A local church is alive when it gets serious about its mission in the world. First Baptist Grapevine is absolutely alive and God is blessing us with so many open doors to make disciples here at home and around the world. At times, it seems overwhelming. I know it may not be comforting to hear a church leader admit that but I have learned that if we feel like we have all of God’s work under control, then we may have veered off course a little. After all, we have been praying for God to do immeasurably more right? That is our faith journey and God calls us to increase our faith. The crazy thing about it is this is only the beginning!
Before I update you on our church planting efforts, I want to ask you to put November 6th on your calendar. That is "Engage Sunday” and your missions team is working hard to make this a special day in the life of our church. We have some wonderful things planned and you WILL NOT want to miss it.
Here is a brief update on all of the Church Planting works that we are involved in. We support each of these financially through the faithful giving of the people at FBC Grapevine.
This is an exciting time at this young church. I sent Zack this picture last Monday morning to let him know that FBC Grapevine was praying for Waterfront.
Less than 2 minutes later he called me and was so excited to let me know that they met for the first time in their new space the day before and they packed it out with over 170 people. In fact they had to send people to an overflow room in the Marriott where they had been meeting. Already they are planning to begin a second service on September 11th. In February, we will send a team of people to help Waterfront host and event called “Night to Shine”. This event is sponsored by the Tim Tebow foundation and offers special needs teenagers a prom night experience centered on God’s love.
Our team just returned a little over a week ago from our annual trip. After 5 years of investment in the barrio of Las Marias, we are beginning to see some very encouraging signs. First, there were more than 400 women and children participating in Kids Club and the ladies activities. Second, we had more than 100 in the group of 10 - 15 year olds. These are the kids that have literally grown up participating in this ministry. Lastly, many of the community leaders are beginning to take ownership in this weeklong event. We were overwhelmed with people so they pitched in and helped! This is key as we move forward strategically in this community. Soon we will work ourselves out of a job in Las Marias and we can move to the next place.
Our main investment in Ecuador is our physical presence. What has made Las Marias successful is the faithfulness of our people to return year after year. So in order to make it even easier for our people to spend time there, we have rented an apartment in an ideal location relative to Las Marias and our partner church there in Tumbaco. Click here to find out more information about the apartment.
Meet the team! (From left to right) Jeremy Feghali, Johne and Blanca Baker, Derek and Cora Selinger, Chris and Hanna Greenwood
The Bakers and Greenwoods have successfully immigrated to Canada. They have found rental condos in East Village and are now looking for jobs. John and Hanna begin seminary later this month. Life has begun and just last week, the team met for the first time! This weekend, I will be leading a retreat for them outside of Calgary. The preparation and transition is nearing an end and life on mission in downtown Calgary is just beginning! Let’s see what God does with the faithfulness of this awesome team!
This brand new church is beginning to find its footing in the community of Westdale Hills. They recently celebrated their first two baptisms and they are fresh off of their very first VBS. They ministered to around 30 kids and enjoyed several volunteers from FBC Grapevine. These are very significant milestones in the life of a new church plant. Please continue to pray for Well of Refuge. This one is close so if you would like to get involved personally, just let me know! They would also be encouraged if you visited them on a Sunday for worship at 10:30.
There are also a couple of opportunities close by that are very real. We just aren’t in a place in the process to broadcast these on the world wide web. I don’t mean to be cryptic. If you would like more information, please shoot me an email at email@example.com or just wait for some exciting new news in the coming weeks and months.