Abe Brown Ministries’, one of Hyde Park’s mission partners, works to break cycles of incarceration by helping renew the minds of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated citizens, motivating them to change their behaviors and achieve purposeful lives as a compassionate demonstration of the Love of Jesus Christ.
Larry’s Success Story
At the age of eight, Larry moved with his family from Rochester, New York to Apopka, Florida. It was there in Apopka that his troubles started. He and his six siblings were raised by their single mother, and he found himself spending a lot of time with older guys in his neighborhood. Initially, he hung out with them to play pool, but it later progressed to selling marijuana with them. By 7th grade, he started skipping school so that he could sell drugs on the corner to make quick money. Larry then dropped out of school and found himself involved with a crew of guys who would burglarize homes and steal cars. After 9th grade, he returned to high school so that he could play basketball and run track. Even then, he continued burglarizing homes and was arrested twice, but let go with no consequences. By the age of 18, his actions finally caught up with him when he was arrested after his fingerprints were connected to two burglaries. Larry was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years, and was released on March 9, 2021 after serving 38 years in prison.
Read More about Larry’s story
Shining the Light Ministries, our mission partner in Nicaragua, provides agriculture training and support to low income families in the area around Leon. Their focus is in three areas: Gardens, Poultry and Sewing.
Here is an excerpt from their latest newsletter:
2021 3RD QUARTER REPORT, ROGER GONZALES FUENTES, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
At this time, we want to thank God for the opportunity that He has given us to serve and help our people in Nicaragua. During the past 3months we have been able to see God’s work through everything.
Right now the world is still facing a very difficult time, especially here in Nicaragua because of Covid-19. In León we have hit the highest number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, hospitals are full, and pharmacies are running out of medicine. Since my last report, we have faced some challenges with COVID in our communities and in our personal lives. Pastor Angel and Gerald had COVID back in September. Praise God that they have made a full recovery, but we have also lost some loved ones due to COVID. Even though this is a hard time, we are still believing and trusting in the Lord.
Read the complete newsletter.
Hyde Park’s mission partners, Pat and Melenda Edmiston are missionaries with Wycliffe – Partners in Bible Translation, a nondenominational mission organization dedicated to translating the Scriptures and teaching people to read and write in their own language.
Dear Hyde Park Family,
God’s Word is powerful and it changes lives dramatically. We read Earl’s testimony in our devotional this week.
Earl had so much money that he never needed to work and yet he was empty. He took all kinds of drugs, even hard core heroin and ended up in the hospital. Someone thought to give him a New Testament while visiting him there.
He was thrilled because the thin paper was perfect for rolling marijuana joints. Earl rolled his way through Matthew, Mark and Luke, but when he came to the Gospel of John, he began to read. The Holy Spirit opened his mind and heart and he encountered Jesus. His emptiness gave way to Joy.
The young psychologist in charge of his case, was very beautiful and had been a model. One day she said to Earl, ‘Look, I have it all – success, beauty and endless qualifications – yet I am not fulfilled. Your life is a mess, yet you seem to have something – a peace and a joy. What is it?’ With his new found faith he took her to the Savior. Later they were married.
Earl and his wife are believers today; their lives, radically changed by the Word of God in the book of John.
A few days ago, Pat finished translation-checking the Gospel of John with a language team in a very dangerous area of Southeast AsiaI Every night they go to bed knowing that their home might be stormed and they could be dragged away.
They finished John 16:33 where Jesus said, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” At that point, they shared that in spite of the insecurity that they are facing, it has not robbed them of the peace that they have in knowing Jesus.
How precious is that?! We are thankful to be in Bible translation ministry.
Thank you for continuing to partner with us financially and through your prayers. Together we are making an impact.
In His Love,
Pat & Mel
Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary (BMTS), our mission partner, is the largest United Methodist seminary in Europe, and serves students from eight countries who study in three languages: Estonian, Russian and English. Their newsletter is titled Prayerchain, it begins with a message from Külli Tõniste, Rector. Here’s an excerpt:
The new academic year at Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary has started with hard work. This devotional, that our faculty Hindrek Taavet Taimla shared during a prayer time, captures our feelings and helps to focus on what is most important.
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” -John 4:23,24
As we come to face some very technical and heavily academic (and administrative) work, we should not see it apart from a life of worship. We don´t divide our theological studies or research as secular and our church life as spiritual. At the Seminary, we learn how to love God with our whole mind. There also does not have to be a divide between the heart and the mind. In fact, the BMTS motto in Latin is Mente et Corde (‘with mind and heart’). Therefore, let us make our work desk an altar and every paper – be it as void of life as the accreditation report that our staff has to prepare the for ministry of education – let us make it an act of worship, because just as at the altar, God is seeking to meet us there!
Read their newsletter
Hyde Park United Methodist joins other local religious organizations to welcome refugees from around the world.
By now, you’ve seen the headlines about our current refugee crisis. As Afghan and Haitian refugees are forced to leave the volatile and unsafe conditions of their home countries and make their way to safety, many groups are working hard to arrange housing assistance, provide food, secure medical support, offer translation services, and equip them with pathways to employment and self-sufficiency.
We are expecting 750 new refugees this year. Since last October, Hillsborough County has had 2,331 new arrivals qualifying for refugee services. The refugees are mostly coming from Afghanistan, Haiti, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Syria, Ethiopia and Venezuela.
This Thanksgiving let’s make them feel welcome. Hyde Park’s goal is to provide 100 refugee families with each of the following items:
*5 lbs. Jasmine Rice
*1 Gallon Vegetable/Canola Oil
*5 lbs. Dry Beans/Canned Beans
*1 lb. Loose Leaf Green Tea
*5 lbs. Flour
*5 lbs. Lentils
*$20 Walmart gift card for the family.
Please only purchase gift cards from Walmart for $20.
Or, make a donation toward this effort here.
You can also write a short note to a refugee family using these ways to say “Welcome”:
Democratic Republic of Congo: Boyei bolamu
Iraq: Yaa hėlaa
Syria: Ahlan wasahlan bik fi suria
Ethiopia: Inikwani dehina met’ahi
Hyde Park joins these organizations in this interfaith Thanksgiving:
*Congregation Beth Am
*Mission Hill Church
*Palma Ceia Presbyterian
*Spirit of Life Unitarian Universalists
*Tampa Bay Refugee Task Force
*The Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church
*The Presbytery of Tampa Bay
For more information, contact The Rev. Sally Campbell-Evans or The Rev. Vicki Walker.