Friday, June 21, 2024
Friday, June 21, 2024
HomeAll The NewsSPOTLIGHT ON MISSIONS: Michael & Laura Beth Strong • Minneapolis, Minn.

SPOTLIGHT ON MISSIONS: Michael & Laura Beth Strong • Minneapolis, Minn.

Last month, I got to share the exciting news of what God has been doing in Minneapolis. This letter comes with some more exciting news!

We saw three people come to Christ and walk in obedience through baptism last month. In the weeks that followed, we saw seven more come forward to confess Christ as Lord and Savior and express a desire to be baptized. We plan on baptizing four of them on Aug. 26.

We don’t just lead people to Christ. We also focus on discipling them. In the last month, we have been holding membership classes for current members and people who are potentially interested in joining us. One has moved forward, completed the class and asked to become a member. We plan to take it before the church for a vote on Saturday. We are praying about God leading the others to join us if it is His will. Please join us in this prayer.

We have also seen a worship team begin to form and start meeting for practice. They led us in their first song together last week. A man named Paul took the initiative to gather people and start rehearsing. They met multiple times again this week. We also have a new youth group that has formed and has a leader, Zach, who continues to prove to be a great addition to our team.

We also saw a couple of our people step up and walk in the leadership roles He is forming them to serve in formally one day. This was awesome news and confirms we are not too far from preparing to hand this first church off as we will shift to seek God on where the second will be. Our former intern, now a licensed minister, led the church while I was away. Another group continues to gather to worship. Three men began leading weekly small groups in our service time to help teach the SOAP (Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer) Bible study method and prepare the way for small groups. God is so good, isn’t He? This growth is why we are beginning to average almost 30 people each week by the grace of God!

We also held our annual Extreme Tour Outreach event. It was rained out right at the time we were set to start putting the stage and equipment out in the field. With all the new salvations and signs of spiritual growth, we knew it would be a spiritual war to host this event. The event was cancelled, the door closed, but God opened another door. We were allowed to go into a women and children’s ministry similar to FreedomWorks and all of the church members and artists on tour dedicated their time and resources to minister to the women and children that work and live there.

It was a smaller crowd, but a bigger impact! So much connection happened. That’s always our goal. We want to connect and build relationships, and God moved us so we could do just that. We are praying God will bring any of the women and children He has planned to be a part of us to reach out and visit or join us. Please join us in this prayer.

We have also experienced our challenges. We have had several sudden financial hits and are in a place where we need God to provide a new van to replace the one used to transport the items used for services and events outside of the building. I am also using it to meet with disciples and spend time discipling them. I just started a new job to meet the growing financial needs of our family to fill the gap in salary and expenses, and I am also working on getting another job. This will limit me on how much I can disciple and evangelize and cause me to hold off on starting a new Bible study at a new location, as well as put off starting to preach regularly at the Marie Sandvik Center, which I planned to start in September. I will work these additional jobs until God frees me to meet our financial needs at some point in the future and fix the urgent issues in our home and vans. Please pray about this with us.

We are committed to trusting God and following Him as he leads. We will fulfill the calling He has on our lives to plant multiple churches here in Minnesota with His grace and help. The future is bright, and we look forward to reporting more of what God is doing in Minnesota!