In Ministry, Fellowship and Prayer
By Aaron Rutledge
Associate Pastor – Living Faith Community Church
PHILOMATH, Oregon – Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” I think that Ford was on to something – Partnerships are vital.
Living Faith Community Church has enjoyed a partnership with Kandava Baptist Church in Kandava, Latvia for over 16 years. During this time, members of each congregation have traveled to visit each other, partnering in ministry and fellowship.
Youth camps, street evangelism, concerts, assisted-living ministry and short distance missions have been a regular part of our partnership throughout these fruitful years.
Winter 2016 found members of Living Faith Community Church traveling to Latvia. Here, we facilitated hosting the “Love and Respect” seminars for couples at Kandava Baptist Church. We prayed; God provided. Attendance was strong and God used this time to help couples grow in their love for each other and Him.
The trip also included short term missions to the region of Vidzeme: To share the Gospel with young people and to develop relationships with leaders in the community. Approximately one month and a half later, a group from Kandava Baptist followed up with a Christmas concert in the area. Many from the community attended and were blessed by the concert and Gospel message.
Technology has changed life, and that applies to ministry too! With increased availability of internet and tech software like Skype, communication has improved immensely. We are now able to communicate at least once a month using Skype. We spend much more time obtaining details about our partner church and the day-to-day life in ministry. We are also able to pray together in large groups. The ability to draw church members regularly together through prayer is instrumental in keeping both church families active in the partnership. This also facilitates communication with others in our extended church family.
We implement an important partnership update every 6 weeks on Sunday mornings in our church service at Living Faith. I hope to integrate real time conversation with pastor Oskars and his wife Erika at some point in the near future. Through this consistent communication, our church family has delighted in the opportunity to pray for specific needs and initiate connection between church families.
We have seen many good things happen as a result… Such as the recent answered prayer for a new church van for Kandava Baptist in time for a large church camp at the Baltic Sea. Thirteen people were baptized at the camp! The van was instrumental in transpiring many to the camp property.
We look forward to all that God will do in the coming years with our partnership.
Thanks to BBI and Chuck Kelly for their continued guidance and encouragement in our church partnership. Thank God for making the distance between us seem so insignificant in comparison to the great work He is doing!