Hope in the Mountains
It’s really hard to sit down and write this letter knowing that so many of our brothers and sisters are going through difficult times just like Leslie and I are. But, I also know that we are family and that we are invested in each others’ lives. So, I am going to share what’s going on here along with some prayer requests, so the letter may be a bit briefer this time around; but, I also want you to feel comfortable to let us know how we can pray for you as we continue to labor together for the sake of the Kingdom in our respective vineyards!! We sure do appreciate each of you and hope you know that!!
Before the restrictions were put into place that caused us to cancel our regular worship services, we had a couple of wonderful highlights. The first was our rec. League basketball celebration worship service, where we hosted FORTY first-time visitors as they came and witnessed their kids being recognized for their efforts, including a Bible being awarded to each child who participated. From this time, FOUR families were strong commitments to continue being a part of our church family!! What a GREAT day we had with food, fellowship, and family gym time afterwards. We also were incredibly blessed to be awarded a grant to produce a community-wide summer concert for our local area later this summer from the Strengthening Churches Committee of the Baptist Convention of MD / DE!! What a wonderful start to the month!!
After that basketball celebration service came all of the new restrictions trying to stop the Corona Virus, which including shutting down all of our regular services. We’ve had a lot of back and forth regarding what is allowed and what is not allowed in our state, but needless to say, it really put a wrench in the works and the ministry here in our Mountains. Of course, many of you are experiencing the exact same thing, so you understand fully what I am writing about. But, FINALLY, we have some clarity and have put together a weekly schedule for our ministries. Please see that schedule in our prayer requests later in this letter.
One highlight that has taken place in the midst of this pandemic, is how our Bruce Learning Center has really shined as a ministry through all of this. They have been recognized/designated by the State of Maryland as a special daycare center for the specific need of caring for children of front-line working parents here in our area. They continue to share the Gospel, but now due to the special designation, they are filled to capacity and have some real inroads for ministry!! Praise the Lord!!
Also, even though we may have experienced some bumps and bruises through all of this, we are blessed to have two specific outreach ministries planned for April. The first is a Drive-In Church Service for Easter Sunday with the plan of using a transmitter to help us broadcast on a set radio station for all vehicles to participate in the service. We are also planning to take our community Easter party “on the road” and “Egg” strategic homes (identified from our contacts with families from the basketball camp and others without a church home) with plastic Easter eggs filled with candy. It will be good to get out and minister in such a way!! Though the wind may have been knocked out of us for a bit, we are back on our feet and pressing on!! Thank you to all of our prayer partners for your help!!
Before closing, would you please consider praying for these following requests??
*Please pray for the various ministries that have been put on hold due to our current restrictions,
including all the people impacted by them - ministries such as food distribution (which was to restart in April), clothing, nursing home, Sunday School, Bruce Academy, etc.
*Please pray for our Bruce Learning Center as they continue to have opportunities to serve.
*Please pray for God to bless our weekly schedule, which includes Live Stream services
Sunday and Wednesday, ZOOM Bible study Tuesdays, and small groups at the church
on Sundays (D-Life), Mondays (FIGHT NIGHT), and Thursdays (Bible Study)
*Please pray for our upcoming outreach ministries, including the “Egging” of our neighbors and the Drive-In Church service on Easter Sunday.
*Please pray for our finances, both for Leslie and myself as we continue to need to raise our support, as well as our church family which is in the same position as many other churches are right now as regular bills continue but regular offerings do not.
*Please pray for the prospects that we started to build relationships with before these guidelines set in. We want to see that momentum continue and lives are changed by the
I believe that’s it. Once again, Leslie and I sure appreciate you, your faithful ongoing support, your prayer partnership, and most of all your friendship!! Maybe in Eternity, you will see the great affection and appreciation we have for each of you from our perspective!! We sure do love y’all!! If there is ANY way we can be praying for you or encouraging you, please do not hesitate to ask. We will continue to pray for you all to be protected, safe, and healthy, as well as afforded new and exciting ways to share the Gospel with your friends, family, and neighbors!!
We are grateful for each of you!! May His Kingdom increase through it all!!
Steffan and Leslie Carr