A GROWing Partnership

Grace Church is so excited to be partnering with GROW. Faa & Ning shared powerful stories of answers to prayer during our Sunday morning worship services last week, and expanded on what God has been doing in the past year at the Missions Celebration. We also wanted you to be able to see this great new video from GROW (which was shown last Sunday night).

We are sending Heidi Christner and Joan McCracken to visit GROW from September 26-October 13th. During their trip, they will be able to encourage Faa, build relationships with the children and staff at GROW, and explore the possibility of taking short-term trips in the future. There is a prayer card and support letter for them located at the missions table in the church lobby.

Take a moment to pray for this amazing ministry, and consider supporting it by partnering with Heidi and Joan as they travel there in a few weeks!

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/100609817″>GROW – Grace Refuge Outreach Worldwide</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user7195014″>Jonathan H. Lee</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Celebrating Missions: Part 3 of 3

Sunday night the Grace Church missions team hosted a missions celebration! Those who attended thoroughly enjoyed the variety of experiences throughout the night and walked away challenged to be more engaged in our responsibility to “reach the nations” with the good news of Jesus. This is the final blog in our series for this week highlighting different elements of the event in case you weren’t able to make it! (Click here for part 1 and here for part 2!)

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As we mentioned last week, if we are followers of Jesus, we are responsible for His mission! We began the evening considering how all of our missions efforts at Grace Church fit into that context and our vision – to lead people to Christ and to coach them to live for Him with purpose and abandon!

Pastor Doug spent some time identifying a few practical ways that people can be involved in what we do all over the globe, which are summarized below. How are YOU involved?!

  • AWARENESS – Be pro-active in knowing what is going on in missions! Bookmark this blog for information on Grace Church’s efforts or connect with other reputable sources.
  • GIVE – We need committed partners to give to Grace Church and support our “home” commitments, but part of every dollar goes to support our commitments to partners all over the world. In addition, we do a few special missions projects throughout the year, and have short-term teams needing funded on a regular basis. We’ve also included special projects with many of our short-term teams – the team that just returned from Haiti raised money to provide Bibles for the orphans and staff at the House of Hope orphanage!
  • GO – Perhaps there are some who God will call to relocate “on mission”. There will be more who are called to grow in their discipleship journey through a short-term experience. These trips allow God to open our hearts in a unique way, and allow us to work together with our partners to develop relationships and accomplish their ministry objectives.
  • PRAY – This is perhaps the easiest AND most important investment we can make! The miracle of changed hearts and lives comes from God, so we must be on our knees asking Him to work. Pick up your prayer cards and commit to praying for our partners! (Don’t have your prayer cards yet? Stop by the missions table in the lobby to pick up your set!)

If you have any questions about missions at Grace Church, please contact Pastor Doug here.

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Celebrating Missions: Part 2 of 3

Sunday night the Grace Church missions team hosted a missions celebration! Those who attended thoroughly enjoyed the variety of experiences throughout the night and walked away challenged to be more engaged in our responsibility to “reach the nations” with the good news of Jesus. This is the second blog in our series for this week highlighting different elements of the event in case you weren’t able to make it! (Click here if you missed part 1!)

Those who attended got their passports stamped on a journey around the world! Tables were set-up representing different short-term missions opportunities and ministries engaged by Grace Church people this summer. Tables included:

After visiting each table, “passports” were “stamped” and those with full passports entered a give-away to local “international” restaurants!

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One of the required stops was the Grace Meeting Room, where the team from Haiti provided a more extensive presentation of their trip. Our prayer has been that people would have at least one interaction that would lead them to be more engaged in missions through Grace Church.

How are you “living on mission”? We’ll give you some practical ideas tomorrow!

Celebrating Missions: Part 1 of 3

Sunday night the Grace Church missions team hosted a missions celebration! Those who attended thoroughly enjoyed the variety of experiences throughout the night and walked away challenged to be more engaged in our responsibility to “reach the nations” with the good news of Jesus. We’ll post a few blogs this week highlighting different elements of the event in case you weren’t able to make it!

We’ll start at the end! We ended the evening by covering the entire world in prayer! Literally! We asked everyone who attended to pick 3 countries to pray for and had them circle the country name on a world map. It was awesome to see couples, families, and other individuals huddled together and praying for the work of the gospel across the entire globe! Many wrote the names of their countries down to continue to pray for them throughout the week as well. A changed heart is a work of God, so prayer is a powerful way to be involved in missions.

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Another prayer element came in the form of a packet of prayer cards for all of Grace Church’s missions partners! We encouraged everyone to take one home and to place it at a visible place in their home to remember to pray for our partnerships and investments all over the globe. We continue to make new cards for Grace Church folks who are serving on short-term trips as well, so your pile can continue to grow over time. A display gave people ideas of how to use the cards:

  • Place them in a box in the middle of the dinner table and pray for one partner each night before dinner
  • Place them all in a photo album and keep it in your purse or with your Bible to pray during down-time or quiet time
  • Hang them on a line across a play-room wall to keep them visible and in the front of your mind
  • Clip them to your fridge with a fridge-magnet and pray for one when you open your fridge

If you missed the event, stop by the missions table in the lobby to pick a packet up, or contact the church office to mail you one!

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A final prayer element that was quite moving was to have Faa, from our featured partnership, GROW, praying for us in Thai! Pastor Doug asked Faa to pray in either Aka (her native, tribal language) or in Thai. She chose to pray in Thai “because that’s the language she has memorized Scripture in”! In other words, she was praying Scripture! Though we couldn’t understand her prayer, our hearts were aligned and moved as we observed her passion while she spoke to God.

What’s a Blister Worth?

If you’ve been reading the blog the last week or so, you know that Zach & Rachel Peters were part of a team who did ministry in Portugal and Spain associated with the St. James Way (or Camino de Santiago). Cross-cultural experiences have a lasting impact on people, and continue to teach them lessons for years to come. Rachel is still learning as she reflects on her trip to Ireland with Grace Student Ministries in 2009. But the Camino trip was Zach’s first time outside of the U.S. – which, in and of itself can have a large impact on someone.

Below, Zach and Rachel share some tidbits of what they learned through this experience. Please pray for them – and for all those who Grace Church sends out – as they process their experiences and apply the lessons learned to their daily lives!

Arriving in Santiago!
Arriving in Santiago!

From Zach:

  • It was amazing to see that God’s creation doesn’t just exist in our own little world
  • Seeing Abel’s (a Portuguese national who does ministry on the St. James Way) trust in God could be overwhelming; “It’s okay” was a phrase we heard almost too often
  • It was crazy to see how far people walk in search of something spiritual
  • The scenery was nothing short of a miracle

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From Rachel:

  • The Camino is such a huge metaphor for life. The baggage we carry, how much we really need to survive, the simplicity of friendship, the necessity of getting out of bed each morning (despite the blisters and exhaustion), and the fact that we just have to “keep walking” to get anywhere are just a few examples of the undeniable parallels to “normal” life.
  • So many people that I met were searching for “something more,” whether they would admit it out loud or not. Our group was able to speak truth into their lives in a small way because we already have the assurance of our future through Christ. We were able to share meals, conversations, and lots of miles with many different people. Please join me in praying for a few of these “seekers” that I was able to meet: Kay and John (Ireland); Kate and Daniel (USA); Colin, Haley, Alejandro, and Alexis (USA); Fabian (Germany); Bev and her sisters (Canada)
  • It was incredible to be able to experience life outside of my normal comfort zone. God is SO big, and I am frequently too focused on the back roads of Lancaster County to acknowledge it.
Abel serving a "family dinner" to the team and three guests.
Abel serving a “family dinner” to the team and three guests.

SO MANY TRIPS!

As you can tell, there is a lot going on through Grace Church! As of today, we have people from Grace on four different missions trips in Tennessee, France, Scotland, and the Philippines! We are so excited to keep you up to date on all the happenings around the world due to the work these teams are doing.

 22 students from Lititz Christian’s 8th grade class, along with 4 chaperones, are currently on their way to Wears Valley Ranch in Tennessee!

Please continue to pray for this team as they do ministry on the ranch. Continue to check back for more updates about their trip!

(Haven’t heard about this trip? Click HERE.)

YOUR French Connection: Part 2 of 2

Two people from Grace Church are heading to France from May 21 to June 5 to serve at the Chateau de St. Albain! Grace Church has had ongoing involvement in the Chateau’s ministry for several decades (see yesterday’s post), and we are excited for the opportunity to be a part of this particular project.

Marlin Weaver, who serves as Grace Church’s Facilities Director has some unique strengths which led to his being asked to participate in this trip:

A team of men from East Side GBC in Blacklick, Ohio decided to go France to help the Chateau ministry by providing the manpower and supplies for a much-needed roof repair. I was delighted when they asked me to go along with them to help to purchase supplies, explain the system used for tile roofs, and translate. And since an important part of any mission trip is discipleship, I am grateful that Justin Gerhart is willing to accompany me to help with the work, encourage the Macon church, and learn about ministry opportunities.

In addition, Marlin has invited a young man from Grace Church, Justin Gerhart, to join him on this journey. Justin has never been overseas before, so his purposes and experience will look quite different.

Please be praying for both of these men as they prepare for their trip! Here are a few specific prayer requests:

  • we will fit in and work well with the Ohio team
  • we will be a testimony to the unsaved French friends we will stay with for several days when the Chateau hosts a large group
  • we will be an encouragement to the French believers

Marlin-Justin edit