GraceConnect E-News, No. 47, Week of May 12, 2014

Communication-Conversation-Conservation

The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches

Playing Golf to Build Churches

 Daryl Flora, Salida, Calif. (pictured at right), made a bargain with God that he would give 30 years to a specific ministry if God gave him the strength to continue.That was 18 years ago – and his mission-construction enterprise, Blocklayers Ministries International, a ministry of the Grace Brethren Church in Ripon, Calif. (Glen Shirk, pastor), is still going strong.
 
About 20 years ago during a home fellowship meeting, Flora listened to Gordon Grover give a presentation about the church-building organization, Total Mobilization Support Ministries (TMSM), a ministry of Grace Brethren International Missions (now Encompass World Partners) that was phased out in 2007.
 
“You know what?” he says he told Grover after the presentation, “I love golf. I'm gonna’ have a golf tournament and raise money for you.”
 
Flora didn't act on that commitment for another two years, but one day he pulled into a golf course in nearby Manteca, Calif., and told the owner of his desire. Then he told him his plan to host it that summer.

“He started laughing,” recalls Flora. “He told me that their golf tournaments are all planned a year in advance.
 
Right then, the owner’s phone rang. When he hung up, he asked Flora, "How about this June 13?" At that moment, somebody had called and canceled a golf tournament, leaving that day open. Flora accepted.

“I knew right then that this is way bigger than me. God had appointed that time for the guy to cancel and me to be there.”

That first year, Birdies Fore Blocklayers raised $13,000, more than double Flora’s goal of $5,000. To date, more than $700,000 has been raised to help fund the construction of simple block buildings on various mission fields, beginning with one for a Grace Brethren congregation in Cordoba, Argentina, in 1999. 
 
Since then, they have traveled to Cambodia, Brazil, Mexico, the Philippines, Kenya, and Tanzania. The ministry has funded building projects ranging from tiny hut churches in Cambodia to a Medical Ambassadors Training Center in the Philippines with a cost upwards of $75,000. The back of Flora's shirt (see right) lists the places they have funded and constructed buildings.
 
The mission board at the Ripon church administers the funds. Photos of the finished buildings line the church’s entryway, a testament to the involvement of Flora and his fellow parishioners in the varied projects.
 
With such astounding success, one might think Flora would be content. But he’s got even bigger plans.
 
“I would love to get 50 churches in 50 different states to do a golf tournament and they could each raise $40,000,” he notes. “That's a couple million bucks. Medical Ambassadors right now would like to do a training center in Africa that's $350,000. If we could get 50 states to do this, we could raise the money in six months.”
 
“If anybody would be interested, they can call me. I'd love to see it duplicated many times over.”
 
This year’s tournament will be held Saturday, May 17. For those who live in Northern California and enjoy golf, there are still spots open. For more information about this ministry or to sign up, click here.

From Around the Web

A few links of interest …

Omar grew up near Urban Hope, an inner-city ministry in Philadelphia. As a young person he was exposed to God through the programs of the ministry, which is sponsored by CE National. He is now part of the leadership team at Urban Hope. Watch this YouTube video of his story here

A heart-breaking story from the Central African Republic reminds us to continue to pray for this war-torn country, Ex-Child Soldiers Live with Scars of War (from the Los Angeles Times).

Nearly 500 students graduated from Grace College and Seminary on Saturday, May 10. Click here to view photos of the event.

People

Grace Church, Lititz, Pa. (Ivanildo Trindade, pastor), has announced the hiring of its new Worship Arts Ministry Director. Wes Crenshaw will join the staff beginning June 8. Click here to read more.

Nicole Miller has been named director of Girls’ Ministries at Women of Grace USA, beginning August 1, 2014. She replaces Viki Rife, who will become executive director of Women of Grace USA on August 1. Read the full story here

J. Douglas Kegarise, pastor of development and deployment at Grace Church, Lititz, Pa. (Ivanildo Trindade, pastor) received a PhD degree on Saturday from Lancaster Bible College -- the first to receive a doctoral degree from the school. Click here to read more.
The Making of a Man of God
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Studies in 1 & 2 Timothy

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Events in the FGBC

May 19-21, 2014 – Northwest Focus Retreat, Camp Clear Lake, Wash. (FGBC)
June 27-July 3, 2014 – Encounter ATL (EWP)
July 17-21, 2014 â€“ Vision Conference 2014, Washington D.C.(FGBC)
June 22-27 â€“ National Rendezvous Camp, Burr Oak State Park, Ohio (GBB)
July 22-27, 2014 â€“ Momentum Youth Conference (CEN)
July 29-August 11 â€“ National Timothy Adventure (GBB)
October 3-4 â€“ Homecoming (GCS)
November 11-24, 2014 â€“ Cambodia GO Team (WGUSA)

CEN – CE National
EWP – Encompass World Partners
FGBC â€“ Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
GBB â€“ Grace Brethren Boys
GCS – Grace College and Seminary
WGUSA â€“ Women of Grace USA

____
Send events for the calendar to lcgates@bmhbooks.com.
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