Planting in the Desert ~ Josh Austin Family

I would like to start off by thanking all of you for your continued interest, prayers and support of this work. Thank you for your trust as we try to serve together to accomplish the will of our God! 

The first of the month we helped several people move. One lady we recently were introduced to, is trying to change her life for the better. We pray she continues to look to our Lord for the wisdom and strength. Rita has come to worship several times and we have had a chance to study with her, but Wayne and Susan Floyd have really given of themselves to help Rita draw closer to Christ. 

It was great to celebrate Faith’s first birthday. She has struggled with some health issues, but is doing better now. We hosted the party at our house and had a good turnout from the congregation. Evan and Crystal will be leaving us the first of July to head up to Denver to start preaching school at Bear Valley. They have about . of their support secured. If you are interested in supporting them financially, please make checks payable to Salt River church of Christ (memo: E. Todachine) and send it to our home address. 

Decovan, Brianna and their baby daughter, Ellie, have moved back to the Navajo reservation this month. We hate to lose this young couple, but they are fulfilling one of our goals. We wanted to convert the Natives that are here in Phoenix and if/when they move back they can help strengthen the church on the reservations they came from. Decovan told me that he helped Terry Laurence in Ft. Defiance with worship & that he will be helping to teach a children’s class. I know this is a huge encouragement for the church in Fort. We pray this can be a long partnership in the Lord’s work there. 

Most of the month I was on the road for a support trip through NM and TX. The day I left for the trip, I received a call that Aurora (aka: Boo) Guajardo decided to be baptized into Christ. She is the youngest of the four daughters of Steph & Will. You may remember that the oldest sister, Echo, obeyed the gospel about 10 months ago. We are thankful for this good family & the growth they are having in the faith.

Alayna was the only one of the family that was able to come with me this time. All the others needed to finish up on their homeschooling. This was great daddy/daughter time. God truly blessed our trip and we feel extremely honored to have the supporters we do. Thanks to all of you we met and stayed with on this journey  

First night on the road I taught in Morenci, AZ and stayed with my parents. The next night I gave an update to the Country Club Rd church in Roswell, NM and stayed with the Morrow family. This congregation supported us when we attended Bear Valley and they are now working with us again. Thursday night we stayed with the Lemmon family and met with a few brethren from the Austin Ave church in Brownwood, TX. Fred and Ester are extremely involved with the Navajo Nation. The next several days we stayed in Hico, TX with the Keller family. Brandon and his wife Nikki, along with about 10 other adults and children have been coming out to the Navajo REZ Camp to be our cooks. By God’s grace they will be coming out again this year. We appreciate all their work and sacrifice. Alayna was excited to have some kids to play with. Saturday night they had a young families cook out. It rained, not only that night but most of the trip. Thankfully, I was not caught in any flooding, but it was happening all around where I was at. After preaching and giving an update, and of course an awesome potluck, we drove up to Frisco, TX to give an update to the brethren. Todd, who preaches at Frisco, and his wife Rose have been friends of ours for some time now and it was good to celebrate Memorial Day with them and their two fine boys. Also had a chance to spend some good time with David McCain and share the work with him, as he was visiting from out of town. 

For our second week on the road we spent several days with the Stephens Family. Alayna got a lot of time to play with her friends. We were able to share the progress happening here in Phoenix with the Decatur, TX church of Christ. God has given us some congregations that have been with us a long time and others that we are just getting to know more intimately.

So grateful for both and the strengths they all contribute. The next day we drove to League City, TX which is just south of Houston. Again, there was a lot of rain and standing water all around us, but we were unaffected. We know there were many who suffered greatly because of the flooding and we would ask for prayers on their behalf. For the next three days Alayna and I were able to spend some quality time with my brother and his family. Cousin time (pictured below)! Sunday we worshipped and gave an update for League City who will be coming out this summer to help us do a VBS. After another great potluck we met for several hours to make plans for the work they will be doing. We are excited about this opportunity & look forward to seeing what the Lord has in store.

On the way home, we stopped back in Morenci in time for their VBS and to meet up with Divine and the kids. They stayed a few days for VBS and time with grandma and grandpa. 

While I was gone the men of the congregation really stepped up. Wayne Floyd taught our Wednesday classes. Evan taught a class and did a sermon. Dean taught a class, while Brother Bill Salazar came in and preached for us one Sunday. He is the youth minister and a good friend from the Camelback congregation. 

We thank God for our safe journey and for the opportunity to share news of the happenings in the desert!

Josh, Divine Austin & family

Posted on June 8, 2015 .

Nepal Needs Our Help

Hello everyone,

I believe everyone is aware of the situation in Nepal. Below is a letter sent by Jerry Golphenee from Kathmandu. The letter speaks for itself. If you are interested in helping with the Nepal effort, information in the letter describes how you can help and HELP is needed.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

God bless,

Bob Turner

Director of Extension Schools


Some moments get etched into your memory deeper and more vibrantly than others.  Such was the case on Saturday, April 25 just before noon.  Last Sept. my sons [Brad 7/63 and Kyle 2/68] and I decided to write to each other on a selected topic each month at a more personal and transparent level than usual letters.  It has proven very enlightening and meaningful while also infringing upon some comfort zones and resulting in occasional pain.  Being deeply truthful can do that.  Last Saturday at about 11:50 I finished a segment of my next correspondence [subject: Freedom], printed it, turned off the computer and printer, and sat down to review my words.   At 11:56 I was running out the door and down three flights of stairs for my life.  My neighbor lady and her 17-year-old daughter were doing the same from the 2nd floor.  The look on their faces was pure FEAR.  Their screams and crying matched.  I will never forget their faces, the swaying stairway, and those desperate moments of the unknown.

            EARTHQUATE = FEAR, as I have never known.     PANIC = How each person handles fear.  The streets were a lesson in degrees of panic.

There are many things that you know much better than I.  I don’t have a TV, have not seen CNN and BBC, and the local newspapers are not what you would expect.  However, experience will teach you things that the papers and the newscasters can’t capture.  A picture is worth a thousand words.  You must be well supplied with information.  All of us have seen pictures of hurricanes, the tsunami, war, and Hiroshima.  Pictures tell the story but can’t capture the experience.  The devastation is overwhelming from any view, yet it is magnified greatly by personal experience. 

The whole city has been without electricity.  My area was the last to have power restored.  No Internet service until today [Wed].  Usually we only have about 8-10 hours of electricity per day [in two segments].  I’m sure that will be greatly reduced.   I had no cell phone connection until today.  We have no water.

The good news ……… everyone I know is healthy.  No deaths, no hospitalization, and no serious injuries to those I know or to me.   My time has been spent with the children we have helped over the last 18 years.  Their family is not measured by DNA, but by common experience, support, love, and by hardship.  Being with them almost all the time has been good for all of us.

Little things ……… Sat. at 11:57 I reached the road barefoot.  Ten of our young ladies and men and myself went to an open field to be safe from falling buildings.  We stayed there for five hours.  We came back to my flat [apartment] and had dinner.   I put my shoes on about 5:00 and have not taken them off since.  Top priority has been to always be ready to run.  I also put some emergency money in my backpack.  It has not left my side.  Sun. and Mon. night we slept outside in what I would describe as a refugee camp.  There were over 2,000 people sleeping at this park.  There were 2 toilets.  I slept with my shoes on and my backpack strap hooked on to my arm.  The people were extremely nice, cooperative, and friendly.  We were all in the same boat of tragedy and everyone exhibited the golden rule …. without know what it says …. just by instinct and situation.

Tuesday night we slept in the carport at my flat.  They are still too frightened to sleep inside.  We did cook and eat inside and they played Yahtzee.   Their laughter was therapeutic for them and music to my ears.  Things are getting better.  Tonight the boys are sleeping at their own flat, and the girls are in one room at my flat and I’m in the living room.  We haul water from a nearby water pump.

The damage is monumental.  I know people who have lost their homes.  Many villages where I have visited and have friends have 80% of the homes destroyed.  The monsoon rains begin in mid-June.  Prices are going up enormously. The government is justly being criticized locally and internationally for their attitude, ineptness, and corruption.  Clothing, food, water, and medical supplies have arrived and are sitting at the airport.  In the past the government has given the distribution rights to private companies, a.k.a., meaning friends.  They sell these items that are suppose to be free and give 25% back to their government friends. 

I suggest that you consider helping with some relief funds.  Spread the news to your friends, to church organizations, civic clubs, and with anyone who will have a heart to help ……… when they know that 100% of their financial assistance will be used for the people in need.  I suggest one of these two avenues:

Children of Kathmandu: You can read about this charity that Judy and I established 18 years ago by going to .  All donations will be tax deductible and you have an 18-year history of all the money going directly to those in need for the purpose specified.  In the past about 5% has been spent on printing, stamps, and other inexpensive fund raising methods.  Make checks payable to CHILDREN OF KATHMANDU.   Under MEMO please indicate Earthquake Relief.        The address and information is as follows:

                        Children of Kathmandu

                       3801 Spruce Meadow Drive

                        Bozeman, MT  59718                       Phone:    406-585-8028

The Lakewood Church of Christ already is helping with here.  Your donation will also be tax deductable.  You can make the check payable to LAKEWOOD CHURCH OF CHRIST and again under MEMO write Earthquake Relief.   Please send these checks to my sister and brother-in-law as follows:

                        Lorna & Steve Rudd

                        6011 Coldbrook Ave.

                        Lakewood, CA  90713-1025                        Phone:        562-866-7953

Help is badly needed.  Either of the above ways will provide the maximum bang for your buck.  No salaries, no unknown expenses, and local knowledgeable American and Nepali cooperation for the needed purpose.

Thank you for your concern and prayers …………… Jerry

More personal e-mails will follow over the next couple of weeks.



Posted on April 29, 2015 .

Guarapuava Brazil Mission ~ Nalley Family


MARCH 2015

Tuesday, March 3 was an exciting day! We received the keys and took possession of the land and building purchased for the Lord’s work in this city. On Friday and Saturday, members of the church showed up to clean the building, set up a classroom for children and the auditorium for worship. Since the auditorium is very tall, one of the members, Valdemar, brought his scaffolding, fixed lights and cleaned the ceiling and windows. On Sunday, March 8 we had our first worship service in the building. Jhonatan, a young brother I have been training, preached and encouraged us from God’s Word. Ree taught Bible class to the children and I taught Bible class in our continuation of Revelation.

Throughout the month of March, five brothers (Evandir, Antonio, Jhonatan, Alisson and myself) rotated the preaching. I always say that the preacher learns more from the Word than the congregation does. It encourages me to see these four Brazilian brothers immersing themselves in the Bible, courageously standing before the church and sharing what they have learned. It has accelerated their spiritual growth exponentially. The sisters in the congregation are already setting up a schedule to keep the building clean. An elderly sister provides cleaning materials and keeps the cleaning rags washed each week. Other members prepare the Lord’s Supper and take care of the finances of the congregation. One brother also brings a can each week for extra donations to help additional families go to the Three in One Congress at the Curitiba congregation in September.

I will soon be finishing the New Convert material with the two groups on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Starting next month, we will begin new material for their practical participation in edification and evangelism. My Saturday morning evangelistic study had to take a break this month, because of military service.

This month I wrote a rough draft of the by-laws needed so we can be a legal entity in the city of Guarapuava. These by-laws will allow us to open the doors to the public, put up a sign on the building and kick off more evangelistic outreach. The church will be meeting together in the coming weeks to finalize these by-laws together. Four brothers are also working on getting the building up to code for the Fire department and Mayor’s office. Pray for us in this process, which will take several months.

One of our brothers here, Antonio, who regularly preaches, leads singing and does one on one Bible studies, has developed heart problems. After several exams in Guarapuava, the doctor requested a special exam only available in Curitiba. Ree and I offered to drive him and his wife, Viridiana, to Curitiba, March 12-13. Ree and I took advantage of the trip to visit two women we have shared the Gospel with in the past and pick up some material from the Curitiba congregation. The exam revealed that Antonio has four holes in his heart. He is talking with a surgeon this week to see his options. Pray for Antonio.


We have six teenagers in the Guarapuava congregation. So far, we have not been able to organize them into a weekly group for their spiritual growth, but it is our goal. Ree meets with two teenage women (baptized in 2011) and a child on Wednesday evenings to encourage them, while I teach the adults. She has been helping

them practice their English. We also have a start with two teenage young men, Ataua (15 years old) and his brother Valmir (14 years old). They were baptized in 2014. They do not have a dad, and their single mother, Luci, our sister in Christ, works to provide for her three teenage boys.

Each Thursday evening, these two young men meet with our New Convert Bible study group. I also spend a couple of afternoons a week with them, in several activities. Our time together began, when they would travel with me to visit the Sao Mateus do Sul congregation and stand beside me and read the Scriptures while I preached. Recently, they began memorizing a verse of the Bible each week and I had them quote the verses before the congregation a couple of weeks ago. We have played basketball together, played a Bible memorization game on the Pentateuch, watched movies together and talk about life application from them. Since they do not have a father influence, I have been helping them learn how to respect and obey their mother and learn how to resolve family conflict. Their mother is surprised with the changes in them. Pray for these two young men.

Teenagers in Brazil are not given many opportunities to work, because of the child labor laws here. These two young men want to go to a Youth Retreat in Curitiba next month, but cannot afford to go. I offered to pay their way if they would accept a spiritual growth challenge of memorizing twelve Bible verses, outlining all the Bible classes at the retreat, give me a verbal and written report of what they learned, make two new friends at the retreat and offer to keep the lunchroom clean after meals while they are there. They accepted the challenge.


Donations for the land and building fund continue to come in. We are so thankful to all of you who are so generous and sacrificial. Each time we receive a new gift, we fall to our knees in thankfulness and praise to God. You amaze us with your love for the Lord and His work around the world. Members of the church in Brazil continue to give and have given $46,340.00 so far. Members of the church in the USA have given $71,653.00. We only lack $24,539.00 to pay off the purchase of this land and building.

Can you help us? If you would like to contribute to the building fund for the Guarapuava church of Christ, you can send your financial gift to the Central church of Christ in Moore, Oklahoma, our sponsoring congregation, earmarked for the Guarapuava building fund. The address is, Central church of Christ, P.O. Box 6300, Moore, OK 73153 - - Phone: 405-794-4493. Your gift, together with the Guarapuava church’s monthly contribution to this fund, is a partnership through which God will produce eternal fruit.

Serving Jesus together with you, Alan and Ree Nalley 

Posted on April 8, 2015 .

Planting in the Desert ~ Josh Austin Family

What a beautiful month for God’s creation here in Mesa! Having so many orange and grapefruit trees in colorful bloom and the bursting fragrance in the air is a treat. Spring training is in full swing with gorgeous weather to be outdoors.

I was on the road for half of this month. One week, nine of us from the congregation went to Anaheim, CA for the RECHARGE conference. The Ripon church of Christ has sponsored this for about 6 years now. My dad as well as three from Kayenta also went on the trip. We were all very encouraged with the great speakers/lessons presented. Of course meeting up with old friends and making new friends was a shot in the arm.

Wednesday night, I had the privilege of meeting the Buena Park church of Christ. They have a school of evangelism there. They allowed me the opportunity to share the work we are doing with the Native Americans in Phoenix. They made us feel like family, which is what the Lord wants from us.

While we were in CA, Evan & Crystal went to Kayenta. They went to see family, but also to encourage the brethren. That Sunday, Evan taught class & preached a lesson while Crystal & Marcia (Evan’s mom) taught the kids class & Stenson taught the teen class. There were 7 from our congregation that worshiped with them that Sunday.

Sadly, the reason most of them were there was because of the death of LaVon Thomas. His wife Beverly is a sister in Christ at Kayenta. Their son Matthew and his wife Jessica are Christians that worship with us here in Mesa. LaVon woke Bev early Saturday morning to a burning home. He was able to get her out unharmed, but he died in the fire.

Several from the church, including Evan, were able to be with Bev at the clinic to comfort her at 2:30 in the morning. Evan did a great job preaching during a difficult time.

If you would like to help out, you can send donations or cards to:

Beverly Thomas

1450 W. Kaibab #61

Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Please continue to pray for the family, especially those that are not yet in Christ. I was able to spend the next two days with the family in Kayenta. They usually have family meetings to get together to pray, plan and share in the grief. The brethren from the Kayenta church of Christ really stepped up and worked hard to host the meetings along with some of the family members. So proud of the way they are carrying on the work of the Lord. The family asked me to conduct the funeral service, which was held in Flagstaff, AZ. Divine, the kids and my dad were all able to attend the funeral. There were well over 200 in attendance.

The last week of March, we brought in a brother in Christ to work with 6 of us to better understand our strengths and weaknesses. To also find out what we can do collectively to better serve the Lord and accomplish the work of reaching the Native community.

This month I started my first coaching experience. Josiah has shown interest in basketball, so I am coaching the 4-6 year olds. It is quite the challenge! But it is always good to get to know more people and spend time with Josiah. The girls are doing another season of volleyball and we have a lady and her daughter (from the team) that have come to worship with us a couple of times.

Posted on April 8, 2015 .

Mission Moab ~ David Malley-Garza Update


 January 2015 

A New Period… 


The month of January seems to have gone as quickly as it came. Per the heading of this report the month of January and this new year has marked a new period for the work here in Moab. 

The month of January marked a new period first because I have begun working on meeting the goals I mentioned in my December report. Namely, I am making preparations to begin the young adult home Bible study I mentioned previously. If the Lord wills, I plan to have that started by the beginning of March. For the study, I am considering beginning with a study through Ecclesiastes with a focus on the purpose of life which according to Ecclesiastes 12:13 is to “fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.” I am leaning toward this study because many of the people I have met here in Moab seem to desire to have some purpose to their lives and what better purpose then to serve our Lord since Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes that all else is vanity. 

Of course I am also working on meeting the goal of emphasizing the Lordship of Christ. In doing so, I have begun preaching through Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 through 7. At the writing of this report, I am working through the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-12. Given the length of the Sermon on the Mount, it will be some time before I complete this series of sermons. In our Bible classes, we are nearing the completion of a study through James on Sunday mornings. After completing James, I plan to teach a class on “How to study the Bible.” On Wednesdays, we have just completed studying 1 Thessalonians and at the writing of this article have had our introductory class in 2 Thessalonians. Furthermore, in January the Moab congregation participated in a food drive put on by Moab’s local multicultural center. I thought this was a good way for the church here to provide a service and will lend toward the church establishing a good name and more of a presence in the community of Moab which will further aid us in reaching the lost and wandering in the community. Ever since my arrival, I have been doing off and on volunteer work with the multicultural center and have established a good relationship with them. I constantly pray that my relationship with them will cause there to be an increase for the Lord. 

In addition to this though, January also marks a new period for the existing congregation. We have established a theme for the year and that theme is “press on” based on what Paul tells us in Philippians 3:14, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” The work in Moab is a difficult one. Therefore, the theme of pressing on is an encouraging one to keep us motivated in the face of the unique challenges and difficulties that the church faces here. 

This new year has marked a new period for me personally. On that note, I am excited to announce that as of January 1st, I have gotten engaged. Pictured below is my fiancé and I. Her name is Desirée Moore. She is the daughter of Jim and Pam Moore who worship with the Emery-Carbon church of Christ in Price, Utah, just two hours northwest of Moab. Desirée and I met at the end of last June when I preached for the Emery-Carbon congregation. We quickly became friends and soon after on July 11th, we became a couple. The more she and I got to know each other in the following months, the more certain we became that we wanted to be married. Desirée is a faithful and Godly woman primarily because she has a strong love not only for me but more importantly for our God and His Word. She is well established in her faith. As a result, I am very excited to see what the Lord accomplishes through us as husband and wife here in Moab. More to the point, I am even more excited to see how she grows in her faith as a result of being my companion and help meet in the ministry. As far as wedding plans are concerned, she and I plan to be married on July 11th of this year, our one year anniversary as a couple, at a location near where her family lives and worships. At present, Desirée lives in Kingman, Kansas and works in Goddard, Kansas as a high school librarian. She worships with the Kingman church of Christ when she is not visiting here in Utah as she was last summer when we met. Upon finishing the school year in May, she will move back to Utah and will most likely live with her parents until we are married in July. With these things being said, I feel I must inform you that there is a possibility Desirée and I will be in need of additional support after we are married. Among other things, she is currently paying off student loans and her payments month to month are approximately $300 from month to month. However, we would not be in need of this support until around August as she will still be receiving pay from her current employer until then. At present, she is currently seeking employment here in the Moab ideally with one of our local schools since that is her field of work. I wanted to inform you of this need to see if you, another congregation, or individual you are aware of would be willing to assist us in this way beginning in August. She and I appreciate any assistance you would be willing to provide. 

Finally though, the new year has marked a new period for me as a minister and a preacher of God’s Word. An additional goal I have set for myself as a minister is to find ways to better make application of God’s Word in the lives of both the existing church as well as those outside the church. Recently I have realized that while I am able to effectively present what is taught in His Word, I am weak in my ability to apply it to the hearers. Therefore, after having understood what a particular text is teaching, I am spending more time figuring out how to make practical application of said teaching to the ones I am teaching and preaching to. 

In closing, as always, I am thankful for the generous financial support that you all have provided me with in order to do the Lord’s work here in Moab. Without you, doing the Lord’s work here in Moab and in the greater state of Utah would be much more challenging than it already is. I am so thankful for the financial support you have provided because it allows me to focus entirely on the Lord’s work without having to distract myself with secular work in order to meet my monthly expenses. Because of your generous support, you are aiding the Lord’s work here in Moab and in turn the state of Utah as a whole. As always, when I think of you I think of what Paul said to the Philippians in Philippians 1:3-5 “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.” Thank you for your “participation in the gospel from the first day until now” through your generous financial support. Your generosity has not gone unnoticed, especially by the Lord who I know from experience will repay you for your generosity. 

In His service and on behalf of the Moab church of Christ, 

David Malley

Posted on February 6, 2015 .

Mission Moab ~ David Malley-Garza Update


As December comes to a close, I find myself looking ahead to 2015. It is hard to believe that my first year here in Moab has come and gone. This year has certainly been a busy one and as I look ahead to 2015, I can’t help but be thankful for all that the Lord accomplished in 2014. In 2014 we baptized three people, two of which are still with us. We have completed and are nearing completing our study of three New Testament books: Ephesians, James, and 1 Thessalonians. We have held a seminar which better equipped the congregation in Moab to more effectively reach this generation of people. We held a Fall Festival which allowed the Lord’s church to establish more of a presence in the community of Moab. And finally, contact has been made with several lost souls that are local to Moab. All these things were accomplished by His grace and providence. 

However, as I reflect on 2014 and look ahead to 2015, I am reminded that the work here is far from complete. This last year has allowed me to become more familiar with the unique challenges that the work in Moab presents. As a result, I have been able to establish some goals for the year ahead. Among them, is to begin a young adult home Bible study. The reason I would like to do this is because most of the people I have established contact with here fall within the 20 to 40 age bracket and I believe a young adult home Bible study will prove fruitful in bringing these people in to a right relationship with our Lord. 

The second goal that I have as I look ahead to 2015 is to continue to equip the congregation to be even better servants of the Lord. This will be accomplished first and foremost by placing an emphasis on the Lordship of Christ because one thing 2014 has taught me, it is that we as a church must be about converting people to Christ. When we do that, then obedience to the gospel will follow. Therefore, in accomplishing this goal I will be teaching and preaching several lessons from the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John which contain the words of Jesus Himself. Among these lessons will be a sermon series through the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. These two are the primary goals that I have for 2015. I believe that if these two goals are met, the Lord will be able to accomplish great things through His church here in Moab and allow the congregation here to grow numerically but more importantly, spiritually. 

Finally though, as I reflect on 2014 and look ahead to 2015, I am thankful for the generous financial support that you all have provided me with in order to do the Lord’s work here in Moab. Without you, doing the Lord’s work here in Moab and in the greater state of Utah would be much more challenging than it already is. I am so thankful for the financial support you have provided because it allows me to focus entirely on the Lord’s work without having to distract myself with secular work in order to meet my monthly expenses. Because of your generous support, you are aiding the Lord’s work here in Moab and in turn the state of Utah as a whole. As always, when I think of you I think of what Paul said to the Philippians in Philippians 1:3-5 “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.” Thank you for your “participation in the gospel from the first day until now” through your generous financial support. Your generosity has not gone unnoticed, especially by the Lord who I know from experience will repay you for your generosity. 

Wishing you all a very Happy and Blessed 2015, 

In His service and on behalf of the Moab church of Christ, 

David Malley

Posted on January 9, 2015 .

BVBID's Staff 2015 Speaking Schedule

Here is the initial listing for some of our staff's 2015 speaking engagements. As we get deeper into the calendar year we will be adding more information. If any of our staff is in your neck-of-the-woods, please try to make the time to come and see them. Think Souls!


Denny Petrillo’s 2015 Speaking Schedule:

-Recharge - Anaheim, California (March 10-14)

-Ripen, California (March 15)

-Workshop in the Word - Durango, Colorado (April 22-25)

-Southeast Tennessee Bible Institute Lectures  - Knoxville, Tennessee(April 27-29)

-St. Louis Lectures, St. Louis, MO (September 17-19)

-New Hampshire Lectures, Tilton, NH (October 9-11)


Bob Turner’s 2015 Speaking Schedule:

- Leadership Seminar, Brush, Colorado (January 10)

- Greenbrier, Arkansas (February 1)

- Guatemala City, Graduation & Lectureship (March 19-22)


Corey Sawyers’ 2015 Speaking Schedule:

- Kinder, Louisiana (February 11)

- Pearland, Texas (February 15)

- Hatler’s Chapel, Dresden, Tennessee (March 15-19)

Posted on January 8, 2015 .

'Austin Family in the Desert' Report ~ January 2015

I pray you have had a blessed year in the service of our King. We have been truly blessed and give thanks to our God.

Please welcome and pray for Ashleigh Mendoza as your new sister in Christ. She obeyed the gospel in the irrigation canal just north of the building we meet in, which is called “Canalside.” It was pretty chilly, but didn’t have to break any ice and Brother Matt did the honors of helping Ashleigh into Christ.

The first couple of days of the month three brothers came out from Tennessee to help us look for a more permanent place to meet. This was a big help & I am so thankful for their sacrifice to come out. It was good to have so much experience and wisdom. Right now, we are in the process of negotiating a price that will hopefully work for us at a business office park. It is located in the area we would like to be in. Lord willing, this will be accomplished by the next newsletter.

December is always full of family activities and fun memories. My parents came out several days for Christmas. Grandparents are wonderful and family bonds grow stronger during this time of the year. The kids enjoyed opening their gifts as well as the adults. My mom was also able to come out a week early and go to Zoo Lights as well as the girls’ volleyball games. There were several families from the church that went with us to the zoo. It wasn’t too cold, so everyone seemed to have a good time in admiring the beautiful abundance of lights.

Divine and the kids worked really hard on baking and putting together Christmas cards and care packages. It is a blessing to share with friends, loved ones and neighbors. We were grateful that Juan, Shelly and her two daughters Ashleigh (mentioned above) and Sheleigh could join us for our Christmas dinner.

Shelly became a Christian about 5 years ago in Kayenta. Shelly and three of her older kids have all now moved down to Phoenix. Shelly lives quite a ways from us, so she attends the Eastside church of Christ. It is amazing how God has worked through this mother and now we are seeing her children coming to follow Christ as well.

For New Year’s Eve we had Bible study and let the kids stay up until 12:01 and then we all went to bed. Nothing too exciting, but what we are excited about is this upcoming year. Only God knows and we pray that the church can continue to grow and bring much glory to His Holy Name!

We pray that your holidays were filled with time spent with loved ones and packed with great memories! We want to thank all of you for your continued love, prayers and support of us and the work here in Phoenix as we try to reach out to the precious Native American people. God bless!

Posted on January 8, 2015 .

Four Essentials of Life & Leadership Seminar

The Brush church of Christ in Brush, Colorado will be hosting a Leadership Seminar on Saturday, January 10, 2015.

Bob Turner, Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver instructor and Extension Program Director, will be the guest speaker for the day-long event. The seminar, "Four Essentials of Life & Leadership", will have four sessions. Two in the morning and two in the afternoon. Bob will cover in-depth these four important areas in life and leadership: Character, Passion, Vision, and Goals.

The seminar begins at 8:30AM with a lunch provided.

For further information, please call (970)842-2655.

Brush church of Christ

810 Edmunds

Brush, Colorado

Posted on December 11, 2014 .

Africa Missions Report (Tony Johnson)

Last month I mentioned some of the problems that West Africa has been facing, and unfortunately things have not been getting any better. It is certainly a difficult time to be in West Africa! This past month has had an Ebola scare in Tamale, more kidnappings in Northern Nigeria, and just this past week civil disturbances in Burkina Faso that interrupted plans for a campaign in Ouagadougou.

Our Ebola scare in Tamale was caused by a decision by the Ghanaian sports authority to move the African Cup qualifier soccer game with the Guinea national team  to the Tamale Sports Stadium, which brought a couple of thousand fans from one of the countries currently dealing with the Ebola outbreak streaming into Tamale. Beefed up health checks at the borders where put in place, but how do you really check for a disease that has a 21 day incubation period? In the week after the game was finished there were a number of people who had attended the game who went to the hospital with fevers and each one had to be treated as a possible Ebola contact, causing havoc with the limited health resources available. Fortunately there were no confirmed cases and the incubation period has now passed. During this period the school in Tamale continued to operate as normal, just with an extra caution to our students about outside contact. Eleven students successfully completed their seventh term and are left with just three more before graduation. Special thanks to Joe Wilkie from the Lone Tree, CO church for coming over for two weeks to teach 1st Corinthians to the students. This was Joe’s second trip to Ghana to teach at the school and the students have been greatly blessed by his efforts.

Northern Nigeria remains a concern for our brethren in the Upper East Region as well as for those in Northern Togo. So far the radical Boko Haram group has not only failed to release the hundreds of school girls previously kidnapped as they promised in a brokered peace deal with the government, but they have resumed raids on Christian villages and have kidnapped another group of students in the past week. While this activity is still over 300 miles east of Ghana we watch it closely because of the Kingdom of Hope Orphan’s School’s location in the Upper East region. It has been a difficult year in the Upper East Region as the rainy season was late arriving and much less than needed for good crops, which has caused some of the children to be taken out of school in order to help their families forage for shea nuts and firewood to sell, or do whatever else is necessary to help their families survive the upcoming dry season. The school however is carrying on and doing what it can to assist the families in need, and the church in Kuka has stepped up to help as much as possible as well. We are just finishing up the third classroom and have begun working on bathrooms for the school thanks to a donation from the Mesa church of Christ in Arizona. Other donations from the White Oak church of Christ allowed us to purchase 100 additional mango trees for the school, buy some play equipment for the children, and purchase desks and chairs for each of the teachers classrooms. We also added our first female teacher at KOH, Moses Cyntha, to teach our pre-school and kindergarten aged children. The grain mill that was provided last year is doing well and allowing the school to pay its teachers, pay the cost of fuel to run the lights at the school and church, and help with some of the feeding costs for the children who live at the school.

Burkina Faso has been in the news the past couple of days due to the political unrest that has resulted in demonstrations and riots across the country. I was in Ouagadougou this past weekend for a scheduled campaign when the news of a plan “strike day” to protest some government actions was announced, which caused us to cut short our activities. I left on Monday as the demonstrators began blockading the streets and was back in Ghana before the violence began, but we have a number of brothers and sisters who are caught in the middle of it all that need our prayers. Thanks to the Broadway church of Christ in Paducah, KY and the Mesa church of Christ I was able to leave the church enough money to rescheduled the outdoor part of the campaign for later this year, once the situation has calmed and public gatherings are allowed, as well as for a campaign in February. We are also helping the church with door to door evangelism by providing the travel and living expenses for preachers to come from Ghana and Togo to help. While we had to get everyone out of the country early on this campaign there remains a commitment from both the church and the visiting preachers to continue the work once things stabilize. The church in Ouagadougou was also able to send one of its members to the French speaking Bible School in Cote de Ivorie thanks in part to a personal donation that I was able to deliver. Ko Ciaca left at the beginning of October to begin the three year program, the first of what we hope are many who will make the decision to become leaders and preachers in the church in Burkina.

There is still lots of work to be done, but for the next few months I will have to do my part from a distance. I will be leaving West Africa soon to return to the states and begin the process of raising support once again. I will continue working with Kingdom of Hope and with the church in Burkina Faso using e-mail, phone calls and bank transfers until such time as I can arrange to travel back personally. I am also looking forward to working closely with the Bear Valley Bible Institute Extension Schools  in a new capacity next year as they work to expand their ability to train preachers and leaders in their own countries. 2015 should be an exciting year!

On a sadder note my association with the Greenbrier church of Christ as my sponsoring congregation will be ending as of December 31st of this year. I have great respect for the elders and the members at Greenbrier who have done so much to get me started in this work. I will not be seeking personal support for the immediate future, but will continue to raise support for the work at Kingdom of Hope and in Burkina Faso. For those who would like to support those works I would ask that you begin sending the funds directly to me with a note regarding what the contribution is to be used for. Correspondence and checks can be sent to the following address:  Tony Johnson, 3310 Ave B, Council Bluffs, IA 51501. Quarterly updates of monies received and their distribution will be provided to those who are interested. 


It has certainly been an interesting month with many challenges and changes. I want to thank all of you who have been a part of this work in the past. Even more so I want to thank those who will continue to support this work as we move forward!

 In His service,

Tony ‘Wintima’ Johnson


Posted on October 31, 2014 .

Souls Report from India


I still remember the first conversation I had with two Hindu priests. I visited them at a temple,

introduced myself and I said I have few questions from the Vedas, Upanishids and Puranas

(Hindu sacred writings). These two men were extremely zealous for their religion. At the end of

our first sitting of discussions, one of them said, we really need men like you who can propagate

Hinduism to greater levels. Not only were they convinced that I have exceptional interest in

Hindu sacred writings but also thought I would be better suited to promote Hinduism. Right then

I knew that I had substantial amount of work that is laid out for me with these Hindu priests if I

still want to pursue the premeditated course of action. For months I was carrying Vedas,

Upanishads with me to their temple to help them to come to the knowledge of the One True God.

In the process I learned that one of them is a distant relative to my mom who knew my

grandfather very well! That obviously made them receptive to what I am trying to point out from

various passages in their writings and my unending questions geared toward making them doubt

what they have been practicing. Long story short, these former Hindu priests are now our

brothers in Christ!!!!!

We are uncertain of many things at this point and that’s one of the reasons why I did not put their

pictures in a public place like internet. We are concerned about their safety. Please be mindful

and prayerful of these men as they are not just common men who just practice Hinduism. These

were Hindu temple priests and were spiritual guides to several hundreds of thousands of souls

(Hindus) at some point in their lives. We are not really sure how everything will turn out. Please

pray for all of us during this time. I will keep you posted! There were 12 baptisms in the last few

days! Please pray for all these new Christians!

Mani A Pagidipalli

Posted on October 10, 2014 .

LeBlanc Family Report ~ West Bay, Cayman Island

It is with great excitement I write this report to share with you about the Lord's work at the West Bay church. June 1st, marked our first year anniversary ministering to the congregation and the West Bay community. I thank God for our partnership in helping the saved to remain faithful and evangelizing the lost. Me, my family and the church continue to look forward to the great work the Lord will continue to do through our partnership. In this report I will highlight the work that has been completed in the months of July and August.


In the month of July (11th -18th) a group of brethren from the Cayman Islands (including me and my family) traveled to Jamaica. We had a great time being encouraged by the different lecturers. We also had an awesome time reconnecting with old friends and meeting new brethren. We look forward to attending the 2015 Annual Caribbean Lectureship in St Thomas (United States Virgin Islands), Lord willing.


Whenever I remember this year's VBS, I become teary eyed. Our VBS took place from July 31st - August 1st. It was very uplifting to see so many brethren involved in helping make our Vacation Bible School a success. We had more than seventy-five children present each night between the ages of 5 and 16. It was a remarkable experience seeing the church, the youth and parents involved in our VBS. We are already looking forward to our Vacation Bible School in 2015.


In the month of August our congregation assisted the congregation on the Eastern side of the island in welcoming its new minister. Daniel Mayfield and his wife Miranda moved to Grand Cayman from Denver, Colorado. Daniel is a graduate of the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver, Colorado. He and his wife are very good friends of ours. I ask for your prayers on their behalf as they do a great work in the Cayman Islands. The West Bay congregation hosted the "Joint Congregational Service." Brother Daniel Mayfield did a wonderful job in encouraging the brethren from the word. In addition, in the month of August we had three families in our congregation who experienced the death of a family member. Please keep in your prayer the: the Johnson family, the Watson family and the Ebanks family.


Lastly, for the past two months I preached sixteen sermons (AM & PM), recorded eight radio sermons. In addition, I conducted a bible class series on words that are often misused by the church in our midweek bible class. In our Sunday morning bible class, we are learning about New Testament Survey. I have made six hospital visits and shared seventy-four pieces of literature. Presently, I have eight individuals who are interested in becoming Christians. They all have requested further bible studies; therefore, myself with the assistance of others are fulfilling that request. 


My family and I are enjoying our work with the West Bay congregation. We continue to solicit your prayers as we labor for the Lord in the Cayman Islands.


In Him always,


Neriah LeBlanc

Minister, West Bay church of Christ

24 Batabano Road, West Bay

P.O Box 269 WB

Grand Cayman KY1-1301 

Posted on September 10, 2014 .

Prayers for Mike Scott

Please pray for our brother, Mike Scott. He had surgery last week to remove a brain tumor. He is currently recovering from the procedure.

Mike is a '77 BV Grad and preaches for the Mt. Vernon church of Christ in Prescott, AZ. Mike and his wife, Kathy, will greatly appreciate it!

Posted on August 27, 2014 .

Lodging for the Lectureship

Local Preferred Hotels

As you make your plans to attend the 2014 Bear Valley Lectures, please consider making reservations with these trusted companies that have taken care of our guests in years past.

* We will have a limited amount of room for our alumni with members of the Bear Valley church of Christ. Over the years several members open up their homes to our alumni in order to make the trip to Denver a bit more financially reasonable. Please contact the church secretary, Meda King, at (303) 986-4521 or e-mail her at 


Holiday Inn (¶¶¶ recommend)  HIGHLY PREFERRED

7390 W. Hampden Ave. (SE Corner of Hampden & Wadsworth)

Lakewood, CO  80227

(303) 980-9200

Special Rate: “Bear Valley Bible Institute” ($69.00 which includes upgraded continental breakfast M-F in a hospitality room and 5-mile radius shuttle service (includes BV). Has the only full-service restaurant on-site.

NOTE:  You must talk to the local front desk (303) 980-9200

 to get the $69.00 rate – NOT the 800 national number.)


Best Western

3440 S. Vance (NE Corner of Hampden & Wadsworth)

Lakewood, CO  80227

(303) 989-5500 

Special Rate: “Preferred Client Rate” - $62.00 (1-4 guests per room, includes 24 hour fitness center, and deluxe full hot breakfast that includes a waffle bar, scrambled egg patties, and sausage biscuits).


La Quinta

7190 W. Hampden Ave.

Lakewood, CO  80227

(303) 969-9700

Special Rate: “Church Rate” ($95.00+ for two double beds/$101.00+ for king size.


Comfort Suites

7260 W. Jefferson Ave. (SE Corner of Hampden & Wadsworth)

Lakewood, CO  80235

(303) 988-8600

Special Rate: $69.00


Quality Inn

7240 W. Jefferson Ave. (SE Corner of Hampden & Wadsworth)

Lakewood, CO  80235

(303) 989-4600

Special Rate: $89.00 (2 beds) -- $79.00 (1 bed)


Sheraton ~ Denver West

360 Union Blvd

Lakewood, CO  80228

(303) 987-2000

Special Rate: $85.00


Hampton Inn

3605 S. Wadsworth 

Lakewood, CO 80235

(303) 989-6900

$104.00 (standard) or $109.00 (King size bed)

(Rates are subject to change.)


Posted on August 7, 2014 .

Austin Family Update June 2014

Faith is born! Many of you remember Evan and Crystal - their one year old son, Chase, tragically died back in January. At the time Crystal was pregnant with a little girl. On May 5th, Faith was born into a young couple still grieving for the loss of their baby Chase. There is joy, but many mixed emotions as well. Please continue to pray for their faith as they mourn for Chase and rejoice for Faith.

Two weeks of our month was spent on the road. We were blessed to meet with five congregations that are supporting us in some way. My parents just happen to be close to our “route,” so on day one we took off mid-afternoon and drove 4 hours to be able to spend the night with them. We then headed out early to tour Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. I must say they were impressive. God’s wonders are seen even deep under the earth. It was a great experience for the whole family. The kids did a good job hiking through the caves.

The next day we made it to Brownwood, TX to share all the Lord has been doing here in Phoenix. This congregation, and especially Fred and Ester have been invested with the work among Native Americans for nearly a decade. We enjoyed our time in their home and thank them for their love and service.

The next day we went to Dinosaur National Park in Glen Rose, TX. The kids had a great time seeing dinosaur tracks and swimming in the river. It gave another opportunity to reinforce the teaching that God is the Creator of ALL things, including the dinosaurs. From there we went to Hico, TX - another congregation that has been invested in the Native work since 2002. This will be their fourth summer to cook at the “Rez Camp” for everyone. We love and appreciate all they continue to do in blessing us and lifting us up. It was exciting to share with them the new work we are involved with and to worship with them.

Sunday evening we drove up to Decatur, TX and met with the missions committee. I am always impressed with the focus these brethren have on missions. Many of them go to the mission fields they support. This is a newer congregation for us, but they have already proven to be such an encouragement. We truly enjoyed staying with Chad, Cassaundra and their beautiful family - Seeing Clint and Carol was an added bonus!

Frisco was our last stop in north Texas. Frisco is another congregation that has been with us a couple of years. Everyone seemed to be edified by the news of the growth here in Phoenix. May God continue to bless all their efforts in spreading the gospel. The Crayton’s have been preaching and doing a good work and we are always blessed to stay with their family. We enjoy staying up and visiting and spending time talking about the works we are involved with.

The next four days we were in League City, TX with my brother, his family and our parents. This was a nice break at the end of a long trip. Spending time with family is always a tremendous blessing! The cousins had a blast and it was nice for everyone to just visit. The League City church of Christ is a third congregation that has just come on board in the last couple of years in our support. We praise God for the way He provides through His saints. That Sunday, I was impressed with the question that repeatedly came up…”What can we do?” They are personally involved in their mission works and we are thankful to be in fellowship.

The kids finished their “once a week school” – our school district offers their homeschool community a wide range of elective classes. However, our girls are still trying to finish up our school year at home. Lord willing, they will complete their work by the end of July . . . just in time to begin the following school year in the fall. Aaliyah and Alyssa also finished up their volleyball season, with Divine coaching their team. They have a very young team, but still managed to move on to the second round of playoffs. They look forward to playing again in the fall. Though Aaliyah’s birthday was last month, she was able to have her party this month – celebrating with family, brethren and the volleyball team.

We thank all of you that continually pray for us, write us, visit us, give to us and work with us. God is good and we are blessed to be connected with you in His body the church.

Josh & Divine Austin and Family

Posted on June 6, 2014 .

West Bay, Grand Cayman Report

LeBlanc Family Report:

The Work in West Bay, Grand Cayman

 Could you believe it is almost a year since we have been working here? Wow, time has sure flown by. Since we have been here, we have made several adjustments.  The congregation continues to grow and flourish. This is certainly our home.

Family update

Our older son Josiah, remains on the honor roll. He has fit in with the kids. He attends the Wesleyan Christian Academy. It is a good religious private school, which does not include their doctrine in the curriculum. However, we are still considering the option of homeschool.

Caleb continues to grow and increase his vocabulary. Cannot believe he is almost two.  We are looking forward to him going to pre-K this fall.

I (Deon) am certainly improving in health. It has been eight months since my surgery and I am doing remarkably well. I still have to take it easy but improvements are being made.

Neriah is doing well besides a bummed knee. We recently got insurance for him and are working on getting insurance for the entire family. He is working hard and is looking forward to his vacation. This will be his first vacation since graduating from Bear Valley. He deserves a break. The congregation loves him and I know he loves them too

First Camping Experience Here

We were invited to join some members as the camped around the Easter holidays here. It was the first camping experience for our family. We camped on the beach for 6 days. The kids had a blast. It was a wonderful experience and we are sure to do it again next year.

Annual Ladies’ Day

We had our fist Ladies’ Day since forever. There were ladies from the other congregations in attendance. The theme was “The Beauty of a Gentle and Quiet Spirit”. I spoke, which was my first “big” lesson. I was not as nervous as I thought I would be. The attendees enjoyed it. Through feedback the ladies were uplifted and encouraged. The order of events were a little different than the usual Ladies’ Day. The men cooked and served lunch. They out did themselves.

Upcoming Events

Ladies’ High Tea – May 10th

Marriage & Family Series – 18th – 23rd May

Family Fun Day – May 19th

Family Banquet – May 24th

Please continue to keep us and the work in your prayers, especially since we will be doing more fundraising this summer to cover child care for Caleb and insurance for the family.


Posted on May 15, 2014 .

Preachers That Teach

Forty-six years ago this month Ed Wharton wrote a beautiful article to encourage preachers serving local congregations. This timeless piece seems so relevant today. We hope you will be uplifted and motivated to continue Thinking Souls!

Preachers That Teach

by Ed Wharton

Fellowship In The Gospel Newsletter
Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver
May 1968

Upon re-thinking the Biblical definition of the work of the local preacher it occurs to me that teaching plays a major role in the God-ordained task of the evangelist. Simply stated, God ordained the preacher to (1) teach the lost (Matt. 20:19) and (2) to continue to teach the church thereafter (Matt. 28:20). It’s the method of expediting this work which often makes the difference in the preacher’s fruit-bearing.

Preachers continually deplore the lack of spiritual growth manifested among the membership. But however your pulpit preaching and classroom teaching may grow out of conscientious preparation and enthusiastic delivery just remember this: It lacks that personal touch. And ONLY personal teaching can supply much that is needed for converting the lost and maturing the spiritual babe. Furthermore, what CAN and SHOULD be taught to one is not necessarily what MAY be taught to another. It depends on where they are spiritually. They may be down right carnal! Yet they may at the same time be likeable and very teachable.

Let’s re-read the Bible and get some of that teaching and preaching out of the formal pulpit-classroom situation. Get it back to an informal house-to-house situation where you can drink coffee, lean back and listen to the other fellow’s question, and have time to give a sufficient answer.

In the following I want to discuss four phases of teaching which the preacher can fill up his time with overnight! Each phase is on a different level progressing from the the rudiments to the stronger meat of the Word. All but one, the last one, are in the home, couched in the informal atmosphere so conducive to that personal touch.

1. Teach The Lost. In his home or yours, that is. The greatest task here is setting up the class; finding the person who is willing to let you teach him. But that’s your job! When you win that soul the church has experienced growth. Til this is a part of your life, you just are not a New Testament preacher.

2. Teach Members of the Church. In your house! This requires that you go beyond first principles…at least eventually. This type of class is a cinch to set up. It requires almost no effort to get more than you’d really want in a home Bible Study. Just ask a couple of families to come over to your house on a regular basis for a couple of months of real down-to-earth Bible study. If they’ve already found out you know something and can teach it they’ll jump at the opportunity. No sweat. This class will be very rewarding for you both.

3. Teach the teachers of the local congregation. That is, in your home. This is “teacher training” in the Bible itself. That may well be a switch from the kind they have been used to. Seldom do local teachers excel the preacher in knowledge of the Bible. If they are sincere they will learn something. If not, you will! You may be educated when you learn from them what they “thought” the Bible taught on some very important subjects. A sobering thought is this: these local teachers are teaching (?) your wife and children. Are you confident in this? If not, do something about it; teach the teachers! This is an effective means of providing for greater spiritual growth of the local church. Remember, 2 Tim. 2:2 is addressed to the preacher! This level of teaching is yet more requiring than the others.

4. Teach intensive Bible courses. This is the only one of the four which I recommend being taught in the formal classroom situation. Purpose: To educate the church in the Bible. To increase their Christianity. What do you mean “intensive” ? Remember what it’s like back in the classroom at a school of preaching. Then, pour it on! They’ll love it! Provided, of course, that you do. Give them assignments, themes to write, memory work. (Careful: do not overload) If you are energetic and knowledgeable and have a good-natured approach the will literally eat it up. I promise.

I speak out of experience. The above formula will work. It will provide growth both numerically and spiritually. And a final motivation I might mention just here: when the church grows through the preacher’s efforts he doesn’t have to move every year or two. Right?

Posted on May 13, 2014 .

"Planting in the Dessert" Austin Family Update

Can it be?  Can 1/4th of the year already have come and gone?  It is hard to believe. This was another blessed month.  One of the highlights has to be our week long trip to Monterey, CA for the RECHARGE conference - one of those trips with great memories.  Evan & Crystal were able to go which was great especially with all they have dealt with over the last two months.  Stenson also attended along with Divine and I. Having 3 young Christians attend this conference was very transformational & helpful for the future of our congregation.  

The classes were great & we all benefited by going.  There were textual classes, practical ministry classes & “administrative” type classes - whole lot of equipping going on.  We came back excited to put these things into practice.  In fact, Evan & Stenson gave the lesson when we came back.  They were to share what they had learned.  Hopefully, the congregation was encouraged by their growth. 

While there, we were blessed to see many beautiful parts of God’s creation.  We went to an aquarium that was highly recommended.  It was as advertised with so many different creatures that truly showed the glory of God. I was astonished at all the different types of Jelly fish that were on display.  We were right on the beach which was absolutely beautiful, but we also went on the “17 Mile Drive” around the Pebble Beach area.  This was well worth the time.  Breathtaking views and humbling sounds from the great Pacific ocean crashing up against the rugged coast.  

Another blessing to seeing all of this, was being able to go with my Dad and their preacher Cody.  My dad said he was there in Monterey for boot camp and then also for Language School.  He showed the area he was at the night before he went back to Vietnam. It was humbling and an honor to be with him. I thank God for that time with him. He continues to be such an encouragement to me.

Obviously, I am a little excited about the trip, but even more excited to see the way these young Christians are growing in their faith and really stepping up in the Lord’s work. There is a core group that is really starting to come together. Since Patrick and Shannon have left we are seeing others rising to the occasion and filling the need. 

There was one mishap this month as we showed up one Sunday for worship and there was a birthday party going on! Not sure how that happened, but Evan suggested we go to their apartment complex that had a movie theater that would seat about 40. So that is where we had one of our worship services. The man who was in charge of opening the building was asking about what we did and seemed interested. The next week, he was on call again, but sat in for part of our worship service. Then this Sunday, Wilbert was not working, but came to Bible class and worship. He shows a real hunger for learning. We are following up with him this week. May God bless all of these things to His glory.

This month we have also been in conversation to try to rent our own place in Mesa. It is not on the reservation, but it is still in the area we originally looked at moving into. If all works out we might have our own place.

While we were in California my mom took the kids for the week with her. They always love being out there. They have chores to do, but also so much room to run and play. We greatly appreciate the time she allowed us. Grandma enjoys the grandkids though! 

We continue to reach out to Divine’s brother. Living only an hour away, we try to get together every now and then. One Saturday, we were able to go to the Science Museum together. We enjoyed our time together.

Thank you all for your continued support! We continually get emails, phone calls, and cards showing of the love from the brethren. Words cannot express how much those simple messages mean to us! Our family sends our love & prayers to your families. May God be glorified in all we do!


 Josh & Divine Austin 

Aaliyah, Alyssa, Alayna, Josiah 

1440 N Orlando 

Mesa, AZ 85205 


Posted on April 7, 2014 .