The month of October was a surprisingly full month for the Peterson family. Here is a quick update on our family and the work at Providence Reformed Church.
As you know from our last update, the month of October began in a surreal way as our church, city, and family came to grips with the mass shooting of October 1. By God’s grace, none in our church were injured. Of course, the strangely sad feeling of knowing that such a horrible event happened in our home city is still a very bizarre thought. At the same time, many in Vegas have rallied around one another and we have seen a lot of human kindness over the month.
One unique event in October allowed Travis to join some of the guys for a UNLV football game. Not every college football team plays on a field that also sort of mimics a roulette wheel, but we do have some fascinating things in the desert. It was a good time together with the boys even if San Diego State crushed the Running Rebels.
In mid-October, Travis, Mitzi, and Owen traveled to southern California to take part in the FIRE West Coast Regional Conference. FIRE stands for Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals, and is the organization with which our church affiliates. Travis was asked to be one of the conference speakers and to address the recovery of biblical worship in the reformation. Owen was a great traveling companion, and we all enjoyed our time together. The Older kids stayed home with an adult friend to make sure all went smoothly.
Near the end of the month, Mitzi had a milestone birthday. She was not expecting it to be as special as it turned out to be, however, as the family, our church, and our dear friends truly worked to surprise her. The church had a potluck lunch birthday party that Mitzi had no idea was coming. A sweet friend of Abigail’s made a lovely birthday cake for the occasion. And Mitzi was totally surprised with her gift. Ever since we moved to Las Vegas, Mitzi has said she wanted to be able to take the children to Disneyland while they are still young enough to enjoy it. The church and some of our very dear friends back in Illinois worked together to raise enough money to send the family to enjoy a couple of days at Disney sometime soon.
After the birthday festivities were over, Travis and Mitzi got to travel on their own to the Here We Stand Conference held at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, Travis’ alma mater. There we heard some outstanding speakers including Albert Mohler, Mark Dever, Greg Allison, Ligon Duncan, Steve Nichols, Stephen Lawson, and others help us think through the doctrine, history, and importance of the reformation which began 500 years ago. We enjoyed catching up with a sweet couple, the mom and dad of some of our best friends. We also loved being back on the Southern Seminary campus, all decked out in fall colors. A highlight of the conference in Louisville was a display of first edition English Bibles from the 16th and early 17th centuries. At one point, the man in charge of the exhibit actually removed from its case and put in Travis’ hands a copy of the Tyndale New Testament from 1526—one of only 5 remaining copies of this incredibly rare 1st translation of the New Testament from Greek to English.
To cheat a bit and let you in on the beginning of November, Travis and Mitzi also got the joy of making a quick trip home to southern Illinois for a couple of days after the conference. Mitzi’s dad picked us up in Louisville and drove us to Carbondale where we got to visit with Mitzi’s aunt and uncle. We then got to spend a day with Travis’ mom and granny, and have dinner with his brother, sister-in-law, niece, and new nephew. Then we went to see friends in suburban St. Louis, surprised our dear friends Amy and TJ at their 40th birthday party, and enjoy time with several other wonderful friends. On Sunday, November 5, Travis was honored to preach at Redeemer in Waterloo, a wonderful church plant serving the Lord well. As I write this, we are on a plane headed back to Las Vegas and thanking God for the dear friends and family we got to enjoy over this past week.
Providence Reformed Church
Life at Providence Reformed Church continues to be a joy. The Lord has blessed our church with people who continue to desire to follow the Lord and obey his commands. Because of this, we had the joy of baptizing two more people in early October. This was a good time to have a baptism, as the water in local swimming pools is just about to get too cold for us to do this outdoors.
Along with a baptism service, we also held another PRC membership class. Because our church takes seriously the importance of church membership, we take time with all who want to join the class to be sure they understand the gospel, the doctrines of the church, our core values, our membership covenant, and our structure. We are expecting that, in November, we will vote in several new members to our congregation.
In case you are wondering, we are still working through the Gospel According to Matthew in our Sunday morning worship services. In adult Sunday School, we are currently enjoying a video series from Dr. Stephen Lawson, an outstanding Bible teacher. We continue to walk through the Gospel According to John in our Sunday Night Live Bible study which is held in the Peterson home and which is always streamed live on Facebook for people to watch from anywhere. On Wednesdays, our church alternates between a prayer meeting and a fellowship group that will also work through the Sunday morning passage for application. The young men and young women of Providence are still meeting just about every month to learn life skills, Bible lessons, and to think seriously about their lives in the future. In so many ways we are blessed to be able to do all that the Lord is allowing us to do.
We always need for you to continue to lift our family and our church up to the Lord. Here are a few ways that you could pray for us:
- Pray that God will continue to grow us in our love for him and desire to see and spread his glory.
- Pray that God will bring people to our church who need to hear his word and join in worship.
- Pray that we will be able to continue to form relationships with people in Las Vegas who need God’s grace.
- Pray for our children as they grow, continue in school, and serve God in our church.
- Pray for our sanity as the hectic holiday season approaches.