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SWAT REPORT #116 11-11-08

 Act 18:21  But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus.


For quite awhile now I have desired to experience an alternative to furlough as most understand it.  We have now been on the field of eastern Europe, specifically in Romania for four full years.  We feel like the ministry is just about airborne and pointing in the right direction.  To leave now for a year of furlough would mean to leave this accelerating and exhilarating ministry in the toddler stage.  It would mean to shove all the work load upon my partner.  It would mean either to close up the house with all material goods and pay a year’s rent in advance…let my vehicles sit idle etc…or sell everything and start over.  I do not begrudge anyone for taking a furlough but I believe ever person should be fully persuaded in his own mind.  My alternative is to take a 10-12 hour flight back to USA  and schedule meetings for a month…see friends and relatives…check in with some supporting churches…present the work in some new churches…and fly home and rest.  What is wrong with that??? I have tried it twice now and it works GREAT.

 This past month of Oct. my family and I returned home to the good-ole USA, maybe for the last time considering sad Tuesday Nov. 4, upon the request of our Pastor Hank Thompson.  We participated in and thoroughly enjoyed being treated like royalty during our missions conference highlighting Capitol City’s home missionaries.  I took some meetings in other churches, saw many wonderful friends, and we are back in Romania before most of you even noticed.  Following is the story with some photos…of our accelerated furlough.

 In photo # 116.01 I am back behind the accordion singing “How Great Thou Art” in Pastor Dave Dunbar’s mission’s conference in Freedom Baptist Church in Auburn, NY.  Red carpet treatment for us that we did not deserve.  We do appreciate the opportunity to minister there along with two other missionary speakers. 

 In Photo # 116.02 is seen our Pastor Hank Thompson and his wife Mona.  Pastor Thompson has been suffering from a very debilitating health problem for over a year.  Please pray that the Lord would give him special strength to continue to shepherd one of America’s finest churches.  To the far right in this photo is Scotty Sutton.  He was 70 years old when I first took him on the street and he preached for the first time.  Having been a Christian for more than forty years, someone asked him why he never had preached on the street before…his answer… “There are six reasons…Y E L L O W”. In the background is my wife Robin and to her right is Mary Bethany.

 In Photo # 116.03 you will see all the speaker/missionaries and pastors for the conference.  To the far left is my partner Bro. Brent Logan.  To the far right is his partner Gerald Sutek.  Some of you may recognize some of your friends.

 In Photo # 116.04 is a major missions production put on by the church representing the many, many countries where their missions support is sent.  The church went all out this year with all rooms decorated for different countries, meals and housing for all 27 speakers, special meals and times with Pastor and Mrs. Thompson and from Sunday through Sunday a total of 30 marvellous messages by these good men. A truly first-class missions meeting.

In photo # 116.05 I am back beneath my old banner on the campus of UT at Austin with a group of very faithful publick ministers from my home church.  Bro. Tony Powell now leads them along with Scotty Sutton, two of my students in publick ministry.  Praise the Lord for fruit that remains.

 In Photo # 116.06 the general and his dancing bear do Vegas one more time.  Yes, I spent a most delightful week with the Bear family…a most enjoyable family I must say.  Bear is doing a very excellent job of ministering to the losers in Vegas.  He is THE man for the job.  Notice Photo # 116.07 yes, we are singing “How Great Thou Art” together again in Pastor Pete McKenzie’s Bible Baptist church in Las Vegas.  Pastor McKenzie graciously gave me his pulpit for three services on Sunday.   My grandkids via my son Bear are viewed with me on the platform in this church in Photo #116.08.  Some of these men were led to the Lord by Bear (whom I led to the Lord) and or were taught publick ministry by Bear (whom I taught publick ministry) thus, my grandsons in the ministry.  I am very proud of my son and grandson’s ministry on the streets of Las Vegas, NV.

 Notice in Photo # 116.09 you may now place your bets via drive in window.  On our way to church Sunday AM we noticed a long line of cars in this three window express.  Folks dressed for church were placing their bets on the football games on the east coast before they go to church because of the time zone differences.  Very convenient.  The casinos also will help you with your credit card…they hold them for you and let you know when they are maxed out.  They make bankruptcy as pleasant and convenient as possible for losers.

 In Photo # 116.10 are a couple more of my sons in publick ministry.  Dom Mauro, his wife, and Mark McLaughlin help the SWAT TEAM celebrate Mary Bethany’s birthday at Dom’s home in Syracuse, NY.  Dom and his wife were the hosts with the mosts to us for which we are most grateful.  Dom, Mark, and I preached to many basketball fans arriving at a big game on the campus of Syracuse, U.   Nothing like publick ministry. 

 In Photo # 116.11 is one more of my sons in publick ministry Dewey Stewart.  He is Pastor of this church and graciously held a special Thursday night meeting for me to present the work in Romania.  He has such a beautiful family and a very promising ministry near Binghamton, NY.  He is son in law to my good friend Dom Mauro mentioned above.

 We also ministered in Pastor Scott Strobel’s church in Lockport, NY.  They have faithfully supported my ministry both in prayer and finance for many years now.   We were grateful for the marvelous opportunity to minister to their church.

 We also ministered in True Vine Bapt., Pastor Ed Ware in Glendale, AZ.  They had a half-week’s meeting and once again gave us the royal treatment.   Many, many friends and a long association with these good people.  We all went out on the streets together in Tempe, AZ near the campus of Arizona State U. 

 We tried to make the most of our month home and along with the stress of the flights and long hours of ministry came some illness on the flight home.  Both my girls have suffered from sore throats, no voice, and insomnia since our arrival on Nov. 5.

 We do appreciate your prayers for us as we pick up where we left off just a brief month ago.

 Would love to hear from each of you either via a reply or phone 850-390-4003

Faint, yet pursuing for the Lord on the eastern front.
Gerald Sutek and the SWAT TEAM for Christ

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