Rejoice at How God Builds His Church

In 1980, my husband Jim and I started attending a PCA church in Eighty Four, PA. The pastor, Nick Protos, did an excellent job explaining the church government, answering our many questions, and welcoming our family of eight into the small church.

About ten years later we heard that another PCA church was being started in Washington where our children went to school. We prayed about a move to support that sister church. Our pastor Gary Baker gave us his blessing to join the group as an experienced elder and Sunday school teacher. Although we missed the saints in Eighty Four, we dove into the new work with a large commitment to build another PCA church. We willingly cleaned the church, taught Sunday School classes, and made hundreds of phone calls. God blessed our efforts. We even gained a daughter-in-law when our oldest son found a wife in Washington.

When we started at the Washington church, the pastor, Bob Boidock, mentioned his desire to see other PCA churches start from the Washington church. How exciting it is to see Chris and Rick Ferguson called by God to do the same thing in the South Hills that we had done in Washington!

It is always sad to see sisters and brothers in Christ leave our church for various reasons. But God has proven himself many times over. When God calls us for a change, he has many blessings in store for his followers. Our family, now numbering 34, was taught well under the PCA pastors in these churches. As our children spread their wings, it was hard to see our families leave us.

An old friend from the Dutch Reformed Church, Charlotte Dudt, encouraged me as a young mother to focus on raising our future church leaders. We praise God daily for leading us to the Washington church. Our church is strong and always changing. I thank God for the glitter stuck in the carpet, hot chocolate stains in our fellowship hall, and the many little ones that we hear during our worship service. Our job is to prepare our families to be the future church. We may even see some of these children become our church leaders in the future.

Keep our church and leaders in your prayers and wait for the changes and blessings that God has in store.

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Debbie Burtoft

Debbie has a bachelor's degree in elementary education with a Bible minor from Grace College. She is a mother of five, a grandmother of 19, and great grandmother of two. She and her husband have taken in over 250 foster children. She loves kids a lot.
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