What a great year for sharing the love of the folks of Venture Church and the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. We might be small in numbers but we have shown that we can be strong in our service to the world.
The Urbana Conference was a great way to end our mission’s focus for 2015 and start off 2016. A team from Venture traveled to one of the largest mission’s conferences held in the world! They heard great speakers and made new friends while visiting the displays of mission organizations from around the world.
The next focus was lending a helping hand to “Hands of Mercy”. In January we had a presence at California Baptist University, and helped by pre-cutting and assembling with the students, five loft house that were taken to Baja Mexico in the middle of February. The loft houses were taken to Baja with help from our Venture members. Five families received a home from a local Baja Mexico churches.
In February a team ministered to the children of missionary families attending a conference in Thailand. Their servant’s hearts allowed the parents time to attend the conference knowing that their children were being taught, cared for, and loved on. Over the summer, a team from Venture served the same ministry through leading children’s ministry in Colorado. By the way, there is another trip to Thailand coming up in early 2017, want to get involved?
On March 20th Venture members extended an invitation to the community to come to church by throwing a Block Party. We have new members in our church today as a result of this fun party in the park.
April 22 found a team from Venture traveling south again to Baja to construct another Loft House in San Vicente, Mexico. This Loft House is being used by a church to house students in their Bible college.
June found one of our members serving in La Mision, Baja California, with Siloe Ministries, assisting two dentists. Over 30 children were given dental exams and many of these kids had teeth filled or pulled to relieve their pain.
In September Ken DeWitt made a trip to Liberia to share and minister through Liberia Mercy Partners. As a result of Ken’s dedication to this country churches are planted, schools are built and business are started that will employ many in need of income to support their families.
November and December were packed, with shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, sponsored by Samaritans Purse. Over 100 boxes were packed and delivered to Irvine CA for processing. Two teams from Venture traveled to Orange County to the Operation Christmas Child warehouse to help in the processing of shoeboxes being shipped all over the world. The Orange County processing center will handle around 1.7 million boxes this year. Our teams were very pleased to help in our small way.
What is in store for 2017?
A second team for the second year is going back to Thailand with OHANA Global to care for the children of missionaries. If you cannot go yourself, this is a great opportunity to support the team.
In the spring of 2017, a team will take a visionary trip to Baja Mexico to visit three ministries that Venture Church partners with. We will be traveling south of Ensenada to visit neighborhoods where dozens of loft houses have been built over the years, spending the night at the Hands of Mercy ranch and getting to know the staff with great food and fun. The second day we will travel north with a stop in La Mision to tour Door of Faith Orphanage (DOFO) and Siloe Ministries. DOFO cares for over 100 children in a family-style community. You will want to see this amazing place! Siloe is a medical/dental ministry serving the poor and needy of La Mision. They are currently building a new facility that will allow them to expand their services to the community. This trip is designed for families and people of any age — all are welcome to come and experience what God is doing south of the border.
We will continue to partner with church planting in Ireland through our support of the Hovivians, and Ken De Witt will return to Liberia in early spring.
Local outreach will continue to be a priority for us, as we look for new and exciting ways to engage our local community with the gospel and acts of love. God is at work within us as we join the mission to bring the gospel to our community and around the world!