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Harvest’s witness team has been busy in 2024. Below is a list of things we ask that you pray for:

1) “Radius Days” Trip: Two weeks ago, Pastor Dale and 4 members of the witness team (Don McCrory, Chris DeRuischer, Elley Buehler and myself) as well as Amy DeRuischer, Nate and Evelyn Price attended Radius International in Tijuana, Mexico. The purpose of this was two-fold: along with supporting and encouraging Paige, we also want to also discern, from direct contact as a witness team, the degree of involvement and future partnerships Harvest should continue developing with Radius.

2) Foreign Missions Policy Document: Witness ministry team reviewed a draft foreign missions policy document. Our desire is to develop 2-4 relationships with solid, evangelistically focused, confessionally Reformed missionaries in fields where we see God converting people, and building up his church. We hope we can bring a proposed document to our March session meeting.

3) “Table” March 10 PM service: We are expanding the 9-1-1 concept we used last summer, to include an intentional push to invite any people that we know to worship with us at Harvest. On March 10th’s PM service, evangelist Chris Byrd (who plans to help us with the Boardwalk Chapel themed banquet the day before), will be leading us in a worship and outreach service. A meal will follow intending to warmly welcome those who attended that service. If you have friends or neighbors youve been thinking to invite to worship that would be a perfect Sunday (You certainly could invite them anytime from now until then too!)

4) Short Term Missions projects: The newly formed short/long-term mission subcommittee has been hard at work vetting potential places where Harvest members could serve. Missions teams are preparing for Boardwalk Chapel, a VBS trip in Puerto Rico, and considering other fields as well. If you are interested in short-term missions, feel free to send an email to witness@harvestopc.org.

5) Paul Washers “ Gospel of Jesus Christ:” Witness Ministry Team really appreciated Reformation Heritage Book’s outreach commitment to make Paul Washers tract widely available (the ebook is free). They are giving away one copy for every copy that is purchased within a time frame (more information below). The witness ministry team was gift many copies of the booklet. These are available for Harvest members. If you would like copies of the booklet to hand out, please let us know.

RHB writes,“ are committed to giving back - for every booklet we ship out to you during this highly discounted promotion, we will freely donate one to a needy mission, church, missionary organization, or individual domestically and across the world. We plan to give away 25,000 copies initially and have made the eBook available for free.”

6) Grace Stories: Finally, you can now listen to the first three parts of a “Grace Stories” interview. We are releasing this as a mini-series on the Simple Grace Radio podcast: we’ll be sharing God’s extraordinary transformation through ordinary Christians at Harvest. You can listen to that here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/simple-grace-radio/id1607380335?i=1000643968182

Books I’m reading:

“New Book of Christian Martyrs” by Johnnie Moore and Jerry Pattengale. Believers in Christ continue to give their lives rather than deny Christ. In this remarkable book, Moore and Pattengale trace martyrs from every century of church history and give a brief explanation of why they laid down their lives for their faith. The purpose of studying martyrs lives is not to glory in the gory details. Instead, their deaths remind us that God’s call on our lives requires tangible sacrifice.

The most striking story to me was the death of two young mothers (Perpetua and Felicitas) who gave their lives at the turn of the 3rd century; both were so grateful to die courageously for Christ. I pray that God would work this same zeal in my life even though my life hasn’t yet been threatened for being a Christian. 

Hebrews 10:32-34 says, “…recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.”

My one significant critique of the book is the authors seem to relativize the differences between Christian conviction. All “faith traditions” (Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants) are accepted equally without digging into the necessity of our theological disagreements.

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