Jim and Janice Mitchell – serving Grace Community Church in Preston, ID
We had a good Sunday yesterday with a full building and several visitors. Thank you for your prayers. We also had our annual business mtg which went well. We had a good spirit of unity around the budget and leadership election. In answer to your prayers our attendance was up 50% and our giving up 40% in 2022. Our future financial goals include full-time salary for a pastor and growing the building fund for property and/or a building. We had 13 new members, 8 baptisms, 2 parent dedications, 30 people in one on one or small group discipleship, and we started our Sunday School program. One thing that we could use help with financially is new signage for our building. The original sign is outdated and hard to see when passing on the street. That is a problem when you are located on Main St. Please continue to pray that God would open the door of faith for others to be saved here in Preston.
Great news! Our specific prayer request for a soul to be saved was answered yesterday! A young couple, who were baptized this fall, have been bringing a friend to church and they bought her a Bible. She has come even with some resistance from her husband. My wife has met with her a couple of times but yesterday her specific request to my wife was that she wanted to know more about Jesus. After going through the gospel with her and trying to assess her understanding of it, my wife invited her to trust Christ as her Savior. On 1-23-23 Cassie put her trust in Jesus alone as her Savior! Thank you so much for your prayers. Now pray for her spiritual growth and the salvation of her husband Lane. We look forward to the next person who will trust in Christ.
Wayne and Shanna Dale – serving Grace Baptist Church in Scottsdale, AZ
We have had a busy few months. We had a church Thanksgiving dinner at Grace Baptist the Sunday before Thanksgiving and we had about 20 for Thanksgiving in our home.
Right after Thanksgiving we were asked to host a wedding at church. The groom is from Burundi and has attended faithfully for the past 5 years. Even when he was scheduled to work, he would come on his lunch breaks. He met a young lady from Ukraine, and they were married on December 3rd. It was a wonderful to see the church members come together to support this couple by decorating the church and helping in various ways so the wedding could happen in a short period of time. The wedding itself was a joyous celebration full of different cultural experiences including the guests going up, greeting & taking photos with the couple immediately after the wedding, and FaceTime gifts of lands and cows and a traditional Birundi family dance at the reception.
It has been exciting to see the Lord bringing new younger couples to the church during the past 2 months! One young couple who were married in October moved to the area and started attending the end of November and have already joined as members. Another couple have attended for several months, but have now officially joined and want to be involved in the ministry. They have been an answer to prayers for younger couples to help in the ministry of the church.
December 10 the church also held its annual Christmas Dinner and white elephant gift exchange. Many of the members invited friends to attend, and Wayne had the opportunity to present the gospel to one of the guest families afterwards. We also had a church caroling activity to sing Christmas Carols to our older shut-in members at their homes. Christmas morning, there was a special Candlelight Christmas morning service with scripture reading and carol singing around the theme of Peace. After church we had lunch at a Chinese noodle house with a family who lives out of town.
Rylee arrived home from college and was able to work 2 jobs over break. His girlfriend from MN was able to come to visit AZ and spend some time with us after Christmas. He is considering summer ministry at a camp in Maine, and then transfer to a college to study engineering. Please pray for Rylee as he makes decisions about his future.
Gloria celebrated her birthday and took the ACT in December and did very well. She and Shanna visited FBBC in Iowa in November. Gloria is interested in taking a year of Bible college before pursuing a degree in the medical field. She will graduate in May.
Claire is busy with basketball, youth group, and school. She also has her driver’s permit and is even learning to drive stick shift sometimes. She recently had to make a pretty difficult decision and we were grateful to see her spiritual maturity in seeking counsel and prayer.
Simon was recently gifted a kid’s courtside experience at the Phoenix Suns Basketball arena. He watched warmups from courtside and then was able to high 5 the starting players of the Suns. While D Booker was out, he saw other stars and Ja Morant. He has begun taking piano lessons and has already played 2 piano specials at church. He played “O Come All ye Faithful” for the Christmas morning service, and played “Joyful, Joyful” as the offertory.
Shanna is enjoying more time at home to do some gardening and help out her mom. She will be returning to work for the Brewers teaching English to their minor league players as Spring Training begins. In December Wayne was preaching a series about love, joy, and peace. Between “Joy” and “Peace” his computer at church crashed and Data Doctors had to send it out to forensically possibly recover the files. Please pray that many files were not overwritten and that he can get it back a majority of the files, especially as the annual business meeting at church comes in a few weeks.
-Financial increase costs and auto repair costs
-Health of older members
-Discernment in ministry planning
-Ministry schedule and calendar
-Numeric and financial stability
-New governor removing Christian school scholarships
-Increase in membership
-Wedding at church
-Meeting Rylee’s girlfriend
-Shanna’s mom’s health
-Kid’s health and schooling
-Faithfulness of church family
-Support from churches
-Visit from supporting church
Tim and Marsha Weeks – Church Facilitation Director with a Missionary Care emphasis
Focus on the Goal: As a teen Marsha’s memory of a message given at a New Year’s service was from Philippians 3:12-14 “because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” …“forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Running the race with our eyes fixed on Jesus as Hebrews 12:1&2 reminds us. So, what is the goal? The target or mark of being with Christ (seeing Him face to face) whether at death or at His second coming. So as a runner let us not look over our shoulder behind us or concise to sit on the sideline to watch others. Rather, let us keep our focus on our Savior, His glory and our high calling to faith.
- Praising God for our wonderful Savior who has given us such a great salvation. Marsha remembering and rejoicing in her second birthday 1/7/68.
- We praise God for the ladies at the Grove retreat who are committed to training in the next 26 weeks.
- We continue to adore Our Heavenly Father who has adopted us and made us His own. He has given us a vast family of brothers and sisters in Christ.
- Gratefully praising God for Esther’s improvement in her morning sickness and the development of their baby.
- Blessings for this New Year to our partners!
Roy and Karen Kinney – church planters serving Pinecrest Baptist Church in Millbury, MA
Is it the New Year? We missed it! Here’s our update:
Christmas Sunday was well attended and a special time of worship, seeing each other, and focusing on our Savior’s birth. All 23 of us spent Christmas together at our place with some other family joining us later in the day. It was a FULL house!
New Year we rang in with Covid. It came out of nowhere and most of us in our family got it. It was the hardest on the smallest ones. Baby Savannah ended up with an ER visit to get through it. It’s hard watching the children so sick. It messed up our New Year plans of being together as a church family. So, like I said, we really did miss bringing in the New Year together!
Church attendance has been good with 30 out to Prayer Meeting one week. We love praying, learning, and growing together – the backbone of the church! We continue to have visitors and couples seeking a home church to settle in. The ones who stay say they are looking for sound doctrine where the Preaching is the main focus. We’ve been getting some really powerful messages to grow on!
It’s neat to see God growing His Church.
Hospitality & Discipleship take many forms…
Mary Jane fell and was treated for two compression fractures in her back. It allowed for a lot of love and care to be shown through meals, food orders, transports, surgery day, dr appointments, phone calls, and nurse visits. The Church is her family and a blessing to her. Today she was cleared to drive again. MJ brings Nancy & Lida to church to learn about their need for a Savior. (MJ with her friends pic)
Welcome little Oliver Manley Kinney (born to Caleb & Ashley) to the family and church family! Oliver was born with some complications and concerns, so we are thankful for his safe arrival and good growth. (Baby pics)
SO, Happy New from the Kinney Crew and Pinecre