Over 20 years ago, God allowed me the joy of meeting one welfare mom and mentoring her only son. This relationship with Velma and her son has changed the direction of my life. The ministry of H.I.S. BridgeBuilders was begun as a result of this kingdom relationship. Each day we are marveling that in cities across the United States and now, internationally, God is multiplying the impact of this relationship. We are amazed that the ministry of H.I.S. BridgeBuilders is now global. Recently while attending an International Board meeting for H.I.S. BridgeBuilders, Int’l., I heard some great news. A church in Northern England has adopted our work and is helping to fund components of the ministry to the least of the least of Europe and are also sending teams of people.
Remarkably 5 years ago while on vacation celebrating Michael’s graduation in Cancun, we were next to a man from England on a 3 hour bus ride. When he heard of the ministry that our entire family did and so many others from area churches among the poor, he was stunned. He said he quit going to church but that he would want to be a part of a church like this. Ironically, every time I go to Romania and stop in London, we have prayed and asked God how we can serve this great city and partner with a local church. By God’s grace, He has given us a church to work with not only in Romania, but prayerfully in London as well. God is moving in marvelous and miraculous ways.
The ministry in W.V. brings great joy to my heart. The faith and faithfulness of Ray and Tressa Shaw and Gwen Cornman is a constant encouragement to us all. The Lord continues to use this humble group of servants to reclaim their city for Christ. They are prayer warriors and kingdom collaborators. Recently they served their city with a Back to School/Health Fair Event. City-wide businesses, churches, and individuals donated enough funds and school supplies to purchase and fill 250 backpacks. Ray shared a message of hope in Christ and covered the day in prayer before the event began. Christian music filled the entire 3 hours. God again gave us favor with the residents. There was such a sense of peace and joy. Both the children and adult residents were so appreciative of everything. Our staff was constantly greeted with BIG smiles and “thank you’s.” One little girl was amazed at how nice the backpacks were, saying “All this really nice stuff for free?” Tressa told her that it was a free gift from Jesus, just like salvation.
In San Antonio, it is a blessing to see the Lord continue to work through my parents, Ruben and Sandra, my twin brother, Mel and our staff assistant Norma Duran. The Lord sustains them through believing prayer as well. Daily God is adding to their numbers, those who are being saved in the inner city of San Antonio. The after school computer classes are thriving as an open door to kids and adults to witness and disciple. The Lord has brought a brother in Christ named T to walk with Mel in the city. T has been radically transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ and is a great servant leader to the men of the community. They too distributed school supplies to more than 150 children in the Wheatley Courts area of San Antonio last Saturday. One of the exciting things about block parties in San Antonio is the wide variety of churches and ministries who participate. To see the Body of Christ alive, active, reaching out and touching the community is one of the most exhilarating experience we have. These block parties are a microcosm of what the Lord teaches that the church should be about in the world. Sharing, testifying, worshiping, giving, discipling, loving—the action words of the church are seen and not just read or heard. “I was hungry, and you fed me; I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was lonely, and you visited me.” He accepts even the most meager gift given to the most insignificant child as a great honor to Himself.
I would ask you to pray about going with us to one of these cities over the next 12 months. We will be going on a mission trip to Romania October 21st through the 29th. We will also be setting up a trip to visit W.V. and San Antonio. Please begin praying now about joining us in the movement of God’s people to be His agents of transformation to the lost and the least. Please let me know if you are interested in one of these trips and I will forward the details. God is at work, will you join Him?
Medically, the biopsy reports came back and the cancer that reappeared is the same mutation as before. This is good news and an answer to prayer. We did a C.T. scan yesterday and will get the results back Friday. We are continuing to believe by God’s grace that we are healed. All for the glory of God and God alone.