Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ministry during the World Cup Freestyle

On Jan 18-20, North Country Ministries (NCM) partnered with teams from The Outpouring Church (NY) and Dunnellon Christian Academy (FL) to serve at the World Cup Freestyle Skiing and Ski Jumping event in Lake Placid. We served as volunteers at the event, and brought with us goody bags, hand warmers, and cowbells, and prayed for opportunities to share with people the good news of Jesus Christ. Over 30 people in all from Lake Placid, Oswego and Dunnellon served together. We made over 400 outreach contacts during the weekend, planting many seeds of evangelism in the hearts of people.

In addition to ministry at the event, the team from Oswego worked with us at a coffee house for international students at Lake Placid Baptist Church (LPBC), part of the NCM ministry Hospitality to Internationals. And, they helped to lead the worship service at Lake Champlain Bible Fellowship on Sunday morning, Jan 20. They also joined in with the LPBC college/career group to watch the NFC Championship game, watching the NY Giants defeat the Green Bay Packers.

The team from Dunnellon sang during the Sunday morning worship service at LPBC, then hung out with the LPBC teens for the football game that night. We ate some pizza, watched some football, and had a great time of Christian fellowship.

On Sunday morning, during the worship service at LPBC, a young couple made a public declaration of their faith in Jesus Christ - they had just given their lives to Christ on the Thursday before. Praise God.

We praise God for the opportunity to serve our community, to serve at some amazing winter sports events, and to share the good news of Jesus Christ with those who live, visit, work and play in the North Country.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Happy New Year from Lake Placid, NY

Thanks for praying for us! 2007 has been a wonderful year for ministry in Lake Placid, and we look forward to all that 2008 has in store.

* The Lord keeps adding to His church family here in Lake Placid. Praise God for salvations and baptisms recently, as well as those who have joined by letter. One person who was baptized was a college student from Taiwan (Emily) who worked in Lake Placid for a few months this summer/fall.

* Praise God for our new, developing ministry to international students who are working in our area for a few months -- Hospitality to Internationals (HI). More on this at Praise God for Susan, an LPBC member, who is leading the HI ministry.
* Praise God for outreach during the World Cup Bobsled & Skeleton in December. We had many chances to sow seeds of evangelism and share the gospel of Christ as we served at that winter sports event. One quick story: one day of training was particularly cold, and the ice track was particularly fast. A few of the bobsleds had crashed going down for their training run. One of the US bobsled drivers came up to me and asked for prayer because he was nervous, and didn't want to crash. (Would you want to crash going 70+ mph down a mile-long ice track??) Anyway, the Lord had given me Proverbs 3:5-6 to meditate on that morning: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." I encouraged John, the bobsled driver, who attends our Athletes Bible Study, to trust in the Lord for protection, and assured him that I would pray for him. Praise God, John's team went down the track flawlessly; the Lord protected them. And not only that, but no one else crashed the rest of the day! John was so excited that he told the head track director, who told his boss and everyone else he could tell. When I arrived at the track the next day, the story was out about how the Lord had answered that prayer for safety. Praise God!

* Praise God for sending Jeff & Susan Gray and their family to serve Christ with us in Lake Placid. Jeff will serve as associate pastor of LPBC, with his main two areas of focus being: ministry to young adults (20s), and overseeing our ministry to children. Praise God that HE has miraculously provided the funding so that Jeff can begin serving here January 1, 2008. Pray for the Grays, that their house in GA will sell quickly, so that Susan and their three sons can move here with Jeff soon!

* Praise God for LPBC members Shawn & Lisa Holes, and family, who have been called into full-time evangelism ministry. They feel called to take the gospel to people on street corners, college campuses and in churches. Shawn was ordained by LPBC in October - praise God. They have spent time in Texas this fall, and will be traveling to the Southeast in Feb-Mar-Apr. Then to New York City for the spring/summer. Let me know if your church would like to have them come to your area to evangelize with you.

* Praise God for our family. God continues to bless us in so many ways. See the attached picture to see how the kids are growing!

* Praise God that in the past year, we have been part of the Lord's work to reach people for Christ and encourage believers from Great Britain, Japan, Taiwan, Dominican Republic, Russia, and Canada, all through ministries in our community.

* Praise God for the continued growth of Lake Champlain Bible Fellowship, the new church we helped start in the Moriah/Mineville, NY area. They baptized 4 new believers in October! Keep praying for church planter Keith Savage and his wife, Carrie, and their baby-on-the-way. Check out their website:

* In the midst of God's blessings, Satan is at work, attacking the families of our area. Pray for protection for the Christian families.

* Pray for a "person of peace" for each of the following winter sports, who can help us get the gospel to athletes from all over the world: luge, snowboarding, ski jumping, hockey, and skiing. * Pray for the continued growth of the Athletes Bible Study, that meets weekly at the Olympic Training Center.

* Pray for Molly, the wife of our youth pastor, Ryan. Molly is pregnant (due in March), and is having medical problems with her kidneys. Pray that she and the baby in her womb will be healthy.

* Pray that our new Hospitality to Internationals ministry will be effective in sharing Christ with these students, and that the Lord will help us as we "go and make disciples" for Jesus Christ.

* Pray for outreach during the following winter events:
World Cup Freestyle Skiing and Ski Jumping -- Jan 18-20, 2008
Jr. Luge World Championships -- Feb 4-8, 2008
World Cup Snowboarding -- Feb 25-Mar 3, 2008
Nor-Am Alpine Skiing Championships -- Mar 13-16, 2008

* We still need a few mission teams for the following events/dates in 2008, if your church is interested:
Jr. Luge World Championships (Feb 4-8, 2008)
Nor-Am Alpine Skiing Championships (Mar 13-16, 2008)
Ministry with our church plant in the Moriah/Mineville area (summer 2008)

* Many of you may be on Facebook already. If so, search for our "North Country Ministries" group and join us. Also, feel free to send me a "Friend request." And, while you are on my page on Facebook, take a look at the video of Emily's baptism, the girl from Taiwan. Keep on praying!!

For HIS glory,
The Spains