Monday, December 5, 2005

November Update

November Update

Rachel Elizabeth Smith
1432 Lovell Road • Knoxville, Tennessee 37932
Phone (865) 806-3802
Dearest Friends and Family,

God’s provisions never cease to astound me! My heartfelt thanks extend to all who pray for and support this ministry.

This month I have learned many lessons in the power of prayer. As I read over the prayer requests I put before you in my last letter, I was surprised by how far we have come in so short a time. For example, I asked you to pray for an opportunity to minister in a local prison. We have received a literal onslaught of opportunities for service both there and in other correctional facilities nearby. I truly believe that God has allowed us to partner with Him “to preach good news to the poor… bind up the brokenhearted… proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners” (Isaiah 61:1).

We have also begun to mobilize a partnership between members of our church and a local homeless ministry.[1] We were amazed when over 30 people showed up at the interest meeting, ready and eager to serve Knoxville’s “least of these” (Matthew 25:31-46).

Currently I am in the middle of our Angel Tree project, which I am coordinating through two different agencies.[2] God has already done more than we could “ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:30), and I am eager to tell you in my next letter about His movement through this special Christmas program.

God is teaching me so much and giving me a vast array of opportunities to serve Him through this position. For the last three weeks, I have been privileged to help lead worship with our high-school ministry. Music has been immeasurably important to me thus far and I am glad to welcome it back into my life. I was also blessed to be able to share a bit of my heart with a women’s group at a local church. I was encouraged by the hospitality and openness of the women and humbled that God was able to use me when I felt I had nothing to say.

Here are a few ways that I ask for your prayers:
1) Please pray that God will continue to provide sponsors for the children in Knoxville and around the world who do not have the means to celebrate Christmas with gifts, food, and a nurturing home environment.
2) Christmas can bring stress and excessive demands on one’s time along with a myriad of opportunities to help people. Please pray for wisdom as we decide where to put our time, energy, and money as individuals and as a church body.
3) I wish I could say that fundraising is no longer a prayer request, but it is. As of today, I have raised less than one third of my salary. Please continue to pray that God will provide sponsors to partner with me in this ministry.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support! If you wish to make a tax deductible contribution to help this ministry continue, please make your check payable to Providence Church with “for Rachel Smith” written in the memo line, and send it to the address above. Please include a note with your name and the amount and frequency of your gift (one time, monthly, etc.) in order to help me keep track of my fundraising.

Feel free to write, call, or e-mail me anytime! I would love to hear from you.

Love in Christ,

Rachel Elizabeth Smith
Romans 8:28

"Christianity has all too often meant withdrawal and the unwillingness to share the common suffering of humankind. But the world has rightly risen in protest against such piety.... The care of another - even material, bodily care - is spiritual in essence. Bread for myself is a material question; bread for my neighbor is a spiritual one." ~Jacques Maritain

[1] Knox Area Rescue Ministries (
[2] Helen Ross McNabb ( and Prison Fellowship (

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