World Team - The Cottles

Below is a letter recently written by our International Director on our behalf. We are appreciative of the leaders around us and their desire for Lynette I to back in Asia.

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March 2016

Leaders instill value in others by reminding them of the immeasurable grace we have in Jesus Christ.  Leaders work to draw out of others their God given capacities and apply those to ministry.  Leaders serve others so that together they might accomplish the task, the mission that God has given to them.

James and Lynette Cottle are such leaders. They consistently seek to equip and release others into ministry. Two new ministry initiatives, which have recently been launched as a result of their leadership efforts, are a demonstration of their commitment to drawing others into ministry and leadership. Their own strong track record of experience and fruit in cross cultural ministry in Cambodia gives them a solid base from which to work in serving and leading others.  I wish I had several more leaders like them.  Such leaders develop and release more leaders into leadership, and launch more ministry projects to reach the unreached.

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However, James & Lynette are not able, at this time, to return to their leadership ministry location because of a lack of needed financial support.  Their ministry is vital for the ongoing work and development of World Team.  I would ask that you prayerfully consider joining their support team through your prayers and finances.  A regular gift to their support needs will be multiplied through their lives in the lives of others.

We need James and Lynette back in Asia to serve and lead our teams there!

Thank you for your interest in the way God has called them to do.  May He fill your hearts again today with the overwhelming assurance and wonder of His great love for you!

In His grace,
David RIDDELL
International Director, World Team Global

Young Life - April 2016

Jesus made it clear that He's the Good Shepherd who searches for one lost sheep until He finds it. But Jesus never mentioned that He might show up in a purple Chevy Cavalier. Maybe that's why Tommy never saw the Savior coming. Or maybe he was blinded by his own despair.

Tommy had decided that the rough road of life had taken one wrong turn too many. So the young high school student slipped a sharp knife into his jacket and headed out into the darkness with a plan. His rough road would end in a nearby vacant field.

Tommy was almost to his final destination when the busted-up Cavalier sputtered up beside him. “Hey, Tommy!” his Young Life leader shattered the darkness with delight. “I've been looking all over for you! I want you to go to camp with me tomorrow!” It was an enthusiastic ambush, and Tommy was effectively disarmed.

Tommy eventually climbed into the car with his Young Life leader and told him the whole heart-breaking story of his life. The next day, Tommy was on the bus to camp, though he had never been to club. Today, Tommy is following Jesus and training to be a leader. He wants other kids to know the Savior who can disarm them in their darkest hour with His love.

Thank you for supporting Young Life. I'm deeply grateful for your partnership in this mission. Thank you for introducing kids to the Good Shepherd who sometimes drives a Chevy Cavalier. I guess it makes sense that the car was purple. It is, after all, the historic color worn by kings.

In Christ,

Denny Rydberg
President of Young Life

From Marquez Coats - Campus Outreach - University of South Alabama

An Update from Marquez
(URGENT REQUEST IN THE PRAYER SECTION BELOW)
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
The Bible is God breathed and able to teach and train us to make us complete and equipped for good works! This is just one of the verses I used in my first talk at one of our weekly Monday night meetings this semester. I was asked to talk to our students, encouraging them and pushing them to the word of God, by sharing a few reasons why God's word is vital in our Christian walk. A few of those being, how to fight sin (Psalm 119:9), how to follow Jesus (Luke 9:23-27), new identity and purpose (2 Cor. 5:17-20), etc. It was a joy to urge and challenge them to spend time in God's word and overall a good learning experience for me as the Lord continues to mold me as his ambassador to students at South Alabama.
 
The picture above is our small group bible study our staff team started at my house, gathering all the new and young believers involved with our ministry. Around 15-20 students from all different groups, fraternities/sororities and sport teams come each week getting to pray together and study God's word more in depth than we would on Monday nights. This has been really impactful in establishing students in their faith and helping them become rooted and built up in Christ. The beauty of this is seeing so many different groups represented in the room and praying and thinking how God could use this young group of students to have eternal impact on their peers! Please be praying for our Wednesday night small group, that the Lord would build our faith, grow our affections for Him, and these students would want to share their faith.
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
(Colossians 2:6-7)
Please be praying.....
 
1. This summer we will be putting on our annual Summer Beach Project. This is one of the most impactful things we do as a ministry and is a 8 week training to help students grow in their faith. So far we have 16 students signed up, and several more still deciding. We're praying that 20 would go, please pray with us! (To watch our beach project video or read more information about SBP follow this link, http://cobirmingham.org/events/summer-beach-project/)
 
2. URGENT REQUEST: Throughout the year, our ministry has grown in racial diversity and several of our African American students would love to go to SBP but some don't have the funds to go and most are foreign to the concept of support raising. I personally can remember being in their shoes not having a clue what support raising was and being oblivious to the fact that many who follow Christ desire for His name to be known to the extent that they would give of their own resources for me to be trained and poured into spiritually. During that time I called on many of you to invest in my life by helping me go to SBP. Those were some of the most impactful summers of my life and now I have the privilege and blessing to give and be able to come to friends and family on behalf of others to ask you to pray and consider sponsoring/helping some of our young students be able to attend Summer Beach Project. This wouldn't just be giving money but a literal investment in their life and the next generation of multiplying Christ-like leaders! Please email, call, or text me if you're interested in giving or would like to meet with me and some of these young men and women!

   
Thank you for your investment in my life and ministry as we partner together to see God bring His future laborers from the domain of darkness into the Kingdom of his beloved Son.

My mailing address is:
508 Hillcrest Rd.
Mobile, AL 36608

A letter from Gordon and Dorothy Gartrell serving in Brazil

January 2016 - A New Family and Community

The Lord makes firm the steps of the one(s) who delight in Him  (Psalm 37:23).

Since we arrived here eight months ago the Lord has set a clear path for us, and it has been very rewarding to follow it!  We thought Governador Mangabeira was very different from what it is.  It’s a small town.  There are nearby towns on both sides, so it’s easy to gets things done.  The people are very friendly and have accepted us as part of their community.  It doesn’t matter that we’re the only U.S. citizens here; we are one of them.

Gordon preaching at the Christmas service

 

Traditional Brazilian New Year's greeting during worship

 

Selma and Jaime cutting their anniversary cake for church guests at the New Year's Eve party

 

Executive Committee of the Salvador Presbytery

 

Gordon serving as chair of a presbytery committee

The Christmas and New Year holidays were uplifting for us.  Some people had said that Christmas wouldn’t be celebrated by the town because of the economic situation, devaluation of the currency, and government problems. However, the local merchants’ association gave a car away.  Anyone who spent 20 reais (the equivalent of $5.50) received a ticket for the drawing.  Some stores and individuals decorated for Christmas.

One of our members, Nanni, plans the order of worship each week.  She included Advent themes and hymns.  It was the first time in Brazil that we have celebrated Advent.  Very typically, we had a worship service ending at midnight on Christmas Eve and a service to welcome in the New Year.  We worshipped as a family and greeted each other with hugs and wishes for a Happy New Year at the end of the service. 

We had a birthday party for Jesus one Sunday during Sunday School.  It was for both the adults and the children.  Usually the two groups do not spend time together.  During the opening each Sunday the children and adults sit on different sides of the sanctuary and do not interact much.  During the party, people could make decorations or bookmarkers of different symbols that stand for Christ, find different names for Jesus in the Bible, do activities to learn more about Jesus (do word searches or crossword puzzles, create puzzles or color pictures) or just visit.  Happily everyone did at least one thing and a number of the adults were proud when they found the 15 hidden words or answered all the questions.  We ended the party with snacks and birthday cake, naturally.

During the holidays it was wonderfully evident that we are considered part of the families here.  After worship on Christmas Eve we went to a typical Christmas dinner.  Each person brought a present for the person whose name they had drawn; everyone played games and ate delicious food.  We left “early” at 2 am.  After worship on New Year’s Eve we celebrated the wedding anniversary of church friends and neighbors with delicious cake and snacks.  The next day we were invited for a swim and a typical New Year’s Day luncheon.  We had rice and beans, of course, and a variety of meats cooked together in a big pot.  It’s so nice to be part of our friends’ everyday lives.

Our presbytery, the Presbytery of Salvador, has only seven churches located in the state of Bahia, nearly as large as Texas.  In January we attended the yearly weekend presbytery meeting.  It was held in Salvador, the capital, in a convent where we could fellowship between and after the sessions.  Four people from our church attended: an elder, a young man, and us.  We have many friends and acquaintances in the presbytery, so we enjoy the meetings.

Schools are on vacation from mid-December through the beginning of Lent.  This year schools will return in mid-February.  Dorothy has been teaching only her adult English class during this vacation and Gordon’s catechism class will continue in mid-January, so things have been lighter for us.

It’s been rewarding this year to see church attendance increase and have new people feel welcome at the church.  People have been able to meet their desires to learn more about the Bible and to fellowship with other Christians.

Children’s Sunday School has been a challenge this year.  As many of you know, when we arrived there was one class for children ages 5-15.  A van picked up the children who live in a poorer neighborhood a distance from the church.  Unfortunately many of the children showed no respect for the teachers, the pastor or any adults and came for the activities, snack and a chance to get away.  In 2016 we have suspended the transportation.  We are not going to reward bad behavior.  Sunday School is continuing, so if the students are interested, they may come.  The grandchildren of one member, up to six children, come when their uncle gives them a ride.  They are well behaved and interested in learning new things. A couple of adults who are now attending bring their children, so we are “starting over.”  Please pray for wisdom to hear and follow the Lord’s guidance as we develop a new program.  The first Sundays were calm classes in which two children attended, learning new songs and new Bible stories.

Both of us have found good physicians.  After medical problems, Dorothy’s epilepsy is being controlled by much less medicine and Gordon’s diabetes is well controlled.  Dorothy walks early in the morning with many other folks in town; she participates in a balance- and stability-enhancing program while Gordon goes to a fitness center.  We are feeling good all around.  Yes, there are problems and ups and downs, but we are finding our work very rewarding.

We would be happy to pray for any needs you have.  Please send us any prayer requests you have and join us in prayer for our work, especially the children’s Sunday School work.

Thank you for your financial support in 2015.  Please prayerfully continue or begin to support our work.

In Christ,
Gordon and Dorothy