Missions and Outreach

missionscouncil7Missions and Outreach Minders and Modelers

The Mission and Outreach Minders and Modelers (MOMM) of The Church of the Cross exists to provide coordination and oversight of various mission and outreach activities of our church, locally, nationally, and globally. MOMM accepts applications for mission and outreach visions and opportunities and then makes recommendations to the Rector
and Vestry for final approval.

Application for Mission and Outreach Visions and Opportunities

Guiding Principle: To be followers of Jesus Christ committed to transforming lives in His power and for His glory by being witnesses in “Jerusalem, and all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”.

Vision: To facilitate and guide TCOTC in its efforts to live into the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.

Mission: To focus on identifying, as well as soliciting from the parish, mission and outreach visions and opportunities that reflect God’s love and reach those who have not embraced the Gospel.

Mission and Outreach Opportunities

Mission and Outreach in Action
Devastating Floods in Peru in March 2017 displace Tens of Thousands

Mudslides have struck across the Andean nation where dozens have been killed and many of the hardest hit are those who can least afford it.

Two years ago on their mission trip, Phyllis and Bruce Ehlers and Pastor Jason Collins met Anderson Sanchez, a priest in Lima, Peru and entered into a working relationship with him. Anderson has been helping many of those effected by the floods. The Church of the Cross has provided financial support to Father Sanchez for the purpose of providing water to those who are unable to get potable water. The 12 large containers provided as many as 24 families with water for two weeks. The Church of the Cross is pleased to have been able to assist our Brothers and Sisters in Christ in the middle of this crisis. Praise God. 

Peru Mudslide– Image 1 of 9

Gifts of Motorbikes
Dear John
God's grace and peace be with you.
We are so grateful for the gifts of the three motorbikes given to our Diocese by Church of the cross Bluffton to help the clergy with mobility. The three bikes was given to  Turbi parish, Bubisa parish and Laisamis parish and is greatly assisting the clergy in the mission of the Church.
Attached is the pictures of the bikes and the pastors to which it was given.
Once again thank you all and may God bless you abundantly.
Together for Christ
Bishop Qampicha
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Habitat for Humanity "Apostles Build house"

 

Habitat for Humanity "Apostles Build House"– Image 1 of 10

 

Rise Against Hunger
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Over 160 volunteers from The Church of the Cross gathered last Saturday at the Buckwalter Campus to package meals for those less fortunate than themselves.

The auditorium at the Cross Schools Campus was filled with the Holy Spirit as volunteers raced to fill their bags and our younger generation “runners” continue to resupply the stations and take the bags to the sealing stations before they were boxed and loaded on the truck.

The multi-generational event, including ages 4 and up involved a team concept to package vitamins, vegetables, soy and rice together into meal packets that will be shipped by Rise Against Hunger to locations around the world as they strive toward their vision of ending hunger in our lifetime.

In just a little bit over 2 hours the volunteers packed 49,680 meals, which were boxed, packed and are ready to provide meals for people around the world.

Rise against Hunger is driven by the vision of a world without hunger and we are blessed to be part of this!

 

Rise Against Hunger 2017– Image 1 of 14

 

 

 

Aleph Ministries, Madagascar – Mike and Yvonne Broadhurst

For over two years now, The Church of the Cross has been supporting our own members Mike and Yvonne Broadhurst with their ministries in Madagascar.

Mike and Yvonne served on the Mercy ship in South Africa where they set sail for Toamasina, Madagascar. When it was time to board the ship and leave Madagascar they felt the Holy Spirit and decided in a moment to stay in Madagascar and make a difference.

They are doing many things – teaching, preaching, visiting new businesses, mentoring, sowing, harvesting etc…

Below are some examples of their mission work in Madagascar:

Mike with ten people in front of the class on "How to Start a Small Business -- Using Kingdom of Heaven Principles." Mike was demonstrating with ten people the reasons 9 out of 10 businesses eventually fail because of lack of follow through applying ALL of the necessary business principles to operate a successful business.

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Another wonderful example - a FISH FARM in the Bush (countryside). Their business class graduate, Mrs. Mosy, employed 30 local people to construct the fish farm. (30 people were employed, which is a big deal as there is so little opportunity to get paying jobs.) The people used tiny shovels and a piece of cloth to dig and move the dirt. It is all simply amazing.

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A new village church in The Bush! Mike and Yvonne had been to The Bush to preach there some time ago and they needed to build a new church as the facility they had was leaking and was truly falling apart. They prayed Psalm 91 over the land. A couple weeks ago they went back to this village to give The Word, worship and pray in the new facility made of bamboo siding and a psalm branch roof. A church elder told them they prayed Psalm 91 over the land EVERY DAY until the church was finished. God is Good!

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So many stories of God's amazing and loving handiwork and you are welcome to learn more about their mission work through their personal website www.AlephMinistries.org.

 

The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven's Armies will make this happen!

Every year The Church of the Cross is involved in Operation Christmas Child. Every year we collect more and more boxes, this year it was 600. Our goal for 2017 is 800! Just as significant is what Cross School accomplished last week in Charlotte. Our Missions and Outreach Ministry recently sponsored the eighth grade to work at the Operation Christmas Child Processing Center for two days.

The trip was a tremendous success as they were able to help pack many boxes to be shipped to children around the world. This year Samaritan's Purse expects to collect 12 million shoebox gifts that will be delivered in more than 100 countries and be used to share the Gospel with children in some of the world's poorest, hardest-to-reach communities.

Upon arrival in Charlotte, everyone worked a 4-hour shift, carefully inspecting and preparing boxes for overseas shipment. Jobs included removing financial contributions, inspecting boxes for unapproved items, stuffing boxes, taping boxes and packing large cartons for shipment. Students also loved using the scanner and shoving the large cartons down the conveyor belts! Thursday's boxes were being packed for the countries of Peru and Ghana and 129,538 boxes were prepared.

Friday morning students returned to the facility to work a 3-hour shift and packed boxes to be shipped to the Dominican Republic. The final box count on Friday was 132,506!

Jesus said; 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!' Matthew 25:40

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From October 29 - November 13, The Church of the Cross passed out and collected shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. The response was wonderful, surpassing the 2015 program.

In total we collected 577 Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes on both campuses.

A big Thank you to all of our members and our volunteers who supported this wonderful cause.

A small shoebox can teach a child in need about the love of God and lead him or her to faith in Christ. You are a part of changing lives through the power of a simple gift.

As we work around the world, our goal is to share the hope of the Gospel.

A small gift makes a big difference!

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 The Hope of Jesus Mission Trip

“DECLARE HIS GLORY AMONG ALL NATIONS, HIS MARVELOUS DEED AMONG ALL PEOPLES.” 1 Chronicles 16:24

On August 15th, our mission team traveled to The Hope Of Jesus Children’s Home in El Venado, Honduras. It included Bruce & Phyllis Ehlers, Sheryl & Davis Maddux, Regine Johnson, Doris Gainey & Joe Redgate. The home is operated by SAMS missionaries, Mike & Kim Miller.

Our week consisted of sharing the love of Jesus in crafts, music, birthday parties & soccer games with the 16 children who reside at the home. We were blessed by a special worship service on Wednesday night lead by the children. Their love of Jesus was truly evident. On Sunday we worshiped at the local Anglican church.

We traveled to several remote villages, many without running water or electricity bringing water filters and medication to those infected with Leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease spread by the bite of infected sand flies. The village had eight cases.

We worked alongside some local Hondurans to construct a greenhouse on the property of the children’s home which will be used to grow fruits, vegetables and coffee beans to support the needs of the children.

Our experiences were many and we saw God’s presence in every aspect of our trip. We pray for the people of Honduras and for Mike & Kim as they continue their mission to glorify God through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Bruce & Phyllis Ehlers

 

Honduras 2016– Image 1 of 10

 

 

Young Life Camp

This summer, Young Life took a bus full of kids up to the mountains of North Carolina for "the best week of their life!" The Church of the Cross, through our Mission and Outreach Minders and Modelers, supported this effort.

Many kids who had never known who Jesus was were introduced to Him and offered the possibility of a relationship with Him.

The week was filled with zip lining, Frisbee golf, paddleboards, mountain bikes and learning who the God of the Universe really is.

After coming home, kids met every night for two weeks as they talked through scripture and worked to build a community of kids that are all trying follow Jesus at home.

Please continue to pray for the staff and volunteers as they chase kids in the local high schools around Hilton Head and Bluffton!

The Church of the Cross’ support of the Young Life Camp helped to bring these young men and women, who would not have had the opportunity otherwise, to a special week and walk with the Gospel.

 

 

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Hope for Life Homes, Russia - Update

What can we bring to foster children in Russia who live over 8,000 miles away from us? From July 23 – July 2, 2016, when The Church of the Cross sent Barbara Scott to Russia, along with the Homes for Life Team, we learned the answer to this question. In addition to seven (7) suitcases filled with hand selected arts and crafts items, Legos, vitamins, underwear, clothing, necklaces and notes among other thoughtful gifts, we were able to bring the Light of Christ in a tangible way. The Gospel is alive through the Hope For Life (HFL) Homes, Russia ministry, offering hope in the world of these children that was previously filled with darkness and uncertainty. HFL truly reaches those who were previously unloved, unwanted and who bear the scars of an orphaned heart. Not only is the Love of Christ evident within these homes but the families reach out to others and willingly share what little they have.

Their generosity reminds me of Mark 12:44, “They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything--all she had to live on." We are so blessed in so many ways and we cannot underestimate how even a small gift can be so meaningful to someone that we don’t even know.

The parents and children were very grateful that we made the journey to Far Eastern Russia. The children immensely enjoyed the gift bags and played with the toy and craft type items for days. Nothing can replace how good it was to see the smiling faces and receive the numerous hugs!
One special highlight was witnessing two (2) of the HFL 1 girls, Anya and Tanya, be baptized in the Sea of Japan.

Into the darkness Christ truly does shine and out of the ashes these children have a chance to rise with hope for a brighter future, one where the promises of Christ can be realized in their lives.
Your continued prayers for Hope For Life (HFL) Homes, Russia, and each of the children, are greatly appreciated!

Pictures from the June 23 - July 2, 2016 Mission Trip

 

Hope for Life Homes, Russia June 23, 2016 Trip– Image 1 of 20

 
Hope For Life Homes, Russia 

For over two years now, The Church of the Cross has been supporting Hope for Life Homes, Russia. We started with the shoe drive, then provided funds to upgrade the upstairs of a church to make living quarters for a family that cared for 13 foster children, and now we are in the process of repairing a Christian Camp that will host hundreds of orphans and foster children each summer.

Just last month our parish responded very generously to a special clothing, vitamin and arts and crafts collection to assist 36 foster children, formerly orphans, who are part of the Hope for Life, Russia family.

The donations will be hand delivered to these children during an upcoming Mission trip to Spassk, Russia at the end of June.

We are trusting in the Lord, that this will build a long and fruitful relationship with these families in support of their dedicated effort to spread the Gospel.

Please contact Barbara Scott for any questions, phone 843-757-7018 or Barbara@hargray.com.

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Hope For Life Collection for Orphans in Russia

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Hope for Life Russia Map

 

Samaritan’s Purse Rebuild Trip to Andrews, SC

From January 31st until February 5th, 2016 a team of 10 members, from The Church of the Cross, traveled to Andrews, SC to help the victims of the severe flooding that took place at the beginning of October 2015.

The team members were Bob and Chris Olsen, Bruce and Phyllis Ehlers, Al and Diane North, Lyn Huber, Sonja Wesseler, Richard Darr and Jay Shook.

The typical day began with breakfast, singing, and devotions. The team then proceeded to the home site where the construction supervisor led the team in prayer before the work started for the day. The team painted, cut and placed molding, caulked and spackled and painted again. The homeowners worked with the team and shared prayer time with them during the day.

Following dinner, the team participated with the larger group of workers and homeowners, sharing their stories of faith and hearing how the Lord was working in the lives of those who had lost much in this world but were buoyed up by their faith in His world.

The trip reminds us that we are all God’s children and brothers and sisters in Christ. He loves each one of us and requires us to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Samaritan’s Purse has made a commitment to work in Andrews through December 2016, so there may be an opportunity for future trips from The Church of the Cross. If you are interested in participating, please contact Chris and Bob Olsen at 843-705-9335 or 585-738-5185.

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Samaritan’s Purse – Responding to Refugee Crisis in Europe

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The flood of refugees from the Middle East into Europe is like nothing the world has seen since World War II. Hundreds of thousands are risking their lives to escape terrible violence in Syria and elsewhere. Families with small children are racing to find a place to live before the bitter winter cold sets in.

Samaritan’s Purse is working through a network of evangelical churches to minister in the Name of Jesus Christ to refugees at stops along their difficult journey through Europe. They are providing food, hygiene items, and other basic necessities they so badly need.

The Church of the Cross will provide $10,000 to Samaritan’s Purse to assist with their Gospel spreading work with these refugees

Please pray for these desperate families as they travel for miles to find safety and permanent shelter.

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Diocese of Marsabit, Kenya

The Church of the Cross has been involved in spreading the Gospel in The Diocese of Marsabit, in Kenya for over two years now. It started in 2014 when we provided matching funds, in the amount of $10,000, with Christ Church, Mt Pleasant so that Bishop Martin would replace a “Tree Church” that was washing away (see pictures).

In November, 2014, TCOTC provided an additional $15,000 to the diocese to complete the church in Gololo, complete a rectory at St. John’s in Sololo, complete a rectory in Anono, and then to purchase a dirt bike to help reduce travel times between some 6 churches covered by one priest.

In March of 2015, Bishop Martin visited TCOTC and we provided an additional $5,000, again matching funds with Christ Church, Mt Pleasant, for building another church in his diocese In September, 2015, we learned that additional resources would be necessary to complete the church and we joyfully sent an additional $6,000 for that purpose. That church has been finished …..The Church of the Cross, Attan was consecrated on December 6, 2015 (see pictures).

The Church of the Cross has been truly blessed by our association with the Diocese of Marsabit. We have broken bread with Bishop Martin and his wife and with Father Qampicha Wario and his wife, while they updated us on how the Lord is working mightily in the diocese. We continue to hold them in our prayers as Bishop Martin approaches retirement and the diocese elects a new bishop in February 2016.

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Mission and Outreach News

A post from Allie Frazier…Insight into a missionary’s call to serve

“…However, I often feel inadequate and undeserving to be a missionary. Couldn't someone else do the job better than me? Isn't there a more skilled Art teacher out there? The answer to both of these questions is probably "Yes". However, that's not the point. After all, if the only missionaries in the world were the "qualified ones", there would few to none out there sharing the gospel cross-culturally. It's by God's grace and intervention in our lives that we are able to share the greatest Gift with the world. By His grace I was able to say "Yes" to the call, pack up my life, and ship off to another country”... Click HERE to read the entire post.

 

The Living Church

The following article, written about The Church of the Cross' partnership with dioceses in the Church of Ireland and in New Brunswick, Canada, was copied with permission from The Living Church website: http://www.livingchurch.org/we-cannot-be-isolationists .

We Can't Be Isolationists

Friday, June 5, 2015
By John Zambenini

FO yellow sweaterWhat does a rector from South Carolina’s Lowcountry have to say to a parish priest in Ireland? Quite a lot when the proclamation of the gospel is at stake, as the Rev. Charles E. “Chuck” Owens III of Church of the Cross in Bluffton, South Carolina, would have it. Owens has found an unlikely transatlantic partnership with dioceses in the Church of Ireland. Traveling to Ireland a few times a year to shore up a church he believes is in need, Owens is among a number of evangelical Anglicans reaching across geographic divides in uncertain times.

“We can’t be isolationists,” Owens told TLC. “We need our brothers and sisters no matter where they are.” Owens says his message for the Church of Ireland is “Jesus Loves you and so do we. You are not alone.” Church of the Cross’s partnership with Anglicans in Ireland, for Owens, carves out a place of solidarity from which to proclaim the gospel.

Tremors in the Anglican Communion have shaken canonical ties. Meanwhile, Owens says facility of communication and travel in the 21st century has made geographic boundaries irrelevant. The question for the church is, “Who are we spiritually aligned with?” he says. “Who you’re really in communion with is going to be based on what you believe, who holds to the truth with the fervor that you do, and defines the truth in the same way.”

Reaching across the Atlantic to like-minded believers, Owens sees Ireland as a source of mutual encouragement as well as a mission field. Church of the Cross has hired a youth minister from the Diocese of Kilmore, Elphin, and Ardagh, with which Owens has particularly close ties.

The Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence of South Carolina said Church of the Cross’s connection with Kilmore, Elphin, and Ardagh is important for South Carolina. Lawrence told TLC his diocese’s isolation within the Episcopal Church before departing highlighted the need for partnerships. South Carolina’s vision for “making biblical Anglicans in a global age” has meant investing in bonds with Tanzania, Egypt, and elsewhere, Lawrence said.

Owens’s Ireland connection began when Ken Clarke, former Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin, and Ardagh, traveled to Bluffton with Lawrence, who had met Clarke at Lambeth in 2008. Clarke told TLC that networks are now key to relationships. Ministry is no different. Not long after meeting Clarke, Owens was heading to Ireland.

And if finding overseas friendships amid a shifting cultural landscape transcends ecclesial designations, it has also accompanied change. Owens, a former school headmaster who has served as Church of the Cross’ rector since 1996, is driving to adapt the church’s proclamation for a generation unfamiliar with traditional idioms of faith.

Highlighting the scope of cultural changes, the Republic of Ireland has grabbed headlines for passing a May referendum permitting same-sex marriages. The Church of Ireland has not modified its teaching on marriage, but the referendum is regarded as a cultural bellwether for Christian leaders seeking to engage the world.

Part of the adaptation Owens says the church needs is repackaging its message without ceding ground on the authority of Scripture. In the face of mounting distrust in the institutional church, discouraged clergy, and flagging attendance, Owens says the church must realize the vitality of the gospel.

A crisis of leadership is central to the church’s struggle, Owens says: “The institutional church has served as a wet blanket over [parishioners’] faith.” He says he wants Christians to live a life of faith outside the walls of a church building. His teaching at conferences in Belfast, in the Republic, and with the evangelical New Wine movement has focused heavily on equipping leaders.

Church of the Cross, which has grown to nearly 1,800 members, is a model for Owens’s message. He attributes its growth in part to adapting worship to contemporary tastes and heavy emphasis on lay leadership, with about 80 lay ministries. Accommodating a changing world is a fine line to toe. For Church of the Cross, change has been welcome, but Owens says it has cleaved to biblical teaching.

Irish Anglicans are accustomed to fine lines. The Church of Ireland, encompassing both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom, transcends a political border and exists alongside the Roman Catholic Church on the predominantly Catholic island. Still, part of Owens’s message is not shrinking from cultural boundaries.

The Rev. Ali Calvin says the vision Owens and others have cast has brought new life to the three churches she serves in Killeshandra, where Owens has visited and taught. “When you find people who share your heart and vision and have the same love for God and accept the same principles from Scripture,” Calvin said of the partnership, “you have an automatic connection.”

That connection is challenging old divisions. Her churches have taken small steps to overcome barriers with Catholics in Killeshandra. “We share the desire to see the Holy Spirit move amongst his people, to see walls broken down,” she said.

Calvin, a former secondary school teacher, has been a priest for six years in the Diocese of Kilmore, Elphin, and Ardagh. Chapel of the Cross’s lay leadership model has encouraged her congregations, she says. She travelled with a team from Killeshandra to Bluffton. “It was wonderful for us, from rural churches in Ireland, to hear Chuck’s story and to hear his experience going from a small church that was dying and then growing,” she said.

Whatever comes of his far-flung friendships, Owens’s emphasis on adapting the church to meet culture has found traction. Rev. Greg McMullin of St. Mary and St. Bartholomew’s Anglican Church in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, also worked with Owens. McMullin says there is renewed vigor in his church. “[We] can speak in a language relevant to the culture without becoming molded by the culture,” McMullin said, though change brings challenges. “I think there’s a real danger that in attempts to be relevant we embrace the direction of the current culture, and I think that’s a huge mistake.”

What is needed for accommodation of cultural change to ultimately succeed remains to be seen. In the meantime Calvin’s parishioners have come to see themselves as having a role to play in the church. “Initially it was just a mindset change,” Calvin says. Now, “many of them have moved into a deeper relationship with God.”

 

Serving on Africa Mercy – Mercy Ships

Two members of the Church of the Cross, Mike and Yvonne Broadhurst, are flying to Durban, South Africa where they will board the Africa Mercy and set sail for Toamasina, Madagascar. The surgical ship will be in port for ten months where they will serve the people in multiple capacities.

While surgeries are the main emphasis, there are many other things that Mercy Ships does, for example, teach the people hygiene and health care, good drinking waters/dig wells, help people learn about gardening and other livelihoods, and last but certainly not least is always sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ in the midst of all we do. (Matthew 6:33)

They will attend church on Sundays with the local people (which they are very excited about); there is a Wednesday service onboard the ship; they will have Bible Studies, prayer groups and more.

Once they are settled in they will be providing updates on their personal website which will have a blog, up-to-day photos, and the opportunity to email with folks through the website: www.AlephMinistries.org

Their assignment in Madagascar will be Administrators/Facilitators at the “Hope Center.” The Hope Center is where the patients convalesce after surgery. By the way … what Mercy Ships does prior to arrival in a given port is retrofit a hospital, school or some kind of building to modern medical standards.

Mercy Ships Mission follows the 2000-year-old model of Jesus, bringing hope and healing to the world’s forgotten poor.

They performed more than 67,000 operations such as cleft lip and palate, cataract removal, straightening of crossed eyes, facial reconstruction and obstetric fistula repair.

Mercy Ships completed over 578 port visits in 56 developing nations and 18 developed nations.

You are welcome to learn more about the mission through their personal website, that is, www.AlephMinistries.Org.

 

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 Click here for MOMM's articles from past years.