January 2021
This month's newsletter highlights the special role that prayer and mission support play in our parish and in helping us become a Kingdom Church, sharing in the growth of God's Kingdom in this world. (Please note that this issue takes the place of today's Daily Moment with God.)
Do You Ever Cry When You Pray?
by Donna & Dean Payne
Do you ever cry when you pray?  Perhaps all of us do at times, crying out to God when our hearts are heavy; crying out our thanksgiving when our hearts are filled with joy.  Both these experiences were ours as we prayed for All Saints Church in the waning days of 2020, during the Day of Prayer for God’s Provision for All Saints Church on December 5. Our tears of joy came as we read about the breadth and astonishing successes of the outstanding and numerous ministries at All Saints – and of the faithfulness and talent of our clergy, leaders, staff, and volunteers.  But our tears of sadness fell as we realized that All Saints could be at risk of losing some of our ministries, ministers, or staff – simply because of a lack of adequate funding. 

If you haven’t yet prayed through the prayer guide, you can download it HERE.  The guide is beautiful, practical, Scriptural, informational, and inspirational.  It guides the reader on a tour around our church, stopping at every area where ministry takes place, so that we can rejoice and pray for the ministries and people that are the heart of our church. You can do this ANYTIME!

Might we all continue to join together in prayer and thanksgiving for All Saints?  God has already answered so many prayers.  Hearts have been changed.  Our clergy and staff have created a wonderful, virtual All Saints world for worship and fellowship.  People have been encouraged.  Faith has been tested and emboldened.  Additional funds have been provided.  Let us continue to pray for our church and its people, ministries, and finances; and for our diocese, our communities, our country, our world.

We are God’s people.  We are God’s family.  We are dear to one another.  We need each other.  Please pray and act generously.  All to God’s glory. 
P.S.  Enjoy this picture of a Rwandan girl praying for visitors from the United States.  She was part of Pastor Deo’s street children ministry, which All Saints has supported for many years.  We were in that group of visitors who heard and rejoiced in that prayer.  This photo is a sweet reminder that All Saints’ gifts, prayers, love, and faithfulness nourish blessings - given and received - within the whole family of God. 

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”  (Ephesians 3:20,21)
Changing Lives in a Broken World
by Richard Ranger
What happens when we support a Global mission partner with our prayers and our treasure? Lives can change. That’s what happens.

The Rev. Bisoke Balikenga is a priest in the Anglican Church of the Congo and mission partner of All Saints. He was introduced to All Saints through Father Ted Lewis, whose experiences as a foreign service officer in Congo in the 1960’s touched his heart, and he spent the rest of his life befriending, encouraging, and supporting Congolese priests and bishops. Among those “friends of Fr Ted’s” is the Rev. Bisoke, and it was a blessing from the Lord for both Bisoke and for All Saints that his connection to our parish was strengthened through several meetings and parish visits during 2019 and early this year. 

Out of these visits have come numerous opportunities to learn how the Lord is working through Bisoke’s ministry in the northeastern Congo city of Bunia. If you have been following our prayers for Bisoke, then you know that Bunia is on the front line of conflict between guerrilla militias fighting for control over the region’s gold mines, Ugandan-controlled forces, and UN peacekeepers. As in any such situation in the developing world, the soldiers have the guns, and the civilians do the suffering. Bisoke is thus pastor to an ever-growing community of refugees from the conflict – many of them widows and orphans, many wounded or maimed, many mourning family members, and most suffering grievously from what we in our safe refuge of the West call PTSD.

The pictures below show just a few of Rev. Bisoke’s ministries for his church community in this war zone. 
  • One photo shows a woman holding a small child, with another kneeling next to her: eight of her children have been killed by the rebel militia. She is receiving food, trauma care, and job skills training.
  • Other refugees - women displaced and widowed in the conflict - are learning how to use sewing machines to make garments for personal use and sale; they have formed a guild to help market their products.
  • Orphaned girls are coached in gardening and farming skills, and grow vegetables and fruit for the community and the markets.
  • One picture shows two women from different groups or clans who had been enemies and who had not spoken for two years, and who reconciled at a peace and Biblical reconciliation seminar hosted by Bisoke in mid-December.
  • Another photo shows a man standing who has repented of his life in the militia, and who has given his life to the Lord.
  • The last photo shows attendees at the peace seminar.
Rev. Bisoke’s ministry multiplies loaves and fishes for the work of the Gospel, offering a suffering people the tools they need for physical and spiritual survival in a region of war. At All Saints, we are humbled and blessed to support this important work. The next time someone asks “Where do our Global Outreach contributions go?” you can answer:

  • They help orphan girls to grow vegetables to feed themselves and their neighbors.
  • They help widows from a guerrilla conflict learn a skill to support themselves and their families.
  • They help a priest to teach reconciliation to those who have suffered from the ravages of a dirty war in a distant corner of Africa.

In Matthew 25:40, our Lord taught his disciples: “'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Our mission partnership with Bisoke is enabling one of our Lord’s most courageous disciples to reach these brothers and sisters, and to enable them to change their lives – and in time with God’s grace, perhaps to change their corner of the world.

THIS is the work of the Church – our work in partnership with the Rev. Bisoke Balikenga, and neighbors we have not met, who live in a distant city called Bunia.

Questions? Contact Shireen David, Director of Mission and Outreach for All Saints.
Did you miss the December issue of Connect? Several women of the parish helped us consider Christmas traditions and the season of waiting during Advent.

Previous issues of the Connect! celebrate God's faithfulness to us:

Please join us in continuing to celebrate the good news of God working in our midst - ideas for the Connect newsletter are always welcome! You may submit possible topics, photos, or short (1 - 3 paragraph) articles to Communications Manager Teri Ballou.
How may we help?
We are here for you. If you need help, 
please call (301) 654-2488 or email info@allsaintschurch.net. All inquiries confidential.
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