Praise the Lord for all that He has done in St. Louis! On Friday, we saw a glorious consummation for our trip. After the morning coordination, the team went to Saint Louis University (SLU) for the Bible distribution. In addition to the tabling at SLU, there were four follow-up appointments. One of the follow-up appointments was particularly noteworthy: Elijah met with a student named H, who is very open but is thoroughly preoccupied by his own concepts of what the meaning of human life is. Such a one seemed “impossible” to save and “impossible to baptize,” but through the fervent, deeply anointed prayer of the saints during morning coordination, we were able to enter into the realm of the impossible and H was thoroughly subdued and immediately consented to be baptized.
Two trainees also had a follow-up appointment with a freshman at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who is very guarded but seeking. After about 30 minutes of conversation, she opened up about her fear of her weakened faith in the Lord, given recent personal experiences and observations of Christians around her. We spoke to her about how Christ has increasingly become our reality and how that is exactly what He is after, to become so real to us that we live with and to Him in all we do. At the end of the appointment, she expressed the desire to be surrounded by genuine believers who are sincerely pursuing the Lord. We will continue to shepherd her until she is open enough to be connected to the local saints.
In the evening, we had the college meeting and four students from the Washington University in St. Louis attended. The students had a morning revival program, where each student paired with another student or a trainee to have the morning revival together over the phone for one week. During the college meeting, there was the overflow from the experience of having the morning revival program, and the students overall had a positive experience.
We also had another in-reaping meeting at sister Shuyi’s home for the brand new ones, seven of which came. The time was very warm, many connections and handoffs were made to the local saints, and H was baptized there. Praise the Lord! One of the new ones brought her younger sister who is a junior in high school. Although they were both shy, they genuinely enjoyed the time, especially when they were able to spend some time with two young local sisters close to their age. These two new ones are currently seeking a group of genuine believers to call their family. May the Lord build them into the Church in St. Louis!
On Saturday, morning, we gathered with the GTCA team and local saints for our final coordination. We had much prayer and fellowship about how to care for the most open new ones long-term. Afterward more local saints joined for an overflow meeting, which was full of precious overflow from the saints of their experience from these two weeks and how it affected them. One local saint mentioned this time has given her the desire to attend the middle-age training in the future. It was clear that both the trainees, visiting and local saints experienced a sweet time of blending, service and coordination. The trainees were encouraged to come back to visit or migrate and encourage our fellow trainees and saints across the country to come blend in St. Louis.
There was a definite theme to our gospel trip: mutuality. We were mutually shepherded by the saints; the gospel labor was one in mutuality; the cherishing was mutual; the building up of the Body in love was mutual. Praise Him! We love all the dear saints in St. Louis! May the Lord strengthen His testimony in the gateway to the West!
- The desperate need for job dropping full-time serving ones to labor on the local college campuses
- More migration of solid young couples to St. Louis to strengthen the church and care for new ones
- Five remaining fruit through the contacts gathered during the GTCA trip
- Raising up of many saints in St. Louis with a burden for the follow-up and to care for the new ones
- Effective follow-up with the open and seeking contacts made during the GTCA trip
Praise the Lord for His work here in St. Louis! As we get further and further into the gospel trip, it becomes more and more apparent to us that the Lord is desperate to gain this city! This past Tuesday, 1/29, we had the neighborhood children’s meeting again and two new families were able to make it to the dinner time afterwards. All of the parents and the children seemed to truly enjoy their time there. As they were leaving, the kids of one of the families asked if they could come again next week. This meeting has proven to be an effective way to bring in new families in the past and we are praying that the Lord will do the same with these families as well.
This morning, 1/30, we had the community meeting. A sister’s husband joined in as well. He is a believer, doesn’t meet with the church in St. Louis and, to some extent, condones his wife’s doing so. However, he does regularly attend the community meeting and oftentimes argues certain points of the ministry with the saints.
This morning though, once her husband left the meeting, she told us that she felt that he was really shepherded. She felt that the spirit during the meeting was too strong and that her husband was subdued. We are praying that he will continue to soften towards the saints!
- That the Lord would be our discernment in our last times of follow up with our new contacts. The Lord has granted us around one hundred potential contacts, so it’s important that we determine who are the ones that would be most worth the saints’ time and energy and filter out the ones who are not viable candidates.
- That the Lord would strengthen the net here.
Sunday, 1/27/2019, all the trainees joined the Lord’s Table meeting in the church in St. Louis. It was a sweet time to see and blend with all the saints who labor together for God’s move. In the afternoon, we went to the city museum with YP, college students and local saints.
Monday, 1/28/2019, we went again to University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL). We passed out 80 Bibles and many tracts. We received 44 contacts. Also we had some appointments with the students and staff members we met last week. The follow-up appointments were very encouraging to see so many seeking ones in UMSL.
Overall, the Lord blessed us these days. Thank the Lord for all the contacts and all the mutual shepherding among the saints.
- The Lord will be our discernment to screen out the real seeking ones and shepherd them into the church life
- The Lord will cover the weather so that nothing will frustrate God’s move
- The Lord will revive and raise up many saints to shepherd the new contacts.
Friday, 1/25/19, we went to the University of Washington at Saint Louis (Wash U), the flagship university of Saint Louis, for a Bible distribution. We were there for a little over two hours and handed out close to 40 Bibles and had a number of positive contacts. The evening was filled with three meetings:
- A Korean-speaking meeting with community saints
- The campus meeting, which had 16 attendees (9 of whom were students). Three students were new to the meeting and the time was very positive; every student dug into the riches of the Word and prophesied, and many signed up for a weeklong morning revival program.
- A brand-new meeting was created for the new students we contacted at UMSL the day before. The meeting was hosted in a local sister’s home, and four new, unsaved students came. The meeting was unlike anything we had experienced- it was truly a joint effort of shepherding and preaching the gospel, even some saints who previously had not been too involved in the campus labor spontaneously jumped in. At least one was definitely saved and desires to come back for more.
Saturday, 1/26/19, we had lunch with a local sister and went to various meetings in the evening, being split up into different groups.
All in all, our first week has been a week of very positive blending, mutual shepherding, and sowing, and we look to the Lord that some of the ones we contacted this week would be thoroughly connected to the local saints and would receive the proper follow-up during our second week.
- That the Lord would operate in these positive contacts, keeping at least five as remaining, fruit-bearing fruit
- That the Lord would revive, reinspire, and bring into function the backslidden and dormant local saints
- That the Lord would continue to blend and build us together with the saints here in beautiful mutual harmony and fellowship in love.
Praise the Lord for the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL)! Although we were open to contact whoever was open, our burden was for seeking ones who could possibly become remaining fruit. So instead of simply passing out Bibles and tracts, we sought to have conversations with the people we contacted.
We had the Bible distribution at UMSL. Many local community saints, especially those who live near the campus joined the whole time. It was so precious to see how burdened the saints were. Many of the students were open to speak to us and receive free Bible, a number of which were open for follow-up appointments and college meetings. At least five students committed to coming to the college meeting on Friday. There was supposed to be one college meeting, but to take care of the new ones, the saints are considering having a separate meeting for the new ones and the local saints are open and very flexible to the schedule changes. May the Lord continue to cover the contacting of the students during this trip. May His will be done in St. Louis!
- Five remaining fruit
- Covering of the college meetings on Friday and follow-up appointments. Some of the names to pray for are:
- H: very open and wants to meet up
- AlH: already had an appointment today and is willing to meet again
- MO: already had an appointment today and is willing to meet again
- DJ: very open and would like to connect her friends to the Christian students in UMSL
- MB: soft and open; will be meeting on Saturday
- I: open and will be meeting on Saturday
- Job-dropping full-time serving ones to care for the seeking college students
It has been about 10 years since the gospel trip has taken place in St. Louis. The saints are excited to have us visit and have been taken every opportunity to spend time with us. Here is a brief summary of each day’s activities:
Midwest College Winter Retreat: Four college students went to the conference. Having the college conference as the first part of the gospel trip enabled the trainees to know the students. This was a strong start to the gospel trip, and it was quite powerful that the trip started with other Midwest localities being written upon our heart.
The arrangement was such that every morning, we would have coordination at a sister’s home. Her heart is for the Body and everything she does is with the Body in view. She consistently and joyously opens her home for many meetings of the church. Our coordination was saturated with prayers. Afterwards, we went to the zoo, where we spent time with local saints and YP, and we ended our day with dinner in various homes.
The sisters joined the sisters’ prayer meeting in a local restaurant. The sisters are burdened for shepherding and fruit bearing and have been reading the book, The Normal Way of Fruit-bearing and Shepherding for the Building Up of the Church. In the afternoon, we attended neighborhood children’s meeting at a sister’s house. Many saints in different ages participated in serving the children. While the children were having storytelling time, the parents were reading Raising Up the Next Generation for the Church Life. Two new ones and the classmate of one of the children joined the dinner. Then we split up and joined the prayer meeting with the local saints.
We attended the community group meeting, a gathering of local saints to read the ministry books with the new ones. A new contact joined the singing time and really enjoyed the flow of life among the saints, especially the young saints because she also wants the same kind of experience and enjoyment for her daughter who no longer pursues the Lord. She has a seeking heart for the Lord and has been shopping for a new church, looking for reality. Then we split up for dinner with the local saints and the new hospitality arrangement.
- The Lord would continue to bring this group of brothers from Streamwood fully into the church life and under a clear, controlling vision of His economy
- Migration of solid couples and serving ones to strengthen the church in St. Louis
- 5 remaining fruit for the church in St. Louis
- Strengthening of the neighborhood children’s meeting to be a channel to reach out to more children and parents in the neighborhood
Reports By City
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