Thursday, August 2, 2012

Are you an Olympian?

Be on the lookout for 2 South Sudanese runners in this summer's Olympics.  

Guor Marial (marathon) and Lopez Lomong (5000m - pictured above) are two Olympians from South Sudan.  Both men came to the US as refugees.  They are known as the Lost Boys of Sudan - although they are no longer lost but are helping those who remained in South Sudan during the war years.  Watch interviews with Guor Marial and Lopez Lomong.   

The olympic creed:  The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well. 

Are you a missions olympian?  Have you joined WGM's Mango Ministry's team? Are you part of the struggle to see God's Kingdom come to earth?  Continue reading about some of the folks who are partnering with me in ministry.  Will you take the "CHE PRAY challenge?"  

From South Sudan to Pitman United Methodist Church!  
It's been great getting to share with and visit with some of you this summer.  

And I've been able to stop in at a few camp meetings in the area!

 I was the missionary at Erma Camp Meeting, Cape May, NJ

 I dropped by South Seaville Camp Meeting, South Seaville, NJ one evening.

 And spent a day at Rawlinsville Camp Meeting, South Lancaster County, PA

RCM friends Joyce Zercher and Daphne Hathaway

 I'm going to visit Malaga Camp Meeting, Vineland, NJ on August 6th.

Sandi Bock, a former volunteer with Tenwek Community Health recently wrote, "I thought I'd email you even though there is no possible way I could come to the Kountry Kitchen on July 28th, seeing as how I'm up here in northern British Columbia."

Sorry about that Sandi, but it's quite understandable as you're 2300 miles away!

Despite it being summer and vacation time we had a good turnout in Elmer, NJ at the Kountry Kitchen last Saturday.  These are the churches that were represented:
  • Bridgeton Trinity United Methodist Church, NJ
  • Browns Mills United Methodist Church, NJ
  • Calvary Chapel Philadelphia, PA
  • Carl's Corner Community Fellowship, NJ
  • Deerfield United Methodist Church, NJ
  • Elmer United Methodist Church, NJ
  • Erma Tabernacle United Methodist Church, Cape May, NJ
  • Evangelical Clarksboro United Methodist Church, NJ
  • Glassboro First United Methodist Church, NJ
  • Mullica Hill Trinity United Methodist Church, NJ
  • Paoli Baptist Church, PA
  • Pitman United Methodist Church, NJ
  • Sharptown United Methodist Church, NJ
  • South Vineland United Methodist Church, NJ
  • Turnersville St. Johns United Methodist Church, NJ

Besides sharing some of the neat things I see God doing through our Mango Ministry team in South Sudan I shared some of our struggles, reminding ourselves that challenges help us grow.  We then talked about the need to widen the circle of pray-ers and shared ways that individuals and churches are involved in supporting missions through PRAYER.
Here are some of the ideas shared:
  • have a prayer room in your house using post-it notes with current praises and requests
  • hang a world map highlighting the missionaries your church supports
  • have a wall in your church highlighting missionaries with available literature on their ministries
  • highlight missionaries and their prayer requests on church website
  • include missionaries in church prayer chain by phone or email
I'd like to present you with the CHE PRAY challenge
  • Adopt a Community Health Evangelism team of 3 and their church and community to pray for - by name
This is what one of our trainers, Dr. Rick, wrote about our CHE training.
"The goal of this program is to facilitate holistic transformation at the grass roots level in individual communities.  A network of volunteers who reside in the communities is trained to share knowledge with their neighbors.  The lessons that they are trained to teach include spiritual lessons, preventative health lessons, and development/empowerment lessons.  Of course we need to keep in mind that our time here on earth is extremely small compared to our eternal existence with God, so our ultimate goal is to encourage as many as possible to join Christ and experience the eternal bliss that we will have when we spend an eternity having fellowship with God.  So, some lessons need to address evangelism as well as discipleship.  However, while we are here on earth certain behavior changes can lead to a significant improvement in life.  Understanding sanitation and fecal oral contamination can go a long way to preventing diarrhea, dehydration, and even death (especially in children).  Understanding immunizations and simple ways to prevent illness can vastly improve the quality and the quantity of life.  Simple lessons addressing these issues can easily be taught by volunteers with minimal education.  I also believe that education from neighbors can be far more effective than occasional education by outsiders (like me).  Also, lessons to encourage people to use resources provided by God in nature to improve their lives can be valuable.  After all, figuring out how one can solve his own problems is superior to outsiders trying to do it for him. . .  Please pray with me that the Spirit of God will descend and use both us and these new trainers to bring about community transformation. After having looked at the conditions, it is obvious that without God's supernatural intervention that the South Sudanese will continue to suffer unnecessarily."

Please email me if you or a group you belong to would like to take the CHE PRAY challenge to pray for the CHE trainees, their church, and community on a regular basis.  I will supply you with names and we'll keep you updated on their progress as training and mentoring continues.

Thanks for your partnership.  We're a team!

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