It is with great joy that I come to you today from Anchorage, Alaska! My husband, Derek, and I flew into Anchorage Airport on Friday afternoon. We are thrilled to be here with the family and to be involved in the ministry here. Soon after we got in, we volunteered to serve the dinner meal at the Women’s Shelter. It was a joy to see several that I had met when I was here in the beginning of 2016. Being here in person has given me a whole new appreciation for the reports I hear and share on a weekly basis.
We had around 70 people at Hope Church this Sunday. Derek and I were privileged to join Julie, Jalisa & Joy in the time of worship through song. Afterward, Bro. Martin preached on the facts of the Resurrection and the personal faith we should have in the Resurrection. At the close of the message, 3 people came up for prayer. One of these that came forward was Danielle*. It was her first time at Hope Church. I lead her in a prayer for salvation and she came up later and said, “Thank you for praying with me. I came here heavy, but feel so much better now!"
I talked with Edith* before the service. She shared with me how she was bound by alcohol, but wanted to be free. I talked with her about how we can’t overcome in our own strength, but we must trust God’s power. She thanked me for sharing hope with her.
A precious couple whom we have shared about before, told us how they felt the Lord lead them to Hope Church. I could sense from the time I met them on Sunday morning, they were there to push the service and and be of help in any way they could. Kathy is Julie’s right hand helper in the kitchen and both her and Bill carry a burden to see the precious people that attend Hope Church find the Lord in a personal way. Joy shared concerning them, “They are such a blessing to us!"
Where would Jesus be if He came to Anchorage in person?
As I talked with Bill on Sunday morning after church, he asked me the question above. It has resounded in my heart along with these scriptures.
Matthew 9:11-13 "And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
Luke 4:18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and the recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised."
Based on these scriptures, I answered Bill, "Jesus would be here with the broken."
Thank you so much for your support of the Martin family! I can say by firsthand experience, they are doing a great work here. Looking forward to sharing more!
God bless you! Joanna Rich, Ministry Assistant