All Blogs at Grace

Crystal Fourman’s Testimony

All my life I have been searching for something, I didn’t know what. I was always trying to fill this void in my life with everything you can think of from relationships and material things to drugs. Nothing ever satisfied me. It was great for a little while but then the exitement would wear off and I would move on to the next thing. I didn’t realize until this past summer that Jesus Christ was all I ever needed, he filled that void inside of me.What I was searching for was my soul and he alone made me alive inside. I know now that I was spiritually dead in my sin and I needed a Savior. When Jesus went to the cross for me he took my sin with him and I have been forgiven. I am a witness to his resurrection because I feel the Holy Spirit alive inside of me. I no longer have to carry my shame or guilt of my past life because I have been born again In Christ. By the grace of GOD I have been choosen and will someday live eternally with my precious Father in heaven.

Rachel Wright’s Testimony

I’m getting baptized because I believe in Christ and want everyone to know. To me, getting baptized means telling everyone that I love Jesus and want to follow Him. A few months, I was starting to doubt that Jesus was real. I talked to one of my teachers and she said to keep believing. Then, I started praying about it and God helped me to have faith. I believe that Jesus is my Savior and He is the only way to heaven. I believe Jesus had to die for our sins or we would have to die. I also believe Jesus is God’s Son and died and rose three days later. I’m thankful God has given us His grace so, if we believe, we can go to heaven.

Nilsen Update

Bob flies out tomorrow (Wednesday) for the States. His total time in layovers equals his total airtime = 7 hours 50 minutes! Please be in prayer for the connections, safety and his back (it doesn’t like airline seats.)

Friday he heads to Warsaw for his brother’s memorial on Saturday at 4PM. Please be in prayer for this time. Bob is happy (he says Jealous!) that Dennis is in Heaven, but obviously sad that he no longer has his brother here.

I will remain in the DR while he is gone. With the new apartment that the LORD has provided us, I feel comfortable with staying alone.

Thank you for your many emails and prayers!

Bob & Anna Nilsen

Praises from the Dominican Republic!

Bob & Anna Nilsen, Missionaries to the Dominican Republic

Bob has been fighting an infection in his leg, that at one point looked like it had gone into the bone. Praise God, it was not in the bone and Bob was able to incise and drain it. It is now responding to antibiotics and healing nicely. Praise the Great Physician!

Many of you have been praying for Bob’s brother, Dennis, who was diagnosed with cancer a while back. Last night (Saturday) we received word that Dennis had gone home to the LORD. Dennis loved his Jesus and was ready to go…He told Bob a few weeks ago that he would save a seat for Bob when he got there! So Dennis spent his first day in the presence of our Savior today! Praise the Great Redeemer!

Please pray for Bob as he prepares for a memorial service for Dennis in 2 weeks in Warsaw, IN. It most likely will be the weekend of May 7th-8th. Not sure which day yet.

We have a med team arriving the end of this week. Bob will give them their med orientation, go out with them on Monday and then fly to Dayton either Tuesday or Wednesday. He’ll be in the States probably a week. Praise the LORD that we are now in an apartment where I feel comfortable staying while he is gone. Praise the Great Provider!

Lessons from Nehemiah

To all those contemplating ministry,

In the first installment of this study there were many lessons to be learned about being personally involved in reaching a lost world during our time.  The church of Jesus Christ of each generation has responsibility for reaching its own generation.  The present church is struggling by not knowing what is going on in the world.  The present church in the US is struggling to reach the world because we are not beseeching our Father to send forth laborers into His harvest, not praying for our missionaries, and not praying for open doors to reach the lost.  We have not confessed our sins and drunk deeply of the Word of God.  We are not reaching our generation, because we aren’t prepared or developing a plan.   When there is a plan we usually don’t include ourselves in that plan.  Also, much like Jerusalem of old, our churches lie waste and we are a reproach for failing to fulfill the ministry to our own generation.

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Hola! from the Dominican Republic

We arrived home to our apartment Tuesday at midnight. Only one hour later than expected due to storms in Miami. We were tired, but glad to be back.

Wednesday Bob had a new Medical Team to meet at the airport in the afternoon, Thursday we were in the clinic, and today Bob is out with that med team. So, life is back to normal for us~

Thank you to everyone for all of your prayers, esp regarding Bob and his brother Dennis. We will keep you posted on how Dennis is doing.

Thanks also for the encouragment we received from many regarding our recent move. We knew we needed to move for various reasons. Hearing positive statements from so many of you was reassuring and a blessing to our hearts. The LORD has truly blessed us with this new place and we are very thankful!

We love you all and miss you, but it is so good to be home!

love,
~anna~
for both of us

The Gospel is Proclaimed

The following report was submitted by Timothy Wolfe, missionary with SCORE International to the Dominican Republic.

02/20/11 Sunday

We had our first church service in the new Juan Dolio church. We had a full house! After service, we had baptism in the SCORE pool; there were six baptized this morning.

02/21/11 Monday

Today we were in La Colina, the church of pastor Jonnie. We got off to a slow start as we waited for Blanco to gas up the truck and the bus. Finally we left but there was a mix-up on lunch and we had no sandwiches for the interpreters or SCORE staff; this got straightened up a few hours later. The CWE groups always prepare their own meals as they are afraid of intestinal problems and take no chances. We had many people show up for clinic and the CWE team was efficient for their first day. There were two dental stations, an eyeglass station, three medical stations and three evangelism stations. We had close to 400 people in clinic and everyone had the opportunity to hear the gospel and respond. We saw all of the adults who showed up for clinic and finished at a reasonable time.

02/22/11 Tuesday

We went to a large village south of Consuelo named Angelina. SCORE hopes to start a church there; another Baptist church Consuelo has tried for two years without success. We saw 399 people today in the clinic and everyone was presented the gospel. Some said that they were not interested in receiving Christ and eternal life but 108 people professed Christ. The people were told that a church service would be held in their town in two weeks by the SCORE pastors. The weather was hot today.

02/23/11 Wednesday

Today Evelyn went with the medical team down the street to the new SCORE church. Again they treated and gave the gospel to around 350 people. I spent the morning on a small construction project for the clinic; it will be open tomorrow or general medical while today it was open with an Optometrist and had good business. In the afternoon I helped Jim Dixon with a maintenance project.

02/24/11 Thursday

We went to San Pedro to a neighborhood church called Nueva Palestina. It is the second oldest of pastor Geraldo’s seven churches. It is a quiet neighborhood and started off a little slow, but as the word got out we had around 350 people in clinic by the end of the day. People on the team are getting a little tired and it was a warm afternoon, but we saw everyone who wanted medical attention. Again, everyone was given the gospel.

In the evening we had a SCORE meeting at the Embassy suites. The entire SCORE family was there as testimonies were given and Ron Bishop turned leadership of SCORE over to John Zeller. It was a long evening and we got home late. Several people were very tired as they had worked in ministry all day.

Frank and Stephanie Szymanski’s Testimonies

I do not see my baptism as the end but only the beginning of my journey with Jesus Christ.

Today I confess my sins before my brothers and sisters and before God.  I ask for your guidance in my Christian walk through accountability, wisdom and the word.

For many years I struggled with faith.  I never felt worthy of joining a church community.  Since attending at Grace my life has changed for the better.  I understand now, I am saved by the death of Jesus on the cross.  He died for my sins and his death is my death.  His resurrection is the resurrection of my soul away from eternal death, to eternal life.  I know now that it is by God’s grace alone we are saved.

I observe examples of the man I aspire to be, by observing the men God has placed here to shepherd me.  Just as in Matthew 3, Jesus’ Baptism opened heaven for all mankind; I feel this church community has opened my heart to Jesus as never before.

My sins died on the cross, a debt I can never repay.  I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior and I ask for Baptism today both for repentance, and as an outward sign of my faith and commitment.

I was raised in a loving home with good, hard-working parents.  My dad took us to the Catholic Church every Sunday.  But when I was 16, I started going to the Bible-believing church.  I continued going there through high school and became very interested in the things of God.  After high school I attended Cedarville.  It was at that time I had been struggling with the question of was I saved?  I wasn’t really sure.  I became convinced that I needed the Lord as my savior and accepted Him.  All these good and right things I had in my life were not enough to save me.  So after the conference, when I was 18 I had accepted Him as my savior from my sin and Him alone.

About twelve years ago, I was baptized by sprinkling in another church I attended.  But now that we have been attending Grace for about three years, I wanted to be baptized by immersion with my husband to follow Christ’s example because it represents His death and resurrection.

Romans 6:3-5 states that, “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?  Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.  For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection.”

Christ is that newness of life for me.

Sports, Prisons and… Jesus!

The Highlands Sports Complex

The Highlands Sports Complex

The following report was submitted by Timothy Wolfe, missionary with SCORE International to the Dominican Republic.

1/22/11 Saturday

Lots of exciting things happening today.

  1. We had the dedication of the Highlands.  The Rawlings family was there as were many dignitaries and area pastors.  It was a big event with 4-500 in attendance.  After the ceremonies there was a buffet dinner.  The SCORE family and the Fenton family attended.  A couple representatives from the Dogers and the Reds were there as well as DR sports ministers.  Abby gave the closing prayer.
  2. On the way home, we saw a line of police vehicles followed by a line of school and tour buses.  They had captured Haitians and were taking back to Haiti.  Abby was to go this week and take some needed supplies to a church but the border is now closed.
  3. New Church Site

    New Church Site

    CWE arrives today and will start building the new church.  Here is a picture of the construction site ready to go.

  4. The One Mission Society (OMS) was here with representatives and 6 Columbian pastors.  They are wanting to start a ministry here and now, after talking to us, may eventually join the ministry at SCORE.
  5. Representatives from the McLean Virginia church are here.  The youth group has raised $100,000 to build a child care center and went to Quisquey today to look for property to build it on.
  6. The Bruseau dental team arrived this afternoon and there are allot of familiar faces in the group.  It is good to see them.
  7. 1/16/11 Monday

    Took the medical group to La Pinon today. It is a small church plant about 2 years old, by pastor Maximo. It is a dirty little village with a nice school house. The group gave a gospel presentation, testimonies and preaching both morning and afternoon. They had an area for child evangelism activities and played the Jesus film all day. We had dental, OB-GYN, eyeglasses and general medical. We saw over 200 people in clinic. It was a beautiful, sunny day.

    1/17/11 Tuesday

    Today we took the team to El Seibo which is North and East about 1 ½ hour from SCORE. We went to the prison; it was built to house about 300 prisoners but now has over 1,300. The place is filthy. The men have a courtyard in the middle of around 150 foot square with the 1,300 of them. Men sleep on concrete at night as there are not enough beds. The men get one meal a day and there is no clean water unless they purchase it. The conditions are very hot and crowded. The team saw all kinds of skin diseases. A few men were treated for gunshot wounds. One man was admitted to the prison the night before and was beat up severely and was passing blood. After being seen by the doctors, he tried to refuse to go back into the prison but was forced to. We also saw them bring around 12 new inmates during the day.

    Our whole purpose in being there was to help a prison ministry get a foothold in the prison. The ministry by Dave Walden has permission from the top government officials to establish a rehabilitation program in all of the prisons and we were the second phase of the plan. The plan started on the weekend when 15 local churches did a prayer walk around the prison. There is a church in the prison which is very clean; 50 inmates sleep there on concrete benches. Today Dave brought in a camera crew (Channel 13) from the capital to film our clinic and the conditions in the prison; it will be on national television and bring awareness to the conditions. We treated around 200 today in medical and dental.

    1/19/11 Wednesday

    We went to the San Pedro fire station. It was a beautiful day and we had a crowd of people. Everyday this week we have had people making decisions for Christ; today was no exception. Again, the group gave testimonies, preached and performed a skit. People responded throughout the day. We saw well over 200 in the clinic today. At noon, the fire chief was given 9 turnout suits that had been donated from fire stations in New York. This is really needed as the firehouse has little equipment or money. Much of their equipment is inoperable or in bad condition. Bill Hickey also spent the morning giving an in-service training on EMT and fire medical techniques.

    Timothy F. Wolfe

    John 11:25-27

Michelle Steffen’s Testimony

Jesus came to Earth, sent by God the Father. He was sent to shed His blood for my sins. My sins have been cast as far as the East is from the West. I believe in Christ and that He has covered my sins with His blood. I have a personal relationship with Him and want to become baptized to proclaim publicly that Christ is my eternal Savior. Jesus Christ has blessed me richly in my life, even when I don not deserve His mercy, He grants me with it.