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March- April 2012 newsletter PDF Print E-mail


239 Duke Road

Columbia, La. 71418

Phone 318 649 7720 






Central Asia

We returned from Central Asia with blessings.  God provided opportunity for us to hold two conferences, gathering 120 pastors, workers, and their wives.  We had to relocate the conference due to logistical problems, but things worked out for the best.  The people from a remote mountain region were able to see the sea and the fishermen, which brought new understanding to Biblical parables.  We were able to teach Biblical and practical information that should enable participants to better understand the work and purpose of gospel ministry as well as to carry it out.  Our ministry in this region is largely to tribal people or to those who minister to them.  The tribal groups are going through transition, as they are being forced into modern lifestyle and into a culture they don’t understand, while experiencing class and religious persecution.  They have been pushed into small places, and must integrate into a competitive society that has little use for them.  Although they are hundreds of thousands in number, most of them are uneducated and cannot read or speak a language that has a written alphabet.  We shared Bible truths and story-telling methods, including use of Bible teaching pictures.  We also shared practical information on income generation.  We are continuing “goat projects” and health improvement efforts with education and distribution of basic medical supplies through local churches.  We continue on-going ministry in the region, with plans for a Youth Congress in May and continued efforts with workers and leaders this fall.   Ministry is critical in this region, which has been plagued with violence and unrest for years.  There is frustration with people groups on all sides, and the conflict is not only about religion, but about other issues as well.  We are having success with efforts, although difficulty and threat remain.  Please pray for ministry there.  We cannot give details about ministry or individuals there, but our efforts are not a flash in the pan.  They are practical, coordinated with other ministries, solid in principal and teaching in order to better the whole man through gospel ministry and practical knowledge.  This work is consistent and requires long term vision and planning.  This is not a short term project, but should continue for years to come.



            The Youth Retreats at Cazan Lodge were a real blessing.  There were a total of thirty-one attending between the two weekend events, which included an ATV tour of a working rice and crawfish farm and spending some time sharing with real Cajuns at work.  We were intrigued by the beauty of the farm, as well as the abundance of crawfish, alligators, nesting cranes, and other wetland birds.  We enjoyed good food and clean fun.  The atmosphere was conducive to great fellowship and heartfelt devotional time.  God blessed us with his presence and by opening hearts to allow us to love one another and enjoy precious fellowship together.  We pray that God will use these sweet memories to help these youth as they pass through life.



          We will be partnering with Richland Baptist Encampment for Summer Children’s Camps.  Richland Baptist Encampment is located near Alto, Louisiana just off Hwy 15 near the Beouf River Bridge.  We welcome your children to attend.   Camp activities will include Bible Lessons, Worship time, Crafts, Swimming, Games, and Sport or Playground Activities.


Boy’s camp:  1st-6th grade – July 9-12 (9:00 am arrival on Monday & Departure – 5:00 pm Thursday).   Pre-registration is required, and we request a donation of $100 per child.


Girls camp:  1st-6th grade – July 16- 19 (9:00 am arrival on Monday & Departure – 5:00 pm Thursday).  Pre-registration is required, and we request a donation of $100 per child.


Older boys and girls camp: July 23-26 – boys and girls from 3rd - 8th grade     (9 am arrival on Monday & Departure – 5:00 pm Thursday.  Pre-registration is required, and we request a donation of $100 per child.


          Please contact us for registration and volunteer forms.  Early registration is recommended.  No child will be turned away for lack of money, but we ask that you do what you can to help with expenses.  Sponsors of children who cannot pay are appreciated and we need servants of all types to help with these camps.

          The camp theme will be “All things work together for good to them that love God”.  We will use illustrations from the lives of Jesus, Joseph, Jonah, Daniel, Esther, Ruth.  Lessons will vary from camp to camp.




     This is the first summer we will be in the US in eight years.  Although we will be traveling in foreign ministry in early May, we will be home for our son Caleb’s high school graduation.  We are proud of him as he has shown amazing ambition with Godly respect in his early life.  We are presently available to help with VBS, camps, supply preaching, mission reports, and ministry for much of the summer.   We are considering international plans for late summer, but until then, we would be glad to help you.




          Shane will be preaching a revival meeting at Friendship Baptist church near Sikes, Louisiana April 22-25.  Bro. Mike Green is the pastor.  We ask you to pray, and invite you to attend and help with this effort.




We are happy that our Ukrainian friends are planning some ministry of their own vision and efforts for this summer, including a youth retreat similar to the one we held together last summer.  Ukraine is implementing changes in laws that is making living and ministering there more complicated for missionaries.  We have requests for prayer from all of our acquaintances there.


In Tribute

     I must be careful with this, as there is no way we can give thanks or tribute to the many who have helped us, but I would like to mention Bro. Lester Carpenter who recently passed away.  I was able to share a few words at his funeral.  Bro. Carpenter took me under his wing when I first started preaching.  He called almost every week for years just to check on us.  He and his wife, Mrs. Zelma, watched after and cared for Marilyn and me as dear children.  They carried us on our first mission trip to Jamaica, and to many more after that, including one to the Indians in Oklahoma.  Through the years, as our ministry grew, he continued to encourage us, and even to warn us when he felt it necessary.  He has a huge part in the missionary work God has given us around the world.  He died at 92 years of age.  His funeral was filled with a cloud of witnesses who shared how God used him some way in their lives.  Bro. Carpenter always had words of testimony, but the one that stands out most to me was when he committed himself to Christ.  He said that while he was plowing, after a long period of conviction, he stopped the mule and fell between the plow handles vowing, “Lord, if you will take this thob from my soul, I will never say ‘never’.”  Apparently, God took that thob, and Bro. Carpenter never said “never.”  He started preaching the gospel before he could read it, and he accomplished much for the glory of God, without great wealth or denominational backing.  May God give us more men with a heart which desires to only obey and to never say “never” to God.

      We were not surprised to hear that Sis. Zelma passed away only a few days after Bro. Lester.  These two were so close that not even death could keep them apart.  You seldom saw one without the other.  They joyfully served together—service to the Lord was their life purpose.  May God raise for Himself a glorious bride who love him with all their hearts.


Thank You

            We thank you—to all of you who have and are helping us in ministry.  Our financial sponsorship comes from love gifts from churches and individuals.  All gifts are tax deductable, and very much appreciated by all in our circle.  Although many who are helped cannot thank you personally, they are grateful, and they thank God for you.  At present, we are helping to sponsor gospel workers in several countries, some of which cannot be named without causing problems. Let us go and do while we can—“the preaching of the gospel soon be over.”

WOW!  To live like that!

        I would like to close this letter with some “old news” from a brother who died centuries ago.  This was compiled by a Missionary friend of ours.

Greetings to you all in the beautiful name of Jesus! I woke up this morning remembering a few letters I had read years ago in the biography of a Welsh Puritan preacher named Christopher Love (1618-1651).  I am sure more could be said of the life of this Godly man, but what was on my mind this morning were these letters of correspondence between he and his wife Mary surrounding the day of his execution by the English government.  His execution being postponed twice, he was finally beheaded on August 22, 1651 at the age of 33 leaving behind his wife and their three young children.  These letters were a great encouragement to my heart and I pray they will be to each of yours as well.  May we, too, stir one another up to love and good works! 


Brother Philip Hodson, Ukraine    


July 14, 1651 (His execution was scheduled for July 15th)

Before I write a word further, I beseech thee to think not that it is thy wife but a friend now that writes to thee. I hope thou hast freely given up thy wife and children to God, who hath said in Jeremiah 49:11, “Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive, and let thy widow trust in me.” Thy Maker will be my husband, and a Father to thy children. O that the Lord would keep thee from having one troubled thought for thy relations. I desire freely to give thee up into thy Father’s hands, and not only look upon it as a crown of glory for thee to die for Christ, but as an honor to me that I should have a husband to leave for Christ.

I dare not speak to thee, nor have a thought within my own heart of my own unspeakable loss, but wholly keep my eye fixed upon thy inexpressible and inconceivable gain. Thou leavest but a sinful, mortal wife to be everlastingly married to the Lord of glory. Thou leavest but children, brothers, and sisters to go to the Lord Jesus, thy eldest Brother. Thou leavest friends on earth to go to the enjoyment of saints and angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect in glory. Thou dost but leave earth for heaven and changest a prison for a palace. And if natural affections should begin to arise, I hope that the spirit of grace that is within thee will quell them, knowing that all things here below are but dung and dross in comparison of those things that are above. I know thou keepest thine eye fixed on the hope of glory, which makes thy feet trample on the loss of earth.

My dear, I know God hath not only prepared glory for thee, and thee for it, but I am persuaded that He will sweeten the way for thee to come to the enjoyment of it. When thou art putting thy clothes on that morning, O think, “I am now putting on my wedding garments to go to be married to my everlasting Redeemer.”

When the messenger of death comes to thee, let him not seem dreadful to thee, but look on him as a messenger that brings thee tidings of eternal life. When thou goest up the scaffold, think (as thou saidst to me) that it is but thy fiery chariot to carry thee up to thy Father’s house.

And when thy layest thy precious head down to receive thy Father’s stroke, remember what thou saidst to me: Though thy head was severed from thy body, yet in a moment thy soul should be united to thy Head, the Lord Jesus, in heaven. And though it may seem something bitter, that by the hands of men we are parted a little sooner than otherwise we might have been, yet let us consider that it is the decree and will of our Father, and it will not be long ere we shall enjoy one another in heaven again.

Let us comfort one another with these sayings. Be comforted, my dear heart. It is but a little stroke and thou shalt be there where the weary shall be at rest and the wicked shall cease from troubling. Remember that thou mayest eat thy dinner with bitter herbs, yet thou shalt have a sweet supper with Christ that night. My dear, by what I write unto thee, I do not hereby undertake to teach thee; for these comforts I have received from the Lord by thee. I will write no more, nor trouble thee any further, but commit thee into the arms of God with whom ere long thee and I shall be.

Farewell, my dear. I shall never see thy face more till we both behold the face of the Lord Jesus at that great day.

~Mary Love


August 21, 1651 (the day before his execution)

I call thee so because God hath put heaven into thee before He hath taken thee to heaven. Thou now beholdest God, Christ and glory, as in a glass; but tomorrow, heaven's gates will be opened and thou shalt be in the full enjoyment of all those glories which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither can the heart of man understand. God hath now swallowed up thy heart in the thoughts of heaven, but ere long thou shalt be swallowed up in the enjoyment of heaven. And no marvel there should be such quietness and calmness in thy spirit while thou art sailing in this tempestuous sea, because thou perceivest by the eye of faith a haven of rest where thou shalt be rightly laden with all the glories of heaven. O lift up thy heart with joy when thou layest thy dear head on the block in the thought of this: that thou are laying thy head to rest in thy Father's bosom which, when thou dost awake, shall be crowned not with an earthly fading crown but with a heavenly eternal crown of glory.
And be not discouraged when thou shalt see a guard of soldiers triumphing with their trumpets about thee, but lift up thy heard and thou shalt behold God with a guard of His holy angels, triumphing to receive thee to glory. Be not dismayed at the scoffs and reproaches that thou mayest meet with in thy short way to heaven, for be assured that God will not only glorify thy body and soul in heaven but He will also make the memory of thee to be glorious on earth!
O let not one troubled thought for thy wife and babes arise within thee. Thy God will be our God and our portion. He will be a husband to thy widow and a father to thy children; the grace of thy God will be sufficient for us.
Now, my dear, I desire willingly and cheerfully to resign my right in thee to thy Father and my Father, who hath the greatest interest in thee. And confident I am, though men have separated us for a time yet our God will ere long bring us together again where we shall eternally enjoy one another, never to part more. O let me hear how God bears up thy heart, and let me taste of those comforts that support thee, that they may be as pillars of marble to bear up my sinking spirit. I can write no more. Farewell, farewell, my dear, till we meet there where we shall never bid farewell more; till which time I leave thee in the bosom of a loving, tender-hearted Father, and so I rest till I shall forever rest in Heaven,

Mary Love


July 15, 1651 (the day he expected to be executed)
From the Tower of London

My Dearest Beloved,

I am now going to my long home, yet I must write thee a word before I go hence and shall be seen no more. It is to beg thee to be comforted in my gain and not to be troubled in thy loss. Labor to suppress thy inward fears now that thou art under outward sorrows. As thy outward sufferings abound, let thy consolations in Christ also abound. I know thou art a woman of a sorrowful spirit. My time is short; I have but a few words of counsel to give thee, and then I shall leave thee to God who careth for thee and thine.
1. While thou art under desertions, labor rather to strengthen and clear up thy evidences for heaven than question them.
2. Remember a faith of adherence or reliance on the Lord Jesus brings thee to heaven, though thou want the faith of evidence of assurance.
3. Labor to find that (and more also) in God which thou hast lost in the creature.
4. Spend not thy days in heaviness for my death. If there were knowledge of things below or sorrow in heaven, I should grieve to think my beloved should mourn on earth.
5. Lie under a soul-searching ministry. I know thou art not a sponge hearer, sucking in foul water as well as fair. God hath given thee a good understanding, to be able to discern things that differ. As the mouth tastes meat, thy ear trieth words.
6. Be conversant in Christian meetings and much in the exercises of mortification, in fasting and prayers, yet have respect to the weakness of thy body and thy present condition.
7. Have a care of thyself and babes. God will take care of thee and them. I can write no more; farewell, my dear, farewell, farewell.
My dear, I beg thee to be satisfied. My heart is greatly comforted in God. I can quietly submit to the good pleasure of His will, and I hope thou dost so also. I am delivered by the determinate counsel of God; the will of the Lord be done. Read for thy comfort when I am dead and gone Jeremiah 49:11 and the beginning of 12; Isaiah 9:6-8; Psalm 5:6 and 146:9; 2 Corinthians 4:17-18; and Hebrews 12:6-7.
These are the last words written by thy dying, yet comforted husband,

Christopher Love


From the Tower of London

August 22, 1651
The Day of My Glorification

My most gracious beloved,

I am now going from a prison to a palace. I have finished my work, I am now to receive my wages. I am now going to heaven where are two of my children, and leaving thee on the earth where are three of my babes. Those two above need not my care, but the three below need thine. It comforts me to think two of my children are in the bosom of Abraham and three of them will be in the arms and care of so tender a godly mother.
I know thou art a woman of a sorrowful spirit, yet be comforted; though thy sorrow be great for thy husband's going out of the world, yet the pains shall be the less in bringing thy child into the world. Thou shalt be a joyful mother, though thou beest a sad widow. God hath many mercies in store for thee; the prayers of a dying husband for thee will not be lost. To my shame I speak it: I never prayed so much for thee at liberty as I have done in prison. I cannot write more, but I have a few practical counsels to leave with thee:
1. Keep under a sound, orthodox and soul-searching ministry. Oh, there are deceivers gone out into the world, but Christ's sheep know His voice and a stranger they will not follow. Attend on that ministry that teaches the way of God in truth, and follow Solomon's advice, Proverbs 19:27, "Cease to hear instruction that causes to err from the ways of knowledge."
2. Bring up thy children in the knowledge and admonition of the Lord. The mother ought to be a teacher in the father's absence. Proverbs 31:1, "The words which his mother taught him;" and Timothy was instructed by his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice, 2 Timothy 1:5.
3. Pray in thy family daily, that thy dwelling may be in the number of the families that call upon God.
4. Labor for a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price, 1 Peter 3:4.
5. Pour not on the comforts thou wantest, but on the mercies thou hast.
6. Look rather at God's end in afflicting than at the measure and degree of thy affliction.
7. Labor to clear up thy evidences for heaven when God takes from thee the comforts of earth, that as thy sufferings do abound, so thy consolations in Christ may abound much more, 2 Corinthians 1:5.
8. Though it is good to maintain a holy jealousy of the deceitfulness of thy heart, yet it is evil for thee to cherish fears and doubts about the truth of thy graces. If ever I had confidence touching the grace of another, I have confidence of grace in thee. I can say of thee as Peter did of Silvanus, "I am persuaded that this is the grace of God wherein thou standest." 1 Peter 5:12. Oh, my dear soul, wherefore doest thou doubt, whose heart hath been upright, whose walkings have been holy. I could venture my soul in thy soul's stead, such a confidence I have of thee.
9. When thou findest thy heart secure, presumptuous and proud, then pour upon corruption more than upon grace; but when thou findest thy heart doubting and unbelieving, then look on the grace not on thy infirmities.
10. Study the covenant of grace and the merits of Christ, and then be troubled if thou canst. Thou art interested in such a covenant that accepts purposes for performances, desires for deeds, sincerity for perfection, the righteousness of another, that of Jesus Christ, as if it were thine own. Oh, my love! Rest, rest, then, in the love of God, in the bosom of Christ.
11. Swallow up thy will in the will of God. It is a bitter cup we are to drink, but it is the cup our Father hath put into our hands. When Paul was to go to suffer at Jerusalem, the Christians could say, "The will of the Lord be done." Oh, say thou, when I go to Tower Hill, "The will of the Lord be done."
12. Rejoice in my joy. To mourn for me inordinately argues that either thou enviest or suspectest my happiness. The joy of the Lord is my strength; oh, let is be thine also!
Dear wife, farewell. I will call thee wife no more. I shall see thy face no more, yet I am not much troubled for now I am going to meet the Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ, to whom I shall be eternally married.


Thy dying yet most affectionate friend till death,
Christopher Love



                                                                                                                                                                Keep Pressing On!

                                                                                                                        Shane and Marilyn Duke

                                                                                                                        Crossover Ministries’ Associates

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