Lufkin – August 2016

”I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known

thy faithfulness to all generations.”   Psalm 89:1

 

     July-hot-hotter-hottest. God’s grace-ABOVE AND BEYOND! Hot-hotter-hottest-August. And still God’s grace continues.

So You’ll Know:
July 2016

1st-16 people

31st-16 people

Total helped-40 people

Praise the Lord!

EMPLOYMENT REPORT:

New jobs-2

Still working-3

Praise the Lord!

“For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever; thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens.”

Psalm 89:2

The July heat did not stop the Lord’s work at GODTEL and all the credit is God’s, that’s for sure.

     The month started with guest cooks from First Assembly of God Church. The Spanish youth did it again!. They planned and prepared another delicious, mouth watering Mexican meal. The barbeque sandwiches were not far behind. We ate hamburgers and pizza and chicken fajitas and more chicken and pizza. Thank you to our guest cooks who supplied these “take-in” meals.

     Just before Bible study on Monday night Christi came from her apartment. She said there was water on the floor. Martin quickly headed to Dolores’ and Christi’s place. Sure enough-water was everywhere. The hot water heater had sprung a leak. He grabbed some help to try to turn off the hot water valve. It was too hard to get to. Martin had to turn the water off at the meter until after Bible study.

     Bible study ended a little bit earlier than usual and Bro. June and Martin went back to the heater crisis. It took a lot of muscle and groaning but the guys finally pulled the hot water heater out of the apartment. Martin could then reach the turn off valve and shut the hot water off to the apartment. Then he turned the water back on at the meter-making the women happy that they could take their night time showers and flush the toilets.

     Bright and early Tuesday morning Martin headed to Lowe’s and purchased another heater. Martin and the guys were installing it only to find that the new heater was damaged. Martin went back to the store to exchange it. Then there was some “connecting” problems to work out. A trip to Oliver Plumbing solved that problem. The story does have a happy ending-Dolores and Christi had hot and cold running water by the end of the day. Praise the Lord.

     It was early Sunday morning. Martin got up and was heading to Shipley’s Donuts when he saw glass on the ground in front of our office window. He walked over to investigate and sure enough someone had broken the window. God is good. The windows in our office building are double glass. Only the outside piece of glass was shattered. How neat is that?!

     Angelina Glass was called and the men came and took measurements. The glass had to be ordered so we put a piece of cardboard up until the men could come back to install the new glass. For a few days my office seemed darker but I am back in the light now.

     The police were called. We gave them names of possible suspects (disgruntled former residents). We will probably never know who broke our window. I am thankful that they did not get through the second layer of glass and nothing was stolen. God is in control.

     July was not all bad news. Martin and I got to have time with our Nederland grandchildren. It was a Tuesday afternoon when we drove south. We stayed the night with our son and his family. Paul left early to a Bible study. Then we roused Kristen and Blaine from their sleep and headed towards the San Jacinto Monument about 7:30 am. After some minor navigational glitches we arrived at the Lynchburg Ferry. We loaded onto the ferry and rode across to the monument area. We boarded and toured the USS Battleship Texas first. I know it is not the biggest ship, but it is pretty big. I would encourage you to take a trip to see the ship. It bares the name Texas, but it has been all over the world and been involved in many historical events.

     We then headed to the San Jacinto Monument. Whether you are native born or transplanted “Texan” it is a must to check out our amazing and colorful state history. The park area is shady and pretty. Plenty of trees and picnic tables to enjoy. And, of course, there is the gift store. Temptation like you wouldn’t believe. We drove home to Lufkin-Blaine, Kristen, Martin and myself.

     The fun did not stop there. Friday and Saturday we were invited to a friend’s place up toward Rusk. They have a cabin and a pond filled with fish. Martin, Blaine and I did some fish catchin’. Our hosts prepared and served us three yummy meals. One of them was the fish that we caught ourselves. Poor Kristen was inside with an allergy attack. But she got to watch us pull in the fish. I don’t think she thought she was missing much. We left with tired bodies and smiles on our faces.

     Alas-all good times come to an end. Our son, Paul, came in early Sunday morning. After church we had a taco lunch and the child and grandchildren left for home and another full week of vacation activities ahead of them.

     When we started the month of July, Martin and I had three beautiful and perfect grandchildren. By the end of the first week of July, we had four beautiful and perfect grandchildren. Lauren Renee joined our family July 7, 2016. We made a quick visit down to see her. She looks like her older sister. And she is beautiful and perfect.

Thank you for your beautiful and perfect support.

   Happy BIRTHday, Lauren

   Happy Birthday, Kristen

   Happy Birthday, Amanda

 

Stay cool. Stay in the Word.

Because of Him we serve,

Martin and Mary Baker

 

 

 

Nacogdoches/Livingston – August 2016

 

Fans from “Fans”

Much to be Thankful For

        A call from Crown Health Services came in to the Livingston mission one day in May. “Could you use some electric fans?” the caller asked, adding that they appreciated the service we provide to the poor and wanted to help.

        Since we do not have air conditioning in the mission (or in our home), the grateful answer was in the affirmative.

On June 30, the fans arrived, loaded in the back of an ambulance. Pictures were taken as the fans were unloaded, thanks were given and the fans were very quickly put into service helping our residents and staff “keep their cool.”

We are very grateful, not only for this donation, but for every gift given to help us minister to the poor, needy, and homeless individuals God sends our way. Most of the people we serve would not come to hear us proclaim the truth about God’s love and mercy offered to them during their stay on planet Earth, but they will come for the food, clothing, shelter, and the household items we give away freely. While here, we present them with the truths of God’s Word, hoping they will come to accept His forgiveness and the eternal, abundant life He offers to “whosoever will.”

The individuals who come and spend time in our “sweat box” of a kitchen to prepare and serve special meals to our residents are truly saints, at least by our estimation. We pray that God will bless them abundantly for their selfless service to the homeless in the name of our Lord Jesus.

Nacogdoches Relocation

Just like the return of Jesus Christ, moving day for the Nacogdoches mission is getting closer and closer. We can see the “signs” of the times and our anticipation is growing. We had hoped to be able to move in sometime in August but it now looks like it will not be until September. (And, if Jesus returns during this next Feast of Trumpets, which begins on October 3rd, we won’t get to enjoy the new facilities for very long BUT we will be relocated to the perfection of Heaven and won’t mind in the least.)

Sale of Nacogdoches Building

Last month I reported that we had a contract to sell GODTEL’s downtown property. At this writing, the property has been put back on the market because the would-be purchaser decided it was not feasible for him to pay what we are asking ($400,000). He did offer to pay a lower figure but we believe we are asking what God intends for us to sell the property for, so we will hold out for that amount.

There are three other interested parties and the first one who will pay “the price” will own the historic Redland Hotel. In the early days, before GODTEL purchased the hotel in 1977, it welcomed such distinguished guests as William Jennings Bryant, who made a speech from the balcony, and the Marx Brothers.

As soon as the building is sold, we will have enough to begin construction of the women’s dormitory out at the new property. You are welcome to stop in at 1902 Douglass Highway and see the progress that’s been made.

Creation vs. Evolution

The series continues in our newsletter inserts on the scientific evidences of Creation (intelligent design). We hope you find them informative and helpful. If you have any questions concerning this topic, please give us a call or contact us via mail or e-mail.

Team Member Changes

We have added new team members both in Livingston and in Nacogdoches. Our groundskeeper in Livingston moved away on July 1st and by the end of the day, Greg Berg had agreed to do that job. He even worked on July the 4th getting mowing and edging done. (See below.)

In Nacogdoches, Michael Lahr has “handed the baton off” to Louis Rodriquez who is now making the early morning pickups of donuts and pastries from Dunkin’ Donuts, Shipley’s Donuts, and Starbucks. Louis also picks up food from KFC (vegetables and chicken), feeds the goats out at the “new” property, and assists Richard, our mission manager, with various tasks like mowing, digging ditches, etc. Richard still makes the run to the South Street Brookshire Bros. for donated items, and in a team effort, June, Nancy, and Mike pick up donated items from Kroger grocery stores.

Mike still has plenty to do—especially when Bro. June is in Nacogdoches three days a week!

We welcome our new team members and thank God for each person who works with us helping meet the needs of the poor. God bless you all.

Nancy Gentry

Nacogdoches/Livingston – July 2016

 

So Much to Do, So Little Time

The Patience of Job

       I do not know if it is because we just concluded a study of the book of Job that I am being tested, but this past month has had many more than the usual number of trials and “hic-cups” in my life. The car in which I ran errands for GODTEL was totaled, so I have been driving a large pick-up truck with stick shift (lots of exercise) (at least other drivers can see, and hear, me coming). The computer we use to record our accounting crashed and the accounting program on one of our other computers developed some kind of error and will not accept updates. Hopefully, I will be able to resolve that problem soon. I am, oh, so very thankful I had the same program on a computer I quit using last year (when Windows XP was no longer being supported). We also had a backup on a flash drive. It pays to save backup copies and to have the accounting program on more than one computer.

I am reminded of a story about the devil and Jesus having a timed contest using computers. They were rapidly entering data and performing calculations when, right at the last minute, God “pulled the plug” and the computers went down. When the power came back on, the devil had lost all his data but the data entered by Jesus was intact. Satan cried, “Foul! Foul!” and demanded to know why there was a difference.

The answer is simple, “Jesus saves.” I am so glad Jesus offers salvation to “whosoever will” and I am eternally grateful that, as undeserving as I am, He has given me His eternal life, redeeming me from an eternity of suffering in hell. His presence within me supplies me with peace, joy, love, power, guidance, and protection. He leads me to victory as long as I choose to die to my selfish desires and, instead, choose to make myself do what God has instructed in the Bible.

We would appreciate it if you would keep GODTEL’s staff and residents at all three of our missions in your prayers.

Ladies’ Bible Study

 

In our Livingston Friday Ladies’ Bible Study, we are studying Creation vs. Evolution. We have just completed answering the question, “Is evolution a religion?” Actually, it is, and it takes great faith to trust in it. Unfortunately, it is blind faith and the adherents will wind up in a very deep fiery ditch called hell where they will suffer bitter regrets throughout eternity, while those whose faith is in the truth, who trust Jesus and what is written in the Holy Scriptures (doers of the Word) will forever enjoy the pleasures of Heaven.

Looking Ahead to the

Feast of Trumpets

 

The fall feasts will be here before we know it. This year The Feast of Trumpets will begin on October 3rd. Those of you who have been reading our newsletters for awhile, will remember that I have chosen to believe that Jesus will be fulfilling the celebration of that feast with His return. Maybe not this year, but as bad as things are in this world, it looks to me like He will be coming again — very soon.

Creation vs. Evolution

This month, we continue the series in our newsletter inserts on the scientific evidences of special creation, or intelligent design. We hope you find them informative and helpful.

Too many people are choosing to believe the hype evolutionists are espousing and are content to believe a lie because it is comforting. When Jesus does return, the comfort of the unbeliever will end abruptly and the discomfort of obedient Christians will turn into eternal pleasure. Our son, Josiah, read the following and quoted it to me, “Life on planet Earth is the only Heaven unrepentant sinners will ever know, and it is the only hell genuine Christians will ever know.” Interesting thought.

Many Thanks

 

At GODTEL, we really like to eat. (No surprise there.) Our residents do not always like what is prepared for them, but they must admit, since the meals are served at no cost to them, the price is right. We are extremely thankful to the individuals, churches, and businesses who “put on their aprons,” roll up their sleeves, and use their time and talents to prepare and serve meals at each of GODTEL’s three shelters. It is a blessing to our staff and residents — and our cooks certainly appreciate this practical expression of God’s love in action.

In Livingston we were blessed recently with several pans of freshly baked cinnamon rolls from Camp Cho-Yeh the Presbyterian Church camp just up the road from our mission. Another day, we got a call from one of the members of Barnum Baptist Church (they bring a group and feed us regularly). She told the cook, Miss Benita, that, knowing how hot the kitchen is, she was going to bring pizza and watermelon for supper that night. There were smiles all around. I pray that God will abundantly bless each one of you who displays your love for Jesus by giving, in whatever manner, to help minister to the poor.

One hot afternoon while a large donation was being sorted in front of the Livingston mission, a woman came to donate some clothes and was given a doggie bed from our free-shed. Her child was delighted that her doggie would have a bed. They left, but soon came back with cold drinks for our workers to show their appreciation and concern. We were truly blessed.

Busy Office

To our regular duties of counseling, answering phones, writing to prisoners, paying bills, keeping up with the accounting, making needed copies, and printing Sunday bulletins, add the following: working with the accountant who is conducting our annual audit, completing application to the United Way for funding for next year and completing their mid-year report for 2016, dealing with the insurance company about the wrecked car, preparation of the Q-2 sales tax, newsletters with inserts, and receipts and you will know why we work from early to late.

Sale of Nacogdoches Building

Last, but not least, we rejoice to report that a contract of sale has been signed, selling all of GODTEL’s downtown property at our original asking price! Thanks to God! Now begins a 30-day feasibility study and if all goes well, we will sign the closing paperwork on August 21st. Please pray with us that this sale goes through so we can start building the women’s dorm.

Nancy Gentry

Nacogdoches/Livingston – June 2016

Beware of a “Blind Spot

If Only … and What If …

       God is in control and He does all things well. We human beings do not always like what He lovingly allows into our lives, but His children have the assurance that all things work together for good to those who love Him. (Romans 8:28) (And John 14:15 lets us know that our love for Him is expressed by our obedience to Him.)

       On May 3rd, my sister, Helen, was involved in a minor accident. Prior to changing lanes, she looked over her shoulder and into her rearview mirror, but failed to see the car in the lane she was changing to. Ten days later, a big pickup truck pulled out in front of me from a side street and, as hard as I tried, I could not avoid a collision. My grandson, Justus, and I suffered only minor injuries, but the car may not be repairable.

Later, I found myself asking, “What if (or, if only) I had left a little earlier or later?” “What if (or, if only) that pickup truck had left a little earlier or later?” “What if that other pickup truck, which blocked the view of the other driver who therefore could not see that I was coming in the far lane, had not been there, for whatever reason?”

There were so many possibilities which could have worked to prevent that collision, it boggled my mind. Okay, so I acknowledge God allowed this to happen for ultimate good and I am seeking to joyfully bow to His will and, hopefully, learn any lesson He may be trying to teach me.

Eight days after I had my accident, my daughter, Greta, and her husband Chet were involved in a collision. A drunk driver (without insurance, license, or registration) ran a red light, bounced off of them (well, somewhat), and took off down the road. (A good Samaritan witness followed him and when he stopped, notified the police where he could be found.)

In the first wreck, the vehicle my sister collided with was in her blind spot. In the other two accidents, a third vehicle was blocking the line of sight of the drivers in the affected cars, which definitely contributed to the unpleasant consequences. When you cannot see something that is there, you just may suffer devastating results as the object moves out of the “blind spot” into your view.

As I have thought about these unpleasant happenings, I realize that far too many people in this world cannot “see” God. He is in their “blind spot.” There are many reasons the view of God is blocked: complacency, pride, self-confidence, misplaced trust in false teachings, laziness, people who claim to be Christians but do not live by every word out of the mouth of God—they do not “practice what they preach,” etc.

Having a blind spot while driving can have a greater or lesser “impact” should there be an unseen vehicle there. Having a blind spot where God is concerned is definitely of greater consequence because He is there and mankind is on a “collision course” with Him. In a manner of speaking, God is that final, great “Adjuster” in “the sky” Who determines where to send us, every one of us, whether we “saw” Him coming or not. Some, those who ignored or rejected the gift of salvation (divine insurance), will be confined in an eternal “wrecking yard” (a.k.a. hell) full of pain, bitter regrets, and if-onlys. Those who have sought to know the truth about God, who have chosen to believe what God has inspired to be written in the Bible, and asked God to take control of their lives will be welcomed to an indescribably wonderful place of freedom, joy, peace, and great relief, prepared for those who choose to trust and obey God.

I pray that each person who reads this article will be drawn to the truth and make certain they are not keeping God in a blind spot. The consequences will be eternally devastating.

Farewell Jim and Vicki Ryan

For the past 18 or 19 years (I hate that I’ve lost count), we have known and loved Jim and Vicki Ryan. For most of that time Jim has faithfully taught our Livingston Friday-night Bible study and for quite a long time he drove to Nacogdoches weekly to teach a Bible study there. Vicki came many Saturdays to give haircuts to our residents and encouraged them in the Lord. (In their “off-time” from GODTEL Jim worked at Thomas Supply in Livingston and Vicki worked in the Onalaska School System.)

Now, God has let them know their work in East Texas is done and has provided them both with jobs (that they did not look for) in the Gulf Coast region of Texas. As sad as we are to see them go, we rejoice in the knowledge that they are willing to follow the Lord wherever He leads.

 

GODTEL Sermons on YouTube

Though Bro. June is not a “TV Preacher,” he can be seen on YouTube—if you have a computer connected to the internet. You can also see and hear him “live” at one of our missions each week. Call for days and times. We would love to have you come and worship the Lord with us.

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. (godtel.org)

Nancy Gentry

 

 

 

Lufkin June 2016

Amazing grace-how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found. Was blind, but now I see.”

     Not all the Texas rains brought flooding and devastation. The roads across the state-east to west and west to east-were framed with colorful wild flowers, flowering cactus and trees showing off their full leaf coverage.

So You’ll Know:

May 2016

1st-29 people

31st-25 people

Total helped-61 people

Praise the Lord!

EMPLOYMENT REPORT:

New jobs-6

Still working-7

Praise the Lord!

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; not of works,

lest any man should boast.”   Ephesians 2: 8 & 9

     The exciting news on the “job front” is that many of our working folks were able to move out. And others will soon be able to move out to their own place by the end of this month.

     The month of May was not only merry it was full of delicious meals. Our guest cooks prepared and brought in and served pulled pork sandwiches, Mexican casserole, chicken salad sandwiches with fruit salad and pasta salad, stew and chicken spaghetti.

     “I don’t want any crying!” she said. As sad as it is a funeral can be a good experience. Martin’s uncle Gerald died shortly after his return to east Texas. Kathy, Gerald’s wife, called and asked Martin to be in charge of the service. Gerald died on Monday and we left Wednesday morning to head to Denver City, Texas.

     We arrived after a long 10 hour drive. We stayed at the home of dear friends. After “checking in” Martin and I headed to see Kathy for a short visit and to let her know we were in town. The next few days were about Kathy and the funeral arrangements. The funeral home was very helpful, especially with a “rookie” at the helm. The time and order of the service were set.

     Family came in. The farthest drove two days from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Baker family gatherings are known to be full of laughter as stories of childhood mischief are shared and braggin’ stories about children and grandchildren are told. This gathering was no different.

     Because of his decision for Christ years ago we have peace and joy knowing that Gerald is in the loving arms of his Saviour. Martin spent the days before the service writing and re-writing. Then he practiced and practiced his message. He asked a few of the family for a funny story or two to share with all. Scriptures of God’s love and salvation were shared as well as Gerald’s story. Songs that had special meaning to Gerald and his family were shared.

     After the service we got into the cars and headed out to the cemetery where Gerald was laid to rest with a military flag and taps ceremony. Gerald served his country in the U.S. Navy for 22 years. And, even after retirement, he served the veterans of Yoakum County with pleasure and pride.

     With honor and humility Martin accepted Kathy’s request to close this chapter of Gerald’s life this side of heaven. It was a hard thing for Martin to do and I was blessed to be by his side during this trip to west Texas.

     Well, we did it! We had very few tears from crying and lots of laughter as we remembered Gerald and his antics. Please pray for Kathy, Julie (daughter), Erica, Nathan and Ethan (grandchildren).

     The drive home was such a blessing. Just passed Synder we turned off the highway and drove to Lake JB Thomas where Martin and his family would meet his grandparents. Then they would fish and play to pass away the lazy days of summer. The normal beautiful brown colors of west Texas was now a beautiful array of colors. We stopped several times to take pictures of the amazing wild flowers on display next to the highway on our drive home. The “we” included the South Dakota cousins following us back to east Texas. Seems that my hints of moving to Texas have sprouted. Tom and Trish are praying about moving back to Texas.

     Thank you, Jim and DeAnn, for your gracious hospitality. You were a calm in our stormy sea. It was great to attend the Nazarene church and visit (way too short) our long time friend and sister in the Lord, Helen. Then we were invited to eat Sunday dinner at the home of James and Bea, Jim’s parents. DeAnn cooked a delicious lasagna. Salad, bread and dessert completed the menu.

     On the home front- we appreciate Joseph coming to Lufkin to help the crew while we were gone. We praise the Lord that the place was still standing when we arrived home.

     We are eating cucumbers, yellow and zucchini squash, green beans from the garden. But the tomatoes, zipper peas, and poblano peppers are close behind.

     The chickens are still growing and staying on high ground. They have plenty of above water perches. Now we wait for the egg races to begin.

     Names-birds who flocked together were Raven, Martin and Parrott. There was Joy from Missouri in the Autumn as we held the Stone cut Diamond. What a Price we paid when the Ford fell into the Brooks filled with Vines. The Settlers found the Shepherd in the Snow. The Hunt was victorious when the King was found. Silly business, I know.

     And so I end with the name above all names-JESUS. He is King of kings and Lord of lords.

     Thank you for your support this past month. Your prayers, cards and encouraging words mean more than you know. We pray you have a wonderful and safe summer. If you get bored come by and check out the garden and chickens.

     Stay cool. Stay in the Word.

Because of Him we serve,

Martin and Mary Baker

 

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”

Psalms 116:15