Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It's God's gift from start to finish! We don't play the major role. If we did, we'd probably go around bragging that we'd done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.
Ephesians 2:7-10 The Message

Thursday, October 22, 2009

October News

October 2009

Greetings Family and Friends,

As we enter into fall we are reminded of the many blessings of God. We see in His word that He blessed those who were faithful. As we have followed God, He has blessed us as well. We have whole-heartedly followed Him as He has led us on this journey with Village Missions. When he first called us to follow Him late in 2001, when he sent us to serve Him in Round Mountain, NV in 2006; and now in Glenwood, WA. God is providing for us, taking care of us, and helping us reach people through relationships.

In September Butch had the privilege to baptize 4 people, one of them being Grady. We were able to hold this service at the pool of a man in the community who does not come to church. As we prepared for this service, we have come to realize there are many within the church who have not been baptized. We pray that they will come to understand the need to obey God in this simple act of obedience.

September also began new ministries. Jennifer gathered a team of women to begin developing Women’s Ministry. In October they held their first event, Sweet Thursday. Sweet Thursday is “women’s socials on a shoestring…tied to a generous God.” 13 ladies attended and enjoyed a sweet dessert and a short devotion by Jennifer with lots of fun and fellowship sprinkled in. Please pray that this ministry would grow and that women who don’t attend church would be reached.

Shortly after school started, Youth Group began. We average 6-10 kids every week. Please pray that we would reach our goal of 15 kids every week. Also pray for one more female leader. We are also beginning to have a presence at the school. Jennifer is helping out with band one day each week, we volunteer to go on field trips, help out with special days, and attend any special events the school has, from fundraiser dinners to sporting events. Pray that kids would get to know us, accept us, and trust us and that through them we would be able to get to know their parents.

There are many projects that need to be tackled on our church building. The men have recently been working on some roof repair over the breeze-way to help with the snow load. The back door needed to be replaced and a new porch built as well. Pray that the projects would get completed in a timely manner. If you feel led to bring a group to help out with any of our building projects, we would be glad to have you!

The men have also begun meeting for a monthly men’s breakfast at the local restaurant. They average 5-6 each time. Pray that this would build unity among the men of the church and that others would be reached through this time of fellowship.

Both men’s and women’s bible studies are in full swing. The men are just beginning a study in the book of James. The ladies are in the middle of a Kay Arthur study on the Names of God. Please pray for those leading the study and for more to get involved in Bible Study.

As we move along towards 2010 we are praying for God’s direction in ministry for our little church. There is a strong desire to reach the community. We are developing a plan of action to equip the church body to share their faith and reach out beyond the 4 walls of the church. We are striving to be people focused, not program based. Please pray that God would give us creative ways to reach the people here in Glenwood and that the walls would be broken down between church and community.

On a personal note, we are doing well. Our kids have blossomed since we have moved here, especially Becca. She is always willing to try new things. She just finished Volleyball, which to some extent has filled the void left by not being able to continue with swimming. All 3 kids have been accepted at school which is no easy feat in a small town. Our biggest struggle has been the lack of challenging classes and electives for them to participate in. We have recently discovered the Internet Academy which will allow for some electives, plus Grady is taking Running Start, college classes for dual credit. He should graduate High School with his AA degree.

There is much to be explored here and our days off will often find us out in the woods, discovering trails and looking for wildlife and places to photograph. The fall colors are absolutely spectacular right now and there is no shortage of photo opportunities. We are in the midst of hunting season and Butch and the boys have been spending as much time chasing deer as they can. Soon it will be Elk season and we have been told our little town becomes quite populated with hunters during Elk season. We are looking forward to opportunities to minister to the hunters.

As you pray for us please remember:
· Praise the Lord for the opportunities He has given us thus far to be involved at school, to help out those in need in the community, and building relationships.
· Leadership Development –
· VBS 2010 – last year we reached 32 kids during VBS. We are praying for 35 this next year, which is nearly all of the 4 year old – 5th grade population here in Glenwood. We may need help from an outside group to reach this many so pray that God would provide for that need.
· Grady needs braces and Becca is nearing time for phase 2 of her ortho treatment. We do not have enough in our current budget to cover these expenses.
· We are also in need of a more economical vehicle. Ideally it would be 4-wheel-drive and have some ground clearance. We have been told we get “feet” of snow, not just “inches”.
· We both desire to get some more schooling. Butch has found an online Bible College out of California that with his enrollment, Jennifer could attend for free, however, finances just won’t allow for that expense right now. We are patiently waiting for the Lord to provide.
· Pray that God would continue to open doors for us to build relationships in the community and give us opportunities to witness.

We thank God for each of you. Knowing you are praying for us and support us in this ministry is an encouragement to us. We could not serve the Lord in this place without your partnership. Though there are times we may feel discouraged, we are reminded that God is El-Shaddai, God Almighty, All Sufficient One. He is everything we need, our Provider, our Comforter, our Lord. Through each difficulty, he makes us stronger. We need only to keep our eyes fixed on Him.

Serving Him Together,
Pastor Butch and Jennifer Hallenbeck
Grady, Spencer and Becca

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Women of Faith

Well, it certainly is a weekend not soon forgotten.

Myself and 5 other ladies from the church went in to Portland for what we thought would be a conference filled with laughter and reminders from God's word, great worship and fellowship.

We received all that, plus a little more.

Satan tried, but was not successful, at stopping God's work through this conference. We arrived at the Rose Garden about 6:15, went inside, found something to eat and found our seats. As we were eating we noticed that the venue seemed surprisingly empty. There were a few thousand people milling around but definitely not the numbers we expected to see. One whole section was completely empty. We wandered around on the concourse and noticed yellow caution tape in one area but really didn't think too much of it. Just found it odd that we couldn't walk through there. So we went back in and found our seats because it was getting close to 7:00, time for the show to start.

7 comes and goes, 7:15 comes and goes. Finally about 7:25 we see a large group of ladies across the arena finding their seats and we think, "Huh, I wonder why they weren't letting them in before"

Then Mary Graham (President of Women of Faith) comes on stage and announces that the Arena Staff have requested that Friday night's events be canceled due to an incident and we need to quickly but safely evacuate the building. So the Saturday portion was extended by adding an hour in the morning (Seriously? They're starting at 8AM?) And it will go until 5 PM instead if 3. So I'm not really thinking much about what is happening. My first thought was, "But I have all this stuff I need to do when I get home for Sunday. If we don't get done until 5 we aren't going to get home much before 8. Uggghhhhhhh!)

So anyway, we ask a few people on the way out if they know what is going on but everyone is clueless. Outside I see the police vehicles and one of them has the black box thingy behind it so I figure it must have been a bomb scare. But I kept that thought to myself for the time being. We arrived at our hotel about 8:30 and found Breaking news on one of the local channels (Thank you FOX News for having a newscast at such obscure times:)

That is when we learned that in fact there was a bomb scare, a suspicious package found in a restroom around 6 PM. That explained the yellow caution tape. Had we arrived just a few minutes later we would have been locked "out" instead of "in".

But the Lord blessed our time together. Since we had unexpected time waiting around before the conference I found my way to the book table and purchased a book called "Laugh Out Loud" So as we sat around our hotel room we took turns reading stories from the book and laughing out loud!

Saturday was a long day with Friday Night's events added on, but it was good. I particularly enjoyed Lisa Welchel, I have always felt that I can relate to her story and as she shared about her "Scrapbooking Moment" I thought "Oh, been there done that" Putting the scrapbook page slightly ahead of concern for the injured person involved. Oops:)

I think all the ladies had a great time. We will probably take a group next year and will add to our prayers "No Bomb Threats, please!"