A whole church effort

followed by ice cream and raspatos….

We started attending a new church this last month. We have really enjoyed getting to know the pastor and his wife and the congregation. It is a small (in numbers) church. It is called Grace Bible Fellowship. They are a conservative Baptist church and used to be called the First Baptist Church of Yuma. What we like about the church is the people and it has a church-plant feel. The pastor has been leading the church for 4 years, but has been attending for about 20 years. He recently stepped away from his engineering consulting job because he felt like there was so much more to do for God’s kingdom.

“Can we build the CHURCH, but not worry about building our Church?”

This church is in an older, rougher part of town. There are many needy people, many homeless and during the winter, many migrant workers. If you didn’t know, Yuma is the sunniest place on the planet with 4,015 hours of sunshine per year. With all that sunshine the Imperial valley grows many irrigated crops. In fact, in the winter, Yuma produces 90% of the leafy green vegetables for the United States. To harvest those crops, the growers rely on migrant labor.

This winter there will be 15,000-20,000 migrant workers living in the area near the church building. This is a great opportunity to minister and share the Gospel with these men. They are away from their families and here working 6 days a week to send money back home. Jesus tells us in Matthew 28:18 to go to all nations…. Well, they are coming to us. We can minister to them, lead them to Christ, then they will go home and take the Gospel with them. We are looking forward to being a part of that this fall.

Our heart has also been to motivate and equip the church to be all that God wants them to be. We desire to motivate people to be faithful with the message God has entrusted to us. We look for people that would want to go out with us and knock on doors.

Pastor Tom has such a great heart and just wants to see lives impacted and changed by the gospel. He has gotten to know us and wants to utilize us to motivate his church to be all about the gospel. Of course, that is what churches are supposed to be about, but he wants the church to be about getting into the community and meeting people where they are at. He wants evangelism as just something they do.

Tom organized a training event last Tuesday where we could share our testimony and to share tips and best practices for knocking on doors. Then this last Sunday night we went out. There was such a great turnout. So many people came, including our family and the total was around 20. Tom wants to do this monthly, reaching out to the neighbors near the church.

Afterwards we did a debrief at a local ice cream shop! Tom is the first pastor that has actually gone door knocking with us. In over two years….. this is the first pastor that has gone out. Some pastors show some faint interest, but none have gone out until now. This is encouraging!

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