Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Please Pray for our Church

To Pray for at Immanuel Baptist Church (Louisville, KY)-- I haven't said anything until now, but this is something we as a church have been struggling with for the past 2 weeks. It hits close to home for Ryan & I, as we're in the Fullerton's Care Group and count their children very dear (and Ryan & Christy just did our wedding/counseling), I teach Alexis King at school, and well... you all know our relationship to the Shueys...

So it's been hard to watch them all hurt and to feel their pain.

Oh yes, and ...I have strep throat. :( So pray for Ryan & me, too. :)

Our pastors and their families:
-- Ryan & Christy Fullerton: Ryan, our preaching pastor, and his wife Christy were expecting their 4th baby when Christy was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. She has since had a healthy baby boy, Christopher Jones (healthy and "perfect" despite being born 1 month early) and has undergone further tests. The test results are not encouraging at all, and every course of action doctors suggest is invasive and intense. Please pray for healing for Christy! God can heal miraculously at any time! In the meantime, pray for Ryan & Christy's souls as they wrestle to hold on to faith in God's goodness and His care for His church. Pray for wisdom in discerning the best course of action, and for strength to face whatever comes. Pray for their 4 children, Jordanna (6), Luke (4), James (1) and Christopher (1 week), whom Christy homeschooled, that they would be cared for and comforted, that God might even bring salvation to the older ones through this. And pray for Ryan, as he bears the suffering of his wife, the responsibility of a family, and feels the weight of a Shepherd of souls. Praise God that spiritually they are doing well, by God's grace, and are determined to cling to Him and publicly proclaim His wisdom and goodness.

--Jeff & Christy King: Jeff, our counseling pastor, has served for the past 9 months through increasingly debilitating physical ailments. He was hospitalized and released in July, with no conclusions. Finally, last week his spleen was removed (it weighed 5 lbs!), and tests point towards rhematoid arthritis. Since the surgery, he is feeling much better overall, and we are all relieved that cancer, though it was at first feared, seems ruled out. He seems to be recovering well, and is a testimony to his doctors and fellow patients. However, he isn't "out of the woods" yet, and much remains to be seen. Pray especially for his wife Christy as she labors to serve and care for him as well as their two daughters, Alexis (4) and Rachel (2)-- she has been essentially a single parent as well as a caregiving wife. Praise God for His mercy in Jeff's recovery this far!

--Dave & Sina Shuey:
As our only non-hospitalized elder's family, the Shueys are under quite a heavy burden. Somewhat ironically, Dave is also the only unpaid pastor. Pray for him as he feels more than ever the weight of pastoring a church, all the while juggling work, family and school as well. Pray for Sina as she seeks to help and support him. Praise God that He has raised and is raising up other men to share the burden with Dave: three men were nominated for elder at our last business meeting, and a deacon as well. Our Care Group system has also been a great help in this case. Please pray for all our leaders here at Immanuel, that the Vision for our community and world will not stop or lag at all. May the Gospel be central always, even now! Pray for our congregation, that we would be encouragers, especially of our leaders, and bear any hardship with praise rather than complaints.

"The LORD is faithful to all His promises, and loving towards all He has made." Psalm 145:13

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