Yesterday morning, I had the privilege of joining Sherry and Jordan for worship at Waterline Church, our home church, led by Pastor John and Danielle Freed. It was exciting to see almost every seat filled for the 11 am service in the middle of the summer.
Pastor John shared a challenging message about “The Art of Neighboring” from the parable of the Good Samaritan and dedicated the newest member of the Waterline family. It was also good to be led in worship with Mrs. Emily Love. I’m grateful for HQ staff like Dr. Ed and Emily Love who make a difference by serving in their local Wesleyan church.
Last evening, I had the joy of celebrating with Pastor Jerry Alexander and the Anderson Central Wesleyan Church as they baptized two new believers. Jerry had the privilege of leading this couple to Christ just a few weeks ago and they were excited to take this next step of faith in their spiritual journey.
Last week was a bit unusual with our office closed for holidays and staff vacations. On Wednesday, I was at HQ and was able to hear Pastor Barry Dixon (Calvary Family Church) bring an encouraging message for the HQ chapel service. He spoke from John 11:35 on “Understanding Our Tears From God’s Perspective.” Jon Wiest, our District Multiplication Team Director, and I met over lunch to map out next steps. Then, on Thursday morning, Dr. David Wright welcomed Dr. Ed Love and I to the IWU campus to share his vision for the potential of IWU graduates helping to launch 50 churches in the next 10 years. One of the highlights of the meeting was learning that Dr. Wright’s grandfather had been a bi-vocational church planter in Terra Haute. I’m grateful for Dr. Wright’s heart for the Great Commission!
Thursday afternoon, I met with a prospective pastoral candidate in Marion and then Sherry and I met with Pastor Paul and Phebe Kirk for supper in Muncie. Many of you will know that Phebe’s daughter was in a devastating car accident last month that resulted in the death of their grandson and left her daughter with a broken back. Please continue to pray for this family as they lean heavily on God’s sustaining grace.
Saturday afternoon, I dropped in at Brookhaven Wesleyan Church to support the fundraiser for their youth group’s upcoming mission trip to partner with an inner ministry in Cincinnati. It was good to see Pastor Dave Hines in action and to connect with friends like Ed Hoover.
We are delighted to welcome Rev. Tom Ensz and a team of Bible college students from The Wesleyan Church of Brazil. They are in Indiana this week making connections with Brazilians who have settled in the Hoosier state with a view to possibly launching a Portuguese-speaking congregation. Rev. Clifton Ashlock, former missionary to Brazil, and pastor of United Wesleyan Church in Anderson, is hosting the 18 team members. I’ll be meeting with them on Monday and again on Friday to hear what they’ve learned and to explore possible next steps. Pray that God will grant them discernment and favor as they explore the possibility of launching a missionary outreach here in Indiana.
Their visit is a helpful reminder that America is a mission field with more than 3 million people living in our state without a relationship with Jesus Christ. That’s why multiplying disciples and churches must be our focus. That’s why Pastor Kyle Horton and our Fort Wayne Zone are partnering with Roy and Dylana Angulo Jimenez to launch a new Spanish-language ministry in the coming year.
Charles Spurgeon reminds us that “Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter.” (from Spurgeon’s 1873 sermon “A Sermon and a Reminiscence”) May God help us to be the missionaries He needs us to be to reach America for Christ!
Your servant in Christ,