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Catalyst 2.0 Prayer Guide : They Are Not So Much Different by Eric Zahnd

They Are Not So Much Different

by Eric Zahnd   

 Psalm 100:3:  Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are all his people, the sheep of his pasture.   

The language was foreign. The food was different. The living conditions were primitive. And the heat was oppressive.  

 But the people! The people were really not very different from you and me.   

With the support of Catalyst’s SEND Initiative, our family traveled to Thailand with others from Second Baptist Church. We worked at the Upland Holistic Development Project, an agroforestry ministry assisting Hill Tribe people fleeing from Myanmar.

We dug holes, planted trees, painted a room, and built a roof for a well. And my teenage sons each brought home a prized possession—a handmade machete bought from a man who likely used it himself earlier in the day.   

As you might expect, we encountered many bewildering things. Not only was the language perplexing, the alphabet itself was indecipherable. The food was new and exotic. Especially the durian, a sweet fruit with a stench so powerful, it is banned in most restaurants and hotels.   

Many of the Hill Tribe people we met dressed in traditional garb, very different from Western attire. Their skin was dark; their statures' small. At first glance, they appeared very different.   But as we got to know them over hard work and good meals, we quickly learned that their desires, hopes, and dreams are quite similar to ours.   

They want safety for their families. They want a safe food and water supply. They want good neighbors. They want to live happy, long lives in a place they can call home. And, whether expressed or not, they yearn for a relationship with the Almighty God who created and sustains all of us.     

The world is a big place, much bigger than the relatively comfortable confines of suburban Kansas City. Language, cuisines, living conditions, customs, traditions, and even religions vary from place to place.   

But God created all of us in His own image to be His people. Our core similarities overcome our external differences. For Psalmist sings truly, "Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are all his people, the sheep of his pasture." (Psalm 100:3)   

God, help me see that all people are your people. All are in need of a Savior.
Posted by Terri Soper at Saturday, October 18, 2014
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Catalyst 2.0 Prayer Guide : I Love It (and So Should You) by Larry Gregory

I Love It!  (And So Should You!)    

by Larry Gregory  

Ezra 5:11:  We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the temple that was built many years ago.  

I like to tell people that when you have a building the age and condition of the building that houses Second Baptist Church, you don’t “Maintain it,” you “Love it.” And when I say “Love it,” what I mean by that is, what we do goes far beyond normal maintenance. We are the caretakers and this is the house of the Lord. This building does not belong to you or me, it belongs to God. That sets the priority!  

Construction began on the main part of our building in 1922. It is fast approaching its century birthday and those who have gone before us have done a tremendous job caring for our building. It is our job to make sure that this facility is passed along to future generations, not in the same condition as it was passed to us, but in better condition. Now it’s our turn to care for it and what an honor it is.    

People come into our building for different reasons. First and foremost to Worship. That is what it is all about. But our church building serves other uses, as well. Young families come for Second Friends Preschool and MOPS. Many attend Sunday School and Wednesday evening activities. The Liberty community uses our building to cast ballots in elections and you might even see the Sons of the American Revolution meeting here.   

The Catalyst approach to our budget brings a new comfort level to knowing we have the resources to make all of this happen. Whether it is a simple door handle that needs repair or something major as rehabbing the Porte Cochère, your Catalyst dollars make all the difference.  

 I “Love it.”     

Our building provides spaces for worship, Bible Study, Fellowship, Missions, Education, and Care.  And it has been for years.  Do you hear the voices of those that have gone before us?
Posted by Terri Soper at Friday, October 17, 2014
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Catalyst 2.0 Prayer Guide : Heaven is Like This by Charlie and Loretta Hughes

Heaven is Like This!  

by Charlie & Loretta Hughes  

Matthew 19:14:  Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”   

Teaching 4 and 5 year olds in Sunday school is a joyful and fulfilling experience. Each Sunday morning these precious children bring enthusiasm, curiosity, boundless energy and an eagerness to learn about God.   

Because of the generous support of the Catalyst Fund our task of teaching has been enriched by the provision of an outstanding Bible based curriculum that includes colorful posters for each unit’s memory verse, an engaging wall mural with weekly add-ons that challenges the children to remember each Bible story for the 13 week quarter, and age appropriate hands-on activities that aid their remembering and applying the lesson. The Bible story is in booklet form that is sent home each week.   

The Catalyst Fund has provided a resource room stocked with an amazing supply of materials such as glue sticks, construction paper, craft sticks, yarn, markers, crayons and much more. Knowing all these materials are available to use with the children has made it possible for us to focus on lesson preparation.   

Feedback from our students’ parents has affirmed that their children are growing in Bible knowledge, in understanding of how to have Jesus in their lives, and in living out each day, the principles Jesus taught.   

Finally, having Gwen Phillips to provide leadership, co-ordination and encouragement to the children’s program has been a blessing to the teachers, the children, their parents and our whole faith community.      

Teaching our children about God is a wonderful yet challenging opportunity.  If you have those gifts, consider volunteering with our children’s or student ministries.
Posted by Terri Soper at Thursday, October 16, 2014
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