Dearest friends in Christ,
Warmest greetings from Vienna, as the 3 girls and I just returned from a 4-week visit to good ol’ Texas. As always, it was an uplifting experience, although it was a bit tiring having a hyper-active 9-yr. old and an 11-yr. old , besides Michelle (16,) along this time. Mandy and Tina had never flown in a plane before, so that made for an even more exciting trip for them, especially when Mandy couldn’t figure out how to exit from the plane’s toilet facility on our flight over to Texas. 3 flight attendants and I came to her rescue and had our hands full trying to calm her down after such a frightful experience. However, the knowledge she gained proved to be useful on our flight back to Vienna, when a poor little, old lady just couldn’t figure out how to even enter the toilet. Mandy saved the day and came to her rescue. The lady was most grateful and it gave Mandy a boost to realize that she was able to let her light shine and help someone out in this manner…
By the grace of God we were able to visit dear relatives and friends Michelle and I hadn’t seen in 3 years, including my sweet Aunt Carolyn, now 85, who is the only aunt still around. We also visited our church families and friends around Houston who have stood by us throughout the years by holding us up in prayer, encouraging us, and supporting us in a monetary way. We are just happy to be back on public transportation here in Vienna now, because those busy freeways gave us quite a scare at times. The Lord was truly looking out for us throughout our whole visit!
Many throughout our visit asked how they could be of even more assistance, so I will now go on to explain how that is possible, for we do need more assistance than ever before with the influx of mainly Syrian refugees pouring into Austria by the droves these past couple of months, with seemingly no end to be foreseen yet. There are so many refugees present here now that the Austrians are beginning to feel overwhelmed by this challenge. Many of the refugees can’t even be housed due to a lack of buildings available to do so. Many are sleeping in tents out in the pastures. Just a couple of days ago a small truck was found parked alongside one of Austria’s freeways with 71 Syrian refugees packed inside, every single one of them having died of suffocation. This summer has been almost equally hot as those in Texas, but most homes and businesses still don’t have air conditioning.
The brethren in our house church have decided that they want to reach out to these refugees and this is where your assistance kicks in. These refugees have no knowledge of the German language, but at least 90% of them can speak English, especially the younger ones. We would like to start a ministry amongst them by distributing Bibles in the English language, but we also need to look out for their physical wellbeing by passing out blankets, bottled water, clothing, groceries, hygienic articles (e.g. disposable diapers, wet wipes, tooth brushes, tooth paste, soap), amongst these most unfortunate souls. If you would like to assist us with the Bibles, there is a private pilot who attends Corners church of Christ in Norcross, Georgia, who plans on flying these Bibles over to us either the end of September, or beginning of October. You would need to make out your checks for these Bibles to:
Corners church of Christ, P.O. Box 920522, Norcross, GA 31100
They will need the donations ASAP in order to place the order at the GACS Bookstore in Atlanta early enough to have them available by the time our brother Eric flies over here. Please earmark your checks with “Bibles” on the memo line to make sure they know what the checks are designated for. If you would like to assist with the other items mentioned please mail those to my sponsoring congregation in Houston. Their address will be at the end of my newsletter. Let’s not forget that many of these refugees are Christians who have fled from severe persecution by the infernal ISIS terrorists.
Would like to take a moment now to thank those who enabled some of our children to attend Bible camp back in July. It was one of best attended camps…in fact some of the youngsters who would have liked to attend had to be turned down due to the fact that they were completely full up. It was a great blessing for all who attended. One of the children who got to attend for the first time was Hero, age 7. I have mentioned him in quite a few of my newsletters along with his mother Jennifer. Lord willing, he will be moving in with us the beginning of September to attend elementary school together with Mandy, only he will be in 2nd grade, Mandy in 3rd grade. Jennifer is hoping to attend a vocational school which will leave her little time for Hero and she would like for us to mentor him. Of course he will get to be with his mother on the weekends.
We have had 2 brethren from other house churches come over Sundays and it has worked out quite well these past couple of months. One of them is Gerhard Krassnig, who attended Sunset School of Preaching some years ago. The other is Hans Dederscheck, who used to preach in Peru many years ago. Gerhard is planning on mentoring our young men which we are very thankful for, especially since it looks as if our brother George Durdin may not be returning due to various complications which have arisen.
We are also extremely grateful for your continued prayers on our behalf, as well as your encouragement and support. Please remember us as our new school year begins and we launch out with our ministry amongst the Syrian refugees.
We love you! firstname.lastname@example.org
Sponsoring congregation: Southwest Central church of Christ
4011 W. Bellfort
Reggy & Kids Houston, TX 77025
Sunday morning Reggy Hiller, whose mission work SWC has supported for many years, addressed the congregation. This gave many of our members their first opportunity to meet this faithful servant of Christ. She described the nature of her work in Vienna, Austria, which has undergone transition through the years.
For a time, Reggy (rhymes with “Peggy”, not with “Edgy”) operated a center for troubled youth. Currently she cares for foster children and hosts a house church in which 40 members gather for Bible study and worship. Reggy introduced her three foster girls, who have accompanied her on this visit to the States, and she announced that a fourth child – a boy – would join her family upon their return to Vienna.
After Bible classes, the Missions Team hosted Reggy and her girls at Pappasito’s. Two of our own youth participated in this meal as well, along with their families. It was a blessing to see the hospitality these two young men demonstrated, as they quickly overcame cultural and language barriers to make friends with our guests. As always, the power of the Holy Spirit was made evident in our table fellowship. It is our prayer that our collaboration with Reggy will continue, to even greater glory of Christ our King. – Larry Watson, on behalf of the Missions Team
A Treat For Us!
Jennifer Christian, M.A., LPC-Intern, will be speaking to us about practicing and teaching self control during Café Grace on Wednesday, October 22 at 7 PM. Dinner will be served at 6:30 and kids will have a movie night beginning at 6:45 in lieu of classes. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend.
Jennifer is the wife of Jeff Christian, minister at Bering Church of Christ, and mother of two teenagers.
For more information about Jennifer and her work at Fuller Life Family Therapy, please visit: http://fullerlifefamilytherapy.org/therapists/jennifer-christian/
Join Beth Moore and walk the shores of Thessalonica with this verse-by-verse Bible study of 1 and 2 Thessalonians. During this nine week study, you’ll learn how to let go of past mistakes and discover your circumstances are not coincidental – God’s timing is impeccable! Whether you’re facing family crises, medical diagnoses, relationship troubles, doubts, or fears, you’ll come away encouraged that even though it may not feel that way, you are exactly where Christ wants you to be!
“You are children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5
The Bible study workbook is $15.95, however, we do not want the cost of the book to hold anyone back from participating. Please see Michal Weesner, Amy Fuller or email the church office (email@example.com) to sign up.
We had 12 on the bus going to the annual Prayer Enrichment Seminar in Calhoun, LA, over the weekend.
It’s been quite a summer for the youth of Southwest Central. We’ve spent time together in service, prayer, and around a lunch table. We have also been to camp twice.
Besides myself, we had 10 people in the van for camp in June – 7 Jr highers, 1 elem. age, 1 high school age junior volunteer (King Mbani), and another adult (Ben Snyder).
At MPulse (the jr. high camp at Abilene Christian University), the theme at camp was “Agape for the World” – showing God’s unconditional love towards the people around us. The 7 youth I brought with me (Taylor, Jasmine, Kameron, DeAndre, Warren, Wandly, Keyshon) engaged the week in unique and beautiful ways. Our one Learning to Lead camper was JD Fuller, who, with courage and confidence, jumped in to what God had for him. The Learning to Lead theme was “Connected at the Heart: The Life Example of Jesus.”
At Kadesh last week (the high school camp at ACU), King Mbani went as our only camper, but left with a whole host of new friends and fresh perspectives of God. Our theme for the week was “Revolution,” striving to live out our God-lives in the world. We talked about how we are God’s Beloved children, how we meet together with a Beloved Community, and how we are given a mission and a purpose as we share God with the world. Chelsie Sargent and Brandy McDaniel joined us, as did Ellery McDaniel who went to ACU’s Kidquest day camp.
We have one more camp this summer – Cross Training, the ACU camp in the mountains of New Mexico. I have 3 of our youth going with us. I am so thankful each summer for the opportunity to expose our youth to God at ACU Leadership Camps. Thank you, church, for helping to make that happen.
July is Southwest Central’s month to collect items for Braes Interfaith Ministries. The Executive Director for BIM has asked that we concentrate on non-food items. Please consider purchasing the following items —
Diapers (baby and adult)
Small, sample sizes, collected while traveling, are greatly appreciated. They are especially useful in serving homeless people. Baby food and nutritional drinks like Ensure and Boost are also needed.
Gifts of cash or checks are also appreciated. Remember for every $1 you donate, more than $25 worth of food can be obtained from the Houston Food Bank. You may place your donation in one of the yellow envelopes and mark it for Braes Interfaith Ministries. Make checks payable to BIM.
This awesome 7 minutes video tells the story of what our kids did at VBS this week! ENJOY!
(please give it a minute to load!)
If video does not load click here: Gangway VBS Video
VBS WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED WITHOUT OUR AWESOME CREW! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!!
DEBRA GIBBS, ROBERT BALBOZA, ASHLEY GIBBS, CASSIE ZEH AND NICOLE
MICHAEL BELL, STEVE SANDIFER, ANDREA KWAN, TIM PARKER, STEVE SARGENT
HOT GALLEY MEALS!!!
JO SANDIFER, BEVERLY THETFORD, GLEN HARPER, BELINDA GUERRA, RUTH NOEL, DEANDRE GIBBS
TUCKER CARE GROUP (MONDAY)
SANDIFER CARE GROUP (TUESDAY)
DARROH CARE GROUP (WEDNESDAY)
WATSON AND PIPES CARE GROUP (THURSDAY)
242 GROUP (FRIDAY)
AMY FULLER, LUCI BELL, TIM PARKER, CASSIE ZEH
ANDREA KWAN, RENEE REED
GANGWAY DRAMA COORDINATOR:
DAVE FULLER, K PIPES, MICHAEL TUCKER, RICHARD ANDERSON, LARRY WATSON, JOSHUA BENAVIDES, LUCI BELL, AMY FULLER
JAMES DENHAM, ELANA DENHAM, DEANDRE GIBBS, KEYSON LIMBRICK, AND ELIJHA
*MICHAL WEESNER, RUTH NOEL
SINK OR SWIM GAMES LEADER:
*CARSON HENLEY, DAVE FULLER, KING MBANI, AND JORDAN PEYTON
*LAURE TUCKER, CHELSEA SARGENT, ROIANA POWELL, STEVE SARGENT
HALL /BATHROOM MONITORS:
BELINDA GUERRA, MARY ZELLER
TEEN CREW COORDINATOR:
GUPPIES (NURSERY AND AGES 2-3)
*BONNIE DARROH, OLGA PEDROSA, ROSIE HERMLEDO, ELIZABETH
STARFISH (AGES 4-5)
*KELSEY CHRANE, LANETTE MOORE, SARA HENLEY, STEVE SARGENT
KEYSHON LIMBRICK, JASMINE DURANT, DEBREANNA BROWNE, JUSTIN MOORE, VICTORIA PEYTON
*CALEB MCDANIEL, SAMANTHA PARKER
TAYLOR GIBBS, WANDLEY THELUS
*BRANDY MCDANIEL, TANA BENNETT, ANGELA KNAUSS,
MIRACLE MBANI, CAMERON SANDERS, GREGORY GIBBS
SARA PYBUS AND MARTHA WATSON
*MICHEAL BELL, STEVE SANDIFER, TIM PARKER
BELINDA GUERRA, GLENN HARPER, RUTH NOEL, MARTHA WATSON
MANY THANKS TO OUR CARNIVAL VOLUNTEERS AND OUR AWESOME KIDS!!!
On Wednesday and Thursday, we’ve been blessed with smooth sailing and boat-loads of passengers! The children have learned about Jesus Calming the Sea on and Walking on the Water. After enjoying a delicious hot meal prepared by our gracious care groups, the children met with their groups to learn the memory verse in Bible Challenge. In our opening assembly we’ve had a great time singing about the sea of Galilee with the man, the boat, the hands, the nets, the fish, and the coin. We’ve had fun trying to make it rain, make water move, be the wind and do the wave! We heard a first hand account from Jesus (Michael Tucker) and Peter (Richard Anderson). The kids got to make great crafts in splash-tastic crafts, play fun games in sink and swim games and enjoy interactive learning in the seaside storytelling room. Finally, we enjoyed our clever, creative, yet yummy snacks.