A Word From Steve Jones
January 15th, 2018
Greetings to everyone from FBC family! (April 26th)
Once again I want to thank you, from Tina and I, for sending us a caring and passionate group from the church. It was so good to be able to reconnect with people who feel like relatives of the home, and as well to get to know new people that have now been added to the family! The kids, staff, Tina and I had a wonderful time and were greatly blessed by the visit.
So much was accomplished! All of what we had planned to do was done, as well as extra projects (touching up of the soccer field, entrance garden, ). We are happy that the group was able to get new connections to be involved in the home and work alongside. Our "gas tank" shed is ready, the kitchen walls are up (will send pictures of the kitchen once we paint, etc, so that you can all see the final result!), the safety equipment (detectors, extinquishers, emergency lights) are all set, the concrete pad for the generator is ready (need to let it rest for 10 more days before we can put the weight of the generator on it), the soccer field is a safer area, and our main entrance is starting to look beautiful (can´t wait for everything to grow and bloom)!. We will be sending pictures as details finish up.
It was also really nice to see the kids engage, once again, with the team. To work alongside, from the youngest to the oldest, boys, girls, everyone. It's always uplifting to see the kids get dirt and sweat and feel like they are contributing to the work, and proud to be doing so!
Another thing that was great is that we had been planning a trip to the pool with the kids for a while but weren't ready because of short staffed, or just didn't find the time. So, because Monday was a Holiday in Honduras, we took advantage of the team being here and asked if they could help us out. We were able to take every single one of the kids to the pool, (and get them out of the way of the construction) and appreciated the supervision everyone from the team added to this. Tina and I both agreed that it was one of the most "relaxed" experiences we have had in the pool, as responsible people, because of the extra pair of hands and eyes that were there. The guys came later, after the work day, and were also greatly appreciated by the teenagers and kids, since our kids always welcome a bit of rough play when male figures come and visit!! This could become a tradition..... HAHA!
As for me, personally, it was uplifting to have the team come. Thank you for this. Thank you for reminding me that we are not alone in this fight. For the encouragement, the prayers, for feeling like there are people backing us up and reminding us that God is working and loving through us despite our flaws and failures. And we know that the rest of the year, we are covered by your prayers and support. Thank you for choosing us, our little ones, to be loved and cared for.
God bless you,
Dear pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve here… When was the last time you sensed the Spirit of God prompting you to speak to a stranger about the Lord. What did you do? Did you obey?
Our Fellowship chaplains are often doing this on a daily basis. They act as an extension of the local church in places whereour churches do not often connect. Truck stops, military bases, sports team locker rooms, fire halls, the back seat of a police car or international airports to name a few.
I’d like to encourage you with one salvation story from one of our Fellowship Chaplains serving at the Pearson Airport in Toronto. Pat DiFonzo has served there, with four other Fellowship airport chaplains, for years. He met a young woman in the airport four years ago. She was in crisis seeking to escape an abusive situation. She was fearful and suspicious, but sensed in Pat, a gentle man to be trusted. Here is her story in her own words:
“Remembering my experience in Toronto, Canada is always a painful past for me. It was the darkest period of my life. The only blessed thing was meeting Pat and Lori and still having them in my life till today, and of course also having Jesus Christ’s love in my life.
“It has been almost four years since the day I met Pastor Pat in that little chapel in Pearson International Airport. I was running away from some bad people back then. And I had to hide in the airport till my flight back to Singapore. I was struggling mentally and in a state of shock and panic. Police even came to interview me but they were of no help. I then found the safest place to be which is inside the chapel.
“I remember Pat offering me food and drinks. And then he invited me to his home until the next day as my flight was still quite some time away. I at first declined his offer but accepted after. I guess it was his aura that calmed me down. And that is when I went into his beautiful home and met my fairy godmother, Lori. They invited me to stay in their daughter’s room. I am really thankful for their hospitality. All thanks to them, I managed to have a hot shower and a good night’s rest before heading to the airport for my flight the next day. My fairy godfather also upgraded my flight to first class to ensure I would have a comfortable and safe flight back home to Singapore. Before my flight, we went to the chapel for the last time and Pat asked if I wanted to accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. Since I saw that Jesus Christ was my fairy godfather’s Savior and Lord, I was willing to accept Jesus as my Savior too!
“Back in Singapore it took me years to heal completely from that painful past. I struggled with depression and demons, but Pat and Lori’s love and prayers never failed to warm my heart over and over again.
“I am forever thankful to my “saviors”. I want to thank you both for coming in to my life and thank you for making this world a better place.
“Till the day we meet again!”
Four years later, Pat celebrates that she is still walking with the Lord, graduated from school and working at her father’s company. All because Pat obeyed the Lord’s prompting to talk to her on that cold January morning. That simple act of obedience, carried out by faith, allowed the Holy Spirit to touch and transform her life.
Our Fellowship Chaplains come into contact with hundreds of spiritual seekers and they want to connect these seekers and young believers to our Fellowship churches. As our Fellowship chaplains “demonstrate the love of Christ”, pray that we will continue to see much fruit. Secondly, please be available to our chaplains when they desire to connect new believers to your church family.
Have a blessed week,
I really don't know how to start. It was a great day but.... we had to say bye!
We all started our last day early. We had breakfast, prayed and we're ready and waiting for our drive. We decided to go shopping and buy the coffee in the morning so we could be at the home for the whole afternoon when the kids were all back from school.
We had our shopping and coffee picked up by 11:30 so we ate our lunch on the way to the home. We got the retaining wall back-filled, the fence up, the generator slab formed up with the rebar in it. We cleaned up the yard and back-filled the sidewalk. Got the roof welded together on the propane storage and ready for the steel roofing. The drywall is all crack filled in the kitchen and new plugs and light switches installed.
We didn't get the concrete poured in the generator slab because we ran out of gravel and they didn't deliver it until 4:00. We still needed to say good bye so Eve's, Michael ?and Gabriel and the boys are going to pour it tomorrow. The steel still needs to go on the roof of the propane shed, the door installed and the tank moved in. The boys welding up the soccer nets were helping us with this project and they are going to come finish it the first of the week.
Our team worked well together and we organized and accomplished way more than we expected!
Saying bye to everyone was emotional and the kids didn't want to see us go. There were lots of tears! Chris lead us all in prayer! When we got in the van, 6 of them climbed in with us. Our van had to wait for an hour for us to finally get away.
We had a grand finale! We had 17 of our Honduras friends over for supper and a night of singing praises to God in a melody of Spanish and English praise! We all hung out together and spoke encouraging words to one another, prayed together and sang. Lots of new friends made, new connections, we were truly blessed.
We are up tomorrow at 5:30 and start our journey home! Thanks for praying!
Your team in Honduras
This morning was tough! We all woke feeling a little discouraged! Autumn and Alisha are feeling a little nauseous, Chris's whole body is aching, Shania woke with a head ache and I woke with my ribs hurting again. Buck and Emma are holding us together.
We rallied together at breakfast! We all held hands and prayed for God to give us the strength and the help we need for the day. Then we sang praises to God as we packed our lunch and we continued singing for the whole drive to the camp and we got out of the van at the camp singing to God! We sang throughout the whole day till Alisha's phone went dead! It picked us all up! The joy of the Lord is our strength and that's how we got our strength today! Thank you Lord!
We had another large day! We got some wiring finished in the kitchen, we got the mulch on the flower garden, white washed trees and rocks in the garden, we got the posts all stood for the fence along the soccer field, we got the block retaining wall stood on the end of the soccer field, we finished pouring the concrete walkway to the propane shed and we got the walls built for the propane storage!
The kids are a great help! They helped with the mulch, they helped mix and wheel concrete, they helped screen sand and they helped white wash. Eves and Michael, two locals have been a God-send helping us with the concrete and the block! Gabriel the caretaker has been a huge help as well. It's a busy spot, there is a lot happening every day.
We had supper at 5:30 and our driver Bittwell joined us because he was waiting to drive us to church. Emma Chris, Buck and I went to church, the rest were too sick to go. It was an awesome time worshiping with our brothers and sisters in Honduras. They asked me to introduce the team and then asked us if we wanted to sing!?! The pastor was with us earlier in the week when we were all together in the van and we were singing! I guess we must have sounded Ok?
Any way we agreed but we told them you guys would never let us sing on stage at home! ;) We rocked it! (truthfully Chris rocked it) They invited us back up to sing it again with their band singing in Spanish. It was a spirit filled night! We needed it! We returned home and prayed together for tomorrow. It's our last day and it’s a busy one. The girls can' t be sick. Please keep praying for us!
We have an exciting Friday evening planned. We have six of our Honduras friends coming over with their families and bringing their musical instruments for a night of praise and worship together! A celebration before we head home!
Your team in Honduras
You will notice the wall that had to be made to stabilize the bank and plus the soccer nets / basketball nets in the background.
Another great day in Honduras! I jumped out of bed in the morning! Everyone was eager to get going! Alisha and I went with Angel and Kory to pick up all the plants for the flower garden. Alisha, Autumn, Chris, Emma and Shania got the plants all in the ground before 10 AM which is what is recommended here. They got them all watered and fertilized with hen manure. The mulch will be here today to finish it. It looks awesome and Melodie's smile was huge, it's been on her wish list for years!
We got the concrete poured on the propane pad, generator moved over and reconnected, fridges and freezers moved to new locations, new walls studded up in the kitchen and one side dry walled, generator pad leveled up with selecto and the fire extinguishers installed!
It was so awesome for us to be here to see the kids and staff get trained in the use of fire extinguishers! Such a great feeling!
We headed back at 4 o'clock and we cancelled our van ride so some of us could get the Honduras experience of riding on the back in the truck box! Took us back 35 years!
We ended our evening all dining out with Yeffri and Melodie at an outside restaurant.
This morning we need your prayers, we have a little sickness starting. Please pray for a return to good health and strength for our bodies. We still have a lot to accomplish in 2 days!
Your team in Honduras
Day 7b from Shawn
It's 12:30 AM and I am lying awake in bed. I have tears streaming down my cheeks and I am in awe of God our Healer!
Chris had been in so much pain Sunday that he couldn't stay with us when we toured the coffee Plantation. He couldn't stand! When we returned for supper he wasn't sure if he could stay for the devotional time. That night we all laid hands on Chris and prayed! Monday Chris worked all day standing and lifting and carrying brick! Dancing and telling us how good he feels!
At 2:00 PM Chris, Buck, and I left the home and went to the water park to meet the kids and the girls so we could play with the kids also. We played hard! Throwing kids, dunking kids, helping the little ones float in the deep end and race! Then Chris jumped off the diving board into the water not realizing he was jumping into about 4' of water off an 8' high board. He smashed his heal on the bottom and ended up in the hospital to get a cast put on.
The other part you might not know is the teens were all going down the water slides that were there and they all wanted us to go with them. I went up with Karla and went down the biggest one. Well you all know when you re doing a water slide you lay on your back and ride up on your shoulders to get the most speed. So I thru myself in and right onto my shoulders only to next realize I just entered what I now call the human blender!! By the time it spit me out (at 100 mph) I had blood in my mouth and cracked ribs on my left side. I didn't go to the hospital, because they can't do anything for ribs anyway, but Buck and Chris got me some pain killers while they were there.
Day 7 was a hard day with Chris on crutches and me with my cracked ribs, but the team pulled together with the help of some locals and we got the last emergency light wired in, all the smoke detectors installed in the bedrooms, the walkway and propane storage ready for concrete, the center of the circular driveway all loosened up with holes dug ready for plants, the dangerous drop off at the end of the soccer field prepared for steps, and 30 chickens and 3 new roosters ordered! Thank you Lord! We were a sorry-looking bunch at the end of the day! The ride out the bumpy gravel road just about killed me! We got home at 6:00 PM ate supper, did a devotion time and were in bed with lights out by 9:00!
Now Monday night we had again prayed for Chris and now me too to be healed of our new injuries, but we both woke up in the same shape as when we went to bed! Now I m lying here, as I said, at 1:24 AM now having wakened to realize that my ribs have been completely healed up and ready for day 8!! Once again in awe of our God!! When I woke finding myself free from anymore pain I started praising God!! I opened my Bible to the Psalms to praise Him and He led me right to Psalm 28:6-7. Here it is:
Blessed be the Lord, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.
What's God going to do next? Will I find that Chris is healed up also? We prayed for a renewed strength for everyone for day 8! Will we all awake feeling refreshed?
To be continued!
God Bless ,
Shawn and your team in Honduras
PS- God is soo good !!
A pretty wild day on Monday. Not only at the home but also at the water park and even the hospital.
Things are really coming together at the home. The emergency lighting is 90% complete and all of the smoke detectors will be in place Tuesday morning. The wheel on the generator is fixed and back on. We will likely get the pad poured for it Tuesday. The walkway and pad are well underway despite a setback when the water line and sewage lines were ruptured. This is the area that we are moving the propane tank to when it is finished. And the final materials have arrived to start the kitchen remodel. That should start Tuesday as well.
But by far the most amazing things happening are the relationships being created. Our group is standing strong together against the enemy and getting closer all the time. We are seeing God working in our hearts even more than we could have imagined. He is renewing our minds! (Rom 12:1-2)
Continue to pray for us. Chris ended up in the hospital with an injury. He will be fine but will be out of commission for the rest of the week. Not to worry though. God is giving him a separate project to work on.
We will also be visiting at least one more church this week. God is using us there as well. So much happening with only a few days left! We can't wait to see what else our awesome Father has in store for us.
- Buck (More Photos of form for pad; emergency lighting and fire detectors below)
Today we are writing to inform you of FAIR’s response to deadly earthquakes which struck in two regions of the world recently.
On April 14 and 16, 2016 the south-western island of Kyushu in Japan was hit by a pair of deadly earthquakes measuring 6.4 and 7.3 respectively on the Richter scale. BBC reports that at least 44 people were killed, over 1,000 injured, and at least 100,000 living in emergency shelter locations. Hundreds of aftershocks, cold temperatures, heavy rains and a risk of more landslides have only added to the misery of survivors.
Fellowship International missionaries, Rob and Kathryn Fleming and Steve and Jacquie Willson, who serve in Japan were not in the region most affected by the Kyushu earthquakes, and are unharmed.
The Flemings report: “We are thankful to say that this time we are fine, and did not even feel the Kyushu earthquakes over the past couple of days, since Kyushu is about 1,200 km away. We invite you to pray with us that the people of Kyushu and the rest of Japan would see God and experience His amazing grace amidst another natural disaster.”
On April 16, 2016 the Pacific coast of Ecuador was hit by a magnitude-7.8 earthquake. Initial reports indicate at least 443 people were killed, more than 4,000 injured and 231 are still missing. These numbers are expected to rise. Thousands have been left homeless as many buildings have been flattened by the initial quake and aftershocks; survivors are vulnerable to dirty drinking water and disease. This disaster comes at a time when Ecuador as an oil-producing country has been struggling economically from the global crude price slump, and reconstruction costs are projected to be in the billions.
FAIR is working with Fellowship International missionaries and partner organizations to support relief efforts and alleviate the suffering caused by the earthquakes that affected the Kyushu Island of Japan and the Pacific coast of Ecuador.
How can you help?
Please pray for those impacted by these events. Pray that relief efforts will efficiently and quickly reach those who have the greatest need. We encourage you to consider giving financially towards this need as well. When we work together by giving as the Spirit leads us, we can help alleviate the suffering felt by these peoples.
· For online donations to Japan relief efforts, please click here.
· For online donations to Ecuador relief efforts, please click here.
Please consider passing this email along to members of your congregation, and we encourage you to consider receiving a special offering dedicated to assisting in disaster relief in these countries.
~ The Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada ~
PO Box 457 Guelph ON N1H 6K9 www.fellowship.ca
Dear pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve here… I recently got back from an amazing tour of the ministries Fellowship International missionaries are enjoying in Poland and Bulgaria.
Warsaw, POLAND: Pierre and Hanna Jutras
I visited Pierre and Hanna Jutras in Warsaw, Poland. This godly couple and their two children, Timothy and Rachelle, are doing well. We visited with the launch team of their current church plant in the city of Biala Podlaska. A city of 70,000 – with only one charismatic church. Pray for the church planters, Gnal and Gosia, whom the Jutras are preparing to lead this plant. We also visited with Pastor Henryk and two of his leaders from the Chelm Baptist Church (pronounced: Helm). This church plans to partner with this church plant over the next couple years acting as its mother church.
I also had the joy to see Camp Kunow (pronounced: Canuf) where five work teams from our Fellowship Pacific Region worked building a chapel, four cabins, a bath/wash cabin and an impressive dock on the lake beside the camp. Our teams did an extraordinary job. The workmanship was excellent. Pastor Jacek (the Camp’s Director) spoke of the many churches and denominations taking advantage of the camp’s ministry. He also wanted to express his gratitude to the Fellowship for our past support.
Wroclaw, POLAND: Ben and Krista Taylor
My visit with Ben, Krista, Lucas, Elias and Alex was a delight. Ben and Krista are doing an amazing job of raising their three active boys. Krista is expecting the fourth boy in August 2016 … pray with me for a safe arrival.
Ben’s ministry is primarily the discipling of students from the area universities. I met with a few of the young men he is discipling. One is in Engineering School but currently considering theological training. Krista is a busy mom who also serves in Women’s Ministry — mostly at their local church, “Christian Community Church of Wroclaw”. Krista also recently wrote and translated a women’s Bible Study in Polish, which is a testament to her excellent Polish language skills. Many linguists say that Polish is the most difficult language on earth to learn.
It was a joy to meet Pastors Mirec and Adam who pastor the Taylor’s church. Mirec began the church 10 years ago with 30 people. Today it is a thriving Gospel, life-giving community of 400 people. A mega-church by Polish standards, with only 400 evangelical churches (only 0.4 of 1% self-identify as evangelical) in Poland. Ben Taylor and Pastor Adam co-lead the church’s student ministry.
A highlight of my visit was the Sunday evening baptismal service. Pastors Mirec and Adam baptized 16 believers. Like most of the church, they were all new converts. Fourteen were in their 20s and three were being discipled by Ben and Krista. This was an incredible sight to see in a former Soviet Eastern-bloc country.
Plovdiv, BULGARIA: Susie Frey and Gisèle Laplante
Time spent with Susie and Gisèle is always sweet. My brief tour of Plovdiv (population of 350,000 and third largest city in Bulgaria) and their ministry was a tremendous encouragement. I love history and so we toured this ancient city of 6-7,000 years. A city surrounded by seven hills and seven distinct people groups who conquered and left their mark on this city – the Thracians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Ottoman Empire, Huns and Slavs. A fascinating city for history lovers!
In the midst of our tour we walked through the market and spoke with several of Gisèle and Susie’s contacts who own a variety of shops.
· Gingka, who owns a cleaning products shop. She receives Christian literature and now reads the Bible and prays only to Jesus. Most Bulgarians pray to Mary.
· Nellie and Vakrill who own a vegetable stand. Nellie attends Bible study with Susie and Gisèle while Vakrill remains a committed communist.
· Nasko and Mladenka, who both own shops in the market. They greeted Susie and Gisèle with hugs, received Christian literature and spoke to me of their love for our missionaries.
· Margarita and her son Pietre who own a florist shop. Again, she received Christian literature and spoke of her gratitude for their regular visits to her.
These contacts were representative of many more whom Gisèle and Susie have made through the ten years of their ministry. Some are involved in regular Bible study with Susie and Gisèle and several have come to Christ.
Susie and Gisèle also serve in two Baptist churches in Plovdiv and Pazardjik (two hour bus ride away). I spoke at both churches and many wanted me to express their deep gratitude to our churches for sending our two missionaries.
It was a joy to see how the people expressed their love for Gisèle and Susie. They are very effective ambassadors of Christ for our Fellowship family in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
I trust this brief report is an encouragement to all of us to be about the “work of an evangelist” wherever the Lord has placed us in His mission field.
Please join me in praying for the Taylors, Jutras, and Susie and Gisèle as they minister to the spiritual orphans of Poland and Bulgaria.
Have a blessed week,