College students enjoyed a fun day at the Turkey Run State Park near Rockville, Indiana.
College students enjoyed a fun day at the Turkey Run State Park near Rockville, Indiana.
Time just flies! I graduated from Fairhaven in 1997. In 1998 a young man, named Arturo Munoz, visited my church; he was a missionary to Mexico, a place where God had called me to go while I was a student at Fairhaven. The following year, in 1999, we got married, and six months later we started deputation. Praise the Lord, God allowed us to visit over one hundred churches in a little over a year, and over 40 of them took us on for support. We came to Puebla, Mexico in June of 2001, a city that now I call home. Since then, we have had seven kids; we established our first church; started a Bible institute; started our second church, which is a mission of the first; started a church in the mountains and another church outside of the city limits of Puebla. God has been so good!
This is the first group that we had 15 years ago in 2001:
Then we moved to a larger place:
And then we bought our first property:
We Found a New Property For The Church
We have been praying now for about two years for God to give us a bigger place for our church. Two weeks ago we found one property that is about 15 blocks from our church and in the same main street where we are. The place is three times as big as our current place. We have 250 sq. meters and the new property is 800 sq. meters (about 8,500 sq. ft.).
Our church has been saving money for the last five years, so we were able to give the initial deposit. We now need to sell our current property in the next 3 months to make the second and final payment. Please, help us to pray for this need! We can easily fit over 500 people in the new property.
We continue with our vision to reach Puebla with the Gospel. This is our soul-winning group that went out two weeks ago to knock on doors and tell people about salvation. My husband and I were able to lead four people to the Lord. Just so you can understand why it is a little more difficult to lead people to the Lord here in Puebla, I would like to give you an example. On our trip to Cuajinicuilapa, ten of us went soul-winning and 30 people got saved. Here in Puebla, over 30 people went out soul-winning, and only seven people got saved. And it was a good day! Normally we see three or four people saved, during our soul-winning time on Saturdays. Please pray for Puebla, we love the people, and we want to reach them before it is too late. That is why we are constantly praying for God to let us start 20 churches within 20 years here in the city.
We know that one of the reasons that God is blessing us with a new property for our church, is because this year we are giving more to missions than any other year. In the last four months we have taken an additional 10 missionaries for $500 pesos a month. Our church now supports 49 missionaries all over the world. All of the missionaries that we support are Mexican missionaries, with the exception of one, who is a national pastor in Egypt. Right now there is a surge of Mexican missionaries on deputation here in Mexico. I would say that there are close to 100 missionaries visiting churches, trying to raise their financial support, ready to go to the mission field. The Bible says that the fields are white, ready to be harvested! And these missionaries are ready for that challenge.
If you would like to be added to our monthly update, you can visit our website: www.ReachingPuebla.com
Thank you for your prayers!
Arturo & Nicole Munoz
Japheth, Rachel, Sarah, David, Hannah, Ashley and Caitlyn
Here is an update from the Newmans. Both Ben and April graduated college in 2004, Ben with his Master's in 2005. We were married in June of 2005, more than 10 years ago – kind of hard to believe. After we were married, we remained in Chesterton for almost three years. Ben drove a truck, and April worked for a mortgage company. During these first years, we were part of the ministry of the inner-city church that April's dad started in Chicago. We worked on the bus, taught Jr. Church, Ben preached at times, and April played the piano for services.
In 2008, the Lord moved us to Broadview Hts. Baptist Church in Ohio, the church that Ben was a part of before college. This move was clearly God's plan for us, but one that had never even crossed our minds. We are involved in various ministries of the church. For a number of years now, Ben has been captain of a bus route which goes into inner-city Cleveland. It can be challenging at times, but there has been real fruit from this ministry. Ben is grateful for the preparation he gained with the bus ministry while in college. We have enjoyed being involved with the Teen Choir and nursing home ministry as well.
Since college, God has allowed many things in our lives that we hadn't expected, but were for our good and part of His best. One of these things was the recent diagnosis of our youngest daughter with a severe mental disability called Angelman Syndrome. This disorder is characterized by developmental delay, lack of speech, seizures, jerky movements and balance issues, but also comes with a happy demeanor and frequent laughter. Elise is a joy! April homeschools our other daughters – Grace (7), Leah (5), and Anne (3). Grace is in 2nd grade, Leah is in kindergarten, and Anne is doing preschool work. The Lord blessed us last June and put us in a nice home with plenty of room after living in a 2-bedroom condominium for 7 years. Ben drives a truck for a chemical distribution company.
We are definitely grateful for the part Fairhaven has played in both of our lives and for those who invested in us. We learned many things while in college – academically, practically, and spiritually. We also found out that there were many more lessons for us to learn after college – things like discerning God's will, surrender, personal integrity, and humility. God has taken good care of us, and continues to do so as we endeavor to live for Him.
Ben and April Newman
A few pictures of College Days.
This year's Preaching Conference was a very special time of Biblical preaching and sincere fellowship among many pastors, missionaries, and laymen. Traditional, powerful music complimented the convicting messages brought by Herb Hutchinson, Ron Royalty, Ernest Gambrell, Courtney Lewis, and Randy Starr.
It was wonderful to see many alumni here. For more pictures of the Alumni Breakfast click here. We are already making plans for next year, which will be the 40th anniversary of Fairhaven Baptist College. Please make plans to join us April 23-27, 2017.
What a blessing to see so many alumni and hear of how God is working in their lives and ministries.
Each year Fairhaven Baptist College hosts a Sustainers' Club Banquet. Financial supporters of the college, pastors and laymen alike, enjoy Christian fellowship, a wonderful meal, student testimonies, special music, and a challenging message. This evening opens our Annual Preaching Conference.
We pray that this letter finds you all prospering in every way in Jesus Christ. 2015 is winding down, and like previous years, the time just seems to fly away rapidly. Here's what's going on in our lives:
CHURCH: If I am the pastor of Liberty Baptist in January, 2016, I will have completed 24 years at the helm. My how time flies! I thank God that He put me into the ministry. I am so blessed to have the privilege of knowing Him, serving Him, studying His Word, and proclaiming His Name. It is a wonderful life.
FAMILY: Steve--besides pastoring the church--I am working for the USPS. I have almost 11 years now as a part-time rural carrier substitute. I learned 18 routes and worked in a 9 different cities. It is a good job, and one that helps provide for our family. I enjoy meeting all the folks. Since we witness door to door in town, this job gives me the opportunity to meet many of the folks that live in the countryside that I might not have had the opportunity to meet. It is a great job for the ministry, and has resulted in many opportunities to witness and invite folks to church.
Christy is homeschooling our children. Micah, 6, is in first grade, while Matthew, 9, is in 4th grade. Joshua is in 8th grade, and John is a sophomore in high school. And of course she is an excellent pastor's wife. She has a meek and quiet spirit, is always upbeat and smiling, and loves to help her husband in any way she can. She keeps a clean testimony and a clean house, and she has been a great wife and helper to me in every way. She is a wonderful teammate and my best friend.
Heather, 22, will graduate from Bob Jones University with a Bachelor's in Nursing in Spring, 2016. We are not exactly sure what will come next, only that she'll be looking for a nursing job.
Caleb, 20, is taller than his dad now, and for me, it's embarrassing. LOL He has done well in college. He is studying to be an electrical engineer at Northern Illinois University. He graduated from Highland Community College this past spring Summa Cum Laude with an associates degree in Electrical Engineering. He landed a job working for Jo-Carroll Energies, an electrical and natural gas provider in Northern Illinois. He had a blast all summer long working for them. Every day was something new and exciting. From monitoring the electrical grid to ensure that the system did not overload and cause blackouts, to moving 68,000 lbs transformers, to working with the natural gas system, he gained lots of new experiences.
Melissa, 18, has just started her college career at Highland Community College. She is studying to be a High School Math teacher, and is currently taking physics and calculus and English and Speech. She is doing well in her studies, and she enjoys the college experience. Our home is filled with her friends that are girls and boys that come around. There is a lot of laughter around our home at nights. Melissa worked all summer in a bakery, and is quite a good cook. Ask her sometime to make you some of "Melissa's Memphis Bar-be-que."
John, 16, is working for a nearby farmer. He will be taking a welding course with his father starting in January. It should be a great time. John helps his father work on cars, and the various other projects that we have to do. Every night the boys come down to sit with dad as we look on Craig's List for the next car or truck that we want to buy. We had had a blast all summer buying vehicles for Melissa to drive to college. I'd buy one, and as soon as the title came back, Joshua, 13, would say, "Dad, can I put it on Craig's List to see if I can sell it?" Melissa had a van, a Buick LeSabre, a hot shot Grand Prix, and a pickup truck in her first five weeks of college. As soon as I would buy one, Joshua would sell it and I'd have to buy another one. He loves cars and trucks, and I have to say that it is a great joy for me to be laying underneath a car, working on it, and there are five boys laying under it as well, trying to learn how to fix a car. Matthew, 9, like his brothers, is trying to learn as well. Every boy has his own 7' high tool box, and they are collecting their tools to fill up their boxes. Matthew says, "Dad, all I want for Christmas is some tools. I don't want anything else." Micah, 6, is trying to keep up with the rest of his siblings. He has his tool box, and helps with the cars and trucks, and is working to learn his school lessons.
One final word: stay faithful to Jesus Christ. "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as you know, your labor is not in vain in the Lord." (1 Co. 15:58) "But thanks be unto God which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place" (2 Co. 2:14).
This past month of March has been busy for our church and personal lives. The beginning of the month included our quarterly youth rally that we host at our church. Last year our youth pastor had the burden to start a regional youth rally. The first one included 6 different churches with about 50 teens in attendance. This last one in March had about 5 different churches attend with 45 total teens. It has been a blessing to see good teens from different churches of like faith here in our area come together for preaching and games.
March is also Spring Break for our Christian school. This year our family drove to Mississippi to see my wife’s sister and her family with their new baby. We enjoyed the time away and being able to see family.
Every month we take one of our regular Saturday soul winning times and call it “Super Saturday”. We design postcards to advertise for a special day in our church or to highlight a ministry. We order 1,000 of them and blitz a neighborhood on that Saturday. This past Saturday was an invitation to our Easter service. We had 35 members come out to distribute the postcards.
Throughout this year, the Lord has steadily brought visitors through our doors. Some have been from our city, and others just traveling or vacationing, but it is always good to see guests in church and to know that our church can be found.
April always brings with it our Spring Campaign as it does with many churches.
This year we are focusing on building up our two bus routes and having activities
or a promotion every week for the kids. The first week we are taking the bus
through Sonic drivethru for ice cream cones!
Our annual faith promise missions conference is scheduled for the end of May
when our church is challenged to commit, by faith, an amount that they will give
to missions throughout the year. God has greatly blessed our missions program
over the last 9 years. The church currently supports 35 missionaries at $100 per
month and we are the sending of church of one family in the jungles of the
Amazon Basin. It is our desire to constantly keep the burden of Christ before
our people and to do every thing we can to fulfill the Great Commission in our
The Nordgren family has sought to hold fast to the Word and the training received during our time in college.
After graduation it has been our honor to serve the Lord in many areas of ministry since 2002, when Anchor Baptist Church of Salt Lake City, UT made us full time youth Pastor. We served under the authority of Anchor until June of 2014.
Most recently I am serving as Associate to the Pastor at Harvest Valley Baptist Church in Riverton, UT. At the same time we are also doing missionary work in a very needy area south of our church. This mission work could potentially become a church if God permits. Aside from all this I work a job. Needless to say we are busy busy!
In recent days God has been gracious to save several drug addicts who are now living for Christ and faithfully attending our church. Last month, myself and 6 of these new believers went downtown Salt Lake City sharing the Gospel with homeless and drug addicts. What a blessing to see lives transformed. What a blessing it is to serve the Lord!
Our family is made up of 6 beautiful children: Karis (13), Micah (11), Brenton and Benaiah (9), Luke (6), and Ambri (4).
B. J. and Tammy Nordgren
I John 5:4-5