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    from DC Borisov says their guests seemed to enjoy the food and some even volunteered to help cook for a future event And there will be future events Borisov says DC plans to follow up by inviting their Christmas guests to other gatherings perhaps one asking them to wear traditional dress in order to open conversations about their culture In addition DC plans to offer a language fellowship for immigrants a chance to learn and practice English skills Borisov says they will use the Gospel of John as a text for learning since only 600 vocabulary words are needed to understand that book He says DC has a solid group of volunteers but they are still forming the plan One specific need is a person or couple trained in English as a Second Language to help establish this ministry Next Christmas DC hopes to invite all 2014 immigrants to a celebration even if there are 500 That s a bold dream for a small congregation so they already are calling for help from other local churches and businesses We already have a good response Borisov says He invites the larger USMB family to support this dream through prayer and donations as well Pray for us he says He invites prayer not only for these specific ministries but also for growth in general God keeps sending us people we can serve Borisov says but we are also praying for committed Christians to help us serve PHOTOS Provided by Disciples Church 1 Organizers of Disciples Church s Christmas Day celebration created a party atmosphere for their guests 2 The story of Christ s birth was told using flannel graph 3 Guests were greeted by a live nativity scene and carolers provided by Pilgrim Church the mother congregation of Disciples Church 4 The children receive gifts from a Disciples Church member dressed as a wiseman 5 Gifts for the party were provided by area businesses Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Spokane church plant reaches out to immigrants Tuesday Feb 11 2014 Christmas celebration part of larger dream to serve immigrants in Spokane By Myra Holmes Disciples Church DC Spokane Wash invited about 40 immigrants to a Christmas celebration held Dec 25 The celebration was one part of a larger dream for this USMB church plant to reach out to the many immigrants in their community DC is a partnership of USMB Pacific District Conference and Pilgrim Slavic Baptist Church a USMB Slavic congregation in Spokane Most of those who attend this English language church plant are immigrants themselves Slavic as well as others so they have common ground with those new to the United States Because we are immigrants says Pastor Aleks Borisov we think we have a way to approach them and they will accept a message from us The celebration was planned for Christmas Day and targeted those for whom this was the first Christmas in America because that day is often lonely for newcomers who

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/_17.html (2016-02-17)
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    sending group The ICOMB scholarship program gives preference to Anabaptist schools and values programs of study that can be completed in the applicant s home geographic and cultural context Especially at the undergraduate level younger students are encouraged to grow stronger bonds to their own conference and culture by staying in country says Wiens The scholarship builds visionary leaders not only for the churches but also in fields like education medicine and business Current recipients from India and DR Congo are professors at MB Centenary Bible College Shamshabad and Christian University of Kinshasa respectively and the latter was also granted scholarship funds for the school of nursing Applications were due Jan 31 a five person committee awards scholarships no more than two individuals from a single country until all conferences have been considered at the ICOMB annual gathering in May In 2013 ICOMB set a goal of raising 1 million for the GSF in the next two years We had to turn down a number of very fine applicants last year due to lack of funds says Wiens We re looking for people who understand the high impact these global leaders can have in the church and beyond It s an investment Portugal s Mente is already paying back When the elder Mente suddenly moved to France AIMP asked Mente to take responsibility He was ready to do that says Arrais but at the same time he asked for our support His humble character came up again We thank God for the blessing of having Moisés and the gifts he has Mente says I want to contribute maximum effort to applying the concepts I learned in Bible school to bless the church so God may be glorified and his kingdom expanded I want to be available to serve wherever needed for God s purposes Karla Braun is the associate editor of MB Herald the Canadian Conference of MB Churches English language magazine Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments ICOMB scholarship recipient gifted to serve Tuesday Feb 11 2014 Global friends help Portuguese pastor study theology by Karla Braun Moisés Mente son of the founding pastor of Igreja Evangélica Irmãos Menonitas da Amadora Amadora Evangelical MB Church has been involved in this Portuguese congregation since it began but he s still learning Bible school has offered me the basic tools to perform effective ministry always grounded in Scripture says the young pastor Mente is one of recipients of ICOMB s Global Scholarship Fund GSF which disbursed 40 000 to 11 individuals and four schools for the 2013 2014 school year It s extremely important that the minister of God is thoroughly equipped to perform effectively in his ministry says Mente a bachelor of arts student He has taken the mantle of pastor in the Amadora church and is currently studying theology at Instituto Bíblico Português do Tojal Tojal Bible Institute a nondenominational Bible school near Lisbon The MB conference in Portugal Associação dos Irmãos Menonitas de Portugal

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/_16.html (2016-02-17)
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    various retail categories Choice Books highest volume account in 2013 was Paradies Shops at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport which sold 21 597 books 253 231 retail from nine displays scattered throughout the airport The Pilot Flying J 617 in Lodi Calif had the top volume in the travel center store category Originally organized in 1962 Choice Books CB currently operates through a network of seven regional distributors who work cooperatively with a central office in Harrisonburg Va The organization employs approximately 250 staff and volunteers and services more than 11 350 displays Choice Books purchases books from over 80 publishers and sells both English and Spanish language inspirational Christian books Choice Books of West Coast was developed when Choice Books of Pennsylvania CBPA asked Albert and Joann Epp a retired pastoral couple living in Bakersfield Calif to develop Choice Books in California CBWC was formed as a nonprofit organization May 1 2002 to assume the work started by CBPA At that time there were 55 displays Today CBWC services over 450 displays in central and northern California and northern Nevada In 2012 CBWC recorded a milestone by purchasing selling over 1 000 000 in book sales Currently there are six service representatives and two administrative office staff plus a host of faithful volunteers involved in the CBWC ministry Mennonite Brethren involved are district manager Steve Isaak of Dinuba Calif MB Church service representatives Neal Longenecker and Michael Lawrence both of Reedley Calif MB Church and Jaime Gonzalez of United Faith Christian Fellowship a USMB congregation in Fresno Calif and chief volunteer Melvin Pauls also of Reedley MB Church The CBWC Board of Directors includes individuals from the USMB Pacific District Conference and Pacific Southwest District of the Mennonite Church USA MB board members are chair Eugene Enns treasurer David Karber and members Albert Epp Marvin Just Jim Gaede and Nancy Neufeld For more information about Choice Books visit www choicebooks org Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Choice Books exceeds 5 million books Tuesday Feb 11 2014 Inspirational book distributor successful in California Choice Books press release Choice Books purchased or sold 5 125 621 books in 2013 marking the eighth consecutiv e year that annual sales exceeded 5 million books Choice Books annual sales have hovered between 5 1 and 5 4 million books purchased sold annually after peaking at over 5 5 million books sold in 2008 The flucuation in sales may be attributed to the recession and the increase in e book sales in the last several years An October 2013 report from the Book Industry Study Group notes a slow decline in the number of people who exclusively buy e books and that physical books remain a popular format for many consumers Choice Books is a direct store delivery distributor of inspirational wholesome and family oriented reading materials servicing displays in thousands of retail locations across the continental United States Hawaii and Puerto Rico Mennonite Brethren congregations in California support Choice

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/_15.html (2016-02-17)
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    handbag handmade Scripture artwork item handmade child s clothing jewelry gift certificate for hair services a wood curio cabinet Tabor College clothing for men and women and various gift baskets Among the items auctioneer Clint Seibel will sell during the live auction scheduled to begin at 7 15 p m include a one week stay at a lakefront home that sleeps 12 in Lincoln City Ore a round of golf for four including carts at the Hillsboro Kan municipal golf course a round of golf for four including carts at Reflection Ridge in Wichita Night on the Town gift certificates for two that includes Warren Theater movie tickets a night at an Oldtown boutique hotel and breakfast a Tabor College gift basket and shrimp boil dinner for six with President Jules Glazner and his wife Peg a spring turkey hunt a fly fishing trip to Lake Taneycomo in Branson Mo a NFL football signed by David and Derek Carr a hand crafted wooden bench massage and spa gift baskets and a copy of the 2013 Sports Illustrated final four edition signed by the Wichita State University Shockers Plant 2014 Midwest is being held in conjunction with the annual verenika dinner hosted by Women s Ministry of First MB Church Wichita Kan The come and go dinner featuring verenika and gravy sausage green beans cherry moos zeiback and pie will be served from 5 p m to 7 p m FMBC Women s Ministries has designated Morning Star Ranch a World Impact camp and conference center for inner city children as the agency to receive the proceeds from the dinner Diners will pay at the door with adult tickets selling for 10 and 5 for children ages three through 12 children under three are free Individuals who plan to attend the dinner are asked to RSVP to their local church so that First MB organizers can anticipate the number of meals to prepare Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Auctions to raise support for USMB church plants Tuesday Feb 11 2014 Two Plant 2014 events scheduled for Fresno Wichita By Connie Faber USMB is hosting regional Plant 2014 fundraising events in February and March to raise awareness of USMB activities and support for new church plants Plant 2014 Pacific is scheduled for Saturday Feb 22 at Bethany MB Church in Fresno Calif and Plant 2014 Midwest is on the calendar for Saturday March 8 at First MB Church in Wichita Kan Both events will include dinner as well as silent and live auctions These events are an opportunity to celebrate and give thanks to God for his ongoing life changing work through our national and district ministry partnerships says Ed Boschman USMB executive director While the events are USMB sponsored we are pleased to tithe our bottom line to the districts in which the events are held for their church planting initiatives Boschman says organizers hope to raise a combined total of 20 000 to 30 000

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/Auctions-to-raise-support-for-USMB-church-plants.html (2016-02-17)
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    internship initiatives to develop leaders through mentoring and discipleship We invite pastors new to USMB to experience a National Pastors Orientation for initiation and networking connection We ramped up our communication by effectively redesigning the Christian Leader and making it available online in concert with our social media initiatives through a significant and active website We provide theological oversight for our constituency through the service of our national Board of Faith and Life And we serve in leading our family on our life transformation kingdom mission through the coordination of our various USMB agencies and institutions Over the years I have heard several descriptions of this ministry partnership opportunity Sometimes it s been described as an annoying tax Other times a member obligation Or graciously a family responsibility or even more graciously a family privilege On a few occasions a partnership privilege In my earlier years as a church pastor it always seemed good and right to demonstrate loyalty to and support for USMB and its ministries After all this same USMB family had given us birth and was still providing us status and covering It always seemed right to me and to our lead teams to do our part to ensure that we appropriately supported our spiritual parents and partner ministry agencies Another thing that I noticed was that there were times when it was clear to me that I was the gate keeper in those considerations I really hadn t envisioned I was signing up for that role but it was clear that it was a reality and quite honestly it was a privilege The National Ministries Fund NMF needs and deserves support from all USMB churches We are deeply grateful for all our faithful support partners If your church is not in on that privilege please prayerfully reconsider that position asking God for his direction Your investment will help move us along in our mission to see lives transformed Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Why fund USMB ministries Saturday Feb 1 2014 How USMB is adding value to your congregation s ministry by Ed Boschman USMB executive director Have you ever wondered Why are we budgeting all this money for our USMB relationships Given that fewer than half of USMB member churches are financial partners in our national ministry initiatives one can assume that the question has been raised The request that churches support USMB with 2 5 percent of general offerings still leaves 97 5 percent of the offerings for other ministry investment When the district conference request for support is added in and the support for MB Mission the local Mennonite Brethren college or university the seminary and some other cousin ministry partners it may well add up to a tithe of offerings Does that seem good and right for a local church budget Still a key question could be But what does that investment get us In the summer of 2009 we asked USMB pastors to advise us of

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/_23.html (2016-02-17)
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    me to think about church planting You see our USMB church planters encounter all kinds of unexpected speed bumps landmines and barriers as they engage in the rigors of church planting Too frequently immense speed bumps emerge before our planters sometimes with great intensity If church planters are not prepared for them these bumps can cause a lot of emotional damage or loss of momentum We ve had planters deal with health issues dog bites financial setbacks expensive car maintenance loss of spouses jobs volatile and angry church attendees painful concerns with children allergies they ve never dealt with before chronic insomnia warts okay they can live with those and on and on These are all things that can affect anyone but they can be severely discouraging for planters who are completely pouring themselves out in order to get a new church off the ground I believe Satan uses some of these things in his attempts to bring the process of planting to a halt or to at least cause disruption And yes some of these things are just a part of life But regardless of the source they are dramatic concerns as they impact the already risky venture of church planting So what can we do to help ease church planters through these speed bumps more effectively We teach our planters to be on guard for unexpected things to come their way We often encourage them to be prayed up But we also need others to pray constantly for our church planters We seek prayer warriors to intercede for protection guidance and awareness Paul says in 2 Cor 1 10b 11 On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us as you help us by your prayers Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many Your prayers are vital Thank you for praying Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Speed bumps and planting churches Saturday Feb 1 2014 Your prayers for our church planters are vital By Don Morris Mission USA director I was driving through our granddaughter s school parking lot a few days ago not paying very good attention when bam I hit a speed bump so high that I think the tires slammed into the wheel wells and my head almost hit the roof of the car I was looking back in my rearview mirror to make sure I hadn t hit a small mountain when bam I hit the next one At this point I realized that I should probably slow down dramatically and pay more attention Otherwise I was risking not only the car s suspension system but my wife s wrath as well In fact it was probably her fault that I hit the second one because she had failed to say anything to me at that point am I right When the next speed bump materialized ahead of me I

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/_27.html (2016-02-17)
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    in adulthood I have a solid relationship with my son on every level except one When he plays poorly losing a highly winnable match something changes inside of me I feel emotionally unsettled for a number of hours It feels biochemical It feels weird While talking with my friend the lacrosse dad he quoted Dean Smith Don t treat every game as life or death For one thing you ll find yourself dead a lot So what does it take for me to be a more sporting father First I need to acknowledge that my son has a coach I have the higher privilege of being his father I need to be more supportive of my son when he needs it the most Andrew is developing into a talented athlete but he s also a sensitive young man and a precious gift from God I need to deliver genuine love that looks the same to him win or lose Regaining his trust in those few key moments is going to take some time Far more profound than all of this however is the fact that a child s early concept of God is shaped by his relationship with his earthly father God s unconditional sacrificial love isn t going to make a lot of sense if Andrew interprets my love as somehow tied to his performance So as a father I have a responsibility to point my son to God by how I live by faith during the good times but more importantly during my most difficult and challenging moments Pray for me It s not easy being a tennis dad but with the Lord s help I m going to get there Robert Partington M Div MACO is a speaker and writer on the family and the former executive director and founder of Peace in the Home Inc Partington and his wife Melissa live with their three children in Midlothian Virginia Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Sporting fathers Saturday Feb 1 2014 It s not easy being a tennis dad and just supporting my son By Robert Partington I have a son who plays competitive tennis That makes me a tennis dad Statistics tell us that most problems associated with junior sports are the result of parental behavior One of my son s coaches told me Your job Robert is simple support him financially logistically and emotionally That s it Sounds easy enough I can shop I can drive But that third one might need some tweaking Here s what happens If Andrew s play slips during competition I start to fidget As points and games slip by fidgeting leads to pacing If Melissa my wife is nearby I externalize my discomfort by muttering about what he s doing wrong Often unable to put up with my incessant chatter she ll gently move away to cheer him on from a more peaceful vantage point I love my wife I have a friend who is

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/_29.html (2016-02-17)
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    proud of everything I have learned It isn t a new concept but it is one that I now face When you are married you don t always get your way Deep isn t it It doesn t mean the other ways are wrong they just aren t yours I have learned that I like control and my way more than I thought Psalm 51 10 says Create in me a pure heart O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me When one is married thinking of the other person and what pleases him or her is a good and necessary trait Coming up with an our way instead of my way makes for less frustration on both sides of the relationship I pray God will continue to purify my heart so it s less about me and how I ve always done things and more about my God and my husband and how we can do things better together If I am willing for God to purify me and make me into the person he needs me to be the rough edges will be smoothed and the selfishness will vanish God s traits will be left and his qualities will be consistent throughout all areas and aspects of my life To some degree I was probably offended years ago by this person s comment about selfishness because deep down I knew I should work on my own selfishness whether other people saw it or not Whatever stage of life you are in I challenge you to surround yourself with people who will help refine you into the person God wants you to be He wishes for you to be a person with a pure heart and steadfast spirit I am willing are you Michelle Hamilton has been the youth pastor at Bible M B Church Cordell Okla for 12 years and was married to Matthew Hamilton on Sept 28 2013 Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Smoothing our rough edges Saturday Feb 1 2014 Create in me a pure heart O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me Psalm 51 10 Several years ago when someone said Single people are more selfish than married people I was offended As an older single I did not consider myself any more selfish than the next person Years later I think I understand the comment better although I would word it differently Living by yourself can make being selfish more likely because you don t have someone living with you 24 7 that helps refine your personality and smooth the jagged edges Before getting married I lived on my own with no roommates for 12 years When you live by yourself you don t always see the rough edges that need to be evened out Or you know about them but working on those rough edges isn t a priority since they don t bother anyone I ve been married for three months now and I

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/_26.html (2016-02-17)
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