(You may download Wade’s update here.)
Greetings in the name of Jesus. I pray that this report finds you doing well.
During this time period, I was privileged to deliver Sunday lessons at Chariton (twice), Martinstown (twice), Carrollton, Unionville (three times), White Oak (twice), Meadville, Memphis and Braymer. I participated in the annual Excelsior Springs weekend meeting. I taught the Vacation Bible Schools in Martinsville, IN, Martinstown, Kirksville, Old Lamine, and Fayette.
I spent the last weekend in April visiting the church in Lakewood, CO. This was the first time I had visited the group in over 18 months. As you may recall, I was accompanying John Morris on quarterly visits in 2014 and 2015. With the trip to the Philippines in 2016 as well as my responsibilities to the churches in our region, I could not accompany John during that year. I promised the group that I would return for a visit in 2017, a promise I was thankful to keep. I enjoyed meeting with our Colorado brethren and renewing our fellowship.
I taught an overview of the book of Job at Smart Road on Wednesday nights in May. Rather than meet with the congregation on four Sundays this year, the elders allowed me to set aside two months of Wednesday nights in 2017 to be with Smart Road. This allows for greater availability on Sundays.
I taught at the annual Midwest Bible Campout in Eminence, MO. My subject with the adult, high school/college, and junior high classes was “The Blessing of the Church.” I also taught a second session with the high school/college class on “The Blessing of Redemption.”
During the last weekend in July, I was one of the teachers for the second High School/College Age Bible Study hosted by Smart Road. I taught on the subjects of evolution, evidence for a creator, and prophecies. In addition, I participated in a panel discussion at the conclusion of each day.
I continue to record radio programs for KCHI, Chillicothe, MO. As you may recall, Tom Woody turned this work over to me in 2013. These 15 minute programs are aired every Sunday from 9:00-9:15. Eight churches in northern Missouri sponsor this effort. For this year’s programs, I have conducted expository lessons on the books of James and 1 John. Currently, I am working my way through a study of the church using the various ways in which the church is described (an assembly, a nation, a body, etc.). I have not decided what to cover during the fourth quarter of this year.
NEMO Teen Study
We wrapped up the third year of the teen study back in May. I was very pleased with how well the area congregations supported this effort. In my estimation, it was a success. We had excellent Bible studies led by some of the fathers and a few guest teachers. All of the subjects we studied were submitted by the teens. It was very good to watch new friendships form and old friendships grow stronger. Lord willing, we plan to resume the teen study the first Saturday in October. The following studies will take place the first Saturday of every month from 5:00-9:00 p.m. Dinner is provided.
•Martinstown: I concluded a study of elders and deacons with the congregation in April. This study took place over nine Wednesday nights. As I mentioned above, I was able to be with the church on two Sundays during which I delivered lessons on “Where Does God Put Water” and “Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?”.
•Unionville: I have met with the church in Unionville on four Sundays these past few months. I am very pleased with the spiritual growth I see in some of our men. Once the congregation finished Jude, they decided to tackle Revelation. It has really pushed them and at times I know they feel out of their depth, but I admire the effort they are putting in to understand the book. On three of the Sundays when I was with them, I delivered lessons on “Reputation”, “Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?” and “Trusting in the Power of the Lord.”
•Memphis: Because of my schedule and some developments within the congregation, I was only able to meet with Memphis once since April. When I met with them on Mother’s Day, I delivered a lesson on “Appreciating our Sisters.” The congregation was saddened to learn that the Welte family plans to move to the Springfield, MO area in the near future. James has started work at the Kraft Foods plant in Springfield. At this time, they are awaiting the sale of their house in Lancaster. James has been able to be home most weekends with some exceptions. Their future move is a real loss for the church at Memphis and the brethren in this area.
•Chariton: I met with Chariton twice during this period. While I was with them, I taught the class and delivered two lessons: “Double-Mindedness” and “Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?”. The congregation was beset by the declining health of Carl Bennet and Norm and Mary Jo Riekens. Carl has lived three years longer than the doctors predicted but is nearing the end.
•White Oak: I assembled with the brethren on two Sunday evenings. As you may recall, White Oak now meets at 5:00 p.m. to accommodate a few of their members who work at a local factory. When I was with them, I delivered lessons on “Double-Mindedness” and “Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?”.
•Meadville: I was only able to meet with Meadville once during this fourmonth stretch of time. In the morning I talked about “Reputation” and in the evening we studied “Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?”.
Work in Milan
In March, several church families from our area began meeting on Saturday mornings for a Bible study at the local Senior Citizen Center in Milan. For six weeks we studied “Strengthening our Faith.” A Facebook page was set up for the sake of advertisement. The church in Kirksville graciously included the study in their advertisements for other events. Several knocked on doors and passed out fliers. Fliers were posted in businesses throughout Milan. We advertised the study as a nondenominational Bible study aimed at strengthening one’s faith in God. We stressed that this was not a church, just a group of Christians gathering to talk about the word of God. Over the course of those six weeks, we had five adult visitors and several children. It was decided at that time to transition to Sunday afternoons at 3:30.
Since the first Sunday in May, we have been meeting from 3:304:30 in the lobby of a local hotel to study the book of Mark. Two men have been regular visitors. A third has been less consistent but continues to show interest. Corey Salter, a brother from Kirksville, has assisted me with teaching. Keith and Kay Walker, members at Brookfield who have lived in Milan for years, have also been present and helped out. We are nearly finished with the book of Mark and, if interest continues, we may study the book of Acts next.
What makes Milan unusual in our area is the Smithfield Foods facility. This factory has helped bring jobs to the area and has led to a large influx of Hispanic and West African workers.
Here is my upcoming schedule for the next few months:
|6: Meadville||2-3: Pleasant Hill, IA||1: Chariton|
|11-12: Weekley-Griffin Wedding||10: Martinstown||4, 11: Smart Road|
|13: Memphis||17: Unionville, a.m.
|8: Unionville, a.m.
White Oak, p.m.
|20: Vandalia||20, 27: Smart Road||14: Kirksville|
|27: Unionville, a.m.
White Oak, p.m.
|24: Memphis||15-20: Nixa|
|29: Old Lamine|
I am thankful for God’s grace, the good health, and the love of brethren which enables me to do this work. If anyone is interested in my work, I would be glad to discuss it further. These reports reflect my public work, but there is much private work that I choose not to share publicly. However, I am always glad to talk about what I
do with anyone who supports our efforts.
May God give us all the strength to lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus takes hold of us.
Grace and peace to you all.
18078 State Highway 149
Unionville, MO 63565