2003-2005

Vacuum Cleaners
God moment 3:    (James 1:17)   Every Saturday, we clean the main hall for the Mechanicsburg Orthodox Mission Church.  They rent our hall Saturday evening and Sunday mornings for church services.  We clean the work area and wipe the tables and use the vacuum cleaners.  We had three used vacuum cleaners that didn’t work very well.  They smelled like burnt rubber when we ran them and they didn’t pick up dirt like they should have.  Sometimes the volunteers and our staff would get frustrated when we used them.  On one particular Saturday I was frustrated with the vacuum cleaner.  When I put the vacuum cleaner in the utility room I uttered a frustrated prayer….”Lord please let someone donate a vacuum cleaner!”  I am sure I was not the first person to utter that prayer.  Five days later, when I arrived at work, there were three different vacuum cleaners in the utility closet.  One was an airport vacuum cleaner donated by a church, one was new, and we had another vacuum donated.  God answers prayers.

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Mural
God Moment 23:      (Luke 22:17)           Mission Central sponsored a mural contest for the youth of the United Methodist Church when we initially opened our doors.  The youth were asked to design a mural representing missions.  They had to incorporate into the design: Mission Outreach, Mission Education, and Disaster Response.  All of the groups who submitted a design were welcomed to paint their mural in the warehouse.  One youth group used a goat in their design, and as you can imagine, the design was beautiful.  We asked them to change the goat to a V.I.M. symbol.  The youth group changed their design as we requested, and each person who worked on the mural signed it at the top.  If you look carefully at the signatures, you will see a little goat saying, “baa!”  The mural is in our Kitchen/Snack Room.  The same youth group designed a second mural, and that mural is in the workroom.  If you look carefully in the lower left corner, you will see the same little goat saying “baa!”

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Clothing
God Moment 27:     (Acts 2:7)

When we started Mission Central, we said we wouldn’t collect or receive clothing.  But as in all things, God doesn’t think as we do.  A Girl Scout troop collected clothing to send to Russia.  They sorted, boxed, and inventoried all the good clothing they received.  Then they learned of the expense to send the clothing to Russia.  They called Harry, and asked if Mission Central could use the clothing.   Under the circumstances, Harry agreed and the Scouts delivered the clothing to Mission Central.              The inventory sheet for the clothing was lost.  Volunteers at Mission Central re-inventoried the clothing.  Mission Central received a call two days after the clothing was finished being inventoried.  Belarus, Russia requested 150 boxes of clothing.  The clothing was going to an orphanage.  How amazing can this initiative be ?  The clothing was shipped to where the Girl Scouts originally wanted the clothing to go!  All things are possible with God.

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Blessed Amazement!

Acts 2:12

And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity; saying to one another “what does that mean?”

Mission Central, is a mission that houses several Missions. I have a copier in my office that all of the Missions share. One morning while I was working on a project at my desk, I noticed Ray; a friend who works for Bethesda Mission, patiently waiting for me to finish my task.

I asked Ray “what do you need?” He replied “I just wanted to thank you for finding my ring.” “What ring I answered?” While he was in my office he noticed a gold ring setting on the top of my bookcase. I place items like fine jewelry on the bookcase when it is discovered. I wait for a period of time before I find a use for the jewelry; it may have been accidentally placed into a box given to the Mission. Gold jewelry is not usually donated to our Mission.

What he said next astounded me. Ray lost that ring thirty years ago when he moved from Maryland to Pennsylvania. The ring had very distinctive characteristics. It was a gold ring with black onyx inlayed and a gold initial on the onyx. The onyx had a chip and on the inside of the band Ray’s name was inscribed. The ring was just the same as when he lost it thirty years ago.

God took an ordinary work day and blessed Ray and I with one of His “miracles.” He continues to amaze and perplex His people. We never know when God will bless us with a “God Moment;” when he does amaze us, the joy is indescribable.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for keeping my hope renewed by your “moments of Grace.”

Kathy M. Briner, Deputy Director

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Toothpaste For UMCOR Health Kits
God moment 2:    (Romans 6:23)    When we prepare “Health Kits,” for UMCOR we use toothpaste that has an expiration date of at least six months from the current date.  The toothpaste that we use for health kits was mistakenly given to another mission, they picked up the wrong toothpaste, and they were supposed to pick up the toothpaste with a current expiration date!  So we were out of toothpaste for health kits.  A few days later we received a donation of two full pallets of toothpaste.  Wow, that’s at least 3000 lbs. of toothpaste, just when we needed it the most!

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Love Kits
God Moment 11:      (I Corinthians 12:25-28)

On July 8, 2005, personal care items and “Love Kits” (made by youth at Mission Central that morning), were sent America’s Heart in Jacksonville, FL.  The Love Kits were sent to shelter sites in anticipation of people leaving their homes for the arrival of a hurricane.  Praise God, Mission Central could respond within a few hours of the requesting call for the LOVE KITS.

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Special Delivery
God Moment 12:    (1 Chronicles 16:12)           Nick was very busy, he had a lot of volunteers to guide and the phones were ringing constantly.  Pat, a weekly volunteer started taking calls to help Nick.  She was on phone duty for about an hour.  In that time there was only one phone call.           The Western New York Conference phoned.  They had 10 boxes of school kits to be delivered, but they needed someone to pick them up.           Pat was going to Rochester NY that weekend.  She told the Western New York Conference she would pick up the kits.  God can make it happen!

 

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Computer Ministry
God Moment 25:     (Numbers 34:18)  In 2004 Pastor Jim Rudy asked our Executive Director for enough work area to assemble and repair personal computers.  He wanted to have ample space to work on the computers once a month.  That was a small beginning since he had only four computers to rebuild.  He now uses 2000 sq uare feet of space.  His computer ministry works 3 days a week at Mission Central; Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  The computer ministry is incorporated and Jim Rudy is the Executive Director.  The ministry has evolved from serving our conference to now sending computers all over the world!  The computer ministry has been very successful, and they too have many volunteers supporting their efforts.  God leads us, we will follow.

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Overabundance of Supplies
God Moment 19:    (Galatians 6:6)      When hurricane Katrina struck we were inundated with supplies for the hurricane victims.  Mission Central was rapidly finding storage space to be a problem. The material needed to be sorted and warehouse cataloged before we could send them to the Gulf Coast.  The husband of one of our regular volunteer’s owns a warehouse in Dillsburg, PA.  Dillsburg is about eight miles from Mission Central.  He had 15,000 square feet of storage space available for our temporary use.  We sent half of our Haiti’s supplies and half of our Red Bird Missions supplies from Mission Central to the warehouse in Dillsburg.   Church members helped to box those items.  Four truckloads of materials were stored in Dillsburg! God can make the impossible possible!

 

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Dedicated Volunteer
God Moment 24:     (Matthew 15:36)          Mission Central has a volunteer who started coming with her church group.  They would come once a month.  When Hurricane Katrina struck, we needed lots of help.  Rhoda, our favorite volunteer, started coming in two or three days a week!  Currently, Rhoda is here almost every day, and is a huge asset to all of us at Mission Central.  Rhoda does a lot of the sorting, and she knows the warehouse as well as any of us. Volunteers like Rhoda are a blessing to us at Mission Central.  She lives Matthew 25, and we are proud to have her on our team.

 

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Baby Scales
God Moment 26:     (Acts 3:10)   Mission Central received a call from the Catholic Social Services of New Jersey.  They were looking for two baby scales, (like is used in a doctor’s office).  We had a scale and Bethesda Mission had a scale.  We called the Catholic Social Services, told them we had the scales.  The Catholic Social Services explained that a small problem did exist.  The scales had to be in New Jersey in two days!  Harry was going to New Jersey for a family visit.  He made the connection with the Catholic Social Services and delivered the scales.  The Catholic Social Services delivered them to a Presbyterian Church, who sent them in a container to Afghanistan.  The scales were claimed in Afghanistan by a Baptist medical team.  The scales were used by the Baptist Medical team to teach families “first aid for babies.”  We called the scales the “Ecumenical Baby Scales.”

 

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Godly Correction
God Moment 28:     (Proverbs 16:18)

As a recorder of God’s moments, it was a while before I could mention this moment to anyone. “Why” you might ask?  Because I was given a correction I will never forget.  Given the privilege of recording God’s moments, I became possessive of them.  I would record the facts, write about the miracles and pass them on to someone who is an experienced writer, to correct or proof-read each moment.  All of the editing transpired via email.  A few times I was lazy and sent the document just as an email and not as a “Word Attachment.”   The editor was rightfully annoyed with me, because he would have to reformat the whole document every time I sent them.  So he decided to send the edited document back the same way, so I would know when I received the document how much work it took to reformat it.

So I was plugging away at reformatting the document, not a happy camper I might add!  When I came to “God Moment” 27, the last line read: “This is not a (my last name in red) operation!”

I knew the editor did not write that last line.  I went back to the original email he sent.  The email said “the clothing went where the Girl Scouts originally wanted it to go.”

I was so upset about receiving this correction from God, I couldn’t talk about it for a few days.  Finally, I told someone about it.  After I shared my story, I realized how blessed I was to be corrected by God, and be able to share the moment.  This isn’t my document, its Gods document.

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Project K.A.R.E.N. II
God Moments 31:   Project Karen II   (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Karen Adams had a dream of helping her friends from New Orleans.  She was uncertain of all of their needs, and uncertain of her ability to assist them.  Her thoughts of all of those people that were left behind continued to disturb her.  Karen wanted to transport supplies to those friends that were in need.  Karen’s profession was administrative in nature, so building or repairing was not her forte. Karen approached the UMVIM team to inquire about what could be done to assist her friends.  She was asked to lead a team of volunteers to assist the rebuilding efforts since she knew the people, the area, and the political world in the New Orleans area.

Karen had the same reaction that most people would have.  “I can’t do that, I just want to get the needed materials to my friends.”  Karen insisted that she was not a builder.  However, the VIM team explained that all of the necessary leadership skills to complete the task were clearly demonstrated.  The VIM team explained that we can give you the tools and materials and God will provide the rest.  Karen reluctantly said “yes” to the request.  It was really a matter of determination that was pushing Karen to “do something.”  Karen planned, designed, solicited, inquired, and spoke to dozens of people.  Her efforts were well rewarded with a trem endous effort for her friends.  It took a lot of time and a lot of work, but God answered her prayers.

No, Karen is not a builder or better to say was not a builder, but she built the most wonderful team of spiritual leaders, and delivered bundles of love in New Orleans.  Her efforts will never be forgotten.

Project Karen is an overwhelming success.  The love of Jesus has no geographical boundaries.

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Bobbi’s Bones
God moment 4:    (Romans 1:20)           Bobbi’s bones are one of the first “God moments.”  Six months after Mission Central opened Harry received a call from a nurse at Pinnacle Health.  She worked in a clinic at the hospital.  The clinic specialized in bone reconstruction.  The clinic was closing and she was told to get rid of the bones.  If she couldn’t find anyone to take them she was to dispose them.  The bone is cut in 2″ pieces in vials and is blood typed.  They are used to transplant existing bone.  She had a box of vials left.  In monetary value they are very expensive; in helping people with bone issues they are priceless!

Harry didn’t know what he would do with the bones; the bones were dated good thru 2007.  He accepted the bones not knowing what he was going to do with them.   A contact at the conference office told Harry about a student going to Ludhiana Medical College in India and perhaps Ludhiana College could use the bones.  Harry contacted the student, her name was Bobbi Jones, and she told him she was going to Ludhiana Medical College in three weeks.  She asked if Mission Central had any medical supplies that she could take along to the college.  Ludhiana Medical College is located in India.  Harry put the box of bones at the conference office and labeled it Bobbi’s Bones.  He promptly forgot about the bones.

Two months later he received a call from a Doctor from Ludhiana, India.  He just used one of the vials of bones.  He called to thank us.  He worked at a clinic in India and he told us a man would be able to walk because he had those bones.  God always has a purpose for unasked for gifts, sometimes we just have to have faith and wait.

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Taylor’s WORD
God moment 5:    (Matthew 18:2)    Taylor was a middle school student who had a vision to help Katrina victims.  Taylor heard a speaker talk about Mission Central’s disaster response efforts at her church.  She thought it would be a good idea to collect health kits for Mission Central to use for Katrina disaster outreach.  Taylor discussed the idea with the speaker and her student council officers.  They decided to open the health kit effort to the middle school homerooms.  A pizza party was the reward for the homeroom that collected the most kits.  The youth at Taylor’s middle school produced 176 health kits for Mission Central.  They also contributed supplies for kits.

A Guidance Counselor at Taylor’s school asked Taylor to fill out an application for the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.  The award was created by Prudential to recognize students in middle and high school who have participated in community service.  Taylor was picked as the 2006 Pennsylvania reward recipient for Middle School.  Taylor was inspired to do more for missions; she developed at that time “Taylor’s W.O.R.D.” which stands for Wanting Others to Read Daily.  She requested people donate gently used and new books to take along to Washington DC, when she received her award.  Taylor collected 9,304 books to deliver to the Heart of America foundation; they distribute books to public and religious schools located in the Washington DC area.  Taylor learned to love being the hands and feet of God in mission work.  She is currently working on project K. A.R.E.N.

Volunteers at Mission Central sorted and packed and put Taylor’s WORD labels in all the books.  Mission Central received a donation of materials associated with books.  Such as individual book lights, book bags, and lanyards with “library,” printed on them.  Mission Central received the donation at the same time Taylor was packing the books to send to Washington DC.   God’s timing…

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Project K.A.R.E.N.
God moment 6:    (Colossians 1:24)            Karen Adams grew up in Mechanicsburg PA.  As an adult Karen lived in New Orleans.  When hurricane Katrina threatened, Karen packed her car and headed to Mechanicsburg to be with her family.  Karen started her life over in Pennsylvania; she lost everything she left behind in New Orleans when Katrina struck.  Karen couldn’t forget the people she left in New Orleans.  Karen asked her church to help her do something for New Orleans.  One of the church members was President of the board of managers of Mission Central.  The president of the board was Sue Higgins.  Sue told Karen about the work in missions at Mission Central.  Karen started working on Project K.A.R.E.N. with her church and Mission Central.  K.A.R.E.N. stands for Kenner Area Rebuilding Effort Network.  Karen faith has helped her to complete three Mission trip efforts for Katrina victims.

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Birthday Gifts
God Moment 7:     (Luke 18:16-17)  One morning a little girl came to our front door dragging a large black trash bag.  Behind her was a little boy only half her size also dragging a black plastic bag.  A woman was walking behind them carrying two smaller bags.  As they entered, the woman said her daughter had seen a story in the news about us collecting health kits for tsunami victims.  Her daughter decided on her own, instead of asking for gifts for her 7th birthday party, she would ask each child invited to bring some items for health kits and they would make health kits at her birthday party.

The bags contained 76 complete health kits!  Their mother shared that she had never seen kids have so much fun at a party.  She asked for a picture of the delivery of the health kits.  So we posed for a picture in front of the Mission Central display.  When asked to sign in so we would know where the kits came from, the mother indicated they didn’t want any credit, so if it was OK, her daughter would just leave her first name.

Thank you Rosalie, for reminding us what it truly means to be the hands and feet of God in service!  Happy Birthday!

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