Monday, November 14, 2011

Hope Chapel Holiday Helping

Did you know that you are entering your mission field as soon as you head out your front door? Our community has a world of people lost and in need living right in our own neighborhood. As the hands and feet of Jesus, we want to demonstrate God's love in tangible ways. Here are some things you can do to help:

Food Pantry Items
Help us make sure families have food in their pantry this holiday season! Hope Chapel will once again be collecting canned goods to be distributed to families in need in our community. A suggested shopping list is available at the Welcome Center or click here. Food will be collected November 13 thru November 20th. Please no glass jars!

Mitten Tree
Cold weather is inconvenient and can lead to sickness, especially in children and the elderly. Did you realize that there are many children here in our area that do not have the means to purchase a simple pair of mittens or gloves? This holiday season a “mitten tree” will be displayed in HOPE Zone children's ministry area waiting for your donated “ornaments” of clean or new mittens, gloves, hats and scarves.

These items will then be donated to the Hispanic Foursquare Church in Cary, NC who will use them as gifts during their holiday outreach programs. “Decorating” the tree starts on November 27th and continues through December 18th.

Soles 4 Souls
Over 1.5 billion pairs of shoes lay idle in American closets. Over 300 million children around the world are without shoes. This Christmas our congregation will partner with the Soles 4 Souls an organization which has given away over 12 million pairs of shoes to people in need in over 124 countries on 5 continents. To participate simply bring in your gently used or new shoes wrapped together with a rubber band. Each pair needs to have $2 placed in the toe of a shoe to cover shipping and handling. Drop off stations will be available in the Worship Center starting at the This.Christmas concert on Saturday, December 10th and continue through December 18th. You can learn more about this organization by visiting

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

mi familia

When I was asked to write up a blog post to describe my experience here, I was a bit overwhelmed by the task at hand. How can I encapsulate everything I have witnessed here- the people, the depth of their eyes, the warmth and graciousness of their smiles, the poverty of the barrios, the countless starving dogs, the array of smells, the heaviness of the Holy Spirit, etc. The only way I can begin is with one word: thankful. As I watched these people, marveling at how creative they can be to make things work with what we would consider dirty old trash (that wouldn’t even be fit to sell at a yard sale), I began to realize how easily… that could have been me.

Why God? Why did you choose to give me one of the biggest blessings of being born in the US? I have often prayed for God’s favor and blessing- and yet I’ve just now realized that He already has favored me- just by determining the place I was born!

It makes me feelcompletely foolish for some of the things I pray about whenever I hear the Haitians’ prayer requests. Out of the two pastor’s we’ve met, the biggest needs they have are safety, water, and a roof that doesn’t leak. Americans wouldn’t step foot in a church that didn’t have these basic needs. But what makes us any different from the Haitian people? We just live in a different location and have different skin tones- but that doesn’t really matter, does it? We have the same father, and love Jesus. Therefore, that makes us brothers and sisters in Christ, right? Yet we are living totally different lifestyles, and our problems have a magnitude of difference between them, and so on. As I first encountered these horrors I witnessed, I leaned towards the thought: “Oh those poor people”. But after praying that God would allow me to see through His eyes, I began to think more like this: “that could have just as easily had been me”. This simple change in thinking not only allowed me to see how I am so blessed beyond measure, but it has also started me along the right path towards truly loving my neighbor as myself.




favorite (possibly only) toy


Sunday, October 2, 2011

“Dios te bendiga”

“Dios te bendiga”

“God bless you”

I have never handed out Christian tracts to strangers. Except for today. This morning, I was handed a stack of tiny booklets which explained the gospel in espanol and french creole. Then, the local missionaries taught me one sentence, “Dios te bendiga.” Apparently, that was all I needed to know in order to be prepared for short term missions work.

I was far from prepared. I don’t think anything could have prepared me. I’ve seen films, heard stories, read books, and looked at pictures. But as I waded through an open air market in the slums of a third world city – I realized that nothing could prepare me for the poverty, sickness, or chaos that I was encountering.

I stared deep into the eyes of men, women, children and even stray dogs. They all returned with stares of excitement and curiosity because I was “Americano.” However, I could still see the despair and pain that they held within. Unfortunately, the only thing I could offer them today was a christian booklet and a simple statement, “God bless you.”

…I hope he does.

-Bill Rose

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Youth Pastor Mission Adventure

Hope Chapel's youth pastor, Bill Rose, his wife Whitney, and our friend Charles, are heading off to the beautiful country of the Dominican Republic (D.R.) on a mission trip with Foursquare Missions International (FMI)! This is the first mission trip for Bill - and his first time going outside the USA!

This will be a survey trip to discover how to better help the Haitian population in the D.R.
The Haitian community in the D.R. has been growing because of the affects of the recent earthquake. Haitian refugees enter the country looking for a new life but because they are the minority they experience a lot of discrimination.

We will be visiting some churches in the D.R. and assisting in a mission which helps the Haitian community by meeting practical needs and providing spiritual support to Haitian pastors and their churches.

Please keep us in prayer as we scout out the land for the work of missions! We return in 1 short week, on Thursday, October 6th.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Disaster Relief - Alabama

The cross above this wall was not built by the survivors. It was part of the rafters that fell against the wall and kept the roof from falling on them. They had to push it into that position to get out.

Hope Chapel and Foursquare USA has sent one of our own, Joe Ellen, as a Foursquare Crisis Chaplain. Joe has been busy in Alabama ministering to folks who survived the tornado. We'll be posting some of his thoughts and photos while he's working in the fields.


Today was my first chance to get out and talk to people. Unbelievable people, unbelievable stories. Talked to a man about some grandparents holding their 4 grandkids to protect them from the roof falling on them. By the time they were found both grandparents were dead but all 4 children were unharmed. They had to pry the grandmothers arms off 2 of the kids.

Best of all is Shotgun Annie. She lived in an old house across the road from an upscale subdivision. No one would have anything to do with her. After the storm and all the survivers left, Annie put a chair in front of her property and guarded the entire neighborhood. Even up to having 2 looters arrested. She salvaged all the neighbors homes and put the things in separate plastic tubs for them. Now she is a hero and brought the entire neighborhood together.

- Joe

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Seeing God's Plan at Last!

The greatest part of a mission trip is the moment you feel like you totally see God's plan for the trip. While you're planning the trip and setting your goals, you pray and seek God's will for the trip, but you realize that once you arrive flexibility is key. Things never go as planned. God only requires our willingness to go, and our willingness to go with the flow. If we are flexible, then He can use us to accomplish any purpose in any place.

Our recent trip to El Salvador was just like that. Last year on this trip we experienced such an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in so many places, and saw so many people truly turn to God and give their lives to Christ. This year, however, was a little different.

Other than one day at the girl's prison, most of our ministry time was spent with young children in elementary schools and orphanages. We had a lot of fun with each class teaching about the importance of good nutrition, exercise, brushing teeth, washing hands, and especially, washing hearts. With each class, Charles would get the students laughing by pretending sweets were part of the vegetable or fruit group, and surreptitiously sneak something off of a student's desk. Then he would pretend to have a question at the end of the hand washing segment, and would ask how one could clean one's heart. He would explain how his own heart gets dirty when he hits his friends (pantomiming hitting one of us), tells a fib ("I'm President Obama!"), or steals things (holding up the item he swiped from a student). Then he would ask if swallowing soap could clean his heart. The kids loved it and in most places the kids would answer that "Dios!" (God!) could wash his heart. We prayed with each group to receive Christ, but sometimes wondered if these kids really needed us.

We learned that often within the culture there, people are taught about God, but not that they need a personal relationship with Him. But we were reminded us of Isaiah 55:11, “The words I speak…will not return to me without producing results. They will accomplish what I want them to. They will do exactly what I sent them to do.” What words did we speak to these children, from God, that will come back to them as they grow up and have to make difficult decisions about their lives? When confronted with a choice, will they choose the right way, God’s way, because we came and told them how God wants to clean their heart? I pray that they will, because God says that His word produces results.

As important as our ministry was, we really felt after a couple of days that God had placed us there at that time to support His missionaries. Our missionary hostess, is fostering a 2 year old girl, whose parentage is unclear, and there is reason to believe she may be Guatemalan.There is concern that the government might try to send her to an orphanage in Guatemala or back to the mother who tried to sell her on the black market.

We also spent some time counseling another young missionary there having some difficulties with her local church who will soon be starting an orphanage. Finally, we were able to meet with the national Foursquare missionary and were blessed to break bread with him and leave a small blessing as well.

Everyone needs to be ministered to at times, and we felt God truly took us to El Salvador not only to minister to the orphans, prisoners, and children, but to strengthen His workers there in the field. That was made possible by our wonderful supporters and prayer-partners. Thanks to them and to the Lord! It is always a fantastic experience to see God at work!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Deuces, El Salvador

Today marked the last day of our work in El Salvador. As Heather mentioned yesterday, that’s only if you can consider it work. This morning we visited yet another school and it was a beautiful one, larger than usual. We continued our hygiene and nutrition classes to some very fun and interested groups, who laughed with us (not at us, I’m sure). We also met Pastor Pablo Pena, who is our local Foursquare Missionary here. He is involved in sponsoring scholarships for two of the kids in the school we visited. He showed us the first church he planted in El Salvador, which was beautiful, and we had lunch with him and his wife, Alma. We had a great conversation about his work and how he became a missionary – at which point he told (a skeptical) me that asking about mission work is the first step to doing.

Later this evening we visited another incredible orphanage run by a man from Oregon and his El Salvadorian wife. We brought popcorn and soda for the kids and watched Wall-E in Spanish, which we all enjoyed. We are struck by how well-loved the children are that we’ve seen so far. Hugs and kisses for greeting and parting are rampant. Though the practice is somewhat cultural, it’s clear that the kids aren’t doing it out of obligation. They are doing it out of a love they need to feel and also an overflow of love they are getting from those who pour into their lives. It really goes to show that a genuine investment in the lives of these kids can pay off, whether they have “real families” or not.

We spent time as a group this evening talking about what events from the week struck us. Universally, we were impressed with the love and acceptance that we’ve felt from everyone we’ve met. I must say that El Salvador surpasses even the South in hospitality. The people we’ve met and the stories we’ve heard are sometimes beautiful, sometimes awful, sometimes inconceivable, but always clearly reflecting God’s grace and love for all of us, regardless of nationality or language.

1 John 2:6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.
I personally came on this trip as an act of obedience to God’s calling to go and tell His people about Him, and not out of any particular calling to El Salvador or to working with children. However, I cannot even express the number of blessings I’ve received by being here. The only negatives were my lack of Spanish skills that hampered communication and the fact that we didn’t spend enough time with everyone we met. I could stay with each group for days just building relationships. I have had mission trips before where I say that I’ll go back, or that I’ll keep in touch with the people I’ve met and I never do. However, I really feel (and hope) that this time will be legitimate. I have never been so struck by the people, and just the joy that I get out of being with them. I pray that doesn’t leave when I do.

Thanks for everything to Lorraine and all the people in El Salvador from Anti-Doodles and the Bad Bootys.


Friday, March 18, 2011

How can this be work?

Luke 18: 16-17
But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

Today we visited a children’s orphanage that houses 17 kids. We came with crafts and a Bible story ready to share God’s love, but we left as the ones being blessed. Juanita was the head of the orphanage and she gave us a tour with great pride and love in her heart. She provided the names of every child and showed us which bed that they slept in. From the start, it was easy to tell that these children were well loved. The children had fun with the crafts which included making bouncing balls, spin art and rainbows to go along with the story of Noah. We then spent some time playing games in the yard and were introduced to a common EL Salvadorian game called ‘the cat and the mouse’. The house was filled with much laughter.

My favorite moment was when Becky and I were with 4 of the younger children making bouncy balls. After submerging the molds in water, they have to set for 3 minutes. But as anyone with kids knows, 3 minutes can seem like an eternity while waiting in anticipation. To help them pass the time, I suggested that they sing us a song. I admit I was waiting for the shy responses and refusals as I would have received from my own children. But instead, they enthusiastically rewarded us with not one but three songs. Thankfully, Luis was there to interpret for us. The first song was about Jesus and how much he loves us. The second was about how we should follow Jesus and obey him so that we can live with him forever in Heaven and the third song was about the Holy Spirit. Can I get an Amen?

The ages of the children living in the home ranged from 5 to 17 and since they are older children (not babies), they have no real hope of adoption. At the age of 18, they have to leave the house and go out on their own. I hope that you will pray along with us that the love and compassion shown to them in this home will follow them throughout their lives.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Hard Day....

O LORD, what is man that you care for him,
the son of man that you think of him?
Man is like a breath;
his days are like a fleeting shadow. – Psalm 144:3-4

Today we visited a girl’s prison. Not a women’s prison, but a prison where girls – ages 12-18 – are sentenced for their crimes. We met with a few girls who have just recently found themselves in prison. I asked one of them if she had a boyfriend. She answered, “No, I killed him.” Yet she seemed to be a sweet and giggly 17-year old girl, talking about her hopes to be a doctor, chatting about her friends, and making jokes. We presented a skit about the fleeting nature of Life and how death will meet us all. We hope to give them a hard look at where their lives are going if they don’t make good decisions now. It was a hard day for us.

In several ways, this was a difficult day for our team as we interacted with young girls who had committed horrible crimes. We presented some hygiene information as well as our skit, then just spent time talking to them – they rarely get visitors here. Becky on our team shared this - “After lunch, I was talking with 3 or 4 of the girls when the conversation turned to their futures and what they wanted to do with their lives. They talked a lot about wanting to leave the prison because they didn’t like being there. They said they were bored and didn’t like the restrictions. I told them that today is the first day on the way to their futures and their choices today will determine how long they stay, which will determine how soon they can start making their dreams come true.

Mostly I would share a thought and my translator, Luis, would take my point and elaborate it in a way the kids could relate to. [He is only 22 but is very mature, smart and has a really caring heart.] I think it made a difference coming from someone with whom they could better relate. I let them know that God has a plan specific for their life but they have to make that conscious choice to follow Him and live to please Him, not themselves. They may not want to at times but earthly pleasures last only a short while, while the joy that God gives lasts forever. Especially, I let them know that they matter and are very important to God and that this was why we came to see them. It was then that I just felt overwhelmed with emotion. I know that I was touched and I could see on their faces that they were too.”

Becky is right. This is why we have traveled 1653 miles and taken a week away from our families, our work, and the comforts of home to come to a foreign country and spend time with people who don’t speak the same language or eat the same food. God cares for them. We have the message of hope. We, we must share it with those who are dying to hear it.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ – Matt. 25:34-36.

Charles B.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Not an empty word

Today was a lot like yesterday, only in a different location. Today we taught our classes to children in a school near the beach, and I led the exercise portion of our lesson. At lunch, as we talked with a woman washing her family’s clothes in the river, I was reminded once again of how fortunate I am that God placed me where He did. I am a United States citizen with all of the freedom and privileges that endows. I have an excellent education, opportunity to pursue any career I choose, safety in my home and town, “luxuries” like a washer/dryer and air conditioner, and basic necessities like food, clean running water, and septic systems.

So many of those rights and privileges we take for granted, but that is not where our happiness resides. If it were, we would not have been graced with the joy we saw on people’s faces today. Students and teachers at this school are not blessed often with visitors of any kind, and were especially grateful for our presence. They just glowed as they welcomed us. As Paul said, he had found the secret to being satisfied with what he had, whether it was much or little. Am I as at peace with my life as that woman doing laundry in the river? Are you?
On the ride home tonight, God pointed out in Isaiah 55:11, “The words I speak…will not return to me without producing results. They will accomplish what I want them to. They will do exactly what I sent them to do.” What words have we spoken to these children today and yesterday for God that will come back to them as they grow up and have to make more difficult decisions about their lives? When confronted with a choice, will they choose the right way, God’s way, because we came and told them how God wants to clean their heart? I pray that they will, because God says that His word produces results.
Stacey B

Monday, March 14, 2011

We had an early start to our day today, driving back to the same community where we attended church yesterday, to visit a local school. We taught health & hygiene to 6 classes of kindergarten through 5th grade children. Miriam talked about nutrition and the importance of hand washing. Heather talked about the importance of brushing your teeth. Charles talked about the importance of having a pure and clean heart and how Jesus can clean our hearts by washing away all the bad things we do that make our hearts dirty. We explained that He cleans our hearts with the blood that He shed on the cross and then we lead the children in a prayer.

Lastly Becky talked about the importance of exercise by taking the children out into the courtyard to do some stretches, jumping jacks and to kick a soccer ball back & forth. We ended the class by giving the children a coloring sheet about washing their hands, new toothbrushes, oranges and a pamphlet about trusting God.

The children were so cute, enthusiastic, mostly attentive and very smart. We are reminded that no matter what country or culture we are in, children are very much alike; full of energy, joy, curiosity and innocence. We thoroughly enjoyed interacting with them.

When we returned home, a situation arose regarding our host, Lorraine and her family. Please pray for her. God knows the situation, and we are trusting Him for resolution.

Becky P

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Looks Like We Made It!

WE MADE IT!! After weeks and weeks of anticipation our Hope Chapel mission team finally made it to El Salvador! I think we were all a little nervous of what to expect based on things we heard about, and what exactly being a “missionary” there meant. Praise God, our trip down was uneventful. We had a “little” wait to get Visas to get into the country but our hostess spoiled us rotten by greeting us with pizza and ice cold water!

We enjoyed the ride in through El Salvador and just taking in this new world. I’m always amazed as I travel outside of the US by the livestock just lumbering along the side of the road and the people that are always hanging out everywhere. We got a nice view of the active volcano as we drove towards our host home. Our hostess, Lorraine, from Hannah’s Hands is fantastic! Our living conditions are quite comfy although I do miss air conditioning! Joyce Meyer once said that we are addicted to comfort in the US, and I would have to agree with her. We are thankful to have our Coke Zero and chocolate though! It’s the little things in life, isn’t it?

Today we went to a small church plant in a very poor town outside of San Salvador and we were truly blessed by the music, the service, and an amazing drama put on by their youth. The church congregation is mostly youth that bring their parents and grandparents with them which is so incredible to witness. Our team had the opportunity to pray for all the youth in the congregation. It was AWESOME, and the kids, who at first were apprehensive, all came together to receive their prayers. God sent a word through our Mission leader Charles to make sure that the children knew that no matter how rich or poor, old or young they were, that God knows them , loves them, and will use them to help expand his kingdom if they will let them.

After church, we were invited to lunch at a lovely missionary’s house, Beth from Pennsylvania. I thought we had gone back to North Carolina! We grilled out hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, and even had Deviled Eggs! Beth is AMAZING. The house she lives in is currently in the process of being converted to an orphanage. They are planning to open next month and will hopefully house 7 children between the ages of 3 and 8. She has also been a HUGE factor in planting the church along with too many other wonderful things to have time to mention. Both she and Lorraine inspire me to do more missions work and find different ways locally to help out the many, many needs that surround us.

As with every Hispanic country I have visited, the people are absolutely wonderful. They are loving, affectionate, and very giving. They greet you with open arms, and when they say they are happy to meet you, they truly mean it. That being said, it is a very poor country and many of the places we are visiting are the poorest of the poor, BUT they still smile, they still love, and they are still happy. How can it be that in a church that becomes an empty room after church so thieves won’t steal everything out of it, can still be used to bring people to Christ and show God’s love? I believe it is because people don’t need a fancy church to be close to Christ, we just need the heart to do so.

-Jolie M

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Flexibility is Key!

When we are gearing up folks for the first (or second or third) time missions, one of our mantras is "Flexibility is Key!" Read the following to understand it has always been this way!