Bloom News – August 2009

Dear praying friends,

We are already one week into the new school year. We have settled down to 80 students which is slightly lower than normal. We have three seniors – all boys – and seven kindergarteners. We have several new students coming as a result of contacts thru the summer youth groups. Please be in prayer for this year and that students will respond to the gospel message. We believe the school is a great tool to reach our community with the gospel. Children are generally open to the Lord. Pray for safety and God’s provision for bus fuel and propane – our two greatest expenses.

We now have our fourth diesel bus. I purchased it on Ebay like the others. Only this one was located near Baltimore, Maryland. Ruth and I picked it up shortly after Johnny’s wedding (which was in NC) and drove it 2,500 miles back to the mission. We traveled through 13 states picking up donations for the mission along the way and visiting friends and family. We arrived home with a very full bus.

The wedding was very special. It was great to meet Kara’s family and friends in NC. Johnny and Kara are settled in Topeka, Ks where Johnny works with his brother at a computer company. We are travelling to Hutchinson Sept 12 for their Kansas reception. It will be at Kansas Bible Camp from 2 – 5 PM. All are invited.

We hosted 7 work groups this summer with about 180 total workers. We got lots of work done from cleaning, painting to building a house and an addition on another house. One group repainted the gym floor which was an all week job. It really looks great. Many homes were reached with the gospel. The Navajo families really look forward to the groups coming, often providing a traditional meal to the group.

We have one new staff member this year. Elizabeth Mc Neal is here as a teacher’s aid and assistant coach. She is the daughter of Tim and Liz Mc Neal. She has wanted to serve the Lord on the mission field and God has led her to IM. She has already fit in nicely but please pray for her as there will undoubtedly be some culture shock. We are actually still short one high school teacher so keep praying that God will provide. The rest of us are doing extra duty to teach all the needed classes. The greatest need is for a science teacher.

The week before school started was very difficult. It seemed that Satan was working overtime to discourage us. The fiery darts were flying. We were reminded to put on the full armor of God and to resist – which we did. There was great victory. We know many of you are praying for us and that is so encouraging. We have had a good start to school and believe that this could be a special year here. Keep praying.

John Bloom

Immanuel Mission et. al.

Dear friends,

Praise the Lord for your prayers for me and Immanuel Mission.  Please talk to the Lord about us right now if you would.  School starts Monday and we’re acutely seeing our need for the Lord’s help.  One student came by yesterday with his mother to enroll.  He didn’t want to work last year and John questioned him about that.  He wasn’t sure if he would work this year either.  He questioned why he needed to have a Bible class.  He left in a rage and the mother returned later seeking help as he was throwing things and destroying things at home.  Her desire was for John Bloom to go to the home and apologize and tell the boy how much we wanted him.  When John wasn’t willing to do that, she also was angry.  It was a reminder that we are in a battle for people’s souls and often it feels like we are on the front line.  Ephesians 6:18 says, “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.”
The Lord is always good to refresh me in between battles.  The summer at Kansas Bible Camp was great.  We saw kids trusting Christ and growing in grace each week.  One example of God’s goodness:  My jr. high girls’ camp was stuck at the big camp for 24 hours due to the road being flooded between the two locations.  I was very frustrated as the program director since so many of my great plans were thwarted.  The counselors, however, were ecstatic.  They had all this free time with the girls and got to have meaningful conversations with each girl.  They perceived that only 4 of the girls were not yet believers and 3 of those trusted Christ that day.  The Lord loves to turn what seems like a disaster into eternal good.  It is a good reminder for me right now as I’m anxious about things here at Immanuel Mission.
A fun refreshment was my trip to Johnny Bloom’s wedding in North Carolina in July.  It was a good road trip with favorite nieces and nephews and we visited other favorite nieces and nephews along the way to and from the wedding.  Highlights of that trip were: attacking the rapids of the James river in Richmond, being attacked by the waves of the Atlantic Ocean in Virginia Beach and a state park in Delaware, fishing with my great niece and nephew in the Potomac river less than a mile from Mount Vernon, playing hide and seek with dear friends in the National Cathedral, cheering for the Royals at Camden Yards in Baltimore, and climbing through a fuselage and many other crazy things at City Museum in St. Louis.  Oh, yeah, the wedding was nice too.
My roommate this year is Elizabeth McNeal, (Tim’s daughter) from the St. Louis area.  She is 18 and will help in many areas around the school I’m sure.  She has already proved herself invaluable (shouldn’t that be valuable?) doing dishes and helping me with bulletin boards.  She plays games too, which is a bonus.  We’ve played Agricola, Nertz and volleyball so far.  I think she is eager to get to know the students and will be really used by the Lord when school starts.  The kids respond to younger people in ways that they don’t respond to me anymore.  Along that lines, my great nephew called me “Grandma” within hours of my being at his home.  I loved it but kind of wondered, “How did he know?”  I’m closer in age to his dad than my sister (I had to put that sentence in).  I’m delusional about my age and most of my nieces and nephews reinforce that delusion (thanks).
I’ll be teaching exclusively in the upper grades this year.  I’m teaching HS English, world history, and Algebra I and will also teach music to the 7-12 grade as an elective.  The English and history are new subjects for me, but Megan Thurston is coming to visit starting today, so I’m hoping she will help me plan curriculum and map out the year.  She taught both of those subjects multiple times when she taught here.  (Just between you, me and the Lord, I’m praying that she might extend her visit from a week to a year.  We’ll see.)
Thanks again for your prayers.  I was glad to see many of you over the summer and would love to have you here for a visit.  My guest room is occupied, but we have a whole house that is available for guests and I’ve been known to squish up to 20 in my house for meals and games.
Anne Denny