While Mary and I were on vacation last week, we found ourselves boarding a train for a five-hour trip across Austria. Soon after getting settled, we ordered a light lunch. After offering grace for our meal, a passenger across the aisle offered his “Amen!” to my prayer. It turned out that our fellow traveler, Manfried Dietrich, is a follower of Jesus Christ and a research professor of Semitic languages at a university in Germany.
We enjoyed a delightful conversation about the Old Testament, and Manfried related resent discoveries that support the authenticity of the Old Testament text. We also discovered that the church he attends is just around the corner from the hotel we were heading to later in Munich. The following Sunday, Manfried had his son-in-law meet us in our hotel lobby to escort us to the church for their morning worship service.
All of this to say, I don’t think our encounter was coincidental. I firmly believe it was providential. I believe that God guides us in very real ways, every day of our lives. The Lord placed us across the aisle from a devoted follower of Jesus Christ who would help us find a place of worship the following Sunday. I marvel at His providence, don’t you?
One of the highlights of our time away was a brief visit with Josef and Lynette Sykora. Lynette grew up at Pearce and, along with her husband, serves as a Free Methodist missionary in Bratislava, Slovakia. The Sykoras joined us for lunch, took us on a tour of the church facility where Josef pastors, and showed us their apartment in Bratislava. Best of all, we went out for ice cream with their two small boys!
It was wonderful to see where Josef and Lynette minister and to gain a better sense of where they are seeking to engage our time with the timeless Story!(You can read more about the Sykora’s ministry at http://fmcusa.org/fmwm/missionaries/sykora/.)
A Month Like No Other!
I hope by now you have gotten the message that June is going to be a bit different here at Pearce. Two very special 10:00 am Sunday worship services are planned: one for June 10 and the other for June 24.
Our June 10 service will focus on the wondrous gift of the Word of God. Bibles will be presented to both our first graders and our high school graduates. Following the worship service, everyone will be invited to a picnic outside. Jim Heek’s team will have simple, but hearty, summer food ready for all! (If it rains, we can enjoy the picnic indoors. If it is nice weather, bring along a blanket and eat in authentic picnic style on the church and college grounds.) This is a good opportunity for you to invite families who may not have a church home to join us, as we will be celebrating the passing on of the faith from generation to generation.
Bishop Roller will be with us on June 24 for the ordination service of our own John Tassone. Ordination is always a special time, not only for the person receiving ordination, but also for the entire church family. Bishop Roller is a gifted communicator, one of the mort gifted storytellers I’ve ever heard. And best of all, he is a man in love with the Lord! You won’t want to miss this service.
Saturday services will be held at their regular time of 5:00 pm on both June 9 and June 23. But if you are planning to worship on Sundays June 10 and June 24, don’t forget to come to Pearce at 10:00 am!