Monthly News and Stats
Accomplished January 1 to March 31, 2017
4.1 Million Pounds Gleaned from the Fields
2.6 Million Pounds Shipped in the Potato & Produce Project
A total of 6.6 Million Pounds Collected and Distributed
19.9 Million Servings of Fresh Produce Provided
654 Events Held / 4,261 Volunteers Engaged
News and Events
Young SoSA Volunteers
Two young volunteers helped SoSA distribute fresh cabbages to recipients in Georgia. March was a good gleaning month, and there were wonderful cabbages gleaned in abundance in Florida, and Georgia.
The Cabbage Not Wasted
A group, representing the Council on Aging from three separate Georgia communities, gleaned more than 6,000 pounds of cabbage that morning. One woman left in tears because there was so much food left that they had been unable to glean.
Read the article on EndHunger.org
Hungry for More Than Knowledge
13 million children in America come from food-insecure households. For many, at some point during the school year, free breakfasts and lunches are the only meals they get. It also means that from Friday lunch to Monday breakfast, they might go up to 68 hours without a substantial meal.
Read the article on EndHunger.org
A Food Bank in Central Tennessee Appreciates Food to Distribute
“We are grateful for the 1,000 lbs. of potatoes from the SoSA Potato Drop. A donation of this magnitude goes a long way to help the Rutherford County Emergency Food Bank distribute food, at no cost, to individuals, families, and senior citizens who are currently in need until a more permanent solution is found.”
See the article on the WGNS Radio website
Two VBS Programs Available from Society of St. Andrew
Abundance Orchard: Old Testament
Abundance Orchard: New Testament
Each version offers a complete, stand-alone, all-in-one hunger-action themed VBS program. Materials are included to plan for 2-3 hours daily for up to 5 days. You can also help feed hungry families through you mission offerings with the Society of St. Andrew.
Learn More, Download Full Programs
Our prayer request this month is for the Kandas people. The Kandas translators are in the center picture.They are one of the language groups whom Pat has been working with on their New Testament. Pat will be meeting with them in April to complete the final check of 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 2 Corinthians, Colossians, and Ephesians. They live near the southern tip of the island of New Ireland, where involvement with the spirit world remains strongest. When difficult circumstances occur, some people call on local spirits for rain, good crops and healing of illnesses.
Having been exposed to the Gospel message for over a century, about 90 percent would claim to be Christians. But their traditional animistic beliefs compromise Christian teachings. The church is a strong social influence but few churches offer any solid biblical foundation on which people can build their lives. To combat powerful, dark forces, Kandas people need to understand Jesus’ life, His sacrifice, and salvation by grace. As Scripture becomes available in the Kandas language, local churches will have opportunities to help many see a clearer picture of who Jesus and God really are. When the New Testament is completed, people in general — and especially the leaders — will increase in their knowledge of the Word, providing an anchor for a solid, biblical foundation on which to build their lives. Then they will have the tools for evangelism and for bringing believers to maturity in Christ.
We ask you all to pray in the followings ways for these people:
Thank God for the hard work and commitment of the Kandas translators. Ask Him to raise up one or two more translators to help carry the load. Ask Him to continue to give them His guidance and wisdom as they process more New Testament books through the translation steps. Ask Jesus to use His Word in their own language to bring more Kandas people into a relationship with Him through faith.
Pray that through the power of the Holy Spirit, the mother tongue Scriptures may become a beacon of light to pierce the dark forces of evil across the island. And that he will help church leaders use God’s Word to show people what it means to know Christ and trust in Him alone to supply their spiritual and physical needs.
Click here to read more about the Kandas.
Pat will also be checking 2 Timothy for the Notsi language (top right) and Psalms 85-117 for the Patpatar. Click on either one to find out more.
Pat & Mel
PO Box 180595, Casselberry, FL 32718-0595; Wycliffe Bible Translators, PO Box 628200, Orlando, FL 32862-8200 (1-800-992-5433)
(407) 488-8385 (Mel)
Greetings from the President
It’s spring at last! Days are getting longer, birds are singing, and sunshine brings joy into the heart. Our hearts at the seminary are even more joyful and grateful for your prayers on March 6 when we had the accreditation committee visit, all day long. Even as we have not received their written evaluation yet we did receive the initial oral feedback in the end of the day, and it was exclusively positive. Thus we have all reasons to expect a positive decision also. However, let us still keep the people who would make the decision in our prayers. Our own representatives – faculty, staff, students, alumni, leadership, partners – were all very devoted and eager in their conversations, and I am personally very grateful to everyone who gave their input this day, in actual words and deeds as well as in prayers.
Our dean Mark Nelson and Livia Telles got married on March 17 – let us keep them in our prayers. Anna Seifullina began to teach her first class successfully in March, and she is grateful for your prayers. I myself began to teach a class on developmental psychology at the Lutheran Theological Institute in March. I shall continue it in April, and I ask for your prayers also. We consider the connection with sister schools very important, and faculty exchange is a really good way to develop this relationship further.
We are currently in the process of developing the student exchange program in the framework of Methodist-Related Schools in Europe (MTSE). We hope to send some third year students to Reutlingen and Manchester already this spring for a short term Exchange. Let us pray that this experience would be for them both academically enriching and spiritually advancing. We are also recruiting new students right now, and we ask for your prayers. Let us pray that God would grant potential students this kind of internal clarity in their call that would motivate them to study. Let us also pray for plans about Seminary Open House on May 18 – that interested people would attend, and would get some positive impulses for seminary studies.
Good news is that we have reached financial stability again – thanks to your prayers and gifts! We are really grateful to all of you. Quite soon we hope to get the response from Central Conference Theological Education Fund (CCTEF) regarding the financial support to our projects in 2017 (that would be a notable part of our budget). Let us continue our prayers both for seminary’s long-term partners – that the partnerships would endure and flourish – as well as for finding new partners and supporters (including our own seminary graduates!)
Friends near and far
On the last day of this month I have been invited to participate at the educational conference organized by Estonian Council of Churches. The topic of our discussion group will be university level education – a good university level education. Let us pray that the Christian message about the importance of education that would enhance and shape one’s personality as well as support the Christian value system could get some more attention in the Estonian society because of this conference.
On March 13-16 I was invited by British Methodist Church to participate at the international consultation on freedom of religion and belief. The consultation was held near London. It was a valuable learning experience for me as well as an opportunity to admit to myself the situation in today’s Estonia: we need to be grateful to God for having the opportunity to offer theological education at the state accredited seminary; to publish and read theological literature in our mother tongue; to have morning prayers in national broadcast, and express our thoughts and viewpoints freely in national newspapers. “It is for freedom that Christ has made us free” (Gl 5:1) – in other words, the responsibility to use one’s freedom wisely will always come together with freedom. May we have wisdom and grace to notice even better opportunities created by the freedom, and may we live in dignity in our Christ-given freedom!
President of the BMTS
A Reflection by Steve Rorrer
Sure, there is plenty to do in your own backyard. Hurricanes, tornadoes, mudslides, flooding….you name it and you could respond to it. So why Nicaragua?
For me, it has been a way to broaden my perspective on the world and the beautiful people that live in it. It has also been a way for me to understand that God is not always concerned about us simply performing a task. He is as interested, if not more so, in us connecting with each other….developing relationships. You will do this not only with those on your mission team but with many of the Nicaraguan people.
Just this past year, we began working with a new community in the Leon area which was particularly heartwarming. Observing the simplicity of those that would seem to be “lacking” or the “have-nots” will likely impact you the like the way Jesus does when he turns the tables and changes the way you see things.
Those that are lacking have an abundance of the things that you may be lacking. Their love for each other is strong. Their faith in Christ is overflowing. They are happy, joyful and thankful with the basics. They have a sincere understanding of where their blessings come from and they remember and are grateful for them.
All of this changes your perspective on many things. Suddenly, your “things” aren’t as important as the relationships you have and the time you have to spend with others.
You see life in a more simplistic way…..actually, in a more faithfully rooted way….realizing that God does provide and you can rest in the grace and peace of that assurance. You will likely gain a better understanding of who you are, what God may be calling you to do or be, and come away with a brighter light in your heart.
You might go to Nicaragua with the attitude that you will change their lives and solve their problems. Sure, you will make a difference, but the most surprising difference will likely be the way the experience changes you. You might even learn a little Spanish 🙂
Dios te bendiga!
Stever Rorrer, member 2015 and 2016 Hyde Park Mission Teams to Nicaragua
The 2017 Nicaragua Mission trip will be Oct. 28-Nov. 4, 2017. The second information meeting for prospective team members will be at 6 p.m. May 15, 2017 in Knox Hall Room 150 at the Hyde Park campus, 500 W. Platt St. Learn More.
El Ayudante, our mission partner in Leon, Nicaragua is accepting applications for Mission Team Liaison.
Every year, our Nicaragua Mission Team members have an amazing experience serving others at the El Ayudante mission. You can now join this life-saving team as a Mission Team Liaison! The Mission Team Liaison will help promote the mission of El Ayudante by coordinating with visiting Mission Teams.
Click here for the job description.
Click here for the application.
Questions? Contact Vicki Walker.
Click here for the Winter Quarterly Newsletter
Yam Jam: The Blessing After the Storm
Thanksgiving: Gathering Turnips and Giving Thanks
The Executive Director’s Report
2016 Year-End Statistics