Meet Your Fellow Deacon Pete Hybert

By Allison Hill, Administrative Assistant for the OPC Committee on Diaconal Ministries

Pete Hybert has been a deacon at Bethel OPC, Wheaton, IL since 1993, and privileged to have a front-row seat to watch the Lord work in many people’s lives. His take-away from it all? Amazement. He says, “You get to see the Lord work. Sometimes it’s not what you expected, but it’s still amazing.”

Pete’s stint as a deacon includes a period when he was the sole deacon. He’s helped walk-ins with various short-term needs, church members with long-term needs and those seeking assistance with a tragedy or disaster. Each situation poses a unique opportunity to see the Lord’s hand of mercy work through the local church. For Pete, this is even true in situations in which it seems there is little headway and temporary discouragement.

Pete knows that it is a privilege to be a small part of demonstrating mercy in tangible ways. That is what he says drew him to mercy ministry. “What I like about diaconal work is the practical side of it.” Pete currently works as a full-time consultant but describes himself as a “jack-of-all trades”. From fast food to working in construction, Pete has found that his wide background and the diverse experiences of his fellow deacons helps them all minister and relate to many.

Mindful of the power of sacrificial giving Pete says with humble confidence, “It’s not that we are genius deacons, and it’s not about trying to do it all. It’s about doing what you can.” “[If] you are able to share time with people, do something that matters to them in the immediate term, and you can talk to them while you do it. That’s what I like about it.” While the goal is to foster independence, “Getting to know people and have them understand their God-given value as an image-bearer [is] something only speaking with them can do [and] it gives you a heart to pray for their salvation.”

Though there have been memorable times of fellowship in helping people move or pumping out flooded basements, Pete has a heart for serving those with disabilities. He and his wife, Faith, a former special needs educator assistant, both have considerable experience caring for and working with people who have long-term needs and disabilities. Serving those individuals and helping them succeed in their own capacities is one of the most enjoyable types of mercy ministry for him. “I try to encourage them and end up being encouraged by them. It’s been rewarding to do what is in our reach to come alongside them.” There is one member of the congregation with long-term needs Pete gratefully says, fuels his work.

“Of course we are willing to help others that we may never see again, but it’s nice to serve people you see and can continue to minister to, physically and spiritually, even when there is little hope of their situation changing.” The ultimate goal is building biblically-founded relationships with people over time.

“It’s always great to see results: growth or even change,” Pete says. As deacons, there is great joy in observing the hand of the Lord in the lives of those you serve.


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CDM Meeting in Clarkston, Georgia

The Committee on Diaconal Ministries met for their

stated bi-annual meetings on April 7–8. This year, they met at

Redeemer OPC in Atlanta, Georgia, the hosting church for

the Clarkston Refugee Ministry, which the CDM supports.

This meeting was an opportunity for many of the members

of the CDM to visit the refugee ministry for the first

time. “[Pastors Weldeyesus and Tamirat’s] fervor for the gospel

and their heart for people was wonderful to experience.

Clearly they have a gift for reaching into the lives of those

who have lost country, home, and precious relationships,”

shared committee member Ron de Ru.

CDM member Seth Long agreed. “I was most impressed

with sitting in the living rooms of families who have fled persecution

and danger . . . and the ways they are desiring to now

provide for their families in a land and culture much different

from their own. It was truly wonderful to see how the Lord in

his good providence is gathering families to be connected to

the gospel outreach work of the church, caring for the spiritual

and physical needs of the stranger in our midst.”
 
[This article was originally published in the June 2022 Edition of New Horizons]

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May Ukraine Crisis Fund Update

May 16, 2022

To date, the OPC Committee on Diaconal Ministries has received over $623,230.00 in donations for the Ukrainian Crisis!

We thank God for the charity of his church and for all those who have sought to aid individuals and churches in crisis. As God is gracious in providing funds for the provision of the most needy across the globe, it is also needful for those resources to be stewarded wisely and in a way that is most effective in filling needs. The OPC Committee on Diaconal Ministries senses the weight of this responsibility to faithfully allocate all funds received. Such a task requires a close-up look into the situation in the region and personal contact with those affected by the war. Administrator for the Committee on Diaconal Ministries David Nakhla seeks to do just that during his time in Eastern Europe as he makes contact specifically with like-minded churches and ministries native to the region.

As of May 16th David, along with Rich Bout, were en route to Lithuania having just visited cities in Hungary and Poland. The Lord was faithful in providing insight along the way as they faced each new day, city, and circumstance. David reported:

“The most needy population is still in Ukraine with scarce resources, yet seeing a hotel filled with just mothers and their children outside Ukraine demonstrates how vulnerable the refugee population is as well. Keep praying for the various needs of the Ukrainian people. It has been encouraging to see the church serving in whatever ways they possibly can: gathering and shipping supplies, coordinating housing and transport, teaching languages, providing teaching and activities for children, etc. We praise the Lord in hearing about how the churches, both in Ukraine, and outside are overflowing with worshippers. It seems the Lord will use this awful situation for the spread of the gospel. Pray to that end. The gospel is truly the only hope.”

Just a few days later, David recounted the “harrowing story of survival in and escape from Mariupol” one woman shared. He conveyed the scene:

“Boiling dirty snow on the sidewalk, fearful of incoming missiles that hit without warning sirens. Due to the lack of water or heat, bathing was not an option for weeks. One lady shared that once she was able to remove her socks, it was like they had become one with her skin. To leave the city, they had to face the difficult decision of whether to brave driving through the supposed “humanitarian corridor” and be shot in the back or braving the humiliating search and interrogation procedures of the Russian army in order to pass through the front into Russia. They opted for the latter and seemed to still be shaken and humiliated by what they endured. . . They are thankful to have found a safe haven with the saints in Lithuania.”

Please keep the people of Ukraine in your prayers, as well as all those in Eastern Europe affected by the war. Specific updates on the work of missionaries and sister churches to aid refugees in the region will be provided as they become available.

Want to know more? A more detailed report of David’s visit will be included in May’s edition of the STORM Report. You can sign up for the newsletter here.

 

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