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 »

Global Leadership Summit! (and lunch)

TGLS2014MountainOnly a couple of days until the Global Leadership Summit! It’s always a time of inspiration and challenge. God has used it in countless ways.

We can’t wait to see you there. If you are attending and you want lunch on-site, please make sure you buy it in advance by clicking the link below and following the quick and simple instructions.

http://lifepointchurch.us/summit-lunch-reservation-page/

Thanks, and can’t wait to see you there!

Risk Love Project at First Fruits Farm, 8/23

Our monthly Risk Love Project in August will be at First Fruits Farm! Many of you have been there, and you know how fun it can be–for all ages–and what a blessing it is to people in need around our region! 

Join us on August 23, 8AM-1PM at First Fruits Farm in Freeland, MD. First Fruits Farm is 100% volunteer operated and donates 100% of the harvest to soup kitchens, homeless shelters and food banks in this region. All are welcome to participate! For more information contact Localoutreach@lifepointchurch.us

Its Mission Trip Season!

team at a mealWe’re in the middle of short term mission team season! Thank you to all of you have so generously donated to support team members as they travel to far away places to influence people to find and follow Jesus! Please remember to pray for our teams. This summer teams are going to Guatemala, Haiti, Ukraine and Kenya. And our HUGS Ministry is sending a team to Camp Barnabas, too!

If you didn’t receive any letters from team members but you would still like to support our short term teams, please click here to go to our church website donation page. Thank you so much for your prayers and support!

Golf Tournament Raises Record Amount!

photoThe 2014 LifePoint Church Golf Tournament was a great success! Thanks to the many generous sponsors and golfers, we were able to raise a record amount of funds for medical missions. Close to nine thousand dollars will go to help Syrian refugees through medical care coordinated by a local church in the middle east. Praise the Lord for his generous blessings! And, as usual, its always great to play on the beautiful Links of Gettysburg!

2014 Annual Golf Tournament to Benefit Medical Teams

PrintLifePoint Church has enjoyed the opportunity to help others through our annual golf tournament for the past 14 years benefiting global and local outreach.  This year’s beneficiary is LifePoint Medical.  LifePoint Medical is a ministry of LifePoint Church that forms volunteer medical teams made up of medical professionals that attend LifePoint Church.  These medical teams have traveled to the Middle East and Africa to provide medical services through clinics set up by local churches. Proceeds from the tournament will help provide medications and medical supplies and cover some of the costs associated with running the medical clinic.

Please join us for a fun day of golf that helps make a difference in the lives of others!

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

The Date: 
Friday, May 2, 2014; Shotgun start: 8:00 am; Lunch and Awards Ceremony at 2:00 pm

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

For registration and more information:
http://lifepointchurch.us/serve/serve-my-world/

Shelter from the Snow

DSC05700From Joe Paschal, Outreach Pastor: 
There’s a foot of snow on the ground outside as I write this post. I’m very thankful for the warm house, clothing, car and office with which God has abundantly blessed me. When the weather is like this, I tend to feel “more thankful than usual.” A few days ago, I spent the evening at the Cold Weather Shelter. One guy said he’d been sleeping in a tent in the woods for a few nights, but he’d decided to come to the shelter this particular night. He and I continued in our conversation. We ended up discussing kindness and generosity and what the Bible says about them. He was very knowledgable and accurate in his understanding. I confess. I was surprised. He went on to say that although he shares what he has (which is food stamps), he wants to make sure he’s sharing with the right attitude because the condition of his heart is the most important thing.

At that point, I was fascinated by his desire to have the right motives and to be kind to others. I guess I was expecting him to be depressed about being homeless and blame others and “the system” for the injustices keeping him down. I said a few things to try to encourage him. However, even though he may not have known it, his words were encouraging–no, his words were challenging to me. Pretty soon, our conversation ended, and he got ready for bed and went to sleep. When the late shift crew showed up, I went home. But I have thought about that conversation many times in these last few frigid, snowy days.

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