Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Rich Family in Our Church

Author Unknown

Submitted by Joy Miller

     I’ll never forget Easter 1946, I was fourteen, my little sister Ocy was twelve, and my older sister Darlene was sixteen.  We lived at home with our mother and the four of us knew what it was to do without many things.  My dad had died five years before, leaving Mom with seven school children to raise and no money.  By 1946 my older sisters were married, and my brothers had left home.

A month before Easter, the pastor of our church announced that a special Easter offering would be taken to help a poor family.  He asked everyone to save and give sacrificially.  When we got home, we talked about what we could do.  We decided to buy fifty pounds of potatoes and live on them for a month.  This would allow us to save $20 of our grocery money for the offering.  Then we thought that if we kept our electric lights turned out as much as possible and did not listen to the radio, we would save money on that month’s electric bill.  Darlene got as many house and yard cleaning jobs as possible, and both of us babysat for everyone we could.  For fifteen cents, we could buy enough cotton loops to make three pot holders to sell for $1.  We made $20 on those pot holders.

That month was one of the best of our lives.  Every day we counted the money to see how much we had saved.  At night we would sit in the dark and talk about how the poor family was going to enjoy having the money the church would give them.  Because we had about eighty people in our church, we figured that with whatever amount of money we had to give,  the offering would surely be twenty times that much.  After all, every Sunday the pastor had reminded everyone to save for the sacrificial offering.

The day before Easter, Ocy and I walked to the grocery store and got the manager to give us three crisp $20 bills and one $10 bill for all our change.  We ran all the way home to show Mom and Darlene.  We had never had so much money before.  That night we were so excited we could hardly sleep.  We did not care that we would not have new clothes for Easter; we had $70 for the sacrificial offering.  We could hardly wait to get to church!

On Sunday morning, rain was pouring.  We didn’t own an umbrella, and the church was over a mile from our home, but it didn’t seem to matter how wet we got.  Darlene had cardboard in both of her shoes to fill the holes.  The cardboard came apart, and her feet got wet.  As we sat in church I heard some teenagers taking about the Smith girls having on their old dresses.  I looked at them in their new clothes, but I still felt rich.  When the sacrificial offering was taken, we were sitting on the second row from the front.  Mom put in the $10, and each of us girls put in a $20.  As we walked home after church, we sang all the way.  At lunch, Mom had a surprise for me.  She had bought a dozen eggs, and we had boiled eggs with our fried potatoes.  Late that afternoon the minister drove up in his car.  Mom went to the door, talked with him for a moment, and then came back with an envelope in her hand.  We asked what it was, but she did not say a word.  She opened the envelope and out fell a bunch of money.  There were three crisp $20, one $10, and seventeen $1.  Mom put the money back in the envelope.  We did not talk, but just sat and stared at the floor.  We had gone from feeling like millionaires to feeling poor.  We children had had such a happy life that we felt sorry for anyone who did not have our mom and dad for parents and a house full of brothers and sisters and other children visiting constantly.  We thought it was fun to share silverware and see whether we got the fork or the spoon that night.  We had two knives that we passed around to whoever needed them.  I knew we did not have a lot of things that other people had, but I had never thought we were poor.  That Easter Day I found out we were.  The minister had brought us the money for the poor family; therefore, we must be poor.  I did not like being poor.  I looked at my dress and worn-out shoes and felt so ashamed that I didn’t want to go back to church.

Everyone there probably knew we were poor!  I thought about school.  I was in the ninth grade and at the top of my class of over one hundred students.  I wondered if the children at school knew we were poor.  I decided I could quit school since I had finished the eighth grade.  That was all the law required at that time.  We sat in silence for a long time.  Then it got dark, and we went to bed.  All that week, we girls went to school and came home, and no one talked much.  Finally on Saturday, Mom asked us what we wanted to do with the money.  We didn’t know.  We’d never known we were poor.

We did not want to go to church on Sunday, but Mom said we had to.  Although it was a sunny day, we did not talk on the way.  Mom started to sing, but no one joined in, and she only sang one verse.  At church we had a missionary speaker.  He talked about how churches in Africa made buildings out of sun-dried bricks, but they needed money to buy roofs.  He said $100 would put a roof on a church.  The minister said, “Can’t we all sacrifice to help those poor people?”

We looked at each other and smiled for the first time in a week.  Mom reached into her purse and pulled out the envelope.  She passed it to Darlene.  Darlene gave it to me, and I handed it to Ocy. Ocy put it in the offering.  When the offering was counted, the minister announced that it was a little over $100.  The missionary was excited.  He had not expected such a large offering from our small church.  He said, “You must have a rich family in this church.”

Suddenly it struck us!  We had giver $87 of that “little over $100.”  We were the rich family in the church!  Had not the missionary said so? From that day on I have never been poor again.  I have always remembered how rich I am.

When I first read this story I thought of our brethren in India.
They don’t have very much but they don’t think they are “poor” either.
But they still give to help those in need.
What can we give to help others in our lives? – Joy Miller

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Mother-Daughter Banquet at Niles GBC

by Joy Miller

This past Saturday, Ladeen Cover and I had the GREAT privilege of sharing about the ministry in India at the mother-daughter banquet at the Niles Grace Brethren Church.  We got to share about our highlights from our time in India last May and give some ministry updates.

We had a great evening of eating some wonderful food brought in by the ladies of the church.  We also got to sample Indian food that Judy Ostrander made so the ladies could sample some Indian cooking.  For the program Ladeen and I each shared a highlight from our trip to India, shared about the orphan and foster care in India and had a question & answer time.
The lades had a lot of good questions and we had a great time getting to know the ladies from Niles GBC and New Troy GBC.  A big thank you to Judy Ostrander and Ruth Johnson for organizing the event.
Ladeen and Joy in their Indian clothes
Click here for more pictures from Joy’s trip to Michigan.
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Bicycle Project in India

Praise God who enabled us (the Indian Brethren) to launch the Bicycle Project and the first bicycle was donated by Paul’s family to Lakpati Sipka. The Coimbatore church has raise INR 2000.00 ($40 American dollars) for the second one.

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Josh Miller is going to Israel with Shalom Ministries

Please pray for Josh Miller, member of the 2011 India Team, as he travels to New York and Israel with Shalom Ministries. They will have a time of training and outreach in New York before they head to Israel for more outreach to Jewish people.

Josh will arrive in New York City on Monday, May 14 for a week of orientation.  He will depart for Israel on May 22 with two Shalom Ministries leaders and 16 other students.  He returns home on June 11th.

If you would like a printed copy of his prayer card, to help you remember to pray for him, please e-mail your mailing address to OrrvilleGrace@gmail.com

This trip combines education, ministry and first hand exposure to many locations of the Bible.

Here are some of the activities Josh is anticipating:

– Training and instruction in Jewish evangelism and outreach.
– Evangelistic & outreach opportunities in New York and Israel.
– Training in the Jewish perspective of the Bible and the Israeli and Arab cultures.
– Learning about numerous locations of the Bible.
– Assisting at a center for the blind and other places in Israel.
– Attending worship services with Jewish believers in Israel.

Josh writes: “I would greatly appreciate your prayers in the days ahead as I am in New York City and Israel.”
If you are willing to pray for Josh on a daily basis please let him know via e-mail.
Josh’s e-mail: littlebigbro09@gmail.com

Mission of Shalom Ministries

Shalom Ministries Inc. was founded in 1996 and born out of a need to reach the 2 million Jewish people of the New York metropolitan area. Our New York-based ministry has been stirred to challenge churches to have a burden for, and develop an outreach to, the Jewish people in their communities.

Though based in New York, our ministry is not limited to this area. We endeavor to reach out to the Jewish people through local churches worldwide. We work very closely with these churches in training their members in Jewish evangelism and in understanding the customs and culture of their Jewish friends.

Understanding the Jewishness of Christianity will better equip the believer to have an in-depth comprehension of his Bible and to be a more effective witness among his or her Jewish friends. Further, understanding the proper place of Israel from a biblical perspective will enable Christians to better understand current events and things yet to occur.

In addition to our active involvement in evangelism, we provide insights into the Jewish perspective of Christianity through preaching and teaching in local churches, Bible colleges, church conferences, Bible studies, and Jewish feast demonstrations.

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The Power of Christian Love

Written by Josh Miller

A year ago today the 2011 India Team took off from Cleveland Hopkins Airport and headed to India.

     I learned a lot in India, but the thing that seemed to be the most memorable was how God reminded me of the power and importance of love in the Christian life.  Throughout our time in India we were continually meeting our brothers and sisters in Christ. Even though most of the time we couldn’t talk with them we could still experience that love that we are to have for one another as followers of Jesus Christ.  We had the experience of being able to go up to someone, who we were unable to talk to and who we had never seen before, and still give one another a hug because of the love we share in Jesus Christ.  That isn’t something I will forget easily.  The love that I speak of was something that I saw others giving and it was something that I received.  It was something that I was able to give even without opening my mouth to speak.

There came a day on our trip that I found myself perplexed and a little frustrated about how I could have a great influence on the kids at the children’s home where we were staying.  I had been told that most of the children didn’t know the Lord as their personal Savior and I wanted to be able to talk with each one about our Lord.  However, I couldn’t speak the same language.  As I was praying about this struggle the Lord reminded me of John 13:35 that says, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  I realized that it’s not by my words, but by my love that they would know that I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.  They already knew that I was a Christian, now what I needed to do was to love them in anyway I could, such as holding them, and memorizing their names.  As I was talking to Joshua Steiner about this, he made the point that we could do the same thing for others we came in contact with, such as our drivers.  Once again even though we couldn’t talk with them we could still try to show them love in various ways even if it was just simple things we could do.

Because the Lord had reminded me of how important love is in the Christian life, I began to notice it in different ways.  I noticed it in how the believers in India would serve one another, and us, their guests, as well.  I also saw their giving attitude.  Many of them make only four dollars a day and yet they have a giving attitude.  They give to help each other and they give to others that aren’t believers.  I heard about a house that they built for a widow and later I even saw it and met the widow and her children.  They also give by providing children’s homes for kids when parents can’t take care of them.  Best of all there are people coming to Christ through their acts of love for one another and those who don’t know Christ.  I pray that through my experiences you will think more about God’s love that we are to show to others.  Christ used my visit to India to remind me that I am to be known as a Christian, by my love!  May God be glorified!

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CGBCI Foreign Missions Praise and Prayer – May 2012

CHANGES AND UPDATES REGARDING FINANCES

Please remember that Pastor Steve Burns will become the new Treasurer of CGBCI Foreign Missions officially on July 1, 2012.  So, beginning July 2, 2012, please (there’s no way to overemphasize this) send all funds to:

CGBCI Foreign Missions
P.O. Box 217
Grimes, IA  50111

At that time, the Foreign Missions finances will also operate on a Conference year (as their fiscal year) just as Home Missions does.

CAMEROON
Afoni writes:  Thanks very much for the desire the Lord has put in your heart to always pray and support orphans in Cameroon.  I lost my father when I was almost 13 years old and had to face a lot of mountains in life not knowing that the Lord was leading into the  path of preaching the word today.  Ever since then, the Lord has always put a burden in my heart to assist others in the hope that through their own sufferings the Lord might draw them in the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. For the last 10 years I have struggled to do just a little as there are many helpless children around us.  We now operate through volunteers who can house the target population only. Our wish is to support in fees, books, uniform, clothing and medical care. As you know the program survives through free will donations through Christians like you. The program works with 100 orphans across the North West region of Cameroon.

I went to Bamenda over the weekend to buy 8 study bibles for our Practorium students in thenorth west…we shall need to buy two more. Continue at all times to pray that the Lord would raise faithful men to do the ministry and that lord should empower all churches to pay pastors so the ministry can be attractive.  We are planning to hold a revival  and prayer meetings for all pastors here at Njikijem to see how the ministry can move forward in one spirit. I’m going to Nkambe for three days to continue the courses.  Ndop ministry is still struggling to locate a public place for worship and to acquire land to  construct the church building. Yesterday, Pastor Isaiah’s wife gave birth to a bouncing baby girl at the regional hospital Ndop. Continue to pray for that family the Lord would give them more joy in serving even in difficult conditions.

INDIA
Brother Paul sends the following prayer requests:

1. Praise God for meeting the financial support need of church planters and please pray for the new church planters and their needs.

2. Praise God who enabled us to launch the Bicycle Project and the first bicycle was donated by Paul’s family to Lakpati Sipka.  The Coimbatore church has raise INR  2000.00 ($40 American dollars) for the second one.

3. Pray for Brother Junas and other new church planters as the need of drinking water is increasing in Odisha.  Pray that the organization which is planning to drill in Odisha will get started soon.

4. Pray concerning the problems caused by a terrorist group called Maoists.  They recently kidnapped a Christian District Collector in Chattisgarh state which is close to Odisha.  If we want to go to Odisha, we have to land atRAIPURairport which is the capital of Chattisgarh state.  They have yet to also release an Italian tourist who was abducted more than a month ago.

5. The churches are praying that the Lord will raise up 2 more church planters (a team) to plant a church in southern Tamil Nadu in the area of Sivakasi – Srivilliputhur.

APRIL 2012 CGBCI Foreign Missions Financial Support Update

Based on a calendar year

Mission Field

CAMEROON¹

INDIA

NEW FIELD

Support Goal for

The year 2012

$35,000

$48,000*

$35,000

Received in April

$6,816.30

$3,118.29

$115.00

Received YTD

$18,767.37

$11,938.55

$2,910.00

+ or –   for 2012

+7,100.70

-4,061.45

-8,756.67

Sponsoring Church = church responsible for that field. Fremont Chapel
1611 North St.
Fremont,OH 43420419-332-8190
Grace Brethren
2200 Paradise Rd
Orrville,OH 44667330-683-3526
Grace Brethren
P.O. Box 41
Coventry,VT 05825802-754-2363

1 Fremont Chapel cares for the transfer of funds toCameroon.

SEND ALL FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO:    CGBCI Foreign Missions        Until June30, 2012                                                                                             Grace Brethren Church
2200 Paradise Road
Orrville, Ohio 44667

ENDORSED CHURCH PLANTERS AND PROJECTS:

CAMEROON

Salomon Zambo inYaoundethrough July 2014 at $1,700/month (endorsed3-13-12)

Roger Yoda in Abong Mbang until May 2014 at $600/month (endorsed4-4-2012)

Raymond Olinga in Abong Mbang through July 2013 at $500/month

ENDORSED PROJECTS: Bibles; Emergency Relief; Practorium at no terminus or limits.

NEW FIELD

Preparation for entering into a new field to plant churches with Craig and Sara Noyes and team members.  This was endorsed by the FMP onMarch 13, 2012.

INDIA *This is the new budget endorsed by the FMP onMarch 13, 2012

TAMIL NADU AND PONDICHERRY Church Planters

Paul Rajan and PK Moses in Coimbatore until July 2015 at $410/month

Munisamy and Mohan in Pondicherry through July 2015 at $150/month

David Selvooraj and Samuel Shamugam until July 2015 at $480/month

ODISHA Church Planters (three teams/30 men) until July 2015

Golamunda under team leader Peter Sipka (16 men) at $1,210/month

Umarcot under team leader Joseph Surya (8 men) at $610/month

Semala under team leader Nehemiah Bardhan (6 men) at $455/month

Resources, trips, materials, etc. with no terminus at $500/month.

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