88 Stewart St. Apt 3
May 7, 1990
Dear New Hope F.M. Church Prayer Partners,
Our church is now eight Sundays old!!! Praise God! Now that the baby is out of the womb, the challenges of nurturance begin. Not only do we want to be nurturing and discipling, but we want to continually be bringing new people into the church. So once again we call upon you to support us in this work. But first a brief report...
...about those brochures that we mailed out. God has used them, and is still using them, to bring new and unchurched people each week to New Hope. He has really given them a long shelf-life!
...about the weather for the first Sunday. God gave us prior to March 18 a week of unseasonably warm, summer-like weather to stir the hearts of people with thoughts of Spring and new things, and then on Saturday night it turned cold so that going to the parks on Sunday wasn't a smart option. Perfect!!!
...on the first Sunday 195 people attended and since then we have been averaging well over 100 people. Our CD (Christian Development) Hour on Tuesday nights has been averaging about 35 people. To date, about 25 people have made a commitment to Jesus, or indicated a desire to have new life in Jesus. Praise God!
...Jen and I were/are able to have a significant part in the immediate follow-up of first-time comers. We call it "farming" because we go to their homes for a very brief visit to plant a seed. We tell them how good it was to have them with us on Sunday, give them a little magnet or bookmark with a New Hope Church stamp on it, and leave. It has been so encouraging to see how God uses "farming", as so many of the people return the next week; some have even told us that they returned simply because we visited them.
It has been such a joy to see newcomers walking into the Historic German House Auditorium, now changed by God into a house of worship (at least on Sunday mornings.) The services have been so refreshing to Jen and I, with a strong emphasis on worship through singing.
The needs that are represented by the people who walk through the doors are so varied, and some are so complex and deep. But we are convinced that whatever the range of peoples' needs, all have one thing in common--the basic need for forgiveness and new, abundant life in Jesus. And so Jen and I ask you to ask God to continue pouring out His Spirit on New Hope Church. Please pray:
*for the discipling of new believers and the spiritual maturing of all. Pray that the CD Hour would facilitate spiritual growth in many, many people.
*for the formation of significant friendships among the newcomers so that New Hope can become the caring community that the church is supposed to be.
*that we will find effective means to continue bringing unchurched people to New Hope, and that each week we will have newcomers.
*that new believers would begin to discover their spiritual gifts and that they will assume appropriate responsibilities in the church.
*that our baby church will be able to withstand against Satan and evil forces. We have felt some opposition in spoken word, letters, and telephone calls. May the lies that are taught by the Spiritualist Church and the New Age Bookstore (also located in the German House) be exposed, and may Jesus (and not at all the Enemy) be lifted up and worshipped in our zip code area.
*for the summer months, when most people are more interested in the beach than in God. May God pour out his Spirit and create a burning desire in many, many peoples' lives to seek after Him. May God defy the odds and scorn church growth statistics, and continue to bring growth to New Hope in the "barren" summer months. Our God is an Awesome God, and wants to surprise and astound us with His power. May it be so.
*for Jen and I. It seems like life is full of cycles of easy and hard times. Despite a few obstacles, the last two months have been refreshing for Jen and I. Thanks for your prayers.
Please continue to pray for our network (work, apartment complex, etc.) of friends. We have been disappointed, for it seems that the people in our network aren't "interested" in things of God. Well, we know that is all the more reason to pray. Please remember us as we look for ways to do our part in bringing people to God. We as yet have not begun a Bible study, partly because of our opposing work schedules. Yes, you have gotten the correct impression in these letters that I wouldn't mind a "normal" hours job. Please pray about this, and we'll see what God has in store.
Thanks so much for your help in this church planting effort. May God richly bless you with His peace.