P.O. Box 26055
Anaheim, CA 92825
(660) 988-4912 cl
Greeting friends and brethren,
I pray this report finds each of you growing in your ability to make the most of opportunities with outsiders (Colossians 4:5).
Who’d Have Thought…
Who’d have thought nine short months ago that the Anaheim church would have made meaningful contact about the Lord with seventy-one people. Forty-three of these remain active in personal bible study or spiritual discussion with a view to leading them to obedience to the gospel. Three contacts have put on Christ in baptism. One has been confirmed to be a sister in Christ worshiping in an assembly not found in scripture. Not included in these numbers are the many unrecorded people with whom a study of Matthew 7 and phrases like “God bless you” and tip cards and personal cards with the gospel have been shared! Nor do these numbers represent the other avenues of godly influence Anaheim brethren continue to have in other areas of their walk with God.
Though numbers help us in some small way to quantify our work, most important is that brethren are actively and intentionally working in the Kingdom for the sake of lost souls!
Since my last report many contacts have grown stagnant and other fresh contacts have taken their place. Some Bible studies have ended and others have begun. Of the studies with four different households shared in my last report, one continues weekly and the other three are in a holding pattern waiting for changing schedules to work out. Please pray for that these studies will be able to resume in the near future.
The student, Rebecca, whom I requested teaching asitance for in Mexico is currently on her trip to Mexico. She left with hopes of sharing the studies we have been leading her in with her family there!
A family member of one of our local students, visiting from Kenya, mentioned in my last report has since decided to be baptized having returned to Kenya! Efforts have been made to put her in contact with faithful brethren in her area.
Equipping The Saints…
Weekly Evangelism Fellowships continue at Anaheim. In the past couple of months these meetings have incorporated evangelistic role play where members read a preset script geared toward breaking the ice with someone and inviting them to know the Lord. The idea behind this role play is to help brethren practice the types of intentional conversations that lead others to an active pursuit of God, possibly in personal Bible study with them. Brethren are being encouraged to write their own scripts and use them in our fellowships. Participants are saying that they find it helpful to think through spiritual things they might be able to say in their daily interactions with the lost. They say that it is helping them be better prepared to make the most of the opportunities that present themselves.
First and fourth Sunday outreach efforts also continue. Because of the heat these last couple of months, efforts have largely been going out to eat together, studying or discussing some spiritual topic at the table, speaking to staff about the Lord with an invitation to personal Bible study and posting a sign on the table inviting all who read it to join our study or ask us about Bible study. I call these Community Outreach Studies. This work has led to current discussions with five Denny’s employees, including a manager, who all show interest in studying material we share with them on their own and discussing it with us upon return visits! We also leave Tip Cards at each visit.
A weekly Community Outreach Study also continues at a local Carl’s Junior. This study has yielded some five contacts in the past, one of which continues to be an active study. There have not been any direct contacts occurring from this in the last month or so. We’re are thinking that we might try another location.
Intentional efforts to disciple new converts have gotten underway at Anaheim. Five families host each new convert in their home for the first five weeks after conversion. Each family reviews a study previously assigned to the new convert and talks to them about ways to incorporate the topic of the study into their new walk of faith. Reports are that brethren are finding these hosting experiences good.
Sunday night classes continue to be lead by various brethren on the theme of evangelism. I just finished a three week series on being motivated in evangelism by the things that motivated Jesus evangelistically. The main points of these lessons were drawn from Steve Wright’s Bible class material titled “Evangelism Made Personal.” My lessons were an extension of a sermon I gave on the same subject.
Sermons by various brethren and myself, whether directly evangelistic in nature or not continue to be sprinkled with many of the evangelistic concepts many of which we have been considering since January.
Monthly fellowships with other congregations are also yielding discussion about what brethren outside of the Anaheim assemebly are doing and how Anaheim’s work has influenced them.
A heartfelt thank you to those who have responded to my work and family’s financial needs expressed in my last report! Your support of my family and participation in my work by your prayers and giving are greatly appreciated. With these one time gifts and a recent increase in support by Anaheim, our needs are being amply met.
We are still looking for committed support to cover the $612/mon reduction to my work a current supporter has said they must make at the first of the year. With our current increase in support we do have some we are able to put back to help us through any rough spots in the transition, but have nothing committed yet by brethren to help or fully cover it. Your prayers concerning our wisdom and supply in this matter is appreciated.
A time line for work in Anaheim and California is still undetermined. Anaheim brethren are continuing to ask for help grounding themselves in the awareness and practice of evangelism. The last nine months have provided a good ground work for Anaheim to continue building on – hearts awakened to the value of the soul, hightened awareness the many opportunities to share Jesus with others, increased abilities and courage to initiate gospel centered conversations, and personal commitment to improve. The months to follow will be work on creating personal daily habit in these, fellowship that promotes evangelistic accountability, and exploring ways Anaheim can reach out to their community corporately.
In October I am to speak in the Kirksville Missouri church’s Sunday homecoming assembly. I also hope to visit the Logan Street church in Moberly Missouri this visit.
Now that my Wednesday’s are freed up again, I hope to begin visiting area congregations to explore helping them in evangelism also.
Your continued participation in my work through prayers and financial support are appreciated.
God richly bless each of you as you humbly serve Him,
Love in Christ,