“The glory that you have given Me I have given them, so that they may be one, as We are one, I in them and You in Me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that You have sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me” ( John 17:22-23).
With His beloved disciples, Jesus prays for connection and unity. Perhaps He knew that understanding our oneness would be one of our greatest challenges as human beings, and that is why one of His very last acts was to pray for unity. When we understand that we are of God, created by none other than the Creator of all creation, and that we are thus beloved, we reconnect to ourselves, to one another, and to our Divine Parent.
Sisters and brothers living in poverty who would have been otherwise overlooked, or outright forgotten, have been empowered by our gifts to the offering. Continue reading “One Great Hour of Sharing”
Ministering with youth, young adults and parents was our top priority category in the visioning process. As the Diaconate discussed this section, we began by identifying what we are already doing in this area. (Please feel free to help us add to the list below, for things we forgot or weren’t aware of!)
In terms of community outreach, Louann Fauska, Pearl Mertens and many others have been active in the Boys’ and Girls’ Club Back-to-School program. Mike Turk is active in the Youth for Christ Fresh Start program. Pastor Brian is working with two teams at Sabish Middle School in their Rockets for Schools program. Pat Olson works with younger elementary school kids listening to them read. Laurel McKee leads a Girl Scout troop. Brian and Gabrielle Hastings are also part of an ongoing young adult Bible study.
Internally, Christine Popp, Dan Hanks and Pastor Brian work with our youth in the youth group, and we have a number of great teachers in the Sunday School and Children’s Church programs. We also strive to support and encourage parents with kids who are experiencing challenges. Continue reading “Putting Hands and Feet to the Vision: Mentoring Youth and Parents”
The group left well before the ‘crack of dawn’ on January 11, on the heels of the latest winter storm which left the roads (and parking lots) coated with a sheen of ice. Packed into two vehicles, eight folks set out on a week long trip to Oklahoma to respond to the ongoing needs in the wake of a devastating series of tornadoes that struck the area in the late spring of 2013. Christine and Cal Popp, Rick and Kathy Behlke, Matt Duley and Pastor Brian Hastings participated from Memorial Baptist Church, and RoseMary Buelow and Mary Miller-Wenzel from Whiting Community Church.
The team stayed at one of the campuses of the Church of the Harvest in OK city, which has hosted and coordinated large numbers of volunteers from around the country and even internationally. Much of our work over the week was at Immanuel Baptist Church just south of Shawnee, OK. This congregation had been praying for direction on how to serve when the first series of tornadoes hit the area, one of them less than a mile from the church building. The church immediately responded by offering free food and water to residents and relief workers, and before long they had found themselves one of the major focal points for relief efforts in the area. To this day, they continue to operate a food bank specifically for persons affected by the tornado, as part of an effort to help residents get back on their feet. Our work was largely to help organize, consolidate and relocate some of the massive amounts of food, hygiene items and cleaning supplies that they are disbursing.
One of the ‘secrets’ of these kind of mission trips is that while participants paid to take their own time to travel halfway across the country, the real blessing is how God uses the experience to change and bless us. We heard so many stories of faith and examples of God’s provision that we were reminded of God’s mercy and miracles even in the midst of very difficult times. While we were glad to be able to serve and share our time and energy, we also received abundantly more in the process.
We were even featured in the local paper! Check out the article, a video with Christine, our team leader, and other pictures here
You can find more pictures on our church Facebook Page here as well
Hurricane Haiyan Relief information:
American Baptists responding to the needs through our missionaries on the ground: Read More
Other Response Opportunities:
Feed My Starving Children
We pray this finds you all well and rejoicing in the abundant grace and loving presence of our Lord Jesus. Today I’m relishing the cool breeze blowing across the Brahmaputra River, thankful the sauna of summer seems to have finally passed. We are so very blessed, and it somehow seems a bit easier to recognize that fact as the heat and humidity subsides. Now temps are only in the 80’s, feels almost chilly! We do hope you all have opportunities to enjoy the beauty of the change of seasons wherever you are.
October is a significant month to us for many reasons. This past week marked the two year anniversary of our arrival here in Guwahati! We praise God for the privilege of living and ministering His love in this place. Taku & I just counted the number of people groups (different ethnicities and language groups) that we have had the honor to minister to and interact with during this time. We stopped counting at 80! The diversity of this nation is mind-boggling!
Continue reading “Update from Katie and Taku Longkummer”
A team from Memorial Baptist Church will be traveling to Moore, OK, January 11th-18th, 2014, to assist in recovery efforts following the EF-5 tornado that devastated the community in 2013. Christine and Cal Popp, who worked at the Quad Graphics plant in Oklahoma City for a number of years, have many connections to the area and are coordinating the trip. We will be working through the Church of the Harvest, which has dormitory housing for our mission team.
The estimated cost of the trip will be $250/person. Some assistance may be available with mission funds through the church. Please talk with Christine Popp or Pastor Brian if interested. All skill levels welcome, those with construction skills are especially needed. If you know someone outside the church who may be interested in participating, let us know!
First of all, I wanted to say thank you to the church for their support of the recent Care INC Walk; we had great participation and support, and raised money for local food pantries and agencies. That was a great first year response, and we had good feedback that will help us improve the experience for the coming year.
Care INC not only networks churches as we respond to needs in the community; we also offer mentoring in different life skills, from budgeting to honing a resume or job search skills, to dealing with debts that can feel overwhelming. The mentoring Care INC offers is confidential, and can range from a very short term commitment to a longer process of identifying and working towards specific goals. Mentors are ordinary people from churches across Fond du Lac, who are trained to work in a non-judgmental way to help you reach your goals.
If you are interested in speaking with a Care INC mentor, or learning how to be part of our mentoring team, please call 251-0670 for more information.
God Continues To Use HBC To Serve The Most Vulnerable
As the refugee catastrophe continues, God is giving Hadath Baptist Church amazing opportunities to witness to the love of Christ amongst those most in need. As Lebanon continues to absorb unsustainable numbers of refugees, the opportunities to serve in practical ways increase.
As well as welcoming increasing numbers of non-Christian background refugees to our Sunday worship services, including at least 30 teenagers each week, we have been able to provide physical assistance to increasing numbers of families from the Naaba area of Beirut (we are now helping 80 families!), a significant hub for the refugee community.
We continue to rely on your prayers, friendship and support, and thank you for your continued interest in our ministry.
Check out some highlights below about all the things we’ve been doing.
- HBC’s young adults raised $1,000 towards the Syrian refugees and also hosted the Naaba teenagers for Sunday lunch – during a whole month – in an attempt to get to know them better.
- The Lebanese Baptist Society and HBC have been working to provide eighty families with $60 food vouchers each month to families in most need (Lebanese and Syrian). Not only we are distributing food and vouchers, members of HBC have regularly visited families in the area.
- At the Horizons Centre, located in Naaba, we are providing relief supplies, daily meetings for prayer, worship, teaching and evangelism. Numbers continue to increase as people meet the living Christ.
- The Church Council and some of HBC’s Youth Group went to visit the Naaba families that are attending church to strengthen ties with the local and refugee community.
- We’ve continuously received positive feedback, not only regarding the visits, but also the teaching their kids are receiving. Many families choose to send their kids, even if they are going to a [Christian] church, because they are receiving good education and biblical principles.
- The growing HBC family spent 4 days in August escaping the business of life in Beirut, in order to enjoy a healthy retreat. We were honoured to have 200 people attending (around 20 refugees), enjoying a time of real blessing and intimacy with our Lord.
- We continue to rely on your prayers, friendship and support, and thank you for your continued interest in our ministry.