June 2014 Update

Hey Support Team!
Is it really already July? I have to say I am fortunate to have these newsletters or else months would slip by without me giving them a second thought. This past month has been a process of fine-tuning a broader picture that God revealed to me in the previous month of May. The theme that has been made clear is that it isn’t enough to simply discover and begin healthy habits, we must hold to them. When we remain consistent in these habits we are able to refine them and then dive even deeper into reaping the blessings that God has for us in our obedience.

A Spirit Lead Approach, The Gospel is Power

Sharing the Gospel in our apartment complex has truly revitalized how we approach speaking to others about our relationship with God. Much of the time we spent on campus outreaching to students followed a script-like structure that consisted of an agenda of questions to ask the individuals we met. Looking back on this process we realized that this caused us to be more focused on getting to the next question than addressing the needs of the people we met. This hindered our ability to truly connect with those we were meeting and in turn limited the amount of fruit we were able to see. We have now begun practicing a greater sensitivity to the Spirit and its guidance into the needs of those we speak with. This is both an intimidating while at the same time exhilarating process. It isn’t our natural instinct to address uncomfortable topics or lay it all on the line, but this is what the Spirit prompts us to do. People come to Jesus when they are able to see Jesus in those that share Him. People need hope and they want something different than they are used to. God has been showing us that in order to see Him show up and change the lives of those we meet we must be bold enough to truly offer Him to them.

Gorman Crossings Community Outreach

Since we have started sharing the Gospel in our community we have met a large majority of our neighbors and those in the area. We have been able to pray for many of these people and begin quite a few spiritual conversations. Roger and I were able to meet Rudy who was from China and speaks Chinese fluently. He is a Christian and was interested in learning how to share the Gospel with others. The great thing about meeting Rudy is that we now are able to share with the Chinese people in our community that we were previously unable to communicate with. Two doors down from Rudy we met Jeff, also from China. Jeff had been to church since coming to the United States, but never looked at the life of Jesus Christ. It’s hard to follow someone you know nothing about. We were able to share the story of Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10), the Gospel and Rodger’s testimony with Jeff. As we spent more time with him, he showed greater interest in learning more about Jesus and hearing more from the bible. We are meeting back with him tomorrow and would greatly appreciate prayer for Jeff to confess Jesus as Lord of his life. Closer to my apartment we met a girl named Faria. She explained to us that she was a Muslim, but didn’t have an answer for who Jesus was. I was able to share with her that God is personal and loves us enough to notice our attempts to respond to and get to know Him better (James 4:8). She was interested in hearing more about Jesus and we plan to meet with her soon. Faria’s roommate Noel also claims Islam as her religion. Please pray that we are able to clear up their misconceptions of Christ and that their household comes to know Him.

Four Years Made Efficient

As NC. State starts its summer orientation programs, many recent high school graduates are taking their first steps on campus. As they begin this new chapter in their lives many of them will abandon their previous religious affiliations or beliefs to find themselves (75% of college students desert their faith during college). It is at this crucial point that many individuals can claim faith in Christ as their own rather than something pushed on by family. On the other hand this is also a time when many place their trust in themselves and things which they feel best satisfy their desires. Grace is currently presented with the incoming freshman class and we ask for prayer in order to best reach these students. With a foundation in Christ students will remain grounded and not have to throw themselves in many directions to chase false substitutes for knowing Jesus. Nick, an incoming freshman from Wake Forest, is one less to become a statistic. Nick saw Grace’s yard signs and chalk invitations and decided to check out our service. We met Nick and invited him to lunch with us. At lunch our pastor Berk usually gets us to go around, introduce ourselves and then say something that stood out from service/ the message. When it came Nick’s time to speak he said that he was moved by how easily he had found a church family that he fit into during his transition into college. He said he had moved in the middle of high school and transitions weren’t exactly an easy thing for him. Having been in charge of putting out the yard signs and writing the chalk invitations, I clearly got the message of how important my responsibilities were in the bigger picture of reaching the campus and ultimately the world for Christ. Nick came to basketball with us later that day and we ask for prayer that he will continue to grow in his relationship with Christ with us.
This ministry would otherwise be impossible without the support that you provide. Thank you again for your interest in what God is doing in the hearts here on campus and in the community, you are greatly appreciated! Please keep these names and this ministry in your prayers! God Bless.

In Christ,

Thomas F. Saunders IV Missionary Intern Grace at State l Raleigh NC

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