Journeyman Project Dispatches from the Life of Patrick Fowler: Christianity Explored

28Apr/110

Texas Wildfires in Possum Kingdom

Stacy and I had the privilege of serving with Victim Relief Ministries over Easter weekend as they responded to those affected by the Texas Wildfires in Possum Kingdom. We met government officials, firefighters, and homeowners and sought to minister to them in the midst of this disaster. I recently wrote a summary of our activity, and wanted to share it with you…

map of burned area

About the Fire:

The Possum Kingdom West Fire started on Wednesday, April 13th west of Possum Kingdom Lake in Stephens County. On April 19, the Jackson Ranch Fire was added to the PK Complex Fire. Management of the Complex was taken over by the Southern Area Type 1 IMT on April 20th at 08:00 and 755 personnel were committed to the Complex, including local fire departments from the DFW area, state and federal agencies and Texas Army National Guard. Two thousand homes were threatened, with a total loss of 126,734 acres, 167 homes and 124 outbuildings.

About Victim Relief’s Role in the Disaster:

Victim Relief began responding to the events on April 16th after the loss of a fireman and have been actively involved ever since, supporting the fireman, civil officials, and victims of this disaster through the end of the danger to residents. Victim Chaplains and Crisis Responders have been active in counseling those affected by loss, fear, and destruction, many of whom were forced to evacuate their homes in the midst of these events.

burned churchWP_000009

This past weekend the tireless efforts of everyone involved and the blessing of rain helped advance the fire’s containment to 90% and returned safety to the residential areas of Possum Kingdom. As residents were allowed to return to their property, Victim Relief Chaplains and Crisis Responders counseled men and women, pastors and parishoners, and builders who faced the loss of their property, their memories, their businesses, their churches, and their animals. As workers continued to staff shifts throughout the Easter holiday, Victim Relief assisted in organizing an early morning worship service on Sunday for them to attend.

Victim Relief has been in active attendance at the community meetings, and has formed a partnership with the local Baptist Association of churches in Palo Pinto county to ensure that emotional and spiritual support is readily available and accessible to victims throughout the area as they work through the effects of these events over the coming weeks and months. Our hearts and prayers are with all the people involved in these events throughout Texas, and we pray for God’s hand to be active in comforting and consoling each person affected by the fires.

(Map and Event Information courtesy of the Incident Information System Website at inciweb.org)

To contribute to Victim Relief’s efforts in serving the victims of crime, disaster, and terrorism, please donate here.

11Apr/110

Keeping Disaster’s Victims in Prayer

Disaster's Victims continue to be great, especially as tornado season comes around for the Midwest United States. Please keep the hurting in your prayers, both for their physical needs and for the opportunity the church has to share the gospel during this time of great openness. Below is a list of events and people's to pray for. I'll try to update and expand it every month or so.

Haiti's poverty will probably cause it to be hurting long after Japan. Read more...

Japan remains in great turmoil as the nuclear reactor remains a problem and aftershocks continue to cause the people to reimagine the terror that has past. Read more...

Texas wildfires are burning homes and endangering the lives of people across our massive state. Pray for safety and for those who have lost all they own. Read more...

Every day the citizens of Israel hear the rocket sirens and hide from the terror of incoming dangers like suicide bombers. Pray that the Gaza strip will one day establish a true cease-fire that will allow these citizens to live in a larger degree of security.

The Middle East remains in turmoil with political upheaval, reaction against the American pastor's burning of the Koran, and various other controversies. Pray for courage that believers can continue to proclaim the gospel under the threat of death.

 

For those of you who are not aware, I am working with Victim Relief Ministries to respond to and comfort people who are enduring these hard times. We minister to crime victims in the city of Dallas every day, and work abroad whenever we can, acting as the Good Samaritan did. To learn more about Victim Relief, go to www.victimrelief.org

To consider training this weekend as a Victim Chaplain, register at www.victimchaplain.org

28Jun/090

Understanding Homosexuality

Recently I downloaded and began listening to a series of seminars from various sources. One such seminar was at DTS this past spring and spent four hours on the topic of homosexuality.

I started listening with a critical ear, but soonafter, I was unable to stop. Living Hope Ministries really did a great job of exploring a topic that few churches address. I learned a lot about how early childhood experiences of sexual abuse and absentee parents affect us.

While I cannot make the audio availble here or point you to the DTS site (it is currently restricted to student access only) I do want to point you to the Living Hope website (https://livehope.org/resources) and ask you to consider learning more about this if you have an opportunity in the future.

I also promise to follow up with both DTS and Living Hope, in hopes of seeing this content made available publicly.

What are you listening to this summer?

For DTS Students, visit here: https://campus.dts.edu/student/wec.shtml

8Jan/090

Online Church Tech Camp

I am currently having my mind and concept of the internet enlarged by a conversation regarding online church...

This conference is very open to discussion and has an online video broadcast. if you are out there, join us.

Here are a few thoughts so far:
How does our perception of the internet today compare to the church's perception of rock music one generation ago? Didn't God allow us to create the internet for his purposes?

What advantages does it present?
Here's one: Discipleship and Community Building in places that are closed to church gatherings and seminaries.

9Dec/080

Taking Sin City for Christ

Living in an environment where a lot of people are preparing for a career in pastoral ministry, I hear a lot of ambitious plans for the church. I myself have a lot of ambitious ideas for the future of the church...but I have never considered the one I saw on the news recently.

Meet The Strip Church, one ambitious pastor's ministry to change the lives of visitors to Las Vegas. I personally like it. He has a clear and simple strategy, a proven record of ministry in this context, and a deep love for the lost in this regard.

I wouldn't recommend the ministry everyone, and I would not pursue it myself, but I recommend that you have a look at the ministry of:

www.stripchurch.com

ABC recently hosted them for an interview which can be viewed here.

You can also view the ministry plan here.