Good Morning, Praying Friends,
I wanted to take a moment to update you on our current situation here in California.
When the Lord first burdened our heart for the Los Molinos, CA, area last September, we sought the Lord for a plan and prepared to move down as soon as possible. Our burden is great because we have seen the need here. Many good churches of years gone by have packed up and left or else gone in a non-Biblical direction, leaving a very thirsty people with few options for Biblical, Spiritual nourishment.
We were presented with an opportunity to work for another Baptist ministry, and have an apartment to live in and a building to use to start the church. Our plan was to take several months to establish ourselves as a family, get finances stabilized between the job and my graphics business, and then begin to plant the church. We moved down to Los Molinos with our ducks seemingly in a row. However, after we moved down, we were informed that their funding had dried up for the job. Over the next few months, we realized that, while everything looked great on paper, there were some differences in doctrine, practice, and general character that would keep us from working together. We were able to use the apartment until the end of June, when we parted ways for good.
Not having a place to meet or live has presented its own set of challenges that have given us the opportunity to trust the Lord in a greater way on a daily basis. In the several months since we have moved down to Los Molinos, we have been welcomed into the community in a very special way. Just in trying to be a blessing, we have been welcomed into many homes, and have been able to share the gospel with many needy people without even attempting to plant the church yet. We have been able to minister to about fifteen families who have said that they will be there when the church opens, and are thirsting for a church.
Because of these kind folks who want and need a church, it has put a ‘burr under our saddle’ to find a way to make this happen, with God’s help. We found a temporary place to stay in a nearby town, and have opened an office for my graphics / web business also. Every week, at our sending pastor’s recommendation, we meet with whoever wants to hear the Gospel, normally at a local park.
What Is To Come…
Please pray that God will provide for
- Permanent housing for us
- A place for a church to meet when started
- Stabilization of our finances to be able to continue moving forward
- Most importantly, the folks here who have graciously allowed us into their homes with God’s Word. Among them, here are some specific prayer requests:
- Elizabeth and her husband, both in their upper seventies, and both of whom fight cancer. She has a clear testimony of salvation and has been praying for a church to help her win her neighbors. Her husband is not saved and is playing around with superstition and witchcraft from his old country (Mexico) in hopes of curing his cancer. Please pray for his salvation.
- Rose, and her family, who have asked a lot of questions concerning salvation, and are hoping for the church to be started soon. They are trying to find the answers to mend a broken home.
- Bertha, a lady in her eighties who has been through some terrible tragedies. She is currently battling cancer and lupus, and meets with us. She has a testimony of being saved and baptized in an independent Baptist Church several years ago. Despite the tragedies that have taken nearly everything from her, she has a sweet spirit and seeks a Biblical church.
- There are several other families who have only ever known Catholicism, but are very welcoming and thirsty for the truth. There are others who were part of other independent Baptist Churches of years gone by, that have been left without direction since their churches disappeared. There are about twenty towns in a 30-mile radius here that have no Gospel-preaching church any more.
It is my conviction and burden that light is most effective in the darkness. We were given a Great Commission to reach the World with the Gospel. It may be convenient or safe to move to a place that is more accepting of a Biblical worldview or more politically- or family-friendly, but those Christians who have moved on have left a needy gap behind. If God will graciously allow us to stay here, we hope and pray that we can fill that gap with a lighthouse that can point people to Christ.
In Christ’s Love,
Jared & Krysta Watkins
Enoch, Ezra, Ezekiel & EdWord
Sending Church: Grace Baptist Church, PO Box 231, Cle Elum, WA 98922 - Pastor Steven Harper