Greetings in the name of our Lord from Jeremiah 38 Ministries! Before I dive in to main content of this letter, allow me to reacquaint you with the board members of Jeremiah 38. Our President is Lenny Campbell. He is the pastor of Oakland Chapel and has been part of the leadership of J38 since the beginning. Our treasurer is Donna Bowling. She and her husband, the late honorable Scott Bowling founded Jeremiah 38 Ministries upon the desire to assist missionaries and reach the lost. As for myself, I serve as the Vice-President and Ecuador trip leader. The remaining board members are Doug Button (Honduras trip leader), David Lambert (Peru and Israel trip leader), and Jeff and Becky Bowling (Becky is the drama/drive-through director). On their behalf, I would like to update you on the past year and share our vision for 2019.
As I began to write this update I was reminded of a sermon I recently heard from one of our associates, Daniel Medina. He gave us four purposes for the church: Fellowship with other believers, Teaching of the Word, Praise to God, and Taking the Gospel to the lost. He then related that when we are in Heaven our fellowship with others will be perfect, teaching will not be necessary because we will have perfect knowledge, and our praise will be a new song where none of us will be off key. In short, the only thing we can do better here than in Heaven is to shine the light of the gospel on unbelievers. That is what we endeavored to do in 2018.
In 2018 we took 3 primary mission trips sending over 80 people to work in either Honduras, Ecuador, or Peru. On each one of these trips we provided medical care, one on one gospel counseling, and other services to approximately 2,000 people. Through these 3 trips alone over 6,000 souls experienced the love of Christ through both service and counseling. Medications, Bibles, and many other items were distributed to gang members in Honduras, prisoners in Ecuador, and the poorest of the poor in Peru. More importantly, the Gospel was given to all.
The medical clinics were only a part of our mission, which is to assist the full-time servants of God with the tasks God has given them. We provided items to strengthen local churches in Latin America with everything from large fans (important in the Amazon), to teaching aids, to audio systems. It has been rewarding to see the fruits of our labor as well. We are seeing people who are now bold, active members of the local national churches because they received the gospel during a Jeremiah 38 clinic. There are two new church plants in Ecuador solely from contacts made from medical clinics. One of our most gratifying moments was to assist believers in Ecuador as they went to the jungle of Peru on their first missionary trip. It was a blessing watching a missionary planted church complete the cycle of becoming not only self-sufficient, but then sending out missionaries of their own. The lion’s share of the burden of these ministries falls on the missionaries we partner with, but God has blessed us with the opportunity to assist at times. That is indeed OUR burden, to come alongside the full time missionary and help in any way possible.
In addition to our foreign missions, this was the first year for the Drive Through Christmas project in South Point. Through the vision of a small handful of our members and the help of a huge number we saw a completely new ministry come to life. Our prayer for this ministry is that people who would never come to a conventional church will be touched by the Word of God while in their car. I still can’t believe our drama team pulled it off, but they did and the results exceeded our wildest dreams. We are already planning for an even better event next year.
The year ended with a bang as our Bible study trip to Israel enlightened and encouraged those that were able to attend and increase their true understanding of the scriptures.
There are so many people that are responsible for the successful ministry this year that I purposefully didn’t mention any names. God knows who you are and I believe will reward you richly for your sacrifices. Many businesses and individuals gave money, resources, and time in more ways than I could ever list. Some of you stood sweating at the fair gates, some of you stood freezing at the Drive Through Christmas. Some of you spent countless hours ordering supplies and handling logistics. Days were spent packing and labeling the supplies. Negotiations were completed with foreign government officials and local leaders. Devotions and lessons were studied and taught, crafts for thousands of children were prepared, puppets and children’s ministry items were gathered, and even the paperwork and accounting were completed. Some of you provided encouragement, a good word, a shoulder to cry on, and most importantly prayers for our efforts. I am simply staggered at the human effort that was expended to walk through the doors God has opened.
Our prayer for 2019 is to continue to put forth the gospel message in a greater way than ever before. We plan to continue our normal trips to Peru, Ecuador, and Honduras. We also look forward to new destinations as the Lord provides. In particular, we believe God is opening doors to allow us a role in revitalizing the evangelistic effort to the Quichua people of the Andes mountains. We look forward to assisting new church plants on the mission field and providing doctrinal training to national pastors. I have listed the dates for our primary mission trips below and trip applications will be available soon on our website, but this is just the beginning. The wonderful thing about this ministry is watching God open doors and change lives in ways that we could never imagine or plan.
2019 Trip Dates:
June 1 – Peru
June 8 – Honduras
July 27 – Ecuador
We believe strongly in the local church, both here in the US and abroad. We encourage each of you to be active both in worship and effort with your local congregation. However, if you desire to serve the Lord beyond your efforts in your local assembly pray about working with us this year. Please also pray for us to receive guidance, protection, and greater opportunities in 2019. Please pray that God will mold each one of us a bit more.
In closing, I know each of you give of your resources to Jeremiah 38, not because of the people involved, but for your Saviour, because He is worthy. Still, I want to thank you for everything you have done and will do from the bottom of my heart. It is incredible to see what God has done with the vision he gave a single small town judge and we can’t wait to see where He takes us next.