What are their beliefs?
Gujjars are mostly Hindus in India, though in Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh they are mostly Sunni Muslims. Muslim Gujjars are also present in Uttaranchal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh in small numbers while in East Punjab they are Sikhs too. The nomadic Gujjars are almost all Sunni Muslims. Gujjars believe in their customary laws regarding their social life amongst themselves.
What are their needs?
They need education and to shun their out dated rituals such as child marriages etc. They need to be uplifted from their backwardness by incorporating policies such as of reservation for them in jobs and by teaching them the latest techniques in animal husbandry and agriculture. Efforts should be made to inspire them to leave their pastoral nomadic life by lending them material support they require.
Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to India and share Christ with the Gujjar.
Ask God to use the few Gujjar believers to share Christ with their own people.
Ask the Lord to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through intercession.
Pray that God will open the hearts of India’s governmental and religious leaders to the Gospel.
For more information, check out:
It has been a long slow process, that’s how God works a lot of the time, Pastor Ken Whitten has had a burden to plant a church in North America for a while. There were a lot of questions to be answered, our pastor knew God’s will but he didn’t have God’s answer on how the plan would be implemented, it would take a while to know who would lead this effort and where it would be located.
As God’s will became known for the church plant, Pastor Ken felt that Buff & Cissy McNickle are the couple that God wants to use to lead this project, but what would they feel about God’s will for their lives? Pastor Ken approached Buff & Cissy to ask them to pray about God’s will in planting a church somewhere in North America.
I was humbled and excited all at the same time. Humbled that Pastor Ken would have that much confidence in me. We are excited about the opportunity to share the Gospel and impact the lostness in North America.
At first they didn’t know for sure what to do. Could God be asking to leave their ministry that was safe and ask them to make a bold move out into the unknown? Could God be asking them to leave their family and friends behind? They were completely open to what the Lord wants to do in their lives and so they began to pray diligently for the Lord to show them his will.
Pastor Ray Sanabria and Pastor Ken asked them to go to a “Send North America” conference in Atlanta last July. The North America Mission Board was hosting this conference to introduce the “SEND” strategy for North America and the need for churches to plant churches.
Cissy and I participated in every workshop and breakout session that they had during the two days. The worship and preaching was challenging and inspiring. It was at the conclusion of the event that Cissy and I were talking and sharing with each other what God was saying to each of us individually. We both said that we went from thinking it “would be great” to plant a church to “we must” plant a church. The need is great, we have a church that is ready to be a part of it and they want to send us – how can we not go?
God’s will was becoming more clear, it began with Pastor Ken and then that clarity spread to Buff and Cissy, now they needed to know God’s will about where this church would be planted. Eventually Atlantic City came on the radar and we began pursuing it in December of last year.
God’s will for a church plant has been revealed to the leaders of Exciting Idlewild Baptist Church, he has revealed who should go and he has shown them where they are to go, there is one more question about God’s will that hasn’t been answered yet.
What is God’s will for you?
God’s people are supposed to be people of action, the work of God’s kingdom isn’t reserved for those in the ministry, we have all been told to GO and PRAY and to GIVE, and doing nothing is not an option. Is God calling you to help Grace Falls Church? Check out some of the ways that you can help:
Can you make a one year commitment to join the church plant team? We have several people that are partnering with us by committing to work in Atlantic City with us for 12 months.
We have several short term mission trips planned this year from Exciting Idlewild Baptist Church. The youth and the singles ministry have trips planned and there is a trip that is open to everyone. More information about these trips is on the way.
Send Buff an email and let him know you are willing to help and see what God does with your availability.
God has called us to pray for his power to work through his people. Unless people like you commit to pray for Grace Falls Church we will never experience the fullness of his power in this ministry. Church plants are very difficult to do and we need your help in prayer.
Signup for an email newsletter from Buff to help you keep up with their prayer needs.
Funding is always a challenge, especially in the current economy, there are a lot of needs that must be met for this ministry to thrive. Can you help with the financial resources are critical for the success of any new church plant?
You can give online to Grace Falls Church or give to a specific member of the transplant team.
Connect with Grace Falls Church:
We are excited to see what God is going to do in Atlantic City through Grace Falls Church and you!
Our Cuba team had a great trip April 6-13 working with the people of Guanajay, Cuba. Take a look at what the Lord is doing through our Idlewild on Mission team and our church partner in Cuba:
The work included tearing down an old church building that they outgrew so that they can continue expanding their new church building. The construction of the new church building has been a part of our work since 2008. Slowly they have been expanding the size of their auditorium which does not have a back wall in it right now as they are waiting for the Lord to provide the final expansion of this building after the old building has been completely removed.
While the men were working on the building the ladies were ministering through a ladies prayer group, meal preparation, home visits and getting ready for Vacation Bible School.
After a full day of work there wasn’t any time to rest. Each evening the team led in revival services and Vacation Bible School for the children. Dana Hardee and Joe Craighead preached to a crowd of sixty to a hundred adults while the Vacation Bible School grew from 12 kids to 31 by the end of the trip.
Our team delivered Spanish children’s Bibles that were donated by the Idlewild’s Worship Quest children’s choirs. Our kids had signed inside the covers of the Bibles and also made personalized bookmarks for the Guanajay children. We gave the Bibles and bookmarks to the children each night in VBS for answering Bible questions correctly and for quoting scripture.
Here are some testimonies from the team:
The women had amazing trips to the outside with the Pastors wife to minister and pray with sick women. Our women’s prayer group at the church from 2pm-4pm grew every day due to God touching peoples hearts. Our children’s group for VBS also grew from 12 kids to 31. Every time I stepped in the sanctuary I felt Gods presence. I was forced outside my comfort zone but with Gods strength and the support of my team members, I was able to persevere.
I had the privilege of going on home visitations with Pastor Ramon Interian’s wife, Eunice several times. She faithfully visits the sick church members and shares the gospel with unsaved family members in the homes before leaving. I watched her share the gospel with a caregiver of an elderly home bound church member. The caregiver was Catholic, but when Eunice finished sharing the Gospel with her, the girl prayed to receive Christ and we were able to give her a Spanish Gospel of John.
Eunice is currently traveling to Havana (an hour away) several times a week to care for her 90+ year old father, who is home-bound. Trying to care for her Dad and actively evangelize Guanajay, which is her heartbeat, has caused her some frustration. I identified with her situation, as I am in the same season of life caring for my parents. Eunice is an awesome pastor’s wife and a wonderful role model for the young wives in the church.
The new building is so beautiful and Idlewild has had a huge part in the building of it over the past few years. It still needs to be finished and will seat twice as many people when it is done. They are already filling it with people and need more space soon.
There is a lot of work that needs to be done in Cuba. Will you help by being a part of the team that is going this fall?
Trip Dates: October 5-12, 2013
Trip Cost: IBC Members: $900.00 and Non-Members: $1,800.00
Price includes: transportation, lodging, food
More info: e-mail email@example.com or call 813-264-8727
Costa Rica is a beautiful country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south, it is a tropical paradise with beautiful beaches, rainforest and friendly people that are open to the gospel.
Idlewild On Mission teams have worked with our Church Plant partner, Pastor Jaime Fuentes, in many ways to reach the community including Vacation Bible School, Bible distribution, door to door evangelism, as well as men’s and ladies Bible studies.
I asked trip leader David Strelser a few questions about his experience from the six trips that he has made:
Share a success story from a past trip:
Several years ago I was witnessing door to door with our ministry partner Pastor Jaime Fuentes. He asked me to stop at this house and spend a few minutes to demonstrate the “Evange-cube” with a friend of his. Because of the differences in language and using a translator I was under the assumption that the man was a member of his church and the purposes of the visit was strictly a teaching experience. Half way through the presentation I realized that his friend “Alexander” was very lost.
After spending over 45 minutes with Alexander his wife came out of the house and reminded him of a previous commitment and that they needed to go. As we walked from the house Pastor Jaime explained to me that this was a very good friend of his that would take him out fishing from time to time. I could tell that Jaime was sad and we stopped and prayed for salvation to come to Alexander’s house. Jaime explained that Alexander although a very humble and common man was held in high esteem amongst the other professional fisherman of the community. Jaime felt if Alexander could come to know Christ others might as well.
Several months later I received an e-mail telling me that Alexander had come to church and received Christ, what a praise. The next year that I returned I didn’t hardly recognize Alexander, not his physical aspect, but rather his continence, his joy, and his new found faith that brought Romans 12:2 to life.
Alexander has become the “Peter” of that community, (by accounts of the Bible they resemble one another- large burly man, not over educated but touched by the Holy Spirit to be able to fully communicate God’s word). This has truly been an inspiration to me.
What have you accomplished on your past trips that can only be a God thing?
Seeing Alexander and his entire household come to Christ. Having a bus driver that stayed with us for the entire week, get saved on a Sunday morning, get baptized three hours later, and actually witnessing to people two days later. It was a complete God thing!
Can we donate financially for your trip?
We have been so blessed by the benevolence of friends and family that have responded to support letters and from our Bible Fellowship classes that have also donated. My prayer would be for those that are reading this article would pray about possibly sending support to “Idlewild on Mission” to help other teams. Your support helps the church members of Idlewild to be able to afford to go to these partnership countries and continue to spread the Gospel.
The mission field is ready to harvest in Costa Rica and there is a need to disciple those that have already been reached. Pray for the church in Tarcoles, Costa Rica, pray for continued evangelism and for the discipleship process which is hampered by the transient nature of the community that is predominately fisherman.
There is a new missions opportunity calling, it is a call that you may want to answer, this opportunity will allow you to be a part of doing missions without leaving your house. This exciting new evangelism tool is a great way to share over the phone with people that are really interested in knowing more about the gospel.
The Evangelism Response Center (ERC) is a ministry of the North American Mission Board that equips you to offer prayer and spiritual counseling using the telephone and internet. Calls come in from advertising that the ERC has on various forms of media. This is an opportunity to talk to people that are seeking spiritual guidance and are open to the gospel.
Become an ERC Telephone Encourager. There are two training opportunities to choose from on Thursday, April 25, in Student Hall 1 at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. A meal will also be offered at both sessions.
Idlewild On Mission has a lot of destinations for you to consider, our church is spanning the globe to disciple the nations, the newest destination that you may not know about is Thailand.
Thailand is in Southeast Asia, located just 15 degrees north of the equator, it is a beautiful place with spectacular mountains, lush valleys and a tropical climate. The official religion is Buddhism so you will see Buddhist temples throughout the land.
Buddhism is a compassionate and tolerant religion, as a result the Thai people are friendly and are very respectful of the religious beliefs of others and are very open toward discussing their Buddhist values with visitors. The Buddhist does not believe in a personal God, their religious view is more of a moral philosophy, they are trying to be good enough to reach Nirvana.
Our team will work with our ministry partners in Thailand and assist them in their work through: Vacation Bible School, Training Pastors, Community Evangelism Outreach, visit a boys refugee center; evening workshop and through interaction with local monks.
Come experience the Orient and share the love of Christ with people that don’t know that they can have a personal relationship with their creator that is based on grace.
Trip Dates: October 4-14, 2013
Trip Cost: IBC Members: $1,500.00 and Non-Members: $3,000.00
Price includes: transportation, lodging, food
Team Size: 20 – Adults Only ***THE TRIP IS FULL AT THIS TIME***
More info: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 813-264-8727
Our country was originally settled in the Northeast with deep roots in Christianity, it is difficult to deny the influence that Christianity had in the foundation of our country, but sometime between the Second Great Awakening and today the Northeast has turned its back on it’s origins. It has become one of the most secular areas of our country, instead of the influence of Christianity the culture is being impacted by universalism, liberalism, and postmodernism.
The United States has become one of the largest mission fields in the world and the Northeast is a large piece of that mission field with 20 percent of the total U.S. population. Millions of people live, work and visit the Northeast, the area is so dense with people yet it is less Christian than some third world countries.
Millions have never heard the gospel, it’s not that they heard and rejected it, they haven’t had a chance to. It is difficult for us to understand that they are just as unaware of who Jesus is as the people are in some of the areas around the world that Idlewild sends teams to.
Less than 4% of Southern Baptist churches are planting churches, our church has a heart for starting new churches and restarting old ones, we are blessed to be a part of a church that loves missions. The lack of evangelical churches in the Northeast has been a burden on the hearts of our pastors as they have prayed and sought God’s will for planting a new church.
God has provided the location and he has provided the ministry team to do his work, Buff and Cissy McNickle are stepping out of their comfort zone to be obedient to God’s call, let’s partner with them in this new mission endeavor and support their work.
How can I help?
- Give to the Atlantic City Church Plant: all donations should be designated and directed to the Idlewild On Mission Fund
- Make a 1 year commitment to join the Church Plant Core Team in 2013 by volunteering to go to Atlantic City for a term of 1 year or more. To help with the church plant in any capacity. You will need to raise all of your financial support.
- Be a member of an Atlantic City mission trip in October of 2013 (Details to come soon).
- Pray for Buff and Cissy and for everyone that they will work with and the people that they will minister to.
If you would like to help in any way contact Buff and Cissy at email@example.com or call (813) 264-8752.
Take a good look around you and think about how much of what you see will last for eternity. Now think about how much you are busy doing that won’t matter one second after you leave this world and step into eternity. The Bible tells us that there are only a few things that will last forever, the word of God, people and love.
Put those three all together and we ought to come to realize that we should have a love for God’s Word and love people, in fact that is our task while Jesus is away, he expects us to be sharing His love to the world around us. Our focus should be away from ourselves and our needs and desires as we focus on the lost-ness of the world around us.
1 Corinthians 15:58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
Will you go to the streets of Tampa with enthusiasm? “Love Loud” needs to be more than just a catchy slogan, it is up to us to put it into action, we need to take it out of the pews and into the streets. We need to learn to love the way that Jesus loves so that people will take notice and ask us what our motivation is.
Every believer is invited to find a way to build a relationship that will develop into a discipleship opportunity. Consider how you can be an Ambassador in your neighborhood, school, workplace, or to a neighbor, senior adult, or the underprivileged. Ambassador Teams are available to help you, your family, or your Bible Fellowship classes to find ways to build relationships.
“We love because he first loved us.”
Are you ready to Love Loud? That’s your mission if you choose to accept it. It is time for the church to go outside of it’s wall and show the city how much we care. Our world is hurting and in need of hope and it is our job to show them the living hope that we have in Jesus. (1 Peter 1:3)
Details for March 24th:
One combined church service at 10 am
Service should end around 11 am
After the service, the entire congregation will go out into the community of Tampa and Lutz to serve
How to get involved:
ABF classes are encouraged to serve together with their class
ABF leadership should pick a project for March 24th that is loving, relational, intentional, and fruitful
If your class is having a difficult time coming up with ideas, please visit the Love Loud tables in the Gatheria, they have a flyer for each area of ministry, underprivileged, workplaces, schools, neighborhoods, visitors, seniors
Prayerfully pick a project and ask your serve coordinator to communicate it to your class. When you and your class decide on a project, please send an email with the details to the missions department by email to firstname.lastname@example.org Please reply with a decision within the next 2 weeks.
Another option is for your ABF class to “Adopt a Block” by praying for the residents and handing out personalized contact cards for our Easter service. Please email email@example.com for more information.
So you say you don’t have an ABF?
Maybe it’s time to connect! Visit the Welcome Center inside our two main entrances or you can visit our website here. We can help connect you with a class that’s right for you.
You say you don’t know what to wear?
We have that problem solved for you! Get a “Love Loud” T-shirt. We will help you look good, get the message out about what you are doing and you will get to help inner city school children have new uniforms for school this fall.
We are excited!
Are you excited? We are so excited that you are joining us to go “Into the City” and show the love of Christ! We hope that you and your class will be inspired and excited about this outreach opportunity!
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the missions office at 813-865-9203. Please contact us with your classes’ decisions about the Love Loud projects for March 24th as soon as possible.
The “More Than Words” Global Impact Conference is long enough that all of us have probably been a part of some aspect of it. We have learned about missions from many great teachers that work here in Tampa, across our nation and around the world.
Some highlights from this years Global Impact Conference include:
- Mark Cahill made it very clear how urgent it is for us to tell everyone around us about Jesus.
- David Nasser told us that we need to keep our mission in mind while we are busy doing ministry.
- Aaron Coe talked to us about defining moments when we realize that God has called us to do his work.
- Tal Davis gave us an idea of how diverse the world is in their beliefs about life after death and what they think about Jesus.
- Pastor Elmer Lessa challenged us to realize that we have been blessed so that we can be a blessing.
- Daniel and Lacy Tolar opened our eyes to the abuse that goes on around the world in human trafficking.
The mission conference is over, we know that we are told to take up our cross and follow, we know that we are supposed to go make disciples. Now what?
Pray about two things: Where to go? What to give?
Where to go?
We have seen a lot of opportunities from ministries that need our help, the information booths in the Gatheria have shown us a lot of opportunities at the local, national and international level. How does that affect you? Is there some place that God wants you to minister in a short term, long term or even a lifetime ministry opportunities?
With so many opportunities, we need to pray that God will impress upon our hearts a passion to work in a specific area, we need to be sure that we are serving where God wants us. Some of the opportunities that Idlewild has for us to consider include:
- National and international mission trips
- A new church plant in Atlantic City
- Love Loud projects
- Food Bank
- Just Love
This is just a sample of the many opportunities that are listed in the “Idlewild On Mission 2013 Mission Opportunities” booklet or you can see a list of short term trips here.
What to give?
One of the greatest acts of obedience is to return some of your financial blessing back to God to be used for his purposes. We need to pray that God will show us how he wants us to give to his work. Maybe God wants you to pay for your trip to the mission field, maybe he wants you to help pay for somebody else to go, he may tell you to help pay for a well in India or a stove in Guatemala.
Pastor Ken told us yesterday that our world has a heartache, it is hungry and it doesn’t even know what it needs, it is our job to go help by offering them the hope that is found in our Savior.
In order for this Global Impact Conference to be “More Than Words” we need to put what we have learned into action in our communities, workplace, our nation and around the world. We also need to ask God where he wants us to go and what he wants us to give.
This past Wednesday night was another great service for our “Global Impact Conference.” The evening had a Brazilian flavor to it, from the food to the music and even the preaching. We enjoyed a special menu of Brazilian food and we gathered for worship with music that was led by a Brazilian churches worship team and then we heard from Elmer Lessa the pastor of the Fist Baptist Church of Parintins, Brazil.
The task of reaching the Amazon for Christ is huge, stretching over 4,000 miles with 30 thousand villages on the river, but thankfully we are not alone in our efforts. Our work in the Amazon is a partnership with Pastor Elmer (pronounced el-may) an organization called “Amazon Outreach.” The beauty of this partnership is that the lives volunteers from Idlewild touch on the Amazon for one or two weeks a year are being ministered to and discipled far more than just the short time that we are there.
Amazon Outreach is a mission organization that has the boats and the crew to take teams into the jungle. They have over 20 short-term mission trips planned this year with churches in North America. These include medical, dental, eyeglasses, evangelism, water wells, construction, Vacation Bible School for the children, men’s and women’s ministries.
”God’s people are a blessing when they: Lead people to Christ, serve through the church and when they choose to impact the nations with the gospel” -Pastor Elmer Lessa
The people of the Amazon have many hardships, from poverty to lack of education opportunities to lack of clean water. The needs in the Amazon are great but our God is greater. We have the tools to go and be a blessing. A blessing to the new believers that have been reached and to those that are still waiting to hear the gospel message.
We are a blessed people now it is our duty to go and bless others.
An Amazon Mission Trip information meeting is this Sunday, March 3 at 12:30 p.m. in Room E-111.
“Do for one what you would like to do for the many” Andy Stanley
Human trafficking is the fad now a days. It is a popular topic of conversation in the secular world as in the church world. For many it is just a conversation starter, which quickly fades away into other events of our daily lives, that call for our attention. But for many “Human Trafficking” is a reality, a reality on which many find themselves living in, everyday of their lives.
Did You Know?
Human Trafficking is the second fastest growing criminal industry in the world, trailing the drug industry. It has an estimated annual revenue of $42.5 billion.
Approximately 80% of human trafficking is allocated to forced prostitution.
40% of those trafficked in Southeast Asia will end up in America or Europe.
America is the #1 consumer of human trafficking. This is due to national and international consumption of commercialized sex and pornography.
How Can You Help?
Attend our Human Trafficking Workshop
Location: Idlewild Baptist Church, Hall 1
Dates: Friday March 1st. 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Cost: Free – Refreshments provided.
Speaker: Lacy Toler. Founder of RESCUE 1
Details: Registration required at http://www.idlewild.org
Contact http://www.idlewild.org/missions with any questions
With the Christmas season in full force, as America and many other parts of the world anxiously await the biggest gift-giving day of the year. One of the most asked questions of this time of the year is “What would you like for Christmas?”
For many, the answer to this question comes without any hesitation; it is something they’ve been thinking about for weeks, if not months. For others, it is a time to process the question and take inventory of the many needs (or wants) they may have – an I-pad, clothes, toys, books, jewelry, money are just a few of the many choices many of us will make this gift-giving season.
What if we truly took time to think of what we really need or, better yet, what are some of the things we should desire to receive this Christmas. That is the question I have asked myself these past couple of weeks. I would like to share with you my answer to the question, “What would you like for Christmas?”
Let me share my answer by giving you the verse that prompted me to ask another question, “What should I ask for this Christmas”?
“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.” Psalm 27:4
I WOULD LIKE TO SPEND MORE TIME WITH HIM
The distractions of the world many times keep me from spending time with Him. Many of these distractions are not bad. In fact, most of them are good: family, ministry, friends and fun. But none of these I need as much as spending more time with Him.
Spending more time with Him will allow me to know Him better. The better I know Him, the more I will love Him and surrender to Him. A fringe benefit of knowing Him more is that I learn more about myself and of the imperfections with which I need to deal, so that I may be a better reflection of his Son.
…that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, Philippians 3:10
I WOULD LIKE TO SEE HIS FACE
I cannot think of any greater desire than of His creation wanting to see his Creator…to look upon Him in awe and marvel at His beauty…to see a face that is the perfect reflection of grace and mercy. That I may be able to say to Him like Moses, “Lord, show me your glory…”
I WOULD LIKE TO MEDITATE IN HIS TEMPLE
To inquire in His temple, to seek His will and ask for His guidance in my life, would be priceless. But I tremble at the thought of seeing what Isaiah saw when he entered the temple. Not at what he saw (although that would be an amazing experience) but at what Isaiah saw in himself. The sin in his life made him sick to his stomach and unworthy to be in the presence of the Almighty God.
I find comfort that this is when I will see the extent of Gods grace that was poured on my life. When I see all that He has forgiven me, all that He did with His Son on the cross for me, no words will be able to describe this moment.
“Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple! Psalm 65:4
Lord, may nothing keep me this Christmas from seeking this one thing – that I may not get distracted, but continue to seek diligently. Help me remove whatever obstacles are in the way of this great blessing. I pray that I will seek happiness in God, and never to rest, until I can say:
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. Psalm 73:25
When all things are placed under this light, there is truly nothing I want this Christmas…at least nothing that is man-made!
“I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat”. Mark 8:2
I was trying to lose some weight recently. No major reason, just a desire to live a healthier lifestyle. As I work on this blog, I believe I found the answer to help you loose weight that is 100% successful. Here it is, “don’t eat.” I know you were expecting something more earth shattering, but sometimes the most complicated challenges in our lives have the most simple solutions.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I have never been hungry-I mean really hungry. Growing up, food was never missing at the dinner table. Anytime I was hungry, I did not panic because I knew I would have something to eat that day. Now a days, if I get a craving for something, I just go to the fridge and find something to eat.
This feeling of being hungry reminded me of my trip to India last year and the time we spent in the “slums” where people truly experience “hunger pains,” where they can go days without food and live day to day not knowing what and if they would eat. But India is not the only nation in the world with “hunger pains.”
World Hunger Statistics
• 1.02 billion people in the world do not have enough to eat. This means one sixth of humanity is undernourished. (FAO, 2009)
• Hunger and malnutrition are still the number one risks to health worldwide. (World Food Programme)
• Everyday, almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes – that’s one child every 5 seconds. (Bread for the World)
• In 2008, nearly 3 million children died before they reached their fifth birthday due directly or indirectly to hunger and malnutrition. (Bread for the World)
• It is estimated that 684,000 child deaths worldwide could be prevented by increasing access to vitamin A and zinc. (World Food Programme, 2007)
Christian Solution To Hunger
When we read stats like these or hear about the extent of world hunger, many of us feel so overwhelmed by the reports that we, sometimes, just shu down and do nothing. We experience “compassion fatigue.”
Journalism analysts argue that the media has caused widespread compassion fatigue in society by saturating newspapers and news shows with often decontextualized images and stories of tragedy and suffering. This has caused the public to become cynical, or become resistant to helping people who are suffering.
As Christians, we must realize that we don’t have the resources or means to solve world hunger, but we can make a difference. I love the Andy Stanley quote that says, “Do for one what you would like to do for all.”
Listen, you might not be able to solve the hunger problem in India, but you can make sure one Indian child in the slums of New Delhi, India, does not go hungry. You can end hunger in the life of one child.
Visit the following sites for more information:
It is comforting to know that someday the hunger pains will be over. Someday,”They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat.” Rev. 7:16
Of the many blessings of that day, no “hunger pains” will be one of them.
Author: Ray Sanabria
Action Point: How can you get involved? Visit the following sites for more information:
Sing it with me, “I stand, I stand in awe of You, Oh I stand, I stand in awe of You
Holy God to whom all praise is due, I stand in awe of You.” This chorus perfectly describes what happened time after time during our mission trip to Santa Cruz, Bolivia where we provided medical and dental clinics to share the Gospel. In every aspect of the trip, God came through to show us that He was faithful and to remind us that He is Jehovah Jireh and our Shield. One highlight from the trip included spending daily time with the local missionary family (The Flooks). Their family lived out their calling and worked together to make disciples in Bolivia. Their vision and passion were extremely contagious. During the trip, we saw 15 decisions made for the Kingdom, and we were constantly reminded how “rich” we are here in the United States both spiritually and materially.
Since we were doing a medical/hybrid trip there were a ton of supplies that had to make the trip as well. Specifically, we all stood in awe as we turned the corner in the Santa Cruz airport to find the very important dental chairs waiting amongst our luggage. You see the airline attendant in Tampa warned us that if the chairs made it onto the plane in Tampa, they would probably just be thrown aside in Miami and never make it onto the plane to Bolivia. After much prayer and God’s mighty hand we rejoiced as the chairs were the first piece of luggage we saw! Praise the Lord! It may sound silly to rejoice over chairs, but those chairs provided the services that brought the people so we could proclaim the Gospel.
One of the most powerful times of the week was when the Spirit of God permeated the room while our team and Steve and Marilee Flook washed the feet of the local pastors and their wives. It was an act of love and servant hood that concluded an incredible evening of worship, fellowship, and teaching at a special dinner we hosted for the convention pastors and their wives. The dinner was held, in part, to kick off the start of the discipleship/church planting institute which began in August. The evening brought about a new sense of unity, purpose, and vision, with everyone exclaiming to one another, “No mas excusas” (no more excuses), the theme of the night.
Tears flowing, laughter, sounds of praise, unity, humility: these words only begin to describe our time in Bolivia. It was an unforgettable experience because it gave us all an opportunity to experience God in big ways. However, the best part about the trip is that we all came back looking for ways we could stand in awe even amongst our every day, ordinary lives and bring home a bigger concept of God than the one we left with.
On Saturday, July 28, 2012, twenty-nine amazing people and one old, balding retired pastor traveled to the Amazon River on a nine-day Mission Trip. Time will not allow me to write all that God did for me (us) while away, but let me share a few impressions with you.
First of all, God was gracious to us and met us at every turn. The weather was hot, but dry. The boat we traveled on, slept on, ate on, and showered on, wasn’t a Holiday Inn, but it was clean and comfortable. The food we ate was not from Publix’s, but it was nourishing. Most importantly, the fellowship was sweet and God used us to love on some of His precious children.
Our plane left Tampa, FL and flew to Manaus, Brazil via Miami. From there we boarded a three-tiered boat and motored 24 hours downstream to Parintis. This would be our last touch with what we would consider civilization for six days. Another 2½ hours on the boat and we arrived at our first village.
Idlewild has adopted a tributary along the Amazon. So far we have identified 18 villages. On this particular trip, we visited 6 of those villages.
While at each village, we played with their kids; we ministered to their medical and dental needs; we fed them; we clothed them; we taught them; we hugged them. Most importantly, we shared Jesus with them.
Jasmine is a three-year old precious child with cerebral palsy. I held her. For ten minutes, her tiny little fists never opened and the drool never stopped. She gets physical therapy once a month and only then if her parents are able to find a boat to take them up river to the hospital in Parintins.
My youngest son, Langston, was born three months early and therefore susceptible to the same issue. The difference is that Langston gets treatment sometimes twice a week and many times the therapist comes to our home. Holding Jasmine was not easy for me. But I had to. The connection was too great.
At each village, our adult leaders did most of the talking and the teaching. At the last village we visited, however, I wanted to hear from the villagers. So I asked them if there was something they would like to say to us. An elderly man stepped forward and thanked us for coming; stating that the last time we were there (last year) was the first time anyone had ever told them about Jesus. Then he added sadly that in the year since, no one had ever come by to tell them anymore.
I am speaking to the choir when I say we are so blessed. Many of us attend some type of worship service or Bible study several times a week. Yet, here is a group of people who get to hear about Jesus once a year. Wow!
I could say a lot more, but let me close with this:
I rejoice in knowing that one day in heaven is like a thousand here on earth. One day, Jesus will come again and make all things right. One day, we shall not only see Him, but we will be like Him. One day, every tear will be dried and ever body made whole. One day we will all eat at the Great Banquet until we are completely full. One day! But until then, I hope to keep on keeping on … reaching out to the least, the last, and the lonely with the Love that has been shared with me and my family.
Written by: Lee Barnard
At 42,042 square miles, Guatemala is about the size of Tennessee and has an estimated population of 14.7 million. Guatamala City is the capital of Guatemala and the largest city in Central America with an estimated population of 2.7. The city is divided into 22 zones and in of the zones is a 40 acre landfill known as the Guatemala Garbage Dump “The Dump.”
The Dump is one of the largest and most toxic landfills in Central America and houses over a third of the country’s waste; including trash, recyclables, and discarded food items. There are few, if any, health and safety restrictions limiting the type of items that can be left at the Dump.
Approximately 4,000 men, women, and children call the Dump their community; and have lived there for many years. Many live in small shacks and cook their food outside their home on a couple of cinder blocks. Despise the hazardous and unhealthy conditions, the people that live in and around the dump are friendly and willing to hear the “Good News.” Praise the Lord!
What We Experienced:
On Saturday, Octuber 29, 2011, twelve members from Idlewild Baptist Church went on a missions trip to Guatemala City and returned on November 5th.
The purpose of this mission trip was to conduct a Vacation Bible School for four days, construct ten stoves, distribute food and spread the “Good News.”
I’m very happy to report that our missions trip was a big success because we accomplished the following:
- Sponsored Vacation Bible School for over 200 children from the Dump, where kids learned the Word through bible stories. Also, children memorized bible verses in Spanish and English. The children also participated in arts and crafts and engaged in various physical actives and games.
- Fed daily over 200 children daily and gave them small bags with toiletries (soap, tooth brushes toothpaste, etc.,).
- Built 10 stoves for families living in the Dump
- Distributed food packages and small bags with such items as tooth paste, soap, and school supplies.
- Worshiped with the homeless in the Dump and helped feed them.
- Heard Pastor Raul’s vision for the Dump.
- Prayed for children and adults who accepted Christ as their Savior
The local church, Iglesia Bautista Cristo es el Camino (“Church”) ministers to the community around the Church and also to the people of the Dump. The Church has plans to build a medical center next to the Church and also a sports complex near the Dump.
Pastor Raul’s wife, who is a physician, will be treat patients at the Medical Clinic. Pastor Raul showed us the blueprints of both projects. Through generous Christian donors, the Church has about half of the funding for the two projects. Pastor Raul, his family and the Church love very much the Dump community. And through an outreach program, the Church holds a Monday night dinner and service for the homeless.
One day, while building a stove at a lady’s home in the Dump, she shared her life with us. She said that as a child growing up in the Dump, her greatest desire was to go to school. However, as a child she was beaten by her father because she preferred to go to school the to work in the Dump. She was also a victim of domestic violence by her first husband and is currently a single mom trying to raise three children.
Another touching story occurred in the cafeteria of the Church, when we saw a young female child, perhaps seven years old, put a portion of her lunch into a book bag, so that she could take it home for siblings who were unable to come to the Vacation Bible School.
Each morning all the members of the missionary team told of similar experiences during our debriefing and devotional services at our compound. Amy, one of the women on the team, felt that the “voices of the saints rose fragrantly in one accord,” during church services. She also felt that “the children were happy with anything you gave them – including a smile.” She noted that “it was amazing to see some of them in such dire circumstances and yet they were so joyous.” In one service, after Amy gave her testimony, several women came forward to be prayed for.
The missionary team admired how the kitchen workers of the Church, worked diligently to prepare and serve meals for over 200 children during the Vacation Bible School.
I’m very proud of our missionary team and the magnificent job they all did in serving and spreading the “Good News” to friendly and appreciative Guatemalan people. In addition, our team leader, Ken Jordan did an outstanding job in organizing and supervising the trip.
We hope that others are encouraged and sign up for missionary trips or contribute funds to Idlewild’s missions department, so that more missionary trips to Guatemala can be planned in the future. I’m sure that those individuals that visit Guatemala and minster to the children and adults that live in the Dump, will be blessed abundantly by the Lord.
There is no doubt that you will come back changed after a missions’ trip to Guatemala!
Praise the Lord!
In summary, it is difficult to express in words and pictures the experience of being at the Dump and ministering to the people there.
By Eddie Rodriguez
During my last visit to T-Village, the village in Bamako, Mali, we adopted 4 years ago, I sat down with Peter (not his real name) in the middle of our compound on the outskirts of the village. I had spent some time with Peter during the week and got to know him very well. He was a friendly Muslim and very devoted to his religion. Throughout the week, we were able to dialogue on a number of different social and religious topics, but on this day, I guided the conversation to the topic of prayer.
I asked Peter, “Peter, do you pray?” Knowing that the Muslim tradition is to pray to Allah five times a day, Peter said, “Yes, I do, five times a day.” I praised him for his dedication to daily prayer.
My next question to Peter was, “What do you say to Allah when you pray?” Peter went on to recite to me a small sample of his prayers to Allah. Obviously, I did not understand a word he was speaking, but, to my surprise, when I asked Peter what did he just say, he said to me, “I don’t know.” I was surprised by his answer so I asked him, “What do you mean, you do not know?” He replied, “The words are in Arabic and I do not speak Arabic.” I then asked Peter, “If you don’t know what you are saying, how do you know when Allah answers your prayers? How do you know there is someone listening to your prayers?”
These questions opened a door for a long conversation on prayer, in which I had a chance to explain how we, as those who walk “the Jesus way”, understand prayer.
It is estimated that, as of mid 2010, the Pew Forum reported there were 1.57 billion Muslims in the world. That is 22 % of the world’s population, making them the second largest religion in the world. Only Christianity is larger with 33% of the world’s population.
The majority of these Muslims will be celebrating Ramadan on July 20 – Aug 18. This is a time for us as Christians, to spend some time praying for the Muslims. Praying that God will remove the veil that is keeping them from seeing the truth of the gospel.
Join us in participating of 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World 2012. Copy and paste this link on your search engine to download a copy of the 30-day prayer calendar:
Below I have provided some basic information on Ramadan, use this information as you pray for the Muslims in the world. Or visit http://www.crescentproject.org to learn more about Islam.
Why is Ramadan important in the Islamic faith?
Ramadan celebrates the first revelations that Mohammad received. The purpose of the Ramadan season is to take Muslims away from their normal lifestyle and make them re- examine their life in the context of a higher ideal. For example, experiencing hunger makes you more aware of the poor; and going though real, but limited suffering, may prepare you for tougher ordeals. The feeling of community is very strong during Ramadan. (1)
What are Muslims expected to do during Ramadan?
All Muslims, except children under the age of 12, pregnant or nursing mothers, the frail, aged and ill, must abstain from eating food, smoking and drinking (even water), among other restrictions, during daylight hours.
The dates of Ramadan are established according to the Islamic lunar calendar, which has 354 days. The months are divided into lunar months, which have 29 to 30 days each. Each day begins at sunset (not midnight). The fasting period normally begins and ends with the sighting of the crescent moon, which is different each year. (2)
I was in India June-2012 with an Idlewild short term mission team. Part of the trip was to help our host missionaries with their VBS. Most of the kids that attended were bused in from area slums and it was typical that they had never heard about Jesus. A class I taught was comprised of 25 Hindu students aged 13-20 and only one had heard the name of Jesus. After teaching about Samson and delivering the gospel message on the first day, there was no response to the invitation. There was also no response on the second day. My translator told me that the students might be nervous raising their hands in front of everyone because of their Hinduism. So I told them through her that I would be there for the rest of the morning and, if they had any questions about salvation, to please find me
My translator and I were about 30 feet from the classroom when a 14 year old girl named Subhadra ran up behind us. She was the one in the class who had heard the name of Christ before this week and she spoke excellent English. She stopped me and urgently asked, “Why did they kill Jesus!?!” I had used the “Share Jesus Without Fear” series of verses during my gospel presentation and the teaching had been on Samson so I felt I needed to provide additional background information. I explained the difference between the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, that one points to our need for a Savior and the other to our redemption through Christ while teaching Christians how they ought to live. I told her about Adam and Eve and the origination of Sin and our broken relationship with God and how it is God’s desire to repair that relationship with us individually. I told Subhadra that God had sent Jesus as the solution to our Sin problem, as a necessary sacrifice and that He had used the complicity of the Romans and Israelites to hang Jesus on the cross to die. At this point, she burst into tears and accepted Christ.
Two men were instrumental in my Christian growth when I was first saved 14 years ago. One of these was Dana Hardee, the leader on this trip. I introduced Subhadra to him and he made the connection that she is like his granddaughter in the faith. It was a special moment.
June 11-13, 2012 was a very successful week for our India Signature Partners in India “COI” as they worked with a team from Idlewild Baptist Church. Below is the recent article found in the COI June newsletter.
During this week, 700 youth attended VBS, at the Butler’s School of Delhi. For this week, children as old as 20 years attended. For these three days, a team from Idlewild Baptist Church, under the leadership of Dana Hardee, was in Delhi to assist with the program. Within each classroom, they shared the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For many of the children, this was the first time they had ever heard someone explain Christ’s sacrificial death and saving grace. These youth enjoyed the time to come together regardless of the heat, which reached 115 degrees
The most important part about VBS is how it impacts every individual involved. We have compiled two stories of children who attended the program. Each one is a testimony to how God worked through the program and obedient efforts of the Cooperative Outreach of India.
The Story Of Mohsad
Mohd. Ehsan is a 14 year old boy from a conservative Muslim background where he does not have any opportunity to learn about the true and a Loving God. He is studying in a government school in 9th grade.It was his first time that he attended any of the Vacation Bible School. He is thrilled to know that Jesus Christ died on the Cross of Calvary to pay for the sins of mankind. He is extremely happy that he had an opportunity to make a decision to follow Christ as his savior.
The Story Of Rajesh
“I am Rajesh and I am very happy that I had this privilege of attending the VBS. These funfilled 10 days with all these children and good teachers have changed my life completely. In this VBS I have thoroughly enjoyed and learnt a lot about the Love of God. I want to follow Christ as my savior all my life. Now I will be praying daily to Jesus Christ.”
We are grateful to Idlewild Church for partnering in this endeavour to reach out to thousands of children and their families. Each child was given a book on the story of Jesus and a compilation of stories from the Bible as a follow up. We are drawing a plan to disciple these children in the coming days. Please pray that the Lord will continue to minister to these young children and raise them up as a strong witness.
Article from Cooperative Outreach June ’12 Newsletter
Phil. 1:20, “as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.”
Back in February of this year, I read this article on ICC website:
-International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that an Iranian pastor received a court order to be executed by hanging earlier this week for leaving Islam and converting to Christianity.
Youcef Nadarkhani, a church leader in Rasht, Iran, was arrested in October 2009 for denouncing Iran’s educational practice that requires children to read the Quran in public schools. In September 2010, Nadarkhani was orally issued the death sentence for converting to Christianity from Islam in the province of Gilan. A formal verdict was handed down on November 13, 2010, announcing that Nadarkhani would be executed by hanging.
Nadarkhani appealed the sentence and was summoned to an appellate court in October 2011, where he was told to renounce his Christian faith at three separate hearings. “I cannot,” Nadarkhani said.
The words “I cannot” remind us of the words used by Martin Luther when he to was asked to renounce his Christian beliefs. I admire the courage of these men and, at the same time, I ask myself, “Would I have the courage to do the same?” What fuels these men to “stand tall,” to not allow the world to “move them” away from their beliefs? Maybe we can find some answers from Paul in Philippians 1:18-19.
“18 “What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. To Live Is Christ Yes, and I will rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance,”
In these verses, Paul is in Rome under house arrest and waiting for the Roman tribunal to give a verdict on his case. They were going to decide if he was to die or to live. Paul’s biggest worry in these verses is not dying, but being ashamed. His desire was to have the courage to magnify Christ with his actions if the verdict was guilty. Paul reveals to us two sources from which he draws his courage to face death:
1-The Prayers of The Believers: We read, (vs. 19) “for I know that through your prayers.” Have you ever wondered if your prayers for others matter or make a difference, if you think you don’t need to pray, because whatever is going to happen will happen? Paul did not think this way; he believed that the prayers of the saints contributed to his courage.
2- The Spirit of The Lord: (vs. 19) “the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” The Holy Spirit provided him all the power to finish strong. He knew that apart from Christ he could do nothing. Paul knew, even with all his great learning and all his great skills as a missionary, that he needed to be filled and walk in the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit
Let us pray that as representatives of Jesus Christ on earth, we realize the strength we get from the prayers of believers and from the Holy Spirit that is within us.
Pray also for the “Persecuted Church” all over the world and, specifically, for Pastor Youcef, who is believed to still be alive and awaiting his execution.
To learn more about the persecuted church all over the world visit www.persecutedchurch.org.
God has been working in an incredible way through our members. The “Thirst No More” well building project is off to an amazing start. The church has responded in a mighty way, to the challenge of building “100 Wells” in India.
On June 10th. we will give a video update during our morning worship services. But I would like to share one of many testimonies we have received from India.
Well Testimony 5/12:
Among many Hand pumps which were installed in the Villages in the state of Uttar Pradesh (North India), one specific mention has to be made with regard to Hand Pumps provided to Dharapur Village (15 km from Farukhabad). This has a population of approx 2000 people, In the middle of this village there is a small open well, which was contaminated as a result of birds, rats or dry leaves falling into it. The people of this village had no other drinking water source nearby, and invariably they had no option but to drink this contaminated water.
During my visit an old women shared her frustration at the red tape and the delays in getting approval for provision of clean water. She is deeply grateful to COI for the gift of the Hand Pump which provides the village with clean drinking water. COI wishes to place on record its deep appreciation and gratitude to Idlewild Baptist Church for their generous contribution towards donating the hand pumps across different villages and provide relief to many.-VJ
We still have many wells to build, so be a part of God’s work in India. You can buy a well by: personally donating $1,200.00 to purchase a well; buy our very own “Great Coffee For The Great Commission” ($5 of every bag purchased goes to building wells) or make a donation to “Thirst No More” through the offering envelope.
Visit our Mission Cafe to see the wells that have been built.
Our family has a dear friend; her name is Doris. Our family loves her and she loves our family; she is very fond of my father who went to be with the Lord many years ago. Every time I meet her, she shows her love for me and my family, but, without exception, after a couple of minutes in her presence, I will notice her staring at me and I know what she is going to say next. She puts her hand to her mouth and says, “Your the spitting image of your father (she uses the Spanish version of this phrase).”
Just out of curiosity, I researched the origin of the phrase “spitting image.” I found out that it was used to refer to someone who is so similar to another, as to appear to have been spat out of his mouth. We find the first known use of ‘spitting image’ – in A. H. Rice’s Mrs. Wiggs, 1901: “He’s jes’ like his pa – the very spittin’ image of him!”
Doris marvels every time we meet on how much I look like my father. She always follows up by saying, ” Every day, you look more and more like your dad!”
I was thinking of Doris the other day and started to wonder if that is what God our Father would want the world to say about Him when they look at us…if that is what he intended for us to reflect when He purposely wrote in Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
When Doris looks at me, she sees the image of my father, but not only the physical likeness. She says that I smile like him, I says words like him and I even act like him in certain circumstances. Oh, what I would give for people to look at me and see my Father in Heaven.
The explanation of the Gen. 1:27 has filled hundreds of commentary volumes, I believe this is due to a great desire of Christians, to learn how to live a life that is an acceptable representation of the image of God. But what does that mean? What does that look like?
1 Cor. 15:49, “Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.”
Here are two characteristics that we must display to be an acceptable representation of His Image. I believe we should be “walking mirrors” of God. When the world looks at us they must see God. I am not referring to a miracle-working individual, but an individual from which the love of God pours unto the lives of people. An individual that puts mercy before guilt, grace before punishment, and love before hate.
I also believe we must be “bold representatives” of God. We should be known for someone who represent God on earth. We must like what He likes, we must do what He likes us to do; we must proclaim with boldness His Word, and defend the truth He has entrusted to us.
The question is “How do we make this happen?” The answer is Jesus. It is known that we become what we behold. Children become like their parents and leaders become like their role models. So, we must start by “beholding” Him. Learn who Jesus is, study what Jesus did, meditate on what Jesus said and you will become like Jesus. Start by looking at Jesus.
Hebrews 11:1-2, 1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
How do we know that we will become more like Him? We have His guarantee. 2 Corinthian 3:18, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
As much as I am honored that Doris sees my earthly father in me, I wonder if she sees my Heavenly Father in me?
John Donne, the 17th century English poet, summarized it well, “To have no other parent but God, no other element but the breath of God, no other instrument but the purpose of God, this is to be the image of God.”
P.S. Visit our mission trip calendar and find a place in the world, where you can reflect the “Image Of God”.