Dave and Jill's granddaughter went to see the movie God's Not Dead. She was so moved by the truth in the movie that she started telling her friends and family that she loved the movie. In a brief conversation, Dave was able to confirm that the Lord Jesus had indeed given this beautiful girl a new heart of repentance from sin and faith in the Lord Jesus. Yes, the Lord Jesus continues to move in our own family, now that we sacrifice to love them as our primary mission field!
One young woman and her daughter had come to sold-out faith in Christ over the last year, but had not yet been baptized. The woman was afraid to be baptized because she feared her husband would be pushed away and angry at her decision to follow Christ. Jill went through the Testimony Lesson on baptism with her and she received new heart-strength to obey to be baptized and trust God with the results. How brave she was with this crucial relationship! Her husband did react with hostility and at first threatened to leave her. But that night the Lord God Almighty Who Lives touched his heart and he not only gave his consent to her baptism, but came to the baptism with the rest of her family who were all touched by the presence of Christ! Obedience opens the door to God's power!
This summer, Dave received a call from a woman he had met at Queensdale Apartments the year before. She was having open heart surgery soon, and asked Dave to come pray with her. When Dave arrived the following day, this woman’s daughter, who had just been released from rehab, was there. She had been addicted to spice, meth and other drugs. The Lord Jesus arranged this meeting. After 3 hours of heart deep conversation, this young woman surrendered to Christ, and was baptized the following Sunday.
A beautiful story of heart transformation in a brand new believer: This same young woman heard about the families at SERVE Church that needed food. She was moved to give many of the food items her mother could not eat on her new post-surgery diet. Upon delivering these to a family living in a drug infested area she clearly felt the Lord telling her not to leave yet, but to give more. She had $19 to her name and had no job. We went to buy groceries at the local Save-a-Lot where she bought the food. At the register, she prayed out loud, asking the Lord to help her have enough money. The bill came to $18.46! She rang out praises to the Lord right there in the store. What a beautiful sacrifice of love!
The Lord Jesus has opened a wonderful door at Testimony at SERVE Church in Euclid among the people living in the Greenbrier Apartments. We had 4 baptisms in August and have two other new believers yet to be baptized. The owners, managers, and workers of the apartment complex have noticed the Lord having an impact there. They have agreed to give us an apartment within the complex out of which we can have 24/7 ministry. This is an $8k annual gift! We thank the Lord Jesus for His powerful hand.
Two young men from Greenbrier area went to a men’s retreat this month. They had never experienced anything like this. They had had substance abuse problems in the past. The Lord Jesus has delivered one. The other has committed himself to attend a weekly Celebrate Recovery meeting. Praise the Lord who can move and heal men’s hearts. Also at this retreat, another young man came to Dave seeking clarity about His salvation. He had never made a profession of faith until that afternoon, but prayed a beautiful prayer of surrender.
The Spanish translation of the Testimony Lessons has been completed by our friends at LOGOS Spanish Translations. The state convention has generously contributed funds to help make this happen. These Spanish lessons will be used by pastors of Hispanic churches here that are interested in implementing T4T movement principles in their churches. Dave currently meets with two of these pastors on a weekly basis, vision casting the movement and training them in T4T.
Last month, a group of college age SBC camp counselors came to Cleveland to experience what the Lord is doing here. Dave spent a half day teaching them T4T church planting movement principles. In the afternoon, they visited three Testimony Church apartment complex venues: Greenbrier, Queensdale, and Oak Hill. They had never done door-to-door prayer walking, where you knock and ask to pray with those living there. At Greenbrier, there is a “garage church.” These are men who spend their days sitting in the garage getting high. The Lord has begun to draw many of these men to Himself. When the college group arrived there, they saw firsthand what doing church looked like in a garage as one of the men, with beer in hand, ask to lead a prayer for everyone there. He set down his beer, 15 men held hands, and he prayed a glorious, Christ-honoring prayer. This same man volunteered two weeks later to serve at our food pantry for 5 hours helping 400 families receive food assistance. He still struggles with his addiction.
At Queensdale, these same college students experienced the living power of Christ to overcome their fears to begin spiritual conversations with strangers – most for the first time in their lives. The Lord honored their efforts when 10 new contacts were made to advance the Testimony of Jesus at Queensdale. They enthusiastically rejoiced in their new power to speak in Jesus’ name, instead of remaining silent.
One pastor working with Testimony Church is now using the T4T Concentric Circles method with all 120 members of his church to help them identify their “mission field” and send them into the harvest. The Lord Jesus is going to honor this and bring many to salvation!
Another church leader who has 60 men and women in his adult Sunday School class is using the 21 Testimony T4T Lessons to rapidly mobilize them to become true fruit bearing disciples of Jesus. They have already had numerous salvations.