Central News for April 21, 2014

Central News for April 21, 2014

Our Messages
Here are all seven messages in our Easter 2014 series, Words From the Cross:

Father, Forgive Them

A Simple Transaction

A Special Bond


A Savior’s Thirst



What’s Happening At Central Church
The Advisory Board will meet on Monday, April 21st at 6:30 PM.

We will be collecting our annual World Missions Offering on Sunday, April 27th during the morning worship service.

On Wednesday, April 30th, the Watoto Children’s Choir will be at Central Church.  We still need several host homes for this event (2-3 children plus an adult sponsor in each home).

Missionary News
Japan: Praise God for the way He works, circumventing the enemy’s efforts!  Pray for Doug Bishop as he builds a relationship and witnesses to an 87-year-old gentleman who is interested in studying the Bible and being introduced to the gospel.  He walked in with a Jehovah’s Witnesses’ flyer in his hand; he walked out with a promise to attend church on Easter.  Ask God to continue to help him follow through and attend church on Sunday and to work mightily in this man’s life. 

France: Pray for Shane and Joy as they serve the immigrant population in southern France.  Ask God to give them strength and energy for the 14 classes and tutoring sessions in which they participate each week.  Pray for opportunities to speak Truth into the lives of more than 50 people with whom they interact regularly.  Ask God to move in the hearts of these immigrants.

Mission Family: Pray for expectant missionaries: Lydia Provow (due April 25, appointee to Bulgaria), Joni Hubbard (Japan, due in August), and Brenda Carney (Japan, due in September).  All three have other children.  Pray for healthy pregnancies and deliveries.  Ask God to be with these parents, guiding them as they raise their children to have a heart for God.

France: Sunday, April 13th, Bruno Ling was ordained and installed as pastor of the St. Nazaire FWB Church.  Praise God for the Ling family.  Ask Him to build His Church in France.  Pray for Jerry and Barb Gibbs as they help the congregation make the transition and prepare to return to the States.

Côte d’Ivoire: Pray for pastors in Ivory Coast.  Ask God to give them wisdom, discernment, biblical understanding, pure hearts, diligence, peace, and joy as they serve under difficult circumstances.  Ask God to supply their every need as they trust Him.  Pray they continue to desire to reach into unreached areas with the gospel.

Japan: Mirial Gainer returned to the States on April 15th for what she hopes will be her last surgery on her throat at the Mayo Clinic.  Ask God to work His will in her body through the skillful hands of surgeons and therapists.  Pray Mirial’s testimony will remain vibrant and consistent as she witnesses of God’s love and power to all who minister to her physical needs 

Stateside: April is World Missions Month—an opportunity for Free Will Baptists to focus on “the ends of the earth” portion of the Great Commission.  Ask God to burden hearts for the millions of people who have never heard the Way of salvation, never seen a Bible, never heard the name of Jesus.  Pray hundreds of churches will participate in this year’s World Missions Offering (WMO) on April 27th!  Pray for missionaries and office staff who will be in services across the country to have safe travels and to share God’s heart effectively.

Bible Challenges
Bible Reading Challenge: Hebrews 11:1-4 

Bible Memorization Challenge: 1 Samuel 15:22 (ESV)…22 And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord?  Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.

Pastor’s Note

What a day we had, yesterday!  The kick-off, our Easter Egg Hunt, was well attended with numerous families who have never attended Central bringing their children for the event.  Many of them stayed for our Community Breakfast.  Even with many of these families leaving before our worship service, we still had our best attendance in a decade for an Easter service.  The choir, while small in number, seemed to sing even more powerfully than ever before.  We had one young lady go through the waters of baptism, after she was saved at our Pinewood Derby in March.  Then, to top it all off, we had another person give their lives to Jesus following the worship service!

One thing to consider about all of what happened yesterday is that none of it just happened.  There was preparation, planning, and prayer that went before all of this.  Some of the prayers were long-term (Sharon and I were praying for the salvation of the person who gave their life to Jesus yesterday for the past 7-8 years).  We had repair work done on the baptistery which took several days.  The purchasing of food and preparation of the breakfast took several hours to accomplish.  The choir spent many hours rehearsing and praying for their part in the service.  The messages have been building for weeks to the conclusion on Easter morning.  It took a whole team of volunteers hours of work to stuff all of the eggs.  I probably can’t say, “Thank you” to all involved, because I’d probably forget someone.  I do know that all of the work involved in a day like yesterday is worth every moment when another name gets recorded in the Book of Life.  Praise be to the Lord!

We will be starting a short series of messages this coming Sunday concerning something that most Christians, as well as non-believers, struggle with…obedience.

I hope to see you in church, soon!