Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category.

Nacogdoches/Livingston – June 2017

 

Women’s Dorm Construction Begins (Again) in Nacogdoches

Women’s Dorm Construction Begins (Again) in Nacogdoches Last month we included some photos of the Nacogdoches mission. Here are more. On the left is the combination chapel/dayroom/dining room where “appetite gratification” is being experienced. At the back of the room (under the clock) is the serving window where plates are filled and distributed. The photo on the right is the chapel platform with the pulpit designed after the treasured “Spurgeon Rail Pulpit.” This item was a gift from Fredonia Hill Baptist Church.

Nacogdoches Kiwanis Club

As a service project and in preparation for the Annual Blueberry Festival (coming up in June where they will cook many, many hundred blueberry pancakes), the Nacogdoches Kiwanis Club brought their mobile grill to the Nacogdoches mission on the 8th of May and cooked 350 pancakes and 200 sausages which were delightfully devoured by our residents and staff alike. We are very grateful and would not mind if this also became an annual event. After the meal, one resident was heard to say, with a rather sticky voice (you know, like Winnie-the-Pooh), “That was great.”

Fed by Fred … and Others

The Nacogdoches Mission is blessed to have several churches and groups come on a regular basis to feed our residents and give our cook (and budget) a break. The smiling faces and delicious variety of meals gladden our spirits, not to mention our taste buds. In Livingston, we are blessed to have members of two different churches come on a monthly basis to prepare and serve supper. One church is just over 30 minutes away and the other is over an hour away. Thank you to Barnum Baptist Church, East of Corrigan, and to Grace Bible Fellowship in Fred (TX). We appreciate your cheerful service and mouth-watering meals. (I simply must get that recipe for queso dip from Bro. Darrell.) We pray for God to bless every one of you abundantly. Thank you.

Nacogdoches Building Project

After several months of delay, the construction of the women’s dormitory in Nacogdoches is again moving forward. Our building fund has close to $400,000 in it and we plan to build until we complete the job or run out of money. The majority of these funds were generated by the sale of our downtown property. Our general contractor, Danny Powell, tells us the actual construction costs will be over $600,000 but we are not worried about the possible shortage of funds. God is faithful and we know He has entrusted certain of His children with the “wherewithal” to help us complete the task. When the need arises, He will bring it to their attention to transfer those funds from their “Kingdom Account” to GODTEL’s. Meanwhile, you are welcome to stop by for a tour and watch the progress of our final building at the “new” location.

A Big Thank-You to Our Faithful Bible Study Teachers

At each of our three missions we present a Bible lesson twice daily—at 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. (five to seven days a week, depending on the mission). Members of our staff teach the majority of these sessions but we have several men who have been coming almost every week for 20 to 25 years to testify and teach God’s Word to our staff and residents. What an encouragement to us to know they are sold out to God and willing to share their knowledge, life experiences, and teaching abilities with the homeless. We earnestly pray that God will bless, guide, protect, encourage, and empower you to keep on keeping on.

Nancy Gentry

Lufkin – June 2017

“For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”   1 Timothy 6: 7&8

So You'll Know:

May 2017

1st-26 people

31st-23 people

Total helped-57 people

Praise the Lord!

     May brings us the Kentucky Derby, Indianapolis 500, Memorial Day, end of school year and graduations. All this as we swim into summer with fun holiday trips, Vacation Bible School, weddings, water parks and lots of sunscreen.

EMPLOYMENT REPORT:

New jobs-1

GED classes-1

Still working-4

Praise the Lord!

“But godliness with contentment is great gain.”   1 Timothy 6:6

     May was a month full of drama and crisis. There was Deborah, who had been here before. She left daily and came back at supper time. One evening she came in tettering and tottering. She had been drinking. Even though we gave her one more night to stay, she decided to go that evening. Linda (not her real name) had been here before. She and her boyfriend landed on our doorstep the end of April. The plan was to get jobs and move out when ready. They have a son and he came one day for a visit with his parents. The days passed and Linda and her boyfriend, Jeffrey, did not make a serious effort to find employment. Jeffrey found a few day jobs around the neighborhood. However, this is not full time employment. One day, Linda was upset about something. She called the crisis line to ask for help. After crying and yelling she went to the hospital. Jeffrey stayed a few more days waiting for Linda to return. When she was discharged she did not come back to GODTEL. Our hearts hurt when the residents hurt. We know the healer of broken lives and hearts and that is our Heavenly Father. He is the Great Physician. And we share this truth with the residents twice a day through our Bible Studies. Jeffrey soon left. Jane (not her real name), also, has been here before. Jane has a lot of emotional issues. Even so, she has not let this stop her from attending Angelina College. She is almost finished with her two year plan and will graduate soon. Jane became agitated and needed help. It took awhile to find the best place for her to go. She left with a ride to the hospital. As you can see, we have a full list for those in need of prayer. Kenneth and Teresa stayed a few days. They just needed a short time to work and get bus tickets back to west Texas. And so they did. Our guest cooks arrived throughout the month with pallet pleasing meals. Fried steak with rice, barbeque chicken and yellow squash, pizza, pulled pork sandwiches, spaghetti, meatballs and gravy and more pizza. There was plenty of food designed to keep us filled and happy. The school year ended and we were blessed to receive the healthy food items of carrots, tomatoes and cucumbers from Hudson ISD. Baked food snacks, also, came in. Squash, green and yellow, and cucumbers have been seen in the kitchen. The garden harvest goes from the garden to the counter then to the refrigerator and finally into the very capable and creative hands of our cook Dolores. The last part of their journey is on the plates and into the residents. We are still waiting for the tomatoes and okra and zipper peas to make their appearance on our plates. Paula has had a few detours in her life. This time when she checked in her desire was to get her GED. She left each morning and went to the Adult Learning Center at Angelina College. She heard of the opportunity to earn her GED at the Mosaic Center. She went there and was accepted. She went to class each morning. One day she was told of the Certified Nurse Aide class that was going to start at the Mosaic Center. She applied for that and was accepted. Paula will attend class for 6 weeks. When finished she will complete her GED classes. By the end of the summer she will be ready to start anew. Please pray that Paula will stay focused and committed to reach her goal. Joseph is on a “medical leave” of sorts. His mother had surgery last month. He has gone to help her during the slow recuperating process. She is having some rough patches but is slowly healing. We miss Joseph but we support him as he willingly “honors” his mother. And Warren has stepped in easily with the extra responsibilities. “Honor your father and your mother: that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God gives you.” Exodus 20:12 Thank you for the umbrellas and jelly you brought this month. The umbrellas have come in handy more than once this past month. And it looks like they will be employed, again, soon. The jelly is used to add to the peanut butter on a sandwich as well as a sweet topping on that piece of toast for breakfast. Delicious! Last month we hugged our moms. This month we hug our dads. They aren’t perfect, but they are our dads. But we do have a perfect and loving Heavenly Father. My daddy has been gone many years now. But I do have memories that bring a smile to my face. There are even a few laughs and stories to share. I treasure these memories and guard them in my heart. I am glad that I have a Father who never goes away. By my side HE stays through thick and thin. He comforts me. He is fair and just in His teachings and correction. He loves me unconditionally. And His grace is amazing. Thank you for your support. We are in service together. Have a cool and safe summer. Come by and visit. There’s some cold water in the frig.  

   Because of Him we serve,

   Martin and Mary Baker

 

Nacogdoches/Livingston – May 2017

So Many to Thank, So Much to Be Thankful For

        Our hearts are full of praise and thanksgiving. God is so-o-o very good ... all the time. We are blessed at each of our mission locations by individuals, churches, Sunday school classes, various civic groups, public-school classes, and businesses who take the time to provide and serve meals; bring canned goods, staple foods, needed towels, sheets, clothing, household items, etc. In addition, we greatly appreciate our faithful supporters who send monthly financial contributions to help meet our operating expenses. There are times when the expenses are greater than usual and God impresses a regular donor to give more than their “normal” amount, or an intermittent donor to send just what we need to end the month in the black. Praise His Name! In Nacogdoches, we have a variety of campus groups from Stephen F. Austin University which volunteer in various ways. Recently, the Impact group had a rally at a park to learn more about the homeless and express their youthful, enthusiastic support for GODTEL. Mike Lahr, one of our Board members, and Kathleen Smith-Parram, my office assistant, were guests at the rally to speak to the group about GODTEL and the work we do with the homeless. It was an encouraging and enjoyable afternoon and we are thankful for the food, clothing, and money they collected. We pray that God will guide and bless these young people throughout their lives. We are very grateful to Kroger Co. for their yearly Souper Bowl of Caring event during which people can purchase pre-bagged food items and/or make a monetary contribution. This year the proceeds totaled almost $15,000 which went into the building fund for the women’s dorm. There are just too many people who help us get this job done to try and list the names of everyone, but God knows who you are and we pray He will bless you. Thank you. The photo, below left, is of a morning Bible study led by Brother June at the Nacogdoches mission. (The large banner is a quote of Acts 17:26, “He hath made of one blood all nations of men.”) The photo on the right is the same scene but taken through the serving window from inside the kitchen and shows four trays of delicious donuts and other pastries (donated by Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks) waiting to be served with breakfast. The picture on the back side of this page is a view from my Nacogdoches office, looking toward the main building and staff house which is serving as our women’s dorm and Christian Help Center. Finally, just FYI, Bro. June is working on a two-disc Gospel music album which includes 28 songs written by a variety of composers. We are busily obtaining the required licenses prior to duplication.

Nancy Gentry

Lufkin – May 2017

Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from thine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.”   Psalm 51: 1-2

     If April showers bring May flowers-what do April hail stones bring? Flattened gardens and dented cars.

So You'll Know:

April 2017

1st-31 people

30th-25 people

Total helped-61 people

Praise the Lord!

EMPLOYMENT REPORT:

New jobs-0

Part time jobs-3

Still working-7

Praise the Lord!

“Create in me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right spirit within me.”

Psalm 51:10

     Richard had been here several times. He was gone during the day, which he was suppose to do. He serviced and repaired his bike, which carried him all over town However, he didn’t save money or try to improve his life. Once again, Richard asked to check in. He wanted to change his life. His plan was to go to drug rehab. Martin told him we needed verification of a bed at a treatment center. It took him a day or two to get serious about his plan. The call finally came from ADAC (Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council). Richard was accepted and he was in line for a bed. When we have folks waiting to go to rehab we tell them they cannot leave the property. We do this to help them stay on course and not fall into temptation. While waiting, we ask them to help around the place. Most of these folks comply. Richard did too. He did try to talk his way off the property, but he listened to wise council and stayed put. He was accepted to a rehabilitation center and left just before the end of the month. Our prayers go with Richard for a victory over his addiction. Tamra and Billie Jo came at the end of the month. They are participants at Drug Court. Drug Court takes drug offenders who just need help in making better life decisions. They attend meetings throughout the week. One of those meetings is in the court with the Judge. They are highly supervised. Hopefully, this opportunity keeps them out of jail or prison. But, of course, that is up to them. Hang in there, girls, hang in there with Jesus. The men’s dorm had a small outbreak of bed bugs. Three or four days were spent heat treating rooms and then following up with a powder treatment. The laundry room screamed for attention this past month. To calm her down two washers and one dryer moved in kicking the old ones out. Now there is peace and quiet while the new appliances hum their way washing and drying clothes, towels and linens. Meet Alice (not her real name). She is handling the laundry duties these days. She came in early March. She asked for extra time and volunteered for the laundry job. You should see how spic and span that hot room is. Alice has a sad story but you would not know it by her smile and helpful attitude. We are glad Alice is here no matter how long she stays. Our helper Roger moved out this past month. Warren has moved into his spot of supervising chores and men’s bed check. He recently experienced the Walk to Emmaus. It has been a blessing to see the peace, calm and joy in his walk with the Lord. Warren did laundry before Alice signed up to do it. He, too, kept the laundry room organized and swept. Thank you, Warren, for your obedient heart. Pedro checked in early March. He worked odd jobs but kept busy every day. It appeared that he was doing what he was suppose to do. One evening he did not come in. No one knew where he was. The next day his sister called and then came by to pick up his belongings. She said he was in the hospital for an overdose of cocaine. And he had almost died. It totally took us by surprise. Apparently he has had this addiction for quite a few years. We do not know what his status is today. My heart aches to hear these stories. Our guest cooks came in with their best chef hats on. We ate sloppy joes, pork roast, chicken enchiladas, hamburgers, fried chicken, ham and pizza times two. We appreciate the culinary talents of all our guest cooks. Gracias. Merci. Thank you. Resurrection Day. We were blessed from our heads to our toes. St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church provided our dinner meal that day. We had ham, potato casserole, green beans, rolls, and tea, sweet and unsweet. A bunny cake and brownies and cookies topped off our meal. We had help setting up and serving this delicious meal. Not only did the church provide our meal but several of their church family came. We welcomed Deanna, Judy, Ronny and their daughter, who was in from Dallas. The fellowship was great. Jesus is the reason for the season rings true for Resurrection Day just as it does for Christmas. Without His victory over the sting of death we have no hope. He is our new life. We owe Him so much for the blood He shed for us to pay for our sins. What about our hailstorms?! The spring showers of April included a serious hail storm as the month came to an end. From our perch, at the top of Moody Street, we watched as the pea sized ice crystals got bigger and bigger to the size of golf balls. We are thankful that our garden survived and no crippling dents were found on our vehicles.

     Congratulations to all you graduates: from kindergarten to 8th grade to high school, college and beyond!

     Happy Mother’s Day! Be sure and hug a mom that day, especially your own, if you can.

     Thank you, dear folks, for your faithful support. Have a merry month.

“Serve the Lord with gladness: come before His presence with singing.”   Psalm 100:2

Because of Him we serve,

Martin and Mary Baker

     

Lufkin – April 2017

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”   Romans 8: 38&39

     March Madness begins and continues…

So You'll Know:

March 2017

1st-18 people

31st-32 people

Total helped-45 people

Praise the Lord!

EMPLOYMENT REPORT:

New jobs-5

Still working-8

Praise the Lord!

“If you love me, keep my commandments.”     John 14:15

     March Madness-the rest of the story. In last month’s newsletter I included the great kitchen flood of 2017 when the hot water heater ended its term of service. This actually happened in the first week of March and not in February. Apparently one water heater down was not enough. The tally is 3 water heaters went out in 2 weeks. The women’s dorm was the next victim. This water heater is outside in its own little house. We are thankful that there was no flooding waters or damage to the tile floor. The women did have to do without hot water until the next day. And so it was, by the end of the next day, the women were enjoying their hot showers again. The office building had the last word. The water heater closet is in our office. And so on a Monday morning Martin unlocked the door and saw the built in water pool. He grabbed a few guys and they started sweeping out the water and drying things out. This tank lasted 14 years, a long life and many years of service. To this we say thank you. Spring break...There was a break from school but not from work for the youth group from Central Church of Christ. They came Wednesday morning with work clothes and boots and shovels in hand. The girls of the group washed windows and screens. (now we can really see the pollen which is covering everything in yellow). The boys, or should I say strong, young men, picked up shovels and dug dirt out from the front of the fence in the garden area. They carried the dirt to several low places and spread it out. Then they placed a top row of railroad ties in front of the fence and made sure that dirt was smooth and up close to the fence. I was gone the first part of the morning. I returned just in time for a tour and talk about GODTEL. That is my favorite part-sharing what God is doing at GODTEL. I think the guys liked the big shop (man cave) the best. The group brought their own lunches and only sat down to eat after they served the residents their plates. I don’t know about the young folks but we were blessed by their willing hands and service at GODTEL. Just because there was a break in the middle of the month doesn’t mean that our guest cooks took a break. We were treated to meals of tuna fish sandwiches, sloppy joes, a double helping of pizza, a delicious serving of ham and sides, chili dogs, chicken and pork chops. Nobody went to bed hungry around here. Praise the Lord! Kitchen catch-up. With gift money we were able to purchase a matching commercial freezer to accompany our commercial refrigerator. A few more physical changes are planned and then a fresh coat of paint. Who knows-it may even be a different color. Come by and put in your color preference. It saddens me to tell you this. Remember Laura and her two girls who moved out in February? We have been told that they were in a serious auto accident. The whole family was in the car and in the Houston area when the accident occurred. We were informed that the youngest daughter had a broken pelvis and was at Texas Children’s Hospital. We have not had any update. I ask for your prayers for this family. The Wednesday morning Bible Study I attend is in the book of Malachi. It is a study by Lisa Harper. Who would have thought that four chapters could take eight weeks to go through. This small book is the last written word we have from our God for 400 years-before the coming of the promised Messiah. Already it has convicted me, challenged me and reminded me that God’s love never fails. Look it up. Read it. Find out for yourself. The highlight of the month was the visit of our children and grandchildren. From great grandma to 8 month babies we had a houseful of people, all ages and heights. Yes, we ate tacos. How did you guess? I spied 14 year old Kristen and 3 year old Emily reading. Thirteen year old Blaine was eye level to Lauren who was trying to crawl and not quite making it. Recent reports from reliable sources say that Lauren is now crawling and exploring the world that was once beyond her reach. We stuffed ourselves with tacos and then ice cream. Some of us were moaning about how much we ate while others were napping. Martin got his guitar out and called Blaine to the back porch. Soon Kristen followed them. You could hear the sound of music coming through the screen door. Emily did not want to be left out. Granddad came to the rescue. He had a “b’tar” just Emily’s size. She started strumming and singing. What a performance she put on. It wasn’t long before Emily was directing our imaginations. Colored pencils were cookies. When we were full the pencils became animals. And we each had to take care of one. I think some where in between a picture was actually colored. The visit ended too soon. The memories will warm our hearts. Thank you. Lord, for this precious gift of family. We are enjoying the spring days in between the wind and rain. A peek into April-we have planted the garden. Okra, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash are planted-one in each-of the four raised bed gardens. We are waiting for zipper pea seeds for the last garden. We praise God that we don’t have to imagine HIS love for us. It is real and it is true. HIS love is unending. And we don’t have to imagine your support of God’s ministry at the top of the hill on Moody Street. Thank you.

RESURRECTION DAY

April 16, 2017

Because of Him we serve,

Martin and Mary Baker

   “And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.”  

Matthew 28:5-7