(In the photo in the header of this post, seen online, are brothers and sisters of the church of Christ assembling in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine on the Lord’s Day September 17, 2017.)
I am posting and sending the September/October newsletter. These two months were combined due to the scheduling of the fall mission trip. This newsletter summarizes the mission trip’s work. If you missed any of the initial posts, I also made regular reports made during the trip and posted these online; they are still available online if you missed any of them.
Since My Return
Since returning, I have been unbelievably busy in traveling to report to supporters, helping Rachel & Shaun move, being with Bekah & Brian as they awaited Cason’s birth and struggled through the ER visit and subsequent diagnosis of Kennley’s Type 1 Diabetes. Cason was born on November 22 and mommy and baby were pronounced well and went home on Thanksgiving Day 2017! We are still struggling to get Kinnley’s blood sugar levels balanced with the 4 daily insulin injections (she is 2½ years old and we continue to solicit your fervent prayers and thank God for your compassion at this time).
Immediately after returning I enjoyed being with the brethren at the Wayne Furnace congregation (Waynesboro, TN) in preaching a gospel meeting. And these are just a few of the major points on the calendar. Much more is on the calendar before the end of the year and I look at the calendar incredulously thinking how all can be accomplished.
Looking forward to 2018
The news and actions for UKRAINE MISSIONS continues surging. Developments for 2018 in Ukraine and other locations are exciting. We still have at least 3 containers to load out before the end of December and a fourth is possible to load from the Columbus, MS location if they can secure shipping costs.
One of the BRIGHTEST actions in 2018 is the medical seminar that is being organized by our brethren in Ukraine and assisted by Dr Gary Jerkins and Dr Ron Swang. This began in a small way but has mushroomed into an amazing project. We will now touch a minimum of NINETEEN foreign nations with this seminar. Many of these nations have no concept of Jesus Christ as the only Son of God and His Church as the only Body recognized by God. This medical seminar provides us a platform for worldwide impact. Here is a recent email from brother Emmanuel to Gary listing the nations involved. Please be in constant pray for this seminar and its opportunity to spread the gospel’s message of grace, peace and hope found in Christ Jesus!
From: “Emmanuel K.nimo”
Date: November 13, 2017 at 6:04:10 PM CST
Subject: Re: Update on HMI CONFERENCE
Hello Dear Dr. Gary! Greetings from I.F!
We halted the registration process once we had the 100 people but still those 13 people contacted us but we didn’t give them the forms but we told them to hold on until we discussed it with you due to the limited Hotel space and because of the extensive sacrifice and preparation you have put in place already. We shall reopen the registration process again Lord willing tomorrow. Even today at Public Health lectures, some unregistered students came me to ask if there were available seats. Please here is the details of the 101 registered students (From JK—this is the number thus far and with registration open more will come. Those attending are from medical schools in Ivano-Frankivsk, Kyiv, and Dnepropetrovsk).
IN ALL, LORD WILLING, THE ABOVE STUDENTS FROM 19 COUNTRIES WILL BE PARTICIPATING IN THE CONFERENCE:
- India (18)
- Nigeria (15)
- Iran (1)
- Gabon (1)
- Morocco (1)
- Maldives (2)
- Azerbaijan (1)
- Ukraine (6)
- Poland (2)
- Tanzania (1)
- Congo (1)
- Sierra Leon (1)
- Botswana (1)
- Zimbabwe (3)
- Zambia (5)
- Kenya (1)
- Namibia (3)
- Cameroon (2)
- Ghana (36)
Thank you for your prayers, by His grace I’m getting better. We are continuously praying towards your recruitment of your Team and the Conference.
In His service, Emmanuel
Transition to Montgomery, Alabama
One of the first visits upon returning from this mission trip was to Montgomery, AL where plans were finalized for my transition to that city from Searcy, AR. For several years this has been discussed but variables were not aligned until now. Before leaving for Ukraine, I was presented with an opportunity to relocate to Alabama and continue in the mission work with which we have been involved for so many years.
The Dalraida Church of Christ (Montgomery, AL) is a mission-minded congregation that has long supported me. As they strive to increase their mission efforts and enrich those areas currently supported, we began talking about my moving to Montgomery. This is an incredible opportunity as this congregation of the Lord’s Church has a sound Eldership that focuses on evangelism in their local community and around the world. I have decided to make this move to Montgomery and work under the oversight of Dalraida. This move will not change our mission efforts as we will still be doing the same work but from a different location; our mission work will remain as it has for the past 15 years. The only difference is that we will be living in Montgomery, AL instead of Searcy, AR.
There are several reasons explaining why a move at this time is the best decision. A strong spiritual reason is that this move allows me to work with an Eldership that is very concerned about the Truth of God being taught. Dalraida has been supportive (personally and publicly) of me, my teaching and my writing efforts. The congregation at Dalraida is focused on missions (more than 33% of their annual budget is missions focused). They have a leadership team in place that rivals any I have seen in the brotherhood. The Elders are visibly & verbally dedicated to supporting sound doctrine in word and deed. Dalraida is personally engaged in their mission works to ensure the locations they support hold fast to the Truth. I am excited about having this spiritual encouragement from an overseeing congregation. [Read Letter from Dalraida Eldership]
As with any mission efforts there is the ever-present burden of fund raising. Dalraida volunteered to be personally involved by helping with potential contacts for presentations about our work and continuing to support from the Church’s budget. I am not sure how contributions to our work will be affected in 2018, and am looking to firm up my commitments for the new year. But, Dalraida and their involvement and oversight will allows our work to continue as it has.
The operations in Searcy will continue, but I believe they may be less than previous years. But this will be offset by the possibility of operations beginning in other locations.
Finally, there is a personal reason to make this move at this time in our lives as it places us closer to family. Montgomery will be closer to our daughters in Tennessee and also our extended family in the Huntsville and Chattanooga areas. Additionally, my son is a Deacon at Dalraida and we are excited about living and working around him and his family as well (especially the added bonus of seeing two sweet granddaughters more often!).
So, this transition is encouraging for the factors just mentioned. In summary…
- It identifies me working under the oversight of a strong congregation whose elders follow Ezra’s uncompromising and exclusivity in actions and attitudes: “Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances” (Ezra 7:10). This leadership permeates the Dalraida congregation and I look forward to being associated with such brethren devoted to the biblical pattern heralded from the pulpit and classroom and pew.
- This will not lessen the mission work. In fact, it actually broadens it as I will be able to join with the numerous mission efforts of Dalraida. There has been the hope that we will begin developing a collection and shipping hub from Montgomery as we have in Searcy, Columbus, and Neelyville. Our efforts will not be lessened and operations in the different collection and loading sites will not stop (the operations in Searcy will continue).
This transition requires me to continue receiving support for personal and operational needs. As you and your congregation look toward missions in 2018 I would like to ask you to consider putting UKRAINE MISSIONS into the congregation’s budget. If it is not possible for a monthly amount could you send a one-time donation?
Future support should be sent to this address:
Dalraida Church of Christ
Attn: Ukraine Missions
3740 Atlanta Highway
Montgomery, Alabama 36109
Thank you for your encouragement, financial support and prayers in our efforts! If you should have any questions at all, please let me know and I will be happy to answer them or even come meet with you about all the wonderful possibilities we have working together for the Lord’s Church!
To read the Sept/Oct Newsletter please click this link: 17 09 10 Sept and Oct Monthly Newsletter