During my many years of life, I’ve visited in a lot of churches around the US and have preached in churches in at least a dozen different states. But while too many “churchgoers” hop from church to church, I’ve only been a part of two churches in 67 years.

I grew up and spent my first 44 years in Riverview Chapel in the Mountain State. It was there I was saved, nurtured and taught; I preached my first sermon there at age 18 and began to serve as elder and pastor a few years later.

Then 23 years ago the Lord called my wife and me to Conway to serve at Bethany Bible Chapel, and we’ve been here ever since! Both of these churches have similarities: both are strong in basic Bible teaching; both are loving and both are mission’s minded.

I can remember hearing missionaries from across the world and reading letters they wrote (before e-mail and Skype). I remember special offerings for special mission’s needs and the emphasis on praying for and supporting those the Lord calls to foreign lands.

Many of those missionaries have been called home to “Glory” and others have taken their place. Many young people and families are still being called on to accept the “Great Commission” away from home, as we who live here in America share the gospel where we live and work. Many mission organizations I remember from years ago have changed names or are no longer functioning. But one important mission organization I remember is very much still working today.

The work of these men and women is vital to the Great Commission and that work is Scripture translation. The organization I remember and one our church still supports is Wycliffe Bible Translators.

In the early 1900s, William Cameron Townsend was sharing God’s Word in Spanish and discovered many areas where there were languages and dialects without a shred of the Bible. He began to work and in 1942 Wycliffe Bible Translators was born.

Wycliffe completed its first translation in 1951 and its 500th in 2000. But there is still much work to do. While 1,500 languages now have a complete New Testament and 650 have the full Word of God, there are still 2,000 known languages that do not. Over 1.5 billion people in our world, our highly technical world, still don’t have the Bible they can read.

But God’s work in translating His Word is going strong. Currently there are translation works on 2,500 languages in 170 countries. And some friends of ours, Jerry and Sue Pfaff who do translation work in Papua, New Guinea are rejoicing at the recent completion of the New Testament in the Nali language.

Even with today’s technology, it is difficult and lengthy work, especially in areas where the local language is only oral – there is no written language. In cases like that, the missionaries must first learn the language. Then they must put the language into written form. And then they must teach the people how to read their own, newly-written language, and finally they translate the Bible into that new language! Whew!

As Americans, we are greatly spoiled. The average American home has multiple copies of the Bible. We also have access on computer, phone and tablet. And sadly, all too often we take this for granted and the Bible simply collects dust on the shelf or takes up space on the device.

What can we do? First, let us, as God’s people, saved by His grace, rededicate ourselves to studying, memorizing, applying and obeying the Bible. Then let us support those organizations like Wycliffe (and there are others) who are diligently working to provide the Bible in languages so that the whole world might hear!

We can do so financially; we can do so in mission’s trips; we can invite missionary translators to come to our church to share the ministry and needs; and we can all pray!

So today when you look at your Bible, remember the millions of people in the world, who can’t do so and pray and act to help share the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ worldwide, until all can read, until all hear!

A Night to Shine

The third annual Night to Shine, a prom for people 14-years-old and up with special needs or disabilities, will be held Feb. 7 from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. at the Rock Church, 1701 Church St. in Conway. This is an unforgettable experience, centered on the love of God. And there are ways you can help!

Night to Shine was started by the Tim Tebow Foundation that helps local churches and others provide this wonderful evening. It is a global event held in more than 650 locations. Local organizer Adrian Robertson says they are expecting about 250 participants for the event that uses many area volunteers, discounts and “gifts” from local businesses, and the prayers of local houses of worship.

To learn more about the event, to register as a guest or to volunteer, visit www.rockc3.com/shine/#nts-learn-more. You may also contact Adrian at The Horry Independent.

Teaching Children Effectively

Child Evangelism Fellowship is offering two sessions of Teaching Children Effectively Level 1. “Are you serious about reaching children? Then you need serious training”. TCE1 is designed to offer a fresh approach to evangelizing and teaching children in your community. The class is excellent for anyone who works with children: Sunday school, Children’s Church, AWANA, Good News Club, RA/GA, or other children’s/youth ministries.

The course includes: how to lead a child to Christ; encouraging the newly-converted child; Bible lesson prep and presentation; teaching children to pray; Scripture memorization; teaching with music and more!

To enroll in TCE1 you must be a born-again Christian, at least 15-years-old, willing to participate in all class activities and practicum sessions. And the cost is $150.

TCE1 will be taught on Fridays from Jan. 24-March 20 at two area locations: from 8 a.m.-noon at 1184 Pettigru Drive in Pawleys Island; and from 1:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. at 1629 US 17, Little River.

Contact the local CEF office at (843) 365-4233 or e-mail cefoffice@cefgpd.org. See a full course description at www.cefonline.com/about/ourtraining/tce.

Mark the Date: Spring to Life Gala

Coastline Women’s Center’s Annual Spring to Life Gala will be held March 19 at the Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort beginning at 7 p.m.

This year’s special guest speaker will be Rebekah Hagan, who will share the remarkable story of how her son was saved by an abortion reversal procedure. You won’t want to miss this!

Phone (843) 488-9971 or go online to https://coastlinewomenscenter.org.

Conway, Loris, Aynor and Western Horry

■ Cherry Hill Missionary Baptist Church, 504 Church St., and Stepnfaith Ministries will present Music Extravaganza 2020 in May and also the Battle of the Voices, a competition for soloists and choirs. Auditions and rehearsals are going on now.

These will be led by Minister of Music Kenzie Carey and you will want to participate. Winners will receive monetary prizes. Phone (843) 248-4900.

■ Mt. Leon Baptist Church, 9801 S.C. 905 in the Longs Community, will have a Valentine’s Banquet Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15. Phone (843) 399-3793.

■ First United Methodist Church, 1001 Fifth Ave., will host a Festival of Hymns Feb. 9 at 10:30 a.m. with Chancel Choir, Organ, Carillon Choir, FUMC Chamber Orchestra and Highland Bagpipes. All are invited to come and join in the singing of great hymns of the faith!

■ St. Elizabeth Missionary Baptist Church, 57 Church St. in Aynor, will have a Deacon Ordination Feb. 9 at 3 p.m. Phone (843) 826-5003.

■ Greenwood Baptist Church, 5560 Pauley Swamp Road, will host Children’s Missions Day 2020 “Reach Out!” on Feb. 15 from 9:30 a.m.-noon. This event is for children in grades 1-6 and their leaders. Participating will give children an opportunity to give everything to God as they reach out to people in their neighborhood and community.

No registration fee is charged for the event, but children are encouraged to bring items (lotion, body wash, shampoo) for the mission’s project to benefit nursing home residents, and the participants will get to visit a nursing home, deliver the packages to residents and pray. A headcount is requested by Feb. 6. Call Diane at (843) 248-9358.

■ Maple Baptist Church, 4500 Highway 65 in Conway, will host Tea for Two: Mothers-Daughters, Focus on WMU 2020-Missions Education. This event is for multi-generations: mothers, daughters, granddaughters and will be held Feb. 16 from 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

Focus on WMU is not about WMU; it’s about missions; it’s about the work of God through the church by which the gospel of Jesus Christ is extended in word and deed to all the people in the world.

Special guests for this event are Dr. and Mrs. Wayne Brown and Mickey Hyman. No registration fee is charged, but a love offering will be taken. A headcount is requested by Feb. 6. Call Diane at (843) 248-9358 or Jessica at (843) 365-2526.

■ The Catholic Church of St. James, 1071 Academy Drive, invites you to the Fourth Annual Hymnfest 2020, a program of hymns and stories presented by the choirs of St. James Catholic Church and Kingston Presbyterian Church. This will be held Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. Phone (843) 347-5168.

■ St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, 3449 S.C. 65, will be distributing food on the second and fourth Fridays of each month from 11 a.m. until all food has been distributed.

■ Loris First United Methodist Church, 3507 Broad St., has a Blessing Box in the church and it is available each Friday from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. This box contains nonperishable food items and individuals in need are encouraged to come to the church at those times. Also, if you would like to donate items, please place them in the box.

■ Dogwood Hill Baptist Church, 1040 Mt. Zion Road in Loris, has a food pantry on the third Saturday of each month from 8 a.m.-10 a.m.

■ Salem Baptist Church, 4008 Salem Road in Aynor, opens its Food Bank on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 9 a.m.-noon. The mission: “We serve Christ when we serve people.”

Myrtle Beach/The Coast

■ Murrells Inlet Presbyterian Church, 4499 U.S. 17 Bypass, invites you to a Jazz Concert by the Pawleys Island Concert Band Jazz Ensemble Friday at 7 p.m. Enjoy “hot java and sweet treats” after the concert. Phone (843) 651-3751.

■ Holy Lamb Lutheran Church, 2541 Forestbrook Road, is having a spaghetti dinner fundraiser to help rebuild roofs on 20 homes in Puerto Rico damaged in Hurricane Maria in 2017.

The dinner will be held Feb. 7 from 5 p.m.- 7 p.m. and cost is $10 for adults, $6 for children.

You’ll get spaghetti and meatballs, salad, bread, dessert and coffee or soft drink. And you may eat in or take out. Phone Caroline Twentier at (843) 780-0775.

■ Ground Zero will host Pam Stenzel in its iWorship Feb. 9 from 6:15 p.m.-8 p.m. Her topic is The High Cost of Free Love.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for your group to eat together at Top Nosh, enjoy coffee at the GZ Coffee Shop, play video games or just hang out and fellowship with each other.

The event is free to attend (an offering will be taken) and seating is limited. Reserve your seats today at www.mygroundzero.com.

■ Temple Emanu-EL by the Sea, 65th Ave. North and N. Kings Highway, invites you to Friday night service at 7:30 p.m. (Kosher Oneg), Shabbat Service at 10 a.m. (Kosher Kiddush).

Sunday and Hebrew School, 9:30 a.m.-noon,

On Wednesdays: Advanced Hebrew 12:45 p.m.-1:45 p.m., Adult Education, 2 p.m.-3 p.m.; Conversion, 3 p.m.-4 p.m.

Current Second Nature Project: we are collecting items for New Directions of Horry County, which provides shelter and meals for those in need. Please bring paper products (toilet paper, paper towels, diapers), bath towels, laundry soap, toothpaste and brushes and cleaning supplies. We are continuing to collect new packages of children’s underwear and socks. Bring your donations to the Rosen Center and place in the basket provided by the front door. All Mitzvoth greatly appreciated! Questions? Contact Karen Osborne at (843) 446-1060.

Save the date! Mystery Gift/Silent Auction – Feb. 16, 4:30 p.m. $5 plus $20 wrapped gift for auction. RSVP by Feb. 5.

Interfaith Memorial Service of Remembrance for The Four Chaplains, Feb. 3 at 6:30 p.m. in Goldfinch Beach Chapel, 11528 U.S. 17 Bypass in Murrells Inlet.

Participants will be Rabbi Avi Perets (Temple Emanu-EL); the Rev. Will Malambri (Belin Memorial United Methodist Church); Father Ed Fitzgerald (St. Michael Catholic Church); and the Rev. Julian Riddle (Surfside Presbyterian Church).

■ The Columbiettes at St. Andrews Church, 507 37th Ave. North is hosting a dance that will include music from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. This will be held on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14 from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. in the church Community Life Center. Light refreshments will be served. Tickets can be obtained at the door or by calling Laura at (914) 536-1012. Proceeds go to support local charities.

■ The Carolina Master Chorale announces three upcoming events: Music is the Food of Love. They will be held as follows: Feb. 14, 7:30 p.m. in Trinity Presbyterian Church, 2061 Glenns Bay Road in Surfside Beach; Feb. 15 at 4 p.m. in Trinity United Methodist Church, 706 14th Ave. South in North Myrtle Beach; Feb. 16 at 4 p.m. in Trinity Church, 3000 North Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach. Go online to carolinamasterchorale.com or phone (843) 444-5774.

■ The New Beginnings food distribution, which includes free groceries, lunch social services information and a children’s craft table, will be held Feb. 15, March 21 and April 18 from 10 a.m.-noon at the Church of the Resurrection, 8901 U.S. 16 Bypass in Surfside Beach. Phone (843) 25-4500.

■ Trinity Church, 3000 North Kings Highway, invites you to a special event! The church’s Music Program, in cooperation with the Grand Strand Chapter of the American Guild of Organists will present 24 Hours of Bach. That’s right, 24 hours of continuous all-Bach concerts, beginning the evening of March 27, continuing through the night and into the morning of March 28, concluding with a 3 p.m. choral concert featuring selections from Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.

The concert schedule includes a 6 p.m. children’s concert followed by cake and ice cream, four half-hour lectures on Bach’s life and music and two special guest organists, as well as solo and studio recitals by local musicians.

The Royal School of Church Music Treble Festival has chosen Trinity Church as its location for 2020! April 26 will feature two services sung by 50 young choristers from throughout the Carolinas, directed by Dr. Charles Hogan; this will be a 10:30 a.m. service and a 4:30 p.m. evensong, preceded by a 4 p.m. student organ recital.

Concerts and services are free and all are welcome. Phone (843) 448-8426.

■ Myrtle Beach Christian Church, 1226 Burcale Road, opens its Thrift Store each week, Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. You are encouraged to come out and browse and buy and, in so doing, you’ll be supporting this community outreach. Phone (843) 236-1121.

■ Temple Shalom, 4023 Belle Terre Blvd., invites you to Shabbat services each Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Phone (843) 903-6634 or go online to templeshalommyrtlebeach.net.

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