Sunday, July 29, 2012

With Appreciation!

The Christ Community Chapel Micah 6:8 Justice and Mercy weekend drew a phenomenal response from church members and attendees who answered the challenge to support Destiny Rescue, Sam Tushabe’s AOET ministry, and to  help make adoption more affordable for CCC families.  Results are still being tallied, but to date, support has totaled more than $740,000.  Pledges have been made to rescue more than 185 children!

The number of CCC families, friends and businesses who made the Bike Challenge such a success are too many to note.  We do want to pay particular thanks to Don Sitts who provided a large box truck that was used to transport luggage, 18 bikes and a week of supplies down to Cincinnati.

Thanks also to Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy who provided two 8 passenger vans that were used to support the Bike Team all the way home from Cincinnati.

An example of how Justice and Mercy weekend’s focus  Rescuing Children, One Child at a Time  resonated with members are Robert and Sally Tankersley. As the owners of John E Dental Lab they have, through Destiny Rescue, sponsored a child who was rescued after being abducted into the sex trade industry.  This ongoing support will allow a specific girl to learn about the saving grace of Jesus Christ, and to teach her life skills to make a living.  It is always encouraging to see a business support Kingdom work and help others who are less fortunate.  This is just one example of hundreds of people and businesses who stepped out in faith to rescue children ... one child at a time.

With tremendous appreciation

Michael and Barbara
Christ Community Chapel Micah 6:8 Outreach Team

For more information on Destiny Rescue, go to: 

For information on Sam Tushabe's AOET go to:

Friday, July 27, 2012

Who Will Mend the Fabric

Today we are re-posting Pastor Joe's Blog post from hie Red Like Blood Blog:

Sometimes I think of the world as a fabric. God created it to be a magnificent garment full of beauty and amazing detail and symmetry. This past week headlines have reminded us how quickly the fabric can be torn. I realize there are always headlines reminding us but this past week with the Colorado massacre and the Penn State penalties handed out it seems more obvious.
I will be honest. Both events have made me very sad. There is a wickedness buried deep within both that hurts my heart.
It’s interesting though. This week also happened to be the first Micah 6:8 weekend at CCC. Micah 6:8 is a call to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly. In short it is a call to mend the torn fabric of our society.
The weekend was designed to allow our people to do that with sheer abandon. The leadership of the church decided that all the offering would go toward the ministries of justice and mercy and the church would forego any operating expense for the week.
Our people leaped at the opportunity. Checks were being written with tears of gratitude at the chance to bring justice to the oppressed. One of the ministries we featured was Destiny Rescue. They rescue children out of the sex trade in Southeast Asia. The workers from Destiny Rescue came up to me after the third service and said, “We have never seen anything like this before.” They were completely overwhelmed.
This coming week I get to give the grand total for the combined giving of the Bike Challenge and the 6:8 weekend. It is phenomenal. You will not want to miss it.
So, in a week where sadness was the predominant emotion it ended with rejoicing. And so it is with the Christian rhythm of life. The cross is followed by the resurrection. As quickly as the fabric of the world is torn by sin, Christians set to work to sew it up with grace.
I don’t know if I’ve ever been more glad to be a Christian than this past week.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Final Thoughts from Tony

For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints—and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.”
      2 Corinthians 8:3-5

Dear CCC family and friends:

Since it has been two days since our team of riders rolled into the church parking lot, please forgive my absence from the blog.  I don’t know if it was fatigue or excitement, but I had a temporary case of writer’s cramp (a welcome relief to many I’m sure!).

That said, I just saw some preliminary numbers on what we will be donating to our various ministry partners.  I’m going to hold you in suspense just a little longer, but let me just say it is nothing short of staggering.  I would say I’m surprised, but frankly I’ve been part of this family too long to know any different.

On behalf of all the riders, I just want to extend heartfelt thanks for your generosity.  It is truly an honor and privilege to be partners in ministry with all of you.  Thanks for being ambassadors of Christ’s justice and mercy.

In Christ’s love,


Micah 6:8

Sunday, July 22, 2012

You Gotta Do the Hills - July 21

The men arrived back on the Hudson Campus Saturday at noon - right on schedule!  We praise God for more that 8000 miles ridden with no accidents or injury from the ride.  We will post some final thoughts from Tony and dollars raised from the Challenge in the next few days once everything has been tallied.  In the meantime - we wanted to share this reflection from Pastor Joe which is from his Red Like Blood Blog:

I just finished up the CCC Bike Challenge. I rode my bicycle along with 17 other men from Cincinnati to Cleveland. We covered nearly 400 miles in 5 days. This is the second year we have done it.
This year was tougher on me. I spent probably the same amount of time training on my bike. The difference is I didn’t do as many hills as I did last year in training. Hills are the toughest part of cycling. I started riding the flats and kind of fell in love with it. I started avoiding hills and the more I avoided them the more I stayed away from them.
Now I know why a cyclist has to do hills. I labored at times on the trip. Here’s the thing. I find myself more often than not praying for good days. A good day is like riding the flats. I love a good day. And when God sends me a hill I wonder what is going on. But there are things only hills can do.
Paul the apostle was thrown more hills than most. He seemed like he got to the place where he liked them because he understood what they would do in his life. This is what he wrote in Romans 5.
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God is poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
If you find yourself on a hill today or tomorrow this is what I want you to do. Don’t try to get off it right away. Lean hard into God and let the hill do the work in you that only a hill can do. Eventually the difficulty you are going through will finally pass and in its wake it will leave you with a strength you did not have before.
This bike trip was a reminder of what happens when I stay away from the hills. I needed the strength that only the hills give and I didn’t have it. So, it is back to the hills for me. I hope to see you there.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Adoption is not man's idea, it is God's

Adopting children was a conviction we both had prior to our marriage.  In 1996 we began the adoption process here, in Summit County.  Since we both knew sign language, we knew God was calling us to adopt a deaf child.  Once our home study was completed, we began investigating deaf children available in the United States.  Miraculously, a five year old girl from China ended up on the American list.  We felt God calling us to pursue this adoption and in 1998 our first daughter joined our 2 biological boys.  Several years later, our daughter began asking us for a sister-one who was not deaf-so she could alert our daughter to any alarms that might sound.  We heavily relied on God and our faith to walk us through this journey, and despite much spiritual warfare, we welcomed our second daughter in 2003.  She also came to us from China, and when the nannies from the orphanage handed her over to us, they included a book filled with pictures and scripture.  As it turns out, they were all in the underground church and were illegally teaching the children about Jesus!  We soon became aware of a 10 year old boy who had severe medical issues.  We were sure the Lord was calling us to pray for an adoptive family for him.  After a few months with no willing adopting family coming forward, we relented and allowed the Lord to use us to bring him into our family. 

Thinking we were done with adoption, we moved into the world of foster care at The Bair Foundation.  The Bair Foundation deals mostly with older special needs children and we felt we had a track record to fit those needs.  A month after we were licensed by the State of Ohio, we received a call for 11 month old deaf twin girls.  In May, 2009 the girls permanently came into our lives from one of the worst neighborhoods imaginable. 

July 2009 brought the desperate plea from Chinese missionaries to adopt a 14 year old girl with spina bifida whom we had tried adopting three years earlier.  Other families that had pursued her at the same time as us, backed out, and she was alone once again.  God had certainly knit our heart to her in 2006 and we realized he had just been preparing us, in His time, and by April 2010, she officially joined our family. 

One more kid to go…!  In July, 2010, I was driving the NY State Thruway praising God for a solid two hours for the miraculous ways He was always providing for our family and asking Him not to let me miss his next miracle.  I stopped with three of my girls at Chick-Fil-A with just a few dollars in my pocket.  We placed a conservative order and when we went to pay, the cashier announced ‘that will be on us today’.  I began weeping as, again, I saw God’s hand of provision.  Within five minutes of receiving our free lunch, the county called requesting us to take the four year old deaf brother of our twin girls.  No need to pray about this one as God had just shown me the answer at Chick-Fil-A.  By August, 2010, we were a complete family.

In addition to our nine children, God has allowed us to care for 30+ medically and emotionally fragile foster children in our home through The Bair Foundation.  Members of CCC have been able to minister to these children at Edge, ThaPorch, Sunday School and VBC.  We are grateful to have the body of Christ always supporting us.  Many people tell us, “I could never do that!  God bless you”.  Our response is, “He has already blessed us with nine amazing kids.  We can’t do this in our strength, but only through Christ Jesus who gives us the strength.”  Adoption is not man’s idea, it is God’s.  We have had opportunities to share God’s adoption plan by his son Jesus Christ with many social workers.  Please pray for us that God will use our family as an evangelism tool that others may learn of their adoption through Jesus Christ making them co-heirs with His son.

Riding for His Glory - July 20 Update

Here is a clip of the men who are ridding this week to raise funds to Rescue Children ... One Child at a Time
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

Tony's reflection on Day 4:

After yesterday’s 100-mile ride, all the riders were looking forward to today’s easy ride of 70 miles over mostly flat terrain. Enter 20mph headwinds. Headwinds tend to make the ride analogous to riding up hill, and as a result the ride ended up being much more grueling than expected. I think most everyone is more tired today than any of the days all week.

Personally, I was totally drained today.  My legs cried “uncle” about 30 miles into the ride.  In riding parlance, we call this “bonking”.  It is quite an interesting experience because from a cardio standpoint you feel perfectly fine, and yet your muscles just don’t want to respond.  I dropped in behind Rick Brower.  Rick is one of the taller riders on the team.  Tall riders are great to draft behind because not only do they eliminate the headwind problem, but they also create a sort of vortex that pulls you along with them.  I made the executive decision to draft off him for the next 30 miles. Despite the help, by the time we arrived at the hotel I was totally exhausted.  I was checking into my room, I checked my cell phone and I had a message from one of my friends stating he and his wife had decided to pledge $1500.  I can’t tell you how good that felt. 

There have been a lot of things this week that have made it such a great experience, but probably the highlight has been spending time with Tom Randall.  In addition, he has led our daily devotionals every evening.  What a great blessing it has been to all of us, and I can’t wait for all of us to hear him speak at this weekend’s services.

Thanks again for all your prayers and your generosity.

In Christ’s love,


Friday, July 20, 2012

A Coffee Shop Beginning

Another story of a CCC Family blessed by the ministry of adoption:

A Barnes and Noble coffee shop…That’s where we learned that our lives were going to change forever.  After trying to get pregnant for two years, we mentioned to a friend who was involved with Rahab Ministries, that should an opportunity arise, we would be very interested in adopting.  Little did we know that, after sitting down for coffee with Mary, our daughter would be born five days later.  

Mary was a woman who was receiving help from Rahab Ministries.  We received an email from Becky with Rahab informing us that Mary was considering adoption for her child.  Our names had been passed along as we had previously expressed our desire to adopt.  After sitting down at the Barnes and Noble coffee shop, Mary asked us some questions about how her daughter would be raised in our home if she chose us to adopt her.  Mary chose us on the spot…and exactly one week later Caroline Ruth was in our home.  It was overwhelming, but also the most incredible thing we had ever witnessed.

It would be an understatement if we simply told you that the CCC church body was generous.  In addition to a family willing to help with our legal fees, the church body embraced our decision and went to work on our behalf.  A room in our home that had been an office, was transformed into a nursery in less than a week thanks to our wonderful church family.  This was the most we had ever felt the perfect love of God and the body of Christ responding in our lives! 

We are so blessed to be a part of a church that encourages and supports local and global outreach as well as the initiative of adoption.  CCC’s support of Rahab in addition to the church view on adoption enabled our entire process.  We are forever grateful.

The Gamusi Family

The Gamusi family joined the AOET Children’s village in January of 2012. Before AOET, they lived in a one room shack house in the slums of Jinja town.

When they applied to join the AOET Children’s village as foster parents, we thought they were too old to qualify for this offer. However, we talked to them and realized a few things that they and AOET shared in common.  They were VERY mature Christians! While they shared with us why they needed to be foster parents at AOET, they shared with us how they prayed with their children every night before going to bed, how they required their children to memorize Scripture, study the Bible, etc. They also shared the vision of caring for orphaned children (same as AOET) – they had a desire to foster children, but both parents were none to low income earners who could not raise the needed tuition for their five school going age children.

God had answered their prayers, – with AOET, they got enough space to live with their children! A big house and garden where they would grow crops to take care of the family.

AOET-Uganda has committed to paying school fees for ALL the children and AOET gave the family a piece of land on which they have cultivated crops hence reducing on the cost of buying food for the home.

Now they are  helping AOET take care of the spiritual aspect of our Children’s village! They run all the Children’s village community Christian fellowshipsCurrently, in addition to their five children, they are fostering 2, 14 year old boys. Both were living by themselves having lost their parents to AIDS.

The family is optimistic that with the increased income and reduction of expenditure on food and rent, they will have savings that will enable them to buy a piece of land and build a home where they will integrate into the larger community after the five years that AOET gives Foster parents in the AOET housing.

Anna and Her Siblings

Anther story of child whose life has been rescued ...

Anna was 13 years old by the time her mother and father died a slow death from HIV/AIDS,
they died less than 2 weeks apart. Before they died they had sold all of their meager
possessions on medication, but sadly the inevitable happened and they died anyway.
This left Anna orphaned, with no home and several small debts.  Other than the clothes on her
back, all she had was her 4 year old, 7 and 9 year old sisters…

In fear of the people in the village whom their parents owed money, they fled to a nearby
town where they heard there was work. She tried doing odd jobs in an effort to keep her
little sisters alive, but she could see them slowly wasting away before her eyes.

One day as she was trying to find work, she went down but the river where a large bridge
was being constructed over the Zambezi river, she was approached by a middle aged
woman who offered her a job working in her bar. This lady promised that she would feed
Anna and her little sisters provided she worked hard in her bar and did what she was told.

Anna accepted the job… she soon found that the job entailed a lot more than serving drinks,
doing the dishes and sweeping the floors. What she found was she had to have sex with the
truck drivers that frequented this bridge crossing, she was made to have sex with 3-5 men
every single day, 7 days a week… for this the lady fed all the girls and also gave Anna a
total of $2 a month for having sex with somewhere between 100-150 men each month.

One of Destiny Rescue’s undercover teams found Anna and was able to rescue her. Anna
and her sisters are now in one of our rescue homes, where they are all going to school and
being cared for.

Despite the evidence given to the authorities, the lady involved has still not
been charged. We will continue to present this case to the authorities.

Day Three

This just in from Tony Galieti, one of the riders:

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
-       1 Corinthians 15:58

I believe I mentioned yesterday that thunderstorms were an absolute non-starter.  Which is entirely true, and I’m sticking to it.

…but we had already started.
In fact, we were about 85 miles into our ride today when the skies opened up.  It rained hard for about 30 minutes. When the worst had past, we decided to jump back on our bikes and finish (yes, the lightening was gone!). Still raining, we rode on. 

In the second half of today’s route, there were a lot of climbs.  Difficult climbs end up causing the pack of riders to get blown apart as the strong riders power up the hills, while the less strong get left in the dust (it was too wet for dust today, but you get the point).  Further, not all our riders know the ride routes, so we ended up with several groups on various roads around Holmes County. The end result was a good thing, as we ended up racking up more miles finding our way back to the route (see Romans 8:28)!  That said, if you ask one of the riders how many miles they rode on day 3 the answers will be all over the map (pun intended).

While the raindrops were hammering my sunglasses today, I was reflecting on the verse that Tom Randall shared during last night’s devotional.  I believe it provides a marked difference between how our culture looks at individual achievement and what God encourages each of us to do.  The world values “epic” performances, where individuals who have accomplished monumental tasks are applauded and commended. In stark contrast, the Lord encourages each of us to do what we are able to do, knowing that whatever it is we do will not be in vain. We may never see the result of our labor, but the Lord promises that it will not be in vain.

As I think about this endeavor, in which we are all engaged, each of us is doing our share. If you’ve only been able to give, what you may consider to be a small amount, or if you don’t want to give because you think it is too insignificant, please be encouraged that the Lord will use it for His glory and to further His kingdom!

Thanks for your generosity, your notes of encouragement, and most of all for your prayers!

In Christ’s love,