Hello brothers and sisters, I have not posted much lately but I believe this is important. My dear friend Jason and his wife Mandi are with the Navigators on the Utah State University campus. Please read and pray as you are led.
Blessings in Christ~Alan
Hey there dear praying friends!
Hope this note finds you doing well. As we have launched into another semester here at USU, I have found myself so far experiencing a heightened sense of what we are up against here in trying to reach LDS students with the true gospel of Christ. To be honest, it has at times been a bit overwhelming. I feel as if my eyes have been opened a bit wider to the fierceness of our enemy, and to the severity/intensity of his deceptive powers as they are applied and directed towards those residing here.
The words of Psalm 42:11, therefore, have meant so much to me lately - "Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? HOPE IN GOD, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance, and my God." Ministry-wise, I want more than anything for this verse to be the "song" of our semester... As I engage in conversations with LDS students, I want my hope be in God.... As I work with believing men and women here, seeking to raise up future laborers for the Kingdom, I want my hope be in God... As I pray for this campus, and as I seek to enlist others to do the same, I want my hope to be in God!!
With this in mind, here are a few ways that we would love to ask you to PRAY WITH HOPE IN GOD for us in the next few days and weeks -
<> Please continue to pray for Andrew, the young LDS freshman whom I have been reading thru Romans with. We are continuing to meet up on Friday afternoons, and he seems to still be hungry to dive into the meat and potatoes of Paul's letter. I have been "turning up the heat" with him lately, getting more and more "in his face" (lovingly, of course) about the significant differences that are bubbling to the surface regarding LDS and Christian views on salvation, forgiveness of sins, grace, etc. He has been noticeably struck by these differences, but he has also not made any drastic moves (either towards me or away from me) as a result. One the one hand, this is kind of surprising to me.... but on the other hand, not so much. Please pray that I will have wisdom from the Lord to know how to proceed, what key thoughts to bring up, questions to ask, etc. Pray that I will just be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leading during our times of hanging out together, and that I will just be able to love Andrew as Jesus would...
<> Please pray for a friendship that I have developed with Jordan, another LDS student whom I met through a believing friend here at USU. He is a RM (returned missionary - served his mission in the Netherlands) and he's been married for about two years. Our relationship began over the Christmas break through playing a few games of racquetball together, but has escalated rather quickly since we started attending two LDS Institute classes together this semester (at my request, which I think wierded him out pretty good!) =) We've been sitting down and talking after the last few classes (including today's), and I've been able to throw some pretty challenging ideas & questions his way. I would probably classify him as a "hesitant seeker", in that he seems more eager than most students that I've come across to know what I think about the things we cover in class (I attach the "hesitant" part on there because I also pick up in him a bit of uneasiness, as if there's something inside him telling him that he probably shouldn't be conversing with me at all!) Please pray that as we dive into the Word of God together it will truly penetrate his heart and mind, and please pray that I'll be able to continue to grow a strong friendship with this young man.
<> I'd love to ask for you to also pray for Ricky and Cole, two young men whom I conversed with on Friday in the lounge of the Institute building. Both are RM's, and both were more than willing to entertain this goofy looking bald dude who walked up to them and asked them a question about a particular Book of Mormon passage. We ended up talking for over an hour, and they expressed an interest in talking with me further, giving me their contact info before we parted ways. I plan to try and contact them tomorrow.... Would you please pray that the Lord will lay on their hearts a desire for further conversation, so that I can continue to build relationships and share the gospel with these two men?
<> Lastly, would appreciate any prayers y'all could muster for Mandi and I, as (Lord willing) we will be getting the opportunity this weekend to fly to Southern Cal for a Nav staff marriage retreat! Please pray for safe travels, good health for the three girls (and for babysitting Nana coming in from CA!) while we're away, and for just a blessed, quality time away for the two of us.
We are so blessed by your support and prayers, dear friends! To Him alone be the glory!
- Jason (for all)