‘Little Miracles’ Exemplify Rademakers’ Malawi Connection

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Malawi Connection No. 1Serving people in need are a characteristic quality of Jim and Sandy Rademaker’s faith. Guess who's coming to stay with us for a while?

It's a question Jim Rademaker would explain to his wife of 51 years, Sandy, when he called their home 20 years ago to let her know a man from a southeast African country would end up on their doorsteps.

What neither of them knew then is the man from Malawi would eventually become the conduit for broadening God's love in some very tangible ways.

Starting in 1998, the Grand Rapids couple launched a nonprofit they initially dubbed the Malawi Project — later renamed in 2006 the Malawi Connection — that made is possible to build water wells, plant trees that's later made into charcoal, provided AIDS and agricultural ecosystems training, launched the beginning stages of solar power, built medical clinics, helped stem a food shortage, established micro loans for businesses and scholarships for girls' education.

Portrayal Captures the “Larger Than Life” C.S. Lewis

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

McLean Max as CS LewisMax McLean as CS LewisHis conversion did not come with a flash of light or a singular brilliant insight.

Rather, the journey of professor/author C.S. Lewis from atheism to the Christian faith was a 23 year process. It eventually led to his standing as one of the chief Christian apologists of the 20th Century.

The transformation is carefully and wonderfully portrayed in the one-man play "C.S. Lewis On Stage: The Most Reluctant Convert" by actor-playwright Max McLean, coming to Grand Rapids' DeVos Performance Hall on June 16.

I Don’t Know What To Do

Written by Editor in Chief on . Posted in Local

dan seabornDan SeabornI continue to meet many people who say to me, "My situation or circumstances seem hopeless and I don't know what to do." I want to dedicate this article to those of you who continue to seek to grow as a person and in relationships with your family, even in what appears to be a dire or hopeless situation.

First, let me applaud you for your commitment to making your family healthier. There are many people who wouldn't even try to change and would simply give up. By taking time to read this article, I know that you're committed to wanting to grow in your relationships at home.

Music/Festival Event Has Something For All Ages

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Our Rock   band photoLowell Webster (l.) and his band Our Rock are part of a band festival June 9It can't quite be called a "traveling festival package," but Lowell Webster has helped assemble the ingredients for numerous music-based festivals over the last several years.

"For us it's a ministry opportunity, and it's for everybody," said Webster, whose classic rock/Christian band Our Rock is headlining the event. "It's a chance for the bands to play, but both before and afterwards to meet and talk to people. Really, it's an outreach for spreading the gospel."

The Band Festival 2018 is set for Sat. June 9 at South United Methodist Church on S. Division just south of 44th St. It features a number of bands, solo artists and family entertainers as well as activities.

Churches, Christian Artists, Get In on Festival Fun

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

pavlovasPavlova – A tasty dessert available at Festival of the Arts Coleen Young was busy last week doing some final preparations. Her church – United Church of Wayland – was getting ready to host a food booth at Festival of the Arts, June 1-3 in downtown Grand Rapids.

"Today I was checking on things like getting propane for the grills and making those other last minute purchases," said Young of readying the booth which is selling Australian cuisine. Most notably, povlovas. "Those are baked meringue shells filled with non-dairy whipped cream, blueberries, strawberries and kiwi fruit," she explained of their mainstay menu item.

United Church is just one of 10 churches (among other non-profits) that are staffing food booths during the weekend, raising funds for their various ministry efforts.

Is Your Stock Rising?

Written by Dan Seaborn on . Posted in Local

dan seabornDan Seaborn My stock fell hard the other day. I watched it happen. I thought that I had made some good choices in regard to my investments. But my stock fell and it fell hard.

Oh, I'm not talking about money. Did you think I meant the Dow Jones? No way! I'm talking about me. I made a decision with my family and I thought I made the right choice. I was pretty sure, in fact, that the case I was making that was proving my point was really going to make my stock rise. In other words, make them really believe in me. But instead, I shot myself in the foot and my stock plummeted. I made the wrong call, the wrong decision and it was a disappointment to my family.

Gospel Quartet Singer Going Solo

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Visser Jim 2018-1 Gospel singer Jim Visser Jim Visser is in a transition time.

The founder-singer of the West Michigan-based Faithful Journey Quartet is branching out into a solo music ministry and will leave the quartet at the end of the year.

"I had thought about doing solo music... but figured it would never happen. I'm a quartet guy," said Visser, 53, from his Lowell area home.

"But it was a process – including struggling with God – and it was laid on my heart and God gave me some good music," he added.

Now the suburban Wyoming native, who runs a construction business, has a solo CD and dozens of concerts under his belt. But he continues to sing in Faithful Journey with Scott Roon, Dennis Deters and new tenor Tom Corkins.

"Scott, Dennis and I have been together the whole seven years in the quartet," reflected Visser. "This is not an easy decision (to leave) and I did not take it lightly."

Marvin Sapp Receives Ministry Honor

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Sapp. Marvin GMA Honor 2018Marvin Sapp accepts his award from the Gospel Music Association West Michigan pastor and national gospel music artist Marvin Sapp has received national honors for his Christian ministry impact.

At a May 8 banquet event in Nashville, the Gospel Music Association (GMA) recognized Sapp and several others for "significant contributions to the world through their humanitarian efforts as well as their talents."

Sapp, who has received several awards and honors over the last year, said his motivation has remained the same throughout his career. "The goal was never to receive awards," he said in his acceptance speech. "I just wanted to give God the glory. That was my goal then, and is still my goal now."

Legacy Christian Students Share Hand-written Memoirs with Holland Home Residents

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Legacy Christian Schools Holland Home Cutline No. 1From left: Amelia McCann had the pleasure of interviewing LouAnn Myers. Amelia McCann went exploring earlier this year and found inspiration.

Her and 19 other second graders from Kentwood-based Legacy Christian School traveled in January to Holland Home's Breton Woods campus to interview senior residents about their achievements and what the Lord has done for them through the years.

Then on May 11, the students returned to Breton Woods and were matched again with the same residents they interviewed in January to read to them the handwritten memoirs they composed. Their stories were bound into a book.

The students also sang as group to the residents and enjoyed an ice cream social with one another afterward.

Corinth Quilters Sew, Donate Beauty and Warmth to Those in Need

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Corinth Reformed Church Quilters Cutline No. 1From left: Ruth Biesberock, Debi Rose, Viola “Vi” Eaton, Dorothea “Dort” Koopman and Roxanne Edema display some of the Corinth Quilter’s handiwork. Every second and fourth Tuesday starting in the fall and continuing through spring, about 30 women gather at a building called the Summit located behind Corinth Reformed Church in Byron Center to create beauty and warmth for a host of people they will never meet.

They accomplish this important undertaking by making quilts of various sizes: baby quilts, twin size and double bed size and lap quilts from bolts of fabric that are donated toward their ministry known as the Corinth Quilters.

CD Review Beacon Light

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Beacon Light CD cover - Loud Drive HomeArea faith-based rap/hip-hop artist Beacon Light has a new album filled with musical and spoken word riffs and raps with numerous contributing guests. With this effort the artist adds to his arsenal as an accomplished writer/performer.

The theme of the album reflecting his renewed outlook is noted on the online video.

One highlight among the selections is "Sleeping On Me," with guest Spencer Kane. The song's video shows the care taken in conveying its message: don't go through life comatose.....wake up!

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