Lufkin April 2016

I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”  

Exodus 20:2&3

     Blue bonnets. Wind. Yellow pollen. Rain. Weeds and grass are showing their greenness. Trees are exploding with new leaves. Spring is in the air.

 

So You’ll Know:

March 2016

1st-21 people

31st-19 people

Total helped-52 people

Praise the Lord!

EMPLOYMENT REPORT:

New jobs-5

Day workers-2

Total working-8

Praise the Lord!

“…for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God…”

Exodus 20:5a

     The month of March started with excitement at the voting polls. I hope you used your right and privilege to vote. It is easy this year to avoid the campaigns and election, but we need to practice our freedom to vote before we loose it. No matter your politics-listen, pray and vote.

     We had the pleasure of meeting Father Ralph Morgan from St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church. He and two ladies from the missions committee came to GODTEL. We toured and talked about what God is doing. We enjoy meeting the new “shepherds” who come to lead God’s flocks.

     Canned goods were gathered and delivered to GODTEL from Redland Baptist Church and Hillcrest Baptist Church. Thank you!

     More food talk…our guest cooks did not disappoint us. We ate pulled pork sandwiches, hamburgers, chicken spaghetti, sloppy joes, with seconds on the chicken spaghetti and hamburgers. A special group came one night during spring break. The Spanish Youth group from the First Assembly of God Church came with the most delicious homemade enchiladas. Gracias a Dios.

     We have talented and generous guest cooks who cook and serve every month. What about the other days of the month? Dolores has been our faithful and steadfast, on site, cook for almost seven years. She seeks and finds recipes from cookbooks in our little GODTEL library. She has culinary secrets in her head that she shares each day. She has been flexible when left-overs have come in and changed her menu for the day. She has survived the very hot summers in our air conditioner-free kitchen. Pray for her as we enter another summer season-after all we are all getting older. Thank you, Dolores, for hanging in there with us.

     Hudson Helps is the name of the service group of junior high students from Hudson Junior High School 🙂 This is the second year students from that group have come to GODTEL for a tour and an hour of service. Six students got out of the school van-all girls. Wearing their maroon Hudson Helps t-shirts the girls got right to work cleaning the windows in our big room. The chairs were washed, also. Doors and door handles were cleaned inside and out. The kitchen cabinet doors and drawers were wiped cleaned, too. The visit was short but the work got done and the tour was informative. Thank you, girls, for a job well done.

     Let the drums roll and the trumpets sound. The garden has finally had its plants move in. Our friend, James, has been starting the plants from seed. He has lovingly spent time planting, watering and talking to his baby plants. The time came to let go and let these babies spread their own leaves and move into the big garden.

     There are five key hole gardens. Each is supplied by their own compost basket and separate watering routes. We have tomatoes planted. Zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, blue lake green beans and zipper peas complete the first group of plants in the ground. Peppers and melons are backstage waiting for their move to center stage.

     We have baby chicks! Our twelve brown leghorns first roosted in the warm, close surroundings of the house of James. He not only mothered the baby plants he has babied the baby chicks. They, too, are now outside in the newly renovated and more secure home of the chicken pen. Our nights are still on the cool-ish side. But never fear, they have a bale of hay and heat lamps and blankets continuing to keep them warm at night. Soon more chicks will be added to the bird population.

     Residents moved in and residents moved out. Some broke the rules and had to leave. Others were prepared and found a home to move to.

     Tim arrived in May of last year. He started looking for a job. There was one he thought he had but that fell through. He was not discouraged. Soon he found employment with Domino’s as a pizza delivery guy. Maybe you have seen him when you ordered a pizza. Or if you haven’t, now is your chance to meet, pray and encourage a fellow road warrior. He has his own place now. This will enable him to increase his work hours.

     What a blessing it is when a man who is missing a leg on one side and a foot on the other side does not sit and feel sorry for himself. Resident Mike is that person. He has been a tremendous help in the kitchen this past month. He has been seen peeling the already cooked potatoes that we get from The Spud. He has, also, suffered through the eye stinging and tearing of cutting onions. He has gone by the rules and not been late for Bible study or meals. What disability?

     Timethia and Kendrick checked in waiting for their income tax refund. They have been here before so they are familiar with our rules. Kendrick has a job thus adding to their moving funds.

   We thank you, our fellow servants in the Lord, for adding to our finances in March. We celebrated Resurrection Sunday. We see new life springing upward. A perfect picture of the new life we have in Jesus Christ, our risen Saviour and Lord!

Because of Him we serve,

Martin and Mary Baker

 

 

Nacogdoches/Livingston – April 2016

Tragic Consequences

    In last month’s newsletter I told of a young woman who had broken our rule about all cell phones off at 10:00 p.m. (She had been on her phone until 3:00 a.m. and was late for Bible study that morning.) When I told her the consequence of that wrong choice was to turn in her cell phone to the office at curfew (9:00 p.m.), her response was, “That’s not happening!” Her alternative was to move out, which she did, spending that rainy night in the gazebo at the park a couple of blocks away.

We recently learned that she was walking along Highway 7 late one night (March 19th) and was hit by a car. She died shortly after arriving at the hospital. If she had only been willing to forego the possession of her cell phone from 9:00 p.m. until 6:30 a.m., she would have still been living at GODTEL and not out on the road in harm’s way.

She had stayed at GODTEL on two separate occasions, so we know she had heard the Gospel message many, many times. We are unsure, though, of the choice she made about Jesus. Now, her final destination has been reached. If she had rejected Jesus and wound up in hell, there can be no escape—no matter how much she bends her knee and proclaims, “Jesus is Lord.”

Thinking about that possibility makes me so sad, I will choose to hope that she had trusted in Jesus and surrendered her will to Him. Some of His children do take a little longer to mature than others, but they all will be conformed to the image of Christ. That’s because His children are “the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28) and they are being conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29).

The last I heard, the authorities had been unable to locate any of this young lady’s family (she had refused to give us the name of any next of kin.) Please remember to pray for our residents as they are daily presented with lessons from the Bible and shown God’s love in a practical way as we clothe, house and feed them.

One last thought on this. It would do us all well to ask, “Am I making wise choices?” The choice of what actions we will take is ours, but the consequences are out of our control and in the hands of God.

Christian-Movie Night

At our Livingston mission, we show a Christian movie every two months while our faithful Friday night Bible-study teacher takes a break. Our March movie was “Do You Believe?” We were further given a treat with the purchase of enough pizza for everyone to enjoy for supper that night.

This is not the first time our resident, L.H. has gifted pizza for all. He and his wife came to GODTEL in September of last year. They are both hard workers and helped out around the mission until they both got jobs. They saved up some money and bought a van. Now, they are saving (most of) their money and will be able to move out in the next month or so. We will miss their positive attitudes and smiling faces.

Available Resources

Remember, we have Gospel music CDs by the June Gentry Family, teachings on Faith by Bro. Manley Beasley, You-Tube sermons by Bro. June, studies about the scientific evidences of Creation, and other literature which can help with spiritual growth. A list is on our web site.

Nancy Gentry

Nacogdoches/Livingston – March 2016

 

Foundation and Slab Complete

       It took a long time to prepare the ground for the foundation of the men’s dorm, run the plumbing, and install the necessary lines for a fire hydrant and sprinkler system. At long last, though, the concrete foundation is set and the carpenters are busily constructing the building. Come see!

       As I observe the process, I am reminded of the Scripture that says we are God’s building (1 Corinthians 3:9-10). Things are a bit different because Jesus is our foundation. Our “construction” process is much quicker if we spend a lot of time reading the Bible, studying Christian literature, attending church, and spending time with other Christians.

Are You Making Wise Choices?

Life is full of choices. We often go through a day not realizing the possible consequences of the choices we are faced with. Christians are to make choices based on the truths, instructions, and commands found in the Bible, God’s “Operating Manual for Humans.” When we thoughtlessly follow our feelings, instincts, logic, or emotions, we can get into big trouble with our Creator because He cannot and will not bless disobedience.

Two young ladies who were guests at GODTEL recently made bad choices which resulted in losing their place to stay. One left a Bible Study because she objected to what we were proclaiming about God, warning of His judgment of sin in the lives of unrepentant sinners. When I went to check on her, she told me her God did not judge her and threaten to send her to hell. He just expected her to get up each morning and do the best she could. One of the things I told her was, she had the wrong God because the God Who created all we see has commanded us to live by every Word out of His mouth, not by our best efforts. He also warned us that the soul that sins shall die eternally. John 3:18 tells us that just being physically born into this world means we are condemned already. We must receive spiritual birth which results in Jesus Christ then living His life of obedience to the Father through us. She continued arguing and breaking rules, with the eventual consequence of being told to leave.

The other young lady was given several warnings about her violations of our house rules. I continued to let her stay with us as there were some very helpful ladies working with her to get her qualified for disability. She assured me she had no place to go and begged me for additional chances. One morning she was late for Bible Study (again). I later found out she had been on her cell phone until 3:00 a.m. (all cell phones are to be off at 9:00 p.m.). Since I really wanted to let her stay until her disability hearing, I told her she could stay if she would turn in her phone at night. She said, “That’s not happening!” and she moved out. She and her boyfriend spent that rainy night in the Gazebo at a nearby park.

Losing out on being sheltered at GODTEL can be uncomfortable, but losing out on the beauty and wonders of Heaven for eternity is tragic. I pray that these young women, and all our residents, will cease making foolish choices to reject God’s plan for them on earth.

Jennifer Comes to GODTEL

The following was written by my new office assistant, Jennifer Champagne. She gives us credit for helping her grow in the Lord. I am thankful God brought her our way because she is a great help to me.

 

My coming to GODTEL was no accident. When I was about 29, I arrived here at the Livingston Mission five months pregnant. I only resided here for a long 3 days.

I have often said to others, “Don’t leave before you are supposed to…. you will end up right back here.” In March of 2012, my second adventure here, I learned that lesson and, well, let’s just say God has not told me, “It’s time to go, My child”. I was in a bad spot and I needed a change in life. I prayed to God many times for a place of my own and also to have a relationship closer to Him. I was very much a baby Christian. I could barely crawl. God is amazing! At the time I did not see how amazing He is but He orchestrated an event on March 10, 2012 that would force me to want to leave the place I was staying and start walking to GODTEL. I took the clothes I had on, a change of clothes, some important papers, a couple of cokes, and my Bible (I learned not to leave home without it). I was in the country so the walk was 6 miles out of the neighborhood and about 6 more miles to town. I made it out to the main highway, walked about a mile, and prayed for God to send me a ride to get me to where I was supposed to go. Next thing I know, a gold F150 (a fiery chariot?!) pulled up right next to me and asked me if I needed a ride… I heard Christian music playing in the background….Victory! I knew God sent this couple.

I lived at the mission for almost a year, getting that relationship I very much wanted with God. I do remember asking Him about getting a place of my own a few times…nothing. Then one day I asked Him again and He quietly told me, “Be Still….first things first”… What? God taught me to be still and grow closer to Him before I could have my own place. He wanted me as much as I needed Him and He knew He had me in the perfect spot!

At the end of that year I was invited to move to Ms. Pegi’s (Bro. June’s sister). God still always kept me tethered to GODTEL in one way or another, continually growing me and teaching me. I did finally get my own place, in the house right next to Ms. Pegi’s, plus, I got married. Funny thing is, everything I asked God for concerning my very own place, my house has.

Last Fall I was answering phones at a landscape company. If it rained, there was not much need for me to work. Although I loved my job very much and my bosses, I knew I could not get enough hours to pay the bills with winter-time coming up so I started praying for another job. Well God had a plan. He told me to go talk to Ms Nancy. She hired me! I am very glad I have prayed and listened. I have learned a lot while working here and now I get the opportunity to help others who are searching for that relationship with the Lord, just as I was 4 years ago.

Gospel Music, Christian Literature

Remember, we have Gospel music CDs by the June Gentry Family, studies about the scientific evidences of Creation, teachings on Faith by Bro. Manley Beasley, and other literature which can help with spiritual growth. See our web site for a listing.

Nancy Gentry

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