Las Vegas Valley consists of approximately 600 square miles and just under 2 million people in residence.
Those numbers are staggering to me, moving here from Rogers, AR, where the square mileage in Northwest Arkansas (Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville and the surrounding areas) is only around 200 square miles total.
You have probably heard in the news more than once lately that Las Vegas is one of the hardest hit cities in America on the financial front. Foreclosure signs are everywhere, no neighborhood is exempt. Coorperations and casinos are going under left and right. Though part of me is glad that a casino doesn't succeed, I am also saddened, knowing 100's if not 1000's of lives are effected by their demise. Most recently in the news is MGM-Mirage. They are looking towards bankrupcy, which will effect 1000's of people. They own multiple casinos and resorts in the city, and were slated to open "City Center" this fall, promising 100's of families a chance of a new career.
People need prayer now more than ever. People need to hear about and discover the saving power of Jesus Christ. As all hope seems lost, we need to reach out with The Hope.
I mentioned in my last post the "Crosswalk", where Southern Baptist churches across the valley would join together to prayer-walk across the city, praying for the businesses, homes and lives we passed along the way. I wanted to share with you the final numbers for that day.
26 churches participated, with 325 prayer-walkers walking 775 miles! Isn't God awesome!?! People all across the valley were joined together in prayer for those 2 hours, lifting up our community to the Lord, prayerfully looking for opportunities to reach out to desperately needing people.
Reaching out to our community is the heartbeat of Northstar. Our pastoral staff has a heart for reaching the lost for Jesus and are infusing their vision into our church. Easter Sunday we had a neighborhood egg hunt with free food and games. The service was held outdoors and was very upbeat. We had 5 baptisms planned for the end of service. Five people gave their lives to Christ during our service and we ended up baptizing 8 people that day instead! What an amazing time in the Lord.
We were also able to form relationships with some area businesses who donated gift certificates for kid's meals and % off at their restaurants. We hope to continue and flourish these relationships in order to reach them as well as more in our community.
God has been blessing Northstar in 2009. We have now seen around 12 people come to the cross and profess their faith in Christ. Seven of those are part of our church family, including 3 children.
We see the spirit moving and are humbled and grateful to be a part of it!
I do ask for prayer for the spiritual warfare that always follows great victories in Christ's kingdom. Where God is moving Satan will always attack; and attack he has. We have several families in our church being attacked by the enemy, our family being one of them. I have chosen to count it as a blessing, however, because I know the enemy wouldn't be concerned if God wasn't moving in amazing ways! Please keep us and the other families of Northstar in your prayers for our spiritual, physical and emotional well-being.
Our family is claiming the name of JEHOVAH-NISSI, The Lord is my banner, my victory.
Jake will be going with the rest of the pastoral staff to Catalyst, a pastor's conference in CA. April 23-24. Please be praying for their travel safety and for the conference as well. Pray by name for Mike, Lead Pastor; Jake, Children's Pastor; Jeremy, Youth Pastor; and Jason, Praise and Worship Leader.
What an amazing group of men God has assembled to lead our church. Remember to lift them up and as you do, remember to lift up your own pastoral staff. It is Biblical to pray for our leaders, and they need and covet those prayers.
JD and Cora getting ready for our Easter service and egg hunt
We laid out around 2,000 eggs, with prizes in them ranging from candy to gift certificates to local restaurants to gift cards for Wal-Mart.
Thank you, as always, for partnering with us in prayer. You are an intregal part of our ministry!