Publication: Pastoral Letter, August 2006
Dear Friend in Christ:
On behalf of the whole CSM team, I want to share with you greetings and gratitude for your friendship and support. In this letter, I am going to share with you some important news, some testimonies, some Scripture…and I am going to ask sincerely for your continued prayer and support. Let me say at the outset that these are very significant and challenging days for CSM.
My father, Charles Simpson, is traveling in ministry this month and asked me to write to you and update you concerning CSM. One of Dad’s missions is to Costa Rica, where we have invested so much over the years in strategic and fruitful outreach. I will share more about Costa Rica_and the great things God is doing there_later in this letter.
Before I say anything else, I want to give you news concerning my brother, Jonathan, who faithfully serves as the CSM Administrator and Editor of our “Marketplace Exchange” program. In late June, Jonathan suffered a stroke as a result of high blood pressure and undiagnosed diabetes. We thank God for sparing his life, and for the amazing progress that he is making in recovery.
However, as I write this, Jon continues in physical therapy and has quite a bit of work ahead of him. He is very lucid and deeply concerned for the work of the ministry; his speech is improving daily, and he is now able to do some limited walking. We want him to be able to continue to focus fully on his recovery; he has carried tremendous responsibilities at CSM, and has done a great job here. Our small staff has now rallied, working hard to maintain all of our ministry obligations as Jon recovers.
Jon’s faith and resolve are strong, and he is receiving good medical care. Please keep him and his wife, Sarah, in your prayers, and we will continue to provide updates to you as we are able.
Thanks so much for your ongoing prayers for my parents, particularly my Mom, Carolyn, in her ongoing battle against cancer. I am happy to report that she is doing well, in good spirits, and seeing some progress towards healing. Mom continues to receive treatment in Mobile and also in Houston. Dad has been very close to her during these past 16 months, offering constant care and encouragement.
I thank God for parents who tangibly demonstrate godly faith, love, courage, and commitment in the midst of life’s toughest trials. Though I have been “grown up” and out of the house for more than 21 years now, they continue to provide me with a powerfully beautiful example of God’s covenant faithfulness.
For Dad and Mom, faith is not an ethereal “wishing upon a star,” but it’s hope in action_a daily, visible walking in obedience to God and His Holy Spirit. In this hour in which we live here in the United States and around the world_an hour where it seems that everything that can be shaken is being shaken_let us hold fast to our confession of faith in the unshakable Word of God and His unchanging covenant love.
In addition to my work with CSM, I continue to give pastoral leadership to Covenant Church of Mobile. Recently, the Lord gave me a word that I believe was not only for the local congregation, but for the larger body of Christ. I was reminded of Daniel 11:32 which tells us that God’s people will not be deceived, manipulated, or enchanted by the spirit of this age; Daniel says, “The people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.”
In this same chapter, Daniel describes this anti-Christ spirit as “the enemy of the covenant.” The anti-Christ spirit is one that wars against the covenant between God and His people and against the covenant that God’s people have with one another. There is a deliberate and systematic misinformation campaign underway by our spiritual enemy, the devil, against all things covenantal:
The enemy seeks to separate mankind from understanding the Creator and the Creation, which in turn separates mankind from an understanding of life purpose.
The enemy seeks to separate and destroy marriages, which in turn brings scarring and confusion to children and sows the seeds of separation for future generations.
The enemy seeks to separate schoolwork from learning and students from history in order to brainwash and reprogram them, filling them with novel notions and fantastical fantasies that lead straight into the ditch. In fact, in some quarters, the enemy has successfully redefined education and learning and academic achievement as bad things, reserved for “nerds” and societal misfits … the enemy has made ignorance and apathy hip and desirable.
The enemy seeks to deceive people into believing that actions are separate from consequences and freedom from responsibility.
The enemy seeks to separate nations from their God-given mission_and in the case of the United States, from our godly origins_in order to bring about societal confusion and chaos.
But Daniel says, “The people who know their God shall….” They shall be strong; they shall do exploits. History and Scripture confirm the truth of Daniel’s words, as time and time again God’s people have arisen in His power and carried out His will across the earth. Psalm 119:89-90 says that God’s Word is forever settled in heaven and that His faithfulness endures to all generations. Praise God, that means that His faithfulness will be manifested in this generation, just as it has been in generations past!
Then, we see the powerful testimony of the sons of Issachar in 1 Chronicles 12:32. Of these men, Scripture says that they, “had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their command.”
We are called to act, but not randomly, nor rashly. Our actions proceed out of our relationship with God and knowledge of what it is He wants us to do. These sons of Issachar understood the day in which they lived, they knew what needed to be done, and they had the loyalty and commitment of their brethren to walk with them.
Here at CSM, we can identify with the words of the apostle Paul, who said: “The opportunities are great, but there is much opposition.” We are moving forward on all fronts, as we believe the Lord is leading us. Let me give you just a few examples:
Covenant Institute_Recently, my father had opportunity to meet with leaders in the United Kingdom concerning an open door for us to partner with the Bible College of Wales in our ongoing efforts to build and strengthen Covenant Institute. Many know of the Bible College of Wales through its association with the great intercessor, Rees Howells. Here in Mobile, we now have three, twelve-hour video teaching courses recorded and edited (each course costs us approx. $10,000 to produce), with more on the way, plus we are developing past material from our Pastoral and Prophetic Training Institutes. We are in discussions with our friends at Derek Prince Ministries to be able to utilize some of their materials and other positive developments are taking place as well.
Costa Rica_As many of you know, my sister, Charlyn, and her husband, Enrique Mejia, have been providing care for many needy children in the San Jose, Costa Rica, area. In fact, they have adopted five of the children, and they offer daily assistance to approximately 20-30 others at any given time. The door has opened for them to purchase some land to build a more effective orphanage facility; as I write this, Dad is working with them to determine the next steps in this project. If you would like more testimonies and pictures of what’s happening in Costa Rica, please contact us; it’s a beautiful, miraculous story that is still unfolding. The land fund has currently received more than $25,000 and our goal for the land is $100,000. Furthermore, we continue to invest $2,000 monthly in the publication of Conquista Cristiana, which has been effectively reaching the Spanish-speaking world since 1975. We have been honored to partner with our Brother Hugo Zelaya and his outstanding team since Conquista Cristiana’s inception, and we want to continue to sow into this vital work.
Hurricane Relief_While many people cast a wary eye upon this present Hurricane Season, there are thousands still homeless after the last one. With the generous support of our friends, CSM has been able to take part in providing nearly $300,000 in financial aid to needy families, churches, and trustworthy relief organizations working in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. Though much of the media is now focused on other pressing issues, the fact is that there are still many desperate needs left in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. But, praise God, the Church has stood in the gap and made a great difference in countless lives; testimonies demonstrate that God’s people have made and are making a tangible difference for thousands. See the Summer issue of One-to-One Magazine and our website for more information.
Website_We have made and continue to make improvements to our website at www.csmpublishing.org and we invite you to continue to visit. As resources permit, we want to make our website even more interactive and user-friendly with audio and video streaming, message downloads, podcasting, bulletin boards and blogs, and much more. This is where the emerging generation will get so much of their equipping and resources_we must make serious upgrades in this arena. Also, we are moving quickly to put the entire history of New Wine Magazine online_every issue, every article…free of charge!
If you receive these Pastoral Letters regularly, then you know that we do not do “high pressure” financial appeals, and I am not about to start now. But I want to sincerely and seriously ask you to prayerfully consider giving a special gift to CSM to equip us to continue in our work this month_and to prayerfully consider investing monthly in this ministry as well.
Even as I write this letter…even as wonderful opportunities present themselves in Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America, and other places…our finances are extremely low. We have, at present, less than one week of operating cash. Our hope is in the Lord; but we also believe that He is directing us to make our need known to our friends. So…now you know. Please pray, and we will all believe God together for the provision.
Thanks so much for your friendship and for your faithfulness. If you would like to receive a “live” audio CD copy of my recent message from Daniel 11, “What Now?” see the card enclosed. Please let us know how we can stand with you in prayer and in service. We love you and thank God for you. May He bless you now and always!
Scripture Reference: Daniel, Psalms, 1 Chronicles,
STEPHEN SIMPSON is the Editor of One-to-One Magazine and the Director of CSM Publishing. In addition to publishing ministry, Stephen has served in leadership for churches and ministries in Costa Rica, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, and Michigan, as well as being the Senior Pastor of Covenant Church of Mobile (2004-2013). He continues to travel in ministry across North America and in other nations.