Monday, January 28, 2013

Support Urbancrest Missions While Shopping!

Did you know that you can support the Urbancrest Faith Promise Fund while shopping? It is true! Through the Kroger Community Rewards Program, you can be giving to the many ministries that Urbancrest supports through our Faith Promise Fund (FPF) every time you shop for groceries or anything else at Kroger! The Faith Promise Fund supports 56 missionaries around the world, as well as nationals in several countries. It also supports the many mission projects and church plants that Urbancrest is involved in.

The best thing about this rewards program is that there is no cost to you personally in any way! You will not lose any discounts or rebates that you are receiving. Regardless of where you live, I encourage you to complete the following steps to support our missions ministry:
  • Go online to and follow the directions below to register. Please note: In order for the Faith Promise Fund to receive funds, you must register under our Urbancrest assigned number which is 83466.
  • Be sure to have your Kroger Plus card handy and register your card with our organization after you sign up.
  • If you do not yet have a Kroger Plus card, they are available at the customer service desk at any Kroger.
  • Click on Sign In/Register
  • Most participants are new online customers, so they must click on SIGN UP TODAY in the ‘New Customer?’ box.
  • Sign up for a Kroger Rewards Account by entering zip code, clicking on favorite store, entering your email address and creating a password, agreeing to the terms and conditions.
  • You will then get a message to check your email inbox and click on the link within the body of the email.
  • Click on My Account and use your email address and password to proceed to the next step.
  • Click on Edit Kroger Community Rewards information and input your Kroger Plus card number.
  • Update or confirm your information.
  • Enter NPO number (83466) or name of organization, select organization from list and click on confirm.
  • To verify you are enrolled correctly, you will see our organization’s name on the right side of your information page.
  • Show your Kroger Plus card or enter your alternate ID at the checkout each time you shop so that our Faith Promise Fund will get credit for the purchase.
The registration process will take less than five minutes of your time but will make an eternal difference in the lives of thousands! The first portion of the funds earned will be used to offset the expenses of our Kids Against Hunger mission project that will be held during GIC week on March 16, 2013. FPF monies will be used to purchase the ingredients needed to feed starving children around the world. To make a meaningful contribution to this project, we will need 400 people to register their Kroger Plus cards immediately. You can help us impact the world by registering today!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Have You Been to the Cross?

  The picture above is a picture of a very large crucifix in Uganda, Africa. There are no signs explaining why it is there. It is way out in the country along a major road, but if you blink you will miss it. It is a monument to those who died in the Ugandan wars during the 1970’s and 1980’s. I think nearly all Americans would miss it without a good tour guide. But, if you have been to Uganda with Urbancrest, you have been to this cross. I can never resist stopping, even though we are always short on time and there is no place to park. It is unique, and I enjoy watching our folks walk up to it and be reminded of why they are in Uganda serving: the Cross and Jesus our Savior.

  I am not saying that everyone needs to go to Uganda to see this cross, although hopefully some of you will. I do believe that there is a “cross” – a life changing moment that becomes a monument in your life – on every mission project we go on. It may be the look in a child’s eye, the words of a national, or the encouragement of a team member. It is the point that every believer experiences when they obediently “go into all the world” and the focus of their life is forever changed. This is the point of greatest satisfaction when you know that you are fulfilling your purpose to love those for whom Jesus died.

  We are planning many mission projects for 2013, and we need participants to go with us to work in each of these important ministries. I have included the list of mission projects below for you to pray over. Watch for the upcoming information meetings or contact the mission office for specifics about these projects. Is God calling you? Will you go, give, and pray for these mission teams?

 “Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” ~ Matthew 9:37-38

 “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” ~ Matthew 16:24-25

2013 Mission Projects:
Israel: January 29-February 9, 2013       
Contact: Mike & Darlys Bullock

Mexico (1): February 2-10, 2013                       
Contact: Jeff & Deanne Clem

Cuba: February 15-23, 2013              
Contact: Jeff Crumbley

Beverly, WV (1): April 1-April 7, 2013 (spring break)
Contact: Aaron Taylor

Beverly, WV (2): May 15-19, 2013
Contact: Joe Veal

Key West, FL: June 6-13, 2013                                
Contact: Dave Bickers

Argentina: July 1-10, 2013                                       
Contact: Leah Busick

Uganda: July 11-27, 2013         
Contact: Doss Estep

Haiti: August 3-11, 2013
Contact: Jeff & Deanne Clem

Beverly, WV (3): August TBD                                 
Contact: TBD

Mexico (2): September TBD                                        
Contact: Doss Estep

Mexico (3): November TBD                                         
Contact: Doss Estep

Youth Mission Projects:
M-Fuge Mission Trip to Charleston, SC
June 10-14, 2013        
Contact: Aaron Taylor

Super Summer @ Cedarville
June 24-28, 2013
Contact: Aaron Taylor

You Turn Mission Projects:
Dominican Republic: January 8-15, 2013 (Evangelism/Church Planting)

Malawi, Africa: February 19-March 2, 2013 (Evangelism/ Leader Training)

Malawi, Africa: April 30-May 11, 2013 (Evangelism/Church Planting)

Cuba: May 14-20, 2013 (Evangelism)

Malawi, Africa: July 9-23, 2013 (Evangelism/Church Planting)

Malawi, Africa: July 27-August 10, 2013 (Evangelism /Church Planting)

Malawi, Africa: August 13-27, 2013 (Evangelism /Church Planting)

Cuba: November 12-19, 2013 (Evangelism)

For more information regarding You Turn Ministries go to , or contact Joe Veal at

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Mark Your Calendars

January 5: Help Portrait Event at Living Word Baptist Church from 2:00pm-5:00pm
  Location: 500 West Mulberry Avenue, Lebanon, Ohio 45036
  For more information, contact Clint Otto:

January 6: GIC Coordinator Meeting @ 6:00pm in Room 206

January 10: FPF Stewardship Team Meeting @ 7:00pm in Room 202

January 11: Young at Heart @ 6:30pm (bring a side dish to share)
  Location: Trezona's House - 4759 Dewey Lane, Lebanon, Ohio 45036
  For more information, contact Clint Otto:

January 13: Parenting Support Group @ 6:00pm in Room 203/204
  For more information, contact Michelle Otto: 937.609.3633

January 19: Short-term Mission Team Leader Training from 8:30am-3:30pm in Room 203
If you are interested in being trained as a Short-term Mission Trip Team Leader, please contact Doss Estep for consideration:

January 24: Urbancrest Church Planter Network Meeting from 10:00am-1:00pm in Room 504

January 25-26: Men’s Summit
  For more information, visit:

January 27: GIC Coordinators & Team Leaders Meeting @ 12:30pm in the Gym (lunch provided)

January 27: Target Shooting Affinity Group Meeting @ 12:30pm in Room 206
This meeting is for those who may be interested in helping to lead this group. For more information, contact Clint Otto:

January 29-February 9: Israel Mission Project
If you would like to receive prayer updates for this team, please contact Darlys Bullock:

February 3-9: Mexico UPG Vision Project
If you would like to receive prayer updates for this team, please contact Jeff Clem:

February 7: FPF Stewardship Team Meeting @ 7:00pm in Room 202

February 10: Uganda Information Meeting @ 12:30pm in Room 201
Contact Doss Estep for more information:

February 10: Argentina Information Meeting @ 12:30pm in Room 203/204
Contact Leah Busick for more information:

February 10: Hope Garden Meeting @ 12:30pm in Room 206

February 10: GIC Coordinator Meeting @ 6:00pm in Room 206

February 15: Young at Heart @ 6:30pm (bring a side dish to share)
Location: Trezona's House - 4759 Dewey Lane, Lebanon, Ohio 45036
For more information, contact Clint Otto:

February 15 & 16: Global Impact Celebration Prayer Vigil

February 15-23: Cuba Mission Project
If you would like to receive prayer updates for this team, please contact Jeff Crumbley:

February 17: Haiti Information Meeting @ 12:30pm in Room 205
Contact Jeff Clem for more information:

February 23 AM: SCBO Mission Round Table - Grove City, Ohio

February 23 PM: Elizabeth New Life Center Dinner at Urbancrest
  For more information, contact the church office: 513.932.4405

February 24: GIC Coordinator Meeting @ 5:00pm in Room 206

February 24: Parenting Support Group @ 6:00pm in Room 203/204
For more information, contact Michelle Otto: 937.609.3633

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Uganda Mission Trip Report - Part 2

 Wow! What a difference a few years can make in a third world country!  Michelle and I were a part of Urbancrest's 2009 mission team that said a tearful goodbye to Buvuma Island, leaving behind a very primitive Urbancrest Baptist School, mud huts, winding walking paths, and no electricity.  As we piled into a wooden boat very similar to ones that Jesus traveled in, we did not know if or when we would return.

 Three short years later, we were blessed to be a part of Urbancrest's 2012 team of fourteen members. While six team members remained in Jinja (see Uganda Mission Trip Report - Part 1), the other eight members arrived on Buvuma to find roads and cars, brick buildings with metal roofs, a movie theatre (still surreal in my mind), and a brand new building supported by the people of Urbancrest Baptist Church in Lebanon, Ohio. It was wonderful to be reunited with Ron & Darlene Whitmer, retirees from Urbancrest Baptist Church, who are serving full-time in Uganda to support the ministries on Buvuma island and in Jinja. There is no question how the Lord is fulfilling His God-sized plan through them.

 It didn’t take our group long to realize that this (although very improved) island was still not the same as home. Outdoor showers, solar lighting, and the restroom facilities (I have promised to leave the specifics of that part out of this report!) were part of the challenges we faced while staying there for five days. As the week progressed, not only did the team galvanize as only the Body of Christ can, but these challenges were welcomed and integrated into our "new normal" lifestyle on the island. Complaining was non-existent. Love and grace became the common denominators of our team.

  We had the opportunity to share Jesus with some incredible people. We loved them before we ever met them, because Christ loved them first and was already at work there. Our team focused on several ministries. Two of us taught pastors, two of us went from village to village and taught men, and four of us ministered to several overcrowded schools through a VBS program. We taught pastors how to make disciples through key biblical principles. Our men's ministry shared the foundational teachings of our faith, and the children's ministry personally touched the lives of nearly 600 children through VBS. We were able to bring the hope of Christ to what might otherwise seem like a hopeless situation.

  Altogether on the island, we had over 30 decisions for Christ from adults and possibly hundreds of decisions from the children. The believers there strengthened us, and we hope in some small way we encouraged their work. The Lord created so many imprints on our hearts that will last forever from this part of the trip to a little island in the middle of Lake Victoria. The Holy Spirit blew the wind in our sails, returning us to the mainland in the same way that He led us across the world to reach a people who Jesus loves just as much as He loves us. Our hope is in the One who might someday choose to blow us in that direction again. Thy will be done.
~ Clint & Michelle Otto, Team Leaders