Showing items filed under “Ministry Highlight”
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This was my first mission trip and also my first time outside the United States.  The experience could not have been better.  Panama was breathtaking and amazing, but what really makes Panama such a special place is its people.  For example, Pastor Cecilio and his family in Chitre seem to live only for God and nothing else.  They put on Vacation Bible school and sports camps to reach children, the future of Panama, for Christ.  Such events have brought opportunities for members of our church to partner with the First Baptist Church of Chitre in the form of mission trips.  The church in Chitre is also very active in spreading Jesus’ name to all people in the area.  They see the need for Jesus in their community and take it upon themselves to bring Jesus with all they have and all they are.

One thing the church in Chitre has to battle is a lack of interest from the male population.  In Chitre, church activities seem to be perceived as women’s activities.  Very few men take part in church activities but the ones who do participate share the Gospel with all those around them and are incredibly bold and courageous in every aspect of their lives.  Andres, Pastor Cecilio’s son, is a shining example of Christ to me in our dark world.  He taught me much about having a servant spirit.  He has had challenges after being in an automobile accident that cost him memories (due to a brain injury) and years of rehabilitation.  He had to re-learn everything from walking to talking.  Now, he has recovered and lives to serve Christ and others.  One day, as we were out witnessing to townspeople, I set down my backpack while I grabbed a towel to wipe my brow.  Andres picked up my backpack and insisted on carrying it the rest of the evening.  Though I imagine he has little money from his position, he insisted on paying for snacks and interesting treats for us as he showed us around the are

The people of Chitre I encountered are incredibly caring and giving.  It brings me to tears to think about all the things they did for us and gave us when they have very little to give.  When my good friend and fellow-missionary Dawn complimented a girl just a little older than I am about her bracelet, the girl took it off without hesitation and insisted Dawn take it.  The girl had made it herself and though Dawn struggled to make her take it back, she insisted she could make another one.

Between working with others who did not speak my language, witnessing in the community, getting up to give my testimony in front of approximately forty-five kids at the sports camp, and eating interesting new foods including squid with rice, I can tell you wholeheartedly I stayed primarily outside my comfort zone and I could not have enjoyed my time more.  It was a week of hard work and fun and I loved every second.  This mission trip gave me a new perspective on what is really important in life.  If you have vacation or free-time available, consider going on a mission trip.  It may completely change who you are as a person and for the better. 

We know that, as Christians, we are called to the mission field whether it is overseas or in our own neighborhood, but Jesus did say to go into all the nations and share the Gospel.  Jesus said to feed His sheep.  We know we are called to be servants of Christ and to take up our crosses and follow Him.  Do not be afraid to go on a mission trip.  I thought I would be terrified but God gave me grace and I was not afraid.  God gave me the courage to stand and work and I never once was tired of any of it.  At the end of the week, I really did not want to leave to come back home.  I felt there was so much more to do there. 

I would like to thank the First Baptist Church of Wentzville for making this mission trip possible.  Thank you, Glen Locklear, for planning the trip down to the minute and keeping us safe the entire time.  Also, special thanks to mission team members Jason Meinershagen and Dawn Thornhill, Pastor Cecilio, his wife Clara, his son Andres, our interpreters Nili and Allison, and our driver Oniel for the greatest first trip outside the United States.  You guys are truly lifelong friends.  Lord willing, I hope to see those in Panama again very soon.  I know we get to spend eternity together in Heaven, but I hope to see you again before then!

Posted by Joshua Greening with
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Before the Grandparenting Ministry started at FBCW, we really thought we were doing a terrific job as the fun grandpa and grandma because we were very active in the lives of our grandchildren.  We attended their sports activities, school activities, church activities, cared for them as often as their parents requested, and on top of that, we prayed for them every day.  It was when we began to study with a group of fellow Christian grandparents what God’s Word has to say about our biblical role as Christian grandparents that we realized God’s design for

Intentional Christian Grandparents is so much more.

Together with approximately 25-30 other grandparents from FBCW, we have studied these challenging grandparent topics:

What is the Biblical Role of a Grandparent—Psalm 78:5-6: He commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. 

Passing on a Heritage of Faith with Enthusiasm and Joy—1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

Practical Principles for Developing Relationships with Your Grandkids—1 Corinthians 13:4-5: Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.  Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.

Never Too Late: Encouraging Faith in Your Adult Children—Romans 1:16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

Loving Grandkids in Scary Times—Psalms 23:4: Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid for you are close beside me.  Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.

How to Pray and Read the Bible With Your Grandchildren—Deuteronomy 6:5-7:And you must love the Lord our God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today.  Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and you are getting up.

Grandparenting Through a Child’s Divorce—You might be the Esther in your family. God has placed grandparents in the family for “such as time as this” Esther 4:14.

Grandparenting at a Distance—Ephesians 4:2: Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 

This ministry began with a group of enthusiastic grandparents forming the Grandparent Ministry Leadership team.  Here are some thoughts the Grandparent Ministry Leadership team  would like to share about how this ministry has impacted them.

Ed Preston:

“The Intentional Grandparenting seminar was so valuable. I would recommend it to all grandparents. I will use many of the ideas with my grandchildren. One method I will use is the practice of asking a blessing on them. (note Numbers 6:24-26) The blessing will focus them on many important areas for their lives when I customize the blessing to their situation and keep them for life.”

Vi Preston:

“The intentional Grandparenting seminar was spectacular.  It gave many practical points on how we can influence our grandchildren toward spiritual things and salvation.  I would recommend it for parents as well as grandparents.”

Angie and Keith Acord:

“We thought we were good grandparents, but what we have realized is that isn't good enough. We weren't being as intentional in presenting the gospel as we are called to do by passing down our faith though the generations. We hope that with age comes wisdom and that wisdom is sharing Christ in a way our grandkids will understand.”

Dallas and Joanne Brower:

“Based on the world's definition and stereotype of grandparenting, and if we were to ask our own, we would probably receive their praise. However, after attending the grandparenting conference we now have a renewed and enlightened view of using God's Word in this position he has given us. When God's Word is applied to grandparenting, we have a new and exciting future with them.”

Dee Schneider:

“I thought the Seminar was absolutely great.  Several things stand out, but I’ll focus on three.

  • The cultural deceit – a “leisureville” mentality that downplays and inhibits family ties (we’re spending our children’s inheritance!), or grandparents’ value is captured in their role as playmate for grandchildren. God wants our role as grandparents to be so much more than a playmate.
  • The ministry vacuum – Churches currently give little attention to grandparenting.
  • Praying a blessing over your grandchildren from Numbers 6:24-26: The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.

There were so many good things, it’s hard to stop.”

Gary Waller:

“Wow, what a conference!  I did not expect much, and I thought we were doing the right things.  Now, I see much clearer my role as a grandparent and now know we have just scratched the surface.  The presentation and discussions were practical and opened my eyes to God's direction for me as an intentional grandparent.  I strongly feel every grandparent, and every parent should attend this seminar if they are Christians and want to see their kids and grandkids become followers of Jesus Christ.”

Linda Waller:

“After attending the conference, I have a much better understanding of our role in walking beside our children to support, encourage, and reinforce the godly values and lessons our children are endeavoring to teach our grandchildren.  In cases where our grandchildren do not have godly parents, the great command for us to step up to be the godly influence in our grandchildren's lives is very clear.  What I learned from the conference has made me want to be more intentional in my grandparenting so that whether we are eating a meal together, playing a board game, or just hanging together, they will experience the love and grace of Jesus through my words and actions.”

On Saturday, August 26, Larry Fowler, founder of the Legacy Coalition led the Grandparenting Matters Seminar at FBCW.  Those of us who attended came away challenged with a burning passion to pass on a legacy of faith to our grandkids.  We want to be “INTENTIONAL CHRISTIAN GRANDPARENTS” as described in the following declaration.

The Intentional Christian Grandparent Declaration, by Larry Fowler (founder of the Legacy Coalition)

I am a grandparent and this is my declaration. Yes, I am a grandparent, but I am more than a

grandparent. I am a Christian grandparent.

I believe the Bible and the God of the Bible.

I've received the grace of the Gospel of the Christ of the Bible and I desire to be a life-long devoted disciple.

I want my grandchildren to do the same!

Yes, I am a Christian grandparent, but I am more than that. I am an intentional Christian grandparent and this is my declaration.

I love my grandkids, so I will hold them when they're born, I will cuddle them when they are one, chase them when they are two, read to them when they are three, play with them when they are four and laugh at their jokes when they are five. I'll support them, exhort them, cheer them, revere them, I'll praise them; even help raise them. I will be there for them, but that's not enough! As an intentional Christian grandparent, I will do more. 

I will pass on my faith, but my vision is beyond that. I will perpetuate my faith, therefore; I will teach two generations. But, I will not only teach two generations, I will think four generations.

I will ponder what kind of grandparent must I be, so my grandchild becomes one like me, then his carries on the legacy.  Yes, I am an intentional Christian grandparent. 

Culture says, "Retire and go play." I say; "No thanks. I'll pray!"

Culture says; "Pursue affluence." I say; "I'll pursue influence."

Culture says; "You're old, you did your time." I say; "Not so! I'm in my prime."

Culture says about the young generation; "You can't relate." I say; "Ain't true. My influence is great!"

I know my grandchildren need me, but from me they need Godly wisdom, my Christ-like example, my faith stories, my earnest prayers, my uninterrupted time, my unconditional love and my God-authorized blessing.

So, what is intentional Christian grandparenting? Let me spell it out for you.

I will Guide grandkids with grace.

I will Respect parent roles.

I will Abound in my affection.

I will Nurture their nature.

I will Deal with the dilemma of distance.

I will Pray with passion and purpose.

I will Adjust my attitude, in case

I need to Restore relationships.

I will Excel in my example.

I will Number my days.

I will Tell them my testimony.

I will Intentionally influence.

I will Never neglect the newest generation.

And, most importantly,

I will Give them the Gospel!

Because I am an Intentional Christian Grandparent and this is my declaration!

Posted by Chuck & Barb Mason with

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