BIMI

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Mark Lancaster I was born into the home of a military family in 1964. My dad, who was a marine, was deployed overseas at the time of my birth. My parents had been apart most of their newly married life because of the commitment they had made to the military and they found out very quickly how taxing this life can be on a family and the toll that it took on many marriages. If it was not for a simple preacher in the Camp Lejeune area, leading my father to the Lord in 1969, I think there would be little hope of our family still being together today. Now the story has been turned around for the last twenty years. God in His sovereignty has seen fit to allow my father to be the simple but spirit-filled preacher the Mark Lancaster family who has seen hundreds of military personnel come to know Christ as their personal Savior. Dad has pastored Rhein River Baptist Church in Mannheim, Germany, since 1992. The ministry has gone full circle from a small beginning to one of the largest military churches in Europe. Now the sun is just about to set on the closing of the base. In 2004 my wife and I began deputation to come and help my dad in starting new churches in areas where we have a military presence but no church. In 2009 we had the joy of starting Harvest Baptist Church in Bamberg, Germany. One year ago we were blessed to be able to start Grace Baptist Church in Wiesbaden, Germany. As the pastor of this young work, I pray that the Lord will give me the vision, love and power that I have seen at work in my father’s life. I am grateful to have a godly father and a godly heritage. I hope as the baton is passed on to me that I carry the same heartbeat to see these military personnel saved as I saw my father carry for these many years. HAVING A PART IN AN OVERSEAS MILITARY MINISTRY by D.O. & Marilyn Van Dyne After being in the pastorate for over 51 years, my wife and I were confronted with a special need that we, by the grace of God, could fulfill. Our introduction to military ministry was in 1986 when we visited Torrejon Baptist Church near Madrid, Spain, pastored by our son-in-law, Gary Craft. We never imagined that God’s plan for our lives would be for us to be a part of a Baptist church for the military overseas and minister when the missionary pastor needed to return to the States for various reasons. This gave us the opportunity and privilege to be a part of different military churches and to be blessed by a marvelous experience. This of course, would not be possible without the cooperation of other churches and individuals that were aware of this need among a very special group of people committed to serving our country. What a marvelous experience my wife and I have had to minister in some of these churches. I have been the relief pastor and my wife has played the piano, conducted children’s choirs and ministered to the ladies as needed. We have found you CAN have a part in reaching the lost and have some of the sweetest fellowship in a military work as you submit to the Will of God. One does not have to feel capable for a needed task, but only to be willing to serve and trust God to do what only He can do. Then God will receive all the glory, which only He rightfully deserves. We are grateful to BIMI for allowing us to be a part of their ministry to the overseas military during this season of our lives. SERVING OUR MILITARY GLADLY by Gary & Karen (Van Dyne) Craft There is no doubt that our God purposes to do a great work in every church. One of the great ministry areas is the planting of New Testament churches outside military installations around the world. This is a very fruitful vineyard to work in and we are blessed to have been called to this type of ministry. The military missionaries of BIMI are on the “cutting edge” of world missions. In the summer of 2006, Heritage Baptist Church held its first service in the Crystal Room of the Barbarossa Hotel in Kaiserslautern, Germany. From those humble beginnings, God has raised up a wonderful church where He has done and continues to do what only God could do. God is in the work of changing lives through saving our lost and teaching them the way they should go. Many men measure success by numbers and that is one way of doing so. God has given us great numbers at Heritage. Perhaps the greater measure of success would be the training of servants who make a difference in their world until Jesus comes. Only God can measure that level of success. One thing the Lord needs is faithful servants and by the grace of God, we plan to stay at it and do our part and be amazed as we watch our God do what only He can do! Note: Karen Craft is the daughter of the Van Dynes