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Cross Cultural Experiences (aka short term trips)

9 Jun

We often talk about short term missions trips as we refer to going abroad with the church.  It is often a very moving time of seeing the world from a very different perspective, encountering new languages, foods, climates, neighborhoods, and many new people.  It is a time of reflection, sometimes it’s uncomfortable and can often be life changing.  That’s why we take these trips.   It helps us instill a passion for others, those who need the hope that Jesus provides.  The trips also help us to realize how our lives are often empty in the midst of all the stuff that we have.  ‘Less is more’  is the takeaway that so many have upon returning home and walking into a house full of ‘stuff’.short term trips

Most missions agencies consider a ‘short term mission trip’ anywhere from one to two years.   It’s short term because it isn’t committing to a career as a missionary but it does allow for acquiring a new language, understanding the culture at a deeper level, getting used to the food, customs, and ways of life in a new country.   So while our trips don’t really fit into the traditional ‘short term mission’ definition they definitely fit into a ‘cross cultural experience’ and I hope at some point there will be some who will desire to go on an authentic ‘short term trip’.

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School Supplies for Thailand

19 Aug

1 Hortmans packing bagsAs part of our Global Ministry Focus in March the Kid:Life area of Living Word collected a number of supplies for the kids near Chiang Rai, Thailand.   Our missionaries there produced a video that showed some of the kids and how they box the supplies up for delivery.  The response from our kids was great.  We collected over 1,000 pencils, 275 erasers, 100 matchbox cars, lots of costume jewelry and 100 9 holding the gift boxesstuffed animals.   We packaged them up into boxes and sent them on to Southeast Asia.

The boxes are used as an outreach to the rural villages as a way to introduce the evangelists and missionaries.  This gives them the opportunity to reach out and minister to a village with the hope of Jesus.  It is just one of many opportunities to share the gospel.  These pictures give a sense of what it was like to distribute the boxes to the kids.  It was a great event and a wonderful ‘across the ocean’ partnership.  Thanks to Kids:LIfe for making this a reality.

11 kids opening bags

Reaching Out in Joyas de San Nicholas

13 Aug

Aug 2014 Guatemala 3It’s amazing to see God work in the midst of a rural village in Guatemala. Our medical team of 23 returned to York early Tuesday morning from a mission to this small village. In the course of 2 days they were able to see over 700 patients. The team did 19 surgeries, extracted 162 teeth and delivered more than 10 tons of food to the village. Reaching out ‘one on one’ the team took with them hundreds of small stuffed animals, shoes and clothes to distribute to those who attended the clinie. They also provided spiritual healing in the Soul Cafe where 263 souls crossed the line of faith. We are truly blessed to be a blessing.

Each of trip has a personal touch as well. They stay in the homes of members of Frater Church. That experience brings aAug 2014 Guatemala 2
much closer relationship with the people of Guatemala. When you stay in someones home you have the chance to interact and learn more about different cultures, lifestyles and personalities. Many great relationships were built this week.

Thanks to all who went on the trip as well as those back home who, prayed and financially supported those who traveled. God is so good.

Building in the Kingdom

30 Jul

AAsia Const projectt Living Word Community Church we have been able to come alongside ministries in other countries to help them build churches, recreation facilities and other buildings to share the love of God. That can be done through donations to help buy materials and/or physical labor to help with the construction. In south central Asia there is a school that needed a covering to protect the children from the hot mid day sun. This past week they made progress on the foundation of the building. It is a great start to lonDSCN3608g awaited project.

Over the past 9 years in Guatemala, we have been privileged to help build 65 churches in the rural northern  part of the country. We provide a portion of the materials and work alongside the Guatemalans to build a place of worship. They invest in their own community by raising the rest of the funds and then helping us build their church which is an amazing partnership. We are blessed to have some great partners to work with there.

Ministry of healing the sick

16 Jul

photoWe are blessed here in York to have very good medical care. The many health care providers can diagnose and treat nearly any kind of disease or injury that we might incur. If they are not able to determine the problem we are close to Hershey Medical Center, Johns Hopkins University and even places like Sloan Kettering, or the Mayo Clinic. There are world class experts who can treat the most challenging and unique problems that we might have.   In most of the rest of the world it is not the same.   They just have to deal the best they can with the illnesses and injuries they sustain.   The infant mortality rate is very high, life expectancy much lower than ours and the quality of life is to say the least ‘hard’.

As part of our ministry to the world Living Word sends 4 medical teams a year to minister to the poor.  A team just returned from Sendafa where they treated hundreds of people with a variety of medical conditions.  One of the most significant procedures is cataract surgery where the doctors can literally give sight to the blind.  What an amazing gift and all given in the name of Jesus.  I praise God for the medical professionals as well as those who are used to support them.  They are truly ‘Jesus with skin on’ to the patients they serve.

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Guatemala Construction Video

23 Jun

For the past 8 years Living Word has been sending a missions team to Guatemala to help build churches in the north. It has been an amazing opportunity to touch a group of people who have been through some very hard years. Being able to share the gospel has been powerful and the work and word of Christ has gone out richly.

Water Project in Ethiopia

16 Jun

When we began our ministry with the Project Adopt A Village (PAAV) team in Sendafa, Ethiopia there were so many things that needed to be worked on.  The health of this rural community outside Addis Ababa was poor, often because of poor sources of water and no sewers.   Disease is easily transmitted when the sanitary conditions are bad.  Here in the York area we don’t think twice about the possibility of sickness and disease because our water and sewer systems are very good.

To have an impact on these disease causing problems we have had a number of projects through the Christmas offering and the Global Missions budget.   Through those offerings and a lot of hard work we have successfully drilled a high producing well AND a water storage reservoir that will provide safe drinking water for the city.  There are still a few details that need to be worked out but much of the work has been done.  Your donations and prayers have been felt and you have made a difference in the lives of the people of Sendafa

The Land of Many Religions

9 Jun

Living Word Community Church has had a warm and lasting relationship with India.  Nearly three decades ago we began to minister at an orphanage and clinic at the Bethel Bible Institute.  It was an opportunity to spend time with those who have lived a hard life with many misfortunes and difficult stories.  A number of people from Living Word have traveled to India and I hear so many great stories about those trips.  Helping those who are hungry and lonely, reaching out to those who can’t help themselves is a wonderful gift that touches both the receiver and the heart of the giver.Image

Beyond Bethel there are 138 million Muslims in India.  That’s a lot of people.  It is also a group that many find hard to reach out to because of all the news of violence and pain.  Living Word is supporting a number of people who have dedicated their lives to reaching out to this people group.  We have helped start a Muslim Training Center in the heart of India which is a new and growing ministry.  So when you support Faith Promise you are being a part of the global effort to reach the kingdom of God in some of the hardest to reach areas.  Thanks for your support.

A Story: Guatemala Construction Trip

1 Apr

For nearly a decade Living Word Community Church has been actively involved in building churches among the Ixil People of northern Guatemala. It started with building a retaining wall for Pastor Jorge at Los Violettas Church in Nebaj back 9 years ago. This past month a team of 24 volunteers from Living Word traveled to Nebaj to help with another 8 churches. Whether it is setting columns at the beginning of a project, to pour foundations and concrete floors to finally putting a roof on the finished structure.

Ken Painter and Geoff Fix shared their story this past week with a video during the Sunday morning service. Watching this will give you a small taste of the joy that serving the Lord in Nebaj brings.

Following God’s call to short term missions

26 Mar

In July 2014 Living Word sent a team of people on a medical mission to Sendafa, Ethiopia.  Being able to provide for the medical needs of the people of Sendafa is one of the main purposes of the summer trip.  The team was able to care for over 2,000 patients including almost 50 cataract surgeries.  Having an impact on the physical needs of the people of Sendafa opens the doors for meeting their spiritual needs.

It is not uncommon for people to sign-up for these trips not quite sure how God is going to use them and what skills they bring to the team.  This trip was no exception to that.  Greg Leiberknecht had not been on a trip like this before and was questioning what he had to offer.  He was obedient and followed God’s leading and that’s when God showed up in a marvelous way.  This past Sunday we showed the video story of that trip. God used a couple of ‘non-medical’ guys to fix a problem that would have stopped the team from caring for hundreds of patients.   Dr. Ed Nelson helps Greg tell the story of how it happened.

Equipment Miracle Repair – Sendafa Story from Living Word Community Church on Vimeo.

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