THE WORD MADE FLESH
A long time ago a few lines captured me. The individual words are rather ordinary; however, in their arrangement I see eternity coming face-to-face with time and hope unseating despair. John writes in his record of good news,
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. -(John 1:14)
The Eternal God— the One who spoke everything good into existence, the One who formed us out of dust and then breathed life into us making us living beings, that God—appeared! We were apprehended, caught up in His “glory.” In Jesus, grace and truth uncover the Father’s desire for all mankind.
Recently, I was the pulpit guest at Vailsburg Assembly of God, a church we planted in the 90’s. At the end of the service, Grace and Selena, a mother and daughter, approached me with the question, “Do you remember us?” Details of addiction, abuse, and anxiety about the future flooded my memory in a few moments.
Grace asked, “Will you please tell your wife that without her I would be dead?” Selena has graduated from Rutgers University and is a banker! More than 20 years have elapsed since Pat poured out her heart in prayer for a mom and her preschool-aged daughter. The “Word made flesh” has reversed everything for this family who stood at the altar speaking with me!
Oh that Jesus—the One described as revealing “the glory as of the only begotten of the Father”—would capture our imaginations and enlarge our faith today. Remember, every time hope confronts despair, hope wins!
-Reverend Otto Wegner
In October, we lost one of Next Generation Ministries’ biggest supporters, Mr. Bobby Williams.
Mr. Williams, a long-time resident of the Tioga community, cared passionately for his neighbors and worked tirelessly to encourage caring people to work together.
Each year, he pushed us all to keep Celebrate Hope Tioga alive and often encouraged the staff at Spring Garden Academy to not give up. He was our great encourager and called us his godsons, goddaughters, and angels.
Each year, well into his 80’s, he brought cupcakes to celebrate his birthday with our Spring Garden Academy children. Mr. Williams was a member of Resurrection Life Church. We will all miss Mr. Williams but pray that God will continue to send others who love people as Mr. Williams did.
FALLING INTO MINISTRY
This fall, our Next Generation Ministries team has been immersed in community ministry. Our youth and children ministered alongside adult volunteers at Celebrate Hope Tioga (CHT), an outdoor fall block party featuring Christian artists, food, kids’ zone, clothing bank, prayer table, community partners, and the gospel message. Our youth led games, performed on the stage, folded clothes, and shared the love of Jesus. Ministry is not just about sharing the gospel. It’s teaching others to share their faith with the world around us.
Just a few weeks ago, we had the largest family event in our school history. Over 350 people from our school and neighborhood joined together for a Thanksgiving Worship Service, led by our K-8th grade children. The students sang the hymns of faith and led us to show our gratitude to our Lord.
After the service, we joined together for a full Thanksgiving Dinner, prepared by a mission teams from River of Life Church in Doylestown, PA. Trinity Compassion Ministries from Westchester, PA donated 100 Boxes of Love (turkey meals) that we were able to send home with many of the attending families. It was wonderful to see the love of Jesus flood our community.
We invite you to join us in ministry – short term or long term – in the city. We are raising up children to lead and serve their neighborhood. We do this in partnership with God’s wonderful people. Thank you to all who have given so much this year
to the work in Philadelphia.