Lufkin – August 2015

“Let all their wickedness come before Thee; And deal with them as Thou hast dealt with me for all my transgressions; for my groans are many, and my heart is faint.”

Lamentations 1:22

 

Sad news. Glad news. Bad news. God is the same, praise His Holy Name! July. Independence Day. Let freedom ring!

EMPLOYMENT REPORT:

New Jobs-1

Total working-3

Praise the Lord!

     They came from everywhere, pillows from the south and towels from the north. I hesitate using the word “rain”, but it is accurate in telling you how the pillows kept coming and coming, adding to the already generous response from last month. Most of them were collected and then hand delivered to GODTEL from some Nederland folks. Thank you, Shiloh and Jody. We enjoyed your visit and thank you, again, for your generous giving. They brought more than the pillows-all treasures for a homeless mission. Every bed has a new pillow and a few are on the shelf, ready, when needed.

We, also, had towels “flood” into GODTEL this month. Wow! One afternoon we had a delivery from South Dakota. It seems that the northern part of our family answered the call for dryer southerners. So, thank you, Tom and Tricia. When are you moving back to Texas? We have beds available and plenty of towels to dry you off.

Car Mart had a box fan drive. They called us and asked if we would like to have them. We answered yes and picked them up. We sure appreciate these fans. From last year’s use and old age several of our fans quit just before the summer season. So you can imagine our thankfulness and cool thoughts for this local business. Perfect timing, don’t you think? Or God is in control?!

July began and ended with the passing of several friends and acquaintances. James was killed in a tragic truck accident. He worked at all three GODTEL locations. Then he “retired”. Martin called and went by to check on James and his wife, Jerrie, and helped when he could. Jerrie has moved to be with family. We will miss them both.

We met Terry in 2009. He stayed only a few days. He came back September 2012. While here he went through and completed the Jobs For Life session we had at GODTEL. We were glad when he became a part of our team. Terry resigned the end of March in 2014. He was plagued with an alcohol addiction. We would not hear from him for long periods of time. The last time he landed on our steps Terry said he needed help. It broke our hearts to see him in such a desperate condition. Martin said yes and told Terry he would have to stay on property and work for GODTEL for his room and board. He agreed.

Terry was doing well. He had plans for his son to come and stay for a few days before school started. He woke up one day and felt bad. A few days later Martin suggested that he go to the doctor. He thought he had heat exhaustion. Thursday night after curfew an ambulance was called to GODTEL-Terry was taken to the hospital. He died early Saturday morning. He had a lung infection that developed into sepsis and traveled to his kidneys and heart. Please pray for Terry’s son, TJ. He is 14 years old.

We will miss Terry. But we were able to use this sad incident to remind everybody that we are not promised tomorrow. (Proverbs 27:1) Today is the day that we have to say yes to the Lord. Today is the day to serve the Lord. Today is the day to praise and worship our awesome God. Today is the day to pray for TJ.

The women’s dorm bathroom was completed. The new paint on the walls compliments the new tile floor. Meanwhile, in the men’s dorm bathroom there was some vandalism. We believe two of the younger men decided to practice their skate board skills in the bathroom. Tiles were cracked and replaced more than once. They have both left-and no more acts of destruction have happened.

Our numbers continued to rise. We had 94 people this past month. Our Lufkin temperatures continued to rise just short of 100 degrees. (although we are there now) The women’s dorm was full. Martin made some beds to make sure everyone had a place to sleep. Nine children and their parents were counted in the population. Folks came in groups and left in groups. Or they trickled in one by one and broke rules one by one.

Four hurting people were waiting on a bed at a rehabilitation center. Only one made it there.

Todd and his wife, Jenet, came up and worked at our mission on their vacation. I call that cool! The plan was to strip, wax and seal floors in the women’s dorm. Plumbing came first. Then the floors. Wow! They are shiny. He ended his stay with some auto repair. Thank you, Jackson family.

Praise the Lord news. The Nacogdoches GODTEL has received a grant to build a new building at the Jordan Street location. Floor plans, city codes, decisions, dirt work, cement slab, frame work, plumbing, electrical, windows, doors, insulation, sheet rock and inspections-all this and more. But we are excited. Bring on the nails and hammers…

What is red, green, juicy and cold with black “polka dots”? Twenty-nine watermelons-that’s what. We were blessed when a man drove up and unloaded this summer taste delight. And we did enjoy every bite.

Hot or cold; rain or drought; our God is ever faithful. Hot or cold; rain or drought; we know we have faithful partners in you. You keep our hearts warm with cool thoughts as we go through these summer days.

Remember; stay cool. Stay in the word.

Because of Him we serve,

Martin and Mary Baker

So You’ll Know 

 July 2015

1st-35 people

31st-29 people

Total helped-94 people

Praise the Lord!

“The Lord’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.”   Lamentations 3:22 & 23

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nacogdoches/Livingston – August 2015

“They That Wait Upon the Lord…” Isaiah 40:31

       For the past ten years, ever since we purchased 29 acres of land on Highway 21 (Douglass Road) just inside the Highway-59 Bypass in Nacogdoches, we have been waiting and working toward the day we could construct new facilities and relocate our Nacogdoches mission. We rejoice to report that God’s timing for us to construct the new men’s dormitory has arrived. This has been made possible due to a very generous grant from the Charles & Lois Marie Bright Foundation of Nacogdoches.

We found it quite interesting to see that nearly everyone on the Board of the Bright Foundation is someone we knew and were friends with 30 and 40 years ago. Way back then God knew they would be in a position today to not only consider our request for a grant but to encourage us to apply for the grant to start with.

Our dear Christian friend, Danny Powell, has offered to be the general contractor for this project which will get underway as soon as the architect has completed the schematics required by the city, even though we had the plans drawn up over six years ago. While we wait for this to happen so we can get the required permit to begin building the men’s dorm, the planned construction of the parking lot and driveway from Douglass Road is scheduled to begin on August 10th.

Again we are reminded of God’s faithfulness to fulfill His promises and renew our strength when we wait on Him.

The picture above is of a meeting Bro. June (GODTEL Executive Director), and Martin Baker (Lufkin Mission Director and Board Vice-President/Secretary) had with Contractor Danny Powell and Stanley Jones (representative of the Bright Foundation). They met at the staff house of GODTEL’s new location to discuss the construction project and check out the existing architect’s drawings and plans.

A New “Nest” for Robin

 My Administrative Assistant, Robin Nye, has been blessed with the secretarial position at her home church, First Presbyterian Church of Livingston. Though we will miss her greatly at GODTEL, we rejoice that she is where she earnestly believes God wants her to be—and with a generous increase in salary. We are sure she will be back to volunteer her expertise when we are in need from time to time as she has promised. Meanwhile, we pray that God will guide her daily and give her understanding, wisdom, and strength for her new duties.

 Creation vs. Evolution

 This month, we continue the series on the scientific evidences for God’s magnificent act of Creation which took place only 6,000 to 10,000 years ago. We hope you will read and learn the true facts rather than blindly accepting what many scientists and teachers teach. They have a “form of godliness but deny the power thereof” (2 Timothy 3:5) and teach what the Bible calls “science, falsely so-called” (1 Timothy 6:20).

 On the Front Lines

 In the Bible, the Christian life is compared to that of a soldier (ex. 2 Timothy 2:3-4), and for good cause. We are to obey, without question or delay, our Heavenly Commander-in-Chief. At times we are called upon to suffer deprivation and separation from family and friends for the sake of advancing the Kingdom of God. We are called upon to sacrifice personal comfort to rescue lost souls. The Christian life is one of discipline and preparation for warfare against the world, the flesh (a.k.a. our wicked hearts—Jeremiah 17:9 & Matthew 15:19), and the devil.

Those of us who minister at GODTEL are definitely at the battlefront. For example, this last month our Nacogdoches Mission Director, Royce Oliver, was sitting at his desk when suddenly attacked by a man he had just allowed to take a bath and eat at the mission. Royce suffered broken bones in his nose and sinuses, the nose-piece of his glasses was shoved into the corner of his one good eye, and his face and neck were bruised and swollen. He was taken to the hospital and admitted overnight with many x-rays taken. He still has numbness in part of his cheek and nose as well as a hospital bill over $10,000.

Royce was not going to press charges (as in turning the other cheek—Matthew 5:39) but we convinced him that the man needed to be held accountable for his choice of actions. Our hope is that he will not make this choice in the future, thereby saving someone else’s face. We do request prayers for both Royce and his attacker.

Yearly Audit

 To show ourselves financially responsible, we have an outside audit conducted every year. Part of the process is for the auditing firm to send out letters to random donors to verify that we have correctly credited donations received from our supporters. I can remember receiving similar “Confirmation Letters” when our bank was audited and I thought it was a bad thing and someone was in trouble, but that is not so.

This year our auditor mentioned that one of our donors expressed dismay at receiving several letters requesting confirmation of the amount he had donated to GODTEL during 2014. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused him or anyone else and we thank you for helping us maintain financial credibility.

 Nancy Gentry

Heading West – Nacogdoches/Livingston July 2015

 Farewell to Pegi & John

        The first day of last month, Bro. June’s sister, Pegi, told us she was going to sell her house and move back to California. She explained that for the past year, she has been sensing that God was speaking to her about leaving Livingston and GODTEL and returning to the “Golden State.” She has several trusted doctors there who she has seen on visits to her daughter Karen who lives near Los Angeles. Pegi also has many Christian friends there who have communicated to her that they would love to have her assistance with various ministries they are involved in. So, though she may be retiring from her full-time volunteer work here with us at GODTEL, she is certainly not retiring from serving the Lord!

God provided a buyer for her home within days and as soon as the paperwork on the sale of her house was complete on the 17th, Eli, June and Pegi’s brother, loaded her belongings into his vehicle and they headed west.

Pegi will be sorely missed but we will pray for God’s continued blessings on her life and His guidance as she re-establishes herself on the West Coast. Our loss is California’s gain.

We really appreciate the fact that she left a job description and had a replacement trained to do much of what she has so faithfully done for the past eight years. Thanks, Peg.

A week and a half before Pegi left for California, John (another brother), departed for New Mexico. He had come for a visit nearly seven years ago and stayed, becoming an employee of GODTEL. He had an amazing green thumb and a way with animals. His talents will be missed here but we are sure they will be put to work in NM.

We would appreciate it if you would keep both of these individuals in your prayers—as well as the entire staff at our three missions. And don’t forget those we house, feed and minister to otherwise in the Name of Jesus.

 No More Puddle Jumping!

 The abundance of rain earlier this year made it very clear that we needed some sidewalks at the Livingston mission. Staff and residents of GODTEL worked hard at mixing and applying concrete for our new sidewalks. The job took several days, many bags of cement, and a lot of sweat but the finished product looks great. Thanks, guys!

 Meanwhile, in the Office…

 While the men were outside pouring the concrete, a group of ladies were inside the business office working assembly-line fashion preparing our monthly newsletter for mailing. Once the newsletters are printed and folded, GODTEL staff and residents put inserts inside the newsletter, stuff the envelopes, then tape, label, and put them into boxes where they await the zip-code sorting process. This is a great opportunity for fellowship and “girl time” that we look forward to each month.

 Creation vs. Evolution

This month, we begin a series in our newsletter inserts on the scientific evidences of special creation, or intelligent design as some call it. We hope you find them informative and helpful.

For years, many in the scientific community have worked to undermine the foundation of Christianity and the very existence of a Divine Being we call God. During my college days as a Biology Major, I stayed confused about the “Origin Issue” and could not reconcile what I was being taught as scientific fact with what I read in the first eleven chapters of Genesis.

As June studied this topic, I was greatly relieved to find solid scientific evidences that God’s Word is true and I did not have to “park my brain” to believe what God had men write in Scripture.

Nacogdoches Mission May Meals: 

  • First Christian Church—taco salad
  • Jamie Hall—pork
  • Ali Schneider—BBQ chicken
  • New Hope Congregational Methodist Church—chili dogs
  • Jennifer Leuschner—pizza
  • Lonestar Baptist Church—fried chicken
  • Family & staff from the Hancock Advertising Agency—hot dogs
  • Holly Springs Baptist Church—lasagna

 

We are so thankful for all the generous and delicious meals provided by these and other churches, groups, and individuals for all three GODTEL mission locations. We are blessed to receive your meals and services.

Nancy Gentry

Lufkin, July 2015 Newsletter

“ Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”   Galatians 5:1

      Summertime-when our imaginations soar while watching the clouds as they change their pillow-like shapes way up high in the sky. Nighttime-when dreams keep us safe while sleeping on comfortable beds with pillows under our heads. And so the days of June drifted by.

EMPLOYMENT REPORT:

New jobs-6

Total working-7

Praise the Lord!

     Thank you, thank you for the pillows, pillows and powder, powder. Just imagine how cool and calm and dry we will be when using the powder after a good night’s rest.

We had a record breaking high population in June at the Lufkin mission. Eighty-four people from one year old to the golden age of seventy-one came through our doors. Ten of these souls were children of various ages.

Tracy and her five children checked in towards the end of the month. They stayed about a week while waiting on a family member to take them to Dallas.

Tressa and her two children are here. She is a nanny and is able to take care of her children while taking care of her nanny charges. She comes in at the end of her work day and still has patience and smiles for her precious ones.

Cheyenne and her mother have been here before. Unexpected medical crisis hit their family and slowly they are picking up the pieces and putting them together again.

Laura, Eric and their girls moved out. We were going to have to ask Eric to leave but before we did he and his family left. They were not prepared to be on their own. What a price to pay when rules are broken. Remember the “one bite” that was eaten in the garden years ago. The consequence of sin…

Thank you, Sharon, for months of doing the laundry. It is a hot job. It is a thankless job, but she was faithful to her post. We are pleased to tell you that Sharon has a job at e-tech. She is making plans to move out soon. These are stories I like sharing with you.

Barbara and Jimmy have moved into the laundry room job. Barbara washes the women’s clothes on Tuesday and Friday. Jimmy washes the men’s clothes on Monday and Thursday and sheets on Wednesday. Pray for these two as they spend their summer days in the sauna of saunas at GODTEL.

Sometimes when someone has been so faithful at their job you forget how long they have been here. Dolores has been our cook for over five years. Praise the Lord! She has had helpers and guest cooks to share the load through the years. Some of the folks have griped and complained but she continues at her post in spite of the ungrateful residents. Thank you, Dolores.

Patti is helping Dolores in the kitchen. She helps in the women’s dorm. She has even helped the guys fill in pot holes in our parking lot. Patti came a second time to GODTEL in December. She applied and was accepted to attend the spring session of The Mosaic Center. She and Christi completed the 11 week course. Since graduation she has been a blessing helping Dolores in the kitchen. We know she will not be here the rest of her life, but we appreciate the time she is giving to the Lord and GODTEL. Her dream is to work at a veterinary clinic. We pray she will seek God’s leading every step of the way.

Our guest cooks came with meals that satisfied our hungry appetites. Ham, chicken, lasagna and soft tacos were the tastes of the month.

The Trinity Baptist Church Youth made a visit to GODTEL. A tour was given. Questions were asked. They attended Bible Study and then worked in the warehouse putting cans on the shelves and sweeping the floor. What a blessing.

Patti and Christi stepped out and worked at Vacation Bible School at Calvary Baptist Church. For four evenings from 6:00 pm-8:00 pm the girls served as “tour guides”. They led the children from activity to activity. And there were tales of the different personalities-all cute, of course. I worked one evening doing crafts and got to meet some of the characters that I had heard about from Christi and Patti. I enjoyed myself. But the smiles on Christi’s and Patti’s faces were my favorite part of the VBS.

Once, again, thank you for the pillows. They have been labeled and placed on the beds in the dorms. And the powder helps with the heat and sweat issues we incur during the summer.

July birthdays include our daughter and oldest granddaughter. Speaking of granddaughters-Kristen had her dance recital. This year was the daddy-daughter dance. We were not able to go, but we know that this is a special time between Kristen and her dad. We will have the blessing of Kristen and Blaine for a visit in early August. Martin is already planning fun for all.

Save the best for the last-right? The best part of the monthly news is thanking you, our supporters, for your faithfulness. We not only have guest cooks, we have Bible study teachers and volunteers and prayer warriors on our side every day of the year. Some of you bring food or clothes or sheets and towels, powder, pillows, umbrellas or financial gifts-we appreciate it all. God bless you fellow servants in the Lord.

Stay cool. Stay in the Word.

 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”  Psalm 119:105

 Because of Him we serve,

Martin and Mary Baker

 

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”   John 8:32 & 36

So You’ll Know — June 2015

1st-27 people

30th-35 people

Total helped-84 people

Praise the Lord!

 

 

 

Nacogdoches/Livingston — June 2015 Newsletter

Baltimore Bound

Jonathan Obeys

       I hope you remember the different articles I’ve written about Jonathan Moore. Almost two years ago now, he surrendered his will to God’s will, received the gift of salvation, and began to study the Bible and grow in the Lord. He got a job and moved into an apartment but he still came by to visit us several times a week.

When the riots began in Baltimore, he prayed for God to intervene in the situation and bring others to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ that they might come to enjoy the peace and love of God and help put an end to the rioting. As he prayed one day, God put it in his heart to go to Baltimore and share the joy of Jesus. He talked with Bro. June who told him to be sure he was hearing from God and then simply obey, trusting God to provide what he would need.

His employer agreed to let him have leave from work and Jonathan made his plans to go. The day before he was to board the bus, a college student agreed to assume Jonathan’s lease on the apartment he was living in and all was ready for his departure.

He called us when he arrived and has posted some of his adventures on Facebook. He is staying in a Christian homeless shelter which serves two meals a day and charges $20.00 a week. He must take care of washing his own clothing but there is a laundromat just a few blocks away.

If you recall, Jonathan became a bit of a local “celebrity” waving a sign and dancing (to Christian music) in front of a Nacogdoches restaurant. Since then he made his own sign about Jesus and spends his day dancing joyfully and telling anyone who will listen how God has changed his life for the better. He definitely attracts attention! One man told him he was not interested in God. During their conversation, Jonathan found out the man was waiting for his Social Security to begin but it was taking a long time. Jonathan told him he would pray that God would speed up the process. The man came back the next day to report that his Social Security had arrived and was willing to listen to Jonathan tell him about the love and salvation of Jesus.

Later, Jonathan contacted us saying he needed some Bibles so he and another Christian he had met there could start holding Bible studies in the park. We shipped a case to him the next morning with prayers that God would guide and bless their efforts. We also thanked God for His promise that His Word would not return void but would accomplish its purpose.

Please keep Jonathan in your prayers. He is in a very troubled part of Baltimore.

 Mineral Wells Gideon Camp

 In April, Bro. June was the guest testimony speaker at a Pastor Appreciation Banquet in Mineral Wells, TX. We were pleased and blessed that the rains let up long enough for us to drive the five hours to get there. They housed us in a new motel just across from the place the banquet was held.

Some of you may remember that June was saved in a jail cell after having God speak to him from a Gideon-placed Bible. We love the Gideon ministry and we are always blessed and revived spiritually after attending one of these meetings.

 Surprise!

Royce Oliver, the Mission Director at the Nacogdoches mission had been dropping hints along the way for months but the last week of April he introduced us to his fiancé, Miss Amber Osage. We were very surprised. They were married at the Nacogdoches Mission in early May, and after a one-day trip to see family in Arkansas, returned to reside here. Royce’s niece Vicki, from Oregon, had come down for a visit and helped get Royce’s bachelor quarters ready for his bride. She is a lovely young lady and worked wonders in that apartment. Now Amber has picked up where Vicki left off making clever adjustments and additions. Royce is still on the job—he just seems to be smiling more these days.

Barnum Baptist Visits

 The second Thursday of May our Livingston Mission had a visit from many of the members of Barnum Baptist Church in Chester, TX. They served a variety of delicious dishes and stayed for a very welcomed visit with our staff and residents. The love of Jesus radiated from these precious people and are very thankful for their encouraging and delicious visit. We hope they come back soon.

 Easter Hats by Pegi

 The month before Easter, or as I prefer to call it, Resurrection Day, June’s sister, Pegi began to craft adorable hats to give to each  of our women residents to wear that Sunday. After the Good Friday Stonecroft Bible Study at her house she led us to her craft room and let us choose a hat. It was great fun and we all enjoyed “playing dressup” for our “Easter Parade.” Thanks, Peg. (If you are interested in how they looked I can email you the photos we took. Just send the request via e-mail to godtel@minister.com)

— Nancy Gentry

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