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MANA - Spiritual Life Center

Letter from Greg Helland

September 23rd, 2010

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This picture (taken during morning worship in July 2010) reminds me of the sweet fellowship that I experience every time I am at City Church.  The power of the Holy Spirit is evident upon the people of City Church and their desire to deepen their walk with Jesus.  It is an encouragement to see the people of City Church preparing to “present themselves mature in Christ” to God and to the people of Klaipeda and Lithuania.  It is a difficult task that requires unyielding faith, and yet, they continue to strive to be Christ with flesh on to those around them.

This was my fifth trip to Klaipeda since September 2008 and each time I come away blessed beyond understanding.  The community heart of servanthood is growing stronger each time I visit.  It also challenges me deeply to be more of a servant to Christ and those around me.  I cannot describe how encouraged I am amidst my brothers and sisters at City Church.  I go there to encourage and come away encouraged all the more.  The Holy Spirit has connected my heart to the people of Lithuania at City Church and I look forward to many more adventures in Klaipeda with my dear friends. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your lives.  You make the Holy Spirit burn brighter in my heart.

Blessings,
Greg Helland

Testimony of Doug Johnson

September 22nd, 2010

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I could fill a book with the things that I learned about the people of Lithuania during our mission trip this summer.  It was so hard for me at first to understand what it would be like to have another country (x3) take over your life.  It seemed at first that it was something that happened 100 years ago.  After visiting the hill of crosses it started to hit home with me  why things were the way they were in Lithuania.  Why jobs and opportunities were hard to find.  Why the older generations wouldn’t look you in the eye.  Why wouldn’t people try to improve their lives.  Why the suicide rate was the highest in the world.  Why alcohol was out of control.  Why the people are truly starving for the word of God.  Why one church could be the start of the changing of a nation.

I have been on mission trips before but never felt so much hunger for Christ.  After looking at the state of the country, the possibilities of City Church, I don’t think one church can support their efforts enough.  Whatever Quail Lakes is doing for them is not enough.  Whatever the other churches are doing is not enough.  We need to send more people, send more money, and most of all send our love and prayers to that country.  I believe in all my heart that City Church is that seed that has been planted to change a nation.  With a small attendance of 150+ it is one of the largest non-catholic churchs in Lithuania. The people have been taught the wrong message for so long according to what the Russians wanted them to hear.  Many of the non-churched people are watching and hoping that it grows and then they will join in.  Again you have to think like a country that has been repressed so much that you don’t jump out in front.  In the past that’s how you got killed.  The church has the potential to double each year, more if it could get the support.  Right now it’s growing within it’s means.  These people can stretch a penny like no others. I think the fire started in that church is totally a life changing experience.   All this and much more make them SO EASY TO LOVE!

I learned that if you don’t stand in your own way, God will bring some amazing people before you.  I learned what it feels like to be the body of Christ ; to be His hands and His feet. I’ve learned that if you calm yourself and listen, God will speak to you.  Not to ask why but how & when may I serve.  I’ve learned as an American we are spoiled and need to be better at using the gifts God has given us to serve others and to improve our stewardshi

When remembering City Church

September 22nd, 2010

I am just a couple of days away from my stay in Klaipėday coming to an end.  I arrived in Lithuania as a missionary intern through The Mission Society to work with Miesto Bažnyčia at the end of March.  After living and working at Mana for nearly six months, it is difficult for me to sum up my experience in just a couple of paragraphs.  I have had so many experiences and met so many wonderful people.

Some of my favorite memories have come from working with and helping to expand and develop the children‘s ministries at Miesto Bažnyčia.  I helped plan, organize, and lead the Kids‘ Camp from July 1 to July 6 this summer.  We had 25 kids who attended the camp almost everyday!  We played games, sang songs about God in Lithuanian, told Bible stories in Lithuanian, Russian and English, memorized Bible verses, and made crafts.  By the end of the week I was exhausted, but everyday was so much fun.  The best part of Kids‘ Camp was how excited the kids were!  Every morning they would run to the Kids‘ Camp Room (a.k.a. the café) asking how many more minutes it would be until we started!  I am looking forward to seeking how the children‘s ministries continue to grow and impact lives at Miesto Bažnyčia.

Testimony by Tim, Barbara, Sam, Yana and Yulia Wolter

September 22nd, 2010

Words cannot express how special our time in Lithuania was in our lives. In June 2005 we received a request to come to live and work at Lithuania Christian College in Klaipeda. Less than three months later we had sold our home, cars and everything that woudln’t fit in two suitcases each and arrived in Vilnius with three teens in tow.

It didn’t take long for us to fall in love with the beautiful country and our new friends at the college and at City Church. Some of our best memories were when we had groups of City Church leaders and servants crowded into our flat to eat, pray, sing and laugh. We always seemed to end up drinking tea or lattes in the kitchen with piles and piles of shoes and coats overflowing the front hallway. For me (Barbara) many of life’s sweetest moments were in my kitchen in Lithuania with my beautiful friends.

One of Tim’s favorite memories were his weekly walks around the city every Sunday. He would walk, pray, think and just experience Klaipeda. He had a vision for evangelism that remained unfulfilled until just recently (Sept. 1, 2010) when a contingent from City Church sang, preached and gave away Bibles by the Monument honoring Martynas Mazvydas, the great Lithuanian reformer. Seeing the pictures recently on Facebook made us feel so connected to our “brothers and sister” in Lithuania.

Another very fond memory is the annual Agape Feast. It really spoke to our hearts that we had a huge party, like a wedding reception, to celebrate Christ’s extravagant love for us and our love for one another.

There was always an abundance of work to be done but no matter where we joined in, whether in orphanges, children’s ministry, hospitality or teaching, what we remember are the people we met and the friendships we still cherish. Everywhere you turn in our home here, there are reminders of our freinds in Klaipeda. Thank goodness for Facebook and e-mail. We will never forget when we pulled out of the parking lot behind our house, the crowd of dear, sweet friends that came to see us off that cold December morning in 2007.

Tim was able to spend July 2009 and 2010 in Klaipeda teaching English and reconnecting with our City Church family. We think of you and pray for you often and dream of the day when we can return to Lithuania to live again.

Possibility for tax deductible donations in the United States

August 18th, 2010

We are thrilled to announce that Grace Community Church in Clarksville, TN has graciously accepted the call to receive your tax deductible donations in the United States for this project.

Financial donations for the Mana - Spiritual Life Center and City Church can be sent to:

Grace Community Church

PO Box 3980, Clarksville, TN 37043.

Checks should be made out to Grace Community Church with Lithuania Mission in the FOR blank of the check. (This is a special PO Box we will use just for this purpose.)