October 2017

Howdy from Tennessee!

Miles of highway are behind us and many more remain ahead as we continue to traverse the country and raise prayer and financial support for a church in Astoria, Oregon. God’s blessing and provision have been constantly evident and our faith has been tested, strengthened and revived. Thank you for reading these updates, praying for us, and sacrificing financially for the cause of spreading the gospel!

October first marked the annual faith promise mission conference at my home church in Portland, Oregon. It was great to be united with family and friends and to share in this conference. The entire church confirmed their desire to stand with us as we strive together with Christ in reaching the lost souls in Astoria. Pastor Adams and the entire staff have been overwhelmingly supportive. It is hard to imagine how he and Mrs. Adams must have felt when they came to Portland 35 years ago. Their sending church was three thousand miles away! In the early 1980’s, and at that distance; they may as well have been in Tibet. We trust the same God that sustained them will see us through.

After our Portland meeting, we headed to Albany, Oregon and then to Sacramento. Bella had a severe asthma attack while we were at lunch with the pastor there. This is always a scary event for us. With medication and oxygen treatments we were able to manage through. The pastor and folks from church prayed together as she began to recover. Thank you Lord!

After Sacramento, we traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Due to my failure to plan well, we actually did not have any accommodations in Albuquerque. I called a friend, Pastor David Reyes and asked if we might stay at the church. He and his dear family insisted we stay with them in their home and there we enjoyed a fantastic time together. The morning after we arrived, we woke up at 4 AM because the hot air balloon fiesta was in town. I had no idea about this event, but it happened to be starting on October 11th on my birthday and Pastor Reyes had tickets for the entire family! Isn’t the Lord good!

From New Mexico we traveled to a great mission conference in Mustang, Oklahoma where we stayed with a family who actually came from Albany, Oregon. Not only that, but the couple we stayed with were actually close friends to a childhood friend of mine and arranged for us all to meet together. In each town we stayed, the world of brothers and sisters in Christ seem to get smaller and support for our work seemed to grow. Psalm 133:1 says “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” From Oklahoma we visited two churches in Texas where we were re-united with Stacy’s pastor from New Jersey. It was wonderful to see the Dosters again and the church where they are now serving the Lord. We received new support from the Longview Baptist Temple, heard some fantastic sacred music as well as great preaching by Dr. Gray.

Josiah did very well in our absence. We were pleased to see the mission house was still standing and the dog was still alive! He actually scored a 96% on his Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) exam and plans to be certified by the state in December.

Pray for us as we seek support, a couple to work with us, and wisdom in planting the church in Astoria.
-The Byers Family

AUG/SEP 2017

August/September Prayer Letter

Hello from the I-5 Corridor in Oregon!

The road has been our home for the past several months and will likely be for the months ahead. We are thankful for safety, your prayers, and churches who are excited about planting a church in Astoria, Oregon. Thank you for remembering to pray for us and to read our regular updates.

During the month of August, we finished updating our supporting churches in New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia. We also were able to schedule a new meeting in Tennessee and present the work there. We also found a used Chevy Malibu for Josiah to drive and together we replaced some ball joints and tie-rod ends. With the price of the car and the parts, he was able to have reliable transportation for under $1,200.00. He has remained in Tennessee where he is working in the medical field and saving money for college. He would like to become a Registered Nurse. Stacy has remained strong as she works through all the emotions of leaving her first born behind for the time being.

The boys helped me to replace a water pump, fan belt, and fan clutch on the van as well as regular oil change before we left Tennessee. Driving through Virginia, the steering suddenly became loose and we were drifting back and forth in our lane. I stopped to see what was the matter and discovered broken ball joints. It was late and the only parts house that was open was located in Roanoke, VA. They actually had the parts in stock. I decided it was best to replace all the steering parts before we made our trip out west. We were one hour from the store and were closing in one hour. Praise the Lord! we pulled into the parking lot at 10:00, just as they were closing and were able to purchase the $800.00 in front end parts. At our overnight stop, we worked in the parking lot and replaced the upper and lower control arms, inner and outer tie-rod ends, stabilizer bushings and shocks for the driver side. We didn’t have time to complete the other side, but they were not quite as bad. On our way to North Dakota, the service engine light came on and our gas mileage dropped to 5 miles per gallon. We discovered the oxygen sensors had failed and all four needed to be replaced. Once we arrived in North Dakota, we did the passenger side suspension while in the parking lot of Minot Baptist Church. Suffice it to say that we have certainly had an eventful couple of months.
Driving across Montana we saw some beautiful sights and also into Idaho. The kids have enjoyed seeing the Lord provide along the way, and have experienced many wonderful churches along the way. It is very encouraging for them to know there are true Christians who live for Christ in every state in America.

Please pray for our support to increase as we now have about 62% of what we have budgeted for the work in Astoria. We are still asking the Lord to speak to a couple about helping us when we begin. We are also praying about a name for the church, a time to begin, a place to live, and a place to meet for church. All these things will be done in God’s order as we pray and seek the Lord. Will you please continue in prayer with us?

Perhaps you will remember a few months back that Caleb fell from a tree and cut his hand. We also had to take Bella to the hospital. We have outstanding medical bills that we are making payments on and are praying the Lord will meet those needs. Thank you so much for your faithfulness! -The Byers Family

July 2017

PDF Download (suitable for printing)

Hello from Brooklyn Connecticut!

We have enjoyed the privilege of visiting with the Open Bible Baptist Church here in Brooklyn. Pastor and Mrs. Davis and the church have been long time supporters of our ministry. They began over ten years ago when we raised support to work with the military and continued to help us as we shifted our focus to the German speaking people of Nuremberg. Now as we make preparation to plant a church in the Pacific Northwest, they have pledged their continued support. Pastor Davis is also a church planter who began the ministry in the New England area nearly 20 years ago. Now they are helping to plant a church on the opposite side of the country in Astoria Oregon!

It was a blessing to hear from two churches in July who have increased their support of our ministry as we make the transition to Astoria. We have heard from many more churches who intend to continue supporting us for the church plant. Each of these churches has helped to reduce the costly and time consuming process of raising additional support. It is also vital as we continue to hunt for a house in the area. Because of Bella’s allergies, it will be important to find housing that will not pose any mold problem and we ask you to pray that we can find such a place. Praise God for the additional support and for those who have continued with us!

In July, we met with dear friends in Alabama and they are also very excited about the church plant in Astoria. They showed me a piano in their home and said they felt the Lord wanted them to donate it to us for the ministry. Praise the Lord! I trust he will continue to provide each step of the way as we trust Him!

Last week I received some troubling news from Veterans United, a loan agency that specializes in VA loans. For some strange reason, they would not approve us for a loan even after they had given us pre-approval. I assume this has to do with their failure to understand mission work. For some business, it is hard for them to understand how we pay our bills. Despite having credit scores well above 750, a housing allowance guarantee from BIMI, and VA backing; they have refused to loan for 1 year. We certainly don’t want to wait that long for a house so we ask you to pray. Interest rates will likely increase so we don’t want to wait too long. For those of you praying, we did not make an offer on the house we told you about in our last letter. We are still searching and appreciate your prayers.

Please pray for traveling safety and support for our travels as we finish up our meetings around the United States. There are yet several churches that we need to visit and then we plan to transition to visiting new churches who will partner with us. We have journeyed many thousands of miles and have many more to go. In October, we put new tires on the van and will likely need to replace them before winter. We have needed to change the oil a couple times each month and the kids are a bit saddle sore.

Soon, you will receive a letter with information about our support level and support goal as well as items we will need before we begin. To date, we have only lost 4 of our supporting churches! For now, please continue to pray for new support, housing in Astoria, and a couple to come and work with us. Not only is the Lord Jesus Christ great! he is also able. Thank you so much in having a part in this great endeavor!  -The Byers Family

June 2017

JUNE Prayer Letter PDF Download

Dear Church,

Greetings from the beautiful state of Tennessee. Our travels last month brought us to churches in New Jersey, and New York. We have several more churches to visit before we can head out west.

I trust you have received the packet of letters we sent last month concerning our change of field from Europe to church planting in the Northwest. It would be a blessing to us if you would update any bulletin, display board, website list, or map that you might use to remind people to pray for us. If you need a more recent family picture, we will have one posted to our website at www.thebyersfamily.net. We have also printed new prayer cards with the updated picture shown on this letterhead. As you can see by the picture, I am the fifth tallest person in our family now. Even Bella stands taller than her old dad.

The response from our last letter has been most encouraging and exciting. Well over 20 supporting churches have contacted me to express their approval, excitement, and support of our church planting endeavor in Astoria, Oregon. We are evaluating our needed support to determine how much additional support we may need in order to begin the church planting work in Astoria. At present, it seems that we are at 75% of our needed support, but it may be that we just had a low month in July. Please pray with us that our support can be raised in a very short time and that we can begin the work quickly. We trust the Lord will help us to find like-minded churches who will help us!

Just last week, Bella suffered from another severe and sudden asthma attack. She was taken to the hospital via Ambulance where she stayed the night. The doctors believe she suffered from an anaphylactic shock that was brought about by her allergies. Bella is recovering but certainly needs prayer. The pollen count has been dangerously high on the east coast. Unfortunately, we have continued in this area because we do not have the support for housing in the northwest as of yet. There are many expenses involved in getting settled in Astoria and we are trusting the Lord to help us with these as well as the many decisions that need to be made. The housing market is very difficult for buyers at the moment and renting is not easy or inexpensive for a family of our size. Traveling has also been much more costly than expected.

People seem to enjoy seeing our children and how they have grown. As our kids sing and pass out prayer cards, answer questions and talk with church members; a bond seems to grow between them and with our supporting churches. Therefore, it has been important to me that our family stay together during our reporting. We have two tents and have been relying on them to provide affordable housing as we travel. Camping is far cheaper than staying in a hotel. The entire family can spend the night with electric, water, and showers for around fifty dollars per night. In spite of this, the cost of fuel, tolls, eating out of a cooler, and other travel expenses has limited our saving for the move to Oregon.

In closing, I would like to remind each one that we are praying for the Lord to send a couple to work with us for a few years when we plant the church. Experience and Ecclesiastes have taught us that two are better than one. I believe the Lord is able to send a like-minded couple to help us to begin the work on the Oregon coast.

Sincerely,

-The Byers Family

May 2017 – An Open Door

Please read all four of the attached letters which are available for download and suitable for printing! These are vital to understanding our change of ministry and the reasons behind it.

Pastor Adams Letter Dr. Hembree Letter

 

Dear Praying Churches,

Since June of 2005, we have been missionaries to the country of Germany. God has richly blessed with souls saved, baptized, and discipled. Praise the Lord for this ministry! and thank you for your vital role in supporting us. It is clear to me that our ministry in Europe has not only been a time of reaping precious souls for Jesus Christ, but also preparation for what lies ahead.

Each of you know how the door for our work in Nuremberg Germany has closed with the people under the leadership of a German national, and you have also been praying with us that God would open a door for a new missionary endeavor. After praying, fasting, and seeking God’s face; it is clear to me that the Lord has opened the door for our family to plant a church in Astoria Oregon.

According to a 2014 Gallup poll, Oregon is one of the least religious states and also one of the most liberal politically. The spiritual need for Baptist churches in Astoria is overwhelming and the costal climate will be a welcomed change for Bella. Our pulmonologist highly recommends this move as the climate will be therapeutic for her lungs.

When I was seventeen years old and surrendered my life to preach the gospel, it was in my heart to plant a church in the Northwest just like my pastor did. Pastor Adams came to Portland Oregon 35 years ago, to a place described to him as “the fundamentalist graveyard.” Greater Portland Baptist Church was born, is thriving, and would now like to reproduce itself just 3 hours away in the town of Astoria. By God’s grace, our family will be leading that endeavor!

You have faithfully supported our work with the military, German speaking people, Iranians, and Syrians. The labor has been rewarding, fruitful, and blessed by God. Thank you so much for your unrelenting giving, prayers, and encouragement during these years. We have done as the Lord commanded us, and we could not have done it without you.

It is my prayer that you will consider how God is leading in our lives and commit to helping us to fulfill the great commission in Astoria Oregon. If you desire to take this journey with us, you may continue sending support in the same way you have been sending it, and approaching the same throne of grace you always do. Please contact me as soon as possible so that we can schedule a time to update your church on the work in Germany and the plan for Astoria. I pray the Lord will bless each of you and I thank you for the opportunity to represent your church for the Kingdom of God.

Sincerely,

Kevin L. Byers
Missionary