October is the birth month for both our son, Randy, and daughter, Sandy – plus other family members. I think it would be appropriate for them to experience their mom’s testimony again, don’t you? And, if you have already read Della’s testimony, I believe you will be doubly blessed by reading it again (as I was)! – R.D.
Never Alone, No Never Alone!
The first time I heard the song, “Never Alone, No Never Alone,” I cried—not because I felt alone, but because I knew that God had been there for me all my life!
My mother died when I was 4 years old, but God took care of me by placing me in the care of my wonderful Aunt Emma. She was a widow who had raised her own children and was now caring for a nephew, whose mother had also died. She could have said, “No way, I can’t take care of any more children!” But she didn’t—she took me in and loved me.
My father and my uncle were killed in a car accident when I was 13, but God was there then too. He gave me comfort, and I knew that He was my loving, heavenly Father.
When I was 15 years old, my Father spared me from physical death. For a long time, I had been going to a doctor in Minnesota, where we lived at the time, but he could not find out what was wrong.
We moved to Idaho at that time because my cousin, Carl, was going into the army and didn’t want Emma and me to stay on the farm alone. Another cousin took me to a doctor in Boise, who suspected what was wrong after my first appointment. He ordered further tests, and it was discovered that I had tuberculosis of the lungs and the kidneys. The doctor told us that one kidney was totally destroyed and would need to be removed, and that the TB had started in my other kidney as well. By this time, I was coughing up blood because of the TB in my lungs, and I was in almost constant pain because of the TB in my kidneys. The doctor said if it had not been discovered when it was, I would not have lived much longer.
My mom died from TB and my dad spent several years in the hospital with TB, so this was a frightening experience for me. As a young teenager, spending six months in a TB hospital in Gooding, Idaho, away from family and friends, I often sang these words.
“Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens, Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, Oh, abide with me.”
I felt His presence, and He calmed my fears and eased the loneliness.
When I was 17, God spared me from eternal, spiritual death!
As I mentioned earlier, I was raised by my Aunt Emma. She was a strong believer in God and taught me to believe in and love Him too. My best friend in high school was the daughter of a minister. She invited me to come to church with her, and later her father, Kenneth Beckman, came to our home and taught me more about God’s Word. It was then that I made a personal decision to repent and give my life to Jesus. I was immersed for the forgiveness of my sins and was born again as a new creature in Christ.
When I was 20 God spared me from making a very poor choice! Sometimes, even though we are Christians, we do not take seriously the warnings that God gives us, and because of our choices, we can end up reaping very serious consequences.
A young man who worked at the same place as I did, began asking me for dates. I turned him down many times, but he wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. So, even though I knew the danger of dating someone with very different values and beliefs, I finally gave in, thinking if I went out with him once, he would quit asking me. But that didn’t happen. Instead, we dated more and more, and I found myself compromising and skipping church activities to go out with him.
Eventually, it came to the point where he was asking me to marry him, and I wanted to say “yes,” but I still had doubts that it would work. Many of my Christian friends were very concerned about my relationship with this young man, and they pleaded with me to break it off. I remember thinking many times, “Why don’t you mind your own business?” But they finally got through to me.
After asking some of my closest friends to pray with me, I got the courage to tell him it just wouldn’t work because he was an alcoholic and because our faith was so different. He told me, “I could quit drinking if you were with me as my wife.” But God was there, keeping me strong in my decision, and I said, “Good-bye.”
I believe that when we make the right choices, God blesses us in special ways. Soon He sent a godly young man from Colorado to Boise Bible College and to the church where I was attending. To make a long story a little shorter, Rick and I were married about a year and a half later, and we have served our Lord together ever since.
We all go through times of trials and heartaches throughout our lives, and I can testify to you that God has ALWAYS been there for me. I am so grateful that He has never left me alone to struggle through these hard times. He’s been there to comfort, to give guidance and protection, to heal the hurts and the illnesses, and to show me that He cares about everything that concerns me.
“I’ve seen the lightning flashing, I’ve heard the thunder roll,
I’ve felt sin’s breakers dashing, which almost conquered my soul;
I’ve heard the voice of my Savior, bidding me still to fight on;
He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone!
No, never alone, No never alone,
He promised never to leave me, He’ll claim me for His own.
No, never alone, No never alone,
He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone.”
God has promised the same for you. If you haven’t already done so, why not accept His love and His precious promises today? He’s waiting with open arms, and He will never leave you alone.
Extended Ministry Outreach
On Thursday afternoon, September 14, I (Rick) answered a phone call from a prison chaplain in New York state. He called me with a request for a few more books for their chapel library. He had read the booklet form of Is the Bible without Any Errors? and said, “I love that book!” He told me that some of the inmates had been indoctrinated to believe that the Bible has been changed and corrupted – because of their Islamic background. I told him that we have expanded the booklet to full book form, covering many more aspects of this subject. He asked me if I was traveling all over the world. I told him that for the past 22 years we have been primarily focused on Ukraine, but I have not been back there for four years – the last time in 2019. Why? Covid shutdowns in 2020. Massive war thrust in 2022. My wife has multiple health issues, and my first commitment is to my wedding vows; however, we have four younger couples who are also representatives of Overseas Outreach, and each couple has their own ministry.
He told me that even though my travel is now restricted, our mission is having far-reaching results through our books. How encouraging! I’ve sent a box of books to him for the chapel library, plus a few extras for him to share with interested inmates. Please pray with us and Chaplain Dinn for a harvest of souls at Marcy Correctional Facility in Marcy, NY! 😊
If someone (an atheist, agnostic, skeptic, moral relativist, or doubting Christian) asks you the question: “Did God create evil?” because the Bible says, “He created all things” (see John 1:1-3 and Colossians 1:16-17), how would you answer? How about this: “Do you realize that evil is not a ‘thing’?” Things are predominantly material objects – sun, moon, stars, living creatures, etc. Evil is rebellion against Almighty God and His moral laws! God created human beings in His image and gave them the power of choice. They rebelled against Him by believing a lie. Human beings created evil! Haven’t you rebelled against Him by lying? stealing? gossiping? pornographic thinking? If so, are you ready to come to Him for forgiveness? He paid your penalty for rebellion on the cross!
An Example of Dangerous, Foolish Compromise!
(From September issue of The Stand)
“In response to a May 30 Promise Keepers (PK) blog post titled ‘In Light of June Being Designated ‘”Pride Month,”’ Belmont University canceled a PK event scheduled on its campus in late September… The post focused on identity and clearly stated PK’s support for biblical marriage and God’s design for gender and sexuality. It also outlined the dangers of gender ideology.
But Belmont, which describes itself as ‘an ecumenical, Christ-centered institution,’ cited that such a stance was a conflict in values… ‘We will not knowingly provide a space for any groups whose language we believe to lack that same respect,’…”
My Observation: We are to respect the fact that human beings were created in the image of God, but are we to respect the promotion of putrefying pornography and perversion, an agenda that is proud of and glorifies what God has labeled abomination?
Heads Up, Bureaucrats!
Notification to the so-called Department of Health and Human Services (a more accurate name would be Bureau of Illegal Intimidation). More and more American citizens are waking up to the reality that our U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights is the true legal foundation for all of our laws in our nation, and bureaucrats have no actual legal right to enforce the Biden Administration’s redefinition of sex on any of us. The exemption clause for freedom of religion is great and was very effective in the case of Grant Park Christian Academy in Florida, but the fact of the matter is that the core issue is that all Americans are legally free from the false imposition of the redefinition of the word sex. Back off!
Almighty God is our Creator, our Shield, our Protector – and He created human beings male and female: no more, no less. You can never overpower Him, but He has already paid the penalty for your sin and mine through our Lord Jesus Christ. He is willing and longing to forgive you because He loves you. His invitation is open to you if you come to Him in faith and humble repentance.
Who We Are Drives What We Do!
We are not only proclaimers – we are to be abstainers! “But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. ‘Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.’ Dear friends, I warn you as ‘temporary residents and foreigners’ to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.” 2 Peter 2:9-12 (NLT)
World Views & Presuppositions
- There is no God or supernatural realm.
- Given enough time, anything can happen – By millions & billions of years of evolution – by way of survival of the fittest plus mutations. Time and death are the heroes of evolutionism.
- Uniformitarianism: the present is the key to the past (gradualism).
- God is eternal, all-wise, all-powerful, self-existent, and created everything from nothing.
- God created the heavens and earth in six real days (Genesis 1:1-31), then rested on
the seventh day to make a pattern for our seven day week. Genesis 2:1-3
- God’s Word is the key to the past/present/future. The evidences are precise and powerful for the
inspiration and truth of the Bible.
The Better Place
By David Black
Life here on earth is much like a vapor,
From God’s magnificent master design.
Yes, this is where we get our start,
Born here to live by His hand divine.
Many memories remain here when we linger,
Each person receives their own allotment of time,
That lies in the hand of our Creator;
Until taken to eternal life so sublime.
Acknowledging Christ Jesus as Savior,
Assures that our way to Heaven is clear.
And any longing for loved ones is over,
When we rest in the arms of our Savior Dear.
From God’s Holy Word we read about a place,
That He has prepared for us all who do see.
As we remain faithful to our Heavenly Father,
Then will we see how beautiful Heaven must be!
“Pray. Never give up in the process, regardless of what you see or feel. God is always at work!”
~ Myrna Alexander
“Satan may have more swagger than the church, but he will never have the saving power and the unending glory of the matchless name of Jesus.” ~ Jim Book
Powerful, Pertinent Quotes from Samaritan Ministries
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your Word.” Psalm 119:9
“If our life is not a course of humility, self-denial, renunciation of the world, poverty of spirit, and heavenly affection, we do not live the lives of Christians.” ~ William Law
“…praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints…” Ephesians 6:18
Pray for the Persecuted Church
Two Christian leaders in Eritrea recently passed the 7,000-day mark of their imprisonment. Mission Network News reports. Pastor Haile Naizgi, who was the chair of the Full Gospel Church of Eritrea, and Dr. Kiflu Gebremeskel, chair of the Eritrean Evangelical Alliance, were both arrested in May 2004. They are only two of many believers who have been held for years without trial.
Please pray for the release of these leaders and the many other unjustly imprisoned Christians in Eritrea.”
“The most uneducated, humble believer, in Christ can see more truth on his knees than the most highly educated unbeliever on his tiptoes.” ~ Anonymous (See 1 Corinthians 2:6-16)
Prayer is not our last resort – it is our first resource!
Holding Hands in the Darkness
By Shasta Hutton
I walked down the road with my Lord hand in hand,
Excited for all the great things He had planned.
The way was so bright, so cheery and swell,
I smiled and knew that all would go well,
For my Lord, He walked with me, so what could go wrong.
So cheery and happy I burst into song.
But all of a sudden the road up ahead,
Grew so very dark that my heart filled with dread.
Yet my Lord was still with me so I traveled along,
And quietly whispered the words of a song.
Then the road grew quite dark so that I couldn’t see,
And I cried, “Oh, my Lord, what is happening to me.
I cannot keep going. I’m frightened and sad.
Don’t make me go on when the road looks so bad.”
I wanted to run and let go of His hand,
And go back to the place where the sun shone on land,
But as I looked ‘round, I could not find my way.
So I grabbed His hand tighter and started to pray.
I asked Him for strength to carry me through.
Then asked Him if He would just carry me too.
I told him that I just did not understand,
Why this darkness was part of the road He had planned.
He whispered, “My child, I know that you’re scared,
That you think in My planning for you that I’ve erred.
But though you can’t see what all lies ahead,
I ask you to trust Me to do what I’ve said.
I’ll not leave you stranded or hurt all alone,
And my promise still stands for an eternal home.
And though the road there can have dark times like this,
In the life everlasting all things will be bliss.
So hold onto My hand and I’ll carry you through.
Trust Me, my child, I‘ve great love for you.”
So though I am scared, I hold tight to His hand,
Finding peace in the hope of God’s Promised Land.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah Come, behold the works of the Lord, how he has brought desolations on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire. ‘Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!’ The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah” Psalm 46 (ESV)
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:33-34 (ESV)
In The Great Expanse
Jan Rogers Wimberley
Who is out there in the Great Expanse
Whose eyes twinkle as a coded message in the darkness?
Oh, how the sun’s warmth and moon’s light dramatize to grab our attention.
They say, “There is a warm and caring heart”!
The moon beams testify to the strange wonder of its being
and to its observation that
“All is not just what it seems on a planet’s surface”
as they majestically enlighten the earth’s gloom.
Who is out there in the Great Expanse? Is he blinking at our insurrection in subtle rebuttal
Waiting, waiting, waiting
For us preoccupied and self-absorbed earthlings to acknowledge
His great artistry of beauty, his ingenuity of engineering—fire, wind, wood, water…
Winter, spring, summer, harvest…
the seeing eye, the hearing ear,
the opposing thumbs—
All in hopes that the crowning glory of all creation,
molded by his own hands whose lungs he filled with his own breath would see and hear
the old, Old Story that the fire of human hate can melt away
through the wind of the Spirit’s renewal,
a redemptive wooden cross,
and the water of Life freely given.
From Our Mailbox
“Rick and Della, I trust that by the wonderful grace of my Dear Lord Jesus you are both doing well. And there is a sense that each time I receive your monthly newsletter I think – these thoughts are the most relevant and necessary of any so far! Such was the case once again with this September newsletter. I have not seen the movie – The Sound of Freedom – but several folks in the church family have seen it – and all said that it was a movie that opened their eyes to the evil and prevalence of human trafficking. But none of them mentioned the foul language or the ungodly methods that were contained. So I really thank you, Rick, for your insightful analysis of some of these aspects of the movie. And how very true – and essential – it is that those who profess to follow Jesus do not resort to worldly – even questionable or evil – methods to advance the Kingdom of God. May we truly follow Lord Jesus in methods and mindset – always speaking boldly the truth in love – doing or saying nothing to shame or dishonor our Lord.
And thank you, Della, for sharing that story, ‘The Quilt’ – what a powerful reminder to truly be ‘more of Jesus and less of me’ – and our Lord’s blessed words, ‘My power is made perfect in [your] weakness.’ Thank you. May my Dear Lord Jesus bless you both. With my prayers. Ken (Morris)”
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“I remember Rick fondly. He appeared in Heilbronn, Germany in 1975, at a time when a whole host of young Christians was being formed. He mentored us all, ministered to our needs, helped us move out of the ‘coffeehouse’ above the Wharton Barracks dining facility, and into a dedicated building. Personally, I recall an incident where I had gotten into a bad situation with a sister in the group, and he steered me clear of what could have been a disaster. The last time I saw him was in 1979, after a service break and reentry into the Army. I was stationed in Wiesbaden, attending the Frankfurt Christian Church, and the minister, Ray Bodley, told me that Rick was visiting. I saw him at Rhein Main Airbase, where we played a fairly miserable game of volleyball. Curt Piper”
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“Dear Rick and Della, I have received transfer today and talked a bit with Stephen. We also try to sum up our ministry activities in two months. It was good that you were able to meet with Tony and I feel happy that there might be help for us to move to the U.S. We are open to pray about it and are praying for God’s will. However, now it looks like we need to do what the Lord wants us here. Thank you for your prayers and concern in this respect. Of course it feels very good when I think that I can speak and understand the language living in the States but God knows what is better for now. We are quite busy in ministry with our Mennonites church and some Christian groups.
We are trying to learn the culture and I even do some notes for what may be my future book – Vienna my unknown mission. We try our best to learn the language and hope that the Government will prolong our staying here until 2025 and by that time things will be clearer. Yan entered a conservatory in Kharkiv. He will study online. Masha is finishing her last year in Architecture university in Kharkiv online as well. They both are attending community college here which potentially will help them study and stay in Austria. Jacob goes to school, and we found a good music school for him in Vienna. My parents are quite a concern health wise, but they receive proper health care. Natasha and I are also getting some health issues taken care of. In September Natasha will have two interviews about teaching job in two schools. She also teaches online for her university in Kharkiv.
So we really are quite wrapped up – not settled in Austria but making our steps and waiting on how God is leading. In September I will be preaching on prayer in church here and we plan on leading Bible study at midweek. Now autumn has come and this is my favorite time to walk and pray meditating on God’s word.
I always enjoy reading your wishes at the end of your email. God really blessed us in leading us through such a difficult time in Ukraine. Praying you and Della are staying vibrant spiritually and physically. My warmest hugs, Zhenya (Molodchy)”
Since our Overseas Outreach mission has been primarily focused on Ukraine for the past 22 years, I’m sometimes asked to share my perspective on what is happening in Ukraine. Here it is:
1st – The bloodshed, chaos and suffering in Ukraine is real and terrible – starting in the early spring of 2014 and greatly accelerated by Russia’s attacks in the early spring of 2022. Humanitarian aid is definitely and desperately needed.
2nd – I have very little confidence in the effectiveness of so-called humanitarian aid from our U.S. government to the Ukrainian government. Why? Because of deep state corruption in both countries. (I wouldn’t want to be caught in a dark alley with either Joe Biden or Vladimir Zelensky following me!) (Bribery is a deeply ingrained international corruption, and the indictment of Senator Menendez is just the tip of the iceberg!)
- Does it bother you that our U.S. Government is now 33 trillion dollars in debt with the Biden administration wasting money like a drunken sailor in a casino? That Biden intends to pour billions more U.S. dollars into protecting Ukraine’s borders while simultaneously allowing (encouraging) floods of illegal immigrants to cross our border (including drug and sex traffickers as well as violent criminals)?
- Does it bother you that Zelensky was a porn actor before he was elected president?
Does it also bother you that the Biden administration is adamantly promoting so-called transgender “rights” for biological males pretending to be women to invade women and girls’ restrooms and locker rooms while ignoring the women and girls’ right to be protected in their private spaces? I admire Samantha Ponder of ESPN and other women who are courageously speaking out against such atrocity – and are being slandered for it. Men – when are we going to stand up like men to protect our wives, daughters, granddaughters (or other girls and women) from such obnoxious violations of decency and safety? Americans – when are we going to throw the bums out of office who are promoting such perversions? When are we going to have the guts to speak up? Let’s earnestly pray to Almighty God for courage, wisdom, and the love of Christ to radiate for us to witness for Jesus and let our reflected light shine!
1. September 17 was designated as Constitution Day. I have been re-studying our U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence. I can say clearly and without fear of contradiction that our Constitution does not contain the right to abortion nor the right to promote pedophile passions, obscenity, or the diversity of perversity! Please earnestly pray for America!
2. Please pray for the family of Lori Darnell, the daughter of Reggie & Esther Thomas. After two short hospital visits, she passed from this life Monday, September 18 from a severe case of pneumonia plus some other complications – into the arms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For the past several years, Lori has been filling the shoes of her father, Reggie Thomas, as director of White Fields Overseas Evangelism. Please pray for our Father’s special comfort for Lori’s husband, Zane, for her daughter, Lacey, and for her mother, Esther Thomas. Also, for great wisdom and clear guidance for Zane Darnell. He has been a traveling evangelist for WFOE for many years besides being the bread winner and provider for his family. Lori was handling the massive amount of correspondence, accounting, and administrative details for the extensive, worldwide mission. So please pray for God’s direction for Zane and the board of directors. (WFOE is the parent mission of our Overseas Outreach mission.)
3. Now, please go back through this prayer letter in an attitude of prayer and earnestly pray for everything the Holy Spirit lays on your heart!