Monday, June 09, 2014

Live in the Pacific Northwest? Come see us, or invite us over.

Tina and I will be traveling in the Pacific Northwest this June and July.

In June we are in western Washington state, and then we are on our way through eastern Washington and onto western Montana in July for church meetings and two weeks of camp. We plan on returning to Puerto Rico, hopefully with some new support, the first week of August.

Scan our itinerary below and find out when we are in your area and come see us. Better yet, invite us over so we can enjoy your fine hospitality and great fellowship.

Please pray for our safety on the road, and that we might raise the new monthly support that we need to do the work of missions in Puerto Rico.

June, Sunday 1
Faith Baptist Fellowship
Pastor Tim Kluver
Port Angeles

June, Sunday 8
Southside Baptist Church
Pastor Jim Saxman
Tacoma, WA

June, Sunday 15
Father's Day
OPEN (Invite Us!)

June, Sunday 22
Puyallup Community Baptist Church
Pastor Loren Tucker
Puyallup, WA

Orting Community Baptist Church
Pastor: Dale Gore
Orting, WA

July, Sunday 29
Christ Fellowship
Pastor Dr. David S. Steele
Everson, WA

July, Sunday 6
First Baptist Church
Jim Mailloux,
Richland, WA

July, Sunday 13
Valley Baptist Church
Pastor Matt Schrepfer
Eureka, Montana

July, Sunday 20
Cardwell Community Church
William Grinder
Cardwell, MT

July, Sunday 27
First Baptist Church
Pastor Scott Craven
Polson, MT

Bethel Baptist Church
Kalispell, MT

August, Sunday 3
1st Baptist
Joseph A. Kuefler
Marion, MT

August, Monday 4
Return to our missionfield: Puerto Rico

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Home Church Homage: What Southside Baptist and Pastor Ron Hill have Done for Us.

About 10 years ago, I wrote a letter to celebrate the ministry Pastor Ron Hill had through Southside Baptist Church of Tacoma, Washington and the part he and the church had in our ministry.

This week we are revisiting our home church, so I thought I would post that letter again in honor of their faithful support over the last 25 years.


Dear Soutside Baptist Church:

I am Steve Prelgovisk, your missionary to Puerto Rico. But before I was a missionary, I served as a deacon, youth pastor and as an assistant pastor under Ken Jobson at Fern Hill Baptist Church. I met Pastor Hill through a number of what I consider to be God ordained circumstances. I am happy to say that the vision and faith that Pastor Hill showed under these circumstances has born fruit. His vision and faith were not alone, but accompanied by great passion and hard work. These are not words meant to flatter, but are an honest rendering of an eye-witness account from a fellow servant and long time member of Southside Baptist Church. From what I have seen, Pastor Ron Hills’ character, vision, philosophy of ministry and hard work have led to greater blessings for both Churches.

How It Began.
I came to Fern Hill as a Seminary student and served as the assistant Pastor to Pastor Ken Jobson. I have the deepest respect for him and was pleased to serve under such a godly man. A few years later, I was elected to serve as a deacon and was confronted with a difficult dilemma. The other two deacons were frustrated that our church growth was problematic and voiced the possibility of looking for a new pastor. I had worked with Pastor Jobson closely and felt that if there was an obstacle to church growth, it did come from him. I said that we should look for another way to grow that did not penalize one of our church’s greatest assets.

Before I came to Fern Hill, I had served in a church in Riverside, California, where I had helped two Baptist Churches merge. I suggested that we might investigate this option for a number of reasons: it would enable us to grow, we could help another church that was looking for a building and we could also make sure Pastor Jobson was cared for. I thought it might be a win-win sort of approach and we should pursue it.

The others liked the suggestion as an idea, but held little hope that it was likely to happen. Questions arose. If it was possible, which church should we merge with? Who would respond in a positive manner to such an idea? Pastor Jobson and the other deacons felt that we might approach Dr William and offer to merge with his church. This was great, except they wanted to present the idea to the congregation at our next business meeting. I felt we were rushing the announcement before we were sure of the desire of the second church. What if we began courting another church and they turned out to be cool to the idea? If we pinned all our hopes on one church and nothing came of it? We might not ever get a chance to do it again. I felt that we needed at least one other live option before we promoted the idea from the pulpit.

The initial response of Dr Williams’ church was a polite “That is an interesting idea.” There was kindness in their response, but I sensed a lack of enthusiasm from them for the merger proposal. This confirmed in my mind the need for another option. I became more convinced that I needed to find someone as excited as we were about it, if we were to ever make a merger work.

As the day of the business meeting grew closer, I grew more concerned about this and decided to ask people I respected for advice. I worked at Northwest Baptist Seminary under Jeff Barbierre (SP?), who was then assistant pastor and Youth Director at Southside Baptist Church. I asked, “Jeff, Do you know of any churches that might be looking for a merger situation? We have a nice building, we would like to find a way to fill it up and at the same time, keep Pastor Jobson on as an associate pastor in the new work, if at all possible.” I added, “Keep this a secret. I just want to know of any possibilities out there before I give my deacons’ recommendation to a merger plan we have on the table. I just don’t think we should do it, if all we have is just one less-than-enthusiastic partner.”

Jeff was stunned. He said, “Our pastor, Ron Hill, just said this last week; “We need to find a new location. If any of you know of a church we can merge with, let me know!” We talked some more and went about our work. About a half hour later, Jeff came to me a bit embarrassed, “Umm…I know you asked me to keep it a secret. But I called pastor Hill and told him about the merger idea. He shouted “Hallelujah,” and… well, you better talk to him right away about it, or he is going to call your pastor right now.

So I ran upstairs with Jeff and he handed me the phone. That is where I had my first conversation with Pastor Hill, on the phone on the second floor of the Education building at Northwest Baptist Seminary. I noted immediately that I was speaking to a man of passion and vision.

My first impressions were confirmed when we had a face-to-face meeting between our deacon board, pastors Jobson and Hill and all of the Southside Baptists deacons. I shared a few concerns.  I told Pastor Hill, “Well, if we merge, I will go from being a missionary candidate, an assistant pastor and the youth director of one church, and become “the assistant, to the assistant, to the assistant pastor” in the merged one.”

I was also concerned that in the merger, my missionary aspirations would be overlooked in favor of the many fine students then preparing for the mission field, who where members of Southside. Pastor Hill smiled, but then said to me in a serious tone, “In the merger, Southside will be your church. And your church will always stand behind you and support you.” And he proved true to his word.

What Came of It all.
In the years following, I learned much from Pastor Hill. He has given us many a kind word, good council and material support when needed. His example has been a great value to me as a missionary. I have seen Pastor Hill work hard to evangelize the lost, disciple believers, grieve over sin in the church, work tirelessly to reconcile those in conflict, promote fellowship among church members and, in a multitude of ways, seek to encourage the saints.

Congratulations for a fruitful ministry at Southside Baptist Church. I am so glad that our “Plan B,” turned out to be God’s “Plan A.”  I am glad to have had such great role models in the ministry. Some of our better moments on the mission field have come from emulating a ministry practice that I learned from Pastor Ron Hill.

There are very few men worthy of emulation in our world today. I am so happy that at Southside Baptist Church we have had such a man.

May God Bless You and Keep You and Yours,

Steve and Tina Prelgovisk,
Missionaries From Southside Baptist to Puerto Rico, USA

Monday, June 02, 2014

A Student Takes Time to Say "Thank You!"

A former student of mine, Dave J Shapiama from Peru, sent us a video thanking us for our efforts in training him for the ministry.

Dave, it was our pleasure. Thank you for using your training by serving the Lord as a pastor to your people in Peru.