Follow our adventures on Twitter: @phbc181 #MissionCle2014

One of the most exhilarating weeks of the year is about to begin – our Summer Mission Trip. This year, we’re staying local – ministering right here, in our own backyards. As pastor to our students, I have several very clear objectives for a week like this:

  1. Most obvious – meet as many needs in the name of Christ as we can throughout the week
  2. Help the students learn the joy of serving Christ by loving on others
  3. Help our students learn to recognize the needs around them, prayerful brainstorm practical ways to meet these needs, then take action
  4. Recognize the feasibility of being involved in these ministries/service opportunities throughout the year

Some have already asked, “Why Cleveland?”  Good question.

  • One out of every three Clevelanders lives in poverty, making Cleveland one of the poorest large cities in the country. Recent surveys show that the poverty rate in Cleveland has increased to 34%, ranking it third behind Detroit, MI and San Bernardino, CA.
  • This has resulted in many people being homeless.  They are struggling to survive without food, shelter and appropriate clothing.  Most of them feel they have nowhere to turn and no way out. Amazingly, this is not a description of a faraway country; it is right here in our own backyard.
  • At the same time, the income gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” has widened to record levels.  Which gives us a multitude of ministry opportunities to be a blessing to people – the way Christ was: in real and tangible ways.

Clearly, the need is great, and we’re working hard to do our part.  Here are some of our projects/ministry partners for the week:

  • Parma Area Family Collaborative: Their mission – “To build a stronger and more connected community by nurturing youth and strengthening families, while promoting child well-being, academic success and safety in the home, school, and community environment.” We will serve in several ways, including playing with and serving breakfast each morning to kids from needy families.
  • The City Mission: Their mission – “Providing help and hope to all people through the transforming power of God’s love.”  The City Mission has many ministry facets, including a men’s shelter, women’s shelter, children and youth programs, clothing, food, education, and the list goes on.  We will be helping on their main campus. www.thecitymission.org 
  • MedWish International: Their mission – MedWish International saves lives and the environment by repurposing discarded medical supplies and equipment to provide humanitarian aid in developing countries.” We will serve with them on several occasions, repurposing medical supplies to be shipped overseas. www.medwish.org
  • Cleveland Schools and Parks: We will spend part of a day cleaning up numerous schools and several parks.  While we clean, we will have strategic times of prayer for all of the people touched by that facility.
  • City of Parma Heights: We are working hard to be one of the first “go-to” groups when the city has a need.  We have set aside significant time to help the city and residents cleanup properties.
  • PHBC Hot Food Ministry: We will help with the setup, service, meal, and cleanup for our very own Hot Food Ministry.
  • Thrift Nation: Their Mission – ‘Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.’ (James 1:27) We seek to partner with organizations that are carrying out this command, and to explore opportunities to help those who Christ calls us to look after.” We will spend an afternoon sorting materials for ThriftNation.  www.thriftnation.org

Thanks for your prayers and support!  Check back here – we’ll try to update daily.  You can also follow us on Twitter: @phbc181 #MissionCle2014

VBS Workday and Pool Party

It’s always fun serving and playing together. This afternoon our students helped prep for Vacation Bible School – and then splashed and played at Intern Kelsey’s place.  Good times!


Summer Camp Day 7

Safe and sound.


Summer Camp Bible Hour Summary

Summer camp has been a great time for our students to make great memories, meet new friends, grow closer with current friends, and be challenged in their faith. As they’re taking steps forward in their faith, I’m praying that this week of camp has a lasting ripple effect in their lives. I know that’s been my experience. We can help them concrete their commitments. Take time to ask about what they learned.  Have them describe their commitments to Christ.  Encourage them and pray with and for them.

The summary below might be a great starting point for you.



From Word of Life Island:

Rob Phillips

Rob Phillips was our Bible Hour speaker this week on Word of Life Island and here are four principles to live by he shared with us:
1. I am forgiven, therefore I am free to forgive!
2. I am righteous, so I am free to live righteously
3. I am loved, therefore, I am free to love!
4. I have victory so I am free to live victoriously

Summer Camp Day 6 Photos

Last night we had torrential downpours for quite some time.  We more than survived – we had a great time. Today has been cooler, but no less fun. Many of our teens are playing paintball, doing the high ropes course, playing at the beach, and competing in the dodge ball tournament.

I’m writing mid-day, so that I can fuel vehicles, pack the group gear, and prep for our return trip. Pictures today will be limited. You’ll likely have to wait until camp is over to see pictures from tonight’s fantastic fireworks display.

As we communicated earlier, we plan to return to the church around 8 pm.  If we’re significantly off this mark, we’ll do our best to notify you. All students are expected to help clean the vehicles before going home. Please pray for our safe return.

Looking forward to seeing you soon,