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Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hazel Green--the other side of the world

"Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore..."

Friends, we're definitely not in Charlotte anymore! It may not be Ecuador or Israel but in many ways it seems like the other side of the world. Hazel Green is in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky. It's peaceful, quiet, and the air is refreshingly clear. But one important item that is also missing is jobs. There are many people here in great need. Our ministry to the area has been received with arms opened wide. We've seen people from several counties in addition to where we are located in Wolfe County. One comment I heard yesterday was, "This is the first time something has been done for all the people in our county and not just a few." We've seen well over 100 people. God is at work here!

I've been blessed numerous times as I have talked with people about their spiritual condition. I have heard testimonies that have left me wiping the tears from my eyes. There was Doug, a young man who has only been saved about 4 years, but who has a tremendous desire to lead his family in a godly way and see his children experience the love of the Lord themselves. There was Lawrence who, even with a mouth filled with pain from hurting teeth, said, "I love Jesus. I don't miss going to my church even when I can't go anywhere else." There was Melodee whose eyes welled up with tears when I asked about her relationship with the Lord. She said, "I can't wait to get to heaven." Linda told me about two strangers who showed up in the night in her hospital room to pray for her and could only explain their actions by saying, "Lady, you may think we're crazy, but God told us to come and pray for you." Her reply? "No, I've been praying and waiting for you!" This afternoon I met Jason and his mother April. She said, "We've been everywhere and no one will help us." We prayed together and as Jason was taken to be evaluated I saw tears of gratitude running down her cheeks because finally her son was going to get some relief.

This is just a glimpse of some of the lives that have been touched thus far this week. Thank you for your prayers and support. Those of you who couldn't come but who gave, worked and are praying for us--God bless you!!! And keep praying! You'll hear about and see some answers to your prayers this Sunday morning at EBC.

The trailers packed with clothing and other items for use by the people here? It was all unpacked and placed under and around a large tent Monday morning. The majority of the items have already been claimed.

A few prayer requests before I close:
-Susan, wanting to commit her life to Christ, but facing a tremendous obstacle
-Frank, waiting "for the right time" to be saved
-Kenneth, "not ready"
-Kristina, struggling with God trying to get over the loss of a loved one, a miraculous story of being pulled from a creek after a wreck just a few months ago--wanting to overcome her doubts and find God.
-Sheila, "backslidden"
-Clinton, "searching for the truth for 75 years" and still hasn't found it(Him)
-Michael and Michelle, took Bibles home to read the book of John
-many under the influence of drug abuse

Get the idea? Our ministry is needed here! Continue to pray for us for strength, wisdom, patience and love.

I'll have another report with some pics at the end of the week. We love our family and friends back home. Thanks again for what you mean to us!
--Jon and 40+ missionaries