Our very first mission team joined us November 23 – December 1! The team was a small group from our home church, First Baptist Church of Windermere. The week was such a blessing to us. We had the opportunity to serve our Lord with some of our best friends. God is so good!
The trip was construction based. The team did work on The Blue House for Utah Partnerships for Christ. They corrected some electrical issues, added some new lighting, tiled a bathroom that was previously carpeted, pulled carpet out of a room and refinished the hardwood floors underneath, rearranged and organized two main rooms of the house, painted, installed a threshold, etc. To say that they worked hard would be such an understatement. They were fantastic and the house shows it!
Doesn’t it look amazing?!?!
Along with construction, the team spent time in Temple Square sharing the gospel. Temple Square is essentially the hub of the LDS faith. The Salt Lake Temple is there along with several visitor centers, The Joseph Smith Memorial Building, Brigham Young’s home, The LDS Business Center, LDS History Library, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, etc. It is a beautiful place but filled with so much darkness. The devil delights in the lies being told about who God is. The team went into Temple Square two days during their trip to speak to the LDS missionaries there and anyone else that would listen. They went with a message. The message of the Gospel. The one and only true living God loves them and the Bible is the full and complete message of that love. A mission trip to Utah is not like a mission trip overseas. The people here don’t know how lost they are because they have been following a false prophet. The goal here is to get them thinking. To get them to question the inconsistencies in their own faith versus the truth of the Bible. We were so proud of our little team and their bold and passionate faith! So many Christians are either uneducated about the LDS church or they’ve written them off. Praise God that there are still a few that are willing to step out of their comfort zone and reach out to the LDS people who are NOT a lost cause.
Another thing the team was able to do was to spend time with a few ex-LDS and ask them questions, listen to their stories and gain some perspective on what life is like inside the Mormon mirage. We were able to meet with Pastor Larry of Wasatch Cowboy Church. Larry is a wonderfully sweet and caring man who spent 30 years in the LDS church. He spoke to the team about his life as a Mormon and his salvation out of that life. He told of a God of love and redemption and a relationship with Jesus Christ that has nothing to do with religion. What an awesome night we had with this delightful man.
We were also blessed to have Mike and Lynn Wilder over for dinner and discussion. Mike and Lynn also spent decades inside the LDS church. They were fully dedicated, temple recommend Mormons that were highly active and committed to their faith. In fact, Lynn was a tenured professor at BYU. We spent the evening listening to their amazing story first hand and having the opportunity to ask questions of them as well. They spoke of God’s unwavering GRACE!!! What an encouragement it was to all of us to hear that there were real people and real stories of Mormons coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We were so blessed by Mike and Lynn. (If you are interested in reading their story, Lynn has a new book out called “Unveiling Grace”…you will not be disappointed in it! www.unveilinggracebook.com)
On Thanksgiving Day, we went to a hotel to serve lunch to the poor. It was PACKED both with the needy and with volunteers. Amazingly, in that sea of people, we met Teri. She is a Christian that has lived in Utah for 2 years. Sadly, she is here alone. She talked about how lonely this place has been for her and our hearts broke. We know that feeling too, but she’s been living it for 4 times longer than we have. We know that God brought us there that day, if for no other reason, than to meet Teri. We invited her to have Thanksgiving dinner with us and sort of left her with no other option but to accept. She did and what a wonderful blessing that was for us.
We ended the week with as much fun as we could possibly cram in! Skiing for some, movie for others, shopping, Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit at the museum, gondola ride, dinner, etc. It was, according to our 7 year old daughter, the “best day ever!”
When they left, my heart broke a little….ok, a lot.
Still, we are so grateful for the opportunity to serve, evangelize and worship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We will now start counting down the days until the next mission team joins us. Will that be you?
If you would like information on bringing your family, church or group on a short-term mission trip to Utah, please feel free to contact us.
Barry – 407-375-0516
Jennifer – 407-375-6492