02 June 2010

Tour of the West

We just returned from our brief tour of the West. In the course of our journey we visited or traveled through New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, California, and Arizona before finally returning to Texas.

Josiah gabbing with some folks from WBC.First we went to Greeley, Colorado, for a missions conference at Westside Baptist Church. It was exciting to participate in the church's first mission conference and to watch as they planned their own outreach ministry to a local university. We had the privilege of sharing a number of meals with our fellow missionaries and a handful of the church members; it was encouraging to see their passion for Christ and for the nations.

Bonneville Salt Flats from I80After stopping overnight in Grand Junction, CO, we rolled into West Valley City, UT, where we stayed with Pastor Matt Johnson. It was neat to get to see Pastor Matt wisely build up the theological foundations of the church and unite them around the truth of the Scriptures. Jenny and I especially enjoyed the evening class he taught some of the members at Grace Baptist Church on Bible interpretation.

Jonas enjoying some Filipino cuisineNext we stayed in San Leandro, CA, where we participated in the church-planters' conference of International Bible Baptist Church. The majority of the church members are of Filipino descent, so we had some delicious Filipino food while we were in attendance. It was so exciting to see the vision and passion of these men as they sought to fulfill the Great Commission by planting local churches that in turn plant local churches. Our shared commitment to the centrality of the local church was a recurring theme throughout the week. I was humbled to have the opportunity to preach and to present my ministry plans to these committed men and the church.

Hope Community Bible ChurchFinally we visited Hope Community Bible Church in North Hills, CA. We stayed with the pastor and his family while we were there. Pastor Leigh's commitment to understanding the Scriptures from the original languages spurred me on in my own studies. We were also thankful to get to know a family in the church who is preparing to go to Japan as missionaries. I was sad to have to leave these folks behind when Monday came around.

Please pray that we would be able to recover soon from the colds all of us caught on the road. We hit the road again 12-Jun. Continue also to pray for safety, more meetings, and more partners to help us to get to Kenya quickly.

Praise the Lord for safety and for bringing us into fellowship with his people all over the region.

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