Category Archives: If We Build It They Will Come

Wordless Wednesday



Each cross on display in the Worship Center represents the number of churches that will be built in Ghana, Africa thanks to our 2014 Lenten Project, “If We Build It, They Will Come.” This past weekend it was announced that we have raised enough for 71 churches, with still two more weekends to go! Every $3,500 donated towards the campaign will provide a church structure, drums, seating, altar, gas lamp and five bibles… Praise God!

Pastor Mike’s Weekly E-news

Hi Hope Folks!

Signs of new life are starting to show outside. Soon, the snow will melt (I have faith!), grass will green, tree branches will come alive and flowers will bloom. Around Hope, it’s the same story … lots of new things to celebrate!

+ New Lenten Sermon Series – “Jesus Stories”

We started this year of “Roots & Renewal“ with a closer look at the Ten Commandments. Now, we’ll move from Old Testament law to New Testament parables, told by Jesus to help his followers wrap our brains around some key faith building concepts. Jesus, of course, was a masterful storyteller, and I can’t wait to get going on this new series … our sermons (from Pastor Jeremy and I) this weekend are based on the Parables of the Lost Sheep and Lost Coin in Luke 15. Make a commitment to worship weekly during Lent … it could be a life-changer for you!

+ New churches in Ghana – Lenten Outreach Project

Throughout the season of Lent  (40 days leading up to Easter), we have another amazing opportunity to help grow the Kingdom of God through offerings to construct new church buildings in Ghana. Two years ago, we raised enough money to build 116 village churches there, all of which are now up and running.  As a result, thousands of new believers have been introduced to Jesus Christ and baptized, and villages without a Christian church now have one. Each church costs $3,500 to build (yes, you read that correctly). Maybe God is calling you, or your small group, to build a church (or two or three or more) in Ghana. Pray about it. Follow God’s lead. 100% of your gift goes directly to the construction and furnishing of these new church buildings.

+ New Group Launch – Tuesdays at 6:30 pm

Hope is a big church, but like living in a large town, once you find your neighbors and family, it suddenly becomes a very friendly place (think Mayberry)! That’s why we offer “Group Launch” every few months – the perfect opportunity for you to find your place at Hope and connect to a new Life Group. All you have to do is show up at church this Tuesday, March 11 at 6:30 pm (you can register here). It’s easy. It’s safe. Childcare is provided. All are welcome. Discover the joy of experiencing church life together, in community with other Christians just like you!

Lots of other new things (and plenty of good old things, too) going on at Hope right now … but I’m out of space. Thanks for reading, and see you Sunday (or Saturday) at worship!


Mike Housholder

Pastor. Preacher. Thankful for all the new things that keep coming to Hope!

P.S.- Remember the time change — “Spring Forward” one hour — this Sunday.

A little history on “giving up” things for Lent

Giving up something for Lent has been taking place for almost as long as Christianity has been around.

Initially, it focused primarily on giving up something that one ate or drank, even fasting of one meal or more each day.

Soon, it evolved into giving up certain luxuries or types of food.

In more modern times, it has often meant giving up something which a person deems harmful in their lives – alcohol, salt, sugar, meat, candy, soda, etc.

Sometimes, any material gain that is realized by giving up something is given away to some charitable cause at the end…

Like most tenants of Christianity – think Christmas, Easter, All Saints Day (Hallowed Eve) –  this practice of giving up something for Lent has entered into culture. Thus, we begin to see things popup like lists of  “The Top Ten Things to Give Up.”

Many atheists claim this tradition of giving something up for Lent has no religious connotation. People give up chocolate or Facebook or pizza or popcorn or shopping, or whatever it is, and much of it has nothing, or very little, to do with the original meaning of sacrifice as a means of penitence (of joining Jesus in his ultimate sacrifice), but becomes just another momentary fad.

At Hope, we enter into the season of giving up something for Lent each year with something very specific –  namely our hard-earned money. Over the years during Lent, we have raised nearly half a million dollars for malaria nets in Africa, dug more than 140 wells for clean water in Ghana (at $8,000 per well), built 116 churches in Ghana, and provided more than 1.6 million meals for Haiti.

In 2014, through our “If We Build It, They Will Come” campaign, we are again encouraging people to “give up” so we can build scores of new churches in Ghana, and help introduce thousands of new people to Christ.

This year, with every $3,500 that’s donated, a church structure, drums, seating, altar, gas lamp and five Bibles will be provided to a village in need. Our mission partner, Globeserve, has been working hard to train leaders to lead these future churches – and now, all they need is a place to send them.

A pretty neat thing about these Lenten projects is that by giving to a specific need during Lent, it has far more resonance and lasting quality than giving up a particular food or drink, for example.

Long after Lent has passed, and people go back to doing whatever it was they gave up, the wells and the new churches will still be providing water, and living water, for thousands of people.

So, this Lent, consider being a part of “If We Build It, They Will Come” – a Lenten project that is transforming lives, villages, churches… and nations.

Pastor Merv


Learn more about Hope’s 2014 Lenten Project, “If We Build It, They Will Come” here.