More Amazing Service in New Castle PA

Week 3 of Christian Endeavor Mission Weeks was AMAZING!

This week was amazing. We had such a big group here this week in New Castle and the community was so excited to see us. Five churches served with us this week and each one was so unique and fun to have with us! Our five churches were; Central Schwenkfelder Church Lansdale, Chapel Church Red Lion, Sanctuary UMC North Wales, St. Mark’s UMC Mount Joy, and St. Peter’s UMC, Emerald. We were able to get so much work done on a bunch of different sites this week because we ended up with a total of about 105 people here including staff which was so cool!

This week was a bit different than the last two weeks because of so many different factors. Not only are we in a different place this week and we have more people here, but our work sites were a bit different. This week was used as an outreach to this community. Prior to our being here, our speakers for the week, Pastor Chuck and Pastor Brett, went out into the community to ask homeowners what we could do for them. This gave us a lot of work sites and a ton of work to get done!

Each day we had a different number of sites and groups were getting work done so incredibly quickly that we were able to move some groups after only one day (and sometimes less) of work! It was so awesome to see these groups divide and conquer so well! St. Mark’s and St Peter’s were our smaller churches for the week so they stayed together. But since our other three groups were a bit larger, we were able to split them into groups and send them to multiple sites. We had three groups from Chapel Church, two from Sanctuary and four from Central Schwenkfelder!

With so many groups and so many sites, it was difficult to keep track of who was where and what was being done there, but some of our highlights were:

Central Schwenkfelder had a group at Ms. Lopez’s house and they did a bunch of painting indoors and out with her. It was such a pleasure for them and the staff to get to know her and her three birds, two dogs and cat! CSC also had teams working at a group of three houses all on the same road. They were cutting down trees, helping in the destruction of one house and the building of one right next door. They did such an amazing job working together and ministering to the construction workers in the area!

Sanctuary killed it this week as well! One of their groups moved to two or three different sites throughout the week and got so much work done so well at each home they were at! The other group from Sanctuary was working on a similar project as what BBC and Hopeland had done at the King home in weeks one and two! The washer and dryer in the home was leaking and causing the floor to rot. Sanctuary went in and moved the washer and dryer and pulled back the carpet so that they could replace the floor underneath. They also replaced the steps into the home that were no longer safe to use. The group also developed an awesome relationship with their homeowner that we think will last even after camp!

Chapel Church was so amazing this week as they were at so many different sites it was hard to keep track of them! They got so much amazing work done at so many different homes and it was so cool to see them work together on so many different projects. Towards the end of the week they worked on clearing out trees and weeds from a home that was being taken over by them. They were so patient with this job. Initially they had placed some of the branches outside of the property line and they had to move it uphill to get it back on the property which took a lot of work. But they did a great job and kept a positive energy the whole time!

St Peter’s had a lot of work to get done this week. They had a lot of paint to scrape from their homeowner’s porch and replace some trim then repaint it. They did such an amazing job and worked so well together! We were so honored to have them here and they were so excited and enthusiastic all week long! They told us how excited they were to get the opportunity to meet the entire family of homeowners! They told us that this is something that they haven’t had the chance to do in the past and they were so excited to get the chance to do that this year!

St. Mark’s was at our farthest site this week. Melody’s home was all the way out in Mercer, PA which is about half an hour from where we were staying at the Sankey Center in New Castle. They did so much work for Melody this week and it was awesome! They started in the front yard by scraping, sanding and painting the front porch purple! Then they moved out back and the hard work began. Some of the group worked on doing the same thing to the back porch, some group members were replacing a wall that had rotted out and one group was working on setting up a platform for a shed that was on uneven ground. They did an amazing job at Melody’s and it was such an honor to watch them work so hard!

Pastor Brett and Pastor Chuck were awesome this week. They took turns speaking this week and touched our hearts with God’s word every night! So many lives were changed this week and we had such an amazing week, it was hard to see everyone leave! We are so excited to come back to New Castle again next week as a summer staff, and the see what God has planned for Mission Weeks 2019!

Above: A group photo of our lovely kitchen staff for Week 3 in New Castle, PA.

Amazing Times Continued during 2nd Week in WV

This is Ally, Mission Weeks worship coordinator, coming to you from Week 2 of C.E. Mission Weeks, which was a huge success. We had a ton of fun as we grew closer to God and got a ton of work done around the community. This week we had two groups with us: Bible Baptist Church (BBC), Breinigsville and Faith EC, Temple. It was such a pleasure to have them with us and we got so much done this week!

BBC was our bigger group this week. We sent them over to Mr. Grey’s house one day so they could finish up Hopeland’s awesome work from Week One. They started by getting the trim finished on the outer windows and getting the inside painted. They also finished installing carpet. We were so impressed with them as they finished everything that needed to be done there by the end of the day Tuesday!

Faith EC went to the same house in Boomer that Honey Brook was at during Week One. They did an amazing job. The jungle that HBC had tackled in the front yard Week 1 also continued into the backyard and Faith EC started to get that cut down. They also worked sanding and staining the floors upstairs. It took them a lot of hard work and teamwork but by Thursday when I went out to give them popsicles, things were looking so great!

Above: A camper scrapes paint from the porch ceiling.
Above: Our videographer Nathan captures a camper hard at work painting the siding at the house in Boomer, West Virginia.
Above: Camper poses for a fun picture.

BBC’s second job for the week was to go to the King home to replace a few floors that had been rotting out and were unsafe to walk on. They crushed that job so quickly and got it done by the end of the day Thursday, and on Friday we all had such a blast.

Both groups went to Boomer to tackle what needed to be finished there and the way the two groups worked together was so incredible. I got the opportunity to drive out to the site for the morning and they had been working so hard and they had all bonded so well together during the week that it became hard to tell which camper came from which church. If someone had come in on Friday to observe, they would have thought that it was only one church there for the week.

God did some amazing work in the camper’s lives this week as well. Doc Maddison was our speaker for this week again and he did amazing as always. We were so happy to have him with us for another week! All of the campers had great reviews of his messages. We all loved his object lessons and we learned a lot from him. Friday night at our decision service we were so lucky to have such an amazing response and so many campers commit to living 24/7 for Christ.

Above: Two campers attempt to unravel a frozen t-shirt before the other in a pre-session game.

Overall, we had an amazing week and it was such a pleasure to have each and every one of the campers in Oak Hill with us for the week. We as a staff have so many stories to take away and we really enjoyed this week and we hope that every camper felt the same! God is doing some amazing work in Oak Hill and we are so excited to see what he has planned for our third and final week in New Castle, PA!

First C.E. Mission Weeks a success in WV

The first of three C.E. Missions Weeks for 2018 is in the books. We were joined in Oak Hill, West Virginia by three churches: Honey Brook Presbyterian, Grace Community Church Willow Street, and Hopeland United Methodist Church Lititz. With forty-five total volunteers, a lot of progress was made at the four job sites.

Grace Community Church started their week at a local residence’s house where they painted the front porch and stained the back deck. For the second half of the week, they worked at another house, tearing up rotted flooring and replacing it with new flooring. They also worked on the exterior of the house, replacing trim and mowing the lawn.

Above: Grace Community students paint the porch at their first site of the week
Above: Two paint splattered campers from Grace Community pose for a picture

Honey Brook Presbyterian spent their week at an unoccupied house, preparing it for the next owners. On their first day, they removed the jungle of weeds from the front yard. The rest of the week included weeding and replanting the garden, replacing trim around the windows, and fixing the drop ceiling and backsplash in the kitchen.

Above: Honey Brook student works to remove roots from the front yard after it has been cleared
Above: Honey Brook students cut trim for the windows
Above: Honey Brook students in the final process of removing weeds from the front yard
Above: Honey Brook students take a picture with staff members Ally and Jonathan

Hopeland United Methodist spent their week working at another local residence’s house, installing new drywall in multiple rooms, painting, replacing trim on the exterior, tearing out and replacing installation, and removing old carpet.

Above: Hopeland students carry old carpet from home
Above: Hopeland camper sands drywall
Above: Hopeland campers work on framing windows

When campers were not working or enjoying popsicles on their job sites, they could be found back at the school, hanging out in the lounge, shopping in the camp store, playing in the gym, or worshipping during nightly group sessions.

Leading the nightly sessions was Doc Maddison, an opera singer and teacher from New Jersey with a heart for Jesus. In his messages, he explored this summer’s theme of “Upward, Inward, and Outward”.

From newly formed friendships between campers, to the all the hard work done by all of our churches, the first Missions Week 2018 was a success!

Best intentions for VBS: 3 Ways to Make it Worth your Time, Money and Resources

Great time and money are invested in your church’s Vacation Bible School (VBS). Did you ever ask if it is worth it? Your best intentions for these programs take hundreds or thousands of dollars with countless volunteer hours. Take these intentional steps and see your VBS be worth all the resources you put into it!

Intentional Relationships: Make a REAL contact following the event- Children attend your VBS that do not go to your church. You may not know their family, whether the family goes to another church, or if these people have any connection to God at all. Form a team that will call and then stop by homes (addresses collected at registration) with a simple gift. Be prepared to thank the families for allowing their child to come to the safe and uplifting environment of XYZ church. Explain that you enjoyed having their child at VBS and that they are invited to attend a regular worship service. Have the team prepared to ask if the family has any questions about the church or faith in Christ. In a relationship-starved society, this extra step can pay huge dividends.

Intentional Programming: Develop clear events that can be publicized so families have additional easy entry points into your church. Examples are a Kick-Off Sunday as the school year is beginning, Harvest Parties in October, and Christmas parties. Working ahead on your planning will allow families to be informed about these events occurring throughout the rest of the year. Use your VBS contacts and inform people about these upcoming events.

Intentional Development: Most churches believe they have a plan to develop young people as Christ-followers. They come to this conclusion because the church uses a set curriculum or has developed age specific objectives. Unfortunately, these items are not sufficient. Finding children’s workers and raising the children’s ministry budget is not the answer either. Churches lack an equipping plan that puts ministry in a child’s daily life. We do not live in a program driven culture any more but churches continue to act this way. Christian Endeavor (CE) exists to help churches implement an intentional growth process that impacts kids, teens, young adults and entire families. A church that uses CE across all ages recently was shocked when asking their children at VBS how they could live for Christ daily- the young children articulated the Simple, Biblical, and Relevant CE principles.

May your church’s future VBS event intentionally build God’s Kingdom! Peace!!

Planning A Positive Pandemic

Last post said, “Warriors, Suit Up!” What steps have you taken to more deeply fall in love with God? What steps have you taken to align yourself with building God’s Kingdom in every part of your life?

December 2017, I played the collaboration board game “Pandemic” for the first time. Players work together in Pandemic to pool their intellect and strategic planning as well as the resources they have from their game cards. The objective involves curing four viruses before they proliferate. Sometimes, no matter what a team does, the game will win. Other times, with solid planning and teamwork, competitors experience victory!

The last time I looked at a Pandemic board layout, instead of being drawn to view where impending disaster could strike, I started picturing C.E. on the board. Knowing C.E.’s origins as a movement, I asked what needed to take place so this attitude and experience could be witnessed again? There are several possible answers to this question, but one involves young people learning about and picking up local church Mission objectives. Next, the young people begin carrying out these objectives.

Soon the children, teens and young adult ministries will begin to be seen and felt as if they are the pastor’s right arm. They will receive this reputation as they build relationship with the pastor, learn about the church’s local mission focus, and carry out tasks to tangibly advance the vision.

Two obstacles exist. First, many pastors abdicate their responsibilities as true front-line ministers of and with the young people. C.E. won’t be the right arm for anyone who forwards any messages about young people to other staff or volunteers without considering the relationship he or she has with young people. Second, the church actually needs a mission focused identity (this can include items such as a clear mission or purpose statement, written values, programming objectives). Extreme difficulty ensues when passionate young people cannot take growth steps because the adult part of the church lacks focus and urgency.

So, ask whether your church’s lack of organized mission planning is preventing a positive “Pandemic” from out-breaking through God moving in young people. Get focused, and set the young people free!

Warriors SUIT UP!

Sixteen days pouring my life into lovely godly people from India and Lebanon (as well as one dear brother from Jordan) leaves me with this message: Warriors . . . SUIT UP!

Those who have known C.E. for some time have started to notice a change. A few of you will attempt to say I’m just being optimistic; those close enough to front-line Ministry know better. I’ve felt this before. I know what it is, and I know where it comes from. Sure, God moved and allowed powerful Biblical leadership training and C.E. equipping to take place. But during the breaks there were heartfelt confessions, soul-searching, identification of gifts available for God’s use and excessive encouragement. Along with this, strategizing for growth was taking place so young people can come to Christ and mobilize local church Mission.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have felt this before, and it comes from when the Holy Spirit begins to move. Godly, talented, passionate, humble leaders were all over the room in both Shillong, NorthEast India and Beirut, Lebanon. Warriors are suiting up because a spiritual battle is taking place, and lately our hind parts have been getting kicked hard by our three fold enemy: Flesh, World, and Devil.

The Biblical book of Matthew tells us the Kingdom of God is forcefully advancing and forceful men take hold of it. It is time to suit up. I need Warriors who want to make a difference for the Kingdom from every corner of the Earth. I need US Warriors longing to crush Christian complacency. Hear me, WARRIORS, SUIT UP!! Now! Today we advance. Begin! Release young people for action!!

Next month you will see where this begins. But as you SUIT UP!!!!! I’ll give you a clue: you will need to check your pastor’s right arm.

Golf Deadline Next Week, Register Today

Super Smiles!

Christian Endeavor had our highest attendance at our 5th annual outing in 2017. We have a goal to raise attendance to an all-time high of 80 people this year. And we’re getting close to the registration deadline next week on Thursday, April 26. Please spread the word to golfers you know, and send them our golf page short link: bit.ly/Golf4CE

Friendly competitions in the scramble format include Top Team, Closest to the Pin and Longest Drive. We also have a 50/50 Putting Contest. And don’t miss out on your chance to win a $10,000 hole-in-one prize!

Honeybrook Golf Club caters a super meal each year, just before we give out prizes.

Golf AND Good Eats!

Okay, so we can’t help you with your golf game. Haha! But we do guarantee you will have a super fun day!

Stay out of that sand!

Sign up today! Don’t miss out on the fun. You can register & pay online or mail a form with your check. Individual golfers are also welcome to help fill out incomplete foursomes.

Just sayin’ HI! Hope to see you soon in Honey Brook!

(If you’re unable to attend, would you consider sponsoring a hole for $200, or being a patron at any amount? Details also found on our golf page: http://www.ceworks.faith/support-get-involved/golf-tournament/)

Give Me Advice

Imagine you had the opportunity to give one piece of advice to a new Christian. What would it be? Advice is available from sources leading people in every possible direction. So how can you know what to say? How can you know that your advice is solid and worth listening to?

A wise English man several hundred years ago was asked this question. His response, “Watch and pray continually against pride.” He went on to write, “Beware even the appearance of pride! Let there be in you that lowly mind which was in Christ Jesus. Be clothed with humility. Let modesty appear in all your words and actions. One way we do this is to own any fault we have. If you have at any time thought, spoken, or acted wrong, do not refrain from acknowledging it. Never dream that this will hurt the cause of God – in fact, it will further it. Be open and honest when you are rebuked and do not seek to evade it or disguise it. Rather, let it appear just as it is and you will thereby not hinder but adorn the gospel.”

John Wesley wrote these words. They challenge me to own my inadequacies, embrace my deficiencies, and confess my transgressions. God is fully aware of who I am. Even more humbling, He knows what I am capable of doing, thinking, and becoming. By God’s grace I am saved through faith in Jesus Christ. Wesley’s advice to “watch and pray continually against pride” provides deep and nourishing wisdom.

Within Christian Endeavor we direct people to God’s Word, the Bible, to know God and His ways more intimately. Find the book of Philippians in the Bible and turn to chapter two. You will receive even more advice in dealing with our battle against pride.

African Journey: A C.E. trip to Nigeria and Egypt

NIGERIA

My journey began Tuesday, January 2, 2018 as I boarded a plane for Frankfurt, Germany that after a layover would transport me to Lagos, Nigeria. Nigeria boasts Africa’s largest population and plentiful natural resources. Southern Nigeria welcomes Christian teaching while Muslim practices dominates Nigeria’s North (90% Muslim). Christianity’s explosive growth has especially occurred amongst charismatic congregations. Christian Endeavor truly holds a non-denominational position in Nigeria as pastors from various backgrounds follow C.E. because of its biblical platform. Currently about sixty churches connect with C.E. and a whole new region is opening that could greatly expand this work in Nigeria and a few churches over the border in the Republic of Benin.

I was greeted at the airport by Bishop Rev. Dr. Joseph O. Adeosun, C.E. Nigeria’s President as well as Dr. Toyin, VP for Nigeria. Bishop Adeosun has been the catalyst with the C.E. Nigeria efforts. The first C.E. Leadership Academy started on the evening of January 4. About one hundred and fifty people filled the church hall as Dr. Adeosun and I both offered welcome messages in between interpretive dances and praise worship choruses. After three hours together we all retired for the evening. The next morning approximately sixty people gathered to start the training. This number grew to about eighty by mid-morning. A format including lecture as well as small group interactive discussion was used. A longer break was taken at lunch but we covered significant material from morning until ending the day with dinner. The teachers included Bishop Adeosun, VP Modou Kanteh, and me.

Attendance was light at the start of the next day. We were confused that only fifteen people were present. We learned 98% of the Nigerian churches hold weekly prayer and worship services from 11PM to 4AM. Yes, you read that correctly! By 11AM most of the group had returned. Our day concluded at dinner time again. The sessions we planned seemed to truly impact the participants. In talking with VP for Africa Momodou Kanteh, he plans to identify several key leaders from the group and follow up with them to continue processing the material. We are hopeful that this will help them to further reinforce the messages with their people. I am receiving messages from participants that God used the training in a powerful manner.

Long range planning- developing parts of the world are starving for this level of training, however, they barely have the resources to pay for transport to the event. Considering lodging, food, and training materials makes this kind of event financially out of reach. An offering was taken one night and it amounted to $12! Recognize the average worker makes $50 per month here. We are called by God to make disciples of ALL nations. We are also called to Consider the Cost. Please pray with me as we live in the tension of carrying out C.E.’s purpose while living in the reality that we are a tremendously underfunded ministry. This event took place mostly because of a scholarship gift. Events beyond the Feb/Mar event in India and Lebanon may need to have funding from various donors to take place.

On Sunday we visited two C.E. churches. One was in Nigeria and the other was in the Republic of Benin. Both churches welcomed us with song and dance. Next we drove sixty kilometers to a new Nigerian C.E. “Zone”. This drive took over two hours. The roads have virtually fallen apart. Riding in the van can be compared with white water rafting. One person drives while others look for the rocks and pot holes that could break your axle like many other cars alongside the road. When we arrived there was a great ceremony. We were introduced to the regional King who was a pastor before taking on his monarchical role. He concluded our time together by explaining he has a plot of land to use for educating children and youth. Since twenty churches have closed in the area he sees young people not being trained for Christ. Then he asked us to think about receiving this land to start an education project. This was a generous offer. Unfortunately it is outside the scope of what we currently are able to do. We must covenant to pray about this need, however, because a Christian school in this region would touch numerous lives for Christ.

To close the Nigerian experience, it was humbling in many ways. When an airport guard asked for a bribe to allow the training manuals to clear immigration, I was humbled when a female police officer rescued me just in time. I was humbled to ride in the middle of the van for the safety of myself and the other passengers because spotting me could cause us to be targeted by criminals. I was humbled to sleep in a hotel room with rolling power outages where I needed to lock and bolt the door answering only for my contact as criminal activity and kidnapping are rampant. Finally, I was humbled by watching ten Nigerian children play soccer on a small church concrete pad with a tennis ball. The game continued with both sides displaying incredible skill until the ball split in half. The children ran away to find another game. I walked over to the “ball” only to discover it was actually an unripe orange that had fallen from a tree. Finally, I was humbled to meet so many wonderful servants of God involved with C.E. Nigeria. Dr. Adeosun and his son-in-law took special care to ensure my safety and the safety of those involved with the event.

EGYPT

Egypt’s one hundred million people mostly connect to Muslim teaching. Prayer chants rang out three times a day from the local Mosque’s loud speakers reminding me of the country’s vast spiritual need. The majority of Christians are Coptic which is a very traditional group resembling Catholicism. Coptic Christians have little emphasis on outreach.

I landed in Cairo and was transported three hours to Alexandria. I had productive meetings with my contact there during the next two days. The first day focused on explaining C.E. in great detail. The entire C.E. process was described so he could understand how it works in the local church. I had gone through the process with him with a ZOOM connection (online tool) but the personal connection allowed much more to be understood by him. He will be sharing about C.E. with his church but he thinks C.E. could assist refugees across the Mediterranean rim and across Europe because no one is giving refugees discipleship method assistance. Egyptian churches are slow to think about “OUT” as an important function of their ministry so C.E. could be slower to grow in Egypt.

The following day we focused on his ministry. He has a significant ministry with refugees in Turkey that speak Arabic. I have not mentioned his name for his protection as he makes several trips per year into a region that is 90% Muslim. His travel name is Joseph so we will use this to describe him. One of his functions is networking people who are doing refugee ministry. So I plan to connect him with Raffi Messerlianand, C.E. President in Lebanon, as well as some people in Germany who are reaching out to refugees through their local youth ministries. My time in Egypt was very short but the relational connection was well worth it. Joseph has also agreed to translate the Quick Start Manual into Arabic which means we will have an Arabic description of the C.E. Principles (Up, In, With, Out) and the pledge/promise in Arabic as well. This will not have the iPledge and TEAM Work Manual documents translated, but I am thrilled that the first step will be taken by translating the Quick Start.

Observing Christians in Nigeria and Egypt that face daily persecution brings deeper perspective to Christian commitment. Praise God for all the saints God has reached and connected with C.E. so together we can take steps to make God’s name great among the nations. Peace!

DC
Dr. Dave Coryell
General Secretary

Christmas at the Beach! Adult C.E. Retreat

Feeling the need to get away from it all? Join with other C.E. adults to celebrate “Christmas at the beach” … in May! Learn what is happening in Christian Endeavor in the USA and around the World with an update from director Dr. Dave Coryell. Hear inspiring Bible-based messages by Dr. Kirby Keller. And enjoy Christian musical artists Dawn & Randy Marks. And you don’t want to miss the fun banter between Dawn & emcee Frank Schock. REGISTRATION DEADLINE is MARCH 31, 2018. Basic retreat dates are May 8-10, 2018 with an extended retreat option starting May 7 for additional site-seeing. Click HERE for a flyer and registration form on our site, and video links from previous retreats.