Tuesday, September 6, 2022

La Vie Dansante

There is a plaque in my kitchen that states "Dance like noone is watching." Now exchange dance with the word "live" and you have a mantra to go by. As you probably know, we are in a tech filled society so deep that we often lose the personal contact with others. Facts, figures and pictures zoom around the globe in seconds yet we can't seem to witness, to the next door neighbor.


Tech is not intrinsically bad but the tech can lend itself to the habit of laziness. That is, being lazy talking to people one on one, face to face and heart to heart. It has become easier to Facebook something than to knock on a door and hand them a tract. Please understand that I am not against social media platforms. I am saying that we need to use all methods necessary to deliver the Gospel to a dying world! What other methods? Like praying without ceasing. Ask any of our missionaries what they covet most and they will say prayer; not a new smartphone, though they may use one.


Now some of our missionaries more recent updates and success stories: Dr. John Sircar in Islam-heavy Bangladesh reports their Bible College thrives as well as the 20 orphans they shelter and feed. Speaking of Bible Colleges… I hope you had the chance and pleasure to have heard Josh Florence in Papua New Guinea speak recently. They are in the process of building a Bible College and it is progressing well. He and family are presently on furlough in the USA.


Ed and Anita Hoagland in Mexico gave a glowing report of their recently concluded summer camp program. They report 958 campers claiming salvation and over 375 baptisms through 5 camp events! So you see, people are coming to our Lord and we have a hand in it as we pray and give. Remember why we keep going on. "...who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." 

1 Timothy 2:4


Quick final note: Chestley Howell in Colombia, South America is to be married soon. Pray for them as they plan and continue to minister and work on a church plant in Bello, Colombia.


Warren Wiersbe wrote: “Unbelief says, ‘let's go back to where it's safe,’ but faith says ‘Let's go forward to where God is working.’1 That's the best way for us to be for our Lord. So let us continue to move forward in whatever manner God has for you; whatever tech device/platform you choose. Time is short… "And behold I come quickly." Rev 22:12. To God be the glory!


Mission Fact: This brief article mentions 4 countries where we support missionaries. The total population of those 4 countries are 355 million souls2. Yes, the work is great and the reward greater.


1Jordan River Rules.   Robert J Morgan.  pg 52

2Wikipedia World Demographics   2022 

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Even So....

 Let me ask you this: What, if anything, can you change for lasting good? I'm not talking about temporal, momentary changes. Rather the things that matter for all eternity. As carnal, weak and short sighted beings we often only see no further than our immediate front. Time to expand, No?

 

Memorial Day is upon us. A solemn day of remembrance, thankfulness and reflection on the sacrifices of others which allows us to gather and worship. Take it to an even higher plane and let us honor and remember our front line mission workers.

 

GBC helps support over 60 field missionaries, active and retired, from Alaska to Zambia, Africa. They have the same trials, COVID issues, back aches and budget problems we all have. As well as other problems we will never see or fully understand.

 

There is a need for security in our lives, as well, an inherent need for encouragement. This Missions Minute is an intro to just that. Let us as a church body rise up and encourage our 60 plus missionaries and ministries who we call our "mission family". All it takes is a willingness to contact 1, 2, or more missionaries and initiate a dialogue. See what they go through, what are their specific concerns and obstacles and how can we at GBC pray for them. Remember my initial question to you? What can we do and promote for lasting change? This is something we all can do. Let us be a praying church body that uplifts and remembers these hard working people who strive to spread the Gospel. More to come.

 

Time to be more specific. I mentioned GBC supports individuals and families of missionaries all over the world. Ten of these missions are in Central, South America as well as the Caribbean region. Should I give you a pop quiz and asked..."What is the capital of Surinam?" (hint: It's not $42.00) Would you know? or "what is Peru known for?" Not trying to confuse, boggle or perplex anyone here. Just want to make the point that we support families in Surinam and Peru and that 25% of our church budget goes to missions. Shouldn't we be aware of where it is going? All this centers around effective and timely communication. Again, this leads back to my request to the church body to help contact the missionaries we support.

 

As we remember our service members who sacrificed themselves for our benefit; let us remember all of our missionaries, mission boards, and ministries home and abroad. For we are all in it for life. Always, always, all glory and honor to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!!!

 

Mission Fact: Almost half a billion people live in South and Central America and more than 600 million live in Latin America (Mexico and Caribbean)1 The 10 missionaries we support have their work cut out for them. Pray! For with God nothing is impossible.

    

1JakubMarian.com. Population Density/Source World Bank


Bob Idacavage, 

Missions Director


Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Work Ahead

 We often forget that the Lord's imminent return can be at any moment. James 5:8 says..."the coming of the Lord draweth nigh." Need we any further reason to get moving? to serve? to humble ourselves and serve the Lord?


As 2022 moves along, numerous opportunities have risen to serve.Always remember the mission field is everywhere,it's every person and every moment.With that in mind, what are we waiting for?Occupy our time with others' needs.


There are many avenues of service here at GBC directly. Everything from maintenance, cleaning, nursery, choir, greeters, the Burmese ministry, GriefShare, and more .All is mission work when done for our Lord's glory. Pray and find your calling… then jump in!


Moving along to a more traditional concept of missions:


  1. Dexter Kirby on St. Vincent/Grenadines writes that "we have renewed our in person services and seen an uptick in the number of people attending." This was info from his last prayer letter post volcanic eruption.


  2. Bibles International (BI): They have been translating the Word for over 40 years now. Check out their web site at www.biblesint.org for the list of ongoing works. GBC supports a BI Representative, Jim Wright and family.


  3. Andrew Garcia/family to Honduras continue to raise support. Currently at 34% plus2. He is trusting in God for security so writes… "True safety is found in God." We all can lean on that.


  4. Trans World Radio (TWR): Their program TWR360 started in 2013 and today is heard in over 1,000 languages. It is a web portal with the biggest number of visits coming from India, the US, Ukraine, Bangladesh, and Brazil3.


Flashback time.... "Your mission… should you decide to accept it.." This was the opening line from the weekly TV show "Mission Impossible". Well,it doesn't work for us. It is too late to decline your mission once you accept Jesus as Savior. Let God show you a plan and then execute that plan until God directs otherwise. I encourage you to pray without ceasing and follow God's guidance. We should have the greatest sense of urgency to proclaim the Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles each day. We can do no more than that nor any less. To God be the glory!    

 

Mission Fact: As of November, 2021: There are 7.9 billion people in the world. Unreached people groups (UPG) make up 41.5% of the world's population. UPG means they have had zero exposure to the Gospel in any form4. Now is not the time to be idle… There's work ahead.


  1. United Nations statistics/www.worldometers.info

  2. Garcia Family prayer letter/Fall 2021

  3. TWR360 Facts December, 2021

  4. joshuaproject.net.   November, 2021

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Look Back… Go Forward

It is appropriate that Thanksgiving and Veterans Day are so close to each other. We all need to be thankful for the veterans now and in the past who sacrificed for our freedom, lifestyles, and relative ease of modern living.


One of the greatest freedoms we have is the license to worship Jesus openly. This is why we live. So think on this… if you are saved and truly practicing your beliefs, you too are a veteran. That being a veteran of the life and freedom Jesus died to provide for us. Military veterans sacrificed for freedoms and Jesus sacrificed himself for ALL mankinds freedom.


Lot to report here: Jim and Carol West (UK) are in their 87th year now. God can use the "old-sters" as well as the youngsters. From the Philippines… Margarito Cabrera reports that they had 22 baptized this year with more planned. Margarito also mentioned several new converts. And from Surinam, South America… remember Ethan Champlin, that was here a few months ago? He mentioned raising funds for radio towers to get the Word out through the jungle. Well, funds are there for the towers and they are awaiting His provision of additional equipment needed. Progress!


Staying in South America: Chesley Howell is about 1 month away from departing for the mission field of Columbia. Pray for a smooth transition at this hectic time. Josh and Allie Miller along with new baby Corban are on the verge of leaving for Peru. Passage funds are still needed. Bret Anderson and family are adjusting to the culture and language of Spain. They have been there for several months now. 


GBC supports 2 missionaries in Israel. Both are at the epicenter of major religions, cultures and end time events. May they have numerous opportunities for effective witnessing. Chris and Faith Anderson in Mangalia, Romania continue to raise funds for their ministry house.


On a broader scale: mission board ABWE had 82 new mission appointees last year to more than 20 countries. As well, 3 new fields opened. ABWE now has 1000 missionaries in 70 countries.1


Each bullet statement above has much more background info to it. Please note that these are only a few of our mission family here at Gospel. Always remember they live rich, dynamic lives yet are subject to illness, flat tires and bad weather… just like us. Pray for them, reach out however you can and remember… time is short… eternity beckons.


In closing, General George Patton had an uncle killed during Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg. On his tombstone is the quote… "In Christ Alone, Perfectly Content". How true… how true. As always, humbly we give God all the glory!


1ABWE International. / Year in Review


Mission Fact: About 227,000 long term missionaries went to the field in 2020. This is down from 430,000 in 1970. That is a 47% drop and that is all denominations claiming to be Christian. Many factors are to blame such as a rise in short term service, governmental politics and a changing financial world.


Delusia Sage journals/International Bulletin of Mission Research


Monday, November 1, 2021

Ngepi

Our life can be so hectic. It will be Christmas as soon as you finish reading this brief article… well, almost. Yet we have the same amount of hours and minutes each day as there has been since Adam and Eve. So let's reshuffle our priorities and make every minute count.

Busy we are, here at GBC. Our church family here and abroad have been seeing fantastic things getting done for Christ. Such as.....


  1. October 16 saw our fundraiser for Chris and Faith Anderson (Romania).This will be an ongoing project through February 2022 as we help raise funds for them to purchase a ministry house in Mangalia, Romania.

  2. K.W. to Israel reports a 98 year old woman receiving Christ as her Messiah! It is never too late!

  3. World Vision (GBC supported) responded to emergencies other than the pandemic in 48 countries. That is over 27 million people assisted.

    Let us lift up our missionaries, their Mission boards and ourselves for opportunities to serve… "watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." Ephesians 6:18
    Now another foreign work we support…

  4. Josh Florence and family in Papua, New Guinea reports having several specific needs met by their supporting churches. Nothing is impossible for our God! Josh also tells about 4 believers baptized… it was their first baptism at the new church.


So you see; God is ever working, ever present and so ever loving to us. Thus remain committed and remain focused.    


I mentioned earlier how quickly Christmas was approaching. Don't wait till the last moment to shop… don't wait till the last moment to get working for Jesus with whatever He has put to you to do. For He is coming back. That is a fact: not an opinion.


Note: We are about a month out from the Kentucky trip via Covenant International. Please clean out those closets and get usable, clean clothing and housewares to the church. More on this coming by way of announcements.


Did you notice the title of this Missions Minute? It is an African word from a village in Namibia. It means "Get a life". The only life really worth getting is one with Jesus. To God be the Glory!!



Mission Fact: William Carey (1761-1834) is known as the father of modern missions. A skilled linguist, writer and printer, Carey was a self motivated learner who taught himself Latin, Hebrew, and Greek. He influenced many to go to the mission fields… especially India. A true hero of the faith, William Carey translated numerous languages into the native tongue.            


What Christians Want to Know: 10 Famous Missionaries 


Thursday, September 30, 2021

Look Up!....and Drive On!

 Well, it's officially autumn and that brings with it a very busy schedule. Such as my beloved Philadelphia Eagles taking on the rest of the NFL, raking tons of leaves and on the horizon Christmas. So much will be happening that Christmas planning is not a priority just yet, but our mission fundraiser October 16 is! Please pray you can help… help is always good… and come out to support our missionaries to Romania, Chris and Faith Anderson.  


Yes, we are busy and our schedule is getting more crowded. Yet think about our missionaries and their hard working mission boards. For instance:

  1. Scripture Memory Mountain Mission (Camp Nathanael) in Kentucky saw 20 individuals saved this past summer. Now they follow up, disciple and encourage.

  2. Dexter Kirby on St Vincent Island (Grenadines) had their world rocked with a volcano eruption/disruption of daily life in April. Many people there lost their homes, livestock and hope. He writes that the ministry goes on and that people are being helped via the church he pastors.

  3. Andrew Garcia (Honduras bound) continues to raise support as they were recently blessed with 6 more supporting churches.

  4. Family to the Pamiri people group; The husband has had a difficult time this summer as while on furlough, his youngest brother drowned in a tragic accident. This set him back but today he and family are back in mountainous Central Asia. Pray for this family as the God of the universe strengthens them daily.

  5. ABWE mission board (of which GBC supports several missionaries) reports 82 new missionaries left for the field between late 2020 and now. Pray for a rich harvest from their respective fields of work. Recall that there are 2.9 billion people who have never heard the gospel!1


Think on this… Brazil 2010; a man named Jenuan is exposed to something contagious. Today he has "infected" at least 32 people who are spreading it on 4 continents. It's not a disease but the cure! For Jenuan was introduced to Jesus! He went on to start a Brazilian run and supported mission board and today has 32 missionaries in 12 countries.2 Let us always remember that the mission field is right outside our doors as well as in Brazil, Romania, and every place in between.


So "O thou that hearest prayers, unto thee all flesh comes" Psalm 65:2 KJV. Never lose faith in the God who hears our prayers...". Let everything that has breath praise the Lord"! Psalm 105:6 



Mission Fact: Per mission board Advancing Native Missions, there are 4,100 people groups in South Asia. By their statistics, 3,682 of that number are still considered unreached. Obstacles include but are not limited to, many languages as well as cultural practices, political systems and poverty. Remember… nothing is impossible for our God!!3       


1: ABWE Annual Report 2020. page 3

2: ABWE year 2015. Fact Sheet page 30 Issue 4

3: ANM Official Guide, 2021


Thursday, August 26, 2021

Opportunity.... Grab It!

In honor of heading back to school we will now have a pop geography quiz. 

First question: What is the capital of Romania? 

Second question: What famous mythical character called Romania home?


How many of you reading this wish they got in on the ground level of buying stock in Apple? or Google? or Facebook? Would have been a pretty good return for your initial investment. Opportunities in front of you, not acted on, are opportunities lost. The world of missions has opportunity; we need to move on them or they will pass us by.


Often we think of missions being "out there somewhere". Well, GBC has several members of our church "out there". Chris and Faith Anderson are working hard at this very moment in Mangalia, southeastern Romania. It is located on the Black Sea thus a bit of a mecca for vacationers.


Modern Romania is only about 160 years old in the sense of the term yet is quite diverse. Physically it is ⅓ mountainous; ⅓ forested and ⅓ city-town and farms. Most of the population is ethnic Romanians with the main religion being Romanian Orthodoxy.


On the world history scene, Romania was liberated from Nazi Germany in 1944 and became a satellite of the Soviet Union in 1948. However, with the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1989, we now see Romania in NATO '04 and in the EU '07. Big changes for them as the opportunity to spread the Gospel opened up.


Chris and Faith have an ongoing church ministry in Mangalia as well as a coffee shop ministry. This summer has them (and their family of 7 children) keeping quite busy with Faith leading a girl's Bible study. As well, they lead a Bible study in a nearby village… church on Sunday's… as well as keeping up with a busy, busy home life.  


Understandably, much goes on at their home. They even have a youth group meet at their home. Needs are there as an opportunity arose in the recent past for them to obtain a ministry house. Now this house would be multi-functional thus a real boost to their ministry. The GBC staff is planning a fundraiser in mid-October on a Saturday to help the Anderson's raise the ministry house funds needed. Please pray about helping that day or at least attending and having some fun… and good food… .with us. More to follow on this soon!! Look for it!


So you see… opportunities do come along knocking on your door. We as a church body recently sang the hymn "Build My Life" on a Sunday morning. In part, the lyrics spoke out saying… "Lead me to those around me". Maybe we can't go to Mangalia, Romania today but we can help our brothers and sisters there by praying, coming out in October to the fundraiser and never stopping giving our Lord and Savior all the Glory!!

 

Mission Fact: The population of Romania has steadily declined in the last several years. This is partly due to a declining birth rate but migration to western countries is the primary reason. This is a trend being seen in many former Soviet Bloc countries.


Answers to the quiz:

  1. Bucharest

  2. Count Dracula of Transylvania


All Romanian facts, figures and information is credited to Wikipedia and Britannica: Romania Facts. 2020.