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Reading Other People's Mail

Rich and Jo Ann Davis on May 3, 2014

Dear Praying Friends,

Normally, it is considered unethical to read other peoples mail, but since we are making this letter public, you can get the latest gossip from us as though you were an "insider." The reason we say that is because Rev. Wally Stephenson and his wife Jeannie Lockerbie Stephenson came to Bluewater Bible College for six weeks in February/March to teach two modules. Six weeks on the campus is enough to give veteran missionaries like the Stephenson's a very good feel for this ministry. When they wrote asking how things were going, we found ourselves writing a quick but complete update. Please enjoy the following quick "insiders" report that we just shared with the Stephenson's (with some modifications). Please also excuse the fact that this is a bare bones report with no special formatting or pictures! 

It’s Saturday morning and we are allowing ourselves a slower start to the day. Jo Ann is heading up to the office (of course I know it’s Saturday)! But she has “a thousand details” that she is trying to do getting ready for the graduation banquet this coming Friday night, then the Baccalaureate service on Sunday night, and the actual Graduation service on Monday night for the two graduates. The following day, we have a board of trustees meeting since most of the men will be on the island for the graduation.

One piece of great news is that a young at heart lady, who is enjoying her retirement, has been accepted as a short termer by ABWE to come down and work with us in administration. She has her master’s degree in administration and lots of experience. She is self-supported for the most part and doesn’t need to raise much in order to get down here by August! We are so excited and already feel encouraged that the Lord is bringing some much needed help. Pray for Gwyndolyn Ensley that all will go well and that she will indeed be able to arrive to help with the start of school as the Lord wills. She is so excited to get here and is even taking on some projects for us from her home in Texas (like getting our nonprofit status from the IRS).

Another piece of great news is that there are 4 student applicants for next fall. The applicants are from Haiti, Dominica and St. Vincent. I can't tell you how many thousands of unreached people there are on these islands, but it is a privilege to prepare these young people to reach the lost back on their islands and to establish churches there. Jo Ann and I cannot reach all of these islands, but we can multiply ourselves and accomplish much more! Please pray for these 4 applicants and many more should the Lord desire to send them!

This coming week is the week of finals, but actually the students don’t have many finals to take since several of their courses this semester were modules and they have already taken those finals. We would greatly appreciate your prayers as we try to finalize the faculty for next semester and get all the courses lined up. Jo Ann is feeling particularly stressed because she is a butterfly. Since I am a buffalo, I don’t feel anything . . . . well, I can feel when a mountain lion is gnawing on my leg!

The painting went extremely well. My best guess is that about 85% of the job was completed in just the 4 Saturday’s that were dedicated to it by the students. Dr. Bellew (who was president of BBC for about 20 years) was here teaching “The History of Western Civilization” and he also pitched in and helped with the painting and other minor repairs around the campus. He said that since the students were willing to commit to the work, so was he! He and I both worked each Saturday and Pastor Whyte also was able to lend a hand now and then. Of the 15% remaining to be painted, most of it is on the inside, like the apartments and dorm rooms, etc. The outside of the buildings are all painted, except for some of the white trim. Thank you for praying about this project

Calvary Baptist is doing fine and celebrated Calvary Christian Academy Day with an overflowing crowd recently. I will be preaching there tomorrow evening (Sunday, May 4). Carnival is going on in town now and most Christians are staying away. Pastor Whyte is at Megan’s Beach camping out for the weekend with Grace Baptist. Other churches are doing special events to give the brethren alternatives and an escape from the wickedness in town.

I am writing my last paper for the course I am taking this semester at CIU (Leadership and Organizational Behavior). Also, I have received the syllabi for the 3 summer courses and will started working on them next week. My first assignment for the research course is due May 12th and I haven’t even received my textbook from Amazon in the mail yet! I’m going to need lots of prayer as I will be super busy for the next 10 weeks.

At the beginning of June, camp workers begin arriving to get the campus ready for summer camps. This year there will be two types of camps. One will be run by Dr. Bellew’s daughter under the auspices of her ministry “Humbly I Serve” (HIS). She is connected with Liberty University and will be bringing students down to help run the camp for a week or two. Then, Calvary Baptist Church has a month of camp which is called “Camp Fortuna” and is the oldest running camp on the island. I think that they have been doing these camps for about 60 years or so. Please pray that many unreached children on this island will come to know the Savior this summer. 

We have some friends that were in Bible College with us in Denver (Blain and Carol Daugherty), coming to visit on June 10-18. They are pastoring a work in Oklahoma. It will be a HUGE blessing to see them after all these years.

Jo Ann is flying to California on May 29 – June 7 to be with the family for the graduation of our grandson Nick from high school. She gets back to St. Thomas in time to be with our friends from Oklahoma and then we both fly back to PA on Monday, June 23 the Lord willing. I leave the following Saturday to drive down to Columbia, South Carolina to start 3 weeks of courses (Curriculum Theory and Design, Advanced Educational Research, and Spiritual Formation (Transformation)).

Our daughter Shelly and grandchildren from Ohio are planning to drive out and visit with us sometime after I get back from South Carolina. That will be a blessing! We are scheduling to fly back to St. Thomas sometime around the middle of August.  

Final prayer request: For quite a while we have been operating with only 70% of our minimal support level. Thankfully, we have been able to supplement that 30% shortage with our social security benefits. However, we were just informed by one of our supporting churches that it has decided to terminate our support in the amount of $500 a month. Besides that, another supporting couple, who is well into their 80's, also needed to end their support meaning that in the last few weeks we lost $600 a month in support. 

Some might conclude that we should throw in the towel and give up, but we know that God does not operate that way. There is no question that he called us to this ministry and since he called us he will provide. Philippians 4:19 is still in the Bible: "And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." And so is Philippians 1:6 "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."

The Lord is our Shepherd and we will not lack for anything. He sees the end from the beginning and knows how these needs will be supplied even though we cannot see beyond this moment. Please lift up your prayers to the Lord and ask him to provide all that is necessary for us to complete the task to which he has called us. 

Because the time is near, 

Rich & Jo Ann