Dear Friend,


Along with the summer rains came the blessing of God in our work among the Seminole people. Our church here at the Big Cypress reservation is growing both spiritually and in numbers. Even with many going away on vacations, our attendance has held up better than expected. Early in the summer a youth group came down from Leesburg, Florida, and blessed us with help in Vacation Bible School. They did a fantastic job and the seed of the Gospel was planted in the heart of many children on the reservation. At the end of the summer on our “Back to School Day,” we handed out backpacks to about 25 young people and about 10 teachers who attended this special day. It has been a good summer for us. Thank you for praying.


One of the challenges of working on the reservation is finding ways to get involved in the community in order to build relationships. One way I have found to do this is fishing in tribal bass tournaments. Recently I invited a young man who did not know the Lord to be my partner. We won 5th place and turned in a respectable stringer of fish. But the best part is that on the way I spoke to him about his need for the Lord and he received Christ as his Savior. Now that’s fishin’! Because of my involvement with these tournaments I have been able to connect with many men who live on the reservation. One of the men started bringing his family to church; he and his wife were already saved but had gotten out of church several years ago. Recently on a Wednesday night in our children’s class, one of his grandchildren stayed around after the meeting and asked my wife how she could be saved.  My wife was able to lead her to Christ. Pray for these new believers that they will soon follow the Lord in baptism and pray for their spiritual growth.


We are excited about our new fellowship hall. The groundbreaking will be on Friday, September 7. Many tribal leaders are planning to be there; it will present us with another opportunity to connect with the community and present the Gospel. We are also working on a Winter Gospel Concert Series. Pray that many will come, hear the Gospel and be saved.


From the heart of the Everglades,


Arlen J. Payne
Missionary to the Seminole Indians of South Florida



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