Archive for November, 2012

Nov 29

Christmas Store 2012 – Sending and Serving and Following Up – What Part Will You Play?

If you have been around DSC for the past 5 or so years, you know that the Christmas Store project is a big deal.  As a body, we don’t do many corporate wide outreaches to the community (our hope is that as individuals and community groups will be on mission serving their neighbors and friends and the poor more organically). But, when we do, we really like to see the whole church get involved.  Check out this video, in case you missed it a couple of Sundays ago:

So, how can you get involved with the Christmas store?  Let me count the ways:

1.  Take (more) tags.  Every year is different when it comes to the velocity at which our tags get taken and gifts get bought.  This year has been unique in that the first Sunday, those tags flew off the tree.  “I couldn’t hardly keep enough tags on the tree,” said Carolyn Rush, our Christmas Store ministry organizer.  Yet the pace of tag flying and gift buying has slowed just a bit.  So, if you haven’t yet, or even if you have, please consider taking a handful or more tags in order to help shore up the number of gifts we have, and are praying lead to relationships and conversations. This Sunday (Dec 2nd) is the last opportunity to grab some tags, and December 9th is the deadline to have all the gifts back to the church.

2.  Serve at a Store.  Email Carolyn to get plugged in.

Setup or tear down the DSC Christmas Store – we need folks to help on Friday, Dec 14th to come set up the store from 2pm – 5pm.  Then on Saturday the 15th from 4pm – 6pm to clean up.

Meet, greet, wrap, help shop, make friends and pray with them at one of the stores.  We need lots of help at each of the store.

  • DSC store on December 15th from 9:00am-12:30PM or 12:30PM-4:00PM.  Our main target audience for this is the three elementary schools in this area.  Each school’s administration has committed to helping us find families that really need the help this year.
  • Navajo Reservation store is a full day trip and a blessing to both goer and receivers.
  • East Central Ministries COOP Christmas store runs from Dec 17th to Dec 20th (Mon-Thurs) from 9:30 to 12:00PM each day.
  • Juntos Store is at Vineyard Church on Monday Dec 17th from 5pm-9pm

3.  Follow up from the DSC Store.  Each ministry we partner with (Navajo churches, ECM, and Juntos) will be following up as needed with people that come to their stores and are open to spiritual conversations.  As for our DSC store, there are four ways in which we are hoping DSC folks can help by follow up with Christmas store participants.

  • A conversation, a friendship, and some biblical advice – First, we are hoping to offer folks a simple thing: “Would you like to talk with someone about life…?”  We anticipate that some who come to the store will be facing deeper struggles in their life and will need a friendly encounter with a Christian to help them in this time.  If someone signs up for this, we need several folks ready to meet a brand new friend who likely needs a compassionate listener who is also ready to offer some biblical advice.   This ministry boils down to being willing to make a friend, listen well, and offer the truth about Jesus in the context of a real relationship.  We will offer some basic training materials for you if this is something you’d like to do.  Email local@desertspringschurch in order to express interest in this particular follow up.


  • Financial Counseling through a “Money and Me” Course – In partnership with our friends at LOVE INC, we are planning to offer a financial planning course in early 2013 for anyone interested.  We will advertise this at the DSC Christmas store, but it will also be open to anyone at DSC.  Maybe you need a bit of coaching in this area yourself, or maybe you’d like to use some of your experience and knowledge in this area to help others.  Either way, email Josh if you’d like to get involved.


  • Christianity Explored – We are looking for a small group of DSC folks, or maybe a Community Group to take up the task of offerin this introduction to Christianity course starting in February.  We are ready to equip a small group to organize this ministry and use this 7 session (7 weeks) DVD based study to introduce friends, family, and Christmas store attendees to Jesus.  Want to know more or dive in? Email local@desertspringschurchClick here to learn more about Christianity Explored.


  • Resolving Everyday Conflict – This is another course offered by Peacemakers Ministries that gets quickly to the heart of the Gospel by appealing to believers and non-believers alike who are tired of the bickering and fighting that comes with nearly any kind of relationship.  Whether it is at work, in friendship, or in the family, conflict happens because we are all sinners.  This is also a DVD based course helps by pointing us all to the God who brings the reconciliation to himself and to each other through the cross of Christ. Email local@desertspringschurch for more info about how to help organize and lead this course.



Nov 27

ISI Thanksgiving Dinner – Thanks to You

On November 18th, God used nearly 100 DSC folks to bless the nations.  It was the 5th Annual DSC International Student INC. Thanksgiving Dinner.  We praise God for the opportunity, thank Him for the unity in Christ we share as we serve, and pray that relationships will foster long past this dinner.  I personally was able to reconnect with an old friend from Iran and have plans to eat dinner at their house next weekend along with my family.  What a great thing this yearly dinner has become!  May God use it to spread His glory broader and deeper.

Here is a note from our ISI Thanksgiving Dinner coordinators, Adam and Charis Church:


This message is long overdue, but Charis and I wanted to send out a huge thank you to everyone who helped us with the International Student Thanksgiving Dinner recently.

We thank God for his grace to our body, causing us to abound in good works, as it says in 2 Corinthians 9:8:

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”

Here’s a quick recap of how your service blessed International Students this year:

  • We had approximately 110 students attend the dinner, and had plenty of food to go around.
  • This year we found out a few days before the dinner that we had a much bigger need for transportation than in previous years, and many of you mobilized to the UNM area to pickup students and bring them to the dinner.
  • Many stepped in to provide extra food in anticipation of extra students.
  • Some people sat down at tables with students to table host with just a few minutes notice, and many volunteers stayed longer than originally planned to help with setup and teardown.
  • Due to students arriving early, we didn’t have time to get all the volunteers together for an overview and prayer, and despite that, everyone jumped in with both feet to help.
  • We saw many people exchanging contact information with the students at their tables so that new relationships could continue past the dinner.

We hope you will continue to pray for these students:

  • That God will work in their hearts, to convict of sin and show His grace displayed in Christ.
  • That they will have many more opportunities to see the Gospel on display.
  • That as He wills, International Students would come to faith in Christ and return to their homes with the Gospel message.

Thanks again for your gracious service.

In Christ,  Adam + Charis

Here are some photos of the event:

DSC Folks and 110 International Students enjoy dinner, conversation, and music entertainment together.

Thanks so much to everyone who prepared and served and setup and cleaned up and table hosted for this event!

Nov 22

Thankful for Redemption Church

As we celebrate a holiday full of thankfulness to God for grace, provision, and unity in our Savior, I can’t help but thank Him especially for our first local church plant, Redemption Church.

Here is a note from Pastor Carlos:

Dear DSC Family,

We have had a blessed and busy fall here at Redemption Church in Rio Rancho. In September our Redemption Kids area started a new curriculum from Children Desiring God that has helped our kids see the grace, love and glory of our Great God. Hearing my kids explain what they are learning and understanding on Sunday afternoons has been such a blessing.

We also started a new series that we pray to use for future membership classes. The series is called “DNA: Who We Are, What We Believe”, in it we provided a good foundation of what we doctrinally believe are important to the life of Redemption Church. This has helped our young church have a clearer understanding on what theological foundation Redemption Church is built upon.

Going forward we believe the vision for Redemption Church is as follows: Redemption Church is a diverse and united, Spirit empowered community with Jesus at the center on mission to see our city and our world transformed by the Gospel. This is our aim, and our vision for what we believe Redemption Church is to be in Rio Ranch and New Mexico as we stay on our mission to make disciples and plant churches.

Starting on Dec. 2nd we will begin our first Advent Series, that will prepare us for our first Christmas as a church. We are excited to see what God does and who He brings to hear the gospel. We will also be holding our 2nd Baptism service on December 9th which is something we get really excited about and plan to have a huge celebration for.

We are also learning from Acts 29 churches (the network Redemption is part of) about what it means to be a church that plants churches by looking at ways to train up men and women, and the possibility of doing church planting residencies. While the talks are early, we really are excited to see what Jesus will do through this here in New Mexico and across the globe.

Speaking of across the globe, one of our pastors and his wife (Aaron and Meredith) recently traveled to North Africa, where they will be sent out of Redemption in partnership with DSC to plant churches and make disciples in 2015 Lord willing. They learned more about the areas they will be living in and got some fellowship time with those that are already on the ground there. We look forward to setting forth a vision of support, prayer and being part of God’s global mission to the “ends of the earth”.

We are blessed by the prayers and support we receive from our brothers and sisters at Desert Springs Church, by God’s grace we are seeing growth and a gospel community thriving here in Rio Rancho, and by the power of the Holy Spirit we believe this is only the beginning!

It’s All About Jesus,
Pastor Los

Please pray for Carlos and his family, as his sweet mother (who was also Redemption Church’s first ever baptism) passed from this life into the presence of Jesus yesterday.

Carlos wrote the following:

We weep but do not despair.  She can truly now say: “Death where is your sting?!?”

Amen.  Thank you Jesus!