessa. Our men now travel to Odessa only when necessary, because of the volitivity of the situation. The US embassy continues to post Security Alerts stating that the current “Travel Advisory is a level 4: Do Not Travel” and further warns of increased missile and drone strikes to spoil Ukraine’s upcoming Independence Day celebrations.

Our church in Rozdilna is doing well and is stable. The newly saved are growing and together with the church they are doing what they can, under these circumstances, to reach souls with the Gospel. Our church could neither hold a youth camp nor a VBS for the kids this year because of the war. Instead, they continue to work with the refugees registered with the local authorities in our area. They again ministered to around one hundred families where they gathered them together and preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ and gave them food, clothing, and literature. Brother Alexei has calculated that each refugee outreach costs around $2,000 to minister to about 100 families/households. We continue to send offerings to Ukraine as the Lord provides. The time involved with travel, shopping, visitation, and contacting each family individually is demanding, but they are doing it all during curfews, air raid sirens, and checkpoints. Not to mention any eligible man seen on the streets could be taken at any time to fight. We had a scare when the local recruiter’s office called up my right-hand man, Brother Alexei, to appear. They let him go home since he has exemption on several levels.

On a happier and more personal note, our family just celebrated the wedding of our son Samuel to his bride Susanna. They were married on July 1st, when I had the privilege of preaching and Evangelist David Spurgeon, Susanna’s grandfather, performed the ceremony. The wedding felt a little like a revival service during the congregational singing! We really enjoyed spending some time with Samuel and Susanna and pray the Lord will use them for His glory.

It’s summertime again, the time when churches engage in VBS, youth camps, and camp meetings. Our children are very happy that they could experience these types of meetings in English-speaking in America. We continue to work our way down the list of supporting churches that wish us to give them an update on the work in Ukraine. Our travels were mainly in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee where I was glad to be used of the Lord to encourage the saints in missions. We are thankful for the responses we’ve received and one young lady even “walking the aisle” for salvation during the invitation.

Please continue to pray for us as we fulfill our obligations to visit our remaining supporters and that the Lord will give us wisdom in His will for the near future. May the Lord richly bless you in every way.

That Ukraine May Know Him,

Christopher Rue

Phil. 3:10     (A printable PDF version is available here)  (www.ruemissions.com)

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August 2023

"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation,
that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." (II Cor. 1:3,4)

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Brethren, we want to thank each of you for your continued prayers and support as we continue serving the Lord in Bulgaria. This summer has been full. First, we were able to return to the states for just a short time to be with our daughter, Maggie, as she graduated high school. She will be living with her sister in South Carolina; the Lord has provided her with a job, and even a car. A dear pastor friend in Virginia gave her his car. What a blessing that is! Seeing the Lord bless your children is a great joy. We were also able to visit with our son, Isaac, who is studying for the ministry. Bur, alas, our time of departure has come, and once again we say good-bye to our dear children. Our Lord told us that, he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me, And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. It's not easy to forsake all for Jesus, but he told us again, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children. As we said good-bye to one family in America, we were greeted by a larger family here in Bulgaria - those who have come to know and love the Lord Jesus through our service here.

Also, last month Verity's father passed away. He was 83, and ready to go. He had lived a long life in service to the Lord and brought many people to the knowledge of salvation. Even at his death and funeral there were more testimonies shared of people who had come to know the Lord through his witness. We thank God for such a goodly heritage.

Here in Bulgaria we stay busy preaching in churches with our national pastors. This month we're baptizing. There's been several new believers baptized, and several others still waiting. Some of our people have moved to western Europe for work and found churches to attend, but they want to be baptized in Bulgaria.

In the village of Avren we have had a building for some time where we produce Bibles and hymnbooks. This year we are fixing up the old house which was falling down. The new roof is on, but the interior of the house still needs a lot of work. When it's finished it will provide rooms for church, and a fellowship hall, as well as a small apartment. Ralph Cheatwood, our senior missionary, had wanted to have church for three different groups in this village - Bulgarian, Turkish, and English. We've already had Turkish and English meetings here, and we've had some interest among the Bulgarians. Our desire is to finish this building for the glory of God and have a place where the local people can come hear about Jesus. Would you pray that the Lord would send in the funds that are needed to finish this work?

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support.

In Christ, Zachary LeFevre  (A printable PDF version is available here)

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“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28

Dear Brethren, July 2023

After a mostly mild winter and entrance of an early spring, Carrie and I set out to work on our 2023 To-Do List. In addition to the seven Turkish churches we go to with Pastor Ismail, we wanted to repair the old mud brick barn/wood shed, cut away shrub overgrowth out on the street and prepare a driveway for the future Coat Closet van, add tables to the Coat Closet, hire out the removal of years old rubble from another barn, and put up drywall in the final remaining unfinished room of our house. We worked hard cutting, raking, cleaning, burning, etc. We also got an estimate on the drywall work and advice on the repair of the barn. Things were going well and we were encouraged. Until, that is, I found holes in the roof, in an overhang next to the chimney. Had we not been preparing for the drywall, I would not have seen it. While thankful to have discovered it before it got worse, it soon became a massive headache. Rains came and hardly stopped in our region for three months. Carrie got sick and underwent testing for some major potentials. All our personal work, and plans, stopped. In the end, Carrie was fine after some treatment, the holes were repaired along with the cause of the leak, and we were able to get somewhat back on track. We just had to endure storms, both literal and mental, for a few months first. Our endeavors are hit and miss at the moment because now we’re dealing with temperatures above 100 degrees in our region. But God knows, and He will guide and help.

Our dear friends here in the village, Nejmedin and Gyulbyush, recently lost their eleven-year-old granddaughter after several years of battling brain tumors. Her loss will be felt for a very long time, as grief knows no time limits, but the effects of her testimony will also be felt for years to come. This one little Jesus loving girl touched the lives of so many people while she was alive, and in her death so many more were able to hear the Gospel. People who may not have otherwise heard. In the street outside her home and in the local Muslim cemetery, the truth of Jesus Christ was preached with power. Those who knew and loved her know her short life was not in vain and holds eternal value. Please pray for our friends; the heaviness of grief is suffocating at times.

In my last letter I told you about Pastor Ismail and his dental struggles and his new electric three-wheeler scooter. Thankfully, his dentist was able to clean out old, broken teeth as well as remove several others. He’s so happy the pain is gone. He and his scooter go everywhere. To the store to get bread, to the hospital to visit the sick, to a couple of the nearer churches, and to visit the believers nearby. Last Sunday he gave a testimony at church. I’ll try to recap: He was coming home from Mihailovski where he had just cut the grass for a widow woman who is afraid of snakes. Nearing the city he lives in, a car in the other lane was crossing the center line and going quite fast. It eventually crossed into his lane and was speeding toward him. He said he doesn’t remember what happened next, except that he ended up still seated on his scooter and holding the handlebars, but set in a field on the other side of the ditch, and the car was rolling behind him in the field. Other vehicles stopped to help. He told them he was fine, but to help the driver of the car, who was a young man high on drugs. Pastor Ismail later went to the hospital to visit the young man who survived, but had a shattered leg. He took him food and drink (hospitals don’t provide that here). Not only did God preserve the life of our dear Pastor, he also opened a door for this young man to hear about Jesus. Thank God for all of that!

We’re hoping to go see the kids and grandkids for a couple weeks soon. The babies are growing too fast. And hopefully we can see through the rest of our To-Do List. Thank you all for praying for us!

Because He First Loved Me,

Larry Leach, Jr.

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Dear Churches, Pastors, and Friends,                                    April - May 2023 Newsletter

For this letter I wanted to share some experiences that I have had in the ministry over the years, and particularly in the last few months. I remember the first soul that I won to the Lord many years ago when I was about 21 years old. My wife and I had traveled to Virginia from North Carolina with my wife’s grandmother to see her pen pal of many years. Her name was “Cat” and she had terminal cancer. After we arrived, we sat there with my wife’s grandmother and “Cat” and listened as they talked and caught up with the news as old friends. “Cat” showed us the clothes she wanted to be buried in. I asked her before we left if she minded if I talked with her about something and she agreed. I said to her, “Now you have shown us your clothes that you will be buried in; have you had any thoughts of being ready for eternity?” She said she had not. I showed her from the Bible how she could be saved and be assured of heaven; and then she prayed with me and received the Lord Jesus Christ! This was the very beginning of my soul winning effort that has been a blessed and joyful journey over the years.

Each year in March and August, I am in West Virginia for several weeks attending Missions Conferences in order to raise support for National Pastors from many countries throughout the world. During this year’s conference in March, I was preaching at a church in Beckley, West Virginia. During the invitation a young boy about 10 years old came forward for salvation. The altar was already full, and I remember as I looked down, he was on his knees praying with his mother and father on each side facing the pulpit. What a joyful and rewarding memory!

In April, I was in a Cherokee native church that has supported us for years. (The man that had been Pastor of the church for many years had passed away and his wife passed three days later. They had a double funeral for this sweet couple). The morning I preached, a young native girl about 18 years-old received Christ. What a blessing, this is what it is all about! This is the joyful part of the ministry! There are challenging times indeed, but then you can look back and see many wonderful things God has done over the years!

Please keep my wife in your prayers. Thank God they were able to get all the cancer. This was a huge blessing for us! She still has trouble with the medicine that she must take to prevent the cancer from returning; if she can take it for five years, she has a good chance of the cancer not coming back.

I will be in touch when we return from our next trip.

Joyfully Yours,    (A printable PDF version is available here)

Farren Caeble

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"...he knoweth not how.

Dear Pastors Churches and Fellow Saints,               March - April 2023

Grace be unto you and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

In Thessalonica the apostle Paul thanked God because, when they received the word of God which they heard Paul preach they “…received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” 1 Thessalonians 2:13

God's word is different than man's word. God's words are alive. The Bible says "the of God which liveth". It's a great privilege to sow the word of God.

One day 44 years ago my Uncle Don sowed the word God and preached unto me the gospel. Somehow the word sprang and grew up when I believed.

Only God can give life to a seed. You can talk all you want about how a seed springs up, but it would never happen without God. As missionaries spreading the gospel of Christ we don't know how it springs up other than God tells it to spring up and grow. When someone puts their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and receives him as their Lord and Savior, God speaks to that soul and says “Let there be light” and that person is transformed from darkness to the kingdom of God.

I would like to have you pray for these dear Christian friends of mine that help here in the gospel. Malcho and Kadrìa. They are a real blessing to all and God has really used them. We covet your prayers.

All because of Calvary,                 (A printable PDF version is available here) 

Matthew Welch and family

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