Monday, July 20, 2009

a new partnership

Since Rodgers and I started attending our church last November, we haven't seen much ministry happening beyond the walls of the church building. This was very discouraging to us, and we shared our discouragement with a couple who has been there longer. They suggested that there may be a way to change this, if we stick around and are willing to do something. But, for several months nothing really happened. We were focused on planning the wedding, then being newlyweds, then dealing with morning sickness, fatigue, and all that comes with the wondrous first trimester.

A couple of weeks ago, something exciting happened. Rodgers called me at work and asked me if we could spend the evening at Richard and Georgia's (that's our Bible study group leaders). So we did.

Another couple from church met us at their house. We had coffee and desserts and discussed an idea that the four of them had earlier in the week. It was something that Rodgers and I had been waiting for!

They asked if we could set up some sort of partnership between our Bible study group and Rodgers' home church in Kenya, Revival Baptist Church. In doing this, we could take a more active role in ministry overseas. We wanted to do this, and actually Rodgers' pastor had commissioned him to this very thing, but we felt that it wouldn't be quite right for us to introduce the concept ourselves. We needed to have someone else come to the point of wanting to be involved first. I don't know if that makes sense, but it's the way we felt.

Friday, we made a presentation to our Bible study group. We thought that our group would be receptive, but we didn't know how enthusiastic they would be about our proposal. After our presentation, people brought up different concerns that they had about the partnership, reasons it would be difficult, reasons it might not work out. Then, a man who hasn't been in the group very long stood up and basically said, "We've all already made up our minds that we're going to do this, so, rather than discussing reasons why we shouldn't, let's just figure out what our priorities are and where we go from here." That excited everyone, and we were able to start working out our plans.

There was one couple who have only visited the group once or twice. They are still church shopping and don't know whether they'll wind up staying with us or not. I was surprised that they came Friday night. Even more surprising was that, on their way out, they told us that, whatever church they wind up at, they want to be involved in this partnership with us.

We stayed at the church longer than we'd planned to that night. Finally, as I was dragging Rodgers out to the car, we were intercepted by the man who inspired everyone and his soon-to-be-wife. We talked with them forever. Though it was past my bedtime, and I was struggling to stay awake, it was great getting to know them better. It was sort of a brainstorming, mixed with them sharing bits of their past with us. Their enthusiasm for the partnership blows my mind!

Our first projects: connect couples/families in our group with families at RBC, to be pen pals and get to know each other a little more personally; raise funds to build a bathroom for RBC; work out the details of how we're going to do this.

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