Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Foreign Food Festival 2017

What is it that keeps us from getting involved with missions?
Whether short term or long term?
I understand the folks who are elderly and can't travel.
I understand the folks who are care-givers for very sick children or 
other family members.
I understand folks who have found their mission field right in their
own neighborhood or their own family.
But I really believe that two reasons people never even consider
going somewhere outside of their own community are:
1.)  Fear
2.)  Unfamiliarity
 with  (or an unwillingness to learn about) cultures
other than their own

One of the single most powerful events that our church puts on
 during our annual Missions Conference is the Foreign Food Festival.
What better way to showcase the beautiful diversity of cultures in our world
complete with costumes and food tasting and decorated booths
in a fun, non-threatening, educational environment.
You can't help but catch a love for the people
 of these different cultures and realize
that they need Jesus just like the rest of us!!
An event like this familiarizes people with the food found in different countries
and gives you an opportunity to try the new flavors and textures
and erase the excuse that "you wouldn't like the food there."
An event like this teaches people the fun traditions and whimsical sides
of places we might otherwise know very little about.
An event like this helps people learn about the traditions
 and dress of other cultures.
It transports you to another country.
It breaks down walls of fear.

The theme, or focus, at our church this year has been to "Make Disciples."
What a transformative theme it has been for our faith community!!
We have seen families surrender to adoption.
More people than ever before giving to our scholarship program
 enabling more teens and families
to participate in the short-term mission trips offered during the summer!
We have witnessed more people pouring through the doors and our Sunday
School classes maxing out this year because people are sharing the love of Jesus
and discipling friends, family, and neighbors!!
We spent our entire day here setting up our class booth, participating
in the Food Festival, and directing the missions drama to follow.
All of us participated in some way (except for my husband and a daughter
who had to work), and had an absolute blast all day!
In fact, I had no idea where my children were unless they
came running back to report to me the fun they were having.
Which explains why I'm missing some pictures of my boys!


I am so grateful that the Lord led us to this body of believers who are passionate 
about sharing the gospel with ALL!
I am so grateful for our pastor who has a vision for missions
and creating ways for more of our people to go to these countries
where there are people who have never heard the good news of Jesus!!
Where we have been challenged with the truth that every believer
has been commissioned to go and tell and make disciples.
Not just a few with a special call.
We all must go.
We all must be about sharing Jesus!!!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Mission Conference 2017

We begin preparing for this weeks in advance.

It is one of our most favorite events of the entire year.
Missions Conference 2017

There are rehearsals to attend.
New missionaries to meet, and weekend events to plan!!

On the final night, we shower each of our visiting missionaries with gifts
from money collected during the 3 days,
to meet very specific needs they share with us each evening during the conference!!
One family desperately needed new tires for their van {for traveling around
the country on deputation} and when they received that specific gift, they turned
around on Monday and went to have them replaced.
They shared a picture of the splits in their tires and how the mechanic told
them he had never seen such a defect in tires like that before!
Praise God for His perfect timing!!
Just one of the amazing moments during this conference where we saw
and heard of the power of God in protecting and meeting the needs of His servants!

 The conference is concluded with a beautiful candlelight service where we are reminded to shine
as lights in this dark world and to take the Light of Jesus to every corner of the world.
Each missionary family is given a new Bible and our faith community signs the inside
committing to pray for them as they go minister to the field to which they have been called!!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


Since the week before our school year started,
my three school girls have been busy with their volleyball team.
They even had a team day at Six Flags over Texas that week
 which was an absolute blast for them and the perfect way to end their summer break!
Especially for Aryn because it was her first time ever at a large amusement park!

On the very first day of school, they had their very first game.
At the end of that week, they participated in a tournament out-of-town
where they stayed overnight two nights and really bonded as a team.

Aryn is in the 4th grade this year and is absolutely overjoyed to get to play.
She is learning new skills and teamwork, and the older girls have been
so accepting and encouraging to her!!

This is Ashlyn's last year to get to play and she has become a champ at 
juggling her work schedule with her practice/game schedule as well as her schoolwork!!

I am so very thankful for this opportunity for my girls to get to experience 
team effort, competitive play with other teams, and lots of fun!!

 **All photos courtesy Coach Mary Mancia!!**