There Will Be No Snow for Christmas
With it being our first Christmas outside of Dixie, we were really hoping for a white Christmas like the ones Bing Crosby used to know when he went to Gonzaga University nearby. However, it looks like we may have gotten all the snow we are going to get for 2009. Which, after the last two years, no one seems to be upset about.
We haven't posted much about the ministry that's going on in North Idaho recently, so I wanted to give an update. Our pastor is still working on getting settled in, finishing his new house, arranging things for his wife to join him here, etc. We've seen several people visiting the church checking things out. Please pray that the right ones will stick around and commit to being a part of God's work here.
I (Bennett) have been meeting with some other pastors in town about how we can work together to impact the college campus. There's three of us (more to come maybe) that plan on simply meeting up at the campus week to week to pray meet students and see what happens. This has been huge on my heart and it keeps coming up in various ways, but I have no idea where to start!
Our Life Groups have been studying Experiencing God, and I've gotten lots of good reports. Oddly, I've also heard rumors of a few bad reports (i.e. people not enjoying the study). Ever notice how no one ever complains directly to you about things you actually have any control over? But for my part, I've been pretty pleased. By the end of the study I always feel I only half learned about 30% of all that's there. Hopefully, it will have a good effect on the church as a whole. We had seven groups meeting with a total average attendance of about 40 adults and 8 kids.
A couple from the church has stepped up to lead out in youth ministry, and things are going well. They are meeting on Sunday night. One cool thing is we've had a young adult who's come to the church and helped start a youth praise band. His passion for working with students is infectious. Also, a lady in our church started a small group in her home with some of her daughter's friends. The kids in this group are very immature in their faith and are hungry to grow. Several of them are seniors. Possible future college ministry?
Our ladies keep having parties and Bible studies that I can hardly keep up with. I think they will soon be studying Ester by Beth Moore. They are celebrating Christmas together this weekend by trading socks and cookies.
Our missionary (she's a Jouneyman. so technically she belongs to all SBCers, but we claim her) may be coming home a little early due to some visa technicalities in her country. It was unexpected and so somewhat disappointing. Please pray that she makes it home safely at the proper time with a healthy perspective of all God has done.
To see all the stuff we are doing for Christmas go to www.northstarchurch.us.
The Life Group I lead is celebrating Christmas together by (of course) eating Italian food together tonight! We also adopted a young lady in a crisis pregnancy situation. That means that we are helping her for Christmas by supplying her with some essentials for the baby she couldn't otherwise afford. The youth group and another group helped us get all the items we need.
Normally we go to Mississippi for Christmas. Normally my home church asks me to preach the Christmas sermon because the pastor is visiting his family. Not this year. Since I'm so used to preaching a Christmas sermon Gary has graciously allowed me to preach this Sunday's message. Actually, I was telling him all the stuff I wanted to share about giving to missions and he got tired of it and said, "why don't you just preach a whole sermon on it?"
Ok I will. This Sunday.
Man, there is a lot more happening too, but I feel like I've used up my words for this post. I'll have to get to the rest of it later. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. Feel free to comment, email, Facebook, or call us with questions about what's happening in Idaho. We love to hear from you!