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Catalyst 2.0 Prayer Guide : Stephen Ministry by Carol Kingery

Stephen Ministry   

by Carol Kingery

Galatians 6:2:  Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.    

Second Baptist started our Stephen Ministry program in 2004. Our church leadership carefully planned and budgeted for our congregation’s commitment and involvement.  This program has been blessed over the years by good, solid financial support. In our first year, eight people attended the Leadership Training Conference and learned how to implement this life-changing ministry at our church. Upon their return, 10 people joined the first training class to become Stephen Ministers. Since that time, we’ve trained 17 more people. In addition to monetary support, you’ve affirmed us by commissioning Stephen Ministers and Stephen Leaders. You support our Service of Hope each year by bringing your friends and family. Most importantly, you serve as our eyes and ears and refer hurting people to receive Stephen Ministry care.   

Catalyst money is divided into three major areas: Our world, the greater Kansas City area, and the 2BC faith community. Our Stephen Ministry program has cared for 2BC members as well as for people beyond our faith community. We provide one-on-one distinctively Christian care to anyone going through a difficult season in their life. With 27 trained Stephen Ministers, we have touched dozens and dozens of people and made their journey less difficult. Tears of sadness often become tears of gladness. I wish I could tell you stories about some of these relationships, but, as you know, we’re a confidential group. Our ministry is successful primarily because of its confidentiality.   

But that doesn’t stop me from extending a deep and heartfelt THANK YOU for supporting Stephen Ministry. It is your ministry, and your Catalyst contributions make such a difference to a great many people. Thank you, 2BC, for your generosity.

Thank God, that through Catalyst, laypeople are highly trained, and use their training and compassion to meet the needs of hurting people. 
Posted by Terri Soper at Monday, October 13, 2014 | 0 comments
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Catalyst 2.0 Prayer Guide : They Comforted Us by Carolyn and Davis Fulk

They Comforted Us   

by Carolyn and Davis Fulk

Matthew 25:35: I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.   

During the summer of 2013, we journeyed to Ottawa, Canada, to work in two refugee ministries. Until then, most of our understanding of refugees had been gained from watching the nightly news. During our days at Matthew House, we prepared meals, cleaned, held babies, visited with residents, and sorted welcome kits. At the Furniture Bank, we moved furniture and helped clients select items for their new homes. These duties were rewarding because we knew we were helping others. But the most rewarding part of our trip was the interaction we had with the refugees and staff. We met refugees from Bulgaria, the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Afghanistan.   

We learned that we can make friends and have fun even if we can’t speak someone else’s language. Refugees make many sacrifices as they leave their home country. Roda, one of our friends from the Congo, had been forced to flee, leaving her four year old daughter with friends she hardly knew.  She now sends money back to take care of her. Another friend, Cristobel, has begun a new life in Canada, but sorely misses the influence of her mother as she is raising a beautiful boy named Michael. David, who manages the Matthew House and has recently become a Canadian citizen, celebrates his new status and the ability it offers – he’ll be able to travel to see his mother and siblings for the first time in nearly 20 years.  All of his family have now fled Zimbabwe in fear of the dictator Mugabe. Paradis, now a college student, arrived in Ottawa as a nine year old from Iran.  She spent almost the first year of her life in Canada sleeping on the floor of her family’s apartment because they had no beds.  Now she interns at Furniture Bank, insuring that other refugees have such necessities.   

Through it all, what struck us most were the determination and positive spirit that the refugees shared. They ate with us, laughed with us, carried us on their backs, and played soccer with us. They prayed with us, in English and once in French – perhaps one of the more moving moments in our visit. They could have appeared anxious and fearful; instead they were trusting and joyful, comforting us with their spirit.  These friends became living examples that God’s grace is sufficient for all of our needs.   

We are grateful that the SEND initiative of Second Baptist made this trip possible for us.         

As we continue to participate in Catalyst, may we do so with generous hearts from a deep trust and confidence that God’s abundance is sufficient for all that is before us. We pray that our lives are freed from anxiousness, and we continue to dwell in the joy of extravagant generosity.
Posted by Terri Soper at Sunday, October 12, 2014 | 0 comments
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Catalyst 2.0 Prayer Guide : Being the Presence of Christ by Gwen Phillips

Being the Presence of Christ

by Gwen Phillips

Leviticus 19:33-34: When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as you are native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.  

 Five years ago, several members of our church spent a weekend learning how to teach English to foreign adults and received teacher training certificates for 14 hours of training in English as a Second Language. Shortly after that, we officially began an ESL program at Second Baptist Church for anyone interested in learning English. Mostly, we have had friends from Mexico as students. However, we currently have friends from El Salvador and Guatemala. In the past, I’ve also taught women from Morocco, French-speaking Canada, Peru, and Korea. What a wonderful experience this has been for me!  The program began with nine men who worked at the Mexican restaurant on the Square. There has been much growth in their conversational English.  One friend, Leonardo, was able to promote from dishwasher in the back to server with the customers because his English improved so much!   

Over the years, we have enjoyed a variety of meaningful experiences with these new friends. Babies have been born, employment opportunities opened up. Some have returned to their homeland. One of my favorite activities has been working with mothers of little ones who want to read books to their kiddos in English. We practice reading in class, then the mom takes the book home and reads it to her child several times before returning that book for another.  I’ve been very proud of their hard work!   

Soon I will be sharing a new memory, this one with my Guatemalan friend, Lilian. Together, we studied hard on the 100 questions she needed to answer for her citizenship test and she has recently passed and completed her oral interview. This month, Lilian will go for her citizenship ceremony and she has invited me to come along. I can’t imagine the joy I will feel as she becomes a US citizen.  Lilian and her family love the Lord and continue to give thanks for this opportunity.   

Thanks to you, Second Baptist congregation, we are privileged to be the presence of Christ to friends from all around the world.    

“Treat them as well as you treat citizens and love them as much as you love yourself.”     

The world has come to us!  How can you respond to the needs of those knocking on our door?    
Posted by Terri Soper at Saturday, October 11, 2014 | 0 comments
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