Bro. Jonathan Ashcraft and the Choir of Mount Hebron Baptist Church
March 2015 Prayer Letter
"The Joy of Watching God Work"
Dear Praying Friends,
During the third week of February every year, it is our privilege to host our Annual Pastors’ and Workers’ Conference. Last week our people worked very hard preparing every detail from lodging, meals, child-care, hospitality, cleaning and maintenance, greeting, sound system, transportation, hosting, and a myriad of details that very few people ever notice. We never tire nor do have we become accustomed to the joy of seeing God work in the lives of His people as His word is preached in power and love.
On Wednesday morning we took over 500 people soul-winning, as we do every year during our annual conference. 437 people trusted Christ as the result of the witnessing of these dear people. All of the conference speakers go out with the group. I had the joy of leading a young couple to Christ. They were in a park setting up a used-clothing stand. Ernesto and Leticia listened intently as I shared the precious gospel story with them. I am always amazed at the power of the gospel message. My presentation was simple, but complete. Their response was sincere. On Friday night, my dear friend, Pastor Darrell Hurst, who had preached in our conference, was my soul-winning partner for Fishermen’s Club. We led two young couples and an elderly man to Christ. 48 others were led to Christ by the other men in the group.
Just over 1,300 people attended the evening services. 152 preachers - pastors, assistant pastors, evangelists and missionaries - attended the conference. We had sessions for pastors, missionaries, teens, ladies, laymen, preachers’ children, evangelists, and Jewish Missions. There were 89 classes taught and 10 sermons preached. God’s presence was evident in every service with souls saved and believers making life-changing decisions. The pastor of our sending church, Bro. John Wilkerson from First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, preached the first message on Thursday night. My close friend, Bro. Elmer Fernández, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Betel in Bartlett, Illinois, closed the service. Thirty people surrendered their lives for full-time service, including five from our church.
Many of our graduates attended this conference. If you ever want to see a true representation of the ministry you have supported for so many years, please plan to attend our next annual conference: February 15-18, 2016. Our conference begins every year on the third Monday in February - Presidents’ Day. We would be glad to help you make arrangements for your trip and for your stay here. Please pray about coming next year. You will not be disappointed.
Bro. Oscar Aquino, one of our church men who graduated from the Bible Institute last year, started a bus route in Allende, 20 miles south of us. Since the first of February, he has been having regular services, starting another church out of our church. We have done this on several occasions. Bringing people to our church gives them an idea of what kind of church they can expect to build. This is the twenty-fifth church pastored by one of our graduates in our immediate area. We thank God for all of them.
Brenda’s brother, Dale Irby, went to heaven on Thursday, February 12. He lived in Kerrville, Texas. Brenda was not able to attend the funeral, so we left last Monday, February 23, to spend some time with her sister-in-law, Barbara, in Kerrville, and Brenda’s Mom in Lubbock, Texas. Dale, 70, was ill for the last three years with a rare lung disease. Please pray for the Irby Family of Kerrville and for Brenda's mother, Ozell Maynard, during these difficult days.
Thank you for your prayers and support. Please know that as you pray for us, we pray for you. We want to remind you of how thankful we are for making it possible for us to be where the Lord has given us the privilege to serve Him. Our gratitude is genuine, and we are keenly aware of the cost of supporting all your missionaries. Thank you again for your faithfulness and for your sacrifice.
Yours for souls,
Tommy and Brenda Ashcraft