Summer is officially over here in Ontario, as our foliage has begun to change en masse. This summer has been a refreshing cool stream in what has been a desert of activity since COVID took over the world. On July 28, Liz and I celebrated 14 years of marriage. We kept our celebration quite simple this year, and it was lovely. It’s a daily joy doing ministry with my best friend.
Ministry has picked up significantly for us this summer, as it seems that, more than ever, people are ready to return to normal life. We’ve been able to go door-to-door soul winning this summer, something not possible last summer, and though responses have been mixed, they’ve been more positive than negative in ever-increasing amounts. Through a mixture of online videos, canvassing, door knocking, and inviting people, we’ve seen new people visit the church and more and more people we haven’t seen in over a year return to church. Recently, we said “See you later” to a couple more of our faithful teens who went off to college; but, conversely, we’ve also added some new teens who have promoted into our youth group. We look forward to teaching, training, and encouraging this next generation of teens.
Typically, we’re very busy in the summer with different Youth Conferences, preaching meetings, and different fellowships. For the first time in a long time, we’ve been able to resume some of these things. In July, we were able to take some of our teens to a fantastic Youth Tent Revival, with several other churches in Ontario in attendance. We played softball, kickball, 9-square in the air, basketball, and probably things I’m forgetting, until everyone nearly collapsed. The joy and excitement were palpable among these fellowship-starved teens and youth workers. We had a great time of fun and spiritual refreshment as we sang praises to God together and heard God’s Word preached. We also had the opportunity to take our youth group to a weeklong teen event (Teen VBS basically), which, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, was a refreshing blessing. A couple of new teens came, and some former teens who had been out of church for a long while came too.
• Teen Gospel Outreach: Because the schools are not currently serving lunch due to COVID concerns, the local teens, for about an hour each weekday, are released into the neighbourhood to get food at local restaurants. I’ve been using this as an opportunity to get some Youth Ministry invitation/tracts out, as well as some Gospel of John booklets. Please pray for open hearts.
• Gospel Light Baptist Church youth: I’ve been doing a lot of teaching on God’s will and design for their lives lately, so please pray for their hearts to be searching after God to find their specific role in His service.
• Teen IMPACT: Our winter teaching and training for teens will begin in October. Please pray for God to work in the teens’ hearts.
• Wisdom for ministry with COVID still being a part of our lives: There are lots of things to think about in the coming days.
• My parents, Todd and Tina Hebert: Their house in Louisiana was hit hard with Hurricane Ida. Please pray for recovery and rebuilding.
• Gospel Mailers: God has led Pastor Johnston again to mail Gospel tracts to every home in our area and some of the towns in surrounding areas. Please pray that we can raise the necessary money to mail them, and even more importantly, pray that the tracts connect with searching hearts.
For the cause of Christ,
One of our teens is competing in one of the games.
This is what church looked like for most of the summer, weather permitting.
This was a last-minute blessing, as we found out that this was going to happen this year.
It’s me versus the teens, as they came close to hitting the benchmark. The compromise was that I could throw water balloons back!