Lufkin – November 2016

“ When you look at others with their lands and gold, think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold; Count your many blessings, money cannot buy your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.”

     October continued its fall teasing temperatures. We call this season “still summer”. But we do have hope that fall and winter will catch up with us.

So You’ll Know:

October 2016

1st-19 people

31st-22 people

Total helped-46 people

Praise the Lord!

EMPLOYMENT REPORT:

New jobs-1

Still working-3

Praise the Lord!

     GODTEL was on the road again this past month. The first Sunday Martin visited First Baptist Church. GODTEL was invited to be part of their “Called” event. Tables were set up of different ministries in town as well as Baptist ministries. The representatives attended the morning worship service. After that, a meal was served and folks visited the different ministry tables in between bites. Martin had a wonderful time.

     Next stop on the road was a Saturday at Carpenter’s Way Church. A youth weekend was going on and we were, once again, sharing about GODTEL. Homelessness is not a popular subject with young people but there were questions asked and literature given away to those who stopped at our table. We enjoy going out and meeting new people and sharing what God is doing at GODTEL.

     We continued our road trip to a Fall Resource Fair put on by Child Protective Services hosted by Southside Baptist Church. It was a Wednesday morning when Christi and I loaded the Windstar with our pamphlets, newsletters and display board to join the other agencies and ministries in a fact swapping mission. And boy did we swap. We brought home brochures and pamphlets and handouts of all kinds to help our residents in time of need. Christi has organized and put this information in two loose leaf notebooks. They are parked on Christi’s desk. Thank you, Christi, for helping us to be more efficient.

     Our guest cooks did not fall down on the job. October meals included sloppy joes, chicken spaghetti, pork chops, pizza, baked chicken with rice, another helping of baked chicken with mashed potatoes and taco soup. All delicious and yummy to eat. Ole!

     From time to time Martin and I reminisce the early years at Lufkin GODTEL. One day in September I got a call from Pam (she had stayed here back in the 1990’s). She called to say that she was coming to Lufkin after living in Tennessee for twenty years. She has two brothers who live here and it was time to come for a visit. She asked if she could come by GODTEL for a visit. Of course I said yes. It is always encouraging to see and hear from folks who have come through our doors no matter how long (or short) ago it was.

     The day arrived. Pam’s brother drove her to GODTEL. We had quite a time catching up on each other’s news. We talked about the “new buildings”. We ate lunch in the big room. We talked about what God has been doing in our lives. We talked about football. We shared opinions on political issues and candidates. We talked about the election and working the poles. She shared how her husband was at her side when she was very ill. How loving and patient and attentive he was while she could do nothing for herself. And how good God is. I hope it isn’t another twenty years before Pam’s next trip to Texas and Lufkin.

     The Name Game-we had 3 Christopher’s. Perry first name and Perry last name. Fruits weighed in with Berry and Appleman hoping for no Rash and lots of Grace. Two Jones’, not related. We got no guff from Goff and had enough Kash to buy some Kahle. We end with Robert Lewis but no Stevenson.

     Chris started working with an electrical company early in the month. Laura works at Cybershield. Chelsea is still working at Pilot. We get excited when people are working.

     Beulah was left on our doorstep late Sunday evening. She just wanted to go home. We tried to find a family member to come pick her up. She couldn’t remember any phone numbers. We called the police to see if there was a missing person’s report. No, she was not missing. The next morning we called the police again. Then we called Adult Protective Services. She was in their system. Before a caseworker could get here she left. It is heartbreaking. We did what we could. APS did what they could. Beulah needs our prayers.

     Jessica changed hats. This week she is in the kitchen while Dolores is on a much earned vacation. Cheryl has stepped into the laundry room to wash the residents’clothes.

     Trevor is waiting on a start date for his job at United Parcel Service so he has been helping around here. He has even practiced welding which he went to school to learn.

     As usual, some residents had to move out because they broke the rules. The use of alcohol and drugs are the main reasons people are told to leave. Several moved out upon receiving their checks. One man moved out because he had saved enough from his paychecks.

     October is Breast Cancer month. We saw pink everywhere we went. I was invited to the Power of Pink Luncheon in Lufkin. Even with rain in the forecast, the banquet room was filled with tables. The chairs were filled with women of different ages, sizes and ethnic backgrounds, reminding us that cancer is an equal opportunity disease. There were a few brave men in attendance, also. We heard stories from survivors and a few who are currently receiving treatment. The food was delicious, catered by Brookshire Bros., and the entertainment was lively. We heard the staggering statistics of new diagnoses per year. And the encouraging numbers of survivors. We were told the importance of regular exams resulting in early treatments and happier endings. It was a good day.

     Chicken update: no more sick hens. And no interruption of egg laying. Praise the Lord.

     We are coming up on election day, Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving Day. We have much to be thankful for.

     Even though this election season has definitely been one for the records-we still have the freedom, the right and the responsibility to cast our votes. If you haven’t already voted-see you at the poles!

     We don’t have to be in the pink to say thank you to all who pray, give and serve at GODTEL. Thank you!

Because of Him we serve,

Martin and Mary Baker

Thanksgiving Day

2:00 pm Bible Study and Meal

Volunteers and visitors welcome

Count your many blessings,

see what God has done!

 

Nacogdoches/Livingston -November 2016

Dedication Service: Sunday, November 13th at 2:00 p.m.

Ribbon Cutting: Wednesday, November 16th at 11:30 a.m. 

New Home for Nacogdoches Shelter—At Last!

Notes from NAC

 

      She smiled wistfully and waved from the bus window as she headed back home after a stay with us of 70 days. I had driven her to the bus station and, after purchasing her ticket, waited with her in the little restaurant next door where we talked abACout Jesus and her sad early life and her hopes for the wonderful future she believes God has promised her. The hour-long wait wACent by rather quickly, during which we had a snack and I bought her a sandwich to eat later on the bus. I had mixed emotions as we hugged and she mounted the steps of the bus. I pray for her safety and guidance from our loving Heavenly Father. She heard many Bible studies during her time at GODTEL and I am trusting God to bring the truths she heard back to her remembrance as needed.

It is because of you who pray for us and contribute toward the operation of this ministry that we are able to help the damaged, lost, broken, and hurting individuals who find their way to our open door. We thank you for your obedience to our Lord to help the poor (Deuteronomy 15:11, Romans 12:8, Galatians 2:10, Mark 10:21 and more.)

 

Nacogdoches Relocation

October was a blur of moving as much as possible to the new location of the Nacogdoches mission. We have moved canned food, furniture, tools, and office supplies. We purchased all new mattresses which are bed-bug proof since people keep bringing the varmints in. We have spent thousands of dollars on chemicals to control them but as soon as we get them eradicated, more arrive. Before moving any bedding or clothing to the new location, it all goes into the dryer and from there directly into a new large garbage bag for transport. (I sometimes wonder if these critters are one of the end-time plagues.)

Our interim Mission Manager, Richard Silva, with help from James (a resident) have made trips too numerous to count from downtown to the new location out by the Sheriff’s Department, a few blocks inside the Loop/Highway 59. Dan, our cook, has made numerous trips as well, sometimes to retrieve something to cook for the next meal as the freezers were moved early-on. Mike Lahr has also made his share of trips ferrying workers between the two locations. We greatly appreciate the wonderful cooperation of everyone involved, including Becky, our lady in the laundry room.

In case you missed it in the last newsletter, our official home mailing address is:

 

1902 Douglass Road,

Nacogdoches, TX 75964-3817

Dedication Service

We are having a Dedication Service of the new facility on Sunday, November 13th at 2:00 p.m. (see enclosed invitation) with an official ribbon cutting by the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce, at the new facility on Wednesday, November 16th at 11:30 a.m. We welcome anyone interested to come celebrate with us at what the Lord has done and is continuing to do through His obedient children who support this ministry to the poor and homeless of East Texas. Our special thanks go to the Bright Foundation for funding the men’s dorm.

Lines from LIV

 

Delicious Fish Fry

We are very grateful to our Thursday evening Bible Study teacher, Bo Richardson, his wife Roxanne and son, Michael, for treating our Livingston residents, staff, and guests to a delicious meal of freshly caught white bass, potato salad, and baked beans. The meal was followed by the Bible study so we were all well fed both physically and spiritually.

Yummy Pizza

As long as I am on the topic of food, our Livingston mission has been approved to receive regular donations from Pizza Hut through the Harvest Food Donation Connection whose motto is “Let Nothing be Wasted.” We pick up leftovers 3 times each week. Sometimes we get a lot and other times not so much but it is all enjoyed.

Charity Clothing

For the past couple of months there has been a 28-foot covered trailer parked at our Livingston mission. This was placed there by Charity Shoes and Clothing which purchases wearable items to be distributed in third world countries at a nominal fee. When we have more clothing than we can give away, we appreciate the opportunity this gives us to relieve the overcrowding of clothing in our Christian Help Center and the income which we use for special projects at GODTEL.

Sermons & Gospel Music

 

GODTEL has a variety of resources available to help with Christian growth. There are studies by Manley Beasley on faith and studies by Bro. June on the Scientific Evidences of Creation vs. the fairytale of evolution. There are Gospel music CDs by the June Gentry Family also available.

Bro. June’s weekly sermons are posted on YouTube and can be accessed by searching that site for GODTEL Sermons or June Gentry. Our youngest son, Joshua films them each week and then spends hours adding interesting, helpful, and even occasional comical touches before posting them.

Thanksgiving

We thank you and hope you are thankful for all God’s blessings. You are welcome to join us Thanksgiving Day for a feast of giving thanks.

Nancy Gentry

Lufkin – October 2016

“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God…”

2 Timothy 1:8

So You’ll Know:

1st – 18 people

30th – 19 people

Total helped – 50 people

Praise the Lord!

Employment Report:

New jobs – 1

Still working – 4

Praise the Lord!

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

2 Timothy 1:7

Red, yellow, green, brown~the colors of fall. Well almost. Cool nights and perfect days~the signs of autumn. Well almost. Trees shedding their foliage creating a colorful carpet beneath our feet. Well, almost.

Some months it is harder to get started on the newsletter than others. This is one of those months. Please bare with me. Please forgive me.

Our son and his children made a one day visit to Lufkin. Of course, tacos were on the menu. Paul told me on the drive up here that Kristen asked if grandma was making tacos and he told her yes. She then responded with a “yes!” which, of course, made this grandmother’s heart happy. Then after some taco digesting time we drove to Dairy Queen to satisfy our sweet tooth with Blizzards of various flavors. Way too soon it was time for them to head home. It was a wonderful day.

The first Wednesday of the month GODTEL was invited to St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church for an evening of food, fellowship and sharing. Earlier this spring Father Ralph Morgan made a visit to GODTEL shortly after he moved to Lufkin and his new church post. Deanna B., our new ministry representative, joined the Father on his visit. We were welcomed by these familiar faces and soon met new friends.

A prayer was given to thank God for the food. Then the eatin’ commenced.  Since we were the guests of the evening Martin and I were first in line. We filled our plates with delicious food. After we ate Martin and I were introduced. We talked about GODTEL Ministries~who we are and what we do. I really enjoy this part of “the job” and telling what God is doing down at the local shelter. The facts were shared. Stories were told. Questions were asked. The evening was over. The visit was a success. And guess what?! We got to take the leftovers home to GODTEL. Blessing after blessing. Thank you, Lord.

Our guest cooks fell into place as the fall officially started this month. We had beef sandwiches, pulled pork sandwiches, pork chops with sides, chili dogs. I guess you could say we ate “high off the hog”. Sorry-I just had to say that.

If people have chicken pox wouldn’t you think that chickens would have human pox? Not so. One of our hens started looking peaked. Her comb looked like one of the other hens had been pecking at her. Martin sent Joseph to the veterinarian with the chicken in the animal carrier. With some observation time and research we found out that it was indeed fowl pox. It just had to run it’s course. And we were assured that the eggs and meat would not be affected by this temporary situation. And the animal doc was right. We have not had any other hens touched by the pox. And our egg production is continuing as before.

Twice in one month our house was blessed with grandchildren. Our daughter came up with her two precious bundles of life. Two and a half year old Emily kept her grandparents on the move and wowing us with her amazing “genius”. Her two month old sister, Lauren, kept smiles on our faces and expanding our hearts with more love than we could imagine. The short visit was like a treasured pot of gold. Amanda made it back home and we are so grateful for visits from all our grandchildren and the blessings they bestowed on us.

We said good-bye to Dan. But he did not go far. He has answered the call for the need of a cook at the Nacogdoches GODTEL. Reports tell us that he has fit the bill perfectly. And he has the super blessing of setting up the kitchen at the new location. And moving day is soon. Even though we miss Dan I am so glad that he was willing to serve the Lord where he was needed. Thank you, Dan. Thank you, Lord.

The came Jessica, She checked in three days after Dan left. Jessica slid right into the laundry and kitchen spots that Dan had filled. Other residents have done a day or two on laundry detail and we appreciate it. It is easier and smoother when you have one or two doing those chores. Jessica gets her chores done in the mornings and then cleans up and heads out for job hunting in the afternoons. On Wednesdays she volunteers at the Denman Avenue Baptist Church Most Excellent Way lunch meeting. We hope she stays awhile.

Kaya was here in August and then left. But she came back this past month with plans to go to Colorado by bus on a scheduled day. While waiting for her departure day she did help in the laundry room and kitchen a few times. She was part of the group who complained a lot. Her attitude seemed to be a little better this time around. She called ahead and found a shelter that she would be able to go to when she arrived in Denver. We pray she will have a better attitude. Most of all we pray that she will remember how much God loves her and the price He paid years ago on that cross-as our Saviour Jesus Christ died and paid the price for her sins. And then ROSE from the DEAD so we could have new life in Him!

Not chicken pox, fowl pox or any other pox can keep us from thanking you for supporting us another month. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

September birthdays include: Nancy, Chris, Blaine, and Becky.

Because of Him we serve,

Martin and Mary Baker

Nacogdoches/Livingston – October 2016

 

Moving Day Approaches

Notes from NAC

Nacogdoches Relocation

Hopefully, by the time I write November’s newsletter we will have moved (or at least be in the process of moving) from our downtown property to our new location between Ritchie and Jordan streets in the 1900 block of Douglass Road just inside the west loop. Very soon after the move, we plan to begin construction of the women’s dormitory which will also house our Christian Help Center where we give away clothing, furniture and other household items. In the meantime, the women will be squeezed into the quarters built for a future director and family. It has three bedrooms, two baths, a kitchen and laundry room.

We are now receiving mail at our official new address:

1902 Douglass Road,

Nacogdoches, TX 75964-3817

A Former Resident Visits

Upon arrival in Nacogdoches from Livingston one recent Sunday afternoon, Bro. June and I were given a brief note and a $500.00 donation from a young man who had stayed at the shelter on three different occasions more than ten years ago. His life is now stable and he wanted to stop by, say “Thank you,” and ask to be put on the mailing list to receive our monthly newsletter.

This was a great source of encouragement because with all the details of construction and moving and concern over the finances in both Livingston and Nacogdoches (we try not to worry, since it is sin and does not help), not to mention having to deal with some rather difficult residents, discouragement was “knocking at our door.” BUT GOD, in His faithfulness, knew just what we needed to catch our breath and renew our emotional strength.

We Appreciate

The Martinsville Junior-High students, led by Michelle Scates, who, in lieu of receiving birthday presents for her 14th birthday, collected and donated a variety of needed items (we even received some chocolates).

One of GODTEL’s Board Members, Michael Lahr, and I drove to the Martinsville School to accept the donations and had our picture taken. I chatted with their teacher Mrs. Penny while Mike and a group of willing students loaded the car. One of the students, Adrien, asked Mike what you could put in a box that would make it lighter and the more you put in, the lighter it got. Air? Helium? Lit candles? Flashlights in the “on” position? None of these guesses were correct. The answer is: holes.

Needless to say, we enjoyed our visit with these students and are thankful for their gifts.

We also appreciate the Stephen F. Austin Chapter of the NAACP for coming and serving a meal to our residents. While at GODTEL they learned of our upcoming move from 330 East Main Street to 1902 Douglass Road and offered to help. Wow! What a blessing to have these young college students willing to work with us in this endeavor.

Is This the Year?

As most of you already know, we believe the return of Jesus will occur as a fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets, or, Rosh Hashanah. This year the Feast begins on Sunday, October 2nd at sundown (or 6:00 p.m.) and ends on Tuesday, October 4th at sundown, soon after this newsletter is scheduled to be mailed. If this is the year Christ returns for His own, we will be “moving” to Heaven rather than to 1902 Douglass Road and that will be much more to our liking because, as nice as our new facility is, Heaven is better because it is perfect.

I love thinking about what will happen when we see Jesus coming and we begin to rise up into the air to meet Him. Our war between the old nature and the new heart God gives us with the gift of salvation will be over and we will truly be free at last.

Lines from LIV

Women’s Dorm

About a year ago, the Livingston mission was able to purchase the house and land next door to our Administrative office. This was made possible by special donations, primarily from our staff and residents. Once the purchase was complete and as funds were available, our resident handyman in Livingston, Terry Van Meter, began making repairs and renovations with the goal of making this our women’s dormitory. (They are currently jammed into an old mobile home.) One of the changes is the addition of a shower which will give the house three full bathrooms, a welcome relief to our ladies.

Many Thanks

We are so very grateful to each of our faithful donors. We deeply appreciate your obedience to God’s many commands to help the poor, pray that God will bless you in many ways, and that you will be able to recognize those blessings as coming from your loving Heavenly Father as a result of your obedience.

We are blessed to know that God is aware of exactly what we need and has promised to meet those needs. We are trusting Him to provide for the work He has called us to here in East Texas.

Thank you for being a part of this ministry with your prayers and donations.

Nancy Gentry

Lufkin – September 2016

 

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely…”

August-unusually high rain amounts. August-unusually low temperatures for a summer month.

So You’ll Know:

August 2016

1st-16 people

31st-18 people

Total helped-60 people

Praise the Lord!

EMPLOYMENT REPORT:

New jobs-8

Still working-0

Praise the Lord, anyway.

“…whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-

meditate on these things.”   Philippians 4:8

Innocent or Guilty-what say you, the Jury? My day was not that exciting or dramatic.

My first day of August was spent at the Angelina County Courthouse. Three juries needed to be picked from the jury pool. I was not selected for any of the cases presented to us that day.

As we climbed the stairs and entered the doors of the courthouse we had to remove all metal from our pockets and go through the metal detectors. Up the stairs and into the courtroom we went. This was Judge Paul White’s Courtroom. The whole day-the whole process-was totally interesting to me. It was like having a refresher course of high school government. I was glad I went-no warrants coming to my door.

Congratulations to Christi. She has worked and earned her way back to “licensed driver status”.

Way to go, ladies! We have eggs. Home grown eggs. So far the most one day count has been 9 eggs. Most of them have been put in the frying pan and eaten and yielded big smiles on the director’s face. The residents are waiting for the egg production to increase so they can cluck and flap their wings after a delicious scrambled egg meal.

~Their summer of discontent~

This summer we had quite a few of the younger generation residing at GODTEL. Even with major layoffs there is still employment to be had in Lufkin. Young and healthy, physically able to work folks, but… somehow days turned into weeks and these young adults still had no jobs.

The hot and humid days continued. Instead of looking for work many of the folks headed to the parks and water parks. They skipped meals. They did not volunteer for chores. And the smoke deck was flooded with griping and complaining. All the while Dolores was faithful to go to the kitchen every day and prepare meals to feed the residents. Dan and Christi shared laundry duty washing their clothes twice a week.

August arrived. Some of these young people were given a time frame to get a job. A few did. Some were asked to leave for breaking the rules. And some left because there was no one to pull into the “discontent” gang. It is a constant battle we have with the enemy-not to be sucked into the world of griping, complaining and not being thankful for what we have.

~Funny but true~

One of the main complainers comes back to GODTEL to eat meals. I praise God that He loves me and that I love Him and I can turn around and serve a plate of food to this young man with a smile on my face and peace in my heart.

Two women, at different times of the month, checked in with plans to go to drug rehab. Vicky has been here several times with a desire to get out of the cycle of addiction. She has, also, been to rehab a few times. Two places could not accept her for other health reasons. One place was willing to take her but it would be a week or two. As that day got closer and closer there was, on her part, another delay in her departure. She started acting suspicious. We had to test her for drug use. She was positive. She had to leave.

Trisha came from Kirbyville. A sheriff’s deputy brought her. She, too, was tired of living the life of an addict. She had no prior experience at a drug rehab facility. Christi worked with her. They made calls to ADAC (Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council). A case worker there set up an intake interview time. After that meeting the caseworker made calls to various places. And soon she was headed for help. Please pray for both these girls. Our hearts truly go out to them. We know Jesus is THE life changer. And we know that He uses different means to do that.

Dora and her son, Eli, got here late July. He celebrated his first birthday while living here. Dora said she planned on getting a job. She would leave in the morning and return for lunch and an afternoon nap for Eli. She felt like she had to have a perfectly quiet child in Bible study. We know children that age want to move and ”talk”-we understand. But her concern got the better of her and she started to complain. She became a part of the group I talked about earlier. She would let other residents hold her child. She became less attentive to him. She would leave early, miss the meals and make it back just in time for evening Bible Study. One morning she left in the middle of Bible Study. She went upstairs to the dorm. She was told to return or move out. She moved out.

Broken people. Hurting people. Angry people. Discontented people. Disobedient people. Weak people. Redeemed people. Forgiven people. We all need the Lord.

We are not discontented. BUT we are VERY contented to say thank you to you, our supporters. We are still here serving the Lord and ministering to the souls God sends through our doors. We appreciate your partnership with us.

The school year has started. Pray for our teachers, bus drivers, school administration, cafeteria workers-all pieces of the public education process. And, most of all, the students.

August birthdays include: Greta, Bro. June, Paula, Doug, Paul, Peggy

Because of Him we serve,

Martin and Mary Baker

Stay cool. Stay in the Word.