Monthly Archives: August 2010

Reflections from the verge of vacation

So many times I see God in unbelievable timing.  That was the case this week.

–  I met with a pastor to talk about how his church could work with refugees.  We were chatting about other projects the church was considering.  He mentioned that they had been toying with the idea of starting a scout troop, but still needed one more leader.  Out of the blue, a ministry acquaintance called him to let him know that her husband had been a scout leader and was wondering if they’d ever thought about getting involved in this! 

–  My husband is following up job leads wherever he can find them.  One was with a local health care provider, but he just couldn’t remember the name of a contact we had made there years ago.  He sat down at his desk and the name of the woman he was struggling to remember was there on his computer, posting her Linked In updates!

Similarly, he called another friend about a local videography job.  Turns out the friend was at the stadium enjoying a ballgame…..WITH the person who was retiring from the aforementioned job!  Talk about an inside connection…

–   This week—as I venture to a monastery for a few days of silent reflection–I am seeking God in a different way, different place.  The monastery is where writer Thomas Merton lived and worked for decades.  So here’s what Merton himself had to say about solitude:

 “Today, more than ever, we need to recognize that the gift of solitude is not ordered to the acquisition of strange contemplative powers, but, first of all, to the recovery of one’s deep self, and to the renewal of an authenticity which is presently twisted out of shape by the pretentious routines of a disordered togetherness.” 

 Recovery and renewal sound good.  – Luanne Bole-Becker

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International Friends Program Kicks Off

This week marked the beginning of school at Luther Memorial and it was great!  Returning school students were very receptive and kind to our new refugee students and everyone seem to be getting along fine.

Fifteen (15) of the nineteen(19) refugees started and while they were shy at first, they were excited about their new surroundings and seem to be looking forward for the exciting opportunity they have. Our American students are already learning from the refugee students about their culture and language.  They all play together on the playground and they all interact with each other in the classrooms. It’s a real blessing to witness!

Special thanks to Cathoic Charities Migration and Refugee Service for allowing us to use their van to transport the students for the first four days of school. – Kevin Williams

Open Doors

Isn’t it amazing how God works? He plans things for us everyday, even though we think we know the direction life will take us this day. Here’s an example from my life recently…

This is my last week in school (working on becoming a medical assistant) and then I’ll be off to perform my externship for a month. As I was sitting eating my dinner at school last night, I met two women. They were both Muslim (wearing veils). We talked for a little bit and before I know it, the one woman invited me to her house. I smiled and answered, “I would love that.”

The moment filled me with joy. God planed that “chance” meeting.  These two ladies usually attend daytime classes, and I always attend in the evenings. But yesterday both of them could not make the day class, so they attended at night instead. Wow, God, you are so good!  Even though it was my last week at school, He gave me another opportunity to meet more people. Praise God! Another door is opening! – Nadia Abuamsha

Building Hope Beyond Cleveland

Be the Church is this weekend and it helped build our foothold in urban Akron!  What a blessing to watch hope expand…. -Brian Upton

Scream and Shout!

Ever feel as if you’re being pulled in twenty different directions and you want to scream?  Guess we all have, but this morning was a tad worse for me than I’ve felt in a long time.  Legitimate demands were coming from everywhere and all I was thinking of was “how am I ever going to get done what has to be done when it has to be done?”  Yeah – I was SO ready to SCREAM!

And then – it was as if God’s Spirit spoke to me and said, “Calm down, girl.  It will all get done if you just relax, do what needs to be done, and trust me.”

 Amazing how God is always right!  Got the “immediate needs” completed (and even learned something in the process), and now I get to get back to “my” work! 

Amazing!

-Jeanne Evers

Summer Reading

Anyone who is up for a bit of a challenge to top off their summer reading might want to pick up a copy of Craig Groeschel’s book, The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living as if He Doesn’t Exist.  

While making you laugh with his humor and entertaining stories, Craig gets to the heart of some of the toughest battles we face as Christians. He will challenge you to take a look at whether your actions line up with what you say you believe about God, and to consider the picture of Christianity you are communicating to the world around you.

 Although I was convicted of the many failures and inconsistencies in my own walk, I finished the book encouraged by the stories of victory that were shared and the reminder of God’s infinite power in the midst of my ultimate weakness.

-Amy Mitchell

Backpacks 2010!

This summer’s backpack campaign is just about complete. More than 400 backpacks will be going out this week. A very special thank you to BHITC volunteer extraordinare Connie Abood, who steered a great campaign through a down year in terms of donations. Another special “thank you” goes to Rev. Dave Luecke, Cheryl Shephard and the People of God at Royal Redeemer Lutheran Church. -Brian Upton