Friday, November 28, 2014

Christian Challenge November 2014 Update!

     Happy Thanksgiving!  This month we want to give thanks for what God is doing through the ministry!  We also want to give thanks to God for all of our friends and family who are behind us and the ministry!

     With the ministry things are going awesome!  Challenge is going well.  We’ve been studying “why we should help the needy?”  We ran two events with this in mind to help put faith into action.  The first was an event called Homeless and Hungry.  We first ran this event many years ago and it was very successful.  We camped out on campus for 24 hours and raised money/canned foods for the soup kitchen.  We thought, “Hey, why not do it again?”  Unfortunately, the campus police never gave us the okay to camp this time around but we were still able to set up a table.  And again, it was really successful.  We even met a lot of new students.  Many students ended up giving money and food towards the cause.  (Most of it organic, of course, being in Durango.)  It was awesome to see.

     We followed that event with filling up boxes for Operation Christmas Child.  In the past, we’ve done this for Dinosaur, CO, a very poor community in Northwest Colorado but unfortunately, our connection up there moved out of the area.  So this year, we went with the official OCC.  Next year, we hope to focus more locally, maybe at the women’s shelter in town.  Like last year, we ended up filling up a lot of shoeboxes with our students.  It’s always great to see how excited our students get for the event every year.

     FCA went great as well.  We had it out at the new house.  We’re so excited to be able to use it for ministry!  About half of our regulars weren’t there due to their teams traveling but we ended up having just as many as normal with all the new students who came.  We studied a topic that really hit home for the students.  There was a lot of “That spoke to exactly where I’m at!” and “Wow, mind blown!” from the students.  It was an awesome time with all of them.  Rachel and I always feel so blessed coming away from those nights.

     So I’ve been wanting to give you a look at the kinds of students coming this year but I’ve kept putting it off due to not wanting to make these updates too long.  But I think that’s always going to be an issue so now’s as good of a time as ever.  As always, we certainly have a wide spectrum of students.

     One of our students that comes is a strong atheist who is really searching for truth.  When he first started coming, we’d ask what he thought about Christianity and he’d say basically that he thought it was a “load of crap.”  Then he’d follow it up with “But I’ll see you tonight.”  He definitely doesn’t pull any punches with what he thinks.  The awesome thing is that he has a ton of great questions that we get to work through with him.  Keep him in your prayers because the Holy Spirit is working on him.

     There is another guy who is a Mormon I’ve been meeting with for three years.  We’ve always been able to talk about spiritual things but finally, after all that time (and a lot of prayer), he has opened up to going through scripture with me.  We are currently working our way through Romans verse by verse.  It’s been really great!  It’s really a picture of why we’re here: to do our best to keep anyone from falling through the cracks.  We’re not going to move on or stop walking with them because God works in His own timing.  We want to make sure we’re there for when He opens that door.

     Another student we have comes from the Midwest.  He wants to be a church planter or missionary someday.  It seems like there was a lot of pressure for him to go to Bible college but he ended up at Fort Lewis.  Kind of different ends of the spectrum to say the least.  Recently, he said something to the effect that he thinks he’s grown more with Challenge at the Fort in the short time he’s been here than if he’d gone to Bible college for a full year.  At FLC with Challenge, he’s able to be on the front lines in the trenches applying what he learns spiritually immediately.  It’s awesome to see his heart for the Lord and how much he’s grown in such a short time.

     I could really talk forever about all of our students but I’ll leave you with this last student.  He’s one of our international students.  He’s not a Christian but really has a heart to serve the needy.  He’s actually already done work with that overseas.  He’s seems to be intrigued by what we talk about and how we live as Christians.  He’s tried to come to just about everything that we do.  He’s even been going to church.  Now, he doesn’t understand everything due to the language barrier but he’s very interested and God’s definitely working.

     I really want to share about all of our students but I’ll stop for now.  Just know that we have a great group of them this year.

     Lastly, I just want to remind our friends and family who do end of the year giving, that the time is coming soon if you’re wanting to get it in for 2014 tax purposes.  Know that we definitely appreciate that support!  Here's a quick link to our giving options:

     Thanks for all the support and encouragement already given!  We are super thankful for that!  Again, hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

Cheers and God Bless,
Mike and Rachel

Prayer Requests:

Housing Praises-

     We praise God for providing us this house.  We also praise Him for the supporters who really helped us get into a house so that we could do more ministry, not just outside of our home but inside it as well.

     We finally found our septic tank and had that pumped after three days of digging so we’re thankful for that.  We can actually have students over and not scare them away with a sewage smell.

     We’re also very thankful that we finally have phone service after not having it for a month.  There are too many other things to list but we certainly praise God for each step He takes in preparing this place better for us and the ministry.

Housing Needs-

     There are some things we definitely are praying God provides.  It’s looking like we may need a new well.  Those aren’t cheap at all but it’s hard to do ministry here if we don’t have water.  So we’re praying for a new deeper well where we know there is plenty of water or that God would miraculously bring water back to our existing one.

     We are also praying for a heavy duty snow blower or 4-wheeler we can put a snow plow on.    We will need a way of clearing our long driveway so we can get out and students can get in when we get big snows.  In looking at used ones online, everything is still pretty pricey so we pray we can find a good deal somewhere soon.  Thankfully, God has held off the big snows so far.  (Goodness, I never thought I’d ever say that.)

     Lastly, we are hoping to install a wood stove in.  Clearly, this is not a dire need as we do have propane heat.  But we do have all these downed trees on the property.  That’s free heating when you have a wood stove…and free is much cheaper than expensive propane which the house currently runs on.  If we installed a wood stove, we’d still run on propane sometimes at least to keep the pipes from freezing but we’d save a lot because a small place like ours can pretty much be fully heated by only a small wood stove.


     Keep them in your prayers as they go into their finals.  Also pray for their safe travels as roads in our area can get pretty sketchy during their drives home.

Rachel and Mike-

     Pray that our marriage would stay strong keeping God always at the center of it.  Also pray that we get some much needed rest over this Thanksgiving break.