We Pray Because Jesus Is Worth It
The Draa Berbers
On the edge of nowhere live the Draa Berbers. This unreached, unengaged people group comprises nearly 500,000 people, living mostly along the Draa River valley. Speaking traditional Berber languages and dialects (Tašlhiyt), these peoples have little written literature and no access to God’s Word. This agricultural society struggles to produce primarily dates and barley with some wheat, corn, and beans. Cattle, goats, sheep, horses, and camels also dot the landscape. Although these Berbers follow Islamic fundamentals, they often intermingle their religious ideologies with traditional rituals. Because Jesus is worth it, Blackshear Place is praying for an evangelical witness among the Draa peoples. Will you join us in praying?
- Ask the Lord to call people willing to go and live and share Christ with Draa Berbers.
- Pray for an understanding of their language so that the Bible can be translated for them.
- Pray that God would reveal Himself to the Draa peoples in dreams, preparing their hearts for our short-term trips in 2017.
Spring of Life Church, Portland
Nearly 2.5 million people call Portland, Oregon, home. With a growing food and culture scene, incredible natural wonders, and a job market with companies such as Intel, Adidas, and Nike, there is no wonder that Portland is the fifteenth fastest growing metro area in the U.S. But despite all the beauty and wonder, Business Week named Portland, “America’s Unhappiest City.” Time Magazine called it the least religious city. Portland desperately needs Jesus. In 2015, Blackshear Place sent Aaron and Andrea Bennett to bring hope through a new church called Spring of Life. Because Jesus is worth it, this year we want to do more and pray more for the Bennetts and Spring of Life. Will you join us in praying?
- Pray that God would send leaders to join Aaron and Andrea in the work of reaching Portland for Christ.
- Pray that God would open the eyes and hearts of the people in Portland as Spring of Life shares the good news.
- Ask God if He wants you to go or to support someone else to go on one of the short-term trips to help Aaron and Andrea launch weekly services in 2017.
We Give Because Jesus Is Worth It
John is wealthy, but he lives on a fraction of his income so he can give to God’s global cause in missions. John and Daniel, his 12-year-old son, had this conversation.
Daniel said, “Dad, I think we should get a Hummer.” Pause. “Daniel, that’s a great idea. What if we got two Hummers?” John replied. Pause. “You know I could do that for you. I could buy enough Hummers to fill our garage and driveway,” he continued. Pause. But what if we didn’t buy those Hummers? What if we took that money and gave it to people who don’t know where they’re going to get their next meal or don’t have access to the gospel?”
John chooses less —— and with it, greater joy. He chooses to play the Game of Less. Because Jesus is worth it, John looks for ways to give up what he cannot really keep to gain what he can never lose. Will you join us in playing the Game of Less? Here is how it looks…
- Moments of greed become moments of gratitude. I see a new car and rejoice, “Thank you, Lord, for the chance to give to rescue unborn babies by supporting pregnancy care centers.”
- Moments of wanting become moments of worship. I see an ad for a cruise and rejoice, “God, how amazing that You would use people like us to support orphans in the Georgia foster care system.”
- Moments of empty desire can become moments of delight. My wardrobe is smaller, but I rejoice, because I helped feed the homeless living under bridges in Gainesville.
In the Game of Less, grasping becomes granting and coveting becomes contributing. And because Jesus is worth it, here are some causes we support, as we play the Game of Less…
Abiding Word Ministries | biblical help for those struggling in difficult situations
Backpack Love | feeding hungry kids on the weekend through school backpacks
Choices Pregnancy Care Center | providing care for those in a crisis pregnancy
Christian Library International | sharing God’s word and discipling those in prison
Eagle Ranch | making life better for children and their families
Feed the Need | feeding the hungry and sheltering the homeless
FCA | uniting faith and sports to impact the world
GBC Disaster Relief | helping in times of greatest tragedy
Gideons International | providing God’s Word to the world
Good News at Noon | feeding the hungry in our community
Good News Medical | providing medical and dental care for those in need
Good Samaritan Food Bank | feeding and caring for those in need
Mosaic Foster Care | supporting children and families in foster care
My Sister’s Place | helping women in need
Rahab’s Rope | giving hope and opportunity to women and girls in India’s sex trade
We Go Because Jesus Is Worth It
God is moving; we must go! We can talk and pray and give, but until someone actually goes and sees the nations in person, he or she is likely to underestimate the urgency of God’s global purpose in our lives. Because Jesus is worth it, we desire to take short-term trips to partner with believers in other contexts who are intentionally making disciples. These partnerships help move their disciple-making processes along in exponential ways. And as we go together, we grow together in Christ. Our eyes are opened, and our hearts are transformed as we serve in situations that often make us uncomfortable. Will you join us? Will you go, because Jesus is worth it?
- LouisianaThe catastrophic flood recently devastating Louisiana has been called the worst disaster to strike the United States since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. While this is not primarily a disaster-relief trip, the team will assist a ministry that has been affected by the disaster. The team will work on a project to help build a new kitchen and interior work at Camp Living Waters, a youth camp just east of Baton Rouge.
LEADER: Jim Wallace
DATE: Fall 2017
COST (approximate): $350
PURPOSE: To work on a construction project at a youth camp outside Baton Rouge, an area recently affected by catastrophic flooding.
- North Carolina (Flat Rock)Located on the edge of the Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina, this retreat is a rustic getaway for children, teens, or adults with a disability and their families. Outdoor activities include climbing the popular rock wall, zip lining, swimming, and horseback riding. We serve families by being a companion to a child or adult with a disability for the entire retreat or by serving in a program area, such as art, recreation, or music. You will have the opportunity to build relationships where you can share the gospel and help others find hope in Jesus.
LEADER: David & Lori Millwood
COST (approximate): $425
PURPOSE: Work with Joni and Friends by being a friend or working in an activity center at this camp for those with disabilities and their families.
- Oregon (Portland)Oregon’s largest city, Portland, is situated along the Willamette River, between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains. This post-modern outpost has been cited as the least religious city in the US, with more than two-thirds of people identifying as religiously unaffiliated. Alternative lifestyles are celebrated, and tolerance is touted over truth. For the 2.6 million people living in the metro area, there is an urgent need for the power of the gospel to break through the oppressive spiritual darkness. It is for this purpose that we launched our own members, Aaron and Andrea Bennett, as missionaries to impact Portland with the love of Jesus.
LEADERS: Rick Hermann, Chad Robinson
DATE: July 10-16
COST (approximate): $1,250
PURPOSE: Helping Aaron Bennett plant Spring of Life in Downtown Portland through community outreach and projects.
- Wyoming (Jackson Hole)At the base of the Teton mountain range, the view from Jackson Hole Bible College encompasses spectacular peaks rising over a mile above the valley floor. With Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks only a short drive away, the college is situated among some of America’s most magnificent natural features along the border of Wyoming and Idaho. We will support the college’s mission through daily indoor and outdoor construction, landscaping, and painting projects. The trip also includes excursions to explore the Teton and Yellowstone parks.
LEADERS: Emory and Elaine Dunahoo
DATE: July 15-23
COST (approximate): $1,300
PURPOSE: This team will invest in the next generation by ministering through construction, repair, and maintenance of the facilities of the Jackson Hole Bible College.
- ArgentinaArgentina is the eighth largest country in the world. Its land hosts approximately 33 million people, mostly of Italian and Spanish descent. Roman Catholicism is the country’s official religion, but many are Catholic by name only and are very receptive to the message of the gospel. Since the ’80s, there has been strong interest in the Word of God, with many turning to Christ. This trip is an exciting opportunity to partner with and support a local church in Argentina’s vibrant capital city, Buenos Aires. Our team will be sharing the good news of Jesus Christ through door-to-door evangelism and throughout the community.
LEADERS: Emi Almeida
COST (approximate): $2,000
- Ghana (West Africa)A multicultural nation, Ghana boasts a population of 27 million people, many of whom have never heard a clear presentation of the gospel. Joining with e3 Partners, Blackshear Place has been sending teams to Ghana for a number of years, and every year this team sees many come to Christ. Our efforts center around joining national believers to present the gospel throughout the villages of Ghana. We will work with existing church planting efforts in villages in the northern Volta region, joining with them to present the truth of Jesus and stem the tide of Islam in Africa.
LEADER: Susan Harvin
DATE: July 6-15
COST (approximate): $3,500
PURPOSE: Work alongside e3 Partners to minister through door-to-door evangelism, medical clinics, dedication of water wells in rural villages, presenting the Jesus Film, and the list goes on.
- Haiti (College and Young Pros trip)In the language of its natives, Haiti means “land of high mountains,” and it is the most mountainous nation in the Caribbean. Although set in a beautiful tropical climate, the people of Haiti have endured political turmoil and natural disasters that have resulted in poverty and homelessness for many. With a population of nearly 11 million, Haiti is overwhelmed with needs. Our desire is to bring hope and meet those needs in the name of Jesus as we join in partnership with a well-established missions organization.
LEADER: Josh Allen
DATE: July 22-29
COST (approximate): $1,475
PURPOSE: Partner with myLIFEspeaks, a local mission organization, to take the gospel and to serve the people of Neply, Haiti.
- North AfricaJoin this team to use sports ministry to develop relationships with unreached peoples in North Africa. It is estimated that there are 500,000 North Africans living in the Draa Valley who have virtually no access to the gospel. As a church, we desire to reach these Unengaged and Unreached People Groups (UUPG) in the name of Jesus. Join us in the pioneer work to make an eternal impact in the lives of people who have never heard the gospel in North Africa.
LEADERS: Christopher Martin
DATE: March / April
COST (approximate): $1,900
PURPOSE: Using sports ministry to develop relationships with unreached peoples.
- SpainOne way that we help in the efforts to reach North Africa with the gospel is by serving those who have been sent and are living there now. The International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention has more than 200 personnel in the North African countries, living among the people and sacrificing all to tell them about Jesus. We will support part of this team by serving at a missionary retreat in Spain. This is an opportunity to serve those who give up everything for the gospel.
LEADERS: Rob Britton
COST (approximate): $2,500
PURPOSE: Furthering the work of the gospel in North Africa by providing spiritual nourishment and encouragement to the missionary families who serve there.
- UgandaIn sub-Saharan Africa, Uganda is home to amazing natural beauty and majestic snow-capped mountains, lakes, waterfalls, and wildlife such as hippopotamus and gorillas. It is also one of the poorest countries in the world, with over a third of the population living on less than $1.25 a day. Most people living in rural areas depend on farming to survive. The Village of Eden is a 133-acre community in the eastern part of Uganda along the Kenyan border in the little bush village of Namuwombi. We are joining our partners there to minister to orphans and widows, serve the poor, and share God’s love.
LEADER: Stephen Odum & Kevin Ross (July), Richi Boullon (September)
DATE: July 5-15, September 15-20
COST (approximate): $2,800
PURPOSE: To bring joy and hope to the children and families who live in and near the Village of Eden through sports camps, medical support, community evangelism, and service projects.