- Praise God for His provision for us. (The funny thing is that we are not sure whether or not Chuy actually came through on sending the money to us but we had the confidence to go ahead and buy a stove, and we are not sure quite how but it worked out …God knows.)
- Please pray for church attendance, which has been down. Many of the brothers have found themselves discouraged and ironically, more gang members are starting to attend services than the brethren who used to attend…(!) This makes for some very interesting services, and we are not sure quite what to do about the swing in demographics, but we are in the process of trying to encourage the brothers to come back while still seeking to provide a quality service for anyone new from the neighborhood who wants to come. Pray for us to have wisdom and balance in doing all this at the same time, and pray that the makeup of our congregation would be what God wants it to be as He decides to move and shake things.
- Praise God for a new harvest of youth that has come out of our children’s feeding program. We have decided to try something different, rather than just turning them out onto the street as we have tended to do with former generations, since we have found that it doesn’t work very well(!). We want to avoid them having to go through a lot of irrevocable, life-changing mistakes in order to be driven back to church. Pray that we would have wisdom in knowing how to work with these eleven to fifteen year-olds, many of whom (yes, even at 11 and 12) are already becoming addicted to drugs or being courted to sell drugs. They are a tough group (“NOooooo, GOD!!!!” 🙂 ), and though we have sympathy for the truly-problemed members of the group we find that the not-yet problemed ones are tending to drive us crazy! So please pray that we would find wisdom and grace in recruiting some of the (discouraged!) brethren to work with the group as we begin to focus on the kids that most need attention, or vice versa… Pray that any movements towards a youth group would not be out of our own strength
- This brings us to our next request: We really would love for you to be praying for a second vehicle to dedicate exclusively to youth ministry, since trying to fit twenty-five youth in a seven-seater van has been interesting to say the least… We want to praise God for our friend Nancy Lease, who freely donated the seven-seater to us, since it is turning out to be such an awesome vehicle for us personally (see request below…). We also praise God that our youth ministry is growing so quickly, and that one of the only things limiting it is vehicle space…!
- And last but not least, we also wanted to praise God and ask for prayer since Kim is actually pregnant again — for those of you who haven’t already read about it on Facebook! Praise God that she is almost through the first trimester. Please pray that the pregnancy would continue to develop well, since there are a lot of obstacles to overcome (the heat, stress, etc.) and it is still early in the pregnancy… She is daunted by the thought of mothering two young children and still trying to survive in the second world on top of everything that is going on in ministry, so pray that God would remind her daily that His grace is sufficient for her. Please also pray that she would not neglect Karina, especially when she is out ministering and numberless emergencies come up…! Pray that we as parents would have grace to continue to cultivate a sweet spirit in Karina even in spite of the fact that she is in contact with so many kids and gang members who are “rough” around the edges. Please pray that we would be able to give her the security she needs, and that God’s love in her would win out over any mean spirits in the other kids.