Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Popsy's Last Prayer Letter

"Popsy," as he was lovingly called by his family and friends, surrendered his life to the Lord and went to the mission field at the age of 44.  The year was 1960.  He had pastored the Bible Baptist Church in Waxahachie, Texas, for eight years and then surrendered to give his life to missions.  He went to Monterrey, Mexico, with four children.  No mission board would accept him because he was, in their words, "too old."  This determined man, knowing God had called him, went anyway.

Popsy was the first of three generations now serving in missions.  Three of his children followed his leading and returned to Mexico as missionaries with their own families.  (His fourth child has bravely served our country in the Air Force and is one of hubby's heroes.... and he should be since hubby is named after him!)  

Now, twelve of their grandchildren, along with their families, are also serving as missionaries throughout the world.  (My hubby is one of those twelve.)  Makes me wonder if Popsy really was "too old" to become a missionary?!  

{Below} Mt. Hebron Baptist Church (choir pictured), started by Popsy and continued by his son Tommy.
{Below} Mt. Hebron Bible Baptist Institute, which Popsy started in 1963.
2010-2011 Student Body - M. H. B. B. I.

A missionary friend recently sent us a copy of Popsy's last prayer letter, which was written just a few months before his death.  I have retyped the letter (below it's picture), and I hope that it blesses you as much at it has blessed us.  What a privilege to be a part of this amazing heritage!

February 19, 1990

Dear Friends,

I feel impressed to dictate this letter to you this morning, to be mailed after the Lord takes me home.  By the time this reaches you I will have seen the Glory of the Lord, walked on streets of gold, with not a tumor in nor on my body, no swollen leg, no hemorrhaging, no pain and no crippled arm!

I want to let you know that only through God and His impressing you (then your submission to Him) to support the work of Mount Hebron, there have been thousands of souls saved and hundreds of preachers sent to all parts of Mexico to fulfill the Great Commission.

I feel the responsibility to let you know how much I appreciate the faith and trust you put in me to so graciously and sacrificially support the work through almost 30 years in Mexico.  All work at Mount Hebron will continue, your work will continue.  God has given me children and a wife who have a heart for the work equally as I.

Through the years, God has blessed the work, I believe, because of the confidence and unity of our friends and Mount Hebron.  I do appreciate everything so much.  Only God knows the true results of your and our labours together.  There have been many valleys but we always seemed to be higher after we came through.  I have no doubt but you who have sacrificed will have a great reward in heaven.

I am asking that you please continue your support to Mount Hebron.  The obligations and responsibilities for my boys and wife will not decrease at my passing.

The support will be handled by my wife with help and counsel of pastor friends and, of course, our sons.

With this request I must say, "I'll meet you in the morning."  Philipians 4:17 and Romans 8:28.  May God richly bless you is my prayer.  Please keep up the good work.  "It has been worth it all."

Your former missionary to Mexico,
Dr. L.H. Ashcraft
Popsy met his Creator, his Saviour, his Father on March 11, 1990.  His beautiful wife, lovingly called "Mimi," joined him March 14, 1996.

Oh, how I pray that the Lord would find us faithful too!  That we could serve Him 30+ years and say, like Popsy said it so well, "It has been worth it all!"

{Below} This video (narrated by Jonathan Ashcraft, Popsy's grandson) gives a much better description of Popsy and the work that has continued years after his Home-going.  I hope it will encourage you as much as it has encouraged me!

(For those reading this post through a reader, click here to see this video on YouTube.)


  1. What a sweet testimony!



    Eddie Grimes

  3. Praise the LORD!!! After spending my first summer out of Bible College, helping a nearby missionary, down there near Monte Hebron, the Lord used Brother Ashcraft to have a profoundly decisive influence on two of the most important decisions that I ever made regarding service and life. Praise the LORD again, for such a powerfully humble servant!! Was glad to share the letter. God bless you all.

  4. Wow! I loved that! I spent 3 summers at Monte Hebron as a teenager. The Ashcrafts hold a VERY dear place in my heart. I would LOVE to go back for a visit and see all the changes and hug some necks. I have very fond memories of a lot of people and places there.

    Love you, sweet girl!
    Vanessa Rosales

  5. What an amazing heritage!

  6. These were amazing people. Two of my Pastors surrendered to the Lord at Mt. Hebron. Our pastor in Alaska, Pastor Prevo, was such a blessing to our family while my Dad was stationed there in the Air Force. I met my husband, Buster Consford, while I was there. Now, our pastor in Texas, Pastor Danny Dodson, has served the Lord for over 25 years at Central Baptist Church in Center, TX. Just imagine the impact on the world because of this man!

  7. WoW - God is so amazing:) What a blessing!!! I'm so glad that he answered God's call to go:)) I love seeing results of stuff like that:)) It's so neat and shows how real God is and how wonderful it really is to serve Him faithfully all the time;))

  8. Thank you for sharing. What a wonderful heritage. God truly is Great and Gracious.

    Love to all,

  9. I've been lurking here for a couple of months, after finding your blog through my former pastor's daughter, Donna Hollars Schepers. Our pastor, Bro. Mickey Hollars, mentioned Bro. Ashcraft many times in the 11 years we were under his ministry in Ft. Worth. Bro Ashcraft was definitely one of our pastor's heroes! I loved reading about him and reading his last prayer letter. How I wish, along with you, that my husband and I can say at the end of our lives, it has been worth it all! Thank you for sharing!

  10. Jolene, I loved this post! I have heard so much about Mimi and Popsy that I feel like I know them.

  11. Thank you for writing this! Loved it. I miss them!

  12. What a wonderful tribute to an incredible man. We have heard stories and knew about his legacy through his children but this post really showed the magnitude of his reach around the world. Wow, another choice servant of the Lord.
    I loved this!!

  13. What a fantastic testimony!! I am so very thankful for those that heed the calling of God and go! Thank you for sharing this and thank you for "going"! God bless you and your family!

  14. So sweet! Makes me think of my father-in-law. Oh how we need more of this kind in our day! Gail

  15. The beauty behind this testimony is the life that was lived before it. Our church has been blessed by supporting some of his descendants. We've heard them speak of his work and their work -- all the Lord's work, as is yours.

    While souls have been saved through Ashcraft testimonies, even more have been blessed than you know. Just as sharing this has blessed even more.

  16. WOW!!! Thank you for sharing this powerful letter Jolene, I was encouraged to look more at the decisions I make, through the light of eternity. What an impact Popsy's faithfulness and life have made (are still making!) for the Kingdom of God!!! Incredible story, incredible-Christ-honoring-life, and such a beautiful legacy for your family, too my friend. *Hugs*

  17. What a wonderful, wonderful legacy and testimony! That's for sharing!

  18. What a blessing!
    Mrs. Hickman

  19. What a joy to read all the comments left from this post!

    It makes me wonder what Heaven will be like with hundreds of people, influenced by the faithful obedience of only one man....

    ...Now imagine the thousands of people who have been faithful to their calling, and the souls they had a part in winning to the Lord. It will be a wonderful time when we all get to Heaven!

    Thank you for sharing this prayer letter. I had never read it. Makes me miss him.



Thank you for your encouraging comments! "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." Proverbs 25:25