director of the
New America Singers,
just sent this email out to singers from California. We thought
that you would like to read over their shoulders.
Another God Thing
December 5, 2004
Christmas came early this year! Last night we sang again for
the Marine recruits at Camp Pendleton. What a night! For those
of you who have never been here, it is really impossible to
describe. Basically, hundreds of uniformed Marines double time
into the chapel (running, officers yelling, the place is filled
in less than ten minutes --and they start running blocks away).
They sit there, eyes glued forward, not allowed to say a word,
unless I ask a question, then they thunderously yell out,
For those of you who have sung here before, picture this: The
building is packed as usual (500 plus seats), but then they
bring in a hundred more guys and sit them two by two down the
aisles, and a double row across the front, seated on the floor.
Unbelievable. Equally unbelievable, they were allowed to sing
with us on the Christmas carols, and even were able to clap
along with the music.
When Alison sang "God Bless America," all 620 men reverently
stood to attention. Later, during the Christmas songs, one or
two guys would stand in honor of the Lord. Soon many of the men
They were very attentive, as we sang and the puppets and, later,
Brooke shared how to accept the Lord. After The Victory Song, I
talked awhile and led the men in the sinners' prayer.
Just as happened last month, about 3 dozen men raised their
hands, indicating that they had invited Jesus into their lives.
Awesome! Do remember to pray for these guys, and for the
others who will make decisions later, and for the Christian
marines who need to be following up with their buddies. As they
charged into the room, one of our new gals whispered, "They are
so young!" And I reminded her that they are not too young to
die, and to stand up for all of our freedom. God help them.
And praise the Lord that He has allowed us to share with them
once more, and to know that many of them will go into battle
knowing that they have Him in their hearts.
Second major surprise and blessing. Chaplain Reschke, who has
managed to keep this special, mandatory, Saturday night "concert
series" alive, has been asked to stay at Camp Pendleton a few
months longer, before he ships out to Iraq. This means that he
can continue the series as long as he is still on base. Praise
God! He has already talked to me about the possibility of
sharing with the men at least one more time, and he would prefer
more than one. We'll see how the Lord leads ¦but it sounds good
You realize that another 600 plus men come into the program
every single week! Lord help us be spiritually ready, and able
to share and love and touch a few more of these young men in
Lord bless, and have a Merry Christmas. Many thanks to all who
were able to sing this weekend, ¦aren't you glad you did!
Love in Jesus!
Ted Campbell, New America Singers
Special to the
California Southern Baptist
FRESNO - The California Southern Baptist Convention New America
Singers were one of seven groups from around the world invited
to sing for this summer's Baptist World Youth Conference in Hong
The students from CSBC churches sang at the Baptist World
Alliance-sponsored meeting, and presented 48 concerts in
Singapore, Thailand and Korea.
The International Mission Board invited the group to present
concerts for school assemblies in Thailand; Youth For Christ
asked the choir to spend a week in Singapore singing in public
schools as well as Christian schools; and the group performed at
Central Baptist Church in Suwon, Korea, where BWA president
Billy Kim serves as pastor.
"With invitations in hand, all we needed to do was pray for the
Lord to come up with a team of singers who could live up to
expectations," said Ted Campbell, New America Singers director.
"And for Him to convince parents that it was a good idea to take
young people overseas with the current world situation. And for
Him to convince people to pay for the trip.
"He did," Campbell declared. "And, as several young people later
said, 'We'll never be the same again!'"
Campbell estimated the choir performed for 44,000 people during
Brittany Kell (r) prays with a high school
student in Singapore
Darnell Powell from Valley Baptist Church in Bakersfield thought
Korea was "amazing. We were the backup choir for the great
gospel singer Larnell Harris at the Baptist World Alliance
program at the Olympic Gymnasium in Seoul and at a football
stadium for the U.S. Army, in addition to doing our own segments
in those programs.
"We sang many times for soldiers at stadiums, in chapels, and
for an Army athletic competition," Powell said. "The men and
women were so appreciative, lonely and very open to the gospel.
Several prayed with us to accept Jesus. To top it off, we sang
three services for Dr. Billy Kim and his 10,000 member Suwon
Central Baptist Church."
From the Epicenter to Thailand
Joe Patterson smiles in the face of danger
"I like Hong Kong," added Joe Patterson from First Baptist
Church in Galt. "We went to perform for the Baptist World Youth
Conference, but I think we received a lot more than we gave.
Just think: over 4,000 young adults from over 100 nations,
living together, talking and planning and praying together in
small 'family' groups.
"Some of our new friends live in countries that are being
ravaged by bloody civil wars, some are being persecuted, some
African countries have lost about a fourth of their population
from AIDS, and Bangladesh got hit by a flood in July that left
10 million people homeless. But these guys really love Jesus,
and are excited about reaching their nations for the Lord,"
Stephanie Lawrence from Magnolia Avenue Baptist Church in
Riverside said Thailand was her favorite.
"The people are so laid back and friendly, and the schools are
huge! We sang for two Christian high schools that had about
7,000 students each. Most of the kids are Hindu, Buddhist or
Muslim, but we were still allowed to do totally Christian
programs and show them how to be saved," Lawrence said.
"Sometimes we even got to talk and pray with the kids after the
assembly programs. Besides singing for nine school assemblies in
Bangkok and in Chiang Mai, we did some churches, and had time
Brooke Hartwell, a member of First Baptist Church of Mira Mesa
in San Diego, said the group "worked the hardest" in Singapore.
"Youth for Christ had us singing three assemblies a day for
public and Christian high schools," Hartwell explained. "We had
a free hand in the Christian schools, but had to be more careful
in the public schools. We mixed some Christian songs in with
popular music and skits, then we invited them to a big YFC rally
at the International Baptist Church.
"Several hundred came, and we did a totally gospel program and
broke into small groups and gave kids an opportunity to meet the
For Ted Campbell the best part of the tour was not the places,
but "the team of singers the Lord put together."
"Talented, professional, committed to Jesus . I knew this was
going to be the most spiritually, physically and musically
demanding trip the Lord has ever arranged for us, and He sent us
exactly the right team members!
"These young people walked before crowds of thousands, TV
cameras zooming in constantly, day after day without
hesitation," Campbell said. "They smiled and moved with
precision, radiating the love of Jesus every time. In spite of a
demanding schedule that would have put most of us in a
hospital, they were always ready to sing and talk about Jesus.
"The future looks bright with this kind of young
leaders-in-training, and California Baptists can certainly be
proud of them!" Campbell declared.
CELL PHONES, I.M.s
by Ted Campbell
How did we ever live
without cell phones? A thought pops into your head
…you want something right now…you call a friend.
Doesn’t matter where he is, or what he’s doing…you
know he has a cell phone. You see something that
grabs your attention…you snap a photo and send it to
someone you wish were with you.
how about I.M.'s? You see a friend is online…you
smile…send him or her an instant message…and sit
there expecting a reply. And then there is email.
Don’t know about you, but I don’t hesitate to shoot
off an email to friends from China to Africa…any
time of the day or night. Isn’t it great to be
alive today and have such amazing technology at our
disposal! Sure beats the pony express or sending
letters “around the horn” by clipper ship…(and those
were giant improvements in communication!).
But with privilege, comes power. How many times
have you glanced at your phone to see who was
calling…and ignored the call. How many times have
you clicked “delete” or just left an email for a
more convenient time, or hit “close” on an I.M. We
think, “I don’t want to deal with that person or the
issue you think he will bring to your already busy
plate…or, I’ll get back to him later…or, I don’t
have to answer if I don’t feel like it!” We’ve all
done it. Modern problem …peculiar to the 21st
century. Or is it!
The Lord sends us I.M.'s. Calls us up on our
personal cell phones …always has. Sometimes He even
fills in more details of what He wants us to do in
what might be more like an extensive email. His
technology is a bit more sophisticated than ours
(and He has been using it for thousands of years).
He speaks in our mind…we never run out of bars. He
flashes photos or even streams videos of what has
been in the past, what are likely scenarios, and
even shows us what will likely happen in the
future. His computer never goes down, never has a
virus…and little brother or mom never ties up our
line. Amazing! Imagine. The young boy Joseph
…walking through the fields, and God I.M.'s him a
video of his life as the future leader of the
greatest nation on earth! Young Isaiah sees Jesus,
hundreds of years in the future, being beaten and
crucified to pay for the sins of the world …as
clearly as if he were standing on Mt. Calvary. This
stuff may be new technology …present new
opportunities to us …but God has been “Super Techie”
People …God. Do
you ever click “delete” when the Lord clearly speaks
to you? You know, you need to stop doing something
questionable …actually it is not questionable …you
know He is not approving what you are doing,
thinking, or planning. You just don’t want to, just
don’t have to …so you click “delete.” (Like we can
really make the Almighty God of the Universe
conveniently disappear!). He shoots you an I.M., but
you don’t want to deal with it …so you click
“close”. He dials your personal tune on your cell
phone. You glance at the screen …think, “O no
…I don’t have to answer this call” …and just ignore
(and later delete the message when you think He
isn’t watching) the call.
be more positive… the Lord has a job for you to do.
He knows you’ll love it, many people will be blessed
by it, His name will be glorified, and no one but
you may be in a position to pull the project off!
What an opportunity! What a privilege! Imagine,
being personally called by God Almighty and given an
assignment of highest priority …it’s like you are
His personal ambassador, His representative, maybe
even an extension of God Himself to touch part of
His world in a miraculous, positive way! “Delete!”
It never happens. Kind of makes a sinking feeling
in the pit of your stomach, doesn’t it? But
we’ve all been there, done that. Otherwise, with
one out of four people in the world calling
themselves “Christians,” the world could have been
changed for the better, for Jesus, years ago.
The Bible is full of biographies of people who, like
Isaiah, Moses, Esther, Joseph, Sarah, Paul, Ruth,
Peter, Deborah, Joshua, Mary, and Jesus …picked up
the phone and said, “Here am I, Lord, send me!”
These are world changers
…the brave ones who are responsible for the good,
kind, helpful tendencies in civilization
…the bridges that help millions end up in heaven
instead of hell. And there are biographies of
people who took the easy way out …missed
opportunities …millions sent down the wrong road…and
the fragmentation and violence and evil in our world
can be laid at their doorstep. With God…it’s a
choice. But the small choices add up to a
lifetime. His way…your way. Be careful about how
you answer the call.
really do matter (remember, “people are not the
problem… they are the project!). How we handle them
on the phone, the I.M.'s or the email is more a
matter of courtesy and maturity than opportunities
of eternal proportions.
friend thinks of you …that’s a compliment! He or
she deserves a reply as promptly as possible. When
you make a friend wait, expecting your reply, it’s
like you are really stealing his time…messing up his
schedule…perhaps inflicting a bit of pain or
resentment. Oh, I know…some friends just like to
gab…endlessly! Sometimes you really are too busy to
do what they request. Come on. We all are
overscheduled! The polite thing, and the mature
thing to do is answer as quickly as possible (one
good thing about the new technology is that we can
often answer in a one word email or I.M. or text
message…saves a ton of time, but lets the friend
know that we value him as a person!). When you are
too busy to chat, or just don’t have time in your
schedule to take on a new assignment…be up front.
My father taught
me years ago about the danger of acting too busy for
people. He reminded me that Jesus was never in too
big a hurry to see and meet the needs of
individuals. Dad said, “If you stop by someone’s
office to share a quick word, don’t stand with one
foot outside the door looking like you are really on
the way to something ‘really important.’ Walk in,
sit down in a chair, get comfortable, look at your
friend, say what needs to be said, ask how he is
doing…then, get up, say you need to be going, and
leave.” One way says, “I’m important…you’re not!”
The other way says, “I’m glad to see you, friend. I
value you, your time, and your friendship, and I’m
always here if you need me.” Thanks dad!
Thank God for the modern technology that we can
use to be good friends, to more effectively and
efficiently accomplish the tasks He sets before
us…both at home and around the world. Let’s use it
maturely and with courtesy. Praise God for the
“ancient technology” that He uses to directly
communicate His love and best advice to us, His
chosen, His children, His hands and feet to touch
the world. Let’s be eager to pick up the cell
phone, see who’s calling, and smile as we answer,
“It‘s me…what can I do for you today?”
I received a very nice
letter from a CBU alumna,
who is also the daughter of the Senior Deacon at the
Fugate. I believe you will
enjoy reading this encouraging letter.
November 25, 2004
On one night I had both the thrill of seeing
Billy Graham and leading a new friend to Christ.
Billy Graham and My New Friend Nick.
Here are some fresh pictures from the
campus of California Baptist. I've also added
another journal entry today,
of Home." Enjoy.
The New America Singers
A choir specifically designed for
youth in grades 7-12 who wish to sing in a larger,
touring youth choir. Two choirs are available: one
in Northern California (NC) and one in Southern
Students are chosen from these
choirs to participate in the New America Singers
international summer mission tour. Choir directors
always are looking for youth willing to sing and
glorify the Lord through the gift of music.
Please contact one of the directors
listed below to obtain information on joining the
State Youth Choir:
Ken Kell (209) 887-2445
California Baptist University
On September 18,
1950, the Los Angeles Baptist Association opened the
doors of California Baptist College in El Monte to
120 students who came seeking a liberal arts
education in a Christian environment. In 1955, after
four years of continued growth, the college
relocated to larger facilities in Riverside.
the Spanish-style buildings, which include
classrooms, campus housing, a library, offices,
maintenance and athletic facilities are located on
the eighty-two-acre campus. Growth in all areas
paved the way for the institution to become a
university on September 25, 1998. California Baptist
University continues the tradition of liberal arts
education in a Christian environment.
Learn more about California