Dear Praying Friends, January-February 2017
I am amazed at how quickly time is passing. The Bible says in Ephesians 5:16 “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” We are certainly trying our best to “give every flying minute something to keep in store” as we “work for the night is coming when our work is over”. We trust that this letter finds you busy in the work of our Heavenly Father.
On January 3rd, we began full time deputation. I stand amazed at how the Lord has prospered us already. Our calendar is filling up with meetings and mission conferences. Pledges for support are coming in quickly. God is meeting our needs. We also want to praise the Lord for providing us with a 40’ by 60’ gospel tent, trailer, sound equipment, chairs, etc. that will be used in Sioux Falls for evangelism purposes in the start-up of a church. We want to thank Pastor Mark Stroud and Wahoo Baptist Church for purchasing this tent for our ministry. This tent will also be available in communities throughout the Midwest for evangelistic crusades. There is a community of 20,000 Ghanaian immigrants close to Minneapolis where we hope to set it up for an evangelistic crusade. Would you believe that the State of Minnesota has 45,000 West Africans living there? Friends, the foreign mission field is moving to the United States!!!
As most of you know, our hearts are in West Africa. However, because of Micaiah’s medical situation, God has made it very clear that we cannot move there now. Presently, our goal is to plant a church amongst the African and International Community in Sioux Falls in the spring of 2018. Out of approximately 176,000 residents in Sioux Falls, 4.54% (approximately 8,000) of them are African? That is a very conservative estimate. The West African Community Center (which assists African immigrants) claims there are 20,000 African immigrants living in Sioux Falls. These immigrants are new to the US and western culture. They are looking for help, for friends, and are very open to the gospel. The Lord has already allowed us a ministry among some of the Liberians in Sioux Falls, and they are anticipating our return to start a church. While planting that church, we will be involved in traveling to West Africa several times a year to assist missionaries and nationals there in church planting efforts. In time, we believe that the Lord will allow Angie and myself to return to West Africa to be involved in full time missions there.
In family news: This has been a season of change for our family. In November, our oldest son, Jimmy, moved to Maryville, Tennessee. He enrolled in a Bible Institute at Harriman Baptist Tabernacle where Dr. James Jones pastors. He also joined the Ridgeview Baptist Church in Walland, Tennessee. Jesse (our middle child), always cheerful and optimistic, is excited about being on deputation. We want to thank each one of you who are holding Micaiah (our youngest son) up in prayer. In December, his shunt began working intermittently. On December 8th and again on the 23rd, it stopped working which necessitated a trip to the ER. Both times, his ventricles swelled up and then the shunt started working properly again. We narrowly avoided a shunt revision surgery. Please continue praying for him. Angie and I are enjoying working together as a ministry team and are excitedly anticipating what the Lord has in store for our family.
We thank the Lord for His Hand of Blessing upon our home and ministry. May the Lord richly bless you as you continue laboring in your field of harvest for Him.
James & Angie Ruckman Family