Sunday, August 7, 2016

Meet the Board (Zane Ownes)

We interrupt this week's regularly scheduled message to share an important update concerning the matching grant.  We had an overwhelming response and have already exceeded the $5,000 grant.  We are grateful to each person who participated in this but even more important than that is that we praise God for His faithfulness.  If you planned to give but didn't get to participate in the matching grant, your gifts will still be appreciated.  We now have enough up-front funds to put Austin and Taylor through language school and only need a few hundred more dollars per month to keep them on the field and then we will begin working on Ben and Julie's funding.  If anyone else is interested in providing another matching grant please let us know.

Now back to the regularly scheduled message from Pastor Zane, another member of our Board of Directors.....

Hi, I’m Zane Owens and I have the privilege of serving on the board of directors for New Beginnings. I’ve served with Ben and Julie in ministry for seven years now, was Austin and Taylor’s youth pastor through their high school years, and I am currently blessed to serve this wonderful family as their pastor. It’s because I know this family so well, their heart for God and their passion to make Him known to all nations that I have no reservations of being a part of this ministry and I was humbled, as well as honored, when asked to be on the board.

I am so excited about what God is doing, and going to do, in the Agees’ lives and ministry. But, if I am to be completely honest with you, I must admit, that this is a bitter-sweet occasion for me. On one hand I’m thrilled about this opportunity, this ministry, and I can hardly wait to see what God is going to do. But, on the other hand, I will miss them greatly once they are on the field. This family has become precious friends of ours and we love them dearly, so this is an exciting time (spiritually speaking) yet a gloomy time (humanly speaking) for me.  Am I the only one who has an inner struggle between the spirit and the flesh?  Does anyone else have to constantly be on guard to not let their own desires and preferences take the leading role? Man, this is a battle that I regularly fight. How about you?   Why don’t we pause for a minute and pray for each other as we try to navigate through these troubled waters of humanity?  Go ahead, I’ll wait………

Ok, so “New Beginnings”… I love this name. There is no better, or more important, thing that we can do than to offer the people of this fallen world a new beginning in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”  This is the ultimate goal of New Beginnings, to share the good news of Jesus Christ and make disciples. In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus gave His followers our final orders before He ascended into heaven.  He said, And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."  At New Beginnings, we believe that Jesus meant what He said and so we are committed to accomplishing the Great Commission and make disciples of all nations.  Salvation of the lost, this is the driving passion of this ministry.  So some questions and answers:

Q – How do we bring salvation to the lost?
A – Romans 10:13-17 For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved." How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!" But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?" So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”   We take the Word of God to them.

Q – How do we get them to listen to our message?
A – This is where the orphan ministry finds its foundation.  It has been often said that people do not care what you know until they know that you care. This is so true; a homeless man probably won’t pay much attention to your speech about the Bread of Life or the Living Water when they’re physically hungry and thirsty. But, if you will first meet their physical need, showing them that you care, this will open up doors of opportunity to share the Gospel.  This is the principle that New Beginnings operates on with orphans. Before we can share the good news of a loving heavenly Father to children who are fatherless we must first be a father (and/or mother) to them and meet their physical and emotional needs. It’s then that we are afforded the opportunity to share with them the love of THE FATHER.

That’s the purpose and desire of this ministry, to provide a safe, stable, nurturing environment for at risk children, so that we can offer to them a New Beginning in Christ!  I will never forget, and will forever be thankful, for the first time I was blessed to go to Honduras and meet the precious children in the orphanage. It forever changed my life. When I returned the following year, the love and passion in my heart for these little ones just grew even more and so, I was thrilled when the Agee family told me that they had heard God’s call to orphan ministry on a full time basis. I pray for and look forward to many trips in the future. 
Please prayerfully consider being a partner to this ministry.  If you are able to give financially, what a blessing that would be. Like everything else in this world, this ministry takes money to operate, so would you pray about it?   Maybe you hear God speaking to you to go to Honduras and see firsthand the work that God is doing there.  Now we’re not ready for short term missionaries just yet, but you can be praying and preparing (learning Spanish will be a great help to you) so that when we are ready, you can be one of the very first to come and be a part of this amazing work.  If you’re not able to do either of these, would you commit to being an intentional, routine prayer partner with us?  You cannot overestimate the importance of having a team of believers behind you, holding you up through the power of prayer.  Would you commit to this? 
I am so excited to be part of this ministry and I eagerly wait to see what God is going to do in and through it!  
Until He Returns,
Pastor Z

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and
widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”

James 1:27

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