The End of a Chapter, and The Start of a New One
Each year at Pearce we celebrate the graduation of our High School Seniors and welcome the first graders by giving each student a new bible. This year we added a new tradition. Our sixth graders will be moving up to the junior high ministry and in recent years it has become apparent that our seventh graders need “more age appropriate” bibles. Starting this year our first graders, sixth graders and senior all received new bibles. Once the sixth graders reach their senior year, we will replace “bibles” with a different gift.
The Sunday service included a focus on the need for scripture as a foundation in our lives. This was accomplished through wonderful music, the reading of God’s word, and a moving ceremony in which the students received their new bibles. I was incredibly touched by the way Pearce expressed love to these students and the high value placed on being in God’s word. Congratulations to all of our first graders, sixth graders, and seniors. May God’s love, truth, blessing always be on you.
Swinging with a Mission
A number of years ago the Men’s Ministry at Pearce decided it no longer could host the annual golf tournament. It fell in my lap and I agreed to do it, but only if we could change the tournament and re-purpose it. We decided to place the tournament under the auspices of the teen missions. Our goal has been to provide a great day of golf and fellowship, while also raising funds to help offset the costs of our mission trips. The 2014 tournament was our most successful to date. Wonderful weather, an increase in participants, increased underwriting, and excellent food all made for a fantastic experience. Golfers ranging in age from 11 to 80 came out to support this great cause, and helped us raise about $3500. The Pearce teens travel internationally every three years for missions. By hosting this tournament, even on the years in between we have been able to place over $9,000 in our account before we have even begun to organize the trip. Next year’s trip to Romania will cost approximately $48,000. This fundraising will go a long way to making the trip a possibility. Thank you to all the golfers and businesses that supported us. Special thanks to the golf committee who did all the work behind the scenes: Karen Hopkins, Maurice Hopkins, Jordan Eich and Ron Sadler.
Up For Adoption
As many of you know about six years ago our family joined the Tassone family in adopting a village in Senegal, Africa. Four of the last six years, I have been blessed to be able to travel to Senegal and visit my family there. Each time we go, I am struck with the fact that we “adopted” them, and yet we always feel like we were the ones truly adopted. While we are there to provide finances, diplomatic assistance and to demonstrate the love of our Savior, Jesus Christ, I always feel like I have been the one who has been helped. Our family in the village is so kind, generous and giving. They literally have almost nothing, and yet they are willing to give whatever they can. This year they fed us, they took my son Jacob in as one of their own, and they welcomed us into their homes and hearts. We brought small gifts for them, and they returned the favor by sewing Jacob and new outfit, feeding us from their small food supply, and Emily’s namesake even sent home one of her own outfits to Emily as a gift. As always, we had a wonderful experience and had opportunities to share the gospel, but I think what we left with is as valuable. One evening, Jake and I were talking, and he said “dad, I am amazed at home generous these people are. They live in dirt huts, have no toys and a single set of clothes, and yet they have so much joy.” I was pierced by how true this statement was, and how we in the states have lost sight of what really matters. Jake went on to say “I have every toy, game, electronic gadget you could imagine, and yet it’s never enough.” Pretty profound for a 13 year old. How much in enough? To our family in Ndidor “enough” is measured in joy and not in material. Please pray for Ndidor; the rainy season is just getting started and, with it the growing season as well as the extreme desert heat. They will receive about 3 inches of rain this summer while enduring temperatures between 120-130F. In these conditions they will need to grow enough millet and peanuts to last the entire year. Pray too, that the bondage of animism and Islam will be loosened and that they will see the love and grace of Jesus Christ.
Stay in the Loop
Every year, we see a new group of 7th graders come into the Pearce Teens, along with numerous folks from outside of Pearce. And each year I am asked, “how do I find out about what’s going on?” For your convenience we have devised a number of ways to disseminate information. First, if you are on Facebook, search for the Pearce Parents page, and have your child look for the Pearce Teen page. We post information, relevant articles and occasional pictures to these pages weekly. Second, continue to follow this blog. “Mike’s Musings” is posted every month on the Pearce Church web page at pearcehurch.org and often contains photos and updates regarding various events. You may also contact me at Pearce Church by calling 585-594-9488 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, take a moment to sign up for our texting service. Simply text the word “pearceteens” to 68398. We send out reminders and cancelations through this service. In addition we use occasional letters, postcards, parent information meetings, the Pearce Facebook Page, and the Pearce NEUs to keep you up to date with the Teen program here at Pearce. Our goal is to keep everyone informed – we would hate for anyone to miss out on the fun because they didn’t know about something.