EXTRAORDINARY UNITY

Hello All,
 
We are making great progress through our Extraordinary journey through Ephesians.  This Sunday I continue with the team teaching and will share a message over chapter 4 entitled “Extraordinary Unity”.  As we look how we are all one part of many parts in the body of Christ, we will mainly focus on you, the individual part and we, LIFT, as the local body of many parts.  Obviously, the body of Christ is also the entire church across all of God’s creation and although I won’t focus on this too much this Sunday morning, I want to share an illustration about it now giving evidence of the fact that LIFT “IS” part of this greater body of Christ. 

When the A-Men leaders were here from South Africa, LIFT gave them a financial blessing in thankfulness of their serving us as they did.  Immediately they didn’t want to accept it, but we insisted and they said they would not keep it for themselves personally but instead share it with a special ministry that their church in South Africa has.  As part of the body of Christ, we are blessed back in truly seeing how the one of many parts really do make up the active body of Christ!  Below is a letter from South Africa.  I hope you are encouraged as well!
 
2006-11-14

Dear brothers and sisters at LIFT,

We are deeply grateful for your gift to our centre that has been handed to us by Gordon and Sue Hay. What a joy to know the ‘communion of saints’ in this way.

We have decided to use your gift to give the children who attend the centre, the opportunity of fun and laughter at a Christmas party for them on the 25th November. A member of Trinity will bring all sorts of games for the children, the youth group will organise events and competitions, the children will have lunch as well ‘party’ food and they will all receive gifts. We look forward to sending you photographs of the event.

The children who attend the centre each afternoon come from homes affected by HIV and aids and extreme poverty. We know that each one of them is on our Lords VIP list! It is our privilege to care for them. They enjoy a meal when they arrive at the centre, and have a time of prayer, worship and Bible reading. We encourage them in their lives by helping them with their school work in a cheerful and positive environment. It is very encouraging for us to experience your participation in this ministry. Thank you.

God bless you
Yours in Christ
The Drop-In Centre Team.
 
Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday (especially the kids in the afternoon at the first ever Club LIFT!)
 
In His grip and grace,
 
Corey

“SO MANY THINGS GOING ON!”

Hello All,
 
Wow, so many things are going on!  The ladies, 18 of them, have just started their new Tuesday night study on “Believing God!”  About 25 men are signed up for the upcoming A-Men retreat in two weeks. (By the way men, you can still join if you haven’t yet!  Send a reply and we’ll get you the info)  The morning service format is going very well! The kids program on Sunday’s is taking shape!  And …………..???? 
 
As a newly forming church plant, we are just getting started!  I truly believe there are many wonderful things that lie ahead in the next 12 months for LIFT!  God is at work and it’s exciting to be a part of it.  I realize the world is thinking back in memory of September 11th, 2001 a date that will be remembered for a long time.  Not to minimize the impact of that date, I would like to draw your attention to September 5th, 2004, another anniversary date of a special “birth” that took place. Two years ago, LIFT began that night with a meeting in our home with 8 adults and five kids.  For the weeks that followed, it was mainly us Bests and the Eales and a few brave others that came together each Sunday night, worshiping, praying and seeking God’s Word with expectation and faith, that God was to take that worship and service to Him and bless it into something broader for His purposes in Zug!  Now re read the top paragraph above!  It is clear, God’s hand is in LIFT as part of His church reaching others for Jesus!  Yes, we are still just a “baby”, but that is so exciting and encouraging to think that our whole life as a church is still before us!  May we seek our nourishment and strength in the Lord and grow up according to His plan for us, as individuals and as a church: LIFT- The International Church of Zug!    Yes, I think the time is right to even use the word “church” and not just “a ministry”.  
 
I don’t want to jump too far ahead, but it is clear that we are going to outgrow our 40 person meeting place someday and that our kids ministry is going to outgrow the two leaders that lead them each week.  The ladies already outgrew the living room they used to meet in.  Of course, when 25 men are energized in faith, one can excitedly expect great things from men too!  We just wrapped up a preaching series about “The Body” and as our LIFT body is growing and needs the individual parts of the body to serve and work together!
 
I can honestly say, I don’t know exactly what LIFT will look like beyond the next 12 months, but I can confidently say, that we will still exist as a church body with passionate hearts, in worship and love, seeking His Word for our lives and then giving this amazing love to those we encounter.  The greatest thing is that God can supply all our needs. He already has!
 
The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field. GO! Luke 10:2,3a
 
As we look around us in Zug, it is so true, the harvest is plentiful.  So many around us need the love and hope of Jesus Christ in their lives! We have been praying this verse from the beginning and the Lord has continued to bring in the workers for His harvest!  YOU ARE PART OF GOD’S ANSWER TO THIS PRAYER! Let us continue to “GO” together for the Lord! 
 
In His grip and grace,
 
Corey

“I STILL SEE THE WIND!”

Hello all,
 
From last  week, I wrote about seeing the wind, regarding how we can’t actually see the wind, but we see the evidence of the wind.  This being an illustration about how we see God through faith too!  
 
I also wrote about giving you more insight this week regarding His work in the life of a young German exchange student in the U.S. (17 or 18 years old) that sent an e-mail to us here in Switzerland.
 
As some of you know Tanya and I have a connecting with Dare 2 Share Ministries from the U.S. and the GOSPEL message that we use at LIFT (the one that we also translated into German) is via D2S also. Well this young woman, Julia Freund, is “on fire” in her faith and returning back to Germany soon.  We intend to keep the connection with Julia and as LIFT, we can keep her in prayer, and those that she will come across in sharing her faith.  Kind of like our own “missionary” north of our Swiss border sharing the wonderful Gospel Message of Jesus Christ!  I hope you are encouraged with her letter below:
 
> hey Corey
> my name is Julia*, and I am a foreign exchange student from germany.
> at the moment I am in the US, I have three weeks left and I am really sad
> that the year
> went by so fast!!!My youthgroup leader over here gave my your
> mail address. He showed me the mail he wrote you, and your response. I cant
> express how excited I am!!!
> I would write in german but after a year with just english my german got
> really bad:)
> I am so thankfull for this year, I grew and learned so much!!and of course
> most important
> I found God…he is such a big part of my life now and I cant imagin how I
> could have ever lived without him!!God is so amazing….and I think the most
> important thing I learnd is to trust him…that he will be always there when
> we need him..but that our timing is not his!I am so sad to leave here, my
> church, my youthgroup all my friends…and sometimes I think I am affraid
> that God is gonne stay here and I have ti remind myself that he is
> everywere, and that he is gonne love me as much in germnay as he loved me
> here. I think one of the reasons why I have this fear is that I never
> expereanced God in Germany….or better he was there but my heart was just
> not opened to him…
> it is crazy things that seem so normal over here like youthgroup does not
> even exist in germany!!D2S helped me so much over here!!even now so many
> months afterwards  I feel its power when I look at pictures. It changed so
> many hearts and that is exactly what germany needs, or better the whole
> world. But I think one of the reasons why so many young people in germnay
> dont believe is because most of the churches dont try, to envolve the youth
> to get their interest and to challange them….there needs to be a
> revolution:) because God is everyhting else than boring!!he is exciting and
> yea he can be in loud music, you can feel God in a croud singin, crying out
> to jesus, guitars playing in the backround!!!I would be really interested to
> hear from you guys, I live in Hamburg I gues you now were that is:) It is
> soo amazing, what young kids do oever here, and that I was able to be part
> of it, now I want to take it back…because teenager in germnay need to now,
> about jesus, how he saved us, that church is not boring nothing you have to
> do, but somehting you want to do because of an amazing relationship woth
> your savior!!!!I am really sad and excited at the same time to go
> home….sad because it will hurt to leave all this behind…but yea I now
> for a fact that this is not the end:) and I am excited for what God has
> planed for my life!!excited to spread the word in germnay were so many kids
> and adults need to hear it..there is a lot to do”:)
> It would be really amazing when you could write me back….thanks
> allready…in his love
> julia freund
 
Heb 11:1  Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. NIV
Heb 11:1  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. KJV

In His grip and grace,
 
Corey 
 

Praise God, I am a Unicorn!

Hello all,
 
Going, going, gone! I hope to hear those words soon in my head as I am rounding first base. What??? You must be wondering what a Unicorn, going, and first base have to do with each other. MY PERSONAL LITTLE MISSION OF BEING A WITNESS IN MY REALM OF INFLUENCE.

Currently we are looking into God’s Word regarding “GOING” and telling others about the Gospel Message of Jesus! Well, for me, I have recently joined the Hunenberg Unicorn Baseball Club here in Zug to relive a long ago passion of this American pie, Chevy driving man’s sport of baseball! If I can get the cobwebs out of my shoulder and be able to throw and hit that little baseball again, I hope to hear the crowd (in my head) cheer as I can hit one (going, going, gone) out of the park (actually soccer field acting as a baseball diamond). To be honest, the baseball may be fun and help me stay fit over the summer, but the last thing I have time for between juggling time with my family, LIFT and work is to go and play ball. But at the same time, I am attempting to “walk my talk” regarding getting into one’s realm of influence and telling others about Christ. My fellow teamates are all local Swiss guys (all but one are several years younger than me) and they have no idea about who I am other than I am a funny sounding Swiss German speaker married into the Red Passport country……but can play some ball. I am excited to do something so Swiss (like joining a Verein (club)) but still have a decent chance of holding my own since it’s a sport I played my entire life, ALL THE WHILE, being a living witness for Jesus Christ to those around me. It’s the last point, being a witness that is my true motivation. I pray that the Lord opens opportunities to share my faith, with my words and my actions this summer.

Perhaps you too can be intentional to share the Message in the next months. For added encouragement and inspiration, come join us at LIFT to hear how the Lord is working in others as we are continuing to have special missionary guests in the next weeks. Pastor Tony Gschwend and his family are Swiss missionaries from Zug who have been in the U.S. as missionaries to the native American Indians of Arizona for the last five years. We will be blessed to hear what the Lord shares through Tony this Sunday evening.
 
Below is a very important announcment regarding our worship service times for the month of June.
 
Last but not least, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

In His grip and grace,
 
Corey

Why the Bible is THE Bible

Hello All,

For several weeks we have been teaching about: Why the Bible is THE Bible, the Holy Word of God, without error and the absolute truth. This week, the journey continues and Ken will be sharing the message. I am actually looking forward to simply “sitting in” myself this week and seeking to be blessed by what Ken shares! How about you?

Below is a couple of passages regarding our need to be “fed” from the Bible and also a wonderful passage from Jesus found in Matthew 5. I especially want to draw your attention to verse 8.

Matt 4:4

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”

Matt 5:3-10

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are those who mourn,

for they will be comforted.

5 Blessed are the meek,

for they will inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

for they will be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful,

for they will be shown mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart,

for they will see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers,

for they will be called sons of God.

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

A Note about Madrid trip and missionary encounter!

As I wrote last week about this amazing miracle of a contact in Madrid, it did happen (not that I had any doubt) that I was able to be blessed by visiting with missionaries Dana H. and Chuck L. with SEFOVAN and Worldlink Ministries during my stay. In fact, even after having dinner with each of them Tues and Wed, the highlight of the trip was visiting the Seminary today (Friday) before catching my flight home. It was a beautiful thing to encounter – seeing classes and meeting some of the Spanish students at this place. Many were in their 20’s and 30’s and they truly are the future pastors/leaders in many parts of Spain and beyond. God is definitely at work there!

FUTURE EVENT IN ZUG! (First week of JULY)

As you may remember, Dana and Chuck contacted me last week regarding coming to Zug in July with a large mission team from the U.S. We were able to make some tentative plans regarding this wonderful opportunity for LIFT and the Kingdom right here in Zug. Looks like the weekend of the 9th and 10th they will come to the Lake of Zug area near where we meet at Vorstadt and set up an area with several tent like “booths” and an open space. The concept is to use face painting, bracelet making (with colors representing the Gospel) and other like activities to draw people in. They even do a “Texas line dance” deal that gets many involved, even adults and at one point a 15-20 minute Gospel presentation is given and of course the people are already mingling with one on one faith encounters. They do a couple of these “campaigns” each year in Europe and have had great success in drawing crowds and simply being a blessing. By the way, they are self financed and experienced, as to not be a burden to us and LIFT, but simply help us grow the Kingdom around here. We intend to get Stami and the other local Christian churches involved also as many of the contacts will be German speaking too. More to come and your suggestions are appreciated. By the way, they stayed in Germany last year due to cost factors and intend to this year, BUT if you know of any possibilities for accommodations for a group of 60-70 around the Zug, Zurich, Luzern (anywhere centrally located) from July 1st – 10th, please let me know.

Blessings,
Corey and Tanya