Grace Bible Church is a mission-centric/evangelical church with an active Missions Ministry led by a team of Elders, Deacons and Lay people who spearhead our efforts and support on the Mission fields. In addition to supporting various missionaries and their organizations, GBC holds an annual Missions Conference each October.
Grace Bible Church supports 11 missionary families and 1 organization. They are:
GRACE BIBLE CHURCH MISSIONARIES
Curt & Karen Talley—Awana
Amado & Barb Lozano - Camino Global
Jim & Ginny Furr - CRU
Steve & Diana Peterson Global Scholars
Walt & Annie Manis -
Josh & Val Manthe- First Love Ministries, Philippines
Bill & Sandy Younger - Good Shepherd Ministries, Inc.
Dick & Sue - Liebenzell USA
Dylan & Molly Fila— TMS Global, Sri Lanka
Reda Anderton - World Team
Larin & Pam Adams - Wycliffe Bible Translators
Our Daily Bread Ministries - Our Daily Bread Devotional
Dear Friends and Family,
It's hard to believe that we have been sending our ministry updates for 15 years! I remember the first one I wrote, and the excitement we had to take the leap of Faith and follow God's leading to the Philippines.
Fifteen years go... It was just Val and I with little idea of the challenges and difficulties that lie ahead and even less of an idea of the amazing things that we would see God do through us and others like us who have fallen in love with the Philippines and the amazing people who live here.
A lot has changed in the last 15 years, and a lot has stayed the same. We have gone from a little family of 2 to a big family of 7. We have been able to participate in almost 1000 basketball games where we shared the Gospel. I used to play, now I coach or ref or just cheer. Maybe some day my knee will feel ok and I will go back to playing. We left the USA with a lot of great friends, and while those friendships haven’t gone away, we have added a wealth of other friends from different countries and different cultures that we can't imagine life without. The ups and the downs have certainly come and gone, and will likely come and go again.
Through it all, we are thankful for the constant we have through Jesus. The way He continues to guide and comfort us. The peace He gives us that He is in control and that He is going before us preparing the way. We don't always know what is next, but we serve the One who does.
We also could not have done any of this without the many of you in various places across the world who are so generous with your time, your prayers and your finances. What a blessing it has been, for 15 years, to be your representatives in the Philippines. We cannot thank you enough for your sacrifice for our family!
Won by One,
Josh, for Val, Mackenzie, Bella, Deacon, Caleb and Simeon
It has been an exciting year at Faith Academy! With only a week to go until graduation a lot of things are happening.
Kids are beginning to say goodbye to friends, some who are leaving for the summer, some who are leaving for a year in their home country, and some who are saying goodbye for the foreseeable future.
As adults, we also have a lot of goodbyes in this time. Goodbyes to fellow staff members who have been called to return to their home countries for a short time or even permanently. Goodbyes to students who we have taught/coached for as long as we can remember.
It is tough sometimes and there is often pain in the many goodbyes. Still we can't help but be thankful for the opportunities our kids have gotten to be taught by wonderful Christian men and women. There is also so much joy in some of the goodbyes. For the many kids who we have had the privilege to mentor and disciple. We are excited about what God is going to do through them as they go out into the world as His children.
Please pray with us for the many staff, students and families who will leave Faith Academy after Graduation this year. That God would bless their path and that they would go out with a desire to point people back to Faith. A faith in Jesus that will bring them into His Kingdom.
Mackenzie is finishing 9th grade this year! It is crazy to think that we only have 3 years left before this one graduates from Faith Academy. It is already sad to think about her leaving, but we are sure going to enjoy the next 3 years of watching her play sports and participate in fine arts and having her around.
Bella finished her first year of Middle School this year. She is our little fireball, and we love the dynamic she brings to our family. She is so creative and loves doing crafts and making things (especially slime). We also love watching her play basketball and volleyball and are excited about having her around for a few more years.
Deacon finished 4th grade this year and loves football... American Football... Kansas City Chiefs... Patrick Mahomes. He has single handedly turned the boys in his class into football fanatics, in a country that knows next to nothing about it. I even took him out of class to watch a couple of big playoff games. He is eat, sleep, and breathing football these days!
Caleb is finished with 1st grade, and has really proven to be a hard worker and diligent student. Things don't always come easy, but his teachers have really commented about his positive attitude and never give up approach to learning. He is always smiling and doesn't let things get him down.
Simeon will join the rest of the family at Faith next year as a pre-K student. He had a great year at Pre School this year. He seems to have endless energy and is always excited about running and jumping on anything or anyone.
Thanks for praying for our family! We know that the protection that God has given us throughout this journey comes from the many prayer warriors that have committed to cover us in prayer! You know who you are! Thank You!!!
As the school year at Faith comes to a close, we get right into our summer ministry programs. this year is going to be an especially exciting year!
We start off the summer hosting Identity Hoops International a compilation of NCAA D1 and D2 men's basketball players who will come to the Philippines and play against some for the top college teams and a couple of professional teams. During/Following each game, we will take an opportunity to share a testimony, hand out tracts and share the Gospel.
Following the IHI guest team, we are excited that my mom is coming to visit! It has been almost 2 years since we have seen her and we are excited for her to make her 3rd trip to the Philippines. We were hopeful that my Dad would come, but he seems too scared to get on a plane that long... maybe next time :)
Our last ministry team of the year is the Women's Basketball Team from Azusa Pacific University. APU will be playing some of the top college teams and the national team in friendship games and will be using that time as an opportunity to share the Gospel. The team will also be working with some of the local orphanages and girl's homes doing clinics and teaching skills. During the clinics they will each have a chance to break into groups and share their testimony with the kids who join us!
Thanks for praying that these trips will be exciting experiences for the visiting teams as well as the many people they come in contact with. Pray that God will open hearts and minds to the need for Salvation. Playing basketball is fun, but giving your heart to Jesus is life changing. We hope that God uses these willing servants to plant seeds and bring people into His Kingdom.
Jim and Ginny Furr
Dear friends and ministry partners,
You may have noticed that Oklahoma is in the national news. We have indeed had a rash of major thunderstorms with accompanying tornados in our area over the past several weeks.
Thank God none of our five daughters’ homes (Joel is in Dallas), nor Ginny’s and mine, has suffered damage. The main threat here at this point is the Arkansas River, which flows through Tulsa. Abbie and her family have been forced to evacuate by the river’s swollen waters. Please join us in interceding for the Parhams’ home and for those of the many others that lie in the river’s path.
On another topic, Ginny and I will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary this month. We’re grateful to God for his faithfulness, as we began our married life far from him…and the quality of our relationship reflected this estrangement. But God saved our marriage by drawing us to himself and to a solid, Bible-believing church, and by surrounding us with a support team of brothers and sisters in Christ who modeled both what a healthy marriage looks like and how it happens. All praise to God!
Our thanks to you once again for your faithful prayer and financial support. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!
Jim for both of us
God-devotion makes a country strong; God-avoidance leaves people weak —Proverbs 14:34
The message of Memorial Day? Freedom isn’t free. Over a million of our fellow citizens have paid the ultimate price in defense of freedom – ours as well as that of oppressed peoples across the world. In the words of President Harry Truman, “Our debt to these heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude.” May we take some time this weekend to remember and honor these to whom we owe so much.
I would suggest that in conjunction with Memorial Day we also take a moment to consider the unique privilege that is ours to live in America. Where else have so many had access to such boundless opportunity?
What would you say is the secret of America’s greatness? In 1831, the brilliant French statesman Alexis de Tocqueville came to America to find an answer to this question. After traveling throughout the U.S., he discovered what Proverbs 14:34 essentially asserts. "Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness,” he wrote, ”did I understand the secrets of her genius and power." "America is great,” he said, “because America is good.”
To de Tocqueville’s point, between 1740 and 1770, through the public speaking of men like Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield a movement known as The Great Awakening swept across America, stimulating the moral and spiritual life of hundreds of thousands of colonialists. This “awakening" produced a people of character, who in turn produced a document of character, the Constitution, called by England’s William Gladstone “the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.”
However, de Tocqueville also declared, “If America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
Is it possible that, in de Tocqueville’s words, America is ceasing to be good? I don’t need to rehearse for you the sad statistics on divorce, violent crime, school shootings, suicide, Wall Street and Main Street greed, pornography, abortion, drug abuse, sex trafficking, alcoholism, addictive gambling, etc. Surely no thinking person would deny that we are witnessing a deterioration of our national character. And, as de Tocqueville warned, our greatness follows our character.
Although the remnants of greatness remain, it would seem that we are clinging tenuously to the lingering blessings of a 200-year history of embracing the Judeo-Christian ethic. Secularism, a philosophy that holds traditional values in contempt, was originally the purview of a few atheists and academic elites. Some 50 years ago, however, it began to rapidly proliferate. Today, secularism is the dominant worldview in our society. The result, predictably, has been cultural decline. As exceptional as the Constitution is, its effect is diminished in direct proportion to the declining character of the people. When “We the People of the United States,” lacking integrity, no longer possess what de Tocqueville observed is our “genius and power,” this marvelous experiment in freedom must fail. (Compare John Adams - “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other” - and Ben Franklin - “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”)
Fortunately, the trend of the last several decades may still be reversible, but change begins with folks like you and me. The “God-devotion” that, according to both de Tocqueville and Proverbs 14:34, is the stuff of great nations is individual. A nation is godly because its people are godly. Could it be that the best thing we can do for our country, and the best way to honor the sacrifice of our fallen heroes, is to accept God’s offer to connect with him through the belief that his Son, Jesus Christ, paid the freight on our misdeeds? I think so, for then we are able to work in partnership with God himself to reclaim the fullness of America’s greatness
Randy and Ferdine Seamon
“Therefore we do notlose heart, but our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is BEING RENEWED DAY BY DAY”
(II Cor 4:16 NASB)
NEW THINGS HAVE COME
(from II Cor 5:17 NASB)
New things certainly have come—new teeth (both Ferdine and I), new ears, new eyes, and a new granddaughter, Osanna (Hosanna). We both had a lot of dental work done, I got new hearing aids, and new glasses.
I will have an MRI done (they will put me in a big tube.) I have been losing my speech for about thirty minutes six or seven times now, in the past ten years. Even though my mind is still at work, (maybe TIA's?). Ferdine is having some routine tests run, too.
We have also gotten many new and wonderful verses from the Bible in our daily quiet time that have been a tremendous encouragement to both of us. Our inner man really is being renewed day by day.
Monday evening I help Julie teach the middle school Sunday School students. Julie has been teaching an overview of the Bible. I taught them different aspects of prayer and the Trinity (not an easy subject.)
Wednesday evening the two of us teach the same subjects to the grade school Sunday School. June 2 we'll have a closing ceremony, pot luck, and refreshments in the afternoon for the Sunday School classes.
The women's meeting takes place Tuesday morning twice a month. Ferdine alternates with Concetta, one of the elder's wives. Concetta teaches on nameless women in the Bible, and Ferdine teaches from the book “Calm My Anxious Heart” by Linda Dillow.
Next Sunday they will give a report on how the ladies meetings are going.
The first Tuesday of each month we have (our church has) a prayer meeting.
We have a Bible study every Thursday evening. I preach once or twice a month, either on Thursday or Sunday morning. I study the Bible more than before because often they ask me to preach only a day or two before the meeting.
Every time I have somewhat of a conversation with someone, I give them a tract. The butcher, the bakers, (but not the candlestick makers), our two mechanics, our three plumbers, our two home radiator men, our dentist, Belinda's pediatrician, our painter and many others have received a tract.
Thanks for your prayers and your gifts. A special thanks to Chicot Road Baptist Church.
Love, Randy and Ferdine