Thursday, December 23, 2010

Jwaye Nwèl! Joyeux Noèl! Happy Christmas!


Despite the tremendous challenges of 2010, Haitians can still sing God's praises. Radio 4VEH continues to reach Haitians with the life-saving message of Jesus Christ through simple transistor radios. Here are a few highlights from the Radio 4VEH ministry:


  • Broadcasted messages after the earthquake like, "I'm alive" and "I'm still looking for..."

  • Reaching those wounded in the earthquake as they recovered -- one woman who was paralyzed with no friends or family around her listened to Radio 4VEH everyday and it became her lifeline.

  • Teaching listeners about the dangers of cholera, how to prevent it, and how to get treatment through life-saving messages.

  • Proclaiming around the clock to Haitian cities, towns and villages, the best news of all, that God so loved the world that he sent Jesus. News of great joy continues through Radio 4VEH.

If you would like to donate to Radio 4VEH to further advance the gospel through the air waves, visit the One Mission Society web site: http://www.onemissionsociety.org/. Use the express donations option if you would like to donate before year-end. Your gift will help broadcast farming advice, health advice, school programs, and the message of Jesus to almost one million people in Haiti.



Thursday, December 16, 2010

Haiti Has Been So Good To Us!

Year after year, people from Grace Church make the journey to the island of Haiti. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and one of the poorest in the world. We go to help were we can, to love the people and learn from them. There is a unique wisdom that comes from living in dramatic poverty. People have to be creative, resourceful and not lose hope. The Haitian people have taught us so much and we appreciate them dearly. Here's an old video of one of our teams serving on the island. Thank you Haiti, we'll see you again in March.
video

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pat Silvis--News From Mexico City

My Faithful Family and Friends,

How much is one human life worth? What would you sacrifice in order to see a loved one become closer with Christ? What does it look like when Jesus saves a life?
November flew by for me, and these are some of the questions that have really impacted me this past month. Issues regarding life, death, and history have been big themes in most of my ministry areas, and God has really stretched my idea of who He is and what He wants to do in Mexico.

We’ve been studying Filipenses (Philippians) in Spanish. Paul talks about being able to do everything through Christ (ch. 4), in good times and bad, and I’ve learned more of what that means for me here, through illness and stress as well as great friends and amazing experiences (like seeing the National Balet Folklorico. Our team also took a much-needed prayer retreat to Tepotzlan in early November. It was a wonderful time of prayer, scripture meditation, and fellowship. One of the big takeaways for me was the importance of knowing God and spending time with Him—He promises to meet us when we seek Him!

My deepest appreciation for your prayers and support.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Campus Crusade For Christ Plays a Role in the Chilean Miners Rescue Story.

If you’ve seen photos of the Chilean miners’ rescue a few months ago, most of the miners were wearing a t-shirt with “Gracias Señor” i.e., “Thank You Lord” on the front. The shirts, along with MP3 players (with the Jesus Film and the Bible in audio), were gifts from Campus Crusade for Christ Chile. Psalm 95:4 in Spanish was on the back of the shirts.

Christian Maureira, national director of Campus Crusade for Christ Chile, explains, “The idea was to glorify our Lord and also to express our love and concern for them. The men listened to the dramatized story-telling of the JESUS film several times, despite dust, rocks and water falling due to the rescue effort. They received many gifts but they decided to wear our t-shirts and we praise God for this. I was really excited because a lot of people around the world were [watching the rescue]. They gave the glory to God!”

Maureira also told about José Samuel, the spiritual leader of the miners, and how God answered their prayers: “During the first seventeen days when the men had no contact with the surface, some of the thirty-three men began to wonder, why didn’t God kill us right away? Others wrote letters to be read in the event of their death. Hope was slowly vanishing. On the sixteenth day of being trapped, despite the men’s attempts to ration, the food box was empty. [Remembering] Jesus multiplied the bread and the fish, José led the men in a prayer, asking for the box to be full of food by the next day. The next day the probe made contact with them and rescuers were able to send the miners food. It was a miracle, a glorious moment.”
Campus Crusade for Christ staff use both traditional and innovative strategies to reach people today. We are excited to be a part of a ministry that is open to new opportunities to share the Good News. This past year, for instance, Sus has been encouraging our staff women to embrace technology as a ministry tool. Unfortunately, a significant portion of her time was taken with medical appointments; thank you, especially, for asking God to heal her eye. Please also pray that no new medical needs turn up this next year so Sus has more time freed up for ministry and pray that the Lord supplies the funding we need for more than $5000 in extra medical expenses.
Through your faithful partnership with us, we are able to help key staff members, like Christian Maureira, who gives glory to God for the opportunity He provided to minister to these men and to show the world how He answers prayer.

Serving Christ with you,

Mike & Sus Schmitt CCFC

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving in Haiti. The Denningtons

It is Thanksgiving evening and I am sitting here beside Bud as he reads me the unbelievable statistics on this Cholera epidemic. They are saying we will be in it for years. 60,000 have been sickened. 25,000 hospitalized and over 1400 dead. We have had so much going on here. Violence has been occurring in the streets between the UN and the people. They are angry because it is believed here that the UN is responsible for this epidemic. Also we have elections going on and that can set off the people as well. They have so much to be angry about. They are tired, discouraged, hungry and now sick or know someone that is sick. Fear is a terrible thing and it can make any of us do things we do not want to do. As we slipped away to enjoy dinner together it is sobering to think that just a few yards away one of our houses is filled with children hooked to IV fighting Cholera. We have 13 pt right now and expect more tomorrow. Julie, Hannah and Dr Rodney have done an amazing job setting this up. Bud and I helped to facilitate and set up the clinic. We are using whatever we can find to take care of as many as we can.

Tomorrow we will look for more beds and set up more rooms. The cases increase more and more each day. You have to wonder how much more can this country take. We ended our day singing to the children and praying with them along with their parents. Talk about a helpless feeling. In times like this it is easy to feel inadequate. Praise God His is. We need all of your prayers once again. It is amazing in the mist of all of this just mention the name of Jesus to those who believe and see their faces change. This is another opportunity to help others to find Him.

From their daily blog: http://bjdennington.blogspot.com

Monday, November 22, 2010

Penn Gillette Gets A Bible



I saw this video awile ago and it challenged me. Pen Gillette is one half of the comedy team Penn & Teller. Mr. Gillette is usually extremely hard on Christians and skillfully debates them on matters of faith. This video was from his after show blog. This particular evening, he met a fan after the performance that truly made an impact on him.

His statement about half way through the vid blog is what stopped me cold. "How much would you have to hate someone to withhold information that could alter their eternity?" For fear of turning people off...we tend to say nothing about Christ, the Cross and the burden that man has to respond to Jesus' life and death. This vid is worth watching.
-pmike

Friday, November 19, 2010

An Opportunity to Serve in Thailand

Here's a note from Steve Cable serving in Thailand.
If God would put it on your heart to come to Santisuk for a month or more please write. We have just completed our 2011 calendar. In both March and April classes will be Monday - Friday and only 3 weeks long (instead of 4) meaning you don’t have to be away from home so long. Also, April 30 – May 2 we'll have our 5th annual Sports Camp. Short-term ministry in Thailand continues to be a great ministry opportunity - you focus on people not things, and you really make a difference in people's lives. We guarantee you a month at Santisuk will change your life! You can view our video about short-term ministry at SES at the new Converge (BGC) website http://www.convergeworldwide.org/give/108739 or http://vimeo.com/10269102. You can check out our website at www.santisuk.org/serve or http://www.santisuk.org/.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Some Things To Consider About Missions Work.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of confusing and sometimes contradictory talk going on about God's call to missions. Beware of the extremes! Some require you to have had your own mystical "call" or voice from God. I don’t deny this happens, but don’t let others over-spiritualize the process, then force it on you as normative. Other Christians approach it from an overly rational, dry, mathematical model that gathers the facts, prays, and then makes a logical decision. What are some of the ways that God leads people into missions?

Path 1: A few people really will have some kind of personalized call, vision, powerful encounter, or voice from the Lord.

Path 2: Other friends tell me theirs is not a matter of a "personalized call" to missions. It’s more a matter of obedience to God. In some cases the wife saw that her primary call of God was to marry this man, knowing that he was (and therefore, they were) going into missions.

Path 3: Still others find that they end up in missions after a serious evaluation of prime factors: deep commitment and obedience to Christ, plus a personal assessment of interests, gifts, experience, and dreams, combined with a heart of compassion for the lost and the poor, and an opportunity to serve and to make a difference in the world. These all converge to form a path into missions.

Path 4: Some report that the prime factors leading them into missions were rather simple: a radical obedience to Christ that meant a willingness to do anything, go anywhere, pay any price, plus an identification of their gifts and other’s needs.

William Taylor

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Prayers for the Joe Harvey Family

Please offer prayers for the Harvey family. Here's a note we received from them this morning. We just found out this evening (Wednesday) that Becky's mom, Sylvia Waneta Jones, died peacefully around 6:30 AM Wednesday morning, November 10, 2010.

Prayers are needed that Becky can make the necessary arrangements to get back to the states and for comfort for the family.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

News from Erica Thompson in Haiti.

The brother of the former pastor of Flavil, Pas. Schubert, died this AM (Tues.) with Cholera. Yesterday, it was reported that there were 10 Cholera deaths in Cap. More now... The funeral will be Sat. afternoon, so I will try to go. Please pray for the family, as this was Pas. Schubert's only brother. I don't remember his name, or know his age, but I am certain he was relatively young. It is very sad how quickly it is taking lives. It seems that so many personal hygiene habits (bad mostly) need to change, which requires a mindset change too...not always easy. Pray for those living so closely together in Cap. It seems to spread fast and little indication that one is infected until it is so advanced. God knows...shocking! PRAYING for Haiti to get a break!!

Erica

________________________________________

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Day in the Life of Grace Missionaries

Fenda’s mother, Satou, who’s health had been failing for several weeks now, passed away on Saturday. When Geguuta came by on the Thursday before to work on translation, with a smile on his face he explained that on Wednesday Fenda, her sister Saney (also saved) and their three daughters gathered around Satou’s bed and carefully went over God’s plan of salvation once again. Keep in mind that for the last five years, most Sunday mornings Satou sat in her bedroom while church was going on in the sitting room. She has heard the Word time and again, and has witnessed the changed lives of her family. On that morning she said that she agreed that what Christ did on the cross was for her and she was no longer trusting in her old ways. She asked Fenda to throw away the traditional fetishes that people had brought to help her. We sure rejoiced with that news! So when we got word that she passed away three days later, we continued rejoicing in the knowledge of her true rest. Despite the grief of the loss of their mother from this earth, Fenda, Saney, and a third sister, Yaana who is also saved, are at peace in their hearts.

We also rejoiced when Fenda and her husband, Geguuta, demonstrated their faith in the presence of those that came to the funeral. They explained that they would not be complying with a certain Balanta tradition called ‘Dimbaya’.
To understand the significance of this, we have to go back more than thirty years to the time Satou became a member of ‘Dimbaya’, a women’s society for those who have trouble conceiving. After Fenda was born, there was a longer than usual time until the next child. This prompted the necessary rituals to initiate Satou into the society, a sort of alliance with the ancestral spirits. These rituals include wearing a burlap sack, sitting on and rolling in the dirt, and eating a meal with sand mixed in it. Not long thereafter she began bearing children again and so these children are considered part of the Dimbaya. That would be Saney and Yaana. For the closure of the funeral, the Dimbaya members from surrounding villages came expecting to ‘undo’ the alliance for these two children of Satou. Fenda, with Geguuta by her side, stood before the group and announced that because her two sisters are both trusting in the Savior, God has said, ‘Old things are passed away, all things have become new’ so there was no need to ‘untie’ the alliance. This is the first time any Balanta Christians have had to deal with this cultural clash. The reaction of the Dimbaya society? They said, “This refusal to conform will surely bring some kind of misfortune!”


So we are praising the Lord for a saint who is in the presence of her Savior, and for the steadfast testimony of this family in spite of pressure to continue in the old ways. As a follow up to our last update, share in this joy with us! From Dave & Tippy McKee in Senegal.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Haiti Needs Our Prayers.

The picture says it all. Hundreds of thousands of people living in tent cities completely vulnerable to the storm that is racing their way. PLEASE take a moment to pray for the people of Haiti. Here is an update from internet news sites.

As tropical storm Tomas speeds toward Haiti, threatening to turn into a hurricane before it passes just west of the island Friday morning, some 1.3 million people are virtually trapped in Port-au-Prince’s flimsy tent cities. In the countryside, hundreds of thousands more Haitians still live in tents following the 7.0 earthquake the leveled the capital and surrounding areas in January.

Authorities have advised anyone living in makeshift camps to seek refuge in sturdier buildings, but many say they don't have that option. “The majority of people have nowhere to go,” says Stefan Reynier, the head of mission for Doctors Without Borders in Léogâne, 18 miles west of the capital. “Those people will not be protected.”

Tent cities ordered to clear out
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami on Wednesday night issued a hurricane warning for the coast of Haiti. Tomas is expected to make landfall on Friday and dump to 10 inches of rain across the island, according to the NHC.

Whatever the storm's incarnation, “it will create a bad situation for people living, and good conditions for cholera spreading in the water with the bad sanitation, with the movement of population,” adds Dr. Reynier.

The Haitian government has told citizens to evacuate their tent shelters and find secure housing – a tall order, considering the January earthquake damaged or destroyed some 200,000 homes in Port-au-Prince. Because of the city's poor drainage, streets strewn with rubble, and lack of trees or vegetation, flash floods could hit and rush through the dense tent camps.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hurricane Tomas Eyes Haiti. Please Pray!

Tropical Storm Tomas strengthened over the Caribbean Sea as Haiti braced for the system to hit as a hurricane at the end of the week.

Haiti’s government, the United Nations and humanitarian agencies are working on a response based on a projection the storm may affect 500,000 people, according to a statement on the website of the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The nation is already reeling from a cholera outbreak and a magnitude 7.0-magnitude earthquake in January that killed an estimated 300,000 people and caused $7.8 billion in damage.

Please pray for this desperate country as it faces yet another potential crisis. Remember our missionaries who are serving on the island. Bud and Jane Dennington, Kate Zlotnicki and Erica Thompson.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Please Pray For The Needs In Senegal

October is always a difficult month in this part of the country. People have labored long and hard through the rainy season and not had enough nutrition. Malaria carrying mosquitos are still rampant, though we are pleased that about everyone uses mosquito nets for sleeping. Older folks suffer in the heat and humidity. In the past three weeks there have been six deaths and at least one more is imminent. Two elderly, two infants, one child of ten, and a father of four who was about 40.

Yamde Jaata 70s
Jéere Saajo’s baby boy 1 year
Samba Saajo 70s
Landing Mansaal 10
Méeru Jaata’s baby boy 1 month
Jutala Maani 40

That last one was tough because I took him out (unconscious) to the local clinic for an exam, but because of his dire condition the brothers were advised to take him home as it would not be wise to spend money (also scarce at this time of year) by going on to the hospital because he was going to die anyway. Sure enough by midnight he was gone. I say it was tough because when we drove back into his compound the wailing began even though he was still alive at the moment.

We pray God will use these circumstances to wake people up to the truth of his Word. I had an opportunity to share frankly with the religious leader who did the funeral of this last fellow mentioned. We also try to implore the families to not be dwelling on their traditional belief system that says the unexpected deaths were acts of sorcery. We get the facts of the illnesses and suggest practical, physical means that can be taken for healing and prevention. Mostly it falls on deaf ears.

Thanks for praying. Dave and Tippy McKee

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pat Silvis: News From Mexico City

Dearest Friends and Family,

It’s hard to believe, but I’ve already been in Mexico City for over one month! October literally flew by, with classes, ministry experiences, my 24th birthday, and lots of time with family and new Mexican friends. God is doing a lot here and I want to share as much of His story as possible!

Every week we have ministry training with our Spearhead team (culture/history/ministry), an inductive Bible study, and Spanish classes. We’ve discussed Holistic Ministry (ministering to the whole person, not just evangelizing) and Incarnational Ministry (submitting oneself to the culture in order to understand how to effectively communicate the Gospel), which have really challenged me to think differently about ministry in Mexico. Two big take-aways have been that effective ministry is complicated, and takes time—Jesus took 30 years to live and learn His culture before starting His ministry.

We also talked about how part of Mexico’s history/culture has been to wear metaphorical “masks,” which effectively keep you “safe,” but prevent you from truly being yourself. In Spanish classes we have learned about love/dating and growing up in Mexico, but one of the most powerful classes we had was when we read through multiple newspapers to see what is currently happening in Mexico. There are many troubling situations here that we prayed for, such as the violence/deaths between the government and the drug lords (narco traficantes), government corruption, and the rise of sexual-social issues (abortion, teen pregnancy, legalization of prostitution, sex-trafficking). Please continue to pray for the Mexican government, the Christian church in Mexico, and the many people who are suffering here.

Please Continue to Pray for:
--Mexico and the many spiritual/physical needs here
--Wisdom for managing my time/energy/relationships
--Mentorship/Discipleship opportunities at church
--Alliances with businesses/ministries for the A.C.
--The Honduras mission trip (wisdom in forming the teams)
--My church here, Iglesia Cristiana Evangelica Generación de Fe y Poder
--Patience/discernment in dealing with cultural differences (Mexican, American, and the culture of God’s Kingdom)

Thank you again so much for your prayers and support. I would love to hear from you and be able to pray for you—please don’t hesitate to let me know how you’re doing!

-Pat

patrick.silvis@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Helpful Ways To Pray For Our Missionaries: Part Two

Pray For Courage
"Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should" Ephesians 6:19-20 (NIV). Why do we have to pray for courage for our missionaries?
They need courage to:
- Minister effectively in other cultures and languages
- Defeat discouragement and unique challenges
- Conquer fear of failure and shame.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bill & Kathy Martin Serving in Senegal with Converge

Bill & Kathy serve in Dakar Senegal working with Converge in their church planting efforts. Here's some recent impressions of the difference between the US and Senegal based on a a trip home.
Some people have asked me what my impressions are of the United States, after having been gone for two years. Here are my Top Ten…
10. The grass is so, so green, and there is so much of it.

9. We have amazing restaurants in the States. I was treated to meals at several and each one seemed more delicious than the last. And free drink refills – what luxury!

8. Driving on country roads covered with shadows was very distracting for the first few days – the constant light/dark was like a strobe light to my eyes. I’d forgotten about shadows! For the most part, there are no trees along the roads here, and shade is a commodity. When you are driving in Dakar, you have to be on the lookout for sheep, soccer balls flying into the road, potholes, and pedestrians, but shadows are pretty much non-existent.

7. I was struck by the fact that everything seemed to have dual labeling – English and Spanish. We got used to that up in Canada, where everything is labeled in English and French, but I don’t remember there being much Spanish on labels before we left.

6. No one uses paper maps anymore. Without a GPS, we had to keep making use of Google maps in order to find our way around, and even Google maps seemed outdated. I wonder how long it will be before kids are unable to read paper maps!

5. In Senegal, houses have walls around them, and most people have guards. You wouldn’t think of leaving a door unlocked. As we drove around our home town, I kept thinking of what our Senegalese friends would think if they saw our homes… “You mean someone can just walk right up to your door?”

4. American cars are so comfortable. (Thanks Wendi and Pat!) American roads are so, so wonderful.

3. Three of the sweetest words I know… 1. Central 2. Air 3. Conditioning.

2. I can guarantee you that two years ago when we left, not one person in my sphere of influence had ever used the term “apps.” Now, I even heard the word coming out of my 70-something-year-old mom’s mouth! I was introduced to “apps” on my drive away from Logan, when my sister complained that the reason we couldn’t figure out the location of the nearest FedEx office was because of the lousy “apps” on her iPhone. (Or iPad, or iTouch or whatever it was.) I didn’t want to admit that I didn’t understand what she meant, since she had already been amused by my confusion over the fact that her phone didn’t appear to have a key pad… how do you dial a number when there are no numbers? After that, I’m telling you, I heard that term every day, multiple times a day. “What apps does it have?” “True, but the apps are amazing.” Even my young nieces and nephews flung the word around casually. It really struck me how, even in these days of internet and Skype, when you leave the country for two years, you can totally miss something. We don’t see commercials, receive catalogs, or have access to western-style shopping here. Technology continues to fly along at top speed, but for the most part we’re really “out of it.” Does this mean that we have to buy something with “killer apps” when we come back to the States next year? We’re going to need a consultant to get us back up to speed.

1. Seeing friends and family again was unbelievably precious. And it struck me that even though I hadn’t seen people for a full two years, some people in more than three, the moment I saw them again it was absolutely like no time had passed. I was so glad to get back to Bill, Caleb and Anna in Dakar at the end of my short trip, and am excited to begin our last year of our first term here. But having just a taste of reunion with people in the States leaves me looking forward to next year, when we will have more time to savor the visits!

Follow the Martins on their blog. http://www.martinsvoyage.com/

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Helpful Ways To Pray For Our Missionaries: Part One

Pray God Would Open Opportunties To Engage
"Continue steadfastly in prayer, watching therein with thanksgiving; withal praying for us also, that God may open unto us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds..." Colossians 4:2,3.

We cannot take for granted that there are open doors everywhere. Many missionaries work in countries with restricted access or in areas that are resistant to the Gospel, where, even though there are open doors, there are closed hearts.

- Pray that God will guide the missionaries as they navigate cultural barriers
- Pray that God opens doors for ministry, partnership and friendship.
- Pray that those serving would be guided by the Holy Spirit.

Todd Nelson Serving With Wycliffe

Todd Nelson
Vice President for Prayer Ministries

Todd Nelson says, “My wife, Gail, and I joined Wycliffe as newlyweds in the mid 1980s. At that time, we were both computer programmers, and had been looking to see how God might use us in missions. We attended the Urbana ’84 missions conference where we learned more about Wycliffe. The work of Wycliffe just made sense to us—evangelism, church planting, discipleship, etc., all spring from and are enhanced by people having God’s Word in a language they can understand. This was something we wanted to be a part of. We also felt drawn to Wycliffe by the fact that we could have an impact on Bible translation using the skills we already had.”

Todd has served in a variety of positions with Wycliffe and with SIL, Wycliffe’s primary partner organization. After several years as a database programmer with Wycliffe, he worked as a linguist/translator in Benin, West Africa. From there, he transitioned into several leadership roles, including field director in Togo and Benin, and Francophone Prayer Mobilizer for Africa. Returning to the U.S., Todd became Vice President of Prayer Ministries in March 2009.

Todd holds a bachelor of arts in mathematics from Bethel University and a master of arts in linguistics from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Todd and his wife, Gail, were married in 1985. They have four teenage children: Christopher, Kylie, Julia and Benjamin.

www.wycliffe.org

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Grace Church Operation Christmas Child Packing Party 2010

A Challenge to Expand Your World View

A few members of our missions team here at Grace encouraged me to read A Hole In The Gospel by Richard Stearns. This is far more than a book to read, it's a direct challenge to your heart to expand your passion and reach for lost and hurting people. This is a story of how a CEO faced his own struggle to obey God, whatever the cost, and his passionate call for Christians to change the world by actively living out their faith. Believing that the “good news” is more than a private transaction between God and us, Stearns challenges readers with this question: What does God expect of us? Two thousand years ago, twelve people changed the world. Stearns believes it can happen again. You can order a copy at the Grace book store after any of the weekend services.

-pastor mike

Bill Hybels
Willow Creek Community Church

“Richard Stearns is quite simply one of the finest leaders I have ever known. I first met him when he was a high-flying CEO of a major U.S. corporation. Despite the rarified air he was accustomed to operating in, I was struck with his humility and Kingdom-centered worldview. When he became president of World Vision, I had a front-row seat to witness the way God used his mind and heart to inspire thousands of staff and donors to do their absolute best in alleviating poverty and eradicating the effects of AIDS from the planet. His new book, 'The Hole In Our Gospel,' will call you to a higher level of discipleship. I am rooting that you will allow God to take you to a new place of compassion and activism. Now is the time...Richard Stearns has the strategy...your move!”

Luci Swindoll
Author and speaker, Women of Faith
"Brace yourself...this is one powerhouse book! In a knowledgeable, loving way, Richard Stearns carefully explains why there's a hole in our Christian belief system. He redefines words like neighbor, wealth, possible, awareness....then, with challenging directives, shows us tangible ways this hole can be repaired — even eradicated — when each of us pours hope and compassion into it. He expands our thinking, gives us courage, believes change can happen, and when you've finished reading, you'll believe it, too."

John Ortberg
Author and pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church
"
This is the World Vision legacy at its best. 'The Hole in Our Gospel' is a trumpet call to action as thoughtful as it is urgent. It is a prophetic and hope-filled word for our day. If enough people read and do it, the world will change."

Jonathan T.M. Reckford
CEO Habitat For Humanity
"
Rich Stearns makes a compelling case that Jesus' good news needs to be good news for everyone in the world. The whole gospel requires us to not just care about the poor but to do something about it. This book should also be required reading for marketplace leaders to see a wonderful example of how God can use business skills and a willing heart to build things of eternal value."

Friday, October 15, 2010

Dr. Joseph & Rebecca Harvey--Serving in the Republic of Congo

We are Dr. Joseph and Rebecca Harvey, medical missionaries with Global Outreach Mission in the Republic of Congo. We are serving our Lord Jesus Christ here in this central African nation with the goal of bringing God’s hope and healing to the people of Congo.

Our primary work is in establishing the Pioneer Christian Hospital (a.k.a. “H.E.L.P.,” the acronym for its local French name, “Hôpital Evangélique ‘Le Pionnier’”) as a Christ-centered refuge in the northern city of Impfondo, offering health in this life and hope for eternal life to a region full of people who otherwise have little or no opportunity of receiving either. After five years of planning and hard work, the hospital opened on January 16, 2006! During the two extraordinary weeks following opening, the hospital was full of “firsts:” its first normal baby delivery, its first Aka Pygmy patient, its first 30 surgical cases, its first death (a 6 month old baby), and its first 1,000 outpatients. “I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.” Psalm 40:1

We invite you to join with us in this ministry, as God leads you through prayer, financial support, and volunteer service with us.


http://www.missiongo.org

Patrick Silvis--Serving in Mexico City

Serving the Mexican Church and impoverished communities in Mexico City for one year (2010-2011). Patrick is working with Nueva Generacion, a church in northern Mexico City, and their non-profit, Sembrando ("Planting"). Sembrando is dedicated to ministering to the needs of the neglected and impoverished, through strategic partnerships with businesses, churches, and other ministries.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Grace Church Around The World!

Thank you so much for visiting our site. This will be our temporary home for missions until a more suitable site is constructed. Please take some time to get acquanted with the amazing people we support locally, nationally and internationally here at Grace. Below each profile is the sending organization that our missionaries work with directly. These sites will paint and even bigger picture of how they are impacting cultures globally. Check back regularly for updates, news on what's happening across the globe, some of our local outreach opportunities and encourgaments from our team members. Welcome!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dave & Tippy McKee - Serving in Senegal


Since the 1980's Dave and Tippy McKee made their life in Africa, ministering to the Balanta people who live in Senegal, West Africa. Today, they serve in the Balanta Church, with believers ministering to people that they live with. They've also learned the Balanta language which helps to serve the needs of the church by translating God's word into Balanta. Practically, they teach bible lessons so that the Balanta people can live their life on these foundations and reach out to other Balanta people. Dave and Tippy serve through https://www.ntm.org/.

Email Dave and Tippy at dave_mckee@ntm.org.

Phil & Linda Gottschalk - Teaching in the Netherlands



Phil & Linda have been training students and potential church leaders since 1986. Right now, they are in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where Phil is an Associate Professor of Aplogetics and Philosophy of Religion at Tyndale Theological Seminary. He is also Chair of the Theological and Historical Studies Division. Phil teaches students in English as they work towards a Master in Evangelical Theology or a Masters of Divinity. Students are from 56 countries and 6 continents, allowing them to train the multicultural students in ways that equip them for missionary service around the world. Many of the students go on to be pastors, church planters, evagelists, and teachers in bible colleges in their home countries. Before coming to Tyndale, Phil & Linda discipled international students while Phil worked towards his doctorate from 1995 - 2000. Their very first assignment set the stage for their teaching hearts, where they served in the former Yugoslavia as part of the Easter European Bible Institute as they trained church leaders from 1986 - 1994.


You can contact Phil at pgottschalk@gemission.com or Linda at lgottschalk@gemission.com or catch them on Facebook.

The Kuvshinikov's - Serving in the Ukraine


The Kuvshinikov's (Michael, Diane, Audrey, and Linday) look warm here, but spend many cold winters in Kiev. Michael travels with Ukranian evangelists to hold evangelistic outreach in outdoor markets and he is a mentor to several students at the School in which he serves. Diane is a coordinator of the SEND Language Program, where outside students learn the native language through local teachers. Lindey is in school on the enjoying her season on the basketball team. Audrey just finished her semester in London and is back at Houghton with a full academic schedule.
The Kuvshinikov's work through SEND International; P.O. Box 513; Farmington, MI 48335. You can also reach them at everlovin04@yahoo.com.

Erica Thompson-Serving In Haiti

Erica Thompson comes to OMS International eager to serve and well qualified to be a missionary teacher in Haiti. She graduated from Indiana State University with a B.S. in Elementary Education and has gained teaching experience in several Indiana schools, as well as teaching English as a second language in Mexico. Erica says, “I am excited about how my varied experiences have prepared me to contribute to the Lord’s work in missions.”
After teaching for a year in Mexico, Erica returned to the U.S. to raise funds for another year in Mexico. During this deputation time, God gave Erica the opportunity to substitute in Haiti for three weeks. While there, she prayed that God would meet the teaching needs of the Haiti field for the next year and for obedience to His will in her own life. She watched as God closed all doors to Mexico and opened the door to Haiti. He had called Erica to stay in Haiti. In Haiti, her primary ministry is teaching at Cowman International School. Cowman serves a two-fold purpose: 1) To provide American-standard Christian education to missionary children, while freeing their parents to pursue ministries that reach Haiti for Christ, and 2) To provide an English-speaking education alternative to children of Haitian business people and to expose this otherwise “hard-to-reach” segment of society to both the missionary community and to the Gospel of Christ. Erica’s teaching ministry plays a vital role in reaching these goals. For her personal ministry, Erica visited different churches in Haiti for nearly a year before God answered her prayer to find a church where she could build relationships with Haitians and have a consistent influence for Christ. God led her to Smyrne Church at Flavil. Most of the congregation in this small church is between the ages of 18 and 35. They are growing spiritually and witnessing to the community. She feels blessed to serve with this church family. Erica is among those seeking revival for Haiti through prayer. She gives glory to the Lord for this burden and for the hope she has for her students and for the nation. She is eager to return to Haiti as a career missionary with OMS International.

For more info on OMS International go to http://www.omsinternational.org/

Kate Zlotnicki- Serving in Haiti

OMS missionary Kate Zlotnicki is a retired public school teacher from Pennsylvania, serving the Lord in Haiti as a teacher of missionary children and other English-speaking students at Cowman International School. After visiting Haiti on two short-term mission trips in 2002 and 2003, she sensed God calling her to return to teach full time, and she returned to Haiti in September, 2003, to teach at Cowman. She finds teaching the small, multi-grade level classes at Cowman to be an invigorating challenge and a great joy. She enjoys working closely with the children and seeing them develop and mature in their faith. For the last two years, she has also taught English as a second language to young adults in the community four afternoons a week, using materials that feature Scripture as the basis of reading. She is encouraged to be planting seeds of God’s truth and trusts the Holy Spirit to bring a harvest in His time. On Sundays, she attends a local Haitian church, and she has enjoyed developing relationships there. She is involved with the children’s church, teaching the Bible story one Sunday a month. Kate has three grown sons in the U.S. and six grandchildren. She delights in visiting her family each summer when she returns to the States for a few weeks during the school vacation. The rest of the year, she feels blessed and privileged to be serving in Haiti.

For more info on OMS International go to http://www.omsinternational.org/

Bud & Jane Dennington- Serving in Haiti

The Denningtons are from the small town of Waterford in Pennsylvania. Bud has served the community as a volunteer fireman and both he and Jane serve in local missions with their church.
Bud worked as an Ironworker for over 30 years. He is very gifted when it comes to working on vehicles and fixing things with his hands. Jane has had several jobs in business and also served as a paramedic for 6 years. Presently she runs her own business as a commercial seamstress. Her gifts are administration and organization. Bud grew up in a Christian family. Jane was adopted by a Christian family at the age of 16 and accepted the Lord just prior to that.

The Denningtons have been married 37 years and are blessed by 3 grown daughters and 11 grandchildren. Bud and Jane always felt that missionaries had to be pastors, Bible scholars, doctors, nurses, or other professionals. They felt as though they were the ones that God called to support His work financially. Through two trips to Haiti with Men for Missions the Denningtons experienced what foreign missions is really about. After the second trip Bud and Jane realized God was calling them to missions full time. God is not looking for perfect people who can do it all. He is looking for people who are willing to use the gifts He has given and willing to learn at His feet with an open heart. Bud will be serving as maintenance and construction. Jane will be serving in hospitality and teaching English. We are happy to serve the Lord where ever He asks. Today it is in Haiti.

For more infomation about OMS International go to http://www.omsinternational.org/

Follow Bud & Jane daily on their blog: http://bjdennington.blogspot.com

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Steve Cable - Teaching English in Thailand


Steve, his family and many other just celebrated the complete ownership of a new building in Bangkok that serves as a school and a place of worship. Steve serves through the Baptist General Conference/Converge Worldwide Thailand and through his leadership, and the support of many people, they were able to build a new school in 1995. Because of this building, they are able to run first-rate English outreach programs in the 10 classrooms. The new school attacted over 10,000 students in it's first 4 years -- each one of these students hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ through the English stories that they teach. In addition to teaching English, this new facility is rented by other organizations and this additional money has gone to suppport one of the Thai members studying for ministry in Azusa in Los Angeles who will return to Thailand as a church leader. They money has also helped to support a minsitry in Phang-Nga, not far from where the 2004 Tsumani hit. They've been able to support a number of other ministries as well.


They are looking for short-term and longer-term English school teachers at the Peace Fellowship Church, Bankok. Contact Steve at scable@bethel.edu for more details and an application.

Shirley & Terry Snyder - Giving to China's future leaders

Shirley and Terry spend their days caring for staff members of the China Outreach Ministries. China Outreach Ministries reaches out to Chinese students in the United States with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. Over 70,000 of China's best are studying in the United States. These could be the future leaders in China. The potential impact that these future leaders could have is mind boggling. Since 1988, China Outreach Ministries has been sharing Christ to future leaders. Over 44 staff connect with students over 35 campuses. Through this ministry, they care for the basic needs such as language barriers, the cultural adjustment and services relevant to the scholar along with helping them discover the Christian truth. Just last spring, Terry and Shirley refreshed the staff at the annual Staff Conference in Valley Forge, PA. They also added 12 new staff and commissioned them. When you think about Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiao Ping, two young leaders that brough Marxism back to China in the 1920's, this ministry could have a powerful effect.



Learn more at: http://www.chinaoutreach.org/ or contact Terry or Shirley at prov356@verizon.net

Dr, Cornell (Corkie) Haan - Planting Churches and Connecting People

Dr. Cornell Haan, known as "Corkie" currently works as the National Facilitator of Ministry Networks for the Mission Ameria Coalition/The Lighthouse movement. With a passion for prayer, he co-founded The Presidential Prayer Team and also serves as the Vice President of the World prayer team. Corkie spent a number of years leading seven different churches as senior pastor. Corkie loves people and serving the Lord, so it is no surprise that he has also been involved with launching ministries including The National Coalition of Men's Ministries and most recently began Kingdom Connections, which connects ministries to resources that they need. He also supports several other ministries including City Vision, Erie County Association of Evangelicals, Christian Family Services, Home for the Homeless, Set Free Ministry, and Bradenton Bible Conference. Corkie's leadership talents have touched many ministries. Corkie was happily married to Marcia Jean for forty years until her death in 2002. In 2005, he married Virginia (Ginger) Galloway.


Luke & Gretchen Raughley - Serving in the inner city of Fresno

Luke and Gretchen heard about World Impact when they were students at Penn State. World Impact ministers God's love to the inner city of America by empowering the urban poor with Christian character, academic excellence, and self confidence. Churches are planted and the gospel reaches the unchurched, developing disciples and leaders to advance the kingdom of God.

Luke had felt called in high school to minister in the city but ran the other way. Gretchen also had to pray about it quite a bit before feeling like this is something that God wanted. But in 1988, they joined World Impact's Chester, Pennsylvania minsitry and moved to the Fresno location in 2000. In 2005, Luke became Fresno's City Director. In this role, Luke leads the staff and is also involved with and adult home fellowship. Gretchen enjoys time with their children, Elizabeth, Caleb and Emma. She home schools Caleb and Emma. She also takes part in woman's ministry and home fellowship.

What do they think some of the highlights of serving with World Impact? "Where else can you be jumped over by a skateboard, worship, pretend to be a blind catepillar, hear four different languages, talk about how God's church is for everyone and see teens leading their peers?"

To learn more about World Impact, go to http://www.worldimpact.org/ or http://www.worldimpactfresno.org/. Contact Luke at lraughley@worldimpact.org.

Jay and Lori Quirk Serving With Christar

Christar workers in North America focus their ministry on reaching first-generation immigrants and refugees from Hindu, Muslim, Chinese and other Asian backgrounds by using their mother tongues. These first-generation people are the ones most “unreached” by North American churches because of cultural and linguistic barriers.
Outreach is concentrated in areas where there are significant pockets of these people. Presently, there are Christar missionaries in the greater New York City area, Chicago, IL, Houston, TX, the greater Washington D.C. area, Atlanta, GA, Detroit, MI, and Lincoln, NE, as well as in Hamilton and Calgary in Canada, ministering to the people of India, Iran, Japan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Turkey, Kurdistan and other parts of the Arab world. More workers are needed to minister among least-reached people groups in these cities as well as in many other cities and metropolitan areas in North America. Jay is the proud son of our own Pat and Rose Marie Quirk.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Operation Christmas Child

An annual rite of passage for millions of families is Operation Christmas Child, the shoebox ministry managed by Samaritan's Purse bringing hope to disadvantaged children around the world.
For more than fifteen years, families across the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and other countries have had a wonderful opportunity to impact the lives of less fortunate children across the globe. Through the ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization headed up by Franklin Graham, Operation Christmas Child has delivered more than 46 million shoeboxes filled with toys, personal hygiene items, booklets, school supplies, and other items not readily available locally to many of the recipients. What started out as a relatively small campaign to help homeless children in Romania has expanded into one of the largest relief and evangelical programs of its kind. It isn’t too early to start thinking about how you and your family can participate – Operation Christmas Child is your opportunity to impact young lives as well as demonstrate to your family the real meaning of Christmas: giving.

Grace Churches Kathy Schriefer plays a very significant role in OCC here in the Northeast!

http://www.samaritanspurse.org/

The Gideons International

It's been just over 100 years since The Gideons International placed the first Bible in a hotel room in Montana. Today, The Gideons are organized in more than 190 countries around the globe. Bibles and New Testaments are printed for distribution by The Gideons in more than 90 languages.

Through God's grace and to His Glory, more than 1.6 billion Bibles and New Testaments have been placed by The Gideons, and the work continues. . .

http://www.gideons.org/

City Mission

As a Christian, non-profit organization, the Erie City Mission provides quality services and care that restores individuals, families, and communities impacted by the effects of addictions, poverty, homelessness, and lack of hope.

The Erie City Mission is a Christian social outreach program created in 1911 by the famous evangelist Bill Sunday. Located in Erie, Pennsylvania the Mission encompasses two buildings at 1017 and 1023 French Street. The Mission has many programs to serve the local community and continues to expand its care programs.

Chaplains Ministries Erie, PA

Chaplians Ministries stands in the gap between those who have no church affliliation and the Christian community. They provide maitial counseling leading up to marriage, funeral services and counseling. They truly act as chaplains to the community.

http://www.chaplainsministries.net/
Awareness Ministries is an organization that demonstrates Christ's love in the city of Erie and beyond with passion, excellence and devotion. We strive to influence, empower, and educate through programs designed to address the root cause of today's social problems.


Our passion as a ministry is to make a difference in every life we come in contact with. We want to be available to be used by the Lord. Our desire is for God to touch people through our hands; to love people through our lives.

It doesn’t matter where those we reach come from. They may come from a good family situation, or a bad one. They may come from a situation of abuse or a nurturing environment. They may have low self-esteem or good confidence. It doesn’t matter. Our aim & our objective is to demonstrate the love of Christ with all of those we come in contact with.

http://www.awarenessministeries.com/

Women's Care Center

The Women's Care Center of Erie County, Inc. has been serving the Erie area for more than 25 years. It began in 1982 as a small, downtown storefront office and is now one of the largest multi-faceted pregnancy resource centers in the nation, serving over 3,000 clients yearly as well as thousands of students in the school system through educational programs. We provide our services free of charge in a compassionate, thoughtful and confidential manner.

The Women's Care Center is a life-affirming pregnancy resource organization serving the populations of Erie County, Pennsylvania and the tri-state region. We have six branch offices throughout Erie County, as well as a medical services clinic, and adoption agency (Adoption By Choice), an education division (WC2ed) and two upscale resale clothing locations (My Sister's Closet). We are dedicated to helping young women and families in pregnancy crisis, as well as to education to help young people avoid the risks and consequences related to premarital sex.

http://www.wccerie.org/

WCTL 106.3FM

Grace Church has proudly partnered with WCTL 106.3 FM for many years. The station represents the Kingdom of God in Erie and surrounding areas 24 hours a day with Contemporary Christian music and sound Bible teaching. For more details go to:
http://www.wctl.org/