It has been an exciting two months since our last update. We were able to spend the month of April in New England and May in North Carolina. The Lord has continued to provide for our needs and keep us safe on our travels. We have just reached the 20% mark in our support and we are excited that several other churches and pastors have implied a desire to take us on in the future.
In our last letter I promised an update on the field of Boston and to showcase some of the neediest areas of the city. We believe that deputation is a ministry and part of that ministry is to help others to understand the neediness of the field to which God has called us. It is our prayer that the Lord would use us during this time to burden others for the city of Boston. With a need for 4,500 churches (if every church reaches 10,000 people) to be considered “reached” with the gospel, Boston needs an army of church planters. So we will just call this a recruitment commercial.
Lindsey and I had the opportunity while in New England to spend a lot of time in Boston. On one of our trips we drove through an area known as Mission Hill. Mission Hill got its name from a Catholic mission that was established there in 1869. Now known as the Basilica of our Lady of Perpetual Help, the mission is now the only Catholic Basilica in Boston. However, in recent years Boston has become less Catholic and more agnostic/atheist. One factor that has contributed to this exodus from the Catholic church is the rise of liberal academia in the Boston area. Within walking distance of Mission Hill’s 3/4 sq. mi. there are 6 colleges and universities including Harvard Medical.
Inside this area of only 3/4 sq. mi. there are 19,000 residents and not a single Baptist church within effective reach. Not only are there thousands of people in Mission Hill but the reach of a church in this annexed city could be further extended by the 2 MBTA Subway (the “T”) lines that run through it.
One indication of the need of this part of Boston is the fact that two of the largest housing projects in Boston are less than a half mile away and both have Subway access into Mission Hill. Although we could not find exact numbers, we conservatively estimate there to be at least 5,000 living in each of these to projects. These projects are hubs for all kinds of gang and crime activity. One could justify starting a church for just one of these projects (which take up no more than a city block) and spend an entire lifetime just ministering inside that city block.
I wish I could go on and tell more of the need of Mission Hill and the city of Boston as a whole. This harvest field is in desperate need of laborers! “. . . Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” Matt. 9:38