Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Outdoor Movie: Reaching our community

2-story screen? Yes, please.

What started as a night just for fun quickly turned into an outreach event, and inspired a way to serve and connect with the community around us.

An Experiment
Last Tuesday night, we had our first-ever outdoor movie at TFC. Weather-wise, we had a perfect night to set up on the lawn outside of New Life Fellowship’s gym; it was warm, but the skies were clear – perfect for stargazing or catching the occasional meteor. Teens gathered around the firepit, waiting for dusk to fall, with cartoons playing in the background. (Sidenote: Can you believe that some didn't know what Talespin was?)

As soon as it was dark, Jason Metzger’s video projector turned the side of the building into a crystal-clear 14-foot screen, to watch the 1982 classic E.T., while the sound was broadcasted to portable FM radios scattered among the moviewatchers.

The most interesting thing about the night though, was the attention we drew from neighbors. I went and talked to one nearby group of teenage girls to ask if they’d like to come watch the show. “We’re scared,” one of them said. I laughed and told them we are nice people.

In the end, several young people joined us for the movie and shared in our s’mores, and we had the opportunity to share a little about Teens for Christ and invite them to get involved. This simple touchpoint inspired a way to reach out to the homes nearby.

An Inspiration
On Friday, Aug 31, TFC will be coordinating with New Life Fellowship to sponsor a Community Event for Hinote’s Corner and the surrounding neighborhoods.  We will show a family-friendly movie, promote upcoming events at TFC and New Life, and encourage the community to build relationships with their neighbors.

A Call to Action
Please pray for this event. We want it to be both a service and an outreach, and we want the community see the love of Christ reflected in our actions.

We also need volunteers to help with the logistics of an undertaking of this size. Please contact us if you would like to help with delivering promotional flyers, contacting local businesses for sponsorship, or helping with supervision and organization on the evening of the event.

Finally, you can help with your ongoing financial support of TFC. We have many ideas that we just can’t implement right now, either because I don’t have time in my work week (I currently have a second job to supplement my income at TFC), or because we just don’t have the resources in our already-strained budget. Thank you so much to those of you who regularly support TFC with your faithful giving. If you don’t already, please consider a monthly donation to continue the work of our ministry.
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Thursday, July 26, 2012

11 Weeks Early: Helping the Powells

Gabe Powell is an alumnus and long-time friend of TFC.  As the new pastor of Sudden Valley Church, Gabe joined us for part of our discussion on creation a few months ago.

Last month, their new son Micah was born 11 weeks premature. He's going to be fine, but they still have a long road ahead of them.

Please join us in prayer over his recovery and read the letter below, from Gabe's sister Elaine, for ways to help the family.

Dear Family, Friends, and Body of Christ,
On June 27th Micah Nathanael was born at UW Medical Center at 29 weeks gestation – 11 weeks premature.  He weighed in at 3lbs, 3oz and 16 inches long.  Rachel endured a dramatic and complicated c-section surgery that involved her losing half of her blood volume.  Needless to say God’s grace and mercy poured over the Powell family that day!  We are so very thankful to the Lord for His hand of protection and severe love!
Rachel was released from medical care merely four days after surgery!  They expect Micah to stay at UW Medical Center until his due date (September 12), depending on his progress.  Gabriel and Rachel live a good two hours away from the hospital, therefore, they will be making many trips back and forth over the next couple months.
Since many of you have expressed a desire to help, this letter is to inform you of specific needs the Powell family have now incurred.  If you feel the Lord leading you to help in any of the following ways, please do not hesitate!
1.      Financial Needs   -  We have set up a Donation Account at WECU for anyone to deposit any amount of money for the Powell’s to use during these next 2 months.  Below is a list of what the donated money would be used for.
a.      Since Gabriel and Rachel live two hours from Micah’s hospital, they have found housing associated with the hospital where they can stay from time to time.  Although it is a reduced rate ($69/night) it will still be costly over time.
b.      Driving 2 hours each way 2-3 times a week will also increase their gas expense.
c.       Though they will try to minimize eating out, their food costs will go up during this time as it will be difficult to pack food for every trip.

There are two ways to donate:

1.      Send the Powell’s a check made out to Rachel Powell with “Micah Fund” in the memo line. Checks can be sent to 77 Polo Park Drive, Bellingham, WA 98229.
2.      Go into any WECU branch, and tell them you’d like to make a deposit into Guillermo (Gabriel’s first name) and Rachel Powell’s Micah Fund account.

2.      Meals/Groceries  -  When Gabriel and Rachel are home, having 2-3 readymade meals a week would be very helpful for Rachel.  During the week you may drop off meals at:  615 W. Indiana St., Bellingham, WA 98225, 360-739-3733, or at their home most weekends.  Elsa Powell (Gabriel’s mother) or Elaine Margeson (Gabriel’s sister) will be able to take any meals to freeze.

3.      Light House Cleaning – Going back and forth regularly will make regular cleaning challenging. Help with simple tasks about once a week will make a big difference!
a.      Vacuuming
b.      Dishes
c.       Laundry
d.      Bathrooms

As you can see, there are many ways in which you can serve this family!  Let’s come together and show what we as a body can do for one another in love!  We know that not everyone can do everything and so we ask that you decide what you and your family are capable of at this time.  I will be forthright and say that right now, financial support is the most crucial and the most necessary, so if anything, a monetary donation to the WECU account will be the most beneficial.

If you have any questions or concerns, or have come up with another way to help Pastor Gabriel and his family, please do not hesitate to call!  I, Elaine (Gabriel’s sister), write this letter on behalf of Gabriel and Rachel.  I would welcome any calls!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and consider how the Lord would have you give and serve during this time of serious need!

Most Sincerely in the Lord,
Elaine Margeson