One year in Burlington!!!

On Saturday, November 13, 2010, Christin, Jude, and I moved into our “new” home at 406 North Ave. We were excited about what God had in store for us but were under no illusions concerning whether the next year would have its share of challenges.  As expected, God has continued and continues to prove His faithfulness.  God gave us some big ideas, we prayed some bold prayers,  and God  has answered in God-sized ways.  Here’s a snapshot of what He’s done:

  • What began with five of us in March has grown to ten to fifteen people meeting in our home every Sunday for a “Home Fellowship”- basically a Burlington version of Acts 2:42-47.  We can already see how God is going to use this group as a launching pad to start Home Fellowships in other Burlington neighborhoods in the next few months.  We’re so thankful for this spiritual family!
  • The Serve Burlington nonprofit org has moved from an idea to reality.  We’re officially a VT nonprofit, mobilizing volunteers, and partnering with local  organizations to serve Burlington’s at-risk population.  One of the high points of my week is always Conversational English Clubs where volunteers from local churches, campus ministries, and the community at large teach mostly Somali students English.
  • Thanks to the generosity of partner churches and individual supporters we’re going into 2012 with a  legit full-time salary.  Through the lean times we’ve paid every bill and never missed a meal, but it’s nice to know in advance that God is already going to meet our needs for this next year.
  • God continues to send workers for the harvest!  We see God raising up some amazing leaders from within our Home Fellowship, and we’re also excited to see how God is moving two families and a single guy to join our team… more on that later.  We also see other church-planters arriving as God has placed Burlington on the radar of groups like the Assemblies of God and Presbyterian Church of America.
  • I also want to give a shout out to some Christian friends who greeted us with open arms when we moved here.  Our first week in Burlington two families from St. Timothy’s Anglican Mission invited us over for dinner: Paul & Vannessa Hines and Alex & Tamara Cameron.   Jim Stewart, the pastor of North Ave. Alliance Church, and his wife Stephanie  made sure we did not spend the holidays alone.  Also, being invited by Mike, John, Alex, and Ben to join their weekly prayer and accountability group was a huge blessing.
  • Our biggest blessing of the past year by far, though, has been the birth of our daughter Wren.  At six months old, she’s a true VT girl: chilled out and happy.  That’s a great combination to go with our 90 mph, extra expressive Jersey boy Jude.  I’m still on a steep learning curve on how to be a parent, so it helps that they’ve got the most incredible mom in the world.
Looking ahead, here’s some thoughts on how you can pray for our ministry endeavors:
  • Michael, Shannon, and Aden Ly are transitioning from Seattle to Burlington.  They’re boarding the plane for Burlington this Sunday evening and move into their new home in Burlington’s New North End on December 1.  You can read more about the Ly’s on a past post.  Please pray for the Lys as they say goodbye to Seattle and prepare for their new life and ministry in Burlington.  
  • David Dabney, one of my spiritual “little brothers” from NJ, is  prayerfully considering joining our team in the very near future as our Music & Arts Leader.  His primary responsibilities will include mentoring those gifted in music and arts to lead corporate praise in Home Fellowships and to lead us in engaging the local arts community.  Dave’s giftedness and background make him the perfect person for this role.  Please pray that God will make His path and timing clear to Dave as he moves forward.
  • Ryan, Michelle, and Caleb Bell are preparing to move from Bismarck, ND to Burlington this coming summer.  After graduating from college Ryan lived in Southern Sudan for two years as a missionary, training indigenous pastors in Chronological Bible Storying.  After returning to U.S., Ryan helped plant a church in Bismarck- eventually becoming pastor and guiding its merger with another church plant of a like heart and mission. He now works for AT&T, designs websites, and is the creator and writer for shortdailydevotions.com .  Please pray for the Bells as they sell their home in ND, seek God’s guidance concerning where to buy a home in Burlington, and as Ryan seeks a job transfer.  
  • God has blessed us with some AMAZING leaders in our Home Fellowship so we’re already praying about which Burlington neighborhoods God is calling us to launch new Home Fellowships in next.  Our heart is to sacrificially serve each of these neighborhoods in such a way that we’ll earn the privilege of sharing the gospel.  Please pray that we’ll be diligent in mentoring the leaders God has entrusted to us and that we’ll have great clarity concerning when and where to launch Home Fellowships in 2012. 
  • As God continues to give the Serve Burlington nonprofit favor in the community, we see more and more needs and opportunities.  We need great wisdom concerning what to say yes and no to.  We also want this nonprofit to serve as a platform for other churches and campus ministries to utilize in serving the Burlington community.  Please pray that God will give us favor in mobilizing both Christians and the larger community to serve and that we’ll be wise stewards of the partnerships and projects God has entrusted to us. 
  • Also please pray for God to continue to bless our marriage and family.  Christin, Jude, and Wren are an amazing blessing and we desire for people to see the gospel living and active in our family. 
Thank you for your continued partnership in what God is doing here!

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One thought on “One year in Burlington!!!

  1. My goodness the Lord is really blessings you all beyond measure. Praise the Lord. We will keep praying for your ministry there and for your home fellowship groups and family too.

    The mission Jesus had while on earth is now our mission because we are the Body of Christ. What he did in his physical body we are to continue as his spiritual body, the church. What is the mission? Introducing people to God! The Bible says, “Christ changed us from enemies into his friends and gave us the task of making others his friends also” (2 Corinthians 5:18)
    from the Purpose Driven book calendar.

    Like

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