I’m sure you have seen the pictures and read about the devastating effects created by the recent earthquake in Nepal. The images we see and the stories we hear move us to pray and to ask, “What can I do to help?” Providentially, we had a member of one of our churches in Nepal when the earthquake hit. Paul Michaels, a member of Living Hope Church in Harrisburg, PA, was in Nepal doing gospel mission work through the ministry he leads called Gospel Harvest Mission. This ministry is an integrated auxiliary of Living Hope Church. Paul attended the Sovereign Grace Pastors College in 2005–06 after several years of experience as a pastor and missionary (including planting churches in Novosibirsk, Siberia for 5 years).
Paul served on Living Hope’s staff from 2006–2012. During that time, he became acquainted with a large segment of the Nepali-speaking community in Harrisburg. After leaving the staff, Paul launched Gospel Harvest Mission with Living Hope’s enthusiastic support. Through God’s leading, Paul made connections into Nepal with two church planters.
Paul was making his second trip to Nepal and preaching on a Saturday morning when the earthquake struck. One report estimates that more than 7,500 people have died and another 14,500 injured because of the earthquake. Though Paul was scheduled to leave the next day, he decided to stay and help with relief efforts in light of the massive needs.
If you would like to help with the relief efforts that Paul is involved in, you can give to Gospel Harvest Mission directly and immediately help the Nepalese. GHM will use these funds to provide plastic for shelter, blankets, cooking pots, water jugs, rice, and lentils. Paul is able to go out into the seven hardest hit districts by motorcycle where no relief has yet arrived. He estimates that it will cost $120 to help a family of four with essential items.
Finally, here are several ways Paul is asking for prayer:
1) Pray for wisdom and a pure heart as the pastors purchase, transport, and distribute the goods to help the churches and villages where they live.
2) Pray that people who are isolated and in very difficult situations would be discovered and rescued. Communication networks are still poor.
3) Pray that food supplies would open again from other districts and countries.
4) Pray that the love poured out from western Christians during this tragedy would be used to create opportunities to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the Nepalese people.
Thanks for praying! May God use Paul and other Christian leaders to provide the Nepalese with material and spiritual relief for the glory of His great name.
Thanks to Ken Mellinger for the information he provided in this blog post.
Mark Prater is the Executive Director for Sovereign Grace and serves as an elder at Covenant Fellowship Church. He and his wife, Jill, have three married daughters and a growing number of grandchildren.
We had the privilege of participating in and representing Sovereign Grace Churches at The Gospel Coalition’s first ever Hispanic Conference in Orlando, FL. Abelardo Muñoz, the official live Spanish translator for TGC, and Rich Richardson, our Director of Global Missions, joined me at the conference, along with Bob and Brittany Kauflin, Joselo Mercado, and Mauricio Velarde.
It was an amazing and humbling experience to witness the coming together of 700 leaders from all over Latin America. It was a great opportunity for us to learn and be encouraged with the many reports of what God is doing in our continent by bringing what we believe is a new wave of reform by making the gospel of grace shine in a land that never truly experienced the Reformation.
One of the highlights was the presentation of the book, Gracia sobre Gracia: La Nueva Reforma en el Mundo Hispano (Grace upon Grace: The New Reformation in the Hispanic World). This book represented the very first joint effort of producing Spanish resources by Hispanic leaders brought together through our alliance in the Spanish TGC. The book contained contributions by world-renowned leaders like Dr. Miguel Nuñez and Pastor Sugel Michelén, both from the Dominican Republic, and from local church pastors like Al Pino of Palm Vista in Miami and me. This book was a gift to all attendees of the Hispanic Conference and it is now being translated into English for a possible future publication.
Another highlight was the opportunity I had to represent Sovereign Grace Churches in a panel led by pastor Juan Sanchez from Austin, TX, along with Dr. Nuñez and Dr. D. A. Carson (Joselo had a similar opportunity to interact with a video panel on church planting). We talked about the benefit of being a part of a family of churches like ours. I had the opportunity to share the immeasurable blessing it has been for me to have always served in the context of a plurality of local elders and now in a body of regional elders—and never on my own. This unexpected exposure enabled us to connect and talk to several pastors from different parts of Mexico and the U.S. that wanted to inquire about getting to know us and establishing new friendships. It was humbling to recognize that what we have enjoyed for so many years is sadly an exception and not the rule in the Hispanic world.
But this exposure also gave us the opportunity to talk with and invite many leaders to our upcoming Pastors Conference in Juarez. Our Sovereign Grace exhibitor booth (faithfully served by Mauricio and Brittany) gave out hundreds of flyers with information about the conference. We were able to establish many new connections with other ministries as well as secure support from sponsors that will help make our gathering in August a more effective time of encouragement and equipping. We hope to serve and encourage many pastors and leaders this coming August when we will be served by Jeff Purswell and Bob Kauflin as well as our special guests Dr. Nuñez and worship leader and songwriter Jonathan Jerez. I was able to sit down with Bob and Jonathan to plan their participation at our conference as well as a concert in which we will be recording and videotaping several Sovereign Grace songs that haven’t been recorded in Spanish yet. Bob and Jonathan will also be hosting a one day worship workshop after our conference ends.
One last personal highlight for me was the chance I got to spend some precious time with my son Andrés, who is currently serving Dr. Nuñez as his assistant in the Dominican Republic. I was privileged to sit with him and Dr. Matthew Hall, Vice President of Academic Affairs for Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Matthew has been a great help in opening an opportunity for Andres to attend the seminary next fall in their M.Div. program. So we are praying and hoping God will grant all that is necessary for him to move to Louisville to be trained and discipled as a future leader for Gracia Soberana Latinoamerica!
Finally, I want to specifically thank all of you that are praying for us in these exciting times of gospel advancement into our nations, as well as for your heartfelt desire to invest and partner with us in all that God is leading us to do to see the true gospel shine in the midst of much darkness. Without your partnership and prayers, none of this would be possible for us.
To support such gospel work in Latin America, donate here and designate your gift for “Latin America.”
Update: By God’s grace, this project is now fully funded!
The blog post below was originally published on the Worship Matters blog on November 24, 2014. However, I wanted you to see this post here on our Plant & Build blog because this is an important project that I would ask you to prayerfully consider supporting. Here’s why: Translating Worship Matters into Spanish not only serves the broader body of Christ, it is also an expression of our desire at Sovereign Grace to participate in and support gospel work among Spanish speaking countries. As Carlos Contreras says so well, “In Sovereign Grace we have produced 5 worship albums in Spanish with wonderful music, yet we don’t have the basic teaching materials in Spanish that give the reasons for what we believe about worship.” I can’t improve on Carlos’s observation, so read this post and consider giving to the Worship Matters translation project.—Mark Prater
Since my book, Worship Matters, first came out in 2008, I’ve been greatly encouraged and humbled to hear how God has used it in the lives of planners, pastors, leaders, and musicians to promote singing in the church that is theologically aware, gospel driven, emotionally engaged, Spirit-empowered, and life changing.
The core of the book unpacks a definition for a “worship leader.” While I don’t think God has a specific job description for that role in Scripture, the almost universal use of the term led me to come up with a definition I trust is faithful to the Bible. I blogged on it years ago here, but eventually landed on this definition:
A faithful worship leader
magnifies the greatness of God in Jesus Christ
through the power of the Holy Spirit
by skillfully combining Godʼs Word with music,
thereby motivating the gathered church
to proclaim the gospel,
to cherish Godʼs presence,
and to live for Godʼs glory.
Since the book came out it’s been published in Portuguese, Indonesian, Chinese, Korean, and Russian. But for some reason, we haven’t been able to find a Spanish publisher willing to take it on. It hasn’t been for lack of trying. I have numerous friends, especially Mauricio Velarde, who have been working on it to no avail. Crossway’s policy is that they’ll only give translation rights to a publisher, not an individual.
It’s been my prayer that Worship Matters could be published in Spanish for a number of reasons. We’ve been producing Spanish albums for a number of years. Sovereign Grace has a church in Juarez, Mexico led by Carlos Contreras, that has been faithfully translating and singing our songs for decades. We’ve also been working with our good friends at La IBI, led by Miguel Nuñez, in the Dominican Republic, to produce two Spanish albums, El Dios que Adoramos, and the soon to be released, La Salvación es del Señor. All the while, we’ve wanted to serve our Hispanic brothers and sisters not only with worship music, but theological training.
I was starting to think we’d never have a Spanish version of Worship Matters. But this past year, my son, Devon, made contact with Seth Magnuson, who works for The Gospel Coalition. Seth told us about The Gospel Coalition International Outreach and something called Relief Projects. They raise money to publish books in other languages to address the famine of theological resources that exists throughout the world.
Through a series of conversations with Crossway and The Gospel Coalition, Relief Projects graciously agreed to take on Worship Matters as one of their books. I was honored and thrilled. They’re seeking to raise $11,000 to produce 5,000 Spanish copies of Worship Matters. These will all be given away in various contexts to targeted individuals and ministries. People can also sign up to take copies of the book to Latin countries they’ll be traveling to through Packing Hope.
At some point, the translation will be made available online for download or viewing. It’s also possible a publisher might eventually pick up the translation.
Why am I telling you this? If you’ve benefited from the English version of Worship Matters, or even this blog, I’m asking if you’d consider giving towards the costs of producing a Spanish version. If 1,100 people gave $10 each, we’d reach our goal.
To find out more about the project and/or to donate, go to the (Spanish) Worship Matters Relief Project page. And whether or not you can give, please pray that God enables the Relief Project to be a means of great blessing to the Church throughout the world for the sake of the gospel and the glory of our great Savior.
Bob Kauflin is the Director of Music and Worship for Sovereign Grace and serves as a pastor at Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville.
Nestled among the gloomy news of declining economic indicators, terrorist activity in the Middle East, and political gridlock in Washington D.C. was a faith-building story of how Christianity is spreading in China in the November 1 edition of The Economist entitled Cracks in the Atheist Edifice.
This article describes how China’s communist leaders are uneasy about the rapid growth of the number of Christians in their country. Their uneasiness is legitimate because the numbers are staggering according to the article: “There were perhaps 3 million Catholics and 1 million Protestants when the party came to power in 1949. In 2010 the Pew Research Center estimated there were 58 million Protestants and 9 million Catholics. Many experts, foreign and Chinese, now accept that there are probably more Christians than there are members of the 87 million strong Communist Party. Most are evangelical Protestants.” These numbers are not only incredible; they reflect the power of the gospel.
Paul wrote in Colossians 1:5–6, “Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing.” The growth of Christianity in China is just one evidence of the unstoppable power of the gospel that won’t be halted by opposition. As I read this article, I found my faith stirred in a couple of specific ways for our family of churches.
The gospel will advance in the midst of opposition.
Despite the rapid growth of Christianity in China, Christians and their churches are still being persecuted. In the coastal city of Wenzhou, the crosses that decorated the roofs of 230 churches have been classed as “illegal structures” and have been removed. In April, one of Wenzhou’s largest churches was completely demolished. In other words, even though Christianity is growing at a remarkable rate in China, it does so in the midst of persecution.
Regardless of what country you live in, these stories are a reminder that good gospel work will always be opposed. As we live in an increasingly post-Christian culture, we must have faith that the gospel will bear fruit and grow despite opposition and persecution. As our world grows darker, we must believe that our gospel proclamation will shine even brighter. Therefore, let us remain faithful as a family of churches to share the gospel, believing it will bear fruit and grow despite any opposition we might face.
God will continue to use our global family of churches.
Such stories that tell of the spread of Christianity in China remind us that Sovereign Grace is a global family of churches. Regardless of what country you live in, we are called to strive side by side for the advancement of the gospel. Our mission to reach our world with the gospel is a shared mission that we fulfill in interdependence of one another.
Therefore, we must pray for one another, serve one another, encourage one another, and sacrifice for one another. I believe that in the days ahead our interdependence will not only become more necessary in a post-Christian world, but it will become more sweet as we participate together in something grander and greater than ourselves: the proclaiming of Christ to every tribe, tongue, and nation. And as the gospel bears fruit and grows, may God receive all the glory!
Photo by Sarah DeWire.
Mark Prater is the Executive Director for Sovereign Grace and serves as an elder at Covenant Fellowship Church. He and his wife, Jill, have three married daughters and a growing number of grandchildren.
October 17, 2014 by
Categories: International | Bolivia
“A mission trip will change your life.” With those proverbial words ringing in my ears, a group of 15 teens and adults from KingsWay Community Church in Midlothian, Virginia headed out to invest eleven days with a network of churches and ministries in Bolivia. In hindsight, we were unprepared for the impact of those days on our hearts.
Chris Deloglos and I traveled to the south of Bolivia with the pastors who lead the movement, Johnny Dueri and Jorge Del Castillo. For the next four days, we listened to, shared with, and prayed for men and women who live hundreds of miles from a city and who own next to nothing. But we encountered faith instead of self-pity and joy in place of sorrow. These people have a glorious hope and a contagious faith that deeply affected our hearts. I received far more than I gave.
The rest of our team traveled seven hours through the mountains of central Bolivia to an orphanage in the city of Caranavi known as Casa de Esperanza (House of Hope). This refuge for children was originally started by a missionary from Holland and was later turned over to the care of the Sovereign Grace Church in La Paz. The orphanage, lead by Fidel and Charro Corrales, provides food, shelter, and spiritual direction for over 70 orphans who would otherwise have been abandoned or forgotten. To be among the children is to experience the joy of the Lord is a unique way.
Some members of the team taught basic sewing skills, which included some girls completing a backpack. There are plans to return and continue the progression of sewing skills along with the strengthening of relationship between the girls.
During the second part of the trip, they returned to the capital of La Paz and nearby El Alto where they served in a ministry called Suti Sani which provides dignified employment for women coming out of prostitution. This ministry shares the hope of the Gospel and offers medical support, strategic workshops, discipleship, and children's programs. One of the women in our church, Tammy Bishop, has traveled here on several occasions to train ladies in sewing and pattern-making specifically for handbag production.
One evening, the team was involved in outreach that included a movie with a Gospel message and a dinner where the men in our group personally served these women. This simple action had a powerful effect in expressing the Father’s love to these women who had only experienced abuse by men.
Since we returned, I asked the team members if they were planned to return to Bolivia. Without exception, each one is committed to doing so. Praise God for His faithfulness in using us and meeting us!
For those attending our Pastors Conference next week, I am hosting an informational meeting on Bolivia with Johnny, Jorge, and two other pastors from Bolivia on Thursday afternoon at 3:30 pm. We would love to have you come!
La Paz photo from Shutterstock.
Gene is the senior pastor of KingsWay Community Church in Midlothian, Virginia. He and his wife, Liz, have four adult children.
Excited children, eager volunteers, great songs, cool instruments, and lots of food! These were the components of Kingdom Life Church’s second annual Summer Music Camp, held during the last week of July. And they made for an exciting five days! Building on the success of the previous year’s camp, this year we at Kingdom Life welcomed 119 boys and girls between the ages of 4 and 14 years old. Starting as early as 8:30 am each day, these children streamed into our church building with bundles of energy in their bright yellow Music Camp t-shirts. Each day, our church building was filled with high energy and the lively sounds of children singing (and laughing) and instruments playing (and banging)!
Participants in the Music Camp were exposed to the piano, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, flute, set drum, and Congo drum. They also received basic music lessons and voice training. But, above the musical exposure and training, our music campers heard the gospel and were taught about God as Creator, Provider, Protector, Savior, and King.
Although we focused on a defined set of instruments, we also introduced a new and exciting component to the camp this year: Bring Your Instrument Day. On this day, campers were allowed to bring their own instruments, and what a variety they brought! That day inspired us to consider how we might expand the list of instruments we feature in the Music Camp in the years ahead. It also encouraged us as we saw how parents are currently investing musically in their children by purchasing instruments for them and enrolling them in music classes.
This year, we experienced once again the benefit of gospel partnership as a group of thirty volunteers from four different churches and a short-term mission organization (Next Step Ministries) came together to serve at the camp. Without this group of dedicated men and women, many of whom joyfully sacrificed money and time to serve, it would be impossible for our church to offer this camp free of charge to our community. We are grateful to God for our volunteers’ sacrifice and gospel partnership.
Looking back over this year’s Summer Music Camp, our hearts are filled with gratitude for the many ways the Lord worked. He allowed us to reach out to our community and touch the lives of a large number of boys and girls, as well as their family and friends who filled our church building on the final night to attend the Music Camp performance concert. We also had the opportunity to pray for some who completed prayer request cards, and we are looking forward to welcoming six of them to our upcoming Christianity Explored course, the Lord willing. While we continue to thank the Lord for yet another successful Music Camp, we especially thank him for allowing us to reach out and touch lives, because, beyond the music, touching lives with the gospel is our ultimate goal.
See some highlights from the camp in this video:
Cedric Moss is the senior pastor of Kingdom Life Church in Nassau, Bahamas.
When I assembled the Sovereign Grace Leadership Team, I created a Director of Global Missions role. I believe we need a guy on the Leadership Team that can devote his prayers, leadership, and labors to helping us grow in participating in advancing the gospel throughout the world. After an extensive interview process and with the input and affirmation of both the Leadership Team and the Executive Committee, I am thrilled to inform you that Rich Richardson is our new Director of Global Missions.
Rich is the Senior Pastor of Sovereign Grace Church in Gilbert, AZ. He has been a pastor in Sovereign Grace for the last 14 years. He and his wife, Tiffany, have been married for 18 years and have four children. Rich has accepted this new role with the full support of his wife Tiffany and his local eldership.
I believe Rich is ideally suited for this role because of his clear leadership gift, his theological discernment, his passion to see unbelievers reached with the gospel, and because of the heart he has for global missions. When I was at his church a few months ago, I saw clear evidence of these qualities in the way Rich has led his church to participate in global missions. Several members of his church have participated on mission teams serving in countries like Mexico and Haiti.
During the interview process, I talked with those who know Rich well. One of those men is Jon Payne who worked closely with Rich for several years in Gilbert before planting Redemption Hill Church in Austin, TX. I thought one of Jon’s comments was especially helpful in commending Rich for this role: “Rich has theological discernment combined with a faith-filled optimism and capacity for new and different ideas in implementation that could be perfect for a global missiologist.”
Please pray for Rich as he steps into this new role. And may God continue to bless our labors in Sovereign Grace as we move forward together in gospel mission seeking to reach every tribe, tongue, and nation with the good news of Jesus Christ for the glory of God alone.
We take global missions seriously at Sovereign Grace because we take the glory of God seriously. That’s why I’m excited to tell you a bit of the story of my friends, Mario and Jen Vucenovic, and their vision to spread the gospel in Dalmatia, Croatia. I hope this small glimpse whets your appetite to find out more about the Vucenovics and support them prayerfully and financially as the Lord leads.
Devoted to Christ
In November 2005, Mario promised his Savior that he would spend the rest of his life proclaiming the gospel of Jesus and the miracle Jesus did in saving him to the world. The Vucenovics have been worshiping with the disciples in Christ Community Church in Reading, Pennsylvania, where their pastors and congregation share the same burden to proclaim Christ in truth. Mario and Jen have been growing and learning about who Jesus is and what it means to live their lives on gospel mission.
For the last eight years, they have felt a burden and a need to make Jesus Christ known in Croatia, Mario’s home country. Like Mario would tell you, in Croatia, many people go to church but may not know Jesus as the Savior of their souls. It is Mario and Jen’s prayer that God would use a native Croatian who understands the language, culture, and values to bring him glory by planting a local church that celebrates and proclaims the life-transforming power of the gospel.
Mario recently traveled up and down the coast of Croatia to visit six churches to see what their needs were and find out how they can best serve there. There is a profound need for Croatian leaders in the local church. There are many faithful foreign or short-term missionaries who are not native to the language and culture and whose desire is to train and equip natives to disciple their own people. There is also a need for new church plants. There are many towns where you will find followers of Jesus with no church and no pastors. Many believers travel over an hour to attend a gospel-preaching church. Therefore, Mario and Jen long to see new believers come and be discipled the way they have been discipled in their local church in Reading.
They hope to reach this goal in four steps, Lord willing. They are willing to make sacrifices, just as others are making sacrifices to help them reach Croatia with the gospel. So they are currently selling their home and possessions and using the proceeds from the home to fund the following steps as much as possible:
- Study Bible and theology in Mario’s native language and serve the local Croatian church. Christ Community Church is sending them to partner locally with The Master’s Academy International (connected with The Master’s Seminary in California), which operates a theological training center in Krapina, Croatia. Their mission is to train native Croatians to plant and pastor local churches.
Beginning this September, their family will spend ten months training at the school, studying Bible and theology in Mario’s native language and serving the local church. All the while, they will engage locals through outreach; through providing support, leadership, and encouragement; and through establishing the foundations for a long-term ministry. Their goal is to raise $20,000 for this trip, and they have committed a minimum of $5,000 of their own money toward it.
- Attend the Sovereign Grace Pastors College in fall of 2015. They have been tentatively accepted into the program for next fall and will use their house sale proceeds toward the living expenses and costs to attend.
- Complete a one-year pastoral internship.
- Plant a church in Dalmatia, Croatia.
How You Can Get Involved
Be a part of God’s work in Croatia:
- Please pray for unwavering trust in the Lord as Mario and Jen travel the path he has mapped out for them. Pray for much-needed grace as they keep their eyes fixed on Jesus—that he will continue to sustain and lead them. Ask the Lord that they would not be tempted to do anything in their own strength, but that they would cling to him through each bump and turn in the road. And pray for their family of six to adjust to life in Croatia.
- Please financially partner with them in bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ to Croatia. They are asking us to join hands with them to plant a Christ-centered, Christ-exalting, Sovereign Grace church in a 95% Catholic country. God will save and redeem his people from every people, tribe, tongue, and nation, and you will be at his throne worshiping the Lamb who was slain with those who will be rescued through this gospel endeavor in Croatia! One-time gifts or monthly support in any amount is greatly appreciated as it enables them to serve the Lord full-time. They know it would not be possible to go without our support.
Learn more about who they are, receive updates, and find out how to give at their website.
Street photo and Croatia map from Shutterstock.
Ian is Sovereign Grace's Director of Church Planting and Mission. He also serves as the lead pastor of Grace City Church in Northeast Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ian and his wife, Rachel, have three children.
When Christian Wegert, our leading pastor of the Arche Church, gave an update on the Arche Pastors College in Hamburg, Germany, he reported that this Bible school needs much prayer. And rightly so. Thus, we thank our God for all your prayerful support.
God in his grace continued his Pastors College in Hamburg by sending both more students and the same teacher.
At the end of June, students from the Arche Church (three more than before), from other places in Germany (two more pastors), and from our partner churches in Ukraine and Russia came together to study the important subject of Biblical Theology. What a joy it was for the students to have Jeff Purswell come again and teach this second module on Biblical Theology. I myself had the privilege to sit under Jeff’s training at Sovereign Grace’s Pastors College from 2011–2012. Two years later, learning from Jeff’s teaching of God’s Word made me worship and love Christ in a deeper way.
God so graciously used Jeff to teach us the theological message of the Bible both in its individual components and in their contribution to its message as a whole. With God’s wisdom and a pastoral heart, Jeff not only taught but preached God’s Word. Thus, the students learned that they can’t properly apply a biblical text until they accurately understand the theology that informs it and the theological truth it communicates.
Learning from the fact that biblical revelation comes in an unfolding historical process, all students now have a better understanding of how to read and study the Bible in order to have a deeper, loving relationship with their Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. Jeff emphasized again and again that the culmination of God’s redemptive activity in history, the most important moment, the central act of the drama, the climax of history, is the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is what humbles us and makes us so grateful to God for the generous support from Sovereign Grace to send Jeff to serve in Germany. Our hope is that God will use the Arche Pastors College to glorify his name in the land of the Reformation. God said to the apostle Paul, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them” (Acts 18:9–11).
Please join us in prayer that our triune God would build up a great people in Hamburg, in the rest of Germany, and throughout all of Europe to the nations. We thank you for all your prayers. Soli Deo gloria.
If you’re interested in supporting work overseas like this, prayerfully consider giving to our Mission Fund and designating your gift for “Global Missions - Where Needed Most.”
Markus is a pastor at Arche Church in Hamburg, Germany.
Crossway Church of Lancaster and Kingdom Life Church in Nassau, Bahamas have worked together and grown closer over the past number of years. Our churches became knit together when we sent Keith Bunting to Sovereign Grace Pastors College so that he could, with his family, relocate to Nassau to serve on the pastoral team. Since that time, Keith and his family have returned to the states to serve another sister church in Florida.
Because of our partnership in the gospel and in Sovereign Grace Churches, we have, for a number of years, wanted to serve Kingdom Life Church by sending a short-term team from Crossway to the Bahamas. This past May, we had a chance to do that.
Here is a recap from one of the team members, Lisa Evans:
Fourteen of us from Crossway Church traveled to New Providence Island, Bahamas, in May to serve in many capacities. The major project that faced us was replacing the roof at Kingdom Life Church. A crew of nine, with limited roofing skills but unlimited determination, worked tirelessly in the heat for four days straight, replacing about 40% of the roof and focusing on the areas that were in desperate need of repair.
While the roof team was sweating it out at Kingdom Life, the remainder of the team served at All Saints Camp. The Next Step Ministries website describes this camp best when it says, “The crumbling sidewalks and dilapidated cabins…tell the story of a neglected community, suffering from AIDS and HIV. Shunned for their illness, the residents have been placed in an area on the Island separate from the hustle and bustle of Nassau’s tourism and commerce. Despite the dreary conditions, many of the residents still find time to praise God for each and every day. Gospel music can be heard from almost every cabin.” It was a privilege to serve at All Saints. They are in the process of replacing housing for their 30 residents, so, under the able direction of Tim and Felicia Ryan (members at Kingdom Life Church), part of our job was to finish some of the last painting and help with the lunch program.
We also shared the gospel during our weeklong trip on one of the local beaches with members from Kingdom Life Church. It was wonderful linking arms with other believers to tell lost souls about Jesus Christ.
God certainly used our time together to build our faith. It’s wonderful to know that there is a sister church in the Bahamas proclaiming and advancing the gospel of Christ.
Partnership is sweet. Cedric Moss is a man of faith and faithfulness. Please pray for him and the church in Nassau as they continue to do the tireless work of gospel advancement.
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. —Ephesians 4:15–16
Watch this slideshow to see more photos from the trip:
Kurt is a pastor at Crossway Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Barbara, have six children.