Volume 15, Issue 6
On Sunday, June 9, 2019, the church celebrates the Day of Pentecost. On the Day of Pentecost we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit descending in a mighty rush of wind and flame to inspire the church’s proclamation of Christ’s rising and to empower its mission and ministry to the world. (See Acts 2:1-13; see also Joel 2:28-32.)
The notion of Easter as a season of 50 days ending at Pentecost is patterned after the ancient Jewish festival of seven weeks that extended from the beginning of the barley harvest (on the second day after the beginning of Passover) to the end of the wheat harvest at the Festival of Weeks or Shavuot (see Deuteronomy 16:9-12). The Festival of Weeks later came to be called Pentecost (“50th day”) by Greek speaking Jews. In Jewish tradition, Shavuot also marks the giving of the law to Moses at Sinai, [This liturgical link may inform Paul’s discussions of the law and the Spirit (see Romans 8; 2 Corinthians 3 and Galatians 3).]
The “Companion to the Book of Common Worship” points out that, according to the Day of Pentecost story in Acts 2:1-13, God gave the gift of the Holy Spirit to empower witnesses to the resurrection. Sounds from heaven, cosmic language, the rush of a mighty ruach (wind, spirit, breath) invaded the house in which the apostles gathered, and appeared to them as a burning fire. Tongues of fire touched their nerve centers. A power – the unseen power of God – moved among them and gripped them. The Holy Spirit is unseen, like the wind, which is why the Old Testament calls it ruach YHWH, “the wind, or breath, of God” (cf. John 3:8). The Spirit is the “unseenness of God” working among us.
According to Joel (2:28-29) the ruach is to open everybody to God’s future. People young and old will dream and will have visions of hope. They will be able to loose themselves from the way things are now, because God is establishing a whole new economy of creation. The Holy Spirit breaks us out of our preoccupation with ourselves and frees us to serve neighbors, loosens our grasp on possessions, and sets us to loving people. New creation is what Joel is talking about. Pentecost is new creation.
The book of Acts tells the story of the outcome of Pentecost’s new creation: people witness in word and in deed to the risen Christ. At the outset, the newborn church immediately tumbled out into the streets to witness to God’s mighty works in the languages of people all over the world. By the end of the story, a tiny, Spirit-filled community of faith that broke from its present order has spread across the continents with incredible power to bring new things into being. With the gift of the Spirit, all things are possible.
Therefore, on the Day of Pentecost, we celebrate God’s gift of Holy Spirit which draws us together as one people, helps us to comprehend what God is doing in the world, and empowers us to proclaim, in word and in deed, God’s plan of reconciling all people in the name of Christ (Ephesians 1:10).
Without the gift of the Spirit, Christ’s church dries up and withers away, and we are left with only our broken selves. With the gift of the Spirit, all things are possible. A spirit-filled community of faith opens eyes to needs in the world and sees its mission as God’s new people. The Day of Pentecost is the climax of the Great Fifty Days of Easter, celebrating as it does the gift of the Spirit to the body of Christ – the church. Happy Day of Pentecost!
Blessings, Pastor Tony
Pastor Visitation: If you would like a visit from Pastor Tony, please call 620-951-4438 ©
Halstead Bible Fellowship: email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please join us in worship at 112 West 3rd Street, Halstead, KS, – Sundays at 9:45am.
In Our Family
Pray for: Healing for Liz Loeffler; comfort for the family of Brett Loeffler on the passing of his father-in-law; Those who grieve after the latest shooting; the rebuilding of homes after tornado and flood damage; The President and government officials;
Give Praise for: John and Gwen Haspels trip to Ethiopia to encourage young churches; God working through the Neighbors Store ;
June Birthdays Happy birthday to You!
Eden Page Quispe 12th Cara Evans Cansler 20th Colin Bailey 25th
John & Gwen Haspels, email@example.com
Be in prayer for John and Gwen as they travel to Ethiopia June-July.
Together in His Service, John & Gwen
John & Joy Haspels, AIM, Nairobi, Kenya: firstname.lastname@example.org
Online giving page: https://usgiving.aimint.org/missionary/1032600
Thank you for your prayers for the Borana survey we conducted earlier this month. In an effort to determine the status of the church among the Borana people in Kenya, 3 of us traveled to the town of Moyale on the border with Ethiopia. We spent most of a week meeting with church members, leaders, and pastors. The pastor of our local partner church, Africa Inland Church (AIC), led us off the beaten path to visit with young church plants and meet the people who are giving up their belief in I$1am to follow Christ. This was a VERY encouraging visit. The church among the Borana is grounded in good theology and actively reaching out to unbelievers in their community and the communities around. The picture is of Pastor Samuel’s house and church, an AIC church plant about 40 kilometers from Moyale town. While we (as Africa Inland Mission) feel that the need is not evident for western missionaries on the ground, there is still a lot of work to do. The church is young and small, the area is vast and underdeveloped, and the people are nomadic. Even though the scriptures in Borana are being widely used, much of the Borana community is illiterate. Our AIC pastor asked specifically for audio bibles in Borana as an outreach essential. One of the other immediate needs was for a motorcycle for one of the pastors who walks many kilometers between congregations he is responsible for. Please pray for these needs. Pray also for Pastor Abraham and the others who are driving the outreach to the Borana people.
One outcome from the survey was that we were made aware of another people group along the border which has no Christian witness. The Borana pastors we talked to each said that they do not know of a single believer among this tribe. We will be researching and exploring options in regards to this particular group. I’ll follow up with more information about this tribe in future emails. The two tribes are similar and speak the same language, but are also enemies, so Borana missionaries are not an option. Maybe we can use the Borana church as a training ground for missionaries among this tribe? Please pray with us as we explore how our Savior wants us to proceed with this information.
Thank you for your prayers for Acacia’s college choice. She has decided to attend Sterling College in Kansas, John’s alma mater. She has agreed to play Soccer for the college and will also be pursuing her love of art. She has a cousin who is student there and will be only an hour’s drive from John’s parents. Though the college has worked hard to get us a good scholarship package, we will still be about 12,000 short a year. I know that many of you have gone through this and can empathize. Thank you for praying with us.
This coming week is “homeschool week” for us. Many of our missionaries who home school will gather at Rift Valley Academy for annual testing of our homeschooled kids. Tiarra will also spend a couple nights in the dorm as a test to see if she is ready to attend boarding school next year. She has been asking to go, and we are just about at our limit as teachers, so we will see. If this isn’t the right time for her to go, that is fine. But if this is the right time, pray for peace as we leave Acacia in the states in college and send Tiarra to boarding school.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support. You are a blessing to us!
In Christ, John and Joy.
Just a thought: It was very humbling for us to visit these Borana pastors and church leaders out in the Kenyan bush. Their church plants are not able to provide a living for them, and their sending church in Moyale can only help with a small stipend. So they must survive in the harsh North Kenya climate while taking care of their families and finding the time and energy to lead several small congregations. Often meeting two or three times a week with each church plant. Most of them could get jobs in the towns that would provide a good income, but they are driven by the need to share Christ with their people. What a picture this should be for us, especially those from developed countries. We have life so easy, we give up so little, we lack the drive to share Christ with our neighbors no matter the cost. Maybe we should take the time to examine our lives and see what a little more sacrifice and a little more drive could do for the Kingdom!
John and Joy Haspels, AIM Eastern Region, Logistics Officer
John, Joy, Acacia, Charlie, Sianna, Tierra Haspels
Habtom, Heather, Faith, Hope & Josiah Kebede, Box 1111 (c/o John Haspels), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: email@example.com * theantiochpartners.org
Dear Friends and Family, May the love that took Jesus to the cross and the hope that we have in His resurrection be yours each day throughout the year. We hope and pray that each of you enjoyed your Easter celebration. The whole reason for our lives and ministries is wrapped up into one man. He is reason we have something to share with the world that is different than what the world already has. The great sacrificial love of Jesus and the awesome hope we have is because he is alive. Praise God this is the answer to a broken and hurting world. Camp Ethiopian Easter was a week after the western world celebrated Easter so the first Saturday in May we celebrated Easter with the camp kids. After a long fasting season for the Orthodox believers we had meat wate (Ethiopian curry) with the children. Everyone enjoyed the feast. But greater than the feast and much more important to their lives was the viewing of the Children’s Jesus Movie in Amharic. We pray that as they have seen the loving sacrifice of Jesus that their hearts would desire to know him more and they would have a burning desire in their hearts to know the truth. Their English, Sports/ethical teaching, Oromeffa and Amharic have continued as normal throughout this month. We have found it difficult in some ways because children have not been as faithful in attendance. We would appreciate prayers for these kids that whatever is preventing them from coming regularly would be removed. If it is work at home or errands pray that the family would not do it at the same time as the program. If it is getting distracted on the way pray that they would no longer be distracted but walk straight to the camp. If it is just lack of motivation pray that they would find new desire to come. We really pray that they would come because that is the first step to having an opportunity to share God’s love. The camp is going through a court case brought against the camp by the city of Sandafa. So far, the verdict has been against the camp. The camp is trying a final appeal. So, we would appreciate prayers. If ruled against the camp could either lose the land or pay 10 million birr ($345,250.19), and yearly rent on the land. We know God is able to make a way. Either the verdict will turn in our favor or God can supply 10 Million birr. God is so much bigger and greater than we can imagine. We pray His will be done and His glory seen. Please pray with us. Family We are praising God for Hope. This month we celebrated her 5th birthday. She is such a special gift and source of joy in our lives. We truly thank God for her beautiful life and all the years to come. This month Habtom helped his mom move back into her own apartment. She had been staying with Habtom’s sister for many years and the money from renting that apartment had been a source of income for them. So, the house was a mess and there were many things that needed to be fixed. But now she is happily moved in and enjoying her freedom for going to morning prayers at 4am and returning close to noon. We also enjoyed an Easter celebration in her new home. We are praising God for his faithfulness. The night before Resurrection Sunday she spent all day through to 3 am in the morning singing praise to Jesus, listening to sermons KEBEDE- HIGHLAND ECHOES THE ANTIOCH PARTNERS firstname.lastname@example.org theantiochpartners.org Kids at the Easter party Zemzem + little sister Wako, new staff, Alimu’s hands Young boys ready to eat! Family picture at Hope’s 5 th birthday party! Habtom serving food Kids at birthday meal and celebrating his Resurrection at church. I love the devotion and reverence that the Orthodox believers show in celebrating Easter. This month our kids all got bad colds again with high fevers that come and go and runny noses. We are finally on the end of it but all this sickness is really unusual for us. So please pray that our immune systems would be strong. I am sure part of it is all the exposure at school. We are headed into our final two months of school after we had a week off for Easter. June 22 is our girls last day. The day after that Papa and Grandma arrive and so many other fun people and things happening in the summer. One of the trips is to go to our niece’s graduation in Kenya. I have been excited with the number of questions our own kids are asking us after watching so many of the super book movies of the Bible. Even though we do Bible memory the stories seen seem to have made an impact on both girls. Hope has been amazed by the crucifixion and why all the people said crucify him. Faith has been so concerned about her cousins understanding Jesus. All we can do as parents is ask God to give us wisdom as we answer questions. Josiah is not there yet but sure loves saying Amen after prayer before meals and dancing to worship music. Please don’t hesitate to let us join you in prayer and praise. Thanks for all your prayers and support. Habtom, Heather, Faith, Hope and Josiah Praises – Celebration of Jesus Life – Hope turned 5 years old – Kids are finally getting healthy once again – Habtom’s mom is in her own apartment – Safety as we travel back and forth to camp + around the city – The Camp kids are getting good meals three times a week – Each of you who supports us in prayer and through finance. Thank You!!! Requests – Salvation for family members – The After-School Program watched the Jesus film at Easter; Pray revelation of Jesus – Peace in the country (between tribes) – Camp would know the way forward as they deal with court case – Please pray for camp staff to work together in unity and love – Please pray for the camp staff to be ready for the summer and see the provision of God – One of our sister-in-law’s has hyperthyroidism and is having a hard time getting the medication prescribed for her. Need God’s intervention Testimonies I find it so amazing to have my girls asking so many great questions about Bible stories. It is amazing when God touches hearts and causes us to ask questions. It is only Holy Spirit that helps us desire and love Jesus. It is only Him who can cause the true miracle of believing in Jesus. We have no idea how awesome and amazing it is when God touches a heart. We are so excited because our good friends have welcomed their second child, Alister, who came safely and is healthy. His parents, big sister and family are enjoying his little life. Praise God. Along with him a few other special little ones we know have joined our journey in this world. We are so thankful for each one. Each are a miracle and gift to us and the world.
Heather, Habtom, Faith, Hope, Josiah
Anne Adrian, ISI, Lakeland, Florida email@example.com
|God indeed brought the nations together to give Himself glory!! It was beautiful to watch!!