It's July already! It's been a full month since we arrived on the mission field, answering God's call to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. We realized the other day that not only does today make it one month on the field, but one year since we felt God confirm in our hearts that Bethlehem was where he wanted us to start a church plant. So in a way, we have a month-a-versary and an anniversary going on.
In our first 30 days, we have already been challenged and humbled by the calling we have set before us. Before we arrived, the leadership at our host church, Riverbend Community Church, encouraged me (Travis) to take the first 2 months slow so that Grace and I could adjust to the culture and settle in. But our first week here we got a little overexcited and hit the ground running, exhausting ourselves in the process. We had forgotten that even in getting to know the culture, God has called us to a season of rest and reflection. So while we are excited to serve and reach this great city, we are being challenged to trust in God's timing and not our own. While we remember to take things slow, we are preparing to launch our first small group in August.
Grace and I have been attempting to build relationships by visiting local businesses and restaurants, farmers markets, festivals, and our new favorite spot Lit Roastery and Bakeshop (I get a macaroon every time - they're so good!). We are hoping these new friendships will deepen and help us bridge the gap between us and the community. I have also applied to be a volunteer at Musikfest (a huge annual music festival) in hopes of making more connections to the people in Bethlehem.
In such a small amount of time, we are already seeing so much of how our Father provides for us. We are so thankful for Grace's parents who have opened their home to us and have provided many meals so that we have less of a financial burden during this time of transition. We have received words of encouragement at just the right times. We have seen your prayers at work.
I want you to remember that whether you are partnered with us in prayer, time, or giving you are part of this church plant and God is using you already. Your prayers are at work while we build relationships with the community. The spring mission trip paved the way for connections with some of the non-profit organizations in the city. Your financial support has helped us with the move and a smooth transition, and I was also able to take a few guys out to lunch and coffee in the first few weeks to continue establishing relationships so that I can invite them to our small group coming this August. So thank you, and praise God! Every prayer, every visit, every dollar is connected to this ministry.
Thank you for continuing on the front lines as prayer warriors!
Please thank Him with us that:
We arrived safely in Bethlehem
God has sent us encouragement when we needed it most
Grace's parents have provided a place for us to stay
We have started to become friends with a couple at our host church who are strong believers
Please ask our Father:
for His provision as Grace continues to look for a job
that Travis forms relationships with his co-workers at Starbucks
to help Travis balance his part-time work at Starbucks and his building relationships in Bethlehem
that the Holy Spirit be moving ahead of us as we prepare to launch our first small group in August
that we will put our trust in the Lord so that we may effectively live out and teach the gospel
for His continued provision in ministry and outreach expenses
A glance at our budget:
Currently in our operating budget, we have about $80 that gets divided each month between small group needs and community building. It is used to provide food to those we are trying to reach through small groups and to provide a way for us to contribute to the surrounding community.
We are praying that through partnerships we can double the operation budget for those ministries. That would mean that instead of $80 per month for small groups/community building we would have $160. That will bring our yearly budget up by $960.
Please join us in prayer that God will provide the $960 so that we can provide snacks and occasionally meals to those we are trying to reach through small groups and so that we can help contribute to our community.
If you feel lead to give, you can visit our NAMB Profile.