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Midland, Texas, Campaign nets 40 new souls

Sixty-eight We Care Cadre traveled recently to Midland from 17 states to join hands with the Fairmont Park congregation to reach out and win souls. Locals to the tune of 165 join us to hit the streets and take Jesus to the lost, resulting in 40 Midland residents coming to obey the Gospel! Even though Midland is in an oil boom, where so many are working 12 and 18 hour days, we still found one out of every three doors someone was at home. Of those we taught one of every five people we met and of those we baptized every number six!
Below are some of their stories:


Frank Villarrea is the husband of Araceley who obeyed the Gospel on the first day of door knocking. Donna Smith (cadre) took Jim Smith (cadre) and Deidra Delozier (local) back to meet him. He was willing to listen to the presentation. He was from high church and did not feel he could know for sure he would go to heaven because he said he didn't think he did enough good things to outweigh the bad ones he did. Jim presented the Gospel to him and emphasized that we are saved by the free gift that Jesus gives us and that we must obey the Gospel from the heart. When he saw God's grace he was ready to obey the Gospel. He came to the building and interrupted the sermon in order to do that.

Molly McMahon pulled into her driveway as the team of Christie Bell (cadre), Leon Garcia (cadre), and Eli Mendesir (cadre) were walking to her door. They came up and spoke to her. She thought they were visiting her neighbor, but they got into the Salvation Highway and she said she did not know if she would go to heaven or not. They got into the Gospel Presentation and she was very receptive. She had a lot of questions. She knew she needed to get back to church so she came to the Gospel meeting on Monday night and again on Wednesday night. On Thursday she was there again and she told Christie she wanted to talk to her. They went to a quiet room and she told Christie that she really wanted to obey the Gospel but didn't want to in front of all those people, so they waited until the crowd left and Molly then obeyed the Gospel.

Cody McKinney is a young teenager whose mother obeyed the Gospel earlier in the campaign. He really wanted to go out and knock doors with the cadre, so his mother wrote a note to his school and told them he would be absent for religious reasons. He went out Thursday morning with Jim Smith and his team where he heard the Gospel being presented to Gugene Chavarria. He had already listened when his Jim had presented it to his mother. In the afternoon he went with Don Brock's team and heard another presentation. At dinner he told Jim Smith and Trevis Bonnett that he wanted to obey the Gospel that night and so Trevis reviewed it with him. He then was immersed to obey the Gospel.

Stormy Slate is a young lady that Barry Johnston (cadre), Linda Burns (local), and Feng Li (cadre) met while knocking doors. She felt her earlier baptism was okay, but after further study about obedience to the Gospel, she said, “Well, I need to do that.” Barry asked if she could come to the building now and she said she had something to do and did not have time. As he was trying to impress upon her the urgency of it, he told her they could do it in a bathtub but she did not have a bathtub. Then he said that there was a swimming pool at the apartments where she lived and she said that the water was too cold. Then when she heard that the water at the building was warm, she agreed to come there and obey the Gospel.

Jim Smith (cadre), Lori Thorp (local), and Cody McKinney (local) knocked on the door of Gugene Chavarria. They had no answer but then they saw him drive up to his house. They then waited to see where he went and they then went to knock his door. His friend came to the door and they told him what they were doing and he requested prayers for himself. He had to leave for school so Jim asked if they could talk to his friend. Gugene then came to the door and when asked the question he said he would not go to heaven so Jim asked if it bothered him and he said no. He allowed Jim to present the Gospel to him. He told them continually that he knew he was not doing what he needed to do but that he was trying and trying to do right but temptation kept coming to him until he finally gave in to it. When asked if he wanted to obey the Gospel he said yes, he did, so they went to the building so he could do that and have Christ to help him overcome temptation.

The team of Trevis Bonnett (cadre), Allison Brown (local), and Jason Stockstill (local) were making return calls on people they had contacted earlier. The went to the door of Romiro Villarreal, actually looking for his father. Romiro is a senior in high school and was only home at that time of day because of the TAKS testing this week. Romiro invited them in and found out he was very interested in living right in God's sight and was trying to be a good example to the football team he played on. They then got into the Gospel presentation and used football as an illustration of many points in the scriptures. He told them how he tried to separate himself from members of the team who were not living right and they told him how God had to separate Himself from us when we sin. They then told him how Jesus and the Gospel was our way back to God. Just before they got to the last scripture his father came in. They talked with him awhile and he was very accepting of the message they were presenting. They then asked Romiro to read the last verse and he wanted to obey the Gospel.

The team of Lydia Waldon (cadre) David Scardino (local) and Lupe Cuervas (local) knocked on the door of Brittany Graham and set up a time to come back to present the Gospel. When they went back she was not there so Lydia kept trying to get in touch with her. She finally called Lydia and made an appointment for her to come to the building to study with Lydia. She did not come that evening so Lydia went back to see her the next day. Lydia found out that Brittany's husband had to go to the hospital so she could not make the appointment. She was able to sit down and listen at that time. Lydia began the presentation but then handed it over to David Scardino to finish while Lydia entertained Brittany's son. It was David's first time to present it so he got a little mixed up and skipped a few verses, so he went back and picked them up. Even with the mixup she was convicted and wanted to come to the building and to obey the Gospel.

Robert Chavez has been attending Fairmont Park for about awhile. He works a lot so he only has Wednesday night free. Smokey Thorp (local) has been studying some with him. Robert's mother, who obeyed the Gospel about a year ago, encouraged him to come to the meeting and he heard several sermons. After hearing the Gospel presentation on Wednesday night he came up to Smokey and said, “I think I am beginning to understand this Gospel now.” After more study he then obeyed the Gospel.

Jack Rich (cadre), Mike and Bonnie Brumley (local) were going back to visit people they had met during the week. Jack had talked to Sally Cruz earlier in the week, but she could not listen to them right then, so, when they knocked her door again, she invited them in. They then went through the Gospel presentation, When they got through and she read the question from Acts 22:16, she said, “Let's do it!” She was very excited and was just bubbling over with joy when she obeyed the Gospel..

Trevis Bonnett (cadre) and Emily Johnson(local) and Laura and Sandi Johnson (locals) presented the Gospel to three young people, Priscilla Fuentes, Carlos Garcia, and Richard Blain who were friends of the Johnsons. He used the Gospel Illustrated and had Laura and Sandi read Larry's part and Carlos and Richard read Jim's part out loud. After finishing the presentation Priscilla was ready to obey, but the two young men said they were not sure they were ready to make that commitment. Trevis then took them back to a picture in the illustrated and asked them on which side of the cross they are. They realized then that if the Lord came that night they would not go to heaven, so they then put on Christ in baptism.

Heather Martinez is the daughter of Bettye Portilla who works for the church. She has been attending church and Scott Shephard (local) had been encouraging her to obey the Gospel. After more study this week she decided that was something she needed to do so she was baptized to do that.

Jasye Smith has been through a lot in her life. She had a house fire and was not able to get her three-year-old daughter out, so her daughter died in the fire. She now has cancer along with other physical problems. After knocking on her door, Shri-Lahn Newman (cadre), Betty Rackley (cadre) and James Forest (local) were able to present the Gospel to her and answered a lot of questions she had had over the years. At the end of the presentation she wanted to obey the Gospel, so they brought her to the building to do so.

The team of John Telgren (cadre), Shelby Wright (local), and Amy Gill (cadre) knocked on the door of Elizabeth Kersey. Elizabeth was struggling with finances and with health. In March she had a heart attack and has not been able to go back to work. She is on oxygen and finances are very restricted. She was glad to receive the groceries they left and agreed to listen to the Gospel presentation. She had problems dealing with understanding the reason for her heart attack and felt that God was possibly punishing her for living a materialistic life before. At the end of the presentation she said she was ready to obey the Gospel but wanted her daughter to be there. However, the next evening she decided to go ahead and obey. She is very glad to be part of a loving family who is already working with her to help her with her situation.


Marco Senoret (cadre), Amy Gill (cadre) and Feng Le (cadre) knocked on the door of Samantha Jones. She invited them in and they talked about many things that were going on in her life, one of which was the fact that she and Michael Traylor were not married but were living together. Marco asked her how that was working for her and she replied that it was not working. After hearing the presentation of the Gospel she was ready to obey it. Marco told her it would take commitment on her part and she said she was ready to do whatever it takes to follow Jesus. As they were about to go to the church building, Michael came in and Marco met him. Marco asked if he could talk to him after Samantha had obeyed the Gospel. He agreed and he and the team brought Samantha to the building to obey the Gospel. They then went back to their house and Samantha went to work. Michael and Marco sat down to look at the scriptures while the rest of the team kept the children occupied. Michael felt that he had already been saved, but as they read the scriptures that defined the Gospel, Michael realized that he did not know what that all meant when he was baptized at the age of seven. At the end Marco asked him again if he knew, without a doubt, that he would go to heaven. He said no, he would not. Marco then reminded him that he would have to repent of the life he was now living and Michael said that he was willing to do what it takes to live for Jesus. He then also obeyed the Gospel. Michael and Samantha know they need to be married right away so the church is working on having a wedding as soon as possible.

David Bell (cadre), Chris Thornburg (cadre), and Linda Frantz (local) knocked on the door of Juan Martinez and asked if he had any needs. He did not. When they asked about his salvation he told them his background was of the high church, but he was not really any religion. He was not sure he would go to heaven. As they presented the Gospel to him he knew that he was out of Christ. He was very honest. At the end he asked what happened if he continued to sin and David told him that the only difference in him and Juan is that David had protection and Juan did not. He asked Juan if he knew what that protection was and Juan answered, “It is Jesus and I need to be protected.” He then came to the building to obey the Gospel to get that protection by obeying the Gospel.

The team of Phil Lairson (local), Don Cox (cadre), and Emily Jones (local) knocked on the door of Michelle Parks. Michelle was very cautious when answering the door and was hesitant to talk to them. After more conversation she began to open up and told them that she had been in a terrible accident involving the police on a high-speed chase. She had been in the intersection and was broadsided by the police car. She was left severely handicapped. Because of that she had undergone many problems in her life. She let Phil present the Gospel to her and she saw that she had not obeyed it, so she allowed the team to bring her to the building to obey it.

Judith Mackey (cadre), Brad Johnson (local), and Tricia Darrow (cadre) met Gene and Anna Washam. Gene felt that he had been saved in Viet Nam, but, after a Gospel presentation through the Gospel Illustrated, he saw that what he had done was not the same as what the Bible taught so he was ready to obey the Gospel. His wife also saw that she needed to obey the Gospel, so they came to the building to do that.

A brand new Christian, Robbie Noland, talked to Kinzel May (local cadre) about his good friend, Victor Rodriguez. Robbie and Victor had been friends since the fourth grade and played football together in high school. Robbie was so excited about his obedience to the Gospel that he told Victor about it and Victor wanted to hear about it. Victor had a faith only experience for salvation and had never been baptized. After Victor heard the Gospel from Kinzel and Robbie and Jay Harrell (locals) he immediately said that he needed to obey it, so, even though it was late, they came to the building and Victor was immersed.

After the sermon on Monday night, Anastasia Rodriguez, an older teen, was obviously upset and crying as she left the auditorium. Her foster mother, Shelley Courter (local), took her into a room to talk to her. Shri-Lahn Newman (cadre) had seen her and told Shelley that if she could help she would be glad to. In a few minutes Shelley came back and asked Shri-Lahn to come in and talk to Anastiasia. When Shri-Lahn went in Anastasia told her she wanted to be saved so Shri-Lahn told her she wanted to share the Gospel with her so she would understand what it was. Anastasia had gone to a church camp as a very young teenager. There was a lady there telling them about God and how to be saved. Anastasia went down front and, after a prayer, she was told that she was saved. She had never obeyed the Gospel, but had been listening to Larry's sermons. She then knew what the Gospel was and wanted to obey it. She was very emotional during the study and was excited to find the truth. She then obeyed the Gospel through baptism.

The team of David Bell (cadre), Chris Thornburg (cadre), Laura Johnson (local) knocked the door of Bobby Rosas. Bobby really had to religious background, even though he was baptized as a very young child. He invited the team in and listened intently. At the end of the study he saw the need to obey the Gospel, but since he had a doctor's appointment about 45 minutes later, he wanted to wait until the next morning. David then again asked him the question, “If the Lord came back today where would you be?' Bobby then asked how long it would take. He decided he had enough time so he was ready to go right then. They came to the building and, despite having to take time to make sure his cast would not get wet, he was buried in the water to obey the Gospel. His team then made sure they got him to the doctor on time.


Courtney Ruckman is a teenager who has been attending church here for a year or so. After the evening service she spoke to the youth minister, Steven Smith (local), and Harold Hall (local) and decided that she wanted to obey the Gospel so she put on her Lord in baptism to do so.

One of the members at Fairmont Park, Cherry Hill, met a lady where she works and invited her to church Sunday morning. Kathy Mandrell came and listened to Larry's sermon. After lunch Cherry and Bill Hill came to Shri-Lahn Newman (cadre) and said that Kathy wanted to hear about the Gospel again. Shri-Lahn, Eli Mondesir (cadre), and Cherry and Bob Hill (local) went into a classroom and presented the Gospel to her. She wanted to obey it so they brought her into the auditorium to be immersed and obey that Gospel.



The team of Jim Smith (cadre), Beverly and Meagan Kron (local) knocked on Gina McKinney's door on Saturday morning. They began a presentation of the Gospel. About half way through they realized it was time to eat, so they came to the building for lunch. After lunch they went back into a classroom and completed the presentation. Gina felt that she had obeyed the Gospel the first time she was baptized. She made plans to attend church services the next morning, along with her two teenage children. They came and listened to Larry's sermon and then ate lunch at the building. During lunch she told Jim that she had prayed on Saturday evening about the scriptures they had read and then, during Larry's sermon, she felt the need to be baptized again to make sure she obeyed the Gospel. She was then taken to the water to obey. She then told everyone there that the family was having some difficulties and the 15-year-old son had told their father a few days before that the reason they were having so many difficulties was that God was not in their lives, then a few days later a team from We Care showed up on their doorstep. She said that God had truly sent them to her door.

Jared Rittenhouse is a young man who Kinzel and Anita May get to take care of their dogs when they are on the road. He also does other things for them while they are gone. They can call him and have him water plants for them. Kinzel called him one day during the campaign and asked if he would like a Bible study. Jared said he would like that, but had to work on the weekends until 8:00 pm. Kinzel and David Scardino set up a time after he got home from work on Saturday to go present the Gospel to him. At the end of the Bible study Jared realized that sin had separated him from God and that, whether it was a “big” sin or a “little” sin, he was still separated from God. He therefore came immediately to obey.

Tony Smith had been attending church for a few months at Fairmont Park for a couple of months. Rob and Samantha Hunt(local) invited him to the campaign and he came to the training each evening. He also came on Saturday morning, then Saturday afternoon he decided he wanted to obey the Gospel, so he was immersed.



The team of Kinzel May (local and cadre), Linda Burns (local), and Lucy Chavez (local) met Amber Noland , a young lady. After talking at her door a few minutes she invited them in for a presentation. At the end, after reading the question from Acts 22:17, she said, “I need to be baptized for the right reason.” When the team asked her if she was ready to do that right then, she told them she really wanted her husband, Robbie, to hear this. He was coming home in thirty minutes. The team said they could come back later and talk to him, so later that evening she called them to come back and present the Gospel to him. They did so and he was convicted. They then came to the building and they both obeyed the Gospel.




The team of Shri-Lahn Newman (cadre), Adam Elliott (local), and Christie Bell (local) knocked on the door of Luz P. “Pat” Lee and presented the Gospel to her. She realized that her baptism as a baby was not right and she needed to obey the Gospel. Since she was babysitting three small children she could not come to the building right away to obey, but set up an appointment for 10:00 the next morning. Shri-Lahn understood that she was supposed to go get Pat so as she was going to Pat's house she met Pat coming to the building. Pat thought she was supposed to come there and meet Shri-Lahn, so Shri=Lahn turned around and followed Pat back to the building where she was baptized to obey the Gospel.



The team of Donna Smith (cadre), Fred Boggs (local), and Randi Johnson (local) knocked on the door of Aricey Villarreal. While getting her story they found that she had been baptized as a baby. They offered to share their story with her and she invited them in and listened intently as they presented the Gospel. At the end she decided that she needed to obey the Gospel. After obtaining two car seats for her small children she went to the building and obeyed the Gospel in baptism.

Tim Bice is a young man who is in Midland for awhile, working for an oil company. He is overseeing the building of a building for his company. He has been attending at Fairmont Park. Tim had been baptized at an early age and has been attending church all these years, but got interested in what the cadre were saying about the Gospel. On the Monday afternoon before the prayer session on Tuesday evening Tim was outside visiting with a group of cadre. Tim indicated that he had had his salvation on his mind and wanted to get serious about it. Reggie Gardner (cadre) and Jim Smith (cadre) took him to a room in the building and presented the Gospel to him. He realized that at his first baptism he only did it because someone told him to. His comment was, “I did not know what the Gospel was, therefore I could not have obeyed it.” He then went to the water to obey it. He felt a great sense of peace afterwards.

Melisse Brookshire had been attending at Fairmont Park for several years, but no one had shared the Gospel with her. On a Sunday evening before the campaign actually began, one of the members asked a group of cadre who had gotten to Midland a few weeks early if one of them would study the Bible with Melisse. Melisse wanted to learn more about the Bible. Shri-Lahn Newman (cadre) Gayle James (local), and Linda Frantz (local) into a room and presented the Gospel to her. At the end of the presentation she was ready to go to the water and obey the Gospel.




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