During my first meeting in March the Covid shutdown hit and I lost all my meetings up to August. My meetings in Canada, Australia and the Arctic were casualties of the shutdown. Then, I only had one meeting-per-month from September to December. In 2020 I preached only101 times in 19 different churches. I preached in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, West Virginia, Idaho, Texas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Florida, Montana and Illinois. The meetings went well and I believe were a help to the churches.
The summers of 2020 and 2021 were to be in the West. When the summer of 2020 shut down I simply lifted the meetings as a whole and dropped onto the summer of 2021. Since 2020 is basically a lost year the summers of 2021 & 22 will now be in the West.
Kathy turned 70 last month & I’ll be 71 in April. We’re still in relatively good health. Kathy’s been doctoring with some joint issues and my neck is still pretty much of a train wreck.
When I broke my neck in 1973 the cervical fusion to repair it partially paralyzed my vocal cords. I lost my voice for 4 months. The second fusion in 2008 caused further damage. I’ve not said much about it but I have silently nursed my vocal cords along for the last 30 years. But adding teaching to the preaching has over worked them. On January 28 I had surgery on my vocal cords.
Right now I have no voice. If I try to talk I make a croaking sound. I’m not permitted to talk until Feb. 18. By that time I’m hoping they have healed and I’ll be back in business. If not, I’ll get a black magic-marker & a piece of cardboard and head for the Interstate on ramp!
In spite of the above Kathy & I have no intention of slowing down. We both love traveling & preaching. Kathy really likes her house but she told me awhile back, “If God wanted us to sell the house & go back on the road full time I’d do it in a heartbeat.” What a blessing!
If the Lord takes my voice, I have complete peace about it. I preached for 50 years and made it to 70. He can retire me anytime He wants to. But until He does, Kathy & I will be “Pedal-to-the Metal” for Him.
2020 was a good year for books. I published two new ones: Why We Believe the King James Bible and The Second Answer Book. Both have been very well received. As you read this The Third Answer Book is at the printer and should be finished anytime now.
I’m writing three others and have the preliminary research done on two more. I enjoy both the research and the writing so, if God is done with my voice I think I’ll have plenty to do.
After we moved into the house we found that the previous owner had been dumping the washing machine water into an empty wall with a hole in the plate line so it would drain into the 12″, sealed crawl-space below the floor. Needless to say the floor & joist of that room and an adjoining bathroom rotted out. Right now we are having major repair work done to these two rooms. No complaint. That goes with home ownership! We still enjoy the house.
The preaching schedule for 2021 & 22 is filling out nicely. I hope our new dictator doesn’t command us all to house arrest. That would flush the whole thing. I have the Canada, Australia & Arctic meetings rescheduled for this year but those meetings may fall due to local restrictions.
I never got addicted to pain-killers. But I did get addicted to prayer! I know you think that “sounds cool” but you can buy pain killers on a street corner. But how can I make people pray for me? I can’t. And if everyone praying for me stops today I won’t be in the ministry a week from now. Which leads me to say one more time, earnestly, Thank you for your prayers! They literally keep us going. Your grace and kindness is never taken for granted and is always greatly appreciated.
In Christ’s Service,
Samuel C. Gipp