This past month has been a continuation of the challenges surrounding the pandemic. Schools, restaurants, and other indoor gathering areas are still closed or extremely limited in their capacity. Awakening Church continues meeting online each week to encourage one another with the hope found only in Jesus. We thank you for your continued support and prayers as we face a steep uphill climb. Your partnership means more than we could ever possibly put into words. In spite of our current realities, we see God’s hand at work in and through us. People often ask how we stay engaged during a time of shut-down and digital gatherings. My answer is always, “through intentionality.” We work hard to daily spend time with God, each other, and look for ways to engage our city in new ways. This season is hard, but it’s been good as we’ve been challenged to think outside the box and keep our urgency with the gospel burning HOT! Please continue praying for our wisdom in making disciples, in our looking for a local venue large enough to accommodate a socially distanced Awakening Church gathering, and for our unity in prioritizing the gospel above all. Pastor Jonah Easley
For several Saturdays this month, we have been setting up a free donut stand in Downtown Bellevue Park. The weather has been nice and the park has been packed with people. For an hour and a half, we give out donuts and engage new friends in conversation. During this season, personal connection and interaction has been sparse. We’ve missed the day-to-day moments to naturally engage with our community. Almost everyone that we have met wants to know why we are passing out donuts! The donuts are a simple tool to open the door to an introduction, relationships, and opportunities to share the gospel. These days, displaying Jesus through a donut affords us an opportunity to declare the gospel! What are you doing to engage people where you live?
We are celebrating 2 new church partnerships with West Lake Church in Kingwood, TX and The Brook in Madison, Alabama. Partnership is not simply working together. It is collaborating on something both sides care about and do more efficiently together. We view our partners as collaborators who will advance the call from Matthew 28:18-20. We thank God for partners who have God’s perspective on His church and children.
This week we are beginning our series through the book of Romans called, Not Ashamed! Some of the greatest Christian leaders in the last 2000 years have maintained that Romans is the most important theological book ever written. Augustine said that in Romans “ all the shadows of (his) doubt were dispelled.” In Romans, Paul works through the most important and most pressing questions ever considered by the human race with meticulous logic—showing us that the gospel is the only answer to our questions and only real solution to our problems. Pray that this would be a transformative year in Romans!
Two years ago one of our church members (who lives half the year in Shanghai) wanted to join us on one of our yearly mission trips to SE Asia. She and 5 of her closest friends traveled to our destination and served along side us as we hosted a retreat for church leaders and missionaries. During this trip, we grew close to these 5 and became good friends. None of them were believers, but though our new relationships, they were exposed to our depending on Jesus, displaying and declaring the gospel, and our deploying on mission for Him. For the past 2 years these 5 have participated in our weekly ESL Bible Class that we host online. Until our meeting, they had not had any exposure to the gospel. Over the course of 2 years, they have asked hard questions, wrestled with, and even challenged what the Bible says. And this month, two of these precious friends surrendered their lives to Jesus. Go God! We are often reminded that we don’t work for Awakening Church…building our brand. We work for God and the building of His kingdom. And we are called to go the journey with people. Rejoice with us over these that have been transformed from death to life!
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I serve as the pastor of Awakening Church in Bellevue, WA. It's been a blessing to have been surrounded by such great leaders and men of God who have invested in my life from such an early age. Being raised a pastor kid, I have been saturated with the word of God since day one. At the age of 7, God showed me that it was through a relationship with Jesus Christ alone that my life could be made righteous. From the mountain tops to the valleys, God continues to give me wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to lead and guide those around me. Understanding that I am following the leadership of Christ. My wife and I have a passion and love for people and are privileged to be able to serve people for His Glory. Kathy and I were married on August 2, 2003 in Atlanta, GA. God has blessed us with three amazing children, Evan, Adele, and Elijah.