Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mark Your Calendars

Upcoming Urbancrest Mission Events:

November 1-December 31 ~ Receiving the Combined Mission Offering

November 3-4 ~ State Convention of Baptists in Ohio Annual Meeting

November 7 ~ Key West Mission Team Report, 6:00pm in Room 203

November 7-14 ~ Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Drive

November 14 ~ Bogan Family Uganda Update, 6:00pm in Room 203

November 14-19 ~ Haiti Mission Project (Please be in prayer for the team!)

November 12 -13 ~ Disaster Relief Volunteer Training

November 13-14 ~ Meet Visiting Uganda Missionaries Anthony & Misty Shelton

November 21 ~ Meet Visiting Missionaries Gary & Sis Tufts

November 28 ~ Appalachia Mission Team Report, 6:00pm in Room 203

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Ministry Update from Sarah Bickers ~ Urbancrest Intern Serving in Haiti

Urbancrest currently has 17 interns exploring the call of God on their lives to vocational cross-cultural mission ministry. One step in completing their intern project is to spend a summer (6-10 weeks) on the mission field either nationally or internationally in a cross-cultural setting. This is the first year we have implemented this program, and we had eight interns on the international mission field in four different countries. In the next few blog posts, I will introduce you to the interns and post their final reports.

The first report comes from Sarah Bickers, the daughter of David and Ginny Bickers. She has been serving in Haiti for the past five weeks with the Florida Baptist Convention. This is her last in-country report as she will be returning home next week:

"I have officially celebrated my first Haitian birthday here! We went to the Baptist Mission for my birthday and it was so chilly up in the mountains, but refreshing. We toured Ft. Jacques which was a fort built to protect the ports. It's so far away and high in the mountains, I wondered how a cannon ball could shoot that far, but maybe they aim it straight up and it slowly falls into the ocean! They had "American" food at the mission and it was nice to enjoy some chicken nuggets and fries.

I've been ministering to a few families that live in our office parking lot in tents. First, I was able to give them Buckets of Hope and I remember one little boy who received one for his family. His face stuck with me and I noticed him starting to hang around the parking lot more and more when we arrived in the mornings. I tried to bring him little toys, crayons, etc. every now and then. I found out his name was Samuel. He starting bringing his brother named Dolfne (sounds like Dulfnee) as well. Then another boy named Anderson would wander over. They joined us each morning for our singing and devotions that we did in the parking lot under the trees. I asked them one morning if they knew that Jesus loved them so much that He wanted to die for them. Samuel said, "Yes, He must love me for some reason because I didn't die in the earthquake. He must want to keep me for some reason." It about broke my heart, but at least he understands the love of God and I'm pretty sure all three boys had either accepted Christ, or at least were consistently hearing it from their parents because they knew all of our worship songs. I asked them if there was one thing that they really wanted to receive and at first they said a soccer ball, but then decided they needed backpacks for school, as well as pencils. So, I made some calls to a staff member who was coming down in a week and asked for some deflated soccer balls. With the help another staff member, we were able to buy all three boys new backpacks, pencils, and new soccer balls. They were so excited!

Please pray for the staff that will fill in behind me to minister to these parking lot families. God has put them right at our feet for a reason! Also pray for Dolfne because he hasn't been around the past few days and when I asked where he was, Samuel said, "He doesn't come here anymore." I'm not sure what that means, but pray for him wherever he is! I've attached a picture of me with these boys so you can see their faces for yourself. Samuel is the one with the hat on and Anderson is the taller boy."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Urbancrest Local Missions Blog Launch

The missions ministry mandate at Urbancrest Baptist Church is based on Matthew 28:19-20: “Go, therefore, 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 to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The strategy that we use to carry out that mandate is found in Acts 1:8: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

The purpose of our ministry is to do just that! The strategy given in Acts 1:8 requires us to take His good news to everyone locally in Lebanon (our Jerusalem), regionally in Ohio (our Judea), in the United States (our Samaria), and to the ends of the earth.

We work and give to that very end. The Urbancrest Missions blog page is dedicated to keeping you informed of the many ministries and people that are involved in Urbancrest missions regionally, nationally, and to the ends of the earth. However, our local ministry is very multi-faceted and has a lot of activity throughout the year. For that reason, we have created a separate blog page that our Local Mission Strategist, Mike Wright, can use to bring you local mission news. You can read his first report at and you can sign up to receive his blog updates either by entering your email address on his blog homepage or by sending an email to with "subscribe" in the subject line.

While this blog will keep you informed about Urbancrest ministries around the world, the Urbancrest Local Missions blog will give you a birds-eye-view of the work our church family is busy doing throughout Lebanon. Please subscribe to his blog and you will receive his updates via email!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ministry Update from Jeff & Deanne Clem ~ Urbancrest Haiti Mission Team

On August 7th our team left the Columbus airport, a little anxious, but excited to see all that God had in store. When we returned on August 14th, each of us knew that we would be forever changed. God had far exceeded “all that we ask or imagine” (Eph. 3:20).

The people of Haiti are hopeless and full of fear. They are hungry and sick and many are still living in the rubble that remains after the devastating earthquake. They are desperate. As believers, we know that Jesus is the answer to each of their problems and that He alone can bring hope and healing to their lives. As the body of Christ, we can supply them with food and medicine to meet their desperate physical needs and we can reveal to them the Creator who loves them and wants to restore them to Himself.

At the beginning of our week, we had the privilege of worshiping with Haitian believers who know that Christ is their firm foundation. We held a two day VBS for their mountain village of Kenscoff. Two hundred children participated in Bible stories, crafts, and games. Sixty of those children found new hope in Jesus and placed their faith in Him. The pastor of the church was ready and excited to begin follow up with those children and their families. Each of those 200 children went home with enough rice to feed their families for a week and with the knowledge that there is a Savior who loves them and can meet their every need.

Of the many buildings destroyed by the earthquake, one was an orphanage housing children from birth to 6 years. In Creole, the name for this baby orphanage is “crèche”. After the earthquake, these babies were moved to a part of the guest house where we were staying. We had the privilege of holding, caring for, and playing with these precious children every day as we finished up other ministries. We definitely found new meaning in James 1:27.

One of the most life-changing experiences of our trip was our day of prayer walking, evangelism, and medical clinics in the tiny desert village of Kaness. These people walk 1 ½ hours each day to collect water and their homes are nothing more that sticks and mud. They have no well, no school for their children, and no formal church in which to worship. In spite of all this, they have a deep faith in our Savior. Our team was humbled as we watched our brothers and sisters in Christ literally kneel down in the dirt as we prayed over their homes and families.

Our 4 amazing nurses went from hut to hut assessing medical needs and caring for the sick. During one visit, a team was able to see one man change his life forever as he placed his life in the hands of Jesus. After our prayer walking, we set up a medical clinic under the only tree in the village and patients were given vitamins and treatments for worms and other ailments. After their treatment, other team members would take them aside for a time of prayer. Thanks to your generous donations, we were also able to assemble “family bags” that were given as a gift at each home that we visited. The bags contained Kids Against Hunger rice packets and other food, clothes, shoes, and baby items. Each family also left that day with a 55# bag of rice that would feed them for more than two weeks.

It was our privilege to partner with Brent Gambrell Ministries during our week in Haiti. Brent and our entire team could daily feel the power of prayer. We cannot thank our church family enough for all of your encouragement and for the prayers that were lifted up on our behalf. Please continue to pray for Brent Gambrell and the ministry that he has with the people of Haiti. Pray for God’s continued guidance as he builds relationships with pastors, believers, and those waiting to hear about our amazing Savior.