Church Camp 2013

We love church camp!  Granted, this is only our 2nd annual church camp, but we looked forward to it all year long!

Family Camp 2013 1

We love the way everyone pitches in and makes camp “home” for a few days.

Family Camp 2013 2

We had great times of worship and teaching in the Word brought to us by a team of 7 from Faith Bible Church in Ladera Ranch, CA – who also put on a kids’ program at the same time.

Family Camp 2013 3

We had hours of fellowship around food, around campfires, around campsites, and all around the game reserve.  It was so nice to just stop and spend the better part of 4 days together with these people we love and always want to see more of.  We can’t think of a better way to spend Easter weekend than with our church family!  (You can click on the group photo above to see a large version.)

Christmas Parties 2012

The Christmas parties were GREAT!  We had about 35 people the first night, and about 50 people the second night.

Christmas Party 2012

 

We had food, fellowship, a kids’ Christmas movie, Christmas pictionary, carols, and a devotional to go with the reading of Luke chapter two. We also had the photo booth again this year.  Here are a few of the great faces we captured there.

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We are so blessed to spend the Christmas season with these people, our friends and our family in Christ.  To all of you, friends and family, far and near, much love and a very Merry Christmas!

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Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas!

The Christmas Parties are coming!

PreChristmas Parties 1

This year we will be hosting the 4th annual International Bible Fellowship Church Christmas Parties at our home.  Over 2 nights, the 18th and the 20th, we will host everyone at our church who can make it to the parties.  Last year we had almost 60 people at each of the parties, for over 100 in our home over those 2 nights!

PreChristmas Parties 2

 

It makes for a busy week, but one that we love.  And it’s this week!

10 Years

It was 10 years ago, December 2002, that International Bible Fellowship Church had its first church service.  It was started by 4 families – 2 Baptists and 2 Presbyterians – and spent many years without a full-time pastor.  Then, finally, in 2007, Brian Biedebach took the position as pastor of IBF and moved to Malawi with his family.  In 2009, we joined the Biedebachs in ministry as Matt became the associate pastor.  Over the years, IBF has grown into a truly international fellowship of about 120 people who meet multiple times a week to study God’s Word and worship Him as a body of believers.

IBF elders 2012

AND… just over a week ago, we established a board of elders and deacons!  We are so blessed to be under the leadership of these men!  God has faithfully provided for His church.  Please pray for these men as they serve and lead the church.  Like the church body, they come from all over the world, so pray for unity for them as they discuss and teach God’s Word.  We know that the Word of God transcends culture, and we also know that it is only God’s Word and the work of His Spirit in our lives that can unite people from many different cultures so that we can be known as His body, His family.  Praise the Lord for His work at IBF!

Youth Camp 2012

The Floreen family got to participate in our 4th Youth Camp this month.  We love these camps!  We had 14 youth this time, and tackled a complicated and confusing subject for teens: dating.  The youth leadership had all been getting questions from different students about this topic, so we decided to give an overview of what the Bible says about relationships.

Kellen Teaching

For the first time, we were at camp and Matt wasn’t the main speaker.  We had the opportunity to hear our friend Kellen Hiroto teach, and we really enjoyed – not just the break from teaching – but an excellent time of seeing what God’s Word says about relationships.

Charlotte with guitar

We also enjoyed the times of music and worship, as well as games, bonfires, and swimming with the youth.  We didn’t know if we’d get to swim in the lake this camp, because this guy showed up on our beach:

Youth camp crocodile

Yep, that’s a crocodile.  About 3-4 years old, and about 4 feet long.  He’d been hanging around the Wheelhouse beach for a few days, so they had put out two large traps for him and hung dead chickens as bait.  The students arrived for camp Saturday afternoon, and the croc was caught Sunday morning – so we all got to go swimming!

Youth at table

It was a great camp.  We’re so thankful for these youth and for the desire of so many of them to follow the Lord in all ways.

Looking forward to the next youth camp!

Maula Prison

One of the weekly ministries of International Bible Fellowship Church is coordinating a church service at Maula Prison. Charles Msukwa, an IBF church member who was saved in prison years ago, heads up this ministry.  Charles knows first hand what these men need – they need Christ.  God has blessed Charles with a servant’s heart and the gift of evangelism and compassion.

Charles ands AletaCharles with his wife, Ellita, at the IBF Christmas Party

Preaching is central to this ministry, but there are also other ways IBF ministers to the men and women of Maula Prison.  We have collected school materials for them, have made sure they have clothes and transport money when they are released, and for those who have been regularly attending, we write a letter for the inmates to take as they make an effort to rejoin their home church.

Matt, Brian Biedebach, and many other men from our church have gone to the prison with Charles to preach.  It is such a great opportunity that we couldn’t let the FBC team go home without going to prison first!  So we sent them off to spend their last morning with Charles at Maula Prison.

Jon Buck had the opportunity to preach while Charles translated for him:

 

We’d appreciate your prayers for this ministry of the church – for Charles as he coordinates, for more men in the church to come alongside Charles in this ministry, and for the prisoners, that they would come to know Christ and to grow in their faith.

Church Camp 2012

The pre-Church Camp post may have sounded a little bit excited about Church Camp… but 4 days of fun, fellowship, and good Bible teaching did not disappoint!

Brodie, Jon, and Matt – the FBC team – with the help of 5 African Bible College students, ran a 3-ring circus for us: teaching for the adults, a kids’ program, and even a nursery.

The adults studied Romans chapters 4,5,6, & 8 over the 4 teaching sessions.  We looked at how we, as believers, are to live out the gospel in our every day lives, and how Christ’s resurrection confirms that gospel work in our lives.

The tie-in between the resurrection and our sanctification was fantastic, as our camp was over Easter weekend.  A few early risers gathered for a sunrise service and we enjoyed the chance to sing praises to our risen Savior!

The kids learned about Bibliology – all about the Bible.  They came back from their sessions quoting Bible verses, singing silly songs, showing everyone their crafts, and acting just like… well, just like they’d been to camp!  I’m pretty sure most of them would have voted to stay at camp for weeks!

The adults enjoyed a few games too.

Our location was great for walks and game drives, so groups would go out during free time to see sable, zebra, giraffe… some of which came to camp to visit us!  Other people would collect at one camp site or another for coffee, long chats, or a pick-up volleyball game.  It was a great time of getting to know one another better!

One of our great hopes for International Bible Fellowship Church is that we would become a church family, and that our fellowship would be genuine, Christ-centered, and welcoming to others.  This camp was one of those times, and we’re eagerly looking forward to next time!

Bright Vision Orphanage

This past December, our church collected a special Christmas offering to support the work of Bright Vision Orphanage.  There was a need for a water pump and a tank to bring water from the borehole to the new kitchen area, so as a church we decided to help with this project.

And with the FBC team visiting, we plugged them into this ministry opportunity.  They painted the door for the water tower, helped figure out logistics, and ran a one-day kids’ VBS program for the 250 kids who came to see what was going on!

Can you find Matt and Brodie?  =)

We’re excited about this ministry, and look forward to other opportunities for our church to partner with them in the years ahead!

We’re Going to Church Camp!

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We’re going to Church Camp!

We have about 70 people signed up for the first ever International Bible Fellowship Family Camp!  We’ll be camping out at Kuti Community Game Park for 3 nights over the long Easter weekend, getting a chance to sit and chat with those in our church, to share testimonies, to gather together a group of families who like to sing, to go for walking safaris together, and to be encouraged and taught in the Word.  Three men from Faith Bible Church in Ladera Ranch, CA, are coming to do the teaching for the adults and kids, so our pastors and regular teachers get a break.  We are so excited!

We’re going to Church Camp!

 

 

 

Study Through the Bible… in 3 Years

Both of us are teaching through the Bible right now – Matt in Youth Group, and Rachel in Ladies’ Bible Study.  Matt started 2 1/2 year ago, so will be covering the book of 1 Timothy this coming Tuesday night, and Rachel started only last month, so the Tuesday morning Ladies’ study is just at the book of Numbers!

Youth Group study

The Bible is such a great book!  There’s a time and a place for topical Bible studies using books that come alongside and help explain Scripture, but there’s nothing as rich and deep and true as Scripture itself.

Ladies bible study

We’re all loving this study, and more and more people are coming to hear the flow of redemptive history through the study of the Bible.  The youth group has grown from a group of 6 guys to a living room packed with 22 guys and girls!  The Ladies’ Bible study has grown too – if all the ladies come, we have 24!

Studying for Numbers

Please pray for these two groups, that God’s Word would be living and active in them as they read and study the Bible.  For many of them, this is the first time they’ve studied any part of the Bible, and for all of us, it’s a time to see God’s plans and His promises worked out over time and history.  Pray for us – Matt and Rachel – too as we spend a good part of every week preparing to teach a whole book of the Bible on Tuesdays.  And if you’re around, stop by for a visit!

Ladies’ Bible Study – at the Biedebach’s home, Tuesdays, 9am

Youth Group – at the Hiroto’s home, Tuesdays, 7pm