Sunday, April 24, 2011

Your Giving Can Make A Difference ~ Annie Armstong Easter Offering

The Annie Armstrong Easter Offering® is much more than an offering envelope and an annual missions-giving emphasis. When people give to the offering, 100 percent of their gift will be transformed into missionary salaries and ministry supplies. Those missionaries and supplies will help others hear the message of Christ and respond in faith to His offer of salvation. Time and again our missionaries relate how the offering is their lifeblood. They know that behind each penny given, there is a Southern Baptist who believes in what they do and are affirming the need to equip them to share the gospel with those who need a Savior.

If you would like to give to this special offering, please call our church at 541.343.1840, visit our website at, or stop by our missions information table between services and pick up an offering envelope.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Come & Join Harvest Community Church For Easter

Easter Egg Hunt - Saturday, April 23rd - 10:00AM
Over 2,000 Eggs
Going to be a Blast - INVITE all the KIDS you know!

Harvest is a church for the rest of us. We don’t care about how you dress or where you have been. We are a "come as you are" church, where people can be themselves while investigating faith. So if you don’t have plans for Easter Sunday, April 24th, we invite you to join us at 8:00, 9:30, or 11:00am.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

An Update from Andy & Kaye Martin

Andy & Kaye Martin ~ Western Europe
I am writing from a plane as Kaye and I fly from London to Portugal.  Life has been a whirlwind this month (and continues through May).
While in Portugal we will visit 11 families living in four different cities.  We have the privilege of traveling to where our families live and work.  While with them we spend time with each family individually, listening, talking, encouraging, praying with/for, listening, seeing their homes and areas of ministry, advising/counseling, listening, supporting, sharing a meal, loving on children, and listening.  It will be a challenging and fulfilling six days. 
The Lord has given us a unique opportunity to relate to and speak into our M’s lives.  We get to walk through daily life challenges and personal struggles.  We help people process through living in a culture/country not their own, language struggles, family/marriage challenges, financial stuff, and conflict resolution.  But we also get to bless and encourage our  folks as they work hard in building relationships with their people groups and see positive response to those efforts.  Europe is not “fertile soil” for the Gospel.  The work is hard with not much visible results.  That said, our M’s are committed and faithful.  They are passionate about making Jesus known in cultures that are not just post-modern, but post-God. 
From Portugal we will be back in London for 5 days and then head out again.  From now through the first week of June will be in nine different cities (five countries), doing three team trainings, visiting approximately 40 differently families and attending a four day Member Care team meeting.  I tell you that not to highlight “traveling through Europe” (we often don’t really “see” the cities we go to), but to give you a little glimpse of what we do.  And even more importantly, what Harvest and Lottie Moon helps us do. 
Andy & Kaye
By the way…if anyone at Harvest knows of an “extra vehicle” that might be available for use for a those months while we’re back on furlough it would be awesome.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Let Us Not Forget About Haiti. . .

Rebuild Haiti progress: both spiritual and physical
April 5, 2011

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti --- Southern Baptist rebuilding efforts in Haiti in the year since its devastating earthquake have made good progress -- and the improvements are as much spiritual as physical, a leader in that effort said.
“Rebuild Haiti,” a cooperative joint venture to put as many as 6,200 families in decent housing by the end of 2013, has completed 796 homes, with another 130 nearing completion, said Jeff Palmer executive director of Baptist Global Response.
“In the aftermath of the earthquake, getting an effective program of rebuilding was very challenging,” Palmer said. “Moving people and money into the country, assembling all the supplies needed, just dealing with the nuts and bolts of getting things done in a place devastated by the earthquake was hard. Doing it in a way that enables Haitians to stand on their own, rather than continue the dependency patterns of the past, made it even a greater challenge.”
Fritz Wilson, director of disaster relief and recovery for the Florida Baptist Convention, said the decision to use local labor and supplies has multiplied Rebuild Haiti’s impact.
“A key component in the strategy is that we are purchasing materials from in-country sources, work is done by Haitian men whom we have hired from the communities, local churches are helping us identify the people who need the houses the most, and we are building homes back where people lived before the quake so that they do not have to relocate,” Wilson said. “This means we are impacting the communities much more than just providing houses, by putting money back in the economy, providing jobs and elevating the church’s status in the community.”
The Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake killed 300,000 people and left more than 1 million homeless. Even before the earthquake, Haiti’s people were the poorest in the Western hemisphere. A year after the quake, only about 2 percent of the rubble had been cleared and aid officials said clearing all the rubble would fill 1,000 trucks a day for more than 1,000 days.

Over the past few months, Baptist Global Response volunteers have worked a total of 2,484 volunteer days in a variety of capacities. More than $11.2 million has been donated to the relief effort through various channels. The Florida convention reported the $7 million they received included $171,665 sent by individuals, Sunday school classes and individuals specifically to build houses. State Baptist conventions also have gotten involved in Rebuild Haiti, like the Kentucky Baptist Convention, which has earmarked $200,000 for the effort.
The challenges of rebuilding communities from the inside out are being met as partners in the joint venture demonstrate a spirit of cooperation and work alongside Haitian believers to achieve a shared vision, Wilson said. Haitian Baptists assisted their joint venture partners -- Baptist Global Response, International Mission Board, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, and the Florida Baptist Convention -- in designing a 12 foot-by-16 foot cement block “transitional home” for quake survivors and looking into the future at what kind of communities would reflect God’s love for Haitians.
“The brightest spot in this is how the partners are all working with a common mission and vision,” Wilson said. “It is much like the tribes of Israel working on the walls of Jerusalem. Each group working on our own section, but we are tying it all together to push back the darkness.”
Communities like the Port-au-Prince suburb of Damien need more than just physical rebuilding, Palmer said.

“Most disaster recovery efforts focus on the externals like reconstructing buildings, but Christian recovery also understands the need for an inner change that creates new lives,” Palmer said. “In Rebuild Haiti, we are encouraging community members to lift their eyes beyond their own needs to the needs of others. We have structured the initiative to encourage people to take responsibility for their future and work hard to make a better life for the entire community.
“What we see happening in Damien is not only is a community getting new houses, they are also getting a new community,” Palmer added. “As the houses are being constructed, we see more people helping and sharing to ensure that everyone gets what they need. For example, one widow received a house but didn't have enough money to furnish it. The local church members used their own money to buy her a bed, chair and small table.”
The change in Damien has been dramatic, said Jo Brown, who works with her husband, David, to direct BGR work in the Americas.

“When our assessment team arrived in Damien after the earthquake, the community felt very eerie," Brown said.  I was ready to leave the moment we got there. People were sitting on the ground, staring blankly into nothingness. We saw practically no businesses.
“A year later, Damien has been transformed. Many small businesses have cropped up. People at the building sites -- all ages, both male and female -- are carrying block and needed items to the sites. We see hope and hear laughter. People smile and greet each other-and stop to talk.
“Where I once felt fear, now I am able to walk alone in this community, even after dark,” Brown added. “Each morning before work is started on the sites, the U.S. volunteers join hands with the Haitians and sing and praise God. The focus is not on what the North Americans are doing, but on God's provision.”

The change in Damien is a good example of BGR's vision to see "people experiencing a full and meaningful life with hope and peace that inspires them to raise their families in confidence, build their communities with dignity and share this life with others," Palmer said.
“We see homes built, but people are being built up as well. We see communities working together for the benefit of all and we see people whose lives are being literally transformed by the message of hope our team was living out among them and sharing verbally,” Palmer said. “In the communities where our BGR teams are working, the rubble is returning to community -- not only in terms of good housing but in terms of people whose hearts and lives are being transformed.

“I want to thank Southern Baptists as well as others for their gifts and volunteerism that is such a key part in this transformation that we're seeing,” Palmer added. “And I want also thank our Haitian partners who are opening up their lives to the transforming power of God.”
People in Damien and other Rebuild Haiti communities won’t forget who helped them find new life when their world was in a shambles, said David Brown.

“Our friends in Haiti want their friends in the U.S. to know how thankful they are to God that they were not forgotten in that desperate hour,” Brown said. “Haiti has such a long way to go, but we have begun to see the first fruit of what we believe will be a harvest of new life in Haiti.”