Church Blog

Pray for Germantown: Update

April 8 2014 at 5:27 pm 2 Comments


baby hand

We received this encouraging report from those who pray regularly on Monday mornings near the abortion facility in Germantown. What an encouragement to keep praying and watching as God works!

It was an amazing week in front of the late-term abortion facility in Germantown; much grace was flowing. Eight mothers chose life for their babies! Since we started providing a prayerful presence outside the clinic in December of 2010, over 175 babies have been saved!
 
—Last week a mother and her husband came to abort their “late-term” baby; they could not find the door to Carhart’s facility, so instead they entered Germantown Pregnancy Choices (GPC), our pregnancy referral center, enabling the staff to minister to them. The couple later returned to say that they had chosen to keep their baby and not abort! When the GPC staff asked what had helped them to change their mind about the abortion, the father replied, “It was the LOVE.”

—During our Monday prayer gathering, we were reflecting on Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 13. We came to understand more deeply our need to first show LOVE in our work; otherwise, we will never be able to share the truth! Soon after that reflection, a young woman interrupted us and challenged us saying, “You all make it hard on the women coming here (to abort). Everyone should mind their own business.” We found out this woman had brought her friend to Carhart’s facility for a late-term abortion. We were surprised by her words, but reminded of the example of Paul, and a few of our team lovingly ministered to her, while the rest of those who gathered continued to pray for her. This woman and the mother she brought for the abortion were seen going in and out of Carhart’s facility, but in the end—the mother did NOT abort her baby! Praise be to God!
 
—Another testimony: While praying on Wisteria Drive during the 40 Days for Life Campaign, a young woman stood in front of us and simply said, “I just stopped by to say thank you for all you’re doing.” She is a single mom with four children and is five months pregnant with her fifth child. This past January she had an appointment at Carhart’s for an abortion. A few days before her appointment, she had driven by and seen our crew holding signs and praying. At that point, she decided she could not go through with the abortion and canceled her appointment. This was a powerful testimony to me that the Lord is using our presence to save lives even if we never talk directly to anyone. Only God knows how many others have changed their minds just because we are here in Germantown.

All who long to protect the most vulnerable in our community are invited to join the group that prays in Germantown on Monday mornings. This work is truly a matter of life and death!

Every Monday, 8 to 10 a.m.
Corner of Wisteria Drive and Executive Park Terrace
Germantown, MD 20874

Visit prayforgermantown.com for parking and directions.


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Ramil Smith’s Story of Adoption

February 3 2014 at 3:35 pm 0 Comments


Above: In yesterday’s service Ramil Smith shared the story of his adoption. Found wandering in Quezon City, the Philippines, as a toddler, he was taken in by a poor family and eventually came to the U.S. through a summer hosting program.

Covenant Life’s Beloved Ministry will be holding an informational meeting tomorrow (February 4) at 7 p.m. to introduce people to Catholic Charities, the summer hosting program the Lord used to bring the Smiths and Ramil together. For more information on this evening, visit the Event page or e-mail the .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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Forgiveness and Freedom in Christ

January 21 2014 at 2:25 pm 2 Comments

Above (from Sunday, January 19): Betty Stavely describes emerging from 35 years of shame and struggle and receiving forgiveness and freedom in Christ.

For more information about Forgiven and Set Free, the confidential, small group Bible study for post-abortive women that Betty mentions, e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or call (301) 407-1575 or (505) 670-4164. This and more opportunities for women are listed in our Equipping Women section.


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Special Sunday Song from Erin Hill

December 17 2013 at 8:53 am 4 Comments

This past Sunday, Erin Hill, a member who serves on our Music and Worship Team, shared a song that fit perfectly with Joshua’s message on The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant from Matthew 18:21-35. We asked Erin if she could tell us how the song came about and also provide the lyrics:

“One day last week I came across some pictures of old friends that took me straight back to a difficult season of pain, disloyalty and dissolved friendships. If you had asked me prior to seeing the photographs I would have told you that I had forgiven these particular people of what they had done against me and my family; I thought I did! But the truth was, I hadn’t yet done that completely. The Lord desired to bring me to a place of further healing and true forgiveness. He opened my eyes to see that I was still holding debts against these people and it was affecting my current relationships, but most importantly, it was a hindrance in my relationship with the Lord.

After seeing the pictures I was able to take some time to sit down at the piano and receive this simple song from the Lord (mind you, I was pretty angry when I first started singing!). As the lyrics and the music started coming I was seeing how this was a sweet gift from Him for my aching soul. I don’t know how it all transpired but an unexpected healing took place while I was being honest with the Lord in that moment.

While I was still writing, I had the thought that this song might not only be for my benefit but possibly a song the Lord might use for his church. I contacted Josh to see what the text for Sunday was going to be…I couldn’t help but to laugh out loud when he shared that he was teaching on the passage of the unforgiving servant!

I truly feel that the burden of bitterness, anger and unforgiveness has been lifted from me and I sense a freedom that I haven’t felt in almost five years! Praise God!”

Lyrics

When I see Jesus face to face
I won’t think about the pain I feel right now
One day when I put my hand to his
I won’t think about the hands that hurt me here

But right now it seems much easier
To hate my enemies
Than to forgive and rest within your peace

So I need you, Jesus
My anger’s held me captive for too long
I need you, just you
Replace this bitterness with your love

I had a debt I could not pay
And you showed me your mercy

Erin Hill photo

Thank you, Erin, for serving the Lord and our church with your voice and your songs. Let us know if you are able to get the song recorded!


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Hey Good Samaritans: Good Work!

February 8 2013 at 7:51 am 0 Comments

Good Samaritan Advocates Logo

We hope you will be encouraged by reading this recent letter the Good Samaritan Advocates team received from a beneficiary of their services. Praise God for the difference this work is making in our community! 

“I just want to tell you that because of you and the GSA team, it feels like heaven here on earth. Your sacrificial giving of your time and talent on a Saturday morning free of charge just to help people is very rare in this world. I was deeply touched by the passion and diligence that the team I was assigned to on January 19 put forth in handling my case. It felt like [these servants] were angelic beings! The prayers and everything they did for me availed so much, and miracles occurred in that room that day.

For several months I could not find a neurologist who participated in the insurance I had. This team found one, and I had an appointment with her on January 29. She did not order a bone scan, as she does not treat work injury cases, but she examined me for the ongoing neurological symptoms affecting me. May God do for you and the team as written in Matthew 25:31-40. Thank you so much for your labor of love for others.”

GSA conducts clinics in Gaithersburg and Falls Church, Va. Visit the GSA website for more information.


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Keep Your Eyes On The Prize

August 12 2012 at 6:13 pm 8 Comments

Sheffer Family
Pastor Erik Sheffer sent the letter below to the members under his care last week. We hope it encourages your soul, too!

Friends,

When was the last time you had a fresh encounter with our living God?  If you are like me, sadly, these aren’t every day occasions.  These moments are rare.  And I want to share one with you to remind you that he does speak, personally and intimately still.

But first I want to remind us that they need not be rare.  God is speaking powerfully right now.  God is fully present right now.  It’s our hearts, our seeing and hearing that is the problem.  Romans 1:19-20 says,

“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.  For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.”

So my prayer that I have been crying out to God is for him to help us truly see him and hear him, which I believe will lead us to love and worship him.  How can a heart that has seen or heard the voice of God not melt before him?

Ok, so now the story I wanted to share. My newborn daughter, Jubilee, was in the NICU for a few days after her birth before I finally got the phone call from my wife, Jerusha, that she was ready to be discharged.  As I was driving in, excited, yet weary, I thought I’d listen to a song to refresh me and help me worship with a grateful heart.  I remembered the Sara Groves song, “He Has Always Been Faithful,” and than remembered I purchased her new album a while back, “Invisible Empires.”  I really never listened to it, but the song, “Keep Your Eyes On The Prize,” grabbed my attention so I began to play it.  What a great song! 

Again, picture me 10 minutes away from Shady Grove Hospital ready to pick up Jubilee and Jerusha hearing this song.  Without giving any specifics of the song away (you have to listen to it!), the way the song ends (the last 30-45 seconds, so you can skip to it if you don’t have 3 minutes) reminded me that God still speaks … not just corporately, but personally and intimately.  He knew exactly what I needed at that moment AND I had the grace to slow down, listen, and worship.

Let’s keep praying for God to speak powerfully in and through our lives today, for he is a consuming fire!

Grateful to be your pastor,

Shef


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