Thursday, January 20, 2005

 

Gone This Weekend

I will be gone for several days this weekend. I am serving as part of the team on a Walk to Emmaus Weekend. I encourage you to visit the Emmaus site by clicking on the link.

Please pray for me and for the pilgrims attending this life-changing event!

Blessings!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

 

UMCOR stays course in mega-disaster relief

What happens after the headlines die down? Are there still relief efforts after the newspapers no longer write about it? Do we really still remember, or care, about what is going on in the disaster stricken areas of the world? The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) answers with a resounding and faithful "YES!"

I applaud the Red Cross and United Way, and the hundreds of other organizations dedicated to helping people in need. However, they are dedicated to more of a "first aid" approach; which is absolutely necessary! UMCOR takes part in the initial relief effort of natural disasters, plus stays until all people have been taken care of.

Another reminder,100% of the money donated to UMCOR reaches those who need it!

Just because we don't read about it in the headlines anymore doesn't mean there aren't still thousands upon thousands of people still in need of our help!

Friday, January 14, 2005

 

$20

The Rev. John Hopkins, the previous bishop of the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church challenged the congregations of the state to help raise money for congregations in Minneapolis and Russia. He distributed $20,000 in $20 bills and asked people to multiply it.

These kids are doing their part. It is always heart warming to see children taking part in Christ's ministry.

I worked a job as a security officer this last summer. I tithed the money I earned in those three months and used that to help my church respond to the challenge.

All of the money will be turned in after Easter so I will update the total amount brought in.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

 

Happy Anniversary

Today is my parent's 30th wedding anniversary. What a blessing they are in the life of our family!

I can never tell you two how much I love and appreciate you.

I could not be doing what I am without your support.

Love,
Shawn
 

Indonesia and Phoenix?

I have a good friend that is a native of Indonesia. He had not been back to visit his family for eight years before he left Minnesota last November. It was a long five weeks for his wife and daughter.

My friend left Indonesia just hours before the earthquake occurred that caused the terrible tsunami. By the grace of God, he came back to his loving family and friends. I picked him up at the airport and he did not even know anything had happened. What a difference a half day makes!

We are witnessing a massive humanitarian outreach from around the world. One of the most unique, and inspiring, is happening in Phoenix, Arizona.

God bless the citizens of Phoenix, and may their future efforts not be tainted by secular and political motivation.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

 

Freedom

Many of us in the United States take our freedoms for granted. This is especially clear when it comes to religion and our freedom to openly practice our faith.

We are free to meet in our church without fear of being persecuted or even killed. This is not the case around the world and I believe we would be well served to realize that.

The janitor at our church is originally from Russia. He once gave his witness to our congregation at River Hills United Methodist Church in Burnsville, Minnesota. What an amazing story it was! On Sundays he would take different busses around Moscow to avoid being followed. Finally he would arrive at the worship site out in the woods.

They would worship all day, many times until it got dark; and then repeat the process of many bus changes in order to get home. People would be baptized year-round, even if they had to break open the ice in the water.

What may be most incredible is the way in which they stored the Bible. It would be broken into the different books (Genesis, Exodus, etc.) and each family would keep one book for a week. They would then exchange books the next week. The reason for this was to not risk losing the entire Bible in case their family was found with it. The families would store the bible underneath the furnace. The heat, traveling up, would not affect it, and the KGB would not look there.

Give praise and thanksgiving for the ease of how we can worship and study and praise our Father! Amen!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

 

Commitment

Many people make commitments throughout their lives. These saints have committed two years of their life to help people with basic physical and spiritual needs. Click on the left-side tab entitled "Current Service". You will see a list of folks that have answered the call from Christ and will be forever changed by it.

Please keep them in your prayers.

Speaking of commitment...

Ever thought of reading through the Bible in a year? Having a daily reading delivered to your e-mail box certainly makes it convenient. However, this is a spiritual discipline that definitely requires discipline! I have never done it, but I am signed up. I will keep you updated on my progress.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

 

Missionaries

The Tsunami Relief effort will take years upon years to meet the needs of all those affected. That is why I have added a Tsunami Relief link to the side of this blog. It will remain there until all those that need help are taken care of.

Another part of the world that is experiencing a massive change in their life, albeit a much different kind than that of Southeast Asia, is the Ukraine. There has been a tremendous struggle between two entirely different political ideologies.

Rev. Fred and Stacy Vanderwerf are missionaries serving Ukraine, specifically the town of Lviv (pronounced Le veev'.) I had the opportunity to meet Fred and Stacy a little over a year ago. They are warm, wonderful people.

Read their incredible story of how God is working in the lives of students and citizens in Ukraine.

Monday, January 03, 2005

 

Tsunami Relief

There are many worthy organizations helping to provide relief to the tsunami and earthquake victims. The United Methodist Committee On Relief begins working immediately and stays until the last victim is taken care of.

100% of the money donated to UMCOR is given to those who need it. All administrative costs for this organization are provided by local United Methodist congregations.

Please prayerfully consider how you can contribute to the relief effort.

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