Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Life Change

Those of you who have followed The Pathway from the beginning know that our prayer for the people of Tacoma from the very beginning is that God would bring about "life change" at the very core of who they are. The parable of the soils has become more applicable in my life on almost a daily basis. Those in whom the gospel is planted but does not take root are ineffective at best and are not believers at worst. We don't just want "butts in the seats." That's not our prayer at all. We have been praying, continue to pray for and want to plead with you to pray for genuine, deep-rooted life change in Tacoma. Here are a few stories of how that is happening and a few stories where it is not yet happening. Please pray for all of these and remember to be planting the life-changing seeds of the gospel in your own families, neighborhoods and cities!

Antwon Grodon: Most of you have heard me talk about Antwon. He was one of the first people I became friends with here in Tacoma and after a time of questioning and refusal to believe that Jesus would take him just as he was, he became a follower of Jesus. Antwon is devoted to becoming a passionate follower of Jesus. He changed his work schedule so he could be a part of a Community Group. The CG had to change their meeting night and Antwon works at 5pm on Sunday's (worship service is at 4pm). However, he is so hungry for the word that he reads the passage on his own and comes to worship from 4pm-4:50 every single Sunday.

Jamaal Lee: Jamaal was homeless when our intern Cris met him and he is still homeless. However, by the grace of God he has put his faith completely in Jesus, humbled himself to the point of taking a job at McDonald's (he was formerly a chef in some nice establishments), and is so hungry for God's word that he meets with one of our guys on a weekly basis just to study God's word more (he also attends worship and Community Group).

Rodney: We connected with Rodney through the boldness of our mission team from FBCUC. They knocked on a lot of doors and came across Rodney, homeless at the time, and desperate for help. They prayed with Rodney and the next day he found a place to live. He immediately began to seek God out and became our most consistent Community Group member. However, Rodney has since fallen into deep struggles with depression. He is 65 years old and disabled and can't understand that Jesus still has a purpose for his life. Many of our church still call him, check on him and he'll show up at worship from time to time, but so far his roots are not deep. He needs that deep-rotted life change.

Susan Haunhorst: We met Susan because her daughter Heather is a part of our youth group. Susan recently lost her job and struggles with many things that have a hold on her life. She has spent time with our family several times over dinner and has come to one of our Community Group meetings. She knows the gospel and understands that Jesus wants her but so far she has not experienced the life-changing power of new life in Jesus.

Monica Hansen: We met Monica because our church spent a year loving on the people of a transitional housing community in Tacoma. By God's grace I was connected with Monica's son Andres just a couple of weeks before they moved out into their own place. Through that relationship Kelli was able to get to know Monica and she has surrendered her life to Jesus. Monica's life is hard. She recently lost her job due to cutbacks and is raising 3 boys on her own. However, she is still pursuing Jesus because he has changed her life. She is choosing to put her hope in him instead of losing faith due to her situation.

True life change is a powerful and undeniable thing. It does not mean we won't have bad and faith-less days, but it does mean we will continually walk toward Jesus despite our circumstances because who we are has been changed. We need to see more life change in Tacoma and in our world.

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