As I write this update I am reminded of what Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, “...I will build my church; and the gates of Hades will not over power it.” It is almost daily that we the Lord building His church here at Sequim Bible Church.
When I came on staff last December as associate Pastor the church is in turmoil. Satan was hard at work in SBC and had won many victories. The church had lost many members due to a lack biblical leadership and other internal problems that were not properly handled. In addition to losing many people, there was a strong charismatic faction; a faction of some people who were very critical of the pastor and they met together in one home “bible study” that was led by the elder chairman; and a group of disgruntled people who were only here to be served. We had an elder board chairman who was a non-cessationist. We had a charismatic youth pastor and another charismatic elder. Because of this we were not able to get much of anything accomplished in our elder meetings. We could not agree on how the church should operate, or on what we should teach, and what we should even do during a worship service. One example..a few months ago I took it upon myself to read Scripture during the service and one of them said that scripture reading in the service was too traditional and should not be done that way, if at all.
Pastor Shane and I knew that we were in fact in a spiritual battle and we knew that this was not a battle that we can fight by ourselves. We began to pray for the Lord to fight this fight as we knew that this battle was far beyond our capabilities. We asked the Lord to either change the hearts of the above mentioned people or to move them out. Within one week the Chairman of the elder board (the non-cessationist) got upset and resigned his position and their membership and left the church. Along with them also left several people in their very critical group. Then last month the youth pastor resigned and several more people left who were of the disgruntled group. Then just three weeks ago the charismatic elder resigned and left the church. (Now, don't get me wrong...these were all good men, but it was not a right fit for them to be at SBC.) Suddenly, we realized that the factious and divisive group was gone. Shane said that this is the first time in 12 years that we have a united elder board. The last elder meeting was the first time that we were totally united in all things.
We are very encouraged to see how the Lord has been moving people out as well as bringing people in. By my estimation we have lost about 30 people and yet the giving has not decreased. We are also seeing many new people who have moved into the area. We have several new couples now interested in church membership. One couple left another church in the area because they wanted sound bible teaching. This too is exciting because it appears that the church’s reputation is beginning to change. The past reputation has not been good, and we are doing all we can to change that.
Three weeks ago Pastor Shane and I started a new youth group. The previous youth group was an entertainment based evangelical outreach primarily to the local high school. Now we have a discipleship based youth group that is designed to teach the Word to the youth of our church. The first night we had nine kids, then 12 and last week we had 15 kids. Some of these kids are from our church who had no desire to attend the previous youth group or its activities.
The first week of September Dayle and I hooked up our trailer and went to Klamath Falls, Oregon. There we set up camp at the home of Bob and Tanya Morgan. It was such a blessing to be able to spend time with them again and we were able to see many other dear friends from our church in Klamath Falls. Then we met all the kids at the Lake of the Woods Resort. We celebrated our 48th anniversary with all of our children and grand children. Bob and Tanya gave us two child size kayaks for Jack and Pearl and they loved them. Thanky you Bob and Tanya!!!
Dayle and I have the added blessing of going to the church together almost every day. We are at the church normally three to five days a week. This week however, we will be here six days. Dayle is busy organizing the Women’s Fall Conference which will be Friday and Saturday. I will be on hand to help out with electronics and anything else they may need.
Support wise we are doing ok. Our expenses have increased due to a few vehicle and trailer repairs as well as some unexpected dental expenses to fix a broken tooth with a crown. But we are always amazed at how the Lord always seems to meet our needs. Health wise we couldn’t be better. We both remain physically active with hiking and biking. (Yes, I still try to hit the trails a couple of times a week.) Dayle regularly works out with calisthenics exercise and light weights in the trailer. She also seems to have her osteoporosis in check.
We covet your prayers for our church as we continue to rebuild Sequim Bible Church upon a firm foundation. Pray for Pastor Shane as he still struggles with all the demands on his time. Pray that our church will continue to be unified and to bond together as a church family should.
Also continue to pray for our 16 year old grandson, Aiden. Aiden has Alport Syndrome and will be requiring a kidney transplant probably by the end of the year. Aiden’s dad (Jason) and his aunt (Neeley) are both under going testing to determine if they are a match to be a kidney donor. We pray that one of them is a match otherwise, a donor will have to be sought from the National Kidney Registry.
Also please pray for the Galli family. This is Annie's in-laws. Annie's mother-in-law, Rosa, has been given just 3 months as her body is riddled with cancer. Rosa is a strong believer but her husband who is also a believer is taking this very hard. Rosa has always been like the glue that seems to always hold everything together.
One more item of business: I am slowly doing away with my Netzero email address. Please use my longtime Gmail address for future correspondence: Bikerider1004@gmail.com
If you would like to assist us financially please send your donations to:
Northwest Independent Church Extension
P.O. Box 2225
Sumner, WA 98390 Phone: (253) 826-7881