Here is Seth’s most recent prayer update:
3 January 2013
YEAR IN REVIEW
After tossing out headlines on Facebook, some of these details may be already known, yet here’s a review of our last year.
Our church is holding steady at 23 members with another half dozen at different stages of considering membership. Amy’s children’s Bible class and our Wednesday Bible studies have prepared another half dozen children for baptism.
We lost three quality young men last year to university, and it looks as if two more will be joining them this year.
But we also have three serious guitar students now. All year Acres (17), Vutlhari (14), and Mbuyelo (12) have been practicing and shortly we hope the older ones will be playing in the services.
This year saw Caleb finish kindergarten as well as the birth of Carson Taylor. But those interested in such details would probably be far more satisfied with checking out Amy’s new blog for a lot more family, ministry, and homeschooling information (plus photos). I’ve got to admit that I read it. And if you’re not tech-savvy, there’s a “follow” button on the right of the webpage if you want her family updates just to come right to your inbox.
For the last couple years I’ve recommended a book once per year. Thankfully, every year someone has caught my interest on the subject although admittedly last year’s was a little more difficult. But this year I’ll make up for that with a very readable book that every parent or even older teen could enjoy. Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child by Anthony Esolen is fantastic. A smile repeatedly broke on my face as Esolen mixed an endless flow of samples from great literary works of art throughout Western civilization to prove the most basic (and politically incorrect) beliefs of a classic and enduring culture. You will not be sorry you invested the time or money. If you’d like to read a chart I made grading all my books from the year, let me know.
On Christmas morning three churches gathered in Elim for a worship service remembering the incarnation. We had the sermon early on in the service with songs and testimony afterwards as a response to the Word. One of the year’s highlights was hearing testimonies from church members like, “There were times when I was really tempted with sin, but I just want to thank God for the group of believers here, so I haven’t quit.” Or, one of our members urged us all to memorize more Scripture this year so that we would persevere. One of Paul’s church members (our great teammates are away on furlough) thanked God for the Bible and the preaching since it is so much stronger than the secular education he has received for four years at a state university. And the singing after such testimonies reached new heights of volume for our congregations.
Each year I’ve been loosely visiting our church members around December for spiritual accountability and growth. I close the meetings by asking them how I can pray for them in the coming year. Here’s a few answers:
- “Pray that I would not quit the Christian life.” (Most common)
- “Pray that my mother would be converted.” (Asked by a 14 year old in front of her mother)
- “Pray that I would understand the Gospel and evangelize better.” (From a 17 year old girl, baptized in 2012)
- “Pray that I would be a man of character.” (Request of a 19 year old boy, also baptized in 2012)
We would be grateful for your fellowship in prayer with us.
Seth and Amy