Meet the Table Leader: Merlynn

We want you to get to know the awesome leadership we have at Desert Springs at our Tuesday Morning Bible Studies. Our Table Leaders study the Word, direct discussion at the tables, and pray fervently for you…EVERY WEEK!!!

MEET THE TABLE LEADER: Merlynn Bergen

blog2-17

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:

I am a nearly life-long believer, now retired.  Earlier I was a psychologist involved in research and teaching at Stanford University’s School of Medicine.  For many years, too, I was the training director, continuing education teacher and care giver for Stephen Ministry in my home church in Los Altos, CA.  I have two grown boys and four grandkids, spread out in middle and western USA.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AT DESERT SPRINGS & HOW DID IT BECOME HOME TO YOU?

I came to Surprise, AZ to be near my mother in 2004.  I joined DSCC in 2005 after a church-search of some months.  The preaching drew me, and the wonderful people have kept me here.  Recently, with my mother now in Glory, I moved to Litchfield Park to be closer to church and my friends here.

WHERE ARE YOU SERVING AT DSCC?

My biggest commitment is Tuesday morning Women’s Bible Study.  I am active in a Life Group, meeting in my home part of the year.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE VERSE & WHY?

Since high school, my favorite verses have been Philippians 4:6-7. “Be careful for nothing but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  Of course I learned the verses in my King James Bible.

If you see MERLYNN around, be sure to say “Hi!”

  

Advertisements

MEET THE TABLE LEADER: DEBBIE

We want you to get to know the awesome leadership we have at Desert Springs at our Tuesday Morning Bible Studies. Our Table Leaders study the Word, direct discussion at the tables, and pray fervently for you…EVERY WEEK!!!

MEET THE TABLE LEADER: DEBBIE EWALD

img_0830

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:

I am married to Dave; we have been married for 29 years. We lived in the Phoenix area the first time in the late 90’s (1994-1999) and just moved back here in May. We love living here and are thrilled to be back. We have 2 grown children: Josh & Jenna. Josh lives here in the Phoenix area and is married to his wife, Cassandra. They have one son, Whitman, & are expecting a second child. Our daughter Jenna lives in Arlington, VA and is single. She graduated from BIOLA University in 2014.

I am a stay at home wife. Dave works out of our home when he is not traveling. He has spent the last many years traveling with his job, so it is really great to get to be home when he is in town. We enjoy walking in the morning, going to movies, traveling, exploring new & different places, eating out, and spending time with family. I really enjoy being involved with women’s ministries & love being in Bible study.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AT DESERT SPRINGS & HOW DID IT BECOME HOME TO YOU?

Our son has been attending DSCC for several years, and we visited there when we were in town. When we moved back to AZ, we were thrilled to be able to start attending DSCC and call it our church home.

WHERE ARE YOU SERVING AT DSCC?

I am serving at DSCC as a table leader for women’s Bible study. Dave & I also attend an adult Bible study on Sunday mornings and are in a Lifegroup.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE VERSE & WHY?

There are SO many:

For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him – 2 Chronicles 16:9 NIV

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord Himself, is the Rock eternal – Isaiah 26:3-4 NIV

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. – Isaiah 40:31 NIV

But now, this is what the Lord says – He who created you, Jacob, He who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. – Isaiah 43:1-3 NIV

I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! – Ephesians 3:16-21
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made know to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7 HCSB
I chose these verses because they ALL speak to the relationship that I am so BLESSED to have in Him. He is always there for me, helping me, encouraging me, watching over me, protecting me. He knows everything about me and STILL loves me. That is mind boggling to me to think about. I am so very thankful that God desires to have relationship with me, that I am His adopted daughter. It is my prayer that I will desire more every day to spend time with Him.

If you see Debbie around, be sure to say “HI!”

MEET THE TABLE LEADER: NICOLE

We want you to get to know the awesome leadership we have at Desert Springs at our Tuesday Morning Bible Studies. Our Table Leaders study the Word, direct discussion at the tables, and pray fervently for you…EVERY WEEK!!!

MEET THE TABLE LEADER: NICOLE MCGUIRE

img_0717

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:

My name is Nicole.  I am married and have four children, one dog, and three horses.  I enjoy teaching my children and watching them in their activities.  Two of my children love to rodeo. Another loves gymnastics, and our oldest loves to draw.  Although we’re quite busy, we all love God and always strive to keep Him first in our lives.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AT DESERT SPRINGS & HOW DID IT BECOME HOME TO YOU?

Approximately four years ago, my husband researched churches in the area, looking for a church that more closely fits the needs of our family. He found DSCC, and we’ve been attending since that time.

WHERE ARE YOU SERVING AT DSCC?

My husband and I assist with the Children’s Ministry, helping families check-in their children and find their classes. This is also my first year being a table leader for Women’s Bible Study.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE VERSE & WHY?

I don’t have one favorite verse.  There are several verses that I frequently remind myself of during times I am undergoing a trial.

I’ve been blessed to have experienced difficult trials during my younger years, and I’ve seen the Lord’s power in my life in very big ways – when I was young, when I was single, and even now, as a wife and mother.  I’ve lived in different states, at times very financially comfortable and other times not so comfortable.  There were times I could truly feel the Lord with me, and there were times when I couldn’t, not even in prayer.  In retrospect, those days were blessings, too.  Why?  Because now I know….

Joshua 1:9 – The Lord is with me wherever I go.  I don’t need to fear anything.

Proverbs 3:5-6 – I am to trust God with all of my heart and not lean on my own understanding.  My human inclination is to rely on my senses, logic and common sense.  I’ve learned the necessity to abandon all of that.  God sees. He hears. He’s in control, so trust Him.

Last, Genesis 1:3 – Sometimes, I need to go back to the basics, reminding myself of God’s power.  My fear starts to once again resurface, or my human tendencies start to consume me. I then remind myself of God’s power:  He spoke light into existence!  He can change any circumstance at any time, if He wills.  If He doesn’t, He has His reasons for not doing so, and those reasons are good.

If you see Nicole around, be sure to say “HI!”

MEET THE TABLE LEADER: SUE

We want you to get to know the awesome leadership we have at Desert Springs at our Tuesday Morning Bible Studies. Our Table Leaders study the Word, direct discussion at the tables, and pray fervently for you…EVERY WEEK!!!

MEET THE TABLE LEADER: SUE TORRES

img_1314

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:

In a nutshell: I am a 67 year old grandma, an “Israelite”, a musician and servant in the house of the Lord, a daughter of the King, and short-term resident in AZ, waiting expectantly for my new home that Jesus is preparing for me.

I moved to Surprise, AZ eleven years ago.  I came to the desert from Albuquerque to be near my kids and grandkids after my husband passed away.  My five grandchildren are always involved in something whether it be sports or school related,  so it has been my joy to watch them play and grow.  Besides being a grandma fan, I enjoy reading, playing the piano, and hanging out with Abby (my miniature Australian Shepherd).

I went recently with our DSCC group to Israel and then on the extended tour to Turkey.  I am still bubbling over about it, and probably always will.

I was an elementary school teacher for 37 years, and by the grace of God have been retired for 5 years.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AT DESERT SPRINGS & HOW DID IT BECOME HOME TO YOU?

I have attended DSCC for 7 years.  My brother and sister-in-law (Steve and Dee Stone) recommended it – I’m so glad they did!

WHERE ARE YOU SERVING AT DSCC?

I have served as a pianist/keyboard player for the traditional service for a little over 5 years.  I have enjoyed singing alto in the choir for 3 years.  Last January, I assumed the position of table leader and now am continuing in that role.

Since I enjoy playing the piano and teaching, I have been playing and sharing Jesus with the residents of as assisted living facility.  Every Wednesday for a little over 5 years, I’ve had the privilege and blessing of this ministry.  Each time I go, I know it might be their last time that they are in a position to hear the Good News and make a decision about eternity.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE VERSE & WHY?

You might think that my favorite verse is an unusual one, but it has been my mainstay and very precious to me for 45 years:  Psalm 61: 2b “When my heart is overwhelmed (faint), lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.”  It has been my frequent prayer to the Holy Spirit to help me lift my head in the tough and scary times in my life, to the Rock of my salvation.  This verse reminds me that God is in control.  He is higher than I and can see the whole picture, so I can be assured and at rest knowing that He has purposed good for me and my life.  When my heart is overwhelmed, I pause and look up where my help comes from.  God is the mighty, established, unchanging Rock that is ever present in my life.

If you see Sue around, be sure to say “HI!”

 

MEET THE TABLE LEADER: DAWN

We want you to get to know the awesome leadership we have at Desert Springs at our Tuesday Morning Bible Studies. Our Table Leaders study the Word, direct discussion at the tables, and pray fervently for you…EVERY WEEK!!!

MEET THE TABLE LEADER: DAWN SHPUDEJKO

image1

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:

My name is Dawn Shpudejko, and my husband is Igor. We’ve been married for fifteen years. We got married late in life. I was 44 and my husband was 52. Our first marriage for both of us!!  But God’s timing is the best, and He’s the greatest matchmaker!!

We live in Pebblecreek in Goodyear and have been here a year in July. We’re originally from New Jersey where I was born and raised, so this was a major move for me. But our dream was to retire in Arizona, since our sister-in-law and nephew live in the Phoenix area. We arrived in Arizona homeless, but our house came on the market the day we arrived in Arizona!!  Like I said before, God’s timing is the best!

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AT DESERT SPRINGS & HOW DID IT BECOME HOME TO YOU?

We were so involved in our church back in New Jersey, so we were looking for similar ministries and places to serve. We heard about DSCC through our online group here at PebbleCreek, so we started attending last August. We felt so welcomed the first Sunday and were thrilled to see adult Sunday School classes. I was especially excited about the women’s ministry and finding out the fall study was with Priscilla Shirer, my all-time favorite speaker. Needless to say, we felt like we had found our church.

WHERE ARE YOU SERVING AT DSCC?

This is my first year of being a table leader at the Tuesday Morning Bible Study, and I am eagerly looking forward to studying the book of Acts with Erica and my table ladies. I really enjoyed Erica’s bible study last spring. I also teach first grade Sunday School at 9:30 am and host with my husband a life group  in our home.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE VERSE & WHY?

One of my favorite verses that has spoken to my heart this past year is Ephesians 3:20.”Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.”

God has truly done immeasurably more than I ever imagined in providing not only a lovely place to live but a church family that we can truly call home.

If you see Dawn around, be sure to say “HI!”

Where Are All the Workers? — A Good Crisis

Hey Ladies!

We are getting so close to kicking off our Bible Studies for the Fall Semester & I couldn’t be more excited. Registration begins August 27th!

As many of you know, we have the privilege of having Erica Wiggenhorn speak to us this semester through her Bible Study through the book of Acts, “The Unexplainable Life.” She and her launch team have been posting different graphics and thoughts about what they’ve been learning.

I wanted to give you all a sneak peak of the study by posting this link to one of her launch team’s blogs. This is Lydia’s post on a quote from Week 5 of Erica’s 10 week study. We are so excited to have Erica teach us. She has so much wisdom to share from the Word of God. I think we are going to learn a lot.

I also wanted to encourage you to really consider how you can be serving at DSCC. There are so many ways to get involved, and we do have a need for volunteers in a variety of ministries. If you’re looking for ways to plug in, please email info@dscchurch.com or click this link!

In the meantime, enjoy this post by clicking the link below. I’m looking forward to seeing you all at our Bible Studies that are kicking off September 13th!

LOVE,

Tami

“I can think of a couple of reasons people may not be serving in their local church. One is that sometimes we only want to serve in a place that makes us feel good. Another is that we wait to serve until something comes up that perfectly matches our skills and passions…A natural fit and […]

via Where Are All the Workers? — A Good Crisis

Grace for the Refugee

Meet Shukri….

pic5

 

Shukri is 24 years old, Somalian, living in a refugee camp in Ethiopia. She has spent most of her life in this refugee camp.

Shukri decided to apply for refugee status when she was in her teens. The process was started, and she waited….

In the mean time, she met a man, got married, had children. All of her children were born in the refugee camp in Ethiopia.

After years of waiting, Shukri was approved for resettlement as a refugee to America. Imagine her excitement. After what must have felt like a lifetime of waiting, the entire lifetime of her children and then some, she was leaving the refugee camp and coming to America.

Unfortunately, she was not married when she applied for refugee status, and her husband’s file and hers were not connected. She and her children would have to travel to America alone.

jijiga refugee camp

Half a world away in Phoenix, Arizona, a team of people were anxiously awaiting the arrival of Shukri. We had been praying for the refugee family that we would sponsor having no idea what to expect or how any of this would work. When we learned that this was a single mom and 3 children, I began praying for her travels. My sister had lived internationally for many years, and I remember that during all of her journeys with her heavy baggage packed full with everything needed to live for the next year, we would pray that God would place angels throughout her trip to assist her. Traveling alone is no fun: baggage, customs, taxis, exhaustion. I remember the first time we sent her off to Korea alone. I remember the tears and the loneliness (for both of us). But I also remember that at each point in her journey God provided someone to assist her – without fail.  And so I began to pray for Shukri. She wouldn’t be traveling with lots of baggage, but 3 children! Oh my! What on earth do you do with a 1 year old, a 3 year old, and a 5 year old on a journey that would take several days on multiple airplanes through multiple airports? How could she possibly do this alone?

When Shukri stepped off the plane, she was easy to identify. Young woman, two little ones clinging to her side and a baby strapped to her back. She was clothed as you would expect an African Muslim woman to be in a long dress with her head covered with a burka. Even through the long dress, you could see she was very thin and malnourished. Her head was down as if she didn’t even dare to look around and soak in her new environment.

As the case manager approached her and the children, we noticed something. Shukri was not alone. There was another family with her. Another Somali family, Abdirisek and Zamzam with their 18 month old daughter had walked off the plane with her. This family was all smiles; it was evident that they were very happy to have arrived in America. As we talked to the case manager, we learned that this second family had traveled from Ethiopia with Shukri. While they had family in the area, they would be living in the same apartment complex as Shukri. As I learned these details, I just had to smile at God and how He answers prayer. From the very start of her journey, Shukri had help. There were 3 adults to care for 4 children. There were traveling companions to help her get through airports and customs. While she had left her husband behind, God had made sure she was not alone.

One of the women in our sponsor team, Candy, is a tea drinker and knows that tea is something of a comfort food. She researched out the type of tea that was most likely consumed in the region of the world that Shukri was from and bought all the tea leaves and spices to be able to make it for her. When we left Shukri at the apartment that night, Candy brewed Shukri a pot of tea, so she could have a taste of home as she settled in.

The next day, Steve and I headed back over to the apartments to check in on Shukri and see how she was doing. Bunk beds had been delivered that morning so I put sheets on the beds and attempted to show Shukri how to fold and unfold the pack n play. We decided to run to the store to get some fruit. When we returned, the case manager and translator were there trying to give Shukri an orientation to the kitchen, showing her how to use the stove to cook. Poor Abdisilem, the baby, was not happy with the cooking lesson and was screaming. I offered to take him outside and was granted permission to hold this sweet boy. We went outside where he continued to scream, not wanting this tall white lady at all. He wanted his mama!! It wasn’t long before Shukri came out, gathered her children and hurried them back upstairs where she knew they were safe. Steve and I talked to the case manager for a few moments, and as we turned to leave I realized that I had left my purse upstairs in the apartment. I ran up and as I peeked through the window saw the most precious site. The meager meal that had been prepared during the cooking lesson was being served. This little family was sitting in a circle on the kitchen floor, just as if it were the dirt floor in Ethiopia that they left just days before. And there in the middle of the circle was the tea pot, that precious thoughtful gift from one tea loving mom to another.

Life in America had begun…

LOVE, Melissa Hubler