CARINGPLACE Volume 47, Issue 3
AT WHITESBURG BAPTIST CHURCH pages 2 - 5
I NEVER SAID IT WAS GOING TO BE EASY page 16
Building the Noble Dream At Whitesburg Christian Academy page 7
MY FUTURE By Dr. Jimmy Jackson As you take a few minutes to read the articles in this magazine, you will be impressed with the great and varied needs in the world around us. You will also be able to see how our church is involved in ministering to people both near and far. The person who is called to be a follower of Christ takes on roles of influence and service that covers everything from personally presenting the gospel all the way to being a change maker in our nation’s electoral process. What a blessing it is to love and pray for people all over the globe! What an awesome opportunity God has given to His church to keep preaching the sufficiency of our Lord. He is all we need. Without Him, we are hopeless. With Him, we are filled with the Holy Spirit who constantly is transforming our lives and preparing us for eternity. The psalmist captured this truth in his simple but profound praise of God in Psalm 16:5b. “You hold my future.” He is with us every day and He holds our future. May you be informed and inspired as you read these articles. May God use them to fill us with His joy and our responsibility. Dr. Jackson is Pastor of Whitesburg Baptist Church in Huntsville, AL.
CARINGPLACE Volume 47, Issue 3
New worship services at Whitesburg Baptist Church page 11 On the cover: Al Rudd in Africa Story on pages 12 & 13
the caring place
WHITESBURG BAPTIST CHURCH
Caring Place magazine exists to open a window into the multifaceted ministries of Whitesburg Baptist Church whose purpose is to know Jesus Christ and to make Him known. We desire to know Jesus Christ through the Word and Worship, to exalt the Savior through education and evangelism and to mature all believers to minister and to be on mission. Caring Place magazine is a bimonthly publication by Whitesburg Baptist Church, 6806 Whitesburg Dr., Huntsville, AL 35802-2299. (Permit No. 446) To get your copy call (256) 704-5678, ext. 210 and leave your mailing address. Subscription Rate: $12.00 donation a year anywhere in the U.S.
Publisher: Whitesburg Baptist Church Editor: Dr. Greg Corbin Publishing & Graphics: Melissa Schuster, Ron Snyder Editorial Assistants: Karen Tidwell, Beverly Dishman Distribution Team: Jennifer Baggett, Billy Davis, Larry Hardy, Marylin Johnson, Bob Raines, Walter Tharpe, Paul Lanier Bundling Team: Claire Byrd, Martha Cain, Jimmy Campbell, Debbie Canida, Betty D. Cloud, Mabel Evans, Nina & Tim Hopper, Marsha Quick, Linda Robertson, Barbara Saunders, Phyllis Smith, Dee Tolomei, Cynthia Williams.
Volume 47, Issue 3
2 Café 246
Where coffee meets ministry
3 New Services at Whitesburg Photos from the 8-26-12 kick-off
4 Meet Rick Stone
New Worship Pastor at Whitesburg Baptist
6 Time for a Hero
An extraordinary life
7 Whitesburg Christian Academy Building the Noble Dream
10 Kids Answer the Question...
What would you do if you were President?
12 To Preserve a Life
Reaching out to refugees in the U.S.
13 Remember Those in Bonds Persecuted Christians
15 Christian Citizen Task Force
Stand for God’s truth
16 Hey, I never said it was going to be easy.
Stories from the mission field
Fall 2012 | 1
By Mary Lou Herald and Dana Hubbard
Great investments always have a great story. If you visit the new Café 246 in the North Lobby of our Whitesburg Drive North Campus, you can taste coffee from Toomer’s Coffee Roasters. This company is owned by a Christian couple who currently live in Auburn, Alabama. They have a unique story of how God has brought them into the coffee business and we wanted to share that story with you so you would know why we chose to serve their coffee. In 1990 Sandy and Trish Toomer left a career, sold their home, most of their possessions, packed a U-Haul and moved to Elizabethton, Tennessee to begin Sandy’s flight training to become a missionary pilot. This was the beginning of a seventeen year march of faith. They walked faithfully step by step from the comforts of the US to Costa Rica and finally to
2 | CARINGPLACE
the Amazon Rainforest of eastern Ecuador while serving with Mission Aviation Fellowship (www.MAF. org) as missionaries. It was while studying Spanish in San Jose, Costa Rica they learned to appreciate truly world class coffees. Weekends were often spent touring Costa Rican coffee plantations with friends and “cupping” notable coffees of the region. In Ecuador, Sandy actually flew the annual coffee harvests in his small MAF aircraft from the jungle to market each year from Quechua Indian coffee growers. The great coffees of Columbia were also available there and their benchmark for quality coffee was set in granite. In 2001, MAF asked Sandy to assume the role of Regional Recruiter Manager for the Southeastern US. After a great deal of prayer, a year later they moved back to the US. Needing a second income Sandy and Trish met with a Christian friend from flight school days in Tennessee who was now a successful coffee roaster and shop
owner. He suggested they consider opening a coffee shop. It seemed an obvious choice given their knowledge of and appreciation for great coffee, so they opened Toomer’s Coffee Company in 2004 in the Auburn/Opelika area of Alabama. By 2006, the business was doing well and seeing the cost benefits, they invested in their own coffee roaster and the first batches of their own custom roasted coffees were brewing in local homes, businesses and churches. Today, Toomer’s Coffee Roasters is shipping coffee all across the US from New York to California. God has truly blessed this couple as they have served Him in South America as well as here in the state of Alabama. By serving their coffee, we support their desire to give 90% of their income back to God. They, in turn, support ministries like Samaritan’s Purse with the 90% they give back to the kingdom. Thank you for supporting both our Café and God’s work in our world.
8-26-12 New Services at Whitesburg Baptist Church August 26, 2012 marked a new day at Whitesburg with the launch of a new contemporary worship service at 11:00 am. Great crowds were present in both worship services along with a sense of fresh excitement.
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By Greg Corbin
Rick Stone Where did you grow up/go to school? My parents were in music ministry for 40 years. During this time, my brothers and I moved to a number of locations. The majority of my life, however, was spent in the state of Florida. I graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville, FL (1972), Samford University in Birmingham, AL (1977) and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, TX (1983). Tell us about your salvation experience and call to ministry. I was a week from being seven years of age when God convicted me of my disobedience to His word, His ways and His will. I turned from my sin, I called on Jesus Christ to forgive my sin, to save me and to place me in rightstanding with a holy God. I truly became a new person. Even at a young age, I had new appetites and desires. I wanted to serve the Lord with my life! With parents in ministry, I wrestled with my personal call to ministry. I did not want my parents and what they did to influence what God ordained for my future. As I studied God’s Word, prayed and recognized my spiritual giftedness, I surrendered to a divine call to ministry as a junior in high school. I began sensing a deep fulfillment in my spirit through music and I also recognized that God blessed 4 | CARINGPLACE
my ministry with fruit that remained. You’ve been in ministry for three decades now. Share with us some highlights and memories that stand out. Actually, the greatest highlight for over three decades in ministry is realizing that God has been faithful to me and my ministry! I have made so many mistakes in ministry and yet the Lord has continued to use me, bless the ministry and change lives. I have often said, “I am cornbread and black-eyed peas” placed on the sumptuous banquet table of King Jesus! Trust me.......if God can use me, He can use anyone! You may be surprised, but meaningful highlights are not musical. I cannot tell you how blessed I am to return to a former ministry and someone walk up and say, “Thank you for visiting my mother in the hospital,” “Thanks for the phone call when I was ready to throw in the towel,” “You spent time and prayed with my child when he was making wrong decisions and he is fine now!” Ministry really is about PEOPLE! And yes, God has been so good to open incredible doors of service. What a blessing to sing at Billy Graham Crusades, appear on the 700 Club and sing for the ministry
of Focus on the Family. A great highlight was to lead music for a number of Southern Baptist Conventions. To share concerts at the Brooklyn Tabernacle, Prestonwood Baptist Church, People’s Church in Toronto as well as others is a bit overwhelming! A great joy through the years has been mentoring other young men in ministry. These guys are my pride and joy! Kirk Kirkland, Tim Henning, Anthony George and Charles Billingsley. Some of God’s choice servants who were under my watch as young men, are now serving Jesus faithfully. To God be the glory! In closing, I must say that my dearest ministry partners were my own two younger brothers, Randy and Rodney. What a joy to sing and play trumpet with these incredible men beginning at the ripe old ages of 3, 4, and 5 (1959). They continue to be my very dear friends! Why do you feel that worship is so important in the life of a church? WhitesburgBaptist.org
On Sunday, September 2, Whitesburg welcomed our new Worship Pastor, Rick Stone, to our staff. He is passionate for God and ministering to God’s people. I had the privilege to interview Rick about his faith, family, and ministry.
Worship keeps the Church focused. Worship “grounds” the fellowship. The Greek word for worship is “gonu.” It means “to bend the knee.” Submit to someone greater than yourself. The other word is “proskunein,” from which we get our word, “prostrate.” Do you get the picture? As long as the Church worships God in spirit and in truth, then the people realize the Church does not exist for them! In the Old Testament worship is a priority! Exodus 20 makes it perfectly clear, “I am the Lord your God...You will have no other gods before Me...” Worship of the One, true God is the practice of the New Testament. From the wise men in Matthew who “fell down and worshiped Him,” to the constant worship of God “who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” in Revelation chapter 5, worship comes before service! The most important thing we can do is not soul-winning, teaching, tithing, serving or singing. It is worship! Oswald Chambers wrote, “If you have not been worshipping......when you get into work you will not only be useless but a tremendous hindrance.” When your life ascribes accurate worth to God (worth-ship) then your witness, your teaching and even your singing will be authentic service and praise to a holy God! Worship IS life, not a part of life. We have compartmentalized Christianity. I go to work, I Volume 47, Issue 3
spend time with family, I have my recreational activities and I attend church. In contrast, this is the Biblical view of LIFE. ‘ALL’ that I do in life is an act of worship!! My work, my family and my activities are acts of worship for the glory of God! Wow! That makes every believer a minister of the gospel to a lost and dying world. This is when corporate worship gets exciting at Whitesburg Baptist Church. When God’s people bring their worship to the music, to Bible study and to the fellowship, then corporate gatherings are inspirational, Godhonoring and explosive for the glory of God! Worship in the Church encourages the study of God’s word, a surrender to the Spirit of God, a meaningful prayer life and a sweet fellowship with other believers. It also compels us to share the good news to those without Christ so they can experience the joy of worship and fulfill their reason for existence: to bring honor to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit! What are you looking forward to most about serving at Whitesburg? To minister along side a Pastor and staff who preach the whole counsel of God and possess a heart for the people of God. I look forward to leading the great people of Whitesburg in authentic praise
and worship. I desire to develop a close-knit family of faithful servants in the choir and orchestra ministries. I also pray for personal spiritual growth for me and my wife. I hope to become acquainted with most of the families that make up the fellowship called Whitesburg Baptist Church. Tell us about your family. Married to Rosemary Hamilton Stone of Huntsville for 36 years. I met Rosemary at Samford University. God has blessed us with 3 grown children. Rachel, Rebecca and Robby. We have 4 incredible grandchildren! Two live in Huntsville! A wonderful added blessing! (Luke, Faith, River and Levi) Do you have any hobbies or things you like to do in your spare time? I enjoy spending time with my family, especially those grandchildren! I love boating and skiing. Reading a good book is relaxing and taking long walks is exhilarating. BBQ is my “comfort” food and believe it or not... I love “aloneness.” I love sports cars and taking scenic road trips through the mountains, where we end up at a good restaurant and return home the same day is fun. Watching college football on the big screen can be dangerous too!
Fall 2012 | 5
Time for a
Hero By David Loyed
With great power comes great responsibility. I love that line from Spiderman. It makes me think about our lives and what purpose we’re fulfilling. How about you? I meet people constantly who wonder what life’s purpose exists for them. Excitement surfaces when I unveil the plans that God has laid out for us in His word, the Bible. Peter Parker transformed after a bite from a spider. A Christian’s journey begins by admitting that they do things wrong. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Many of us would rather be bitten by a spider than admit we are sinners, but the Bible makes it clear in Romans 3:10 when it says that “there is none righteous; not even one.” Can you imagine how Peter Parker felt as he came to grips with a worldview that shifted from 6 | CARINGPLACE
a normal life to a life filled with endless possibilities? Most of us are taught that “being good” and “going to church” will result in us going to Heaven, but Jesus said that “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father but through me.” (John 14:6) To become a follower of Christ, we must believe in Jesus as the son of God and ask Him to forgive us of our sins. That not only takes a step of faith, but also a faith that is backed up all throughout the Bible with powerful truth that stands forever. The Bible makes it clear that without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). As we watch Spiderman make his first jump, we see that faith is critical to making change happen in our life. Finally, we must turn away from our old life. If I slapped you and told you I was sorry but
slapped you again in 30 seconds, was I truly sorry? Absolutely not. God looks for us to turn our back on destructive behavior and follow Him with all that we have. How disappointing would Spiderman be if he ignored his new powers and returned to school as a geeky, introverted teen? By asking God to forgive us of our sins, we become new creations. Creations that are incredibly heroic in nature. A hero is someone who takes knowledge and skill and uses it to save the lost and helpless. Jesus did that, and He gave us the power to follow in his footsteps. Isn’t it time you made the transformation from a purposeless existence to a life that is extraordinary? David Loyed is the Minister of Middle School Students at Whitesburg Baptist Church.
Volume 47, Issue 3
Developing students who are well-trained servant leaders and passionate followers of Christ. Fall 2012 | 7
ACADEMY HISTORY In the early 1980â€™s Whitesburg Baptist Church voted to include the establishment of a Christian school in its long-range planning. The vision for Whitesburg Christian Academy had begun. But it was not until 1997 that a task force was appointed to develop a strategic plan for starting the school. The Academy opened in 1999 with one first grade class of fifteen students and one teacher. Today, the Academy has twenty-one classes, three hundred fifty two students and fifty faculty and staff. The dream of our pastor, Jimmy Jackson, has grown to be a passion for over 260 current Academy families and many other alumni. The Academy is a young school. The school has seen dramatic and steady growth as each grade was added. The Academy has filled the facilities currently shared with Whitesburg Baptist Church. To experience continued growth, a capital building campaign to raise money for new building became evident. On January 29th Whitesburg Baptist Church 8 | CARINGPLACE
voted for the Academy to begin the design and planning stage for the first phase of a new school on the south campus. With a new building our purpose will stay the same. The mission of Whitesburg Christian Academy is to assist Christian parents by providing students an academically excellent and Christ-centered education for life-long service to Christ. Our vision is that it would be said of the Academy that the students are passionate followers of Christ and well-trained servant leaders.
Finalist and one third of the class scored 31 or above on the ACT college entrance exam. The scholarship offerings to this class of eighteen were $616,028. Our students have the opportunity to complete years of student leadership training and to travel the world to learn about the great leaders of history. In Washington DC they have studied the founding fathers and learned the truth of the Christian principles upon which our nation was founded. On the beaches of Normandy they come to understand the sacrifices that have been made to keep America free. From this background they develop a passion to be leaders of
We have begun to see the results of thirteen years of effort in training students for lifelong service to Christ. We have graduated three classes of seniors who have taken their places in college, businesses, and the military. Our college preparatory academic program has eased the way of our students to a higher level of learning and success. Last yearâ€™s senior class had a National Merit Scholar WhitesburgBaptist.org
their own generation. Academy students are taught what it means to be a servant leader. Based on their Biblical worldview they learn that leadership is not a position of status, but a position of service. Their hearts are tender toward the needs of others, their character reflects Christian values. High academics in a Christian environment - it is transforming the lives of our students!
ACADEMY FUTURE The Opportunity: Building the Noble Dream
The Academy has launched a capital campaign called Building the Noble Dream. This is a noble dream because it will facilitate a noble endeavor, a campus for
Volume 47, Issue 3
Whitesburg Christian Academy. To date, $2,283,874.57 has been raised by Academy parents, grandparents, and friends toward a vision goal of $6,000,000. Most of these families are not members of Whitesburg Baptist Church. This campaign will enable us to construct the first building which will house our current enrollment. This has been a dream of many people for years –a building designed and equipped specifically for Whitesburg Christian Academy. Your participation will make you a partner with us in building upon The Academy’s strong academic traditions. Future plans include additional academic buildings, dining space, a competition gymnasium and a fine arts center. This campaign will
build upon the foundation that was established in 1999 when Whitesburg Christian Academy was born. It will also enable us to provide quality Christian education to those students who will join us in the years to come, as well as additional ministry space for Whitesburg Baptist Church. Your participation will make you a part of the life of every student, present and future, as they are trained “in the way they should go.”
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THE PROJECT This approximately 43,000 square foot first building will consist of 32 classrooms with a capacity of 450 students. It will include a media center/library, computer lab, science lab, art suite, and administrative offices. This proposed building will cost approximately $7,000,000 and will be scaled up or down in accordance with the money pledged in the capital campaign. The building will be located on the north east corner of the current gymnasium at the south campus of Whitesburg Baptist Church. It will face toward Whitesburg Drive. The school will share use of some of the current space in the ROC and the Martha Fleming Center. This use, along with other temporary alternatives being considered, will allow the entire school to move to the new campus. Our goal for this move is the fall of 2013. The long range plan for Whitesburg Christian Academy is to provide facilities for anticipated future growth in the number of students. These phases will be added as God brings more students our way and will come in the order that the need is experienced. Additional athletic facilities will include a competitive gymnasium, and other athletic facilities such as soccer and football fields. These will be added to the existing baseball and softball fields as our athletic programs grow.
YOUR INVITATION Building the Noble Dream is a celebration of the achievements 10 | CARINGPLACE
the school has experienced in the past, as well as the goals it has established for the future. The positive impact Whitesburg Christian Academy has had on those it serves would not have been possible without the physical and financial support of our parents, grandparents, and friends. With your support, Whitesburg Christian Academy will continue to provide a quality college preparatory education for generations to come. As a part of the schoolâ€™s family of support, you have the opportunity to help set the standard for others. Together we can make the Building the Noble Dream capital campaign one of the crowning achievements in Whitesburg Christian Academyâ€™s history.
It is our belief that you share our vision to enhance the many facets of the Whitesburg Christian Academy experience and education, and we ask you to consider making a commitment in support of Building the Noble Dream, a capital campaign to provide for the future of Whitesburg Christian Academy students. Your gift may be established as a pledge, payable over three years. Pledges do not necessarily have to be made in equal installments. Some families, for instance, have chosen to increase their payments as time passes. Gifts to Whitesburg Christian Academy are tax-deductible, as allowed by law. We thank you for your consideration of this request.
Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended with diligence. Abigail Adams
Kids Answer the Question...
What would you do
if you were
“I would let people play computer and watch TV every day.” Matthew, 6
“I would make everything free.” Katie, 9 “I would talk on a microphone and I would talk about things that people need to know.” Claire, 6 ½ “I would make sure people stay strong and healthy and smart and whenever they need medicine they’d get it and they’d have extra long recess.” Marisa, 7 “I would make sure every day people would get donuts.” Elizabeth, 7
“I would rule the world!” Taylor, 6 ½ “I would teach people about Jesus and pray for the sick. I would tell people how to become a Christian.” Lydia, 8 “I would make everyone get off of work earlier in the day.” Mya, 7 “I would make people dig and make an underground world.” Rhys, 7
“I would tell everyone to clean up.” Sophia, 7 “Get a team to dig up the dinosaur bones that I found at my school…It’s an undiscovered species.” Briley, 8
Volume 47, Issue 3
“Lower taxes.” Steven, 7
“I would have a big family and a big house.” Carley, 8
“I would make the economy better.” Max, 10 “I would go to every country.” Rachel, 9 “I would let everyone have equal rights.” Nicholas, 10 “I would try to stop conflict and help people. If there were innocent people who lost their resources I would go provide for them.” Markus, 12
“I would allow young people to have a say when it comes to difficult decisions.” Hunter, 12 “I would give candy to everyone, and I would not let anyone be homeless. I would upgrade roads so that there would be less chance for a wreck. I would also get every scientist to work on cures for cancer and Alzheimers.” Eli, 9
“I would fight in war like George Washington.” Maddox, 8 “I would start under water mining to search for new technology.” Tyler, 8 “I would make sure everyone is okay and I would try to do the right thing and make the right decisions.” Madison, 8
Fall 2012 | 11
To Preserve a Life
By Molly H. Tidwell
Elias Meshack is a refugee. His passport says he is Congolese, though he has never been to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Because of political instability and warfare, his parents fled to the neighboring country of Tanzania, where Elias was born in a refugee camp. When he was ten, both of his parents were murdered because they supported the wrong political faction. After his parents were killed, Elias fled on foot with his four-year-old brother. They found shelter in a refugee camp in Mozambique. Elias learned English and volunteered with World Relief Mozambique, helping women start small businesses to provide for their families. He married a woman from the camp, and their first two daughters were born in the camp. Refugee camps are over-crowded and residents have little personal freedom or opportunity to work. Outbreaks of violence are common. Elias and his family filed the paperwork to flee to Canada, but when they called Elias for the interview, he was out working on the volunteer project and missed the appointment. They were removed from the list and had to reapply, this time filing papers to go to the United States. The process took another two years to complete, but in 2010, Elias and his family received clearance to travel and began a new life in the United States. 12 | CARINGPLACE
Around the world there are an estimated 43.4 million refugees. A refugee is someone who has fled from his home country because of persecution due to race, religion, politics, nationality, or social class. Many will attempt to return to their home countries, and many more will remain in refugee camps awaiting travel to a country that accepts refugees. Less than one percent of the world’s refugees will be resettled in a third country. The U.S. resettles more refugees than the rest of the world combined. Refugees are not coming to America to find more economic opportunity or a better education—a refugee is coming to preserve his life. Refugees come to the United States fully legal to live and work. Across the country, in cities like Mobile, Durham, Jacksonville, Houston, and Atlanta, refugees find freedom, safety, and the opportunity to start
new lives. Every refugee’s story and journey to freedom is different. Some are escaping from ethnic cleansing in Bhutan. Some are fleeing persecution for their Christian faith in Burma. Some are avoiding forced military service that would result in violence against their own people in Eritrea. Some are being displaced by the violence in Iraq. Justice for the vulnerable is very close to the heart of God. The orphan, the widow, the foreigner, and the poor are often grouped together in Scripture and seem particularly important to Him. Deuteronomy 10:18 says, “He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.” Jesus tells the disciples that when they have Continued on page 10 WhitesburgBaptist.org
r e b m e rem n i e s o th bonds Remember those in bonds as bound with them, and those who suffer adversity as being yourselves also in the body. Hebrews l3:3
By Gloria Anderson
ou may be asking, “Are Christians really in bonds today?” Answer: Yes, in 54 restricted and hostile nations where Christians are a minority. As second-class citizens they have no rights, limited educational opportunities and jobs, and constraints in freedom of worship. Youth are especially vulnerable. In Islamic countries most Christians work for Muslim land owners. Men work in fields and ladies work as servants thus providing ample opportunities for abuse. Imagine your 15 year old daughter, Mary, goes to a pizza party with a new friend. Without Volume 47, Issue 3
Mary’s notice, a drug is added to her soft drink. Soon she falls asleep, unable to respond when three men place her in a van taking her away to a remote area of town. She is locked in a room, beaten, abused, and attempts are made to force her to convert to Islam and marry a Muslim man. You stay up throughout the night waiting anxiously for Mary’s return. Unable to find your daughter, you seek help from the police who say, “You must first leave Christianity for Islam.” You continue searching, longing and praying for your daughter’s return-days, months, and years. Mary becomes totally absorbed and hidden in the
Islamic sea of humanity, never to be found. Your pain never goes away. Abduction of Christian girls is part of a daily reality for persecuted Christians. Large numbers of young Christian girls are kidnapped, forced to convert to Islam and marry Muslim men. Imagine the government decides all children, even Christians, should be taught Islam. You go to your child’s school and protest. For your “complaint” you are arrested and imprisoned. You refuse to recant your faith. You are sentenced for execution. As the influence of Christianity wanes in America, imagine Continued on page 10 Fall 2012 | 13
To Preserve a Life Continued from page 8
served the needy, they have done it to Him. When our hearts are like His and we follow the example of Christ, we too care deeply for the vulnerable. The local church is God’s instrument to care for the foreigner living among us. Whether it is a refugee, an immigrant, a college student, an engineer, or a businessman, the nations are coming to our doorstep. Stephen Bauman, President of World Relief, says that in serving immigrants and refugees, “Justice comes with a hospitable heart and an open home…These relationships, when stitched together justly, weave a tapestry of hope that fundamentally changes society for the better.”
Consider opening your heart and your home to one of these. Life in America has its joys and struggles for the Meshack family. They receive tremendous support and love from a local Baptist church, who have made it their mission to serve the international community and have opened their doors to people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. The Meshacks welcomed a son four months after arriving in the U.S. and their fourth child is due in September. Elias now preaches on Sundays to a small group of African believers who meet in a home. Supporting a growing family on an income of $8.25 an hour is not easy. Elias
works tirelessly, but with a smile. He leaves for work every morning while it is still dark and goes to English classes for three hours every evening after work. His family is safe, they have a roof over their heads, and his children go to school. He desperately wants the opportunity to go to college himself, and one day hopes to return to Africa and work among orphans who are in the same terrible situation as he was so many years ago. Molly Tidwell is Volunteer Coordinator at World Relief Jacksonville and soon-to-be Intern with Samaritan’s Purse Uganda.
Remember Those in Bonds Continued from page 9
persecution of Christians becoming more frequent and overt. It can never happen here, you say? For example, in Dearborn, Michigan Christians were recently pelleted with eggs, rocks and other objects. There was little police protection of the Christians. Thus we are seeing a small version of the type of attacks occurring in Pakistan and other restricted countries.
What can we do? Pray much! Ask for wisdom, grace and strength for those in bonds and others of us living in these challenging times. Pray for your family, especially that the children will know, love and serve 14 | CARINGPLACE
Jehovah God with all their hearts. Memorize the Word. Encourage children and youth in your family to do the same. Don’t assume we will always have ready access to Bibles. Take Bible study seriously, not only gaining information, but also transforming heart and life. Be alert to the strategies of Satan. Spiritual warfare is real, and manifests itself in many forms. Jesus is the only way. “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:3) Know the goal of Islam is to institute Sharia law worldwide, effectively purging Christianity entirely. Consider participating in a Voice of the Martyrs project
supporting those in bonds. For example, send parachutes for Colombia; Scripture balloons for North Korea; Action Packs to Pakistan, Iraq or Sudan; Bibles to China, Vietnam or Indonesia. The Voice of the Martyrs is a nonprofit, inter-denominational Christian organization dedicated to assisting the persecuted church worldwide. Find out more about Voice of the Martyrs at www.persecution.com.
WHY DO WE HAVE
Christian Citizen Task Force?
By Charles Orr
he 13 American colonies declared 236 years ago that God is the origin of life and the origin of our liberties. Colonial pastors had preached God’s truth and enumerated our God-given liberties from the pulpit for decades during America’s first great revival, the First Great Awakening. Every good thing comes from God. Hence the United States of America, from its inception, was a nation that acknowledged God as our King. Our country was founded overwhelmingly by Christians with a solidly biblical worldview. Both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution have their basis in biblical principles, largely from the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy. Today, according to a Focus on the Family scientific poll of professing evangelical Christians, only a remnant actually retain a - Alexis de fully biblical worldview. To understand our nation’s actual history, and God’s hand in it, is a great need in our day. A nation that acknowledges God does not violate the church and state as separate organizations, but recognizes the separate missions of the two distinct organizations. “Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and to God that which is God’s.” (Matthew 22:21) The biblical history of God’s people, those called by His name, shows time and again their role is to hold the people and their government accountable to God’s law, to His standard for morality. After all, government is composed of people, of citizens. Our founding fathers knew that this republic with
its unprecedented freedoms would only work for a moral, principled citizenry, and a self-disciplined people. We cannot have an immoral population insisting on the “right” to do whatever they want and still retain the freedoms that only a self-governing populace can enjoy. The role of the church is to speak His truth to both the saved and unsaved, both within and outside of government. Without God, His law in our schools, government institutions, and in the marketplace of ideas, our citizens and our government have only the insatiable hunger for the power of tyranny or the equally insatiable lust for pleasure. Christian Citizen Task Force members first pray unceasingly for a great national revival, a Third Great Awakening, to restore its Christian citizens and thus its government to truth and holiness, and so to heal our Tocqueville land. Second, we educate the Body of Christ to that same truth, that biblical worldview of our founders, all but lost in our history books. “For lack of knowledge, my people perish.” (Hosea 4:6) Finally, with the full armor of God, we engage government, voting our Christian principles and holding our officials accountable to the same. As the steward of your citizenship of the most exceptional nation in history, you have a charge to wisely use and multiply that gift. In election season, put on the full armor of God and stand for His truth, learn about the candidates, and then vote your Christian principles of a biblical worldview at the polls.
America is great because she is good.
If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.
Volume 47, Issue 3
Fall 2012 | 15
“Hey, I never said it was *James, serving in Central Asia
ejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstance; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) This passage has gotten me through many days here in my new home. As I was adjusting the first few months overseas I kept finding myself reading through Paul’s letters. I was overwhelmed by how amazingly grateful he always was in the midst of some really difficult situations. I was so challenged by his gratitude. I quickly decided that I wanted these three commands from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 to be more evident in my daily life. I started meditating on this passage through the day, every day. The result was a heart far more grateful than before and an attitude of peace and joy that was far less affected by circumstances. Early on at my university, I had a language teacher who really did not like me. I was behind most of the other students in the class and she would pick on me and call me names. This was a wonderful time of putting to practice rejoicing and giving thanks in all circumstances. At the beginning when she was attacking me I would just smile 16 | CARINGPLACE
and repeat this passage a million times in my head… I do not know if I was actually rejoicing or giving thanks, but I was definitely telling myself to try! However, a transformation really did take place and by God’s grace I started genuinely thanking the Lord for her. God gave me a heart of love and gratitude toward this teacher that could only come from Him. One morning on the way to class I prayed specifically for my teacher because she was on my heart. That day I got the worst of her yelling. During it I was reminded of my prayers for her earlier that morning and how I felt so sorry for her not knowing the love of Christ. The other students were amazed by how calm I remained. This opened the door for me to share about how God, though His son, Jesus Christ, had made me a new person. Praise the Lord! So whether I miss friends, family and the comforts of America, or am packed in various forms of hot public transportation, or being yelled at and belittled by a teacher, or coping with living in
such a spiritually dark place, God is teaching me to rejoice always, to pray without ceasing, and to give thanks in all circumstances. It is wonderful how much joy and gratitude the Father can give us in various situations when we really obey His Word. Like Paul, whatever difficulties and trials we may face in this life, we should continually be overwhelmed with joy and gratitude for all Jesus has done for us. *Name changed to protect missionary’s identity and ministry.
Above: Claudia grinding maize in a village. Left: Claudia teaching a Baptist Women’s group. Right: Al crossing a bridge to a village.
going to be easy.” ... God Stories from the mission field
Al & Claudia, former missionaries in Africa
laudia and I have been told we should write a book about our adventures in Africa. We started joking around about a title for such a book and after many rejections we arrived on an appropriate title, Africa is Not For Wimps. Let me explain. We were Community Developers so most of our work was done out in the villages. Traveling to many of these villages from our small rural town of Mzimba, in northern Malawi, was quite a challenge, not for wimps. Just getting a tank of diesel fuel would require a 10-12 hour wait in line. We would often get to the pump only to be told, “The diesel is finished.” Oh well, another two weeks before the next fuel truck! One day we were going to the village of Malinyete. The day was hot and the roads were dusty and very rough. We stopped at the pre-arranged location and at the specified time to pick up our interpreter, Mbewe. True to African style, he was not there so we had to wait. Waiting to us, is a big inconvenience. To the African it’s no big deal. He arrived with a big smile and excited about the days trip to the village. After a dusty and bone jarring trip, we finally arrived at the village of Malinyete. At this Volume 47, Issue 3
point we headed out through the bush to reach the group of trees where they have church. We were greeted by the whole village and as always we received such a blessing from spending the day with these wonderful people. We could have decided that going to the village was just too hard but we would have missed a blessing. We could have decided that being missionaries in Africa was just too hard but we would have missed so many blessings. God asks us to do things that are not easy, things that aren’t for wimps, but there are always blessings in following God’s will. The Christians in Malawi have almost no worldly possessions but they too are a blessed people. We found they are the most contented
people with whom we have ever had the pleasure of working. If you are a Christian you have been called to missions. Matthew 28:19-20 says, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” When you accept Christ as your personal Savior you become a missionary. You may not be called to Africa but you are called to tell the lost about the love of God wherever you are. Remember, someone wasn’t a wimp when they took the time to tell you the Good News.
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