“...You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” - Acts 1:8
2 Global Connections 3 The Intentional Life 4 Praying All Peoples to Christ 6 Meet Jonah’s Journey 7 Go! Opportunities
Go! Opportunities Destination: Western Samoa Dates: August 4-11 Team Leader: Terry Sharp Cost: Estimated $2,400 Team Size: 12 Team Category: Evangelism Description: Are you ready to share your faith? Western Samoa is an island in the middle of the South Pacific with a population of 200,000. The latest statistics show that there is an increasing Mormon population of 66,000. This event will share the true Jesus Christ with villages all over the beautiful islands of Samoa. There will be seminars on understanding Mormonism at local churches and you will take a translator with you to do one-on-one evangelism. Each participant is also asked to attend a seminar here at Long Hollow to understand Mormonism and how to witness to Mormons. Contact: Terry Sharp at firstname.lastname@example.org
In Sharp Focus
Welcome to the premiere issue of one:eight Witness, a new monthly webzine created by volunteers in the one:eight Global Ministry! In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a lot going on in the area of missions at Long Hollow. We did notice, and that’s why we decided to put this webzine together and publish it on a monthly basis. As we continue to grow, it will be a perfect venue to tell the many stories of how God is using Long Hollow members in his work – right here in Hendersonville and around the world. It will also be a great place to keep you informed of the latest missions news, opportunities, challenges and events. Our first issue kicks off with a feature on Long Hollow members Butch and Maribeth Burns and their involvement with The Gallery Church in New York City. You’ll also find a story about the Jonah’s Journey ministry, as well as a feature on great one:eight resources, and an instructional article on how your small group can adopt a people group.
It’s no secret that our desire is to live out Christ’s Great Commission at Long Hollow and that we believe Acts 1:8 is the strategy God gives us to accomplish it. Missions is not just something we do – it’s the very essence of who we are! In other words, it is not about taking a mission trip, it’s more about being on a missions journey as we live the Great Commission – sharing the Gospel here, there and to the ends of the earth.
To explore other opportunities, go to www.longhollow.com/go/upcoming_trips
Super Serve Day - April 25, 2009 Save the Date! Come be a part of serving our community. Watch for sign-ups and more information soon.
Fulfilling God’s purpose, Terry W. Sharp Missions Pastor
Your one:eight Witness Team: Lee Anne Benz, Tedi Cromer, Carol Whittington, Steve Mannis, Emily Roberts, Kathy Chapman Sharp, and Terry Sharp Cover Photo: Butch and Maribeth Burns by Emily Jane Roberts
GLOBAL CONNECTIONS one:eight Resources Designed to Link You to the World by Kathy Chapman Sharp
The one:eight Global Ministry team is working hard to provide you with resources that will help you have a comprehensive, personalized ministry in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, as well as the ends of the earth. Here are two you don’t want to miss!
Although still in the remodeling phase, one:eight Central is open and ready for your visit. Located just outside the rear doors of the worship auditorium, one:eight Central is designed to offer you and your family a place to do strategic planning and praying, as well as the opportunity to learn about and pray for unreached, unengaged people groups. Find out information about current GO! Opportunities and locate them on the wall-sized world map. one:eight Central also offers prayer guides and brochures from the International Mission Board and North American Mission Board, as well as a children’s area. Watch for opportunities to meet special guests as we focus on local and international ministries around the globe.
www.longhollow.com/go The Go section of Long Hollow’s new Web site has been redesigned to provide everything you need to know about being a part of the one:eight Global Ministry. Interested in a short-term mission experience? Check out Upcoming Trips as well as one:eight Resources, where you’ll find a Mission Trip Member Guide with everything you need to get started on your mission trip. Need a passport? Visit the Get a Passport section. The site also contains sections on People Group Resources, Strategic Prayer, Missions Partnerships and much more. Do This: Check out the Unfinished Task Clock at www.longhollow.com/ go/people_groups. You’ll realize how rapidly the lostness in the world is growing when you look at this clock that updates by the second.
Do This: Take a virtual prayer walk in Central Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, West Africa or East Asia at the Strategic Praying counter in one:eight Central. You will be guided to pray specifically and insightfully for the needs of an unreached people group. The combination of beautiful photography and point-bypoint prayer requests will make you feel like you are actually walking through a village or city, pouring out your heart to God in response to the lostness you see on the computer screen.
The Intentional Life by Lee Anne Benz For Butch and Maribeth Burns, life was good. Long-time members of Long Hollow Baptist Church, both had great jobs, a lovely Hendersonville home, thriving personal ministries, good friends, two college-age daughters, Molly and Caroline, and they could see retirement from their front porch.
limited who we exposed to it because it was kind of crazy.” Finally, it occurred to Butch one day to call Aaron, whom he had not yet met, and ask him an important question. “I asked him, ‘Are we even people you can use? Can you use 50somethings?’” recalled Butch. “Butch,” said Aaron. “It is amazing that you should call me today of all days, because just this week I began praying and asking God how we could reach a larger demographic other than our original focus.” Aaron also recalls that conversation and the power that he felt as God moved to change their lives. “I thought he was calling about the possibility of other Long Hollow couples coming to New York City,” said Aaron. “About half-way through the conversation, Butch let me know that he was inquiring for he and Maribeth.” That revelation stunned Aaron as he realized God was answering his prayer for a mature couple to come and give guidance.
Butch had more than 20 years as a Tennessee state employee, the last 12 of them at the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC). At 30 years, he could retire. Maribeth had worked for the Sumner County Board of Education for 12 years and was happy in her current position at Madison Creek Elementary School. Neither Butch nor Maribeth would have ever considered pulling up roots. They were firmly planted in Middle Tennessee. Yes. Life was good. Then came the day in April 2005 when Butch heard about the Gallery Church in New York City. Their lives would never be the same. After Butch attended a meeting in New York about church planting in the New York Metropolitan area, he returned and recommended that Long Hollow partner with a church they were planning called the Gallery Church. “Lance Taylor asked me to get together a vision statement and information from the church,” said Butch.
One of the new gathering places for the Gallery Church.
Not everyone was supportive, however. Friends and family members alike expressed concern or confusion over what seemed to be a radical and sudden decision. But, despite the few misgivings of others, Butch and Maribeth made the decision: they were moving to New York City.
Aaron Coe, lead pastor of the Gallery Church, emailed Butch the information he requested. Butch read and printed it, then set it aside on a table to give to Lance. It happened that Maribeth saw Aaron Coe, lead pastor the information and read it, also. Part of of the Gallery Church the plan of the new Gallery Church was to connect with another mature church, ask that church to provide people who could help support them financially and also send a couple to New York for 18 months to support them in establishing the new church.
After telling their girls, the Burns had to face their employers, whom had considerable time and resources invested in them.
Maribeth approached Butch and voiced what they were both thinking. “Wouldn’t it be neat to be that couple?” she asked.
Butch’s boss, the executive director of THEC, was the first to get the news. “I said, ‘I know this sounds crazy, but would you consider giving me an 18-month leave of absence?’” remembered Butch, laughing at the absurdity of how that request must have sounded. Butch told his boss exactly why his leave of absence was needed, that he felt God was leading Maribeth and him to help a new church get planted in Manhattan. “He didn’t hesitate,” said Butch. “He immediately said, ‘Yes.’”
The idea seemed outrageous. The new church was being planted to reach the young professionals and artists of Chelsea, and Butch and Maribeth were neither.
Maribeth also found support. “My principal was very missionsminded,” she said, although ultimately Maribeth did leave her job permanently.
“We decided to pray about it,” said Butch.
As the Burns prepared for their move to New York, they established a set of milestones that needed to occur before they left. “We said that certain things needed to happen before we would go,” said Maribeth. “They were that we sell our house, raise financial support
They also sought God’s will in his Word and from godly counsel. “We told different people at different stages,” said Butch. “We really
to a specific amount and both have jobs in New York before we go.” So, how did they do on their milestones? None of those things happened. That was when Butch and Maribeth realized their move and their lives were truly in the hands of God. Even though the first month was a struggle, both Butch and Maribeth remember that time so fondly that telling of it causes tears to well up in their eyes. “The first month was the hardest, but I think it was the sweetest time because we just totally had to depend on God because we didn’t have jobs,” said Maribeth, softly. Despite a rough economy, Butch, an attorney, got a position after searching for only a month. He was hired at a company that contracts with law firms to provide attorneys for document review prior to lawsuits. Although the job was a temporary one, and one that usually lasts only two or three months, Butch began working on a case that kept him employed the entire time Maribeth and he were in New York. Also after only a month, Maribeth got a position with a company that rents furnished apartments throughout the city. Now settled with jobs, they were ready to start their ministry. “Our ministry was life. Everything we did was ministry,” said Maribeth. The center of that ministry would be the Gallery Church. “We barely knew anyone,” said Butch. “We immersed ourselves in everything we could to help get the church moving. Mostly, we were building relationships.” “We were just good, active church members,” said Maribeth. “I headed the Host Team and Butch was good at providing wise counsel for Aaron and some of the other pastors.” Butch winced at the idea that he provided wise counsel. “Aaron turned 31 while we were there, so he needed a sounding board and I think I provided that for him,” said Butch.
But they had a date looming over their heads and it was getting closer. December 31, 2007 would be the day they would leave New York and return to their lives in the suburbs of Middle Tennessee. “It was a whole lot easier for us to move up there than it was to move back,” said Maribeth, with tears in her eyes. “We really struggled. We loved the people. We loved the city.” Maribeth said it was “the feeling of purpose” that so strongly tempted them to stay. “I have never in my life felt like I had such a purpose,” she said, becoming teary-eyed again. But, just as certainly as Butch and Maribeth felt God’s hand move them to the Big Apple, they felt it just as strongly calling them back to their Hendersonville home. “We had to come back,” said Butch. “We had family here and the commitment I’d made to THEC to return in 18 months. Also, what God wants us to do for New York now can be done from here.” As Butch and Maribeth prepared to return to Hendersonville, they knew that they were not the same people who left Tennessee 18 months earlier. God had changed them. God had shown them that although they were living a good life before–serving him and living their personal ministry in the suburbs– there was so much more to do than what they could see from their front porch. “There is nothing wrong with suburbia as long as you do it with intentionality,” said Maribeth. “Before, we did stuff because we thought we were supposed to do them,” said Butch. “Now, we try to go where God is leading us instead of just doing what we think we are supposed to do.” “My biggest fear was that I did not want to come back and settle back into the life we left,” said Maribeth. “I think that is what scares me. He still has something for us and I don’t want to miss it.”
However, Aaron agrees that Butch and Maribeth were crucial to the establishment of the young church. “They were a huge stabilizing influence,” said Aaron. “They were able to come in and provide immediate leadership. We did not have to show them the ropes. They were ready to dive right in. They were an immediate help.” God’s work through Butch and Maribeth did not stop within the confines of the Gallery Church. What God taught Butch and Maribeth in New York City became the foundation of their ministry then and now. God showed them that their ministry wherever they lived was to live their lives normally, as before, but to start living those lives intentionally. Butch and Maribeth began by mentoring university students, teaching small groups at their apartment, taking people out to dinner and inviting people to their home for dinner. They invited guests to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade from their apartment, while others joined them for Thanksgiving dinner prepared by Maribeth. “Everything we did was intentional,” said Butch. As the months went by, Butch and Maribeth found themselves completely ensconced as New Yorkers and thriving in their new lives. God was growing Gallery Church, and New York City was a huge mission field for two former Middle Tennesseans now living intentionally for God.
Butch and Mary Beth Burns
Praying All Peoples to Christ by Kathy Chapman Sharp
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)
That is why the one:eight Global Ministries is asking the Long Hollow family of small groups to take an active and direct role in missions by adopting a UUPG and making a serious commitment to learn everything they can about their people group and pray for them on a regular basis. Being a part of an active, informed and concerted prayer We may be familiar with Matthew 28:19-20, but if effort can make a real difference in the world. Your we look more closely at the small group can not only specific Greek words Jesus have a key role in bringing >> What is a People Group? used in giving the Great an unreached people group A people group is a grouping of Commission, we discover to Christ, it can be a part of people who share the same language, that his command was to finishing the Great Commisculture, history, customs and family/ disciple all peoples or ethnic sion task of taking the Good clan identities. For strategic purposes, groups, not countries, as News of Jesus Christ to a people group is the largest group most of us tend to think. every tribe and language and through which the Gospel can flow God is a missionary God and people and nation! without encountering significant barrihe longs to give all people an ers of understanding and acceptance. opportunity to be part of his family. How Your Small Group Can Adopt a UUPG Click on the links below to find a list of people groups to While missionary efforts throughout the years have adopt, a covenant and instructions on how your small yielded Christians in every country of the world, group can pray for an unreached, unengaged people group. You can download and print the documents. there are millions who will never hear and under-
stand because of linguistic and cultural barriers. It >> one:eight People Group List is estimated that more than 10,000 people groups >> one:eight Covenant worldwide (of 24,000 people groups) have limited one:eight Prayer Guide >> or no access to the Gospel message and virtually no missionary engagement. These people groups IMPORTANT: Please contact Maribeth Burns at are referred to as UUPGs, which stands for “email@example.com to tell her which people group you have adopted. reached, unengaged people groups.”
Jonah’s Journey by Carol Whittington
A mother comforts her child. She feeds her baby when he is hungry. She makes sure he is dry and comfortable. She engages him in games and is rewarded by his smile. It is a relationship for the ages – featured in portrait galleries, glorified in literature and consistent throughout cultures. But what happens when the most natural of human relationships takes place in the most unnatural of surroundings? In our prison systems, there are pregnant women facing birth with little or no support system and few options for the care of their newborn infants while they remain incarcerated. Micki Johns, a long-time member of Long Hollow, has spearheaded a non-profit organization called Jonah’s Journey to provide assistance and mentoring to these women. The emphasis on relationship between mother and child and caretaker is the fundamental difference between Jonah’s Journey and traditional foster care programs. In foster care, the infant bonds primarily with the foster care parents. Jonah’s Journey is centered on the building and nurturing of the mother-child relationship, which is why the role of caretaker is so critical. “If the mindset is right with the caretaker, you’ll see better results with the mother,” said Micki.
Even before the birth, the caretaker is visiting and building a relationship with the expectant mother. After the birth, the caretaker takes the infant into her own home and at her own expense. She schedules weekly visits at the prison to encourage bonding. For the staff at Jonah’s Journey, the need for imprisoned mothers to be with their children is Priority One. On a typical Friday night, Micki, or one of her volunteer caretakers, might be making her way to the Tennessee Prison for Women to bring the baby under her care for a visit with the mother. Diaper bags and blankets are left in the car. Caretaker and child enter the prison to register, pick up a visitor’s badge and request to see the child’s mother identified by her prison number. The baby’s formula is stored in clear Ziploc bags and must be mixed in front of the guards, as well as a diaper change for security. Caretaker and child then enter through a series of doors until they reach the visitor’s area – a large common room Micki describes as resembling “a high school cafeteria.” With vending machines at one end, it is filled with round tables and chairs. Under the watchful eyes of the guards, the mother is patted down before entering the room. Finally, for three hours a week, sometimes less, mother and child are reunited. Once a mother is released from prison, her child is returned to her with continued support of donations of clothing and household
goods from Jonah’s Journey. Micki envisions a yearlong follow-up plan, assisting mothers in finding employment and housing, as well as counseling. In addition, the caretaker will continue to serve as a spiritual mentor in helping the mother find a church home. Micki is strongly committed to offering these women a change from some of the problems that led to their incarceration. “Change the playground, change the playmates,” said Micki. To understand Micki’s drive and personal commitment to establish such an ambitious ministry like Jonah’s Journey, one only has to trace her journey over the last few years. The journey began with Jonah, himself, who as an infant was to have been Micki’s adopted son. Jonah’s birth mother, a prisoner, changed her mind and revoked custody from Micki and her husband. While the months that followed were a time of grief and questioning of God’s plan and purpose, Micki’s close-knit family gathered around her with a circle of compassion and support, and God made himself known in the center of despair. With God’s leading, Micki began to envision a ministry that would match the needs of pregnant women in prison with caretakers who would provide for the infant until the mother was released. Armed with a four-page proposal, Micki began to network. A conversation with a contact in the medical consulting field netted Jonah’s Journey storage space in a former medical building. A Web site and Facebook link soon followed and a non-profit license was acquired. Contact with Prison Fellowship Ministries resulted in Micki’s introduction to regular meetings of The Round Table, a convergence of a large number of non-profit social agencies that exchange information and goods. Jonah’s Journey had access to a large supply of donated children’s clothing that Micki, in turn, donated to another agency that had an immediate need. Between September and December of last year, Jonah’s Journey was able to clothe 11 children. Micki believes this cooperative effort between agencies benefits everyone since “God will provide
what I need, when I need it.” Jonah’s Journey also seeks to bring healing between these young mothers and their families. When there is a lack of support from the family, it is often because bridges have been burned when it comes to relationships. Family dynamics can be complicated and there is usually a need for forgiveness and reconciliation. While caretakers are building trust with the women they mentor, they are gaining understanding into the family issues, as well. “It’s a source of joy (for the staff at Jonah’s Journey) when our love for the girls has helped other people,” shares Micki. Recently, a young woman made a choice to leave the Jonah’s Journey program. Micki admits that when the girls do not do well, it is easy to feel like a failure. “You didn’t fail. The girls make a choice, but it still feels like a failure,” she adds. “Satan may attack with thoughts of, ‘This is too big for you. You can’t do it.’” Micki has also learned that if the ministry is doing well, it is especially important to guard her marriage and friendships from attack. In life and in ministry, Micki claims Philippians 4:13. “I can do everything through him who gives me strength,” Micki states, with firmness. Earlier this month, Micki was asked to lead a worship service for the staff of a local agency. The date of the presentation was one year to the day of losing her son. Though she would not want anyone to go through her experience, Micki knows that if she had let what happened consume her, she would not be leading a ministry called Jonah’s Journey. For information on how you can help Jonah’s Journey, visit www.jonahjourney.com
COMING MAY 1 >> What happens when a small group starts praying? Falling in love with the Han Chinese of Laos …
>> Vision Report from Central Asia