Ministry Update

Hear from our team members each week about what the Lord is doing in churches that we minister in. Look for an updated article each week!

Whiteville, North Carolina

victoryyyy

Victory Baptist Church

February 16-21, 2019

Lots of relationship had gone into our week in Whiteville, NC with Pastor Gary Ledbetter and his wife. Will and Christy have known pastor for severallllllll years now. It was a sweet reunion! We pulled into town during a crazy rainy time, so we had to dance around the mud as we unloaded and set up the trailers.

We started our week with a Sportsman Banquet for the church families. We had over 8 or 9 different meats—from chicken to rabbit to squirrel—in addition to a bunch of sides! We enjoyed an evening of eating, playing some fun competitions, and hearing a short challenge from Will.

From preservices to main services; from the teen services to the children’s program; from meals with the church to canvassing around a few schools for a dodgeball outreach…we loved the people of Whiteville. The team put on an Ultimate Dodgeball tournament on their last night in town and were excited to see a handful of guests come out from receiving flyers (!).

It was exciting and humbling being able to share the gospel to some folks who may have never heard it clearly presented if at all! Thankful for the church teens who attended; thankful for the guest teens who participated; thankful for the Lord giving us such an opportunity to have fun, fellowship, build relationships between the teens and the local church, and to just love on the people there!

Thank you, Victory Baptist Church, for allowing us to come alongside you all for a week! We are encouraged by your faithful ministry in your love for the Lord and your love for the people He has placed around you.

 

Matthews, North Carolina

BBC

Bible Baptist Church

February 10-14, 2019

Last spring, we were able to spend a Sunday with Bible Baptist Church when we were in the area before a time of recording. Any time spent with good friends (especially when they are parents of team members!) is sweet, but we were especially thankful for a week of event nights with them this past week. Pastor Allen and the church had a burden to really push for evangelistic evenings for folks to bring friends out to hear the gospel.

Since it was a big event week, the breakdown went like this:

Sunday evening Irish concert | We enjoyed time together during the concert and were thankful for a handful of guests who came out. It is always a privilege to share the gospel.

Monday morning chapel and evening men’s night | Jordan and Will went back and forth on each day teaching in the high school chapels. Gospel, Christian growth, fighting sin + walking in the Spirit were just a handful of some of the subjects the students were challenged with. The men’s night was a great success…ALL the steaks and desserts were TOTALLY cleared out! Sooooo delicious. Thankful for a time for the men to come together, relax, fellowship, eat, and hear the gospel. Again, a privilege to share the gospel.

Tuesday morning chapel and evening ladies’ night | The ladies gathered and brought friends out to an evening of Qdoba (!) and delicious desserts (!). Even with an incredible rain storm right before the event, it did not deter ladies from coming out! Christy led an interactive competition between all of the tables then shared a very clear, heartfelt gospel message. A privilege!

Wednesday morning 2 chapels, afternoon school activity, and an evening Family Fun Night | Andrew taught an earlier elementary chapel with Will following him during the high school chapel. After the high school chapel, the team joined the students for a pizza lunch in the gym. After everyone got some lunch, we played a number of competition games with two teams that the students had been split up on all week. After the games, blood, sweat, and tears, we named a winner! The students helped us prep for the Family Fun Night by setting up tables for a church-wide dinner and chairs for the competition games. Will led the games with the team then shared a gospel message. Praise the Lord for his working in lives and for a handful of people placing their faith and trust in Christ.

God is good. We do not “deserve” anything that we are given. It is not a “right”. It is all a kiiiiiind, kind gift of the Lord. Even being able to come into a church, serve with them for a week, and share the gospel MULTIPLE times with people. Seriously. What a privilege and blessing!

Thursday morning chapel | We closed out the week with a high school chapel. Praying that the Lord will continue to work in the lives of the students, their teachers, the church staff, the church members, and the guests who came out to the events!

Thank you, Bible Baptist Church, for allowing us to come alongside of you last week! To the praise of His glory and grace.

   

Greenville, South Carolina

mrningside

Morningside Baptist Church

February 3-6, 2019

We drove down the mountains from Brevard, NC to Greenville, SC for a half-week of meetings with Morningside Baptist Church. This week, it was predominantly events-based focusing on evangelical outreach for the adults and teens. Thankful for the several opportunities to come alongside the church and partner with them in sharing the gospel, seeing believers encouraged, and witnessing individuals coming to a saving knowledge of Christ.

Sunday evening was a worship concert open to anyone in the area. We love being able to bring in and incorporate the congregation into music and worship. The Lord is kind in allowing us to worship WITH and not just TO so many believers in the body of Christ all over as we travel. Sunday night was a wonderful time of worship and fellowship together.

On Monday evening, we prepared with the church members for a men’s steak night. The evening was fun and all, but we are praising the Lord that a handful of men trusted Christ! Thankful for those decisions and look forward to how the men will come alongside their friends and continue to form discipleship friendships!

After the steak night event, the room was cleaned, the floor was swept, and it was ready to be prepped for the ladies’ event. On Tuesday, the tablecloths came out, the decorations went up, the places were set, and the room look lovely. With a Paradise theme, there were pink pineapples, punch, and cheesecake assortments for the centerpieces. The ladies enjoyed a dinner from Tropical Grill, a trivia competition, and then a gospel message from Christy. The food was amazing, the fellowship sweet, but the greatest end to the evening were the professions of faith.

The teen dodgeball night ended with a great turnout and after Will gave a gospel challenged, a couple of teens indicated they made a profession of faith! We are thankful for the faithful ministry of the adults and sponsors who invest in the youth of Morningside and desire to see them pursue Christ deeper.

_____________________________________________

Also, just a little bit of a(n open and honest) peak into a team member's life this past week:

So, there as a point this week where I was just TIREDDDDD. Like, tired of working, tired of people-ing, tired of sitting in a chair that made my back hurt, tired of long hours, tired of being tired. HA! Have you ever hit that wall? I began to get frustrated with even myself for not having any motivation or passion for what we were doing in the day/evenings. I wanted to love people. I wanted to care for others. I wanted events to go well. I wanted services to go smoothly. I wanted the gospel to go out. I wanted people to be saved. I wanted Christians to be encouraged and exhorted. But I didn’t FEEL like I was totally on board. I struggled and felt lethargic.

Being tired is legitimate. Being people-ed out can totally happen. A hurting back can be a frustration and very distracting. And working long hours can cause both emotional and physical fatigue! It’s my perspective and heart attitude through it all though. It’s NOT wrong to express frustration, even in my prayers. It is OK, and it is GOOD (even emotionally healthy) for me to express how I’m feeling to the Lord versus suppressing or sugarcoating it. That expressing allows me to then remember that I don’t have to continue in that vein of thinking/feeling/reacting. Even Christ expressed anguish and emotion before going to the cross. Yet, I know that I have God and His strength WITH me during times like this past week. When Christ was expressing His anguish in the garden before His arrest, God was beginning to pull away from His Son. Jesus was beginning to feel the rejection. He not only FELT alone, He WAS alone. Separated from His Father after knowing fully the true and pure joy it was to be in fellowship with Him. Praise the Lord that Christ took ALL of the rejection and separation so that I, as His child, do not have to ever be alone. Even in my darkest times, it never truly is the “darkest of darks” or the the “alonest of alones”, because Christ already was there for me.

So what can I rest on during the days where I’m struggling to “be all there” and stay on mission? Put my hands up and ask for His help and strength. Then walk in faith knowing that I’m not alone, but that through His Spirit, I have access to a love that is deeper and grander than anything I can try to muster up on my own. I walk in faith, and He works through my willingness. I am so thankful my God works despite my fickleness. Reminds me over and over that HE is the one who saves. He’s my Rescuer. He’s my Great Shepherd. He’s my caring, loving Father. Preaching the gospel to myself daily reveals my greatest need for Him and reminds me of the truth of His greatest showcase of love and grace toward me. When that is made afresh, how can it NOT effect me?

Grace!
--Bethany W.
 

Brevard, North Carolina

breverddddd

Bethany Baptist Church

January 27-30, 2019

Some of the team have strong ties to North Carolina, especially to places along the Blue Ridge Mountains. We spent a week in Brevard, NC with Bethany Baptist Church. Thankfully, we did not have to dodge any ice storms that had been predicted in the weather, but it sure hit some chilly temps! The Allen's trailer had been having troubles with their heating system, but Jordan and Andy were able to figure out and fix what was needed. Yay for HEAT!

On Sunday evenings, Bethany Baptist does not usually have a PM service; however, we all gathered together not only for a hot dog dinner, but also for a Family Fun Night. I do not know the last time I saw folks get so competitive and into the group games and challenges! There were runners, throwers, catchers, tossers, poppers, winners, and losers. It was just a laid back evening and fun for all!

During the rest of the week leading up to an Irish Concert on Wednesday evening, Will spoke to the adults on how to go about sharing ones’ faith in a post-Christian culture. As he talked through the differences between sharing Christ in a relational community and sharing Christ in a geographical community, the members had the opportunity to invite people to the concert where Will presented the gospel after the music portions of the evening. We had SUCH a packed auditorium that the men in the back had to grab folding chairs to fill in gaps so people had seats!

We don’t put together concerts just for the sake of music and performing. We don’t help run teen events just to play fun games of dodgeball and eat pizza. We don’t do men’s nights and ladies’ nights just to have some good food and conversations. These are ways that create a platform that is comfortable, inviting, and genuine for people to hear a clear gospel presentation! These events, even with all of the work that goes into them, has been a big help in a lot of our team members growing in areas of organization, leadership, planning, and running an event. It has also been good for them to find people to invite when in areas that allow it and to practice geographical/relational evangelism even while traveling on the road!

We are thankful for Bethany Baptist Church and some dear friends there for how they are faithfully serving the Lord and loving those around them. Thanks so much for a sweet week of fellowship, investment, and outreach!

   

Rock Hill, South Carolina

Jubee

Harvest Baptist Church

January 20-25, 2019

Upon arriving in Rock Hill, we had a crazy pull-in! With all of the rain that the southeast has been getting, the ground is just soppppping wet. Grass quickly turns into mud, and anything heavier than a squirrel will sink right into the ground. As the semi and big trailer were pulling into the church parking lot, it got caught on the turn and took a few friends with trucks to pull free from the mud. Praise the Lord, it was not on a major road or highway, and only a few cars had to wait until the road was cleared. Thankful that no one was hurt and that no damage was done to any of the vehicles or trailers—besides maybe a couple of muddy tires!

As we entered the church, we were greeted with a quick tour of their new lobby/welcome center area that they have been renovating! Just beautiful.

We were last at Harvest Baptist three years ago, so getting to see teens and church members again was wonderful. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday afternoons, we took a van of teens to the surrounding neighborhoods and handed out flyers for the teen dodgeball tournament (Thursday evening) and the Irish Concert (Friday evening).

For the teen event on Thursday evening, we had guesstimated that about 25-30 teens would show up. Before the pool games of the tournament even started, we had 47 teens signed up to play! WOW! Thankfully we had enough pizza ;) and plenty of chairs for the teaching portion when Will shared the gospel between pool games and single-elimination rounds. We usually eat dinner right after the gospel presentation and before the elimination rounds of the tournament…this allows us to have some time to really connect with some of the teens and ask/answer any questions about what was just shared in a more relaxed and comfortable way.

We had a full house on Friday evening for the Irish Concert. Harvest Baptist was such an encouragement to our team as we heard over and over throughout the week of how the Lord has been working in individuals’ lives. The gospel is a central component to the heart and mission of the Harvest Baptist family, and it was felt! On Sunday, there was a friend who had been coming for the past several weeks who realized their need for Christ in a new and blatantly clear way…they placed their faith and trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ alone that day! Praise the Lord!

Thank you, Harvest Baptist Church for your continued preaching of the gospel and for sharing Christ to your church family AND to those in your community!

 

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

MyrtleBeach

Calvary Bible Church

January 13-18, 2019

Did you know it actually gets cold on the coast of the southeast? HA! Some of us were a little bit surprised to be standing on the coastline and realize that it was in the 30*’s! We are thankful that we brought coats, sweaters, and even scarves! The coast is beautiful regardless of whether it’s the summer or winter!

Here at Calvary Bible Church, we had a “regular” evening schedule with pre-services for adults, kids, and teens along with the main service and The Amazing Grace Race program for the kiddos. As we’ve been going through what apologetics are with the children, it’s amazing (and sometimes rebuking) to see how much they truly can understand and learn. Kids are smart!! And they are definitely able to understand concepts about the Lord and about the Bible. Some of the lessons they learn in addition to the gospel every night are:

  • How can we know that God created everything?
  • How can we know that the Bible is true?
  • How can we know that Jesus is God?
  • How can we know that God is good even when bad things happen?

We use apologetics as the foundation of these lessons and keep bringing kids back to the Bible for Truth answers!

Some of the kids this week at Calvary Bible Church have been very in-tune with what has been taught and have been asking some great questions.

Each morning, we had a mix of different chapels between the high schoolers, the elementary schoolers, and the preschoolers. Our team split up who taught each day/group and shared lessons from the Bible about how to live a life for Christ, how to fight bitterness, how to have a relationship with Christ, and how to understand the gospel. Will, Jordan, Andrew (Smith), and Shelley took times to teach the students. Thankful for their willingness to study and teach Bible Truths to the students!

On Thursday afternoon with the school students, we held a competition time between to teams (Blue VS Red | Grades 7, 10, & 11 VS Graces 8, 9, & 12). We played competition games that included tests in strength, speed, and mental ability. The teens loved it…which helped us enjoy it ALL the more even as we led it!

The church held an Irish Concert that same evening and we actually had to move from the church auditorium to the gym because of needing extra space! Church members had been faithfully inviting friends, neighbors, and coworkers leading up to the evening. It was encouraging to hear how they are involved in their communities and loving those around them by building relationships and looking for ways to share Christ with them. There were a few guests who attended who placed their faith and trust in Christ that night. PRAISE the Lord! We had been praying for a few of these individuals in particular and were beyond joyful that the Lord had been working in their hearts!

Thank you, Calvary Bible Church, for a wonderful week of ministry! Keep loving God and loving others!