The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it. Psalms 68:11
Let me start this article by saying, “Wow!” Getting to Jamaica, though convenient from a travel standpoint, was not easy in a scheduling or financial standpoint. Praise God I have not allowed any of those things to discourage or hinder me from taking this trip! There are several things I would like to report but the highlight of this trip has been your influence on the country of Jamaica.
You heard that right! Those of you reading this from HBF, our sister churches and partners in the Kansas City metro area who come and help us assemble scripture would be amazed at the impact of the Bibles you have assembled for Jamaica. I have travelled to several churches and when Brother Bob Weston introduces me as the pastor of the church that has provided the Bibles, the people instantly light up and thank me and us for sending the precious word of God. May the Lord receive all honor, glory and praise for bringing so many of us together as members of his body to invested the time and money to assemble and send the word of God to Jamaica.
Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. Proverbs 23:23
Pastor Raphael Thomas of Gospel Chapel of Annotto Bay, Jamaica, came to me as we were doing a service project at his church and asked me if I knew anyone from the church who provided the Bible in his hand. I was shocked when he produced one of our original Bibles from our first shipment of Bibles to Jamaica. It has our Cass County cover and the information about our church in the front.
Brother Bob Weston told us the need was so great for Bibles that he didn’t have a year to wait until we could assemble Bibles with proper Jamaican covers, so with Bob’s encouragement we shipped 1,000 of our HBF Bibles to Bob. He was right about the need for God’s word! We have seen a great hunger for the word of God this week. From the 1,000 John and Romans prepared in the “Armory” specifically for this trip by the College and Career ministry of Harvest Baptist Church of Blue Springs, to the whole Bibles prepared at the past two Bible Conferences, these portions and whole Bibles are in circulation, being read and carried about throughout Jamaica!
God brings it all together
As God would have it, the man who initially persevered to get us involved in partnering with Harvest Baptist Blue Springs and Midtown Baptist Temple to assemble and ship Bibles to Jamaica was on this trip with us. Pastor Tom Brockmeyer with Harvest Baptist, Blue Springs, had openings on the team coming to Jamaica and invited Joe Contreras to join the team at the last minute. By God’s grace Joe joined the team to balance the number of men and women from Harvest on this trip. Several years ago, Joe visited Christ’s Love In Action’s during Christmas and participated in the community outreach based out of Brother Bob Weston’s home in Port Saint Maria. It was there he heard and saw the need for Bibles for Jamaica and reached out to HBF through recommendation from Pastor David Nebel, who was missions pastor at Harvest at that time.
I can still recall the telephone conversation with Joe in which he made an impassioned plea to get Bibles to Jamaica. He told me on this trip that he was very frustrated at the time as he was desperate to find someone who would be willing to supply this need. We were the first ministry that would entertain the opportunity and God has used Joe’s passion for God’s word to impact countless lives in Jamaica with God’s word. It has been a pleasure to get to know Joe this week as we travel about Jamaica sharing the gospel together.
Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 1 Corinthians 3:5-8
I have dropped a lot of names in this article, but I have not dropped all of them. Behind the scenes have been countless hours of planning and execution. Pastors Randy Foster and Terry Ogle and their teams of laborers, not to mention the leaders of ministries all over the metro have joined forces with laborers all over Jamaica to get the word of God in the hands and hearts of people across the North East region of Jamaica.
Bibles in a village
I was in a village church a couple nights ago ministering to the youth in a remote area. Many who visit Jamaica and even those who live in Jamaica will never see or note this rural village in the mountains. It was in this little mountain village, depressed by Jamaican standards, that I saw Bibles assembled and sent from Word First Bible Publishing. A humbling observation to be sure. If nothing else God has used this trip to confirm that our investment in Word First Bible Publishing ministry is eternally valuable in at least one nation very near the United States of America, but it gets better.
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! Romans 10:14-15
The divine appointments we have experienced this week remind me of things I read in the book of Acts. The phrase, “it is a small world” and “God’s word does not return void” have greater meaning as God has used Brother Bob Weston’s contacts and previous initiatives from Kansas City Baptist Temple from nearly 20 years ago to bring in a harvest. The follow up work of Missionaries Harold Nichols and Randy Hentzel has also had great impact on Jamaica for nearly eight years. Harold and Randy were victims of a senseless murder in the mountains near Port Maria.
Pastor Trevor Howard who led the community beach outreach was a friend and disciple of these dear brothers. While on one hand the task of reaching this nation is very challenging in and of itself, with just a few victories and key strategic and supernatural movements of God have Jamaica poised to be a sending nation for missions around the world. This intense spiritual warfare reveals this is a strategic location for spreading the gospel. Jamaica is truly a field white unto harvest.
On a practical and personal level, it was great to minister with my son here in Jamaica. To see him share his testimony, hand out John and Romans and share the gospel with children and adults was deeply moving. It didn’t happen because I brought him but because God has been preparing him as all the saints at HBF to be used of God. The investment in “taking it to the streets”, trips to KCK to invest in Shiloh Bible Fellowship and various people groups within our own metro have led us to this week in Jamaica. God answers prayer!
As I prepare to leave Jamaica, I have a much better appreciation for the impact of Word First Bible Publishing and your collective investment in God’s word and its impact in the lives of people all over the world. Please join me in praying now for the upcoming Bible Conference, Sept. 16-19. Let’s trust the Lord not only to assemble and send God’s word but to be an active part of the delivery system. Make sure to begin in prayer, then set aside money, get a passport and pray about the opportunities to impact the world as a faithful ambassador for Christ. Thank you once again for your investment in the word of God and the souls of men in Kansas City and Jamaica.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21