Saturday, May 28, 2016

Ministry Update - Spring 2016

March began with Youth Sunday - the day where our children (preschool and up) lead the services.

Our middle school and high school students taught all of our Sunday School classes.  They are always so nervous, but generally do an awesome job.  K took over the sound board, H was our worship leader, our elementary students took up offering, and our preschool students led in the offertory song.

Sadly I have zero pictures :(  Hudson had had a cold for several days leading up to Youth Sunday.  He woke up that morning at 2am (!) with a fever which meant he and I stayed home.  Serious bummer!  We had practiced the Saturday before so I was confident in their abilities to serve well, even with me not there.  The preschoolers even just asked this past Sunday if they could sing again in church soon.  Yay for hearts for service!

Easter came early this year.

Good Friday, the kids were out of school so we took them all (preschool and up) to Bonkers.  Imagine a McDonalds playplace on steroids that is Bonkers.  They played and played and played.  A good time was had by all.

The Saturday before Easter, I took the kiddos to a sister church's Easter Egg Hunt.  Each year, I want to do an egg hunt for our community.  However, it never works out so I'm learning to take that as God's sign to just take them to enjoy another church's festivities.

Our church got a new deacon in March.  Bro. D who joined our church with his sweet wife a few months before had his deacon ordination recognized.  Now Bro. J is not alone in the service of deacon.  This is good news!

March ended with us celebrating being in Missouri for 3 years.  How fun!

April went by like a flash and I honestly don't remember much of what we did in April - lol!  One thing we did do is participate in a new ministry through our association: Project Dignity.  Basically, it's a sewing ministry where we get together and make reusable/washable cloth sanitary pads for ladies overseas.  So far we've sent 150 to the Dominican Republic with some nursing students from Hannibal-LaGrange University and are now working on creating 450 to send to Panama with a former member of Providence (now in Illinois) who is going on a medical mission trip with her new church.  It's hard work, but so worth it.  Each bag has three pads, two Ziploc bags, two pair of new underwear, and a gospel presentation included.  An easy way to show that Jesus cares, even about the little (not-so-little) things ladies go through each month.

May began with preparations for Baby Dedication.  We have two babies at church, who are a month apart in age.  We had them and their families over for dinner one evening to go over Baby Dedcation stuff: what it is, what it isn't, the biblical mandate, etc...  It was a great time having all those kiddos running around.

Mother's Day came and we recognized our ladies and had baby dedication.  It was a nice service focusing on families and how God uses them in his kingdom.

James is finishing up preaching through Mark on Sunday mornings.

He just finished up Nehemiah on Sunday evenings and has started 1 Peter.  On Wednesday nights, he leads a devotion from 1 John after prayer meeting.

Five months in and children's church is going strong.  We started in January to help the little ones not have to be so still and quiet.  I put my seminary degree to use putting the curriculum together.  Each week, we watch a video story from the Jesus Storybook Bible, then do a craft, game, and sing a song based on that story.  Four ladies, our teens, and myself rotate through the weeks.  It's the most exhausting 30 minutes you'll have all week!  But it is fun to see these little ones grow in their knowledge of scripture.

Eating snacks while watching, Daniel and the Scary Sleepover.
That's Daniel and the Lion's Den for all unfamiliar with the Jesus Storybook Bible.

Lion puppets... 

Playing "What Time is Mr. Lion?" from last year's LifeWay VBS.
It's a great game! 

All in all it has been a good, albeit fast, Spring!  I love spring - the flowers, the warmer temperatures, the hustle and bustle of planting season.

Please continue to pray for our church and community:

- New Deacon, Bro. D.  He is proving to be an excellent source of encouragement for James.  They go to nursing home visitation together which has been nice as it relieves me from going!

- Baby Dedication!  I love our sweet babies, I & A.  Pray for their parents as they parent them, pray for their continued growth physically and spiritually, and pray for our church to support them by pointing them to our dear Jesus.

- Summer is coming!

- We have a new family in our community.  Technically they aren't new as they are the child and grandchildren of a current resident, but in a farming community with a declining population - any new transfer in is exciting news.  Pray for us as we reach out to them.

- Summer activities:
     - First up is Camp (June 6-10) for children grades 3+.  We are taking 8, 4 of whom are
       unchurched.  I will be teaching missions again and adding Bible Storying.
     - VBS is June 20-22.  We're doing a camping theme with Bible Stories from the book of Joshua.  I
        wrote our VBS again this year and always have such fun doing that.  Pray for our workers and
        students who will attend.
     - Mission Trip is July 10-15 in Tennessee! My heart couldn't be happier about that!
     - Pray for James and the deacons, J & D, as they seek to divide our church family amongst each            other as to better keep in contact and serve well.  While this is in the church's bylaws it has not            been done so it's a new ministry.

- Discipleship.  James meets with two guys throughout the week for one-on-one discipleship.  They     try to meet weekly as their schedules allow.  This is such an awesome ministry!

Thank you so much for your prayers.  God has been faithful to us these past 3 years and we know he will continue to be!