Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: February 1, 2015


MINUTE FOR MISSION: SOUPER BOWL OF CARING - The math and the money weren’t working out. That’s what 30 youth of First Presbyterian Church in Hastings, Nebraska, were finding out as they wheeled their shopping carts through the supermarket aisles. Each had hoped to raise raise enough money to feed a family of four for a week. By carrying cooking utensils about before Sunday services and placing a soup kettle on the Communion table, they had raised $3,500—about $120 each.

The students had been carefully instructed by their leaders and an extension nutritionist about food prices and the type and volume of food a family of four would need ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook

The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: January 31, 2015


PRESBYTERY OD TROPICAL FLORIDA - On arriving, they found women in tears. Jim Goldsmith and Barbara Haley of Community Presbyterian in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea had traveled 40 minutes north to visit the Guatemalan-Maya Center, the congregation’s new mission partner. The women had just learned that the center’s funding was ending and that their program was in jeopardy. This office that annually assists over 18,000 Guatemalans and Mayans in Palm Beach County had empty pantries and no resources to provide ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.

Friday, January 30, 2015

ServLife International: Visiting the Prisoner

ServLife International is a movement defined by values of God’s kingdom, not programs built around human efforts and activities. The reign and rule of God should be made apparent to every person on the planet, despite their religion, race or socioeconomic status. We believe that issues of justice are inseparable from the good news that Jesus Christ came to proclaim. ServLife exists to take the gospel of Christ and the hope of a better, more just, world to the lives of people we touch. This happens through individual contributions of time, creativity, resources and dreams.



Nepali pastors serve their communities in many ways beyond preaching from a pulpit on Saturday morning...

(In Nepal the Sabbath is celebrated on Saturday). They are taking seriously the directive Jesus set out in Matthew 25 to feed the hungry, house the stranger, clothe the naked, and visit those who are sick and in prison*. Pastors are giving up their homes and churches to families who lost all they had in last spring's landslides. They're walking or bicycling for miles to visit prisoners, pray for the sick, and care for their congregations. These pastors have a passion and a mission they live into every day. Pastor Man Kaji is one of these men.

Pastor Man works in a remote yet beautiful hilly region of Nepal. Pastor Man has seen God work in miraculous ways in the region, curing physical and spiritual ailments and reconciling people to Himself. One of the greatest transformations Pastor Man was part of happened to a man called Bharat.

Bharat had been trapped in the drug trade. He experienced horrible addiction and also began selling drugs in order to support his habit. Bharat's wife and three children understandably suffered because of his vices. When Bharat was put in prison because of his involvement in the drug trade his family was left without a father and provider. They knew they had to find something to deeply change Bharat's life. Having heard of the situation, Pastor Man went to visit Bharat and his family. He shared the gospel with them and told them about the power a relationship with Christ has to change a life. Bharat and his family opened their hearts to God with Pastor Man's guidance, and began the process of reconciliation.

Now, a year later, Bharat and his family are attending Pastor Man's church regularly and are proudly telling others of the transformation they have seen in Bharat's life. A relationship with Christ helped Bharat overcome his addiction and change his life. Pastor Man was willing to go where God called him, to visit the prisoner, and God performed miraculous transformations as a result.



Adam Nevins 
From Adam Nevins
Executive Director
ServLife International Inc.



Join Our Mission

ServLife International propels reconciliation and justice by building global community to plant churches, care for children and fight poverty. Compelled by the message, life and love of Jesus Christ, we seek to care for the spiritual, physical, social, and economic areas of life in northern India and Nepal.  Learn more about our latest news, featured stories, and how to get involved at servlife.org

Support a Pastor

Our church planters spread the love of Christ in some of the most difficult
 environments in the world.
Support Them ... 

Sponsor a Child

For only $30 per month you can help give a child food, education, care and, most importantly, hope.
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The HOPE Fund, our micro-finance program, provides start-up funds for a small business, paving a way out of poverty for families in need.
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ServLife International, Inc.
P.O. Box 20596
Indianapolis, IN 46220
USA


Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook

The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: January 30, 2015


TRINITY PRESBYTERY, SOUTH CAROLINA - Connect. Grow. Serve. These three words sum up the mission of Cherokee Presbyterian Church in Gilbert.

Whether volunteering at the local food pantry or helping provide clean water for villages in Africa, this small, energetic congregation is faithful in discerning and answering God’s call to compassionate service.

Even before chartering in 2011, folks at Cherokee began partnering with local organizations to identify and respond to community needs. ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Teichert Prayer Letter for January

The family of Karl and Jenny Teichert are serving the Lord as missionaries with OC Africa, in South Africa. They moved to Johannesburg in November, 1997 with their four children; Ann, Scott, Stephen and John. Karl serves as the Southern Africa Director of the Southern Africa Regional Team. Their vision is to see a healthy, Bible-based church established in every un-reached village and community in South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia and beyond. Their strategy is to partner with key African church leaders to research, train, and mobilize the body of Christ to complete the Great Commission. They are striving to equip local leaders in Southern Africa to reach their nations for Christ and send missionaries into other countries as well.

January/February 2015 ... The Challenge of Disciple-making in South Africa

Dear family and friends,

The Church in South Africa is facing a “discipleship crisis.” Christi anity is marked by numerical growth without the same level of spiritual maturity. The zeal to go wider has not been matched by the commitment to go deeper. The problem stems from an undisciplined, undiscipled, disobedient, and Biblically ignorant church of Jesus Christ.


Last November, Karl was invited to facilitate a session on the Challenge of Disciple-making in South Africa at the Township Missions Conference in Cape Town. It was a tremendous opportunity to highlight the urgent need for effective disciple-making movements in South Africa today. Karl highlighted Christ’s disciple-making strategy to spread the gospel by making disciples who learn to obey the Word of God and quickly make other disciples to do the same. Mark 3:14 states, Christ “appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach.” The effect of Christ’s intentional life-on-life discipleship with Peter and John was expressed by the religious officials in Acts 4:13, “when they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”

Drugs, alcohol, prostitution, violent crime, and gangs are a chronic problem in the townships. Young people are attracted to gangs to find identity and affirmation. As part of the session, Karl invited three men to share how they came to Christ and how they are making disciples in the townships of Cape Town. Sibu, Denzil, and Siya grew up in an environment of gangs and drugs. Their parents and even grandparents were drug-dealers. Denzil shared how his own brother shot him through the head in front of their home as a gang initiation. Denzil miraculously survived, but his brother was later killed by other gang members. Each of these men spent many years in prison for violent crimes, but aft er their release, God has given them a vision to give back to their communities. They are building relationships and starting evangelistic Bible discussion groups with gang leaders that no one else can reach. Through their genuine love for Christ, they have been able to initiate Discovery Bible groups with influential leaders that are impacting their network of relationships. Please pray that God will continue to use these brothers to multiply disciple-making groups and transform lives in the townships.

After the conference, several participants expressed a desire to learn more about disciple-making in their communities. Karl will be presenting a follow-up workshop the last week of February. Please pray for God’s wisdom as he facilitates this training and that many will start disciple-making movements in their area.

Thank you for partnering with us through your prayers and financial support. God is at work and you are a vital part in his mission plan. We are grateful for you!

Thank you for your faithful partnership in the Lord’s mission!

For His glory,

Karl and Jenny




OC Africa is an interdenominational ministry committed to developing, equipping, and mobilizing church leaders to multiply healthy, Bible-based churches in every community in Southern Africa and the world. OC is a faith-based mission who depends on the Lord to provide committed, financial supporters and partners. The contributions from these individuals help generate ministry opportunities around the world, impact missionaries and their global work, and provide a means for the International Mobilization Center to function. CLICK HERE
to learn how YOU can be a part of mobilizing church leaders around the world by donating to OC.

New college group raising awareness of human trafficking

Voice for the Sold! is a new club at Midland College, dedicated to raising awareness on Human and Sex trafficking and the harmful effects of pornography.

This Friday, January 30th, Voice for the Sold! will be sharing a documentary in honor of Human Trafficking Awareness Month. We will be showing this in Club Room 134 located in the Scharbauer Student Center at 6pm. It is highly encouraged to watch to get an understanding of what we are fighting for. If you, or anyone you know is interested, please do not hesitate to attend!

CLICK HERE for more information about the club

Faces of Children: Prayer Concerns for This Week

Faces of Children is an ecumenical prayer ministry under the auspices of First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. Our mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, we seek to provide an opportunity for people of God to join together, learn about children and their needs throughout the world, and celebrate Christ's love (especially as it relates to children).

Prayer Concerns for the Week of 01/28/15


Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Cameroon

Please keep in prayer the more than 20,000 Nigerians who have fled to Chad, Niger, and Cameroon earlier this month after their towns and villages were attacked by Boko Haram fighters. An estimated 13,000 Nigerians have entered the Lake Chad region in Chad; 6,000 have escaped into Cameroon; and 1,500 have fled north to Niger.
more on this request ...
Pray for Nigerian refugee children and families who’ve fled these attacks and now struggle to survive in countries that are already struggling to feed and protect their own populations. Pray God will provide the resources needed to help this vulnerable population.
Please pray for the loved ones of those killed in Boko Haram attacks on two northern Nigerian towns in early January in what human rights groups believe was a massacre of more than 2,000 people. Nigerian military reports claim 150 were killed. Pray for children and families whose homes were destroyed in the attacks that caused large-scale destruction and almost wiped one of the towns off the map.
more on this request ...
more on this request ...
more on this request ...
Thanks be to God for the recent support provided by humanitarian aid groups for refugees in Chad, Niger, and Cameroon. Pray more organizations will help this vulnerable population. more on this request ...
Pray for peace and stability in this region. Pray for an end to Boko Haram’s violent, five-year quest to carve out an Islamic state in northern Nigeria.

Pakistan

Please continue to keep in prayer the children affected by the Taliban’s December 16 attack at the Army Public School in Peshawar. Pray for children who were injured in the attack and for all those who were deeply traumatized by it. Pray God will bring healing to each of them.
more on this request ...
Please pray God will comfort the parents and loved ones of the 134 students massacred when Taliban militants attacked the school. Pray for the peace that surpasses all understanding in this season of grief and loss.
Pray for children who recently returned to their classes at the army-run school. Pray for God’s comfort and peace for those feeling anxious about being back at the school where so many of their classmates were killed. Pray for their safety and protection from further violence by the Taliban.
Give God thanks for the way the community has come together to protect the children in their midst and defend their right to seek an education.

United States

Pray for 4-year-old Angeleigh who was placed in her foster grandmother’s care after her mother lost custody for abusing her. Pray God will comfort Angeleigh who reverts to animal behavior after visits with her mother or father. When she returns to her grandmother’s house after these visits, Angeleigh pretends she is an animal, walks on all fours, wants to eat on the floor, and doesn’t talk.

Faces of Children

Please keep the members of the Faces of Children visioning team in prayer as they seek God’s guidance for this ministry. Pray God will bless them with a clear vision for the ministry and its future.
Please pray Polly Houston, the mother of Faces of Children prayer partner Bridget Hyde, will experience God’s comfort and peace during this last season of her life. Polly was recently given a terminal cancer diagnosis. Pray for her family during this difficult time…that they might also experience God’s peace.
Pray God’s healing mercies will be upon Dan, the husband of Faces of Children intercessor Judia Foreman, as he recovers from a recent health setback.
Keep Faces of Children prayer partner Sally Smith and her family in prayer following the death of Sally’s husband Hoxie. Pray for God’s comforting presence during their season of sorrow.
Pray God will bring healing to the mother of Faces of Children intercessors Judy Craig and Susie Foy. Give thanks to God that their mother was able to return home from the hospital recently.
Thanks be to God for a safe delivery for Courtney and Jake, the daughter-in-law and son of Faces of Children prayer partners Chris and Jeff Laufer. Give thanks to God for the birth of a healthy baby girl, Caley Jude, on January 9, 2015 in Brisbane, Australia.
Please continue to pray that more churches and individuals will join with the ministry of Faces of Children in spreading awareness about children in crisis and inviting more people to pray for children at risk.



If you have prayer requests about children, those who care for them, those who have authority over them, or those who harm them (the really hard prayers to say sometimes), please send them to Chris Laufer, FOC Coordinator, at claufer@facesofchildren.net

In the News ... "New Buckner director focuses on sustainability, foster and adoption programs"

MRT Photo by Tim Fischer
• Immediate goals for nonprofit to grow foster and adoption programs

By Steve Kuhlman, Reporter
Midland Reporter-Telegram

MIDLAND, TEXAS - In the face of a potential economic downturn for the Tall City, Buckner Children and Family Services’ new executive director, Jordan Parnell, is focused on promoting sustainability that will keep the nonprofit running smoothly into the future.

“I want to make sure that I’m doing whatever I can from an administrative standpoint to make sure that Buckner is sustainable for 10, 15, 25, 35 years,” Parnell said. “We live in such a volatile economy here in Midland that I want to do whatever I can as far development, program coordination and administration to make sure that Buckner Midland and the programs that operate in Buckner Midland are sustainable for many years to come ...”


read the rest of this MRT report

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook

The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: January 29, 2015


PRESBYTERY OF TAMPA BAY, FLORIDA - Ministries of compassionate and prophetic discipleship are thriving across newly created geographic missional regions in the Presbytery of Tampa Bay.

In the west region, every Thursday evening the men’s group of Peace Memorial Presbyterian Church in Clearwater, along with dedicated volunteers, hosts Peace Cafe. Together, they provide a full meal and snacks for approximately 100 hungry (and often homeless) neighbors ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

WAW Wednesdays: Lightning strikes twice?

"The Word at Work is a ministry that mobilizes churches and individuals to answer God's call to minister to those in need," writes Rev. Tim Tam, Director of the Amarillo, Texas-based ministry. "Through our relationships, God reveals needs and opportunities for service. As we come along side the poor, new friendships develop and doors for ministry open. As we serve, God provides the resources to supply for the needs he reveals."



Lightning strikes twice?

Friends,

Last week at this time something big was up in the air and we couldn't report on it until now.

We received an urgent request from Belize. Believe it or not, yet another young girl with a cancerous growth on her leg.

This time it's an eight-year-old, Gabriella, She and her mother Christine arrived here safely in Amarillo Monday night.

The request stated that if she wasn't able to get help outside of Belize she would die a painful death over the next two years.

Preliminary work and tests have already begun. She's scheduled for a biopsy on Friday.


Just as before with the recent case with Ladeni, be praying that this doesn't jump to her lungs.

A gracious couple has already stepped forward to be the host Family. The wonderful Doctors, caregivers and supporters that took care of Ladeni are also stepping up.

Speaking of Ladeni, she is happy and healthy and back in Belize. She got early notice on this case with Gabriella “Gabby”, so she and her mother made a pastoral call on Gabby and her mother. In their visit they prayed with them and encouraged them. Ladeni shared her journey with Gabby, about her trip to Amarillo, and mostly she encouraged her to trust in God.

So again we're asking for prayer Gabby's life will be saved, And if possible her leg. Gabby is very sweet and very shy, and right now she's very frightened.

She didn't sleep much last night. I learned that she left her comfortable bed and went down and slept on the basement floor.

In Belize her house is very small. She and one of her other sisters sleep on the floor. Her mother's faith appears to be strong. Pray for her family and for peace in her heart. Right now she seems to be more worried about the other two daughters she had to leave behind in Belize.

 

Just prayers right now.

I will likely ask for some financial help soon.

There are always expenses incurred along the way ... Prescriptions, food, Crutches ... And warm clothing which is something Belizean's normally would not possess.

The night Gabby arrived there were still remnants from our recent snowstorm and Gabby did get to make her first snowball..

I’m about to depart for Belize with a team that will conduct a national training conference for Hospice workers.

Prayerfully,

Tim Tam
The Word at Work




EDITOR'S NOTE: Speaking from my own first-hand experience, working side-by-side with Tim, Kenny and our brothers and sisters in Belize, won't you give thoughtful, prayerful consideration to supporting the efforts of Tim, the Word At Work staff and their partners? Please please fill out this Commitment Card and return it to their office!

Also, remember that you can follow The Word At Work on their Facebook page!

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook

The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: January 28, 2015


PRESBYTERY OF ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA - The Presbytery of St. Augustine has a treasure in its midst—Peace Presbyterian Church, where compassionate and prophetic discipleship is expressed in outreach ministries. Both the food pantry and clothes closet of Peace Presbyterian began with member energy and prayer as well as a desire to meet the physical needs of people in Jacksonville.

The food pantry was started in late 2005—literally in a closet—to address the needs of an African immigrant congregation that rented space from the church. When the economy went into steep decline in late 2007, the ministry expanded and the pantry was moved to a larger room ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Word from Uganda: End of 2014 Newsletter

Missionary teacher Natalie Rolfe writes, "'When He calls me, I will answer ... I'll be somewhere working for my Lord.' My call was Mbale, Uganda and that is where I have returned to serve for another year. Specifically, I am teaching phonics at Lulwanda Children's Home, an orphanage and school for 90 kids." Natalie also keeps an online journal of her service at the weblog, When He calls me, I will answer ...

End of 2014 Newsletter

"Being an overseas missionary comes with great joys and sometimes great sorrows," Natlaie writes in the introduction to her newsletter. "Getting to see the goodness of the Lord every day in obvious ways is a privilege greater than words can express. It is a joy to see the value and purpose in things I do each day that are now part of my normal routine ..."

 • read the rest of the "End of 2014 Newsletter" ...

Invitation to Prayer: TOMORROW

Faces of Children is an ecumenical prayer ministry under the auspices of First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. Our mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, we seek to provide an opportunity for people of God to join together, learn about children and their needs throughout the world, and celebrate Christ's love (especially as it relates to children).

Despite Many Losses, We’re Never at a Loss


Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. Matthew 10:39

“JWe don’t like to dwell on our losses, but our whole lives are filled with losses, endless losses. And every time there are losses, there are choices to be made. You choose to live your losses as passages to anger, blame, hatred, depression, and resentment, or you choose to let these losses be passages to something new, something wider, and deeper. The question is not how to avoid loss and make it not happen, but how to choose it as a passage, as an exodus to greater life and freedom.”

"O God, may your redemptive love showered upon us in Jesus lead us to live holy and happy lives despite our losses.”

Living in Hope: Advent Meditations from the writings of Henri Nouwen by James E. Adams


A message from Chris Laufer, Coordinator, Faces of Children

Greetings, Faces of Children Prayer Partner,

At the end of January, I’ll be retiring after serving 10 years in this ministry. I leave Faces of Children with mixed emotions. I’m experiencing feelings of excitement about where God will lead me next and feelings of joy that I get to spend more time with our four grandchildren and travel with my husband. Yet, I’m also experiencing feelings of sadness that I’ll be leaving this work about which I’ve become very passionate and feelings of loss as I’ll miss the deep connections to this community of faithful pray-ers. (If you would like to stay in touch, my home email address is: cclaufer@sbcglobal.net.) Bittersweet is probably a good way to describe what is happening in my heart and mind.

Many of you may be thinking, “What’s next for Faces of Children then?” A visioning committee at First Presbyterian Church, Midland is meeting to discern God’s direction for this ministry. Your prayers for these committee members and their work are coveted. At this point, I cannot say what will happen with Faces of Children; however, I can encourage you to continue to pray for children. You can pray for children wherever you might encounter them, whether that’s in person or through some form of media.

I believe the prayer group will continue to meet on Wednesdays.

The Midland Faces of Children prayer group will gather this coming Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 11:30 a.m. in the Family Life Center conference room at First Presbyterian Church-Midland, Afterwards, we'll share lunch ($5) and fellowship.


Thank you so very much for your faithfulness in prayer for the children of our local and global communities. Your prayers matter! I’ve witnessed God answering prayer after prayer that we have surrendered to God and you have been a part of that important prayer work. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Continuing to praying for you with a glad heart,

Chris

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook

The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: January 27, 2015


SAVANNAH PRESBYTERY, GEORGIA - The mission of Savannah Presbytery is to engage, encourage, and equip its members and congregations as together we serve the church of Jesus Christ in southeast Georgia. This mission is fleshed out in multiple ways globally, nationally, and locally.

Each year, congregations cluster together to minister to the “least of these” in places like Costa Rica, Guatemala, Haiti, and Honduras ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Invitation to Prayer: WEDNESDAY

Faces of Children is an ecumenical prayer ministry under the auspices of First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. Our mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, we seek to provide an opportunity for people of God to join together, learn about children and their needs throughout the world, and celebrate Christ's love (especially as it relates to children).

Despite Many Losses, We’re Never at a Loss


Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. Matthew 10:39

“JWe don’t like to dwell on our losses, but our whole lives are filled with losses, endless losses. And every time there are losses, there are choices to be made. You choose to live your losses as passages to anger, blame, hatred, depression, and resentment, or you choose to let these losses be passages to something new, something wider, and deeper. The question is not how to avoid loss and make it not happen, but how to choose it as a passage, as an exodus to greater life and freedom.”

"O God, may your redemptive love showered upon us in Jesus lead us to live holy and happy lives despite our losses.”

Living in Hope: Advent Meditations from the writings of Henri Nouwen by James E. Adams


A message from Chris Laufer, Coordinator, Faces of Children

Greetings, Faces of Children Prayer Partner,

At the end of January, I’ll be retiring after serving 10 years in this ministry. I leave Faces of Children with mixed emotions. I’m experiencing feelings of excitement about where God will lead me next and feelings of joy that I get to spend more time with our four grandchildren and travel with my husband. Yet, I’m also experiencing feelings of sadness that I’ll be leaving this work about which I’ve become very passionate and feelings of loss as I’ll miss the deep connections to this community of faithful pray-ers. (If you would like to stay in touch, my home email address is: cclaufer@sbcglobal.net.) Bittersweet is probably a good way to describe what is happening in my heart and mind.

Many of you may be thinking, “What’s next for Faces of Children then?” A visioning committee at First Presbyterian Church, Midland is meeting to discern God’s direction for this ministry. Your prayers for these committee members and their work are coveted. At this point, I cannot say what will happen with Faces of Children; however, I can encourage you to continue to pray for children. You can pray for children wherever you might encounter them, whether that’s in person or through some form of media.

I believe the prayer group will continue to meet on Wednesdays.

The Midland Faces of Children prayer group will gather this coming Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 11:30 a.m. in the Family Life Center conference room at First Presbyterian Church-Midland, Afterwards, we'll share lunch ($5) and fellowship.


Thank you so very much for your faithfulness in prayer for the children of our local and global communities. Your prayers matter! I’ve witnessed God answering prayer after prayer that we have surrendered to God and you have been a part of that important prayer work. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Continuing to praying for you with a glad heart,

Chris

In the News ... "Free preview of PBS series on trafficking, poverty, violence"

• Tuesday evening at Midland Shared Spaces

Staff Report
Odessa American


MIDLAND, TEXAS -A free preview screening of “A Path Appears” ... a series on PBS that looks at sex trafficking, poverty and domestic violence is scheduled for Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Midland Shared Spaces, 3500 North A Street, No. 1100.

A community discussion will follow. To RSVP, go to eventbrite.com. The panel discussion will feature Troy Murdock, Supervisory Senior Resident Agent for the FBI; Chris Stonedale of the Boys & Girls Club of Midland and the Permian Basin; Dennis Mark of Redeemed Ministries; Austin M. Berry, Assistant United States Attorney and several others via Skype.


Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook

The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: January 26, 2015


PROVIDENCE PRESBYTERY, SOUTH CAROLINA - in living into our mission statement to “equip, support, and connect members of Providence Presbytery,” we have committed to walk beside the youth of our presbytery in their confirmation journey.

This year, 18 youth from eight different congregations participated in our confirmation cluster, which included three Sunday-afternoon sessions and two weekend retreats at Bethelwoods Camp and Conference Center ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

"I Am Second" Video Collection: Lecrae





Inspiring the Revolution of Second
 
I Am Second is a movement meant to inspire people of all kinds to live for God and for others. Actors. Athletes. Musicians. Business leaders. Drug addicts. Your next-door neighbor. People like you. The authentic stories on iamsecond.com provide insight into dealing with typical struggles of everyday living. These are stories that give hope to the lonely and the hurting, help from destructive lifestyles, and inspiration to the unfulfilled. You’ll discover people who’ve tried to go it alone and have failed. Find the hope, peace, and fulfillment they found. Be Second.

You are here for a reason. We all have needs and could use some help. Talk to us. Call, chat, or email. 24 hours a day.

Go a step further, talk with the people in your life. Spread the revolution of Second. Share the videos with friends. Gather a group of friends to discuss the films. Start an I am Second group.

Volunteer at concerts. Serve through I am Second community service events. Organize your own I am Second events. Sign up for an I am Second Expedition to help people in other countries. Check out Live Second for other opportunities. Connect with us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.
I am Second is designed to help people discover their purpose in life. Have you discovered yours?
To find out more about the people and leadership team behind I Am Second you can check out Who We Are.

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook

The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: January 25, 2015


MINUTE FOR MISSION: CRIMINAL JUSTICE - The doors inside the jail never close gently. Every time I walk through them, the heavy double set of steel doors leading to the housing unit slam shut. It’s disturbing. Maybe it’s supposed to be.

The psalmist cries: “For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken” (Ps. 62:5–6). That overwhelming sense of waiting in silence is one of the most common things that I hear from people in jail. It’s hard not to be shaken when your waiting is measured by the slamming of steel doors. But the hope we find in Christ can change everything ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Upward Devotional: Looking Inside, Underneath

As I noted before, it’s the start of a new year, and that means part of my Saturdays are spent in gymnasiums … one in my church, and another in the public high school across the street. The Upward Basketball and Cheerleading season is well underway here, in Midland, Texas. Volunteers are helping the program in a lot of different ways … as coaches, referees, time/scorekeeprs, and delivering devotionals to the fans during halftime breaks … I’m one of the volunteers doing the devotionals, and here was my presentation for today, inspired by the story of a an alumnus of the college where I work …




Hello, everyone, and thank you for being here today for the kiddos ...

There's an old, old saying that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. And that's true, really ... too many people rely upon outward appearance, not taking the time or the effort to find out what's underneath, whether it's a book, or a car, or a person.

I work at Midland College, and over my years there, I have met some good people, had some good experiences, and heard some good stories ... one of my favorite stories involves a young man who came to Midland College to play basketball.

Anthony Webb was born in poverty, in the Dallas, Texas area. From an early age, he enjoyed playing basketball. He was quick, and he could really jump. But he was also short ... too short, many people said, to play basketball. He might never have gotten a chance to play even junior high basketball if two other players hadn't failed to meet exam requirements.

When he played, he played well. But over and over again, he had to work hard to prove to the skeptics that he could play basketball at the next level. He graduated from high school with an impressive varsity basketball record, averaging 26 points-per-game. But colleges - certainly the big schools - weren't interested ... except for Midland College, a two-year junior college, out in the middle of nowhere West Texas.

So, what happened? A national junior college championship for the team, and an MVP award and write-up in Sports Illustrated for Webb ... all of which attracted the attention of Coach Jim Valvano at North Carolina State University ... a chance for Webb to continue his education and his basketball at a four-year school.

The pro's came next .... with many scouts finding him too short to play professional basketball. But he was finally drafted by the Atlanta Hawks. Anthony "Spud" Webb played well enough to start for the Hawks, to be selected for the NBA All-Star game, and even compete in the Slam Dunk Contest ... which he won.

Not bad for someone who is five-foot, seven-inches tall.

You shouldn't judge a book by its cover. Don't focus solely on outward appearances.

In the second book of Corinthians, we read ...
"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." – 2 Corinthians 4:18 (NKJV)

Not a bad idea for basketball or anything you do in life, and what lies beyond ...

Thank you, everyone. Enjoy the game!

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook

The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: January 24, 2015


PEACE RIVER PRESBYTERY, FLORIDA - In 2006, Beth-El Farmworker Ministry in Wimauma, a mission partner of Peace River Presbytery, expanded its multifaceted assistance program for farm workers to the city of Immokalee in south Florida. The immigrant farmworkers there, primarily tomato pickers, needed food assistance, counseling, and worship opportunities—things Beth-El does well. Beth-El called a pastor from Guatemala, Rev. Miguel Estrada, and opened Mision Peniel to improve the lives of a population that most of us take for granted.

Last year, Peace River was given the opportunity to assume full responsibility for the oversight and support of Mision Peniel, which is in essence a ministry of compassionate and prophetic discipleship ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.

Friday, January 23, 2015

From @FWMission ... Friday Story: "Tremendous Thanks"

Founded in 2001, Free Wheelchair Mission is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to providing wheelchairs for the impoverished disabled in developing nations. Headquartered in Irvine, California, FWM works around the world in partnership with a vast network of humanitarian, faith-based and government organizations, sending wheelchairs to hundreds of thousands of disabled people, providing not only the gift of mobility, but of dignity, independence, and hope.


Friday Story: "Tremendous Thanks"

Greetings and happy Friday!

This time each year I spend time reflecting on the things I am grateful for; my family, friends and all of you who have helped change lives through the gift of mobility. This week, I want to share the story of a boy from Honduras who is also very grateful for the way you changed his life through the gift of mobility:

At two years old, Brayan contracted meningitis and has been unable to walk ever since. As he grew up, he loved attending school and would do anything he could to get there, often resorting to crawling when he became too large to be carried ...


read the rest of this story ...



Want to take one of these wheelchairs  for a test drive? During normal business hours, visit the lobby at the Texas Street entrance of First Presbyterian Church-Midland, at the northwest corner of Texas and A streets, on the west side of downtown Midland. You can give the gift of mobility. The cost of $72.00 is a bargain to us ... but it is a life-changing gift to impoverished and disabled recipients ... and there are times when your contribution will be matched, reaching not one - but TWO, and sometimes FOUR recipients. Please note on your check "Wheelchair Gift."

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook

The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: January 23, 2015


NORTHEAST GEORGIA PRESBYTERY - Covenant Presbyterian Church in Athens, a congregation of 350 members, demonstrates compassionate and prophetic discipleship in a host of ways: language and cultural training for refugees, ministries and hands-on service with the homeless and other people in need, Habitat for Humanity projects, and ecumenical cooperation for racial justice—just to name a few. Additionally, many Covenant members are involved in agencies and projects across the Clarke County area. Rev. Mark Harper has pastored the church for nine years.

In 2006, Covenant began an outreach to community youth ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.