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Robinsons' Herald for August 2004

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This page supplies our e·mail version of our prayer letter, The Robinsons' Herald for August 2004.

It is also available in PDF format for those who wish to print it out. Click here to download or view it (Right Click to download, Left Click to view) This is about 100k and about 30 seconds to download with a 56k dialup connection.

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The Robinsons’ Herald
E·mail version for August 2004

Greetings from ‘Next to Heaven’
in Carriacou, Grenada, West Indies!

Greeting from the Southern Caribbean! The Robinsons experienced our second tropical storm since arriving on Carriacou late in 1991. Tropical storm ‘Earl’ passed through on Sunday, August 15. It was not near as severe as ‘Lilly’ that blew through here late in 2002. This time we only had some pretty high winds and a lot of rain that lasted a few hours. We lost one piece of down spouting for our guttering, and one banana tree was knocked down. Unlike before, there were no landslides (of which I am aware) on Carriacou. We were without power for some twelve hours, but everything was back to normal by the next day. Unfortunately, we had to cancel all services for that day. Thanks for those that prayed for us after I sent out the request the Saturday before. I believe it likely would have been much worse had it not been for the prayers offered by the saints on our behalf. Please remember to pray for our continued safety and protection during the hurricane season that ends the last of November.

While I was stateside I had the privilege to visit with family and friends. I also had the opportunity to preach in three of our supporting church and report to our mission organization at Holy Mount Baptist Church in Kingsport, Tennessee. I preached that morning and planned to give a PowerPoint presentation of our work that Sunday night. But when I plugged their borrowed digital projector into my laptop computer it would not work. We initially thought there was a compatibility problem between my machine and their projector. But through the gracious help and skill of an IT student that happened to have his desktop tower there, I was able to give the presentation anyway. I narrated vocally, which is something I had never done before. I was tired when it was over, but encouraged by the response of the presentation.

The next day, a gracious couple there purchased a brand new digital projector for me. I know this was a sacrifice and was truly touched by their generosity. I am sure that it will be a tremendous asset both here on Carriacou and on furlough sometime in 2006. However, we were all shocked when even the new projector would not work with my laptop. (I will share a marvelous story about that at the end of this ‘newspaper’ for those that are still reading by then.) In any case, it was very encouraging and a true blessing to visit with the folks at Holy Mount.

I was also blessed to be at Cross Lanes Bible Church many times while I was stateside. I celebrated my 50th birthday this past June 16, and the church celebrated its 50th a couple of week later on July 4. There was nothing special about me crossing the half century mark, but that was not the case with CLBC’s 50th! There was a special banquet, special services, special singing, testimonies, and special speakers. I saw folks I had not seen for many years at the special services. It was a feast and I ate it up!

I also had the privilege of visiting with a dear pastor friend of one of our other supporting churches and preach there a few weeks after my last surgery. It is a church located in Princeton, West Virginia that began supporting us a few years back. It was a refreshing blessing as well.

As many of you know I have been back on Carriacou since Sunday morning, July 10. I have been on the go and very busy since my feet touched the ground that morning on the Hillsborough Jetty. I was taken directly from the jetty to our bus that was sitting on the road with a flat tire. After replacing the tire, Linda then proceeded to pick up the rest of our folks to bring them to church, only to have the bus stop in town a few minutes later. I was carried back to the bus, made a few quick checks, found nothing wrong, and got it started once more.

I was concerned that something electrical may have burned up because our alternator had begun overcharging the battery some three to four weeks earlier. Brother John McPherson, missionary pastor of Open Door Independent Baptist Church, had graciously worked on it many times trying to correct the problem in my absence. Yet is was still over charging while running and draining the battery once the bus was turned off and left with the battery connected. I did finally get it running and got to Sunday school just as it was ending. All services that day had been graciously taken over by a team of sixteen adults and teenagers from Danville Bible Baptist Church. They had arrived the day before and had come to conduct a vacation Bible School here on Carriacou. I was truly glad they were here to take over the services while I struggled with trying to get our bus running.

This was the third team sent by this church, which is one of our few supporting churches. The team did a wonderful job conducting the services that Sunday and the following Sunday morning as well. They also shared special music that ministered to us all. They demonstrated the same quality and wonderful servant spirit in conducting the vacation Bible School. The team conducted several classes, put on humorous skits, and gave good gospel preaching and teaching each day. Their godly demeanor and behavior was wonderful.

There were children (ages 5-18) that attended from the villages of mostly Windward, but also Dover, Meldrum, Belvedere, Belair, Bogles, Beausejour, Top Hill, Grand Bay, and Six Roads. On the first day, Monday, July 12, nearly 90 children showed up! On the last day, Friday, nearly 140 came, even though we had some pretty heavy rain on the last couple of days. There were several children that made professions of faith in Christ.

Please pray for those that made professions. Not much has change in the overall spiritual attitudes of many here on Carriacou. Strangely, some parents not only do not mind, but may even encourage their children to attend special events such as the VBS. Some may wish to simply get the children out of the house to have them entertained somewhere wholesome and safe during the summer months when school is out. Others may even like for their children to learn new songs and be taught the Bible stories they learn at VBS. However, very few, if any, would allow their children to attend any other church but their community’s ‘traditional church,’ which is the Roman Catholic Church that is just up the road from our meeting place in Windward.

Yet, it is my belief that many of the children have been truly saved through the four vacation Bible schools, and special meetings hosted by Windward Bible Church since 1992. Unfortunately, I believe that many never grow beyond that for fear of how relatives and friends would react. Nevertheless, I believe many have become children of God that will one day enter heaven by His grace.

You see, I believe that salvation is a gift granted by the God of heaven if we take Him at his word. I also believe that even if His children are faithless, He remains faithful (2 Tim. 2:13). Of course it is difficult to know who has truly been saved until we all step into heaven on that marvelous day when the last trump of the church age is blown and the saints are raptured (caught up) to forever be with the Lord. (1 Thes. 4:16-17) The same goes for too many in our own congregation. Too many seem to have been ‘raptured’ from our view when regatta or carnival season is going on here on Carriacou or on the mainland. Again, please remember to pray for the many children, especially those in their early and late teens that made professions of faith in Christ during the VBS.

Even with the above said about the prevailing spiritual attitudes of many that live here, there are encouraging signs that some of our believers are serious about their walk with the Lord, both young and old. I was pleased and encouraged that our attendance remained up and many of our folks remained faithful during my absence and also through the recent festive season. A man in our congregation faithfully led each service and filled our pulpit while I was away. I truly appreciate his faithfulness and ready servant attitude.

Linda also served faithfully as bus driver, Wednesday night piano player, and teacher of the children during Sunday school and also every third Wednesday night. Two other young ladies, Roxanne Maturine (in her mid 20s) and Caroline Cornelius also help on alternating Wednesday nights. Please pray for those that continue to help with the ministry of Windward Bible Church.

It is equally encouraging to see nonbelievers that have remained open and responsive to the Lord and the working of His Spirit. About three Wednesday nights back, three adults and one older teen indicated that they had received the Lord Jesus as their personal savior. They did this after a message in which I concluded by sharing how to be saved by explaining Romans 10:9-10 and Ephesians 2:8-10. I had been praying for these folks for over a year and was thrilled when they responded in this way. Please pray for these two women and two men.

While the team was conducting VBS, I spent much of three days working on our bus and car. On top of the other problems, the first day of VBS (the day after the flat tire and then it stalling in town) the bus’s clutch began slipping severely. I did a few things to it and it began working well enough for us to use, but I now have a clutch disk that I am hoping to install in the next week or two. I also had to replace the alternator after the malfunctioning one burned up the battery. This is the second alternator I have replaced in a year (they do not warranty them here beyond a month or two). At a little over $200.00 (US$) a clip, I hope this one lasts much longer.

While the team was here I also had to replace several parts on our 1987 Dodge Colt Vista station wagon. I picked up the parts I needed, which includes an alternator, fan thermostat, and power steering rack and pinion gearbox. The latter required a good solid four hours or so of standing on my head to replace. It was necessary for me to do the work while the team was here so that they could return the old power steering gearbox back to the auto parts store and get my $130.00 core charge back. It sure is good to have the car back on the road after it had been sitting idle since this past March. We are thankful for both vehicles. It was a bit trying to use an 18 passenger bus to go to the store, the post office, run errands, etc. Thus, it really is nice to have the car running again.

Speaking of the bus. About two weeks after the team from Danville Bible Baptist returned home, Greg Smith, the leader of the team and youth pastor of the church informed me that they had sent a special gift of $1000.00 to our mission board and challenged our other friends and supporters to match it so that we can replace our much needed bus. I was caught off guard by their generosity and desire to help in this much needed way. I told Greg that I would send out a prayer letter and mention their challenge. Please pray with us about this. The last few years I have spent too much time and money to keep our old vehicles going. Our car has nearly 150,000 miles on it (~60,000 Carriacou miles) and the bus chassis has over 340,000 on it. I am concerned about something failing due to old age and fatigue while we are driving that could cause a serious accident. Lastly, dealer items are getting scarce for the old Vista station wagon. More and more I have to check salvage yards for such items. Please pray with us about the challenge from Danville Bible Baptist concerning this fund to replace our bus.

The team from Danville left on the sea ferry at 3:30 PM that following Sunday, July 18. There were plenty of hugs and tears, and some of the young ones (college age) promised that we would see them again on Carriacou. Later that Sunday evening Windward Bible Church was privileged to have another group take over the service and provide special music and the message. The team leader was Paul Whitt, assistant and youth pastor of Berean Baptist Church of Lilburn, Georgia. They also did a superb job in conducting the service.

This team had come to Carriacou to conduct a camp organized and led by an Independent and Fundamental missionary, who serves in Dominica. The camp was entitled “Ambassador Youth Camp.” I believe that nine young people from Windward Bible Church attended, including our son, Jeshua. As I understand it, some nine other young people from Carriacou also attended, of which one was a teen that has attended Windward Bible Church a few times in the past. I was blessed to hear that about six of the young people made professions of faith in Christ – including the one that had attended some of our past services.

Linda and I attended four of the five special services that concluded each day. They consisted of stirring music, preaching, and challenges that were geared specifically for those in the middle to late teens.

Though all from Windward Bible Church had already made professions at times in the past, they were all challenged and I believe affected positively concerning serving God and seeking His will for their young lives. I can see visible changes in the character and behavior in many of them. It was a good camp, and many young people have already inquired about ‘next years’ camp. Any future camps will be up to those that organized and conducted this one. Please pray for the young people that made professions and those that were challenged in their walk with the Lord during the camp. Also pray about “next year’s camp.”

Since I have returned to Carriacou, I have worked almost daily trying to get caught up with pressing matters around the house, visiting some of the older ones in our church, comforting one that is terminally ill and others that are working through family tragedies. I have been putting in many hours and I am usually very tired at the end of each day. However, it is a pleasure to be simply weary and not miserable as I had been since December of 1996. It is almost strange to feel reasonably good again. Thanks for praying while I was in the states, and thanks to those that helped in special ways. Please remember to pray for the health of each one of us regularly. Pray also for the Williams family and one named Evelyn (pronounced ‘Ee’ va len’)

Lastly, I will probably send out a separate update in the next few weeks concerning my website. This is an aspect of ministry that seems to have taken on a life of it own. I have not been able to update it since the middle of March, but even with me being out of commission from March until July it has been faithfully at work. It has been presenting the gospel through both the written word (in 18 languages) and the spoken word in nearly one hundred expository messages to date that were given mostly at Windward Bible Church.

Last Chance Ministries (LCM) has been getting well over 1,000,000 hits for the last year! Hits are generated whenever a visitor enters any page of the site, regardless of how long they stay. That number does not include internal website traffic and web bots and spiders that crawl the site periodically to index it for search engines. Out of those hits, my conservative stats show that LCM gets 2,500 to 3,000 visitors each month that load and view at least two pages for nearly a minute each! (Other stats show the numbers to be twice these.)

My server stats also show file and directory traffic bandwidth that indicates that some 200 to 300 audio messages are being listened to or downloaded each month by people located around the world. I am thrilled with what the Lord is doing with the website.

Lord willing, I hope to post pages with photos of the team from Danville in the near future. I will send out and e·mail note with the URL address when it is ready. Please remember to pray for the effectiveness and outreach of our web based ministry.

Thanks once more for touching our lives with yours through your prayers, support, and special gifts. All good accomplished here is by the power and grace of our marvelous Father in heaven who often works through each of you. Thanks also for your patience and endurance in reading this very long newsletter.

 

Still looking up for Him,

Walter Robinson II

 

Please send all support to:

 

Holy Mount Baptist Missions Helps

P.O. Box 4177

Kingsport, Tennessee 37662

Tel. 423-247-1212 

Our overseas address is:

 

Walter II or Linda Robinson

Hillsborough P.O.

Carriacou, Grenada

West Indies

473-443-7776

PS: If you are not yet tired of reading, and desire to read a little more, you can read something extra that I have supplied in another e·mail that you should have received with this one. It is about the “Lighter Side” of living by faith, and I hope it will serve to challenge and encourage some that may be struggling with present and difficult circumstances. It is a little less than two pages long. ®

On The Lighter Side
 

Had Any Upgrades Lately?”

 

 I hope some will be encouraged by the following true stories of unexpected and unsought blessings that happened to me on this trip.

Some have written to ask me what it was like to travel ‘first class’ back to Carriacou. As some may also recall from updates I sent out before I left the US to return to Carriacou, the Lord miraculously gave me a first class airfare from Pittsburg to Grenada. I did not seek it and I did not know I was booking it until the US Airways Agent informed me that they happened to have a special promotion going that gave me this free upgrade! It was even cheaper that most bookings I had made in the past for traveling by coach. Well, I was definitely spoiled and likely ‘ruint’ (as some of us country folks say) when it comes to traveling by coach airfare from now on. Now, and in a nutshell, this is what it was like, for those who want to know.

They boarded me in the first group, put me a chair that was more like a Lazy-boy recliner in size and comfort, and even gave me an appetizer before the plane took off. They did the same on the last leg of my trip from Philadelphia to Grenada, but also served me a meal that truly satisfied me for several hours. There were no plastic eating utensils here, but instead it was the best stainless or silver money can by (I have trouble telling the difference because silver is usually something I spend instead of using for feeding my face). They supplied headphones so those in ‘first class’ could watch and listen to the movie at no charge – if they desire to do so. They also gave us drinks (tomato juice for me) on each leg of the trip, and more than once on the last long leg. And, if I had had my computer with me, I could have plugged into the special port provided in each of the seats. No doubt about it. It was first class.

Lastly, I am often amazed with the way the Lord uses trials to do something special in the lives of his children. The following is a case in point.

In a nutshell, I discovered that my three year old notebook (laptop) computer had a hardware problem the latter part of June – just three days before my purchased extended warranty was due to expire. This was revealed in a very inconvenient and embarrassing way when I tried to give a PowerPoint presentation at Holy Mount Baptist as explained in my previous “Robinsons’ Herald” for August of 2004. The next day I discovered that even a new digital projector, and eventually, several other external monitors also would not work with my external monitor port.

This port enables a notebook (or laptop) computer to display its screen on an external video device such as another monitor, digital projector, or a television. Though it is not essential to the basic operation and use of the portable computer, it is essential for showing PowerPoint presentations to large groups. Most missionaries now use this format instead of the old optical projector and slide set up. The capabilities of the newer system enable a vast use of multimedia content including slides (with many types of transitions between each), movies and movie clips, sound, and live interaction. Consequently, I wanted this repaired while my extended warranty was still in effect.

 After spending nearly two hours on the phone with the support department and trying this and that, they instructed me to ship it to them by FedEx overnight (at their expense) for service. They promised that I would have it back in three business days according to the stipulations of my extended warranty. I sent it in as instructed. However, after they received it, it appears that someone basically damaged it to the point that most of the insides and top cover needed replacing. I finally got a hold of a corporate manager to help me resolve the problem. The service department somehow put it back together and got it back to me the afternoon before I was scheduled to return to Carriacou. However, after I checked it out, it was apparent that the original problem was still present! After I made the manager aware that it still was not fixed, he told me to leave it in West Virginia and he would work something out by likely replacing it. I returned to Carriacou without it the next day.

Three days later, the Monday after I returned to Carriacou, he phoned me on Carriacou to tell me that he was going to replace my old computer with a newer one that was only a few months old (refurbished). I received it a little over a week later – and they even paid the Federal Express international priority shipping cost! When I picked up the box and opened it, I was amazed to see a gleaming and sleek notebook computer that is two to three times faster and more powerful than the one that was destroyed in their service center.

I could not believe all the extra features. For the geek types that are interested, it came with built-in Wi-Fi, a blazing Wirefire port, Super fast USB 2.0, a movie presenting WXGA display, ear tickling Harmon/Kardon sound system,  a CD and DVD burner combo drive, a 60 Gig Hard Drive, 512 Megs of RAM, and a 1.5 GHz Pentium-M processor. The processor is relatively new and designed specifically for mobile computers. It is low power consuming, cool running, and very powerful. In fact, various labs have shown that this processor is just as fast as regular Pentium 4s that run at 2.0 to 2.6 GHz and AMD Athlons that run at 3.0 GHz!

The battery in this thing lasted over six hours when I calibrated it a couple of weeks back! My old model would run at maximum of three hours on one battery. The old one would also get so ‘warm’ on the bottom you could press your pants with it. You barely notice the warmth of this one, even on a hot day. The fan almost never turns on, and this notebook is so quiet you cannot tell it is working hard unless you see something moving on the screen or some of the pretty lights are winking at you. The newer one also weighs a full pound less that the older model.

Equally unbelievable, three weeks later I received a new four button wireless and rechargeable mouse AND another three year express, three day return, extended warranty via Federal Express! They are also sending an extra battery. The latter items were sent by them to smooth out a few wrinkles I experienced right after I received the newer machine!

As hard as it may seem, the Lord has worked ‘problems’ out for me like this repeatedly. I never asked for this, and never even hinted at it, but this is what He has done through the graciousness of people that I had never met. In fact, it has happened so often I did not really get bent out of shape when I heard what had happened to my old notebook after I sent it in for service. My son, Jeshua, even told me later that he knew that this was what was going to happen after he heard about my old notebook getting trashed in the service center. He said he knew it because he has seen it happen to us so many times before. Living by faith is exciting beyond measure!

Now, I have no idea why the Lord provided such a powerful system when my old one was still so adequate. I can only surmise that ‘He’ has something ahead that is going to require the power of this machine. I thank the company and manager for going to such great lengths to straighten out my ‘problems.’ But foremost, I thank and praise God for this unexpected and unsought provision of such a nice tool.

Now to close. (Did I hear some breath ‘Amen’ at the last remark? Shame on you! Have you read Paul’s two ‘letters’ to the believers in Corinth lately? Yes, I know I am not Paul, and I know this not divinely inspired.) As I believe you can see, the Lord provided some miraculous and free upgrades for me as I went though some very difficult times. Times that were even more trying because my family was not with me during the ordeals of suffering, surgery, and recovery.

Yet, I am also mindful that most people on earth are traveling coach class through life and working with systems that are quickly becoming obsolete. Most are not aware that they can receive a free ‘UP’-grade if they simply take the Lord God of heaven at His word, trust Him, and quit worrying and leave all the details to Him. All He wants us to do is trust Him, and walk with Him wherever, whenever, and however He leads, no matter how rough the road may appear to be. He also wants us to inform as many as possible about the available free upgrades.

Too many believers spent way too much time fretting or being anxious or worrying, which is a sin according to Philippians 4:6. We worry about many things when we are supposed to trust Him to supply our daily needs and see us through the difficulties of living in this world.

Nonbelievers have the same problems as believers on top of traveling ‘cargo class’ in a worn out jet that is heading to a destination that really stinks.

Such believers and nonbelievers alike desperately need appropriate upgrades. Yet, such upgrades cannot be purchased because none has enough to buy them, just as I did not have the money to purchase either of the wonderful upgrades I have related here. Upgrades such as these can only be received as gifts that are available right now for those who will accept them.

Now, do you need an upgrade – or do you know someone who does? There are there for the taking by each and all.

 


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