We are happy to welcome Dr. Jerry Vines to preach at Bellevue this weekend. Jerry was a pastor for over 60 years before he retired and began Jerry Vines Ministries. During his 60 years as a pastor, Jerry served as President of the Southern Baptist Convention twice and was the lead pastor of internationally recognized First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida, for more than 23 years. As part of his current ministry, Jerry is an author, public speaker of more than 2,000 messages, and Bible study curriculum writer.
We are happy to welcome Jerry Vines to preach at Bellevue this weekend. Jerry was a pastor for over 60 years before he retired and began Jerry Vines Ministries. During his 60 years of being a pastor, Jerry served as President of the Southern Baptist Convention twice and was the lead pastor of internationally recognized First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida, for more than 23 years. As part of his current ministry, Jerry is an author, public speaker of more than 2,000 messages, and Bible study curriculum writer.
A Chain Reaction: Part 4
In some ways, life can be compared to a line of dominos.
Unknown life events stand up side by side waiting for the one in the front to be knocked into motion. Then, that one domino continues a chain reaction of other life events.
This image of falling dominos can be compared to the stories of Wei Liu, Qian Dong, Miaomiao (Catelyn) Li, and others. Over the last three weeks, we have heard stories of Wei following the Lord’s prompting to share the Gospel with Qian, and then, Qian following the prompting to share the Gospel with Catelyn. The story of this chain reaction does not end there though. All of these women have been faithful to continue the chain reaction God placed in each of their lives.
In January, Jing Xie, stepped foot onto Bellevue’s campus for the first time. She had been introduced to the idea of Christianity and visited one other church three years prior. When she came to Bellevue, she only knew Wei, but over the next few months, the Lord led her into friendship with Qian and Catelyn, as well.
“Becoming friends with them was an exciting experience for me,” Jing explained.
“I finally found a community that accepts me regardless of my past and cares for me as I am. I feel safe around my friends because they have shown me love, kindness, honesty, and understanding.”
As Christians, we hope and pray nonbelievers will see the character of God through us. Whether to friends or strangers, we are called to be Christ’s ambassadors and make His love known to those around us (2 Corinthians 5:20; John 13:35).
And through that display of God’s “love, kindness, honesty, and understanding,” Jing became interested in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“Attending Life Group meetings was the beginning of my spiritual journey,” Jing said. “And becoming friends with Wei, Qian, and Catelyn and watching Catelyn be baptized showed me that I wanted to join them in Loving God and Loving other People.”
In May, Jing began talking with Wei about becoming a Christian and expressed a clear desire to know Christ. So, when Catelyn was baptized on Sunday, June 14, Jing also shared her desire to know Jesus Christ! With Wei, Qian, and Catelyn standing with her, Jing prayed to receive Jesus Christ as her Savior and Lord, and on June 26, almost two weeks later, she was baptized with her family and friends by her side!
“As a Life Group Teacher, it is a joy to see folks come to faith in Jesus,” said Mike Crouch. “And it’s an even greater joy to then see those people engage their friends and lead them to Him!”
His story goes on. As Wei, Qian, Catelyn, and Jing continue to share their faith with coworkers and friends, more and more continue to come to know the Lord. Just a few weeks ago, the women celebrated with their friend Zhen Wang who came to faith in Jesus!
May we all be inspired by these stories to follow the Lord whenever He is leading us. As you pray about the chain reaction God has planned for you, remember: completing the whole picture is not up to us; we just have to be faithful to set the next domino in motion.
Visit bellevue.org/blog to read the first three parts to this story.
ReGathering with Kids Through Home Visits
It’s been a difficult season as we’ve all been unable to spend time with our friends and family in person. For many of us, we haven’t had guests in our home or visited anyone else’s home in weeks or even months.
Bellevue’s Preschool and Children’s Ministry missed connecting with people in person, too, and that desire to reconnect led them to begin ministry through home visits.
“Since we had not seen many of the families and children in our ministry in so long, we wanted to find a unique way to reach out to them,” said Christian Sprout, Director of Children’s Ministry. “The Lord laid it on Pastor Ken’s heart to take activities and a lesson to the front yard of the kids we normally see every Sunday.”
Beginning Tuesday, June 9 through Wednesday, July 1, our Preschool and Children’s Ministry team visited 145 houses—approximately 16 per day—with the purpose of reconnecting and sharing the Gospel with these families!
“Because we had not met with our Life Groups in months, we wanted the kids and their parents to feel connected to Bellevue again,” Christian explained.
"The home visits were a great way to show our families that we had not forgotten about them..."
A typical home visit included games, Scripture memory, and a short Bible lesson. The visiting team also provided the families the materials needed for other activities and a snack.
Although the team concluded home visits on July 1 to plan CampOutrageous Online and other events, they hope to do more home visits and see the kids again soon! In view of Bellevue’s Mission, our Preschool and Children’s Ministry team has been a great example of what it means to “Love People.”
For more information about Bellevue’s Preschool and Children’s Ministry, visit bellevue.org/kids.
Join us in celebrating Gwen's faithful service and retirement. Gwen loved, cared for, and served our Preschool and Children's Ministry for more than 20 years before retiring at the end of July. We are grateful for the many lives—both children and adults—that she impacted while serving our church family. Thank you, Gwen!
After nearly 15 years, we are celebrating Steve's dedicated and continual service at Bellevue as he prepares to retire next week. Steve has led our church to operate and serve in innumerable ways. From weekly Worship Services to daily events and graduations, thank you for all you have done to serve our church and make it what it is today. We are grateful for you and your service.
Debbie Campbell, Director of Hospitality, recently celebrated five years at Bellevue. During that time, she has faithfully served this church and its people with intentional hospitality at the heart of all she does. Most of what Debbie does includes behind-the-scenes work. She leads the planning and logistics of weddings, manages event and resource scheduling, represents Bellevue at various social functions such as banquets, supervises the Information Center, and much more. As we thank and celebrate Debbie for her five years of service here, think about how we can better incorporate intentional hospitality into our everyday jobs to better embody Bellevue’s core values and share the love of Christ with all we encounter.