"…to the praise of the glory of His grace…" Ephesians 1:6

Merry Christmas – “Nothing will be impossible with God”

Dear Springs of Grace Church Family,
I love the Christmas season for a lot of reasons but one in particular has been on my heart the past few weeks. The angel of the Lord put it like this when speaking to Mary in Luke 1:37: “For nothing will be impossible with God!” Springs of Grace has many living testimonies to this “impossible” overcoming power of God. It is impossible for a church the size of Springs of Grace to have 25 plus interns each summer. It is impossible, based on our abilities and resources, to have a preacher school, a school for middle school students and high school students, a tutoring program for over 70 kids, an amazing group of college students we are getting to minister to, a ministry to the Day Center that has resulted in a dozen or more adults joining us every Sunday and many becoming a part of this church family! All of that is impossible – except for God.
In the past month we had an international student at the University of Tulsa from Iran move in with several of the young men in our church and he came with them to adult bible study. That would seem impossible if God hadn’t already given us a Muslim student for our One Hope Academy who lived at the church for 6 months!
Last Sunday we got to celebrate the baptism of a young man who was kicked out of One Hope Academy a few years ago and who had incredible obstacles to the gospel in his life but one of the young men in our church family kept reaching out to him and giving him the Scripture and God has brought him into His family.
Five years ago I shared a vision of our One Hope Ministry purchasing the Tulsa Rose Bowl to use as the center of a ministry effort to transform this portion of Tulsa. Perhaps it could be the hub for an educational outreach, a social ministries outreach, provide housing for transitioning families, legal help, medical help, and sports ministries. At the time it seemed to be an impossible vision. Yesterday, One Hope became the owners of the Rose Bowl. There are many steps ahead but it is an exciting step.
Several years ago we also began praying for God to take the model of ministry He was calling us to and grow it in a way that it could be reproduced and spread to different cities and nations. As of right now, I am aware of over 20 people who have expressed a definite desire and are taking steps to take the gospel to the nations. Springs of Grace right now has missionaries in South Korea and California and support other mission efforts in Tanzania, China, and the Mixe region of Southern Mexico, Can you dream with me about what the next few years will look like as we begin to send these members of our family across the world? What an “impossible” overcoming God!
Perhaps the most amazing expression of God’s “impossible” overcoming power comes from the Ukrainian connection God has given us. The Lord worked amazingly to connect Carrie with the Fimiam church in Lutsk, Ukraine in its ministry to those with disabilities. Through that Sveta ended up studying here in a Physical Therapy Assistants program. A single, Ukrainian woman with initially only a couple of English friends became a part of the Springs of Grace Family. Then God used a friend of mine in Louisville, KY to tell a couple moving here for the “In His Image” Residency program about Springs of Grace. They came and invited other couples in the residency program. One of those couples is from Ukraine and they have become not only blessed friends with Sveta but a sweet part of the ministry at Springs. The young lady has become a tutor in the getAhead program and at her second week of tutoring she got to tutor a young 12 year old african-american girl whose homework assignment for that night was writing a report on a Ukrainian Christmas! Is that not amazing!!!!
A year and a half ago our church went through its most difficult days as the Lord took us through things we still don’t understand. I was told by a couple of different people that they didn’t see any way we could continue to pay the bills at Springs of Grace but God has consistently and amazingly provided time after time not only over the past couple of years but for the entire life of this church family. Thank you God.
As we come to the end of another calendar year we know there are many opportunities and needs to give towards. Some great giving ideas are on our website at www.springsofgracebiblechurch.org. Our basic budget needs from month to month have been barely being met. After payroll on the 15th we had less than $10 in our general budget. God providing just enough has been a regular part of the life of faith He seems to have called us to as a church. It’s fun to watch Him meet those needs.
As our leadership has been praying and looking at the coming year, we are asking the church family to consider giving any extra resources we can towards our church building loan. We still owe $198,000 on our building. If we could get that paid off, it would free up some money each month to invest in the people God has given us to love in our neighborhoods and in the nations. As always, we don’t want you to give unless the Lord puts it on your heart and you can give cheerfully and joyfully. It very well may be that the Lord wants you to use those funds somewhere else. We trust Him to provide however He chooses. If He does lead you to help with this then just note “loan payoff” on your check or gift and it will be applied to that.
Thanks for letting me be a part of this faith family with you.