“By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas; the one who by his strength established the mountains, being girded with might.” – Psalm 65:5-6
The faithfulness of God is at the forefront of my mind this morning as I sit in a hotel lobby reflecting on the events of yesterday and what’s to come today. A journey marked by the faithfulness of God has brought our team of six to the first region we are exploring as a possible church plant location: Denver, Colorado.
We arrived yesterday morning at 10:00 AM and were immediately hit by the crisp 52 degree air. As we left the airport and headed to our first meeting, I was reminded of just how different the west is from the southeast. The only other time I’ve ever really been out here was about 10 years ago; and one of the things that has stuck in my mind is the vastness of it all. To be able to look out and see for miles and miles is still breathtaking to this southern boy.
We began our exploration of the “Front Range” (from Colorado Springs to Fort Collins) by meeting at a park in the city. The regional missionary, a church planting catalyst, and two church planters spent the next couple of hours telling us all about the city, asking us to tell our stories, and sharing theirs.
Without a doubt, my absolute favorite part of training to become a church planter is the stories I get to hear of God’s faithfulness. He is not a God far off. He is a God who speaks and acts. “O you who hear prayer…By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth.” Time and time again, I get to hear church planters tell of great obstacles and personal suffering; but at some point they always get a smile on their face as they speak of the faithfulness of God.
Yesterday’s stories were no different. We heard difficult truths about the condition of this region – high depression and suicide rates, racial and cultural tension, and spiritual apathy flowing from an idolatry to recreation. [There are reasons why the Front Range is an underserved region of the country. It’s hard spiritual ground.] And yet, each planter spoke – with great passion in their voice and fire in their eyes – of the supernatural work that God is doing here.
After our lunch meeting in the city, we drove north to Loveland/Fort Collins. You can’t look to the left on this drive and not think of the majesty of God who “by his strength established the mountains.“ And this same majesty was attested to as we heard stories from a couple whom God is using to change their city. They’ve seen 52 baptisms in the past year and a half and will soon begin their second morning worship service – which is held a lawnmower manufacturing facility!
In fact, I won’t soon forget the look in this church planting wife’s eyes as she plead with us, “We need help.”
One of the things I’m asking God for on this trip is a clear vision of the need. He seems to be answering that prayer. In all three of our meetings yesterday, the need was made apparent and the appeal to come and work was given.
We seem to be a good ways away from deciding whether or not God is calling us to this region, but some of these initial experiences will definitely help shape that decision. I’m grateful to Dave and John for setting all of our meetings up yesterday, and I’m grateful to Christ Baptist for sending us here.
Today (Friday) is our day to explore Denver City.
Pray with us that God will continue to clarify His vision for our church plant.
We know that “the hope of all the ends of the earth” is Christ and His gospel.
Pray that He will continue to show us where He is already at work; and pray that we will realize what our part is in bringing hope to the ends of the earth.