Author Archives: admin

November 2014 Prayer Letter

November 2014

This is one of the most difficult letters I have ever written! Since I was twelve years old, I have known that God wanted me to be a missionary to Africa. Over the past two months, I have had no peace about returning to Ghana. I have prayed and searched my heart, and I can find no concrete reason why the Lord has changed my burden. I have sought counsel from several men of God that I trust, and I am confident that this is the will of God for me and my family.

Let me assure you that I am not afraid to go to Africa for any reason. I think that my track record speaks for itself in this area. I still have a burden for lost souls world-wide! I will be working with my pastor here at my home church until God chooses to move us along. It is still my goal to fulfill the great commission as our Master has commanded us to do.

God has provided a family to take our place in Ghana. They have already raised their support, and they are ready to go to Ghana in March of 2015. I will be going to Ghana with this missionary in December for two weeks to get him set up and help him get some paperwork started. We are excited about what God is going to do in Ghana.

Effective December 31, 2014, I am resigning as a missionary to West Africa. It has been said that a Christian is either a missionary or that he is out of the will of God. I am not resigning as a missionary, just as a missionary to West Africa for the time being. Maybe one day, God will allow us to return to Africa or even another foreign mission field.

Over the past fourteen years, God has allowed the Consford family to take the gospel to West Africa in your place. I want to thank you for allowing us to be part of your effort to fulfill the Great Commission. It is my prayer that much fruit has been added to your account during this time. Thank you so much for all you have done for me and my family!

If you have any questions, please contact me! My phone number is (936) 275-5177, or you can contact me by email at consford@gmail.com.   If you would like to contact my pastor, Dr. Danny Dodson, you may do so as well.   He can be reached during office hours at (936) 598-3642 or by email at dleedodson@gmail.com.

Your friends and ambassadors of the gospel,

Joe and Laura Consford

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
DSC 2270 zps0fcc98ed Wednesday, June 4, 2014   Israel Trip

Via Dolorosa
DSC 2122 zps3c4b27b3 Wednesday, June 4, 2014   Israel Trip

Church of the Holy Sepulcher
DSC 2209 zps861f71e9 Wednesday, June 4, 2014   Israel Trip

The rock that the Catholics say was the foot of the cross
DSC 2202 zps205ab029 Wednesday, June 4, 2014   Israel Trip

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.
DSC 2167 zps020643c2 Wednesday, June 4, 2014   Israel Trip

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
DSC 2320 zpscbaab341 Wednesday, June 4, 2014   Israel Trip

The Empty Tomb
DSC 2408 zps3271cc5d Wednesday, June 4, 2014   Israel Trip

He is Risen!
DSC 2369 zps8888d2fb Wednesday, June 4, 2014   Israel Trip

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!

DSC 2500 zps382ce872 Wednesday, June 4, 2014   Israel Trip

DSC 2498 zps280d1840 Wednesday, June 4, 2014   Israel Trip

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:

DSC01337 zpsacb9921a Tuesday, June 3, 2014   Israel Trip

DSC 2478 zps726cf705 Tuesday, June 3, 2014   Israel Trip

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!

DSC 7724 zpse0a686e4 Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

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

DSC 7641 zpsf8c4fe3b Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

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

DSC 7808 zpsa7d1d79a Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

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!

DSC 7675 zps91546d4b Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

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

DSC 7636 zpsd44f6365 Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

The word “Tel” means hill in Hebrew.

DSC 7554 zps7b821d56 Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

Some para-gliders over the valley of Megiddo.

DSC 7614 zps4c65462f Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

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

DSC 7532 zps60443c07 Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

Nazareth at night!

DSC 7282 zps1d72c5dc Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

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

DSC 7038 zpsaf843955 Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

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

DSC 7371 zps8e16bd3a Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

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

DSC 7249 zpsa80cc811 Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

Some Givatti Officers getting ready to enjoy a great meal!

DSC 7079 zpsab575283 Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

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

DSC 7227 zps876d8d40 Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

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

DSC 7170 zpsddb1a3c7 Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

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!

DSC 7074 zpse65c8e97 Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

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

DSC 7040 zpsc1d34e2a Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

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

DSC 6952 zpsd9421135 Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

Jim Post with some Giviati soldiers.

DSC 6813 zpsf21365e1 Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

The Jordan River!

iDSC 6628 zpsfb011329 Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

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

DSC 6663 zps3016b1a9 Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

A Hebrew cemetery near the Sea of Galalee

DSC 6728 zps08d219d2 Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

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

DSC 6557 zps289c54d1 Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

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

DSC 6544 zpsa3e42662 Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

The Sea of Galilee

DSC 6398 zps573d5463 Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

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

DSC 6351 zpse95764dd Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

The Sea of Galilee

DSC 6436 zps4ef6a4f4 Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

An Israeli flag flying over the city of Tiberius

DSC 6285 zpscf98338a Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

A nice mural depicting life in Tiberius over many centuries

DSC 6275 zpsa57edbe3 Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

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

DSC 6206 zps8879ac45 Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

A neat piece of art in Tiberius.

DSC 6197 zpseb015a2a Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

An aqueduct

DSC 6031 zps1b1a04f4 Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

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

DSC 6150 zpsec02a4b3 Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

Jimmy Post, David Sloan, me and Adrian Van Manen

DSC 6142 zps77705abc Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

Israeli flag in Tiberius

DSC 6105 zps2c9054d9 Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

The City of Tiberius

DSC 6089 zps29d0261d Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

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

DSC 5906 zpsa4e31cca Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

Tel Aviv, Israel

DSC 5886 zps6c1c4179 Saturday, May 31, 2014   Israel Trip

Friday, May 30, 2014 – Israel Trip

We had breakfast this morning and then we headed off for some sightseeing while the Givati Families went on their outings.

We went to see Gideon’s spring, Mt. Gilboa, Megiddo, Mt. Caramel, and Mt. Tabor.

This evening was the start of the Sabbath.  We went to the Sabbath dinner and then we came up to the room and visited with some friends.

We had a really great time and I am looking forward to sharing some of these photos with you very soon.

Have a great day!
Joe Consford

Thursday, May 29, 2014 – Israel Trip

We all had a good night’s sleep and woke up at about 05:00 this morning.  We all did our devotions and then met for breakfast at about 06:30.  We had a great Jewish breakfast.  I really like the breakfast food in Israel.

We decided that since today was going to be a slow day, we would go do some sight-seeing.  We sure did have a great time around the Sea of Galilee today.  I will post some photos later of the sites we saw.

This afternoon we greeted the Givati families and officers as they arrived for the dinner.  It was great to see old friends and make some new ones.  We had a great time of fellowship and storytelling.

The dinner this evening was very nice.  It was held in a large air conditioned tent.  There were over 450 people present.  Most of them were family members of a Givati soldier killed in action.  There were some grieving hearts in that room.  I hope that it was a help to them to take their thoughts off of their grief for a few minutes this evening.

We are all done in!  Jet lag is hitting us hard tonight.  C’est la vie!

We are looking forward to a good day tomorrow as well.

I covet your prayers for us tomorrow!

Joe Consford

Israel Trip May 27-28, 2014

Here we go again to the Givati Brigade Family Reunion.  Dr. Vineyard invited me to go a few weeks ago.  He had undergone hip replacement and after the surgery, he had a bad battle with congestive heart failure.  I was so excited when his health started to return and he asked me to go to Israel with him.  Then I learned that my father-in-law, Adrian Van Manen was also going to go with us on this trip.  He has never been to Israel before and I know that he is very excited about what we are going to see and do while we are in the land that was promised to Abraham and his seed forever.  I want to thank everyone that gave to help him pay for this trip.  My father-in-law has been a faithful servant of the Lord for many years and I have to say that he is the most loyal man I know.  When I was a boy I read a lot of Louis L’Amour books and he would write about men that rode for the brand.  That phrase is personified in Adrian Van Manen.
Also with us on this trip is Jimmy Post my adopted nephew from Ivory Coast.  What a blessing it has been watching him grow into a fine young man.  He just graduated from OBC at the top of his class.  It was a special blessing that his father, my friend Dan Post, was able to preach the charge at his ordination service.
In order to get everyone and their luggage to the airport we decided to take my Suburban.  Brother Smaistrla generously volunteered his time to go with us so that he could drive the Suburban back to the house.
We left the Van Manen’s house at 03:10 to drive to the OBC dorm and get Jimmy Post.  He was ready and waiting in the parking lot at 03:20 when we arrived.  We drove out to Dr. Vineyard’s house and picked him up so that we could get to the airport and get checked in for our 06:00 a.m. departure.
After we got checked in and found our way to our gate, we discovered that due to thunder storms in Texas the Houston Airport was closed to all inbound and outbound air traffic.  I worked the phones to make sure that we were not going to get stuck somewhere overnight. We missed our connecting flight from Houston to Newark and that meant that we would miss our flight from Newark to Tel Aviv.  However, I was able to find a later flight that would suit our needs.  I was able to get it worked out just as we were boarding in OKC.  I was walking down the ramp as I was confirming our plans from Houston to Tel Aviv.
On our “final” approach to Houston the pilot pulled up at the last second.  He had overshot the runway due to a tail wind that exceeded our aircraft’s ability.  I am glad it did not exceed our pilot’s ability.  We circled around Houston a few times and then he tried it again.  I do not like to hear a pilot say, “Let’s try that again.”  In flying, “Do or do not, there is no try!”
We went straight to customer service and got new boarding passes.  I was able to get us upgraded to Economy Plus for no charge because of the inconveniences of the day.  Dr. Vineyard said it is good to travel with a wheeler-dealer.
We boarded the flight in Houston on time and then sat on the runway for about two hours.  We were all beginning to wonder what was happening when the pilot came over the loud speaker and said that everything was in order except that the copilot was missing.  They had tried to contact him by phone but he never answered and he never called to say why he did not show up on time.  They had to find a replacement and I think he must have been in bed in Nome, Alaska.  We did get in the air finally after one hour of sitting on the runway.
While we were in the Airport, I met an old Jewish man who was on his way home.  We began to talk and his daughter came over and joined in the conversation.  They had gone to the United States for her daughter’s graduation from Berkley in San Francisco.   The daughter had received a full scholarship to play basketball.  She graduated with honors.  The mother and grandfather were so proud of her.  Then we discovered that we knew her son.  He is a tour guide at the Givati Museum.  Dr. Vineyard showed the mother a photo of her son.  She was so shocked that we knew her son.   Jimmy sat next to the lady on the plane.
I wrote these words as we flew over the Atlantic Ocean.  We are nearing Tel Aviv right now and I will have to continue this narrative after we reach our hotel in Nazareth.   Who knows what great adventures we will find between here and there?
Well, after a couple hour drive we made it to Nazareth.  We got to the hotel and we were reunited with some of our good friends in the Givati.  Please pray that we will be able to be a blessing this week.
Have a great day and I will send some more news tomorrow.
Joe Consford