News from the Mission Field
We have just heard from APBM Missionary Andy Sharpeta on Viesques Island, Puerto Rico. He was able to borrow the Mayor’s satellite phone to make the call, the only one on the island. Andy, his wife and four children are all safe. Anything built of wood on the island is pretty much gone. They have enough food and water for the time being; most folks do not. Andy has been given a line of credit to get food for distribution to people who are without. He has a small generator that helps for some things, but I imagine that gasoline will be a problem shortly.
We have yet to hear from Missionary Ed Bauman. They are on the big island of Puerto Rico.
We are setting up a relief fund for victims of hurricane
Maria on Puerto Rica. This will be administered by All Points Baptist Mission through our missionaries, the Sharpetas and the Baumans (assuming the Baumans are OK) and will be an important part of their ministry now for a while. Anyone wishing to give to this effort may do so by contacting the APBM office.
Thank you for your consideration,
Gary E. Forney – Executive Director
All Points Baptist Mission
A ministry of Calvary Baptist Church, New Philadelphia, Ohio
Make all checks payable to the address below. You may also send a payment from your online banking, with our payee information below. Please be sure to include “Puerto Rico Relief Fund” to assist with support designation.
As always, 100% of all designated money is sent on directly to the missionary. We do not charge anything to handle money for our missionaries, however PayPal does deduct 2.2% from each gift, plus $0.30 per transaction. A tax deductible receipt is returned for each gift, by mail or email.
All Points Baptist Mission
PO Box 977
New Philadelphia, OH 44663-0977
If you wish to donate online, please use this Paypal Button. Once you are logged in to PayPal, please specify whether the donation is to be specifically for the Bauman Family, the Sharpeta Family, or as a whole, the Puerto Rico Relief Fund. (i.e.. “E. Bauman”, “A. Sharpeta”, or “Relief Fund”). The Missionaries will receive all that is donated, except for what PayPal deducts for their service.
To receive a donation receipt, please share your mailing address through PayPal, or contact the Mission Office with your email address.
We are pleased to announce that we have agreed to work with a new missionary with APBM. This missionary has been called to go to the Syrian people, and we greatly look forward to working with him as he begins Deputation.
When we think of Pioneering, we think of Adventure. We think of every young boy’s hero, Daniel Boone, the Trailblazer. There is a lot of adventure with being the first one to discover a new world. It is exciting to be the one making inroads into a new territory that has never been chartered before. What an adventure Daniel Boone had as he blazed the trail into that wilderness!
Pioneer missions is similar. What an adventure it has been to be the first Baptist missionaries into this spiritual wilderness! How exciting it has been to bring Good News from a far country! We have seen God do the impossible over and over again. We have seen God open the door to Greenland and give us the authority to invite others to this pioneer mission field. Wouldn’t you like to join the adventure and claim an unreached village for Christ?!
When we think of blazing a trail, we think of Danger. It is not easy being the first ones. There are always t
hings you never expected or planned on happening. On one of Boone’s trips, his son was captured and killed by Indians. This scared the settlers so much that they went back East. In those early years, most settlers traveled in large groups to better protect themselves against the dangers on the trail. Boone gained his fair share of battle scars to prove the dangers of settling a new territory. How we admire those brave men who sacrificed all to cut a road through the wilderness in hopes to find their “American Dream.”
There are dangers and trials lurking ahead of the pioneer missionary that he can never be fully prepared for, because no one has gone before and helped prepare the way. He can take classes, read books and do all he can to ready himself, but the path is an unknown path with unforeseen hardships. It is by God’s grace and by the prayers of His people that the pioneer lives to tell another day. Greenland has had its fair share of unforeseen trials of which I don’t have the space to go into. Missionaries are not involved in Missions in order to pursue the American dream, but to pursue the mind of Christ and fulfill His last commandment on this earth, “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature!” Pioneer missions isn’t about staking land, but about claiming souls for Jesus Christ!
Lastly, when we think of cutting that trail into the wilderness, we think of Loneliness. The men with pioneering spirits were no doubt some of the bravest men to ever live, but sometimes even they got lonely. How many brave men have fallen, been wounded, or lost heart on this lonely path. Boone left family and friends behind and found 30 people willing to cut a trail through the wilderness. It was a lonely feeling being alone in that seemingly “God forsaken” wilderness.
The Arctic is by far one of the loneliest and isolated mission fields. There are no malls, no Wal-Marts and, of course, no McDonalds. Sometimes we are blessed just to have food on the shelves in the grocery stores. As bad as that sounds, the most disheartening feeling is the lack of Christian fellowship. There are no other missionaries in Greenland! There is no one to share the work with. There is no one to be encouraged by. On most mission fields, there are several missionaries within driving distance of each other. There is no doing that in Greenland – a place where there are No roads connecting the towns. The only way to get in or out is by plane. One plane ticket to the next town costs around $1,000. Imagine coming from the US. The cost of getting here has discouraged many from even visiting this spiritual wasteland. Our town of 5,000 is small in size and sits on the Disko Bay surrounded by mountains. Winter lasts around 9 months bringing with it 3 months of darkness and lots of snow. Imagine being stuck in such an isolated place with no way out! Yes, it is overwhelming. For years, we have begged God to send someone to help and encourage us on this needy mission field. God has answered that prayer! The Wright Family is currently on deputation & we look forward to their arrival on this Pioneer Mission Field!
The Wilderness Road that Daniel Boone carved through the Cumberland Gap was at first
steep and rough and could only be passed on foot or horseback. As more and more traveled this road, it was widened and made to accommodate wagons. Twenty-five years after Boone’s first attempt at trailblazing a path through this wilderness, over 300,000 men and woman followed the path he had marked.
We are slowly making a path into Greenland. The more folks that trod this path, the easier it will be for others to follow. Wouldn’t you like to be a Pioneer and tread where no Baptist has trod before?!
Trailblazing at the Top of the World,
Many I am sure have now heard about the fire that engulfed the dwelling of the Northcutt family in Siberia, Russia.
All Points Baptist Mission has set up a special fund specifically for them as they continue to go through what they were able to save, and look forward to the future. You may read about the details on their website. If you would like to donate to this fund, please let us know! All donations may be made out to All Points Baptist Mission, with a memo included to specify that the donation is for the “Northcutt Fire Recovery Fund.”
All Points Baptist Mission
PO Box 977
New Philadelphia, OH 44663
100% of all funds donated to All Points Baptist Mission are passed on directly to the missionary, without any fees. You will also receive a receipt for any donation given, as it is tax deductible. Please include your email address if you would like that sent to you electronically.
Please continue to look for new updates on the Northcutt’s page, as we will post them as we receive them. We can not thank you enough for the care you have for your missionaries!
Missions Office Manager,
All Points Baptist Mission
A ministry of Calvary Baptist Church
Make plans now to come for this years Advanced Missionary and Chaplaincy Training!
AMCT 2017 will be from July 30th – August 4th.
II Timothy 2:2
“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”
Personalities fascinate me. We all have one and each comes with its own special strengths and weaknesses. Often, the differences between personalities can be the basis of conflict or of harmony. My personality may annoy someone and other personalities may aggravate me. However, our God never ceases to work with each individual to mold their unique personality to fit His purpose. There seems to be three particular ways in how this conforming and transforming is manifested and three men from the Scripture from whom we can learn these principles.
1. Softens the Edges – Simon Peter
My baby girl reminds me of Peter; constantly trying to shove both her feet in her mouth! In the Gospels, Peter is consistently getting in his own way and opposing himself. Yet God got a hold of his heart and he later became one of the greatest disciples and witnesses for Jesus Christ. Eventually, he was even used by God to pen the books of First and Second Peter, throughout which his compassion and love for the Lord is clearly seen.
Peter is a reminder that no matter how rough my personality may be, or that of someone else around me, God can work and use that personality for His glory. Are we willing to allow him to soften those edges that need it?
2. Strengthens the Spirit – John Mark
John Mark would be the opposite of Peter. This is the guy who, from what we read in Scripture, doesn’t seem to be able to handle the difficult life of service to work with the Apostle Paul. However, through the working of the Holy Spirit and the patience of a man of God, John Mark eventually is built up to the place that Paul says, “…Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.” God strengthened His spirit, and emboldened his will.
May we submit to God for the same. Too often I find my boldness for Christ lacking and my spirit is weak. My hope and prayer then is that, as in John Mark, God might mold and strengthen me to be “profitable…for the ministry.”
3. Sustains the Power – Moses
In Deuteronomy 34:7, the Bible records the death of Moses with some unique observations. The Scripture says: “…nor his natural force abated.” His natural power, boldness, and strength of personality did not fade away as he aged. This is in opposition to the natural flow of life. As we age, our natural force weakens and deteriorates. This is evident throughout our world. This did not occur in the life of Moses. He was as powerful of a man in speech and presence at 120 years old as at 40. How was this possible? God sustained Moses’ personality for His purpose.
The lesson is this: Those aspects of ourselves which we have “put off” do not ever again need to be put back on. God can sustain those good fixes. If we will be continually surrendered to Him. As we fulfill God’s purpose, He sustains who we are to accomplish His task.
More and more, I marvel that an almighty God would reach down and continue to work and mold me into His image. Even with all the personality traits that irritate, the prominent faults in temperament, and the battle against the flesh in day to day living, God can and will continue to conform me, and His willing children, to the image of Jesus Christ.
Missionary to Norway
The arctic is filled with unique sounds. Snowmobiles, outboard motors, crunching snow, ice popping under the stress of weight, and the sound of silence. Most of these sounds a person can get used to and even appreciate as an identifier of the far north. However, one sound that I will never get accustomed to is the sound of a handful of dirt thrown onto a coffin laying six feet deep in a grave.
Funerals of the Inuit, First Nations and Metis are not the sterile, orchestrated events that have become the standard for non-native people.
The typical northern funeral is held in the building with the largest seating capacity in the community. Usually this is the school gymnasium. 200 people is not unusual for even the smallest of hamlets and villages.
The coffin might be a beautiful hand made work of art constructed of wood by a local craftsman and the fabric lining the coffin is hand sewn and installed by women of the community which might include several family members.
The body is dressed by the family and may or may not be embalmed.
The coffin is transported sometimes by pickup truck. The pall bearers sit around the truck bed steadying the coffin and a slow progression is made to the cemetery.
Traditionally the grave is dug by the family. In permafrost they have to build fires to melt the permanently frozen soil and then shovel out the muck. The fire has to be rebuilt and the process repeated until a depth of six foot met.
The pall bearers carry the coffin to the grave where planks are laid across the grave and the coffin is places to rest on the planks.
Ropes are then threaded under the coffin and through the handles and slowly the coffin is lowered by hand after the planks are removed.
Once the crowd regathers at the grave side, the preacher stands at the head of the open grave. A prayer is given, some words of comfort are spoken and then it happens.
An un-unwritten code of the north requires that the preacher must repeat the old phrase, “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”
The preacher then takes a handful of dirt and drops it on the coffin. The sound is haunting.
Dirt hitting a wooden casket is an awful sound. It sounds even worse in the frigid northern winter. It is a sound marking the end of life.
Family members then make their way to the casket and throw a handful of dirt into the grave and every time dirt hits the wooden coffin, chills run down your spine. The family usually begins to sob, cry, then eventually a wail erupts adding to the awfulness of the scene.
The men of the community then grab shovels and manually, shovelful by shovelful, fill in the grave. Sometimes the crowd sings gospel hymns. Sometimes the only sound is that of dirt hitting the casket until it is covered.
In defence of this stark and old fashioned way, I must say it does offer closure. There is no vagueness of purpose. When a grieving family member walks away from the graveside, it is over. Final. A hard event, but a completed one.
I’ve stood at the head of the grave while saved and lost were buried. As the saved are buried, I have confidence this is not the end. The dead in Christ shall rise. This horrible sound is not the end. I will hear them speak, see them walk, and worship the Lord with them.
But as the lost are buried, I know this is not the end either. The awful sound of frozen clumps of dirt hitting the casket is not the last horrible sound heard that will be associated with them. The future holds a great white throne judgment for lost men and women. The sentence will be exacted and lost souls will be cast into the lake of fire.
That, has to be the worst sight and sound ever.
Sterile and practised funerals offer a facade of peace and comfort. But the grave is only a temporary holding place for the bodies of the saved and the lost. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, and conversely the first second after death a lost man’s soul wakes up in hell. Reunion with the body is either to the incorruption of salvation in Christ or the corruption of the lake of fire as Christ rejecters.
The greatest sight and sound is that of a sinner kneeling and asking God for mercy. On the mission field there are no buffers to reality. Life and death are real and raw. Our Gospel must be real, un-changed and at full strength to give hope to the hopeless around the world.
Missionary to the Canadian Arctic
I am so grateful for the men of God, the Lord has used to bring me to Christ.
The first preacher would be my Dad – John Caudle. A veteran missionary with tremendous zeal and a heart for souls. He’s my hero. The second was an old fashioned preacher named – Roy Goodson. Bro. Roy was a fiery preacher of the gospel, whose face would always turn ‘beet red’ when he was preaching. The third preacher would be the pastor of my childhood – Dr. Harold B. Sightler. I have never known a preacher with more gravity. He was preaching the evening service, the night I was born again! What if one of these great men of God had not answered the call or been faithful to the call, to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ? I wonder where I’d be today. Perhaps, still lost in sin. Maybe, already in a devil’s hell. May we never take our calling lightly. Precious lost souls hang in the balance. Press on, my dear brother! It’s worth the fight! We are preaching the gospel of peace to a hopeless world, and bringing glad tidings of good things! And don’t forget, there’s a crown of glory waiting for us at the end, from the chief Shepherd. Praise the Lord!