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From New Hope Wesleyan Church, Williston, ND - Pastor Michael Skor
Quick Story: Our building project has been far more than bricks and mortar...it has not only been a growth process for our congregation, but even the building process has moved our mission forward of sharing the Gospel. Here are a few brief stories:
As part of our ministry and, to be honest, to save some dollars in our expensive housing market here in Williston, we have housed all of our subcontractors in the homes of NewHopers -- the interaction and investment in these men by NewHopers has been incredible to watch. One of these crews arrived in the early fall of 2013. They were all from the Carolinas and rough around the edges, which made some of our host homes a little nervous. Just a few days after they arrived, one of the guys went home to his host and was visibly upset. He announced that he'd lost his wallet somewhere on the job-site that day with all of his cash, ID, etc. They had searched the whole site and could not find it, which meant that it probably had been buried by the excavating crew. That night, the host home had a NewHope Small group in their home. They asked the guys if they'd mind coming in to meet the group for just a minute so that they could pray with them about the lost wallet. They did... the next day the crew that was backfilling around the foundations were pumping out several feet of water that had poured in from an overnight rainstorm, and there, under a pipe, six feet down...lay the wallet. The young man was in tears and said, "If I wasn't sure there was a God before, I'm pretty sure now." Over the course of the next several months, he, and several of his friends on the crew began to attend our weekend services regularly. Our Pastors had opportunity to pray with most of them, give them counsel for marriages/relationships back home, and talk to them about their relationship with the Lord. As they left, they all had tears in their eyes saying, "There's something different about this job. We won't be the same..." Several made commitments to continue their seeking and searching as they went back home. Who knows what seed was planted?

Another one of our crew chiefs hired two guys that he met over a breakfast (if you aren't aware - that's an unusual thing in Williston, because everybody has a job and there are thousands of job openings). Over the course of that week as they were installing chairs in the worship center, several NewHopers visited with them, provided food, and more. One of the men, his name was Abram, began asking questions about what it means to have a relationship with Christ and baptism. He became more and more distraught over the next 24 hours and finally Pastor Jason met with him, walked him through the plan of salvation. Abram almost didn't let him finish as he said, "I want to do that!" They prayed together and then we celebrated!

So many of the guys who came in from out of state have had incredibly challenging pasts. Harry was no exception. Several of us had opportunity to pray with him, talk to him about his faith, and so much more. On his last day, our business manager took him to the airport and Harry had tears running down his cheeks. He said, "I don't want to go. God changed me here, but I need to go back and learn how to live for Him."

Just yesterday we received a call from the owner of one of the subcontractors who had worked here for several months over the fall and winter. When he first came he described himself by saying, "I am a Christian, but I've kind of given God my 2nd best for quite a while now. My marriage needs help, but even as I pulled up to this place with my truck I sensed that something would happen here that would help me get back on track." In yesterday's call he said, "My life, my family...everything is different. We haven't missed church. My marriage is stronger than ever before. I'm working harder on being a dad then I have ever. Being in Williston was both the most difficult and the best time of my life. It was there that I got right with God! Thank you."