We Did It Together!

oh-my

With your help, we reached our $10K End of Year Goal! Since City to City Miami will double all of our donations, we in effect raised $20K.

Thank you very much!! 

30Overall, we have raised 30% of our total church planting budget. With your financial gifts, you have propelled us into 2017 with a strong support base to help us move to Miami. Please pray that we will be able to raise 75% by this May.

We are excited about our new gospel partners – many of which are receiving this email for the first time. Your investment will enable us to make disciples, plant a church, and train leaders.

Thank you again for helping us get to Miami!

Mountain Climbing

26164212704_1c31c1e65b_o

Prayer is the number-one factor for success in church planting” (Craig Ott& Gene Wilson).

Over these past few months, I have attained exceptional clarity on what it is going to take to plant a church in Miami. By no means do I claim to be an expert on Miami or on church planting per se. However, I do claim to know what needs to been done in the next few years.

For my right-brain friends, let me put it this way: God has brought me up to the base of a very tall Mountain. I can see all the details very well from this angle – all the cracks and crannies and caves, the peaks and valleys – all is laid before my eyes. God then says, “All right, climb up.” The problem with this Mountain is that it is a straight up wall with no trails or graduated slopes. It looks more like a 5-mile high cliff than a mountain. It is literally impossible to climb!

Now for my left-brain friends, this is what I mean: My time at Perimeter Church has afforded me time and resources to do in-depth studies on church planting and  and the development of vision, character, calling and skills. I have researched the city of Miami, done demographic and ethnographic studies, developed a ministry plan, a 5-year budget, along with a working philosophy of ministry. Now I know I need to raise an astronomical amount of money, move my family into a community that is 90% international & 85% unreached (no affiliation with any religious organization), and plant a dynamic and sustainable church within 5 years. The task appears daunting!

At the base of this Mountain, God has been teaching me that prayer is my primary ministry. Church planting is an entirely spiritual venture.Only God can take me up this Mountain! A husband and wife cannot have a baby by simply dreaming  about or planning for a baby; they first must exercise their conjugal rights. The same is true for a church planter who cannot birth a church without prayer. Just as Neil Cole has famously said,

The church must be conceived in heaven before it is born on earth.”

I’m convinced now more than ever that a “successful” church plant will only be because our Father in heaven answers our prayers to bring His kingdom to earth. God alone can take me up the unscalable Mountain through your prayers! For that reason we are looking for several prayer warriors who will covenant to pray for us as we prepare to plant in Miami. If you’d like to join us in prayer, subscribe to our prayer newsletter:

subscribe-here

Here are some ways you can pray for us:

  • Prayer Partners. We are looking for 20 committed intercessors who are gifted in prayer and who long to see the gospel transform Miami and all Latin American. I would rather have 10-20 fully engaged  intercessors than 1,000 people subscribe to our prayer newsletter.
  • Financial Partners. We have just begun the fund raising process and have a few donors. City To City and Crossbridge Church has already pledged to match 1/3 of our support. We still need to raise $140K/year for the next five years. What we need the most is reoccurring financial partners (monthly, quarterly or yearly). My prayer is that half of our support would come from churches and the other half would come from individuals. In order for us to move to Miami by June 2017, we need to raise at least 80% of our support.
  • Right Place to Live in Miami. We have a good idea to where we want to move, but we still have some lingering questions. Starting this January I will begin to travel to Miami once a month for networking and training. I will get to visit our potential target area and do some more “spying out the land.” Please pray that God will give us great clarity on where we should move to in Miami.

No church-planting movement will rise above the prayer ministry of those involved with it.” (Ott & Wilson)

Partner with us in prayer!

miami

 

A Hurricane that Changed Miami Forever

6af0432687e040dda83a432cb84b52e6-6af0432687e040dda83a432cb84b52e6-0
Photo Credit: Craig Rubadoux/Florida Today via AP

Miami used to be a sleepy Southern retirement community. In this tropical paradise, life was peaceful and Anglo churches flourished. Everything changed in the year 1980 when President Jimmy Carter and Fidel Castro had a show down. The US Government gladly
received many professional Cubans who had fled Cuba to escape the corruptions of communism. Carter puffed up his chest and said, “See how much better America is than Cuba!” Castro called Carter’s bluff and retorted, “If you want to receive my people, let me give you some more.” So, on April 15, 1980, Castro emptied his prisons and insane asylums, put 125,000 Cubans on boats and shipped them to Miami.
2004-363-15

Miami suddenly awoke from her slumber with hungry Latinos looking for work. Most found honest jobs while others found their way into shady business of drug trafficking. At that time cocaine was king and Miami was the pathway into North America. Colombians and Cubans began to fight for control of the drug market and Miami was their battleground. Almost overnight, Miami became the most violent city in the United States – not the ideal place to raise a family. Meanwhile a new Miami was raised up from the laundering of drug money in skyscrapers and high-rises.

Tensions continued to rise until the tempest clouds could be seen from Biscayne Bay. This was no a metaphorical storm; this was the infamous Hurricane Andrew of 1992 that decimated much of Miami. The Anglos that lost their homes had had enough with all the Español and violence. So thousands packed their bags and moved North, telling the last American to bring the flag with him on the way out. And again the city changed overnight.

Since Hurricane Andrew, Miami has become the Capitol of Latin America. It is the only city in North America that is controlled from top to bottom by Latinos. It is a young city with an undetermined future. There is no question that it is the most strategic city for reaching the future generations of Latinos in all the Americas. And this young city is ripe for the gospel of Jesus Christ!

miami-and-vicinity-178286-smalltabletretina