Psalms, Praise, and Prayer

“I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart;

I will tell of all Your marvelous works.

I will be glad and rejoice in You;

I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High”

Ps 9:1-2

One of the Psalms I read this morning. I love the Psalms and read them daily. I am frequently reminded by the psalmist how much of our walks with the Lord is simply just a choice. In the psalm above he states his choice to praise the Lord, “I will praise you, O Lord.” He tells us how he chooses to praise the Lord, with his “whole heart.” He also declares how he is going to carry out his choice, by “telling of all [the Lord’s] marvelous works.” He says, within his heart, he chooses to “to be glad and rejoice” in the Lord, while outwardly, he chooses to “sing praise” to the Lord.

I need to be reminded that much of my walk with the Lord, how I express myself to the Lord, and how I go about life, is a choice that I need to make on a daily basis. Lord you are worthy of all my praise!

I know it’s been a while since my last update and since my return from South Asia. So I want to share with you some of the amazing things God has and is doing.

South Asia was more than I could have imagined. We had 10 flights where we traveled just shy of 22,500 miles in 18 days. We visited each of the three Bible Colleges campus we had started. One in the north, in the foothills of the Himalayas, one in the south, our main campus, and one in the central area, where there is open hostility towards Christians.

We met with the local team at each campus and discussed the upcoming school years and the two year curriculum that we developed and were going to go forward with. We also discussed vision and direction for the colleges and ministry to reach unreached people groups.

We also held two Pastor’s Conferences where we had some 80 pastors come out to be taught, refreshed, strengthened and encouraged in the Word. That alone would have made the trip a success, but there was so much more.

We met with pastors who wanted to come under the umbrella of Calvary Chapel and learn to teach the Bible inductively, verse by verse, chapter by chapter. So, the Sunday after the second conference, we held a typical Calvary Chapel Sunday morning service. Pastor Asher, one of the pastors traveling with us, taught through chapter 1 of 1 Samuel. Talk about powerful! That Sunday morning was some of the most powerful teaching I have ever had the privilege to hear. There was no hype or emotionalism, what these pastors were used to, just simply teaching God’s word and seeing the Spirit bring it to life. It was wonderful!

We also visited some of the remote churches pastored by some of our recent graduates from our previous Pastor’s School. What a blessing that was. To see people living so remotely, so simply, with very little, never having heard about Jesus before was something I have never witnessed. Then seeing God do a work in those villages, raising up a church, where Christ is being preached, was truly humbling.

When I returned, I was very busy with work, we also traveled to Oregon where I got to officiate my aunt’s funeral. Afterwards, when I returned to California I began working on scheduling Calvary Chapel pastors to teach the new 16 week semester which started in July. Due to short noticed I taught two classes until two of the pastors would be available to teach. The first was the Book of James on Tuesdays, which was a 5 week class. The second, on Wednesdays, was an overview of the entire Bible. That was a 6 week class. Each started at 8 PM Pacific Coast Time and went until 11 PM. It was a tough 6 weeks since I wake up for work at 4 AM.

The really great news is, this semester we welcomed women to be part of the program. At our central campus, where we teach via Skype, we were given a piece of property that we made into a women’s dorm. We have 17 students, 6 of which are women. The students are studying through the Bible with translated Chuck tapes. This semester, the other classes include the books of Genesis, Exodus, Joshua, the Gospel of John, Inductive Bible Study, Systematic Theology, and Practical Christian Ministry. Our other two campuses are also following this teaching schedule.

When we left South Asia God gave us vision for construction of 8 new churches buildings, to buy some means of transposition for some of the pastors who did not have a motorcycle, to expand the Central Campus class room, to rent a larger property in the north, and to purchase beds, tables, chairs and supplies for the schools. We thought all of that would be about $140,000. That’s not to mention support for the missionaries or the $25 a day to feed and house each of the students. It was a crazy, we could never do it apart from God, thought. Just last month God provided, out of no where, approximately $125,000. All Glory to God!

Would you please pray?

  • Pray the Lord would continue to bless the work in South Asia.
  • Pray that we would have wisdom and insight as leaders to what the Lord is wanting to do and accomplish. Pray that we would then be able to facilitate that work.

Would you please continue to pray for our family?

  • Pray for Tina and I as we would love to be closer to Ashley and Elijah. We want to be able to have the impact the Lord desires grand parents to have on their grandchildren.
  • We are longing to have fellowship and be part of a church. We live over an hour one way to my current place of employment and an hour in the other direction to church. As a result we are unable to be at men’s and women’s Bible studies or serve in the church the way we would like to. We feel a little isolated with out a close church family near by to fellowship with. we miss what we had in Corvallis and Europe.

Would you please pray for Bryan and Austin?

  • They are hoping to see the Lord open doors for them. They are attending school but would also like to get jobs. The job market here is nearly if not totally non-existent. They also are feeling isolated with out friends and family close by.

As always, we are so thankful for your friendship, your willingness to pray and your love for us and our family. I’m so sorry that it has taken me so long to write an update. Pray for me and I’ll try harder in the coming months.

God bless,

Gary and Tina