Recently, two staff members were blessed with the opportunity to visit several of IDES' mission partners currently working throughout India.
This is what we witnessed.
Gary Lee Mraz, IDES’ longest serving staff member, is now absent from the body and at home with the Lord.
Gary served as IDES’ projects assistant for 19 years. He worked closely with our ministry partners around the globe to collect and organize the accounting, progress reports, photos and other details of each and every project IDES undertakes.
One of the hallmarks of IDES’ ministry over the years is a strong emphasis on accountability. We want to account to our donors for the way each gift is used, and what impact those gifts have made. Gary’s weekly duties were a linchpin in that accountability process.
Gary leaves behind his wife of 37 years, Renee, their two adult children Tony and Jeanette, and eight grandchildren. He was an elder and longtime member of Kempton Christian Church.
We want to thank you for your prayers on Gary’s behalf this past year as he battled an aggressive form of brain cancer.
Gary Mraz will be greatly missed by the IDES staff and board, and by all who knew him.
IDES Staff & Board are pleased to present to you our brand new website. Please take some time to explore the various pages, links, and tabs -- and let us know what you think in the comments below!
A few features to point out:
We hope this website is a helpful service to you. Thank you for visiting, and please pass this link on to your friends and family!
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." - Romans 8:18
It's Christmas-time again--there's snow, caroling, cookies, family time--the most joyful time of the year.
Well, sometimes it doesn't seem like it. If you spend 5 minutes watching the news on just about any channel right now, you'll see reports of mass violence, natural disasters, and vicious rhetoric. Day after day, we are bombarded by the portrayal of what appears to be a world bent against us. Nihilism can start to sneak into the way we think and speak. It begins to take a toll on our faith.
Don't lose hope.
Yes, things look pretty bad according to the news right now. Yes, the mountains seem to be shaking. Yes, it all appears to be far beyond the ability of any of us to solve. However, our Father in Heaven made some promises to us about times like these in the great letter to the Romans, penned by the Apostle Paul, specifically chapter 8.
"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 8:31-39
Need anything else be spoken? There is nothing--absolutely NOTHING--that can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. So, what do we do with a love such as this during times such as these?
Don't lose hope: Share it! Share the hope we have in this Love.
Challenge: Find one friend, family member, or stranger that appears to be discouraged by current events, and share this passage from Romans 8 with him or her.
-written by Chase Cotten, GAP Program Director