During September I sent out a few quick e-mail updates for those who are on our list. To recap, our family had a bout of Covid-19 that hit just about everyone in the house. We suspect the ones who didn’t get sick with the rest of us coughing all over the place probably have some immunity to the virus. We are so thankful for the folks who prayed for us. I don’t know if my symptoms were the worst, or if I just complained more than everyone else. You can guess what Stacy thinks about that. A few years back some people helped raise some money for an oxygen concentrator for Bella. We used that heavily during our sickness and it helped a great deal! By God’s grace and your prayers, we are all feeling fine and working hard in the ministry.
A couple weeks ago I called my dear friend Bro. Andrew Teesdale. He and his family also suffered through Covid for a couple weeks. He heard my voice was weak and asked if I would like him to come down and preach for me. I was so relieved when he asked and quickly agreed to have him come. I was honestly discouraged about how things had been going in the church. Attendance was down, offerings were down, one church dropped our support, my family and I were sick, and there didn’t seem to be much excitement in the ministry. I told Bro. Teesdale there probably wouldn’t be anyone at church. I couldn’t have been more wrong. God blessed with an attendance of 20 people! We had several first-time visitors and a new family that moved to the area from the East Coast and are looking for our kind of church. I could barely talk that Sunday, but I rejoiced at the goodness of the Lord.
The following Sunday God did it again! We had 23 people, 3 first-time visitors, and baptized 2. The two great services gave fresh air to our family and many people in the church. One man began attending who had left the church more than a year ago. We are thankful to see a resurgence of church attendance and ask you to keep praying with us. There are a couple of people who have been attending for some time and are starting to pull away from church and our family. God has already done a great work in their hearts and helped them, but they are at some crossroads of surrender in their lives and seem to be making the wrong choices by avoiding church. The constant up and down in the ministry is not new to us or any church. You may remember the analogy I gave of building a fire in the northwest with wet wood. Oh, that some of God’s people would be stirred up! (2 Peter 1:13) We continue to build trusting God for increase! (1 Cor 3:10)
After recovering from Covid, I took the boys camping overnight near our house. A couple were in the spot next to us, the boys went to bed, and the couple invited me to sit at their fire. I shared the gospel as they listened intently a few hours. Neither got saved, but the next morning we discovered someone in another tent was also hearing the Gospel. We never know what God will do!