GraceConnect E-News, No. 68, Week of October 6, 2014

Communication-Conversation-Conservation

The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
Last month, eight men from Grace Community Church in Goshen, Ind. (Jim Brown, pastor) traveled to wartorn Iraq, bringing aid and the message of Jesus' love.

Helping Brothers in Need

It’s been all over the headlines.

In the Middle East, Christians are 
are being forced to flee their homes as refugees, targets of persecution and murder from a group known as ISIS, a radical Islamic group famous for their brutality. As we read about the horrors unfolding across the ocean, we have wondered what we can do to help.

Last month, eight men from Grace Community Church in Goshen, Ind. (Jim Brown, pastor) traveled to wartorn northern Iraq for nine days, facing danger up-close-and-personal to bring 16 trunks full of medical supplies and $65,000 in cash for relief efforts. And since their return, they have opened up opportunities for others to do something, too.
 
“We had a lot of naysayers,” said Ted Rondeau, executive administrator and missions and outreach director at Grace. “The idea came in the midst of preaching through 1 John, where [Pastor] Jim was admonishing the church family through those passages, which say, ‘If you see a brother in need, help him.’ It was one of those things when the Lord speaks… and He said ‘Okay, here’s your chance to practice what you preach. What are you going to do?’"
 
You can read the full story on
Pastor Jim Brown’s blog, as well as the two-part feature about the trip that appeared in The Goshen News, here and here. The stories are still pouring out. In what the men have described to be an ordained work of God, they felt the presence of the Holy Spirit with them during the trip, despite the imminent dangers and aura of fear pervading the country.
 
“In Ephesians 4 it talks about making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil,” said Rondeau. “We call those kairos moments…a unique moment in time that a window of opportunity presents itself and provides a powerful moving of God’s spirit to move the nations to Himself. We found ourselves in Iraq, the top of the list of unreached people groups.  And ISIS is the darkest expression of Islam that exists on the planet. A crisis like this happens and it completely melts hard hearts. The Muslim people looking in the face of ISIS seeing what their faith stands for…and they are open to considering the gospel.”
 
But the question remains: What can you do?
 
Well, the group of men have returned with a gameplan, and they are spreading it far and wide.
 
“Right now we are raising more funds to move people out of tents and from under bridges into more permanent housing in Erbil,” said Rondeau. “During our trip there we were able to secure six apartments in a complex that were of sufficient size for two families.”
 
In the next couple of months,
Grace4Iraq (as they have dubbed the project) will send a team back to Iraq to further the vision of the church plant and outreach.
 
“This is a unique opportunity for the church to rise up and not only be the hands and feet of Jesus and...help with the physical needs, but a tremendously unique opportunity in history to bring the words of the Gospel in and with it new life and new hope to people whose lives are in shambles,” said Rondeau.
 
This past Sunday, Grace Community took a special offering in the effort to raise $115,000 towards the housing project. Read more about the project
here and here, and click here to donate to Grace4Iraq.  

From Around the Web...

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

Home Forever, a ministry that encourages adoption and led by Johnston Moore, a member of the Grace Brethren Church, Long Beach, Calif. (Lou Huesmann, pastor) is one of the official charities of the 2014 Long Beach Marathon on October 12. Click here if you'd like to support the ministry in this way.

Randy Smith, pastor at Grace Church in Sebring, Fla., blogs over at The Wandering Shepherd, where he shares Bible studies and leadership lessons. In his latest post, "The Syrup Principle," he takes a close look at Galatians in efforts to "get to the heart" of Paul's message. Read it here

Living on the Rock is the podcast and blog of Capt. Pete Stone, Grace Brethren army chaplain. In this interview with Bryan Eck, one of the lead pastors at Irving Bible Church (a large church in a diverse suburb of Dallas), Stone talks about the horrific problem of sex trafficking in the U.S. and shares what one church has done to help victims heal. Click here to listen. 
 
Prophecy: Things to Come
This week's featured book

Prophecy: Things to Come
By James Boyer

Have recent movies about end times topics left you with questions? Are you curious about past and future prophecies in the Bible? Prophecy: Things to Come covers major themes of Bible prophecy in a concise way. Clear terminology and helpful outlines help the reader better understand the practical value of prophetic teaching.

Regularly priced at $7.99, now available ONLY for subscribers of GraceConnect eNews at 50% off! Simply use the code "LeftBehind" when you purchase the book. (Code is case sensitive.) Click here to buy Prophecy: Things to Come. Offer is only good through midnight Tuesday, October 14, 2014.

Events in the FGBC

October 11-12 50th Anniversary Celebration, Grace Polaris, Columbus, Ohio
October 17-19  Leadership Summit (WGUSA)
October 20-22  – East Focus Retreat, Holiday Inn and Suites, Ocean City, Md. (FGBC)
November 11-24 – Cambodia GO Team (WGUSA)
January 26-28, 2015  –  Southwest Focus Retreat, location to be announced (FGBC)
March 16-18, 2015 – South Focus Retreat, Florida FFA Training Center, Haines City, Fla. (FGBC)
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 lcgates@bmhbooks.com.
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