Sheldon and Vicky Rhodes really are missionaries to the United States of America. This is the country God has called them to share the gospel story to. That “call” is to the entire USA.
A day or two after Sheldon’s open heart by-pass surgery, Vicky told him that he had to hurry up and get better so that they could get back on the road and “finish the fifty” States that they have NOT done meetings in. That challenge was met and in April, they were back on the road.
As they looked at the calendar and a map of where they still needed to go, it became apparent that in order to finish the fifty, it was going to have to be done in two stages. Part A would be the four New England states: Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. These will be done September 2 – 20. Part B: Louisiana and Mississippi will be February 1-22, 2016.
This really is a mission outreach. Yes, the personal goal is to be able to say that they have been faithful in getting the gospel to all fifty states but it is more than that. If you know the Rhodes’, you know that sharing Christ is what they live for and what they do best. They know that there are people living in these areas that need to hear of God’s saving grace through His son Jesus Christ. These are the people that prompt them to drive the miles and live out of a suitcase.
The churches they will be doing programs in are being given an opportunity to do a couple of really significant things.
First of all, they have some real “bate” to hang out there in their attempt to be “fishers of men”. Christians will be able to invite their unsaved friends to come and watch a gospel magic/juggling show for “free”. People are more likely to come to see a magic show than they are to hear even the very best of preachers. Sorry preachers, that’s just the way it is. The unsaved really don’t have any desire for spiritual things and really aren’t too likely to go to a church and listen to someone speak. However, these same people enjoy seeing a magic/juggling show and the interest they have in that has a far better chance of getting them under the sound of the gospel. Yes, “magic” is just tricks that fool people but we do not treat people like fools and try to trick them into hearing the gospel. They know they are being invited to see a “gospel” magic show. God can take it from there.
The other thing these churches have going for them is the fact that they can have Sheldon do one of his full programs for FREE. They are not asking for any mileage, meals or housing. When was the last time you heard of someone willing to travel hundreds of miles and not ask for as much as travel expense? That just doesn’t happen.
So how is all of this possible? It’s because of YOU. When Sheldon and Vicky started out 42 years ago they firmly believed that if they would do what God wanted them to do, go where He wanted them to go and be true to the Word of God, God would provide. This is what is called a “Faith” ministry that really is run by faith. They are trusting God to lay it on the hearts of people like you to provide the gas, the tires, the oil, the food, the housing and other things needed to get them there and back. It is only because of YOUR tax-deductible gifts that they are able to do this. Some of you may have been blessed is such a way that you can give a large amount while others may only be able to give a few dollars. It is everyone doing what they can that will get the gospel to these last six states.