Missions & Outreach News Feb 8
Essential Bible Ministries (EBM)
Whitney T. Kuniholm has been a member of the Church of the Good Samaritan for almost 20 years. He previously served as President of Scripture Union USA and was recently elected President Emeritus. Last fall, Whitney started up a new ministry called the Essential Bible Ministries (www.essentialbible.org). We encourage you to visit this website to learn more about the ministry and to see the resources available. To explain his reason for starting this new ministry, Whitney provided this report:
The Holy Bible is the best-selling book of all time. Yet study after study reveals that Bible reading has steadily declined. The clear need in the Western church is not for more Bible sales or distribution. Rather, it is for more Bible engagement, that is, regular reading of the Bible and application of its message, which research now shows is the number one predictor of spiritual health and growth in a church.
Essential Bible Ministries brings a unique approach to this Bible engagement opportunity, which is captured in its mission statement: Working in partnership with churches and like-minded organizations, the mission of Essential Bible Ministries is: to help people of all ages meet God in the Bible and prayer, to make the Bible and its life-changing message attractive to all people, and to be a catalyst for church-based Bible reading revival.
Essential Bible Ministries offers a variety of programs and resources for individuals, groups and churches including Essential Series (Essential 100, Essential Jesus and Essential Question), works as a “design shop” for developing new Bible engagement programs, and forms strategic partnerships with denominations and organizations to enhance their Bible engagement efforts.
But the bigger vision of Essential Bible Ministries is that when people read and live God’s Word in community, it leads not just to the renewal of a personal spiritual discipline, but also to the renewal of the church itself. Essential Bible Ministries, therefore, seeks to be a catalyst for Bible reading revival.
Prayer Requests for EBM:
- For continued use of the Essential Series by churches in the US and internationally (currently it’s reached 10 million people in 20 languages)
- For wisdom and creativity in developing new Bible reading programs for churches, both print and digital
- For additional speaking opportunities for Whitney to share the vision of Bible reading revival
- For publishing of Whitney’s next book. Working Title: Meeting God Every Day
- For God’s help in the Start Up Phase (2017-18), launching the Board, organizational issues and funding
Bridge of Hope Lancaster and Chester Counties (BOHLCC)
Bridge of Hope (Lancaster and Chester Counties) (http://www.bridgeofhopelcc.org/) seeks to faithfully exemplify Christ’s love to single mothers and children who are homeless or facing eviction. The ministry focuses on holistic, long-term solutions to poverty and homelessness using church-based mentoring groups. Women graduate from the Bridge of Hope program having attained permanent rental housing, financial stability through employment, and a support network of friends from a church in their community. The program works by establishing Mentoring Groups for Bridge of Hope participants. Mentoring Groups have eight to twelve men and women from within one congregation that are willing to establish an on-going “ministry of friendship” with a homeless single mother and her children. The Church of the Good Samaritan is actively participating in BOHLCC Mentoring Groups. The Good Sam Advocate for Bridge of Hope is Jane Balsan (firstname.lastname@example.org) who received the following update (slightly edited) from Cheryl Miles, Program Director:
Dear Church of the Good Samaritan,
We ask for Prayers for:
A teenager’s emotional needs (son of a mother in the program) are interfering with his ability to address major health concerns. The son has been hospitalized several times in Chester County as well as in Philadelphia for treatment for both issues. As a result, the mother had to reduce her hours at work and depend on public transportation and others due to the lack of a car. The mother also has been neglecting her medical problems as she focusing taking care of her son. Meanwhile, her bills are mounting and her financial assistance / resources are almost exhausted. Please pray for healing of the son and strength and resources for the mother in the process.
The mother of a 1st grader is in a major conflict with her landlord. She recently obtained a therapy service dog at the recommendation of her therapist for anxiety. She is now being threatened with an eviction and/or non-renewal of her lease. Please pray for a resolution that will not lead to additional stress to mother and homelessness for family. The family was not evicted. However the landlord will not renew their lease for the family at the end of its term in April. Please for pray for affordable housing for this young family.
Pray for wisdom, guidance and discernment as Bridge of Hope Lancaster and Chester Counties conducts its strategic plan to shape their response to addressing the needs of single women with children experiencing homelessness. Please continue to pray in this area as major progress will be made in the next few months.
Thank you for your continuous prayer and support.
Philip and Julie Steiner, Missionaries in Asia
Phil and Julie and family serve in Asia and we have to be careful about revealing their location. Deryck Livingston is the Advocate for the Steiners. Below is the most recent message from the Steiners, sent just before Christmas:
Life has settled into a good routine since last we wrote. The girls are enjoying school, Abram is still super cute, and Julie just finished another semester of grad school.
Thank you for praying for Abe and the fear he felt in his room. After asking for prayer, he hasn't said anything else about it!
We've had some good opportunities to take advantage of recently. Julie was birth doula for an expat lady here in town, and she's going to be helping a local lady who is due on Christmas day... needless to say, we're hoping that the baby comes a little late.
On Sunday afternoons, Phil has been tutoring a group of six junior high students from the people group that's closest to our hearts. He's also been going to a major monastery near here and praying that the Kingdom would come there. Ask that he'd have opportunities to talk with people who live and work there. Phil is also really enjoying his language study. His teacher is a brother and he's learning a lot of culture as well as language.
It feels like we're just back into the swing of things, and already we're less than a month away from our conferences in Thailand. It's always great to see friends and eat Thai food!
Philip and Julie Steiner
Presentation on Kenya Short Term Mission Trip: Feb 12, 1pm in Ashton North
Fr. Geoff Simpson, Chuck Ernst, and Rusty Smith will give a presentation on their recent trip to Kenya. 1:00pm Sunday, February 12 in Ashton Hall North. They will share pictures and videos of the various mission efforts our church supports in Kenya.