First Free Family,
This past week has felt quite different for us as we moved to staff primarily working from home. We have a small crew of people on-site each day to keep things there running smoothly and we are all hard at work to keep our ministry moving forward. Our staff has quickly adjusted to virtual meetings as we check in as a group each morning and then again most afternoons to continue intentionally praying for you. One of our prayers for all of us at First Free comes straight from Psalm 90: “So teach us to number our days that we might get a heart of wisdom.” We pray that you are using these days to allow the gospel to grow deep in your hearts and go wide through you as you look for opportunity to have conversations with people who may not know Christ.
Don’t miss these new resources on our COVID-19 Resource Page:
Three Ways to Pray the Psalms | Praying Psalm 90
Children’s Ministries Weekly Videos
Simeon Trust First Principles Class
March Giving Goal: $275,125
Still Needed to Meet Goal: $90,741
General Fund Giving Last Week: $29,757
Thank you for your continued generosity—we couldn’t do this without you. About 80% of our annual budget goes to supporting staff and missions partners, which doesn’t leave a lot of room to cut back on expenses. Additionally, our giving has been down about 35% the past two weeks as the majority of our giving usually comes through the offering on Sunday mornings. If you typically give on Sundays and would like help figuring out the best way to give during this time, feel free to give us a call or visit our Give page for options. Please also pray that God would continue to provide and give us wisdom in stewarding the resources he has entrusted to us!
Missions Partner Highlight
Beginning this week, we’ll be highlighting one of our missions partners in our weekly emails so you can learn more about their ministries and be praying for the gospel to go wide through their work.
Jesse and Monica Pauly serve with Greater Europe Mission in Rome, Italy. They aim to plant churches and equip national leaders. The Lord has prepared them for their ministry through unique experiences. Jesse grew up in Italy and came to faith through the work of local missionaries. Monica, daughter of Randell and Katy Harms, spent much of her childhood as a missionary kid in Brazil. They’ve shared the following prayer requests:
- Praise God that through the COVID-19 crisis, Jesse, Monica, and their teammates have seen some Italian atheists soften. Pray for atheists who have begun seeking God to find him!
- Praise God that although under strict quarantine guidelines, Jesse and Monica are safe and healthy. Continue to ask God to protect them and give the body of believers there creative ideas about how to best use their time.
- Pray for healthcare workers and volunteers who are overworked and under a great deal of stress as they care for those infected by disease.
- Pray for refugees in Italy who greatly feel the strain of quarantine. Many live in camps and sleep ten to twelve people to a room.
This coming Sunday we’ll be looking at Psalm 91. Take advantage of the extra time at home and read through it a couple times this weekend in preparation. We look forward to the day when we can gather again in person. Until then, “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!” (Ps. 90:17)
In the shadow of the Almighty,
Pastors Josh and Ron