Partner Update | Jon + Danielle Snyder
Jon + Danielle minister to vulnerable and marginalized members of their community in San Salvador, El Salvador. Their work includes ministry to survivors of trafficking and sexual exploitation, those who are facing homelessness and extreme poverty, individuals who have recently returned from the U.S., as well as those who are on a journey toward addiction recovery. Jon and Danielle walk with those they serve toward a relationship with Christ, new opportunities, dignifying work, and a chance to dream about and work toward a new future of freedom and growth.
Those Mid-January Blues
Research has indicated that many find the middle of January to be the most depressing time of the year. The holiday cheer has faded and the bills accumulated for it are arriving. The cold and dark of winter persists and there doesn’t seem to be much on the calendar to look forward to. This interesting statistic serves as a microcosm of what happens when peace and contentment is found in our transient external circumstances.
Welcome to 2022!
Welcome to 2022! It is that curious time, once again, when people make all sorts of resolutions to do and not do a whole myriad of things. I am not sure what percentage of people actually succeed in their New Year’s resolutions, but the percentage seems awfully low (it is rare to hear someone boasting about their success come the following holiday season!).
Corrie Ten Boom
Corrie ten Boom slowly walked through the house, treasuring all the memories the old walls held. After months in a Nazi concentration camp besieged by the worst suffering imaginable, it was surreal to be back in the warmth, safety, and love of the place she had called home all her 50 years. Despite the tremendous void left by those who had not survived, she did her best to resume her life working in the family’s watch shop and spending time with her remaining loved ones. And yet, she felt unsettled, restless.
Walking home from church one dreary Sunday, Amy Carmichael and her brothers noticed an old beggar woman struggling under the weight of a heavy bundle. They quickly rushed to her side to help. Being from a wealthy family, Amy suddenly felt embarrassed to be seen with this poor woman as the other parishioners passed by. Just then, God spoke a verse clearly to Amy’s heart, “Gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw…the fire will test what sort of work each one has done…” Standing tall, she knew in that moment that she would never again be embarrassed to offer help to anyone, especially the least of these.
Catch Your Drift: One Key to a Successful Marriage
“We just drifted apart.” We will never know how many times this statement has woven itself into stories of marital crisis and divorce. We all know that having a great marriage is hard work and that a perfect marriage is impossible. So how do imperfect marriages stay great? One key is that they catch their drift.
Born in the Pennsylvania countryside in 1923, Nate Saint grew up in a creative family that encouraged out-of-the-box thinking. Anytime one of their eight children came up with a wild idea, Mr. and Mrs. Saint would enthusiastically help them bring it to life. From an outdoor “sleeping room” on their second-story roof to a double-track roller coaster in the backyard, the Saint family was always looking for that next adventurous creation they could work on together. Growing up in such a home, it is no surprise that from the time Nate was a small child he found pure joy in the process of inventing, building, and then using his creations. But he discovered his true passion at seven years old.
Booger wiper. First-aid kit. Limo service. Snack supplier. Diaper changer. Cuddle giver. Screen time limiter. Activity director. Chaos coordinator. Chief Operations Officer. There are a lot of job titles that come with being a mom. I was definitely more prepared for some than others. But I can tell you wholeheartedly the job title that I like least of all… MOM REFEREE.
Top 17 Parks
Hi mamas! With summer officially here, my kids have already hit some days of “we don’t know what to do” or the dreaded “I’m bored.” First, let me say, I actually think it is good for our kids to get bored. We live in a culture that is chock full of entertainment and planned activities, and our kids need to know that not every second is going to be figured out for them. I know for a fact that we moms had many moments of true boredom while we were growing up (endless games of M.A.S.H. or folding cootie catchers anyone?). This space of zero planning is where creativity and simple fun is born and nurtured.
Eight-year-old Betty Greene could barely contain her excitement. She was standing in the stadium with her family and thousands of others anxiously awaiting a fly-over by her hero, Charles Lindbergh. She had read everything she could get her hands on about this pioneering pilot and his recent record-breaking flight from Long Island to Paris. Getting to see him fly and hear him speak was a dream come true. For as long as she could remember, there was nothing she wanted more than to fly. At sixteen this dream became a reality, as well. After her first plane ride, she was hooked and immediately began lessons.
Engaging Your Kids in Serving Opportunities
Engaging kids early in opportunities to serve empowers them to grow stronger in their faith and strengthen their relationship with the Church. Read more for a few reasons why we think it is important to serve with your kids…
As a young California farm boy, Cameron Townsend had aspirations of becoming a schoolteacher. By the time he graduated high school, however, he had his heart set on becoming a preacher instead. Little did he know that God would use both of these passions to reach hundreds of thousands of people around the globe with the Gospel message.
On paper, Gladys Aylward had none of the proper qualifications to be a missionary. She had failed out of the China Inland Missionary Society’s training school in London. She had no education, no useful skills, no money or missionary society to back her, and at 27 she was old by missionary standards. But what she did have was the most important qualification of all: a willingness to serve God and follow Him wherever He led her.
By the time Hudson Taylor was 17, he knew that God was calling him to take the Gospel message to the unreached people of China. He spent the next few years studying medicine and learning valuable lessons in trusting God.
Oh, what a man of immense faith! After a misspent youth living as a thief who only cared about himself, God got ahold of George Muller’s heart. Though he initially had plans to travel to distant, exotic lands to share the gospel, a providential encounter with a 5-year-old girl on the streets of Bristol in Victorian England changed the course of his life.
Heroes of the Faith
Last month, our women’s team gathered over lunch, and—as is fairly common these days—our conversation led to the various difficulties in our lives and the lives of those around us. As we shared, stories of various Heroes of the Faith kept coming up as examples of encouragement in our walk with God. The more we talked, the more we felt the need to share these stories with you…stories of men and women whose heart’s desire was to become like Jesus and join Him on mission.
Be Like Me
Have you ever thought about the person in the Bible you most relate to? For me, it’s the Apostle Peter. He was impulsive and outspoken, capable of fierce loyalty and love, and equally prone to despair and doubt. Peter’s human frailties are front and center in many of the stories featuring him in the Bible. And yet, with all of his faults, from the very first moment he heard Jesus call, he responded. The Bible says that he immediately – at once – left everything behind and followed Jesus. He literally left everything he had, and simply followed Jesus.
Resources for Dealing with Shame
In our Come Find Your Mercy Sermon Series, Craig Smith explains that shame is one of the greatest enemies of the Good News because it tells us we’re forgiven but still not worthy. We know that dealing with shame can be difficult. We put together some additional resources to help you step out from under the cloud of shame so that you can enjoy the light of God’s mercy.
Bible Reading Plans | Staff Picks
In our Fresh Wind sermon series, Craig Smith reminded us that we want to be listening to God’s spirit. One of the best ways that you can know God’s voice is by reading the Bible. A reading plan can help you to develop the habit of reading the Bible. Colin McFarland and Kelly McSparran unpack a few of our staff picks for Bible reading plans – there is something for every season of life. Whether your Bible has been collecting dust or you have been to seminary, you can grow in your faith by learning more from God’s Word.
Parental Survival Guide for a Pandemic
Right when I thought I had heard every crazy thing possible with regard to COVID 19, a few weeks ago I read a mind-numbing article online pertaining to an amusement park in Japan. According to the article, this amusement park began telling patrons that they had to wear a mask at all times and especially while riding the roller-coaster. They posted a sign at the beginning of the ride which read: “IF YOU FEEL THE NEED TO SCREAM, YOU MUST SCREAM IN YOUR HEART, NOT OUT LOUD”.
9 Bible Verses That Can Encourage Your Heart
It is natural to have seasons of discouragement as you deal with life’s challenges – especially in the midst of COVID. You are not alone and God has given you His Word to encourage and equip you to deal with what you are facing. The Bible is full of encouragement to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus so that you can find hope, peace, and joy.