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Rye Hill Baptist Church
11512 Old Hwy 71 South
Fort Smith, AR, 72916

SUNDAY GATHERINGS:
08:00am - Early Service
09:45am - Sunday School
11:00am - Worship Service
06:00pm - Evening Service
Frankly Speaking:

July, 2014

Dear Church Member,

God provided us a way to scout the place of our July Mission trip last weekend through Mark Manes, a wonderful pilot friend of mine from the FBC of Alma. We really do not like going into a new missions area without checking it out. I knew in my heart of hearts that this was the right place to go after much prayer, and being there truly confirmed it in my spirit and what I saw. Pastor David Brisson shared with me some startling facts about the Native American Reservation in Pine Ridge South Dakota, where the Lakota Baptist Church is located. There is an unemployment rate of 80% on the reservation. 95% of the people living there are not in church on any given Sunday. Suicide and drunk driving are the number 1 and # 2 killers of Natives on the reservation. Life expectancy is 66 years old, while the national average is 77. Infant mortality per 1,000 births is 18 while in the U.S. is 7. Another statistic is their annual per capita income, which is $9,728.00 and the U.S. average is $27,334.00. Poverty abounds and several people asked us for a ride or money while we were there. It truly reminded me of mission work in Mexico.

Pine Ridge is a dry nation but we drove 2 miles to Nebraska to where four liquor stores were and we saw several men and women sleeping or passed out in front of those stores. They have wooden bars on most doors to keep people from kicking their doors in while they are gone and bars on many windows for the same purpose. Crime is extremely high but I promise you, we never felt threatened. The majority of the crime happens at night. I share these things with you to ask you to begin sincerely praying for the 13 people going on this Mission Trip, July 4th-11th. Please also pray for the Lakota Baptist Church and the sweet people that go to church there. They are a very small church that struggles financially. Pray a hedge of protection around us traveling and while we are there. Pray for Pastor David Brisson as he leads this struggling church to evangelize, disciple the Natives, and grow the church. What I saw while I sat in on a Bible Study of young Lakota men was a hunger for the Word of God. What we gave them was love, the Word, and hope. There is no doubt in my mind that God is going to do a wonderful work for the Kingdom that week. There is also no doubt that we will be able to encourage and bring hope to a hurting people. Pray for our visit to the prison that Saturday. Pray for our Revival Services beginning Sunday morning. Pray for our Vacation Bible School each morning. Pray for us as we paint a house a day for needy church members. Pray that nobody gets sick while we are gone. Pray specifically for the names of each of our Mission Team members: Mike Franklin, Steve Stewart, Denise Stewart, Dale Montgomery, Raye Montgomery, Bobby Archer, Scott Warren, Cynthia McCutcheon, Mikayla Roberts, Samantha Johnson, Logan Halsey, Emilee Childress, and George Weir. I promise you we would not put anyone in harms way but your prayers would be much appreciated. My heart tells me that there is great potential for seeing people saved, encouraging a hurting, small church, giving people hope and a Christian example of what can be done through Christ. There are two things you can do for us. First, bake 2 dozen cookies for our Vacation Bible School. We will be feeding the children and mothers at noon everyday. Second, pick up a case of 6 oz. water from Sam’s or any store. 6 oz. is a must for not wasting water. We will give these out as we pass out Revival and VBS flyers plus our paint teams will need them. From the bottom of my heart, “Thank You”, for supporting missions financially and through prayer. Only in eternity will we see the true effects a Mission Trip has on a lost and dying world.

Bro. Brandon Halsey will be preaching all three services on July 6th, and Thurman Smith will be leading the music. Please support these men of God with prayers and your presence, in Bro. Steve’s and my absence.

Thank you so much for the birthday cards, kind words, gift cards, and the generous love offering. You really know how to make a 56 year old preacher feel loved. Lori and I have greatly enjoyed our 10 1/2 years here and hope God leaves us here for at least 10 more. Have a great summer, be careful on vacations, and be in church every chance you get. I love each and every one of you and pray for you every week. May God bless you and your family.

In Christ,
Michael Franklin