Birthday Gift for Jesus- Homes of Hope

Please read below for another ‘thank you‘ from a group blessed by our Birthday Gift for Jesus distribution.

2-19-2014HomesOfHopeLoveINC‘Thank You so much, Grace Church, for your generous gift to Homes of Hope. Your Birthday Gift for Jesus donation is enough to help a local family of six during their six months in the program! We so appreciate your part in extending financial help, spiritual encouragement, and financial coaching to families in Lititz who are facing homelessness.’

Beuggert Transition

Christian & Bonnie Beuggert have been supported by Grace Church for many years, serving in Asia with Encompass World Partners. They are well-connected to Grace Church and spend a lot of time with us when they are in the U.S. This summer, our SE Asia team had the opportunity to meet up with them in Bangkok as well as to spend a few days with Christian in Northern Thailand.

Several months ago, they shared with our missions team that the Lord had been working in some significant ways in their hearts. We continued to pray together, and God has continued to lead them toward a significant transition which they have shared through the letter below. Please continue to pray for the Beuggert family as they open a new chapter in their lives.

Beuggerts

Dear supporters and friends,
First of all, we would like to tell you how much your family has meant to us through the many years of our serving in Asia. We have felt the love, prayers, support, financial help and care you have passed on to us in so many ways. Even opening your home to us, and hosting us on occasion has really been fun! We could not have served in this capacity without your support of us, as well as others that have sacrificially given for us.
Through the years, we have always prayed and asked the Lord on a regular basis if He still wanted us on the “field”. He has always answered Yes. Recently because of several factors in our lives, we have been seeking the Lord once again concerning this, and He has been redirecting our path to return home. We would like to explain the reasons.
1. Our ministry in Thailand with the Scouts ended this month. We have been able to use Boy Scouts, and Cub Scouts as a springboard for building relationships and interacting with families for the past few years. This has been great! But due to the policy changes, the school our children attend has closed this chapter (which we agree with) and thus this part of our work is over. But we will continue to reach families through the end of this school year through regular activities and campouts.
2. Christian has become open as well as eager to once again become involved in church ministry (pastoring).
3. Bonnie’s parents are aging and we would like to be closer to help them. Mom is having some trouble with short term memory, and Dad seems to be getting weaker.
4. With the culture changing so much in America, we would like to settle our children in before sending them off to college. They have never lived there, and we would like to be there to help them adjust.
So, this past summer, we as a family have put some feelers out to see if the Lord might open a door for us. There has been MUCH prayer, as well as tears, that have gone into this. It will be a huge change for each member of our family. I will have been in Asia for a span of 23 years this summer. Amazing. Christian has been here almost 20 years and has never lived in the USA. The kids have only visited for short periods of time. But, the Lord has given us all an excitement for moving back, and He has also opened a pastorate for us. Over the Christmas break, we traveled back to Roanoke, VA. The Ghent GBC in SW Roanoke is in need of a pastor. After our visit, they voted 100% to call us and we have accepted.
A big part of our decision, as well, had to do with whether or not we would still be able to be involved in the Philippines. Encompass has asked us to continue to be the field leader for the ministry there, which would take part of our time. The church will allow us to continue our ministry in the Philippines, and Christian will travel back 2 times a year. This will allow us to continue the process of handing over the leadership/ministry to the Filipinos. We so appreciate this, as our hearts will always desire involvement overseas.
So you can see, 2014 will be a year of transition for us. We are still working with Encompass World Partners to define a future ministry description for our special assignment role to the Philippines. We will send you more info as things develop. As for timing, our plan is to return Stateside in the summer and then move to Roanoke. We will have to establish a home and find schooling solutions for the children. All this will take a lot of time and prayer (and probably more tears ).
We are looking forward to continue to partner with you for our special assignment part of our ministry, if the Lord so leads you when we return. As more details develop, we will let you know the details.
In His grip,
Christian, Bonnie, Kayla, Michael and Philip

One More Thank-You…

Here’s a final “thank you” video from our Birthday Gift for Jesus distributions! This video was put together SPECIALLY for Grace Church in appreciation for the contribution we made to the current crisis in the CAR. Grace Church gave 10,000 pounds of food that will go directly to our orphans who are hungry. In addition, many indiviudals from Grace Church have given toward the 1,000,000 pound goal. You can continue to give – check out previous posts for the details.

THANK YOU, GRACE CHURCH, for your generous contributions towards our compassion projects this year! Please continue to pray for all our partnerships making a big difference all over the world!

Photo Blog: A Gift for Orphans in Haiti

Part of our distribution of Birthday Gift for Jesus funds went to the orphanage we work with near Cap Haitian, Haiti. There are about 40 beautiful children living there right now.

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Part of their desire is to teach the children how to garden and farm. These become life-long skills and help the orphanage to be more self-sustaining. Some land has already been developed into a garden.

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A well was dug, and a water pump is used to pump water for “facilities” on the property, as well as for a holding tank that is rigged to an irrigation system for the garden.

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Rabbits (which have a number of useful purposes) eat weeds from the garden, and produce fertilizer for the garden.

 

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They also provide entertainment to visitors. (Well, at least one visitor)!

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Grace Church has helped to fund the next “phase” of the garden project. The adjacent property has been purchased and now needs to be prepared. This includes clearing the land, “planting” a cactus fence around the perimeter (to keep the hungry cows out), irrigation, and planting.

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Thank you for your help on this project! Pray that it will provide the desired harvest and skills training for the children. And PRAY FOR RAIN!

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Giving to Water Street Ministries… (is Jer losing some steam)?

Another stop on our “Birthday Gift for Jesus” distribution, representing “Local Compassion”, was Water Street Ministries in downtown Lancaster. Their Director of Donor Relationship recorded this short clip for us – in it, he says the average number of meals served daily is 450 – but he later told us that at this time of the year, they are seeing an increased need, and are serving and ADDITIONAL 200-240 meals PER DAY. The needs in our own backyard are great! Thanks for helping those in need through your contributions to Birthday Gift for Jesus.

Oh, and it seems like Jer is losing some steam…what do you think?

Take Time to Remember

Well over 5 million people were impacted.

An estimated 600,000 people were left homeless.

More than 6,000 people died.

Do you remember? Or have you moved on?

In November, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan struck the island nation of the Philippines in Southeast Asia, leaving widespread devastation. Grace Church is the sending church of Christian (and Bonnie) Beuggert who oversee ministry in the Philippines for Encompass World Partners. Encompass does not have ministries in the specific areas that were hit hardest, so funds are being transferred to two other organizations, “Medical Ambassadors”, and “First Love”.

Grace Church has made two contributions to these relief efforts – one as an initial response, and one from our Birthday Gift for Jesus funds. Here are updates that Christian passed along:

Dr. Francis Daytec and his wife Leah are sent out by the Kish Valley Grace Brethren Church, PA. We are partnering with them in their ministry in giving some oversight and visionary leadership. They also partner with Medical Ambassadors Philippines, the organization through which we are funneling relief funds.

Dr. Francis’ report: ‘I just returned after ten days of serving with Medical Ambassadors Philippin es in the most devastated areas affected by the Typhoon. A group of several nurses and three other doctors and I started out in Tacloban, handing out relief goods, offering hope, giving free medical care for six days— we treated so many broken bodies, and loved so many broken hearts. The strength of the survivors is unbelievable.
We then traveled on by plane to Coron, Palawan to another devastated region: this time I was the only doctor, accompanied by two nurses. There we saw and treated over 375 patients in three days, and were touched by the resilient spirits of the survivors.
Amidst the devastation, I witnessed true hope arise in people— made possible by your efforts, you – our friends, family and even strangers who were led to pray and give. Your prayers and giving is enabling us and our partners to provide relief in the form of food, clothing, shelter, medical care and, most importantly, hope through counseling and Spiritual care in the remote and most neglected areas affected by the typhoon.
I have seen the destruction and heard the stories that affirm God’s faithfulness. In Tacloban, a particular church building withstood the rushing water and 200 mph winds. This church became a refuge not just for survivors but for rescuers and relief operators and volunteers. One member of the fellowship gathering in this church narrated how amazingly his wooden house remained standing as he watched from his window the buildings being flattened by the wind and rushing water. Having his family and house saved from the typhoon gave him privilege to serve those who are serving his hometown by driving volunteers to where they are needed on his motorbike, which also was amazingly saved without a scratch after a coconut tree fell on it.
Amidst the losses, there is hope. In the town of Tanauan, an elderly man’s wish is to have a Bible. His Bible was washed out together with all of his other belongings the rushing water. He said he was afraid but the incoming huge waves brought him courage: “I was amazed. I saw the power of God as the towering waves were coming in. Courage overcame my fears and made me praise and give thanks to God. We are now rebuilding our house from whatever debris left. I want to continue reading and memorizing God’s written Word. I believe the time is nearing when we need to have the Word of God in our hearts where no storm can get rid of.”
All around me was devastation like I have never seen before… bodies still being dug out of the rubble, whole towns decimated and flattened. Entire families washed away, many children who had lost both parents, parents who lost all their children. The agony and brokenness is hard to put into words. One mother who came to be checked up told how she had given birth to twin boys the day before the typhoon hit. When the waves came, they swept her baby boys away, and she has never found their bodies.
We are so grateful for the prayer and the very generous financial gifts that many of you gave for the relief effort in these places. Thank you! There is much work left to be done, and we are not finished. We will continue going back and serving until life begins to be rebuilt.’

Dan and Tori Beaver used to work with Encompass in Manila. They are now with First Love serving in Boracay. Their island was hit by the storm but the damage was not as severe. They have decided to establish a long-term relief:
‘First Love will continue to bring in relief goods and set up more long term feeding centers, linking with Tacloban Bible Church and several partnering churches in the areas of great loss. Our partner, ATS, Asian Theological Seminary has assured us that they will be sending crisis counselors into Tacloban and Samar to help with those who are so emotionally and spiritually traumatized. They are even at work right now training more pastors and lay Christians for this important need.
Now most recently, we have implemented a construction team to help rebuild and construct simple homes for the poor. We are starting with members of churches and their neighbors as localized outreaches. Some of these homes will double as house churches.’

Thank you for being a church who cares!

Life Lessons with “Jer”: Giving Makes you Dance

We continue our series of blogs about distributing the many dollars graciously given by Grace Church. Here’s a “thank you” from House of His Creation, just down the road in Lititz. They are providing hope for young moms and children – and stay tuned, their Director told us about some really exciting new ministry initiatives coming soon.

Here is our previous post if you’d like to read more.

You’re going to love this guy’s story. And you’re going to love Jeremiah’s happy dance!