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Continuing FOCUS Forward...

Greetings! It's Spring Time in Pagosa!

Peg and I just returned last week from the men’s retreat at Hope Community Church in Oro Valley (Tucson) Arizona. What a joy to be back in person with men for that event (see pictures below - Friday night outside event, and Saturday inside)! Hope's goal was 60-80 men, but finally had to cut off registration at 126! You KNOW this evangelist’s heart was happy with that “problem”!! :) I spoke 4 times in 20 hours, beginning with an introductory evangelistic message on Friday evening, and then 3 more discipleship emphasis messages on Saturday. Including a final opportunity at the end of the fourth session, we had 10-12 salvation decisions, and numerous recommitments, with wonderful opportunities for one-on-one discussions with men approaching me in our free time.

One highlight of this retreat, was meeting Dr Okongo Samson, who attended the weekend sessions. He’s Kenyan, lives in Tucson, and has one of the most powerful testimonies/life stories I’ve ever heard! Imprisoned for preaching Christ 10-15 times, with almost beyond belief persecution and torture! He now travels the world as head of Unite4Africa, and he and his wife, Shyla (with whom Peg immediately connected) have already invited us to minister with them in Ethiopia and Kenya this November. As soon as Peg finishes a women’s event in Israel the end of Oct, she will join us in Africa! Their passion is leadership and evangelism, and after my first session, it was clear we were of "one heart", and he asked about us speaking at some of their conferences, which reach thousands everywhere they go! Once again, it is so encouraging to experience God opening doors for us, whether small ministry on the Jicarilla Reservation 45 miles from us, or crowds of 5-10,000 overseas! Please join us in praying for God’s direction as to how much to do with Unite4Africa, with our schedule already pretty much booked for 2021.
Okongo and Shyla Samson
Speaking of our 2021 schedule:
Peg and I travel to Ft Wayne, Indiana on Friday, where I will preach at a church of 4-5,000 (Pathway Community Church) on Saturday night and Sunday. We will stay with dear friends and board member, Brad Pepple and wife, Jill, then do ministry events, as well as, connect with supporters in the area on Monday thru Wednesday. We will then head south towards Indianapolis, where we will get to see The Ark, and Creation Museum, before both Peg and I speak at women’s and men’s events on Sat, co-teach Sunday School, and I preach the morning service, at Browns Wesleyan Church. May and June are filled with pastor/missionary “getaways” we are hosting here in Pagosa, with people from California, Indiana, Kenya/Az, Oregon, another Indiana pastor and wife, and another group of couples from Arizona. This new ministry, in-between speaking events, has really taken off, as we offer people in ministry a few days of rest, recovery, recreation, and renewal of heart, mind, body and spirit. The responses to this so far have exceeded anything we had hoped to do in blessing others! Sometimes these precious saints just need a shoulder and listening ear, and hopefully some encouraging words to “Spur them on towards love and good deeds” (Heb 10:24 & 25)! Thanks for participating in all of this, whether helping bring someone into relationship with God, discipling Christ-Followers, or encouraging those in ministry to keep going!! 
Women's Ministry...

Last Saturday, Peg drove down to Dulce, NM to the Jicarilla Apache Reservation, where she was invited to speak at a women's gathering. Almost 20 women from two different churches in the community gathered to worship, listen to Peg share some of her story, and enjoy time in fellowship afterwards. It was such a delight to Peg to have her niece, Nicole, and Nicole's good friend, Denise, come to lead the worship (and the ladies loved having them!!!!). Peg was so encouraged to begin building relationship with these women, and has even been asked back to do another "gathering" the third Saturday in May (and, Bay will turn around and preach the next day on Sunday) . Dulce is a WIDE OPEN mission field, and we are excited to be praying and investing in seeing how the Lord will move as we go forward simply showing up and serving. 

After the time of fellowship, Peg wandered to Pastor Rudy and Sister Esther's home next door to get a little snuggle time with their sweet foster baby, Grace. I'm not sure, but I think Rudy and Esther may have kicked her out after about an hour (after all, it was Easter weekend). BUT SOMEBODY had to cuddle, rock, and pray over little Grace. As you pray for the ministry we might have in Dulce, would you remember to pray for this sweet little one month old nugget? We are asking that from an early age, she learn to love Jesus with all her heart, mind, soul, and strength and be a LIGHT to the Jicarilla. 
After the Tucson event, we took a quick trip to "adventure" through Buckskin Gulch and Horseshoe Bend (near Page, AZ). There is no question about the AWE-MAZING creator, our God!
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