This September Amy and I are starting a new season in our ministry as we launch into our second year at Bethel. Why are you spending so much time in training this far into your ministry? What are you going to do when you are done with Bethel? What is the focus of this year? These are all questions that we get over and over again, and we spend a lot of time asking ourlseves, that I can assure you. We moved to Bethel in August of 2015 with a clear word of the Lord that it was our next step and with a desire to get the culture out here. That is still very much on our heart after spending a year immersed in it. Our time here has challenged us to grow in our ministry expression and has been so refreshing for us. We are looking forward to another year of this happening. Right now we don’t have a clear “whats next” plan, but we do know this: the tallest trees grow in the midst of other tall trees. We are in a season of our life where we are running with people who are further ahead of us, and are challenging us to grow. This is a season of digging deep for us, and we can’t wait for God to show us what is next.
We have reached our goal, and in April we got our “new to us” car. Thanks so much to everyone who so generously donated to us!
Click below to hear about an exciting opportunity!
An exciting opportunity
We are really excited about an opportunity to buy a new (to us) car! A very generous supporter has extended a matching grant of $7,000 to help us with our transportation. So far we have received over $2,000 of this in gifts and pledges! Our blazer has been an incredible blessing to us (and many others) over the years, but now it is time to think about replacing it. Would you consider a tax deductible gift towards this need? You can give two ways:
Give online through PayPal:
Or you can mail a check made payable to “Gateway Ministries”. For proper tax deductible receipting of the gift our name CANNOT be anywhere on the check. Mail it to:
Gateway Ministries - Amos and Amy Ford
P. O. Box 574
St Clair, Mo. 63077
Just put a note in the envelope and indicate it is for our support. In order to keep costs low, and consequently enable them to give more of the support that comes in to the missionaries that it is indicated for, Gateway Ministries does not send a receipt out for each individual gift that is given. Rather, you will receive a receipt at the end of the year.
Thank you so much for your consideration and generosity! We will keep you updated on the exciting developments!
Since many of you sadly live too far away to visit and check out our new apartment, we will post a quick tour here. Enjoy, and please come stop in if you’re ever in Redding!
Closing out our stories from our time in Louisville I want to share about probably our best trip ever. We spent six weeks ministering in and around a small slum just on the edge of Cape Town, South Africa in January and February last year. During that time we were privileged to be part of over 22 baptisms, many confirmed healings, and over 60 people being lead to the Lord. It was an incredible season of ministry, but I want to focus in on one particular story from this time. It was a story of total transformation.
We met Shannon on the first day we started house visits, walking up to the old fence made of broken down pallets, scraps of metal and snarled pieces of wire we called out “hello, is anyone home?” She ducked under the laundry hanging over the small enclosed yard and walked to the gate “come on in.” She had just left an abusive relationship a few months before, and recently moved to the small neighborhood called Overcome. A ramshackle collection of tin shacks, garbage containers and the occasional ‘general store’. Shannon was very lonely, feeling isolated, as many did. The irony of it was incredible. So many people feeling loneliness in one of the most overcrowded places I have ever been. After sharing with her briefly about Jesus, and praying for her we were on our way. Looking over fences, peering through chicken wire, we made our way around our section of Overcome offering hope and friendship to a community ridden with fear and violence.
Over the next week we visited Shannon a few times, but the next Thursday morning we could tell something was different. She met us with a brilliant smile when we called over the fence. “Last night I met Jesus!” she shared with us. “Can you take me to Bible study tonight?” After dark it was extremely dangerous for a single woman to walk alone. We assured her we would come and pick her up and walk with her to the church where we were ministering that evening. This began a month long discipleship process. We began meeting with her regularly reading from the Bible together, and learning what it means to follow Jesus. One day while we were reading she had a question. “what does it mean to be baptized?” In her reading of the Bible she had snuck ahead and read about baptism.
This launched a Wednesday night class for the whole church to learn about following Jesus and baptism. There were 22 people interested in getting baptized, many of whom our YWAM team lead to the Lord. Our last Sunday we were in Overcome we used our “kombi’s” or mini vans to shuttle everyone from the Church to the beach for a baptism service. In a very african way we had three different stations and we baptized all 22, including Shannon.
The following week Shannon asked one of the girls on my team “Can I share something in the ladies Bible study?” This was going to be the second time the women from the community gathered together. We wanted to introduce these ladies to one another, many of whom struggled with the same issues of loneliness, fear and isolation. “Of course,” we said and she did a great job sharing the things God places on her heart.
Over our time in Overcome we had the privilege of walking with Shannon from the point of a hurt, timid woman who wasn’t even sure if she wanted anything to do with God, to seeing her sharing what God was doing and leading out in the Bible study. But this is my favorite part of the story: I didn’t really do anything. I was able to have the privilege of watching Samantha, Marin and Vania, three DTS students that I was leading walk with Shannon through this process. Don’t get me wrong, I had loads of opportunity to pour into peoples lives, and see them transformed while I was in Overcome. But with this particular story, I took the role of watching these three young women I was training, minister. It was very rewarding.
You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others. 2 Timothy 2:2
Leah came to DTS with a heart that was broken and hurting over the loss of her mother a year and a half before. She had so many questions but I think the biggest one was why. Her emotions had been stuffed down so far that they seemed frozen, but she was willing to let God move in her life. I remember so many heart wrenching conversations we would have of digging up the deep stuff from her heart and exposing it to God's love. Below is an excerpt from a blog she wrote after she graduated DTS about her time in DTS.
"It has been hard but oh, it has been so beautiful and exciting.
He took this heart and healed it. From my beginning, all I ever wanted to do with my life was help people, love on people. And he has taught me how. He healed the broken places of my heart I never wanted anyone to see. He held me as I expressed every emotion that had been pent-up for years. Sometimes I yelled and got really angry. Sometimes I cried. But oh, how faithful He was. He showed me freedom. He showed me a love deeper than I had ever felt. He plunged into the depths with me. I love going deep. Deep into the ocean and deep into hearts. And now I'm free, now I'm captured by a love that holds me in the sweetest of chains."
What a privilege it was to be part of something God was doing in her life and so many more. Over the past eight years at YWAM Louisville we were able to partner with God in what He was doing in the lives of our students. And we saw so many people set free, healed, know God more intimately and hear Him for the first time. Honestly, it's been our favorite part of this whole time in YWAM!
Currently Leah is back at home with her family getting ready to go to college in the Fall. She wants to get a degree in counseling so she can help set others free!
Amos & Amy Ford
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