Dear PMU supporters,
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
We are back again to the cycle of the seasons, and it is “still winter” here in Minnesota. My family is well and depending daily on God’s grace. Melissa continues to serve on the local community district board, this time as the chairperson. On the board, she works with many colorful people, several of whom have become our new friends. She also recently gave a talk to a group of home-schooling moms in her co-op about financial stewardship. In preparing for the talk, it reminded her that we needed to do some financial tidying up of our own, so it was beneficial for us too. Most importantly, Melissa is a precious gift from the Lord, that is, a helper suitable to me. In December, my son Timothy (age 11) and I finished his first season in Lego League club. It was the team’s first season together, but they did quite well for their first try. Timothy also started his second job, that of shoveling snow for our next door neighbor. While his income has increased several-fold, I have lost my primary assistant to shovel our own paths. Hannah is almost two years-old and talking much more. She has so much energy and loves to supervise her brother and laugh (often, she does both at the same time). Hannah still only has sparse and short hair, but that hasn’t stopped her from making friends with just about everyone.
Ministry often reaches well beyond the borders and the immediate interests of church planting. Call me a fool (most of the time, you will probably be right), but the Lord tests us in this, “Am I laboring to build His Kingdom, or my own?” Within the last year, we witnessed the dramatic conversion of an extended family member of the church. Things in his life became dire, and painfully so, before the Lord drew him to saving faith. Keeping in regular contact with him over the last year, I saw and heard first-hand the transformation of his loves and desires—from the things of the world to the things of the Lord. There has also been the steady progression of obedience, that of returning to the straight and narrow path of righteousness. With much prayer, we have also heard about the Lord’s saving work in his household. Praise the Lord for His gracious answers to prayer!
The end of January also marks the one year anniversary of Wayne Kanis’ ordination as Cornerstone’s first ruling elder. I, as a minister, and Cornerstone, as a church plant, have both been greatly blessed by his faithful service to the body of Christ. I’m thankful for the Lord’s provision, and I see the Lord’s wisdom and model in sending out His servants in two by two pairs (Mark 6:7). Admittedly, the ministry is lonely and discouraging at times, and so two indeed is better than one (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). Last month, Wayne asked his brother Roy to make us a solid wooden pulpit, since he didn’t like the flimsy music stands that we have been using at our school location. So Roy made and delivered to us a real beauty.
The Saint Paul police chaplain ministry continues to go well. This fall, in addition to the martial arts class that I take with Timothy, I have also joined the police’s grappling club. Melissa describes it as rolling around and mopping the floor with dirty, sweaty, and smelly men while trying to inflict bodily harm on them. It has been a decent means by which to get to know some of the officers.
Thank you for your continued support in prayer and your encouragement in the work of the gospel ministry.
Your fellow bondservant in Christ,