|Awakening Church was planted in metro Seattle to enter into the dark places of our city with the hope of Jesus. A new dimension to this city engagement is to serve women who work in the adult entertainment industry. We are ministering to these women right where they are, in the strip club. Each Wednesday, our Outreach Team gives hope by going into strip clubs displaying the love of Jesus and declaring the gospel. |
Through actions and words, we proclaim Jesus to strippers because He alone is their hope to be free from all bondage. Our ultimate goal is to demonstrate and introduce their Redeemer to them.
This ministry can make people feel uncomfortable. But as we model the life of Jesus, we desire to meet, eat with, love, give favor and extend grace to sinners of every kind. He spent time with those whom society overlooked and cast aside. Jesus didn’t leave anyone as worthless, but instead made them worthy with his very own blood.
May we always remember that it’s God’s kindness that leads us to repentance (Rom 2:4). That only the blood of Jesus makes us holy. Jesus was never afraid of walking towards those society had the least regard for (Jn 4:4-42).
Each week, relationships are being built and trust is being established. We pray these relationships lead to social interactions and deeper relationships to display and declare the good news of Jesus. We pray they will come to personally know the love of Jesus and the extent he went to bring them back. Jesus alone can bring heart transformation.
Please partner with us by praying for our outreach team, those they are engaging, and divine appointments. We need you, prayer warriors, to uplift our arms as we engage in this spiritual battle.
The challenging and uncertain days remain consistently unpredictable. I am proud of the resiliency and faithfulness of the Awakening Church family as we navigate this season. The official announcement hasn’t been made yet, but based on the current increase in Covid-19 cases, we anticipate tighter restrictions in the near future. In spite of this lingering news, we remain encouraged about what God is doing in and through this church family. God’s grace and your ongoing support for our church and family are keeping us engaged on the front battlefield lines. Your prayer and financial support are helping us not only survive, but thrive in following Jesus and living out the calling of our lives.
This past month we had many gospel conversations and saw 3 people surrender their lives to Jesus. And this past Sunday, we celebrated one baptism! Praise God for drawing people to Himself! Your prayers are meaningful and impacting us each day. Thank you!
Pastor Jonah Easley
Over the past couple months, Sister 谢 (Xie), has been joining us for worship and engaging in deeper relationships with Awakening Church.
She said, ” From the first time I heard I believed, but I didn’t know how to come near to God. I couldn’t find a place where people could help me. Ryan has been in my life for a while and always told me to come to church. I just wanted to maybe read a little in my home and do good things. But, he continued to encourage me to go to church. Because we don’t speak the same language, I didn’t understand very well. But, I always felt like God was telling me to come to him. But, when Britton told me believing in God means I am a child of God. So, I confess Jesus with my mouth. I believe him in my heart. I believe him with everything. I don’t have any problem with this confession. I feel very happy and grateful. God has allowed me to return to him. This is His grace.”
We have been called and equipped to engage our city so they will see that God is FOR them! We are branding our local GO TIME and city engagement “FOR BELLEVUE.”
- DONUTS IN THE PARK: Each Saturday we gather at DOWNTOWN BELLEVUE PARK to engage people with a FREE DONUT. This is an intentional missional opportunity to show our city that we are FOR them.
This has been a valuable opportunity as we gather to connect with people in our city. Pray that this would continue to open doors for new relationships in the days and months to come.
This past month, we have been using this card as a simple way to bless people in our city that we don’t yet know. We are reminded that we are the presence of God in this generation. He has called us right here…right now to live the life of a Jesus follower. This means selfless and relentless love, desperate for the souls of men, women, and children in our city and around the world.
Pray with us as we continue to engage people without the hope of Jesus, with the hopes of declaring the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ.
The pandemic has upended the economic stability of our church and community. But with that shaken foundation, we have seen great opportunity to meet needs all around us. Over the past few months, Awakening Church has been consistently working with other local churches in our community to provide much-needed food, diapers, and other personal hygiene items as families in our local area face trying times.
While our personal needs have increased and our resources have decreased, we have stayed intentional about running toward our community needs, instead of away from them. As a result, we have seen many needs met and many lives changed. Each week we pick up and deliver many pallets of food from one of our local partners. That food is brought to a local non-profit that sorts and distributes that food based on the individual family needs. At it’s peak, we were serving over 620 families. Today there are 565 families in the program (approx. 2542 people, 28 churches involved, and over 16,500 grocery orders provided).
Recently, there has been an surplus in food so many of the leftover food boxes have gone directly to a local hispanic church that has faced great challenges. Their pastor has expressed deep hurt and questioned the survival of their church. And he’s not alone. According to the Barna Group, tens of thousands of pastors are unsure if their church will survive the coronavirus pandemic. However, 2020 has given us a glimpse into just how fragile our churches actually are. We are learning first hand how you don’t know how able God is until you find yourself in a situation that you can’t handle and requires the divine providence of God. We need God’s providence in these days!
You don’t know how able God is until you find yourself in a situation that you can’t handle and requires the divine providence of God.Tweet
But praise God, He is providing! And he’s using Awakening Church to help provide for other families, churches, and neighborhoods across our region. This past Friday, 370 food boxes were picked up and delivered directly to this hispanic church. They have 67 families in their congregation, so they are using the food boxes as a way to reach out to their community, minister to their felt needs, and build relational bridges into their immediate neighborhood.
In a year of uncertainty, we are continually looking for ways to love our community and share the message of hope through a relationship with Jesus. Despite facing ongoing challenges, Awakening Church will continue to operate virtually and prepare for the day when we can worship together again physically. Please continue praying for us and our boldness to proclaim Jesus in a hurting city.
Find more ways to connect and support at www.AwakeningSeattle.com
We know that the impacts of COVID-19 will be long-lasting emotionally, financially, and even spiritually. The future is uncertain, but our goals remain the same. As we move forward with faith and wisdom, we will make decisions based on our vision, mission, and values. These will be our guide as we confront difficult issues in our community. We are committed to serving those around us and meeting as many needs as possible. The needs far outweigh our abilities, but we are putting them all into God’s hands in prayer.
Here are some ways we have had the opportunity to serve…
- Covid-19 Food Drive – Practicing hospitality as a Jesus follower demonstrates Christian brotherhood and good Samaritan care for those whose lives are upended and in need of help. Each week we’ve continued to help provide for this overwhelming need in our community. Here is a message that was sent out by the food drive coordinator this week…
“We didn’t think a market would be possible today, as there just wasn’t sufficient food and items to make it worth it. We don’t want to open the market, if only a small number of families can benefit. Over the morning, Awakening Church arrived with three car loads of food!..Suddenly, we had fresh gallons of milk, hard boiled eggs, guacamole, tomatoes, potatoes, red onion and Trader Joe’s yogurt. Hastily, we set up the market, and it turned out to be one of the coolest yet…Thank you Casey, Pastor Jonah and Awakening Church!”
- In connection to the food drive, we provided 40 $25 Target gift cards to families that needed specific items that weren’t accessible through the food drive.
- Awakening Kids and families are putting together 250 goodie bags for families with children (including Lifeway activity books, stickers, glow sticks, candy, etc.) that will be personally given to families receiving support through the food drive.
- We were able to supply some much needed financial support in providing necessities for families of students in our neighborhood through the Seattle Area Youth For Christ.
- For 7 weeks we prayer walked our church neighborhood followed up with gift bags with encouragement and the hope of the gospel, the Jesus film, and microwave popcorn. This opened the door to reveal new relationships and gospel conversations.
- Several of our Awakening Church family members have been deeply impacted by the coronavirus. We have been able to provide grocery gift cards to help them make it through.
- We helped one of our members relocate to a smaller apartment.
- We contributed to a local back pack drive for children in need. Some schools in our community report 70% of students receive free lunch. Many people work multiple jobs to provide for their families. In our area of continually rising cost of living, the $65 – $100 for a new backpack and school supplies is more than difficult, as many families have to spend increasing more than ever before on just housing and food.
- We continue to gather weekly though digital platforms for prayer and worship. We’ve seen an increase in connection points and a more intentional time of focused prayer.
We believe that the key to a new movement of the Spirit of God will not be in a new technique, but in renewed passion of Gospel proclamation, earnest prayer, and yearning for the Spirit of God.
Please pray with us as we continue looking for ways to engage our city. In addition, we are planing to host 2 Backyard Bible Clubs this summer (Aug. 10-14 & Sept. 14-18). We had planned on a VBS, at the end of June, but had to adjust due to the current reality. We are praying for support from individual partners and mission teams to come alongside us for our Bible Clubs. Please pray about personally coming and/or bringing a team of 3-5 people to support these incredible opportunities. We need you!
Thank you for your continued prayers and support.
In His Service,
This month we are launching new City Groups. In a nutshell, City Groups serve as the main growth point of Awakening Church. In its purest form, we define our City Groups as, a safe place where people can encounter God, and find the resources and relationships to nurture their spiritual growth.
We love to worship together on Sundays. But larger group settings restrict opportunities to personally connect with others and there just doesn’t seem to be much opportunity to share personal prayer requests in the Crowd.
City Groups, on the other hand, are perfect for creating a sense of intimacy and close fellowship. It’s in your City Group that everybody knows your name. When you are absent, people notice. And you are missed if you don’t show up.
Carey Nieuwhof speaks of the paradox of our current age, He says, “we’ve never been more connected as a culture, and we’ve never felt more alone. Churches must prioritize community. Real community.”
Relationships are the glue that holds a church together. And at Awakening Church, our methods of ministry flow solely from engaging our city and the relationships that form.
- Please pray for our new City Groups and group leaders as they live out the great commission.
- Pray for new relationships, gospel conversations, and ongoing disciple making.
We are rejoicing in God’s faithfulness in working though our mission team in India. Thank you for joining our team by your praying for God to work through us. May God continue to bless our partners as they give their lives each day to serving Jesus in India.
- The orphan camp had 86 children in attendance and we saw 16 of them give their lives to Jesus.
- The pastor training was an encouraging time as we poured into 65 pastors from the region.
- During our Sunday worship gathering, 17 gave their lives to Jesus!
It’s with great excitement to introduce our new church partner, Chinese Baptist Church, Seattle. We thank the Lord, who continues to bring partnering churches along side us to further establish the roots of Awakening Church. Most of our partners are geographically far from us, but CBC is a local church that makes local partnership in city engagement possible.
- Please pray for us as we seek ways to unify, pray for, and work together to push back the darkness in the Puget Sound.
This month Awakening Church will be sending a team to serve alongside an ongoing partner in South Asia. The commission to pray, give, and go is at the forefront of our hearts. We are called to “go and make disciples of all nations” and India is one of the places that God has called us to go. India is the most unreached nation on earth. When they face life’s greatest challenges, millions of Indians are left hopeless and in desperate need of the Savior. Please be in prayer for our team as we prepare for this challenging and faith testing trip.
WHAT WILL WE DO?
ORPHAN CAMP: (need 3-4 people that love serving) Part of Pastor D’s ministry includes an orphanage for desperate and hopeless children. Our Orphan camp will introduce children to Jesus through engaging activities, songs, and prayer.
CHURCH PLANTER TRAINING: Over the past 25 years, Pastor D has helped to plant over 60 churches. Those leading these churches have no formal theological training but are learning as they go and have a great need to develop sound doctrine. Our training will create an opportunity for us to invest in these church leaders as they faithfully serve in extremely challenging circumstances. Our focus will be on multiplication as we see each of those churches plant more churches this year.
The work that we are able to do in the Seattle area and around the world is directly linked to your prayers and partnership with Awakening Church. Thank you for being a part of what God is doing. May he receive all glory and honor.
At 1.2 billion people, India has the second-largest population in the world. Recent statistics show that the percentage of Christians in India has remained steady at just over 2% percent.
Although India is a land of joy and deep cultural richness, it has also been a land of profound suffering, oppression, and injustice. A 2017 report showed that India was ranked fourth in the world—after Syria, Nigeria, and Iraq—for the highest levels of Christian persecution.
And yet, I’ve heard countless testimonies expressing gratitude for the persecutions they have experienced. Christians continue to testify that the persecution has heightened their sense of commitment and love for Jesus and His love for them. It has shaped their Christian identity and has increased their faith. One Indian believer said…
I understand that being a Christian and persecution are one and the same things… We are strengthened by the fact that God is present with us, even when we are suffering and persecuted… We can trust in him. He is always there and never leaves us, no matter what happens.
Out of Indian theology comes a faith that is more than a personal relationship with Christ, or even salvation in the life to come. It is also about upholding human dignity, striving for justice, resisting evil, and creating community. Ultimately, it is about the coming of the kingdom of God, on earth, as it is in heaven.
For many years, Christians have engaged in meeting the great physical needs despite the presence of inequalities, exclusion, and conflict. These have been strategic platforms for us as well as we partner in helping to start schools, training centers, and planting churches.
When churches are part of the cultural transformation and find their own role in their communities as conduits for hope, healing, health, and learning—they will contribute to God’s mission in ways not otherwise possible.
Awakening Church is actively involved in engaging social challenges, making disciples, and planting Churches. And by God’s grace, we will be able to continue this partnership for many years to come.
Christians in India have a bright future not because of the current cultural and political scenario, but because God wants to bless this nation through his people. I am confident that God will continue to empower his people and through them, bless the nation of India. Even though there is an evident effort to push Christians to the margins, the people of God will continue to contribute to the nation and its people. We are driven by love, compassion, and a God-given mandate to go and make disciples.
Please join us in praying, giving, and going to the ends of the earth as we make disciples and plant churches.
The commission to missions was given to every individual follower of Jesus. As God breaks our heart for the lostness in our city and the 7,165 unreached people groups,1 we come together throughout the month of December to push back the darkness in a concentrated and sacrificial way though our World Mission Offering. There are many reasons that we have such a big heart for missions, but here are a few that keep us focused and moving forward in a sacrificial way.
World missions is the call of the local church.
Vance Pitman says, “God’s activity in my life locally is always connected to his activity globally.” And as I read through the pages of scripture and better understand what it means to follow Jesus…
I believe that if we aren’t doing everything we can to make and multiply disciples of Jesus, we haven’t really believed or understood the gospel.
Every follower of Jesus is called to obey Christ’s command to make disciples who know and obey his Word. But how does he intend us to do that? His Word is clear about our call to dependence, obedience, disciple making, and churches planting through the local church. The local church is called to send out missionaries (long and short-term) and care for those that are sent. And the aim is to plant healthy, reproducing local churches as a result of our missions effort.
Prioritize equipping missionaries & indigenous leaders.
“62% of the world’s pastors have no formal training and will probably never get any formal training from Bible school.”2 Our role is not merely to assess the problems, but to actively equip missionaries and indigenous leaders. As we help plant churches in South and South East Asia, training pastors and leaders remains a priority. Missionaries need encouragement to continue faithfully serving in their difficult contexts and new local pastors need solid Biblical training. We don’t take this responsibility lightly.
Long-term partnerships have the greatest long-term impact.
We have been intentional about cultivating long-term missional partnerships. Part of these partnerships involve the goal that we would deploy members to serve long-term in their contexts for the sake of the gospel. Being long-term focused means more than giving financially, but also includes short-term going with a long-term mind-set. We don’t just provide “missions experiences,” but we see our short-term work primarily as a way to support our long-term partners, and secondarily as a way to raise up new leaders to join the work. Missionaries and indigenous leaders need more boots on the ground, not just friends passing through.
God has given us a many instructions on the global mission of the church. Not only on what it is, but he gave us the “how-to’s” as we faithfully, joyfully, and confidentially deploy. Because we have been loved by God, we honor him by working toward his final goal—worshipers from every language, tribe, people, and nation. He gives us a mandate with a promise that his global mission will advance through dependent lives, as we display Jesus, declare the gospel, and deploy for his glory.
Our World Mission Offering will support ministries and missionaries who are making disciples and multiplying churches among unreached peoples and places around the world. Please pray that Awakening Church will continue to make a global impact as we cultivate a heart for the the Kingdom of God. Thank you for your encouragement and being actively involved in this global work!
Here is the breakdown of our 2019 World Mission Offering.
Ministry is so much more than the organizations we establish, the programs we execute, or knowledge we accumulate. The call and work of ministry is heart wrenching, tear shedding, and dependance testing! I often speak of the deploying and declaring the gospel is the easy part…but displaying the love of Jesus to the world can be the most challenging part.
It all looks great on paper, but once you hit the streets, it never plays out the way we have imagined that it would. This remains true for Awakening Church as we finish year one, and I’m confident that it will remain true until Jesus returns and brokenness is restored. One of our key leaders at Awakening Church is a young woman named Casey.
She has a challenging past of living on the streets as a teenager and a struggle with addiction. She got mixed up in many difficulties, but God got a hold of her heart and in full surrender, gave Him everything.
Through her experience, God has given her great responsibility in using her story to help others overcome similar things. She’s now ministering at a women’s shelter that helps women get off the streets and out of addiction or abusive relationships. I want you to hear how God is working in her as she reflects on the past year…
God has put me through the wringer this year…highs and lows like I could never imagine. The lowest part of 2019 was watching our close friend, Amanda, dying of cancer and rejecting the gospel through it all.
God made it clear I had been appointed to stay by her side, to be a witness and testimony of His love and salvation. He also promised He would be faithful and rescue her. But he wasn’t! And the longer she suffered, the harder her heart grew. And the harder her heart grew, the harder mine grew.
I became so angry with God I would spend sleepless nights driving around yelling and swearing at Him. “What are you doing God!? You’re making it worse! I thought you were going to save her! She is going to DIE without ever knowing you! What’s the point of me being here!? DO SOMETHING!!!”
I blamed God for my hard heart, and it was His fault I hated him so much because He was in control and He wasn’t doing anything. But I stayed and the Lord would whisper back, “Casey, do you trust me? Do you trust that I love Amanda just as much as you and I have a plan?” and the last and most difficult question, “If you never get to know if she comes to Me will you be okay with that?” And that was where I had to contemplate how much I truly believed His promises.
Well, turned out, God is faithful all the time. In those moments, it can be physically, mentally, and emotionally painful to sacrificially trust Him with it all – that is when He comes through and His glory shines 100-fold!
Not only did Amanda come to saving faith in Jesus as her Lord and Savior, but that urgency for the gospel and saving of lost souls has sparked a fire that can’t be contained. Since Amanda’s death, we have celebrated 16 souls coming into relationship with Jesus. So now I see, that the struggle with Amanda and with God wasn’t just about me or even her, but about so many others that will now spend eternity in Heaven because the Lord took me to such a dark place of desperation for Him.
I have learned that the most excruciating of lows bring the richest of treasures from the Lord. So, lead me to the valleys, Lord, because when I am there I know it’s exactly where You need me to be… Amen!”
God is clearly at work in and through the lives of Awakening Church. Thank you for your continued partnership with Awakening Church and your investment in the daily lives of Casey, Amanda, and all those we have opportunities to point people to Jesus!
This weekend at Awakening Church we are celebrating our one year anniversary. We rejoice at what God has done over the past year and look forward to what he will do through us in the future. Throughout the Old Testament, God consistently told His children to stop and reflect on what He had done for them. We want to do just that, not so that we can pat ourselves on the back, but to remind ourselves that God isn’t done working in Bellevue, WA or around the world.
Even though there are so many reasons for us to celebrate the past year—I never want us stop dreaming big for what He wants for our future. As I think about the next year, I have seven specific prayers for Awakening Church.
- I pray that we will continue to become more dependent on the Holy Spirit and on each other. It sounds like Christianity 101 but we spend most days in a tug-of-war with God. Our growing dependence means more naturally acknowledging God’s power, promises, and provision in everyday life.
- I pray that we will continue to grow in diversity. We’ve have had a focus of being a multi-ethnic body since day one. We live in the first minority-majority city in Wtshighton. Over ½ of our population was born outside the United States and we have over 100 major languages spoken in our neighborhoods. We want to be intentional about building bridges to reach the various cultures in our city.
- I pray that we will make disciples who make disciples. Churches can be known for many things…but I pray that we will be characterized by the way we make disciples. A lot of that will have to happen at the one-on-one level in city groups and in personal relationships. I pray that we will grow in becoming a people that multiply disciples that change this city.
- I pray for wisdom to make the strategic moves. There will be many critical decisions over the next year. Even as a young church, we have a lot of needs and it’s going to take our focus on the Spirit’s leading to guide us toward the right decisions.
- I pray that we will grow in our generosity. We want to see a culture shift, from inward living to selfless giving. Our attitude at Awakening Church is that we’re always making adjustments to our personal lives so we can give generously in order to reach more people.
- I pray that we will be a people of prayer. Without prayer, nothing we do will make a dent; If we become a people of prayer, there’s no limit to what God will accomplish.
- Lastly, I pray that we continue boldly declaring the Gospel to the world around us. What good is a group of fisherman who don’t catch fish? We live in a community that is 96% unreached…they are lost without the hope of the gospel. So I never want us to be so content with our “99” that we neglect not only the “1” but the millions in the Seattle area who don’t know Christ.
This all starts with us as individuals…making this personal. In Scripture, when God blessed his people, it was never for them to store up that blessing and prop their feet up. God blessed them to be a blessing to others. And he is calling us to do the same. Pray with me that God would pour out his blessing for his glory!
Thank you for making Awakening Church a reality. Your prayers, generosity, and mission teams have shown how God is working all around us. May the labor of these foundational years give us the platform for many more years of ministry. To God be the Glory.
This past month our mission team poured into a God-appointed group of underground house church leaders, ministry leaders, and other persecuted Christians in SE Asia. Our theme for this years Awakening Conference was “Walking with Jesus in Hard Places.” Here is a brief testimony of a family we had the privilege to serve…
During the Awakening Conference 2019, I was strengthened as a leader, restored as a wife, blessed as a mother, challenged as a kingdom builder, and encouraged as a member of a loving family. I was FILLED BACK UP again as a Warrior in His army!! Thank you SO MUCH for remembering us!! Even though we are so far from home base! And thank you for RENEWING us with your support, teaching and mentoring while also blessing SO MANY in our community and partner ministries as well! Words could not possibly express the DEPTH of eternal investment made in us during your time serving us! We are truly forever grateful!” -Smith family
This week, the Seattle area families are in in full-blown back-to-school mode. This time of year offers incredible opportunities to reach out to our community. For the second year, Awakening Church was a part of serving the teachers at Eastgate Elementary as they prepare for the new school year. For us, these opportunities are all about establishing partnerships with a vital part of our city. Partnerships allow us to go beyond meeting a single need. But as we develop deeper relationships with the staff and kids, the outreach can go far beyond buying pencil sharpeners. We pray that these relationships will continue to develop as we engage Bellevue with the gospel. Please pray for the development of these school relationships as we partner with our city for the advancement of the gospel.
On Sunday morning, 19 churches in Bellevue closed their doors to worship together at Downtown Bellevue Park. It was a beautiful picture of unity as we elevate our oneness in Christ to show the world what the gospel is all about!
This months marks the re-launch of our ESL Bible Study. This weekly class gives us and opportunity to show recent immigrants that we care about them. It also opens the door to introduce them to Biblical Christianity, Awakening Church, and a weekly community where they hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our study introduces the gospel in a way that people from non-Christian worldview cultures need. We began in Genesis 1:1 and unfolded the Bible’s BIG redemptive story all the way through the Old and New Testaments. We provide the overall Biblical context that makes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ clear and meaningful, even for people who know nothing about the God, the Bible, and Jesus Christ. Please pray for our leaders and students as we kick-off our class this week.
Over the summer we have been going through the book of Acts as a church. As we read the pages of scripture, we see that the growth of the early church was unstoppable and could not be explained. A small group of unqualified people with no money, no power, and no influence turned the world upside down and changed the course of history. This series through the book of Acts is helping us discover and refocus on who we are called to be as we lead the charge in Bellevue, WA. Click here to messages from the Unstoppable series. Please continue to pray for Awakening Church in the coming days as we intentionally create a DNA for a healthy and vibrant ministry in Bellevue, WA!
Thank you for your partnership and commitment to see the gospel of Jesus spread throughout the Pacific NW and beyond.
In His Service,
Pastor Jonah Easley