The Lord has been doing much since our last update. We are in awe of God’s wisdom and power to direct His servants and open doors that only He can open.
Over the last several months God has been working behind the scenes without our knowledge. We had told you in past letters that we thought that the Dudley Square area of Roxbury would be an ideal area for a church plant. A great need exists there and we are excited about the possibility of planting a church there one day.
However, over the last few months the Lord has been opening a great and effectual door for us without our knowledge. To some degree I have felt like Paul when he received the Macedonian call. We have been excited to start the first church in Roxbury but have had little success in making headway or inroads in that area. Now, we know why.
Over the last year of working with Lifeline Baptist Church in Haverhill, MA, God has allowed us to get to know the Boston Metro Area (BMA) very well. Needs exist everywhere in the BMA but a need does not necessarily constitute a call. However, in the last year God has brought the need of Lawrence, MA to mind on multiple occasions.
Lawrence, MA is a town in the BMA that fits the bill of the kind of ministry to which God has called us. It is an area that is plagued with crime, violence, poverty, and is a hub of opioid trafficking in New England.
There is also great opportunity in Lawrence to reach people from all over the world. Over 70% of Lawrence residence speak Spanish as their first language. There are immigrants from all over the world in Lawrence. There are 80,000 people in Lawrence and no independent-Baptist churches.
Over the last year the Lord brought Lawrence to mind on several occasions and my response was always, “if You want me in Lawrence have someone else bring it up to me.” We had made plans and were happy to move forward with our plans. God was gracious and several weeks ago, not one, but, three pastors who had no connection to one another brought up the need and opportunity in Lawrence within a few days of one another.
Lindsey and I began to fervently pray about the possibility of starting the first church in Lawrence and decided it would be wise to discuss this with Pastor DiGiacomo. We were unaware until that discussion that Pastor Chris had seen the need and opportunity in Lawrence and believed it would be a wise place to plant the first church, but was praying that God would use someone else to bring it up to us. He wanted God to be the one led us to Lawrence.
Lindsey and I, Pastor Coffey and Maranatha Baptist, Pastor Chris and Lifeline Baptist, and our missions agency, are all in agreement that God wants us to start the first church-plant in Lawrence MA.
A church plant in Lawrence would allow us to have greater involvement from Lifeline. We are praying with Pastor Chris that God would call some folks out of Lifeline Baptist to come and assist us in this effort. A church plant in Lawrence would allow us to have the support system of fellow-laborers for which we have been praying.
There is not enough space here to tell you all that God has done over the last several weeks to bring us to the conclusion that He wants us to start the first church-plant in Lawrence, nor can I tell you about all the doors He has opened for us in that place. If you have any questions about this exciting opportunity God has provided for us in Lawrence, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Please be praying for an opportunity that God has given us to have a church building in Lawrence, a young man that I have been sharing the Gospel with named Glenn, and an opportunity we have to be able to offer bi-lingual/translated services in Lawrence. I can’t wait to tell you more about these opportunities in future updates.