Nacogdoches/Livingston – April 2017

One Woman’s Story

      Almost every person who comes to GODTEL for help is broken in some way. Many have become addicted to different types of drugs or alcohol and they have lost families, jobs, possessions and have nowhere to turn. In desperation, they finally decide to give GODTEL or some other homeless shelter a try. Some come and go and come again as they struggle to get a grip on life. Some believe “bad luck” has brought them to this point in their lives but all need the strength, the peace, the power, the love, and the forgiveness found only in Jesus. Here, in her own words, is the story of a young woman who recently stayed at our Nacogdoches mission “I was widowed from my first marriage raising a 2-year old daughter, which I sadly failed at. My mother and father mostly raised her. It was two failed marriages after, I also had a son. “I fell into the Satanist life style at the age of 20. I never got into the large group. Think just from time to time small groups involved in witchcraft and the spirit board. I became a non-active member of the Church of Satan founded by Anton Lavay. All I knew growing up was how to cause suffering in one form or another. I spent years turning up the bottle trying to fill the emptiness I felt inside. Drinking did not solve the problem, it just caused more. I hated everyone. The drinking got to the point where I could not hold down food or water. I dropped to 64 pounds. I just wanted to die at this point. I was hospitalized for over a month fading in and out, with my blood sugar dropping often to the low 40’s. My muscles were even failing. Something was holding me in this world, I knew it was not Lucifer but I wanted no part it. “After about 2 months out of the hospital, I turned back to the bottle. It was not long I was arrested for simple drunk. I spent 31 days locked up for something that should have been just a few days. Seven of those days were in lock-down in a small cell with 182 bricks and no window. “After getting out of jail it got to the point of just anger at everything and my mom had to put me out of the house. Becoming homeless around the end of January is not an enjoyable thing. It broke me enough to speak with someone about my thoughts. It was the wrong someone and caused me to have to stay 7 days in a mental ward. This is where I was first forced to sit through Bible studies. I had no choice but to hear the word of God daily. I left there and spent 14 days at the Monroe Salvation Army. I still felt out of place so I started making phone calls. I found a Christian based shelter, the highway 80 Rescue Mission in Longview Texas, so I got on a bus searching for something I did not know much about. “In March of 2014, I met a Pastor that was meant to get through to me. I was saved March 22, 2014, baptized March 30, 2014 in Lake Dearwood. God made a huge change in my life. The hatred and emptiness was no longer there. I spent 9 months at the House of Hope helping in anyway I could. In December 2014, I moved in with the Pastor and his wife in Harleton, Texas to help her with the house work while she was fighting cancer. After she passed, I moved to Carthage, Texas to take care of another lady with cancer. I stayed after she passed but that was not where God wanted me because things started to go down hill. I started picking up the bottle again. It got to the point I wanted to die again. After I tried to take my own life in a failed effort, we started calling shelters. Out of 4 or 5 shelters, only GODTEL answered their phone on Sunday. I walked through the doors of that old historical building in Nacogdoches, Texas not knowing what to expect, but by the time of the evening Bible study I felt peace. After being there for a while and helping out wherever they needed me, I knew this is where God wanted me. I will be at GODTEL until God says move on. I am tired of running.” I wish I could tell you she is still here helping out, or that God had moved her on to another ministry, but from outward appearances, she has once again responded to the “call of the wild”—that wicked heart we all must contend with until Jesus returns. Please pray for our residents and our staff members. God has all the answers we seek but we must be willing to hear, trust, and obey Him. Romans 3:23 says all have sinned but John 3:16 says whosoever will believe in Jesus will have a wonderful, new, and eternal life.

Nancy Gentry

 

Lufkin – March 2017

Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”   Isaiah 1:18

So You'll Know:

February 2017

1st-22 people

28th-18 people

Total helped-57 people

Praise the Lord!

EMPLOYMENT REPORT:

New jobs-0

Part time-2

Still working-4

Praise the Lord!

New adventures. Old adventures. This short month was packed with plenty of folks and stories to fill 31 days.

     Laura and her daughters checked in “way back” in September of last year. The girls attended school and Laura worked. With saved money and her tax refund she and the girls moved out to a house in the Hudson area. Laura’s face was one big smile as she moved her belongings from the dorm to her car. It is exciting to see the success of someone reaching their goal. We praise God for this accomplishment and ask for continued prayers for this family. It was Sunday morning. It was 6:30 am Sunday morning. Martin’s phone rang. Joseph was on the line with news of an overflowing water heater. We do not know when the leak occurred but we do know that there was water everywhere. It was not the easy flow of a river or the quiet lapping of a lake. It was the stomach-turning news of extra work and water damage ahead for the director that day. The water was turned off at the heater. Martin did the Sunday morning Bible study and breakfast. Then he went to church and taught Sunday school. We came home and he was able to assess the situation. We decided on paper plate meals for the day’s meals. Early Monday morning Martin headed to the plumbing store and purchased a new heater. The old heater came out and the new one was installed and in use by noon that day. Another crisis resolved. Thank you, Lord. February saw the beginning of several “make over” projects. The big one is the makeover of our kitchen. Let me tell you...the original kitchen is 20 years old this year. With the opening of the shiny new mission in Nacogdoches we got the fixit bug. Martin went on-line and searched the world wide web for new kitchen “stuff”. We started at the big kitchen sink. The wood cabinets that were on either side came down-top and bottom. Shiny new stainless tables with shelves were put in their place. The island cabinets, both sides, were taken out and rolling cabinets with drawers and cabinets and a wood top were put in their place. Two new free standing sinks have pushed the old out of their spots. A tall cabinet unit is standing on the right side of the stove. Floor tiles have been put down where the built in cabinets were removed. More carts with wheels have been seen all around the kitchen not quite knowing where they want to park. The most exciting replacement is the big, new commercial refrigerator. God is so good. GODTEL has been blessed to receive an abundance gift from a local church. The refrigerator was purchased by the church and delivered by the company and set up ready to use in an hour. We waited until the next day to actually empty the other refrigerators. You know-we had to arrange and rearrange for optimum efficiency. And we still had room! There is more to get done in the kitchen. And we will-one day at a time. Rooms 5 and 6 in the women’s dorm are waiting their turn to get spruced up. There was a half bathroom between these two rooms. We have had the door locked and blocked so it would not be used. We have not used or needed it for years. It was time to make the decision of opening it or getting rid of it. The decision was to get rid of the bathroom. The tearing down of walls was next. This has made the rooms bigger. Since it is used mostly for mothers and children this was a good plan. The sink and toilet were carefully removed. Pipes were removed or capped off. New sheetrock was put up to separate the rooms once again. Now the walls wait for taping and floating with fresh coats of paint to follow. The rooms are usable and have had a few residents even without the new paint. So come by and see what’s new and happening at the top of the hill on Moody Street. The short month did not short us on the guest cooks. Meals served included pizza, spaghetti, hamburgers, and a delicious Mexican casserole.

Because of Him we serve,

Mary and Martin Baker

 

Nacogdoches/Livingston – March 2017

Be Comforted — Jesus Is Coming Again!

      Bro. June is currently preaching through 1 Thessalonians at our three missions and on at least two occasions it is written that we are to comfort one another with the knowledge that Jesus Christ is going to return to earth to complete God’s plan for mankind. Jesus Himself said He was going to prepare a place for His own to dwell and that if He prepared a place for us, He would come again (John 14:2-3). Like students waiting for the end of the school year, or like a young child in early December waiting for Christmas Day to arrive, we Christians fidget and sometimes fail to “redeem,” or “occupy” the time. Some individuals have given up hope and are no longer seeking God and His righteousness. Instead, they are trying to content themselves with the transient pleasures this world offers. A young lady spoke with me after hearing June teach/preach one recent service and said he had helped her understand things she had wondered about for years. Though he had raised some new questions, he had answered many more and she was very glad that she had come to GODTEL. We are very thankful for God’s faithfulness and for the obedience of His children to help support this ministry to the poor. It gives great joy to have people come to know and understand the Gospel. When you pray for and give to GODTEL, you become a part of this ministry which is preaching the Gospel to the poor. In Matthew 11:5, Jesus indicates that one of the evidences of being a Christian is that very thing, “The poor have the Gospel preached to them.” So, again, thank you for helping to make this possible. We pray that God will bless you abundantly for your participation. When Jesus returns, you will share in any reward given for the work accomplished through GODTEL.

Construction Delayed

In last month’s newsletter, I announced that construction had begun on the women’s dorm in Nacogdoches. Shortly after we mailed the newsletter however, we were told that the city had withdrawn the permit due to a problem with the architectural plans (an error we had made—out of ignorance). Since the architect is extremely busy with a more extensive (and expensive, no doubt) project, we will have to wait until he completes that project before he can correct our plans and resubmit them to the city. If we are learning nothing else with this building project we are learning to have patience. Our lack of knowledge about architectural plans has caused a delay in construction, but far worse would be a lack of knowledge of God’s Word. Hosea 4:6 tells us that God’s people are destroyed because they lack knowledge of Him and His Word. Then in Matthew 22:29 Jesus is quoted telling us that when we do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God, we err—we make wrong choices. To know God’s awesome power is to fear “crossing” Him as well as to thankfully trust Him to keep us on the “straight and narrow.” One way to keep from sinning is found in Psalm 119:11—to hide God’s Word in our hearts.

Meal Assistance

In both Livingston and Nacogdoches, we are blessed and encouraged by individuals, church groups, and businesses who come regularly to prepare and serve special meals to our residents. The menu varies but the fellowship is always precious as God’s love flows through the volunteers to those they are serving.

Christian Literature Available

GODTEL has a variety of tri-fold tracts covering a wide range of topics. Some of these are written by prominent Christians, others by members of our staff and family. Most concern spiritual lessons learned from actual events which can encourage you in your walk with the Lord and strengthen your faith. Most of these have been previously mailed as an insert in our monthly newsletters. They are freely available for the asking. If you would like to add to your Gospel music collection, we have CDs by the June Gentry Family which can be ordered directly from GODTEL. We also offer studies about the scientific evidences supporting Creation, teachings on Faith by Bro. Manley Beasley, and other literature which can help with spiritual growth.

Eggs-citing News

February was a bountiful month for donations of eggs. We have a few hens in Livingston (but only roosters in Nacogdoches which just cannot get the job done). Being the beneficiary of egg donations is a blessing. We eat them boiled, fried, scrambled and baked into a variety of food dishes. Our thanks to these donors and to each of you who helps support us. May God bless you.

Nancy Gentry

 

Nacogdoches/Livingston – February 2017

Women’s Dorm Construction is Underway!

      We are very pleased to announce the completion of the sale of the old Redland Hotel which has housed GODTEL’s Nacogdoches shelter for the past 40 years. This has enabled us to move forward with the plans to construct the women’s dormitory. In fact, the forms for the concrete are in place, the permit to build has been approved, and crews will soon be arriving to lay the foundation. I just realized it was exactly one year ago that I wrote about the start of building the men’s dormitory in Nacogdoches. That building was completed and passed inspection in October and on November 1, 2016 we moved from our downtown property to 1902 Douglass Road where our Zip code is 75964. At our new location, we are already operating at near capacity and have just added four more beds in the men’s dorm. Until the women’s dorm is completed, we have only 14 beds for the women and there have been nights when all beds were full. At least we have not had to turn anyone away due to a lack of space. When we received a donation of pillows, sheets, and towels from The Holiday Inn Express recently, the manager informed us she had been told that GODTEL had closed. Not so! We did not close even for one day. Rather, we spent the night of October 31st at the downtown location and moved all the people to the new location and spent the night of November 1st there and have been “up and running” there ever since. We are very gratified for all the assistance we have received from so many sources and we know all this is ultimately coming from the loving hand of our faithful Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ. Error in this Month’s Insert On the inside page of the insert titled “Creation and the Dating Game —or— How Old is a rock?” we made reference to a passage of Scripture saying it was in 2 Thessalonians. It is actually in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 where we are taught to prove or test all things and to hold on to the truth. Sadly, we had already run off 1,500 of the two-sided pages before we discovered the error. The “frugality” of my Scottish nature would not allow me to re-run them. After all, the truth is still the truth, no matter where it is found, right? Bro. June on YouTube Just a reminder that Bro. June’s weekly sermons are available on YouTube. Back in October of 2015 when our youngest son, Joshua, began filming the sermons, he had only one camera and no special lighting. Now he has three cameras and three spotlights and the improvement is remarkable. Just go to the YouTube site and search for June Gentry or GODTEL. The Lufkin TV station KLMN (Channel 42.1) has also run Bro. June’s sermons with a possibility of more to come there. If you want to add to your Gospel music collection, we have CDs by the June Gentry Family and some “in the works” by Bro. June “going solo” which can be ordered directly from GODTEL. We also offer studies about the scientific evidences supporting Creation, teachings on Faith by Bro. Manley Beasley, and other literature which can help with spiritual growth. No Government Funding Here Although GODTEL does receive funding from the Nacogdoches Area United Way, we do not seek nor accept funding from government sources. There have been times that one of our “disgruntled” residents threatened to “have our government funds cut off” because they failed to get their way about something or other. Bro. June generally encourages them “go ahead” and then smiles knowing the futility of that task should they really try it. Food Harvest GODTEL has qualified to receive food donations through the national Food Harvest program. In Nacogdoches we receive almost daily donations of pastries from Starbucks and at the end of each semester, we receive large donations of food from the SFASU cafeterias as they shut down until classes are ready to resume. In Livingston, we receive donations from Pizza Hut three times a week and our residents are very glad to eat pizza. Our cook, Benita, is very glad to have such an easy meal to serve. Farewell, Jennifer Early in December, my secretary for the past year, Jennifer Champagne, turned in her resignation. Though I am not planning to replace her, her absence is deeply felt. If it weren’t for Benita and one of our residents, Catherine, who are helping me wade through January’s tasks of gathering statistics, generating W-2s. 1099 forms (for the 30 sub-contractors who helped construct the men’s dorm), finalize last year’s accounting and set up the notebooks for 2017, prepare this newsletter for mailing, complete the year-end report for the United Way, calculate and pay the quarterly sales tax, etc., I would not be done with January’s tasks until March! Thank you, ladies. Thank You We thank God for His faithfulness to supply all our needs and we are thankful to each of you who prays for and helps support this ministry to the poor. We pray that God will bless you abundantly as the return of Jesus draws ever closer. You are welcome to drop by any of our mission locations for a tour of the facilities and to meet our staff.

Nancy Gentry

 

Lufkin – February 2017

This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”   John 15:12 & 13

So You'll Know:

January 2017

1st-22 people

31st–22 people

Total helped-56 people

Praise the Lord!

     January 2017. Thirty-one days down and 334 to go. Resolutions. Promises. Commitments. What’s in your horizon?

EMPLOYMENT REPORT:

New jobs-8

Still working-5

Praise the Lord!

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness,

temperance: against such is no law.”   Galatians 5:22 & 23

     We had twenty two people join us for the arrival of the new year. Even though we were bringing in the new year by staying up until 10:00 pm the residents were all snug in their beds by 9:30 pm. We had a lot of folks coming and going this past month. We have the privilege to help a veteran who lives out of town. He comes to Lufkin, spends the night at GODTEL and rides the bus to the Houston VA hospital for his medical appointments. A small price to pay for his service to this country. Our guest cooks didn’t have to make new resolutions. They put on their chef hats and continued to perform their culinary talents. This past month we had a double helping of hamburgers and fries and pizza. Mexican casserole, baked chicken, barbeque sandwiches and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches rounded out the month’s talents of our guest cooks. Jimmy checked in to GODTEL in May of 2016. We got to know him as the months passed. He had lived a rough life, spending many years in prison. It was obvious that he was not healthy enough to go out and look for a job. He started doing laundry for us. He even helped Roger feed and water the chickens and gather the eggs. His body kept retaining fluid and soon Jimmy was going to the hospital on a regular basis to be drained. He would feel good for a few days and then be weighed down with the extra fluid in his body. He, also, made several trips to the hospital and stayed several days each time. Weaker and weaker he got. Jimmy died early this month. I don’t mean to be depressing or graphic. I told Martin that I was tired of having residents die. God is so good. He reminded me that Jimmy was loved and cared for at GODTEL. He heard the gospel twice a day. He assured Martin that he had a personal relationship with the Lord and he would land in heaven when he died. The best part, on this side of heaven, is the reconciliation with his brother before he passed on. Thank you, Lord, for bringing Jimmy to our doorstep. We have had quite a few women in the dorm this past month. Sometimes you get a group who gets along and works together. But not this time. As soon as Jo (not her real name) arrived the complaining and bickering and fighting started. Several times during the day she came to us about another resident wanting immediate action against said accused. With love and gentleness we tried to listen and calm her down. She could not drop the issue even after it was resolved. One evening it came to a head as Jo and another woman were cussing and fighting. They were threatening each other on the smoke deck. Ash cans were flying as the conflict escalated. One of the women picked up a small table to throw at the other. One of the men on the deck was able to stop her from throwing it. And the fight was stopped. Martin, Joseph, Roger and I spent time hearing all sides of the story about what happened. We told the two women to go to bed and not talk to each other. I am glad they were not room mates. We decided both women had to leave. And they did the next day. Amanda and David met at GODTEL. They hooked up with each other. Sadly it happens frequently. They were missing meals. They were late to Bible study and curfew. One night they missed curfew altogether. In the morning we found out that they had cut a new screen in the men’s dorm and climbed in. They stayed the night in the same room, in the same bed. They, too, were told to leave. As sad and frustrating as it is we can definitely say that it is NEVER boring around here. We know God IS in control and He is ALWAYS good. As times passes we can even have a laugh or two about it all. The praises for the month include 8 new jobs and Jessica applying for and being accepted to attend the spring session of The Mosaic Center. But, alas, Jessica moved out so she could go to class and still work. She had money saved and found a small place to stay. Way to go, Jessica! On a personal note, our son and grandson went to Niger, Africa on a mission trip. They left January 25th and returned February 8th. Our prayers started as plans were made for the trip. We asked for hearts to be prepared on the missionary side as well as those receiving the good news of Jesus. We have a preliminary report from our son. He is still feeling the jet lag. Blaine (grandson) is 13 years old. No stories from him yet. He had to jump back into school and assignments as soon as he returned. There is a picture of Blaine on a camel. I know this mission trip will be locked into his heart for his whole life. It will be fun seeing the fruit from this journey. “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things!”   Romans 10:14-15 Our granddaughter, Emily, had a very important birthday. She is three years old and such a big girl. My daughter says I am “such a grandma”. Yes, I am. God has blessed us with four wonderful grandchildren. They are all amazing and beautiful and perfect (almost) and geniuses. Just ask me and I will tell you so. Thank you so very much for your support this past month. I can’t think of a better set of partners than you in our service in HIS ministry at GODTEL Ministries. Remember your sweethearts. Remember our past presidents on their day. And remember our current president in your prayers. No matter your politics we are encouraged to pray for our leaders. (1 Timothy 1&2) Pray for wisdom, discernment, patience and mercy for GODTEL missionaries as we share and show God’s love at all three locations. Nacogdoches~Lufkin~Livingston  

Because of Him we serve,

Martin and Mary Baker