photo by never cool in school
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
photo by never cool in school
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Rich & Reida Barltey serve the Lord faithfully in the Slavic Village of Cleveland. Wooster Grace partners with them every Christmas to collect Christmas Boxes for distribution in the schools around Village Grace Mission Center.
Recently the city of Cleveland issued a Resolution of Appreciation for Village Grace. The resolution was certified and authorized on November 11, 2008 by the Cleveland City Council.
An exceprt from the certified copy of the resolution states, "BE IT RESOLVED, that Cleveland City Council proudly acknowledges the commitment that the Village Grace Mission Center has demonstrated in making a difference in the lives of the families in the Broadway-Slavic Village neighborhood. This Council applauds the ministry's ourstanding efforts in fostering solutions for children, youth and families in our communities throughout the City of Cleveland, and further extends best wishes to everyone involved for much continues success in the future."
Way to go, God's fully devoted followers!
That is the true essence of Christmas! Giving, not just receiving. As Christmas Day comes again, please seek to give as much or more than you receive. Anyone can do it!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Matthias returned to Moundou after a couple year hiatus. He wondered if the men he had trained were practicing their craft and improving their skills. He was not disappointed.
In his own words, "What a joy it has been to see their personal, spiritual and professional development. Most have had opportunities to do internships and various jobs to practice and expand their skills (Love In Action Newsletter Vol. 8 Issue 2 [Nov-Dec 2008], pg. 1)."
Praise God for faithful men who are able to train others also (II Timothy 2:2)!
Monday, December 22, 2008
Asia's Hope: Cambodia from Clay Productions on Vimeo.
Please check out this video from my friend, Josh Fronduti. He is an awesome videographer and unleashes his talent for the glory of God.
He took this video in Cambodia. Our church is also partnering with an orphanage in Battambang just like the one portrayed in the video above.
I can't wait to see how "our" kids grow and mature in their country as fully devoted followers of Jesus. Wooster Grace seeks to develop all people into fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ in all the nations of the world.
Monday, December 15, 2008
photo by superturtle
One couple delivered a Christmas tree to an international family. The Japanese couple was totally surprised and delighted to get a completely decorated tree; American style.
They invited the couple into their home for tea and snacks. Shoes were taken off at the door and placed with the toe of the shoes facing out the door. They sat on the floor around a rug and enjoyed sipping tea and sharing about what Christmas means.
Extended time to be with new friends in our community. Way to go Wooster Grace! You are grace in the neighborhood.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
This evening a team of fully devoted followers are traveling to Rosedale, WV. The Wooster Grace puppet team is reaching out to the Appalachian people.
Friday, December 5, 2008
As this Christmas season proceeds, please consider sending an encouraging note to those fully devoted followers who serve the Lord as missionaries in our communities here and abroad. You may send an email, a Christmas card, a postcard with a prayer of encouragement, or you may even give them a brief one-minute call by saying something like, "Hi, this is Larry from your home church. Our church wants you to know that we are glad that you are part of our missionary partnership which chooses to develop all people into fully devoted followers of Christ. I thank God that you are developing all people into fully devoted followers of Jesus in all the nations of the world. May you be encouraged with this brief call."
Please consider taking the time to encourage those who sacrifice time away from their families this Christmas by seeking to reach the world for Christ. Let them know that you care and think of them.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Jonathan is grateful for our prayers and encouragement. Please pray for Jonathan's recovery from back surgery. May God bring complete healing and determination for Jonathan to complete his rehab regimen.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Ben & Sandie Dyke write:
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving break! It was very relaxing and good
to reconnect with extended family. We also went to our annual Great Lakes
staff conference in Indianapolis. We enjoyed this as well as it was a
refreshing time in God’s word. We hope you continue to enjoy reading
about the happenings in our ministry to college students here in NE Ohio.
Please pray for them as they minister to college students amid the chaos of midterms, projects and papers due, flu season, and developing fully devoted followers of Jesus in all the campuses of NE Ohio. Pray specifically for the annual Christmas conference on Dec 27‐Jan 1, 2009! "Pray that our students would attend and that the Lord would speak to them and challenge them to live authentic lives for Christ."
If you'd like to receive their newsletter, then please contact them:
Ben & Sandie Dyke
Cleveland MetroCampus Crusade for Christ
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Our friends in SE Asia ask you to pray for the ongoing protests in Bangkok, Thailand. The anti- government group has successfully blockaded and shut down the airports in Bangkok, and the police seem unwilling to help resolve the situation. Also, a pro-government group is amassing and mounting their own counter-protests. The situation is becoming very serious and sometimes violent, with no solution forthcoming. Especially pray for our friends who live in Thailand.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
As violence grows, please pray for our friends in Thailand. Keep in your prayers our fully devoted friends: Dave, Tutu, Christian and Bonnie who all serve the Lord in this volatile area.
May God protect and advance His kingdom amid hostile environments.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
If you ever want to know how challenging it is to come to the United States, then check this MTV True Life Series episode. You will have a better understanding how difficult it is for the nations to come to our country.
"All over the world people dream of moving to the United States. Some come for freedom, some come for work; but all immigrants must face the harsh realities of a place that can feel very strange to them. In this episode of True Life, you'll meet two young people from different corners of the globe looking for a better life in America against difficult odds (Taken from MTV episode summaries)."
Each student decides to come to America; Bara from the Czech Republic and Timonthy from Burma. It intringues me that we have missionary partners who serve God in the Czech Republic (The Swains) and we have missionary partners serving in SE Asia (Kevin & Jill Kane; Steve & Deb Wise--Cambodia). I wonder what their take on this journey for these students would be.
Anyways, if you come to a place during Thanksgiving when you feel bored or need a change from festivities, then check out the segments on the link above.
Developing all people into fully devoted followers of Jesus in all the nations of the world! The nations even come to America. Who is near you that you may be able to reach out to for Christmas? Maybe God has placed an international family in your neighborhood, workplace, a place where you frequent regularly to shop or to visit, all may present opportunities to reach out to the nations.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Happy Thanksgiving week! Since Thanksgiving isn't a Khmer holiday we will work most of the week as usual. However, we do have plans to get together with some CAMA missionary friends on Thursday evening and have a meal, complete with turkey and everything! We hope you have plans to be with friends and family. It's hard to be so far away from our families this time of year; that's what we will be missing the most come Thursday. The thing we'll miss second-most is all the football on TV. Ah, the sacrifices. :-) In spite of that, we have a lot to be thankful for, and we'd like you to praise the Father with us: (taken from Wise Weekly Newsletter--to subscribe email them at email@example.com
Praise God for a year of relatively good health. We are grateful for the strength He gives us to do our work every day. That being said, pray for Steve who feels like he's coming down with a cold. Also please keep Steve's Aunt Betty in mind, as she has one more week of radiation therapy to go, and is feeling quite sick from it.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Still, they have many contacts you can pray for; those who will join them for an American Thanksgiving Celebration. As they shared on their e-newsletter:
Thanksgiving Dinner in our Home in France! This Saturday (November) 23 people will be sharing with us a Thanksgiving celebration! We will share about being thankful for what God has done for us. Pray as we share to this audience of French who live in a culture where the concept of being thankful does not exist. We ordered our turkey from the butcher last week since normally turkeys are not ready until Christmas. We look forward to a great time as we share a holiday that is dear to us.
Rob states the challenging of sharing Christ with Parisians and how things are going in Paris on his blog. You can learn how to best join them in this mission by praying for them and sending them an occasional email encouragement note.
Grace Brethren International Missions offers a daily email update called PrayNow! which sends you prayer requests from the missionaries partnering with the Grace Brethren. You can email Ron Guiles to add your address to the daily email updates at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Annie Michaels is a fully devoted follower of Jesus! She faithfully follows God despite distractions. She is focused and does what God sets before her.
Please pray for her and her ministry to the college students at the College of Wooster. Thanksgiving and Christmas are opportunities to share your encouragement with Annie. May God provide encouragement to her in the near future.
Annie helped mobilize students to address slave trade issues on campus with The Price of Life campaign (Nov 10-14). The fellowship of Christians on campus raised awareness and sought to raise funds to adopt the many orphans and widows who constantly fight against the slave trade and who often are victims of the slave traders and slave system. May God continue to empower Christian studenst to bring up the Gospel even after the week of emphasis has concluded.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
At Wooster Grace we have utilized missions funds designated from Touching Tomorrow to initiate church planting here in the U.S. One of the beneficiaries we partner with is Ron & Chery Boehm. Please pray for Ron & Chery as they facilitate church planting here in Ohio.
Wooster Grace partners with Ron & Chery Boehm as well as the Kent, Ohio church plant, CATALYST Church. Jonathan Herron leads this new church plant in Kent, Ohio. Please pray for Jon as he recovers from back surgery.
Ron is secunded to VisionOhio from the Grace Brethren Church of Columbus (Ohio). Currently he is assisting the development of 12 new churches in the following cities of Ohio:
- Apple Creek
- Mt. Sterling
- New Albany
- Plain City
To see how VisionOhio is contributing to each of these church planters, please visit VisionOhio's webpage here.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Ben & Sandie Dyke serve as Campus Crusade for Christ in the Cleveland Metro area and in Northeast Ohio. We partner with them from Wooster Grace.
Pray for them as they share Christ with students. One encounter resulted in a new Christ-follower.
After an initial survey and follow-up, a staff member shared with a student how to know God personally. The student replied with this email (details removed for anonymity):
“I was thinking and pondering and I came up with something that you can pray for. I would like it if you would pray for me and my faith so that I can be 100% sure that heaven is my destination and that I can live my life the way God wants me too, because I have no clue what I am suppose to be doing or where he wants me. I am totally lost in my relationship and what little of one I have since I have started college. And that seems to be the least of my worries and it should not be that way. So where do I go from here? If you could let me know what you think, I would really appreciate it. I really appreciate all that you do for us and thanks for caring. Thanks once again for meeting with me.”
May God continue His work bringing one person at a time into a clear understanding of the commitment to follow Jesus. Way to go, Ben & Sandie!
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Today we had the honor and the privilege to host Dr. Ngoumape from the Central African Republic. He is the Director of Leadership Training in the Central African Republic. He is responsible for the oversight of the Grace Brethren Seminary and four Bible Institutes, as well as various discipleship ministries. Currently visiting pastors and churches in the US, he shared opportunities for partnership in the task of training a new generation of leaders.
Dr. Ngoumape has a passion for the Church in the C.A.R. He wants strong, godly leadership. He knows there is a daunting task. With 2400 churches and only 900 trained pastors, the challenge is equipping new leaders right now.
I praise God for our church. We have been partnering with the Grace Brethren movement in the C.A.R. for over forty years. Now we get to be involved with the foundations for a new work of God among the emerging churches in the 21st century.
Please pray that we will use God's wisdom to discern how we can get involved. May God lead us to the best place where we can offer the greatest help for success and for the glory of God.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Please pray for Kevin and Jill as well as Dave, Savorn, and Tutu as tensions rise along the Cambodian and Thailand border. May God keep the peace and keep our friends safe.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Pastor Nick in the contemporary service preached a message about how the Church must reach the next generation.
I wonder if we may need to get people started reading "The Book." Then guide them to study the Bible as a textbook for discovering themselves and their need for God.
I made comments on my personal blog at www.daron.butler.blogspot.com regarding my thoughts on this unique, modern New Testament called, "The Book."
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
1st video revised from Glenn Sewell on Vimeo.
Make your faith genuine. Make your faith real. Pastor Bob outlined what real faith is:
- Real faith rests on the right foundation.
- Real faith responds to the right example.
- Real faith reacts with the right response.
I want to be building my faith on the right foundation where I understand the mercy of God; that I did not deserve God's grace. I desire to love by acting selflessly for the benefit of someone else. I long to be on-mission for God.
Psalm 140:12 says, "I know that the Lord qwill maintain the cause of the afflicted and justice for the poor." God is a father to the fatherless (orphans) and a defender of widows (Psalm 68:5).
I was convicted by the self-indulgent life I sometimes discover in my own life. I intend to be fully devoted to God. I must follow Jesus' example. Jesus served others. In fact, Jesus was humble, not proud; well-fed not overfed; and compassionate not unconcerned. So I need to venture into being more like Jesus.
Lastly, my faith needs to respond. Real faith is compassionate and pure (James 1:27). I need to show compassion and seek purity in my life. I must take care of the life of others as well as take care of my own life.
I praise God for our church's desire to partner with Asia's Hope. If you did not hear the interview with Pastor Dave Atkins, then you can listen to it here.
Dave Atkins Interview with Music from Glenn Sewell on Vimeo.
Overall, you can join us in reaching out to the least, the lost, and the last. Today the giving towards building the orphanage is growing. The total we are praying for to build the orphanage is $36,000. The goal of at least twenty orphans to sponsor means that over 60 people must commit to giving $35 a month to cover all of their needs.
You can keep praying. We are over $30,000 now. We have surpassed 60 sponsors too. So the Lord is moving among His people. May we wisely steward the gifts that come from over-and-above what each person already gives to our church in making fully devoted followers of Christ.
You can fulfill the purposes of God in your life. Make a difference today!
The Bible says, "Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another, for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, "You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet,"and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law (Romans 8:8-10)."
To obey what God is saying means that you need to get it--love your neighbor as yourself. One man in our Northeast Ohio District of Grace Brethren Churches gets this. I found his testimony on my friend's blog, Jim Brown, who is the lead pastor at the Grace Community Church in Goshen, IN. Pastor Jim posted a video where JeRod Cherrie is selling his superbowl ring to sponsor building one orphanage with Asia's Hope just like Wooster Grace is intending to do.
JeRod is one person who seeks to love others as himself. He wants to make a difference in a big way within his arena of influence. I am one person who strives to love my neighbors as myself. I want to make a difference in a small way within my area of influence.
In our neighborhood, the power is still out from Sunday's high winds. We are in the middle of Wooster, but the neighbors shared how historically the power is returned later than other grids in Wooster.
So there we all stood. In the cul-de-sac listening to the wind howl and bend the trees in our neighborhood. We met one another and got more acquainted.
Now last night, my wife called me to go home and invite a neighbor to supper whose wife is out of state. He is alone. And we wanted to invite him to my in-laws (they have power in their house ten minutes away). So I drive over to extend an invitation.
But you know what, at first I hesitated. You would think that a minister would not only know the verses above and its principle; but that he would immediately embrace and engage in reaching out to a neighbor. Yet honestly, I hesitated.
Praise God that I quickly denied the temptation to leave my neighbor, Richard alone. I felt that he probably would not come with me to supper. He is a loner and self-sufficient. But I prayed for God's help to go beyond my inconvenience and find Dick and invite him to join us for supper. When I located him, I invited him. He declined, but he was so appreciative. He was glad that I invited him.
As I drove away, I thanked God for moving in my life to honor Him. At first I hesitated, but with God's help in prayer. I stopped offering rational excuses for not extending an invitation and I practiced what the Bible says, "Love your neighbor as yourself." God is working in me. He can work in you.
So owe no man anything, except love. Love your neighbor as yourself. You are one person who can intentionally love your neighbors as yourself. You can make a difference in a small way within your area of influence. Even if you hesitate, God can still use you. Take the initiative and reach out to your neighbors. Everyone is seeking to do reach out. You can too.
Monday, September 15, 2008
"We had all positive responses with those that we talked to. It was fun to see their face light up when they realized it was a free gift"
Second Saturday launched with a deluge. I just wanted to spotlight comments from our people who became grace in the neighborhood during the morning of outreach.
"They were surprised we came in the rain."
"Most people answered the door. And were very appreciative!"
"One gentleman was surprised. He said, 'How much are the cookies?' When we said, "It is a gift." He called us, "Angels." He even wanted to give us the container back. He was so grateful."
These few reflections on the Second Saturday outreach show how people matter to us because every person matters to God. We want to offer opportunities for every person in our church to serve those in our community. The close neighbors to our church are Scottish Highlands and the Deer Creek Subdivision. Both received a free dozen home-made cookies from Wooster Grace.
May God be praised as we seek to bless those in our neighborhood. You can make a couple dozen cookies so that you can give a dozen and eat a dozen. Take the time to be grace-full in your community.
History of the125project on Vimeo
It was my privilege to visit with Jon Herron and to meet and to pray at the 125. The Northeast Ohio District Missions of the Grace Brethren Churches help fund the transformation of the space into a useable and ministry advancing place for Catalyst.
Jon gave me a tour sharing how great God is. He fashioned a slideshow of the metamorphosis of the 125. You can view the presentation by clicking the link above.
I find it so encouraging to venture to Kent, OH and to actually walk into and to experience what God is doing in this Grace Brethren church. I could see the vibrant kid-friendly spaces and child-inviting colors, I could touch the countertops, rub my hand across the newly painted walls, and I could smell the new carpet as well as feel the "squishy," "spongy," knapped carpet throughout the 125 office areas. I praise God for His work in the lives of the family of believers at Catalyst who readily use the facility for discipling children and their families in this newly renovated space.
God is at work in Kent! He is building His church! Join in praying for Jon and the Catalyst church who are seeking to make God famous with the advancing of God's Kingdom in downtown Kent, OH. May God move forward His agenda in reaching new people for Christ and establishing all believers in this church to obey all that God has commanded (Matthew 28:20).
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
This weekend our missionary partners from Brazil, the Triplehorns, will be here to reconnect with our church family and to introduce others who are new to our church to their work in Brazil. Bruce and Lisa began their journey to Brazil as missionaries here at Wooster Grace.
- 8:30 Faith & Fellowship Room 421
- 9:45 Common Ground Room 335
- 11:00 Internationals Fellowship Room 425
So, you are invited to join us for one of these hours to learn more about how we intend to disciple all people into fully devoted followers of Jesus on a worldwide basis. Come join us!
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Who can go:
Why you should go:
- To share God’s love with others around the world
- To gain a greater vision for the lost around the world
- To experience a cross-cultural ministry in a different part of the world
- To work hard in a primitive camping environment
- Be in good health
- Receive the required medical shots and boosters prior to your trip
- Submit a short-term missions application (subject to approval)
- Obtain a passport and/or a visa
- Commitment to attend meetings
- Raise your support
- Share your story within the church network
Cost: approximately $4000. Wooster Grace does provide some scholarships to defer part of the cost of our missions trips. Please submit your application right away! Applications can be found at the Outreach Ministry Table in our church.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
The Plasters are looking for an apartment in Paris. They have been searching the past six weeks and walked through five. Yesterday (Tue Sep 2)they scheduled to sign a lease. God answered their prayers, God answered my prayers for them.
Rob and Nichole want to live in a community to impact their community for Christ. Our emphasis for the year is Grace in the Neighborhood. Just like us, the Plasters want to show God's grace in the neighborhood in an apartment complex in Paris.
In their search for housing, I can relate. It is a unique journey searching and waiting for God's hand to provide.
My firsthand experience is to merely mouth the words of prayer and hope God answers. But recently I am discovering how great God is. His hand moves with prayer.
God wants me to share what is on my heart. He desires that I talk with Him. He longs to hear my heart's desires. He is a great God.
I was reading in the Gospel of Luke where Jesus shares how we need to be persistent and share with God what we really need (Luke 11:5-8). God will answer. He may not give you what you asked for, but He will answer. He will take care of your true needs. So don't be afraid to ask Him.
Listen and read what Jesus said, "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened (Luke 11:9-10).
God is good, all the time. So begin asking Him for things and situations to go favorably. Beg for relationships to be restored. Plead for finances to work out. Cry out to Him when health issues are overwhelming. Request for a new job to emerge with a little more pay and a lot more time with family. Pray. Ask. Seek. Knock. God can answer prayer. Just start praying.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
But Pastor Bob Doerr shared how everyone can make a difference in people lives. Wooster Grace will be present at the Fair offering free pictures to anyone who would like to pose. The background is the Ohio State Horseshoe. The picture is set up as a monthly magazine layout where individuals or groups can create a keepsake from the fair or share it as a gift to family and friends.
There is no catch! We want to give this as a free gift to everyone. The main thing is to meet and to greet people. It's about the people.
One wise saying that I heard states: "There are only two things eternal on earth; God's Word and people." Love the Word and love people! Be consumed with the Bible and be involved with people.
The Bible says, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and your neighbor as yourself." Jesus said, "Do this and you will live (Luke 10:28)."
I can't wait to serve at the Fair. I intend to try to stay focused on the people rather than on my friends or on those I haven't seen in a long time. May God help us sacrifice time with and conversations with friends to meet and to greet potential new brothers and sisters in Christ.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Connie Benchoff conducts ministry to our neighbors. One ministry she serves in is the Hand to Hand ministry where tangible donations can be given to help the under-resourced in our community.
Connie takes donations from our congregation and from around the county to give to the under-resourced. in the pictures below, she was able to bless D. Thanks to Jim Hawkins for his donation of a TV and my friend Paula who donated a bed for D.!
In Connie's words, "Praise HIM for continuing to use Sowing Hope & Hand to Hand to minister to under resourced people at the Towers. :-)"
May God use our resources to serve our neighbors, amen!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
For those who want a hymn to ignite their motivation, listen to "We've a story to tell to the nations." Since 1896 this anthem has catalyze many Christ-followers to reach out to their neighbors. The lyrics of the third verse and refrain are provided below the video for you to sing with the tune. Henry Ernest Nichols wrote this hymn at a time when Sunday School was the weekly habit of most people in England and the United States. It is ironic that this song emerges at the same time that the modern Olympic games began in Greece.
GRACE In The Neighborhood (2008)
We've a Story To Tell to the Nations (1896)
Lyrics (from hymnsite.com):
We've a message to give to the nations, that the Lord who reigneth above hath sent us his Son to save us, and show us that God is love, and show us that God is love.
For the darkness shall turn to dawning, and the dawning to noonday bright; and Christ's great kingdom shall come on earth, the kingdom of love and light.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Wooster Grace is about mission--reaching out to the hurting, reaching out to our neighbors, reaching out even with our feelings of inadequacy. With God's help, we can reach out because people matter to God. People matter to us!
One great moment this summer is our high school ministry team serving the children of Sowing Hope. Check out this great short video
You can make a difference one moment and one person at a time. Ask God to use your everyday routines and pathways to discover how you can share God's love in a real way with someone else. You can step out of your comfort zone and maybe begin a new friendship or initiate a new relationship with someone on your life pathways. One song that exemplifies this truth is Everyman by Casting Crowns.