August 2008

No, we are not deceased; we have just been away from home living out of a suitcase! We failed to keep you informed but we will now try to compensate. We are presently safely and happily back in Australia in our own beds!.

God gave us a wonderful and memorable trip with so many mercies in the face of every concern we had. Kathleen was very concerned about the driving in strange places and the strength to drive, but God graciously revealed His keeping hand and abundant strength. She so wanted to help me to go and do what was in my heart, and the Lord answered.

God opened the door for me to speak to about 500 young people and staff in a vibrant Bible college. The response of these young people was exciting and moving. Thank God for many young people who want to be used of God and to take the place of us who are passing off the scene!

A magnificent highlight of the trip was our stay in Temple Baptist Church in El Dorado, Kansas, with Pastor Ron Jones. We stayed at the church in a lovely little apartment, and we just loved it. We had the opportunity of getting to know so many of these wonderful people and ministering to them several times. Brother Jones and his wife and staff are great and energetic friends to us oldies!

These three weeks were a dream come true. Memories of the past flooded our minds. I came to this town in 1954 as a single preacher with a heart burdened to start an independent Baptist church. We even entered the one-room above-garage apartment (bathroom downstairs with the car) and found the same red sofa that was there when we were married and moved in! The lady who owns the property couldn’t believe that anyone could ever have live there! But we did, and we were never happier. We don’t even remember coming down the crickety stairs, walking across the unheated garage and taking a shower in that crude toilet and shower!

Really, it was luxury compared to our childhood when we trudged 30-40 yards through the cold and snow to an “out-house” toilet. Toilet-tissue was generally a page out of a mail-order catalog placed there for the occasion! We easily forget how things used to be!

God bless El Dorado’s Temple Baptist Church and pastor! Our hearts are filled with gratitude to God for a church that has kept the faith and is faithfully fighting the good fight and pursuing the same course upon which it was established 54 years ago!