Monday, February 28, 2011

See and Believing

Seeing and Believing and Bye Bye Facebook

On Friday I had the second of two LASEK eye surgeries. That “e” in LASEK isn’t a typo. Rather, it is a different procedure than LASIK and one that, after study, I concluded was certainly the better of the two. Now I am on my third day of life-without-glasses (OK, I had about 2400 of these days between birth and when I first dawned spectacles. But that was so long ago as to hardly be memorable.)

Though the procedure went great and the outcome will be wonderful, I am having a painful allergic reaction to one of the post-surgical drips. So I will see the doc (Frank Teed) in a few hours and he will figure out what to do about that. I highly recommend that doctor, by the way, to anyone considering eye surgery.

Amazing Facts has authorized the Prewitts to secure housing here in Arkansas and so we are housing hunting and selling lots of our personal books and items. Have sold about 400 books from my personal library in the last ten days. My students have good taste – books by the pioneers, by Ellen White, on church history, have gone faster than others.

Last evening I was talking to Pastor Dwayne Lemon (by phone) regarding the Trumpets and Woes of Revelation when… someone knocked on my door. I yelled “come in!” and they did… three boys and a box with a “duck” that “couldn’t fly” that they were trying to “help.” It jumped out of its box and I dismissed the boys and said we (the Prewitts) would take care of it. Heidi tried to coax it to waddle onto an absorbent mat. “Duck” did not cooperate and began pecking at the shoe Heidi was using to coax it. I told pastor Dwayne that we would talk more later.

First, out with the bird book. This was a pied grebe. It dives, swims, sinks…and rarely flies. It probably needs quite a stretch of water to get airborn (other grebes do) and so when it was discovered by my students on land gathering nesting material…it was, umm, a sitting duck.

I picked up the grebe (those pokes don’t really hurt) after Heidi had filled our tub with cool water, and I placed the bird where it could navigate more gracefully. We invited the boys to come back over and see how healthy their bird was. (Our bathtub has two wall mirrors above it that meet in the corner…making an interesting effect for the duck when she (I think it was a she) looked at the mirror and suddenly saw a flock of grebes. (But grebes are solitary birds…) She went back into the tub.

When we had had our fill of watching her dive and swim under water and preen, etc., I carried her down to a local pond and set her free. Watching boys expected to see her scurry away…but she just saw there in the water. At night it is not safe for such birds to move much. They can’t see and the things that eat them…can. So they generally stay sensibly still.

We would do well, also, to learn from the birds. When we are in times of darkness we would do well to not make big decisions, big changes. Look for the light and wait for the Lord to resolve perplexities before shipwrecking your faith in the shallow water of your understanding.

Today I give a test on the Mark of the Beast and the Seal of God. It is one of the most important tests I give in Revelation class. And as a test, it is directly related to the test that is coming. I think that the chapter on this topic in the book Deeper (1045 copies sold so far, for those who care) is one of the most important. The test will be a hard one…there is more info on this topic in scripture than most people think.

And later today…I leave facebook permanently. I have so many loose ends to tie up there! 400 facebook emails await my reply. And probably 395 of them will wait forever. But it is for the good.

And earlier today I have worship for the academy. I would love to recruit them to our summer canvassing program in Wichita, Kansas…but it is now full.

Pray that God will prosper our efforts to secure a home and to plan our future work. It is daunting. And pray for “Enkhtevan” in Mongolia and for Jacob elsewhere. They need it and would appreciate it. Our work is to believe that the Lord Jesus can handle our case and make us to be like Him and that He can even “heal our backslidings.”

Jeremiah 3:22  Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the LORD our God.

Be faithful,


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Yesterday's miracles

Am in a hurry today...but here is the super one...the church in Magnolia AR has an evangelistic series beginning on the 18th of this month...just before we leave. Yesterday we canvassed the neighborhood of the church...and about fifty yards from the church discovered a young couple recently married who were excited to purchase ten books from Roberto and want to visit church and are interested in prophecy and in the upcoming lectures. They won't need a ride...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Last Thursday, Day One

Last Thursday, our first full day of canvassing, 16 boxes of books were sold by the groups in TN, AR, TX. Don't forget that that was a windy cold day. I don't have the figures for GA yet, but a guess would put the total for the four states to about 360 books, or $4,400. The stories I have heard are amazing, (I posted one earlier), and the all-boy group in Magnolia averaged 20 books per person on Thursday! Amen.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Weaning away from FB

I am beginning the work of weaning myself from FB. First, there is the work of letting people know about the blog so they can follow the canvassing miracles and mission miracles. Then there is the work of collecting a mailing list for those that God may use to fund the mission schools. Then there is the work of making sure that my FB friends from Audioverse and GYC know that I love and value them even if I don't have time to interact with them on a personal level. (How can this be done!?)

And there is the internal work. I really look forward to those comments and "likes" that I am about to divorce myself from. I feel literally sentimental. And if Heidi read this she would get a big smile and hug me. She loves those rare moments when sentiment leaks out of me.

Today I announced at the Arkadelphia church that we would be leaving. We started that church plant from scratch just six years ago. To see it as a functioning and faithful body, is so rewarding. And like Paul, we expect to keep in touch with this church and to visit it when God allows.

This process of leaving is ... complicated in an emotional way.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Missions and Me

Missions and Me

By Eugene Prewitt
For Beloved Friends, Co-workers, Family, and for the Courtesy of Informing

The Prewitts are leaving Ouachita Hills after this semester. This letter is a brief explanation of why we are leaving, what we will be doing, and has suggestions as to what you should do about it. It closes with insights into how God has led us.

Why We Are Leaving

First, it is not because of any dissatisfaction with Ouachita Hills. If I had a college-age child seeking my advice on education, I would recommend him or her to Ouachita Hills. The program here is excellent. The teachers that have come, especially of late, are precious and powerful. The values of the school reflect my own better than any institution I know.

Second, neither is it because of money. Heidi and I have been blessed by the Lord in ways that I can not quite understand. We are debt free. The pay at OH is plentifully adequate.

We are leaving because there is something to do elsewhere that needs to be done and it seems to us that God is calling us to do it.

At the same time, God has been (it seems to me) preparing me for this calling for almost 18 months. During this period I have watched a number of unexpected and unlikely events work together to free me from a tangle of responsibilities here. I will list a few of these things later.

When I have assessed my own spiritual walk with the Lord, the needs of our family, and the gifts and experience that I have, I have found that God has qualified me to be a pioneer in His work. I do best, spiritually and functionally, when raising up new enterprises. Ouachita Hills was this kind of project seven years ago. The Arkadelphia church plant was this kind even up until about a year ago. But now these ministries have matured and God has brought to them a wealth of talent that better matches their mature state.

Finally, I find that I have been doing my job at Ouachita Hills poorly. This is the result partly of my frequent traveling and partly of the spectacular growth of the school’s magabook program. And there are other causes not related to this letter. But, on reflection, I could neither stop traveling to preach nor could I wish for a shrinkage of the schools literature program.

But the largest reason we are leaving is the “something” to do. That is  the best reason too.

What We Will Be Doing

We will be starting schools in mission lands. Initially, we will be especially helping with schools in the United Kingdom, Ukraine, India, and the Philippines. The latter school will start a year from now. ($150,000 was recently donated for its founding). The school in India starts this coming July. Over the course of the next four years another five schools, above these, will be established. Africa will be targeted, as well as other locations in Asia and perhaps Latin America.

I have encouraged scores of my past students to go establish schools. It is time that I do it myself. Here in the USA you students have several good educational options. Ouachita is perhaps the best of those options. But many persons like yourself, except born elsewhere, have no such good educational options. And God will, it seems, use the Prewitts to help alleviate this problem.

We will be working with the AFCOE (Amazing Facts College of Evangelism) system. I approached them two weeks ago about my interest in helping to establish these mission schools and received swift responses regarding their interest in this project.

Sentimentally, we do not appear to yet be called to make the kind of complete sacrifice of friends and familiar associations that previous missionary persons have selflessly made. I have requested the AFCOE system to only employ me eight months each year and to leave me the months of December, January, June and July. During those months I still intend to help train persons in the art of selling magabooks. Twenty years of my life has been invested in doing this and it seems a wise use of my time must include some practice of the trade I have spent my life developing. So during these months I will see you, many of you, and that is a great comfort to me, to us. Also, we both have aging parents and grand-parents and treasure this organization that allows us to give them some attention while we yet work largely abroad.

That is what we will be doing and it seems that it will start this coming August.

What You Should Do About It

Ellen White wrote to a group of students at a school like this one. What she wrote is relevant today.

     We want to say to the students here, You are just where the Lord wants you to be. You have been obtaining an education, and the Lord wants you to go on from grace to grace, from point to point, not to settle down here, but to obtain an education to go out, you know not where.  {SpM 357.6}

What can you do? If you are a student, study with all your might. Master your subjects. Prepare to go “you know not where” and to teach those things. Then, when you graduate, consider working with the Prewitts. We will have need for more principled godly teachers than we will have an easy time finding. But in the mean-time, take your debt reduction seriously. If you are burdened with a large debt it is doubtful that you will be able to help us. Raise money, pay down your debts.

If you are a friend or a relative, consider giving to the cause of establishing training schools in countries where the trained workers will work for $100/month. These schools will be a power in the world and, if well funded, may even be able to be the mission-sending organizations that hire their own graduates to enter the field and work. The location and timing of the founding of future schools depends partly on the work of donors. (That is, if your local church gives $50,000 to establish a training school in China, then China will be more likely to receive the next school plant than some other place. We are planting schools debt free.) But it is the $50/month regular contributions that are most helpful to new schools.

Whoever you are, you should encourage us. Love us, miss us, write to us later (and write to us now.) But don’t ask us to stay. Send us with your blessing. And, again, write to us. You may have heard that I am overwhelmed with email. But I would rather get a letter from you than from any one of the other persons, largely unknown to me, who write for reasons not so close to my heart as your life and work.

And what if you are a student that I personally invited to come to OHC? And now you have arrived just in time to find that I am leaving? Please know that these plans were not in my mind, no, not even 21 days ago. It was only three weeks ago that I told Heidi that we would most likely be reapplying to come back here next year. (We pray about this every year.) Be faithful here. I would be very happy to study under the man that it appears is likely to replace me. But that name, like your future work location, is not for you to know yet.

How God Led Us

There are three ways that God speaks to us. These are summed up in 5T 512. They are through inspired writings, providential leadings, and impressions of His Spirit. The first two items are most relevant in cases like our own where one is making a major decision regarding the future.

A few of the counsels that have most impacted me have communicated the following ideas:

There are many openings for missionaries in Australia, New Zealand, and the islands of the sea. And it will not be possible to supply laborers from America to fill all the many openings. Workers must be educated in these fields, who can take up the work, and go forth as light-bearers to the dark places of these lands. Not many can go to America to obtain an education; and even if they could go, it might not be best for them, or for the advancement of the work. The Lord would have schools established in this country to educate workers, to give character to the work of present truth in these new fields, and to awaken an interest in unbelievers. He would have you make a center for education in your own country, where students of promise may be educated in practical branches, and in the truths of the Bible, that they may be prepared to work in these lands, rescuing souls from the bondage of Satan. Teachers may come from America, until the work is fairly established, and by this means a new bond of union may be formed between America and Australia, New Zealand, and the islands of the sea.  {FE 203.1}

I know his constitution. From what has been presented to me over and over again, I know that for a while he will take hold of a line of work enthusiastically, but after a time he wearies of it, and should have a change. He is not to be held too long in any one place. He should go from place to place, speaking to new congregations. . . . but it is not wisest to keep him over one congregation too long. He has another work to do.  {17MR 53.6}

The incredible providences that I have observed include the following:

1.  In Arkadelphia I went from being needed to teach or preach very regularly to being needed very rarely. This happened in the last year.
2.  At OHC I went from teaching four classes per semester to three (last fall) and two (this spring). Meanwhile, Brethren Baute, Arthur and Zuhl, are cumulatively teaching seven classes that I had been teaching previously. And when I talked to Mrs. Clark, earlier last week, about my plans, she mentioned that qualified Bible teachers were already looking at Ouachita Hills for future employment.
3.  My work in helping my sister-in-law, Pam, is coming to an unexpected end (I learned just a week ago) as she is moving back to VA to be nearer her oldest son. This also brings to an end my responsibilities as a land-lord.
4.  My heavy logistical work of organizing the OHC magabook programs has been taken up by Christine Neall. She has done such a thorough work that, for the first time since 1996, I feel comfortable putting that work into someone else’s hand. She knows how to negotiate prices, sponsorships, housing. She is ready to cooperate with knowing student leaders to make these programs a success. I saw this most clearly when I returned from Australia and found that, if she had only had the authority to do so, she could have organized these coming programs completely without me. (And it would have been easier for her as she would not have had to wait for my tardy responses.)
5.  The time I have recently spent in the UK, Norway, France and Australia has convinced me that the need in foreign countries for true education institutions far exceeds the need for new ones here in the US.
6.  In the last six months I have been asked to help start magabook programs in India, Australia, the Philippines, and in the UK. This closely coincides with where there are plans to establish AFCOE programs. Then, when talking to AFCOE last week, I was asked if I would help these new schools to establish canvassing programs. This makes a tongue-in-groove fit between my training/experience and the needs of the proposed project.
7.  Last semester I was pleased to find that I have several students who are ready and able to head up summer programs and to organize them, start to finish, without me. Wow.
8.  Last week I received two emails, in one day, inviting me to teach at two AFCOE programs (in the UK and in the Ukraine). This was the day that the idea of visiting these other programs (India, etc.) suggested itself to me with greatest force.
9.  So the summary of all these other eight pointes is that they weigh more together than the sum of their individual weights. Together they suggest to me that God has been organizing and orchestrating to allow my complex life with all its many responsibilities to, in a short time, be cut free from those complexities. I am bidden to go. I will go.

Look for More Info on the Overseas Schools Development Project? I plan to abandon facebook at the end of February, but will see if I can set up some web resource where you can keep posted on what is happening without too much trouble. (Why abandon facebook? I hear you asking. I have already eliminated bad things from my life. But my life has filled up with too many good things to allow sufficient time for prayer and study. So some good things will have to go. And facebook and email from persons I have not likely to see personally in the next year or two...are the good things I am dropping. That will allow me to give more attention to people that Providence has brought into my path.) FB and email-from-not-with-me-personally-people have grown to inordinate levels and threaten my real-life life. So, end of February, there they go.

My farewell note on Facebook...24 days early

Facebook and Me
Moving Toward February 28

This note is an explanation of why I will deactivate my Facebook account on February 28, 2011.

If you have not yet read my previous note, “Missions and Me,” then please do so before reading this one. Reading that other note is an essential preliminary activity to understanding this one well.

First, Facebook is a good thing.

No other venue allows me to reach so many people so easily, so quickly, with so little (read ‘zero’) expense. Through facebook, in the last few years, I have made posts and sent messages that have brought several students to Christian schools, led several adults into full-time ministry positions, recruited a score of student canvassers, solved immense logistical nightmares. I have, through FB, been reconnected with hundreds of individuals from my past. Relatives, class mates, past students, I have enjoyed fellowshipping with these.

And as a means of finding someone on this planet, facebook has worked better than any other service. It is international. And it is intuitive. When I type “Sally Butler”…though it knows of 52 Sally Butlers, it knows which one I intend because we have a mutual friend in Timbuktu.

Facebook has, in a similar way, allowed perhaps 2500 persons to find me. (For I think that of my 2867 friends, I can not have added more than 350 of them.) Whether to ask perplexing questions (an OK thing), or to send an encouraging note (a wonderful thing), or to just keep tabs on my life (a sweet thing), or to take advantage of my page to promote some theological idea (varies…but never a good way to promote even a good thing), these people have received a service from facebook.

And for professional advice, FB has been tops. Via facebook I have been saved thousands of dollars and more than one medical emergency has been recognized and dealt with. Our dear friend, Melissa Allen, for example, might have been diagnosed with cancer several months later than she was had it not been for FB. Today she is cancer free. Would that have been true if she had been diagnosed months later?

Facebook is good for my photo-loving mom. I don’t take pictures. I don’t care to talk about pictures here. But a couple hundred pictures of me are on facebook and that is my mother’s only and best opportunity to see pictures of her son and of his travels. So, as I said, FB is good for my mother and makes her life more pleasant. (Now I have to figure out how to print some of these and send them to her before February 28. If any one of you wants to do that for me, I will send you money for the paper, ink, and postage.)

Facebook has been an excellent venue for reporting canvassing experiences. It seems that the good reports have cheered a great many people and Ellen White said that such experiences should have a place in our papers where they would inspire others to do the same work.

And there is more. But I did not intend to write a eulogy for facebook, so that will have to suffice.

This side of the coin is bright and shiny, and gold-tinted, much like an Ausi $2 coin. Admire this side as long as you care to. And when you are ready, turn the coin over.

Most of the nudity (mostly images of topless women) that I have seen in the last five years have been on facebook ‘friend’ requests. These (three or four of them) came mostly in a one-month period so it seems that FB may have successfully solved most of this problem. I say ‘most’ because just a few weeks ago one of my ‘friends’ changed her profile picture to that of a topless old woman. I could have avoided the latter problem by not accepting any friend requests from persons I do not know. But that would not have helped the first cases. As a male, I was created to be attracted to my wife’s uncovered body. That is not a weakness, it is an appropriate strength. And I should avoid situations that turn that strength into a weakness. More than this, I do not want to be a venue for men to be made weak by what they see on my page.

But this is not even the largest reason I will deactivate facebook.

Facebook is disheartening. I need all the courage I can get. God, in His kindness, has not given me the ability to read hearts. Nor has He given me an ever-present ability to be in a hundred places at once. These two kind weaknesses protect me from an overwhelming discouraging collection of facts. People I know and love and care for are watching movies and listening to music and playing FB games that are destroying them. And they let the world know through FB. They have a right to. I am not faulting them for promoting their values. But to do God’s will best, I need courage. And to see how many persons who I thought better of are cherishing the world, hurts.

Such hurt is a good thing in the contracted sphere where I should feel it. It is right that I be touched and saddened by the struggles of those near me. But as a human, I was given strength to bear only a finite amount of such sadness. FB expands my view irrationally and thus overwhelms.

But neither is this the largest reason I will deactivate facebook.

Facebook provides a playing ground for false ideas and false teachers to ‘befriend’ unsuspecting persons and to infect them. By having a large collection of mutual friends, they appear safe. So, for example, “Elijah Message” seems to be a friend of thousands of unsuspecting persons.

And FB has also been a means of bilking persons of their entrusted funds. Several friends of mine have been ‘spoofed.’ (That is, a fake profile of them appeared on FB and began requesting money.)

But neither is this the largest reason I will deactivate facebook in less than four weeks.

I will deactivate facebook primarily because I am swamped by it. (My wife would say ‘addicted.) Though I don’t play any games, though I don’t take quizzes, use apps, respond to requests, the incredible access to people (ok, that is my most earnest felt need, to have access to people) brings me to facebook too often. I have tried various methods to control this, efforts to keep the shiny side of the coin always up.

And after all, I realize that I just can’t have access to so many persons that I care for without endangering my own spiritual development. To try to control this right eye or this right hand might seem sensible if the stakes were not so high. But the game of life is too serious for taking risks. And so facebook, a good thing, must go.

Let me elaborate briefly. I want to serve others and to meet their needs while preserving my health so that I can serve others and meet their needs tomorrow. But I am not God. And when I try to serve too many persons and give my ear to the needs of distant people, rather than serving more and better, I just serve more and worse.

That is, I serve hundreds in a business-like way rather than twenty-five in a personal way. As a human I wasn’t made for this. Facebook has weakened my ministry to the persons around me, my students, my fellow church members, my fellow staff. I know some facebook heretics better than I know some of my fellow-workers at Ouachita Hills College. Why? Because the heretics are more present, more demanding of my attention, apparently more needy and in a more desperate state. But then, again, I am not God. He will bring one of his servants to help those that need help. He bids me take care of a little flock. And that is the flock that is near me.

So this begs the question (I am almost done), why wait four weeks? The answer is “Courtesy.”

There are people that need a chance to note my email address (
And there are people that need a chance to read my final messages (this is how I will “let your light so shine before men” that they can see these works.)
And I need to get some pictures for my mom.
And I need to collect some email addresses myself.
And I need time to think of what other things I need time for.
And, as persons addicted to tobacco have heard, it is a good idea to make a date for doing a difficult good thing and to talk about it and etc. So that is the 28th.

So if you haven’t read the note “Missions and Me”…read it.

And if I really know you, and/or if I really see you once a year or so, and/or if I really work with you in the Lord’s vineyard, email me after I deactivate facebook. I want to keep in touch.

But if you added me to FB because you were blessed by some scripture statement shared in one of sermons, then I bid you a fond farewell. When Paul was about to depart friends he would never see again, he did it this way:

Ac 20:31  Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. 32  And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

He expressed that they were ready to get their spiritual meat directly from the Source. They were not to be crippled on account of his departure. God and the Word would build them up.

And it will you.

Be faithful,

Eugene Prewitt

My first blog

My first blog will be from this weeks canvassing. As a replacement for Facebook, I hope this will be a source of light without being anything else.

Be faithful,
Greetings from Tennessee!
Yesterday morning, Lizbeth and I were dropped off to work a street.  My first business was a large grocery store.  I walked in a soon found the two managers, neither of whom were very interested.  I was just leaving when I noticed a young lady (obviously an employee) smoking on the bench outside the store.  I knew I could pass her by, for she, too, was a child of God in need of hope.  When I began canvassing her, she took an immediate interest in the books, and decided to get Peace Above the Storm and God’s Answers to Your Questions.  Praising God for that divine appointment, I canvassed the next store, then decided to quickly walk through the parking  lot before leaving the plaza.  To my surprise, I saw the lady who had just bought the two books running toward me.  “Can you please come back?” she began. “We have been looking all over for you.  The ladies in the kitchen saw my books, and they want books too!”  I quickly followed her back into the store, where the ladies greeted me enthusiastically.  Quite a few of them decided to get books, but there was one lady, Charlotte, who I will not forget.  After the other ladies left, she came up to me and asked if she could see the book on peace.  As I handed it to her, she began, right in the store, to tell me her story.  “You have no idea of the storms I am going through in my life, and things are just getting worse....just yesterday, I was in a bad wreck.  My car blew a tire and I completely lost control.”  She continued telling me how amazingly how her car seemed guided within inches of fatal ditches or trees.  She knew it was a miracle that she was still alive and could work.  But still she was in the midst of a storm,  with her finances, relationships, and other things.  “I was just praying yesterday, `Oh, God help me find peace.  Help me somehow.`  Then my co-worker came in and I saw the title Peace Above the Storm.  It could not have been coincidence.”  Tears streamed down her face as she continued: “I told the ladies to run and find you somehow, but at first they looked and said they could not find you anywhere.  I know that God brought you back.”  
I began showing her the chapters in the book, and read a few encouraging quotes.  I could feel God’s presence there.  Before I left, she gave a big hug and told me again how much it meant to her that I came back.  I hope and pray that I can stay in contact with her.  God works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform....
"All over the world men and women are looking wistfully to heaven. Prayers and tears and inquiries go up from souls longing for light, for grace, for the Holy Spirit. Many are on the verge of the kingdom, waiting only to be gathered in."  {AA 109.1} 
Heaven's blessings to you all!