MARBC News & Notes, November and December 2009

You can also download a PDF of the Volume 55 Number 6 November/December 2009 (1.5mb PDF; PC: Right click / MAC: Control click on the link and choose “Save As”)

From The Baptist Testimony – Volume 55 Number 6 November/December 2009

2010 TALENTS FOR CHRIST:  The 2010 MARBC Talents for Christ competition will be held on Saturday, April 17, 2010 at South Baptist Church in Flint.  Students may participate in either the Scholarship or Open Categories.  Registration cost is $25 per individual category and $35 in the Open Categories.  Those desiring to compete in the Scholarship Category should register at the National TFC website where other information and cost details are shared.  For more information and downloadable materials, go to  Award details are also included at the website.  

Registration deadline for the 2010 MARBC State Competition of Talents for Christ is March 1, 2010.  Please make checks payable to Evangel Baptist Church and mail the registration to: Michigan TFC, Evangel Baptist Church, 16994 S. Telegraph Rd., Taylor, MI  48180.

Our MARB churches and young people are strongly encouraged to participate.  The preparations for TFC will help develop godly discipline and character.  The results of this preparation allow our youth to minister in meaningful ways in several settings.  With the opportunities for scholarships from participating colleges in the Scholarship Division and scholarships for participating MARBC camps in the Open Division, there are also practical benefits for TFC participation.  

For further information or questions regarding Talents for Christ, contact our Michigan coordinator, Pastor Ken Pyne – Email; 734.946.5680.


ANDREA DUNDORE – Andrea Dundore went home to be with her Savior on Thursday, September 24, after a God honoring battle with cancer.  She was 65 years old.  Andrea was the daughter of Rev. Wilbur and Edith McCullough.  Rev. McCullough served as the pastor of Springville Baptist Church for over 30 years before being succeeded by Dr. Gary Anderson, now president of Baptist Mid-Missions.  

Andrea served as a pastor’s wife alongside her husband, Glenn.  The Dundores served together for over 35 years in two GARBC churches – Stanford Heights Baptist Church in Schenectady, New York, and Forest Lake Baptist Church near Montrose, Pennsylvania.  Recently the Dundores have served in interim ministries with Interpas Ministries.  From August 2006 to January 2008 they served in an interim ministry at Calvary Baptist Church in Lansing, Michigan.

Andrea was a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Lansing, a homemaker, and Christian school teacher.  Glenn and Andrea were married for 43 years.  She is survived by her husband, Glenn; daughter Teri (Curt) Petrak; son Dan (Susanna) Dundore; and seven grandchildren.  Memorial services were held at Calvary Baptist Church in Lansing, Michigan and Forest Lake Baptist Church in Forest Lake, Pennsylvania.  Andrea’s son-in-law, Pastor Curt Petrak, officiated the services.  

MARK MITCHELL – Mark Mitchell, former MARBC pastor, went home to heaven on Sunday, October 4.  He was 96 years old.  During his many years of service Mark pastored two MARBC churches – First Baptist Church in Stanton and First Baptist Church in Mt. Pleasant (17 years).  Early in his ministry he led the start of Calvary Baptist Church (later renamed Whipple Avenue Baptist Church) in Canton, Ohio.  A memorial service was held at First Baptist Church in Mt. Pleasant, on October 9.

Pastor Mitchell’s greatest joy was teaching and preaching the Word of God. He faithfully taught the Bible for about 75 years. The last sermon he preached was at Maranatha Baptist Church on June 7, 2009. He still preached without notes and still quoted many verses by heart!

He also enjoyed the game of golf and earned many accolades during his lifetime. He still holds the record at the Crystal Lake Golf course where he shot a 58 in 1958. During his golfing days he shot six holes in one, including two on the same hole at Riverwood Golf Course. He continued to play golf at Riverwood where his many wonderful friends encouraged him to play even at the age of 95!

Pastor Mitchell is survived by Jack W. Mitchell of Mt. Pleasant, Marcia C. Bender (John) of Middleville, Karen Shumaker (Rev. Robert C.) of Mt. Pleasant, Debbie Winters (Daniel) of Seattle, Wash., and Stephen Mitchell of Mt. Pleasant as well as 28 grandchildren, 43 great-grandchildren and 6 great-great-grandchildren.  Ronald, his firstborn, and Corinne, his loving wife for almost 70 years, preceded him in death.

Cards to the Mitchell family may be mailed to: 1220 South Dr., Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to Mike and Elva Farrell, Baptist Mid-Missions missionaries serving in France.


BRIMLEY, Brimley Baptist Church (Dan Knepper, Pastor) – Pastor Dan Knepper shares a report of thanksgiving regarding several CPR ministries that have taken place over the past six months.  Work teams from two MARBC churches were involved in extensive CPR ministry at Brimley Baptist Church this spring and summer.  Nate Price, deacon at North Park Baptist Church in Grand Rapids and a construction consultant, has assisted the church in completing the construction of an enclosed handicap ramp on the exterior of the church building.  Nate made several trips north to assist the members of Brimley Baptist with the project.  The church has reached some with disabilities who were unable to enter the building until a handicap entrance was completed.  The church is now working on handicap accessible restrooms in the building.  Additionally, Nate and his helpers erected a new church sign at the edge of the property.  Pastor Dan shares that Nate even loaned them his nail gun to assist the church in additional projects.

In August, two CPR ministry teams served at Brimley.  Pastor Mike McAlvey brought a team from First Baptist Church in Carson City to help lead a Daily Vacation Bible School week long ministry.  Pastor Dan shares – “We worked the teenagers hard and they played hard with the youth in our area.  They kept smiling and serving. Pastor Mike was a great motivator and well organized. Most of the team was from the Christian school and Christian families so we were able to introduce them to a whole new culture.  They showed love and compassion during their ministry here and have inspired our young teen group to develop an outreach team.  We were excited at the influence they had on our young people.”

The same week, when the building was not being used for the DVBS ministry, the extended family of Steve and Karen Avey spent a week’s vacation at Brimley to help paint the teen room and to clean many areas of the building.  Pastor Dan comments – “It gave the room a whole new look. They took care of every detail and the room is a wonderful place to gather now.  What a blessing!”  Steve and Karen are members of North Park Baptist Church in Grand Rapids.  Karen also volunteers as the bookkeeper for the MARBC.  Several from Karen’s family came from other states to help out in this family “working vacation.”  The group camped at a state campground near the church.  Perhaps your family would like to be involved in a similar CPR ministry vacation next year!

Pastor Dan summarizes – “All three teams gave of their time and talents and even gave financially to the work.  We have now completed phase one of our renovations to the church thanks to these teams.  Thank you for the ministry of CPR!”

FREELAND, First Baptist Church (Shawn Rittmiller, Pastor) – Sister MARBC churches in the region assisted First Baptist Church in completing a building project that was started in 2008.  The workers dug four inches by hand around the entire church, set timbers in place around the perimeter, and then filled in the trenches with rock.  The church provided lunch for the hard working volunteers.

FRUITPORT, Bethel Baptist Church (Steve Worth, Pastor) – Two Bethel Baptist Churches teamed up for a CPR ministry in July.  Men from Bethel Baptist Church in South Haven (Jeff Malin, Pastor) came to Bethel Baptist Church in Fruitport to assist in repairing the roof of the church parsonage.  They were able to repair two very badly leaking valleys which were damaging walls and ceilings inside. This ministry was extremely timely since the repairs were accomplished just prior to a torrential wind and rainstorm that struck the Fruitport area in August.  A lady from the Fruitport church provided a wonderful meal for the workers and all enjoyed a wonderful time of fellowship. 

HESPERIA, Hesperia Baptist Church (Tom Mackay, Pastor) – On Saturday, August 15th, Hesperia Baptist Church held their 4th Annual Community Block Party.  Typically, over half of Hesperia’s population is reached by this outreach event which is held annually by Hesperia Baptist Church.  This year there were nearly 300 in attendance. In an effort to convey to our community that the church cares about them, everything was offered at no cost. The church provided huge inflatable rides, face painting, pie eating contests, hot dogs, sno-cones, cotton candy & popcorn.  Each year the church provides some type of evangelistic presentations through out the day, utilizing clowns, puppets, ventriloquism, skits, etc. This year the church was involved in an MARBC CPR relationship with the puppet team from Standale Baptist Church. Standale’s puppet teams have participated in the MARBC Talents for Christ event in the past and were well prepared to minister effectively to the many children who attended the Hesperia festival.  Both children and adults were very attentive to the gospel skits.  Once an hour the food court and the inflatable games were closed so that everyone could move to the pavilion to hear the gospel stories. A great time was had by all. Hesperia Baptist extends a special thank you to the Standale Baptist Church Puppet Team.

JACKSON, Lansing Ave. Baptist Church (Dave Oberst, Pastor) – A group of teens from Lansing Ave. Baptist Church was led by Youth Pastor Tim Rowland in a CPR ministry at Limestone Baptist Church in Limestone the week of June 29.  The team assisted Limestone’s pastor, Ted Jolls, in preparing a float for the area 4th of July parade and in preparing for their upcoming DVBS.  The group helped to fill 1,100 bags for the 4th of July parade.  Bags were filled with candy, VBS flyers, and a gospel tract.  The bags were then distributed at the parade in the town of Trenary.  The teens also prepared large posters for promoting the VBS.  Additional ministries included help in clearing some trees from wooded areas on the church property and assisting musically in the Thursday night prayer meeting and Sunday worship service.  Pastor Rowland reports that the trip was extremely beneficial for the spiritual growth of the teens who went on the trip.  Pastor Jolls was instrumental in talking the group through some spiritual challenges that needed to be addressed.  Pastor Rowland shares, “Overall, it was a mutually beneficial trip, but I think the youth from LABC came out of it with the most benefit.”

LAKE ODESSA, Lakewood Baptist Church (Jerry Hopkins, Pastor) – The Agape ABF Class from North Park Baptist Church in Grand Rapids shared in a CPR ministry with Lakewood Baptist Church in Lake Odessa this summer.  The class held work days on two weekends to assist Lakewood in stripping off old paint, painting, cleaning classrooms, weeding around the church property, cleaning the parking lot and then restriping it.  Jerry Hopkins, missionary pastor with Baptist Church Planters, comments of the North Park team, “We surely thank you for all the help you gave us those two weekends … It was a lot of hard work, thank you all.  You are helping us keep the doors of the church open, and making it presentable on the inside!”

LANSING, Berean Baptist Church (Brad Rickard, Pastor) – Pastor Brad Rickard reports on the VBS ministry that Berean held with the CPR assistance of Tabernacle Baptist Church of Hazel Park in July.  

Pastor Rick and Julie Yokel brought a great team of high school and college age students to run the program.  The Lord truly blessed and united our churches to serve together.  Attendance reached a high of 27 and the week closed with a carnival on Friday where parents attended with their children.  One child made a profession of faith and many contacts were made for which we praise the Lord!  The program used was from Answers in Genesis and taught the ‘7 C’s of history.’  The Yokels brought a team that was well prepared and served in so many ways at Berean. 

During the week the team from Tabernacle went door to door collecting recyclable cans and bottles that were turned in for cash.  Collecting recyclables was a means for the team to give out  packets containing information regarding Berean, the ‘Angel Food’ ministry sponsored by the church, and a Gospel of John or tract.   The money from the cans that were collected, along with the cans brought in by VBS children, was given to the Lansing Township Fire department.  The fireman came to the closing program and carnival on Friday evening to receive a check for $175.00.  This was a great connection to our local fire department.  The captain was shocked that a church would donate money to their department!

The Tabernacle CPR team also cleaned out an old office, deep cleaned the church kitchen, and completed yard work around the church.  The teens had servant hearts as they worked all afternoon each day. 

More pictures from this week of special ministry can be seen on the church blog at  Pastor Brad shares “The Lord gave us an outstanding week of ministry together.  Keep continuing on with the CPR ministry.  It is truly a blessing to all who participate in ministering together.”

NEWBERRY, First Baptist Church (Andrew Manwarren, Pastor) – Pastor Andrew Manwarren reports on the special CPR ministry that took place at First Baptist in Newberry this past summer:  “Early July, Calvary Baptist of Greenville sent a ministry team, led by associate pastor Ben Vaught, to assist with the Daily Vacation Bible School at First Baptist Church of Newberry. The ministry team from Calvary came energized and well prepared as they taught about God’s power, love, care, and forgiveness through songs, skits, bible teaching and games! Gospel seeds were planted and watered in the lives of 44 kids and their families. It was a rich and wonderful time of partnering for the fame of God’s kingdom. We could not be more pleased with the results.”

SHINGLETON, Cornerstone Fellowship Baptist Church (George Dwelley, Pastor) – Lincoln Lake Baptist Camp and Calvary Baptist Church in Greenville sent a CPR missions team to minister in the Upper Peninsula the week of June 29.  One of the main projects of the team was conducting a soccer camp at Cornerstone Fellowship Baptist Church in Shingleton.  Pastor George Dwelley shares this exciting report:  “The soccer camp was a great success. Ben Vaught and his crew were awesome. Thanks so much for putting this all together.  We ended up with 10 professions of faith in Christ. This is an awesome response. I have tried for years to gain inroads to some of these families and along comes a group of sold out teens and a few soccer balls and God moves.  It was just the greatest thing I have ever seen. These [CPR workers] were just open to the kids and the kids knew it and sucked up the genuine love of Christ that was being offered. I watched four and five year old boys who have no male figure in the home clinging to the young men.  The young men were very caring and giving.  This ministry team had to be just wrung out when they left our town.  But they left Jesus in homes where He had never been before.  Thanks so much to Calvary for all the time, effort and prayers that went into this week.”

WAYLAND, First Baptist Church (Tim Mattison, Pastor) – Pastor Tim Mattison shares a report regarding the blessings received this summer as the result of a CPR partnership.  Four MARBC churches partnered together with workers from Continental Baptist Missions’ building team to tear off the old roof and to replace it with a new roof.  Funds for the $13,000+ project came from gifts contributed to CBM, First Baptist Church, and a grant from the MARBC’s CPR Fund.  Volunteer workers came from Northeastern Baptist Church in Kalamazoo; First Baptist Church in Howard City; First Baptist Church in Cedar Springs; and First Baptist Church in Vestaburg to help with the project.  Pastor Mattison reports that “Even our neighbors in Wayland were impressed by the hard work and great spirit of those who were here.  (And yes, they were watching!)” 


BELMONT, West Cannon Baptist Church (Doug Crawford, Pastor) – West Cannon Baptist Church of Belmont, Michigan, is pleased to announce the calling of Associate Pastor of Student Ministries, Joshua Butler. Josh grew up as a missionary kid in Australia where his parents served with Baptist Mid-Missions. He received a bachelor’s degree from Bob Jones University and a master’s degree from Faith Baptist Bible Seminary. Josh and his wife Amy have one son, Jack. West Cannon is happy to welcome Josh and Amy to the pastoral staff, and we look forward to the ways God will use their talents for His glory.

FENTON, First Baptist Church (Josh Gates, Pastor) – Pastor Josh Gates was ordained by First Baptist Church on Sunday, September 6, during a special time of celebration in the morning worship service. This followed an ordination council meeting on September 4.  Dr. Joseph Bower served as moderator of the council.  Dr. Bowers has ministered as a mentor to Pastor Gates and also served as interim pastor at First Baptist Church prior to Pastor Gates’ call as senior pastor.  The ordination council unanimously recommended to First Baptist Church that the ordination of Pastor Josh proceed and commended him for his doctrinal ability and gracious demeanor in defending the faith.  Prior to his ministry as senior pastor, Josh served as youth pastor.  Josh and his wife, Andrea, have a young son (Thomas) and are expecting a second child (also a son) this spring.

GRAND RAPIDS – The July-August issue of the Baptist Testimony contained a report of the new church planting ministry in downtown Grand Rapids, Iglesia Bautista Biblica.  Now, within just a few months of that open door, God has opened the door for an extension of the Iglesia Bautista Biblica on Fruitridge Ave., just northwest of Grand Rapids. 

Larry Groat, missionary church planter with Baptist Mid-Missions, reports that the first service was held in a newly obtained church building that is located on Fruitridge Ave. N.W.  The initial service was held on Sunday night, October 11, with 46 people in attendance.  Thirty-two of the people in attendance were connected with the Iglesia Bautista Biblica.  The other fourteen were from West Cannon Baptist Church in Belmont.  The group from West Cannon is comprised of committed believers who are coming to help grow this new ministry.

The facility being used formerly housed a Kingdom Hall.  A recently donated piano was used for the first service and the sound system left by the former occupant works fine, as do the forty folding chairs.  Six new tables were put to use for the refreshments that were served after the service.

Larry reports that the church could use some additional help in the start up and the MARBC is asking for CPR help from our partnering network.  The church needs a used refrigerator, 20 adult folding chairs, a microwave oven, and financial help for a new church sign.  He also asks for additional financial and prayer support as the ministry continues to expand.  For additional information and offer your help, please contact Larry Groat (616-735-3155; Email).

MARBC ANNUAL CONFERENCE“Real Hope for a Troubled World” was the theme of the 67th Annual Conference of the MARBC, held at Forest Hills Baptist Church in Grand Rapids on October 26-27.  A full report of the conference will be shared in the next issue of the Baptist Testimony.

MARBC Leadership Retreat – Thirty pastors and deacons enjoyed a two-day Ministry Leadership Retreat sponsored by the MARBC at Gull Lake Conference Center.  The retreat featured Biblical teaching related to servant leadership in the local church.  Dr. Howard Bixby,  Executive Vice President of ChristWay Ministries, was the retreat speaker.  Most of the churches represented at the retreat had recently called new pastors to their ministries.  It was a joy to observe the interaction between these pastors and deacons as they thoughtfully processed the information from each session.  Future leadership retreats are currently being planned by the MARBC.  Information will be shared at and in future issues of the Baptist Testimony as they are scheduled.

PORTAGE, Berean Baptist Church (Bill Abernathy, Pastor) – Berean Baptist Church held an Installation Service for their new Lead Pastor, Bill Abernathy, Sunday, September 20.  Dr. James Grier, Distinguished Professor of Philosophical Theology at Cornerstone University and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, was the speaker for this special service.  Pastor Abernathy and his wife, Peggy, come to Berean from Immanuel Baptist Church in Columbus, Ohio, where he served for 25 years. Berean is located at 7813 S. 12th Street, Portage, MI.  For more information about the church, visit the webpage:


These are days of great opportunity, exciting ministry development, and enriching partnership in the MARBC!  Our churches are situated in diverse settings that demand spiritual fortitude, cultural awareness, and ministry longevity.  Because of this, our pastors and churches need the benefits of a proactive, healthy fellowship to provide specialized support.  It is important to remember that the MARBC is probably the only ministry that you support whose sole focus is to impact the State of Michigan with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  That is something worth noting and embracing!

This year we logged almost 22,000 miles in our travels to over 60 church campuses and other ministries for speaking, consultations, and special ministry.  Of the almost 200 churches in the MARBC, ten churches on average were in pastoral transition during the past year and five called new pastors.  While the amount of pastors transitioning from churches decreased, the volume of calls from pastors and churches needing counsel increased significantly.  It has been our joy to utilize special MARBC resources and funds to encourage God’s special servants.

Over two dozen churches participated in the second year of the “CPR Initiative” (Church Partnering Relationships.)  This year’s CPR projects provided critical help to church ministries in areas hit hard by the Michigan recession.  It is a joy to report that there were several individuals who came to Christ through the outreach aspects of these endeavors.  

CPR is just one way to strengthen the MARBC’s ministry to its constituency.  I have also spent a great deal of time this past year attending seminars related to church planting, multi-ethnic ministry, and visiting with ministry leaders involved in unique church planting endeavors.  After reviewing these opportunities I wrote a prospectus for the Council of 15 in the spring.  They encouraged me to share this Ministry Prospectus with the MARBC family at this year’s annual conference.  That report will be shared in the next issue of the Baptist Testimony

The past year has taken its toll financially on many of our churches.  A few churches have needed to suspend or even drop our financial support.  In light of the tough economic situation, we sought to cut the amount of expenses in the operations of the MARBC while still increasing the amount of ministry opportunities.  We would appreciate your prayerful consideration of financial support for the MARBC and our personal ministry needs.

As we complete our third year leading the MARBC ministry, we thank God for each of you.  We embrace the sentiments of the Apostle Paul as he reflected on the partnership of churches with whom he ministered:  “For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men, and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you  Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:12-15)

To God be the glory!
Ken and Sharon Floyd


BBC INVADES WEST MICHIGAN!!!  Baptist Bible College is planning a weekend blitz in 2010!  Opportunities to re-connect with alumni, or for parents, students, pastors, teachers to make a new connection. Everyone is invited to be part of the fun and fellowship the weekend of September 17-19, 2010!  Weekend plans include:  Friday, September 17: Golf Tournament at Pilgrim’s Run; Saturday, September 18: Michigan vs. Notre Dame game day party. More activities and details to come!

COFFEE, ANYONE?  Greg Mattson, Pastor of First Baptist Church of Sebewa (Lake Odessa) shares:  “Our church has two large coffee urns that make a lot of coffee in a short period of time. They would need 220 electrical supply and water hooked up for operation. If anyone is interested in these they may have them at no cost, if they are willing to pick them up.  Contact Pastor Greg Mattson, phone – 616.374.7103, or Email

EMAIL ADDRESS – Do we have your accurate e-mail address?  Many people and organizations change their email addresses from time to time.  Does the MARBC have your current address?  Why not be sure by sending us an email and including your updated contact information?  Send your information to either Sharon or Ken.

FREE HOUSING FOR THOSE IN MINISTRY:  Pastor Chuck Richardson reports that the church parsonage at Chippewa Hills Baptist Church in Remus, MI, is vacant and is available to be used by someone in ministry. The community of Remus is located in central Michigan at the intersection of state highways M-20 and M-6, and between two major highways – US-131 and US-127.  The church is willing to provide the house rent free to anyone in ministry that might be in a transition period or on missions deputation.  For further information, contact Pastor Chuck Richardson (989.967.8205; Email).

GRAND RAPIDS AREA WOMEN’S MISSIONARY UNION – The Grand Rapids Area Women’s Missionary Union voted at their spring rally to designate their annual dime bank project towards furnishing the Newborn Care Unit of the Memorial Christian Hospital in Bangladesh.  Dr. Timothy Hepworth from Memorial Christian Hospital presented the rebuilding project at the rally.

Memorial Christian Hospital (MCH) has been ministering to the physical and spiritual needs in southern Bangladesh since 1966.  Medicine, surgery, obstetrics, and pediatrics have opened incredible doors of opportunity to reach hearts with the Gospel.  

As the needs have escalated, MCH has struggled to keep pace with the demand of caring for an increasing number of critically ill babies.  Many pieces of neonatal care equipment are old and deteriorating.  It is not uncommon for 2 unrelated babies to share an incubator.

With Gods help, MCH is undertaking both spiritual and physical renewal.  As funds come together to build a new hospital facility, MCH is preparing to furnish their Newborn Care Unit.

The goal established by the Women’s Missionary Union for the project is $8000.  This will enable the equipping of the Newborn Care Unit with new and “gently used” bassinets, monitors, warming lights and other equipment necessary to basic newborn care and the care of premature babies.  

All churches, individuals, and women’s missions groups are urged to participate.  Dime bank funds may be sent to the GRWMU Treasurer: Mrs. Elaine Binney, 4525 Burton St SW, Walker, MI  49534.  For more information please contact Barb Ballast, the GRWMU president,  Email.

HYMNALS NEEDED.  Cambria Baptist Church in Hillsdale, MI, is seeking good used copies of the “Living Hymns” hymnals (for purchase or donation.)  If you are able to help fulfill this need, please contact Cambria Baptist Church, 2772 Lilac Rd., Hillsdale, MI  49242; phone – 517.357.4343; Email.

JOB RELOCATION?  Recent news reports indicate that many workers in Michigan may be transferred out of state as a result of company restructuring.  One example of this is a recent news story that several General Motors employees will be transferred to a Fort Wayne, Indiana, GM plant. It is reported that this GM plant is adding a third shift of 700 workers and the personnel will be coming from those laid off in other plants.  As pastors, one of our shepherding responsibilities is to help relocating families find a good new church home.  Information about GARBC churches in the Fort Wayne area is available from Pastor Dave Schiedel, Tri Lakes Baptist Church, Columbia City, Indiana (Email; (260) 691-2553).

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