Lottie Moon and the Mission Experience

We are midway through our Lottie Moon Christmas Offering with only a few weeks left to give. It’s an exciting time to be part of something that is much bigger than any one of us.

The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering provides direct funding to IMB missionaries who are going all over the world to share the gospel. Without them there would be a lot of people who would never know Jesus. That’s why this offering is so important.

Give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering Today

As this offering is underway, we wanted to show you what these funds are going towards. IMB is the organization that sends these missionaries throughout the world; they put together this amazing video showing you who these missionaries are.

In this video, seasoned IMB missionaries reflect on the joys and trials of their years in the field. Together they leave a legacy of people touched, hearts encouraged and lives changed for eternity. This is what the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is all about.

Our 2016 goal is $55,000, and we can’t do it without you. To give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, click on the button below.

Why Your Pastors Are Sending Your Money to Calgary

Mission trips are crucial to spread the Gospel but is also a great opportunity to introduce our students to missions and start planting those seeds. By now you’ve heard all about our Calgary mission trip. We have partnered with IMB Missionaries, Dan & Amber Sweaza and our students are heading to Calgary, Canada this Friday.

To share more about this mission trip and how Foothills is helping spread the Gospel take a listen at this audio interview where Dave Shrein and David Gantenbein talk more about Calgary.

Partnering in Calgary

Living in Ahwatukee and the surrounding area, we are blessed to have many Christ-serving churches, including Foothills. God has truly blessed our community. As blessed as we are, not all communities are this fortunate. There are places all over the world that lack churches and the community it builds. Calgary, Canada is one of those places.

We’ve already shared Dan and Amber Sweaza’s story; in this video you will get to see the city God has called them to serve.

As you saw on the video, only 5% of the city of Calgary has a relationship with God, but God has other plans. He is calling people like Dan and Amber to transform this city and spread the Gospel.

On June 4, our students will be going to Calgary for a short-term mission trip to help this church plant. This is one way Foothills, as a church, is partnering with Dan and Amber to help plant Connect Church in Calgary. We are also partnering with them by supporting them financially. Many of you have contributed to the Connect Church Calgary Offering, but if you haven’t, you have another chance here. Click on the button below to help fund and support a church that will help spread the Gospel.

Contribute to the Connect Church Calgary Offering now.

Connect Church Calgary Offering

For the past few weeks you’ve heard us talk about the Connect Church Calgary Offering during Sunday worship. If you have already contributed, thank you! If you are wondering what this offering is all about, let us share a little more. Or better yet, let Dan and Amber Sweaza, church planters in Calgary, Canada share with you.

Contribute to the Connect Church Calgary Offering now. 

From a Short Mission Trip to a Calling

After a short mission trip to Calgary in the summer of 2015, Dan and Amber had a calling to plant a church in Canada, specifically, launching Connect Church in Symons Valley, a neighborhood in Calgary. The city of Calgary has less than 150 evangelical churches in the entire city, while Symons Valley has no evangelical churches. There is clearly a need for the Gospel.

This is where you come in.

Partnering in the Gospel

At Foothills, we know the importance of partnerships to further the Gospel of Christ. It’s through partnerships like these that the Gospel reaches new places. In June, our students will be going on a short mission trip to Calgary to help support this church plant. This is one way Foothills is partnering with Dan and Amber. The other way is by contributing financially.

This is Dan and Amber’s story; as a church we want to help them fulfill their calling. If you have not yet given to our Connect Church Calgary Offering, you can click on the button below to contribute. We are excited to send our students, equipped with training, and funding to make a Gospel impact with our neighbors to the north.

Family Promise: Blessing Lives and Building Relationships

The value of “Go” at Foothills is our commitment to do the work of Jesus whenever and wherever we are able. This  means doing the work God has prepared for us in our own backyard. Partnering with Family Promise gives us that opportunity to do the work of Jesus by fulfilling our community responsibilities and serving our neighbors who are currently without a home.

During the week of February 20, we had the privilege of serving five families through Family Promise. With a team of 39 volunteers we were able to bless these families in their deepest time of need. By transforming our church campus into living quarters for one week, we were able to provide stability through housing, food, activities and relationship building.

Even though Family Promise lasts only a week, relationships built have the potential to make an impact over a lifetime. We would like to share with you just some of the stories that have emerged from our week of Family Promise at Foothills.

A Simple Invitation

One of our overnight hosts included two mothers and their sons. During the first few days they were able to connect with four of the young men in Family Promise. Our students, Matthew and Tyler, shared their God-stories with these four young men and  invited them to join other students for Wednesday night youth group, Veritas.

All it took to build a relationship was a simple invitation.

Planting a Seed

Sometimes all people want from you is to know that you care.

Not everyone has a great experience with the church and may walk away from a church experience with a broken heart, which was the case with one of the Family Promise mothers.

We don’t know what is happening in the heart of another person or what God has done or is doing. Not knowing exactly what God was doing in the heart of this mother, one of our volunteers simply held a conversation and shared the story of Jesus with this mom. It is up to the Holy Spirit to use the time for his purpose in her life.

We are happy to share that later in the week “mom” was seen reading her Bible. The seed was planted.

Emotions

The Friday of Family Promise also happened to be Family Movie Night at Foothills. This provided a great opportunity for some of these families to engage with our Foothills family.

We had approximately five of the children from three families join in our Friday Movie Night. They all enjoyed the outdoors, the drive-in movie element and all the sweets available for the asking, and boy did they ask! One 12-year-old girl shared that she learned a little more about her emotions by watching the movie and will now see them for what they are … cartoons!

The stories are there: families are impacted and relationships are built. All of our volunteers stepped up and provided the blessings of Jesus to these families.

One week is not a long time but it is enough time for God to touch someone’s heart.

If you’d like to learn more about Family Promise, you can click the button below.

Report Card: Operation Christmas Child BOXES

The smile of a child, especially during Christmas, is something that will warm your heart. You will be surprised how many children will go through Christmas never receiving a gift or hearing the story of the greatest gift of all, Jesus. Unfortunately, this is the reality of many children in this world. This is where Operation Christmas Child comes in.

By filling a shoebox with some fun and practical items, you’ll get to share the joy of Christmas and the Gospel with a child somewhere in the world. This year, Foothills collected 375 boxes! How amazing is that? Not only that, Foothills volunteers logged 107 hours of service to make the boxes project possible!

You would think that it stops there, but our collection was added to boxes from other churches in Ahwatukee, the South Valley and South Mountain areas of Phoenix for a total of 24,764 shoeboxes. That is a whole lot of shoeboxes for a lot of smiling kids.

The boxes are on their way to the California Processing Center and will be shipped to Peru, Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines, Mongolia and to Native Americans.

Once again, this could not have been possible without every one of you coming together and making this happen. It is your generosity that will bring a smile to a less fortunate child and will allow them to learn about the Gospel.

Operation Christmas Child Stories Part 3

Each year Foothills has had the privilege of working with Operation Christmas Child (OOC). This great organization has blessed so many lives, everything from giving them hope in desperate situations at orphanages to receiving a GIFT for the first time from someone.

Kerry Williams, who leads our Operation Christmas Child effort (as well as acting as the local rep. for OCC on this side of the valley) has already shared 2 amazing stories with us and in this post we’d like to share Princess Crown and A Giving Church.

Princess Crown

Jesse Fuller, who was in our youth ministry years ago sent out a box for OCC, and at the last minute, decided to put a princess crown in the box. A few months later, she received a letter from a young girl named Stuti who told her that she had begged her parents for a crown, but couldn’t afford it. She sent Jesse a picture of her wearing the crown and they became pen pals. They are now friends on Facebook and Stuti is thinking about coming out here from college in two years. Stuti is from Nepal.

A Giving Church

Last year, an India culture church, not only brought us over 80 boxes from their sweet church they also wrote a check for each child for their boxes to take the discipleship course. It is offered free to the kids but incurs a cost of course for OCC.  Anyway, they were the sweetest folks and I was visiting with them and then went back to check on something. When I came back into the large room of the student building where we were packing large orders, the 3 representatives, including the pastor and his wife were encircling the boxes and praying over them. It was such a wonderful thing to be able to witness!

More About Operation Christmas Child

I have about 15 volunteers who help in one capacity or another at our church. Each year, some folks just drop off bags of crayons, toys, toiletry items, etc and don’t pack a box. I gather all these things together and have extra empty boxes on hand and each year God sees that these are filled to the last items. It’s all in His hands and He does a wonderful job of making sure everything works out perfectly.

Most people can’t afford to go on a mission trip across the world, but they can afford to be a missionary in a box, and spread the gospel with a simple gift in honor of THE CHRISTMAS CHILD, Jesus. God knows where each box is going and what impact it is going to have. We have to trust it to His perfect will.

Operation Christmas Child Stories Part 2

Each year Foothills has had the privilege of working with Operation Christmas Child (OOC). This great organization has blessed so many lives, everything from giving them hope in desperate situations at orphanages to receiving a GIFT for the first time from someone.

Kerry Williams, who leads our Operation Christmas Child effort (as well as acting as the local rep. for OCC on this side of the valley) has already shared 3 amazing stories with us and in this post we’d like to share Hat in a Box and Letters.

Hat in a Box

Jennifer Young from our church has a nonprofit called Hat in a Box. Jennifer coordinates knitters from all over the USA who knit caps of all sizes for cancer patients. A couple of years ago, Jennifer and I were just acquaintances at church. We sat together one Wednesday night for dinner. She asked if I was the one who coordinated the OCC project and I said yes. She asked if I could use some hats to go in our BOXES and I SAID YES! Her organization gives us 300 hats each year. When people come in to drop off boxes I ask them if they would like to pick a hat to go in their boxes.  They are lovely caps of all different designs.

I display the hats during collection week for folks to select a cap.  OCC and Jennifer both have the same idea, a gift out of the inside of  a box. These hats are created with love and used for two very different purposes.

Letters

We encourage folks to write a short note and send a picture and most IMPORTANTLY to pray over the box and to continue to pray that God will use the box to further the gospel. All children across the world are given an opportunity to return to a church to take a discipleship course called the Greatest Journey which helps them understand the gospel. Many of us have received letters from the children we have sent boxes to over the years. I’ve received two and John DeKatch has also received a couple. Sometimes if people include their addresses, a letter will make it back to them.

 More About Operation Christmas Child

I have about 15 volunteers who help in one capacity or another at our church. Each year, some folks just drop off bags of crayons, toys, toiletry items, etc and don’t pack a box. I gather all these things together and have extra empty boxes on hand and each year God sees that these are filled to the last items. It’s all in His hands and He does a wonderful job of making sure everything works out perfectly.

Most people can’t afford to go on a mission trip across the world, but they can afford to be a missionary in a box, and spread the gospel with a simple gift in honor of THE CHRISTMAS CHILD, Jesus. God knows where each box is going and what impact it is going to have. We have to trust it to His perfect will.

Operation Christmas Child Stories

Each year Foothills has had the privilege of working with Operation Christmas Child (OOC). This great organization has blessed so many lives, everything from giving them hope in desperate situations at orphanages to receiving a GIFT for the first time from someone.

Through this program, Kerry Willams has been deeply involved in coordinating this project and see’s first hand what OOC does. We thought what better way than to see how amazing OOC is than to hear it from Kerry. Below are just some of the stories Kerry is sharing with Foothills.

The Doll

This year there was a lady that had always wanted a doll of her own, one that she would not have to share with her sisters. When it was time to got their boxes her brother got the doll by accident instead. She had been praying for a doll and when her brother got it she felt like God was teaching her how to pray, what to pray for, and what not to pray for. When she counted the items in her box, over and over again, she was so proud and happy that someone cared enough to send her a gift even though they didn’t know her, but somehow knew a child’s desire to feel loved.

The Generous Giver

Each year, I have a lady, who does not attend our church, that brings 100 boxes. These boxes are so incredibly packed with love and goodies. Each box is wrapped with Christmas paper and on the inside has shoes, clothes, and everything to make a child extremely happy. She is a believer, but to my knowledge does not attend church anywhere. This is her ministry, collecting items all year long to go in her boxes. She has such joy about it.

Dedicating a Box

A couple of years ago, I had a mom and a little girl come in to drop off a couple of boxes. The mom seemed a bit distracted and sad. The little girl (about 5 years old) was hopping all over the place. I always ask the people who drop off boxes if there is anything I can pray for them about.  The mom said, yes. “Some dear friends of ours just lost a child. We are dedicating our boxes in honor of her life, and hoping we make a difference in another little girl’s life.”

More About Operation Christmas Child

I have about 15 volunteers who help in one capacity or another at our church. Each year, some folks just drop off bags of crayons, toys, toiletry items, etc and don’t pack a box. I gather all these things together and have extra empty boxes on hand and each year God sees that these are filled to the last items. It’s all in His hands and He does a wonderful job of making sure everything works out perfectly.

Most people can’t afford to go on a mission trip across the world, but they can afford to be a missionary in a box, and spread the gospel with a simple gift in honor of THE CHRISTMAS CHILD, Jesus. God knows where each box is going and what impact it is going to have. We have to trust it to His perfect will. I think people believe these boxes are all delivered at Christmas time but in most cases they are delivered from Christmas all the way through the spring and early summer.

For the past three years, our church has operated a relay center the week of collections, nationwide. Prior to that for about 4 years, the student ministry participated. Since we became a relay center (there are quite a few valley wide) the entire church has been welcome to participate.

I operate out of the student building and people, churches, and organizations from all over the area bring their boxes to us. We get them ready for the big cartons. From here, a group of men from church take the giant cartons to Grace Community Center where they are loaded onto 18 wheelers. From there, they go to Orange County California where they are inspected and then shipped all over the world. We usually collect about 325 from our church family and a total of about 1,800 to 2,000 at our church from other organizations.  Our goal for Arizona this year is 25,000 shoeboxes.

Report Card: Thanksgiving BAGS

Thanksgiving is the time of year when you are able to get together with your family and friends around a dinner table to share a delicious Thanksgiving feast. As much as our tummy’s are thankful for this, we are also reminded that not everyone is as fortunate. Each year there are families who can’t have a thanksgiving meal simply because they cannot afford it.

At Foothills, we know that we are called to GO and help those in need. As we do every year, we had a Thanksgiving Food Bag Drive to collect food for families who would not otherwise have a Thanksgiving meal. And once again you all came through.

On Saturday, November 21st, 147 Thanksgiving food bags were delivered to Rio Vista for their annual Thanksgiving feast for the neighborhood. These are the food bags that you all donated!

At the end of the feast, each family is given a food bag and a frozen turkey for their celebration on Thanksgiving Day. In addition, Foothills gave $1,000.00 for the purchase of turkey’s for the food bags. In past years, there have been over 700 people in attendance!

This all wouldn’t be possible without your support. It is your generosity that allowed these families to have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. And for that we say THANK YOU!