Stewards In Buffalo – February 2018
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Warm Greetings in the Name of Jesus!
God is so good to us. It is tax season, and it causes us to reflect on 2017 again. 2017 was an interesting year for us – a very busy one.
February 14, 2017, we welcomed our baby girl into our young family. That also means we celebrated her first birthday recently. It is true what they say, “they grow up so fast.” Our little princess is very mobile. Not yet walking, but crawling all over the place, even climbing stairs when we aren’t looking. She can now pull herself up and stand while holding on to things. She says “dadda” and other unintelligible sounds and is about the cutest thing you would ever see.
August 2017 Through work contacts, Justin was able to begin Protestant services in two nursing homes in Buffalo. These services are being held weekly in the one home, and monthly in the second. He has now been officially named the Chaplain of Emerald South Nursing Facility on Elmwood Ave. It is a blessing to be able to minister to people who are coming to the twilight of their stay on earth and looking to secure their eternal place. He has had the privilege of leading residents to the Lord and the evangelist’s heart burns brightly within him through this ministry.
September 21. 2017 Jeremiah turned 2 years old. He is just a little peanut (as we like to call him), but he is smart as a whip. He talks your ear off and has quite an extensive vocabulary for little guy. His favorite things to talk about are Thomas (the train), Patches (the cat), and Tuesday/Friday. He and his brother think Tuesday and Friday are places to go, and often ask if they can go there with us.
October, 25 2017 Samuel turned 3 years old. Our “big” boy is developing by leaps and bounds. He can say his alphabet and can recite John 3:16 word for word. He and his brother are little sponges and often remind us that “we need to spend time with Jesus” and “Proverbs gives us wisdom.” Our boy loves to preach and gives us many little sermons daily. He repeats little snippets of verses and messages he heard Daddy or Pastor Andy preach. He also loves music and will play his little guitar, piano, or drums (its not a real drum, but that’s what he calls it) along with Daddy or Mommy when they play.
September 2017 at the Zion Pastor’s Convention Justin received his ordination, after being licensed for six years, from Zion Fellowship International. This is the same organization that sent us out as missionaries to Africa. It is such a blessing to have a spiritual covering that stands for the truth of God’s Word and holds a high standard of integrity and holiness. These men have invested in our lives over the years, and we pray by God’s grace to be a blessing to them and the fellowship.
Justin is still working full-time managing an x-ray company, and Alyssa is busy raising kids, selling Paparazzi (fashion jewelry) and Pampered Chef. God has opened an opportunity for Justin to go back to school at little cost to us. This is a great blessing as money must be stretched to its maximum at times.
2017 was also a very fruitful year in ministry. Justin (and usually family) was able to travel and minister on over 20 weekends of 2017. This included new places of ministry with new contacts. God is expanding our circle of influence for which we are grateful. In addition to the new places of ministry, we have also made repeat trips to Scotia, NY to minister at Living Waters Fellowship (4 times in 2017, and 2 already in 2018), Kitchener Ontario (Mount Zion Assembly), Jamestown, NY (Mount Zion Assembly), Waverly NY (Mt. Zion Church), Angola, NY (His Way Assembly), Erie, PA (Church of Mt. Zion), and a few others as well.
We recently felt led by the Lord to switch home churches and he has indicated that he wants to move in revival there. For the foreseeable future our home church will be Lakeview Community Church, in Lakeview, NY. Justin ministered there for the first time this past Sunday (Feb 25, 2018). The full details of this move may be explained later, but for now we will just say the pastor there asked us to consider coming there and being involved in ministry. After much prayer, and counsel we felt God speak to us to do it. We have felt a warm welcome by the people, and they seem to love our children. We look forward to seeing what he will do. We did have a sad departure from our former home church, and we will miss the people there deeply. We were able to leave with a full-blessing from our pastor there.
Looking to the future – Prayer points.
- We believe that God has yet to really launch us into what he has called us to. We feel there is significance to the death of Billy Graham and possibly is a sign that God will soon move in revival power and launch us into a greater role in God’s evangelistic program of this last hour.
- Justin has written a book on evangelism, and its role in the vision of Zion, and we hope that it will be released this year.
- The Ministry at Lakeview Community Church. Our exact role is not yet known, but the pastor has asked us to consider starting a Bible School and be involved in other aspects of ministry in the church (to be fully disclosed later).
- Revival, Revival, Revival!
Ps. Justin, Alyssa, Samuel, Jeremiah, and Tirzah Steward
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October 17, 2017
Greetings in the wonderful name of the Lord!
Life continues to come at us day by day. We appreciate those who pray for us – please continue to pray for us as we serve the Lord in His vineyard. If you take time to view “my portfolio” page on the blog site you will see that we have kept up a frequent itinerant ministry schedule at different churches. God has been doing wonderful things at those meetings. He has opened the door for us to travel on a regular basis to our beloved friends at Living Waters Assembly in Scotia, NY (near Albany). Rev Charles and Linda Phillips have both significantly impacted our lives over the years, and it is a privilege to serve with them at their church when they travel to minister elsewhere.
God has opened up a couple new doors for us for which we want to praise and thank him.
- Nursing Home ministry. Through my work connections with two nursing Home administrators I have been asked to hold regular protestant services in two different nursing homes. Emerald South, Delaware Ave. Buffalo, NY – I am holding a service there every Thursday from 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM. God has been blessing our time together. And the residents are hearing the Word of God. We get a mixture of Catholics, protestants, and visitors in the service each week. Ridgeview Manor, Dorrance Avenue, Buffalo, NY – I am holding a service here once a month from 2:30-3:30 on a Saturday. The attendance has been good in the first two services. We also get a mix of Catholics, Protestants, and everything in between. God has given me wonderful opportunity to share the Gospel with many elderly in these homes.
- Freedom Life Church International, Kitchener, Ontario. Through a family connection I was invited to speak at this church in Ontario. Rev. Mike Knoll is the Pastor, and he is an on-fire Man of God. It was a privilege to minister there this past Sunday. God was really speaking, and moving in the prophetic. We believe God was able to bless His people there.
Zion Fellowship International, our spiritual covering, has a Pastor’s Convention twice a year. We were able to be a part of that last month which was a great blessing in the Lord. The messages and worship services from the convention can be found at: https://www.zionfellowship.org/media-conventions/ While at the convention I received my ordination at the Thursday evening service. For the previous six years I have been a licensed minister with the fellowship, but now I am officially ordained. As I reflect back on my journey from darkness till now, I can only praise God for his tremendous grace and mercy on my life. God be praised!
Last month on Sept 22nd our Jeremiah turned 2 years old. This little boy is such a joy to watch grow and learn. He is like sponge when it comes to his speech. He is learning new things everyday. We look forward to see what God will do in his life as he grows. Both of our boys love to preach. they are always setting up make-shift pulpits in the house and holding their microphones (anything that can be held in one hand) while animatedly shouting about Jesus, God, Jonah, and anything else that comes to mind (sometimes they preach about Thomas the train and the babysitter, Korbyn).
Samuel turns 3 years old on October 25th. We had a birthday party this past week for both boys at our home. He is mostly potty-trained now – it will be great to have one child completely out of diapers soon. It is just amazing to see how this boy (and his brother too) has grown and developed into a perfect child (developmentally – I am not saying he is without sin). When my little guys were born premature, and were just over two pounds, you have anxiety that they will have some developmental issues. God has been so good to us, and brought us through those trials. Our boys are poster-children for Preemie babies!
Tirzah is now eight months old. She is not quite crawling, but does a little army crawl where she drags her body across the floor with her arms. She is very active, and gets around just about anywhere she wants to go on the floor. She is our ever-smiley (except at bed-time) bubbly baby. She is such a joy to the family.
We do appreciate your continued prayers. Life is often very trying, and busy.
Please Continue to Pray for:
- God’s Continued direction on our journey
- God’s grace to raise our kids according to His ways, and sometimes we need His grace just to survive each day.
- His protection on our family as we minister.
- God’s direction concerning a Zion Church in the Buffalo, NY area.
In His Service,
Justin, Alyssa, Samuel, Jeremiah, and Tirzah Steward
Greetings in the wonderful name of the Lord!
It sure has been a long time since I wrote an update. I apologize for that. It feels like we have lived an entire lifetime since the last letter I wrote. The Lord has been amazing in opening up so many doors to preach the Word in different places. We are in awe of His goodness. We have also had the blessing of God in our personal lives: on Valentines day we welcomed our baby girl into the world: Tirzah (teer-zuh) Sophia Steward.
She was our first full-term baby, and she was born naturally (after two c-sections) – both of which are miracles. We have been overjoyed to have our happy baby girl join us in our journey of life.
Our house is a very busy place with three little ones in diapers, and can be overwhelming at times. The addition of a third child necessitated a larger space for all of us to live. God provided a much larger home for an excellent price – we moved in in May 2017.
For the Stewards it seems like life cannot happen gradually, but everything seems to happen at once. May 1st, Justin started a new job as the manager of a different mobile x-ray company. the company was expanding into the Buffalo area, and God chose Justin to be the one to get it started from the ground up. We feel this has been an invaluable experience for him, but also added stress and responsibility.
Alyssa has recently started a retail business selling dresses for little girls. She has quite a Facebook following, if you are interested in learning more about that please email her or find her dot dot smile Facebook page.
Since the new year we have kept up a full itinerant ministry schedule that has added to the busy feeling of life, but has also been refreshing in the Lord. We look forward to how the Lord will continue to move and open doors in days ahead.
Please remember to pray for us in this busy time of life. Samuel is going to be 3 years old in October (wearing the Clark Kent glasses – non-prescription) Jeremiah 2 in September (with the curls at the beach), and Tirzah 1 in February. We look forward to seeing you at your churches as the Lord opens the way for us to come.
- Grace, Grace, Grace in our everyday life in a busy house, especially for Alyssa as she spends most of the days with three whiny children. This can be very trying at times.
- Clear leading and guiding of the Lord for the next steps in our journey. We are still waiting on God for the time of a church launch in the Buffalo area.
In His Service,
Pastor Justin, Alyssa, Samuel, Jeremiah, and Tirzah Steward
Email Justin: email@example.com
Email Alyssa: firstname.lastname@example.org
Previous Newsletters See below:
Newsletter-summer-fall-2016– Please Click to see the PDF with pictures.
Greetings in the wonderful name of the Lord!
This letter has been long overdue, but we have found ourselves pretty busy with working full time, raising a family, and being involved in regular church ministry. Our summer was pretty full. In June we found out that we were having another baby; this time we are having a baby girl. She will is scheduled to make an appearance in early February 2017. We appreciate your prayers for a full term baby without complications for Alyssa.
July 10, 2016 we ministered in the Sunday morning service at our old home church in Jamestown, NY. It was nice to fellowship with our church family again. Later in the month we closed on our new house and moved in the same night. God has blessed us with a two-family home in Lackawanna, NY which is a southern suburb of Buffalo, NY.
August was a very full month of ministry for us. Mt. Zion Assembly in Kitchener Ontario has consistently had us minister in their church since February 2016. We were there on August 7th. We have enjoyed great acceptance there and enjoy the fellowship of the saints there. God is stirring things up and it is a privilege to be a part of it.
August 13, 2016 – I was asked to speak at a Memorial Service for my (Justin) uncle Michael Near. He died unexpectedly in July. This was a difficult task, but God was very gracious. This is the second opportunity the Lord has given me to proclaim the Gospel with most of my family present. The Lord enabled me to speak the truth in a spirit of grace and compassion to which I am very grateful.
August 21, 2016 – Church of Mt. Zion, Erie, PA. Rev. Dan Caram invited us to come and minister in Erie, a place that has felt like a second home to us over the years. This was the city where our son Samuel was born, and Alyssa and I stayed for two months while he was in the hospital. During that time this lovely church endeared themselves to us with their constant hospitality. It was a privilege and an honor to minister in the church there again.
On the Sunday afternoon we took a team of ten people from the church and organized an open air evangelistic outreach. On State St. in Erie they were having their annual “Erie Days” celebration, which brings masses of people out to the streets. We strategically set up a group of musicians who played and sang near the sidewalk, while others stood on the sidewalk passing out tracts and striking up conversations with people about the Gospel. After a few minutes of music I stepped up and preached a message of hope and salvation through faith in Christ. It was a great time of planting seeds, and saw a very good response and acceptance from the people. Thanks you to the saints in Erie who helped us with this event. Especially Grace Ferrara who helped us with organizing details and people.
On September 4th- We returned to Kitchener Ontario to minister in the church there. The Lord put on my heart to emphasize the importance of the ministry of the evangelist. Pastor Heyer and the church there have been so supportive of us and very accepting. Again, we thank them for the continued fellowship together. The Lord has really been blessing the ministry there and we look forward to what he will do in the days ahead.
September 17-18, 2016 – Living Waters Assembly, Scotia, NY. Rev. Charlie and Linda Phillips have been great blessings to both of us over the years, and the church in Scotia has been dear to our hearts. It had been three years since we had a chance to visit them, but finally the Lord made a way for us to come while the Phillips traveled to Miami Florida. Alyssa spoke on Saturday night at the prayer meeting on Faith, while the boys and I hung out in the nursery that was specially prepared for our arrival. I ministered in the Sunday morning service, and Alyssa led worship and played the piano. It was a very nice trip because we ministered together as a family, and this was really the first time we did this since we had the boys.
September 22 – Jeremiah turned one year old. We are so proud of our little guy. He has come a long way since his 2lb 7 oz. birth. We had a joint party with his brother in October. Samuel turned 2 years old on October 25. He has grown up so much and has a lot to say for a little guy.
September 27-29 – We were able to attend the Zion Fall Convention in Waverly, NY. It was so nice to be able to fellowship with the Lord and the other ministers and saints from around the fellowship. The Lord gave us some fresh inspiration and direction as we move towards staring a church in the Buffalo region.
October 2, 2016 – we returned to Canada for a celebration of Canadian Thanksgiving. I always say that one of the great blessings of marrying a Canadian is that you can celebrate Thanksgiving twice a year. Pastor Heyer asked me to minister in the church while we were in the neighborhood, which I was happy to do. I spoke on the theme of Thanksgiving and Harvest.
October 30, 2016 – Mt. Zion Assembly, Jamestown, NY. In October we were able to return to Jamestown again. It was refreshing to be reunited with old church family and friends. The Lord was ministering to his people prophetically and I spoke about “the Pearl of Great Price” and the eternal value in suffering.
November 9, 2016 – Buffalo, NY. The Lord has brought a young evangelistically minded man across our path at the church we are attending temporarily. The two of us and his wife went to the arena where the Buffalo Sabres, the professional hockey team in Buffalo, play their games. We took turns preaching the Gospel to the masses of people as they passed. It was my friend’s first time doing something like this, and we both felt empowered and encouraged. We also had the opportunity to minister one on one to a certain poor, needy lady in the city.
As we look to the future we really ask for your continued prayers in the following ways:
- Alyssa and her pregnancy with our baby girl. We are asking for a full-term healthy pregnancy.
- For God’s continued direction in the timing and location of a new church in Buffalo, NY.
- For God’s continual direction and open doors for the itinerant ministry that has been opening up this year.
- For grace to be good parents and raise our growing family according to God’s ways.
- December 16-19th we have been invited to teach at the Zion Church Bible School in Virginia. Pray for the anointing and clarity as I teach.
Thank you for prayer and support,
Pastor Justin, Alyssa, Samuel, Jeremiah, and Baby Girl
April and May Ministry and Family Updates (please click the link)
February and March 2016
God is good to us and His love endures forever. My wife and I attended a church service in early February and the Pastor had a prophecy for me. The main message of the prophecy was that God did not want me to worry about the invitations (or lack thereof) that I was receiving to preach, that he would take care of it. He also encouraged me to be instant in season and out of season, even though it seemed like I had been on the shelf. This prophecy was truly from the Lord – I am sure that in 2015 I preached less than five times, and I truly had felt like I was sitting on a shelf.
Within a few days of that prophecy I had two phone calls from different churches lining up speaking engagements. As of right now I have spoken more times in the past five weeks then I did all last year.
Kitchener Ontario – February 14, 20,21, 27, and 28 – Mt. Zion Assembly. Pastor John Heyer was my wife’s pastor, and the man who married us in 2014. He asked me to speak at the church for 3 consecutive Sundays (and one evening service as well) and to do evangelism training on two Saturdays – one of them was followed with an evangelistic outreach in the community (Feb 20, and 27th). The Sunday services were very special. The Lord was moving in His power: speaking prophetically to many, and confirming His Word with deliverance and healing. There was one case of a woman being delivered and healed of a hiatal hernia, and arthritis. Praise the Lord!
The first Saturday we had a seminar on “Personal Evangelism in Everyday Life” where, by the grace of God, I was able to encourage, equip, and stir up the saints to be more involved in winning the lost. The following Saturday we talked about church outreach briefly, and then hit the streets using a survey as a door-opening tool to share the Gospel with people. We had some wonderful conversations with people who were open to hear the Gospel.
The time in Kitchener was not without its battles. My two boys, my wife, and I all battled illnesses on and off the entire three weeks. My youngest son Jeremiah had a bout with cellulitis in his eyelid. He was taken to the hospital to get treated. After he had been prayed for and treated with antibiotics the infection went away. A few days later the hospital and Jeremiah’s pediatrician testified that the antibiotic should not have cured his eye because the bacteria they found in his eye was resistant to it. We took this as the Lord confirming another healing miracle.
Please keep us in your prayers, we will be returning to Kitchener for an Easter Sunday service where I have been asked to share my personal testimony.
Waverly, NY – Zion Chapel – March 13, 2016 The Second phone call I received in February was from Rev. David Wallis, the Senior Pastor at Zion Chapel, and my ministry mentor. He asked me if I would come and speak at Zion Chapel on March 13 in the morning and evening services while he was traveling to Asia. He specifically asked me if I would speak on the subject of Evangelism. The Lord was moving prophetically in the services, and many were blessed. There was at least one case of healing, and others were delivered from evil spirits.
God is stirring and doing wonderful things. Consequently, we have been experiencing a number of spiritual attacks in the past few weeks. The enemy is trying to destroy us. We have made multiple trips to the hospital with fevers, eye infections, thyroid problems, and hearts racing. Just this Saturday we were involved in a bizarre car accident that will necessitate another vehicle purchase. I mention these things not to glorify the enemy, but to ask for a number of you to commit to praying for our family on a regular basis. Many ministries ask for regular financial contributions, but we are asking for regular spiritual warfare contributions. If there are some who have the ministry of intercession, please put us on your list. We see God beginning to stir and move in unique ways, but the enemy is trying to thwart that from happening.
Thanks for your prayers and support,
Pastor Justin, Alyssa, Samuel, and Jeremiah
January 26, 2015
Trinity Relief Zone – Frewsburg, NY
We want to thank all of you who prayed for our recent ministry at the Trinity Relief Zone in Frewsburg, NY. We had a wonderful time with Jason Wood, the director, John Barber, and the youth from the area that came. I spoke about the evidence we have to believe that the God of the Bible is the true and living God, and that we can trust the Bible as God’s message to us. I gave the youth an opportunity to respond for salvation and there were three who responded. Praise the Lord for that. It was also a special day for my family as baby Samuel came along and heard Daddy preach for the first time. My wife, Alyssa, says that when he heard me begin to preach his eyes got really big and he clearly recognized my voice. All around it was a special experience, and we look forward to returning again as the Lord gives opportunity.
Justin, Alyssa, and Samuel
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