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From The Baptist Testimony – Volume 54 Number 9 October 2008
Church Partnering Relationships – “CPR” Summer Ministry Testimonies
We rejoice in the many CPR Initiatives that took place between sister churches in Michigan this summer. The following are some of the testimonies shared by those churches involved in these strategic partnerships. Other churches were also involved in CPR initiatives in addition to the ones cited in these articles. We would love to hear your stories! Please send them, along with your pictures, to the MARBC office (Email).
For more information regarding “CPR” and how you can be involved as a church or as an individual, contact the MARBC office or refer to the information posted on the MARBC website by clicking here.
Trinity Baptist Church, Muskegon, and Berean Baptist Church, Lansing — Brad Rickard, Pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Lansing reports: “It was a true blessing for us to have the ministry team from Trinity Baptist Church in Muskegon (Pastor Scott Church) partner with us in our Daily Vacation Bible School. We would have never made this connection if the CPR Program were not in place. God greatly blessed and we give Him the glory for a great week of VBS.” Associate Pastor Dan VanderVelde led the ministry team from Trinity.
Good News Baptist Church, Grand Rapids, and First Baptist Church, Newberry — In July, Good News Baptist Church (Karl Pike, Senior Pastor) sent a ministry team, led by Associate Pastor Brian Cederquist, to assist with the Daily Vacation Bible School at First Baptist Church, Newberry. Andrew Manwarren, the new senior pastor at First Baptist, shares that the team from Good News was highly energized and wonderfully prepared for the week. The excitement was sensed throughout this town in the eastern Upper Peninsula as the Good News team partnered with First Baptist to share Christ’s love with the children of the community.
Fellowship Baptist Church, East China, and Limestone Baptist Church, Limestone — Fellowship Baptist Church was recently involved in a church missions trip project in conjunction with the MARBC’s “CPR Initiative.” Fellowship’s “Church Partnering Relationship” was with Limestone Baptist Church which is located in the village of Limestone in the center of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Ted Jolls is the pastor of Limestone Baptist. The two churches’ partnership took place July 19-26.
Heidi Jones, a member of Fellowship, helped oversee the project along with Senior Pastor Bill Blount. Heidi writes, “When we started off planning this trip, God made it very clear that we needed to ‘Think Big and let Him be God!’ So we stepped out on faith and took on the challenge to raise the money for all the projects they wanted done. After we had done some figuring, we realized that we would need to raise about $9000.00! That was a big number, but we were determined to walk by faith and obediently do our part with fundraisers. In the last few months, God was not only working in our church, but He was moving within the people of Limestone. God spurred the people’s heart there to help with buying the materials for the roof of their church, which is close to $5000.00. That, to me, showed how God was working and was preparing for something great between our two churches.”
Fellowship had three major fundraisers and the 25 team members sent out their own individual support letters. Over $10,000.00 was raised. Heidi shares, “Our God is Awesome! People have been so generous and obedient to God in the area of giving!” While the missions team was on site in Limestone, prayer teams met around the clock at Fellowship Baptist Church to uphold the missions team in prayer.
The Fellowship ministry crew’s week in Limestone was a very busy one. FBC’s Pastor, Bill Blount, preached on Sunday so that Pastor Ted Jolls and his family could have time away for an enrichment conference. The rest of the team ministered in the service through special music, teaching, etc. Work crews installed a beautiful new metal roof on the church building; installed a matching metal roof on a newly constructed pavilion. Additionally, six new picnic tables were built for use at the new pavilion. Trees were cleared in the area around the pavilion and soccer field. The exterior doors of the church building were painted; the inside of the church was completely cleaned; church storage areas were organized; and the handicap ramp at the church’s entrance was repaired. Another team of workers traveled 22 miles daily to the town of AuTrain to conduct a Daily Vacation Bible School in the afternoon. Another team, led by FBC Youth Pastor Jamey Miller, conducted a Soccer Camp at the church soccer field and a Wednesday night Teen service. An additional blessing occurred when the church was able to surprise Pastor Ted with the purchase of a new laptop computer when his old one “crashed” while they were ministering that week.
The church held a special testimony service on Sunday, August 3, to report on God’s blessings during the trip. A highlight of the evening was when Pastor Ted and Lynda Jolls and their son, Russell, made a surprise appearance during the service. The church made arrangements for the Jolls to be present to participate in the evening of praise. It was a great night of blessing as each member of the missions team shared how God impacted them as a result of participating in the trip.
Heidi summarizes, “Through every single thing that we did, God kept showing Himself in it all! Whether it was an obvious blessing, like keeping the area surrounding the church dry while the rest of the region experienced heavy downpours of rain; or a small blessing, like having a good night’s sleep, God performed many miracles right before our very eyes. If you are considering planning on having your church get involved with a CPR mission trip, can I challenge you to ‘Think Big’ then let God be Big? I guarantee you will stand in awe at what God is capable of doing and receive blessings you never dreamed possible! Ephesians 3:20-21 states: ‘Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.’”
Calvary Baptist Church, Greenville, and First Baptist Church, Edmore —
On August 4-6 a group of teenagers arrived from Calvary Baptist Church in Greenville (led by Senior Pastor Mark Shaw) to assist First Baptist Church in Edmore in two CPR ministry projects. On Monday afternoon they swept and washed the parking lot to prepare it for sealing. Then on Tuesday and Wednesday they applied 83 buckets of parking lot sealant. Calvary Baptist even took up an offering to cover the expenses of the project.
Each evening people from both churches hit the streets and we handed out several hundred surveys to the community of Edmore regarding possible ministry ideas for the future. They also distributed flyers for our upcoming VBS. One hundred thirty completed surveys were returned to the church! Most of these completed surveys had contact information from the families who filled out the surveys and some requested information concerning our church. First Baptist has welcomed several visitors since then as a result of the survey. The church looks forward to contacting these families with information regarding future ministry opportunities.
Pastor Aaron Hadley of First Baptist in Edmore comments, “We were greatly blessed by the [ministry of] Calvary Baptist Church. Our church family does not have the financial ability or the man power to complete such a project. This was also a great opportunity for our teens to see a group of kids work so hard together. Our community took notice of all the commotion. It was a wonderful week.”
Parma Baptist Church, Parma, and First Baptist Church, Mt. Pleasant —
Pastor Rich Griffith reports on the recent CPR ministry of Parma Baptist Church with First Baptist Church, Mt. Pleasant (Senior Pastor, Jim Turner). “Greetings in Christ to all of the Michigan churches of our association! I need to share with you some of the wonderful blessings our youth group experienced on their mission trip in July as they partnered together with a church in the central Michigan area. Rather than travel to another state or country to take part in a mission trip, our group partnered with the youth group from First Baptist of Mt. Pleasant. Paul Scoby, who grew up attending there, currently serves as their Youth Director and did an outstanding job leading both youth groups.”
“Unlike past mission trips, we did not conduct a program such as Vacation Bible School or sports evangelism. Instead, as Jesus sent out his disciples in pairs to show compassion towards those in need and proclaim the Good News we also sent small groups into the Mt. Pleasant community seeking opportunities to serve and witness. We had no plan but to pray and show God’s love by serving and witnessing to those He placed in our path. Before we began, members from both of our churches shared their uncertainties about the format of our adventure which happened to be borrowed from Vision for Youth (Mel Walker) when a year earlier First Baptist joined their ministry in Philadelphia. Honestly, at times I wondered myself how God would bring things together. To my amazement (me of little faith) God filled our week with more service projects and witnessing opportunities than we could have imagined.”
“Every mission trip I have attended has impacted my life to some degree but I must declare that this local partnering experience has affected me the most. It was exciting to see God answering our prayers daily. We were involved in a huge variety of service projects where everyone was willing to listen to the gospel message. Almost every single member of the team was able to share their faith with someone. For many it was their first time. People in the community were amazed to see young people take time to serve others and not expect any money on return. They saw God’s love in action.”
“The Bible says that Jesus came to serve. Because of having Christ (the Servant) in us, it became very comfortable for us to serve others and share our faith throughout the week. Some members of the team who were terrified to talk with strangers about their faith or knock on doors found God giving courage and words when needed. Their fears vanished. Each evening we returned to a hotel in Clare for worship and rest. Even there God gave opportunities for us to be a witness to the hotel staff and minister greatly to a family whose house burned to the ground.”
“As a result of this mission trip, both groups were reminded that God has now equipped them to continue His work in their lives through serving and witnessing when they return home to their neighborhoods and schools. It is also the desire of both churches to carry out this same kind of mission trip in our area next summer, perhaps inviting a third church to join us. Hopefully, we will partner again before summer (maybe during Snow Camp at The Springs in January if not sooner) to pray, plan, and fellowship together.”
“I would like to invite all of the churches in our fellowship to consider partnering on a local mission trip with another church in our association. There are so many people in our state who are unchurched and lost where God has placed us. Pastor Ken Floyd has the right vision for our churches to partner together. Let’s communicate, connect, and complete the course for the cause of Christ!” Pastor Rich Griffith, Parma Baptist Church
Calvary Baptist Church, Wakefield, and Hesperia Baptist Church, Hesperia) — Pastor Tom Bauder, Calvary Baptist Church in Wakefield, shares about the church’s excitement regarding the church partnering opportunities that have taken place this summer. Earlier in the summer a church group from Lansing, Illinois, gave some assistance with the Daily Vacation Bible School ministry. The group also helped insulate and drywall the parsonage garage, put insulation in the attic of the parsonage, bank dirt around the foundation of the parsonage, and tear out a bathroom to prepare for a remodeling. A parking lot was installed and the church plans to use it as an evangelism tool by putting basketball stripes on it and inviting area youth to come play sports and have a time of devotions.
At the end of August the parsonage of Calvary Baptist Church looked more like a rooming house. Five members of the Hesperia Baptist Church in Hesperia, MI “camped out” in the parsonage as they served Calvary in whatever area needed to be done.
While there they were able to reconstruct the upstairs bathroom at the parsonage, which had previously been stripped to the studs. They were also able to install window wells on the church and insulate the wall of the basement. They then backfilled the church with dirt left over from the newly installed parking lot. This meant a great deal of backbreaking work with wheelbarrows. Several of the members from Calvary joined in the wheelbarrow “fun” which was greatly appreciated.
MARBC NEWS & NOTES
CADILLAC, Sunnyside Baptist Church (Pastor Jack Nichols) — Calvary Baptist Church rejoices in the recent calling of Mark DeAgostino, Sr., as associate pastor. Mark and his wife, Janice, come to Cadillac from the east side of Michigan. Mark has formerly served as a pulpit supply and interim pastor. The DeAgostinos join longtime pastor Jack Nichols and his wife Judy in leading the Sunnyside ministry.
PLAINWELL, Orangeville Baptist Church (Pastor Dan Bowman) — Orangeville Baptist Church will celebrate it’s 150th Anniversary on Saturday, October 4. A special luncheon begins at 12:30 p.m. followed by an anniversary program at 2:30 p.m. There will be singing, special music, a balloon launch, and testimonies. Former members and friends of the church are encouraged to attend this special day of rejoicing. For more information, contact the church at 269.664.4377.
WAKEFIELD, Calvary Baptist Church (Pastor Tom Bauder) — Pastor Tom and Dolores Bauder spent 2 weeks in Germany in July and enjoyed a great time. The Bauders are “adopted” grandparents of a young family in Munster. The father was an exchange student who lived with them several years ago.
“It’s Time for Another Prayer Meeting”
Students make history when they band together in specific prayer!
By Mel Walker, President of “Vision for Youth”
It happened once in 1806 when five students in the northeastern corner of Massachusetts met behind a haystack during a severe thunderstorm to ask God to use them to impact their entire generation. This simple prayer meeting became the catalyst for the “Second Great Awakening” or the “Student Volunteer Movement” that according to historians propelled over 10,000 foreign missionaries into the world’s harvest fields.
It happened again in early 1990 when “a small group of teenagers in Burleson, Texas came together” asking the Lord to use them to impact their generation. “Compelled to pray, they drove to three different schools that night. Not knowing exactly what to do, they went to the school flagpoles and prayed for their friends, schools, and leaders.” Another incredible prayer movement was born. By the third Wednesday of September 1990 the news of this simple prayer campaign had spread as over 45,000 teenagers met early in the morning at their school flag poles to pray – and “See You at the Pole” was born. In one year this phenomenon had increased to include over 1 million students and this past year over 3 million American students met at their schools for intentional prayer for this generation. Plus, SYATP has now spread to over 20 other countries around the world.
It’s time for another prayer meeting!
Our Lord Himself challenged His disciples to pray specifically in Luke 10:2, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest.”
It’s important to remember that God is still calling people to work in His harvest. The world-wide need is greater now than it has ever been. God’s plan is still that His people must pray for “the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest.” According to projections by the United Nations, the total population of the world will exceed seven billion people sometime in the middle of October 2012. If the harvest of souls was great in the first century, just think of what it will be by the time our world’s population reaches seven billion. It’s more important than ever that we pray “the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers.”
It’s time to be intentional about implementing this Biblical strategy. Praying for laborers is God’s plan – it is something that He wants to bless. If the Lord used the fervent prayers of five college students meeting under a haystack to thrust over ten thousand missionaries into the harvest, just think of what He could do if churches all across this nation (and maybe even around the world) would intentionally mobilize their people to pray specifically for harvest workers. Who knows what might happen? Perhaps our Lord would supernaturally bless a new prayer emphasis to launch another great awakening of students into worldwide vocational ministry!
So we are asking youth workers everywhere to prayerfully consider an organized and intentional prayer emphasis for harvest workers. Let’s set aside Sunday, October 12, 2008, as “Harvest Sunday.” We can pray in Sunday School, in youth group meetings, and in church services. We can also organize other creative ways to call our people to pray. This could be huge. Perhaps through our combined efforts to be intentional about praying for harvest laborers, God may choose to launch another great movement of students heading into global missions.
Let’s all begin to think of how we can network with others to make this happen. We call on youth groups, churches, Christian colleges, and missionary organizations to join with us on Sunday, October 12, 2008, for “Harvest Sunday.”
It only makes sense for us to select that particular day for this renewed prayer emphasis. It is the anniversary weekend of when the world’s population reached the six billion mark, (see http://www.unfpa.org/6billion/) and it is close to the time of year, projected for October 2012, when our population is slated to hit seven billion. Plus, it’s during the harvest season, so this time of year can be a God-given visual aid of praying for harvest workers.
Let’s do everything we can to challenge youth workers and other church leaders to make “Harvest Sunday” a reality this year on October 12th. Let’s think this through and share ideas of how we can emphasize intentional prayer for harvest workers that day. Perhaps some readers will want to make contacts with other influential leaders and so on. We need to get the momentum rolling, so let’s share ideas and creative ways to promote this endeavor.
In the meantime, place this date on your calendars. Sunday, October 12, 2008, is “Harvest Sunday.” Please post your ideas at: www.harvestsunday.blogspot.com.
It’s time for another prayer meeting!
GRARBC Women’s Missionary Union — The GRARBC Women’s Missionary Union has announced that the dime bank project for 2008/2009 will be given to COME, Committee On Missionary Evangelism. The money that will be raised will be used to assist evangelists with their overseas transportation expenses. Evangelists from COME go to churches in the USA and on foreign fields regardless of their ability to pay the evangelists’ expenses.
Donations for the dime bank project should be sent to: Mrs. Elaine Binney, 4525 Burton St SW, Walker, MI 49534.
Quarterly meetings of the Women’s Missionary Union will be November 11 at Good News Baptist, February 9 and April 14. All meetings begin at 9:30 am and all ladies are invited to attend. The November 11 meeting is our idea meeting. Ladies are asked to bring samples and ideas for items made for missionaries.
MARBC Messenger — The Messenger is a regular email communication from the MARBC office to our pastors and churches. Several MARBC Messengers are sent out each month from the MARBC office. If you have not received MARBC emails recently, be sure to Email Ken or Email Sharon to be placed on the email list. Thank you!