You are on page 1of 3

October 20 10

Dear Ministry Partners and Friends:

I received a text message at 11am Friday morning early this month: “Eric, we’re coming to Jackson to help
out.” By noon, Jesse Peck and his brother Daniel had embarked on the 11-hour drive from eastern
Washington. Meanwhile, 1000 miles to the southwest, nine students
from The Master’s College were loading up a couple SUVs in preparation
for the 16-hour push to Jackson Hole for seven days of service.

By Saturday morning, all had rendezvoused with Cornerstone in Teton


National Forest to begin falling trees and gathering wood for our October
firewood ministry and outreach. After many hours of sawing, falling, and
loading trucks, the team gathered for a hot chili dinner and then departed
to host homes.

Sunday morning, Cornerstone and TMC teamed up to serve the


community by doing fall chores for our neighbors. Andrew and Johnny,
after doing yard work, came alongside a young widow as she shared about
some recent struggles. Meanwhile, Tiffany and Anna ascended an 8-foot
ladder to wash windows at precarious heights. A half-mile down the road,
Matt and Kevin spent the morning chopping wood for a single mom and
her kids. Still others
bridged gaps and
built relationships with neighbors via manual labor
and conversations about the Lord.

Then, after a week of cleaning church members’


homes, washing their cars, babysitting, ironing,
making meals, playing music, and chopping and
stacking some 2200 cubic feet of firewood, the climax
of the community outreach arrived: Firewood Day.
While the sun peaked over the mountains on the
eastern side of the valley early Saturday, Chris rallied
Cornerstone and the students, huddled around coffee
and bagels. As steam rose from cardboard cups, so excitement rose as we anticipated the onslaught of
locals needing free firewood.

They began to arrive, and the much-awaited question came early: “So why are you guys doing this? I’ve
never heard of anyone doing this here before…” “Well, Jesus Christ offers salvation freely, through his
death on the cross for our sin, to all… so we want to demonstrate that with free firewood.” It’s hard to say
how many times the question was posed, but there was plenty of opportunity to illustrate the gospel in the
1



answer as we measured out and distributed portions of the massive woodpile. We had the privilege of
meeting residents who had just moved here and multi-decade locals and everything in between. Perhaps
the most bizarre moment of the day was the stereotypical 30-
something Wyoming guy who backed up his truck to the woodpile ...
with a few-hundred-pound dead deer in the back. “Ah, just stack the
wood around it,” he said cheerfully.

When the wood chips had settled and the conversations about the Lord
had dissipated in the fall air after this, our third annual October
Community Service Outreach, a few new and unexpected relationships
were built. Through chores, yard work, and firewood, the Lord allowed
us to get to know single-moms, a yoga instructor,
and several others. Praise the Lord. May he
further his gospel to more and more people here.

Speaking of the unexpected, Cornerstone is


facing a new problem. For the past 15 months or
so, we have been renting the community center
in Wilson for Sunday gatherings. The 10-by-20-
foot room in the back of the building, used for
the nursery, and the small hallway outside the
restrooms (which we have been using for our
children’s Sunday school) are now bursting at the
seams. Three kids plus a Sunday school teacher
just fit into the hallway space. Ten do not. No
longer do we have adequate facilities for Sunday school. The weather has been nice recently, so teachers
could corral the kids outside. However, teaching can only be so effective outdoors with all the distractions.
Plus, here in the Rocky Mountains for seven months out of the year, the weather is not conducive to
outdoor Sunday school. On top of this, as the ministry grows, places to store things are scarce. Nursery and
music equipment, Sunday school supplies, extra Bibles, and so on, are being crammed into dubious
storage spaces.

We know that Jesus is not breaking a sweat over this in heaven, but at this point we are not sure what to do
besides pray. As far as we know, there is no other building in Wilson that is large enough to accommodate
Cornerstone. And neither do we want families to be discouraged from plugging into the church because we
cannot shepherd their kids. So we are passing this on to you, as our fellow-laborers for the gospel, so that
you can join us in praying for this, and more:

1. Thank God for the outreach team from The Master’s College, that they made it safely here and back from
California, for sanctification that occurred while they were here, and for the massive amount of work they
were able to accomplish in the name of Jesus (1 John 3:18).
2. Praise God with us regarding the Wilson Community and Firewood days. Thank him for the privilege of
serving our community. Ask God for fruit from the seed scattered during this time; pray for people to
embrace the person of Christ and to become disciple-makers because of this ministry (1 Corinthians 3:7).
3. Praise our Lord that the majority of the ladies from church
were able to attend our first women’s conference at the
end of last month. Many were encouraged in the Lord and
in relationships with one another as Pam Hardy faithfully
taught from God’s Word over the weekend.
4. Ask God that we as Cornerstone would, by every detail of
our lives, be filling up the community with the fullness of
Christ, so that he is joyfully honored and accurately
displayed (Ephesians 4:13).
2



5. Please pray for the Cornerstone leadership (Eric, Neill, Matt, Chris, Bryan), that we would, like the apostle
Paul, have “so fond an affection” for the church, that we would be “well-pleased to impart” to them “not
only the gospel of God, but also our own lives,” because they are so dear to us (1 Thessalonians 2:8). Pray
that we would be “exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one” with all humility “as a father would
his own children” (2:11).
6. Beg the Lord to give the leadership growing wisdom, humility, and fear of God in our shepherding and that
we would be faithful shepherds (1 Peter 5:2-3). We need wisdom as we seek to faithfully care for the flock.
7. Pray for the entire church that the person and work of Christ would capture our desires and motivations
more than anything else in the world, that we would all grow in sincere love for him (2 Corinthians 5:14-15).
8. Implore God to grow us all in joy and thankfulness especially when life and ministry and relationships are
difficult; pray that the sovereignty and love of God would calibrate our hearts no matter what happens
(Romans 8:28-32).
9. Pray for sanctification and fruit as a result of our small groups and local-church membership classes that
just began. Ask God to use these to make authentic worshipers and disciple-makers (Colossians 1:28).
10. Please pray for our building situation: that God would allow us to care for all, especially the children, as
Sunday school facilities seem inadequate to shepherd the kids (Proverbs 3:5-6).
11. Continue to pray for the Cornerstone Nouthetic Institute, for perseverance for the students, for wisdom and
humility for the teachers, and for great sanctification for all.

We are humbled that so many of you continue to faithfully sacrifice financially for the ministry here. Thank
you! Your gifts are critical as God’s means of furthering the gospel here. If you would like to team up with
us financially, please make checks out to Cornerstone Church. All offerings are tax-deductible and may be
mailed to: Cornerstone Church, P.O. Box 980, Wilson, Wyoming, 83014.

In Christ,
Eric, on behalf of: Leslie, Matt & Sera, Bryan & Ashley, Chris & Rebecca, Melissa, and Neill & Natalie

3