Progress is difficult to measure in church planting and ministry in general. A few days ago, I brought my four youngest boys into the woods with a few basic tools, and beans and rice. The goal was to teach them to survive in the wilderness and make a fire in adverse conditions. We went into the wet forest on the Oregon coast and began gathering firewood. We split the small two-inch logs into tiny toothpick sized kindling, quarter inch, one inch, and so on. The wood was wet, and the tiny fire gave off a huge plume of smoke that filled the creek bed. We stacked the larger pieces of wood around our little struggling fire, fed the tiny flames; and kept blowing. After about 1 hour of feeding this ever-fading fire, the flames began to grow all at once into a solid fire with a bed of coals hot enough to cook rice and beans for everyone. The boys were excited to see that hard work and patience was worth it. This experience typifies and aptly illustrates the church planting challenge in the Northwest.
We were blessed with several first-time visitors to Anchor Baptist Church in November during a time when many churches have closed their doors. Elijah and Caleb shared the gospel with a young boy who attended our new King’s Kids program on Thursday evening, and he made a profession of faith. Stacy and Bella are teaching the class and we expect interest in the club to grow. Praise God for children in the ministry!
In November, we also added a second service to our Sunday schedule. We needed time in our newly rented building to see how things would go and if the new facility would be a good match for us. The relationship has been splendid thus far between the two churches and we are thankful for fantastic facilities to use. Our worship service begins at 1 PM and sometime around one-thirty we take a short break and begin our family training service. This will last for several months, then we will begin another form of Bible training.
Several people who attend church have been stuffing door hanging packets with John and Romans as well as a gospel tract from Anchor Baptist Church. The volunteers have been doing all the work. We have small maps available for those who wish to cover a specific area, then they bring the maps back to me where progress is tract on a larger master map. It is exciting to see this ministry pick up again, and wonderful to have help from those at Anchor Baptist Church. Recently, I had the joy of leading a soul to Jesus Christ and I hope you will make a mental note of this announcement. In the months ahead, I really believe you will hear of great things as a result of this conversion. I won’t go into detail now, but God is working in powerful ways here in Astoria. Some of the larger wet logs on the outside of the fire just might be drying out! Thanks for your support!