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Bringing Chanje

By Envision, Headfirst, Involve, Media

Chanje is the Haitian Creole word for change – for transformation.  We’ve seen the Lord move so dramatically in Haiti this past year, that we’ve begun calling what we do there a “Chanje Movement.”  Being a part of the transformation means being available to the Lord to change myself, my community and my world, however He directs.  This month, we had an amazing team of people participating in that movement.  Some of those highlights are in the video below, and as things progress we will continue to post the stories, photos and videos of transformation in Haiti.

Chanje Movement team in Haiti, August 2012

Alive to the Spirit

By Envision, Involve

Open Road
We are cruising on the road through the Hungarian countryside – a beautiful, crisp morning of 3º C at the end of autumn, the shades of brown, auburn, tan, rust and gold foliage contrasting with the grey skies. Patches of green trees interrupt the landscape briefly, distracting us from the coming winter. My heart is alive this morning to the adventure that God has in store for us as we scout out His will for the partnership between New Life Eastern Europe and The Global Mission.

Last night I had the privilege of representing church leaders in the U.S. in a dinner conversation with the director of Eastern Europe and Russia for Campus Crusade for Christ. The doors are wide open for developing missions partnership between churches and ministries for the sake of the Gospel. This is a phenomenal blessing and privilege for us to respond to the needs of the Kingdom.

What if we could send missionaries and teams to meet as many needs as possible and accelerate the Gospel? Do we have the faith to believe this is possible? It’s not just a ministry question; it’s a personal question!

Often we have such a limited imagination of how God would use our families, small groups and churches to advance the Kingdom. Would you dare to take a seven day challenge to pray each day for seven days and ask the Holy Spirit to show you one next step for your family in the Great Commission?
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  • He might ask you to change your schedule – would you be willing?
  • He might ask you to spend money – would you make it a priority?
  • He might ask you to recruit your friends – would you pursue them?
  • He might ask you to use your passport – would you pack your bag?
[/arrow_list]Our car rolls to a stop at our meeting point in downtown Košice, Slovakia, and we bundle up to meet the chill. Each next step opens an opportunity to share the Gospel, to encourage a brother, to experience the Holy Spirit’s leading. What do you have for us next, Lord?   Let’s go![divider_top]Top[/divider_top]

Stand Firm

By Envision, Headfirst, Involve, Media, Personal
[pullquote_right]This interview’s theme is  from 1 Corinthians 16:13[/pullquote_right]

We filmed this video to invite men to be part of a missions trip to Haiti.  While it was edited for a particular weekend men’s retreat, the honesty and authentic stories shared by these men has been included here in hope that others would be inspired to fully entrust their lives to God, and choose to give their all for Christ.  Along with the exhortation for evangelism and discipleship, we also aim to continue bringing awareness and to recruit involvement to missions work in Haiti and to all the nations.

Among the panelists is our ministry’s international director.

Thank you to Crossline and LifeTogether for the production of this video!

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Guest column: A safe mission

By Envision, Involve

By Brianna Alexander

It was supposed to be a “safe” missions trip. All I had to do was drive 20 minutes to church, hammer in a few nails, help carry some heavy wood pieces, and voila! I would have helped build a loft house for a family in Mexico and spread the love of Christ without putting a stamp in my passport. I had done this last year and I thought I was prepared.

The thing is though, I didn’t use a hammer. I used a spatula. I don’t use spatulas, or any cooking utensils for that matter. Seriously, I’m a terrible cook. I’m infamous for burning canned re-fried beans and just the other night I ruined crock-pot chicken! So imagine my dismay when I somehow found myself behind the giant church BBQ cooking cheeseburgers for 80 very hungry house builders. Funny, God, real funny.

Yet, as I stood there with smoke blowing directly into my eyes, I realized something. In the parking lot was a whole group of imperfect vessels. People were bending nails, hammering boards in the wrong place, getting bruised up. But no one was complaining, or yelling, or crying in a corner feeling sorry for themselves. They would all just laugh it off, bandage up and get right back in the action.

Getting Instructions

Volunteers gathered for morning instructions

That day was an amazing testament as to what the body of Christ can do when we set aside our own insecurities, annoyances and weaknesses and just focus on completing the mission God has set before us. Everyone one in the parking lot had a different story. They came from different churches, were different ages and were in a different part of their journey with Christ. What they shared was the desire to serve God by working together to bless a family they didn’t know, in a country many of them had never been to. That desire transcended all differences and weaknesses.

Imagine if we made that our goal all the time? Imagine if we stopped getting hung up on religious technicalities, cultural barriers and personality clashes? What if we stopped comparing ourselves to other people, stopped feeling inadequate, stopped focusing on our weaknesses and instead trusted God to equip us for the mission he has called us to? What if every day, whether it was at church, at work, at home or in a foreign country, we made a conscious effort to focus on the big picture, the God picture, and work with our fellow humans to bring that picture to life? Hmm, I wonder what life would look like then.

For that one morning, I set aside my own insecurities and cooked those burgers as best as I could. And while I did get asked “what’s this green thing in my burger?” (it was just an herb from the herb salt) the burgers turned out fairly decent. I actually didn’t have anything to worry about because the church’s resident chef was there cooking tri-tip that was to die for. Even if the burgers had been terrible, no one would have noticed. And while I appreciated and learned from that experience, I’m glad to be back behind my computer, using one of my actual talents to further the kingdom of God.

Couple receiving the house

Heriberto and Ruth now have a home to share with their one month old son, Jared

Did You Know…?

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  • Hands of Mercy (HōM) helps churches build loft houses for families in Mexico. They have created a system that allows people to build walls, a roof and steps here in the United States. Then the pieces get taken to Mexico and the house is assembled and ready in a day so that the family can move in.
  • Many people in Mexico have never lived in a house with a lock. Someone always has to stay in the house in order to guard the family’s meager possessions. The HōM loft houses are equipped with locks and keys so families and their possessions are much safer.  Sometimes they have to explain how to use a lock & key set.
  • Some people have never lived in a house with a window. Because their homes are often pieced together with mismatched materials, including rented wood and sheet metal, it’s usually not logical or possible to add a window. But HōM loft houses are very sturdy and protect against the elements. Therefore, it’s nice that there are a few windows to open to let in fresh air.
  • You can host your own HōM loft house build! Gather a core group of people together to organize the event and raise $4,000. That money covers all costs including the cost of bringing the house down to Mexico. Then get the word out and gather a group of builders to help with the U.S. pre-fab and the assembly of the house in Mexico. For more information, visit HōM online or contact The Global Mission to learn how you can create your own event.
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BriannaBrianna Alexander is an avid blogger who writes about social media marketing, real estate, Orange County, CA and the ridiculous price of mascara. She’s excited to use her talent to support missions and further God’s kingdom. When she isn’t blogging she’s usually doing things she will later blog about like cheering for the Angels, discovering new parks with her little dog and eating delicious food her husband cooks for her.  To see a video of the prefab she wrote about, watch How to Build a Home.

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Partnership Interview

By Envision, Involve

During our most recent mission to Haiti, I had the chance to interview one of our church partners in Haiti.  The team was sent by my home fellowship, Crossline Community Church of Laguna Hills, CA, where as part of my ministry, I volunteer as their missions leader.  They are developing a sister church relationship, and I want you to see this video interview to understand more about the needs of the Body of Christ abroad.

For our current and future church partners, we hope you will view this with a vision for how we can help expand your body’s mission outreach.  It’s a quick overview that will give vision to your church for how they can impact the Church internationally.

 

Intervention

By Envision, Involve

What would our lives have been like in this world if God hadn’t intervened?

It’s a real question. Stop and think about your life.

I know that I would be buried in a grave marked with 1986 on it. That was the year that I finally quit on life, completely lost heart in trying to live in my own power, and went home one night to end my life. But God…

How and why is a story for another day. I do want to pause to celebrate that Jesus saved my life and gave me a hope for eternity exactly 25 years ago plus one week. The part that’s on point for this post are those final two words: “But God.”

I returned to downtown Port au Prince today for at least the fifth different month in the past fifteen since the earthquake. Some progress? Yes. Still heartbreaking? Absolutely.Haiti Palace

And I’m reminded that if someone doesn’t do something, nothing will change. If God hadn’t intervened through the young shepherd David, the Israelites would have been enslaved by the Philistines. If God hadn’t intervened through Esther, the Jewish people of Persia and beyond would have been annihilated. If God hadn’t intervened through my friend Kim, I would be dead. If God had not intervened through Jesus, our sin would eternally separate us from Him.

But God. He did, He did, He did…

So now, we must. We must be the heroes that He calls upon to intervene in the world. To care for the hurt, to rescue the abused, to heal the sick, to feed the hungry, to rescue the sinner. We must preach the Gospel and live it out.

Food lineToday, I got to be a hero. I was able to help feed hungry people living in tents and on the streets, and do it proclaiming the name of Jesus. It looks different every day.

Jesus has sent the invitation – all you have to do is love people in His power. Come be a hero.

 

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Water

By Envision, Equip, Involve

After serving lunch to all the workers, the Haitian pastor pulled out his Bible and shared a devotional from John 4:1-14 in Creole with everyone.

[pullquote_right] Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”[/pullquote_right]

You see, today we began building a bridge across a small canal to allow greater access to a clean water station. Thanks to Water Missions International, the water system that has already been installed has the capacity for bringing clean, safe water to thousands in the community every day. But the rainy season makes it inaccessible because the overflow of water from the channel creates mud everywhere, limiting the church’s ability to serve the community.

Our team was able to bring the tools and funding to hire and train local people for the work to build the bridge and put finishing touches on the water station, which will provide greater access and outreach to the community. All the while, allowing Haitians to work for their own benefit, earn a living, provide for their families, and take ownership in their community. Several of today’s workers were members of the pastor’s church, while others have yet to embrace Christ.

See the “time-lapse” style images from the build and other media from the week’s outreach on the post Rise Up and find more photos on our Facebook page.

Haiti Scouting Visual

By Envision, Involve

Just back from Haiti, here is a brief overview of our trip connecting with current and future partners…  Thank you for all you do to help bring the Gospel to those who’ve never heard!

 

Benefit Concert

By Envision, Involve

For those in the Southern California region, we’d love for you to join us at the Haiti Benefit Concert at 6pm this Sunday, January 23, 2011.  The event is being hosted by Crossline Community Church and there is no charge for admission, though it will be preceded by an all-you-can-eat international dinner for $10 beginning at 5pm.  (Dinner will be only $5 for those who purchase a $20 raffle ticket to the drawing for a “missions experience for 2 to Haiti.”)  Raffle tickets and dinner tickets will both be for sale on site, though again, the concert is free.

The music will be performed by Factor V, featuring Martin Gerschwitz of Iron Butterfly.  There will be a free will offering taken during the program, and the winning ticket of the Haiti raffle will be drawn at the conclusion.  (Winner not required to be present to win.)  All proceeds will go to support the ongoing ministry in Haiti.

Haiti Video Recap

By Envision, Involve

Here is a moving video which is an excellent wrap-up and moving video of last month’s recent mission trip to Haiti.  Thank you to Jake Hart for his work producing the video.  To answer the inevitable question about how to get a hold of the soundtrack, you can purchase ‘ “Hold On” by Rapture Ruckus from iTunes, Amazon or your favorite media store.

We’re grateful for your partnership with The Global Mission!