Happy New Year!
I hope all of you had a happy holiday season. Another year has come and gone, and it is now time to begin another year. 2010 was another good year for the World Evangelism team as we try to evangelize the world, particularly Southeast Asia. The work actually expanded significantly in 2010. Let us recap what was accomplished. We made three mission trips overseas. In May, Jerry made one trip to Takoradi, Ghana in Africa to help a Bear Valley school. Later, we both traveled to Tamale, Ghana to teach in the Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies, which was combined with our fall trip to India.
Three trips are currently planned in 2011, but we will tell more about that later. The two Bear Valley schools in India continue to do well. The one in Chandigarh has been having facility issues. They actually had to move to a different place. Hopefully that will soon be settled so that they will have a permanent home. The school in Vishak will have their first graduation in April of this year.
Literature distribution has also expanded significantly. Seventy-six different tracts were printed and are currently in our warehouse, in addition to printing several new books in 2010. Thousands of copies have already been shipped to various countries in addition to some that were ordered for use in the U.S. We made some contacts with groups that are sending containers to various countries. Since shipping by containers is much cheaper than current mailing rates, this allowed us to ship many more books, magazines, tracts, and old Bible class literature than we normally would. In August we shipped about 2,000 pounds of books in a container shipped by Mission Printing to Ghana. About the same amount went to the Philippines in November. Betty took several boxes of French books to the Crieve Hall church in the Nashville area to be loaded on a container bound for Benin in Africa. The same weekend she also carried some French books to Judsonia, Arkansas to be sent to Haiti. Plans are being made to do even more of this in 2011. This is great for the church wherever the books are sent, but it requires much work on our part to get these shipments ready.
November started with a bang with four volunteers from Middle Tennessee coming to help us organize and pack books to be sent to Nigeria and other foreign schools. One of the ladies was Ruth Orr. Some of you may be familiar with her. She makes several trips a year to other countries herself, working with World Bible School contacts. She has been to Nigeria many times, thus she personally knows many of the preachers in that country. These volunteers helped us pack many boxes of books to be sent to preachers. We are also shipping one copy of all our books to various Bible school libraries in various countries. This is a tremendous undertaking, considering we have over 110 books currently in print, not counting our mission books, which are not usually sent overseas. These have to be packed in three different boxes. Many of you would be amazed at the number of libraries in other countries. When volunteers come, they help greatly, but of course, that makes us work even harder. All of our other work nearly ceases, then we have to work to catch up.
On November 18-19th, we made a quick trip to Dallas, Texas to deliver some books which were sent to the Philippines on a container. We had about 2,000 pounds of books and Bible class literature. This Bible class literature was collected from several congregations, and we are glad to be able to help reuse leftover literature.
We did not take too much of a break even during the Christmas and New Year holidays. On December 29th, some of Betty’s family visited, and they gladly consented to help us pack books. Ed Mosby from Searcy, Arkansas made several trips to Nigeria, and he sent us nearly 350 names of preachers to whom he wanted books to be sent. Thus, Betty’s family helped us pack a small box of books to be sent to them on the next container. We had our youngest member ever to help us, Betty’s six year-old granddaughter. We take any help that we can get. She really enjoyed the work. They did not hardly complete the process, since we included one more book on the Holy Spirit, which was being reprinted. That book arrived January 5th, and a large group from Strickland and Plain View, near Henderson, TN, came down to help us finish the job.
Mission Printing in Texas is sending a container to Nigeria the first part of February. For this reason we are making such a diligent effort to get so many boxes ready to be sent to Nigeria. We do not want to miss such an excellent opportunity to ship literature to that country. On this container we will probably send about 8,000 pounds of books.
We print four issues of the Voice of Truth International each year, and we always work in the shipping and receiving of those in between our mission trips. The last issue arrived December 21st, and on that same truck, we shipped out about 75 boxes of books bound for New York, which would then be shipped to various countries.
These two months have also been very busy with other activities. We have been very busy as usual visiting congregations that support us. We are continually visiting with other missionaries whom we can assist by sending literature or other ways. Some of the missionaries with whom we regularly correspond are Robert Martin in the Pacific Islands, Loy Mitchell in Zimbabwe, Ed Mosby in Nigeria, Barry Baggott in the French work, Gordon Hogan in Singapore, Rod Kyle in New Zealand and James Jones in Kenya. One day, we and Wayne Barrier, visited with Steve Worley in Savannah, TN. He works in four different countries in Africa, Nigeria, Chad, Niger, and Uganda. He helps schools in all those countries. After being very ill this last summer, he wanted to visit with us about helping out in the future in case he was not able to continue. That was an interesting meeting. Due to our very busy schedule, we will not be able to get as involved in that work as he would like, but we might be able to help in case he is not able to continue. This simply illustrates how far-reaching our work is and one never knows what future opportunities may come our way.
The next four months promises to be very busy as well. Jerry leaves on January 13th for one week in Nepal and two weeks in India. He will be teaching in a Bear Valley Extension all three weeks. In some ways, it is a relief to travel overseas. When we are here we are busy with books, visiting churches, getting lessons ready, etc., and so it is nice to have a change of pace. Jerry has also been very busy this last month getting his lessons prepared for his next trip. He hopes to be able to meet with a brother from Nepal who wants to translate the Voice of Truth into the Nepali language. Many times, we can accomplish multiple goals on our trips, which, of course, allows us to do more, with little more effort. Paula will not travel on this trip. She will stay here and do all the end of the year activities that has to be done in the World Evangelism office.
About mid-March we will embark on our normal spring trip. We will spend two weeks in Myanmar teaching in a school there, teach a week-end seminar in Sri-Lanka, and then wind up with about three weeks in India. We will arrive back in the states about the end of April. We always look forward to these trips with anticipation, but we are also always glad to return home. We thank God for the opportunity to serve Him as we do, and we constantly are mindful of all of you who make it possible for us to do this work. Keep us in your prayers, and may God bless you with a happy and prosperous 2011.
Jerry & Paula Bates