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SPRING 2014

We exist to bring glory to God by calling all people into an abundant life with Jesus Christ


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By Pastor Mike Sindelar

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demonstrator in Kiev, Ukraine said, “We need to be out here, the future of our country will be determined here.” For months, the people of Ukraine have been locked in an often bloody struggle to change the course of their country’s direction. I can’t imagine what it takes to launch a revolution. How does an idea spread so quickly and gain such momentum that people are willing to drop whatever they are doing to risk their lives for the sake of a cause? How do you fill a city square with tens of thousands of people day after day to stand in rebellion to the status quo? To see a rebellion grow so organically and quickly is nothing short of amazing. So how would you launch a new movement? A movement that would be counter-cultural, challenge the status quo and would eventually encompass millions of people? How would you start a movement that would change not only the lives of the people involved, but the entire course of history? Now that would be a great story.

The book of Acts in the New Testament is that story. It is the documentation of a movement, from its roots to its going out into the world. It is the story of those who led the way, those who shaped its direction and established the guidelines for the movement. It is documentation for the greatest grass-roots movement to ever take root in history.

violent persecution of the church and the flow of the gospel from Jerusalem out to the world.

When we read the book of Acts, we often pick out a story or two and focus on what is happening in that context. Or we take a verse, like Acts 1:8, and build a whole study of it. But that approach does a great disservice to the whole of the story. To see the power of the cause and the breadth of its expansion, you need to take in the whole book of Acts as a panorama of what God was doing in the first days of His revolution, the Church of Christ.

Many volunteers and support are needed for this event. I hope you will all get behind it. But, most importantly, we hope that you will be busy, even now, praying and inviting. It is your personal invitation that will bring people to see the presentation. It is your personal interaction with friends and neighbors that will help fan the flames of the Gospel message.

The story of the church in the book of Acts, taken as a whole, is exactly what the Acts3Man Show is all about. Three actors will give us an up close and personal look at the lives of the men and women who God used in those first days of the church. They will portray the beauty of the church, the sometimes

As a church, we are taking a leap of faith by committing to such a large event. But, we believe that exposing our neighbors, friends and family to the message of Christ through the Book of Acts will go far in reaching our area for Christ.

I’m looking forward to an Easter season that puts Christ first in our hearts and lives. I’m looking forward to reaching out to our community, through the Acts drama, to proclaim Christ. I believe the next few weeks are going to be an amazing time of God’s power! Photo: SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/ Getty Images


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By Cory Jackson, Youth Director

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s I heard these words, all thoughts in my head evaporated

Razboieni ministry focused on the lower-income Gypsies of

and my vocal chords tightened like steel cables. I imagine

Pitesti. Part of this includes setting up a multiple-day Kids’

that this wasn’t the first swing that God had taken at my heart

Camp in the mountains. We go with the intentions of changing

during the 2010 Romania Missions trip, but I really hadn’t seen

lives through revolutionary love, and we know that in doing so,

this coming: I’m here to change the lives of the Romanians! Not

our hearts will be transformed as well.

the other way around, right? It was at that moment that I was finally unsettled enough to hear, but it was the words of my 28 year-old host mom that God used as the knockout punch I personally needed. It also showed me a deeper purpose to short term missions. We all love to quote the Great Commission and hear about how The Gospel is being brought to all corners of the world. But in what environment does the Gospel work best? The Good News of salvation works best when it is expected to be an unsettling force in people’s lives, which we can forget being in our own cultural contexts for so long. God uses shortterm missions trips to bring people into a new unsettling cultural context, which forces you into a spot of reliance on Him, which is exactly the way faith is supposed to work! As Christians, we are committed to bear the image of our Father who made this manifest in His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ who, with the power of the Holy Spirit became the most unsettling force to have ever walked the earth. On July 17 —28, I will be leading a team to Romania to walk in those same footsteps of our Savior. While we go to continue the rich relationship we have with our sister-church, Sperante Vie, we will also be focused on showing His love to the children and families of the

So just how much did those words in the summer of 2010 affect me? It convicted me that I was spiritualizing my fear and laziness (“I’m ‘waiting’ on God to show me what do.”) and that I was sinning on not acting on the many good opportunities I had in front of me. I was not taking steps of faith that God could direct where to go. So I made a plan to work at Camp Shamineau, which instead became a position at Rock Ridge, which led to an internship at Shamineau, in the middle of which I became the Interim Director at Rock Ridge. Just as that ended, I started the interview process for the Youth Director at a little E. Free church in Chaska that you might have heard of. This short-term missions trip had long-term effects on all those that went. Just as it changed me in the past, it will change the team that God is preparing to do His Will this summer. Our first meeting is March 18 where this team of both youth and adults will begin the training process for the trip. Prayer is needed to give us the vision that we need so that we are walking with God every step of the way. Who knows the change that this trip will bring in both the lives of the Romanians and our team members?


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Dear Valley Family, If you’ve been cutting off soup labels, education labels, etc.** and giving them to the White Cross label project, YOU are a missionary. This past month we delivered a gallon bag full of labels to the Children's International Mission in Texas. They were so excited. Oh, I wish you could have experienced the joy-filled expressions on their faces. They are collecting labels* to raise money toward their fourth van. These vans take workers back and forth between Parr, Texas and Mexico, as well as take the children around in Mexico. Valley sends workers to the orphanage every other year and they use these vans. Thanks for your participation. Keep clipping those labels. Shirley Sindelar, White Cross *Drop your labels off at the Donation Center outside the church office.

Broomball @ Lion's Park: The Crux and Crown students have Been Playing pick-up games most Saturdays this winter. All are invited to play. Sticks are provided. Watch the Valley Facebook page for notice of game times.


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By Mike Barnett Exec. Dir. Of New Horizon Christian Ministries

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remember the very first time I experienced what missionaries must feel when they hear that help is on its way and coming…. It was one of the “dry spell” times, when working as Technical Manager for New Horizons Christian Outreach Ministries in Jamaica, I felt that things had dragged to a standstill with building, proposal writing, income, with pretty much everything it seemed. I recall talking with my former Director, Mark Gardner, and we decided to go and pray standing in the older training facility, which was merely a shell of a building at the time. As we both stood in the hot sun, praying in a roofless building, with mere concrete blocks for walls, it felt for me as though it were a lost cause...anyone walking by would have thought we were crazy to expect that God would do a miracle here. Looking back now, these were early days for me learning to pray in faith, and expecting God to work! Engraved on my memory though, is coming out of the prayer feeling relieved to have even just “vented” to God, telling Him how “uncool” it was to feel like Christopher Columbus in a windless patch on the seas of time, in which nothing seemed to be “moving”. You can imagine how strange it felt, when a few minutes after praying, things started shifting, as we were able to secure some funds to truck aggregates in to pack the floor base of the building. Two days later, quite excitedly, Brother Mark came to me with a firm pep in his step, and saying “Hey Mike, good news!!” …. “ohh I said”… and then he said, “Remember those guys from Valley Free Evangelical in Minnesota?” I looked at him wondering… he continued, “the guys who did the roof on the house last time they came?” “Well yes!!” I responded.

“Well they are coming again this year, can you believe it, and they are bringing even more people this time!!” I felt like doing a jig and that year the team did indeed come and did the mammoth task with great sacrifice of putting on the roof on our current training building. That was some years ago, and hundreds of guys have been trained under that humble roof. Each time since, when I get that initial 3-line email from Mel Swanson, from Valley Free Evangelical, asking if we can use some help through a mission team, my heart gets lighter. I feel the “wind” picking up again. I get a pep in my step. I start dreaming of the next steps where God is helping us grow. Usually I will walk out of my office to tell anyone on the team willing to hear, the team from Valley Free Evangelical is coming! Hallelujah!! This year was no different, but we decided strategically to have the four man team of Mel Swanson, Kjell Plath, Peter Larson,


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and Jon Ranzau lend us their expertise in not just one “major” project, but many small niggly projects. They landscaped the new 5700sq ft Training Facility, repaired tools and equipment, such as our ride-on lawn mower; repaired buildings; furniture; created work-areas and spaces for office staff; shelves for training materials and records in our offices; installed a smaller

600-gallon water tank for our gardens; created rain gutters to our main 10,000 gallon water tank therewith boosting our water collection ability by a massive amount; and welded the steel frames for the concrete pillars in the foundations dug for a new caretakers cottage to be made of steel shipping containers. Also received with great joy, was the stainless steel Moringa Leaf Tea Grinder machine “shell” Brother Kjell welded so superbly! In essence, these jobs may have seemed “small” and insignificant for some people, but I have realized each time, that the essence of the persons giving of themselves is most important. They have sacrificially left the comfort of families and Valley Free Evangelical in Minnesota to make ours better. They help “bear up” and provide support to missions by “reenergizing” missionaries in the field. Sometimes I am reminded by these dear brothers who come, that they are not “professionals” at what I may have asked them to do, but they

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when they are long gone, I will sometimes look at these things, and tears come to my eyes, as I realize it is sometimes not about the “finer details”, but about the journey that we have made with them, the love with which these things were done, the spirit in which it was done and those with whom God has intimately woven our lives around. In the end, the things we are “worried” about really didn’t matter. It is not just about work though. Over the years we, with members of the teams you have sent, have strengthened and supported each other with honest, heartfelt talks during the workdays, or into the nights, playing UNO, “Black”, doing pushups together (as if not tired enough from the workday..lol) playing Guesstures which was hilarious (long story… ask Mel…). These things have drawn us closer and shown us we are all brothers and sisters in God’s Kingdom. We have celebrated Mel’s birthday along with our housemother’s, Mrs. Marie, on a free day going for a common meal, and to a small island off the coast to swim. We here at New Horizons feel blessed to know the team from Valley Free Evangelical. I pray that this love and liaison will live on for many years to come and I look forward to the day when new members and even some second generation teens, and/or moms will come. Valley Free Evangelical we bless you in Jesus Christ name and thank you immensely for your assistance over the years. God knows we are inspired by your help and team, and we believe that you have done good to us obeying the law of Christ according to Galatians 6:2, Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. Thank you and we look forward to seeing more of you over the next few trips! God bless you!

are willing to do it, and I find I answer the same each time… “Brother, give me a choice between “none” and “some”, I’ll take the “some”, even if it means a fence with a small bend in it, or the glass blocks in our living room which remind us of someone’s first attempt at laying blocks; or a doorknob installed a few inches lower than desired. In quiet moments


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By Marcia Flom, Faith Community Nurse

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n today’s world we hear a lot about “healthy living”. You

facilitates the development of support groups for the faith

could speak with 20 different people and get 20 different

community and others served.

definitions. Faith Community Nurses work under this definition according to their Scope and Standards of Practice; we define health as the harmony of body-mind-spirit in relationship with God, self, others and the environment.

Developer of Support Groups – A Faith Community Nurse

Volunteer Coordinator – A Faith Community Nurse recruits, prepares, and oversees volunteers who help those in need.

The focus of our work is on

And the great news is she does it all in 3-5 hours a week and lives

the intentional care of the spirit,

a balanced life! (Only after , she dies from exhaustion and spends

assisting members of the faith community to maintain and/or regain wholeness in body, mind, and spirit.

eternity in heaven!) On a more serious note, the truth is many of us have too many balls to juggle and we burn ourselves out because we don’t follow Jesus’ example of a balanced life. Jesus showed us how

Faith Community Nurses educate and activate people to take

to define priorities.

positive action regarding wellness, prevention, appropriate treatment of illness, as they promote mental, emotional, and

Matthew 14: 22-33 tells how Jesus sends his disciples away so

spiritual health within their local community, neighborhood,

he can be alone with His Father and get some rest (after feeding

and world.

the 5000). Even in His busy schedule, Jesus made this a priority. When he returned to the disciples they were in a boat

The roles of a faith community nurse may include the following: 

Integrator of Faith and Health – A Faith Community Nurse assists members to achieve higher levels of wellness by improving both their spiritual and physical health.

Health Educator – Faith Community Nurses are available for health education, and provide opportunities to learn about health issues, individually and in groups.

and in the middle of a bad storm. They saw someone walking towards them on the water. Even though they had spent much time with Jesus, they didn’t recognize Him. Sometimes we don't recognize the Lord when he comes to us in the middle of our "storms”. Taking our eyes off Jesus, and focusing on difficult circumstances or a “busy life” will cause us to get under our problems. But when we cry out to Jesus, he catches us by the

Health Counselor – A Faith Community Nurse is available to

hand and raises us above the seemingly impossible

discuss health concerns, emphasizing early response to

surroundings. Jesus knew His priorities and His mission. His

small problems and encouraging healthy lifestyles.

days were long and difficult, but He never wavered from His mission to do God’s will. He gave the ultimate sacrifice on that

Referral Advisor – A Faith Community Nurse is available to

cross when He died for you and me. God may not be asking us

provide referrals to healthcare and social services within

to make the same type of sacrifice, but He is asking us to be a

the community upon request.

light in a dark world.

Health Advocate – A Faith Community Nurse speaks out to

In my new position as Faith Community Nurse I am crying out

help obtain needed health-related services.

to you; to pray, to be a part of the team, and to listen to God’s


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desire for this ministry. I realized very quickly that I cannot do this on my own and God doesn’t want me to. If you have a desire to serve or have a need that could be met by this caring, compassionate body of believers please contact me at marciaf@valleyfree.org. At our Introduction to Faith Community Nursing on Thursday, March 6 in the Fellowship Hall at 6:30 p.m., we will pray, assess resources within the church and community, and identify gaps where God may be calling us to fill. You do not have to be in the medical field to serve. I look forward with great anticipation to see what God is asking us individually and as the body of Christ to promote healthy, spirit-filled individuals and communities. Chuck Swindoll once said, “Remember, the best church for you is one that meets your needs while giving you the opportunity to meet the needs of others”. I’m excited to see where He is leading us.

Valley's Upcoming Commitments MARCH: 80 cans of kidney beans APRIL: 40 boxed dinners MAY: 40 boxed potatoes

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By Cindy Blomgren, Founder of Minnesota Adventurous Women

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dventurous Women, an organization in the southwest metro area offering outdoor trips, is far more than

experiencing adventures together. Connections are being made. Common areas discovered. New friendships. Spurring one another on in the faith. Confidence building. Reaching out and including unchurched women. Outdoor settings natural for building faith. “Hanging forty-feet high on a zip line among red pines, above a lakeshore, you learn to trust yourself and others.” “After bicycling distances you didn’t think possible in a day, then settling down to a meal

for fitness; meaningful spiritual support; and experiencing the

together….it’s easy to talk about

adventures without having to organize the trip!

things seen in God’s creation. A special camaraderie develops through the feeling of physical accomplishments.” Imagine fourteen women heading north for skiing, snowshoeing and geo-caching. Despite a wind-chill of -15 degrees, they use cook stoves to make soup,

God indeed affirms a purpose for connecting women through adventures. Adventurous Women started through dialoguing with an older missionary friend named Ed walking me through StrengthsFinder1 a personal assessment tool helping to discover one’s strengths.

veggie burgers and s’mores for dessert, equipping them with

I had been asking God, “How will you use me to share the Good

energy to endure a 5K lantern-lit ski loop. Skiing hut-to-hut in

News with others? How can I leverage my strengths to serve

the moonlight is certainly an incredible way to experience God’s

you, Lord?” Through StrengthsFinder, I had discovered my top 5

creation in the nighttime snow!

strength areas, but was having trouble figuring out how to

Following morning devotions - themed on 'loving one another

apply them in my life.

as friends', a participant shares from her heart how meaningful

“Look for what you really enjoy doing, and then think about

she’s found the connections made with Adventurous Women.

places you enjoy doing those things,” encouraged Ed.

Growing up as a 'tom-boy', she had considered herself oddly different from other women and often had not felt accepted; but now expresses great joy at finding an accepting niche among these like-minded outdoorsy women.

The next time we got together, resuming the StrengthsFinder process, I excitedly realized that the canoeing and hiking trips which I had been leading for a few years are an area where I am using my identified strengths and really enjoying it. “What’s

Following her sharing, spontaneous testimonies flow from each

your motivation, and how does it connect with your strengths?”

of the participants about how they relish this group, for various

Ed challenged me.

reasons... feeling they had succeeded at challenges; motivation


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“Well…I love connecting people with new friends and with things they love to do…like outdoor activities.” “Are they’re ways you do that now?” “Yes, biking, snowshoeing, canoeing and hiking are passions of mine. I enjoy linking up participants with new friends who encourage one another. They find they can still do things they had done in the past, or venture to try new things; plus, increase their confidence by challenging themselves.” “BINGO!” said Ed. “See how God might lead you to develop what you are already offering to women…how He might use your strengths to impact the participants?”

I challenge you, the reader, to consider whatever is it that you may be passionate about, and ask the Lord to show you ways to reach out, using your strengths and passion for the good of others! Move forward, following Christ’s leading. Ask Him for direction. Seek opportunities to connect. Ask for advice and the cooperation of others. How that plays out may involve taking risks, stretching a bit and moving beyond your comfort zone. Leverage your passions and strengths for God by following His leading. He knows best how He has gifted and designed you to

“’Yes, Lord! I love connecting people with outdoor adventures and with new friends. And planning and organizing trips fits my skill set. What a combo!’”

serve others. And in the end you’ll be making a difference in people’s lives! ________________________

Starting then, imploring the Lord to show me how to proceed each step, Adventurous Women was formed and began developing into a place where women feel comfortable trying new experiences, re-connecting with favorite activities, and meeting new friends in the process.

1StrengthsFinder assessment can be made by purchasing the

StrengthsFinder Book and using the enclosed online code for your self-assessment. Information about Adventurous Women and upcoming trips being offered can be found outside the church office.

Contact us at MinnesotaAdventurousWomen@gmail.com


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June 22-26 6:00-8:45 p.m. $15/child or $45 for 3 or more Even though we deserve God's wrath because of our sin, God provides a way for us to be forgiven. Not only that, He promises crowns, or rewards, to those who walk in obedience to Him here on earth. SHINE will teach children about the 5 crowns in Scripture, and they will learn the difference between being a "glory giver" and a "glory getter." In our celebrity obsessed culture, this is an important truth that we have the opportunity to share. Save the date! You won't want to miss this fun-filled week!


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IMPORTANT: Make these the evening BEFORE Easter. Preheat oven to 300 degrees BEFORE you start making the cookies!

INGREDIENTS: 1 cup whole pecans 1 tsp vinegar 1 cup sugar Wooden spoon Bible

Pinch salt Zippered baggie Tape 3 egg whites

1. Place pecans in zippered baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3. 2. Measure out the vinegar and let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 teaspoon vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:29-30.

8. Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60. 9. Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27:65-66. 10. GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Explain that Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22. On Easter morning, open the oven and given everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! Explain that on the first Easter, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty!

3. Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11. 4. Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27. 5. So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. 6. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16. 7. Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

Family Celebrations at Easter by Ann Hibbard, published by Baker House. It includes Lenten devotions, how to hold a Passover celebration (including recipes and order of the Seder), and ideas for an Easter tree. Preparing for Easter by James L. Evans, published by Tyndale House. It's a book of family devotions and activities for every day from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. Christ in Easter: A Family Celebration of Holy Week. There are devotionals by several different authors contained in this book.


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150 Engler Blvd Chaska, MN 55318 Phone: 952-448-6144 Fax: 952-448-5119 office@valleyfree.org www.valleyfree.org


Spring 2014