Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Important Announcement


 
Greetings from Monticello, Arkansas,

            I want to begin by saying thank you so much to each of you who have faithfully supported our family over the past 15 years of mission ministry. God has done amazing things as we have labored together in preaching the gospel both here in the United States and in Kenya. Some of you have been with us from the beginning of our missionary journey back in 2000 and others more recently. We have never felt alone on the mission field knowing that there were faithful supporters praying and laboring on our behalf before the throne of grace.
            We returned to the States the end of July this past year to begin our regularly scheduled furlough. Our intentions were to set up housing here in Monticello near our sending church Pauline Baptist Church then to visit churches to say thank you, put our children in public school for a year, and for me to do the classroom work for my Masters in Theology at the Missionary Baptist Seminary. We began visiting churches and started school in the fall as planned.
In September our pastor Brother Chad Graves resigned as the pastor of Pauline BC.  As a church we began the process of seeking a new pastor. A selection committee was formed, a process approved, and names were submitted for consideration. Just before Thanksgiving the selection committee approached Kenya and me and asked us if we would consider the pastorate at our church. We took a week to pray about it and consider where we were in ministry, where we are as a family, and the possibility of serving in this capacity. We sought council from several of our mentors and men that we respected about even being considered. We could not discern in our prayers a yes or a no so we decided to submit to the church and ask God to help us along with our church to discern His will.
Over the past six weeks we have been in process with our church praying and proceeding through the church’s selection process for calling a pastor. There were multiple votes, conversations, and times of prayer. The church had the final vote on January 24 as to whether of not they believed we should serve as pastor or return to Kenya as missionaries. They voted to call me as pastor believing that it was the Lord’s will and knowing that it meant leaving the mission field.  We believe that God has worked all the details and the timing out for this decision. I have accepted the pastorate of Pauline Baptist Church and our family will begin to make the transition into this position.
East Kenya Missions will continue on with Brother John Strader and his family sent out by Creekmont MBC, La Porte TX. Brother John and others that God is raising up will continue to work with the churches and the Bible Institute.  I have the utmost confidence that they will do a great work.  The pastors and churches on the coast will continue to grow in the Lord and I believe will do a great work. We will be returning to Kenya for a few weeks in June to say good-bye to the churches and to collect our personal belongings.
Please pray for our family during this transition into stateside ministry. We believe God has big plans for Pauline BC and what she can do for the cause of Christ locally and globally.  If you have any questions or would like to speak with us our phone number is (870) 723-7640. Please feel free to call and leave a voice mail if I do not answer and I will call back as soon as possible. 

James Taylor 

Monday, 9 November 2015

October 2015 Report

October 2015
 
Missionary Training Ministry
        
              I was privileged to speak during the MTM 2015 module one held at the Missionary Baptist Seminary this past month. MTM continues to provide biblical and practical training for missionaries both in the states and over seas. Brother Larry Clements invited me to speak during his sessions on “The Necessity of the Missionary’s Quiet Time.” I was the last speaker in a series of speakers to share on to subject and it was awesome to see God take everything and put it together for a moving of His Spirit. It was a revival meeting as far as I was concerned as we all came together in prayer to close out the session.
                  The Missionary Baptist Seminary also asked MTM to give the Fall Chapel lectures. It was an honor to be invited to speak for the lectures. Brother Joe Morrell and I spoke on leadership from the church and missionary perspectives.  There was a good number in attendance and it was a great chance to fellowship and learn from God’s Word.



www.missionarytrainingministry.com
               
Furlough Travels

            I am continuing to travel to our supporting churches on the weekend to give report and to say thank to those who partner with us in the East Kenya Missions ministry. The churches have been so gracious and encouraging. Kenya and the kids have not been able to travel to very many of the churches because of school but they travel when they can. We appreciate so much the understanding of the churches in regards to our family not being able to travel with me. I know the churches love to see everyone and how much they have grown, not to mention I do not like traveling alone.

Straders Continuing in Kenya

              The Straders are continuing to do well in Kenya.  Brother John has had preachers’ meetings and has been visiting the churches weekly. We are so excited for him also because he has preached several times in Swahili! This is a huge milestone in their adaptation and acclamation into the culture.  God is opening up new opportunities of ministry also and Brother John is providing great leadership. Amber and Ellanora seem to be doing awesome as well in the community and in the churches making friends and sharing Jesus. We are so proud of the Straders and excited at how God is using them.

The Howells Deputation

              Clayton and Lindsey are still visiting churches and raising funds. Please pray for them as they travel and share the Farming God’s Way ministry. If you would like the Howells to come and share please contact Clayton at missionaryhowell@gmail.com or (870) 265-0326.
             

Sending Church Pastor Search 
             
              Please continue to pray for our church Pauline BC as we seek a senior pastor. The church is so blessed to have several pastors on staff that are able to continue to meet the needs of the church in this time of transition. Brother Larry Clements is serving as our interim pastor and doing a great job at leading through this process. The church has a pulpit committee in place and will soon be considering candidates. We are certain that God will give leadership to the church during this time and will make His will clear.

Upcoming Furlough Appointments

November 15 Holland Chapel BC, Benton, AR
November 15 Northern Hills MBC, Texarkana, AR
November 22 Jeffersonville BC, Jeffersonville, OH
November 29 Sugar Creek MBC, Ironton, OH
November 29 Flatwoods MBC, Mountain View, AR
November 29 Mountain View MBC, Cave City, AR
December 6 First BC, Sullivan, MO
December 6 Mount Calvary MBC, Sikeston, MO
December 13 Bridges Creek BC, Caulfield, MO
December 27 Columbus BC, Columbus, IN
December 27 Victory MBC, Seymour, IN



PO Box 299 Monticello, AR 71657


James Taylor State side Phone (870) 723-7640 missionarytaylor@gmail.com

Taylor Tribe
 



 

This month was crazy busy with school and Fall festivities.  We had parent teacher conferences, report cards, spirit week, red ribbon week, Halloween parties, Fall Fest, class breakfasts, picture days, and awards assemblies.  With even one or two kids that would be pretty hectic.  But take all that times 5 kids and WOW, was I running circles trying to shop for costume items, snacks, candy, and keep up with all the different schedules.  It was a ton of fun, but I must admit that I am starting to think that American moms have super powers.  In Kenya my biggest worries are no water, no electricity, and cooking from scratch.  I am most grateful that water and electricity are the least of my worries these days.  I am, however, concerned at how any mom, including myself, could swing all that goes on in this fast paced life and not kill over from the ever building pressure to look like a million bucks WHILE juggling all that pinterest perfectionism that must creep into the hearts of every mom who ever pulled up in front of their child’s school on two wheels to bring them lunch because Fish Sticks are on the lunch menu again.  I’m still trying to process all that God is doing in my heart through the activities and happenings of this month.  I have loved every minute of it, but I also know that God is using all of this to change my heart and bring it closer to Him. 
            The kids are doing amazingly well in school.  They all made the A/B honor roll.  Josiah received the 9th grade academic student of the quarter.  Abigail received the 8th grade female student of the quarter.  Seeing them succeed in public school makes me proud to know that they are well-behaved and self disciplined.  I think sometimes we, as parents, don’t give our kids enough credit.  We do our best to teach them and it’s up to them to make right choices.  One of the things I love most about our kids attending public school is they can put all the biblical principles we have been teaching them into practice.  Something that has been very shocking to our kids is how badly behaved or negative many kids are.  As a parent I could just say, “yes, those kids are terrible, stay away from them.”  But that isn’t applying godly character.  Instead we talk about why they might act that way and how God could use us to minister to those kids.   Both Josiah and Abigail have gone out of their way to reach out to someone they thought was lonely with two very different responses.  Josiah’s kindness was received, Abigail’s was rejected.  But again, it was an opportunity to teach Abigail that we don’t give up on people.  Jesus said to love our enemies and to bless those that curse us.   I love all that God is teaching them and us.  I feel like I could write pages but I don’t think the PO will let us have that many pages at our current mailing costs. 
            I can’t forget to mention that my parents also came down this month.  My mom had fall break, so she and my dad came and stayed the whole week.  We went and had lunch with all the kids at school and showed them around the church.  I’m so glad that being state side we are within driving distance. 
Thank you to all who are praying for us.  God is awesome and we are super grateful that he has given us this experience.  Thanks for reading.
 







September 2015 Report


 
September 2015


Seminary and Travels
        
              We continue to visit our supporting churches on the weekends. It is always a joy to be with the churches and to rejoice over all that God has done in Kenya. We love getting to say thank you and to renew our relationship and partnership with all our supporting churches. God has giving us a tremendous financial and prayerful support team. 
              It was so good to also be able to speak at some special services this month. I attended a mission’s rally in Smackover, AR at Shadyland MBC. It was a great service and a wonderful time in the Lord. Our local association of churches, the Bartholomew Association, also met this month. It was so good to see several pastors that we have not seen for a long time and to say thank you for the support that the churches of the Bartholomew Association send each month. 
              Seminary classes are going well and I am enjoying every moment of my time at the Missionary Baptist Seminary. The classes are great and the instructors are very encouraging, teaching us so much. The drive from Monticello three times a week is going well and praise the Lord I have not hit any deer! Please continue to pray for this time of study that God will speak through the instructors and that I will grow in knowledge and wisdom of our Lord.

Lead Summit Family Edition Gulf Shores

         Our family was blessed this month to attend the Lead Summit Family Edition at Gulf Shores, AL. It was an amazing time of fun and fellowship. Our church staff all stayed together right on the beach in a huge house. It was so much fun just hanging out and being together, not to mention how beautiful the beach and the ocean were.
              Kenya and I also had the great privilege of speaking along with Larry and Pat Clements.  We spoke on the subject of raising spiritual sons and daughters.  The worship time was great and the crew from City Church, Conway, AR did a great job taking care of our children and having activities for them. We appreciate all the work that Chad Graves and Nathan Rogers put into making the weekend possible. 

 
The Howells’ Deputation

                  Please pray for our teammates Clayton and Lindsey Howell as they are traveling around the states visiting churches and sharing their vision and work. The Howells need an additional $1500 monthly support.  The Farming God’s Way ministry is a key to the future of our work in East Kenya. We are praying that over the next six months the Lord will supply the funds they need. Clayton has nearly filled up his schedule until the first of the year but he still has some openings and is starting on next year. His contact information is missionaryhowell@gmail.com or (870) 265-0326.
 

Bro. Chad’s Last Sunday as our Pastor
             
              This month Brother Chad Graves resigned as pastor of Pauline BC. It was a bitter pill to swallow but we must accept the Lord’s will. Brother Chad has been pastor of Pauline BC for the past ten years and has done an amazing job. He has been our pastor since we went to the coast of Kenya and has visited us four different times, three of those with his entire family. Brother Chad has truly been our pastor and close friend. Although we know that God has led him on we still grieve the fact that he will not be our pastor. 
              Please pray for our church Pauline BC as we begin the process of calling a new senior pastor. The church is healthy and we have a strong staff, but transitions are always a little scary.
Upcoming Furlough Appointments
November 1 Harmony MBC, Ponca City, OK
November 1 Lakeview MBC, Spiro, OK
November 8 Florence Blvd MBC, Florence, AL
November 8 Skyline MBC, Madison, AL
November 15 Holland Chapel BC, Benton, AR
November 15 Northern Hills MBC, Texarkana, AR
November 22 Jeffersonville BC, Jeffersonville, OH
November 29 Sugar Creek MBC, Ironton, OH
November 29 Flatwoods MBC, Mountain View, AR
November 29 Mountain View MBC, Cave City, AR
December 6 First BC, Sullivan, MO
December 6 Mount Calvary MBC, Sikeston, MO
December 13 Bridges Creek BC, Caulfield, MO
December 27 Columbus BC, Columbus, IN
December 27 Victory MBC, Seymour, IN



PO Box 299 Monticello, AR 71657 
James Taylor State side Phone (870) 723-7640 missionarytaylor@gmail.com

Taylor Tribe



 

This was our first time to attend Lead Summit family edition.  I have to admit no one in our family was excited about driving 8 hours in the car to Gulf Shores after our travels in August from Arkansas to Maine and back.  However, it was well worth the drive.  The kids thoroughly enjoyed the huge beach house, the beach, sand, shells, and hanging out with new and old friends.  James and I always enjoy teaching together and our opportunity to teach on raising spiritual sons and daughters was such a joy.  Although we feel unqualified to teach sometimes, the Lord continues to give us words to speak and even confirms to us that we are on the right path.  We absolutely loved Brother Larry and sister Pat Clements’ class.  They are such a sweet couple who have raised some very godly children.  I am grateful that we were able to go and glean wisdom from such a great family. 
            The kids are doing great in school.  They still come home every day all talking at once.  We have had a couple of bumps with one or two rough days socially and a couple of days of homesickness.  Overall, though, they love going to “real” school.  Each kid has good grades and has made a few good friends.  Over a year ago the kids, Josiah specifically, began praying that God would change James’ and my mind about letting them attend public school.  Over a year ago I prayed for God to be very real and personal to our kids.  God answered those prayers.  Our kids realized that God could change our minds, but more than that, He is a God who cares about not only their needs, but also their wants.  I tear up still thinking about the day that it clicked with our kids that God chose to answer “their” specific prayers for something they really desired.  So far this has been a very positive experience for the kids.  I am thankful to the Lord for this time we have in the states.  It’s all different and new, but God is teaching us all so much. 
            I’m so proud of James for going back to school to finish his Master’s degree.  He hasn’t been in school for almost 20 years.  This was a huge adjustment for him, but he is doing so well.  It’s not easy to balance a ministry, full time school load, and a family.  But he is doing it all so well.  James is such a gift to me.  He has always been an amazing example of a hardworking man of integrity.  I couldn’t ask for a better husband.  I know he is soaking up all that the classes offer.  I pray that God uses this time to strengthen, encourage, and equip him for the next 20 years of ministry. 
            Last month I think I wrote something about how I sit around eating bonbons and watching soap operas.  Just kidding.  I have somehow managed to fill up my days, though.  I have been doing some cleaning jobs here and there as well as enjoying visiting with different friends. 
            Thanks for reading and praying.






Friday, 18 September 2015

August Monthly Report



August 2015

Furlough has begun

  It has been a crazy month for sure and at the same time a great month. We arrived in Arkansas and after attending our church here in Monticello we headed north to see our families. We had two weeks to see our families before school started in Arkansas for the kids so we were moving. We were able to see our families in Indiana and we made it all way to Maine to see my dad as well. It was so good to see our parents and brothers and sisters, although it would have been nice to stay longer.

 
              After our quick trips to see family we were back in Arkansas in time for the kids and I both to start school. We will be in the states for the entire school year then we will return to Kenya in July, Lord willing. This is the first time ever that our kids have attended public school so please keep them in your prayers. They are doing well so far and enjoying the newness of it all. We are so grateful for school system here in Monticello.  
              Putting the kids in school is also the start of transition for Josiah especially. He will only be with us in Kenya one more term before he will have to return to the states for college. Attending public school this year is a step towards preparing him for this transition. We have several other steps in this transition process over the next three years to try and help our kids make the transition into US life. Please pray for God to give us wisdom.


Furlough Home
         We also have a house to live in thanks to Mrs. Paula Gathings who has been a part of our East Kenya Missions team since we started. Mrs. Paula moved this last year to Louisiana to take care of her aging parents who needed assistance, which left her house empty here in Monticello. She graciously offered to let us use it while we are here on furlough. Words cannot express our thanks and appreciation.
              Several families in the church also had the house full of food and furnished for our needs before we ever arrived. Our EKM chairman Ben Higginbotham spear headed getting everything organized and in order. He is AWESOME! It was so nice to just move in and start living and working. We are very grateful to our church Pauline BC for purchasing a mini-van for us to use while we are here on furlough as well. We praise God for all His provision.

 
Back to School

              This furlough is going to be very different. I am attending the Missionary Baptist Seminary in Little Rock working in their specials Masters program. I felt like I needed to take some time to “sharpen my axe.” In Kenya we are constantly pouring into others and teaching with little time to be poured into so this is an opportunity to be poured into.  I want to be sure I am equipped to meet the needs of the work as well as our team.
              I attend classes this semester on Tuesday and Wednesday 8-12 and Thursday nights 5:45pm-10pm. The classes are amazing and I am learning so much. It is a heavy load with all the reading, writing, and traveling back and forth from here in Monticello to Little Rock(1hour 45 minutes one way) so please pray for me and our family as I go to school as well. I really believe that this time invested in education will be of great value to the ministry and I am thankful to the Missionary Baptist Seminary for the opportunity.  
 
Furlough Scheduling   
             
              We have been working on our furlough schedule and it is filled until January already. We are focusing on our supporting churches and trying to visit them all while we are in the states.  Unfortunately Kenya and the kids will not be able to travel with me to see most of the churches since the kids are in school. We want to apologize in advance for them not getting to come. They love traveling with me, but it is just not possible. 
              We will be continuing to contact our supporters and trying to fill our schedule up until our departure. Our plan now is to return to Kenya the first of July 2016. Please pray for safety as we visit the churches. It is such a blessing to be able to go to say thank you personally and rejoice in everything God has done this past three-year term. We are grateful to all those who are a part of our support team.

Upcoming Furlough Appointments
September 20 Victory MBC, Madison, MS
September 20 Emmanuel MBC, Bogalusa, LA
September 27 Peasant Valley MBC, Batesville, AR
September 27 New Testament MBC, Lonoke, AR
October 4 Cypress Ave MBC, Marion, AR
October 4 Victory BC, Cabot, AR
October 8 Missionary Baptist Seminary MTM
October 11 Hyde Park MBC, West Monroe, LA
October 17-18 Hillcrest BC, Ackworth, GA
October 25  Nothcrest MBC, Andrews, TX
 October 25 Westwood BC, Odessa, TX
November 1 Harmony MBC, Ponca City, OK
November 1 Lakeview MBC, Spiro, OK
November 8 Florence Blvd MBC, Florence, AL
November 8 Skyline MBC, Madison, AL
 

Furlough Contact
James Taylor PO Box 417 Monticello, AR
Phone (870)723-7640 missionarytaylor@gmail.com

Taylor Tribe
      
 

We started the month out in Bangor, Maine with James’ dad, James and new wife.  We were glad to have a quick visit to meet Lysa and her two kids.  On the way up we stopped at Niagara Falls to stretch our legs.  Once we got to Maine, we spent a couple days just hanging out.  It was fun swimming in the freezing cold lakes, buying fresh Wild Maine blueberries, and taking our first ride out on a Lobster boat.  We are so proud of James and how far he has come.  We love seeing him with a fresh start in life.  Our time with them was short, but we had fun.  On the way back to Indiana we stopped in Hershey, PA at Hershey World to stretch our legs.  It was a fun little stop.  We ate chocolate and even made our own chocolate bars, which was a really neat activity.  When we got back to Indiana we went camping with James’ mom, Joyce, brother and sister-in-law, and sister.  It was fun relaxing, playing games, hiking, and swimming. 
            Once our time in Indiana was over we headed straight to Arkansas to get ready for school.  It was bit hectic trying to get everyone signed up and make sure they had everything before the first day of school but we did it with a lot of help from Pauline BC and the kids’ adoptive families.  When we got to our house there was a crowd of friends gathered and the whole house of stocked with everything from toilet paper to a freezer full of deer meat and other foods.  We cannot thank our church enough for all they did for us to help us get settled for this furlough time.  It is going to be a lot different.  The kids are in public school for the first time ever and James is in seminary full time for the first time in 15 years.  Our travel time as a family will be limited but we know God is going to use this time to refresh us and grow us so that we can minister more effectively. 
            Speaking of public school, the kids are adjusting well.  They come home everyday talking all at once about how much fun it is, how crazy some kids are, and how they enjoy most of their classes.  We are glad they have this experience to help them transition and see what life is like in America in the school systems.  It is definitely opening their eyes to a great need in so many kids’ lives for loving parents and godly values.  We send them to school each morning praying they will be a light of hope and love to those they interact with. 
            Everyone keeps asking me what in the world I am going to do with my time.  And the honest answer, besides laundry and dishes, is I don’t know.  My first priority after my relationship with the Lord is James and the kids. So I plan on doing my best to take care of them and help them as they are the ones with the busy schedules.  I want to be the voice of peace and restfulness in our home.  I am truly enjoying it so far.  I love having a mini van, watching my kids get on and off the bus each day, making lunches for James, and yes, cleaning the house.  It is for a season, but I am going to enjoy it for these few months that we are here. 
            We celebrated some birthdays this month as well.  We got to Maine on my birthday, James’ dad had a cake waiting on me.  Lydia turned 11 on the 23rd and Sarah turned 9 on the 27th.  Lydia wanted a monster high cake and Ms. Ashley came to celebrate with us.  Sarah wanted a Frozen cake which took on a very melty look when we got to the park for her party.  It was fun.  These kiddos are growing up so fast.   
            Thanks for reading and praying.