Monday, October 21, 2019

Prayer Request List

November 22, 2019
  1. Wisdom and discernment in all the plans and decisions to be made.

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

  1. For our Lady 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.”

  1. 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.  

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

  1. Preparation of the special music, and choice of each song.  

  1. For our guest speaker, Pastor Ezequiel Salazar, as he prepares his message for the evening, and for liberty as he preaches.                                

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

  1. 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 eighteen 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 - October 2019

Maybe it’s my age, but I realize more and more how urgent is my responsibility to get the Gospel to everyone; and how important my ministries are. Especially, if you work with children, never take for granted your ministry. The morning of August 16, I received an urgent message from our pastor’s wife: “Please go to the church as soon as you can. Maryorli passed away early this morning, and we want everyone there to meet the family.”  You would have to know the customs here to understand the urgency of her message. Pastor Albino was a funeral director before becoming pastor of our church. So he frequently gets requests to help with funerals. He was going to Maryorli’s house to pick up her body, and the family, and drive them to the church, where a service would be held in her memory.  After Pastor Albino preached a Salvation message, several people were saved. 

Who was Maryorli? She was a 9 year-old girl who was saved in our July 22-26 Vacation Bible School. Three weeks later, she was in Heaven. I don’t have to describe the devastation of her parents. Can anything be more heartbreaking than the death of a little child? But from her father’s testimony, she had planned to be baptized. He said she would line up her little cousins in their patio after Bible School, and teach them the lessons she had learned. Then she very dramatically would give the invitation with, “If you don’t get saved, you’re going to hell. I’m saved, and I’m going to Heaven when I die.”

And she surely did! Praise the Lord for the army of men and women and young people who invested in Maryorli’s life, through the workers on the bus route on which she rode; through the Vacation Bible School workers, and for the lady who led her to the Lord when I gave the invitation that day. Your labor is not in vain!

My soul winning partner and I recently knocked doors in a neighborhood near the church. The lady who came to the door was the maid. The lady of the house was gone. So I witnessed to her. She said she was working, but was interested in getting saved. I respected the fact that we were speaking to her on time that she was being paid to do housework.  She promised me to read the tract I left for her, and after work, she would accept the Lord. I told her, “I’ll be back next week, and see if you kept your promise.” When we returned the next week, the lady of the house had just driven off, and Hilda was reluctant to open the door. I plan to return tomorrow, and as often as needed to make sure she is saved.  

Excitement is at an all-time high around here, as we are only a few weeks away from November 22, and our 21st Annual Ladies’ Christmas Banquet. As always, finances are always a big issue. But I told the ladies last week: “This Banquet is an adventure to me. I can’t wait to see how God is going to provide the money for every area.” He always does, and I know He will do it again this year. Everything invested in this event…money, time, prayers, and work…are worth it all. We see ladies saved every year, whom I will see in Heaven someday…

…just like I’ll see Maryorli!

Your friend,
Billie Sloan
Nahum 1:7

Prayer Letter - August 2019

My travels for the year have ended. And although I love my home here in Chiapas more than any other place in the world, I’ll have to say that I made some pretty special memories during my travels from February until July. 

Even though I’m not always here to be involved in all the activities of the church, Pastor Albino continues to lead the work, including people being saved and baptized, and new ministries started, and new bus routes begun. 

On June 7, I arrived in Jackson, MS, and although my luggage didn’t until the next night, it was wonderful to be greeted by my son in law, Jason and daughter, Sarah and their 6 children. It was so special getting to join them as they visited several churches, raising support to return to Mexico as missionaries.  Please pray that they will soon have their support raised, and be back on the field. During my visit, Sarah invited me to speak to a group of Hispanic ladies with whom she has worked during the last few years.

As tradition has it, for 12 years I have been honored to be a part of the Hispanic Family Conference in Bartlett, IL, with Pastor Elmer Fernández the week of June 17-21. I taught six different ladies’ sessions, and as always, was challenged by the teaching and preaching.

My last trip of the year was a very unique one: I flew to Monterrey with my daughter, Anna, to attend the wedding of my brother, Tommy Ashcraft, and Emily Knight. My sister in law, Brenda, passed away in April of last year, and the Lord has provided a wonderful helpmeet for my brother, and a very sweet sister in law for me. Emily has lived at Mount Hebron for several years, and is very involved in the ministry. I am happy to have her as part of our family.

I enjoy going soul winning with our ladies, especially when someone is saved…like my neighbor just around the corner. Several years ago, I took a new convert with me, and we went downtown soul winning. I won an older lady who was a shop keeper to the Lord. Later I asked Dali what she thought about witnessing. I could tell she wasn’t too happy. She said, “You have to be very bold.”

That was five years ago. Yesterday afternoon, I ask her to give her testimony at our ladies’ Bible Study. She told about winning her husband’s 90 year-old grandfather, and 89 year-old grandmother to the Lord. She brought a friend with her, who is unsaved. Right there in front of everyone, she witnessed to her, and urged her not to put off Salvation. And she thought I was being bold! Dali is a cancer survivor. Two things her plight accomplished: she appreciates the small things in life; and she has become very bold in her witnessing. I thank the Lord for Dali.

My daughter, Anna, recently won a 9 year-old boy, Kevin to the Lord, as they were returning from Music Camp. He lives in her town, and he was ready to be saved. 

One of the most fun times of the year for me is our Vacation Bible School, during the month of July. The children keep me feeling young, as I teach, and play my accordion for the songs. This year, the church took care of organizing, financing, and providing lunch each day for the children. We had a high attendance of 247, and 30 professions of faith, including several mothers who attended with their children. Sunday there were close to 300 in attendance for the closing ceremony. 

Sad, but thankful to the Lord, I told my daughter, Elizabeth, and her husband, Ulises, and their four children in San Francisco, CA, good bye over the phone from my home here Tuesday night, as they boarded a plane that would take them to Tel Aviv, Israel. After a 15-hour non-stop flight, they landed safely Wednesday afternoon. The fact that they are so, so happy to be “back home” gives me joy. Although it doesn’t keep me from missing them, I’d rather my children be on another continent, in the center of God’s will, than an hour from here, and out of His will. May God give them  many souls for their labors.

And may He bless you with fruit for yours, as we serve Him.

Your friend,
Billie Sloan
Nahum 1:7

Prayer Letter - June 2019

“There’s no place like home,” has never been truer to me than it has in the past few days. The months of April and May found me, for the most part, away from my beautiful mountain home. But I will say, I made some mighty precious memories, and lots of new friends! God is so Good to me!

It was my honor to have been part of the Ladies’ Conference in the Montecito Park Baptist Church,  Pastor Ezequiel Salazar, in Ontario, CA on April 5th and 6th. I enjoyed speaking twice to the huge audience of ladies. And Mrs. Miriam Salazar as always, was the perfect hostess.

I returned to Chiapas on the 8th, and instead of coming home, Ulises and Elizabeth Martínez drove me to Ixtapa, where I enjoyed a few days with them before coming home. I covet your prayers for them, as they are planning to return to Israel shortly. I am managing to spend special time with them between my travels.  I attended a Bible study that Ulises started in the home of Claudia Fierro, a single lady who works in Israel. She attended our Banquet last year. She and her family are Christians, and although she has already returned to Israel, her family invited Ulises to hold Bible studies in their home.

Now for a Mimi Moment: my grandson, Thomas Gregory, the son of Andrés and Anna, was saved on April 14, after my granddaughter, Sophie, Ulises and Elizabeth’s daughter, gave the invitation in her children’s class. The following Sunday, Ulises baptized him. I don’t know if a 6 year old can be filled with the Holy Spirit. But I have never seen an adult rejoicing like that little boy did during his baptism. I pray the Lord will use his life in a very unusual way.

Then on May 1, I flew to Orlando, Florida, where Karina Armendáriz met me at the airport, and drove me to the beautiful 5 bedroom-house that would be my home for the next 5 days. I was there for a ladies’ conference, the 2nd – 4th. I was honored to speak 5 times. But the special thing about this conference, and the reason for my huge home away from home, was that my daughter, Sarah Knabb, and her husband, Jason, and their 6 children would be sharing it with me. Sarah was also one of the conference speakers. Because they are doing deputation to return to México the first of next year, Jason spoke the following Sunday for Pastor Jorge Armendáriz, and presented his burden for Quintana Roo. 

Upon my return home, I spoke at our Mother-Daughter Banquet here in my church. I was happy to see one of our former First Ladies present, who was saved a few years ago.

Two days later, I drove a group of ladies from the church to a town about 45 minutes away, and spoke at another Mother-Daughter Banquet. 

On May 14, my daughter, Anna, and her daughter, Debbie and I flew to Mexico City, where a young man from the Mount Abarim Baptist Church in Cuernavaca picked us up. Pastor Alejandro Ramírez, and his wife, Rosie, treated us royally. There were about 300 ladies who attended the three-day conference. In one of my invitations, I noticed one of the ladies in the church speaking to a girl who raised her hand for Salvation. I was honored to speak 5 times, including the ladies’ Sunday school class the following Sunday. And once again, the Lord provided family time, with my daughters, Anna and Ruthie, and my daughter in law, Liz, Philip’s wife, who were also speakers. Debbie participated in the special music.

The girls returned home on Saturday, but I stayed until Sunday afternoon, when a couple of young men from Iguala picked me up, and drove me two hours to the Faith Baptist Church. I was invited to speak  7 times in their two-day ladies’ Conference. I have not stopped talking about that amazing work since I returned home. The young pastor, Pastor Ivan Sotelo, and his beautiful wife, Eunice, have four precious children. They have taken in three more children, who are siblings. Their parents are serving time in prison, and to rescue them they took them into their own home. They call them “Daddy and Mama.” 

On the plane coming home, I sat beside a very friendly lady. I discovered that she works in government, and was returning home from a meeting she had the day before with our lady mayor. I invited her to our ladies’ events, and she has kept in touch through texting. 

During my absence, our church here had a three-day conference. Twenty people were saved, and another 20 came forward for special service for the Lord. 

At our Prayer Breakfast May 29, there were three ladies present from the police force; one of them accepted Christ; another one was at church that night.

May God fill your life with amazing unexpected blessings!

Your friend,
Billie Sloan
Nahum 1:7

Prayer Letter - April 2019

Greetings from the state of Nevada, where I am enjoying a visit with my daughter, Ruthie, and her husband Steve Miller, and their 8 precious children.  I enjoyed attending the Victory Baptist Church yesterday, where Steve is pastor. I was fed spiritually through his teaching and preaching; and then rejoiced with them as he baptized a young couple, who are “on fire for the Lord.”

My ladies’ ministries, which I love, keep me busy, and often on the go. 0n February 2, I enjoyed taking a road trip with my daughter, Anna and her family. We were invited to speak at a ladies’ conference in a church about 2 hours away.   The pastor’s wife, Xiclaly was the perfect hostess, and I was so touched by their faithfulness, although they meet practically in the open, with only a fence for walls. The Conference was crowned with three ladies being saved when Anna gave the invitation. 

What a happy reunion I had with my daughter, Elizabeth, and her husband, Ulises Martínez, and their three precious children on February 5, when they returned from Israel.  Five days later, I went for a visit to Ixtapa, and got to teach their ladies’ Sunday school class. I am amazed at how the work has not only remained faithful, but has grown by leaps and bounds during their absence. They recently ordained two more pastors. The purpose of this visit was to attend the baptism of my 6 year-old granddaughter, Emily. The pastor whom Ulises trained, baptized an Indian man who is 111 years old. His testimony was translated from his dialect to Spanish. When the pastor asked him where he was going when he died, he raised both hands and said, “I’m going to walk on streets of gold.” 

Their desire is to return to Israel in May. Please pray that the Lord will provide the visas they have applied for, and money for their plane tickets.  Thank you for your prayers.

February 18-21 I was invited to speak to two different ladies’ sessions in the Fires of Evangelism Conference at Mount Hebron near Monterrey, where my nephew, Jonathan Ashcraft is pastor.  He was also my soul winning partner on Wednesday, and he won 2 men to the Lord. The last night of the conference 37 people surrendered to serve the Lord. 

The day after I returned home was our monthly visit to the Nursing Home. There were two precious people saved. 

March 1, I traveled to California, and spoke to the ladies in the Hispanic Conference in the Church where my son, David is pastor.  I was asked to share my testimony on Wednesday night. 

Then I traveled to Dallas. Joshua Baptist Church, Pastor Gene Wolfenbarger, has supported me for almost as long as I have been a widow. March 9, I spoke at the Ladies’ Conference in their Spanish Church, with Pastor Jorge Franco. When I gave the invitation, a precious mother-to-be was saved. 

That afternoon, my daughter, Sarah, and her four daughters drove me to Gainesville, where Pastor Omar Vera is pastor of the Hispanic Fundamental Baptist Church. The next morning I taught the ladies’ Sunday school class, and again that evening. Pastor Vera spoke with me after the evening service, and their church is going to pay the plane ticket for our Banquet speaker this year. “Thank you, Pastor!”

I am so thankful for the blessing of being able to mix ministry trips with time with my children. Once again, the Immanuel Baptist Church in Decatur, TX, hosted our Family Reunion this year. Pastor Horton, and his precious wife, Joyce and the members outdid themselves, providing not only lodging in their beautiful “Mission Mansion,” but since it was Spring Break, we were also able to use the Christian School Facilities. “Thank you, Pastor Horton!”

From there I traveled to Chaparral, NM, as I do every year, and enjoyed family/ministry time with my son, Joel, Margaret and Alyssa. This year was a little different, because Desi is in Bible College in California. She is an excellent student, and her family is adjusting very well to her not being home. I was honored, not only to be able to play the piano for the services of Living Water Baptist Church, but also I taught twice: to the Hispanic ladies, and to the English-speaking ladies. It was so special for me to get to attend their two different nursing home ministries. I am amazed at how different Nursing Homes in the USA are to those in México. The people are just as precious. But it seems that the elderly people in the USA are more familiar with church services, and many of them have been Christians for years. It delighted me to see them clapping and lifting their hands when they get happy during a song. 

I do not know what God could do for me more than He already has done, to show His love for me every single day! I’m sure you will agree.

Your friend,
Billie Sloan
Nahum 1:7

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