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.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Our team served a meal to the Burbank Elementary School
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I saw on the CNN ticker while viewing the Saddleback Civil Discussion that people carrying bibles into China were detained and their bibles confiscated (christianitytoday.uk report here).
Bob Fu, the China Aid Association president is trying to spread the Gospel and to plant churches in China. He gives a short summary of his mission in this YouTube interview (here). He desires to advance the cause of Christ in China. This interview was conducted at the Voice of the Martyrs Persecution conference in June 2008.
In addition, VOM sent out this prayer news. The Pastor Zhang “Bike” Mingxuan, known for traveling across China on a bicycle to evangelize, was arrested by Chinese police just two days before the Olympics began. Pastor Bike was the inspiration for the recent partnership between The Voice of the Martyrs and China Aid Association to create the Olympic Prayer Band.
Pastor Bike, president of the Chinese House Church Alliance, rode his bike more than 10,000 miles, visiting 24 Chinese provinces to introduce nonbelievers to Jesus Christ. Armed with a Bible and his business card, which declared “Believe in Jesus, Earn Eternal Life,” Pastor Bike brought the gospel to thousands of people. He and other Chinese evangelists have been repeatedly harassed by Chinese officials during this Olympic year. Please pray for the release of Pastor Bike and his wife.
Keep praying for China!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
As the school year begins this week and next week. Please remember to pray for those missionaries and ministries with outreach to campuses:
- Annie Michaels: InterVarsity--COW
- Ben & Sandy Dyke: Campus Crusade--NE Ohio (Wayne College, ATI, & others)
- Roxanne Weaver: Student Venture--Tallawanda HS; Oxford, Ohio
- Linda Kline: Bible Release Time Classes--North Central S.D.
- Wooster Christian School
- Jonathan Herron: Catalyst--Kent, OH
- George & Cindy Swain: Prague, Czech Republic
- Kevin & Jill Kane: Phnom Pehn, Cambodia
Ask God to give them strength to launch Fall ministries, wisdom on where to concentrate their energies, and courage to pace themselves for the long-haul.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Tim & Julie Hawkins provide this update on Gami, a Porto elder in the church who was gravely ill recently. God does answer prayer!
Yesterday I took Gami for a short walk. This was the same day that he was moved from intensive care to a regular room. And the first day the doctors told him that he was a miracle. Last week they never expected him to live. Only God could work and He did.
Continue to pray for Gami as he faces weeks of recovery. Pray for our church as we minister to his family and to the many that have been touched by his dramatic illness. Pray for Helena's family, that they will see God's hand in this and commit themselves completely to God
This was taken from the Hawkins' prayer update. Please email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Saturday, August 9, 2008
I did not watch the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics, but I heard about it. On Saturday morning, the people in the restuarant were talking about it. In fact, one person said that it was the greatest she's ever seen--she has been watching since 1968.
Photo from Dr. Ray Pritchard
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Thanks to Dan Green who provided this news update from the Iraqi clinic ministry. Please continue to pray for protection and safety of the clinic staff and patients that come for help.
Recently two bombs exploded in the neighborhood close to the clinic but thankfully no one was injured (similar news reports here). Patients still look for help at the clinic with over 290 coming in July.
One woman has requested a picture of Jesus and declared that she loved Him. Pray that her love would be in understanding what Jesus has done for her in taking away her sin and that she would have a true relationship with Him.
- Pray for continued safety for staff and patients.
- Pray for the woman who wanted a picture of Jesus, that she would truly know Him.
- Pray for proper documents to be granted for the clinic to register with the government.
- Praise the Lord that no one was injured in recent bombings.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
I praise God for our church. Wooster Grace seeks to meet the needs of children in our area with a back-to-school backpack.
The above link is how one organization gains sponsors to donate back to school materials for a child or teen. Others around the country are seeking to make a difference in their communities.
Wooster Grace envisions a place where everyone hungers and is developed into mature Christians who are deployed for church-planting and compassion ministries around the world. This project is one of the many steps in developing all people into fully-devoted followers of Jesus.
Jesus had compassion. In Mark 14:3 Jesus is in the house of a well-known leper. He was reclining in Simon's house. Jesus went into the homes of anyone when invited.
Our backpack project interfaces our people with those who need someone to help out with school supplies and a backpack. I thank the Lord that we can share our surplus with those who have no surplus, thus honoring God in our acts of service in the community.
Please pray this week and next week as our people get to bless families, especially the children in those families with a gift of love and care--a backpack filled with school supplies to start a new year of education. May God truly be honored as we go into our neighborhoods and share His love.
Monday, August 4, 2008
Short-term missions is an important value at Wooster Grace. Wooster Grace is proud of those who go on short-term missions.
Kaille grew up in our church. Her parents Mike & Kim have nurtured her towards following God.
Recently, Kaillie served God by securing a short-term missions internship with Sowing Hope for the summer. She has had a great time.
In her own words:
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Wooster Grace is well represented at the 300th Anniversary of the Brethren movement. If you are intrigued about the deep roots of the Grace Brethren, then visit the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches blog this coming week to read about what is occurring in Schwarzenau, Germany (the birthplace of the Brethren Movement).
- Finding our Focus by Dr. David Plaster (BMH Books, Winona Lake, IN: 2003).
- Our Heritage: Brethren Beliefs & Practices by Dr. Harold Etling (BMH Books, Winona Lake, IN: 1981).
- Restoring the Household of Faith by Dr. Todd Scoles (BMH Books, Winona Lake, IN: 2008) to be released soon!
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Pam Leonard said that this was the first time many on the team have performed for an audience. These older elementary and junior high students along with their student and adult leaders demonstrated God's love by sharing their gifts and talents through puppetry.
Wooster Grace values serving. We believe the Church consists of men, women and children serving for the glory of Christ. Therefore, we help people discover and employ their unique gifts to serve Him and others (Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12&14; Philippians 2:1-11). Check out our values here.
Friday, August 1, 2008
- Ask God to arrange the schedules of both families to deliver and to receive backpacks between August 11 and 16.
- Pray for our Wooster Grace families as they verbalize why we do this: to demonstrate God's love to the family--"all people matter to God and each person matters to us."
- Petition God to empower our Wooster Grace families to make a personal contact with each child, asking to read a brief Bible passage (like Matthew 19:13-15 where Jesus prays for and blesses the children) and to pray for the child and family.
- Plead for God to open up opportunities to share the Gospel with the children and their families