Souls saved in the Crusade!
God's continued miraculous protection & provision!
The engine/transmission swap is finished & works!
The WV Rally
Getting a small car
Meetings & Support
Pray for REVIVAL!
Lancaster Family Prayer Letter - Fall 2015
Dear Family, Friends, and Supporters,
Do we ever have a month (or four…) that isn’t exciting?!? Praise the Lord! As you all have probably noticed, I have had a hard time fitting in all the great and mighty things the Lord is doing in our ministry and getting them all written down in a reasonable amount of time.
September finally brought the Crusade and it was a wonderful three days of Christians coming together to glorify the Lord and lost people coming to know Christ! We had three excellent speakers for the nights of the Crusade and the choir did a fantastic job! If you have not gotten to attend or even watch a Crusade, you should really mark your calendars for next year, because you won’t want to miss it! Speaking of next year, we will be having a one day Rally in Charleston, West Virginia on September 11th, 2016.
[Read Joshua's take on the Richmond Crusade at the right of the page.]
September was also supposed to bring the end of our time at Faith Baptist Church in Charlottesville, VA, but by request of the church, our stay was extended through the end of October. We truly loved our summer with Faith! Some projects we were able to see accomplished at the church were: special Sunday School classes, painting and decorating the nursery, a church-wide banquet, a couple of ladies lunches, a month-long special teen program, at least 11 children saved, the fellowship hall repainted and decorated, a missions display put up, a special missionary-themed program put on by the Jr. Church class, and many others. A good deal of door-knocking was accomplished throughout the summer, and there were several prospects to follow up on. Perhaps as in indirect impact, we even saw several new individuals and families begin regularly attending the church. The Lord is so good!
After leaving Virginia, we spent some time in Pennsylvania. We were parked at Joshua’s brother's house and enjoyed the time with family very much. We had several scheduled meetings in Pennsylvania, so we kept our trailer in Erie throughout the week and commuted to our various meetings on the weekends. During that time, Joshua and his brother Caleb worked tirelessly on our Suburban. It technically wasn’t suited to pull our trailer, and several times while pulling it we ran into some big issues. Because of this, we had decided that we would need to rebuild our truck engine. When it actually came down to doing that, we decided not to go that route and went with an engine and transmission swap instead. It ended up including much more than just those two things. Along the way, several other things were swapped out (a complete exhaust system, rear leaf springs, and drive shaft and transmission yoke to name a few) and a lot of work went into it. We are so thankful that the Lord granted safety during this time! It was such a huge blessing that Caleb and several men at his church know a great deal about car mechanics and were an invaluable source of information. Please continue to be in prayer about the truck! The engine/transmission swap did provide much-needed towing power, but the truck is still 20 years old, and takes quite a beating as our primary means of transportation. The engine and transmission that were installed - though stronger and in better condition than the ones swapped out - were still used, and we are hoping they can last us several more years. Your prayers do make a difference!
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year were all spent in Illinois with friends and family! The Lord provided several odd jobs while home, as well as several opportunities to preach and present our burden! What a blessing it has been to be able to spend some time parked at our home church!
The Lord was so good to us in 2015! We met many new people and made so many new friends. We had a couple of churches tell us they plan to take us on for support! We have seen the Lord do wonderful things in our own lives and in the churches we have been privileged to be in. The Lord has time and again supplied our needs and taken care of wants as well. We were able to celebrate Joshua’s 30th birthday, and it is such a blessing to have him as the head of our home and ministry! We truly do not deserve all that the Lord has done for us and continues to do!
Joshua and Pepsi Lancaster
James 4:8-10, 2 Chron. 7:14
The Richmond GBAC
- by Joshua Lancaster
Richmond marks the second area-wide evangelistic meeting that I have had the privilege of participating in! There were just under 50 churches involved, and the target was around 250,000 homes. Coming into this crusade the responsibilities that were afforded to me were similar but more demanding than the 2013 Charlotte Crusade. It was again my responsibility to work with the door-to-door efforts, but this time with the added responsibilities of mapping the area beforehand and more of a leading role in the soulwinning.
One of the most amazing things that has taken place in each of the Crusades has been the participation of a wide variety of individuals, couples, ministries, and churches! Independent Baptists are not known for their ability to "play well with others," yet it was again a beautiful thing to see Bible College students, missionaries, evangelists, and "laymen" converge on Richmond to join the churches in a concerted soulwinning effort! The God Bless America Crusades are about Independent Baptists working together to take the Gospel to large cities! What an awesome thing it is to see such an undertaking in action!
Though the GBAC is not primarily a "revival meeting" it is practically impossible for that many Christiansto do that much Gospel saturation without there being some fruit of revival in individual hearts and lives! This was, of course, evidenced again in Richmond! One man, though a little older and not as mobile as he once was, caught a vision for the work and got fired up about going out and doing what he could sharing the Gospel and inviting others to the Crusade! As daily records were kept of the work being accomplished, he submitted his work as being done by one that was "handicapped." He got a dose of revival! (On a side note, it is sad but true that sometimes people use health or physical limitations as excuses for not going out to work for God, while they are able to find ways to go to their favorite restaurants, stores, parks, and other various recreational activities. Most of the time, if something is high enough of a priority, a person will find a way to get it done. Sadly, God's work is not much of a priority to far too many people!)
Through the efforts of several churches in and around Richmond and throughout the state of VA along with groups and individuals from around the nation, approximately 70,000 homes were reached with the Gospel over the course of the summer! This included hundreds of personal presentations of the Gospel as well as area saturations with packets of Gospel doorhangers.
The culmination of these efforts took place at the Crusade proper on September 11th, 12th, and 13th at the Arthur Ashe Center where each night a choir of several hundred sang and the Gospel was presented clearly with passion and a well-organized invitation.
Over 200 decisions for salvation were known to have been made over the course of the canvassing efforts and three nights of preaching! Most of those filled out and turned in decision slips that were in turn given or mailed to the appropriate churches involved in the Crusade.
The number of souls saved was truly a blessing! Beyond that though, I cannot emphasize enough that the impact of each Crusade is much farther reaching than any individual can see or quantify. The Gospel was sown bountifully. Not all of the fruit will be seen immediately, though. The law of sowing and reaping dictates that much of the fruit will be reaped later. While we rejoice in what fruit we see, we would do well to not forget this important aspect of the Crusades' success: God is doing far more than we see on the surface!
Charleston, WV is the destination of the 2016 God Bless America Rally. It is my desire that God do great things there! I challenge every individual that reads this prayer letter: Don't be a bystander! Get involved! Pray fervently! Give sacrificially! Take the trip, and come help share the Gospel in August and September! God has chosen to use His people to accomplish His work. We must stop looking for someone else to do it and start taking responsibilty for the work ourselves! It is not enough to think about, or even to pray about it. We have been told what to do, we need to start doing it!