Monday, May 13, 2013

Bits & Bytes for Bagley Backers May 2013

May 2013
Bits & Bytes for Bagley Backers
Retreat 2013

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African Missionary Retreat
Global Partners' missionaries serving in Africa met this past month at a resort north of Xai Xai, Mozambique for their annual missionary retreat. Despite a few last minute changes in airplane tickets and a scare about the availability of visas, all the missionaries arrived on time with little difficulty (although some had lengthy travel times).

One of the highlights of this year's retreat was a well-focused ministry to the missionary kids by Michelle Bryant, a children's pastor from United Wesleyan Church in Easley, SC. Missionaries were challenged by messages from GP's Executive Director, Dr. Dennis and Gwen Jackson. Missionaries also deeply appreciated the presence and ministry of Tim Hibschman, GP's Director of Missionary Care and  Development.  

The Retreat concluded with a celebration of the African ministry ofJerry & Jody Manwaring and Orai & Linda Lehman. Jerry & Jody currently serve as Assistant Area Director for Administration and will retire in a little over a year. Orai & Linda have served in Africa since 1968 and currently serve as Mozambique Mission Director. They will be retiring at the end of the year. 

Photos from the Africa Area Missionary Retreat can be seen by clicking the button below:

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Zambia Field Visit
Following the Missionary Retreat, Bob traveled to Zambia with Dr. Jackson to connect with church leaders as well as visit the places where GP missionaries are stationed.

The visit began with participation in Zambia's annual Missions and Leaders Conference in Lusaka. Around three hundred church leaders gathered to participate in workshops on topics ranging from "Biblical Stewardship" to "The Missions Minded Church" to ministry spotlights from various departments within the church.

Following the conference a day and a half was spent visiting church ministries in and around Lusaka. We then traveled to Pilgrim Wesleyan Bible College in Jembo just as new missionaries Mike & Shareen Bradley were arriving to begin their year of service. It was then on to Zimba where we witnessed significant developments at the hospital including the new backup generator, the new Out Patient Department, and the renovated/expanded Maternity Ward.

Photos from the visit to Zambia can be seen by clicking the button below:

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Jalila PWC
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Swaziland Ministry
After the Africa Area Missionary Retreat Brenda traveled to Emmanuel Wesleyan Bible College in Swaziland to teach the course "Understanding Other Faiths." Besides the usual classroom instruction, the course included visits to a local mosque as well as to a local Jericho Church in Zion (a syncretistic independent African church).

For a full report on her time in Swaziland, click the "Read More" button below:

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Photos of Brenda's time in Swaziland can be seen by clicking the "See Photos" button below:
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Praise Reports
  1. Praise God for safety in travel for missionaries coming to the Africa Area Missionary Retreat and for a profitable time together.
  2. Praise God for His help in the Missions and Leaders Conference in Zambia and for the vision and enthusiasm evident in church leaders.
  3. Praise God for helping Brenda to communicate effectively as she taught at Emmanuel Wesleyan Bible College in Swaziland this past month.
  4. Praise God for the safe arrival of Mike & Shareen Bradley to begin their term of service at Pilgrim Wesleyan Bible College in Zambia.

Prayer Requests
  1. Please continue to pray for Randal and Candice Cheney and their family as their application for residence permits have been denied. We are in a process of appealing the decision and are making alternative plans in case this is not successful. Pray for God's plan to be accomplished and for encouragement for the Cheneys.
  2. Leaders from Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Liberia, and Ghana will be meeting in Sierra Leone May 27-29 for a District Superintendents' School. Pray that these leaders will easily grasp the concepts that will help them be more effective in their leadership and that they will return to their home countries with new vision and enthusiasm.
  3. The quadrennial National Conference of the Wesleyan Church of Sierra Leone will meet May 29 - June 2.  Please ask God to guide in the decisions that are made and leaders that are chosen. Pray that there will be an unusual sense of God's presence and a spirit of unity.
  4. We are preparing to travel to the US in mid June for GP's training event for new missionaries and a meeting of GP's Leadership Council.  Please pray that God will help and guide us as we prepare for these important events.

Support Report

We are deeply grateful for all of you who faithfully and sacrificially give so we can serve in the Africa Area. Thank you so much.

For your information, our support received was down in April. Please help us pray that God will supply what is needed each month.
Donations or monthly commitments can be made online by clicking here 
or sent by mail to: Global Partners, PO Box 50434, Indianapolis, 46250

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Monday, May 6, 2013

“Rights” you are

      by Brad Stine
One of the easiest phrases to roll off the tongue of an American is when speaking of our “rights”. I have the “right” to freedom of speech based on the 1st amendment. I have the “right” to pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
I have the “right” to believe in whatever God I choose or no God at all. I have the “right” to disagree with the decisions my government makes without fear of reprisal and the “right” to get rid of them if I think they’re doing a bad job. I have the “right” to own property and the “right” to defend it.
I have the “right” to marry whom I want and the “right” to be left alone in my own home without concern for government intrusion. I have the “right” to travel freely from state to state without a passport or permission for the matter.
Yes I have innumerous amounts of “rights” in the United States and we spend a lot of time and money trying to get more every day.
The truth of the matter is we do indeed possess these “rights”; what isn’t true is that all of them are intrinsic to our nature. No, the truth is we don’t actually “have” ANY rights in America, if in “rights” we mean I deserve them or earned them.
The “rights” we do have, have been given to us! The “rights” you have to speak freely was given to us by people who DIED speaking freely. The “right” you have to worship freely here without the concern for coercion or jail time was given to you by people who left their native home to hand us that privilege.
The right to despise your government, AND more importantly publicly say so was given to you by people who fought and died, literally, to create a government that allowed itself to be challenged.
I hate war but humanity has proven we can’t exist without it. You can protest war in America only because people who fought in war gave you the privilege. My point is that we should be beyond grateful for all the “rights” we possess as American’s; but perhaps we should all be more careful about flippantly utilizing the word “rights” as though this is common to man.
It should roll off your tongue with somber awe and dignity as though you have been given access to using the king’s name in order to pass through hostile terrain. It should be honored by the weight of its presence. If you have the “right” to burn your own flag, it should be for that very reason that you never do!
This is something that used to be called honor and yet seems only to be taught now to soldiers.
It is only “right” that we never take for granted what most of us have been given simply because of the land our mothers inhabited as they gave birth.
You see the Founding Fathers didn’t create our “rights” when they crafted the Constitution, they believed our rights came from God, thus they are immutable and sacred.
We are watching these rights erode as those who say they believe in “equal rights” miss the discipline that demands that believing in equality means you don’t censor those who find your behavior immoral or harmful to the culture at large. The 1st line of the 1st amendment told this new Nation what the Founders considered most sacred as a people, freedom of conscience.
Free thought without media derision or bullying is what gives us as Americans the single most cherished right in the world…Liberty.
Remember, even though we believe that God created all men equal, it is left to us in this fallen state to honor that and instigate it whenever we can. Why? Because the Creator said that this is “right”.

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