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!

Huntingdon, Pennsylvania

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April 15-20, 2018

Calvary Independent Baptist Church

We weren’t sure if it was spring, summer, or winter this week. When we arrived on Saturday, it was mid-80s. By Tuesday, it was back down to the mid-40s! Gotta love seasonal changes!

Pastor Coleman was so welcoming and kind to us from the very minute we arrived. He and his wife have been faithfully seeing at Calvary for many years, and it was a blessing to serve alongside of them for the week!

Here’s a “quicky review” (as we say in our kids’ program) of the general week, and I’d LOVE to share with you at the end about some exciting things that happened.

Calvary has a school that we were able to lead chapels with for both the high school and elementary school. The students had listening ears, honest responses, and a willingness to seek change. On Thursday, our team led an activity time with the teens in the gym. We held some competitions that challenged both the intellect and the athletic ability of the students. They all did so well and had a blast while playing together. Any activity is made better with ice cream as the finale! It was a great ending to a week with lots of “teen time” including preservices each evening. Jordan walked through how one practically lives a life following Christ. Thankful for the truth and practical applications he shared with us all! Jordan spends a lot of time investing in and loving on the teens each week. Thankful for a teen/team leader who displays how to love others and develop discipling relationship week in and week out!

While traveling each week, a lot of times we are planting seeds. If you did a study on missionary history, some may be surprised to find how many missionaries spent their whole lives and saw very little fruit because of it developing long after they were gone. Others would come after them and reap the harvest. But this week in particular, we had the sweet privilege of seeing some fruit of God working in the hearts of the youth.

How precious it is to see someone come to the understanding of their need for Christ and God changing their hearts and desires. Almost each night, we had one or two children want to talk through the gospel one-on-one after the Bible lesson. Some went home to talk more with their parents, and others wanted to trust Christ right there and then! Praise the Lord for His saving of souls! Trusting in the promises that He will continue to faithfully keep and grow these little ones as they strive to seek Him. Some of our team was also able to talk with a few school students about the gospel…both of salvation and assurance.

Isn’t it kind of the Lord to allow us to have a part in gospel work?

Thank you to Calvary church and school for a week that blessed and encouraged each one of us! Keep growing in grace!

 

Sellersville, Pennsylvania

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April 8-13, 2018

Bethel Baptist Church

Back in Pennsylvania! It was a pretty good drive from VA to PA, and we are thankful {again} for safety with our caravan. Praise the Lord!

We were actually with Bethel Baptist just about two or three years ago, so it was good to see friends again and be able to reconnect! There is a school connected with the church, so we were able to add in a couple of chapels and spend some extra time with the students during the week. We had a GREAT children’s program in an amphitheater-sort of room during the week. Just about every seat was filled with an energetic 4year-old-to-6th grader! It’s always encouraging (and fun to teach;) when the children are ready to soak up every lesson. The faith of a child is precious to see.

The church hosted the Irish concert on Wednesday night. Church members, guests, friends, and acquaintances filled the seats. Since we were in PA again, Spencer Shelburne (a former team members from a couple of years ago) came to visit (naturally) and stay for the concert. This was our team’s second time seeing Spencer within this same traveling year! Thankful for these times. As our traveling will be winding down, we are now realizing just how special the times are of seeing good friends and former team members while on the road. Trying not to take these for granted!

Thank you, Bethel Baptist, for your encouragement to us and allowing us to serve alongside of you for the week. Your staff was a blessing to our team in how you just poured out love on us. Thanks for loving the Lord and wanting to see others come to know Christ!

   

Hampton, Virginia

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April 1-6, 2018

Bethel Baptist Church

This Virginia Beach area is actually where one of our team members —Alicia Newcomer— grew up for several years. Our team arrived on Good Friday at the end of spring break and got back into the swing of things that Saturday right before Easter.

It was a blessing to spend Easter Sunday with Bethel Baptist Church. To start the week remembering why we live each day for the Lord as redeemed children saved by the blood of Christ was a great reminder right before a busy week! Praise the Lord for the mercy tree and how Christ CONQUERED sin and death for us!

Our team was able to help with school chapels each morning for the school at Bethel and had some great opportunities to connect with students, challenge them through the preaching of God’s Word, and have some great followup conversations with them. Thankful for such a great opportunity.

One evening, we had a teen activity that ran during the same time as the main service and children’s program service. While almost 100 adults were in the audience, there were about 40+ kids in their own program while about 90-100 teens were in the gym for a separate program! We held a dodgeball tournament and dinner for the teens, and halfway through, Jordan shared the gospel. Thankful for all of the church members who helped out with the tournament and totally blown away by how many teens showed up. Some even came straight from baseball practice because someone had given their coach a flyer! How awesome is that? Even when one can be grumpy and “complainy" about having to hand out flyers and invitations, God reminds us to be faithful and not necessarily successful. You never know who may be able to come and hear the gospel…so go on out and hand out more invites for/with your church!

Each week, it’s a blessing to see the church bring guests to the Irish concert. The evening is not really for the church folks…it’s actually to give the church folks a platform to invite their friends to hear some good music and a clear gospel message together. Then it gives the opportunity to followup with future conversations about the evening.

Again, so thankful for the trust of people with their friends and children and allowing us to minister to them in song and preaching.

Thank you, Bethel Baptist Church (and school!), for a wonderful week! Praise the Lord for all that He has done and will continue to do.

 

Zionsville, Indiana

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Aire Born Studios | Zionsville, IN

March 19-22, 2018

We arrived close to midnight on Monday morning to Indiana. We all went to our different host homes and crashed for the night before an early morning Morning start at the studio. We got to Aire Born studios around 8:30am. After two full days of recording, our team ran over to Hillary Rankin’s house for a delicious dinner! Hillary traveled with team for a full year back in 2015/2016. Whenever we are in Indiana, we try to stop by to see her and her family. It was a sweet time of fellowship, catching up, laughing, eating, and drinking tea! Thankful for special times like that.

The next morning, we woke up to a snow-covered world. It was absolutely beautiful. Thankfully, the roads were just fine and we had no problem getting to the studio, but it sure put us in the Christmas mood! We kept the schedule moving along as smoothly as we could, especially since Pastor Albright was leaving that evening to go back to SLC. We are SO thankful for him and his help.

On Thursday, Christy and Shannon worked with Ben as we finished our two last full pieces, added in supporting instruments, and listened through each recording to catch errors. Down to the very last minute of the day, we were putting in the final touches. Wow—praise the LORD for His helping us get everything done in time! We wouldn’t have been able to accomplish all that we did without His help, guidance, and strength to sustain us through such an intense week.

Praising the Lord and looking forward to sharing this upcoming album with you all! Stay tuned this summer and into this fall for more updates on when the official release date will be!

Also, many praises for the Lord's protection on our drives home! Lots and lots of miles covered. We all split up after the recording week: Allens to Iowa, Andy Smiley to Ohio, Alicia to Michigan, Shelley to South Carolina, and Christy+Bethany+Andrew Smith to North Carolina.

Praying for all to have a restful spring break as we approach Good Friday and Easter Sunday!

RecordingPeeps

   

Matthews, North Carolina

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Bible Baptist Church + Indiana Recording Week

March 18, 2018

There has been much traveling this weekend, and we can never be "over thankful" for the Lord's protection. Our team drove from Augusta, GA to Charlotte, NC on Saturday to spend Sunday with Bible Baptist Church in Matthews. It was great to be in the church where Jordan Allen grew up with his dad as pastor. It was great for our whole team to see friends and acquaintances again from previous visits and weeks of meetings. Thankful for Bible Baptist's friendship and allowing us to be based out of Charlotte for a little while. Looking forward to connecting with them more while we're in the area.

The 7 team members + Christy left Charlotte on Sunday afternoon to head all the way to Indiana. Long drive, good company, thankful for a smooth trip. We got in close to midnight and started at 8:45 the following morning at the studio! We were excited to see and welcome our good friend Pastor Jon Albright from Gospel Grace Church who has been such a great help with this album (plus nearly all of our other albums!). Thankful for his kindness and willing spirit. Albright, Christy, and our mixer Ben from Air Borne make an incredible team in the studio. All of them along with Shannon who is coordinating the majority of the week have been a great blessing to work with. They constantly are pointing our gazes to the goal—Glorifying God. Thankful to have leaders who are servant-hearted and push us to Christ.

Recording studios can bring out so many fears and insecurities and all sorts of “studio lies” because of all the raw skills and imperfections and mistakes being right out in the open. Thankful for a team who encourages, who shares truthful reminders that we’re secure in Christ, who are all on the same team and “all for" each other, and who help each other work through those tough moments—when we are uncomfortable, insecure, mess up, get frustrated, respond wrong, etc. {Personal note from BW} I think that God sometimes uses recording studios as a sanctifying tool for us to love others more like Christ and to be made more like Christ ;) Thankful for the smooth days where we accomplish a lot, but also thankful for even those hard days!

It’s a privilege to be able to serve together here, to make music to share with others in years to come, and to have fun together while doing it!

Our prayer is that the Lord is honored and glorified not just during our week of recording but also as this album is produced and released to countless listeners.

Truth matters. People matter. Eternity matters. To God be the glory!

 

Martinez, Georgia

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Westside Baptist Church

March 11-15, 2018

We had some beautiful spring weather in northern Georgia and tried to even do some computer work outside whenever we could! Knowing that recording week in Indiana was coming up soon, we had some long days practicing extra music while also spending a week with Westside Baptist Church.

Each evening, there were different pre-services for the adults, teens, and children. Will had a time to meeting with the adults and speak with them for about 20 minutes. Bethany and Shelley took the younger children for their own special pre-service where the kids learned about past missionaries who served in different places of the world faithfully serving the Lord while also challenging the children that they can be missionaries right where God has them now in their school or neighborhood.  Jordan and the rest of the team spent about 45 minutes with the teens for an extra teaching time, game time, and on Wednesday even a pizza dinner with them.

Pastor Lehn and his wife are such a sweet couple and served our team and the Galkin family so kindly. We enjoyed having meals with them, spending extra time talking with them, and just seeing them love their church.

Westside’s music pastor—Zach Shelburne—is the brother of one of our former team members, Spencer Shelburne! Again, we love connecting with the family members of our team! Zach and his wife have two little children with another soon-to-arrive! Our team enjoyed spending a little extra time with them and hearing how the Lord has been working in and through them at Westside Baptist.

Thank you Westside Baptist Church for a great week of serving the Lord together! Praise the Lord for a great outreach night in addition to the other previous nights of equipping and exhorting!