It’s been a long long time since the last post I wrote, but since today I have a strong tooth pain, and I am unable to do much, I said to myself: “Why not to write something?”, actually the tooth pain is getting better, it’s not that painful now, I’m not that crazy to write under severe pain. Yet I still need your prayers for it to vanish.:)
Lot’s has happened since my last update, this church planting process is crazy hard, and yet I don’t change it for anything. The reason why it is hard I need to say, is because I find myself many times relying more in my strength than in God’s. But God is always patient and faithful, and He helps me to trust Him all the way through.
You know that verse of 2 Corinthians 12:9 right?
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
I feel like I understand it better the more I experience this church planting journey, I think planting a church is God’s way of telling me: “You needed something like planting a church to make this text your own”, and yet I know this is just the beginning, God has given me just a little taste of what ministry looks like in the long road. My desire is to echo Paul’s words all the days of my life on earth as I serve my Lord, “so that the power of Christ may rest upon me”.
One of our prayer requests in previous posts was to find a place for Sunday services. God is his grace has provided that, my core group and I are so happy for this provision. It is very well located, affordable and big. This facility has been abandoned for a year and a half, so it needs lots of work. The core group and I have been working very hard to make it suitable for church services, even my children have participated in this process and they love it.
The church still needs more work in the second floor, though the first floor looks acceptable now, I’m so thankful for all the people of my core group that has been able to participate in this renovation process.
We had to delayed the launching day due to we still need to equip the church, you know chairs, sound system, musical instruments, kids’ stuff, etc, etc. But God has provided a place, and we trust he will provide what is needed to be ready to launch, so sometime in the month of January is our next potential launching date.
In the meantime the core group is growing in unity and love, people is excited by what the Lord is doing, and we are just expectant on His plans. The core group will begin to gather on Sundays at our church location to begin discipleship classes before we launch, we will begging a teaching series called “Habits of Grace” that we hope God will use to grow in our spiritual disciplines. On Wednesdays we gather also to pray to ask God to do what only he can do. We are striving to become a church that is poor in spirit, we really want to feel needy to make church on God’s strength and not ours.
Three weeks ago my wife and two other members of the core went to the Vertical Church Conference in Canada, the conference was a real blessing for the four of us, we could presence God moving at that place, and His Spirit convicting us of the need we have of Him in our lives and in the church life. We also got to see again many of those we love from our Harvest family and GFC family. It is always good to be back to the land where my wife and I were born again. Thank you Harvest Muskoka and Niagara for making this trip possible.:)
Last week a team from Grace Fellowship Church came to serve my core group and I, pastor Paul McDonald prepared for us 6 lectures on the bible covenants based on the book Kingdom Through Covenant. This event was a real blessing not only to my core group but also to others that are not part of the core group that attended, it also blessed me as I meditated on those covenants again, I was reminded on how perfect and Christ-Centre the Bible is.
We haven’t launched the church, and God has already begun to move at the church location, I pray this is just the beginning of great things to come.
Please continue to pray for us:
We need wisdom and resources to know the right date to launch the church.
We need God’s Spirit to be behind every move and every decision we make.
We need to be reminded of the Gospel, relying fully on God to build His church and not our own strength.
Thank you for all your prayers, we feel blessed knowing that our brothers and sisters from other parts of the world pray constantly for us.
Love you all,
The Soto’s Family
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