Reaping the harvest in Phoenix

By Jeffrey Stachmus, pastor, First Baptist Church, Garden Lakes, Avondale –

As pastor of a church in the shadow of the University of Phoenix Stadium, I was expectantly waiting to see how God would use the Southern Baptist Crossover week and the Harvest America event that was to take place there. I attended the planning meetings, rallied my church family to serve, and then waited for the week to come. I really had no idea what kind of impact this week would have on me or the Kingdom.

Because of your Cooperative Program giving, our church was able to partner with Southern Baptist students in going door to door in our area, sharing Jesus Christ, inviting people to the Harvest America event and to our local churches. Your CP dollar helped two people come to Christ and hundreds of gospel conversations take place.

My favorite part of Crossover week was witnessing my 13-year-old daughter boldly share her faith. She joined a group of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary students, separate from me, during our night of Crossover evangelism. Imagine that, a teen choosing a group of students over her dad. It was a proud moment for this dad, seeing my daughter be confident in sharing her faith.

The night of the Harvest America event at the stadium, I had a completely different experience. Our family signed up to serve as floor counselors and pray with folks who made decisions for Christ. Because the event was well staffed, Joy and I were unable to connect with anyone in need of counseling. But God was busy on our church campus, just a few miles away, where 25 souls attended a live simulcast of the event, including 8 first-time visitors. Two of these guests made professions of faith and were ministered to by our church on-site team leaders.

God may not always work the way we anticipate, but God is always at work. Our Cooperative Program giving ensures that the kingdom work goes on, in our state, our nation and around the world.

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