Sunday, July 2, 2017

Prayer Letter - June 2017

Greetings from Israel!

I could write a book about all the things I have seen, learned and felt these past two and a half weeks since our arrival in this beautiful little country!  In 2008 I spent five days here with my son, David. There are still precious memories I hold dear to my heart from that visit.

Actually, my second trip here began on May 12. I flew from Chiapas to Chicago, and enjoyed a wonderful weekend with Pastor Gerardo Andrade, and his wife, Bethsaida. I was invited to speak at their Mother-Daughter Banquet on the 13th. One of the ladies who attended was saved after I spoke.  I enjoyed teaching her in the ladies’ Sunday school class the next morning.

Monday, I flew to New York City, and Tuesday afternoon met my daughter and her family at the airport. It was a happy reunion. Four months ago they left their home an hour from mine, and started deputation. The purpose of this trip is to let God speak to their hearts, showing them His exact plan for their lives and ministry here. And here we are, less than a week away from our departure, and I have been amazed, and at the same time comforted at the people with whom God has put in their path…six key men who know first-hand how they need to prepare to serve the Lord and His chosen people here.  I use the word “comforted” because I was invited to join my children on this trip so that I could see where they will be living, their lifestyle, etc. A few things still worry me, but the comfort I have felt outweighs my lack of faith. God will provide and God will protect. I have given my children to the Lord.

When we fly back to New York City on the 8th, I will have been here for three weeks…long enough to see, learn and feel unforgettable sights, facts, and emotions.

The first of April, it was an honor to speak twice to ladies from each of the two congregations my son, Joel pastors in New Mexico. I have come to love Living Water Baptist Church.

During my brief opportunities that I have had to connect to the Internet, and receive messages from home in Chiapas, I am thrilled to report that during my absence a man was saved, who is the husband of a lady who accepted the Lord in my ladies’ weekly Bible study several years ago.  Also the daughter of one of the faithful ladies in our Church was saved. This past Wednesday at our Prayer Breakfast, there was a record attendance of 37 ladies, including 13 women from the police force, and the mayor’s wife. The best part, though, was that when my daughter, Anna, finished speaking and gave the invitation, a lady was saved.

Our ladies continue with their hospital and nursing home ministries.  I could speak also of the 2 young people Pastor Albino recently baptized; and the progress of the church building the men are working on; and the completion of a semester at Bible college of two of our young men.

Sometimes I think I must be God’s pet.

Your friend,
Billie Sloan

Nahum 1:7

Prayer Letter - April 2017

If you were to walk into our church on a Sunday morning, you probably wouldn’t notice her. She would look like the other Indian single moms who attend our church.  What is so special about Micaela? She has raised three daughters and a son alone, who faithfully serve the Lord. Her son attends Bible College, and one of her daughters is the wife of our pastor.

But what I would like to tell you about Micaela is her love for the lost…especially for the people in her native village. She rides the bus there often, and gathers family and neighbors in one of the houses, and shares the Gospel message with them. Several of her family members have been saved.

Recently Micaela received a phone call at 2:00 a.m. from her nephew who was suicidal. Our church had been praying for him. He called to say, "I don't want to die; I want to live. But if I live, I need Jesus. Can you help me find Him?" Micaela led him through the plan of Salvation and he said, "Tía I'm kneeling in the street, and praying for Jesus to come into my heart. I'm giving my life to God."

So why do I love working with ladies? There are those saved in my ministry who will possibly never attend a church service, or become pastors’ wives. While my desire is to see every one of them serving the Lord, my joy comes from two sources: I have done what the Lord wants me to do, and the rest is up to the Holy Spirit. And they will have a home in Heaven when they die. But at the same time, like my husband would say, “I’m looking for another Micaela.”

In the month of February, I was invited to teach ladies in two different sessions in a conference at Mount Hebron in Monterrey, where my nephew, Jonathan Ashcraft is pastor. What a joy it was to spend a wonderful week with my brother, Tommy, his wife Brenda, and their children and grandchildren for the first time in several years.

On March 3, I flew to San Francisco, and participated in the Pastors’ and Workers’ Conference of North Valley Baptist Spanish Church where my son, David is now pastor. It was an honor to speak twice to different ladies’ sessions; I also gave my testimony on Sunday morning, and my daughter in law, Jolene, asked me to speak to her college ladies’ class the next morning.

On to Fallon, NV on the 10th, I enjoyed playing for the services of the Victory Baptist Church mission conference, where my son in law, Steve Miller is pastor. It was one of the best mission conferences I have ever attended, and their Faith Promise went far beyond what they had set for their goal. On Sunday morning, Steve baptized a family of four…the result of their bus ministry! That night, Steve asked me to share my testimony. What a joy it was to teach the ladies in Ruthie’s Thursday evening Bible Study.  It goes without saying, that both in California and in Nevada, I enjoyed getting to spend time with David and Jolene, and their 5 children; and Steve and Ruthie and their 8 children.

I am writing this from Chaparral, NM, and am having a wonderful time with Joel and Margaret, and my two granddaughters. I really have to move fast to keep up with them and their different ministries here. Lord willing, I return home to Chiapas on April 7.

I don’t know what else the Lord could do to show His love for me!

Billie Sloan

Nahum 1:7

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Prayer Letter - February 2017

The relationship I have with most of my readers is missionary – church. But even the church is made up of people who have other relationships. Outside my relationship with the Lord, the most important role I play in this life is that of mother/mother in law/grandmother. So you will see some of that in this prayer letter.

On January 19-22 I spoke 5 times to ladies’ sessions in a Family Conference in Tehuacán, Puebla, hosted by Pastor Fidel Palomo, and his wife, Verónica. My son in law, Ulises Martínez, and my daughter, Elizabeth also participated.

On the 24th, Ulises and “Fizzie” drove me to the bus station, where I waved good bye to them and their three children from the bus that would take me to the airport in Mexico City, for my return home to Chiapas. It would have been just another good bye, except for the fact that this would be our last visit for a long time, as they headed out for deputation.

Ulises and “Fizzie” have literally left all, to serve the Lord. To my surprise, they told me last summer that they had surrendered to go to Israel  as missionaries…surprised, because God has blessed their ministries in Ixtapa…too many to number in this letter. Ulises is an architect and built Fizzie a beautiful house. The pastor and his family that Ulises won and trained, will live in her dream house, and take over his works.  As I waved good bye to them that afternoon, I realized: every material possession they now have, is in their Van.

I’m getting adjusted to their not living an hour away; that phone call: “Mom, we’re coming up to take you out to lunch, and spend the night.”

So this is a prayer letter, in every sense of the word: please pray for my children as they do deputation; and for me as I give my children to the Lord. May He fill this void in my life with my service for Him.

How thankful I am for the joy of staying busy, every minute of my waking hours. I am surrounded by those in my church here, who love me, and see that I am taken care of. And thank the Lord for my daughter, Anna, and her husband, Andrés and their 3 children who live only two hours away.

Another Mimi moment: I have received three wonderful ‘phone calls since the first of the year: three of my little grandchildren, Caleb, Mark, and Olivia called with the same message: “Mimi, I just got saved.” I thank the Lord for my children, who are raising my grandchildren in such a way that they accept Him as their Savior at an early age.

A young deaf man recently accepted the Lord during a hospital visit of two ladies from my Sunday school class; and a young woman was saved when I gave the invitation at a baby shower where I spoke.

Lord willing, the first of March, I will begin my travels for the year. The Lord is so Good to me…putting kind people in my path everywhere I go. May He put someone in your path today who will be a blessing to you, and to whom you can be a blessing in return.

Your friend,
Billie Sloan

Nahum 1:7