Below is an update from one of Vintage Church's Global Outreach partners in Southeast Asia.
Just days prior to moving to Southeast Asia in October 2013, I had the joy of being prayed over and sent out by Vintage Church after preaching at Rock 'N' Bowl. Fast forward to last month, I briefly returned to the US and once again had the joy of preaching at Vintage and reporting on all that God is doing in Southeast Asia. My wife, our three sons, and I are so glad to be commissioned by Vintage Church to follow Jesus to the ends of the earth. Yes, Rob and Annabeth are family to us, but truthfully all of Vintage Church feels like family because of how you stay connected to us. Our joy is full and overflowing because we love being connected to a faith family that is doing the same in New Orleans as we together seek to live the gospel, serve the city, and be the church - no matter where God takes us.
The story I have chosen to share is the one that has occurred most recently. One month ago, my wife and I were presented with an opportunity to help out with a new thrift store in our city. The leader of this ministry aims to provide work for international refugees, cheap products for lower income areas of our city, and opportunities to share the gospel with people who come into the store. My wife and I are helping to sort, organize, manage, and collect for this thrift store. However, our ultimate purpose is to share the gospel. Through this store, I was introduced to a family from Pakistan. He and his wife have 4 children and have been in a destitute situation. God has used this store to meet several of their needs, and the whole family recently heard the gospel at length and are seriously considering following Jesus. We give thanks to God for creating a variety of ways in which we can meet people and share the love of Jesus with them.
2016 is the year we will start to utilize short term teams for the spreading of the gospel here in our city. Our main need is to have 12 students with us for the months of June and July in 2016. We are convinced this team of 12 will be used in mighty ways for the kingdom here in Southeast Asia. We need this team to devote themselves to finding people and developing new relationships, with the ultimate aim of making disciples through evangelism and discipleship. If there is anything Vintage Church could do for us, it would be to spread the word about this awesome opportunity for the summer of 2016.
My one outrageous prayer for 2016 is 12 people, 12 groups. I have asked God to grant us the joy of leading 12 new people in faith in Jesus, with the immediate ambition of helping them to share the gospel within their networks so they in turn would start a group that would eventually lead to the start of 12 house churches. This is a big request, since I have only seen 2 of my target people group say yes to Jesus since moving to Southeast Asia. Yet with God, all things are possible. Thanks for praying this outrageous request with us!