We had a wonderful conference at Harvest Baptist Church in Hagerstown, Maryland where Dr. James Moore is the Pastor. Dr. Moore and the folks of Harvest Baptist love missions and missionaries and we were the beneficiaries this week.
The keynote speaker was Dr. Gene Burge and as usual Dr. Burge made faith promise missions come alive from the pages of the Bible and crystal clear in our hearts. It was Dr. Burge who recommended me to Pastor Moore. Around 2002 or 2003 Bro. and Mrs. Burge came to Inuvik for one of our early mission conferences and immediately our hearts were knit together. I was surprised to see shortly thereafter Dr. Burge featured our ministry in the Baptist Mission to Forgotten Peoples “family news.” Since I was not a BMFP missionary, Lois and I were greatly honoured and figured since we were not BMFP they were considering us “kin!”
At the close of the conference Sunday night, the other missionaries in the conference, The Lyons family to Spain, and Miss Nancy Butkevich missionary to Siberia/Russia and Lois and I were waiting for the church to dismiss by manning our display tables. Upon dismissal, Dr. Moore greeted the missionaries before the congregation did and informed the Lyons and Miss Nancy that the church had just voted to increase their support! Approaching me he extended his hand and declared the church had just voted to add us to their supported mission family! It had been nearly 15 years since a church took us on while we were standing there. What an encouragement and boost to our resolve to honour God with every fibre of our being.
Dr. Moore had inquired as to my upcoming schedule and I told him of my meetings in Gettysburg, PA this Sunday. After finding out I did not have the coming Wednesday booked with a meeting, he invited me to come back and preach at Harvest! What a gracious Pastor and church.