GraceConnect E-News, No. 80, Week of December 29, 2014


The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
Amber Mallow, children's ministry director at Urban Hope, has the opportunity to affect the lives of children for Jesus.

"Check the Box!"

Amber Mallow planned to move back to her hometown of Altoona, Pa., to teach at the local elementary school once she finished an education degree at Penn State University. But God had other plans.
Mallow is now children's ministry director at
Urban Hope, an outreach ministry in inner city Philadelphia that is sponsored by CE National.
“I was in a meeting where we had to choose where we wanted to student teach,” Mallow recalls. “I will never forget it. They passed out these papers that said, ‘Choose your option. You need to pick.’ And, the Holy Spirit was just like, ‘Pick this. Check it. Check the box.’
The box she checked was for a school in inner city Philadelphia. It turned out to be about five minutes away from Urban Hope, a ministry she had first learned about as a student at
Momentum Youth Conference. (She had attended Momentum with her youth group from Grace Fellowship Church, Altoona campus.)
Her student teaching experience whet her appetite enough that she decided to stay and complete the summer internship at Urban Hope. She then took a teaching job with Cambodian refugees' kids where she taught fifth and sixth grade for the next three years, which allowed her to continue volunteering. She stepped into her staff role at Urban Hope this past summer. 
“Once I started teaching [at Urban Hope], I realized that God had been preparing me for it,” she notes.
At Urban Hope, Mallow is responsible for writing curriculum, developing new programs for children, and encouraging and finding volunteers within the church. She is also responsible for connecting the ministry to local public schools, making sure that the church has a presence in the community, and for developing discipleship options for the children who come through the doors of Urban Hope.
This year, through Mallow’s supervision, Urban Hope has started a discipleship program called Salt & Light.
“[Through the program], kids come and learn about how to be salt and light to their school and their family,” explains Mallow. Using practical and creative means to nurture and disciple the children involved, the program also gives them the tools to share their faith with others
“It's amazing what you can see when you stay here even for two or three years, just the change that God makes. It doesn't happen in a day, it doesn't happen in a year. Being able to walk with kids through the kids program and see them grow into teenagers and see them become the leaders of our church, ‐‐it's a blessing."

Connect with Amber. 
Click here to send her a note of encouragement.

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From Around the Web...

Here are a few links from Grace Brethren churches that you might find of interest…
Dan Cosentino, youth pastor at Grace Community Church in Goshen, Ind. (Jim Brown, senior pastor), reminds us about what's really important in his blog post, "If I Died Today." Click here to read the post. 

Mike Jentes, coordinator of Mobilization Initiatives at Encompass World Partners, blogs at Earlier this month, Jentes shared a video by Canon Andrew White, the "Vicar of Baghdad," in which he relates a story of four young Iraqi children who were beheaded by ISIS for refusing to renounce the name of Jesus. Click here to watch the video. 

Events in the FGBC

January 16-17 WLS Class: Soul Care, Winona Lake, Ind. (WGUSA)
January 23-24
– WLS Class: Spiritual Formation, Long Beach, Calif. (WGUSA)
January 23-25  Kalahari Winter Retreat, Sandusky, Ohio
January 26-28 –  Southwest Focus Retreat, The Oaks, Lake Hughes, Calif. (FGBC)
March 16-18 – South Focus Retreat, Florida FFA Training Center, Haines City, Fla. (FGBC)
March 20-21 – WLS Class: Women and Scripture, Frederick, Md. (WGUSA) 
April 24-25 – WLS Class: Women and Scripture, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (WGUSA) 
June 21-27, 2015  Great Canadian Adventure, Toronto, Ontario (GBC)
June 21-27, 2015 – Encounter Atlanta, Atlanta, Ga. (EWP)
July 14-19, 2015 – Momentum Youth Conference, Marion, Ind. (CEN) 
July 23-26, 2015 – Flinch Conference (national conference), Newark, N.J. (FGBC) 

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

Send events for the calendar to
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