God has been moving!
The past six weeks have been some of the fullest, most rewarding, and most draining times of our lives and certainly of our ministry. Since the middle of September we have seen eight young people profess faith in Jesus as Savior and step into the waters of baptism. To put this in perspective, in the previous year we had baptized four people, all of which were amazing stories of redemption. During the past few weeks though, God has really been doing some cool stuff…..early church in the book of Acts type of stuff!
Our gatherings have been lasting for hours because no one wants to leave. Teenagers who are rough and ragged are stopping people on the street to pray for them and tell them about what Jesus is doing in their lives. Rap worship has become a normal thing in our worship times…(I know right)! New young and older faces continue to show up each week to hear, in many cases for the first time, about the love and grace of Jesus. What we are especially excited to share with you all, though, is that this is no accident. It is not a fluke or a random occurrence, and it is definitely not because of our expertise or talents. It is the result of prayer and consistent, available love. In the early part of September we really started praying by name for many of the young people in our churches, and our new partnership with the Simple Church Alliance gave us access to a whole new group of people who were willing to pray along with the core of family and friends who has been specifically praying for God to be present and active when we gather, and who challenged our commitment to prayer. And so, as we began to pray, God began to draw people to himself, and people couldn’t resist. We didn’t change anything, we still focus on building relationships and teaching about Jesus. And people have been responding for the last two years, but now, at this time, we are seeing a deeper level of response, an unpolished, whole-hearted, I-don’t-have-all-the-answers-but-I-don’t-care-because-I-need-Jesus faith. A lot of it started through the confession and testimony of a middle school girl, which was pretty amazing.
It’s been messy. It always is with real people. We had our baptism kiddie-pool blow up after the first baptism. We headed to tractor supply at the last minute and bought a horse trough, and before an hour had gone by I got a phone call offering to reimburse me for it. We’ve had car accidents and sickness and Satan has been hitting some of our new believers pretty hard, but we’re still thankful and we figure Satan hates what’s happening, because God is definitely moving.
Some of the other highlights of the month include:
- God opened a really clear and easy path for us to come under the covering of a non-profit to receive tax-deductible support, check out the link below
- Kaleb started afterschool basketball at the Providence school and has been having 8-9 students participating and one of our young adult new believers helping coach
- Kate has the opportunity to take two girls in our ministry to get their hair cut and styled at a fancy salon paid for by a donor
- We received a $2000 gift from an anonymous donor at exactly the right time to pay our bills for October!
- Multiple people stepped up to pay for really nice Bibles for our new believers
- A volunteer in our ministry donated a stack of brand new towels for us to use after baptisms (Kaleb forgets these details sometimes)
- A friend and neighbor pointed us to a stack of free lawn chairs to use for our Sunday night church bonfires in the fall
- A couple of guys in our church have started to step up and disciple each other and that has been encouraging to see
- Too many other things to name….!
Please continue to keep us in your prayers at all times and for all things, we are vividly aware of how crushing our calling can be without prayer cover. Here are some specifics you can pray for:
- We have started a new discipleship plan with our new believers based around reading the bible, accountability, and praying for each other and lost friends/family- all we use is a small bookmark with some prompts to keep in your Bible so we are excited to see God use this strategy to multiply disciples and churches
- Health for our family
- Protection against spiritual warfare, discouragement, distraction, and fatigue
- Our children, that they will continue to be our primary ministry and focus and a reminder of our mission as spiritual mothers and fathers to those without them
- Financial provision for our daily and monthly needs
- Home for the holidays – we haven’t visited family in Pennsylvania in over three years and are being blessed with an opportunity to visit over Thanksgiving, pray that this trip goes smoothly and is refreshing!
- New believers and new faces…we want to see God continue to save souls and we need more people to make space in their lives to lead people to Jesus and then be consistent as they start following him
- Wisdom in practical advice- many of the folks in our ministry struggle with basic life skills like eating healthy, getting drivers licenses, finding jobs, washing clothes…we want to advocate for the whole person, mind, body, soul
Thank you so much for reading this, we love you and are praying for you. Check out below for some cool pictures and info!
-Kaleb, Kate, Kristian, and Keira