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Rogers Update 7/16/2020
July 21, 2020

Dear Friends,

In my life as a missionary one thing has always been certain. Just when I think I understand ministry, God takes it to a whole new level.  I am fairly certain that is true for everyone seeking to serve our Lord.  I would also venture to say that this year, every ministry on this planet has been experiencing this whole new level.  The Coronavirus has now become a way of life for most of us.  It’s been talked about and analyzed by believers worldwide.  Many of us have known people who have died from the virus.  I know of missionaries who have had family members and friends die (not necessarily from the virus) but have been unable to come back for the funerals because of travel restrictions.  This has helped me realize how gracious God was to allow me to return in time to say farewell to my mother-in-law in March.  God in His wisdom has asked others to trust Him when He did not open the door for them to return.  God’s understanding is far above ours.

Covid-19 has changed most of our lives and ministries in various ways.  Even attending church is not a casual thing anymore.  The virus has caused some of us to ask ourselves if we had become comfortable with the normalcy of Christianity.  Did our weekly church activities become rituals of religious worship?  In Isaiah 1:9 – 20, God shared with Israel that He was tired of them doing the very things He had commanded.  (That would be like God telling us He was tired of us going to church, singing hymns, reading the Bible, and praying.)  God didn’t want surface worship.  He wanted heart worship.  God wanted their heart.  As I look at all that has happened, I have been asking God to never let me again be casual about my relationship with Him and with others.  I look forward to worshiping together as a group with a new desire to enjoy fellowship with God and His people.  Coronavirus didn’t do this in my heart, but God used this disrupter of lives to move me to a whole new level!

So, what’s been happening?  One area of our ministry that has grown during this time is counseling.  People have spent a lot more time in thought instead of doing activities.  They have also been forced to be confined more in their homes with each other. That is probably a good thing, but it can also be challenging.  In addition to that, there are other situations where people are not able to get together and resolve issues face to face.  Because of these things and the virus limitation on personal interaction, I have been doing a lot more counseling on the phone and Zoom as well as in person.  In my opinion Distance Counseling is not as good as being in person, but my view of limitations is not the same as God’s.  He uses all things, and He is very good at it.  Please continue to pray for the counseling part of our ministry.  Only God changes hearts, but our desire is to be used of God in His program – not ours!

Concerning Zoom, I have been speaking in churches through the internet on Zoom and Facebook live.  I even had one Sunday where I spoke in a church in Indiana in the morning and a church in Alaska in the afternoon (their morning).  Churches around the world are developing their technology in new ways to expand their outreach.  Once again, the events of the last few months have forced all of us to move to a whole new level of ministry.  There certainly have been some challenges and frustrations.  To be honest, I did experience disappointment when my trip to Alaska in July was cancelled.  A lot of factors were involved that led to that decision, but at the center was the Coronavirus.  However, with some of the intense counseling situations I am dealing with, I can clearly see God knew what needed to take place. (No surprise there!)

Another area that has been occupying my time is the preparation for the upcoming Small Church Enrichment Conference on November 13th & 14th.  Barnabas Enrichment Ministries holds this conference every other year.  The last one BEM sponsored opened many doors for small churches to interact with each other.  It has been exciting to see pastors working together in team effort without the fear of others invading their territories!  So much untapped spiritual power rests in small churches!  God knows what He is doing in all things!

CLICK HERE TO OPEN THE CONFERENCE BROCHURE!

Please plan to attend.  Registration is explained in the brochure and can be done by mail, email, or online.  Go to the BEM home page to register online.

Just like the last Small Church Conference, there will be no charge for this one.  (An offering will be taken at the conference for those able to give.)

Please continue to pray for God to use the novel, Terminal Option, that I wrote and has now been republished.  It is being promoted in a lot of places with good reviews on Amazon.  I was looking one day on the internet at a travel website and “Terminal Option” popped up from a web bookstore in another state.  That was unexpected.  Only God knows what He intends to do with the book and why He had it republished.

I have always had a special place in my heart for MKs (Missionary Kid) and PKs (Preacher Kid).  Every child born needs God’s love, guidance, and protection in this world of sin and destruction.  I believe MKs & PKs have a special target on their back by the evil one who wants to destroy their lives, and their parents’ lives and ministry.  It is often heart breaking when I am involved in counseling situations with children and their parents in family ministry.  I have watched the challenges my own children have faced and are facing.  Beabea and I want to thank you for praying for our son, Jeremiah, and our daughter, Christy, and their families.  Keep it up!  We appreciate it!  We want to express a special thank you for praying for our granddaughter, Laurie, who has been ill for months with a condition that has caused her to throw up every day.  The doctors believe they have found the solution, and she is doing much better.  In the midst of all this, Laurie’s parents, Michael & Christy Tjapkes, are starting a garage door business.  They are asking prayer that they will honor God in what they do in this new venture in their lives.  You can check out their Facebook page, but only if you promise to pray for them!  Okay, you can look anyway, but think about praying for them! 

Smoky-Mountain-Garage-Door-Service

This August, Michael (Son-in-Law) and Garrett (Grandson) are coming up to Indiana to put in a garage door for our house.  Not only will we get a new garage door out of the deal, we will get to have fun with one of our grandsons (and, oh yes, his dad too)!

Finally, our mission, BEM, has been set up with Amazon Smile so that when people shop on Amazon, a percentage of their purchase is donated to BEM.  Once you’ve signed up, you log into “Amazon Smile” instead of Amazon and then shop like you normally do.  Everything is the same once you’ve signed in.  One of the facts about BEM I truly appreciate is the mission does not promote itself, but focuses on churches and God’s people.  This is a great way to help BEM to continue to do that.

Set up BEM for your use on Amazon Smile:  https://smile.amazon.com/ch/26-2120327

Sign into Amazon Smile.

Wow, this has been an update full of information.  I realize the last person to write correspondence this long was the Apostle Paul. (No comparisons!) Thank you for reading all the way through!

John (and Beabea) Rogers

jtrbem@gmail.com