October 25, 2021

Special Things | The Direct - Oct 21, 2021

Special things happening at Whitewater - check it out!

I think this new series we just launched last Sunday, A Better Way, will be special. We began with a message on judging and there is indeed a better way.


I listened to your message online in Sedona, Arizona on the front porch looking at God's amazing creations. I literally finished it and went inside to start my 5-day silent retreat. God loves me so much that he knew I needed to hear that for my special time to be with God/Jesus/Holy Spirit. He is teaching me abundantly about a lot of things, but judgment of me, others, and situations are huge in my life. Today I told him some things I have not been too proud of and released them. He has taught me some tools to use so when I start judging, I pause, take a deep breath, and will use those tools. Thank you so much for being a vessel to share God's work!!!

We also prayed for and encouraged some of our missionary friends, the Baah-Binney's. They are very special people. Got this email from Victoria Sunday evening...

Good evening, David!

Thank you so much for the warm reception and prayer for our family today. The kids were dragging their feet when coming early in the morning. But they enjoyed the service and the conversation at the end. And it was also an extra blessing for people to bless us with some money... it has come in the right time to help get Emma's eye exams and prescription. And to top it all, Joshua said 5 people went All-In today. His is good. (Here are a few pics of that!)




Thank you for partnering with us in reaching out and transforming lives for eternity.

Blessings, Joshua and Victoria

It is still quite dangerous to be a missionary anywhere. Several have heard and asked about the recent kidnapping of missionaries in Haiti. Although we are not connected formerly to them (they are an Amish and Mennonite organization based out of Millersburg, OH), we are connected through Christ, and we are praying for their safety and soon release. We do have some partner missionaries in Haiti with Living Water Christian Mission. They are very special! Please lift them up, too. We are confident they are experiencing persecution as well.


Special Leaders

We also have a special group of people serving, leading, and protecting us during the pandemic. We so appreciate the advisory work of our COVID Taskforce and Mike Akers, Director of Human Resources and Executive Assistant to JT and me. I am pleased to announce that because of the diminishing COVID numbers in Hamilton County, we are easing our previous mask recommendations here at church for staff, attendees, and volunteers in adult ministry areas. Face coverings will no longer be required to be worn by staff, associates, and volunteers for all areas with the exception of Harbortown volunteers on Sundays as children are not yet eligible for vaccination. We want to go the extra mile to ensure Whitewater Crossing continues to be a safe place for children to gather.



Speaking of health, help, and hope...

Life Center Director, Jody Burgin (who is pretty special himself!) shared this recently:

In addition to the Hamilton County Health Department providing C19 vaccines, boosters, and giving away $100 gift cards, we also had the Hamilton County 513Relief group on campus Thursday. Equipped with a $13.5 million grant from the federal government Cares Act, they distribute funds for low-income families affected by the pandemic. I learned more and more about resources that were available to the under-resourced in our community, and how to bring these resources to our guests at the Life Center. There were two other tag-along groups giving away computer tablets to qualifying recipients and offering free winterization for qualifying homeowners. The place was buzzing with lots of guests and activities.

The Honorable Alicia Reece, the new Hamilton County Commissioner, and her entourage came by. She is an experienced 20-year public servant who has held many roles on behalf of the citizens in the State of Ohio. She has won seven elections at the local and state levels and was the youngest woman to ever win a seat in Cincinnati City Council's history. Ms. Reece is an entrepreneur and serves as an Advertising, Marketing, and Political Consultant as well as speaks nationally. Ms. Reece is the Host of the popular Alicia Reece Soulfood, which is a national radio show and podcast that airs weekly. She is not only in charge of the 513Relief effort, but also the FreeStore FoodBank falls under her oversight. Alicia and her colleagues were very interested in all aspects of the Life Center. Frankly, they were blown away. They couldn't stop talking about the holistic care guests receive at the Life Center and loved the warm, inviting, caring atmosphere for diverse guests from every walk of life. She asked if she could introduce one of our newest innovations, a Care Plan, that our Intake Volunteers develop for each guest, to other groups and agencies in Hamilton County.

Our hard-working, straight-talking, no-nonsense, 74-year-old Sam Kirk was the real star of the show. When I showed Alicia and her group the Food Pantry and freezer, Sam was sorting things in the walk-in freezer getting ready for the evening. "Are you just passing by or do you want to see what we do here?" Sam said bluntly. "Oh, I want to see everything," smiled Alicia. That was all Sam needed. The next thing I knew he was dragging her and her filming attendant into the freezer. She got the whole scoop from an excited and proud Sam. Sam went on and on about the new t-shirts and the wonderful comments he gets on them in public. She asked if she could have one so she could tell others about the Life Center. Posing in front of the freezer door, she took some great photos with a proud Sam smiling ear-to-ear. Then he took her to the t-shirt table for her fitting.

Numerous other Hamilton County and Job and Family Services employees toured the Life Center and to the person, they loved, loved, loved it. We made lots of friends yesterday with numerous professionals in social services leadership positions throughout our community. And we had the opportunity to love on and welcome dozens and dozens of new friends from our community who came to the Life Center for the first time looking for hope. I'm quite sure the day put a smile on Jesus' face.



And finally, a special next step is planned for everyone reading this who is new to Whitewater. We call it Whitewater Connect, and we are hosting one in-person, as well as online. Connect Online is October 24 @ 6:30pm and Connect On Campus is November 14 @ 10:15am. It's the perfect next step into a special relationship with Jesus and His church here. Why not register and take that step out of anonymity into the community? You won't regret it!


Serving that special Savior with you,


David Vaughan

Senior Minister