Dearly Beloved Friends,
"Have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late - and how little revival has resulted? I believe the problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying, and it simply will not work. To pray for revival while ignoring the plain precept laid down in Scripture is to waste a lot of words and get nothing for our trouble. Prayer will become effective when we stop using it as a substitute for obedience." (A.W. Tozer)
The entire month of July found me busy filling in for our Pastor as he took some time off for his daughter’s wedding as well as take some time off to decompress and refresh a bit. It is always a joy and honor for me to stand in the Sacred Desk where my Pastor has labored for so many years and share that which God has impressed upon my heart with God’s people through the preaching of His precious Word. We had a wonderful month at home with our church family!
(Immanuel Baptist Church to the left – Jubilee Baptist Church on the right)
Following the wonderful month of preaching for our home church family, we flew up to Alaska where I had the privilege of preaching at Immanuel Baptist Church of Kenai, and Jubilee Baptist Church of Sterling. I have had a long and fruitful relationship with Immanuel Baptist Church and truly enjoy laboring alongside my dear friend, Pastor Ray Boutwell. Brother Ray came to Alaska decades ago sent out of a church in Georgia as a missionary church planter. He was used of the Lord to establish a work on Kodiak Island where he ministered for several years before accepting a call to pastor the Kenai work, also a missionary church plant. I have preached at IBC every year for the past 13 years, and have always enjoyed much liberty there in the pulpit.
Jubilee Baptist Church is pastored by my son--in-law, Pastor Bill Wood. He came to Alaska with a veteran missionary church planter 14 years ago and helped establish Jubilee. Most of our grandchildren are active members of this work located near Scout Lake and the Kenai River. They serve the Lord in various ministry capacities. I preached several times for Jubilee while in Alaska, and thank the Lord for the opportunity to minister to the folks there from the Word of God.
While on the subject of Alaska ("The Final Frontier"), we are moving forward with plans to see a Filipino church plant established in that great state. As I have reported in the past, we are targeting Kodiak Island due to its large Filipino demographic, and Anchorage, a city with well over a quarter million residents and growing rapidly. This is another area with a large Filipino population. One of our southern California Filipino pastors is in contact with a veteran Filipino church planter in the Philippines who has an interest in Alaska. He will be sent out of a local church in the P.I. with a church here in America sponsoring him. I have sent out letters to pastors all over Alaska requesting their counsel and input, and have some men who are willing to help once the missionary is on the ground. We are planning a survey trip for some time next year. I have noted that Alaska's state motto is, "North to the Future." So, we are praying for God's will and guidance as we look to Him for the future of a Filipino work in that needy place. Please pray for this endeavor as we look to God for His guidance.
(Linda and little Brooklyn Wood – great-grandbaby # 7)
As much as I love to preach and minister to God's people, one of the highlights of our trip to Alaska was spending time with family. In addition to our daughter and son-in-law, all five of our grandchildren live in the Kenai area, and we now have eight great-grandchildren as well. What a blessing! We enjoyed meeting two new great-grandbabies born since we were last in Alaska a year ago. They are so precious! While there our daughter hosted a birthday party for Linda and our oldest grandson's wife who just turned 30 (hard to believe!). Then they surprised me by including me in the festivities as I will be turning 70 years old on October 9th. God is so good to me as I rejoice in my children, my children's children, and my children's children's children!
We will be in revival meetings in Canada in a few days after which I am praying that I will be able to schedule surgery to remove the mass in my bladder. According to the urologist, once the mass is removed the pathologist will determine whether or not it is a low grade or high grade cancer. That will determine whether or not I will need any follow-up treatment. Following surgery I will not be able to leave the country, travel too far, or lift anything heavy for at least a month. We are praying that I will be able to meet my fall revival meeting schedule here in California following surgery. Your prayers are much appreciated.
Please continue to pray for Linda's health needs. She is doing well in managing the Celiac Disease, but there are secondary issues associated with Celiac that she must also address. I know that she appreciates your prayer consideration.
* Prayer for safety as we travel.
* Souls to be saved in the meetings.
* Prayer for America and her desperate spiritual condition.
* Pray for Pastors who are preaching and teaching the whole counsel of God.
With Love and Warmest Regards,
Paul and Linda Mershon
“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now” (Philippians 1:3-5).