Mercy in the Margins (March – 2019)

Here are some of the highlights from February:

  • February 2:  Attended the Clothing & Resource Giveaway at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.
  • February 3: I began a February sermon series in I Corinthians 13 at Providence Downtown Church.
  • February 6: I led a pastors’ luncheon at the City of Refuge downtown. Seventeen ministers were in attendance.
  • February 9:  This day marked two years for me being a chaplain at the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission. I attended the funeral service of a friend at Grace Falls.
  • February 10:  I began filling in for pulpit supply at Shepherd of the Falls Lutheran Church; afternoon Agape Feast at Providence Downtown Church.
  • February 14:  The Idaho Falls Rescue Mission had a Works Program and Staff breakfast.  Pastor Jacob Sonnenberg from Grace Falls was our guest speaker.
  • February 15: I supported two different friends teaching in small group Bible studies, one at Lincoln Court Retirement Center and the other in the Sonshine Room of the City of Refuge.
  • February 17:  I preached in afternoon services at the Bonneville County Jail.
  • February 27:  Providence Downtown Church begins a “Roots by the River” Bible study and discipleship group that will take place each Wednesday, 4:00 pm, at the Villa Coffeehouse downtown.

Would you like to contribute financially on a monthly basis to my missionary work?  Here are three ways: (1) Send the contribution to Emmaus Road Church and specifically mark it as “missionary fund for Todd Wood”, or (2) You are welcome to give directly to me.  For the month of February, I received $850 in monthly support.  Thank you so much!

On the home front:

We are so grateful and proud of our four kids: Elon is working steadily in lower management at our local hospital and also providing some case management for one of the counseling agencies in town.  During March, Hannah’s job will be paying her to spend a week in San Francisco for college recruitment.  Mariah is getting straight A’s in her first year at the University of Idaho. Her sorority has enlisted her to be their academic chair. And Micaiah just went to state for wrestling; now he begins a spring season in track.

Prayer requests: 

  1. This weekend, March 1-3, I have thirteen men in my group who will be attending the Men’s Engage Retreat at Old Faithful Christian Ranch. The theme is “What does it mean to be a disciple of Christ?”
  2. Please pray for our infant church plant–Providence Downtown.  March 10 marks one year for our ministry. It is vital that we have the leading and empowering of the Holy Spirit.
  3. Please pray for the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission. We are hosting a “Walk In the Cold” event, March 9, that raises awareness on homelessness in our community.
  4. Pray as I connect with pastors to encourage them.

My three main ministry objectives:

  1. Be a servant missionary-pastor with Providence Downtown Church that specifically ministers to the incarcerated, the addicted, the homeless, and impoverished.  It is a church ministering and bringing mercy to those in the margins.
  2. Minister as a chaplain with the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission: (1) Encouraging and partnering with local and regional churches, (2) Discipling IFRM staff, volunteers, and residents, and providing pastoral prayer, encouragement, and counsel, and (3) Assisting with discipleship components for the IFRM Work’s Program.
  3. Be a blessing to the pastors in our city and the region.

May Jesus reign as King!

roots by the river,

Todd Wood (downtown missionary)

 

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Mercy in the Margins (February – 2019)

The new year has begun well.  We are grateful for God’s mercies that are new every morning.  Great is His faithfulness!

Here are some of the highlights from January: Continue reading

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Mercy in the Margins (January – 2019)

Let me share some of the highlights of 2018. Continue reading

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Mercy in the Margins (December – 2018)

Hi all,

I am currently preaching at Providence Downtown Church a five-week Christmas series through Luke 1:1-2:35.  It has been an immense joy to my heart in proclaiming the salvation and peace which comes through Jesus Christ.

For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” – Luke 2:11

I pray that you all might have a blessed Christmas season this year as we pray and partner together in ministry for King Jesus.

Here are some of the highlights from NovemberContinue reading

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Mercy in the Margins (November – 2018)

Our ministry engines have been moving at full capacity. Providence Downtown Church initiated a weekly evening Tuesday night small group at one of the local downtown Mexican restaurants, Plum Loco. The Idaho Falls Rescue Mission has eight small group Bible studies taking place each week for the residents.  And to add one more dimension, the Idaho state director for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association asked if I would consider being a volunteer church coordinator in our region. I will be submitting an application.  God is good.  I am blessed to be a missionary servant in Idaho for the King of kings.

Here are some of the highlights from OctoberContinue reading

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What 14 men had to say recently about their homelessness in Idaho Falls

  1. “I felt hopeless and worthless.  It was like being in a hole I couldn’t get out of.  No one would give me a chance to get back up.”
  2. “I felt out of control.  Very humbled.”
  3. “Homelessness was the worst experience I’ve ever had to go through.  Always tired, hungry, sense of hopelessness.  I’d never wish homelessness on my worst enemy.”
  4. “I felt lost, hopeless, and inconvenient to people . . .”
  5. “I would just like to say that the Lord will provide shelter and rest as long as we are faithful.”
  6. “Being homeless was a very humbling experience.  It made more grateful for the things I had afterward.  It made me appreciate and rethink my life and the things I was doing.”
  7. “I had it all on April 20.  By the 21st I had lost it all, due to my landlord.  I will bounce back due to God’s power.”
  8. “The people in this community are genuinely good, caring people.  But we often don’t want to recognize the homelessness struggle that is in this area.  Drugs, alcohol, and other substances can play a role, but there are also low wages, difficult steps for assistance, and discrimination in housing.  We as a community can make a difference.  We just need to recognize it and act.”
  9. “I had fallen into a huge pit.  I was lost with no hope, but He is helping me to find the light on my darkest of nights.
  10. “My feelings of homelessness:  Scared, not knowing what is next, hopelessness, and wanting something better.”
  11. “Me and my girlfriend slept and lived in a van for a summer.  Being homeless is real in Idaho Falls.”
  12. “I felt hopeless, lost, worthless, and scared.  No one wants or likes me.  I felt like it didn’t matter if I was alive or dead.  Always looking for better but never finding anything better.”
  13. “Indeed, there is an issue with the homeless people.  There are a lot of underlying issues that we as a community should come together and help deal with.”
  14. “I felt empty, alone like no one wanted to lend a hand because of my past.  A hole that’s too deep to climb out of.  I felt if I fell I wouldn’t be able to get back up!  Lost in a world of darkness . . .”

October 10, 2018, is World Homelessness Day.

 

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Mercy in the Margins (October – 2018)

During the month of September, I have been learning to trust that the Lord is my good Shepherd and that I shall not want. I can acknowledge the writings by David in Psalm 23, but how much am I experiencing the reality of this in my own life and for those to whom I minister to on the streets?  I am desiring to trust the Savior more fully.  I deeply need Him.

Here are some of the highlights from September: 
  • September 1:  I oversaw the renewal of wedding vows for Ron & Louis Vance (their 50th anniversary) on the River Walk downtown.
  • September 2: I began a new sermon series, “Our Shepherd & His Providential Care,” on Sunday evenings at Providence Downtown Church.
  • September 5: Thirteen ministers gathered together for a ministry luncheon at the City of Refuge.
  • September 7: I started Hebrew class with Pastor Beau Floyd of Emmaus Road Church.
  • September 8: Ten of us from the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission went to the Eastern Idaho Fair and Demolition Derby in Blackfoot, Idaho.
  • September 9: Picture night at Providence Downtown.  We ended up holding our worship service in the downtown Civitan Plaza.  This particular Sunday marked our six months of ministry as a church family.
  • September 10:  What a joy to celebrate the first day of Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the Jewish new year.
  • September 11: I joined seven other pastors at Cop Church.  We thanked all our first responders in attendance and remembered those who died on 9/11.
  • September 13: We had Pastor Phil Hagen, First Presbyterian Church, as a guest speaker for our IFRM staff breakfast.
  • September 15: The executive director of the Shepherd’s Inn, a ministry for pregnant mothers, gave me a tour of their facility.
  • September 16:  I preached out of Galatians for the morning service at First Evangelical Lutheran Church. I spent the afternoon in ministry at the Bonneville County Jail, ministering to approximately 25 men.
  • September 17: This day marks the completion of three years of ministry with the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission.
  • September 18:  The beginning of a fast with Jews at sundown – Yom Kippur.  That night I also attended the Imani Milele Children’s Choir Concert at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.
  • September 20: We were a part of a beautiful reconciliation of an adult son with his sister and mother at the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission.
  • September 23:  Providence Water Baptism Service at the Apple Athletic Club.  We listened to Ginger sing a song of worship to the Father, and then she was baptized.
  • September 24:  Celebration of the first day of Sukkot – Jewish Feast of the Tabernacles.
  • September 29-30: Attendance at the FELC Men’s Retreat with Pastor Patrick Jones at Old Faithful Christian Ranch.  Sunday was a full day:  (1) Beautiful, early 8:30 am service and communion at the camp, (2) 11:00 am worship service at Grace Baptist Church in Rexburg, (3) afternoon ministry at the Bonneville County Jail, and then (4) evening 6:45 pm service with the beloved Providence Downtown Church family.
Would you like to contribute financially on a monthly basis to my missionary work?  Here are three ways: (1) Send the contribution to my home church, Emmaus Road Church, and mark it as “missionary fund for Todd Wood”; (2) Address mission support to Providence Downtown Church in care of my name as well, or (3) You are welcome to give directly to me.  For the month of September, I received $1,450 in monthly support.  Thank you so much!
On the home front:  
It has been a lot of fun to watch our youngest son compete in Cross Country meets.  It reminds me of my senior year in high school when I ran Cross Country. It is a grueling sport but a great way to get in shape.
Prayer requests: 
  1. Pray that I might be able to increase my monthly mission support.
  2. Pray for our five men in the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission Works Program.  Two of the men will be graduating on November 17.
  3. Pray for God’s strength to uphold men and women when they fall to temptation.
  4. Pray for a Christian brother at the Mission who spent a day in family reconciliation with his mother and sister.
  5. Pray for God’s blessing and Christian growth for the sister who was recently baptized.

My three main ministry objectives:

  1. Be a servant missionary-pastor with Providence Downtown Church that specifically ministers to the incarcerated, the addicted, the homeless, and impoverished.  It is a church ministering and bringing mercy to those in the margins.
  2. Minister as a chaplain with the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission: (1) Encouraging and partnering with local and regional churches, (2) Discipling IFRM staff, volunteers, and residents, and providing pastoral prayer, encouragement, counsel, Biblical preaching, and teaching, and (3) Assisting with discipleship components for the IFRM Work’s Program.
  3. Be a blessing to the local church families.
May Jesus reign as King!
roots by the river,
Todd Wood (downtown missionary)

 

 

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