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continued from front page First of Its Kind!
come over to help us with the ministry for a couple months. It was late and we had had a long day. We drove to McDonalds and got
some food for them as they had not eaten for several hours and their two young children were getting hungry. After this, we set off for
the north end of Okinawa. We had already secured an apartment for them for their time on Okinawa and took them there for their first
night on the island as missionaries.
The apartment is toward the center of the village of Kin. However, there are still a large number of bars and tattoo parlors in this area.
The apartment is actually directly behind one of these tattoo parlors! We are glad that it is not very regularly frequented, yet, there is
still the occasional visit by a young Marine, trying to prove his “manhood” and “acceptance” into the Corps.
I went to the apartment the next day to take the Martins a table and a refrigerator to use while they helped with the ministry. When
I arrived, I saw a young Marine sitting outside the tattoo parlor. I approached him and started up a conversation. Before long he was
joined by a friend of his. We talked outside for several moments, and I steered the conversation toward the things of God and was able
to confront these two young Marines about their eternal destination. Both of them, Isaiah and Chris, bowed their heads and accepted
Christ as their Savior. What a blessing to use the doorstep of Satan as an area to lead people to Christ! I am also excited to announce
that neither of the young men ended up going into the tattoo parlor. They avoided marking themselves that day and the grace of God
allowed them to avoid an eternity in hell! Praise God for how He works!
Since the first day, we have endeavored to be faithful to carry out the mission God has placed before us. We have seen Him move and
provide in amazing ways. We have seen more souls saved, have had many first time visitors, have been able to secure the first floor of
our building, and have handed out in excess of 6,500 Gospel tracts. We are continually looking forward to what God has in store next
for North Shore Baptist Church. Many times I think back to a conversation that I had with a Marine who had been stationed at Camp
Hansen. While we spoke, he said, “It is such a blessing to see this church, in this location—directly across the street from the front gate.
There has never been a church like this in Kin.”
It is truly humbling to be a part of something that is the first of its kind in an area that for too long has been controlled by Satan and his
demons. We still face many obstacles: kickback from local bar owners, rude and vulgar comments from some of the folks who pass us
by, and strip club owners giving us a hard time. The list could go on and on. However, there is another list I would rather focus on, the
one God provides to encourage us to keep up the fight:
• the Marine who left his buddies 40 feet away just to come meet us and get a tract,
• the Marine who excitedly walked up and inquired about our service times, stating he had been looking for a local church,
• the Marine who stopped and listened as I witnessed to her friend and was then saved the next Sunday,
• the Marine wife who had been praying for nine months for a church to start in Kin,
• the Marine who came back and shook our hands because we were willing to stand outside the church and hand out tracts,
• the Marine who just came to help his friend install a new platform for the church and left as a child of God,
• the Marine who sought us out, asking about services and came the next Sunday—with a friend, and
• the retired Marine who found us on Google and has not missed a Sunday since the very first meeting in our house.
I could go on and on bragging about the grace and provision of our Savior because He is truly “The First”—a loving Creator seeking the
salvation of mankind using simple sinners saved by grace.
By Dr. Jeff Alverson, Military Director
Ernie Fritz has been the Housekeeper/Custodian at Baptist International Missions, Inc. (BIMI), World Mis-
sions Center (WMC) for 23 years. Anyone who has ever walked through the buildings will testify that he
always did an outstanding job and constantly worked diligently to make sure everything was clean and in
order. He has been a faithful servant.
In addition to his work at the WMC, Brother Ernie has also served as an honorary military missionary.
Anyone who has ever talked with Ernie knows that one cannot talk long without hearing something about
the military or Military Missions. He, indeed, has an avid love for what we are doing. In the past few years
whenever possible, he would go around to smaller churches in and around the Chattanooga area, showing
the military DVD and presenting the ministry of Military Missions in churches that have never heard of our
ministry. Some of our military missionaries have received support through his efforts, and he has brought
many offerings into the Military Fund. He would not accept a love offering but brought whatever he received
and put it into the Military Fund. In addition to this, he has been a tremendous help to me personally around
the office. Often I was away from the office and would need a military packet mailed out to someone. He
always made it his priority to get the materials together and get
them in the mail. Ernie has assisted in the military ministry in countless areas for the 23
years he spent working at BIMI.
Brother Ernie recently announced his retirement, and he and Cynthia will be moving to
Kingston, Tennessee, to be near relatives. We love Brother Ernie and we will surely miss
him. All in the Military Ministry wish them the best.
Wednesday, February 28, 2018, was Ernie’s last day at BIMI. In devotions at BIMI that
morning, it was my privilege to present him with a beautiful plaque and a letter of ap-
preciation on behalf of our military missionaries. We also presented him with a $500 love
offering, given by our missionaries.