Outreaching in Escondido

Greetings to you all!

We hope and pray that you are all doing fantastic.  Hopefully there will be some return to what we used to call normal.  We hope that also includes countries overseas.  It has been almost a year since we returned from South Asia.  We long to be back, but we don’t know if or when that will happen.  I still teach the teams three times a week, and my work is increasing with added opportunities to interview and hire candidates to join our work there. 

Parked in Escondido

When we arrived back in the U.S. in April last year, we came back early and we were bummed to be here.  It didn’t take long for God to ignite us with another vision.  He said you have a story to tell, your heart for the persecuted overseas, your testimony and last, but not least, the great work that is happening through RUN Global.  We then started to travel.  We visited many places and spent some great time in the upper midwest visiting family and friends.  We then went south through the midwest making stops in Council Bluffs, IA, Manhattan, KS, Kansas City, and Oklahoma City.  We then went west to with stops in Denver, Loveland, Salt Lake City and then to San Francisco.  In those places we were meeting with friends and making new ones.  There were many meetings with groups or individuals to encourage them in their faith and connect them with the church overseas.  We worked our way to Los Angeles and stayed in the area a week.  We visited the US headquarters of Open Doors in Santa Ana.  We had the opportunity to meet with their staff and encourage them with our testimony.  As we would go from city to city I would send out an email with a little bit about us and see if they would like to meet.  Here is what we included in that email: HERE

We left Los Angeles mid-November and headed south.  Two of our kids have braces; that means we need to be back in MN periodically for those appointments.  Not knowing where would be, we picked San Diego as a place to fly out from.  Along the way we stopped at a Baptist church in Escondido called Bethel Baptist.  That Sunday that we showed up we were met with friendly welcoming faces.  We asked if we could stay in their parking lot for a little while and they went out of their way to have us be there.  I am not sure I have ever received a welcome like we did there.  Those feelings might have been a reflection of the lack of response by so many churches along our way.  To have a church that was actually excited to have us there was refreshing!  We have been here since mid-November.  We have been helping to clean out the facility, do some plumbing and electrical upgrades which included many hours in the ceiling crawl space!

Up in the Ceiling

Mission Escondido?

License Plate in Escondido

Our heart for reaching the lost hasn’t changed.  It shouldn’t change should it?  Whether we are here or overseas, there are still many that don’t know Jesus.  They are not certain where they will spend eternity.  In January we started going door to door throughout Escondido do prayer on the porch.  We knock and say we are from Bethel Baptist Church and we are in the neighborhood praying for people and wondering if we could pray for them. 

The conversation can go many directions, but the goal is to get back to the Gospel.  If they ask for prayer, we pray, then we ask if they have a faith.  We have had most faith represented: Catholic, Christian, Atheist, Pagan, Agnostic, Jehovah’s Witness, Mormon, Jewish, Buddhist or the religion of Ken, seriously a guy named Ken told us he follows his own faith, at least he is honest about it!  If they answer Christian or Catholic we ask what God has been teaching them lately.  If they profess a different faith or none at all, we tell them how God is jealous for them and desires a relationship with them.  Exodus 34:14 NLT – 14 You must worship no other gods, for the LORD, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you.  This gives us the opportunity share the Gospel, even if they profess Jesus Christ, if they are not certain of their salvation, then they are not saved.  Others get to hear about God’s plan for them and his unfailing love for them.  God wants a relationship with us so much and he loved us so much that he sent his one an only son to earth to live a sin free life to pay the penalty for our sins.

We also leave a Gospel tract with them, our name and phone number too.  We even ask if we can come back to encourage them to repent and follow Jesus, get baptized and live for him!  For the doors that don’t answer we just leave a tract and a card with our number saying that we would love to pray for them or help them anyway we can.

We have distributed 3500 tracts, we have had 1250 opened doors and we have prayed/ministered to 250.  Please pray that God will go before us and prepare the soil of those who are ready to receive the message of faith!

Praying for People in Escondido

We have had some really, really cool things happen when we are out.  I will share some stories next month!  Please pray for Kimberly, Axel, Josh & Alejandro, Erica, Greg, Sandra, Chris, Cody, Ashley, Melvin, Sue, Michael & Latisha, Elias, Lidren, Naudibeth, Zarilla, & Brenda.  Most of these names are those seeking to find truth!  Pray that God reveals himself to them!

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