Greetings from sunny & warm Schuylkill County!
For the past 10 weeks or so the members of Haven Baptist Church have been submersed in messages from the book of James each Sunday evening.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience, but let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” –James 1:2-4
There has hardly been a single family among our small congregation who has not been effected by diverse trials these last weeks. Most everything you can think of we have gone through – a car accident, a home that was broken (including sentimental jewelry stolen and an antique rifle…all while the couple was attending Sunday evening’s services), one member has undergone exploratory surgery, and our Nathan got an ambulance ride and a full week of hospitalization followed by 3 weeks of missed employment. Even visitors were tried – one Mom had come to PA for the summer to visit her children and encountered unjust legal battles. Another visitor appears to have lost his job. Another battling with the effects of a major stroke for the last 6 months. Tic infestation caused one of our little ones to come down with Lyme…and the list goes on.
I truly believe we have all learned much. As Romans 12 says, we are “Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer…rejoice with them that do rejoice and weep with them that weep.” (verses 12 & 15) We have seen many answers to prayers during this time and have grown closer together. We united together this last week to go out and proclaim the goodness of God by putting out hundreds of tracks on doors near the church. Something our Sarah’s church in Ohio calls “Saturation Saturday.” One couple in a nearby trailer park called for a ride to church this past Sunday!
A major part of the goodness from God has to do with all the members of Lehigh Valley Baptist Church who participate in Faith Promise Mission giving and the ladies who take part in their missionary prayer groups. Without all of you giving and especially praying these last few months I believe the outcome would have been much different. It was such a comfort to hear how many folks were praying for us, particularly that first long night with Nathan in the hospital (the Wifi didn’t allow me to answer all of you, but my tablet brought in the many replies with the assurances that you were praying and God was answering). We will never forget the blessing of knowing you were with us.
In other Gable family news, Sarah & Justin are expecting their first baby in early December which will be our 6th grandchild. Our clan will be spending a week together in Bushkill, PA in August as my husband and my Christmas gift to the family. We are looking forward to coming apart and resting awhile from the busy lives we all lead in 5 different independent Baptist churches.
If you would, please continue praying for us as the book of James is still convicting us…last night’s message was on controlling the tongue…ouch! Thanks so much.