Sunday, December 12, 2004

Missions Report - December 2004

Dear Friends of the Ministry,

It is with sadness in my heart that I write to you today. Why?, you ask. Because the season is closed! No, not the hunting season, the fall preaching season!
God continued to teach me about courage, perseverance and compassion for the lost during this season. I spoke at the University of Georgia for three hours every Wednesday this fall, with a few exceptions for weather. I thank God for all the believers who came out to encourage me and share Christ with these precious students.

It was a joy to see students there who used to argue with me now sharing Christ! I had total strangers come up to me each week and thank me for coming out and sharing Christ in a winsome way. Please pray for Pastor Chet Boyd and the members of Downtown Community Fellowship, the church I work with at UGA.

I also spoke at the University of South Carolina in November to the most hostile crowd I have ever had. There were as many as 60 students asking questions, some using obscene gestures, but most listening during the four hours I spoke. One fellow did not like the stance I took on marriage and spit on me. But, several even came back when I was finished to ask more questions and asked for literature! We distributed dozens of the Is Jesus God books! Pastors Dan Rummel and Robbie McAlister, my sister and her husband along with many others came out to support me and share their faith. Sean Meade with Inter-Varsity campus ministry sponsored me to speak.

We are planning an outreach at Georgia and Kennesaw State (KSU) the first week of March. The church in Gainesville, Florida is sending teams to each of these schools to evangelize. Please pray for ones to come to Christ and for a strong student ministry to be started at KSU.


“Are you all moving to Ukraine?” We still do not know. Sorry! We really want to know too. We promise to let you know as soon as we find out from the mission agency. Please continue to pray for the government to hold fair elections and for the people to not back down in their desire for freedom. It is a spiritual war.

We have been short and unable to receive our full salary for several weeks. The church has graciously “found” money to pay us from the reserves. Would you please pray for God to provide for our needs and give as He leads you. We will also be able to cover our dental expenses from 2004, including the $1,500 for Grace’s wisdom teeth this month. Praise God! Of course we have to raise the money to get reimbursed. All of your gifts are appreciated and keep us out there harvesting n the fields and making disciples of Jesus Christ. Thank you!

We hope you have a Christmas that is filled with the reality of the living Christ!


“And His Name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace” Is. 9:6

Friday, September 3, 2004

Missions Report - September 2004

Dear Friends and Fellow Workers,

The ministry at the University of Georgia has started very well this fall. The house fellowships have multiplied from 3 to 5, giving several young men opportunity to serve in leadership. I have been mentoring Bryan, one of the men, and it has been very encouraging to see him trusting God and loving people. We have several new people in our group, including Jeff, who attends WCC when he is in Woodstock. I have been excited by the honesty and openness among the men when we divide up to pray for each other. I hear similar reports from the women about their prayer time. Praise God!

I began last week preaching outside to students in front of the main library and spoke for 3 hours to a crowd of searching students. strongly encourage discussion and there were very sincere questions being asked by Kenny, Erin, Greg, Zack, Bob and Will. Yes, this is the same Bob and Will from last year! One unbeliever said, “I remember you from last year. I have heard you speak several times before. I really like the way you speak and think you are doing a good job.” Richard Suplita is a Psychology graduate student who is my loyal companion each week for this outreach. My good friends Anne, Louise and Cindy show up weekly to support me and share Christ with the students. Martha Cornet, a member of WCC, spent the entire day with me ministering to the young people. She was awesome! As you can see, it is a team effort, and YOU are a part of this team! I Please pray for hearts to be soft, for me to be bold and some to be saved!

“I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD . I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice. Ezekiel 34:15,16
Family Matters
We have applied to Great Commission Ministries to be missionaries in Ukraine. Yes, you read correctly. Please ask God to continue to show us His will in this huge decision. There are extra expenses incurred in the application process and tutoring in Russian once we are accepted. In addition, we are continuing to raise the majority of our salary through Woodstock Community Church. Your financial support at this time is especially appreciated! We are tentatively planning to move next summer with Grace and Merry. I would go to serve in leadership development, evangelism and church planting. There is also a tremendous need in Ukraine for role models of Christ-centered families and marriages. Danelle would have many opportunities to train women, which is her passion.

Scott spends most of his time managing his painting business. God is using it to teach him how to love difficult people. He and Jasmine are still adjusting to each other. Jasmine is his white Labrador retriever! :-) Whitney really loves teaching art at her new school and her husband Micah is very busy in graduate school and working for his father. They are going to be in a wedding in Pittsburgh over Thanksgiving so we are ALL going up to see Grandmother Millie for the holiday! Julie is learning how to manage a business working at the tea room near their new house while her husband Matthew is teaching art at a private school. Our son, Matt, is learning to trust God for discipline to study with 3 nocturnal roommates at UGA. Stephanie enjoys being a freshman in college, riding her horse and hanging out with her friends. Grace will be on the homecoming court, she sings at church and loves her job at Chick-Fil-A. Merry is adjusting well to high school, learning to play the guitar and hanging out with her sisters and friends. Danelle continues to take care of us, work for Scott and lead women’s Bible studies. We have a home group at our house every week. She is a saint! I am going to run the New Hampshire Marathon on Saturday, October 2nd. Please pray for the old man to run strong for God’s glory. My friend Eric is going to run his first marathon with me. I hope he is still my friend on October 3rd!

Thank you for your support and prayers!


Sunday, July 11, 2004

Missions Report - July 2004

Dear Friends,
Every time I return to America I am asked, “How was your trip to Ukraine”. I can honestly say I have never led a mission to the former Soviet Union that was disappointing. This was the best outreach that Spring of Hope Church has ever had according to pastor Andre Yukhymenko and the American missionaries. Why? I think it was because many of the 120 people involved in our English Clubs attended the Sunday church service, the Saturday picnic and the excursion. I also noticed that attendance did not drop significantly during the two weeks of class. That means our students enjoyed it! There were some new members added to God’s family too! Thank you for praying and giving to make it all happen. I see you as vital partners in this ministry.

Jewelee (3rd girl on right) & our class! Felix-our new brother!

Here are some testimonies from a few of our students….
“In the past 2 weeks this class change my opinion about God and I want to know more about Jesus Christ and God. Maybe I become a believer. Yes, I become a believer.” (Felix- who did get saved)
“In this class I met really good and really kind people. I have not seen so many kind people in one place before.” (Alexey)
“I began to understand Bible better, especially those parts that we studied. Thanks to Steve’s explanation.” (Galina)
This is from an e-mail I just received from Galina.
“Thanks a lot for the Bible that Masha handed on me from you! It was surprise for me (and very good surprise). I asked Masha about English-Russian Bible but I even didn't imagine that book would be yours. Once more thanks for everything that you have done for us. Your lessons, coffee-breaks, excursion, outing - all of these were wonderful! Bye, Galina.”
Grace’s devotional was awesome! Scott and Sarah’s class
Pastor Andre and Steve

Thank you for your support and prayers!


Wednesday, June 9, 2004

Missions Report - June 2004

Dear Friends,

We leave June 25th for Kiev Ukraine with 14 Americans who are eager to share Christ. Thank you for giving to make this possible. I have enclosed a prayer card for you to intercede on our behalf.

The expense for this trip has completely depleted my personal account. Living by faith is exciting and scary some times! If you can send a gift of any amount to support us in the ministry it would be appreciated, and it is tax deductible. Please make your gifts out to Woodstock Community Church and use the enclosed envelope.

Thank you all for praying for the students at the University of Georgia this past spring. Do you remember Matthew who wanted the Bible? I just received this letter from him. Please ask God to save him! “Hey, Steve. This is Matthew, the Buddhist guy who listened to you every Wednesday last semester. =) Sorry for waiting this long to send you an email, but I'm bad with keeping up with such things. I apologize. I have been reading the Holy Bible in little pieces since school got out. I think tonight I am going to finish Exodus. It's not the fastest reading of any text ever, but it's what I can manage. Thank you again for getting me that copy of the Bible, reading it has been a great experience thus far.”

Our mission team returned from LaCeiba, Honduras praising God for more than 50 professions of faith and 250 people who were treated in the clinic that week! They also worked hard painting and doing carpentry.

I have recently been overseeing our Singles Ministry, which is starting back up after a long period of inactivity. One of the girls wrote, “Thanks for your support and encouragement in this effort. I'm really glad you were able to be there on Saturday.” Please pray for these saints to become more committed and contagious.

I have also had the privilege of doing Jail Ministry each week with WCC Pastor Chuck Byrge. Every believer should go at least once to see the effects of sin. It will change your life. The inmates appreciate our coming!

On a personal note, out family is thankful that Julie and Matthew Newton graduated from college and Stephanie from high school. Congratulations guys! Matthew will be teaching in a local school and he and Julie are looking for a house. Julie is trusting God to provide a job for her. Stephanie will attend a local university. Danelle is continues to serve faithfully in the church with small groups and women’s ministry. I thank God for our 29 wonderful years! In April she went to the Boston Marathon to cheer for me, along with my mother and sister. She has been cheering for me my entire life in every “race” I have run. My next marathon is in New Hampshire on October 2nd. My friend, and UGA grad student, Eric Morris and I are going to run and visit a former UGA student Suzan Elliot who was in our house fellowship. Being a runner and avid supporter of our president I was inspired by the following e-mail from a soldier….

Attached is a picture of one of my best friends in the Army, Mike McNaughton. We were privates together in 1990-1994. He stepped on a landmine in Afghanistan Christmas 2002. President Bush came to visit the wounded in the hospital. He told Mike that when he could run a mile, that they would go on a run together.

True to his word, he called Mike every month or so to see how he was doing. Well, last week they went on the run, 1 mile with the president. Not something you'll see in the news, but seeing the president taking the time to say thank you to the wounded and to give hope to one of my best friends was one of the greatest/best things I have seen in my life.

Medical Corps, U..S. Army

Keep running for Christ,


Tuesday, April 6, 2004

Missions Report - April 2004

Dear Friends and Fellow Workers,

The ministry at the University of Georgia is going very well this spring. Our house fellowship has been very encouraging. We start with fellowship and a meal that everyone helps to prepare. Then we study the Bible (we just finished 2 Timothy) and pray for one another every Wednesday night. I have been excited as different ones have taken ownership through serving, teaching and caring for each other.

One very exciting thing that God is doing with our house fellowship is that 6 students are going with me to Ukraine this summer. We will evangelize through English clubs with missionary/pastor Robbie McAlister. Robbie is a long-time friend from South Carolina who lives and works in Kiev with his wife and three sons. Our team of 14 are trusting God to use us to help many Ukrainians find God this summer. We will go June 25-July 12. If you can send a gift of any amount to Woodstock Community Church to help me cover the $2,060, it would be appreciated, and it is tax deductible. Please make your gift out to Woodstock Community Church.

The past four weeks I have been preaching to students outside at the University of Georgia for 3 hours each Wednesday . I give answers to their many questions about who wrote the Bible, man’s freewill, Jesus’ deity, homosexual marriage and other religions. I share many verses and point them to Christ. There are many who come back each week searching for life. One young man named Matthew has come out each week for hours at a time to interact with me. He gave me a book about Buddha and asked me for a Bible. I am taking it to him Wednesday! One cold, cloudy, windy day, Will stood there for an hour asking me questions. He was shaking because he was so cold, but he was hungry! If he was willing to brave the cold, then so was I! After I finished last week, a young man named Chris came up to me and told me that my preaching was the highlight of his day. He said he came 20 minutes early to class each week just to hear me speak! Praise God! Please pray ask God to save some of these precious lives before school is out.

A team of 21 from WCC are going to LaCeiba, Honduras May 28– June 6th to treat people in the clinic and serve. Please pray for much fruit from this outreach.

Will receiving a gospel book Matthew is seeking and asked for a Bible!
Family Matters
Scott, Grace and Julie and Matthew Newton are going to Ukraine in June. Pray for the Newton’s to know God’s will, graduate school in Oregon or teaching in Atlanta? They graduate in May. Stephanie graduates in May from high school and will attend Georgia College and State University next fall. She is excited about going off to college and being with her good friend Jessica Bennett. I am going to run the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 19th at noon. Please pray for me to run strong for God’s glory. My wife, mother and sister are going to cheer for me.

Thank you for your support and prayers!