It’s been two weeks since we arrived in Seattle. Moving cross country to an unfamiliar place where all things are new has it’s challenges and plenty of opportunity. Isaiah 43:19 seems to echo daily through my mind saying, “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” We can’t help but perceive it! It’s been challenging, stressful, exhausting, and exciting as we’ve been unpacking our house, getting kids registered for school, attending school tours and open houses, and finding our new rhythms. But in the midst of the chaos, God keeps giving us reminders of why here, why us, and why now.
Unlike our loved ones in South Texas, the weather over the past couple weeks has been beautiful in Seattle. We have been making an intentional effort to take walks though the nearby hiking trails, parks, and playgrounds to help break up the day. The kids have done great considering the complete overhaul on their “normal” life. One afternoon this past week, Evan and I walked to a nearby park where we spotted a Chinese woman doing tai-chi. She saw us out of the corner of her eye and turned to us. As she did, I said hello to her in Chinese… “你好.” Her eyes lit up and we began a 20 minute conversation in her native language while Evan played on the playground. As we visited, I got to tell her about my life in China and she told me about her life in America. She has been teaching Chinese in a local elementary school for the past 20 years. When she asked why we moved here, I told her about our vision to start a church and reach Seattle for Jesus. Her eyes lit up again! She went on to tell me that she was a believer but had struggled finding a church and wanted to join us! We exchanged information and have been in contact since that introduction. As we find our new rhythms, such as visiting parks, God reminded me that He can and will work through the everyday stuff of life.
As God has led us to Seattle to plant a church, people have often asked me about a building as if the church was a program housed at a specific location. Unfortunately, that’s what the culture has created in so many ways. Over the next year, our goals revolve around living our lives on mission in the everyday stuff of life. I will be working with a local church that will help us get acclimated and prepared to launch next year. However, we are missionaries before we are church planters. In the northwest, there isn’t an “if you build it, they will come” ministry approach that is effective or successful. The seemingly most effective approach is relational investment in peoples lives as we help them discover who Jesus really is and what He desires for them. In many ways, this approach takes more time and effort. God has been teaching and showing us that this plan to do the impossible is only possible through Him. Our brokenness and dependence on Him is paramount. As He uses us as His instruments in this endeavor, He has shown me 5 essentials that are involved to accomplish the impossible…
- VISION – God’s vision is for us to share His message of hope with Seattle and the world (Luke 24:47). The Lord said what would be impossible with man is possible with God (Luke 18:27). Once we obey in the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we’ll be amazed at what God will do through us.
- PEOPLE WHO INVEST & BELIEVE IN US – Being missionaries and church planters is impossible without the calling of God and the partnerships and support from the body of Christ. The prayers, financial support, and partnerships are critical to accomplishing the vision.
- WILLINGNESS TO FAIL – Yes, it’s risky…but we are willing to follow God’s path with an understanding of the reality of challenges church planting in Seattle. We remain obedient and we trust God with the results.
- UNYIELDING COMMITMENT TO THE VISION – Our commitment to the vision is rooted in the urgency of the gospel, our passion for the lost, and our relentless pursuit to live surrendered and obedient lives to Christ.
- FAITH TO TAKE MASSIVE RISKS – The size of the dream = The size of our faith. Our God has the ability to fulfill His vision through us as we surrender to Him. He is increasingly growing our faith.
Please continue to pray for us as we get acclimated to our new life in Seattle. We are excited about the days and years ahead as we launch AWAKENING CHURCH to reach people with the gospel. Your love, support, and prayer means the world to us!
Jonah, Kathy, Evan, Adele, and Elijah Easley