14th ANNUAL KENYA SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE

As I publish this newsletter, I am only a little over a week away from my departure to preach at the 14th annual spiritual leaders conference at Kenya Ministries Training Institute in Kitale, Kenya. There will be somewhere between 650 to 700 pastors, church planters and evangelists in attendance. They will come from all over the nation of Kenya, as well as eastern Uganda. This will be another tremendous opportunity for a ‘multiplication ministry’ in the lives of untold thousands of church members; as well as, the evangelism of innumerable scores of lost and needy souls!

Brothers and sisters, your intercessory prayers and gifts are a vital part of these precious ‘open-doors of opportunity’, which our gracious God has given to this ministry. As we survey the past, especially during this season of Thanksgiving, we can truthfully testify that our loving Father has been our ‘FAITHFUL PROVIDER’. He has met every spiritual, physical and financial need in these 35 years of itinerant ministry. But friends and co-laborers, our God has ordained means by which He has supplied all of our needs. And those means involve the loving generosity of His born-again children. So as we approach the finish line of yet another year of national and international outreach, our hearts are overflowing with gratitude and love to our faithful Father, and for you, our dear brothers and sisters in Christ. May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward for His sufferings!

WONDERFUL ATTENDANCE AND ATTENTION IN THE CCE CONFERENCE IN TENNESSEE

There are so many highlights of the manifold ministry opportunities (which the Lord has graced to me since our last newsletter) that I am running out of space! However, I am compelled to testify about the tremendous commitment of the people of Mills Springs Baptist Church to sacrifice their time and effort to attend the recent “Christ-centered evangelism Conference” in Jefferson City, Tennessee. I am estimating that over %60 of the Sunday morning attendance committed to attend all of the 12 sessions of the conference. It was so encouraging to witness their attendance, their attention and their teachability during these precious days of service. The following words are from the heart of my dear brother in Christ, Pastor Greg Lindsey, “How can I possibly thank you enough for traveling to Mill Springs to teach us Christ-Centered Evangelism? What a glorious time we shared together in the Word of God! To me and to many in the church, every session was a ‘finger-on-the-biblical-text’ tour de force! With every turn of the page in our workbooks came another rush of biblical truth, calling us to do ‘God's Work, God's Way, for God's Glory’! By the time you concluded, we knew that we had heard from the Scriptures, concerning the means by which our Lord wants us to be ‘fishers of men.’ Furthermore, we knew how we must now respond! Already, Brother Ed, prayers are going up that ‘the fragrance of of the life of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh, within the sphere of the influence of our lives.’ Already, we are sowing precious gospel seeds. Already, we are going on mission with Him, looking to Him for the salvation of souls. To God alone be the praise and glory! Please do pray for us in coming days. By the Lord's grace, we are resolved to act upon the truths that we have now received and understood. We realize that, ‘Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required.’(Luke 12:48). Ask the Lord to make us faithful witnesses in taking a ‘Christ-centered message’ to the thousands of lost souls around us. And know that we will be praying for you as you press on in the Gospel work to which our Lord and Savior has called you. With all love and gratitude in Christ Jesus.

HEART CRY MISSIONARY CONFERENCE IN EASTERN EUROPE

In recent months, I have been interceding for further ‘open doors’ to serve our Lord in new avenues on the foreign mission field. A few months ago, I received a call from Don Currin, who is a dear brother in Christ and a powerful preacher of the Word. Don serves as the coordinator for the HeartCry Missionary Society in the area of Eastern Europe. His ministry with HeartCry includes organizing Bible conferences and corresponding with the HeartCry missionaries in that vast portion of Europe.

Bro. Don began the conversation by stating that he had just received a call from Paul Washer, the founder and director of HeartCry Missionary Society. As their conversation progressed, Paul asked Don this question, “Do you know Ed Lacy?” Don responded, “Yes. I have met Bro. Ed and I have been in attendance in a meeting in which he was preaching.” Paul responded by saying, “I believe that we need to contact Ed and ask if he would be willing to teach the pastors and church planters at this upcoming Eastern European conference. For every morning, as I am praying, his name is continually coming to my heart.” Now, a foolish person may imagine that this is some random coincidence of life. But I know that this was the providential activity of my ‘prayer-answering’ Lord and God! As an answer to those prayers, I was privileged to be the co-teacher alongside of Bro. Don at the most recent Eastern European HeartCry conference.

These brothers and many of their wives travelled from four different countries to attend the conference, (Romania, Moldova, The Ukraine and Serbia). I must testify that the Spirit of God providentially wedded the messages from Bro. Don and myself in a marvelous manner! I must also state that it was so personally encouraging to serve these dear saints of God, who are overflowing with both light, (the sound doctrine of the Word of God), and heat, (a passionate adoration for and allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ)! The following words are just a few of the many testimonies of the gracious working of the Spirit of God and the Word of God in the lives of these beloved missionaries.

 The first testimony comes from Nini Lazar, who is the director of Magna Gratia Ministries. This ministry is a missionary organization, which focuses its efforts on proclaiming the gospel to the former Communist countries of Eastern Europe and Russia. “Dear Bro. Ed, your powerful messages on the life and ministry of the Shepherd-Teacher and the messages concerning our mission of evangelism have been a great help to me. Your soul searching insights into biblical evangelism, as well as the themes on the supreme ambition and sanctified approach of a biblical evangelist, are truths that are often set aside when we closely examine the message, the methods and the motivations of true evangelism. I have often stated that, ‘a pastor who truly believes in salvation by grace alone, should be (by definition) a passionate evangelist; even as Christ is passionate for His glory in the salvation of many. Sadly, it is a rare occurrence to meet such people nowadays. But when I met a true one, my heart leaps inside. And that's what happened when I had the privilege of meeting and hearing you preach God’s Word. My dear brother, I will never forget this conference in Brasov. What a blessing!” Nini Lazar

In addition, one of the church planters from the nation of Moldova writes, “My name is Anatol Dunas, the pastor and missionary at Emmanuel Church in Cahul, Moldova. I planted this church back in the 2000. I am so thankful for the messages that you and Bro Don delivered in the HeartCry conference in Romania. Your messages were preached in a very powerful way. Your clear and concise expository preaching the very creative way in which you applied the truths; and your passionate expression of preaching were all a tremendous blessing to my life. Each message that you and Bro. Don preached were both very powerful and extremely practical, in increasing our biblical understanding and in leading our flocks as faithful ministries of the Gospel. Bro. Ed, when I returned home to my flock, your messages inspired me to preach on some of your topics to our congregation. We are presently preparing a gospel presentation event we name FRANC. The acrostic stands for ‘Friends, Relatives, Associates, Neighbors and Children’. We have been praying for them for a number of months. We will soon be visiting them in a number of small group settings, to proclaim the Gospel to them. I have already shared some of the basics ideas of your messages. The people came to me last Sunday and said that they were personally touched by my proclamation of your themes on the mission of evangelism. May God bless you Ed and keep you going till 100 years.”

Then, I was so personally encouraged with these precious words from Bro. Don Currin, “All of the pastors, church planters and evangelists were well pleased with your ministry among them. Your messages and life exuded grace to all. And our brothers and sisters were helped immensely. I just spoke to Paul Washer yesterday. During our conversation, I gave him the good report of both your life and preaching among us. He said that he would like to use you in HeartCry venues around the world. So if you are up to it, expect to receive invitations to speak for us periodically. Thank you for your love and fellowship pin the gospel. Grace, peace and much love.”

The Cost of Taking up the Cross

“Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. Mark 8:34b “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19 “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” Matthew 10:38 Only a few weeks ago, I was given the blessed privilege to be the ‘co-teacher’ at the Eastern European Heart Cry Missionary Society Conference in Romania. I had just concluded a session, in which I was teaching about Moses’ compassionate intercessory prayers for those obstinate rebels who were in utter revolt against the Lord and in antagonistic opposition against him. Suddenly, all of the pastors and church planters began to cry out to the Lord in intercessory prayer for the lost rebels within their sphere of influence. The dear pastor, who was sitting beside me, asked all of us to intercede for a particular crisis at his church. The following words are a synopsis of his heart-felt request, “A few years ago, a lady named Cristina attended our church, through the influence of our ministry to her children. Since her first day of attendance, she began to come regularly. At first, her husband was okay with this. However, things changed dramatically after she repented of her sins and believed the Gospel. Her life was being radically transformed before the eyes of her husband. She was now living in the Kingdom of Light. However, her husband remained in the tyranny of the Kingdom of sin and death. He became increasingly abusive and oppressive against the light of the Christ-centered life that she was now living before him. Her husband is a former member of the ‘swat team’ in the local police department. So he is quite a muscular man. Furthermore, not only did her husband begin to make threats against his wife, he also became extremely angry with me as the pastor of the church. He became so savagely vicious, that he threatened to kill my children and burn down the church, if his wife continued to follow Jesus and attend our church! Presently, he is working in Eastern Europe, as a truck driver. However, he has declared that he is going to kill me when he returns home. And yet, his wife continues to remain faithful to the Lord. Please continue to intercede for his conversion to Christ Jesus the Lord.”

We are all well aware that the substitutionary sacrifice and suffering of our Lord and Savior was not an unexpected surprise; nor was it a plan that went haywire. On the contrary, the scriptures clearly declare that the blessed Cross-work of our Lord and Savior was the eternal plan of God! Acts 2:23 declares this astounding truth, “Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreordained plan of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.” The Godhead planned the substitutionary sacrifice and suffering of God the Son from before the creation of the universe! For the Lord Jesus is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world! Our precious Redeemer knew ‘when He was going to die; where He was going to die; how He was going to die; and why He was going to die’ from before the genesis of time and space! However, Acts 2:23 simultaneously declares that Pilate and those wicked Jewish religionists were personally responsible for the most iniquitous crime which has ever been committed on this planet. Nonetheless, those wicked conspirators had plotted together to execute what ‘God’s hand and purpose’ had programmed from before the creation of the universe.

The word of God declares that, “our sovereign Lord employed the greatest expression of the wicked depravity of mankind, (the brutal murder of the Son of God), to bring about the greatest good which has been ever accomplished on behalf of mankind!” Oh dear friend, the scriptures plainly declare that ‘it pleased Jehovah God the Father to crush Jehovah God the Son’, in voluntary sacrifice and suffering, for the propitiation of every repenting and believing sinner’!

 Oh, but every bonafide follower of Jesus has been given a ‘personal cross to carry’. We have been called to be involved in ‘voluntary service, sacrifice and suffering’ for the proclamation of the message of propitiation to all within their sphere of influence. The Word of God succinctly states to every disciple, “For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to SUFFER for His sake.” I am submitting to you that saving faith in the Lord Jesus is intricately connected with ‘voluntary service, sacrifice and suffering’ for the extension of the Gospel into the hearts and lives of sinners! When our Lord commands us to ‘take up our cross’, He is not speaking about the Lord’s cross of propitiation. He is describing ‘our cross of volitional service, sacrifice and suffering’ for the propagation and the proclamation of the message of propitiation. This intentional service, sacrifice and suffering is not only part of God’s plan for our lives; it is one of God’s ordained means to carry out the Great Commission! Dear brothers and sisters, our Lord and Savior was personally involved in voluntary service, sacrifice and suffering for the purpose of redeeming sinners. Consequently, we are summoned to be personally involved in voluntary service, sacrifice and suffering for the purpose of reaching sinners, so that the Lamb may receive the reward for His suffering!

You may be familiar of the true story of the two young Moravian men, who were followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. These two brothers in Christ became informed of an island in the Danish West Indies, where an atheist British slaveowner had taken 3000 slaves to labor in his sugar cane fields. This wicked slave owner had declared that, "No preacher will ever come to reside on this island. I will never allow any of these Christians to talk to us about God. For I am through with all that nonsense." It was obvious that unless someone purposed to be involved in voluntary sacrifice and suffering, these African slaves would live and die without even hearing the glorious Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Both of these young men were willing to sell themselves as slaves to this ruthless British slave-owner, for the purpose of being heralds of the Gospel to these needy sinners. When it was time for their departure, the Moravian community came to see the two lads off on their Gospel mission. These young men were well aware that they may never return to their homeland again; for they had freely sold themselves into a lifetime of slavery. As the ship sailed away from the shore, the young men linked arms, raised their hands and shouted to their loved ones, "May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His sufferings.” Those farewell words became the resonating heart cry of the Moravian missionary movement. Our Lord employed their grace-filled act of ‘voluntary service, sacrifice and suffering’ to inspire a wave of Moravian missionaries who greatly impacted all of the surrounding islands. In the coming years, Moravian missionaries would baptize over 13,000 converts, before any other denominational missionaries arrived on those islands. I remind you that both of these young men were just ordinary men who were employed in ordinary occupations. For one man was a potter and the other a carpenter. However, our awesome Lord and God transformed both of them into extraordinary men. They willingly left the security of their jobs and families in Copenhagen to become the first Moravian missionaries in 1732. Dear brothers and sisters, this is the great need of the hour today, in this collapsing culture. Oh, that God might raise up ordinary people, to purposefully involved their lives in voluntary service, sacrifice and suffering’, for the extension of the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the hearts of the enemies of God.

 

OVER 175 FOREIGN MISSION TRIPS THROUGH YOUR FAITHFUL PRAYERS AND SUPPORT!

When the Lord Jesus saved Dianne and then myself, (two years later), He placed us in a church that possessed and expressed a passion and purpose for global mission! God used this ‘foreign mission saturated atmosphere’ to birth a desire and determination in my heart to ‘go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.’ We still stand amazed of how this passion and purpose gradually grew into scores of opportunities to train pastors and church planters to be faithful and biblical ‘fishers of men and disciple-makers’ in their particular cultures. Precious brothers and sisters, you have been an integral part of these tremendous global opportunities in 20 various nations. Dianne and I both rejoice and give glory to the Lamb of God; as well as, rejoice with an overwhelmingly heart-felt gratitude to you, the followers of the Lord and the Lamb! We love you in the Lord Jesus. We would love to thank you ‘face to face’, for how very much you have blessed us and supported this ministry through your love, your prayers and your giving. Please continue to stand with us, as we continue to ‘Go’ and tell of His marvelous grace. As the Steve Green song implores, “May all who come behind us, find us faithful! May the fire of our devotion light their way”!