Get Inspired

People often ask me why I get involved in foreign missions.  I’m sometimes asked, “Isn’t there enough to do here in the US without traveling around the world?”
 
My response is not what you may want to hear—but it’s based on experience. When I met my first “street kid” in South America, or saw a woman crawling to church on a dirt road in Africa, it changed the way I looked at the world. At home in the U.S. we have churches—some closing and empty, but they are there in almost every community. This is not true for the 2.7 billion unreached people. The Bible is readily available on-line or on the shelves of libraries and churches—although the pages may not be well worn—but it’s a crime punishable by death in some countries.
 
In all the countries where M.O.S.T. Ministries works, including Uganda where our team will be installing water filters that save lives while proclaiming the Living Water Jesus, we are serving people not as fortunate as the poorest in the U.S. These people are starving for the WORD…many without hope or saving faith in Jesus.
 
The question I ask is, “Do we put boundaries on God’s Word…..and only provide for the people who already have it? Why are we not feeding those without it?”
 
If you’d like to learn more about using your God given talents to feed those truly desperate join me on Saturday, Nov. 11th for the annual Most Ministries luncheon at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor. It is a good chance to hear more about MOST Ministries, enjoy a nice lunch, and listen to testimonies from the mission field.  I guarantee you will ‘Get Inspired!’
 
Contact me at Katecole1@att.net for more information or to make a reservation and be prepared to expand your worldview.

Double-Up

Double-up!
 
The idiom, “double-up” can be confusing to international students when we ask them to share a ride with another student in the same car, or deal with something in pairs. When an instructor says, “We’re going to have to double up in this job and get it done,” some students are scratching their heads thinking, “How do I do that?”
 
We can double up with laughter when someone tells a hilarious joke, or when we don’t have enough hand-outs for our class we ask students to double-up with another student.
 
Today, we’re asking our Trinity members to DOUBLE-UP!  We’re going to double our impact when each member brings a friend to our Living Water Walk, Aug. 11th at 7 p.m. at Lake Callis Recreation Center.
 
By doubling-up, Team Colorado will have opportunities to double their impact when they take the water filtration equipment we will purchase with the money raised from our walk. Not only will more people be assured of clean water—more people will hear the Gospel that has everlasting affects.
 
Double-Up with us by bringing a friend. Share God’s love with those who are dying without it. Register on-line at www.trinitydavison.org/living-water-walk, or pick-up a registration form in the church narthex.  Let’s make this Walk for Living Water overflow with love!

Making a living … and making disciples!

I remember the days before retirement … when your feet hit the floor you were off to the rat race … well that’s how it felt sometimes. Earning a living is not easy—it wasn’t then and it isn’t now. Still, we can have the easy yoke that Jesus asked us to take when we dedicate our work to Him, He guides us through it.

What about making disciples….is that something we can put off until we retire? We asked our members in the “Missions Survey” to prioritize on a scale of 1-10, how important sharing the Gospel is?  The answers were encouraging—37 of the 46 respondents rated sharing the Gospel as their highest priority.

Jesus’ yoke must be worn if we are to make disciples. He tells us to put on His yoke, and learn from Him (Matthew 11:29). He will teach us how to make disciples. We can’t do this job without His help. But we can do this work anywhere God places us. We may make disciples at our work place—in our families—with our friends.

Today, we’re looking for people who will Bring a Friend to our Living Water Walk, at Callis Lake Recreation Complex on Aug. 11th at 7 p.m. By bringing a friend—one that may not be a Christian—you will be introducing your friend to a community of Christians from various churches. Non-Christians will get to experience God’s people in a non-threatening environment. This may change any pre-conceived ideas your friends has about Christians and open up a Christ-centered dialog with your friend.

Be a disciple-maker. Register today, at www.trinitydavison.org/living-water-walk  and don’t forget to bring a friend.

You were born in Bethlehem?

“Where where you born?

It’s a question I ask international students frequently and sometimes I’m surprised at their answers. However, when I asked this question of a clerk, while shopping with my Nigerian friend in a large department store near Flint, the answer we received surprised both of us!

“I’m from Bethlehem,” the clerk replied!

We looked at each other and then looked at the clerk again.  “Where Jesus was born?” we asked simultaneously.

She nodded her head yes. She explained she was a widow—who earlier with her husband migrated to the US and settled in the Flint area. She introduced us to her daughter who works with her and is a student at UM-Flint.

“I’ve never met anyone from Bethlehem,” my friend said shaking her hand and doing a little Nigerian dance. “Are you my sister in Christ?,” my friend asked.

The woman smiled and said, “Yes!  I returned recently to my home country to show my daughter where Jesus was born—and where the empty tomb is,” she continued.

Her daughter smiled back at us and told us about the church where they worship Jesus here in the Flint area.

We talked about how great our God is, to bring together believers from Africa, the US and Bethlehem right in the middle of a shopping mall in Flint.

At Flint International Friends, it doesn’t matter where you are from. We serve students from China, India and Africa. We try to introduce all our friends to our Lord and Savior, Jesus, who was also born in Bethlehem!

Are you ready to get your hands & feet dirty?

Last Sunday, Pastor reminded us that following Jesus sometimes means we get our hands and our feet dirty. Pastor spoke about the volunteer who had a panic attack in the middle of the Guatemalan garbage dump. A local man gave her the help she needed—pieces of cardboard he had collected in the dump for recycling—so she was able to step on them and not the garbage to get to a place of safety.

I went with my previous church family, Immanuel Lutheran Church in Bridgman, Michigan, to the Guatemala garbage dump on a mission trip almost 20-years ago. Immanuel members still volunteer there today—literally lifting people out of the heaps of garbage into better lives and into Jesus’ arms. I remember the garbage stench that permeated everything and how that didn’t stop those volunteers for caring for those less fortunate.

Here at Trinity—we’re asking you to help us bring clean water to an area in Africa where children are dying in large numbers from contaminated water. You may get your feet a little dirty when you hike around Lake Callis on August 11th to raise funds and awareness, but you will find your heart dancing to a different tune—when the mission team reports back to us—about lives saved and lives changed.

Remember our Loving Savior washed the feet of his disciples and told them to do the same for others.

Check out our website, www.trinitydavison.org and click on Living Water Walk. You can register for the event and help us—bring the water of life to others. You will double your impact by asking a friend to join you!

Read more about the Living Water Walk:

On your mark, get set, GO and make disciples…..me?

Yes, you and I are called to go and make disciples but sometimes we are content to live our lives in our cozy and safe circle of friends. Still, our Good Shepherd is calling us—to come out of our cramped lives into broader horizons and new places—where 2.7 billion people are still waiting to hear the Good News.

But….but….I know…..we have our priorities….and jobs, and family…and the list goes on. Maybe God didn’t mean for EVERYONE to go….just a few chosen ones?

It’s true, not all of us can go, but if we can’t go we can be senders….those who send others to tell the only truth that is worth living and dying for.  Sunday, June 11, after morning service a team of mission-senders is joining with MOST MINISTRIES, to send Living Water to Uganda. We’re preparing our senders-team—which we hope will include you, on a one-mile Living Water Walk, on August 11, at Davison Township Park in conjunction with the “Celebration of Life – Christian Family Event.”

 Our Kickoff on June 11th begins with a short introduction to why we send—what our missionaries will do—and then we’ll put on our walking shoes and begin our outreach exercise carrying water buckets—in our sports fields—to get a feel of what it’s like for our Ugandan friends who make this water run daily.

Each week thereafter, we will have a living water exercise to prepare for our 1 mile walk—that will provide clean and living water to people in Uganda—and refresh our spirits as senders of the Gospel.

So…plan on sticking around after service on June 11, and open up your heart and mind to a world that is dying of thirst—for the Living Water—Jesus!

One more thing, please

One more thing….please!

Our congregation has served at My Brothers’ Keeper, (MBK) in Flint for several years—donating food, cooking and serving dinner and donating warm clothing. Most importantly we’ve been sharing the Gospel with them. Now, we’re asking YOU to do one more thing–spend some time in prayer for them.

On May 4, the National Day of Prayer, we asked our MBK guests to fill out a prayer request form.  Twenty-three men wrote heart-wrenching requests—as they seek their way back into employment and their own home, praying their families will be once more united and health issues resolved.

If you’d consider praying for these men, faithfully this month, here’s a prayer that encompasses most of their requests.

God, our Father, our church has seen the homeless and the hopeless up close and met them in person. It  breaks our hearts to know that we cannot do more than our once-a-month ministry.

Father, sometimes we feel helpless because their hope is dried up, they have nothing left. Several of these homeless men are veterans who served us and our county honorably.

God, use these homeless people’s problems to draw them closer to You through Your Son’s redemptive work at Calvary. Help each one today, receive a bit of hope but most importantly, give them the only hope in this life and the life to come that is found only in Jesus Christ. Many of them have lost everything –but still have faith in You. They requested prayer- I pray for them in Jesus Holy Name, Amen.

 

Chocolate or Ice-soldier?

Many of you remember the hymn, “Am I a soldier of the Cross, A follower of the Lamb, And shall I fear to own His cause, Or blush to speak His name?”
 
Recently, Christians have been challenged by society to be still and not discuss Christian views on sex or science. Our universities that we support with tax dollars promote two lies—first, that God did not make the world and everything in it as the Bible describes, and secondly, that people have the right to determine which sex they prefer to be no matter which sex one is born with!
 
At Flint International Friends we are working to destroy these lies with God’s word. Last month we took over a dozen students to view the movie, Is Genesis History”, which defends the Christian view of creation with scientific evidence.
 
This week, our partner church, St. Paul Lutheran Church (Flint, MI) hosted a movie and lunch event for our students showing the film, “God’s Not Dead – Part 2.”  Students were challenged by the film to speak out in school when their beliefs are threatened by godless theories taught as truth.
 
A famous missionary to China, called for Christians to speak up and not be Chocolate Christians of the Cross—that melt in the face of opposition, like our familiar hymn warns. Instead we are to be like the 40 ice-soldiers bound in an icy pond who died rather than deny their Lord.
 
 

Serving Together to Help Others Adds Up

In early 2014, members of Trinity Lutheran Church welcomed our first Family Promise guests.  Since that first week, dozens of our members have contributed their time and gifts to help local families who are going through a time of homelessness.  Through this partnership with Family Promise of Genesee County over 19 of the 28 families we have hosted are now maintaining their housing.

Just like the other host congregations of the Family Promise Network of Genesee County, Trinity Lutheran provides meals, shelter, and friendship to local homeless families one week each quarter (4x/year).   Our medium-sized congregation is able to provide this love in the name of Jesus right here in our facility. 

On Monday, March 13, Trinity’s Family Promise Coordinator, Mary Weeden and I met with Lindsey, the director of Family Promise of Genesee County for an annual review of our ministry together.  Lindsey’s report shows how God’s people of Trinity Lutheran Church are serving others in tangible ways.

  • Number of Host Weeks: 12 weeks since 2014
  • Number of Families Hosted: 28 unique families
  • Number of people hosted: 130 people (some were repeats)
  • Number of Safe Night Sleep Provided: 910 nights of safe sleep
  • Number of Volunteer Hours: 3,408 hours
  • Amount of In-kind donations: ($22.13 an hour/volunteer): $75,419

Our ministry with Family Promise of Genesee County continues throughout the year.  As the next host week approaches, it is announced in Heavenly Happenings, the Trinity Gram, and during worship.  If being a part of our Family Promise ministry is something that you would like to learn more about, please contact Mary Weeden via email or phone the church office.

Work Underway to Reverse Declines

“The facts are stark,” he explained. “Christians make up a smaller and smaller proportion of the American population every year (down to just 71 percent this year). Every district of the LCMS has experienced numerical decline in the past decade — from a 4 percent decline in some places to over 25 percent in others. The counties where the Synod is strongest across the country also tend to be the counties where population is decreasing. The Synod is growing in membership in counties that are growing in population, but more slowly than the overall population increase. What’s going on? Will it get better? What does the future hold?”

https://blogs.lcms.org/2017/reversing-lcms-membership-decline?utm_content=buffer055b2&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer