Friday, August 19, 2011

Drought in Kenya

As you may know, Kenya is currently experiencing a severe drought in addition to temperatures nearing 104 degrees. As a result, parents are finding themselves in even more desperate situations than usual in this already poverty-stricken country. I encourage you to read this article and be in prayer for the individuals of Kenya as well as our faithful missionaries who are serving in this region.

Tomoka Christian will be sending funds to our missionaries in Kenya to help bring relief to this area in the next week. If you would like contribute, you may do so through Tomoka Christian Church and writing "Kenya Relief" in the memo line. Or, you may give directly to our missionaries in Kenya at New Mission Systems International via their website. Once there, you will need to choose one of our missionaries - Jordan and Leann Johnson or Elijah and Ellen Ombati and designate your giving for famine relief.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

High School Youth Mission Trip-Retreat

I received a wonderful email from Pastor Bill this week in which he recounted our high school youth's trip to Kentucky and Tennesse this past week. Once again, it makes me so proud to be part of such a wonderful church family that is ministering to teens so they can in turn show the love of Christ through their actions.

They began in Kentucky where in just 2 1/2 days they were able to split up into teams in order to: tear out water-stained drywall, seal a leaking roof and put up new paneling; work at the Outreach Center digging and installing a new drainage system; hand-sand drywall and paint the interior of a home; and build a 12' x 16' front porch and stairs for the rear of a home. In Pastor Bill's words, "I have never been more proud of our teens as I was watching them minister to families in need in Kentucky. Our youth were so determined to finish their projects that they gave up free time in order to keep working. One group even went back to work after their dinner break and worked until it got dark. Even on the day we were to pack up and leave for Tennessee, they chose to stay to finish what they had started. The owner of Cumberland Mountain Outreach broke into tears as she thanked our youth for getting the tasks completed. She explained that we were the last group for the summer and if we didn't finish, those projects would have had to stay like that until next year."

Pastor Bill also shared how the group of 40 that worked so hard in Kentucky were able to bond and see the Holy Spirit work during their time of devotions and relaxation on their whitewater rafting trip in Tennessee. "The Holy Spirit moved and we began sharing with one another. Our teens opened up and decided they wanted their chains broken and wanted to come clean on things they had hidden deep inside them. I saw them rally around each other and many new friendships were made." Praise God for the work He is doing in our teens' lives!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Blessing-Filled Week at Camp!

This year we had yet another fabulous week of Elementary Camp that I co-dean with Cody Davidson. We hosted 95 kids and 33 staff at North Florida Christian Camp this past week. Of those kids, 11 were baptized either at camp or shortly after arriving home and another 13 made decisions for Christ and will soon follow in believer's baptism! Additionally, we raised over $1,100 for missions! What a mighty God we serve! Please continue to keep these camp children, as well as all of our students, in your prayers as they commence their new school year.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

El Salvador Team's Holly Hill Outreach

This past weekend the El Salvador mission team initiated a successful outreach in Holly Hill in which they held a neighborhood cookout and gave away many items to students and their families. The El Salvador team traveled door-to-door by car and foot to invite families to the festivities. They gave away backpacks and school supplies to kids in great need, provided back-to-school haircuts, sent families away with their arms full of groceries, and passed out Bibles and shared the love of Jesus. In the words of Francie Phillips, mission team coordinator, "One tired looking single dad that was in need of school supplies, groceries and food for his two elementary boys said, 'I was so discouraged with worry of how I was going to provide for my boys to get their school stuff. You have no idea the relief this has provided me.' Our team was so blessed by being able to serve. We were so thankful for the support we received from Tomoka Christian youth who provided worship music, as well as Pastor Artie Rose of Holly Hill lending us his grill...other helpers brought either backpacks or food donations or just helped. It was wonderful to see everyone working together. Thanks to everyone in our Family of God. We love and appreciate you!"

Monday, August 1, 2011

"Ten Reasons I Think Your Marriage is Going to 'Make It!'"

This week on his blog, Pastor Perry Noble of NewSpring Church in South Carolina posted an uplifting writing on why your marriage will succeed. Check it out to see what you can do to positively affect your marriage.

#1 - Because you are willing to swallow your pride and ask for help, understanding that you are NOT the first married couple that has ever had trials and struggles.

#2 - Because you are willing to stop pointing out all of the problems your spouse has and begin to beg God to reveal your shortcomings to you so that you can focus on the changes you need to make. (I will focus on my responsibilities and not my "rights!")

#3 Because you will stop investing tons of time in Facebook and reruns of movies you have already seen and actually begin talking to your spouse again, you you did when you were dating.

To read the remaining reasons, go to Perry's blog here.