Seeing Things in FOCUS

(February and March)

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Our Team (left to right): Pastor Dan Hill, Joanne McKnight, Pete Caruso, Yurima Beltran (Peg’s translator), Bay, Peg, Janet & Pastor Jimmy Fernandez Freeman (our Cuba contact), Chris Smith, and Joe Odhiambo. The children belong to Jimmy and Janet: Anna Lydia, Pedro Pablo, and Deborah.

Bay’s Report on Cuba & Toronto

This year, Peg and I put together a team for Cuba that included our good friend, Joe Odhiambo (14 Guinness world records!), a missionary (Dan Hill) with a doctorate in theology, and three others who went with us to serve wherever needed. As expected, Joe was a huge success everywhere we went. He’s so great at incorporating people of all ages in his show, and to set me up well to present the gospel to a very attentive audience. Peg and Dan did all the teaching for our pastors and women’s conferences, and Joe and I did evangelistic outreaches and preaching in churches all through the week. Peg’s conference, with approximately 120 ladies, is always so appreciated, as the Cuban women seldom receive training just for them. Dan did a great job with the men, and it was fun to watch both groups so attentive and taking notes. Joe and I had several events with 500-800 attending, and it was a joy to see the gospel “connect” with 60-70 people (mostly adults!), who stood to their feet professing their new faith in Christ!

Along with the teaching, preaching, and prayer ministry (thank you, Joanne!), we were also able to take in 7 or 8 laptops, bicycle seats, cameras, phones, a video projector, clothes, 25 bibles, and hundreds of dollars of vitamins and medicine. Thank you to all who gave to help this happen!

Bay giving one of the laptops we brought into the country to a young local pastor. He was so grateful he fought tears the whole time Bay explained how we prayed that this would help improve his study and the messages he brought to his people…

Bay giving one of the laptops we brought into the country to a young local pastor. He was so grateful he fought tears the whole time Bay explained how we prayed that this would help improve his study and the messages he brought to his people…

Joe performing at one of the churches…always less than stellar conditions, but he found a way to make it work, and did so with joy…and sometimes heartfelt tears as it brought back memories of his home church in Kenya!

Joe performing at one of the churches…always less than stellar conditions, but he found a way to make it work, and did so with joy…and sometimes heartfelt tears as it brought back memories of his home church in Kenya!

Pete sharing his testimony at one of the afternoon Sports Camps that was held each day in a local park… Below: What fun to see little faces light up as Joe incorporated children (of all ages) into his performance.

Pete sharing his testimony at one of the afternoon Sports Camps that was held each day in a local park…

Peg sharing with the women…

Peg sharing with the women…

Dan Hill teaching the pastors…

Dan Hill teaching the pastors…

What fun to see little faces light up as Joe incorporated children (of all ages) into his performance..

What fun to see little faces light up as Joe incorporated children (of all ages) into his performance..

Joanne came to pray with the women during each session, and also found a “niche” sharing a life lesson at one of the evening church services.

Joanne came to pray with the women during each session, and also found a “niche” sharing a life lesson at one of the evening church services.

One dear woman, who’d been a part of the worship team, stood when Bay asked if there were any who were ready to give their lives to Jesus. She, literally, jumped to her feet, hand in air, sobbing!

One dear woman, who’d been a part of the worship team, stood when Bay asked if there were any who were ready to give their lives to Jesus. She, literally, jumped to her feet, hand in air, sobbing!

 Chris and Pete acting out the Garden story - the people thought they were a hoot! And, we learned we had comedians on our team…

Chris and Pete acting out the Garden story – the people thought they were a hoot! And, we learned we had comedians on our team…


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From Cuba, Joe and I flew straight to Toronto (see above pictures), where Joe performed for the 14th year in a row at the NBA All-Star Game. We did 4 school assemblies, and 2 evangelistic outreaches, where another 20-25 people made salvation decisions. On Sunday, Joe was busy at the All-Star weekend events, but I enjoyed preaching at both services of a 1400-member Baptist church.

In total, Peg and I spoke 30-40 times to several thousand people, and only eternity will tell the full story of how many lives God touched by your generosity and faithfulness in sending us out!

Peg’s Report on Christian Women of the Basin

March2016Newsletter_17A week or so, after we returned home from Cuba and Toronto, I headed to Klamath Falls, OR, where I spoke at a weekend conference for women who came from over 30 churches all around Southern Oregon, and Northern California (just over 320 gals). My contact for this event served on a Thrive Retreat with me in Tanzania back in October of 2014. It was truly a most enjoyable retreat as I connected easily with the ladies, thoroughly enjoyed worshipping with them, and found them passionate and engaging during each session. I spoke on a theme of joy – dispelling myths; defining true Biblical joy and why it’s important; looking at specific joy-stealers; and, what we each can do to live fully in joy (no matter what is going on in our lives).March2016Newsletter_18

A true highlight for me over the weekend was re-connecting with a long-time friend, who had moved away from Pagosa several years back. What a “God-thing” that was! I had received an email message from her just saying how she’d been thinking about me, thought she would talk to the women’s ministry director at her church about bringing me in to speak at a local retreat, and then happened to show up at church, open her bulletin to see that I was coming to do this particular conference! I just love it when the Lord just seems to delight in giving us some of those “pleasures that he holds in his right hand (Psalm 19:11b).

Upcoming Events & Prayer Requests

March2016Newsletter_16Because we so value your prayers, here’s our upcoming schedule in April. Our next event sends us flying into Billings, MT (April 9-18), where we’re slated to minister at a Nazarene church in Cody, Wyoming, then on to Glendive, MT. where we’ll be connecting with Glendive Alliance Church speaking in a number of different venues: Awana (Bay), a “Daughter’s of the King” banquet (Peg), breakfast with the women (Peg), breakfast with the men (Bay), two Sunday morning services (Bay). This schedule will be posted on our calendar, and in our speaking events on our website: www.focusministries.org Later in the month, Bay heads to Houston, where he’ll be speaking at a chapel in a private Christian school, and Sunday morning at Sugar Creek Baptist Church. As usual, May is generally a month where not much is going on for outside ministries. We’ll be mostly at home in May, Bay speaking in our home church, catching up on work in our home office, dealing with correspondence, researching, reading, writing, and accounting (those four r’s never stop once you leave elementary school). Once June hits, we’ll be ready to hit the ground again, with summer events, camps, conferences, and company…

Along with praying for us in regards to the speaking schedule, we’d ask for you to continue to lift us up to remain sensitive to the Lord’s leading when it comes to our schedule, ease of air travel (including those exit rows!), and favor with those to whom the Lord sends us to share.

The Apostle Paul had such a great outlook on ministry – it is one which we want to always remember. To the Corinthian church, he reminded them that he came not in his own wisdom or power, but as a weak fool so that the Spirit of God would be demonstrated in him (1 Cor. 2:1-5), in order that their faith would not rest in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God. Then he says this:

“This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mystery of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful…(1 Cor 4:1-2).”

What a great prayer for you to lift to the Father on our behalf…that we will remain faithful servants, gently and carefully handling the mysteries of the gospel message (truths that God, Himself, wants unwrapped to those we are sent).

From us both: HUGE THANKS!