Monday, September 20, 2010

It Takes a Little Time Sometimes

During our time here in the States we've slowed down and realized that we needed some rest and rejuvenation so that we can be ready to serve with full hearts. We did not realize what a toll the past two years took on us. Filled with joys and sorrows, and many learning experiences, we found ourselves back in the U.S. tired, weary, and ready to follow God where ever he leads. That is what we have been doing over the past few months. We've put some of the traveling we planned on doing on hold for a while in order to rest, renew, and take advantage of some opportunities that came before us.

One of those amazing opportunities transpired when we were sharing at Hollow Rock Camp meeting. On missionary day an older gentleman approached us after we shared and started asking us various questions. Right away we clicked with him because he understood our desire to reach the lost through planting house churches. We knew it was a God thing, for lack of a better cliche, because we spent the whole afternoon talking and talking with our new friend, Jim DiRaddo. Jim said that he'd like to invite us to Philly, where he lives, to make some connections with others that are planting churches among the inner city poor, and with others involved in missions.

That initial conversation took place back in July and we kept in touch with Jim during August. Last Tuesday we returned from our 10 days in PA. God worked out many divine appointments while we were in the Philly area. We were able to meet with some people who are involved in training missionaries how to do house church, we met the president of Herr's Food who is starting a different type of church in his community focused on serving the poor. We had the chance to go to the Simple Way where Shane Claiborne and others started an intentional community in a very run down part of Philly with the hopes of reaching their neighbors with Christ's love. We visited the Circle of Hope and met with it's founder Rod White. Rod's desire is to reach the unreached generation with a circle of hope. We had many deep conversations with many people who are discovering what it means to live simply, serve the poor, and be the church in a hurting world. We were encouraged by the diversity of ministries and people that God is using in the Philly area. One Sunday we went to Lancaster, PA to attend a house church meeting that reminded us a lot of what we were doing in Mexico this past year.

God used our time in PA to break our hearts once again for the urban poor. We did not realize how much poverty and diversity existed in Philly. Also, our time confirmed our calling to church planting among the urban poor and Latin American communities, and it brought us new friends for the journey. Many of us are experimenting with new ways of doing church that don't include a building, overhead, or the like, but rather concentrate on relationships, radical discipleship and service. We are seeing a movement rise up around the world to reach the lost. Much of this is happening in home church settings. While the home church model is not the most popular, it is growing, and we too are growing as we learn more and more about it.

Thank you for supporting us in our calling to make disciples and radically follow God's call on our lives. We appreciate you.

More to come...
Josh with our gracious host, Jim.
Jennifer with our new friend and hero, Liz.

1 comment:

Grammy said...

I'll be in the philly area for a month in Feb- March of 2011, if you're settling in that area let me know...