Friday, February 29, 2008

Two great stories of reaching people for Christ

Remember Eloise, the young grandmother who was converted (along with her whole family) and is raising both her kids and grandkids? Well, on Monday we were able to get a Bible study going with her mother. Yyonne, and her neighbor, Sharon. We went over to her home, and they joined us there. We had a great first lesson as we went through part one of The Story of Redemption. Both Yyonne and Sharon have had many difficultities in their lives, and this story helped to start to make some sense of these things. We also had many laughs, enjoying this fun loving family. Roger, one of our elders, joined us for the study. He will be taking the study over. He is a good teacher, and it was his son who played on the same basketball team of Eloise's grandson, Hosea.

For four weeks we had planned to do some additional follow-up on the families that we have helped with school supplies and then during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Unfortunately, we have had snow storm after snow storm. It really has been unbelievable. But yesterday, Eloise and I were finally able to go and do this follow-up.

We went to the doors of eight of the twenty-seven families that we had helped. Four were not home, and we left a coffee mug and a signed card telling them that we loved them and were praying for them. Two were rather non-commitmal. But the last two were very good visits, the last one in particular.

We met a woman named Ruby. She had so many similarities to Eloise--African-American, a grandmother raising both kids and grandkids, a sweet spirit, kids who go to the same schools. One of her daughters is 17 and works at a QuickTrip--with Aarica, Eloise's granddaughter who is also 17. Ruby said that her husband had struggled with belief in God, but an illness had made him more receptive lately. Some Jehovah's Witnesses had been coming by their house, though they had not made inroads.

All throughout this Eloise was sharing how the church at Liberty had blessed her and her family, and how they had blessed her family. She really has a gift for evangelism, for telling her story of faith. Ruby really listened. So I asked her if she and her husband would be interested in a Bible study. She said that she would, and we are going to start a study next week. Dennis, our associate minister, will join us for the study and then take it over. Dennis is going to be even more busy when I leave, but he has a good heart and wants to help them.

I will be handing over the rest of the follow-up on these families to Matt. Matt is the State Farm agent who gave his testimony on Sunday and will be taking over a lot of outreach responsibilities. He will go around with Eloise and visit the rest of these families. I feel so good knowing that he is in place and can fill this role on the team, and I look forward to hearing the stories come back of people who are reachedf or Christ. I could not be more proud of what God is doing with people like Eloise and Matt, and that established leaders like Roger and Dennis are lending incredible support to these efforts.

A great week for outreach in one of the busier times of my life!

Aren't these great stories?


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