Viewing entries in
Around the Region

News from Around Mission Northwest

Comment

News from Around Mission Northwest

The Fresh Expressions Vision Day on November 3rd was a great success with roughly 60 people in attendance. As a region we greatly appreciate the hospitality of True Hope Church-FBC Downtown Boise. Participants learned how God is using this movement to start up churches among sub-cultures of people who would never consider attending an established church. Fresh Expressions of church are usually started by a regular church attender with connections among a group of people with a common interest. This person usually has entrepreneurial wiring and a desire to see people come to know Jesus outside of church. Plans are in the works for the next Vision Day in the Seattle Area sometimes in March. Click HERE to learn more about Fresh Expressions, USA.

Speaking of Fresh Expressions Paul and Leona Burnham are developing a Dinner Church in West Seattle on Fridays at noon. The gathering has grown to over twenty people with people from the community and The Junction Church all pitching in to help. Please pray for the continuing development of this new effort.

LaJolla Christian Fellowship (CA) received $8,000 in Palmer Grant money to continue developing its “Surf Church.” Surf Church is a community of surf-stoked friends who desire to share faith, joy, barrels, and life together. Surf Church is a ministry of La Jolla Christian Fellowship in partnership with Christian Surfers that connects surfers to Jesus. Surf Church meets every other Thursday night to share a meal and message. This is usually following an evening surf at one of the many awesome surf spots in the La Jolla area. (Check out this great article in LaJolla’s local newspaper LINK.)

First Baptist Church Filer, ID recently took the bold step of inviting Mission Northwest to engage in a Church Assessment. Over 40 people provided insights through participation in an online survey. Five focus groups convened and staff interviews were conducted. A large crowd gathered on Sunday evening, November 18 to receive the results. Filer FBC’s pastor is Rev. Andy Paz. Dr. Charles Revis and Rev. Patti Duckworth conducted the church assessment.

First Baptist Church of Everett, WA celebrated the 30-year long ministry and retirement of Dr. Brian Harpell on Saturday, October 19. Rev. Bob Cameron, Mission Northwest president and Pastor Tyrone Garay, local mentor pastor, represented the region. Dr. Charles Revis participated through a video message that was sent in advance.

Dr. Charles Revis enjoyed the privilege of speaking at the Biennial Leadership Conference of the ABC of Pennsylvania and Delaware in Altoona, PA October 19 & 20. The theme of ABCOPAD’s meeting was “Living at the Edge.” Dr. Frank Frischkorn is the executive minister of this thriving and wonderful sister region.

PLEASE PRAY FOR THESE CHURCHES WITHOUT A SETTLED PASTOR AND THEIR INTERIM LEADERS:

Community Baptist Church, Midvale, ID--Pastor Clayne Beck

Mudlake Community Church, Terreton, ID--Pastor Steve Morreale

Summit Church, Boise, ID--Pastor Gary Cooper

FBC Everett, WA--Pastor Bill McCready

Park Heights Baptist Church, Spokane WA--Pastor Glen Douglas

FBC Hoquiam, WA--Pastor Gary Shirbish

Murray Baptist Church, UT--Pastor Karl Dumas

FBC/Christiana Communidad, Yakima, WA--Pastor Andy Ferguson

FBC Olympia, WA--Pastor Paul Aita

Gilford Community Baptist Church (No interim at present)

FBC Castleford, ID (No interim at present)

FBC Twin Falls, ID (No interim at present)

Blessed Life Community Church, Bellevue, WA (No interim at present)

FBC Raymond, WA (No interim at present)

FBC Weiser, ID (No interim at present)

Lynden Community Church, WA (No interim at present)

Comment

River Valley Church and Pastor Dave Lodwig in the News in Missoula, MT

River Valley Church and Pastor Dave Lodwig in the News in Missoula, MT

Check out this excellent television story on our very own River Valley Church in Missoula, MT with pastor Dave Lodwig. It features their name change from First Baptist to their new name. As Pastor Dave explains they felt--and was later confirmed through on-the-streeet interviews--that the name "Baptist" was a barrier to reaching younger adults and people with no church background. So, the church changed it's name. This is just one piece of a multi-layered strategy River Valley church is employing to better reach its community and kick start growth. The story also features Scott Klaudt, founding pastor of Zootown Church. Pastor Scott was one of our speakers at the 2015 Leadership Tune-Up.

"More often than not, the reason people come to church week in and week out if they're looking for a place they can find hope -- hope for a life better than what they have today," Missoula First Baptist Church Pastor Dave Lodwig.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO CLIP

America For Christ Offering Supports Local Missions Such As Friendship House in Billings, MT

America For Christ Offering Supports Local Missions Such As Friendship House in Billings, MT

We are in the season of receiving the America for Christ Offering. As a home mission organization the Region receives 1/3rd of this special offering which helps to undergird the Region’s budget. We greatly appreciate the financial assistance this offering provides.

In addition to supporting the Region, the offering provides resources used for many home mission efforts. One of these is our very own Friendship House in Billings, MT. This ministry is located in the depressed area of South Bilings where many children are in need of clothing, food, family stability, education enrichment and spiritual guidance.

Rev. Matt Lundgren is the current director and has led this ministry in the last several years in tripling its budget, upgrading the facility and broadening its partnership with the churches in Billings.

The Mission of Friendship House is: Reflecting the love of Jesus Christ by fostering renewal, stability and transformation in the lives of youth and families in South Billings.

When your church gives to the America for Christ Offering you are supporting ministries such as Friendship House. Back in the fall Patti Duckworth and I had the opportunity check out all the wonderful changes that have taken place through Matt's leadership. I was impressed and moved by this ministry that is touching so many lives with the love of Jesus Christ.

Learn more about this vital ministry at www.friendshipmt.org/

Montana's New Tax-Exempt Property Legislation

Montana's New Tax-Exempt Property Legislation

Apparently Montana has passed new legislation requiring each non-profit corporation to verify that the property it owns is being occupied and used for non-profit purposes. This requirement is in addition to the annual report required of all non-profit corporations. Most churches have received notices of this new requirement in the mail. If your church has not received a notice it would be a smart move to check out what is required at the following links:

http://revenue.mt.gov/exemptions#Real-Property-890

http://svc.mt.gov/dor/property/Home

Here is the notice as it appears on the Montana State web site:

New! All nonprofit organizations and other tax exempt property owners need to reapply for property tax exemption. A new state law requires owners of tax exempt real property in exempt status before 2014 to submit an application by March 1, 2016.

The new law affects about 10,000 tax exempt properties in Montana. The reapplication requirement includes property owned by most nonprofit organizations, private schools and colleges, churches, parsonages, low income housing, veterans’ clubhouses, community service and fraternal organizations, cemeteries, and land leased from a railroad by a nonprofit organization.

The department is mailing letters and applications in early December to organizations with tax exempt properties in the state system.

By March 1, 2016, tax exempt property owners need to submit the real property tax exemption application, (AB-30R), all required documentation, and a small application fee. The fee is $15 for a vacant land parcel, $25 for a land parcel with structures. There is no application fee for nonprofits with total gross receipts less than $5,000. Applicants should mail the application materials to Montana Department of Revenue, PO Box 8018, Helena, MT 59624-8018.

 

Chinese Baptist Church Seattle Celebrates 120 Years!

Chinese Baptist Church of Seattle celebrated their 120th year anniversary on Sunday, January 31st. Paul Burham, Sr., former pastor of Newport Hills Community Church and church planting leader with ABC Northwest, and his wife Leona represented the Region’s congregations at this event. Paul reports: “What a blessing to see and hear CBC’s history and heritage from their beginning to the present.

CBC is alive and flourishing, making a difference in the Seattle and surrounding areas representing Jesus Christ to the Asian community as well as others.

Their theme for the whole year is ‘Running with Perseverance.’ They have set some events spaced out through the year to help them accomplish their goal to run the race of following Jesus that has been marked out for them.”

Congratulations to the staff, church leaders and congregational members of Chinese Baptist Church. We celebrate with you God’s faithfulness in sustaining you through these last 120 years. We pray that our Lord will continue to sustain you, strengthen you and bless your ministries, all for the Glory of God!

Organic Outreach for Churches Conference -- April 23, 2016 -- FBC Everett, WA

This "Tools for the Trade" like gathering for worship, connection and learning is being sponsored by the four Western WA LLCs and FBC Everett. The focus will be on learning how to make evangelism and outreach a deep part of your church's culture by implementing ideas that originate out of the "Organic Outreach" books by Kevin Harney. The morning will include plenary training sessions by Walt Bennett, the director of Organic Outreach Ministries International. Additionally there will be numerous workshops led by various leaders from ABC-NW churches. The cost is low at $10. Bring your staff, bring your team and let's engage in an excellent day of fellowship, worship and learning together. 

Starts at 8:30 AM. Concludes at 1:45 PM.

Look for forthcoming Registration details.

FBC Everett is located at 1616 Pacific Ave, Everett, WA 98201

 

Together in Prayer: Pastors Praying for One Another

Together in Prayer: Pastors Praying for One Another

A new effort is being launched throughout the Region in which every pastor will be supported in prayer by another pastor. The initiative is being coordinated through the Leadership Learning Communities (LLCs). We are asking every pastor to be willing to pray for one or two other pastors in the Region. Every LLC has received a list of pastors from another geographic location in the Region. Pastors’ names will be distributed among the active members of the LLC. We are asking each pastor to share personal and family needs, along with any prayer concerns related to his/her church and its ministries. It is our hope that every pastor will know that a colleague in the Region is regularly praying for him or her. Gary Cooper is coordinating this initiative with the LLCs, and we appreciate his efforts. 

THE REGION AS ASSOCIATION: What It Means for Churches to Be Connected

2 Comments

THE REGION AS ASSOCIATION: What It Means for Churches to Be Connected

The Region is not a ‘denominational organization’ off on another planet separate from the churches. Rather, it is an organization OF the churches, consisting of member churches who link arms together to accelerate the cause of Christ through their cooperative work.

In today's world a growing number of church leaders and pastors have no denominational background.  So, it is common to hear the question, "Why belong to a denominational group of churches?” As national denominations have become institutionalized, lost vision and have little to offer the local church even long-time adherents to a denomination are asking the question.

There is a good answer to the question. But, a little background helps, especially in our Northwest context. In the 19th century as Baptist churches pushed west they worked together to extend the reach of the Gospel. A primary motivator was their desire to plant churches in areas without a Gospel witness. Through prayer they discerned where the next church should be planted. Then they would bring in an evangelist from the Baptist Home Mission Society who would hold evangelistic meetings with support from local congregations from nearby towns. Many new believers came to Christ through these efforts. These new disciples joined with other believers God had sovereignly placed in the area and together they would form a new church.

In this way early Baptists realized that by joining forces they could make progress that otherwise would not happen. This cooperative work formed the basis for their local associations.

In addition to evangelistic outreach and church planting they built churches, providing manpower for construction along with financial backing. Additionally the local association trained pastors and credentialed them. They resourced local church leaders. They encouraged one another and held each other accountable through regular meetings which included music, preaching and church reports. Counting baptisms and new members was stressed.

What those early Baptists discovered by working together through their local association carries forward to today's context. These discoveries included these notions: 

  • They were stronger together than apart. They were weaker when they operated independently.
  • They were more effective in reaching the unchurched when they collaborated.
  • They were more stable, biblically and theologically, when they were worked together to provide training and mutual accountability.
  • Their collaborative work resulted in multiplication of new disciples and new churches, far exceeding any efforts when they tried to go it alone.

The association was the means through which they worked together. The congregations created the association that organized and gave expression to their cooperative efforts. In today's world we might use the word "network" to describe this togetherness. Although the association had officers and regular meetings distinguishing it from its member churches it was never an entity that functioned apart from the churches that comprised it. Over time these associations organized into state conventions. Eventually, a national denomination was formed out of the various state conventions. But, the main action remained local with the association of churches.

Today, the Region is the entity that embodies and carries forward the intention of churches to work together in association. The Region is not a "denominational organization" off on another planet separate from the churches. Rather, it is an organization OF the churches, consisting of member churches who link arms together to accelerate the cause of Christ through their cooperative work.

Belonging to this association of churches requires mutual investment and commitment by its member churches, pastors and leaders.

Unfortunately, this admirable intention is undermined by two attitudes:

1. Consumerism. This is the attitude that looks to the Region as a remote organization which is in competition with other organizations that dispense goods and services. This is surfaced when someone says, "What has the Region done for us lately?" It's similar to the attitude of the "church shopper" who wants to know what "this church has to offer."

2. Us vs Them. This attitude creates an artificial divide between the local church and the region by failing to recognize the Region as "our organization", our tribe with whom we travel and the friends to whom we are accountable. The counter to this attitude is embracing the view that the region is the broader and larger expression of the church in its cooperative form.

Because of the association of churches and their investment of missions dollars the Region is able to provide multiple resources and opportunities for cooperative ministry. Some examples include: 

1. Each church is supported by its sister churches through prayer, encouragement, coaching, training, mentoring and guidance during pastoral transitions. Through the Region connection a local church doesn't minister alone!

2. The pastor doesn't minister alone! Through clergy clusters pastors are invited into a collegial relationship in which they learn together, coach one another and pray together. In our Region these are called Leadership Learning Communities. Each is led by a Region appointed “Region Pastor.”

3. Church transformation resources. One of the greatest needs today is for the local church to be constantly renewed in its pursuit of Christ’s mission. Towards this end the Region offers church assessments, guidance through the church unique process and coaching for church boards and pastors.

4. Leadership development resources including LLCs, the annual Leadership Tune-Up, local gatherings for training (“Tools for the Trade”, Oikos Training, Leadership Styles Training, etc), ethics conference and area meetings.

5. Guiding churches through pastoral transitions including the provision of interims, intentional interims and transitional pastors. Search team consultants are provided for search teams. Candidates are prescreened and recruited.

6. Wide variety of financial advice, church financial reviews and coaching for stewardship campaigns.

7. Church Plants and Restarts. Rather than simply closing churches when they decline to the point of closing we are able to relaunch churches. We continue to look for opportunities to plant new churches and/or assist our churches that are planting.

The Region is owned by the churches and is an expression of the churches in mission. As such it is worthy of your church’s support through missions giving. Let’s keep our association strong as work together to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to the great Northwest.

 

2 Comments

Oso Landslide Disaster—A Journal of Ministry in the Midst of Suffering

Just about daily Mike De Luca, pastor of FBC Darrington, WA, dispatches an update on what has unfolded on that particular day as he ministers in the aftermath of the Oso Landslide Disaster. The following reports provide an overview of the various ways Pastor Mike has shown the love of Christ to the hurting in his community.

Tools for the Trade 2013

Plan now to attend the Tools for the Trade event closest to your church. The day will be filled with practical training in the Oikos approach to outreach & evangelism, a natural, biblical way to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

News From Around the Region

Dr. Charles Revis was invited by First Baptist Church Missoula, MT to lead in a church-wide leadership retreat April 12-13. The event was held outside Missoula at Camp Utmost from Friday evening and Saturday. Dr. Revis presented three sessions on “Becoming a Salt & Light Congregation”

Haiti Mission Trip 2013

Dear Family, Friends and others interested in Haiti Mission:

I am sending this letter to people and churches who have expressed an interest in previous mission trips, the current trip to Haiti, have gone on a trip, or in some way have supported the previous trips either financially, through prayers or in some other way.

Letter from Region Board President - Nov. 2011

November 10, 2011

 
Greetings to the Churches, Pastors and Leadership Learning Communities of the American Baptist Churches of the Northwest,
 
As you are aware, we, the ABC of the Northwest, are in a time of exciting transition following the Region-wide Assessment conducted in the second half of 2009 by Dr. Bill Hoyt. The findings of the assessment were presented at the Boise Biennial Celebration business meeting which convened on May 14, 2010. The report calls for continuing changes in the Region. A copy of the report has been posted at the ABCNW web site for your referral. While transition always includes stress associated with change please know that your Region Board is committed to supporting you throughout the forthcoming transition process.
 
Previously, we sent you a letter about how the restructure would impact the old “Area” model. Since that letter was sent out most “Areas” in the ABCNW have disbanded in favor of the changes recommended by the Region Assessment. By way of our assessment it became clear that, as a whole, this structure was no longer serving it's purpose. Dr. Hoyt had reported to the board:
 
“Areas no longer work. This was overwhelmingly evident from the information gathered in the online survey. Areas aren’t what they used to be and they aren’t ever going to be. They are an economic improbability if not an outright impossibility. There are now different and better ways to provide connection and resourcing.” 
 
This is a follow up to the previous letter written to explain the process for nominating and electing of Representatives from each geographical area to serve on the Region Board. During the transitional period of the Region restructure the Region Board feels that the election process can best be facilitated at the LLC level. With this in mind, the Region Board is asking the LLCs that reside within the boundaries of the old “Areas” to vote to elect these Representatives from within their respective churches. All nominations will be subject to Region guidelines including acceptance of the Commonly Held Essentials, Resolution on Human Sexuality, and affirmation of the new structure and vision of the ABCNW. To this end, the Personnel and Nominating Committee of the Region Board will work in conjunction with the LLCs and the Executive Minister to assure that the above guidelines are met.
 
For the time being, if there is more than one LLC within a given area boundary they would need to divide the vote between them. For example, the Inland Northwest Area has three LLCs. These LLCs would establish a rotation by which each one would have a vote for a Representative over time. In the old model, each Area had two Representatives who served a three-year term. If the Eastern Montana LLC and the Spokane Area LLC vote on the first two Representatives from within their geographical area, then the Central Washington LLC would have a vote on the following cycle and one of the previously mentioned LLC’s would not vote. As you can see, this system has the potential to increase the actual involvement from a greater geographical area.
 
In order to give these votes bylaw authority, each Pastor in each LLC will be asked to sign a form acknowledging that they are casting a vote on these Representatives. This form will be kept on record at the Region office and updated whenever an LLC is eligible to vote.
 
The Area elected Representatives to the Region Board who are currently in office with continue to fill out their term and this new system will begin when their terms expire. This timing will differ based upon the dates at which the currently serving Representatives finish their terms.
 
If you have any questions regarding the upcoming changes, the suggestions of the assessment or the decisions reported at our Biennial meeting please feel free to contact your Area Representative to the Region Board or the Region staff.
 
Sincerely,
 
Rev. Jim Amend
President, ABC of the Northwest Region Board
 
Dr. Charles Revis
Executive Minister, ABC of the Northwest
 
 
 

Haiti Missions Trip 2011 Report

by Gene Gentry

 

August 2-10 six people from various churches in the Northwest went to Haiti to build desks, tables and chalk boards for the school at Grand Goave, Haiti. The January 2011 earthquake completely destroyed the Siloe School. Since that time with the help of Haitian crews and many volunteers from across the United States 13 rooms have been nearly finished. There remains only the addition of the doors and windows made of rebar for the last seven rooms to be finished. Our team was asked to make 30 desks, 30 tables and 14 chalk boards for the last seven classrooms. That was the amount of money available to get students into the class rooms for fall start-up of classes. In reality that was all that we had time to complete during the time we were in Haiti. A team from Colorado and Haitian volunteers joined us to accomplish that task.
 
As we left Spokane we were concerned about the weather. There was a possibility that Tropical Storm Emily would cause a problem.  We decided to press on as planes continued to fly into Haiti.  Emily slowed and eventually dissipated near the Dominican Republic. She provided us with two or three cooler days. What a blessing that was.
 
When we went into Haiti we carried enough nuts, bolts and screws to build 100 desks along with our tools. Our task was not only to build desks, but to work along side of Haitian volunteers to help them understand the power tools they were not familiar with. One of the most significant jobs as far as I was concerned was to teach the two volunteers who were chosen to use the paint sprayer. An important task in maintaining a sprayer is to clean it thoroughly after each use. EJ (Elisabeth Jane) has worked as a professional sprayer. Her primary task was to teach proper use and cleaning of the sprayer. The first day that we sprayed chalk boards I told the two volunteers that the sprayer had to be cleaned before we broke for our noon meal and break. The next day near the end of the day the older volunteer, Precois, who is also a carpenter said, “We have to clean the sprayer before we go home.” He had grasped the importance of cleaning so that this piece of equipment can be used time and time again.
 
Some of the most significant times for the team were the spontaneous interactions we had with our Haitian brothers and sisters. On Saturday afternoon we had the opportunity to assist in conversations at the Christian English School. I had the first year students and did some very basic stuff. The other volunteers were in higher-level classes and the conversations took very interesting twists. Several of the volunteers were asked why they were Christians. Adam who had numerous tattoos was asked if he was a Christian.  The volunteers had to address questions that they had not anticipated which made them think about their relationship to Jesus.
 
Much interaction took place as we worked together with the Haitian people. We also developed some good relationships with the team from Colorado that had come to build rubble houses. I was blessed to see friends that I had made during my previous trips to Grand Goave. This is my fourth trip in two years. Many of our experiences came during unplanned times.
 
One day my grandson, Brolin, was not feeling very well. We were working on table legs. He took a break. After a while I wondered what was going on. I asked someone where Brolin was. He was teaching German to someone. He had studied German the past year and was using that skill. One night I went up on the roof of the volunteer house to see what part of the team was doing. Most of the team was sitting there while my son-in-law, Ben, taught Jean Pierre Hebrew. Ben grew up in Israel and they spoke Hebrew in the home. As I reflected on this Hebrew class I recalled seeing some Hebrew on a chalk board while I was in Haiti last year. Jean Pierre is very interested in languages and took advantage of every opportunity to use and learn them.
 
I want to thank those churches and individuals who made this trip possible. Several churches and individuals enabled volunteers to make the trip. Others made significant contributions to desks, chalk boards and tables. Park Heights did yeoman service in getting hardware together for 100 desks. Deer Park Open Door and Immanuel Baptist in Spokane enabled us to take tools that had been requested for the tasks to be done.  hanks too, to Charles Revis, the Spokane LLC and others in the Region of the Northwest for getting the word out. 
 
God is good. He blessed all who went on the trip. We were also a blessing to those we encountered in Haiti. Some couldn’t go this year who wanted to go. Some want to go again. I’m expecting more opportunities in the future.
 
P.S. If interested I will volunteer to visit and share with your church about this trip. I have already shared our experience with my Deer Park church.  Perhaps this way interest may be built for the next trip. You can reach me through the ABCNW Region Office.
 

%%wppa%%

%%slide=3%%

 

New Community Church of Union Receives Land Gift

by Rev. Terry Oliver, Pastor, NCCU, Union, WA  www.thenccu.org

“Service is the only location that encompasses the needs and dreams of the city, the mandates and desires of God, and the calling and capacity of the church.  Service is the “sweet spot” where all three interests come together.”  

Pastor Rick Rusaw, The Externally Focused Church

The New Community Church of Union, an ABC/NW church in Union, WA, discovered the reality of Rusaw’s words in a fresh and living way this past year.  A local civic club in Union, The Hood Canal Improvement Club, voted to donate its 11.3 acre parcel of property to the congregation for use in service to the community.  The gift was unsolicited, but came out of the deliberations of the Improvement Club, a 71 year old service organization, as they sought to decide how to use the parcel that had been in their ownership for the past 30 years.  Their acreage was adjacent to property the church had already purchased in 2007 for future ministry and community service.  The club indicated that they felt the best stewards of the property for the overall use of the community would be the church, based on its track record of service and community involvement in its seven year history.

What is so remarkable about this decision is that in 2003, as N.C.C.U was just beginning its ministry, someone in the Improvement Club suggested at a meeting that they consider giving the land to the new church to have a place to meet.  The suggestion immediately met with vocal opposition and never even  made it to the table to be voted on.  The presence of a church was looked upon with fear, suspicion, and mistrust.  What happened to transform that mentality in the course of seven years?

The most important answer is that the Holy Spirit was working through the service of the church’s members! The congregation’s first entrée to the community was a free, community Thanksgiving dinner.  Donations were accepted for the area food bank, and each year, the congregation has been one of the most faithful contributors to the food bank.  There have been a variety of annual dinners served for the community (pancake breakfasts, chili feeds, and annual salmon bakes), mostly on a donation basis.  From the outset, these were seen not as “fund raisers” but as community builders, connecting a great diversity of people.  In addition, church volunteers have worked closely with the Hood Canal School District, a school system where 85% of the children come from families below the poverty level.  Again, quoting Pastor Rusaw, “Good works promote good will, which lead to opportunities to share the Good News.” 

The congregation has grown steadily over its brief lifetime, and with a winsome witness, has found God granting open hearts and homes.  As one observer from the Improvement Club stated, “The church has become the heart of the community!”

There are many possible uses of the land donation. Initially trails will be developed for hiking, habitat instruction, and nature observation.  Future options might include  an educations center with cabins for retreats and special training.  The New Community Church of Union is blessed and humbled by this gift, and wants to keep it in the “sweet spot” of God’s work, the dreams of the city, and the calling of the congregation.

Mongolian Fellowship Update from Newport Hills Community Church

by Rev. Paul Burnham, Pastor NHCC, Bellevue, WA  www.nhccforjc.org

We have about thirty Mongolians that we minister to regularly. Over the past three years we have had sixteen salvation experiences and baptisms in that group. Bayansetseg Ulziibayar (Mary) is a wonderful evangelist that has a big heart for her people.

Because of her efforts we have purchased a listening system for all the Mongolians and she interprets the sermon each week for them to hear in their language. A Mongolian Bible Study teaching the basics of Christianity takes place between our two services.

Our Mongolian Fellowship is on the last Sunday of the month. On that Sunday, we have three services at NHCC and the 3rd one is for the Mongolians. Usually I teach something out of our discipleship process here at NHCC. Right now we are going through some Christian Disciplines. At this service we sing songs in Mongolian, spend time in prayer, and learn from the Bible how God wants us to live.

Mary and I are working towards her preparing the lesson and doing the teaching instead of me doing it and her interpreting it.  We are also working now on purchasing from Rosetta Stone and starting a class for the Mongolians teaching them English.  Two of us are taking a class to learn Mongolian from one of our newer attendees, so we can communicate better with them.

God has done a great thing in us through the Mongolians and has done a marvelous thing with the Mongolians through us. It has been an incredible blessing for all to have God orchestrate this fellowship.

%%wppa%%

%%slide=1%%

 

Manette Community Church Travels to Crow Agency

(written by Claudia Stonecipher, Manette Community Church, Bremerton, WA)

MCC Montana 3
MCC Montana 3

With much excitement and anticipation 39 members of MCC arrived at Crow Agency, Montana the 1st day of August to serve the people of that community.  Our World Servants team leader, Steve Suhi, had already paved the way for us to be welcomed into the community and, along with Pastor Kenneth Pretty on Top, had planned a list of specific ways that we could be of help to the Crow people.  The goal was to make a positive impact for Christ with our efforts in order to draw people to the church where they would then come to have a personal relationship with Christ.  The hope was that those we came in contact with would see the love of Christ through us and know that we cared about each of them.

MCC Montana 1
MCC Montana 1

We feel we accomplished that in many ways.  We held a kids club in the park four mornings.  The first day we had 22 kids attend.  As the word spread the attendance increased until the last day we counted 55 kids!  They had a blast playing games, singing songs, participating in Bible story skits, and making crafts.

Three of the afternoons some of us went to visit the nursing home.  Residents there (mostly women) enjoyed having their nails done, singing, playing games, and sharing their personal stories.  They loved the personal attention and those who went from our group were really blessed also.

Tuesday night we held a carnival in the park.  That proved to be a lot of fun for everyone involved.  We had face painting, bubbles, fishing for prizes, pony races, various target games, and Jack juggled and some of the boys took turns entertaining us with their guitars.  We played until sunset.

MCC Montana 4
MCC Montana 4

In addition, in the four days we had to get work done, we painted the outside of three homes and a couple rooms inside of one.  A cement floor was poured in a tornado shelter at the pastor’s home and a storage shed was cleaned out and rebuilt on one of the homes we painted.  We painted the trim, doors, and porches of the cabins we stayed in and weeded around them.  Some of the outdoor plumbing around the cabins was posing a tripping hazard so it was re-routed and benches were built over some making a nice place to sit and visit.  An ice machine in the youth center that hadn’t been working for two years was fixed which proved to be a blessing to us!  There was also laundry to be done and everyone took turns at fixing meals for the group.

MCC Montana 6
MCC Montana 6

In the evening we were invited into the church for worship and devotions.  The pastor’s son, Kenny, loved having the youth perform with him during worship and they were always invited to stay late and jam. Kenny’s wife, Jerusa, operated the sound equipment.  They loved it!  We also had the pleasure of hearing from a different member of the community each night.  They shared their stories with us and their visions for the future of the Crow people.  We also had an ice cream social one night and some of the Crow people brought jewelry they had made so we got to shop for authentic gifts.  On our day off we visited the Battlefield at Little Big Horn.

MCC Montana 5
MCC Montana 5

Traveling to our mission we spent one night in the home of Pastor Doug and his family in historic Butte, MT.  They fed us dinner, took us on a tour of their beautiful old church, and fed us breakfast. Traveling back, Jen and Johan Bester with YWAM invited us to stay at their home.  Some of us went swimming and they fed us a lovely dinner and helped us to debrief from our mission experience.  We had a yummy breakfast before heading out on the last leg of our journey.

We will have a potluck and share pictures and stories from our experience after church on Sept. 19th. We were so fortunate to have the support of our church family.  All of the supplies you provided went to good use and we appreciated and felt the prayer support.  We know without the support of all of you our trip would not have been possible.  Thank you so much for this opportunity.

Haiti Mission Trip - Gene Gentry

Dear Friends who are interested in the Haiti Mission Trip:

m_100_9514_0082
m_100_9514_0082

I returned from Haiti almost two weeks ago.  I want to share the experience of the Northwest team, myself and the situation with my back.  Normally teams go for about a week to Gran Goave, Haiti.  The team from the Northwest departed July 23rd and returned on July 31.  We had only three of us from the northwest so we were joined by three people from New York.  We had a great team.  We were the second team to use the new volunteer house instead of sleeping in tents.  There was much needed to make the house a home but we were out of the storms which was a blessing.   We decided to make the house more comfortable and that was partially done while we were there.

Midway through our time at Gran Goave we were joined by a team of six from Ohio.  This was the third team lead by Harry Rittenhouse since the first big earthquake on January 12.  I have worked with Harry off and on over a 20 year period.  It was a pleasure to work with him and his team once again.  I stayed on until August 5 and came out with that team.

Our primary task in Haiti was to work with the school which is being built for 350 students.  Those among us who were physically able worked with the Haitians pouring cement for the bond beams.  That included mixing, transporting in a wheel barrow, putting it in a bucket and passing the bucket up a ladder to people on a platform who were pouring it into the forms.  We did this for the last three rooms that are currently under construction.  Since I left in May the first two rooms have been completed up through the pouring of the ceiling which will be the floor of the second story.  Floors still need to be poured and windows installed on the front side of the classrooms.  After that additional classrooms need to be constructed.

Those of us who were not up to the physical exertion of the cement process plus Andy, our volunteer carpenter, worked at a variety of tasks including building a structure to prevent rains from entering the staff house from the second floor.  The second floor had collapsed during the earthquakes.  We also painted the staff house and got water to all of the faucets and fixtures.  In the volunteer house we got electricity to all of the rooms.  When we arrived, electricity was in three out of six rooms.  We have electricity when the generator runs.  When we left we still needed to get the water fixed so the water tank didn't  run dry when no one was using water.

Medical people had the opportunity to do some clinics with Tori, the nurse.  Some of the team helped to reorganize the pharmacy.

Everyone had a good time and felt we had accomplished much.  We had some people who had to slow down because of working too hard and not drinking enough water.  Fortunately no IV's were necessary.

When I left for Haiti, several of you were concerned about my back. I purchased a flexible ticket so it could be changed if I couldn't go or if it was necessary to change the return flight.  I received a shot prior to going to help control the pain.  It worked marvelously.  It lasted for about a week after my return from Haiti.  I actually changed my ticket prior to departure so that I stayed longer than the team from the northwest and came out with Harry's team on the 5th.  I was able to facilitate several things for both teams.

The New York team leader is trying to get a medical team organized for January.  I think we will try to get a team together again sometime in the next year.  I saw my back surgeon today and we are scheduling surgery for the end of September.  I had hoped to go back in October but that is not to be, as he said I would have to take it easy for a couple of months.  He asked if I had planned another trip and said "not until I saw you."  So those of you who worry about me, rest assured, I will get the back taken care of first.

Andy Moll from Lynnwood and Jan Simpson from Spokane were excited about the trip and Andy thinks he can get some others to go another time, probably summer.  Several people who couldn't go this time want to be kept in the loop so there is a better chance that we can pull a few more people together from the northwest for another mission trip.  Several people are already considering that possibility.

I hope this answers questions that you might have.  If you do not want to be kept in the loop let me know otherwise I will give you occasional updates, especially as plans develop for future mission trips.

Blessings,

Gene Gentry.

[gallery orderby="ID"]

Romania Music and Missions – Summit Church, Boise

Romania Mission Team
Romania Mission Team

On Thursday, July 1st nine musicians and artists from the Summit Church Boise boarded a plane, packing instruments and art supplies, and headed off to Romania. They were John Futrell, Sharla Futrell, Naomi Futrell, Joanne Kimey, Diana Patrick, Phil Bennett, Katy Knight, my wife Jen and me. Their mission: to work alongside churches in three communities aiding them in reaching outside their walls through service projects and concerts. We went there to love the people, give ourselves away and gain access into lives where there might be opportunity to share Jesus; and Thank you Lord, that is exactly what happened!!

Râşnov Soccer Tournament:

On Saturday, July 3rd (while people in Boise were beginning to turn in on their Friday evening), the Summit Church Romania Music and Missions Team was already up and headed to a sports hall in the city ofRâşnov, (central Romania). There we hosted “The 2010 Romanian American Summit Football Tournament”.One hundred and twenty youth and college age Romanians gathered to form twelve soccer teams competing in a double elimination tournament throughout the day. At lunch we served hot dogs and soda, did a short concert for the teams and shared some testimonies. At the close of the day we passed out trophies and medals to the top three teams and gave all one hundred and twenty competitors a tournament certificate. More than half of the kids there were not Christians and God gave us tremendous opportunity to witness, encourage them and connect them with the body of Christ. Phil Bennett, one of our team members, met a young man who was a worship leader at one time. Over a decade ago he walked away from the church and away from God feeling betrayed, hurt and beat up. Because Phil was there to encourage him, this young man has decided to return to the church and to God and is now pursuing his calling as a worship leader. Others were prayed over who would have never invited anyone to pray over them before and several kids are now attending the church we were working with. Wow!! What a day we had!! Thank you God!!

Dorohoi Flood Relief:

Dorohoi is the northern most city in Romania, located in the east, just a few miles from Ukraine. One week and a half before we left on our mission, Dorohoi was struck with terrible floods. In the middle of the night, in the span of two and a half hours, water from the foothills and rivers caused by torrential rains, rose to 5 and half feet above the ground. Places of business were gutted, whole homes were just washed away and eleven people died. It was no less than a hurricane Katrina type disaster and ten days after it happened, no one had moved an inch. The people there were devastated, terrified and paralyzed. We saw men and women in their falling down houses just sitting, some crying, and some just staring into space not knowing what to do next. One woman told me, “We make great sacrifices here in Romania. Because we have very little, we work for years to buy one appliance and decades to make a home”. She held her arms out to the molded walls and rotted floors covered in mud. Clothing, papers and personal belongings scattered throughout the width and breadth of the house “Now look; twenty years gone in two hours”. She had no tears. She was empty. How we came to decide on going to Dorohoi as one of our destinations was…well, it wasn’t our decision. God called us there. Ask me sometime. But now that we were there, the question was, what could nine people from the States really do in the midst of such a crisis? We would stick with our mission; to love the people and give ourselves away. So, we put our boots and work gloves on, picked up shovels and scrub brushes and began digging in. Really, we didn’t even make a dent in this disaster. But God didn’t send us there to make a dent. God sent us there to make an impact.

On the second day in Dorohoi, Dana Murza, our host, and Joanne Kimey, one of the nine from our team, were asked to accompany some police officers downtown to see “The General”. The Generalwas an officer who had been called in to lay plans for groups coming in from all over Romania and surrounding countries bringing aid to Dorohoi. Those groups hadn’t arrived yet. So, “The General” just wanted to meet someone from our team, to say thank you for helping and then, more importantly, try to wrap his brain around how nine volunteers from the States made it to the northern most city in Romania before anyone in Romania or its surrounding countries had gotten there. Dana Murza and Joanne Kimey didn’t waste a second. They told him that we had already planned on coming and that God brought us here which, of course, was an open door to talk about the gospel and to give an invitation to our concert that night. Word has since been sent back to me that “The General” along with some other officers began attending the church we worked with in Dorohoi and some have given their lives to Christ. Yes!!!

Bistriţa Playground Restoration and Tent Meetings:

Bistrita Tent Meetings
Bistrita Tent Meetings

On Thursday, July 8th we arrived in Bistriţa and went to the church we would be working with. Katy Knight, the artist on our team, began working on a mural for the inside of the church. Some others were assigned to work at a children’s program and the rest were assigned to cleaning up playgrounds. We did this for three days. During the late afternoons we set up church smack dab in the middle of the projects and invited the neighborhood in to hear the worship band and the gospel. At night, we showed the movie “Facing The Giants” (in English with Romanian Subtitles). There were many who attended these events who were not Christians but they wanted to hear. Many heard the gospel and are now attending the church we worked with. What God allowed us to accomplish there was not small in nature because no one had ever set up shop in the middle of the projects and the Mayor had to sign off on our coming to do that. So by the time we got the go ahead, the entire city was alerted to our presence. Ever heard the saying “No publicity is bad publicity”?  You can be sure that for weeks leading up to our arrival, “The Repenters” and God were talked about…a lot. Our team made the Bistriţa paper twice and the love of Jesus was shared during a television interview that made the evening news. Filip, the Pastor we worked with, tells me he needs a bigger building now. We’re working on that.

Bistrita Mural
Bistrita Mural

All in all, it was a fantastic journey and we can see that God is using our trip in big, big ways. If you’d like more details about our trip, visit www.facebook.com/romania2010 There you’ll find blogs and pictures from our team members and some videos too which were posted throughout our mission. Thank you, Summit Church, for sending us and for supporting us. The Romania Music and Mission Team would also like to thank you, in advance, for your prayers over our hosts Otniel and Dana Murza. They’re both on fire for Jesus and they’re making such a difference in the lives of so many. Pray that their daily needs are met as it’s difficult to raise support in Romania. Also, please pray for protection over them as they travel throughout the country with Campus Crusade.

With His Music,

Pastor Chad