My name is Joshua Barzon, and my wife is Laura (Ansley) Barzon. We both graduated from Fairhaven Baptist College in 2016. We are now serving the Lord in Iowa at Pleasantville Baptist Church, which is pastored by AJ Potter. When the Lord led us to move to Iowa, it was a step of faith because I grew up mostly in large cities such as Los Angeles, Boston, Dallas, and Cairo. Now, we live in Pleasantville, IA with a growing population of 1,664! But the Lord’s leading is always perfect. Although we are in a small town, we have a large influence on the areas around us. We are only thirty minutes away from Des Moines, the state’s largest city, and we are blessed to have a reach into other towns and neighborhoods around us.
I serve here as the High School teacher of Pleasantville Baptist Academy, along as an assistant to my Pastor. Laura and I primarily work with our church’s teens, both in the academy and from our public schools. This past August, we were amazed that God opened an opportunity to reach into our public High School in town. The superintendent of the Pleasantville School District is a Catholic man, but open to any “Christian” organization. Pastor Potter met with him and asked if we would be able to host a Bible club at the High School once a week in the morning. The superintendent thought it was a great idea, and now we are able to host the “Youth for Truth” club each Tuesday morning at our town’s public High School.
Our church is also privileged to host several annual events that many churches from around our state and even region are able to come to. These include our annual Mid-Winter Youth Rally, Mid-Iowa Junior Camp, and Ladies Conference. Laura and I are blessed to be at a growing, active church that is concerned with reaching the lost as well as edifying believers.
Lastly, the Lord has allowed me to use some skills that I didn’t know I would be able to use again. While at Fairhaven, I was able to help start the Media Team. Back in the old days, it was Levi Armacost, Nathan Morgan, and I. I know, ancient history. While working with the Media Team, I learned to record, edit, and upload videos for the online college program. Since then, I have not done much video recording and editing. That is, until this coronavirus hit. Our governor asked churches in Iowa to help mitigate the spread of the virus by abiding with the “under 10 person gathering” mandate. Thankfully, the Lord allowed me to have the knowledge to set up live-streaming capabilities. Even though it is an odd situation, the Lord has allowed our online services to have a far-reaching influence, and we have already seen good fruit from it. We are looking forward to when things get back to normal for our church, but until then, we are excited to see the Lord leading in different ways for our church family to stay both connected and involved in reaching the lost.
Laura and I are very grateful to have graduated from Fairhaven Baptist College. It is amazing that we can apply what we learned from our time at college in our present ministries in Iowa. Times are changing, but we are glad that Who we serve doesn’t change. We hope this letter finds you all doing well, and continuing the work of the Lord where you are at.