Dear Praying Friends and Supporters,
We are very excited to report about some of the great things God has done over the course of the last year! The Lord provided us a beautiful diesel truck and replacement car (both debt free), provided meetings (and worked in unique and special ways in each one), provided around $10,000 in free much-needed dental work for Pepsi, and worked in our hearts, lives, and ministry! These have all been amazing and miraculous answers to prayer, and we feel very humbled and privileged to have seen God work in such mighty ways!
All of these praises mentioned have already been touched on in previous updates, but we wanted to reflect on them again as well as go into a little more detail praising God for what He did in one particular instance!
Though we have seen God working all throughout the year, the most significant thing we saw God do was His miraculous working in the Victory Gospel Crusade in Worcester, Massachusetts! It truly was the kind of meeting where God works in an usual way that many have never seen! Though it was mentioned in the last prayer letter, no real details of the meeting were given. We would like to share some of the highlights of the supernatural things God did. (The Victory Gospel Crusades are area-wide Gospel preaching tent meetings. Several evangelists and their families are involved each year, as we go to different areas to work with pastors and their churches.)
First, the length of the meeting was one of those supernatural things, in that, it was only scheduled to be a one week meeting and ended up going for five weeks! This was previously mentioned, but how that came about was not detailed. It was during the first week of the meeting that we began to take to the street that ran between the church and where the tent was set up. As we began to boldly share the Gospel and invite folks to the meeting, it became evident that the Holy Spirit of God was moving in a very special way. Several folks began to get saved right there on the street, and an awareness of God’s working was clearly present among those living in and commuting in that area. We had claimed some ground for Christ and the people around knew it! (It should also be noted that the three nights before the meeting began, the families of those involved prayed fervently and held revival services. Though there were not many in attendance for these, they laid a groundwork in repentance, prayer, and humility that should not be overlooked!)
On the Friday night that was scheduled to be the last night of the meeting, the owner of the pizza shop down the street came under the tent. She said she felt compelled to come! One of the workers was able to take her aside and share the Gospel with her. Not only did she accept Christ, but she went back to the shop and sent a worker with an offering to help support the meeting!
That night the decision was discussed and prayed about to continue the meeting. It was a good thing we chose to continue!
As we entered the second week, the awareness of God’s working in the area only became more evident! Pastors from other churches were coming and getting involved in the soulwinning, and there were some days where over twenty people accepted Christ on the streets and under the tent!
One night, a young lady came under the tent. She heard the Gospel and came forward to be saved at the invitation. We found out she was a new employee at the pizza shop down the street, and the shop owner had told her that she needed to come hear what was being preached under the tent! For the course of the rest of the meeting she faithfully attended. She later was baptized on the first baptism Sunday, and brought a friend that then heard the Gospel and trusted Christ!
Also, a man in the church got excited about what God was doing, and went with me (Joshua) up and down the street one day taking the Gospel into every business. When we got to the bar and the liquor store, I went to pass by them, and he said something like, “No, let’s not skip these. They need the Gospel the most.” So I told him he was my witness I wasn’t drinking, and he said the same to me! We went in, and though we did not have any great response, we did give tracts to the lady running the bar and others. The point is, the fire that gets in one’s soul when God is working supernaturally will drive a man that rarely witnesses to take to the streets and share the Gospel everywhere! That is an aspect of revival!
Later in the meeting, a young man was riding in the car with his girlfriend, and as he passed the tent, he told her, “Stop the car! Stop the car!” When she pulled over, he jumped out and practically ran to the tent. As he got inside, he said, “I found God in the last couple weeks!” A pastor nearby said, “That’s great, but have you been saved yet?” The man said, “No, but I want to right now!” The pastor sat down with him and led him to the Lord!
The same pastor noticed a Vietnamese man that came under the tent. Since he did not speak Vietnamese, he sat next to the man, and using Google Translate, shared the Gospel with him! That man also prayed to trust Christ and continued to come almost every night! It took a little work, but before the meeting ended we were able to provide him a Bible in his own language!
More could be shared about the several homeless people that came and humbly prayed to trust Christ, or the spiritual oppression that was faced as a man that was very evidently demon possessed came to disrupt and heckle. Suffice to say that when God is working, rich and poor trust Christ, Christians are revived, and the Devil and his minions fight it!
By the time the meeting came to a close over 150 people had prayed to trust Christ, and many Christians were revived and encouraged! Pastors from all over New England were talking about and getting excited over what God had done!
The main church involved baptized several afterward, and noted a strong increase in regular attendance. To God be the glory!
And after all that, we still will never know, this side of Heaven, how many more people were impacted or trusted Christ through the preaching and broad spreading of the Gospel during that time!
What God did there, He desires to do everywhere! He is not limited, except when the instruments He has chosen to use are unusable! We are those instruments. May we be usable and available!
Well, as big as our praises are to God for what He has been doing, we also have some very big prayer requests, and they mainly surround one very pressing matter for our family and ministry!
For the last three years we have been living full-time year-round in a 1998 Fleetwood Prowler 27 foot bumper-pull travel trailer. It was purchased for $1,500 and given to us. Unbeknownst to those that bought it for us, it was nearly ready for the junk yard. But with their help and by God’s grace we were able to resurrect it and make a beautiful happy home out of it. What a tremendous blessing and answer to prayer it was and has been!
Last year we really began to feel the need to sell or trade it for something larger. Our boys are growing as boys do, and we were starting to feel more and more cramped. We came close to working things out regarding getting something larger, but in the end, everything fell through, and we headed back out on the road. We were admittedly a little disappointed but were trusting God that He knew best.
This year, again we are seeking to get a larger trailer.
Currently our boys sleep about ten feet away from us on the booth pads for the table. Their little legs are sticking out further and further from the edge! It also seems that their clothes are taking up more room, and their toys are getting bigger. We try to constantly purge, but we can’t seem to get rid of enough to lessen the cramped feeling. Also, since our room only has pocket doors, they provide very little privacy! Overall we feel like we are bursting at the seams!
Since we live full-time in a trailer in order to fulfill the ministry that we have been called to, we feel what we get next is very important. It is a vital part of our ministry. As we have considered that, we began to think about what would fit us best and came to the conclusion that a large bunkhouse fifth wheel with at least a bath and a half would be best. This would help us in the three primary areas that we are struggling with: 1. It would give us significantly more space; 2. It would give the boys their own room; And 3. It would give us the privacy needed. (Note: many trailers have a bunkhouse with only one bathroom, but unfortunately it is usually in the main bedroom. If the boys have to come into our room every time they need to use the restroom, that is still a significant privacy issue!)
That brings us to a problem. Most trailers that are best suited to our needs are far out of our price range! Because of this dilemma, with much prayer, we decided it would be best to try to narrow or close that gap by requesting help from friends and supporters at home and around the country. Though we know that not everyone can give, we are asking for everyone to at least pray for us regarding this need, and if possible, pray what God would have them do to help!
We are encouraged that before we ever decided to pursue this avenue, the Lord had already laid it on the heart of one gentleman to give us $1,000 unexpectedly! Also, as we have begun calling pastors and churches, at least two have committed to give, and others are praying about what God would have them do!
At this point the gap between what we should have after selling our trailer and the price of most trailers fitting the above description is about $15,000 on average. All new ones would be more, but most in the price rang mentioned above are 5-10 years old. Unfortunately, we have not found any with a fitting floorplan that is older than that. That might have allowed us to find a lower price. However, it is probably best not to get something too old, because the wear and tear of pulling a fifth wheel around the country is bad enough without the other issues that come with older trailers.
As part of our endeavor to narrow or close that gap, we are also planning a fundraising dinner for April 6th at 6:30 p.m. (CST) here in Peoria, IL. Lord willing, it will be livestreamed on Facebook live. Though we know many will not be able to attend in person, we are trying to spread the word far and wide in hopes that those that aren’t in the area can watch and participate online. This is due to the significant amount that we are trying to raise. If many can give a little it could make a big difference!
In closing: whatever God provides we will thank Him for! We believe He is leading in all of this, and our expectation is from Him. We cannot afford to take out a loan or make payments, and we have made a decision about not doing so anyway. Whatever comes in, combined with what we already have will be the amount that we use to replace our current home. If, by a miracle, extra were to come in, we would use it to help purchase some of the needed accessories and major appliances, and perhaps have somewhat of an emergency fund for breakdowns on the road that unfortunately occur.
How to pray: 1. Please pray for God’s blessings in this endeavor! 2. Please ask God if He would have you give, and if so, ask His direction as to the amount! 3. Please pray for us as we prepare our trailer for sale. 4. Please pray for us as we work on the details of the upcoming fundraising banquet. 4. Please pray that our trailer sells in a timely manner and that we find just the right trailer to replace it with! 5. Please pray that we would have wisdom and follow God carefully in every step!
These praises and prayer requests are big, but our God is bigger! What he did in Worcester, He desires to do on a greater scale across America and around the world – and He is able! What we are trying to do in raising funds is large to us, but so small to Him!
Thank you so much for your love, prayers, and interest in our ministry! Ultimately, our lives are dedicated to stirring Christians to revival and sharing the Gospel with the lost in America and around the world! Thank you for your part in supporting us in fulfilling our calling!
Joshua and Pepsi Lancaster
2 Chron. 7:14; James 4:8-10
P.S. More information about the upcoming fundraiser should be emailed out, posted on Facebook, and put on the home page our website within one week of this update.
If you would like to give before April 6th or might even like to help the fundraiser by offering a matching gift, you can contact us at PRAYAmericaMinistries@gmail.com to find out more or mail checks payable to: El Vista Baptist Church (with "Lancaster RV" on the memo line.)
6301 N Syler St
Peoria, IL 61615
(Since El Vista is our sending church, they will be sure that we receive any designated funds, and that you receive a tax deductible receipt.)
If you wish to give to us directly, you can do so on our website (below) or by sending us a check (address also below), but we cannot send tax deductible receipts at this time if the giving is not done through our church.
1200 W Willow Ln
Peoria, IL 61614
(These checks should be made payable to Joshua Lancaster.)