APRIL 2016

ALEXANDER – A Christ-follower and Christian Leader

As Alexander shares about his ministry one cannot help but think of Peter and John in Acts 4:18-20 when they have been charged neither to speak nor teach about Jesus. Acts 4: 20 tells us that they responded, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” And Alexander does speak!

Alexander is a TCM graduate from a part of Central Asia where Islam is the predominant religion. For his safety as a Christ follower and for the safety of his church neither his last name nor his country can be disclosed. Even though Christians are regarded as members of a sect, the church in his country continues to grow and new leaders are being raised up and trained.

As the director of a Bible institute where he also teaches discipleship courses, Alexander feels a deep sense of satisfaction as he helps prepare and equip others. He works within a team that meets regularly to discuss new ideas and projects.

As a church elder and preacher he is involved in leadership of a newly-organized congregation as well as leadership in the “mother” church. In addition to preaching and serving as an elder he leads the ministry of in-home small groups.

Alexander says he has grown spiritually and academically through his studies at TCM. Courses such as Hermeneutics, Jesus and the Twelve, and Paul and the Early Church have had a special impact on him and the way in which he now serves in his own ministry. In addition to the course work, other students have provided enrichment through the examples of their ministries and their dedication.

Despite being believers in a country where Christianity is not welcome, Alexander and his team continue to speak and teach about what they have seen and heard.


Cow Barn Update 

Beds—lots of beds! Over the past few weeks the staff at Haus Edelweiss has purchased and assembled beds for the new apartments in the Cow Barn. THANK YOU STAFF! The apartments are not yet fully furnished but in a preview of things to come some of the single-night guests at graduation will be assigned sleeping quarters there. The completion of the renovation project is in sight!

MARCH 2016

2016 Winter Work Crew 2

A huge thank you to the men from Newbury Park First Christian Church, Newbury Park, CA and Indian Creek Christian Church, Indianapolis, IN for their service on the Winter Work Crew 2! They were able to complete the majority of the work on the Cow Barn renovation project. A key project was to install the tile on the steps from the ground floor to the third floor, requiring them to access the upper stories of the building by a ladder! Time ran out before they had the finishing touches done, but only a few days of work remain and then it will be ready for the last of the furnishings.

There is also time remaining for you to help with completion of the project! Still to be purchased and installed are beds and linens, pots and pans, dishes and tables, sofas and lamps, and every other item that is needed in an apartment (times 7)!

Thanks to the two GREAT winter work crews and to all who have made the project possible through prayers, service, and finances!


Student and graduate ministry snapshots

Oleg is a TCM student who leads ministries in Moldova and Turkey. In the last few years he has felt God leading him to help churches in Western Ukraine and Eastern Romania as well. As a result of that calling he and his team have developed a program whose mission is to reach the next generation for Christ. They are working with local churches to start centers where children and teens can build long-lasting relationships and meet Jesus. Part of their program involves providing food and teaching the young people life skills as they also teach about Jesus. Currently, they are providing such care for more than 500 young people each week!

Romi serves in ministry in a different area of Romania. A part of his ministry's focus is on serving a segment of the society that is often ignored. They have the opportunity to work with children who have disabilities and are living in state orphanages. They also provide care and encouragement to adults with disabilities. An additional facet to their ministy is providing summer camp opportunities for more than 800 children and teens each year. More than simply sports, music, or art camps the children are introduced to Jesus and His saving grace for each of them.

Bedrich, who lives and serves in Czech Republic shared exciting news about adding a fifth church to their network of churches. It is an opportunity for Becrich's ministry to help build healthy churches that plant churches!


Session 1 at Haus Edelweiss

The food will soon be purchased, the beds are almost made, and the classrooms are ready!

On Monday, March 28 seventeen short-term workers (STWs) along with four professors will be arriving at Haus Edelweiss to serve for Session 1 of the 2016 academic year. Within a few days, campus will be filled with activity as students from more than 14 nations arrive to complete coursework in one of four classes. Please begin praying today for their travels. Pray that the STWs will serve with the heart of Jesus. Pray that the students' time at Haus Edelweiss will provide refreshment and that time in the classroom will present new ministry ideas.

Courses during Session 1 include:

  • History of Christian Theology 1 taught by Oti Bunaciu
  • Indtroduction to New Testament Studies taught by Fred Hansen
  • Intercultural Studies taught by Mihai Malancea
  • Marriage and Family Life Education taught by Jim Buckley

JANUARY 2016

It's been a busy few weeks for TCM! Here in the United States we have attended the International Conference on Missions (ICOM), hosted Freddy, a TCM graduate from Czech Republic, and partnered with Truth at Work to present the premier leadership event "America's Best Hope." At Haus Edelweiss the academic year has ended and there are only a few in-country courses remaining before the end of 2015.  

Focusing on the topic of "The Away Team, Strategic Living in a Post-Christian World" speakers at ICOM in Richmond, Virginia challenged us to be bold in our faith, adopting new strategies as we live as Christ-followers in a changing world, one in which Christians are the "The Away Team."

Bedrich Smola, a TCM graduate and church planter in Czech Republic came to Indiana and helped spread the word about TCM through a variety of meetings and gatherings in the Indianapolis metro area. Coming from the most atheistic country in the world, it was a blessing to hear how a relevant Jesus is being brought to a very post-Christian world.  Thank you Lord for working through people like Bedrich! 

Friday, November 13th was a special day with many business people gathering across the country and in Mexico to attend the premier leadership event “America’s Best Hope.” At Newbury Park First Christian Church, Newbury Park, CA, a TCM partner church and simulcast site, the overwhelming response of so many was that “this was great – a great day of inspiration from business leaders.”  The business leaders who attended were often heard repeating the word “clarify,” referring to the importance of leaders helping those who work for them to have clear knowledge of expectations.  Our thanks to Christ’s Church at Mason, Mason, OH, Compass Christian Church, Colleyville, TX, First Christian Church, Council Bluffs, IA, First Church of Christ, Burlington, KY, Jessamine Christian Church, Nicholasville, KY, Newbury Park First Christian Church, Newbury Park, CA, Poplar Creek Church, Bartlett, IL, and Sherwood Oaks Christian Church, Bloomington, IN for hosting simulcast sites!

As of this writing the Haus Edelweiss campus is quiet with only staff there. It has been a great academic year with many people taking classes and many people serving them. We are thankful for the short term workers, long term workers, and professors who served throughout the year. We couldn’t do it without you!

At the many in-country teaching sites they too are quiet. The final courses for 2015 will end within the next few days.

Scattered among those events we've also had the opportunity to visit with a number of TCM friends. We are grateful to have been invited to provide ministry updates and be a part of fellowship and worship with you.

While it may seem that things are quiet at TCM that is only the outward appearance. Behind the scene the Haus staff is preparing for the winter work crew in January and the 2016 academic year, short term workers and long term workers are making travel plans, and professors are reviewing their materials and beginning online portions of some of the classes.

We would invite you to join us in prayer throughout the winter months. While there have been many blessings in 2015 there is much to be done in 2016 as we are Taking Christ to Millions by Training Christians for Ministry!

Blessings on your journey,

 

Debbie