Sunday, November 23, 2014

In the News ... "Rays of Hope recognizes National Blue Day with art exhibit"

MRT Photo by Tim Fischer
• Visual representation of clients' grief

By Steve Kuhlman
Midland Reporter-Telegram

MIDLAND, TEXAS - Rays of Hope Children’s Grief Centre observed National Children’s Grief Awareness Day — also known as National Blue Day — Thursday with an art exhibit titled “Grief Through the Eyes of a Child” featuring art by the center’s clients.

“It’s very touching to be able to look into the lives of these families who have been impacted by loss,” said Kelsee Jones, program director at Rays of Hope. “It’s powerful in the sense that you can really recognize their grief, but you can also see the hope that they have in healing. We feel like it’s very touching and impactful for people to come in and see and it really speaks to the work that we want to try to do.”

Jones said the art project is an assignment of a program that aims to help clients and their families create a visual representation of what their grief. She hopes the exhibit was able to remind the community that “we’re surrounded by children who are grieving due to losses and changes in their lives and that we do have the power to support them ...”

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: November 23, 2014


MINUTE FOR MISSION: CHRIST THE KING / REIGN OF CHRIST - On the last Sunday before Advent begins, we should all take a moment to consider that Christmas is not just about a baby being born—it is about the coming of a king. And this King, whom we have never met, loved us enough to die for us. And his “Abba,” our great God, sent him to earth so that he could show us how we should live and how to love one another. Today is a day for us to celebrate the great love that God shows us every single day ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.


The 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook now available ... 

 The 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the compassionate and prophetic disciples among us. They proclaim God’s justice — extending God’s reign each and every day through their lives and work. Their stories will inspire and encourage you. Engage in ministry alongside them by praying through the Mission Yearbook each day.

Order your copy from the Church Store ...

Saturday, November 22, 2014

In the News ... "After 13 years, Three Bridges still has its gospel story to tell"

Courtesy Photo
Rich Lopez, Reporter
Midland Reporter-Telegram

MIDLAND, TEXAS - Elliot McCoy is used to the question about his gospel trio’s name. Since their debut 13 years ago, it’s the one question he’s always asked. But it’s also a joke easily walked into.

“I’m Lloyd, he’s Jeff and that’s Beau — the Three Bridges,” McCoy joked.

Initially, he was just drawn to the word, but then he liked the notion of it.

“Well, obviously we are a trio, but then I like to think that we’ve bridged our life to Christ and also we’re a bridge to Christ for others,” he said.

Touring in support of their October release “Jesus Saves,” the trio — which also features lead singer Shannon Smith and tenor Jeremie Hudson (McCoy sings baritone) — will perform a concert Sunday at Calvary Assembly of God ...

 • 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: November 22, 2014


SYRIA - Despite the recent turmoil in much of the Middle East, a group of Presbyterian young adults, primarily from Syria, gathered in fellowship in fall 2012 at the Dhour Choueir Conference Center, a ministry of the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon (NESSL). Proverbs 8:1—“Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice?”—provided the theme of the conference.

Participants shared their experiences during the crisis in Syria, which included joblessness, uncertainty, and fear for the future. Despite their collective fears, some expressed strongly that Christians can play an important role in such circumstances ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.


The 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook now available ... 

 The 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the compassionate and prophetic disciples among us. They proclaim God’s justice — extending God’s reign each and every day through their lives and work. Their stories will inspire and encourage you. Engage in ministry alongside them by praying through the Mission Yearbook each day.

Order your copy from the Church Store ...

Friday, November 21, 2014

In the News ... "Gobble, gobble!"

OA Photo by Edyta Blaszczyk
• First Baptist giving out 1,200 Thanksgiving meals

By Jon Vanderlaan
Reporter
Odessa American

ODESSA, TEXAS - Taking on the tradition of Permian Basin Mission Center, First Baptist Church of Odessa is giving away 1,200 Thanksgiving meals Sunday.

From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, the church will hand out 12- to 16-pound turkeys and all the fixin’s.

James McCrary, the church’s pastor of connections, said the FBC staff wanted to find a way to give back to the community, and one of those ways was giving Thanksgiving meals ...

CLICK HERE to read the rest of this OA report


Mysteries Revealed! "Advent Conspiracy" concludes Sunday at First Prez-Midland

Concluding this Sunday at First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas ...

There's a conspiracy afoot in the Tall City, and across the country ... though it's not the kind of conspiracy you'd find in a Dan Brown novel. Advent Conspiracy is an international movement working to restore the spirit of Christmas by substituting compassion for consumption - a movement of Christ-followers who want to ...

 • Worship Fully,
 • Give More,
 • Spend Less, and
 • Love All.


It's a conspiracy without a hidden agenda ... speaking openly, conspirators remind us that the story of Christ's birth is a story of promise, hope, and a revolutionary love. So, what happened? What was once a time to celebrate the birth of a savior has somehow turned into a season of stress, traffic jams, and shopping lists. And when it's all over, many of us are left with presents to return, looming debt that will take months to pay off, and this empty feeling of missed purpose. Is this what we really want out of Christmas?

We all want our Christmas to be a lot of things. Full of joy. Memories. Happiness. Above all, we want it to be about Jesus. What we don't want is stress. Or debt. Or feeling like we "missed the moment". Advent Conspiracy is a movement designed to help us all slow down and experience a Christmas worth remembering. But doing this means doing things a little differently. A little creatively.

What if Christmas became a world-changing event again? ... Welcome to the Advent Conspiracy. ... It means turning Christmas upside down.



Want to know more? Join us Sunday at 9:30 a.m. in Lynn Hall at First Presbyterian Church-Midland, at the northwest corner of Texas and A streets, on the west side of downtown Midland. You can enter the church from Texas Street, or from Illinois, right across from Midland High School.

In the News ... "Fill the Box: Needy children helped through effort"

OA Photo by Courtney Sacco
• Christmas goes around the world

By Bob Campbell, Special Contributor
Odessa American

MIDLAND/ODESSA, TEXAS - There is an obvious benefit to sending shoeboxes full of Christmas gifts to 10 million children in 90 countries, but leaders of the program say the real value is that it is unquantifiable.

Packing boxes for their annual drive Monday through Nov. 24, Permian Basin workers in Operation Christmas Child are using Sherwood Baptist Church at 505 E. 42nd St., in Odessa and Stonegate Fellowship at 6000 W. Wadley Ave., in Midland as collection centers.

Each shoebox is designated for a girl or a boy, wrapped in Christmas paper and packed with things like hard candy, small cars, dolls, stuffed animals, yo-yos, Slinkies, jump ropes, personal hygiene items and basic necessities like shoes, socks and pencils, organizers say ...

read the rest of this OA 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: November 21, 2014


LEBANON - Lebanon was once called the Switzerland of the Middle East for its peaceful balancing of a diversity of Christian and Muslim groups. That peace was seriously damaged by a civil war from 1975 to 1990, complicated by invasions and partial occupations by Israel and Syria, and unbalanced by waves of refugees: over 400,000 Palestinians and their descendants and an estimated 100,000 Iraqis and 400,000 Syrians. The Muslim community overall is thought to make up more than 60 percent of the population. The Maronite Catholic and Orthodox Christian communities significantly outnumber the Protestants, many of them members of the PC(USA)’s partner church, the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon. ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.


The 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook now available ... 

 The 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the compassionate and prophetic disciples among us. They proclaim God’s justice — extending God’s reign each and every day through their lives and work. Their stories will inspire and encourage you. Engage in ministry alongside them by praying through the Mission Yearbook each day.

Order your copy from the Church Store ...

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Nightlight Blog: "A Few Good Men, Part 3"

"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” Isaiah 9:2

Annie Dieselberg, founder and CEO, heads the staff at NightLight, a ministry in urban Bangkok, Thailand, that reaches out to women and children working in the bar areas of the Nana-Sukhumvit district. Located in a neighborhood with a growing sex trade, Nightlight’s vision is to share the Light of the world in both word and deed to those who live in darkness, and to combat the sexual exploitation of women and children, both Thai and foreign,

One of the means Annie uses to share her observations and experiences is her blog, a document of Nightlight's's mission to see women and children freed from the sexual exploitation of prostitution and trafficking, and to see the global church and community working together to free, heal, and restore all who have been broken and wounded through the sex trade.

A Few Good Men, Part 3

We at NightLight believe that men are part of the solution in regard to the issue of sexual exploitation. We are committed to reaching out to the men who come to Bangkok to participate in the sex industry. These following stories will highlight “a few good men” that we work with or encounter in the Nana red-light district in Bangkok. This week we are featuring a journal from David Weber. He and his wife, Allison, are from the U.S. and recently joined the volunteer staff at NightLight in August 2012 ...

“Greetings, friends and supports of NightLight. My wife Allison, and I are volunteers with NightLight and are responsible for the outreach center. Males are a rare sight at the NightLight offices, so I’ve often felt like an anomaly here. Jeff, Ajaan Nak, Paul, and I are surrounded by 60+ women. Some men would relish these opportunities, but since my last two seasons of life were male-dominant: working at an engineering firm and then studying in the information systems department of a business school, I admit it is sometimes a bit daunting! Allison says it’s good for me, and she is usually right about this kind of stuff.

Before coming to NightLight, I expected the women there to view me with hostility, since it was likely the men in their lives who mistreated and abused them ...


read the rest of this post ... 

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 11/19/14


China

Please hold 2-month-old Esther close in prayer during a very difficult season of her young life. Esther was born with a gastrointestinal defect and abandoned at a local orphanage when she was 11 days old.
Give thanks to God the orphanage at which Esther was placed brought her to New Day Foster Home after hearing they’d been able to help other children with the same condition. Shortly after she was moved to New Day, Esther underwent a Kasai procedure in order to delay the need for a liver transplant; however, the procedure didn’t work.
Pray God will bring healing to Esther’s little body as she is in liver failure and without a miracle, will not survive much longer. She is currently in ICU.
more on this request ...
more on this request ...

France

Please keep in prayer the estimated 2,000 migrants living in and around the French port of Calais. Pray for children and families (many of whom escaped from countries torn apart by war or political instability) who now live in dreadful conditions like muddy fields, wet ditches, makeshift tents, and abandoned buildings. French authorities say there’s been a 50 percent increase in the number of illegal immigrants in Calais this past year because of the conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan, and Eritrea as well as other parts of the Middle East and North Africa.
more on this request ...
Pray for the 10-year-old Syrian boy living in a rain-soaked ditch who was infested with scabies. Pray God will provide him and the other Syrian boys and young men living in these appalling conditions with safe shelter, medical care, food and water, and warm clothing as the winter approaches.
more on this request ...
Pray for all migrant children and families in Calais who lack sufficient food, drinking water, proper shelter, clothing, and sanitation. Pray for those who are at risk of further violence and brutality because of their vulnerable situations. Pray for the safety of those in danger of being trafficked.
Give thanks to God for the local charities in Calais that are providing clothing and food. Thanks be to God for the staff and volunteers with Doctors of the World who are treating migrants for health problems including scabies, diarrhea, chest complaints, and respiratory ailments.

Iraq

Please remember in prayer the loved ones of those massacred earlier this month in western Anbar province by Islamic State militants (IS also known as ISIS or ISIL). This radical terrorist group, intent on establishing a medieval caliphate in northern Iraq and Syria, destroys anyone and anything in its path. More than 300 members of the Albu Nimr tribe were executed by IS militants. The bodies of 50 Albu Nimr children and women were found dumped in a well.
more on this request ...
Pray for the members of this tribal group who were able to escape from IS. Pray for their safety as they seek shelter outside their village which has been taken over by IS. Pray for the children and families of other tribal groups in the militants’ path in Anbar province.
Please continue to pray for peace and stability in this region. Pray for the safety and freedom of all minorities targeted by IS militants.

Nigeria

Continue to keep in prayer the children and families affected by the frequent and violent attacks of Boko Haram rebels. This radical Islamist group uses brutal means—daily raids, murders, and abductions—in their campaign to establish an Islamic Sharia state in northeast Nigeria. They primarily target Christians and those who seek an education. Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden."
more on this request ...
Pray for the families and friends of the 46 students killed in a bomb blast last week at a secondary school for boys in northeast Nigeria. Pray for God’s healing touch upon those who were injured in the bombing.
more on this request ...
Please continue to pray for children and families who’ve been affected by Boko Haram’s violent campaign. Pray for those who’ve had loved ones killed or injured in attacks by this militant group. Pray for children and families who have lost their homes and communities. Pray God will provide for their immediate and deepest needs.
Please continue to pray for peace in Nigeria’s troubled northeast region. Pray for Nigeria’s government and military leaders during this challenging season. Pray for wisdom and courage to do the right thing for their fellow Nigerians, especially the children of this fractured country.

Faces of Children

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 ... "Feeding the community"

OA Photo by Mark Sterkel
• FBC features First Cup CafĂ© serving people of downtown

By Jared Wilson, Reporter
Odessa American

ODESSA, TEXAS - Jennifer Cochran remembers her calling to First Baptist Church while hearing about their opening for a food service director and seeing an ad for the position. She recalls being asked to take the position after retiring from the Career Center where she had a hand in starting the Culinary Art Program.

“God led me here, he works in mysterious ways,” Cochran said. “I found out that the church had an opening for a food service director so I started thinking about it and people at the church called me about it. I was thinking it over and I finally saw an ad in the paper for the position and I said ‘OK God I’m going’. I took it as a retirement job.”

That is how Cochran got started at FBC but the small retirement job she thought she was walking into soon blossomed into something much more with the added renovations at the church ...

read the rest of this OA 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: November 20, 2014


ISRAEL/PALESTINE/JERUSALEM (continued) - We drove our van southwest from Bethlehem, turning off the main road at an unmarked drive that quickly turned into a rocky dirt road along the edge of a hill. Before long we encountered a giant boulder that blocked the road. As we piled out to walk the final 300 yards to the farm home of the Daoud Nassar family, we learned that the Israeli Army had placed the boulder in the road to prevent motorized access to the farm.

We were met by Daoud and Amal Nassar and their young family, who welcomed us with tea and an incredible story of Christian forbearance, persistence, and courag ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.


The 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook now available ... 

 The 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the compassionate and prophetic disciples among us. They proclaim God’s justice — extending God’s reign each and every day through their lives and work. Their stories will inspire and encourage you. Engage in ministry alongside them by praying through the Mission Yearbook each day.

Order your copy from the Church Store ...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

WAW Wednesdays: A few days late!

"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."




A few days late!

Hello Friends,

It's been a busy week around here!

Thank you for responding to our recent appeal for Overhead Expenses ... our board and staff are grateful for your much needed support! We are prayerful that more monthly donors will make a commitment to TWAW soon!

Blankets for Belize! Many would think this is an oxymoron, but the truth is that the cells in Belize Central Prison get mighty chilly, especially during the rainy season ... 1500 prisoners are in urgent need. Would you like to help? Contact Tim Hagen for the best way to get blankets to us and in time for our next shipment!

Hagen reports we've got churches all over working together to get the next several containers ready to go to Belize...New Mexico, several at the Amarillo warehouse this morning, Ocean Springs ... volunteers driving donations across Texas ... it's inspiring!!

Speaking of inspiration - our friend Ladeni made the front page of the Amarillo Globe News on Friday! Enjoy the video version of her story here. Thank you for your continued prayers for Ladeni and her precious family!!

Gratefully,


tt (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!

Partners Blog: "The Things We Do for Money"

Steve and Oddny Gumaer started Partners Relief and Development in response to the needs of refugees and displaced people from Burma. Their mission is to demonstrate, through holistic action, God’s love to children and communities made vulnerable by war in Burma.

The Things We Do for Money


There are people all over the world who are participating in some odd behavior. If viewed from the outside with no context, some people would be inclined to recommend certain individuals for psychological analysis. In June this year, Brad and his son Brian dedicated their hike in the Himalayas to the people of Burma and their struggle for freedom. In New Zealand this October, dozens of Kiwis lived on $2.25 a day for food to identify and raise support for those who live daily below the poverty line.

At the same time, teams across Canada rode in the Ride for Refuge and the Calgary bike-a-thon to raise funds for the hundreds of thousands of people affected by conflict and dire poverty in Burma.

Still more people around the world are choosing to donate their birthday and make a day that is very much about themselves into one that makes a difference in the lives of others.

None of this is normal behavior ...

read the rest of this post



Partners Relief and Development is a registered charity in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States, working with communities impacted by war in Burma.

In the News ... "Praying around the oil patch"

OA Photo by Mark Sterkel
• Oil show Bible event dovetails into latest mission of minister

By Lyndsay Weaver, Reporter
Odessa American


ODESSA, TEXAS - Demand is high in the Permian Basin ... Demand for oilfield hands. Demand for drivers. Demand for housing. Demand to staff restaurants, businesses and schools to keep up with the oil boom that’s brought in thousands to work and created wealth like no one has seen in decades.

What’s been overlooked in the booms and busts of Midland/Odessa — until this year — is the demand for God.

For the first time in the decades of the Permian Basin International Oil Show, Christians embarked on spreading the gospel to the locals and the world travelers who came to Odessa. They gave out 7,000 Bibles and more than 200 men said they would commit their lives to Christ ...

 • read the rest of this OA 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: November 19, 2014


ISRAEL/PALESTINE/JERUSALEM (continued) - While people in the United States are free to worship where they please, Palestinian Christians and Muslims are not. A separation wall prevents them from visiting churches or mosques in Jerusalem on holy days, even though the trip often involves only a short walk. Imagine being told you could not worship where you want.

Palestinian Christians ask us not only to come and see the sites, the “old stones” of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, but also to come and pursue encounters and relationships with the “living stones” of Palestine ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.


The 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook now available ... 

 The 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the compassionate and prophetic disciples among us. They proclaim God’s justice — extending God’s reign each and every day through their lives and work. Their stories will inspire and encourage you. Engage in ministry alongside them by praying through the Mission Yearbook each day.

Order your copy from the Church Store ...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Word from Uganda: "An adventure abroad ... Paris "

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 ...

An adventure abroad ... Paris

I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to be a world traveler. I thought I would make the most of my trip out of Uganda for Tiffany's wedding to make a stop to Paris first. Paris! The city in all the movies, so grand in its architecture, a destination desired by many. And the best part is that I had a dear friend, Julie Green, join me for this adventure ...

 • read the rest of Natalie's post ... 



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).

A New Beginning


"We must learn to live each day, each hour, yes, each minute as a new beginning, as a unique opportunity to make everything new. Imagine that we could live each moment as a moment pregnant with new life. Imagine that we could live each day as a day full of promises. Imagine that we could walk through the new year always listening to a voice saying to us: ‘I have a gift for you and can’t wait for you to see it!’ Imagine.

Is it possible that our imagination can lead us to the truth of our lives? Yes, it can! The problem is that we allow our past, which becomes longer and longer each year, to say to us: ‘You know it all; you have seen it all, be realistic; the future will be just another repeat of the past. Try to survive it as best you can.’ There are many cunning foxes jumping on our shoulders and whispering in our ears the great lie: ‘There is nothing new under the sun…don’t let yourself be fooled ...’

So what are we to do? First, we must send the foxes back to where they belong: in their foxholes. And then we must open our minds and our hearts to the voice that resounds through the valleys and hills of our life saying: ‘Let me show you where I live among my people. My name is God-with-you. I will wipe away all the tears from your eyes; there will be no more death, and no more mourning or sadness. The world of the past has gone’ (see Revelation 21:2-5).

We must choose to listen to that voice, and every choice will open us a little more to discover the new life hidden in the moment, waiting eagerly to be born.”

Here and Now by Henri J. M. Nouwen


A message from Chris Laufer, Coordinator, Faces of Children

Greetings, Faces of Children Prayer Partner,

The Midland Faces of Children prayer group will meet on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 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.


I hope you are able to join us as we pray for the children of our local and global communities.

Thank you for your faithfulness in prayer for the littlest citizens of God’s Kingdom! If you have prayer concerns or celebrations 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 me at at claufer@facesofchildren.net, or give me a call.

Grace and peace,

Chris

In the News ... "Buckner Family Place hosts open house for new activity center, duplex" ... TODAY

MRT Photo by Steve Kuhlman
• Over time, families have become a cohesive community

By Steve Kuhlman
Midland Reporter-Telegram

MIDLAND, TEXAS - Buckner Family Place will hold a ribbon-cutting and open house for its new facilities this morning as two new families move in. The additions to the nonprofit’s living space include an activity center and one new duplex featuring two three-bedroom apartments.

“We’re just thrilled that this stage is coming to a close and that it can be completed and fully up and running,” said Myndi Easter, Buckner gift officer. “Midland is such a generous community. We would not be able to serve these families and these ladies without the community standing behind us and this program.”

Easter said while all of the previously-built apartments on the site are two-bedroom, it had become clear the average family size of clients was more suited to a three-bedroom set-up ...”

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: November 18, 2014


ISRAEL/PALESTINE/JERUSALEM - For 4,000 years, the Cave of Machpelah has been a place of pilgrimage. Genesis 23:1–20 records Abraham’s purchase of this cave for burial, and he, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob, and Leah are all laid to rest there. It remains a holy site for Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

Located in Hebron, in the heart of the West Bank, the cave has become a hotbed of political and religious conflict ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.


The 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook now available ... 

 The 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the compassionate and prophetic disciples among us. They proclaim God’s justice — extending God’s reign each and every day through their lives and work. Their stories will inspire and encourage you. Engage in ministry alongside them by praying through the Mission Yearbook each day.

Order your copy from the Church Store ...

Monday, November 17, 2014

ChinaAid: "Cross destruction continues in Hangzhou, Wenzhou"

The China Aid Association is a non-profit Christian organization - based in Midland, Texas - with a mission to uncover and reveal the truth about religious persecution in China, focusing especially on the unofficial church. They do this, they explain in their website, by exposing the abuses, encouraging the abused and equipping the saints to advance the kingdom of God throughout China.

Cross destruction continues in Hangzhou, Wenzhou
Distributed by ChinaAid, October, 2014 ...

WENZHOU, ZHEJIANG, CHINA – hurches in Wenzhou and Hangzhou, the capital of the Chinese coastal Zhejiang province, reported cross demolitions on Friday; some Christians told China Aid that only one cross is still standing in the heavily persecuted Wenzhou area.

“On [Friday], the cross of [Kaiyang Church] of Wuniu pastoral region in Yongjia County, Wenzhou was taken down,” a worshipper from Pingyang County, Wenzhou said. “[The cross on] a church in Ouhai District, Wenzhou was also taken down. Now, in Pingyang County, only the cross of Zengzhan Church has not been taken down” ...


more on this story from China Aid  

FPC-Midland Belize Mission: Bienvenidos al Norte

From November 8th through the 15th, 2014, a team from 1st Presbyterian Church-Midland will be traveling to the Central American country of Belize, and working with The Word at Work ministry. This will be an opportunity to reach out and share the gospel with the people of Belize while working side-by-side with the local community and The Word at Work staff on a much-needed construction project ... all of this building upon a foundation of relationships that was laid early this year.


Bienvenidos al norte ...

What a difference a day can make ...


I don't know about the rest of the team ... but mornings such as this have me thinking about long-term mission in Belize ... at least during winter months!


Got questions and/or comments for our team? Send them through the link at the bottom of this page.

GOT QUESTIONS?

Is there something you'd like to ask any of our mission team members, or our pastor?

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).

A New Beginning


"We must learn to live each day, each hour, yes, each minute as a new beginning, as a unique opportunity to make everything new. Imagine that we could live each moment as a moment pregnant with new life. Imagine that we could live each day as a day full of promises. Imagine that we could walk through the new year always listening to a voice saying to us: ‘I have a gift for you and can’t wait for you to see it!’ Imagine.

Is it possible that our imagination can lead us to the truth of our lives? Yes, it can! The problem is that we allow our past, which becomes longer and longer each year, to say to us: ‘You know it all; you have seen it all, be realistic; the future will be just another repeat of the past. Try to survive it as best you can.’ There are many cunning foxes jumping on our shoulders and whispering in our ears the great lie: ‘There is nothing new under the sun…don’t let yourself be fooled ...’

So what are we to do? First, we must send the foxes back to where they belong: in their foxholes. And then we must open our minds and our hearts to the voice that resounds through the valleys and hills of our life saying: ‘Let me show you where I live among my people. My name is God-with-you. I will wipe away all the tears from your eyes; there will be no more death, and no more mourning or sadness. The world of the past has gone’ (see Revelation 21:2-5).

We must choose to listen to that voice, and every choice will open us a little more to discover the new life hidden in the moment, waiting eagerly to be born.”

Here and Now by Henri J. M. Nouwen


A message from Chris Laufer, Coordinator, Faces of Children

Greetings, Faces of Children Prayer Partner,

The Midland Faces of Children prayer group will meet on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 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.


I hope you are able to join us as we pray for the children of our local and global communities.

Thank you for your faithfulness in prayer for the littlest citizens of God’s Kingdom! If you have prayer concerns or celebrations 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 me at at claufer@facesofchildren.net, or give me a call.

Grace and peace,

Chris

In the News ... "Annual Nativity display benefits Family Promise"

MRT Photo by Tim Fischer
• You are encouraged to join the event, display your own Nativity

By Steve Kuhlman
Midland Reporter-Telegram

MIDLAND, TEXAS - The fourth annual No Room at the Inn event, benefiting Family Promise of Midland, will give Midlanders a chance to browse through hundreds of privately collected nativities.

“The No Room at the Inn event has just always been really special,” said Kay Brockman, volunteer and displayer at the event. “You just see everything from gloriously sculpted things to a rubber ducky (nativity). It’s just a fun time and I think that everyone should at least come out and look at all of the beautiful nativities. It makes for a fun afternoon ...”

... The No Room at the Inn event will be held 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday, November 22, at Grace Presbyterian Church of Midland ...

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: November 17, 2014


EGYPT (continued) - As a student at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo, Magdi Rafaat became curious about mission work. His interest was further piqued after spending two summers in Khartoum, Sudan, as a seminary intern. He thought that perhaps God was calling him to service in Sudan, but then the head of the mission program at the seminary, Tharwat Waheeb, approached him about serving in Basra, Iraq. He explained that there were few Presbyterian churches left in the country and that the one in Basra currently had no pastor. Magdi was intrigued ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.


The 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook now available ... 

 The 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the compassionate and prophetic disciples among us. They proclaim God’s justice — extending God’s reign each and every day through their lives and work. Their stories will inspire and encourage you. Engage in ministry alongside them by praying through the Mission Yearbook each day.

Order your copy from the Church Store ...

Sunday, November 16, 2014

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: November 16, 2014


MINUTE FOR MISSION: AUBURN THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY - "Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing." (1 Thess. 5:11)

Before our first meeting of the Sojourner Truth Leadership Circle, an eight-month fellowship program designed to explore new paradigms in female leadership through the lens of Black female leaders in faith and social justice, we knew our journey would be tough. Tough, but necessary ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.


The 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook now available ... 

 The 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the compassionate and prophetic disciples among us. They proclaim God’s justice — extending God’s reign each and every day through their lives and work. Their stories will inspire and encourage you. Engage in ministry alongside them by praying through the Mission Yearbook each day.

Order your copy from the Church Store ...

Saturday, November 15, 2014

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: November 15, 2014


EGYPT - The Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo began its ministry in 1863 on a houseboat on the Nile River! By 1926, land and money had been given to establish a campus in Cairo and to begin residential training. Today, its 160 students are taught by an international faculty, including several from the PC(USA ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.


The 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook now available ... 

 The 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the compassionate and prophetic disciples among us. They proclaim God’s justice — extending God’s reign each and every day through their lives and work. Their stories will inspire and encourage you. Engage in ministry alongside them by praying through the Mission Yearbook each day.

Order your copy from the Church Store ...