Wednesday, February 4, 2009

~Hello Friends and Family~

We are so very thankful for what God has done over the last 6 months out here in Bend, Oregon. It truly is neat to see how we've been given a new building to meet in both on Sunday and Wednesday evenings. Our last meeting arrangement only allowed us to meet on Sundays and Wednesdays and the Tittles allowed us to meet in their living room. However, the new building is on ground level, unlike our last place, and is wheel chair accessible. Someone that doesn't even come to our church is the one who told us of the new building when we had already exhausted every lead we had. The price of the building is a plus as well! We are now able to meet on both Sundays and Wednesdays for the same price as our last building which we only used on Sundays. Wow! Isn't it neat how God works. It was so fun to see ow everyone really came together to work on getting the new building ready for our first service. We have a couple of seamstresses, a few with computer knowledge, many who have lived in Bend and know its resources well, a woodworker, who made a beautiful pulpit, and a lot of willing hands. The location is extremely convenient and there is much parking. We really are so blessed. Mark is finishing up the book of Mark and starting a study in Daniel during our Sunday school hour and John is ready to start a series dealing with the marks of a healthy church. On Wednesdays we are beginning a course in discipleship.
One of the main problems we see in Bend, very typically of the spiritual climate in Oregon, folks aren't committed to church, a relationship with God, or the reading of God's Bible. It has been exciting to see an increase of faithfulness to church and also to the Bible. John and Jennifer are meeting weekly with a young athletic coupe, JJ and Melissa, for a discipleship class. It has been a blessing to both them and John and Jennifer. Mark and I are encouraged by their growth and excitement. This friendship that is being built is a blessing to each of us. Mark is continually having opportunities at Summit High school. Patrick, the campus monitor, and Mark have met several times to discuss salvation. Haley is a girl who I've had the privilege of meeting. She lives in our apartment complex and is a very intelligent person who believes in reincarnation. She has been exposed to many different religions and come to certain beliefs that she'd rather not talk about. It has been real neat to build a relationship with her. She calls me regularly throughout the week and we try to get together as much as we can.
The Short family have been a huge help and encouragement to us. Mark and I meet for a Bible study on Sunday nights with Susanna, Priscilla, David, and Terik. They each truly have a desire and hunger to grow in the Lord. This is a treasure and a challenge for Mark and I to be growing spiritually daily. Early in December, Cindy Short, Mom of 8, had an emergency open heart surgery. She had an aneurysm in her aortic artery. This was quite a test for all of us and our small church. 85% of the people that are diagnosed with this don't even make it to the hospital. She is presently working on getting off her pain medicine. The church had a great opportunity to exercise their services with meals and rides for the family and children. I love to see how God uses these things in our lives to bind people together.
I just wanted to thank each of you for the time, energy, money, training, and prayers that you have invested in my life. I pray that we'll be a willing vessel that the Lord can use out here in Bend. This will be fruit to your account. We are praying for Calvary, Northwoods, Fourth, Westhills, and Open Door Baptist Church. Let us know how we can better pray for you. It's too busy to be homesick, but I miss you and think of happy thoughts and praise to the Lord when I think of home.
May this week find you rejoicing in the rich treasure of God's Word and the hope and peace we have through the blessings of Christ.

Love and Prayers,
Mark and Amy Stamper

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Here are some of our friends

John, Jennifer, and Carson and Baby!
Mark and Me

Addie and Corey

Karen and Kevin Kitchen

Alex, Lilly, and Josh Beard

JJ and Melissa Johnson

Jennifer and Allyson

Kathie and Mary

Our New Church Location

There will be more pictures to come, but here are a few shots
of our new meeting place. It was exactly what we were looking for
but God is the one who opened the doors. We didn't know where else in
Bend to look for a meeting place, but this showed up at the perfect time.

The back walls were kind of scraped up a bit so we decided to cover them!
This is Art Lowery. He is the one who hand crafted to pulpit which you will see
in the other pictures to follow.

Super Bowl

Yep! This is me and my Lovely Husband. We enjoyed a fun time with many of the young adults over at our house on Sunday for the Super Bowl.

Of Course, we enjoyed the 3D glasses brought by Susanna Short. Thanks!

Cortney and Lauren Kitchen- glad you could come!

Man O Man! What a Knock out!!!
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Saturday in Sisters

When I visited Mark September 07 while we were dating, he brought me to town north of Bend. The town is called Sisters. It is adorable with fun gift shops and antique stores, a world class bakery and a Mexican restaurant to die for. Well, a year and a half later Mark and I decided we should give this town and the restaurant another visit. It was a fun and wonderful day. I'm so thankful to be married to my best friend and to be able to explore a new town. I'm glad God brought us out here to Oregon. The mountains were beautiful. I didn't get the best shots, but you may be able to see a little of what we are blessed with.

An ufinished church poster

I'm super excited about using this poster for children's church.
My mom made a poster similar to this and used it almost
every week when she would teach her Sunday school lessons.
The message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is truly an amazing story
and we have so much to be thankful for! Praise the Lord.
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