Saturday, December 21, 2013


800px-Manatvs_gelegen_op_de_Noot_RiuierMap of Manhattan on the East River {source}

We are in the process of writing a script for our video presentation.  Ben has been delving more into the history of the Bronx so that we can learn more about the area, and also continue seeking God’s specific guidance for our ministry there.  Here is a neat “coincidence” that we recently discovered…

As we have talked and dreamed over the last few years, something that I have asked Ben a couple of times is what he would like to name our church one day.  Though nothing has been decided for sure, he always says that he likes the name Emmaus Road Baptist Church

As you recall from Luke 24, there were two men walking along the road to Emmaus when Jesus himself drew near and walked along with them.  The conversation was on the recent events in Jerusalem, making them sad.  They were so sure that Jesus was the Messiah, but then He was crucified.  Rumor had it that the tomb was empty, but what should they believe?  Then Jesus revealed Himself to the men,

“And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:27)

Someone told us that the Bronx used to be a big farm, named after the Bronck family.  It became known as “The Bronx” because when people would travel to visit the family, they would say they were going to “The Bronck’s,” much as we would say we are going to the Smith’s.

The 680 acre farm was settled by Jonas Bronck who left Europe in 1639 bound for New Amsterdam.  When he arrived, he continued sailing up the East River.  Mr. Bronck was a religious person, and it is said that when Jonas first saw the area of land that would become his homestead, he made this statement:

The invisible hand of the Almighty Father, surely guided me to this beautiful country, a land covered with virgin forest and unlimited opportunities. It is a veritable paradise and needs but the industrious hand of man to make it the finest and most beautiful region in all the world.” {source}

Jonas Bronck died about four years after coming to America, and his farm changed hands many times following his death.  The plot of land became known by many names, including “Bronck’s Land, then just Broncksland, or simply Bronck’s.” {source}  These names stuck through the 17th century.  Eventually the name was misspelled and became simply the Bronx.

The Bronx is one of the five boroughs of New York City.  Whether it is named after the Bronck family farmland or the Bronx River (which divides the borough in half), its original owner Jonas Bronck had his own name for the beautiful country.  He called it Emmaus (remember he was a religious man).

We may one day have a church named Emmaus Road Baptist Church in the area of New York City which was originally known as Emmaus.  It was a little confirmation, a little token for good, a neat little gem in our study of the area to which God has called us.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Prayer Letter Email List

Word Newsletter header jpg

We have created an account with Mail Chimp to make it easier to send you our Prayer Letter updates.  If you were on our mailing list previously, we have added you to this new mailing list.  If you would like to sign up to receive our regular Prayer Letters via email, please use the link below.

 Please click here and follow the instructions.

Our prayer letters will always be available here on the blog, under the “Prayer Letters” tab.

Here is a link to our November 2013 prayer letter (PDF format) via Copy, and Dropbox.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Baptist World Mission Missionaries

Last week we traveled to Huntsville, AL to interview with Baptist World Mission as church planters to the Bronx.  I wanted to share a little bit about that process.

Trip to BWM Huntsville AL
The Baptist World Mission Board of Trustees

We actually had to submit our information by August 15th.  Ben and I completed separate applications, including some doctrinal questions, our testimony, our call to the mission field, and six references.  Ben had to complete a more in-depth doctrinal statement.  We both had to have medical exams and submit some other information.  The in person interview was just the last step in the process of getting approved by the board.

The conference started Monday morning with a doctrinal review.  There were four applying missionaries that had to be reviewed – two couples (one of them was us!) and two individual ladies.  We appeared before 3 board members and answered doctrinal questions to be sure that we are in agreement with BWM.  The questions were directed mostly to Ben, but I did get asked one.  Mine was the easy one. Smile  Although I knew it was a “no pressure” situation with nice men over Bible passages that we knew thoroughly, I was still nervous!  Ben kept telling me to relax, so I guess it must have showed!

After lunch we had a Candidate Committee review with two other board members.  Here we each shared our testimonies, call to vocational service, and our particular mission field.  Ben was asked questions about the Bronx, we discussed our finances, marriage, spiritual walks, etc.  I don’t do very well speaking in front of people – I usually get teary eyed and choke up.  This was no exception.  I was so frustrated that I couldn’t share my testimony without getting emotional, but probably I was more frustrated that I had forgotten my tissue!

These committees both made recommendations to the Board of Trustees, but it was still not a “done deal.”  On Tuesday afternoon we had to appear before the entire Board of Trustees (32 men).  We were again asked to share our testimonies.  I cried – again.  It didn’t help that my pastor, Jeff Musgrave, was sitting right across from me.  So many of these life-changing decisions happened while I was under his leadership at Highlands Baptist Church.  He played a big part in my surrender to the mission field. 

Trip to BWM Huntsville AL
It was so nice to see Pastor Musgrave again!

We were asked to step out while the Board voted on our acceptance.  Then we were called back in, and informed that the Board had voted unanimously to accept us as church planting missionaries to the Bronx. Dr. Steadman asked Pastor Musgrave to pray for us.  He got choked up too, so I was in good company!

We are very excited (and nervous) as this deputation process begins.  We have a lot of work to do contacting church, scheduling meetings, and traveling to present our ministry.  But we know the Lord is faithful – He has proved that to us over and over again – and we know that He will take us to the Bronx in His perfect timing.

Trip to BWM Huntsville AL
The Hamilton's – APPROVED! Church planters to the Bronx

Prayer Card Fall 2013 jpg #2Preliminary prayer card – we {obviously} need a family picture!