Dear Friends and Ministry Partners,
Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ! It’s the beginning of a new fresh clean slate…2019! I always enjoy the closing of a year and the beginning of the next. I take time every year to reflect on the previous year of changes, ministry, new relationships, growth, etc. both personally as well as ministry. I love preparing for the new season to come and that’s just what we have been doing with First Love Ministries. There is a new season for First Love that awaits us and I’m so grateful for all those that partner with us.
2018 brought about some major changes for First Love. We’ve had some very trying moments of testing and also some very successful moments of triumph. In February of 2018 our founder and dear friend Paul Conger passed away in the jungle of Peru while on a mission’s trip. God swiftly moved to continue the work that was started over 28 years ago. We gained new leadership with fresh vision and direction for the future of First Love. God is faithful!
Over the past year we have built 5 more churches in Peru, which takes us to 60 churches that First Love has built in Peru. We are closer to our goal of 100 churches. Praise God! We did new ministry this past year in Cusco, Peru where we spoke into church leadership from several denominations, remote village ministry and kid’s crusades and many received Christ. We learned a lot from our trip and look forward to what God is doing in Cusco and the surrounding areas.
Our girls’ homes in India have grown this past year. We were so excited to be able to grow the numbers of our girls this year by rescuing 3 more girls from life threatening situations and give them hope for a future. To see the changes over several months is just so eye opening. You can truly see how they came to us completely hopeless but after a few months their entire countenance has changed, and they smile with true joy in their hearts.
We also did several upgrades to our facility/grounds at the Hope Home in India this year. We completed the water retention wall that will protect the property from additional water erosion. And additionally, we have been working to build a wall around the entire property. This will stake claim to our entire property and will give additional safety and security to our girls.
The Diasozo project work in Valentine Nebraska this past year was so successful as we now have three functioning bathrooms, completed tile, new kitchen cabinets and almost a completed first floor. We were able to leave the property more clean, organized and ready for someone to live on the campus than we’ve ever been in the past. We are so grateful for the teams that worked so hard to accomplish all that was done this year and in the previous years. God see’s all that hard work and will bless it.
In March of 2018, the board of First Love Ministries asked me to take and lead First Love as their President. My first order of business was to fill as many dates that Paul had scheduled and to just get my arms wrapped around the ministry. There are a lot of moving parts to a ministry like First Love and it was quite an undertaking, but I made so many new friendships and started some long-lasting relationships that I’m truly thankful for. God gave the strength to complete the schedule that Paul had in addition to pastoring The Ridge Community Church and growing areas of First Love that we could see needed additional attention.
The future of First Love is in God’s hands as He leads us and directs our steps. He is opening new doors to us which is an exciting journey. I was recently asked to come to the Philippines January 14-24 and do ministry at Word Of Hope church in Manilla (60,000 members), speak at the 2019 Assemblies of God Top Leadership Summit and also do three crusades at fishing villages on remote islands in the Philippines. God is in control and we trust Him!
We also have just launched a new re-build of our website that offers on-line donations and easier navigation of our ministry and who First Love really is. www.firstloveministries.com
To say that I am excited about the future of First Love is an understatement. God is doing great things, and we are ready to see Him move in His power. Please keep us in your prayers as we take the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world!
2019 MISSION TRIP SCHEDULE
Manilla, Philippines – Leadership, Church & Crusade ministry
Tarapoto, Peru – Leadership, Church & Crusade ministry
March 25-April 2
Kolkata, India – Girls Homes & Church ministry
Cusco, Peru – Leadership, Church & Crusade ministry
Our mailing address is PO Box 100, Rogers, AR 72757 and email address is DAustin@FirstLoveMinistries.com. If you are on Facebook, please like First Love Ministries so you can receive our updates. Thank you for being a partner of First Love Ministries.
If you are a pastor, I would love to connect and build a relationship with you and share the heart of First Love. Please reach out to me so we can schedule some time at the email above.
A Son of God,
PS. We pray you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s! Keep our family in your prayers.