Last Week in the Trenches – February 2014

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God has been growing us in our communication skills. Because of this, our newsletters will be shorter and come more often. I will also be looking for more frequent opportunities to share on Facebook, our website and Youtube.

 

We No Longer Have Non-Profit Status

We are very grateful to Jim Frederick and Kaleo House for allowing People of the Free Gift to get a running start. We were allowed, for a season, to come under the 501c3 non-profit banner of Kaleo House in order to offer our donors a tax deduction benefit. The founders of Kaleo House recently met with us to share their new vision for the ministry. After prayerful reflection, we realized that God was leading our ministries in two different directions, and it was time for People of the Free Gift to move out on their own. We are grateful to each of our regular donors that have expressed a desire to continue to support our ministry.

 

Another detail of this change is that we have closed the Kaleo House bank account and our account with clover donations. We are exploring new possibilities for those that like to give electronically, but for the time being, if you would like to make a donation to our ministry, please send your checks to:

 

Jason Oakes

207 N. Main St.

Ephraim, UT 84627

 

We Moved to Ephraim

Another major change that came out of our meeting with the founders of Kaleo House is that we have moved to Ephraim, Utah. For those that don’t know, the house that our family lived in is owned by Kaleo House ministries. They have been extremely gracious to allow us to rent this home for the year that we have been in Utah for a very affordable price, but part of the new vision for Kaleo House involves other families living in this home, which means that we had to move.

 

We are very excited our new place. We now live five blocks away from my work, which means that I will be able to walk to work when it warms up. It also means that we are now living in the community where the majority of people that I have regular contact and spiritual discussions with live. From a financial perspective, this also means that our living expenses have increased by about $300 due to the increase in housing costs and now paying utilities.

 

“I’ve Never Met A Christian Before”

When we moved to Utah, I never would have believed that having a full-time job would increase my opportunities to share the gospel, but that is exactly what has happened. God has provided several opportunities to build relationships and have spiritual conversations with my coworkers, as well as the continued relationships we have been building in our old community in Manti with our neighbors and new friends. One of the common phrases that I hear is, “I’ve never met a Christian before.” It is hard to believe that this could be true in a state close to the center of the United States, but when these individuals share this with me, they are being completely honest. I’ll be sharing some of these conversations and opportunities to pray for individuals on the Facebook page.

 

Pray for the Andersons

Our friend Matthew Anderson and his family have settled into their new home in Spanish Fork, Utah, about an hour away from us. Matthew has a vision for planting churches in Utah that plant churches and making disciples that make disciples. You can learn more about their ministry at plantutah.com. The Andersons have started a Bible study in their home as well as a Transitions course for those coming out of the LDS church and transitioning toward Christianity.

 

Please pray about giving toward our cost of gas to be a part of Matthew’s new church plant. Every $20 you donate would allow us to be a part of this new church plant on Sunday evenings.

 

Bible Study in our Home

Amy and I had been discussing how it would be nice to have a Bible study in our home. Amy was on a walk one day with the kids and met another Christian family that lives a block away. She asked if they would like to have a Bible study in our home, and a week later they told us that they would like to. We’ve been meeting on Sunday nights for the last couple of months discussing grace. Since then, we’ve been blessed to have our LDS neighbor attend and to invite others of various beliefs. Our prayer is that others would join our study as the Lord leads. Until they feel comfortable coming to a Bible study, we’ve been inviting them over to dinner in a more relaxed setting.

 

Noah Turns 8

We cannot believe that our precious Noah is 8. It seems like it was just yesterday that he was the one toddling around the living room. Noah chose a Lego Ninjago theme for his party and it was a great chance to invite all of the friends that the boys have made.

 

Invited to Speak Again at Trinity

It looks like we’ll be making another trip to California in May as I received a call a couple of weeks ago from the Santa Fe Springs and Murrieta offices of Trinity Reprographics Worldwide. I had the opportunity to speak in their Murrieta location last January. Trinity is a company that believes in being a light in the marketplace, and one way they practice this is by holding weekly meetings where they invite Christian pastors and businessmen to share their testimony and a message that God has placed on their heart.

 

We had to place doing seminars and speaking at churches on hold for a period of time because I was working 65 hours a week. While I still have to work around my work schedule, it is still our desire to teach seminars. In fact, I’ve been able to work on some new seminar material as God has given me opportunities to speak and teach in our home Bible study.

 

We are planning a trip to Southern California from May 16 – 26. So far, there are potentially 5 different opportunities for me to speak in various churches while we are out there, not to mention visiting with family and friends that we miss very much. If you would like to donate toward the cost of this trip, send a check to the address we listed above. If you would like us to speak at your church, small group, youth group or homeschool group, you can find a list of our current seminar offers on our website.

 

Big, Big News!

I received an email from Dr. Motz at Bethel Seminary San Diego asking me to teach a “Sharing Jesus with the Cults” class for their in-ministry program during the Spring 2015 semester. He also stated that if enough people show interest in the course, that they would consider having me teach the course on the San Diego campus. Thank you to all of you who have been praying from the initial conversations through the syllabus creation stage until now. Please continue to pray that God would fill this course and that many believers will be equipped to share Jesus with those that are being deceived.