Dear friends and family,
This spring has been a challenge at Blandland. Bernie was hospitalized with what we thought might be a heart attack but after three days it was diagnosed as shingles. She has been suffering with it for eight weeks now. She is living on pain pills. It came at a time when I had gout and was off several days. We were out of the office the week before with gout.
A call on Saturday night from Doris Stevens’ daughter, Eunice, was that her mother was in serious condition and wanted to talk to me. She only got a few words out between gasps for air. Those struggling words were “You bury me. Next to Pa”, which is what she called her husband, Rev. Leonard Stevens. Bernie and I went over in the morning to Lakeland about two and a half hours west of us. We were able to pray with her and she just calmed down from the strain of breathing. It was within an hour she went to be with the Lord. Bernie and I went to Chillicothe, Ohio for the viewing, the funeral the next day and burial at Richmondale.
I was so behind at the office and Bernie not able to be left alone, I called our daughter, Cathy Lynn, and she came to take care of her mom and dad. What a wonderful daughter and son we have been blessed with. Such a load off me, not only that Bernie had such good care, but I was able to get caught up on the work and the world of TMI, AIDS Orphans, Third World Missions and Motorcycle Sunday School Missions.
During Easter week, the six Big Tops are going up at the Lord’s Boot Camp. Over 700 kids and leaders are signed up for this summer. Over 3,000 are going on our overseas teams in 38 Boot Camps. A request from Crossroads television ministry in Toronto, Canada (equivalent to the 700 Club TV station in the US) asking for the Old Testament Tabernacle to commemorate their 50th anniversary. So Howard and Mary Vanderpool put it in high gear to get the new Tabernacle finished by the last of May when it will be moved to Canada to be set up. Crossroads TV covers all of Canada and a good part of the eastern US. The other Old Testament Tabernacle we have is being moved to Harrisburg, PA, and will be set up the second week of May until October. Shiloh Christian Union Church is sending an adult work team, led by Don Proudfoot to help us get the Tabernacle completed on time. What a help!
I was invited to be at the Iowa Christian Union State Missionary Conference at Jericho Hills. It was a great time and on Sunday, I spoke at Fairview CU in the morning, CEF state rally in the afternoon and Milo CU in the evening plus drove 100 miles. It was a long but very blessed day at each place. The people of Iowa were so great and I enjoyed the time so much. Cathy stayed with Bernie, which allowed me to go.
I will speak at Calvary Chapel of Merritt Island on May 8th. We have several staff who go there and it is close to TMI. It is a great church and very missions-minded. We hope to go to PA and Canada for the Tabernacle set ups and maybe to Indianapolis, Indiana to check on a church investment. The annual TMI board meeting starts the last day of May and ends June 2. Boot Camp Leader Seminar follows with Boot Camp next. There are several overseas staff coming and there will be several meetings with them. So it is a very busy time right up until Boot Camp and then things really crank up. What a privilege to be involved in the Lord’s work! Catherine Noel, our granddaughter, is leading a team to South Africa.
The work overseas is going well. There are 76 Motorcycle Sunday Schools operating. We are asking for 111 by 11/11/2011. Pray with us for the 111 Sunday Schools.
TMI starts our 40 days and nights of prayer for Boot Camp, teams, bases and staff on April 25th. Staff and BMW students take an hour per day as we pray around the clock for 40 days and 40 nights. We covet your prayers that many lives will be changed for the better with a close walk with the Lord. We need your prayers for health and strength. We are so grateful for your faithfulness. Presently, Bernie is better but still on pain pills. My gout is gone for now, PTL! I’m watching my diet carefully.
We would like to share some recent news from our Zambia base. Please continue to pray for us as Boot Camp is there. Thanks for caring and sharing. God is good!!
Bob and Bernie
News from our base in Zambia:
Oscar, who is staff in Zambia sent a team from Solwezi to Chief Mumena’s Palace. They didn’t have money for any construction so it was a landscaping project. They were involved in home beautification, planting grass, weeding, and the like. The Chief was so pleased with the work he joined in with the kids working. He met his subjects in the morning and worked along side the team in the afternoon. He attended all the classes and get this even partici- pated in the quizzing. His comment was that this is how we must involve the youth of our nation. Having a program like this for them, youth can work if we just give them the opportunity. Note: Chief Mumena is the Chief of Chiefs in the nation Zambia. That is the highest chief among all. He has sent his son to Boot Camp and has other relatives who have come. He has been here on the base when Ndola Boot Camp was in session a few years ago. The Zambia staff see him on TV often. He is very well educated and he is a professing Christian. Praise God for the working that is happening in Zambia.