Ministry Dreams Come True

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It’s our anniversary and to celebrate,
we’re making your dreams come true! Meet five winners of our
Ministry Dreams Come True contest!

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Watch our winners talk about their dream and what they’ll do with
our gift! Go to childrensministry.com to view
winners’ videos as they’re chosen!

Ministry isn’t for the faint of heart. It can be
tough, lonely, frustrating, and even discouraging. But the rewards
are worth any struggle — and then some!

As Children’s Ministry Magazine prepares to celebrate its 20th
year, we want you to celebrate right along with us. It is, after
all, because of you that we get to do what we do. And we want you
to feel valued and encouraged in your ministry.

So to celebrate our big milestone, we’re showering you — our
faithful readers and fans — with a whole lotta love. We’re making
your ministry dreams come true by giving away 20 — yes, 20! –
ministry dreams worth $1,000 each until our March/April 2011
issue.

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Kids LOVE these Sunday School resources!
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Read on to meet the first five winners of our Ministry Dreams Come
True contest. Then stay tuned for more winners in upcoming issues.
And go to childrensministry.com/ministrydreams to
tell us about your ministry dream!

KRYSTY WHISMAN

Missoula, Montana

The Dream Krysty wrote: My community has a
school in a part of town that’s riddled with problems and transient
kids. My sister teaches there, and in her third-grade classes she’s
seen sexual predators, behavioral nightmares, and kids who come to
school on an empty stomach. Every student represents a home filled
with shattered lives. My dream is to bus these kids in every Sunday
morning to our ministry. My dream is to share Jesus with them; to
give them a hot breakfast and a lot of genuine love. My dream is to
reach these kids, partner with the school principal, and have him
declare one day, “Where sin is rampant, grace abounds even
more!


The Gift
Krysty calls her Dream Come True a “shot in the
arm” for her ministry. “I’ve been in a difficult season in
ministry, just very discouraged,” she says. “I didn’t have energy,
passion, motivation to get working on this and bus these kids in,
so this is definitely God saying, ‘It’s time. Do it now!’ “


DEBRA HEFFELFINGER

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

The Dream Debra wrote: Bethlehem First Church
of the Nazarene is a church of about 50 regular attendees. However,
from December to March we have 325-plus kids and about 60 on a
waiting list for our yearly Upward Basketball & Cheerleading
program. We’re in need of funds to help offset the costs of running
this program. The $1,000 could be used to install temporary
bleachers for parents, grandparents, and siblings to sit in while
their children play. Currently we have to set up rows of folding
chairs each Friday and take them down every Saturday. Fold up/down
bleachers would make it so much easier to accommodate all these
visitors to our facility. The children and their families love this
outreach ministry because they learn proper technique and good
sportsmanship. Every child gets equal play time, and they all get
to hear the message of salvation. We’d love to be able to serve all
the children wanting to join the program and hope someday to be
able to do just that.

The Gift Debra says, “When I opened the Dream
Come True box and saw the letters, the tears just welled up.” Debra
plans to use the gift to help purchase two sets of bleachers. “God
does things in his way and in his time!” Debra says. “Did he know
when we first started out seven years ago that we’d have six kids?
He absolutely did. Did he know that in year seven, we’d have 340?
Absolutely he did!”

BENJAMIN WARD

Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada

The Dream Benjamin wrote: I’m a recently
appointed Missionary through Across Borders for World Evangelism
(ABWE) to Ghana, West Africa. Last year I was there for six months
on a short-term trip. I hosted a soccer ministry where we had camps
and tournaments, presenting the Gospel to everyone who came out.
I’ll be back in Ghana on a full-time basis by January, and my
ministry dream is to have these soccer camps happen in all the
villages (more than 10) where I’ll be living. In order to have
these camps, I need to have soccer balls for each person to use
during the camps and jerseys for the tournaments. Eventually, maybe
in 15 or 20 years, I’d like to (God willing) build a soccer
facility with a good field and train/mentor/equip a Ghanaian to
facilitate it and minister to all the people in all the villages.
This would be an incredible thing, and it is my ministry
dream.

The Gift “I’m so excited! One of the first things
I’ll do is purchase supplies to run a soccer camp,” says Benjamin.
“I plan to buy 30 to 40 soccer balls, which will be much easier to
help the kids learn foot skills, defense, and offense with a ball.
It’s hard to teach these skills when there are 35 kids (or more)
and just a couple balls. The second thing I’ll buy is nets for the
goal posts! So many balls are ruined because they get kicked at the
goal without nets and hit a palm tree, which pokes holes in them. I
also plan to have a trophy made which will be presented each year
to the winning team of the soccer tournaments. These tournaments
provide awesome opportunities to share the gospel of Jesus Christ
as they gather a huge crowd.” 


NIKKI MCMASTER

Omaha, Nebraska

The Dream Nikki wrote: Many of our children’s
ministry volunteers have been serving faithfully for so many years
(some of them monthly for 11-plus years.) I’d love to take them on
a weekend retreat to show my thanks and to worship God together and
get refreshed.

I truly have the most amazing team ever — always serving and
walking in grace and always willing to jump in wherever needed.
Their encouragement and support since I stepped into the director
position has been absolutely overwhelming…I don’t know what I’d
do without them.

We’ve never had a volunteer retreat before, and I’d love the
opportunity to give them something precious and life giving — time
with Jesus.

The Gift “This couldn’t have come at a better
time for us,” says Nikki. “We’ve been through a lot of transition.
We plan to use the money for a retreat for the 25 to 30 volunteers
we have serving. They’ve served for so long and have worked so hard
– and so often it goes unseen. I thought, If I could give them
anything, I would give them time alone with Jesus, time to renew
and refresh in his presence. So we’ll be doing a personal prayer
ministry for all of our volunteers.”

DEBBIE ROWLELY

Santa Ana, California

The Dream Debbie wrote: My dream is to have a
sign-language interpreter for Amber, a second grader in Sunday
school where I serve as the lower elementary coordinator. Amber has
big brown eyes and a ready smile. She seems to enjoy coming every
week even though we have no one who speaks her “heart language.”
Our church supports 100 missionary families around the world, but
we aren’t able to reach this one in our own congregation.

In Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me,
and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such
as these.” I feel that my inability to provide an interpreter for
Amber is hindering her from coming to Jesus. With $1,000, I would
schedule a series of sign language classes at our church so we
could equip members of our congregation to reach out to Amber and
others with hearing deficits. Or I would hire a professional
interpreter for Amber.

The Gift Debbie says, “I prayed for a year for a
volunteer interpreter for Amber, a little girl who seemed to enjoy
coming to church even though she couldn’t hear. I continually asked
others to pray for an interpreter for her. Several times I thought
I had someone to help her, only to have it fall through. I was
feeling like a big failure when this amazing miracle occurred.
Children’s Ministry Magazine provided me with $1,000 dollars to
minister specifically to this child. And within a week of winning,
I found someone who’s interested in the job! So I’d encourage
children’s ministers to not give up. Because sometimes…God’s ways
are not our ways!”

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