Church of Christ
Mission USA
[printed in Sept. 2007 for Aug.]
Dear brethren,                                                         

       Greetings from preparing to "Go." We have accomplished much toward our preparations to be ready to "Go" by the target date of May 2008. There are things that cannot be done until nearer our departure time. In the meanwhile there is much to do in the work here and preparing to "Go," like the two new bulletins I have started to replace what we were doing with the "Good News." Only now it is Sandy and me doing almost all of the work on it.

      I would like to give a little more history of my work in order to help you see that I am dedicated to the new mission work. I obeyed the gospel in 1974 in a small congregation and have always been in small churches. I saw the problems of keeping a preacher and of other struggles of being small. It was there that I decided to prepare myself to preach and work with small congregations and try to spread the borders of the kingdom into areas where the church is not. In June of 1986 I entered into the Memphis School Of Preaching and elected to stay two full years (you could graduate with only one summer session).

      A few days before graduation (June 1988) bro. Cates ran into me at the door of the school building and stopped and talked with me. He had heard that I was going to a small congregation and said that was noble, but he encouraged me to consider going to a larger congregation where I could do more good. I told him the reason I began preaching and that I was going to stay with it – and I have. I have endured many disappointments, but of course we all do – even those of larger congregations. I have talked with other preachers about coming here to Shenandoah. One said, "No, it would be too discouraging." I know that in our new work there will be much discouragement, but I think we can handle it – with your prayers and support and God’s help – we know we can.

      As I said before, I thought of this work while at MSOP. Ever since my first full time work, we have had a good tract selection and promoted our BCCs. In my first work I had a study with 7 to 12 people in a remote area knowing that if they were converted they would not be able to come to our building! Sadly I never converted any of those, but in another study (through our BCC efforts) I did convert a lady who was closer to another congregation. In this area we have gone into the 14 county cluster where the church does not exist (N. of Richmond) and advertized our BCCs. We put a special issue of the "Good News" into Highland, Green, and Madison counties promoting our BCCs. My support letters tell of these efforts. I readily admit these are somewhat feeble efforts, but we did (thanks to our supporters) what we could with what we had. Now we want to do more, not less.

      We know that we cannot, by ourselves, cover those 702 counties but at the same time we need to be doing what we can. We hope and pray that others will "Go" with us and/or other teams working in other counties and states. And of course, we know other efforts are being put forth, but there is room for so much more!

      Some individuals have also said that they personally would like to help support the work financially. Others have said they would like to help in the work, door knock, etc., when we get started.
 
      Brethren, we are thankful for you who have already committed to the support of this work and again we know that there are many other good works and we are thankful for your support of them. We greatly appreciate your obedience to God, your vision, your courage, your love and concern for the lost, and your support of this great work. All of us can see the need for it! Obeying God and trusting in His way alone is enough to make us want to "Go." We trust and pray that many others will want to "Go" personally or at least by support. There is much more I would like to say, but space nor time will allow for it now. To sum up, as one elder was reported as saying: "It is perfectly Scriptural." If you find it is not, we beg you to tell us where, and IF it can be proven by God’s word we will change the plan. We are striving to follow God’s word in every detail. Yes there are shortcomings: In my/our abilities, in the number of workers, and financial support, but we trust the workers and support will come (Mk. 9:37, 38).

      May God bless all of His people as we strive to do His will in every area and in seeking the lost (I Cor. 3:7).

      In His Service, Perry & Sandy