GraceConnect eNews, No. 170, Week of September 19, 2016

Communication-Conversation-Conservation

The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches

Fusion: Atlanta


“You grew up stuck between two cultures, so you don't feel like you have a home either in America or at home. So you always live in this tension.”

Peter Yoo knows that tension quite intimately. As a second-generation Korean-American, Yoo ministered in Shanghai, China for the past three years, until he and his wife Anna decided to embark on a new project: reaching the international community in Atlanta, Georgia, for Christ.

The idea was sparked when Dave Guiles, executive director at 
Encompass World Partners, and his team started praying about the need to reach the international community in Atlanta. The result was a fusion of three organizations: Grace Church of Greater Akron, Ohio (Jeff Bogue, senior pastor), Encompass World Partners, and the Grace Brethren Investment Foundation came together to finance the project and uphold it in prayer.

Bogue has seen God’s hand clearly in the project’s genesis: “We were invited, we recognized the need, and in a six‑month window, God put Grace Church, Encompass, and GBIF together. He also brought in two experienced church planters who are from Colombia and South Korea. We look at that and say, ‘Well, the Lord just decided He wanted something done in Atlanta, so He moved His people.’ That is the only reason we're there.”

Fusion seems to be the theme of the entire project. The word certainly describes the team that is currently being built – all with the acute understanding of the struggles and joys of those who grow up with parents who left everything to start over somewhere else.

“If we're going to target second-generation immigrants, we should probably build a team made up of second-generation immigrants,” explained Rick Scavuzzo, director of advancement at Grace Church.  “The original agreement had that we would hire a team of three pastors to start the work.”

So far, along with the Yoo family, Columbian-American Juan Carlos Téllez and his Canadian-American wife, Emily, have joined the initiative. The Téllez' have spent the last 11 years in Indiana, and two years before that in Honduras. The entire time they have been preparing for ministry wherever God called them. 

“We came to Indiana for the sake of going to seminary, and then we thought we were going to go into missions right away,” said Téllez. “Instead, we had an 11-year detour. We didn't even buy a house in Indiana because we always had the sense that God was going send us somewhere, and we wanted to be ready whenever He did.”

The plan is for the team of pastors to spend five months at the Akron church before being sent out to Atlanta this December.

“These next couple months we're trying to discern exactly which community God is leading us to reach,” notes Yoo. “We're doing a lot of research and prayer and seeking out where God has called us to start this community. Where is there a large population of second-generation people?” 

Once they make the move, the first year will be focused on growing the community of team leaders into a community of believers, and after that, a movement of churches. 

“We are inviting people to join a community of displaced people, in a sense. And we're all displaced.  We're all sojourners. And [in a way,] how is that different from a community that's already here? We're going for something that takes the flavors and the riches of our heritage and brings together something that has not been before."

[Connect:]
Send a note of encouragement to the Téllez family at 
jctellez@graceohio.org, and the Yoo family at peteryoo@graceohio.org.
 
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[Your Turn]


[Read:]

"Imagine not only losing your home, but also your cars, place of business, and even your church to floodwater contamination.  That’s not an unusual story. And if you wonder why most people don’t have flood insurance, it’s because they’re not in a flood plain — this hasn’t happened here before.

Working on people’s homes opens the door for our physical workers and our trained chaplains to spend time with the homeowners, helping them process through their circumstances. Love in action is a powerful source of healing, joy, hope, and even peace in the midst of life’s toughest challenges. And this kind of action requires love that comes from a source outside ourselves."

Alan Weisenberger, a member of Grace Church, Orange, Calif. (Mike Sciarra, pastor), blogs at Christ in My Coffee. He also serves on the board of directors of Encompass World Partners. Click here to read the rest of his recent report from Louisiana's recent flood and how he and other like-minded believers are "flooding Louisiana with God's love."


[Watch:]

A few weeks ago,
Penn Valley Church in Telford, Pa. (Lawrence Orme, executive pastor), finished their 6th year of sports camp, which garnered 200+ campers and utilized 100 volunteers. Praise the Lord with those at Penn Valley for the ten children who made first-time decisions to follow Christ! Click the picture below to watch the recap video.
 

Events in the FGBC

September 26-28, 2016   Central Focus Retreat (Oregon, Ohio) (FGBC)
September 30-October 2, 2016   Soul Cry: Prayer Summit, Auburn, Ind. (WGUSA)
October 7-8, 2016   WLS: Soul Care in Leadership, New Holland, Pa. (WGUSA)
October 17-19, 2016   East Focus Retreat (Ocean City, Md.) (FGBC)
November 11-12, 2016   WLS: Equipping Others for Ministry, Marysville, Ohio (WGUSA)

CEN – CE National
EWP – Encompass World Partners
FGBC – Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
GBC – Grace Brethren Canada
WGUSA – Women of Grace USA
GC – Grace College

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