When God Moves, He Moves People

by Joe Paschal

Growing up, the only thing I knew about refugees was that Tom Petty sang a song in which he said, “you don’t have to live like refugee.” Then, in 2000, I got a job at World Relief resettling refugees in Atlanta, GA. Then, not only did I quickly learn the US government’s definition of a refugee, but I also had the privilege of meeting and befriending many amazing people who were starting their lives over in the United States.

syrian refugees

Syrian children walk during a sandstorm at a refugee camp. (Photo credit: LA Times. Click photo for source article.)

I call it a privilege because I was given the opportunity to witness one of the ways God is moving in the world. When God moves, He moves people–literally, in some cases. When God chose a people to set aside and become His people, He called Abraham and asked him to pack up his family and move. And ever since those days, God has been moving people in and out of countries and across borders all for one purpose. In Acts 17:26-27, Paul says, God “decided beforehand when [nations] should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him” (NLT).

I don’t want to over-simplify, but to put it another way, when people in a country aren’t allowed to search and find God, sometimes He moves them out of that country’s borders into a different place where they will have the chance to know Him.

Depending on which news source you read, there are nearly 4 million Syrians that have fled their home country seeking shelter inside a different set of borders. (And there’s another 6-7 million Syrians on the run still inside the country. They are “internally displaced.”) These are record numbers! So many people suffering!

But remember: When God moves, He moves people. Right now, there are millions of people on the move. Is He moving them closer to finding Himself?

And what about you? Is He “moving” you to help? I pray that He is.

You can help. Here’s how:

  1. PRAY. Pray for refugees and IDPs (internally displaced people). God knows every one of them by name and loves them just like He loves you and me. Pray that God provides for these families.
  2. GIVE. You can give to support ministries that have “boots on the ground” where the Syrian refugees are. You can give through LifePoint Church online. Just give the way you normally do on our website, but choose “Syrian Refugees” from the drop down menu. LifePoint will give all of the donations to ministries on the front lines of the Syrian refugee crisis.
  3. WELCOME. Did you know that World Relief resettles refugees right here in the metro Baltimore area? You can welcome refugees to the United States and help them begin their new lives! Click here to get started.

Update: Golf Tournament was Best Ever!

Thank you to everyone that participated in our 13th annual golf tournament! You donated generously, and we raised the most we’ve ever raised at a tournament: over $11,000! Praise the Lord for that. He has provided this amazing blessing to this year’s beneficiary, Fellowship of Christian Athletes. We love supporting this excellent ministry!

13th Annual Golf Tournament Will Benefit Fellowship of Christian Athletes

GolfTourneyPPT-2015_12x9LifePoint Church has enjoyed the opportunity to help others through 12 annual golf tournaments and is looking forward to number 13 in just a couple of weeks! This year the beneficiary is the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Carroll County.

It has been exciting to watch a young man respond to God’s call on him to leave his career and launch into full time ministry with FCA. That young man is Brandon Johnson, and he is doing a tremendous job building and growing the FCA in Carroll County. Through hundreds of players and coaches on high school and college campuses, the FCA is making a huge impact on this region. So its a privilege to support them in their mission through this golf tournament.

Please join us for a fun day of golf that helps make a difference in the lives of others!
Please register by May 4th!

The Course:  
The Links at Gettysburg (www.thelinksatgettysburg.com)

The Schedule: 
Friday, May 8, 2015
Shotgun start: 7:30 am
Lunch and Awards Ceremony at 1:30 pm
Format: Captain’s Choice

The Participants:
Corporate Sponsor with 4 Golfers
Corporate Sponsor without Golfers
Individual Entry

Prizes for flighted foursome and other contests

For registration and more information please visit our website:

Run for the World! 5K to Help Students Going to Ethiopia

This summer, our student ministries is sending a team of students to Ethiopia! Its so great to have young people catching the vision to share God’s love globally. And we have a fun opportunity to help them–a 5K and fun run!

The run is on May 16 at LifePoint Church. For more information and registration, please click here.

5K run

Alpha Life Staff Visits LifePoint Church

It was wonderful to host our brothers and sisters from Ukraine this month! They are the staff of Alpha Life, which is an orphan graduate transition ministry in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. Viktor, Zhenya and Andrew were all able to come, and Andrew was able to bring his wife, Anna, too! At the end of our weekend services on February 7 and 8, we introduced them to the church. Check out the video of that introduction.

The Financial Freedom to be Generous

Why is the Outreach blog posting about financial freedom? Because God calls us to be wise stewards of the money He has given us so we can use it to help share His love through generous giving! Giving to help local ministries where we live. Giving to help share the Gospel around the world. And giving towards orphan care to help build strong families for vulnerable children.

fpu_logo_4c_white_backThat’s why we’re excited to see EconoMe, LifePoint Church’s financial ministry, host Dave Ramsey’s video-based class called Financial Peace University! Its wildly popular because of the amazing help it has given to countless people. So if you’re ready to learn how to get financially free, please attend this class! You can register by clicking here. The class begins March 2: Mondays at 7pm.

Warming Hearts, Shaping Lives

AlphaLife logo_color

Upheaval. Chaos. Fear. Survival. Words that describe life close to Ukraine’s eastern border with Russia over the past several months. Many of you have asked about our friends in Ukraine. “What about the orphan graduate ministry there? Are they okay? Are they in danger?” The good news is that the city of Dnipropetrovsk has not been the site of any military actions in all this. But if you think about it for a minute, we could use those same words to describe the lives of orphans as they “graduate” from their institutional homes. Upheaval. Chaos. Fear. Survival. Unfortunately, the word survival should be followed by a question mark. Many of them literally don’t survive. But there is good news on this front, too! More and more orphan graduates, young men and young women, are getting loving, personal help, guidance and training to help them navigate the extraordinary time of launching from institution to independence. And at the heart of everything the Alpha Life staff is doing is the love of Christ Jesus.

As you can see on the map, Dnipropetrovsk is not terribly far from the hot zones, but far enough to keep them out of the action. However, we can't say they haven't felt the impact. Many Ukrainians have fled their homes, many of which have been destroyed now, and have landed in Dnipropetrovsk looking for help. Our friends at Central Baptist Church of Dnipropetrovsk have been helping with food and warm clothing.

As you can see on the map, Dnipropetrovsk is not terribly far from the hot zones, but far enough to keep them out of the action. However, we can’t say they haven’t felt the impact. Many Ukrainians have fled their homes–some have been destroyed. Many have landed in Dnipropetrovsk looking for help. Our friends at Central Baptist Church of Dnipropetrovsk have been helping with food and warm clothing.

Along with our Ukrainian friends at Alpha and Omega and Central Baptist Church in Dnipropetrovsk, we began developing this vision in 2012. Then we launched the Alpha Life ministry in 2013. Now, a year and a half later, we’re seeing the second school year of ministry bring exciting opportunities and growth.

It started with one–Vadim. A wonderful young man who is now studying at a medical technical school. Many have followed Vadim!

Zhenya works with the young women through Alpha Life. She is currently teaching and mentoring 3 young women who have already graduated out of orphanages: Sonya, Nastya and Tanya. They are studying logistics, electrical engineering and management, respectively. And there are 4 more young women who have visited the ministry several times so far. Please pray for these young women that are still “getting to know” the ministry and Zhenya. Pray that they will feel the love of Christ and be drawn to the “family” at Alpha Life.

Here is Viktor (center), the administrator of Alpha Life, watching a video during a lesson he was teaching.

Here is Viktor (center), the administrator of Alpha Life, watching a video during a lesson he was teaching. Andrew says the boys look up to Viktor “like a father.”

Alpha Life takes its name in part from the key partner ministry–Alpha & Omega (AO). AO is a great ministry for young adults that is based in a facility that is for all intents and purposes a community center. They also hold church services there on Sunday afternoons. Depending on when you walk through the doors, you can find any number of things going on: ping-pong tournaments, life skills classes, Bible studies, music lessons and more!

Andrew Rubel cropped

Andrew Rubel, the newest Alpha Life team member

Four young men are regularly attending Alpha Life lessons as well as activities at AO. Paul, Ruslan, Vlad and Victor. They are all studying  at the same college to be electricians. Three more guys have attended a few events at AO and seem to be interested in getting connected to Alpha Life. Several of the guys have also been to the services at Central Baptist Church of Dnipropetrovsk. Andrew has been building relationships with them and has even started teaching guitar to a couple of guys! Andrew is Zhenya’s male counterpart in Alpha Life. Andrew joined the staff at the end of the summer. It’s great to have him on board to help mentor the young men. Not only is Andrew a musician, but he’s also an athlete. He just finished a career on the Ukraine National Track and Field team! In one of his updates about the young men Andrew mentioned that he was encouraged to see “their hearts warming” to him and the Alpha Life staff.

We thank God for the reach Alpha Life is having already! In fact, Zhenya says they are working with 11 other orphans in 3 different orphanages who are set to graduate in 2015.

Please pray with us that God will continue to warm the hearts of these young men and women as Viktor, Zhenya and Andrew share with them the love of Jesus.


Loving Others at the Cold Weather Shelter

There’s a chill in the air. Maybe you’re like me–I love it when fall weather comes around. But that drop in temperature is not a fun thing for everyone. For people who don’t have a home, cold weather makes a hard situation even worse. Do you remember the interview with Casey McCormick we showed in church back in January? Casey decided to step out and “risk loving” homeless people right here where we live. She put her love for Jesus into action by loving others.

Its that time of year again. The Cold Weather Shelter in Westminster will be opening in November. Please take a minute to watch Casey’s interview where she describes how the shelter works and her experience there. Then email us at localoutreach@lifepointchurch.us to get involved. There are multiple ways to help. You can volunteer at the shelter for intake one evening, or you can prepare and serve a meal, or you can donate warm winter clothing.


Update on Ann Rae!

Ann Rae Keel (Full)Did you know that Ann Rae has a blog where she writes about her experiences in Ethiopia? We’re excited to see how God will use her in the community called Korah. She’s been there a couple of weeks now getting settled into her new normal. Check out her first post here (click here). We love her funny story about the shower!

Please remember to pray for Ann Rae and for all the people and teams we send out from LifePoint. Most of all, please pray for the people we work with in other countries and the people who hear the Gospel as a result of that work! You can learn more about them through our Facebook and this Global Partner page.


Ann Rae is Returning to Ethiopia!

Ann Rae pic for blogFrom Ann Rae about her upcoming return to Ethiopia:

Just 5 days left before I board the plane for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia!

Just last year, I was living in Ethiopia and working through a ministry located in Addis Ababa. We were working mainly in a village called Korah, which surrounds the city trash dump. Korah means “cursed,” and the village started generations ago when people from all over Ethiopia and surrounding countries were looking to get treatment for their leprosy. However, when they reached the capital city of Addis Ababa, they were unwanted and outcasted for their leprosy and forced to live in Korah, where they dump their trash.

These people were left with no job and no way to provide for their families, no way to send their kids to school.

Read the full post »


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