Fourteen years ago today, it had been raining for days on end and Lexington was flooding, but there were also showers of blessing and our hearts were being flooded with joy. New Life Baptist Church was organized on March 2, 1997, out of Trinity Missionary Baptist Church of Richmond. The Lord has been so gracious to us and has always proved Himself faithful. We are grateful for each and every one that has passed through New Life Baptist Church over the years. May the Lord continue to bring glory to Himself in and through NLBC.
“Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe. And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.” (read all of Joshua 4)
Harry and Beath Sparks celebrated their 50th anniversary on Friday, November 6. The next day, the church honored them with a reception! (To view the full screen version, click on the thumbnail to the right.)
“Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of His great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.” -Isaiah 40:26
NASA has just released some photos from the refurbished Hubble Telescope, reminding us of the vast creativity and majesty of the God of the Universe. The same Creator of this beautiful universe loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for us. Wow!
Click here to see some of the incredible pictures. My personal favorite: Jet in Carina.
Another month has come and passed so quickly, and it is hard to believe we are already half way into the year 2009. Time passes so quickly, and may we be the best stewards of the time the Lord has given us to serve Him. Ephesians 5:16 states “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” May we truly redeem, or make the best use of, the time and opportunities that we are given each day to serve. This update will share current ministry reports as well as prayer requests.
We thank the Lord for those who have given to the Annex building project at the prison. We hope to begin to start contracting the project soon, as the Lord leads and guides. Please pray for this project, and also for the builders, that they would be committed to the task and finish quickly, realizing it is the Lord’s work. We will be sure to give you an update on this in the future.
Concerning our family, Carrie has been staying busy taking care of McKenna and also busy with the hospital ministry. She has been able to go and teach the mothers, provide the mothers and babies with much needed supplies, and also give out Bibles and tracts. There are also abandoned babies who are brought in who we try to assist. Psalm 82:3 says “Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.” We thank each one who gives to this ministry, for we could not do it without your help. Because of your prayers and generosity, many needy people are being assisted. May God bless you for your heart for His work overseas.
Please also continue to pray for the ministry in the village of Rafiki, which is about a 10 minute drive out of Kitale town. As I said previously in a prayer letter, there are many villages in the surrounding areas of Kitale that are yet to be reached. It is my goal to have a preaching point in this area, but the people need to be taught the foundations first. Many in this village have a need to have a foundational understanding of the Word of God. I am presently in a course entitled “Firm Foundations – from Creation to Christ.” I have been teaching the people beginning with Creation in the Garden of Eden, and showing them from the Bible the effects/consequences of sin even in our day today. We have seen how we are all sinners and have an inherent sin nature. Later in the course, Lord willing, we will learn much about our Lord and also study concerning the need we each have for a Savior.
Please pray for me as I teach, and also that the Lord would bring those who love Him and have a desire to sincerely follow Him. Please also pray that the Word of God would work in the hearts of the people and that they would make any changes necessary to follow the Lord. I have attached a recent photo of this ministry so you can remember us in your prayers.
In closing, we do covet your prayers, as there are many challenges and obstacles to ministry on the mission field. However, we know that when people pray for us and we pray faithfully, nothing is too difficult for the Lord. A friend of D.L. Moody once said “I wish to testify that he was a far greater pray-er than he was preacher. Time and time again, he was confronted by obstacles that seemed insurmountable, but he always knew the way to overcome all difficulties. He knew the way to bring to pass anything that needed to be brought to pass. He knew and believed in the deepest depths of his soul that nothing was too hard for the Lord, and that prayer could do anything that God could do.” May we also be convinced and believe that nothing is to difficult for the Lord, and realize that the Lord desires us to come to Him in prayer with anything we face in our lives.
May God bless each of you as you serve Him in the States. We will keep you updated on the work here. God bless you.
Nathan, Carrie and McKenna Radford
P.O. Box 4150
East Africa 30200
Last month you were probably overloaded with letters and news from me. This month there is a whole lot more. I will try to cram in as much as possible without blowing any fuses.
The first week of February I visited the works at São Salvador (Juruá River not Moa River) and Novo Horizonte. These are about 5 hours up river with my 60HP outboard (30MPH). At São Salvador where we have a good group of believers, I took more time for teaching about the church and baptism. Novo Horizonte is a new work and so preached the gospel. We had good crowds although it rained most of the time. The river bank was very steep and slick, but thanks to the successful knee surgery I am now back to my OLD self.
Here at our home church all is well. We had a couple of families to move away to other cities. This happens almost on a monthly basis. Even though it hurts, I am conformed to the idea that one of First Baptist’s ministries is to supply other churches with quality members. We are still growing though. Last Sunday we had over 500 in Sunday school. Even though it was raining in the evening we still had a packed house. There were 2 more saved. We have a steady number of people saved almost every week. This month I baptized 19. There were 10 women and 9 men. That is a pretty good balance. I have been preaching an average of twice daily for a couple of weeks now. The youth asked me to speak to them on a Saturday night. It had been a long time. They said they had 298 present. Since Bev and I are still very young, I say we had 300 young people!
A few days ago Bev and I went to the city of Tarauacá. This is the third largest city in the state. We participated in a project that our church has been doing for 8 years. We take a large team to a city to do the following activities: doctor’s visits, dental care, nursing, dental hygiene, teach hygiene, hair cuts, arts courses, distribution of dental kits, free medicine, distribution of food to the poor, clothing for the needy, children’s programs, door to door gospel preaching and services at night time. Our 5 doctors and dentists treated over 1500 people. Over 3,500 heard the gospel in the door to door witnessing. There were several professions of faith. We had an average of 250 people in the evening services. One young lady trusted Christ on the last night. Our team is all from First Baptist Church. There were 77 of us in all. Each of these projects costs over $10,000.00. All of these funds are raised right here on the field.
Tarauacá is 160 miles east of here. We were able to drive there in the month of February. That still doesn’t seem real to me. We still don’t have many roads around here. If someone had told me 10 years ago that I would be able to drive there any in the middle of the rainy season, I would have thought them a greater optimist than me. They say that as of this summer the road to Rio Branco will be open year round. I am an incorrigible optimist, but I still don’t believe that story!
A friend of ours who has an apartment in Tarauacá let us stay there while he was on holiday during Carnaval. Oh, but little did we know that the stage for the Carnaval partying was set up less than 100 yards from our building. We didn’t get much sleep as the wildness and extremely loud “music” went on every night up to 4:00AM. There is only one small Baptist church there and not doing much. Pray that they will wake up and start winning their city for Christ.
Now, before I close let me thank all of you who have given more than the usual amount to make our mission trips and work possible. Several have given generous special offerings. God bless you. Also, let me add one more request. BFM and the missionaries have not said much about this, but we depend on you for the cars that we drive here on the field. Our salaries are perhaps the most frugal of any mission supporting process. BFM has a policy of giving each missionary a special offering of $8,000.00 every 4 years to help buy or keep a car. Since the general fund has been running very low for the past few years, it has become almost impossible to keep this project funded. Several missionaries have postponed getting a newer vehicle. Bev and I are still driving the same S10 pickup that we bought 11 years ago. Even back then we were forced to buy a truck that does not have 4wheel drive or a diesel engine because of the initial cost. Many times I have had to return from the middle of a trip because the road was too muddy to get through with the S10. Also, gas is much more expensive than diesel fuel here in Brazil. For the past 7 years we have been praying for a Brazilian made jeep called Troller (check it out at http://troller.com.br). Since the dollar has gone up lately and there are now several tax incentives, the car is a little less expensive. Last year it was still costing $60,000.00. Right now it is about $39,000.00. It is still the cheapest 4 wheel drive diesel vehicle in this country. Two years ago I started building a boat to sell to go as a down payment. Last week I sold that boat for $23,000.00! That is great, but with Brazil having the highest interest rates in the world, I still can’t afford to finance the remainder. The Lord will provide. All this to say, please give regularly or a generous one time gift to the missionary vehicle fund. You don’t have to designate for my jeep. Others have the same need, so even though times are very tough, please give.
Thanks for all of your prayers and support. God bless you as much as He has us.
It was another big day filled with reminders of the importance of Christ’s resurrection, preeminence and will for our lives! Here’s a recap for you, which is by no means extensive!
Devotion Bro. Paul Johnson “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” –Ephesians 6:11 I always need to be reminded that I am in a spiritual battle. I know that, but it is easy to forget it sometimes.
Sunday School Bro. Steve Dawson “…Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” –John 20:29 Such a great promise for us! “What more can He say than to you He hath said?!” This lesson was packed too full of nutrients for me to fully digest them all!
Sunday Morning Worship Pastor Steve Wainright “And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” –Colossians 1:17 Another nutrient-packed message! Christ is preeminent in creation (vs. 16-17) and Christ is preeminent in redemption (vs. 18-20). Is Jesus Christ preeminent in your life, your all in all?
Sunday Evening Worship Pastor Steve Wainright “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” -Psalm 32:8
I’m so glad God has given us His Word to help us discern His will, though it was interesting to hear about the urim and thummim! Remember to read, study and obey His Word. Then examine the desires and opportunities in your life along with your gifts and talents. Pray and seek His face. Trust in His providence. Wait on the Lord until He gives directions. (James 1:5, Psalm 27:14, Psalm 32:8)
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And a sidenote, the kids did such a great job tonight singing “God is so Good!” Their voice singing praises to the King were a blessing to listen to. I hope you bring your kids next week to participate at 5:45 p.m.
Did you snap a picture during the icecapades of ’09? Why don’t you share some with us! We’d love to see pictures to remind us how the Lord blessed us through this beautiful, messy weather!
E-mail it to your church secretary at nlbclex [at] gmail.com.