Let me share some of the highlights of 2018.
First, Providence Downtown Church began on March 11, 2018. We have had several peak-Sundays throughout the year of 55 in attendance. Typically, we average around 25 to 30 people in our services. Our primary desire is to minister to those who have been in jail or lived in the local homeless shelters. Anyone from the streets is welcome to enter in and taste the goodness of God’s grace and love. Over the past ten months, there have been 22 individuals who have been water baptized. Some have moved on to other places and are working steadily. I meet monthly for afternoon services in the Bonneville County Jail and am thankful for mail correspondence with inmates. We covet your prayers and support for our new, fledgling church plant in the downtown area and for the transformational work of Christ in lives. The need is great. To receive updates and devotional notes, please like us on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/mercyinthemargins/
Second, in 2018, the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission has provided over 12,000 nights of safe housing and served more than 20,000 hot meals to the homeless and hungry in our community. A recent front-page article in our local newspaper exhorted its readers about the year-long opportunities for volunteer ministry. We are the only nonprofit, nondenominational, fully Community-funded emergency shelter in Southeastern Idaho. During this past year, I am grateful for the opportunity to share God’s Word with 66 men in Monday morning Bible studies at the City of Refuge and 46 women in Wednesday morning Bible studies at the Ruth House. An honor. A privilege. Great gospel conversation on the street level.
And third, after an initial discussion with Jason Herring, an online application, one-way video questions and my answers, a phone interview with headquarters, three references, and then a background check, I am now a volunteer church coordinator with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for my Idaho district. This year, I preached in 10 church fellowships and visited and worshiped with 10 more congregations. I long to double the outreach in 2019.
Here are some of the highlights from December:
- December 2: Listened to Larry Cudmore talk about the ministry, Champs Heart, in the Sunday morning service at Emmaus Road Church; Ralph and the Roundabout Brass Ensemble came from First Lutheran to minister at Providence Downtown.
- December 5: Ministry luncheon downtown with 14 other city-pastors at the City of Refuge
- December 6: Farewell retirement luncheon at The Bridge Church for two of our Idaho Falls Rescue Mission board members
- December 9: Worshiped in the morning service for the Christmas Celebration at First Evangelical Lutheran Church
- December 12: We moved our Providence small group to Wednesday nights.
- December 15: My family attended the Christmas breakfast at Grandpa’s Barbecue hosted by the ladies of New Destiny and New Life churches.
- December 16: After the afternoon Providence service, I took one of the men to the community Christmas carol sing at the downtown Colonial Theater.
- December 18: I taught a devotional at the Pastors’ fellowship meeting – Warriors for Truth.
- December 19: I said farewell to a local pastor who took a ministry calling back east in Illinois.
- December 21: I had a Bible study at Turtle & Crane Assisted Living Center.
- December 23: Our family attended the morning Christmas service at Grace Baptist Church in Rexburg, Idaho.
- December 24: Our family also enjoyed the evening Christmas Eve Candlelight service at the Hilton Garden Inn with Emmaus Road Church.
- December 30: Preached in the morning service at Emmaus Road Church
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 or Providence Downtown 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 December, I received $1390.00 in monthly support. Thank you so much!
On the home front:
We are really enjoying having our college kids home for the Christmas and New Year’s Holidays. Hannah’s friend, Sneh, spent time with us in Idaho. Sneh grew up in India, and it was fun seeing her experience the Intermountain West.
- Please pray for our infant church plant–Providence Downtown.
- Please pray for the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission to gain a new facility and transform into a fuller, extended live-in recovery program.
- Pray as I connect and encourage pastors.
My three main ministry objectives:
- 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.
- 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.
- Be a blessing to the local pastors and church families. I have been accepted as a volunteer church coordinator in my Idaho district for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
May Jesus reign as King!
roots by the river,
Todd Wood (downtown missionary)