GraceConnect E-News, No. 24, Week of December 2, 2013


The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches

Making Disciples

Go and make disciples… This week's eNews looks at several people who are taking the admonition of Matthew 28 seriously. A Colorado pastor, Robert Schaffer, wasn't looking for someone to disciple, but God led him to a man who was seeking Christ. In Maryland, Gary Madonna wasn't sure about teaching fourth and fifth grade boys, but he found the experience to be a blessing. Read on to learn more about these stories, as well as other news in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches. For daily news in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, keep an eye on, the news site hosted by the Brethren Missionary Herald Company, or follow GraceConnect on Facebook. If you see breaking news or have a story to share, email

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Right on Time

Robert Schaffer hadn’t seen Carlos coming, but God did.

The pastor of the Grace Brethren Church in Colorado Springs, Colo., remembers meeting Carlos four years ago in the county jail. â€œI actually went to visit another man,” remembers Schaffer. â€œThis man introduced me to Carlos and we began to visit via video feed.”

Carlos had been arrested for the third time and he was waiting on a trial date. As part of a deal agreement, he was offered a 20-year sentence. Otherwise, he faced a possible 25-years-to-life as a third-time offender. He had hit the bottom, and he began to read a Gideon Bible. He found Christ, and he wanted to be discipled. Right on time, God arranged for Schaffer to meet him.

“For two years we read and studied the scriptures together,” remembered Schaffer. “I sent him books, which he consumed, and we discussed a lot of issues. I sought to temper and mold him as I detected a sense of arrogance growing, and the Holy Spirit was able to work.”

Carlos had lost everything. Schaffer was his only lifeline to the outside.

Click here to read the rest of the story.

Making Disciples

Gary Madonna teaches fourth and fifth grade boys at Grace Community Church, a Grace Brethren congregation in Frederick, Md. (R Greene, pastor). In this video from the church (and used with permission), he talks about how he reached the decision to disciple this group of 10-year-olds. "When God uses me to teach the boys, He is making a disciple of me," Madonna said. "When I teach them, that God fights for them and protects them, that He is their confidence, I share these truths for weeks with others. God reminds me that He is fighting for me. … God blesses me as I bless the boys."


Kentucky Church Needs Van

Sam Baer, pastor of Victory Mountain Grace Brethren Chapel, Hyden, Ky., is looking for a good used van that can be donated or purchased for a reasonable cost. "We'd use it every Sunday," says Pastor Sam. A 12- or 15-passenger vehicle would be ideal and would be used to pick up children who want to come to church.

The church has seen an increase in the number of children who attend due to a ministry led by Baer's daughter, Sophie. For the past few months, she has been replicating the program she leads with migrant worker children in southwest Michigan during the summer.

"I have two men willing to drive to pick up people," he adds. They currently have two routes they follow each Sunday to pick up individuals who do not have transportation. But their existing vehicles each only carry a maximum of seven passengers (including the driver).

Victory Mountain Grace Brethren Chapel is located in the hills of eastern Kentucky, an area that is economically disadvantaged.

If you can help with this need, contact Pastor Sam Baer at (606) 672-2520.


Dr. John Lillis has been named vice president of academic affairs at Grace College in Winona Lake, Ind. He most recently worked as dean and executive officer at Bethel Seminary in San Diego, Calif., where he served since 2001. Lillis will begin his new position with Grace during the spring semester. Click here to learn more about Dr. Lillis.
The Glory of the Church: Studies in Ephesians
This week's featured book:

The Glory of the Church: Studies in Ephesians

by Homer A. Kent, Jr.

Regularly $11.99, now available for GraceConnect eNews subscribers ONLY at 50% off plus FREE shipping!

Simply enter the code "glory" in your shopping cart at (Price is good only until midnight, December 10, 2013.)

On sale now!
Ephesus, one of the largest cities in the Mediterranean world during New Testament times, had its share of great preachers. Its one-quarter to one-half million population was first touched with the gospel by Paul on his second missionary journey. In succeeding years Timothy ministered there in Paul's stead. Toward the close of the first century, John, the last surviving apostle, made Ephesus his base of operations.

Eventually, however, the voices of these incomparable men were stilled. The people to whom they directed their labors lived out their lives and passed away. Even Ephesus itself became deserted, and only in modern times have its ruins been uncovered by the archeologist's shovel. Yet the name of Ephesus has continued, not because of its pagan temple or its past glories, but chiefly because of the apostle Paul's letter to the church there. The voices of its great preachers died away, but the epistle to the Ephesians lives on and continues to bring its message to a grateful church.

Regularly $11.99, now available for GraceConnect eNews subscribers ONLY at 50% off plus FREE shipping!

Simply enter the code "glory" in your shopping cart at (Price is good only until midnight, December 10, 2013.)

Events in the FGBC

January 27-29, 2014 â€“ Southwest Focus Retreat, Oaks Conference Center (FGBC)
January 24-25, 2014 â€“ Biblical Foundations of Leadership, Long Beach, Calif. (WGUSA)
January 29-31, 2014 â€“ Fellowship Council Meeting, Seal Beach, Calif. (FGBC)
March 17-19, 2014 â€“ South Focus Retreat, location to be announced, (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€“ Vision2020 DC (FGBC)
July 22-27, 2014 â€“ Momentum Youth Conference (CEN)
October 28-November 9, 2014 â€“ Cambodia GO Team (WGUSA)

CEN – CE National
EWP – Encompass World Partners
FGBC â€“ Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
WGUSA â€“ Women of Grace USA

Send events for the calendar to
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