Greetings from Vermont in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!This summer has moved at a frantic pace, and we are delighted to be able to take a pause and share all that has transpired in Northfield, Vermont!A GRAND OPENING!Many changes have been made to the storefront property in the past three months. We were delighted to welcome Ebenezer Baptist Church from Toccoa, GA, who came to help with major renovations. They created new spaces for a foyer, handicapped bathroom, and kitchen. They put sheet rock and insulation in a back room that we use for our Kids Church ministry. All of these essential changes were completed in less than five days. We also had a volunteer team from Immanuel Baptist Church in Greensboro, NC complete the majority of our painting as well as prayerwalking and surveying in our town. Much more work is still ahead of us, but we are so thankful for the foundational work they took on. Please see the end of this newsletter for how you can be involved in the completion of this work!
We started meeting in our new storefront space in mid-June, but we had our Grand Opening on August 5. We invited the community to join us for this time of celebration through word-of-mouth, hanging signs around town, and making personal visits to homes in town. Our efforts were shown through the fact that we had 66 people attend this service! Many of these families are still attending with us.
Our numbers have continued to grow as our college students are back in town. With a new year comes a new influx of freshmen students. Our current students have spread the word on campus about our church. Many new students are attending, so much so that our attendance has reached as high as 86 in the last few weeks! We have had to put out all the new chairs we ordered in order to make room for this growth!
LABOR DAY OUTREACH A SUCCESS!
The members of our church were joined by Shades Mountain Baptist Church of Birmingham, Alabama, who sent a high-energy team of senior adults up to help us with our Labor Day outreach. The 3-day Labor Day Festival is the largest gathering of people Northfield has throughout the year. This year, they estimated as many as 10,000 people attended the festivities at some point during the weekend (and for a town of 7,000 when the college classes are in session, that’s really something!).
We set up a booth during the festival, and handed out 500 free goodie bags for children and we asked people to sign up for free giveaways on the last day of the festival including a 42 inch Flat screen TV donated by our guest mission team. We received over 120 forms from this effort. Many also people requested information about our church. We also used Solarium by Campus Crusade and other street witnessing tools to share the Gospel with people visiting our booth. At least two people prayed to receive Christ and we have already seen a few families and individuals check out our church as a result of this weekend. Pray that we will be able to make contact with those who requested prayer and personal visits.
UPWARD SOCCER AND CHEERLEADING CAMP AT ALL-TIME HIGH
When Ebenezer Baptist Church came, they not only brought a renovation team, they also brought a group of teens to help us run our annual Soccer Camp. This year we decided to add a cheerleading camp as well. We had 54 children registered for the camp. Many families from the surrounding areas were represented. We had many parents report that their children had so much fun that they wanted us to have the camp for two weeks instead of one! Other parents communicated their joy over seeing their children grow in self-confidence. We were able to share the gospel with the children and a few expressed a desire to know more about God. One child came back and said that she had invited Jesus into her heart the night before!
TEENS EXPERIENCE REVIVAL
The Ebenezer team from Georgia really outdid themselves as the very teens who worked with our camps in the mornings came back in the afternoons and evenings to work with our teenagers. The relationships they developed with them were essential as many of the teenagers in our area have very little in the way of examples of Godly lives.
Our teens followed up that week with another week of Bible study and fellowship at a sister church in Barre. This event, Youth Explosion, has been held for five years now. They had almost 120 teens in attendance. Our teens came back heavily impacted by both events.
The teens took over the service the next Sunday and led out in worship and testimonies. All of us in attendance were dramatically affected by the stories they had to share. The teens spoke of lives impacted by divorce, drug use, a parent in prison, suicide attempts, and bullying. These stories are not unique to our area, but we are looking for ways to help these teens navigate through their specific set of circumstances. Please be in prayer for our teenagers, and pray for us as we minister to them.