Tierra

Who do you think should take care of unaborted babies?  Perhaps it’s the responsibility of people who put pro-life bumper stickers on their car, the facebook users who re-post pro-life videos, the ordinary people who try to persuade others of their pro-life views through everyday conversation.  In other words, it’s hypocrisy to be “for” the life of children when they are in the womb and to do nothing “for” those children once they are out of the womb.

Here’s a pro-life idea that will change your church and change the life of a child already out of the womb:

Grace Fellowship is adopting a fifteen year-old young girl named Tierra through the Palm Beach Heart Gallery.  Tierra is an honor-roll student, and she loves music and drama.  But she is one of 1200 foster kids in Palm Beach County who doesn’t have a forever home.  So the church is going to “adopt” her until she finds one.

The people of Grace Fellowship are going to pray for Tierra.  They’re going to pray she will find a forever family, and they’re going to pray for a forever family to open their home and heart to her.
In the meantime, the people of Grace Fellowship are going to love Tierra by finding a mentor for her, by inviting her to the church’s youth group, and by connecting her to a ministry the church sponsors that empowers teens to use their God-given gifts.  And that’s just the beginning!

Look into Tierra’s eyes, and you will see something far more beautiful and valuable than a child who was simply carried to full term. Look into her eyes, and you will see a child who our God loves with the same passion that He loves you and your own children. And God feels the same way about every one of the 1600 children in the foster care system in Palm Beach County.

Imagine if every church in our county adopted one of those children!  If you are part of a church, encourage your leaders to “adopt” a child.  Contact us to learn more about Grace Fellowship’s experience adopting Tierra.  What a powerful way to Join God’s Mission!

pursuing God together on October 7

Here’s a powerful intersection of different people following the Spirit of God and arriving at the same place.

The leaders of Grace Fellowship, in continued pursuit of God during their 3rd year without a senior pastor, have called their church to pray and fast on the 1st Wednesday of each month.

At the same time, Todd Mullins, Pastor of Christ Fellowship, has called all of the churches in Palm Beach County to, you guessed it, a day of prayer and fasting on the 1st Wednesday of each month.

In Todd’s words, “prayer moves the hand that holds the world.”

There are so many ways to fast, but here’s one suggestion:

choose one meal tomorrow,
and use the time and energy you would normally devote to preparing and eating that meal . . .
to pray.   

“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

– Jesus in Matthew 6:16-18

Foreigners

4 million Syrian refugees, half of them children, are trying to survive.  4 years of complicated war between the government, secular fighters, ISIS, ethnic groups . . . have left 220,000 people dead, 7 million people inside of Syria displaced, and 4 million on the run outside of the country.   Wherever those 4 million people are, they are now foreigners.

Take a moment to describe (out loud) the adults and kids you see in the picture below. Screenshot 2015-10-01 10.40.07

As a follower of Jesus who lives 6,000 miles from the people in this picture, how do you feel about how you have responded to their need?  Do you think that followers of Jesus who live so far away should do something to meet their needs?  Is there anything Christians can do to meet their needs?

While you are weighing these questions in your mind, would you prayerfully consider God’s heart for foreigners?

God loves every person on this planet, and they are all created in his image (Genesis 1:27).  God inspired the Jewish people to love foreigners as themselves, reminding them they used to be foreigners in Egypt (Leviticus 19:34).   He also commanded them to provide foreigners food (Lev. 23:22) , to treat them fairly (Deuteronomy 24:14-15) to give them justice (Deu. 24:17), even to teach them God’s law (Deu. 31:12-13).  

Look back at the picture above, and remember Jesus’ words about the people He will separate from His true followers:

“I was a stranger, and you did not invite me in”
[the Greek word for “stranger” is xenos, which can also be translated “foreigner”]
(Matthew 25:43)

Instead of feeling guilty that you haven’t done anything yet, can you imagine yourself responding in some way to these Syrians who are now “foreigners”? Literally stop reading, and imagine it for 20 seconds.

If you live in Palm Beach County, and you are ready to make a decision right now to do something, we have something you can do.  Grace Fellowship is joining with Christ Fellowship and Gleaning for the World to collect the following items for Syrian refugees:

Shampoo, Soap, Toothpaste, Toothbrush, Diapers, Baby Wipes, Red or Green Lentils

We bought one of each of these items for a total of $20 a few days ago.  If you don’t have $20 to spare, you can probably afford to buy one of these items and bring it to Grace Fellowship or Christ Fellowship by Sunday, October 4th!

If you are deciding to do something, will you encourage everyone else and “share your thoughts” below?

Take Heart Update

The Take Heart event was a success!  Our goal was to lead every person in attedance to take a specific step toward children in need.  Once the movie and the presentations concluded, nearly every person of the 70+ in attendance went to talk to at least one of the representatives (from Place of Hope, Joanna’s Cottage, First Care, One Child, Wholehearted Orphanage, Rescue Upstream).

Yesterday we heard that 4 families attended a foster care orientation meeting, and 3 families have signed up for MAPP classes to become foster care parents!

What can you do if you missed the event?  Contact us and we will be glad to connect you with one of our partners listed above.

And . . . here’s a great idea if you are part of a church:  Grace Fellowship is partnering with the Children’s Home Society to “adopt” a child in the foster care system.  Pictures of the child will be displayed in the church lobby, and the congregation will be given practical ways to love the child until the child finds their forever family.  If your church is interested in “adopting” a child, contact us and we’ll connect you with Children’s Home Society.

Thank you for Joining God’s Mission!

Take Heart

1200.  That is the number of children in the Foster Care system in Palm Beach County.  We want to help you, that’s right, you, take a step toward these and other children who are so close to God’s heart.  We know that most of you can’t foster a kid next week, but you can do something.  We can all do something.

We are inviting you to Take Heart, an event at Grace Fellowship on Saturday, September 19th at 6:00pm.  We will watch a powerful documentary, The Dropbox, which will move our hearts toward children who are in need.   Then we will hear six of our friends, each representing a different organization, offer specific and practical ways you can serve children.  It’s all about Joining God’s Mission.  Childcare is provided.

Take Heart