Update Newsletter


January 2020 Volume 43 Number 2

Young Adult Conference
The College-Age Sunday School class invited friends to ride along on the church bus to a conference designed just for them: The Passion Conference. A total of 26 young adults and leaders made the trip to the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, on Tuesday, December 31st to participate in the first session at 7:00 featuring The Passion Band and pastor Levi Lusko. During the session, they experienced the power of worshipping in song with 65,000 young adults from every state and multiple countries. Lusko used the historic Dust Bowl to demonstrate how our choices will affect our future. The session was quickly followed by a worship time led by Hillsong United and all young adults in attendance sang in the New Year and the new decade, worshipping with exuberance as the clock ticked midnight.
The next morning, students sat under the teaching of John Piper, who taught about the benefits of desire when its focus is desiring God. He taught the importance of self-denial in order for the desire to love God to be manifested in loving others through the endurance sprung from the joy of knowing our eternal destination. On the heels of John Piper was the young Sadie Robertson-Rush, who also dug into Scripture while delivering a relevant message about finding the Savior and Messiah in His Word and not in the approval of others. She challenged the young people in attendance to stop looking at their phone and social media for acceptance and begin seeking the God who loves deeply, saves completely, and accepts eternally.
Christine Caine, leader of an anti-human trafficking organization, spoke about digging like the kind Isaac did when he cleaned out the wells his father had dug in Genesis 26. She challenged students to revisit religion of generations past, digging out the man-made traditions and allowing the life-giving elements like evangelism, prayer, and church attendance to stand and encourage them in their faith. Ravi Zacharias took the platform next, asking a question of existence and fully and brilliantly answering it with the story of the cross. He asked, “What does it mean to be human?” and answered with a series of statements describing the life of a believer through creation, incarnation, transformation, and consummation.
The day’s teachings finished with a session by Louie Giglio. He is the driving force behind the Passion Conferences, responsible for organizing them for morethan 20 years. He spoke about turning the page on a new decade and what changes might mean for the young people listening. He challenged them to turn the page of defeat to a page of victory, turn the page so that they saw less of themselves and more of Jesus, and turning the page of timidity to a chapter of boldness in their faith.
After a long day of sessions, the students from Berne were able to share together in a group what they gained. The answers were widespread, each gaining new insight where they needed to be personally challenged.
The next morning, Shellie Giglio spoke about faith and obedience. She asked all 65,000 in attendance to get on their knees in a moment of humility before God. She was also the one who announced the offering total from the previous day. The young people in the stadium, and other generous donors, raised over one million dollars to be dispersed to organizations translating the gospel for languages that do not yet have God’s Word written for them.
The final session, taught by Tim Tebow, challenged the students to consider God’s goodness and rejoice in every day- not just the good ones. The students enjoyed each speaker and each time of worship. When thinking about the trip, Jenna Smith said, “Passion allows me to refocus my new year back to the Lord! This year it helped me to see that I need to get back to the foundations of my relationship with Jesus, such as prayer. I am digging deeper into making decisions based on significance and relevance in my relationship with Christ, having a sense of urgency for the Great Commission, and living out a life of faith with deeds. It all comes back to less of me, and more of Him! My choices today will impact my future and I want them to reflect a life lived out for Christ!”
Tim Shoaf, who leads the trip from our church each year, said, “Our hope for attending the Passion Conference is always that it can be used as a springboard for greater spiritual growth for all the young adults attending with us.” This year, the leaders added an element of community by sitting through each session with another group from Adams County, organized by The Bridge Church. After the trip was over, the two groups met at Fellowship Point to discuss how to create a stronger Christian community among them. They prayed together and encouraged one another to continue on through 2020 just like they started, worshipping God and pressing into His word. †

Notes of Appreciation
We appreciate and thank each member of the fall meal team who so willingly helped with cooking, serving, and clean up. A total of approximately 1,722 meals were served! Wednesday night meal times create an opportunity for members and non-members alike to sit down in a casual setting and get to know each other better. We pray that this important ministry of the First Mennonite Church can continue far into the future.
-Nancy Sprunger
-Vickie Beaman

Thank you, church family, for your prayers, cards, and words of support to me and my family following the death of my son, Matthew Sprunger, on Thanksgiving Day. Only God can give peace and comfort after a tragedy. Thank you to Pastor Jim and Mary Carol for their help and support also.

-Sharon and Van Wulliman

Thank you, First Mennonite family, for your hearts to see God's Kingdom expand in many places. Your generosity to support us, along with the other missionaries, is deeply appreciated. Thank you once again for praying and giving sacrificially, so God's love is expressed and His redeeming ways are made known among all people, including refugees and immigrants in Fort Wayne, whom God has brought to us.

- Eldon & Jan

Thank you for including Berne Preschool in the Mission Festival budget. The money we received will be used to fund scholarships for families who are unable to pay the full tuition. Without this assistance, these children would not be able to attend. We also thank you for all the prayers and encouragement you have given to this ministry through the years.

-Berne Preschool

The Medical Ambassadors Int’l end-of-year giving report (for our ministry account) shows us that you, the members of Berne church, have again played a huge role in helping Yarna & me continue to be involved with the Community Health Evangelism ministry, focusing on South Asia. Not only the ‘giving,’ but, of course, also your prayers. The Mission Festival gift was a big boost as the year wound down, & for that, we thank you so much. It’s obvious, & very thrilling, that worldwide outreach continues to play a huge part in your congregational life.
From us, with hearts full of appreciation, THANK YOU!! May God bless you in 2020 as you worship, learn & pray together, & serve locally, as well as contribute globally. We are honored, encouraged & blessed in partnering with you.
-Gordon and Yarna

Dear First Mennonite,
A deep heartfelt thanks for your generous donation to the Lord's work with us here in this nation. We've been traveling and on the go since Dec. 12th, so we are just getting up to breathing level to be able to send out emails. This year, I'm leading a School of Ministry here in this nation. We have 13 staff and 12 students. I led two weeks of staff training and I just finished teaching the first week of a 12-week 12 hour a day school, which is quite intense. The students this year have powerful leadership gifts. One of the students from last year who grew up in a leper colony endured 12 years of a very abusive marriage, who was quiet last year has brought her 2nd husband (who is amazing) and her two children (who are grown up and key leaders themselves) and is an amazing, powerful leader this year. A number of the students need inner healing in their lives, and I took time in the first week for them to receive healing from the Holy Spirit. It looks to be a very exciting school.
Pat leaves tomorrow for the northern part of the nation where she'll be a speaker in a youth mobilization conference. Thanks for your ongoing prayers.

-Loren and Patricia

"Papua New Guinea, the land of the unexpected." Working in PNG has made us more flexible and taught us to go-with-the-flow. Knowing that God is guiding that flow and the things that come up, gives us a greater sense of positive expectancy each day. We thank you all for tempering the "unexpected" by providing for another year of service through the generous giving at Mission Festival. Inviting Jamie Farr to speak gave you a deeper and broader feel for what we are involved in with Bible translation and the many facets of that work. Every year we are amazed at all that gets accomplished when we hear reports of others doing Bible translation. We support their effort by providing audio recordings of scripture and songs in these translated languages. Another thank you is for funds towards replacing Dan's synthesizer, which failed after about 25 years of making beautiful music. Once the new synthesizer gets here, Dan can continue producing background music for recorded scripture.
Through it all, may God receive the glory and praise for what He has done and will do in Papua New Guinea.
-Dan & Arlene Bauman

I want to thank the many who went Christmas Caroling at Swiss Village. What a blessing you are!
With thanks,
-Julia Liechty

Dear First Mennonite Church Family,

We are very grateful for your congregation’s continued support of Agape’s mission. Your prayers and funds from the Mission Festival will go towards helping Agape fulfill its mission to serve families with special needs. Blessings to you all!
-Sherrie Kizer †

DORIS ELEANOR (WULLIMAN) LIECHTY, age 93, of Berne, passed away peacefully on January 15, 2020, and was ushered into the everlasting life of the Spirit. Born on Dec. 20, 1926, at her home in Fort Wayne, Indiana, daughter of the late Arly and Ruth (Clauser) Wulliman, Doris was a 1944 graduate of Fort Wayne Central High School. She married Lynn O. Liechty of Berne on May 31, 1947, in Fort Wayne; they celebrated 62 years together.
She worked at Lincoln Life as a stenographer for several years after high school, and in the Yager Furniture office in downtown Berne. Later, Doris enjoyed working and interacting with customers at Sprunger Shoes in Berne for many years.
Doris was a member of the First Mennonite Church in Berne and was actively involved in many roles over the years. She led small group Bible studies and was a youth leader, assisted local migrants with childcare, and hosted several children in her home through the Fresh Air summer program. She also traveled and served on the Lay Witness Mission, General Conference Mennonite Church Women in Mission, Women’s Council at Bluffton University and volunteered at Camp Friedenswald. In later years, she served on the Gift Discernment Committee.
Doris is survived by her children; daughter, Karen (Rick) Dubach of Berne, son, John (Joy) Liechty of Goshen; daughters Jennifer (Jon) Zickafoose of Lima, Ohio, and Lisa (Todd) Liechty-Steele of Fort Wayne as well as 12 grandchildren; Cami Dubach, Erin (Eric) Schoch, Stefanie (Nate) Dubach-Boyd, Jenna (Peter) Liechty Martin, Jason (Jacey) Liechty, Jordan Zickafoose, Blake Zickafoose, Rileigh (Seth) Zickafoose Krabill, Grace Zickafoose, Ian (Tracy) Steele, Grant (Beth) Steele, and Hope Steele; and 8 great-grandchildren, Jadyn Dubach, Lilly Schoch, Jackson Schoch, Camden Boyd, Avery Boyd, Henry Martin, Mae Martin, and James Steele

Conrad “Connie” A. Nagel, 89, of Berne, Indiana passed away on Friday, January 17, 2020, at Swiss Village in Berne. He was born on December 2, 1930, in Fortuna, Missouri to the late C. August Nagel and the late Anna “Ruth” (Hofstetter) Nagel. He was united in marriage to Lena Eicher on August 5, 1950, at First Mennonite Church in Berne.
Connie was a faithful member of First Mennonite Church in Berne. He started singing in the church choir since he was 17 years old and “retired” last year. Connie sang in the Messiah for 68 years. He worked at Berne Furniture as a upholster and was a lifelong farmer in Adams County.
He survived by his wife of 69 years, Lena Nagel of Berne, Indiana; daughter, Becky Jackson of Berne, Indiana; daughter, Julie (Joe) Adams of Berne, Indiana; sister, Claudette (Fred) Stauffer of Berne, Indiana; three grandchildren, Elizabeth (Brandon) Fruechte, Matthew (Jesica) Adams, and Christopher (Alyssa) Adams; and eight great-grandchildren. †

Among Our People
Verna Sprunger fell and broke her left wrist and shoulder and spent several days at Adams Memorial Hospital (AMH).
Corbin Hirschy had double knee surgery in Indianapolis on Dec 18th.
Melinda Taing spent several days at AMH with pneumonia.
Barbara J. Sprunger spent several days at AMH with pneumonia.
Floyd Liechty had out-patient surgery on his shoulder Dec. 23rd at Parkview.
Kent Christy spent a week at Bluffton Regional and has been transferred to Chalet Village for continuing care. †
Church-Wide Baby Shower
First Mennonite Church is hosting a church-wide baby shower during January to bless clients of the Hope Clinic who choose life for their baby! The baby shower is an opportunity to purchase new baby items such as: diapers (especially size 4,5, or 6), wipes, baby cribs, mattresses, high chairs, baby gates, strollers, carrier infant car seats, car seats for up to 40 pounds and toddler seats/booster seats. Also needed are new crib sheets, laundry soap, potty chair or ring, pacifiers, teething toys, bottles, sippy cups, baby tableware, baby toys, baby clothes (newborn-2T), receiving blankets, and formula. The Hope Clinic could also use children’s books for infants through at least 3 years of age. Gently used maternity clothing suitable for work is also a need at this time. Items not currently needed at the Hope Clinic are baby powder and baby oil. †
Upcoming Women’s Retreat
The women of First Mennonite Church are invited to attend a women’s retreat on January 31- February 1 at Lake Placid Retreat Center. The retreat will offer shopping and yummy food, as well as spiritual nourishment. The cost is $75 and registration will close soon, so if you haven’t signed up, please do so as soon as possible! Contact Becca Amstutz with any questions: (260) 525-4002. †

Meat Canner Details
On January 24th and 25th, the MCC Meat Canner will be arriving in Berne to turn 13,000 pounds of turkey into over 7,000 cans of meat ready to ship all over the world. We can use everyone, regardless of age. We are starting each day at 5:00 am, and we can use meat cutters; by 6:00 am, we will need people ready to staff the actual canner unit, by 9:00 am the first cans will be ready to be wiped and labeled. We will work until 9:00 pm the first day and hopefully, if all goes well, to 3:00 pm on Saturday. We hope to see you there! †