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Category: Missions

The Long Winding Road of Love

The Long Winding Road of Love

On Monday evenings, I usually leave my door unlocked. It keeps me from having to get up and open it later. One particular Monday last year, I was feeling tired. I lay on my couch while I waited. Soon, my friend Zach came through the door. Without saying much, he went right for the recliner and stretched out. After about a minute he said, “I’m really tired today.”
“I know what you mean.”
“I know this sounds bad, but I kind of wish that they’ll be gone when we get there.”
“It sounds bad, but I was thinking the same thing,” I replied.
Soon, our other friend and teammate showed up. We sat for a moment, collected our thoughts, grabbed the English books, and headed over to our refugee family’s house.
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Reflections on the Motor City | KJ Mack

Reflections on the Motor City | KJ Mack

Thoughts from KJ Mack on our College Ministry’s trip to Detroit over Spring Break:

 

Detroit.

This was my destination for spring break. If that statement sounds like an oxymoron, that is probably because it is. Warm weather was nonexistent, there were no tropical beaches, and I was not staying in a luxury resort with scenic backdrops. Quite the opposite, actually. I became acquainted (somewhat) with a new type of cold, the closest thing to a beach I saw were the ice sheets flowing over the Great Lakes, and a children’s Sunday school room became my bedroom for a week. Nevertheless, my time in Detroit was without a doubt one of the best weeks I have ever had.
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The Value of Life

The Value of Life

I don’t care to watch the news that often due to the stress it creates from hearing people argue with each other in order to rile up viewers and increase ratings. One piece of news that has been hard to avoid even when you’re avoiding news though, has been New York’s decision to pass the Reproductive Health Act. This law will allow not only doctors, but other medical professionals such as physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and certified midwives to perform an abortion when, “according to the practitioner’s reasonable and good faith professional judgment based on the facts of the patient’s case: the patient is within twenty-four weeks from the commencement of pregnancy, or there is an absence of fetal viability, or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.

Twenty-four weeks. Six months. By the 24-week mark, the baby has finger and toe prints. He/she can respond to sounds and hiccup. If delivered at 24-weeks, the baby has a chance of survival. That seems a lot like a person. The question that this law raises is how does one determine “health?” Are we speaking strictly in physical terms? Or is mental health included? If it is not healthy for the mother’s economic well-being, is that appropriate grounds for termination?
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Open Eyes and Hard Love

Open Eyes and Hard Love

I didn’t learn anything that I didn’t know before. I knew that it would be weird. I knew that it would be dark. I knew that my heart would break. But knowing and experiencing are two different things. As I stood in Temple Square surrounded by beautiful flowers and impressive buildings, the phrase “whitewashed tombs” kept coming to mind. Salt Lake City, Utah is Latter Day-Saints (LDS) headquarters. On the surface, the religion looks a lot like Christianity. Get into a conversation with a LDS (I did, more than once) and they will likely speak reverently about Jesus. They’ll probably tell you that salvation comes through Jesus. They might even tell you that LDS are Christians too. After all, LDS theology does include the Bible. Get a little deeper though and you’ll find that it involves three other books, The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price. The official English Bible of the LDS church is the KJV and includes footnotes to interpret the passages to coincide with LDS doctrine.
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When The Dead Come To Life

When The Dead Come To Life

The Believers gathered to worship like Christians do. As songs to Jesus were lifted up, one fell out on the ground and then another until four women were out on the ground, possessed by demons. It’s not something that most Baptists are used to seeing during a worship service in the United States, but on Beth Greer’s latest trip to Tanzania, this scene, albeit intense, was not completely unordinary. On Kome Island off the coast of the Tanzanian mainland in Lake Victoria, six out of ten inhabitants are demon possessed. Beth spent part of her trip on the island, sleeping in a tent, using a ziplock bag as a restroom at night, and telling the residents about Jesus using a stick and the dirt on the ground.

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Christmas Prisoner Packets

Christmas Prisoner Packets

 

Many men, women and youth have no one who cares for them. They have no visitors, nor do they receive gifts at Christmas. You make Christmas special for them through this ministry. You provide hope and love. As a result, some have received the true Christmas gift. They have come to know Christ because you care.

Consider a gift this year to the Christmas Prisoner Packet Ministry. Click Here for more details

Thank you.

For more information please contact Harriet Johnson at 803.318.3853

Is Social Justice a Bad Thing?

Is Social Justice a Bad Thing?

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Matthew 25:35-36 (NIV)

 

To many conservative Christians, the very words “social justice” suggests some sort of liberal theology or progressive ideology. People immediately think of words such as wealth redistribution and egalitarianism. But Christians must ask themselves, what is the Christian view of social justice? Continue reading →

Unexpected Sites

Unexpected Sites

I just got back from a 10-day trip to the Holy Land. It was a life-changing experience on so many levels. To be where Jesus was – to walk the streets – to see the sites – was absolutely incredible. I had no idea what to expect once I got over there. I had several people tell me that their lives were forever changed by their visit to Israel, so I went with great anticipation. My aunt has been several times and she told me that often she finds God uses the unexpected places to minister to her while she is there. I had a similar experience.

 

We sat on the Sea of Galilee where Jesus calmed the storm. We walked the street (the exact street, the same stones) that Jesus walked on his way to Calvary. We saw the empty tomb, sat on the Mt. of Beatitudes, we were baptized in the Jordan River. We visited the house of Caiphas and sat in the same pit Jesus sat in while he awaited his crucifixion. We did it all! Each of these places was so special on the trip – I filled my journal with notes and thoughts at each spot. But, as it happens with my aunt, it was an unsuspecting place that stuck out to me the most on this trip.

It happened on Mount Precipice.

 

Luke 4 gives the account of Jesus teaching in the synagogue in Nazareth, his hometown. His listeners were pleased with him in one moment and filled with rage the next moment. They drove him out of the synagogue and up to Mount Precipice. The intent was to throw him off the cliff.

 

No one from his hometown spoke up. No one came to his defense. They all went the way of the crowd.

Luke’s account tells us, “But passing through their midst, He went His way.”

The scheme didn’t work – Undeterred; Jesus went from there to Capernaum to teach some more.

 

On this mountain, I prayed for my kids. Here is what I wrote, “God, surround my kids with friends who will stand in the gap with them.” That’s all, a simple prayer with a lot of meaning.

Parents, how are you praying for your kids? A lot of my prayers concerning my kids are prayers for the future and how God will use them. This is one of those “right now” prayers and it involves more than God’s protection.

“God, give my kids wisdom and discernment to surround themselves with godly friends who will fight along side them, cry with them, laugh with them, minister to and with them; friends who will truly stand in the gap when things get difficult.”

 

 

 

Student Minister

Rev. Philip Turner

Student Minister

Becoming a Multi-Ethnic Church

Becoming a Multi-Ethnic Church

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

 

I look around at various local churches in our denomination and I notice that the majority of them are still either predominately Caucasian or African-American. However, I also see many other local churches becoming more multi-ethnic or attempting, which makes more sense in our globalized world. Continue reading →

The Secret to Greatness

The Secret to Greatness

I love spending time with kids. An afternoon with a 5 year-old is exciting and inspiring because they truly want to be the best thing they can be. They are some of the greatest superheroes, ballerinas, and dinosaurs in the world! If you were to ask around, I think you would be hard pressed to find someone who would say, Continue reading →