Dear Praying Churches,
Three months of our furlough are already past and we feel as though we just got here. Snow fell yesterday here in Tennessee and the kids found a neighbor to loan them a sled, which they promptly broke. I don’t even know if they sell sleds here, it doesn’t snow much. We were truly blessed by the hospitality and generosity of Grace Baptist Church here in Alpine, and also by many other churches who thought of us during the Christmas season. Thank you all for being a blessing to us!
Josiah has been driving on a permit now for about two months. He seems to be more confident behind the wheel, and Stacy doesn’t grip the dashboard now quite so firmly when he takes the corners. We hope he can pass the drive next week, and graduate High School very soon. These are just the kinds of things that make us feel old. Brother Gregg, I know you read these letters and remember when I started driving. I can only imagine how you must feel to see these kids grow up.
Since our arrival in the States, we have enjoyed several meetings with supporting churches, and have also joined in ministries with Grace Baptist Church in Alpine, TN. Pastor and Mrs. Copeland and the whole church have encouraged my family, providing housing for us during our stay, friends for our kids, and ministry opportunities. We visit the nursing home every other week with our children, and the jail each week with Pastor Copeland.  I am so pleased to see our children appreciated and welcomed as they serve. They have needed this sort of encouragement for a long time!
This week, Stacy and I went to the jail with Brother Copeland to minister to the incarcerated. The pastor went to preach to them men, and I accompanied Stacy to visit the ladies. She began one week ago teaching about women in the Bible. Her first lesson started in Genesis and explained the Biblical place and purpose for a woman and how starkly this is contrasted by the world’s view. This week, she began to look at specific women in the Bible and began with Eve. She pointed out that Eve was alone when the serpent came to her, and she was not with her husband. She was designed to be a help to her husband, but she did the exact opposite of that by bringing him down. As she read the curse that God placed upon Eve in particular, and mankind in general; one lady began to pay special attention. Before we left the jail that day, this lady spoke up in front of all the ladies and said, “I want to be saved right now!” We were so thrilled to listen as this lady bowed her head and confessed she was a sinner, and asked Jesus to save her. What a joy it was!
Some have asked how they can pray for us more specifically. We are seeking the Lord’s will in opening the next door of opportunity in mission work. I believe the Lord knows exactly where he wants us, and we are trusting him to guide our steps. Please pray with us that the Lord’s will be done in our lives. We are also working to pay off some debt that was acquired on the mission field. I am embarrassed to mention this, but it is something we need prayer about. We have made great strides over the last few months, and are on schedule to be debt free in a few short months. Concerning Bella, she has not suffered one major asthma attack in several months. The change in climate has proven crucial for her. Praise the LORD!  We ask you to continue in prayer for her health. Thank you for allowing us to represent you as missionaries!
-The Byers FamilyNOV_DEC2016