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Introduction Packet The Testimony of Craig Ledbetter
The Testimony of Craig Ledbetter
Of My Salvation At the age of 17, I was challenged to go to a Baptist Church in a little placed called, Cedar Park, Texas. It took about 8 weeks of hard preaching to get through to me that I was the lost sinner that Jesus died for. I had been in various church services throughout my youth, and had prayed some sort of a prayer back when I was 13, but I had no assurance that I had dealt with God about my sin. However, on the 15th of June, 1980, while sitting at a kitchen table with an open Bible, I accepted the finished work of Jesus Christ as the payment for my sin! Since that day, Christ has been my life, and my Lord, and I praise His name!
Of My Call to ServiceAt a Missions Conference in 1980, a tremendous missionary to Kenya preached for several days, and I became greatly burdened for this lost world. After several sermons, I went forward during the invitation and asked for counsel by my Pastor. At that time, I believed that God was dealing with me for the purpose of winning souls and preaching the word of God on a foreign field. I can say by the grace of God that I have never doubted my calling since that day. Two weeks after the Missions Conference, I got me a large World map and began to ask God where He wanted me to serve Him. I looked at every country listed in every continent, and prayed about each of them until I came across Ireland. Everything just seemed right about it. In fact, I felt like I had just jumped onto a train track and was finally in motion. I told God that if Ireland was where He wanted me, then He would just have to get me there. If Ireland was not His will, then clearly close the door for me to go, and lead me elsewhere. I went off to Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri, where I spent 4 years in Bible training, and practical application in churches there. I obtained my B.A. in Missions, and met my wife Juanita during my senior year. We were married the day after graduation in 1985, and moved up to New Jersey to work with a pastor, and learn how to start a church. While in NJ, I worked at the AT&T Telephone Company for 6 years, until 1991 when we began raising support for going to our true field of service- Ireland!
Nita Ledbetter’s Testimony
I grew up in a Christian home and made a profession of faith at a very young age. I don't recall however much of the experience except for praying and asking the Lord to save me. When I became a teenager, I began to doubt my salvation. I would always think that because I prayed when I was younger, I must be saved. I know now that it was the Lord working on me trying to show me that I really was lost and had never dealt with Christ. During my first year in Bible College, I met my future husband Craig Ledbetter, and towards the end of that year we were going over his Junior Church lesson. I asked him why he didn't plan to have an invitation that day. Craig responded that you have to be very careful when dealing with young children, and that he always explained the plan of salvation, but spent time with every one of the kids personally, resulting in most of them getting saved later. I asked "does that mean that I'm not saved?" He said that he didn't know, but that it was important to settle, because if I am trusting in the fact that I prayed a prayer, then I may not have understood that what saves is trusting in Jesus. I searched my heart that moment and then trusted the Lord Jesus to truly save me!
We have five children, the oldest of which is 19 (Sharon) who is at West Coast Baptist College, and our youngest is 8!
Our Purpose as Missionaries:
We seek to establish indigenous Bible-believing Baptist churches in Ireland. My method involves the personal soul-winning of the Irish people, then the establishment of a local church for the purpose of training and discipling those new Christians in soul-winning and the development of a Bible-based culture in Ireland. Once the church produces its own pastor, I will commend that church to God for the determination of its own course based upon the word of God, and go into another city and start over!
What We Do in Ireland
Since arriving in Ireland in 1994, my family and I have been working at getting the Gospel of Jesus Christ into as many homes as possible through soul-winning, and discipleship. I have started two churches here -- one in Blarney, County Cork (which has now moved nearby to Ballincollig), and the other in Mallow, County Cork. Both of them are called Bible Baptist Church of their respective towns, and they are filled with true soldiers of the cross of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ! We are honoured to serve such a precious Lord, among so precious a people!
Some of the many things we are constantly doing here include: Soul-winning, Discipleship, Ladies' Bible Studies, Bible Institute, Sunday School, Children's Bible Clubs, Holiday Bible Clubs, and various other activities that enable us to present the Gospel, and train folks in living for Jesus Christ!
What You Can Do
Most people just go along in life not concerned about their eternity, nor why Jesus came and died on the cross - they have "more pressing matters" to be concerned with (or so they think). If you are just "hoping" for a home in heaven, and have never truly repented of your sins, and called upon Jesus, God's Son to save your soul, then, NOW is the time to do it! God says in 2 Corinthians 6:2, "For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." Once you have the forgiveness of your sins, you have a reason for your life - and that is to serve your Lord and Saviour all your days! If you are a Christian - a true Biblical Christian - then don't ever be ashamed of the Gospel that saves and transforms broken lives - start telling the world around you about Jesus Christ, and pray for and support missionaries who are right now reaching the world beyond you with the same Gospel!