Thursday, October 27, 2011

Summer Camp 2011 Wrap-Up

Danny Slater, the camp director at North Florida Christian Service Camp, sent us the 2011 summer report and we are absolutely thrilled with how God is using summer camp to reach our children! Here are the stats:

· 531 campers

· 197 volunteers

· 107 baptized


Through your generosity, $1441 was given during our Wednesday night offerings so the camp can purchase all the lumber needed to build a new dock at the camp lake. Thank you for your continued faithfulness! Continue to keep NFCSC in your prayers, as well as the hundreds of children who will hear the message of Jesus Christ in 2012.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Local Mission Trip to a Children's Home

Tomoka recently planned a local, one-day, mission trip to Family Ministries in Seffner, Florida. Family Ministries is a home for children who, for one reason or another, cannot live with their parents. Houseparents provide nurturing and structure for the boys and girls that live in their homes. A team, led by Barbara Shoner, sacrificed their time and spent a day to go and bless this ministry and the children who live there. Read about their experience below.

"What a blessed time we had at the Children’s Home in Seffner. I had an amazing team of volunteers who really worked hard to complete our service project. And it was a daunting task – 15 acres of hedges! The hedges formed a fence around the entire property and they were out of control! But everyone pitched in and did what needed to be done and we actually completed it. We were all quite sore physically, but spiritually we felt very blessed to be used in this way. The ministry was very appreciative. They served us a tasty lunch of pulled pork, baked beans, cornbread, peaches, and cookies. At the end of the day we took some time to play basketball with the kids. Our youth and theirs got along very well. We couldn’t get our youth to leave! Some great friendships were built. We hope to continue that bond and do more with the Home. I will share more about that in another email. They were also thankful for the clothes and supplies we brought them. Anyway, it was truly a blessed time, and we even had great weather. God is good!!!" -Barbara Shoner

Click here to see photos from this local one-day mission trip.

We also heard from Steve, the leader of the Family Ministries' children's home:

"I cannot tell you enough how thankful we are that you all came and trimmed the bushes. I am not even sure how big of a job you all knew you were getting into but the bushes looked great. I am also glad that the kids that you brought and the children here at Family Ministries were able to get to know each other. One of the biggest things that we try to do when a work group is here is to give you opportunities to get to know the children here and to build a relationship with them. From the looks of it your kids didn't want to leave and our kids were talking about your kids and how nice they were the rest of the night. We are grateful that you took a Saturday out of your busy schedule to come and help us. If there is anything that we can do for you please let me know."

Click here to learn more about this ministry.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Food Pantry 3rd Qtr Update

You may know that Tomoka Christian Church has a food pantry, but you may not realize the impact that this ministry has on our church and community. In the 3rd quarter of 2011, the food pantry served 609 families, 1,608 individuals, and gave over 35 lbs of food to each family. During this time, 2,600 lbs worth of food was provided to individuals who came into the church office in need of food and received a bag of groceries. The Food Pantry also provides meals to the following ministries:

  • The Palmetto House – Friday night meal
  • Sandwich ministry – provides desserts
  • Tuesday Church lunch
  • Mission meals served in the café
  • Food supplement for the Alliance Church homeless program
  • Thursday night hot meal served at the Daytona Outreach Center

Donations of non-perishable food items can be brought to the food pantry basket on the mission wall in the café. They can also always use plastic shopping bags. Please remember this vital ministry in your prayers.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Middle Eastern Missions Prayer Request

I am asking that you will join me in a call to prayer from one of our missionaries in the Middle East.

· Thank God for the baptisms, churches, and leaders that have come in the past 29 years.

· Pray for leadership development among the churches in this region.

· Ask that the sacrifice of villagers would bear fruit that makes their faith strong.

· Ask God to direct those writing the Arabic Bible commentary and the decisions they make while they are writing.

· Ask the Lord to protect our missionary, his family, and all of those in leadership.

"Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, LORD my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day. May your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, this place of which you said, ‘My Name shall be there,’ so that you will hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place." 1 Kings 8:28-29

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Philippines Missionary Update

Our missionary in the Philippines, Henry Pilapil, has sent us an exciting update that I want to share with all of you:

“By the help of our Lord God we are okay. I’m doing my part teaching and equipping for spiritual growth. We lead a Bible study to prospects, establishing good relations with our neighborhood so we can reach them. We are preparing our plans to have a 2-year Bible training to equip some for the Lord’s work. If God wills, by this coming November we could start our training. They will get the same training as in seminary, but instead of 4 years it will take 2 years and will include church planting. I ask that you would please include us in your prayer list. We are doing our best for the Lord’s glory. Our goal is to establish or to have a church in every town in the island of Bohol. Thank you and may God bless you all.”

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ethiopia Newsletter

This newsletter came in from one of our missionary partners in Ethiopia. If you think you’re having a bad day, read this to get some perspective:

Team Cox September 2011 Newsletter

Yeshi's husband left her because of her HIV positive status. She has a son named Bereket who is five years old. They live in a tiny, one-room shack made of mud, sticks, and wood scraps. There is no indoor plumbing or running water, even within the vicinity of their home. During rainy season in Ethiopia, the cold rain seeps in through the cracks in the roof and walls, turning the dirt floor into mud; the atmosphere cold and damp.

To read the rest of Yeshi's story, click here.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Japan Mission Trip Update

Below is a report on the Japan mission trip written by Justin McKee, who, along with Cindy Lescarbeau and her son, Julian, traveled to Japan in August representing TCC. They, along with missionary Garry Kline, were able to distribute the 400lbs of goods collected by TCC that were shipped to Japan following their devastating earthquake:

On March 11, 2011 at 2:34pm, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck northern Japan bringing catastrophic destruction to the entire coast. As if that weren’t bad enough, the quake caused a tsunami which swelled over 30 feet high that flooded the streets of dozens of cities. The unstoppable wave swept away cars, houses, and the livelihoods of thousands of people. The death toll was in the tens of thousands.

But as hope was returning and plans of rebuilding were formulating in the ever-productive minds of the Japanese, something even more menacing occurred. The Fukushima nuclear power plants, having lost power during the earthquakes, became unstable. Backup systems maintaining the cooling process were destroyed by the tsunami, and the threat of a nuclear meltdown became imminent. While the Japanese government maintained limited communication about the situation in order to foster calm, experts from around the world agreed the situation was more severe than Japan was admitting. A 25km (15.5 mile) evacuation radius around the Daiichi reactor was mandated, but uncertainty bred panic that reached as far as Tokyo. Panic buying in affected regions caused bottled water, food, and gasoline to run out. As despair set in, everyone’s spirits were crushed.

Meanwhile, many foreigners and missionaries were leaving the area, but Garry Kline, the missionary in Japan supported by TCC, was determined to stay and see what could be done. He and his family were about two weeks into a 40-day fast to hear God’s clear direction on their future in Japan, and the aftermath of the quake revealed such an obvious needs. He and his daughter headed north to Sendai with a disaster relief team just one week after the initial earthquake struck.

What had begun at home as a fast from sweets turned into almost a total fast at the relief center as Garry and other workers chose to eat very little so they could give away the bulk of the food to those in need. “I knew there were people going without food; I felt led to endure it with them.” Hearing this, I thought of Hebrews 13:3, “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” For ten days, they would assess the damage and begin connecting needs and resources from a network of over 100 churches in the Tohoku region. “While I’ve never witnessed anything as devastating as the damage here, I’ve also never seen such resolve and unity in Christ being demonstrated by the hundreds of volunteers and pastors coming to Tohoku,” Garry recalls.

Five days after the disaster and the panic had caused a shortage in supplies, Pastor Joe called Garry to see what was needed. Money wasn’t really an option because there wasn’t anything left to buy. Half the country had bought up everything in sight. Pastor Joe sounded the battle call, and TCC came through with a 400lb pallet of disaster relief goods that were nowhere to be found in Japan. By April 14th, it was well on its way by a ship headed for Tokyo, the closest port not destroyed by the tsunami.

Of course the enemy needed to have his place in this story as well. Garry wrestled with customs to get these supplies for nearly four months. At first, the import company couldn’t locate the shipment, and then they said that an import broker would be necessary to complete the delivery. “I kept trying to explain to them that these weren’t personal items, they were for their own people!” It wasn't until August 12 that Garry was able to pick up the supplies at the dock in Tokyo. A short term mission team from TCC just happened to be visiting at the time. Ironically, it was the same team who had delivered the goods to the shipping company in Ormond back in April.

From there, Garry and the team drove the goods four and a half hours north of his home to the city of Iwaki. There, an operation consisting of Christians from all over the world was helping people who had been affected by the disaster. Each day, teams from the Global Missions Center went out performing various tasks such as clearing and sorting debris, helping local businesses prepare for re-opening by doing dishes, pouring concrete, and repairing walls all while praying with whomever they helped as they went. Some of the teams stayed behind and distributed goods to families that were still dependent upon them.

As the first day of work at the Global mission center was drawing to an end, Garry looked at the team with a smile on his face and a child-like gleam in his eye, “I saw some of our diapers go out today.” The satisfaction in his voice sufficed to say, “Thank You, TCC.”

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"You Can't"

I recently read a great blog from Pastor Perry Noble of NewSpring Church in South Carolina. I encourage you to take time and read what Perry tells us what we can't do...

You can’t expect to be understood AND obedient.

You can’t do what God wants you to do and avoid conflict.

You can’t expect God to always make sense (it won’t always work out on paper!)

You can’t get to the next level without sacrifice.

You can’t follow Jesus and remain the same.

To read the rest of Perry's "You Can't" blog, click here.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pro-Life Testimonial

I hope you read and are encouraged by this woman's testimony of triumph over a very strong temptation to abort her child:

Sometimes saying NO is an act of defiance, but in this case, almost twenty-one years ago, it was an act of faith:

We were high school sweethearts; we had been dating for four years. Suddenly after high school everything changed. My honor student, straight A, never-been-in-trouble boyfriend got his first full-time job. Unfortunately, his new friends introduced him to a new world. He began experimenting with drugs, reading books about Hitler, and drinking. All of our friends abandoned him, wanting nothing to do with his new life. In vain I held on and held out for a hopeful change. Then his emotions began to change: he became angry, bitter, volatile, and abusive.

Somewhere in the midst of everything I became pregnant. First, it was my boyfriend that absolutely insisted on an abortion. Then it was my own mother, of all people. As word spread among my friends they all gave me the same grim outlook of life trying to raise a child at my age.

However, I was raised in a Christian home: church every Sunday, devotions every night. Although I had strayed from those teachings I knew God was still there, somewhere! In desperation I cried out to Him. I confessed to Him that I couldn't face this world without Him and asked for His help. Not only did I feel all the aches and pains lift from my shoulders, I also felt His presence and strength. I confronted the demand again for an abortion, and said NO!

Don't get me wrong, life didn't all of a sudden spring up daisies and become perfect. My boyfriend left me, rumors soared, and people stared. But my life changed. I prayed the same thing every day, and still do, "God, I give this child to you. Use him, bless him, and help him to always hear Your voice."

My son is now twenty, and yes, I still pray that exact same prayer for him.

God has answered my prayer ten-fold. My son is the photographer and a youth group leader in his church, he works with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at the local high school, during the summer he witnesses on the beach and during the winter he feeds and witnesses to the homeless in St. Augustine. Many times he has brought the broken, beaten, and needy in to his own home.

This might sound like gloating but I promise you it is not. What it is is absolute awe and amazement! God has used this child to touch so many hurting people and spread His word to the lost and dying. I am amazed time and time again at God's blessings and great mercy.

Most of all I think back to what would have been lost if I had not trusted God to give me the strength to say, "NO".

God CAN use our children to change the world but we have to make the decision to allow them to be part of the world.