Page 1

Christ United Methodist Church Newsletter

339 Frank Scott Parkway East Fairview Heights, IL 62208 618.277.4659 mail@mychristchurch.com

www.mychristchurch.com

September / October 2010 Edition

Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage PAID E. St. Louis, IL Permit #2290


www.mychristchurch.com

The

Journey

Women Putting Faith in Motion Centuries ago the Psalmist wrote, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those whose spirits are crushed” (34:18). If only broken hearts and crushed dreams were a thing of the past! In the real world hearts are broken every day—and every day the Lord is near. Often when our hearts are breaking we could use a reminder of God’s healing nearness. This is one benefit of attending the Journey on Saturday, October 23. The Journey: Heart, Soul and Mind will feature three dynamic speakers— Cindy Winters, Courtney Doctor, and Dee Brestin—as well as good food and fellowship with other women.

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER

The Journey’s main speaker, Dee Brestin, knows firsthand about discovering the nearness of God. The author of The God of All Comfort: Finding Your Way into His Arms, Dee speaks from personal experience after the death of her husband: “Often when trouble comes, you feel abandoned by God, but He’s near to the broken-hearted.” What’s more, this spiritual comfort can change your life if you let Him. She says, “Often the wisest, humblest, and most deeply joyful people are those who have suffered and trusted God. Their souls have been enlarged.” “When the miscarriage comes, when the marriage fails, when a spouse dies, we often think ‘How can I get through this?’” Dee explains. Her approach is to dig into scripture, especially the Psalms: “Saints throughout the ages have discovered the power of the Psalms. If you use the Psalms incorrectly, you will sink. But discover

how to use them correctly, and you will catch the wind of the Spirit.” This is an event you will not want to miss! Look for registration tables in the Coffee Café in late September. For further information, or to register online, visit www.mychristchurch.com/conferences.html

Learn more about our speakers at: www.deebrestin.com www.courtneydoctor.org www.graceandhopeministries.org


www.mychristchurch.com

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER

going to be something special! In time, God sent additional musicians, people with tech savvy, people who loved to worship and God provided the resources to keep expanding and keep pushing the envelope. I wish I had passed around a “Charter” list that first Sunday morning so I could recognize those “pioneers” in faith today who stepped out in faith and tell them thank you for their vision, sacrifice and presence.

O

n Sunday, September 12 we will begin a brand new worship service each Sunday evening at 6:00. It will be a carbon copy of the 8:30 a.m. Praise and Worship service I affectionately call, “Rock and Roll Church.” In addition, our incredible AWANA program for children will be moving to the same time slot in the gym and the full Creation Corner nursery ministry will be in force. For many families, Sunday mornings are simply not the best time for them to attend worship. Unlike other regions in which I have lived, the Metro-East carves no Sunday morning “sacred space” from sporting, social and cultural activities for children. The reality is that Sunday evenings are a far better time for many families to worship. Other people work shifts, travel during weekends, work in retail industries or have other commitments on Sunday mornings that make church an occasional, rather than a regular part of their lives. We hope to change that!

I

have this feeling I have not experienced since Sunday, January 2, 2000. That was the first Sunday morning we planted the 8:30 a.m. Contemporary Worship Service. There were 92 in attendance that morning and who could have ever dreamed that ten years later the service would be running almost 700 per week! We started with a piano, Rev. Ralph working an overhead projector, Melissa leading the singing and a belief that God was getting ready to do a new thing! Many people thought the service was destined for a short shelf life but God met with us each week and after our first full year we averaged 124. It was becoming clear that this service was

H V

ere are some things everyone at Christ Church can do to help!

olunteer to simply attend the new service for one year to provide critical mass. What starts big in a church gets bigger…what starts small gets smaller.

V

olunteer to help with Creation Corner or AWANA. If you plan to continue to worship on Sunday mornings, come back at night to serve and invest your lives in our children!

S

erve as an usher, welcome team member or greeter. It is really hard to both serve and worship in the same service. Serve in the morning and worship at night or serve at night

and worship in the morning! You can sign up at the Activity Table.

J

oin the worship or tech teams. The addition of another service slot greatly adds to the demands placed on our musicians, singers and technicians. We need more people on the team to bolster the rotations and give people needed time off to keep them fresh and vital.

I J

nvite others to attend the service.

oin me in prayer. Anything of true spiritual significance was planted in the soil of prayer. Pray that God uses this service to connect people to Jesus Christ!

T

here is nowhere in the Bible that says serious church can only happen on Sunday mornings! There is nowhere in the Bible that dictates a specific worship style (they seemed to prefer harps and trumpet solos in Bible times); we are simply called to worship in “spirit and in truth.” Our goal is to provide a high quality, energy-packed option for people for whom Sunday evening is a better alternative than Sunday mornings for a worship time.

I T

wonder what we will be saying about this new service ten years from now? hat is the World as I See It…


www.mychristchurch.com

Long ago I drove a moving truck full of my furniture from Fayetteville, NC to St. Louis, MO. I was young, broke, and running out of gas. In fact, about 50 miles away from St. Louis I ended up begging for money. Oddly enough, people gave me money. They gave their hard-earned dollars to a perfect, and highly suspect stranger. Because I drove a gas-chugging giant, I had to

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER

beg a lot. Yet my confidence improved In that letter Paul says we are “saved over time. by grace through faith. And this is not your doing; it is a gift from God.” Wesley When I finally got home, I shared my expands: “Faith, with an empty hand, story with a friend. He suggested that’s and without any pretence to personal faith at work. I laughed then. And I desert, receives the heavenly blesslaugh now. For one thing, I wasn’t a ing.” That blessing is God’s grace. Christian, so God-talk amounted to So, in the very earliest moments of a goofy talk. Second, even though I am person’s career as a Christian, God is a Christian now, it wouldn’t be biblically active and we are passive. But it won’t sound to use this illustration as an ex- stay that way. ample of “faith at work/motion.” Let me show you what I mean. See, the appropriate response to God’s grace is found in Luke 9:23 where JeMention faith to the typical American sus said, “If anyone would come after and they’re likely to think of me, let him deny himself and take up super-successful people who tapped his cross daily and follow me” That is into something faith in themselves, biblical faith in motion. Oddly enough, God or a force. No matter, it all boils it eventually shows up in other ways— down to this: “I have faith such and like a complete stranger handing some such person-thing will help me accom- punk kid $10 dollars for gas. plish such-and-such wish-dream-ambition.” But that can’t be biblical faith in motion. Ephesians gives us a different picture. to get moving. On Monday, September 20 at 7:00 p.m. in the Chapel, Lisa from Hospice of Southern Illinois will be here to tell you about the mission of Hospice and how it can be a wonderful asset at a special and difficult time in your life or someone’s you love. Hospice care isn’t just for cancer patients, and it isn’t just for the last day or two of life. Join us for an informative presentation.

The fall is a wonderful time to get ourselves on a schedule, make a list of things we want to do and accomplish, and get moving! Wellness is not just the absence of disease—it is a state of equilibrium between a body, mind and spirit. When that equilibrium becomes “out of whack,” we experience difficulty in our state of health.

If you or someone you know has lost a loved one and you are struggling with grief, join Dr Neil Horowitz, PhD for a six-week Grief Support Group beginning Monday, September 27 at 6:30 p.m. There is no sign-up required and no fees, just bring yourself and anyone else that you know who is dealing with grief issues. The group will meet for six Mondays and will end with class 6 on November 1.

a.m. Medicare is accepted. Also, Addus Healthcare will be here on Sunday, October 3 from 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. They will also accept Medicare. All others will need to pay cash. No reservations are required. On Monday, October 25 at 7:00 p.m. in the Chapel, Rachel from the Alzheimer’s Association will be here for a presentation. Rachel is a delightful young woman who is full of information, available services, and plenty of printed material to help you and those you love understand Alzheimer’s Disease and how to get help early if you suspect this is a problem. No sign-up is required.

For questions or information on any of these events, please contact Parish Nurse Jeri Lyn Horowitz RN at 277.4659 ext 1881. If you need help after normal business hours or have Flu Shots will be given on two dates a congregational care emergency, this year. VNA-Tip will be here on Mon- please contact Jeri at 977.4388. The Parish Nurse Ministry is offering day, September 27 from 9:00-11:00 several opportunities this fall for you


www.mychristchurch.com

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER

may not approve.  Next thing you know your status now reads: "I get so tired of reading Facebook statuses from dirty rotten sinners bound for the charred walls of hades."   You can never take that back.  But you may be able to tell your friends about how much the Father loves them. Practical steps: Invite people to church. Scripture speaking to you?  Share it in your status! Invite friends to the Christ Church Facebook page: http://facebook.com/mychristchurch Invite friends to follow Christ Church on Twitter: @ChristChurchFVH

Why does the word change have such a negative connotation?   Probably not because change is inherently bad but more because it inconveniences us.  I recently saw an email that read "Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after BluRay?   I don't want to have to restart my collection... again."  While that statement is hilarious, it doesn't necessarily go hand-inhand with what I'm going to talk about today.   How good of quality you can watch Avatar is strictly an entertainment issue.   But so is Facebook and Twitter, right? Depends. Who do you follow?   Who are your friends?   What do you say on these forms of social media? If you follow Britney Spears on Twitter and your favorite friend on Facebook is the guy who played Joey Gladstone on TV's "Full House" then yes, maybe for you social media is nothing more than entertainment.

Also, find Rev. Shane on Facebook and Twitter: http://facebook.com/RevShane and But what if Facebook was your moun- http://twitter.com/RevShane tain top?   When I was a kid we sang a song in church called "Pass It One final thought. Videos speak loudOn."  One of the lines of the song said er than status updates. If you're look"I'll shout it from the mountain top - I ing to tell someone about Jesus that want the world to know; the Lord of doesn't already know about Jesus, try love has come to me, I want to pass using some video and REMEMBER it on."   What if Facebook and Twitter THIS: Would I have thought this video was your mountain top?  What if your was cheesy/judgmental/lame? (lame status on Facebook was used to oc- and cheesy go hand in hand and are casionally glorify the name of Christ, pretty much the same thing, but I felt to invite folks to church, to share the the need to reiterate.) If so, maybe don't post it. But does it speak truth? gospel? Is it a Christian song with lyrics like Nothing beats personal, one-on-one "You've seen the depths of my heart relationships, but let's face it: We live and You love me the same"? Maybe in a time where much of our days are that's a good choice! spent in front of a computer.  If not, we come home and jump on the comput- Try these things out. If you're not seeer.  We have Facebook anyway, most ing someone repent and accepting Christ in the comment section of your of us, so why not use it for God? posts, all is not lost! Plant a seed, nurIf I had a few tips and tricks for this, I ture it, and watch it bloom. would say keep it short, sweet, simple, nonjudgmental and not cheesy.   God Find Jeff on Facebook and Twitter: is love.  Jesus saves.  People should know that!   But just remember, it's http://facebook.com/jeffallen1 easy to get fired up by one of your friend's Facebook statuses that you http://twitter.com/jeffallen1


www.mychristchurch.com

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER

Christ Church

Events & Announcements

FoodPantry Fairview Heights

The Fairview Heights Food Pantry has empty shelves. The summer months take a toll on donations, and the need just continues to grow. Right now, the following items are desperately needed: Rice Salmon Jello Salt & Pepper Boxed Potato Items Cooking Oil Pickles Juices Canned Beans (not Green Beans) Macaroni and cheese Canned meats Cake Mixes Olives Dried Beans Catsup

Does your kid like to sing? Does he like to act? At Kids for Christmas, kids will learn the kid’s Christmas musical “The Christmas Chronicles” and will perform it for the church during all 3 worship services on December 12. Speaking roles and solos will be auditioned. Kids for Christmas will meet on Wednesday nights, beginning September 15 from 6:00 until 7:00 p.m. in the Creation Corner Worship Area. It is open to kids ages Kindergarten through 8th grade. For more information, please contact Michelle Barncord, Director at musicalmaudra@charter.net or Rachel Frazure at

rachel@connectingwithchrist.com

Note: Smaller packages of rice, beans, etc., are better than large, bulk packages. Christ Church is one of the strongest supporters of the Food Pantry, and each donation, no matter how small, makes a real difference. Just put your items in the marked bin off the gym. Remember: If your family uses it, so do the families who depend on the Food Pantry. Thanks to all who have made the Pantry a priority in their mission giving! Mary Pierce

Because Kids Matter to God The acronym AWANA comes from the first letters of these words from 2 Timothy 2:15: “Approved workmen are not ashamed.” AWANA is a ministry to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ and the training to serve the Lord to children and students. Why do kids love AWANA? The answer is one word: fun! AWANA is a blast for kids from preschool to 9th grade. Along the way, parents, pastors and kids’ workers are glad to know their youth are learning valuable Biblical truths that will influence them for the rest of their lives. Who can join AWANA? AWANA is open to kids from age 2 1/2 through the 9th grade. High school students as well as adults can be valuable assistants both as role models and as workers in helping the young children not only to memorize their Bible verses but to also learn how the Biblical teachings can be applied to their everyday lives. Puggles: 2 1/2-year-olds Cubbies: Ages 3 & 4 Sparks: K-2nd Grade T & T: 3rd-6th Grade Trek: 7th-9th Grade

AWANA meets on Sunday evenings beginning September 12, 2010, and continues into May. 6:00-7:30 p.m. Ages 2 1/2-K in Creation Corner “It is great how we are connecting with kids 1st-6th in Education “C” Wing in smaller groups – we are getting to know 7th-9th in Conference Room A them better!” (A Kid Connection volunteer) Now is your opportunity to join the K4C Team and connect with a 1st-5th grader on Sunday mornings! Contact Rachel Frazure for more information on becoming a K4C volunteer contact: Things overheard at Kid Connection... “This is so much fun!” (A Kid Connection kid)

rachel@connectingwithchrist.com


www.mychristchurch.com

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER

Christ Church

Events & Announcements United Methodist Women Shepherds are Watching Over You! MOPS is getting ready to start for the 2010-2011 year! It is so exciting to think about all the great things that are ahead of us as we plan this year’s schedule.

The dates and times for the Fall Rummage Sale are October 7 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and October 8 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Now is the time to begin setting aside your clean and gently used items for the sale. Clothing, furniture, household items, books, tools, jewelry, toys - all are great sellers. Items may be dropped off in the gym after AWANA on Sunday evening October 3 until 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 6. Nothing can be accepted after 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

The Shepherd Care Ministry is off to a wonderful start! Shepherds are volunteers from our congregation that volunteer through Congregational Care to visit and care for our shut-in church members. This involves one or two visits a month where the Shepherd comes to the home or nursing home of the congregant and spends quality time visiting, sharing stories, praying and perhaps reading or playing a game. We currently have twelve Shepherds under the gentle care and guidance of Rev. Allen Miller and Parish Nurse Jeri Remember that the proceeds of the sale fund the mission donations of the UMW Horowitz. throughout the year. We appreciate the If you would like to join this ministry, or if faithfulness of Christ Church in helping us you know of someone in the church that help others.

September 15 – Kickoff Date in the K4C worship area. (Come visit us from 9:30 a.m. - 12.00 p.m. Childcare included – always!!) Regular meetings – 1st and 3rd Wednesdays every month, 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. October 15 – Family Bonfire and Hayride at Eckerts Farm. October 30 – 2nd annual Kid Mania sale in Christ Church gym. That is just a small taste of what we have planned for the next couple of months. Of could benefit from this ministry, please call The September membership meeting course, we also have some amazing plans Jeri at 618.277.4659. will be Tuesday, September 28 at 9:30 for the Thanksgiving and Christmas a.m., and Rev. Shane will be our speaker. We would love to add you. season … but more on that later. The October meeting with Dr. Neil & Jeri Horowitz as our speakers will be October Come by and check us out, or give us a 26 at 9:30 a.m. call for more information. We love to have Mom’s come and experience the joy of felThe UMW now meets in the K4C Worship lowship, friendship, and spiritual growth Area each month. Join us!! together! You’ll love it too! Marge Oppedal, President Contact : Wendy Arneson at 618.416.3434 or 314.402.8508 wendy.arneson@gmail.com

Kid-mania Sale

October 30 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Gently used kids items $1 admission Christ United Methodist Church Gym Booths available, $10 for two tables Contact Jill Biehl biehl@accessus.net or 618.476.9650


www.mychristchurch.com

C

arnegie Hall in New York City is where all the finest musicians perform. There’s a story of an aspiring musician who goes to New York City with musical instrument in hand. The musician asks a New York cabbie, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” The cabbie answers, “Practice, practice, practice!”

T

hat Carnegie Hall joke is the same lame joke I heard all through high school from my Band Director, Mr. Cohlmeyer. It was the 80’s and I was a Belleville East Marching Lancer – the Mighty Lancers! When the weather turned cold and football season was over, the marching band season gave way to concert band season. In concert band, we were all about getting ready for performances. But long before the glory of a band concert performance, we endured Mr. Cohlmeyer’s lame joke. The worst thing is, I have Mr. Cohlmeyer’s sense of humor – and so does my son, Austin! Years later as I think of Mr. Cohlmeyer’s joke, he was onto something. Let’s apply it in the church setting: “How do you serve other people?” Answer: “Practice, practice, practice.” “How do we do ministry?” Answer: “Practice, practice, practice.” “How do we grow in ministry

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER

and how do we grow in our faith?” preaches, He teaches us the practice Answer: “Practice, practice, practice.” of ministry, among other things, to use our gifts, go out and shine: serve fter making the decision to accept in Jesus’ name. We’re to go out and Jesus Christ in our lives, the repeatedly engage in the practice of motto that sums up the Christian life ministry. It’s nonnegotiable. Faith could very well be practice, practice, without works is dead. Matthew 5:1and practice. It’s one thing to have 16 is a description of the practice faith. It’s quite another to express of ministry. God blesses those who our faith. What is faith? Faith is “the engage in the practice of ministry. confidence that what we hope for will Near the end of the Matthew 5:1-16 actually happen; it gives us assurance text, Jesus tells us that we are the salt about things we cannot see” (Hebrews of the earth, the light of the world, like 11:1). To me, faith is also belief, trust, a city on a mountain, glowing in the reliance, and commitment to God night for all to see. Don’t hide your through Jesus Christ. At the end of light under a basket! Instead, put the day, faith is sticking with God and your light on a stand and let it shine Jesus no matter what. Within any for all. Let your good deeds shine for grasp of understanding we have on all to see, so that everyone will praise faith, we realize that we must put our your heavenly Father. So let’s shine faith in motion – and that means action. for Jesus! At the heart of the practice It’s imperative we tell people about of ministry, we are drawn closer to the hope we have in God and Jesus Jesus Christ. As a result, our lives Christ. We are expected to express are enriched and changed – for the our faith. Faith without works is dead. better. So put your faith in motion. That’s what James says. James was the blunt disciple of Jesus. Works call for service, and service translates into engaging in the practice of ministry.

A

I

n Matthew 5:1-16, Jesus preaches the Sermon on the Mount. As Jesus

Shine


www.mychristchurch.com

W

hen I think of “Faith in Motion,” I always think first of the Old Testament. So many men and women spoke to and listened to God. They changed things around them. My favorite was always Job. Job’s faith was like a paraphrased Nike commercial, “He just had it.” The Devil tested Job in so many ways, but Job’s faith always kept him moving forward in his life. He NEVER cursed God or doubted God. He only questioned himself. First, he lost his animals and farm workers then his sheep and shepherds. Next he lost his camels and servants. Finally, all 10 of his children died at one time. Talk about a bad day. That would have started a pity party in most people. But Job simply said, “The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” Of course the Devil wasn’t one to drop it, so he asked about physical pain for Job also. As if being in physical pain wasn’t enough, three of his friends arrived. Boy, were they great friends or what? They spent almost the book of Job telling him how bad he was. Job debated with each of them about his apparent sins, and they questioned if these sins were the cause of the pain in his life? Job always said he was an

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER

honest and righteous man. When Job was debating with his friends, he may have doubted himself or his life, but he never doubted God. When at last God spoke to him, He asked Job if he thought he could have done all the things that He had done? Job 42:1-6 N.IV. Then Job replied to the LORD: “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

A

nd God blessed Job; He doubled his livestock and gave him 10 more children to love for the last half of his life. Job moved forward by faith and put his faith in motion by never doubting God or God’s will for his life.

D

o you step out in faith to try something different in your life? I have always heard, “God doesn’t call the equipped; God equips the ones He calls.” In 1999,

at 56 years of age, God sent me on a Habitat for Humanity mission trip with 27 teenagers to Garland, Texas. That same year I went to Paraguay for the first time. Since then, I have made 10 trips to Paraguay. The first 5 trips were doing construction work. Now when I go, I work at a Christian school. In the past I have taken Tootsie Roll Pops to the kids at the school. My name in the school is “Abuela de Caramelos,” which translated loosely means “Grandmother of Candy.” It is always a joy when I get to travel there again to see the kids and see how they have grown.

T

here are so many areas to help in this church. Can you lend a hand for a couple of hours a day, a day or a week during a month? Try a mission trip if you are physically able. The blessings you receive will fill your life with a joy you can’t imagine. Step out in faith and put YOUR Faith in Motion…


www.mychristchurch.com

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER

Bud Baron

Scholarship Recipients The Bud Baron Scholarship fund was established to assist college students working toward a degree in the ministry field. This year’s recipients are Steve Barrett, Leslie Damann and Adam Buehler. Steve Barrett has received his confirmation from the District Committee on Ministry and is a Certified Candidate for ministry. He is enrolled at Asbury Theological Seminary working on a Master of Divinity Degree. He will be pursuing an appointment in the Order of Elders of the United Methodist Church. Leslie obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Missouri Baptist University last December. She is pursuing a Master of Divinity Degree this year at Asbury Theological Seminary and is No Greater Love Men’s Retreat in her third semester. Leslie is the Assistant Director of Children’s Ministries Calling all Christ Church Men of God!  No Greater Love Annual Men’s Retreat here at Christ Church. will be held September 24 and 25, at Adam will be a junior at Indiana Wes- the Community of Faith Campgrounds leyan University in Marion, Indiana, in Carterville, Illinois. This is a great and is majoring in Christian Ministries. time for us to come together and get He is currently taking general educa- right with the Lord and band together tion classes at Southwest Illinois Com- to be more useful for the coming year.  munity College for economical reasons We do it Friday night and Saturday so and plans to return to Indiana Wes- we’re back and ready for our church leyan to finish his degree next year. responsibilities on Sunday. Adam is currently working with the children in Creation Corner and part-time Our Men’s Retreat is our “training camp” to help prepare us for Mardi at Chick-Fil-A. Gras.  This is a tough time in our counCongratulations and many blessings to try and a great opportunity to go forth to share our Lord. When the going all of our scholarship recipients! gets tough, the tough men, like you, get going! Isaiah 6:8 “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying: ‘Who should I send? Who will go for Us?’ Then I said: ‘Here I am. Send me.’”

dan and Troy Benitone will do a great job  preparing us for the coming year.  After the sessions, we will have the opportunity to get together in small “break-out” groups for “hands-on” experience that will be helpful for us now; then we will have those “tools” to help all those who come to Mardi Gras. It is men like you that make the ministry work and grow.  DON’T MISS IT! Sign-up sheets available at the Activity Center Sunday, September 5-19. Fred Bishop

“In your majesty, ride out to victory, defending truth, humility, and justice. Go forth to perform awe-inspiring I am “pumped” about what is to be deeds!” shared.  Shane Bishop,  Mark Jor- Psalm 45:4


www.mychristchurch.com

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER

O

n November 18, 2009, I heard God speaking to me. That particular day Katherine Hines from Hines Ugandan Ministries spoke to the congregation about her ministry and the AWANA program in Uganda. It was also the day Shane Bishop’s message came from James 1:19-2:17. Verse 1:27 says “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” After I heard that verse read, I felt God nudging me.

A

fter the church service Katherine spoke to me about the need for trained medical personnel in the clinics and hospitals. I prayed about it and 3 days later I mailed my application to serve as a medical missionary to Hines Ugandan Ministries home office in Denver, Colorado. It was December 23 when I heard back from the ministry stating my application was accepted. Receiving the letter of approval was the best Christmas gift I could receive that year.

A

fter 5 months of praying, fundraising and preparing myself for the mission that God placed on my heart, I boarded the plane for a flight that would take 3 days. I recall a phone conversation that I had with a friend just before I left. “I can’t believe I am going to Africa.” My friend Jon Clark replied with some prayer and encouragement through scripture from Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

W

hile in Uganda my ministry schedule kept me busy. I led three bible studies, evangelized in the villages, and gave a message to Komonkoli Presbyterian Church on Sunday mornings. On Mondays and Wednesdays I worked all day providing medical care to the people who would come to the clinic and medical center.

D

uring my time in Uganda I kept a journal. I’d like to share one of my most memorable moments. “Himidu my translator and I walked about 4 miles to lead a home based bible study. The moment that made this memorable for me occurred during the fellowship time

after the study. When unzipping a side pocket in my backpack, I noticed I had 300 hundred schillings which is the equivalent of 13 cents in America. At that moment I heard God prompting me to continue teaching, that “He had another lesson that needed to be taught.” Speaking to the crowd I offered up a challenge and asked for one brave person to step forward. I remember a lot of talking and some time went by. After a couple of minutes I called out, “Is there anyone?” At that moment a man stepped forward and said, “I will accept the challenge.” I asked the man to extend out his hand and I placed the 300 hundred schillings in his hand. I told this individual that he was not allowed to keep the money that he was just given and that he had to give it away. The man paused for a moment and handed the schillings to a woman in the crowd. She stood up and spoke of how grateful she was. This woman told me her husband had been very ill and she heard an American had been teaching and teaching well. She did not think she was going to be able to come to the bible study because her husband was ill and hot with fever. So she prayed that her husband would be better and God answered her prayers. He was better and God allowed her to attend the bible study. She had also been without lamp oil for a very long time and had been praying for that as

well. God today provided for her again with this money. She was now able to buy the oil for her lamp so they could see at night. The woman was done speaking and I shared with the group of people another lesson that evening. God is going to challenge us the same way. We must always be willing to obey our Lord when He speaks to us so that Christ may bless others through us.

I

have been asked “how many lives do you think you’ve changed while you were in Uganda?” I will never know the answer to that, nor do I care to know. I received a card in the mail from someone in Kamonkoli, named Rose. She writes, “It was God’s plan that you came to share with us your love in Uganda but most especially to the people of Kamonkoli.”

W

hen asked if I would ever go back to Uganda to serve, my answer is “yes.” Before I got on the plane to go to Uganda I kept saying to myself, “I can’t believe I am going to Africa.” During the end of my last bible study with the people of Kamonkoli, I shared with them the conversation I had before I boarded the plane with my friend Jon and left them saying “I cannot believe I am leaving Africa.”


www.mychristchurch.com

A dunk tank with high profile victims will allow you the opportunity to “get even� and make a splash, costing just $1 for 2 throws. Children will enjoy playing on one of three giant inflatables: a 22-foot high slide, an obstacle course and a bounce house. A team of grilling experts will have BBQ meals for sale from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. For just $5 you will get a hamburger or hot dog, potato salad, beans, chips and a cookie. Those of you with a hearty appetite can purchase a deluxe meal for $6, which includes 2 hamburgers or 2 hot dogs, potato salad, beans, chips and a cookie. Refreshing drinks (Coke, Diet Coke, 7-Up and bottled water) can be purchased throughout the day at the price of two drinks for $1. Christ Church exists to connect people with Jesus Christ, this Fall Festival Community Outreach is a great way to do just that.

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER


Flame Sep / Oct 2010  

Christ Church Flame. Bi-monthly newsletter.

Advertisement
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you