Messages of Praise from the Iski Church
Our new Iski brothers & sisters are full of joy from their faith in Jesus Christ, but they still need your prayers.
Here are some messages for you from your brothers and sisters in Christ:
“Lidia’s death, few weeks ago really amazed us all, it was just different to
what we are used to. Before, we were so afraid that when someone would die, we would not be able to sleep alone, we would gather under mosquito nets and talk together to reassure ourselves. But Lidia died in peace,
professing her faith in Jesus & it really did quite an impression.
I remember once when you sat with us; that day Lidia asked you all her questions and you answered them. After you left, that afternoon, she told me, ‘I understand why Jesus came, I feel so light now!’ You are going to go for several months and I want to remember this. I will never forget what you taught us. Your families & your friends sent you; you came, you lived with us in this deep jungle, you sat with us, learnt our language and taught us God’s Word. We received this Good News with much joy; God saved us. We are so thankful!
Now we know that you did not do that work on your own strength. God helped you & all of those who prayed for us played an essential part in that work. You & all the ones who sent you, you helped lifting this weight from our shoulders. Like Lidia, we feel light & we are not afraid to die because we now know that in Jesus we have forgiveness of our sins. Please thank your friends & families on our behalf.” (Cecilia)
“Thank your family & friends for us for…supporting you all along & for praying for you & for us. Before, we were looking for a way to go to God without knowing Him; we tried so many things and it was really tiring. Now we know that all we have to do is believe in the death & resurrection of Jesus; by faith alone we are saved. When you go back to your country, tell them what God is doing here. Then, please come back because we still need help to grow!” (Alexia)
God-willing, we will fly to France mid-August for several months. It is not going to be easy to say goodbye -please pray for our children during this transition.
In Christ, André & Aurélie for the Iski TeamLocal Outreach
• Aspire Women’s Center – Laconia, NH http://www.aspirelaconia.org/
• Camp Good News – Charleston, NH
• Child Evangelism Fellowship http://childevangelismfellowshipnh.com/
• Love, Inc., Laconia, NH http://www.loveinclr.org/
• OnGoal Soccer Camp (Summer Outreach at EBC)
• WVNH NH Gospel Radio – Concord, NH http://www.nhgr.org/
• Salvation Army – Laconia, NH http://www.salvationarmy.org/
• Homeless Outreach – Salvation Sacks (Ongoing)
• Trajectory REC (gymnasium ministry) http://www.facebook.com/Trajectory-REC
• Servant Evangelism Team
Seth & Rochelle Callahan – New Tribes Mission, (Unreached Iski People Group) Papua, New Guinea http://blogs.ntm.org/seth-callahan/
Alice Childs – Word of Life, Philippines
Christian Aid Mission – assists indigenous missionaries in countries oversees
Dan & Michelle Dore – Itinerant missionaries in partnership with EBC – leadership / pastoral training in Guinea, West Africa
Michael & Nancy Dore – New Tribes Mission, Guinea, West Africa
Larry & Lula Filbert – Pioneers, US
Gospel for Asia (Ministers in darkest area of “10-40” window)
Tom & Lois Jackson – The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM), Zimbabwe
Wayne & Carol King – retired missionaries of Child Evangelism Fellowship
Rick & Ruth Odess – Missions Door (Lead short-term missions trips to inner-city North America, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Cambodia, Thailand & India
Larry & Melissa Strout – Avant Ministries, ArgentinaOperation Christmas Child – a program of
Samaritan’s Purse which sends shoebox gifts to children around the world http://www.samaritanspurse.org/
Nathaniel & Danielle Shrift – New Tribes Mission, Shrifts In Brazil
EVANGELICAL BAPTIST CHURCH OF LACONIA MISSIONS TEAM
PURPOSE, VISION, & STRATEGIC PLAN Revised August 20, 2015
To glorify God, serving Jesus Christ by fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19- 20) in making disciples, as we, through servant leadership, motivate, equip and involve the church family in global, national and local outreach. To make the gospel of Jesus Christ and the growth of His Kingdom a priority in the personal lives of our church family.
Become a loving community of believers, serving both the world (cross-culture) and the Lakes Region (same culture). Both the Mission Team and our church family members will be passionate about God’s heart for the lost, being personally involved through: sending of missionaries from our own church family; financially supporting missionaries outside of our church; and partaking in local outreach/evangelism;
In three years there will be an attitude of missions that will be infused in every church activity. Frequent contact each year with our missionaries will be the norm. Our budget for world missions will be increased from current levels. A long-term relationship with a cross-culture, unreached people group will be created.. At least one Missions Conference will be planned and held.
In three years our outreach to the Lakes Region will be raised to the same level as World Missions. The church family will be educated and energized to personally take an active role in our local outreach initiatives. The Gospel message, through this outreach, will be shared by our members with the Lakes Region community. We expectantly envision our Sanctuary/Worship Center being increasingly, and then consistently, filled with born again, committed worshipers (for two Sunday Morning services); so full that a church planting initiative can be implemented within 5 years.
CONCEPTS & GENERAL APPROACH
Missions, and its related evangelism outreach, are one of the most important areas in the life of a believer. Jesus Christ gave to us both a commission and a command (Matthew 28:19-20) – “to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them by observing
all things that I have commanded you….”. Acts 20:21 states “testifying to the Jews, and also the Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ”.
Our focus will be on the following;
- Bringing substantial attention to, educating and empowering our congregation oftheir responsibilities as a believer.
- Strengthening EBC’s World Missions. A major focus will be on adopting anunreached people group as a part of our World Missions program.
- Substantially growing and strengthening EBC’s Local Outreach/Evangelism.We need to think BIG, as Jesus seems to be indicating to us, yet begin in a manner which is initially achievable, organized and inspirational to both the Missions Team and our church family to fully place our trust in Jesus. EBC missions efforts are to be focused on growing God’s Kingdom. If we do our job of growing His Kingdom, while remaining in the center of His Will, it is anticipated that we will see the growth Jesus envisions in our own church family.World Missions
The Missions Team is already active and has a strong world focus. This focus needs though need to be honed with a more organized, goal oriented approach. An approach to continue missionary financial support levels; to develop criteria for continued support of current missionaries; to make frequent contact with those in the field; determine Missions Conference frequency; and support world ministries. Explore and implement the adoption of an unreached people group.Local Outreach and Evangelism
Substantially increase emphasis needs to be placed upon local outreach. Local Outreach requires a commitment to making a difference through relationships and partnerships with other organizations working to meet the needs in our community. EBC’s outreach exists to shine a light into our community by working with people, using and enhancing assets they have on hand, meeting them in their place of need, and walking with them through their Spiritual growth and healing. Structure our ministries and to inspire our own congregation to a lifestyle of sharing God’s love in their everyday lives by building bridges between the social and cultural divides in our community.
MISSIONS TEAM STRUCTURE
The Missions Team consists of a World Missions Sub-Team and a Local Outreach Sub- Team. Each Missions Team meeting is broken into thirds. Each meeting begins with both teams coming together to discuss common issues. The second portion of the meeting allows time for each Sub-Team, led by their respective leader, to discuss and plan for their own specific tasks. Both teams would then reconvene during the last third of the meeting to present goals and coordinate activities.
THREE (3) YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN:
Below is a 3-Year Strategic Plan for the Missions Team. In addition, a Missions Team Structure (flow chart) has also been prepared. In addition, an Action Plan (for the current FY 2015-2016) is attached.
- Develop and implement a comprehensive plan to educate and empower EBC’s congregation of their responsibilities as a believer in Jesus Christ. This will be our primary focus. Hold a Missions Course (perhaps through Small Groups) focused on World Missions each year.
- Create a manual of past and current Missions Team policies.
- Create an Action Plan for the coming year.
- Work with Pastor to create a Prayer Support Group and a Missions Promotions Team(a part of the Missions Team or as a Church-wide team).
- Plan and hold a Missions Conference in the spring of 2016 and the fall of 2017. Theemphasis will be on walking with people in need rather than just providing resourcesto those in need (Spiritual and/or physical).
- Continue Missions Moments opportunities for both world and local missionaries tospeak before the congregation.
- Partner with like-minded, bible-believing churches in the region to pool andimplement outreach activities.World Missions
- Maintain frequent contact with missionaries that we support. Identify and work towards meeting their expressed non-financial needs. Maintain contact with world mission sending agencies. Develop financial support goals.
- Research adopting a people group/organization. Select and finalize the relationship with the chosen group. Seek congregational approval for adoption.
Plan, implement the ongoing regional Operation Christmas Child, Christian Aid, and Gospel for Asia ministries; and to research world mission education opportunities. The support of each program will be assessed annually.
Local Outreach and Evangelism
- Develop a community partnership with area individuals and organizations, including other churches, that cooperate to use the assets of the community to solve problems to pursue positive changes. It is not the intention for EBC to lead any community partnership effort but to inspire others to lead and to share in developing ideas and helping in providing some of the needed resources and /or volunteers. EBC’s focus will be on displaying the Gospel message.
- Develop programs that encourage use of our Gymnasium facilities for the use of our membership as well as for our community (approved organizations). Plan for and hold at least 2 sporting events (IE: On-Goal Soccer, Upward basketball) during the first year, adding one additional event each year.
- Plan and hold at least 2 local outreach events during the first year, adding one additional event each year thereafter.
- Plan, implement the ongoing Salvation Army luncheon; Child Evangelism Fellowship; WVNH; CareNet; Angel Tree prison ministries. The support of each program will be assessed annually.
- Hold services to honor our region’s first responders, such as police, fire, and EMT.
- Re-establish and promote relationships with the bible believing churches developingpartnerships in which collectively we can provide ministries to meet the needs of our community/region. Hold prayer vigils.
December 16, 2015
This vision has been, and still is, being created over the past six months. During this period, I have been in prayer, but am still uncertain whether it reflects GOD’s Will. As the Bible states, we may develop a plan, but GOD directs our steps. Courage is putting one step in front of the other. One thing that I learned was that where GOD directs, HE also provides. I saw this in action many times during the entire building program.
Our Lakes Region is experiencing increasing darkness. Almost every day news stories appear featuring drug, alcohol, pornography, other addictions, and crime. There have been 342 drug deaths in New Hampshire so far this year and the total is expected to exceed 400. Our own region has also been experiencing numerous drug overdoses which resulted in death.
Since I have been living in this region (2003), numerous newspaper articles and media reports, came to my attention, that were centered upon addictions of various types, crime, etc. A map (see Appendix A), developed by Trulia, a real estate website, depicts areas where problems were most evident.
There are cults and Wiccan members and supply stores in Laconia and Belknap County. They appear to be gaining strength in our region.
Local churches appear to be stagnant, filled with disunity, or declining in growth. Our own facility became available when the Manchester Diocese decided to close two of their church complexes due to declining attendance and a reduction of available priests. EBC has seen weekly attendance approach 200, quickly plateau and then decline. This cycle has occurred several times since Gail and I joined the church.
The local economy has been in decline for some time. Empty storefronts, office and industrial buildings and lots are a manifestation of this weak economic condition. Economic Development groups have been working hard, but their efforts seem to remain unfruitful.
People feel lost, without hope, empty, and do not know how to cope with all that is occurring around them. We know that only Jesus Christ is the answer. But the Bible believing churches of our region, of which we are one, need to reach out in a meaningful manner to those around us.
A Vision Outline for Serious Times
Please review the Missions Team’s three year Purpose, Vision Strategic Plan as I did not want to restate it in this document. The focus areas for local outreach presented below are not in any specific order.
Government, civic groups, support groups, medical industry are focusing on directly helping and treating addicts, incarcerating and/or rehabilitating criminals, dealing with traffickers and providing associated services; in essence dealing with physical needs. This is what these groups do best. Perhaps we can help in certain areas, but our outreach will be really centered on reaching the lost; especially those who are searching and have no relationship with Jesus Christ. This is what the greater church does best; stimulating a new spiritual hunger within the community.
Appendix B presents a DRAFT timeline (over three years) that may be of help in our discussions, coordination and planning since local outreach actions need to be aligned with your vision for EBC.
Sustainable transformation of our region is needed. Initially, I was uncertain how this might be achieved. A video, “Transformations”, which came to my attention, provided a number of clues. I do not recall how this video became known to me, but I quickly realized how the power of prayer coupled with the Holy Spirit’s actions were the foundation upon which other communities have been transformed from darkness to light. These transformed communities are not perfect, but have seen substantial decreases in addictions, crime, and a rekindling of hope and finding what is truly missing in their lives; Jesus Christ.
The three year Plan did not address how specific, persistent and fervent intercessory prayer is so vital to effective outreach. After further study, discernment and much prayer, I personally have gained an increased understanding as to the importance of prayer that is in partnership with the Holy Spirit.
The purpose of this focus on prayer is to be centered on those things that are of importance to the LORD, namely: right relationships with HIM, unity within EBC and with other church families, eliminating the presence of centers of darkness, and reaching the lost.
After viewing the video “Transformations”, the Missions Team became noticeably excited as it related to the power of prayer. We met together specifically to pray. What a wonderful and powerful time we had! It is my hope to relate this experience to those attending the Wednesday night prayer session and then to encourage the members of the Missions team to attend and join in prayer that is specifically focused on local outreach in our community.
In order to understand how our prayers are to be focused, research is needed to identify the characteristics of our region. Our initial focus would be on the City of Laconia. EBC and other Bible believing churches are situated within the city. Further research is needed to specifically ascertain the magnitude and general location of areas where the above problems are concentrated.
A segment of this research would be to develop a relationship with the City to Laconia Police Department and solicit their help in securing information regarding the problems they are facing. In the near future, it is my plan to meet with the Police Department representatives to obtain a background of the problems that they are facing and to initiate an initial rapport with them.
Congregation Outreach Education and Motivation
Almost all of Pastor Brian’s messages to date have been toward laying a foundation for all to become actively involved, as Jesus commanded all believers, in outreach. The Missions Team is planning to hold a training session on both world and local outreach. As we discussed, a workshop, to solicit local outreach ideas from the congregation, will also be scheduled during the winter of 2016. In late spring of 2016, it is our goal to hold a Missions Conference. Planning for these are already underway.
We will also continue to build the Gym ministry, both to serve our own church family, and neighborhood families.
Partnerships with Bible-believing Church
An effective outreach by EBC cannot succeed through just our own efforts. It is necessary to re-establish and promote partnerships with our region’s Bible-believing churches. One goal is to pool the resources of each church to implement outreach activities. The greater goal is to hold community-wide, united, intercessory prayer vigils to declare to the Holy Spirit that our community of believers is prepared to work with HIM to deal with the problems discussed above.
The effort to re-establish trust between churches is not an easy one and will probably take some time to form the envisioned partnerships. The issues EBC faced several years ago may have negatively impacted several of the churches. However, if we prayerfully approach this issue, and we are in the center of God’s Will, I am confident these partnerships will form.
Unity among the Bible-believing churches is not only important, but more significantly, provides strength of a united front around a common purpose. This unity must also be weak enough to allow each to make their own decisions in exercising doctrinal differences. The common purpose that must be instilled is to rid our community of the various vices and strongholds that prevent our region from realizing the peace that GOD is willing to provide. Only through united prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit can this envisioned common purpose be achieved.
Partnerships will also be sought with the police department, individuals, non-profit organizations, businesses, etc. We will seek to understand what each of the above brings to meet the physical needs of those in need.
At this point it is nearly impossible to identify what outreach will arise until networking with the above groups is on-going. EBC’s focus is envisioned to be on
The above research will help in identifying how our prayers can be specifically stated.
As Love Inc. is developing its role and organizational structure, we will research the potential for developing a long-term partnership with them.
i believe that GOD will transform our community because HIS people, HIS community is coming to HIM in unified prayer. The goal is to get the other Bible-believing churches and the community involved in specific, sustained, intercessory prayer seeking the Holy Spirit’s involvement. Perhaps this is spiritual warfare that we would be engaging in. There are risks.
This is an aggressive, BIG vision. If a vision is too small, then GOD is not in it. A small vision does not allow room for GOD to work. If the vision is small, then it is all works. The above vision is also over a period 3 years. We do not have to accomplish all of it immediately. We need to be detail minded but not get bogged down in the details in that the BIG vision is missed. It is the BIG vision that mandates action. It is about our making a mark on the world (and our community) in step with our LORD; not about the world making a mark on us (believers).
A leader for Local Outreach still needs to be identified. There are several potential leaders that I am exploring. Once a leader is identified, mentoring will be given as needed, with the goal of my time and effort subsiding.
Again, the vision must be aligned with what our Sr. Pastor, including timing, and, of course, with what our LORD commands us, as believers, is to accomplish. The world desperately needs Jesus.