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Andy and Amy Sturm and their six children, missionaries in Carlisle, England were guests at Bethany Baptist Church, Sunday. It had been nine years since the Sturms had last visited our church. They have been in England seven years and two of the children were born there.
They moved to Carlisle, England in 2004 and began a Bible Study in their home. Most families in that area go back three or four hundred years. They took notice when a “Yank” moved to the neighborhood. Children in the neighborhood came to play with the Sturm children and it was not long until they welcomed the parents of the children into the home. They practiced an open door policy and have built some strong friendships with those neighbors.
In April 2005 they began meeting in a Community Center in Dalston which is a village in a nearby rural area. They had thirty in attendance that first Sunday. They organized a church in March 2009 and have about 28 that are faithful in attendance. Soul winning is not just a matter of presenting Jesus, you have to start with Genesis 1:1. Evolution is taught as if it were a proven fact, so that few children have even heard about Creation.
The Sturms have taken every opportunity to get their message out, but most often they reach people through community relationships. Andy has gotten an opportunity to coach “American football” with young men who do not know the basics. He has been able to reach several young men that way.
Andy brought a message from Luke 7 where Jesus raised the widow’s son in Nain. There were two crowds at Nain that day. One of the crowds followed Jesus in hopes of seeing a miracle, some came to hear what Jesus had to say, and some came for healing. The other crowd was following a coffin that was being carried out of the city. There was much weeping and probably a number of professional mourners following that coffin.
There were two sons. One was the only son of the widow and the other was the only begotten Son of God. When they met that day the power of death met the power of life. There was no movement in that coffin until Jesus touched it and told the young man to “arise.”
Andy Sturm was a funeral director for about ten years, ministering to the needs of bereaved family members. Andy never saw a time that the dead sat up and began to speak as did that young man in Nain. When the young man arose, he no doubt got out of that coffin, he lay down that old box. He would want to lay it aside like a new born Christian lays aside every weight of sin that has hindered him. Now he runs a race without all that baggage.