The trees are turning green, the sun is out, jacket weather is disappearing, and that means that SUMMER is around the corner! At Bethel we are planning on having another fantastic year of summer ministries. This morning (June 1st) we are introducing and praying for our two new summer interns for 2014. Meghan Clarke has been hired in Youth Ministries and Karen Neustaeter has been hired in Children’s ministries.
The purpose of Summer Ministries at Bethel is “to Share Christ with children, youth and their families in the Bannerman and area community each summer (May to August) through creative programming and relationships.”
Some of the ministries you can expect to hear more about soon, and will be asked to partner with are The Plot Youth Drop-in, Kids Club Children’s Drop-in, Youth Soccer Camp, Youth Basketball Camp and of course Kids Camp.
It all kicks off on July 1st where we celebrate Canada Day with a big party (BBQ, Inflatables, games, and MORE) and invite all of our neighbours!
Please join us in prayer as we ask God to pour out His love on Bannerman and beyond through Bethel Summer ministries over the next few months.
Bethel Members continue to have a big impact on a little village on the other side of the world.
Bettesue village in Liberia is where Bethel member Hawa Lendein and her late husband sowed the seeds of the Gospel for the first time. It is where a sweeping of the Holy Spirit saw a majority of the people from the village come to Christ in subsequent years. And it is where Bethel members, in partnership with Hawa’s son John, are building a school.
Starting when John first announced the building project at our November congregational meeting, Bethel members began to give. Day after day, week after week, Bethelites gave gifts of tens or hundreds or even thousands of dollars, contributing to date a total of around 25,000 dollars.
Though John thought at the time that $25,000 would substantially complete the building project, in time, a devaluing Canadian dollar along with rising building costs and unanticipated expenses pushed the expected price tag closer to the $50,000 mark. Recognizing the dilemma, a Bethel member stepped in. He emailed several business associates to describe the need and, to his surprise, one of them said, “I will pay the remainder of the bill.” Others have also committed to give smaller, generous amounts.
The village leaders want John and Hawa to return to Liberia next March so they can publicly thank them and Bethel Church for their gift of a school. (They also want to publicly ask the Lendeins for forgiveness since they initially persecuted Hawa and her husband for sharing the Gospel). At least four people from Bethel Church will be joining the Lendeins on the trip. John hopes that a variety of things can be scheduled to coincide with the visit with the help of local Christians: training for the Christian school teachers and church leaders, as well as seminars for woman and children.
If you would like to play a role in this ongoing story, you may support one or more students to go to school. On Pentecost Sunday, June 8, Peitie Boskers will be collecting money from anyone who wishes to contribute in this way. Thirty dollars will buy one student a uniform, shoes, and school supplies for the year.
The Bettesue story is the story of God doing more than we could ask or imagine through Bethel Church. We serve an amazing God. You can read the original story of Bettesue in the Pastor’s Corner of February 26, at http://www.discoverbethel.com/pastors-corner/previous/2. If you would like to see pictures of the school under construction, visit http://www.discoverbethel.com/bettesu-village.html . –Pastor Tom
As she sat in the audience during a Taekwondo sparring match recently, Line des Rosiers was speaking about Jesus with one of her students—a mom who attends Taekwondo with her two children. “I don’t know anything about Jesus,” said the woman in response to Line’s words, “but I would love to know about Him.” This woman’s eagerness to know more about Line’s faith came because Line had repeatedly touched her with Jesus’ love over the previous months. She wanted to know what it was that motivated Line’s kindness and also inspired the loving behaviour of other Christians whom she had encountered.
Opportunities like this one are what drive Line’s passion for the Dove Taekwondo ministry. Of the 28 students in Taekwondo, Line estimates that 21 of them are from the broader community and most of these are either unchurched or attend church only irregularly. Line’s goal is to see each of these people come to know the love and Good News of Jesus Christ personally.
The Taekwondo martial arts ministry has been running in Bethel Church for 14 years now. Many of the students are children, but many others, like the mom described above, are parents who come each Tuesday and Thursday to participate with their kids. Because connecting people with Jesus, and not making money, is the motivation behind the ministry, the cost of the program is set at only $35 per month per student –a fraction of what similar programs cost—and there are even significant discounts for families who enroll multiple children.
One thing that helps to explain the significant impact Dove is having in our community is the leaders’ commitment to prayer. Line, together with her fellow ministry leaders Cathy Ferchau, John Goutbeck, and Ivan Mast, have made prayer a priority. They have decided not only to pray daily for the program, but to pray before each session, and to set aside a special day each year to fast and pray for the ministry.
Dove has clearly taken flight, or maybe we should say that Bethel’s Taekwondo ministry is delivering a knockout punch!--Pastor Tom
GEMS head counsellor Viola Dueck appeared in my office last Friday afternoon. “We have 24 girls in the GEMS program,” she announced. “Guess how many of them have signed up to go on this weekend’s retreat?” “All twenty four,” I ventured—only half seriously. To my great surprise she said, “You are exactly right.”
That was impressive news, but what she said next made her announcement even more extraordinary. “Of these 24 girls,” she explained, “the majority are from the local community, and not from a church background, at all—what’s more, two of them are Muslim.” Now, I was amazed. We pray often that God will use Bethel Church to reach out to people with the love and Good News of Jesus. Here, Viola was telling me that we were experiencing a clear answer to our prayers.
After the weekend was over, I was excited to talk to Viola about how the retreat had gone. Clearly it did not disappoint. The whole weekend was packed with activities and interaction between the counsellors and the girls. The girls were so excited that by 3:00 AM Saturday morning they were already awake and asking, “Can we get up now?”
The real highlight of the retreat came on Sunday when the girls had their closing worship service together. Viola challenged them to let their lights shine for Jesus by obeying and following Him. When the twenty four excited girls got off the school bus that afternoon, it was their “shine certificates” (proclaiming that they shine with the light of Jesus) that they proudly showed to their parents.
This Sunday, besides being Mother’s Day, is GEMS Sunday. The GEMS’s big day follows a really big week. The timing is perfect for us to celebrate with them the great things God is doing through this Bethel ministry. –Pastor Tom
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