I can’t believe it’s been 3 months since we arrived in Yale, WA! The months have flown by, and life is changing quickly. In our own family, Caleb is now 6 months and crawling, Rosie has decided talking is fun and is now speaking in paragraphs, and Finn turns 4 in just two days! We all are enjoying being out in the country, and love being outside as much as possible.
Our ministry is growing and expanding. Casey has preached a few times, and people are shocked that he’s nervous, because they can’t see it. He’s been helping teach the men’s bible study, as well as the adult bible study. We have a weekly prayer time with the men and women that is also amazing. There are some mighty prayer warriors here in the valley. I am helping with mom’s bible study, and am teaching an after school kid’s class until the end of may for the 1st – 5th grades. These kids are amazing and sweet. 1/2 don’t go to church at all, and are hearing some of these bible stories for the first time. Their questions and enthusiasm are wonderful and insightful, I am learning as well as leading.
We have really been pouring into the youth group, 7th-12th grades. We’ve shared a little about them, but they hadn’t really had much for quite a while other than some sunday school. We have an average of 15 kids, and are growing. We officially outgrew meeting at our house this last week and are invading the church, which is fun. These young people have lots to contend with, between home situations, school, and just being teenagers. They are eager to learn, share, and grow, meeting our challenges to them and really taking their faith into their own hands and making it their own, knowing what they believe and why. We just took them to the Son of God movie, and that made for interesting discussion. They saw they knew more of the bible than they thought, pointing out missing parts of the story or conflicting events. They are quite smart and, well, just wonderful.
We are really getting to know others in the valley, as well. A big part of our ministry is just being with the people, visiting with them, and sharing our lives together. One family in the congregation just adopted their 6th son, and we were able to be there with them, which was awesome! He quickly became one of Finn’s best friends here, and our families have become close, so it was extra special to be there to celebrate with them.
There are many we are becoming close with that do not attend church, some that aren’t that interested in faith, and these are the people we have to be especially consistent with, caring, being there when they need, and living our faith in friendship. This is when God reveals Himself and shows His faithfulness.
We would ask for prayer for our community in some different ways. There is not really any direct employment in our community, so jobs are scarce and commuting to Vancouver or Portland is tough on people and on families. The kids here can spend as much as 3-4 hours a day on the bus. Many believing women in our church community have husbands who are either apethetic toward church or outright hostile, so they are having to carry the spiritual burden for themselves and their children. As with other older congregations, many health issues plague our church. Cancer, heart issues, and other physical ailments keep many home instead of having fellowship with friends. I know these concerns are not unique to our area, and your communities are facing other issues that we would love to pray for as well. We have a prayer request page link that you could write in, or just send it directly to us, letting us know if we can/should share it in our church prayer time, here, or keep it to ourselves. This is how we can be the body of Christ for each other, no matter where we are. Thank you for your continued prayer and financial support, which helps us do the work we feel God is giving us to do here in Yale. We thank God for you every day.