"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
White Bluff Chapel Knit and Crochet
Sunday, March 19th, the Chapel celebrated four babies who were dedicated to be part of the family of God. Each baby was given a New Testament Bible, a certificate, and a special baby blanket. Each blanket was made by handmade by a member in our White Bluff Chapel Knit and Crochet Group.
This group is much smaller than our well-known Critters Group. There are only about a dozen members, but they produce an amazing amount of handmade items that they donate as their ministry. For example, they give baby blankets to new parents and grandparents in White Bluff and to the Hillsboro hospital children’s ward. They create lap robes or blankets for Hospice patients within White Bluff and in various assisted living or nursing homes in our area. Some people in the group work on flags for Veterans, and last year, several lap robes were given to Meals on Wheels recipients in the Whitney area. The Chapel buys the yarn, and the members put in the hard work and God’s love.
You don’t have to be a chapel member to join the group. So tell your friends and neighbors that we would love new members. The Knit and Crochet group meets at the Chapel on the first Monday of every month from 10 a.m. to noon. The next meeting is on the 3rd of April. Contact Marcia Kane or Linda Yeary if you are interested in being added to their mail list.
Pastor Michael Yemba
Pastor Michael Yemba was our guest speaker at our Acts 2:42 fellowship on March 1st. The following video tells of his work not only in the Dallas area, but also South Sudan.
Guest from Moldova
Luminita Cazacu was our guest missionary speaker at our Acts 2:42 meeting this week. After explaining how she became a Christian, she expressed how they are spreading the Good News of Christ’s redeeming power to others in her country of Moldolva. Luminita works under the Campus Crusade for Christ umbrella and has the opportunity to work with numerous individuals and groups.
Community Christmas Program
The Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance was delighted to support our Community Christmas Program which was held at the First Baptist Church of Whitney. The local high school choirs performed numerous songs, as well as a message from Pastor Jay Morris. Numerous pastors from the area participated in scriptures and prayers as we honored and gloried Christ our Savior.
Supporting the Baylor Volleyball Team
Recently, the Baylor University Women’s Volleyball team visited White Bluff Resort for a weekend retreat of team building. The team visited the chapel and participated in our 9:00a.m. Sunday Worship service by reading scripture and providing a prayer. We were delighted when we were invited to attend their exhibition match against Texas A&M at Baylor’s Ferrell Center and participate in a pot-luck dinner afterwards. Several from White Bluff Chapel attended and enjoyed visiting with the team, coaches and others in attendance. Team members and coaches also provided prayer requests that were distributed at the following Acts 2:42 Fellowship.
While fulfilling the Great Commission directly through our local chapel ministries, the White Bluff Chapel also has a rich legacy of an impactful ministry beyond our corner of the world. Through specialized funded missions, we share the Good News of Jesus Christ locally, nationally, and internationally. Through our tithes and offerings, a portion of our financial gifts goes to specific areas that our Mission Team has identified. On August 28th, we highlighted our 21 specialized funded missions on “Mission Sunday” with individuals demonstrating their area of missions with a “missions’ parade” at the conclusion of both Sunday morning Worship Services. A time of fellowship followed which encouraged all to gather and view the creative mission displays.
Training the Mentors
Each year, White Bluff Chapel gives not only financial help, but also spiritual mentoring to qualified graduates of Whitney and Blum High School who seek to further their education. David Briggs and Debbie Hamner offered to coach those who have volunteered to mentor our students. They offered numerous suggestions for building rapport and communication with the students. The audience had opportunities to share meaningful stories and experiences with all.
School Supplies 2022
Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance has fulfilled some educational wish lists requests from teachers in Whitney and Blum schools. LWMA is able to order in bulk to help “stuff the closets” at the schools. Therefore, teachers are provided with some basic essential supplies that they can give students who are in need. Some Backpacks were also given to Blum from the Lake Whitney Senior Center.
Blum schools: Chantelle Hurt, Principal (left) Samantha Maxwell, School Secretary (right )
Whitney Middle School – Rudy Hikel, Vice Principal (left) Kendra Hensley, Principal (right)
Whitney Elem. School – Julie Trevino, Secretary
August Student of the Month
Andre Ribeiro, a 2016 WHS graduate, was mentored by Ava and David Wood. He recently provided the following update when I asked him to be our Student of the Month.
“I was fortunate enough to have an excellent college experience at The University of Texas at Austin filled with intellectual growth, majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in business, and more importantly followed by spiritual growth towards the end of school as my faith became a greater part of my life.
The COVID pandemic affected many aspects of my life, primarily my academic plans of going straight to medical school following my undergraduate education. Because of the pandemic, many test dates for the MCAT, the medical school entrance exam, were canceled in 2020 and 2021.
At the end of 2020, I applied for and was hired to work as a neurophysiology technologist in Dallas and Austin to gain medical experience as I concurrently applied to medical school. As a neurophysiology tech, I monitor the neuronal integrity of patients intraoperatively during neurosurgery, particularly in spine and brain surgeries, ensuring that patients’ motor nerves (voluntary/involuntary movements) and sensory nerves remain intact. This helps prevent mistakes during neurosurgical procedures that could otherwise lead to deficits and paralysis.
Gaining this experience has given me a greater desire to pursue neurosurgery. As I worked the past year (2021), I was finally able to simultaneously study for and take the MCAT exam, and was blessed to score well enough to apply to medical school this year. These challenges have tested me and grown my faith in relying solely upon God for his provision and his timing rather than my own.
In pursuit of a medical degree, students often accumulate upwards of $250,000 in debt. I was incredibly blessed to receive scholarships for my undergraduate education, with the most generous scholarship coming from the White Bluff Chapel. I am eternally grateful for the continued support of White Bluff Chapel throughout my education. During times of financial difficulty in the midst of the COVID pandemic, your generosity allowed me to eat and pay for living expenses without accumulating debt. I feel incredibly blessed to have had your support throughout the years, making it possible for me, a small-town boy, to pursue my wildest dreams.
I humbly request that your church body continue to pray for me, for God to open the doors to medical school, and that He would lead me to where I may bring him glory.
Helping Whitney Firefighters
In an effort to help our local firefighter, the Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance recently purchased "Smart Water" which has electrolytes in it and 6 cases of Gatorade which also has electrolytes. "Cold Packs" were also purchased and can be used around firefighter's necks to cool them off during the heat. The cold packs do not need a freezer to become ice cold. All you have to do is squeeze the center of the flexible ice pack and it will instantly become as cold as regular ice. The effect will last long enough to give relief to the person using it.
July’s Student of the Month
Ashtyn Thompson – 2018
When I contacted Ashtyn, a 2018 scholarship recipient, to ask her to be our Student of the Month, she enthusiastically said “yes!”, and within three days I received this response from her.
“David, thank you for taking the time to reach out to me! I would love to send you a short summary of how life has been and how impactful the scholarship was on my education!
College was a new experience for me which I will never forget. I went from being very introverted and afraid of going out to being outgoing and the one who put a smile on the faces of those around me. While college was amazing, I also learned a lot about myself and how to deal with the challenges I faced. I developed depression my second year of college, 2019-2020, and to further fuel that depression, the pandemic hit in the spring semester. For a long time, I was contemplating if I could really pull through with college, but then I remembered I had so many people supporting me, and that I had God on my side.
Fast forward to 2022, and I recently have graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing. I will begin residency at Texas Health Harris-Methodist in Cleburne on the Acute Medical/Surgical floor in mid-July. I will also be getting married in October to my high school sweetheart, about which we are both incredibly excited.
My college experience and opportunity would not have been possible, especially nursing school, without the aid of the White Bluff Scholarship. I come from a poor family which was unable to provide much towards college tuition and funding. I had to work hard as a waitress and then as a cashier during the summers for non-college bills. I want to thank the members of White Bluff Chapel for their dedication to the scholarship program and for providing the opportunity for those who are in financial need. Thank you also to my mentors, Nancie and Jodi Yarbro, as they kept up with my college journey and offered uplifting scriptures and prayers for me and my family. Most importantly, I thank God, for without Him none of this would have been possible.”
Ashtyn’s younger sister, Averi Thompson, is a 2022 WBC recipient, and is being mentored by the same family, Nancie and Jody Yarbro.
Vacation Bible School 2022
After a two year pause due to Covid-19, White Bluff Chapel was thrilled to host almost 60 children at our annual Vacation Bible School. Cathy Maze was our VBS director and help coordinate our volunteers as they took the children on a “Faith Quest”. Based on Joshua 1:9, the students were reminded to “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
June’s Student of the Month
I am currently classified as a pre-nursing junior and have approximately two years left before graduating from Tarleton State University.
When I started college in the fall of 2020, the Covid pandemic was in full swing. All my classes were online, yet, I lived on campus. It was a struggle because I spent the majority of my time on my computer in my dorm room. Classes are no longer online and college is much more enjoyable now. I am able to speak with my professors and engage in my classes.
The White Bluff scholarship program has been amazing. My mentors, Pat and Jim Griffin have been so kind and thoughtful to work with me. I am thankful for their prayers and support when I need them. The money from the scholarship has been and continues to be a great help in meeting the tuition, books, etc. expenses of a college education.
Thank you, the members of White Bluff Chapel, for the love and support you have given me.
Athletes In Action Update
God Meets Us Where We Are
Brian Firle – Athletes In Action Update
The origin of every coming-to-faith story I hear has the same theme: God meets us where we are. Whatever our personality, whatever our experiences, God comes to us in our context, speaks our language, and reveals himself to us in ways that are personal to us.
The origin of every coming-to-faith story I hear has the same theme: God meets us where we are. Whatever our personality, whatever our experiences, God comes to us in our context, speaks our language, and reveals himself to us in ways that are personal to us.
We see this in the way Jesus interacts with each person. In the Gospels, Jesus uniquely draws near to Peter, Mary and Martha, Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman, Roman officials, and even Pilate the Roman governor who ordered his flogging. We aren't asked to self-actualize or wise-up in order to know God. It is precisely where we are, where God meets us with his love and presence.
Last fall, a pro rider that had been on the fringes of our community for years had this experience. He has a typical engineering mind: logical, calculated, and historical. God met him there. It was through no work of ours, but through Lee Strobel's book, "The Case for Christ," that brought him to his knees. In his reading of a historical and literal resurrection of Jesus that convinced him of God's real power and presence. Those truths translated into his life at that moment.
Since then, we have been pouring into his life weekly, meeting with him in Bible study, processing life and relationships, and supporting him at events. At a time when professional sport can consume our identity, this athlete is putting his relationship with Jesus first, trusting God's plan for his life and living into that hope.
What always strikes me in these moments is how rapidly our affections can change. One minute our affection is wrapped up in sport or a relationship, and the next, focused preeminently on Jesus. With no help from us, God works behind the scenes shaping and molding hearts for him. There may never be a point when this doesn't surprise me: the supernatural work of God in the hearts of men and women.
Easter Children's Celebration 2022
Our Children’s Ministry provided our annual Easter Celebration with the gospel story, games, activities, and of course an Easter egg hunt. We had over 40 children and many adults who participated in a fun Saturday morning celebration of our Risen Savior.
Recently our Acts 2:42 fellowship hosted Elizabeth Brown, who represents Foundation Ministries, for a Mission Moment. Elizabeth was delightful in telling us about the ministry opportunities and conditions in Africa.
We also had Jody Yarbro, and Vicki Thompson share their adventures in Guatmala where they went for a mission dental ministry. A team of 22 people, which included dental students, dentists, and hygienists, to San Raymundo, Guatemala. It’s about two hours out of Guatemala City in the low mountains. In four days of clinic, they saw 540 patients, which were mostly children. Vicki and Joe talked with the children about Jesus and salvation before they entered the clinic. Every day 6 – 10 Guatemalan dental students and instructors came out of Guatemala City and joined them.
May Student of the Month
Mayte Arredondo WHS 2015
As a first-generation student, I have navigated through many financial, psychological, and social challenges. To overcome these hurdles, I sought social support, maintained a work-life balance, and worked with student support programs.
The WBC scholarship helped alleviate financial burdens in college and provided an amazing mentor, Gail Heinen, to work with.
After obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication in 2019, I found it necessary find a “leveling program” to acquire the necessary pre-requisites for becoming a Speech-Language Pathologist, without having to earn a second bachelor’s degree. After much frustrating research to find such a program, I located one with the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.
The course work there was very challenging because my communication degree didn’t align well with the new material I was learning. However, this only fueled my desire to become a better student, and I ended the program by making the dean's list, and earning a Speech Therapist certification.
I am thrilled to report that I have just been accepted into graduate school for Speech-Language Pathology at The University of Texas Health Science Center. As a Speech-Language Pathologist, my goal will be to improve the quality of life for clients by providing the skills to increase confidence and security in oral communication.
After 2 ½ years, the dental clinic at Mission Hillsboro finally opened this past Saturday. Jody and Nancie Yarbro, with the help of a volunteer hygienist named Deb, started seeing patients for the first time in a modern two-chair dental clinic. The clinic is open on the first and third Saturdays of each month, seeing patients who are underserved and uninsured. This is a mission that White Bluff Chapel supports, and was originally sponsored by Becky McKee. We are looking for other volunteer dentists and assistants to help.
April Student of the Month
Dear White Bluff Chapel,
I was beyond grateful when I opened the letter from you informing me that I had been awarded a generous scholarship. Being a first-generation college student from a large family, financing a college education would be a huge hurdle.
Armed with determination, and my scholarship, I enrolled at MCC in Waco, Texas. There I succeeded in obtaining my AS degree. I then transferred to Texas State University in San Marcos. My first semester at TSU taught me a lot about the need for time management skills. In spite of juggling jobs, extracurricular activities, and study time, I was able to earn my BS degree with honors in Exercise and Sports Science.
After graduating from TSU, my plan was to take a gap year and apply for a Physical Therapy Doctoral program. While doing that, I began working at an inpatient rehab hospital, as a Rehab Therapy Tech. This experience cemented my desire to become a Physical Therapist.
Physical Therapy is a more competitive grad program than I had realized. I applied to six schools in Texas, and was interviewed by three of them. Despite being very confident in two of the interviews, I did not receive placement in either one. The disappointment of those setbacks was substantial, but I was taught to not give up. God had other plans for me. Overcoming adversity requires perseverance and passion to achieve one’s goal. I have both! My new plan is to enroll in a Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) program to bolster my resume, and then to reapply to the Doctoral programs in pursuit of my advanced degree.
WBC played a significant role early on in my college experience. The scholarship allowed me to work less and study more to earn higher grades. I am grateful for the prayers, assistance, and encouragement from my mentors, Carol and Bill Campbell, and for all the other WBC mentors who obviously care about the students they support.”
The Critters Go to Guatemala
A team of creative ladies at the White Bluff Chapel gather together twice a month to cut, sew and stuff cotton into “Critters”. Critters are small stuffed animals made for children to hold in times of distress. Recently, Jody Yarbro and Vicki Thompson went on a dental mission trip to Guatemala with a team of 22 people, which included dental students, dentists, and hygienists, to San Raymundo, Guatemala. It’s about two hours out of Guatemala City in the low mountains. In four days of clinic, they saw 540 patients, which were mostly children. Vicki and Joe talked with the children about Jesus and salvation before they entered the clinic. Every day 6 – 10 Guatemalan dental students and instructors came out of Guatemala City and Joined us. On our free day we visited the old city of Antigua.
March Student of the Month
Allison Powers is a 2020 graduate of Whitney H.S. and recipient of a WBC scholarship. She was an outstanding student participating in diverse activities demonstrating leadership skills and a broad range of interests. She earned 33 college credit hours while in H.S. Allison was very focused on a career goal of becoming an airline flight attendant. The following message we recently received from her indicates that she has embraced her career choice and has a solid plan to achieve that goal.
“I want to thank White Bluff Chapel for the impactful scholarship that I was awarded. It has helped me immensely throughout college. Being assigned a mentor greatly influenced the decisions I made in planning my career path.
Currently, I am a student at McLennan Community College pursuing a degree in Hospitality Management. I am striving to become a flight attendant. As of right now, I am an employee at Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Waco as a front desk agent and I have gotten to meet some amazing coworkers.
I personally want to thank my mentor, Maura Collins. She has definitely been the best part of receiving this scholarship. I especially love our Tres Hermanos lunch dates where she gives me guidance and supports the choices that I’ve made. She has been the greatest help during college and continues to encourage me to push through the hardships. The mentor program is very beneficial because you get to form a bond with someone that will always be there to support you in your future endeavors.
Thank you, White Bluff Chapel, for awarding me the scholarship that helps pay for my tuition, but also pairs me up with an incredible mentor.”
Men’s Ministry Breakfast
The Men’s Ministry is alive and well at White Bluff Chapel! On January 15th the men gathered in the Fellowship Hall for a Men’s Breakfast. In addition to the great food, the participants were challenged by Pastor Randy to be the “Salt of the Earth.” Certainly, their spiritual and practical “salty,” influence is felt throughout our area by their hands-on mission projects, great fellowship, and servant attitude. Thank you men for all you do!
February Student of the Month
Summer Fargason is a 2019 WBC Scholarship recipient, mentored by Pat and Jim Griffin. She was delighted to be featured as a Student of the Month, and has shared the following comments about her experience.
“The WBC scholarship has allowed me to avoid an immense amount of stress throughout my time in college. I’ve not had to worry about buying books or supplies, because the award has covered those expenses for me. My mentors have provided wonderful support during this time. They are always available to give the BEST advice! Both have been college professors, so their wise counsel has been very beneficial.
I am a junior at Tarleton State University, majoring in education. I am hoping to be accepted into Tarleton’s teaching program at the Fort Worth campus, which is much closer to my home in Blum, Texas.
As for my current status, I am making all 100’s in my education classes, and I have a 3.96 GPA. My goal is to graduate by May, 2023 with a BA in Education, and my EC-6 teaching certificate. My focus is early education, and I can’t wait to be pursuing my dream in the classroom as an educator.
Thank you, White Bluff Chapel, for making my life goals and aspirations actually become attainable. As a first-generation college student, I am especially grateful that you have provided this opportunity to me. Without it, I may not have been able to get a college education."
January Student of the Month
Itzel Guille Chavez
Itzel is a 2019 WBC Scholarship recipient. She is mentored by Jim and Anne Duncan, mentors of many WHS tennis players who have become scholarship recipients. Itzel is very grateful to them and to the WBC congregation for their financial and spiritual support.
She says “Because of my WBC scholarship, I was able to graduate with a General Associates Degree, debt free. Through my first two years at McLennan Community College, I was able to receive my CNA license, Associates Degree, and I am currently working on my Phlebotomy License.
Thanks to your assistance, I can move forward on my nursing career path through the University of Texas at Arlington. I appreciate everything you have done for me and I can’t wait to see how many other students succeed because of your support.”
December Student of the Month
My name is Noelia Delgado, a 2019 White Bluff Chapel (WBC) Scholarship recipient. I am a third-year student at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) pursuing a degree in Applied Movement Science and Business of Healthcare on the pre-physician assistant path. As a first-generation student, navigating college and finding ways to finance my education has been a challenge. As I enter my third academic school year, I am excited to learn from brilliant professors and see the challenges that I can overcome.
UT has offered me many opportunities to gain leadership experience through student and community involvement. I was selected to be a part of the Texas Education Scholars in which I get to mentor students and speak in panels about healthcare professions. In the summer of 2020, a couple of students and I co-founded a nonprofit organization, Texas MedstART, dedicated to exploring the intersection between art and medicine. This organization raised money by selling artwork to help pay medical expenses of families impacted by the pandemic
We also run a virtual art class for the children at Dell Medical Center, the Helping Hands Home for Children. We also facetime calls with nursing home residents. This provided those who are more at risk a chance to socialize with students and be creative during this time of isolation. I also received a research internship with CommUnityCare Health clinics, where we conducted research on health disparities and proposed solutions to reduce inequalities.
I work as a Patient Care Technician on the cardiovascular unit concurrent to my studies at UT. I attend training classes, complete modules, and learn rules and regulations for the floor. Each shift I care for a variety of patients with different ailments. In the third surge of the pandemic, I was floated to struggling COVID units. Though this created a new and stressful working environment, I embraced the challenge. My work during COVID has taught me more patience and empathy than any previous experience. It has been a challenge working long hours at the hospital and managing my college courses. However, I have learned to balance work and school by using a planner and better managing my time.
Through my research internship, I was assigned to a physician assistant in urgent care. Shadowing her has shown me that PAs listen not only to heal, but to educate and understand. I plan to attend an accredited Physician Assistant program after I graduate from UT. Additionally, I hope to work to improve access to medical care irrespective of socioeconomic constraints, language barriers, or health literacy.
I have been able to attend UT with the help of the WBC Scholarship, reducing my financial burden and allowing me to focus on schoolwork. I am so grateful for the support and inspiration received from my WBC mentors and sponsors. Becky and Paul Jacobus have shown me so much love and care which has helped me get through some of the challenges that I face. I am extremely honored to be a scholarship recipient. The award has opened many doors and has introduced me to amazing people.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Critters 20th Anniversary Celebration
This is the 20th year for small handmade stuffed animals known as "Critters" to be made and delivered to children from the ladies at White Bluff Chapel. Sandy Cannon invited ladies to meet in her home in 2001 to cut, sew and “stuff” these cuddly creations. The first stuffed animals were given to children passing through the emergency rooms in hospitals.
After the Chapel was built, Critter ladies needed more room to work and the Knit and Crochet ladies needed a place to meet. Critters became a local mission of the Chapel and continues to be distributed to children who need a special smile or just a little healing comfort. The Knit and Crochet ladies make special creations for senior adults who need scarfs, caps for cancer patients and Afghans. These items are made for individuals who receive Meals on Wheels, who are in nursing homes and independent living facilities. Flag Afghans are also made for veterans in Hospice.
During this year 1,600 Critters have been given to Whitney Family Medicine Clinic, Whitney and Hillsboro HealthNow Urgent Care, Hill Regional Hospital ER, Mission Hillsboro Medical Clinic, CPS, CASA and the Texas Department of Health Services in Hillsboro, AMR Ambulance Service in Waco, and Goodall-Wicher Clinic in Clifton, Children’s Medical Center in Dallas.
Critters were also provided to First Baptist Church for Samaritan Purse Shoeboxes and the Whitney Food Pantry for distribution at Christmastime. During these twenty years, over 35,900 Critters have been given out in Vietnam, Honduras, Mexico and Africa and to the “ends of the earth. Just this month, another one of the Chapel’s missions, Wee Can Know in New Orleans, LA received Critters to share with children at Christmastime.
Mary Parish, the hospitality chair, catered the luncheon for thirty (30) ladies celebrating twenty (20) years. Sandy Cannon was present and shared an event from the past. The Critter group planted two ten (10) foot trees in front of the Chapel and office door in memory of one of their ladies, Connie Burris. The beauty of these trees is still enjoyed by everyone.
Critters meet from 10 a.m. until noon on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month in the Maurice Martin Fellowship Hall. All ladies, even if they do not sew, are invited to come “stuff” and just enjoy visiting and fellowship. The last meeting of 2021 will be December 14.
November Student of the Month
Caleb was a 2019 scholarship recipient. Having accumulated 24 college credit hours in high school, Caleb was excited to jump into college in pursuing a degree in physical therapy. The classes he needed were filled, so he was put on several waiting lists. It was difficult scheduling class registrations. As a result, he has made several adjustments to his degree plans.
When I visited with Caleb recently, he expressed his gratitude for the scholarship he received saying, “It has helped me immensely throughout my college journey so far. Since leaving high school, adjusting to life on my own has been a little rough at times, but your assistance has truly been helpful. Juggling classes with work schedules has resulted in a real financial strain which I have adjusted to.”
Throughout High school, Caleb was active in volunteer work, accumulating over 400 hours of community service. After incurring a torn ACL, and enduring the long post-surgical regimen of therapy, Caleb was motivated to enter a medical related career which would help the injured. Caleb went on to tell me “My major has changed a few times, but I was recently accepted into Blinn’s radiologic tech program, which means I will be administering X-Rays in two years’ time! All this was made possible through White Bluff Chapel’s support. Thank you!!!”
Caleb is mentored by Tom and Lois Partridge.
News from AIA
We have exciting news!
Lisa is 19 weeks pregnant this week!!
I can't begin to explain how excited and happy we both are. After years of wondering if having a family would be a reality, to have this come true for us is a dream. Lisa has been an absolute champion. She's put our future family on her back and carried it through years of hard work and commitment as we dealt with our infertility issues. My respect, love, and admiration for her has grown even more. I am blessed to have her in my life and to be the future mother of our kiddos. I am humbled. For those of you who knew what we've been dealing with, thanks for walking through it with us. I know there are prayer warriors out there that we owe so much to. Thank you for loving us so well and praying for our future.
Henriksen family is moving to Spain!
Todd Henriksen and his family, my co-workers and the pioneers of our ministry, are moving to Girona, Spain full-time at the beginning of 2022.
For years we have been praying about having a full-time staff person in Girona, where many of our athletes live and train year round. To be an influential ministry within pro-cycling at the highest level, being in proximity to athletes and the sports biggest events is key. Having Todd and his wife Tabitha (and 4 kids), in Europe will be a massive change for our ministry in western Europe as well as in the United States. We have been talking through these changes for quite some time now, hoping that they would come to fruition.
What is more, Todd has been connecting with AIA staff in Europe, a church planter from Belgium that wants to plant a Catalan church in Girona, a physiotherapist from the pro cycling team INEOS, and many professional riders. Below is a photo of a outdoor church service they did in the park near the city center in Girona two weeks ago.
These changes mean that how we do ministry domestically will need adjustments. Our reliance on volunteers and athletes will have to grow. How we structure our time and what disciplines we chase may change. Professional cycling in the United States is also changing at a rapid rate: the growth of gravel racing, the seemingly slow death of road stage racing, the growth of high school mountain bike leagues, and the growing influence of criterium racing. All of these disciplines are up and down, and our job is to support the athletes where they are and bring spiritual community to them. As the sport changes, so does our strategy.
Having the Henriksens in Spain full-time gives them physical proximity to athletes at the highest level of our sport: World Tour Road cycling and World Cup Mountain bike racing. All of the marquee events and history of cycling reside in western Europe, so having a staff person there long-term is a powerful step forward. Brad Bartz, our other full-time staff member is also expecting to spend a year or two in Singapore, starting next spring, which is another new dynamic we are anticipating.
That potentially leaves myself as the only full-time staff person in the USA. This leaves some uncertainty about how we'll continue our influence domestically but I believe God will raise up leaders, both athletes and volunteers to continue our impact. Our focus on elite mountain biking will continue to grow and our involvement in the road scene will remain a staple in our strategy. As the sport changes, we change with it. All to the glory of God.
October’s Student of the Month
Justin McKibben – Class of 2020
Justin graduated from TSTC’s Electrical Lineman program in August, 2021 after dealing with Covid related class scheduling issues. He managed to graduate early in August’ 2021 while holding on to his job at Tres Hermanos and getting some on- the- job training with an affiliate of Oncore.
In a message from Justin, he stated “College has been an amazing experience. I absolutely love the courses I’ve taken, and the people I’ve interacted with every day! I have had many challenges, physical and mental. I’ve been able to successfully tackle every situation head-on, and have learned how electrical systems work, and how to work on them. I also have been receiving on-the-job training with J&S Inspections during bad storms (and getting paid for it). I am hoping to work for a company like Oncore, Centerpoint, or Pike. As soon as I obtain my CDL, I will be able to work anywhere in Texas.”
I was also happy to learn that, although he hasn’t had time to practice on his band instruments during school, Justin does plan to get back to playing his music!
Debbie Hamner had this to say about Justin. “Seldom have I worked with a student as motivated as Justin McKibben. He is the most capable student I have ever worked with through our wonderful mentoring opportunity!”
Feed the Wildcats
White Bluff Chapel's Men's Ministry was honored to assist the Whitney Wildcats Football team in starting the 2021 season on a positive note. Our very own BBQ master, Danny Bodeker, provided meat and, our designated shopper, Larry Turner procured all the fixins to include a "Best Wishes for The Season" cake that was enthusiastically consumed in large quantities by the team and coaches.
The other men, Perry Gaudet, Terry Newman, and Rick Faught provided the labor with vigor. Randy Marshall delivered a great devotion on teamwork and helping others when they miss the mark. He concluded by saying,
“What is true on the football field is true in life. It is full of ups and downs, highs and lows. Know that failure is not final. Know that we can and should encourage one another. As a church, we would like to remind you of the greatest friend, the greatest encourager, the One who can not only embrace us but forgive us of our sins and lead us on a path of true success. He is the friend, encourager, redeemer we call Jesus.”
As in years past the event was a positive experience for all concerned and an opportunity for the young men to see Christian Men serving others.
September’s Student of the Month
Elizabeth Prado Posos - Class of 2014
Dear Educational Aid Committee,
I want to thank you for your generous scholarship which enabled me to pursue my dream of going to college as the first in my family to do so. Your help has been a blessing to us. My parents have always been very supportive of me and my brother, encouraging and instilling in us the value of education. I wanted to make them proud.
When I received your letter announcing the scholarship award, I was surprised and grateful. It boosted my confidence that I could really earn a college degree.
There have been ups and downs over the past six years. I am so grateful to my mentors, Sara and Harold Edwards, for their encouragement and guidance. They have treating me like a member of their family.
Recently, I graduated from Texas A & M University with a degree in Human Resource Development. I am currently employed by Bryan ISD in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and I am also working toward obtaining certification as a bilingual science and math teacher in the same school district.
White Bluff Chapel’s scholarship and mentoring program is making a big impact on the lives of many young adults from the Whitney area. Thank you for your love and support.
Elizabeth Prado Posos
Back To School Bash
Back To School Bash #1 was a success. The weather was nice, the food was delicious, plentiful and the fellowship was the best part. I heard many of those attending state this was needed just to take a break from thinking about Covid 19 for a few hours. Yes, it has been a different time these past 20 months or so. This gathering was old school; pot luck food, picnic tables, swimming, lots of sodas, chips, burgers, hot dogs, and all the trimmings, baked beans, watermelon, and a beautifully decorated sheet cake! Someone brought the biggest, most luscious tomatoes I have seen in a long time. Not everything in Texas is big, but those tomatoes surely were.
The students enjoyed seeing old high school classmates again. The stories they shared with one another and with the mentors who attended were funny at times, a little worrisome at other times, and always heartwarming. The chapel has done a wonderful job with the scholarship program and the mentors continue to guide these young people in a way that God would want.
We, personally, would like to say "thank you" to everyone who was there, mentors and students, and also to those who couldn't attend, but contributed in other ways. It was our first attempt and we're looking at ways to improve, possibly by scheduling an earlier date.
We are excited about having a "Back to School Bash #2 next year.
Take care and God bless,
Paul and Becky Jacobus
Crosses Everywhere at White Bluff
What’s up with all the crosses? I’m glad you asked!
Simple white crosses have been displayed in the yards of White Bluff for many years due to the efforts of Steve Baffic who is a long time resident and member of the Cowboy Church.
Early this summer the Men’s Ministry was asked by Steve to continue this ministry because he believed we have the manpower and energy to succeed in this type of project. We accepted the invitation, offered to build them and make them available free of charge at the Men’s Bible Study. The offer was enthusiastically accepted and now we’re pleased to report there are over 50 crosses in the front yards all across the community and back yards of homes on the golf courses.
The cross has significance as a reminder of what Jesus did for us. It is a powerful symbol to remind us of the price paid for our redemption.
Whether we display it or just think of it, the cross can, and should, draw us nearer to the One who hung on it. Beneath the cross we are one. There are no races, no political parties, no rich, no poor, just a family of believers. Public display of the yard crosses in White Bluff sends the message that God is here and everyone knows God is Love.
Crosses are available at no cost from the White Bluff Chapel Men’s Ministry.
Rick Faught 817-913-0777
Howard Clement 254-266-5056
White Bluff Chapel Office 254-694-7060
August’s Student of the Month
Taylor Gilchrist is a 2017 graduate and recipient of a White Bluff Chapel scholarship. Following is an update from her on her college experience.
I spent two years at McLennan Community College where I obtained my Associates's degree before transferring to Texas State University. While at MCC, I maintained a job at Silos Baking Co. and earned 120 hours of observation at Baylor Scott and White while shadowing physical therapists and orthopedic surgeons. After arriving in San Marcos, I was hired as a server for The Gristmill River Restaurant and Bar where I worked until now.
My time at Texas State University has been amazing. I have definitely had some tough, demanding classes, but I loved every minute of them and have learned so much. I graduated in May, 2021 with my Bachelor's degree in Exercise and Sports Science. I will continue my education at the University of St. Augustine in south Austin to earn my Doctorate in Physical Therapy. I was recently hired as a physical therapy tech at Physical Therapy of Wimberley where I will work full time till I start at St. Augustine. Along with all of these exciting events, I just got engaged to my high school sweetheart, Gavin Ruesch!
These past four years have been the most difficult, yet most rewarding and fun years of my life. I am so blessed that WBC has been a part of it! I am thankful for the scholarship I received, but even more thankful for my amazing mentors, Monte and Marelia Geren. During every step of the way I have been able to go to Monte and Marelia for prayer and encouragement and that is something for which I will forever be grateful! They have shown me so much love and support, and I know that they will continue to do so for the rest of our lives.
Thank you, White Bluff Chapel, for everything you have done for me and so many students in our community!
Helping Whitney Neighbors
As a result of the generosity of our members, White Bluff Chapel has establised an Emerging Needs Committee with the purpose of identifying and supporting neighboring community helping agencies. One of the identified agencies is “Veteran’s Pardners,” a local organization that assists area Veterans. In the pictures above, the Director,Donna Picket met with Rick Faught, Perry Gaudet, Randy Marshall and Betty Newman to explain the various needs of our area Veterans. A financial gift was given to them to assist in the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs of Veterans and their families.
Another organization the Emerging Needs Committee has identified is the Lake Whitney Senior Center. The Senior Center offers a variety of activities that serve the needs of Senior Citizens. A financial gift was also given to support the Center’s ongoing efforts.
July’s Student of the Month
Wyatt Jackson is a 2016 graduate of Whitney High School. When asked if he’d consent to be recognized as our Student of the Month, he happily said “yes”. Following is his response.
“I always knew that I liked working with my hands. When I started seeking college options that offered hands-on learning, I decided to apply to Texas State Technical college. The career options they offered provided exactly what I was looking for. So, I enrolled in their Automotive Technology program.
The campus was a friendly environment with a balance of learning and recreational opportunities. With your help, I really enjoyed my time in school. I was able to live on campus. With the expenses of books, tools, supplies, and basic needs, the WBC scholarship relieved the financial stress to make it all possible.
After completing my studies and graduating, I was fortunate to be offered a position at United Rentals in Cleburne, Texas. I am currently a Service Technician II, and each day I find great satisfaction using the knowledge and skills acquired at TSTC. I am proud of the work I do.
Thank you to the members of White Bluff Chapel, and to my mentor, Howard Clement, for your prayerful support.”
Athletes in Action
I recently had a conversation with an athlete that was going through a tough moment in his life. His relationships were falling apart, loneliness was setting in, despair felt imminent. He described how he felt like a boat that lost its tether to a dock, drifting out to sea. He was feeling the emptiness of living without God's presence in his life, the damage he caused in some relationships and most importantly, how he had forgotten parts of himself.
In the midst of this hardship, he felt like his relationship with God was coming alive again. He began to see how parts of his past-life were isolating, destructive even, to his own spiritual growth, his intimacy in relationships, and his career. He saw how choices he had made were slowly eroding the closeness he felt with God and his motivation to pursue deep, repentant reliance on that relationship felt like a distant memory.
He felt rattled by this and it was time to make some changes.
Moments like these are like buying a house: location, location, location! We have to put ourselves in the way of the Spirit. We must ask ourselves, "How can I get smacked in the face with God's presence?"
I believe at any point in our spiritual journey, but especially moments like these, we have to make ourselves a target for encountering God's spiritual movement, both in our personal lives and the lives of those around us. Whatever you need to do: go to church, listen to worship music or sermons, create a space for prayer, get in the scriptures, serve others intentionally, take a slow walk outside with no distractions. We have to aggressively create space to listen to and to encounter God's Spirit moving within and around us. We have to make ourselves a target for God's work.
These practices ought to be part of our everyday life regardless, but at moments like these where we feel like we are coming apart, we must aggressively and intentionally put ourselves in the way of the Spirit. If the tendency is to reach out to anything but God for survival, we have to attempt to rely on the living presence of God to be our restorative power.
Paul describes the work of the Spirit this way in Galatians:
"For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want."
Our work as Jesus-people, then, is to discern what is the work of the self (the flesh) and what is the work of God (the Spirit). If you have ever done a "spiritual discipline" before, you have felt this battle palpably. Anytime we intentionally carve out time and space to meet with God, we will feel this tension almost immediately.
But this is where the rubber meets the road: in real life. It is during the mundane Tuesday, the laundry, the work meeting, or our lunchtime walk, when we have the opportunity to place ourselves in the way of the Spirit.
How can I place and posture myself to encounter God's presence?
How can I let the Spirit restructure and rearrange my life?
These are the questions that reorient us when we are disoriented.
As we are entering into our busiest part of the year, I am so thankful to have a team like you supporting us.
Please remain in prayer for us as we travel and serve athletes this summer. The speed of the year is picking up and the craziness is about to set in! As we leave this last year of varied uncertainty and a difficult professional year for may athletes, we are more excited than ever to walk with them in their journeys.
I cherish this work and you make it happen. Sending love to you all this lovely spring day!
Below are mission ministries White Bluff Chapel supports financially through our church budget. If you would like more information and/or would like to be directly involved as a volunteer, please contact the church office at email@example.com.
Athletes in Action
Winning athletes to Christ by earning the right to be heard, walking them towards Jesus, molded-in deep relationships. Showing up at bike races, ready to serve and show the love of Christ when many others are not.
Casa Bernabe Ministries
A Christian orphanage in Guatemala City that serves 150 children.
Christian Dental Society
Provides scholarships to dental students doing mission dentistry in Guatemala and other poverty-stricken countries.
Trains pastors for service in their home churches in Africa and Romania.
WBC helps to distribute Bibles in the Whitney, Blum, and Hillsboro school districts, as well as at Hill College.
Guides Christians on a journey to rediscover a vibrant walk with Jesus through national and local Zoom prayer calls.
Orphans and Widows Hope Project
Pairs orphans with widows in Kenya Africa. The goal is to help orphans grow up healthy, educated and to become faithful followers of Jesus Christ.
Wee Can Know
A ministry in New Orleans to reach children for Christ through partnerships with local churches and schools.
Provide Christmas gifts for children of prisoners.
Cedar Creek Youth Ministry
Pays for a portion of the van expense for transporting kids to Wednesday night bible study.
Make hand-crafted stuffed animals for children in crisis situations, small gifts for nursing home residents and caps for cancer patients.
Isaiah's Place Retreat & Learning Center for the Deaf
Assist in various events at a local retreat and learning center for the deaf community.
Joint Committee for Christmas
Originally formed over 20 years ago, the Joint Committee for Christmas (JCC) is organized to discover the real needs of individuals at Christmas time, and to avoid unnecessary duplications in the efforts to meet those needs.
Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance
Umbrella organization for multitude of services for those in need in the Whitney Area, including the Food Bank, Benevolence and Joint Committee for Christmas.
There are many varied volunteer opportunities through this community ministry. To learn more about this organization, go to the LWMA website.
Benevolence function of the Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance. To learn more about this organization, go to the LWMA website.
Mission Hillsboro Medical Clinic
Provide medical services for the working poor in the area who do not have insurance.
Our Daily Bread
Whitney area food pantry.
Providence Hospice of Whitney
Provide care for those facing end-of-life issues; medically, spiritually, and emotionally.
Sandy Creek Bible Camp
Provide funding for local disadvantaged children to attend a Christian summer camp.
White Bluff Volunteer Fire Department
Donations from the Chapel missions committee are generally used to assist with the cost of equipment for the firefighters.
College and Career Day
Sponsors with the Whitney community a half-day career program for Whitney High School Juniors. Members participate on panels which explain the educational requirements and rewards of various careers.
Educational Aid Committee
Provides numerous scholarships for seniors graduating from Whitney and Blum High Schools for university, junior college, and trade school tuition. In addition, to help students develop their spiritual as well as educational lives, we link each recipient to a chapel member who serves as a mentor, providing encouragement and advice.
English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) Classes
Provides an opportunity for Spanish speaking people to learn English and become better equipped to function as parents, employees and citizens in our community.
School Supply Program
Assists with the Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance annual drive to provide school supplies for needy students.
This program provides school supplies for needy students in grades pre-K through 5th. Volunteers help purchase, package, and deliver the supplies to the schools.
Teacher Appreciation Day
Express the support and gratitude of White Bluff Chapel to the staff in the Whitney Schools by taking snacks to each of the schools annually.