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Golden Opportunities

Rich and Jo Ann Davis on September 28, 2011

Golden Age    

     Ministry Nuggets

Cruising in a wonderful antique car in England on our way to the church wedding.Cruising in a wonderful antique car in England on our way to the church wedding.How did it happen? We were cruising happily along when we discovered that we were headed for a new assignment and new stage in our life's ministry of carrying out The Great Commission. For the last several years, we have been helping sending churches and ABWE with the many faceted task of administration in the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico (CCAM), but now we see that this too was just another stop on the most exciting journey with our Lord!

Our trip to St. Maarten this summer was a huge blessing. Along with Mark Henzler (from Nicaragua), we had a great time team teaching on missions at the Leadership Conference of the West Indies Baptist Churches. The leaders of the Caribbean churches agreed wholeheartedly with us that we live in an age that require an all-out effort to rescue as many as possible before the end.

The very same attitude was evident when Rich traveled to Santiago, Chile to team teach the Good Soil evangelism and discipleship seminar. Being back in South America was such a blessing and a real privilege to work together with friends of many years. The Chilean leaders were so enthusiastic to take the very effective chronological presentation of the story of redemption to the lost in Chile and beyond. They are now ready to reach the lost with renewed energy as well as train believers to share the gospel in a very powerful way. 

Paul and Patty on their wedding day.Paul and Patty on their wedding day.Performing a wedding in England was another highlight since our last report. We had the joy of participating in the joining of a dear friend and fellow servant from Peru and a wonderful man committed to Christ from England.  Not only were we blessed with meeting new friends in Christ, but we had the joy of visiting precious friends who have known, prayed for, and supported us for many years. How many times in the past few months have we enjoyed a taste of Heaven! If you would like to take a peek at our time in England, click here to check out these pictures!

The meeting in Canada of our team of Latin American administrators was very fruitful but far too short. What a wonderful environment for honing our strategy and planning for the future of ABWE in Latin America. It seems that no matter where the Lord takes us, we fall in love with the people and the place! Just try and imagine what Heaven is going to be like! 

     Ministry Nudging

Andrew, Rich and Heath working out the details for this academic school year in our temporary role as President of the Blue Water Bible CollegeAndrew, Rich and Heath working out the details for this academic school year in our temporary role as President of the Blue Water Bible CollegeSpeaking of the future and planning, we are thrilled to announce the new assignment that awaits us beginning in just a few weeks. A large part of our ministry has always been training which is more than implied in the command to "make disciples of all the nations". It would be hard to choose the ministry that we enjoy above all others, but teaching and training would be very high on the list along with evangelism and church planting. Perhaps that is why the Lord has opened the door for us to assume the temporary role as President of the Blue Water Bible College on St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands (Caribbean). We were asked by the Board of Trustees and the actual President of Blue Water to "pinch hit" in this position for about a year. Heath Charles, the actual President of Blue Water must take a much needed break to regain strength in a couple of areas.

We have been working for several years to develop relationships in the Caribbean with the goal of helping our dear fellow believers and leaders to aim even higher in the task of the Great Commission. Now we are being given the opportunity to help in the formation of the new young leaders who will soon join the ranks of those already on the front lines in the Caribbean and beyond! Please pray for us as we move into this new role and out of the old. 

Whoops! Did we just say "out of the old"? Yes, it's true. A replacement for us has been chosen and should be announced by ABWE in the next few days to assume the role as Regional Administrator for CCAM by January of 2012. There will be a few months of overlap as we move into the role on St. Thomas and out of the administrative role in CCAM. 

Throughout our years of ministry there have been many transitions as the Lord has led. Without fail, each transition comes with a mixture of happiness and sadness and this time is no different. During our time in administration we have fully given our selves to the missionaries and nationals in CCAM. Those special people and places will always remain in our hearts and the hard part is that we may not enjoy the fellowship and ministry together as often any longer. On the brighter side, we do rejoice that the Lord is giving us a new opportunity to partner with people that we have grown to love and to help them as we serve our Lord together. 

Golden Memories

     Golden Leaves

The Rockies in the autumn is amazing as the Aspen's turn a beautiful gold.The Rockies in the autumn is amazing as the Aspen's turn a beautiful gold.We composed this article during our visit to many of our supporting churches in Colorado and Montana. Like the beautiful aspen leaves that are turning gold here in the Rockies, our memories are also "golden" of the faithful friends and churches that have stood with us throughout these years of ministry. 

A short time ago we were blessed beyond measure to be reunited with several dear friends that received us with open hearts the first time we appeared at Trinity Baptist Church of Castro Valley, California in December of 1968. The reunion took place in Billings, Montana at the Westside Baptist Church (one of our supporting churches), along with the very stimulating teaching of Dr. Bill Barrick and preaching of Dr. Eugene Peterson (the pastor of Trinity who baptized us many years ago). We basked in the presence of the dear friend who led Rich to Christ 43 years ago and more friends who were deeply involved in our initial discipleship as members of the young marrieds Sunday School class at Trinity. This was a once in a lifetime experience which will probably only be repeated with a few embellishments in Glory! Of course, we took a bunch of pictures and if you are a tiny bit curious, check out the photo album by clicking here.

Golden Future

     Training Young Leaders in the Caribbean

Ready to serve the King with joy!Ready to serve the King with joy!We have learned to be careful about describing what the future may look like for us because the Lord has led us in ways and to places that we would never have imagined at the beginning of our journey in Christ. Even six months ago we couldn't have imagined what the Lord is leading us to go and do now. We are ready to move to the island of St. Thomas in October and are excited about the privilege of training some of the bright young leaders who represent the future of the church in this region.

There were many different responsibilities as administrators for ABWE and the same will be true as we do administration at the Bible College. Here are some of the things that we are anticipating and for which we ask prayer (please click here to see the latest update to our Praise and Prayer page):

  • The daily care of the college in handling all the ongoing obligations. (i.e. paying bills, purchasing food for the student's cafeteria, preparing chapel sessions, counseling, etc.)
  • Mentoring the students - Jo Ann is looking forward to having an impact in the lives of the young women who are preparing to serve the Lord in ministry. Rich too is looking forward to impacting the students in loving and obeying God's Word.
  • Teaching - Rich will be teaching a course on Missions this first semester along with administration.
  • Recruitment - we are planning to travel to other islands representing Blue Water in order to recruit students who the Lord is calling into ministry.  
Along with the responsibilities, we would also like to share a couple of needs. On the campus of the Blue Water Bible College there are a couple of 12 passenger vans which are useful for ministry purposes with the students. However, they are very expensive to maintain and to run. The vans are not practical for personal use or trips into town to purchase supplies that are needed almost daily. We need a good dependable economic car to meet these needs in St. Thomas. What might the cost be and how could the need be met? The answer to those questions depends on how the Lord leads:
2009 Nissan we saw in a car lot on St. Thomas.2009 Nissan we saw in a car lot on St. Thomas.As we have shared this need with our supporting churches here in Colorado and Montana, there has been a wonderful response. Our home church, Calvary Community Baptist, here in Colorado had been preparing for just such a need and let us know a few days ago that they are sending $4,000 for this car. Westside Baptist in Billings, Montana raised $2,000 toward the car project. Please join us in prayer that the Lord would provide the remaining funds needed in the next 4 weeks so that we might know if we will be shipping a car from the US or purchasing one on the island. 

Besides the car project, we would love to provide more books for the library at the college. For example, Rich will be teaching on missions and noticed that the library lacks some of the classic missionary biographies. Another ministry that we would love to have while living in the Caribbean is taking the Good Soil Seminar to some of the local churches on the islands. The cost of materials and hosting these seminars could amount to $1,500 each. Perhaps there would be a desire on the part of supporting Sunday School classes, churches or individuals to provide the cost for one of these evangelism/discipleship seminars. 

Since we're going to be there . . .

     Partnerships

Traveling to other islands to recruit students will also allow us opportunities to encourage some of the local churches in the region which is exactly what we envisioned since beginning our ministry in the Caribbean several years ago. We want to be a blessing to the churches and developing partnerships is vital in that goal.
 
Another benefit in our role at the Bible College is the possibility of serving as a bridge to ABWE and some of the other Bible Colleges in the Caribbean as we strive to develop a consortium for training leaders in the Caribbean. This is a project that we have been mentioning in our news letters for quite a while, and now it seems that the Lord is placing us in a good situation whereby we might help in an even greater way.

     Evangelism among Spanish speaking islanders

A bright young ABWE missionary named Calvert Dixon once mentioned to us that there is a Spanish speaking population on the island of St. Thomas who need to be reached with the biblical story of redemption along with solid discipleship. While that seemed like a valid ministry for someone, little did we realize at the time that WE would be the ones to respond. What a blessing it will be for us to still be able to minister to the very people that we have loved and served for most of our lives! 

And then what?

By God's grace, our friends and fellow servants, Heath and Silvia Charles, will be able to return to the Blue Water Bible College next summer to resume their responsibilities leading the college. Once that takes place, we would then be ready for the next opportunity that the Lord may put before us. 

Our friend and partner, Mano with Jo Ann in Chennia, IndiaOur friend and partner, Mano with Jo Ann in Chennia, IndiaWe are very much looking forward to the possibility of serving in Caribbean, Central America and Mexico as well as in all of South America doing training and mentoring. There is still a very large place in our hearts for India and the project that remains to be completed in that country with the Good Soil evangelism and discipleship material. We also sense a burden for many countries in Africa and beyond. Quite simply, we are in the Lord's hands and still willing and able to serve Him where ever He might desire. The words of Isaiah remain firmly in our hearts - "Here am I Lord. Send me." (Isa. 6:8)

We want to close this overdue newsletter with our heartfelt thanks to those of you who pray for us as well as the many who help make it financially possible to continue serving the Lord in places outside of the United States. Your faithfulness over the years deserves more than a simple "Thank You". We can only thank the Lord for you and trust that He will meet your every need just now. We know that our rewards await us on that glorious day when we walk the streets of gold together and reminisce of how together we sought to reach every tribe and tongue and people and nation for Him (Rev 5:9)