Things are picking up speed.
This last week we had our first official "Launch Team" for the church plant, Shepherd turned three, we had a realtor to look at the house, and plans for the plant are continuing to develop. Here's a little more about last week..
Preparing To Launch
Wednesday night was a real moment of culmination of months of prayer, hopes, discussions, and assessments. We hosted the first launch team meeting for Redeemer Queen's Park in the living room of our home. The launch team is the group of people who are ready and willing to move to London if they can find the right pathway and visa. The team has been interviewed, assessed, and prayed for.
A lot of people have asked what goes into creating a launch team. The launch team was formed through our assessment process. While we were busy sending emails, reading assessments, having meetings, and praying for the team - God was at work in all of the details to bring the team together. You can learn more about the process of how we formed the launch team on the recent podcast episode. Here's a little more explanation of what God has done.
We connected with over 75 people who expressed some type of interest in the church plant. All 75 people were met with initial conversations to answer questions and help them think through the assessment process. 35 of the original 75 completed written assessments. From that group of 35 we journeyed with 30 of them for a couple of months of interviews, information meetings, and building friendships. 17 people joined us for the vision trip to London in January and from that group 10 people committed - along with the six adults already onboard - to joining the launch team.
By God's great grace, we have 16 adults committed to the London launch team. This group could rise by 1-4 people in the next couple of weeks as a few more conversations are still going on. What is especially sweet about this moment is we have been specifically praying that God would grant a team of at least 10 and no more than 20 Americans to help plant this church in London. This moment is an answer to prayer. We are overjoyed!
A lot still needs to happen in the days ahead. Everyone needs to find a job in London that will supply the required visa for making the move. Obtaining the visa is a step that other North American church planting teams don't have to face. God has done so much to this point and we have every confidence that he will complete the work that He has started for those who are destined to be in London.
Once in London we will begin phase two of creating our launch team as we will work to connect with people in the London - both Christian and unbelievers alike. The team who will plant this church will not be a group of only Americans. We are trusting God to deliver locals and internationals alike to our number to plant a church that is representative of the cultural diversity and richness of Queen's Park. We will share more about these plans in the days ahead.
For now: God has answered a lot of prayers! Rejoice with us. And, there is work to be done.
Birthday Boy In A Big Week
Emotions are starting to crash together. We had a lot of fun last week as we celebrated Shepherd turning three! We choose not to do a big birthday party this year, instead we celebrated ALL week long. Shepherd brings so much joy and life to our family. We are so grateful to be his parents. Shepherd is sweet, largely obedient, and the giver of the best snuggles. We love his sense of humor, his love of cars, and the way he loves us. Our lives are great improved by the presence of our favorite little boy.
As fun as celebrating Shepherd was we also had a friend come to the house and talk about what is involved in putting our house on the market next month. We also spent some of our "spare time" preparing the house to sell. To top things off, Thomas was able to share a few updates with Providence on Sunday night during the prayer and worship gathering. You can imagine the highs, lows, and extremely bittersweet taste this leaves us with. Through it all, we are fixing our eyes on Jesus and trying to follow Him no matter what.
Travel Travel Travel
The next three weekends will have us on the road twice and Thomas away on a trip with the guys for Residency with Summit Network. We are excited to have a few days together in D.C. this weekend. Thomas is preaching at Restoration City Church and we are going to try and catch our breath in between a few meetings that are coming together. We are really looking forward to time with John McGowan and his team at Restoration City.
Please pray that our family would hang together during this intense season of transition. We have experienced a few moments of rest in the last couple of weeks and we believe it is a result of many of you praying for us. We need your intercession!
Thank you for being on this journey with us.
since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us also lay aside every weight,
and sin which clings so closely,
and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
looking to Jesus,
the founder and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,
despising the shame,
and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.