Guest Speaker for Missions Class

He will be visiting Friday missions class during the week of Open House. We also have a Pastoral Advisory Committee meeting that day, and we’re praying this time together will encourage and help the pastors and missionaries. Please make plans to be here if you are around!

Robbie and Lauren Prater Leave for the Field and Language School

Robbie and Lauren Prater finished deputation and left for the mission field!! They arrived to Argentina, where they will be doing language school before heading to Paraguay. Very excited for them!

Missionary Highlight - Jason and Lori Holt

Though Jason was raised in a pastor’s home, he did not accept Christ as his Savior until the age of sixteen. Over the next two years, as he grew in his faith, Jason knew God was calling him into the ministry. He visited the mission field for the first time during the summer before his freshman year at Crown College. That month in Mexico sealed God’s leading to foreign missions and planted a love for the Spanish-speaking people in Jason’s heart.

Jason met and married his wife, Lori, in college. Lori accepted Christ as her personal Savior at 14 and surrendered to serve the Lord in foreign missions at 19. While finishing his degree, Jason received the opportunity to intern in Peru for six months with a veteran missionary. During those months, God called him to the neighboring country of Chile.

Since 2001, the Holts have served as church-planting missionaries to Chile and seen God continue to bless with open doors to start new churches and train men and women for ministry. Their main focus is to train Chilean nationals to reach their own people. When God began to raise up men for full-time ministry, the Holts founded the Chile Baptist College. Since 2008, the training center has prepared future pastors for ministry. What started with three students has now expanded to over 90 young men and women.

God has also allowed Jason to expand his scope of service and influence as the Latin America Director for Vision Baptist Missions. This role allows him to serve, encourage, and support other church planters throughout Central and South America.

The Holts have three wonderful children: Katie, Josh, and Andrew. Katie was only 28 days old when the Holts left for the mission field. Both Joshua and Andrew were born in Chile.

Guest Preacher in OGTC Chapel - Pastor Bob Baines

Pastor Bob Baines taught chapel last Thursday to the students. I am extremely grateful the students get to learn from men and women of God on a consistent basis.  

A Few Big Blessings from the Field

The Sharp Contention

“And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do. And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. But Paul thought not good to take him with them, … And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus” — Acts 15:36-41

Paul and Barnabas disagreed about taking John Mark along with them on their journey. The disagreement was so sharp that they separated from each other. The Bible does not hide this disagreement, or say the division was right or wrong. Since God does not go into more detail, it would be unwise to determine which person was right, but there are lessons to learn in this story. 

  1. The Division Died.

We never see again in Scripture, or even the way they lived their lives, that this situation is ever brought up again. Neither party wrote letters about the other, made it the topic of their preaching, or attempted to get others to side with them.  

Often, when there’s a disagreement, the hurt, anger, or memory of the past division becomes the central topic of conversation. 

  1. The Ministry Continued.

They did not quit ministry altogether because of the division. They continued forward, Paul taking Silas, and Barnabas taking John Mark. 

Too often the devil seems to win after a disagreement and division. People become bitter at life, feel wronged, and quit ministry because of a division. 

  1. Fruit was Produced. 

Though the contention separated them, it did not stop them or God’s work. They did not become bitter or send rumors or epistles about the wickedness of the other. They continued doing right to such a degree that Paul later sought out John Mark, the same individual that was the reason for the big split, stating that he was “profitable to me for the ministry” (2 Timothy 4:11). It seems clear that when the split happened, Barnabas stayed with John Mark teaching, helping, and restoring him from a timid young man to a profitable young man. And John Mark’s return to ministry was not just for his own good, he was profitable to Paul who earlier thought John Mark should not be in ministry (vs. 38). Barnabas encouraged and equipped John Mark, just as he did with others, to the point that John Mark was productive for God’s service. 

This shows me firstly that there’s always opportunities for someone to get back on track even after bad decisions. It secondly shows me that a Barnabas-type person is needed to believe in another and help them when they’re down. And lastly, it shows me that when a separation happens, it does not have to consume you to where fruit dies… fruit can continue producing. How one responds to a separation, disagreement, or difficult situation is more important than what initially happens. The right response can cause life, ministry, and fruit to abound instead of ceasing.