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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Lufkin – June 2015 Newsletter

“ Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.”   1 Peter 5:6

     May brought us record rainfall. Some of us floated to work while others were literally stranded or locked in and couldn’t get out. But we praise God for His faithfulness knowing that He is never  stranded or locked in and He is always able to get us through the storms of life.

EMPLOYMENT REPORT:

New jobs-5

Part time-1

Total working-9

Praise the Lord!

     We are pleased to report that we have not had any more plumbing leaks or hint of one this past month. However, we still have small pools of water in the low lying areas of the property leftover from the rainy days of May.

We had some fun names this past month. We had a couple of Pages, a Diamond, a Pope, a Freeman and two Lovells-not related. Halliburton was here, but no oil connections. Then we were Keene on the Little-Hunter. The last names that were first names-Ray, Richards, Stevens, James and Wade. We had a Bramer and that’s no bull. Don’t be scared when we end on a Booe!

The women moved back into the dorm and not a minute too soon. The rooms had a makeover as well as the bathroom. To be honest, the bathroom is not totally finished, but it is in working order. The floor-wow-the floor looks gorgeous! Roger, who started the floor project, left unexpectedly.  John stepped right in and completed the job. We thank John and Roger for a job well done.

Meet Clyde and Lewanna. They have retired and now live in Lufkin. They came to find out about GODTEL. We visited and toured the buildings. Offering his services as a carpenter Clyde made two brand new bookcases for our BIG room where we eat and have Bible Study. They accepted our invitation to the painting party in the women’s dorm. Bet you didn’t know that six rooms could be painted in less than a day. With plenty of able-body folks and an airless roller- anything can happen.

We had new Bibles to put on the shelves of our new bookcases. Thank you to the local Gideons for 25 Bibles. What a blessing!

For a brief time we had 7 children under our roof(s). Laura and her girls actually arrived in April. The girls went to school while their parents looked for work. Laura is employed at CyberShield. When the The Boys’ and Girls’ Club opens next week the girls’ dad will be able to look for a job.

Then in May, Julie and her four children checked in. Her two oldest were enrolled in school. We had plenty of chaos while she was here. She broke the rules thinking that we would not put her children on the street. Mercy was extended to her several times during the 13 days she was here. Her stay ended when she was arrested out of county. Julie came back three days later asking for one night. We said yes for “one more night”. She left the next day. Please pray for Julie. She is a lost soul thinking she can take care of her own life. She needs Jesus.

Jody and her three month old son checked in. She hails from Nebraska. She met a young man from Texas and followed him to the Lone Star State. This was not the best decision for her. So now she is away from family and home and no visible means to take care of herself and her son. Jody has moved to another shelter where she can receive more personal help. Jesus is the best help she can receive.

Our favorite son-in-law added another year to his age. Brian had his traditional cookie cake. This year the great birthday adventure was sky diving-indoor skydiving, that is. Our son and his children joined the celebration. Well, Paul had babysitting duty while the other four family members took to flight inside the giant wind tunnel. Reports of great fun were echoed throughout east Texas.

Our guest cooks were at their posts. The menu items ranged from hamburgers to pizza to a Mexican casserole to fried chicken to chili dogs and back to pizza. And the ice cream desserts were the perfect ending to such pleasing meals. Thank you one and all.

Summer is on the way. Due to the excessive rains we have not turned ground for a garden. We may try to put in a late summer garden.   But in the meantime, the ground is covered in a beautiful green covering. For a week or two we saw bluebonnets showing off their beauty. The trees are full and providing shade on the west side of our buildings. Morning glories, also, are sharing their soft purple colors with the world.

The hens are still hanging in there. We are gathering 15-18 eggs a day. Praise the Lord. Dolores can prepare such feasts with these home-grown eggs. She makes a wonderful egg salad sandwich. Scrambled eggs with bacon, biscuits and gravy is a breakfast to help start the day on the right note. And baking-how could we satisfy our collective sweet tooth without eggs in cookies and cakes?

Have a wonderful summer. Come by, sit a spell and enjoy the world God created.

Showers of rain. Showers of blessings. Thank you for your prayers, words of encouragement and financial support in May.

Because of Him we serve,

Martin and Mary Baker

  “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.”  Psalm 32:1&2

This is the day that the Lord has made.  How will you walk in it?

So You’ll Know:

May 2015

1st-23 people

31st-27 people

Total helped-65 people

Praise the Lord!

“Cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you.”  1 Peter 5:7

 

 

 

Lufkin – May 2015

 “ Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”   Revelation 22:14

 

April showers bring May flowers. The signs of spring have manifested themselves all around us. Trees full of leaves; lawns thick with green grass; colorful flower gardens showing off their radiant colors-God sharing His splendor.

EMPLOYMENT REPORT:

New jobs-1

Part time jobs-1

Total working-3

Mosaic Center Graduates-2

Praise the Lord!

     Wow! Thank you for the umbrellas, rain ponchos and soup. It was great to see dry clothes on the residents as they returned from their day’s adventures under the wet skies. Appointments, work, school and interviews were not missed “because of the rain” excuses.

Breaks, leaks, plumbers-words that bring fear into the hearts of many. We were not exempt from this calamity. We not only had the April showers, we had the flooding waters to wade through.

On Monday, Martin came in the office and said we had a leak. He went searching for the location of the main problem. He found it in the same general area as the last leak several years ago. We try to repair all that we can, but sometimes it is more than we can handle. This was one of those times. Martin called the plumber. He came straight away. Really-he did. The guys looked, saw and began to find the source of the leak. The  plumbers got things lined up for their return. It would not be for two days. Now don’t get down on the guys. They told us right up front about their other job.

GODTEL has two water meters, one for each side of the property. Do you know what this means? This means that we turned off the water on the leak side for the day. We served sandwiches at lunch and washed clothes (one washing machine) in the staff apartment on the office side. The water was turned on in the evening for dinner chores and  bathing. Once, again, the water went “off” at curfew.

Early Thursday morning the plumbers returned. It was a mess (from my point of view). The guys cut out sheetrock. They looked up, they looked down. New pipe and connectors were routed up through the attic  and down to the main  header. The job was finished the next morning. We thought  we were home free.

Monday morning another leak was discovered. It is nothing that the plumbers did or didn’t do. They came again to 323 Moody street. This time it was centered around staff rooms 2 and 3. Because of their previous trip the guys were familiar with our layout. The water was turned off  and they got right to the problem and fixed us up. We so appreciate these men. They were steady and determined and success was theirs by the end of the day.

Isn’t it neat that God knew we would have this problem and He arranged for us to have two meters…years ago?

April was a month of hard decisions and broken hearts. One of the women started drinking. She has been here before. She came in quite drunk. We had to ask her to leave.

Twice this past month we had to call an ambulance. One of the women overdosed on her medication. She was unresponsive and taken to a local hospital. She survived only by God’s grace.

Then a week later we could not rouse one of the young men residents out of bed for Bible study. Martin let him “sleep it off”. Later that morning he was found laying in the parking lot with the bottom half of his clothing off. He was out of it and twitching. An ambulance was called. He was taken to a local hospital. We suspect K2 use. Hard decisions and broken hearts.

God’s grace and blessings helped us to stay the course until the end of the month. Our guest cooks came. Chicken spaghetti, beans, fried chicken, lasagna and home cooked hamburgers were on the menu for April.

Not on the menu, but just as pleasing  was the visit from Leadership Lufkin. Questions were asked and answered. The buildings were toured. And stories were shared about the folks and events at the Lufkin GODTEL. We enjoyed their visit and look forward to next year’s group.

The highlight of the month was the Mosaic Center Graduation. We have two women, Christi and Patti, who attended and  completed 11 weeks of class. Martin and I attended this special occasion. I wish I could tell you (without being mushy) how touched I was when both “girls” thanked GODTEL for our support. Both women will be staying here awhile. Patti and Christi have spoiled us deluxe. After classes each day they would come home and help out, Patti in the kitchen and Christi in the office. They will still be at their posts with added hours and responsibilities. Pray with these two as they pray for God’s guidance and leading for the next chapter of their lives. Until He moves them on come by and meet these new faces. They will put a smile on your face.

We are on the road to a new bathroom in the women’s dorm. So far the women have been moved out and housed elsewhere on the property. Three toilets are outside waiting for new and fresh surroundings. The flooring has been pulled up and the baseboard removed. Checking out the support and any water damage from the showers or toilets will be next.

But NOW-we thank you-knowing that rain or shine, leaks or not-you are faithful to God and we are the blessed ones because of it. Have a merry month of May.

Because of Him we serve,

Martin and Mary Baker

So You’ll Know

April 2015

1st-19 people

30th-23 people

Total helped-52 people

Praise the Lord!

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”  Revelation 22:13

 

 

 

 

Nacogdoches/Livingston May 2015 – Because I Love You

Birthday Gift of Love

      In last month’s newsletter I mentioned our recent visit with our daughter Joann and her two children. One of Isaac’s most treasured toys was a small LEGO figure of Batman. He carried it everywhere he went (even if his mother had him keep it in his pocket). Shortly after their return to Tacoma our son-in-law Zach celebrated his birthday. For his Birthday present from Isaac, he was presented with that Batman figure. Isaac told him he was giving his daddy this present because he loved him. Joann reported that Isaac has not asked to even hold the Batman figure since then.

That is genuine, sacrificial love, like the kind God has for us—only His is more so. He gave His only Son. It is no wonder that all those who refuse to accept Jesus, knowing what He suffered in order for us to receive salvation, will be sent to hell to suffer God’s wrath.

Good Friday Lesson

 As I entered the front door of my house in Livingston on Good Friday afternoon, my foot got caught between the aluminum screen door and the door jam. I followed my instinct to slide my foot away from the hinged side of the screen and in doing so I slashed about a three-inch gash just below my ankle bone. The blood flowed with large drops landing on the floor of our entryway. As my mind was already on the crucifixion of Jesus, I realized that His blood had flowed and dropped, landing at the foot of the cross. I bled because I was careless. He chose to bleed and die because of His great love for the humans He created in one day—not billions of years—(Genesis 1:26-27, 2:21-22).

After His death, Jesus was only “out of commission” (from the world’s point of view) three days whereas my injury kept me from fully functioning for over two weeks. I did learn that the use of my foot and leg are very important and not to be taken for granted. I thank God my injury was no worse than it was. When I finally did go to a doctor he told me I had come very close to severing an artery as well as damaging my Achilles tendon. I am very thankful to my loving Heavenly Father Who sends tests my way but always limits the severity of those tests.

 Thanks Received and Given

 The first week of April we received this note:

“To Whom It All May Concern at GODTEL,

“I just want to say thank you to GODTEL and all the staff. I have been very blessed by a shelter over my head, hot meals, and clothes on my back. There is not enough Thank you’s that can ever be said. Everyone here are some great folks.—Yours truly, E.H.”

We appreciate these kind words and the time it took for this individual to sit down and write this note to us. It encourages us in our labor and, in turn, encourages me to be more mindful to thank those who give to GODTEL in so many different ways: volunteers (including our faithful Bible study teachers), financial gifts, prayer support, donations of food, clothing, furniture, and household items.

Special thanks this past month go to Curves for 500 pounds of canned and staple food items. They have this food drive every year and GODTEL has been the grateful recipient of the proceeds of this special event. We also thank, and welcome to our list of supporters, the Volunteer Fire Department of Kingtown (between Woden and Etoile).

I certainly do not want to fail to thank our guest cooks at each of our three missions whose meals speak love and add flair to our mealtimes. This month we say farewell to one of our Nacogdoches volunteer guest cooks, Ali Schneider. Her husband has taken a coaching job in Kansas and they will be moving in the near future. We wish them well and will fondly remember her delicious and nutritious meals.

Saying farewell to her reminds me that we will be missing Richard Chapman whose soul and spirit left his earthly body in mid-April and have taken up residence in Heaven. For the past several years he had taught a weekly morning Bible study at the Livingston mission. Please remember his family and his wife Ginger in your prayers.

After writing the previous paragraph, I learned that Bro. Joe Dufner had completed his earthly journey and graduated to Heaven. He was the pastor of Forest Branch Baptist Church in Livingston for many years as well as a teacher at Livingston High School. Your prayers for his wife Betty, his family, and friends would be appreciated.

We were totally shocked recently to learn that our Livingston Wal-Mart had suddenly shut down putting many people out of a job. We have been blessed to watch as other retailers in our community  have made an effort to hire the unemployed.

Many non-profit organizations in Livingston have benefitted from donations of perishable items Wal-Mart is clearing out and that includes GODTEL. At one point the items were coming so fast and furious we had a room full of ice chests supplementing our limited refrigerator and freezer space. We sent a loaded pick-up truck full of food to the Lufkin mission and we were giving food away to individuals as fast as we could. We are prayerful for those who have been affected by this event but we are very thankful for the benefit to our budget. (God does move in mysterious ways.)

Nancy Gentry