Greetings in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Grace and peace to you.
Let me reintroduce myself. My name is Elon Todd Wood. Most people call me by my middle name. I was born in a hospital along the banks of the Snake River in Idaho Falls back in 1969. I became a child of God at a very young age because I had the privilege to grow up in a Christian home. Early on, my parents taught me the gospel of Jesus Christ and surrounded me with teachers who loved the Lord.
Upon graduation from high school, I had a keen sense of calling from the Lord that He desired for me to submerse myself in cross-cultural missions. I went to college to receive theological training, completing a B.A. in Christian Missions, an M.A. in Theology, and finally a Master of Divinity. Shortly after, I completed a pastoral internship with great cowboys at Grace Baptist Church in Elko, Nevada, and then I immediately came back here to my home area in 1997 to pioneer a new church plant, Berean Baptist Church, in Ammon, Idaho. I went from a church planting missionary status supported by churches and individuals all over the country to where the church plant became fully self-supporting. I pastored at Berean Baptist Church for almost 20 years, dropping my financial salary in September of 2015, continuing to preach the Word on Sundays until I eventually presided over a beautiful church service in the call of a new pastor in July of 2016.
I am writing to you concerning a new calling that the Lord has placed upon my life. Back in September of 2015, Dr. John Oakley, executive director of the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission, extended the invitation for me to be a case manager within the downtown organization. Working in a gospel rescue mission has opened my eyes to a whole community of people who struggle with addictions, mental issues, legal difficulties, family fractures, brokenness, and homelessness. Because of their unique issues, they can feel marginalized from family, church, and community at large.
Because the Lord has uniquely wired me with a heart of mercy for listening, counseling, writing, teaching, and coaching, I feel burdened to serve and minister as a missionary discipleship chaplain among the poor in downtown Idaho Falls. I have been called by God to bring gospel mercy to those in the margins. Over the past year and a half, my burden has only intensified.
I am writing you for this simple reason. Will you prayerfully consider in partnering with me? I am trusting in faith that my position as a missionary discipleship chaplain with the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission will be financially supported by God’s people as you see this urgent need. I covet your financial support and your prayers as I seek to continually bring Jesus to the poor.
Roots by the river,