We arrived at Anchorage in late July. Our first destination was Homer, which is located on the Kenai Peninsula. The East Homer congregation was the host for three additional congregations (Anchor Point, Soldotna, and Seward). Prior to our arrival, they lost their preacher and the eldership due to relocation, but this did not dampen their spirit. The training seminar was well attended. One of their new families (Keith and Melissa) owns a Bed and Breakfast and served as our host. Robert Austin and his family provided an incredible seafood meal at the building. They are hard workers for the Lord. Steve Cannon and his wife Stephanie had us over to their home to discuss the evangelism strategy. Upon our departure, they immediately began to implement the training by passing out HTHSOE bookmarks to create contacts. Compassion cards are being sent.
The second location was in Anchorage. The South Anchorage congregation served as the host, but the Debar Road congregation also attended. We were impressed by the Steven and Katie Church family. They attended Day 1, and upon realizing the importance of the training, delayed their vacation to attend all the seminar. This family has incredible zeal and could not wait to get started. This congregation needs much prayer as they search for a full-time preacher and seek to rebuild.
Our third location was the church of Christ in Wasilla. The congregation is overseen by three elders: Ed Maxwell, Hans Nicholson, and Paul Stone. Several men take turns preaching each Sunday. The attendance was exceptional. We spent extended time with some of their families in the outdoors and in their homes as we laid out the strategy for local growth. The congregation is strong and has some mature families in faith. We cannot wait to see what God is able to do through their evangelistic outreach.
Our final location was the Eielson church of Christ, just outside of Fairbanks. Three congregations attended this seminar. Their preacher is James Haynes, a graduate of the Brown Trail School of Preaching. His family hosted us for supper upon arrival, and we spent a lot of time with them during our stay. James had already laid good groundwork for evangelism, and we are confident that great things are in store for their future. Brothers Ed and Rick, two of their leading men, are determined to carry the training forward by embracing the ten-point plan.
We left about $7,500 worth of training and evangelism materials at each location. HTHSOE trained four host congregations and members from an additional seven congregations. Each hosting congregation will share their materials with others as they reach out to the lost in their areas. Alaska is a fertile field that needs more workers. Several congregations, large and small, need faithful families to serve as fulltime preachers. Prayer and hard work will result in congregations growing in Alaska. A special thank you to Dave Dvorak and Paul Stone, both elders in Alaska, who helped put our itinerary together and connected us with congregations. We are thankful for the opportunity to work in this mission field and hope to return in the future to further change the culture to better focus on soul saving.
South Anchorage church of Christ, Alaska: We want to welcome you to the House to House/Heart to Heart School of Evangelism. We cannot wait to begin reporting on your progress!
Church of Christ in Wasilla, Alaska: We thank the Wasilla congregation for their overwhelming kindness and congregational strength. We believe they have the potential to lead many lost souls to Christ. Paul Stone, an elder, wrote, “We are extremely thankful for the lessons that you brought and the tools that were provided to the congregation. We have been encouraged by your visit and have learned in some ways how we might be more effective in our evangelism efforts. Our members are already working toward putting into practice some of the things that you suggested. Our desire is to love our Father and our neighbors and to spread the good news! I believe that the goal in your efforts is to teach, encourage, and motivate congregations to evangelize. We thank you very much for your efforts here and believe that much good will come from it. We pray that God will bless you and your family as you work according to His will.”
Eielson church of Christ, Alaska: We welcome the Eielson church of Christ into the House to House/Heart to Heart School of Evangelism. “We should have done this years ago!” an exuberant Christian lady said as we passed in the parking lot. “The Evangelism Seminar inspired us, encouraged us, and equipped us to reach out to others with the powerful, life-changing gospel. We will be MORE like Jesus (Luke 19:10) as we seek to put our new knowledge, energy, and passion to work. We are inspired! Special thanks to each member of the Whitacre family and the part each played in the seminar. May God continue to bless you all as you continue in your work.”
Adairsville church of Christ, Georgia: Rick Lawson (preacher) reports, “Meet Brother Derrick Fuller! He learned the gospel plan of salvation by studying with elder Kevin Sutton. The method was the Visualized Bible Study Series by Jule Miller. Our new focus on evangelism is bearing fruit in God’s vineyard. Thanks for your help and encouragement, and may the Lord continue to bless your work! We have more studies in progress!”
Deerfoot church of Christ, Birmingham, Alabama: Richard Harp (preacher) reports, “We started a shut-ins meal ministry two weeks ago, and it has grown both in those who serve, and families being served! We are reaching members who have not be reached, and our prayer is that we will reach their families as a way of contacts. We have upped our HTH distribution from quarterly to monthly, and I am writing an article for the back each month. It was good to see the article on the back.
“Brandon Madaris, one of our members who attended the seminar, has developed a Back to the Bible folder and process for training members to use the books. We plan to begin a class to teach this in addition to my preaching through Back to the Bible. Our Sunday night Bible focus is on “In Christ: a Study of Ephesians and What is the Church?” The desire is to prepare the church for the visitors we bring. We will be developing bringers, teachers, and keepers. We are also striving to keep momentum going since the seminar. My sermon Sunday was “Take the Light: What Motivates Us?”
“There has been a very good response to fan the flame for personal missions and abroad. As of Sunday, we raised a total of $107,612.78 from our Mission Sunday effort two weeks ago. This will support our current missionaries and open the door for more. This is more money than we have ever raised before! God is at work! Please pray that we can continue to turn this ship for Christ.”
Graeber Road church of Christ, Texas: Andy Baker (preacher) reports, “This is Tom and Pam Kincaid with the preacher David Graham from the Godfrey Church of Christ in Godfrey, Illinois.
Pam is the mother of one of our members, Sarah Saavedra. Pam was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and physically speaking, she does not have a positive outlook at all. However, Sarah and her family went up to Godfrey from Rosenberg and purposed to study with her mom and stepdad. Sarah and her husband Larry went through the green book with Pam with Tom listening in.
“When they came back to Rosenberg, Sarah asked if I would continue to study with them over the phone. I agreed and studied primarily with Pam (Tom was not visible or vocal in the video chats, but it turns out that he was close at hand). When the time came, Pam said she wanted to obey the gospel.
“I was in the process of calling and visiting with a local preacher there in Godfrey (David Graham) to make a local contact when my phone rang. It was Tom. He said he was listening in on our study, and he wanted to be right with the Lord. David baptized them both and the Christians in Rosenberg and Godfrey have been rejoicing since.
“We sent compassion cards as a congregation, and they have been in our prayers regularly. I am continuing to study with Pam and Tom. Even though the physical outlook is not good, their spiritual future is bright, thanks to the grace of our Lord and their receptiveness to His love.”
Riverbend church of Christ, Georgia: Austin Fowler (member) reports, “Yesterday, Jason Sumner (deacon) and his wife had the teens do some projects around the church building. One of the projects was putting together visitor bags and new mover baskets. They did a great job with this task. I got with Matt about getting Riverbend signed up for the New Movers Program. Lord willing, next week we will start delivering those baskets.”
Siwell Road church of Christ, Mississippi: Derek Broome (preacher) reports, “It has been a great week at Siwell Road. Our card care ministry is working so well. People are returning each week and are telling us how appreciative they are for all the cards; they are becoming interested in the church. Several people are also involved in Bible studies. We are so excited to announce that Casey Hurley was baptized into Christ Monday night. We used Back to the Bible over these last few weeks. He has such an honest approach to Bible study. It was amazing to watch him grow in knowledge and understanding through each study. Please keep him in your prayers as he begins his walk with Christ.”
Willow Avenue church of Christ, Cookeville, Tennessee: Jonathan Medley (deacon) reports, “We finished the sermons over the second Back to the Biblebooklet this evening, and we plan to start the third booklet next week. The Prospect Note programmed kicked off last week, and six names were submitted to receive personalized cards. A new six names were turned in for this week, so that will be more Prospect Notes going out. I am aware of at least one Bible study that will be starting this coming week.”
Forestburg church of Christ, Texas: Mark Lindsey (preacher) reports, “We sent cards to our new movers and will be taking gifts to them in the next week. We are continuing our training on Back to the Bible this week. The ladies have been working on creating visitor gifts.”
Jacksonville church of Christ, Alabama: Keith Ritchie (preacher) reports, “On July 25, the Swain family visited the Jacksonville church of Christ. A welcome bag was given, information was written down, a meal was shared, a Bible study was set up, cards were sent, and prayers to the God of heaven were prayed on their behalf. After three BTTB studies, they were baptized into Christ for the remission of sins. Mitchell and Meghan Swain have two beautiful sons, Gavyn and Trae. Meghan immediately invited her parents to worship, and our first study will be this Thursday evening. Please pray! The harvest is truly plenteous.”
Oak Hill church of Christ, Rome, Georgia: Matt Wallin (deacon) reports, “Ashlei and I are in two studies. Rebecca will study Lesson 2 tomorrow. Please pray! A new study starts with Haley on Tuesday. Please pray! Oliva studied with Rob and my wife Ashlei and did Book 1 during the campaign. We have not been able to get her to Book 2 yet, but her manager at work quit and she has been working a lot of doubles. We offered to send them pizza one night to take care of dinner, and we stop by that gas station and get gas and buy gum or something when she is working. Ashlei has a good rapport with her, so pray that we can get to study two soon.
Ashlei and I are personally mailing 48 compassion cards today. This morning Steve announced the start of our compassion card ministry, so more cards will follow these. I believe Steve is in six studies, Ron is in three or four, and Gale Goss is in five or six! Pray! We have added 106 back to our House-to-House mailing list.”
Beattie Road church of Christ, Albany, Georgia: Charles Harris (preacher) reports, “I’m currently in Texas and am heading to north Georgia tomorrow. We will not be home until Wednesday. I do not have any pictures with me, but I have several studies lined up for when I get home. Two of them will be Back to the Bible lesson 3. I will try to take pictures of various works going on and baptisms for next week!”
Lafayette church of Christ, Georgia: David Paden (preacher) reports, “Let me share with you a good story. The young lady on my right is Kasja McClinic, one of the members at Lafayette. The young lady on my left is Angel Ritch. Kasja came to me several weeks ago with the desire to teach her friend Angel the gospel, but she did not know how. I asked would she and Angel be willing to come have supper with us.
“They both showed up, and we had a good meal and a good visit. They came back the next week, and we began to study Back to the Bible with Angel. Tonight, after supper we studied lesson three. Following the study, Angel wanted to be baptized into Christ. Please pray for our new sister and for our continued work in the kingdom. We have a congregational door knocking Saturday morning, and I have two Bible studies on Monday of next week. God bless you, Brother, in your work in the kingdom.”
Corinth church of Christ, Portland, Tennessee: James Parker, an elder, reports, “Our Evangelism table is set up. Steve and I are on our third lesson with a gentleman that we are studying with! Yesterday evening, William May was baptized! He is in the military and has attended here a lot in the past. The family lives in South Mississippi. They have spent a lot of time here at Corinth. Steve has studied with him and talked to him recently. We have all encouraged him to obey the gospel, and now he has. We are thankful. We have sent cards out to about 14 different families, hoping to encourage them come back to services!”
Lineville Forest, North Carolina: Kelly Brown (preacher) reports, “What a fantastic week we have had here at Linville Forest! The Word of God is so strong and amazing. We have had three more baptisms this last week: James Ortiz, Dawn Bunting, and Stacey Carr. We want to welcome them into the body of Christ and rejoice with heaven that they made this decision to walk with the Lord. We also want to encourage Randall Nobles as he rededicated his life to Christ this past Sunday morning.”