We give mission support in several ways. First is through our National Presbyterian World Mission program. This support is currently directed to partners serving in the Middle East (Syria, Lebanon & Iraq), Elmarie & Scott Parker. See the kiosk in the entry at church for more info. on their work.
The second way we support is to directly give to people who have become friends of our congregation through personal interaction. Linda & Larry Whiting work with Mission Aviation Fellowship; Anne Thomas works in Southeast Asia with literacy projects, teaching people to read in their native and national languages; and Cami and Andy Flege work with Project Hope Worldwide at the boarding school in Lira Uganda. Each of these missions are supported through the regular church budget. Funds come through the regular offerings in worship services.
Every fifth Sunday we have a “Noisy Offering”. This offering is collected by our middle school or high school students, in metal cans. We drop in coins, thus the noisy name. The young people choose where that special offering will be sent.
Our belief that God is calling all of us to “love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind & strength; and to love our neighbors as ourselves”, compels our response.
Operation Christmas Child
FHPC is a drop off Location for Operation Christmas Child, a national mission project by Samaritan’s Purse. In mid-October we provide Christmas wrapped shoe boxes for our church and community to fill with toys and other items for needy children in 100 nations. Your box may be the first or only gift many of these children have received. We provide suggestion lists to help you shop for age-appropriate toys, hygiene products, and school supplies. Our women’s mission fellowship group, Mary Martha Circle, enjoys filling ten boxes each year. Soon after Thanksgiving, our volunteers pack your filled shoe boxes into shipping containers and our partner Friday Harbor Freight, carries them off the island to another drop off location where they continue on for final inspection and worldwide destinations. The efforts of FHPC result in the donation of over 100 boxes. For more information visit samaritanspurse.org/occ
Sign up today to sponsor a child at http://www.projecthopeworldwide.org and dare to see what blessings God has in store for you! It’s one of the best investments you’ll ever make!
Outreach to Recovery
This ministry involves providing meeting space for AA, Al-Anon, NA, and OA meetings. Several members of our church participate in some of these meetings, and our church is particularly mindful of this ministry need.
Severe Weather Shelter
This activates at our 395 Spring Street location on a rotating basis during periods of severe weather. Guests are supplied with food and a warm place to sleep. The SWS is supported by donations through United Way of San Juan County, and is staffed by local, trained volunteers. This is a new ministry for us and our church’s participation in this community-wide program is spearheaded by 1 member of our church.
This ministry seeks to build friendships in the life of the church family. There are 2 volunteer teams who provide the coffee hour after worship on Sunday, taking turns with the Deacons and the Mary Martha Circle. They also plan congregational “game nights”. This is an all-volunteer ministry involving about 3 dozen volunteers. They do not have a regular meeting.
News from the FlegesSpring 2019
“IT is a very great folly to despise “the day of small things,” for it is usually God’s way to begin His great works with small things. We see it every day, for the first dawn of light is but feeble, and yet by and by, it grows into the full noontide heat and glory. We know how the early spring comes with its buds of promise, but it takes some time before we get to the beauties of summer or the wealth of autumn.”
– bits of a sermon on Zechariah chapter 4 from Spurgeon, 1883
God has been talking to me about small things this term. When we feel frustrated with how long things take to get started, or pressured by time bearing down on us, or wondering how well things will continue after we’re gone, He seems to come in from all angles to set us straight. A random email, a note of encouragement from a friend, even a sermon from eons ago.
Our Spring term is more than 2/3 behind us already, and it feels like we’ve barely gotten started with the Vocational School. It’s a very small beginning…but it’s started. And we’ll trust God to grow it into whatever shape, form, and purpose He has in mind for it to ultimately take.
It began with the construction of a small workshop off the back of our store building. Andy spent many hours building shop workbenches that are so stout they’ll probably still be standing after the apocalypse, and building computer tables, tool lockers, and buying up most of the tools in Lira. The shop is now in use for both carpentry and metalworking class at alternate times. It is quite small, but works. Hoping one day for the funds to be able to erect a dedicated vocational training building with more space allocated for each trade, so classes can go on concurrently, as more kids enter the program.
Each Secondary student has chosen one vocation to study, out of carpentry, metalworking, and tailoring, and these classes have been fitted into their regular school week. It’s difficult to make time for these, so they only get about 3 hours a week on it, but they’re learning. Each student is also taking a basic intro computers/keyboarding class. They seem to love it and always show up when I offer open computer lab time on the weekends. It’s exciting to see them trying things that are brand new to them and struggling through the learning process. Classes have been going for 4 or 5 weeks now and we have about 3 teaching weeks left this term. Some pictures of our kids at work in their vocational classes are at the end.
Our biggest challenge has been in the area of curriculum. When we arrived here in February, we were able to get some materials from the government, giving us a syllabus-like overview of each vocation that we’re teaching; but so far we’ve been unable to get our hands on actual curriculum or the test items that the kids will eventually be assessed on. This has resulted in both of us spending a great deal of time writing our own curriculum for each class. It’s been a difficult process and both of us will be coming home with less hair. You know the feeling when you have to do something you don’t really know how to do but have no other choice than to just try. I hope and pray that the things we’re including are the same things that the government will ultimately test the kids on. We don’t have any way of knowing this, yet. Please pray with us that the DIT will release to us the actual curriculum or test items. They have “said” they will but they haven’t done it yet.
I also want to share with you about the youth group that was started this term with the secondary students. We’re studying the book of James. They’re learning, enjoying it and have taken ownership of their group by assigning leaders amongst themselves to handle various aspects of the group.
A couple of weeks ago they were given a service opportunity—to handle the entire service for the community church here—everything from leading worship, to announcements, special presentations, ushering, collecting the offering, giving testimonies, leading prayers, and preaching the message! They did not disappoint. It was truly a blessing to experience, we couldn’t have been prouder of them! All 16 of our group performed a role of one type or another, many with confidence and skill. Some testified to what God has done for them by rescuing them out of their former lives and bringing them into Calo Me Lare; Amos preached the message, speaking about what they’ve been learning about trials from James chapter 1.
We’re wrapping up this term on May 8th and heading to Oklahoma to attend RIPPLE, Project Hope’s 10th annual fundraising gala, and on home from there, on the 11th. We plan to be in the US for the next term, as it’s time for us to earn our living and spend some time with our family. It’s been a privilege to spend 6 of the last 8 months here in Uganda. We want to say thanks for the support and prayers that have sustained us here. In the fall, our friends Dennis & Margie (the US Directors) will be returning to CML for 3 months. We’re excited for this opportunity both for them and for the people here at CML who have been missing them a lot. We don’t know yet when we ourselves might return, and are praying about that.
Here are some things we’d love for you to pray with us for:
- forward progress in successfully registering the vocational school (favor with the government)
- that we’ll be given the test items/curriculum by the DIT as promised
- funding for the vocational school
- recruitment of qualified and inspiring teachers to carry the classes forward
- that God will use RIPPLE in a mighty way to benefit orphans and vulnerable children around the world
- safety and health for our CML kids as they go home to their villages for 3 weeks in between terms
- God’s direction and leading for us personally, in work at home for the summer, and in terms of when to
return to Uganda, and His provision for all things needed in order to do that
God bless you during this Holy week—we pray you experience Christ’s presence and power in your lives as you celebrate Easter!
Andy & Cami Flege