Pastor Brent Evans of Momence OPC in Momence, Illinois, writes:
“Part of my work a while back was to prepare a sermon on Genesis 23. There Abraham confesses, ‘I am an alien and a stranger among you.’ This confession that he makes by faith (Heb. 11:13) helps me as I reflect on where we are as a congregation. God has been establishing us, and yet we need to press on!
“We are thankful for the establishment that comes from having a group of families that have enjoyed fellowship together in the Lord for many years. The Lord has further established us by adding six households to the congregation over the past three years. We are thankful for elders and deacons who have served the congregation year after year. We have been further established as two new elders were ordained and installed in June.
“We are thankful for opportunities to reach out with the gospel to more of the people in our small community. Momence OPC now hosts a food pantry in its church building. A weeklong VBS was held during the summer. We are also thankful for recent opportunities to support the preparation of men for the gospel ministry. One of our members is a student at Mid-America Reformed Seminary. A professor from the seminary has been worshiping with us. Mr. Jeff Scott, a student from the seminary, served as our summer intern.
“The congregation is nurturing two newly married couples. Nathan and Holly Tomlinson were married in the spring. Nathan is in his third year at Mid-America. The other newlywed couple is my wife and I! Miss Lydia Mohrbacher and I were married on August 6 at the Presbyterian Church of Coventry, Connecticut (PCA). We both grew up in that church.
“I am grateful to see the establishing hand of our gracious Lord. Please pray that, amid this profusion of blessings, we would, as aliens and strangers, be pressing on toward still better things.”
Momence OPC is at the end of its program of field support from the Committee on Home Missions and Church Extension. Please continue to remember this congregation in your prayers.
Christ Presbyterian Church in Elkton, Maryland, gives thanks to God for your prayers and financial support. Financial support began in October 2007 when the church planter, David T. King, was called and installed on the field. Since then, God has been faithful to meet the congregation’s needs in many different areas. Several new families have become members. An adult convert and many noncommunicant members have made professions of faith. One infant has been baptized. By the time you read this, another family will have been received into membership and their infant child baptized. The Lord has also blessed Christ Presbyterian with much spiritual growth.
For over three and one half years, the congregation has met in a local middle school. A nearby 100 × 60 foot building was purchased as a future place in which to worship. The people labored faithfully to strip the inside of the building to prepare it for a contractor to do the necessary work of renovation. The architect’s plans have been approved by the local authorities, and a contractor has been chosen for the work of renovation. The congregation praises our triune God for his provisions during these past three and a half years.
A number of challenges lie ahead. So even as Christ Presbyterian Church concludes its program of field support, please continue to pray that God would be pleased to use it as a faithful witness to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in Elkton and the surrounding communities.
Please pray that God would supply the necessary funds to complete the work of renovation on the new facility. In addition, please pray that God would be pleased to raise up elders and deacons to serve in that local assembly. Pastor David King says, “We of Christ Presbyterian Church are grateful for the support of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.”
Pastor Chris Sandoval of Nuevo Pueblo Ministries in Chicago writes:
“Thank you all for your steadfast prayers, support, and encouragement for the Hispanic mission work in the Chicago area. On all fronts the work has faced great challenges and obstacles. However, belonging to the larger body of Christ has been a great blessing.
“Nine years after members of Covenant OPC in Orland Park, Illinois, and the Presbytery of the Midwest began praying and raising funds for the work, five years after Pastor Chris Sandoval was called to the work, and three years after regular worship services were started, it seems the Lord has seen fit to end the work in its current form.
“We are thankful, however, for the blessing of being able to preach, teach, and apply the gospel in both English and Spanish, for the opportunities to share God’s grace and peace with many, and for the faithful commitment of the members and friends of the ministry.
“As our denomination and the Presbytery of the Midwest seek God’s wisdom and guidance in discerning how best to continue ministering and evangelizing Chicago’s Hispanic population, please pray (1) that God would bless and encourage our members and friends as he continues to conform them into the image of Christ, (2) that God would help us all accept and apply the lessons learned during the last few years of ministry, and (3) that God would continue working in the lives of his people among Chicago’s Hispanics to save them through Christ and to unite them to his church.
“Lastly, please join us in praising God that, despite having ended our worship services at the end of May, most of our members and friends began worshiping with the saints at Gospel Life Church, the OPC’s other mission work in Chicago!”
Pastor Philip Dharmawirya joyfully reports that the Lord is answering the prayers of his people. Prayers have been regularly brought to God that a core group would emerge and that the Lord would graciously use the core group to further the ministry of Emmanuel Indonesian Protestant Church (OPC). Praise the Lord that the group is now becoming more visible.
He has called four committed men to be involved in leadership development. He has also blessed the congregation with faithful members who truly care for the church and love one another. Please pray that this body will be of one mind in carrying out the Lord’s work.
On average, fourteen children come every Sunday. This is a little more than one-third of the total attendance. To minister to them, three Sunday school classes are provided. In addition, the youth group meets twice a month on Friday for fellowship and Bible study.
The Lord has provided fine teachers to fill this need. Four teachers from other churches come once a month, and one comes twice a month. With three teachers of their own, there are now eight teachers in the teaching rotation. Praise the Lord! There is still a need for additional teachers. Please pray that the Lord would provide. Please pray also for the teachers and the children.
Emmanuel Church is not yet self-sustaining, but the congregation thanks the Lord for his continued provision through the denomination and the presbytery. Despite increased expenditures, there has been a continued improvement in fund balances. In 2010, the congregation was almost 40 percent dependent on outside funds. But this was a 10 percent improvement over 2009. Please pray for another 10 percent improvement this year. Recently a major upgrade of the sound system was completed. The renovation of two restrooms in the auditorium is currently under way.
Pastor Dharmawirya says, “We are thankful for many of you who have journeyed with us through your prayers and your gifts to Worldwide Outreach and ask that you will continue to lift us up before the throne of our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ.