Team heading to South Dakota

Our team is heading to Wagner South Dakota to help missionaries Tim and Elaine Harris on the Yankton Sioux Reservation. We are taking a team of 25, 13 adults and 12 children (Ages 10-15) Our plans are to conduct Sports Camp, serve dinner to the kids and present the gospel message each day for three days. We will also be introducing “Drug Free” in the United States on day four. “Drug Free” is a program developed by Steve and Mindi Benintendi and is used to talk about Substance Abuse and evangelize simultaneously and has only been used internationally until now. We would appreciate it if you would join our team in prayer as we make plans and preparations for our trip coming up August 10 through 17.

Prayer requests for our team

  • Pray that our team would be under the control of the Holy Spirit, pray that the fruit of the Spirit-the very beauty of Jesus-will be manifest in our lives.
  • Pray for Spirit-Controlled Lives. We have a tendency to do the Lord’s work in our own energy and human ingenuity. Pray that our team‚Äôs actions will be under the control, and by the power of, the Holy Spirit.
  • Pray that the people will have receptive hearts and that the Lord will lead our team to people whose hearts will be open to hearing and receiving the gospel message.
  • Our team along with Tim and Elaine are prime targets of the enemy. Join Jesus in praying to the Father: “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one” (John 17:15) so that we will have the freedom to move in God’s will for our time in South Dakota.

Prayer requests for Tim and Elaine

  • Pray that the Lord will supply the financial and material needs of Tim and Elaine “according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
  • Pray that the Lord will grant the measure of health and strength that will bring his greatest glory and the greatest good for the missionaries. Tim and Elaine are putting in long hours and face numerous struggles that drain their strength.
  • There are two young women that are helping with Children’s Ministry but haven’t fully committed to ministry. Pray that God will give them clarity and direction for the call He has on their lives.
  • Pray that God will provide a full-time, self supported COMMITTED children’s leader and youth leader to work alongside of Tim and Elaine to reach all ages on the reservation.

Prayer requests for our team leaders

  • Pray that the Lord will give Pastor TJ, Pastor Josh and I wisdom as we make preparations and arrangements to get our team to and from South Dakota safely and that we not forget any of the important details.
  • Pray for steadfastness as we plan and prepare for each aspect of ministry Paul gave this same advice to the Corinthians, “Stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58)

New Life

If the reason for Easter could be summed up in a text message this is how it would read,

“Thanks so much for all you guys do.  I just wanted to let you know that my nephew Eric accepted Jesus Christ as his savior today in kids church.  He was able to tell us the whole story of Easter.  The day before we had asked Eric what happened 3 days after Jesus died on the cross and he said they had a funeral.  He now knows that after three days Jesus rose from the grave and that he now lives in his heart.”

This was received after Pastor TJ and I shared an Easter service with the kids at Warwick AG. That morning nine children gave their hearts to the Lord. Knowing that these children now have the love and hope that only comes from knowing Jesus truly touches my heart and reminds me of the importance of taking every opportunity to tell people about Jesus’s life, death and resurrection offering forgiveness to everyone.

We celebrate Easter in many different ways; egg hunts, candy, family dinners, football, new outfits, and yet there will never be a better way to celebrate than to hear that a child has asked Jesus into their heart.

Preparation for the day takes on many forms, hours of drama rehearsals, shopping, decorating, spring planting, cleaning and a flurry of activity but no amount of preparation should exceed the amount that we put into the spiritual preparation that could lead someone into a personal relationship with Jesus.

Why can’t every day be like Easter? Why can’t we spiritually prepare for every Sunday like we prepare for Easter? Jesus didn’t raise from the dead for us to celebrate one Sunday in the year, he rose from the dead so that we can celebrate every day. Make a commitment today to treat every day like Easter.

Eternal Differences? You Can Help!

Six straight weeks of kids camp, two United States missions trips and 126 souls later I’m humbled how God chose to use me this summer. As I sit down to share what God did in the lives of children over the past four months I continue to think, ‘what more can I do to reach the children that have yet to know Jesus?’ God opened the doors for me to minister to children throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland. In the 3,700 miles I traveled, I led 126 children in first time decisions to follow Jesus.
clownsThe summer started in Appalachia where I partnered with Pastor TJ Wolfe from Warwick AG. We trained and prepared a team to go into Oak Hill West Virginia where we did street ministry and then held a three day evangelistic outreach for the children in that area. Over 26 children invited Jesus into their lives that week.
COHNext I headed to Dallas Pennsylvania where I spent a week at Camp Orchard Hill as the guest speaker. Using “Deeply Rooted” as the theme, I challenged the campers to evaluate their personal relationship with Jesus and to grow deeper in their faith. 76 children gave their hearts to Jesus and many others fell deeper in love with Him. When testimonies were shared one girl stood up and said, “Before coming to camp I really didn’t know Jesus and didn’t care but today I want everyone to know that I know Him and want to live for Him forever.” One of the boys stood and shared, “Now I know that Jesus will provide for me and I don‚Äôt need to worry about things.” The most touching was a girl that said, “I’ve learned that I can still have happiness even though my dad just died.” There are children here in the United States that are hurting and need the hope and love that only Jesus gives.
KeyserThe summer was rounded off with five more weeks of kids camp and then I headed to Keyser WV with a team from 1st AG in Harrisonburg VA led by Trevor Whetzel. We had been invited to participate in a city wide outreach and minister to the children. All of our efforts were rewarded with 24 children making decisions to follow Jesus.
There are many more children to be reached. I want to continue to prepare people, train teams and minister to these children but we need your help. We’ve raised 28% of our budget. To remain on the mission field we’re asking you to invest in our ministry through a monthly Faith Promise. We are making an eternal difference in the lives of children, now you can help.
Click on our Donate page for instructions how you can partner with us. Please prayerfully consider investing in the lives of children through our ministry!

Hope for the Homeless

homeless-maggieWith cart in tow, Maggie entered the building with all of her belongings neatly tucked into compartments in her wire mesh cart. To get a little relief from the cold, she found shelter in an alley accompanied by some of her fellow homeless who were huddled around a barrel burning with scrap lumber and paper.  As she settled in a spot atop a palette covered with newspaper she covered herself with the only blanket she had, pulled out her hand made sign and cup and began to beg for money from all those who passed by.

There were some who looked with loving eyes and dropped a few coins in her cup as they passed by while others turned away, hugged the opposite wall and tried to avoid recognizing that Maggie even existed. Many claimed to have no money and walked quickly by. How many times had Maggie felt rejection? How many times had she felt the pain of no one caring? How many times had she wished for just a glimmer of hope?

“Missed Opportunities” was the theme for Warwick AG as they made an effort to bring about an awareness of the needs of people all over the United States. Their vision was to help ‘Everyone’ realize that they can make a difference in a person’s life by becoming personally involved, not only through their giving but also through doing.

The all purpose building had been transformed into a soup kitchensoup-kitchen and homeless shelter. As people stood in line, patiently waiting their turn, a meal was being served consisting of chicken rice soup, mixed vegetables, cheese, fruit cup and yellow sheet cake. Each person picked up a lunch tray, their foam plate and plastic utensils and walked through the line as volunteers served the food.

Thousand and thousands of men, women and children depend on this experience for their existence and we have the opportunity to make a difference. But, are we taking advantage of those opportunities or are they missed as we pass by on far side not recoginizing the needs of the homeless?

The people at Warwick AG are being proactive as they develop ways to help the less fortunate and to be involved in their community, giving hope to the helpless.

sauly-and-jakeIt was my privilege to help the children of the church seek out opportunities and ways that they could also be part of giving hope to those in need. I was able to share Galatians 6:10, “Whenever we have opportunity, we should do good to everyone.” Esau was our example of a person that missed his opportunity by giving away his birthright. He could have helped an entire nation but gave it away for a bowl of gumbo. We talked about how difficult it is to see the needs around us when we are constantly looking at ourselves. We need to see through Jesus’s eyes. He never saw himself because He was always looking at the needs of others.

That entire weekend gave me opportunity to share the missions in our own backyard. We can’t ignore the people around us that need our help. Whenever we have opportunity we must do good to everyone. On any given day there are 200,000 children homeless in the United States. In a given year there will be over 1.3 million homeless children. None of them are there by choice, circumstances have driven them to the streets with their families. It’s time for us to respond to these needs as Jesus responded. With love!!