It has been a busy couple weeks since the trip to Northern Brazil. The expectation was the things would slow down; however, that has not been the case.
The first two Sundays after returning home, I had the opportunity to visit two churches here in Pennsylvania. On October 16, we had a “Dessert with Dean and Kathy” at Carlisle Baptist, a supporting church pastored by our good friend Ed Roman. The following Sunday, I spoke at a combined service of Wayside Gospel Chapel (Pastor Jack Jeffery) and Faith Baptist Fellowship Church (Pastor Bill Schneider) in Lake Ariel.
During the last weekend of October, Kathy, Amanda, and I traveled to Michigan, where I was the speaker at Thornville Baptist Church’s annual missions’ conference. Following the conference we went to Louisville to meet with Reaching & Teaching Executive Director, Jon Deedrick (more on this below).
Finally, on Sunday, November 6, I returned to and preached at Oakwood Baptist, our home church. It was so good to be back at Oakwood again.
This past weekend, I attended the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals’ regional conference in Quakertown, Pennsylvania.
One of the reasons we had traveled to Louisville to meet with Jon Deedrick was that Kathy was asked to consider officially joining the staff of Reaching & Teaching. She is now serving as Applications Coordinator. The ministry needed someone to process all incoming applications: short-term trips, stateside staff, and field missionary positions. Kathy had been unofficially helping with some of this, but now she is serving in an official and expanded capacity.
As the number of field missionaries continues to grow, the ministry was in need of having someone to serve as a point person for all non-pastoral care contact with the home office. (We have a specific staff person who handles all pastoral care contact.) I agreed to add this responsibility to my role on the stateside staff.
My primary goals for December fall under the headings of support-raising and future trip preparation.
My current support level is approximately 77 percent. That means I need to raise additional monthly support to continue serving in this role. My budget was based upon making six or seven international teaching trips. This year, I took part in ten trips, which caused me to draw out more funds than anticipated. Therefore, I also am hoping to replenish some of the funds that were depleted as a result of the trips.
Also, I need to devote time to preparing for upcoming trips. In January, I will be teaching Missions and Evangelism in Ecuador. Then, in the first week of February, Church History will be the topic in Northern Brazil.
On December 18, Amanda will celebrate her 16th birthday. In late January, she will be heading to Argentina, where she will serve for three months.
Our good friends, Jason and Kami Wright, moved to Argentina during October. They are now full-time field missionaries. The Wrights have three children (ages seven, three, and one). Jason and Kami start intensive language school in February. So, Amanda is going to live with the Wrights and serve them by helping oversee their children. This will enable Jason and Kami to devote greater focus to their language learning.
We would greatly appreciate your prayer for Amanda (and for her parents!).
A Commitment to Good Communication – Your role as a partner in this ministry demands that I keep you regularly informed about what the Lord is doing so that you can better pray for and rejoice with us.
A Commitment to Good Stewardship – Your financial commitment is significant, both for you and for those to whom we are ministering. I promise to steward your resources well and to give myself wholeheartedly to the work of the gospel through Reaching & Teaching.
A Commitment to YOU – You can count on my commitment to you as a valued partner in the work of the gospel. I am eager to hear from you – your personal prayer requests – so that we can move forward together in the service of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
(Include a note: “Preferenced to Dean Bertsch Ministry Support”)
To partner online:Go to reachingandteaching.org/give.
Select “Give Online.” Then select “Dean Bertsch” from the drop down menu.