Volume 15, Issue 10
Since at least the fourth century in Rome, Christians have celebrated the incarnation and nativity of Jesus Christ on December 25. There is more than one theory about the origin of this festival day. Some have suggested that it was established to replace the Roman feast of “Natalis Solis Invicti” (the “birthday of the unconquered sun”). Others believe that Jesus was conceived on March 25 (coinciding with the date of his crucifixion, as recorded by some witnesses in the early church); December 25 is exactly nine months later.
Regardless, the time between December 25 and January 6 (Epiphany) has become an occasion for the church to celebrate and give thanks for the arrival of God’s Word made flesh – the light of God that has come into the world, the light that even death could not extinguish.
An excerpt from the “Companion to the Book of Common Worship” (Geneva Press, 2003, 92-93) puts it this way:
What is “Christmas”? It is three words: God in flesh; or four syllables: in-car-na-tion. The Gospel according to John (1:14) tells us, “The Word became flesh and lived among us, … full of grace and truth.” Christmas proclaims that God has come in flesh, has come “to save us all from Satan’s power.” Christmas celebrates far more than a birthday; Christmas acclaims the advent of messianic salvation. Christ was sent among us in order to save us. …
What we pay homage to at Christmas, therefore, is that the ultimate fulfillment of God’s saving purpose begins with the birth of Jesus, the messianic Savior. God’s only Son is born among us in order to save the world. This is the message of Christmas.
From the beginning of time, God’s saving purpose has been at work. God has raised up the seed of Abraham, including Moses and Gideon and Samson and John the Baptist. Through all these generations, God has been faithfully at work raising persons to bring us the Davidic Messiah, the messianic King, the Son of the Most High who will ascend the throne of David. Through all of human history, God has been bringing forth Jesus Christ. Now through the birth of the Savior, God’s purpose will be fulfilled. God has acted to save God’s people. The Christ child is born for the saving of the world.
This year, our Christmas season worship will be guided by “The Star: A Journey to Christmas; Devotions Through the Season of Advent on Hope, Love, Joy and Peace.” With guidance from this devotional, we will meditate on how the “Star” leads to hope (12/01/19), love (12/08/19), joy (12/15/19), peace (12/22/19), and to Jesus (12/22/29).
The introduction to the devotional offers this message about the season:
More than two thousand years ago, a star burst through the darkness and signaled the long-awaited but still unexpected birth of a Savior. Today another star shines, piercing the darkness of our lives with hope, love, joy and peace. His name is Jesus and His light shines, drawing us into the journey of following Him.
Amen! 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: The Grossardt family on the passing of Bernie Grossardt; The Evans family on the passing of Eileen Fox; John T. Haspels’ work in Kenya and the following tribes under their care: the Garre, Samburu, Rendille, Gabra peoples and the towns of Ludwar, Marsabit and Korr & Dukana.: Healing for Josiah Habtom (Heather and Habtom’s boy);
Give Praise for: Time spent with family and friends on Thanksgiving Day;
December Birthdays Happy birthday to You!
6 John Haspels, Sr 18 Sianna Haspels 10 Wilmer Quispe
John & Gwen Haspels, email@example.com
Editor cannot print the Boma Bulletin since it is in PDF format. Click on the circles to open it. (Sorry, no links either.)
Together in His Service, The Haspels
John & Joy Haspels, AIM, Nairobi, Kenya: firstname.lastname@example.org
Online giving page: https://usgiving.aimint.org/missionary/1032600
November began with a road trip. In a week and a half, we drove over 4000 miles, attended two missions conferences, met with a pastor of a supporting church, saw many of our individual supporters and were able to spend quality time with family. This was actually a very encouraging trip for us. Of the churches we connected with during this trip, all of them are experiencing growth. When we come back to the US from Kenya, we are often overwhelmed by the perception that the church in the US is slowing dying, that the body of believers is wearing thin. But, in Christ the church is strong! God’s truth is powerful and it draws people to Him! His plan is perfect even when we don’t understand. We who believe know that those truths! I guess the questions is: do we live like we know?
Another encouragement came to us when we got home from the road trip. One of our missionary teams from northern Kenya sent us pictures and video of a village dedicating their new church. This is a tribe that has been resistant to the gospel, but it is starting to open up to hear the good news of the Gospel. This small church has blossomed in the past year and the celebration shows what Joy is found it Christ! The numbers of worshipers… we bend our knee and give God glory. Pray for the Bs and Ss as they disciple these believers and also pray for solid church leadership.
Thank you all for your prayers and support. It has been a blessing to see many of you.
In Christ, go bless!
John and Joy
Just a thought: quite a few years ago mission organizations identified the 10-40 window as a target for evangelism. This is the area on the globe between the 10 latitude North and 40 latitude North, an area in which many unreached people groups are located, most of whom strict adherents to I$l@m. Over the years, much effort has gone into placing people, mobilizing businesses, producing radio programs, and many other creative ways to reach this region with the gospel. Last week, one of the speakers at the conference identified a new window for us, the 925 window. This window is a key to the growth of the church in the west. Reaching this window makes the assumption that EVERY believer understands that they are part of the great commission. God has given every believer a 925 mission field, or written 9 to 5. Who has God placed in your 925 window? Is there someone waiting for you to share the gospel?
John and Joy Haspels
AIM Eastern Region
Habtom, Heather, Faith, Hope & Josiah Kebede, Box 1111 (c/o John Haspels), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: email@example.com * theantiochpartners.org
Housing needs have been met. Heather and Habtom were able to purchase a home which will enable them to serve the needs of the community in Addis Ababa.
Anne Adrian, ISI, Lakeland, Florida firstname.lastname@example.org
What a great opportunity we have at Christmas time to share the Gospel story with its amazing message of Hope for ALL the people’s of the world!! Please pray for the Christmas party on Friday, Dec. 6th! PRAY:
- That God will bring each student He wants there! (We are always competing with studies & finals, but often still have 50 students!)
- That all the details will come together – volunteers providing transportation & food
- For David Springer, Campus Outreach pastor, who will give the message
- That students’ hearts will be open to & hungry for the Gospel
Pray also for our International Womens’ Connection (IWC) Christmas gathering on Dec. 11th. We continue to have new girls join us as their friends invite them and in fact, we have a new evening group for women who work during the day led by one of our faithful volunteers, Libby Gracik!!
The Adrians have officially moved so that means that there will continue to be transitions ahead – PRAY for:
- for Ron Pennekamp, new part-time ISI staff in Lakeland – discernment & support
- the smooth transfer of leadership & vision – new people are already stepping up
- for MORE new volunteers & for churches to catch the vision of ISI in Lakeland
- for guidance as to my own responsibilities in Lakeland, along with beginning steps in Bradenton/Sarasota area
Our new address is: 5214 120th Ave. E.
Parrish, FL 34219
I intend to get another update out after the party and before Christmas so you will be able to rejoice with us in what God has done this semester. THANK YOU for your partnership with me in this wonderful ministry of hope & joy to the nations!! Your prayers and your financial support have made this all possible!! May the Lord continue to bless you for your faithfulness & generosity! May you be like “a well-watered garden” because poured yourself out for those in need!!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
For those of you who prefer to give online: http://www.isionline.org/DonateAnneAdrian.aspx
“Apart from our salvation, the most wonderful gifts God ever allowed us to receive are Christian brothers and sisters, who love us and who are loved by us in full measure as part of His family.”
Bill & Gloria Gaither