Fried Fish Feast
This fried-fish feast was not on a Friday, as some might suppose, but on a Thursday when our Thursday-night Bible Study teacher, Bo Richardson, and his wife, in collaboration with our most-excellent cook at the Livingston mission, Benita Woodmansee, treated our residents, staff, and a few non-resident guests to a delicious meal of delectable fish, baked beans, potato salad, and trimmings. Bo even brought a large container of his “famous” home-made banana pudding with meringue on top. The meal was delicious and greatly enjoyed by all in attendance.
We are very thankful for our faithful Bible study teachers and those who take their time and use their talents preparing and serving meals at each of GODTEL’s mission locations. These are just two of the ways God’s love is shown to the residents of our three homeless shelters.
With recent end-of-school activities, GODTEL has been the joyful recipient of delicious leftovers from banquets and bar-b-cues. Our thanks to each of our benefactors. May God bless you—every one.
Guests from Germany
Back in 1980 a young German woman, Karin Klöber, came to America to “find” herself. She had been reading different philosophers but had found no answers or contentment. She was “lost” and at a loss. A girlfriend of hers had married a “foreign” young man, DanielHill, (the son of American missionaries toGermany) and they had moved to Texas—to Nacogdoches, to be exact. When Karin came to visit her friend she became intrigued by the faith and peace in the household and wanted what they had—Jesus was knocking on her heart’s door. Before long, she opened that door and asked Him to come in and take over the control of her future. From that very moment Jesus began to change her heart and life. I had the awesome privilege and responsibility of discipling her during the next few weeks prior to her return to Germany where she led her fiancé and her sister to the Lord.
A few years later we were blessed with a visit from her sister Jutta and her daughter, Kerstin. Ever since Karin went back toGermany, a part of my heart has been there. No doubt about it, God has precious children all over this world.
Early last month I received an email from Naomi Hill, the Nacogdoches-born daughter of Karin’s friends. She and her brother (both from Germany) and her grandmother, Pat Hill (from Tulsa, Oklahoma), were planning a trip toNacogdoches, the Gulf, San Antonio, and other points of interest along the way. I assured her they were welcome to stay at the mission for as many days as they would like.
They were delighted to arrive on the Friday evening prior to the Nacogdoches Blueberry Festival and able to participate in all the activities on that special Saturday in the oldest town in Texas. All three were quite willing to abide by house rules, including Bible studies. They cleaned their room and bathroom (even scrubbed the toilet) before they left. We did not require any payment (beyond abiding by the rules), but they each gave a generous monetary donation before departing.
After leaving Nacogdoches, they toured a portion of East Texas and stayed at the Livingston mission for a couple of nights before proceeding to the Gulf and on to San Antonio. It was a wonderful blessing to share sweet Christian fellowship with these travelers and to be reminded of the previous times we had guests fromGermany. Now, an even greater portion of my heart is in Germany.
Gospel Music CD’s
Bro. June and I recently gave a copy of our new Gospel music CD to the pastor, and his wife, of Bethlehem United Methodist Church in Lufkin. They later told us that they had listened to the CD all the way to Houston the day we gave it to them, and they had listened to it on the way back from Houston three days later.
As satisfied as we were with this album, especially after our son-in-law, Zach Varnell, did the mixing, these words of praise from Bud and his wife blessed our hearts.
The title of this CD is “A Simpler Time” and can be picked up at any of our mission locations. Any donations received in appreciation of receipt of a CD, go to the mission to help us minister to the poor.
Fruit Trees Growing
At both our Livingston and Nacogdoches (new property) missions we have a variety of fruit trees planted and they are thriving as we water them faithfully. When we planted them we had not planned on a drought this already-hot summer. At times I think we would have been able to purchase fruit to feed everyone cheaper, even in the long run, than these trees are going to cost in water, fertilizer, insecticides, time and manpower. At other times I think I am being rather shortsighted. I am sure time will tell which of these two views is correct. I do realize that once these trees are more mature, they will require less “babying” and will produce more fruit. So far, we have harvested one plum, an orange, and many pears and figs.
This brings to my mind a spiritual parallel. As Christians, the more we receive nourishment from God’s Word and accept the “living” water within, the more “fruit” we will bear. We must stay in the Word because the greater our quality of faith, the better and more plentiful will be the fruit we produce. “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17
The last full week of June, we made two trips to Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. The first, to pick up our daughter Joann, her ten-month old son, Isaac, and Casie, a friend of Joann’s. Zach, Joann’s husband has entered an intensive Master’s program in School Administration so he was unable to come this time. We had a delightful week visiting with them and other friends and family that gathered around. To my mind this was just a small glimpse of what our heavenly reunion will be like.