Posts Tagged ‘Rich and Cherry Smith’


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Rich and Cherry have completed more than four weeks of Spanish language study and feel they are making good progress. They say they are adjusting to the cultural and lifestyle differences like walking everywhere while keeping out of the way of vehicular traffic, preparing every meal from scratch and getting used to constant rumbles–and ash–from a nearby volcano. They have met a number of missionaries from a variety of mission agencies who are encouraging them and giving them some idea of the potential for ministry when they’ve conquered the language. However, they are committed to focusing on language study no matter how
tempting ministries opportunities appear. They are teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) to four people, but this does not take much time and makes a nice break from studying. Smiths are asking us to pray with them even now for guidance about ministry after language school. They will be looking into the how and where of church planting in this needy country.
Sam and Jamie say they are finding many Mexicans upset and fearful about the recent earthquake and ensuing aftershocks. Although their home and church and the community around them were not directly affected, “people’s fear definitely increases opportunities to talk about the gospel”. They were downtown recently and saw some of the damage from the quake. The elementary school where many of their church kids go is still closed as it suffered structural damage. They ask us to “keep Mexico in your prayers”. Thank God for the vibrant youth and children’s ministry their church offers under the ministry of their youth pastor and his wife.



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Rich and Cherry leave for Antigua, Guatemala, this Saturday, August 19. This is the first step in a years-long ministry of planting a church and bringing a church to maturity in that country. They’ll spend their first year in Spanish language study (starting in two weeks) and in familiarizing themselves with the culture and where their ministry might best be accomplished. They ask us to pray with them for teachable spirits, ready to learn all God has to show them; for the strength to battle spiritual oppression; and for the many practical details of getting themselves moved from here and settled in there. Their daughter, Bailey, a fluent Spanish speaker, will accompany them for two weeks to help them acclimatize and find their way around their new neighborhood. Pray for the family they leave behind, Bob and Nancy McLaughlin, Steve and Beth Herr, and their daughters, Bailey and Bradee and families.
The Bethesda Outreach Board is sharing plans for their annual Christmas offering. In 2017, they are asking supporter-investors to give toward the construction of a school hall for Jabulani Christian Academy. This would be the equivalent of a gymnasium in this country, with multiple functions. This hall is part of a five-year plan that includes “growing” the school to provide Christian education through high school. It will include classrooms in addition to the gym/auditorium area. By 2018, JCA will have more than 220 students, extending its influence into the surrounding community where 60-70% of the students are classified as orphaned or vulnerable children. JCA, as an arm of Bethesda Outreach, can be a financially profitable and sustainable income source for the ministry, helping to support BOMI’s gospel influence and outreach in the Pretoria/Tswane area.
Every day this summer, about 200 campers and staff would sit in the camp’s outdoor prayer chapel and begin their day being still and meditating on the fact that there is a God (Ps. 46:10). From that point on till the end of each day, Director Jon Beight, says, “we packed in as much truth and learning opportunity as possible about becoming spiritually mature as we walked through the book of James”. Beight thanks God for these blessings from the summer season: 60 salvation decisions; 1209 total campers; growth in spiritual maturity; protection and safety of staff and campers; and, speakers and staff who faithfully shared God’s Word. “You may not see the day-to-day life at camp but we want you to know it’s because of your love for us that we are able to accomplish what God has called us to,” Beight writes.


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Rich and Cherry will be leaving for Antigua, Guatemala, in a month, August 19. They have found an apartment, screened Spanish language schools and teachers, and met missionaries from other agencies. They will begin their year-long study of Spanish as soon as they arrive and during this year of language and culture adjustment, they will be assessing ministry opportunities they can begin in mid-2018. They have completed their final assignment with the WBC Youth, participating in the week-long trip to West Virginia with 75 high schoolers, learning as they taught young people, what it means to put faith into practice.
“It’s easy to say you trust the harness and the rope (in rappelling),” says Rich, “but quite a bit harder to take the first step out over the ledge..we’ve found it easy to say/believe we trust in God…following His direction and letting go of our own plans has been tough, but so worth it!” Pray with them about all the adjustments that lie ahead of them and about continuing to trust in God’s good planning and direction in their lives.
Crawfords are praising God for a fruitful trip leading an Indiana church missions team to Jamaica. Gary says God definitely used the youth and leaders from The Church@Main to share the gospel and ‘shine His light’ in that needy society. Gary was also able tomeet twice with leaders of the Association of Independent Baptist Churches while in Jamaica, discussing the need to reach the ‘unreached’ people groups of the Caribbean as well as methods missionaries could use to best meet the spiritual needs of these groups.  Now, they are preparing for CCAM’s Regional Conference in October; helping pre-field missionaries raise support; and participating in the encouragement and spiritual refreshment of furloughing missionaries at the Missionary Enrichment Conference at ABWE headquarters. They are praying about a $280 per month deficit in their own support. They are trusting God to provide.
Richs are praising God for all the new people coming to Faith Baptist Church in Saku City. During a recent morning service, Rich preached about the necessity of going out into the highways and hedges to compel people to come in. Almost all of the congregation came forward at the end of the message to commit themselves to be more faithful in sharing the gospel. That afternoon, at choir practice, the Okada family looked in to check out the church after seeing the FBC website. They responded to the invitation to come to services and are now attending regularly and coming to membership classes. The English classes attracted another woman and she now calls FBC her church home. All these people and others need Bible study and discipleship classes so they will grow, Rich says. They are planning their annual August 15 Fireworks and Barbecue Evangelistic Outreach which they host in their backyard. They already know of two neighborhood families who’ll be attending. Ask God to make Rich’s short message at this event one that will impact spiritually ready hearts. Keep praying for old friends who’ve heard the message but are unresponsive.


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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.




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1521 S County Road 75 W
Danville, IN  46122