While in Louisiana, I was able to spend some time with some great men of God who are making a huge difference in and around the Baton Rouge area. Check out their sites and take a look into their world.
Pastor Mark Stermer of Healing Place Church and I spent time talking about Thailand, ministry, and our military backgrounds. He is not a dude you want to mess around with…former recon Marine! But in the time we spent together I could tell that he is a truly humble man with a big heart for the people of Louisiana and the world. Looking forward to getting to know this brother more over the months and years to come!
My friend, Pastor Timmy Straight of HPC St.Francisville, and I had a great time talking about where I’ve come from since the last time we saw each other. Timmy was a Pastor that God used to influence me greatly when I was a new believer. He is the real deal, genuine through and through. He is a man of God, great family guy, and a great friend. His encouragement and practical help gave me a big boost on this trip.
Before we went to Mexico,we were able to meet other great men from Healing Place Church like Dan Ohlerking and Pastor Dino Rizzo. These guys are awesome. They genuinely love God and love people, period. Pastor Dino cracks me up sometimes. I totally get his humor and love it. Dan is a tech/communications guru and has a big heart for the world. He and I have been blogging buddies for a long time now. My mom is a member of HPC and I’m so glad to see her being plugged into to a church like this!
I also had the pleasure of spending time with Pastor Scott Bledsoe of Household of Faith church. I was baptized at this church when Scott’s father, Ed Bledsoe was Pastor, but Scott and I never had the chance to meet until now. Pastor Scott has grabbed the reigns of the church over the last ten years and taken it to a whole different level. He is an authentic man of God with a big heart for missions and outreach.
I also caught up with Pastors Greg Long and Wade Moran of HOF. Greg baptized me when I first was saved and Wade and I spent time in youth ministry together. Wade is now pastoring the youth and blowing it up! Greg has been in ministry for decades and is still one of the coolest Pastors I know. They both need to get some blogs going though! I got the chance to meet worship Pastor Michael Glaze while visiting and found out that he was a blogger too, though he needs to update!
We will definately be keeping in touch with all of these guys as we move forward towards our work in Thailand.
I wish I would have had a few more Sundays here. I would have went to see Pastor Larry Stockstill at Bethany World Prayer Center. This church is doing some great work in regards to missions and evangelism. They support some strong mission leaders like my hero Rick Zachary of ChurchAsia. Their focus on “10/40 Window” missions has been a huge inspiration to me. They are definately one of few great models of what a local church in America can do in global missions. I hope to be able to meet them both in person one day.
All of these men are great men to know and I’m thankful to have been able to spend some time with them sharing our heart and vision for Thailand, forming relationships, and learning more about them personally and the work God is doing through them. South Louisiana is blessed to have men of God like these guys!
We are now in Pensacola reconnecting with a spiritual father of mine, Pastor Buford Lipscomb, and many other great friends at Liberty Church like Pastors Josh Lipscomb and Ron Rice. More on Liberty Church and Pensacola to come…