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A Radical Change of Seasons

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. . Pastor Mike Sindelar

The headline read Study Finds Religion May

followers of Jesus! The coming season of Easter

Be Heading for Extinction in Parts of World i.

holds out another headline. “He is Risen!” and it

The article continues to explain that in nine

trumps all other headlines! The resurrection of

countries, secularism has taken such a hold,

Jesus says that the world will one day be put

that the trend leads toward a country with no

back in order. It says that despite the

religion in the future. For example, in the

overwhelming nature of current crisis, Jesus will

Czech Republic, 60% of the people surveyed

restore and reign over the world soon. The

indicated no religious affiliation whatsoever.

resurrection says that justice, God’s justice, will

Secularism, the rejection of religion and all of


its influences, seems to be winning the day. The resurrection also says that in the midst of Another headline getting attention lately

darkness and overwhelming circumstances, we

concerns that of a popular pastor teaching

have both a hope and an anchor for our souls.

that the traditional doctrine of Hell, that

We need not fret or become disillusioned when

those who reject the offer of salvation

darkness seems to rule the day. The

through Jesus Christ would spend eternity

resurrection says that God is truth and He is the

away from God in a place of torment, is not

standard for all things.

valid. He claims that God would never allow for such cruelty. His remarks denying the

As God’s people , we also have a calling, in light

doctrine of Hell have caused quite a stir in

of the resurrection, to proclaim this truth with

both the secular and Christian media.

all of its grace and liberating forgiveness to a world that knows nothing but bad headlines!

When we put these two headlines into the mix with all the other major headlines of the

We look forward to a season of Easter, of hope

day, the world stage is as complicated as we

and celebration of our Risen Lord!

have known in recent days. Just when we think that it can’t get any worse, more devastating headlines appear! But wait! This season of confusion and


uncertainty also coincides with another


season, a season that is soon upon us as


Mexico Missions Trip Report



. . . Mel Swanson

Our mission trip to Children’s Haven

pipes and pouring new concrete. Some of the guys did electrical

International in Reynosa, Mexico was a

wiring and hanging sheet rock. Kjell spent quite a lot of time

week well spent. We (Peter Larson, Kjell

making hangers for eaves troughs. We also cleaned a plugged

Plath and Mel Swanson), left at 6:00 AM

drain going to the septic tank and did a little repair on the tank

on Saturday, February 19 and drove to

and a few miscellaneous projects. We pretty much accomplished

Pharr, TX, arriving about noon on Sunday,

what they wanted us to do.

Feb. 20th. Children’s Haven has an office in Pharr where volunteers can help sort donations, staff a thrift store, fix things, do construction work etc. When we arrived, we were met by Van and Shirley Sindelar and John and Marty Weller, our informal welcoming committee. We were given a tour of the facility there and met the group from a Lutheran church in Clearwater, MN with whom we worked at the orphanage. The trip to the orphanage, which was just across the Mexican border was uneventful (a good thing). We had a tour there and an introduction to the projects planned for us to do. We were housed in a dorm style building with two rooms each with double rows of bunk beds that could handle large groups.

Of course, part of the purpose of our trip was to spend time with the kids. There was a language barrier, but it was a fun challenge to communicate with the kids in spite of the language differences. We were fed genuine Mexican food and it was very good. We ate breakfast in the dining hall with just our group. Lunch was also in the dining hall, but with the kids and their house parents. We were encouraged to spread out and eat with the kids. Suppers were provided in smaller groups in the “casas”. That provided

The orphanage has a spacious campus with a concrete block

additional opportunities to

wall (about 8 feet high) around it. The children are housed in

get to know some of the kids. There were also a few chapel

what we would call single family houses (casas), each with a

services that we participated in or attended.

house parent couple and most with a mix of ages and genders of kids, just like a large family. The campus also has a dining hall, a gymnasium building, an elementary school, an office building and some storage buildings. We worked primarily on “Casa 3”, one of the houses that is currently unoccupied and being renovated, which will make it almost like a new building when completed. We worked on plumbing some bathrooms, which included a lot of cutting and chipping concrete and digging trenches, then installing PVC drain pipes in the floors and walls for showers, toilets and sinks, then filling around the

Friday morning, we packed up, loaded the vans and had warm farewells from the kids and staff before heading back to Texas. We had a bit of a delay with US security coming back, but we encountered no security risks. Fortunately, we had no weather problems on the long drive in either direction. God answered all our prayers for safety and a God-honoring trip. Thank you for all your prayers on our behalf.



Seven Six Seven Five & Five One ($7,675.51) .

While at the gym recently, I had an encounter with a gentle-

Four years, multiple

man who had just lost his grandson. I walked into the locker

service projects to

room within seconds of him receiving the news. As he wept,

our community,

those of us around him sat in silence, wondering what the

and one-hundred

proper response was. The loss was devastating, the pain was

and twenty hours

real, and the words were few.

later, we’ve effec-

After feeling the pain of this loss for a few days I started to think about the absurd number of children that lose their life prematurely every day. According to World Vision, approximately 24,000 children around the world die each day from preventable diseases related to hunger and malnutrition. 24,000! Each lost life is met with the pain, silence, and brokenness that I experienced at the gym during those sobering moment a few weeks ago.

tively raised $7,675.51 to help provide life sustaining resources to those in need. Praise God for our youth! They are rockstars, striving to take the Bible

The book of James says that pure religion includes looking

seriously, while making a difference in their world by putting

after orphans and widows (James 1:27). Our world is filled

their faith into action.

with orphans and widows. We, as Christians, have a responsibility. I’m proud to say that our students at CruX are starting

to understand how a little step of faith, obedience, and sacrifice can make a huge difference! Over the last four years, CruX Student Ministries has done the 30 Hour Famine – a time when we engage our community in service projects, come up with creative ways to raise money, and abstain from food for 30 hours in an effort to help those around the world who lack the necessary food and water to live.



. . .Jan Schmit, Commander/Children’s Education Director

During the month of March our Sparkies

Our sweet young Cubbies have been taking

had the privilege of hearing Pastor Cristi,

a close look at the reason Jesus came to earth. The verses and lessons have done a

from our Romanian sister church, speak on Eph. 6:1 Children,

fabulous job of preparing them and their leaders for the

obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. They may

Easter season. These are big concepts for little people and

have been surprised to find out that the truths of God’s Word

sometimes we need to help them process what they are

translate from one language to another quite easily. They


were pleased to find out from him that God gives each of them a gift for obedience: happiness and long life. Some,

Last Wednesday, the Cubbies’ lesson was on the crucifixion

however, may have been hoping for a new toy - we can work

of Jesus, and as you would expect, it created some dialog in

through that easily enough.

the small group time. Here’s a sample of what was said: Cubbie boy: “Boy, I sure don't want to die on a cross.” Adult leader: “Billy, you don't have to, Jesus did that for us.....” Cubbie girl: “I don't either want to Pastor Cristi Speaks to our Sparkies

either (die on the

Other themes they have visited are:

cross). (Pause) I'm going to Disney next week.”

Handbook Group

Rejoice always – Philippians 4:4

Know God’s Word so we can make good choices Prov.

Oh, the mind of a 4yr old!

1:1-6 

How Timothy’s life was a great example to model

Our kids are hiding God’s precious Word in their hearts and

ourselves after what we can do to be a good example to

we watch with great expectation for what the Holy Spirit will

others. 1 Tim. 4:12

teach them through it. BINGO! The T&T program does a great job March Cubbies Verses: 

Hosanna, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the

finding creative ways to motivate their clubbers.

Lord. Mark 11:9 

He will save His people from their sins. Matthew 1:21

The Lord has risen. Luke 24:34

The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the

Bible Bingo is just one way they do that. This month clubbers had a chance to use their memory skills by finding answers to questions on their game cards based on verses from their 1st handbook. And, of course,

Lord. John 20:20

fabulous prizes were awarded for each winner. Another motivator was the Candy Bar Contest. It used brackets, like in a basketball tournament, to determine which candy bar moved on to

Forest Animal Theme Night

Florin Engages our T&T’ers

the next round. Votes were



Build-A-Bed Ministry ...Gary & Linda Kozicky Please raise your hands in praise as the Building Beds Ministry conFlorin & Pastor Cristi with our Sparkies

earned by passing sections which then determined which confection of choice moved to the next round. Candy bars were given to the clubbers who had followed theirs to the finals.

structed and delivered 20 really beautiful beds in the last 4 months. After a busy, hectic, stressful day most of us take for granted that we can climb into

our bed

and sleep in cozy com-fort. And now the people and kids that

Who knew learning God’s Word could be so tasty? Why do we memorize? The T&Ters found 2 Timothy 3:14-17 to be especially helpful in answering that question. Do you recognize it?

we delivered beds to can enjoy that same feeling. They no longer have to sleep on the floor or the couch out in the living area. It is a nice thing to cut some wood and put it together with nails and screws and call it a bed. But there are no words to describe the feeling you get when you see the look on peo-

The Leader Gang with Florin & Pastor Cristi

ple’s faces as they watch their brand new bed put together right before their eyes. We are now looking towards the future of this ministry to faithfully continue the work we’ve begun. Volunteers from the Love INC furniture warehouse have stepped forward to help Valley and the Building Beds Ministry get the last remaining requested beds delivered and assembled. We very much appreciate their time.

Moldova Car Fund (Over $1,488.00 collected to date)

Our next goal is to purchase more lumber and begin construction to fulfill the bed orders that have already been coming in. Please contact Gary Kozicky at 612-803-4954 or if you are interested in helping with the Building Beds Ministry. Watch the Sunday bulletin for updates and meeting dates and times. Thank you again to everyone who has donated their time, talents and resources to make a difference for so many. Please continue to pray for us to reach

Cubbies End of the Year Ceremonies – April 13th 7:15 – 8:00 in Fellowship Hall - Family and friends are welcome to attend Sparks & T&T End of the Year Ceremonies – April 20th 6:00 – 8:00 in the Worship Center - Family and friends are welcome to attend Leader Appreciation Dinner –April 27th 6:00 – 8:00 in Fellowship Hall

our financial support goal of $1000, which will enable us to build 26 beds. We have already received $400! Praise God!



Healthy Living: Laughter is the Best Medicine . . . Linda Kozicky, R.N., Parish Nurse A joyful heart is good medicine, but

immune system by decreasing stress hormones and increasing

a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

immune cells and infection fighting antibodies.

Proverbs 17:22 NIV Can laughter really improve your

There ain’t much fun in medicine, but there’s a lot of medicine in fun.

health? Laughter protects the heart, improves function of blood Laughter by definition is a humorous awareness of the ridiculous or absurd; an indication

vessels, increases blood flow which can help protect you against heart attack and cardiovascular problems.

of amusement and a quality or condition of being merry or Your sense of humor not only enriches your life, it also


promotes physical, mental and spiritual health. Dr. Michael Miller from the University of Maryland School of Medicine says, ”we don’t know yet why laughing protects the

Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the face.

heart but the recommendation for a healthy heart, may one day be exercise, eat right and laugh a few times a day.”

Smile-it’s free therapy. Research found that 30 minutes of laughter daily raised HDL cholesterol levels (the good kind) 26 %. In another measurement, C-reactive proteins ( a marker of inflammatory cardiovascular disease) decreased 66%.

Humor is the prelude to faith, and laughter is the beginning of prayer. Laughter adds the surprises that make life interesting. What soap does for the body, laughter does for the soul.

Laughing for 10-15 minutes can burn up to 40 calories. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hope, connects you to others and keeps you grounded, focused and alert. A good,

A person who belly laughs doesn’t belly ache. For those who love to laugh till you cry, may I suggest checking out “Harvey Corman and Tim Conway” on You Tube!

hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes. Laughter boosts the

The LORD rules over the floodwaters. The LORD reigns as king forever. The LORD gives his people strength. The LORD blesses them with peace. Psalm 29:10-11





CruX at District Blitz in Duluth



CruX at District Blitz in Duluth



CruX at District Blitz in Duluth 8:45 am Sunday School/Sunday Morning Studies 10:00 am Worship Service NO CruX



7:00 pm Men’s Bible Study



7:00 pm Elder Board & Deacons Meeting



6:00 pm Awana Club Night 6:00 pm Missions Outreach Team Meeting



7:00 pm Easter Choir Rehearsal 8:15 pm Worship Team Rehearsal



7:30 pm Men’s Monthly Breakfast



8:45 am Sunday School/Sunday Morning Studies 10:00 am Worship Service 6:00 pm CruX



12:30 PM White Cross 7:00 pm Men’s Bible Study



6:45 pm Women’s Bible Study 7:00 pm Elder Board Meeting



6:00 pm



7:00 pm Easter Choir Rehearsal 8:15 pm Worship Team Rehearsal 7:30 pm Web Team Meeting





7:00 pm Men’s Bible Study



6:00 pm



7:00 pm Easter Choir Rehearsal 8:15 pm Worship Team Rehearsal



7:00 pm Good Friday Service



NO Sunday School/Sunday Morning Studies 10:00 am Worship Service—EASTER SUNDAY 6:00 pm CruX



12:30 pm White Cross 7:00 pm Men’s Bible Study



6:45 pm Women’s Bible Study 7:00 pm Elder Board & Deacons Meeting



6:00 pm Awana Club Night



7:00 pm Worship Team Rehearsal

Men will be challenged to fight for radical gospel transformation in their lives. Register online at Open to men 18 years and older.

Awana Club Night (Cubbies End of Year Ceremonies)

8:45 am Sunday School/Sunday Morning Studies 10:00 am Worship Service—PALM SUNDAY 6:00 pm CruX

Awana Club Night (Sparks & T&T End of Year Ceremonies)

We need your “used” Christian books and DVDs (for adults or kids) to expand our church library! If we can’t use an item, we’ll donate it to the public library. DONATIONS MAY BE LEFT IN THE MARKED BOX IN THE FOYER—Thank You!

150 Engler Blvd Chaska, MN 55318 952-448-6144 Fax: 952-448-5119

Guys, Guns, & Grub

Ladies Dessert

Romania Teams Reunion

Peruvian Dinner

Valley Free Newsletter - April 2011  

News and Events from Valley Evangelical Free Church