World Outreach: South Africa Updates from Pastor Joe and Beth

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Today our group visited Soweto, S. Africa where the student uprising to end apartheid began. A very sad story, that led to the death of over 800, but one that brought eventual freedom and equality for black South Africans.
Where was I in 1976 when this happened?
I was in my little American bubble.
Unless we are intentional, we can be very insulated from world events. Once again, God has challenged me to read world events to stay aware of the things God is doing in His world.
Thank you, World Outreach Team, for keeping the world on our radar!
I’m going to read “Long Walk to Freedom” by Nelson Mandela.
Please pray for me as I preach tomorrow at church.
Joe for the Fab Four.


Sunday, October 21, 202

It’s been a wonderful day in Johannesburg. Our team attended church with the Kraybills at Grace Baptist Church. It’s a smaller congregation with a big heart for others.

Rod introduced Pastor Joe to the congregation, who challenged the church with a message from Acts 2.

I was invited to join the worship team as a vocalist.

After service we attended a luncheon sponsored by the Caring Ministry (Lori is one of the leaders). This ministry does outreach by giving food parcels & donated clothing to those who have come to South Africa seeking a better life but are still struggling.

I met the Mabee family who have emigrated from Zimbabwe.

He is a trained security officer but has not found a job in this field, and he is supporting his wife and 2 sons, ages 6 and 2, by doing odd jobs. This family has been blessed by the gifts of the Caring Ministry. It was a joy to hear their story and realize how the church is ministering to them.

Thank you for your prayers for our team and our time with Rod and Lori. We’ve gotten to know them on a deeper level and learn more specifics of how God is using them in missions.

Beth, for the team

ICYouth: Fresh from Fall Retreat

Every Friday, we’re taking a peek at how God is working in the lives of our impact students. These servants of Jesus are walking daily by faith as they navigate the hallways and relationships inside their school walls and beyond. Our weekly series will highlight what God is up to in their lives in their voices. Leave them some encouragement by commenting?

Hi everyone, Gracie Adamek here!

I was asked to write about my recent experience at the ONE retreat that the youth group just went on. Basically what happened was I was sitting in the chapel session, listening to the speaker, Zane Black, talk about going all in for Christ and reaching out to at least one person by the following Wednesday.

Zane asked us to close our eyes and pray about who God wanted us to reach out to.

A few names went through my mind and then all of the sudden, it was like I was literally hit by my friend Peggy’s name. That’s honestly the only way I can explain it. I knew I had to talk to her about God more than I already had.

See, Peggy has been coming to iMPACT since about halfway through last school year but is not a Christian. As I was sitting there, I was overcome with this conviction, stronger than I had ever felt before, that I had to call her that night. I was sobbing and shaking so hard that I had to go to the bathroom and calm down.

Before going to call her, I prayed with a leader, Josh Peterson, one of my best friends, Abbie, and I asked several people to pray for me as well. I felt very covered in prayer, for sure! Abbie and I skipped the game we were supposed to be playing and went into a room away from things so I could collect myself and dial the phone.

I had prayed that God would speak through me, and he totally did! The only thing I really remember saying was, “Hey Peggy, I’m just calling to tell you that … I love you. Because I do.”

And God took it from there! I also remember her saying that she wants to believe so badly, but just can’t yet.

I told her about how I wouldn’t give up on her and I told her about the peace and love she will feel when she accepts Jesus. I know she will! I can feel it. I can see the Holy Spirit working in her even if she can’t!  Abbie, Peggy and I were crying our eyes out the whole time, and Peggy thanked me for calling, and she said she felt very loved.

I made sure she knew that it was all because of God that I called her. So, like I said, I wont give up. I just can’t go to Heaven without her.

Greetings from Johannesburg

Greetings from Johannesburg!!

We’ve had a good & safe trip to Johannesburg.  It was wonderful to see Rod’s warm smile to greet our team after clearing customs. All the planning had become a reality at that moment: we were in Johannesburg!!  A quick ride to the house & we again were warmly welcomed by Lori. This trip is helping us get to know the Kraybills on a deeper & more personal level.  Today (Wednesday) has been friends visiting with friends. Deb & Beth joined Lori for the women’s Bible study in the morning; Rod, Joe and Michael attended the men’s study in the evening. It’s been very comfortable as we been together, asking questions to get to know one another better. We’ve not been at a loss for words or topics!!  There’s been jokes & laughter and everyone helping out to make meals & clean up – just as you’d expect.

When Anissa (Grade 6) came home from school this afternoon, she was pleased to show us the tricks their 2 dogs can do.  And she & Deb played on the Wii til bedtime – both of them had a blast and begged “just one more song!”

We’ve been with Kraybills less than 24 hours yet it’s like being with long-time friends. After traveling over 3 continents in 19 hours, there’s nothing better.

Praising God for His world-wide Family,

Joe & Deb, Beth and Michael

World Outreach: Fresh from South Africa

Normally on Wednesdays, we get a glimpse into what’s been on Pastor Joe’s mind. This week, he’s in South Africa visiting our missionaries, the Kraybill family, and he took some time to share with us a little about what’s on his mind as well as giving us a glimpse into their trip so far:

Today I am sitting with our missionaries, Rod and Lori Kraybill, in South Africa.

It is a joy to be in their home which also houses the southern regional office of AIM, their mission agency. Rod and Lori
are making us feel very at home here with their generous hospitality. I’m here with three others from our church- Deb Boerman, Michael Matteoni and Beth Marshall, and we came with gifts for the Krabills given by some of their friends at Immanuel. It was a joy watching them unwrap the what was given.

Five years ago, God called Rod & Lori to a new place of service in the world —  Johannesburg, S. Africa — where they needed to find a new place to live, make new friends and establish a whole new network of relationships. This they did obediently as they responded to God’s movement in their lives.

We are here to see and experience their life and ministry and to encourage them any way we can.

Wish you were here!


Fresh from South Africa! from Immanuel Church on Vimeo.

Ministry Highlight: ICU day with Iglesia Emmanuel Bautista

The scene — it’s just before the Feast of the Passover, and Jesus knows the hour of His death is near.

Life unfolds in a way the disciples don’t expect: Jesus humbles Himself and washes His disciples’ feet, leaving them with some food for thought that we still chew on to this very day regarding loving each other and serving:

“Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” John 13:12-14

Many of us want to walk in obedience and serve in the very generous, very humble way Jesus demonstrated, but we don’t often know where to begin.

And perhaps that’s where Immanuel Church Unleashed day comes in. Designed to help our body be the Body, our church be the Church, this day of service  is aiming to center around coming together to help those in our community who need help.

Our teams will arrive and then mobilize to help with simple house cleaning, minor home repairs (bring your toolbox!), build bunk beds, wash windows, pick up trash around the neighborhoods and deliver blankets to nursing home residents.

If God has been stirring in your heart a desire to live and serve generously, ICU day might be just exactly where He’s calling your heart, time and mind this weekend.

Immanuel Church Unleashed day with Iglesia Emmanuel Bautista

When: Saturday, Oct. 20, 11:30 a.m., 5 p.m. tamale dinner

Where: Iglesia Emmanuel Bautista, 1300 10th St., Waukegan, IL

Bring: a patient, servant’s heart as well as

  •  new twin-size bedding
  •  tools for home repairs
  •  snacks/lunch for your family
  •  donation for tamale dinner ($5 or $15-$20/family)

Send word: If you plan to come, please send an email to or call (847)-336-4800