The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries
2009 Year-End Update, Letters from Readers, Clover Ranch progress, Trip to Israel, Speaking and a Christmas Novel
Happy New Year!!! As we head into 2010, I thought you might be interested to see how God was working through your gifts and prayers during 2009 to reach people around the world with the message of Christ.
Our newsletter list continues to grow, reaching people in over 100 countries every week to encourage them in their faith in Christ. Let me quote just two of the hundreds of comments that people have sent in.
Here’s a letter from a subscriber in Thessalonika, Greece:
“I really do not remember how I chose to view your website. What I do remember, though, is that I was searching for “prayer and faith” in the Internet. It was a really hard time for me then, and I needed to know if there was actually Anybody up there, listening. Some months later, now, I can say that I have grown in faith so that I can fight to direct my own life towards its primitive purpose: to resemble our Lord in our lives, by loving others. In this letter I wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart, because your online ministry was a real blessing for my life. I have read almost all of your lessons’ series and I can say they are overwhelming. I enclose a part of my first salary, hoping it could help your work.”
And here’s a note from a 19-year-old college student who just found our website a few days ago:
“I can’t explain how happy I am that I came across this site. I was very near an emotional breakdown about an hour ago, and even simply sitting here and spending time on this site has helped. It’s put some things in check for me. Mainly that God knows what He’s doing, and whatever happens only happens because it’s supposed to, and things are going to turn out exactly how He intends. And even though things are very hard for me right now, I know I can get through it with God’s help, and any help I can find along the way will just make it that much easier. I also apologize for the small novel written above [in his prayer request]. Lots of pain translated to lots of words. Thank you for taking time out of your day to listen to a broken nineteen-year-old’s rambling. And thank you in advance for any and all prayers that may be said on my behalf. They are greatly appreciated. God bless.”
The weekly messages have been reprinted in newspapers, blogs, and in the case pictured here, translated for a magazine in Estonia (the headline reads: “According to your faith will it be done to you.”)
Our renovation of Clover Ranch continues, turning the farm where I grew up into a spiritual retreat for people wanting to get closer to God. This year’s repairs focused on upgrading the water-well system, removing and planting trees, and continued renovation of the interior rooms.
A number of volunteers have helped again this year with their time and efforts, and even with all the work going on, it still serves as a retreat for those who come to help. One man wrote:
“Thanks very much for letting us work with you, for sharing your stories, for your insights, and for praying for us! We are taking one day at a time and trying to follow His lead. When you come to the farm again let us know…the time and experience was worth it, and we would do it again:-)!”
In October, Lana and I led a group of fifteen on an inspirational tour of the Holy Land. Even though Lana and I had been to some of the sites before, we found that the Bible really came to life again before our eyes, as it seemed to do for the whole group.
One of the women wrote afterwards:
“Thank you for taking me on the most life changing journey of my life this far…I see my Bible in color and have a new found love for HIS word. I can’t wait to get lost in HIS word and it seems as if every time I hear a sermon I go “Lord, thank you for allowing me the privilege of seeing this place.” I can’t tell you the new thing HE is beginning to do in my life as if I did not think it could be better, HE is taking me to the next level.”
My plan is to start writing a series of devotionals in 2010 based on our trip to Israel as a way to help bring the Bible to life for those who aren’t able to travel there in person. I’ll be sharing more of those stories, pictures and short videos in the weeks ahead.
Throughout the year I was able to speak at several churches and conferences, including the Exodus International Freedom Conference held at Wheaton College where I talked about my book What God Says About Sex. It seems that the attendees of this conference are some of the most open I’ve ever seen to hearing about the life-changing power of Christ.
My final project of 2009 was writing a first draft of a new Christmas novelthat Lana and I hope will inspire many to put their faith in Christ. I’ll share more about the project as we get further into it, but I love the way it’s shaping up already! I look forward to working on it more during 2010.
Thanks again for all your gifts and prayers. They’re really making a difference in the world. I pray your New Year is more blessed than any year you’ve ever had before!
The Ranch Fellowship is a non-profit 501(c)(3) religious organization whose purpose is to share the message of Jesus Christ throughout the world. Click here to read more about our ministry.