Hello fellow saints! I trust this finds each of you thriving in your walk with our Lord Jesus.
The work in California marches on, reaching into the lives of the lost and shining the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Since August 2016, Anaheim brethren have seen the Lord grow His church in number by three – Sergio and Juan and Marilyn! Sad to say, only minimal contact has continued with Juan and Marilyn after their conversion. At this writing they do not return correspondence. Unsure of the reasons for their pulling away from us, we ask that you pray for their growth as Christians. On a brighter note, Sergio continues with us, studying with David Norris and I once a week and meeting with the saints Sundays and Thursdays. Please pray for Sergio’s continued growth in the faith.
Cesar who obeyed the gospel June of 2016 continues with the Anaheim brethren in first day and midweek meetings. He also remains in a series of discipling Bible studies hosted by various Anaheim members. Please pray for his continued faithfulness and growth.
Anaheim’s online Bible studies continue to attract new students regularly. Four Anaheim brethren conduct these studies, each taking turns adopting students as they sign up. To date we’ve only had personal contact with one student. Others study for awhile and then drop off for awhile and then complete another lesson or two. For Anaheim study helpers, online studies are a labor of patient endurance in sowing and watering from afar. We hope some day to know some of our students as brethren. Your prayers for our efforts are appreciated.
As of September of this past year, our family became residents of California. Residency required that we have our car smog checked. Our pickup was exempt due to its age and being a diesel. This check presented an opportunity to initiate two Bible studies, one of which resulted in the addition of Sergio (mentioned above) to the Kingdom of God! The other Bible study is with a man named Eddie and is more of a study about the Bible – its reliability and origin. Prayers are appreciated.
October of 2016 took the Anaheim congregation’s outreach efforts to a city park adjacent to the meeting house for a devotional (singing, scripture reading with comments and prayer). Canvasing for the effort did not result in any outside attendees from the neighborhood, but did initiate a study that took place a week later. It was this effort that brought us Juan and Marilyn. Besides contact with Juan and Marilyn our devotional brought the Anaheim church together in a cooperate outreach which attendees found edifying. Our next park devotional outreach is scheduled for March 2017. We look forward to planting and watering some more and perhaps being able to harvest some of the resulting fruit. Your prayers for this effort are appreciated.
In December, the same Burger King, where Fred Flory and I met now sister Marylou Aguilara in 2014, produced an opportunity to share the gospel with two more people – Lawrence and Matthew. Both men are enrolled in a substance abuse ministry limiting their avenues for contact. Conversation revealed that Lawrence had obeyed the gospel previously, but Matthew had not. Matthew was invited to put on Christ in baptism for the forgiveness of his sins that hour, but hesitated, saying he wanted to consider it further before making a decision. I encouraged him that today is the day of salvation and today if he hears His voice, not to harden his heart. We parted company having exchanged contact information. I hope to meet with these two men again in the near future to further encourage them in the Lord. Your prayers for this future contact are appreciated.
Contact with other southern California congregations in the area has come through attending Long Beach’s Thanksgiving weekend meeting, LaVerne’s monthly visit to Anaheim for a meal, Norwalk hosting of the monthly song fest, a couple of drop ins to studies at the Anaheim West, Newland Street and State College Blvd. church’s of Christ near our rental house. I also participated in a soul winners worshop at Vermont avenue church of Christ in Los Angeles.
Thank you for your interest, prayers and support of the Lord’s work here in Southern California! Your partnership with us in this work means so much to our family and the saints here.
Keep the faith and share the gospel brethren!
P.S. Keep an eye out on Facebook for this report as a computer game in the near future. Yes, a computer game! Zoe is creating a computer game themed around this report using a program called Bloxels Builders. Only Bloxels Builders users will be able to actually play the game, but we hope to video our game play and share the video with you all on Facebook and perhaps on YouTube in the near future. Below are a few pictures of the first two panels of the game. The game begins reading the Bible and leaving one’s house to share the gospel (panel 1 below). The first challenge is destroying doubts about sharing the gospel (second and third panels below). Plans for the rest are 1. a stop by a smog check facility to battle polution and invite the owner to consider the gospel 2. a stroll through the park passing out flyers, singing, Bible reading and praying 3. stopping at a fast food restraunt to gobble up some food and share the gospel 4. and finally…well I wouldn’t want to give it all away just yet. All along the way being encouraged by Bible verses to share the gospel and battling doubts in doing so.