This year was the 5th Annual Daddy-Daughter Valentine’s Dance, and it was a huge hit once again! I had the privilege of serving at the event for the 4th year in a row. Needless to say, I am richly blessed by this event each year, so that is why I keep coming back to serve!
This year’s theme was “Paint the Town Red” and the painting theme was incorporated throughout the church. In addition to a large paintbrush in the lobby, there were paint cans hanging above the tables in the Clubhouse where red plastic flowed out and onto the tables. There were even dipped pretzel sticks that looked like paintbrushes!
The evening began for the girls with a special dinner date with their dad. Afterwards, they arrived at the church to receive their corsage and to get their portraits taken with their dad. Both dads and girls were all dressed-up for the evening. The girls had obviously spent time carefully picking out their lovely, sparkling, flowing dresses especially for this evening. They were absolutely stunning with their hair styled and make-up done (some of them better than I can accomplish, I might add!). Afterwards, they enjoyed an evening of crafts, ice cream sundaes and dancing. The evening finished off with a talk about the “Grand Finale of Creation” – the girls themselves. What an excellent ending to the evening where these girls were being celebrated! The second grand finale was a shower of red balloons falling from the ceiling of the sanctuary, which the girls absolutely loved!
While all of the dresses, decorations, crafts and desserts were amazing, the REAL focus of the evening was daddy-daughter relationships. This dance provides an opportunity for dads to be intentional about spending one-on-one time with their daughters, which is something that can be hard to do in the hustle and bustle of life. I especially loved watching the girls posing for pictures with their dads. I was able to look through the pictures at the end of the evening and tears filled my eyes. What a wonderful keepsake for the girls to remember this evening with their dad, where they felt cherished and connected with their father. I know the girls will remember this time fondly.
Not only was this evening important for the special relationship between dads and their daughters, but it also has implications for the girls’ future. A friend of mine posted something on Facebook that I think directly relates to this. She said that when she was younger, her Daddy gave her a strand of pearls and told her that she, like the pearls, was beautifully refined and worthy of being treasured. Now in college, she was wearing the strand of pearls while on a date with a man who truly treasured her. She said she was thankful for her dad who set the standard for how she should be loved. I love how the Daddy-Daughter Valentine’s Dance provides a place where this teaching can begin. Here, fathers can teach their daughters what it looks like to be cherished and loved, setting a precedent for the rest of their lives. It is truly a special event!
-Angela Caldwell, event volunteer
Twenty-two members of Reston Bible Church, led by Mike Meyers and Jason Goetz, are preparing to jet down to Brazil over spring break to help host a Vacation Bible School (VBS) for up to 200 children of the Terena Indian Tribe. The mixture of parents and kids from 5th grade and up met for the second time last week to get to know each other, learn important words like ban-yay-ro (bathroom), and figure out how to make this VBS absolutely amazing.
A few numbers from the meeting:
7 pizzas consumed
2 cups (of water) spilled
5 sentences learned in Portuguese
2 worship songs sung
5 craft projects picked
And a zillion other details discussed
WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR FAMILY MISSION TO BRAZIL? Join us for Family Fun Night on February 20 from 6pm to 10pm as we play games, eat, and have a bonfire on Mount Minter. Where else can you go for dinner, friends, and hours of fun for just $10 and get to hear about our mission to Brazil? Hope to see you there!
VISITATION: Visitation with the family of Corey Mattison will be held on Wednesday, January 21, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Reston Bible Church. The visitation will be held regardless of weather conditions.
MEMORIAL SERVICE: The memorial service will be held at RBC on Thursday, January 22, starting at 1:00 p.m. Click here for directions to Reston Bible Church
***PLEASE NOTE THAT NO CAMERAS OR RECORDING DEVICES ARE ALLOWED IN THE BUILDING FOR THE VISITATION OR MEMORIAL SERVICE, AND NO MEDIA INTERVIEWS MAY BE CONDUCTED ON CHURCH PROPERTY.***
FROM THE FAMILY: Corey was thankful each day for the blessings the Lord provided for him. He found joy in everything. On any given day you could find him fervently serving others without a hint of desiring anything in return. His greatest days were spent with his wife and 5 children regardless of what they were doing. Corey laid down his life every day for his bride and his children, a beautiful reflection of his love relationship with Jesus Christ. Corey died the way that he lived, sacrificing his very life to save his family.
MEMORIAL CONTRIBUTIONS: Financial contributions made to www.gofundme.com/kdjh1o will go to support his wife Denise and the five children.
Please remain in prayer for Denise, her children, and the many others affected by this tragedy. In addition to memorial contributions (link above), we will post updates here should other specific needs for the family arise.
Our 2014 annual report is now available here online or in print at the RBC welcome desk.
Our Annual Report is designed to provide you with a big-picture overview of what God has been doing in and through Reston Bible Church over the course of 2014.
Scripture tells us in Ephesians 3:20 that Jesus is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, and we continue to see the truth of this in the life of our church. As we pursue our mission, vision and passion of knowing Christ and making Him known, God has been faithful to provide growth and momentum in many areas of church life here at RBC.
As with each year, this report is not a compilation of our accomplishments, but those of our great and glorious God.
In Psalm 77, the author, Asaph, is struggling with discouragement and feels disconnected from the Lord. A turning point comes in the middle of the Psalm, where he says, “I will remember the deeds of the LORD… I will ponder all Your work and meditate on your mighty deeds.” The result is worship as he then acknowledges the holiness and greatness of “the God who works wonders.”
It is a joy to look back and remember the great things God has done, and the Annual Report allows us an opportunity to do that in the context of our church.
May this year-in-review booklet be an encouragement to deeper worship and more profound trust as we look back and are reminded of the many wonders God has done among us for the glory of His name.
Did you know that if you rake leaves for First Fruits, or provide a job for volunteers to do, or donate to First Fruits – you are also helping high school students achieve their dream of going to college? Over the past three years, thanks to the blessings of First Fruits, RBC has helped 18 students realize their dream of going to college by awarding Perseverance Scholarships (totaling over $19K) to graduating seniors at several local high schools (including Herndon, Parkview, Dominion, and Potomac Falls). The scholarship celebrates not the success that may come from persevering, but more importantly the proven character of the person who has persevered and in the process become a positive example and source of encouragement for their peers.
The scholarship recipients have had to overcome (and continue to endure, in some cases) a wide array of challenges – from financial hardships, language barriers, bullying, depression, family illness and severe debilitating injuries, to unstable homes, abuse, homelessness, divorce, and immigrating alone to the United States. Each recipient has demonstrated remarkable courage and strength of character in how they have chosen to persevere. Keep reading to learn more about two of the 2014 inspiring scholarship recipients.
ASHLYN’S STORY: Ashlyn, in the process of dealing with financial hardships, abuse, and mental illness at home, became not only an exceptional student with a 4.1 GPA, but also helped others to gain their voice and develop their talents. As a tutor she helped peers overcome academic challenges and as President of the Freethinkers Club, she encouraged others to speak freely and openly in a safe environment. Her great love for literature and music includes looking beyond the text or words for the deeper, unspoken meaning. She is much like the music she loves. As she quoted Victor Hugo in her scholarship application, “music expresses that which cannot be put into words and cannot remain silent.” Thankfully, Ashlyn did not remain silent. She reached out for help and has started sharing her story and is encouraging others to reach out and have hope. A year ago, Ashlyn didn’t think college would be an option. She is now in her first year at George Mason in the honors program and plans to major in English Literature and Music. (To learn more about Ashlyn in her own words, click here.)
JUAN’S STORY: Juan is another 2014 scholarship recipient who has overcome early setbacks in life, five years in the foster care system and difficulties at home and school. But, instead of giving up and dropping out as he had seen so many friends and family members do, he took the radical step at the end of his Junior year in high school of turning away from the poor influences in his life. In one short year, he had an extensive impact on his football team, his school community, and his youth group. He is now known by his peers for his moral fiber, leading not only with words but also his actions. He is widely respected for always encouraging others on and off the playing field and for his positive attitude. He is a true team player. On his high school football team – he played every position except line and was unanimously selected as captain and MVP. He has great compassion for others enduring hard times and looks for opportunities to come alongside to help and encourage others to not give up. In his senior year, he even packed two lunches – one for himself and one to give away. He also takes great pride in a job well done – learning that “that regardless of the job assigned you should always do it to the best of your ability.” Juan is also known for his faith and desire to share the truth of Jesus Christ with those that are struggling. He speaks from experience and gives the glory to Christ in his key verses “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13) and “sanctify them in your truth Lord. Your word is truth.” Juan is an exceptional leader and is currently studying business.
If you are interested in partnering with us in First Fruits, get more information or sign up at www.restonbible.org/firstfruits
First Fruits is a service project that has rallied the RBC church body for over 25 years. It is a unique serving opportunity for families, shepherd groups, and individuals to come together and make a difference in the lives and families in our area who are in need of help and encouragement. In addition to providing food and support to local families, a portion of the funds raised goes to what we call the Perseverance Scholarship. This is a scholarship we offer in several local high schools to seniors who desire to further their education. The scholarship celebrates not only the success that may come from persevering, but more importantly the proven character of the person who has persevered and in the process become a positive example and source of encouragement for their peers. This year, Ashlyn was one of the recipients of the Perseverance Scholarship. This is her story.
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I want to say thank you to Reston Bible Church for helping me go to college by giving me a Perseverance Scholarship. I am now a freshman in the Honors College at George Mason University. One year ago I never thought it would be possible to go to college. After my junior year all my friends were starting to visit colleges and were asking where I wanted to go. All I could think was “there is no way that this is ever going to happen” for me. Things were too complicated in my life to consider the idea of going to college – I had no hope that I would be able to go.
For much of the past nine years, I’ve felt like my life was a tornado of devastation. From my father losing his job, to family bankruptcy, to losing our house, to moving from state to state, to growing tension between my parents, to my sister suffering from severe depression and an eating disorder… the list goes on. Watching all this and seeing the impact on my family as a whole left me feeling like I had to be the rock for my family. I had to be strong and supportive- hide my own anxiety and misery and fears to be there for them. I felt so brittle, so alone and weak.
In all of this the toughest challenge was living with my father. Ever since I was a child, my father controlled every living aspect of my sister’s, mother’s, and my life. He was an alcoholic and had been clinically diagnosed with major depression and a personality disorder. He took his medication with scotch and sometimes with a sleeping pill and was abusive toward us. He was incredibly manipulative and gained control over us through “mind games” which included taking guns and knives out and threatening to use them to get his way. Countless times I had to confront him- once lying on top of a rifle to stop my father from loading it. My father’s controlling behavior isolated us and as a result, we never knew how dysfunctional our family was until we finally reached out for help.
After many months of planning and many years of contemplation, this past Mother’s Day my mother moved my sister and me to another place – taking our first steps towards freedom and independence. Even though our future is still questionable and slightly daunting due to our current financial difficulties and present circumstances, moving away from my father has proven to be the catalyst for hope and new beginnings. And I am certain that any future challenges ahead will not be nearly as hard as what we have already overcome.
I couldn’t have done it without all of the support I received from people around my community. Organizations such as Child Protective and especially Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter (LAWS). My friends and teachers have all been supportive of me. And, I am so grateful for the generosity and kindness of my drama teacher, Mrs. Young, and her family. All these people supported me through all of my adversity and have honestly saved my life.
One example I experienced that showed me how things can change for the better is, I remember, sitting down at the dinner table with my drama teacher’s family and being absolutely stunned – there was no screaming, no yelling, tension, crying, negative energy. Everyone was talking pleasantly and eating together. I had never experienced anything like this before. It was so simple, such a day-to-day activity this family had with each other, but to me it was so much more. It gave me hope that real happy, loving families exist. It was an experience I will never forget.
During the early and middle stages of my situation, I was hesitant to reach out for help because I thought it showed weakness. However, I found it is really the most important thing you can do. It shows strength in that you are brave enough to ask for help. At first it is hard to reveal your weaknesses to others, but later you realize it is better to get help then struggle on your own. It is quintessential to seek help when you are in a difficult situation; hiding that pain, anxiety, and stress only lets it fester and build up until you explode. There is always someone out there to help, and there is always hope for better days, no matter what. My counselor and others have helped me realize that the past does not define you- you do not have to be held back something you are not able to change or control. You can move past it and grow from it. The tough times and downfalls I’ve experienced have made me a stronger and wiser individual, and ultimately has taught me to persevere and never give up.
I hope sharing my story will encourage others to reach out for help in order to start a better future for their lives. Starting my new chapter in life at George Mason as part of the Honors College is a dream come true. Thank you to all those that have contributed to First Fruits in any way that made the Perseverance Scholarship possible in order for me to attain my dream of going to college and to know that nothing is impossible.
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For more information on First Fruits and how you can get involved, check out www.restonbible.org/firstfruits.
Here is a recent correspondence from G., an RBC-supported missionary serving with Pioneers in Croatia. Here is a recap of G.’s work with youth and church building/planing efforts over the summer:
Another summer is almost over in Slavonski Brod. Six short-term teams with over 80 guests have helped us share the good news of Christ with many young people. The church building is taking shape before our eyes. We look forward to the day when the building is completed and pray that God continues to grow His church that will be meeting in it.
Below I have written more about both the building and our summer activities. I also want to ask you to pray specifically for a man who I have known for over 12 years. He and his wife have shown a degree of openness over the years, but it has never moved beyond an intellectual understanding of what Christians believe. But some things have happened in their lives recently that seem to have caused the husband particularly to consider spiritual things more seriously. He recently expressed a desire to study the Bible with me, and we hope to start in the next week or so. Pray for God to reveal himself to this friend and that he and his wife would one day soon place their trust in Christ! Thanks so much for your prayers and your partnership with me in Croatia!
CHURCH BUILDING: The last time I wrote, I told you of a matching fund that had been set up to help complete construction of the exterior of the Slavonski Brod church building this year. We were hoping to raise $70,000 by the end of June for that to happen. The Lord has seen fit to provide, through many churches and individuals both in the U.S. and in Croatia, $108,000! The building is under construction and we expect it to be under roof in a just a few more weeks. This does not mean an end to the construction process, nor to the need for finances. Now that the building is under roof, it is safe from the elements and we can complete the inside as funds become available. We would love the help of short-term teams to, for example, take a room and fix it up. Please pray for the ultimate completion of the building in God’s timing, and for Him to continue to build His church spiritually, and not just physically, in Slavonski Brod.
SUMMER OUTREACHES: This summer we have had 81 individuals come to work with us for at least one week, including a team of 11 which arrived today! With their help, we have held baseball camps, children’s Bible clubs, and open air concerts, and we have had lots of less formal opportunities to meet and get to know Croatian youth. The gospel has been shared countless times and in many ways. Two Croatian teens have even met with a small group of us to study the Bible. Summer is definitely a time of broad sowing for us as we take advantage of the many short-term workers who come to help us to share as frequently and as broadly as we can. Pray that we will see the fruit of this broad sowing one day soon. I was particularly encouraged this year by one of the teens living in Nova Gradiška who trusted in Christ last summer. One Sunday at church when several unbelieving youth came (because they wanted to say goodbye to the short-term team that was leaving that day), he prayed publicly and boldly, “Lord, I pray that these other teens here today would trust in You and that You would change their lives like You did for me. Amen.” That was a first for him. Pray for him to continue to grow, and that his prayer for the other teens in his city would be answered also!
Would you take a minute now to pray for G., the many Croatian youth who heard the gospel this summer, and for the church in Slavonski Brod?
Our epic adventure, with 220 children and 140 volunteers, over five days has come to an end …but it’s really only the beginning. This past week we hosted our 2014 Kids Camp where we focused on the King Jesus, each day unveiling a new clue to His identity and the key to entering His eternal Kingdom. The children learned that our King was foretold long ago by the Prophets, that He alone has power to rule and reign over nature, the spiritual world, sin, and death. We learned that He is a shepherd King who laid down His life for us, and that He defeated death and the grave by rising on the third day, and that by coming to Him in faith we enter His eternal Kingdom. Finally, we closed the week with the exciting news that Jesus the King is building His Kingdom through each of us in His Church.
We want to thank everyone who volunteered, who prayed, and who gave towards making this time a blessing to so many children. Thank you to everyone on the RBC staff who set aside significant amounts of their time to make this week extra special for the children. Having the privilege to see many young people come to Christ in faith, and others deepen their understanding of their faith, is a reward beyond what we could ask or imagine. Thank you!
– Mike Meyers, Children’s Ministry Director
Photo credit: A huge THANK YOU to Agung Fauzi of Seize the Day Photography for volunteering his time & talents to give us such excellent photos of this year’s Kids Camp!
If you have ever wondered what might have happened to the books that were leftover from RBC’s book drive for Guilford Elementary last Spring, then you will love this story. Open Arms Worldwide (OAW) is a mission supported by Reston Bible Church that works in low income or otherwise at-risk neighborhoods in Brazil. Open Arms works to mobilize and equip local churches to reach and teach children who are in their community, but outside their church family. This year, Open Arms has started working in the U.S. as well, and their first project is right in our backyard. In partnership with Sterling Park Baptist Church, we have begun building a relationship with another Sterling Park elementary school, Sully Elementary.
At the beginning of the month, Sterling Park Baptist and Open Arms held a book drive with the goal of providing 2-3 books for every child at Sully to read over the summer. In the spirit of unity in the body of Christ, RBC gave the effort a huge head start by donating around 1,000 books that were left over from the Guilford drive last Spring. Your gifts have been multiplied and the body of Christ has been glorified! Win, win!
Read more about this story on the Open Arms website.
“I in them, and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” – Jesus in John 17:23
After the great response from our first live worship album, No Other Name, we’re excited to announce that we’d like to do another one this Fall. To make room and help fund the next album, No Other Name is on sale at the RBC Bookstore and on iTunes at the reduced price of $8 for a limited time.
No Other Name is available from the digital music vendors below. A limited number of CDs are avilable in the RBC Bookstore. You can also find No Other Name on Spotify, eMusic, Rhapsody, Rdio, and iHeartRadio.
We only have one more week of registration left for the 2014 RBC Kids Camp. Our theme this year, “THE KING – Quest for the Eternal Kingdom” will be epic, and your kids won’t want to miss it. You can register at www.restonbible.org/kidscamp. Camp runs from June 23-27.
We are still in need of about 40 more volunteers, so please consider spending this week, or part of it, with us and your child at Kids Camp. For those of you working during the day, this is your chance to volunteer! Camp will run Monday through Friday from 6:30-9:05 PM! Questions? Drop me an email.
Director of Children’s Ministry
Our church is always looking for ways to serve you as you live out your faith throughout the week. With the goal of continuing to know Christ and make Him known, RBC is partnering with a service called RightNow Media. You can think of it as the “Netflix of video Bible studies” because with RightNow Media, you will have instant access to thousands of online video sermons and teachings for kids, youth, parents, married couples and more. There are currently over 2,000 videos from many great Bible teachers.
We would love to provide anyone who considers RBC their church home with a free account to the RightNow Media video library.
If you are in myRBC, our online church database, you should have already received an “invitation email” from Pastor Tony Pedroni on behalf of RightNow Media. That email will include instructions on activating your RightNow Media profile so you have free access to this online library. Simply find the email (check your spam folder if you can’t find it in your inbox), click on the link, put in your name and a password and you’re all set.
We hope you will find this resource helpful as you seek to grow in Christ. If you have any questions, can’t find the invitation email or need help setting up your RightNow Media login, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our next drive this Sunday (May 11, 2014 from 8:00am – 1:00pm) is extra special because it is in memory of Stephen Chiang, a faithful RBC volunteer and blood donor for many years. Stephen went home to be with the Lord last year at the early age of 34. He also served faithfully at the Welcome Desk and in our Media Ministry for many years. Stephen’s mother is planning to be there, so whether you donate or not, please feel free to drop by and wish her a happy Mother’s Day.
I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than to give the gift of life to someone in need if you are able to give and will be in town that day. If you’d like to sign up online, please click here for the online registration form. We will have two bloodmobiles, so you should be in and out within around 30 minutes.
Currently, we only have 20 of our 105 slots filled, so there’s lots of room available, especially before 10:00am and after 11:00am.
One more note: The most common reason people are not allowed to donate is due to an iron deficiency. This can easily be remedied by eating a meal of iron-rich foods the night before the drive. Here’s a list of such foods in case you struggle with this (click here to download a PDF.)
Hope to see you Sunday. Have a very blessed week.
Dale Peak, Administrator
With all that it takes to become comfortable and productive in Northern Virginia culture, it occurred to me that the internationals in our English as a Second Language program would benefit from understanding how to handle emergency situations. One of our teachers, Ron Colan, has a son who is a deputy with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s office. Deputy Colantonio was only too happy to come in and share basic knowledge with our students. I also contacted the Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Squad and they sent a very capable public education manager, Lisa Braun, to provide training in all matters having to do with fire safety and calling 911.
For our two lower-level classes, I had to provide translators in order to ensure clear understanding of this important information. Thankfully, I was able to find the right people for all the major language groups. The presenters deftly maneuvered talking then pausing, over and over again, in order to allow the translators to work effectively.
Ms. Braun provided a 911 simulator which looks like a telephone and has a recording of the likely dialog that would be heard from the 911 operator. It was great for the students to try to answer the dispatcher’s questions and listen for instructions. When one is in a stressful situation, this may not be so easily done – even for a native English speaker!
Deputy Colantonio talked about what to do if one is pulled over by a police officer and also the procedure to follow should one have a traffic accident. Students had many questions on other matters pertaining to the law that have either been misunderstood or not known.
We strive to give our students practical information about how to live here as responsible citizens. Part of that is helping them to acquire the language and part of that is providing cultural insight including understanding the law. The more we show our love and concern for them, the more likely we will have a platform for pointing them to the ultimate need they have in their lives – knowledge of Jesus Christ and His relevance to every person, whether born here or elsewhere.
When children come into foster care, they are often removed from their homes in an emotional and chaotic scene.
Their biological families pack their belongings in whatever bags they may have handy, including garbage bags. Sometimes, families don’t have any large bags to give children to carry their things, as many of these children come from low income families. Many times children come into foster care with nothing that first night. To have a bag of their own, filled with items that are just for them as they enter a world that is not their own, can offer a small but powerful comfort.
This was the challenge that we presented to our body back in January. Let us be the hands and feet of Christ by providing shiny new duffel bags filled with the necessities that a child whose world has just been turned upside down would need, plus some extra goodies so they would feel valued and loved. We can’t measure the effect that holding a teddy bear that will be theirs to keep would have on a child that first night away from the only home they have every known.
We are grateful to God that our people are a generous people and embraced this opportunity to love a child they will probably never meet. We had over 200 bags donated, which filled two 15-passenger vans. The bags will be distributed to several local foster care agencies and will meet a tremendous need.