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September 3, 2014

Capitol Commission PA: 9/3/2014 Update

Ecclesiastes 3:1 - There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

The fall season is upon us.  In our home the kids have started their first day of school, and I am preparing for the fall legislative session that will begin on September 15th.  In looking back over the summer I am amazed at how quickly the time has flown by.

We were blessed to visit my sister and her husband in New Hampshire.  Several of the highlights of the trip included a seemingly endless 14-mile kayak journey down the Connecticut River.  We also explored the Lost River Gorge and Boulder Cave where we crawled and twisted our bodies through some very tight rock formations.  Then, in putting my mountain-man abilities to the test, we jumped on the AT (Appalachian Trail) in the White Mountains.  After encountering signs warning of treacherous and dangerous climbing conditions the wise among us counseled an immediate return to the parking lot.  To cap off most evenings we developed a tradition of stopping at a local dairy where we enjoyed some of the best ice cream we ever had.  This canceled out any positive affect the physical activity had on us during this trip.

Another weekend we visited a young woman my wife watched as a little girl.  She is now grown, attending graduate school at Pitt, and getting married to a great guy.  The entire Whitebread family descended upon her flat which she shares with three other girls.  Her roommates graciously allowed us to take over their apartment for a couple days.  We are very grateful for their sacrifice and the hospitality shown to us.  Interestingly my son visited a school in Pittsburgh while in the area, and must to our chagrin, thinks this is where he would like to attend college.

To see pictures of our trip, please "Like" us on our Facebook page at “Capitol Commission Pennsylvania”.

Over the summer the ministry has not been dormant.  The staff Bible study has continued to be an encouragement.  Our study has consisted of a committed group of believers who are responsive to God's word.  They have demonstrated an eagerness to see the group grow, their relationships deepen, and a willingness to love and encourage others at the Capitol.  Being at the Capitol on a weekly basis has allowed me to continue the relationships that have been established over the spring legislative session.  This brings the hope of an increased opportunity to serve and minister to those as the fall session begins.

Over the summer I have had the opportunity to speak at various churches and Sunday school classes about the ministry.  I also set about to visit several legislators in their home districts.  Pursuing this has been a great encouragement to me, and I trust, to the legislators I have had the opportunity to visit.  However, there are many on the western part of the state I did not have a chance to visit over the summer.  Please pray that this will become a consistent part of the ministry as I seek to deepen these friendships and connect with the legislators outside the Capitol.

Several other things to highlight...

  • On September 26th I will be attending a prayer vigil for Pastor Saeed Abedini.  It will be held on the steps of the Capitol in Harrisburg on Friday 9/26 to mark the 2nd year of his imprisonment in Iran.  Pete Regan, a friend of mine, is organizing this prayer vigil and is eager for many to gather together on this day to pray. Please "Like" the Facebook page "Harrisburg for Saeed" to spread the word about this event and receive additional updates about Pastor Saeed's situation.  As we pray for his release, please pray that God would strengthen, encourage, and use him to be a witness to the lordship of Jesus through a life offered in humble service to Christ.
  • The Lord has also brought several people into my life who have a strong commitment to Haiti.  One of my closest friends Bob Conner volunteers at an orphanage, close friends from our church Mark and Anne Bradley are going to Haiti as missionaries through Crossworld, and a woman who works at the Capitol, Lori Losch and her husband George founded JuniPer Community Missions.  If your heart is moved by the needs of those in Haiti and would like to learn more about those ministering to those in great need please contact me.
  • I have been reminded of this statement; "The shortest path to humility is humiliation."  With that thought in mind I share this news. Recently I was in a significant auto accident that was my fault.  Our van is in the shop and I expect the insurance company to total the vehicle.  This leaves us in jeopardy of being without a vehicle for the family long-term.  Please pray for God to provide for our needs in the way he chooses.
  • I also would value any opportunity to share about the ministry with those you may know.  Please contact me if you know of others who may be interested in learning about a ministry to our elected officials that seeks to demonstrate the love of Christ and show what true power and true wisdom looks like.

In closing, the thing that God continues to impress upon my heart is the blessing of relationships.  We have been touched by so many people in unique ways: our only response is to offer praise to our great God.  I am thankful for your friendship and the way God continues to meet our needs through your love, parntership, and sacrifice.  What a blessing it is to be part of the body of Christ.

May God Bless You!

Jeff