Sunday, June 16, I had the privilege of bringing district greetings and preaching at Albion Wesleyan Church. It was good to be with Pastor Joe & Rachel Allen to celebrate what God is doing through their ministry. Pastor Joe has led the church in making significant strides since their consultation with Dr. Paul Borden and in their partnership with Pastor Jason Tash and the team at Columbia City New Hope.
AWC is now highly involved in their community with feeding programs, providing school supplies, and offering life coaching for recovering addicts. After the service, I enjoyed lunch with the Allen family and Sofia, the international exchange student from Columbia that they are hosting this school year.
Last Monday I met with Tom Ensz, GP field director for Brazil, and a team of 17 Brazilians who are part of the missions training program at the Wesleyan Bible College in Manaus. They came to Indiana to connect with Pastor Clifton Ashlock and the team at Anderson United Wesleyan Church.
Many of you will know that Clifton & Arletta served as missionaries in Brazil. One of the prime objectives was to discern the possibilities for planting a church in our region to reach Portuguese speakers. They conducted similar research with Dr. Dan Berry, SouthCoastal DS, in Atlanta.
Tuesday, I represented the district at Mr. Ron Emberton’s memorial service in Colfax. Ron was a devoted disciple who served as lay leader at Colfax Wesleyan Church, worked on short-term missions teams with Global Partners in Mozambique, and became chapter president for the Christian Motorcyclist Association in Crawfordsville.
On the way back from the funeral, I dropped in on Michele Henry and her team at Kids Camp. This was the first time our new Crossroads District team brought all our children together for one camp and it was a full house with 226 children there for the week. I was encouraged to hear wonderful reports of God at work in the lives of our next generation of leaders!
Tuesday evening, I joined the evening rally for the Never The Same Camp that was going on at Taylor University. It was good to hear Rev. Santes Beatty bring the Word and I’m always glad to catch up with Rev. Jeff and Arianna Eckart who are leading this dynamic ministry to students.
Wednesday morning, I connected with Rev. Jim & Jerolyn Bogear at HQ in Fishers. Jim and Jerolyn temporarily located their ministry base in Indy after concluding 17 years of effectively pastoring the church they planted, The River Church in Sacramento. They are both IWU grads and have so much to offer in executive coaching and marriage enrichment ministry. I encourage you to learn more about their ministry and network with them while they’re here: https://www.jimandjerolynbogear.com/
Wednesday afternoon, I was at Tipton Trinity Wesleyan for a board leadership coaching session with Pastor Johnnie Blair and Ryan Long, LBA vice-chair. This is their second year working with the Accountable Leadership Model (Discipline 781) and they are making good progress in implementing this governance model.
Frankfort’s Family Camp was running this past week and I was able to attend the Wednesday evening service. I sat with Rev. Ernest Batman, and enjoyed connecting with members of our district family for whom this camp holds such deep meaning. Rev. Don McDowell led the congregation in moments of remembrance for Rev. Paul Trent who was so supportive of the ministries at Frankfort Camp.
Thursday morning, I stopped by the Fairmount Kids Camp and then checked in on the progress at our new office hub in Marion where Mrs. Roxene Lo will be relocating later this week. We’re grateful for the partnership with Darren & Nancy Campbell that’s allowing us to base our ministry out of their facilities at 1500 S Western Ave. If you’re familiar with the building, you’ll know that Abbey Coffee and the Tree of Life Bookstore are located on the south side of the atrium. Mrs. Lo’s office will be in Suite A on the northwest corner of the atrium.
Thursday evening, Sherry joined me as we reconnected with the team from Brazil. It was good to debrief with them and to hear that they had a great week learning together, visiting Wesleyan HQ, meeting with Brazilians in the area, and prayerfully considering next steps. One possible next step is that a couple from Brazil are sensing God’s direction to explore moving to Indiana to help with multi-cultural ministry, perhaps in partnership with the work that’s already being done at Anderson United.
Friday morning, I made it back to Crossroads Kids Camp for their closing rally. My favorite moment was when the children all gathered in huddles for prayer with their counselors. In moments like that I’m reminded of what D.L. Moody wrote, “If I could relive my life, I would devote my entire ministry to reaching children for God.” Thank you to Michele and every volunteer who invested in the lives of these precious children this week!
Friday evening, Sherry and I hosted the pastors of the Muncie Zone for an evening of fellowship at Thornapple Lodge. Several of our zone couples couldn’t join us due to vacations or other ministry commitments, but we had a great time welcoming Mike and Kim Hewitt, our newest members of the zone, as they prepare to move here this summer to plant a new Wesleyan church in Muncie.
Saturday morning, I connected with our Hispanic leaders at the Renuevo Conference at IWU. Santes Beatty and his team did a great job hosting this event with hundreds of participants from nearly a dozen districts. Pastor Jorge Escalante and Pastor Neftali Lopez led our Crossroads District delegation. Roy and Dylana Angulo Gimenez, our planters who are coming to work with the Fort Wayne Zone, introduced me to friends of theirs who may be prospects for another Hispanic church plant in Indiana.
The Fairmount Family Camp runs from Sunday, July 23, to Sunday, July 30, with Rev. Patty Bray and Dr. David Drury as evangelists. For more details, visit the Fairmount Camp website: http://www.fairmountcamp.org/
Please pray that God will make these services a time of spiritual renewal as He has done so faithfully for generations!
Your servant in Christ,