Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Alaska Report Day 5-7

We are back online here in Alaska...
In my last post I promised an update on the fishing trip. Cale, Lee, Larry, and Darin set out with Dan (Cadence Missionary here) for a 3 hour drive to fish on the Russian River. The fellas saw some "Alaskan" wildlife along the way and had a great time fishing. Larry got 1 Salmon and Dan got two. The weary fishermen arrived home at 7:30 AM on Sunday morning... tired, wet, and cold, but thankful for the opportunity to fish in Alaska.

On Sunday morning, the rest of our crew (Louise, Donna, and Nathan along with the Metko's grandchildren) went on a pack rafting trip. We hiked about two miles with 1 man rafts on our backs, and then put in for a beautiful raft ride on the Eagle River.

It was our privilege to go to the chapel worship service at Elmendorf Airforce Base on Sunday evening. About 50 airmen and family members gathered for a spirited worship service. We heard a sermon on the Prodigal son that really drove home the initiative of the Father in restoring relationship with us.

Monday and Tuesday have both been very productive work days for the team. Today we finished the "shop" portion of the ministry center. Before closing up the final wall, we had a dedication ceremony in which each team member wrote a scripture and a prayer on a card and nailed them into the wall. We prayed for the hospitality house and encouraged the Evans family in their ministry here.

Please pray for perserverence and efficiency for the team. We have just two work days left before we head out on the camping trip/retreat over the 4th of July weekend. Thanks for praying for us and for giving us the opportunity to be... Your Alaska Mission Team!

Monday, June 29, 2009

It's a girl!

Lucy Joy Hochstettler was born June 29th at around 3:15 a.m. and weighed in at 7lb 11.5 oz and is 18.5 inches long. Those who have seen her confirm that she is adorable. Congratulations Josh, Elaine and big sister Iris!

Alaska Team disconnected from the outside world!

The Alaska Team is experiencing technical difficulties. Their internet access is temporarily down. The repairman is supposed to fix it tomorrow so, hopefully, they will be able to post another update tomorrow night. Pastor Nathan called to say that Sunday was a day off from work and they got to attend Chapel at the base, which they all enjoyed. Please keep them in your prayers.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Alaska Mission Trip Day 4

Today was another day of work on our projects. However, since the team was a bit weary, there seemed to be a little more relaxation going on around the house than in previous days. We took a break at lunch to have a feast of wild Alaskan game. I think the Caribou was the team favorite. Some on the team, plunged on in the work with much intensity. Others took more of a playful approach. We had a surprise visit from "Wilson" from the TV show Home Improvement, and an angry "nail man" also terrorized our team photographer. In all it was a productive day. Some of the guys went fishing tonight. We will give you a report on how successful they were on tomorrow's post. Others on the team are going on a short raft trip on our day off tomorrow. We will attend church tomorrow night at the chapel at Elmendorf Airforce Base. Until tomorrow...

Your Alaska Mission Team!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Alaska Mission Trip Day 3

Today was another day of work on various projects and a night of ministry with the single military personnel. Donna and Larissa (Metko's granddaughter) and Barb Evans worked on organizing a storage space. Lee, Nathan, and Caleb (Metko's grandson) worked on putting up sheeting in ministry center. Larry, Darin, and Cale continued work on the tile in the bathroom. Louise and Beryl went shopping and kept us well fed.

The ministry night with the single soldiers was much more lively than with the married folks last night. Like last night, we shared a meal and opened God's word together. But that was just the beginning. As I type it is 10 minutes after 11:00 PM and the house is still full of soldiers.

The festivities have included a guitar hero fest, a wrestling competition, marshmallow hot potatoe (ask us later), and a crazy card game called Mao. These soldiers are very hungry for relationships, and the Hospitality House provides a great place for them to meet other soldiers and enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Please keep praying for us. Our team is seeming to be a bit weary tonight after two full work days and two late nights of ministry. Pray for perseverance. Pray that we would be encouragers to one another and to the ministry here at MCHH.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Alaska Mission Trip- Day 2

Our whole team got a really good night of sleep last night, in spite of the all-night-light of the sun. We began the day today with a time of devotion from Matthew 25 and prayer for the day and for the ministry here at Mountain Chapel Hospitality House (MCHH).

Most of the day was spent working on construction projects. Lee and Nathan worked on framing walls in the ministry center. Darin and Larry worked on the bathroom project. Louise did shopping and meal preparation along with Beryl Metko. Paul Metko and his grandson Caleb worked on putting in a new horseshoe pit. Cale and Donna stapled plastic to the top of 20 cords of fire wood and did other small projects.

In the evening we transitioned into helping with the ministry night for the Hospitality House. Thursday is the night that married couples and their kids come to the house. The ladies prepared a meal for the whole crew of 44 people. Louise Bennett shared her testimony this evening. She shared about being young in her faith with two kids and a husband away in Vietnam. She shared how God has sustained her and been faithful to her all of these years. I think the story of God helping them to be faithful to one another through 40 years of marriage really impacted these young families. The Bible Study this evening was a lively discussion of Titus 1, and the call of God on the lives of elders. Well, that is about all I will share this evening. Please see the pictures below of the ministry night, and continue to pray for our work of sharing the gospel as well as our lives here in Alaska.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Alaska Mission Trip- Day 1

Rise and shine! The Alaska Mission Team departed from the church at 3:30 this morning. (You can see a picture of some of the weary travelers to the left). Tim O'Gara was kind enough to drive us up to Sea-Tac Airport to catch our 8:00 AM flight. Everything went very smoothly with travel, and we arrived in Anchorage at 10:30 AM. After a quick lunch we immediately got to work examining the work site and planning what materials to buy. Later Lee and Darin went out for supplies while the rest of the team got to work on demolition. Yes! (See picture to the right of Cale, Donna, and Larry ripping out tile).

The Mountain Chapel Hospitality House lies in a beautiful valley between two mountains. The mountain out the front door is called Mount Magnificent, and we can truly see the magnificence of our Great Creator here! (To the right is a picture of Mountain Chapel Hospitality House with Mount Magnificient looming in the distance).

Dan and Barb Evans are the missionaries with Mountain Chapel Hospitality House here in Eagle River, Alaska. (See a picture of them to the left). Their two kids Audrey (5) and Caleb (10) are precious and have become fast friends of the team. The ministry hosts about 60 soldiers and family members at their home each week. Dan also leads many outdoor adventure activities for the soldiers. They seek to provide a family atmosphere for the soldiers in which they can become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.

Please pray for our team as we seek to assist them in this effort. Our biggest prayer for tonight is that we would get good rest. We are all tired from a very long day. It is currently 10:30 PM and it looks like it is 5:30 PM outside. They say the sun goes down just enough to have a nice dusk before it rises again. Please check back every day for more prayer requests and exciting adventures of your Alaska Mission Team.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Middle School Graduation

Middle school celebrated with our graduates on Wednesday 6/17 as they move up to High School. They were challenged to depend on God for their wisdom and strength to be servants and Champions for Christ in their lives and as part of the High School Ignite team. Each of the students were commissioned for further service by their parents. The parents recounted how much their student had grown spiritually and in maturity over the last 3 years and then challenged them to be mature servant leaders as they moved forward. Cheri served banana splits to the 25 students and parents in attendance!

This video recaps the 2008-2009 year an highlights our graduates.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Follow-up from All-Church Meeting.

We had a great turnout on Sunday night for our all-church meeting and strawberry feast. In fact, the social team had to go get more supplies!

The key items in the meeting were as follows:

  • New Members: Terry Montgomery, Keith Richardson, Rudy & Audette Ventura, and John & Sheila Gardner were introduced as new members. Welcome and congratulations!
  • A Financial Summary: Given the effect the economy is having on so many individuals and on other churches, New Life Church is remarkably stable. We have spent about $2,000 more than we've taken in year to date. That is less than 1% difference between income and expenses!
  • Remodel Updates: We are still about $10,000 underfunded for the Riverfalls building remodel and about $15,000 still to go for the Robinwood upgrades. Thanks for remembering these improvements with your gifts.
  • Oregon City Update: The church is doing well. They took over 80 people into membership and baptized 3 on May 31st. They love Aaron and Amanda. Our church will decide in August whether to extend an invitation them to become a part of New Life Church. They will, then, respond to the invitation in October. Please pray for this process.
  • An introduction to a Wilsonville opportunity: A church in Wilsonville, Canyon Creek Church, will be closing at the end of this month. We've been talking to their pastor about becoming part of New Life Church, about their people joining us in West Linn and about us incubating a church plant that would go back to Wilsonville in the next couple years. He will preach at Riverfalls on July 5th and at Robinwood on July 19th. This would be a great thing to add to your prayers, too. Thank you.
If you have questions or thoughts about this, please leave a comment. Thanks.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Follow-up from Sunday's message

Quotes on idolatry:

  • "Whatever we love most, and are most anxious to retain and please—whatever it be we depend most upon for happiness and help—whatever has most of our hearts—that is, in effect, is our God!" – John Angell James
  • "What is an idol? Is not this the essence of the idea conveyed by the word, that an idol occupies that place in our esteem and affections, in our thoughts, words and ways, in our dependence and reliance, in our worship and devotedness, which is due to God only?" – J.C. Philpot
  • "Idolatry is a worship, in which the honor due to the Triune God, and to God only, is given to some of His creatures, or to some invention of His creatures." – J.C. Ryle
  • "Sin isn’t only doing bad things, it is more fundamentally making good things into ultimate things. Sin is building your life and meaning on anything, even a very good thing, more than on God. Whatever we build our life on will drive us and enslave us. Sin is primarily idolatry." – Tim Keller
David Clarkson (1622-1686), “Soul Idolatry Keeps Men Out of Heaven,” diagnostic list:
  1. Esteem. That which we most highly value we make our God. For estimation is an act of soul worship.
  2. Mindfulness. That which we are most mindful of we make our God. To be most remembered, to be most minded, is an act of worship which is proper to God, and which he requires as due to himself alone.
  3. Intention. That which we most intend we make our god; for to be most intended is an act of worship due only to the true God; for he being the chief good must be the last end.
  4. Resolution. What we are most resolved for we worship as God.
  5. Love. That which we must love we worship as our God; for love is an act of soul-worship.
  6. Trust. That which we most trust we make our god; for confidence and dependence is an act of worship which the Lord calls for as due only to himself.
  7. Fear. That which we most fear we worship as our god; for fear is an act of worship.
  8. Hope. That which we make our hope we worship as God; for hope is an act of worship.
  9. Desire. That which we most desire we worship as our god; for that which is chiefly desired, is the chief good in his account who so desires it; and what he counts his chief good, that he makes his god.
  10. Delight. That which we most delight and rejoice in, that we worship as God; for transcendent delight is an act of worship due only to God; and this affection, in its height and elevation, is called glorying.
  11. Zeal. That for which we are more zealous we worship as god; for such a zeal is an act of worship due only to God ; therefore it is idolatrous to be more zealous for our own things than for the things of God; to be eager in our own cause, and careless in the cause of God; to be more vehement for our own credit, interests, advantages, than for the truths, ways, honour of God; to be fervent in spirit, in following our own business, promoting our designs, but lukewarm and indifferent in the service of God; to count it intolerable for ourselves to be reproached, slandered, reviled, but manifest no indignation when God is dishonoured, his name, worship, profaned; his truths, ways, people, reviled.
  12. Gratitude. That to which we are most grateful, that we worship as God; for gratitude is an act of worship.
  13. When our care and industry is more for other things than for God. We cannot serve God and mammon, God and our lusts too, because this service of ourselves, of the world, takes up that care, that industry, those endeavours, which the Lord must have of necessity, if we will serve him as God; and when these are laid out upon the world and our lusts, we serve them as the Lord ought to be served, and so make them our gods.
Why Jesus is superior to idols -- a summary list from 1st John:
  • He is the Word of Life.
  • He is Life itself.
  • He is the Son of God.
  • He is Light.
  • He is The righteous one.
  • He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
  • He is the Truth.
  • He sends the Anointing that teaches.
  • He is Righteous.
  • God is the Loving Father.
  • He is Pure.
  • He laid down his life for you.
  • He responds to prayer.
  • He came in the flesh.
  • He is greater in you than the one who is in the world.
  • God is love.
  • He is the savior of the world, sent by the Father.
  • God is Invisible.
  • God loved us first.
  • The Spirit is truth.
  • He is the one born of God who keeps us from the evil one
  • He is true God and Eternal Life.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Baby Shower for Meredith Curteman on Saturday, June 13th

The ladies of New Life Church are invited to a baby shower for baby boy Curteman who is expected to arrive soon. The shower will take place at NLC Riverfalls beginning at 2:00. If you have questions, please contact Elaine Hochstettler, Amanda Orendorff or Julia McBride.

Wayne and Glenna Spray Celebrate 65th Wedding Anniversary

Who is that handsome couple? It's Wayne and Glenna Spray! Congratulations to Wayne and Glenna who were married on June 11, 1944.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

From Cris Austen and Family

To our church family,
Once again I want to convey appreciation to our church family for your acts of kindness and sweet messages of love and encouragement. God has been faithful in caring for us through you. His grace has been more than sufficient over these days and we are nothing but grateful to the Lord for our dad's life and the memories we cherish.

Cris Austen and family

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Strawberry Social and All-Church Meeting, June 14th

Everyone who attends New Life Church is encouraged to be at this very important all-church meeting. Even though no voting will take place, we will be discussing some topics that will have an immediate and long-lasting affect on our church. So whether you have attended here two weeks or two decades or more, please plan to be at New Life Church Riverfalls on Sunday, June 14th at 6 p.m. And, yes, we will be serving a delicious strawberry dessert!

Greetings from Ostia

Dear Brothers and Sisters:
Thank you very much for your participation in the sharing of the Gospel in Ostia. Your support and encouragement are very precious to us. May God bless you.
Sincerely, Anna and Michele