Greetings from Richmond, Kentucky (presently)
We are taking the day to recover a bit. It has been a busy week, but a wonderfully blessed week. Monday of last week(was it only a week ago?) we drove to McDonough, Georgia, arriving late in the afternoon. We were warmly welcomed by the entire GNOM team, the Humes family, and our hosts, the Scarborough family. It was such a thrill to see so many come together to reach the community with the Gospel.
Gerald and Pamela Scarborough, along with their 3 children,and some other Christians from the area, desire to start a local church, looking to the New Testament pattern of meeting. Though many of us think we have it all figured out, we continue to take a fresh look at how the church in the first century gathered, worshiped, and lived their daily lives as Christians. I believe this is a very important thing for all of us to do. When we take our prejudices, traditions, and preferences out of the mix, simply relying on God's Word and the examples of the early believers in places like Corinth, Ephesus, and Philippi, we see something a bit different than what we might be used to. It was refreshing to just step back and dig into the pattern that God gives. God's Word is truly the best source for our patterns for living.
The GNOM team was gracious to allow us to sit in as visitors on their instruction time. Andy Hylton was teaching through 1 Samuel, chronicling the life of David from simple shepherd to giant killer, and on through his life as king of Israel. The young men on the team are receiving very good instruction not only in the historical aspects of Bible characters, but also practical application for their lives in the 21st century. Friday, we talked about methods and approaches to reaching out with the Gospel message. I learned a lot this week, from the teaching and discussion times, along with the time spent laboring in the Gospel. The young men on the team are dedicated to God's Word, and are a good example to me. It blessed my heart to see men so young giving their lives to the Lord's work. What a great week we had!
The Scarborough family were such great hosts, and we are happy to have new friends that are so excited about the Lord's work, and passionate about reaching their community both with the Gospel, and to minister to Christians and "one anothering" in a local setting. Brother Don and his son met with us, along with Pamela's mom and dad. We met many Christians in the community, but also many that we talked to at their homes were unaware of God's love for them. It is always a blessing to see believers in Christ go out motivated by love and passion for lost souls being saved. We are excited as we look forward to laboring alongside these folks in the future as the Lord leads.
We were so sad to leave both our "old" friends, and our new friends, but were also excited to be "home" in Richmond. We arrived home on Friday evening. Saturday we had visits to make, kids clubs, and of course, shopping, laundry, etc. Sunday it was great to see the saints at Bluegrass Bible Fellowship, where we had a meal and spent the afternoon preparing the float for the upcoming parade. Much was accomplished, but much is left to be done. The parade is December 4, and we are excited to use this means to proclaim the Gospel.
Lord willing, Wednesday AM we will head to Bluffton, Ohio for Sara's midwife appointment, then spend the Thanksgiving celebratory meal with Sara's Grandma and Grandpa. We plan to arrive back in Richmond Thursday evening.
There are many things we are praying about, looking ahead to another trip to Georgia, then Maine for birth of the baby, and then whatever the Lord leads from there. Thank you for all the cards, emails, and encouragement that we receive so often. We are blessed to have so many friends and family around the world. To God be the glory in all things, He has rescued us from sin and judgement and given us life in His Son Jesus.
For more information about the week of outreach,and the continued work of the Good News on the Move team, visit www.uplook.org and look at "reports" and "Gospel efforts" as they post prayer requests and summations of the week.
Serving our King,
Mark and Sara Cowperthwaite
Monday, November 23, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
We thank the Lord for your continued prayer and interest in the work since the GNOM surge in Richmond. The saints at Bluegrass Bible Fellowship have been hard at work seeking to reach the lost in continued Gospel outreach through witnessing door to door, follow up visits, and Bible studies. We also have a holiday parade coming up December 4th in Richmond. I am sorry that we have not been more faithful in writing to keep folks updated. While there is much work to be done, we do value your prayer and we will continue to strive to gets news out so that folks know how best to pray for the work here.
Rafael, a man reached during the initial Gospel effort, was baptized in the Kentucky River, along with 3 others. Rafael is involved in a weekly study with Jim Harmon and his daughter Rachel, our local Spanish/English translator. There are many more involved in weekly personal Bible studies both in homes and at the chapel.
Kids club is now held on Saturday at 1pm. We pick up kids from around the city and have had as many as 23 come on any single week. The numbers are not always this high, but we are so blessed to have these children come in so we can share the love of God for them, to teach them stories from God's Word, and to start at a young age, to introduce them to their need for a Savior. Pray that we are able to make more and more contact with these children and their families through the means of this weekly outreach.
Oliver and Tisha Leigh John-Baptiste, along with daughter Ariel, have joined us the last few weeks, and Lord willing, will continue in the outreach effort here for a while longer. They have been such a blessing to us, and Oliver and I have spent many wonderful days proclaiming the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ. This family has recently sold their home, bought a fifth wheel camper, and are following as the Lord leads in opportunities to share the Gospel and help local assemblies equip the saints to continue reaching the lost. This is especially encouraging to us, as this is the same ministry our family does. Both families are prayerfully considering how long we will be in Richmond, and where the Lord will lead from here. We would appreciate your prayers.
Justin and Jocelin Humes, along with their 5 little girls, are praising the Lord today(and every day)! Their family is traveling with the GNOM 5 team week by week this coming year. Justin and family were here for all 3 weeks of the GNOM surge in May/June and were very helpful in door to door witnessing and follow up efforts.
The Humes have had many troubles with their old travel trailer home over the last year on the road. The Lord has provided just recently for the Humes to have a brand new travel trailer. It is such a blessing to see the Lord provide for their needs, and so much more. Ephesians 3:20 and Matthew 6:33 proclaim such wonderful promises that the Lord will provide for all those who seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. The Humes are committed servants of the Lord, and we rejoice with them to see God's continuing provision in all things for their family.
Pam- young woman we met with for the 3rd or 4th time. She was in tears, knowing that God desires her to repent and be saved. We implored her to not be distracted from the serious nature of her sin and need for salvation. This was a contact with the husband initially, but Pam seems to be on the verge of truly submitting to the Lord Jesus. Please pray for Pam, that she would not rest until she knows that she is born again. She is from a holiness church background and struggles with serious depression. Pray that her friend and husband who were there for the 3 hour visit, and were confusing Pam with bad doctrine related to the holiness background.
Steven- Steven has always admitted to his need to be saved, though at times he has waffled about whether he was saved as a child. He really struggles with a family that does not want him to change, and is holding on to "being good" to get him to heaven when he dies. We spoke with Steven for nearly 2 hours, and are praying that he have no peace, no rest until he submits to God's call to repent and be saved. Pray also that Steven will not allow his unbelieving family to dissuade him from what he knows God desires of him.
Justin- Justin is confused about science, prophecy, and lots of other things that he allows to distract him from knowing that he is not right with God. 2 hours or more shared God's Word in regards to sin, repentance, the authority or Christ to pay the penalty of sin for us, and many other things related to salvation. We are praying that Justin will see the urgency of making a decision to repent and trust Christ before it is too late, before his heart is hardened.
Hosea- confused about salvation. Hosea was raised in a church that has some strange practices and does not preach God's Word, rather relies on a modern day "prophet". Hosea said he would go to heaven based on his good works outweighing the bad. We discussed many things, but the main issue is that he does not see sin as being against God, but rather making provision for the flesh and making excuses for sin. Hosea is very willing for us to come back, and we are praying about how to continue with this contact.
There are many more, but these are the ones most on our hearts today. Please keep them all in prayer, but especially Pam and Steven as we feel the Holy Spirit is working in their hearts bringing conviction. They simply must surrender, repent and be saved. Others that have heard the truth of their need this week: Brittney, Jim, Ralph, Vicki, Danielle, Kenny, Andy, and Johnny. These all need salvation.
The holiday parade this year, on December 4, will include a float created by the saints here at Bluegrass Bible Fellowship. We will have a large wrapped gift on a trailer, with Scriptures proclaiming the birth of Christ, and the message of salvation. We thank John Nicholson and others at Uplook for their help in creating a souvenir-type Gospel tract that will be handed out with "The greatest gift" Gospel CD that is available through Uplook. The resources provided by Uplook, and all the help with design are greatly appreciated. Pray that we are able to point parade goers to the true reason for celebration, life through Jesus Christ. This is just one way to share the Gospel, and one of the times when the public is gathered and just waiting for someone to give them things. It is a blessing to know that the CDs, tracts, and Gospel calendars we hand out will help get God's Word into so many homes. Truly, our Savior is the greatest gift, one we hope that all will receive.
Please keep in prayer my wife, Sara. She is due to deliver our next baby around February 21. The John-Baptiste family is expecting their baby in May. What a blessing children are! We appreciate your prayer as our families get ready for new babies, and for strength and health for the ladies.
Our family(Cowperthwaites) are enjoying laboring together with the saints here in Richmond. Lord willing, we will go back to Maine in January(COLD!) as the time grows closer to expecting baby. We plan to stay in Maine until mid March, close to family and our home assembly. While in Richmond, we have been blessed to have a place to park our trailer that is close to the chapel. An added blessing is that our neighbors are saints in fellowship at BBF. Continue to pray for us as we consider where the Lord has us headed next, and as we travel. Both the Cowperthwaites and John-Baptistes will be headed to McDonough, Georgia to labor with the GNOM team and the local saints in reaching their community with the Gospel. We will not be taking our homes with us, as we will only be there a few weeks.
We so appreciate your prayer. Feel free to write and ask about the continuing work here at BBF or anything else. We look forward to hearing also about how the Lord is working in all your lives to bring glory to Himself, to rescue lost souls from death to eternal life. We will try to keep you up to date more often in the future.