American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware

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Calvary, Newark, Storm Response

A report from Code Purple Blizzard at Calvary Baptist Church, Newark, DE 

All is fine, as 28 folks spent the night warm and safe. Saturday morning finds us watching James Bond Skyfall. Lots of full bellies. There is enough food for an army. Thank you to so many who stepped up to provide so much.


The guests spent Friday night keeping the sidewalks and driveway open. We have sufficient volunteers. Special thanks to Mindy from Newark Empowerment Center (NEC) for hanging out till about 8 while balancing her own family. It was great having her to assist with check in. About 9:00, Marc Marcus, from NEC, came in after making rounds checking for stragglers. He was here till midnight helping with getting the guys settled down.



We will be here until Sunday morning. Our guests have cleaned bathrooms and vacuumed this morning. These guys are awesome at helping out. Today we watch more movies and play cards and games. Our volunteers go and grab some shut eye on a rotating basis.


Volunteers camped here for the weekend.
Thanks so much for your prayers!
by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 1/29/2016

Eric And Mark in Mexico - III

Complete Photo Album available HERE.  

January 21 

Our team enjoyed a delicious breakfast with Nany, Lupita, and their family. It was great continuing to build a strong relationship with these partners in ministry in La Paz.


Following breakfast, we traveled to Los Planos to visit with Pastor Juan Carlos who is building a new church. This is a church plant of First Baptist of La Paz. So exciting to see what the Lord is doing as so many are coming to Jesus through these ministries.





by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries ~ Date: 1/22/2016

Dominican Republic Team Report


Thank you for praying for our FBC Wellsboro mission work trips to Las Colinas in the Dominican Republic. Team I, mostly construction/painting folk or teens from PA, left Dec. 28 to paint buildings on the compound, build a church on Batey Molinito and provide clean water (where there had been no water at all) to the village center; teens performed puppet shows and had a Gospel presentation for children of Batey Molinito, Batey Esperanza, and Colegio Evangelico Moriah (school was not in session, but children came for the show and Gospel presentation). They returned home changed forever on Jan. 8, the day Team II left for Las Colinas.



Team II was mostly a medical team from all around the East, North, South, and mid-West. God sent a large medical team because He knew they’d see more patients than our medical teams have ever seen since holding the first medical clinics in 1985: 380 on Sat., 280 on Wed., etc. Young people from Maine and PA. taught art in the school, helped the construction crew complete a roof on the large cistern at Batey Molinito, and joined the crew shoveling rocks onto the parking lot and driveway in the compound. They returned to their various homes in the early morning hours of Jan. 19, also changed in mind and spirit.



FBC Wellsboro invites everyone to the teams’ presentation on Feb. 14 at 10:15 A.M.



by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 1/22/2016

Eric And Mark in Mexico - II

Complete Photo Album available HERE.  

January 19

This morning we are working on finishing the ramp for the therapeutic riding program at the stable. We have finished excavation and are now driving rebar anchors to secure the wall. Hope to have this project finished before lunch. The guys are fired up.




We finished the retaining wall that will allow wheelchair bound and special needs kids participate in therapeutic horseback riding. It was a bigger than we expected, but the job is complete.



After completing the retaining wall we visited Pastor Jaun and his wife at their home. Pastor Juan has plans for planting a church in a rural area outside of La Paz. It was great hearing his vision.




Pastor Juan took us to the site of the new church plant. The ground has been cleared and plans are underway for construction. The congregation already brings yard chairs to the site for worship.

 After visiting the site of the new church plant, we went to Rancho Camino, the summer camping program our young adults visited this summer. The vista is breath taking.




We went to the home of our friends from Primera Iglesia Bautsia to discuss summer mission trips. It was awesome spending the evening with these great brothers and sisters in Christ. So much laughing and sharing. Just an amazing night.


by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 1/20/2016

Eric And Mark in Mexico - I

Complete Photo Album available HERE

January 16

Our small mission team departed from JFK Airport for La Paz, Mexico. The team included our own Eric Kraihanzel, Mark Mahserjian-Smith, Bryon Luke from Hatboro Baptist, and Josh Carson from FBC Bethlehem. We were up at 3am to make our early Saturday morning flight and arrived in Mexico mid-afternoon...


The landscape is breathtaking....


We enjoyed a delicious meal at a local restaurant and, following a busy travel day, enjoyed some late night ice cream. Tomorrow worship and jump into some work.




January 17

This morning we attended the Crossroad Fellowship in La Paz. This is an English speaking congregation where our ABC Missionaries, David and Joyce Reed, attended. A great way to start our Sunday.


Later, our team attended Primera Iglesia Bautista of La Pas. It was all in Spanish and an amazing worship service. Such a wonderful time worshiping with our brothers and sisters in Christ.



Following worship this afternoon our team took the pastor and his family, along with the worship leader, our friend Nany and her mom, out for dinner. It was great getting to know this church family as well as making plans for summer mission trips.



January 18

Today we are working on building a ramp for the therapeutic riding program. We are digging out the old ramp and putting in a new ramp that will help handicapped kids, some in wheelchairs, board the horses for their rides. Bright sun and hot, but all is going well. The team is hard at work.



by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 1/18/2016

Following Frank in the Philippines III

Today we visited two congregations of the Luzon Kasapulanan located in the heart of Manila.




Both churches are church plants of the Faith Baptist Church, also located in the city, At the Centennial Baptist Church we were greeted by the Kindergarten students, who sang for us. The church and it's Pastor, Nomia, have a big vision to add two more floors to the limited space of their facility.




A few more pictures from our time at the Centennial Baptist Church...It was a joy to have BIM missionary Debbie Mulniex accompany us...




We also visited the Masville Baptist Church, another church plant of the Faith Baptist Church. Pastor Roseanne and the congregation encouraged our hearts with their passion for ministry . Despite their small size, they too have a hunger to plant new congregations, and are actively doing so in the greater Manila area.





Pastor Kenneth serves as the new church planter for the Baptist Community Church, the new church plant sponsors by the Masville Baptist Church Family. Kenneth graduated from Bible College seven months ago and has been pastoring since then. Each member of the Masville congregation is challenged to place 5 pesos ( which equals about 11 cents U.S.) in the mission box each week for the support of the new church start. The 150 active members of the congregation have a vision, and they are committed to see it come to pass!



Today we shared an overview of the ministry of Samaritana with the pastoral leaders of the Luzon Kasapulanan , the region located here in urban Manila. We then had a meeting with the leaders to talk about regional ministry , as well as their dreams for the future. After lunch we visited another new church start (Faith Gospel Community Church) here in Manila that is led by Pastor Marlo Alba. Pastor Marlo was a chemical engineer who felt a call to ministry.




by Bud Russell Categories: General ~ Date: 1/15/2016

Following Frank in the Philippines - II

A few notes and photos from recent Facebook posts:


Today I had the privilege of presenting a paper for the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches Roundtable on the topic of Continuing Education Models for Pastors. Sharing a paper on the same topic from the Philippine Baptist Churches was Rev. Dr. Armando Kole, who serves as the Director of Convention Baptist Bible College in Bacolod City.



We concluded the Roundtable Meeting this evening with a closing worship service of commitment. The days of meeting and conversation were rich for all of us, and underscored the deep legacy of relationship that stretches back over 100 years since the first Baptist missionaries came to the Philippines.




Yesterday we had the privilege of visiting a number of the sites that were aided by One Great Hour of Sharing support by American Baptists following the devastation of Typhoon Yolanda in the fall of 2013. The Ajuy Christian Education Development Center was our first stop. It was great to hear the laughter of the children. 





We visited with the church family at the Sublangon Baptist Church this morning on our way to preach in another congregation.



This church also received One Great Hour of Sharing gifts to rebuild the parsonage that was destroyed by Typhoon Yolanda. Pastor Ida was filled with joy as she took us through her new home. Pastor Elmo told me that during the storm, Pastor Ida received many people from the community to allow them to find shelter from the storm in the church, for more than three days. The congregation gave them a place to stay and food to they were the hands and feet of Christ to these lost and weary people, God touched their hearts and many have become Christians and are now a part of the church family. What a beautiful story of hope out of tragedy!



We literally went to the 'end of the road' for one of our One Great Hour of Sharing visits. On the far northeastern edge of the island we visited a church that was devastated by Typhoon Yolanda. One Great Hour of Sharing helped provide funds to repair the church building, but also helped more than 20 people rebuild their livelihood by helping them rebuild their fishing business, which takes place in the brackish waters surrounding the village.



To thank us ( the ABC Family) they prepared a feast of crab, shrimp, oysters, clams and fish that had just been caught that morning ...washed down with fresh coconut milk. What a blessing to share a meal with brothers and sisters in the LORD.



I had the honor of preaching at Pontevedra Baptist Church this morning. Pastor Bhart and the church leadership shared the progress on another school that was helped by gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing.



The church school has over 450 students from grades K-10, and Typhoon Yolanda destroyed one of the buildings, while also stripping the roof off the parsonage. 



Please be praying for the congregation--due to new guidelines passed by the Philippine government, all children will need to complete two more years of high school (grades 11-12) , so the school needs to add teachers and classes to meet the need.



Another moving moment during our trip was the chance to be at the Capiz Emmanuel Memorial Hospital founded by 6 of the 11 American Baptist missionaries that were martyred for their in Capiz during WWII by the Japanese Imperial Army. A memorial for their service and sacrifice was erected in the grounds.





We had a farewell dinner with the leaders of the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches last night , and are traveling north back to Manila to meet with the Luzon Kasapulanan ( the Philippine version of a region) and the leadership of Samaritana Transformation Ministries, who are involved in urban ministries in Manila. It's been an exciting time to share with these leaders , but we are all excited to see what the next days will hold.




We've arrived safely in Manila...our driver told us that traffic was light this afternoon. It only took us a little over two hours to reach Samaritana Transformation Ministries, located just to the north of Manila. ( I said as we drove...well, coasted along, " I'll never complain about Pittsburgh and Philadelphia traffic again!"). It was a crazy trip!



What a beautiful oasis Samaritana Transformation Ministries is! After a long and smog-filled ride from the Manila Airport, we were met by Debbie Mulniex, BIM missionary and STM Director Jonathan Nambu. The ministry centers on outreach to those caught up in human trafficking. 

It is believed that there are anywhere from 450,000 - 800,000 women trafficked and prostituted within the Philippines. In addition, as many as 100,000 street children are involved in and victimized by prostitution, some of them as young as 11-years-old. In fact, 1 out of every 10 children trafficked around the world is Filipino....we are all excited to learn about this ministry that seeks to address this pressing need in greater Manila.



by Bud Russell Categories: General ~ Date: 1/12/2016

Following Frank in the Philippines

A few notes and photos from recent Facebook posts:


10,000 miles and 30 hours later, we just arrived at the hotel in Manila. Tomorrow morning after breakfast we get on another plane to fly to Iloilo City for a 4-day Roundtable with leaders of the Philippine Baptist Convention, where each of us will be presenting papers on topics that are common to our work for the Gospel on both sides of the globe. Ok...I'm going to bed! 



This morning at breakfast, Ben Chan from International Ministries gave us some history of the American Baptist relationship with the churches in the Philippines. Now it's off to get on a plane for our trip south to Iloilo, where the Roundtable Gathering will take place over the next four days. A fun fact on the Philippines: did you know there are over 7100 islands that make up the nation?


We received a warm greeting from our partners in the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches after our plane landed in Iloilo City. ( the fact that it was about 85 degrees when we landed also added to the warmth of the greeting!). This evening we will start our Roundtable discussions with the Kasapulanan ( their equivalent of regions) leadership.



At tonight's opening session, we shared a time of table fellowship with the other leaders from CPBC, as well as being blessed by a troup of dancers from Central Philippine University. We were expecting the group from CPBC to be the same size as ours, but interest in the conversation was so high that the Convention felt obliged to open the participation to approximately 50 leaders, both pastor and lay.



I had the chance to spend some time with a young Filipino pastor named Joshua, today. It was great to have the chance to talk about leadership with him and to hear his call and passion for ministry in the new church he is attempting to plant. Honestly he reminded me of our new church planting pastor, Dave Klock. What a blessing it is to see how God calls people to life-changing ministry all over the globe!



Vicki Goff and Denise Gratzel are sharing with our Philippine brothers and sisters about the response to Superstorm Sandy....I can't help but be filled with joy at the selfless response of so many from our region to the needs of our friends to the east.



Lee Spitzer, the Executive Minister from ABCNJ, also shared about the response of other regions to the destruction of Sandy. As you see from the picture, he made a special notice of our region being the first to respond within the first week after the disaster....nice picture of Regional Pastor Kevin Walden, don't you think?



Vicki Goff and the staff from ABCNJ are responding to questions about their presentation on Superstorm Sandy....



by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries ~ Date: 1/7/2016

Dominican Republic Volunteer Mission Team

Remember to pray for the Dominican Republic Mission Team (Wellsboro, FBC). TEAM #1 is serving December 28, 2015- Jan. 7, 2016.

Volunteers have included a construction team building a small church on a batey (village of Haitian sugar cane workers) under the direction of Mark Page...


a painting team with Duane Yeagel as leader...


and a puppet team - 6 teens and their youth leader, Drew Simcox, who are presenting the Gospel through puppet shows every day.



by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 1/5/2016

Up and Away


Up, up, and away ... early this Monday morning, Frank Frischkorn headed off to his preaching/teaching mission trip to Philippines. Pictured above are Ben Chan, International Ministries Area Director for East Asia and Lee Spitzer, Executive Minister of New Jersey. (Frank is taking the picture from his seat on the plane.)  They are on their first leg of their trip from Newark to Tokyo, a fourteen hour flight.

Continue to keep all the participants (Dwight Stinnett, retired Exec Minister of Great Rivers; Steve van Ostran, Exec Minister of Rocky Mountains; Sam Chetti, Exec Minister of LA and Pacific Southwest; and Victoria Goff, ABHMS Executive; among others) in prayer.
by Bud Russell Categories: Region Life ~ Date: 1/4/2016

Welcome 2016!



Jeff Johnson and his family spent a good part of New Year's Eve visiting a number of churches in their community who each hosted musical presentations ranging from theme songs of Disney movies like the Lion King and Frozen to a full brass band playing traditional Christian hymns to a city wide Martin Luther King Male Chorus performing Black Church gospel to the Sweet Adeline's along with Barber Shop quartets. The performances were done by individuals to full orchestras.

In all, there were a dozen host churches, including American Baptist congregations and more than three dozen performing acts, some with American Baptists pastors and lay leaders in their line ups. It was both an exciting and exhausting way to ring in the new year! :-)









by Bud Russell Categories: General ~ Date: 1/2/2016