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Much has happened since I last wrote an update.  On Saturday, August 3rd, our missionary, Koku Akakpo, successfully completed his ordination examination.  We praise God that his sending church, First Baptist Church of Littleton, IL, has examined him and found him worthy to be ordained into the ministry.  I had the privilege of being in Littleton for Koku’s ordination council and ordination service.  It was such a joyful day.  Thank you for praying for Koku and Akpene.

On August 6th, I completed my own ordination examination.  I praise God that my ordination council recommended that my church, Faith Baptist (Winter Haven, FL) ordain me.  Lord willing, an ordination service will be scheduled in the days to come.  Thank you for praying for me as I travelled through the ordination process. 

July saw lots of activity on our Benin fieldPleasant Hill Baptist (Sterling, OH) sent a team to assist Joe & Amy Marshall in putting a roof on a church building.  We praise God for the work they accomplished and for his protection throughout the trip.  The Marshalls and Tim & Janice Phillips were also visited by a pastor (Paul Weaver & family) from their sending church, Bible Baptist (Kokomo, IN).  Finally, we have had an intern, Caleb Walton, in Benin for roughly 2 months serving alongside the Marshalls.  Caleb is from Michigan and helped Joe with some of his agricultural ministries.  Please pray for God to clearly direct Caleb in the future.

This coming weekend (Aug. 11th) Faye Obgartel will be visiting with us in Winter Haven.  Pray that she will have safe travels as she drives to us from Wisconsin.  Pray that we will be an encouragement to her.  Please pray also for Faye as she has hip surgery on August 19th

On Monday, August 19th, I will be travelling to Indonesia with Pastor Larry Lindow (Cornerstone Baptist, Lakeland, FL) and a young many from my church (Jacob Vegter).  We will be visiting our missionaries, Ken & BJ Armstrong.  The Armstrongs serve at a Christian School and have also established an orphanage in their home.  The currently care for a total of 9 children in their home.  Pray that our visit will be a unique encouragement to them. 

Lord willing, in September, I will be visiting the campus of Pensacola Christian College.  I will be there to encourage some college students and to develop relationships with them.  Please let me know if you know of any ‘missions-minded’ students there that you would like me to connect with.  I am happy to take them out for a meal J. 

Finally, we are praising the Lord that Ken & Sarah Beckley have safely returned to Niger.  Please pray for them as they transition back to living in Africa.  Pray for Stephen as he starts school at Sahel Academy.  Please also pray for their other sons (Marc, Andrew, & Benjamin) as they are in various places in the US. 

Thank you for your faithful support of FBM and its missionaries.  Please remember to pray for FBM. May God richly bless you! 

Stephen Simpson

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