Since our last letter I’ve preached in: Michigan, Ohio, California, Idaho and Washington. I had been a little lax in scheduling the Spring of 2022 so there wasn’t much traveling. The meetings all went well.
The last week of March we held a “Students’ Bible Conference” at Igleasia Baptista de Mountain Home in Mountain Home, ID. We had nine students participate. I taught Sunday school then one of our students preached Sunday Morning Service and then two students spoke each night, Sun.-Wed. evening. There was a tremendously good spirit in the meeting and many decisions were made. One saved young man came to church for his first time Sunday morning and has committed to attending regularly.
Dr. DeMichele and I feel the same way about these meetings. Why send out a bunch of singing pretty girls to represent the school? Why not send out preaching teams that are dedicated to being a help to the ministry they visit? We have had two such meetings (Covid shut us down for two years) and both have had a marked positive effect on the churches. If you are a pastor and are interested in such a meeting, let me know. (330-685-2578)
Oh! THAT’S What That Means
After my last MRI the doctor told me three things: C1-C3 (the only vertabrae I have that aren’t fused) are deteriorating, there is permanent spinal cord damage and there are bone spurs throughout, from C1-C7. Yep, I heard it, OK. Gotta go!
Recently I was refinishing some trim at our church. As I raised my head to paint the top molding of the door frames suddenly I heard those words! Oh, THAT’S what he meant! But, my head didn’t fall off and we got the job done so all is fine.
More and more body parts are becoming an issue. Kathy is 71 & I turned 72 on April 27. Kathy has had some pretty serious pain when walking. She’s doctoring for that and it seems to be helping.
The last six months have been pretty ugly for me. Then I stepped back and examined that time period. The problems increased almost exactly when I started driving the 3/4 ton truck. The ride is just too brutal for my wimpy neck. In fact, we were away for three weeks in January for meetings and during that time driving softer riding rental cars it seemed to smooth out a little.
Here’s how I’m dealing with it. I’m driving the truck as little possible. There is the option of getting a car for “2nd car duties” and only drive occasionally to keep it limber and to tow the trailer. With the expense of cars I’m trying to make that a last resort.
I am following several options on ways to decrease the impact of the ride on my spine. This summer we will tow the trailer. I’d like to think that the ride will be more bearable with the trailer on the truck. The problem is that once we unhitch the trailer at a meeting the truck will be our transportation. I figure that is just a big, “Oh well.” and we’ll just deal with it.
Other than that we are unwavering in our plans to keep traveling. I’ve got meetings out to 2028 and many new churches asking about meetings so I see no reason to dial anything back unless circumstances force that.
This August 12 we’ll celebrate 50 years of marriage. It’s been great! Jon, Nathan and Luke and their families will be coming here. Neither Jon nor Luke have ever seen our house and some of the cousins have never met. The last time we were all together was 2012. I don’t expect it to happen again.
Following the family gathering I am going to take Kathy away for a few days. It’s been awhile since we’ve had any time off so it will be good to do. That is, if King Biden doesn’t put us all in prison for being white, or Christian, or American or just being alive!
I’m still working to finish the book of the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. The problem is with traveling, preaching, teaching, other ministerial duties and fixing things around the house I keep too busy. But I am leaning into it to finish it. Mainly, I want to get it done so I can get back to working on a couple other books I’m writing.
As always we greatly covet your prayers. They truly are what keeps us going. Thank you so much for your kindness.
In Christ’s Service,
Samuel C. Gipp