We have had a pretty amazing January so far. Conor and Reagan each had a birthday – turning 10 and 8 years old. As their gift/party we took them to ski for their very first time. They both did so great and are eager to go back again. (Their blossoming love for skiing sure makes for one happy daddy!)
Last week, we also started volunteering at a thrift store run by our church. The store sells clothes, shoes and accessories to the people in downtown Ogden. It is a low income neighborhood and predominately Hispanic. They sell everything in the store for $1 with few exceptions. They sell the items rather than give them away in order to give the customers a sense of pride and ownership. It is a way for them to shop for and purchase things with their own money to provide for themselves and their family. The church also offers free ESL classes and a kids club at the store each week. We are going to be working there every Friday and we are so blessed to be a part of it.
In true God fashion, the Church’s thrift store is directly across the street from a Mormon Temple. This is the Ogden Temple and it is undergoing major reconstruction. In fact, when Barry & I came out to visit in February of last year, the entire building was lifted up on stilts as they were redoing the foundation. As we stand in the thrift store, it’s easy to see the Temple construction going on across the street. Every time I look out that window, I am reminded of why we are here.
Barry also had the opportunity to meet with one of our church’s pastors to discuss some ministry ideas. The church is open to some of the things Barry brought up and we will be praying over what God has in store. It can be frustrating sometimes. We are here, we know God wants us to do something here specifically, but we just don’t know exactly what that something is. We believe that God brought us here for something LDS specific and until we know exactly what that is, we will continue to pray about it and visit Temple Square (LDS headquarters) to share the gospel. We do know, however that one of the reasons we are here is because in a place where Evangelical Christianity is such a minority, the workers are few. (Matthew 9:37-38) We know that God has us here to serve with our church and be His hands and feet in anyway we can. The thrift store is just one way we can do that.
On Saturday night, Barry & I were blessed to be able to hear Ravi Zacharias speak and Fernando Ortega sing at the Salt Lake Mormon Tabernacle. Ravi is the only Evangelical Apologist to ever be invited by the LDS to speak at this historical venue. This was his second invitation, the first being in 2004. I cannot begin to tell you the feeling I got standing in that building singing praises to my Savior. Awesome barely does it justice. “I will Sing of my Redeemer” & “Give me Jesus” have never sounded more precious. As about 1/2 of the building was filled with believers, I imagine that place had never been bathed in more prayer. Those prayers were answered and Ravi gave a very clear message of the importance of knowing the true and living Jesus and trusting the Bible alone. It was an amazing evening and the Holy Spirit flooded that building.
If you would like to see the message given that night, you can watch it here:
As for now…Please pray!
- Pray for this desperately lost area and for the thousands of people here who are following a false prophet.
- Pray for us to stay focused on God’s will and to follow His direction without hesitation.
- Pray for financial provision. Barry is still looking for more stable work.
- Pray for the local Christian churches here who are fighting an uphill battle. Praise God – We know the Victor!
We are so grateful for all of you that pray over us and love on us. Thank you from the very bottom of our hearts.
For those who have asked, here is a reminder on how you can give:
Make a check payable to FBCW and write “Utah Mission” on the memo line. Then mail it to:
First Baptist Church of Windermere
300 Main Street
Windermere, FL 347686
or you can give electronically through the church’s website:
(If you have any trouble, the church finance office will be able to assist you – 407-876-2234)