The Lufkin December Report

“That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”  John 1:9

As November thanksgiving gave way to December joy we stayed busy and full the past thirty days.  Food, trips and visits filled the month, also.

EMPLOYMENT REPORT:

New jobs-5

Total working-10

Praise the Lord!

Christmas Day

December 25, 2014

Bible Study and Meal-10:00 am

Guests and volunteers welcome!

Thanksgiving Day was marvelous.  We counted 70 or more for the gathering at Lufkin GODTEL.  This number includes all the residents, volunteers and guests from the community.  The tradition continues…on Wednesday evening after dinner and clean up the ever faithful Alpha Beta Chi ladies came and decorated our big room.  It was a fall festival scene to behold.

The day began with folks coming into the kitchen ready to work.  Brown and serve rolls were buttered.  Fresh fruit was cut and made into salad.  The hams and turkeys were sliced.  A green bean casserole or two were put together.  A broccoli and cheese casserole came in.  Dressing, gravy and yam casserole were not far behind.  Desserts were cut and arranged.  Tea was brewed, sweet and un-sweet.  A tour and questions and stories took place in the “in between” times.  We had local folks.  We had out of town folks.  Angelina County was well represented as was Spring, Duncanville and Houston, Texas.  No matter where they came from we met new friends and visited with the old friends.

I won’t keep you waiting any longer.  The bell rang at 2:00 pm.  A short Bible study was presented by Bro. June Gentry.  And then we served the bounty of goodness until all were content.  The rest of the day was relaxing with movies to watch, football games on the radio and a nap or two.  Finger food was put out in the evening, just in case anyone was hungry or just needed to snack.

The good eating did not stop on Thanksgiving day.  Our guest cooks treated us well with pizza, ham, meat loaf, chicken salad sandwiches, lasagna and pork chops.  And those were just the main dishes.  Add the sides and desserts and you have many reasons to be thankful at GODTEL this past month.  It’s not the food we are thankful for-it is the blessing that people thought of us and spent time and money and themselves to give to others.

Canned goods came from Parkview Baptist Church and the Pioneer Club.  The residents had an evening out.  They were picked up by Faith Family Church for an early Thanksgiving celebration.  They, also, came home with coats and undergarments.  Now they are warm all over.  We visited the Lone Star 4-H Club one evening.  We shared information about GODTEL.  We saw some familiar faces and met some new folks.  It was a most pleasant visit.

We asked Joseph to come and help while Martin and I made a quick trip to Austin to attend the wedding of our niece, Calista.  Her husband’s name is Christopher.  There was a family from afar and friends, too, as we came together to witness the joining of Calista and Chris in marriage.  We pray they will have years together.

Then it was I who got to attend a surprise for a sweet young lady one Saturday afternoon.  This celebration was to celebrate her high school graduation and her 18th birthday.  The surprise was a success and the fellowship was such a blessing.  Stories were told and scriptures shared to lead and guide her in this new chapter of her life.

These blessings sustained us this past month.  We had our first experience with K-2.  This is a new brain damaging drug.  One Sunday Martin was in the kitchen preparing lunch.  Suddenly he heard a ruckus in the hallway.  One of the men was down on his hands and knees in pain and vomiting.  The news spread quickly and we were informed that he had used this K-2.  We let him stay the night and sleep and then leave the next day.  The saddest part of this story is that he has a wife and daughter and another child on the way.  She stayed, but he had to leave.  Later in the week she made arrangements to go home to her parents.  She is divorcing him.  It is heartbreaking to see young people-single or married-messing up so badly that it affects the rest of their lives.  If only…

If only they would see and know and acknowledge that they need a savior-Jesus.  They want a father, a perfect Heavenly Father, to love, forgive, and protect them.  And they need a teacher, the Holy Spirit, who can nurture and guide them through life and in service to God.  GODTEL offers this opportunity through our twice daily Bible studies.  We obey knowing that God does the yielding of souls into His kingdom.

HOPE is there for the taking.  We celebrate His birthday this month.  The baby Jesus who came down from above for me, for us.  With this in mind we wish you ALL a very merry CHRISTmas.  He truly is the reason for the season and the reason for life itself.

CHRISTmas joy to all from Martin and Mary Baker

Dolores

Christopher

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:  and the government shall be upon his shoulder:  and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”  Isaiah 9:6

Check it out.  It will do your heart good.  Until next year…

“As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”  John 9:5

To God Be the Glory

As each month passes and I pray for those who devotedly support this ministry, I am often overwhelmed by the grace and mercy being shown us here at GODTEL. Our supporters are so very faithful, and I am awestruck by your generosity. The dedication you show toward helping the poor in Jesus’ Name leaves me deeply humbled and grateful.

In my efforts to express my heartfelt gratitude to you, I was reminded of the Andraé Crouch song, To God Be the Glory.” The song begins, “How can I say thanks for the things you have done for me, things so undeserved, yet you give to prove your love for me. The voices of a million angels could not express my gratitude …”  Just as he is singing to our Lord, I know it is because of Him you give, and, I hope you all realize that it is because of Him we serve—to God be the glory.

Whether you send what you can when you can, or send a set amount on an ongoing, regular basis, we are appreciative. Every little bit helps to make up the whole amount needed.

We are thankful not only for the financial gifts, but for the prayer support, donated clothing, food, and household items which we, in turn, freely give to the needy. We are blessed by and grateful for those who take the time to write a word or two of encouragement and thank us for sending the newsletter each month. Those who provide items listed in the “Our Needs” section of our monthly newsletter are also special to us.

An extremely large “bundle” of gratitude goes to our very faithful Bible study teachers at each of our three missions. Bro. June teaches nine Bible studies each week, divided among Nacogdoches, Lufkin and Livingston, but there are others each place who come weekly, or on some other set, regular basis. By their very presence, they demonstrate to our residents that God loves them and that other people care about their eternal well-being.

Thanksgiving 2014 at GODTEL

The atmosphere was very festive throughout our Thanksgiving Day feasts at each of our three mission locations, and we were well supplied with food and volunteers who helped prepare and serve the bountiful banquets. One smiling family of eight came from far away Frisco, TX to volunteer at the Nacogdoches mission. As usual, Bro. June began each meal with a timely devotion before saying the blessing, then giving “traffic-flow” directions and promptly stepping out of the way so he would not get stampeded by eager visitors, friends, family, and residents.

After nibbling just a bit in Nacogdoches, we traveled to Lufkin where Bro. June spoke at 2:00 p.m. (Our videographer son, Joshua, filmed the service there and has posted it on “YouTube.”) Following the devotion, we quickly “feasted”—with our eyes only—on the delicious-looking food there, and immediately headed South for the 4:00 o’clock service in Livingston and a fabulous meal.

While in Lufkin, one of our grand-daughters, Karmin, was delivered to us so she could join her daddy who was already in Livingston waiting for our arrival there.

Then, on Saturday, our family had a personal gathering at our second youngest son’s home to celebrate a family Thanksgiving and Christmas, or, as we affectionately call it, Thanksmas. Some of our clan met Allie, Josiah’s bride of two weeks, for the first time. Though our complete family was not together, we have much to be thankful for.

Attendance at GODTEL’s Thanksgiving dinners this year:

Nacogdoches: 116

Lufkin: 70

Livingston: 38

Nacogdoches Relocation Update

The new shop where ministry vehicles, including tractors, will be repaired and maintained is looking better and is almost complete. You are invited and welcome to come by 620 Jordan Street for a tour. Michael Lahr is there every day of the week and Bro. June is there every Monday morning and all day on Tuesdays. They would love to show off their handiwork, as well as the fruit trees, the goats and the chickens. If you want to be absolutely sure someone will be there, please call Royce Oliver at the Nacogdoches mission. The number is 936-569-7914.

To date, the estimated paid cost of this project, including the land, staff house, driveways, fences, workshops, carports, storage sheds, and labor, is a half-million dollars!

At this time, we have just over $110,000 in savings for the relocation and need another $530,000 to advance to the next construction phase. That would enable us to build the men’s dorm, which will also house the kitchen and laundry facilities. Once that is complete, we will move to the new property.  The sale of the old property will then enable us to build the final building which will be the women’s dorm and Christian Help Center (CHC) where we will continue to freely distribute clothing and household items to the needy.

The relocation project has advanced to this point through the generosity of many individuals and we are extremely grateful.

Special Thanks

GODTEL would like to thank our benefactor in Arizona, who has graciously offered to purchase a new washer and dryer set for our Livingston Mission. Thank you very much for your generosity and kindness. The blessings keep flowing for GODTEL!

Year-End Giving

As 2014 comes to an end, we at GODTEL want to thank all our donors for your generosity throughout the past year.  Any funds you are moved to send GODTEL as the Christmas Season and the new year come upon us would be very much appreciated.  All donations are used to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the poor and provide them with temporary shelter, food, clothing, and other necessities. Any additional amounts received in Nacogdoches will be applied to the relocation.

Remember, GODTEL is a 501(c)(3) organization, and we do not accept government funding or grants of any kind.  We depend solely on the generous donations of individuals, businesses and church organizations to provide support and services to the poor in our communities of Livingston, Lufkin, and Nacogdoches.

Don’t Throw It Away!  We Can Use Your “Junk”

So far this year GODTEL has generated $2,269.00 for various projects, including our building fund, by selling scrap metal including old cars, lawn mowers, washing machines & dryers (no longer worth repairing), water heaters, metal hangers, aluminum and steel cans (which are rinsed after the contents are emptied), etc. Our thanks to those who have already dropped off these items at our 620 Jordan Street location.

-Nancy Gentry

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 We hope and pray that you will have a blessed and peaceful Christmas Season, being thankful for Jesus, God’s perfect gift to man.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

 

The Lufkin October Report

“Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of our faith.  For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord.”  1 Thessalonians 3: 7-8

Thirty days has September.  And those thirty days kept us hopping at GODTEL.  Newspaper, TV, vacation, birthdays, fishing and granddaughter were all a part of September’s calendar slot.

EMPLOYMENT REPORT:

New jobs-2

Total working-6

Praise the Lord!

Thank you for the great response to the belt need.  IF you think we missed out-don’t worry-we always have a need for belts in our clothing room.

Lorenzo started his month the same way he ended the last month-with a week off (remember he started his vacation in August).  He did do a lot of catching up on his sleep.  He visited friends and family and spent time with his daughter-when she was not at school, of course.

Martin had a busy first week of the month.  The Lufkin Daily News did an interview about the Jobs For Life curriculum that we offer to men.  KETK News out of Tyler came down and did an interview with Martin about Jobs For Life.  Martin, also, talked with the DETAB folks about GODTEL and Jobs For Life at a lunch meeting.  They met at Casa Ole.  The food was “bueno” and all were “contentos” as they left the restaurant.

We received several phone calls and one visit from these two interviews and lunch date.  It was exciting and encouraging.

Meet Lindsey.  She is a senior student at Stephen F. Austin State University.  As part of her degree plan she is required to volunteer so many hours in her community.  We have been blessed by her presence.  She comes Monday afternoon, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.  I so appreciate her “manning” the office and answering the phone so I can continue to volunteer at my church library on Tuesday and attend Bible Study on Wednesday.  She, also, has helped serve the meals, cleaned the office refrigerator, folded, stuffed, stamped and sealed the newsletter for mail out last month.  And there are more adventures for her as the semester progresses.

Lorenzo stepped into the kitchen for a week.  Dolores took a week off this month, also.  She slept late and did the tourist thing.  Even though she is from east Texas she enjoys the history and sites it has to offer.  She made visits to the Museum of East Texas and library.  She took the downtown history walk.  We are glad she had time off to charge and renew her “chef batteries”.

Not to be left out, Martin took a few days off.  He is a member of a bass club.  And like all organizations and sporting activities there are the opportunities to see who is the best.  The state Top Eight competition was held this year at Toledo Bend.  Martin had the privilege to participate.  He and his partner caught one fish each on the first day.  But, alas, neither one of them got a nibble on the second day of competition.  Even with this disappointment, Martin came home with stories of the perfect weather, the beauty of the lake early in the morning and the sighting of two bald eagles.  No trophies were won, but God’s beauty and majesty were testified to.

Birthdays this month included Chris (a brother in Christ), Nancy (our precious sister in Christ and boss), and our grandson, Blaine.  Some counted the years excitedly and others have stopped counting their years.  No matter the age we hope it was a good day.

My Wednesday morning Bible Study group started back this month.  We are studying 1 & 2 Thessalonians with Beth Moore.  It is such a blessing to see these ladies return and we have some new faces in the group.  Praise the Lord!

Our guest cooks served fried chicken, hamburgers, chicken and macaroni casserole with all the delicious sides and desserts.  The best part of the meal is the fellowship we share with our co-servants in God’s service.  Blessings indeed.

It was exciting to see Colleita move out into her own place.  This will give her the means to be able to have her children with her.

In the women’s dorm we have four children.  Two and two with their mothers.  Jordan isn’t a little one, but he is a big brother and helps his mom with his little sister.  He attends Lufkin Middle School.

Most of our September population came and went quickly, Stephen’s place of residency was condemned and he had to move out.  He is staying until a new home can be found.  Some were just passing through or broke the rules.  A few who planned and saved for “moving day” reached their goals.

It was a Friday when our granddaughter, Emily, and her mother drove north to Lufkin to bless us with a visit.  Their first stop was to Music World and a visit with Bonnie.  After stealing Bonnie’s heart, Emily arrived at our house with more heart stealing smiles and perfect little girl noises that I consider “talking”.

We had a delightful lunch at Milagro’s Tea House.  Martin and Emily were on their best behavior.  The food was delicious.  Thank you to the special friend who gifted our lunch.  Emily visited her great grandma and continued to add to her heart collection.  The time was too short, but we let the two girls go so they could return another time.

You don’t have to be on television or in the newspaper for us to notice you-our supporters.  Thank you for your prayers.  I know there are many lifted up on behalf of GODTEL, the residents, helpers and the Bakers.

Enjoy the reds, yellows, oranges and browns of October.  They are God’s own colors.

“May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.”  1 Thessalonians 3:12

Because of Him we serve,

Martin and Mary Baker

The Lufkin September Report

“Give unto thee the Lord the glory due unto his name:  bring an offering, and come before him:  worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”  1 Chronicles 16:29

August-lazy days of summer.  I don’t know if they were lazy at your house, but they definitely weren’t lazy around here.  Trees, freezers, grandchildren, guest cooks and more filled our month at GODTEL.

Employment Report:

New jobs-6

Total working-4

Praise the Lord!

The total working number is the number of residents still living here on the last day of the month who are working.  Some of our employed residents move out during the month because they have saved their money and found a place of their own.  Praise the Lord.  Others have moved out because their work hours conflict with our rules.  No matter the reason we are glad that we had a part in moving their lives forward in a positive way.

A favorite shade tree came down in August.  It was sad to see the old guy retire.  Just like his human counterpart his ailing body took its toll and he finally came to his natural end.  He came down with dignity as the experienced tree man carefully cut his branches and limbs with care and respect.  The men residents were asked to help and at the end of the first day they stacked the logs and cleaned up the sawdust.

On day two the job was completed as the rest of the mighty hackberry was laid down to rest.  And the final clean up was finished by the men of GODTEL.  I make light of this chore, but I appreciate the care of the two men who were sent to do the job.  The truck with the hydraulic bucket that soared to great heights was secured so that it would not tip over.  The branches were cut from the top down and carefully fell to the ground.  Safety for people, cars and houses in the area around the tree were maintained at all times.

One bright morning Blue Bell ice cream called and asked if we had freezer room for some cool, ice cream treats.  The answer was “yes”.  The plan was to pick up the goods the next morning.  The next morning our cook went to the freezer and she noticed the items were not cold.  And before you know it we had two freezers down in one day.  I reluctantly called Blue Bell to tell them the sad news that we could not take the ice cream after all.  They told us they would hold our load for a few days.  We were most thankful.

Because of the location of the freezer and the plug it seems that, slowly due to traffic, it had come unplugged.  Problem solved-freezer plugged back in and cooling process on its way.

The second freezer just needed to be defrosted and cleaned.  That freezer is bigger than the first one.  It was a job to get it outside so the “repair” could be done properly.  About two days later it was defrosted, washed and back in its place.  Hooray!  We could pick up our ice cream treats after all.  There are a lot of smiles walking around GODTEL.

When we were defrosting the big freezer we removed the chicken-lots of chicken.  We decided to have a chicken cooking day.  The grill was cleaned and lit.  Chickens were prepared and the grillin’ commenced.  Terry did the honors.  He made his secret sauce and brushed each piece turning it into a delicious mouth watering delight.  Dolores took some of the chickens and baked them in the oven.  She boiled a few for chicken casseroles and soup stock.  We had meals set for days to come.  You didn’t know how many blessings one chicken could be made into, did you?

Did I write grandchildren in the first paragraph?  Yes, I did.  It was on a Friday that Martin and I drove down to Nederland and picked up our grandchildren, Kristen and Blaine, and brought them back to Lufkin for a visit.  Saturday morning we arose, loaded the boat with the necessary fishing equipment and “stuff”.  We drove to Lake Nacogdoches.  The boat was put in the water and NO rain was to be seen.  Thank you, Lord.

We got into the lake under cool cloud cover, but it wasn’t long until the summer sun and heat took over.  We fished until 1:00 pm and headed in for a bite to eat and some swim time.  Oh-the only fish caught was a cat fish by Martin.  Other activities included the slip and slide Sunday afternoon, some chess, Chinese checkers, reading, catch in the backyard and guitar strumming.  Monday morning we went to the zoo and then rode on the ZOO train.  I don’t think you are ever too old or sophisticated to enjoy the thrill of a train ride.  Tuesday came too soon.  We drove Kristen and Blaine back to Nederland and their dad.  God’s blessings to us-our three wonderful grandchildren.  Emily didn’t come this time.  I think her parents think seven months is still a little young to be away from her parents.

Our guest cooks came with meals of spaghetti, soft tacos, sausage, chicken, and pizza, pizza.  No really, we had pizza twice this month and spaghetti.  It was ALL good and delicious!

We received bunches of personal hygiene packs from the First Christian Church Vacation Bible School.  We received bunches (about 384 items) of canned goods from DETAB.  From food to personal care we are well prepared.  Thank you!

Lorenzo started a week off.  I think a lot of sleeping was on his agenda.  It’s a good start anyway.

As we already know, classes started in many schools across our country.  Pray for our students, teachers, bus drivers…well I could make a long list of people who have a part in our school systems.  They all need prayer.  We all need prayer.  Did you know that we pray for you-our supporters?  We do.  God bless you.

“Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice:  and let men say among the nations, The Lord reigneth.” 1 Chronicles 16:31

Because of him we serve,

Martin and Mary Baker

 

 

The Lufkin November Report

“Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.” Psalm 75:1

October-a month of changes and challenges.  There was plenty of food to satisfy our hunger.  And plenty of children’s talk, laughter and squealing filled the women’s dorm as the month of October slid into November.

EMPLOYMENT REPORT:

New jobs-3

Total working-8

Praise the Lord!

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Thanksgiving Day

November 27, 2014

Bible Study and Meal-2:00 pm

Guests and volunteers welcome!

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Lorenzo is in the news, again, this month.  Due to family situations Lorenzo has found another job.  He is still living here but is not a part of the GODTEL Lufkin team.  Lorenzo’s experience of care giving at GODTEL is most helpful in his new job.  Cooking, transportation and daily care are some of his responsibilities.  With the higher paycheck coming in it won’t be long until he can move into a home of his own allowing him to have more time with his daughter.

Two precious saints changed their addresses from earth to heaven this past month.  Rick Pensinger was a fellow servant at GODTEL Ministries.  He “based” out of Livingston, but he parked wherever he was needed.  He died from oral cancer.  Through prayer it was decided he would go to Florida.  He could get the medical attention he needed and be with his family.  During this time he was a living testimony to God’s grace.  We will miss him.  His family will miss h9im.  He was a blessing, indeed.

Vinez Minton was a friend of GODTEL.  She requested gifts be given to GODTEL when she passed.  And we have received several gifts in her memory.  I loved her visits.  One time we sat in her back seat with the back doors open.  We were sewing something.  I don’t recall what we were fixin’, but we had the giggles of school girls that afternoon.  Other visits were in the office sharing God reports or prayer requests.  We will miss Mrs. Minton, but I doubt she misses us.  J

Our population stayed up.  Quite a few have been at GODTEL before.  And a few came and returned within the month of October.  They were not all here at the same time but we had a total of nine children and their mothers in the women’s dorm.  However, there were still seven young ‘uns at the end of October.

Avery is a unique name.  It has an aristocratic sound to it, don’t you think?  We had the unique experience of having two Avery’s at the same time residing at GODTEL.  And before you ask-no, they are not related.  The younger Avery is two years old with dark hair, big brown eyes and a smile that will engage your heart and will definitely turn the heads of those pretty young girls in years to come.  The older Avery was not very co-operative and had several medical issues.  We were only able to help him a day or two.  We pray he got the help that he really needed.

We had some famous names here, also.  Jimi Johnson and Reggie White checked in.  I can’t say anything about their football prowess, but these two men needed our help.  Jimi has moved on.  Reggie is still here and is employed.  Praise the Lord!

Our guest cooks hit the bull’s eye as they prepared and served tasty meals targeted at satisfying the hungry beasts.  And satisfy they did!  We ate chili dogs, pork chops, beans and cornbread, lasagna, sloppy joes, taco soup, and pizza.  Dolores is our onsite cook.  She does a great job.  She prepares two meals a day and helps with breakfast, too.

Our student volunteer, Lindsey, not only answers the phone well-she makes a mean spaghetti dish.  She served French bread and garlic butter with the spaghetti and we were all full and ready to take a nap.  Thank you.

THANK YOU!  There are so many of you who help feed us at GODTEL.  Several businesses give regularly to supply our food items that turn into tasty dishes.  Thank you to Pilgrim’s Pride and Tyson Foods for donating chicken.  Thank you to The Spud for already baked potatoes.  Thank you to Shipley’s Donuts for donuts.  Thank you to Blue Bell Ice Cream for yummy desserts.  We, also, get donuts from Sandra’s Donuts in Houston.  Did you read it right?  Yes, you did.  We have a sister in Christ who works in the city to the south during the week.  She worships at a church in Lufkin.  It seems that Sandra’s Donuts is close to her place of employment and she stops there for donuts.  One conversation led to another and here we are-blessed with “imported” donuts.  The family who owns this store is from Cambodia.  They share stories with our sister in Christ and she shares the Lord with them.  Thank you, Sandra’s Donuts.

Even though this will arrive after the day-I hope you remembered to hug a veteran on Veterans Day.  I am an Army brat.  My daddy served 22 years in service to his country.  He loved the United States of America and all for which it stands.  I hold this part of my heritage close to my heart.  Thank you, Daddy, for serving our country.

I hold you folks close to my heart for your support allowing us to stand for the Lord on top of this tiny hill on Moody Street another month.

Dearest of all, I hold my heavenly heritage IN my heart.

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow, Praise him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.  Amen

 

 

Because of Him we serve,

Martin and Mary Baker

“So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever:  we will shew forth thy praise to all generations.”  Psalm 79:13