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Good Day Sunshine

Rich Davis on October 3, 2017

Calvary Baptist The church we attended and where we served while on St. Thomas lost the roof and has much damage on the interior. (See picts in the Photo Gallery)

Curious Carol

The hurricanes Irma and Maria have passed and the weather channel is now reporting sunshine for the next few days on St. Thomas USVI. A friend of ours, Carol, wrote from a supporting church in California to ask if we might have an update on Bluewater Bible College (BBC) on St. Thomas following the hurricanes that ravished the Virgin Islands along with many other Caribbean islands. The chances are that Carol is not the only one who wondered about the college and also how the churches and believers fared after the devastation. The following is a revision of our reply to Carol. 

We have been keeping track of how the hurricanes impacted BBC as well as some of the churches and believers on the island of St. Thomas and St. Croix. So many people that we know have been affected losing their homes and possessions, and livelihood. 
Please check out the pictures of a couple of the churches on St. Thomas where we had ministries while living there. Our friend, Gary Crawford, is on the island as he was able to get a seat on a humanitarian flight from Florida to St. Thomas. Gary is now serving in the role that Jo Ann and I had in administration with ABWE for Central American and the Caribbean. ABWE is making St. Thomas the focus of our relief efforts in the Caribbean and Gary is there to evaluate the situation and develop our strategy for helping with the recovery.  
BBC was slightly affected by the hurricanes and now serves as a shelter for many Christians whose homes have been destroyed or greatly damaged. The dorms have room to house families and the kitchen facilities and cafeteria are also functioning. However, the only electricity on campus is being produced with small gas-fueled portable power plants that are run occasionally during the day. Also, drinking water is only available in bottles and is being rationed. 
Gary is still on the island as of this writing and should be until Friday, October 6. Please also pray that he will get back to the mainland in a timely way as there is a great demand for seats on the plane just now. 
When we lived on the island we attended Calvary Baptist Church and became associate members there. Click here for more pictures of how that church looks now with the roof missing and the interior damaged. There are also pictures of Grace Baptist Church which is only about a mile from BBC as the crow flies. The top floor of Grace Baptist served as the parsonage for the pastor and his family, but the roof of that building was ripped off and he lost almost everything inside. 
One of our pastor friends on St. Croix lost his entire home and is praying for the Lord's answer concerning how to rebuild. Another wonderful Haitian pastor and his family lost their home and everything in it on St. Thomas. His wife is now 7 months pregnant with their second child. Pastor Saurel has done an amazing job of reaching Haitians who live and work on St. Thomas. Please join us in praying for all of these people and churches in the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, St. Martin, and others.
Our hearts go out to all of these dear friends and churches. There may be some reading this letter who would love to help with the recovery project on St. Thomas where Jo Ann and I served for several years. ABWE is developing a well thought out project to help with the needs on St. Thomas and will be moving into action very soon. Please click on this link if the Lord is putting a desire in your heart to help financially. 
IMG_0922 Rich with Pastor Pavel translating

Keeping Posted - Chișinau

We have now been in Chișinau, the capital city of Moldova, for a month and so much has been accomplished. Thanks to the Lord, prayer and financial support, we did arrive in time for language school. After three weeks, we can report that our tongues are starting to gurgle the new vocabulary, grammar, and phonetics. We are studying 5 days a week with plenty of homework! Yes, this is our priority right now. Normally, we only get away from the studies when grocery shopping or attending church services. Please continue to pray that the Lord would help us to grow in the language daily and retain all that we are learning. It has been a surprise to us how much our ability in Spanish helps us with Romanian while also hindering us. We'll spare you the explanation!

In spite of the language barrier, Rich was invited to preach with a translator in a couple of churches. The first service Sunday morning was in a town called Îaloveni just outside of Chișinau. The Church was meeting in the home of one of the members as the wall fell down in their church building. The second service was a church meeting in the rented facilities of another church. Check out some of the pictures from that busy Sunday.

The application papers for our Moldovan visas have been presented to the government which is another important prayer request. Visas are not automatically given and we are asking the Lord that they will indeed be granted. Please pray fervently that we would receive our visas in a timely way - perhaps in the next 6 weeks or so. 

We are settled in our nice apartment and are even expecting our first guests a month from now. The sun is shining brightly these days in Chișinau but the temperature is dropping as we head into the fall season. This is a challenge as we often stand outside waiting for a taxi to get us to and from wherever. What a blessing it will be to finally have our own van. 

Soon we will be meeting with the leaders at the University Divitia Gratiae to plan the counseling course that we are scheduled to teach beginning in January. We will also have a planning meeting with the leadership of the Baptist Union concerning the strategy for strengthening small groups of worshipers as well as launching new church starts with teams of local believers and students from the University. 

Many exciting things lay ahead and we are so thankful for your prayers. We are also thankful for those who are keeping us on the field not only in prayer but financially as well. The Lord is doing something wonderful here in Moldova and we are all a part of it. Praise His Name!