September 2018


From the Good Shepherd Conference Center high in the Lebanese mountains

A godly Lebanese preacher is on the left who was a great blessing and encouragement in our early days in Lebanon, now in his nineties. In the centre is a member of our Sydney church who came to the Lord some 35 years ago;. On the right is a man in hi thirties who pastors a church down the mountain from the camp. He also is the site manager, “Mr. Make-it-all-happen” for all the camps. His father came to some of our activities in the nineteen sixties simply for curiosity and to get a ride in our van

Sunday was Father’s Day in Australia.

I spoke at our Faith Baptist Church at a joint English-Arabic Sunday morning service. I could not but remember my wonderful godly father who was such an example to us children by his love and respect for our mother. He taught us so many important values, using some very practical methods. I resorted to some examples recorded in our autobiography, Cast Your Bread:

“His father taught him the value of money by different methods. For example, he took his five-year-old son to meet the bank president to ask for a $50 loan to buy a calf to raise. The banker agreed to extend the loan and asked the lad to sign the loan papers. As a matter of precaution, the father was asked to sign as well! After feeding the calf for a year and showing the fatted calf in a county livestock show, the lad sold the calf, paid off the bank loan and tithed on the profit after deducting the expense of the cattle feed.. Prior to the calf project the father led his son to raise some chickens and tithe on the profit when he sold them.”

* To get him started, he led the boy to buy a dilapidated bicycle and, under his supervision, completely rebuild it.

Praise and Prayer Points

  • Recently an all-night prayer meeting was held at Faith Baptist Church.
    It was around 3am and I went to the office, unable to sleep (normal). An email came in from the prayer meeting:  “Just wanted to let you know that we are currently praying through the night and we’ve just thanked and praised God for you. Your testimony and hard work in ministry have been a constant and consistent anchor in the life and path of our Church. We are thanking God for your passion for Him and His house. We are thankful for the wisdom that God has blessed you with, especially helping us through the recent turmoil. We are also thanking him for your sweet supportive wife who has been by your side for many decades. Truly, our Lord has blessed us abundantly with your leadership and pastorship in our midst. We are also thanking him for your sweet supportive wife that has been by your side for many decades.
  • One of our members recently visited East Timor, a small Catholic country next to Indonesia. He reports that the missionary is using our Old Testament materials for their Wednesday evening Bible institute with great blessing!  He reports, “Many students I have spoken to have said it has been a blessing. They are amazed that I go to the same church as the Pastor they see on the screen every Wednesday night!”
  • Another member previously visited Papua New Guinea and saw our materials being used in their Bible institute. It is exciting for us to see these materials being used even in places of which we are not aware.
  • We are seeing a good number of new visitors in the services these days which is encouraging. Please continue to pray for several important steps ahead for the church’s transition to the new pastor
  • I’m asking special prayer for a matter affecting the Lebanon camp ministry. The camp season is closing out and I will give more details later. Thank you for your prayers and all you do for us.
  • Email: or


July 2018

Aug2017 camp

Pray for Lebanon summer camps beginning soon!

The Good Shepherd Conference Center near the Cedars of Lebanon will host several camps from several churches this July through September. Please join us in prayer that many hearts will be touched by the power of the Holy Spirit through Word of God. Pray for Pastor Edgard Traboulsi, the Conference Center Director and for Pastor Eli Wardan who is the on-site manager withmuch respon responsibility.

12-8 SBBC

Sydney Bible Baptist College

College Missions Class Visit

I taught in this college for 38 years and Kathleen taught English grammar for many years as well.  The college uses our Old and New Testament Bible History courses, each one comprising two semesters of study.  The Missions class took our autobiography, Cast Your Bread, to study and discuss issues involving ministry and missions. They asked us to share a class period with them to ask questions about our 67 years of ministry in the USA, Lebanon and Australia.


The book is available from Temple Baptist Church in El Dorado, KS  Email: or phone: 316 321 3803 

In 1952 Richard needed some good work to help pay for his second year of ministry preparation at Bob Jones University. He felt led to go to Wichita, Kansas to seek summer employment. Here is a page from Cast Your Bread:

The Important Door Handle

His hope was to find work at Boeing Aircraft’s Wichita factory for military airplanes. He repeatedly returned to Boeing’s employment office seeking work but with no success. No other door of work opened up for him. He was running out of money but decided to return one more time to Boeing’s office. Again he was refused. He walked to his car and put his hand on the door handle, ready to get in the car and drive back home to Oklahoma. His heart ached, and he prayed and asked God again to open the door for work at Boeing. He locked the car and returned to find that the Boeing Employment Office had just received a communication, minutes before, to hire more people. He was immediately hired and began work for the three-month summer break. The amazing, important car door handle was all that stood between success and failure. God stopped him at the door handle and set another important direction in his life. It was a lesson for Richard that his life was not left to chance! The Living God was in control of all details in his life, even the door handles that he grasped! From that would flow his introduction to an independent Baptist church, his establishing a new church in nearby El Dorado and his meeting his wife of now 62 years!

Showers of Blessing

  • Our church is rejoicing in “showers of blessing!” Six people were recently baptised, one couple was baptized who had attended the church for years and whose four married children and spouses are faithful and active members of the church. Other candidates for baptism are on the way. The attendance last Sunday morning was at the 300 mark with ten new people in attendance. Our pastor brought a stirring message on prayer that resulted in many responding and coming to rededicate themselves to the privilege of prayer. God has and is answering prayer and the church is again on the march forward. We are so thankful for your prayers and for God’s amazing faithfulness.

April 2018


Brother Mansour Youssef, wife Sharon and children

Prayer Answered!

After nineteen months without an official pastor, Brother Mansour Youssef has been appointed as pastor of Faith Baptist Church. It is a huge blessing after the times of instability and uncertainty. Still, it has been a time of renewing and uniting after the ugliness of division where Satan’s work thrives. Satan was attempting to discourage and destroy up to the last moment, but we thank God that He Who is in us is greater than he that is in the world. I even received a letter from “seven concerned pastors” warning of dire consequences if we proceeded with the vote. I replied asking the “seven anonymous whatevers” to rewrite their letter and divulge their identities. Satan rarely signs his name, but we are told not to be ignorant of his devices!

It was a time of relief and rejoicing for most and we trust for all as we continue to move forward. Brother Mansour came in the beginning months of our church as a nine-year-old Lebanese immigrant’s son who cried for his father to allow him to come to church. Although he had an accounting business and later a building company that built our new church facilities, he has always been heavily involved in our church and was giving three days a week to help our previous pastor in the church ministry. His wife is a pastor’s daughter.


Following Jesus in baptism


The church celebrated the baptisms of three young ladies aged 18 and in the twenties. Lunch and fellowship followed with a time to get acquainted with the visitors. View the recent Sunday school awards photo below.

Brother Mansour has worked with the Pulpit Committee to fill the role for 16 of those 19 long months. The Lord has truly raised him up from our midst and we are excited at what God will do in the future.

Sunday school awards for 2017

SS2018 copy

January 2018

Fire and Wildfires

We use the expression “on fire for God.” Although it is not literally found in Scripture, we understand that it means to be totally committed to Christ with no limitations or reservations. The new believer illustrates it well..That “first love” just consumes his or her entire being and that believer is ablaze for God.  This is “controlled fire” fuelled by the fruits of the Spirit and attracts people’s attention to the indwelling Christ.

There is another kind of fire that is fuelled by the fruits of the flesh. It is a wild, uncontrolled fire that is very destructive. A church going through a Satanic trial will be plagued with many distractions. One carnal, slick-talking  sower of discord among unsuspecting brethren can light more wildfires in a day than ten  wise people can extinguish in a month. When this happens, the force for evangelism is choked and the spirit is demoralised. Regaining the trust among brethren and the “fire for God” is difficult and generally takes considerable time.

The Lord is encouraging our church these days and the trust and the fire are gradually returning. New people are coming, and a good spirit of fellowship is growing. Eight people finished the discipleship course and were recently baptized. The service (see photo) was followed with lunch in the fellowship hall with a number of unsaved  present. It feels great as we get back to the mission.  God is answering prayer!

Baptismal Day


The Pulpit Committee asked if I would be physically able to baptize  some of the candidates. I was more than happy to do so and would only need help down the steps into the “modern” baptistry that makes baptizing so easy. The hardest experience I ever had was in the Mediterranean Sea at Beirut,   Lebanon,when a big wave nearly swept the candidate out of my hands! .


It was a real thrill for me to baptize three lovely Christian young people and a mother of three. The brethren feared I couldn’t handle the young man who was taller than I was, but the old man proved them wrong!



Believe it or not!

We took Kathleen for her routine check to the neurologist. Since I cannot understand most of what the doctor says due to my hearing problem and Kathleen cannot remember long enough to tell me, our daughter fills the gap. When we came out of the doctor’s office, my daughter said a lady in the waiting room wanted to see me. Around twelve years ago, we had met the lady a number of times in a restaurant she managed where we often went for Sunday lunch. I remember giving her tracts and speaking with her about the Lord, but her life was busy and she didn’t really show spiritual interest. She introduced herself with details how she had known us. Then she said she had terminal cancer with little time to live and would like for me to pray for her. The waiting room was crowded and her turn was due to come at any moment. We prayed surrounded by people and asked God to work in her life and for her need for Christ as Saviour. I told her to read John 1, 3 and 5:24 when she went home and to ask Jesus for forgiveness and eternal life. Then she had to go. I was overwhelmed and amazed how God uses our feeble efforts that seem to fail years later! Keep sowing the Gospel Seed!

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November 2017

Threescore and ten years plus

Labour and Sorrow

“Labour and sorrow” in Psalms 90:10 could probably be explained as “aches and pains” that you haven’t felt before in places you didn’t know existed. Our KJV Bible translates “labour” in other places as “mischief and misery.” “Sorrow” also comes through as downright “wicked.” We “oldies” get the point: this “labour” is often unpredictable and it can be absolutely miserable. This “sorrow” doesn’t play by our rules; it can be wicked and merciless.

Ads catering to seniors seem exciting and almost romantic, but for many of us “oldies” that perception doesn’t always live up to its supposed reputation. For some, serious physical issues and sicknesses may be the menu with few options.

At age 85 I secretly hoped that the remainder of the spiritual pilgrimage  would sort of “coast” down to the awaiting glory. Instead, I am being forced to push the “spiritual vehicles” to even make it “coast.” But in spite of this “miserable labour” and “wicked sorrow,” the Lord continually reminds me to focus on what God has so graciously given us and not on those things He has withheld from us through the labour and sorrow of age.

True, I lost the sight to drive 27 years ago, and I currently struggle with very limited sight and hearing but God provided Kathleen (23 years), our daughter and loving church brethren to take us where we need to go now.

Yes, Kathleen’s Alzheimer’s has crippled her memory and abilities to do many things, but God has kept me by her side and has provided the other helps we need. Truly, He “daily loath us with benefits (Psa. 68:19),” and as we focus on that our hearts overflow with thanksgiving!


Day By Day


The neurologist insists on a daily exercise schedule plus walking in a bush reserve next door to our home. Kathleen feels a big difference in her ability to work word puzzles after exercising and walking. 

20171024_162159Our great grand daughter joined this walk.

20171024_161314Out “swinging bus stop” in front of our daughter’s home where we await the 25-minute drive to church with one of the church brethren.


Hopes and Aspirations

  • We long to be a blessing and encouragement to many in our church. Often we invite them to a light Sunday lunch in a small cafe, after which they take us home. The long journey has taught us things we can share with them. The environment has to be conducive to my ability to hear and converse with them. Home visits are best conducted sitting at a table where I can hear best. Being able to preach twice each month in Arabic and English is a blessing from the Lord!
  • Our hearts remain burdened for the ministry in the Arabic world. We cannot forget the Lebanon ministries, churches and Beyt Mindere camp. Though we are physically separated from them, our hearts still long to see God working in those lands.
  • The book ministry is the BONUS ministry which brings a lot of joy in our sunset years. The colleges, institutes and churches that use the Bible History books and materials thrill our hearts. The Spanish editions are ever expanding in their distribution with Mexico at the top of the list. Soon we plan to have digital editions available online. This will reach some countries where we have not been able to print hard copies. We are praying for an Arabic edition of the New Testament Handbook to finish in 2018. That would be another dream come true!
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October 2017

2017 Lebanon Conference Season Concludes

2017 Jr camp

Aug2017 camp


Children were turned away due to lack of space. There were eight different camps involving six churches. A church from Damascus sent their young people from that war-torn country and were joined by some Lebanese young people for a total of eighty. A short video of a large group of young people shouting, “Thank you, Pastor Hester!” was revived to thank me for building the camp in 1969.


I have never been to Ecuador or South America for that matter. What a blessing it is to see the Lord using our labours in these countries foreign to us. When we wrote the Bible History survey books for the Old and New Testaments, little did we dream where they would go.

A missionary friend of many years recently wrote:
“As you know, I brought in with me several copies of each (book) to give to the preachers in different sectors of the country.  The books were very well received and we are now promoting them within our churches. I think that they will fill a very great need both for the rest of the preachers and for our lay people.” He will be printing both books soon. We’re now preparing for another printing of the OT Spanish books in the USA. 

Prayer Concerns

  • Our church is still without an official pastor after thirteen long months.  However, for ten of those months, one of the men of the church has been volunteering fulltime ministry in the church to fill the gap. He grew up in the church and loves the church with a sacrificial commitment. He is an excellent preacher and teacher, and he knows the administration of the church well, having helped our previous pastor up to three days a week the past two to three years before the resignation. Pray for the Lord’s will to be done at the time of God’s choosing.
  • We thank God for the good spirit in the church, an air of excitement about the outreach ministries as they take their priority after Satan’s diversion from the church’s mission. New visitors are coming in. Eight candidates are being prepared for baptism.
  • Pray for our previous pastor of 22 years, Pastor Nabeel Zaydan and wife Joseline as they take up a new pastorate in Washington, D.C., an Arabic and English congregation.
  • Pray for the Sydney Baptist Bible College, its faculty and students, where we taught for many years and where I was principal for thirteen years. Also, Satan is attacking every ministry in Australia it seems. The annual National Baptist Fellowship was held in Sydney last week with good attendance and blessing. 
  • Australia is currently holding a mail-in pleibiscite that will determine whether same-sex marriage becomes the law of the land. Churches are praying for the Lord to protect the institution of the family..

June 2017

Lebanon Camp Season

Begins Soon!

9-10 Camp fr below

The weather is beautiful in Beit Mendere, high in the Lebanese mountains just down from the ancient cedars of Lebanon. The nights are cool instead of the hot, humid weather on the seacoast, some 40 minute drive away. There will be no rain until October, so there is no need for an umbrella.

The two host churches in Aaba and Ayn Nijim will direct several conferences for their children, young people, adults along with a conference for the seminary staff and students. In addition a couple of other churches will be conducting their camps at the Good Shepherd Conference Center, so it will be a busy summer for those who are responsible.

An Exciting Cuba Project?

A missionary who is burdened for ministry in Cuba goes regularly to the island has approached me about an exciting venture. He is wanting to print our Spanish Bible History books in Cuba and get them out to hundreds of pastors and Bible college students

They do not have much in the way of good resources and the missionary believes that these books would make a significant contribution in that needy country. The Cubans aren’t used to the bold colours and bound books, so the project will be done simply.

Recent Australian Church Statistics

  • 12,400 local churches in Australia
  • 30% of these have less than 25 attending
  • Just over half of these have over 50 parishioners 
  • 55% of the 12,400 are in rural and regional areas
  • 21% have 25-50 people



Faith Baptist Church in Regents Park, NSW, Australia

Prayer Concerns

  • Our church is still without a pastor after eight difficult and sometimes very painful months. Thank God, there have been some great victories coming out of divisive battles for the soul of the church. Satan has viciously attacked on several fronts in a very complicated situation. I’ve been preaching for 66 years and I have never been in a situation like this. There have been many such battles in other churches but I was spared the pain until now. Please continue to pray for the Lord’s leadership and needed miracles to bring our church through this trial stronger by the Lord’s assessment.
  • Please pray for the Cuba project to come together.
  • Pray for the Lebanon conference season to be fruitful and blessed.
  • Pray for the English Bible History materials as they are adopted into use by five Bible college locations in Liberia, Ghana and South Sudan. The missionary friend in charge of this will give me more information later.

March 2017

Printed in Mexico


Ot Bible History Manual coming together

We are thankful to report that the Old Testament Bible History Manual (Guidebook) is now printed and available. Pastor Ramos has a vibrant literature ministry in his church and is doing a great job getting the books out to pastors, churches and Bible institutes. In around one year’s time he had sold enough of the NT Bible History books to pay off the funding loan for its printing!

We are so thankful for his partnership along with those who have worked so hard in the translation and preparation of both the NT and OT books in Spanish for printing. May God reward them all for labours of love for their Spanish-speaking peoples!

“Thank You, Lord!”

An Exiting Night

At last report my second ocular implant was giving me nothing except an unintelligible sound. My first implant of over three years ago gave immediate ability to understand words, so it was a bit disappointing when the second one gave nothing. But the audiologists urged patience, saying that the brain would ultimately sort things out and that words would be on the way.

Our USA daughter was here helping with her mother after her heart problems. Melody told me goodnight and went to her room. I took off the old cochlear processor that was giving me hearing. I started praying aloud, saying, “Thank you Lord… Suddenly I realised that I heard myself say “thank you Lord” with the new processor still attached to my ear! I rushed to Melody’s door and said, “I just heard myself say “thank You, Lord!” She said, “Oh Dad, I’m so excited” which I also understood. It was so appropriate that the Lord was thanked with the very first words! It is all His mercy and He is so gracious and plenteous in mercy.

Last week the audiologist was “blown away” and said she did not expect such an amazing result and that the time frame was unusual. To God be the glory!

Kathleen’s Recovery

Since the surgery for the pacemaker, she has had no further episodes with her heart. All has gone well and the cardiologist was very pleased with everything. We thank the Lord every day for allowing us more time together, to serve Him in our limited way and to help each other. She is my salvation for seeing and hearing and I am her’s for remembering!

January 2017

Number One in The World!




Our grand daughter is feeding her grand mother.

“I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalms  34:1

Number one?

I was asked if I would like to have the cochlear implant surgery with a local anaesthetic, which I preferred. I thought it was a common procedure. It went fine, but the surgeon kept asking if I had any pain, which I didn’t. But one time I said, “Yes, I do.” The anaesthesiologist immediately gave me more. The surgeon was perplexed when I said I still had pain, so he asked me where the pain was. I said, “It is in my foot!” Apparently I was having a cramp in my foot.

On the return visit to the surgeon, he told me that I was Australia’s first to have the surgery with a local anaesthetic and that I was number thirteen in the world. I know that you will be proud of your missionary because he is actually number one in the world to have surgery on his head for an implant and to feel pain in his foot! About the implant, I have not understood one word yet and will have to wait for the brain to sort it out and begin to decipher the electronic language.

God’s Miracles for Kathleen

Wednesday morning at the breakfast table Kathleen suddenly slumped backwards in the chair. She looked like death and there was no response. After perhaps ten seconds she began to revive. We took her to the doctor, and she repeated the episode in the waiting room. An ambulance took her to the nearby hospital. On Thursday morning she had a third episode, this time connected to a heart monitor that told exactly what happened. Her heart stopped for seven seconds, and they knew that she needed a pacemaker quickly.

Christmas holidays were on with few resources available. God had a good friend in the hospital who did the impossible, finding an available pacemaker at another hospital and asking a surgeon friend on holiday to come in just to perform Kathleen’s surgery by two o’clock that afternoon!

Our hearts are filled with gratitude to God and to the people He placed in just the right place to help us at the exact time they were needed. It was providential that she was seated during the first and second episodes and that she was connected to a heart monitor the third time, which removed all doubt about the what and why of these occurrences. We’re so thankful the Lord has again allowed us to have each other for His glory!

With Thanksgiving…

  • I did fall asleep once on duty (left photo), but I am looking after Kathleen with the great help of the grandchildren! Our daughter who lives here is away in Lebanon, and the USA daughter arrives today to help for two weeks.
  • Both the English OT Guidebooks and the OT Spanish Bible History books arrived in Sydney. Some of the church brethren unpacked all 1126 books onto the proper shelves for us.