Dear Praying Friends and Family,
What an incredible summer of ministry and life changing events we have had in 2015. First, let me apologize to all our supporting churches and friends for my lack of communication with you over the last couple of months. This year we have been incredibly busy with both our camp ministry and revival ministry during the months of May through August. The crazy thing for our entire family is this feeling of where did the time go.
After a having a great spring season of meetings we headed to camp the last week of May. For a short stint, Diana and Olivia went home to take care of some family business while Priscilla and I headed down to Hiawassee, GA to get set up for our summer camp staff’s arrival. God gave us a wonderful group of young people to work with this summer. Over the last several years I have been able to create a system of training our future cabin staff (counselors) by using them as part of our operation staff. Many of the young people that are now working at the camp first came to the camp as campers. It was also during their time as campers that many of them realized their need to be saved. This year we had workers from PA, RI, MD, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL, AL, MS and TN. I am amazed how God continues to use this little camp in the middle of the GA mountains to reach children and teenagers with the Gospel. This year we had just over 1000 campers come through the camp. That number is actually down from the last several summers but God blessed in a mighty way. After four junior weeks and four teenage weeks (one being a Spanish week) we recorded 126 professions of faith; To God be the Glory.
This summer was especially taxing on our family because there was only two weekends this summer where I wasn’t preaching somewhere in between the camp session weeks. What that means is when the campers leave on Friday we clean the camp and see to it the staff are all taken care of for the weekend then we head to the house and start packing to leave. We usually would travel on Saturday to preach all day Sunday then drive back to the camp Sunday night to have a late night meeting with the staff; Not much down time for the family. Please don’t misunderstand we had a great time seeing God bless but it was very tiring and Diana and I are realizing we aren’t in our 20’s anymore. As a matter of fact we aren’t in our 30’s anymore and don’t have a lot of 40’s left to go. lol
We are so thankful for your continued support in our ministry. We, honestly, could not do what we do without your support. Even as God continues to grow our revival ministry the cost of being on the road can sometimes be overwhelming. The recent decline in fuel prices have been a source of special blessing and we pray that decline will continue throughout the remainder of the year. Each year we spend around $20,000.00 just for fuel. However, our truck is getting older and we are babying it to keep it on the road. Please pray with us that we will not have any other major breakdowns this year and that God will continue to keep us safe as we travel.
Finally, this year we made the decision to change our sending church. After 25 years as the Pastor of our home church our Pastor has retired. Over the years he and his wife have been spiritual parents to both Diana and me. Ten years ago, when we launched out to begin our revival ministry we felt we needed to go back home and base out of our home church. During that time, we had the opportunity to stay at Southside Baptist Church where I had served on staff for seven years and base from there, but I felt that we needed to move out of the way so the new youth pastor could begin to work at winning the hearts of the people without the old guy always hanging around. I believe that was the right decision for us to make and now we are making a new transition. After a great deal of prayer, meditation and counsel we have decided to move our ministry back to Southside Baptist Church in Rock Hill, SC and base from there. Over the last 10 years we have continued to maintain a good relationship with Pastor Walters and the church and are excited about partnering with them in ministry once again. We love Goodman Road Baptist Church and pray that God continues to bless the church and ministry for His glory. As it was 10 years ago, I feel the same today, that it is best for us to get out of the way and let the new Pastor and his family begin to take the church in the direction he believes it needs to go.
We look forward to seeing those of you we have yet to be with this year and look forward to seeing each of you very soon. Until then, may God bless you all “REAL GOOD!”
Evangelist Bill Abbott
6795 Goodman Road
Walls, MS 38680