Sunday, December 20, 2009

New Faces

The ups and downs of church planting are somewhat indescribable. Friday before last I was somewhat troubled by our attendance which was probably the lowest we've had since the beginning. However, I was encouraged that the people who came were engaged and genuinely interested in becoming disciples of Jesus Christ.

This past Friday was fun because it was our Christmas gathering... not to mention my entire family was in town. Mom and Dad drove in from Kirby, TX and my sister flew in from Pearsall, TX. Coming off one of our lowest attended gatherings I was not sure what to expect but we have been praying for God to bring the right people at the right time no matter what the numbers look like. Well, God brought the people because we had a rough count at somewhere just over 40 people!!!

There were several awesome things about the people who came to The Pathway this week. First of all, there were tons of new faces. Second, those new faces were invited by the old faces. That is the first step to multiplication and that is what we are going for. Finally, every person in the room got to hear the true PURPOSE of Christmas... that God sent us a Savior!!!

Our Prayer:
Although we had an awesome gathering, the gospel was presented and our numbers were up we are still desperately praying for more life change. We are crying out to the Father, and ask that you join us, in praying for salvation for the lost and genuine growth and re-focused commitment for the saved. God is working and is on the verge of doing something huge in Tacoma... you are a part of that so please don't leave the fight!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

With out Christ there's no Christmas!

Just wanted to say Merry Christmas and thank you to God for sending Jesus to save me, and the world, from the sin that separates us from him. Kelli and I were in the dollar store yesterday trying to find some decorations for Jagen's crib and Rylan's isolet at the hospital. We really wanted to find something that showed the true meaning of Christmas... Jesus! We searched and searched and finally we found a cheap (of course it is the dollar store), ugly, porcelain looking nativity scene... and that was it. There were rows and rows of stockings, cards, holly, reindeer, Santa, snowmen, candy canes and everything else that man has added to Christmas that takes away glory from our Savior. But there was only one, tiny representation of Jesus.

So as you pray for The Pathway this Christmas, please pray that God would use the story of his Son's birthday to point our people to the real, authentic and purpose-filled meaning of Christmas. It's okay to put up lights, give gifts and drink cider... but everything we do needs to reflect and point people to our Savior Jesus Christ on his birthday. That is our prayer for the people God is using us to reach and it is also our prayer for you and the people God is calling you to reach.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I'm just sitting in my chair, next to my newly chopped down and not yet decorated Christmas tree, praying and thinking about what God has done and praying and wandering what he wants to do next.

I mean honestly-- over the past 6 months God has allowed us to enter a brand new city, minister and meet the physical needs of people in our city, start a Bible study around some picnic tables under some trees at a city park, and transition that Bible study for the winter into a Methodist Church that is allowing us to use their facilities for $25/week!

Oh yeah, not to mention that my wife gave birth to our two beautiful twin babies, Jagen and Rylan, 2 months early, the babies are healthy and doing well (although still in the hospital), God provided us a beautiful home to rent that we moved into the week before the babies were born, and that new home is less than a mile from the hospital where Jagen and Rylan are staying.

And in case it was some how overlooked, God is allowing us to be a part of lives being changed. Only a month or so ago we saw the first salvation, a student named Brian, in the life of our young church. Last Friday night God answered our cries for him to battle Satan's attacks against our Bible study. Not only did he protect us from the attacks of Satan, he brought another person into his Kingdom family. Antwan, the first guy I remember meeting at Wright Park in the beginning of the summer, finally gave his life to Jesus!

That simply begs the question... I wander what he is about to do.

Our small study has grown to about 20-25 people per week and more than that if everyone showed up at the same time (which they never will)! Our leadership is praying through some big decisions that will require some steps of faith, much more time commitment on all of our parts, and as always it will require the Lord to continue to draw people to himself.

Throughout this entire journey to The Pathway God has been so generous to make obvious the doors he is opening and closing. We have had very little confusion about what direction God wants us to head. He is so faithful and we give him all the glory for what has been done and what he will continue to do. Continue to pray for our Friday night gathering. Please continue to pray for salvation but also for spiritual understanding. There is so much spiritual clutter in the minds of most of the people we serve, we need the Holy Spirit to wipe all that they think they know away and deposit the truth of the Bible in their minds.

Then we will see AWAKENING!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Just a quick update via text... We had an awesome night praise Jesus. Thanks to all who have been praying for Antwon... He gave his life to Christ tonight! PTL!

The Crazy Life

Sorry for such a gap in posts. As most of you know our world was flipped upside down by the early arrival of our twins! Jagen and Rylan came 2 months early on November 15th and are unbelievably beautiful. They are still in the hospital but are doing quite well. Your continued prayers are appreciated and please join us in praying that they will be home for Christmas!

Last week was probably the most difficult gathering for The Pathway to date. We've really been seeing God work in some lives in some personal and often painful ways. I believe Satan recognizes that God wants to use The Pathway to have a huge impact in the city of Tacoma and so he is taking this opportunity, while we are still in our infancy as a church, to attack. One of our most promising attenders has really been battling the lies of Satan in his life over the past several weeks and last Friday he busted into our Bible study late and brought a group of his friends who obviously did not want to be there. Things got pretty rowdy for a while... and frustrating... but then calmed back down and God continued to speak through his Word and continued to work in the lives of those he is drawing to himself!

Please join us in praying for tonight's gathering. Pray that Jesus would be victorious in the spiritual battle that is being raged and that tonight we would have numerous people surrender their lives to Jesus! Also pray for direction as we are outgrowing our current space but can't really afford to rent the bigger area at the Methodist Church. We are praying about dividing into two smaller groups that meet on separate nights. I think this would be a great thing but I want the entire leadership team to be on the same page.

God has been clearly showing us which doors to walk through and which doors to walk away from so I trust that he will do the same here. Thanks for following our journey to The Pathway and I hope you know that we give all the glory to Jesus for everything that is happening!

Monday, November 23, 2009

New Additions!

Sorry for the delay in posting but hopefully this time it is excusable. Kelli gave birth to our first 2 babies Sunday November 15th... Rylan Cate and Jagen Pate Higginbotham. They are beautiful but very early so they are still in the New Born Intensive Care Unit. They are actually ready to be upgraded to the Intermediate Care Nursery as soon as there is room for them.

God is continuing to bless The Pathway and the Kingdom work he has called all of us to do. We have genuinely been seeing life change the past month and we are praying for more. We're praying for genuine and uncontrollable spiritual awakening! This past week I was reminded of how blessed we are with the team God has put in place for us. As we were dealing with the joy and worries of having two new babies in Intensive Care, we did not have to worry at all about our Friday night gathering. Tommy took the helm, leading us through the next piece of John chapter 1 that we were covering, Becca H pulled off all the logistics again and Becca E was ready for the new child that came this week.

We had 22 for Bible study and many more for dinner. We're praying hard and will be having an important meeting this Tuesday regarding the next step for The Pathway so please pray for clear direction for all of us. God is good and his Kingdom is growing. Thank you for your part in it!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Made our move to Tacoma & it's great! No internet yet so this is from my phone & will be short. God added to His kingdom Fri. as Brian put his faith in Jesus!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Life Change!!!

As a Leadership Team we have been specifically praying for life change over the past several months. We've seen that God has given us the grace to gather some people together but it is all meaningless if people's lives are not being forever changed by the truth and power of the gospel! Well, after sending out our newsletter last week and specifically asking our prayer partners to be praying for life change as well, we saw God move!!!

I first want to tell you about Tiffany. Tiffany is a high school senior, 17 years old, who has a rough home life to say the least. We met Tiffany at the park when we were first beginning our Bible study and she has come sporadically since we've been meeting at the Methodist church. Well, we've been praying for Tiffany and you all have been praying for life change so I guess none of us should be surprised at what God is doing.

Every Friday before we dig into the Word we give people an opportunity to share what God is doing in their lives. This week Tiffany shared that last Tuesday she gave her life completely over to God! I told her that a lot of people don't know what that means and asked her if she could explain it. She said that she has been a Christian for sometime now but she hadn't completely surrendered her life to Jesus. Tuesday night, alone and broken before the Father, she did and her life is obviously different!

I also want to introduce you to Antwan. Antwan was one of the first people we met at the park and he is a respected in the neighborhood. He's been going to the park for 18 years and everyone knows and respects him. He would always hang-out with us and stick up for us but never showed any spiritual interest. Finally, the first week we met indoors, he showed up! Ever since that time he has been coming to Bible study, hanging out with us outside of church, and telling others about what we're doing.

Friday night he began talking with Becca Hurst and asked her how she knew when she was a Christian. She shared with him the gospel and her story. Later I asked him if he was a Christian. He said, "I think it's a process I'm going through." He continued to tell me how his life had changed over the past several months. I said, "Antwan, do you believe that is Jesus making those changes in your life?" He said "yes." I then told him if he really believes that and believes in what Jesus did for him on the cross, then he is a Christian! He's still struggling with the price of salvation... free! But at the end of our conversation he said, "I just feel like a new person!"

Praise the Lord! Life change. Life transformation. New birth. God is working. PLEASE keep praying!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Open Doors!

God is continuing to work in Tacoma and there are countless stories to tell. I don't ever meant to sugar-coat things and make it sound like all is rosy but we are just blessed right now to be seeing open door after open door and continual spiritual growth in our new church. We know the difficulties and trials will be coming... because that is what Satan does... but we are not going to live in fear! We are going to be thankful for the blessings and confident in the victory we have in Jesus.

Just a few exciting things God is doing. Burke Mullins attends our church in Snoqualmie and owns sever franchises of Remedy Staffing agency-- the main one happens to office and serve the people of Tacoma, WA! We sat down for lunch on Monday and I was blown away by his ideas and heart to BOLDLY use his businesses to reach people for the kingdom. Through that lunch we have decided to print up material about The Pathway and another church that is closer to their offices in Olympia and he is going to have me come down and share with his entire staff who we are and what we are about... amazing! After that time of sharing he is going to have one of his staff personally hand to everyone of the over 3000 people who come through their doors yearly information on The Pathway... not just information on a table of brochures... a personal introduction to what God has for them... AWESOME.

Tommy and me also just sat down with the "chaplain" of one of the most unreached and closed campuses in Tacoma, The University of Puget Sound. Founded by the Methodist Church and on the principles of the gospel, UPS has strayed far from it's Christian heritage and is "loosely" associated with the church now. UPS prides itself on being religiously diverse and according to the chaplain the students are incredibly open to all faiths except Christianity. He is an ordained Methodist minister himself, married to a Unitarian, and seemingly lacks an understanding that those who don't place their faith in Jesus for salvation will not be saved! Our conversation with him went much better than expected and he is putting us in touch with some of the known Christians on campus to see how we can support them. Pray for open doors!

Finally-- The Pathway is having our first service opportunity as a church Friday at noon. We will be helping one of the Tacoma Rescue Mission locations set-up for their Harvest Carnival before we head back to our location for our regular gathering. Pray that people show up, the gospel is shared, and God is glorified.

Can't wait to see what doors open this week!

Monday, October 19, 2009

God continues grow us!!!

We had another awesome night in Tacoma and the count down continues till we actually live in out new city. We are actually going to be in our new house (renting) tomorrow and then we will officially be gone from Snoqualmie November 1st. I can't believe how quickly the last 2 years have flown by.

As always I could write a full book on the things that God did and all that amazed me from one of our Friday nights but I will try and keep it short. This week I really did get to sit back in awe and watch how God has orchestrated all the events and people that have led to The Pathway in Tacoma. Tommy Abbott is a sophomore at the University of Washington and our newest team member. I had been out of town all week so I asked him to teach this week. As I listened to him bring the word I was so thankful that God is continuing to bring growing Christian leaders to help us disciple the lost and unchurched that he continues to place in our new church.

Thanks to those who prayed for Crystal and Antwon. They were both back this past week and Crystal brought her 3 little ones. She will be gone the next 2 weeks so please pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to work in her life. All in all I believe we had 11 adults and 6 high school students as well as 4 children!!! Absolutely amazing. Please pray that as we transition to Tacoma we will be able to minister more completely to our people and that we will begin to see radical life change.

Praise Jesus!!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Thanks for praying! We had 14 tonight with 10 Tacomans... 6 adults and 4 high school students! God is moving and truth is being taught. Praise Jesus!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Our first week indoors...

Our first week to meet indoors was incredible! We had 5 adults, 1 student and 3 children plus our team. God is truly and genuinely working and I'm blown away almost daily!

Let me tell you about Crystal. A little over a week ago we had small team here from the Frio River Baptist Association in south Texas. They just wanted to come and see what God was doing and how their individual churches and association as a whole would be able to partner with us. Well, on their last day here we all went out to IHOP for breakfast near the airport. Our waitress, Crystal, after taking our orders asked what we were all together for (I guess we didn't look like we fit together). I told her that one half of the table was a part of a new church being started in Tacoma and the other half was a part of a couple other churches in Texas that are helping us. She said okay and walked a way.

A couple of minutes later she came back and asked if our church offers anything on a day other than Sundays (because she works)? I said, "actually, our only Bible study right now is on Friday nights." She walked away again and then a few minutes later came back in tears saying that her sister had been killed in a car accident in July and she had taken custody of her 3 year old daughter (along with 2 children of her own). Crystal told us that the 3 year old had been asking questions about why her mommy hadn't come back and she just didn't know how to answer. She shared with us that being fairly young (mid-twenties) she hadn't thought too much about death and what comes next and definitely didn't know how to explain it to a 3 year old.

Well-- this story could go forever but she ended up coming to our Bible study this past Friday and brought her 3 kids. The team that was with us at IHOP had brought with them a bunch of children's ministry supplies gathered by their church which allowed Crystal's kids to have a blast in another room while we walked through the word with her.

I don't believe Crystal is a believer... yet. But I am certain that she sees God in all this and that she is running to us because she sees the hope that we have! Please pray for Crystal as she digs into her faith and pray specifically that she would give her life to Jesus! We're praying that she comes back this week and that God continues to spark change in the lives of people!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Thanks so much for praying! Our transition indoors tonight was better than we could've imagined! 5 adults, 1 youth, 3 kids, our team and lots of of God things!

Friday, September 25, 2009

More people catching the Vision!

We had a great time today with the vision team from the Frio River Baptist Association in south Texas. We started the morning having breakfast at one of Tacoma's hot spots, Shakabrah Java, and Pastor Duane from FBC Charlotte just couldn't seem to get the name right! I had an "Aloha" Omelet by the way and it was awesome.

We spent the morning just touring our city, praying and really letting the team get a feel fro who it is we are trying to reach. These times of driving around, walking and praying are rejuvenating for our team as well. Next the crew really helped us a lot by going door-to-door, that's right, knocking on doors, in the neighborhoods we are trying to impact. God gave some great insight into the spiritual climate of the communities and allowed us to meet some people who are interested in what we are doing as a church... pretty awesome!

Then we headed to Wright Park, which is always the best part of the day. God gave us incredible weather again today and the sun was shining brightly! There were lots of people at the park and we had great attendance at our Bible study. I think we actually had 6 high school students, two young adult guys, one single adult lady and one couple. The high school students provided an interesting and talkative dynamic (those who know me know that I am not gifted with the patience for youth ministry), but we were able to share truth from God's word and that is what matters!

We also met a lot of new people and got to invite a ton of people to meet with us in our new indoor location next week!!! Please be praying specifically this week for us to have a smooth transition from our park meeting location to our indoor location at the United Methodist Church of Tacoma. Pray that people come and that we develop a strong core of people to pour into and disciple over the winter. Also pray for my friend Antwon. He was laid off this week and seemed pretty frustrated about it. He has not yet attended our Bible study but he comes and hangs out with us every week. God is working and I can't wait to see what he does.

Thanks for your prayers!

Monday, September 21, 2009

New things all the time...

This past Friday at the park was great and frustrating at the same time! God gave us another beautiful sunny day which was great! Only two members of our team were able to be at the park this past Friday so that was tough. Schedules just worked out that way but there is always strength in numbers! We're looking forward to November when we'll all be living in Tacoma and although schedules will continue to be crazy, they will be more manageable!

God brought a ton of guys to the park this week which was also great since me and Tommy were there however, we only had one of our consistent Bible study attenders and he had to leave early... not sure where everyone was! Tommy was able to sit with a man named Axel along with a couple of others for several hours just talking about Jesus and explaining the gospel and the truth and salvation found exclusively in Jesus Christ.

Our "regular" Bible study didn't happen on Friday which was discouraging to me but I am confident God had other plans. I played basketball with some guys for most of the night and honestly nothing spiritual was happening. At the end of the night we were all sitting around talking and finally God just prompted me to ask them what they think about Jesus. There was that awkward silence that comes in a group of lost people when Jesus is brought up but after I prodded them a little they spoke up.

I found out two of the guys were Muslim (although not seemingly very devout) and a couple of them agreed that Jesus died on the cross for them but did not believe Jesus was God??? All of them were in the midst of packing up their stuff to head home but a few said they would be interested in learning more about why we believe what we believe about Jesus being God. They "promised" they would come back next week for Bible study so please pray specifically that they will show up so we will have more of an opportunity to share truth with them.

Pray that the Holy Spirit will move and grow the Kingdom by growing The Pathway!

Also... praise the Lord we have an indoor meeting location a block from the park beginning October 2nd!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Thank you for praying!

God is so good and he never does quite what I expect him to do... which is probably a good thing! This past Friday was wonderful but once again it was completely different than anything we have seen before. God answered our prayers and brought a beautiful day with nothing but sunshine and cool breezes and the park was alive again. However, most of the "regulars" that we were seeing so often were not there. However, God still brought about 8-10 Tacoman's to our Bible study and we had an awesome time. There was again some spiritual warfare during the study so I would ask that you would continue to pray that God would keep Satan out of what we are doing!

One awesome move from God was bringing my friend Antwan back to the park. He is one of the main-stays at the park and everyone knows and respects him. I hadn't seen him in about a month so I gave him a call when I saw it was sunny and invited him to the park. He showed up after working a 14 hour day at a factory just to hang out. He still didn't come to the Bible study but we talked for a while afterwards and I got to share some truth from scripture with him. Please pray that Antwan would put his faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior of his life.

Well-- this week pray for God to bring another great day and that all the pieces would fall into place for our new meeting location! More to come as the journey of The Pathway continues!

Friday, September 11, 2009

God answers prayer... lets see what's next

Just a quick update before I head to Tacoma today! God truly does answer prayer. I have been asking our team and others to pray for one more sunny day in Tacoma before winter fully hits. We haven't seen sun on a Friday afternoon in over a month. Well, as usual, God knows what he's doing. As I'm about to head out the door the sun is shining brightly. Can't wait to see the connections God gives us today.

If you're reading this on Friday, please pray that we will see some dramatic life change in the hearts of the people we are ministering to today. God has opened so many doors but we are praying that he opens the flood gates of salvation!

Also-- Becca H. and Tommy just called me after looking at a space in a Methodist Church that is a block away from the park we've been meeting at. They said it blew their expectations out of the water. Big room (40ish people), sink, bathrooms, private entrance to a parking lot, 1 block from the park and only $20/Friday!!! How awesome is God. I'm going to go look at it next week but it looks like God has answered yet another prayer and given us a place to meet indoors. He's so good.

Check back next week to hear how tonight goes. I expect great things from our great God!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

There's Power in the Word!

I'm blown away by the power that God provides from simply teaching the truth found in the Bible. Over the past month or so we've been walking through the life of Jesus in our Bible study. Since we've been telling all our new friends that we believe Jesus is "the way, the truth and the life" we figured it was important for them to know that these aren't empty words. We wanted everyone to see that Jesus' life was authoritative, miraculous, sinless and powerful.

We had only one regular this week and 4 new faces at the Bible study. We looked at the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew and specifically at the Beatitudes. We just spoke truth as it is written in the Bible and people were drawn in and engaged by the power of the gospel. I have a unique perspective being given the honor of leading our Bible study and it was truly awesome this week to look into the eyes of those who were with us... at least 2 who have no relationship with Jesus, and they were truly being drawn in by the power of the word. We dialogued during the study and afterward and I'm convinced that God is moving in their lives.

Over the next week we're really trying to pray more specifically for transformation to occur in individual lives. Although that will look different for different people at different times, we are convinced that the Bible is about transformation for the glory of God. We all just continue to stand in awe of what God is doing and all that he has planned for The Pathway in Tacoma!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Continuing on The Pathway

We marked the end of the beginning last week as we said good-bye to our Oklahoma interns who served with us whole-heartedly for the entirety of the summer. We will always look back at the summer of 2009 and know that we were laying the foundation for a movement, an awakening, that God will bring to Tacoma.

As we turn the corner and say good-by to our awesome interns, we're asking God "what's next?" We can only meet in the park for so long and then the weather is going to turn cold and wet. We're praying for an indoor location that we can use so we can continue our Bible study. Please pray with us that God would provide the perfect spot at the perfect time.

The last few weeks the park has been thinning out. This week we only had enough guys to play 3 on 3 basketball which is a huge change from the 20+ guys that are usually out at the courts. Our numbers were down at our Bible study too but not by much. We have a few regulars that have been coming every week and have started to bring friends which is encouraging to see. We're just praying for salvation and spiritual growth so that The Pathway grows and reaches more people for the kingdom. Pray that the people God has brought to us will really start to comprehend what the Bible is teaching them and that they would say "yes" to God's offer of salvation!

This week we're really going to focus on finding an indoor location and over the next few weeks Kelli and I will be looking for a place to live in Tacoma. This is an absolutely crazy roller coaster ride that Jesus is taking us on and I can't wait to see what's next. It's all for Him and all for His glory! Please continue to pray for our church and the people God is reaching.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Humble Comfort

Well, I'm just sitting here in the San Antonio International Airport waiting on a delayed flight and reflecting on all God has done and is continuing to do in, through and around our lives. The last couple weeks in Tacoma have been pretty awesome. Two weeks ago we met more people at the park than we ever had and had 12 people attend our church service under a tree. It was really cool to get to teach God's word so informally while still sharing truth very passionately and seriously.

This past Friday is where the humble comfort came into play. As I mentioned, I've been in San Antonio, and that meant I would not be in Tacoma for the first time since we've begun work in our new city. I was talking with Becca Hurst, one of our team members, before I left and shared with her that I had mixed emotions about being gone. I was really bummed that I would not get to go to the park and encounter the numerous opportunities to share God's love in physical and verbal ways but I was comforted to know that I am not the church. I can honestly say that even in our beginnings, The Pathway is made up of God's people and the Head Pastor is Jesus Christ. While I know God is using me to plant this missional and local expression of his body, I'm humbled to be reminded that he does not need me. Kelli informed me that we had at least 12 adults this week and God continued to open doors for the gospel and form new relationships between our team and the lost.

It's really pretty cool you know? God doesn't need any of us but he chooses to use us and allows us to experience the joys and the sorrows that come from placing our complete faith in his sovereign and sufficient plan. AMAZING!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Today was awesome in Tacoma! God is really moving and it is fun to be along for the ride. 12 Tacoman's at Bible study today! Keep praying. More details soon

Monday, July 20, 2009

Never Knowing What's in Store...

Well, we did have our first Bible study in Tacoma this past Friday and I have to say it was encouraging. I honestly had no idea what to expect because this is the first time we have done something like this. God is obviously moving in our new city and is preparing us to plant and grow The Pathway but with each new day comes new challenges, exciting opportunities and a world of uncertainties that demand an ever increasing faith in the God of the Universe.

As usual we fed quite a few people at the park and just continued to build new relationships and develop existing ones. Every week we go through 40 hot dogs, 20 hamburgers and an unknown number of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches courtesy of a diverse group of people that include, college students, retirees, the homeless and others. After the big feed we invited anyone and everyone to stay for a short Bible study and 4 people took us up on the offer. One of the guys was a street person named Thomas who has been hanging out with us almost every week. Shannon, one of our Tacoma interns has been able to share the gospel with him and talk to him about the salvation that can only be found in Jesus Christ. He stayed for the entire study but right now he believes we are just a bunch of well-meaning and idealistic young adults who haven't seen the real challenges and heart-ache that this world can and will bring. We'll see what Jesus does in Thomas' heart!

We also met a new couple, Boom and Michelle, who profess faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord. This married couple lives in a nearby apartment and are fired up to reach the community for Jesus. Boom is an ex-con and a recovering alcoholic but he and his wife seem to genuinely be on the right track. They had questions about the trinity and other things regarding their faith and seemed to have a hunger to be discipled. That was very encouraging.

As is the case with most situations where the Lord is moving Satan was also at work. Zach, another one of our interns, spent quite a while talking with Curtis, a new guy to the group who claimed to love Jesus. He stayed for our Bible study and we quickly realized that he did not recognize Jesus as God and he simply wanted to be loud and belligerent while we tried to speak the truth of scripture. After giving him a chance to share his feelings and speak his mind I finally had to ask him to leave. It was disturbing and sad but God used it to wake us all up to the spiritual warfare that is taking place in all our lives on a daily basis. We cannot hope to reach people in victory if we are not going to our knees in battle!

Thank you for all your prayers and we would ask that you continue to lift us and the people we are trying to reach with the gospel up in prayer. I can't wait to see what God has in store!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Probably won't be able to leave a full post until next week but wanted to thank eveyone for praying. We had 4 Tacoman's at our Bible study!!! More to come...

Bible Study #1... Today!!!

Hey faithful followers of our little blog. Just wanted to thank you all for praying and I would ask that you continue to lift us up in prayer today. More than praying for us though, please pray that God would bring the right people to our Bible study this evening at 6pm pacific time. In order for this church to accomplish it's purpose we must see the lost saved and the saved discipled. Well, that starts today! We'll let you kow how it goes...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Pathway continues...

The last couple weeks have been hard ones for me personally but God, as always, knows exactly how much I can handle and he never gives me more than I can bear! This past Friday we went back to Tacoma and it was once again amazing to see the doors that God is opening. Friday morning we were able to serve at one of the Tacoma Rescue Mission's family communities. We were able to meet a few people but mostly we were doing practical, physical labor that needed to be done.

That afternoon we spent 2 hours prayer walking the neighborhoods that we will be surveying over the next month. Please be in prayer for the individuals and the families that we will be meeting. Pray that God opens doors that only he can open and that we begin to see lives changed and saved by the gospel!

Friday evening we had another awesome time at Wright Park. The gospel was laid out specifically for multiple people. Becca was able to share the truth with one lady who I believe was a prostitute. It was so sad to see her lifestyle and hear her worldview but it was also amazing to hear Becca share the truth of Jesus with her. We also met a new guy named Sonny who has spent quite a bit of time in prison and is now moving back and forth between living on the streets and living with a buddy of his. I was able to walk him through the "Romans Road" and explain the gospel to him. Unfortunately I think he may have been on something so he didn't seem to be comprehending very well. Please pray for Sonny and others that we met this Friday that God would be softening their hearts.

All that we are doing and all that you are praying for is for the express purpose of seeing lives changed by the gospel. Please pray this week for our first Bible study which we will hold this coming Friday at Wright Park at 6pm. We're excited to see what the Lord does and honestly don't know what to expect. It will be amazing to see what Jesus does!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Lessons learned...

Well, I learned a valuable lesson today... church planting is hard. Now, most of you probably think that's an obvious statement and up until this point I would have said the same thing. However, up until now we have had nothing but encouragement on this journey toward planting The Pathway. But this week, my faith has been tested and discouragement has reared its ugly head.

We spent today in Tacoma, our 3rd full Friday in our new city, and it just wasn't happening today. Being the 3rd of July, many of the business we were attempting to survey were closed. But overall, I just felt spiritually dry. Things weren't clicking, spiritual conversations weren't happening, things were just tough. I just cried out to Jesus and told him that I would never give up, I would never quit. He's called us to reach this city on the good days and on the discouraging days and that's exactly what we're going to do.

We did have several great things happen though. The two streets where we are spending most of our time are Pacific Ave. and 6th Ave. God allowed us to meet people on both streets today that have conference rooms attached to their business and said we were welcome to hold Bible studies there... for free. It's amazing how God is opening doors and setting things in motion. We were able to hang out with many of the same people this week at the park and we are beginning to be known and recognized by the people that spend their time there! We even heard some of the guys telling the other guys that we were okay and they could go eat some food with us.

Plans are in place to hold our first Bible study July 17th at Wright Park. Please be in prayer for us and that God would bring the right people. Our passion is to teach God's word and see people saved! We can't wait to see what happens. Thanks for reading about our journey and praying for us along the way.

Friday, June 26, 2009

We're in Tacoma today serving and praying for chances to tell people about Jesus! We appreciate your prayers and can't wait to tell you what God does!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Jesus. Tacoma. Amazing!

It has been a crazy week to say the very least. Jesus came through, as he always does, and provided me the perfect job to fit my schedule and provide for our needs. I'm the newest barista at our local Zoka Coffee shop. Never thought I would be doing this but I love it so far and it's a great way to meet people!

Well-- after a long week of training we headed to Tacoma for our first full day of ministry there. Kelli wasn't able to come because she is the most selfless and hard working woman I've ever met. Her full-time job kept her away but she was praying for us and we were all wishing she was with us! The crew this week included myself, Becca Hurst, another member of our team Becca Eisenberg, and our 4 interns, Jason, Shannon, Amanda and Zack.

God blew our minds once again. After an amazing morning of serving at the Tacoma Rescue Mission-- we hit the streets taking surveys of business managers and owners about how our church could be on their side. God opened so many doors! Not enough time to share all the stories here but 2 of our people were able to share Jesus with two homosexual girls who were open spiritually but have never felt comfortable attending a church. I had the opportunity to make a contact with a local bank who is interested in partnering with us to teach lower income individuals about financial management. I also had a 45 minute conversation with a homeless man that was a believer. It was an amazing time of learning and insight and he prayed over me and then allowed me to pray over him.

Next we headed to Wright Park, a place where we will be spending every Friday evening this summer and we are praying to be able to begin a Bible study there very soon. We cooked hamburgers and hot dogs and just invited people at the park to eat with us. We met so many people and one guy, Jesse, that one of our girls met during surveys even showed up to eat with us! We had at least 4 people express a serious interest in studying God's word and were able to plant seeds in many lives.

In a word, our day was AMAZING! Thank you for your prayers and please know that every Friday for the next 2 months we will be in Tacoma laying the foundation for The Pathway! This is God's church and we believe he wants to grow it for his glory. We're excited to continue to share with you all what God is doing!

Friday, June 12, 2009

We couldn't have asked for a better first day in Tacoma! People were served, the gospel was shared, prayers were voiced and Jesus was glorified! More to come...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Planting Begins...

Well-- The Pathway is taking a huge step tomorrow (Friday) as our work in Tacoma officially begins. We've already spent a great deal of time praying, researching and learning about our new city and the people we know God has called us to reach, but tomorrow we will be there, all day, serving, praying and looking for open doors that God has provided.

God has given us 4 wonderful interns to help us lay the foundation for The Pathway this summer. We will be in Tacoma every Friday serving, loving and sharing with people who God puts in our path. Please pray for all of us and specifically for the people of Tacoma. We'll see what God does!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Rough Life...

This past weekend me and Kelli were invited by her boss at Si View to go sailing on the Puget Sound. A chance to sail and hang out with 8 or 9 people who don't know Jesus... who would pass that opportunity up. Please pray for the people we got to spend the day with as it became apparent very quickly that they have no idea what this life is all about! It was a day of starting some new friendships though and we trust God will use it. The picture to the right is of me and Kelli on the front of the boat, enjoying a beautiful day, with gorgeous Mt. Rainer in the background (even thought the pic is too small to see it). We are truly blessed!

Also, God seems to be stirring in the hearts and lives of people regarding church planting and specifically The Pathway. Please continue to pray for the people who are considering moving to the Northwest and planting their lives in Tacoma. God seems to be connecting us with a lot of missional people who also have a passion for Africa... not sure why... but I trust God knows what he's doing. Thanks for caring and we'll post more later!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

An Evening in Tacoma

Memorial Day 2009 was not incredibly restful for us but it was a day full of fun and Jesus! We were able to throw in a little relaxation while camping on the Tolt River Sunday night but Monday evening myself, Kelli and Becca H. headed to Tacoma to spend some time prayerfully exploring the place we will call home in the next 6-7 months. The trip down to Tacoma made me appreciate the sacrifices Kelli makes for us and for the our calling more than ever. As we were driving around places that have become so familiar to me, I realized how little time Kelli has been able to spend in Tacoma compared to me. Because she spends her days pouring into the people she works with at Si View and helping to support our family with her full-time income, she often has to miss day trips I am able to make to our new city. It was so wonderful to see her enthusiasm and watch the Lord grow her passion even more!

So you can know how to pray I want to tell you about the 3 areas we are exploring and praying over as we try to determine where we will actually settle in Tacoma. The first area is in the heart of downtown on Pacific Ave. It is the place where we first caught a glimpse of all God wants to do through us in this city. Pacific Ave runs right through the downtown area of new Tacoma and is home to countless people, businesses and the University of WA Tacoma. It is the embodiment of all that draws us to Tacoma. It is young, fast-paced, diverse and full of possibilities.

The second area is the 6th Avenue area. It is a trendy, older area that has a pretty diverse feel. There is a beautiful university campus (University of Puget Sound) a couple blocks away and 6th Avenue itself has everything from fast food restaurants, a dueling piano bar, coffee shops, and even a large Baptist church with a "For Sale" sign in front of it.

The final area is a little out of our comfort zone but God seems to be opening some doors there. It is on the outskirts of urban Tacoma for sure but is the home to Tacoma Community College. It has a much more middle class feel and is surrounded by neighborhoods, malls, schools, etc. The newest member of our team, Becca E., is considering enrolling at TCC and we are also having some incredible opportunities to do ministry on that campus.

The doors our many and discernment is key. I'm thankful to know that the Holy Spirit is guiding our steps and will lead us to the right area where we can plant our lives, plant the gospel, and watch our Jesus work! Thank you for praying!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Pathway enters the Blog-o-sphere!

Well, we've finally decided to catch up to the rest of the world and give you all the opportunity to follow our journey to The Pathway in Tacoma, WA in the blog-o-sphere!!! I'm actually really excited to be able to update everyone on a more regular basis with what God is doing as we prepare to plant this new church and how you can pray more specifically.

Kelli and I just returned home from our second partnership development trip in Texas and we honestly couldn't have scripted it any better. We are so grateful to everyone who has allowed us to share the vision God has given us to take the gospel to Tacoma so Jesus can "open the eyes that are blind and set the captives free." We're excited about the kingdom-minded partners God is putting in place for The Pathway

For us, one of the most obvious pieces to the church planting puzzle is surrounding ourselves with passionate Jesus followers who are committed to reaching lost people in Tacoma. Right now our team consists of 4 people: Bobby & Kelli Higginbotham, Becca Hurst, & Becca Eisenberg. As you can tell, there's not a lot of testosterone in the group! God has challenged us to pray for 8 more people (especially some guys) to commit to moving to Tacoma by January of 2010 for the purpose of growing this new piece of God's kingdom. Please pray with us and lets see what God does!

We love you all... more to come!