Traveling keeps you busy! I have been many miles, but the meetings we have had have been good. Thank you for all of your prayers; I know God has worked through them! We have presented digitally at First Baptist Bible Church in AZ and Landmark Baptist Church in NM. We received good feedback and were able to join them via livestream chat, and look forward to visiting them when we are in the area next year. Our in person meetings kicked off at New Heights Baptist Church in TX, which was their second Sunday back together. The spirit of rejoicing at being together in God’s house made me think of Psalm 122:1: I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. Even though people were wearing masks (Thank you, Miss Andrea, for the mask) and sitting separated, there was still a great feeling of fellowship! This would be a testament repeated in each church I visited. Next was Tabernacle Baptist Church (TX), which was their second service back, if I remember correctly, and such a sweet spirit was there! From there, it was off to Arizona and Old Pueblo Baptist Church. During the trip, I met lots of people who know Lena from college (She says “Hello” to all of you), but Old Pueblo was home to an college friend of mine, and I enjoyed seeing him again. Back east to Texas, with Harvest Baptist Church for a Wednesday night. They were reopening the coming Sunday, but I was able to livestream with them. My last stop was Central Baptist Church, which was their first Sunday back. They were also a blessing to me with their fellowship and provision for a place to stay for a little. Thank you again for the gift basket and everything; the room was splendid. We did experience a number of technological gremlins, which was unfortunate. But, as one pastor said, it just proves that we’re doing something right, because the devil is fighting against us. Pray for us; we are in a spiritual battle, and our enemy likes to target the small things to annoy us, distract us, get our eyes off of our marvelous Savior and start looking at the problems. Pray that he would not have occasion, and that we would not be distracted by his efforts. I am now back in Maryland with the best woman in the whole world! Our last two meetings ended up being postponed, so I was able to take the week and come back to see my wife. It was much needed, as we were missing one another dearly; I don’t think I realized just how much until I got to see her again. This week will probably not last long enough before I have to be on the road again. Please pray for my next set of travels, as Lena will again not be able to travel with me. Pray for safety in travel, comfort and grace for both of us as we are apart, and power and blessing on our meetings for June! As always, thank you for praying! God is working because of your prayers!
As the United States begins to open up, our schedule looks like it will be resuming this week. We are extremely thankful to Odenton Baptist Church (our sending church) for taking such great care of us during these weeks of shutdown. Your generosity to us humbles us, and we know that it honors Christ! We pray that He will bless you bountifully for your love and kindness to us while we have been here, and for your prayers and support while we are out on deputation. While it is exciting to be back to traveling and meetings, it isn’t all good news, unfortunately. The doctors working with Lena’s pregnancy have all but forbidden her to travel. There are some concerns, but nothing serious; thank you for your prayers. Both mother and baby are fine; in fact, we just had an anatomy scan today and, apart from being a little on the heavy side, Baby Stover is completely healthy. However, they are concerned about what long travel could do, and are worried about her being far away if more complications arise. We have consulted with them, consulted with men of faith, and prayed to our loving Father. We believe it is His will for her to remain in Odenton while I continue to hold our meetings. We have full faith that God will take care of us all, but it is the first time we have been apart, and to be apart for nearly two months will not be easy for us. We have God’s peace in the matter, but pray that God would comfort our hearts as we part for a brief time. That said, the road ahead leads to Texas and Arizona, so Lena gets to avoid the heat of the south during the hot months. We have a full schedule for May and most of June. There are two Wednesdays in June we could fill, pray that we could fill them. We would like to say a special thanks to First Baptist Bible Church (Glendale, AZ) and Landmark Baptist Church (Carlsbad, NM) for allowing us to present via video. We were able to interact some with First Baptist via chat, and we look forward to being with Landmark in the same capacity on Wednesday! We look forward to being able to be with them in person! As always, thank you for your prayers! We appreciate having so many of you lift us before the throne of grace every day, and we know that God hears and provides because of you! We constantly pray that God would bless all of you! We will leave you this week with a photo of us!
Praise the Lord for the risen Savior! Even with all of the uncertainty of the hour, Christ’s resurrection is certain. To summarize the new developments, Maryland is now under stay-at-home orders, all of our April meetings have cancelled, and we are holding out for May to see if they will have to cancel or if things start to reopen by then. Fortunately, we had some local meetings and were at our home church when all of the lockdowns were starting. Praise the Lord that we weren’t halfway across the country! God has been using us here as well. Since we are under stay-at-home orders, and our “home” is on the church property, we are able to help Pastor with some aspects of the church service (and were even able to put together a children’s message for Resurrection Sunday). I am personally thankful for that; being involved in the ministry has helped me to keep some semblance of sanity during this craziness. Beyond the stir-crazies, we have been doing well. God has been meeting all of our needs, and we are blessed beyond measure. Both Lena and baby are doing well; thank you for your prayers for them. Continue to pray for a healthy pregnancy. Unfortunately, there isn’t much else to share. Since most churches are operating remotely, and with all of the uncertainty of when governors will actually let people back to church, many churches are not even keeping regular office hours, let alone scheduling new meetings. We are glad that most of our calendar is filled, but we are hoping to get a few local meetings for July. Pray that God would give us the opportunity to schedule them. One more special announcements, though! Thank you to all of you who are praying for Lena’s residency application. Last week we received her advance parole document! Now we can schedule our survey trip, or at least we can once everything starts to settle down! Still, it is an answer to prayer. Please continue to pray for the remainder of the process, as this is only the first step (but a very positive one).
It is blessed to serve the King of kings! We know who holds tomorrow, and nothing comes as a surprise to Him.
We had good meetings the past several weeks with old friends and new friends. It was good to reconnect with Luke Bowman from college, being able to present at Pastor Reeves’s church was a blessing. We were also blessed to get to know the people of Black Creek Baptist Church, and we really connected with the Zimmermans at Community Baptist Church. Truly, our Lord is a good Lord.
The coronavirus has brought some uncertainty to our schedule. We have had several churches postpone our meetings. We praise the Lord that all of them are interested in rescheduling with us, but with our schedule being tight this year already, fitting them in will be a difficult matter. Pray that we would be able to reschedule as God sees fit. We will follow where He leads us, and I know He will lead us aright!
Many of you have already heard the announcement, but for those of you who haven’t, we are expecting! The third Stover to Germany is due to arrive in September. There are several concerns that the doctors have raised, but we know the Great Physician. We are not worried, but we do ask you lift up mother and child in prayer.
Our next trip out is currently scheduled in Texas. The pastor isn’t planning on canceling, but the decision of our government officials could change that. Pray for things to normalize so that our schedule doesn’t see any more interruptions.
Since our last update, we had three more churches vote to take us on for support! We welcome Emmanuel Baptist Temple, Sun and Shield Baptist Church, and Philadelphia SD Baptist Church (my dad’s church). Thank you for your care for the souls in Germany, and we pray the Lord greatly bless you for your service to Him!
Thank you again for all your prayers! Let us labor on our knees before the throne of grace to walk in wisdom with both God and men.
Thank you so much for your prayers! We made it back safely to Maryland Friday, Feb 8th, after a long, sometimes relaxing, sometimes perilous, journey from Arizona. We are local-ish for the next month or so, and we are trying to get back into a semblance of schedule. We are happy to be back among friends, but I miss the more temperate climate of the south. It’s back to heavy coats, hats and gloves, and boots for us, but God was gracious enough to allow us to miss some of winter at least!
God has been greatly blessing us, though. We received news that another church has taken us on for support! We thank the Lord for allowing First Baptist Church in Deale, MD to partner with us! We had several friends in that church before we presented, and it is encouraging to know that we will have the opportunity to lay up treasures to their account.
Thanks to a very generous anonymous love offering, we are also blessed that God is allowing us to pay off our vehicle. Neither Lena nor I like debt, so it will be a great burden off of our shoulders to pay of the loan on our car. We praise the Lord for providing for this need! He is greater than all we could hope or imagine, and He will always meet our needs.
We have already had two good meetings this month; the first at Bayview Baptist Church in Deleware/Maryland, and the second at Greater York Baptist Church in Pennsylvania. It was a blessing to hear and see what God is doing in different parts of our country. God is at work, and in the fullness of time, we shall reap, if we faint not!
Our next three Sundays take us to New York, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. We are still trying to fill some of our Wednesday nights; pray for us, that God would direct our steps to the churches that He has planned for us. We also had a cancellation for March 22nd; pray that God grant us a meeting for that Sunday. He has everything planned, we simply must be faithful until He reveals it to us!
Arizona! Land of cacti, deserts, mountains, snow (yes, snow), javelinas, and for a while us! We have greatly enjoyed our time out here, avoiding the January weather of the north. The brothers and sisters in Christ that we met were a great encouragement and blessing to us, and we pray we were to them also. It was good to visit with some old friends and some new ones. I was able to reconnect with a college friend of mine, Lena got to meet up with one of her college suitemates, we got to spend some time with Pastor Shafer, and we were able to visit with the Richards while they were out here. God is truly good! It was also amazing to see how many people knew people that Lena knew. The connections in our world are small, especially in the family of God! Our church visits went very well. We presented at six churches, and visited another two. Our prayer is that God will continue to bless those ministering for Christ in Arizona. Each one was a blessing to us, and thank you to all of you, but I would like to say a particular word of thanks to Bethel Baptist Church, which allowed us to use their trailer connections for the entire month. You all were such a blessing to us, beyond just the use of your property, and we pray that God will continue to lead you in the New year. Of course, work continues while we are out here. More phone calls, more emails, and God blesses. We scheduled a couple of meetings for the this year, filling out some of our gaps; however, the summer is still relatively open. Please pray that we would be able to fill those gaps and have a more complete year. Also, our Wednesday nights are still on the slim side; please pray that we would be able to schedule more of them as well. More good news: we had two churches take us on for support! We would like to welcome Forest Area Baptist Church of Marienville, PA and Calvary Baptist Church of Glen Burnie, MD to our supporters! Thank you so much for your concern for the need in Germany, and we pray God will bless you for your care to us. We began the long travel back to our home base in Maryland today. The trip out was rough on Lena, so we are trying to take our time a little more on the way back. Pray that it would be less taxing on us both, and that God would protect us on our way. We expect to be able to give a good answer to that prayer shortly. I suppose that is everything. I will post some pictures of our time out west this weekend.
The first big trip is finally here! We’re headed out to Arizona for the month of January! This will be the first cross-country trip with the trailer. I’m still nervous towing it, but each trip helps me feel, if not more comfortable, at least more accustomed.
On top of that, it seems like every time we get ready to go on a trip, the check engine light decides it needs to turn on. However, after a quick check and some free advice (thank you, Autozone), we were able to get it taken care of (for now).
We made a few more contacts in December, but we would like to fill up the rest of our calendar. We don’t have a meeting Feb. 2nd and would like to fill that as soon as possible. We are also trying to get meetings for the Wednesdays that we are out in Arizona. We know that it is in God’s hands; without Him we can do nothing.
Some prayer requests:
For God to provide us the meetings that He desires
For safety as we go, and that the engine light would stay off!
For steadiness and peace of mind while I tow the trailer
For good traveling time
For God to raise our support quickly
We wish you all a happy New Year! May God bless you and yours with great success, and may all be done to glorify Christ!
As the December season progresses, we are grateful for the prayers of God’s people on our behalf. We are happy to report that, after a quick spark plug change and a not-so-quick air sensor change, our car’s engine light is now off! Praise the Lord that the repairs were did not need us to hire a mechanic to fix them! Thank you for all who prayed for us! God truly answers prayers. With that said (and thank you again for your prayers), we want to ask that you keep in mind your own pastors in prayer. There are a number of pastors that I have contacted that are having surgeries, or are in and out of the hospital with sickness (or their wife is). I try to make a note of which pastors are in need of prayer and to pray for them, but let us remember to pray for the man of God that watches over our own church. I am so tremendously thankful for our pastor, and I know he prays for us regularly. Let us not forget to return the favor and pray for our pastors. Our year is filling up nicely. Our Sundays in January- April are mostly filled, our May is half-filled (need a few more Texas churches to give us meetings), and our September and October are mostly filled. Our summer is still fairly sparse (only two meetings for the whole summer), and our November and December could use some filling (November is in California). Pray that we would fill in those meetings, as well as the one or two still lacking in the other months. Also, pray that we would get some Wednesday night meetings scheduled.
We have been blessed to have some much needed down-time this month. It has been an opportunity to continue to form our schedule for the next year. The two meetings that we have had this month (Anchor Baptist Church and Grace Independent Baptist Church) have been local, so we haven’t done much in the way of travel. We have however been quite busy making contacts since we have been back, which is a difficult balancing act when you are traveling. I made far fewer phone calls and send fewer emails in all of October then I have these last two weeks. That is the advantage of being stationary, I suppose. However, we are gearing up for the next year, trying to fill up the remainder of the year.
Speaking of our year, we have a rough shape of how our travels are going to take us. In January, as has already been mentioned, we are going to be out in Arizona. February and March see us in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland. March and April have us in the the Great Lakes area. May and June is back in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, with the rest of June is in Alabama, Missouri, and . July is still somewhat open, but we will probably be in that Midwest area (Nebraska, Oklahoma, etc.). We are planning our survey trip of August, so pray that all the details will work out. September and October has us in Pennsylvania and New York, and then out to California for November. December is still empty, but there aren’t a lot of churches that schedule missionaries in December.
And a quick update on our survey trip: we had Olena’s biometrics appointment today. Pray that the green card application would continue to go smoothly.
That’s all for now! Thank you for your prayers; we can see God working!
It’s official! Stoverstogermany.com is up and running! It is obviously still a work in progress, as I am still sifting through the many, many options available to us. It is a little bit overwhelming, to be honest, but I’m sure God will give me the knowledge to figure everything out. I know it has been a while since our last update: I actually had one written for a while, but I was waiting to finish the website to actually post it, so there will be two weekly updates today, rather than one! Consider it my penance for being late with our updates, and my guarantee that it shall not happen again (guarantee not guaranteed). We are back in Maryland after a very busy October, but God has been good and it has been a time of refreshing reunions. We have been safe throughout all of our travels, so that is an answer to prayer! At the close of my last update, we were at the BWM annual meeting. God was very gracious to allow us time to spend with the Mitchums, Lena’s adopted missionary parents. They were such a blessing to the both of us! Pray for them as they are headed back to Canada; their furlough had to be cut short, sadly, and they are still in need of support, but we trust God to show himself mighty! The Sunday we returned, we had the opportunity to present locally at First Baptist Church in Deale, where the Boyds (whose family is good friends of ours) attend. It was nice to see familiar faces and spend some time getting to know Pastor Mayes and his wife. We also were able to spend a week with our good friends Pastor David and Miss Tina Jett. It was a relaxing but cold time to be with them in the remote reaches of Marienville, PA and Forest Area Baptist Church. The fellowship there was wonderful, and I know Pastor Jett is excited at all the Lord will do there! We had the opportunity to visit with Pastor Don Pendley and see his vast and impressive Bible room. It was an astounding collection, and we were truly privileged to see it. During the week we were able to swing over to Truth Baptist Church with Pastor Thompson in West Salem, OH, and encourage the brethren during the Wednesday night meeting! They are a wonderful bunch, and we pray that God will continue to use them. Last Sunday we had the refreshing privilege to be at Anchor Baptist Church, where Torrey Snow, my beloved friend and brother in Christ, regularly attends. With all of the busy travels in October, we hadn’t had much time to spend with the Snows, and it was just a joy to be able to do so again. I am a little over time, but hopefully we will be able to keep regular updates now that this major milestone is finished! Thank you as always for your prayers!