God’s Word tells us in Genesis 26 that Isaac’s wells which he inherited from his father had been filled in by enemies. He went to work and dug those very same wells and called them by their same names. Isaac also dug another well which ended up being contested so he dug another, and then a third after that which was not contested. We love completing tasks and standing back to appreciate the finished product, but how often have we completed a difficult job only to have it ruined in a moment? Just like Isaac digging wells that had already been completed, it is difficult to plant a church having to repeat the process in the same place for the fourth time. That word picture accurately describes our situation now in Astoria. The answer is to dig another well and hope the ground will be softer this time around!
During the Christmas season, several people from surrounding churches came to the coast to help us with an outreach to the community which Stacy dubbed “Caroling at the Coast.” We printed up some song sheets and put them in plastic page protectors to shield them from the rain. We also stuffed some door hanging bags with John and Romans, tract, and candy canes. We had about 20 singers and went out to various houses surprising people with “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and other favorites. As with our tent meeting, this is something that is just not done in Astoria. People were shocked to see us, but we were very well received. Normally door knocking produces a very cold reception; perhaps we should carol year-round. At one apartment complex, we sent runners to 12 doors. On the count of three, everyone knocked and ran back to the center parking lot. Once a few doors opened we commenced singing. The first lady to see what was going on said in a Tennessee accent, “Oh I gotta’ see this!” God used the singing to make several good contacts. I did not plan to do the caroling this year, but a dear friend asked me about it and encouraged me to do it.
Difficult times often reveal true friends. The Bible says a brother is born for adversity. I am thankful for godly people who encourage through thick and thin, good times and bad, in the sunshine and the rain. Recently the Lord has provided (or revealed) several of these wonderful people in our lives! David had Jonathan and Paul had Silas for two are better than one.
One of my favorite Bible stories is in 1 Samuel 14 when Jonathan slew an entire garrison of Philistines. He had a crazy plan, but his armor bearer said, “Do all that is in thine heart: turn thee; behold, I am with thee according to thy heart.” We have prayed God would send a family to join us. We need a strong Christian family to join the church, work in ministry, tithe, support the pastor, attend all the services, win souls, and determine to stay until the church is financially self-supporting. I believe the LORD can do a great work here in Astoria. I am still asking him to send an armor bearer who will say “do all that is in thine heart, I am with thee.” God can answer this prayer and we ask you to continue bombarding Heaven with this request. We really need help! Will you continue to support us financially and in prayer? Thank you for encouraging us to continue!