Hope Sunday Featured Church: Bethany Covenant

Post a Comment » Written on November 28th, 2012     
Filed under: Featured Churches, Hope Sunday, News & Updates, Travel

Images from Bethany Covenant’s Hope Sunday.

Written by Adam Phillps, project consultant

What does sacrifice look like? What does real courage look like? These were questions posed at Bethany Covenant Church in Mount Vernon, WA on November 11 at their Hope Sunday event. Reflecting on Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi, Kent Egging, pastor of Bethany Covenant, urged us to reflect deeply on Paul’s prison letter – emphasizing that his prison sentence would in fact lead to his death.

“For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which I prefer. I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you.” [Phil. 1:21-24]

With Veteran’s Day as a backdrop, Bethany then heard of the immeasurable sacrifice of Dr. Paul Carlson, missionary to the Congo (DRC), who lost his life after a lengthy ordeal amidst the Simba rebellion of 1964. The seeds of Dr. “Mongaga” Paul’s labor and witness to God’s grace in the world, particularly for vulnerable women, men, and children bears fruit still today in the DRC and is one of the many stories that make up God’s unfolding story in that country today.

I had the privilege of sharing about Covenant Kids Congo and God’s unfolding mission in the world that continues today, even as the Covenant has shared in mission between North Americans and Congolese these past 75 years.

What really was moving to me was what happened after both worship services this past Sunday. Bethany stepped up and sponsored nearly 100 Congolese kids! Planning on a three week long “Hope Season,” I think everyone was a bit surprised at such a great response in the first week. There were families with their young children finding kids they hoped to journey alongside. There were individuals in one small group coming together to sponsor a child. And there was even one grandmother who sponsored 10 kids on her own.

Sacrifice is not so much about loss but about how are we going to live our lives. It was an awesome thing to see Bethany step up and be counted alongside all of the other Covenant churches these past weeks, prayinghoping and acting with Congo.


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