CLEMENS UPDATE - DECEMBER 21, 2014
"Now thanks be to God for His Gift, (precious) beyond telling (His indescribable, inexpressible, free Gift)!" ...Jesus (2 Corinthians 9:15)

Dear Ones,

Thank you deeply for your prayerful concern, many inquiries, and sharing special verses and thoughts with us during these days. We welcomed them gladly throughout this period of an intense "Medical Mode." Though we have not been able to answer them individually, they were read, digested, and provided food for encouragement of body and soul. Thank you!!!

Since August 11th, the watchword for us has been, "Wait." (Psalm 27:14) It then extended into, "Wait and hope and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage, and let your heart be stout and enduring."

We have indeed WAITED through each one of the following:

  1. David's August 11th fall while ministering in Italy; it resulted in three neck fractures/cracks and a contusion on the spinal cord;
  2. the stay in the Italian hospital and neck braces, worn nearly 24-7 until the present (flight home, and all);
  3. the 19.5 hour door-to-door trip home six days after the injury;
  4. the 88-day wait for surgery while wearing a hard brace; it was our U.S. surgeon's wise decision, yet during those days, we continually were concerned about further injuring the spinal cord;
  5. the November 6th very invasive surgery, and post-operative pain and questions; with hammer, chisel, rods, screws, etc., we were told it is the most painful the surgeon does;
  6. the uncontrolled pain at home, a 9-1-1 call, an ambulance transport to a local hospital, and getting temporary relief on November 13th; returning home; taking 1 hour for 3 people to walk a weakened David just 3 car-lengths to get him back into our house;
  7. the surgeon's next morning's instructions to go to the distant hospital of the surgery (as emergency status) for help with the returned uncontrollable pain; then evaluations/tests/etc., the I.V. pain relief, and going home the 4th day;
  8. the total effects of injury, surgery, medication reactions, weakness, etc.;
  9. to learn God's projections, schedule, and degree of health available for us for the future.

Please give thanks.

  1. At present, we are thanking God and are heartened significantly; David is to lay aside his hard neck brace on December 22nd, TOMORROW, after wearing it day and night for 4 1/2 months. I think we might have some kind of a ceremony!!! :) Next is the soft collar for an undetermined time, and a continuing returning to strength and normalcy, as God sees fit. We are walking outdoors 1+ hours/day, and the pain AND pain medications are much decreased.
  2. Although we were very seriously wondering if it would happen, the surgeon has given his blessing to begin overseas travel again next year, starting with our first scheduled trip to Spain in late March. This has been a wonderful demonstration of God's work in using the medical world to be His assistants in the healing process. They did staggering things...unbelievable. But, always to be remembered, it is God Who gives the healing.
  3. In asking us to return in 2015, the directors of each overseas ministry have shown great faith and diligence in searching for GOD'S will in the matter. They asked him to return in 2015, even though no one but God knew the outcome of this injury, and even though some of their confirmation deadlines were past. This was a major blessing to us. It is all amazing to us. God has done great things, and we are glad, glad, glad.
  4. Further, our Psalm 103:1-2 Blessing List regarding this whole experience now has nearly reached 200 items!!! Here are just two* examples:
    1. David's level of pain was so great during the two days of the 9-1-1 pain ordeal, that, after the ambulance crew delivered him to the emergency room, they talked with him, then left for their other duties; BUT, after their work shift, THEY RETURNED* TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM TO SEE HOW HE WAS DOING. HOW KIND!! AND THAT IS ONLY THE 5TH TIME THEY HAVE EVER DONE THAT for anyone! Besides that, in talking together, David and I realized that HE REMEMBERED NOTHING* OF THE ENTIRE TRAUMATIC TWO DAYS! NOTHING!!! We cannot say how important and gracious that was/is!!! God's lovingkindness abounds in the night...again. We know that many, many of you have been utterly faithful in praying us through these murky waters; our eternal thanks for that. We are certain it has touched the heart of our God Who invites us all to call upon Him...and it has made a difference.
  5. Summer ministry was special. In all weeks (young families, young 20+ singles, 40+ adult group, all-age week, youth ages 16-25) God moved. As hearts were stirred by the teaching of God's Word, the questions flowed; they were the kind that showed that individuals meant business in wanting to know how specifically to implement Scriptural truths into their daily living habits. Dear folks had problems of all kinds. And guess what: God's Word had the answer to every 2014 question that was asked! That's because It IS The Word of God. He told Peter to tell us (2 Peter 1:1-4) that all we need for life and Godliness is found in knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord...and that is found in Scripture. Thanks to God for direction to the needed references.

Please do not stop praying. There is a long way to go from where we are now until where we need to be by March 25th. As God leads you, please talk to Him about...

  1. Completion of healing and rehabilitation for multiple areas of the body;
  2. STUDY and PREPARATION for the trips and all coming assignments. (Pain and medical regimen has taken the major part of each day into each night. Usually, by now we are well under way for the next year's speaking responsibilities.
  3. Every single heart (including our own) present at locations will be totally open to what God will say to them from His Book, His Word that lives.

End-of-the-year Housekeeping Chore
Uncle Sam requires that ministry gifts/donations for which a 2014 tax-deductible receipt is issued, must be postmarked by 12/31/14.

Last Thoughts:
David, that sweet singer of old, penned these God-breathed words long centuries ago before the birth of the Holy Child of Bethlehem: "Bless (i.e. affectionately and gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul, and all that is deepest within me, bless His holy name! Bless ... the Lord, O my soul, and forget not one of all His benefits (Psalm 102:1-2)." Forget not even one! What better place to start our list than with the truth of John 3:16 in our Holy Bible: "For God so loved and dearly prized the world that He even gave up His only-begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish - come to destruction, be lost - but have eternal (everlasting) life."

Now, no matter where you are, with whom you do or do not spend your Christmas Day, you can enjoy being with the Guest of Honor Himself! Enjoy His presence and His presents; and may both light your life at this Christmas time and always. ("In Him was life; and the life was the light of men." I John 1:4)

Our love, warmest wishes, and prayers for a happy and holy Christmas for you and yours,
David and Janice Clemens

CLEMENS UPDATE - SEPTEMBER 7, 2012

Dear Ones,

We trust this was a good summer for you. It was our enjoyment to see many of you at different locations; we wish it could have been all of you. You have prayed us through the last months. Later on it will be fun to share with you the "It's the Lord" report!

September 13, we both are headed for Poland, Lord willing. As always, David is working very hard preparing for all of the scheduled meetings, PLUS he seeks to be prepared for ANY subjects which MAY be asked of him at any time. Please pray that he will finish soon and be able to just sit and stare for a day :)

The itinerary there includes several host church services, a conference involving a number of churches, youth meeting, pastors' and leaders' meeting, and women's meeting (Janice). God knows best the needs of each individual who will attend. Please pray for those planning and working in Poland, for God's direction to ascertain His choice of subject matter, for ready and open hearts, and that we'll usable by Him in any and all ways during this time.

August 18-25 at Odosagih Bible Conference in NY was a fine week. Many shared that it was a time of significant and personal drawing closer to God. Please remember especially one particular situation in desperate need of your prayers; they have requested we ask for your help and want you to know that it involves "safety of a baby, drug addiction, many huge decisions," and more. Nothing is hard for God.

While at the NY Bible Conference, emergency room and subsequent hospital admission for four days of powerful intravenous antibiotics and steroids became necessary for Janice. The diagnosis was "resistant pneumonia"; it is called this because two courses of other appropriate antibiotics taken before the trip "failed." Uninterrupted meds (oral form) continue to the present. It was good to have Janice's brother there at the conference who, along with dear friends, helped tremendously. It's not over yet, so please pray that, God willing, we shall be on the plane together; that way we can lean on each other :)

Indebtedly and gratefully,
David and Janice Clemens

P.S. Please feel free to visit the 2012 Calendar page to see the remainder of the itinerary for this year.

CLEMENS UPDATE - MARCH 18, 2012

Dear Ones,

You continue to be a large part of our lives...really. Thank you for walking the trail with us, whether for a short period OR for multiple decades. The blessing is ours...for sure!

THANKS TO GOD FOR ANSWERS

  1. Spain dates are set: Departure - March 21; Return - April 9. This will include the annual Family Easter Conference plus ministry in surrounding churches. There are lots of unknowns on this first trip back in the saddle. Please pray us through.
  2. David's message preparations for Spain are just about completed, even with the recent drain of his strength and thoughts. I can't remember when he was done this far ahead! Janice still has lots to do (Spain, Holland).
  3. On March 9, with notes and agendas before them, our Board met around the kitchen table. Extra time was spent giving special thanks for the overwhelming working of God the whole year long. Of course, there was way too much to even begin scratching the surface, but it was fun trying. Because of their presence, our hearts were uplifted. All business was accomplished, but we hated to see them go…to a man. True kindred spirits. We are of one mind, and it is so good.
  4. There was a beyond-belief "It's the Lord" answer to our need for adequate flight seating…a rendering for another time, perhaps!

NEW PRAYER REQUESTS FOR…

  1. the final arrival of the approximately 100 lost prayer letters sent out 1/23/12; they are somewhere in the US Postal System. Additionally, approximately 100 prayer letters which were sent as e-mail attachments failed to get through.
  2. open hearts of those at the Spanish meetings, to hear as the boy Samuel did so long ago; he said, "Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth Thee." In that verse "heareth" means to listen with the will to obey! I Samuel 3:10.
  3. us to be very full of the things God wants us to teach and be open to any editing He may want to do.
  4. protection of our home; ease for those who handle house, ministry, and mail.
  5. David's continued healing, ease in using these legs on such a long journey; comfort and sleep during travel; a doctor's visit March 19.
  6. Janice -There are significant pain issues stemming from a new area of the spine. Thankfully, the recent surgery's success remains. The surgeon prescribed a fine "advanced pain specialist." Consequently, at the hospital on Monday, March 19, there will be injections into a herniated disc deemed to be the culprit. We ask God for relief and healing if He sees fit…in His time.

Hebrews 13:5b has taken on new meaning over the last sixteen months. We've looked hard into our heart of our God and found Him to be completely and lovingly loyal; He has never let up, never ducked out for a break, but He has been continually on guard, always watching out for us. He did just like He said He would: "...for He (God) Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless, nor forsake nor let you down, (relax My hold on you). Assuredly not! (Hebrews 13:5b Amplified Bible)

Thankfully,

David and Janice

IMPORTANT NOTE
YOUR RESPONSES ARE UNIQUELY GRACIOUS AND HEARTENING. HOWEVER, WE HOPE YOU WILL UNDERSTAND AND PLEASE FORGIVE US IF WE DO NOT ANSWER ANYTHING EXCEPT URGENT MATTERS. AVAILABLE TIME IS QUITE SHORT NOW. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

CLEMENS UPDATE - JANUARY AND FEBRUARY 2012

Dear One,

We know this letter is unusual; it is quite lengthy (well, lengthier than usual), has many details (that's where God can be seen in special ways), and it is quite personal. We wanted our own record of His involvement in our recent "journey," and it grew into the following. We invite you into our world. Skim it, chuck it (you don't have to tell us about that), or, for the brave of heart, read it to the end. No matter which you choose, we will not be offended.

A Semi-Quick Summary
After a rather surprising double-knee surgery, David is doing well. He was in an in-patient rehabilitation facility after the hospital. He is now home, but continues to get blood tests two times per week to monitor the blood thinner taken so blood clots don't form. He also goes to physical therapy three times per week and daily does many hefty exercises at home. Sometimes the pain, the medicines' side effects, and the duration of this experience (before/during/after) are on the edge of overwhelming. But, then, God comes and whispers "a word fitly spoken like apples of gold in pictures of silver." (Proverbs 25:11); He truly always knows the right thing to say. :) And now we are almost daily noting new "strides" on the road to recovery. We are very thankful for all the healing thus far. Healing? God has some great assistants whose hands and minds He uses, but, in the final analysis, it truly IS the Lord Who heals. (Ask Asa. 2 Chronicles 16:12)

Two weeks after surgery, with two nurses working at once, eighty-six metal staples were successfully removed from twenty inches of knee incisions. Ouch! And NEITHER of us passed out!

Whether word of this previously reached you or not, we strongly thank you SO much for your earnest and continued prayers. All along, God has been listening, working, and applying those prayers to present situations.

A Timeline

  1. 12-22-11: Surgery - The many travels over these last years and the heavy exercise to keep fit for these missions have taken their toll on both "original" knees and even on one replacement; therefore surgery involved:
    1. Right knee - David's former artificial knee, the surrounding bone, and old cement were all removed; a second larger replacement was implanted. In an earlier time and place, he'd had arthroscopic surgery, as well.
    2. Left knee: a first-time knee replacement was implanted.
  2. 12-26-11: Discharge from Pennsylvania Hospital; Ambulance transport to New Jersey; Admission to in-patient rehabilitation hospital
  3. 12-30-11: Discharge to go home and commence out-patient rehabilitation through 01-30-12; it is hard work, hurts, and helps! He does his part.
  4. 01-05-12: The two-week follow-up at the surgeon's office
  5. 02-01-12: 6-Week post-surgery check-up with the surgeon

"It's The Lord" … again and again. (Please read John 21:6, 7, 11)

We're neither Peter nor John, and we never got 153 big ones, but we do love to observe to each other those times when we get a glimpse of Him at work and can only respond, "It's the Lord." From our list of 4+ pages, we include a few of these wonders.

Just one personal, special, and detailed "It's The Lord" story (Each asterisk*denotes Him at work, usually behind the scenes. Beautiful!)

At pre-admission testing, the surgeon's staff member issued an invitation*(!) for me to remain with David all night after the 12/22 surgery. That was a first! Because David had a room mate, permission was given for me to sit in the empty nearby visitor's lounge and look in on him through the night. Then, amazingly, with the 12/23 departure* of his room mate, hospital personnel invited* me, not only to stay in* the room with David, but to sleep in the other bed* that night, clean sheets and all.

Then came Christmas Eve. No one had said anything about me staying over again. I could hardly think of leaving David there alone on that night, a first in 46 years of marriage.

"BUT GOD…." Didn't He say, "Look around you … and see! And be astonished! Astounded! For I am putting into effect a work in your days that you would not believe it if it were told you." (Habakkuk 1:5b) Well, guess what. That's just what He did! Since there were other rooms available for new patients* unknown to me, "someone"* blocked off* the now vacant other bed* in David's room for my use for the duration* of his stay. I've never heard of such a thing. And, of course, the "duration of his stay" included* Christmas Eve (day and night) and Christmas Day (day and night). It was something beyond what we could have asked or thought. We know that it was nowhere near normal, and it was almost impossibly kind. (Well, of course it was: behind it was The One Who came to show us ultimate love. He surely outdid* (an understatement!) Himself for us ALL on that first Christmas, and He surely outdid* Himself for us two on this two thousand, eleventh Christmas. It was His birthday, but we got the gift. How utterly and sacrificially tender-hearted was that?! To us, it was from God, and it was past ANYTHING considered as being even remotely possible. "What shall (we) render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward (us)?" (Psalm 116:12) "(Our) meditation of Him shall be sweet; "(we) will be glad in the Lord." (Psalm 104:34)

By the time Christmas Eve Day arrived, David was in kind of tough shape; he could have only a limited family visit. So, although our time with them was abbreviated, it was so, so good…an uplifting blessing and true treasure of the heart* to us both. God bless all our family…and yours, too.

After they left for home and evening had come, only we two remained in the softness of one solitary lighted angel just purchased from the hospital gift shop (the only one left*). As Max Lucado puts it, we could almost hear the "slap of the sandals" in that calm and quiet and almost holy setting. We recited the Luke 2 account of Christ's birth together; it was memorized 60-65 years* ago under faithful Sunday school teachers at First Baptist Church, Woodbury, NJ. What a heritage! We thanked God for His Gift, The God-Babe*, and how He ultimately provided the way* of sins forgiven and eternity with Him. Then David listened as I read, O'Henry's classic short story, "Gift of the Magi." Lastly, pulling from our past, together we two sang three or four verses of all the Christmas carols we could remember. It was our concert for an Audience of One (sometimes a duet, sometimes a solo). It lasted for about 1 1/2 hours. These were ageless expressions of praise and adoration to our* God-Babe*, born simply and humbly Away in a Manger, but bringing Joy to the World.

We'll never forget it...Jesus and us*. It was deeply special. She's a little strange looking, but I think we'll keep that little lighted angel forever. :)

The final lines of My Mom's oft-quoted poem really ARE true:

"Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas tonight!"
For the Christ-child who comes is the Master of all;
No palace too great, no cottage too small.
No surgical slab is too trivial for Him,
No hospital chamber too hidden or dim."

(The last two lines were added with this surgery experience in mind.)

On Christmas Day, we were again pumped up by our little family*, who, in accordance with Clemens tradition, brought a cake (ice cream) for Jesus' celebration. That visit also had to be cut short, but, it was still Jesus' birthday, and we were just so happy to be with those we love; they left us smiling. And the cake, though now a bit shorter and a bit wider, made it home to wait for a belated party.

this was our Christmas, 2011; it was strong stuff and will always stand out as one of the most unforgettable and stirring in our entire lives. Thank you for praying us through those days. You did well; God answered uniquely.

Some more glimpses of … The Lord

  1. We are not famous. This man is excellent, famous, a true gentleman, and a very sought after surgeon. When I did an online search on him, up came "About 1,870,000 results." Yet he said to David before surgery, "I know you want to fulfill your schedule, I am impressed with what you do, I am your friend, and I will work this out to help you do what needs to be done when it needs to be done. You will hear from us when the results are in." God gave us such a man to be His hands, and we are still amazed. Psalm 75:6,7a: For promotion cometh neither from the east, the west, nor the south, but God is the judge…
  2. Back in early November, the first available date for surgery was in FEBRUARY. The pain began in the spring. Through many little details, we saw some of God's plan, even including the surgeon's personal involvement. One of the staff told us that, for some reason, a day seemed to be added to his operating schedule; it was DECEMBER 22!! Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and peace, and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.
  3. Although the left leg was a first-timer and the right was a third-timer (including the aforementioned arthroscopy), remarkably, they both came "due" at the same time!!! Think of that! That meant:
    1. they could be done in one surgery
    2. the insurance paid for in-patient rehab (which they do not do for one leg), and
    3. there would be ONE lengthy period of healing instead of two. Ephesians 1:11b: He worketh all things after the counsel of His own will: that we should be to the praise of His glory…." It's the Lord.
  4. The pre-surgical period included thorough scrutinizing; thus, an unrelated thyroid situation was revealed in a very round-about and exciting way. It could have developed into a serious problem. Now it can be controlled for life (Lord willing) simply by continuing the effective medicine prescribed by our good family doctor. God used at least two other problems to lead to the fixing of a more serious problem we never knew he had. Daniel 2:20, 22: Daniel answered, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever! …He reveals the deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him. Once again…the Lord!
  5. With notification of the earlier surgery date, David's pre-admission requirements were put on the fast track. There could be no giving of his own blood or no surgery without our dentist first checking him for any infection. There wasn't enough time to get the required appointment. What should we do?

    Guess what. I was already scheduled for a totally unrelated appointment. And, it was at the time of DAVID'S need. Our dentist kindly allowed us BOTH to use my appointment; therefore, the required dental clearance was obtained and faxed to the surgeon within nineteen hours from the hospital call. Now David would be permitted to give his own blood and have the surgery. Tremendous!

    But there's more! Another incredible detail follows which was discovered even while writing this letter on 1/18/12 at 1:58 a.m. In capital letters, the surgeon's instructions read, "YOU CAN NOT DONATE BLOOD WITHIN 72 HOURS OF ANY DENTAL WORK/CLEANING." Repeat: "WITHIN 72 HOURS."

    In other words, the time between David's two appointments (dentist and blood donation) MUST be at least 72 hours apart.

    Well, the appointment which I (Janice) had received weeks earlier was for…. Are you ready? It was for 9 a.m. on December 13, and David's blood donation appointment was for 11:30 a.m. on December 16!! Do the math. From the end of David's dental appointment until the time of his blood donation was … 73 hours! That was cutting it close with one hour to spare, but what a way to observe the involvement/love/power of God. He reigns in the details if we just open our eyes to watch.

    When we consider all the dates our dentist's office could have given me for my appointment, and when we consider all the dates the hospital could have given David for his blood appointment, and when we see it all come together with 1 hour to spare, our humble conclusion is simply, It was…The Lord. Ecclesiastes 3:1: To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the sun.
  6. The fast track pre-admission had further blessings: it meant that now, he would have to donate only one unit of his own blood instead of two; further, the iron medication, which would have produced sickening side effects, became unnecessary.
  7. Peace and friends: At 6:00 a.m. on the day of surgery we arrived at the hospital; after check-in, etc. David was wheeled into the operating room with, "Be still and know that I am God" on his lips (Psalm 46:10); a friend had written it to him shortly before that day. Then, at 5:30 p.m. David was brought from recovery to his hospital room, with "I want to make God look good" repeatedly on his lips. Later, he had no recollection of it. Another true friend had sat in the surgical waiting room with me all that day, offering that which true friendship offers, and seasoned with reminders of God-things. Philippians 4:7: And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
  8. We learned that many of you, knowing of the suffering and damage from varied past medical incidents," prayed, "Lord, please make it different this time." What a wonderful prayer. And, what wonderful answers God chose for the hospital experience to be different this time. Here are six.
    1. At surgery's end, our surgeon called his report to me in the special waiting room. "He has two nice, sturdy knees," and he added a very kind personal comment;
    2. There was no injury or long, ineffective treatment for months before this surgery; there were no long months of repeated and painful aspirations from the knees; there was no earlier infection involved.
    3. The hospital medical staff found and skillfully administered much-welcomed, helpful, and appropriate pain relievers from surgery through discharge; they caused no allergic reactions, not an easy task for a patient with a lo-o-ng meds allergy list.
    4. A doctor-prescribed ambulance transported David from the hospital in Philadelphia to the in-patient rehabilitation hospital in our New Jersey town. We recalled a former back surgery when our sons put him on a narrow board for transporting injured people, pushed and slid him into the back of our Chevy station wagon with the back seat down, and pulled him agonizingly out at the other end of the ride to get him into the house. What a difference!
    5. His rehabilitation for two legs is progressing faster than it formerly did for one leg;
    6. He was discharged from the rehab hospital in 5 days instead of the prescribed 7-10 days. Philippians 4:6, 7: Be careful (anxious) for nothing;…but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God shall keep you….Thank you for this good prayer.
  9. Our little one-story rancher is absolutely perfect for surgery recovery; we thank the Lord often for His plan and the brother who very much helped make it possible for us to purchase it 44 years ago; this came after having to return from the mission field in Argentina, South America, for medical reasons. It met a huge need in a hurry. God knew how often we'd need its easy, level layout!! (Besides, we love it here.) Philippians 4:19: But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
  10. In one of several waiting rooms, there was a wonderful opportunity to share how to have a personal relationship with God as taught in The Bible, and that it was foretold in the Old Testament and recorded in the New Testament. It was with a very pleasant, smiling lady who asked a lot of questions and shared several unusual things in which she believed, amongst them reincarnation. It was a lovely conversation that lasted perhaps 45 minutes, mostly of things about God. We exchanged contact information. May her interest lead her to the Scriptures of God's choosing and ones for her greatest good. Isaiah 53:5, 6: He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities …and with His stripes we are healed … and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
  11. Shortly before surgery, our car had a special problem that needed the agency's repair. It had to be done immediately because of the NJ to Philadelphia (hospital's location) trips, some after dark. So, we took it one hour away, and left in their loaner car while they fixed it. We later picked it up, and within 24 hours, there was a squealing and screeching that could've raised the dead; it was connected with the original problem, only worse. We called them and explained our urgent need for transportation, as surgery was just 2 ½ days away. The phone receptionist volunteered to get help for us. The chief mechanic spoke: "I will use a loaner car, come to your house (1 hour) with my tools, try to fix it in your driveway, and return to our shop in our loaner car (2nd hour). If I can't fix it, I will leave the loaner car for YOU, (1 hour) I will take your car to the repair shop (2nd hour), fix it, return it to you (3rd hour) , and take the loaner car back again (4th hour); that's 2 hours of driving OR 4 hours of driving which he offered. (Now, we have seen our regular mechanic/friend do many kindnesses, but we never expected such tremendous help in this situation.) God moved two hearts at a dealership to help in this thoughtful way in time of need. It was really uplifting. (Incidentally, he fixed it in the driveway!) And, it was…DONE! Thank You, Lord. Ephesians 4:32: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
  12. We had no clue which of the offered rehab hospitals to choose. At first we leaned heavily to one in center-city Philadelphia which would be a challenge and lengthy trip even for an experienced big-city driver! We asked God for direction. He gave it, among other things, via a friend of our son; she knew the answers to our questions and was a great help in making the final decision. You'll never guess where the location was: exactly 1.8 miles from our home!!!!! And the physical therapist was excellent. What blessing!!! Isaiah 30:20-21: …your eyes shall constantly behold your Teacher, and your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it….
  13. The Lord gave a wonderful opportunity to share His plan of salvation with David's roommate and his wife, "Fred and Marge," (not their real names). She'd had a brain tumor last year and kept asking, "Why has God spared me? What am I supposed to be learning?" After an extended 4-way conversation during visiting hours, she said, "I think now I know the reason I've been spared and what I need to do…to hear these things, to read The Bible.

    "We gave her a new Bible and an excellent Bible story book with corresponding references…and we exchanged contact information. May the sown Seed take root in good ground. Matthew 6:23: But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it….
  14. So well did David and God do together at the rehabilitation hospital that his physical therapist, his occupational therapist, and his case worker nurse made the following comments the day of his discharge, respectively: "You came IN here better than most patients are when they leave." "You are the best bi-lateral patient (i.e., both knees done) I have ever had." And finally, "It's incredible!" All these observations were opportunities to speak of the One Who, in the final analysis, is healing David's legs. It was, indeed…incredible! We did our best to give God His due; He deserved it. Isaiah 40:29: He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Amen.

Prayer Time

Thanks to God:

  1. for all of the above!
  2. for, as far as we know, the resolution of our stolen credit card number. It was fraudulently used, and the resolution was a very long time coming. We are thankful for your prayers and the loyal friend who helped.

Requests:

  1. God chose to delay two scheduled trips to Cuba, and He knows best. (1st trip: the Cuban government changed planned dates; 2nd trip: this surgery). Pray for the faithful Cubans, for their encouragement and growth. They'd had great expectations and had worked hard to prepare and attend. Also pray that, if God wills, He will open the way for a future return.
  2. We will have traveled to or lived at some medical treatment facility 41 times within the 59 days between December 5th and February 1st. Please pray for available time, rapid completion of office tasks, and for God to specifically direct and expedite 2012's message preparations.
  3. Pray regarding February 1st when we expect the surgeon will give guidelines for future travel. Pray for wisdom for him; for God's purposes to be accomplished at that visit, and for David's rapid recovery, if He sees fit. It's been a long haul, and the body and mind get weary. It makes for some struggling, but trusting times.
  4. Please pray for these ministry travels. Spain is scheduled for mid-March and early April; it is to include the Easter Bible Conference as well as churches in other parts of that country. Janice is to go to The Netherlands for two young mothers' conferences in late April and early May. In June and July we go together to The Netherlands for approximately 5 camp/conference weeks. September is ministry in Poland. USA Bible Conference, church ministries, etc. are to make up the rest of 2012. Lord willing, an itinerary will come to you as usual.
  5. Please pray for God's hedge of protection around this organization and ministry from any and all who would keep back the teaching of The Word of God. With some of the things that we and other Bible teaching organizations have experienced, we do wonder what lies ahead. "Father knows."

We're thanking you

Several of you have graciously sent such nice and good words of encouragement and love. Thank you so much. Although we can not answer them individually, please be absolutely assured that they have been read, appreciated, and shared together. You have been tremendous.

Please be reassured that your proven concern, your steadfast prayers, and your help of all kinds really do effect what goes on in this little corner of God's big field. You are a God-given comfort and have multitudes of ways to inspirit a heart. Thank you. And, please, accept our wishes and know of our prayers for you to have a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

We look forward to sending you more reports of the last months' ministries.

Most warmly and gratefully,
David and Janice Clemens

September 11, 2010

Dear One,

We give thanks for word received thus far from David in Zambia, including:

  1. "I arrived safely; good connections. (Four wonderful Christian brothers) met me."
  2. "1st meeting just finished. Big group of women; 1/2++ responded." God is working.
  3. "The pulled tooth hole is healing well."
  4. A missionary friend installed a mosquito net, and his wife offered to wash soiled clothes.

These requests have been pulled from somewhat sketchy information received here at home. Two which need prayer coverage are:

  1. protection for two others and for David in the day and all through every night.
  2. the different groups in different locations to whom he will minister each day. Refer to the CALENDAR for the most recent itinerary changes.

Remember last year, September 7, 2009? David departed for Poland via Germany with travel problems galore. Fast forward to exactly one year later, September 7, 2010; he departed for Zambia with medical problems galore. Both years. Different distractions. Same goal: focus on things eternal. I love the Apostle Paul's words: "As for you, be calm and cool and steady, accept and suffer unflinchingly every hardship, do the work of an evangelist; fully perform all the duties of YOUR ministry." (II Timothy 4:5 AB)

Thanking you for each prayer from your lips to God's ears,

David and Janice Clemens

SEPTEMBER 7, 2010

Dear Ones,

Our warm greetings come to you; we are thankful to know you and for your interest in this one small area of God's work. It is good to travel this trail together with you.

Well, my David is less than one hour away from his 5:30 a.m. departure from our home to embark on the 31-hour journey to his destination in Zambia, Africa.

The preparation time has been an odyssey itself, and not such a simple one. BUT GOD…! He always makes the difference, even in the middle of problems!!!

Just one example has had to do with the medical aspect of his going. What might be a simple vaccination for most people is not simple for him. So, while being sick from the later-than-planned typhoid shot, he had to change to a harsher anti-malarial antibiotic; which added to his reactions. In the meantime, because of an unexpected strong pain in his mouth, our gracious dentist opened the office ON SUNDAY OF LABOR DAY WEEKEND and spent 2 ½ hours with us taking care of his needs, one of which was extracting a tooth…36 hours before his departure to Zambia. That, of course, put in motion a whole new set of problems for him, including a pre-medication of another antibiotic to protect his artificial knee. SOOOOO, as he leaves, he's physically not on top of his game.

BUT GOD has given great encouragement and unbelievable direction through this maze of doctors and medicines…and, incredibly, He has spoken from His Word that lives about even what doctor to call and what antibiotic to take. It has been an amazing experience…and the scheduled ministry hasn't even begun!!!

People also have given great encouragement. Take these two samples and just guess what their arrivals meant to us; they actually are both from overseas:

  1. "Just want to share these Bible verses with you...
    'I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown! Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God.' Revelation 3:8a, 11, 12a"
    (Much of God's direction to us actually came from II Chronicles where it speaks of the two pillars in God's Temple in Jerusalem.)
  2. A little guy, knowing David's history, prayed the other night: "Dear God, please be with David so he won't get hungry if he can't eat in Zambia." His parents and we were filled with joy for this little prayer.

May we share some requests to take to our Heavenly Father?

  1. As stated, today, Tuesday, 9/7, David is to depart for JFK Airport in New York and fly to Zambia by way of South Africa; he's due home 9/28. Please pray that the seed of GOD'S WORD THAT LIVES will fall on the good ground of soft/open/obedient hearts; that GOD'S SPIRIT will flow through David as His channel.
  2. The Zambian Christian leaders, interpreters, and organizers need prayer. There is much wisdom, time, and effort involved in the planning and facilitating of these meetings, e.g., they must make a round trip bus trip each time they communicate using a computer. We're thankful for this devotion to God so that others might hear HIS Word, and know Him personally.
  3. Please pray for All NEEDS PHYSICAL: travel safety and sleep; that David will not be sick much longer from all the medications in him; that he will not be allergic to/sick from the new anti-malaria antibiotic when he switches on 9/10 for 25 more days; that he'll be able to find non-reactive food. Each and every day has been planned for him to minister, always at a new location. Pray, please, for GOD'S strength in the high temperatures and during this full itinerary.

Here are two "housekeeping chores:"

  1. Please note a schedule change: at this time, David will not be at Clarence, NY, October 29-31, 2010.
  2. The web site was temporarily down due to technical problems within the providing company. Thankfully, the site is now up and running. Thank you to those who expressed concern.

THANK YOU FOR EVERY SINGLE PRAYER FROM YOUR HEART TO GOD'S EARS. WE DEPEND ON EACH ONE!!!

May God bless you and make you a blessing,

David and Janice Clemens

MARCH 2010

Dear One,

Thank you for letting us into your homes once again. Here we share just a sampling of things that have been happening over the past several months.

These are stories of … God. As you read them, imagine yourself up in Heaven standing with Him, leaning over and seeing the WHOLE picture as He sees it. Look and note how He fits together the puzzle pieces of both time and geography, and then wonder at the final picture. "Look from the top"; so beckons the wise one in Song of Solomon 4:8: "Look from the top."

SPAIN

On the day before our 3/18/2009 departure for Spain, there were 4½ hours of incoming phone calls. They included: a man whose (drug addicted) son tried to commit suicide; research into a place for him to go for help; details pertaining to David's Mother's 3/8 home going, and more. At times we were on 2 cells and one landline phone concurrently, AND we had bad colds and a throat infection. Admittedly, only God could get us ready in time. …Somehow, He did. (I Thes. 5:24)

Furthermore, on the trip He:

  1. led David most definitely in subject matter and presentation, including on-the-spot revisions;
  2. wove periods of laryngitis around speaking responsibilities;
  3. gave remembrance of answers (studied long ago) to difficult Bible questions in public AND private Q & A sessions;
  4. provided excellent interpreters with skill AND hearts for God (four were totally new individuals);
  5. granted traveling safety by plane, the Ave' (high speed train), van, auto, and walking;
  6. and, BEST OF ALL, HE gave "the increase."

At each of the six cities, 50% to 100% responded and promised God, that within 48 hours, they would begin the process of change in areas where He had spoken to them. Therein lay the beautiful stories. They included God meeting struggling couples, lonesome singles, straying whole families, lackadaisical church leaders, a young cancer patient, discouraged missionaries. My, what God's Word and Spirit can do in lives is astounding!

A favorite place we go is a tiny, store-front, one-room church, but it is vibrant and loving. David was sick and vomiting on the 1-hour trip to preach there. On arrival, it took 45 minutes to park and walk back to the church. The dear little old (respectfully) lady who interpreted formerly was not there. A new young lady sat in the back; she had been invited to interpret for David. So conscientious was her preparation that her husband had searched and found an audio of him online (we did not even know it was there); she studied by listening to his rhythm, expressions, style, heart. She shared that she was so touched, that she was crying even as she was learning. She and David were like a well-oiled machine, and God used their efforts and His Word to do a strong work among those good folks. The following week, the pastor (in every sense of the word) provided a van ride and bagged lunches for several of his flock to attend one day of our distant Conference; they could not otherwise have gone. All of was this for a few hours more of Bible teaching. Such love for God's Word is exemplary.

On our 5 p.m. return from Spain 4/13/09, we found 358 email messages from a patchwork of countries around this ole' world; we got the number down to 299 before bed. The next morning appeared a new one (# 300) from a European young man; it was entitled, "I choose FOR God." It's part of a long, difficult struggle, yet leading to this very happy and major victory! WHAT A WAY TO START OUR FIRST MORNING BACK HOME!!! Thank you for praying!!!!!!! He now is a full time Bible School student. "IT'S THE LORD!" (John 21:7)

THE NETHERLANDS (Holland) - Spring Young Mothers' Conferences (Janice)

Of necessity only we headed in different directions for ministry last spring: April 23- May 3, Janice was in The Netherlands; May 2-7, David was in Michigan (I just missed him by a day). There wasn't much overlap, and it was very good to pick him up on May 7 at the airport, and there was plenty to talk about. God saw fit to work as only HE can do during the Dutch Young Mothers' Conference ministry. The Word fell on soft and extremely receptive hearts; consequently, there was much counseling (via interpretation) after the sessions, lasting even until 12:15 a.m. Such great needs there are! Very personal stories involve fear for loss of loved ones (and not just in death); regrets; and loneliness and rejection, even within their own homes. But God (and they are such beautiful words) promises in Hebrews 13:5b: "…for He (God) Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless, nor forsake nor let you down (relax My hold on you.) Assuredly not!"

God has been beautifully growing this group; it is His doing. It was necessary to expand to two Conferences last year, and still there was a waiting list. This year they received enough applications to fill three Conferences, but, logistically, it just wasn't to be… even with doubling and tripling families in the same room, and one mother and children using her camper. The leaders are working VERY hard; no one wants to turn anyone away. In this task God's helpers include the director, leaders, children's teachers and workers, baby holders, the cooks, cleaner-uppers, dining room staff, and the pray-ers.

For such dear ladies as these, ONLY GOD'S WORD has all that is needed for life and Godliness (2 Peter 1:1-4). He has been faithful in showing us what Biblical guidance to give. He gives us wisdom beyond ourselves. He has proven His involvement in a number of unbelievably great outcomes when His Word was obeyed.

It's impossible to turn off the attachments that are formed in these encounters. Please pray for these precious young mothers, especially that they will be IN HIS WORD EVERY DAY (as commanded by God), and that they will have courage to obey God's instructions, even though it goes against the current of culture and human nature.

THE NETHERLANDS - Summer Adults, Teens, & Young Singles Weeks (David and Janice)

The opportunities are limitless. It is ALWAYS EXCITING. Satan is ever busy, but God is busier, and can accomplish much in a little time. This was approximately the 38th summer to have this privilege; it's been so, so very good. David spoke on the fascinating account of David and Goliath; the story came alive, and the applications were manifold.

God did the following:

  1. A woman accepted Christ after fighting Him for six years. Her expression changed, and happiness clearly showed in her face and speech the rest of the week.
  2. Teen camp was filled to capacity. A tent needed to be set up for staff members. (What a nice problem!!)
  3. Camp teens willingly and excitedly stepped out of their comfort zone and worked for six hours in the town where the camp is located. They provided free car washes, helped elderly with lawn care, sang about Christ in the market square, shared the Gospel, etc. These young people "made God look good."
  4. A fine young man said, "I know all of this in my head but not in my heart. I look at others here and see the difference." He was ready, prepared by God Himself, and received Christ as HIS Savior. IT'S THE LORD, AGAIN!!!
  5. Before departing Holland for Italy, a nearly steady stream of campers and staff visited us for 14 hours (until 12:30 am). It was wonderful; their testimonies of God's work in their lives brought much gratitude and happiness to them and to us.

ITALY - Two Family Weeks of Conferences

We have gone there every 3rd year for a good while. Needs were great; minds and hearts longed to hear/learn more of God's Word. Guests' requests for extra meetings demonstrated their desire to know God better. Those requests were granted, and meetings were added to the standard of 2-3/sessions per day.

  1. On arrival in Bologna, Italy, our auto departure from the airport to camp was delayed for two hours. God gave a wonderful adventure there and provided the opportunity to share Christ with a helpful/interested young lady employee, and even give her a Bible. There are scores of intricacies of Him at work in that situation. How we want to see her in Heaven! Please pray for it.
  2. David tried to close a morning Bible Study session on time because of special activities to follow. The attendees responded as one, "No!" He continued another half hour. Also, groups and/or individuals stayed after sessions to ask many questions regarding their walk with God. To us, these things are natural evidences of their desire to know and obey God's Word!!!
  3. Several campers reiterated Bible truths learned at camp 3 or 6 years ago, AND shared personal applications they'd made at home.
  4. Response to the studies absolutely proved the work of God going on in hearts. I couldn't guess the number of individuals or couples who came to us to share their very personal situations, ask for counsel, and follow through with it. One young family was planning to move (to another town) because there was no Bible-teaching church to attend, even going by train. The part that stood out to me: they were willing to make the move (HOUSE AND JOB)…solely to go where The Bible was taught. God must have been happy to hear that.

POLAND - (David)

In brief, here is a PARTIAL list of some things that happened on this trip:

  1. As you may know, before takeoff, there was a 61/2 -hour wait on the ground in the plane, BUT GOD took David through the extra pain, missed connections, and on to his destination. There's much more to the story, but neither time nor space for it this time.
  2. The Polish folks were wonderfully kind, gracious, and helpful to David, including his hosting family.
  3. God unexpectedly brought a friend and former interpreter from 5 hours away to interpret at the Youth Conference.
  4. Another couple traveled 5 hours to attend ONE night meeting; they found lodging, visited David the next day, and traveled back home…all to hear the Word of God and ask some questions. (Does that sound familiar from other locations in this letter?)
  5. A very sincere, devoted young leader had several significant questions regarding Theology. OFTEN he went to David to learn what the Bible says. Such a hungry and open heart must please the Father.
  6. Whenever an invitation was given, at least ½ of all the folks attending the meeting responded and made specific, public promises to God regarding changes needing to be made in their lives and when they would start the process.
  7. One night at 9 p.m. after the meeting, at the host/hostess' home, two young men came for help. They'd heard they could get some Biblical answers to their questions…and they did. There were two because one had to interpret.
  8. Several folks showed David notes in their Bibles from sermons he'd given there long ago. They basically re-preached the messages to him and were anxious to share the practical ways these things had been applied in their lives.
  9. After speaking 1½ hours to the men of the church, David began to close the message. As if they were one voice, they called out, "No," (in Polish, of course), and the teaching was extended for an additional 30 minutes. (Does that have a familiar ring?)
  10. En route by car from Poland to Berlin, Germany, there was increased security due to terrorist threats. Several check-points existed. Just ONE passenger (Guess who!) in the car had a USA passport (containing extra pages) with MANY countries' stamps in it. There was no small stir among the police and authorities whom they contacted on cell phones. But, IN THE END…God got him home…safely. Thank You, Lord!

HOME

After having been away for 67 of the 74 days from June 17 to August 29, it was very nice to return to our own home. Nine days later, however, my husband was gone again.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Our January David Clemens Bible Teaching Ministries, Inc. Board meetingwas exciting, fruitful, encouraging, fun, and in complete unity. These men are Godsends.

It is an honor to share ministry with faithful pastor-shepherds; we have seen some tremendous, genuine role models this past year, and their sheep love them for it.

In one location David had the privilege of meeting one of our "Brave"…a soldier home on leave for medical treatment after being wounded in Iraq. One night this gentleman was in a public gathering place, and he asked those around him if they knew of any churches nearby. They "just happened" to direct him right down the street to a church (a Bible-teaching church) where David was having a series of meetings. He went right then and there to the church, and returned repeatedly, dressed in suit and tie. After listening intently, on the last evening, through his new found personal faith in Christ, he received forgiveness of sin and became a child of the King, headed for Heaven. We pray for his growth and safety on his return to Iraq. (I'd love to keep looking at this one "from the top," from God's vantage point, and observe the wonder of His plan, timing, and purposes.)

THE REST OF THE YEAR INCLUDED THE FOLLOWING:

  1. a week of vacation with our dear friends;
  2. Bible Conference and several church series;
  3. in Holland, teaching at a Dutch singles conference and counseling. Extended sessions with the director were spent addressing long term and short term goals, the great amount of e-mail correspondence from individuals seeking counsel and help, pastoral care needs, web site and DVD/CD opportunities, and more. Summer affords no time for such discussions.
  4. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and last, but far from least, our family.

THANKSGIVING FOR THE PAST:

  1. Clear guidance for David through the recent intense message preparation period;
  2. God's provisions of every kind;
  3. Scores of special stories of the working of God, including those in this letter.

2010 REQUESTS FOR THE PRESENT AND FUTURE; PLEASE PRAY FOR:

  1. "David Clemens' Itinerary - 2010" (strength, safety, God-directed and God-empowered teaching, minimal pain and as good a state of health as God deems wise);
  2. Wisdom from God in answering counseling questions;
  3. The continuation of all good work begun in the hearts of those who chose for God in 2009 in all of these locations;
  4. All host-leaders in every place as they attend to details of every kind.
  5. Our family - Some of you have been praying for our sons since they were born, and later, their families. We are indebted to you beyond words; we want you to know that both of them and their families know/are walking with/and are serving God. Please pray that this chosen life with Him will keep growing sweeter and deeper, and that they will have God's special protection. May we all be kept "fit for the Master's use."
  6. Readiness to walk out the door and into the special God-planned and God-given opportunities ahead.
  7. Please pray for our Country; we are in great need. (2 Chronicles 7:14 "IF my people who are called by My name shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave and require of necessity My face, and turn from their wicked ways, THEN will I hear from Heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land."

We remember you with gratitude. The different ways which you find to help, hearten, and inspirit us and this ministry number in the hundreds, if not thousands.

… Thank you.

With our very warmest regards,

David and Janice



REPORT OF 2009 STATISTICS GIVEN TO DCBTM, INC. BOARD ON 01-22-10

  1. Flights: 17 (11 international6 domestic)
  2. Total miles: 107,585 (air [86,400] and ground [7,585], approximate)
  3. Meetings: 202 preaching/teaching sessions
    1. Spain: 39 (includes 2 by JBC)
    2. The Netherlands (3 trips): 59 (includes 16 by Janice)
    3. Poland: 29 (includes churches)
    4. Italy: 27 (includes 1 by Janice)
    5. TOTAL FOREIGN: 154 (total 2+ hours each; plus prep time with translator)
  4. USA
    1. David: 43 (50-80 minutes each)
    2. Janice: 5
    3. Total Domestic: 48 (USA total teaching/preaching sessions)

GRAND TOTAL OF 202 PREACHING/TEACHING SESSIONS INCLUDING 24 BY JANICE

Counseling Sessions: 270 (David - 207; Janice - 63)
Strategy Sessions: 27
Dutch Board Meeting: 1
DCBTM, INC. Board Meeting: 1
Ministry days away from home: 164 (124 international, 40 domestic)
General mailing and e-mail updates: 9

A CHRISTMAS LETTER TO YOU WHO MEAN MUCH TO US

December 22, 2009

Dear One,

The year's blessings have been rich and without number. They never would have been possible without this One we call Jesus. We lovingly devote this letter to Him and His birth.

Bethlehem and her inn were totally crowded and in great fuss and bustle. So much so that there was not a place made even for a mother-to-be, due in just hours, even moments! That's pretty incredible, to be that caught up in your own world that even a lady just about to give birth can't get some necessary consideration.

Contrast that scene with the nearby open fields and sky (GOD'S Inn, if you will). Absent was the hubbub. Present was…The GLORY! It flashed and shone all about the shepherds. They were frightened, then they were comforted by the angel bringing Good News of Great Joy. The News? Finally, the long-awaited Savior had come! Then came the instruction: "Go." And suddenly, on that lonely, expansive hillside under that endless swath of Heaven, there appeared with the angel "an army of the troops of Heaven - a heavenly knighthood - praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth, peace among men with whom He is well-pleased - men of good will…." (Amplified Bible)

Our response to that scene can only be/it must be a hushed and holy, "Wow."

Just think. If these shepherds had been in town with all the action, they would have missed the flashing lights, the "Good-News-of-Great-Joy angel, the heavenly knighthood/army, the instructions and directions to the birthplace, and, most important of all, they would have missed the God-Babe.

How good it was that they were out in the fields where they could see, hear, listen to God point the way to His dear Son.

Here we are, some 2000 plus years after the fact. Our inns are bustling, as is all of life around us. Even if we ourselves are not running from place to place, our hearts and minds are.

In the midst of it all, today, this "grown-up" Son of God, Who was the co-equal God of the universe even before He ever was a temporary baby, is in His Heaven…and there He waits. HE waits for us. He has so much to tell us, just like the angels did so long ago. He longs for our undivided, peaceful, worshiping attention today.

This Christmas, may we learn well from those wise shepherds this lesson: take time for the field, the quiet place, the place where just God, we, and His Word are alone together. And, as we do, we will be available to let the wonder in and let The Glory diffuse into even the very deepest parts of our souls.

"Oh come to my heart, Lord Jesus; there is room in my heart for Thee."
In a nutshell, The Good News spoken so long ago was this:
"For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He even gave up His only-begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish -come to destruction, be lost- but have eternal (everlasting) life. For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge- to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on- the world; but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him." (John 3:16-17 A.B.)

Now, no matter where or with whom you spend Christmas, remember that the Guest of Honor always is waiting to be invited to your home and ours. May it be a happy and holy day.

One prayer request, please: David's 2nd cataract surgery is scheduled for December 28. Please uphold him in prayer, will you? Thank you. We look forward to catching you up on God's workings (in which you have had a part) in future e-mails.

Wishing you special Christmas blessings,

David and Janice Clemens

SEPTEMBER 8, 2009

"Dear Janice!
David is with us. He is tired, but tomorrow will be better...
God bless you!"

Aren't they the greatest words? They came today from our Polish Pastor friend as he reported David's safe arrival. It recalls Psalm 30:5b: "...joy cometh in the morning."

Last night seemed a bit bleak and confusing, eh??? But today is brighter. Here are a few sun-streaks from God:

  1. Once last night's Philadelphia-Frankfurt, Germany, flight took off (6 1/2 hours late), it was smooth sailing. David's seat mate was very helpful and even assisted after their arrival in an unfamiliar airport. AND, David's bag was the 4th one on the pick-up conveyor belt!!! How often does that happen??!
  2. God gave an airline agent the heart to take the initiative to book a seat for David at about 4 a.m. this morning when I called to ask for advice as to what could be done from this end. (Hand-picked by the Master! He never ceases to amaze!)
  3. God gave David the last aisle seat on his rebooked connection from Frankfurt to Berlin, Germany. (He needs it to stretch out his bad knee.)
  4. The pastor learned the arrival time of the new flight even before David knew it! That way someone could meet him on time. How nice.
  5. Two big strong fine men with shaven heads were waiting to very warmly greet David at the Berlin airport. (That's a good feeling. :) With them was a wonderful young man (actually, the pastor's son) who was most gracious and has a deep love for God and His Word. He was to be David's interpreter for "arrival and settling in" matters. A 2nd "shift" appeared after supper; that young man had come by bus, would return home that night by bus, and come again in the morning...by bus.
  6. The infamous international cell phone works! And two text messages got through (no small miracle).
  7. A lovely family is hosting David. They have made a kind and effective provision to make things comfortable and fit for his physical needs. This is wonderful. The Mama made delicious chicken soup (very welcome sight) and Papa is the mine inspector who determines if mines are safe to operate or not. Some years ago he gave David his handsome tool (with a long finished wooden handle and brass head) which he used to tap on the walls and ceilings in his inspections. Their children are also a delight, helping because of their love for God and for David.

Because of these kindnesses from God and man; because of shared passions for God and His Word; because of many of your ever-faithful encouragements; because of all of these and more, the Reservoir of God's provisions is refreshing one weary traveler :) Thank you. Please keep praying?

Now with the renewed assurance of His presence, power, and adequacy for anything, the focus remains clear: things eternal. The ministry of God's Word starts tomorrow, Lord willing.

Sometimes I truly believe it is within the good heart of God to allow difficult times simply to help us "earthlings" keep our focus and to keep us close to His chest.

"For our light, momentary affliction (this slight distress of the passing hour) is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory---beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease! Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting." 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 Amplified Bible (Talk about "FOCUS!")

Thanking you,

David and Janice

SEPTEMBER 7, 2009

Dear One,

David had boarded the aircraft at 3:30 p.m. this afternoon, September 7. By then I was back home from taking him to the airport. Then his cell calls began. While still on the ground: mechanical trouble yielded 5-6 mechanics in the cockpit; there were then mechanical troubles in the rear of the plane; all passengers were permitted to deplane (he did not); all must return to the plane; aircraft taxied onto the runway; by now there were 30 planes ahead of them; they waited and waited; they returned to the gate because by then their fuel was too low for the overseas flight; the word came that they must leave within 25 minutes or an entire new crew would have to take over. Bottom line: everyone waited on board for 6 ½ hours before departing (as far as I know) Philadelphia. Then commenced the actual 14-hour journey. In addition, David had not eaten since 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. That means he went at least 30 hours waiting for a meal.

Because of the great complications of this delay (missed flight connection, etc, etc) it seemed wise to call our cell phone company and, for the first time, activate our overseas service. Two hours and 7 employees later, I'd received 6 sets of instructions to convey to David concerning the use of the phone.

God must have been doing something quite special, but Satan has also been very, very busy.

"Please pray for my David. His back and leg are very painful, and much traveling still awaits him.

May we again ask for your prayers for all that God has in mind to accomplish in the next 2 ½ weeks? Here is the itinerary:

9/08 - Arrival in Berlin, Germany; connection of David and his ride; arrival of luggage WITH David; travel by car to Polkowice, Poland
9/09 - Speaking to the Congregation of the hosting church in Polkowice
9/11-13 - Youth Conference (Their choice for the topic: "Having an Intimate Relationship with God"
9/16 - Speaking to the Congregation of the hosting church
9/17 - Special teaching to the church elders on their requested topic: "Responsibility of Brothers (Elders) in Church Life"
9/18-20 - Conference for Congregation and all others who wish to attend (It includes "children, youth, and olders.")

  1. Friday, 9/18 - Two sermons, each 1 hr. 15 min.
  2. Saturday, 9/19 - Two sermons, each 1 hr. 30 min.
  3. Sunday, 9/20 - one sermon to the Congregation
9/21 - Miscellaneous one-on-one appointments
9/22 - Probably: travel from Polkowice, Poland, to Berlin, Germany
9-23 - Flight home in the morning (Check-in at Berlin airport approximately 7:30 a.m.; on to Frankfurt, Germany, and then home to Philadelphia the same day) Of course, 6 hours are added due to the time change.

In between the meetings will be: pre-sessions with interpreters to go over concepts, difficult Bible passages, words, etc; counseling sessions; meetings with Christian leaders and interested individuals; David's 2-hours daily regimen of walking to maintain stamina and knee strength; his daily meal (one); sermon readiness, and personal quiet time.

Prayer, please:

  1. Itinerary above
  2. Hosting pastor, leaders, and organizers, church congregation, visitors
  3. The work of God in and through David and the interpreters
  4. The soft and obedient hearts of the listeners
  5. Safety in all facets of this trip
  6. Strength from the only Reservoir David has left
  7. Distractions to be handled by GOD Himself (Psalm 3:3)
  8. Focus on "The Wall" (When Nehemiah was leading the Israelites in the rebuilding of Jerusalem's wall, enemies to the work of God were continually trying to distract him. His response to them was, "I am doing a great work and cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave to come down to you?" The point is NOT that NEHEMIAH was (or that WE are) great, BUT that, when we are doing GOD'S work, it IS A GREAT WORK BECAUSE IT IS HIS WORK, AND WE MUST NOT ALLOW OURSELVES TO BE DISTRACTED. He has a great overall plan, and He needs us to do our part…to build OUR section of "the wall." Nehemiah 6:3. (If you're interested, chap 6: 1-16 is just a super example for us to follow in keeping our focus on God and His priorities. Often this summer, our watchword has been to one another, "Get back to the wall.")

Thanksgiving, please:

  1. The many, many works of God in Holland, Italy (June 17-August 14) and New York (August 22-29). More information is to follow at a later date.
  2. Safety
  3. Evidences and scores of testimonies of God working in personal lives throughout the year, particularly between the 2008 and 2009 camps.
  4. Truly Christian (i.e., followers of Christ as is outlined in the Word of God) leaders in these places who work year-round with untold individuals to help them grow in the Lord.
  5. For camp ministries with these two emphases (which pull back even those who have strayed from God):
    1. the whole Word of God is taught boldly, with conviction, BUT ALSO kindly and compassionately;
    2. those who come are genuinely loved. It's an unbeatable combination.
  6. The leading and editing by God of the messages…even during the sermon! MANY said things like, 'You didn't know it when you wrote this sermon, but it was just for me." (That's the Lord!)

Well, if you've made it to this point, thank you. And to you who pray seriously (and we know many of you do), you are just vital. Webster's Dictionary says that you are "essential to the existence or continuance of something; indispensable." We agree.

May the blessings of God fall heavily and yield results which will last all the way into eternity. Pray on for it.

"Blest be the Tie that binds...,"

David and Janice Clemens

SEPTEMBER 2008

Dear Faithful Ones,

Welcome to autumn! It's a beauty. It's also time for an update.

My (Janice's) 2nd arm surgery was scheduled for tomorrow, September 23rd. During a pre-operation visit, the surgeon looked at my pre-op and post-op hand-strength figures for the completed left arm: strength improved from a "5" to a "10." Wonderful!!

Then he studied the pre-op and present strength figures for the "to do" arm; strength improved from a "6" to a "12" …WITHOUT AN OPERATION. He said that maybe God had been doing something, after all, and he exclaimed, "Hallelujah!" (His unexpected response meant more than his decision of NO SURGERY.) No surgery!!! Do you believe that? It was God, again!!!!!! We can together THANK Him. "Who is like unto our God?" "Great is the Lord and highly to be praised, and His greatness is so vast and deep as to be unsearchable... Of the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and of your wondrous works, I will meditate." (Psalm 145:3-5 Amplified Bible)

God says that one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day to Him. Time is no problem to a God Who spans eternity. Therefore, if you have been praying, even after this decision was made by the surgeon, I believe that God, Who knows all things of the future (as well as the present and past), knew of those prayers ahead of time and answered them in His own inimitable way. ("...in Your book all the days of my life were written, before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them." Psalm 139:15). No one will ever be able to convince me differently: Dr. Osterman performed surgery - meticulously, successfully, kindly - on the left arm, and God, unobtrusively, quietly, gradually, graciously, graciously - performed surgery on the right arm.

My David's lip is looking good. The doctor plans to biopsy it when travel stops in early December. The reason for the delay is that it will be open and sore for awhile. We are grateful for the physician's encouragement and the healing that has taken place in time for several overseas ministries. God always knows what's needed and when. Your prayers here are appreciated.

David is enjoying debriefing himself after the busy summer overseas and in US Bible conferences. Also, he's done much preparation for the coming five overseas trips and US preaching responsibilities scheduled for 2009.

We love God, and we love you. Thank you for being such an intricate part of all these things.

Many blessings,
David and Janice Clemens

AUGUST 2008 (1 of 2)

Dear Ones,

Soon it will be time to print out the labels, look at your name, think of you, and pray for you…in alphabetical order. That is a great part of this process of sending out these letters. Also, we thank The Lord for the blessing of those who anonymously work so hard on each mailing. (You know who you are; thank you.)

We are in a great marvelous quandary. With every new trip there are so many blessings we just have not been able to keep after them and report them to you. Surely you are too busy to read about them all, SO, they will be broken down into three letters. This is the first. Cuba will be next, Lord willing. There's already enough for the third and fourth! Thank you for caring and being busy with your praying.

HOLLAND - FEBRUARY 2008 - David

  1. Joining forces with Dutch believers on an urgently needed building project trip were four friends: Dick Losch, Ron Rapp, Dan Meade, and David Clemens. Both nationalities labored most diligently to help finish the work before spring conferences began. The new and refurbished buildings were completed on time and have been in use since April! That was hard work, but fun work for God. ("The joy of the Lord is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10)
  2. After a very pleasant Valentine's Day Banquet speaking engagement a middle-aged couple (she/Dutch, he/American) waited patiently to talk with David; they just had to tell him their story. The three of them had a 30+ year history, and David had known nothing of it. It began when the lady, at 17 years of age, attended a conference in Belgium where David spoke. God ministered to her heart, and she genuinely committed herself to teaching the Word in a missionary venue. Next was in the USA. This couple were just sweethearts at the time AND students at Philadelphia College of the Bible (now PBU). After breaking up, the young man wanted to win her back, and the only way he could get her to go out with him again was to take her to hear "this David Clemens" who was going to be in a South Jersey church. She went, and the date blossomed into love and then marriage. There was much more, but the bottom line is that she is writing Christian Biblical materials used in The Netherlands. And her husband, under God, started and led a church there which has flourished for eighteen years, and continues strong to this day. (God has an absolutely perfect plan for each of us. We dare not miss it!! Note the five underlined locations; geography is no problem to our God. He spans the nations' borders. Psalm 139:7-10)

SPAIN 2008 - March 2008 - David and Janice

  1. There is no substitute for the Word of God, at any age. Some years back, Director Isabelle had a Bible club of 5-years olds. Once when she was teaching a Bible story, a little girl asked, "Is that really from the Bible?" IMMEDIATELY Isabelle showed her the exact verse. Then in 5th grade the same kids learned seven reasons why the Bible is the Word of God taken from Steps to Maturity, the books David authored for teens an adults! The child still remembered it in high school and shared it with her peers. We must not waste child-hood; it is THE perfect teachable time of great truth and memorization. Jesus knew it well.
  2. This year, The Spirit of God moved and stirred hearts in all of the services; ½ to ¾ indicated their promised decisions to follow God's will in specific areas dealt with, and to begin within 48 hours. It was so good to again see Him at work. To us, this never becomes commonplace and is always amazing to witness. Thank you for praying.
  3. God has given another first for the year 2009. David has received requests for ministry from ten locations in Spain for next year; they come, literally, from around the country. This has been of the Lord. Scripture says, "Promotion comes not from the east or west or south. But God is the judge…" (Psalm 75:6, 7)
  4. In one of the churches (which we love), the interpreter was in her 70's or 80's. She's the same lady who, last year, called to David as she began walking up the aisle to sit next to him, "Now speak slowly, Reverend; I haven't spoken English for a looong time." We appreciated her willingness and saw God work through it. Very special.
  5. We learned of opposition to the Spanish ministry; it comes from both local authorities, local individuals, AND from overseas authorities (all the way in South America). Nonetheless, God is blessing His work in that land. Just recently we learned that a potentially great problem has "melted away"; God definitely did that. Personnel are few, but God plus one is a majority. It still takes a lot of courage and commitment; dare I say, it takes plain old guts? We saw faithful, unsung workers in desperate need of help. They were located in several cities, but serving the same Father. They and many others of like precious faith are worthy of our prayers. Maybe even some willing individuals will hear God speak and obey and help them.
  6. The Word of God always has an effect on people; It either brings them closer to Him, or, by their choice, It drives them farther away. We are most grateful for all of those at the Family Bible Conference at the Mission Bethel Center. It was a privilege to see so many who came open, ready, and willing to listen to God's message for their lives. The results were these: they were changed, warmed, encouraged, and willing to let God orchestrate their lives. We also thank the Lord for the dedicated children's teachers who shared the Word, and for the young souls who drank in things of God they will never, ever forget.
  7. How would you answer these questions? "Did Judas have to betray Jesus?" and "How can I really know what God's will is for me?" They came up after a large youth meeting where David spoke. On arrival it appeared that everyone would stand throughout the extended periods of games, singing, and the message. No chairs were set up in the room. We were thankful for a little (and I do mean little) mom who saw the need, got chairs put in place, and had everyone seated in a circular formation within minutes! The group was wonderful and listened attentively with a genuine interest. Afterwards, they asked many other questions besides those mentioned. We ended up leaving with the last of the group. God was surely speaking, and it was especially good to see His reception by this age group. "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth…" (Ecclesiastes 12:1a)
  8. At another church, there they were: two gray-headed men, both limping up the steps with their matching right knee replacements just before the message. His fine interpreter and David were headed for the pulpit. They both preached their little hearts out, one in English and the other in Spanish. Three thoughts crossed my mind.
    1. The pure teaching of God's Word is not diminished with the age of the teacher. It just keeps getting richer, and the truths of the Book seem to literally wash over the listener.
    2. Are there young men coming along to replace those who no longer can teach the Word? Statistics say the number is alarmingly low.
    3. Here are two men who are going to finish strong. Most inspiring.
  9. We also had "kindred spirit" fellowship with a local missionary family whom God has brought to Bethel to work alongside the director. This is a true gift from Him!
  10. After a particularly difficult spiritual battle, there were multiplied blessings. The leader simply said, "For every victory won a battle has to be fought." The apostle Paul agreed: "I have fought the good fight; I have finished the race; I have firmly held the faith. As to what remains, there is laid up for me the victor's crown of righteousness…" (2 Timothy 4:7-8)

MORE HOLLAND - Young Mother's Week - April 24 - May 2 - Janice

  1. There was an unbelievable opportunity to share Christ with a young man during this transatlantic flight. Our fascinating and amiable conversation lasted solidly for four hours and was nearly all about God and religion. Please pray for "J." He has now heard the way of salvation and greatly needs to respond personally to Christ. I want to meet him over There.
  2. The conference children were angels. (Would this qualify as a miracle?) I heard a baby cry only once, and she was waiting for her bottle. Older children played together with great glee. They listened attentively and learned much during super programs planned for them. Their workers were dedicated and truly anxious and happy to do a good and important job for their Lord. They taught the children, cared for the little ones, and served all.
  3. The mothers were free from distractions because of the good behavior of their children. Some mothers had 3 children with them, and that included babes in arms. Another mother from a nearby town commuted to all but one meeting, and she brought her 4 daughters (baby through 11 years) with her. Another mother with migraine headaches and painful back disc problems had to lie on a cot during the sessions; she held her pencil and tablet up in the air so she could take notes. There's a lesson there!
  4. The ladies were truly sponges. They soaked the Word of God into their very souls. When they were sharing publicly what God had taught them through the week, they had to be stopped so we could have time for the teaching segment. It was the Lord!
  5. God is teaching their hearts as well as their minds; He is showing them how to make the transfer from head Truth to lived-out Truth, and they are putting to work the Biblical living skills which they have learned. Individuals shared how they had put into personal use the practical Biblical living skills of past years and how God had honored their efforts. Example: God leading through His Word regarding moving to another town and which house to buy. It was an exciting tale, and there were many more.

AS ALWAYS, IT HAS BEEN OVERWHELMING TO OBSERVE THE LORD'S DOINGS.

He has allowed you and us to work together. We have shared in the labor of planting; we now share in the joy of gathering in. We trust that this harvest report has been rewarding and encouraging. PLEASE PRAISE GOD (i.e., say Biblical, nice things about God to God), and thank Him for all He has graciously done. In I Chronicles 29:10-13 King David provides us with a good prototype for praise: "Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, …power, …glory, …victory, …majesty: for all that is in the heavens and earth is Yours; … In Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name." (And so do we, Dear Father in Heaven!)

So grateful to be serving with you,
David and Janice Clemens

AUGUST 2008 (2 of 2)

Dear Ones,

We have a keen desire and sense of responsibility to keep you informed. The reasons are:

  1. it is our way of saying thank you for your prayers
  2. it is Biblical
  3. you surely deserve to know the God's answers to your steadfast, enthusiastic, even sacrificial praying
  4. most importantly, God is worthy of credit for His constant, unwavering faithfulness.

During 2007-2008, this ministry has included nine extended overseas trips plus many in our USA. Now, with so many blessings "piled up," we are grateful for the time to catch up and share them with you. Please do not be surprised if you receive more than the usual in the next few months. (If you choose to read the whole letter, you might just want to do so in segments; I think it's a little long!)

CUBA REPORT - LATE MAY TO EARLY JUNE 2008

Because of the delicate political situation within that country, AND between our two countries, much will be omitted. Please know, however, that God really did protect and provide in unwritten and tremendous ways.

CONDENSED VERSION OF THE REPORT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART! (We still love you.)

On June 11, David phoned home from American soil! It was our first communication since his departure to Cuba on May 27. I love that first call after he returns to this country. While overnight in Florida awaiting his flight home on June 12, we talked for three hours; it was s-o-o good.

In a nutshell, here are some of the blessings of our loving Father. :

  1. Dramatic help was sent from God when departing from Miami for Cuba.
  2. Travel was safe.
  3. Reception to the teaching of the Word was wonderful. In one church ½ responded to the invitation; in all other places, approximately ¾. Although his ministry destinations were all new this time, and the number of hours he would speak unknown, our Father was there, and HE was the one necessary Constant. He worked within these longing souls.
  4. Several invitations were extended for a return trip.
  5. Although it was hot and dusty, our God came up with another first; it was a graciously provided air conditioned bedroom for a few days at one of the teaching towns!
  6. God placed people of his choosing to speed him on his way; it was amazing. I'd love to share more.

VERSES OF PROMISE

God always gives me a special verse(s) of promise before David makes a trip of this nature. This time it was Psalm 91:1, 4.

"Pinions." It's one of those "Bible words" I'd heard from childhood. Something to do with a bird. I saw it again the day before David's departure: Psalm 91:1, 4: "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty. … "He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge." I looked it up. Amazing. The noun definition of "pinion" is "the terminal section of a bird's wing"; the verb definition of "pinion" is "to restrain (a bird) from flight especially by cutting off the pinion of one wing".

Note: in Ps. 91, "pinions" is plural. Both of God's "pinions" are present and poised for action. He is over us like a shadow, watching us closely. When we move, our shadow moves; and so does He. And, when He chooses to do something, or when the need comes, there is NOTHING that can impede His direct "flight" to us, posthaste (with all possible speed)! He does not flounder and flop around trying to somehow get to us. No, indeed. For, when His children are where they're supposed to be, and they need Him, HE'S THERE! What a word picture that is! And, if things don't go as we wished, God was still there, doing what He deemed best, and that in itself, makes it best! We just can't lose! (In modern day phraseology: "God is God, and no one can clip His wings!!!" … And so it surely was.)

A beautiful example of this occurred on the trip down.

From the get-go, our God proved Himself strong.

05/27: David flew to Miami, Florida, in order to depart to Cuba the next morning.

05/28: Arriving at the airport 5 hours and 10 minutes early (4-hour check-in required) for a 1 hour flight, the adventure started. Already, there were 7 luggage-filled carts in line…but no humans! He and his luggage were now #8. People filed in, and soon the line snaked back and forth behind him. After about 1 ½ hours, he realized that everyone else had migrated to the next agent, still in that confusing line. Since he was the only American and didn't know what was happening, instead of being 8th, he ended up being the last in line…and his bad leg was already killing him. An employee gave him a 2-page form to fill out…in Spanish. He was totally bewildered and forlorn, and had no idea what to write or how to get help. All at once, a door behind the ticket counter opened, and a lady walked through it. She continued out from behind the counter, then, proceeded past everyone else. She walked directly up to David, and asked, "Are you having difficulty? May I help?" As she looked at his efforts on the forms, she said, "Here, let me help you." With that, she completed the forms, returned them to him, turned around, walked back past everyone else in line, back behind the counter, and back through the door.

While still in line, David called me; we both said, "It's the Lord."

Near the end of the very involved check-in process, this same lady re-emerged and helped again when David needed a faulty flight seating assignment fixed. As previously, when she was finished, she just left.

RANDOM SAMPLINGS OF DAVID'S 13-PAGE, HAND WRITTEN TRIP JOURNAL

He didn't know they would be in print, but I have permission to share them. They may give you a flavor of the trip. His direct quotes are underlined and in "quotation marks." (Added explanations are in parentheses.)

"God did it." (Written in margin next to a special account)

"God, again." (Written in margin next to another special account)

"I just had yet another attack." (These "attacks" are strong abdominal pain and upset; they are from residual intestinal damage from amoebic infections picked up in Argentina 40 years ago. Sometimes the cause can be determined; sometimes it can't.)

"I will be speaking 4 times a day…to missionaries and pastors."

(Someone shared with David): "I struggled for 3 years with a big problem. God brought you to Cuba just to tell me this truth. My Pastor said these are deep/important things…."

"At the invitation, almost all responded. Some raised hands immediately. Some would not put hand down. One remained in prayer after meeting was over until others left." "God did it. God be praised…a good meeting… He (God) was made to look good, but it cost these attacks. I pray He's excited with me 'cause I haven't complained but said thanks. I hope Heaven watching & people see I love God for who He is (like Job) and not 'cause what I get from Him."

(Someone shared with David): "The studies result in me being revived, comforted, and given new strength."

"In a church service, a man asked for a word of encouragement in loss of baby. God gave me answer on spot."

"My students were waiting for me in morning every day. After breaks (4 sessions) they see me coming, jump up from waiting & come to (yet another) meeting." (The students were pastors who'd come for the week-long study institute; they stayed in local homes.)

"Didn't sleep so well. Nightmares again. Meeting. Nice group. ¾ responded. God changed my mind from planned sermon last night & it was good that He did, though I didn't realize it until I was done preaching. Virtually all present responded. I very grateful. Ate. Another attack."

"Violent thunderstorms. Blackout for 2 hours. Went to church to preach. There was a block/birthday party -- LOUD music. Preached. Almost all responded. God did it. Some put up hands and never took them down till I finished praying. Pastor doing good job, but hard for him. God bless him."

"6 hours of teaching in this heat is tough."

"God gave me words right in middle of message."

"Ones here who do honor God see OT (Old Testament) miracles of shirts, shoes, etc. not wearing out. God does it." (Deuteronomy 29:5)

ALSO FROM THE JOURNAL ARE THESE PRECIOUS WORDS SPOKEN BY PASTORS/SEMINARY LEADERS BEFORE HIS DEPARTURE

"Be happy. Thank you for teaching us missionaries. Please come back to Cuba. We will be waiting to welcome you."

"If God wills-another year, other meetings and meetings again & again & again. We want him to come back to teach us how to be qualified to be able to work for God."

"David will be happy if we transmit what we received…. He served well for us. We are happy with his teaching."

"The Pastor, in front of everyone, invited me back to teach Biblical living skills."

"Thanks for work done here. Tell your family in America you have a family here who cares about you and who's praying for you."

HEARTSTRINGS

Now you can see why message preparations, 3+ inch-thick files of paperwork / permissions, and 1 ½ years of effort were well worth it. In a word, our heartstrings have become wrapped around these dear ones who so desire and appreciate the teaching of the Word of God. Those strings become increasingly snug with each trip. Consider the following vignettes.

  1. An older lady saw David hand washing his clothes and insisted on doing it herself. Every so often, she'd hold her one arm with the other hand and say, "Mucho dolor!" ("Much pain!") He later found out she'd been doing this task with a broken wrist. Bless her heart.
  2. A pastor couldn't get over him going to his church. It's not in a big city, and conditions are more difficult. He said "No one wants to come here."
  3. Another leader's words were, "I know that 'they' told me you could speak for 8 am to noon and 2-4 pm, but could you add another session for us?" (Answer: "Yes, dear One. If you and your good folks want to hear God's Word…YES, the answer is surely 'YES.'") Asking that of one who loves to tell The Story is like throwing a steak bone to a dog!
  4. In one church, the message was about a particular sin. In the middle of the message, a gentleman stood up, started to cry, and said, "I did…." and he named a similar sin. There is deep, deep sadness in such a statement, but there is huge hope and freedom of forgiveness for one who sincerely makes all things right with God. So it was with this special humble man.
  5. At another place, as the pastor was making the introduction, he basically re-preached a lesson David had given several years ago. (No waste there!) "Cast your bread upon the waters; for you will find it after many days." Ecclesiastes 11:1; "...My Word...shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." Isaiah 55:11
  6. This will be interesting to those of you who do remember (and those who don't) the missionary news perhaps of the century, namely the martyrdom on January 8, 1956, of five young missionary men by Auca Indians on "Palm Beach" near Shell Mera, Ecuador. David had opportunity to spend time with a man who grew up with these five families. He called the wives "Aunt Rachel" (Saint), "Aunt Betty" (Elliott), "Aunt Barbara (Youderian)," etc. It was an intriguing and most informative encounter, particularly since David has been intently studying the event and had just finished reading End of the Spear by Steve Saint. (David was his cabin counselor at Sandy Hill Boys' Camp in the 60's). Another link was when David was in missionary training in Argentina, South America, some forty-four years ago; he taught a Bible Study in the home of Nate Saint's brother, Phil, and over the fireplace mantle hung the spear that killed Nate on the beach as they were trying to make contact with the Aucas for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was through this event that David (and many others) rose up to answer the call of Christ and take their place in the cause of world missions. Interesting note: Five years earlier, James Elliott, one of the five, wrote in his diary: "When it comes time to die, make sure all you have to do is die."

    A different precious pastor's wife at each location faithfully prepared David's food, one calling ahead to the next with instructions. In spite of the great care of their preparations, he had several "attacks." Nonetheless, God somehow orchestrated them to fall BETWEEN speaking and traveling responsibilities, even on a 5-hour bus trip. That always amazes! Again, we said, "It's the Lord."

REQUESTS: PLEASE PRAISE FOR ALL THAT IS PAST, AND PRAY THAT…

  1. leaders, teachers, missionaries, directors, pastors overseas and here will be tenacious and passionate for the study and teaching of Scripture, not only in word, but in practice. Talk and life MUST agree; there can not be a disconnect. Pray for continued courage/protection/peace for those who stand alone.
  2. the first three weeks of September will truly be a much needed break in the intense schedule which has been going on since February. Please pray for his mind, body, and soul to rest and become refreshed for all that lies ahead on (and off) the itinerary.
  3. God's direction will be clear in planning future itineraries and that He'll keep working strongly throughout the 2008 itinerary.
  4. "J" (from the airplane conversation) will write us or that God will use another person/means to encourage him into life with Jesus Christ.
  5. Medical "stuff" will be handled quickly, per God's best will.
    1. David's lips and face - The sores closed and looked good…in time for Cuba and Holland trips. We await further word regarding the diagnosis. The next appointment: 09/08).
    2. Janice's arms/hands - The results of surgery #1 were: fast healing, added degree of hand strength and hand mobility, cessation of physical therapy. Arm #2 surgery: 09/23.
    3. We thank the Lord for His gracious timing and His good purposes. His ears were open to the requests of so many of you concerning both of these health issues. His answer was, "Yes," this time; if it's "No" in the future, we shall remember, God is always good.
  6. although recent meetings in Cuba (as well as Holland, Spain, Zambia, and our USA) have ended, the precious Spirit of God will continue to lovingly draw individuals to Himself. Many need to accept Christ as their own Savior; many need prayer; many need encouragement; many need God's strength to conquer addictions/habits/doubts, but they must choose to allow Him to help them in HIS way.

ONE LAST THOUGHT

After David's return from Cuba, actually, after he departed to Holland, a message came from a very, very dear brother who was speaking about the Cuba ministry. He provides a glimpse of the privilege God has given to go to these valued friends of our Father. The note is quoted as we received it; we wouldn't WANT to change it: "As our Lord is faithful for ever and ever. I am sure that His name was glorified and His people were greatly blessed! Oh my brother! Thanks for ministry to our Peoples in the Caribbean."

Those words, "Oh my brother! Thanks…" are incredibly moving to us. They sound like the Apostle Paul speaking; he repeatedly addressed his dear ones in that way.

And to you who, by many different means, have aided in this trip (and all others, as well), we join this faithful one of another country and reiterate to you his words: "Oh my brother (and sister)! Thanks." You remain a huge blessing to us. If you only knew. (Maybe you do.)

Gratefully serving with you,
David and Janice Clemens

JULY 1, 2008

Although David and I are separated by the Big Puddle, we send a joint letter to you.

Here are some "requests" which have moved to "praises" list :

  1. God's Spirit touched many hearts in The Dutch camp last week; about ½ indicated so in the meetings. The majority of the most moving accounts of His working are very personal, and the individuals could be easily identified by those who know them. So, suffice it to say that, midst the sad, even the devastating circumstances in several of their lives, God gave hope and victory and direction and help. Surely you prayed, He listened, and was pleased to minister in the heart of obedient mankind. A lot of seeds were planted, a lot of water was poured, and a lot of growth occurred at Stationstraat 2, Putten, The Netherlands. (I Corinthians 3:6, 7). And, for a known fact, that work continues, even post-conference.
  2. "It's the Lord," (John 21:7) best explains what God did regarding our changed/ canceled plane tickets. First, last Wednesday a friend and I prayed at about 10:30 p.m. asking for God's help in the call I was about to make. (Maybe you prayed at the same time?) One-half hour later, the airline agent was telling me that it would cost $1,141 extra for David just to return from Holland on a different date; there were no other options. That's one thousand, one hundred forty-one dollars!!!! I could not purchase that. Crying out to God after the call, He spoke just beautiful things through I Chronicles 29; how I wish I could share it with you!! "Let Me do this My way; it will be good," He whispered. Too tired (and flaky) to pursue it further then, it seemed wiser to get sleep. Undoubtedly covered with prayers, I called the airline again the next morning. God's handpicked agent answered, and, after hearing the problem, said, "Let me check…" In less than 5 (that's f-i-v-e) minutes she came back on the phone: "We've got it: your husband's first choice return date, and instead of $1,141, it will be…$180. Silence. Tears of amazed gratitude. A word to her: "You were given us by God; thank you." An opportunity to witness. Another "Thank you and good bye." And then, in wonder, there was the question of how to verbalize a thanks that reaches so far down deep into the heart that one can not find words to tell Him. How does one even begin to express all of that, to say thank you to the God of gods, Who dwells in Heaven, yet Who met with us in a 3-way phone conference to change an airline ticket? How? The answers to ALL things are in His Book, and this was no exception. Daniel 2:20-23. The occasion was after God revealed the king's dream and its interpretation to Daniel, thus saving all of the royal diviners' and advisors' lives, and pleasing the king. Daniel's immediate response was this prayer; by the telephone I read it aloud to this God of Heaven: "Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever! For wisdom and might are His! He changes the times and the seasons, He removes kings and sets up kings, He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding!…I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers, Who has given me wisdom and might and has made known to me now what we desired of You; for You have made known to us the solution to the king's problem." There was no other explanation: it was, indeed, The Lord.
  3. There was a truly God-honoring funeral of a dear and faithful brother in Christ who, with his good wife, gave of his skill and strength to the work of God in Holland for decades. We wonder what his busy hands have been assigned to do in his new Home. David went to give encouragement, yet, at the same time, received encouragement from a considerable number who, over a 35 plus year-span, have sat and listened to thousands of hours of teaching of the precious Word of God at the Camp. May the sheaves of Psalm 126:6 keep coming.
  4. He also got good sleep for last 2 nights (8 hrs, 7 hrs). Maybe you prayed about that.

May we share some prayer requests for the next few weeks? Please ask the Lord that…

  1. David, in Holland until July 22, will eat and sleep well, be rested, know God's mind for each session, compress some of the preparation time, and have some fun!
  2. In the remaining weeks, all hearts will be soft to hear what GOD wants to say to them. The 20+ age group began yesterday, Monday.
  3. The staff will have necessary strength of body, soul, and spirit.
  4. Mark (director, translator, and much more) and David will both have great wisdom from God to answer the multitude of questions that many have saved up all year to ask.
  5. Victories won in the past will remain victories!
  6. Some who have turned from God will yet return to Him, especially young adults.
  7. Both nerve surgeries for Janice will be successful, if God wills it. I am and will be sorely missing friends, ministry, and my David for the duration of the entire trip this year, but am content. Plus, it is proving to be a time provision for new office projects and office work, so that is a good thing.

(Thanks much for caring inquiries; I'll do my best to explain.

  1. Problem: strength loss and nerve deterioration in both hands. Without surgeries, dying nerves would cause paralysis from the fingers up the arms, leaving claw-like hands.
  2. Diagnosis: the nerves leading down the arms to the hands were compressed/ kinked/twisted at the elbows.
  3. Treatment: surgery to fix "kinks," shave bones, and reposition nerves. Some strength is already returning in the left arm. Six weeks of therapy, a surgeon's appointment, and right arm surgery "cometh." God has again been most protective, even in such unknowns as these. He's always giving new, fresh mercies.)

Thank you for praying for this work and for us. We thank God for friends and colleagues in the faith. Nobody makes them like He does. Thanks to each of you for your part.

Yours,
David and Janice Clemens

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