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“She’s Just A Spoiled Brat”

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He started the church in 1993, and immediately began to have Revival. Seven were baptized the first week, and the new church continued with baptisms and Holy Ghost in-fillings weekly for well into the second year.

The young pastor was aware of the town’s reputation of being a transient town, yet he felt like that was soon to change. It was also a military town.  A revival however, broke out on the Marine base. Several top ranking men became members of the church.

After renting a building for one year they purchased their present property in November 1994. They soon had a building with an auditorium that was rated to seat 300. The church planned for revival for the next year with great expectations.

At the end of 1995 the church was running a consistent 120-125. A home missions director stated that headquarters wanted to feature the church for Christmas For Christ.

At the conclusion of 1995, there was a very unfortunate moral situation concerning 2 families in the church. The only option for their future was to leave, through a chain of unstoppable events, 5 families got caught up in the fallout and also left.

At the beginning of 1996 some of the military men shipped out. By the end of the year there were none left. In November of 1996, the pastor looked at the remaining remnant and had only solid 15 people! He was violently ill.

He and his wife, along with their infant son moved into a backroom of the church. The finances were gone. They watched night after night as the remnant of the folks would plan to go out to eat. They would make excuses why they couldn’t go.

He would lay down at night, after the lights had gone out and stare at the wall and say to himself, “Just beyond that wall is the ladies restroom.  How low do you have to be to take up residence 6 inches away from the ladies restroom?”

It was during the time of living in this “dungeon” that a woman in the church called the pastor’s wife a “spoiled brat.” Now, imagine this, they were living in a room no bigger than a Sunday School room, eating off a hot plate, using an ice chest and a small refrigerator to keep things cool. They had a very small window A/C unit to combat the insufferable desert heat.

One week all they had was 10lbs of potatoes to eat. They ate potato soup, fried potatoes, baked potatoes and potato tacos until finally their last meal was “potatoes gone rotten.”

Their infant son was very sick with fever. They took turns staying awake to watch him in his fitful sleep.

The pastor did some construction side jobs to pay the church bills. His wife bought her necessities at the Dollar Store and the Goodwill. (Do you even know what it’s like to even entertain the thought of your wife having to buy her undergarments at a thrift store?) But all this little “old biddy” in the church could say about the struggling Pastor’s wife was…”She is just a Spoiled Brat!”

The pastor received a call to preach at an established church that was over 200 miles away.  He excitedly accepted the invitation and waited for the appointed Sunday to arrive.  He got up that Sunday morning and took the last of his money and filled the little blue van with gas and hit the road..

The van made it 60 miles into the desert and had a blowout and then he realized there was no lug wrench. He did find a pair of Vice Grip Pliers. The only way he could accomplish this feat was by sheer desperation to make it to this “thriving” church and possibly receive a much-needed offering.

He rolled into the parking lot 10 minutes after the service had started, and ran into the bathroom to wash the grease and grime from his hands. He straitened his tie and went to the platform.

He remembers to this day what he preached that Sunday morning. After service the Pastor took him to a very nice meal and gave him a check.

He thanked him profusely for the offering. After the other pastor drove away, he drove around town a little while until he found a suitable spot and then pulled into the corner of the parking lot and locked the doors and tried to go to sleep.  You see, it was Sunday and the banks wouldn’t be open until 10 o’clock in the morning and the only way he could get back to the dungeon and his precious little family was to cash the $125.00 check.

In all their struggles, they never missed a church payment.

They never questioned whether he was in the will of God!!

They realized they could mope or just bite the bullet and plow!! So they bit the bullet and plowed on.The pastor would go to church and preach like there were 300 people in that building.

  • He would sing like he was a choir.
  • He would conduct every service with dignity and honor at being in the presence of God.
  • He never commented on the size of the congregation in a demoralizing light.
  • He would carry on without the crowd as if they had never gone.
  • He planned events and functions that would only be expected by a church with considerable resources.
  • He was determined not let the devil see his discouragement bleed through into the reality of the situation.
  • He never let the facility go or get run down. It may not be the best, but it would be clean and presentable.

They started a Sunday School promotion in February of 1997 and saw 116 first time visitors. From this group they made contacts that are still members of the church. In 2002, the attendance on a regular Sunday morning was about 160.

God has helped them with 13 building programs in 14 years.

Today The Pentecostal Assembly in Yuma, AZ continues to enjoy the blessings of the Lord under the wonderful leadership of their sacrificing and faithful Pastor Jerry Rowell and his precious wife.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 13, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Posted in Church Planting

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What Were We Thinking Back Then?

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What Were We Thinking Back Then?

Remember when Pentecostal young people would ask their pastor for a letter for Gym Class? They wanted to be excused from wearing shorts and T-shirts?

Then the pastor would write a letter to the school explaining why we as Holy Ghost filled Pentecostals stand against the wearing of immodest apparel. In closing, he would ask for the student to be excused from ‘dressing-out’.

Now, we don’t need letters from our pastor asking to be excused from those gym class requirements anymore. What were we thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostal young people would not even think of dating someone that wasn’t in church? What were we thinking back then?

Remember the day when Pentecostal young people thought it was wrong to have a tattoo and actually looked down on those that had one? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostal people actually tried to win the lost without dressing like those they were trying to win? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostal young people actually asked to be excused from dance classes at school? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when going to the movies was a sign of being backslidden if you were Pentecostal? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostal women would never think of cutting their hair, much less going to the beauty parlor? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostal young people were expected to grow up in church and be virgins when they got married? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostals thought homosexuality was wrong? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when pastors across town actually required a letter of transfer for a move in and also made a phone call to the other pastor? What were they thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostal girls and ladies had to wear dresses that came below the knee, sitting or standing? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostals actually wore their best clothes and dressed up for church? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when there were curfews for teenagers and premarital sex was a no-no? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostal women actually had to wear dresses and wearing pants was a sin? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when people spent their whole life attending the same church? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostals thought it was wrong to go to a public beach and wear a bathing suit? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostal preachers used phrases like, “Its still holiness or hell”? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostal preachers actually set sinning church members down from the platform and out of the choir? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when you could go to the mall and actually pick out those that were Pentecostal just by the way they dressed? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when there was actually some loud noise in the prayer rooms before church? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when we used to sing them old fuddy-duddy songs out of the book and people cried and shouted and some even prayed though during the singing? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when saints didn’t question every thing their pastor preached? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostal young men looked like men? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when if you cut your hair and wore make-up you were considered backslidden? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when people took their jewelry off while they were repenting at the altar? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostal churches had ‘standards”? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostal women wore less jewelry than women in the world? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when tithing was a Pentecostal requirement? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostal women didn’t show cleavage and their clothes weren’t form fitting? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when a Pentecostal revival lasted more than 3 nights? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when a good Pentecostal church service didn’t let out till late and revival services went till midnight sometimes? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostal young people asked their pastor’s advice before getting serious about a boyfriend or girlfriend? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostal saints would call and let their pastor know that they would have to miss a church service and they wanted him to know and to pray for them? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when the preaching, and not the worship, was the most important part of a Pentecostal church service? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostals actually preached against drinking an alcoholic beverage of any kind?  What were we thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostals actually looked down on professional sports or even participating in organized sports? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostals had saints meetings? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostal churches had foot washing and communion services?  What were we thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostal churches had testimony services? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when we used to hearing preaching about Jesus coming again? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when a Pentecostal preacher that preached holiness, was respected? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostal preachers didn’t get their sermons on-line? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostal folks wouldn’t take a job if it caused them to miss church? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostals took vacations and still went to church at least on Sunday? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostal backsliders were ashamed and didn’t try to justify themselves? What were they thinking back then?

Remember when we had consecration services? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostals thought there were some things that were wrong and didn’t do them? What were we thinking back then?

Remember when Pentecostals actually preached the importance of Acts 2:38. When they use to say everyone needed to repent and be baptized in Jesus Name for the remission of sins and be filled with the Holy Ghost speaking with other tongues? What were we thinking back then?

We were thinking right!

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 4, 2011 at 12:19 am

Posted in Church Planting

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He Asked Me If I Wanted To Watch Him Choose A City To Go Start A Church.

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I received the Holy Ghost in Bro. Leaman Reynold’s church in National City, CA in September 1958. In his lifetime, he started 9 churches in the United States and also pioneered the work in American Samoa. He was a missionary there for many years.

When I pastored in South Bend, I had him come by and preach for me. One afternoon he called me into the dining room where he was sitting with a map of California spread out on the table. California was where he had started all his other American churches and where he wanted to start another church.

He said, “Brother Marty, many of my friends say the Lord laid a certain town or place on their heart, or that God called them to a city. I think that’s wonderful and I won’t disagree with that. But the Bible does say that we are to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. I like California I’m a California boy at heart and I feel that it’s in God’s will for me to start a church there somewhere.

“Now, he said, the Gospel is God’s Business, and we are not to be slothful or haphazard in business, especially the King’s Business. So for me, I choose a city like I was going into that town to set up a business.”

On the table were packets of demographics from 6 different Chambers of Commerce. A map of California, A UPC directory and his Bible.

He asked me if I would like to watch him choose a city to go start a church. I pulled up a chair.

“If I am going to start a church in California, I need a good base to draw from, so I have found 6 cities in California that, to my knowledge have no Jesus Name Apostolic church of any kind and are over 100,000 in population. I wrote to the Chamber of Commerce in each of these towns requesting the demographics of their cities. Here are the packets. I have not opened them yet. He then bowed his head for a moment, laid his hand on the Bible and prayed a silent prayer.

Picking up the 1st packet he opened it and read. “No, this is a retirement community. The average age is very high. You have to have jobs and youth,” he said.

The 2nd one he disqualified because it mainly had service industry type jobs, and no factories.

The 3rd was a college town whose reputation turned him off.

The 4th was a military town and the population was always fluctuating. No stable base to build on.

The 5th town had a high median income, and average age of 32, 2.2 children per household, and lots of factories and industry.

“Here we go he said, I think this is it…. but let me check the last one.”

He checked the last packet, put it down saying it was a “bedroom community” and picked the 5th one back up. He got out his pen and drew a circle around Hayward, CA.

Sister Reynolds walked into the room and he said, “Here is where we are going to start our new church. We’re going to Hayward, CA.”

They went to Hayward, Started what turned out to be his last church. The congregation grew to a good size in a few years. He died while there.

I never forgot how effective his method was. Nor have I forgotten the command to “GO into ALL the world and preach the Gospel.” And… that it is God’s will to GO everywhere.


Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 3, 2011 at 12:23 am

Posted in Church Planting

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He Prayed For The Big Church Across Town

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Pastor Miller hung the phone up and slumped into the chair. This was unbelievable! It was sickening. He sensed the pending devastation.

The voice mail on his cell phone announced that a 3rd couple in two months wanted to move their membership across town to the big church.

Only a handful of families were left here now. Would the nightmare ever stop? It was like a hemorrhage that was unending. The families that had left weren’t content to just go, they pulled on the remaining ones with reports of how wonderful things were at the new church. Their family and friends wavered in their loyalties. Who knew where it would stop. His church wasn’t growing. It was shrinking and he couldn’t stop the process.

No letter of transfer was ever asked for, and the other pastor had never called when someone moved in. He didn’t want to accuse the pastor across town of trying to proselyte, but the members there didn’t hesitate to do it for him.

The big church had quite a few people with money. They could afford to hire a full-time music director. They had also imported a youth pastor that was given full reign and a handsome expense account to attract and entertain young people. He did his job well, evidently. He personally encouraged all the young people in town to be a part of his youth group.

The bigger church had concerts, dramas, guitar driven worship, newer songs, fog machines, strobe lights, multimedia presentations, Power Points and many well-known guest speakers. A Starbucks type coffee shop was just down the hall from the entrance. The aroma always drew a crowd. Their church always had something going on there.

It was impossible for the pastor Miller’s small church to compete with the big boys. He had neither the resources nor the staff. He worked a secular job just to keep the wolf away from the door.

He had nearly broken his health trying to dig a church out of nothing. He had been ethical to a fault. He had never taken anyone from another church.

He personally had won most of the people in his church. He had taught almost every one there a Home Bible Study. He had prayed them through. He had baptized them. So this is the thanks he gets? How does he stop the migration? He didn’t want to feel jealous or harbor bad thoughts, but it still didn’t feel good. His wife was devastated. Now, there was little chance the church would be self-supporting anytime soon.

He knew the Pentecostals in town considered him “old school”.  He still had testimony service. His church even sang out of the songbook. They sang many choruses were those sung by previous generations.

A piano and a box guitar provided the music. They used to have a drummer, but he had moved across town to the big church.

Bro. Miller had never been invited to preach a special meeting in his life. He knew he never would be asked.

Two special needs adults in his church always caused distractions to visitors. One often spoke out loud at the wrong time and had to be treated like a child.

The $41.43 in the Sunday night offering last week didn’t pay much on the utilities or church payment. His people were poor. He had to help most of them survive. He had paid utilities for many of his people, helped a few times with their house payments. He’d even co-signed for a car, once or twice.

The girls in the big church called the young girls in his church ‘grandmas’. Their modest apparel was scorned as unnecessary. At the big church, not much was said about standards evidently. (That was an unkind thought he knew, but he’s not been impressed by what he’d seen in the mall.)

There was no one for pastor Miller to complain to, confide in or cry with. He privately wished that the Prophet Nathan would go across town and preach the story of the ‘one ewe lamb’ again. It seemed fitting.

When he heard reports about ‘revival’ and church growth across town, he knew where some of the growth had come from.

Life didn’t seem fair. He made up his mind that he would paste a smile on his face, keep doing his best to have good church, preach like there was a house full, not talk about those that left, and encourage the rest.

God would sort it all out some how. He was trying to help build God’s Kingdom, not his own. He would not allow a war to go on. He didn’t know what to do.

So Pastor Miller took advantage of his off-night and went to his church by himself. He went up to the altar in the empty sanctuary and knelt down to pray.

He only prayed for one thing. He prayed for the church across town. He prayed that God would give them a great harvest of souls. He prayed that God would abundantly bless them. He prayed for the Pastor, for their leaders, and for the members. He prayed for their finances and for their outreach efforts.

He prayed for them, like he wished someone, somewhere would pray for him. He prayed for the big church across town, like he wished someone would pray for the church he pastored.

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

August 31, 2011 at 12:01 am

Posted in Church Planting, Prayer

Tagged with

The New Neighbor

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The New Neighbor

Arthur James McDonald was in trouble. He was heartbroken too. His parents had recently died in a car accident. He had no family to his knowledge in America. A draft notice had just come in the mail. He was to report in two weeks. The U.S. Army was to be his new home. All he had left in the world was his girlfriend, and he was being taken away from her.

Arthur’s girlfriend, Norma Sue was in tears. She knew that he would soon be going to Viet Nam like all the other guys that had been drafted. The two of them spent as much time together as possible before he left. Her parents hated him. They dreamed of someone better for their daughter.

In a large metro area 374 miles away, Joe and Gloria Phillips sat in front of a gentle natured old lady. They wanted to adopt a baby and were willing to jump through all the hoops to qualify. Whatever it took. Hopefully the cost wouldn’t overwhelm them. They were told that there was nothing available at the time, but she would put their names on a waiting list.

29 months and 16 days in Viet Nam seemed like an eternity for Arthur. The letters from Norma Sue had been constant for several months. Then nothing. Not even a ‘Dear John’ letter.

When Norma Sue’s parents found out that she was expecting, they sent her to a home for unwed mothers. They were so ashamed. Hopefully their friends and family would never know.

Her parents had restricted her. There was to be no contact between her and Arthur. They threw all his letters into the trash. He was to never know about the baby.

The Doctor shook his head at the nurse. The baby was born healthy, but the mother lay lifeless on her bed. Her parents must be notified. The social workers took over.

On July 23, 1962, Gloria received the news while Joe was at work. The Agency had called and said they had a newborn baby boy for them. She was ecstatic! The lady said that the baby’s mother had died in childbirth. The maternal grandparents did not wish to keep the baby. The father’s name on the birth certificate was Arthur James McDonald. Nothing else was known of him or his family.

Two Sundays later, baby Donald Paul Phillips was dedicated to the Lord at the First Pentecostal Church.

At the age of five, little Donny Phillips received the Holy Ghost in Children’s Church. Donnie loved the Bible stories he learned in family devotion and in Sunday School.

Joe and Gloria told Donny when he was 9, that he was adopted. They told him that his mother had died giving birth to him and that the only thing they knew about his dad was his name was Arthur James McDonald. Young Donny hugged his parents and told them he loved them and that he was glad they had wanted him to be their boy. “You’re my Mommy and Daddy,” he said.

When he was seventeen, Don felt like he wanted to be a preacher. He did not say anything to anyone about feeling a call to preach.

Pastor Walker watched the spiritual progress of this young man. The Phillips had excelled as parents and Don was great young man. He prayed in the prayer room, he worshiped during the service and he was very obedient as well. The pastor could tell that the hand of the Lord was upon this young man.

Unlike some of the others in the youth group, Don was not rebellious. He did not test the boundaries of the church’s standards nor did he hang out with the worldly kids in the church.

At eighteen, Don gave his first sermon in a youth service. In private, he later cried tears of disappointment in his amateur attempt at preaching. It was harder than he’d imagined.

In June 1987 Donald Paul Phillips watched Rebecca Thomas walk down the aisle to take his name in holy matrimony.

Three years later Donald and Rebecca  started a storefront Home Missions church 50 miles away. Their pastor had helped them in their choice and had placed his blessings on them.

The small group grew slowly, but it grew nevertheless. Another building and fifteen years later, found them in a regular ‘church’ building.

The new location seemed to spark another growth spurt. The new converts started bringing their friends and family. Men and women were getting the Holy Ghost every week. The baptismal tank was used just as often too.

Bro. Jimmy Delano a new convert, brought his new neighbor to church last Sunday Morning. He had been teaching him a Home Bible Study and was thrilled when the neighbor asked to come to church with Jimmy.

Pastor Phillips preached a wonderful message on the Holy Ghost. Four new people were in the altar, and all of them received the Holy Ghost. They also wanted to be baptized.

The first baptismal candidate was an older gentleman. Jimmy Delano’s new neighbor. As Pastor Phillips prepared to baptize him, he asked him his name.

“Macky,” the old man said.

“Macky what?” was the pastor’s response.

“I’m sorry, that’s my nickname. My full name is McDonald. Arthur James McDonald.”

Pastor Phillips looked at the man he was about to baptize, for a moment, and then with tears streaming down his face he called his two young children up close to the baptismal tank.

“James and Stephanie, he said, “I want you to watch me baptize my Daddy and your Grandpa, Arthur James McDonald, in the precious name of Jesus!”

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 18, 2010 at 4:04 pm

The Danger Of Premature Launches

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The Danger Of Premature Launches

Things in life don’t always turn out well until it’s the right time. Wisdom dictates we wait until it’s the right season, or until all the pieces are in place.

Sister Nona Freeman, our beloved woman of God told a story about wishing she was ‘perfect’ when she was a young saint in the local church. Her pastor looked out the window at her garden in the backyard and said, “Sis. Nona, I’d like to have some corn on the cob”

“Why pastor, I’d be happy to fix you some, but I don’t have any.” She replied.

“Isn’t that corn in your garden?”

“Yes sir.”

“Then I’d like you to fix me some, please.”

“But I can’t,” was about all she could say.

“Why can’t you?” The pastor persisted.

“I can’t she said because it’s only this high,” she demonstrated holding her hand about a foot off the floor.

“What’s that got to do with it? Corn is corn regardless of its size.”

“I know, but I can’t, because it isn’t matured yet. There’s nothing there but leaves and stalk.”

“Sister Nona, that’s what the word ‘perfect means in the Bible. It’s talking about reaching maturity.”

What happens when things are done prematurely?

I recently heard Bro. Carlton Coon at the General Conference. He briefly spoke of his fear concerning the premature launching of Home Missions projects. His descriptive use of that phrase prompted me to consider the value of his fear. I find many other areas of life that give additional enlightenment on the subject. Here are a few.

 

Launching a Play

Who ever heard of having a play without having a play practice?

 

Launching A War

Imagine a President talking to the General of his Army and ordering him to attack the enemy when the Army is ill prepared. It would mean certain death, to go to war unless the troops are in place, the supply line is there and the men are equipped with ground and air support.

There’s a time for war, a time to fight. There’s a time to stand down.

 

 

Launching A Ship


Even God waited until Noah finished the Ark. If the ship is not completed, why launch it and let it face certain disaster? Finish the boat, then launch.

 

Launching A Business

Why open a grocery store with only one gallon of milk, two loaves of bread and a jar of pickles? Yes, you may have a sign and some shelves. You might even have a cash register, but what you need is enough on the shelf to keep the customer coming back.

  • A wannabe barber doesn’t open a shop just because he found a pair of scissors.
  • A mechanic wouldn’t be successful if he used dish soap instead of fuel injector cleaner.

 

Launching A Marriage

“God’s got the right girl for you son.” We hear statements like that when we are young. As true as that may be, other things factor in. She might be 12 years old when you meet her. It’s the right girl; it’s just the wrong time to marry her.

 

Launching A Ministry

A ministry is God’s call on your life. Just because he has called you doesn’t mean it’s time for you go immediately.

David was anointed King many years before he took the throne. You may not want me to say this, but he spent years in preparation. He also spent time in caves, in confusion, in despair, and in running for his life.

But when God was ready, it took place. David never tried to force the issue. It became a thing of beauty.

 

Launching A Church

The burden for lost souls, and un-churched cities tears at all of our hearts. The reality check is that although the burden is great, planning is still important.

Suppose you move to the new town, on Wednesday, and decide to have the first service in you living room on Sunday. You don’t know anyone, you have no sign, but you have a burden. If no one shows up, you are crushed. You are sure God wanted you to come to the town, why wasn’t there a better response? Was it a premature launch?

I would never attempt to diminish your burden or dampen your spirits. The truth is, that if you went in without some basic things being in place you may not be pleased with the results you see, and you may find yourself confused, discouraged or disheartened.

Some have given up and gone back home feeling ashamed and never wanted to do anything else for God. Others have backslidden because of their disappointment and embarrassment. But it wasn’t God’s faults. It was just a premature launch.

Much can be said about having the guidance of your pastor, and his moral support through the process. His blessing on you makes it easier for other pastors to give you the much need moral support. The prayers and blessings of the mother church is a Godsend and  necessity.

I would advise you to only go, when you have your pastor’s blessing on your launching of the new church. I would wait until he gives the green light. I wouldn’t tell him I was going; I would ask him to tell me, when it was time to go. There’s a big difference.

Oh, and may I be the first to say, “May God bless in your work for God. Bless you for doing it right, and for doing it in God’s time, not yours.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 10, 2010 at 1:16 am

The “Somewhere” Church

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In an email today I discover an article by a beloved Missionary friend of mine, Brother Brad Lambeth. He has spent his life laboring untiringly in Brazil and has done an amazing work for God. I was moved by his email and pray you are too.

MJB

The “Somewhere” Church
I just received the attached picture of a new Apostolic church… somewhere.  You see, somehow the text was deleted from the picture and I don´t know where this church is at!

The picture mesmerized my imagination!  Where is this church located? What Brazilian state? What is the name of the town?  Who is the pastor?  How many saints attend there?
Look at the picture.  What do you see?  Are you seeing what I see?


I see a lonely building… standing for Jesus somewhere in this vast Brazil.  Notice the empty background. Does that mean the building is in the country side? Probably so, especially when considering the fence on the right side. The sticks show to be discarded sugarcane stalks. Poor… very poor.
Can you “smell” the cheap paint? Yet, the thin coat of fresh paint shows so much love… and maybe a lot of sacrifice!

Notice that there are no electric wires feeding the building.  Does that mean that their lights were cut off because they did not have the money to pay the token light bill, thus having services in the dark? Or, who knows, because of the poverty, they are having (only) afternoon services?  Better yet, perhaps, the pastor chose to install the light box… BY FAITH, waiting for electrical power to reach their village!
The doors are open. The building is empty.  Does that mean they just started outreach and are awaiting the first convert… or does that mean the pastor (WHO IS HE?!?) sent the picture asking for HELP!
Look inside… can you see the homemade pulpit? While small (and seemingly frail), it speaks of Pentecostal authority!  Within a few hours (perhaps RIGHT NOW)… there will be an Apostolic preacher behind it, preaching with PASSION!

What about the mismatching chair on the left hand side, an afterthought? Or surge of faith that says “I am believing God can fill more than the white chairs… let´s go for the stars!”?

WHO IS THIS MAN OF GOD?  I don´t know his name… I wish I did!  Meanwhile, I am compelled to pray for this church “Somewhere”.  Can you join me?  You see, I can´t even ask you for an offering on his behalf… I DON´T KNOW WHO HE IS!  But we can pray!  Is your faith big enough to pray for someone you never have met… and don´t even know his name… do you have sufficient  faith to pray VICTORY on his behalf?

If you have enough faith, please pray… there is a church SOMEWHERE that needs your prayers!

http://www.jblambeth.com/

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 1, 2010 at 11:37 am