Update from November 2017
There are two new initiatives we are launching into…
Panera Bread Doughnations – Can you believe it? We get to go to a Panera Bread store in downtown Atlanta two Friday nights a month at 10:00PM and pick up all the bread products they have left over from that day. And there is lots of it! We use some of the pastries for our City of Refuge Bible study on Saturday mornings, and we give the rest out to a lot of poor people all around our neighborhood and to contacts the Lord has given to us. We actually drive around our neighborhood meeting folks, giving out big bags of really good bread items. Are we ever getting popular!What a blessed provision the Lord has supplied to us to share with others here! We love giving out bread for the body, and the greater Bread of Life for the soul! I plan to write a tract about the Bread of Life to hand out with every bunch of bread.
BeLoved Ministry – There is one aspect of our outreach that is probably going to be changed at this point. As you know, we have done evangelism at nightclubs to “exotic” dancers for over two years. The NightLight group with whom we’ve served recently merged with the Out of Darkness ministry in Atlanta, providentially providing us a good opportunity to go a different direction. And because there are a number of Christian groups doing the strip club outreach here in Atlanta, it left us with a “is this the best use of our time”-type question. Recently a lady, who is a member of our church here, Cornerstone, was interviewed about her ministry to prostitutes here on Atlanta’s west side. We are exploring the probability of attaching ourselves to this group, which is in need of volunteers. We have been received enthusiastically by the four leaders, single women, and by the ladies to whom they minister. BeLoved (pronounced with 2 syllables) owns two houses where seven ladies live. Another house is being built by Habitat For Humanity right now. The website for this good work is http://www.belovedatlanta.org. It seems that Cathi and I would fit in very well in providing Gospel ministry for this effort that focuses on long-term rehabilitation and Gospel ministry to those so exploited by the devastating sex trade in Atlanta. Please pray for us as we feel our way along, identifying the most productive ways we can minister to the dear folks at BeLoved. There is at least the weekly Bible study on Fridays that definitely could use a pastor/pastor’s wife-type contribution.
Kerisher’s family – We continue meeting on Friday evenings with these four dear folks. Besides teaching them through basic Gospel texts, we have them memorizing the books of the NT. Until now, none of them could say one book of the Bible. Kason (below) has them down well. Princess (11), whose hand is seen below, is working hard on them, even resorting to writing them on her hand. She is one cute kid. We are very pleased with the progress they are making. Kerisher is using her car well and is taking any jobs she can get. After the Falcons’ football game one night, she worked at the new Mercedes Benz Dome from 7PM all night long doing clean-up work. Kason and I are also going through Manly Dominion together. He is a sweet, teachable guy who is eating up having a friend who cares about him and is consistent to meet with him. He did drop out of school, but is going back.
Kason (20 years old)
Princess’ New Testament hand
10 Gospel Bible studies with Calvin and friends – We’ve now had nine…the 7th and 8th weeks were in John 6, and the 9th was back in Romans 3 on verses 21-26. Martin Luther stated this paragraph was possibly the most important in the Bible…the heart of the Gospel. Please pray especially for Calvin’s soul. We have been very encouraged, but he has yet to come to church.
Calvin, Barry, and Reggie
Calvin brought two more men…plus Andrades
In the above photo, for the 9th study, are our dear friends from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Pastor Mauricio and Rosane Andrade. On their way to Wash DC, they stopped especially to spend 3 days with us. Mauricio has pastored in the heart of Rio for over 30 years and has been a big part of the late Richard Denham’s ministry in Brazil for almost that long. How we love them!
Also, the meat we served for that 9th study dinner was from our friends in Wyoming, the Tim Feathers family. It was deer, antelope, and elk. The Feathers wanted to help us reach the people here in Atlanta with the Gospel…and help they did! How the men enjoyed eating such wild game! High fives to the Feathers’ grandsons for their part in this!
Thanksgiving Dinner – as we did for our first Thanksgiving here in 2015 (3 Thanksgivings ago), our dining room table was filled with 13 people. We had 19 who accepted our invitation, but 11 cancelled at the last minute for various reasons. We began calling others we knew and grabbed one of our homeless friends in the neighborhood. We are thankful for some who are stable friends in our lives, but many others we have connected with in these 2 years have moved on and out of our lives.
Good News Clubs – We have two classes of 12 kids on Tuesdays and 12 more in an additional club on Wednesdays. The children are not trained to sit still without making noise, so it takes as much work to do this training as it does to teach the lessons. One can also imagine the challenge to provide this training to children who know virtually nothing of the Bible while making the lessons of OT stories relevant and Christ-centered. However, we are learning and seeing some progress in this challenging work. Please pray with us about this. We love these kids dearly, and it’s evident that they’ve become attached to us, too. Please pray for them.
Gospel Tracts – Four of these are folding Gospel tracts (tri-folds). The Halloween one we gave out that night with the candy is just one side of one page. I continue seeing needs for more tracts to be written and used discriminately. One will be on the sure hope that is in the God of our Lord Jesus Christ for this life and the next, and another will be on God’s wrath and final judgment with justification possible only in the Lamb of God, and freely offered to all.
City of Refuge – the Saturday morning Women’s Bible study continues to be so encouraging. The ladies are very appreciative of being led in a study of the Word of God, verse by verse, letting God’s truth say what it says. And because of the support we receive from many of you, we keep giving away nice giant print Bibles…to all those who come at least four times. Need we say, they sure enjoy those Panera Bread pastries?!
Please keep praying for all these Gospel efforts, and for these unusually weak servants. (…that would be us) And please pray for more and more ears that we can speak the Gospel of our blessed Savior into, along with hearts prepared to receive the Good News, the best news!
Bob and Cathi Selph,