Our April 2020 Update

Dear Friends,

One month ago, we were still in AZ, still traveling in ministry. That has changed with the lockdown. We made it home just as restaurants were changing their dining-in policies. Now, Jeneen and I are staying close to home, ministering using the phone, emails, messaging, and doing ministry at our home church. On Resurrection Sunday, I had the privilege of teaching an adult Sunday school class from my study at home. I certainly appreciate the technology we are being forced to learn along with many other pastors and churches are too.

Who would have thought we would experience such a drastic change to our lives in such a short time? I purposely have waited to update because of the rapid changes every day. We are all going through the upheaval of life and routine. We hope and pray you are doing okay. Some say our country is overreacting while others say we are not doing enough. It is different when it hits close to home. My brother tested positive for Covid-19. His family has been sick too but thankfully, they had quarantined themselves. Our niece was pretty sick, developing pneumonia with it. She and their family are doing better now. We have heard of people dying from the virus who are extended friends. The Lord knows and our lives are in His hands. There is no better place to be, but that doesn’t mean we should be foolish with our lives, but can we go too far to protect and when do we cross that line? These are the questions so many are wrestling with these days.

How long will this last? Only the Lord knows. In the meantime, Jeneen and I have been keeping ourselves busy. We completed the process required for us to sign up for Medicare. There is one more phase to go through but as we both turn sixty five this year, we face new chapters in our lives.

We were glad to be able to go to AZ Just before the lockdown. While there we were able to stay with Joe and Rebekah. It is always a joy when we can combine ministry with seeing family. I think Grandma needed some grandchildren time, so did Grandad. We enjoy all our family.

We spent the weekends with Calvary Baptist Church in Kingman AZ. They are still searching for a pastor. The events around the world have not helped them but they are hanging in there. Please continue to pray for this wonderful church family. Also while in AZ, I was able to go to a pastor’s fellowship that met at Tri City Baptist. It was good to see many old friends, renew acquaintances and meet some new pastors. We are thankful for the opportunities God gives.

Of course, our schedule has been affected by the quarantine. We missed the men’s retreat at Grand View Camp in AZ, the Northern Plains Fellowship in WY, along with meetings in a couple of churches. We do not know how the summer will work but we do have two different camps on the schedule along with the men’s backpacking camp. Right now, the mountains seem like a good place to be away from the virus. No one should be within fifty feet of me when I am trying to cast my fly, flaying the air with my fly rod. I think they call that, fishing distancing.

We do look to the Lord for how He will put together life and ministry after this world situation is over. I have been able to do more writing. I should have the next Bible study done soon. I have been working on it for a long time. The editors I am using for this project have been very encouraging about the content. It is a study of the practical walk with God and what it looks like in the life of a believer. I will include the first three paragraphs from the introduction at the end of this letter. Please pray for the finishing of this project. It has taken a lifetime to get to this point.

Jeneen and I want to thank you for your prayers and continued support of what God is doing in and through our lives. You are a blessing to us. We certainly want to be a blessing to you. If there is anything we can do even though we are limited, let us know. Yes, we do have enough TP for now. Thank you for your prayers and concern.

Continue to pray as we minister. Just yesterday I had a conversation with our neighbor. He commented about me being a man of faith, opening the door for further talks about the Lord. He has never been open like that till now. God is working. Use the opportunities He gives.

May God comfort and keep you all through this time. May you experience His grace every day as He works in and through you.

Yours Friends in Christ,
Monte and Jeneen
First three paragraphs of the new Bible study introduction –

One stressful evening as a seventeen-year-old, I went running to work off my frustrations. Fourteen miles later, with stars emerging in the sky, darkness creeping across the landscape, I took a path through a large vacant lot on the outskirts of town. Weariness replaced my tensions. I sat down on the trail and gazed upon the vast expanse of the heavens, the innumerable stars, the surrounding mountain peaks outlined by the starlight. I was done, worn out, my thoughts from two hours of running finally coming to a focal point. “God, I know you are there. You’re bigger than all I see. I guess you can handle my problems and my life.”

I had accepted Christ as my Savior when I was a young child. Being taught how I should live and act, I tried to be a good Christian. That night in the middle of a field, sitting on the trail, looking at the enormity of the heavens, I began seeking more than just being a Christian – I wanted to walk with God, to experience all He had for me.

Running was one way of coping and thinking. I must have been quite upset that evening, because before that time I had never run fourteen miles. The experience of that night began a journey of learning about, walking with, and growing in my relationship with God. A drive arose in my soul and has never been satisfied. I want more. I want all God has for me. How does God and life work together? Over time, I found that we simply need to walk with God, living in His will, which produces contentment in life, with anticipation of all the Lord has for each day. God is building our lives as we walk with and depend upon Him. This study is about how we experience God after we are saved.

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