Homes of Hope Launched

HomeOfHope logo-01Homes of Hope was launched this past week as part of iRock Ministries. We saw a need after visiting the Apache Reservation in 2011 and it is our desire to give families a chance to raise their children in an environment where they can thrive and feel secure. By providing a hand up to those currently living in homes that are unsafe, we are showing them how God cares and provides for His children through the generosity of others. I’d like to introduce you to Ronnie.

ronnie

Since the age of 12, Ronnie was lured  by satan and his life led him to alcohol and drugs. He found himself on the ‘other side of the tracks’ where he had no hope and his life nearly ended tragically.

24 years ago, following a near fatal stabbing, Ronnie gave his life and his heart to the Lord. Ronnie now ministers to teens that have been deceived by Satan and fallen into a similar trap.

Life is hard on the reservation and often times when young parents feel trapped and without hope they will drop their kids off with anyone that is willing to take care of them. That is how Ronnie came to have five of his grandchildren living with him. Wanting to protect his grandchildren from going down the same path he did he took them into his home and is providing for them as best he can.

ronnies houseRonnie’s life has not been easy and although he works full time delivering propane, he is living in a 24′x30′, 2 bedroom house that has been condemned by the Apache Tribe Housing Authority. Currently the children sleep wherever they can find a space, there is no functional kitchen sink, the windows have all been broken out by vandals, and scorpions in the house are not uncommon.

This story is all too common on the reservation. Every day parents worry how they are going to provide for their families and where they will get food. Needless to say, home renovations are not high on their priority list. And that’s how Homes of Hope became part of the mission of iRock Ministries.With all the other things that worry parents, you can help bring hope to the least of these so that children and their families can go to bed at night and not worry about the repairs that are needed on their homes.

God’s word says, “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40

Here’s a few ways you can get Involved with Homes of Hope.

  1. Join our mission team
  2. Join our construction team
  3. Donate toward building materials

We have construction teams ready to go and build 2 new homes and make countless repairs but are in need of funds.

Your donation will purchase materials that will stop a leaky roof, bring water into the house, repair walls and ceilings that have been water damaged, provide safe bedrooms for children and so much more.

Don’t hesitate, Donate NOW!! Homes of Hope teams build more than shelter – they build hope.

 

 

Developing a Missions Heart in Children

Ever question when you should begin teaching children to evangelize and reach the world with the gospel? At what age should kids enter the mission field? How can we prepare kids to be missionaries in their own backyard?

God has given us each a people group that He wants us to reach with the gospel. Who has God given our kids to reach and how can we equip them to share the gospel with those people?

If we can instill of heart of compassion in our kids we CAN reach the world.

This year at the Equipping Conference in Manassas Virginia I had the opportunity to have an informal discussion about this very topic. The session was recorded so that you too could gain a little insight into developing a missions heart in children.

“God our Savior, who wants ALL men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” 1 Tim 2:3

Listen to the session

Other Related resources
Growing Mission minded kids by David and Mary Boyd
Developing a Heart for Missions in Kids by John Miller
Involving Children in Missions by Linda Mei Lin Koh
Planting Seeds of Compassion in Children by Mark Entzminger, David Boyd and Ray Risner.

 Video Description: Mark Entzminger guides answers questions about the importance of planting seeds of compassion in the hearts of children. Special guests David Boyd and Jay Risner share valuable insights that will help children’s workers and parents help their kids see the needs around them and find ways to respond. (Be patient as the video loads)

Went to Farmville VA and never left Home!

Today was my first official skype video chat with a group of kids at New Life in Farmville Virginia. Pastor Josh invited me to be part of their BGMC service through skype. It was pretty exciting. I set up a little studio background, pulled my props together and set out for Farmville Virginia with one click of the mouse. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not new to skype or the concept of video chatting. I do it all the time with my own kids but this was the first time I was live, on a Sunday, with a group of kids. It has its advantages, no travel time being the main one but it also had its disadvantages. I was locked into a smaller space and everything needed to be within sight of the computers isight. Next time I might need to enlist the help of Rusty as my camera man and change things up a little. I missed not being in the same room with the kids but being able to at least see them and entertain questions was nice. I also had the opportunity to pray for the kids and encourage them as they become missionaries in their home, neighborhoods, schools and sports teams. Thanks Josh for the opportunity and may we continue to use technology to do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight!!

Deut. 6:18 “Do what is right and good in the LORD’S sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land that the LORD promised on oath to your forefathers”

Scene 2 – Roll ‘em

Let me introduce you to BGMCWhat are these yellow containers for? Do we get to take one home? How can we help other children around the world? We can do all of that by just putting money into the buddy barrel and bringing it back to church? These were typical questions that I was able to answer for the children at Bethel Temple in Hampton Virginia. Pastor Spencer decided it was time to introduce his kids to the idea of giving to missions and how they can help through Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge (BGMC).

Entering the room as the director to a movie, my goal was to bring about an awareness of the needs around  the world and how they can be met simply by making a decision to help according to individual abilities. “The disciples, each according to their ability, decided to provide help”, Acts 11:29.

As the director I ‘set the scene’ for the movie and then started filming. Of course it was just pretend but it was a way to involve the kids in learning.

Auditions were underway to find the role that each child might play in the movie. We had dramatic reading from scripture and then we moved on to a live impromptu performance of the story found in Mark 2 where Jesus healed a paralyzed man that was brought to him by his four friends. As the story was told the actors portrayed each of the people in the story, Jesus, the crippled man, the four friends and the crowd. The talent was overwhelming. Even when asked to ‘think’ the expressions were priceless. Through this story the kids learned how important it is for friends to introduce their friends to Jesus. Without their help they may never meet Jesus. We must bring people to Jesus if we expect them to be healed, spiritually or physically.

In conclusion, using typical items that children purchase on a regular basis, they question was posed “what are you willing to sacrifice in order to give the money to BGMC and help meet the needs of children around the world?” I could see the wheels turning as the kids started to realize that they can make a difference in the lives of others simply by making a decision to help. It is a decision, a decision to use our  individual abilities to reach the world with hope, love and eternal change in people’s lives.

Next Sunday, Pastor Spencer is giving them an opportunity to make a faith promise or agreement with God as to the amount they will try to raise each month for missions. Keep this group of kids in your prayers as they step out in faith as it becomes clearer to each of them the important role they play in helping others come to know Jesus.

Our Family is Growing

Since our last newsletter we have seen some exciting changes in our family.
In April our first grandson arrived. With much anticipation, Nathan Jack came into the world bringing joy and happiness to his parents, Russ and Frances. Needless to say we are very proud  grandparents and anticipate each visit with excitement. Each day Nate grows cuter and stronger. We look forward to teaching him about Jesus

Amongst these major events in our family we have been able to invest in our church families. We have been able to visit and minister at 6 churches, help with 2 Easter services, teach on Mother’s Day, attend 3 missions conferences and conduct 2 training sessions at the NACMC (North American Children’s Ministries Conference) Each gave us opportunity to pour into the lives of children and the people that minister to them on a weekly basis.
Serving as BGMC coordinator for the Potomac District, I was able to help prepare and mail 315 bright yellow Buddy buckets to every church in our district encouraging giving to missions through Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge (BGMC).

Just recently I was part of a summer long lunch program for low-income families. This week I was able to help as the team served lunch, led a craft and spent time with the kids.
With sculpting balloons and pump in hand, it was with great excitement that I was able to make and teach kids how to twist a variety of balloon sculptures. On the last day I presented each child a balloon cross letting them know that Jesus loves them. Though it may seem like a small act of kindness it is showing the love of Jesus through service and time committed to bringing hope to families.
Now we turn our attention to a summer filled with kids camps. Our first camp is the beginning of July as we prepare for Camp Wannahockalugie, a day camp in Hagerstown, followed by 3 weeks of district kids camp and then a trip to the Sioux reservation in South Dakota to conduct a sports camp, serve meals, share ministry and help as needed with home improvements on the reservation.
Please be in prayer that as we plant and water the seed that God himself will make it grow and that many children will be added to His family this summer.

A Heart for Missions

BGMC (Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge) goes to extremes to provide missionaries with much needed resources.
To what extent will you go to help provide the resources that missionaries need to spread the gospel to people around the world?

Faith Community church in Mount Airy MD decided to bring in a professional chef (that would be me and I’m far from a professional) to prepare and reward it‚Äôs congregation with Chef Tera Masu‚Äôs signature soup, Missions Soup. A recipe only shared with congregations that have a heart and passion for the lost, Chef Tera Masu‚Äôs recipe is more secret than Bush‚Äôs Baked Beans. Even Duke couldn‚Äôt persuade her to reveal the secret ingredients.

Although the recipe may be secret, it’s no secret that BGMC is meeting critical needs around the world. Chef Tera Masu was able to share the many projects that impact lives such as disaster relief in Kenya, Haiti and Jamaica, building orphanages in Venezuela and the United States, providing clean water and water buckets to Africa, assisting children in Bolivia who have imprisoned parents and providing Bibles to Iran, Iraq and Russia. These are only a few of the ways BGMC is “Shaking it up to Change the world.”

Chef Tera Masu broke it down into bite size portions as she shared how much can be done with just a little. The cost of a McDonald’s happy meal can provide 7 complete meals to a hungry child. For the price of a magazine, a child could purchase the needed supplies to attend school and for price of a new release DVD movie, 36 children could have a new pair of shoes. A small price to pay to relieve hunger, provide an education or protect the feet of a small child.

That morning the congregation raised over $4,500 toward their goal of $5,000. May God continue to work in this congregation as they continue to help missionaries through BGMC.