Kevin & Yvonne Clark
Family: Lars, Kai, Jesse, Brianna
Dear Praying Friends,
Sorry for the long delay in sending out an update. First, I wanted to let you know how some of our year-end activities went. Our congregation, Iglesia Vida, hosted a regional conference for Hispanic pastors with the fraternity of churches we belong to (FIELHUSA). We didn’t get the numbers we had hoped for (only around 50-70 pastors and church members attended) but the conference was a great blessing to those who came and to our members as everyone found a place to serve. It was a joy to see our church members step up to the plate and be used by the Lord to help make the event happen. Many worked solicit donations for food and other supplies for the guests of the event. Others helped in food preparation and serving. Others hosted pastors and their families in their homes for the weekend, while others moved chairs and tables and worked on cleanup. Paul Sywulka, from the Central American Theological Seminary in Guatemala was the keynote speaker for the weekend, who spoke on biblical discipleship. Everyone I spoke to shared that they were blessed by the messages. As for our church, I believe we have seen real spiritual growth as each one who served and attended has a stronger commitment and connection to Iglesia Vida, wanting to be personally involved in the growth of our local congregation.
In November we held our family retreat at a hotel near San Francisco. There were 8 families who made the trip. The weekend had all the usual fun and food. The highlights were spending quality time together, getting to know one another better and encouraging each other. I was able to teach from the Word on three occasions during our time together, focusing on three of Jesus’ parables and the work of the Gospel in our lives.
We ended the year with a New Years Eve dinner and welcomed in the New Year together by praying for each other and for our church. In all, around 80 came to seek the Lord as we began the New Year.
Presently there are about 50 adults plus kids who are regularly attending our Sunday services. During the week we have three bible studies, one in Santa Rosa, one in Windsor, and one in Cloverdale. These home bible studies are open for all and seek to draw non-believers and disciple new believers. Our music team continues to refine its abilities and seeks to lead the church in our worship of God. There are presently 5 musicians (or in my case a musician wanabe) and 6 who make up the vocals. We praise the Lord that He continues to add people to His church and growth in all areas.
Here are a few prayer requests which will help you see some of our goals for this coming year:
1. We need more qualified men to disciple believers and teach the bible. Pray for two men, Carlos and Tony as they grow and mature in their relationship with the Lord and their leadership in the church. Carlos and his wife, Arlene have been with us for a couple of years and are now beginning to lead a home bible study. Tony has recently moved back to our area. He was with me in the beginning of the church plant for a short time but moved away. Now that he is back he is open to being trained and developed for leadership as well.
2. Pray for our planned outreach events throughout this year. We will be having at least 3 workshops with different topics from the bible that might be of interest to the Hispanic community. This Friday is our first event where we will be teaching on the subject of raising children using principles from the bible.
3. We have been asked by FIELHUSA to host the national pastors’ conference this year. Hispanic pastors from all across the U.S. that are affiliated with our fraternity will come and be encouraged in their ministries through the Word of God and fellowship of other men in ministry. This will be similar to what we did in November last year with the regional conference. This national conference will take place in November 2011. Pray God will use this event to grow our church and build a greater movement of like minded, doctrinally sound Hispanic churches throughout the U.S.
4. This July we are anticipating two different ministry opportunities for our church. The first is a month long, intensive music program to give lessons to those who desire to develop or improve their musical abilities for service in the church. A retired missionary couple with CAM is considering our invitation and project to train our people. As this is yet to be confirmed I won’t give their names, however the wife is a first class musician who plays several instruments and is gifted in teaching both instruments and vocals. The second opportunity is in the area of evangelism. A Christian brother and friend of Pastor Libni and Katia from Mexicali, Mexico will be here with his family. He is gifted in personal evangelism and has accepted our invitation to come and work for a month to help train our people in personal evangelism and then take them to the streets of Windsor, Healdsburg, Cloverdale and Santa Rosa to put into practice what they are learning. Please pray for these two great opportunities, that the Lord’s name will be made known through worship and evangelism.
As you can see this year is looking to be a year full of opportunities to advance gospel of Christ and His church. We continue to count on you and your prayers to help us accomplish all this and more for the glory of Christ. We consider it a privilege to partner with you in this ministry!
Serving together for the sake of the Gospel,