It’s only a few weeks past Easter. I pray you are continuing to live in the power of the resurrection. Here’s a little “Easter Sunday in Review” video to remind you of great things God did at Fruit Cove.
How does Christ, in the middle of this culture, compel us to act? At Secret Church 15: Christ, Culture, and a Call to Action, we’ll be discussing what the Bible has to say about the many cultural issues of our day and how we ought to respond. Gather with your church, your small group, your family, or your friends to participate in the six hour, April 24 simulcast. Register at Radical.net/SCsimulcast
During a recent staff meeting at the Jacksonville Baptist Association, the following incident was shared and sent around through the JBA’s online newsletter. Thought that, as our year ends, you can see again the difference you make in the lives of people…some you will never meet.
Walter Bennett shared about a beautiful moment he had experienced this past week. While serving as interim pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church they have been serving the needs of their local public elementary school, Normandy Village Elementary. This particular school serves some of the most under resourced children in our city. One of the needs the principal had expressed to Walter was that many of the children did not have winter coats and come were coming to school in t-shirts on the coldest days.
Meanwhile, Macedonia Baptist and Fruit Cove Baptist congregations have been exploring a church revitalization partnership. When Walter discussed the need of this elementary school with both congregations – they responded. Pastor Tim Maynard stood before his congregation and put the call out for members to respond by donating the coats in just a couple of weeks before winter break. He had one request – please donate new coats as some of these children have never had the joy of tearing off the tags of a new coat. Members of both congregations responded with missional generosity and this past week they were able to deliver over (460) coats, which nearly all of them were new, to this school – providing a coat for EVERY child in the elementary school. As the coats were being distributed the volunteers and school administrators stood by with tears in their eyes knowing that every child would have the opportunity to stay warm this Christmas season.
The church was also able to place a tag on each coat indicating the donation on the part of Macedonia. As their local church, it was important to Fruit Cove that they could help enhance the relationship between Macedonia BC and their partner school. What a beautiful picture of churches collaborating together in a selfless way! What a beautiful picture of engaging our city! What a beautiful picture of the gospel! (From JBA Newsletter)
And what a great way to celebrate “the Reason for the Season!”
From a song stage in Sweden to pregnancy health classes in Southeast Asia, IMB missionaries find creative and effective ways to meet people where they are. And they are grateful for Southern Baptists’ prayers and gifts that make it possible to share Jesus with those who don’t know Him.
This year’s eight Week of Prayer stories illustrate how we are united as we join God in His work. When you pray and give, you support those who extend your outreach from your church to those without Christ. You become part of God’s story around the world!
In these Week of Prayer stories, you will learn how your support enables your missionaries to:
help churches like yours partner on the field
share Jesus through human needs ministries
disciple church planters to take the Gospel to their own people
reach people creatively through songwriting and broadcasts
take the Scripture to a remote people in their heart language
Each year, Fruit Cove, along with thousands of other baptist churches, collect and send our “Lottie Moon Christmas Offering” to the International Mission Board to fund missions around the world. But, who is this “Lottie Lady” and what made her special?
Nearly 140 years ago, this young lady from Virginia committed her life to taking the gospel to China. Her passion to share Christ became the inspiration for our annual missions offering emphasis.
Why must we be Lightbearers? Why must we give? Why must we go?
David Platt, president of the International Mission Board, illustrates what it looks like to be eternally separated from God as he reflects on a tragic experience in Nepal. (excerpt from his sermon: Our Obligation to the Unreached)
For a number of years, Fruit Cove ladies have traveled to Greenbrier Birthing Center in West Virginia to serve expectant mothers currently serving sentences in that correctional facility. This year, Dianne Werner participated for the first time and offers this report:
We had a wonderful time ministering to the 13 girls at Greenbrier Birthing Center (GBC). Five women were still expecting so there were 8 babies ranging in age from a few months to almost a year old. We provide lunch each day and Annette Holley had all the meals and cooking planned and got us busy in the kitchen from the time we got there, but we had fun chopping and cooking and washing dishes in the kitchen together.
We had prayed for God to prepare the hearts of the women there and we found out that one of the women there had already heard about “the girls from Fruit Cove” when she first arrived last November and she was the only woman waiting for us when we arrived at GBC on Monday. They told her she would love the team from Fruit Cove and that the food would be great, so there was a positive anticipation among them when we arrived.
Five women from Deer Meadows Baptist Church joined us for our visits to GBC. They were great help to us as they learned what ministry looked like at GBC. The first couple days, we took in lunch, held their babies, ate with them and got to know them a little. We asked lots of questions about their families and what was waiting for them at home. We asked them questions about God, about their faith, and about their childhood when opportunities arose. We encouraged them, shared scriptures with them, and let them know we were there because we cared and because God’s love is so amazing and we wanted them to know how much He loves them! We took them Chocolate Fondue one day, a Keurig with all the ingredients for flavored coffees on another day and we loved on them and shared our hearts with them every day.
When we got ready to leave on Friday, there were many hugs passed out, some tears and prayers said with the whole group holding hands. God blessed us so richly! This was my first time to participate in this mission trip. I loved it and I am ready to do it again!
Thanks, Dianne, for this report and your perspective!
This Sunday, October 26, we have the opportunity to host No Other Name in concert in each of our morning worship services (9:30 and 11).
Comprising brother-sister duo, Sam and Laura Allen, along with their friend Chad Smith, the group is known not only for their musical abilities, but for their heart for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ around the globe.
The group shot music videos for “Lead You to the Cross” in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and “Let It Start With Me” in Bangkok, Thailand, emphasizing the group’s aim to spread the gospel worldwide. No Other Name is a strong proponent of international missions and has partnered with the International Mission Board to help recruit missionaries while joining the organization on recent trips to Nicaragua as well as Brazil.
No Other Name contributed the song “More than Moved” to the Insanity of God CD project. Don’t miss hearing the gospel through music on Sunday!