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Mid-Summer Check Up

As we have been studying the church at Thessalonica, we have seen a model for us at Providence. Were the Thessalonians perfect? No, and we won’t be a perfect church either. But they were a church that strove toward practicing their faith in Christ, promoting holiness, loving one another and promoting the gospel as they anticipated the return of Christ at any moment. Of course, such attributes make us wonder if Providence is healthy. How do we compare with a church like that in Thessalonica? Let me share with you a few testimonies of what I have witnessed in you just in these last two months.

               At the first Sunday in May you took up a love offering for three of our older students to work with CYIA in the Huntsville Area. Each of those students needed $400 each. You gave over and above what they needed so they would not have to fundraise. Those students are now serving children in our community because of you. Then on the second Sunday, you took up an offering for one of our members who is serving with Church Planters International. You paid for her entire trip. She is now (at this moment) on the field assisting with the planting of churches in remote villages in Ecuador. Then at the end of May, your missions ministry team introduced you to a couple who will be traveling to Southern Asia as missionaries with Pioneer International. Again you answered the call and provided them with over $1500 that will pay for their travel expenses. They will be leaving to serve at least two years in January. We will have a continued relationship with them in the future.

               Not to be outdone by May, but in June we launched our Vacation Bible School. We had over 50 children participate. Not only did these children hear the gospel and were loved by their leaders, but they were introduced to the Rose of Sharon ministry. They learned how Theresa Wilson and her staff serve those in need within the Huntsville community. The VBS students were challenged to bring offerings to pay for one day of meals for the hungry- about $400. They paid for two days, as they raised over $800. These children chose to be selfless and give their offering to Rose of Sharon in the name of Sarah Harmening, the precious girl from Mt. Zion that died in the bus accident.  Shortly afterwards, we had our church wide picnic. The spirit of our gathering was sweet and we shared food and fellowship with one another. It was an atmosphere of genuine love. A few days later, I watched people weep over the words of new hymns at our hymn sing as we worshipped God with our voices.  Our hearts were united around the Gospel. And just this week, Brian Milby is leading our students and several adults to participate in Rocket City Missions. They are working in homes alongside the city of Huntsville and the Madison Baptist Association to do roofing and install siding in impoverished communities. And in just two weeks’ time, our older teens will be headed to Chicago to work with one of church planters in Humboldt Park. You have another opportunity to help financially as we recreate the backyard of the church planters to be used as ministry space.

               This is corporate, but is this affecting individuals within the church? Are individual members affected by what we are doing? Just this past week, I had one gentleman in our church ask for Bible study materials. He just began discipling a young man one-on-one who wants to know more about Jesus. And I had another member contact me recently who wanted to participate in prison ministry. So I would say, individuals are being affected by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

               Providence is not perfect. She never will be until our Lord returns. But she is stunning example of the transforming power of the gospel.  We are exuding our love for one another. We are promoting the gospel in our community and abroad. We are putting our faith into action as we live in hope of Christ’s sure return. May we continue to glorify God in service to Him.