September 2014 Newsletter
With Families at Heart and a Heart for the World
Dear Friends in Christ,
As we turn the corner to the fall, I would like to share about two international groups and two family ministry opportunities I've had recently, which is a nice reflection of our ministry vision and new byline above. Although Linda typically writes most of our letters, with me helping to proofread and format, this time she encouraged me to write. So this time you are hearing from me. :)
A Heart for the World
1. Chinese Business Leaders. This is a new group introduced to me by an int’l missions leader. The back story is that an Asian businessman became a Christian after studying American history. His original research goal had simply been to discover why the USA has been economically successful. Remarkably, that pursuit led him to Christ, and to a desire to influence his peers for Christ. He brought a group of twelve colleagues to visit three American cities: DC to learn about America’s Christian heritage; Atlanta to meet with Christian business leaders at Chick-fil-A; and Chicago to learn about leadership from Bill Hybels and his Willow Creek Association leadership training staff.
Several in this group were not Christians when they arrived. During four days and via translator, I shared an introduction to the Founding Fathers as we visited all the major sights in DC. Toward the end they were having a lively discussion in Chinese of what they were learning. I kept hearing their Chinese words punctuated with my name, and was later told that they were commenting and reflecting on the things I had been sharing. Especially how the Gospel is woven into our history. Thrillingly, nearly each day one of them trusted Christ, shared a testimony with the whole group, and we all sang “Happy Birthday” to a new believer!
We also arranged for them to have dinner with friends of ours who are an amazing family with 12 children, mostly adopted. This family loves and lives out generous hospitality and ministry. After seeing this loving family with so many children, the next day a man in the group made a decision that his wife back home in Asia should not abort their child, as was their plan. Praise God for the light this large family is and how seeing their loving, Christ-centered home influenced this man to change his mind about the value of children. A new life will now be given a chance to enter the world.
2. Chinese College Students. An old Campus Crusade friend has a unique strategy of taking American Christian business leaders to China to give lectures in their area of expertise at universities there. Then, he invites students there to come to America for a cultural program that includes visiting DC. That’s where I come in! A fun and inquisitive group, it was my great delight to share many stories about America’s Founders, especially “in their own words,” to give these students a working knowledge of the spiritual underpinnings of our nation.
With Families at Heart
1. Scott & Wendy DeBruyne Family. As Wildwood Summer Project students from 25 years ago, they have been in high school ministry in Colorado almost ever since. We got together for a couple days during their family vacation to the East Coast. What a joy to share spiritual history lessons with them & their children (the oldest is now nearly the age Scott & Wendy were ‘back in the day’).
“Our 14 year old son was telling me in the car last night about your spiritual lesson at the Virginia Memorial. Trying to imagine all those soldiers marching toward the Union line, shoulder to shoulder. Lucas said the lesson of being willing to lay down your life for another was impressed on his mind at the site of Pickett's Charge. Then Lucas started to quote John 15:13 from Jesus - ‘Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.’ Gettysburg was full of lessons for our family and our time with you, Bernie, helped to pull back the curtain on the spiritual lessons that can be found all throughout history. Thank you so very MUCH!” - Scott D.
2. Shedd & Larimore Families.
“The spiritual roots of Washington, D.C. came alive for us as Bernie shared his wealth of knowledge and insights with us. One of the highlights was hearing the gospel in the story of a man who gave his life rescuing others from the icy waters of the Potomac. We were all deeply moved as Bernie shared this story with us during our lunch time!”
- Pastor Brad Shedd
Thank YOU for your prayers and support that enables us to minister to families and the world, right where we live! We appreciate you!
God’s blessings, In Christ,
Bernie for the Bealls