In our preparation for the opening of Awakening Church, we’ve had to wrestle with some real questions like, “Does the world really need more churches?” The answer is yes, but the world doesn’t need more mediocre churches. The world needs healthy and vibrant churches that are genuinely fulfilling the Great Commission in their cities, towns, and nations. Life-filled churches with genuine worship, biblical teaching and healthy, accepting community – churches that point people to JESUS.

the family that

By God’s grace we began services this past weekend at our new location in Bellevue. Even though services have officially begun, God is (and will continually be) shaping who we are and our vision. Honestly, it’s pretty easy for me to write out a Bible-based Christ-centered vision. But I’m learning to hold my vision very loosely. As I sit across the table from inquiring individuals, the most commonly asked question is, “What’s your vision?” In responding to that question, I resist the urge to give set-in-stone answers. In these early days, we know that we can’t fully see the full scope of that vision until God begins to bring people that will help to shape it. While we are focused on being multi-cultural, I don’t know who God is going to flood our church with. And I don’t know the gifting of those people. I’m practicing patience in the full-scope vision too quickly at the risk of quenching the Spirit.

Another one of the questions that we’ve had to ask ourselves is, “What is absolutely necessary to plant a church?”

The number one thing that we need in order to plant a church is unchurched people.

This means that we need to be around unchurched people. We’ve been intentional and opportunistic with the relationships that God has brought our way over the past year. Because of those relationships, we had at least 4 different faiths and culture backgrounds represented at our first service. What an incredible opportunity to share the good news of JESUS with them. 

In this kick-off season, we are thinking about building Awakening Church just like you would build a house. When you build a house, you’re not already thinking about the additions, renovations, or expansions. When you start building a house, you’re thinking about the foundation. We want to make sure we lay a solid foundation…and it takes a lot of time, effort, and dollars to do that. But once that solid foundation is laid, then we can start building out. This is our foundation building season.

Thank you for your prayers, encouragement, and financial support that have all enabled us to be on this journey. Please continue praying for us for the following requests.

  • The launch of our second City Group meeting in Bellevue.
  • Developing relationships with 300+ international families connected to Jubilee Reach (where we meet).
  • Developing leadership teams and City Group leaders.
  • Staffing needs: On Oct 14 we will have a potential worship leader with us. Additionally, we are praying that God would bring us a discipleship pastor.
  • Praise: This past week our new Awakening Kids Director, Louise Rider, and her husband Gary moved to Bellevue. Please pray for them as they get settled in their new home and life. 

Our Calling to God’s Mission

Brands & Trends

Our mission team recently arrived home from a couple weeks in Southeast Asia. We led and hosted the first Awakening Conference for nearly 50 Chinese believers, pastors, and missionaries. Our team of 13 people worked as a unified body and were truly blessed as a result. At Awakening Church, missions is our mission. We are focused on reaching the nations, including those in our backyard, with the good news of the gospel.

We are working these days in preparation for the launch of Awakening Church in Bellevue, Washington. With our sights set on November, we are praying for our core team as we make significant decisions over the next couple months. Please pray with us during this season of new beginnings and the launch of a city impacting ministry for the years to come.

This summer has been a unifying and team building season for our core team. For the past eight weeks, we have been on a journey through the Emotionally Healthy Discipleship Course. We have been digging below the surface to discovering who God has designed and created us to be. This hard work of discipleship has been a great tool for God to do the work of restoration within our hearts as a solid foundation for our future.

Check out this video about our calling to God’s mission. We thank you for your partnership and prayers as we reach the Seattle area and the world with the gospel.




This past month, as with most, had a lot going on at Awakening Church. We’ve had three mission teams come from partner churches to serve along side us. With their help we were able to spend countless hours serving with our community partners. This past week, a team from Englewood Baptist Church in Jackson, Tennessee, constructed a playground for neighborhood kids.img_0440.jpg This back-breaking work will be a blessing for years to come. Our teams have also served a local homeless camp where we have an ongoing ministry. Providing food, laundry service, and meeting other felt needs. On July 4th, we had a team of volunteers help with the Kenmore Fourth of July festivities. These service opportunities open great doors for building relationships, reflecting the nature of God, and sharing the truth of the gospel.

We are moving full steam ahead in our transition and launch of Awakening Church within the next couple months. Our core team meets weekly for prayer meetings and Bible studies to seek God’s guidance in how best to reach those around us. Over the next couple weeks we will be solidifying plans for our official launch as Awakening Church. As a team, we have been going through the Emotionally Healthy Discipleship course. This course is deeply impacting our community of faith. Our relationships with God and one another are becoming more authentic and life giving. We are striving more toward reflecting the nature of God and to join in leading others to do the same.

God has entrusted us to…

  • Reflect God’s Glory as we embody the character and nature of God in our own lives. As His ambassadors, we represent His character to the world around us. 
  • God has also entrusted us to replicate ourselves. Our aim is to fill the whole earth with other renewed image bearers by spreading the life-changing Gospel and multiplying children of God. By His design, we are not called to simply be His disciples, but also to make disciples.
  • And lastly, we are called to cultivate an environment where others will flourish in light of the glory of God. With the posture of a servant, we aim to cultivate our community so others can flourish according to God’s design. The people of God, whether at work in the marketplace, leading at church, or caring for family, are to cultivate the surrounding soil.

God empower us to accurately reflect the image of God…for the Kingdom of God!

Please join us in praying for:

  • A unified vision for Awakening Church
  • A new meeting location for Sunday morning worship
  • Upcoming outreach opportunities
  • The mission team coming at the end of this week
  • Our members to be continually outward focused as we share the Gospel with those around us





When we moved here almost a year ago. We understood that our first year was the foundation for us to get to know our community and build relationships. In doing so, we began go focus on our vision of planting a church in Bellevue. But over time, our vision has expanded to focus on a much broader area.

There will always be a temptation to focus solely on building and developing our own church vision, instead of also helping build other church’s visions. God reminds me often that this is His church, His people, and He will move and use them however He sees fit. He’s got the whole thing rigged, and I don’t want to get in the way of what He is going to do.

Several months ago, I tip-toed through an open door as the interim pastor of The Landing Church in Kenmore, WA. By the grace of God, In the coming days, we will be relaunching The Landing Church as the core of Awakening Church. 

With missions as our mission we are committed to being intentional about staying focused on the “1.” In Luke 15, Jesus told three different stories to make one clear point. The heart of Jesus was to leave the 99 and go after the 1. I truly believe that the more we focus our churches on relationships… going after the 1, the more our churches will get behind the vision of being a multiplying church. And that’s our desire.

As we develop a praying culture…we are praying Psalm 127:1: “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who labor, labor in vain.”

Effective prayer begins when we perceive the gap between where a situation is and where God wants it to be.

Jesus taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come; your will be done earth as it is in heaven.” I perceive a gap between where our church is and what God wants the gospel situation in Seattle to be. I believe he wants the gospel to be famous here. I believe he wants there to be a profound spirit of gospel unity between churches here and together we see a massive awakening in our area. I believe he wants the gospel to be made accessible to every people group that we find in our area, and that he wants his people to saturate every broken and hurting part of our city. And I believe he wants us to plant 5 churches and bless 5 cities in places where the church is not strong. I believe all this because God’s word tells us he wants it.

Thank you for partnering with us and going on this journey with us. May God receive all the glory.



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

The Daily Habit of Every Missionary

Daily habit with love

For church planters like us, we face what seems to be a sea of endless challenges. As we approach our 9th month on the field, on a weekly basis, we face challenges that could easily deter our faith. These aren’t the challenges of physical suffering, persecution, or even the cultural challenges we faced in China. In some way, those challenges almost seem as if they would be more acceptable. No, these are the small sufferings of every church planter or missionary…the challenges of unmet expectations, frustrating new processes to learn, the absence of deep friendships and support systems, and other complications that seemed to be simple tasks in our last season.

Church planter training is both helpful and necessary, but nothing could completely prepare us for all of the details involved in planting a church in a new culture. Without Christ, we could easily become overwhelmed by our transition and be consumed by trivial tasks. Some days it seems like it would be easier to sacrifice our time with God and spend more time figuring it out ourselves. But in the midst of these difficulties, we seek refuge in God’s Word and find hope in Him alone…even if we sometimes enter His presence with more complaints than thanksgiving.

We are continually convinced that abiding in Christ is the only way we can survive. When we venture outside of our comfort zone into a life of obedience and faith, we begin to realize how our daily time with Jesus is critical for our spiritual health.

Even though Kathy and I share the same transitional experience to Seattle, we have processed it uniquely. We are two people living in the same house and walking through this together (with three little people), yet leaning into Christ with unique personal needs and desires.

Kathy is an amazing wife and mother with a seemingly endless job. From packing lunches, getting kids ready, driving to and from schools and appointments, leading a weekly ESL Bible study, teaching fitness classes, building relationships in the community, serving in and through our church(s), and putting up with me…I don’t know how she does it all.

Meanwhile, I am in my element in some ways, but trying to “figure it out” in so many others. No office to administrate, no late-night calls to the hospital, and no staff to lead…I find myself in some ways robbed of an identity (…an unhealthy identity I might add). The expectations I had in place were (and are being) quickly replaced by the reality of planting a church in the Pacific North West. 

We have no way of knowing what doors God is going to open for us. However, when He opens them, He expects us to walk through them…trusting Him throughout the journey. Over the past couple months, God has opened a door for us to step into The Landing Church, a five-year old church plant in need of an interim pastor. Each week, we see the positive results of that obedient step.  We are praying that God would give us clarity for the long-term vision and direction for The Landing Church as we work to plant Awakening Church later this year.

Never has our daily time with Jesus been more critical for our spiritual well-being.

In this season, we are rediscovering what we already knew as truth. We cannot live without feasting daily on God’s Word, abiding in Jesus, and spending focused time in prayer. Attending a gospel-centered church does not adequately strengthen us for everyday challenges. Simply being part of a team of Great Commission focused people is not enough to calm our anxious hearts. Instead, the assurance of the presence of God and the God-breathed wisdom of Scripture protect us from being immobilized by the challenges of the mission field. One day at a time, one relationship at a time, one gospel conversation at a time…God’s plan is unfolding for us. We rest and abide in him.

Thank you for partnering with us for the sake of the gospel. God is at work! 

Please join us in praying for the following things:

  1. Our family and the daily challenges of living on the mission field.
  2. The time-line and relationships as we move toward planting Awakening Church later this year.
  3. The long-term vision and direction for The Landing Church.

[AWAKENING CHURCH UPDATE] 3 ways to live because of Easter


It’s Easter week and we are excited about all the opportunities that this season naturally opens. Over the past several weeks, we have dedicated time in our ESL class discussions to the Easter story. At the conclusion of class, we ask how many people have ever heard the Easter story before. So far, we’ve only had two people that had heard about the victory found in the Easter story! We are so thankful for the opportunity to share the life-changing gospel with people in Bellevue.

Over the past several months, God has given me several opportunities to preach at many churches in western Washington. The Landing Church in Bothell, WA is one of those churches. The pastor, Andy Brown, and I have formed a great relationship over the past months as we have relocated to the area. Andy planted The Landing Church about five years ago.  They have done a great job connecting and serving the east side of Seattle in the name of Jesus Christ. They have seen over 70 people come to know Jesus and have made great strides in making multiplying disciples. They have had a significant impact on this community and the Kingdom of God.

About a month ago, Andy asked me to pray for their family as God was leading them to transition to Alabama to care for his father-in-law. After many conversations and prayer, The Landing Church has asked me to step in as their interim pastor during this season of transition. As we continue with our vision to plant Awakening Church in Bellevue, we sensed God open this door for us to expand our reach. This Easter weekend will be my first weekend as the interim pastor at The Landing Church.

As Easter quickly approaches, we are drawn to 1 Corinthians 15 where we find one of the most detailed descriptions of the resurrection of Jesus. At the end of the chapter, Paul thanks God for the victory of Easter and immediately follows it up with three ways to live. As our vision is expanded, we’re focusing on these three ways to live!

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:57-58


1. With Abnormal Stability

Steadfast and immovable are the words that Paul uses. Is my life a picture of abnormal stability? Is my life anchored in the good news of Jesus and His victory at Easter… or am I shifting with the winds of challenging circumstances, relationships, and realities of our fallen world?

The Empty Tomb teaches us that God is powerful, faithful, and willing. We no longer need to live in fear and doubt; we can stand on the Rock…He is stable.

2. With Long-term Activism

Because of Easter, we should be “always abounding in the work of the Lord.” This should push us to be hopeful, courageous, and motivated. If we actually believe that Jesus defeated death, and that He reigns in power, what should we fear?

Because of Easter, we believe in victory, transformation, deliverance, and abundant life.

3. With Real Hope

We must interpret life by looking through the lens of the empty tomb of Jesus. Because of the victory of Easter, we believe that our present work that God calls us to “is not in vain.” Paul tells us to root our heart in that truth.

In the darkest of circumstances, when God seems to be silent or even absent, we can have hope! May our celebration of Easter not be limited to a weekend. Instead, let our confidence in the Risen Christ shape our everyday lives.

Thank you for partnering with us as we pursue a life of obedience and faithfulness, dedicated to making the name of Jesus known around the world.

Please join us in praying for…

  1. Our developing vision as God expands our ministry platform and reach.
  2. The development of our new life rhythms as I step into leadership at The Landing Church in Bothell, WA.
  3. For God to continue raising up partnerships and core team members willing to journey along side our vision to plant Awakening Church in Bellevue.


I’m not a big hiker and I’ve never sailed before. But there are principles of hiking and sailing that directly apply to the way we live our lives.  In my church planting orientation, trainings, books, and cohorts there has been a great deal of emphasis put on planning and strategizing. While planning has helped us develop and clarify our vision, we’ve learned to plan in pencil recalling, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

We do like to make plans…but planning assumes predictable and unchanging pathways similar to a hikers dependance on a map to navigate. In the planning process, there are fixed points that can be anticipated because the paths and landmarks don’t change much over time. Their presence is predictable.

But imagine the context of a sailor on the open water. There are few landmarks or fixed points that provide an ever-present constant. Storms, shifting winds, and changing currents require an entirely different set of skills to navigate. Similar to navigating the seas, observing and adapting to our ever-changing environment is essential.

We are reminded everyday that North America is the largest English-speaking mission field in the world (although 40+% of Bellevue, WA speaks another language at home). As Will Mancini urges…

The Church can no longer think and act like club members; we must think and act like missionaries.”

As we live as missionaries on the east side of Seattle, God continues to open new relational doors.  In my regular routine of hair cuts, I’ve developed good relationships at a local barber shop.  Most of the workers in the shop are from the middle-east and they refer to me as “Preacher man.”  My regular barber, Michael, and I have had some great gospel conversations over the past few months.  The door opens a little more each time I’m there. When I first met Michael, I added him to a prayer list of people I regularly pray for.  A couple weeks ago I mentioned to Michael that I prayed for him each week and asked him how I could pray for him specifically.  With tear filled eyes, he shared how grateful he was and how I could pray.  I let him know that I’d be preaching at three different churches in November and I invited him to come when he could.  This past Sunday, after a 20+ year hiatus from any church, he showed up to hear me preach. After the service, he sent me a text message that read…

Jonah, I really enjoyed the service. Felt like Jesus was talking to me face-to-face. Thanks for the invite and the prayers. I’m excited because I know that He who began a good work in me is faithful to see it through.

I’m so thankful that God brought us together and how He is working in Michael’s life.  I look forward to my next haircut!

For Thanksgiving, we invited 7 new friends to our house for dinner.  Most of those that came had never had a traditional Thanksgiving meal before. We got to express our gratitude to God for his son, Jesus, and for bringing us new friendships. We then prayed together and had a great time teaching them about Thanksgiving traditions and what we are thankful for.

Holidays provide such great opportunities to share the good news with people all around us. This week we began Christmas conversations in our ESL class.  We read and explained the Christmas story in the book of Luke, sang Christmas songs, and talked about Christmas traditions.  Our ESL class turned into a special time of discovering Jesus. I could see faces light up as we read the Word of God. Jesus showed up to Talk Time!

I hope these few stories help paint the picture of what God is doing in, around, and through us.  We have a great focus these days on our preparation. While planning relies on predictability, our preparation helps us stay focused during times of uncertainty and seize the opportunities God gives us. We continue looking for ways to bless and serve our community.

As sailors on the open seas, we are continually praying, learning, and discerning what God is doing. As each day unfolds, we are beginning to discover God’s unique vision for us and the planting of Awakening Church.

I am continually reminded that my Kingdom vision really isn’t about me at all. And “It’s actually not really about [Awakening Church]. It is about the Kingdom assignment of unleashing a wave of God’s reign across [the east side of Seattle]— and way beyond.” -Jeff Christopherson, Kingdom First

Please join us in praying specifically this month for:

1. The development of our core team.

2. Partnering churches and individuals to help support the launch of Awakening Church.

3. Our ESL classes and the developing relationships God is beginning.

When God Calls – Kathy Easley

This past month my wife, Kathy, was asked to write a blog post for By Faith She.  I’m honored to share life with this amazing woman/wife/mother who lives in daily pursuit of God. Whatever God is calling you to today, I hope her story inspires you to say YES Lord!

One of my favorite things is to hear a testimony from someone who said “Yes!” to God’s calling on their life. In elementary school, I was in a group called GA’s (Girls in Action), a church program for girls to learn about, pray for, give to, and get involved in missions. It was exciting for me anytime a missionary would come and speak to us about what their life was like on their mission field. Little did I know that one day God would call me to a foreign mission field.

I distinctly remember the day I knew that my husband and I would be moving overseas. My husband was a high school pastor and had recently returned from leading his second mission trip to China. I came home from work one Monday and it was clear he had been deeply burdened about China and sensed God leading us there. Through much prayer and fasting, we felt certain God was calling us to China. And to the shock of my husband, without hesitation, I said yes! I had traveled abroad to seven different countries, but had never been to China. The Lord had been preparing my heart and mind for this well before this day. God has a way of confirming His will through other people, through His Word, and through the alignment of circumstances that cannot be coincidence. I couldn’t see what the whole picture looked like, but He showed me what step to take at that time. That was my role in all of this – to take that step. It required faith and trust in a God who knows what He’s doing and who has it all figured out even when I don’t. This is how I can partner with Him in making an impact for His kingdom! He leads and I follow with complete trust in the God who sees the end from the beginning. Beautiful submission!

As excited as I was to get to China, it was quite a daunting task to prepare to move our entire lives to a foreign country. There were less than five months from the time we were sure of God’s calling to China until we actually landed there. God had opened a door for us to teach English, but we didn’t know what ministry would look like. Even though God didn’t show us a blueprint of His plans before we got there, He went before us each step of the way. Moving to China was a big step of obedience, but it was only the first step. Being submersed into a new culture drove us to complete dependence and obedience for every part of our journey. We’ve been back in America for a few years now, and I love reflecting on our four years in China. I could never have imagined all God had planned for us there. When we arrived, we felt unqualified and unprepared in many ways. However, looking back, I can see how God had prepared us for ministry in China well before we moved there. And while in China, God was preparing us for church planting in the Chinese populated city of Bellevue, Washington, where we currently serve.

M. David Sills, in his book The Missionary Call, shares one of the best quotes I’ve heard about God’s calling. He writes, “His call is for life, but the ways and places where we fulfill it and live it out will change throughout our lives as He guides.” It is vital that we understand that as believers and followers of Jesus, we are all called to live our lives on mission. Sharing Jesus with the world is not reserved only for those with seminary degrees or years of ministry training. The Great Commission Matthew 28:19-20 is for all believers. While God did call us specifically to a foreign mission field for a season, we are called to live our lives on mission wherever we are. Every believer is called to leverage their life for the spread of the Gospel. This means that your home, school, work, social media, with your friends, at a coffee shop, are your mission field. God may never call you to a foreign land, but know that He has called you, as follower of Christ, to join Him in His mission every day of your life.

Obeying God’s call on your life is the best and wisest decision you can make. It brings blessing because God honors those who honor Him. Obedience to God’s calling also involves submission to His authority and plans over your own. Remember that when you submit to God, you are submitting to One who is good, loving, and never changing. He is all-powerful. He makes possible the impossible. Obeying God demonstrates trust in His goodness and control over all things.

Is there something you have sensed the Lord calling you to do? Whatever that looks like for you, becourageous! You don’t have to see the entire picture to be obedient. Be obedient in taking the first step. It can happen right now. He who called you is faithful.


We desire a movement of God. Period. We came to the Northwest with this desire but didn’t assume that we would be the catalyst for such movement. A movement of God  is the work of God. Therefore it cannot be planned, but it can be prepared for.

With that understanding, we stay on our face before God pleading with Him to draw the hearts of our city to Him.  In our context, we feel certain that constructing a building and opening the doors with the expectation of people showing up will make little to no impact on the Kingdom of God. The work that God has called us to is purely relational. One relationship at a time. One disciple of Jesus…making another disciple of Jesus… that makes other disciples of Jesus…and so on. This means that we must be willing to meet people where they are, invest in and develop healthy relationships, and be willing to walk alongside them as they discover who Jesus is.

I’ve discovered something that you probably already know. It’s easy for me to meet people when I spend time out and about in my city…looking for people! But it’s easier for me to live my life for myself and my family with no concern or care for those around me. God continues to open my eyes to see more of how he sees the world…with a genuine love and concern for the hearts of all people.

A few weeks ago, we began an ESL ministry with a group of Chinese adults looking for
community and conversational English practice.  In our opening remarks, I shared about our love for China and Chinese people which sparked some credibility and curiosity. When it came time for questions, we were asked, “Why would you leave America to move to China?” This question coming from a group that worked as hard as they could to get to America. “Thanks for the softball,” I thought to myself! This opened the door for me to share about my relationship with Jesus and my desire to share the life-changing gospel with the people of China.  As I finished with my response, many were smiling and they began clapping. What a response! Most of them are not believers, but were moved by our sacrifice, willingness, and our love for their people and nation.  Relationships have begun to grow with several of the participants over the past few weeks since the beginning of our Talk Time class.

In my last post, I mentioned meeting a woman named Coco. In our third conversation, she mentioned that someone had given her a Bible.  She opened it for the first time and closed it almost immediately feeling overwhelmed.  I asked her if she would like to read it together.  Her eyes lit up as she responded, “I’ve been waiting for you to ask me that.” Two weeks ago we began reading the book of John together. Please join me in praying for Coco, her husband Jack, and her 2 children as we help them discover Jesus.

Each week we are meeting new people and deepening relationships with the people that we have already met (I keep a running spreadsheet to keep them organized and pray for on a regular basis).  Additionally, God continues to open new doors for us in our city.  Serving in Evan’s elementary school, multiple opportunities for conversational English classes, YMCA partnerships, and other opportunities are bringing new people into our lives. We need your prayers as we continue tilling the ground and sowing seeds. Another current need is for 40 Chinese English Bibles ESV/Union 中英对照圣经. We would like to give them as gifts to our Talk Time students for Christmas this year.  If you are able, please help us bless our new friends with their first Bible. They can be sent directly to:

Awakening Church, 15225 SE 49th St, Bellevue, WA 98006

This past week I attended the North American Mission Board Church Planter Basic Training. It was a great and challenging week as we unpacked many thought provoking topics that helped to both confirm and refine the vision that God has given us. Additionally, beginning this week, I will be a part of a NAMB church planting cohort with four other planters.  We will meet monthly for the next five months as we discuss leadership competencies including calling & character, vision, missional engagement, and multiplication.  I’m thankful for this great opportunity.

Even with our desire for a movement of God, ONLY God can create one. It requires His divine and sovereign work.  But, based on observations of history and things taking place around the world, there are patterns relating to movements (Lifeway research). Here are 3 of them…

Unreasonable people. The comfortable do not create movements. Instead, they originate with those who are desperate, demanding something different.  When people allow their faith to be tamed by the world, they end up with a “nice religion” uninterested in the big issues like global evangelization, world poverty, and injustice. Christianity needs unreasonable people who are uncomfortable with the status quo and unwilling to be content with the current mode of life and church.

Churches that are willing to sacrifice. Seeing the Kingdom as more important than an individual church will take sacrifice, but that’s what a movement is about. For so many churches that are simply trying to survive. A movement takes churches that so believe in their mission and cause that they are willing to sacrifice for it— financially, individually, and corporately. They are willing to give and go.  Everyone loves a movement, as long as it looks great but costs them little. A true movement will have a steep price, but those who are a part of it will recognize the immeasurable value.

Multiplying disciples. That’s so basic it is easy to miss, but it cannot be more essential. The fact is, no one will be willing to be unreasonable and no churches are willing to sacrifice unless deeply committed disciples are involved. Making disciple-making disciples is the basic building block of anything Jesus calls us to do, which is why it is central to the mission of God.  In the Great Commission, Jesus indicated you are not making real disciples if they are not disciple makers.

As you journey with us in this endeavor, we urge you to be unreasonable…willing to sacrifice…and be personally challenged to multiply disciples in your context. I pray that our passion for the lost will create a sense of urgency and relentless pursuit of storing up our treasures in heaven. Glory to God.

Please join us in praying for:

  1. Partnering churches and individuals to help support this work.
  2. Developing relationships that open doors to gospel conversations.
  3. Our planning and mentee opportunities in the coming months.