SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2018

 

 

12/22/17

Merry Christmas!

                                                        

Merry Christmas Family and Friends,

We hope you are well as you prepare to celebrate our Lord’s birth. It is during this time of celebration that we would like to share our Praise Report of the Lord’s work throughout 2017.

There continues to be an overflow of thankfulness from 2016 into this year for all that the Lord is doing through the ministry, the volunteers and those we serve. The momentum that continues can be summed up in two words, “patience and duplication”.  As the message of the gospel continues to be spread both in word and action, those we serve in the local community, Atlantic City, Haiti and Albania are both encouraged and an encouragement. Here is a brief summary of this past year…

God is up to something great at the Maple Leaf Tutoring Program in Brick! It has been 5 years since we began this program and this past year we have felt a deeper embrace from the students and their families. We have seen students, now seniors in HS, return to tell us how they are doing and where they are going to college. One student in particular was once someone we struggled with for years because of a strong personality and lack of respect for authority. Recently he has been stopping by to just sit and talk with us telling us how he has changed and occasionally looking over to the younger students telling them the importance of studying and doing well in school.

As the Gospel continues to be taught at the once a month Bible Club, each Tuesday there are opportunities to share the love of Jesus and we see the children’s positive response. One of the highlights this year was when we took 5 ML students and one grandma on our AC Mission Trip! Through a generous scholarship, the 5 students were given the opportunity to share the love of Jesus in a community that they saw as very dark and a bit scary. It was so wonderful that their parents trust us to take their children on such a trip. Four of the five already knew the Lord and the firth came to Christ while on the trip and they all continue to be lights in their community and school! We also saw one of our ML mom’s invite a friend to True Life Church back in the summer and she came to know the Lord and was baptized and now she is serving in the church and bringing a friend with her each week.

Without the deep commitment and volunteer base, we would not be able to be the light of Jesus in this community! There are so many to thank for all they contribute throughout the year…

Thank you to Allaire Community Farm and True Life Church for the VBS that enabled so many to hear the gospel; Grace Bible Church for your soccer clinic and soccer camps; St. Paul’s Methodist Church for your summer VBS and knit hats & scarfs for the children at Christmas; and all the volunteers from the area churches that include Calvary Presbyterian, Crosspoint Chapel, Life Chapel, St. Paul’s Methodist, and True Life Church… patience and duplication

God continues to shine bright in Atlantic City too! Our partnership with New City Fellowship Church joined in the celebration of the 5 Maple Leaf students and one grandma who served in AC this summer. This summer was our 6th mission trip and the team showed how Jesus is love and hope to all we came in contact with. Our 3-night Bible Club at Carver Hall was special because it was our 3rd time there and we (those who had been there before) were able to see the positive growth and light that is growing out of the darkness due to the continued efforts and prayers from New City Fellowship and the summer UMT teams.

At the beginning of December we had our first Maple Leaf / Atlantic City Volunteer Dinner at the Maple Leaf Clubhouse. All the pastors and overseers from AC joined the volunteers and past AC team members for a night of fellowship, food and encouragement. The highlight of the evening was when one of our team members, Rebecca, now 22, who has been going to AC for several years, approached Pastor Santo and myself to ask if she could lead her own team to AC in 2018. We both gave her a big YES! Rebecca has been doing ministry since she was 8 years old and since high school has been coming with us to Haiti and AC, what a blessing!… patience and duplication

Our ministry in Albania is another highlight of God’s patience and duplication

Over the past few years we have helped two students go through seminary and this past year they have both started their own churches. The churches are growing quickly and many are coming to Christ. Albania is 98% Muslim and yet they are thirsty to hear the Truth and with the commitment in Albania through Pastor Plator and state side with Mike Durante, God’s word is transforming lives! This summer we helped provide another VBS in a town of Albania where over 250 children came out each day to hear the gospel. Many lives were changed! SOFM is looking to go to Albania in 2018 to see how it may look to bring teams over in the future.

And then there is Haiti… This past year brought more encouraging news about the ministry. St. Paul’s, who came with us 4 years ago, continues to go down each Jan/Feb and provide much needed support through Bible Camps and work projects. With our partnership with Aslan Youth Ministry, St. Paul’s is another partner who has the same vision to see Jesus change hearts in Haiti one person at a time.

In July we returned to Haiti with a team consisting of many repeat team members and some brand new ones. Two in particular blessed the children at the Bible Camp by teaching them a dance. The kids loved it! It was special to see hundreds of children dancing, laughing and smiling in the midst of what many would see as ‘hopeless’. Yet, with Jesus leading the way and providing so much for the community of Lac’ajue, the children and adults have much to celebrate!

50 Children received new sneakers again this year through the generosity of Grace Methodist of Wyckoff. Reusable diapers and sun dresses were provided by one of our team members and her church family in South Carolina. Our team also provided lunch for the 250 children at Bible Camp as well as a day at the beach as a graduation gift to those who graduated to the next grade level. For the first time we taught English to the youth, along with discipleship, and it was a huge blessing; we are going to continue to do this over the year with the various teams that go down. The beautiful Clean Water Project donation from last year has been providing clean water for the people of Lac’ajue and the new bathrooms will be completed soon and used every time there are activities on the Aslan property.

Some of the near future endeavors include providing sewing machines so people of Lac’ajue can use them to make a living and slowly transitioning our Grains of Grace Feeding Program from only rice & bean to that of livestock which will provide a more substantial food source.

In addition, through your support we continue to bless the children at Danita’s Orphanage through our New Shoe Collection each January, supplying a pair of new shoes to their 100+ children. Also with your help through our ongoing Nutrition Supplement Sponsorship Program we are currently supporting 35 of Danita’s children.

Our Education Sponsorship continues to provide education for both Haitian and Albanian students.  With 40 Haitian students going to primary school, three Haitian students enrolled in college and one Albanian student finishing college in Albania.

Finally, a shared vision in SOFM has been to see the Lord raise up future missionaries and those with the desire to serve Him. Sophia, who first went to Haiti at the age of 14, has returned each year with the desire to one day be a missionary. Tara, two years ago came with us for the first time and she is in nursing school. The two of them are planning to be the first Aslan Interns this summer and spend 6 weeks serving the people of Lac’ajue…patience and duplication

 We are so grateful for your participation in the various ministries and your prayers. None of this would be possible without the generous donations and involvement by people like you. We are so thankful for you and your desire to support the ministry of Step of Faith.

We pray that you would have a joyful Christmas season and look forward to continuing our relationship with you in 2018!

Serving Him Together,

Bobby, Ann, Karen, Sue, Nicole, Ron & Pam

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Contact Step of Faith

    Step of Faith Ministry, Inc.
    PO Box 805
    Brick, NJ 08723
    United States of America