We just celebrated our 50th anniversary. What a great celebration we had. One of the real perks was getting all 3 girls and thier husbands here at the same time. We got lots of pictures together. Dena got to walk down the aisle and marry me all over again. Patty Enz, a dear friend, provided a lovely silk flower bouquet with touches of African prints. Caryn Carson was the “party planner” and we’ve decided she should start her own business.
The girls (Kim, Kathy and Krystal) worked for months to put it all togehter.
Now that may seem like we’re “old folks” but we’re busy as ever. I’m still speakintg in churches, colleges and schools and challenging folks to become more involved in reaching tribes and transforming lives. Dena is writing for webnews and for NTM@work magazine.
We’re traveling to MI soon for Dena’s 50th high school reunion. During that time I’m speaking in 4 different churches and visiting some friends and supporters.
We appreciate your prayers as we continue on with out ministry. Every 45 days another tribe hears the Gospel message due to the efforts of the NTM church-planting team. Please pray that we can shorten that time and reach more tribes and transform more lives. It will take more missionaries to accomplish the task. What is God asking you to do?
I finally decided to take the plunge and start bloging again. It’s been a long time. Some of you haven’t heard from us in a long time so I’ll try to catch you up on our present status. I don’t post on facebook much so if you’re on our friend list, check out this blog.
I’m hoping to re-inforce relationships, discuss spiritual truths, perhaps introduce some humor and some photos BUT TODAY, IT’S JUST ABOUT US! (*
Jim continues to deal with health problems, right now he’s having radiation on his ears for basal cell carcinoma. They scheduled it for five days a week for six weeks and he’s got eleven treatments to go. The main symptom seems to be extreme tiredness. But I will never cease to be amazed at how he keeps on keeping on no matter how hard things become.
He is still pastoring the small church up in northern Florida and reaching out to Pastors in Central Florida. Just last week he led an entire family to the Lord. They attend the Young Adult class at Emporia Baptist but hadn’t understood God’s grace. Their daughter was eager and ready to commit when Jim asked if she wanted to trust Jesus. Praise God we’ve got a family baptism coming up at Emporia.
Jim is busy networking with Pastors and mission committees concerning the need to be more involved in missions. He’s available to speak just about anywhere and loves every opportunity to talk about his Lord and the needs of the mission field.
As for me, I’m a little too busy for my own good. I do all the bullitens each week and any graphic or text needed for Emporia. I try to work in the Communication Dept. of the mission 5 days a week. I write webnews, magazine articles, and any other text to challenge folks to pray, give or go to the mission field. OK, I get to talk about the grandkids and our great grands next time.
In June we left for the Enrichment 09 conference – formerly known as Refresher Course – in Roach, Missouri.
Every year the staff at the Missionary Training Center hosts a week-long event for missionaries on home assignment to help missionaries transition from ministry on the field to reporting to churches and individuals what God has done in and through them.
It’s a wonderful time of fellowshipping with old friends, making new friends, and being better equipped for serving the Lord. Earl and Krystal attended also. We traveled separately each visiting family, friends and supporters along the way.
Our first stop was to visit Richard and Joyce Scott whom we met 25 years ago while we were in training in Durant, Mississippi. They have faithfully prayed for us and supported us financially for over 20 years. Their daughter, Kim, who we had known as a little girl, was there too and it was great to see her again. She is very involved in several ministries to Jewish people and is passionate about seeing God’s Chosen People come to know Jesus as their Savior.
Our next stop was to visit Betty Geary in Seneca, Missouri. We stayed in her new home. Last year in May a tornado tore through Seneca and completely destroyed her home and that of her son Tom. Betty, Tom and Sharon, his wife and their four children, spent the last year replacing everything they owned, from clothing to kitchen tools to farm equipment. We were amazed as we talked with Betty and realized how hard it is too “start over.” Friends from First Baptist Church in Seneca built and furnished a beautiful home for her.
While we were staying with Betty, Earl and Krystal were staying with Pastor Frank Ward in Neosho. We met at Braum’s Ice Cream Parlor to celebrate Mara and Shiloh’s birthdays with an Ice Cream Party. We also visited with dear friends from Grace Bible Church in Joplin and I spoke at Faith Baptist in Neosho on Sunday.
Monday June 15 Enrichment 09 began and we sessions started at 7:5 for prayer meeting and some days ended at 9 p.m. It was a busy time but we learned so much. Pastor Bill Oudemolen preached from Colossians every day and we were Spiritually uplifted and – yes – Enriched!
On the way home we visited Jack and Kim and visited Cranmore Cove Baptist Church in Dayton, Tennessee.
On Wednesday it was back to work for both of us. Dena started writing for the web and I began visiting Pastors.
This spring the McMaster Clan met in St. Augustine for a family vacation. Dena and I had put aside a little vacation fund and decided to use it for a clan gathering.
Earl and Krystal and their four children are on home assignment from their ministry in Senegal and we want to cherish every moment we can with them.
Kathy volunteered to be the “researcher.” She looked up all the possible attractions, compared prices, studied combo tickets and set up a chart so that each family could choose something they wanted to do.
Kim and three of her children were able to come down from Tennessee to join us. Jack had to stay home and work – we sure did miss him.
Peter and Kathy were delighted to be able to bring their newest grandbaby, Marissa, with them. Oh – and they let Travis and Tiffani come too.
With charts in hand and pre-purchased tickets in our pockets we all gathered at the Alhambra Hotel to plan our first day. Our rooms were side-by-side and so we could visit from room to room.
The little red train stopped right on the corner and all 17 of us hopped on. We spent the day touring museums and shops. One of the grandkids favorite places was the Spanish Village where they could enter-act with the carpenter and baker and candlestick maker. They had questions at each display and actually learned quite a bit.
We tried to keep afternoon free and of course the teens chose to go to the beach. Some of us (like grandma and grandpa) wanted to just rest and take a nap.
Amazingly we managed to conger up meals for 17 on three Forman grills. At night we all piled into one room for games. At one time 16 of us played “Apples to Apples” and even 4-year-old David and 5-year-old Shiloh were able to keep up.
We had three days of visiting attractions, swimming, playing games, eating and just plain having fun. We all returned home – and back to work – rested, refreshed and ready to go again.
This is our dear Senegalese friend Augustin Diatta. He has been a great friend of the mission for many years.
Our six-year-old grandson Ian in Senegal loved to kid and play with Augustin. Pray for Earl and Krystal, Ian’s Mom and Dad, and the 4 Klassen children as they mourn the loss of a friend.
See the NTM news story for details.
When we visited a church in Sebring, FL, we had a glad reunion with our old friend ‘Mopsy the clown.’
Peg and her husband Ralph Hudson toured the mid-West as the children’s ministry team of Mopsy and Derby. They were a wonderful addition to Vacation Bible Schools and other children’s programs for many years. Ralph has since gone to be with the Lord and Peggy married a wonderful man, Loren Shaleen.
Peg now teaches an adult Bible class in her home though she often uses the same material she taught children as Mopsy. It was great to talk about old times with Peg and get to know our new friend, Loren. One of the precious privileges of being a Representative for New Tribes Mission is visiting old friends and making new ones.
In my ministry of educating churches about the ministry of New Tribes Mission and challenging individuals to be involved in missions, I travel extensively to churches and homes. Gas prices have made that a bit of a trial.
Dena’s ministry is a little more confined. She sits at her computer in the Communication Department and writes:
o news articles for the web
o articles for our quarterly magazine, NTM@work
o and helps write any text that the mission publishes or disseminates
She also travels with me and takes part in presenting the needs of New Tribes Mission.
Pray for us as we travel these busy highways. Pray also for needed finances to travel more extensively. We feel we need to be making several trips but the funds are not there. Pray also for Dena’s health to continue to improve and for the medical expenses that continue to hinder our ministry.
Did you know that you have at your disposal one of the most powerful tools for expanding the reach of the Gospel? Did you know that right here, right now you can be part of a team bringing the Gospel message to a people group without access to God’s Word?
Prayer is one of the most powerful weapons in the spiritual battle for souls. I’m not talking about mumbling “Lord, bless the missionaries.” I’m talking about asking an Almighty God to keep his promises and to reach the ends of the world with His Truth. I’m talking about a battle, about intercession, about calloused knees from pleading with God on behalf of your missionaries and the tribal people they minister to.
God’s Word has many passages relating to prayer. He commands it. He promises to answer it and He gives us plenty of examples of how to pray and of His answers. I’m citing just a few.
In Matthew 9:37-38, Jesus said, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers to His harvest.” Ask the Lord to send your missionaries some help. With more than 4,000 people groups still without any Scripture in their language the need for workers is tremendous. But be careful as you pray for people to go to the mission field. Usually when I pray the first heart God challenges is mine.
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).
Ask God to give your missionary godly wisdom to deal with difficult situations. Find out what’s going on in his life so you can pray specifically. He may need help adjusting to a strange culture and learning a difficult language. He may be discouraged and ready to quit. His troubles may be physical or financial. Whatever they are, your specific prayers for specific needs can make a difference.
2 Thessalonians 3:1 exhorts us, “Finally brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord may have free course and be glorified just as it is with you.” Pray that the Word of God can go forth freely without opposition. Satan will not relinquish his control easily. He will definitely oppose missionary efforts. Pray that the Gospel will not be hindered.
Finally pray that God will be glorified by our missionaries’ efforts and by our tribal brothers and sisters in Christ. And just as God is glorified in their lives pray that He may be glorified by yours also.
When the prayer life of the people of God comes to be the dominant feature of Christian experience, the power of God will sweep the earth with victories of grace. You can be a part of those victories.
Excerpted from a message Jim uses as a representative for New Tribes Mission
Dena wrote the first half of NTM@work by herself, with lots of help from her fellow writers in editing and correcting and revising. Boy, there were about a dozen “versions” saved in her documents file.
She told the story of the Budik tribe in Senegal, West Africa. She started with the early days, 20 years ago when the first baptism took place and traveled through the slow, hard, seemingly fruitless years when very little happened. The real joy was writing about today and how the church is functioning in all the spiritual gifts and is reaching out to others.
It was a great story and Dena was able to do interviews when we visited Senegal in November. We spent three days in the Budik village talking to missionaries and Budiks, getting the lowdown.
The long story is an excellent example of most tribal works, slow, discouraging, difficult but tremendously rewarding when God brings things together.
If you’d like a copy of the magazine, email us and we’ll be glad to send it to you.
The next issue concerns “the home team” – or what you do to help plant tribal churches. So, Dena thought of Wright Mountain Independent Baptist Church in Rock, WV. Once when we needed to return to Senegal, but didn’t have the funds, they started a project for us. They completely paid for our tickets and gave us some extra funds as well.
So, after Dena wrote the story she wanted me to get some pictures. That meant a trip to Rock.
My job on these trips is to walk around trying to look like I know what I’m doing and take pictures. And sometimes I get some good ones.
Since we needed to visit the folks at Rock, we thought, “Why not the whole nine yards?” We went over a weekend and had a great time. I spoke at three services on Sunday and in between we had a “dinner on the grounds.” It was so good we even had leftovers to eat after the evening service. We sure had a great time. I like Dena’s ministry when it involves visiting great friends and eating.
Look for the story about “Rock” in the next issue coming out.