25 Oct Day 17
The Great Commission
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19
“It’s for Charles and his girlfriend that we have dreamed about starting a community-based alumni church at the Hope Mountain Campus, as we’ve had for over a decade at our original City of Youth Campus.”
If that sounds familiar, it’s how we ended yesterday’s prayer.
With Gods blessing, the City of Youth alumni church grew from meeting in a borrowed space to owning its own building, with an indoor gym, bleachers, and snack bar. The ministry is not only self sufficient, but contributes financially to the City of Youth. Sunday school classes are full with the children of Hope alumni! And the alumni themselves have financed the whole thing.
Most encouraging of all, the C.Y. alumni church is already a “sending” church. They sent and are supporting two missionary couples on the field: one in the North of Brazil, and the other in Indonesia! These four missionaries are being supported by the tithes of former street kids.
But what about Hope Mountain? All the same reasons exist for ministering to alumni in the community. In addition, Hope Mountain has 500-plus day students bussed in for job training every day. Many learn about Christ on our campus. We need a place close to where they live and work to cultivate their budding relationship with Christ, and allow them to bring family members.
But using our campus chapel is challenging. For one thing, many of our kids are under death threat, and we can’t allow just anybody on campus in a mixed venue. For another, the ranch is down a dangerous road with no public transportation.
Even as we prayed about it, God was using a series of seemingly unrelated events to answer our prayers:
Three years ago, two pastors planted a church in an upscale neighborhood in a city near Hope Mountain. Since day one, the entire church adopted Hope Mountain as their primary mission. Every other week, rain or shine, the pastors, worship team, and many parishioners come out to our campus to lead worship with our children.
That’s not all. One of the two lead pastors and his wife even come out one night a week to lead a Bible study with our house parents. For two years, Pastor Luciano and our house parents had fervently prayed about the need for an alumni church in the community, even walking through the community and praying for it.
God put the need for an alumni church so strongly on the heart of Pastor Luciano that he felt called to do something that sounded crazy: to go before the deacons and congregation, proposing to step down as lead co-pastor and be commissioned as the full-time leader of the Hope Mountain alumni church plant.
Almost simultaneously, we were blown away to get a call from Gardena Valley Church, a faithful church partner in California. The mission’s chair said they had prayerfully earmarked a $10,000 gift to help us in the area of Evangelism….if we had a proposal for how it might be used. Did we ever!
Last month, amazingly, the church body approved Pr. Luciano’s bold and unusual request. God is so good. Everything has come together. We are now looking for a suitable location for our new alumni church plant, looking forward to the day when we will send out our own graduate missionaries around the world.
Lord, I think back on the many miracles we have experienced as a ministry, and am so overwhelmed with gratitude. Thank you for not only blessing us, but empowering us to bear fruit and bless others with you Word, even far away.