Amazing ministry

Let me tell you how you can certainly be a part of something special this Christmas.

There is a need in our convention that I think everyone reading this would love to see met. The Utah/Idaho convention passed a resolution to raise money to provide one of our missionary families a new home. All it will take is about $35,000!

Here is an article with more information:

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Carpentry for Christ

- Hardens Serve the Lord by Serving His Churches

By Michael Liner, associate pastor

Salmon Valley Baptist Church, Salmon, Idaho

“I had to get a map out to find Idaho!” remarks Nathan Harden regarding his first mission trip to the west. Harden’s initial mission trip to Idaho in 1999 was not to be his last. It proved to be just the beginning of his call to serve the Lord as a faith missionary by utilizing his construction skills to bless the Lord’s churches all over the intermountain west.

It began with a few mission trips: one to help a college in Kentucky, one to Sand Hollow Baptist in Idaho, and then one to First Southern Baptist in Bountiful, Utah. The call of God became clearer and clearer as he served on short-term construction teams with and for the Lord’s churches. Harden recalls that the Father was telling him, “I want you to work for me,” during the process of his call. “Construction work was what God wanted me to do,” declares Harden. And construction it has been, as Harden has served at and with over thirty different churches in Idaho and Utah over the past almost seven years. He has also found himself in the roles of advocate, supporter, friend, and listener to many of the men and women that are on the field in remote and lonely parts of the region.

“I am continuously lining up work projects,” says Harden. He has worked on roofs, sanctuaries, bathrooms, pastors’ and church planters’ houses, offices, and sheds. He has completed new construction and remodeling. God has led him to places where he worked alone, to places where he was part of small groups of workers, and to places where he has had the privilege to lead construction teams. Harden has also been able to serve on disaster relief teams. He was able to join teams which participated in the relief effort after the hurricanes of 2005 and most recently served in Oklahoma following the ice storms.

The Lord has provided all the way. Harden left his full-time job in Mississippi to go on the road with a few tools and an old Chevy truck in the summer of 2000. To date the Lord has provided him a 22 foot camp trailer in which to live, numerous contractor grade tools, a trailer in which to haul them, and in 2004 a new Dodge diesel pick-up truck with which to pull it all.

But the Father did not stop there in His provision for Harden. In February of 2006 the Lord blessed Harden with a new family. His wife Amber and ten year-old daughter Kelly have joined him and expanded his ministry. Amber was formerly a U.S. Forest Service employee. She left her position in Salmon, Idaho, to go on the road full-time as a family ministry team.

Both she and Kelly are Idaho natives. Now they are enjoying the chance to meet new people and see more of the region. They have had the privilege of assisting with Vacation Bible Schools, helping with food preparation for mission teams, serving with evangelism teams, and have just plain been lending a hand. Amber is home schooling Kelly which affords them much flexibility as they travel from site to site. Kelly is especially gifted at reaching out to other children and tends to make fast friends wherever she goes.

“We are faith missionaries living and working by the gifts of God. We rely on Him for everything. He has taught us to seek His counsel on everything,” remarks Harden. Support, equipment, and gifts typically come from the Lord through the churches and associations where they have been or are serving.

They are not being supported by a mission board or organization, but they are relying on God’s provision through His churches. Pastor Mike Palmer of Salmon Valley Baptist relates, “Nathan has blessed our church tremendously. He has completed numerous projects, especially the detail, finish work that is so time consuming and takes special skill and tools. A few years ago we began to realize that Nathan did not have health insurance because he was not able to afford it. We also recognized his need for a cell phone in order to continue to minister effectively. Some of the churches that he has served partnered together to make these basic needs a reality. Now we are asking the Lord to provide health insurance for the rest of his family.”

If you would like to contact Nathan Harden for information about his ministry, to see whether he might be able to serve your church, to inquire about scheduling a work project, or to get contacts for reference, contact him at his web/blog site www.nathan.svbc.us. If you would like to help support the Hardens and their ministry, contact Salmon Valley Baptist Church in Salmon, Idaho at (208) 756-3324, Pastor Mike Palmer, or Pastor Michael Liner .


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