Thank you!

Thank you all very much for praying for us over this past weekend. Cheryl and I had a very encouraging time at the Basic Training Journey for Church Planters. We were humbled by the service and generosity of those who led the training and we were blessed to make new friends, as well!

We are still processing everything that God spoke to us through the workshop. We have so much work to do, but our faith has been bolstered. God is working and he desires to work in each of us, my friends! Can you believe it? Our God, the Creator of all things, has chosen to use people for his eternal redemptive purposes! We rejoice to take part in his work of reaching a lost world with the message of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Thank you for praying with us as we take this journey. Please, share your story with us, as well. We will pray for you.

Grace and peace,

Michael

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Where we’re at right now!

Just wanted to give a little update about what we’re up to this weekend.

Michael and I are at Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center in Talladega, AL for (no, not NASCAR racing, although that would be exciting!) a church planting basic training conference. (Tada! Better than NASCAR, right?!) We just got here today but God has already begun to move and speak into areas of the church plant where we have lacked a clear vision and guidance. There are innumerable things to consider and decisions to be made when planting a church and the process of mapping it all out seems, at times, like eating an elephant. We ask ourselves questions like, “Where do we start?” And then later, “We’ve come so far, yet we’ve barely made a dent. Will we ever get it all done?” But God is graciously guiding us and giving us precisely the direction we need to move forward. Praise God!

God has given us a vision for the Yakima Valley region. We would love to see the whole area reached and refreshed with the word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. People are lost in those communities and we’d like to approach them with the same generosity that Christ has shown towards us. We want to love and serve that community, starting in Moxee, until Jesus becomes famous in the whole region for what and who he is and what he has done in Yakima.

I believe that we are not the only ones called to this ministry. I believe God is moving in hearts all across the country to participate in this work. However, not many will actually get to go do the work. For most people involved, Yakima Valley Church Planting will simply be a ministry of prayer. It may seem like it’s not much of a contribution. It may seem underrated and overlooked. But don’t be fooled! God loves to act on behalf of the passionate, earnest and fervent prayers of His people! It delights him to show himself worthy and powerful and almighty in the eyes of those who have set their faces on his glory!

It is a privilege to be a part of a wonderful work of God. He doesn’t need any of us. Not Michael, not me and not you. However, because he loves us and because he is gracious to us, he has invited us to have a front row seat to the awesome work he is about to do in Yakima. Has God invited you to participate through prayer? If he has, I would encourage you to obediently follow as He leads you in prayer for this church plant. I would also ask that you let us know so that we can be in prayer for you as well.

Come on the adventure with us in whatever way God calls you! God bless you all!

We’re attending a Church Planting workshop this week!

Cheryl and I will be traveling up to Talladega tomorrow for a workshop in preparation for our big move to the Northwest. The workshop is called Basic Training Journey and promises to prepare us with the steps necessary to fulfill our vision of making disciples and planting churches in the Yakima Valley.

I’m personally excited since I love sitting in a classroom and learning something. Cheryl is excited, too, because this will probably give her hope that we will eventually have a plan for this crazy adventure. But we are also excited because some dear friends have made themselves available to take care of our sweet girls for a couple of nights. Meaning … Cheryl and I get to spend some time alone for the first time in over two-and-a-half years! Who would have thought church planting could be such a benefit to our marriage!

Here are some ways you can pray for us this week:

(1) Pray that our girls would take it easy on their hosts and remain safe and protected.

(2) Pray that our travel would be safe and smooth.

(3) Pray that we would hear God speak to us through the workshops.

(4) Pray that this would be an extremely fruitful time of learning and applying.

(5) Pray that God would get all the glory.

Thank you, my friends. You are such a blessing to us.

May the grace of Jesus be with you,

Michael

The Premier Weekly Update

Hello everyone!

I hope you all had a great weekend! We had a lovely weekend that included “Family Day” and a not-so-lovely date night that included the movie Paranoia. We left early. It was that bad.

I am excited to be writing my first blog/post/prayer request/cry for help. I hope you’re just as excited to read it and participate in church planting in Yakima through giving us your support in prayer. At any rate, we should all enjoy it while we can because after this, Michael may never let me do the prayer/update post again.

We have several prayer requests, it’s hard to know which ones are the most pressing or urgent since they are all pressing AND urgent. But I have to start somewhere so here goes.

Our entire purpose in all of this is to see God glorified and made famous in the Yakima Valley region. Please be praying for the hearts of the people there. Pray that they would be “good soil” and the many seeds we hope to sow there would find fertile ground and grow and be fruitful. If the people’s hearts aren’t receptive to God and the things of God, this is all for naught. So that would be our first prayer. Please pray specifically for the people of Moxee since that is where we will be planting first.

Our second prayer request is for the financial piece to be put into place. We need to start raising support and honestly, are quite at a loss as to where and how, exactly, to begin. Which is unfortunate considering how important it is that we do so and do so quickly. One important piece of raising support is getting some material together to give out and we will be receiving something to help us with that this week. Please pray that God would help us to work quickly but do a very good job at putting this informational material together so that it will be an effective tool.

We also need to set up some sort of account or means by which people can give should God put it on their heart to do so. We are receiving help in this area as well and will hopefully have something in place in the next couple of weeks. Please pray that God would throw open the doors on this process and nothing hinders its completion.

Please pray that we are able to find a place to live in Moxee. We have many hopes and dreams in this regard, as do the girls! They are all praying for their “dream rooms” to become reality when we start our new life in Moxee. I don’t know about dream rooms, but I do know we need a place to live that will accommodate our size family and hopefully have room to host a few others and perhaps even serve as a meeting place for our church for some time. You never know! Please pray that God would provide, probably in a miraculous way, a place that will serve our needs and that can be used to serve Him.

Please also be praying for our core group in Moxee. Please pray God would grow us together even over the miles that separate us for the moment. Please pray that God would prepare them for all the challenges that lay ahead and that their own excitement and enthusiasm would grow as we all work towards planting in Moxee.

I think that should do it for now! I can’t tell you how much we appreciate your prayers. We have never needed people to pray for us quite like we need it now. We are definitely in a situation where if God doesn’t move, this whole thing will fall apart. So please pray passionately that God will move mightily, move mountains and move hearts.

Thank you again! God bless you!

 

Here We Go

The time has come.

After several years of praying, and meditating on God’s word, and attempting to be faithful in the little things (I’m still working on this!), God has confirmed his call on our lives to start a church in the Yakima Valley.

In many ways we’ve come full circle. A little over 10 years ago we were serving in a little Baptist church in the middle of Yakima, expecting it to be the start of my full-time ministry. But within 10 months we were struggling with whether or not we were really in the middle of God’s plans for us. Ultimately, a series of circumstances directed me into a completely unexpected adventure, and for the past 9-and-a-half years I’ve been serving God and country in the U.S. Army.

What I’ve discovered over these past few years is that God has remained faithful to his call on my life, even when I was unsure of what it was.

Now, here we are. We’re getting ready to start a church in the same region where we began a decade ago. And our desire is to see God glorified through making disciples and planting churches in the Yakima Valley.

Over the next few weeks and months we will be sharing some specific ways you can partner with us in making disciples and planting churches. We are utterly dependent on God to make this happen. Will you pray with us that God would do more than we can ask or imagine? Will you join us in seeing God do something amazing in the Yakima Valley?

Are you ready?

Here we go.