Sweet Reminiscence, Part 2

Jesse Boyd preaches open-air outside a Charlotte Bobcats NBA game.

Greetings, my friends, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Out of the darkness of these days, I write unto you for edification, giving testimony of the Lord’s grace and faithfulness, that ye might be comforted. Yes, “the wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted” (Psalm 12:8), but “the words of the LORD are pure words . . . Thou shalt keep them O LORD (Psalm 12:6-7),” and “he hath prepared his throne for judgment” (Psalm 9:7). Now, for many of us, our feet seem to slip as day in and day out we behold the prosperity of the wicked and the invariable knavery of a thriving society that scoffs at the Word of God and the Remnant Body of Jesus Christ (Psalm 73:2-3). “Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble (Psalm 10:1)?” . . . “When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; Until I went into the sanctuary of God, then understood I their end . . . So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee (Psalm 73:17, 22)” . . . “The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. So that a man may say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: VERILY HE IS A GOD THAT JUDGETH IN THE EARTH (Psalm 58:10-11).” Oh, how the words of the psalmists are a treasure-trove of comfort and a well-spring of truth in troubling times. Ensconce thyself in God’s Word; and find rest.

Please pray for Full Proof Gospel Ministries. Pray that we will be bold; that we’ll continue to step out in faith, trusting the Lord to provide; and that He WILL make provision in a time of need. Over the past six months or so, we have seen our committed monthly support dwindle, undoubtedly due to a sagging economy and financial hardships for many. As a result, FPGM finds itself in a position where normal monthly expenses are exceeding our committed monthly support by several hundred dollars, and this doesn’t factor in the inevitable costs of looming itinerant outreach that is at the core of our calling to “make the Gospel an unavoidable issue for as many people as possible all around the world and just around the corner.”

As debt is not an option for FPGM, we go, do, and give AS THE LORD PROVIDES. Committed monthly support from God’s people, even if but a little, helps us to budget properly so that we can continue proclaiming the Gospel itinerantly, carry on the work of Project Jagerna and support our national partner in Nepal, and print and purchase Gospel materials for mass distribution. Please join us as we pray for God to make up for what has been recently lost and to increase our monthly support. If the Lord should lead you or your church to contribute toward the work in this way, it will be most appreciated; and don’t forget that all contributions are tax-deductible for U.S. citizens. Our contact information appears at the end of this email, or CLICK HERE for more information.

If FPGM were a business, financial reports would suggest that our doors should be shut and that we couldn’t operate in the black. But, we are not a business, and I am not a CEO. The LORD is our keeper, the shade upon our right hand; He is our PROVIDER. What doesn’t make financial sense in the eyes of man is a testimony to His faithfulness and the faithful generosity of His people. Thus, we won’t sit back and wait on Him to provide, we’ll go forth according to His clear leading as confirmed in His Word, knowing that God never guides where He does not provide. I recall being in this same financial situation more than a year ago on the eve of my bicycle missionary journey to Alaska. As Ricky and I set our faces north, FPGM definitely did not have the funds to complete such a journey. Seven months later, when my family and I rolled back into Vale, NC, I was amazed to compare the ministry’s financial situation with what it had been before we left. It was pretty much the same. From a human perspective, it made no fiscal sense; but the Lord helped us to travel cheap, made abundant provision, and put precious believers into our path all along the way. Today, I again ask you to pray for our supply; and we’ll commit to keep proclaiming the Gospel in the streets and highways of the cites and the highways and hedges in uttermost corners. I am excited to think about how the Lord is going to furnish our needs and be glorified in this matter.

Well, I am finally getting out Part 2 of the update that I began more than a month ago. Again, I apologize for the negligence in this matter. Things have been very busy around here as we continue to become accustomed to a larger family and another newborn. Mom and baby have done well, and we are finally getting a little more sleep at night. Thanks for all your prayers in the matter of Josiah McCandless’ home-birth.

God has also given opportunity for lots of local outreach over the past month, and He is paving the way for some intense missionary work for FPGM this summer here in North America. But, before I get into any of this, let me finish recapping our work down in South America back in February and March. Please be praying for Dylan and Cheri Harris and their family in the coming weeks. After more than six months of intense labor for the Gospel, including the three weeks that we partnered together, they will be returning from Argentina and attempting to establish a base for themselves in Oregon before setting out again for the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ. They have many needs, so pray that the Lord makes provision and leads them in a plain path (Psalm 27:11). You can read about some of their adventures for the cause of Christ, including a recap of my coming alongside them, HERE.

Torre Principal

In a mere five weeks in South America, the Lord was good to allow us to tag 4 countries, saturate 21 cities and towns, share Christ the Messiah with 13 Jewish folks, provide evangelism training in 2 churches, supply 3 Andean backcountry refugios with Gospel materials, and place the Word of God atop 5 Andean peaks, culminating with the mighty Torre Principal (5 pitches on rope to get up, including a 5.10 summit block, and 7 rappels to get down). A man and wife came to Christ in a Bolivian village; I had the privilege of interacting with some fine national believers; and many heard the Word of God from the high altiplano to the sultry jungle and from the green western slopes of the Andes to the dry pampas of the east side. Many of you prayed for us during this time, and your cries were heard. The fruit is yours; thank-you.

In Part 1 of this update, rather than a step-by-step summary, I highlighted a few Scriptural truths with which I was confronted as I roamed the Southern Hemisphere. Let me pick up where I left off:

“I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labor: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours (John 4:38).”

We often consider Jesus’ exhortation to His disciples while in Samaria concerning the fields white unto harvest, rightly embracing this as a call from our Lord to go out with the Gospel. However, what Jesus goes on to say about those who sow and those who reap is often overlooked. As Bruno and I were hitchhiking around Bolivia and into Peru with the Gospel, we opted to follow a dirt road along the eastern shore of Lake Titicaca, having noted that a few small villages were situated there. We had some fresh socks to give out in the name of Jesus and desired to get off the “Gringo Trail.” Later, we hopped off a microbus in the small hamlet of Capani and began to go lane by lane, proclaiming the Gospel to such as we could find. As I did a little preaching through a rope trick, some young folks exclaimed that gringos had never come to that place. Bruno and I began to think that we were truly at an uttermost corner of the earth, sowing seed in that place for the first time. There was rejoicing in this, but, I am ashamed to admit, a flutter of pride quickly followed, perhaps the subtle pride that occasioned Jesus’ words to his disciples in John 4:38. Shortly thereafter, we saw a woman in traditional altiplano garb with a young girl and a baby ambling down an alley. We offered them Gospel tracts only to discover that they were believers. Paulina spoke of having suffered many hardships in that place as a result of her faith in Christ and of her desire to be a light in the prevailing darkness of her hometown. She invited us into her store that had recently been robbed, and we prayed together for the people of Capani. Before leaving, Bruno and I supplied her and her daughter with some Bibles and tracts for distribution. They were so grateful, tears coming to their eyes. In those moments, the above Scripture came to mind. We were nothing special, and God doesn’t need us to take His Word into the Capanis of the world. He has a remnant, or can easily raise one up, even in the uttermost corners of His planet. For us, it was no great thing to preach there, ‘twas simply a privilege and an opportunity to be obedient. As Jesus said in Luke 17:10, “when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded of you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” In Capani, we were entering into other believers’ labors, labors that had brought hardship and suffering. Paulina and her daughter had sowed, we had watered–”that both he that soweth and he that reapeth my rejoice together” (John 4:36).

Believers in Capani, Peru

This, we did in that little store, lifting up our voices to God in corporate prayer. So, the lesson for me was this: God desires to use us for the sowing of His Word, but He does not need us. If we are unwilling or disobedient, He can and will raise up someone else, even in the most unlikely of circumstances. Be obedient to the Great Commission with humility of spirit, for other faithful servants have labored, and many times, we are simply entering into those labors. Please pray for Paulina and her daughter (a young mother whose husband left her with a newborn baby because of her Christian testimony) in the small little Peruvian village of Capani on the high altiplano. Before leaving Capani, Bruno and I found a very old woman in the street who could not walk. Her wrinkled leathern face bewrayed years of hardship and toil under a harsh high-altitude sun. We prayed over this poor soul and gave her some bread, sharing as best we could the hope that could be found in Jesus Christ, One who healed the lame as He walked the dusty streets of Galilee. Oh, how I longed to be able to say to that woman: “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6). Perhaps it was a lack of faith on my part. Some would say so, I suppose. The Lord knoweth. Still, we gave her some socks in the name of Christ and trusted that the encounter had not been in vain. Sadly, we bid farewell to Capani and moved on. Leaving, we heard a strange thing. A couple of female cyclists from America had pedaled through the outskirts several days before, proclaiming the Gospel. Truly, we had entered into others’ labors, watering where they had sown. Bruno and I rejoiced and were humbled.

“Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city . . . Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in . . . (Luke 14:21-23).

Dylan Harris gives out the Gospel in the barrios outside Bariloche, Argentina.

Oftentimes, as we read Jesus’ parable of the Great Supper in Luke 14 (or a similar one found in Matthew 22), the focus is upon the friends and loved ones who made lame excuses about why they could not come to the wedding. Little contemplation is made over the servant who was able to say to his master: “It is done as thou hast commanded” (Luke 14:22). That servant represents, I believe, the Remnant Body of Jesus Christ while those that made excuse were a reference to the Jews of Jesus’ day, and in our context, could easily apply to the religious folk of America’s churches (the ones who should have known better). Anyway, the master (i.e. the Lord) told his servant to go into the streets and lanes of the city as well as the highways and hedges. In Matthew 22:9, it reads: “Go ye therefore into the highways AND AS MANY AS YE SHALL FIND, bid to the marriage.” The work of the Great Commission demands a simple strategy, simple incarnation as modeled by our Saviour when He took on human flesh and walked the dusty roads of Palestine. What greater calling can there be for man than to do as Jesus did: walk the streets and lanes of the city and the highways and hedges, inviting such as can be found to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb? As we walked many dusty roads and city streets, combing through barrios lane by lane in South America, I was reminded of this passage and evoked to further embrace simple incarnation as the essence of what FPGM exists to do. In other words: We go out into the streets of big cities (where many can be found and crowds can be gathered) as well as highways, hedges, and ends of the road (uttermost corners where the work is difficult and fruit is oftentimes not seen). Sure, the big cities are attractive with endless opportunity, but someone must also go to the villages, be willing to comb the shantytowns and remote crossings, proclaiming salvation to “as many as ye shall find” (Matthew 22:9). This, we commit to do. Pray for us, and we invite you to come alongside.

As I think on these things, I do recall an interesting encounter that Dylan and I had in a barrio on the outskirts of Bariloche down in Argentina. We were attempting to saturate the entire neighborhood, street by street and block by block. To such as we found, we shared the Good News and distributed Gospel tracts. We also left tracts in mailboxes (not a federal offense in Argentina) and attached them to gates. That day, we ran into two Mormons who were combing the same neighborhood with their lies. Dylan had previously encountered the leader and had been able to share salvation in Christ, God manifest in the flesh, apart from works. The previous partner who had listened with intent and asked many questions was not with him this day. It was discovered that this young man had quit his Mormon mission and went home due to his questioning of his Mormon faith. Undoubtedly, this was a result of Dylan’s boldness and the truth that had been given directly from the Scriptures. We quietly rejoiced over this. Anyway, a new partner was with the young leader, so we took to the Scriptures, plowing with the Law and dropping in the seed of the Gospel. “You must be born again,” Dylan entreated. ‘Twas a good encounter. As we parted ways, the Mormon leader said, “Oh, by the way, there are some Jehovah’s Witnesses out in this neighborhood today as well. Looks like three religions are being represented here.” Dylan replied profoundly, “No, my friend, there are only two religions out here today. We bring Truth according to the Word of God and not manmade tradition. We preach freedom from the bondage of religion!” Such is a taste of what one can find along the highways and hedges. Even now, I recall amazing encounters as a result of this simple strategy. The entire country of Nepal shut down for a day back in 2007. I was stuck in the remote western outpost of Surkhet. With nothing else to do, we walked the streets handing out Gospel tracts. Jaya, an army officer (who was also stuck in Surkhet) followed us back to our room and asked many questions. That evening he came to Christ. There was a man who ran out to meet Russ Taylor and me as we walked with a cross through the remote Nubra Valley in Kashmir in 2006. His wife’s arm was mangled, and he pleaded with us to come pray for her. We entered into that Buddhist home and were able to proclaim Christ. On the streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2008, I ran into a well-to-do woman who had questions about the Bible. Ultimately, she invited our team into her home and we got to share Christ with her husband, a respected military officer. We gave him a very ornate Bible, and He was grateful. In Haines, Alaska on a dark and snowy night in November of 2009, Ricky Springer and I walked the quiet avenues, searching for opportunities. One young man said, “I have never ever seen a Christian doing this.” He was open and took a tract. I could go on and on. The Gospel is simple; the work of spreading the Gospel should be simple.

May we be able to say to our Lord as the servant did to his master in Luke 14:22: “It is done as thou hast commanded.” Will you go into the streets and lanes of your own cities, my friends? Will you go into the highways and hedges surrounding your own communities, and “as many as ye shall find bid to the marriage” (Matthew 22:9)? This is our Master’s command. If you cannot GO, will you GIVE so that others can? If you cannot GO or GIVE, will you PRAY that the Lord will send forth laborers? If, like me, you can GO, GIVE, and PRAY, will you not do all three?

“And the things which thou has heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (II Timothy 2:2).

While in South America, an amazing realization came to mind. Since this ministry began, we have considered the exhortation and training of other believers unto boldness for the faith to be as important as preaching to the lost. There have been many that the Lord put into our path who at least claim that we were a favorable influence on them to this end (As an unprofitable servant, I must admit, I often doubt such claims). II Timothy 2:2 is a command to which I have strived to be obedient, and, while south of the Equator, the Lord allowed me to see fruit of this in the lives of those with whom my life had been intertwined, going as far back as 2003: I was laboring alongside Dylan & Cheri Harris as they carried out a bold and amazing work in Bariloche, Argentina. At the same time, Shawn Holes was being arrested in Scotland for preaching the Word of God open-air to crowds that had gathered to listen; Casey, a young man that the Lord allowed me to lead to Christ on the streets several years ago, was serving His country in Iraq and attempting to be a witness for Jesus; Bishnu Shrestha, Jon Lane, and Tony Allen were hiking up a Himalayan Valley in Nepal to saturate villages with the Scripture portions we had printed as part of Project Jagerna; and a small house church in Hickory, NC (one we helped to plant) was seeing biblical restoration as a result of following the Word in terms of proper church discipline. To God be the Glory! In many ways, those listed were once students that have now become my teachers.

I will say no more about the work in South America. Sweet reminiscences these have been. Thanks for all your prayers while I was away. There was victory, and your heavenly petitions were answered. I have posted some photos Online and videos from this journey on FPGM’s YouTube Channel.

Since returning in March, as mentioned, there has been opportunity for lots of local outreach. We have done a little open-air preaching in a “Free Speech Zone” on the campus of Appalachian State University. Some faculty members and a few unruly students got the police involved, but the officer took our side. He affirmed that we were in a “Free Speech Zone” designated by the university and had right to be there. I was pleasantly surprised. I found it interesting that one faculty member rambled about how the First Amendment does not protect offensive speech. This is the ridiculous mindset of the Communists in America that have infested our institutions of learning and the once-hallowed halls of American government. If the First Amendment of the Constitution protects anything, it protects OFFENSIVE SPEECH. You don’t need an amendment to protect polite speech. But alas, the days are coming, or perhaps they are already here, when an appeal to the Constitution will be useless. After all, it has already been trampled by the current administration and even, to some extent, by the previous three. Nevertheless, the duty of the believer does not change. The world may come crashing down all around us, but there is a God who rules in the kingdoms of me. Our duty remains the same, and in this is great peace, great liberty, and ultimate victory.

Matthew Boyd preaches open-air in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina.

Recent weeks have also allowed us to preach the Gospel open-air outside the Time-Warner Arena when the Charlotte Bobcats were playing home games. This year, they made it to the NBA playoffs for the first time, so this provided some unexpected opportunity. I have been amazed at how easy it has been to obtain permits from the City of Charlotte that allow us to use sound amplification. Moreover, the police have been very polite and have not hindered us in any way. The Lord allowed us on multiple occasions to set up right outside one of the main entrances. Each time, we were able to preach for two solid hours as mobs of people were gathered outdoors (waiting to get inside, scalping tickets, or simply hanging out until the game got interesting). We preached, we held up Gospel signs, there were some good conversations, fellow believers were encouraged, and lots of tracts went out. One preacher from Fayetteville was amazed and said that the next thing on his list was to buy a bullhorn and start doing the same thing. I cannot believe that I have overlooked such an opportunity in years past. Anyway, the Bobcats went down 4-0 to the Orlando Magic in the first round of the playoffs, so this past Monday was the last for us in this venue until next year. It was particularly special, however. I took a couple of young men with me from my karate dojo who had been asking about coming out with me on the streets. One of these, a junior in high-school, had the boldness to take the megaphone down there and read some Scripture while sharing a brief testimony. Both gave out lots of Gospel tracts, having never done anything like that before. I rejoiced to see the Lord work in these young lives, and since, they have not been able to stop talking about it. I posted a video montage from these outings on Youtube. You can view it HERE.

Please pray for FPGM in the coming weeks. God is bringing some stuff together for this summer, and I am excited. It looks like Bishnu will be returning to America for two months or so. Primarily, he will be working with a Nepali fellowship in New York City. We will also be working on translation with regard to Project Jagerna and doing some itinerant evangelism together. Lord willing, I will be picking him up at the airport on May 11th in New York City. We will immediately go down to the Canadian Consulate and try to obtain a Canadian Visa for him. There is much uncertainty about this, so please pray that the process goes smoothly and quickly. Should the Lord grant this, he, Bethany (my six-year-old daughter), and I will head north up through Quebec and onto a road that just opened six months ago providing access to Labrador, the mainland portion of Newfoundland. We will be targeting some remote fishing villages in another of the world’s uttermost corners, a corner that until recently was only accessible by boat and/or ferry from the islands. We will then take a ferry and circle back down through the island part of Newfoundland, ferry again over to Nova Scotia, and then culminate our journey in Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island. There, we will be working with a church that has been targeting Nepali immigrants that live in the area. There are about 20 Nepali families, many of which have already received free Jagerna Scripture portions. We hope to go into these homes and follow-up on the witness already received as well has help the local body of believers to come up with a workable plan for reaching the Nepalis and other immigrants that are tending to congregate there. I am very excited about this opportunity, one in which we cannot turn down. It only came up a few weeks ago as the church contacted me and asked me to pray about traveling up there. Then, it happened that Bishnu would be in New York City, so it seems like God is bringing an amazing missionary journey together. Upon returning from Alaska in December of last year, I received a request for some Nepali Scripture portions from a missionary on Prince Edward Island. I sent them out FREE of charge (as is our custom), and this is the fruit of that. I have heard some amazing stories of the opportunities that have already arisen for the believers there to speak into the lives of Nepalis. There seems to be a real openness, so I trust Bishnu and I can go in there and water these seeds in their own language. If we are going all the way up to Prince Edward Island, there is no way I could be that close and not drive out to the the fishing villages at the end of this newly opened road. It will be long with miles of gravel (much like the Dalton Highway in Alaska that I pedaled last summer up to Prudhoe Bay), but should it prove successful, FPGM will have taken the Gospel to the northernmost end of the mainland road system in our hemisphere (Prudhoe Bay, Alaska), the southernmost end of the mainland road system in our hemisphere (Ushuaia, Argentina), the westernmost end of the mainland road system in our hemisphere (Anchor Point, Alaska), and the easternmost end of the mainland road system in North America (Lodge Bay, Labrador). Pray for us in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for updates from the road.

We’ll be taking two weeks to go up to Labrador and then back down to Prince Edward Island. The rest of my family will be rendezvousing with us in Halifax, Nova Scotia around May 25th. From there, we will undertake the work in Charlottetown before heading back to New York City together. In NYC, we will all be staying with some brethren at a house on Coney Island for as long as the Lord allows, targeting the streets with the Gospel on a daily basis. I look forward to being with some fellow street evangelists and being encouraged by their labors. As for Bishnu, he will return to Long Island to work with the Nepali fellowship there. Lord willing, he will rendezvous with us in North Carolina a bit later.

Later in the summer, my family and I intend to do some more outreach around America, further working toward FPGM’s goal of walking the downtown streets and proclaiming the Gospel to such as we find in every significant city and town in the United States. We still have a long way to go to complete this goal. Lord willing, we will also be visiting some churches and a few supporters and partnering with some believers in local outreach.

Obviously, such worthwhile journeys involve multitudinous costs, and like last summer, we will set forth without the funds to complete the work. But, God never guides where He does not provide. As mentioned earlier, please join with us in praying that the Lord will increase our committed monthly support and make up for what has recently been lost. The time is short, and the window is closing; the freedom to do such things may soon be lost here in the United States. Stay tuned.

If, by some strange chance, any of you has believing contacts in Labrador or Newfoundland, these would prove most helpful. We will be traveling cheap and trusting the Lord to open up homes for an occasional bed and a shower, just like He did last summer. There should be plenty of camping and cooking on the camp stove. I am excited about Bethany going with Bishnu and me on the first leg of this journey, and I am happy that the rest of my family can meet us up in Nova Scotia to be a part of the work on Prince Edward Island.

One final prayer request: I am trying to sell the ministry’s little Subaru Outback. I love this car, and I hate to part with it, but it no longer boasts enough room to carry my growing family. The ministry needs something bigger that will accommodate all of us and our materials and allow us to go to remote corners in a variety of conditions. Even with my personal truck that I took to Alaska, we face a room issue. My family packs it out, so there is no space for Bishnu. Since we will all be traveling together up in Canada, we are praying that the Lord provides an alternative in the next week or so. I need to sell that Subaru before talk of an alternative is even worthwhile. Just pray that the Lord meets the transportation need before I am scheduled to head up to New York and get Bishnu on May 11. If not, we’ll figure something out when my family flies into Halifax.

Anyway, I am sorry to burden you all with so many prayer requests. I realize that our needs pale in comparison to those of many other faithful believers, some of which know real suffering for the Gospel. Thanks to those of you who do faithfully support FPGM on monthly basis with your prayers and/or your financial sacrifices. None of this is taken for granted. May the Lord return the blessing to you tenfold, no, an hundredfold.

For the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ,

Jesse M. Boyd & Family

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