April Showers of Blessing
Jonathan’s Joy Revisited
In our October, 2014 monthly newsletter (accessible online at www.godtel.org), I wrote about Jonathan Moore and the joyful change we saw in him after he professed a belief in the saving power of Jesus, asked for forgiveness of his sins (violations of God’s laws), surrendered his will to God, and invited Jesus to move in and take over the control of his life. He continues to study God’s Word, to ask questions about passages he does not understand, attend Bible studies here at the mission (even though he now has his own apartment and a full-time job at Bright Coop Company in Nacogdoches), and he regularly attends church whenever the doors are open for services.
On a recent visit with him, he told us that prior to becoming a Christian he had written some bad checks to get money for drugs. He had not intended to ever pay them off, BUT GOD has been reminding him of this debt. In fact, God so troubled him about it that he contacted one of the individuals affected and told them that he had become a Christian and God was requiring him to make restitution for the debts from his past. The people he talked to were very gracious and he is now making payments on a regular basis to retire the debt. (I am reminded of Zacchaeus who, upon his encounter with the living Lord, vowed to give half of his wealth to the poor and repay four times over the amount he may have cheated anyone. God changes men who surrender to His authority.)
More About the “Old” Salt
If you read our March Newsletter (also on our website), you most likely remember the article about Michael Lahr. When I asked him if I had accurately reported what he had told me, he said I had but he had forgotten to tell me how he came to Texas in the first place. Here is that addendum.
As you may recall, Mike was in the U.S. Navy for 18 years. In 1983 he was stationed in New Orleans, Louisiana where he lived until 1987 when he was transferred to Tennessee. In 1990, when the Navy discharged him for alcohol rehabilitation failure, he returned to New Orleans and lived there until God “blew” him to San Antonio, Texas on a plane evacuating refugees from Hurricane Katrina.
God has many ways of getting man’s attention, some more drastic than others, but whatever it takes in a person’s life to get them to Jesus, is well worth it. After all, this fleeting mortal life is temporary and an eternity without God will be grievous, full of extremely bitter regret, excruciatingly painful, and unending torment. Thank God for the merciful gift of salvation!
Visit from Distant “Grands”
The last Thursday of March our daughter, Joann, and her two children, Isaac (4 y.o.) and Annalee (1 y.o.) flew from Tacoma, Washington to Houston, Texas where we picked them up at the airport. There were lots of hugs and kisses before stopping to eat at Taco USA in the Woodlands where we visited with Lufkin Mission Directors Martin and Mary Baker’s daughter Amanda. Honesty forces me to admit that Brian (Amanda’s husband) and Amanda’s daughter, Emily (1 y.o.), rivals Annalee in cuteness and intelligence.
Each time Joann comes for a visit, she blesses us by playing piano and singing special music at each of GODTEL’s three missions. When our mission staff members know she is coming, they begin to request that she be sure and sing. She has been blessed with musical talent, even if I do say so myself, and is always gracious to share with us.
We were sad that her husband Zach was unable to come for a visit due to an extremely heavy work schedule, but we greatly appreciate his willingness to let Joann and the children travel to Texas for a visit. Early in April he will officially become a year older. Happy Birthday, Zach!
Remembering D.A.B., E.D. — A Child & Servant of God
This is the month that Donald Anthony Bass was born. At that time who could have known that he would marry my sister, Helen Chism, who would fast and pray for his salvation and that they would become missionaries for the cause of Jesus Christ in many parts of the world. Don and Helen touched many lives during his 84-year earthly journey which ended last June when he went HOME to be with Jesus.
Helen told me that anytime she becomes lonesome and sorrowful that her sweetheart of 59 years is no longer here with her, she concentrates on where he is now and tries to imagine the wonders of Heaven that he is experiencing. Her sorrow then lifts and she rejoices for him.
Meanwhile, she stays busy at GODTEL, writing letters to friends and family, and traveling here and there to minister in person to loved ones. Recently she spent two nights caring for Robin, my office assistant who was very ill. (Robin’s son has been suffering with one illness after another: flu, Strep Throat, and Mononucleosis — oh, the joys of day care!) Please include these in your prayers.
We are very thankful to all of you who pray for and otherwise support this ministry to the poor and homeless of East Texas. May God guide, protect, and bless you with His great peace, joy, and love.
Until next month, read your Bible, make the choice to DO what it says, and be a useful Christian. The world and the Lord are watching.