THOMAS' TRAVELS - June, 2008
USA, France & Serbia
As I write this, I am on the tail end of an 18 daytrip in the US. And what a trip it bas been. Just two hours before l left home for the airport, l found out that the Prince of Peace Baptist Church in Philadelphia, where l was to have a week of meetings, had burned down the previous Wednesday! Providentially, no one was in the building. It was totally destroyed. I got a message from the pastor telling me to "Corne on any-way," that the meetings were still on. We held the meetings at the New Lebanon Baptist Church, which was just a few blocks away.
But there was more trouble to come. After the first day of meetings, the pastor, Rev. Robert Shipman. came down with a stomach infection and had to be hospitalized. This, plus a change of venue for the meetings, had a negative effect on the attendance. An average of 50 people per night came to the meetings. It turned out to be a week of edification foe believers. Although few in number, the church members continued their sidewalk feeding ministry to people in the neighborhood. They were also very sacrificial in their giving to help me in my ministry. I know that God will bless and reward their love and faithfulness.
From Philadelphia l went to Owego, New York, and had a very good week of meetings. Pastors Terry and Marlene Steenberg had worked very hard to arrange them. l spoke at the Rotary Club, to a group of women at a Teen Challenge center, to several pastors at two lunchtime meetings, taught two Friendship Evangelism sessions, had two evening evangelistic meetings, and a Sunday morning service. The evening meetings were well attended. There was a good response to the invitation, a fact that pleased the pastors. There were also those who came for prayer for healing. As always, l wanted this part of the service to be Body ministry, and so asked the church leaders to come and pray also. There was no time for testimonies, but I believe the Lord answered our prayers. We are now looking at the possibility of a Next Generation Alliance style crusade in the areas of Owego, Binghamton, and Endicot. NY, probably in 2009.
Lastly, l went to Waverly, New York, about 20 miles from Owego, near the Pennsylvania border. My host was Pastor Steven Reynolds. I had a Sunday service and two evenings of Friendship Evangelism. There is a lot of plowing and sowing to be done in that area, but we are hoping for an outreach here also.
Thank you for playing for me and my ministry. The battle goes on. There are many obstacles, especially financial, but God is opening doors for me in the US.
June 6-8 l will be in Colombes (near Paris). All is ready - but don't stop praying!
Among the invitations that I have received recently is one from the president of the Baptist Union of Serbia, Ondrej Francka. I was there many years ago. Now that we no longer need visas, it will be easier to travel. I am looking at 2009.
Thank you for caring and for sharing in this ministry. Without you I could not go on.