Friday, March 21, 2008
Team Wisconsin Update 3-18-08
I had a good day with Pastor Channing and Esther last Sunday. They are working with a developing church in Rice Lake, with a vision to turn the ministry around. There was a good spirit in the service and the facilities looked very clean and well-kept. There are some new couples who have begun to connect with the ministry there. Pray for Channing as he continues to lead this refocusing effort.
Remember to pray for Erma Clarke and family. A long time pastor and friend of the Wisconsin District, John Clarke, passed away last week in La Crosse. He continued to serve at the Sand Lake Church as long as he was physically able. The viewing will be Sunday evening, 6:00-8:00 p.m. and the funeral service will be Monday, March 17 at 11:00 a.m., both at the Sand Lake Wesleyan Church.
We want to again encourage our churches to take an offering for church planting in the springtime, sometime around Easter. It doesn’t have to be on Easter Sunday. These monies are an important resource for the Evangelism and Church Growth Department to continue to encourage and push the church planting efforts of the denomination. The Wisconsin District, along with others, benefits from these resources, as we plant new congregations.
This winter’s medical team, the 14th team to go from Wisconsin, was made up of support members Marcy Keup, Todd Keup, Carole Malinoski, Neal Moss, Cindy Terry, Katie Toraason, and RN’s Kathy Dettle, Laura Pulda, Leah Herstad Schmitz, Kim Striber, Gail Thielman, Suzie Ulmer, and Medical Dr. David Taylor. They were joined by the missionaries Eckhardts and Knoxes, Nicaraguan medical students and translators, Dr. Arauz and the local Wesleyan pastors. Dr. Bob Christie, a dentist, also worked with the team in Malacatoya. Nicaraguan church members assisted by organizing, packing medicine, entertaining children and preparing a noon meal for the workers. Six days of clinics were held and over 1,900 people were treated with health consultations that included medication and health education. Every family received a copy of the gospel of John and the children received Bible story cards. A lot of prayer takes place before, during and after the clinics. Through conversations and invitations throughout the day, people are invited to accept Jesus Christ into their lives. District Superintendent Enrique Montenegro reported that several people accepted Christ and a number of people have been invited to church. Huge kudos to everyone who helped make the trip a life-changing week for many people and for the kingdom.
Last week about 30 pastors and staff participated in a wonderful day of learning and encouragement with presenters Jim Dunn and Phil Stevenson. The day consisted of pastoral and leadership spiritual formation issues along with challenges to strategically move ahead with expanding the kingdom through church multiplication. Our leaders went away with new ideas and new motivation to be proactive in caring for themselves as leaders and starting new churches. Jim Dunn and Phil Stevenson are general directors of the Spiritual Formation and Evangelism and Church Growth Departments of the Wesleyan Church.
15-16 Mt. Pisgah Visit
17-20 DS Institute, GBA
23 Easter Sunday
25—4/1 Vacation (our son’s wedding)