The Lord our God said, “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11)
No matter the outcome of our outreach with the gospel we must remain steadfast in our proclamation of it – we must not embrace an outcome-based approach to our evangelism but rather an obedient based approach that is motivated and driven by a thankful heart to God for our salvation and a love for Him and His elect . . . who may be the most depraved person you have ever met (consider king Manasseh’s conversion in 2 Chronicles 33 and Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel Chapter 4, or even the conversion of Saul of Tarsus in Acts Chapter 9 and the perverts and wicked men and women of Corinth in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
Be consist, be persistent and be uncompromising in declaring the gospel of Jesus Christ to your neighbor, your friends and even the stranger in the store, the restaurant, at school and in the workplace no matter the response – bold and be wise in how you respond to their response – be gentle and humble for if it weren’t for the grace of God you and me would be where they are – in a state of condemnation traveling down a path to eternal damnation in hell – without God and without hope.
“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.” (2 Corinthian 2:14-17)
Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:1-7)
Since our last report of August 22nd, we had a several events and outreach activities:
- The last time we had a table at the Farmers Market was September 14th – Not too many visitors this time; except we had someone from the Ukraine stop by – didn’t speak English but his wife picked up a few books and booklets – you never know who you are going reach when you step out in faith to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- The September 17th Gospel in the Park was cancelled due to poor weather – it began to rain as I was setting up. It was disappointing because there was going to be 2 guest speakers from Heritage Reformed Congregation speaking at this GiP; the pastor, Rev. Elshout and Harvey Spaans, a deacon there and farmer, who wanted to give a personal testimony of his recent conversion after going up in the church)
- We had a table at the Tri-State Bible Conference, which was held on September 26th and 27th in the evening in one of the lecture halls of the science building – there were tables for conference with books for sale through Heritage Reformation Books on related topics and a few written by the speaker – our table was in the hallway across from theirs. Sometime between Monday evening’s sessions and Tuesday’s sessions someone trashed the RGM table with all the free books, Bibles and gospel tracts; quite literally. Everything was thrown in the trash can, except for the Bible (at least they had enough respect to not trash them). A good Samaritan, Mark D. (a professor there and has attended our GiP events from time to time) came by and recovered some of the books and materials, but many of our books and gospel tracts were lost – a police report was filed but they were unable identify the perpetrator, though there are surveillance cameras in the hallways.
- Our Fall Reformation Conference was held on October 28th and 29th – the title of the Conference was changed by the speaker to: “Twofold Citizenship: Delighting to Serve Christ and Country” – the presentations were excellent – working on editing and uploading them (hopefully, before this meeting). Unfortunately, many missed out on some encouraging and edifying messages from Rev. Doug Barnes. The conference was not well attended though there was much advertising done in the local and regional newspapers (the attendance did not nearly reflect the expense of the advertising). Come to find out that it was a very busy weekend with many community events taking place, including Dordt’s “Defender Days.”
- I believe, in the future, the Fall Reformation Conferences should be held the first weekend of November – hopefully, there won’t be as many scheduling conflicts (community events), and it will give the farmers another week of harvesting – I noticed that much more of the harvesting had been completed by the first week of November.
Links to Videos of the Conference Presentations:
Evaluating Two Dualistic Lifestyles (Rev. Barnes begins the session with the reading of Isaiah 2:2-4, which didn’t get recorded – would recommend reading this short passage first before watching)
Short Segment of Q&A (Before this segment there was nothing recorded for some reason)
We continue to support the outreach efforts of Sanjay in NW India – He continues to diligently pass out the Bibles and tracts we have sent. He is also continuing his evangelist efforts in the neighboring jungle area and the Himalayans.
We provided 100 Bibles to Sanjay for distribution a part of the outreach efforts in NW India
We gave $500 in financial support to Sanjay in September (half came from a designated donation) due to the front of his house protective barrier being destroyed by a water that fell on it – they were left venerable to wild animals and thieves, so repairs were needed to be done quickly
Sanjay still continues to travel to the jungle and mountain people of the Himalayans working with Mr. Singh outreach efforts there
We are also continuing to hold weekly prayer meetings with Sanjay and my uncle from Arkansas
This week we sent more Bibles, books tracts and writing pens to him in preparation of their RGM Christmas celebration and trip to the Himalayans in December
I have been asked by Sanjay to come there to speak at his daughter’s wedding next year – much prayer is needed to make that happen, especially need the support from Heidi, who is very apprehensive of me traveling overseas, especially India
James Kartee of Monrovia is continuing his labors, ministering to the people of Liberia on a number of levels; farming, schooling, evangelism meetings and conducting worship services on the Lord’s Day; a few of the men are now attending Heidelberg Seminary via video classes – He has asked me to come to Liberia to observe the ministry there and do some preaching – need prayer about it.
Future Activities and Events –
- Rev. Stetler working on the schedule for 2023 with some added events/activities in the Hartley/Sanborn/Sheldon/Spencer areas (by the grace of God, of course) without neglecting our current activities – though we may have to cut back on a few of our summer activities (i.e., the Farmers in Sioux Center).
- Our next event/activity, Lord willing, is scheduled to be at the Indoor Market Fair, hosted by the Sioux Center Chamber of Commerce – we hope to have a booth there as we continue to seek to spread the gospel of Christ in the Sioux County area of NW Iowa
- Creation Conferences for next year, 2023, we are looking at holding 3 creation conferences: one in Sioux Center with the speaker from the Institute for Creation Research on September 16th (the only availability date for the speaker); one in Garner, IA with Joel Tay of Creation Ministries International on April 22nd – I have also arranged for him to give presentations at 2 Reformed churches in Garner on the Lord’s Day (at Peace Reformed Church RCUS, and Zion Evangelical and Reformed Church – an independent church – was formerly a mission work of PRC, looking to rejoin the RCUS) – hoping it will help Peace Reformed church to re-establish itself after losing so many members over the past several years. Our third creation conference will hopefully be in Dublin once again. will update you as soon as we are able to confirm it – please keep it in prayer, as with all our conferences.
- 2023 Fall Conference – Looking for suggestion on a theme for next year’s conference – have already received some suggestions; one suggestion is that we hold a conference on how to witness to people caught up the LGBTQ and gender identity sins – a good topic that could be done by a Biblically sound former person that was formerly in bondage to this type of sin, though not necessarily – Suggestions?
- Hope to have 2023 out by the end this year or the beginning of next year
- We will continue to look to partner with local congregations for tract distributions during the summer parades in various communities – We are hoping to be able use a different tract than the “Good News” tract for distribution.
- Still looking for opportunities to make RGM Presentations to churches & denominational meetings to obtain recognition as a work worthy of support
- Rev. Stetler continues to fill the pulpit each week in Garner; however, they are not able to call a full-time minister. Please keep this small struggling body of believers in prayer.
- So, as you can see from above, I hope to be able to expand my labors through RGM – please keep this in prayer as God opens up new opportunities – providing also His gracious strength and volunteers
- We are in desperate need of someone who can help with the purchase of new audio-visual equipment. Rev. Stetler has made 2 purchases this year and had to return of both cameras for one reason and another. Please pray that the Lord will bring someone forward who has some knowledge in camera equipment that can be connect via USB and will provide for external audio connection to the camera – would love to have a “cameraman” to operate the equipment during events – Rev. Stetler really, really needs thee help as you can see from the quality (or lack thereof) of the videos over the years.