Since our arrival in Seattle, God has continued to show us that we are exactly where He wants us to be. On a weekly basis, we are meeting new people and making new connections in the community. Visiting parks seems to be a prime place to meet new people in spite of the reputation of the Seattle freeze. This refers to a belief that it is especially difficult to make new friends (particularly for transplants from other cities) in Seattle. While I can see the realities of the freeze, our experience has been a little different so far.
I met Coco and her 5 year-old son at Downtown Park in Bellevue two weeks ago. She moved here from Beijing the same week we did. Her husband works and spends most of his time in China while she is here with her two kids. We have continued dialogue and they plan to come to our house for dinner this week. While our conversations have been brief up until this point, she has shown an openness and excitement about our new friendship.
When we met Amy, a real estate agent in Bellevue, she shared her story of how she was introduced to Jesus. In an effort to improve her English, she began meeting with a small group of people for an “English Corner.” Through that experience, she was exposed to the gospel and followed Christ as a result. Because of that experience, she has a passion for reaching people in similar ways. Having done that type of ministry in China, we share a similar passion with Amy. We have teamed up with her and will begin teaching an ESL class for 37 professional Chinese women on October 13!
This past Saturday we spent some quality family time in downtown Seattle. We took the kids for a ride on the Seattle Center Monorail and played at a nearby playground. After dinner, we took a walk through the marina on Lake Union. The kids really enjoyed looking at the seaplanes, floating homes, and yachts. While walking along, we passed by a sign for boat rentals. I grabbed a brochure and we kept walking. Within 10 minutes, Kathy had convinced me that we should go back and rent a boat for an hour. So in an adventurous spirit of spontaneity, we did. As I was filling out the waivers, the employee asked, “This might seem random, but did you used to live in Virginia?” I told him I had lived there for a couple years. He then asked, “Did you live in Newport News?” “Yes,” I replied…getting a little wierded out. He continued, “Were you the student pastor at Tabernacle Baptist Church?” In fact I was! He let out a big sigh and said, “I knew it was you the moment I heard your voice! I was in your youth group!” Are you kidding me right now? My jaw was on the ground. He said, “It’s so weird that you are here right now. I think about you guys all the time and wonder where you are. I just want you to know how big of an impact you made on my life and wanted to say thank you.” I’m excited to see God work through this relationship. We are meeting him for coffee this week!
As we move toward our calling to plant a church in Seattle, we daily live out the DNA of the church we desire to be. Our vision is to see people transformed and be obedient to the Great Commission for God’s glory. Our uniqueness revolves around who God called us to be as His children and our genuine heart for the nations.
MISSIONS IS THE MISSION With the gospel of Jesus at our core, we are committed to being on mission in our city to make, grow, and send disciples. What happens inside the walls is designed to prepare people to go outside the walls.
FOCUSED OUTWARD A healthy question to ask is, “What do my time and money say about my priorities?” Jesus spent the majority of his time with sinners, even to the point that the disciples became concerned. He calls us to join Him in the effort of reaching the lost.
BUILD UP TO SEND OUT Becoming a disciple of Jesus involves much more than the transformation of our character. It’s also about carrying out His mission. He wants us to follow Him to make us fishers of men!
All of this is a means to one end…the glory of God. Apart from Christ, we once lived to glorify lesser things. But in Christ, correct worship of God is restored and we are empowered by His Spirit to glorify Him and join Him where He is at work.
Please continue praying specifically for…
– Our transition as we settle into our new routines and schedules
– Our new relationships to develop and lead to gospel conversations.
– The development of our core team – That God would call people (and that they would be obedient) to join us in Seattle.
– Partnerships with churches and individuals that would join us in prayer, financially, and on the field.
We rejoice in this good report and Tom and I will continue praying for you as doors are opened for you to share our Lord Jesus. Much love
Great report! Excited to hear all God is doing in and through you! Keep rowing for the fields are white into harvest!
Wow! Awesome to see God unveiling his plan daily, and walking you in the steps He already prepared for you guys, Thanks for sharing with us , we love you and we will keep praying for you.
As always, our prayers are with you and your mission! Your passion for leading people to Christ has always been evident. Even though separated by many miles now, sweet memories of your presence linger and are cherished. Hello to Kathy and the kids!
Beat to Beat,
My Friend my Brother, we thank God for helping to settle down slowly. we also so encouraged how God is opening up a door for you reaching out people in such a shot time. its amazing how God leads you people they know you. you and your family and ministry are in our regular prayers. God be with you.
Jonah, Just thinking about you and Kathy and the kids today…and praying. So awesome to read the stories of your God connects thus far. Can’t wait to see what God does. Love you man. Donnie