S.E.E.… SEE is the acronym for the title of this BLOG… Stay Encouraged & Equipped. This wasn’t intentional, it was realized after the title was decided upon. My heart is stirred for us to SEE and CELEBRATE how God IS moving. How is He moving in your life personally? Are you inviting Him to move? He is moving in our ministries and we need to share His story. Yes there is A LOT happening in this world… we must seek Him.
Recently, I began a new Bible Study called, Seeking Him by Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth and Tim Grissom. The first memory verse is Hosea 10:12. It says, “…Break up your fallow ground. For IT IS TIME to SEEK the LORD until He comes to rain righteousness on you.” What does “fallow” mean? I looked it up. Fallow: adj: 1. (of land) plowed and left unseeded for a season or more, uncultivated. 2. not in use; inactive. 3. noun. land that has undergone plowing and harrowing and has been left unseeded for one or more growing seasons. 4. verb. to make (land) fallow for agriculture purposes. Do you have areas in your life, that have been plowed, but unseeded and left for a season. I have. I offer these areas to you LORD. Please plant seeds, water and provide sunlight… so that your harvest will grow.
I invite you to prayerfully read the God-stories below. The FBC Board shares an update on what has been happening and what is to come. JD has prepared a Worship Playlist called, Poetic Promises. Be encouraged as you listen. As we stay connected, even in challenging times, we will grow. Kathy Campbell shares how she has been challenged during this COVID season. And finally, read how COVID has challenged one of our missionary families, under Frontline & Beyond.
The Board of Elders and Deacons has been very busy mostly behind-the-scenes working with our amazing leaders through all the challenges and issues surrounding Covid. Amidst the challenges, we have also seen some great opportunities. Here are a few of the cool things we’re seeing and working on right now. • Meetings outdoors – Who knew that the concrete pad outside our front doors as a church would become a hot commodity as a meeting space?!? All summer long groups and ministry teams have been meeting outdoors to provide safer environments for small gatherings while still staying on mission. We even purchased some outdoor heaters to make this possible even longer. • Upgrading our WiFi – How many of you have experienced frustrating internet issues while in the building? Probably everyone who uses it! We are working with a company right now to install fiber optic lines to the church which will make our download speeds 10x faster and our upload speeds 100x faster. Lord willing it be ready to go this fall. • Having fun together – The Board has been working to help organize some fun events to keep us doing things together as a church in spite of Covid and social distancing. By doing things outdoors, we’ve been able to maintain healthy social distancing in an environment where mask wearing is not essential. So far we’ve helped organize the Frontline Family Bike Ride and the Outdoor Movie night. Both have been very well attended and the connections have been great. Be on the lookout for more things being planned.
Please continue to pray for Frontline. This is a tough time for all churches, but we are excited to see how God is going to use all this to grow His Church in the world.
As the weather is changing & Michigan fall is upon us, I have been reminded of many promises the Lord gives us in His Word: Christ’s sacrifice, The Father’s Love for us, & the Spirit’s constant guidance & Presence. Be encouraged in this month of transition, may the Lord continue to be faithful in going before you & being with you through it all!
Listen to this months playlist, Poetic Promises, on any of these apps
Connection…. over the last seven months this word has certainly taken on new meaning. I have found it an intriguing challenge to think differently; to expand my definition of connection and feeling connected. In some ways, I almost find the situation a blessing. I’m not sure there was such an eagerness to connect until connection as we knew it changed. Being purposeful about reaching out, thinking of others, sending a card, making a call, sending a message through social media or a text. It isn’t as easy as in person, but maybe that’s ok. Maybe that’s what it is suppose to be—a 1:1 conversation verses a wave across the lobby of the church to say hi.
Frontline women’s ministry is engaging in a prayer circle for the month of September. We have 18 prayer leaders praying for an assigned group of women so that every woman in our church is being prayed for, with the same scripture/topic for each of the 30 days of September. When I pray for my eight ladies, I feel so close to them. I feel connected in such an intimate way. I look forward to spending time with each of them, praying scripture over them and praying for them.
So in this time of “different,” I encourage you to be eager about connecting differently. I fully believe God is blessing us with this unique time. Embrace the blessing!
We of the missions committee are asking our missionaries some questions so that we and the congregation can get updates and stay connected with them. Here is what Alvaro Barrantes, serving the people of Chiriqui, Panama with his wife Mauren and their three children through Grace Ministries International, said:
1) How has COVID affected you and your ministry? Undoubtedly, it has affected everything. It delayed our strategic plan since we were under lock down for 2 months, and therefore during that time we had very limited action or contact with new people. We had met some university youth in the camp we were invited to in January, so we were able to start discipleships with them and were able to keep them going during the quarantine. Even so, we have been in contact with our next-door and across-the-street neighbors and we have shared with them the Gospel and our Heavenly Hope in the midst of difficult times.
2) How are you dealing with that challenge and/or what is a current challenge that you have and how would you like us to pray? Right now the lock down is only on the weekends. The local people are very nervous of social gatherings; They are afraid to be infected but also afraid that the police will come to their house and make fines if they catch people in groups in the house. We are taking advantage of that nervousness to talk with people and to show them the Gospel, our Hope, and the Almighty and Sovereign God we have that is in control of every situation, but they are not completely sure about coming to our house or opening their house for fellowship or for a Bible Study.
3) What is a praise that you have which you would like us to know about? We praise the Lord Jesus Christ because even in this situation with these challenges we have been able to open two new Bible study groups, one in our house and one in a fruit and vegetable shop nearby our house. We praise the Lord because we are healthy and we have had everything we need, even more to be able to share food and money with local people in real need. And also for you all, one of the faithful churches giving toward this ministry and one of the churches my family remember the most because of the way you treated us as we visited GR.