Friday, June 29, 2012

Travis Air Force Base Mission Trip Report #2

The last few days have been a whirlwind of activity. On Tuesday we went over to San Francisco to visit Nate Hanson and see his ministry at San Francisco City Impact. You can check out his ministry to people in the city by clicking here. It was really neat to get to experience the work Nate does there in the adopt a building program.

We have been very busy with helping in VBS, serving food, painting at the Hospitality House, and spending time with airmen. Each night we have team devotions where we pray together and encourage each other from the scriptures. God has been faithful to answer our prayers.

Please be in prayer for our team today as this is the last day of VBS, our last day of painting, and the end of our time with the airmen. Pray for God to open doors for sharing the gospel. Pray for Mark Maricle as he speaks at the Hospitality House tonight. Pray for us to have servant hearts that loves kids, airmen, and each other.

Slovenia Mission Prayer Request

Wes Rogers wrote requesting prayer for this evening's gospel presentation at English Camp in Slovenia:

Tonight is gospel presentation night. Kids will be hearing that the Bible is relevant to today's choices. And that God loves them and is greater than their problems. Kids will be challenged to choose Jesus as the answer. Pray that our speaker Jim will have clarity of thought and words, the Slovene translators will have wisdom in choosing words, that kids will take steps towards God, some even choosing to follow Jesus, and that Satan will be pushed far away from camp!

Pray 10 am to 4 pm Portland time, 7pm to 1 am our time. GOD has been at work and tonight will be a life changing time for us all! Thanks for praying.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Anna's Utah Team Report

June 28, 2012

As the fourth day of Sports Camp ends I am happy to report that fifteen campers decided to make Jesus their King today. I know there are many people out there who would like to play this down, but I couldn’t be more convinced that God is changing hearts and lives. Even within my huddle group of 5th graders, who seem to have already accepted the Gospel, He is producing much fruit. The conversations that are happening every day remind me of why I'm even in Utah in the first place. Seeing a child truly grasp the seriousness of their sin and then go on to acknowledge the saving power of their Savior is a beautiful thing. Reminding me of the truth that “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” is comforting in the midst of meeting these young believers. God has blessed me immensely through these loving girls, my amazing co-leader from Alpine, and of course the daily reminders of the Gospel in its simplest form: Big God, Big Problem, Big Solution, Big Change, and Big Joy! Aside from Sports Camp, I can sense the team maturing and growing in their walks with Christ. One of the most exciting things I've experienced on this trip is witnessing the younger students' ever-increasing involvement. Not only have they served selflessly for the past six days, but they have been swift to cast all of the credit on the One who is worthy of glory, honor, and power. Not once have I heard any remarks concerning self-reliance or even self-congratulations, rather every night I'm hearing God's name be praised more than the night before. I am amazed by the work God is doing in their lives. Early on in the trip, it was almost embarrassing how easy one could have this mindset of self-determination. Even as I went about doing the various service projects, I could feel myself start to think that I don't actually need God in order to paint this wall. I was frustrated and disappointed with the tasks because I believed that we should have been doing something more worthwhile. This attitude is foolish. Most of our lives revolve around the menial and insignificant tasks. Our daily schedules are consumed with jobs that could be seen as boring, stagnate, and lacking in spirituality. This is only the case because we often make it so. Personally, I do go about my life with an overwhelming amount of pride, which encourages me to belittle God's Hand in those tasks. If I would only acknowledge my need for an all-powerful God all-day-every-day, just imagine how those unassuming tasks could be used for His Kingdom! I know He is faithful. We could use lots of prayer. Energy for our last day at Sports Camp tomorrow, as we want to love on those kids as much as possible before we say good-bye, and also prayer that God would continue to humble us and have us trust in Him completely. Hope life is going well at home! We miss you all! -Anna Alcutt, senior

Utah Team Report

Monday night I journaled:

"Aching legs.
Feet worn sore.
Backs strained.
Laughter spreading contagious.
Repetitive brush strokes.

Long hours.
United team.
Hearts full.
Smiles inerasable.
He answers prayers for restoration, for strong voices, for growth in coaches, for kids (111!), for sufficient help, for united team, for patience, for energy. The days aren’t without failures, imperfections, and strife. But as He continues to work on us, He supplies us with sufficient grace.” 

The report today is the same. It has been a very different week from our group’s missions trip two years ago to Juneau, AL, or our at-home missions trip last year, but the verdict is the same—God is still exceeding our expectations. He is still faithful. He continues to answer prayer. We prayed for the right amount of workers, and we get exactly the right amount of help from Alpine—the right amount of guy coaches for the overload of young boys and just the right number of girl coaches. We prayed for personal spiritual growth, and every night as we debrief, we hear story after story of God’s work in our hearts. Kids are opening up, making decisions to follow Jesus, and loving every minute of Sports Camp. We asked for energy, and God has miraculously seen us through. We prayed for good relationships with Alpine and God is doing it! So keep praying!
The last two days of Sports Camp are yet to come, a couple more work projects on the way, more interactions with Alpine church. We anticipate that the best is yet to come!
 “Every step we are breathing in your grace.
Ever more we’ll be breathing out your praise.
You are faithful. God, you are faithful!”
(Never Alone, Matt Redman) 
 -- Report by Lauren Reavely for the team

Monday, June 25, 2012

Travis Air Force Base Mission Trip Report #1

Bruised hands, paint in the hair, sleep deprivation, home-made cookies, and lots of new friends- these are just a few of the experiences of the team from New Life Church that is serving at Travis Air Force Base and the hospitality house that reaches out to the airmen and their families.

Therefore my dear brothers, stand firm, let nothing move you, always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain (1 Cor. 15:18). This has been the theme verse for our team as we have sought to labor in the Lord's work here in California. We've worked hard setting up for VBS and then serving during the first day, we've worked hard painting at the hospitality house, we've worked hard playing volleyball with airmen (thus the bruised hands), we've worked hard at building relationships with new friends, and we've worked hard eating cookies (oh ya that was a perk). Seriously, our team is operating on a little less sleep than normal, but we are encouraged that nothing is impossible with God. We are standing firm, we are seeking to abide in Christ, we are worshiping together, and trusting the Lord to give us the strength to do well in this ministry for the glory of God. We are encouraged that our labor in the Lord is not in vain!

Please pray for us tomorrow as we will serve at VBS again and then head into San Francisco to see Nate Hanson in the Tenderloin. Pray for our hearts to be filled with the love of Christ for each other, for children, for airmen, and for the hurting of San Francisco.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Slovenia Mission Report #2

Wes and Shelly Rogers are just wrapping up their training for the English Camp ministry they are serving with in Slovenia. They are serving along side their daughter Stephanie, three college aged interns from the USA, and several Slovene team members. They will meet the Slovene members of their team this afternoon. They are very excited to have the entire team together.

They have 34 campers registered, ages 12 to 16, a huge answer to prayer for the Slovene Josiah Venture Ministry. Camp starts Saturday afternoon. Everyone is feeling well, looking forward to start of camp.

Wes says, "Thanks for your prayers and keep praying for courage, strength, humility, and wisdom. Hopefully we'll have some pictures in the next few days."

Friday, June 22, 2012

Remaining in Prayer

It has been two weeks since Prayer Week; lives have picked up with unrelenting schedules again and summer vacations have begun. How do we stay connected to our Heavenly Father when life doesn't stop?

Here are three quick encouragements to stay connected with the Father every day:

  1. We pray because when we don't, we waste our time and efforts. Jesus tells us in John 15:5 that when we abide, we bear fruit, but apart from Him we can do nothing. If we are not staying connected to the Father, all of our self-effort will be fruitless. That means that all of our time is wasted if we are not abiding.
  2. We pray because when we pray, God answers prayer and is glorified. John 15:7-8 says that when we abide in Him, we can, "ask whatever [we] wish, and it will be done for [us]. By this [the] Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples." It is in asking that we are able to bear much fruit and God is glorified. As God's people, our greatest joy comes from being in His presence and seeing Him glorified. Through prayer we get to do both of those things.
  3. We pray because we are Jesus' friends and can hear from Him. We don't pray because we are required to or because we merely want to air our list of requests and complaints to God, but because, like any friend, we want to talk with Him. John 15:15 says, "but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you." When we pray and listen, God will not only answer our requests, but will speak to us as well. May we all be friends of God through prayer.
For more on prayer and hearing from God, download June's free audiobook, "Hearing God" by Dallas Willard, from ChristianAudio. Or listen to the sermon on John 15:1-17.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Rogers arrive in Slovenia

Wes and Shelly Rogers have arrived in Slovenia where they are assisting their daughter, New Life Church missionary Stephanie Rogers, in running an English Camp for Slovenian youth. Below is their travel report for the first day and some things for you to pray about for them.

Just a quick note that all arrived in Slovenia just fine, humanoids and baggage. I'm the baggage..... Hot and muggy, lots of sweat. Training starts tonight in the capital city of Ljubljana and then up to the camp on Sunday morning.
Stephanie says "thank you so much" for the duct tape and the athletic stuff that the New Life Awana Clubs collected. Praise God that the camp is pretty much full with 35 Slovene youth registered, which is almost twice as many as last year. Please pray for effective training, team unity, and that we will have courage to share God's love with the campers and to build meaningful relationships.

If you'd like to see a video of what camp will be like for the Rogers and the youth attending, click here.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Coffee Cart is Officially Closed for Summer

Our wonderful, energetic, early rising Coffee Cart volunteers served their last cup of coffee for the school year this morning.  Coffee Cart served 15,477 students and staff this year which far exceeded last year's record of 10,034.  May 31 was a record setting day this year on which 149 people dropped in for a hot drink, a sweet snack and a friendly smile.  We are very grateful for our volunteers and for Albertson's and Willamette Coffee House who donated donuts and pastries.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mission Trip to Slovenia

Wes and Shelley Rogers will be going on a mission trip to Slovenia June 19-July 7. They will be serving in an English Camp along side of their daughter, New Life Church missionary, Stephanie Rogers. The Camp is located in the Gorenjska region of Slovenia, commonly referred to as the Julian Alps near the borders of Italy, Austria, and Slovenia. Wes says, "I’m excited to show these Slovene junior high students the love of Christ, the love of an extended family by working alongside my daughter and wife (definitely a change to normal Slovene life), and that God is real, is personal, and is ready to welcome these students into His family through the gift of His Son Jesus." Please pray for health, wisdom and discernment, and unity among the camp staff. Also, pray for the Slovene staff members who are high school/college aged believers who are shining God’s light to their generation.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Travis Air Force Base Mission Trip

On June 23-30 this team of people from New Life Church will be going on a mission trip to Travis AFB in Fairfield, California (not pictured- Cindy Sollers). We will be helping to conduct a Vacation Bible School on the base for about 200 children of military personnel. In the afternoons we will be helping to paint at a hospitality house run by Cadence International. In the evenings we will be ministering to airmen and their families who attend Bible Studies at the hospitality house.

Our team is excited to see what God will do as we pray and trust Him to use us to proclaim the gospel. The team would like you to pray for these things:

  • Unity- Ephesians 4:2-3
  • Life Transformation Colossians 3:1-10
  • Faith- James 1:5-7
  • Perseverance- Galatians 6:9-10
  • Gospel Proclamation- Colossians 4:2-6

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

A Reason to Pray

A few years ago I was talking with a friend about God and prayer. He told me that he had only truly prayed once. When I asked him what happened he said, “I was living in the city and I needed to get around, so I prayed to God for a bike. A few days later I was in the apartment laundry room and there was a bike with a ‘free’ sign on it.”

“Why haven’t you prayed since,” I asked.

He replied, “I figured if prayer was that powerful, I should save it for special occasions.”

I think this should be reason to pray on more occasions not less. When we pray we do two things: we make known our requests to God (Phil. 4:6), and we make ourselves aware of our specific needs. God is always at work, giving us what we need. When we ask Him for specific things, we are more aware when he provides them.

There may be times and reasons that God doesn’t give us the things that we ask for. In Matthew 7:11, Jesus tells us that if we know how to give good gifts to our children, “how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Jesus also says, “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13). God is generous. When we ask, God answers in love so that we will be blessed and praise Him.

Try asking God for something specific this week; ask for physical needs, wisdom, encouragement, or something else. See if He responds. It may increase your faith.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Utah Mission Trip

Take a look at this handsome bunch! Are they models for rock gardens and fancy signage? Nope, its our IGNITE mission team (minus Sydney and John)! The team takes off for Ogden, Utah on June 22nd after finishing two Sports Camps at New Life Robinwood and New Life Wilsonville. They will be serving our friends at Alpine Church and reuniting with Scott and Melanie Creps (former New Life Church interns).

It will be a busy trip with service projects, neighborhood canvassing, H2O homeless outreach, cultural education, and what is shaping up to be the biggest Sports Camp New Life Church has ever been a part of! Please pray that the good news they are prepared to share finds welcoming hearts in Utah, and that the gospel sinks deeper into their own hearts as well. Pray that they serve Alpine well and further the local mission. Pray that young leaders would develop and that the return flight would be a launch into the mission field here at home.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Czech Republic Mission Trip

On July 3-18, Justin Schroeder and Karen Hellweg will be traveling with a small team to serve with Josiah Venture in the Czech Republic. This is the same organization that our missionary Stephanie Rogers serves with in Slovenia.

The Czech Republic (formerly Czechoslovakia) is one of the most atheistic countries in the world, as much of Christianity in Czech was repressed during the largely communistic rule during the 1900′s. Consequently, most Czechs are exceedingly skeptical of religion and deny that there is any sort of God or spiritual world at all, and less than one third of one percent of the country professes Christianity.

Yet a new generation is rising; the youth of Czech are young men and women who have lived free from the Communist regime, and who are growing into strong and open-minded leaders. Josiah Venture seeks to invest into the lives of these individuals, and to see “a movement of God among the youth of Central and Eastern Europe that finds its home in the local church and transforms society.”

Justin Schroeder was asked to assemble a small team of Americans to go and help run an English Camp. These camps are great tools for ministry, as the students come to learn English but also hear about Christ and build deep relationships throughout the whole week. He will be leading a team of six young adults, hailing from both Denver and Portland.

Please pray for the team—for strength and health amidst travel and spiritual warfare, as well as God’s leading in the lives of each individual. Pray for our English Camp, that He would use it to bear much fruit, both this summer and into the future. Pray that He would continue to do a mighty work in the students and future leaders of the Czech Republic.