Monthly Archives: June 2014

June 2014 Prayer Letter

play pdf June 2014 Prayer Letter

Praise the Lord for His mercy and goodness.  I am so excited that we have the privilege of serving such a great God.   Furlough is such a busy time.

We were able to attend the graduation service at Oklahoma Baptist College.  Jim Post graduated, and I have to say that it has been a privilege to watch that young man grow up on the mission field.  Another young man that graduated told me that he surrendered to preach at the age of eight when I preached in his Christian School chapel.

I was able to go to Israel this past month for ten days.  I went with Dr. Vineyard and his son Paul, David Sloan, my father-in-law (Adrian Van Manen), and Jim Post.  We had a great trip, and we were able to make some great contacts. Jim Post was able to learn a lot about Israel.  We got to meet with Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’allon.  He told us about going to the Golan Heights and looking east toward Damascus.  He said, “I looked east and all I could see was death and destruction, and I looked west toward Israel and saw life and construction.”  He approved the removal of several mine fields so that 700 farms could be constructed.

We have been able to be in some great meetings in the past few weeks.  Praise the Lord for new support.  We are always in need of some new supporters.  We have also been able to report to some churches that have supported us for the past fourteen years.  Our children finished out the school year and will all be moving on to the next grade.  We also got to attend church camp with our children.  It was their first time to go to camp, and they loved it.

If you would like to see our video presentation for this furlough, you may visit consfords.com/presentation.  We would love to come and visit you at your church. If you would like to contact me concerning having us come, please call me at (936) 332-6542.
We are sending our prayer letters out by e-mail, and we are trying to phase out snail mail.  I need your help to do this in order to save money. I want to ask you to please visit consfords.com/lettersubscribe to sign up to receive our monthly prayer letter by e-mail.

Here is a list of our current prayer requests:
•    Safety on the road
•    Health
•    New support
•    Funds for an updated vehicle when we return to Ghana

Thank you very much for supporting us through your sacrificial giving and through your precious prayer time!  We pray that much fruit will be added to your account through our labors on the field in your behalf!

Your friend and ambassador to West Africa,

Joe Consford

2014 Video Presentation

Well,  I finally got the final version of our video presentation completed.

We are very excited about what God is going to do in Ghana in this next term.  I have some big plans and a greater burden than ever for the people of the Western Region of Ghana.

Please share this video with your church and pray for us as we finish up this last half of our furlough.

Thank you for all that you do for us!  It is our privileged to be a part of your efforts to reach the world with the Gospel.

 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 – Israel Trip

Once again it has been a busy day!  We have been doing more sight seeing that I have ever done.  I am glad I get to experience this trip with my father-in-law!

Today we went into the Damascus Gate and then walked up the Via Dolarosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.  In the 3rd century Helena had a vision and said that this was the place of the Crucifixion and burial of our Lord.  Well, we know from the Bible that this could not be the place.  To bad she did not read the story.  When you go to that place you feel oppression and if you were looking for hope, you would have a hard time finding hope in that sad, dark place!

Damascus Gate
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Via Dolorosa
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Church of the Holy Sepulcher
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The rock that the Catholics say was the foot of the cross
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People praying around the rock that was the foot of the cross. Most of them have items that they are “blessing” so that they can go and sell them in their home countries.
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We then walked back out the Damascus gate and North a few blocks to the Garden Tomb and the place called Calvary.  What a difference!  The story of the gospel is the main focus of the workers in the Garden Tomb.  They make sure that every person who visits gets a clear presentation of the Gospel!  They will tell you that the actual place is of little importance, but the actual story is the most important thing one can hear!

The Place called Calvary
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The Empty Tomb
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He is Risen!
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Then we drove back up The Mount of Olives for one final look at the city.  We have learned so much and when we read the Bible now, the stories will be in so much better focus.  When we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, we will see how much we should all be in earnest prayer for that day when the Prince of Peace will come!

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We had a good afternoon with a colonel from the IDF.  Several years ago he said that he and his wife had been unable to have children.  He asked Dr. Vineyard if it would be appropriate for a Jew to ask a Christian to pray for them to have children.  Dr. Vineyard said that it would be more than appropriate and he sent out letters asking Christians to pray for this man and his wife to have a boy and then a girl.  Today I got to meet the boy and girl that Christian people prayed down in behalf of this Jewish family.

We are preparing to return to the States tomorrow.  I can’t wait to see my sweetheart as well as Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie!

Have a great day!

Joe Consford

P.S.
The next update will be from the States!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 – Israel Trip

So many things have happened in the last two days that I have not had much time to write.

On the last post with all of the photos, I updated it and added comments about each photo. I hope you enjoy them. Just click here and you will be able to view those.

On Monday we had to get a different van from the rental company.  The clutch went out on the one we had.  Dave Sloan had to work hard to get us a good deal on the exchange and The Lord was good to us and helped him say the right words.

We then went to the Old City of Jerusalem.  We saw Oscar Schindler’s grave, King David’s Tomb, saw a short film about the life of David, walked though the tunnels under Jerusalem, saw the Western Wall of the Temple Mount, climbed the Southern Stares of the Temple Mount, went up on the Temple Mount where the Dome of the Rock is standing, and many other things.  My favorite thing that we did was walk west from the place where the temple was toward the Eastern Wall of Jerusalem and see the Easter Gate from the inside.  My father-in-law sang “I will meet you in the morning, I will meet you in the morning, Just inside the Easter Gate…”  I had tears in my eyes and goose bumps on the back of my neck!

Here is a photo of both sides of the Eastern Gate:

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We came back to the hotel, picked up Dr. Vineyard and drove south toward Gaza.

We got to stop and see the valley where David defeated Goliath!

We ate dinner with a Jewish family that lives just 2 miles from Gaza.  They are constantly bombed by the Philistines.  We had a great time with them.  The wife cooked a great meal and we had such a good time telling stories and listening to the stories they had to tell.

We got back to the hotel at 01:00!

We ate breakfast at 08:00 and then we went to the Holocaust museum.  I have visited death camps in Europe and those kind of places make me so mad!  I can’t stand people who commit such atrocities nor those who allow those things to take place.  My we always take a stand against EVIL!

We then went to the Horatio Spafford Museum.  He wrote the song “It is Well With My Soul!”  He moved to Israel after the death of his four daughters.  We sang the song in the museum and the lady curator cried.  I will never forget singing with my father-in-law at that special place.

We then set off to see Bethlehem.  That city is in the West Bank and it is controlled by the terrorists.  I know what spiritual oppression feels like and that was obvious in that place.  Wow!  We were just glad to leave.  The muslims want to kill all Christians and the catholics want to be called Christians when they are nothing like Christ.  I pray for the salvation of lost and blinded souls wondering down the broad way that leadeth to destruction.

We had a very nice dinner and everyone went to bed early.  I wanted everyone to get a update and then I am going to hit the hay as well!

Have a great day!

Joe Consford

Sunday, June 1, 2014 – Israel Trip

Saturday, May 31, 2014
We got up headed to Jerusalem.  It is nice to travel in Israel on the Sabbath Day because there is no traffic.
We got to see several things on our way down South.  We saw Bet She’an, the city where Saul’s and Jonathan’s heads were put on display after they were killed in battle with the Philistines.  We drove on South next to the Jordan River.  We went up the road from Jericho to Jerusalem.  We just had a great drive.  Our photographer, Paul, took hundreds of photos.  I can’t wait to show them to you!
We then dropped Dr. Vineyard off at the hotel and we went to Old City Jerusalem.  We went up the Mount of Olives and then walked down through the Garden of Gethsemane.  Then we went to the City of David Museum and down and saw the foundations of David’s house.  You can clearly see how he could have looked down and saw a woman bathing on the roof of her house.   Then we walked in the Dung Gate and up to the Western Wall and into the synagogue that is under the Temple Mount.
Then we walked down though the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem.  We almost got to the entrance of the Dome of the Rock and we were turned back by the Israeli police because if a non-Muslim goes there at prayer time it will start a riot.   I am so glad that Christ said “Whosoever will may come!”
After walking down the street thought the Muslim Quarter you will begin to think that Jerusalem is like any African city to which I have been – dirty and quite boisterous!  Then, we rounded the corner and found ourselves in the Jewish quarter.  The streets were quiet and clean and we immediately felt the oppression lift.  Wow!
We sure were tired and that is why I did not get this sent yesterday!

Sunday, June 1, 2014
Today, I got up early and had a great time in the word of God.  Sunday is the same as Monday in Israel.  Christians go to church on Saturday here because the work week runs from Sunday thought Friday afternoon.  We sure have been having some great discussions about what we have seen and how the Bible locations have brought more life to the scriptures in our little minds.  My imaginations sometimes have very little to do with reality.
At 10:00 we went to the Prime Minister’s office building for a meeting with Defense Minister Moshe “Bogie” Ya’allon.   We had a great meeting with him and he told us how he had just authorized the clearing of a mine field so that 700 farms could be built.  He said, “Life and construction rather than death and destruction!”  We only had five minutes with him, but he packed so much into that five minutes that it will take me a while to unpack it.
We got to go see the Dead Sea and Masada today.
This evening we got to go to a restaurant that was owned by some Arab people.  We ate supper with the Mayor, Vice Mayor and a city councilman.   I had a great time talking to an old blind man.  He could not speak any English, but we got along fine though and interpreter.  We sang a song in the restaurant that was next door to a mosque just before the call to the evening prayers.  Those Arabs sure closed the doors quick so that none of their friends could hear us sing.  They said that no Christian lives in that city.  I walked outside just as the mosque prayers were ending and said good evening to the men passing by.  I prayed for them that somehow the truth of the Gospel would be preached to those men.  If you want to see what no hope feels like…
As I write these lines I can truly say that I am glad that I was born in America and in a Christian family and grew up in a church that unashamedly preached the truth!

Joe Consford

Saturday, May 31, 2014 – Israel Trip

While I was waiting to leave this morning, I thought I would post photos of all that I had uploaded from the camera.

I hope you enjoy these photos as much as we have!

This is a view of the Megiddo Valley from the top of the Mount of Transfiguration!

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This is a view of the road that leads to the top of the Mount of Transfiguration.

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Another View of the Megiddo Vally where the battle of Armageddon will take place!

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At the time Jesus was ascending to Heaven, he told Peter not to build a tabernacle to Jesus, Elijah, and Moses.  Peter did not, but the Greek Catholics disobeyed the Word of the Lord and did what they wanted.  Oh well, it is not the only instance of their disregard for the Word of God!

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The entrance to the park on the top of the Mount of Transfiguration.

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The word “Tel” means hill in Hebrew.

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Some para-gliders over the valley of Megiddo.

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The Spring where Gideon was told to prove the remaining 10,000 and only 300 were left.

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Nazareth at night!

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Givati is Hebrew for “Fox” and they take their name from the foxes that Samson used to burn up the crops of the Philistines!

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Dr. Vineyard with a Givatti Officer and a great friend!

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A boy’s choir that sang for the Givatti Families!

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Some Givatti Officers getting ready to enjoy a great meal!

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Dr. Vineyard with a family that lost their son in the War on Terror!

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Dr. Vineyard reciving a plaque of appreciation from the Givati Brigade.

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There were over 430 people at the dinner.  It is such a good opportunity to build lasting relationships with these families that have lost so much!

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We had some great food provided by the able staff at the hotel!

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Jim Post, David Sloan, Dr. Vineyard, Paul Vineyard, Adrian Van Manen and myself in front of the Givati flags!

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Jim Post with some Giviati soldiers.

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The Jordan River!

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David Sloan, Adrian Van Manen, Jim Post and myself at the Jordan River

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A Hebrew cemetery near the Sea of Galalee

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An olive press in the city of Capernaum (The home town of Peter)

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The Synagogue in Capernaum where Jesus surly went to read the scriptures on the Sabbath day

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The Sea of Galilee

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The Jesus Boat Museum.  This boat was found sunken in the mud in a drought year on the Sea of Galilee.

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The Sea of Galilee

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An Israeli flag flying over the city of Tiberius

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A nice mural depicting life in Tiberius over many centuries

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This hotel was the hospital started by Horatio Spafford’s daughter.

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A neat piece of art in Tiberius.

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An aqueduct

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This is me with Adrian Van Manen, David Sloan and Paul Vineyard

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Jimmy Post, David Sloan, me and Adrian Van Manen

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Israeli flag in Tiberius

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The City of Tiberius

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A lighthouse on the Mediterranean Sea near the city of Jopa!

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Tel Aviv, Israel

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