How will you use what God has given you to reach 10,000 households in East Texas with the Gospel?
“I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!” –Isaiah 65:24, NLT
When Janet Grace received a phone call from Laney Wootten on May 3, she sent her best friend this message:
Today, I received a phone call about someone needing a concrete driveway. It was Laney Wootten from those Feminars. She led the worship time. She said she was being prompted by Jesus to call and hoped that didn’t bother me. I said no, told her to have a good day and hung up. Hours later she called back to say she was once again being prompted to call and asked if she could pray for me. Shocked, I said sure. I told her about the problems Gary was having with his health and she prayed over the phone with me. She told me that she was doing her best to be obedient to the Lord by following this prompt. She didn’t want to do it, for fear I would think she was nuts. She also said Jesus loves us and enjoys when we pray. What you or she didn’t know was that for the past two weeks Gary and I have made it a point to pray daily together – aloud. We had never done that before. Laney touched me in a way I have not been touched in a long time. I cannot wait to tell Gary about this. God is Awesome!
As a result of that phone call, Janet and her husband Gary attended Mobberly’s Marshall campus the following Sunday, not knowing that Laney led worship there. They had been looking for a church home for a while and had actually visited Mobberly before. This time was different for them, though. “I walked in and felt I belonged,” Janet said.
Since May, Gary and Janet have been regularly attending in Marshall and are getting more involved with the church. As a result of their obedience in prayer, God has helped them find a church family. Although daily struggles are still present, God has provided them a place where they can walk alongside other believers and continue learning how to place their trust in Him.
I am honored to share what God has been doing this summer in pressing our family out of our comfort zone and opening our eyes to the needs that exist in our city. For a week in early June we coordinated with the Buckner Summer Outreach program, and our Connect Group joined another church group to serve a meal, play games and present a bible story to the children living at an apartment complex in South Longview.
While serving that week, I began to develop a friendship with one of the moms of the children we were serving. I learned her name was Melinda, that she had moved to Texas from California with her sister and that she has five children. She and I talked after the bible lesson one night and she expressed a strong desire to expose her children to more bible teaching and get connected to a church in our city.
I told her about Vacation Bible School at Mobberly and we worked out details for her children and her neighbors’ children to attend VBS. The church was very generous in lending us a van to transport the five kids to VBS activities each night and the children absolutely loved it!
Since then, Melinda and her children have been attending church with us on Sundays. More recently, Melinda has even expressed a desire to take the next step in her faith to get baptized and join Mobberly. We hope to give her boys an opportunity to play Upward Sports this season on our campus and continue to engage them with the biblical teaching and spiritual growth that is offered at Mobberly.
The bigger story to tell here is how God is using the whole church body to engage this family. Pastor Glynn’s biblical teaching each week has encouraged and challenged us to share the gospel with our community. Jan LaJoie, the Minister of Engage Teams at Mobberly, took initiative from a conversation we had to follow up with Buckner about serving with them through their summer outreach. Suzanne Walker, the Associate Elementary Minister, followed up on my request for a van to transport the kids to the church in the midst of all the planning and tasks she was juggling for VBS. My friend and small group member, Kirsi Ingram, has encouraged and prayed with me and also taken part in engaging this family. When the kids were on our campus for VBS and when they’ve been back on Sundays, they are lavished with God’s love and grace by EVERY adult leader they come into contact with that is serving at Mobberly.
I read recently a reminder from Mark 2 about the story of the four men who lowered their paralyzed friend through the roof because they deeply desired their friend to be healed. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “son your sins are forgiven.” Because of the faithfulness of this GROUP of men, because they were willing to do whatever it took to get their friend in front of Jesus, Jesus did what only He can do: heal, set free, and change this man’s life forever. My prayer is that this family’s life will change forever because of the hope and healing they see offered through Christ at Mobberly.
This story in Mark 2 is such a picture of what the ENGAGE10K initiative is about to me, and what I see our church family doing together in engaging Melinda’s family with the gospel. It’s not us individually going out and doing this on our own. But through the Body of Christ working together through the power of His Spirit and doing whatever we can to get people in front of Jesus, that’s where the healing and freedom take place for the lost in our community.
The author, Renee Robertson, is a member of Mobberly Baptist Church
The world’s largest Christian youth sports provider is thriving at Mobberly. One of the values of Upward Sports is to establish God moments through organized sports events. Under the direction of David Verbruggen, Mobberly’s Community Outreach Coordinator, the recently completed Upward soccer season featured 185 participants ranging in the ages of Pre-K to sixth grade. As many as 30 of those children did not have a church home.
“Upward was a great experience for me,” said Coach Caleb Head. “It’s not just about the sport in which the kids are playing, but also about influencing the lives of those who participate. It’s a safe and fun environment for kids to be encouraged to learn. I really enjoyed getting to know each of the kids on our team and getting to be part of their lives. Above all, getting to share God’s word with the kids each week was an incredible opportunity.”
“I think I had more fun coaching than my kids did playing, and they had a ton of fun, too.” said Coach Casey Elliot. “We all loved it.”