The reports from the devastation of the flooding in West Virginia continue to amaze me. However, the response to this disaster reminds me of the heart of people and especially the body of Christ. In talking with pastors in the affected areas, their focus has been on helping the families in their communities. The churches damaged by the flood are getting on their feet so they can respond to the needs of people; this effort shows a heart for ministry that reflects Christ’s love. It has also been great to hear about the response of people and churches around the Advent Christian family. The individuals that have organized work teams and churches that have already begun to collect funds to help those in need, shows the willingness of our people to put their time and money into showing God’s love.
News from our Latin America Area Director John Gilbert
The outreach churches of La Paz recently held their annual youth retreat. It is not normally attended by the youth of the church, but by the youth of the community. Pastor Juan and his church leadership held the retreat at the Christian Camp “Rancho el Camino” just outside of La Paz. The retreat included some very deep preaching about lifestyle changes that needed to be made among the individual youth, as well as motivation of the possibilities of the youth’s impact on the community as they follow Christ’s example. As there should be at a camp, there was plenty of good food and a necessary portion of playtime.
GOSPEL LIGHT SUNDAY SCHOOL CURRICULUM
David C. Cook recently became the home of Gospel Light Curriculum. To date, there will not be any changes in the materials. The ACGC Resource Center would be happy to be of service to anyone who uses Gospel Light or would like to receive more information on it. We have recently received the order form and price list for the spring quarter. If you would like us to help you with your order, please let us know. We consider it a privilege to be of service to you.
Phone: 1-800-676-0694 x221
Gospel Light website address (www.gospellight.com)
Did you know that our mission fields reported a total of 4,451 baptisms in 2014? Did you know that 21 new churches were planted by our international conferences last year? The membership of Advent Christian churches outside North America is 50,356. The funding of our outreach ministries is primarily dependent upon our annual appeal through Penny Crusade. Last year, the receipts from Penny Crusade funded 87% of the total Outreach operational budget. We are truly grateful for the tremendous support of our missions, missionaries and field leaders. I hope the figures above will be an encouragement to those of you who contributed to the harvest and planting recorded in 2014.
News from Asia Pacific Area Directors Jeff and Penny Vann
The image that comes to some people’s minds when we talk about a church service is a somber, quiet reflection on God in an atmosphere of neat, orderly worship. But some of the services at Takanini Community Church, an Advent Christian Church in South Auckland, New Zealand are anything but that. There are games, toys and learning exercises going on all over the place. Instead of everybody facing a speaker in rows of pews, most often big kids are working on projects in small groups, or small kids are playing together or singing and dancing together, with lots of noise and a bit of controlled chaos.
A few years ago, Takanini Church made the decision to really be a community church. They have worship services, and can be quiet and somber when the time calls for it, but what really sets Takanini Community Church (TCC) apart is its ministry to people not just from the church fellowship, but in the community.
Every Wednesday, there is Noah’s Ark Playgroup, where small kids from the community come together and enjoy playing with each other within the church’s fellowship hall and lounge, and on the church grounds. Later, the kids and their parents enjoy singing and dancing at our Mainly Music event. It’s like a really lively Sunday school, but it’s designed for those kids and their parents who do not go to church. It’s a way of introducing them to fellowship, wholesome fun, and Christian life without the formal structures of membership.