Bringing the Kingdom

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Last week I had a presentation in my Cultural Geography and Globalization class. I had to choose any country in the world, research the history, geography, demographics, cultural information, and economic/social development. Naturally, I chose the country of Nepal because that is where my heart is. When I arrived at the history part, it was very confusing for me. This particular country does not have a democracy with a president, a House of Representatives and a Senate. This country had a king; a monarchy. That is something that is so unfamiliar to me. And maybe it is to you too.

The only king I really know about is Jesus. If Jesus is a king, then what is His kingdom like?  To answer that we have to consider where Jesus resides. In Heaven, of course. His throne is in Heaven. That means one thing and one thing only: when Jesus came to earth, He left His throne room. He left Heaven to be with us, and more importantly, to die for us.

What kind of King does that? What kind of King steps down from His throne, knowing that He is going to die? Yes, He rose and conquered death altogether, so shouldn’t that authenticate His power?  Um, yes!! The resurrection confirms that Jesus is a king with power over all things, including the one thing all mankind fears, death.

Before Jesus ascended into Heaven, however, He commissioned His people with a special command: go to all nations and make disciples (Matthew 28.19-20). What a command! First, I would like to point out how this command proves Jesus’ love for us. The fact that He wants ALL nations to be His disciples means He wants all of us to be saved. He wants to be the king of our heart. What this tells me is God’s kingdom is not relegated to territory or plots of land, but men’s hearts. God’s kingdom is RELATIONAL. Second, we are “the chosen ones”. We are the ones that are called to help carry out this command. We are the ones that are called to be ambassadors and bring the Kingdom of God to the unreached people of the world. We get to share the best news ever!!

Now, this may look differently for different people. It may mean having a job in your own country such as nursing, teaching, law, sales, etc. It might mean being a minister working directly at a church. It might mean selling all you have and going to a foreign land to share the Gospel with the disenfranchised. We are all called to participate in this movement one way or another. Being called to work in our homeland and share Christ with those here may mean praying and giving towards overseas missions endeavors. Being an overseas missionary may mean interceding for the ministries back home. No matter who you are, where you are, or what you do, you have an important role in bringing the Kingdom of God to those in your sphere of influence. I want to repeat that…

You have an important role in bringing the Kingdom of God to your sphere of influence.

Say it out loud. Yell it from the top of your lungs. You have been given Christ’s authority to share His amazing love with the world! It is up to you how you choose to be obedient in doing so.

Since this whole kingdom thing can be a bit difficult to understand, Pastor Aaron does an excellent job breaking down the kingdom’s functions and bringing a foundation for missions in his sermon series, “Unfinished”. http://www.painesvilleag.com/painesville-ag-messages/?enmse=1&enmse_sid=14  Be sure to take the next forty-five minutes or so to listen! Pull up the PAG APP and click on media and let it play in your car while you run errands. Listen to it during your daily exercise, while you are cooking dinner, etc. Just listen! I really encourage you to take the next step and go deeper because knowing about God’s kingdom will help you BRING God’s kingdom! Before we can bring it, we have to know what we are bringing!

See you on the mission field!
Jenny Bushnell

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Missions Update: Any Place, Any Price, So All Can Hear!

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Check out this update from Pastor Aaron on all that’s been happening over the past few months with MISSIONS!

“In January, we shared how God was leading us as a church to give $100,000 to missions in 2017! The commission of God is for us to go and make disciples of all nations. There are many nations that do not have an adequate witness of the Gospel. There are many people who have never heard of the salvation that Jesus came to give. Therefore, we committed ourselves to making missions more of a priority this year. Our call is to be His witness both near and far; Jerusalem and Judea (near) to the uttermost parts of the earth (far). In seeking to fulfill the call of God, we have been able to partner financially with missionaries and missions organizations both locally and globally in the last three months.

LOCALLY

  • Project Hope for the Homeless: This past April, we were able to give an additional $782 to help a family of 4 stay at the Painesville Homeless Shelter. The ministry of Project Hope is one of the only faith based shelters in Lake County who assist with getting families off the street and back on their feet. We are excited to be able to partner with them in this way.
  • Painesville City Fire Department: In an effort to keep children in our city safe, the Painesville City Fire Department offers an educational opportunity called Firepup. Through this program, children interact with local firefighters while learning about fire safety, burn prevention, how to use 911, and so much more. With growing neglect in our city, these skills are vitally important in keeping our children safe. We were able to help scholarship 25 children through a gift of $75.
  • UNO Youth School Outreach: Each school year, our youth ministry partners with Kirtland Christian Fellowship to reach students at Heritage Middle School. Heritage is one of many schools being reached throughout Lake County. We are pleased to share that by partnering with UNO Youth with $50 per month we are able to reach each school in our area with the gospel.

Globally

  • We added two new missionaries to our support group this last quarter. Danisia Ruffin, Missionary to Honduras and Jeremiah Hembree with Royal Rangers International. We are excited to be a part of sending missionaries to share the gospel around the world. In addition, we were able to support various global missions opportunities as well.
  • Home of Hope – Dhaka, Bangladesh: In Bangladesh, many children are left to fend for themselves because their parents cannot afford to take care of them. Through Assemblies of God missionaries, Larry and Sharon Smith, children are rescued from the streets and placed into a home of hope where they are fed, clothed and educated, as well as given the opportunity to hear about Jesus. We are excited to share that we gave $1,000 to help get children off the streets and into a loving home.
  • Convoy of Hope Women’s Empowerment Offering: On Mother’s Day, we took an offering to support Convoy of Hope through their Women’s Empowerment initiative. This program comes alongside widowed and abandoned women to provide job training and give them seed money to start a business. This allows women to not only take care of themselves, but their families as well. This in turn helps the local economy. These women are also discipled through the Word of God and encouraged to place their trust in Christ. Through a miracle offering, we were able to give $11,152.85 to support this wonderful program through Convoy of Hope!

Thank you for your generous giving to missions! Wow! As of July 1, 2017, we have given $64,239.54 toward our goal of $100,000! We are nearly two-thirds of the way in reaching our goal! Thank you so much for helping us to reach people both near and far with the Gospel!”

Pastor Aaron Taylor,
Lead Pastor

WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT: BARAKA’S STORY

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When Baraka was little his father passed away, leaving his mother the sole provider for their family. It was difficult for Baraka’s mother to find work, but she eventually took a job crushing rocks so she could feed her children.

When she heard of Convoy of Hope’s Women’s Empowerment Initiative, she enrolled and received training that empowered her start a chicken business. With her newfound success, Baraka’s mother and her family thrived!

But one day, she was in a terrible motorbike accident. After two days in the hospital, she passed away. Baraka felt like he had lost the most precious thing in the world.

After 37 days of grieving, Baraka realized he needed to turn his mourning into action to honor his mother’s memory. Inspired by her hard work, Baraka decided to take over his mother’s chicken business.

As the youngest person in our Agriculture Initiative, Baraka’s chicken business is booming! He is passionate about carrying on the good work his mom started and now he’s providing for his siblings.

Baraka’s life has been changed because friends like you support our Women’s Empowerment Initiative. Thank you for continuing to empower women — and their families — all over the world.

Would you consider partnering with us on Mother’s Day and give up one day’s salary to help more families like Baraka’s? You can give by going to: http://www.painesvilleag.com or texting PAG to 77977. Simply write “Women’s Empowerment” in the memo line and we’ll take care of the rest! Thank you for your generosity!

Women’s Empowerment: Sitota’s Story

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This Mother’s Day, Painesville Assembly of God will be partnering with Convoy of Hope’s “Women’s Empowerment Movement” for a May Mission’s Initiative.  Through this movement, COH is able to encourage women around the world to realize their value and reach their potential through job training and education. As a result, many now own a business and feed and care for their own children.

Sitota is a woman who has been radically touched by the love and compassion of Jesus because of Women’s Empowerment. Because of the ministry of Convoy of Hope, her life has taken a dramatic turn for the better. A life that was once plagued by horrific circumstances is now filled with overwhelming joy and peace. Check out her story; we guarantee you won’t be the same after.

To give to this life-changing movement, you can give online at: http://www.painesvilleag.com or by texting PAG to 77977. Simply write “Women’s Empowerment” in the memo line and we’ll take care of the rest.

Thank you for your generosity!

Women’s Empowerment: A Mother’s Day Missions Initiative

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In America, most mothers ask, “What should I feed my children today?” But in many countries where Convoy of Hope serves, mothers have to ask, “Which one of my children can I feed today?”

This Mother’s Day we’ll be taking a special missions offering for Convoy of Hope’s “Women’s Empowerment” movement that is based on the same concept as “One Day To Feed The World.”  What does that mean you ask? We’re glad you asked.  One Day to Feed the World is where individuals are challenged to give up one day’s salary to bless someone else in need.  When you give up a day’s salary you will empower women in El Salvador, Ethiopia, Honduras, Kenya, Nicaragua, the Philippines and Tanzania to make strategic, independent life choices through community-based training in peer-oriented cooperative savings groups and non-traditional micro-enterprise development. When you do this, Convoy of Hope is able to facilitate sustainable income-generating activities and entrepreneurial thinking that equips women to make positive choices for themselves and their families in the areas of health, education and economic welfare.

Check out this video for a more comprehensive overview of what this initiative is all about!

To give, text PAG to 77977! Simply write “Women’s Empowerment” in the memo and we’ll do the rest! You can also give online by going to: http://painesvilleag.com/ and doing the same!

Project Rescue & Speed the Light: India

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On an early morning in India, 15 little girls streamed out of one of the Project Rescue, India girls homes on their way to school. Their “Didis” (big sisters) corralled them into a beautiful, new 17-passenger van for the 30-minute ride to school. The van rang with the excited chatter of eager children ready for a new day.

Just a few months ago, they had to ride to school in taxis. Now, they ride in a safe, secure vehicle that was provided for them by Speed-the-Light. When they learned about what had been done for them, they began to pray blessing on the students across America who had made it possible for them to go to school, and everywhere else.

The new vehicle has made an incredible difference for these girls who previously lived in the red-light district. Every day, when they board that van, they are reminded how much Jesus loves them, how far they have come, and they thank God for the students who helped make it possible.

Thank you, Speed the Light!
*(Taken from http://stl.ag.org/)*

This is why we give to Speed the Light! During the month of October we have committed to partnering with the Ohio Ministry Network to help raise $10,000 of their $400,000 goal. We have 9 Ohio Missionaries awaiting reliable transportation to reach the unreached places around the globe with the good news of Jesus Christ! With just one week left to give, we have raised $3,831.00 towards this effort. We’re still a long ways off and need your help! Will you give so that we can speed the light of the gospel to a world in waiting?

Text “PAG” to 77977 or give online at http://www.painesvilleag.com and be sure and write “STL” in the memo so that all monies go to Speed the Light!!

October 11, 1953… The Birth of Something Great

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“Never mind, it will soon blow over.” These skeptical words greeted the enthusiasm of Christ’s Ambassadors (CA) Director Ralph Harris when he recounted that Assemblies of God young people had given over $100,000 in 1945 to the new missions fund, “Speed the Light.” Not many adults believed that the youth of their churches could sustain their excitement for providing missionary transportation vehicles in far-off countries.

The idea for the fund had come to Harris only a month after taking his new post as national youth director. It was 1944 and young people were beginning to come to grips with the changes in their world following World War II. Vehicles had been hard to come by as many automobile manufacturers stopped producing civilian vehicles in favor of military vehicles.

Harris knew the youth of America could identify with those who were without transportation. Harris also knew that the war had exhibited to young people the power of vehicles being used for destructive purposes. They had watched news reels of airplanes, jeeps, and boats destroy and be destroyed. Was there a way to show the world that the same vehicles that had been used to bring desolation to a nation could also be used to bring the good news of the hope of the gospel? Could the young people of the Assemblies of God lead the way in this effort?

General Superintendent E.S. Williams offered a less-than-positive response to Harris’s idea of using offerings from CA groups to purchase airplanes and motorcycles for missions. Williams later reported that his first thoughts were, “Jesus didn’t use a motorcycle. And Paul didn’t fly a plane.”

However, while Williams was very conservative in his approach to money, he was also a man in touch with God. While Harris was still trying to sell his idea, Williams felt the Holy Spirit reminding him that Jesus and Paul might not have used those vehicles, but they likely would have if they had been available. Within an hour of approaching his boss, Harris had the approval to begin promoting his new idea.

The program needed a name so Harris offered a prize to the young person that submitted the best name. Ernestine Houston of Arizona sent in the moniker “Speed-the-Light” (STL) and was awarded $15 in Gospel Publishing House materials for coining the new name, which is still used 72 years later.

Harris set the astronomical goal of $100,000 for their first year, 1945. CA members were told that if they each gave $1 their goal could be meet. It was greeted with skepticism on the part of some leadership but the Assemblies of God youth came through with $113,375.39. Their first major purchase was a small amphibian plane for the work in Liberia. It was the first non-military plane to ever fly into that country and caused quite a stir. The Liberians were so excited to see the plane that for many years they charged no duty fees on any STL equipment brought into the country.

Appeals soon began to pour in from all over the world. Boats were needed in the Bahamas, a jeep in Costa Rica, mules were requested in Nigeria, and bicycles in Upper Volta. The Assemblies of God discovered that one missionary, properly equipped, could do the work of 10 who lacked resources. Missionaries were going farther, faster, and easier than they ever had before.

Harris knew he had to keep the challenge fresh so he proclaimed the third Sunday of October “Dollar Day” when a special offering would be sent in from each CA group totaling $1 for each young person who attended the church. The Pentecostal Evangel lent its support to the project, running articles highlighting STL on that Sunday.

One young man, Loren, was 17 when STL was born. He later testified that STL built a bridge for him to different parts of the world as he read the updates in the Evangel articles and had the opportunity to contribute to something that was larger than himself. He was learning that he could impact an entire world for the good. He later became a pastor in Nebraska who supported STL in his local church until God called him to spend 12 years in Nicaragua, using his own STL vehicle. He later served as the field director for Latin America and, in 1997, Loren Triplett retired as executive director of Assemblies of God World Missions. It started with giving $1 to Speed the Light’s Dollar Day.

Since that first year in 1945, the youth of the Assemblies of God have given $294,632,533.46 to STL, including $8,285,525.77 in 2015. The third Sunday of October is still STL Day in the Assemblies of God. J. Philip Hogan, referring to the skeptic who told Harris that this excitement in the youth would “soon blow over,” wrote on STL’s 40th anniversary in 1984, “He was right! It has blown all over the world!”

*Taken from The Pentecostal Evangel
by  RUTHIE EDGERLY OBERG on October 13, 2016

As you may or may not know, Painesville Assembly of God is partnering with the Assemblies of God Ohio Ministry Network during the month of October to provide vehicles for 9 Missionaries in waiting. To date, we have raised $2,322.00 towards our $10k goal. With just a couple weeks away from closing out our campaign, we need your help in getting us to our committed goal. Would you consider giving to Speed the Light? Would you consider giving so that those who have not yet heard the Name JESUS will have that opportunity?

You can give by texting “PAG” to 77977 or by visiting our website at: http://www.painesvilleag.com and clicking “Online Giving”. When you give, please be sure to put “STL” in the memo so all funds go to our missionaries.