Schoenleber Family Update Follows the Speaking Schedule
Sometime in the Next Twelve Months Traveling to India to train church planters.
Speaking at a Missions Sunday in Mississippi (1 message)
Speaking at a Discipleship Conference in Kankakee, IL (3 messages)
Please pray for four things:
- All our children would run passionately toward Christ.
- That my (Marty’s) energy level would rise. (I have been fighting tiredness.)
- That our friendships would deepen and mature with our new friends in South Carolina.
- That God might allow us to stimulate or experience a genuine revival before we are called home to glory.
More 2017 Dates coming soon
Available to preach and teach for retreats, conferences, and seminars after approval from my new board of elders.
Lord Willing —Family Reunions on these dates
July 4, 2018
(10-18-17) I think the past two months have marked the longest time in about two years in which my bride and I have been together in consecutive weeks. It has been wonderful. There is no day, no time of day, no situation in life where I don’t rejoice to have her at my side. I am stunningly blessed by her smile, her wisdom, her love, her laugh, her care, her skill in managing our household, and her humor are all priceless treasures.
Rejoice with me in this season of life.
Neighbors: We are loving getting to know and love our neighbors.
A. and S. and their two little girls under 5 live to our left. B. and D. and their two teen girls are on our right. Across the street are B. and C. with their newborn and C. and R., retired from North Carolina live two houses away. Down the street, is an Army Silver Medal winner from the Vietnam era who just sent a daughter off to California and a new career.
- All of them made in the image of God.
- All of them need a Savior.
- All of them were placed on this block for a purpose.
Some other important facts:
- None of them are projects.
- None of them are targets.
- None of them need a superficial friend.
One more thing:
- All of them need to be respected and honored.
Pray that all our efforts to befriend, love, and serve coupled with our bold proclamations of the Gospel will produce fruit in their lives and for their joy in the Kingdom of God.
Now that Stephnie is here, we are really starting to settle into our home and our community. Boxes are getting emptied. Some plumbing issues have been updated. We are looking forward to now seeing some of our friends that have moved to the “area”. The Helmus’s are about two hours away. The Taylors are about seven hours away. Two friends from college are within 20 minutes. A former elder from New Song’s earliest years is only about 15 minutes away. My brother and his wife are an hour away. My uncle and his family are less than three hours away. We are looking forward to seeing each of them and catching up on all the things that God is doing in our midst. One of my college roommates is also close by.
We are a small church (about 180), but there are a remarkable number of godly men who are more than competent to preach. (I have 8 men, that I know of, who have Master’s of Arts or more and at least four that have pastoral ministry experience.) We have an embarrassment of riches in terms of leadership. And with it comes a huge responsibility to utilize each of these talented members in ways that maximize their impact for the Kingdom of God.
One to one discipleship is producing good fruit in people’s lives as men and women who have been followers of Christ for yours are finally making headway in making disciples themselves. Small Groups (we call them Home-Groups) include about 80% of our adults and continue to grow in number and depth. We will probably launch two more in the next few months. A small group of prayer warriors is meeting on Tuesday mornings and praying for one thing–revival. They are earnestly asking God to do a work that can only be explained by the supernatural hand of God.
One of my concerns is that it is too easy for churches in the South to survive and even thrive on transfer growth rather than through conversion. We are beginning to pray with greater passion for God to move us and make the whole church bold for Him. Would you pray with us? It’s getting late so I will sign off. That’s all for this update on the Schoenleber family.
One more thing: Stephnie hates snakes! She spotted one out front and was really weirded out.
[8-11-17] Many of you know that the last two years have been extremely trying for the Schoenleber family. Over the last two years, Stephnie and I have been apart more than we have been together due to family health issues, conferences, buying and selling a house, job displacement, and new ministry callings. It has given us a new perspective on the ordeals and sacrifices that military and missionary families endure on a regular basis.
Yesterday, one of those chapters came to a close with the home-going of Stephnie’s mom. Steph left last Sunday to return to West Virginia and care for her mom who has been in hospice for the better part of the last two months. It has been a difficult time but one that had the most peaceful of endings and Stephnie was able to be there and hold her mother’s hand as she passed into the presence of Christ.
This past week I was talking to Thelma Hubbard, one of the precious older saints at Manchester Creek. I wish all of you knew both she and her husband Kent, who at 98 and 96 respectively, are some of the sharpest minds in the church. Anyway, we were talking and Thelma shared with me that when her mother was in Hospice she started praying that God, in his mercy, would allow her to be holding her mother’s hand when she passed. And God answered her prayer.
I thanked Thelma for her story and sensed that God was calling me to pray the same thing for Stephnie. My prayers were answered and Steph told me that her mom’s last breath was “Absolutely the most peaceful home going” she could imagine.
Isn’t God marvelous to shower us with mercies like these?
But we and the family will need new mercies going forward. So today, I stopped the mail, arranged for someone else to preach on Sunday, packed my bags, scheduled a flight, found a friend to take me to the airport, and worked on the funeral service. Later this afternoon, two hours from now, I will head to the airport, for what should take two hours of flying time but on such short notice, will include a detour, a layover and have me arrive at 11:30 PM to the exhausted arms of my wife and another 1.5 hour drive to mom’s house.
Would you pray for our children who are traveling together from Chicago for the funeral and for dear Anna, our son’s wonderful wife, who will take care of the two grandchildren of our oldest daughter, Meredith? Pray for Stephnie and her sister and brother as well as Deloris’ sister who is also grieving/rejoicing in a life well-lived. And know that I am truly thankful for friends like you who read and pray for these periodic updates.
Well, our house has sold in Watseka and we are moved into our new house in Rock Hill, SC, though there are still a whole lot of boxes to unpack. Our new address will be:
418 Tysons Forest Drive
Rock Hill, SC 29732
Making the new house our home has been hampered somewhat by some family illnesses. Stephnie’s mom is not doing well and she is in West Virginia as I write (June 17th). We have been able to meet our neighbors and have started a home-group on Thursday nights. Yesterday I was out weeding in the front of the house when two delightful neighbors stopped to welcome us to the block. I look forward to getting to know Bill and Jenena in the weeks to come.
And we look forward to your visit, any of you who read this. God is doing great things in the church. My goal was to see 7-8 men trained in One-to-One Discipleship before the end of the year. Already, four men are trained and 8 others are in process! Lives are being changed. Mere men are becoming men of God. We have a headstart on the women but I know that Stephnie will soon catch up. Please keep praying for her as she loves on her mom and eases her mom’s home-going to Jesus.
God has also given me the privilege of mentoring an African-American Church Planter and a couple of good leads to pursue with regard to teaching at the seminary.
Other News: My BLOG at Chosenrebel.me is going to go through some revisions and updating over the next month. I have noticed that the ads that wordpress.com sometimes places at the bottom have included a cult! That is unacceptable so starting today I have upgraded my account to be advertising free.