Dear Pastor and Church Family, November 2018
November is a month that we put an emphasis on being thankful. We thank God for His salvation, for His Word, and for His continual mercies that are new every morning. As we wrap up our 11thmonth on the deputation trail, we thank God for all that He has done. We thank God for the provision and protection that He has given as we have traveled from coast to coast. We thank God that He has taught us to rely on Him and that through this process our faith has matured and will continue to do so as we press on. We thank God that He has taught us how inadequate we are and that He is the One who is in control.
God has allowed us to safely complete our tour of the Northeast. From there we spent the latter half of November with meetings in Texas. God has greatly blessed in those endeavors.
We have had a desire to get ministry materials translated into Italian and have now identified someone who can assist in this area. Please pray that we can move forward with some of these projects as God provides. These materials will be used as some of the first waves of reaching Italians with the gospel.
We will have a number of meetings in December, but we will also get to take some needed time off as we celebrate our Savior’s Birth. Lord willing, in the next few weeks we will be able to send in our citizenship documents to be translated for the Consulate. Everyday we get a little closer to being ready.
Our prayer is that the Lord will bless as you continue walking with and serving Him. We thank you all for your faithful prayers and partnership in this ministry.
The Keister Family
November 2018 – Click to Download
Dear Pastor and Church Family, October 2018
We are excited about the things that God is doing! October was a very busy month, but it was also a very fruitful month. We had conferences and meetings in Ohio, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania. God allowed us to meet many pastors and missionaries that are in different seasons of ministry. We praise the Lord that we gleaned much wisdom from them and are able to move forward with new friendships. We reached a major milestone this month as we have made it to 50% of our needed support.
This month we spent a lot of time in the car or in church. Along the way we made a stop at the travel plaza that was on I-90 in New York. I took the children over to the dining area as my wife ordered our lunch. There weren’t many people in the dining area, but the man that was cleaning started hovering around us. We got to talking about a number of things and it wasn’t long before the conversation came around to spiritual things. I was able to share the gospel and my testimony with Wes, and was also able to answer a few questions he had. Please pray that the Lord will continue to do a work in his heart.
We have been lacking one document that was needed to complete our Italian Citizenship packet. We believe that it has been found. Lord willing it will be in the mailbox when we get back to Oklahoma City, and Lord willing it will be the correct document. Hopefully we will have everything ready on our end by the end of November or early December.
Our Northeast tour is officially over and we will be back in OKC for the first time in 4 month. Please pray for safety as we make our way back.
The Keister Family
October 2018 – Click of download
Dear Pastor and Church Family, September 2018
Hallelujah, and Praise the Lord! September was an incredible month! In the beginning of the month we were in North Carolina. Thankfully we missed Hurricane Florence by a week. From there we made our way as far North as Vermont. A number of people said that we should have come a few weeks later so we could have seen the beautiful Fall foliage. Nonetheless, we had a number of meetings and were able to see God work in some great ways. In the first part of the month we saw our support level increase by 4 percentage points. That was certainly something worth shouting about.
One of the special parts of deputation is the fact that one can sow some gospel seeds in a number of places and at great distances in a short amount of time. We got to see an expression of surprise on a girl’s face at a Taco Bell drivethru in Vermont. She looked like she had never seen a tract and it is very possible that she never had before. It is exciting to wonder how God will use the gospel seeds that are planted in various places, here and there, as we continue on this journey.
Our travels this month have been nothing but a blessing. As we move into October things will begin to start ramping up even more as we get into another season of conferences. September was a fruitful month and our prayer is that October will be the same. We will continue pressing on with the citizenship paperwork, and will hopefully have everything together in the near future. Our language studies are coming along as well, and I’m especially excited for our children as they were given an Italian language program that is made specifically for children. We look forward to what God has in store for us as we come into the final quarter of the year. May the Lord bless and use each of you in your place of service.
The Keister Family
September 2018 Click to download
Dear Pastor and Church Family, August 2018
August was definitely a great month. We spent the entire month zigzagging across the Mid-West and the Northeast. We were able to see some friends and acquaintances that are serving in the ministry, and we were able to make many new connections and friendships with pastors and lay people. We reached a major support milestone this month in the fact that we reached and surpassed the 40% mark and ended the month right at 41%. We praise the Lord for the things that He has done and how He has used His people in our lives. We had a week where the refrigerator was getting a little barren and God provided in a great way. We started the day with little and by the time the day was over we had a freezer full of steaks and other meats.
I had a unique soulwinning experience this month. One night I went out with an assistant pastor at a church in Pennsylvania. This was the same week that the huge Catholic scandal made headlines in Pennsylvania. As the conversation unfolded you could see that the wheels in the lady’s head were spinning. She did not trust Christ right at that moment, but some seeds were definitely planted in her heart.
Since we were in the Northeast, we spent some time pursuing more of the documents that we need for the Italian citizenship process. We went to the Treasury Department in New Jersey to order Apostilles, to the Vital Statistics office in Pennsylvania to get birth and death records, and to the Health Department in Maryland to order more birth and death records. Each day we get a step closer to having all of the required documentation. A ton of effort, research, and prayer has gone into this processes, and it will be a blessing when it is all completed. We look forward to the things God in store for this next month.
The Keister Family
August 2018 – click to download
Dear Pastor and Church Family, July 2018
July was a great month and we were able to see the Lord work in some special ways! At the beginning of the month we had a few meetings in Texas, and that officially ended our Texas Tour. God allowed some of our meetings in the middle of the month to be moved around and that enabled us to be at our home church for the H.O.P.E. Conference. The preaching and teaching was exactly what we needed to hear, especially as we endeavor to pursue God’s will. The preaching brought our focus back to the necessity of having a deep and intimate walk with God. As we become busier in the work of the ministry we must not allow our walk with God to lose its sweetness. As well, the teaching we received on the topic of spiritual warefare was very timely and eye-opening.
Our journeys this month took us from Central Texas all the way up to Central and Northern Michigan. From there we went to Upstate New York. We certainly traveled a number of miles this month and will continue to do so as we come into the month of August. This month was also uniquely filled with opportunities to minister to other ministry families in special ways and in return we were also ministered to in areas that we had need. We also praise the Lord for the times we have been able talk with people about the Lord and our ministry when we have taken our children to play at a park or washed our clothes at laundromats along the way.
At the close of the month we had a new church partner with us, and that was an exciting start as we move forward with our Eastern Tour. Please pray that God will grant us safety as we travel a great number of miles while we are out East. We look forward to what the Lord has in store for us as we continue pressing on!
The Keister Family
Prayer Request: Pray that we can find out where my wife’s great – great grandpa died. That is the one document that we are struggling to find.
July 2018 Prayer Letter – Click to download
Dear Pastor and Church Family, June 2018
We have had a great time in the month of June! All but one of our meetings were in Texas. We met a number of wonderful pastors and church members. We’ve had two new churches partner with us and a number of others that expressed their intent of doing so. We are just $150 shy of reaching 40%. We have also had a number of opportunities to plant the seed of God’s Word along the way. God has been so good, and we are excited about the things He has been doing.
On the citizenship front, we went ahead and hired a Geneologist to help us with obtaining some of the documents that we need to fulfull the requirements put forth by the Italian Consulate. Thus far, the Geneologist has found all but one document. That is exciting! One of the documents may need to be amended and we have been told that the amendment process can be somewhat challenging. Please pray that the final death certificate can be found, and that the amendement process (if it is needed) will take place in a timely manner. Once we have received all of the needed documents we will start obtaining the Apostilles and then move forward with the translations. After those things are complete, the next major hurdle will be the process of getting the appointment with the Consulate. It is exciting to think that we could potientially have everything ready in the next two to three months if there are not any hiccups.
Please pray with me for a young man that I’ve been witnessing to for some time. When we got back to Oklahoma City, I found out that he had been in jail most of the time we were in the Northwest. The time in jail has helped with getting him off the street and off of drugs, but salvation is the only thing that will change his life completely.
At the beginning of July we will wrap up our last few meetings in Texas. From there, we will begin our Eastern Tour of the US. Once we leave, we will not return to Oklahoma until November. Please pray for safety as we are on that long journey.
The Keister Family
June 2018 – Click to Download.
Dear Pastor and Church Family, May 2018
On the 9th of May, we officially completed our tour of the Northwest, and began the week-and-a-half-long journey back to Oklahoma City. That is a relatively short amount of time but there was a lot packed into it. We left Washington and went down through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, and into Colorado. From Colorado, we flew to Ohio for a meeting and then came back. Upon our return to Colorado, we made our way down into New Mexico. The day after we arrived in New Mexico, I flew to California and on up to Washington for a conference. After I returned to New Mexico, my wife and babies picked me up at the airport and from there we drove straight to the Indian Reservation in Western New Mexico to present the ministry. After that meeting we made our way back into Oklahoma.
Once we arrived in Oklahoma City, we started preparing for my hernia surgery. The surgery was scheduled for Friday the 25, and I was scheduled to preach on Sunday the 27th. We went ahead and rescheduled that meeting, as a number of folks gave counsel and recommended that we should not do it. That certainly was some good counsel as the surgery caused the most physical pain that I’ve experienced in my life up to this point. Thankfully, we were able to go to our next meeting that took place on the following Wednesday.
I must take a few moments to publicly thank the Lord for my dear wife. She nurtured and cared for me and our children while I was incapacitated. My wife plays such a vital role in our ministry and I’m extremely grateful for all that she does so we can fulfill the Lord’s will in our lives.
God has been so good. We’ve seen His protection and provision on the road. We’ve had challenges, but we’ve also had a blast seeing God work in ways that we never could have imagined.
The Keister Family
May 2018 – Click of Download a Printable Copy
Dear Pastor and Church Family:
This month truly gave us the full experience of what deputation is like. In January we traveled mainly in Oklahoma, but in February we were able to go all over the place. We started out the month with a trip to Illinois. From there we headed back over to Colorado. While we were on our way to Colorado our meeting was canceled due to inclement weather. This was a little disheartening, but God had other plans. Due to the weather we headed south into New Mexico and stayed a few days. While we were there we were given an opportunity to present the ministry and were taken on for support. In the short time that we have been on deputation we have seen God shut doors and open others. God has been doing great things and we praise Him for it.
We received a major blessing about two weeks ago. For the last few months we have been trying to obtain the Naturalization Records for my wife’s Great-Great Grandfather. In this processes we have been bounced around to a number of different government agencies that have all said that they have no records. Two weeks ago we were given contact information for a lady in Gloucester County in New Jersey. Within a few days she had located the records and it showed us the news we were hoping for. My wife’s Great-Great Grandfather and his wife immigrated to the US from Sicily. Their son, Joseph Jr., was born before Joseph Sr. started his naturalization process. That means my wife is eligible to received Italian citizenship. We are praising the Lord for this major answer to prayer and are already starting the process of obtaining all of the vital records that are necessary to start the citizenship process.
We are praying that we will see our support raised by the second to third quarter of 2019. By that time we would like to have all of the citizenship documentation ready so we can get an appointment with the Italian Consulate in Houston. God has been blessing and we have seen a great increase in our support from January to February. Please pray with us that God will continue to give us safe travels and allow us to be a blessing to others while we are on the road.
Click to Download – February 2018
Dear Pastor and Church Family,
The Scripture says, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” For our family, 2017 has brought about some major changes. We have a change of focus, purpose, and direction. Our focus is on Jesus and the fulfillment of His will. Our purpose is the glory of God, the salvation of souls, and the establishment of churches. Our direction is toward Italy. This has been a year of saying, “nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” As we went through this first phase we experienced struggles, spiritual battles, and trials; but we have also been able to see God work in our lives in ways that we have never experienced before.
The deputation countdown is quickly approaching as our first meeting is only 9 days away. It feels like we are at Mission Control in Houston and are preparing for the launch of the space shuttle. There are certainly feelings of nervousness and uncertainty, but then we remember that the Lord is our engineer and His designs and plans are always perfect. This is His will. He is the orchestrator of it all. We simply are the vessels that get to be used by walking in obedience and faith.
We praise the Lord because our 2018 schedule has filled up quickly. God has opened doors and is continuing to do so. We reached out to a church in the last week of November and the following week my Pastor received a letter with a check in it. That church took us on for support on the spot, and we won’t even be with them to present the ministry for another 6 months. That truly blessed my heart!
We ask you all to pray with us. My wife has strong Italian heritage from her mother’s side of the family. There is a small possibility the she may be able to apply for Italian citizenship via “jure sanguinis” (by law of the bloodline). There are other ways for us to get into Italy, but this would be the best long-term way. Lord willing, we will have an answer on this in the next few months.
A special word of thanks is due to all of the pastors and churches who have committed to having us in for a meeting. As well, we thank our Pastor and his wife for their leadership and friendship. We thank those who have been praying for us, and most of all we thank the Lord.
The Keister Family
2017 December – Click to download