The beginning of 2008 for us meant the beginning of a series of three scheduled meetings in Michigan and Ohio for the months of January through March. Three meetings in three
months hardly seemed like the schedule for which we had long hoped and prayed during this planned trip to Michigan, which included a short trip to Ohio.
We were slightly doubtful of the worth of this long trip, considering Jim wouldn't be working regularly and three months seemed, through our human eyes, to be a long time without "steady" income.
Not long after we arrived, we felt immediately aware of our lack of faith as we doubted God's desire for us to be away from home for so long. It seemed silly and unfair that we should question being gone for three months when God wants us to give our lives to Him. We began to see blessings and encouragements from day to day, and our time in Michigan and Ohio blossomed with the reminder that God is always faithful.
God opened the door for us to share our ministry, not only in the three originally scheduled churches, but also in two additional churches, which included joining one for a four-day Missions Conference. Our time with each of these churches provided abundant blessings and much
We also enjoyed the blessing of being involved at our home and sending church, Evangel Baptist in Taylor, MI. One of the highlights of our time ministering with Evangel was joining the youth group for their annual Winter Retreat at Lake Ann Camp. Along with tubing down a rather steep
snow hill and engaging in an aggressive snowball fight or two (which Sarah sneakily avoided by taking pictures), we were overjoyed to see that God was mightily at work and the hearts of teens and adults alike were moved to become more dedicated to Him, ”making our all mean all.”
Release Time was another opportunity to minister. Once a month, area public elementary schools release students with permission slips to attend an hour of Bible Time at a local church. Jim drove the bus twice and Sarah helped with “crowd control” and interaction with the children. What a joy to know that these children, who may not otherwise hear the gospel on a regular basis, can come to Release Time and hear the message that Jesus loves them.
While we were in Michigan, Jim was able to secure enough side jobs with his handy man skills that we were busy and consistently able to pay necessary bills. God's provision went beyond the bills and we received two emails stating that two new churches, First Baptist in Flat Rock, MI and Emmanuel Baptist in Flint, MI both voted to take us on bringing our support percentage up from 15% to 22%. God's faithfulness continues to be a theme during our deputation time!
We returned to Iowa during the middle of March, with one meeting left for the month; another blessed opportunity to encourage God's people to seek Him, serve Him and be ready to trust Him, even when our circumstances don't seem to provide the most comfortable platform for blind trust. We not only teach these lessons as we travel, but we also take them to heart ourselves. Our journey to Germany and someday in Germany may not always seem easy, but we have learned to trust God and believe His promise to be faithful through whatever circumstances in which we find ourselves.
We kicked off this year's Missions Conference at Faith Baptist Bible College on March 31, with the opportunity to put up our display and share our testimonies with the student body. We end this quarter's newsletter with the beginning of a new challenge to commitment and look forward to sharing with you what God will do in the three months ahead of us!
Thank you all for your kindness, for sharing your hearts with us, for giving us time, money, and meals! May you see God's blessings as abundantly real in your life as you give so sacrificially for His cause!
Jim & Sarah Engle