Mike and Dawn Menning serve with the Great Commission Utah which focuses on bringing the gospel to the people of polygamist groups.
December 29, 2020
On November 23, 2011, Dawn and I drove into Colorado City for the very first time. We picked up James who was escaping the clutches of the FLDS. He threw his garbage bags in the back of our pick-up truck and jumped in the back seat of the small club cab. James was 19-year-old, tall, dark-complected, a burly young man, with a word slurring, heavy "Cricker" accent. He was a very friendly guy. About ten miles down the road he asked a strange question and I had no idea what he was talking about.
The question was, "what's all this celebration of lights about?" He went on to say that at this time of year he knew there were colorful lights on trees, houses, and everywhere outside the Crick. We explained that we are now entering the Christmas season and that is what people do to celebrate Christmas. He asked, "what is Christmas all about?" He was fascinated as we talked more and began explaining that it was the celebration of Jesus' birth.
That day we met a 19-year-old guy living in the United States who had no idea of how and when most of the world celebrate Jesus' birth. He said the FLDS believed that Jesus was born on April 6. That was the culture of the FLDS twin-towns of Colorado City and Hildale in the year 2011.
In 2012 God led me to start a ministry to the polygamist people of those little towns. I was soon joined by Brody and Liz Olson, church-planting missionaries. I can's take the credit for what the culture of that town is today. God sent his Spirit into the hearts of the people ahead of us, you know the story!
THE GREAT CONTRAST
Today, in that little town of about 10,000 people, in the 2020 Christmas season, the light of Jesus has permitted the darkness of evil. Oh, don't get me wrong there is still plenty of evil in that place, but the light of Jesus has come to that little town. The lights are up and Jesus is boldly being proclaimed as Christians are walking life with people of the community. The Dream Center is reaching out in the name of Christ to the people through a thriving food bank, a shelter for moms with little kids, an alcohol and drug treatment center, and Christian counselors who are helping people to heal in the name and life of Jesus.
The Olsons and the Evans lead a great ministry to the people of the community through a thriving Thrift Store where they are making many first contacts with people of the community and providing for a real need. They have organized a Christ-centered church, the Grace Community Church. A couple of weeks ago was bursting at the seams with 130 people in attendance. At yesterday's service and the week before the church went to two services to accommodate the growth. There is a youth Bible study for junior and senior young people that is going very well. There are many other youth and children's ministries and Bible studies for men and for women, where community people are learning about the Jesus of the Bible for the first time!
Well, what do think? Have your prayers of support and finances made a difference? Oh yes, they have, and God is gathering his people to himself, please continue praying for the missionaries as they minister to the people of this culture.
In His service,
Marion "Mike" Menning