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Robinsons' Herald for December 2005

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This page supplies our most recent e·mail
version of our prayer letter, The Robinsons' Herald.

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The Robinsons’ Herald
E·mail version for October thru December 2005

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

Greetings from Carriacou. I am happy to report that our tank is nearly full and that no more storms came through this region of the Caribbean after Hurricane Emily in July. Everyone is hoping that this season is finally through with making history. Only time will tell. Meanwhile, Carriacou is as lovely as ever and the weather has been wonderful. We wish you could be here.

We have some good news and sad news to report in this issue of our quarterly herald.

First, we received a phone call from our daughter, Tabitha, a little over six AM this morning (Thursday December 22). She informed Linda that her father, William (‘Billy’) Hugh Carson, had just passed away in the Appalachian Regional Hospital, Beckley, West Virginia. I believe he was 78 years of age. His health had been failing over the years, and he had been in the hospital recently for a possible stroke and breathing problems. Last night, Linda’s mom, Francis, told her that her father seemed to have improved some. But, she received a call from the hospital a little before four this morning to inform her that her husband had passed away. As may be expected, many are taking it hard, but the Lord is giving them minute-by-minute grace.

Up until Mr. Carson was transported to the hospital a few days ago, Jeshua had been helping his grandmother take care of him. Since Jeshua has been in Beckley, he has spent a lot of time with Linda’s parents, often staying in their home. Thus, Jeshua had gotten closer to his grandfather. He is coping, but it is difficult for him. This is the first time he has lost someone close to him in death.

Tabitha has tentatively found reservations for us to fly out of Grenada on Monday, December 26 and return two weeks later on January 9. So far, it looks like we would need about $1,900.00 for the round trip for us both combined. Please remember to pray for Linda, Jeshua, Tabitha, and all the Carson family as they go through the bereavement process. Pray also for us as we look to the Lord as we wish to travel to Beckley, to be with the family and attend the funeral -- probably sometime next week.

 

Additional Prayer Requests for Linda

 

A little over a month back, Linda was involved in a vehicle accident with our old bus while she was picking up her route for Sunday Morning Service. It was raining slightly, and the road had become slippery. She was going down a hill toward a blind curve in the road when a Land Rover suddenly came from around the corner and mostly on her side of the road. Linda was only traveling about 15 to 17 mph, but she locked up the brakes and skidded down hill and caught him at his fender and door. Our bus suffered some damage to the bumper and lights on that side. The other vehicle suffered the most damage.

As hard as it may be to believe, the other driver is an American from Ohio that has a home and business here, and they are insured by the same company that insures us. The insurance company does not want anyone to admit to fault and wants the courts to decide the case. Our insurance policy specifically prohibits us from admitting liability, even if we felt we were completely at fault – which we do not believe is the case. The claims investigator and the agent both have also told us not to admit to liability, even if we wanted to do so just to get this matter behind us. At most, we could be liable for our deductible (which is 375.00 US) and perhaps a fine (we are told could be (50.00 to 100.00 US) for Linda not exercising “all due care and attention” if the court decides that she was completely at fault. I have tried to explain this to the man that was driving the other vehicle, but he has not been very understanding, and has gotten rude in past conversations.

It does seem that the insurance company is acting very slow to resolve the matter and it is frustrating to us. I am sure that this has contributed somewhat to the anger of the other party as well. In either case, we will need to repair our bus ourselves because we only have ‘third party” (liability) coverage on it. (I was told that this is the only coverage you can get on vehicles more than four years old here.)

Please pray for the Lord to resolve this matter quickly and justly. Pray for the other family to come to understand our position. We do not want the other people angry with us. We are not trying to stall or leave anyone hanging, but our hands are tied. Please pray for Linda as she deals with the stress that is coming from this situation on top of everything else.

 

News about Windward Bible Church

 

We are still holding services in the basement of our home since the first Sunday after the hurricane back in July. The landlord seems to be doing the work on the building whenever she can get local men to work for her free of charge or at a very low cost for labor. Consequently, the leaks have not been corrected to the point that I believe it would be fitting and wise for us to begin holding services there again. She had some work done a couple of weeks back, but we now need a hard downpour to test the repairs.

The good news is that our attendance has been up considerably since our last prayer letter in which we asked people to pray about the low attendance. Thanks for praying! The attendance in our services has been running from the mid thirties to the mid forties on most occasions since then! Even when attendance is normally down for this time of the year, we have seen even more coming back that we had not seen for many years.

This past Sunday morning we held our yearly Christmas program and over fifty were present! The program went really well and everyone enjoyed it. Linda and some of the other adults and older teens had worked with the children since early in November, and the children were very cooperative and eager to participate.

After the program, I took about fifteen minutes to share the Biblical significance of Christmas – the greatest gift made available to all mankind through the gospel. Afterwards, two ladies, both parents of children involved in the program, raised their hands to signify that they had prayed to receive the Lord Jesus as their Lord and Savior! Pray that the Lord will help these two single ladies to fully understand and grow in the Lord as we endeavor to nourish them as babes in Christ.

Many in our congregation have told us that they are looking forward to going with us to visit the two nursing homes and the hospital on Christmas Eve, this Saturday. The children will also say their recitations and we plan to sing a few carols and give a short message at each place so the patients and patrons can be reminded of the true significance of Christmas. We also plan to leave gift baskets or plates with each to let them know that they are not forgotten. Some are scheduled to help put the baskets together tomorrow, Friday, here at our home. Pray also for the Lord to use us to be a blessing to those in the nursing homes and hospital here on this coming Saturday.

We are seeing the sweetest spirit among the people in our congregation here than we have seen for many years. The Ladies’ Bible Studies on Tuesdays and the Men’s Bible Studies on Fridays have been well attended. Linda and I had special banquets and times of fellowship in the Bible studies last week to finish this year. Yum, Yum, and praise the Lord until we resume in January of 2006, Lord willing.

We still have our struggles and our ups and downs. But we are seeing more victories and ups than we have seen for some time. A young man (29) prayed with me to receive Christ as his savior several weeks back. I believe he has been genuinely born again, but it is also evident that he struggling right now as a new believer. Please remember to pray for “DB” to grow in the Lord and for us as we endeavor to nourish him as a babe in Christ. Please pray for the attendance to remain up and continue to increase. Pray for others to become more faithful once again. Also, remember to pray for the health of Sisters Scott, Stafford, and Williams, and also Brothers Clement and Alexander who are in the US working and furthering their education.

 

Other Ongoing Matters

 

I thought I had the oil leak on the Vista corrected until the middle of last week. It had run perfectly with no leaks for three or four weeks, then suddenly, it began to leak again. I now believe the RTV silicon sealer I purchased here and have been using is no good and keeps losing its seal. However, some friends from Florida came to visit us the last week in November, and they brought some good stuff at my request. I hope to remove the pan and use the new sealer on it as soon as possible.

Please pray for me to have the wisdom, stamina, and strength to fix the oil pan leak and correct the transmission problem. Also, pray that we will get a good price for it when we sell it.

 

News about Jeshua

 

Jeshua has been working at Wal-Mart in Beckley and taking steps to get into college as soon as possible. His e·mail address is JeshuaRobinson@gmail.com. His mailing address is: P. O. Box 2, Crab Orchard, West Virginia  25827. His physical Address is 148 Sutphin Street, Crab Orchard, West Virginia. (Tabitha’s addresses) The phone number there is (304) 253-0395. He has also been spending many days at his grandparents’ (Linda’s parents) home in East Park (subdivision in Beckley). The address there is 507 Broadway Street, Beckley, 25801. He now has a permanent cell phone, and the number is (304) 222-2577.

As expected, we still miss Jeshua very much, and from time to time we are still stung by his absence. Yet, God has been giving us both grace – I believe largely as result of people praying for us. The people here miss him as well. I am amazed at how often even the young children (boys and girls alike) tell us that they miss ‘Jessie’ and they mention his name for prayer during prayer request time in most services. Many his friends here ask about him when they see Linda or me out and about.

Please continue to pray for the Lord to protect, lead, and provide for Jeshua and give him ongoing good health.

 

Robinsons Furlough Plans

 

As mentioned in our last three prayer letters, we had hoped to take furlough in 2006 if someone could take over for us in our absence. Our need for increased support is even more so now due to a recent, tremendous, and sudden surge in the cost of living here.

Some three months back our fuel cost jumped by about 42%, and I have been told that it is going to go up again in the near future. This has affected prices across the board from groceries to power, which was already two to three times what it had been in the US. As mentioned in our last prayer letter, because of the sudden increase in the cost of living here we may need to take furlough very soon – even if there is no one here to take over for us while we are away for about a year, which would not be good for Windward Bible Church.

The good news is that there is currently a couple that is praying about and looking into coming down to take over for us next year! Because of previous obligations, they would not be able to come until the latter part of June of next year if things work out and the Lord continues to lead. They are very serious, and in fact, they are the ones that came down to visit us and survey the work here the last week in this past November. They had already visited us back in 2000.

We are thankful for their willingness to help. I will provide more specifics about them in the days ahead as things progress a little further. I believe we are in complete agreement in doctrine with this couple. They will need to raise support as both the man and the woman will be leaving their jobs behinds to serve the Lord here for one year. Please pray for the Lord to continue to lead and provide for this faithful couple as they remain open to possibly serving the Lord here on Carriacou in our absence next year.

Because of the amount of work that has to be done here, it would still be good if there were another couple or two that could down and work with them (one couple to work for the year or two couples that could work for six months each). It would be good even if someone could help for only a few months or even weeks.

Perhaps some of you know of someone that is considering overseas mission work as a church planter or helper. Please put them in contact with us right away. Please pray for the Lord to supply additional helpers not only while we are furlough, but also on a permanent basis.

Perhaps some of you also know of a church or pastor that is looking for, or is open to taking on the support of new missionaries – even if it is only temporary – until we take our next furlough. If so, please send me their contact information. Even better, you could put in a good word and recommend us to them. They can find all the information about us they would need through our website at: www.windwardbiblechurch.org. In the mean time, please pray for the Lord to lead new churches, individuals, and groups of like faith to support us to help meet our current needs.

 

Prayer Requests and Praise for Answered Prayer

 

1.     (Revised.) Car is running again, but I still need to correct a stubborn oil pan leak and a transmission problem. I hope to complete repairs and offer it for sell ASAP, Lord willing.)

2.     (Ongoing and revised) We need to sell our old bus or recondition it. We must constantly watch the temperature gauge and add water to it because it needs a radiator. It must be replaced soon or we could lose the engine. (I now plan to fully restore this bus or sell it and replace it with the money I hope to get for its sell and the sell of our car after I have gotten it back in good shape. We need to get $6500.00 to $7,000.00 (US$) from selling them both. Earlier in May of this year, we received a gracious gift of $9,000.00 to meet our targeted goal of 10,000.00 to purchase another bus! We found and purchased another bus in June! This is a big praise and answer to prayer. However, our old bus still needs to be repaired as a result of the accident, even though we are still using it. )

3.     (Ongoing.) The purchase of welding tanks so that I can make repairs to our vehicles and the security bars on our church building.

4.     (Ongoing.) We need to have a sign made for our meeting place in Windward for Windward Bible Church.

5.     (Ongoing.) Purchase of several sheets of decorative plywood to replace paneling on the walls that was damaged in our meeting place during the storms and subsequent rains.

6.     (Ongoing.) Completion of electrical wiring for our meeting place so that we can get our own power meter.

7.     (Ongoing.) A small desk and chair for my office in our meeting place.

8.     (Ongoing.) Paint to repaint the concrete floor of our meeting place.

9.     (Revised) Funds to pay for the purchase of two small window air conditioners and a closet-shelving organizer arrived in April. We must keep one room in our house with controlled humidity to protect precious books, electronic equipment, and recorded media from the salt air and constantly high humidity. We are currently using my office in our home for this. I estimate the total cost at $250.00 (US$).
(We received these items in April. So far, the church that purchased these items and shipped them to us have not told us how much we need to pay, though I have phoned the pastor and asked twice. I am currently waiting for his response.)

10.   (Ongoing.) Funds to build a restroom attached to our meeting place. We need a toilet, sink, pump, and other plumbing necessities, construction of a septic tank, and a small cistern (or tank) to store water caught from the roof.

11.   (Urgent and Revised.) For a few additional churches or individuals to begin to support us until we take furlough around July of 2006. We may have to take furlough sooner because of the pressing need of additional support as explained above.

12.   (Ongoing and Urgent.) As explained above, we desperately need another family to come and work permanently with us in the work here. We need a man to work as both an assistant pastor and youth pastor. A woman is needed to help in the ministry to young children and help Linda with ministering to the ladies. They would also help in our transportation ministry.

13.   (Ongoing and Urgent.) We desperately need one or two families to take over for us when we take a much-needed furlough soon. We will likely be on furlough for six to twelve months. As explained above, we may need to take furlough soon even if no one is provided to take over in our absence. This would not be good for the church. One couple for twelve months or two couples for six months each are needed as soon as possible. Pray specifically for one couple (as mentioned above) that is already praying and seeking the Lord’s will about coming the latter part of June 2006 to work here for one year. It would be good to have at least one other couple here to work with them.

14.   (Revised.) Ongoing health and continued improvement for me (Walter). I have been doing much, much better concerning the health issues that were treated last year. Linda has also been doing well. My back has been doing much better the last few months. (Please remember to continue praying for this need, and especially for the Lord to strengthen my back and heal it.)

15.   (Revised - Ongoing and urgent) For guidance and provision as Jeshua seeks to learn the Lord’s will for his life as he plans to further his education. He finished his twelfth year and is now looking forward to attending college. He is interested in medicine – specifically dentistry. He is considering a couple of schools at this point, one located in Huntington, West Virginia, and the other in South Carolina. His mind is not yet made up and he is still seeking the Lord leading and provision.

16.   (Ongoing.) As was predicted, this hurricane season has broken many records. Some on the mainland and on Carriacou still had not yet recovered from damage and destruction from last year, and now they are contending with damage and destruction cause by Hurricane Emily. Please pray that all of Grenada will be spared from another direct hit from hurricanes and tropical storms this year.

17.   (Revised - Praise and ongoing needs) Proper repair of our meeting place for Windward Bible Church in the Village of Windward. Roof is covered once again, but looks iffy and still had seven leaks as of about three weeks ago. We have much work to do yet by way of painting and some wall repairs.

18.   (Ongoing and Revised) We need to replace our old standby generator (made in the 1960s). I prefer a replacement rated at five to seven KW, with remote start and shutdown capabilities. Either LPG or gasoline will work. Our old one is worn out and burns one quart of oil every one to two hours of operation. A used Onan twin cylinder RV type in good condition would be good and cost much less in duties to get it into the country. We were recently told about a new Briggs and Stratton “7KW Remote Start Home Backup Generator” (item 776781) that would be even better, and it may cost less than the above mentioned type that is used. It goes for about $1,500.00 at Sam’s Club. This is not a luxury for us when the current goes out for long periods after a hurricane or for other reasons. We need it to keep our refrigerator cold and to supply water to our house by the electric pump. It also enable us to keep our internet connection up so that we can maintain communications to the states during emergencies.

       

Thanks for praying. Write us when you can. We would love to hear from you!

We are always thankful for each of you that support us by your gifts, prayers, friendship, and words of encouragement. We wish that each of you will experience the manifold benefits and grace that stems from knowing the Lord as we commemorate the provision of the priceless gift to His children some 2,000 years ago. All the best now, and in the year to come, and Merry Christmas to all...

 

Still looking up for Him,

(Signature omitted from online version for security reasons)

Walter Robinson II

 

Note: If you would like to have a shorter bimonthly or even a monthly prayer letter (instead of the current quarterly ones), write and let me know. I will consider it in the months ahead.


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