Ministry Update :: Fall 2021

Fall 2021

We have been enjoying an unusually warm Fall here in Central Alberta, which was really helpful in doing yard work and cutting and splitting wood. Winter is coming, and they tell us it will be cold and snowy. Two of the kids have snow shoveling jobs, so they are hoping for snow!
Here are some highlights from the Fall:

Oct 19: We started an online weekly Bible study with two ladies through our church. We’re teaching them through No Ordinary Story. The material seems to be answering a lot of questions for both women and they are very appreciative.

Oct 29: Ethan turned 13! We’re so thankful for our growing young man (who has now surpassed in height all the females in the family).

These pictures are from the moment when we discovered he had grown taller than both his sisters in the previous month, and this was just a few days before his 13th birthday. Thrilled him to the core. The girls? Not so much.

 

Part of celebrating his birthday was going on an icy walk to the waterfalls in Johnson’s Canyon in Banff National Park, and Cows Ice cream in downtown Banff. A beautiful day in God’s creation!

 

Nov 2: New warehouse shelving arrived in our office, desperately needed to organize our very crowded warehouse. It has taken a great deal of heaving and hauling over many days to get cases of books lifted off the pallets on the floor and up onto the shelves, but our warehouse is becoming much more efficient and manageable as a result. With so many supply issues, and paper costs rising rapidly, we are thankful to have a full warehouse ready to ship evangelism resources.

 

Nov 11-14: “No Ordinary Weekend” retreat – We weren’t sure if we’d be able to have one in 2021, but thankfully 50 others joined in for this evangelistic weekend. The series No Ordinary Story was taught to the teens and adults, and The Lamb to the kids. Troy and Naomi assisted in the presentation to the adults and Ellie, Adelaine and Ethan helped with the childrens’ program. While it was a smaller group than previous years, it was clear that a number were coming to a clear understanding of the Gospel for the first time and we know there were those who “passed from death to life” over the weekend. And there is a lot of excitement and interest building for the one planned for February! Praise the Lord! Check it out at noordinaryweekend.com and talk to us if you want to know more.

 

Nov 15: Finally, after many delays, the Radio Theatre version of the No Ordinary Series arrived in our office. This dramatic/musical presentation presents a creation-to-cross message through the lives of 3 individuals. Their stories (based upon the true testimonies of 3 individuals) are blended with 17 songs to present the Gospel message. We look forward to sharing more about this new tool with you!

 

Thanks so much for your prayers and support for us. We are keenly aware that none of the great things the Lord is doing through the ministry of GoodSeed would be possible if it weren’t for people like you giving generously and praying faithfully for us and the ministry. We’re so grateful.

Troy & Naomi

Do I Really Believe This?

About 15 years ago, a church in Des Moines, Iowa start using The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus as a key component in ensuring their people had a clear understanding of the gospel. Basically, anyone new to the church, looking to join a small group, or wanting to become a church member first gets funneled into their “Starting Point” class. Over eight weeks, the class studies The Stranger book, and that way the entire congregation has the same foundations on which the pastors can build.

Do I really believe this?
This is Tyler’s story, and it comes from a public Facebook post from this church.


I have been a church goer all my life. Thus, Jesus, or at the very least the idea of Jesus, has always been a part of who I am. I am also a very factual person. I question and look for evidence and proof before making decisions. This inherently lead me for a few years to occasionally ask the questions “Do I really believe this?” or “How can I be sure? I began to look at church as a chore and something I had to do. It was not a productive or fulfilling time for me. I didn’t seek out Bible study groups or spend any time in the word.

So, although I was a church goer, it wasn’t until I went through the Soteria’s Starting Point Class where things began to click. The factual nature of the “Stranger on the Road to Emmaus” started giving me the insight I was looking for. The ever-lingering questions of “Do I really believe this?” or “How can I be sure?” began to fade and were replaced by requests like “Lord help me understand” or “Lord use me to do your will”. Fast forward a few months or so and pastor Mike did a two-week series on “Can We Trust Our Bibles?”. This put the final nail in the coffin and gave my annoyingly inquisitive mind the resolution I didn’t realize I was looking for.

In summary, in the past I could put up a good front and say the right things when asked, but it wasn’t until recently that I truly believed for myself that Jesus dies for our sins and credited us his righteousness. There is a new energy in who I am. I am excited and eager to go to church, be part of a growth group, and spend time in the Word. I look forward to growing and strengthening my faith in the years to come and leading my family in a God fearing, God first manner.


It is amazing what a clearly understood Gospel can do for people, even for people who have been going to church their whole lives!

This church is not alone
It seems that their approach to using The Stranger has caught on with other churches around them. We recently had a large order of books going to a nearby church, and we gave them a call to ask what they were doing. The church secretary told us that about 10 years ago, another church in the area also created a “Starting Point” course, which studies The Stranger as well. They run 3 courses each year and often have around 30 people attend each course on average. She also shared a quick story of her own. Her daughter started dating a fellow who wasn’t a believer, but began coming to church with her. The mother taught him through the course and he became a believer by its completion.

In the past week alone, we’ve had orders from five other churches in and around Des Moines, Iowa, plus a number more in the last few months. We don’t usually have the opportunity to speak to those ordering the books, but from what we can see, it seems that this approach to grounding a congregation is catching on in that area and we think that’s pretty cool!

Together with you for the Gospel.

Troy & Naomi

The Gospel Heading North


Books Heading North with Samaratian’s Purse

Our children love to participate in Samaritan Purse’s Operation Christmas Child’s shoebox program each year. They enjoy purchasing items and packing a few boxes for our family and church. For years they have wanted to travel to the large warehouse in Calgary to help repack and process the boxes, too, but have never had the opportunity.

That changed a bit this week.

Samaritan’s Purse contacted GoodSeed this week looking for a bit of help. They have some left-over shoebox contributions they plan to ship to Canada’s far north for people in very remote communities. They were wondering if we could supply the gospel resources for 200 packets.

We agreed on a bundle of books including The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus with its accompanying DVD, a large print edition of The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus, a DVD version of our children’s book, The Lamb, and a shorter gospel presentation booklet called The Story that Matters. These bundles had to be assembled quickly so the packages could be on their way.

At supper last night we discussed how the kids have always wanted to help the shoebox program and how we could now have a role in seeing people in the far north equipped with a clear gospel message. They were excited to take part. After supper, we headed over to the office and spent a couple hours assembling the 200 sets. It was fun to see the kids’ excitement at being a part of this project.

Please pray with us as these gospel resources head into Canada’s far north later this week and bring light to the homes they are given to.

It is a joy for us to see these books go out, along with hundreds of other books each week, knowing each one may help bring someone to a saving knowledge of Christ.

Thank you for participating with us in getting the Good News out there!

Troy & Naomi

Ministry Update :: October 2020

Gospel Partners in Kenya

While heavily missionized, many churches in Africa have very little understanding of the gospel, with most believing in some form of works based salvation. Many pastors have little to no theological training, and in many areas Christian books, even Bibles are hard to come by.

On social media we follow George,  a pastor in Kenya that somehow stumbled onto GoodSeed resources. Since then he has been in regular contact with our staff, and we have been thrilled to send him books and teaching aids along with people who travel to visit him in Africa.

A few years ago he was teaching at a pastor’s workshop and he shared about the gospel of grace. A few of the Bishops stood up to oppose his teaching of salvation by faith. George had opportunity to talk with them more, and has, over time, they have come to accept this message. Recently George held a conference and posted this:

“I usually carry just one copy of The Stranger book to give out to the person I feel led to. For this conference of 72 Bishops and Pastors I carried 5 books so these Bishops received The Stranger books and one of them gets All That The Prophets Have Spoken. May the Lord bless the seeds sown. I am able to give these materials absolutely free of charge because that’s how I receive them. Some people who have understood the Gospel are giving to get the Gospel out. Thanks to Pastor John R. Cross and the GoodSeed ministry for believing in me enough to support with these precious tools.”

Understanding God’s Plan

A few months ago George shared this with his followers:
“One of the greatest things that can ever happen to anyone is to understand God’s plan for the ages. Who among you friends watch a series from season 3 episode 5 and jumps to season 5 episode 6 and hopes to get the flow and enjoy and understand the series? Or who among you readers reads a 400 pages novel by starting from pg 80 then jumps to pages 200-300 then back to pg 20 then pg 400 and expects to make head to tail of the story?

Yet that’s what people do when they come.to the Bible. That’s why you hear words like “the Bible is so hard to understand… its difficult to comprehend… the Bible is boring.” The Bible has a major theme that you must not miss. It has a major story that develops all the way from Genesis to Revelation. Of cause there are other side stories and teachings along the way, but you must not miss this major theme.

Nothing will make a believer more stable in their relationship with God than seeing the Bible fit together in a clear logical manner. The best thing a Bible teacher can do to their students is to take them on a journey from Creation to Christ. I don’t know of a better tool in the whole world to help anyone with that journey better than a book titled “THE Stranger on the road to Emmaus” by John R. Cross.

God has given me the honor to be able to give this book freely to those that He impresses upon my heart. Thanks to GoodSeed Ministry. Here I gave a copy to Moris and his wife Joy after baptizing them in Lake Victoria. And I am happy to know how the Lord is using the book to establish them and prepare them to be clear message bearers.”

Ministry Update :: August 2020

It’s been a while! Here’s a little update on some of the things we’ve been up to.

Kids’ video for our church

Like many, church has been a bit different. For a long time, our church only did services online. During that time, we were asked to do one of the kids’ features for our church’s online service. We were provided with a rough script and we filmed it in our yard.

You can watch the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7F4xMNyU2s


A new audio drama?

Work on the No Ordinary Story audio drama is moving along, overseen by John Cross and James Janzen. This music and drama gospel presentation has been over a decade in the making, but we are nearing first publication. Last year John consulted with a Christian drama professor with extensive script writing experience. With his input, the team engaged in a script re-write, largely telling the true stories of three actual people.

The audio drama is now in the editing stage. We hope to have this available in audio format by Christmas and then the next goal is to create the resources for churches to perform this as an evangelistic outreach event by next year.

We wanted to have an international sound, so the voice actors include three mild accents: Scottish, Indian and Canadian. In a time of social distancing, this made for some interesting challenges to get their voices recorded, but we are thankful for how the process has gone.

Thank the Lord with us for his provision in many ways and for directing this huge project forward.

Other happenings

Naomi has been writing articles for GoodSeed to inform and encourage people to share the Gospel message. The confluence of crisis, isolation and technology has led to some exciting stories of people sharing their faith in new ways. We’ve heard of many studies taking place via Zoom; of increased openness to the Gospel all over the world; of an increased burden among some believers to reach out to those around them.
Troy continues to plug away at his responsibilities, which include everything from government paperwork, financial oversight, website maintenance, responding to many email inquiries each day, maintenance around our office, keeping our store going and getting new storefronts up and running (we’re almost ready to open one in Australia), among many others. He has much more to do than he has hours in his day.

Give a few of them a read at:
What is Truth? part 1, part 2, part 3

Summer

Despite all that is going on, we have had some good opportunities to get out and enjoy the short Alberta summer. We are stay a lot closer to home generally, but thankful to live in a beautiful part of the country. We have had lots of local walks and bike rides, and many camp fires in the back yard.

We had a few days at a Christian camp as a family and our eldest, Ellie, stayed on for 10 days as a volunteer in the horse program. We also have a camping trip planned for later this month before the whole back to school rush.

Thanks for joining us on the journey!

Troy & Naomi