Dear Friends and Family, Hello from Idaho!

I sent a letter to some of you last year explaining what I am doing here in Moscow, Idaho in regards to the ministry I work for. Others of you this is the first youʼve heard from me regarding this. So for the former here is an update of what Iʼve been doing and for the latter an introduction. The past year I have worked at the Nuart Theater (www.nuarttheater.com, Facebook: Friends of the Nuart Theater) which is downtown here in Moscow. It is a non-profit, volunteer staff-run coffee shop/bookstore/movie theater/concert venue. Our goals are evangelism and church unity. Many of our books are aimed at reaching the unbeliever. Our main form of evangelism is building relationships with customers who come in and over time teaching them about Jesus, encouraging them to go to church, and giving them literature to guide them in truth. It is a place where people come and hang out and play games, use the internet, do homework, etc. but also are proactively sought out by our staff in order to have a community aspect which expands the hospitality of Christ. If you recall, many people in the gospels followed Jesus simply because he had dinner with them. Our goal is to do the same thing, though in the form of coffee, darts, board games, and movies. It is a place where unbelievers can come and “hang out” with the body of Christ in the form of our staff and volunteers. Has this “hanging out” paid off? Here are some stories: Nathan and David: Two late-teen brothers who were homeschooled. They donʼt have a lot of friends or social interaction outside coming into the Nuart. Very tender and happy boys but in need of direction. Their 75 year old dad has cancer and is probably not long for this world, almost died last month. Nathan is in the Nuart every day. I am going to start a weekly Bible study this summer with the brothers looking at the book The Tender Warrior by Stu Weber which is about biblical manhood. Jonathan: Thirteen years old. Comes in pretty frequently. Very energetic, needs lots of attention, but offers to help and sometimes Iʼll catch him wiping down the counter or cleaning things without me having asked him to. While he is generally a goof ball, he more and more will speak about how he hates his divorced parents (alcoholic, disabled dad and negligent mom). Heʼll stay at the Nuart until 8:30 PM and has no dinner to go home to. Heʼs told me heʼs suicidal and has asked to move in with me. Iʼve told him the gospel and about the perfect Heavenly Father. He is reluctant to believe the Gospel because he wants to be in control of his own life. He has lots of potential--very smart and athletic. Iʼd like to see him believing in Jesus, forgiving his parents, playing football, and getting good grades next year. Daizy: Similar story to Jonathan but a girl. She loves to play cards with me and help me with the Free Friday Movies. Eric, our head manager, recently gave her a Bible. She doesnʼt believe yet, but has agreed to start reading a chapter every night.

Dustin: 26 year old who comes in quite often. Came from abusive home, unemployed, and diagnosed bipolar and when I met him was drugged up so much he was like a zombie. I encouraged him to ask his pastor to go with him to the psychiatrist and see if he could lower his meds. He did, and got off two prescriptions and his energy levels have noticably improved. He wants to follow the Lord and is learning that his anger problems can be healed by Christ and changing his habits rather than welfare checks and state mandated psychiatry. He prefers coming to the Nuart and being with us over spending time with his flaky social workers. There are more people we have been blessed to interact with. Iʼve talked with Muslim college students, lonely middle-aged women, secular-humanist college professors, and several young people raised in the faith who have lost interest. If you would like to stay up to speed on the conversations weʼre having with people at the Nuart, join the Nuart Prayer Team on Facebook. We post updates on the people who come in and say what they need prayer for, and then we have people from all over the country praying for them. When not at the Nuart, I am planning events for next school year (the University of Idaho is here in Moscow and Washington State University is ten minutes away). We have a lot of ideas for how to make the ministry more proactive and far-reaching for the college students. This summer I am working on our strategies for the fall such as oncampus outreach, increased marketing, and recruiting speakers to come into the theater to address popular controversial issues people have with the faith. Cosmic Economics During the school year I will be completing my final stretch of courses for my Theology M.A. from New St. Andrews (NSA) College. One of the topics Iʼve taken particular interest in while at NSA is the idea of economy. “Economy” comes from the Greek oikonomia which means "management of a household." The economy/household of God in the Old Covenant was the Jewish nation. The Jews, through hospitality, were to minister to the other nations by inviting them into their house, the Temple, so that the nations could relate to Yaweh. Relationship is the currency of Godʼs living economy (sin is debt in relationship-all sin is the failure to pay another in the relationship due him/her. The atonement was Jesus refloating the economy of relationship in the human race, paying our debts). The Jews were called to be hospitable to the nations, inviting them into the household/economy of God through teaching them the law and allowing them to participate in the Temple sacrificial system, which was an animal-economic system in which man could interact with God. Jesus is most furious when this hospitality is denied the nations (Matthew 21:12-13). Since Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, the Church is the New Israel and the household and economy of God. The currency is relationship in the Spirit who lives in the heart of the Christian, and the hospitality of God is extended to the world through his hospitable bride, the Church. Whenever someone comes into the Kingdom of God, its economy

grows because a new jewel has been added. The growing Church of God is therefore the most important economic system in the world. Investing in the hearts of people is more solid than investing in gold. The economy of relationship (which when balanced is called righteousness) is more effective than the economy of dollars and cents. My pastor told me the best three investments are not Gold, Apple, and Microsoft but are Widows, Orphans, and Levites (ministers). Putting your money into these latter stocks always yields a profit in Godʼs ever-growing economy. The Nuart is a microcosm of the household/economy of God. It is a place where Jesus, through his Church, offers hospitality to the world through bible studies, coffee, games, music, and a listening ear to the “least of these”. It is a place where relationship is invested and where reconciliation and forgiveness of sins is proclaimed, and hearts burdened with debt are balanced as people receive the righteousness of Christ. I am sending you this letter asking you to help me be hospitable to Moscow through the Nuart by providing for my earthly needs. Your green dollars will work to grow green and growing hearts, which are the currency of the Kingdom of Heaven, in the people who come to the Nuart, along with building the City of God (which is also green!--Revelation 21:18). If everyone I send this to invests (it is an investment because you are investing in the hearts of the people the Nuart touches) ten or twenty bucks, that should be enough to get me through the summer. Your hospitality to me by providing me with food and shelter through your investment causes me to be hospitable to people like Jonathan, Daizy, and Dustin in the ways they need it. If this is an investment you are interested in, make checks to: Community Christian Ministries 516 S. Main St. Moscow, ID 83843 Put my name in the memo. This is tax-deductible. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Please send a prayer up for me that Iʼll be wise in putting together our agenda for next school year and that the Lord would bless our ministry efforts this summer. Also pray for my personal growth and sanctification. Iʼm realizing we do the most good for the kingdom if our own hearts are being consistently improved. Pray that the Lord would be strong in me and that I would recognize Him and His reality in my life. Thank you and may God be hospitable to you in every way!

Steven Opp