September 2013 Living Stones Newsletter
“THANK YOU” to our Prayer & Support Partners!
Summer is over or so they tell us; the last week of August was the hottest of the year here! We covet your prayers for the inner-city mission field of Northern Illinois.
In addition to our normal load of gospel outreach and discipleship ministries, we are excited about new opportunities partnering with area churches. This aids their members in seeing what living life ‘on mission’ is all about. Too many just attend church each week and then their Christianity stops. We can help expand their vision with more than just a half-hour of volunteering and really get them into the trenches to work. God is good and He uses His people to do His good work!
August was a busy month full of ministry, even as we came down off the hectic pace of ministering at the county fairs/VBS. Here is a true story that serves as an example of what happens here each week.
“Earlier this summer, Nobel’s [not his real name] life was falling apart. Just released from jail because of charges that were falsely filed against him by a long time ‘friend’, he had gone to the Rockford Rescue Mission. He was turned away because he was too late for signup, so no dinner or cot. Every person he had called told him ‘sorry, my couch is full’. Depressed and fighting thoughts of suicide, Nobel decided he had just enough money for a one-way bus ride and decided to go around the city a last time and then….
While sitting on the bus-stop bench in despair he hardly noticed a little white church van that pulled up. Out hopped some folks with a bag of PB&J sandwiches. He recalled that ‘two smiling ladies and young man’ handed him a sandwich and asked if they could pray for him. Nobel said, “Thanks” for the PB&J and unwrapped it as they moved on.
Along with the sandwich was a card from Living Stones and as Nobel read it his heart filled with warmth as he remembered the God that loved him from his youth. He sat and cried out to God and thanked Him for this lowly PB&J and for simply being alive. He made a promise not to take his life but instead find a way to share this hope with others.
In August, Nobel hunted me down and invited me to his house. He had a bunch of friends over and wanted to tell them about ‘this hope I’ve found in Jesus.’ Then after his story was done Nobel stepped into another room, returning with a bag. A bag . . with peanut butter and jelly so that we could continue to take sandwiches to others and bring hope into their world.”
LIVING STONES – ROCKFORD & BELVIDERE
Pray for the services, our men’s and women’s Bible studies, and the continuing food ministries.
The ‘Toilet Paper Giveaway’ was a great success; we were able to meet and pray with several new people.
The new outdoor church banner is up at the Belvidere location, and on order for Rockford! Praise the Lord!
Pray for the Lord to continue to grow both His churches! God continues to provide all our needs! Living Stones Belvidere took a step of faith and began to pay a small stipend for pulpit supply to cover gas and increased costs for the ministry. Pray that God continues to bless us and desperately-needed funds to pay bills come in.
Pray for Tancy and our family as the homeschool calendar begins. It makes an already hectic schedule a bit more stressed but also provides a quality education for our children. We are working through James in our Bible memory and Keys for Kids for devotions. God is in control, and working on our family to be to the praise of His glory.
Pray for our continued dental needs as well. Even though it takes time away from ministry, I took another short-term computer job for extra cash so that we can at least get the critical work done and maybe save a couple teeth for Tancy. Pray that we can get this help in September.
We never know how God is going to use us for His glory. So when we are hot and tired we ask, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation!” (Psalms 42:5). He always gives us the answer . . with encouragement and strength to serve Him another day!
In Christ Alone . . For Christ Alone,
Pastor Jeremiah Griffin & Family