GraceConnect eNews, No. 132, Week of December 28, 2015

Communication-Conversation-Conservation

The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
After living through a painful childhood, Faa Choemue decided to make a difference in the lives of at-risk chidren in Thailand.

Beauty out of Ashes

“My story not really beautiful like other people,” said Sumitra “Faa” Choemue, co-founder of Grace Refuge Outreach Worldwide (G.R.O.W.) Thailand. “My life was very difficult.”
 
Faa was the youngest of 12, five of whom passed away before she was born. Her mother died when she was young, and her father was an alcoholic and drug addict who was so abusive that sometimes Faa and her siblings ended up in the hospital.
 
But the pain of Faa’s childhood only spurred her on to make a difference in the lives of others who had similar experiences. When she graduated from college, she felt God calling her to minister to children with backgrounds of abuse. She struggled with how to make her dreams a reality.
 
“I'm nobody,” she notes. “Poor family, no mom, no dad, so I didn’t know how to do it. So I prayed.”
 
And God answered. After starting a small children’s home in Chiang Mai, Thailand, Faa met Grace Brethren pastor Ivanildo Trindade (now at
Grace Church, Lititz, Pa.), who connected her with Grace Church in Wooster, Ohio (Bob Fetterhoff, pastor). The church partnered with her to start G.R.O.W. in 2009.

G.R.O.W. is an orphan care ministry in Thailand that exists to rescue children living in Southeast Asia from the threat of human trafficking and abuse by placing them in small, safe houses with Christian guardians that guide the children in education and faith.

The ministry is touching entire families. Faa recalls the story of a girl who was adopted into the G.R.O.W. program. “This girl was sexually abused for four years. She didn’t believe in God, she doesn't know about Jesus, but every day we have a devotion at 5:30 in the morning, Monday through Friday, all the kids with me. And this girl asked me why we read the same book every morning.”
 
Faa used the opportunity to share the Gospel with her that morning and for the next two years – using their simple morning habit as a vehicle to share the gospel. “After two years, and she received Jesus,” Faa recalls. “After three years, her mother became believer and got baptized. And this year her grandmother received Jesus.
 
“At our ministry, we believe in the cross,” she says. “We believe that God can use little children to change [whole families]. This is in my heart to share about the Gospel.”
 
Faa, along with a small staff, G.R.O.W. Thailand currently houses 18 children. “We have ten boys and eight girls. But we are just like family.”
 
[Connect:]
G.R.O.W. Thailand was adopted as a cooperating organization of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches last year.
Click here to send Faa a note of encouragement.

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[Your Turn]


[Read:]

"There is nothing like seeing another Fight Club grad wearing his FC band in public. I have run into men in airports, at Pro Golf matches, at amusement parks, churches, and all over the country."

Jim Brown, lead pastor of Grace Community Church, a Grace Brethren church in Goshen, Ind., recently posted about how professional basketball player Justin Masterson is a graduate from Fight Club, a men’s discipleship resource "developed by men, for men, to reach men- to turn the tide on mediocrity and cause men to stand and say 'not on my watch!'" according to their website. Click here to read the entire post.

[Listen:]

Zach Hess, young adults pastor
Grace Polaris, a Grace Brethren church in Westerville, Ohio (Mike Yoder, lead pastor), recently preached a sermon on Revelation chapter one. The sermon was part of a Christmas series entitled, "Unparalleled: Hope for the World," investigating the person of Jesus and seeking to understand just who He claimed to be and how He is unique compared to anyone else in human history. Click here to listen to the sermon. 
 

[Give:]

GraceConnect is passionate about encouraging people in the Grace Brethren movement (and beyond) to live lives fully devoted to Jesus Christ. 

Your financial support allows us to share stories that inspire that devotion and motivate readers to pray for and connect with an individual, church, or ministry.

 
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Events in the FGBC

January 22-23, 2016   WLS: Equipping Others for Ministry, Orange, Calif. (WGUSA)
January 22-24, 2016  Kalahari Retreat, Sandusky, Ohio (FGBC)
January 25-27, 2016  Southwest Focus Retreat (FGBC)
January 27-19, 2016  Fellowship Council (FGBC)
February 5-6, 2016  WLS Spiritual Formation, Auburn, Calif. (WGUSA)
February 26-27, 2016  WLS: Women and Scripture (Spanish), Tampa, Fla.  (WGUSA) 
March 14-16, 2016  South Focus Retreat (FGBC) 
March 14-15, 2016   CELS CE Leadership Summit, Philadelphia, Pa. (CEN)
April 8-9, 2016  WLS: Spiritual Formation, Winona Lake, Ind. (WGUSA)
April 21, 2016   Day Away: North of 55Hagerstown, Md. (CEN)
April 22, 2016   Day Away: North of 55East Earl, Pa. (CEN)
June 13-17, 2016   Encounter SoCal (EWP)
June 19-25, 2016  The Great Canadian Adventure, Toronto, Canada (GBC)
June 22-28, 2016  Mission Trip to Haiti (WGUSA)
June 27-July, 2016  Encounter Atlanta (EWP)
July 4-10, 2016  StreetWise (formerly Crosswalk, Philadelphia, Pa. (CEN)
July 22-25, 2016  Margins Conference (FGBC) 
July 26-31, 2016  Momentum Youth Conference (CEN)
October 16, 2016   Day Away: North of 55, Dublin, Ohio
November 20, 2016   Day Away: North of 55, Duncansville, Pa. (CEN)
 
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 lcgates@bmhbooks.com.
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