Church Planter Update: Promersbergers

BFCmultiply Planter Update:

Chris & Lisa Promersberger

Pray for the Promersbergers

January 2013 Newsletter

We are completely blessed by all of our partners and want to say thank you for all your involvement in this kingdom work! Denver needs the gospel!

If you have anyone in your network that might be interested in moving to Denver with a heart for church planting, please have them contact us.

Why Denver? In a recent study by the American Bible Society, Denver was named the 25th Least-Bible-Minded City in America. There is  a huge mission field in Denver, so please continue to pray for us as we seek to reach people who desperately need the message of Christ!

Pray for the PromersbergersPray for the Promersbergers

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Please leave a note to encourage the Promersbergers!

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2013 BFCmultiply January Church Planter Assessment Media

2013 BFCmultiply January Church Planter Assessment Media

Assessment Crew

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Description of the assessment from one of our Berean leaders:

A great and glorious day of assessing. It is always exciting to see what the LORD is doing in the lives of others. He reminds us of our call and His desire. All of these candidates have a tremendous heart to see the work of the LORD done and all of them see themselves as having the assignment of serving Him with all of their lives.

As each couple heads out on this journey, they seek the affirmation of others that have traveled the road. That affirmation is the primary purpose of this great activity.

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Leave a comment and let us know what you think of our church planter assessment event!

What’s Your Middle Seat?

Middle Seat, LORD?

What’s Your Middle Seat?

A Guest Blog Post by Tom Walker

I Thessalonians 5:18 – “In Everything Give Thanks”

Thank you for a middle seat? But LORD, you know that I don’t like middle seats. You made me with big legs and aging plumbing and I DON’T WANT to sit in a middle seat!”

That is a loose rendition of the ongoing conversation that I had with the LORD when we checked in at the British Airways counter in Dallas. You see, for the last 24 hours I had been trying desperately to get online and secure an aisle seat. That is pretty important to me. Having been to India seven times previously, I know how long these international flights can get and to be stuck in a middle seat is not my idea of a good thing.

My frustration mounted as I would jump online and log into AA.com to secure my seat, only to be forwarded to British Airways site where I would get a message saying, “Because your reservation has been made through American Airlines we will transfer you back to AA.com.” I felt like a ping pong ball!  After this happened a half-dozen times, my head was getting dizzy and my temperature rising. Two times I called Customer Service at AA, only to be told that they had sent the seating requests to BA; but, they had not yet been confirmed. ”Secure your seats when you check in at the airport.”

So, I prayed the LORD would work it out since I had done everything I could to secure an aisle seat. That is why when I checked in at the counter at Dallas I was not very happy, and thus the afore-mentioned conversation.

In the moments that followed the Holy Spirit began to ask me, “Can you not trust me in this? Won’t you thank me for a middle seat?” It took a few minutes of listening, but then I was able to pray, “Thank you LORD for seat 47B. I don’t like it, and I don’t particularly care for your sense of humor on this one, but thank you for seat 47B.”

I did it! I gave thanks for something that I did not particularly care for, but I did it. This is progress for me. And do you know something? It really wasn’t that bad. I sat by a Brit who was returning home from training with Snap On Tools and who was amiable, even understanding of this old guy. It’s not natural for us to thank the LORD for the things we don’t like, but it is possible.

What is your “middle seat?” What is the thing that the LORD is allowing in your life today that you don’t particularly like? May I make a suggestion? Give thanks in everything!

Note: We have arrived in Visakhapatnam and are preparing our hearts today to begin ministering to the Andhra Pradesh youth conference. I will be sharing two truths with them today that I am trusting will encourage and challenge them to serve the LORD:

  1. God chose you because He loves you.
  2. God’s will for you can be known.

Thank you for your prayers!

Your co-laborers,

Tom & Janet Walker

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Leave a comment and encourage the Walkers in their mission work in India on behalf of the Berean Fellowship!

Walker India Mission Update #2

An Update By Tom Walker From India

This Is Why We Came

Nearly a year ago Janet and I read a book together called “Granny Brand.”  It was the story of Evelyn Brand who was a missionary to Southeast India.  We laughed and cried as she described her beloved “hill people,” along with the sights and sounds of India.  Last Friday we felt we lived out a part of that story.

We left our hotel after lunch and embarked on a three hour journey to a village church dedication.  The journey was complete with bicycles, motorcycles, cars, buses, trucks, three-wheeled “autos,” cows, sheep, goats, chickens and pigs.  (We had even seen a camel the day before).  That is normal for India, but where the normalcy ended was when we turned off the main road.

We began to wind through the countryside, “jungle,” on a one-lane road.  We began to notice cotton fields, being worked by the village people.  Then we came upon an ox cart filled with bags of harvested cotton.  When we arrived at the village it became abundantly obvious that we were the novelty.  Word spread quickly that there were some white faces within view and people began to come by the vehicle and some were even brave enough to try out their sparse English with a brave “hello,” followed by laughter and antics.  We slowly made our way through the narrow, crowded streets of this village of 3,000 people.  Then on the outskirts of town we saw them.  The people of the church, gathered for the dedication service.

For most of us, it would be a stretch to call this structure a building, let alone a church.  In reality, it consisted of eight concrete pillars, some trees trimmed as supporting beams and several sheets of corrugated tin, completing the roof.  The walls consisted of large pieces of fabric and the ground was covered by an assortment of woven grain bags and tarps for the people to set on.  Now in India no church would be complete without a sound system, despite the fact that the enclosed area could not have been any bigger than 150 square feet.  There was a green ribbon tied across the front opening of the structure, awaiting the arrival of the distinguished guests from the Berean Fellowship in the US.  We were greeted warmly by the gathering of about 35 men, women, and children who had been waiting patiently for our late arrival.  After Janet and I were honored to cut the ribbon, all proceeded proudly into the building and took their places on the floor, while we occupied the places of honor, an assortment of plastic chairs at the “front” of the church.  Fresh flower were hung around our necks and coconut milk was served to us, straight from the coconut!  This was a festive occasion for this small band of believers.

The Lord had impressed upon me that when I brought the dedication address it should be in story form, as undoubtedly many of these simple villagers would be illiterate.  That was the case as only a few possessed Bibles.  I chose as my text the familiar passage where Jesus tells the story of “three lost things,” in Luke 15; a lost sheep, a lost coin, a lost son.  The people sat attentive and captured by the Word of God, communicated orally through a translator.  Knowing looks and heads bobbing in agreement conveyed to me that the stories were part of their culture, communicating truths they were connecting with.  As I sought to be animated and relevant with my illustrations I was observing three men that were standing some distance away, along the road.  Obviously, they were not yet part of this fellowship, but would they be in the days ahead as the believers live out their faith?

Then it struck me.  This is why we came.  This made all the expense, inconvenience, heat and humidity, culture shock, and feelings of being overwhelmed worth it.  As I looked into the faces of these simple, village people, and saw the beaming smile on the face of the young pastor whom we had honored by dedicating “the building,” my heart was moved.  This is why Christ came, to seek and to save the lost.  This is why Granny Brand endured decades of hardship to reach people just like these, nearly a century ago.

Some things have changed in the villages of India over the years.  Some have electricity, cell phones, and indoor plumbing, but the need remains the same.  Men who will brave the challenges of ridicule, prejudice, and threats.  People who will pray and encourage those who go.  People who will give.

For ten years now the Berean Fellowship has been invested in training and supporting men such as this, who in turn will go to the villages with the light of the gospel.  This is my eighth trip to teach, preach and encourage.  But all over again I remembered why we came.  Why you gave.  Why they go.

Tom Walker

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Please leave a comment and encourage the Walkers in their missionary work!

The Gift Of A New Building

God Is Faithful!

Great news from BFCmultiply church planter Brent Harwerth, Ft. Morgan church plant:

A very big Christmas gift!

In October, Grace Bible Church approached our church plant and offered to give us their church building! It is a large, old, and fairly nice building. We would love to show it to you.

This whole chuch plant experience and faith family has been amazing! Jesus amazes us once more with this MIRACULOUS GIFT! This is not a common occurrence and very extraordinary!

Thanks for being a part of this through your prayers. Pray for us!

Thinking of gifts, we celebrate the coming of the gift of Jesus! He is a one-size-fits-all gift. Since all are sinners, all are save-able!

Blessings to you!

Brent Harwerth

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Take time to encourage church planter Brent Harwerth in the new year by sending him an email: brentharwerth@gmail.com

Leave a comment and let us know how God has provided for you and your church in 2012!

Image by cairnhill.wordpress.com

Colby Berean Church: Ben Phillips’ Testimony

Today’s blog post comes from Colby Berean Church Youth & Worship Pastor Ben Phillips.

Check out Colby Berean Church’s website: Go to CBC website

Check out Colby Berean Church’s youth Facebook page: Go to Facebook

Check out the Berean Fellowship of Churches’ website: Go to BFC website

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The last four years have been an incredible encouragement for my wife and I as we are just beginning our adult lives and careers. About eight years ago I began to feel a call from to work in youth and worship ministry. I began to take the steps I felt I would need to achieve the goal God was directing me towards. Little did I know exactly what God was going to do, but I soon found out!

After graduating high school I went off to a Christian college expecting to complete a degree in whatever area would allow me to become a youth and/or worship pastor. About a month into my time there I became sick and had to leave the school and come home. It wasn’t supposed to be this way, but looking back at it now I am so glad that God intervened in my life in order to bring it to the place it is now.

When I came back home and had recovered from my illness, I was asked if I would be willing to direct the youth group at Haxtun Berean Bible Church. The bitterness I had at that point caused me to question whether it was even worth it for me to do anything of the sort, but God used people around me to encourage me and I accepted the chance to work with the youth in Haxtun Colorado. Over the next two years I worked in the ministry at the church, making connections with some other youth pastors and leaders from other Berean churches in the district.

In the midst of those two years I moved up to Chappell Nebraska where I had gotten a job. Each week I would make the trip down to Haxtun for youth group, often bringing many kids from Chappell along to make new connections and grow in a different environment. Not long after moving up to Chappell, the church in Haxtun started a ministry at the restaurant where I worked, bringing in between 30 and 40 people each Sunday night for a Bible study. Through the connections made at this study an opportunity came up for a group of us to plant a Berean Church in Chappell. Not knowing exactly what God had planned, I jumped on board and said I would love to be part of the leadership team of this plant.  About a month later I and my father in law became licensed as pastors through the Berean Fellowship of Churches.

A lot of people may not think much of getting licensed, but it was a big deal for two uneducated and unqualified men to become licensed as pastors. May God bless our church leaders who saw that we had a desire to serve God fully and that through our weakness God had the greatest potential to do great work. God truly was working in ways I never could have imagined or expected!

As we began working on this church plant, one of the biggest concerns we had was whether or not we would be able to remain committed when both pastors were working full time outside of the church. We didn’t have the money to support any kind of salary for someone to give more time to the church, and we knew that if the church got neglected then it would quickly fall apart. One of the most amazing things happened just as we were becoming concerned. The Berean Fellowship of Churches, through its National Church Planting Team, saw our need and came in with money for this tiny church plant in a tiny town. Where others may have seen insignificant chance for a giant church, the BFC saw incredible potential for many to be saved. Because of that attitude and approach to ministry, I was hired on at Solid Rock Bible Church in Chappell Nebraska as the Outreach Pastor.

Over the next two years I was given the opportunity to lead worship, teach and work with youth, preach sermons to the congregation, baptize new believers, share the gospel of Christ with many, and through it all, I see now how much God grew me. While there at the church plant, I became well connected with many pastors from the district of the BFC network. These connections came as such an encouragement, and I can’t see any other way that these could have been made outside of this network. God uses the Berean Fellowship of Churches to help us make the connections we need to continue strong in the ministry God has given us.

As a church in the Berean Fellowship of Churches, we received information of many things they had going on, such as Pastor’s Conferences, Leadership Forums, Worship Conferences, National Conventions, mission trips, other church plants, and many more things that are always going on! All of these things have impacted me greatly, helping me grow and make more and more connections in Youth, Worship, Adult, and Church ministry. I look forward to each event knowing that I get to come together with many others who are serving God in the same way that I am striving to!

Over the last few months I received some calls from the Colby Berean Church in Colby Kansas, as they were looking for a new Youth and Worship Pastor. I thought to myself, “Could God really be bringing me to the ministry I felt called to so many years ago?” And the answer to my question was yes! God used connections made through the Berean Fellowship of Churches to bring me to Colby Kansas to do His work with the church here! Not only did He bless me with this opportunity, but because the church in Chappell no longer had my salary to pay each month they were able to purchase a building using a loan provided by the BFC!

The Berean Fellowship of Churches has really been used by God for incredible things in my life. I thank Him for the blessing that this group of churches has been for me. Because of their faithfulness and focus on serving God, I have been able to be a part of God’s amazing work around me. I look forward with hope, excitement, and joy to the next opportunity that God brings through the BFC for me to grow closer to Him.