Thursday, July 26, 2007

Missionary Spotlight ~ Will & Judi Traub, Charlotte, North Carolina

The Traubs met in 1975 on a blind date during Will’s last year of studies at Westminster Theological Seminary and were married in 1976. Both Will and Judi were raised in Christian homes where foreign missions were promoted, and missionaries were often guests. Will was the pastor of Peace Reformed Church in Loveland, Colorado, and Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, in Blacksburg, Virginia, prior to leaving for Germany.

The Traubs have served with Mission to the World in Germany since 1988, where Will was study director of a house for evangelical theology students at the University of Gottingen. He also assisted in the formation of the first “Confessing Congregation” in Germany since Nazi times in Neuwied. He continues to teach at the Academy for Reformational Theology in Marburg and the Martin Bucer Seminary in Berlin.

Presently Will is coordinator of theological education and training for MTW Europe. This ministry involves providing theological education for national pastors and leaders in countries where MTW has church-planting teams. He also helps to provide career-path development assistance and training to MTW missionaries in Europe.

Please pray that God would raise up a new generation of Europeans who will reach their countries with the gospel.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Missionary Spotlight ~ Carl & Becky Chaplin, Georgia

After serving 14 years in the Czech Republic, Carl and Becky have begun work promoting and advancing church planting in Europe. Working with European partner and PCA churches, they seek to expand the church across Europe where less than 1% of the population is evangelical. The couple previously ministered with the Reformed Church of the Czech Republic. Carl graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary in 1982 and served as pastor of Grace PCA in Jackson, TN from 1982-1989. The Chaplins have three children: Ellis, Rob, and Carolann.

· Please pray for their service in Latvia and Lithuania in June and July as they help the churches with their evangelistic outreach and the discipleship of believers. Pray that Carl and Becky will learn better how MTW can serve Latvia in the future.

· Pray for the Czech English Camps and for Becky as she goes to teach and to help run the camps. Pray for God to work in the lives of the Czechs who will attend and in the lives of the team members.

· Pray for God to raise up new missionaries as Carl speaks at seminaries and in churches.

· Pray for Becky’s ESL teaching in the Atlanta area next fall.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Lines For Summer (3)

Cindy Mercer Photography, "Seats at Fenway"

“It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.”

“That is why it breaks my heart, that game--not because in New York they could win because Boston lost; in that, there is a rough justice, and a reminder to the Yankees of how slight and fragile are the circumstances that exalt one group of human beings over another. It breaks my heart because it was meant to, because it was meant to foster in me again the illusion that there was something abiding, some pattern and some impulse that could come together to make a reality that would resist the corrosion; and because, after it had fostered again that most hungered-for illusion, the game was meant to stop, and betray precisely what it promised.”

“Of course, there are those who learn after the first few times. They grow out of sports. And there are others who were born with the wisdom to know that nothing lasts. These are the truly tough among us, the ones who can live without illusion, or without even the hope of illusion. I am not that grown-up or up-to-date. I am a simpler creature, tied to more primitive patterns and cycles. I need to think something lasts forever, and it might as well be that state of being that is a game; it might as well be that, in a green field, in the sun.”

From A. Bartlett Giamatti, “The Green Fields of the Mind”

Giamatti frames his search for "something abiding" in a reflection on the game he loves. "I need to think something lasts forever, and it might as well be that state of being that is a game." Giamatti earned his doctorate from Yale University in 1964 and spent most of his career as professor of comparative literature at Yale and Princeton. He served as president of Yale University from 1977 to 1986. He was the youngest president of the university in its history. He became president of the National Baseball League in 1986 and Commissioner of Baseball in 1989. He died suddenly of a massive heart attack at the age of 51 on September 1, 1989. From all indications, his restless heart never rested in Christ. He rejected Him to the end.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Missionary Spotlight ~ Dave & Jan Veldhorst, Thailand

Rev. Dave and Jan Veldhorst have been in Thailand with their 5 children since graduating from Covenant Seminary in August, 2000. The Mission to the World-Thailand team has been blessed to see God answer many prayers from the early years of field ministry. God has blessed them with a good team composed of 4 families from the US, 2 single women, and 4 full time Thai staff.

The team currently has several support ministries that help with the work of church planting. Dave and Jan have begun work on Ramkhamheng University campus in the Bangna area. They have established New Community Foundation--a foundation that reaches out to the poor in their area through word and deed ministries. New Community English currently seeks to build relationships with about 100 students through teaching conversational English. New City Fellowship Church has English worship on Sunday morning and Thai worship in the afternoon with about 30 attending each service. Dave and Jan have much to be thankful for with regards to the ministry there. Years ago they asked God especially for two things: the ability to speak the Thai language and the development of a good network with other Christian leaders. God, in His kind providence, has answered both prayers. They are still praying for a full time Thai pastor to come and lead the church planting work.

God has also blessed their family. Their oldest son James will finish up his last year of high school in Thailand and then will be entering college stateside. They have seen their other children grow, both as young children and young teens, spiritually and relationally. Jan and Dave also will be celebrating 18 years of marriage. This year marks the 10th year that they have enjoyed their marriage in a cross cultural foreign context. They have no regrets that the Lord has called them to the gospel ministry overseas as a couple.

Goals for the year ahead include being more active in discipling young Thai believers and being more intentional in mentoring the young Bible College and seminary interns assisting them. Growing in balancing work and rest also is an ongoing prayer need and goal. Dave and Jan give God thanks for 36 supporting churches and the way First PCA Jackson has shown great support both financially, through prayer, and through sending short term teams there.

* Pray for peace in Thailand. There is an unsettled feeling as the country moves to vote in November on a new prime minister.

* Pray for wisdom for Dave and Jan as they minister in Thailand.


Friday, July 06, 2007

Robert C. Cannada's Homegoing

It pleased the Lord to gather to Himself His servant, Robert C. "Bob" Cannada, faithful Ruling Elder of this congregation, on Thursday, July 5, 2007, around 1 o'clock p.m., in Jackson, Mississippi.

The Funeral Service and Visitation will be at First Presbyterian Church. As follows:

Visitation, Miller Hall, Monday, July 9, 2007, 5 until 8 o’clock p.m.

Visitation, Courtyard (adjacent to Sanctuary), Tuesday, July 10, 2007, 9 until 10:30 o’clock a.m.

Funeral, Tuesday, July 10, 2007, 11 o'clock a.m., followed by a Graveside Service at Lakewood Memorial Park.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Missionary Spotlight ~ Bill & Marion Baldwin, Greece

Bill was born in St. Louis, Missouri and moved to Houston, Texas when he was 15. In college his roommate invited him to church and there he made a public confession of his faith. After college, with a BS in Religion he attended Moody Bible Institute for one year and then Dallas Seminary where he received his MTh. While at seminary he met Bob Evans, founder of Greater Europe Mission and felt that GEM's thrust of starting Bible Colleges all over Europe was a wise idea. For some reason God placed Greece on Bill’s heart. GEM expected all candidates to attend Missionary Internship, a 7-month training program for would-be missionaries, in Detroit, which is where Bill & Marion met.

Marion was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. She graduated from Toronto Bible College and then became a registered nurse before going to Missionary Internship.

Bill served as youth pastor at West Chicago Bible church for one year after their marriage and then a year later, having raised their support, Bill & Marion left for Greece with a very simple job description: start a Bible Institute. So....that's what they did....and therein lies a LONG story of learning a language, gaining the trust of the Greek evangelicals, finding a 'home' for the Greek Bible Institute, finding teachers and students and the money to pay for it all....GOD HAS BEEN FAITHFUL. Bill has taught all the Theology courses at the Bible college, Marion used to teach a course to young women, but now does the book-keeping for the college for Greater Europe Mission.

Today the director of the college is their son Jeff. The graduates are pastors of the majority of the Greek Evangelical churches in Greece. They head up most para-church organizations in Greece, and are also serving as missionaries.

Bill and Marion’s four children have all married Greeks and 2 of them are also missionaries with GEM in Greece. Thank God they are all committed Christians, married to people from committed Christian homes. They also have 11 grandchildren.

Bill & Marion first heard of First Presbyterian church in Jackson, Mississippi when their then pastor, Don Patterson, asked Bill to lead a tour group he was bringing to Greece. Bill and Marion got a burden for Greece and even sent Van and Alice Rusling to Greece to work with the GEM team for a few years. Van actually taught Marion her job!

Please pray for Bill and Marion as they serve in Greece.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

July 4, 1942

Cindy Mercer Photography

On July 4, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt challenged the nation to vigilance in war-time. He called for Americans to continue working through the Independence Day Holiday. The War and Navy Departments, the Post Office, and the State Department all put in a regular day's work. Roosevelt set the example for the nation by scheduling a full day of work at the White House. Many businesses and corporations in the private sector remained opened. The few ceremonies held that day were mostly military-related exercises. In Philadelphia at the base of the Liberty Bell, 200 young men were inducted into the armed forces while in New York citizens there hear over 400 air raid sirens wail at noon. There was a marked absence of fireworks that night due to blackouts in all cities and towns. Roosevelt said:

For 166 years this Fourth Day of July has been a symbol to the people of our country of the democratic freedom which our citizens claim as their precious birthright. On this grim anniversary its meaning has spread over the entire globe--focusing the attention of the world upon the modern freedoms for which all the United Nations are now engaged in deadly war.

On the desert sands of Africa, along the thousands of miles of battle lines in Russia, in New Zealand and Australia, and the islands of the Pacific, in war-torn China and all over the seven seas, free men are fighting desperately--and dying--to preserve the liberties and the decencies of modern civilization. And in the overrun and occupied nations of the world, this day is filled with added significance, coming at a time when freedom and religion have been attacked and trampled upon by tyrannies unequaled in human history.

Never since it first was created in Philadelphia, has this anniversary come in times so dangerous to everything for which it stands. We celebrate it this year, not in the fireworks of make-believe but in the death-dealing reality of tanks and planes and guns and ships. We celebrate it also by running without interruption the assembly lines which turn out these weapons to be shipped to all the embattled points of the globe. Not to waste one hour, not to stop one shot, not to hold back one blow--that is the way to mark our great national holiday in this year of 1942.

To the weary, hungry, unequipped Army of the American Revolution, the Fourth of July was a tonic of hope and inspiration. So is it now. The tough, grim men who fight for freedom in this dark hour take heart in its message--the assurance of the right to liberty under God--for all peoples and races and groups and nations, everywhere in the world.

(Source: New York Times, 5 July 1942, 23.)


Monday, July 02, 2007

Lines For Summer (2)

Cindy Mercer Photography

Whatever happens,
those who have learned
to love one another
have made their way
to the lasting world
and will not leave,
whatever happens.

Wendell Berry, Sabbaths 1998