World Outreach: Give This Christmas Away – Part One

Once upon a time there were lands where people had not heard about the gift that God had sent.  That through his son Jesus Christ, people could have LIFE and HOPE.

Thousands of miles away there was a group of people who knew about this gift and decided not to keep it to themselves.  They realized that God wanted them to ENGAGE in sharing this gift of hope, love and salvation with everyone.  So they sent people to share this gift. This group of people promised to ENGAGE by praying, giving and caring for their friends that they were sending.

Over time, the people in other lands accepted this gift and an amazing thing happened. Their lives were completely changed and they began ENGAGING and sharing it with others…and more and more began accepting this gift. The friendships grew between these groups of people…regardless of distance, race  or culture.  In working together they saw that God began changing communities!

YOU are the group of people who have engaged in these partnerships! YOU are the ones who are praying, giving and caring for those in far away lands. YOU are the ones who have seen God at work in your own lives and have not kept it to yourself. YOU have ENGAGED and have been giving CHRISTmas away!!

Philippines

Through your financial gifts World Outreach sent $4,000 for scholarships for the students at the Learning Resource Center in the Philippines.  These students have graduated from the Bible School and are missionaries to unreached Muslim villages.  $7,000 was sent to help with flood relief (water, food and rebuilding homes) after the devastating mud slides and flooding surrounding Iligan City, Philippines.  We continue to support Tom & Michele Obrien there!

Nigeria

rose:bulusThrough your financial gifts, World Outreach sent $11,000 to help with scholarships for students at JETS seminary!  You can read those stories in previous blogs.  We continue to support Bulus & Rose Galadima in their ministry!

Mexico

We celebrated with Chris & Kathy Gouzoules as the church in Tenancingo was given over to godly leadership, Pastor Richarte and his wife Isela and keeps on growing.  We continue to support Chris & Kathy Gouzoules!

GOD is multiplying our gifts (time, finances, prayer) and using it to expand His Kingdom! What a JOY to work alongside Him and keep sharing the gift of LIFE and HOPE. Thank you for Engaging!!  MERRY CHRISTMAS

Serving together with you,

Christy Davis, Alison Knoll, Beth Marshall, Michael Matteoni, John & Kat Tierney and many others!!

Planting New Foundations

Our missionaries, Chris and Kathy Gouzoules, are determined to bring God’s presence to those living in Mexico. They know the gifts that God has for each of his children, if only we are willing to open them. I love this story of how God can change, even the hardest of hearts, and wrap them in His everlasting love.
mexico

Isaiah 58:12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places; thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations, and thou shalt be called the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Paths to dwell in.

After school, nine-year old, Mario, walked into his house and passed his parents’ bedroom. The door was open. His father yelled out from the room, “Mario, this is what real men do.” His father was [sleeping with] with his mistress while Mario’s mother was at work. That day, Mario’s tender heart began to turn to stone.

Years later, Mario became a teacher in Tenancingo and began drinking and doing what his father had told him that men do, sleep with other woman. He zealously participated in the generational evils of his family.

The week before Mario and his wife, Sarah, attended a Sunday worship service at our church plant in Tenancingo, Mario had visited three prostitutes. He and Sarah had been clients of a local witch during ten years of their marriage, and her occult powers deranged their lives and dismantled their marriage. Mario and Sarah had been fighting, and Sarah was planning to file for a divorce when they visited Comunidad Cristiana (The Christian Community Church of Tenancingo).

Their daughter, who had invited her parents to church, lead Sarah into the prayer room. While Mario sat in the Sunday worship service, listening to songs that exalted the power of Jesus, women began to pray for Sarah. God touched Sarah, and she began to sob and then wail, releasing her pain to Jesus. Jesus enfolded Sarah with his love, and she received his embrace. Shortly after, Mario joined her in the prayer room. He was told of the power of Jesus to forgive them and heal their marriage. He cried out to God for forgiveness and reconciliation with his wife.

Since that day, Mario and Sarah became courageous followers of Jesus. Jesus resurrected the frayed remains of their souls and created whole, cheerful, spiritual warriors. They have broken the multi-generational cycle of marital unfaithfulness, alcoholism, and occult practices in their families. When Victor and Angelica, who recently died in a car accident (see last update), came to Christ, they had been going through a marital crisis. Mario and Sarah counseled and taught them from their own experience and the Bible. From his new life in Christ, Mario was able to tell Victor that a real man is one who is faithful to his wife and family.

Kathy and I are returning to Mexico because there are many more couples like Mario and Sarah whose lives have been bulldozed by the Aztec witchcraft of the region, and need Christ to give them life, rebuild their marriages and families, and lay life-giving foundations for the future generations.

We thank you for your prayers and financial support. Your prayers and giving are helping break Satan’s grip on the Central Mexico region and transforming families and communities through the power of God.

Thank you,

Chris and Kathy

ICKids: A Generous Heart

While the adults at Immanuel were learning about Living a Generous Life, our students were learning about how to have a generous heart.

“Our goal was to talk about how to have a generous heart beyond giving money.” said Ruth Karner, director of Children’s Ministries. “We wanted to help them understand many ways they could be generous because often money doesn’t mean very much to them yet.”

After discussing generosity, the students were encouraged to make a commitment, citing a way they could be generous and grow to have a generous heart.

While many of the commitments made centered around time spent or sacrifices of will, Zack, a third grader, felt like he wanted to be generous in giving to the church after he heard about the Accelerate initiative.

“I have a whole bunch of money from the Super Summer Challenge we did, and I hear the church has a debt,” Zack said.

So Zack shared with his parents he wanted to commit to giving $1 every time he comes to church on Sundays.

“I just want to help pay the church debt so it can still be here for a long time … I like this church. It’s fun and we do good things like Operation Christmas Child,” Zack said. “I just want to help.”

Other students made commitments to put others first in their lives, too.

Here are just a few of the commitments made by four first through third graders in Surf City.

Generous Hearts in Surf City from Immanuel Church on Vimeo.

The Monday After: Living a Generous Life: Moving Toward Life {Sheryll}

You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave church inspired by and filled with  Truth, encouragement and passion on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the day, after the music fades and our cars leave the parking lot, pieces of the message tend to fade, too; somewhere along the way, we often lose that Sunday feeling. 

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} is our attempt to carry the Sunday message into Monday mornings by walking together and sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Each Monday, a voice from the pews will give personal perspective to the words we soaked in on Sunday. 

So follow along each Monday as we seek to integrate that Truth into our daily lives; leave your thoughts in the comments below so we can create conversation and encouragement!

The Monday After Sunday, November 11, 2012: Living a Generous Life: Moving Toward Life

By Sheryll Belonga

As Pastor Joe gave the scripture verse for the message yesterday what stood out to me was the word “will.”  Now that could be because that was the word that he highlighted three times in the scripture, but I believe that it was the word that God wanted me to see for myself.  Through that word, God spoke to me about living in His “will”.

The past sermons have been about giving and learning to give.  I must admit that initially my thought was that I don’t have a problem with giving at all.  There are many occasions where I want to just walk up to someone and give them some of the money that I may have.  In the past, there have been occasions where I have even given people food.

I recall years ago there was always this woman who would stand on the corner and ask for food. I would see her when I stopped at a red light on my way to work.  One day I gave her some of my money and another day I gave her some of my lunch.  One day I even decided that I would pack more food so that I could give her more.  When I recalled this, my chest stuck out and I thought to myself, you are a “good” person to do that.  I mean you are truly doing what God calls you to do.  I must admit that I was pretty proud of myself but today that pride is gone because of something Pastor Joe said in his sermon.

“If you give what you don’t need it isn’t giving.” Mother Theresa

The feeling I had of doing good was shattered because of that statement.  If I look at my past experiences with this lady with a new attitude here is what I see: I did give her some of my money but only some.  I also gave her some of my food.  In every instance though, I gave what I didn’t need.  I gave out of my abundance.

There is a short Bible story that I am sure many of you are familiar with; it is found in Mark 12:41-44.  It is the story about the woman who gave all that she had.  She showed where her treasure was and where her true value remained.  She had the right attitude.

I realize that in the past I have been a nice giver.  What I mean by that is my giving never really cost me anything.  I must be honest and say that as I typed that statement it saddened me.

When I gave I was being nice — not generous.

Being a generous giver requires sacrifice.

Being a generous giver requires giving what you need and being willing to go without.

Being a generous giver requires a change in our attitude.

Whether it is money, materials or our time, God has blessed us all with a way that we can be a generous giver.

So which type of giver are you?

If you have kids and would like a way to present this message to them go to: http://ministry-to-children.com/bible-lesson-about-giving/

Sheryll Belonga is the wife of Jurrell and homeschooling mom to their three great boys. Her hearts desire is to glorify God in all she says and does in spite of life’s daily happenings.

World Outreach: How You Can Serve

So many times we want to serve but just don’t know where to begin to look. Or, once we start looking we are quickly overwhelmed by all the possibilities! Whether you are looking for local or abroad, the choices are endless.  Here is a quick list to help give you a jump start on your missions journey.

Serve Locally

Immanuel Church

  • We need YOUR help at the upcoming Prep Party at Immanuel (November 10, from 9:00 AM until Noon).  There is much work which needs to be done prior to the actual Packing Party on the 17th and as they say, “Many hands make light work.”  Please come and lend a hand!  We will be sorting and bagging candy, sharpening pencils, bagging soap, wrapping boxes, writing letters, and many other tasks.  There is something for everyone to do.
  • Donations of any kind are welcome and needed if we are to reach our goal of filling 3999 shoe boxes–however we specifically need toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, stuffed animals, and small balls.  Leave them in the display in the foyer.
  • Donations of Christmas wrapping paper are also needed.  We have to wrap LOTS of boxes!

New Hope Church, Round Lake

Bring the whole family to come and help on Saturdays from 9-2 at New Hope Church in Round Lake. Jobs include; painting, building, cleaning and just helping where needed. Ready to jump in?  Here’s all the info you need!

  • NEW HOPE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY
    1020 W. Rollins Rd., Round Lake Heights, IL 60073Phone: 224-325-HOPE (4673)

Serve In the States

The East coast was ravaged by Sandy last week. Many are still without power and many are still trying to put back the broken pieces of their lives. Samaritans Purse has stepped up and is helping those in need. They have established bases in Atlantic, Bergen, and Ocean Counties in New Jersey, as well as Nassau County in New York where homes were hard hit by the superstorm.

They make it clear that they are working in the Name of Jesus by praying with the people they’ve helped and presenting them with a Bible signed by the volunteers who worked on their home.

If you would like to give to help those affected by the storm, Immanuel supports and trusts the ministry of Samaritans Purse.  They are responding immediately with food, clothing, shelter and work through local churches.  To go to their website to help those suffering from the storm.

Serve Globally

Operation Mobilization – OM is always looking for short term missionaries. They are currently in need of qualified Electricians, Welders, Pipe Fitters, and Plumbers to come to Logos Hope in the Philippines as soon as possible to serve for 2 weeks to 2 months through the end of November, to help complete the last of the dry dock projects. Project Workers will need to pay for and make their own travel arrangements to and from the ship (in the Philippines); however, meals and accommodations will be provided while you are on board Logos Hope.  Check out their How To Participate page for a more detailed description on the different roles and opportunities.

If you or someone you know are interested in this amazing experience, or if you just have questions about OM and ship life, please contact John Tierney at jt1657 at gmail dot com.