‘Home Missions’

HMB Update | Heroes in the Making

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

Throughout Scripture, the most basic words of our faith—hope, promise, Heaven, eternity—connect us to our future. Scripture is filled with verses that urge us to look forward. We anticipate what lies ahead and look to identify our role in God’s mission to redeem the world—essentially Jesus’ big dream of a movement spelled out for us in Acts 1:8.  If we are to see a change in the scorecard of success in the U.S. church, we must first see a paradigm shift in our thinking, a shift that overflows and infects others. Big dreams prompt change.  Big Dreams change our questions.   Big Dreams change our prayers.  Big Dreams change the people around us.  Big Dreams change our churches.  Big Dreams change us.  The future of the movement of Friends lies outstretched before us!  Your Home Missions team is currently envisioning how we can better come alongside the local churches of Mid America.

I find it difficult to address the subject of multiplication without at least touching on some very fundamental concepts of math.  When it comes to church growth and church multiplication, words like “growth,” “subtraction,” “plateau,” “addition,” “reproduction,” and “multiplication” are unavoidable.  As leaders, we tend to adopt our own definitions based on our unique context for church.  Our temptation might be to look at our success and incorrectly conclude that we’re being obedient to Jesus’ commands and multiplying, or to look at our church size and mistakenly conclude that we can’t be a reproducing or multiplying church if we’re small.  

Let’s start with a very simple and basic review of some mathematical concepts—just enough basics to equip you for the journey to becoming a multiplier. Rather than making up our own definitions, I’m embracing the terms that have been handed down to us through mathematics. These are not “secular or business” concepts but rather the principles that emerge from God’s creation.  Subtraction occurs whenever the output result decreases with time.  With every positive unit of effort, subtraction occurs with a loss or decrease in the output number.  We all know the pain of seasons of subtraction.  On the personal front, it might be losing loved ones.  In ministry, losing team members is agonizing.  Subtraction compels us to action.  But subtraction is a normal part of life, including the life of a church.  As we think about the first 500 churches founded in the first century after Jesus, all of these churches ultimately experienced subtraction all the way to their death.  But the church is still around and vibrant today, but not because of the growth of churches, but because of the sending nature of churches.

Growth is the process of increasing in size. Growth can happen through addition, reproduction, or multiplication.  Regardless of the strategy, model, or culture we embrace and pursue, growth is a primary goal. But real multipliers must throw off the shackles of an addition-growth scorecard, opting instead for the pursuit of multiplication growth.  In all the turmoil of subtraction, we desperately pursue and seek out addition growth. But even addition is temporary.  

C.S. Lewis once stated “You get to decide what legacy you will leave.”  Don’t let the reality of subtraction discourage you, but do let it mess with your thinking.  Addition-focused scorecards and cultures constrain us to less abundant thinking that moves from 1 to 2 to 3 to 4, and so on.  By embracing accumulation cultures, we miss the abundance Jesus intends for us through multiplication. The best multipliers are leaders who surrender their personal addition-based scorecards to a far better scorecard using Jesus’ math.  Multiplication carries the legacy of your church to future generations, far beyond the accumulation you achieve in your local context.  That’s why sending out leaders to multiply and start new churches, and then continuing the movement into the future is so vitally important. Your sending capacity is your best asset, and your sending results could ultimately be your primary legacy.  

We leaders here in EFC-MAYM believe our best days are ahead and not something we just dream about from time to time.  The process of multiplication must be reflected in the local church.  It is extremely difficult to multiply new ministries and ultimately new churches unless our congregations are multiplying new leaders and new groups at the local church level.  We in Mid-America believe we must be about this sending of new leaders and ultimately new churches.   Home missions team members are those regional leaders that have been designated by leaders from your seven Areas across Mid-America.  And though our Friends congregations extend from south Texas in the Houston area all the way and including our newest church in St. Paul Minnesota, we do see signs of new life all around.  So there are really great opportunities to expand the Kingdom of God.  New opportunities require new vision and new leaders.  Throughout the last two millenniums of church history, the Kingdom has advanced as new leaders and visionaries stepped into new territories and attempted new methods in obedience to our Lord Jesus’ command to go and make new disciples.  

Our dream and our hope is that those apostolic workers from each congregation will join in the new opportunity to catch and share a new vision for sending new leaders on this exciting apostolic journey.  May we be faithful.  Please connect with these area multiplication leaders to whom you have asked to serve your Areas:  Texas Area – Drew Davenport or David Byrne;  COK Area – Nick Shaffer and Brad Wood;  Western Area – Caty Zortman or Dennis McDowell;  North Central Area – Jonathan Harkness;  Northeast Area – Mike Herriges or Walt Mills;  Tri-State Area – Josh LeeMasters;  Central KS Area – Marc Compton or Carrie Corliss.  These leaders and our new church planters already serving in various communities across Mid-America are our heroes, and God is calling numerous others of you to join their ranks in Jesus’ mission to build His Church to the glory of our Father in heaven.  God is at work through His Holy Spirit!  Amen.  

– Randy Littlefield, Director of Multiplication Ministries

Home Missions Update

Friday, September 8th, 2017

“The Church must be forever building, and always decaying, and always being restored.” –T.S. Elliot

You may know me as part of Communitas in Wichita, or you might know me as the 2nd daughter of Randy & Charlene Littlefield. I grew up in the Friends Church, starting out at Northridge Friends and then to Linwood Friends when it was planted in Wichita. When I was nine, my dad left Pizza Hut Inc., and we moved to Friendswood where my dad attended HGST and worked as the Associate Superintendent of Church Planting with EFC-MA. During the 4 years we were in Friendswood, Friendswood Friends Church was home, but we traveled to many Texas Area churches and church plants, encouraging new works and mission, many of them cross-cultural and/or urban. As a fourth grader I remember calling folks out of a phone book in a phones-for-you campaign and also helping to literally build a new Life Ministries Center building in Houston’s fifth ward.  My parents have always been pioneers and encouragers of innovation and have always valued sharing life with and advocating for those on the margins.  Like Jesus’ model of discipleship, they took us kids along to serve and minister with them. For this example, I am so grateful.  

I love the Friends Church. Not just because it’s my family heritage, but because I think we are rooted in exactly what the world needs and wants today. In an era of highly stylized forms of church with heirarchies and business models, the world is looking for genuine community where each one has a part to play. Friends can offer this. 

You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5)

In an era when culture is shifting rapidly, we must be about keeping the faith but adapting the practices. The mission field is next door and down the street and across town, and if we continue to treat mission as something that only happens “over there” or if we sit comfortably in our pews with a “come to us” mentality, we will not survive. If we adapt, it will be uncomfortable and there will be some failure, but ultimately, I believe Friends will get to be part of what God is doing in the world. THAT excites me.

Business as usual won’t cut it.  I’m not saying to turn the ship on a dime or throw the baby out with the bath water, but I am suggesting that we reorient ourselves back to our roots, harness what made us Friends in the first place, and move into the future with a sense of hope and adventure and determination, with a renewed passion for Christ and His Kingdom.  

“No one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins” (Mk 2:22)

I’m encouraged by the ministries, initiatives, and new churches among Evangelical Friends in our region that reach out to the community with the message of hope. Let’s keep asking, “What else is the Holy Spirit inviting us to be a part of as salt and light in our neighborhoods and communities?” Let’s keep experimenting. Let’s keep moving.

Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have laid hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

– Carrie Corliss

Journey Project Internships

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017
 
The Home Missions Board is excited to partner in several unique Journey Project internships this summer in different locations across the yearly meeting. The purpose of The Journey Project is to develop leaders – the kind of leaders who live out their faith in such a way as to change lives and communities through the sharing of God’s unconditional love.  Journey Project interns will be stretched beyond their comfort zones as they serve those in need. They will be equipped and trained to make disciples and make a difference in the world. And they will experience the joy of their salvation in ways they never imagined!
 
In addition to the summer internships, the Home Missions Board is hoping to bring on a young Spanish-speaking couple, Dario & Raquel Bastias, to EFC-MAYM for an extended, year-long “Journey Project” internship.  Dario & Raquel would start their year with us this summer in Wichita and then on to Tyler, Texas for a Luke 10 trip to explore a potential calling to help plant a new Friends church there when their internship concludes. If you are able to provide a camper or RV for them for 3 to 6 weeks this summer (June 4 – July 20) for this Luke 10 exploratory trip, please let us know!
 
From August 2017 through May 2018, Dario & Raquel would be available to spend time in a number of areas to learn from and connect with the local church and the local community. The interns’ ministry focus would be to have presence in the community. As they arrive in a unique community, their mission is to learn who the people are and where God is at work outside the walls of the church, and to join Him there. Through a partnership with a host church, we believe this internship will help build a bridge for the church to re-engage or engage for the first time with a unique community outside of its walls. What an exciting opportunity!
 
Host Church Opportunity: Dario & Raquel could come to your community for 1, 2, or 3 months. We ask the host church to provide housing for them in the target community. The interns will be raising some of their own personal support in addition to some Home Missions Board support for their other living and personal expenses. 
 
While at the host site, we also ask the host church to provide a mentor that would meet with the interns weekly for one hour in a Life Transformation Group. No training is required for the mentor, but note that a commitment to a Scripture reading plan is. 
 
We invite you to visit www.tribeoffriends.org to learn more about The Journey Project.
 
– Home Missions Board Chairman, John Harkness

Home Missions Update

Friday, April 7th, 2017

New Church Planters – Doing the Work of the Church!

Missiologist and author Alan Hirsch believes that many people in the church of America today have forgotten that the gospel mandate is actually to “make disciples of the nations”. In his book “Forgotten Ways”, Hirsch highlights the missional priority of discipleship and helps leaders reframe their understanding and practice of evangelism in the context of disciple making. By reframing mission and evangelism around discipleship, not only do we grow more obedient, but also make space for long-term, authentic, loving relationships with the people in our lives. Hirsch points out that if every follower of Jesus simply did this with just two or three people in their lifetime and asked those people to do the same—disciples making disciples making disciples—in just a few generations we would accomplish what we have sought to accomplish through most of our evangelistic efforts. “Disciple making lies at the very core of the church’s ‘sentness’ and mission,” he writes. “It has never been an optional extra.” This work of discipleship very accurately describes the vital and strategic work of our new church planting leaders here in Evangelical Friends Church – Mid America. We are actively supporting and working with these leaders in eight active projects, and praying with other leaders in several other new mission points throughout our region. Please prayerfully continue to lift these leaders with us!

Gerald & Deloras Mendenhall – planters at Oasis Church in Dodge City KS ~~ please pray for this veteran new church planting couple, and for the strength and renewed energy for building up believers and reaching the lost in this city and beyond. Please pray for the established leaders there, and also for the new believer’s stepping up in ministry. Pray for Gerald this month as he travels to various prisons across this country ministering to those incarcerated and their families. Pray for new leaders who may be found to work with the growing community of young people becoming a part of this church. Pray that an intern would be found to work this summer.

Emilio Sanchez – planter at Iglesia Evangélica Amigos de San Antonio TX ~~ please pray for Pastor Emilio in these days of transition and for new leadership there in San Antonio. Pastor Emilio will be completing his ministry there at the end of March, and either returning to Guatemala, or engaging in other ministry here in the states. Pray with the Partner Church Advisory Team (PAT) and the local team searching for new leadership, especially during this time without pastoral leadership.

Lazarus & Veronica John – planters at All Nations church in Omaha NE ~~ please pray for this couple, along with children, Deng and Aguel (college age), and Chuok, Nyawuda, and Juoly in elementary school. Pray for the many new leaders that Pastor Lazarus continues to disciple and equip for ministry and leadership in the work of the church. He is working with several interns from area colleges on numerous community issues, and is hosting a youth ministry team from Northridge Friends Church in Wichita KS over Spring break. He actively leads the Omaha/Lincoln Sudanese ministerial Alliance and is also preparing to travel with EFM this spring to his homeland to establish new church planting efforts there. Veronica continues to support the family by working in an area hospital. Prayers are appreciated also for the PAT team comprised of leaders from EFC-MAYM and Iowa Yearly Meeting.

Isai & Sucely Ramos – planters at Iglesia Evangélica Amigos de Oklahoma City OK ~~ please pray for this couple, along with daughter Stephanie in elementary school, working to overcome some learning difficulties, and son Benjamin, growing and learning at their home. Continue to pray for some health issues that Sucely has been battling. Pray for the continued strength and energy for Isai, who is working at the Hobby Lobby store and striving hard to maintain and disciple new leaders. Pray for Sucely’s parents, the Aldana’s, who are now living in the city and assisting in this new ministry. Pray also for the leaders from First Friends and COK area that are supporting this ministry in so many ways.

Joel & Blanca Mayorga – planters at Iglesia Evangélica Amigos de Emporia KS ~~ please pray for this couple and the leaders here working alongside the members of First Friends Church to reach this community. Pastor Joel requests prayers for the work and for their personal financial support. They have need for new tires on the vehicle provided by the Zortman family from Fowler Friends Church.

Jeremiah & Wendy Williams – planters at Friends of Lawrence KS ~~   please pray for this couple, along with their little daughter Abi. This ministry team continues to reach out to their neighbors and to live their Friends witness to the community in new and exciting ways! Pray for Jeremiah as he works to renovate this historical church facility for God’s glory.

Dal (D.B.) & Sangita Tamang – planters at Living Friends Church in Ft Worth TX ~~ please pray for this couple along with their daughter, Neemah (20), and son, Silas (19) beginning this new Friends Church in northwest Ft Worth TX. Pastor D.B. is gathering new disciples from his apartment complex as well as numerous other communities from across the metro area. Their leadership team is requesting prayer for Pastor D.B.’s job situation and a feasible new worship location. I was privileged to preach there a couple Sunday’s ago. The congregation has around 50 men, women, and children gathered in, or I should say, packed into a member’s garage. A True Blessing!

Kumar & Jossuda Tamang – planters at St Paul Friends Church in St Paul MN ~~ please pray for this couple along with their two sons, Amrit (18) and Samuel (12) beginning this new Friends Church in the Roseville MN community outside of the St Paul MN area. The church shares a location with Galilee Lutheran Church and have around 30 new disciples in the ministry. They have an active community gardening ministry that is reaching into this predominantly Hindu refugee neighborhood. Their leadership team is requesting prayer for a ministry van to commute members to and from the church for services. Currently leaders are mobilizing their own vehicles for this outreach. Home Missions recently provided several new NIV and Nepali language Bibles for this ministry and the people were truly appreciative of the gift.

George & Beverly Miller missional planters in Caldwell TX ~~ pray for this couple beginning a new Friends vision in a community outside of the College Station TX area. Pray for acceptance and fellowship with neighbors and community to receive this new vision.

Lowell & Melissa Adams missional planters in Dripping Springs TX ~~ pray for this couple beginning a new Friends vision in a community outside of the Austin TX area. Pray for acceptance and fellowship with neighbors and community to receive this new vision.

– Randy Littlefield, Director of Multiplication Ministries

HMB Update | Empowering You Through Coaching

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

The EFC-MAYM Home Missions Board invests in powerful coaching tools through Logan Leadership to help empower people like you! The HMB prayer is that many will make the intentional decision to cooperate with God’s design for their lives and take advantage of these coaching resources. You don’t have to be a church elder, pastor or board chairman. For more information, please contact Randy Littlefield at 913.683.3831 or randyl@efcmaym.org.

What does it mean to have a coach? It means you will have an on-going conversation that empowers a person or team to fully live out God’s calling. Coaching is for equipping and multiplying leaders, developing discipleship and spiritual formation.  

“When one or a team receives coaching, they are given assistance in discovering God’s agenda for their life and ministry. Then and only then, through the Holy Spirit’s guidance, do the participants see that agenda become a reality.” (Gary Reinecke, Coaching 101 Handbook)

If you have a coach, you will not receive counseling, consulting, or advising.  It is also not the Bob Newhart method of yelling “Stop it!” when assisting a client. However, through coaching, you will have a Godly support system with someone to: Believe in you, Listen to you, Ask you questions, Clarify God’s plan, Celebrate with you, And PRAY for you and with you. Christianity is not a go-it-alone faith. “For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, ENCOURAGING, COMFORTING, AND URGING you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into His kingdom and glory.” I Thessalonians 2:11-12 NIV    

For more information, please contact your Area HMB leader or Randy Littlefield at 913.683.3831 or randyl@efcmaym.org.

“Leading A Multiplication Movement” | Update on Multiplication Ministries

Saturday, August 27th, 2016

Most transformational organizations, religious or otherwise, are launched with a certain ethos and energy that starts with a seminal vision/idea and swells like a wave to impact society around it. Take the Celtic Christians, the Moravians, early Pentecostalism, and closer to our time, the Vineyard, for examples of dynamic movements that have had global impact. It is perfectly true to say that most groups that have impact on either a local, national, or international level almost always begin with a form that sociologists call a movement. That is, there are some common characteristics that mark off the early phase of dynamic social movements that are distinct from the social structures of the later institutions that arise from them. This is as true for ecclesial, para-church, and mission agencies, as it is for corporations, community projects, political parties, and many other secular organizations.

However, in the midst of the rapid change and hyper-growth of almost everything around us, we as the Church have almost lost our voice to impact the culture. Now more than ever, what is “new and improved” becomes “old and worn out” in just a fraction of the ti21549278-b14a-4c56-a546-f1145ebadb26me. This dramatically impacts the mission of the church. As leaders responsible for our generation, we simply cannot expect significantly different outcomes using outmoded understandings of the church and culture. If churches are not prepared for what is here today, how will they respond to what lies ahead? So the good news is that we can become the church as it was always meant to be – a rapidly spreading, high impact, movement. We need not settle merely for striving in this rapidly changing world; Jesus’ people can actually thrive in it, and God willing, even redirect it. But if we are to do so, we will have to change. Our Heavenly Father has given us everything we need to get the job done.1

Church multiplication matters! First of all, because the church is the bride of Christ, but also the church is God’s intended vehicle to advance the gospel and grow believers into the image of Jesus. New churches matter because they are the most effective of all churches in reaching the lost around us. New church planting is no longer on the fringes of church life. It is now an anticipated and even preferred destination for new church leaders. It must be a priority for denominations, networks, and local churches. In our Friends Church movement our response to this challenge is a new non-profit organization that we have chosen to call, Multiplication Catalyst Ministries, or MCM Associates, which is easier to say!   Persons wiser than I have rightly recognized, that a committee or a board sometimes paralyzes the movement of God’s Holy Spirit.  Although you see, we are not planting churches so much as we are planting a movement; the movement of the Friends Church! We will identify, train, empower and champion any ready churches and Friends regions in North America over the next few years. Our mission is to reanimate a church movement by deeply embedding “a go with Jesus!” challenge into our local ministry culture.

With momentum coming out of our 2016 National Friends Church Multiplication Conference, my task along with our EFC-MAYM Home Missions Team, is continuing to oversee our new church planting projects, and also working with MCM Associates to complete the not-for-profit ministry incorporation, and raising future funding support, while actively recruiting regional point catalysts’ from each geographical entity across America. Once incorporated here in the state of Kansas, with Barclay College as the formal address, the core team of active apostolic leaders including Jim LeShana, Vice-President at Barclay College; David Byrne, Executive Director of Coalition of Hispanic Ministries; Mike Dennis, Pastor of Riverbend Friends in Tecumseh MI, and an EFC-ER Multiplication leader; Tom Palmer, former new church planter and leader in Iowa Yearly Meeting of Friends; Thayne Thompson will bring his experience, enthusiasm, and business background in as Treasurer; and I will be leading this newScreen Shot 2016-08-27 at 11.00.33 AMvision. Please pray with us, and also as God leads, challenge your local congregation to make a monthly financial commitment to this ministry. Make these pledges payable to MCM, and send them directly to Thayne Thompson at 807 N Timberleaf Dr. in Derby, KS 67037. Reap the blessings!

– Randy Littlefield, Associate Superintendent of Multiplication Ministries

 

The Journey Project

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

The Journey Project Internship – John Larson

Last summer the Wichita area Tribe of Friends and the EFC-MAYM Home Missions Board began praying, dreaming and ultimately planning together for a summer missional community internship. While we had originally hoped to have a small group of interns this summer, God opened up the door for just one: John Larson. John is a Barclay College student. He finished up his first year this spring and joined us in Wichita early this summer. John has brought with him a wealth of life experiences and a heart for God and for people at the margins.imageimage (1)

The primary goal of the Journey Project Internship is to practice learning about what God is doing in a particular location, a specific place…to learn who the people are, their culture, their beliefs..to find out what the harvest field looks like from within, and also to learn from and walk alongside the harvest force already working to bring the Gospel of the Kingdom in this place. John has been a faithful learner this summer. We look forward to what God has planned for him on his journey ahead. 

John will share more about his “Journey Project” in Wichita this summer at the EFC-MAYM Ministry Conference during the Home Missions Board Meeting Thursday, July 21st at 2pm. Pictured is John helping with the ESL Class at Evergreen Library as well as helping to clean out the Elpisimage (2)Locker for a clothing distribution to those in need.

– Carrie Corliss, Wichita, KS

Home Missions Update

Friday, April 29th, 2016

THE KINGDOM WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

HMB1 HMB2Across Evangelical Friends International, every day we see strong evidence that the Holy Spirit of our God is at work building the Kingdom of Jesus Christ in our world. Whether it is through the w­­­ork of Evangelical Friends Mission or in the communities across America. Certainly your Home Mission Board leaders believe that we must be about multiplying healthy disciples and churches across our region, and that it will take all kinds of new churches to reach lost people. With that challenge fresh in our minds, we also know and believe our Holy Spirit of God is out there working ahead of us to accomplish our Great Commission.

On the last deputation visit to America by Nepali missionaries John and Sangi Vanlal, they cast the vision of planting Asian Refugee churches in the states. I had opportunity to gather with their daughter, Georgina Tiak who works professionally in a social work organization, and a group of existing refugee leaders from the Kansas City, Kansas area to hear their vision and to pray for guidance. As the Vanlal’s returned to their work at home, they agreed to make us aware when capable church planting leaders received their visas to relocate here in the states. In early April, I received an email from Georgina, communicating the news that a family from Bhutan who had worked with her father in new church planting, would arrive from Kathmandu, Nepal to Houston, Texas, and were currently planning to settle in Ft Worth, Texas near a brother who sponsors them. She gave me names and contact information and I followed up making connections.

Through a phone conversation, I met Pastor D.B. Tamang, who introduced his wife, Sangrita, daughter Nema age 22, and son Silas age 19. Pastor D.B. had completed his theological education in Nepal and had planted three new churches working with John Vanlal in supporting the church-planting ministry. Both of the young adults had completed their high school education and speak English fluently, although the wife, Sangrita, does not. Through the U.S. Government Refugee Relocation program, the Tamang family found a residence in a large apartment complex in southwest Ft Worth, where many refugee families from all cultures find refuge.

In early April when the Home Mission Board had scheduled our regular Spring meeting over webex video conferencing, both Texas Area Multiplication Leader David Byrne and I were able to travel to Ft. Worth, Texas to meet this family in person. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience to hear their spiritual journeys and calling to plant a Refugee Church in the apartment complex, and also to meet Pastor D.B.’s mother, who received her visa and traveled here to Texas about two years ago, where she now resides with her other son. The Tamang family was introduced to HMB during this meeting, and later I found out other urgent information about their visa requirements that makes me aware that they have only three months scholarship on their residence before they have to begin to pay rent. During this relatively short period, they are all currently seeking secular employment, and also attempting to furnish their apartment to get settled. I communicated their needs during this time with my son-in-law Brad Martin, who currently pastors a Southern Baptist church in Hurst, Texas nearby, and they were able to provide some home furnishings to the Tamang’s, and are considering joining our local oversight team, or Partner Church team for this new plant. Additionally, Dave Byrne’s daughter Andrea and her husband live in Ft Worth and also made connection with Tamang family.

I have communicated regularly with Pastor D.B. and have established a coaching relationship. They are gathering with several new acquaintances from the apartment complex each week so far and are very excited about what doors God may be opening for further ministry. The Tamang family will join us this year at Sabbath Retreat and are looking forward to meeting others in the Friends community in the United States. Please pray for this new work and please challenge your local congregation to consider partnering by connecting with me.

– Randy Littlefield, Associate Superintendent of Multiplication Ministries

Home Missions Update | March 2016

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016
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John and Sangi Vanlal

Home Missions leaders have been praying for some time regarding a new church vision cast by EFM Missionary John Vanlal during their last deputation visit to America. The greater Kansas City area is home to a large settlement of Asian refugees, including the Nepali and Bhutani nationals. Some of these displaced people represent the Godly community transferred from the Friends ministry efforts of John and Sangi Vanlal in Nepal. Our previous connections between these beautiful people, include potential refugee pastors desiring to plant Friends Churches in our region. Since building relationships previously with the Nepalese community in Kansas City, KS, by way of Georgina Tiak, the Vanlal’s daughter, a recent contact with her now has a more urgent message.   She tells us that Pastor D.B. Lama and his family have arrived in Houston, TX where their short-term plan is for them to begin completing residency requirements and searching for more permanent plans for their future. The call on Pastor D.B.’s life is to continue in ministry with the Friends Church, and he comes highly recommended by John Vanlal.

We know that Jesus Himself was a refugee as a child, and then as He entered adult ministry, there are multiple examples where He demonstrated His love, compassion, and became actively involved with those who appeared to be outcasts and the marginalized of society. Please pray for the Holy Spirit’s work in drawing these ones unto the Father. Also pray for this dear family as they adjust to their new culture, new language, and living quarters. Pray for God’s leading in future connections with Pastor DB and others. Then pray that we as His servants may be found faithful.  Praying with you!

– Randy Littlefield, Associate Superintendent of Multiplication Ministries

 

From My Burden to His Vision | Home Missions Board Update

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

church_plantingWhen God desires to nudge His children into an area where He wants His Kingdom extended, He will often times put the beginning steps on the heart of one of His children in the form of a burden. Certainly because our Holy Spirit is working ahead of us in building His church, I witnessed this phenomenon when I had the great privilege to meet with Texas Area leadership and hear some wonderful testimonials of His work. He is actively working to stretch and to call new leaders to step through some new doors to join with Him in ministry.

Chase and Kristina Davenport have worked for a number of years in the area of youth ministry serving Friends Community Church of Angleton Texas. As they shared the story of the transition they see ahead for their ministry, they spoke of the reality of the cultural differences in the north and south of Brazoria County Texas, and how their burden to serve young people may open some new doors. Over the last few years most of their students have resided in the northern communities of Alvin, Pearland and Angleton Texas.   As they anticipate the growth of their youth groups, it appears that many of their future students will reside in the southern communities of Lake Jackson, West Columbia, and Angleton, Texas. So they shared their burden for these young adults whom they feel now could be open to allowing someone to step in and disciple them further as a potential new core group for a possible new church in Alvin Texas. We were asked to pray for Joey Fleming, who may be the person of peace at the core of this group, and for his girlfriend, Jessica, along with numerous others.

Don and Shar Owens, who have labored over the last few years in the ministry with Bayshore Friends Church in Bacliff, Texas also shared. We were encouraged to hear other stories of how their burden moved them to a vision for ministry. Don and Shar saw struggling people with addictions and many other issues of life in their communities of Bacliff, San Leon, and Texas City. They also told of the community outreach that they call Texas Tent Ministry, where they organize and serve with other area churches to hold old-fashioned revival services occasionally in their city. They shared of individuals who are now in new relationships with God and with others and how they are sharing in ministry. Their burden for these ones has grown over time, to include a Thursday evening gathering for praise and worship around a fellowship meal and encouragement for all. A good number of these new relationships have provided a growing edge for the Bayshore Church. We praised God for how these burdens had grown into significant visions for new ministry.

In addition, Texas Area leadership was thrilled with an impassioned testimonial from Walter Ginn Lawson of Friendswood about his desire to help each one he meets to know Jesus and to understand and obey God’s Word. Walter shared from his background as the son of a Korean mother and an American soldier father that he was able to track down and meet after coming to the states as a young adult.   He later served in the naval forces as a sea captain and eventually retired from the management of Houston’s largest commercial airports. He currently teaches aeronautical engineering at a local college and teaches and serves in the church at every opportunity. Certainly the stories of the evening were an inspiration to all. Pray with us as we strive to determine how to come alongside what our Holy Spirit is doing among us.

-Randy Littlefield, Associate Superintendent of Multiplication Ministries

Home Missions Board Update

Monday, September 7th, 2015

blogg-01Following an active search and an intense time of shared leadership by the local team, the Partner Advisory Team, chaired by Bob Mardock, is pleased to announce, effective August 1, 2015, that Pastor Emilio Sanchez (pictured 3rd from left) has been called as Lead Pastor at Iglesia Amigos de San Antonio, TX.

In the beginning of this plant, founding Pastor Runy Moscoso completed over two years of pioneering work to plant and launch this new church project. Lay leaders have guided the work the past year seeing growth while actively looking for a new pastor.

Please pray for Emilio and his team who are ministering in San Antonio. If you’re in the area, you would be blessed by attending their 10:30am services at

4450 Walzem Road, San Antonio, TX, 78218.

– Randy Littlefield, Associate Superintendent of Multiplication Ministries

Harvest Offering

Monday, September 7th, 2015

With new momentum and increasing desire to live life and do ministry in light of our new “We Have A Dream” document, the EFC-MAYM Home Missions  Board is launching a new offering for the Fall of this year, and we have chosen to call it the Harvest Offering. Harvest is a well-known theme in this bread-basket area of Middle America, and this theme also supports the idea of recognizing our God’s theme of working in His Harvest field of souls here in Mid America.

Prairie life has long relied on the concept of life-giving water pumped to the surface via the windmill powered by the mighty southwest winds blowing across the plains.  The seeds for the Windmill Fund were sown at Ministry Conference 2015.  This concept encourages established churches to give critical finances to support new church planting.  The cycle of support continues ultimately, as the new churches also begin returning a portion of their tithe back to support future new church plants.  As we envision the life drawn by the Windmill and the hope that is attached to a bountiful fruitful Harvest, we see these concepts combined in this offering.  Your gracious giving for the Harvest Offering for Home Missions will help our dedicated planters, families, and ministries to survive and thrive as they proclaim God’s truth to a lost and hurting world.

Information regarding this offering will be distributed to every Friends Church within the next two months, so as to allow time to gather the Offering.  Our desire is to begin an annual tradition, so continue to pray and plan for each November.  I am always available to come and meet to give further information as needed.  Please direct any questions to either myself, or to our Home Missions Board chairman, Charles Mullen.  May we each one be found faithful!   

– Randy Littlefield, on behalf of the Home Missions Board