Evangelists' Updates

Evangelists' Updates

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Kieran Murphy October 2021 - Final Report

Sunday, October 17, 2021





Ricky Shanks August 2021 Report

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Report from “Ricky” William Shanks in Gainesville GA
4565 Persian Trail; Gainesville, GA 30507; Phones: 843-569-8729-Home; 843-725-9283-Cell

Website: AnswersFromTheBible.ORG - Dial A Bible Study: 770-835-4000 (Ext. 3 for Spanish.) Gainesville church of Christ (GCOC.org) 2815 Wallace Rd. Gainesville GA 30507 meeting location

August 2021

Dear Brethren,

I have not heard back from the radio station about allowing a program. So I am pushing ahead with preparations for the mule camp festival. Since it is very hard to type with my right hand (will explain later) I am thankful I have about five weeks to get ready. There are massive amounts of literature to prepare and print. We are also piggybacking on the festival with an evangelistic gospel meeting one week later so things have to be done for that as well. This meeting is where each saint of the local flock will be engaged by inviting 10+ of their family & friends to come. Stats show when done face to face, 10% will come. Please pray for our success in these efforts.

I am continuing to study with Joshua, between his problems and mine we have been slower than usual. A heavy break out of Covid has continued here. The family with 10 children have had it along with others.

The new converts are still growing and doing well. Tammy lost her dad and has been dealing with that. Brian is doing well. He even made a job change this week because he had to work with a man who would not quit cursing at him. Once he decided he would not allow that kind of influence he immediately found a new job. I was very proud of him. Please continue to pray for Cara Ann and Sergey. She called to check on me and we had a good talk with promise that they still are seeking. We had a young man call Wednesday evening who was searching for a church that follows God’s plan instead of man. He had listened to someone from a church of Christ preach on the internet and thought I need to check them out. So keep me in your prayers that our study will go well.

On a personal note, my eye disease has not gotten noticeably worse lately, thank the Lord. Never the less I still have tunnel vision, (retinitis pigmenetosa). So going into a dark area is not recommended. Since my last report, it was well overtime to change the air filter in the attic HVAC. Yelp, I fail from the attic to my kitchen floor again when I made the wrong step. So, this has slowed me down this month. I dislocated my shoulder many muscles injured in my right arm. My son is coming soon to put flooring down to prevent this from happening again. As I recover, I squeeze as much work in as possible. Other than my fall we are doing well, the Lord sure looks after us.

Thank you for all your prayers and encouragements, Ricky


Ricky Shanks October 2020 Report

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Report from “Ricky” William Shanks in Gainesville GA
4565 Persian Trail; Gainesville, GA 30507; Phones: 843-569-8729-Home; 843-725-9283-Cell

Website: AnswersFromTheBible.ORG - Dial A Bible Study: 770-835-4000 (Ext. 3 for Spanish.) Gainesville church of Christ (GCOC.org) 2815 Wallace Rd. Gainesville GA 30507 meeting location

October 2020

We hope this report finds you doing well and less stresses from the traumas inflicting the world. Read Psalm 37 for perspective as well as James 4:1-12. No matter what happens in the world around us, our hope is in heaven. Christ is the only one whom we should be trusting in to obey. We should not let the world overwhelm our obedience to God. However painful it may be, sometimes we need such reminders that this world is not our home!

The work with the new converts is very encouraging and they continue to grow in knowledge and excitement. At present I’m teaching them how to teach what they have learned already. Tammy is overwhelmed with having to take care of her dad. He was a hoarder and she is trying to clear out his house which has been a major undertaking. Pray for him that he obeys the gospel. He and Iare studying together. Nevertheless Tammy continues to grow in the Lord. It was so encouraging that about half of the flock showed up to help her clean out her dads place and assist her with liquidating it all. We have individual studies with Sergey and CaraAnn weekly and they are growing much. The new in Christ who come out of the world have a lot of strings attached to them from this dark world. One by one they must recognize these attachments and keep on cutting those ties that might try to pull them back into the ways of the world. It doesn’t help the matter when our nation chooses to promote oppression of religion and to plunge deeper into darkness. However it may be an opportunity for us to shine brighter with God’s light as our world’s darkness deepens.

From the hurricane coming through here we had banners down and needing repair. Providentially Sergey has worked in tree services and was equipped to climb the trees to raise the banners even higher than they were before. I will be replacing some and putting up more. Some ads will also be placed telling of the service.

With that in mind I have decided to expand the DABS to include a service of texting Bible questions. This is where they can TXT their question in to the same number and I will respond with where to find the answer directly in their Bible. I will promote it with headline “Answers From The Bible” with banners, cards and ads. Plus will include it with the college “free speech area” efforts. I pray the free speech area will not be taken away with the new government. We are still studying with a couple of young women at the campus student center on Thursdays.

Brethren, just about everyone in U.S. agrees this year things has been insane. What we may not have noticed is, the OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO TURN THIS “MESS - AGE” WITH THE MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM GOD. We need to LET GOD’S WORD SHINE and bring back the sanity. If we have not been shining His light as we should, God has given us a way to shine even brighter His salvation good news. Let’s not miss this opportunity! We need to get the word out that God’s way makes sense! God has the answers!

I pray for you often and thank God for you. Without your encouragement none of these things would happen. Thank you so much for holding up our hands in this most important work of shining His light to those in darkness.

To God’s glory both now and forever, Ricky Shanks

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Robert Raif November 2020 Report

Tuesday, December 08, 2020


Dear Brethren,




It is with sadness that I tell you of the deaths of two brethren who were converted at the Estelle Unit. Spike (Kenneth Bourland) had been released a few years ago. He was 77 and had a brain tumor and he died in October. I got to talk to him and his wife on the phone in his last days, and all he could say is how thankful he was that he got to know the Lord in prison before they released him. He attended a faithful church when he could. John Martinez was out about 6 months and was worshipping with a faithful church. He lived with his family and was trying to teach them and others. He was hit by a car when he was walking home one day. He would call me once a week and "check-in." I was proud of both of these men for the changes they had made, and I am happy they died in the Lord.

Volunteers are still not allowed to enter the prisons. I am busy every day grading the lessons the prisoners send to me, explaining what they missed and why, sending new lessons, and writing to each one a personal note, and sending my sermon notes. This uses a lot more time than just grading the lessons, but I have grown to know these men and they have grown in their trust in me that I am not just a teacher when there, but their friend (and to some a brother) for life. One of the men got out 4 years ago and he is Catholic, but he called me this week about marriage advice. He is fierce-looking and big and strong and tattooed, but he said he is a different man than when he went in. He loves his wife and would do anything for his little son of a few months.

The work in Corrigan goes well. We finished Colossians and we have started Isaiah - - the Messianic prophet! I am preaching through Hebrews on Sunday nights.

Brethren, if you watch the news you are probably aware of what is going on in the Philippines. They have been devastated by two major typhoons recently. Many were already living in hunger, having no food, and living in tents in the southern part because their homes were wiped out last year from earthquakes. Now in the northern area, their homes have been swamped by overflowing rivers. Many have lost their homes and those who have not lost their homes have lost everything in them as the water came up so fast. They have strung ropes between trees and put those blue tarps over that - - sleeping in makeshift tents. They were needing money to buy food before the typhoon, now they are DESPERATELY in need. Entire congregations have no food to share now. Many of the crops have been wiped out.

There are something like 400 faithful churches in the islands. I get reports from three loyal Filipino preachers, and there are conversions every week among them. Perhaps hundreds every month in the islands. The church is on fire there and souls are being saved. Philippines is about the size of half the state of Texas, with a population of about 1/3 of the USA.

Whether our brethren are in Alabama, Alaska, or the Phillippines, we need to “Remember the poor.” The Jerusalem church needed help for years - - perhaps from the beginning in Acts 2 until 70AD, but brethren were always taking up contributions and sending to the poor. Almost every time the contribution was mentioned in the New Testament, it was for “the needy saints.” I know many of us are having a tough time now, but nothing like what is going on there. They are living on the streets and in the fields with no food and very little clothing.

This is our family, the family of God, and we want to respond with love, wisdom, and compassion as quickly as possible. “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently” (1 Pet. 1:22).

If you want to send money directly with MoneyGram or Western Union, I can put you in touch with men I know personally there. I can advise you about sending it. If you want to send it to me for me to send as a messenger, just let me know. I have a bank account just for that purpose as I am always sending funds given to me for that purpose and will give you an accounting of where your money goes.

Ron Halbrook has been going to the Philippines several times a year for many years. He knows hundreds of preachers there. He writes, “I know faithful and trustworthy men across northern and central Luzon who personally know the conditions or who can depend on eyewitnesses from various rural and remote places. We will ask these faithful and reliable Filipinos to serve as messengers to deliver emergency benevolence to the saints in keeping with Bible principles. Paul wrote, ‘Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us: Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord but also in the sight of men’ (2 Cor. 8:20-21). These men know well how to properly document the delivery of benevolence.

Individuals who want to donate $250 or more and want it to be tax-deductible can make checks to Help A Neighbor (approved under section 501 (C) 3 of the IRS Code). Churches asking me to relay funds should write the checks to Ron Halbrook. In either case, send the checks to my home address at 3505 Horse Run Ct., Shepherdsville, KY 40165-6954. H.A.N. is a labor of love. No one takes compensation for this service. Every penny donated goes to needs we have identified in some way as reflected in this report. Thank you to all who make it possible. Visit www.HelpANeighbor.net to learn more (thanks to Thomas and Jacob Keese).”

There you have it - - several ways to help your starving brethren. So often brethren ask me what is the best charity to give to that helps real people and doesn’t take half the money for “administrative costs.” Next time you want to give to a charity, think of giving to your brethren - - some who have no homes and have no money to rebuild but are honest hard-working souls living in a third world country. They are dealing with a lot of what the USA dealt with in the great depression 100 years ago. The government has mandated shutdowns there unlike what we have. And if they had not, the deaths from the Covid would be unbelievable. Once this pandemic is over, they will be able to more easily get back on their feet.

We often use James for our denominational friends, but James was writing to the church of Christ! “What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so, faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself (Jas 2:14-17).

Thank you so much brethren for the fellowship we have together in spreading the truth. My support is sufficient. Pray for more open doors - - the Lord keeps opening them. Pray for our Filipino brethren.

Yours in Him who saves, Robert Raif

Murphy October Report

Tuesday, October 20, 2020



April 1 – Oct 13, 2020


Hello, Brethren.

Last week, Panera Bread in University City reopened with certain restrictions, none of which should affect us when we begin face to face studies. Later this week, I will check out the Panera in the city center to see its situation.1 In both cases, we will need to see if their

internet connection will broadcast Zoom studies.

About two weeks ago, I went to the 69th Street Station to see about setting up my table. A policeman told me that if there is no complaint from "the establishment," they would leave me alone. When I went to see "the establishment" at the station, they gave me a number to call. I called the number, got a recording, and left a message. I have yet to hear back from them. And so, the Lord willing, I will soon take the table to the station to see what will happen when I set it up. In the meantime, we will continue to evangelize via Zoom, Facebook, and Google Ads.

My Monday evening study began a month or so after moving to Philly four years ago. Todd and Connie Moody were the first to join the class. Throughout that time, we've studied Luke and Acts, the gospel of John and the Revelation, Jeremiah and Lamentations, and Paul's epistles to the Thessalonians. At the moment, we're reading through his first letter to the Corinthians.

For the most part, politics has never been a part of our meetings. Sure, from time to time, especially when we were meeting in Panera, someone would make their political persuasion clear by mentioning their disdain or approval for the President. On such occasions, I usually let such comments pass unless the individual persisted. I would then remind them that this is a Bible study, not a political gathering. However, since we are in the heat of a vicious political battle for the White House, the control of the Congress, and an appointment of a new Supreme Court Justice, I have had to be more diligent. Sadly, something was said a few weeks ago by one of the participants that proved too much for Connie. As a result, she and Todd have dropped out of the study. Since the pandemic, they are the second to drop out, as we haven't seen or heard from Melissa for about ten weeks. With the Moodys departure, we now have three regulars to this study: Chris and Mike from New Jersey and Annette from W. Philly.

I'm also involved in a Thursday morning study lead by David through the book of Deuteronomy. We have four regulars in this study: Juliana, Annette (from Monday's class), Matt, and Lee.

1 I went to the city center Panera this morning and learned that they close at 7 p.m. Thus, this establishment is not suitable at this moment for evening studies.

Kieran & Patti Murphy 241 S 49th Street, Apt 202 Philadelphia, PA 19139

Home Tel. 215 825-7444 Mobile 267 437-7517


Murphy Report: April 1 – Oct 13, 2020 Page 2 of 2

I have been posting short and shorter talks on Facebook. When we advertise these talks on Google Ads, we do so in a fifteen to a twenty-mile radius around Philadelphia. David also advertizes our online studies to this same population. As a result, we are seeing more activity on our web site, but our hope is to have more visitors to our online Bible studies.

Part of the congregation continues to meet face to face at the Raif house each Sunday, while the rest join us via Zoom. For most of the summer, we have been meeting in their back garden. Last Sunday, near the end of the assembly, a few raindrops began to fall. It wasn't much, and it stopped quickly. However, it was a reminder that we need to find a suitable place before winter to allow the whole church to meet together. At the moment, our plans in case of rain or cold are to meet inside the Raif house. They are great hosts, and we are grateful for their hospitality.

Since the last report, Patti and I have traveled to Barnesville once a month to visit her dad. Though he is still on his feet, his condition continues to deteriorate. Those who wish to write him can send their letters to 254 E Main St, Barnesville, OH 43713. Though he cannot write you back, He would appreciate hearing from those who know him.

Thanks again for your prayers, your support, and words of encouragement. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please let me hear from you.

Hold fast! Kieran

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