Last Friday morning we managed to break out of the record-breaking Texas snow and begin our trip north towards Alabama. We traveled for two days and arrived late Saturday afternoon at the Ballengers' home about 50 minutes outside of Birmingham. John Ballenger is one of the leaders of Grace Family Church. He had contacted me several months ago by e-mail about the possibility of our family visiting their church to present our work in Ukraine, and now we finally had the chance to meet in person.
We stayed the night Saturday in the Ballengers' home, and we were truly blessed to get to know their family. Sunday morning, I showed our DVD presentation at the church, and then delivered a message on evangelism called "Vision, Strategy, Perseverance." We were very blessed by the believers there, and look forward to seeing them again sometime, perhaps even in Ukraine, if God wills!
Sunday afternoon, we drove the rest of the way up to Linden, Tennessee to the home of our friends the Courters. If you recall, they are the family who came down to Texas a couple of months ago to assist us in remodeling our house in Fort Worth. My main purpose in coming to Tennessee (where I've not been for nearly seven years) was to visit the Courters and also to see Michael and Debi Pearl. Both families have been a tremendous blessing over the years to our family, and I wanted to take the opportunity of seeing them again before we return to the field in April. Michael Pearl is one of my greatest mentors. I met him when I was 12, and in the years since that time, God has used his teaching ministry in a powerful way in my life, especially in teaching me how to study the Bible.
While we're here in Tennessee, I'll have the opportunity to speak to several groups of believers about the work in Ukraine. The first of these meetings is tonight, followed by two more tomorrow and Thursday. Please pray that I will be an encouragement to the churches here, and that new laborers will be raised up to serve Christ in harvest fields of the world.
I'll try to post more details towards the end of the week.