Lufkin February 2016

The Lord is a zealous and avenging God; the Lord is avenging and very angry. The Lord takes vengeance against his foes; he sustains his rage against his enemies. The Lord is slow to anger but great in power; the Lord will certainly not allow the wicked to go unpunished.   Nahum 1:2-3

So You’ll Know:

January 2016

1st-31 people

31st-35 people

Total helped-61 people

Praise the Lord!

     January? What winter? February-28 days plus one. Yea! Leap year!

EMPLOYMENT REPORT:

New jobs-4

Total working-8

Praise the Lord!

“The Lord is good-indeed, he is a fortress in time of distress, and he protects those who seek refuge in him.

Nahum 1:7

     December gave way to January and a new year. I was going to write that the new year came in quietly, but our neighborhood celebrated with bells and whistles, loud ones, also known as fire crackers. We survived the night and woke up with little rest in our energy packs.

Kaiza bid us adieu early this past month. One afternoon she received a call informing her of the death of her grandfather. The arrangements were made and one of her family came and picked her up. She was to be gone a day or two. Several days passed and we got a call from Kaiza saying she was going to stay with family.

     We thank the Lord for Kaiza. We cheered her through the Mosaic Center session and her graduation. We appreciate her staying through the holidays. It can be very busy and hectic from Thanksgiving until after the new year and we need all the help we can get. She was a big help in the kitchen. She worked in our warehouse taking cans out of boxes and putting them on the shelves in an organized fashion. We are glad that she is able to be with her family. Pray that she will continue to grow and glow in service to the Lord. Pray that she will get the job that God has for her. We will miss her hard work and willing spirit.

     Our guest cooks started the new year with us. We enjoyed pork chops, chili, homemade chicken soup, lasagna, potato soup, and spaghetti. We so appreciate these folks, from all walks of life, taking time out to plan, prepare, bring and serve the hungry people at GODTEL. And some of these friends stay and bring a Bible study at 7:00 pm. No matter the day they come or the menu they bring we see the love and service they have for the Lord. What a pleasing and appetizing start to a new year.

     Birthdays abounded in the month of January. Sisters and nieces added another year to their rising ages. The most fun birthday celebration, however, was the second birthday of our youngest granddaughter, Emily. She is a delight-full of wonder and life. She loves to “read”. She is quite an accomplished jumper. She and her daddy have many adventures. They recently attended a car show. I don’t know if Emily has an interest in cars, but she definitely has a lot of love for her daddy. Her mother is pretty cool, too. They cook together creating snacks and meals fit for a princess and her family. Plus mothers are our forever cheerleaders. Martin and I have three grandchildren-all perfect and wonderful blessings from the Lord.

     Misti and her children are still here. Late in the month Crystal and her son, E.J., checked in. It is helpful to have other moms and school age children here. They can help them out with school information and childcare opportunities.

     Resident Tommy had his two sons for a weekend visit. They were friendly and obeyed their dad. Jeanne’s son has, also, made a few weekend trips to be with his mom. Jeanne is one of our new jobs people. She works at Cheddars. We pray she continues to do well, save her money and respond to the Lord. As long as rules are followed we welcome these visits. Of course, the parent has the earlier curfew while their children are here. But I haven’t heard any complaints. And, besides, they are just grateful to have this time with their family.

     “Jesus-The One and Only” by Beth Moore is the new Bible study we are doing in the Wednesday morning gatherings I attend. It is convicting and comforting. It is insightful and teaches us so much that we have not thought of or things we need to be reminded of in our walk with Him.

     January begins the tax season. Have you considered praying for the accountants, bookkeepers and interns as they sort and figure and punch in numbers-all in an effort to accurately calculate your refund or, worse, your tax payment? I know several of these number loving people. They really do work hard. From January through April 15th, or later, they hardly see their families. And then they probably only see them as numbers jumping all over the house. If that is not enough to compel you to pray for these brave men and women-remember-they, also, have to keep up with all the new tax laws. So: pray-pray-pray.

     Remember when the tax collectors asked Peter if Jesus pays the temple tax? Peter answered yes. So when he entered the house, Jesus asked him, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes-from their sons or from others?” “From others,” Peter answered. “Then the sons are exempt,” Jesus said to him. “But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.” Matthew 17:24-27 Do you think we could drop a line into one of these nearby lakes and catch that denarius eating fish?

     We never find it taxing to thank you-our supporters, friends, volunteers and prayer warriors for your partnership in this ministry of sharing the gospel of Jesus to all who come through our doors.

Because of Him we serve,

Martin and Mary Baker

P.S. If you really care for your accountant-leave the shoebox at home and take your receipts in an organized and neat folder. Better yet-maybe a jump drive. :)

 

 

 

Nacogdoches/Livingston – February 2016

 

Construction is Underway!

The groundwork for the foundation of the new Nacogdoches men’s dormitory is complete, the forms for the concrete slab are in place, and the plumbers are at work installing the underground plumbing.

As I watch this project progress, I am reminded of the fact that individual Christians are God’s Temple and we are the “building blocks” of His Body here on Earth. The process is sometimes slow and difficult, with occasional setbacks, but the work will continue until the job is done. We would appreciate your prayers for this project.

We would love to be able to construct the women’s dorm at the same time the men’s dorm is being built but we do not believe we are to borrow the funds to do so. That means, even if we sell the three-story historic building we are currently occupying in downtown Nacogdoches for $400,000, we still need another $200,000 to $250,000 to build the women’s dorm and furnish both dorms. We praise God, even if things do not proceed as we would like, because we know that He will provide what we need in His perfect time—and nothing could be better than that.

This Month’s Insert

At the end of each year we total up the number of people who have been ministered to at each of our shelters during the previous 12 months. Our insert reports those figures in a different form than those given on the back page of this newsletter. Also included are other bits of information and a brief history and description of GODTEL.

Bro. June on YouTube

Just a reminder that Bro. June’s weekly sermons, currently from the Gospel of John, are available on YouTube.

Gospel music CDs by the June Gentry Family, studies about the scientific evidences supporting Creation, teachings on Faith by Bro. Manley Beasley, and other literature which can help with spiritual growth can be ordered directly from GODTEL.

From Earth To Glory

(A tribute by Royce Oliver on

the passing of Brother Bill Burns)

On Friday, January 15, 2016, GODTEL lost a devoted friend. I knew Bill Burns for over 11 years. During this time, although in his 70’s and 80’s, he delivered donations to all the missions from Shreveport to Nacogdoches. Often he would arrive with his pick-up full and pulling a loaded trailer. Once a month he would come from Henderson to assist in a Tuesday evening Bible Study by singing a couple of songs. Although the voice was beginning to crackle, all knew that in earlier years he had a beautiful voice and even now it was pleasing to Our Lord.

To Brother Burns I’d like say “Thanks and love for all you did.” I’m sure he is now singing face-to-face with Jesus.

He will be missed here.

Many Thanks

So many people help us in so many ways, it is hard to be sure we have expressed our appreciation to each one. We hope you know that God sees all things done in secret and He will reward openly. So, if you are one of GODTEL’s benefactors and we have failed to express our thanks to you personally, please forgive us and accept this acknowledgement of your gift (whether you have given time, service, food, clothing, money, prayer, household items, scrap metal, automobiles, etc.).

May God abundantly bless you for choosing to be a part of this ministry to the poor, homeless, and hungry people of East Texas. May He protect you from the evil one and give you clear guidance day by day as the return of Jesus Christ draws near.

God is Light

Speaking of the return of Jesus, as Bro. June and I drove to Livingston from Nacogdoches one Wednesday morning in mid-December, we enjoyed a marvelous “light show” as the sun, mostly hidden above the clouds, sent a multitude of light beams through every “crack” in the clouds. I thought of the Scripture that talks of Jesus coming in the clouds. What a glorious drive that was as the shafts of light shifted, bringing bright streams of light down through the darkened sky. As I watched the patterns of light change continuously, I rejoiced to compare this physical wonder with a spiritual truth.

On days when the sky is darkened and the sun cannot be seen, the sun is still there shining brightly above the clouds. When our life’s situation seems totally out of control and we cannot perceive God, He is still there providing all we need. When we need to see a “ray” of His light, He will provide one. Our task is to trust and obey Him. Walk in faith and you will see the light.

Nancy Gentry

 

Nacogdoches/Livingston – January 2016

 

Learning to Be Truly Thankful

You would think I would be thankful for everything that happens to me. This is because we have recently come through the Thanksgiving season and because I frequently remind myself about being thankful always for all things (Ephesians 5:20). I also know that God supplies all my needs according to His riches in glory (not according my abilities or “worthiness”) and that His love for His children (of which I am one) is genuine, fathomless, and unconditional. Knowing all this, I should be able to praise God in all situations. After all, does not Romans 8:28-29 assure me that all things work for my good and are conforming me to the image of Jesus Christ? (Boy, have I got a lot of conforming ahead of me!)

Well, yesterday I failed to face a “problem” with faith and confident trust in my Lord. In fact, I let some of my co-workers see a bit of my red-headed temper, (well, I could call it frustration so it would not sound so bad). I just could not understand why God would let this difficulty happen when I had so much to get done and so little time to get it done. I must admit I spiritually pouted as I questioned His reasoning. (You know, like Peter who called Jesus, Lord, but also told Him, “Not so.”)

A little later, when God showed me the why of that situation, I was not only red headed, but red-faced (with shame) because “the difficulty” worked out for good—even though I previously could not see any way it could have, except maybe to teach me patience. (Like some others I know, I want God to give me patience so I don’t have to make myself act with patience, a.k.a. love, when I don’t feel like it. After all, patience is not a gift to be bestowed but is a quality to be developed as we endure hardships and tribulation. The Bible tells me this and God’s Word is true.)

Are you curious about my “big” besetting problem? Well, I will tell you about it. I was a week behind schedule preparing the newsletter and inserts but, at last, the inserts were being run off. Suddenly, the copier stops and gives me a message that the drum cartridge needs to be replaced. I thought, “Oh, bother” but proceeded to take the time to replace it (although I was already late for an appointment). As I showed Jennifer (my new office assistant—more about her later) the procedure to follow, the long plastic protective strip that I was supposed to remove by slightly pulling sideways refused to budge. I prayed for God’s help to get this fixed (I should have prayed for His will to be done.) I finagled with it a few minutes, with tension building within me all the time (my mind questioning why God was not answering my prayer). I yanked on it and it tore near where I was holding it. Being unable to remove that strip meant I would have to wait three to five business days for a replacement—without the use of my copier. Gloom, despair… I walked out of the office to keep my appointment, telling Jennifer to call the company and explain the problem and see if they could solve it for us. Surprisingly, they were not much help, but Jennifer worked with the part and managed to remove the “offending” strip and get the copier running again. She called me with the good news. As I pondered the situation, I realized that God wanted me to know how capable Jennifer was and wanted her to realize she was an asset to me. I am sure also that He was again trying to teach me to trust that He knows what I need and when I need it and that He will supply all I need (not what I want or what I think I need). So, I can be thankful no matter how wrong things seem to be going.

What a good lesson for the New Year. I hope I hold onto it so I can forego a lot of “frustration” in the coming months. PTL!

Bro. June on YouTube

For over a year now, Bro. June’s weekly sermons (as delivered at the Lufkin Mission each Monday night) have been recorded on video by our youngest son, Joshua. After he “tweaks” them a bit, he posts them on YouTube. June is currently preaching through the Gospel of John.

Gospel music CDs by the June Gentry Family, studies about the scientific evidences supporting Creation, teachings on Faith by Bro. Manley Beasley, and other literature which can help with spiritual growth can be ordered directly from GODTEL.

This Month’s Insert

“Investment Opportunity” is the title of this month’s insert which has been re-edited since it was first published five years ago. We hope you will read it prayerfully.

Thank You

How very thankful we are for the many individuals who volunteered their time and efforts to help make Christmas Day very special at our three missions. We received a variety of food items, including delicious desserts, and so many gifts for our residents, we had plenty to share with those who eat at the mission on a fairly regular basis though they do not live with us.

Our Nacogdoches cook, Joe Martinez, was still ill and our interim mission manager, Morris Randall, again stepped in with a crew made up of our residents and volunteers to prepare and serve a delicious feast to around 80 people there. Lufkin had a crowd of 55 or so, and 31 people enjoyed the meal in Livingston where Christmas stockings stuffed with both practical and delightful gift items were distributed to all in attendance.

Many, many thanks to all of you individuals, Sunday School Classes, businesses, SFA students, and other organizations who showed the Christmas spirit of giving to others in such a generous way this year.

May you have a peaceful and blessed New Year receiving clear guidance from the Lord.

Nancy Gentry

Lufkin January 2016

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights,

with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

James 1:17

Merry Christmas!

Happy New Year!

So You’ll Know:

December 2015

1st-32 people

31st-30 people

Total helped-63 people

Praise the Lord!

EMPLOYMENT REPORT:

New jobs-3

Total working-10

Praise the Lord!

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

James 4:7

     Christmas morning in the dorm…Word has it that it was full of squeals of delight, shouts of joy and evidence of wrapping paper scattered up and down the hallway from the rush of opening gifts. Gifts came from all over the community. Several individuals and groups called and asked if we had any children here. And the answer was yes. Ages, sex and sizes were exchanged and the deliveries of presents came into the office waiting for THE day.

     Knowing it would be busy in the big room Christmas morning I came up with a plan. The night before Christmas several of the girls in the dorm helped me put my idea into place. We moved a bed down the hall out of sight of the children’s room. We covered it with a sheet. We brought all the presents out and laid them out in quite an artistic arrangement. We covered them with a blanket with some wrapping paper peeking out.

     Well, I don’t have to tell you anymore…the rest of the story is already recorded. It was a success. Some of the girls took pictures of the delighted faces.

     In the kitchen the activity was high paced, also. Tables were decorated. The bacon, sausage, and ham were on the hot seat of the stovetop. Eggs were cracked and prepared for scrambling. Others were set to fry. At 10:00 am the bell rang. Martin’s Bible study showed us Old Testament prophesy being fulfilled with New Testament scriptures. The promise of the Messiah came to life with the birth of Jesus. And we have an eternal relationship with our Lord and Saviour through His death and resurrection. A blessing was given and the eating began.

     Biscuits with jelly and butter, tater tots and fresh fruit slices rounded out the menu. Don’t forget the gravy. Orange juice, milk and coffee were served with this meal. Thank you Willing Workers Sunday School Class of Calvary Baptist Church for purchasing the ingredients for our Christmas breakfast. We were content and full the rest of the day.

     There were many happenings throughout the month. Once, again, we were invited to dinner and entertainment at the First United Methodist Church hosted by our two Methodist guest cooks groups. Two chariots that looked suspiciously like small buses arrived at 5:15 pm to start our evening festivities. Hand shakes and hugs met us at the door as we entered the grand hall with decorated tables to set the mood and get us in the Christmas spirit.

     Turkey and dressing and other delicious sides were served on our plates. The desserts were no ordinary treats-pies and cakes-almost too rich for our anxious tongues. The evening did not end there. The GMC Trio, minus one, turned on their microphones and cranked up their music. We were encouraged to sing along as the words of favorite Christmas carols filled our hearts and minds of the reason for the season-JESUS.

     Our evening out included gifts for one and all. Remember the children? Well, they were the true treat of the evening. All heads were turned to watch them open gifts that were bought and wrapped especially for them. I think the smiles were bigger on the adults’ faces than the children’s. It was time to climb back into the chariots and head home. Guess what?! We got to bring home the leftovers from our delicious meal. How much more could we have been blessed that evening? Thank you dear Methodist brothers and sisters for a wonderful outing.

     As fun as these stories are to tell not all was fun throughout the month. Resident James Johnson left in an ambulance and died on Christmas day in the hospital. His contact person was his dad, but his dad had died so there was no one else to notify. He was a veteran. We are hoping that the Veteran’s Administration was able to do something.

     James had been here since March of 2014. He was a quiet man, kept to himself. While we had hens he fed and watered the ladies, gathered and washed the eggs and he kept their home “clean”. He volunteered for meal time chores. He kept up with the cardboard (we recycle) and cleaned the men’s and public bathrooms daily. We hope he is with our Heavenly Father. He had a year’s opportunity to hear and respond to the good news of Jesus. We will miss James.

     Several working residents moved out this past month. A woman who had been given a second chance, once again, broke the rules. She has a drinking problem. This is the second time that she just left and disappeared. How it hurts our hearts to say we do not know where she is when her mom calls to find out how she is doing. Pray for Rebecca, she needs Jesus.

     “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” James 1:12

     I am not tempted to fail and thank you for your faithful support of GODTEL this past year. We thank the groups and individuals who gave Christmas gifts to the mission, the residents and to the Bakers. We are truly blessed.

     We look forward to another year of sharing God’s love to those who come through our doors. And we pray blessings upon you and your house.

Because of Him we serve,

Martin and Mary Baker

P.S. Our son and his children came up for Christmas day. We ate tacos. Ole! y Feliz Navidad!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lufkin – December 2015

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive,

and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”  

Isaiah 7:14

So You’ll Know:

November 2015

1st-32 people

30th-32 people

Total helped-68 people

Praise the Lord!

     “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10

EMPLOYMENT REPORT:

New jobs-5

Total working-10

Mosaic Center Graduate-1

Praise the Lord!

     She is quiet. She does her job. You can see the results of her daily routine as our residents go out to work or look for a job. Her name is Barbara.

     Some of our residents receive a government check. Every now and then we have an opportunity for someone to stay awhile and help us out around the mission. Barbara came early in the year. She asked if there was anything she could do for GODTEL while she was looking for a place to move to…here it is December and she is still living with us.

     Barbara does the laundry. Five days a week she parks herself in the laundry room. She washes, dries and folds the many clothes of the residents. She, also, washes the kitchen towels and makes sure they are folded and put back in the kitchen ready to be used. Wednesday, or hump day, sheets and blankets are on the schedule. No complaining do I hear from her. Folks, she did this all summer long. And most of you know that we do not have air conditioning. Thank you, Barbara, for keeping us “ lookin’ good”.

     I introduced you to Tammy last month. I am pleased to inform you that she has a home of her own. She moved out at the beginning of this month. She really was an enormous help. We will miss her. Pray for Tammy to stay in the word and allow the Lord to become real in her life.

     Tim delivers pizza for Domino’s. Jody pets and plays with the small critters at Pet Smart. Kenneth is employed at Pilgrim’s Pride. Jason works at Ross Motor Sports. Fisher answers questions at e-tech. Michael works in the health care field. Perry tends to daily needs at the expo center. Tunny works in construction. Billie is part of a road crew letting us know when to slow down, stop or go. And Chelsea is ready to sell you a delicious cup of coffee at the Flying J Pilot gas station.

     Tammy is not the only one who moved into a home of her own. Our newly weds, Patti and Bobby, moved into a home of their own, also. We weren’t ready to see them go, but we do praise God that they are establishing their family foundation.

     Sarah and her daughter, HalleluYah, arrived mid-July. It took awhile, but they, also, have a new address these days…but not before HalleluYah smiled her way into the hearts of us all.

     Canned goods came in from Inez Tims apartments and McCoy’s Building Supply and many individuals.

     Our guest cooks treated us to fried chicken, lasagna, sloppy joes, ham, a Mexican chicken casserole, pulled pork sandwiches and a delicious bean soup.

     The wonderful meals did not stop there. Thanksgiving day continued the parade of delicious delights that filled our tables throughout the month.

     Our Thanksgiving began Wednesday evening when the ladies of Alpha Beta Chi arrived and decorated the big room, transforming it from an all purpose room to a autumn scene taken from a calendar.

     Ten o’clock Thursday morning the kitchen came alive as volunteers arrived and food was prepared. Cooked turkeys and hams were pulled out of the refrigerators and sliced and readied to be heated up. Brown and serve rolls were buttered. Cans were opened to make succotash or green bean casserole. Sweet potatoes in different forms were, also, seen around the kitchen counters.

     Desserts were cut or sliced and the fruit salad was put together from scratch. At 2:00 pm the bell rang and Bible Study was presented by Bro. June Gentry (our fearless leader). After sharing words from the Bible a blessing was said and the serving began.

     We counted sixty people including volunteers, residents and guests seated around our tables. We may have missed a person or two but all had full plates and bellies at meal’s end. We praise God for the bounty of the day and EVERY day of the year. His provision is perfect!

CHRISTMAS DAY:

10:00 am Bible study and meal

Guests and volunteers welcome!

     As the month passes one day at a time leading up to the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus let us take a moment to delight in the life and light of the world, JESUS. Church choirs practicing their cantatas, Christmas songs on the radio or the record player-oops-I mean the CD player-fill the air waves everywhere. The smell of fresh cut trees decorated with tinsel, ornaments and lights ignite the mood of the season. As families gather we remember the tiny babe that brings all this together.

     Oh, that Holy night so long ago. My mind asks the question from the song, “Mary, did you know?” And I am humbled that she responded, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” Luke 1:38

     We send a joyful thank you to you for your support through out the past year. You make our task a little lighter as we partner in God’s work at GODTEL Ministries.

Because of Him we serve.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

From

Martin and Mary Baker

Chris, Dolores,

Christi, Kaiza,

And Rhandall

Barbara, too

See you next year!