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July 2010

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Our beginning. . . Desert Cross has a rich heritage and long standing tradition. What is today Desert Cross was once known as Phoenix Japanese Free Methodist Church. This all began in 1929 when Mr. Kiichi Sagawa came to a life changing faith in Jesus Christ and began a Sunday School in his home in Tolleson. That Sunday School was later relocated to the Japanese Language School on the corner of 43rd Avenue and Indian School Road. In 1932 the church was officially organized and dedicated on May 8, with Rev. J. A. Kashitani who served as our first pastor. Our present sanctuary was built in 1964 on land that was donated by Mr. Kiichi Sagawa. The original buildings were moved from their original locations and placed on our current church property. As time moved forward the world around the church was changing and now Phoenix Japanese Free Methodist Church was changing too. In 2007 the name of the church was changed from Phoenix Japanese Free Methodist Church to Desert Cross Community Church. This new name is more reflective of the wonderful diversity of the family we know and enjoy at Desert Cross. Today we are a multi-generational, multi-ethnic church family. We are a church family with a wonderful past, and a promising future. Come join us as we work together to advance the Kingdom of God into the lives of many people.

Welcome Home! Come join us this Sunday @ 10AM for exciting worship, great bible teaching in a warm family atmosphere. Bring the kids—there’s something for everyone!

Desert Cross Community Church 602-278-0917

4143 N 43rd Ave,

Phoenix, AZ 85301

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Are you ready for the test? It„s that time of year. Summer is ending and students everywhere are preparing to return to the classroom. Teachers have already been at it for a week, in anticipation of the day. One could say that anticipation is in the air. A lot of unknown for some, uncertainty for others as the day approaches. Some look forward to it with excitement, while others feel a mounting stress as they think to the days ahead. School will do that to you. So will life. As we move forward into uncertain days, the stress of the unknown can drive our spirits down. The “what ifs” of life can drain away any hope, any energy for facing tomorrow‟s uncertainties. So what are we to do, to face tomorrow with our heads held high and our hearts ready? Be ready for the test. So how do we prepare for the test? We do it by knowing the one who orders the test, rather than focusing on the test itself. When we know the heart of God for us, the tests of life become less threatening. So then, the obvious quest becomes to know His heart. Last night we watched the new movie, “The Book of Eli". I would caution you that the language is rough in this movie, but the film made a great point. The main character, Eli, has one of the last remaining copies of the bible, which he is diligent to read every day. His goal in life is to get the book to a place where it can be safe and get it reprinted. But as the movie progresses, he makes the decision to trade the only remaining copy of the bible to save a young girl's life. When asked why he did it, he responds that he realized he has focused so much on protecting the book that he forgot to live out what the book taught. In the end, he makes it to the place to reprint the bible, but he has given away the last remaining copy to save a life. That‟s when we all discover he has memorized the entire bible, which he dictates word for word. The bible has become the “Book of Eli”. As I sat watching this well crafted movie I saw a life principle come through. As I learn the word, and grow in the word, it becomes a part of me that will keep my heart on track when the trials and tests of life come. That‟s how we pass the test. Become the book. As we learn the Word and it sinks deep within us, we become the book. But more than that; the book becomes us. As we give ourselves to the Word, it transforms our lives. And we begin to live out the book in our everyday life. We really become the book. Will you join me? Will you take the quest to drink deep from the Word, so that our lives becomes the “Book of Eli”. Then we will pass the test, no matter what…. Pastor Mark

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Team Impact — Children & Youth Ministry The Bridge Keeper There was once a bridge which spanned a large river. During most of the day the bridge sat with its length running up and down the river paralleled with the banks, allowing ships to pass through freely on both sides of the bridge. But at certain times each day, a train would come along and the bridge would be turned sideways across the river, allowing a train to cross it. A switchman sat in a small shack on one side of the river where he operated the controls to turn the bridge and lock it into place as the train crossed. One evening as the switchman was waiting for the last train of the day to come, he looked off into the distance through the dimming twilight and caught sight of the trainlights. He stepped to the control and waited until the train was within a prescribed distance when he was to turn the bridge. He turned the bridge into position, but, to his horror, he found the locking control did not work. If the bridge was not securely in position it would wobble back and forth at the ends when the train came onto it, causing the train to jump the track and go crashing into the river. This would be a passenger train with many people aboard. He left the bridge turned across the river, and hurried across the bridge to the other side of the river where there was a lever switch he could hold to operate the lock manually. He would have to hold the lever back firmly as the train crossed. He could hear the rumble of the train now, and he took hold of the lever and leaned backward to apply his weight to it, locking the bridge. He kept applying the pressure to keep the mechanism locked. Many lives depended on this man's strength. Then, coming across the bridge from the direction of his control shack, he heard a sound that made his blood run cold. "Daddy, where are you?" His four-year-old son was crossing the bridge to look for him. His first impulse was to cry out to the child, "Run! Run!" But the train was too close; the tiny legs would never make it across the bridge in time. The man almost left his lever to run and snatch up his son and carry him to safety. But he realized that he could not get back to the lever. Either the people on the train or his little son must die. He took a moment to make his decision. The train sped safely and swiftly on its way, and no one aboard was even aware of the tiny broken body thrown mercilessly into the river by the onrushing train. Nor were they aware of the pitiful figure of the sobbing man, still clinging tightly to the locking lever long after the train had passed. They did not see him walking home more slowly than he had ever walked: to tell his wife how their son had brutally died. Now if you comprehend the emotions which went through this man's heart, you can begin to understand the feelings of our Father in Heaven when He sacrificed His Son to bridge the gap between us and eternal life. Can there be any wonder that He caused the earth to tremble and the skies to darken when His Son died? How does He feel when we speed along through life without giving a thought to what was done for us through Jesus Christ? *


























I found this story and it really got me thinking… how often, even today, do we take advantage of the sacrifice Christ made on the cross? The ultimate expression of such a perfect love, and we treat it as a passing thought. What if we lived our lives with just a fraction of that same love? What if we could learn to treat others with that kind of selfless love that God showed us – that Christ demonstrated on the cross? In Team IMPACT, we‟ve been spending a lot of time learning about love: the love of God and sharing that love with others. We hope to continue on that path as we quickly approach the new school year. But it‟s not just for the kids or the teens – this is something all of us need to be doing. Living in a way that reflects that love so that others will see Christ in us. In John 13:34-35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know you are my disciples if you love one another.” God has called us to make a difference in this world, so let‟s do just that by loving others as He does! Serving Him,

Stephanie Cartwright Team IMPACT Leader

Until the Whole World Hears

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Where is your mission field?

Desert Cross — A local, global outreach

So what exactly are short term mission trips and why are they so important? Many churches in America think that it is solely about going into another country to provide humanitarian aid or service. Churches send teams to Mexico to help build orphanages, distribute clothing and food all in the name of missions. Is this really all there is to missions? Don‟t get me wrong, striving to meet the needs of struggling human beings is an important part of our faith and is who we are as the hands and feet of Christ. For this reason we helped send a team to go with Heavenly Treasures to Kenya to help dig a well, but while there the team did so much more than just build a well. They held Bible school for the children; they helped preach at their reunions. This helped not only to strengthen the faith of the believers there, but to also share the gospel with those who have not yet heard. This is what missions is really all about; bringing the light of the Gospel into a dark world. While short term missions are meant to spread the gospel to the unreached people groups of the world, they do more than just that. They expose us to the reality and importance of missions. Before I had gone on my first mission trip to Culiacan, Mexico I had never really grasped the significance of it. However, when I returned from that first missions trip God had changed me. He had shown me just how blessed I was. He revealed to me just how much my heart still needed to be aligned with His heart for a lost world. This is the most important function of short term missions; to align our hearts to become more aligned with the heart of God. So, here at Desert Cross we have been blessed to support youth that are willing to serve the Lord on short term missions. Giving of their time and talents; following Him to places that are far from their home and family. On June 28, Francesca Germinario traveled to the Czech Republic with a group from Scottsdale Bible Church. They were there to help teach English. The text they used for teaching them English was the Bible. Because of this the door was opened for many opportunities to share the gospel. You can read her story on page 6. While only God knows if Francesca will ever be a missionary, she has forever been changed by this experience. Lincoln Solis Worship Leader

Stay tuned for more ways you can get involved…. Contact Lincoln at

This summer, I went on my first missionary trip ever: I spent three weeks with a team of twelve other high school students and young adults in Zlín, Czech Republic teaching English at a summer camp sponsored by one of the few churches in Zlín and an organization called Josiah Ventures which sponsors over 24 of these camps in the Czech Republic alone. The Czech Republic is actually one of the most atheistic/ agnostic countries in the world right now, so Josiah Ventures began as a movement to spread the Gospel across the younger generations in hopes of encouraging Christian leadership in the future of the country. The camp was advertised to Czech students earlier in the year by the Zlín youth group as a camp where they would be able to practice speaking English as well as learn about Christianity. For this reason, many of the students were prepared to hear about God and “religion”, concepts some students had been raised to see as inventive delusions, or remedies for the immoral. At the beginning of camp, so many students I talked with about where they stood on the issue of God told me that they lived good lives and had no need for redemption or God. On the opposite end of the spectrum, students who almost identified with Christianity felt that they weren’t ready to change their lifestyles and make the commitment to being a Christian. These are things that are hard to hear from people you may only have the opportunity to see for a few weeks. In the period of training we underwent before camp began, we were assured that though we may not personally see a non-believer actually come to Christ, we still had the tremendous responsibility to plant that seed of Christ’s love or continue watering a seed someone else has planted. Indeed, some students in my English class had been attending camp for over five years out of continued curiosity about Christianity. This made sharing God’s love and the experience and meaning of being a Christian priority number one for my team; we met early every morning to pray that the students would see a glimpse of His love through us. Towards the end of the camp, several of the students told us that they had never felt more loved and accepted then they had during camp. Forging strong relationships with the Czechs also played a huge role in our time there as we were encouraged to continue contacting them even when we returned to see how they were doing and support them in further exploration of Christianity. Francesca Germinario

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Team Outreach - Be the hands and feet of Jesus to the world As families and children are getting ready to start another school year, so is the

Phoenix Rescue Mission, they have started their Back to School campaign "Helping is as easy as A,B,C......" Phoenix Rescue Mission (PRM) has started a donation drive to gather school supplies and clothing to hand out to needy children to get them ready to go back to school. Its simple you can; A. Sponsor a Child: $80.00 will outfit a child with a filled backpack, uniform and shoes. PRM does the shopping for you! To make a donation: send a check or money order payable to Phoenix Rescue Mission, P.O. Box 6708, Phoenix, AZ 85005-6708. Be sure to write ―Back-To-School‖ on the memo line. They will use your donation to shop for any un-sponsored children. B. Stuff a Backpack: Backpack (plain styles, no characters), Markers, Crayons , 1‖, 3-Ring Binders, #2 Pencils , Colored Pencils, Pencil Boxes or Pencil Pouches , Wide-Ruled Filler Paper, Glue (sticks or bottles) Wide-Ruled Notebooks, Scissors (safety or pointed top) , Composition Books, Pens, $15 Payless Shoe Source. C. Donate school supplies; purchase a Payless Shoes gift card or organize a drive. Needed items include backpacks, crayons, pencils, pens, erasers, markers, highlighters, pencil boxes/pouches, glue, folders, pencil sharpeners, rulers, blunt and sharp scissors, 1‖ 3-ring binders, colored pencils, wide ruled filler paper, wide ruled spiral notebooks, and composition books. We are also collecting new uniforms (white polo shirts and navy bottoms) as well as Payless Shoes gift cards. " Pack a Sack " food drive starts Aug 1st and ends Sept 26th We are in need of non-perishable lunch box items such as; apple sauce (individually packed ), crackers, peanut butter and jelly, granola, snack or cereal bars, trail mix or pretzels, fruit cups, juice boxes, beef jerky, one serving meals that do not have to be frozen or refrigerated, breakfast cereal, powdered milk, etc ..... You can place donations in the black collection bin located in the Fellowship Hall. Coming soon to Desert Cross; Donation and Resource Center, Desert Cross is in the process of setting up a donation and resource center, this will be an area located at the church for which people can drop off donated items as well as find helpful Christian based resources along with a calendar of events and volunteer opportunities. We are in need of some help to set this up as well as any recommendations for resources. If you are interested please contact Melissa at 623-204-2787 Have a blessed day in the Lord

Melissa Contact Melissa at for more details.

Building Iron Men

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Hey guys - hungry? Who isn't. We're men. That means we're always hungry. The real question is are you hungry for more than just food? What about strong friendships with other men who share your values? Men who will love you enough to hold you accountable? Men who want to see you become what God destined you for? Then you need to be at the Golden Corral @ 56th Ave and Northern on the 2nd Saturday of each month @ 7:30 AM. Bring a big appetite for good food, great male companionship and grow together with us as we grow together into godly men.

We'll save you a seat!

You know you can watch a video re-cast of all Pastor Mark’s weekly teaching, right? Go to this weeks message to view it. Keep your eyes on

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Just around the corner .. coming Soon to Desert Cross Tuesdays: Life Journey Groups at Pastor Mark’s at 7:00PM Fridays: Genesis Bible Study at Church, 7:00PM. Bible teacher Lincoln Solis. August 14 : Iron Men’s Breakfast @ 7:30AM August 21: Saturday morning Prayer 8:30– 9:30AM August 21: Pastor’s Cabinet Meeting 9:30-10:30AM

his hanging t C d n a , s ve ouching li T , t u o g “Reachin

Phone: (602) 278-0917 E-mail:

Visit us on the web @


Desert Cross Community Church 4143 N. 43rd Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85031

Desert Cross August 2010 E-zine  

Our monthly ministry magazine