GraceConnect E-News, No. 38, Week of March 10, 2014


The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
Alberta (Bertie) Hanson has traveled all over the world to write curriculum for churches.

Abundant Adventures

“I can tell when I am in Mexico just by the aroma of the soil. Or their cooking – you can smell the aromas of the cooking.”

Alberta (Bertie) Hanson started traveling when she was very young, and covered six major mission fields to write curriculum. She visited scores of countries, collecting treasures from around the world (pictured below).  
Bertie was raised in Long Beach, Calif., with her four sisters, Winifred, Willetta, and Edisene. Her mother was a skilled homemaker and Bible teacher, and her father was a ham radio operator for the city of Long Beach.

“My father had a small radio repair shop in our home. We listened to world local news as a part of our day…we owned one of the first TV's. It aired once a week on a screen eight inches across.”

After graduation from high school, Bertie attended Westmont College for one year and transferred to Biola University, where she finished her degree and received her teacher’s credentials from the State of California. “This was around the beginning of gospel recordings – the ministry of Charles E. Fuller,” she recalls.

Her first missionary trip was to Pinar Del Rio, Cuba with Practical Missionary Training (an outreach through Biola) where she taught Vacation Bible School on the island. The following summer, she taught Vacation Bible School in the Inland Passage into Alaska, and later conducted workshops with the Brethren church in Eagle River, Keni, and Homer, Alaska.

That was only the beginning. Through the years, Bertie filled many ministry roles, including director of Christian education at the former North Long Beach Brethren Church, and mission work in Taos, N.M. with her sister Willie and Willie’s husband Sib Edmiston, missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators. She attended language school in Costa Rica and taught missionary children with the Latin American Mission.

She has fond memories of conducting workshops in Hawaii.  â€œWe taught Vacation Bible School along Hermosa Beach in the morning with the children’s ministry,” she remembers. “In the afternoons we taught Bible study with the high schoolers. Several young people came to know the Lord and are on the mission field today.”

Bertie also spent some time teaching in Costa Rica, Columbia and the Panama Canal with Latin American Missions.  She taught missionary children in Ecuador with HCJB, one of the most powerful radio stations on the top of the Andes Mountains. One of her most fascinating memories is her time spent with the family of Nate and Marj Saint. Nate was later martyred with four other missionaries in what was to become one of the most compelling stories of God’s work among the fierce Huaorani people.

“I traveled for eight hours in a mexto truck with Nate Saint and his friends across the Andes from Quito, Ecuador to Shelmera, a small village in the jungle, transporting building materials,” she remembers. â€œMarj fed us fried chicken and ice cold lemonade…it was just like being home in the jungle.” 

In 1965, she toured South America. She also visited the West Indies, Puerto Rico, and Trinidad.  In the past few decades, she has toured Israel extensively, as well as visiting lighthouses across America, even living in one for a week.

“I think it just evolved,” she explained, when asked how she ended up traveling so many places across the globe. “I knew people. My father was big into radio, so we as children were always hearing all this news, when they were building dams and waterways – every year we’d collect our Christmas cards from Alabama, Mexico, Venezuela…all over the world. We were aware of not just our home but of national things.”

Bertie currently lives in Winona Lake, Ind., and attends the Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church (Bruce Barlow, lead pastor). Though she doesn't travel as much as she used to, she still retains a sparkle of adventure in her eye – and she finds other ways to stay adventurous, like taking classes at Grace College and tackling new technology with a youthful spirit. (She is currently mastering her newest device – the iPhone.) She has published a book about her travels, called Abundant Adventures with Alberta, which you can purchase here.

From Around the Web

Here are a few links from Grace Brethren churches that you might find of interest…

Leadership Development

"You have been gifted everything necessary to be a powerful tool in God's hand at the moment you become  a follow of Jesus Christ." Ed Waken, elder at Valley Life Church in Peoria, Ariz. reminds us of our ability to be a "competent minister of the New Covenant" because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. Read the whole post here.

Integrated Ministries

Good words about intentionally pursuing authentic community by Elise Grybos of Awaken Church in Virginia Beach, Va. (Mike Pumphrey, pastor). 

Church Planting

The Mega Church fad, the Non-Missional House Church fad, the Social Gospel Church fad...none of these are the way Jesus taught us to plant churches. What is the biblical model? Read more from SEEDNet, a church planting ministry in Ohio reaching out to people in spiritually, emotionally, economically and developmentally oppressed areas.

Links of Interest

What Christians Really Want from Grace Church of Orange in Orange, Calif. (Mike Sciarra, pastor).
The Beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: Studies in Mark
This week's featured book:

The Glory of the Church: Studies in Ephesians

by Homer A. Kent, Jr.

Regularly $14.99, now available for GraceConnect eNews subscribers ONLY at 50% off plus FREE shipping!

Simply enter the code "Gospel" in your shopping cart at (Price is good only until midnight, March 18, 2014.)

On sale now!
This installment of The Kent Collection is a commentary that has been extensively rewritten and expanded from the author’s previous smaller work on Mark. A careful outline keeps the reader from getting lost in the great number of events portrayed in this shortest of the Gospels. Photographs aid in understanding the geographical setting of many events.

Regularly $14.99, now available for GraceConnect eNews subscribers ONLY at 50% off plus FREE shipping!

Simply enter the code "Gospel" in your shopping cart at (Price is good only until midnight, March 18, 2014.)

Events in the FGBC

March 16, 2014 â€“ Prayer Sprint Begins (EWP)
March 17-19, 2014 â€“ South Focus RetreatFlorida FFA Leadership Training Center , (FGBC)
April 25-26, 2014 â€“ Women's Leadership Studies: Equipping Others (WGUSA)
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)
June 22-27 â€“ National Rondezvous 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 28-November 9, 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
WGUSA â€“ Women of Grace USA

Send events for the calendar to
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