Recently I had breakfast with these two men of God in Hayward, California.
They have been conducting services watching the sermon on DVD for 5 years and recently sent me the following report. I thought you would enjoy reading about what God is doing in Northern California... Read and Enjoy....
Dear Loved ones,
Greetings in the beautiful name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Have you met a man with 6 personalities and each of these personalities are saved? This may sound a bit strange, but Johnnie, one of the homeless persons who attends worship at SOTH-Fremont is said to have 6 personalities and each one of them has been saved.
Johnnie had been coming since the third Sunday (we're on our 8th week) and had been regularly sitting in front with his hands together, and always, eyes closed looking upward to heaven when we pray and offer communion. I do not know which personality attends church on a given Sunday but hey .. that person is saved!
Last Sunday was thanksgiving Sunday and we served dinner to over 30people who attended the worship service. We marvel and are blessed at the way God is working in this ministry. We had, for the first time, two teenagers come and worship with us and stood by Richard to serve food to everyone who came. We also had two elderly ladies who attended.
We had turkey and bread, and mashed potatoes. and the biggest surprise was that a homeless person brought a dozen blueberry muffins to church so that the others can share it with him.
What a joy of giving! God continues to amaze us because people are hearing about SOTH and they are bringing food and clothing as they join us in worship each week.
Pastor James Washington in his sermon on loving the lost was really applicable as I saw Richard and Yvonne minister to the homeless over dinner.
Everyone took part in the communion including Nate and Austin, the youngest members of our congregation. God has blessed this ministry with people who just want to serve our Lord Jesus.
Kevin and Sharlene Kelly, head of our homeless ministries, buys 1 pair of winter shoes each week as their offering to the homeless people. Kevin is a minimum wage earner but he has committed to offer half a days salary to buy a pair of shoes to give to a homeless person. I see Jesus in both Kevin and Sharlene.
Having been homeless themselves once before, Kevin gave a two minute testimony of how God saved them from the depths of drugs and homelessness and how they were delivered by the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ.
After pastor James' sermon completed and right before communion, a new face passed a piece of paper to me... in that was a note: "I have two turkeys and complete with stuffing for you to use next Sunday... but needs cooking." what a wonderful gift that God is using this church to serve.
They come for the dinner... We know that they come for the food but then they worship and listen to the message. They recently heard pastor Dudley's message "Greatest tool for evangelism" and pastor Francis Chan's "brevity of life" message and last Sunday's loving the lost.
By faith, we pray that souls will be saved and that their lives will be taken from the grip of homelessness. We continue to be excited every Sunday. God has continued to provide for the place and the food and the people to come. Thank God for Kari Macer who always sends me the sermon outline without fail every Thursday! And to Steve Tarlton who stays up really late on Saturday evenings just to post the video image file on the server so that i can pull it up.
We feel God continuing to work in this ministry. Someone told me this evening that SOTH in Fremont is a place where the homeless people feel welcome to worship. they cannot attend any other church because their clothes are filthy but they, sure enough, at 5:00 p.m. every Sunday, are at our doorstep and come and worship with us.
Please pray for each and every unsaved person attending our Sunday service that God will have mercy and compassion on them.- we are praying for a worship leader and band to be selected by God and lead us in worship.- pray that more people will be touched by the Lord to come and worship and serve with us.
Until my next report, Maranatha!!!!In Christ's merciful hands.