During the weekend of October 17-19, 2014, volunteers from the Twin Cities Metro Area churches gathered at The Edge Christian Worship Center in Brooklyn Park, MN for training sessions as part of the North American Division’s ongoing campaign to evangelize the major cities.
Shawn Boonstra and his team from the Voice of Prophecy (VOP) led out in training Bible Workers, Discover Bible School Directors, and Discover Bible School Record Keepers. Karen Lewis was on hand to train volunteers in the use of the “Lifting Up Jesus” Bible Studies, which is the instrument of choice for the Minnesota Conference. In the weeks preceding the training event, over 310,000 interest cards had been mailed out within the territory, and the first response cards to arrive were distributed to Bible Workers who began making contact with the respondents. Correspondence Schools were set up in the various churches for those respondents who prefer to study through the mail.
Over the next four weeks, volunteers met on Monday evenings at the Minneapolis First Church for prayer, encouragement, and Q&A sessions with members of the VOP team, Conference leaders and pastors. More cards were distributed as they came in, totaling over 1,300 so far. Not every person who sent in a card was still interested in studies by the time the first contact was made, but between personal studies and correspondence studies, several hundred Bible studies are in progress, with more added each week.
Some cards have come in from far outside the metro area, and have been sent to the closest church for attention. Cards have come in requesting studies in Arabic, French, Russian, Spanish, Hmong, Somali, and Oromo. Some of these have presented a challenge, of which the office staff has scrambled to address. In one case, we were able to connect a request with a trained Bible Worker who speaks fluent French. We also were able to find and download Russian Bible studies. In perhaps the most significant accomplishment, lay members from the St. Paul Eastside Church have begun translating lessons into the Hmong language because we could not find a faster way to meet the requests.
We are excited about the ongoing reports of baptisms from meetings being held in many of our metro churches, and about the upcoming meetings from Shawn Boonstra and Julio Chazaretta. We are also excited at the prospect of building up the work in some of the underserved parts of our Conference, and are actively making plans for the future. Just as importantly, we are excited that the training of volunteers is not for a one-time event, but for ongoing mission work in all of our churches.
Please pray for the churches, the volunteers, the meetings, and for the souls who are looking for a saving relationship with Jesus. Please consider how you can support those prayers, through volunteer action or financial support. Also, please remember to thank God for the blessings He is already bestowing on us by sending new disciples into our congregations. His Spirit is alive and well and moving across Minnesota!
Doug Inglish, Personal Ministries Director
e-TNL Staff: Brian Mungandi, Director; Melisa Mauk, Website-editor
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