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Rogers Update 5/19/2018
May 19, 2018

May 2018

Dear Friends,

The last year and a half have been filled with the unexpected (by me, not God!) Here are edited versions of the emails that tell the story of how wonderfully God was in control as we served Him:

April 7 (2017)…Those special moments when we see God working in the lives of others (especially when He is doing it through our life), have been called Divine Appointments… My latest experience in watching God work in an unexpected way took place on my return trip from Alaska… I flew from Fairbanks to Seattle where the next flight was delayed going into Chicago due to bad storms… Upon arriving in Chicago, I learned that my next flight was cancelled… They directed me to a customer service location already filled with over 200 people waiting in line to be rebooked! Very quickly about 50 people filled in behind me in line also…

Before I left on this trip, I had prayed that if God had someone for me to talk with about the Lord, I would be able to recognize the opportunity. By now I was exhausted and losing my positive attitude also. About ten minutes passed, and I realized that the person who had been behind me was no longer there. Instead was a young man who I would find out was from Yemen in the Middle East. I mentioned to him that it was a long day. He nodded his head and told me he had been up for over 36 hours trying to get to Washington DC where he attended a University there. Suddenly my 24 hours didn’t seem so bad… He was studying to be a doctor so he could help people who were suffering in his area of the world… Based on what he believed, I became fairly certain he was Muslim. He wanted to know why I traveled so much. When I told him I spoke in churches and taught people about their relationship with God and how that helps our relationships with others, he became very interested. He told me that his relationship with God and with others was the most important truth of his life… Trusting the Lord for wisdom I didn’t have, I proceeded cautiously. I didn’t give long answers, but he kept asking questions. Before we were done, I had shared the entire Gospel message with him… Finally, we arrived at the counter and our conversation was over. He was gone talking to another attendant while I spoke with a different one…

There in that huge Chicago Airport with thousands of people coming and going, with frustrating delays and various difficulties, God brought two people together from different parts of the world to talk about eternity. One knew God and one did not – and then this young traveler was gone. At this point there is no way to know until heaven what this college student would become, and if he would ever know the true God of the Bible. But God knows, and it is more important that God knows than for me to know. As I finally got on my next flight, I remember wondering how many people heard the good news of Christ’s sacrifice for them as they stood in line… Only eternity will tell…

Upon arriving home, another big trip was planned. This time, however, I would not be going. My mother-in-law, Lillian, had wanted to go to Israel for a long time…and Beabea was also able to go along and be her mom’s traveling companion… They now have some very precious memories including riding a camel together!

June 11 (2017) … I have been spending a lot of time preparing for my upcoming trip… Utah will be…full of ministry opportunities!... I will be…teaching a series of messages on the book of Habakkuk…Bible lessons for VBS…and a mini-conference on “How to Break out of Church and Serve the Lord!”…I plan to return by way of Colorado (Grandkids…) and then home to Beabea! Please pray for safety as I travel thousands of miles, for my health, and always my spiritual life!  Pray… for Beabea’s busy schedule while I am gone.  She is working her caregiver job, taking care of her mother as needed, babysitting grandkids, mowing grass, cleaning house, plus several items that I have probably forgotten to list.  Just as I asked for me, pray for her spiritual life that she will also stay close to God as we are apart.  Husbands and wives need to be depended on the Lord, but they are also dependent on each other by God’s design.

August 1 (2017)…Proverbs 16 teaches a basic principle that man makes his plans, but God decides... Here is the story:…I have been staying in the upstairs apartment of Faith Baptist Church in Spanish Fork… During these weeks, I have had wonderful opportunities to meet with many people… But life does not always follow the plans we have so carefully laid out.  Last week I was not feeling well.  I just thought I was being tired and possibly my pancreas was acting up.  It does that on occasion.  Saturday night I was having dinner with some close friends, but I was overwhelmed with exhaustion.  I excused myself and went back to the apartment to rest so I would be ready for the next day services.  I started to undress for bed when I discovered that all of my upper body on the right side was covered in a rash.  I had a terrible night with developing pain and went to the emergency room the next morning.  (I had to cancel the meetings at the church I was scheduled to speak at.)  I was diagnosed with a severe case of Shingles!  I couldn’t believe it.  Shingles is for old people – wait a minute – I am 62 years old!  The doctor gave me a shot and several prescriptions.  He also told me it was going to get worse.  He strongly urged me to cancel the rest of my trip, rest for a few days, and go home…

Beabea is flying out Saturday… Pray that all will go well without difficulties… If I go outside of the apartment, I feel as if I should cry aloud, “Unclean, unclean!”  At first I wanted to react in the flesh and counsel God on why this whole incident was not in His best interest – that I could do the ministry better if I was not sick.  Then I thought of Job and I realized that this could not have come by mistake.  God does know what He is doing, and He is so worthy of my trust.  He is also much smarter than me.  (I know, tell you something you don’t know!)

August 16 (2017)… Beabea is amazing!  She would make a great commercial driver with her endurance.  We made it home safely – after 30 hours on the road and a couple thousand miles including several rain storms.  We drove straight through with Beabea doing most of the driving.  I did help a little bit once in a while to give her a break, but she drove those many miles without complaining.  She is amazing (but I may have mentioned that before)… The Shingles rash is finally going away, although it still itches and burns even without the rash. Ugh!... I do feel like I am starting to get better, but it doesn’t seem to be in a big hurry to leave.  I have been referred to as “Job” from the Bible by several of my friends.  There are some differences I should like to point out.  So far, my house still stands, the animals on the property are still alive, and my family is safe!  Also, Beabea has not told me to “Curse God and die!” like Job’s wife said to him.  Instead, Beabea has been a great support as she always is…

October 10 (2017)…So here I am with the left-over pain of Shingles.  It has felt like two steps forward and one step back for weeks now.  I have had others tell me their Shingles were not as bad as mine, and I have had some tell me of Shingles that are much worse, and I have had some people share with me how it has come back several times (which is not usual).  Ugh!  Anyway, I have been learning once again how real God is.  He is amazingly gracious.  I am pleased to report that I have had my best week ever since getting the Shingles virus.  I am currently preparing for my next trip trying to get everything done that I need to get done before I leave.  I depart on October 20th for Kansas, then Utah.  I will be gone for about two months, arriving home just before Christmas…

December 13 (2017)… Eternity, its waiting… Shortly after arriving in…Utah,…two adult men came to the church on a Friday afternoon searching for the pastor… The two men were brothers, and they shared with me that their brother (who was in his 40’s) had shot himself that morning and their mother had found him in the back yard. He had passed into eternity. Pastor Martens and I have been involved in counseling the parents and the family (Catholic background). We also had the privilege of doing the funeral together. It has been a challenging and difficult time as we talked with the family and answered their questions about eternity. I have come to care for them very much… As I write this, I am beginning my eighth week away from home and Beabea – and I am going into withdrawal missing her!... While here, the director of BEM, Tim Hewitt, and his wife, Sandy, came out to meet many of the pastors here in the state. I had the privilege of introducing them to some very special people who serve the Lord in Mormon country… 

March 27 (2018)…I am…in Fairbanks, Alaska…and I will be speaking in 19 sessions at three churches.  Pray for me that God will give me the energy and joy to serve Him well during these days… God reminds me that I am nothing without Him, and yet with God, all things are truly possible.  The words, “It is not about me, it is about Christ” continually comes to my mind… My schedule for 2018 is filling up already… I will be in Utah 3 separate times.  I will be speaking in Arizona and California as well as Indiana.  In addition to all of that, BEM, my mission organization, will be hosting a “Small Church” conference in Kokomo, Indiana, the first part of November.  I am very excited about this because most church growth conferences are done from the mega-church approach.  The situations in small churches are so different.  It is important that we understand God’s heart for the small churches and those who pastor them…

Serving with joy and expectancy,

John

 

John (and Beabea) Rogers
jtrbem@gmail.com
 
7265 West 320 South
Russiaville, IN 46979
Home: (765) 889-3264
Cell:    (765) 753-0056

 

Commissioning Church:  Shepherd Road Baptist Church
                                         P.O. Box 1054
                                         Mulberry, FL  33860

 

Barnabas Enrichment Ministries
P.O. Box 229
Elkhart, IN 46515-0229
(765) 667-2532