Signs of Spring, Signs of Impact

We are beginning to hope that spring is truly here in Colorado.  After some heavy snow in late April, precipitation is now falling in the form of rain along the Front Range of the Rockies, and as I write, in early May, the low temperatures in the ten-day forecast for Colorado Springs don’t fall below the 40s!  That brings a smile to my face!

There are other signsThe grass out my office window is green.  It has been a while since we’ve seen that. Our honey bees are busy—you can almost tell the temperature by the number of bees coming and going.  And three friends or family members are getting married in the next six weeks!  A sure sign of spring!

We are always on the lookout for signs of what God is doing in the hearts of the people we work with.  This year, reviewing the reports of Paraclete associates, I noticed how many words of thanks they had received.  That’s a sure sign of spiritual impact.  Here are a few examples:

Thank you so much for your contribution to iSanctuary this year. We are touched by the talent, time, effort, resources, and humbling compassion that you shared.
From a Ministry Founder

I wanted to follow up on your precious day with us. It was such a treat for all of us. Thank you for so patiently and graciously listening to each of us. Such a gift.  Ministry leader in Hong Kong.

Thank you for your spiritual maturity, your constancy, your willingness to ‘be there’ not only for me but dozens of others…
From a Mentoree

Our thanks to you, for your interest in Paraclete!

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New Online Giving Portal

If you are a donor, you may have noticed that our receipt has changed, and it may have arrived later than it normally does.  We apologize!  We upgraded our donation software this month, and we’re convinced that we will be able to offer you a better experience because of the upgrade.  But the transition put us a bit behind. 

Online giving is also upgraded as a part of the same change.  You can check it out at the Donate button on www.paraclete.net.

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Upcoming Paraclete Conference

On August 21st my pastor announced that it was the first day of fall!  He meant that it was the first day of the fall semester, but I found myself mustering an internal protest, not ready for summer to end!  The classic, if not astronomical, last day of the American summer is almost upon us—Labor Day.  On Labor Day 2016 Paraclete associates will gather for four days of community building, study, worship and networking.  I always look forward to these times.  Our Paraclete community is spread out, so coming together is a blessing.  I’ll post photos after the conference.

Blessings,

Glen Volkhardt, CEO

 

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2016 Summary of Ministries

The Paraclete 2016 Summary of Ministries publication mailed in early August.  If you have been giving, but did not receive one, it should be in your hands in a week or so.  We missed a few donors on the first mailing and the remainder went out a few weeks later.  An electronic version is also available from .

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March in Colorado

This month I’m hearing about spring.  My mother’s sunflowers are up in Florida. A friend in Idaho is seeing signs of spring.  Not so in Colorado!  Despite indicators like the beginning of Daylight Savings Time and Easter, we are still in winter here. 

One delightful arrival every March in Colorado is that of the Sandhill Cranes.  They come to the southern San Luis Valley, and wait for a break in the weather to continue their journey to the north.

We’ll celebrate Easter this month regardless of the weather!  It’s because of what Jesus accomplished for us that we have life!

So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.  1 Cor. 15:21-22 NLT

It is that life that makes all Paraclete ministry possible.  Whether associates work in evangelism, discipleship, mentoring or management, we are all about new life in Christ.  I recently learned of this feedback from a lady who attended a retreat lead by a Paraclete associate,

Praise God for sending you this weekend! You ushered the Kingdom of God into my heart. 

That is our Easter wish for you this March!  May the Kingdom of God be ushered into your heart!

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eReceipts Now Available

This month we are happy to tell you of a new way to receive Paraclete receipts. We now offer eReceipts sent via email.  You might like this option for a number of reasons.  If you are giving via credit card or bank transfer you can completely eliminate paper from your giving to Paraclete. This options saves Paraclete the cost of paper and postage, lowering our operating costs, and eReceipts will get to you a few days faster.

How it will Work…
e-Receipts will go out on the same schedule as paper receipts.  They will look very similar to the paper receipt–a message from me, followed by a receipt portion that will look like this:

ereceipt

To Switch to eReceipts…

  • Call us at (719) 302-2500.
  • Email us at .
  • Write us at the Business Office address:
    • Paraclete Mission Group
      P.O. Box 63450
      Colorado Springs, CO 80962
  • Switch your receipting preference yourself via your donor account in our Online Community.
    • (You can create and access your account via the “Donor Login” button at www.paraclete.net)

Of course, paper receipts are still an option, and you can always get current and past receipts in the Online Community.  Thanks again for being a financial partner with us!

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2016!

Milestones like a New Year can be troubling to me. There is so much to do in the new year. There is so much I did not get done last year. Etc.! I was challenged over the holidays to renew my prayer for joy and peace, for myself and for others.  Paraclete board member, Lori Wilson, and her husband, Kurt, gave me a book titled Abiding, by Ben Quash. He says that joy and peace are not only promised by Jesus. They are also built into the cosmos.

Peace, and the joy that follows from it – these are 

things promised. But they are promised because 

they are ultimate. They are not just ‘up ahead’; 

they are the deepest truths of the world, and have 

been ever since it was made, because they are part 

of the fullness of God who made the world good. 

By restoring perfect peace and complete joy to 

his followers, Jesus restores them to a relationship 

with their good beginnings as well as their good end…

May your 2016 be filled with reminders of your good beginning and your good end, resulting in overflowing peace and joy for you and yours!

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Passing of Chuck Bennett, Former Paraclete Mission Group President

On November 4, 2015—Charles “Chuck” Bennett passed away due to complications from Parkinson’s disease. He was 83 years old. Chuck’s family says his was “the fullest life you could imagine.”

His work in missions extended far beyond Paraclete. After studying aviation and theology at Moody Bible Institute, Chuck joined Mission Aviation Fellowship in 1955. He moved to southeast Mexico where he spent 13 years as a missionary pilot. According to a 2009 article in Wings Magazine, Chuck “made more than 18,000 flights, taught in the local Bible institute and supervised the construction of churches, a youth camp and a school.” He became MAF’s president in 1973, serving until 1985.

CBennett and Bob Pierce
Chuck Bennett (left) with Bob Pierce, founder of World Vision, in 1976

After leaving MAF, Chuck was the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Food for the Hungry International from 1985 until 1991.

Chuck later served as president and CEO of Partners International from 1992 until 2000. In noting his passing Partners said that Chuck “had a huge heart for holistic ministry and helped impact many lives throughout his tenure as a great steward of the ministry. Partners International’s course is still set true to the mission and calling he envisioned.”

Chuck Bennett was the president and CEO of Paraclete Mission Group from 2001 – 2004. He continued as a board member until 2008, and as an associate until his death. Since 2008, Chuck’s role was that of advisor to the president and consultant to one of our significant partners.  For the last two years of his life, Chuck’s job description was to pray for Paraclete and his other mission contacts.

Previously, Chuck’s ministry career included service as the executive director of the Presbyterian Center for Mission Studies and as a founder and chairman of AirServ International. Besides his undergraduate studies at Moody Bible institute, Chuck studied at Claremont Graduate University, and he earned a master’s degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. In a social media profile Chuck wrote of himself, “My life purpose has been to serve the needy and poor people of the so-called ‘Third World.’ ”

Chuck was residing in a care facility in Harlingen, Texas at the time of his passing. His wife, Jane, lives nearby. A private prayer service for the family will take place on November 6. A memorial service will be delayed for at least several weeks to make travel more convenient for friends and colleagues in the U.S. and around the world.

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Coming Alongside in the Dominican Republic

As I write, I am returning from the Dominican Republic, where approximately 1,000 pastors, leaders and media workers gathered for the annual COICOM convention.  Along with my internal work as the CEO of Paraclete, our board allows me some time each year to come alongside kingdom workers outside of Paraclete.  This was one of those occasions.

October PhotoIt has been my privilege to serve on the COICOM board since 1996.   I’m on the left in the photo with Stan Jeter, recently retired from CBN News, and with two men we brought to COICOM from Cuba for media training.

My role with COICOM, like the role of Paraclete associates in all we do, was one of trainer, mentor and coach.  This year I gave a seminar in the Leadership track of the event on how to start a nonprofit organization.  There were 60 seminars in all, given over a three-day period.

The church in Latin America is growing rapidly.  That is the case in parts of Asia and Africa as well.  Other places where Paraclete associates serve are more resistant.  Both settings are important ministry opportunities.  Pray for discernment for Paraclete associates, as they make decisions about 2016 ministry this month.  We are all budgeting during October, and we need discernment from the Lord of the harvest.

Together in the work,

Glen

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Summer-time ministry

Capture PinkGirl CampParaclete associates remain active through the summer months. Much Paraclete ministry takes place without international travel via mentoring, teaching, training and coaching. But international ministry is a highlight for many Paraclete associates. A few who are on the road this month include:

Julie Field, who is on an extended trip to Ethiopia. Last month her big news was summer camp for 160 of her ìPinkGirls.î It seems like typical summer fun, except that in Ethiopia the concept is unknown. There ís not even a word for ìcampî in the local Amharic language!

Larry and Jean Rus, who return this month from Turkey where they have been training on-site folks to take over the accounting that Larry has been doing from Phoenix.

Jim and Arline Parris, who left this month for an extended ministry to South Africa. Last year when they were there they got this word of thanks from a national training director:

“Thank you for pastoring me. As I told you, we who are in the leadership do not have pastors. Many people are interested in how my ministry is doing. You’re the first one to ask me how my soul is doing. I was so much happy for your listening to my shouts, joys and frustrations.”

These are just a few examples of how Paraclete associates are coming alongside Christian leaders around the world. Thanks for joining us in the task!

For Him,
Glen Volkhardt, CEO

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Paraclete Mission, Vision and Values

In their last meeting, the Paraclete Board of Directors approved updated Mission, Vision and Values statements that direct, motivate and undergird everything that we do at Paraclete.  The new statements do not reflect a big change in direction for us, just a refinement and an adjustment in the language.  Taken together, we refer to our Mission Vision and Values as our Guiding Statements.  They guide us in what we do (Mission), what we hope to see as a result of our work (Vision) and the sort of people we strive to be (Values).

Our Mission

To come alongside Christian leaders around the world.

Our Vision

A flourishing global Church served by faithful, effective leaders.

Our Values

Servanthood

Action with Reflection

Respect

Excellence with Integrity

Heart for the Nations

 

The statements are backed up by more detailed guidance that we use for planning and evaluation.  You can find the detail at www.paraclete.net/About.  Of course, there is always an aspirational sense in statements like these.  We strive toward them, realizing that we will never fully attain them. 

Thanks for being a part of those strivings!

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Paraclete 2015 Retreat

Sixty Paraclete associates and board members came together in late April from all over the US and around the world at the Navigator’s Glen Eyrie Conference Grounds in Colorado Springs!  Many came fresh from international ministry.  Our theme was “Connections,” an important concept for a group that ministers so far and wide. 

If you had been able to peek into one of our meetings, you would have found a group of amazing people who are powerfully connected to God and committed to using their energies to communicate Christ. I wish you could have been with us to hear the stories of the important kingdom work God is doing through our growing band of faithful people.

Because we only get together every 18 months, we spent a lot of time sharing and praying for one another. It’s very meaningful for Paraclete associates to come alongside each other.  I came away, once again, convinced that God is using our people to change lives and bring about transformation all over the world!

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