Planting in the Desert ~ Josh Austin Family

What a beautiful month for God’s creation here in Mesa! Having so many orange and grapefruit trees in colorful bloom and the bursting fragrance in the air is a treat. Spring training is in full swing with gorgeous weather to be outdoors.

I was on the road for half of this month. One week, nine of us from the congregation went to Anaheim, CA for the RECHARGE conference. The Ripon church of Christ has sponsored this for about 6 years now. My dad as well as three from Kayenta also went on the trip. We were all very encouraged with the great speakers/lessons presented. Of course meeting up with old friends and making new friends was a shot in the arm.

Wednesday night, I had the privilege of meeting the Buena Park church of Christ. They have a school of evangelism there. They allowed me the opportunity to share the work we are doing with the Native Americans in Phoenix. They made us feel like family, which is what the Lord wants from us.

While we were in CA, Evan & Crystal went to Kayenta. They went to see family, but also to encourage the brethren. That Sunday, Evan taught class & preached a lesson while Crystal & Marcia (Evan’s mom) taught the kids class & Stenson taught the teen class. There were 7 from our congregation that worshiped with them that Sunday.

Sadly, the reason most of them were there was because of the death of LaVon Thomas. His wife Beverly is a sister in Christ at Kayenta. Their son Matthew and his wife Jessica are Christians that worship with us here in Mesa. LaVon woke Bev early Saturday morning to a burning home. He was able to get her out unharmed, but he died in the fire.

Several from the church, including Evan, were able to be with Bev at the clinic to comfort her at 2:30 in the morning. Evan did a great job preaching during a difficult time.

If you would like to help out, you can send donations or cards to:

Beverly Thomas

1450 W. Kaibab #61

Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Please continue to pray for the family, especially those that are not yet in Christ. I was able to spend the next two days with the family in Kayenta. They usually have family meetings to get together to pray, plan and share in the grief. The brethren from the Kayenta church of Christ really stepped up and worked hard to host the meetings along with some of the family members. So proud of the way they are carrying on the work of the Lord. The family asked me to conduct the funeral service, which was held in Flagstaff, AZ. Divine, the kids and my dad were all able to attend the funeral. There were well over 200 in attendance.

The last week of March, we brought in a brother in Christ to work with 6 of us to better understand our strengths and weaknesses. To also find out what we can do collectively to better serve the Lord and accomplish the work of reaching the Native community.

This month I started my first coaching experience. Josiah has shown interest in basketball, so I am coaching the 4-6 year olds. It is quite the challenge! But it is always good to get to know more people and spend time with Josiah. The girls are doing another season of volleyball and we have a lady and her daughter (from the team) that have come to worship with us a couple of times.

Posted on April 8, 2015 .