Friday, December 21, 2012

3 Kings + 20 Female Academicians + 1 Guaranteed Truth = The Perfect Week

About a month ago, I experienced what could be considered a “perfect week” in ministry. Beginning on a Friday, Huntington Bank graciously offered to sponsor the B.E. Taylor Concert, provide a dinner at Maria’s Kitchen for some of our most generous donors, and donate $1,000 toward our Matching Grant fund-raising drive.

The next day, Nancy Johnson, Professor of Education at Geneva College, brought 20 female elementary education students to chaperone 20 Tiger Pause kids to the Carnegie Science Center. Normally, Tiger Pause specializes and takes pride in our ability to command and control large masses of children and youth with a bare-bones staff. So, when we are blessed with one-on-one matching of kids to adults, it is like paradise found. We were able to enjoy the entire trip, there and back, with a stop at Pizza Hut, and not have to deal with one issue, emergency, or disruptive child.

On Monday, we had a beautiful time of fellowship at our staff meeting led by Pastor Larry Bettencourt (1st wise man), where young and old got together and shared how they spend time with God and what joys and sorrows they face each day. I got the idea for this time of sharing when Jack Walker (2nd wise man) had lead devotions at our board meeting the previous month. Times of sharing like these are powerful and bring folks together, gives individuals more resolve and grit to do the things nobody can or wants to do normally.

After that week, the ministry seemed to ride on a cloud, which was easy to do since Thanksgiving was around the corner. Then, the third wise man, who will remain nameless for the time being, brought us (in a good way) back to earth. “Sin wants paid”, he told me. And as we head toward the cliff, both as a country and as a civilization, the two things we grew up knowing as absolute truths—death and taxes—will have to take a back seat to that guaranteed truth.

Here is another greater truth that almost everyone reading this newsletter remembers hearing while watching a Charlie Brown Christmas:

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: 
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, 
The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

Now, that makes for a perfect month!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

14 Blocks

Dear Friend,

In prayerful response to the Beaver Falls shooting and the tragedy in Connecticut, we feel led to pray for the protection of our children and community in a more direct and visible way. Therefore, we are planning a community prayer event called “Fourteen Blocks” and we are petitioning you to be a part. Already, the Beaver Falls Ministerium is coming together in ways I have not seen since I got here. As they begin their planning for the next steps, I thought that three days of a visible presence of prayer surrounding our children will help give us insight on how God wants to bring us together and respond as a community of believers.

We will be meeting on Thursday, January 3, Friday, January 4, and Monday, January 7 at 1611 7th Ave. (next to McDonald’s) at 2:00 p.m. We will provide refreshments as we meet and coordinate where our prayer teams will be stationed. Our plan is for teams of people to pray at 14 different street corners outside the Beaver Falls schools at dismissal time as the children begin their walk home. The purpose is to let the kids know that people care about them and, more importantly, Christ cares about them.

To ease our participants’ apprehension, a Tiger Pause staff member will accompany each team as they stand at the 14 corners that literally see 500 to 600 youth pass by every day after school.  While we are not an official part of the ministerium, this event is being held to support their future plans and a practical way to answer what I feel is every Sunday school question of what can we do?

If you would like to join us, please let us know the days and number of people attending by registering online at: or by calling our office at 724-843-2384. If you cannot join us physically, please join us in prayer during these times.

God bless you & Semper Fi,

Matt Nance