Sondergaard January 2023

Dear Family and Friends:
During a month when the unsaved world celebrates love they don’t understand, God wants us to look at the greatest example of love the world has ever seen. God tells us in 1John 3:1, Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us…” Even those who are saved ought to regularly stop and consider God’s love for us.

Please keep praying for Bob and his three children (Sinai, Sacred, and Robert). There is much contention and wrong influences in the home. Although Robert rarely seems to be listening, recently while Paul was preaching on Living Fearless in a Fearful World, Robert responded and showed he was understanding what was said. Please pray for Bob to be the kind of father God wants. And for the children: pray for their salvation.

Please pray for Diego and Victoria. For some time, Victoria has been coming faithfully to church with their two boys, Kevin and Abel. We sense a real openness in this family. Saturday, we plan to visit with the purpose of developing a friendship and discovering where they are spiritually. Even with a language barrier (Spanish), they seem to understand.

Paul continues to work at the local grocery store. This job gives many opportunities to talk to people. Often, he will see people who are not in church faithfully or others who are faithful but still need encouragement. Paul also regularly is in conversations with his coworkers on Bible topics. Please pray for Quanah, a Navajo young man. This past week, Quanah asked Paul for a Bible. Paul gave him a Bible with two Gospel tracts and told him to start with Genesis 1-3 (explains where everything started – including sin), then to read John (explains who Jesus is), and then to read Romans (it puts it all together). Quanah grew up with traditional Navajo rituals and has no Bible knowledge.

Recently, Paul began a new preaching series focused on living God’s way in a world with pressures and challenges that often test our faith. The first topic was on fear. Other topics will include purity, an eternal focus, the tongue, forgiveness, joy, contentment, and love. Please pray as Paul prepares and as God works in our hearts through His truth. For the Adult Sunday School class, Paul is doing a study on the names and symbols of Jesus Christ. So far we have seen Jesus to be our Advocate, Author of Eternal Salvation, Almighty, Bridegroom, Creator, and City of Refuge – and several others. What a blessing to see Jesus for who He is. Jesus really is all we need!

Our church family

Ruthanne plays with Sue Smith (her piano teacher) in almost every service.

Our children are growing and learning how to serve.

Naomi continues to teach the Ladies Bible Study. While the ladies do enjoy coming and do often share their hearts, please pray they would also be faithful in coming to church. Recently Naomi has been teaching on loving God with all your mind and living for eternity.

Last week, the church adults gathered for a time of fellowship. Paul shared a short devotional based off 1John 4:19, We love him, because he first loved us.” After considering God’s love for us, we were challenged in our love for God that we show in love for others. The application ended by realizing we cannot meet God’s expectation of love unless we are surrendered to God’s control.

This last Saturday, we held a Bible club for the children on the reservation. Six kids came and learned Scripture songs, Bible verses, and a Gospel message that Paul illustrated using a chalk drawing. We left encouraged and plan to do more similar programs on the reservation. While inviting children, we found an activity room next to a playground that would be great for future Bible clubs or a VBS. We were excited to see the potential.

We regret not keeping you better updated on what God is doing here in Arizona. Not to make excuses, we do want you to know we have been a bit overwhelmed at times with the busyness of life and ministry: Paul working a full-time job, Naomi busy with homeschool and home care with five children, therapy three times a week, doctor appointments for Andrew, preparing messages, ministering to people’s needs, and probably some other things too. Much has happened with Andrew since our last letter. We want you to know but we’ll save some of that for the next letter.

There were several times we started a letter but then limited time allowed just enough time to prepare a message or give attention to some other need that came up. Since our last letter, we have seen God answer prayer, change lives, and display His power. We do value your prayer, interest, and investment in God’s work here. By God’s grace we want to be as faithful in telling what God is doing as you are faithful in praying that God will keep working.

Paul doing a chalk talk for the Valentine neighborhood Bible club.

All for Jesus,

Paul and Naomi Sondergaard
Ruthanne, Nathan, Hannah, Aletheia, and Andrew