March 2016 Newsletter

Dear Friend of FOA,

Repetition! Repetition! Repetition! This is one of the ways we learn. When a man comes to FOA he is expected to stay at least eight weeks (one term). We encourage them to stay at least another term to go back through the program because they may have missed something the first go-round. They are being taught the same material, the Basic Bible Doctrine course that Bro. Barth wrote so many years ago. I don’t know about Bro. Barth but for me this can get redundant if you don’t remind yourself of one thing. There are men sitting there that have never heard these truths one time. Men are coming into the FOA program at different intervals throughout the term. They just pick up the study where we are at that time and complete their eight weeks at the point when they came in. My family joined the staff in 1982 but I didn’t really start teaching consistently until about 1990. We go through the course six and a half times every year. If I taught all the time, which I didn’t, I would have taught the eight week course 162 times. James 3:1 says, “My brethren, let not many of become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.” The more we know, the more accountable we become. That is a sobering thought. Selah!

I want to catch you up on a few things that have happened over the past months concerning our staff. Bob Whitcomb and Equila Thomas both went home to be with the Lord the same week in December. Bob on December 6th and Equila on December 9th . Bob was somewhat expected but Equila was not. We had a memorial service for both of them on January 4, 2016. They will be missed but they are rejoicing with Christ. Andrew Stewart, from Pennsylvania, joined our staff on December 1, 2015. Brian Ragland, from Mississippi, joined our staff on February 1, 2016. These two men are helping Aaron supervise the work details during the day; they are a welcomed addition. Please pray they will keep their eyes on the Lord.

Don’t tell me that God doesn’t perform miracles today. On February 13th one of our men, Scott Loper, had signs of a heart attack so we rushed him to the hospital. On the way, he did have a heart attack in the car right before entering the ER parking lot. They rushed him in to revive him and we heard it took them 50 minutes but the result was they had to put him on life support. During the next week he had not regained consciousness and his family was going to take him off on Friday, Feb. 19. BUT that morning he did wake up and began breathing on his own. Then on February 23rd he began hemorrhaging and the doctors didn’t know what to do. By Thursday he was sitting up and eating and talking. WOW!! This isn’t correct English but “Ain’t God Good!” Praise the Lord and I will keep you informed of Scottie’s condition. Please be in pray for his continued recovery. The Lord must have something in store for him.

11 November Newsletter 2013

November Newsletter 2013

Dear Friend of FOA,

So many of the men who enter the doors of FOA, even though they may profess to be believers, have been in darkness for so long they have a problem recognizing the light.  By coming here they are actually crying out to God for some deliverance from their sin, not realizing Christ has already provided everything for them at the moment of salvation.  Their plight reminds me of Psalm 107:10-15.  Mediate upon these verses: “There were those who dwelt in darkness and in the shadow of death, Prisoners in misery and chains, Because they had rebelled against the words of God and spurned the counsel of the Most High.  Therefore He humbled their heart with labor; They stumbled and there was none to help.  Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses.  He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death and broke their bands apart.  Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men!”  Or what about the verses recorded for us in I John 1:5-7, “This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”  Coming to FOA is just the beginning for many of these men who desire to walk in the light of Christ.  We are here to guide them on that path, but they must take the individual steps to stay closely knit to the ONE who gives them life eternal.  Please pray for each man who enters these doors looking for the answers they can only find in Christ.  Thank you!!

Just a side note for all those who are not aware, Harley Hood went to be with the Lord on August 24th.  I forgot to enter that into the September letter and I didn’t write an October letter; my apologies.  I posted Harley’s homegoing on our facebook page but I realize not everyone signs on to those social network pages.  I would ask that you pray for Harley’s family.  Danny, his cousin, is doing fine and recovering nicely.  We will miss Harley tremendously.

You have probably already noticed that Christmas is right around the corner.  How could you not with all the advertisements on TV, even before Halloween was over.  This year we will be having our Christmas program for the men on Sunday, December 22nd .   Each year we put together a bag of gifts to give to the men after the program is over.  The items we put in these bags are:  sweat shirts, socks, undershorts, t-shirts, gloves (jersey gloves), toothpaste, deodorant, soap, shaving cream, razors, shampoo, spiral notebooks (70 pages), pens & pencils, popcorn, and candy.  If you or your church would like to give some of these items to our men we would be most appreciative.  In regard to the clothing items they need to be large sizes (some are very large ‘XXXL’).  We will need to have the items at FOA no later than December 18th .  Thank you for considering this request.  I truly hope your Christmas experience around the Lord Jesus Christ will be a joyous one this year.

Your servant by God’s grace,

Mike Bonner

August Financial Statement 2013


Beginning Balance – (checking account)                                            67,629.44

         Contributions                                                                                 16,448.09
         Membership Dues                                                                                  0.00
         Sale of Inventory                                                                             4,679.26
         Reimbursements                                                                              2,690.97

TOTAL INCOME including beginning balance:                               91,447.76

         Payroll Expense                                                                               5,873.47
         Payroll Taxes                                                                                      910.10
         Retirement Fund                                                                              1,216.66
         Expenses to be Reimbursed                                                             1,368.91
         Insurance                                                                                         2,022.50
         Food                                                                                                  467.00
         Fuel Expense                                                                                   2,854.48
         Utilities                                                                                            5,711.87
         Telephone                                                                                          218.55
         Computer (internet)                                                                              46.81
         Direct TV                                                                                           330.98
         Auto Repair                                                                                        188.99
         Maintenance Repair                                                                         1,847.24
         Operation Supplies                                                                             731.89
         Equipment                                                                                          105.75
         Equipment Rental                                                                                327.38
         Printing & Reproduction                                                                     160.50
         Licenses & Permits                                                                             127.81
         Dues & Subscriptions                                                                         200.00
         Newsletter Mail-Out                                                                           246.15
         Postage & Delivery                                                                               99.15
         Waste Disposal                                                                                  206.76
         Newspaper                                                                                          24.83
TOTAL EXPENSES:                                                                           25,278.78

THE MONTH’S NET INCOME:                                                          - 1,460.46

Ending Balance – (checking account)                                                 66,168.98

Expenses continue to go up in several areas and we are very grateful to each of you who respond to the needs of the ministry.  Your grace giving is an encouragement knowing that you care for the eternal destiny of each man who enters the ministry of FOA.  Thank you a thousand times over.

May/June Newsletter 2013

                                                                                                            May / June 2013

Dear Friend of FOA,

Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Philippians 2:13, “. . . for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”
Psalm 103:19, “The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all.”
Hebrews 13:5, “. . . for He Himself has said, I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.”
These and many other scriptures tell us that God is in absolute authority over all things and completely in control of every situation that faces mankind.  Yet we still ask that childhood question, “WHY?” when the circumstances of life don’t add up and we are personally affected by tragedy.  Please be in prayer for Harley Hood, one of my staff members.  On May 19th he and his cousin, Danny Hood, were traveling back from Gatlinburg, TN when they had a terrible auto accident on I-59 just north of Birmingham, AL.  Both were put in the hospital, suffering numerous injuries.  I am writing this newsletter on June 15th and Harley is still in the hospital in Birmingham.  Danny is recovering at FOA and doing much better but please be in prayer, especially for Harley.  If you want to keep up with his status you can look on our facebook page.

Another situation we have had to deal with over the past few months is our water system.  FOA has always had their own water well but now we have been instructed by the health department that our well does not meet the requirements of the government.  We turn in monthly samples which have shown we do not have problems with the water itself.  The issue is that we have to have two wells rather than one.  This would cost us about $70,000.00 to get the water system up to code to meet the requirements of the health department.  Our board has decided to tie into the North Hinds Water Association and purchase their water rather than drill a new well.  Over the past few weeks we have been laying new line to accomplish this tie in which should be complete by the end of this month.  Unforeseen circumstances always get us asking, “why?”  But again, God is in control and knows the outcome of these questions.  Not to mention that He is also faithful in providing the needs of the ministry.

I want to thank you for responding to the needs of this ministry that our Lord is using to bring men to a knowledge of Himself.  Each day is a challenge but is met with the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Thank you for partnering with us in your prayers and support.  In upcoming newsletters we will be informing you of our annual Bible Conference.  Our speaker this year will be Gordon “Butch” Bennett from New Tribes Bible Institute in Jackson, Michigan.  The conference will be held the middle of September.  If you can make it we would love to have you fellowship with us.

Final thought from scripture:   Deuteronomy 29:29 says, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.”

Your servant by God’s grace,

Mike Bonner