Sunday, December 30, 2018

Prayer Letter - December 2018

I’d better jump right into this letter. So many exciting things that have happened over the past two months. 

This is a missionary prayer letter, so you are expecting to hear about souls that have been saved: Number One at the top of my list has to be my 6 year-old grandson, Joshua Andrew Miller who was saved on October 7. I pray the Lord will give wisdom to Steve and Ruthie to raise him so that God can use his life in a very unique way. I know just as precious to the Lord is Gabriela, a nurse who was saved at our Nursing Home visit on October 27, when one of the ladies led her to the Lord. The next morning, Claudia was saved when I gave the invitation after teaching my Sunday school class. On November 4, there were 5 saved in the Sunday morning service, and the special thing about Miriam’s Salvation is that she is the Mom of one of our Vacation Bible School students. The following Sunday, 3 more precious souls were saved. 

I was honored to be the guest speaker at a local Baptist Church, where the ladies were celebrating the 10th Anniversary of their ladies’ meeting. 

I know I say this every year, but if you base our Banquets on the attendance, this really was the best one of the twenty. Although there was a record attendance of 129 ladies, what made this Banquet so wonderful were the 15 ladies who were saved following Pastor Alejandro Ramírez’ sermon. Please pray for the ladies and me, as we do follow-up work. I pray the Lord will use these ladies to win others. Among our special First Ladies, was a judge from a nearby town. This was her first time to attend. 

Two days after the Banquet, we drove to Ixtapa, where I attended the Annual Conference in the Church that my son in law, Ulises Martínez started. I was invited to speak to the Ladies’ that Sunday morning. The next evening after the last service, there was a Banquet…actually an annual event that Ulises started 8 years ago, thanking the Lord for my 58 years of living in México. I was overwhelmed as I was lavished with so much love and gifts, and bouquets from the ladies. Although Ulises is in Israel, the different churches he started continue to thrive under the ministries of the men he trained. 

One of the many joys of devoting our lives to helping young people is seeing them fall in love and marry. Esteban is a result of the boys’ home ministry my husband started years ago. He is such a fine young man, and faithful to the Lord. Anai was just a little girl when her family started attending our church. She works in the music department, and teaches children. They were married here in our church on November 23. I pray God will use their lives to bring others to Him. 

Although this is my Christmas prayer letter, since I won’t be writing my next letter until February of 2019, I have been thinking about all the dreams and plans I have for my different ministries next year. I hope your year will be full of dreams come true, and excitement as God helps you to achieve your goals for Him. 

Your friend,
Billie Sloan
Nahum 1:7

Prayer Letter - October 2018

Does your life sometimes seem humdrum…even your ministry? Well, I’ll have to admit things can get pretty routine for me. But then God does something which seems to add meaning to the ordinary things I do: like our ladies’ monthly visits to the nursing home. Sometimes I sit and watch as our ladies pour out their hearts into teaching these old people, and then serving them refreshments, and I wonder, “How much do they really understand?” Until something happens like it did last Saturday, when one of our ladies told me, “Don Anselmo died since our last visit.” Of course my question was, “Was he saved?” “Yes, he was.” I don’t have to tell you, that ministry has taken on a whole new meaning, and encourages me to just stay faithful. 

Our church is going full speed ahead. I can hardly keep up with all the plans our young Pastor Albino has, and his vision for the work here. We had a Big Day on August 5, and there were 5 people saved. A couple of weeks later another lady was saved. Our pastor also puts lots of time into the village work that my husband started many years ago. On a visit to Chalchihuitan where Indian Pastor Sebastian works, there were 23 saved in that meeting on August 24, when Pastor Albino gave the invitation. 

I love teaching my Sunday school class more and more every week. On September 9, a young mother was saved when I gave the invitation. 

God pampers me sometimes. I got to speak at the first Ladies’ Conference at Mount Hebron, in Monterrey on September 14 and 15, where my nephew Jonathan Ashcraft is pastor. His wife, Jenny, asked me to be the speaker, and what a wonderful time I had teaching over 100 ladies. I was honored to get to speak 5 times, including the ladies’ Sunday school class on Sunday. And needless to say, it was a special treat getting to spend family time with Jonathan and Jenny, and their 4 precious children. 

Now, I have saved the most wonderful news for last. Although this is a Mimi Moment, I know you will rejoice with me: my 6 year-old granddaughter Emily Ruth was saved at the Garden Tomb on September 7, after her Daddy, Ulises Martínez, preached on The Sound of the Trumpet, and then gave the invitation. Please pray for the Lord to use her life in a very unique way; and that God would bless the ministry of Ulises and Elizabeth as our ambassadors to Israel. 

I hope the Lord will add some spice to your routine today. 

Your friend,
Billie Sloan
Nahum 1:7

Prayer Request List

November 16, 2018 

1.    Wisdom and discernment in all the plans and decisions to be made. 

2.    Extra strength for the ladies and me as we plan and make preparations. 

3.    For the wife of our City Mayor to be able to attend, as well as First Ladies of neighboring towns. We refer to ladies who are in positions of prominence as “First Ladies.” 

4.    For the wives of the former mayors, military women, and military wives; women on the police force, and wives of men on the police force; and pastors’ wives to be able to attend. 

5.    For extra finances for the cost of the Banquet. 

6.    Preparation of the special music, and choice of each song. This year we are excited to be having Missionary Francisco Aguirre and his wife, Celina attend. Their children will be a special part of our music program for the evening. 

7.    For our guest speaker, Pastor Alejandro Ramírez, as he prepares his message for the evening, and for liberty as he preaches. 

8.    For the Hotel staff to be reached with the Gospel. 

9.    That the Lord would prepare the hearts of the ladies who will be attending, and for many to be saved, who will be an influence to others. We have had ladies saved in every banquet for the past seventeen years, including six former First Ladies, three military wives, two ladies who have prominent positions in our city, and a policewoman. 

Note: This Banquet is an annual affair, and will be attended by ladies, who for the most part are unsaved, and who either because of religious preferences, or pressures from home, do not attend our Church. The Lord laid these dear ladies on my heart several years ago, and I am as burdened for them as I am for the ladies in my Sunday School Class. 

Billie Sloan

Prayer Letter - August 2018

You never know when surprise blessings will show up! Like getting to speak to a young Hispanic druggie about the Lord in Mississippi while out soul winning with my son in law, Jason Knabb’s church; and having Marcos listen to me; or getting to attend a concert at the end of a 4-day Music camp, and hear five of my grandchildren perform. 

 And then, there are the ones we pray for: like “Father, help me to be a blessing to the ladies where I will be speaking.” This is the prayer I pray everywhere I am invited to speak. Tradition, mainly helps me to look forward to the Spanish Family Conference in Bartlett, IL, near Chicago, where Pastor Elmer Fernández has invited me for the past eleven years. I believe the Lord answered my prayer during the 8 different times I spoke, including a Sunday school class of single Moms. But really, I am the one who is always challenged and blessed. The special thing about this conference, was getting to spend those days with my brother, Tommy Ashcraft. It is so rare that our paths cross during our travels, so this was a special surprise blessing. 

Our monthly Prayer Breakfasts continue to be well attended, mainly by lost ladies, but also by nearby pastors’ and missionaries’ wives, and ladies from our church. On July 25, when I gave the invitation, a nurse who was invited by one of the ladies in our church, was saved. 

If you have ever heard of Bro. Jimmy Adams, I’m sure you will agree with me that he has a passion for lost souls. He was a blessing to our church here July 6- 7, as he conducted a weekend Personal Evangelism Conference. Having lived on the mission field in México, and traveling to many Hispanic countries, he is fluent in Spanish. I, for one, was challenged to be more faithful in witnessing. 

 Two days after our conference was one of the highlights of the year in my ministry: our Vacation Bible School. I certainly do not do half the work that is required; but I do get to lead the opening exercise, sing with the children while playing my accordion; and then teach a lesson, and give the invitation. After crafts and games, the children get another opportunity to be saved since we always end each day with a Gospel message preached by the Pastor, or one of the men in the church. This year I am delighted to report that we had 12 children over the age of 7 to come forward for Salvation, and twenty-six little ones who didn’t quite understand. However the teachers spoke with them, also. 

At our last monthly visit to the Nursing Home, two elderly people, and a nurse on the staff were saved. Another surprise blessing! 

A blessing? As a mother, not entirely. But for my children, Ulises and Elizabeth Martínez, and their 3 children, definitely! A dream came true for them on July 25, as they landed in Tel Aviv, Israel to serve the Lord as His Ambassadors. I miss those surprise visits from their little village, just an hour away from here. But I’m surprisingly being blessed by knowing that “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth,” and that they are fulfilling God’s will. 

I hope God has many surprise blessings in store for you these next two months. 

Your friend,
Billie Sloan
Nahum 1:7

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Prayer Letter - June 2018

I’m sitting here in my office at home, and just changed my calendar to the month of June: time to let my friends know what has been going on…mission-work-wise…in my life the past two months. They have been busy ones, and there’s not much of a prospect of it slowing down for a while.

I returned home from my travels the first of April, and was honored to be the speaker for a Thanksgiving service for a lady who has survived a two-year battle with cancer. She was saved several years ago at our Ladies’ Christmas Banquet. 

Five days later, I flew to Monterrey, to attend the funeral of my sister in law, Brenda Ashcraft. While it was a blessing getting to spend time with my brother, Tommy, and his children and grandchildren, and my son, David, there was a cloud of sorrow that seemed to hang over us as we left the cemetery. But our comfort comes in knowing we’ll see her again someday in Heaven.

There is an Indian lady in our church, Micaela, who has a heart for lost souls. She recently accompanied her son in law, who is our pastor, and a group from the church to an Indian village, and taught a ladies’ class. I pray the Lord will continue to use her.

It isn’t often that I get to teach in English, but my daughter, Ruth Miller, invited me to speak at their Mother-Daughter luncheon in Fallon, NV on May 28. And what a special treat getting to see my friend, Cathy Flores, who also spoke, and sang.

From there I flew to Phoenix, AZ. Mrs. Esther Rubio, Pastor Steven Rubio’s wife, invited me to speak at their two-day Mother-Daughter Conference. I spoke 3 times, and taught the Ladies’ Sunday school class. Pastor Rubio also had me give my testimony that Sunday morning. 

Back home on the 7th and I spoke at our Mother-Daughter Banquet on the 11th. I gave the Plan of Salvation and an invitation. Although no one was saved, I know the seed was planted.

Pastor Albino has baptized three converts in the past month, including a young lady who was saved in the Conference hosted by our church. The first night there were over 400 in attendance. Over 30 people came forward for Salvation. 

Pastor Albino was invited to preach to a group of people a couple of hours from here, and an entire family was saved.

At our monthly Prayer Breakfast last Wednesday, there were five women from the police force who attended. When I gave the invitation, one of them was saved. Thank the Lord!

A lady in our church here recently came up to me and said, “Sister, the Lord takes such good care of you.” And I couldn’t agree more. I’m not a pioneer missionary, but there are times that I must put myself at risk, knowing that I’m doing the Lord’s will, and that He will protect and provide. And He does!

Your friend,
Billie Sloan

Nahum 1:7

Friday, May 4, 2018

Prayer Letter - April 2018

If you could have lined us all up on the same day, there would have been 46 of us. That was the number of my children and their families who attended our family reunion on March 12-19 in Decatur, TX. We had a wonderful time. Thank you to the Immanuel Baptist Church, and Pastor Louis Horton, who opened the mission house to us. Since it was Spring Break, we were able to use their beautiful educational facilities, complete with gymnasium, and kitchen. It was my privilege to teach the ladies on Sunday evening.

The ministry that my husband started back in the 70’s continues to flourish. Pastor Sebastian heads up the work in Chalchihuitán, and the men in the church here attended their Conference on February 10. Ten precious souls were saved! The next day, a family joined the Church here.

It was an honor to be able to participate in the Mount Hebron Conference February 19-22. Besides the joy of teaching three ladies sessions, I got to win a beautiful young lady to the Lord during soul willing after the morning session on Wednesday. And of course, the preaching was challenging. The “icing on the cake” was getting to spend special family time with my nephew, Pastor Jonathan Ashcraft, and his wife, Jenny and their 4 precious children; and then seeing 51 people lined up on the platform after the last invitation, surrendering to full time service!

The morning after returning home, the ladies and I made our monthly visit to the nursing home. We were saddened to hear that one of the residents, Dwoña Fulvia, had passed away. But what a comfort when one of the ladies said that she had won her to the Lord in one of our previous visits.

March 2, I traveled with Ulises and Elizabeth and their children to San Francisco, CA to participate in the Annual Workers’ Conference of the North Valley Baptist Spanish Church, where my son, David is pastor. I had a wonderful time teaching 2 sessions.

From there, we traveled to Dallas, TX on the 9 th to participate in the Spanish Mission Conference of the Fundamental Baptist Church in Gainesville, TX, with Pastor Omar Vera. I was asked to give my testimony the last night of the conference. After our family reunion in Decatur, I flew to El Paso to be with my son Joel, and Margaret and their two daughters.

I was able to speak a total of 15 times to different ladies’ sessions while I was away.

During my 2-week visit in El Paso, Joel and Margaret drove me to Lubbock, TX, so that I could be with my brother, Tommy Ashcraft and his family. I was looking forward to spending special time with my sister in law, Brenda, but on Easter morning, at 9:32, the Lord took her to Heaven. While our hearts are heavy, we know that her many years of suffering are over, and she’s in the presence of the Lord. Heaven just keeps getting sweeter.

Your friend,
Mrs. Billie Sloan
Nahum 1:7

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Prayer Letter - February 2018

Lots and lots of changes have taken place in my life since my last prayer letter.  I'm sure you've already noticed a major one if you saw my prayer head.  While I tend to rebel against change, I'm sure the ones taking place in my life right now are for my good, and for the good of so many others.

My home Church, Windsor Hills Baptist Church, recently changed not only its location, but also its name to Higher Plain Baptist Church.  Please notice, also the change in the address and phone number.  But thank the Lord, my Pastor is still Bro. Tom Vineyard.  And our doctrine hasn't changed.

The church here continues to grow.  There have been people saved through our bus routes and regular church services.  On December 15 and 16 at our Youth Conference here, there were 12 young people saved.  A lady was saved when I gave the invitation in my Sunday school class on Christmas Eve.

Our New Year's Eve Sunday morning service was held on the property where our new church building is being constructed.  The men are working very hard, in order to have it ready to move into by May.  So, it looks like another big change lies ahead.  For 34 years our church, which was started in our living room, has been on our property.  I'm preparing myself emotionally for this wonderful change, which means progress in the Lord's work.

We had our first Ladies' Prayer Breakfast of the year on January 31.  The wife of our City Mayor was present.  Since she became First Lady of our town, she hasn't missed one of our Ladies' Christmas Banquets; and she almost never misses a Prayer Breakfast.  She has been attending some of our services, and is hungry for the teaching and preaching of the Word.  She was saved in a Baptist church, but attends another church with her husband. 

Our speaker for our Prayer Breakfast was my daughter, Elizabeth Martinez.  Please keep her and Ulises in your prayers, as they will be departing for the USA in a few days, and continuing their deputation as missionaries to Israel.

I will soon begin my travels for the year.  While it is an honor to be invited to speak to ladies in different conferences, my heart is here.  The only reason I ever leave home is the hope that I can be a blessing to other ladies.

May the Lord help us to keep our focus on Him.

Your friend,
Billie Sloan
Nahum 1:7