Outreach Center Network News Letter 3
In this issue:
A January Devotion
This Month’s Focus
Notes from Centers
Trivia Part one
Each article will end with ###. You may move to the next article by searching for this.
As this New Year begins ministry is starting slowly. A little bit of vacation time, school starting again for my daughter, preparing for the installation as pastor at St. Paul’s, and computer problems all took more time than expected. Therefore this newsletter is a week late in getting out. Thanks for your understanding. Pastor Dave
### A New Year
A January Devotion
You may use this at your Outreach Center, but do not forget to apply it to your own spiritual life.
It’s winter; like it or not
The month of January brings cold, damp, snowy, icy, slippery, miserable weather. For a person who is blind, winter can be extra dangerous. I guess that’s why a lot of people move south, so they can avoid much of winter. Yes, there are people who like winter and if you are one of them, hold on for a moment.
Winter brings snow and ice. These bring potential of slipping, falling and getting hurt. Yet sighted and blind people fall alike. Winter brings cold air. Yet sighted and blind people struggle with stiff hands and numb feet alike.
Now on the fun side, when you have snow you can have snowball fights. Yet people who are blind struggle hitting their target. When you have snow there are sports of snow shoeing or downhill skiing. Yet people who are blind are mighty nervous, trying to avoid those fast-coming trees one doesn’t see.
Now on the flip side of things; people who are blind get around by walking where a sighted person will just get in their car and go. With snow and ice on the ground travel by walking whether by cane or guide dog, is difficult and dangerous. Also, cold, numb hands and feet for a person who is blind is more than a neusense. It impairs touch and ability to walk with confidence.
All this to say; in general, winter slows down and effects people who are blind more than sighted people. This being said, where does that leave us who are blind?
Paul said while in prison when he wrote to the Christians in Philippi “yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.” 4:14 this is a theme that he shared again and again. Paul had two key reasons in writing this.
Misery love company? No, actually company removes misery.
Second, company can communicate comfort.
When winter comes, instead of hibernating how about calling someone else who does not like winter. How about calling someone else who does not venture out in the snow. How about praying for someone else who finds no fun in the flurries of February.
In the misery of our Sin, outside of God’s house, in the coldness of fear, unable to move, Jesus accompanied us. Jesus not only sat out in the cold with us, but died for us and because of this we get to move into God’s house.
Warm and secure in God’s love and forgiveness in Jesus we like Paul can say: “yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.”
This is how company removes misery. Jesus did it for us. In thankfulness we can share in other people’s trouble and thereby bring them Jesus.
By the way, do you know the verse before this: “yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.”? The verse before is how we are able to do anything for God. It is: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” 4:13.
This winter: stay warm. Stay safe. Help someone else.
### This Month’s Focus
Last month I spoke on the first core value: “showing human care and compassion”. This month we look at the second core value: “Keep every promise you make”.
Why is this a core value? People who are blind live a life of trust. They depend on other people for transportation, shopping, identifying objects and money, and so much more. So if someone promises to do something, a person who is blind depends on that to happen. So when a promise is not kept, it is a matter of a broken trust. It becomes personal and hurts.
Therefore, do not promise something unless you can do it. Remember, broken promises lead to mistrust of people and even more importantly, mistrust of God.
### Notes from Centers
Debbie, a volunteer from the Lawrence Kansas center wrote:
It is really good to hear from you, our group is doing well here in Lawrence and our surrounding areas of Topeka, Baldwin and Kansas City. In June and July we had several different groups get free tickets to the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City and everyone had a great time. We had a picnic at one of the many parks in town in September, with a visit from the Bat-mobile. In October we have already had
our Halloween party and some of the group got to go to a magic show at the Lied Center on the University campus. We are planning our usual Thanksgiving and Christmas get-togethers and a fundraiser at a local restaurant.
The pastor at the Birmingham center wrote:
I can write more later, but yes, we are up and running and going strong. We have shared a quarterly outreach meeting at the Alabama Institute for the Blind in downtown Birmingham for over four years now. Meeting has about 12-15 each time- with lunch, a game, devotion, prayer requests, celebrate milestones, meet with people and give financial assistance, Christmas party, etc. We have a great routine established. We also have a blind lady who has joined our church and comes every Sunday. She has been with us for a year now and people volunteer to give her rides.It has been a real success story.
From the Montreal center. French with French Braille is their language of communication:
The blind center Vision Chrétien is doing well. Sincerely Cécile Ngo Holl.
Teresa from the Anderson, Indiana Outreach Center for the Blind wrote:
We just celebrated our 10th year of ministry and it was fun! Many people who no longer had ties with the group returned just for the celebration. God is good!
### Trivia Part One
This month and next we are providing two trivia questionnaires of ten questions. You might want to use this at the outreach center gathering. This month are movies and blind-related things. Next month are Presidents and the Bible.
1. One of the big movies presently out is the Star Trek prequel. How many Star Trek movies were there before the present prequel?
2. In what movie did Humphrey Bogart say: “Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.”
3. In what movie did Jimmy Stewart play a manager of a savings and loan?
It’s a Wonderful Life
4. In the movie Cast Away, for what company did Tom Hanks’ character Chuck Noland work?
5. When talking with Donkey, Shrek compared ogres to what vegetable?
An onion, because we both have layers
6. In what state does the movie “Grumpy Old Men” take place?
7. What was the name of the plantation in Gone with the Wind?
8. Who played Captain Dan in Forrest Gump?
9. In what year did Elvis Presley perform in his first movie, Love Me Tender?
10. What was the name of Michael J. Fox’s character in Back to the Future?
1. How old was Louis Braille when he was blinded?
Four years old
2. Where was the Perkins Braille writer first developed (city or institution)?
Perkins School for the Blind in Boston
3. In what year was the first LBM outreach center started?
1999 in Pittsburgh
4. within five years, what year was the Lutheran Library for the Blind established?
5. What Italian city has named after it a type of window blind?
6. What was the first word, spelled into the hand, that finally connected with Helen Keller?
7. What breed of dog was the first guide dog?
German Shepherd and his name was Buddy
8. What company made the first portable note taker? It was named after the man who invented it. This company was taken over by Freedom Scientific.
9. What famous person helped support the development the first talking scanner?
Stevie Wonder, who helped develop the Kurzweil Reading Machine
10. How many blind and visually impaired people are there in the United States? Either the percentage of population or the amount of people are acceptable, within one million.
4% of the population, 12 million people
### Final Thoughts
In upcoming issues we can and will look at many of the same topics as well as others. If you have questions, thoughts or suggestions, please post them on the blind ministry email list.