It’s great to know that God is in control of this church planting effort. It causes us to thank and praise him when things go as we hoped or better than we hoped, and it encourages us when things don’t go according to our plans. Whatever circumstances arise, it’s exciting to see God actively at work knowing that he cares more about the building of his Church than we do and that he also cares about building our lives in the process.

We are loving the opportunities for ministry to others that have arisen in the last several weeks. First, we have a family who lives in the Brighton area that is very excited about being a part of this church plant. The fact that God has connected us with them has been very encouraging to us. We are planning to start a Bible study and prayer time with them in the next couple of weeks, and it will be great to see how the Lord will use this in all of our lives and who else he will bring in to the Bible study. Ryan and I have also begun a study with some friends of ours who live in our apartment complex. cecoverThe study is called Christianity Explained, and like its title suggests, it provides a good introduction to the basic message of Christianity—who Jesus Christ is, what he has done, and how we are to respond to it. The study is going well, and our friends have expressed that they are learning much from it and really beginning to understand the gospel. We’re eager to see how God will continue to work as we go through the rest of the study. We also have the opportunity right now to be an encouragement and help to another friend of ours in the apartment complex who is in the middle of a divorce. It looks like Carissa is going to be able to begin a study with this lady using the book Trusting God by Jerry Bridges. It’s a true joy to begin to have these opportunities to minister God’s Word and grace to others, and we are eager to see God bless these opportunities and give us more like them. Please pray with us along these lines.

IMG_3445We really enjoyed having seven people from Heritage Bible Church in SC—Matt and Kate LaCava, Paul and Tara Hurst, Neill Marks, and Randy and Rebecca Davis—come out here to check out the area and visit with us in late July. They were here for about five days which gave us plenty of time to show them around the area, to talk about our plans and what’s already going on, and to have some fun too. This was another step for them in looking to see if God would have them move out here to be a part of this church. Now that they’re back in South Carolina, they are continuing to pray about this opportunity, to pursue it, and to see how God continues to direct. In particular, they all need jobs if they’re going to make the move, so they’re seeing what job possibilities the Lord may open up for them. We’d love to have all or some of them to be part of this church plant, but we’re most interested in seeing God direct them to where he wants for them to serve him, worship him, and grow in Christ. We’re confident he will, so please join with us in asking him to do it.

Along with this group from Heritage, we have also enjoyed seeing some other friends and family members who have been out here for various reasons in the last month. We’ve been able to spend some time with a friend from Grace Bible Church in SC, one of Carissa’s uncles, one of my brothers and his family, and Ryan’s parents. In the next couple of months, we’ll also get to be with Carissa’s parents, her grandparents, my parents, another one of my brothers, and some more friends from South Carolina. God has been very gracious to do this for us as we miss our family and friends. It’s nice to be in a place that people like to visit too! More visitors and definitely welcome as are others who’d like to make a permanent move out here.

We had hoped to go out into some of the neighborhoods in Brighton when the group from Heritage was out here to do a community survey and pass out some information about the church. We were planning to use this effort as an opportunity to invite people to some other studies and meetings we had hoped to start as well. A problem arose though when we got our material back from the printer and saw that it had been messed up. Then the printer wasn’t able to get the material fixed and back to us before the group left. This was disappointing, but we’ve been able to see God’s providence in this delay as well. We were having trouble finding a place in Brighton to meet for these studies, but this won’t be a problem now because of another piece of good news—Ryan and Danielle have closed on a house in Brighton. 756206-1They’ll be moving in the last week of August, so they’re very excited about this and we with them. It will be great to get moved in to the area, and we’ll have a place to do these studies. Also, Ryan came across some problems with getting our website published that he hadn’t foreseen. For those of you who are “techy,” you’ll know that different web browsers read the underlying code differently, which can cause some problems in the way that the website is displayed. Ryan found this out, and that has delayed us in getting our site out on the web as he tries to address the problem. So, we’re planning to take this material out into the neighborhoods in Brighton once the website is live. Hopefully this will be in the next few weeks, and then we will be able to begin the other meetings sometime in September. We plan to offer another Christianity Explained study and some other meetings to introduce people to our church. Please pray for God to work all of this out in his time and to use these efforts to build his Church.

As for us getting moved in to Brighton, our house is coming along well. IMG_3674They’re doing the drywall over the next couple of weeks, and then they’ll have about 30 days of doing the rest of the interior finishing. Hopefully, we’ll get to move in sometime at the beginning of October. Can’t wait. Also, for some of you who may be wondering, Carissa is doing very well with the pregnancy. She’s at 25 weeks now, so we’re getting there. I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned it before or not, but the baby’s a boy. I’m sure life is easier right now with just one child, but we still can’t wait until the next one is here.

I think that’s about all the news for now. Please ask God to work powerfully to accomplish his purposes in building his Church out here. And please ask him to keep growing us, strengthening us, and using us. It’s thrilling to be part of his work. May the grace and peace of Jesus Christ be multiplied to you all!