Dear Family and Friends:
Now that we are done with the first month of this new year, are you reaching any goals you may have made in January? So much can happen in a new year: we could grow in our faith, restore a relationship, Jesus Christ could return, a loved one could get saved, or even… We can make great plans, but if those plans rely on our own effort we miss out on pleasing God. Do you remember Hebrews 11:6? “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” This year may we please Him, believe in Him, and prepare to meet Him.
After our last letter we drove to California to spend Christmas with some of our family. To our great delight, Naomi’s Grandparents and Aunt Pat came with us to church both morning and evening. It was an answer to prayer to see some of our unsaved family hear the Gospel once again.
For the past week we have had the tremendous blessing of having a group from Iowa and Wyoming who helped us with work projects around church. These eight people built a shed, poured a 20X30 concrete slab, painted the fellowship hall, as well as some other needs we had. The shed is big enough for both storage and a classroom. We hope to eventually put a teen class here. The concrete slab is big enough for several picnic tables and will be helpful for fellowship meals as well as VBS activities. Eventually, we will need to put a roof over the concrete for shade. Our church will be greatly blessed for many years to come by the sacrificial love these folks showed as they served the Lord.
This past month Tri-City Baptist church of Forest City, North Carolina, has agreed to be our sending church. This is the church where we were members while Paul attended Ambassador Baptist College. We are thankful for Pastor Hollandsworth and the people there for being a great encouragement and help to us. We are thankful for the commitment they have taken to faithfully pray for us and the ministry here.
We are now having a ladies Bible study every two weeks. Naomi is teaching this study from 1Peter 3:4 on a “meek and quiet spirit” and from Titus 2 on the need to “teach the young women.” While the ladies at the Bible study are older, Naomi’s desire is to see them reach the many younger ladies in their lives. These ladies have a wonderful opportunity to disciple and witness to the ladies on the reservation. So many people have needs and hurts that only Jesus Christ can meet.
Please pray as we begin working with the teen girls. On February 9th Naomi is inviting the 5th through high school ladies to our home for a Bible study and activity. Even though it is nearly 70 degrees right now, she plans on a snow theme to teach the girls that God made them uniquely for His own glory (see Isaiah 43:7 and Revelation 4:11). Pray for the salvation of these young ladies and that they would choose to live for the Lord Jesus! Paul is in the process of preparing for a teen boys class. Please pray as he considers the right material, focus, and direction for this class.
Several years ago Paul was greatly influenced by a pastor who emphasized the need for worship that pleases God. Paul is taking some of those thoughts and is teaching on worship in the adult Sunday school class. This last Sunday we were challenged by the need to prepare for worship. From Ecclesiastes 5:1-3 we realized that we cannot assume worship takes place just because the church service began. Our hearts need to be
Dear Family and Friends:
Recently I heard someone say, “Many would be a god but only God would be a man.” Isn’t it amazing that people intent on celebrating Christmas go through life serving self while overlooking the One called God with Us? Imagine celebrating the birth of the Servant of All while being consumed with self. This Christmas as we exchange gifts, let us not forget the greatest Gift. “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” 2Cor 8:9.
In our last letter we asked you to pray for our church ladies Christmas party. Mrs. Beverly gave a devotional and prepared a wonderful meal, while Naomi organized some games to bring everyone together and smile. Being an informal time, Naomi was able to get to know some of the ladies. This is an important part of the ministry which is often neglected because of the busyness of Sundays. We don’t often get to sit down and talk without children running around!
Thank you for also praying for our Christmas program. What a blessing to offer the Gospel to a full auditorium. Pastor Messick closed with a needed challenge to many of the parents and grandparents on the importance of the Bible in the home and life. Though not a typical Christmas message, the Gospel was clearly presented. Sadly, most of the kid’s families do not come regularly, so Pastor’s heart was burdened for these people and their homes.
As we begin a new year please pray for God’s wisdom. Three to five of the kids that come on the church van are twelve to thirteen years old. When the kids here reach their teen years they often stop coming to church. Without stable homes and a losing interest in Sunday class times for the younger kids, church often isn’t important to them anymore. God is giving us a burden to maintain a ministry to them through their teen years. Please pray that God would show us how to most effectively work with these older ones.
Wisdom in teaching and preaching
One complete family to be added to the church
Salvation of our children and the children at church
Wisdom for how best to reach the older kids
God’s provision this year!
God’s protection this month
God’s plan is perfect
We praise the Lord for each of you and depend on your faithful prayer for us. Merry Christmas to all of you and have a blessed New Year with Christ first in everything!
All for Jesus,
Paul and Naomi Sondergaard
Ruthanne, Nathan, Hannah, and Aletheia