As I sat this afternoon watching a gentle snowfall in my living room with the Christmas tree still beaming and the fireplace keeping us warm, I reflected how God had worked in our life and how grateful we are with his love and the plans He creates in completing His work.  Once again, I thank Mt. Haley for their support, their love and their generosity in having us as part of their family.  We were truly blessed with your Christmas gift that supports building a home in Guatemala for a family that has become very dear to us.

Our prayer requests for the upcoming year would be for the Winter Retreat  – that God might touch the hearts and minds of youth not only from Mt. Haley, but the youth and counselors from all over Michigan who will be attending.  This is Connie’s big week as she completes all the preparation for Winter Retreat and may you pray that she relaxes and rest after God’s work has been done.  We are expecting changed lives in the hearts of our kids.

Closely upon the heels of that request is for our annual mission to Guatemala beginning Saturday, January 28 through Saturday, February 4.  This will be our 5th year going to Guatemala to work with David Beam and the Shack Attack.  We will be working to build house #32 and worshipping, fellowshipping, praying and renewing friendships with people along an area called the “Tracks” in Guatemala City.  It costs a group $5000 to build a small cement house for a family in need and we pay for the transportation, food and lodging for the week.  We are not skilled laborers, but we are working with the people of the Tracks to improve a family’s life.  This has been one of Connie’s and my greatest blessings in life and we appreciate your prayers.

We will begin our “Jesus & the Sticky Questions” series on Sunday nights in January & February.  We are planning a Super Bowl party on Sunday, February 5th plus some other activities.  Our Spaghetti dinner was a super success despite the change in dates and we wish to thank everyone who participated and supported the youth.  We hope to have another gift card ordering time soon, so watch for that in the upcoming weeks.  Our next major event will be the State Youth Convention in May plus Connie and I are making plans to attend the International Youth Convention of the Church of God in Denver, Colorado this summer.  We hope the church might have some youth delegates. Something to pray about!

This month we hope to launch the Youth Prayer Partners ministry.  We hope to match a youth with a family in the church. (Other than those related to particular students).  We are strong believers in prayer and we hope to change our group, our kids and our church through prayer.  To pray is to change.  Prayer is the central avenue God uses to transform others and us.

We would base the Youth Prayer Partner ministry on these tenets for praying for a youth:

1.   Pray that they know God’s will for their lives. (Colossians 1:9)

2.   Pray that they would do God’s will in their lives. (Colossians 1:10)

3.   Pray for productivity in their lives. (John 15:16)

4.   Pray for them to have a growing relationship with God. (Philippians 4:11-12)

5.  Pray for them to have a right attitude. (Colossians 1:11-12)

6.  Pray for their families, their peer relationships, home and school. (Psalm 145:18 & Isaiah 41:10)

Thank you for another great month. May God’s blessings be with everyone!  Love God, Love Others.

In Christ,
Pastor Jerry

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