Wilfredo and Glorimar Corps are long-time RBCers originally from the town of Aibonito, in the center of Puerto Rico.
As most of us are aware, Puerto Rico as recently been devastated by two hurricanes. When they visited Aibonito a week ago, Wilfredo and Glorimar were dismayed to discover both the extent of the damage and that much of the aid sent to Puerto Rico has not reached inland, where their town in located. Many families there are hurting, as well as a large senior assisted-living facility that is unable to provide three meals a day to its residents.
Twenty-two years ago, Wilfredo and Glorimar planted Primera Iglesia Bautista de Aibonito (First Baptist Church of Aibonito) in their garage. The church continued to grow even after the Corps left Puerto Rico for the mainland United States. Today, we have the opportunity to partner with this church to bring much-needed aid and supplies to the people there. The church has procured a waiver from the Puerto Rican government that will allow us to send a large amount of supplies and aid without import taxes. Wilfredo and Glorimar will be on-hand in Puerto Rico to receive our shipment of donated items, transport them to Aibonito and deliver them personally to people in need.
On Sunday, October 22, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., we will have a truck parked in front of the main building on the traffic circle where you can drop off aid and supply items you see on the list below. The goal of this project is to provide some basic necessities to sustain the people of Aibonito for the next 30-90 days, the estimated time frame until power and basic utilities will be restored to the town.
Here is a list of what we need:
- Power generators
- Extension cords
- Personal water filtration systems
- Drinking water
- Lamps (solar- and battery-powered)
- Non-perishable food items (canned food or items that don’t need refrigeration and can last 60-90 days)
- Powdered milk
- Baby formula
- Baby diapers
- Batteries size D, AA, and AAA
- Battery-operated fans
- Mosquito nets
- Mosquito repellent
- Solar-powered chargers (for phones and other electronics)
- Adult diapers
- Tarps (any size, the bigger the better)
- Power inverters
- Bed sheets (all sizes)
- Over-the-counter medication (Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, etc.)
- Clothing (not heavy or winter as PR is tropical year around)
- Personal hygiene items
Feel free to donate any of the items above in bulk as we are planning on a large container in which to ship them.
Finally, if you order anything from Amazon, please consider using smile.amazon.com, where you’ll find the exact same shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to RBC’s Benevolent Fund. You use the same account on Amazon.com and AmazonSmile, so your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are the same. On your first visit to AmazonSmile, simply select Reston Bible Church as your charitable organization. The website will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make from then on will result in a donation.
We are looking forward to seeing how God will use the people of RBC to share Christ’s love with recent victims of natural disasters, first in Texas and now in Puerto Rico. Thank you for your willingness to help so many hurting people.
God has called us to love and “be neighbors” to those He has placed around us!
This year we are adding an additional aspect to the First Fruits Project: The Heart of First Fruits. We are asking you, the body of Christ at RBC, to consider the needs of the people around you and how you could tangibly bless them over the weeks of First Fruits and Thanksgiving. Prayerfully consider whom God might put on your heart, and then think of a practical way to encourage them. Some examples you might think about: a single mom, an elderly couple, someone dealing with an illness, someone who lost a job, a young couple with young children, someone with no family near by, or even someone with no perceived need at all.
Your encouragement could be anonymous, but it doesn’t have to be. It could be fresh baked cookies. It could be an invitation to come to dinner at your home. It could be raking the leaves in their yard or fixing a leaking faucet. The options are many. Just ask the Lord how you can bless someone around you — the way you would want to be blessed if you were in their shoes. It is the heart of the Lord to bless us and for us to pass on this blessing to others. Enjoy this opportunity to love others as unto Jesus.
We would ask one additional thing — that you share how God leads you to live out the “Heart of First Fruits” and what happens. We would love for you to share your story using the button below. We will keep your name and those you bless confidential. Our goal is to allow the body of Christ at RBC to hear how God has led us individually to love our neighbors. We will provide a follow-up after the event so we can hear how God’s hands and feet responded! We hope you will choose to join us on this mission – and for it to become a regular part of all our lives.Share your story Learn more about First Fruits
An opportunity has arisen to show the love of Christ to Hurricane Harvey victims in Texas.
Christian Fellowship Church and RBC are teaming up with Samaritan’s Purse to sponsor a trip to the Corpus Christi area (one of the hardest hit) on November 5-11. Samaritan’s Purse is providing meals, lodging and tools — all you need do is get there. We estimate the cost to be $475 per person, which includes airfare and ground transportation while there. We have reserved a block of 15 plane tickets that must be purchased by Wednesday, October 4, on a first-come, first-served basis. The tickets are non-refundable, and background checks are required. If you have other questions about this work trip, please contact Dale Peak at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Participants must be 18 years of age to register. Participants 17 and under would only be allowed to participate if a parent or guardian was participating in the trip as well. Registrations will be on a first-come, first-served basis and space is very limited. Once registered, a link will be sent to each registrant to fill out the paperwork required by Samaritan’s Purse. You would not be considered officially registered until all paperwork is filled out completely. Please note that this is very appropriate, high-energy / low-skill work during the first phase of disaster response.
From Samaritan’s Purse
Thank you for partnering with Samaritan’s Purse as we minister to families whose homes were damaged during Hurricane Harvey. Far beyond the physical help you will extend to the homeowners, the spiritual and emotional support you offer to them is even more important. We hope your volunteer experience is rewarding and life-changing. Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 130 mph. Harvey remained a powerful storm and has brought torrential rain to Texas in the days that followed. Our response to this storm includes debris removal, roof tarping and mudouts.Join Wait List Download More Information
Please pray for the hope of Christ to reach theses devastated regions.
For those of you who have been here 10 years or longer, you probably remember our extensive involvement with disaster relief following Hurricane Katrina (sending a dozen work teams and a truckload of food and other supplies). At the moment, we ask that you pray, pray, pray for the victims and for an effective response that demonstrates God’s grace and love. Disasters like this often provide many opportunities for people to talk about Jesus Christ because of their joyful endurance, hopeful spirit, and works of love.
Here’s where we currently stand. As we did with Katrina, we are waiting until things settle down somewhat to determine our course of action. We certainly do not want to be in the way of early response teams, FEMA, etc. as they continue to rescue people and sort out needs. We also must find a church or churches in the area to partner with. We have learned from experience that this is the most effective way to extend our help from so far away. When it is safe for us to enter affected areas, we may once again send work crews to help clean up and repair. However, we need to wait until the danger has passed so as not to complicate the ongoing rescue operations. For example, many churches there are currently overwhelmed by acting as temporary shelters housing evacuees. They cannot accommodate work teams right now. Some hotels are reporting 10 or more people per room with little more than the clothes on their backs. So, as hard as it is, we must wait patiently for the right moment to be the most effective – remember, we sent our first team to Katrina (I was part of that team) six weeks after the storm.
If you feel led to do something now, there are options for you. If you want to go or give, we recommend contacting one or more of the following:
- Samaritan’s Purse is currently on the scene assessing the damage. We have teamed with this organization in the past and have been richly blessed by it.
- The American Red Cross is taking donations to help victims and asking people to donate much-needed blood at local drives.
- World Vision is assembling Family Food Kits.
- SPCA is helping families connect with lost pets.
Finally, if you have family members who have been severely affected by Harvey in the greater Houston area, or by Irma in Florida, please let us know. If and when we do send teams, we would love to start by rebuilding homes of your loved ones.
Please address your immediate questions to me at email@example.com and continue to pray for Houston and Florida!
This post has been updated in response to the impact of Hurricane Irma in Florida.
We are thankful that over 500 hundred bikes have been donated by RBCers in support of the Casa Bernabe orphanage in Nicaragua.
Thanks in part to your generosity, the orphanage has developed Nica Bikeshop, a thriving bicycle shop where orphans are discipled in Christ as they learn vocational skills like bike repair, sales and customer service. We recently received the photo above from some of the Nica Bikeshop workers – the sign reads, “Thank you RBC Friends. You are a blessing!”
We also received the message below from Cal Covert, our ministry contact for the bike donations. Cal is on the board of directors for NicaWorks, the non-profit organization that oversees the bike collection and many other aspects of care, support and ministry in Nicaragua.
The bike shop has provided opportunities for many Nicaraguans, including orphans and at-risk youth. It is now the largest bike shop in all of Nicaragua. RBC has played a vital role in donating more than 500 bikes to the ministry. The shop has been a tremendous opportunity to mentor young men and women who otherwise would have no hope of a future for themselves or their families. For example, Josh, the director of the bike shop is a recovering alcoholic. Last fall he looked me square in the eyes and said, “If it wasn’t for this business, I know I would be dead right now.” Not only has he pulled his life together, but he is in a strong walk with Jesus that he never had before. Josh meets with his Nicaraguan and American (via Skype) mentors at least once every week.
Thank you, RBC, for your continued generosity as we know Christ and make Him known in Northern Virginia and around the world!
Praise God for all who donated books and gave their time sorting, setting up, and assisting the children at last week’s Guilford Elementary Book Fair.
We were able to give out over 2,000 books! Each child took home three of their very own, just-right books, and their faces were beaming as they picked them out.
While the book fair was going on, the children were also getting their fall pictures taken. One of the photographers came over to the tables and asked where the books came from. We were able to tell him about Reston Bible and our partnership with Guilford. We told him about the many ways we are able to show the love of Christ by meeting the needs of the community. He shared how much it meant to him as a father who cannot always provide extra things like books when he is struggling to put food on the table. Because of your generosity, we were able to give him and the other photographer a stack of books for their children as well!
After the last child picked out his books, the teachers were able to come and gather the remaining books for their classrooms. There are many first-year teachers at Guilford this year, so they were incredibly thankful to stock their classroom shelves.
The Guilford staff, children, and parents thank you for your continued support. We will have another book fair in the spring, so hold on to those books!
The mission of our Adopt-a-School relationship with Guilford Elementary School is to help meet the physical, relational and spiritual needs of the disadvantaged through service and generosity, and to encourage the staff who work with these families.
By leveraging the talents and resources of many RBC volunteers, we have the opportunity to positively affect the lives of students, their families, and the staff of Guilford. We can help to fill the gap created by budget cuts and a poor economy with our abundance and share the hope that is in us.
One of the ways in which Reston Bible serves Guilford Elementary is through Backpack Buddies, where we send bags of food home every Friday with the children of families living below the poverty level.
Right now, Guilford has 250 families that meet that criteria and need assistance. Last Thursday, volunteers gathered together in the clubhouse to pack bags for our first delivery of the school year. It was a time of fellowship, service, and an opportunity to show the love of Christ to our local community. Thank you to the volunteers who came out to help! This ministry would not be possible without your faithful service. We are in need of many more weekly volunteers – especially for Backpack Buddies delivery on Fridays when we take the bags of food to Guilford. If you are interested in serving with us, please click here for more information.
MUSIC & SCRIPTURE
Closer (Psalm 89:14-15) – Glorious Ruins by Hillsong Worship
I Will Look Up (Deuteronomy 7:9) –Only King Forever by Elevation Worship
Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) (Psalm 107:14) — See the Morning by Chris Tomlin
Lord I Need You (Hebrews 4:16) – All The People Said Amen by Matt Maher
TEACHING: James – Living Out Our Faith, Part 11
Your speech is the signature of your soul.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR SHEPHERD GROUPS
- What was one thing you found particularly interesting, insightful, helpful or difficult to understand from this sermon?
- How has your life been “landscaped” by the power of the tongue? Who is someone who has spoken life to you? Who is someone who has spoken death to you?
- Read and discuss James 3:1-6. What do you note about the power of the tongue? What encouragements, warnings or commands are here for us to heed?
- What other verses do you know of that speak to the power of the tongue?
- What does it mean that the tongue is set on fire by hell (v.6)?
- How are the heart and the tongue related?
- How do you think you come across in your speech to others? Do you feel this is an area in which you need to grow? Why or why not?
- Who is someone to whom you can speak words of encouragement and life this week? Share with your group, then give a report at your next group meeting.
The Deacons are launching a new initiative called “RBC Cares,” whose goal is to connect those who desire to share their gifts (material or services), with the needy in our congregation, who are under the care of the Deacons.
RBC Cares will assist the Deacons in meeting the needs of RBC families, while tapping into the talents of the congregation.
The first step is to create a central repository of donors, which enables the Deacons to match needs with gifts. To do this we need your help. First, we need to know who is willing to help (free of charge) and how you’re gifted.
Here are a few examples of ways to serve:
- Opening your home to a displaced widow/family
- Offering legal advice
- Offering tax advice or financial guidance
- Offering real estate advice
- Assisting with job searches
- Providing child care
- Doing home repair
- Giving rides to church
Here’s how it works:
- Let us know you’re willing to serve by registering at the link below (donors will be kept anonymous).
- Tell us how you would like to serve.
- If a need arises within your area of giftedness, we will communicate the need and if you’re willing and able, you can elect to serve. If not, we will keep you on the list for the next opportunity within your area. There’s no time commitment or obligation.
- You can serve as little or as much as you prefer, as needs arise within your area of giftedness.
In International Connection, the English as a second language program at RBC, we strive to meet 3 main goals as a ministry. They are:
- To provide quality English classes to the immigrant community around us
- To be a place of community where people can make friends and feel a sense of belonging.
- To “sow the seed” of the gospel in a basic way – to let everyone know that God loves them.
We hold classes on Tuesday nights and on Wednesday mornings from September through early May for adult internationals, in four academic levels. Free childcare is also provided during class times as well as a Homework Club, which is tutoring for the grade school children of our evening students. This fulfills the first goal on our list as we endeavor to improve our students’ lives through language acquisition.
The second goal – that of building community – is something that was evident this past spring in our morning advanced level class. They so enjoyed each others’ company and the English conversation practice that they organized their own weekly gatherings in each others’ homes for 8 weeks after the spring semester ended! They felt a bond of friendship with one another as well as with their teachers. They also needed a forum for problem-solving the various issues that they are met with every day of their lives in this newly-adopted country. Through the course of this felt need, seeds of the gospel were also interspersed – goal number three.
If this type of ministry interests you or if you have any questions about any part of this program, please contact me, Susan Morinaga, at firstname.lastname@example.org. As it stands now, there are few teacher and assistant teacher needs for Sept. 2015.
My name is Bob Shull and I am the Senior High Youth Pastor here at Reston Bible Church. I am so thankful for the investment that RBC has made in the youth of our area for almost 40 years now. I am actually one of the fruits of the Youth Ministry here – having become a Christian when I was a Junior at Herndon High School (back in the “Remember the Titans” era) through the ministry of Dave Wentzel, RBC’s first Youth Pastor. Since that time, many things have changed (hair & clothing styles, the cost of gas, technology, to mention a few) since then in our society and in our church. RBC however has continued to focus the time and energies of our Youth Staff on encouraging our families with teens, teaching and equipping our students, and working with our students in reaching out to their friends. We follow the goal of the church as a whole to “Know Christ and make Him known” – both in a big group and small group setting. We also have a long tradition of taking and extended time with our teens in the Word of God at our Winter Retreat and Summer Camp. We give teens an opportunity to be involved in the ministry by using their gifts in worship, drama, teaching, and in the one anothers. We are blessed to have a facility that allows us to do bigger outreaches and events like “First Fruits” and our “Bring It” Talent Competition that impact our community. We have also been blessed to go with teens on over seas mission trips to places like England, Trinidad, Croatia, Brazil, Bolivia and to stateside locations like PawPaw, West VA, Chicago, Maysville SC, St. Louis Mo., and many more. It is on these trips that our teens have had to put their faith to the test and have seen God meet them there. What never ceases to amaze and motivate me is the ability of our teens to still believe and obey God in both little and big ways. Older adults can learn from them in this!
One of the greatest gifts that God has and continues to give the Youth Ministry are many volunteers He has led to join us in investing in our teens and their families and building the Kingdom of God. It is an understatement to say that working with teens is very “relational”. Just like all adults, teens are looking for a place to “belong”, a place to wrestle out what they believe, a safe place share their thoughts and doubts and grow in their faith in God. Doing this requires us to have men and women of all ages, gifting, and personalities who have a clear love for God, a love for His word, and a willingness to love and work with teens. Could God be nudging you to consider stepping out to join us?
The Youth Ministry is hosting a “Youth Ministry Preview and Training Event;” it will be on Sunday May 31st, 2015. It is designed to help anyone who wants to learn more about the youth ministry and is evaluating how he or she can serve at Reston Bible Church. Our hope is everyone attending will get the answers they need to make that decision. We will meet at 10:30am in the front classroom of the Youth Building. Aaron Osborne and Lee Banton will give the group an overview on the who, what, and why of the Youth Ministry. It will briefly cover what we do and the strategy behind it. We will then have the group join and observe the Sunday Morning Meeting – either in the Senior High (called GAP) or the Junior High (called Break Thru). This runs from 11am to 12:15pm. Afterwards the group will have lunch and the training aspect of the event. We will first cover the volunteer process; how someone becomes involved in the youth ministry. We will next cover what the volunteer roles are that we need in the Youth Ministry. We actually need not only relational people, but also those who are gifted administratively, and with specific talents – in music, drama, video, multimedia, etc. We will then go over what we see as being the “essentials” of youth ministry. There is not one type of person who can do youth ministry. However there are some essentials every volunteer needs to have and be growing in. Finally, we will talk about of the “keys” or wisdom that volunteers need to know to be effective in working with teens. It is not about just “hanging” out with teens – it’s helping them to individually learn how to follow Jesus in their lives.
If this sounds like something you want to explore, I would invite you to use this link to register for the “Youth Ministry Preview and Training Event.” You can go to this link: www.restonbible.org/youthpreview
Coming to this event does not mean you are committing to join the Youth Ministry Volunteer staff. However it will allow you to hear, see, and experience what Youth Ministry at RBC looks like and be able to make an informed choice on applying to volunteer with us. It is our goal to identify those who want to join us and begin working with them over the summer to be ready by the fall. If you have any questions or want any other information, please contact Lee Banton at email@example.com
Bob Shull, Sr. High Youth Pastor
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
Each month at RBC, we have the privilege of celebrating the Lord’s supper together as a church body. We take communion together in obedience to Christ in His command to remember Him. This simple act of obedience is a joy that unites us both to Christ and to each other as believers in the body of Christ as we remember Christ’s love for us as exhibited by His broken body and shed blood on our behalf.
In celebrating communion each month, our goal is to have a team of men and women who serve the elements once a quarter at the service they already attend. If we have enough volunteers to serve once a quarter, they are then able to enjoy communion with everyone else in the service on their “off” months. However, we need many more volunteers to act as Communion Servers to offload the responsibility of our current volunteers.
Would you consider serving as a Communion Server at RBC?
If you are interested in serving or getting more information, please contact Kemper DeGroot at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our prayer is that many would join in the blessing of serving Christ by serving His church.