First off, I want to apologize for the delay in receiving and update from us. Grace and I’s lives have been a bit hectic the last several months. We had a goal of doing an update after our spring missions teams and then our summer missions teams but, we have had an eventful time in our family (if you don't already know why, you're about to find out!).
If you have not heard we will be having an addition for our family in the new year! This has been a wonderful surprise in our lives that we now cannot imagine being any different. We ask that you continue to pray for us and especially Grace as growing a baby is no easy task (though Grace says it's wonderful and worth it) and she would like to work a few more months before she takes leave.
We also have seen a lot happen in ministry in the last several months. In the time we have had our mission teams visit Bethlehem and the surrounding Lehigh Valley, we have been able to continue to build into the relationship with other ministries and even more importantly the unreached of the Lehigh Valley. In the last few months we have seen at least 7 people who are unchurched attend church for the first time, and out of that 7 people, 4 have come on a regular bases. Our goal is to see an 180 degree turn in the spiritual life of the Lehigh Valley! In the last few months and weeks this has been evident that there is a huge movement.
With this movement, we have been praying that God uses us to always reach the unreached – no matter how it looks. In that prayer and in the last few months, we have had conversations with different leaders in ministry and with Riverbend church about what it means for us. We felt God urging us to ask this question: is there a chance we would reach more people serving at Riverbend Community Church instead of launching separately as Star City Church; through this would we see even more church plants throughout the Lehigh Valley? As we prayed and talked through this, God not only pointed to the many people Grace and I have reached who have since connected with Riverbend, but brought crystal clarity to our call as missionaries and church planters. While talking with Pastor Joe Velarde, Grace and I realized that the aspects of leadership that Pastor Joe and Riverbend needed help in were the very things that God has gifted us with and called us to. Pastor Joe and I continued to talk and pray about what it would look like if I came on board the leadership at Riverbend. My role would be to pour into various ministry leaders, build a strong discipleship culture, connect with the unchurched, and build up future leaders to mobilize and plant more churches in the area and around the world.
With much prayer, we have felt led to join the Riverbend Community Church Staff starting in September. This position is partially supported by Riverbend and partially support raised. So I will continue to act as a missionary raising financial support, seeking prayer and also will continue to bring mission teams to our area. Instead of working directly for the North American Mission Board (NAMB), I will be working alongside them with Riverbend being a NAMB Multiplying Church Center. For those of you who are recurring supporters, I will be contacting you in the next few weeks about any potential changes in fundraising. Also, for those who would like to support us in one-time gifts this year, I have instructions on bottom of this update for any changes.
I want you to know that first, all glory belongs to God in this change and his provisions are more than we could have possibly imagined. Second, this ministry and calling would not be possible without you! You are truly reaching the unreached for the gospel and every prayer and gift is part of this mission field. Thank you so much for your support. We love you! Please do not hesitate to touch base with us on these changes or ask us any questions you may have.
Thank you for praying with us!
As we came to realize that God's plan was bigger than our initial thought of planting one church in Bethlehem, this verse continually came to mind.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9
How wonderful it is that our God always calls us higher than we would call ourselves!
Please thank our Father:
for the sweet baby he has blessed us with
for His constant guiding hand through every aspect of our lives
for giving clarity to our calling as missionaries in Bethlehem and the Lehigh Valley
that He generously provides for us and hears our prayers
for the wonderful people He brings to us through mission teams and update trips
for the new faces we have seen at Riverbend Community Church
for the growth we get to witness in those who have started to connect with the Riverbend community
that Grace continues to have work in her extended seasonal position
Please ask our Father:
to continue leading us in forming and building relationships with those around us
to help us keep our eyes on Him in this season of transition
for Grace to move from a seasonal to regular employee of the Disney Store before she needs to go on maternity leave
for the continued health of our growing baby
that Grace will stay healthy and strong throughout the pregnancy and be able to rest
for God's continual grace, peace, and provision as we continue to step out in faith
Along with the changes God has made, the way giving is done has changed, too. If you would like to partner with us financially (whether that's one time, or recurring) here's how:
1. Click here to go to the giving page.
2. Enter the amount you'd like to give where you see the "$0.00"
3. Select either "Give One Time" or "Set Up Recurring" (if you are setting up a recurring gift, you will also select the giving frequency and start date)
4. Be sure the "Campus" selection is set to "Allentown"
5. Under "Giving Type" select "Travis Ross Support"
6. Click "Next" and the site will guide you through any next steps.
The way to give by check hasn't changed much, but here's a refresher just in case!
1. Make the check out to Riverbend Community Church
2. In the memo, write Travis Ross Support
3. Mail to:
Riverbend Community Church
795 Roble Rd. Suite B
Allentown, PA 18109