Gib & Kathy
August 2017 update from Gib & Kathy Wood, missionaries to Germany:
It is a unique privilege to serve as the missionary and pastor for an American military congregation in Germany. To be able to participate in the promotion of some of those same people is icing on the cake! When Stephanie Riley was promoted to Captain, I was invited to pray. To share the Gospel in my prayer was an awesome!
It is a personal privilege to spend time with Dr. Wilbur & Dot McBride. In our last update, we shared that Kathy's dad has been dealing with Alzheimer's disease for quite some time. While dad's condition is about the same, it’s a joy to spend a few days with them in early June. Mom & Dad have both invested so much in our lives, and we owe them a debt we can never repay. Please continue to pray for them as they navigate this voyage. On another note, we had the joy of having all of our kids & our two granddaughters, Eliza Lindstam & Eden Wood, together during our visit.
It is a vital privilege to work with children. The future, whether it's of the family, of the nation, or of the church, is wrapped up in the future of our kids. That's why we're so committed to the importance of VBS and Summer Bible Camp ministries. In June, the Rheinland Baptist VBS was a great success. We have had several families start attending our services as a result. In July, I directed a three week junior and senior high camp ministry in Belgium. During that time, we saw 6 teens saved and many others make decisions for the Lord.
It is an awesome privilege to partner with you to reach people in Germany, and Europe, with the gospel. We thank you for your support. May the Lord richly bless you!
November 2017 update from Gib & Kathy Wood, missionaries to Germany:
For each of the last four years, I have been privileged to invest in the lives of young ministry students in India through the Mangalore Baptist Bible Institute (MBBI). Begun by missionary, Harry Rasqhina, MBBI exists to equip Indian men to stay in India to reach and teach Indian people for Christ. This year, my teaching responsibility was the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit. My co-teacher was missionary to Germany, Walter Clark, who taught the Doctrine of God.
One of the great joys of ministering to our American military is supporting them during the special times of their lives. Brett and Amanda Bellemore have been a vital part of our ministry at Rhineland Baptist Church for the last two years, and have been active in so many ways. Brett recently graduated from the United States Air Forces in Europe Non-commissioned Officer Academy. It was a wonderful privilege to celebrate this major milestone in Brett's career with them.
At Rhineland Baptist Church, we believe that missions is not simply about the world; it's about our obedience in reaching the world. In October, we hosted our annual Faith Promise Missions Conference with guests from France, Romania, and Tanzania. We challenged our people to give generously to the Lord, and to consider giving themselves to serve on the mission field! A fun part of our missions conference is the annual International March where people of all ages participate by dressing in outfits that represent some of the missionaries we are privileged to support as a church body.
As I write this letter to friends and supporters, it is with mixed emotions. We are thanking the Lord for salvation, for the opportunity to serve Him in Germany, and for the opportunity to partner with you in reaching both Germans and Americans for Christ. And we are thankful for the heritage we have in Kathy's mom and dad! After an extended battle with Alzheimer's disease, Dr. Wilbur H. McBride went home to be with the Lord on November 12th at 3AM. We are grateful that Kathy was able to make it to the States to be with her parents on the last day before Dad graduated into Heaven. I was grateful for the privilege to preach the funeral service in Dad's honor on Saturday, November 18th, and to conduct the internment service on Monday, November 20th at the Jacksonville, Florida National Cemetery with full military honors.
May you all be encouraged in the Lord and know that we are very grateful for your investment in the work of God among the US Military serving in Germany.
End of 2017 update from Gib & Kathy Wood, missionaries to Germany:
You just never know what's going to happen when you go to the post office. While checking mail recently, I met a young man, Enrique, from Puerto Rico Army Reserves. His unit is deployed to the Middle East, and I was able to assist him in finding a certain office for which he was looking. When I shared with Enrique that I was a missionary/pastor to the military, he shared his salvation testimony with me. What wonderful fellowship we enjoyed, and he even came to our Friday afternoon prayer time at Rheinland Baptist Church!
For 2017, as you know, Christmas Eve was on Sunday, December 24th. Our choir and junior church choir put on amazing presentations that were enjoyed by all in attendance. My message, "Your Most Important Journey," took the vital truths of the Biblical Christmas account to present the Gospel in a clear, concise manner. The Lord blessed with the salvation of a dear Filipino lady. The most amazing part of this story is that this lady left Germany in the first week of January!
Men's Monday is our twice monthly men's discipleship ministry. During 2017, we have been focusing our studies on Spiritual Landmines that men have to face as they seek to live for the Lord. It's rewarding ministry as men gather for fellowship, concentrated time in the Word of God, and honest prayer.
Kathy and I enjoyed having her mom with us for Christmas and New Years. It is also a joy for us to serve with you as we glorify God, love people, and serve others. May the Lord bless you, your church, and your ministry as we all enter into the blessings and challenges of 2018!
February 2018 update from Gib & Kathy Wood, missionaries to Germany:
In January, I was thrilled to participate in the wedding ceremony for Brianna, oldest daughter of BMFP missionaries Andrew and Ramona Wilson as she became the bride of David Pearce. What a joy to witness these two fine Christian young people as they committed their love and lives to one another. What a blessing to have a great group of Rheinlanders there to encourage the newlyweds!
It is both a great responsibility and a great joy to encourage missionaries who serve on the fields of the world. For over twenty years, we have been attempting to do that very thing through the Mission Possible European Retreat, and now we have begun the same effort among Asian-based missionaries through the Mission Possible Asian Retreat. I preached the opening message for the retreat: Worshipping Faith. Throughout the week, and along with other of our missionary family, I invested time in counseling, leading in prayer for the morning sessions, and spending time in personal fellowship with missionaries who serve in places ranging in Nepal, India, South Korea, Guam, Thailand, and Malaysia. Additionally, there were attendees from the U.S. and Germany.
Each year, Kathy and I work together with missionaries, Larry and Jean Taylor to encourage ladies from European churches. They help us with the English language Euro-Wide Ladies' Retreat, being held at Rheinland in April, and we help them with the French language retreat, being held in northern Belgium. The main speaker is Gail Grits and her husband, Tom, who have served in England for nearly 40 years.
There's nothing like ministry among America's finest men and women who serve in uniform. Kathy and I have been serving here in Germany for 32 years and at Rheinland Baptist Church for 27 years. We are privileged to reach people with the Gospel, disciple people in the Word of God, and train people to become faithful servants for the Lord Jesus Christ. Our thanks to you, your pastor, and your church for being a vital part of our support team.
June 2018 update from Gib & Kathy Wood, missionaries to Germany:
For nearly twenty years, Rheinland Baptist Church has been either host or co-host to the Euro-Wide Ladies' Retreat. This important ministry that Kathy directs each year was a tremendous three days of teaching, fellowship, and encouragement. The guest speaker for the Euro-Wide was Mrs. Patti Appleby of the Well International Ministries. With the theme, "O Taste and See That the Lord is Good," every message and workshop was focused on helping women to walk closely with the Lord and enjoy it!
We have a great responsibility to get the Word of God into the hands of as many people, both Americans and Germans, as we possibly can. At Rheinland Baptist Church, we do that by getting Gospel tracts into every home in every city, town, and village in our area. For us, that has included the village of Rodenbach. I, personally, was privileged to place a tract into the mailbox of every home, ad to have some great conversations, in both English and Deutsch (German). Additionally, through our tract efforts, we have had more positive contacts than ever before. I cannot help but believe that eternity will be different because of it.
For many years, I have enjoyed teaching one- and two-day Bible seminars in Spain with missionaries Eusebio and Marytxa Perez of the Arroyo Baptist Church in Benelmadena, on the Mediterranean coast. This year, I enjoyed teaching a group of twenty-four students, from three different Spanish-speaking churches, and one English-speaking military church. The topic was evangelism, and it was very well received. On the Sunday, I was honored to preach with Bro. Perez's assistance. Additionally, I was able to communicate a portion of the introduction in Spanish!
One of the great joys of ministry in a military church is being part of the special moments in the lives of our members. Just last week, I was rejoicing with Patricia as she was promoted to the rank of major in the U.S. Air Force. That same evening, I was able to celebrate the high school graduation of Alejandra as she completed her education as Ramstein American High School.
Kathy and I are grateful for the opportunity to serve the Lord in Germany, among the military, and as your representative on this part of the field, which is "white unto harvest." There is always room for more laborers. Would you be the next person to join us on the mission field? In the meantime, thank you for your faithfulness to labor with your church and pastor. We could not do what we do here if it wasn't for you doing what you do on the home front. May the Lord bless your faithfulness.
August 2018 update from Gib & Kathy Wood, missionaries to Germany:
This has been one of the warmest European summers on record! With temperatures nearing the 100 degrees Fahrenheit, we have been sweltering and sweating. Of course, for many of you who live in the southern US, this doesn't seem like that big a deal. However, for those of us who live in Germany, where summer temps are typically in the low to mid 80s, this was a very, VERY big deal, indeed! In fact, in some parts of western Germany, this has been the hottest summer since 1950. Fortunately, as the summer begins winding down, cooler temperatures are becoming more normal. And while I'm bemoaning the heat in Germany, we have some people from our church who are deployed to locations where the average daily high is about 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Don't you feel cooler now?
Each summer, we are privileged to partner with several other independent Baptist missionaries to conduct three weeks of youth camp ministry. Senior Camp is two weeks, and this year, it was built around the theme: A Change of Direction. We used the Bible account of the prodigal son for practical teaching on our attitudes toward parents, toward life in general, toward God, toward boy/girl relationships, toward our appetites (both spiritual and physical), and toward God's will for our lives. My part was to conduct the English teaching each morning while others did the same with the French language. In the evening sessions, BMFP missionary, Corre Meyer, and missionary to the German people, Ed Taylor, did an awesome job challenging the teens to live for Christ! The greatest news is that during the three weeks of both Sr. & Jr. Camp, 10 young people and 1 adult trusted Christ!
This year's Vacation Bible School at Rheinland Baptist Church was incredible. We had a high of 51 kids that participated, and an average of 46. On one night, we were blessed with 6 first-time visitors! We know of at least two kids that trusted Christ after being personally dealt with. Kathy was a vital part of this year's VBS, playing the piano for opening and closing exercises, and speaking with visiting family members. I was able to conduct the opening exercises, which included a Penny March. In it, the boys and the girls vied to see which team could bring the most pennies. The girls won the contest, and so they got to choose which missionary or missions project they wanted to give a $500 offering to!
VBS at Rheinland is more than only for the kids. It's also a great time of training for those who have never been involved in youth ministry. It's a time of unity, where the whole church comes together to glorify God, by loving people and serving others. And it's a time where we are privileged to impact our community for Christ. On the first Sunday after VBS, we had six families visit with us for our morning service. Now the real work begins as we attempt to follow-up with their families, and reach the unsaved for the Lord!
Each year for the past several Septembers, the Lord has allowed me to travel to Indie to teach at the Mangalore Baptist Bible Institute. This year, I will teach a two-week module on the Doctrine of Man (Anthropology). Your prayers are greatly appreciated.
October 2018 update from Gib & Kathy Wood, missionaries to Germany:
Praise the Lord for a great teaching trip to India, and for another opportunity to invest in training the next generation of Indian church planters and leaders. Within the next decade, India will surpass China in population. It already has nearly 1.4 billion people! Truly, their need is great for the Lord! This year, I was privileged to teach "The Doctrine of Man" to about 20 Indian students. What an investment and thrill! Thank you for praying over that.
One the first and third Mondays of most months, we have a men's discipleship ministry that we call Men's Monday. It an hour and a half (sometimes longer) of food, fellowship, and intense interactive Bible study. This year our theme has been "Spiritual Warfare."
On the thrills of missions is serving together with other missionaries and seeing the Lord use their ministries for His glory. For many years, the Lord has allowed Rheinland Baptist Church (US Military) to share our facilities with the Freie Baptisten Gemeinde (German), and to do ministry together. Kathy and I have been able to partner with BMFP missionaries Andrew and Ramona Wilson as they fulfill the Lord's call on their lives to reach the German people with the Gospel, and to grow a solid, Bible believing, Baptist church in the Landstuhl area.
The Gospel is the reason for missions, for missionaries, and for all that missionaries do on the fields of the world. Here in Germany, and at Rheinland Baptist Church, we put a lot of effort into getting the Gospel into every home we possibly can. Much of our efforts are spent in the cities, towns, and villages of the local area. In fact, as I am writing this letter, I have just returned from covering two villages this week: Sambach and Eulenbis. These two villages represent about 1,200 souls, both German and American. Sometimes, we are able to have friendly conversations with people, and even share a personal word of witness. As always, we know that God's Word will not return void! Our goal is to get a Gospel tract into every home in the 80-100 cities, towns, and villages in our area. Yes, we have to trust the Lord to reap the harvest. We can be busy doing our part. In fact, every two months, we encourage a large group of our church family to be involved, as we try to cover a larger town in a single day. It's a good work and a good way to encourage people, even kids, to get involved!
Every November, for the past 20 years, we have been a part of the Mission Possible European Retreat. This is a missionary encouragement retreat, designed to help keep European based missionaries on the field. This year's retreat will be the 21st and will take place on November 12th-16th. Please pray the Lord will use it for His glory.
Incredible Friends, that is what you, your pastor, and your church are to us. Thank you for loving and supporting our ministry. We are grateful for your prayers and investment in our lives and ministry.
December 2018 / January 2019 update from Gib & Kathy Wood, missionaries to Germany:
Praise the Lord for a great finish to 2018. In October, I was invited to participate in a two-day conference of leaders of Crisis Pregnancy Centers in Europe. In November, we were privileged to be part of the 21st annual European Mission Possible Retreat - an encouragement meeting for missionaries from countries all over the continent - from as far west as Iceland and as far east as Estonia. In November, we also enjoyed "Thanksgiving as Rheinland," a special day that included a Prayer and Praise service, and amazing meal provided by the people of our church, and games and fellowship until 8:30PM. In December, the month was busy with Christmas activities, including a special interactive cantata and banquet.
Along with all of these special activities, we have been continuing the regular work of the ministry. The 2018 year was our most effective year in Gospel tract ministry, as we were able to cover more towns, villages, and cites than ever before. We, also, received more feedback from people than ever before. Praise the Lord that His Word does not come back void. It does a work that we could never do. What a blessing to have part in sharing it!
The 2018 year was also a good year for discipleship. I have been able to mentor several of our military and German men in preaching and in other aspects of the ministry. Additionally, our Men's Monday discipleship ministry enjoyed great attendance and participation throughout the year. Meeting twice a month, it's an opportunity for men to grow in important areas that are relevant to men in an interactive format.
Now that we are underway in the New Year, we have some great things in store. This is just a look at 2019, and our missionary ministry to the U.S. Military and beyond.
It has been a joy to have Kathy's mom with us again at the beginning of the New Year. It's extra special this year as we get to celebrate her 80th birthday with her here, in Germany, where Kathy's parents served as missionaries for 22 years.
During the month of January, Rheinland Baptist Church is hosting a preacher's fellowship for independent Baptist missionaries serving in Germany and beyond. In March, we will be hosting the Euro-Wide Ladies' Retreat. This is a special three-day meeting to encourage military wives and others in magnifying God by loving and serving their families and growing in their personal walks with Him. In May, we will be hosting our annual Faith Promise Missions Conference with Dr. Gene Burge, president of Baptist Missions to Forgotten Peoples. In July, we will be conducting our annual Vacation Bible School, which has had a wonderful impact on our local community by reaching kids and their families. In August, we will be part of an International Bible Camp in Belgium. We have been a part of this camp for more than 15 years. In September, I will be making my 6th trip to India to teach for two weeks at Mangalore Baptist Bible Institute. Finally, in November, we will again be a part of the 22nd annual Mission Possible European Retreat.
In family news, our youngest son, Keith, will be getting married in April 2019. His fiancée, Nancy, is a wonderful young lady, who also comes from a missionary background. Her family is ministering to local nationals in Hungary. Kathy and I are excited for both of them and for what the Lord has in store for their life together.
Thank you for partners for souls and standing with us and our ministry to the U.S. Military in Germany. It's a joy to seek and glorify the Lord by loving people and serving others together with you.
February / March 2019 update from Gib & Kathy Wood, missionaries to Germany:
Thank you for your continued prayers and support for our ministry to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces who serves our nation here in Germany. The reality is that we are partners together in reaching people for Christ. You on your field, and us on ours. Be assured that we pray regularly for your pastor, church, and for the Lord's blessings on your life and ministry.
2019 began with some wonderful ministry opportunities, both at our church, and in some other ministries here in Germany. The weekend of January 11-13th focused on the establishment of a new crisis pregnancy ministry in the Struttgart area, and the encouragement of the membership of Victory Baptist Church, also in Struttgart. Pastored by missionary Friedemann Moser, VBC is a warm body of believers. It was a joy to spend the day with them.
Social events are an important part of any church body, and they are really important when you're away from family and friends in the States. So, for Valentine’s Day, we enjoyed a date night with about 40 of our Rheinland Baptist Church people and few first-time guests. The food was great, and the fellowship was awesome!
One of the most difficult parts of military is seeing people that you know and love move on to other assignments. You may be thinking that after nearly 33 years on the field, we should be getting used to it. But we never do. However, there is a flipside to the whole rotation issue, like when you get a text that says, "I'm here for an hour before we continue downrange." At that point, you drop everything and head to the base passenger terminal to meet up with a former Rheinlander who is just passing through. What a joy it was to see Patricia, even for a few minutes!
Each year, it is our joy to host the Euro-Wide Ladies' Retreat, and this year is no different. We're excited to have Patti Appleby as our guest speaker for the ladies, with everything built around the theme: "It Will Change Your Life!" We're looking forward to hosting ladies from Germany, the United States, Belgium, Romania, and more. It's a packed three days with main sessions, prayer groups, special breakout workshops, lots of music, lots of fun, and lots of food.
Solomon wisely stated: "House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the Lord" (Proverbs 19:14). So, it is with much gratitude, and more than a little excitement that we announce the marriage of our son, Keith, to Nancy Patton, another missionary kid whose parents are active on the field of Hungary. Please pray for them as they begin their life together on April 22nd, 2019. Thank you.
June/July 2019 update from Gib & Kathy Wood, missionaries to Germany:
Kathy and I continue to be grateful for your love and support for our ministry to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces serving here in Germany. Know that we love you, and pray regularly for your church, your pastor, and the ministry God has entrusted to you.
Each year our church, Rheinland Baptist, is honored to host the Euro-Wide Ladies' Retreat. This year, with the theme "It Will Change Your Life," Mrs. Patti Appleby challenged ladies from Germany, France, and Belgium with the goodness of the Lord and the joy that is found in living for His glory. It was a wonderful meeting, and Kathy was the co-hostess.
Missions is the heartbeat of God, and it's the heartbeat of our ministry, too! While we have experienced a huge rotation in our military congregation, we have nevertheless been able to continue our emphasis on missions through our annual Faith Promise Missions Conference. With missionary guests who minister in Spain and India, our church body with challenged to look beyond themselves, their community, and their ability. Thus, resulting in the addition of new missionaries to our worldwide outreach.
Just like at your church, our ministry is about reaching people with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and a big part of that is our annual Vacation Bible School outreach. Using the theme, "Time Lab," the men and women of our church banded together to minister to over 50 kids each night with music, games, crafts, snacks, and a Bible lesson that brought out the truths of creation and the Gospel. It also afforded me the opportunity to have some important conversations with a number of parents that has resulted in new families visiting our church. Furthermore, as a direct result of our children's ministry and VBS, we have been overjoyed to see two young people trust Christ as their Saviour!
In the meantime, the ministry goes on. We are constantly planting seeds in both German and American communities through our ongoing tract distribution ministry. in Germany, it is legal to put tracts in mailboxes, and we take advantage of that opportunity every week - several times a week. Personally, I have covered the villages of Etschberg, Haschbach, and Godelshausen, just in the last two weeks. Having some ability with the German language, I enjoy conversation with local nationals, and then trusting the Lord to use His Word to reach their hearts with the Gospel.
This will be the sixth year in which the Lord has allowed me to teach for two weeks at the Mangalore Baptist Bible Institute. From September 9th-20th, I will be teaching the Book of Romans to ministry students from several regions of southern India. While my in-country expenses will be covered, I still have to get there and back, which will cost about $850 this year. If you would like to help, please send your support to BMFP, designated for Wood India Teaching Trip. Thank you!