Summer 2018

What has been up in the life of the Peterson family and Providence Reformed Church over the past couple of months?

Home Front

Peterson

In April, Josiah  was very happy to receive another karate promotion. After a really tough test with lots of exercise, sparring, and board breaking, he ranked up to receive the brown stripe on his green belt.

In a bit of change, Josiah is ready for a rest from karate. So, for the near future at least, he is going to look for another type of exercise activity. We are very proud of him and all he accomplished in his training.

Some of the hardest things to write in a newsletter like this one are the special things that the Lord provides for us. We never want to sound like life is super-easy, or that we are extravagant. In what we do. In truth, our family spends very little on doing extra things for ourselves. But when the Lord opens a door for one or all of us to enjoy a blessing, we are glad to tell you about it.

This year, Abigail received a tremendously generous gift. As you may know, both Abigail and Josiah take on-line courses through Veritas Scholars Academy. This is an on-line homeschooling organization that allows our kids to experience classroom-style teaching with an instructor and other students. The work is hard, but it is making a solid difference in our kids’ education.

At the end of each school year, Veritas has an end-of-year gathering. Think of a mix of a graduation and class reunion all rolled into one. Although, unlike a reunion, this gathering is for students who have been in on-line classrooms together, but not met face-to-face over the year.

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This year, thanks to the generosity of a dear family, Abigail got to fly to Pennsylvania to attend the Veritas end-of-year gathering. She met friends and teachers face-to-face, enjoyed fun activities, and even got to see some beautiful historic sites near Lancaster, including Valley Forge. We are so grateful to God for giving our girl this opportunity that we could have never afforded her on our own.

 

For Memorial day, we invited some families from the church who didn’t know each other well to come to our home to enjoy the day.  We had a great time playing games and making some new connections.  We hope to do that again for the 4th of July.

 

 

At the end of May, our family went to get some haircuts.  When it was time for Mitzi’s haircut the hairstylist had some extra help.

 

 

 

 

 

In June, my mom was able to fly to Las Vegas for a ten-day stay with the family. We all love it when Mama comes to spend some time with us. I know she enjoys the time with the grandkids—and I think she’s pretty fond of In-N-Out Burger too.  She spoiled us by taking us to many fun places to eat.

 

 

 

 

 

Also in June, we celebrated out 18th Anniversary!  We are very thankful to be able to do ministry together.  There is never a dull moment!

 

 

 

Travis also has a new look blog site. You should check it out at http://www.pastortravislv.com . He’s trying to be disciplined to write nearly every weekday. Perhaps some of the thoughts there will encourage you.

 

 

 

Providence Reformed Church

email-banner-1.pngOne thing to check out right away regarding our church is the brand new web site. We would love for you to visit www.providencereformedchurchlv.org to see the new design. Bookmark the page if you want to see the church calendar or have easy access to sermon audio.

Part of the regular life of Providence Reformed Church is our Sunday night Bible study we have affectionately labeled Sunday Night Live. Most Sunday evenings, people gather at our home at around 6:30 for a Bible study. We also broadcast the study live on our church’s Facebook page—www.facebook.com/provref.

In April and May, we worked through the Christian apologetics curriculum that you can find as a Core Seminar from Capitol Hills Baptist Church. We had a great time talking about ways to defend the faith.

Over the coming weeks, our plan for Sunday Night Live is to work through a variety of Psalms. It seems like, in the breathtaking desert heat, Psalms are just refreshing to our souls.

One other fun thing our church did in April was host a gathering for David Platt’s “Secret Church.” Secret Church is an intense, six-hour Bible study. IT is designed to remind us of what it is like to have long times of worship and training like missionaries sometimes do in closed countries. We had a living room full of folks taking notes and enjoying the time.

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In early May, Mitzi and Abigail participated in the church’s annual Women’s Ministry Friendship Tea. This is an event for ladies to get together, enjoy a lovely time of fellowship, and participate in a lesson provided by one of the ladies of the church.

At the very end of May, our church hosted another new members class. Before someone joins our church, we spend a few hours together to be sure that potential members understand the gospel, the church’s doctrine and values, and our basic organizational structure. We always have a great time together, enjoy a good lunch and coffee, an, get to know one another.

 

Prayer Requests

I hope that you know that we cannot make it in the world of ministry without the power of God and the prayer support of dear friends and family. Please, even now, take a moment to pray that God will care for our family. While this ministry is a blessing, there are times when it can be very hard. There are days when our hearts are full and days when our hearts hurt. There are blessings and there are disappointments.

Please pray for us in the following areas, as well as in any other way you can think of:

  • Pray for the family that we will continue to make new friends and see gospel opportunities in our neighborhood.
  • Pray for God’s protection and provision for our family. We need him to watch over us in our city, keep us safe and healthy, and meet our needs. It was a step of faith to come here, and God has shown himself faithful. Please pray that he will continue to care for us and surprise us with his kindness.
  • Pray for the growth of PRC. We need to see ourselves grow in love for God and for each other. We also need to see the Lord grow our church by adding to the church body as he sees fit. Pray for us to be faithful to the Lord in the ministry, and for God to bless that faithfulness. WE deeply desire to see God continue to bring new people to our church by his own power, through his direction. Yes, we invite and reach out. But it is glorious to see how God is so clearly the one who does the work to bring people to our church.

We would love to hear from any of you. Send us a note or give us a call to let us know how things are going and how we can pray for you. Of course, Vegas is always a great place to visit, even in the summertime—It’s a dry heat.

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Spring 2018

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When compared to the past few months, February and March have been far less imposing, far more normal, months for the Peterson family. Here is a quick update with a few prayer requests. Thanks, as always, to all of you for caring for and supporting our family in ministry.

Home Front

By the grace of God, our family is all doing well. One sweet blessing for us is that Josiah had his 11th birthday. Our family celebrated by going out for authentic, Japanese Ramen and the novelty of rolled ice-cream. We also had a themed party with the students at our home.

Josiah's 11th party

We were also able to host a house guest for the month of February. A church member and friend had just finished his military service, and he needed a place to stay after his apartment lease was up in February, but before heading back to his wife and children in early March. We are glad to have this space available and to use the home God has given us to care for others.

In March, two sweet friends from Illinois, a mom and her oldest daughter, were able to join us for a few days. The two were on a little mother-daughter, coming-of-age retreat. We loved showing them the beauties of the desert and having time with these dear friends.

God has sent us to Las Vegas in his service. We came here on purpose, serving a small, newly formed church, for the sake of the spread of the gospel, the growth of his people, and the glory of the Lord. As a family, we are a ministry family. We desire to be used by the Lord in all that we have for his glory. So, please, as you read about sweet things in our lives, birthdays or visits from others, also remember to pray that God will continue to use us, to watch over us, to provide for us in the way that you would pray for missionaries in other settings. God is good. Our family exists for his purposes, for his glory. And we pray that we will continue to be used by him.

 

Providence Reformed Church

In February, our Sunday night Bible study finished a series simply entitled Introduction to the Bible. This five-session study walked us through the basic timeline of the Bible. We highlighted key themes and saw how the books of the Bible fit together. We enjoyed our time together, and many people participated in the study by watching it live on the church’s Facebook page. We took a short break in the beginning of March before continuing to gather in our home each Sunday evening. Now we are beginning a short course on Christian Apologetics, defending the faith, that is from Capitol Hill Baptist Church.

 

Prayer Requests

Please lift up the following prayer requests before the throne of grace:

  • Pray for the family as the kids continue to work on their homeschool courses and consider what the next school year will include.
  • Pray for the family that we will make new friends and see gospel opportunities in our neighborhood.
  • Pray for God’s protection and provision for our family. We need him to watch over us in our city, keep us safe and healthy, and meet our needs. It was a step of faith to come here, and God has shown himself faithful. Please pray that he will continue to care for us and surprise us with his kindness.
  • Pray for the growth of PRC. We need to see ourselves grow in love for God and for each other. We also need to see the Lord grow our church by adding to the church body as he sees fit.

 

 

 

January 2018

Here is a quick word about what has been going on with the Peterson family and Providence Reformed Church in January of 2018.

 

Home Front

January of this year opened in a unique way for the Peterson family. We were actually back in Illinois visiting family in temperatures of around 0 and wind chills in the negatives. We had a great time seeing everyone we got to see back in the Midwest, and we certainly wish we had gotten to visit with so many others we could not fit into the schedule.

For the first half of the month, Mitzi’s dad, John, was with us in our home. We said goodbye to him on January 13, but we were glad to have him here with us for a season.

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We are quite blessed to have a place in our home to allow for friends and family to come and join us for a time. So many people find Las Vegas to be a fascinating destination, and we are glad to be able to give friends a place to land and to offer some tourist advice that points them away from the obvious and toward much beauty here in the desert.

 

Providence Reformed Church

It felt very nice to see the new year come at Providence Reformed Church. With the turn of the calendar, our lives and schedules got back to normal, or at least as normal as they ever get in the ministry.

On January 14, we started the first 2018 version of our Sunday evening Bible study, affectionately known here as Sunday Night Live. In January and February, we will spend five sessions working through an Introduction to the Bible. This course is something that Travis has led multiple times. We have worked through this study in almost any different ministry location where we have served, and it has always been a blessing. If you are interested in knowing more, feel free to join us on the church’s Facebook page. We stream the lessons live on Sunday evenings at 6:30 Las Vegas time. And all the prior lessons we have covered can be found there as well.

A fun tradition for us here at PRC is an annual event we call the Chili Bowl. This is, as the name might sound, a combination of a chili cook-off and a nod to the NFL’s championship game. This year, there were 12 different entries for the coveted Chili Bowl trophy and 7 competitors for the equally prized Cornbread Cup. We had a great meal together, then we divided into 2 teams, Patriots and Eagles, for a competition to see which side would win the day. The contest included trivia, Pictionary, charades, and some fun physical challenges. In the end, the Eagles pulled out a win on a last-second field goal. Everyone had a lot of laughs.

Chili Bowl 2018

In case you are interested, our Sunday morning sermon series is picking back up our walk through the Gospel According to Matthew. We enjoyed a short break for Christmas, but will soon continue in Matthew 19. If you would like to know more about the church or to listen to our sermons for yourself, visit www.provref.org.

 

Prayer Requests

We simply could not survive our ministry lives without the important prayer support of so many dear friends who love us enough to lift our family and our church up to the throne of grace. Please continue to pray for us. Here are a few ways:

  • Pray for the family as the kids continue to work on their homeschool courses and consider what the next school year will include.
  • Pray for the family that we will make new friends and see gospel opportunities in our neighborhood.
  • Pray for God’s protection and provision for our family. We need him to watch over us in our city, keep us safe and healthy, and meet our needs. It was a step of faith to come here, and God has shown himself faithful. Please pray that he will continue to care for us and surprise us with his kindness.
  • Pray for the growth of PRC. We need to see ourselves grow in love for God and for each other. We also need to see the Lord grow our church by adding to the church body as he sees fit.

Two month update

With the Christmas season and so much more going on, we did not manage to get out a November update. So here is a two-month note full of info and pictures from the adventures of the Peterson family and Providence Reformed Church.

Home Front

November began wonderfully. Mitzi and Travis had the sweet joy of visiting with family in Illinois and surprising some dear friends by crashing their birthday party. That was possible because we were in town after an outstanding conference in Louisville.

In mid-November, Travis’ mom hopped on a plane and joined us here in Las Vegas. We have found that it is a lot of fun for us to spend Thanksgiving together. While Mama [Maw-Maw] was with us, ,we got a lot done.

We took a few fun family photos (special thanks to Karen, a young lady in our church who has interest in photography).

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2017-11-22 19.21.49We went to Ethel M to see the beautiful Christmas lights in the cactus garden, a Vegas tradition.

We chose to go out for thanksgiving rather than fixing a meal at home. This year’s choice, Lucille’s Smokehouse BBQ was excellent. It’s hard to beat the options of smoked turkey if you feel traditional and BBQ ribs if you are less into the bird.

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We also got up to Mt. Charleston to enjoy the views. It is a neat thing to be able to drive away from our home in the desert valley, and, in half-an-hour, be at 7,650 feet of elevation among green grass and pine trees.

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Then came December. Perhaps the coolest family fun thing we have been able to do in a while came because of the kindness of so many dear friends as a gift for Mitzi’s birthday (we’ll not mention which one, but it ends in a 0). Friends from here in Las Vegas and in Illinois chipped in to send our family to Disneyland. Ever since we moved to the west, Mitzi has wanted to take our kids to the original Disney theme park. We never thought we would get the opportunity simply because of the expense, but thanks to the kindness of so many friends, we made it. As the word of God tells us, every good gift comes to us from the Lord, and while we certainly do not think that Disney is a spiritually important thing, we know that such sweet family memories are a grace given to us by God.

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Also in the month of December, Mitzi’s dad, John, made it to visit us here in Vegas for the first time.

Josiah continued to work hard on his karate, earning his green belt.

Our family had a wonderful Christmas together here in the desert. It is a tradition for the Peterson family to get new jammies on Christmas Eve.

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It is also a tradition for Mitzi to make lots of sweet treats for the family including peppermint fudge, toffee, buckeyes (chocolate peanut butter balls), and cake balls—this year including pumpkin, carrot, and red velvet.

As the year drew to a close, for the first time in two-and-a-half years, we were able to get our family back to Illinois for a visit. It was great to have everyone together for Christmas at Granny’s house. It was also a lot of fun for us to have some of the midwestern treats that are not available here in Las Vegas (nobody in Vegas has deer sausage, Prairie Farms custard, or Quatros Pizza). The trip was quite an adventure, as we left temperatures in the mid-60s for temps in the single digits. But we survived, are glad we went, and are glad to be back where it is warm.

Peterson Family Christmas 2017

Providence Reformed Church

As does any church, we love it at PRC when people join our church formally as members. At our annual meeting at the beginning of November, we had the honor of adding 7 new members. Of course we take no credit for this, as the Lord will build his church according to his will and for his glory. So we give God thanks and we continue to pray that he will continue to grow our church as fits his plan.

We have begun our celebration of the season of Advent at Providence Reformed Church. Like many churches, we light candles and do special readings to focus the congregation on the biblical promise of the coming of a Savior. It is nice to have different groups and families to help us make this happen each year.

Our Sunday evening Bible study, affectionately known as Sunday Night Live, made it through the Gospel According to John in 2017, basically covering a chapter per week. We will return on January 14 with a new study that is an introduction to the Bible in 5 sessions.

PRC Christmas Stuff

In December, we had Christmas parties, a Baby dedication, and all the great things that we get to do together to abide in Christ together for the glory of God. Christmas Eve was, as always, a special time with our church family gathering in a home to sing, light candles, and remember the story of Christ’s birth.

 

 

Prayer Requests

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • 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 a solid start to 2018 as we recover our sanity after the hectic holiday season.

Fall is here!

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.

Home Front

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.

FIRE 2017
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.

 

2017-10-29 13.36.09Near 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. 2017-10-29-13-34-08.jpgA 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.

2017-10-31 13.37.50After 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 the2017-10-31-16-38-17.jpg 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.

 

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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 suburban2017-11-05-10-23-34.jpg 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.

 

Prayer Requests

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.

 

Fall is coming!

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.

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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.

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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.

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Prayer Requests

  • 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.

Summer’s End

As we wrap up the month of August and summer in the desert winds down, we want to share with you what has been happening with the Peterson family and Providence Reformed Church.

Home Front

Josiah worked through another promotion test in his karate class. He has now gained a green stripe on his yellow belt, which for his class means that he has completed 6 of 11 promotion steps toward a black belt. The work is getting harder and the challenges much larger. But he is pressing on, and we are very proud of him.

 

Travis, Abigail, and Josiah managed to make it to a baseball game here in Las Vegas before the season ended thanks to receiving some free tickets. The Las Vegas 51s are the triple A affiliate of the new York Mets. On the night we went to the game, we had a fun experience. Josiah said that he wanted to buy a hat, though we told him it was not something we could do for him this trip. Just after arriving, a stadium usher asked Josiah if he would like to go and play a game on the field after the 1st inning. He played, of course, and his reward…wait for it…was a game used baseball and a Las Vegas 51s hat—the very hat he wanted to get in the first place. WE all had a great time at the game. And we are all giving thanks to God for the kindnesses he is showing us.

 

One of the beautiful things about living in Las Vegas is that so many friends from years ago find their way here for one reason or another. This August, we got to visit with the Thompson family, friends from Canada via South Africa who were part of Christian International Church when we lived in South Korea. It was lovely to get to catch up and hear what the Lord has been doing in the lives of the Thompson’s and to see how much their kids have grown.

 

Of course, no August is complete without a birthday party. Our youngest turned 6 this year, and we all had a great time celebrating. Perhaps one of the most fun things about this year’s party is the fact that so many of the teens from our church’s student group took time to come and help Owen celebrate. We are grateful to everyone for the kind birthday wishes and gifts.

Providence Reformed Church

Each August, PRC has what we call family camp. Over the weekend, probably around half of the church travels to Duck Creek village, UT for a weekend of camping. We find ourselves high atop a mountain with beautiful pine trees, creeks, lakes, and meadows. We enjoy hikes, campfires, fishing, s’mores, and a lot of laughs. On Sunday morning, we have a worship service up on the mountain much like what the others in the church are doing back in Las Vegas at the same time.

Prayer Requests

We would be grateful if you joined us in praying for the following:

  • Pray that God continue to bless and care for our family. WE always need his protection and provision to do what he has brought us here to do.
  • Pray for the kids and for Mitzi as the new homeschool year gets going in September.
  • Pray for our church’s growth. We have seen several new folks arrive over the past few months. Pray that these will connect with our church in membership and service.
  • Always pray for us that the Lord will open more and more doors for us to share the gospel with friends and neighbors.

Summer fun

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What has been up with the Peterson family and Providence Reformed Church in July?

Home Front

Early in July, Travis and Mitzi had the opportunity to do something new. Sweet friends invited us to join them on an escape room adventure. We had 1 hour to solve puzzles and decipher riddles in order to escape a Martian prison and return to earth before disaster struck. We made it out with only 4 minutes to spare!

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If you have been keeping up with our family, you know that Josiah has been working through the ranks at his karate class. This month was a little different, however, as Owen got into the action. The class offered a $1 trial for new students to see if they would be interested. Owen gave it a shot, and did well. But, we will probably wait six months or so before trying to get him into the program.

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We enjoyed the fourth of July at home with friends.  We enjoyed grilled food, games, and fireworks!  The Wright family came with a box of fireworks which we got to do in front of our home with other neighbors doing the same thing.

It was so wonderful to catch up with Lupita this month.  She came to town and visited us at our church.  We met Lupita in South Korea at the church we served in over ten years ago.

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July contains Travis’ birthday. The family enjoyed some Cold Stone ice cream together. We love birthday coupons!

Providence Reformed Church

One of the joys of being a relatively new church is that we can do things in untraditional ways. That includes how we sometimes get to handle our baptism services. On July 9, just after Sunday morning services, we gathered together at a family’s home for fellowship and to support those who chose to follow the Lord in believer’s baptism. We had the joy of baptizing 7 people.

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A major part of the month of July for our church this year was our student ministry trip. We took 7 young people along with several adults to Oxnard, for a trip that combined service, spiritual growth, and fellowship. Each weekday morning over the week of July 16-23, Our group joined with Faith Community church in Oxnard to help them with their vacation Bible school. After lunch, we worked together through 2 Timothy 6:1-14 as part of our own spiritual growth retreat. Then in the afternoons and evenings, we had fun and fellowship activities including going to the beach, a mall scavenger hunt, a party with students from California at a host home, a board game day, and a trip to a Hollywood farmer’s market. Travis was happy to be able to share God’s word with the folks from FCC, and we returned to Las Vegas tired but happy on July 23.

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Prayer Requests

We would be so happy for you to pray for us in the following ways:

  • Pray that our church continue to grow. God has brought some new families to our congregation, and we certainly want that to continue.
  • Pray that God will help us to grow spiritually. We want to love him, be faithful to him, and honor him in all we do.
  • Pray that God continue to open doors for us to meet new people and reach out with the love of Christ.
  • Pray for the things that you would pray for any family: spiritual growth, health, provision, etc.

Summer Time

It is most certainly summer in Las Vegas. We’ve had a full week of temperatures over 110, but remember, it’s a dry heat. Here is what has been up in the life of the Peterson family and Providence Reformed Church.

Home Front

The month of June is always special for us because it is when we celebrate our wedding anniversary. This year Mitzi and Travis have been married for 17 years.

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Josiah got a special treat in June. He was able to travel to Camp Ironwood once more. He was sad not to be going with his young friend from church, but he did a great job on his own. At Ironwood, Josiah worshiped and learned. He also was able to participate in archery, horseback riding, canoeing, camping, swimming, shooting BB guns, and much more.

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Providence Reformed Church

Life at PRC is always full. We have continued some of our best activities while enjoying a special summertime event. Sunday Night Live in the Peterson home is still going strong. We are working through the Gospel According to John every Sunday night at 6:30 local time. People join us in our home, and many participate on-line by watching the Facebook Live stream. You are always welcome to join us on Sunday evenings. Just follow our church’s page on Facebook and watch for us to go live—www.facebook.com/provref.

We have also managed to have our second monthly meetings for young men and young women of Providence. The young men fellowshipped, studied 1 Timothy 1, and learned the valuable life skill of changing a tire. We believe that every young man needs to know that sort of thing, and we are happy to teach our boys. The ladies met together, studied, listened to one of our church members’ testimony, and learned to cook a lovely risotto.

Also during the month of June, the students had a fundraising meal.  As many of you know, we are planning our first student mission trip in July.  We are headed to Oxnard, CA, where the students will help a church with their VBS.  The theme of the fundraising meal was Star Wars.  It was a great event.  The students decorated the house, prepared, and served the meal.  They did a wonderful job.

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The new thing for the summer came at the end of June. From June 26-30, we had our first ever Vacation Bible School as Providence Reformed Church. Students met in the Johnson Middle School cafeteria to learn about God our King. Children enjoyed singing, games, crafts, and snacks together. Each day we focused on important truths like the following:

  • We are Created by the King.
  • We have rebelled against the King.
  • We can be rescued by the King.
  • We can live to serve the King.
  • We look forward to the return of the King.

 

Prayer Requests

We would be so happy for you to pray for us in the following ways:

  • Pray for the upcoming student ministry trip to California. We will be taking a group of students to help another church with their Vacation Bible School and to have a sort of student retreat.
  • Pray that our church continue to grow. God has brought some new families to our congregation, and we certainly want for that to continue.
  • Pray that God will help us to grow spiritually. We want to love him, be faithful to him, and honor him in all we do.
  • Pray that God continue to open doors for us to meet new people and reach out with the love of Christ.
  • Pray for the things that you would pray for any family: spiritual growth, health, provision, etc.

May Update

What’s been happening with the Peterson family and Providence Reformed Church in May 2017?

Home Front

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One of the things we love dearly about living in Las Vegas is the beautiful outdoors. While we grew up in a part of the country that is wonderfully green with woods, creeks, rivers, and rolling hills, we still find ourselves amazed at the stunning scenery of the desert. On the Monday after Mother’s Day, we took advantage of our nearness to the Valley of Fire, a park with some truly unique trails.

Our children are happy that the major portion of the home school year has come to an end. Abigail finished two very tough on-line courses, and is quite happy for the break. These Veritas classes were courses that were taught live by a teacher using video and simulating a classroom. She is thrilled not to be working on much algebra over the summer, though all the kids will keep up a little work over the summer to make sure they are ready for next year. Even Owen has gotten into the swing of things with his own math and language arts studies.

One thing that was a neat right-of-passage experience for our daughter was her first road trip with friends. Our family is blessed with some great friends, including some very responsible and caring young 20s young ladies who offered to have Abigail join them on a weekend trip to Los Angeles. Abigail and the ladies went to Hollywood and spent time at the farmer’s market at the Grove, shopped in bookstores, hit the beach, and even visited Downtown Disney. In case you are wondering, she brought her parents Mickey and Minnie Mouse mugs.

Providence Reformed Church

Ministry at Providence Reformed Church (PRC) was full in May. Our PRC students held a garage sale where they raised funds for the students to head to L.A. in July to help a church with their vacation Bible school. The students are excited to serve others and have a summer retreat.

Our Sunday Night Live Bible study held in our home is still going well. In May, we managed to study through John chapters 1-3. These studies include a group meeting in our home and several people watching the study live on Facebook. If you are interested, feel free to join us live on Sunday nights, 6:30 Pacific (8:30 Central) at www.facebook.com/provref (you’ll need to follow the church’s Facebook page to be notified when we go live).

An annual event of PRC is the Women’s Ministry Friendship Tea. Each May, ladies from our church get together for fellowship and Bible study. This year, the ladies enjoyed each other’s company as they worked through a set of discussion questions walking them through the book of Ruth.

One change in our ministry life at PRC has been a move toward a home-based prayer meeting. One of our small groups has felt the need to focus their group time on prayer, and we had a wonderful kickoff to that in our first meeting in May.

Another exciting change in May was a new young men’s ministry and a young women’s ministry. We started with a weekend retreat in our home for the ladies and another home for the young men.  The young men worked through the “Do Hard Things” conference videos and the ladies worked thru podcasts from the Revive Our Hearts Ministry.

The young men will focus on three things: life skills, accountability, and Scripture. In each meeting, we will teach our teens a skill they need to have for life. In May, we taught the young men to check the fluids and jumpstart a car. We also are challenging them to think about the kinds of adult men they want to be and will then seek to hold them accountable to move in that direction. Of course, each meeting will be centered on a study from the word of God.

The young women will have a similar focus and at each meeting they will have different older women speak into their lives, and be taught by them. By having these regular meetings, we hope that the young women will begin seeking out the right older woman for a mentoring relationship.  In May, Mitzi taught the ladies how to cook Japanese Curry.  While cooking, we had great conversations about what the future holds for each young lady, and how one can honor God by making godly goals.

We are very excited to see what God will do with these young men and women as we connect them to the older generation in our church.  We believe in living life together as a church family, and this will definitely be one way we can accomplish this goal.

Finally, we have also begun a preaching lab for PRC. Men are gathering together to learn to prepare and deliver sermons. We believe that the church is strongest when multiple men of God are able to communicate the word of God to the people of God.

Prayer Requests

We are grateful to God for you and for your willingness to support us in prayer. Please pray for us in the following ways:

  • That God will bless our family and grow us in loving him and each other.
  • That God will open even more opportunities for us to share the gospel with friends and neighbors.
  • That God will bless the new ways that we are trying to train up our folks at PRC.
  • That God will bring new people to our church and grow us both numerically and spiritually.