It certainly feels like spring has sprung here in the desert. Our family has been loving the February weather with blue skies and temps in the upper 70s. We are doing well, loving the ministry God has given us, and are grateful to you all for your encouragement and prayer support. Here is our update for March.
In my last update, I mentioned to you that Abigail and I traveled back to Illinois in order to take part in my grandfather’s funeral. That trip was such a mix of sadness and joy. Nothing is fun about saying goodbye to a loved one, though we were glad that Papa was no longer facing the clouds of confusion and fear that Alzheimer’s disease brings. We loved being with our family and friends from the Midwest. I was honored to be entrusted by my family with the funeral service. And it was great to be able to enjoy some of the comforts of home like pizza from Quatros and time spent with my mom, brothers, Granny, and with so many more sweet family members and friends.
Part of our travel arrangements gave me about a day to also say hi to friends back in Columbia, IL. On Thursday evening, we had dinner with the folks of Redeemer Church in Waterloo, the sweet church plant launched before we left Columbia. It was great to be together with friends who are doing such a wonderful ministry and showing such deep faithfulness to the word of God. Abigail also got to spend the night with friends, and I got to have time with Lonnie, one of my dearest friends in life and ministry. Of course we did more things, but I can’t list everybody we saw or everything we did in this little travelogue.
I must say, however, that it was a nice thing to return to Nevada from Illinois. We missed our family and our home here. We also loved leaving temperatures that dipped as low as 18 to be back in 80 degree February weather (Did I mention the weather already?) (Don’t be annoyed—it will soon be well into the triple digits here when you are having spring). Mitzi did however take the boys to the mountains so they didn’t miss out on playing in the snow. We live about 30 minutes drive from Mt. Charleston.
Looking back over the past month, the biggest event in the family here in Vegas was our little boy turning nine years old. He wanted a Lord of the Rings themed birthday party, and Mitzi worked hard to decorate the house and make a unique, hobbit-hole cake. We had guests from our church come by and join in the fun and games.
Providence Reformed Church
Ministry at PRC is continuing to be a joy. One of the sweetest celebration points from our ministry here is that we held our first baptism service since arriving in the southwest. By the grace of God, five people chose to follow the commands of Christ in believer’s baptism. The age range was from sixteen to somewhere in the 80s (I’m not asking—that’s not polite). We borrowed the church building of First Baptist Church of the Lakes here in Las Vegas, and had a great time of celebration and worship together. I was touched to hear our people share their personal testimonies from the waters of the baptistery, words of salvation, of grace, and of a deep desire to obey the Lord.
I also had a great time over the last month with our church’s worship ministry. We took a Saturday in mid-February to pray together, study Scripture, and plan and dream a bit about the future of our worship team ministry. Seven of us were together, and I believe that God is helping us to get organized and to plan well for the future as we seek to honor him in how we sing, pray, and serve together.
In case you do not know, I do, from time to time, take part in our church’s music ministry. This is not at all a weekly occurrence, as that would be a bit too much and we have very capable folks here. But, I am happy, around once a month or so, to bring my guitar and take part in leading worship for PRC. I loved leading worship with the team at FBC Columbia, and I’m really glad to not put that part of my life away.
We are happy to be leading a few Bible studies from our home as well. To tell you about one, we have a group who comes on every other Friday to work through an introduction to the Bible. This is a five session study in which we walk through the Scripture to get an overview of the main story line and to find the key themes and basic truths presented. This has been a great jumpstart for some of our new believers and a fun reminder for some of our other folks.
Recently, we started a study for ladies that Mitzi is leading from our home on Fridays as well. (It meets on the Fridays that do not have our introduction to the Bible). We will also be continuing our marriage study based on Paul Tripp’s book, What Did You Expect. Our church also hosts small groups in members’ homes that are focused on discussion of the Sunday messages with application and fellowship. During Sunday School we are still working through Wayne Grudem’s Christian Beliefs study which all of our church is enjoying. And, in the preaching ministry, we are working through Matthew’s gospel with a planned look at Genesis to come.
As always, we treasure your support through prayer. We are asking God to continue to protect us, provide for us, and put us exactly where he wants us for his glory. Here are some ways that you can join us in such prayers.
- That God will continue to grow our people in their love for him and their Christian maturity.
- That God will grow our church by continuing to bring new families into our fellowship.
- That God will give us opportunities this spring to continue to get to know our neighbors and to continue to grow deeper in fellowship with our church.
- That God will continue to bless our family with spiritual growth, health, and his provision.
- That God will give our church wisdom as we evaluate our present meeting location and consider moving to a new, more centralized location.
- That God will bless one of the dear couples in our church who are struggling with grief.
As always, we are eager to hear from you all as well. Please drop us a line and let us know how we might better pray for you.