[AWAKENING CHURCH UPDATE] Build Bridges

BUILD BRIDGES

Bridge building is a spiritual mandate that followers of Jesus are called to pursue. Hezekiah, in 2 Chronicles 28-30, with his great faith and radical ”all-in” obedience, and his people were preserved and experienced a great revival in his generation. At this key time, we are called to be the human bridge that connects the power of God to people that don’t yet know Him.

“The destinies of societies are shaped by great men and women who act boldly at key times.” -Thomas Carlyle

This past week my parents and brother’s family were able to spend a few days with us in Seattle. While here, I showed them around our city and opened their eyes to the realities in which we live. For lunch one day, I took them to eat at a Hong Kong style Dim-sum restaurant in Chinatown. It’s one of our favorite places to eat and was sure to be a cultural experience for them. This was as close to China as I’ve ever been able to get my brother. As he fumbled his chop sticks in the middle of this bustling authentic Chinese experience, he asked me, “How are you going to reach all these people?” It was a great question that I’ve wrestled with for the better part of 10 years. I told him that we have to build bridges into their lives. For me personally, this specific bridge is knowing their culture and language. In just a sentence or two, I can step into the Chinese world and make a new friend. We don’t always have that obvious or clear bridge, but we are called to find one and stand in the gap. Standing in awe of how God saved us from destruction. Interceding for the lost souls around us. A missionary in China once said,

“I used to think that prayer should have the first place and teaching the second. I now feel it would be truer to give prayer the first, second, and third places and teaching the fourth.”

Please pray for bridges in your own life and in the lives of missionaries around the world.

This past month, Kathy’s 44 year old brother passed away. In the thickness of shock and grief, we are still processing this great loss. In some ways, it’s as if our family table is now without one of it’s legs. The remaining legs wobble and teeter as we learn how to imagine life without him. I’m thankful that Kathy could spend a week in Georgia with her family during this time. In the strength of Jesus, she spoke at the funeral and reflected on her relationship with Danny and the joy he created around him. We ask for continued prayer for our family as we grieve his loss.

As our vision expands for The Landing Church and Awakening Church, I invested several days visiting some of The Landing Church partnering churches in Tennessee and Arkansas. Each pastor I met gave me such encouragement and support for our God-given vision and their future support. Planting churches continues to expand our hearts and deepen our faith to complete dependence of Jesus. We know that nothing on earth is more powerful than the Holy Spirit flowing through the faith of a devoted disciple of Jesus. 

The church planter/pastor assignment is a key role, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Under the surface of the water we find the most significant 90+% which certainly includes partners that prop us up, encourage, fund, serve, and pray for the work of God. Without the underlying support, planters tend to isolate and burn out. We are beyond grateful for our partners (you) that stand with us for the sake of the gospel. We pray that your care for our emotional and spiritual health will result in a long and faithful ministry.

God’s will done God’s way and in God’s time will never lack God’s favor. 

Missions teams also play a strategic part of starting a church. They break ground through prayer walking. They provide the needed hands and help for outreach events that reach greater numbers in a community. They encourage us by their helping hands and hearts. This past week a team of 17 from a partnering church in Arkansas came to serve along side of us. They came with servant hearts and helped us further develop relationships in our community by serving an elementary school, assisting with our homeless ministry, after school programs and multiple other projects. It’s amazing how doors open as we love and serve our community. Thank you CBC Jonesboro, for your surrendered hearts willing to serve tirelessly for the advancement of the gospel. We certainly welcome other partners to prayerfully consider similar short-term mission trips to help us “bridge the gap” in Seattle.

We thank God for your continual support