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April Women on Mission

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For those of you who packed a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child, here is a message from Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse.

DEAR Friend,
As I stood in the cold wind on the tarmac at Baltimore-Washington International Airport next to a jumbo jet loaded with 60,000 shoebox gifts, I couldn’t help but think of the children in northern Iraq who would soon be opening these presents.  It’s even colder over there, and their families had to flee their homes to escape ISIS terrorist.  Despite the miserable living conditions, I knew that these gifts—packed with love and prayer by people like you—would bring children great joy and also give our church partners unprecedented opportunities  to share the Gospel.  We praise the Lord for providing enough shoebox gifts to reach 10.4 million boys and girls in118 countries in the Name of Jesus.  Everyone involved in Operation Christmas Child looks forward to seeing God raise up ambassadors for Christ as millions of these children study The Greatest Journey discipleship lessons through their local churches.  Your prayers and support enable us to carry out the Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19).  On behalf of children around the world, thank you, and may God richly bless you.


Evangelical churches are losing ground in the church-to-population ratio.  During WWI, there was one Southern Baptist Church for every 430 people.  Now there is one for every 6,194 in the U.S.  In Canada, there is one Canadian National Baptist Convention church for every 115,040 people.  Boston is home to more than 250,000 college students with one church for every 42,900 people.  In Detroit, only one Southern Baptist Church exists for every 36,227 people.  Please pray and give through our Annie Armstrong Easter Offering.  Envelopes are available at the Welcome Center.  Women on Mission will meet Monday, April 13 at 7:00 p.m. at the home of Kathleen Qualkenbush.  All of our ladies are invited to join us.


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Beats by Mark: April

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We serve an amazing God and we have some amazing volunteers and students involved in this ministry.  Everyone came together to pull off one of our best retreats to date. It was an incredible mixture of fun, laughter, relaxing, community, and very deep discussions about how to enjoy God.

Benson Avis, Matt Virgin, Austin Smith, Tori Densley, and Morgan Scott all worked extremely hard on a video that allowed students to share deep parts of their story and how God changed them. It was a beautiful video that will be available on youtube soon. God really used this video and the stories told to open up other students about things going on in their life. It is so incredible to see how God uses so many different pieces and people to chase down one person and show him or her that He loves them deeply.

Benson Avis delivered his first sermon on this retreat and knocked it out of the park. Many many students talked about how much his sermon impacted them as he talked about three different types of people: people who are dead, people who need a reason to celebrate, and people who are celebrating. There were students that connected deeply with the fact that they were dead and God used this sermon to raise them to life.  Benson’s sermon really was the highlight of the retreat for many. I’m unbelievably thankful for Benson and his heart for ministry and these students.

Matt Virgin led out on the large group game that we played at retreat. Matt has been an indispensable part of this ministry for several years, but these past couple years he has really led out in so many areas. The games he comes up with, the videos he creates, and the way he connects with the students are all just incredible. God uses Matt constantly to teach truth and encourage our students weekly, but then he steps into these large projects and just does an outstanding job with everything. 

Morgan Scott did everything...as usual. She helps with every project we ever do. From videos to games to helping with administrative things behind the scenes. She is an incredible servant. But what makes her irreplaceable is the depth of relationship she has formed with all the students. She cares for and prays for these students constantly and God is constantly using her to encourage and build up our students. I can’t explain how thankful I am for her.

Kristin Anderson has loved and poured her life into these students for years now. On top of school and work, she diligently pours into and loves these students. God used her extremely powerfully during this event to walk with students through some very difficult conversations, and she is able to have these deep conversations because of her deep love and wisdom. I’m so thankful for her ministry here.

A huge thank you to April Sharp and Paul Hollis for stepping in to help chaperone and have just a great time with students. I know everyone knows how incredible these two are, but I love how they grab every opportunity to talk about the Lord and encourage students to trust Him more...even if that opportunity is just sitting around the cabin at night. Thank you so much for being apart of this. 

Tori Densley has been helping out for just a short period of time, but she has jumped in with both feet. She has an incredible eye for videos and helped a tremendous amount with the video. But what was awesome to me was how she is already having great conversations with the students about the Lord and what honoring Him looks like. I can’t wait to see how God uses her into the future.

A huge thank you to everyone who donated funds to help students attend this event. We literally could not have done this without you. Your generosity is what allowed so many students to come hear the Word of God and enjoy Him. 

I’m overwhelmed with thankfulness and love for this church, these volunteers, and our absolutely amazing students. We definitely have the best youth group around :)

With deep love,


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