Evangel May, 2012
An Evangel missions team is returning to Mihaileni, Moldova, to encourage and bless our brothers and sisters in their calling to reach their communities for Jesus Christ. Three years ago, a missions team from Evangel joined missionaries Andy and Nancy Raatz to help Vasile Vanya, the pastor of a church in the village of Mihaileni. Vasile told us the story of his dream of church planting, building a church in several villages, and being overwhelmed at the project. There was a prophecy during one of their services of how God was going to provide. Pastor Vasile said, “That one team from North Dakota was God’s answer to that prophecy.” Church members had worked for five years on building the church. Many would come to work on the church after they had farmed all day. They were tired, out of money, and discouraged. God used the team as an answer to their prayers; the main mission of that trip was not only to build but to encourage our brothers and sisters to keep on. Pastor Vasile has continued to thank God for these blessings.
We will be taking a missions team to Moldova from October 1-11, 2012, to help build a church and to encourage the people in that village. If you are interested in being part of this mission team, come to either one of our two information meetings. The meetings will be on June 3 at 10:00 AM or June 10 at 11:15 AM in the Northwest Room at Evangel.
If you are between the ages of 14 and 94 and you are either male or female and you are alive, this calling to serve the Lord in missions is for you! No construction skills are needed, just willing hearts and hands.
~ Dan and Veronica Sparling, Team Leaders
“We are called to use all that we have, all that we are, and all our hearts to build His church. The only hope for Moldova’s future will be the Lord Jesus Christ working through His church, allowing His grace, mercy, and forgiveness to transform this country.”
~ Missionary Andy Raatz
Have you ever felt insignificant? I am certain we’ve all felt that way. Yet, what makes this interesting is the fact that every person is both very insignificant and very significant. Our insignificance is related to the fact that our planet is inhabited by over 7 billion people (www.worldometers.info/world-population). In other words, by the sheer number of people in our world it is natural to feel very insignificant. However, this is only because we have been raised in a world of competition where significance is based on a pecking order — number 1 is more significant than number 7,039,472,485.
When God measures significance He doesn’t use a talent pecking order, an IQ pecking order, a financial pecking order, or a family gene pool pecking order. Instead, God measures significance from an entirely different perspective. In fact, God’s track record is very peculiar: He usually takes people from backgrounds of complete insignificance and raises them up and works through their lives at incredibly high levels of significance.
We know David as the great slayer of Goliath and later as the greatest king of Israel. But we often forget that he was the youngest son of Jesse (really, the runt of the litter) who as a shepherd of sheep was quite literally out-of-sight and out-of-mind when other more significant matters were being determined. Joseph became governor of Egypt and from that significant place of leadership saved his entire family from starvation (thus, saving what eventually became all 12 tribes of Israel). Yet prior to such a significant place of leadership, Joseph had been long forgotten about by his family, and in fact, was assumed dead. And of course there is Moses, perhaps the most significant leader in all of Israel’s history who led the enslaved nation from Egyptian bondage. But as an infant child, his mother released him to the raging currents of the Nile River instead of having him ripped from her arms by Egyptian soldiers.
Insignificance is in all of our backgrounds . . . just like Bible heroes David, Joseph, and Moses. And yet most of us will never achieve such levels of significance similar to those great Bible leaders. Comparatively, most of us will live lives of obscure insignificance. We will never have our name in the paper nor will a statue or a building be named after us. We won’t write a best-selling book or sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl. Instead, 99.99% of us will experience a life that seems more insignificant than significant.
Does that mean our lives are insignificant? Absolutely NOT! Remember, real significance has nothing to do with pecking orders. In fact, pecking orders are for the birds! Instead, genuine significance is simply the result of living out the daily will and direction of the Holy Spirit for our life. Earlier I mentioned three of the most famous people in the Old Testament. Certainly, God used their lives in significant ways. However, what many don’t realize is that the Bible is filled with even more people whose names we barely remember; yet, God also used their lives in significant ways.
Do you know who Epaphroditus was? If not, you’re missing a good story about a great person. But what’s most encouraging about this guy is that he was just a regular person who made himself available for God. How about the guy named Simon who helped Jesus by carrying His cross. (Mark 15:21) That could have been you or me, had we been in the same spot at the same time. Ever wonder what happened to Simon afterwards? With a little research, you’ll find that his insignificant life turned out to be very significant! (Acts 19:33, Romans 16:13) What do you know about the two sisters whose names were Tryphena and Tryphosa? (Romans 16:12) In fact, if you want to read a whole list of people we don’t know very much about, read the final chapter of Romans. This is a list of people who were just like you. These were ordinary people who, when their lives crossed paths with the Apostle Paul, stepped up and contributed what they had to offer, and as a result significant things happened!
What’s the point? Even the 0.01% of people who actually achieve high levels of significance in our world, do so only because of the help they get from the rest of us 99.99%’ers. In fact, it is my opinion that in the grand scheme of things, God’s focus is more directly connected to those in obscurity who remain faithful, energetic, and grateful that God uses our insignificant lives in significant ways. This truth has always impacted my life, and it is the theme of this summer’s message series I am calling Zeroes to Heroes. Every Sunday this summer, we will study the life of a seemingly insignificant person in the Bible who God used in a significantly powerful way. For every person who feels average at best (and below average on most days), this series will bring to light just how significant every person is who is completely yielded to God’s will. ~ Pastor Doug
Jeff Grenell – Youth Ministries Specialist, North Central University
Jeff Grenell – Youth Ministries Specialist, North Central University
During Underground Church, we will be teaching through the Life of Christ as revealed in the four New Testament Gospels.
Did you ever wonder why God had four Gospel writers tell basically the same story?
If you are hungry for a thorough explanation of the Life of Christ in the four Gospels, Underground Church will give you biblical teaching that will impact your Head, your Heart, and your Hands.
We are so excited to introduce Michelle Fischer to you and welcome her to our Evangel Staff! Michelle started working at Evangel on Monday, April 30, as our Receptionist/Volunteer Coordinator. Michelle was born and raised in the Bismarck/Mandan area. She graduated from BSC in May of 2011 with an associate degree in human services, and she also has a diploma in medical transcription. Prior to Evangel, Michelle worked as an Eligibility Worker with Burleigh County Social Services. We are excited to have Michelle on our administrative team as she has many gifts and talents that will bless our church!
Michelle is married to Marei and they enjoy riding their Harley motorcycle together as often as they can. They have three girls. Michelle’s favorite hobby is keeping her girls entertained. Friends are very important to her and she has loved meeting new friends here at Evangel through volunteering at High Point on Wednesday nights and working with our volunteer staff on Sunday mornings. Michelle is a great addition to our staff; we encourage you to stop by and introduce yourself to her.
The State Fine Arts Festival was wonderful this year. All of our students performed outstanding, and many of them received “Superior with Invites” to National Fine Arts. Our students are super blessed with amazing talents, and we hope that you enjoyed them as much as we did at the Dessert Theater. Some of our groups even received the State Merit award for outstanding performances that are also relevant to ministry; these included the Large Drama Category After The One with Zach Bohlen, Noah DuBord, Rachel Detwiler, Courtney Emmil, Shanalle Engen, Bryanna Hanson, Taylor Patch, and Megan Raatz. After the One was written and directed by our own Matt and Nikki (Dickson) Fellers (pictured below), and Large Human Video All Else As Loss with Eleeshua Bohlen, Cooper Cox, Noah DuBord, Devin Doll, Kelsie Lipelt, Taylor Patch, Shayla Schmaltz, Rachael Scott, and Megan Raatz directed by Christina Parkman. Nathan Raatz for received a Merit Award for his Book Chapter and Kelsie Lipelt for Digital Photography. Honorable Mentions went to Hadley Schlafman for Junior Female Vocal Solo, and Spoiler Alert, a small drama with Katie Spomer and Maggie Renner.
~ Pastor Terry Parkman
Evangel had two Junior Bible Quiz teams that did a great job competing at the North Central Regional competition in Minneapolis, MN, on May 4-5, 2012. The NERDS team did an incredible job; they took 3rd place out of twenty teams from a seven state region. The Boppin’ Bible Buzzers team placed 7th at this competition and qualified to attend the National JBQ Festival in Orlando, FL, on June 7-9, 2012. The NERDS team had already qualified for the National Festival by placing 1st at State Finals. Congratulations to our nine quizzers for doing such an awesome job at representing Evangel at the North Central Regional Competition.
At the 2012 Regionals, Jayden Freyer took 1st place for the ten-point quiz out award by having 8 ten-point quiz outs. We also had two quizzers place in the top ten for individual high scorers. Kaden Sago took 4th place and Joshua Sipes took 1st place with an outstanding average of 115.4 points per game. Great Job Quizzers!
~ Bobbi Loven, JBQ Coordinator