Sorry about being missing in action, but things have been rather busy. I'll be getting back on track with weekly reports, so thanks for your patience.
Exciting testimonies are coming in about the first round of visits and new ministries that have sprung up. God is really moving in the lives of the churches that are actively participating in the CONNECTIONS MINISTRY.
Here's a run down in alphabetical order.
Alvin First Assembly
Training is complete and people have begun visiting the New Movers, people who have recently moved into the community. They have planned a Family Fun Night event for tonight, in order to invite the new families and their friends to the church for some fun and meeting the neighbors. I'm looking forward to seeing how this works out. This is a new idea, so keep them in prayer. I haven't had much communication with them over the past few weeks because of vacations and some of their staff being out of town. I'm just trusting that everything is ready for tonight. I'll update you next week.
Just as a reminder, Imperial Valley is a very small church, approx. 20 people, composed of mostly elderly members. God has begun to send help from the outside to help them reach the community around them.
There is quite a bit to report about how God is moving in this community!
On the last week of training, God sent a Spanish speaking family to the church. The man's name is David. He is a minister and has experience in planting churches. He shared his desire for reaching the Spanish speaking portion of the community and helping to establish a Spanish speaking congregation. This was a direct answer to prayer. The community around the church has become predominately Hispanic in culture.
The pastor decided to transform their normal First Saturday Men's breakfast into a community pancake breakfast, with the help of a couple who are in the process of leaving for a missions assignment in Costa Rica. On that Saturday morning, there were approximately 100 people who attended the breakfast!!
On the following Sunday, they were able to conduct a bilingual service with 52 people in attendance!!!
This past Saturday, they conducted an outdoor Baptism service, with another planned in a few weeks. Since then, they have begun visiting the New Movers. The people they are visiting are glad to see them and are appreciative of the fact that people have come to their houses to pray for them.
Last Wednesday, they began a Spanish speaking Wednesday night service as well!!
Even with all of these great things happening, there has been some resistance from some of the old time members. We will continue to pray that God will continue to open the doors of opportunity for them and that they will also become involved in reaching their community.
Lindale Assembly recently conducted a new Membership Sunday service. Approximately 48 new people joined the congregation. Most of them had been called or visited by the CONNECTIONS MINISTRY team. That was very encouraging news for the Pastor, as well as the ministry participants.
One of the great testimonies that has come from the effort so far, is about a woman named Delores. She visited the church in May and was called by one of the church's team members that happens to live across the street. Since then, the "visitor" has begun picking up the team member to go to church!! Delores was in the CONNECTIONS MINISTRY meeting this past Sunday and shared with the group about how much the calls and visits meant to her. She also told us that the reason that she had visited the church in the first place was because her mother and father both died in April, within 30 minutes of each other. It got her to thinking about God. This reinforced to the group, the importance of reaching people while they are in a time of transition.
Some of the people who have gone through the training process are still somewhat timid about going out to visit, but they have set their hearts to follow through, no matter what.
We also heard testimony from another team member about their home visits, one resulting in having the door closed on them. (Not everyone will want the free gift - Salvation or our gift packet.) And also being able to overcome an apartment complex obstacle, no soliciting signs, then being able to turn it into an opportunity to be able to minister to the entire complex!!
Two of the team members have agreed to become the "point persons" to keep the information flowing from the church to me, so that we can keep track of who has been visited and who has not.
This is such an exciting time for Lindale. Results are being seen, people are being saved, lives are being transformed and God is getting the GLORY!!
I have not talked to Pastor Jeff in the past few weeks. Their Invite a Friend effort several weeks ago generated one visitor. I am not sure what direction they are wanting to take. Please continue to pray for them, that God will give them clear direction.
I am in the process of putting all of the Evangelism Training materials into video format, to be loaded onto the website and packaged for churches to use. I am also working on putting together the training manuals and videos for the CONNECTIONS MINISTRY.
I am getting more requests to come to churches for training and implementing this ministry. Please pray with us that God will give us clear direction on how to carry this out and to provide the financial resources that we need for equipment and resources.
God bless you. I'll see you next week with more news.
Rev. Teddy Levron