First Mission USA (St. Louis)
Whilst working on a Scripture Union Beach Mission way back in 1987 I befriended
a wonderful Liberian Christian man Joe Lieway, his wife & their baby daughter
Syda. He was seconded to the Mission by All Nations Bible College UK to gain
some evangelism experience. On completion on his studies he was unable to return
to Liberia due to the civil war and eventually moved to USA and subsequently became
a Professor at St. Louis Bible College. Time or space doesn’t allow me to share his
amazing testimony on this page but do Google him to find out more. To me he is like
a modern day Job but with a bigger smile. It was he that first invited me over to the
USA and started my run of three visits to St. Louis, East Tennesse and Indiana.
Not only wasit my first mission to the USA but also my first experience of major
flooding and tornados. However with The Lord’s protection we had a really
wonderful and blessed time.
In these two photos you can see the walkway is under 8 foot of water
as the Mississippi was 15 foot in flood!
Halls Ferry Christian Church was the first church I spoke at. I was due to
speak at their midweek prayer meeting when 4 hours before the pastor
phoned to apoligise that numbers would be low as a Tornado had stuck
the area. However over 100 turned up and we had a great time with
Central Christian Church O’Fallon, Illinois (now moved to new premises):
I spoke at their midweek family fellowship meeting at this wonderful friendly
church. It was growing at such a rate they needed 2 morning services. Now
I see they have moved into a much larger premises. After the meeting we all
shared in a meal and I could not believe the size and amount of Pizza delivered!
Hillsboro Christian Church: Honest! Due to a massive rebuild the
local undertaker allow them temporary accomodation using his chapel.
It was a bit crowded but we had a great time. Nearly all the fellowship
joined us afterwards at a local restaurant. Two days before I was due to
speak there, the flood warnings were so servere,we thought it would be
impossible to get there. However I worship and God who changes the
immpossible into the possible! As we drove there it was like the parting
of the Red Sea, the floods were on both sides of the road but the road
You can see how flooded Hillsboro was. Fortunately the restaurant we
were going to was dry but only just the flood was only yards away!
Maggie & I were privileged to be offered accommodation at St. Louis Bible
College. Not only did we have comfortable accommodation but we had
fellowship with other Christian from around the world. He we had a BBQ
with friends and food from Liberia, Hiati, Tonga and of course England.
Second USA Missionary Trip Tennesse
Two years after my trip to St. Louis, Pastor Joe moved to Tennesse to
help pastor a church, and once again invited me over to share testimony
and preach. After a very long journey from the UK due to a long flight
delay at Chicago we arrived at Joe’s at 8.30pm and we arrived the pastor
of Hopwood Memorial church phoned to confirm my preaching agenda for
the following morning. I then found out to my surprise, I would be speaking
at both the 8.30am and 11am Services. As it was Pentecost he requested
some teaching on the Holy Spirit as well as my testimony at the 11am
service. Although extremely tired I never slept much that night, mainly due
to the fact where we were staying was close to a railway crossing, what a
noise as they sound there horns on approach of the crossing!!! However in
the morning God gave me the strength needed. Another surprise was that
Hopwood church is situated in the grounds of Mullligan Theological College
and unknown to me many of the student and professors attend, the majority
of which teach healing miracles no longer happen. Yet God sent me there to
share my testimony which can only be called a miracle. Apart from a few
wriggling professors sitting at the front, we were well recieved and were over
whelmed after both services with Christians who wanted to know and recieve
more of God’s love and power.
Hopwood Memorial Church
Grandview Christian Church Johnson City: On the way to speak at this
church on the second Sunday, Joe informed me I would speak at the Sunday
school first then at the main morning service. Now back home in the UK
Sunday School means for the kids. Although I enjoy speaking to all ages
I started to panic as my testimony talk with some horrific graphs (as shown
on my site) would really be suitable for kids. On arrival I was relieved to
find out that it was an adult Sunday School. We had a great time of
fellowship especially between the two meetings when huge amounts of
various doughnuts appeared.
Central Christian Church Greenville: I spoke at this church on the
third Sunday of my trip. Due to the distance we needed to travel the
church held a special Evening Service which made it easier for us.
Although an old building, the young pastor was encouraging and
invigorating the fellowship to move in the community in and with
the power of God’s love.
Brammel Road Church Texas: They say everything is big in Texas and
this certainly is a big church! After our Tennessee trip we flow down
to visit Maggie’s cousin in Houston. This is the church he attends.
Although I never got the opportunity to speak at the church as they
had a full preplaned programme, Bob Maggie’s cousin, organised a mid
week event at this house where I spoke to the Leadership Team and elders.
Third Mission USA (Indiana) Reports
Although Indiana is probably the most boring state we have visited so far
in our previous travels, the trip was a real blessing to us spiritually and the
peoples hospitality made up for the lack of scenic splender! At every church
we spoke at the Lord sent people to us for prayer ministry. Although it would
be wrong to break any confidentiality many responded to our testimonies as it
highlighted areas in their lives that needed healing physically, spiritually &
Korean Church, Ball State University. The first church I spoke
at was The Korean Church at Ball State University. Although
I spoke in English, as most had it as a second language, the rest
of the service was spoke in Korean. The service was fairly traditional
and it was a joy to see the gusto that they sang their praises.
After the service there was a fellowship lunch and an opportunity for
Maggie & I to sample Korean food for the first time. We had a wonderful
time with good food & fellowship and Pastor Lee has invited us back to
share at some of his friend’s Korean Churches in Indianapolis
Grace Community, Cowboy Church, Marion. It is called that because the
worship is very much country style. It is so popular that they hold two
Saturday services, one at 4pm & one at 7pm. Although I never spoke at this
church it was a great experience worshipping Country Style with hundreds
of real live cowboys & cowgirls!
Ovid Community Church: This invitation had come about when a member
of the church visited my website last year and requested permission to
use some of my testimony at a midweek fellowship meeting. He too was
a retired Police Officer. When I realised that he lives in the same town as
my friend Joe Lieway, I offered to come over to the USA and give a personal
presentation. Not only was he delighted at the prospect but also arranged
for me to speak to the Madison Police & Sheriff’s Departments. The Ovid
Community Church is a large and growing church whose Pastor Keith & I
seemed to have so much in common. Although it has a large seating capacity,
certainly by UK standards, two morning services are needed to fit everyone in.
I spoke at both of the morning services. The worship style was less formal
that the Korean Church and the worship time was really good with one of my
favourite songs “In the Power of His love”. Again we really felt God’s blessing
& anointing on us especially at the end of one of the services the stage was
full of people praying for the healing of a young person facing the prospect
of a fatal illness. It was this church that during the following week laid on a
free lunch for the police department. Although a little disappointed by the
numbers present, it was good to see so many senior officers present.
Afterwards I was dragged around a golf course by the Chaplin of the County
prison. A really interesting guy named Rev Benjamin Santiago who before his
conversion was a New York gang leader & drug dealer/addict. After the game
( I let him win) he then took me around the jail and it was impressive to see
the way that both the prisoners & staff respect & respond to him.
New Hope Church Anderson. The last church I spoke at was The New
Hope Church which my friends worship at when Joe is not preaching
elsewhere. Although it was obvious our visit had not been publicised,
like at the other venues, we had a great time with a packed church.
Maybe it was as well not everyone knew of our visit!! Again we had a
good time although the projector played up and my photos I was using
didn’t come out clear, I think they were downloaded in the wrong format!
At the end of the service I was approached by a man who told me that he
just had to respond to my talk and the offer of prayer ministry. He had come
to the church as a visitor expecting to hear a previous pastor of the church
who was in town. He was a man who had been in Christian ministry but had
gone away from his faith because of things that had happened in his life
and was struggling to cope with certain issues. It was no coincidence that
instead of the person he expected to talk he got me! I don’t boast in this just
to confirm God’s perfect timing! Although I won’t give confidential details out,
I know that this m an received a special touch from God that morning and I am
sure that he will soon be back in a powerful ministry.
One thing that always impresses Maggie & I when we go to the USA is the way that the
American Christian “put their money where there mouth is”. There churches are so well
equipped, comfortable and accessible for community use. I hope that soon there might
be a 4th or even 5th USA Mission!