Missions Emphasis – Final Week

Bethel Baptist Friends,

Warm greetings to all of you!  Our weather here in Tucson is absolutely perfect right now.  The cool nights & warm days up in the 80’s is very pleasant after the scorching summer.  Now we are heading into “our time of the year.”  

Yesterday we finished our Missions Month Emphasis.  This was something new for me to attempt after forty-seven years of having a week long missions conference every year.  I have loved doing some really wild & adventurous mission’s conferences through the years.  But this particular year, we had three successive Sundays with missionary emphases.  The idea was to spread out the conference over Sundays rather than successive weekday nights & one weekend.  From that standpoint, I think it was better.  Also we planned a Saturday picnic with the missionaries last weekend rather than an International Dinner.  That was well-received by our people also. Having the emphases on Sundays allowed us to reach our Sunday morning crowd which was most of the church family.  So there were some very good aspects to this experiment.  Many people liked it better than the usual, but at least we had a new variety of things that made it interesting.

Missionary Ray Teachout & his fifteen year old daughter were with us from French Guiana yesterday.  She played a couple of offertories on her violin that were outstanding!  Another special aspect of this emphasis was that we did a lot of Skyping long distance.  Yesterday we Skyped the Teachout family in French Guiana where I interviewed Mrs. Jennifer Teachout & then the four children.  It was unique & pretty cool!  We had a camera set up so that they (in French Guiana) could see us & of course, we could see & hear them.  It added a new wrinkle to the missions emphasis indeed!  The missionary preached from Numbers 22:1-12 on “Balaam’s Lip Service” for the Lord.  He used a lot of Scripture from the OT prophets & applied the Scripture to the danger of giving only lip service to the Lord in our lives.  It was a powerful message. 

The choir sang, “Who Will Go for Me?”  The words of the song were as the Voice of God asking, “Who will go for me?”  And the answer the choir sang, “I will go for you.  I will gladly go” really connected strongly.  In the midst of that song was the old hymn, “I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go.”  This added considerably to it also.

The evening message included the missionary’s well-done audio-visual presentation of their ministry in French Guiana.  We learned a lot about their field of service in those few short minutes too.  “A picture is worth a thousand words,” you know.  Then Laura Teachout gave her MK Viewpoint.  Here are a few of the things she said that she does in her parent’s ministry”

  • Cleaning the church
  • Babysitting in the church nursery
  • Violin & guitar in the church services
  • Doing games for the kids & youth
  • Packing up stuff for children’s weekday clubs
  • Daily chores
  • And caring for the animals & family pets

So that gives you a bird’s eye view of the closing services of the missions emphasis here at Bethel yesterday.  It was unique & a special time together as a church family.  Only eternity will tell what was accomplished for the Lord in our lives, but to God be all the glory!

Pastor Stertzbach