March 2022

Discover Christ's Transforming Love

126 S. Hayes Ave. Emmett, Idaho 83617


Lance Zagaris, Pastor

Pam Hodges, Worship Director

A Word From the Pastor

7 So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness, 9 where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did. 10 That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ 11 So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ” 12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

Hebrews 3:7-13

Dearly Beloved,

The author to Hebrews quotes from Psalm 95:7-11. He introduces the quotation as being inspired by the Holy Spirit. The quote summarizes the history of Israel’s 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. The human psalmist penned it, but the Holy Spirit influenced him to record what took place from God’s perspective. Three time periods are being referred to in Heb. 3:7-13: Israel’s 40 years in the desert after being redeemed by God from Egypt’s bondage, the time period of the psalmist, and the NT time when Hebrews was written. The psalmist used the example of Israel under Moses’ leadership to warn the Israelites of his day against unbelief and disobedience. The Holy Spirit guided the author of Hebrews to apply the psalmist’s warning to his readers (3:12-13). The warning and its remedy apply equally to us today!

Observe some important truths from this passage. For 40 years, the LORD spoke to the nation… sometimes directly to the group, sometimes through Moses and Aaron. For 40 years, God worked… He led them by the cloud during the day and by the fire at night. He fed them manna 6 times a week for 40 years. He brought water from the rock twice. He made bitter water sweet. He brought judgments and healings. He delivered them from their enemies who sought to overtake them in war. And all this was in addition to the 10 plagues in Egypt, the Passover, and the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea and the giving of the 10 commandments. God presented them the moral law and the ceremonial law. The LORD daily spoke, guided them, provided for them, instructed them in very clear, observable ways…”for 40 years (your fathers) saw what I did” with their own eyes (3:9).

You would think that such clear manifestations of the Presence and Power of the LORD would soften hearts, would bring confidence to uncertain and questioning minds, would strengthen one’s faith, and would inspire love and gratitude toward the LORD!!

But, incredibly, for many of the Israelites, their hearts were hardened against the LORD. His voice was not glorious music to their ears. They whined and complained continually. His food was not spicy or creative enough. The menu was too narrow. They wanted to go back to Egypt instead of dying in the desert! They felt like they were just going in circles, not getting anywhere near the Promised Land. And once they heard reports on the Promised Land and the walled cities and Giants, they thought that would be squished like grasshoppers against such foes! Their God was too small to bring them into the land victoriously!

Despite God’s faithful provisions for 40 years, their hearts were always going astray, and they had not comprehended God’s ways (3:10). They were diagnosed with sinful, unbelieving hearts that prompted them to be disobedient and rebellious to the LORD! They stirred up God’s anger. He decided to keep them from experiencing His rest and from living in the Promised Land. In essence, God gave them what they wanted. They didn’t have to face the Giants or walled cities. They died in the desert.

So, how can this apply to us today? Do not say no to God. Do not turn a deaf ear to God’s voice. Do not complain when God gives us a hard test. Don’t think that going back to our former slavery to sin in the world is going to be more comfortable or restful than following God. Just because it’s familiar does not mean it is better.

Be grateful for God’s faithful provisions in your life! Do not take them for granted! Recognize God’s amazingly holy and good and loving character! Thank Him for His powerful redemption in your life! Ask Him for understanding to know Him intimately and to know His ways. Pray for humility to turn from pride and rebellious hearts Ask God to soften your heart, to give you an undivided heart to worship and serve Him!

Let other godly believers speak life and truth into your life. Ask them to pray for you and hold you accountable. Ask them to pick you up and bring you to church and to small group and to times of prayer! Don’t isolate yourself from God and fellow believers.

Don’t think that if God did a grand miracle for you, it would suddenly give you a soft heart to know and obey Him. For many Israelites in the desert, it did not soften their hearts to God. God wants you to know Him for Who He is, not just for what you can get for yourself from Him.

The author to the Hebrews strongly believes that God works in the lives of other believers to encourage us to say yes to God and no to sin, to have soft hearts toward God and His will, to have stronger faith in God, and to have more obedient lives. Otherwise, he would not have encouraged us to be close to one another and to minister spiritually to one another. I urge you to disciple and care for one another. I urge you to be in small groups together, so you can encourage each other.

Shepherding you in Christ's love,


LAST CHANCE! SABINA: Tortured for Christ, the Nazi Years Movie

This movie was offered for 2 nights for FREE at the Emmett Frontier Cinema. The first night, March 13th was a hit with approximately attending.

MARCH 17 is the next and final showing! Don't miss it!

Click Here to watch the trailer.

Hosted by Emmett First Baptist Church at the Frontier Cinema!

PG-13 • 1H 55MIN •

Great character is sometimes forged amid great turmoil. Sabina: Tortured for Christ, the Nazi Years is the story of how God’s love transformed an ambitious, atheistic hedonist into one of the greatest Christian women of the 20th century. The film opens with Sabina Wurmbrand risking her life to show Christ’s love to a trio of Nazi soldiers. Why? Why would a Jewish Christian risk her life to help her enemies – members of the army that killed her entire family? Experience the amazing true story that has redefined the concepts of love and forgiveness for millions around the world.


Daffodils and tulips

Impatient underground,

In March sent up a crocus

To take a look around

She called: "It still is winter

There's frost on everything."

But a passerby, who saw her said:

"A crocus - it is Spring!!"


Come join in prayer on Wednesdays at 7pm in the FBC Fellowship Hall.

Seven calls to prayer changed the world (Taken from denisonforum.org)

When the apostles were arrested and forbidden from preaching the gospel, they prayed: “Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus” (Acts 4:29–30). As a result, “When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness” (v. 31).

Does God still answer prayers for “boldness” and for “signs and wonders”?

Britain issued seven calls to prayer during World War II. The first was called by King George VI on March 27, 1940, as 350,000 British soldiers were trapped at Dunkirk. In what history calls “the miracle of Dunkirk,” some 330,000 men were then rescued.

The second and third National Days of Prayer came during the Battle of Britain, when Nazi air forces were defeated by the relatively small British force. Air Chief Marshall Hugh Dowding later testified, “I will say with absolute conviction that I can trace the intervention of God . . . Humanly speaking, victory was impossible!”

The fourth National Day of Prayer was called by the king and parliament for March 23, 1941, as Hitler was planning to invade Britain. Subsequently, a great earthquake created waves with terrific gales that blew Nazi ships eighty miles off course. The British Navy defeated the Italian fleet in the Mediterranean; Ethiopian ports were liberated; and Yugoslavian forces organized resistance to Hitler. As a result, Hitler gave up invading Britain.

The fifth National Day of Prayer was on September 3, 1942. The next day at Palermo in the Mediterranean, the entire Italian fleet was sunk.

The sixth National Day of Prayer was on September 3, 1943, the fourth anniversary of the outbreak of war. That very night, Italy surrendered to the allies and the dictator Mussolini was murdered.

The seventh and last National Day of Prayer was called by the king in the spring of 1944 prior to D-Day. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower reported later, “If there was nothing else in my life to prove the existence of an Almighty and Merciful God, the events of the next twenty-four hours did it. The greatest break in a terrible outlay of weather occurred next day and allowed that great invasion to proceed.” The resulting D-Day victory led to the end of the war in Europe.

Samaritan's Purse Shoebox Ministry ..... Celebrate God's Faithfulness!


God did remarkable things around the world through Operation Christmas Child in 2021! There were many obstacles and challenges, but He was faithful and prepared the way for Samaritan’s Purse to take shoebox gifts and the Gospel of Jesus Christ to children in more than 100 countries and territories.

Explore some of this year’s highlights in Samaritan's Purse Special Report and get a glimpse of just how God expresses His love through simple shoeboxes. You’re sure to enjoy discovering some dynamic stories, including how everyone in a remote village in Gabon gave their lives to the Lord after a festive outreach event.

Samaritan's Purse is grateful you partnered with them in 2021 as together we “declare His glory among the nations!” (Psalm 96:3)

Friendship Dinner

Due to the rash of illnesses in February, it was decided to postpone the Valentine Friendship Dinner to March. It became just the "Friendship Dinner" with a spring theme.

Thank you Patty Chapman who decorated so nicely with the spring colors and bunny centerpieces!

Thanks to Patty and Robin who purchased and distributed door prize gifts ensuring everyone in attendance received one!

Thanks to the Minister(s) of fun, Dave & Pam Goff for the entertainment and prizes! We found out some interesting tidbits about some of the people in attendance! And discovered that the top 100 people surveyed didn't always know the correct answers in the Friendly Battles game!

A great time was had by all and the food provided by Lilly from Tom's Cabin was fantastic!

Man's way leads to a hopeless end; God's way leads to an endless hope.

Megan Keene - Surrendering to the Lord

Megan has been a member of the Emmett First Baptist Church (FBC) since 1991. Megan and her family had been going to Grace Baptist. After she started dating Kenny, she started attending FBC …so she could be with him on Sundays.

Megan’s family were not regular church attendees when she was growing up but her parents supported her when she wanted to attend church with friends. When they lived in Jerome as a child, an elderly lady invited her to Vacation Bible School (VBS) and she attended church with her a few times after VBS. Then when they moved to Boise, when she was in the 3rd or 4th grade, her aunt took her to the Church of God. Ultimately she attended Grace Baptist with her family from about her junior year in high school until she graduated.

Megan and Kenny were both baptized by Harry Granger in May of 1991. They had both accepted Christ earlier and felt the next step was to prove their faith by being baptized.

Megan has served the Lord in various ways at FBC, but specifically by helping in the nursery, serving as Treasurer for a couple of years and helping in the office when Dorothy had to be out for a medical issue.

While seeds were planted along her path, as a freshman in high school Megan came home one day and felt compelled to read the Bible. Then she prayed that night. The next few days she continued to read the Bible and pray before doing her homework. This was not typical, but Megan was really praying. I was not planning to invite Him in, but she said, “It just happened - she opened her heart to receive the Lord and felt saved”. Although Megan tried to explain the feeling, it was difficult to explain. She said there was a feeling in the bedroom, she never opened her eyes, but just felt a physical feeling come over her.

As most of you know, Megan is married to the one and only Kenny Keene, boxing champion. Megan began dating Kenny when he was in the midst of his boxing career. It was a crazy time period because he was so well known. It was exciting when people cheered for him. Kenny’s boxing career allowed Megan to be a stay at home mom with their three children They were always together as a family and it was just the way of life - the training, what he ate, etc.

When Kenny first retired from boxing, Governor Dirk Kempthorne proclamated Kenny Keene Day, Megan was surprised that she felt relieved. Then, with each return he made, she didn’t like it and it caused her anxiety. Before, she had never focused on the hits, etc. he took, but when he came out of retirement, she had a hard time watching it.

Megan has seen her share of ups and downs and relies on the strength of the Lord to get her through. In 2004 she was diagnosed with a brain tumor that could have taken her life. Her story was told in the Emmett Messenger Index by Janet Monti and is included below.

Megan explained that the process of it all went fast. Her doctor, Timothy Johan’s, showed concern, empathy and compassion but it scared her because she knew it must be serious. Her tumor was the largest he had worked with and there were so many things that could go wrong. They sent her from place to place for tests and preparations and had the surgery scheduled within 2 weeks.

During that initial time, Megan sent up many “pleading” prayers until she finally got to a place where she realized that wasn’t going to work and trusted that God would take care of it. God was in control and she had to surrender to that. Once she did so, He took the fear and anxiety away and she felt calm and stronger and got through it.

Coming out of surgery she was in ICU. She was feeling good other than her face feeling different. But she had no pain or other symptoms. While in ICU a woman was brought in because of a brain stem stroke and there was nothing that could be done for her and wasn’t going to make it.

Megan’s doctor was very pleased with how well Megan had done, and rather than having to stay in ICU for 72 hours as was typical, Megan was out in less than twenty four hours! The Chaplain credited the results to her skilled, and praying, physician. Her doctor had prayed with them prior to her going under and she felt at peace and wasn’t scared. Megan said whenever she would feel bad about her face, something would come up to help her realize how fortunate she was and there were others that were not as fortunate.

Megan, like many of us, is also caring for her parents who have had some serious health issues. Those who know Megan’s parents, have seen and/or befitted from how involved they have always been with the church and with their grandkids. Being there for them, while working full time is tough, but Megan says the most challenging is seeing the change in her parents and realizing they are not who they used to be.

Megan and Kenny feel the church family is a great support. When Megan was delivering her youngest, Amelia, the baby’s oxygen supply was cut off due to an umbilical cord issue. When she came out she looked dead. Megan looked at Kenny and could see the panic in him, while she was trying to stay calm. She told him to call Wayne and Vi and put Amelia on the prayer chain. This was at 3 am and Lance was at the hospital by about 6 am - the support was there.

Megan Keene, County Treasurer! While Megan has had jobs where her financial abilities have been put to good use, she never dreamed that she would someday run for office as the County Treasurer and get it! This would be another path the Lord took her on… where things just kind of fell into place. One day she was working at the courthouse as a “rover” then, while she is not one to usually put herself out there, she found herself running for the office of County Treasurer! She again had asked for prayer from the church family, and felt the Lord’s help through it all.

Megan has seen the Lord work in her life in many ways, but when she went through the brain tumor, she said that time of growth, surrender and the peace she felt, she wouldn’t trade it. She is thankful for it and glad she went through it. She said that if she didn’t have the Lord to turn to, it would have been much more terrifying. She won’t forget the fear that she initially had and peace throughout it once she acknowledged that God’s in control.

Megan’s story is an inspiration and testament to trusting in the Lord and the power of prayer. We all face fears and trials in this life. We need to remember to surrender our lives, our fears, and our worries to God, no matter how big or small. He will give us peace. Thank you Megan for taking the time to share your story!

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Working for a smile by Janet Monti Messenger Index (2005)

Comeback is a common goal in the Keene household.

Following in her husband's footsteps, Megan Keene isn't letting a little thing like a brain tumor stop her from gaining back her life. Her journey isn't one of medical technology removing a tumor that was enveloping her brain stem. Her journey is one of deepening her Christian faith, a journey where she felt immediately at ease when she walked into the office of Timothy Johan’s, MD FACS, last winter.

"This has been very spiritual for me. God has done so much for me. Lots of growth in my spiritual life," Megan quietly shared. "There have been so many answered prayers. There have been so many people I don't even know who have prayed for me. It's all very humbling."

It all started about 10 years ago when Megan began having some odd, seemingly unrelated symptoms. She went to a variety of doctors and underwent several tests. One blood test revealed she has a connective tissue disease. But this wasn't the source of her main complaint.

When her son Spencer (who is now five) was born, she noticed it was hard to hear in her right ear, especially when she was on the telephone. But, with a newborn and his older sister Laurel (who's now seven), "I didn't pay much attention to what was going on with myself."

As moms often do, things with herself were ignored as her children became the focus and source of joy in her life.

About a year ago, someone at her church whispered in her ear and she couldn't hear the tidbit of information. She thought it was ear wax and asked her doctor to clean it out. There was no ear wax.

By now, a second daughter, Amelia (now two) was in the Keene household, and the two preschoolers and a newborn demanded all Megan's time. She put off doing anything more about the pesky hearing problem.

Finally, it became too obvious to ignore any longer. Last fall, Megan went to Idaho Elks Rehabilitation Hospital in Boise. She was sent to a hearing specialist, whom she told of her gradual hearing loss. "He saw something my eyes were doing - they quivered. He ordered an immediate MRI."

The Thursday MRI led to a very long weekend in the Keene home, as results weren't in until the following Monday.

That Sunday, church members surrounded her, praying for guidance and knowledgeable doctors. They laid hands on her, asking for God's healing. Her name buzzed through telephone lines all over the country as she was added to prayer chains, prayer lists in churches she'll never visit. The news on Monday of a benign tumor growing on the auditory nerve in her brain didn’t unnerve Megan. She looks at life through rose-colored glasses. "The doctors painted a grim picture. They talked about death. But I'm a positive person. I didn't want to hear that."

When she walked into Johan’s' office that Monday and saw a Catholic crucifix on the wall, she felt immediately at peace. God was in control of her life. God brought her to Johan’s' office. God would take care of things. God would watch over her, her children and her husband. Megan didn't need to worry. This was not in her control.

God is an important part of Johan’s' life as well. It's only in the last few years that he has brought God into the examination and operating rooms. "I talk to my patients more about spirituality now than I once did," he said.

He looks for an opening with the patient and when he sees one, he shares his philosophy. "I tell them I will pray before, during and after the surgery. I'm a tool of Jesus. I'll do the best I can from a human level, but I certainly don't know the final outcome. Patients respond to that."

Megan’s voice softens when she talks about her visits with Johan’s. "I saw Dr. Johan’s was very spiritual. I felt at ease. He prayed with us in the office. He prayed with us before surgery. He told us of his spiritual beliefs." A friend suggested the Keenes go to a special hospital in California, one that would be better than my one in Idaho. A suggestion to wait a week for surgery due to the number of patients Johan’s was seeing that week was met with a firm, "No" from her husband, Kenny.

"I felt confident in Dr. Johan’s," said Megan. He was the doctor God had sent into her life. And she would literally place her life in Johan’s' hands - hands she was certain God would guide.

Megan again turned to God. "I started praying, seeking God. I had no control. There was nothing I could do. The surgeon could do his job, but God was in control. Once I accepted that, I was at peace."

She didn't think the tumor or surgery would kill her. If this were going to be the cause of her death, it would have happened long before. By the time they found the tumor, it was wrapped around her brain stem. In fact, the brain stem was no longer straight, but curved like a "C." She would not have survived much longer before it would have cut off basic, vital functions.

Before the surgery on Dec. 3, 2004, the hospital's chaplain came in. The Keenes became very nervous, thinking he wanted to administer last rights. He just wanted to pray with them. "He told me what a good surgeon I had," said Megan.

The surgery was scheduled for nine hours. With her children at home under a grandmother's care, other family and friends filled the waiting room where regular updates on the surgery were given.

After seven hours, Johan’s came into the room. "He looked exhausted," said Kenny.

The vestibular schwannoma (acoustic neuroma) tumor was more than six centimeters in diameter (larger than a chicken egg), said DelRay Maughan, MD ENT. "If it wasn't diagnosed when it was, within a few months, she would have become unconscious."

Maughan sees more of this type of tumor. Twenty years ago, he would see one or two of these a year; now he assists in one or two operations a month. There is no medical documented reason for the increase.

The tumor inside Megan's skull was growing into and stuck onto to the brain stem and 'cerebellum. In layman's terms, the surgery was described as peeling an onion, except you're trying to preserve strands of over­ cooked spaghetti in the center. The "onion" is sticky and must be carefully removed to keep the audio nerves in one piece. Surgery resulted in an immense scar on the back of Megan's head. Hair covers it and may never grow across it, but the casual observer will never notice.

She spent less than a day in the intensive care unit and went home within three.

Johan’s says there was a real possibility that she would not have even lived through the surgery. Or if she did survive, she could have "massive, stroke-like symptoms" being unable to walk, paralyzed on one side. Because of the difficult surgery, many surgeons won't tackle this type of tumor.

Well, Megan does walk, she talks, she laughs and she cries. She can hug her children and they hug her back.

There are some nerves in her face not yet "reconnected" that feel prickly and sting at random times. "But, since I have feeling, that's good. “Her right eye doesn't blink normally yet, she must add a salve regularly to keep it lubricated. She has regular tests to check her hearing. When she's tired, the eye is open more and her mouth droops more.

When she looks in the mirror, she sees these minor imperfections. Some people she passes on the street stare. "I once took things like a smile for granted. I know this is minor. The tumor wasn't cancerous. I didn't have a stroke. But, it's very humbling. “Little Spencer does ask why the right side of her face doesn't smile like the left side. But, she's working on that. It's hard for Megan to see the subtle changes, the progress. Maughan sees her every few weeks and sees improvements each visit. It can take as long as a year after surgery before she's completely healed. He gives her tips on physical therapy to improve the nerve function. To some extent, it's a matter of reconnecting broken connections.

In a quiet moment waiting for one doctor to finish an exam on Megan, Kenny shared some sobering thoughts. "We take one day at a time. I don't know what I would have done if she had died. It's strange. I boxed for 20 years. Why her brain and not mine?"

When Megan came home from the hospital, the Gem community was incredible in the outpouring of concern - random meals that would just show up on the doorstep, people came in to clean the house or watch the children. This too has been humbling for both Megan and Kenny who liked to think of themselves as self-sufficient people, ones who could take care of their responsibilities.

Usually this type of tumor is the size of a small marble. "This was very large, one of the largest I've dealt with," said Johan’s. He attributes God's hand in the recovery. He has found that patients who have a belief system respond better, both to treatment and to any news he must report. "Most of my patients say they like seeing the crucifix, knowing that I bow to a higher power. Those who have faith have a tremendous calm." Those who don’t believe in an afterlife have a fear of most treatment.

Megan was one of those with a strong belief, strong Christian faith. Her faith, the faith of her husband, faith of her father, family, church and friends keep her going. The night she spent in intensive care, she heard doctors caring for another patient. "It was traumatic listening to the doctors, nurse working on a woman who would not make it.

"I've witnessed, first-hand the work of the Lord in lives. This whole ordeal has been very spiritual for me, lots of growth in my spiritual life. I accepted Christ as a teenager, but my faith is stronger now."

When you see Megan, give her a smile. She'll give one back.

Keene's pastor speaks of the family's faith

Megan Keene considers herself lucky to attend First Baptist Church here in Emmett. Those in the congregation have always supported each other through both joys and trials. The latest chapter in her life is filled with stories of their support, caring and helping. Pastor Lance Zagers said that the Sunday before Keene's surgery was an emotional one for his congregation.

"Megan came forward for prayer and the laying on of hands for God's healing touch. In the Book of James, we are encouraged to call our leaders to pray over those who have special needs. We believe we can go to the Lord to pray for healing. It's His decision to heal a person. We believe it's in God's ability to make anyone whole.”

Even though Keene's doctors were "straightforward" about the serious nature of her upcoming surgery, those in church that Sunday believed God would guide the sur Geon’s hands. "He could take her life, or not." Zagaris was in the waiting room during the surgery. Keene's surgery was one of the most serious taking place in the hospital that day. "While this has been very scary for Megan, she's stronger and closer to the Lord. This has strengthened her faith," he said.

A large part of peace Keene has is because "we recognize our lives are in God's hand. We acknowledge His power, strength and sovereignty,” Zagaris quietly shared. "We are encouraged to trust God. That healing will come - either in this life or the next."

Zagaris has known the Keene family for years. And even though this medical situation with Megan was very serious, "their hope in the Lord has been a source of stability for them. Hope means a lot. It's a motivating factor to keep them going.

Romans 5:2-5 fits Megan's situation. "We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holly Spirit, who He has given us."

A Note of Appreciation from Arctic Barnabus Ministries

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International Ministries Efforts in Ukraine & How You Can Help

Mission Northwest Connexion

International Ministries Efforts in Ukraine
How You Can Help

Our friend, Ray Schooler, sent out this note and accompanying overview of what International Ministries is doing in response to Russia's devastating invasion of Ukraine. Let's pray for our global servants ministering to refugees entering Hungary from the Ukraine. Also, feel free to give OGHS funds which will be used by IM to meet needs through our IM missionaries and Baptist partners in the region. ~ Charles Revis

Ray Writes: "We were able to pull together our five missionaries who serve in Hungary with a few of our IM Home Staff: Jim Bell, Charles Jones (Area Director for Europe and Middle East), and Lisa Rothenberger (World Relief Office who handles the OGHS distribution) with an “on the ground” report requested by Regional Executive Ministers. Hungary (of course) borders Ukraine with Jon & Amanda Good and Larry & Becky Stanton being the closest to the border, which is only 200 miles away.

Jim Kelsey (ABC New York Executive Minister) sent out an overview of outcomes from the meeting and with his permission, I am sharing it with you as I think it gives a good and appropriate analysis of the situation there and the best ways to respond at this time. Since Jim previously served in Europe as one of IM’s missionaries, he has a good perspective. ~ Blessings, Ray

Question: What is International Ministries/American Baptist Churches (IM-ABC) doing in response to the war?

Answer: We are coordinating our response globally (in collaboration with the Baptist World Alliance); regionally through the European Baptist Federation and its member Baptist Unions in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova; and locally through the work of all of our global servants in Hungary – Carmella Jones (Budapest), Amanda and Jon Good (Debrecen), and Becky and Larry Stanton (Téglàs) are assisting with relief efforts. Carmella works with her local church to assist international students (mostly African) now displaced. Amanda and Jon are assisting their local church in hosting refugees, including having families in their home. Larry Stanton visits and ministers to refugees at the Hungarian-Ukrainian border.

We have sent $15,000 (fifteen thousand dollars) to the European Baptist Federation in response to their initial appeal to provide basic supplies – water, food, shelter, blankets, hygiene products, etc. We are consulting on the second appeal, which we anticipate will be substantially larger, as we begin to address longer-term relief and resettlement needs.

Question: How can I/we help?

Answer: The best way to help is by making a financial contribution. Gifts can be made:

1) through your local American Baptist church,

2) by online giving on the IM website (https://www.internationalministries.org/15000-in-oghs-emergency-relief-funds-to-ukraine-more-help-urgently-needed/); or

3) by sending a check made payable to “International Ministries” at 1003 W. 9th Ave., Ste. A, King of Prussia, PA 19406-1210.

All gifts should be designated to “OGHS – Ukraine Relief.”

Question: Can (or how can) we send supplies/material goods?

Answer: We have not received a request for material or supplies from our partners. Supplies are being purchased locally. Buying locally supports the local economy and minimizes the funding needed to ship goods from one location to another.

We are aware that Matthew 25 Ministries in Cincinnati, OH is accepting material goods. You can visit their Ukraine Relief webpage at www.m25m.org to read about the items they are accepting. If you have a general question that is not answered on their webpage, email info@m25m.org.

Question: Can (or how can) I go to help?

Answer: We appreciate your/the desire to assist in person. However, we have not yet received a request for volunteers from our partners. We do not want to burden them with hosting responsibilities, even as they are hosting refugees. Our Baptist partners in the neighboring countries have local volunteers assisting in this effort.

Question: Does it matter how quickly I/our church gives to this relief effort?

Answer: We have entered a marathon, not a sprint. The needs will be as real today as they will be two years from now. Giving monthly is fine---we have some who have given directly to IM online, so that provides resources to release now. And, the European Baptists are providing a lot of funding too, so we are not in this alone. Even more important than giving quickly now, what will be needed is sustained generosity to meet the needs into the coming months and years.

Commentary: We know that eventually this too will fall from our headlines, but the needs will still be there. The exact statistic for this situation is not yet available, but each day that we see the evidence of more bombing and destruction of infrastructure, that means it adds “x” months to when people will be able to return, if that is even an option under Russian occupation. With the bombing of schools, businesses, government buildings, goes the lives and livelihoods of people and services needed. This immediate crisis will be followed by a long-term situation that will require a financial commitment that are hard to yet comprehend.

In most disaster situations---human-made and natural---the role of the church is not one that provides large scale relief, but rather is best positioned to identify and respond to the gaps. What feels so unacceptable is that there is no way to provide for all the needs we are seeing in this situation today---not even when you harness the power of the Red Cross, the World Food Programme, UNICEF, etc. In the immediate days after the onset of an invasion like we are seeing, there is no level of support ready and pre-positioned to respond to all the immediate needs. But over the days and weeks that follow, services come online and relief flows. While we are witnessing this horrific invasion, we are also witnessing and unprecedented hospitality in the neighboring countries. Is it perfect? No. But there is radical hospitality happening every day in Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Moldova, etc. to the (now) millions that have fled.

All that to say, giving now is as much appreciated and needed as it will be 2 years from now. The church will be there, as it has been, to identify and respond to the gaps that are inevitable in these situations. We let the big actors (Red Cross, WFP, UNICEF) do what they do best today---and we look for the gaps in services and needs they can’t meet/cover. That is where we will continue to have the most impact.

APRIL 23 & 24, 2022 - BOISE HARVEST With Greg Laurie

Two wonderful nights full of musical performances by top Christian artists, special guest interviews, and a message of hope from the gospel that could change your life. Find more information at Boise Harvest 2022.

Boise Harvest is FREE for everyone because of the faithful support of participating churches & partners, our donors, and Harvest Partners. FBC is one of those churches and we encourage anyone interested to further support this event and inspire hope in many live with your gifts by volunteering:

DECISION FOLLOW-UP WORKER - This is a ten-minute friend to those who make a profession of faith, praying for and encouraging them in their walk with Christ.

USHER - Ushers work as a team and are assigned to oversee a section in the venue to greet those arriving and help them find seating.

PRAYER ROOM - Prayer will be offered up during the event from start to finish in a private room in the venue.

SECURITY - Active or former law enforcement officers, or those currently serving on a church’s security team, will work with the venue staff and local law enforcement to ensure a safe environment for those in attendance.

MERCH BOOTHS - Merch Booth volunteers serve others by displaying and selling products at the event, answering questions, and processing sales transactions. The merch booths are fun, social, and a great place for first-time volunteers to get experience.

Summer Camp - Cathedral Pines

Dear Pastor and Church,

We have a changing coming is summer in our camping program. This summer we will be holding a joint Junior High and Senior High camp session (Teen Camp), July 24-29, 2022. The cost will be $265.00. The Kids Camp will be July 31-August 4. The cost for Kids Camp is $210.00. An information poster will be coming out this month. Online registration will follow.

Braised Corned Beef Brisket

Original recipe yields 6 servings

Ingredient Checklist
  • 1 (5 pound) flat-cut corned beef brisket
  • 1 tablespoon browning sauce (such as Kitchen Bouquet®), or as desired
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons water


Step 1 - Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).

Step 2 - Discard any flavoring packet from corned beef. Brush brisket with browning sauce on both sides. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and brown brisket on both sides in the hot oil, 5 to 8 minutes per side.

Step 3 - Place brisket on a rack set in a roasting pan. Scatter onion and garlic slices over brisket and add water to roasting pan. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil.

Step 4 - Roast in the preheated oven until meat is tender, about 6 hours.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

455 calories; protein 30.6g; carbohydrates 5.4g; fat 33.7g; cholesterol 162mg; sodium 1877.4mg.


I didn't know if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I decided to test her. I would point out something - and ask what color it was. She would tell me and was always correct. It was fun for me, so I continued. At last she headed for the door saying, "Grandma, I think you should try to figure out some of these yourself!"