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January 2012 newsletter PDF Print E-mail


239 Duke Road

Columbia, La. 71418

(318) 649-7720




Dear Friends,


This last year went by so fast.  It seems like just yesterday that we moved back home to America and made many, many changes to the life of ministry and work that God laid before us.  At first, we were both so depressed that we could hardly feel like getting up and getting going.  Shane always told people to “keep pressing on” as a final salutation everywhere he went and whenever he wrote, but it seemed that it took us hearing those words ringing in our ears to keep us going at the beginning of 2011.  Praise God for His faithfulness to us.  If it had not been for Him, we might have been tempted to stall out or turn a different direction.  We were so tired and discouraged from the previous few years, but most of all from the sudden change and move from Ukraine, the place we’d grown to love and call home.  Arriving back in America, we felt as if there was no need for us in a land with such wealth and a place with so many professing Christians.  It seemed as if everyone was busy doing their own things, and that the world seemed to be chasing its tail, so to speak.  Well, God spoke clearly to us that His expectation was for us to keep pressing on and to patiently pay more attention to the fruit.



In the coming year of 2012, so far we have planned three trips to Central Asia—February for a church leadership training; May for the second Youth Conference; and October for the second Pastor’s ConferenceWe have one youth and one young adult retreat planned for March, 2012.  We are in the process of planning a children’s camp for July, 2012 and possibly a middle youth retreat at Richland Baptist Encampment site near Rayville, Louisiana.  


We’d like to raise support enough to sponsor approximately three teaching gazebos, some picnic tables to use for activities on the back deck, and maybe a shed for the walkway for this encampment.  If we’re able to raise the support, we will sponsor the building of these, hopefully before July gets here.  It is a beautiful place, but it needs some areas for teaching small group sessions and doing some activities.  If you would be interested in helping with this project financially or physically, please contact us at the email address above.


Also, if God leads your heart to help serve in the kid’s camp, tentative dates are the last week in July.    Shane plans to go back to South Asia and possibly Mongolia for two mission trips, and we are praying about possible Ukraine trips and maybe a trip back to the Philippines.  We will continue to work and minister wherever God allows throughout the coming year, preaching and serving as He gives opportunity. Please contact us for info about ministry opportunities!


We thank God for you!  Your gifts to Crossover Ministries throughout 2011 are gratefully acknowledged. Because of your contributions, we have been able to support the work of Jesus Christ locally, regionally, and around the world.



In February, we're going to South Asia to hold a leadership training conference.  We're working with a persecuted people group whose churches and homes were destroyed in 2008 by rioting, and whose lives were devastated by murder.  Many church leaders were killed and properties damaged.  We're now in the stage of rebuilding both material things like homes and churches, but more importantly, rebuilding people.  Many workers were lost and discouraged.  The purpose of our conference is to help restore confidence in the workers that remain, to encourage them to envision what God would have for His people and His Kingdom, and to help refresh them and to give them new ideas and insight on things that they can do.  These people are very poor, with almost no resources.  Most of them are tribal people living in remote mountainous regions.  We hope to encourage them to develop outreach and ministry such as children, youth, ladies, and family ministries, and possibly some ideas in agriculture and other social ministry that they might be able to reach out to help the people of their communities.  We believe that one of the church's greatest witnesses should be its power to affect its community.  We ask you to pray for this effort.  Even positive changes with good intentions could have a hurtful effect on the Christians of this community as many people in this region want Christianity eradicated from this area.  May God fill the hearts of the believers with love and compassion for their neighbors, and may He give grace to the hearers that they may be able to respond in faith to the message of  God's mercy to this world.


We will be taking teaching aids to help with illiterate adults and for children's ministry, first aid materials to teach some basic medical care, and we will continue our teaching with pastors and leaders on family and church leadership issues.



We will be hosting a youth congress in May in East Asia, leaving on April 29th and returning on May 13th.  It will be for youth ages 16 to 26, and will be a type of discipleship training conference.  This will be the second annual congress in that area!  So far, the team is small, so we are praying for God to send workers for this ministry.  It is a time of Bible study, worship, and prayer with youth from far reaching areas.  We are especially praying for women teachers. 


We will be working with the same persecuted people group that we have been working with for the past year.  Many of these youth have been through great difficulty, and have experienced much violence, but by the grace of God, many of them are determined to live for Christ.  It's our goal to strengthen them in the Word and ways of God, to encourage them in the joy of knowing Christ, and to love them through the fellowship of Christ.  We will be focusing on the practical aspects of life in trying to prepare them for their Christian journey.  IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN THIS TRIP, YOU NEED TO CONTACT US AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.



“I came to Christ in the year of 1992 by a local pastor.  When I was living aimlessly in my village and spent time with very company.  One day when I have planning cards with my friends under a tree.  I heard about Jesus Christ first time that  time I was not much interested buy I was worried about the word he uttered.  “If you died today you know where you will go” these few word very much disturbed me and a sense of fear griped my heart.  That night I could not sleep and next day I have started to search that man.  After 3 days I have found that man.  Later I came to know his name.  I thankful to pastor who made me understand the gospel of Jesus Christ.  First time I have cried out for my own life.  I have surrender my life to Christ and confess my sins I have done.  All of a sudden I feel I am the most fortunate one to know the true God in my village.  I started to speak other about Jesus Christ, I was a novice and I could not able to make them clear, every time I have run to my pastor with my quarry.  15 May, 1992 I and 12 other have taken baptism.  My pastor sends me to a Bible school.  I have successfully completed my Bible school and started to work in my area.  I come to the contact with another pastor, and for last 2 year I am taking care of a church.  Pray for me, my family and children that we may grow in Christ every day.”



We are considering a camp or retreat for 7th-10th grade if there is enough interest. Please e-mail us if you are interested, this would help us with planning.



Crossover Ministries will be hosting two Cajun-Style young people events in March near Ville Platte, Louisiana.

The first is for 11th and 12th grade High School students beginning Friday evening, March 9th starting at 6:00 PM and ending Sunday evening, March 11th at 5:00 PM.

The second is for young adult individuals ages 18-28, and will begin on Friday evening, March 16th beginning at 6:00 PM and end on Sunday evening, March 18th at 5:00 PM.

The events will be held on a large rice farm, so it is possible that you may be able to bring an ATV.  All participants must cooperate fully with the retreat schedule and camp rules. Your arrival time will be recorded, and you will not be allowed to leave the camp without checking out.  If you are under the age of 18, we must have parent’s written permission in our possession for you to leave earlier than the retreat schedule.  We will also need medical release forms and registration forms filled out and in our possession before you will be allowed to attend.  Contact us at the email address above, and we will email you the forms you will need if you are underage.  Attendees will not be allowed to roam in vehicles.

Although you may be able to bring your ATV, rules will be enforced regarding riding practices.  Absolute respect for the land owner and residents of the farm, including wildlife, will be observed. Fast, loud, or reckless riding, and riding in such a way that damages the land, roads, levees, and trails will not be allowed. We will ride in a group so that speed, activity, and location will be controlled. If you are under 18, you also must have signed documentation from your parents stating that you have permission to ride.  Crossover Ministries, our ministry team, participants, and the land owner are in no way responsible for accidents, medical bills, damage or loss to ATV’s or personal property. You are responsible for caring for yourself!  It is our plans to have a crawfish boil Saturday night if crawfish are available.  There will be Bible lesson and worship time each day, and all must attend.  Everyone must abide by the group schedule.  The total cost per person for the retreat is $50. This includes all meals, snacks, and soft drinks.  Each person is responsible for transportation to and from the farm.  It is possible that you may ride with us or with other team leaders.  

You will be considered registered when your registration form is received with the $50 for food. Space is limited, so register early to ensure a place.  All registration forms must be turned in by March 1, 2012.  Make checks payable to Crossover Ministries.  There is no refund of registration fee unless we are notified before March 6, 2012. We will send a map and more info after you are registered.

Not everyone (especially males) is promised a bed, but we will make you as comfortable as possible, although it may be on the floor.  Bring sleeping bags.   


We will be sponsoring kid’s camp for 2012 at the Richland Baptist Encampment during the month of July, 2012.  This retreat area is located on the banks of a smaller area of Beouff River.  It has a large kitchen/church activity area with a nice deck on the back for outside eating or activities and a big barbecue pit grill close by.  There are four dorm houses that hold approximately 18 people in each one—two on one side of the campus and two on the other side.  It has a ball field with a small set of blenchers for observers and even a tennis court which can also be used for basketball.  In the middle are is a small, but nicely kept swimming pool and a sand volleyball field.  On the outer parts of the campus are also horseshoe sand pits and ultimate Frisbee. 

The river has a deck for fishing and the banks are nicely cut and easily reached for fishing, but will be a reason for the need of plenty of workers to watch the kiddos.  If anyone would like to work as a dorm parent/child monitor in this camp, please contact us as soon as possible.  It will be for ages approximately 3rd to 7th grade, or possibly according to maturity level if we know a child already.  We will have lots of fun activities, good food, music, and last, but certainly not least, Bible study lessons according to these ages.  We will be giving more information at a later date, but if you would like to help with this camp or to sponsor a child or one of the building projects mentioned above, please contact us as soon as possible.  We will be back in town during the middle of February.


Shane and I were also blessed to return to Ukraine to be with our friends and church family back there.  We were excited to meet with Guitar Max in Kiev on our trip in, and he is doing great!  Max is attending the same American sponsored seminary type Bible school in Kiev, and he really says he likes it.  We were so thankful that he met us at the train station that day because he stayed there with us until the end, and was able to help us drag our four suitcases to the train—one for each of us personally, one for Madison and Yura since they were moving over, and one for Lori that contained lots of hats, scarves, and gloves sent by Jenn Smith and company to give to the orphans for Christmas.  On our way back out, we added Madison and Yura and even Curly Vika to our visitation list!  It’s been a while since we’d been able to see Vika, so we were blessed!


We were able to stay with our sweet missionary friend Lori Jackson at her new apartment, and it was such a good time of fellowship with her.  We were pretty amazed at how busy her little home had become, but she has such a good spirit about everything!  No matter how tired she got, she always said that she had prayed that her home would always be used for the glory of God.  I really can say that God was definitely granting that prayer!  She had church on Sunday evening, two nights of English groups, one Bible study night, and lots of stuff in-between!  We just hope she is able to get a little bit of alone time soon so that she will be renewed and refreshed

in the Lord.  We could see how tired she was, but so thankful that God is using her in such a wonderful way!


We were also very blessed at the sweet fellowship at the city church!  They will probably be treading through doctrinal issues and church growth issues for years to come, and it might even be much harder since it started out and continues to be somewhat of a multi-cultural place of worship, but our prayer is that God’s Holy Spirit will always be the ultimate leader and guide amongst each person who is faithful in that group!  It is obvious that their love for God is strong, and as long as God is considered to be the most important person in the midst of their worship, He will be able to work it all out for His glory!


We attended the group Bible study each Tuesday night we were in Ukraine, and I have to say that it is always an exciting time of “discussion” whenever the Ukrainians meet with a free format to speak in their Bible studies.  I was many times concerned that someone might get angry and offended in their lively discussions, but they always left with smiles and hugs for all.  My prayer is that God will guide them and help them every time they meet, and that He will raise up leaders and workers as they remain faithful to Him.


We were also very blessed to be able to visit one day in the village where we lived—we took a quick look at the campgrounds where we spent six summers with the precious kids of Ukraine.  The coal mine is now fixing up one side of this camp, and it looks as if they will use it as a “sanitorium,” or resting place for their workers.  They are also still renting the camps this summer to different religious groups who will be holding camps.  Anton and Ira Marchenka are in the process of planning to rent the facilities at the end of this summer to have two or three small camps with the support of several groups of people from America and possibly some Ukrainian sponsors, and we hope the very best for them as they give their time and efforts to this ministry.  Our hope is that each person we were privileged to be a part of their lives will continue to Press On for the glory of our God.


We were able to see Victor, the older gentleman who worked with us at our home, and were so blessed to see that he is doing much better, and has a good job.  The last time we were there, we had many concerns that Victor might not live through the year.  He even came all the way from Pavlovka on the bus to Lugansk to the city church services to see us and to spend time eating lunch with us.  We had already visited him for a few minutes at his job, so we were concerned he might not follow through with his plans to come see us in the city.  Praise God for His wonderful Grace!!!  During our visitation, we were able to see most of the camp workers and even Pavlena, the lady who helped us at our home.  She is still a character, and doing very well.


Overall it was a good trip, but some situations were sad.  Please keep Guitar Victalic and his family in your prayers.  They recently baptized their little baby girl, and are struggling with life and circumstances. Please also pray for a crippled couple named Sergei and Ola, who are expecting a baby and living in very poor conditions.  This couple is coming from a far village to the city church worship, and the situation is hard to consider and remedy because of all of the circumstances involved.  Please pray for all of Ukraine!



Shane will be preaching a revival at Friendship Baptist Church in Sikes, Louisiana April 22-25, 2012.  Bro. Mike Green is pastor of the church.  We would love for you to visit! 

Shane may be available for revivals or supply preaching at intervals this year!  Please feel free to contact us if you need us or would like for us to report to your church or to speak to your Vacation Bible School or mission groups.  We would love to schedule a time to visit.



Peace is one of my favorite fruits of God's Spirit, and I suppose that's because if you don't have peace, then life can be such a drain on the heart and mind.  Worry causes ulcers, blood disorders, heart disease, and a host of other medical troubles, and it comes because there is no peace of mind.  It is simply a part of life to have earthly worry and troubled thoughts, but if you dig just a little bit deeper in the life of a Christian who has really learned to "let go of their own life and let God have control" then you will see that there is a peace that passes all understanding hidden down deep inside that person's heart and mind.  They may speak of troubled circumstances and talk about their fears, but if you take the time to look and see, you will discover that they have learned that in whatever state they find themselves in, it is best to be content.  They have discovered that battles are usually not worth the fight if they are fighting by themselves, and that God is their defender and their redeemer.  He alone can change hearts, change lives, and change the world.  It is only by His Spirit working in and through each of us each day that His will and His way are accomplished.  It is only with this knowledge that you can know that no matter what may come your way; peace can be found in the midst of chaos.


Patience is something few in America possesses anymore.  I am inclined to believe that it is because we have had very little testing of our faith.  We are spoiled rotten on the good things of God, and we expect everything to happen just as we demand.  If it doesn't go as we have planned, we curse, pout, fight, & sometimes even self-destruct or destroy others—whoever is in our path.  The Bible says that we should count it as joy when we fall into different temptations because through those trials—it’s where we develop patience.  That is where we realize that we are just as vulnerable as any other, and if it were not for the grace and mercy of God, we can easily lose it all.  That is where the puff is knocked out from under us, and then we see just how weak, silly, and vulnerable as a human that we really are.  It helps us to put our lives into perspective, & to see that the most important person is not self.  The opposite of patience is rudeness and selfishness, so when we learn not to be self-centered, thinking that we are the most important, the most Godly, the most stable, the smartest, wisest, and best, then we can begin to let God work his perfect work inside us.  From that, patience is born.


Just this month, I discovered that something had been hidden deep in the back of my own heart, and I was in denial about what was there.  Probably because for many years of built up pity for myself, it was suddenly beginning to come fully to the  surface, and I could see that I was beginning to become very angry—and a root of bitterness was springing up within me due to some unforgiveness that I did not even realize I had!  (Hebrews 12:11-15) “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.  Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.”  (KJV)


Bitterness can cause a person to lash out at others, even in a righteous sort of way, demanding that others follow rules and regulations in life—in areas that might be coming from that person’s own hurt and anger by someone who committed some sort of sin against them in their past.  This reaction lacks love and care, and can only see the side of the immediate victim/s rather than to see that people in general make victims of one another throughout life.  We are all sinners, and can only be saved by the Grace of God, and without fully submitting to the guidance of His Spirit, we will continue to sin against our fellow man.  I remember the place where Saul was struck down and then asked, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?   And he said, Who art thou, Lord?  And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.”  (KJV)   As I was thinking of myself, I became so depressed, and felt I could not go on without some kind of answers from God just as Saul had been blinded and needed to see himself as he truly was.


I have come to understanding in some pretty unique ways as I have sought God for my answers.  My son has a very miniature dachshund puppy that has one of the kindest spirits I have ever seen in an animal.  She has never even thought about biting anyone, but I have also never seen a more hyper and feisty puppy than she is either.  We had to stop allowing her even to go outside for a few minutes off the leash because, in her excitement, she just runs…and runs…and runs, without stopping to ever look back.  She has gone away for more than a day already twice, and enticed our other male dachshund to also go off with her as well.  He likes to wander, but he stays pretty close apart from her company.  Because of her crazy behavior, we have to keep her inside unless we take her outside on a leash or stake her out on a leash.  She stays for many hours beside the window inside our house and watches for any unusual or even perceived stray person or animal outside, and if she thinks there is any type of unusual movement, she goes mad with shrill barking.  She usually startles the male pup, and in the beginning, he would run to see, thinking he needed to help her shout the alarm.  Now—I

think he just realizes how she is, and it seems he will join in on the barking only for the entertainment.  Well, I thought her behavior was pretty unique, but now I’ve been told that many people give their dachshunds away because they are so hyper and bark so much.  My son loves this pup dearly, and we could never give her away, but I am also definitely learning some lessons from her behavior.  She has absolutely no idea why we keep her inside or demand that she only go outside on her leash.  I’m sure that in her mind, she is merely suffering confinement with no purpose at all except to prevent her from fulfilling her natural call of duty.  For us, we know that this confinement is only to protect her.  We enjoy taking her for walks on a leash that will go only so far, and then will snatch her back if she continues to run hard past that point.  It only took her

 a few times of being snatched back before she realized just how far she was able to go.  At first, she rolled and tumbled and tossed and turned and ran trying to get free from the leash.  Later, she ran only to a point, and then changed her pace so that the leash did not snatch her back.  Even later, she discovered that if she put her head down and pulled hard like an Alaskan husky pulling a sled, she might be able to convince us to jog a little so that she could get to wherever she was going a little bit faster, huffing and puffing as she worked so hard to pull us along with her.  Most of the time, her goal was to get to the place along the roadway where the cows were standing by the fences, and then jump the ditch and get as close as possible to them so that she could bark…and bark…and bark.  Most of the time, not even really knowing where she was going or what she was going to, she would pull the leash so hard that she would start to choke.  In fact, she would choke down so bad that I would have to run to her and pick her up so that she could get some air and catch her breath again.  I would get so mad at her for doing that because over and over again she did the same exact thing.  Take off, pull hard, and choke down until I picked her up.  She seemed to have no clue as to why she was choking down.  As I watched her do this over and over again on one particular day, it suddenly struck me how much like that little dog I had become.  Wow!!!  God gave me an answer through that little dog.  I was running madly to who knows where, not even knowing where or why I was going…wild because of what I perceived as my natural duty in life—to lash out loudly and excitedly—feeling that it was necessary to correct or corral whoever or whatever came along.  In my excitement, I was choking down and could not understand why.  God was finding it necessary to keep me in a protected place to prevent my running away, but every time He gradually let me a little bit loose, I was pulling so hard against Him that I was killing myself and even my testimony to others.  Just as the behavior of so many others had become an annoyance to me in my life so that I was reacting with anger and bitterness, so was I also becoming just an aggravating annoyance them.  In that process, over and over again, God was having to pick me up and carry me along the way in order to protect me from myself.  I thought about that poem—Footprints in the Sand—and it really came to life for me that day!  Sometimes our troubles are not about our circumstances in life, but instead, they are about our responses to the circumstances in our lives.  In fact, our reaction to circumstances also determines who we ourselves will gradually become…and if we are not careful, we will find that we are becoming very similar to those we are correcting so harshly. 


God had to let me experience those choking down spells so that I could actually see how hard I was pulling Him to do what I thought He would want me to do.  Now…I understand that God really doesn’t need us to do the work of His Holy Spirit.  He is very capable of doing the work of conviction and persuasion—it is not my responsibility to bite at others for how they behave, and I must find it in my heart to forgive every single day no matter how much I feel hurt.  My job is to do the best I can to love and care for others as God has cared for me, and to do my best to keep them safe, with hopes that they will someday understand as I have understood—that God will carry them through whatever circumstance they may face along their way if they will die to themselves every day, and live every day trusting Him as their Savior, and also as their Lord. 





                                                                                                            BRO. SHANE AND MARILYN DUKE

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