Thank you so much for your support, regardless of the form it takes. We’re happy to have you with us. As of this writing (July), we are slowly coming out of our most recent lockdown. (The cycle of lockdown—slowly reopening, fully reopening, and then getting locked down again—is getting hard to keep track of nowadays.) I understand that we are one of the last remaining places in North America to continue with the strict COVID regulations that we currently live under. With that being said, we are seeing more and more people return to church with the addition of drive-in/outdoor services. We have a long way to go, but we’re encouraged to see faces we literally haven’t seen
in church for at least a year. We’ve even seen a teenager return who had stopped coming!
People are still getting out and about, so I was able to get out some Gospel tracts and Gospels of John to folks I met on the trails that go all over the place out here. Depending on the person and the situation, I can get into different conversations. I gave one Gospel of John to a teenage young man who was at a skate park doing tricks on his scooter, which apparently is a bigger deal here than I ever realized. He was more than happy to do a double tailwhip for me and then take my Gospel booklet. Another instance happened when I was walking a trail and decided to go exploring a little. I got myself into a situation where I couldn’t go back the way I came and actually had to walk some railroad tracks for a while before I could get back to the trail; it was here that I encountered and gave a Gospel of John to a young man also walking on the railroad track, although I don’t think he was stuck like I was. I usually keep a backpack with Gospel tracts, my Bible, books, etc. with me so I can do some reading, praying, studying, and witnessing when the opportunity arises.
For the past four weeks though, I was unable, until very recently, to go out like I normally do because I randomly threw out my back! I had been doing some serious trail walking one day, and then I improperly lifted some heavy things. When I least expected it, I tried to get up out of my chair to grab some coffee, and BOOM, pain hit me like I’ve never felt in my life! I doubled over and had to be confined to my bed for several days before I could sit up or do much of anything on my own. My wife took care of me in such a compassionate way that I cannot do it justice trying to write it down. I literally could not walk on my own, so if I needed to go anywhere, I had to use her as a human walker while she basically carried me to my destination. Thank God for an amazing wife who showed such patient love to me. As of this writing, I’m almost completely back to normal with some cautions still in place.
Our youth are currently in the middle of a Summer Challenge: The Heartburn Challenge (Jeremiah 20:9) in which they are memorizing verses from the book of Proverbs. They are collectively trying to reach different benchmarks that I’ve set in place, the highest of which is a trip to the dunk tank for me, with them and possibly the whole church trying to dunk me. They’ve already gotten ice cream out of me, and they are currently approaching the benchmark of my being “executed” by a “water balloon firing squad.” I’ll try to get a video of that and post it to our ministry Facebook page when they pull it off, as I’m positive they will! Please continue to pray for our ministry with the teens, as we have some leaving for college soon and more new ones coming up. What a blessing!
Pressing toward the mark,