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• We had three guest speakers present for Maranatha’s 50th
Anniversary Sunday. Dr. Jeff Alverson, BIMI Military Director, spoke
in the 9:45 a.m. Sunday school hour, using the theme “Maranatha—
Blessed of God.” Then, Dr. Don Sisk, former director of BIMI for
18 years, spoke in the morning worship hour. He also spoke at the
Saturday evening banquet. It was, indeed, special that Dr. Sisk
preached the organizational service 50 years before when the church
was first organized. Dr. James Kennard, Military Ministry Director for
over 30 years and the one who was instrumental in getting Maranatha
Baptist Church started, spoke in the Sunday evening service. After Dr. Kennard spoke, the Military Ministry
presented an award of appreciation to him for 57 years of missionary service.
Three pastors from the United States spoke during the evening services at the Pacific Field Conference: Dr.
Ernest Groce, pastor of Victory Baptist, Rossville, Georgia; Brother Jon McConkey, pastor of Maranatha
Baptist in Jacksonville, North Carolina, near Camp Lejeune Marine Base; and Dr. John Paisley, pastor of
Riverview Baptist in Pasco, Washington. Each had a great message for us.
• Two other ministries in Japan were among our visits: Yokosuka Baptist Church in Yokosuka, Japan, Missionary
Pastor Mike Pinson and Yokota Baptist Church at Yokota Air Base area near Tokyo, Missionary Pastor
Danny McKittrick. It was good to be with these two ministries. Brother Alverson preached in both churches
while there. While in Yokosuka, I was able to go out with Tonda
Pinson and the ladies from Yokosuka Baptist Church and hand
out Japanese/English tracts in downtown Yokosuka. There was
a great response in taking the tracts from the Japanese as well as
We praise the Lord for the military ministries in the United States, Europe, and Japan,
serving with BIMI. It is a great honor to work with these hard-working missionaries who
have a great love and burden for the military. Please pray for all of our military missionaries
and their ministries to the military families. MARANATHA—Our Lord is coming!
“Many thanks and much appreciation go to Brother Sammy Popwell, Pacific Coordinator,
and Pastor Ed Navato, pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church, for their diligent work on the
field conference and anniversary services.” (Jeff Alverson, Military Director)
In the Middle of Nowhere
By Jesse Pilalas
Misawa is about as close as you can get to the middle of nowhere and still be at a U.S. military base in Japan. People sometimes say,
“Nobody goes through Misawa, you have to have a reason to be there!” When North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong-Un was flying missiles
directly overhead last year, many American news outlets commented that there were no U.S. assets in the area.
The truth is that there is a little base of about 5,000 U.S. citizens, including mostly Air Force personnel and dependents. Faith Baptist
Church was established in 1983 to serve the Lord and reach these precious souls. Nowadays, the church consists of military families,
teachers from the Department of Defense Dependents Schools, and civilian contractors.
In the coming weeks, we hope to minister to a special group of people that many in the States
may not think of when they think of reaching the military overseas with the Gospel. On bases
with families accompanying active duty military personnel, there are elementary schools and
high schools as well as potential college-level instructors and language teachers. We are having
Educators Appreciation Sunday to show our thanks for those tasked with educating the young
people and adults around Misawa Air Force Base. Our church is especially set up to do this,
considering that we have two elementary school teachers who are members of Faith Baptist
Church. In 2013, the Lord led my wife, Lynne, and me to come here. He has always blessed and provided,
although the seasons of military rotation have been very difficult. Our plan, if the Lord will, is to
serve the Lord for many years reaching the military and civilians stationed overseas.
This year, after 11 years of marriage and much of that spent in tearful prayer for a child, our
son Jesse Keith Pilalas II was born! Our hearts are full, as the Lord has blessed in our ministry
and in our family.