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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

August, 2015

Dear Church Member,

It has been a very busy summer for me, beginning in early June with Childrenís Camp then going to Lawton every other week, things have gotten kind of crazy these past two weeks. I was half sick before we left for the South Dakota Mission Trip. It is 1002 miles and takes 16 hours in a church van. We cannot thank you enough for the heart felt prayers while we were gone. God did an amazing work at the Lakota Baptist Church while we were there. I can honestly say that when we left, I felt like we gave 110% to the Lordís work and we truly fulfilled everything that we set out to do for missions that week. God blessed us with 25 professions of faith when visiting the prison, 7 children were saved in Vacation Bible School, 6 adults prayed to receive Christ at our Revival Services, and 4 more were led to the Lord through personal evangelism. That is 42 total professions of faith, my friends! To God be the Glory, great thing He has done! We sow the seeds of the gospel but God gives the increase. Hallelujah!! I cannot thank the 19 members (20 including me) of our Mission Team enough for having a second mile attitude, and going above and beyond what was asked of them. We put a fresh coat of red paint with white trim on the church that made it look fantastic! Bro. Mike Merrival told me that people are still talking about how great it looks. Vacation Bible school was a huge success, plus our ladies went to the prison three times while we were there and really ministered to the women there. We also gave the Church a trailer full of clothes you donated that our ladies sorted by season and size. They will hand-out the first clothing giveaway in a couple of weeks. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for your total support for the Lakota Baptist Church and our second mission trip to South Dakota. I promise you, your mission money was well spent and they appreciated every minute that we were there! Dawn Merrival said as we were leaving that she couldnít wait for us to come back next year. My favorite part of the trip was preaching the Revival and handing out Gideon New Testaments the last day of Bible School. I literally had tears in my eyes as I saw Lakota childrenís eyes light-up when we handed them a Bible. Several asked for an extra Bible for a parent or friend. We gave out over 100 Bibles that day. We gave out 20 more New Testaments at the hospital on Sunday. We prayed for a 20 year old Lakota woman who tried to commit suicide one day earlier. Bro. Mike Merrival talked with her this week and she thanked us for our prayers and he will be making a follow up visit to try to get her into church. Please continue to pray for the Lakota people and that the Lakota Baptist Church will be a safe haven for people searching for peace and the Lord Jesus Christ. I have once again fallen in love with the Lakotaís and still have a burden for the church in Pine Ridge, South Dakota.

I want to thank Bro. Thurman Smith for leading the music and preaching for Bro. Steve and I while we were gone to South Dakota. I heard from several people what an outstanding job he did in our absence. I cannot thank God enough for gifted musicians and preachers like Bro. Thurman and Bro. Steve who lead when I am gone. This past week has been the sickest I have been in the eleven and one half years that I have been at RHBC. I have been going to Lawton every other week for the past six months. After coming home from South Dakota I can honestly say that I had nothing left in my tank. In 35 years of ministry I have never felt so drained, spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally. I have taken a Z- pack and tried to get better but a strong case of bronchitis knocked me down hard. I hated to miss preaching two Sundays in a row but with a rattle in my chest and a sore throat there was no way I could fight through it. A steroid shot, an inhaler and new meds have me slowly feeling better. Thank you so much for your much needed prayers. Many of you have told me to slow down but I could not see a place where I could. I said all that to say, thank you for being so patient and understanding with me during all this travel and being with my mother so much the last six months. I truly believe I have spent more time with her these last six months than I had in the last eight years since my father passed away. My plans are to regroup and go see mom again next week. Everyone has covered for me so graciously but nobody has done more than Bro. Steve has. We are very blessed to have the best Associate Pastor in the state of AR working for us. I have said it many times and I will say it again. I could not do what God allows me to do without your strong prayer support, a wonderful church staff, awesome church leadership and the power of the Holy Spirit inside of us and working in our church. I hate to miss any service at our church but to know that very capable leaders and preachers do such a great job while I am gone, only makes a huge smile come upon this preachers face. My plans are to ease back into full time service this next week plus get ready for this last leg of journey with my mother and her Home-going. Please continue to pray for her. They have increased her pain meds again and she sleeps quite a bit now. My family and I covet your prayers and thank God for each and everyone of you.

We are going to purposely keep our August Church calendar light so that we can go into the Fall refreshed and ready to go for our Lord and Savior at full force. Our attendance and offerings have been wonderful all summer long. We are close to presenting names to be approved by the church to begin our Building Committee meetings in preparation for a 750 seat Sanctuary. The Nominating Committee has met several times and is working on the final list of names. Our baptismal waters have been moving all summer long, people are joining the church every month and we have visitors nearly every Sunday. Praise God, no summer slump has been in our church this year! We cannot wait to see what God is going to do this fall as we continue to love Him, love people, show people we care, and continue to keep the gospel of Jesus Christ our #1 priority in the life of our church.

May God bless you and please know that even when I am gone and do not get to see you as much as I would like to, that I am praying for you and love you with all of my heart. Hope to see you this Sunday in Godís House, worshipping with Godís people.

In Christ,
Michael Franklin