“You’re just a stiff-necked Pharisee.” (I guess that got your attention, didn’t it?) That is what one of our jovial elders jokingly said to me the first Sunday I was able to attend worship following my neck surgery--necessitated by chronic arthritis--fusion of vertebraes #s 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 back in the month of March. Though it has taken awhile to get going again, I am pleased to inform you that I am, by your prayers and the grace of God, well and about the work.
Concerning the work I actually missed very little time. The only restrictions I had to observe were to limit my lifting anything weighing more than five pounds, leaning my head backward, and preaching. “Preaching,” you may rightfully wonder at this. I did but not for long. You see neck surgery is done from the front side, that is an incision was made near my vocal chords and a host of instruments were inserted along with two titanium metal strips which were then attached to the affected vertebrae to “fuse--stiffen” them. (Hence, our brother’ s greeting to me -- I wish I could be so clever.) The “plates” which were attached to my vertebrae, plus the necessary pressure by the surgeon, pressing on my throat, and especially the vocal chords, caused severe trouble with swallowing and even speaking for a few minutes on the telephone. It can now be said that this is all behind me, and I am anxious to be fully engaged in the work once again.
However, before proceeding to the work report, I feel a compelling need to tell you about Juanita’s health. During the same time as my recovery was taking place Juanita had left eye cataract surgery. (She had the right eye done in 2010.) We fully expected this surgery to be uneventful, wrong! To begin with there was trouble with a medical assistant who over medicated Juanita’s eye. Then there was some equipment failure--the machine used to measure the lens necessary for a proper fit to the new implant. Following her surgery infection became a problem and continues to be. We have been told Juanita’s eye may not be completely well before the end of September. It is a serious problem and one for which we solicit your fervent prayers. The doctor has assured Juanita that she can also be about her work, and “not to be overly concerned” since in his experience this type problem is normally better in three months. This does not offer as much comfort as it normally would since the doctor expressed great surprise to see the problem develop in the first place and then to persist as much as it has.
I suppose that by now you are feeling our pain so much that you are in need of two big Tylenols. Thank you one and all who sent us cards of encouragement, wrote emails, and made telephone calls to us while we convalesced. You have also been so thoughtful to continue your regular contributions. Thank you for saving me from the anxiety of raising funds during this time of recovery by continuing your regular monthly gifts. Your trust and confidence in us is greatly appreciated by the Manassas Elders, the Indian brethren and Juanita and myself.
As we are in the habit of doing we have wired (under the supervision of the Manassas Elders, of course) about $9,900 dollars per month for the various works, necessary support for our Indian preachers, and campaigns for Christ going on in many places in India. The work is big. To God be all the glory.
2013 CAMPAIGN RESULTS
January 1, through June 8, 2013
DENOMINATIONAL PREACHERS BAPTIZED
And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. Acts. 2:47
”IF THE LORD WILLS”
JAMES 4: 13-15
We plan to begin visiting among brethren to report on our work and to seek their fmancial gifts to provide for the needs noted below. We hope to see brethren in Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia during June and July. Then we will hope to report to congregations in North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama during September. October will see us in Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Finally, during November we will call on supporters in Ohio, Indianapolis, Tennessee, and again in West Virginia. December will fmd us home where we will remain until we depart for India in January 20 14. This is roughly our plans (subject to sudden change) and, of course, our prayer is that God’s will be done.
PRESSING NEEDS FOR THE INDIA MISSION WORK
1. Campaign Funds. We are about soul-winning. The Gospel is free, but we have to pay the expenses for the “Piper.” Romans 10: 14-17 speaks eloquently on this matter.
Immediate need $10,000.00
2. Construction for the Bhopal School of Preaching. The building is one-half constructed. We need to complete a dormitory room for eight students, the kitchen and dining room, plus a guest room for visiting preachers who will stay in the building for a month at a time while they are teaching their selected course.
Immediate need $15,000.00
3. Student preacher support for six students at Kurnool School of Preaching, and eight students in our Bhopal School of Preaching at $45.00 per month per student. (Calculations: 14 students X 3 months X $45.00 per month.)
Immediate need $1,890.00
4. Printing of song books. There is an urgent need to print 5,000 song books. We have an excellent, well edited hymnal in the Telegu language. Fifteen thousand copies of our song book have been published over the past three years. The plates are ready and with the printer. This is a hard-back book and can be printed for ninety-cents ($0.90) per copy.
Immediate need $4,500.00
5. Benevolence. We have three sisters who are all preachers wives, and each is in urgent need of medical help. One needs brain surgery. Another requires oxygen for use at home without which she cannot live. The third is suffering crippling arthritis and will likely be paralyzed if costly medications for which the family has no means of paying, is not provided soon.
Immediate needs $3,000.00
6. Preachers and Teachers’ Support. We support only 25 native, Indian Preachers and Bible teachers in our Team’s schools of preaching. These are all long overdue for some support increase. None have received an increase in their support in 3-5 years. Most of our preachers receive between $75.00 and $100.00 per month.. .three receive $150.00 and one $200.00 per month. For those receiving below $150.00 per month we are proposing that they each need an additional $15.00 per month. (Calculations: 21 men X $15.00X3 months.)
Immediate quarterly need $945.00
7. India Mission Budget for 2014. It is time for us to begin accumulating funds for our Winter 2014 Mission to India. Our estimate for this major work covering the first three months of the year is $73,000.00. Our experience going back to 1978 shows it will take us six months to accumulate the needed funds. We must begin now--in July-- to accomplish the goal.
Monthly need $12,166.00
The above items are but a few of the concerns which are pressing. Please pray about these matters.. .those in need are our brethren.. . our spiritual family-in-Christ.
STEVE AND RENEE GAUDREAU
This wonderful couple, who are members at the Manassas Virginia Church of Christ, made their first mission to India with Juanita and myself this year. They were very well received by the Indian brethren. In fact, they are “naturals” for this work. It is their desire to do the work full-time, and it is also our prayer that they will be able to do so. They are both retired military, and are seeking support for their India mission work funds. In summary, the work funds pay for their Air fares, hotels, car rentals, and the expenses of the Indian brethren who work directly with the missionaries to conduct campaigns. The Gaudreaus need for their planned Winter 2014 Mission is $20,000. They are in need of contacts. If you are able to supply them with the names, email addresses, and telephone numbers of individuals as well as congregations who may be able to help them this would be appreciated. They may be reached through me or by contacting the Elders at the Manassas Church of Christ office. Please see the address and telephone on this letterhead.
Susan Foy--Manassas, Virginia
Ethel Kent-Manassas. Virginia
Frank Mason--Manassas, Virginia
Lynne Petty--Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
Connie Ellenburg-- Winchester, Tennessee
Bobby Peyton--McEwen, Tennessee
.. .WELCOME HOME.
Thank you for your generous and loving support, prayers, and encouragement to us. Try to imagine the impact of your gift on the souls who will hear the Gospel because you cared. Your gift will be a blessing through all eternity.
Grace and Peace, Jerris N. Bullard Missionary