Be an angel to a child this Christmas by delivering Christmas gifts to children who will be separated from one or both of their parents this Christmas because of incarceration.
Volunteers meet in the Gatheria at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday morning 12/21. By 10:00 a.m. you will have the opportunity to deliver Christmas gifts and the Christmas story to a family in need.
To volunteer for Angel Tree gift delivery go to http://www.idlewild.org/register and click on the tab Angel Tree Delivery Drivers.
There has been a lot of things happening at Grace Falls Church since the new church plant started early in 2013. There have been a lot of mission teams that have helped the new church get started. The last team that worked with Pastor Buff and Grace Falls Church was a group from Exciting Idlewild.
“We had a great week with the Idlewild team here. As it is with every mission trip, we had a plan, we thought that we had God’s plan but it seemed like everyday God had a different agenda and it was amazing to see how the team was willing to adjust and follow Him. This is what church planting is really all about. Our willingness to see what and where God is working and be willing to lay our agendas down and follow Him.”
-Pastor Buff McNickle
The team of thirteen from Idlewild participated in many different activities to reach out to the community and to support and encourage the new church plant.
Our focus on community outreach took us to parts of the Atlantic City area that are desperate for hope. We did not invite them into a building, we went out and shared about Jesus and showed them his love, Pastor Buff was more interested in being the church instead of asking them to go to church.
We went to a couple of parks, one park that is only a couple of miles from the luxury of the gambling resorts is a favorite for the homeless, the other park that we worked in is in the middle of a violent neighborhood. We also went to the homeless mission in Atlantic City, to the mall and to an elementary school.
We spent time with the homeless, served them a meal at a local soup kitchen and gave away bags of things that they need. We also stayed busy with a neighborhood cookout, a clown ministry and a Vacation Bible School program.
“My favorite part was taking some of the group to Sister Jeans Kitchen! Wow, did they bless me. The Idlewild team took the initiative to pray over all the tables before people got there, they really loved on the people and the workers. We spent more time in the dining room in fellowship with the people than in the kitchen (which is not typical of most of the volunteers). The team was a tremendous help, and a huge blessing!”
-Shelby Moreland, Grace Falls team member
Serving the church
God has brought people to Grace Falls that were in great need of hope. God has drawn people that would not ordinarily be interested in going to church. It was amazing to see how much pain and suffering that some people have experienced and how desperately they need the hope that is found in Jesus.
One new Christian had arrest warrants that were issued for things that she was involved in before coming to Grace Falls. We had a lawyer on our team that was able to help her. Pastor Buff reports:
“Tita was arrested last week on past offenses and it was really God moving in her life. She is being forced to be off Methadone and by the grace of God doing amazing! We know that God is going to help her get closure on her past and walk free in Him.”
From a lawyer to a window repair expert, an IT professional and even a clown, God orchestrated the team makeup and he made sure that there were opportunities to use their talents.
Exciting Idlewild’s church plant in Atlantic City is doing well but they still need your prayers, your financial support and you words of encouragement.
You can write a personal note to any of the church plant team members at 308 N. Shore Rd., Absecon, NJ 08201. The team members are: Pastor Buff & Cissy McNickle, Ashley Fierros, Sean Hopcraft, Shelby Moreland, Jim and Tami Webb.
John 5:17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”
In John 5: 1-47, Jesus heals a man on the Sabbath who had been paralyzed for 38 years. He told the man three things: Get Up – Pick Up Your Mat – Walk. And that was exactly what he did “immediately.” The Gospel according to John designates this as Jesus’ third miracle, and what a great miracle it was. Bones that were weakened, muscles that were atrophied from lack of use, were in a moment strengthen, and filled with life. Amazing!
But not everyone was impressed with the miracle. The religious Jewish party was more concerned with Jesus breaking the rules of the Sabbath than the healing of the paralyzed man. They questioned Jesus’ disobedience of the Jewish Sabbath laws. In 5:17, Jesus tells them the reason He could do this, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” In other words He tells them, ” I do what I do because, I am who I am, I am God”. And in the verses that follow He gives them six proofs on why He can do what He did. He said to them:
1- “I am Equal with God.” (verses 19-20)
“The reason I am working on the Sabbath is because God the Father is working on the Sabbath (sustaining the world and dispensing His loving kindness among other Godly activities) and God the Father and I are one.” (paraphrase)
2- “I am the Giver of Life.” (verse 21)
“I give life because I am life.” (paraphrase)
3- “I am the Final Judge.” (verses 22-23)
“I am in control of the worlds judicial system, and one day you will stand before Me and I will judge you.” (paraphrase)
4- “I am the One who Determines your Destiny.” (verse 24)
“Believing or rejecting me, will determine your eternal destiny”.(paraphrase)
5-“I will Raise the Dead.” (verses 25-29)
“One day my voice will raise the dead. For some, it will be a resurrection to life; for others, it will be a resurrection to condemnation.” (paraphrase)
6- “I am always doing the will of God.” (verse 30)
” I can only do the will of my Father because we are one.” (paraphrase)
You would think these six proofs should have been enough for the Jews to know who He was. To realize they were seeing God in the flesh. Unfortunately for the Jewish religious leaders this was not enough. They still did not believe.
It is no surprise things have not changed much in this day and age. Today, people will not believe that Jesus is God; they will accept Him as a good teacher, a good man and even a great prophet, but they will refuse to believe He is God in the flesh, no matter how much proof you give them.
Why is this? Because it is not a problem of the mind, it is a problem of the will and the heart. They are not willing to believe. John 5:40 (NASB) and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.
But this should not deter us from the task that was given to us, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” Because without any doubt, we will encounter hearts that are willing and desirous of receiving the words of Jesus- those that will say to us, what the jailer said to Peter, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”. These are the ones that keep us coming back, time after time. These are the ones we “Pray,” for, the ones we “Go,” for, and the ones for whom we “Give.”
In spite of the rejection, we continue to be obedient to the great commission and we are encouraged by God’s word:
Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Mission trip planning never stops at Exciting Idlewild Baptist Church, while we are still working on the plans for the 2013 mission trips, we are also working on the trips for 2014. It isn’t too early to ask God if you are supposed to Go, Pray or Give!
Here are some of the plans that have already been made:
November 14 – 23, 2014
Purpose: Continue the work with the village people of the Amazon River Basin. Ride on the river to remote villages to work with our partners First Baptist Church of Parentinis and Amazon Outreach.
September 27 – October 4, 2014
Purpose: Working with our new church plant – Grace Falls in Absecon, NJ – Evangelism and Community Outreach
September 19-27, 2014
Purpose: Partnering with IMB Missionaries to plant a church in Santa Cruz, House to House Evangelism, VBS, Light Construction, Leadership Training and Community Outreach
May 17-24, 2014
Purpose: Evangelism, church support and community outreach. This outreach will be a combination of but not limited to: VBS, Bible distribution, door to door evangelism, men’s and ladies Bible study, sports evangelism and a local community project
Cuba One: Construction
March 21-28, 2014
Purpose: Work with a local Baptist Church with construction, Ladies and Men’s Conference, VBS, Evangelism
September 19-26, 2014
Purpose: Pastors Conference. Training and discipling local pastors and missionaries. Helping to equip them so that they will be better prepared to lead their ministries after we are gone.
October 10-18, 2014
Purpose: Continue the work in assisting to plant a local church, ministering through evangelism, prayer walking and local outreach projects including work in a refugee center.
September 20-27, 2014
Purpose: We will continue assisting a local church in evangelism, VBS, community outreach, food distribution to the people of the Garbage Village. This is where the stoves are built from the money that has been raised from the “Great Coffee for the Great Commission” program and through donations to Idlewild On Mission.
May 30 – June 7, 2014
Purpose: Work with our signature partners in India by leading a VBS week for the Middle School and High School students. Last year over a thousand students participated in the Bible school.
Purpose: Establish a church planting movement at Idlewild’s adopted village. Use Chronological Bible Storying to evangelize, disciple and train leaders. Work alongside the villagers to develop strong personal relationships.
This is a strenuous trip requiring a lot of walking. The climate is hot and the conditions primitive, therefore you must be in good physical condition.
July 18 – 25, 2014
Purpose: To partner with IMB missionary in planting a church through various venues: VBS, Youth Events, Community Outreach, Discipleship Training.
June 12 – 28, 2014
Purpose: To work with our signature partners: Jako and Amber Joubert in reaching the community for Jesus, assisting them with the needs of the orphanage and discipleship of the children in the orphanage and evangelism of the local believers.
Around the time of the Roman Empire Thessaloniki was a major city and an important center for the spread of Christianity.
The Idlewild On Mission trip to Thessaloniki, Greece was a busy trip with a lot of rewarding experiences.
For the first time we attended House Church and enjoyed experiencing the Lord’s Supper with them. The people that attend the house church, from Greeks to Iranians heard a message from Pastor Ken Smith.
Monday was reserved for our work project, this time we painted the game room of the refugee center, the walls at the center take a beating so we paint the whole center about every 2 years. Donations for the paint came from the generous donations of our trip sponsors.
Tuesday we went out and explored the city and learned about the culture by taking surveys of anybody we met. We asked them if they would talk to us and answer some questions about Easter which was coming up real soon. This is a great opportunity to talk about Jesus.
We stopped a Greek Orthodox Priest and he was very gracious in answering our questions. We also met a man named George who is an American living in Thessaloniki writing his dissertation on Greek history. The priest and George and his two friends talked for about an hour discussing Greek Easter. They invited us to come to the Good Friday Ceremony the celebration on Friday night where they walk through the streets with candles and a tomb depicting Jesus’ burial.
Wednesday we finished up the painting and put everything back where it belonged. Later that day we took out the refugee women for a women’s night out. That was the first time we have done that for them and they really enjoyed it. We will be doing something like this on each trip for them.
Thursday we went out in pairs and distributed food. We took sandwiches and water to the homeless and we were able to talk to them and share with them in Greek that God loved them. Thursday is also game night where the refugees love to play ping pong against us.
Friday was the very best as Souhella a Muslin lady from Iran gave her heart to Jesus and wanted to be baptized! We joined the house church on the trip to the beach that included the kids since the schools were also closed.
The scripture was read in English, Greek and Farsi as well as everything else that was said. Souhella and her husband paid thousands of dollars to get them and their two daughters out of Iran but the two girls drowned on the way to Greece. She is now a Christian and we were thrilled to see her baptism. Please pray that her husband will make the decision to be a Christian. Also pray for Souhellia as she is struggling with bouts of depression due to losing their children.
Pray for three young men who are attending house church each week but have not yet accepted Jesus into their life and they also was at the baptism.
Friday evening we met up with George and his friends and joined the Good Friday procession with Jesus’ tomb and walked to the church. One of the young men named Mark talked with me and I shared with him about having a personal relationship with Jesus. The Greek Orthodox religion teaches that the priests are the only ones that can talk to God or read and study the Bible. It was an amazing look into their culture.
Every Christian should be involved in the Great Commission, no matter who you are and what your situation is, there is a job for everyone. The Bible teaches that the entire church body is called to do missionary work, it isn’t something that is supposed to be done only by the professional missionary or the church staff, each of us must GO, PRAY and GIVE.
“For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed and how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?” -Romans 10:13-15
Some may be tempted to think that one of the three aspects of missions work is more important that the other but all three are necessary to get the job done. Another temptation is to think that you can focus all of your attention to one area and do nothing about the rest. Going doesn’t get you off the hook for praying and giving and praying and giving shouldn’t make you think that you don’t have to go unless you have physical limitations that hold you back.
We have “Love Loud” projects in Tampa including Love Loud Sulphur Springs, Festival De Gracious and Just Love. We have national missions projects such as the Grace Falls church plant, Disaster Relief, and trips to Tennessee and New York and we have more than a dozen international trips each year. There is room for all of us to GO, PRAY and GIVE.
Extend yourself and be a part of what God is doing around the city of Tampa and around the world! Acts 1:8 commands us to be God’s witnesses both here at home and all across the globe. Don’t think that God left the job of going for the “professional” missionary. Anyone that is physically able should be involved in going, it may be for a few days a week or it may be a long term commitment but there is a place for all of us to GO!
“That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” -Luke 24:47
Idlewild On Mission is here to provide you with the opportunities to go across town and around the world. We understand the financial constraints that you may have, this is why we have people at Idlewild Baptist Church that give money towards mission work so that we can offer our trips to you at a reduced cost, don’t let finances be your excuse for not going.
Come with us and experience the blessing of serving others first hand, the Apostle Paul counted it a privilege to work for the Lord, it will change your life forever and draw you closer to God.
Prayer is essential to the work of making disciples of all nations, our missionaries are powerless and they will not accomplish much without plugging into the power of prayer.
“I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.” Romans 15:30
Here are some ways to pray for our mission teams:
• Pray for open doors – Colossians 4:2–3
• Pray for boldness – Ephesians 6:19
• Pray that God’s Word will spread – 2 Thessalonians 3:1
• Pray for protection – 2 Thessalonians 3:2
• Pray for more workers – Matthew 9:38
God’s people are supposed to provide for God’s work, it may be giving of your time, your talents or your financial resources. God’s work has always been done by the generosity of his people in all of these areas.
“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” -2 Corinthians 9:7-9
We want God’s people to be free to go wherever He calls and to give whatever He asks. We help finance those that are willing to go and we help fund their ministry work. Most of the people that we provide assistance for is the average church member that decides to go on a short term trip but we also support people that are long term and career missionaries.
All of our financial backing comes from gifts. Please give to Idlewild On Mission over and above your tithe so that we may further God’s kingdom and reach people who need Him.
You can see that there is plenty of work to do and we need everyone to be busy doing their part by going, praying and giving.
The mission trips opportunities that Idlewild On Mission gives you in the Amazon have been a three way partnership but this time we also had help from another source. Idlewild Baptist Church works with Amazon Outreach which supplies the boat, First Baptist Church of Parintins is the local church we work with and this time we had the help of Idlewild Odessa.
This is the first mission trip opportunity that Idlewild Odessa has participated in with us. Their pastor Chris Basham was impacted by what he experienced in a big way. Here is some of his testimony of how the Lord used the trip to speak to him.
This Amazon trip has messed me up! I have never sensed an urgency for the gospel as I have since this trip. I pillow my head at night feeling guilty knowing what conditions my brothers and sisters in Christ are living with and in. Why does God love me so much? Why has God been so good to me? Why? And yet the real pain is this – how many people have I turned my back on and not shared Christ with them? How many people I have refused grace to. How many people I have ignored. How many people I have shunned. How many people I have refused to shower with the grace that God has showered upon me. I have wept more in private this week than I have in my entire life – because when I read Jonah I am reading a biography on myself. I am Jonah.
I sat on the front of our boat in the Amazon Friday evening and wept like a baby as SaSa rode off. He was the pastor we worked with all week. I wept because God, in His grace, showed me a picture of what real ministry and pastoring looks like. What it was meant to be. God showed me what I am and what He desires for me to be. That is grace.
Unfortunately, I am more like Jonah than God, my heart mimics Jonah’s more than it does God’s. I run to other things of this world and end up not having “time” to do the things that the Lord wants me to do. I spend my resources on the things of this world, on myself, and then don’t have the “money” or resources to do what God desires for us to do. I care so much about myself and devote so much time and energy to myself that I have little extra for others and the cares of others at times.
I do what I want to do and create a god in my mind that is ok with that. That is Jonah. That is me. And what really gets me is that God loves me even in the midst of my sin – and not just loves me – He is crazy about me, loves me recklessly, loves me unconditionally, loves me in spite of who I truly am. That my friends is the gospel that we are to take to others. That is the story of Jonah – God’s heart for His creation.
God loves people that you don’t think He could love – that is what we see in Jonah. The heart of God is laid open in some regards like never before. This is an earth-shattering revelation of the heart of God – God is showing that He loves not only the Jews, but the Gentiles as well. And not just any Gentiles, but the Assyrians who persecuted the Jews. God does not ask us to do anything that He first has not done for us and in us. Love your enemies – check. Love those who persecute you – check. Love the hard to love – check. Love sinners – check. Be hospitable – check. Give up yourself for another – check. God has done all of that for us and in us.
It all starts with the heart of God. The Christian life is showing others the heart of God thru our lives. Literally Christ in us.
I cannot understand why God loves like this. And me especially. I am Jonah, and yet He loves me. This thought that God loves me in spite of who I am is astounding and has in some sense haunted me. Because we will give an account for how we have stewarded the mysteries and the love of God and His grace. See 1 Cor. 3:7-9; 4:1-2. Jonah will give an account for his running, and so will I.
God has been so good to me – how have I responded to and stewarded these mercies untold?
Success is in faithfulness, not in results. We are not rewarded for success. We are rewarded for our faithfulness. Be faithful.
Growing up I remember playing the game called “Simon Says.” It was a game for three or more players. One of the players assumes the role of “Simon.” Simon would voice commands to the other players of an action he wanted them to do, such as “do a push up” or “close your eyes and turn 360 degrees.” But they could only do the action if it was preceded by the words “Simon Says.” If they failed to follow this rule or failed to do the action, they would be eliminated.
This game reminded me of another Simon, Simon of Cyrene. This Simon was not calling out commands, but instead he was commanded to do something he never thought he would find himself doing. He was chosen out of a crowd to help Jesus carry His cross.
These verses have always created an avalanche of questions for me. I have always wanted to know more about Simon. I have asked myself so many times,” Was the cross heavy?” “Did Jesus say anything to him?” “How was his life changed by the events of that day?” The Bible does not answer my questions and does not say much about Simon of Cyrene, but even in these fews words God can speak to us.
SIMON WAS GIVEN THE CROSS TO CARRY
“And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus.” Luke 23:26
It probably caught Simon by surprise. For all we know he might not even have known what was happening because he had been out of the country. They gave him the cross to carry; he did not volunteer, he did not ask for it. In fact, in Matthew 27:32, he says that, “They compelled him to carry the cross.”
Matthew 27:32 says, “They compelled this man to carry his cross.”
This is the opposite of what Jesus does with us. Jesus offers us the cross. He tells us, “If we want to follow Him we must take up His cross.” It is a voluntary act on our part. He does not force His cross upon us; He shows His love for us and offers us a new life to live.
SIMON WAS GIVEN A STORY TO TELL
Mark 15:21, says, “He was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.”
Could you imagine how this went down when Simon gets home that evening? Alexander and Rufus are excited to see dad, after being away in the countryside. After all the “welcome back” pleasantries, they ask dad, “How did you your trip go, anything exciting happened?”
Taking in a deep breath, he quickly summarizes his trip to the country and then he says to them, “but let me tell you what happened today “I met the King of The Jews! I carried His cross!
What a story Simon has to tell. We also have been given a story to tell. What are you doing with your story? Are you hiding it or can you say what Jeremiah said in Jeremiah 20:9
“If I say, I will not mention him, or speak anymore in his name, there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones,and I am weary with holding it in,and I cannot.”
Jesus has not asked us to carry His cross, but he asked us to carry our own cross.
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
It is a custom made cross, it is “Your Cross” and nobody else can carry it for you.
What does carry your cross entail?
- Stop trusting in things and start trusting Him. Mark 10:28-31
- The lives of others are more important than your life. Mark 14:36
- Make God’s will your will. Mark 14:36
- A willingness to suffer for His name. Mark 15:21
Carrying your cross is not easy, but you were given a cross not because it is easy, but because it is necessary!
SIMON WAS CHANGED
I don’t know this for sure, but an experience of this magnitude is bound to make an impression on a man’s life. To be this close to the King of Kings had to change him. To see the thorns up close, to get the blood of Jesus from the cross on his own hands, to hear up close the heavy breathing, to see the sweat of blood drip over His face and to look into the eyes of God…this had to change him!
The question is, “Has it changed you?” Have you picked up your cross? Or is it still laying on the floor beside you? Are you following Him?
You know that you are closer to Jesus than Simon was? Not physically, but spiritually. Because He is in you! This closeness should create a change in you, a change that starts with a desire to follow Him.
Action Point: Carrying your cross might entail that you travel to India, Costa Rica, Paraguay or any of our many Signature Partners throughout the world to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
Our third trip to New Delhi, India is coming up on November 8-15 and there is still room for you. This is a busy trip that will include: discipleship, outreach to the people that live in the slums, and “Lifeskills” training and evangelism
Our partnership with “Cooperative Outreach of India” (COI) has been a blessing and a key part of the work that we do in India. Founded in 1993, their vision is to reach the unreached people groups of North India, to establish a church presence among each ethnic Muslim people and language group through community development, Bible training, and church planting.
Here is a report from Cooperative Outreach of India that they gave after our previous trips this year:
Living water in 115 villages
When we drill a bore well it brings clean water to the entire village. It also opens up multiple opportunities to share the Gospel with that community.
Everyone needs water for drinking, washing clothes or dishes, and washing themselves. So the women come to the well multiple times in a day. As they gather at the well those who know the Lord are able to share stories from the Bible as well as their personal testimonies of how they met the Lord, the one who gives living water.
These wells have also given us opportunities to begin holding fellowships with the new believers as well as create prayer cells in each village. Through our bore wells the villages have heard the Good News and have experienced the source of living water for the first time!
Isaiah 55:1 “Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Vacation Bible School
June 3rd to 7th 2013, over 1000 children from all religious backgrounds and various parts of Delhi participated in the much awaited Vacation Bible School that was especially arranged for them.
400 senior children were presented with the New Testament on the final day to take back home. Over 500 of them acknowledge and understood the message of salvation from the Bible. They went back satisfied with the teaching and word of God in Hand. On the last day children gave their testimonies and performed songs and recited memory verses. We are grateful to all our partners and friends who came along to give a helping hand.
We especially acknowledge the presence of Mr. Tom McCoy from Church at Brookhills and Mr. Dana Hardee of Idlewild Baptist in Tampa. They came with the team to help with the children. It was a huge blessing to have them in our midst.
Proverbs 19:20 “Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days”.
Our next trip
We have a trip coming up in November that you can be a part of going, praying, or giving. If you are interested in going then plan on being at the information meeting on August 14, 2013 at 7:30 PM in E-103.
|Purpose: Discipleship, Outreach to Slums, “Lifeskills” Training and Evangelism
Dates: November 8-15, 2013
IBC Member Cost: $1,300.00
Volunteers Needed: 10
|Includes: Transportation, food and lodging.
Does not include: vaccinations, souvenir shopping, food in transit to India and visa.
Team Leader: Brad Snellings
Religion: Muslim (99.00%)
What are their beliefs?
The Middle East Gypsies are often Muslim and they follow the practices and beliefs of the Islamic faith. The traditional beliefs of the Gypsies – that ghosts, lizards, and snakes are capable of harming humans, that men have the power to curse others by giving them the “evil eye,” and that some people have the power to heal the sick – are no longer held by most Gypsies. There are a growing number of Christian Gypsies.
What are their needs?
The quality of health care, nutrition, housing, and education is poor. Adequate educational opportunities must be provided in order to raise their standard of living. Spiritually, the Islamic religion is very difficult to influence.
Their nomadic lifestyle has also made it difficult for missionaries to reach them. It is encouraging to hear of recent breakthroughs in ministering to Gypsies. Most Gypsies have no Christian resources available to them. Christian broadcasts and Scriptures must be made available if they are to hear the Gospel. Christian workers are needed to teach them how to live lives pleasing to God.
- Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to share Christ with the Gypsies.
- Ask God to strengthen, encourage, and protect the small number of Gypsy Christians, and that they will be bold witnesses to their own people.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of Gypsies towards Christians so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
- Ask the Lord to raise up strong local churches among the Middle East Gypsies.
- Pray for translation of the Bible to begin in this people group’s primary language, Domari.
- Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in Domari.
Learn more about this people group by visiting:
There have been a lot of trips this year and there have been a lot of lives impacted by the willingness of our people to go but there are still plenty of trips that have openings available through the end of the year.
The things that you experience on a mission trip are priceless. You will be a part of something that is bigger than the normal everyday life that you are experiencing. It is amazing to be a part of a team of people who have raised funds, prayed, prepared and have gone out and served and watched God at work.
I have heard it asked several times by the people that we have gone out to serve “Why did you come so far to help us?” Many times they are shocked that somebody would be willing to spend their money and their time so that they could serve.
A short-term mission trips is an excellent way to change lives in our country and around the world but if you aren’t careful the life you change may be your own.
Is God telling you to go on one of these trips:
Greece / October 4-12
New York / October 13-19
Cuba ENTRUST / November 2-9
Paraguay / November 3-9
India / November 8-15
Religion: Islam (90%)
What are their beliefs?
Virtually all of the Palestinian Arabs are Muslims. Islam is a religion of works that is based on five basic “pillars” which are (1) A Muslim must affirm that “there is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet;” (2) He must pray five times a day while facing Mecca; (3) He must give generously; (4) He must fast during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim year; and (5) He must try to make at least one pilgrimage to Mecca in his lifetime.
What are their needs?
There is a great need for the Gospel to be preached among the Palestinian Arabs.
A Muslim who professes faith in Jesus Christ can lose his family, his honor, his job, or even his life. At the present time, there are only a few known Palestinian Arab Christians. Evangelization efforts among these tribes are challenging due to restrictions in many of the countries, as well as general antagonism to Christianity. Intercession is the key to reaching them with the Gospel.
- Ask the Lord to send forth willing laborers to live and work among these tribes.
- Pray that God will raise up faithful intercessors who will stand in the gap for the Palestinian Arabs.
- Ask God to give the few Palestinian Arab believers opportunities to share the love of Christ with their own people.
- Pray that their traditional Muslim culture will soften, creating open doors for the Gospel to be preached among them.
For more information, check out Joshua Project.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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