MARCH 2022
In this edition:
  • Dr. Mac's Minute: God's Will...God's Way
Around the Dakotas:
  • Chad McCord joins Dakota's CRM team
  • CP Ambassadors to meet again on March 12
  • Hills of Grace "strikes" up some fun
Celebrating Church Planting... Dakotas style:
  1. Mercy Gate Church
  2. Getting involved in church planting
Around the SBC:
  • BP: "Miracle from God" needed, Ukrainian Baptist Leader says
  • IMB: Baptist in Poland respond to support Ukrainian refugees
  • CP story: Amer & Vicki Safadi
Dr. Mac's Minute
God’s Will . . . God’s Way

Passage: Exodus 4:18-31
Focus: vv. 29-31

After surviving Pharaoh’s plan to weaken the enslaved Israelites by killing off a generation of male babies, Moses spent his first 40 years living in the lap of luxury. His world came crashing down when, in defense of an oppressed slave, he killed an Egyptian soldier. Trying to do God’s will his own way forced Moses to run for his life.

For the next 40 years Moses lived in a desert, tending the sheep of the Midianite priest, Jethro. He married Jethro’s daughter, Zipporah, and had a son, Gershom (“a stranger there”), because, in his words, “I have been a sojourner in a foreign land” (Ex. 2:22). Trying to do God’s will his own way left him lonely and discouraged.

Then Moses met God on God’s ground. From the midst of a burning bush God called out to him. God revealed His plan to deliver His people and gave Moses a key role in that plan. Moses had his doubts, but he eventually surrendered, said his goodbyes to his father-in-law, loaded up his family, and headed to Egypt. For the first time in his life, Moses was ready to do God’s will God’s way. 

Two keys stand out in today’s reading: 1) God did everything He said He would and, 2) Moses’ greatest worries turned out to be unfounded. When Moses and Aaron went where God told them to go, told the Israelites what God told them to say, and did the things God told them to do, everything changed.

In other words, when Moses began to do God’s will God’s way, his life was forever transformed. To be sure, there were bumps along the way. Over the final 40 years of his life, he encountered opposition from enemies as well as friends and family. He led a frustrating people who exalted God one moment, only to complain, whine, and pine for the “good old days” when they were enslaved in Egypt the next. He had moments where his old habits of pride, arrogance, and unrestrained anger caused him to stumble. He experienced victories and setbacks, joys and sorrows. He led the Israelites to the brink of the Promised Land but was only allowed to catch a glimpse of it from the top of Mount Nebo (Ex. 34:1-6).

After all this, you might be tempted to conclude that Moses’ life following God was not much better than when he was running from God. If you did, you would be wrong.

God does not measure things the way we do. Through the prophet Isaiah He declared, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:8-9). 

God’s final assessment of Moses is found in Hebrews 11:23-29. Four times in these verses God called Moses a man of faith. In God’s eyes, Moses’ life was a success.

When all is said and done, the measurement of success in God’s book is not the scorecard of our ups and downs. It is the faith to persist, regardless of what the scorecard says. It is the faith to follow the Master when everything around you is shouting, “throw in the towel.” It is the faith to do God’s will God’s way . . . and trust Him with the results.

Note: This is the last in a seven-part devotional series, “The Life of Moses . . . the Early Chapters.” If you missed the first six in previous issues of Dakota Happenings, email us at fred@dakotabaptist.com and we will send you copies.
March and April is the time for the Annie Armstrong Offering and Week of Prayer for North American Missions. Each church has received sample resources that are available to help with this year’s offering and Week of Prayer. If you need additional envelopes or prayer guides, call Bob at 605-716-0130 or click on the link below and let us know how many of each that you need.
Chad McCord joins Dakotas CRM team

Chad McCord, who serves as Pastor of Discipleship and Missions at Connection Church in Belle Fourche, has been named as the newest Church Relations Missionary (CRM) for the Dakota Baptist Convention. He replaces Sean Donnelly, who recently took on the role of financial secretary for the convention.

McCord and his wife Alysia were international missionaries for more than fifteen years before coming to South Dakota. They served with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board in Southeast Asia. They were the IMB reps at the 2019 Dakota Baptist Gathering in Fargo.

The CRM team was developed in 2021 as part of a restructuring of the DBC staff. The primary task of the CRM is to connect with pastors, churches, and associations. Each CRM also has a statewide role in which they provide leadership.

McCord said, “I love relating to other pastors and churches. I want to encourage others, but also learn from them what, how, and why they are doing things in ministry. I think this position can sharpen me by what I learn from others and add another perspective in ministry.”

His greatest desire is to make a difference in the lives of others around the Dakotas. “I want to see healthy, growing, multiplying churches here in the Dakotas. The strength of our convention relies on the strength of our churches.” McCord said, “I hope God can use me to help be a part of equipping pastors and churches for His glory.”

The McCords have three daughters: Maggie, Elizabeth Ann, and Josie.
Chad joins Jeff, Everett, and Paul in serving as CRMs in the DBC. Pictured are (back) Jeff Musgrave (Waypoint Baptist Church in Minot, ND), Everett Hornbostel (Cornerstone Church in Mobridge, SD), (front) Paul Young (Dakota Baptist Church in Fort Totten, ND), and Chad McCord (Connection Church in Belle Fourche, SD.)
CP Ambassadors to meet again on March 12

The next Zoom meeting of the CP Ambassadors will be on Saturday, March 12, at 9:00 a.m. (Mountain Time). So far, five DBC churches have designated a CP Ambassador. These individuals receive training and resources that they can share with their home church about what God is doing through the cooperative mission work of Southern Baptists across the Dakotas and around the world. 

If your church would like to designate a CP Ambassador, send their name, email address, and mailing address to DBC Executive Director Fred MacDonald at fred@dakotabaptist.com. Anyone from a DBC church that would like to take part in the Zoom meeting is welcome. Send an email to Dr. MacDonald and he will send you the link to join the meeting.
Hills of Grace “strikes” up some fun

Hills of Grace Fellowship in Rapid City, SD, had a great time bowling last month. Approximately 40 church members and friends gathered at a local bowling alley on a Sunday afternoon in their “spare” time after worship. Spending time together and enjoying each other’s company is an important part of the Hills of Grace family’s life. 

In other Hills of Grace news, the church will be making copies of “The Easter Code” available to members again this year. Members will be invited to take several copies to distribute to friends and family during the upcoming Easter season. Jimmy Dettman is the pastor at Hills of Grace Fellowship.
We are beginning a new regular feature to our e-newsletter “Celebrating Church Planting . . . Dakotas Style!” is a monthly celebration of what God is doing around the Dakotas through our new work. Each month’s feature will have two parts. The first is an article on one of the newer churches in the Dakotas. The second is one of the fourteen ways that you and your church can be involved in church planting along with an implementation suggestion. You can find all fourteen of the ways listed under the “Resources” link at www.dakotabaptist.com. Help us celebrate the new things God is doing across North and South Dakota.
1) Celebrating what God is doing at Mercy Gate in Rapid City

Mercy Gate Church was birthed in 2019, but two years ago they launched a new ministry in Rapid City. Freeway Ministries is reaching out to those battling addictions and other critical life issues. In a recent newsletter, Pastor Kenneth Brock wrote, “Since our launch (of Freeway Ministries) in 2020, we have seen many come to know the Lord and several mothers and fathers reunited with their children after coming to saving faith in Jesus Christ.” 

He shared the story of Alicia, a single mother, “with a history of drug addiction along with forced prostitution.” The church met Alicia and her three-year old son at a Mercy Gate block party. She gave her life to Christ and, because of the discipling work, she is “learning to be the mother that God created her to be.” Alicia was baptized in January and is growing daily in her walk with Christ.
Last summer Mercy Gate conducted weekly block parties in various parts of Rapid City and Box Elder. Through this ministry, the church helped a great number come to Christ. Pastor Brock shared that, since the launch of Mercy Gate in March 2019, they have seen “109 people who have surrendered their life to King Jesus.” New believers are taken through a 25-week discipleship course with eight to ten hours a week of study time and meeting time. The church has seen families abandon sports and other activities in order to grow in their walk with Christ.

Mercy Gate is also the sending church for a new work. Andy Daniel will serve as the pastor for Mercy Gate—Box Elder. They plan to launch public worship services on Easter Sunday of this year.
2) 14 Ways to be Involved in Church Planting

Way #1. Engage in Strategic Intercessory Prayer. 

Praying for the pockets of lostness in their community – praying for church planting leaders – for spiritual breakthrough. This is the simplest, and most practical way for any church to be involved in church planting.

Implementation Suggestion: Make a list of the church planters in the Dakotas. Each week pray by name for one of the Dakota planters along with his wife and children. Invite church members to write and mail a letter of encouragement during the week.
Praying for and Reaching Out to Ukraine
'Miracle from God' needed, Ukrainian Baptist leader says

LVIV, Ukraine (BP)-"We need a miracle from God," Yaroslav Pyzh, president of the Ukrainian Baptist Theological Seminary in Lviv, Ukraine, said from his western Ukraine home in a Zoom interview with Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary's news ...

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www.baptistpress.com
Baptists in Poland respond to support Ukrainian refugees

Polish Baptists and International Mission Board missionaries quickly rallied to respond to the needs of Ukrainian refugees crossing the border to seek sanctuary from the attack on their homeland. Josh and Bailey Krause serve with the IMB in...

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www.imb.org
*click image above to link to CP story with powerpoint image download