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
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!