BIMI

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were not in the military. Sadly, sometimes a family gets out of sorts with a church, a pastor, and God. They can hinder the Holy Spirit and drag others down with them. When these people move on, we pray for the best and really hope to hear of a change of heart in them.  Many church leaders have to deal with “Well, that’s how we have always done it.” In an ever changing ministry like ours, we rarely hear that. Instead, we usually wonder how things were handled in the past. One time we had to track down a former member and ask him where he put part of the Christmas decorations. We do hear words like “My home church always…,” but most people know that things have to be done differently in a military church. Change is a way of life for our people, so they accept it better.   Unfortunately, there are challenges that come with a ministry that loses about ⅓ of its members each year. We have been at Eifel Baptist Church in Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, for three years now. Only one original family is left from when we first arrived. We continually deal with few available servants for ministries. It is better to not have a ministry than to have the wrong person in it. We cannot wait very long for new people to prove loyalty and faithfulness. If we do, they leave soon after taking a class or being in the choir. Dealing with this issue is like delicately juggling big decisions that have to be made.   When we lead someone to the Lord, we try to start discipleship classes right away and teach them to serve. Otherwise, they move on and are not solidly grounded in the faith. Karen recently led a lady to the Lord and literally had four days till the lady flew out to another base.   On a side note, because we are a military ministry during times of war and unrest, a lot of our men are gone serving the military mission and away from their families. Our church, like most, has a lot of women and children, but we also deal with these families being overseas away from their relatives and living in a foreign country. Many times we have received calls late at night. “Pastor, I can’t get my door to lock and we are afraid to go to bed.” “Pastor, I’m stranded and locked my keys in my car.” “Pastor, can you come fix…?” We always end with “You are very welcome, that is why we are here.”  The hardest thing to handle in such a fluid ministry is the fact that we are always saying goodbye to “our” people. We miss their love and friendship. We are saddened by seeing our children lose friends. Some have become very close to us in the absence of all of our extended family members. We have spent holidays with them, seen their families grow, celebrated births of new babies, cried with them when a family member in the States is deathly sick or dies, and the list goes on. We naturally should and do get very close to our people, then we have to let them go.   And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). We praise Him during all seasons and know that He has a purpose for all of the dear people who come through our ministry, and we are honored to serve God in this way.   Through Fire and Flood, We Have a Promise. By Don and Patsy Drake Sometimes the fiery trials and deep waters of difficulty will overcome us and when they do, we have a promise we can lean on. The LORD says, When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee (Isaiah 43:2). Patsy thought she had felt a lump in her breast but was not sure because she was unable to locate it at other times, therefore, she did not go for a mammogram immediately. After about three months, she discussed her possible lump with a former nurse in our church who encouraged Patsy to have it checked out. On December 1, 2015, Patsy went to our primary doctor in Kaiserslautern for another problem. While she was there, she asked about a mammogram. When the doctor heard it had been five years since her last mammogram, her assistant was summoned and she called and set up an appointment the next day. We went to Radiology the next morning. After extra time of testing and finding the lump, the doctor of radiology announced, “Mrs. Drake, you have cancer.” Patsy was there alone in the lab with the doctor when he told her; I was in the waiting room. Needless to say, she was somewhat shocked to hear his report. After a few tears, she received amazing grace and we walked out of Radiology with our faith in God knowing that He knows. But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold (Job 23:10). The German Health Care works quickly without delay and they set up an appointment for Patsy to see the Chief of Oncology and the OBGYN the next day. She was examined and had an ultrasound. It was confirmed that she needed a biopsy to be sure. The biopsy was done a few days later and it showed no results. The oncologist did more tests along with another ultrasound. He said sometimes the biopsy does not go into the center of the tumor as we hope but we cannot always tell. After another examination, he said, “With all I see, I agree with the radiologist that you have a very suspicious tumor and it needs to be surgically removed.” Therefore, they set Patsy up for breast surgery on December 18. The surgeon removed the tumor, all the surrounding tissues, and 13 lymph nodes. The tumor and one lymph node proved to be cancer. We were told that all breast cancer patients receive radiation. But after being tested, the tumor may call for needed chemotherapy. They said the way to be sure is to have the tumor tested in Berlin. The oncologist highly recommended it, but it was our choice because of the high cost of the test. The Endoperdict test would reveal the risk of the tumor. The results came back revealing that the tumor