Pastor Scott's Blog

Is it Necessary to Pray for People By Name

As our church has grown, I’ve found it harder and harder to keep up with the names of every child of every member of our congregation. This is made especially hard, given the fact that we have several very large families. With that in mind, I made the following post on my Facebook page:

I finally had to add the names of the children of our congregation to my weekly prayer list. For years I’ve been praying for the kids from memory as I came across their parents’ names. That’s just not possible any more! Soooo many kids (but that’s a good thing). It is a privilege to pray for you all, Rockport Baptist Church.

Within an hour or so of that post, I received a question from a friend and former member in my inbox (which I’ve edited to preserve the anonymity of the sender).

Good morning. I have a question. Is it necessary to mention everyone in prayers by name as you stated in your post? Are the children of Rockport less blessed by Him if, in my prayer, I say “the children of Rockport?” How is this different than when, in prayer I say “all the victims of a disaster”? I trust that the Lord knows about whom I am speaking. Maybe I have misunderstood something here. Chapter and verse, please, so I can get my prayer life where it needs to be.” Have a day filled with the blessings of the Lord. (Name withheld)

Here, in an edited and slightly expanded version (using made up names) is my answer:

Dear Friend,

I find many passages that speak of “making mention of you in my prayers” (Eph 1:16, 1 Tim 1:2, Philemon 1:4). It makes sense that I, as a shepherd, should lift to the Lord by name those who are under my care, just as I lift my girls to the Lord individually. Now certainly, there are different kinds of prayer and different levels of responsibility. It is true that, since I do not know all the folks who suffered during the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook, I have no choice but to lift them up as a group to the Lord and trust that He can and does interpret my prayers as needed. In the same way I also sometimes pray for the “families of our church” as a whole rather than individually. There’s nothing wrong with that.

But, when it comes to my specific responsibility to shepherd and care for individuals, I find that it is necessary (or at least helpful) to bring them to the Lord individually. When I ask the Lord to bless the Baker family for instance, I am thinking of them as a whole. Certainly God can and does use such praying. But when I am praying for little Tom Baker, for instance, the Lord brings his individual needs to my mind so that I am moved to pray for him more earnestly. Does that make sense?

I think it comes down to a matter of wisdom. Since I cannot pray for every individual in the world, I spend specific time praying for those individuals for whom I bear a personal responsibility. So that is the question: For whom has God made me responsible? My wife and children, certainly. Grandkids when I get them one day. My own parents, siblings and families. Other relatives, in-laws, etc. And as pastor, the people of this congregation. I also include good friends, missionaries I personally know, and on in on. Generally I begin with those closest, and move out in concentric circles as I seek to pray for those in my immediate sphere of influence. This is where my “lists” of people I know begins to come in handy. I have broken up my week into various categories of prayer so that I may work through most of the people in my life on a weekly basis, while praying for those closest to me daily.

Does that answer your question?

My prayer is that this answer may help others as well

Grace and peace, through faith in Christ,

Pastor Scott Lee

So What Is Rockport All About?

Somebody recently asked me what Rockport Baptist Church was “all about”.  That got me to thinking.   What is it like to be a part of this congregation?   I was tempted to just say, “We’re all about glorifying God through Christ!” Because I hope that’s the case.  But then, I suppose ever church that strives to be biblical would (or should) say the same thing.   But what are we about really?  When people come to be a part of our congregation, what do they experience?

Here is the answer I gave:

Rockport seeks to spread the good news of God’s sovereign grace for the joy of all who believe.  We are (or at least desire to be) passionate about missions and seek to find ways to engage our people personally in missions. We do this by recruiting and training people to serve as missionaries, and men to send out as pastors.  Every worship service begins with a focus on a missionary we are connected with, as we remind our people to pray for them.   We have also divided up lists of missionaries to volunteers who correspond with them and keep our congregation informed of their needs.

 We desire to disciple all of our people, beginning with our youngest, to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.   We place a great deal of emphasis on family focused teaching and ministry, training fathers and mothers to be the primary teachers/trainers of their children.   Most of the things we do as a church are designed to include all ages together.  We believe it is vital to have a multi-generational approach to ministry and fellowship so that the older men can teach the younger men, and older women can teach the younger women.  This has been one of the great joys of the last few years as we’ve seen the “generation gap” narrowing in our congregation and both the older and younger learn to love and serve one another.  To help facilitate this, we have a fellowship meal on the first Sunday of every month after our worship service.  Many families will remain for several hours afterwords getting to know and spend time with each other (all other activities are cancelled for that day).  But even on the regular Sunday mornings, it is not odd to have families remain at church fellowshiping and talking for an hour or two longer.

 Though Pastor Scott carries the primary task of weekly preaching, we are led, spiritually, by a team of elders, each of whom helps share the load of teaching, preaching,and leading.   We are also served by a wonderful team of deacons who seek to meet the physical and practical needs of the congregation.

 We place a high priority on the careful, systematic teaching of the word.  Every individual and family are strongly encouraged to be daily in the word, and to share freely with each other what they are reading.   During every Sunday morning service we have a time of open sharing when any member can stand and share something from the word, or a need for prayer, or a praise for some good thing God has done.  This has become one of the most joyful aspects of our weekly gathering.  There is also a weekly Sunday evening Systematic Theology class where those who wish may come study a little deeper.

 We also place a high priority on gathering for prayer and the study of the word.  There are no midweek meetings at the church building.  Instead we gather in homes on every night of the week (except Monday) to meet in C-Groups where whole families and individuals meet together to worship, share testimonies and exhortations, study the word and pray.  These meetings are a highlight of the week for many of us.

 We are always looking for ways to send our people out in evangelism and service.  Bake Ottofy heads up our jail ministry, sending various members (and others from the JBA) into the jail to visit inmates who have requested a visit.  We have a team, led by Matt McDonnell who go into the city to hand out tracts and preach wherever crowds of people gather together.   We were privileged recently to plant a church in U-City (the Gate), led by Pastors Kenny Petty and Kyle Hubbard.   This year we hope to plant another church somewhere in West County, pastored by Bro Brig Jones.   We also have, by God’s grace, several able men who are ready to go preach in any church that has need for pulpit supply, interim work, etc.

 Finally, our we have two annual events that are a blessing to our people.  Grace Camp Meeting in the Spring (April 11-14 this year).  This is three full days of meeting together to pray and hear the Word.  This years speakers are Charles Leiter, Mack Tomlinson and Curt Daniel.  And then, in the fall, our Annual Family Camp at Bate’s Creek, where our whole congregation meets together for four days of fellowship, fun and family focused teaching.

In a “nutshell” I think that describes the life of our congregation.  I’m sure I’ve left some things out, but that’s surely most of it.

If you live in the Saint Louis area, and are looking for a church that isn’t trying to be anything, but faithful to God’s Word.  Come join us.  We’d love to get to know you.

Soli Deo Gloria,

SSL

Updating My Blog, with only the “Best”

Greetings All,

I just updated this new blog by importing “only the best” from  my old Blogspot.  Hopefully, these articles will be a blessing and help to some.  Looking forward to future new posts.

In His Mercy

SSL

He will Save His People

“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus,
for He will save His people from their sins.”
– Matthew 1:21
“He will save His People from their sins!” That’s the good news of Christmas we hope to celebrate this year! It’s the fact that Jesus came to save us. From what? From our sins! From our God-denying, small-minded, earth-is-all-I-care-about meaningless and wasted lives! – from flittering away 20 or 30 or 80 years on nothing! – like money and sex and luxuries and houses and lands and vacations and beauty and fame or whatever else you might come up with!. “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36)
Or maybe we can say it this way: What does it profit you to live your whole life and yet never know God! You see, that’s what Christ has done for us. Not only has He saved us from God’s wrath against our sin, He’s brought us into fellowship with God. “Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. !” (1 Peter 3:18). You and I were made for God! We exist to know God (John 17:3) – to glorify and enjoy Him as God! So any life lived without God, is a waste! You can be a millionaire celebrity, but without God, it’s dust and ashes! But if you have Him, if you know Christ the way a man knows and trusts a dear and faithful friend – even an ash-heap becomes a castle.
Do you know Him? This is the greatest gift you could gain this Christmas. Not just to have your sins forgiven by Christ, but to have Christ Himself reigning as Savior and Lord of your life! That’s how he saves His people from their sin, by giving us Himself!
In the Grace and Love of Jesus!
SSL

What Am I?

I rediscovered this brief “poem” of mine recently, while rummaging through some old computer files.   I remember writing it back in college, oh so long ago.   It was shortly after I’d come to faith in Christ, and I was trying to work through how different my view about ultimate destinies had become now that I was a Christian, as opposed to what I had once believed when I was edging near the borders of atheism.   I do not claim that this is great literature by an stretch! But the thoughts expressed here still ring true to my mind.

WHAT AM I?

What am I?

Some absurd ape taken in by a grand illusion
of false grandeur?

Or am I a child of a loving Creator-God
formed from dust into his everlasting image.

Is my life wrapped up in a sad delusion?

A delusion that will pitiably end in the sticky
black darkness of death?

Or am I destined to serve my King,
to serve my King in eternal, heavenly glory?

But I know in Whom I have believed,
And I am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I have entrusted to Him
Until that final day.

Yes Lord, I am Yours.
Amen.

Two Great Responses to the Southern Baptist “Statement”

sbc

I have really wanted to respond to the so-called “Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist View of Salvation” that was issued recently (and which ought to be called, “A Statement of the Neo-Traditionalist Arminian View of Salvation”), but frankly I have not had the stomach or the time to do so. Fortunately, several faithful brothers have done what I could not do. Let me commend to you the following.

First, a dear brother named Scott Weldon has issues this excellent response, which he calls My Two Cents re: “A Statement of Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation”. I highly recommend it.

Second, Brother Tom Ascol is doing an excellent point by point analysis. It also is highly recommended and you can find it at the Founder’s Blog here.

My many thanks, brothers, for taking the time to declare truth.

Ephesians: A Celebration of Salvation

I have, for years, had a desire to lead our church, Rockport Baptist, through a study of the Book of Ephesians.  With that study finally beginning this Sunday, I’ve written the following as a sort of “introduction” for our congregation.

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
 To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus: 
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 
Ephesians 1:1-2

With these words we begin what I believe will be an exciting and faith-building journey through this book of Ephesians.  It’s been called many things.  William Barclay called it “the queen of the epistles”  Another man likened it to “the Grand Canyon of Scripture”.  It’s “pure music!” says another.

But what is it about this letter that has drawn such high praise?  For surely “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God” as 2 Tim 3:16 declares.  So it can’t be that this book is ”more God’s word” than some other portion of Scripture.   Yet it is here that we have, distilled into it’s purest essence, the very heart of the Gospel itself.  So let me give you three things that have been noticed about this book of Ephesians before we begin our study

(1)Someone has noted that Ephesians is intercession!

More than any otherbook in the New Testament, it has the feel and quality of an extended
prayer.  As you read it, it takes hold of you and lifts you up into the very presence of God Himself in the “heavenly places” (1:3)

(2)Ephesians is exaltation

There’s a celebration going on here! This is not just some dry tome giving us our doctrine as it instructs us about the grace of God.  This is a riotous explosion of grace that brings great joy in Christ!

(3)Ephesians is evangelism

Here, in the clearest possible terms we will see again and again the great lengths and heights to which God has gone to rescue us from our sin and to bring us home safely in Christ.

That’s why I’m calling this study,   A Celebration of Salvation!  Here is something that is meant to make you rejoice as you see just how extravagant the grace of God is, that has been poured out for us sinners in Christ Jesus!!

May God give us eyes to see!   
Pastor S. Scott Lee

My daughter’s blog

My daughter recently began her first blog with an article on depression that I found so encouraging I wanted to share it here.

The Little White-Haired Man on George Street

This true story has been told many times by my seminary professor Dr. Roy Fish who knew some of the persons involved. It has always been a great encouragement to me to be faithful sowing Gospel seed, knowing that it is God who can and will ultimately bring fruit.

There was a Baptist preacher in England named Francis Dickson.He had a man in his church named Peter.Now they don’t have church staff in English Baptist Churches, but Peter was the closest thing Francis had.One Sunday they asked Peter to give his testimony in church.Peter stood to share and said,

“Folks, let me tell you how I was saved. I was stationed with the Royal Navy in Sydney Australia.” And he said, “I was walking down George Street in Sydney one day when out of nowhere came a little white-haired man. He stopped me on the street and said, ‘Excuse me sir, but I want to ask you a question. I hope you won’t be offended, but tell me, sir, if you were to die today, where would you be in eternity? The Bible says it will be either heaven or hell. Think about it wouldn’t you sir? That’s all, God bless you. Tudelu.’ And he was gone.” Peter said, “Those words cut like an arrow shot out of heaven to my heart. I was deeply disturbed. But I didn’t know what to do. For six months I was under conviction. Finally we sailed back to England. I had one Christian friend. I sought him out, and he helped me to Christ.”

They had what we would call a revival meeting in that church where Francis Dickson was pastor.And part of the revival team was a young man whose name was Noel.They asked Noel to share his testimony.

He said, “Folks, I’d like to tell you how I was saved. I lived for a while in the beautiful Australian city of Sydney. I was walking one day down George Street and out of nowhere came a little white-haired man who stopped me on the street and said, ‘Excuse me sir, I want to ask you a question. I hope you won’t be offended, but tell me, sir, if you were to die today, where would you be in eternity? The Bible says it will be either heaven or hell. Think about it wouldn’t you sir? That’s all, God bless you. Tudelu.’ And he was gone. I knew enough gospel to get saved. So I went to the house where I was living and that afternoon I got down on my knees and trusted Jesus as my Savior.

When that service was over, Peter went up to Noel and said, “Noel, you’ve got my testimony. It happened to me just like that. The little old man on George Street.” And the pastor overheard them.

Francis Dickson was preaching not too long afterwards in the city of Adelaide, Australia, some 500 to 1000 miles from Sydney, way down in the southern part of the country.And he felt impressed to tell the story about the two men in his church and the little man on George Street.When he started telling the story, a man toward the back of the church stood up and started waving his hand like this.Now we don’t do that in Baptist churches, and so Dickson tried to ignore him.But he kept waving until he got his attention.

Dickson asked him, “Hey mister, you want to say something?” “Yes I do! I want to tell you how I got saved. You see, I was walking down George Street in Sydney, Australia. And out of nowhere came this little white-haired man…” And the story was the same!

When Francis Dickson got to Perth, Australia, the largest city on the western coast, he knew he had a story.So he told the story there in Perth.When the service was over, a Baptist deacon cameup to him and said, “Sir, I’m another. I was walking down George Street in Sydney, when out of nowhere came this little white-haired man…”That’s how I became a Christian.

When Francis Dickson got back to his church in England, he knew he had a story.He told his own congregation.When the service was over, a young woman came up to him and said, “Sir, I’m another. I was walking down George Street in Sydney, when out of nowhere came this little white-haired man…”That’s what led me to Jesus

Francis Dickson preached at Keswick, England in the north part of the British Isles.He told this same story.Afterwards an aged man came up to him.“Sir, I’m another. I was walking down George Street in Sydney when out of nowhere came a little white-haired man.”That got me started to Christ.

Francis Dickson preached all over the world.He told this story to a group of missionaries in India on one occasion.They said, “Would you talk to us about personal evangelism.”After he told this story, a woman missionary came up to him and said, “Sir, I’m another. I was walking down George Street in Sydney, Australia…, It happened to me like that.

He told that story on the island of Jamaica, and an eighth person came up to him and said, “Sir, I’m another. That little white-haired man on George Street helped me to Christ.”

A godly layman named Gene War in Oklahoma City is a friend of Dr. Fish.He was telling this story to a gathering of chaplains at Fort Benning, Ga.And as he told the story one of them raised his hand.“Mr. War, you’re not gonna believe this. But let me tell you how I became a Christian. I was walking down George Street in Sydney, Australia when out of nowhere…”

Well, Francis Dicksonmade sure that Sydney was on his itinerary the next time he was in Australia.He wanted to meet this little old man.He got there, but didn’t really know what to do.So he called a Christian friend of his and said,

“You’ll probably think I’m crazy, but have you ever heard about a little old man who stands out on George Street and asks people when they die, if they know where their going to spend eternity?”

“Sure,” he said, “That’s Mr. Jenner!”

“Mr. Jenner? Do you know him?”

“All of us know him. He doesn’t get out very much any more. He’s a bit infirm,doesn’t see very well. He’s getting on in years.”

“Do you know where he lives?”

“I can take you right to his house.”

They went to his house.Knocked on the door.A frail little old man welcomed them in.And after introductions were made, Francis Dickson, that pastor from Great Britain, told that little old man about all those people who’d come to Christ through his winsome word of warning and witness.And that dear little old man broke down and copiously wept.He said,

“I’ve shared with literally thousands of people on George Street in Sydney, and this is the first time in my life that I’ve ever heard of any who came to Christ through my testimony!”

So, faithful friends, be faithful in sowing. You never know what God may do with the smallest seed planted and watered with tears. He is faithful.

Romania Report — March 2011


I was privileged to go back to Brasov, Romania (a place I have grown to love) and speak in several churches and a student conference for a few days this March. While there, I did my best to keep my church family at Rockport Baptist informed since they were praying for me and many had helped provide the funds so I could go. What follows is a collection of the reports I sent back via our church news group.


Fri March 11

Just a quick word to let you know I arrived safe and am staying with Sorin in Brasov Romania. We start tomorrow with a youth meeting. The Gypsy meeting has been postponed until next Monday. All else is the way I have printed in the bulletin.

Sat March 12
About to turn in tonight. Much preaching and traveling in the morning. We had a youth meeting today. It began with many games. I played the Romanian version of Risk (Risc) with several teenage boys (and one girl). I did not win. I then spoke to the group from Isa 6. Several of the boys are not believers. Pray the Lord opens their hearts. One of the families have two daughters. They represent something very rare in Romania. They are homeschoolers. .

We had dinner with the Tomeci and Palada families tonight. It was good to see them. Their children have really grown up. Kim, Bob and Aaron, they pass their love along to you all, as well as to the whole of Rockport.

God bless you all. I am very tired and must go to bed!

Sun March 13
I was praying for you all this morning as you were meeting (afternoon here). Right about the time Aaron was standing to preach, I was doing the same for the second meeting of the day. Things went well. God protected us as we drove across the mountains to Fiene. There is a good work going on there — a church plant. It is a difficult work. The Orthodox are very much against them and threaten them and warn the people that they are a dangerous “cult” so they must stay away. People treat them that way, but the persevere in preaching and sharing. There is only a small congregation, but the two missionary families continue faithfully. I preached from Mark 8 on taking up your cross to follow Jesus.

Sorin and I then drove back across the mountains to Brasov. The church here meets in the evening. It was wonderful to be with so many people I know. In addition to the Tomeci and Palada families and Sorin, there are also many I know from the summer Aaron, Bob, Kim and I spent two weeks here. It was wonderful to spend time with them. I preached from Colossians 3 on love and forgiveness in the body of Christ.

Tomorrow we will go on the university campus and do some witnessing in the dorms. Tuesday there is a prayer meeting with many of the students. Wednesday the conferences start (this is a change from what I had put in the bulletin).

I don’t remember if I told you, but Sorin’s wife is not here. She is in America with her parents. She is seven months pregnant and there are some complications. It is not severe, but the medical help she needs is much better in the US. She will be staying with her parents until the baby is born. Sorin will join her in early April. Please keep them both in your prayers.

Tue March 15
As long as I am at Sorin’s apartment I will have access to a computer so that I can jot these notes. I hope you find them encouraging. It helps me to know I can share a word with you. (I’ve noticed as I type, that I’m writing in short sentences. Just as i must speak to my Romanian friends. )
We had a really good day Monday. I spent the morning and afternoon with our good friends Bebe and Ani Tomeci. We walked in old Brasov (where Aaron, Bob and Kim have been). We then went back to their apartment to fellowship and have lunch together. I think it was an encouraging time for them. In the evening we went to the University of Transylvania campus to share the Gospel with students. We found several there from Nigeria (who speak English). We were able to converse with them. It was more relationship building that giving a direct gospel. Alex and Bebe want to develop a ministry to the international students here, so this was our first real contact. We spent a good deal of time with them. We are praying they will come to our conference this weekend.

Today, there will be more meetings with friends (Ionutz and his new wife). Then tonight I will be speaking at a Campus Crusade prayer meeting. I am not certain what I will be speaking about (I have two possibilities), but the Lord will certainly direct me.

Please keep us in your prayers. Tomorrow we will begin traveling for a few days to the cities of Fiene and Pucioasa for conferences there. Please pray for pastors Florin and Nicu as we share with their congregations. I am not sure if I will have internet access during these days or not, so ….we will see.

Wed March 16
We had a great prayer meeting here last night. God gave real freedom in sharing from the Psalms on desperation for God in prayer. I believe it was a help to them. Sorin said that He could tell the Holy Spirit was among us and that there was a real joy and faith in the prayer time that has been missing lately among them. I am grateful to hear this. There is a great spiritual resistance to the Gospel in this city and indeed in Romania these days. The spirit of secularism and atheism has returned with a vengeance. So has the religious spirit of dead orthodoxy. This kind comes out only by prayer! Please be praying for us!

Here very shortly Sorin and I will travel the 2.5 hours to Putuoasa. We will meet with the elders for prayer. Then I will preach twice this evening. Tomorrow we will go to Fiene and do the same thing there. We will then return to Brasov. The student conference begins on Friday and goes thru Sunday. Please pray God will provide us with a place to meet. Currently we plan to meet in Sorin’s apartment, but it is not very large and there are many students who said they are coming. God knows our need.

Please pray for our safety and our health as we travel. I am praying for you all by name while I am here and longing to see you. Pray for my family while I am gone as well.

Love to you all. Love especially to Amy and my girls (sorry I was rushed and did not have time for a separate email).

Wed March 16 PM

A short note from my phone. Good meetings tonight in Pucioasa. In a hotel tonight. Found a worm in my bed. Interesting. Yes I have a picture.

Wonderful time with Pastor Nicu and family. His little daughter is a doll. We became good friends. I know it is true because she told me so. She also said I need to learn better Romanian. I saw many villiages where there is no Gospel preaching. They are working hard to start churches.

Tomorrow we will do a conference on Firmer. Please pray for us. Pray also for me. I’ve had a mystery ache in my side.

God is good. Late here. Must go to bed.

Friday March 18

We are back in Brasov in the mountains. We had a really good meeting yesterday in Fiene. God gave me a lot of freedom in sharing from Genesis 3 and Genesis 12 as we were looking at Christ in the Old Testament. It seemed to be a help to the congregation. There was one man there who has lived for 9 years in the States. We were able to speak for some time. He has been confused by some in the charismatic movement. Please pray for him.

We also had a really good meeting the pastoral team in Fiene, answering questions and trying to encourage them. We spent a lot of time talking about the husbands role in raising children. There has been very little teaching about this here. Even in Christian families it is often left to the wife to do nearly everything, with the men only occasionally making sure she is doing it right. I hope I was able to share some things to help this brother understand his responsibility. Please pay for bro Florin and his wife. They recently lost their second daughter in infancy and, as we talked about it I could tell they are still deeply grieving.

After the conference was over late last night, Sorin and I grabbed a quick meal at a restaurant, and then headed back over the mountains. It was dark, rainy and foggy. If you’ll remember, this is Transylvania, so imagine all the images that were running through my mind! Narrow, broken down roads twisting through the mountains of Romania in a dense fog! You could almost see the werewolves and hear the vampires moving through the bushes! To be honest, it was great fun. Sorin and I talked about family and ministry most of the way, then turned on some Christian music and worshiped the remainder of the journey. When the song “Jesus Thank You” came on, just for a moment I felt a very strong longing to be back home worshiping with Rockport. Soon . . . .

I’ll have lunch with Alex Palada and his family later today. Then the student conference will begin this evening. Imagine 30 to 50 college students or more crammed into an area no bigger than the Johnson’s or the Dickman’s living room and you’ll have an idea what we are looking at.

Saturday March 19
Greetings from Romania. I’ll need to be quick since the second day of our conference will begin shortly. Friday evening’s meetings went very well. We had a house FULL including 8 young men from Nigeria who came. Since they were here the whole conference had to be translated into English from Romanian, and not just from English to Romanian when I spoke. I preached from James about living as those who know they must die. I believe God used it to awaken some to the reality of their own mortality. Afterwords one of the Nigerian young men asked me if he could have my notes. I have no idea what he’ll do with them, but I gave them to him.

Alex then preached a message on the meaning of real friendship, and the ultimate friendship which is found in Christ. It was pretty good. I was glad they had to translate it so that i was able to understand. If the Nigerians had not been here I would not have been able to listen in.

We will begin a morning session here soon. I must get my room put in order since some will have to sit there as an “overflow” room. They cannot see the speaker from there, but they will be able to hear. Even more students will be with us today, since some have traveled here by train from Sibiu.

Usually when I am in Romania I have not really struggled with being homesick. For some reason it really hit me last night and this morning. I am glad to be here, but my heart is beginning to long for home.

Saturday March 19 PM
Well, we just finished our Saturday morning and afternoon sessions. I preached twice — once on “Living with all Your might for the glory of God” and a second time on cultivating biblical contentment. It seemed to go very well. We had a full house. After a lunch of spaghetti (with a really unique and good sauce) we spent time in prayer. The students have now gone out two by two to witness in the dorms. They have left me behind to rest since it would be hard for me to share the gospel in English. My plan is to jot this note and rest a bit for now.

Later today I will go to a young couple’s apartment for dinner and fellowship. Tomorrow morning Bebe Tomeci and I will both preach for the last session of the conference. I will then preach in the evening service for the church that meets here in Sorin’s apartment (Providence Baptist Church).

So many have told me to send their love and appreciation to you all. You have mine as well!

God bless you. I am praying as you all meet tomorrow that God would pour out his Spirit richly upon you!

Sunday March 20
Things have been very busy this weekend. Last night, after the conference, Sorin had rehearsal with his worship team, and then we had dinner with a sweet newly married couple (Bob, Aaron and Kim may remember Ramona from their time here).

This morning we will finish the conference. Then, church this evening. Tomorrow morning very early we will leave for Bucharest. I will then preach a small conference with the Gypsies there which had to be postponed from last week.

And then, very early Tuesday morning I’ll go to the air port and head home! 🙂

I am praying as you all gather for worship this morning! (by that time it will be evening here and we will be worshiping with Providence Baptist in Sorin’s living room.

Monday March 21
It seems this is my last email from Brasov. In about 10 minutes Sorin and I will pile my stuff in the van and head to Bucharest. We’ll get there just in time to go to the gypsy church for a conference. I’ll preach twice. Then I’ll be done for this trip. My heart is already turning toward home. I pray I can keep my focus for these last two messages.

Yesterday was very busy, but very good! It was hard to say good bye to the Tomeci and Palada families, as well as all the other friends we now have here — Ionutz and his wife, Ramona and her husband. But God is so very good. I was very tired for the second service yesterday and not sure I’d have strength to preach it. But God helped and things seemed to go very well.

There was one tragedy. Some have small children. They were running around afterwards, as small children do. One of them knocked over Sorin’s guitar and the neck broke. This guitar was given to him by someone from the states. It was a very nice one (I’d guess about $1000). It is ruined now. I could tell he was grieved, but he took it very graciously.

This evening I hope to get to bed early. We must be up very early 4 am in order to get to the airport. I am longing for home and the chance to see all of you. I miss my girls terribly.

Monday March 21 – via Facebook
We drove through snow to get to Bucharest. Conference with the gypsies went well. Now just hanging out til tile to get to the airport!!

Monday March 21 – PM
Hey church! I’m sitting in Starbucks with Sorin waiting for our friend Ruxi to join us to go to supper. The gypsy conference went well. I am done. My plane leaves in about 14 hours! Can’t wait to be home. Grateful to God for all he has done.
Tuesday March 22
Sitting in the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. No coffee yet. Romania is a fond memory and I am dreaming of home. I’m grateful for all God has done over here, but I’m ready for my feet to hit US soil. Soon enough. Long layover here.

I did get to see our friend Ruxi for a bit for supper last night and pray with her about her ministry to young women.

Two hours til my plane begins to load now. I think I’ll Get that coffee.

Wednesday March 23 – FB
To my dear friends and family, Thank you so much for your prayers & words of encouragement while I was gone. The Lord sustained me thru you! I hope to rest today so I can hit the ground running tomorrow. Love to you all.