Christmas Greetings – 2019

Merry Christmas 2019

Dear Friends and Family,

October 2019 - 1

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. As we head into the year 2020, we are mindful of the changes coming. God has given a good year for 2019. We have seen many people saved and believer’s lives changed. Along with much fruit has come some issues. We have friends who are been dealing with issues in health, churches, ministries, and life in general. We sorrow with those who sorrow, weep with those who weep, laugh with those who laugh, rejoice with those who rejoice; we went through many and varied emotions throughout the year.

Jeneen and I have been feeling the years of wear and tear on our bodies. We’ve been in good health for the most part, Jeneen, dealing with the issues that have plagued her for years and me, discovering worn out joints and muscles not so young any more. But we are able to continue in ministry with the Lord setting much before us.

Ministry this year has included much variety; retreats, camps, meetings, helping churches without pastors, and whatever else the Lord set before us. Jeneen has been able to travel a bit more this year than in the past few because her mom is doing better. Along with turning 90 in July, her mom’s health has been fairly good. We are thankful for her mom’s ability to do what she does and for Jeneen’s ability to be there for her in times of need. My mom is doing well, keeping busy with her many activities with family, church, and business.

Peter looks forward to graduating from BSU in May of 2020 with a Master’s degree. Tonya graduated this month and continues her graduate work in January. They have both been teaching in Boise Classical Academy while they finish their classes at Boise State. Our grandchildren, Kade and Philip are graduating high school next May too. Michelle and the kids are in Meridian with her teaching piano lessons for many students. We are always amazed at how much Scott is growing. He will be a tall boy. Joe and Rebekah are still in Phoenix with their 4 children. We were able to do a wonderful trip with them this summer. Our grandchildren keep getting taller and older. It makes us realize we must be getting older too.

Jeneen and I want to wish you a Merry Christmas as you spend time with family and friends. We are thankful for and realize more and more, the preciousness of each of you. May you see the goodness of our God as you walk with Him.

Ministry Update – October 2019

Dear Friends,
Fall is my favorite time of the year. The air is clean, cool, and crisp. The trees and flowers are giving their last efforts of growth before going dormant or dying. The leaves are changing colors and falling to the ground. We enjoy the beauty of the mountains, the animals, and the lowering of the snow levels. This month, I will be in Alaska beholding the beauty of the vastness in the scenery. God’s revelation through creation is a wonder to behold. As our son Chris said, “To be a worshipper of an unfathomable God is to continually be amazed.”

Where we have been –
I spent three weeks as the camp speaker for the camps at Victory Ranch in Southern CA. During the weekends, I was able to speak in three different churches, one of them twice, Wilmington, Santa Monica, and Beaumont. The camp recently sent out a newsletter with statistics of the camps. They recorded 19 decisions for salvation and other decisions too. It was a blessing to be a part of the camp and work with the fine people there.

Backpacking Camp went well. The men who went were very experienced in the mountains making a special week. Also, their interest in spiritual things was a joy as we had many deep discussions. These camps are always soul refreshing. We were able to explore a basin with no trail that I have always wanted to see. The benefits of the camps far exceed the pains of physical exertion. As the years go by, I am not sure how long I will physically be able to do the camps the way we have been doing them. I am thankful for each trip and the memories of the mountain trails and fellowship with good men.

September plans changed as I did not go to Alaska for the church graduation. We heard it went well but the event was scaled down from the original plans. Jeneen and I were able to go to a youth retreat/ladies retreat held in WA being held at the same time on the same campground. I spoke for the youth and Jeneen attended the ladies retreat. It was a joy for both of us. From there, we went to Kent where we were a part of the Sunday services at Galilee Baptist Church. We were able to see Pastor Hicks and his wife when they stayed with us while on vacation. It was a blessing to be with the fine people of Galilee.

God has been working greatly in the meetings. Some blessings we see but others we hear about later. God is faithful and we must be faithful too.

What is ahead –
I am heading to Alaska for meetings. First I will be speaking at Higher Ground Baptist Camp for a men’s retreat. It will be nice to work with the director, Eric Locker. From there, I will be at Immanuel Baptist Church in Palmer from Sunday through Saturday. Saturday will be a men’s meeting where I will be speaking three times. It will be good to be with Pastor Burtch and the church family. From there, I will be going to Pioneer Peak Baptist Church in the Butte area of Palmer for a Sunday through Wednesday meeting. Pastor Aron Schrepfer has been having some physical issues. Please be in prayer for him. It will be nice to be in Alaska again.

We will be in First Baptist Church of Wilmington CA on the first Sunday of November. Please be in prayer for them as the church does not have a pastor. We are also going to be ministering in Calvary Baptist Church in Kingman AZ in the future. Please pray for them. Pastor Morris left as a result of some family medical issues, regrettably leaving the church family without a pastor. We really appreciate the people there and would love to see someone come and stay long term as their pastor.

We are scheduling 2020. The Lord is opening doors and we anticipate good things. Please be in prayer for us as we schedule. Our desire in ministry has always been to be where God wants us, when He wants us there, doing what He wants us to do.

Thank you all –
We appreciate you praying for us. God’s hand has been easily evidenced in the meetings and ministry. We often do not know what He is doing in us and through us but when we look back, it is easily seen that God is working. Praise the Lord.

Writing –
I have not been doing the blog for a while but I hope to take it up soon. I have been working on the next Bible study book. It is coming together and I am working with Peter in the editing of it. The more I work, the more excited I get about the outcome. I hope and pray God does great things with it. Please pray as we try to get this project finished in the coming months. I do enjoy writing but it is a huge undertaking to get things done.

May God be glorified in and through us all as we walk with Him. May we be found faithful. Thank you for your prayers.

July Prayer Letter Update 2019

This morning was the end of Junior Camp at Victory Ranch in Southern California. It was a great week with several trusting Christ as Savior, along with many other decisions. I enjoy speaking in the camps. When eyes become bright showing understanding, then decisions are made, not on emotion but upon truth and conviction of the Spirit. We are seeing God work. Please continue to pray as there are two more weeks, senior high followed by junior high.

Where we have been –
On April 21st, Resurrection Sunday, we started meetings in Chewelah WA at Chewelah Baptist Church where Dan Cleghorn is pastor. It was great to be with this wonderful church family. From there, I went to Friendship Baptist Church in Thayne WY where Jay Sprecher is pastor. This is a mission church seeking to become self-supporting in the near future. They are doing well. Following the meetings in Thayne, I spoke for the WY Foundations Baptist Fellowship and NWBM regional meeting at Grace Baptist Church in Kemmerer WY where Richard Hartman is pastor. The fellowship was a joy, meeting a couple of new pastors. It was good to be with Pastor Hodgs at Grace Baptist in Rock Springs for Wednesday evening. It was a busy but blessed time.
In May, Jeneen and I went to OR and WA, visiting several churches and pastors. We were able to speak at First Baptist Church in Pasco WA and in Providence Baptist Church in the Bellingham WA area where Duane Smith is the missionary pastor. We also saw some friends along the way but were sad that we did not have more time to visit many more friends.
June started with a group from Arizona coming for a men’s retreat in the mountains of Idaho. It was a great week but with snow still in the high country, we were limited how far we could go into the wilderness. The waterfalls from the melt were beautiful sights that we do not see later in the summer. It was a different but wonderful experience going early in the summer.
I spoke at Shelley Baptist Church in Shelley ID for two different Sundays while Pastor Lovegrove was away. It was our first time to minister in this mission church. Pray for them as they seek to establish a solid work in Shelley. In between all this ministry, I was able to do a large project at our home. Praise the Lord for enabling grace.

What is ahead –
As I already shared, I have two more weeks of Camp in CA. I will be speaking at First Baptist Church in Willmington again before going home on the 5th of August. On the 12th of August, we start another week of men’s backpacking retreat. So far, there has not been interest in the week of the 19th. We will see what the Lord has for it.
In September, I will be speaking at a mission church that is graduating to self-supporting. It will be good to be in Alaska again. Also, we will be there in October for about three weeks. I have a youth retreat on the schedule in September in WA.
We are looking forward to meetings in several places during the fall. We are excited about what God is doing.

Thank you for praying. God is working. May God be glorified in and through us all as we walk with Him and serve Him.

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Photo by Randy Lavorante

Leavell Trails – April 2019

Dear Friends,

While getting ready to write a ministry update, I searched for the last newsletter we had sent. It was a shock to realize it was in December. I thought we had sent one in February. Since I have a Facebook page at Monte Leavell and am keeping it updated with what we are doing, I have neglected to write an update to everyone. For regular updates, please “like” our Facebook page, Monte Leavell. Because it has been a while, this letter will be a bit longer, filled with information.

Where we have been –

In January, Jeneen and I were in Faith Baptist Church in Nyssa OR. Pastor Doug Sondergaard and family were traveling, visiting family. It was nice to be back at this church. The next week I was able to go to a pastor’s conference in Florida with our home church pastor, Jeff Estes. It was encouraging and they focused on disciple-making. It was good to hear from other men what God is doing around the nation.

February started with us at Grace Baptist Church in Delta UT where Bob Oswald is their new pastor. It is so encouraging to see what God is doing in the church and we praise the Lord for giving the church such a good pastor and family. We went to Pendleton OR to be at Grace Baptist Church where Alan Chapman is pastor. We had great meetings there. It is exciting to see what God is doing.

March found Jeneen and me in AZ. We were able to spend time with our son Joe and his family. We also saw some pastors and many friends during our stay. We went to Kingman to be at Calvary Baptist Church. We enjoyed connecting with the church family and their new pastor, Clinton Morris. From there, I went to CA to Victory Ranch Camp to speak for the Spring Men’s Retreat. Since I am scheduled for three weeks of camp this summer, it was nice to see the camp and spend time with the staff. What a joy! I look forward to ministry there this summer. I enjoyed getting to know the director, Paul Cayot. Kristi Carter, Steve and Joann’s daughter from AZ is also on staff there. It was good to see the Carters and to reconnect with missionary Don Fountain too. From there I went to Brawley CA to be at Western Avenue Baptist Church. The church does not have a pastor. Please pray for the church in Brawley.

After coming home, our church had a business meeting to vote on an Associate Pastor. The church unanimously voted to call Phillip Kliewer (Clever). We are excited to have him and his family a part of our church family at Fellowship Baptist Church.

What is ahead –

On April 21st, Resurrection Sunday, we start meetings in Chewelah WA at Chewelah Baptist Church where Dan Cleghorn is pastor. We will be there through Wednesday evening the 24th. From there, I will be going to Friendship Baptist Church in Thayne WY where Jay Sprecher is pastor. Starting the 29th, I will be speaking for the WY Foundations Baptist Fellowship and NWBM regional meeting at Grace Baptist Church in Kemmerer WY where Richard Hartman is pastor. I look forward to the fellowship with those able to attend. From there, I will be at Grace Baptist in Rock Springs for Wednesday evening. It will be good to see Pastor Hodgs and the church family again.

In May, Jeneen and I are planning on a trip to OR and WA in May. We will be visiting several churches and pastors. We hope to see many friends and to hear what God is doing in the churches. We have a couple of new pastor friends we want to see.

Men’s Backpacking Camps –

This year, we have a different trip planned for June 3rd through the 7th. It will be snowy in the high country so we will camp in a campground and do some day hikes. A group from AZ is coming for that week but let me know if you might be interested. We are also planning two other trips in August, 12-16 and 19-23.

Camps –

This year, I will be speaking at Victory Ranch Camp in CA. It will be for three weeks. I am excited to a part of the ministry there. The Camp Director, Paul Cayot has been a part of the ministry there since 1981. It will be nice to work with him and the staff at the ranch.

Our home church camp is August 5th-10th. I hope to get back for part of it too.

Fall Meetings –

The fall schedule is coming together. We have some open spots but will already be in WA, AK, UT, and CA. We are excited about what the Lord is doing.

Thank you –

Jeneen and I want to thank you for your prayers and support. God has been working in and through the meetings. It is a joy to serve. Thank you for your part in the ministry the Lord sets before us.

Merry Christmas 2018

Dear Friends and Family,

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Each of us has different circumstances of life as we enter this time of year. Jeneen and I are doing well but we are finally acknowledging getting older and are feeling the effects. We are not alone in this process. Everyone we know is going through it too. The more a person feels it, the more empathy they have for others. “But though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” Every day, we trust you are finding the newness of life, which comes from the Lord.

Jeneen and I carry on in the ministry the Lord sets before us. It has been an extremely busy and fruitful year, for which we praise the Lord. We really appreciate the people the Lord has given to be a part of our lives, you being one of them.

Our family is doing okay, all of them being especially busy too. Peter’s family is busy with school, being either a student or teaching, and sometimes both. Michelle and the kids are busy with school, piano lessons, and church ministry. Joe’s family is busy with school, working, and ministry. We see them all when we can. With the busy schedules it means it is not as often as we would like.

We are going to celebrate Christmas this year with lots of decorations, activities, goodies, family, and friends. It is a special time of year. None of us knows how many more Christmases we will have, but while we still have today, live to the fullest, experiencing all God has for the day. We hope and pray you have a blessed Christmas with your friends and family. Our families are gifts from God.

May God give you a special Christmas this year and so, from our home to yours, Merry Christmas. May we never forget the reason for the season.

Jeneen & I - Christmas 1979

Jeneen and I, Christmas 1979

Merry Christmas Everyone!

2018 Ministry Report

Dear Friends,
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! As we approach the end of 2018, reflection begins. God has given us a busy and productive year. We water and plant while trusting the Lord to bring forth fruit. Yes, we have seen some visible things God has done with some sharing how God has worked through us in ministry. It is a privilege to be in the service of the Lord.
People ask if we get tired of the travel. Our answer is no. We love seeing the people God puts into our lives. This year, we have been in UT, MT, CA, AZ, WY, CO, AK, WA, OR, KS, and South Africa. That list will make you remember state abbreviations. Along with the meetings in churches, we ministered at camps, backpacking retreats, two pastor’s conferences, seminars, and various other events. We thank the Lord for putting us into the ministry.
2019 is shaping up to be another good year. We are eagerly anticipating the Lord’s direction. We still have some open dates for meetings, seminars, and Sundays. We are praying about the possibility of a trip to India and going back to South Africa. The Lord is opening more doors.
The discipleship book, “Steadfast and Stable,” continues to be used in the U.S. and other countries. There is good news that we hope to reveal in the days ahead. I am encouraged because sales are increasing as more people find the value of the study. I continue to work on the next study. It is coming together, hoping to have it edited in the next few months, and then will be sending to Journeyforth for consideration of publication. We will let you know about it as we walk through the process.
Our health is letting us know we are getting older. Along with the regular issues, we are experiencing some age related things. I have a hip that is starting to wear out. With an Aleve once in a while or a Tylenol, I have been able to manage. Jeneen is getting some allergy testing done. She has good days and some bad days. Praise the Lord, it has not kept her from travel when circumstances allow. We hope to get some answers from the testing.
Both of our moms have been doing okay for now. We are glad of that. Jeneen’s mom will turn 90 next July. Our family is very busy with life. We praise the Lord for each one, seeing them whenever we can.
Thank you for your friendship and encouragement throughout the year. May God continue to work in and through you as you walk with Him.

Fall Update 2018

Leavell’s Fall Update

Dear Friends,

The Lord gave us a good summer. The men’s retreat and camps were great. After spending the month of June in South Africa, I came home to work in our home church and camps. Also, we have been in some churches around the west, speaking, visiting, and encouraging. September has brought a busy schedule. The Lord is opening many doors.

OUR FALL SCHEDULE –
Jeneen and I start in Eureka MT at Valley Baptist Church where Missionary Pastor Matt Schrepfer has been working. We will be doing a youth activity, meetings, and fellowship. After that, I fly to Kansas City for the Mid Continent Fellowship meetings at Fair Haven Baptist Church. I look forward to being there and the fellowship.
I then fly home for a bit before flying to Alaska for meetings and a men’s retreat at Higher Ground Baptist Bible Camp. The first Sunday of October, I will be at Soldotna Baptist Church where Jon Craven is pastor. The next week, Jeneen will fly up for a week while we have meetings at Immanuel Baptist Church in the Wasilla-Palmer area where Ben Burtch is pastor. From there, I fly to Fairbanks to be at Hamilton Acres Baptist Church and Pioneer Bible Church. We will be with Pastor Bruce Hamilton and Marshall Hamilton. I will also be doing a joint seminar on discipleship with the churches using my book, Steadfast and Stable, finishing ministry in Alaska on the 4th of November.
After coming home, Jeneen and I will be heading to Washington for meetings at Lincoln Park Baptist Church where Pastor Brian Ernsberger is ministering. We will try to work out the next Sunday to be with another church. We hope the Lord will work things out for the rest of the winter schedule.

THANK YOU –
Jeneen and I want to thank you for your prayers and support and encouragement. God is working greatly. We are looking forward to what the Lord has in store for the days ahead. Thank you for your part in what the Lord is doing in and through our lives.

Our Latest Report – July 2018

South Africa Report and Backpacking Ministry – July 2018
Dear Friends,

I arrived in George, SA on Friday, June 1st, seeing my good friend, Peter Wood in the crowd of those waiting for the passengers from the plane. After loading my luggage, we started for Sedgefield, about 40 kilometers away, catching up on life. Just outside of George, traffic was stopped. We waited a few minutes while Peter checked on the situation, finding out that there was a bad accident in the canyon ahead and traffic was going to be stopped for hours while they cleared the road. There was another way around but it was out of the way and it soon became impassable. We opted to turn around and go to Mugg and Bean to eat and talk. While there, I saw several missionaries and friends who had stopped for the same reason. Hours later, we arrived in Sedgefield. This is the way my trip started. It was wonderful to see how the Lord worked every day through plans and circumstances, putting me together with people, fellowshipping, encouraging, talking, with deep discussions about the Lord and life.

Lakeside Baptist Church is moving forward. I did all the preaching and teaching at the church while there. This is a special group. They had a baptismal service for someone recently saved. What a joy to see the Lord working in lives. The Biblical Leadership Institute is meeting in their building with many students coming from the church.

We are already looking to next year for another trip to South Africa to be at Lakeside and possibly be with others as the Lord gives opportunity. I did not get to go to Cape Town or to spend time in Johannesburg or with others and I missed them. God is working in South Africa. It is a privilege to see what is happening as churches are established and growing. Discipleship is happening, training is being made available for those interested, and workers equipped. Praise the Lord for the people and the missionary efforts by those God has risen up from both within and outside South Africa.

This week of backpacking camp was canceled as the group was not able to come. But next week I will be with our church camp, followed by a week of backpacking camp and then possibly another week as I was approached about another week, the third full week of August. We will see what the Lord puts together. My hip is doing better and I trust I will be able to do it. This year could be very telling. I am getting older…

Thank you all for your prayers and continued support. Jeneen and I thank you so much. So far, for the fall we will be in Alaska, Montana, Utah, and Washington. May God be glorified.

Backpacking and Summer Ministry

Summer and Backpacking Ministry – 2018

Dear Friends,
The Lord is working as we walk with Him. It has been a busy spring. The time in Kent at Galilee Baptist Church was special. We celebrated the 75th anniversary of the church. The church has a rich heritage of building up people in the Lord. Many have been saved, taught, and continue in the work of the Lord through the ministry of Galilee. We had a good Sunday and then meetings through Wednesday.
From there, I went to Sonoma CA to be at Grace Baptist Church. Pastor Timothy Brower has been there for 20 years. The church is going through some difficulties and Pastor Tim has some serious health issues. They are looking for a pastor to come and help in this situation. Please pray for this church.
The first weekend of May, I was in Pendleton OR for meetings at Grace Baptist Church. Pastor Alan Chapman is doing well there and the church has been progressing in some good ways. We did a Friday through Sunday conference. I enjoyed the format with five speaking times and a Question and Answer session.
The end of May, I fly to South Africa and will be with Lakeside Baptist Church in Sedgefield. This is the church that some of you helped with finances when they purchased a building. They are doing well. A seminary has been started with a good number of students and they use the building too. Praise the Lord. I will be preaching at the church for the time I am there. I will be home the end of June.

BACKPACKING CAMPS –
This summer, we have two weeks of mountain trips scheduled but we could do some more if the interest is there. July 23rd through 27th is available but the first one scheduled this year is the 30th of July through the 3rd of August. This week, we are camping down below with day hikes into different areas for hiking and fishing. It should be a good week. The Arizona group is coming up for this week. The second scheduled week is August 13th through the 18th. We are doing a longer trip this week. We already have a few men going on this one too. If you are interested in a trip this year, let me know. I hope it works out for you.
Thanks for praying for us. The Lord is working. He is answering prayers.

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Our April 2018 Ministry Update

Certain things remind a person they are getting older. Children have birthdays and you remember when you were that age; wasn’t that just a couple of years ago? We cannot control the progression of time. We do try to negate the impact time has upon us. We want to slow the deterioration of our bodies. We seek the youthful look. We try to maintain our physical conditioning. Yet with all those efforts, time marches on. I wonder if the Psalmist was thinking about this when he prayed for the Lord to teach us to number our days. These thoughts emphasize the value of each day the Lord gives us on this earth. There is purpose for today and it comes from the Lord. Today is a gift.
Jeneen and I have been busy in what the Lord sets before us. Jeneen has been dealing with some health issues the past few weeks. We are starting to get some answers. She traveled with me some in March and it was a blessing. Her mom has been doing somewhat better, enabling Jeneen to get away a bit.

MINISTRY –
Trying to miss the winter storms, I went to Montana to be at Temple Baptist Church where Todd Saseck is pastor. It was a great time of fellowship with the banquet and the services. In March, I spoke at Central Baptist Church in Pomona CA. We had a family conference. The Lord was working in the services. Pastor Tom Smith and his wife are faithfully ministering there. The next Sunday, Jeneen and I were able to spend with Calvary Baptist Church in Kingman AZ. They are still seeking the Lord’s will in finding a pastor.
The first week of April, I was in Hulett WY at First Baptist Church for the Northern Plains Fellowship meetings. Pastor Jim Palus and the church family were wonderful hosts. God has been working greatly in the church. They recently finished a beautiful addition to the church. The fellowship with the pastors and people was such an encouragement. From Hulett, I traveled to Grand Junction, CO for some meetings at Liberty Baptist Church. First, we had a youth rally on Saturday, followed by meetings on Sunday and Monday. It was nice to meet Pastor Eric Turner and to be with the church family. They have a nice group and God was working in and through the meetings. I am looking forward to what the Lord will do there in the coming days.
Next, I will be in Kent, WA for Galilee Baptist Church for their 75th anniversary. I look forward to seeing Pastor Hicks and the church family. The meetings will continue through Wednesday the 18th of April. From there, I am heading to California to be with Grace Baptist Church in Sonoma where Timothy Brower is pastor. The first part of May, I will be in Pendleton OR for meetings at Grace Baptist Church where Alan Chapman is pastor.
The trip to South Africa is coming together for the last of May till coming home the 26th of June. I look forward to being with the people and the churches there. Please pray as details care worked out for the trip.

WRITING –
Response to the blog has been wonderful. I continue to write articles, trying to get at least one on it per week. A few of the articles have received many views. The one about why I use the phrase, “You and me, God – Let’s Go,” continues to be read. The address to the blog is monteleavell.com.
The Facebook page also continues to grow in likes and follows. I started the Facebook page for ministry and posting about new articles on the blog. I have been writing posts about current ministry and travels also. If you want to keep up with us on a current basis, please consider liking the page. It has been helpful already. The Facebook page address is simply Monte Leavell. Jeneen and I still share our Facebook account at Monte-Jeneen Leavell.

THANK YOU –
Jeneen and I would like to thank you for your prayers and care for us. You are an encouragement to both of us. Many have contacted us recently and we greatly appreciate it. Thanks so much.

CLOSING –
In closing, we do not know how long we have on the earth. Time marches on. Jeneen and I look forward to what the Lord has in each day He gives us. Today is a gift from God for Him to work in and through us as He sees fit. We want to be available for Him in whatever He would have for however long He wants. He gives the grace and the strength for the day. May you continue to walk with the Lord and seek Him as He works in and through you.