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Archive for June 2012

remembering Haiti

On January 12, 2010, everyone still remembers the terrible earthquake that hit the country of Haiti. The Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) responded by raising nearly $1.5 million for relief and development efforts, over $140,000 of which came from people at CCC. So what did the C&MA end up doing with all that money? How did the country of Haiti get blessed by this generosity?  These are the questions asked of me recently by someone here at CCC, so I thought I should go find out.

Here are a few of the highlights of what that money was used for:

  • about $60,000 went to initial relief aid
  • post-traumatic stress counseling
  • 200 temporary shelters (2-3 year durability)
  • 12 permanent homes
  • assisted in the reconstruction of 5 churches
  • partnered with World Relief in providing funds for planting Moringa trees, goat herd development and poultry production
  • facilitated the formation of a steering committee for Alliance-related churches in Haiti.  We will work through members of this committee if (when) another disaster strikes.

If you would like to learn about this firsthand, watch this video which tells of the C&MA efforts in Haiti through our relief and development arm called Compassion and Mercy Associates (CAMA).

Video on C&MA relief efforts in Haiti

Blessings

Craig Walter, Missions Pastor

The Book of Jonah

Tomorrow, at the Old Mill and Online Campuses, Lead Pastor Mark Ashton will be talking about the life of Jonah. This is one of Mark’s favorite books of the Bible to discuss. We hope to see you in person, or online, for what should be a great service. Here’s a teaser, an animation we produced in 2007 for a message series on Jonah.

 

Online Campus: Helping the Nation of Mali

For a number of years, Christ Community Church has partnered with people and organizations within the nation of Mali. The highlight of this partnerships has been helping to build a hospital for women and children.* CCC has raised over $1.3 million for the project.

*To understand a bit more about our work in Mali, click here to watch one of our Mali videos.

One of the projects we’re currently helping with in Mali is providing educational supplies to students. During this past Sunday’s services, we made the ask for people to buy and/or donate supplies for these students. The Online Campus Team shared with people watching online, in the chat room, how they could be a part of this project as well. We gave the church address so they could ship items to us.

Two days later, I received five boxes worth of notebooks. How awesome is that! The Online Campus was the first to respond to the ask. These notebooks will be a huge blessing to students in Mali. It’s cool that people attending the Online Campus can have worldwide impact with their giving.

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Online Baptism

With Baptism on the Green drawing near, I keep getting asked how we’ll do an online baptism. If someone from the Online Campus wants to get baptized, and doesn’t live in the area, we will do something similar to this video. Looking forward to doing one soon!

 

Online Campus: Community to the Rescue

This past Sunday’s Online Campus service was great. It wasn’t anything with the message or music, which were stellar. It was the community. It was the conversation. It was people serving other people in the chat. It was wonderful to witness.

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young lady from CCC heading to Tulsa for campus ministry

I want to introduce you to Bethany Trueblood, a young college graduate who has been a part of Christ Community for about 16 years. In December she graduated from UNL with a Bachelor’s in Journalism and is now preparing to become an intern with a college ministry called Reformed University Fellowship at the University of Tulsa.

As an intern Bethany will work with a campus minister and a student ministry team to create a welcoming community where students can grow in their Christian faith. Bethany’s primary focus will be connecting with freshmen girls and plugging them into the ministry. As I talked with Bethany I can tell she is very excited to build relationships with these girls through Bible studies, large group meetings, and hanging out with them one-to-one.

Bethany’s internship is a two-year commitment and she would love for people from CCC to be part of her team. If you are interested in praying for her or learning more about her ministry she would love it if you would contact her at beth.trueblood@ruf.org or you can check out her blog at ruftulsa.blogspot.com.

Craig Walter, Missions Pastor

Upcoming Podcast Changes

For a numbers of years we’ve had a variety of Christ Community Church podcasts available. It all started out with not much thought about future growth, and integration with our resources, but rather it was about getting the content out there in the public. Over the years, we’ve been building upon a system that was not designed for what it  has turned into.

We’ve decided to start from scratch with our podcasts so they’ll be integrated better with our systems. Also, it’ll be easier for various ministries to upload them personally.

Over the next few days and weeks, you may notice a few interruptions with our various podcasts. Please be patient with us. I would advise if you are concerned about missing our audio or video message podcasts to download our CCC app. It’s free from iTunes and Android Market. Our message content from the past 18 months is available for free, anytime and anywhere, through the app.

By July, we should have all our podcasts (Message, Project 4:4, Gathering, 8:08, High School and Guest Speakers) up and running again.

If you have any questions, please email us.

Latest update on the country of Mali

As most of you know, the country of Mali experienced a coup in March that has caused a great deal of instability in the country. This of course applies to the international workers and ministries happening in Mali through the C&MA, such as our hospital for women and children.  Here is a recent update from Albert Stombaugh, the C&MA field director in the country of Mali.

The political wrangling in Bamako (capital city) has led to inaction in dealing with the crisis in the north.  In the north the main radical Islamist players (AQUIM, MNLA and Ansar Dine) have strengthened their position in Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal.  They are trying to come to an accord on how the three can work together to establish a nation-state but due to differences of philosophy and goals they are finding it hard to be unified.  AQUIM is purely terrorist and looking for a base of operations to carry out activity, Ansar Dine is mostly religious and wants to spread charia law over all of Africa and the MNLA (Tauregs) are mainly political and want to establish a secular homeland in Northern Mali.  They needed each other to take over the north but now can’t live with each other.  But the longer this goes on they will become more and more rooted there and harder to get out.

In the south (Bamako) there are several issues that are dividing the country politically.  The main contention is between the political parties who are in support of the junta and the coup that took place (they are united under the umbrella of the name COPAM) and the parties who are pro-ECOWAS intervention and following the political process leading up to eventual elections.  They support the transitional government that has been established and want help from ECOWAS in dealing with the situation in Mali.  The COPAM group are radical, vocal and are the ones behind the recent attack on the transitional president- Diouncounda.  The religious leaders interestingly (Protestant, Catholic and Muslim) seem to be playing a neutral role of mediation between the parties and this has helped keep things from becoming too violent in Bamako over recent days.

The Prime minister of the interim government, Cheick Modibo Diarra, is by all accounts a sharp guy and has surrounded himself with some good people, mostly technocrats and not politicians, to help lead the transitional government.  Many feel if they are allowed to really lead the nation can climb out of this abyss.  Meanwhile the junta, under the name CNDRE has been reluctant to take their hands off of the leadership of the nation.  However, Capt Sanogo, the junta leader, has taken a deal by which he has been declared an ancient chef d’état and given all the benefits of a retire president.  Since then he has stepped back out of the limelight and it seems that maybe the military is slowly pulling back from trying to control things.  The attack on the interim president seems to have given the junta and their supporters in the COPAM a bad public image and since then they have been laying low.

On a daily basis life goes on pretty much as normal, yet people are living under a lot of tension.  Our Bamako team is slowly coming back into Bamako.  Fuel and food are available and banks are mostly open.  The next two-three weeks should be key in showing if the country can turn a corner and begin being led by the interim government.  If not the ECOWAS has again threatened to impose sanctions which this time would be devastating on the economy.

As far as the impact on the Mission, well, Koutiala Hospital has continued as normal with the 7 or so units we maintained there.   But for the most part our ministries have been put on hold.

God is showing up in Village One

By now you probably know that the God-sized strategy for CCC in the Village One neighborhoods in North Omaha is this – to attract people into the arms of Jesus through Bridge Church.  Bridge is an African-American church located a few blocks from Village One, so when CCC shows up in Village One we are always trying to promote the name of Bridge. Here are a few stories that show this strategy is proving effective.

Painting for Jesus – In September of 2011 CCC sent about 600 people into these neighborhoods where we blessed the community in a variety of ways. At one location we painted the house of single mom named Lisa. Since that time Lisa has seen us in the neighborhood over and over, and recently when we had a neighborhood BBQ she came and helped run the BBQ. All of this has led to Lisa recently deciding she needed to check out Bridge Church and so she has started attending on Sundays. Then just this last week a member from our CCC team stopped by her house and their discussion quickly led to a spiritual conversation. The gospel was shared very clearly with Lisa and she is very interested.  Please pray for Lisa that she will stick with Bridge and that she will find Jesus!

Burgers for Jesus – This summer we have held a couple of small, neighborhood BBQs and at one BBQ a woman named Ronda showed up. Ronda has been wondering what all these people have been doing in her neighborhood and she has been so blessed that she has decided to start attending Bridge Church. Like Lisa, Ronda is seeking God in her life right now and seems very close to finding Jesus.  Please pray for Ronda that she will stick with Bridge and that she will find Jesus!

Compass Impact – Finally, two young men in their 20’s named T and Benpen have some family members who attend Compass for Life, the after-school program in Village One supported by CCC. They have seen God through the impact of Compass and are trying hard to find God. They have heard the gospel and are very interested in Jesus. Pray for T and Benpen that the gospel will take hold and that they will find Jesus!

Continue to pray for Bridge Church, Compass for Life, their leaders, and all the people in Village One. Pray that God will transform the lives of these important people and that they will be attracted to Jesus and that they will commit their lives to him.

Craig Walter, Missions Pastor

Online Campus: What We’ve Learned So Far

On February 5, 2012, we launched the Online Campus at Christ Community Church. While four months is a small sample size, we’ve learned a few things about online church.

People will come

February through May, the Online Campus had 3,500 unique visitors from 28 countries. In the United States, we’ve had visitors from 48 states. (I guess we need to do more outreach in Alaska and New Hampshire.) The Top 3 states our attendees are from, besides Nebraska, are Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois. (Click here to see Online Campus sightings around the world.)

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