A Paraphrase of 1 Peter 4:7-10
The end of the COVID restrictions is near. Therefore, pay attention so you can pray. Most importantly, let us keep loving each other, and make sure you are inviting people into your life without complaining about it. Everyone needs to use their gift from God because you are handing out God’s grace to others when you do.
Dear Bethel Family,
I believe this season is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for us as a church. Much like the church that Peter was writing to, we have been “scattered” for the past 16 months and can now start to gather again. Praise God! I imagine there have been times and moments in the past year and a half where we have all felt the sting of isolation, but I am excited that the isolation is coming to an end.
Since the end of COVID restrictions is near and we begin to return to ‘normal’ life, I would encourage us to eagerly pursue and embrace what God has in store for us as a church in this new season.
As Paul writes in Philippians 3:12-14 “…I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
From the deepest part of my heart, I would encourage us as a church to have that same attitude: desperately seeking all that God has in store for us. There is a reason that God has “taken hold” of Bethel, and there is a “prize for which God has called us heavenward. Everything else that pulls us away from the goal is a distraction. As we return, we need to continually ask the question, “How do we strain towards what is ahead?”
Everyone will return at their own pace as we come out of COVID, and I imagine many people will be traveling through the summer. Although we might not all be in the building each week, we can still be disciples of Jesus as we live our “out and about lives!” What does this look like for us as a church? What can we do practically? Regardless of where we are or our comfort level with COVID, Peter gives us some excellent advice:
2. Love each other
3. Invite others into your life
4. Use your gifts
All of these things can be done whether in the building, at home, at the lake, or on a mountain, and so let us continue to grow as individuals and as a church in our relationships with God and with each other.
Church Happenings In Person Services
We had our first indoor service on July 4th. There were about 40 people in attendance to watch the worship and sermon videos together. It was such a blessing to get together as a church family once again.
Summer Intern – Community Programs Director
Bethel was approved for the Canada Summer Jobs Program again this year which gives us a grant from the government to hire a student for the summer. Aleah Scanlan officially started in this role on July 5. She will be working with us until Sept 10 as our Community Programs Director. We look forward to all the fun things she has planned for Bethel and the surrounding area.
Pastor Jon is leaving for vacation on July 19th and will return on August 10th. Please pray for him, Emily, and Ezra for a restful time away!
Corinne will be on vacation August 9-12 & again on August 23. Lea Kirkwood will be covering in the office those days.
Aleah will be on vacation the first two weeks of August.
UPDATE FROM PAT and RAD HOUMPHAN in THAILAND
Dear Mission Partners in Christ
Warm Greetings from Thailand! We thank God for each one of you for your faithfulness in love, prayers and support with our mission in Thailand.
Praises and Thanks:
· We are sad to see Pat’s mom passed away in March, but we gave God’s thanks for she is no longer suffering from her illness and now she is with the Lord in heaven. We thank God for her good example of life and her faithfulness in love, prayers and support for her children and God’s ministry in Thailand.
· We thank God for His continued blessings over the ministries. During Covid-19 and the pandemic, many more people have opened their hearts and sought for His salvation. On April 4, four people have accepted Jesus and got baptized. Praise God!!!
· We had a wonderful foot washing ceremony on Good Friday (April 2) evening. It helped us to reconcile with one another in love and forgiveness, and taught us to be humble and to live together in the way Jesus demonstrated.
· Covid-19 has brought challenging and problems for many families. Our church has had the opportunity to share God’s love; we have had several rounds of distributing food and essential household items hampers to local communities since the start of the pandemic. We are SO grateful for the partner churches who have supported this program to help make a real difference in people's lives during this very difficult time.
· At the beginning of June, the Compassion Ministry of Living Water Church was able to help the children out with the purchase of shoes and basic stationary supplies as they prepare to go back to school. They were so happy and thankful to God for providing their needs.
· We thank God for the cow and rice projects. These projects help to sustain the needs of churches.
1. Despite having quite low numbers at the beginning of the pandemic, Thailand has been witnessing a steady increase in COVID-19 case numbers staring in April this year. For Thailand as the numbers of Covid affecting are higher everyday. Please pray for our protection over Covid. Right now, the country is averaging 5,500 per day and continues to steadily rise. This, along with a shortage of vaccines and treatment facilities is cause for great concerns.
2. Covid-19 has impacted on economy and many people have lost their jobs and are unable to make an income. Many families and believers are struggling with basic daily living, including supporting their children to attend school. Please pray for God’s love and mercy to provide their needs.
3. Please pray for the prosperity of our church’s cow and rice project - the success of the projects would help to bring a sustainable income to the church.
4. Please pray for the outreach ministries and team workers as we GO out visiting and sharing the gospels. Pray for wisdom and courage and His protection.
5. Pat has had problem with his ears recently and he can not hear very well so he went to see a specialist. The Dr. says it looks like there is some hearing loss. The Dr. prescribed some medication to Pat to take for 10 days, and then there will be a follow up for further checking and testing. Please pray for healing!
6. Finally, please pray for both of us as we prepare to return to Canada by the end of August. There is a lot of work and preparation that needs to be done before we take off. Please pray that we will be able to find the right person to be in charge and lead while we are not around.
Thank you very much for your wonderful partnership in God’s ministry - we are reminded of and grateful for you support each day. Blessings to all, and we look forward to hopefully seeing many of you later this year!
With much love and together serving Christ,
Rad and Pat
Our Condolences to the Hoocks
It is with sadness that we announce that Art Hoock, Ron's father, passed away on Monday morning (June 21). Art had several strokes in the past few years and the most recent stroke caused a significant amount of dementia and a rapid decline of his health. Art loved Jesus and we are grateful that he is in his new home in heaven. The family is planning a small backyard celebration of life. They welcome your prayers for their loss.
Update from the Finance Committee – June 2021
Dear Bethel Families,
Below is financial summary of how Bethel is doing until the end of April. You will see that we are about $10,000 below in our non-designated giving. This gap continues to rise each month so we would encourage families to help us make up this gap as we move forward into the summer months.
We currently have just over $10,000 given to the designated $20,000 Budget Deficit Shortfall that we approved at our AGM (on the condition that we could get enough pledges). We did meet our pledge target, and the money being received for this budget area is on target.
While we are showing a budget balance of $12,849, this is predominantly because we have been able to keep our expenses down, particularly in Household. and because families have submitted just over $10,000 of their pledges to support our deficit budget.
Keep an eye on the non-designated donations when the financial reports are sent to you. This is what fuels the operations of the church and we are just over $10,000 down in our giving at the end of April.
On behalf of the Bethel Finance Committee, we are so grateful for your sacrificial giving during the Covid Pandemic. We know it would be very easy to withdraw but your vision for the future beyond Covid is admirable.
May God richly bless you, strengthen you, and provide you with His Peace as you consider how you can support Bethel. It won't be long before we can all meet in person soon!
(click on link below under Downloads to see the numbers)
Past & Upcoming Sermons Date Topic
June 6 Spiritual Gifts Series - Do It With Love
June 13 Spiritual Gifts Series - Do It For Growth
June 20 How to Think Like a Church Plant – Guest Speaker, Steve Sharpe
June 27 Spiritual Gifts Series - To Do List For the End of the World
July 4 Parables Series Intro: Telling Secrets
July 11 The Parable of the Lost Coin
July 18 The Parable of the Mustard Seed
July 25 The Parable of the Good Samaritan Guest Speaker Video: Pastor Rad Houmphan
August 1 The Parable of the Lost Sheep Speaker: Jeremy Wiebe
Elsabé Oberholzer has requested prayer for her country and family in South Africa. Her family is safe at the moment but the riots are very bad. At least 117 people have been killed in the violence.
Please pray for more students at GLA for September. They currently have eight kids enrolled for the fall, but they need at least ten in order to keep their doors open.
We ask that you keep these specific youth students in your prayers.
Student 1: This student struggles with their mental health in significant ways. Feelings of worthlessness and loneliness are prominent beliefs this student has. Please pray that she can find her worth in Jesus and understand the unconditional love He has for her.
Student 2: This youth is often bullied in school and continues to struggle with identity. She lost a parent recently and since then has had declining mental health. Please pray for comfort for her and her family and that she will come to know Jesus and the peace He can bring into her life.
Student 3: This student often feels unseen her household and does not feel cared for or loved. She wrestles with her faith and struggles to believe that God has a plan for her life. Please pray that she her faith is strong and that she is reminded that she is seen, heard, and loved by Jesus.
Student 4: This youth is growing in his faith but continues to have lots of questions. Please pray for wisdom for the youth leaders as we teach, answer, and walk along side him.