October is Missions Emphasis Month for us here at Bethel!

We began the weekend on Saturday at noon at the Lakeside Park with an all-church picnic with the Art Cunningham Family from England!  It was absolutely perfect weather for a picnic too.  All credit for the outstanding day goes to our Missions Committee of Lance Owen, George Stevenson, Anna Carpenter, & Sean Gallagher.  These four people labored diligently & made the day so-o-o-o enjoyable for the rest of us.  Wow is all that I can say.  From the grilling, to the games set up, to the canopy for shade, everything was excellent.

That really set the stage for Sunday morning.  We began the service with a Skype call to Jonathan Carpenter in India.  Talking to one of our members who is serving in India was a delightful & refreshing treat for all of us.  It was about 11:15 PM his time, but Jonathan was alert & a blessing to all.

The music was outstanding again this Sunday.  The choir radiated the song, “This is My Word.”  The powerful visual message was on the screen, but the great harmonic sound was also punctuated by nice transitions from power to contemplative sound.  By the time we got to the ending & the soothing words, “This is my word” had us in the palm of their hand!  Another special musical treat was the trumpet duet offertory by Pastor Seth & Autumn Clark.  The great sound & stirring words on the screen combined to bless our hearts wonderfully.  Then Missionary Art Cunningham preached on “What Is a NT Missionary?”  It was excellent, Scripture packed, & profitable to a mission-minded congregation.  Thank you, Art.

The evening service was packed to the hilt & running over!  The choir again wowed us, & Miss Anna Carpenter’s piano offertory of “Bring Them In” fit the missionary theme perfectly.  Mrs. Debbie Cunningham’s Ladies’ Viewpoint of the story of God’s direction of her life was extraordinary!  God brought her from a runaway teen, a broken home, & breast cancer, to a life of miracles as a missionary, a mother of twins at 44 years old, & her marriage to Arthur.  We then journeyed by Skype to Greenville, SC to talk to one of her twin boys, Robert.  His interview that told of God’s grace in his life & currently his preparations at a Christian university was a blessing indeed.  The other twin boy, David, was in our service & when I interviewed him, he echoed his appreciation to his godly parents.  But the capstone of both boys is when I asked them who their hero is.  Both of them replied without hesitation, “My dad!”  our hearts were greatly blessed. 

We also viewed the audio-visual presentation of their ministry in England which was also rich indeed.

Bro. Cunningham then preached loosely on the Good Samaritan.  His major point was that Muslims are akin to the Samaritans who are unlovely & broken like the Samaritan along the road, but like him, they need someone to rescue them lest they die without hope!  The message came through loud & clear!  One memorable quote from his message is: “Love of Christ compels us to reach Muslims for Christ!”  

It was an excellently rich weekend.  Our cup is full.  We finish up the month this coming Sunday with Missionary Ray Teachout from French Guiana.  It should be another doozy!  Stay tuned for next week’s report.  Or better yet, come on down & be here for all the festivities.  It should be incredible.

Pastor Stertzbach