News from Johnstown Pennsylvania
Greetings from Johnstown, Pennsylvania!
As many of you may know, I’ve been shepherding a pair of small micro-church plants in southwestern, PA. I’d like to offer a “snapshot” of where those groups are at and what the Lord Jesus has been doing in them.
The first group is a small group of young people in Johnstown’s West End that meets out of my home on Tuesday evenings. It’s been my heartfelt desire to establish a ministry in the area that reaches out to the hurt, loves the unlovable and ministers to folks who don’t necessarily feel welcome in traditional church settings. We’ve been prayerful that God will make divine appointments for us with these folks, and He has been very good. Our little family is loving-on and ministering to unwed mothers, pregnant teens, survivors of sexual abuse and people battling substance abuse issues. This little group at present is comprised of eight people, with more wanting to come join us once their work schedules open up. When we gather I teach from God’s word and how to apply what we learn into our daily lives; and we pray. There are a pair of low income, crime ridden housing projects in the West End too, and I have shared with the group that we need to be in prayer about reaching out to those neighborhoods with the healing love of Jesus. I ask that all of you reading this please be in prayer that we can do that; that the Lord would continue to make divine appointments for each of us so we can introduce the world around us to Jesus Christ.
The second group I have referred to in the past as the “Quemahoning” group because we were meeting in Quemahoning Township in Somerset County. Since late Spring we have been meeting in a local Panera Bread restaurant on Wednesday evenings. I just want to say up front that this group has been amazing. The things God has been doing in these young Christians is wonderful! We tried getting the group off the ground last summer but it floundered a great deal. Up until early spring the group consisted of just three “regulars” and an occasional friend that would show up for a quick Bible study. I truly believe God was waiting to ensure we were going to remain faithful and committed before He blessed us; and He did! We’re meeting weekly for Bible study, teaching, discipleship, prayer, praise and worship mixed in (no music yet, but I am hopeful that will come). The group has 11 young men at this point and the guys are always reaching out to others to come experience what God is doing. The work that God has started in these young men is pretty amazing. Most of them have said they feel the Holy Spirit at work in their lives and transforming them. We have guys confessing sins and asking how to address sin issues in their lives, some times through tears. And the guys are filled with joy. One of the young men told us last night that Wednesday is his favorite day of the week now. Last night we met for a couple of hours in the conference room in the back of the restaurant and then stood in the parking lot after the store closed and continued on for an hour. We even had a prayer circle, laying hands on one of our guys who is battling drug addiction. You could just feel the love and power of the Holy Spirit at work. Please be in prayer for this group of young warriors (its all guys at this point) that God will continue to bless them, help them grow and mature in their faith and use them to reach others for Christ. And that he would send us more people we can make disciples of! Praise and glory be to God :)
Thanks so very much! God bless you all.
Thanks to Chris Dull for the update!