Greetings from the church in California!
The months of January and February have seen continued progress in the maturity of the saints in sowing the seed of the Kingdom.
Thursday nights, in the hour before midweek Bible study, six brethren of the Anaheim church and my family share the efforts each has put forth the previous week in sowing the seed of the Kingdom. Sharing includes spiritual conversations and personal Bible studies that we have initiated with co-workers, friends, family, neighbors and acquaintances. Opportunities to say something about God to gas station attendants, barbers, bank tellers, grocery store clerks, fellow shoppers and the like are also discussed, whether they were taken advantage of or not.
Anaheim’s newly established online Bible studies add another ready source of sharing to these weekly meetings.
Anaheim brethren report that these Evangelistic Fellowships, as we call them, encourage participants to be bold in speaking to others about the Lord. They also suggest that the meetings help keep them accountable to keep working evangelistically in their weekly routine. Since January I have been coordinating these meetings but in preparation for my departure in July I have passed the baton to David Norris of the Anaheim congregation. We enjoyed his leadership in our last meeting. Four other members periodically join us.
Since December 2014, Anaheim has been conducting online Bible studies with registrants within a fifteen mile radius of the Anaheim meeting house at 1759 B Orange Avenue in Anaheim, CA.. Using only web ads since December, this online study effort has generated sixty-five registrants, seventeen of whom have completed lesson one so far and twelve of whom have been active in the last thirty days! Four Anaheim members are currently teaching these lessons with one teacher preparing to join and a fifth signed up but presently unavailable to take on students. I have been coordinating this work since December, but recently passed coordinating efforts to Leon Sims of Anaheim.
In addition to web ads for advertising Anaheim’s internet Bible studies a URL specific to this work has also been established – Bible101.worldbibleschool.org. Activities are underway to incorporate the use of this URL in advertising the opportunity to study with Anaheim members online. Janice Shelton and I are co-coordinating this effort.
In mid 2014 Anaheim organized a follow up method of studies and mentoring for new converts. The method includes seven families of the Anaheim church hosting each new convert in their homes for fellowship and Bible study. Though Anaheim has seen six new converts in the past year, we have only had the opportunity for one to go through these Discipleship Studies as planned – John Shelton. One other new convert is studying through the lessons in a member’s house but not with the group due to various circumstances. The remaining four new converts have not determined to continue regular studies or assemble weekly with us. Please pray for their continued openess to learning God’s will for their lives. Since inception I have been coordinating these efforts but in preparation for my departure, Sheila Sanchez of the Anaheim congregation has volunteered to coordinate.
First and fourth Sunday door to door canvasing continues in Anaheim having only missed one Sunday this year so far. No active studies have formulated from these efforts since the beginning of the year (three outings).
This month three, in person as opposed to internet, personal Bible studies continue being led by Anaheim members, while several previous studies have gone inactive. Still other studies seem to be in the works in our relationships. Anaheim members continue to follow-up on contacts made in the community for Bible study.
Emery Wright of the Long Beach congregation and I have standing plans to canvass the neighborhood near his house once a week until my departure from California in July. With Mike Manning’s announcement of retirement after this year, there are plans for Mike and I to work together in behalf of the Long Beach congregation when schedules permit this year and next.
After participating with the Willmington church at 110th and Willmington Ave in Watts, CA, in a couple of their monthly door knocking campaigns, they have asked me to help strengthen their evangelistic heart and efforts with training. If the Lord allows I plan to continue meeting with these brethren monthly in their establisbed canvassing campaigns and possibly speak and teach there before my departure from California later this year. Willmington has not been a congregation that has traditionally participated in multiple speaker edification in the past but is currently doing so. I hope through my interactions with them to encourage them to train speakers from within to mutually edify one another.
My plans as they stand now, should God permit, are to continue working with Anaheim through June of this year. Then to assist the Kirksville, MO, church in their VBS in July. After this I hope to relocate to Topeka, KS, to work evangelistically with the California Acres church August through October 2015. Completing my stay in Topeka I have been invited to return to California to continue working with Anaheim, a few members at Long Beach and the Willmington church in Watts, CA.
Works like these and more can be done among you too if you will continue to humble yourselves to the Lord’s use of you in planting and watering the word of God in the lives of the lost near you and strive to excel still more in such work.
A great thank you to all who have joined in this work by meeting our financial needs. You are amply supplying our need. God be thanked. You are a source of joy to my family in this work as well as the brethren whom your supply helps me to work among.
If you have not yet visited my blog please do so, I trust you will be encouraged evangelistically – jeffyostthinksouls.wordpress.com.
Please continue to pray for my family’s peace and comfort from the Lord as they go with me in this challenging work. Please also pray for open doors for this work.
Love in Christ,
#660-988-4912 cell Honor4God@gmail.com