Sunday, October 19, 2008


Tobiah the Ammonite was an avowed enemy of the Jews. He was very displeased when he heard that someone had come to Jerusalem to oversee the rebuilding of its walls (Neh. 2:10). Together with Sanballat he aggressively opposed the work of the remnant. He ridiculed their efforts (Neh. 4:3). He sent letters to frighten Nehemiah (Neh. 7:19). Despite all of his efforts the wall was finished, the people were spiritually revived, and Jerusalem was repopulated.

You'd think that that would have been it for Tobiah. But surprisingly we read about him again in Nehemiah ch. 13. While Nehemiah was away in Babylon, Eliashib the priest worked out a deal with Tobiah. Tobiah needed a storage unit for some of his stuff, so Eliashib moved out the temple utensils and offerings out of a great chamber, located in the courts of the house of God, and moved in Tobiah's household goods (Neh. 13:8). Did I mention that Tobiah was related to Eliashib?

Nehemiah was none too happy when he returned from Babylon. When he "learned about the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah" he threw all of Tobiah's household belongings out of the room. Then he fumigated the place (Neh. 13:9).

Tobiah is symbolic of the tenacious nature of the Devil and sin. The Devil is always looking for a way to gain a foothold in our lives. When one method fails, he looks for another. He has someone close at hand, the flesh, whereby he works to gain a foothold. He would take up residence--build a fortress--that he might diminish our devotion and weaken our resolve.

Where would the remnant have been without Nehemiah? He was zealous for God, for God's Word, and for God's people. He pulled no punches when it came to defending God's honor. He earnestly sought what was best for God's people. Who serves in that role in our lives? The Holy Spirit. As tenacious as sin is, the Holy Spirit is in convicting of sin. He patiently reproves, corrects, and trains that we might put off sin.

The Holy Spirit never leaves us. Nehemiah had to leave for a while, and while he was gone all hell broke loose amongst the remnant (Cf. Neh. 13). But the Holy Spirit never leaves the born-gain believer. His convicting, teaching, fruit-bearing influence is always there. To be sure we can work against Him when we do not walk in Him or if we grieve Him or quench Him, but He is ready and willing to fight the Tobiah-like influence of sin in our lives.

Nehemiah was zealous for God and unwilling to compromise. The Holy Spirit is zealous in His efforts to make us like Christ. Praise God for His loving and powerful work in our lives.

Pastor Jerry



The last time Lewis and Clark Bible Church held services in its sanctuary was the Sunday morning of the December 2007 storm. The storm caused extensive damage to the church facility. A portion of the roof was blown away causing water damage to numerous rooms inside. Subsequent investigation revealed that the building itself had suffered structural damage.

The repair work was delayed as the insurance company, the engineer, the contractor, and the building codes department worked towards a consensus regarding the required scope of work. The total cost of the project is ~$850,000, most of which is covered by insurance.

As a result of the repairs the church will have a new roof, new siding, new windows and doors, a newly remodeled kitchen and downstairs bathrooms; and new carpet and paint in many portions of the building.Helligso Construction began the repair effort in earnest in early June and are now nearly done.

The timing couldn't be better as the church will celebrate its 50th anniversary on Sunday, November 2nd. Lewis and Clark Bible Church met for the first time, in a remodeled seed barn at the present site, on October 1st, 1958. In the early 70s the present facility was built, which was also the home of the Lewis and Clark Christian Academy. The Academy later moved to downtown Astoria. Over the years the church has emphasized a faithful commitment to teaching God's Word and missionary outreach both at home and abroad.

The public is invited to the 50th Anniversary Celebration which will be at the church, located at 35082 Seppa Ln. The celebration service will be at 10:30 AM and will be followed by a luncheon in the church fellowship hall. Several guest speakers have been invited: Pastor Frank Emrich (Valley Bible Church, Sumner, WA); Pastor Bob Emrich (Emmanuel Bible Baptist Church, Plymouth, ME); and Dr. Roy Sprague, former Executive Director of Northwest Independent Church Extension. Other former Pastors and missionaries will also be present. Historical pictures and other historical church memorabilia will be on display.

Call 503-325-7011 for directions or further information.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008



November 2nd

9:00 AM - Fellowship Time
10:30 AM - Morning Service
12:30 PM - Luncheon

You are invited to join us on NOVEMBER 2nd to help us celebrate our 50th ANNIVERSARY as we gather together to praise God for all the work He has done through the ministry of LCBC.

Our celebration will include a 9 AM Fellowship Time, a 10:30 AM Morning Worship service, and a 12:30 PM luncheon (food and beverages to be provided by the church). Historical pictures and testimonies will be on display.

Our desire is to glorify God in our celebration. In this regard, our worship will be enriched by your participation, since you are a part of God’s ministry at Lewis and Clark over the years. We would love to have you join us in praising the Lord for all that He has done.

Pastor Jerry Conklin
For the LCBC Church Family


“October 1st, 1958 was a cool crisp fall morning when about 15 people gathered for the first services in the building that then became the meeting place for the Lewis and Clark Bible Church. Each person was needed to contribute warmth as there was no heating plant. The few small windows did not let in much heat or light. The small furry animals, who had had full run of the place, were all suddenly promoted to church mice. They looked in on the services from time to time from the rafters.”1

So the seed barn became a church, and that which had been used for storing seed, was from then on used for sowing seed. And since that day the gospel seed has been sown—in Astoria, Clatsop County, across the country, and around the world. The gospel seed has gone forth.

Praise God that he is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think. From its humble beginnings God has greatly blessed the ministry of Lewis and Clark Bible Church with a rich tradition of faithful adherence to the truth of His Word and a deep desire to share it with others.

1 From Ethel Gustafson’s “History of Lewis & Clark Bible Church.”

Thursday, October 2, 2008


September 2008

One Year in Wamena! Wow! We left the U.S. for Wamena on September 11, 2007 and it has already been a year. THAT WAS FAST! We want to thank you all for your support, prayers and encouragement. You helped make it possible for us to serve here. THANK YOU! How do I summarize all that has happened, all that we have learned about, smiled and laughed about and wept over? The following highlights summarize the experiences that are still lingering in my mind and heart as I write to you. As you may know, it was our vision to establish a program to train village healthcare workers. The plan was to work side-by-side with the clinic started by Dr. Dugger (Rumah Sakit Kalvari - RSK) providing man power for the clinic while giving the future healthcare workers an opportunity to use their training. It was not long after our arrival here that we learned that the Dugger family needed to take an early and extended home ministry assignment. I stepped forward and offered to help in the clinic for the six months he would be gone. This was going to give me an opportunity to improve my language skills, learn the patient demographics of the Jaya Wijaya Region, hone my physical assessment skills and practice training the national staff. Not all has gone to plan. It has been nine months and the Duggers are just now returning to the field. There were many days operations trumped training, but I would not trade these experiences.

The Lord Heals:

The slogan here at RSK is, "We treat. The Lord heals!" It has been encouraging to see this ideal permeate the care provided. Patients are not only evaluated and treated, but are provided prayer and counseling. The process through the clinic ends with all patients seeing the chaplain. Often we have prayed with the patient multiple times before he or she leaves. The testimony of this care and its impact is being talked about throughout the community. It has been thrilling to work beside our staff and watch them praise God for His provisions as we see patients improve physically, emotionally or both!

For example: There was one man who was carried into our clinic by two friends. He had been to many clinics and hospitals throughout the island, but was not improving. His liver was enlarged, abdomen was distended with fluid and he was extremely jaundiced. We told him that we probably could not help him, we would try, but it would have to rest on the Lord. We evaluated, counseled and prayed with him. Eventually we treated him for syphilis and ameba and told him that he would have to follow-up weekly over the next month. (The staff are still talking about this case.) He walked into the clinic on his own the following week praising God, looking much healthier. Two months later he moved on, but not before visiting us to thank us for the services we provided. He prayed with our chaplain and we have not seen him since.

It has been a challenge to diagnose and treat difficult cases with the help of the staff (many who have only had a high school education) and visiting physicians or consulting over the internet, but worth it to see patients healed and brought before the throne.

We have had opportunities to help New Tribes Missionaries in remote, new posts care for critically ill patients. This is exciting as it helps open the doors for these missionaries as they plant the church and translate the Word. We have held special clinics to serve the local street children. Believe me, that there is not enough space to list all the praise worthy experiences other than to say - Praise God! How God?

As always takes place in the life of a child of God, we are not without our daily cry, "How can I do this God?" God, how do I tell the parents of a thirteen year old rape victim that the rapist gave her HIV? How do I comfort one of my nurses who just learned that her father was unfaithful to her mother and now has HIV? How do I tell a patient he has been misdiagnosed for the last year by several doctors and that, "No, you are not healed and what you really have is a progressive cancer that will take your life very shortly."? How do I explain to yet another set of parents that their child was improperly treated for his cerebral malaria or meningitis and now has permanent brain damage? Oh Lord, how do I examine the body of a dear friend, whose children are friends of my children; a godly pilot whose desire was to serve the people of Papua with a full heart? God, how can I hear another teenager explain how she sold or gave her body away? Now I have to tell her that she gave away her life. How do I share Your love for her in such a way that she will willingly receive it? Of course there are many more trying experiences than space to list, but I can say with certainty God has provided continually! He provided brothers and sisters in Christ who have continued to pray and encourage us. He has provided opportunities to give everything to Him and watch Him work. It has been encouraging to know that the trials are just a sign that we are in fact having a positive impact on the lives of Papuans here.

We now have 87 HIV positive patients. More than the local hospital and local government clinic! Why do they come? They say it is because we pray with them. The staff hear them out, allow them to cry and don’t pass judgment on them. They share with people in the community that they know we serve Christ!

I ask that you pray that we will keep asking God daily how to handle the task before us. We need to be continually reminded that it is through Him and for Him that we serve.
Brief Highlights: Because of your support, I have been able to serve beside nationals and train them how to interview and examine patients. We have seen and treated hundreds of patients. We have witnessed many patients physically healed and countenances changed with a new hope in the Lord and parents touched that we show love and compassion to their HIV infected child. I have had the opportunity to assist Helimission on several medical evacuations and have provided a two day and a nine day clinical in two remote villages. We have had plenty of opportunities to encourage staff, patients and their family members in the Word and to pray with them. Recently I attended a government funded HIV case manager course and was asked to close in prayer. What an awesome experience to pray in Indonesian before Muslims and Christians, but praise God for the opportunity. What a privilege it is to be His servant. Thank you for making it possible to serve Him here!

Prayer Requests:

1.) Pray that my transition from the clinic responsibilities to a national training program will go smoothly and happen fairly soon.
2.) Pray that all of us involved in the medical ministry here (RSK Staff, Duggers and Bogles) will not become overwhelmed with the medical needs and lose the heart of shining forth Christ in the lives of those dying.
3.) Pray especially for our local staff. It is really hitting them hard seeing their generation dying from AIDS and watching many of the churches pointing fingers rather than jumping in and helping. The attitude within the church is starting to change. Pray it will open its arms to the street children and reach out to the prostitutes.
4.) Pray for someone to fill the chaplain role in our clinic. Satan knows where we will be the most effective and he has been trying to damage
this area of our ministry. We had to let our chaplain go for causing dissention, leaking out private and harmful information within the community and deliberately trying to damage the testimony of our director.
5.) Pray that my family and I
can have a closer walk with God. This area of our life is improving, but Jennifer and I are seeing a greater need for improvement as the teenage years of our children are upon us.

A Great Need:

From my experience these last several months I have learned that I need charts, pictures, illustrations, models and computer animations to teach human anatomy and physiology, basic chemistry and pathophysiology. I have staff who were trained through the government nursing program and even a graduate from the Papuan university who cannot describe how blood flows through the body, how oxygen enters the body and carbon dioxide exits or even where specific organs are located within the body. Many of them were trained with poor quality, illegal copies of textbooks and teachers who stood in front of them regurgitating the day’s lesson. They were not allowed to ask questions! Attend, sit down and listen is the mantra of the education system here. Thirty minutes with them and a large poster or a physical model and they get it! The problem is; good models, animations and illustrations are not available here in Papua. I am looking for prepared slides of normal human tissues, basic chemical models, any models of the human body, computer animations depicting normal human physiology and disease processes, models allowing students to practice skills (i.e. an IV arm, catheter placement models, etc.). Maybe someone, a small bible study group or a church congregation wants to help purchase one of these items for the training program? This may seem insignificant, but it will vastly improve the quality of care our trainees and staff will provide.


The contractor has been working hard to prepare our building for the 50th Anniversary celebration on November 2nd. And we’ve been making a lot of preparations too. But as much as we are excited about our upcoming return to the sanctuary, we should all have our hearts and minds set (Col. 3:1-4) on a place that is "very much better" (Phil. 1:23). Jesus said, "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that, where I am, there you may be also" (John 14:3).

We are not given a complete description of our future dwelling place, "but just as it is written, ‘Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him." (1 Cor. 2:9). According to His great wisdom and power God has prepared a perfect dwelling place for each one of us, "eternal in the heavens" (2 Cor. 5:1).

Everything will be perfectly in its place in the place God has prepared. The preparations will be complete--nothing will be left unfinished. What He has prepared will never be undone by rot, or mold, or powerful winds. The glory of our Lord Jesus Christ will permeate heaven. One day, when we see Him, we will marvel at Him (2 Thess. 1:10) and at all He has prepared for us. Now that’s something to truly be excited about!