Tates Creek Christian Church

Updates and Insights from Tates Creek Christian Church

Archive for the category “Missions”

Proclaiming His Word through Missions

At a recent meeting of the Christian Missionary Fellowship (CMF) Board, David Giles, Director of the Church Catalyst Division, shared accountability information pertaining to the CMF missionaries. The good news is that there are more church plants and baptisms. The church plants for all of CMF missionaries during 2016 numbered 57, and the number of baptisms was 1,791.
Of particular interest to Tates Creek is the information pertaining to the CMF church planting team in Ethiopia where three of our missionaries served in 2016—Adrian and Jennifer Fehl, Travis and Emily Weeks, and Tyler and Katie Selby. God blessed the CMF Ethiopia church planting team with 13 new churches and an “estimated” 450 baptisms. The figure is estimated as access to statistics from the “bush” is not easy and some of the people groups see no need to keep statistics. Also, there were 5 church buildings built. As a reminder, Adrian and Jennifer Fehl have now returned to the states and Adrian serves as Executive Minister for the East 91 Street Church in Indianapolis. Our newest missionaries, Adam and Allison Giles, will be joining the church planting team later this year.
Also of interest to Tates Creek is the information pertaining to our missionaries in Pachuca, Mexico, Greg and Vicki Syverson. There were 42 baptisms reported by the team in Mexico during 2016.
The Tates Creek Christian Church missions ministry team takes very seriously the Great Commission and selects individuals who . . .give of themselves fully to the work of the Lord (I Cor. 15:58) and who are willing “to go” and share the story of Jesus. God continues to bless the ministries of our missionaries as they serve Him and move people along in the conversion process through many Spirit led activities in the name of Christ—relationship building, preaching, teaching, community health evangelism, cell groups, prayer, Bible study, and worship.
Continue to pray for our missionaries and their ministries.

~ Patsy Stice

Update from the Selbys in Ethiopia

Greetings from Nekempte, Ethiopia!  It is a great joy to say “from Nekempte” because it means that we have moved into our actual field of service.  We officially moved to Nekempte on March 7, and April 22 marked completion of our  first year of ministry in Ethiopia.  We have been busy negotiating contracts, settling in, building relationships and finding a home here.  And to top it all off, we are expecting our second child (due September 2)!  Needless to say, life is full these days.

Our move to Nekempte has filled us with joy, hope, and expectation. We are blessed especially to now live in a place where we can use and practice our new language skills in Oromiffa every day.  (In Addis Ababa, it was challenging to find Oromiffa speakers).  As our language ability grows and we form new friendships among the Oromo in Nekempte, we are full of hope for the work we are beginning here as we come alongside the church to help establish a college ministry.


Already, we have met many college students within the church.  Living in Nekempte gives our hope for this ministry a clearer shape:  we can envision how these young students are the future of the church.  Our hope is that we can help to deepen the students’ relationship to Christ and to broaden their vision to reach out to their neighbors so that ultimately a strong foundation for the future church in Ethiopia might be built. With God’s help and guidance, we are eagerly starting out on this ministry in Nekempte.

Thank you for your partnership, love, and support.

Tyler, Katie, and Ruby Selby

Missions Moment

Ron A. Collins Kids Reading Better Program   

For many years TCCC missions funds have helped Russell Cave Church of Christ, a Bluegrass Christian Men’s Fellowship church plant.  In addition, volunteers from TCCC have helped in various programs at the church.  Minister Fred Mitchell recently noted, “volunteers really do make a difference” and honored one of those volunteers with the following:

In 2006 my wife and I knew many of our kids struggle with reading and  wanted  to do something  to help kids improve their reading skills.

I appealed to the men at a Blue Grass Christian Men’s Fellowship meeting  for help with a reading project.  That very evening Ron Collins offered to help.  This volunteer was an answer to my prayers.  Within a week Ron and I began to discuss ideas for the project.  After much prayer and discussion Ron agreed to help start and direct a program called “Kids Reading Better.”

We put together a team of volunteers to develop the program, and Ron reached out to local churches to find volunteers to help individual children improve their reading skills.  Teachers at Russell Cave Elementary School identified students who could benefit from this program, including some from Russell Cave Church of Christ.  We started a book drive and collected over 2,000 books.  The program is free and is for kids in grades 1-5.

When Ron retired as director, we renamed the program the “Ron Collins Kids Reading Better Program.”  We meet for one hour each week during the school year, and the sessions are followed by a Bible Study and a hot meal.  We currently have 20 volunteers working with 20 children.  We also have a waiting list of other students wanting to enter the program.  Yes, one volunteer really can make a difference.

Fred Mitchell, Minister, Russell Cave Church of Christ

Exciting Ministry News from the Fehls

Dear Friends at TCCC,

You have been so faithful to pray alongside us…many of you for about twenty years now as we began our journey in Ethiopia in June 1996 with a CMF REACH internship!  THANK YOU!  And as you know, on June 19, 2016, we left Ethiopia and transitioned to life in America.

This update brings some exciting news about our next ministry and many answered prayers.  Adrian has accepted an Executive Pastor role with East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis!  He began his role of staff management, facilities, operations, and finances on March 9.  God has provided a great fit for him with a variety of duties–creating a positive/effective ministry team, developing systems for the facilities to run smoothly and efficiently, and much more.  Please pray for him as he continues to learn and as he discerns what the priorities are in the days ahead.  We are happy and thankful to have the opportunity to stay in Indiana and to serve at E91.

Please pray as we look for a house closer to the church.  Pray for the kids as Darby and Ethan will probably need to change schools for next year.  Pray that they will make this transition well and find good friends right away.

On a personal note,  Jennifer’s mom still needs your prayers.  Her radiation treatments have ended, but the effects of the burning continue.  Please pray for relief and complete healing in the days ahead.

Please know that God has used you in mighty ways through our “long and strong missions partnership” to help protect and provide for us.  We love you!  And we hope you will feel free to touch base with us to let us know how you are doing.

Adrian and Jennifer Fehl, Addison, Mallory, Darby, and Ethan

Assurance For Life

Lives Saved and Changed for His Glory

Assurance serves those facing unplanned pregnancies and dealing with past abortions.  All of our services are free and confidential.  We provide pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and compassionate counsel on all options for the pregnancy.  The ultrasound is a miracle moment for many of our clients.  As one said, “I remember the ultrasound and something in me just clicked.  He already had fingernails and toes and a heartbeat.  The second I saw him was the second I decided to keep him.”

I am pleased to share some exciting updates on the return on your investments in Assurance.  We estimate God used Assurance to save 149 lives from abortion last year.  The parents of all those children were also spared the trauma of abortion.  Thirteen of our clients came to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  More than anything, we shared the gospel in the Christ-like approach we took with our female and male clients through more than 1,200 visits in 2016.

Our staff and volunteers provided compassionate care to post-abortive women through 58 visits last year.  If you are struggling from a past abortion, whether it has been a year or many decades ago, it is not too late.  There is hope for you.  It would be our honor to walk with you in your healing journey.  God can redeem your story.

We are deeply grateful for the ways Tates Creek Christian Church supports Assurance through prayer, missions giving, Baby Bottle Blessings, and more.  Thank you for all you do to make these services and results possible.  May God bless you!

~ Ronda Webber

Executive Director

Give Helpassuranceforlife.org 

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Helping to Make Wilson’s Story Possible

During 2010-2012 when our missionaries in Kenya, Shawn and Kristin Redford, were focused on training African national church leaders to become the next generation of missionaries for Africa, TCCC sent missions funds to provide partial scholarships for several young men at Africa International University (AIU). These men who grew up in remote villages, herding cattle and goats, had a strong desire for training and reaching others for Christ. They balanced family life, AIU studies, full or part-time jobs, and service in their churches. One of the men, Kutinkala Wilson, graduated from AIU in July 2016 with a degree in Theology and now teaches at a Bible College in Narok and at Community Christian Church’s Bible Training Institute. He serves as pastor of the Isinon Christian Church in Maasailand, and is chair of Community Christian Mission Agency. The following excerpt is from a recent “thank-you letter” from Kutinkala Wilson to TCCC for the scholarship funds.

Friends: I am Kutinkala Meingati Wilson, a beneficiary of scholarship funds… May you be abundantly blessed. What amazes me most is “how a person can choose to invest (donate) for someone you don’t know.” This is faith in practice, obedience to God and ministry to the world… Friends, I therefore pass gratitude to the people who tirelessly and consistently donated toward us through CMF International… I have not had lack pertaining to my tuition fees for my studies at AIU because you donated and CMF made sure it was spent for the right purpose.
Finally, let my achievement be your joy and my development your seed and the positive impact among the generations to come be glory to God now and forever more. I am hopeful to be a positive influence as your prayers were. Roseline (my wife), our children and I appreciate a lot your generous support to us. May you all be blessed in the name of Jesus. Thanks all.

Kutinkala Meingati Wilson

And, imagine how many more will now come to follow Christ as a result!

Catching Up with Judy Fish

Judy Fish recently reminisced about her 17 years as a missionary nurse with CMF. The first seven years (four in Ethiopia and 3 in Ivory Coast) were spent living in mud huts and providing medical services to the poorest of the poor in rural areas. She “loved living among the people, entering their culture, learning their language, and sharing the Gospel. It was a humbling and rewarding time.”
In 2008 she had the opportunity to create a ministry with broader impact which continues today. She began traveling to various CMF mission fields where she trained missionaries and their national partners in the principles of CHE–Community Health Evangelism. In these third world countries, people have no understanding of the correlation between good health and such things as potable water, personal hygiene, and basic sanitation. They daily battle such preventable ailments as intestinal worms and parasites, diarrheal diseases that are often fatal to children, plus fungal and bacterial skin infections. She would spend up to three months in an area providing health services and opening a way to the gospel.
As a result of advancing global technology, she can provide another area of assistance. Since she has spent time in these communities, she understands their culture, economics, education, government, agriculture, etc. Since she trained their leaders, she understands their abilities and assets as well as their needs. This allows her to provide mentoring and support via email, SKYPE, phone calls, etc.
Recently Judy has worked with programs in Brazil, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. She is currently in Myanmar, a country that is 90% Buddhist. She is conducting a health education seminar at Taunggyi Bible College. A majority of the students at this school are training to work in rural areas where over 65% of the people live. She is also doing basic CHE training. The target audience is pastors and community leaders of the Shan state. Judy sees this as a great blessing–to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
She expresses her appreciation for the faithful support of her TCCC family.

Judy Fish

Greetings from the Alvarados

It seems incredible to think that we have been here in the United States for four months now. We have traveled from Mexico to Florida, to Tennessee, Indiana, and here to Lexington, Kentucky, reporting to our supporting churches and presenting our mission work. Since arriving here at Tates Creek and staying in the mission house at the beginning of July we have also traveled to Milwaukee, Pennsylvania, and Joplin. In all of these travels, we have met wonderful families and couples that have opened their homes and shared many great moments and memories with us.

We have also had the privilege of meeting some new faces at Tates Creek and have been able to catch up with some old friends. We were even able to participate in the VBS here. It was wonderful to see all of the children. Our own children enjoyed it also!

We will be returning to Mexico in January and will be moving to a new city called Queretaro, which has a population of about 3 million people. We are excited about our new work in which we will be training national pastors to plant churches, with the goal of planting 2 churches a year starting in 2018. We are still trying to complete our financial budget, so please keep us in your prayers as we travel and try to find individuals and congregations who would partner with us on this endeavor.

We thank each and every one of you for your prayers and loving support through the years. It means a lot to our family. May God bless you and show his mercies upon you always!

Sergio, Holly, Abby, Emily, and Eric Alvarado

Greetings from Ethiopia!

Rainy season here usually brings with it a subdued pace of life. The past few months for us, however, have brought lots of muddy miles, church visits, and opportunities to grow the church here in Ethiopia.
A few of the highlights have been:
• Scouting out a location with our teammate, Jake Lowe, to open church planting work in a brand new area.
• Celebrating the graduation of Pastor Nigatu, our first pastor to complete a four-year bible degree.
• Expanding our “Evangelist Empowerment Program” where we loan small amounts of money to families of church workers so they can start their own small businesses.
• Issuing a loan to a group of our Gumuz churches so they can 1) expand their honey production operation, 2) buy seed and fertilizer to grow corn and sorghum for income for their churches, and 3) buy a bull to plough their own church’s field and to rent to their neighbors.
• Getting to teach almost 1,000 church leaders and local believers at our annual all-KAC church conference in the village of Yasow.
• Hosting two college-age interns.
• Bringing fifty Oromo church leaders to our training center in Kiramu for classes on theology and conservation agriculture. The teaching was done by Jennifer Craft (a theology professor at Point University) and her husband, Brandon Craft (a forester and conservation agriculture professor at Lipscomb University).

Thanks for your prayers and for your partnership in His ministry in Ethiopia.

Travis, Emily, Clare, and Charley Weeks

Greetings from the Selbys in Ethiopia

Our life in Ethiopia is all about learning. We are learning how to drive, how to buy our vegetables, how to say hello; we have to relearn almost every part of our lives. For everything we thought we knew how to do well, we soon realized we had to go back to the drawing board. For instance, buying vegetables: we get into our car, fight through the chaotic flow of traffic, and finally reach the vegetable stand. First, we talk to the stand owner and share the news, and only then do we buy our vegetables. However, whereas in America we pick out our own vegetables, here we tell the stand owner how much of each vegetable we want and he weighs it and bags it up for us. It is a far cry from when I used to go in and out of the grocery store, pick out my own vegetables, and breeze through the automatic check out: I was done in five minutes and might not even speak to anyone. This is a good snapshot of how life works in Ethiopia: life takes time and relationships always come first.
The task of learning also marks this early stage of our ministry. For now, learning a language called Afaan Oromo is our main ministry, and we have already seen how our knowing even a little of Afaan Oromo brings such joy to people for whom this is their main language. It is a simple, but deeply meaningful way to show the love of Jesus and that they, and their culture, are valued.

Thank you for your partnership in His ministry in Ethiopia.

Tyler, Katie, and Ruby Selby

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