Thursday, December 15, 2011

Making Preparations to Depart Lake Havasu

Our departure date from Lake Havasu is now set for January 9th.  It will be a bitter-sweet departure.  We have met some wonderful people and have made some life-long friendships.  We arrived on April 15, 2011 at Bethany Bible Church to do a job.  That job being to bring this church back to life.  The church was in danger of closing its doors.  Attendance was about 12 people, giving was dismal, and there was virtually no enthusiasm to be found.

Well, to make a long story short these past eight months have been a lot of work, a lot of training and teaching the people to take ownership of their church, to experience the joy of serving, and the joy of being a child of God.  There was much to be corrected in the church's constitution, and operating policies, as well as correcting the church's vision.  So after these 8 plus months the church has turned around.  Attendance has more than doubled, people are giving and are giving enough to support a pastor.  We have had two church decorating parties to decorate inside and out for the celebration of Christmas.  The people brought many decorations and they asked me how I want it done.  I told them this is your church so decorate it the way you want---and they did--and they loved it!  The ladies had a Christmas cookie exchange with testimonies, singing, games, and a devotional.  People are excited about their church.  I overheard one member say the other night, "Church is fun again!"
The adult Sunday School Class.  An increase from 5 people.

The new pastor and his wife, Dennis and Lynda McBride, should arrive on January 5th and he will preach his first sermon as Pastor on the 8th.  Dennis will have a firm foundation of F.A.T. people (Faithful, Available, Teachable) upon which to build up this church and provide a good outreach into the community.  We are very excited for this church and we have every reason to expect it to really flourish.

Today Stan Broder and myself began making three 7 foot tall oak bookcases for the pastor's office. We have also begun to work on the antiquated sound system and have installed a computer to record the pastor's sermons.  Another member has drawn out some plans for a new sound booth which we may begin to work on next week.

But on January 9th we must leave.  It will be "bitter" because we will greatly miss our new friends and fellow servants of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.  It will be "sweet: because we came to do a job which has been quite trying at times, but with the Lord's help we have accomplished our goal.  So for that we rejoice.

But all-in-all it has been a wonderful experience for us.  We knew that there was much to be fixed and we also knew that not everyone was going to like the changes.  But, since we were the "fix-it" guys and we were only here temporarily that we could be the "fall guys."  We were willing to be the "bad guys" if necessary--and we were.  A few people did leave the church, but some came back and some new ones stayed.  But God has blessed and we now have a healthy church once again.

Please remember to pray for this church and for the new pastor and his wife.  We too would appreciate your prayers as we leave Lake Havasu.  We hope to take a few weeks visiting with my mom, sister and family in Southern California.  Then to Neeley and Stephen in Rancho Cordova, California for a week or two before returning to Klamath Falls.  In Klamath we will be going through our storage unit sorting and getting things that we need.  That alone should take a couple of days.  The storage unit is a mess.  We also want to see friends before moving on to Grants Pass, Oregon to spend some time with Annie, Mel and the two boys.  Then we will head up to Port Angeles, Washington with Jason, Shelli, and the kids. We also have to meet with Bob Rodgers, the mission director near Tacoma, WA.  So, hopefully by the end of February we will be reassigned by NICE to another church that needs some assistance.

Also please pray as we are in need of some financial support.  Deputation letters went out to almost everyone we know.  We were missing a few addresses in our address book, so if you were missed, please don't take it personal.  If you are interested is partnering with us please let us know and we will get you in contact with the mission.  Or contact them directly at:

Northwest Independent Church Extension
     909 Main St. Suite 5
     Sumner, Washington 98390

Phone: 253-826-7881   Fax: 253-863-0495

Our first "decoration party"  The first in the church's history.

Here are just a few of the people.  More pictures to follow.

Decoration in front of the pulpit.

Life in the Havasu RV Resort
   Being able to stay in the Havasu RV Resort has truly been a blessing.  We are about 200' from the office, the mail boxes, and the Reverse Osmosis water machine.  We are about 200 yards from the fitness center where we try to work out 3 or 4 times a week.  The park is quite full now with snow birds from all over the country and Canada.  I am really surprised at all the Oregonians.  Directly across from us is a couple from the Klamath Falls area.

Last week there was a Christmas parade.  Everyone decked out their ATV's and paraded through the whole park.  It wasn't anything like the Klamath Falls Snow Flake Parade, but it was sure fun.