Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

This was a memorable Christmas because of the 36" of snow we got. I haven't seen so much snow since I was a boy.

On Christmas Eve it snowed all day, but rather than cancel our Christmas Eve Service, we had one in each of our 3 campuses. I thought maybe a few brave souls would show up, but over 300 came. We had an awesome celebration!
After the service our family came to our home for a Christmas Eve celebration. New pyjamas for all the kids are standard, along with Papa's & Nana's Christmas stockings.

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Church in Action

December 2008

1. This week I've received 3 letters which represent a common occurence at our church. One was from Musu Taylor-Lewis of Pregnancy Concerns. Musu mentioned to our church a while ago that Pregnancy Concerns was moving into a new location, but the building needed some work.

I didn't even know how the church responded until I visited Musu a while later. She happily showed me the new facility and told me guys from our church had done the wallboard work, electrical work, painting and flooring. Musu grinned from ear-to-ear as she thanked me for all the church had done. I was a surprised and very proud pastor.

2. A single widow in our church lives in a trailer that badly needed some repair work. Not knowing what to expect she called Linda at Northside to humbly request help. At the same time I'd been talking with Phil Ransom, who'd volunteered his expert services. We matched up Phil with Diane. Here's an excerpt from Diane's thank-you letter:

"Thank you" does not adequately express my appreciation for the help I received from Northside. Last June I phoned CMCH's (Canada Mortgage And Housing Association) RRAP (Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program) for help with 'floor repairs' and was told I was eligible for their help (max $15,000.00 for my location). I completed and returned their application (with copies of the required documents they needed) and received no response. I phoned to ensure they'd received my application (they had) but they then told me that they were 'out of funds now' and that I should reapply in March (2009).

I'm sorry for making this so long but I wanted you to have kind of an idea of why and just how much everyone's help has meant to me. Starting with our Prayer Group, Gloria & Marge's phone call to Linda, Pastor Barry's approval and ending with, not only the time and effort Phil put into working on my repairs, but the wonderful end result of all his labor. To start with, trying to find anyone willing to work on a mobile is a job in itself. Repair work on mobiles seems to be harder than on regular homes and on the smaller mobiles, some repair jobs are outright horrific. Mine was horrific.

The space Phil had to work in was a challenge in itself. But even more horrendous, and what I was really worried about, was the condition the underneath part of my home may be in - and the only way to find that out is for someone to actually crawl underneath the home to look at it. I've had many workmen who have done a lot of repair jobs after my place was flooded. The flood happened a year after Jimmy, my husband, died (Dec. 17, 1996), which was approx. a year after we bought this place. Phil is the 2nd person (since 1997) to actually crawl underneath it at least 3 times.

My bathroom was never elegant looking, but now, especially compared to what it was before Phil started working on it, is now really quite elegant looking. Phil did a wonderful job, I can't thank him and Northside enough, God does indeed 'work in mysterious ways' - my faith is constantly being renewed. Again, my sincere THANK YOU!

3. After that I received a thank-you note from Pastors Ponciano and Evelyn in Manila. The $8,000 that our children's church raised and gave to build an addition on the church built on a dump in Manila, has bene put to good use.

Thank you to Michelle Abdou for her love for the children she visited in 2007, and her inspiration and willingness to build the biggest building in their town. Here's the note from Pastor Evelyn:

Dear Pastor Barry,

I'm sending some photos for our church building construction. I have emailed Michelle and she was happy about the photos I've sent.

Next week we will be cementing the floor and hopefully by the last week of January we will hold our worship service in our new church already.

As you have seen the photos, the finished parts are the roofing made of iron bars and galvanized iron, the insulators to protect from the heat of the sun, the walls made of hollow blocks. The unfinished parts are the floor, the windows and the comfort room, the installation of electricity and water. After the flooring the construction will be stopped for a while and wait for God's provision for the unfinished parts. We thank the Lord for the people He used in providing the needs of our church. Once again thank you and God bless you. More Power!

Thursday, December 04, 2008


December 2008

We had a great visit with the new NorthRidge congregation in December. What a marvelous facility at Thomas Haney School. Check out their web page:

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Master's Commission

November 18-20, 2008

One of my favorite things to do is to teach the Bible from cover to cover. In November I was invited to the Bible Fellowship Master's Commission to teach the Old Testament. In three days we covered a lot of ground from Creation to the end of Malachi. I have the entire Old Testament overview on CD's. If you're interested, email me.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Philippines 2008

November 2008

Earlier this month I spent 15 days in one of my favorite places in the world. I did some Pastor's & Leader's Conferences in Dagupan, Pangasinan, Manila & Ormac Leyte, in addition to speaking at a few churches.

One of my favorite stops was in a village on the outskirts of Manila that has been built on a city dump. The area is called Pagbabago (which means reborn or new life) because the residents take garbage and recycle it to earn income. I love the spiritual implications that infer God takes people we may never look twice at and recreates us into princes & princesses in His kingdom.

Last year Michelle Abdou from Northside was there and felt God directing her to help. She came back and had our children raise over $8,000 to send to the Foursquare Church there to double their church space. Our kids made yoyos that I was honored to hand out to the children there.

Pastors Val (& Sally) Chavez (President of the 2800 Foursquare churches in the Philippines) were my hosts, drivers and co-workers as we travelled the main Island.

In Leyte Pastors Gulliver and Verma Babor were my hosts.

Check out my pictures below!

Philippines 2008

Philippines 2008

Philippines 2008

Philippines 2008