September has flown by, and the world here in Las Vegas has changed. Here is what has been happening with the Peterson family and Providence Reformed Church.
Las Vegas Shooting
Before we talk about September, and before we fill you in on family notes, it is appropriate for us to simply stop and answer the question so many are asking. Our family and our church is doing well, by the grace of God, even in the light of the evil that was perpetrated here in Las Vegas on October 1. None of our church members were at the concert where a gunman opened fire, killing 58 and wounding nearly five hundred. But many of our folks have so many emotions to struggle through as we think about what happened.
For many, there is anger, pain, and confusion. Las Vegas is our city. No, we are not into the gambling industry. Many in our church have lived in Vegas so long that they never or hardly ever go to the Strip. But we all know people who spend time in Las Vegas’ entertainment district. WE know people who work on the Strip. WE know policemen and firemen and members of the culinary union who work down there. And so, it is a strange, stomach-turning feeling to know that someone did such evil right here where we live.
As a church, we have spent time in prayer for one another and for our city. We have asked the Lord to heal the wounded, to comfort those who saw and heard things that they can never forget, and show mercy to those who have lost friends and family. WE have prayed for our police force and our other first responders. We pray for our city, and we are asking the Lord to use even this act of evil for good. We are asking that God lead people to his grace and eternal life in Christ as they have seen the evil in the human heart and the fragile brevity of our lives here on earth.
At the same time, we are praying that God not allow this incident to lead our people or our city to a man-centered mentality. There have been wonderful stories coming out of Las Vegas. We have heard of officers who were shot, stitched up, and who immediately returned to duty. We have heard of civilians covering others with their bodies to try to protect them from bullets. We have heard of brave protectors who charged toward the rifle-wielding maniac to take him down before more people could be hurt. We have seen a city turn out to give blood in such mass that people waited in line for six hours to donate.
But we must not let ourselves think that the good actions of humanity in this season is a sign that we can pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps to bring about healing. There is no healing, no life, no grace apart from Christ. We need Jesus in our city. WE need to humbly seek his face and see him change lives. And we are praying that our city not believe that we are strong enough to face down evil on our own.
So, you want to know how to pray for PRC in this season? Pray that God’s will be done. Pray that God comfort those who are grieving that such evil happened right here where we live. Pray that we not think that the good that we have seen in our city is enough to make us right on our own. Pray that we will talk to friends, family, neighbors, and strangers about the gospel. Pray that God will bring people into our church to learn of the love of Jesus. Pray that our church go into the community to tell people about the love of Jesus. Pray that God use what an evil man intended for evil purposes to accomplish a level of transformation that only God can bring about.
Home Front and Providence Reformed Church
In a mix of family and ministry, Travis had the joy of performing a wedding in September. Kevin is the son of dear friends of ours who were part of our church when we lived in Korea. So, it was a great joy when Kevin and his fiancé came to Las Vegas. They have since connected with our church, and were married on September 4 at a beautiful park here in Las Vegas.
Our church held a membership class for people who are interested in knowing more about us and potentially becoming church members. We had a great crowd in our home and very much enjoyed our time together.
With another month comes another birthday party. It is amazing to think that our girl has turned 14. She was surprised by her surprise party. We are so thankful for friends who will go to the lengths they go to in order to love our family.
Abigail is posing with Chloe, our friend’s dog.
Our Young Women of Providence met at the end of the month and enjoyed a time of fellowship and growth. We are learning to pray for each other out loud. This isn’t an easy thing to do for everyone, but it has been such a wonderful experience listening to these young ladies pray. Our hope is that with time it will become easier and that these young ladies will become comfortable praying with one another on their own. Cultivating a friendship that includes prayer is such a blessing and we hope that God will help them grow in this area.
Our Women of Providence also had an event at the end of the month. The women met at a church member’s home and we sat outside and enjoyed Bible study, fellowship, and a meal. It was a beautiful evening to discuss Titus 2:3-5 and discuss the call to mentor.
- As we already said in the section above, please pray for God’s best on our church and our family.
- Pray that we will have wisdom and opportunities to minister here in such a time as this.
- Pray for our family as we travel. Travis will be speaking at a conference in the L.A. area in mid-October.