Hi! We wanted to give you all an update about what God has been doing in our little valley in WA. And, it was recently pointed out to us that we have not been posting or updating as much as we could/should be, so this is the first step in fixing that, thanks for the patience and understanding… now, on to the cool stuff!!!
I (Hope) have been teaching an after school bible club for the elementary kids every week, and this Thursday is our last day. It has been wonderful teaching and learning from these kids the last 4 months. One of our little guys, he comes faithfully, though his parents don’t come to church. He is eager to learn, has the answers, and loves participating. Recently, I got to have a great conversation with him about how when we are forgiven of our sin, God takes it away, never to return, as far as the east is from the west. He was so happy to know that he didn’t have to keep asking for forgiveness over and over again. What a great lesson for us all.
Another of my boys, who hadn’t liked coming, though he was encouraged by his mom, is now loving it, excited about the bible lessons and going home to share them with is parents, and is actually the encourager to his whole family to get up on Sunday mornings and get to church on time. He is eager to hear about Jesus and His word.
Another girl, she just loves God. She knows every answer, all the time, and melts my heart. She hasn’t gotten the best hand in life, but she is leaning on her Heavenly father and trusting Him with a child’s pure faith that I pray carries her through her life, because life doesn’t always get easier.
When I started, there were siblings that came, but didn’t enjoy it as much. Wouldn’t participate, sing with us, or anything else, for that matter. now they are answering questions, smiling as they come in the door, and are right in the middle of the excitement. I could go on about every one of these precious kids, but that would take forever. Needless to say, I have been so blessed to work with them, learn from them, and be a better GNC teacher next fall when we start it all up again! So during our final party on Thursday, if you hear some noise an mayhem, just know it’s us, celebrating another Good News Club year on the books!
We also have lots of amazing things in the adult world! We have a weekly prayer meeting with seperate men’s and women’s groups. One such prayer has been for relatives of one of our dear friends here. They have recently been contemplating a dangerous faith road. Casey had the opportunity of making a connection with the man, invite him to bible study and church, and he has come to both!!! And tonight, brought another of their relatives!!! He is searching and we are excited, knowing that God will meet him and do amazing things in his life and his family. As an aside, the Men’s bible study, which normally runs about 10 guys has been growing, and is now at 16!!! They are a really great bunch of guys, as Casey says, and loves that part of his job is to simply be with them, studying with them, encouraging, teaching, and learning from them. Especially when it’s about smoking meats or learning where all the good fishing spots are.
With the sweets comes the sour. It seems like everyone nowadays is touched by cancer one way or another. We have a couple members of our church battling this and it is devastating to see such wonderful people suffer. And yet in this hell they are going through, we can still see God working. It has made our time with them all the more precious, and it reminds me of the Apostle Paul, when he talked of running the race and finishing well. It’s easy to start strong, but these women are choosing to finish strong as well, showing faith and Grace in spades. They are a constant testimony of God using evil for good, and trusting that true healing can only come through Christ, and physical healing may be here on earth, or when they walk with Jesus in heaven. One of Casey’s aunts is fighting this battle as well, and is taking an aggressive faith filled and naturopathic approach, showing that only God knows when to stop fighting, and God, being the great physician, can heal us inside and out.
We are also blessed to continue working with the youth group, seeing the depth of faith and maturity in young men and women, being shown how old we really are when they don’t know who Sienfeld is, or thinking Def Leopard is classic rock. We are getting our summer schedule together, and it is going to be awesome~ we are contemplating a weekend Christian rock concert with great speakers, as well as a overnight lock-in at the church. We have been doing service projects around the community, weather permitting, and are about to kick off a prayer walk/ stretching our faith activity, asking people in our neighborhoods for their prayer requests, reguardless of church affiliation, belief in God at all, or anything else. It’s part of what the ladies prayer group is doing in their individual streets, doing personal prayer while walking, praying for those around us. We are excited to see how it challenges the kids and the neighborhood impact.
We are so blessed to be put here to help, encourage, grieve with, and serve our church and surrounding community in the Lewis River valley, and thank you all for supporting us in this, knowing that through your prayers, this is your ministry, as well as ours. Thank you so much for all you do, helping us here, and in your own communities.
Love in Christ,
Casey and Hope