My mother often bragged on the small number of typos and errors in my newsletters — something I prided myself on. Apparently it was time to be humbled because as I just re-read last month’s newsletter, I found several mistakes. The most important one was the Scripture reference at the top of the page. The passage is still true, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints,” it is found in verse 15 of Psalm 116, rather than in verse 8. That verse says, “For Thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my heart from falling.” In others words, “It is well with my soul.” I am truly thankful that my soul is secure in Christ and I stand amazed at His mercy, grace, peace, comfort, forgiveness, and the nearness of His presence. God is good — all the time and He is with us in the “boat” of our circumstances.
As I mentioned in last month’s newsletter, our Board of Directors met the first week of October to seek God’s will and discuss plans He has for the future. Here is the update I promised. The Board promoted our Vice-President, Martin Baker (Director of the Lufkin mission), up to President. That left the dual office of Vice-President/Secretary open. We voted to add Joshua Gentry (our youngest son who has been recording Bro. June’s weekly sermons since 2014) to the Board and by the end of the meeting, he had been elected to fill in the Vice -President/Secretary position for the next six months. (I am still the Treasurer.) Instead of quarterly meetings, the Board will meet monthly for that six-month period. It was approved that Martin invite some godly men he knew to become Board members. (The week after the meeting, Martin and I met with Chris Englert who, along with Bro. June and Martin, was one of the founders of GODTEL, and asked him to pray about rejoining us. He has since agreed.) We all realized that GODTEL is God’s ministry, not man’s. Bro. June was given the vision and leadership in 1975 but he left earth—some say he died. As God is not dead, however, the “torch” will simply be passed to the next chosen vessel.
We do appreciate your prayers as we go forward—that we would continually hear God’s voice, and obey. Since victory, joy, and blessings come only from trusting and obeying our Commander in Chief, we will “march” forward at His command.
We have received much appreciated visits and donations from three special groups. Mike Hawkins, who teaches our Thursday night Bible Studies, came with a group from First Baptist Church to take a tour of Godtel. They visited with our residents to pray and share the Gospel and are planning to make return trips. A group from the Stephen F. Austin Multicultural Greek Council recently collected needed items for GODTEL and brought them to us. Among items received were: shampoo and conditioner, cleaning supplies, razors, sweaters, jackets, and egg crates (we sometimes get loose eggs donated and the egg cartons are very helpful). The South Street Brookshire Brothers in Nacogdoches has once again donated a collection of their “Brown Bags of Hope” to GODTEL. Among the items contained in these bags were canned goods (green beans, corn, peas, and carrots), cans of tuna, macaroni and cheese, school supplies (notebook paper, pens, glue sticks, pencils, and scissors), and hygiene products (deodorant, toothpaste, razors, tissue, soap, and hand sanitizer).
If you would like to hear one of Bro. June’s songs we sang with our four younger children back in the late 1980’s, you can search for “June Gentry, We Are the Family, Do You Really Want to Live?” on YouTube. The CD cover features photos of all six of us and the words of the song scroll as you listen to the music. Our Livingston Mission Manager, Benita, was watching and listening and commented, “Wow! That’s the Gospel.” (Gospel, being translated, Good News.) It is good news that we will live forever. Death of our physical bodies is not the end of our lives. It is also good news that an all-powerful being created all we see, including humans, and, best of all, loves us. The bad news is that if we do not comply with His commandments, laws, and rules completely, the penalty we will receive in our forever-after life will be to suffer unending torment. The good news is our Creator put on a human body, paid the price for humans to go to Heaven IF we choose to believe that He is Who He says He is, seek His pardon for breaking His laws, and invite Him to take up residence in our beings, surrendering our will to His authority. Our life on earth will be worth living and our future will be perfection, joy, peace, and love.