Archive for February, 2011

Feb 24

Kingdom Assignment Plants A Seed In Papua New Guinea

February 24th, 2011

Member, Laurie, describes the process of determining how to utilize the $100 handed to her in church.

“Things were just fine, for the most part.  I was living a comfortable life. And then I raised my hand in church. I have a feeling that my life changed at that moment in ways I haven’t yet even begun to perceive.

 On January 16, as a part of “The Almighty’$ Dollar” Series at church, Richard Kannwischer challenged 20 volunteers by handing them a $100 dollar bill telling them basically to “Pay it forward for God”.  Standing up on the dais with the other volunteers, I smiled, but I was thinking, what have I got myself into now?

 As one of the “Frozen Chosen”, a long-time Presbyterian, I could feel the lever under my comfortable seat prodding me to launch into this sure-to-be-exciting venture with God.  My armchair days were narrowing.  I decided right from the start not to worry—God’s money, God’s project.  Have fun and take a lesson.

 So what to do with a hundred dollars?   Better pray about this one.  They’ll be asking questions and they know where I live.

 A Clue.  I facilitate a women’s Bible study where we are studying the life of Joseph—the one with the amazing coat.     The big lesson has been that God is very involved in the timing and details of his plans.  Mostly imperceptible to us, his servants, these plans get carried out in a variety of ways, taking us on detours we never expected.  As a follower of Jesus, I knew the plan lay right in front of me; all I had to do was look.

 My first step.  A couple of weeks before the challenge, I had lunch with a friend who works at The Seed Company.  I’d heard about this outfit before and knew it was staffed with highly committed and mature Christians who got things done with intelligence and integrity. I knew about Wycliffe, their parent company, sending missionaries out for almost 70 years translating the Bible into the myriad and multiple languages of the world.  In 2004, I traveled to Malawi, Africa, and will never forget the joy on the faces of the children carrying around their own Bibles in the Chichewa language.  I got to thinking, why not The Seed Company? Bible translation:  accelerated.   Being on the leading edge of the Great Commission appealed to me. (Matthew 28:18-20, Romans 10:17, Mark 13:10)

 Affirmation.  I mentioned it to one of my co-teachers and she committed to match my $100 right away.  And then some unexpected cash came to another friend and she matched the $100 as well.  God’s money, God’s project, I reminded myself.  I mentioned it to my Covenant Group and my Bible Study, and the enthusiasm started to build.    I was on my way.

 RememberingIn 1981-1985 Jake and I lived in Saudi Arabia.  He was on a business trip in Papua New Guinea and called home to tell me he was with these little people who had never seen a wheel before.  Imagine.  Fluor built the pipeline bringing oil from the field to an offshore terminal.   As the Fluor team cut its way through the jungle they were challenged by primitive peoples faced with modern technology for the first time.  From village to village the people were wary because they couldn’t easily communicate with each other much less the foreigners now filling their forest pathways.   It was a challenge to keep the peace during that project.   Fast-forward 30 years.  These people have heard the Word of God, but they desire the printed Scriptures in their own language.   I keep ten Bibles in various English translations.  How about you?

Stepping Out.  I met with people at The Seed Company and learned they have well-developed programs to help interested individuals and churches get plugged in with a people group so they can see the effects of what happens when these remote and isolated peoples get the Word of God in their heart language.   I realized that this could be a project that would change the world forever.  The Scriptures are God’s Word, and his Word lives forever.  Thus, once a language receives its Bible translation, it will stand forever in God’s Eternal Kingdom. 

 Pay It Forward.  This is an opportunity to become a Kingdom builder, no matter what the depth of your resources.  I am asking you to think and pray about this and consider if you would like to join this exotic adventure with me as we partner with a people identified by The Seed Company as a strategic area for translation.  The country more diverse than anywhere else in the world with over 830 indigenous languages, a country of nearly 8 million people, is Papua New Guinea.   A little larger than California, but with only 1 fifth of our population, they acknowledge approximately 1 heart language for every 10,000 people.

 Our Project at St. Andrew’s.  The church in Papua New Guinea lacks the solid foundation of mother tongue Scriptures.  There are several projects in progress waiting for assistance and the people in Papua New Guinea are hungry for God’s Word.   The Seed Company is currently identifying a particular project for us and I can let you know where we land.

 Different Ways to Give.

·      You can pray for the Papua New Guinean people and their translators.  This is vital.  Go online to http://www.theseedcompany.org/ and search under Papua New Guinea.  You can commit to be a prayer partner and they will send you information about the people and the project. 

·      You can make a one-time gift of any amount, but $26 is a really good number, because with that amount, you can know that one verse of the Bible will be translated into the mother tongue for waiting believers. You can write a check to The Seed Company: SAPC-PNG Project, 3000 W. MacArthur Blvd., Suite 440, Santa Ana, CA  92704.  

 I have determined that The Seed Company is a team I can be associated with for life.  I’d like to heighten the awareness our congregation and other followers of Jesus about the world changing work of The Seed Company

 While my husband and I once traveled the world for the Fluor Corporation, bringing infrastructure and economic opportunities to the people of the Middle and Far East, now we are proud to partner with The Seed Company. We are convinced that Bible translation brings positive spiritual, economic and cultural change to each area served by The Seed Company and their array of partners.  The power of the Scriptures delivered to a people in their own language transforms them and sets them on the road to abounding blessings, where they in turn can be a blessing to us.”

 -Laurie

Click Here to listen to the current sermon series, “The Almighty’$ Dollar.”

Feb 22

The Choir Joins Together for a Cause

February 22nd, 2011

“The choir has had an ongoing ministry to two kids — one a World Vision child and the other a little girl named Faima, in Uganda, who is with an organization called Promise Child. 

About three weeks ago, we had a Saturday rehearsal, and as part of that rehearsal we had a report from the director of Promise Child about the work in Uganda.  He showed us video and an interview with Faima and her family.  One of the things that came through for that little family was that they were much in need of a “home,” which in Uganda is basically two brick huts with thatch roofs and an opening for a door.  We found out that each one would cost about $750 to build. 

Frani Bailey was one of the $100 recipients involved in The Kingdom Assignment and the choir has multiplied that money into over $800 — one hut built.  Yay!  But as I sat and listened I was moved in my heart about raising the $750 for the second hut. 

That same night, I went through my email address book and sent out a letter to about 55 family and friends on my list, with a challenge — I would put $100 (for my own Kingdom Assignment) and appealed to them to help build Faima’s family the second hut. 

The first email early Monday morning was from friends who said — “put us down for $100.”
To date the total is at about $540 and I’m still expecting at least a couple more checks to come in. 

I was so affirmed and excited about the immediate response that Monday morning I decided to share what had happened with my two community college classes.  I don’t know what fruit that will bear, but it was another type of “sowing” God’s Kingdom.  I plan to report to them soon that the whole amount of $750 was reached.”

-Grace

 Click Here to listen to the current sermon series, “The Almighty’$ Dollar.”

Feb 18

High School Student Makes A Difference With Her Kingdom Assignment

February 18th, 2011

“First of all, I am so thankful for being a part of this assignment.  I decided to donate my money to Generosity Water, an organization that raises money to fund wells in developing countries. I also used this assignment to jumpstart a fundraiser at my school to benefit our Generosity Water club, of which I am the vice president. Administration has taken some time to get a response back to me on my proposal, but when they do I hope to start a “Dollar Drive” where our club will be encouraging students to refill a water bottle for a day and donate the money they would have spent to our cause.

This organization means a lot to me, and I really hope I can raise enough money to build our third well! The first two we funded were in Peru and Uganda. I had an experience the other day that sums up my appreciation for this cause: I was showing my mom one of the videos off the Generosity Water website (Click Here) and at the end of the video I found myself crying. I had shown this video numerous times at club meetings and yet every time I watched it, my heart filled up with joy for the Lord knowing that through our work we were dramatically changing the life of someone… with the simple gift of pure, clean water. Thank you so much for this experience, I am so blessed to be able to help those who lack everyday necessities.”

- Megan

Click Here to listen to the current sermon series, “The Almighty’$ Dollar.”

Feb 18

Stories of Reaching Out to Our Neighborhood

February 18th, 2011

“Today I completed my Kingdom Assignment and want to share the results with all of you. First of all, by the end of the week, after receiving the $100 from Richard Kannwischer, the sum had multiplied to $500. Others and I added our $100 to the opportunity; then I began praying and asking God how he wanted to use his resources. What God directed me to do was to give $100 to each of five Charities.

1) Amazing Grace Ministries – they share the gospel with seniors in convalescent homes. One of their volunteers is an elderly widower who has dementia and has been moved into assisted living. There is a need for some furniture for his room.

2) Qoheleth Ministries – they feed the hungry in Orange County.

3) American Spartan, Inc. – they seek out and assist wounded veterans and their families. Double amputees need their cars maintained and will value the support.

4) Kidworks – they help restore “at risk neighborhoods”…one life at a time in Santa Ana.

5) Influencers West – I gave to the benevolence account to assist out-of-work men and their families who need assistance paying their rent, mortgage, and groceries.”

- Thaddeus

“I will be giving the $100 to Ensign’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Club to help purchase pizza during the lunch meetings. My daughter attends this club and brings others that don’t go to church. I am encouraged that kids who do not attend other church functions have the possibility of getting connected through FCA. This is a way for my family to impact the lives of teens that may not know who God is and plant a seed for life.”

-Melissa

Click Here to listen to current sermon series, “The Almighty’$ Dollar.”

Feb 18

A Story of Generosity

February 18th, 2011

    “Although the church started their $100 Adventure on Sunday, January 16, I sincerely believe that mine started four years earlier – in 2008 when my husband and I attended a Christmas Party and heard Ron Brown, the Executive Director of Teen Challenge, give a short but very moving presentation about his program.  I was very impressed. During the gift exchange that evening I selected a box that contained a crisp $100 bill and on the way home my husband and I agreed that we would mail it to Teen Challenge as a donation.

    Two years later we moved to Corona del Mar and after attending several churches began attending St. Andrews on a regular basis.  Not long after that, Ron Brown appeared in church one Sunday and gave another short presentation.  My husband and I were delighted to see him again and decided that we would attend a Teen Challenge Graduation and get involved in his program.  We were still in the process of moving and helping with our grandchildren and the days slipped by and soon another year had passed.

   We noted the date Teen Challenge graduation in the bulletin and marked it in our calendar but the date came and passed and we noticed the next day that we had missed it.  We vowed to attend on January 13 and actually got in the car, dressed and ready, put the address that I had scrawled on a piece of paper in our GPS and were on our way.  My husband commented several times that he didn’t think we were going in the right direction as he had understood it to be the other way.  At 9:30 am we were sitting in front of the Avis Rent-a-car.  He was correct, I had entered a wrong address and we had missed the graduation again.  We went on to tend to other errands with the vow to try again next month but God wasn’t going to wait another month.  On Sunday, January 16, church opened with a prayer that included blessings for the Teen Challenge graduates the Thursday before, I felt embarrassed again that we had missed the event.  When Rich called for volunteers from the audience I went forward.  When he pulled out the envelope and revealed the $100 bills– I suspected that my $100 adventure had already been 4 years in the making and that it would in some way involve Teen Challenge – but knew that prayer would make this clear.

    After church my husband and I went on a bike ride on the Newport Beach Bike trail.  When we stopped for a break I stayed with the bikes and was enjoying watching a man balancing on a unicycle 8′ in the air. I was fascinated.  “What are you smiling at?” he asked me looking down from his perch. “I’m just amazed that you can do that,” I responded. “Are you always this happy?” he asked. “Just about,” I shared. “Then you must be a Christian” he concluded.  I was stunned – no one had ever said that to me before.  When I shared with him that I was indeed a Christian and in addition I was one who was on a mission for God he dismounted the unicycle to hear more. I told him about the challenge and he left me his e-mail address with the promise to send $200 toward whatever I was called upon to do and offered to help in other ways if I needed his support. When I got home from the bike ride, the neighbors were cleaning out their garage.  When we told them what happened at church and the bike ride, they promptly wrote a check for another $100.  By the end of the day I had $400 and it was very clear the Holy Spirit was at work in my life and had already confirmed what Rich had promised all of us – that God will work through us and we will be changed.

     By Tuesday of the first week I had spoke with Ron Brown and shared the story.  He suggested I meet with Timothy Suk, the project Manager at Teen Challenge.  When Tim and I met later in the first week, we toured the facility and talked about the needs of their program and I shared my life experiences, career as an educator, and special interest and talents to see if there would be some clear reason I was sent to help.   Tim shared that Teen Challenge had a need for financial support for those graduates who want to pursue trade school or community college after Teen Challenge Graduation.  This seemed to be a match with my interest and experience with scholarship interviews and working with scholarship foundations and his need for help in this area.

     By the end of the week I had talked with the Vice President of the Orange County Community Foundation about the process to establish an Endowment Fund that would provide scholarships for tuition and books for trade school, community college, or four year college to be available to graduates of Teen Challenge and also those students who would eventually graduate from the new adolescent home Teen Challenge would be opening in late summer 2011. By the end of the second week I had a plan and over $1,000 and the paperwork and hard copies of the information has arrived from Orange County Community Foundation.  Everything was flowing so easily and my prayers were giving me confidence to move on.

     We have just returned from a trip we had previously planned to Washington and Oregon, and I am resuming work on the $100 Kingdom Assignment.  I will be making some appointments for next week to get support and ideas on ways to move the project forward.”

- Cheryl

Click Here to listent ot the current sermon series, “The Almighty’$ Dollar.”

Feb 17

Help Brandon Muchow Get to #1

February 17th, 2011

Our very own Brandon Muchow is in a music competition. Vote now and help him get to #1. Click Here

Feb 16

2011 Couples Retreat

February 16th, 2011

Married couples, save the date for our Spring Couples Retreat at Pala Mesa Resort in Temecula.  Sign-up online, or at the front desk starting February 14.  Dr. Archibald Hart, former dean of the School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary, and author of Safe Haven Marriage, will be our speaker.

Click Here for more info.

Click Here to sign up.

Feb 15

2011 Egypt Team Shares Their Experience

February 15th, 2011

The following pictures come from the winter camps that Stephen’s Children hold for their children.   Typically, 80 to 100 children from the dumps of Cairo come to a camp facility where they spend two days and two nights.  The counselors work on deepening the children’s knowledge of Jesus Christ and teaching them to pray to Jesus.  The children also receive new clothes and shoes, medical services, dental services, school supplies and three meals a day.   Every year for the past five years St. Andrew’s has provided a doctor and nurse for the medical clinic.  The doctor this year was Medhat Salama an American of Egyptian descent, from Kaiser Permanente and a member of the Evangelical Egyptian Church of Arcadia. Our nurse Carol Brock had to return to America early as her daughter gave birth to a new son seven weeks early. However, we had two able team members in Dave Fish and Esther Behnam, who capably filled her duties.  The St. Andrew’s Mission team also buys school supplies and brings the supplies to the camps to be passed out to the children.  Sally Myers from the St. Andrew’s Choir was a recipient of one of the $100 bills passed out by Dr. Kannwischer and she donated her $100 to the Egypt Mission Team to buy school supplies this year.  Every afternoon at the camp, the St. Andrew’s Mission team provides a Bible study and this year we chose the Psalm 23 “The Lord is my Shepherd.”  The St. Andrew’s Children’s department provided our mission team with a large picture book on the Psalm 23.  Our lesson taught the children how they are like sheep and Jesus Christ is our shepherd who takes care of us.  The 600 children who heard the Bible story over the three days we were at the camp were fascinated with the large picture book and loved working on the Bible Craft entitled “Thankful Journal” or in Arabic “Journal of Thankfulness.”  You will see several children holding up the journal (diary) in the pictures.  This was the 10th year of traveling to and service in, Egypt, for the team leaders Dave Fish and Monica Moore who have been blessed by becoming the Egypt Team leaders in 2007.  We ask for many prayers for the country of Egypt and the Egyptian people during the next year as they rebuild their new government and their country back to greatness.

- Monica Moore and the Egypt Team

Feb 15

“Rich” Video Shown This Weekend

February 15th, 2011

What does it mean to be rich? This video was shown in service this past weekend to help aid in getting a global perspective on the subject.

Click Here to listen to Richard Kannwischer’s sermon “Rags to Riches.”

Feb 10

Kingdom Assignment Helps Egyptian Children

February 10th, 2011

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Choir Member, Sally Myers, talks about her reaction and experience with the Kingdom Assignment.

 

Photos of the children who receive the school supplies:

Click Here to listen to the current sermon series, The Almighty’$ Dollar.