Monday, January 21, 2013

Starting A New Year

Dear Fellow Servants,   
                We hope that everyone enjoyed a blessed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. My family enjoyed using these times as we do every year to remember those things we are thankful for, celebrate the birth of our Lord, and setting out with new goals to make sure God’s will is fulfilled in 2013! God has blessed us in so many ways as we have seen His hand this past year while on deputation. As the new year begins, we look back at all we have seen accomplished, the many blessings we posses, and all that we can give to serve God even more in the new year.
                We began the month with Pastor Sturrock in Kilgore, TX and enjoyed a great service with him, his wife, church members, and young men from Texas Baptist College. We traveled on to Louisiana where we were given the opportunity to present in Magnolia Baptist Church, Haughton Baptist Temple, Zion Baptist Church, Faith Baptist Church, Faith Bible Baptist Church, and Central Baptist Church all located in the cities of Coushatta, Haughton, Oakdale, Morgan City, and Baton Rouge. We were privileged to meet so many different pastors and church members building new friendships every step of the way. During this time we were also able to visit in Lighthouse Baptist Church located in Sumrall, Mississippi; Iglesia Bautista Libertad located in Houston, Texas; and Fundamental Baptist Church located in Alvarado, Texas.
                December was a month we had been looking forward to with the opportunity to spend time with family and friends as we remained local visiting churches within the state of Texas. Central Baptist Church began our month as we traveled to Center, Texas to visit with Pastor Dodson and his congregation. We continued that month presenting in Iglesia Bautista Puerta Abierta pastored by Moises Herrera in Dallas and Central Baptist church pastored by Jerald Chadwick in Amarillo. All of these churches were such a blessing and encouragement to us as we finalized our deputation for the year 2012.
                I will be traveling alone to the Philippines for two and a half weeks in the month of January for the purpose of searching for land, meeting with building constructors, and government officials as we prepare to begin our ministry by the summer of 2013. All of these individuals are members of the church we will be working with, and I anticipate finalizing details for what is to come in the near future! I ask that you pray for wisdom in the many decisions that will come.  May God bless you!
                                                                                                                Sincerely,                                                                                                                                                                                                            Jared, Elyssa, and Gabriella Zapata

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The High Calling

Dear Fellow Servants,
Philippians 3:14 “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”  Our family has enjoyed a year of deputation, traveling, and having the opportunity to meet so many fellow Christians striving to spread the Gospel in their community and the whole world. The mark we are prayerfully pressing towards presently is 100 % support by the end of this year! We are excited and encouraged as God has provided many churches that are coming along side us in this endeavor!
            The month of September was a Mississippi month beginning with a great meeting in Carrier, MS at Sycamore Baptist Church, pastored by Paul Thigpen.  The next Sunday we had the privilege of presenting in Central Baptist Church and Caney Baptist Church in Hattiesburg and Lumberton, MS while Wednesday we dropped in on Bible Baptist Church pastored by Rick Carter in Gulfport, MS. It was great timing as we were given a chance to be a small part in their mission’s conference. The next week, Saturday 15th – Friday 21st, consisted of a very exciting mission’s conference at Charity 
Baptist Church in Brookhaven, MS, pastored by Tim Gordon.  We began the close of the month in our home state of Texas visiting with Caprock Baptist Church, Bible Believer’s Baptist Church, and Fundamental Baptist Church. We met with Pastor Gene Foster, Glen Stocker, Gary Miller while bringing September to a close with W. R. Workman, pastor of First Baptist Church in Parker, KS. It was an honor getting to know each of these men of God and their church families who were a great blessing to us.
            The month of October would be a very full month of travel as we were scheduled to be in Kansas, Colorado, and Nebraska. The Lord provided for us each step of the way, and we were able to see His hand work multiple times! We began in Nebraska, Wednesday 3rd – 17th, visiting in Bible Baptist Church, Anchor Baptist Church, First Baptist Church, Lincoln Baptist Church, and Riverside Baptist Church, all within the cities of Scottsbluff, Plattsmouth, Lincoln, and North Platte. Every visit throughout these months provide opportunities to be a part of mission’s conferences, stay in the homes of the pastors, visit with many church members, and fruitful soulwinning! It was an encouraging time for each and every one of us. By Sunday October 21st we were in Colorado visiting in Iglesia Bautista Elmwood and Gethsemane Baptist Church who blessed us with their kindness and speaking opportunities. We ended the month visiting with Amazing Grace Baptist Church, Sunrise Baptist Church, and Wichita Heights Baptist Church all within the Kansas’ cities of Kansas City, Oakley, and Wichita.
                There is truly no greater blessing than having the privilege of serving God together as a family, singing, presenting, preaching, fellowshipping, and best of all soul winning!  You, as a fellow prayer warrior and supporter are a major part of each soul won and life reached. God bless you for your faithfulness.

Pastor Dean MIller

A homecoming meal at Central Baptist Church

Gabriella making new friends at Charity Baptist Church

Jared, Pastor Painter, Pastor Haley

Teen singing group at Lincoln Baptist Church

Mrs. Swope singing with her two daughters

Monday, October 8, 2012

Kicking Against God's Will

Dear Reader,
                Acts 9: 5 “And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.”
                Have you ever been at a place in life where you feel God has burdened your heart to do a certain task or surrender in a certain area? Perhaps inside we know it is what we should do and yet our flesh gets the victory and stops us from obeying God’s call? It was the same situation with Saul and if we are not careful we too could be kicking against the pricks, fighting against what we know is right to do. We soon find out that it would be much easier and cause less pain on ourselves and our families if we simply quit kicking and give into what God is calling us to do. I know I have to ask myself often is there an area in my life in which God is wanting to use me? Am I constantly kicking against the pricks causing pain not only to myself but my family? Time to quit kicking and surrender to every area God would have me serve and follow Him.
                The month of September is here and gone as we traveled to Mississippi for three weeks of churches and missions conferences! September  5th we headed out for Gulfport, Mississippi where the Lord allowed us to have a place to stay for the first two weeks of our visit. The Beams Bible Parsonage was a beautiful place for us to home base from and we felt thoroughly at home as we made our ways to different churches. We were able to visit with Sycamore Baptist Church pastored by Paul Thigpen, Central  Baptist Church pastored by Dean Miller, Caney Baptist Church pastored by Roger Miller, Bible Baptist Church pastored by Rick Carter, and a missions conference at Charity Baptist Church pastored by Tim Gordon. It has been an exciting, busy, and encouraging time for each of us. These churches have given so sacrificially, and we are in constant amazement of how God supplies all of our needs.
                Gabriella has grown so much not only in height and size but also in personality. Every church we are able to visit she is sure to say hi to everyone in her girly fashion. With every hi she throws out there everyone seems to melt and fall in love with her. She has been such a blessing to us and has truly filled our lives with even more happiness and joy. 
                As the months come to a close and the year to an end, we are now beginning to contact all the churches we have had the opportunity to visit and update them on our progress and inquire on future support beginning next year. We are praying to be on the field by next year and that we reach our goal of being at 100% support by the end of December. I know God can meet our needs as He has so many times within the year we have been on the road. I ask that you pray with us as we continue on to present and visit in churches; that each will be able to be a part of “Reaching the Next Generation”.

Gabriella making a friend

Our Family

Preaching and presenting our ministry
Pastor Tim Gordon praying for the missionaries who attended his Missions Conference

Missionaries to Columbia singing a special

Praying for the offering at Pastor Dean Miller's church

Friday, September 7, 2012

Leaving Full And Returning Empty

Dear Reader,
                Ruth 1: 21a “I went out full and the Lord hath brought me home again empty:” I certainly can state that God has truly filled my life with undeserved blessings. I find that the more I continue to serve Him the more He seems to continue to “fill my cup” more and more. Now as a family we continue to do what we can for the lives of others and persevere to reach our goals of serving on the mission field. As God continues to bless us, we want to continue to give of ourselves to others.  The example revealed in the verse stated above portrays a lesson of what occurs when someone who has been given so much by God throws it away with greed and selfish desires and in the end reaps an empty life. The reverse is true, however, as God will continue to overflow our lives with blessings the more we continue to give back to Him. My prayer for myself and my family is that we use all that God has given us to serve and bring glory to Him.
                August 19th, what a great weekend it was as we traveled from one state to another within the same day. Sunday morning we presented in Lighthouse Baptist Church pastored by Pastor Andrew Reed in Cortez, Colorado. Lighthouse Baptist is a great ministry doing a great job in reaching their community with the Gospel. Sunday night we drove to Pastor Quinn’s church, Bible Baptist Church, in Aztec, New Mexico where we had the opportunity to build a friendship with many of the members and staff. Wednesday, August 22nd, we were able to visit with Pastor Chitty and his fine members who welcomed us with kindness and allowed us to use their prophet’s chamber while in the area. We were able to meet many of the Navajo families and enjoyed our stay with Open Bible Baptist Church.  Sunday, August 26th we returned to Chaparral, New Mexico with Pastor Sloan and presented our work in the Sunday morning service of Living Water Baptist Church. What a great ministry is being done here not only for the English community but also the Spanish! We were able to attend both services meeting many fine Christian families. We also had the pleasure of celebrating Pastor Sloan’s birthday and what a great time that was.  He and his family were such a blessing to us as they allowed us to stay in their prophet’s chamber at different times during our trip to New Mexico. That night we made the five hour drive to Rio Grande Baptist Church to present and meet with Pastor Boggs and church members. This church does a fine job and is a great example in giving to help other ministries flourish. We were able to see and have the privilege of helping load trailers with pews, clothes, chairs, etc to be shipped to churches in Mexico. Wednesday night we drove north once more to be in Santa Fe, New Mexico to present and meet with Pastor Velazquez. We thoroughly enjoyed our month spent in New Mexico and the many opportunities we were blessed to have to present “Reaching the Next Generation.”
                Please pray as we will be spending the month of September in Mississippi and are looking forward to the great work God will do.
Alyssa Sloan and Gabriella
Pastor Quinn's daughter playing the piano beautifully
Gabriella's new friend, Alyssa Sloan

Children's Choir

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Treasures of the Heart

Dear Reader,
                The Bible states in Matthew 6: 21 “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” A familiar verse, yet still rings out such an important truth of a heart given away. In the human mind are the desires to hold tightly to all that we own and possess here on earth. The very thought of sacrificing those things that are dear in possession or riches comes as a difficult task as it is so easy to selfishly hold on.  Even when sacrifices are made, the true rewards are not always seen immediately. Thoughts, as to whether this is truly where God would have my heart, infiltrate the mind in those times of hardship and temptation; however, in reading this verse we see the truth and the faith behind the decision to give God our heart. In reality to take a part our heart piece by piece and constantly give it to possessions, riches, property, or selfish desires will lead only to destruction. When the Lord returns all these things that are thought of as important here on earth will lie in ashes and be destroyed. Our heart is given over to what is to become ashes and all the rewards the Lord holds for us will not be given as a result. As Christians let us do all we can to allow God to have our heart and therefore use our lives, talents, possessions, and riches to accomplish and see His will fulfilled.

                An entire month in the state of New Mexico is what the Lord provided for us as we traveled out August 4th to arrive in Chaparral, NM with Pastor Joel Sloan who graciously gave us a place to stay. We are looking forward to the many churches, people, and pastors we are going to have the privilege in meeting. August the 5th we were able to attend and present in both Hacienda Baptist Church and Westside Baptist Church. That Sunday we traveled from Las Cruces, NM to El Paso, TX for services and the Lord provided such great blessings along the way. We never cease to be amazed at all the opportunities the Lord allows in our lives even when unexpected. Wednesday Night, August 8th, we dropped in on Cornerstone Baptist Church pastored by Doug Cowan and enjoyed a great service. He too allowed us a few minutes to tell of our burden and mission work. Sunday, August 12th, we prepared for another day of visiting with two different churches. We began in the Spanish department of New Heights Baptist Church pastored by Alfred Gomez. He allowed me to preach to the teenagers and present to the congregation and how exciting that was. Sunday night we met with Pastor Jared Newlove and his church, Good News Baptist Church with a second opportunity to present, sing, and preach! We had a fantastic service and made a great friendship with Pastor Jared and his family. Wednesday Night we returned to New Heights Baptist Church to be with the English congregation and Pastor David Reyes. What was to be a simple drop in and unscheduled visit turned into even a greater blessing as we were asked to present and sing, while also having the opportunity to preach to both the teens and the evening service! God does great things while serving Him!
                We have enjoyed New Mexico and its beauty as we are constantly observing different parts of the desert while on the road. We are looking forward to the next six churches and pray that the Lord will continue to work in a powerful way.

Gabriella with Bro. Joel Sloan

Teaching a teen Sunday School class

Presenting for Pastor Gomez

Gabriella enjoying a ride

Kids viewing our display

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Stand Against Evil

Dear Reader,
                Persecution, ridicule, and torture have been the consequences for many Christians who have dared to stand for the truth found in the pages of our Holy Bible. The many stories that flood from the history books of how Satan has targeted those who would try to make a difference in the world around them are heart touching and life motivating. Because we have the privilege to live in America where at this time we have the freedom to worship and serve God in our own way, we tend to easily lose sight of what was sacrificed and what it truly means to stand for right. Sadly, what our forefathers suffered could very well return as the world, as we know it, continues to become worse and against that which pertains to the one true God. As the Bible teaches Christians are continually putting on the whole armor of God as a defense to what Satan is putting forth. Within our travels, through what we have seen, and what we have heard Satan is using sin and people to tear apart churches and ministries that are producing and doing a great work for God. Churches who are taking a stand are being persecuted and betrayed by those who proclaimed to be loyal and many being forced to close their doors and members leave for what seems to be an easier road. We are seeing certain freedoms slowly being taken away, Christ being removed, and many different changes occurring with Christianity today! How it is so important that as Christians, together, we place upon ourselves the very armor and protection that the Lord has provided through His Word so that through all the is presently occurring and the persecution that is to come we might continue on for the Lord Jesus Christ.
                July began within the state of New Mexico as we visited City Baptist Church and Iglesia Bautista Fuente De Luz within the city of Albuquerque. Monday, July 2nd, we traveled on to Arizona where we would spend the rest of our time before returning back for Youth Revival at Parkside.  Beginning on July the fourth and ending on July fifteenth, we had the privilege of visited Coronado Baptist Church, East Valley Baptist Church, Valley Baptist Church, Freeway Baptist Church, Casa Grande Baptist Church, and Iglesia Bautista De Sahuarita all within the cities of Tucson, Mesa, Phoenix, Casa Grande, and Sahuarita. What a great experience it was to meet these Arizona pastors and to witness firsthand the great work God was allowing them to do.
                July sixteenth was a fourteen hour drive home as we were looking forward to visiting with our home church once again. On July eighteenth we dropped in on Trinity Baptist Church in Arlington, TX and were able to visit with our good friends, Bro. Mark, Mrs. Laura and Chelsea! Sunday, the twenty-second began Youth Revival and what a great revival it was! With many sessions of great preaching, excitement, evening services, and more our hearts were encouraged and rekindled to do more in God’s service. July twenty second was Gabriella’s first birthday and how excited we were to celebrate with family and friends! Time truly flies when watching your little ones grow!
                To finish off the month of July, God allowed us to visit two churches pastored by the Ogdie brothers, Trinity Baptist Church of Wills Point and Woodland Hills Baptist Church of Tyler. What great services we had and a great time of fellowship as we were able to meet two men and churches on fire and serving God!
                We pray that as we continue on in God’s will that He will give us the strength to shield ourselves from the evil of this world and allow us to do our part in reaching the world for Jesus Christ.
Arizona Mountains

Preaching at Iglesia Bautista Sahuarita
Us with Bro. Mark, Mrs. Laura and Chelsea

Youth Department of Parkside Baptist Church

Paintball Activity during Youth Revival

Youth Revival Decorations

Gabriella's First Birthday Pictures

Gabriella's First Birthday Pictures

Gabriella's First Birthday, July 22

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Memories That Last

Dear Reader,
                Each day that we have on earth can and will impact those around us in some way. We see the importance of family and the warmth, love, and care that comes from their hearts. We experience the connection to those closest to us that seem to bring them into our lives as family, brothers and sisters. Church family that gathers to your side for support and guidance, and all these combined allowing our lives to have meaning and a chance to influence others.  In one moment, we look back and find how important those people in our lives have meant to us, their families, their laughter, their tears; and we come to realize how blessed we are to have them in our lives. When they are gone before us into Heaven their memories carry on in our heart and in our minds that we could carry on for what they had lived for and look forward to seeing them once again in Heaven.
                Sunday, June 24th, we were able to be in Faith Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Frank Fason. We began with a great lesson in Sunday school by Pastor Fason, and for church I was able to have the children for a time of children’s church! What a great time we had as we returned that night for yet another great sermon from Pastor Fason. It was a blessing to be there with the members of Faith Baptist and Gabriella grew attached to Pastor Fason quickly!
                We rushed back home right after church to be able to be home throughout that week as we received the news of a very dear friend passing into Heaven early Saturday morning. Bro Johnny Bryant was a very dear person in my life and their family being closely tied to mine for many years. We attended his funeral as many great things were said to comfort the family and memories stated to recognize his life while on earth. He will be missed but take joy in his pain free life in Heaven.
                Wednesday I had the privilege to fill the pulpit at my father-in-law’s church, Iglesia Bautista Fundamental, and a great service it was! I was excited to have family there as well as families from my church who had come to visit. I preached a sermon on my heart called “Who Hath Sent You?” as God worked in the hearts of many with many decisions made. The Lord truly can work through those who simply surrender their lives over to Him.
                Saturday we head to New Mexico and are looking forward to our visit there! Together, let us remember that memories made are what will be left behind when we are gone.
Faith Baptist Church in Naylor, AR

Pastor Fason with Gabriella

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Preaching in Lewisville, TX
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