Collegiate church expands to additional campus

By Lance Lijewski II

October 29, 2014

Nearly 400 students filled a Central Washington University theater in Ellensburg for the September 28 service.

ELLENSBURG, WA -- More than 380 people joined a team from Resonate Church in its launch service in late September for a new church site on the campus of Central Washington University (CWU) in Ellensburg, WA.


Several years of planning, several months of community, and several days of campaigning built a momentum that overwhelmed visitors, students and staff members alike.


With an unmatchable smile of gratitude and tears of joy welling up beneath his eyes, Resonate CWU staff worship leader Luis Cuevas stepped out from the room when worship ended.

“God has been really faithful,” he said. “I’m a bit overwhelmed to be honest.”


Keith Weiser, Resonate’s lead pastor, walked onto the room’s platform to introduce the church and the gospel to CWU students checking out the new church.


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Shoeboxes filled with love, good news

By Sheila Allen

October 27, 2014

Four hundred shoeboxes stand ready to be filled by members of First Baptist Church in Bingen, Wash. Leaders Don and Jean Hendricks shop all year long for bargains to fill the boxes that go around the world.

BINGEN, WA – Members of First Baptist Church of Bingen, WA, are proving that it isn’t the size of the congregation, but the size of their collective hearts that counts as they make efforts to brighten Christmas for 400 children in a remote part of the world this holiday season.


First Baptist volunteers have set increasingly high goals for themselves since joining efforts of Samaritan’s Purse to spread the gospel message through Operation Christmas Child.


“We start collecting materials the day after Christmas for the next year,” said Jean Hendricks, who works alongside her husband, Don, to lead the effort at First Baptist to fill shoe boxes with simple gifts, hygiene items, socks and school supplies. “The church supplies the plastic shoe boxes and we search for bargains all year long.”


With new pastor Patrick Tapia settling in at First Baptist in recent weeks, the church is feeling a sense of rejuvenation and has seen its attendance increase to 25.


The Hendrickses and other volunteers search for deals on pencils, matchbox cars, candy, coloring books, small stuffed animals and other assorted items wherever they go and find them at dollar stores, discount shopping centers and new items at garage sales.


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Northwesterners rub shoulders with East Asia missionaries

By Sheila Allen

October 27, 2014

Gwen Moor, Alice Cotten and Miriam Rainwater took time to pray for individuals brought to their attention through IMB field representatives. The events were held at nine locations throughout the Northwest.

GRESHAM, OR – “Most people have not rejected the gospel, but have just never heard the gospel,” said Steve Ellis, International Mission Board affinity group strategy leader for East Asia.


Ellis joined 10 IMB colleagues from various locales throughout East Asia who are touring the Northwest and speaking at nine separate East Asia One-Day conferences in October.


“They don’t even know that Jesus Christ exists and are not illuminated to the truth,” Ellis said at Greater Gresham (OR) Baptist Church, site of the initial conference. “The harsh reality is most people will spend eternity in hell.”


The day-long events were held to strengthen Northwest Baptists’ understanding of the need for people to become intimately involved in sharing the good news of Jesus with the 654 people groups that represent 1.67 billion people in East Asia, more than 24 percent of the world’s population.

The Northwest Baptist Convention’s executive board approved a partnership with the International Mission Board’s East Asia group with the hopes of sending teams from across the Northwest to portions of the continent over the next several years.

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Newlyweds plunge into ministry in East Asia

By Sheila Allen

September 29, 2014

Christian and Lisa Vargas, members of Kennewick (WA) Baptist Church, were welcomed to a Himalayan town in East Asia with a ceremony at a local restaurant and given ceremonial scarves.

KENNEWICK, WA – Just weeks prior to the day they shared their wedding vows, newlyweds Christian and Lisa Vargas sat in the morning worship service and heard Kennewick Baptist Church lead pastor Dustin Hall describe an opportunity for ministry in East Asia.


“Lisa and I were in church that morning and knew it was an amazing opportunity,” said Christian Vargas. “We heard Dustin mention that he had met ‘Sam,’ a Buddhist monk who started a school for nomadic children in the shadows of the Himalayan Mountains. Sam was so anxious to have someone teach English to the children that he was open to the possibility of them sharing about their faith. Dustin said this is our foot in the door to this part of East Asia.”


In the spring of 2014, Hall journeyed with Northwest Baptist Convention executive director Randy Adams and other Northwest Baptist pastors who fanned out over several regions of East Asia on a scouting trip for a proposed partnership between the NWBC and International Mission Board personnel serving people in East Asia.


“I knew I felt a strong desire when Dustin presented the information to the church and said that two people were needed to teach English for two weeks in the foothills of the Himalayas,” Christian stated. “But we didn’t talk about it for a month and when we did we knew we didn’t have the $2,500 each needed to make the trip.”


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Church plants prepare to take flight

By Sheila Allen

September 18, 2014

A 'parachute' team that worked in Tumwater, WA, spent the summer of 2012 building relationships and having spiritual conversations for a potential church plant in the area. From left are Stephanie Gibson, Monya Brown, Jake Blackman and Kyle Baldock.

LONGVIEW, WA – Winds of spiritual change are blowing in the Northwest Baptist Convention’s southwest Washington region, resulting in a surge of church planting activity.


The area stretching from Longview, WA, in the south, through Washington’s political center of Olympia and ending at the edges of the Olympic Peninsula, has not seen a successful church start in three decades, according to NWBC Region 2 missionary Phil Peters.


“When my role transitioned to the NWBC regional model from the Southwest Baptist Association, my partner Gary Floyd and I visited all the churches in our region,” said Peters. “Since that time there has been a cultural shift from ‘don’t talk to us about church planting’ to having some events occur that bumped it along.”


An earlier NWBC reorganization and subsequent North American Mission Board initiative to start many more new churches was an impetus for Peters and all NWBC-related church planting consultants to sharpen the focus on seeking fertile ground for new congregations.


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Fall 2014 complete issue

2014 Fall final.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [29.4 MB]