The past year of furlough has been one of the busiest we've ever experienced. We have visited well over 100 churches, traveled over 50,000 miles, and God has been faithful. During this time, we've seen several people saved, called to preach, and surrender to missions. Additionally, we have picked up some much-needed support (95%) and provided updates to a majority of our supporting churches. We are excited to return to the islands and continue preaching the Gospel for the coming years.
In September, we worked alongside 10 churches in the Indianapolis area distributing over 12,000 pieces of Gospel literature and invitations during the three-week Gospel tent meeting. In the first week, we assisted with the Who Will Go School of Evangelism guiding 40 students through classes on sharing testimonies, articulating the Gospel, dealing with cults, and discipleship. Following the classes, we took the students out to practice what they had learned. One morning, as I was able to share the Gospel with a young man, He looked at me bewildered and said he had never heard that before and didn't really know how to process everything I just shared with him. A few weeks later, I was flying back from preaching at a Missions Sunday in California and was able to share my testimony and the Gospel with the lady seated next to me. This was the first time she had ever heard the Gospel. Both of these individuals have lived in the USA their whole lives. Both are in areas with churches. Neither had heard the Gospel before. Sadly, they haven't been saved yet, but I wasn't saved the first time I heard the Gospel either. Please pray for these two souls that God would allow them to reach back out to me or that God would send another witness and they would be saved.
Over a year ago the Lord laid it on our hearts to work with the other pastors to preach the Gospel in every village in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. We began praying about smaller tents and God provided! We also prayed about the need for sound equipment for the tents and God provided! The last major thing we need is a truck. We have been looking at a double cab truck that will seat 6 inside, and with a canopy and benches built on the back it will hold another 6+ people. This truck will enable us to move the tent and teams around when needed and be strong enough to navigate the mountain roads. The cost will be about $25,000 with all fees and taxes. We know this is a lot, but the van we have used for the last 8 years is no longer able to work for what we need. Please help us pray about this great need so we can begin the Every Village Project at the first of the year. We already have several local churches, groups from the USA, and other island countries offering to come and help. We desire to see souls saved and churches planted as a result of this effort.
In closing, I ask that you please keep my family in prayer as we fly out December 5th and transition back to the field. These days can be hard on the kids leaving family and friends and the excitement of the road to settle back into a routine. Thankfully, we have been able to ship our belongings, the kids Christmas presents, tents, chairs, sound systems, and several things donated to the churches. They should arrive about the same time as we do. Please pray that we can clear things easily and without much expense. There is no doubt in my mind that we are facing some of the most exciting days ahead. I can't wait to see what the Lord will do in the islands!
David Ballinger & Family