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Wow! So much as happened since our last newsletter that I hardly know where to begin.
For Christmas, we had a really good group out for the children's Christmas program. Just after Christmas, we had two young people join the ministry team for a month of service: a young lady from B.C. and a young man from Switzerland. They were such a blessing as they held special children's services, and we saw steady attendance. I think all of those children are still in Sunday School. We truly appreciated the ministry of Elycia and Michelle.
Then February found two special events taking place. The teens who had been most faithful to Sunday School were awarded an overnight and a trip to an N.H.L. game in Calgary with the Prairie Bible College volunteers. They also participated in the WinterFest activity which takes place in Rocky Mountain House. Although some of the older teens had not come to church services when this youth activity was presented to them, they still desired in their hearts to go to a spiritual event, and this thrilled us. Years ago we heard the expression “Holiness seed never dies”, and in my heart over and over I have experienced this reality.
Often, I don't expose the blatant opposition of Satan, but because there were so many people around to verify this story, I will share it with you. At WinterFest, one of the young people hung her jacket on the coat rack and went in to the activities. She started to feel chilly so she went to get her jacket. She looked where it had been hung—It wasn't there. I went and looked, and it wasn't there. Then that young person said, “This is why I don't like coming to religious stuff.” I immediately knew this was an attack to get all the kids upset. I gathered the security guards together and had them look everywhere. They searched all the hangers and under other's coats and everywhere a jacket could have been found. “Let's pray,” I said, because I saw the teens slowly being drawn away from the activity, and I knew the message would be lost to them if the jacket wasn't found. The security guards and I prayed, and I left it in their hands and tried to get the teens focused again on the reason we were there. The security guards and the pastor kept praying among themselves as they began to see this as spiritual warfare for these kids' souls. After a while, I left the teens and, praying deep in my soul, I went and searched the coat rack again. The jacket was there! The kids' attention was again focused on the activities, and we took home happy kids. I make no other comment except to say we value your prayers in the spiritual battle here.
In March, we were privileged to have a visit by a Child Evangelism representative. There was a special child who wanted to come to Sunday school, but due to past actions, it seemed impossible for that to happen. However, on this particular Sunday, we were able to bring her. I was so thrilled to see the excitement that child expressed for her first time in Sunday School. She has returned a number of times since then.
April found us doing something completely new in this chapel: we had a Good Friday service. It was suggested by one of the new adults attending Bible Study, and we said “Sure! Let's try it.” We did a drama of the crucifixion and actually roped with yarn three children on wooden crosses. We just asked for volunteers, and parents and children were surprised at the response. But the Gospel message was shared—Jesus died for our sins. Then we wrapped the boy who played Jesus in a blanket, put him under the table as a make-believe tomb, rolled across a huge log representing the stone, and told them to come back Sunday. We all sensed God had helped us with our first Good Friday service. Easter was a small gathering as many were involved in family activities.
May had two major activities. The first was our annual Mother-Daughter get-together. We had the church full; one mother left her daughter—she went home because she felt there wasn't enough seats—I had just stepped over to the house to get some food or I would have found a place somewhere for her. Julie, our volunteer for two weeks, planned the crafts; the ladies really enjoyed themselves.(Julie has her own write-up for her two weeks here at the mission). We had an elder share. She said she believed in Jesus. Before that, she was experiencing heartache, and since then, her pain has been just as present as members of her immediate family keep passing away tragically. Do remember all the elders in prayer.
The teens that went to WinterFest plus others had worked by doing highway clean-up to pay for their way to N.Y.C. There has not been one teen that has gone any year to N.Y.C. that did not want to return, so this year, we had three car loads plus chaperones. I won't go into another story of how God's angels were very active in getting us there. But it is enough to say that they were active, and we really appreciated all the prayers that were prayed for us.
That brings us to this month of June, and already we have experienced God's presence so real on the mission grounds. The church board approved of a young man from Florida coming and working here for a couple of months. Tom as been a real blessing in: 1) keeping the church clean. This is such a big job with all the children and adults using the building. We have asked him to write about his own experiences here. June held another 1st: we put a float in the Rocky parade and passed out Gospel literature and DVD's. The latest answer to prayer is seeing the growth of adults attending the church services and Bible study. True, there has been conflict in many of their lives which effects the whole church body, but they all have grown and not walked away from the body of believers. At our last Bible study, we had a group of local adults and guests who were there to pray for the hurting families on Sunchild and O-Chiese suffering from tragic deaths. Personally, I am so overwhelmed at the faithfulness of these dear believers.
The next big things here at the mission are the first Father-Son activity here which Tom is leading, then our annual VBS in July. There is so much more that goes on here, but this is not the time to share that pain with you now.
But for me personally, I am excited because I am going to be a new Grandma again, and this time if God wills I will get to be with our daughter before, when, and after she has her little girl. And yes, “It” is a girl. Do pray for her and Rodger and I as this will again bring changes and new challenges. I am praying for a couple to come and be here while I am gone. Help me pray for this!!