Nepal one year later

By Caroline Anderson, Baptist Press

June 2, 2016

The April 2015 earthquake in Nepal was a galvanizing moment for church planter Rajaan Chhetri.* Prior to the earthquake, God gave Chhetri and Christian worker Reece Dehn* the vision to open a water bottling plant in Nepal to create jobs for Christians as well as meet a need for clean drinking water.

 

Though Nepal is the second water-richest country in the world, sources say 3 million Nepalese drink contaminated water and 85 percent drink water below international safety standards. The need for clean water and jobs grew post-earthquake.

 

At that time, however, God revealed to Chhetri an even greater need.

 

"Three days after the earthquake, I prayed to God, 'Lord, why did you spare us? It would have been better if we died because we were a whole family together, with the church, on that morning. Living and surviving after that is difficult,'" Chhetri said.

 

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East Asia mission team prepares

By Sheila Allen

June 2, 2016

A leap of missions progress occurred recently as 160 people convened for training in advance of an East Asia trip sponsored by the Northwest Baptist Convention. Months of preparation led to the planning and information day for volunteers from 31 churches in Washington, Idaho and Oregon for the cross-global journey slated later this summer.

 

Northwest Baptist churches sent members to the Northwest Baptist Center in Vancouver in groups that varied in size from a single volunteer to a group of 27 arriving on a church bus. Volunteers have spent months raising funds, completing paperwork and preparing spiritually for the joint effort, which will meet programming needs for over 500 children of International Mission Board personnel who serve in various East Asia countries for a 10-day conference.

 

“It was great to go to the training; it was very helpful and I was really encouraged by the prayer time at the end,” said Amanda Davis of Valley Baptist Church in McMinnville, OR, who is traveling with a team of four to serve in East Asia.

 

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Northwest Women's Summit

By Kelsey Fitzpatrick

June 2, 2016

More than 150 women representing 48 Northwest Baptist Convention churches gathered in Vancouver, WA, in mid-April for the annual Northwest Women’s Summit. The diverse group joined for a weekend of worship, teaching and personal development.

 

“I just love being surrounded by women that I can learn from and look up to,” said Vanessa Tiller, a high school senior from Springfield, OR, and a first-time participant at the event.

 

Heidi Pound of Portland, OR, echoed Tiller’s sentiment: “It’s a great time for ladies to gather to refresh and reflect on what the Lord has done and is doing. There are great break-out sessions that provide opportunities to engage and grow in the Lord.” It was her second time to attend the summit.

 

The women gathered for three general sessions kicked off with corporate singing led by Audrey Evans, a staff at Greater Gresham (OR) Baptist Church. The weekend’s theme song -- “Good, Good Father” -- connected well with the subtheme “Going Deeper with a Good, Good God.” Margaret Waldrop, a former Northwesterner, shared theme interpretations.  The women also heard stories about the victories, pressures, and struggles of two retired IMB missionaries, Kaye Martin and Lori Pengra. 

 

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Rode House, for bikers who 'don't like' church!

By Peter Madsen

June 2, 2016

Rode House pastor Kinne Callaway speaks with fellow church goers following a service.

A flock of bikers thundered toward the Wildhorse Harley-Davidson dealership on a Sunday morning in Bend.

Rocking as much leather as their motorcycles wore chrome, the congregation filled up Wildhorse’s back room. Around 50 people clutched coffee and donuts as they settled into folding chairs. The chains affixed to their wallets and jackets clinked, and the air carried the sweet aroma of lived-in leather and motor oil.

A New Living Translation Bible lay on a stool at the center of the room. Pastor Kinne Callaway would soon open it to start his sermon.

This is The Rode House. Its motto, “The Church for Bikers Who Don’t Like Church,” helps explain Sunday’s turnout.

Callaway is a leather-vested man who sports a white handlebar mustache and a warm demeanor.

At these sermons, there is no music or singing. Instead, audience members pipe up midservice with questions, confirmations and wisecracks, to which Callaway responds in kind.

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Student Conference 2016

By Sheila Allen

June 2, 2016

Trinity Church youth group, Clackamas, OR, with Student Conference speaker Christ Simning.

The physical impairment affecting his motor skills and speech are obvious upon meeting Chris Simning, but it has only enhanced his ability to communicate, as evidenced by the rapt attention given while he shared his testimony of God’s goodness during the recent Northwest Baptist Convention’s student conference.

 

Quiet is a rare commodity in an auditorium filled with hundreds of teenagers, but students from across the Northwest listened eagerly to Simning as he gave accounts of his life and commitment to Jesus.

 

“After I was stricken with a muscle disease in the eighth grade, I was put on an experimental drug in my senior year,” Simning said. “The side effects made me sick and gave me severe diarrhea. I wanted God to be a fast food God – to heal me and I was disappointed in him.”

 

As a senior trip to a lake boat approached for his youth group, Simning didn’t want to go just to watch his friends swim and water ski for several days, but his friends wanted him there, so he relented.

 

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Wieser joins NAMB staff

By Cameron Crabtree

June 2, 2016

Keith Wieser

Keith Wieser has resigned from the Northwest Baptist Convention staff to assist the North American Mission Board’s collegiate church planting efforts. He will remain lead pastor of Resonate Church based in Pullman, WA, while in the new role with the Southern Baptist Convention’s national mission agency.

 

“Keith’s love for the Northwest and the NWBC made the choice difficult, but he will continue doing many of the same things he’s been doing for us in the Northwest,” said Randy Adams, NWBC executive director. “He’ll still lead the Resonate network of churches in the Northwest, including a new site which is being launched at the University of Oregon in Eugene later this year.”

 

Wieser credited NAMB’s adding the position to its “Send Network” and basing it in the Northwest as a “significant part of the equation” for deciding to join the national agency’s staff, effective April 1. “In a way, everyone wins,” he said.

 

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Potential students get seminary 'sneak peek'

By Cameron Crabtree

June 2, 2016

A dozen people took advantage of the opportunity to get an up close look at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary’s Pacific Northwest Campus recently, a majority of them prospective students for the fall, according to campus director Mark Bradley.

 

Six of them have already applied for admission, he added. Seminary officials welcomed the visitors for the school’s fifth annual preview day with a lunch that included testimonies from current students, seminary staff and NWBC executive director Randy Adams. Afterward, they sat in on a class taught by Joe Flegal, the NWBC’s director of evangelism and church health and adjunct professor for the campus.

 

The seminary began offering classes on a Monday-only basis in spring 2015 semester of 2015.

 

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Suicide stats prompt call for ministry

June 2, 2016

With the U.S. suicide rate increasing 24 percent over the past 15 years according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics, mental health experts have called pastors to prepare for ministry to suicidal individuals.

 

While a pastor need not mention mental health issues every week from the pulpit, "a bit of regular exposure to such human realities has a way of breaking down the walls of shame and secrecy," said Tony Rose, a pastor in Kentucky. Rose also served as chairman of Mental Health Advisory Council, appointed by Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee President Frank S. Page.

 

Among the suicide-prevention recommendations of Rose and Texas psychologist Matthew Stanford, also a member of the advisory council, are asking troubled individuals whether they are contemplating suicide and mentioning mental health issues in sermons.

 

According to data released in April by the National Center for Health Statistics, the U.S. suicide rate increased from 10.5 to 13 per 100,000 people between 1999 and 2014. The only age group to record a decline in suicide during that period was 75 and older.

 

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