Posts Tagged ‘Rich and Cherry Smith’


Written by Abby Bickel on . Posted in

Gary is in Jamaica for two weeks leading a youth ministry team from a Brownsburg, IN, church. Pray the young people will take full advantage of their opportunities to share the gospel and show the love of God in action. Gary will also meet with leaders of the Association of Independent Baptist Churches in Jamaica to discuss future ministry possibilities and needs. Two new ABWE missionary families will be arriving in the next couple of years and Crawfords and church leaders want to make the best use of their abilities to ‘grow’ churches in the country. Pray for Crawford family members: Matthew attending Liberty University’s Music and Worship Camp before beginning his senior year in high school and the three Crawford wives expecting first babies this fall. Gary writes, “Pray for our focus to be steadfast on Jesus and the gospel as we week to encourage, communicate and guide our missionaries on the field.”
Rich and Cherry have finished their jobs–Rich at WBC and Cherry at Covenant Christian High School–and are organizing for their August 19 departure for Antigua, Guatemala, where they will spend their first year in intensive study of the Spanish language and learning to know the Guatemalan people and their culture. Thank God they’re at almost full support and have an settle in to when they arrive. In conjunction with WBC’s Church Plant Team, Smiths have set goals for their first few years of becoming familiar with the language and people of Guatemala, assessing opportunities for sharing the gospel and, as they ‘make disciples’, building a body of believers and training leaders. Pray they’ll seek and understand God’s leading as they trust Him for this ‘bold move’ they’re making for His glory.
Jared and Alyssa are nurturing a small group of Christians in a home Bible study while keeping their eyes on the goal of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with local people as God gives them opportunities. They want, as God leads, to see a church planted in their town led by a local pastor. However, they need to interrupt their ministry to return to Indiana for medical treatment for one of the children. They are waiting on appointments at a local hospital before they make further plans. Pray with them as they keep trusting in God’s provision of the appointments they need, a place to live while they are here, and leadership for their small group of Christians while they are away.


Written by Abby Bickel on . Posted in

Rich and Cherry are in Guatemala this week in the city of Antigua on a “sight visit” looking for housing for their Spanish language study stint which will begin in September. They have almost reached full support, being short of only $330 per month. Their language study takes a year and during that time, they will research ministry opportunities especially on college campuses in and around the city of Antigua, Guatemala’s second largest. They have contacted missionaries experienced in working in the country and are using their knowledge and expertise to guide their ministry research. Pray they’ll understand God’s leading as they step out in faith, believing this is the place He wants them. Ask God to supply their remaining support needs.
Doug and American pastor colleague, James Sperry, are launching a new group of Mongolian church leaders this week, teaching alongside Mongolian pastor Bat-Erdene. Doug says, “This will be the second time Mongolian leaders join in the teaching of the Tri-M curriculum. It is exciting to see Mongolians getting excited about teaching the Tri-M courses to their countrymen.” Doug and Pastor Sperry are also training mentors, former students, to disciple new and current students between teaching trips. “God is moving this ministry forward quickly,” he writes, ” which will allow more rapid expansion for training church leaders throughout the country and perhaps into neighboring regions!” Pray for wisdom and peace for Pastor Bat-Erdene as he teaches his first full course on Genesis. Pray that God’s Word will come across clearly even through translation to cross cultural differences. Remember also continuing efforts to connect with pastors in a neighboring country where training is needed.
Gary and Marty have been traveling in the past two months, supporting missionaries through commissioning services, helping missionaries in Jamaica with everyday needs and joining Nicaragua’s ABWE team for a working retreat. Gary was able to lead the team in devotional studies, update them on new ABWE policies and train them in contingency planning. Contingency planning is now required of mission agencies by the US government so that missionaries can evacuate foreign countries quickly in times of emergency without the help of the State Department. Gary then returned to IN to train a youth mission team from Brownsburg that will be serving in Jamaica, under his supervision the second week of June. Crawfords ask us to pray with them for pre-field missionaries raising support and adjusting to new fields. Pray also for their need for a new vehicle. Their old one, and only one, has racked up 150,000 miles.


Written by Abby Bickel on . Posted in

Harry is traveling in the Indo-Malaysia region, networking with key contacts in five cities having a total population of 53 million targets for the gospel. His goal is to gather information about how and through whom God is working in this region and exploring visa and ministry opportunities for future ABWE teams. One of the activities Harry will participate in is an ongoing study of The Message of Hope with 25 university students. TMOH is the Muslim adaptation Harry and Jan developed of a 40-lesson chronological evangelistic study of the Bible. He will also be involved in a seminar to train teammates and local Christians to teach TMOH effectively. Harry asks us to pray with him that God will open the team’s eyes to the opportunities in this region and to connect them to possible future partners; to provide safety in this extremely restrictive Muslim majority region; and to be able to recruit workers. Pray also for Jan who is once again recovering from her long-time nemesis, pneumonia.
After being invited to visit Guatemala recently, Rich and Cherry found exciting possibilities for ministry among the Mayan people in that violent and drug-lord ridden country. They ask us to pray with them about God’s direction in decision-making, i.e, switching from their original destination, Costa Rica, to Guatemala. There are a number of problems to overcome in making such a move and they are trusting God to show them, Gary Crawford, their Regional Director, and ABWE how to work these out. Smiths are thanking God for the increasing amount of support that is coming in. They hope to be at 85% of their support level by April 10 so they may participate in a final ABWE candidate class they need before leaving for the field.
Al and Tara will be preparing for the Easter season on several fronts. They will have the opportunity to present the plan of salvation to the students they have in their Religious Instruction classes in the public schools of the Northwest Sydney area. They hope also to reach parents through their teaching of these children. Mayhaks work with two church plants, One Redeemer and Melrose Park, building them up in spiritual maturity and in numbers in some of the new suburbs growing up in this area of metropolitan Sydney. Melrose Park is near a large subdivision being settled by large numbers of immigrant families. They will be helping the pastors and congregations of these two churches to reach out in their neighborhoods with the Easter message.


Written by Abby Bickel on . Posted in

Rich and Cherry aim to be in San Jose, Costa Rica, by August/September of this year. After a year studying Spanish, they will join the church plant team using their particular gifts in youth work and Bible study.  Cherry writes, “We are thanking God for a total of 19 support partners to date, putting us at 56% of our needed support.  We are thankful for all we are learning in this prefield process, the required ABWE and WBC course work but mostly that we can trust in God’s timing and provision and knowing that His plans for us are so much better than our own.  We are grateful for the support of God’s people who keep us encouraged and covered in prayer.  Please continue to pray that we’ll be used by God to spread a passion for the gospel and mission work as we continue seeking partners to help us reach full funding…”  Smiths are trusting God for 85% of their support so they can attend ABWE training classes in Harrisburg, PA, in April.
Sunday, February 5, was a big day for Refuge Baptist Church where Bloomers are part of the church development team.  Phil says, “We will celebrate communion, share a fellowship meal and have a yearly meeting.”  This was not the usual annual business meeting.  It was called to introduce a transition in the leadership of the church.  Pastor Dalvino, who planted the church, announced his plans to retire at the end of this year.  Phil says the church is in critical need of well-equipped men to be servant leaders.  He led a meeting last week for eight men who want to be part of this leadership plan.  “We hope to start training by the end of the month and are excited to see these men grow and lead,” he says.  Pray God will strengthen and grow Refuge Baptist Church through this transition period.
Mea writes, “Our first week back was pretty full.  We moved from the camper into the house.  Praise the Lord!”  (They were offered a roomy house about one and a half miles from the Faith Baptist Mission compound for a reasonable rent which they have paid up through May.)  “We have continued our outreach and have visitation appointments (on the reservation) several days next week.  We are also firming up plans for a California trip for support raising.”  Browns are asking us to pray specially for a little girl named Precious.  She attends the Sunday Kids’ Club faithfully.  In fact, Mea says, “she’s our little shadow”.  Precious lives with her grandmother because her mother is in jail.  Last year, her 12-year-old sister died of alcohol poisoning and last week, her 18-year-old brother was shot and killed.  Pray with Browns that they can minister to Precious and her family in a way that pleases and honors the Lord during this difficult time.  Also, pray for her salvation.  Pray that God will supply their support needs.  Rent and travel funds are a priority.




© West Bridge Church
1521 S County Road 75 W
Danville, IN  46122