Lay It DownSeptember 1, 2023
Banners Flying HighOctober 27, 2023
PLANTING IN PORTLAND
In a recent trip to Portland, Oregon, Missionaries Mike and Cindy Perry took note of all of the beauty: The endless mountain ranges that caress the cloudy skies, the many architectural bridges that stand boldly over the pristine waters below, the twinkling lights of the city at night that command the attention of every creature with sight, the smell of many local restaurants tempting even the most picky of pallets, the observation of so many precious people who are content in their solitary community within, the deafening silence of a lost world crying out for anything, for something… for someone.
All the beauty in the world will not fill the void of a heart in need of a Savior. That is why church planting is so important. This effort will look different depending on the specific location across the globe. In Portland, building community and trust is a difficult, but imperative, foundation before a plant can form. Much like literal plants, the plot must be purchased prayerfully, the ground must be prepared and cultivated, seeds must be chosen wisely and placed properly, all before a seedling can sprout. The church plant that GIMI will be involved with is doing all of that now. Missionaries Justin and Holly Barthelmes have now relocated from their home in South Carolina to the mission field of Portland. They are preparing the soil by partnering with and learning from another established church plant. They will work to build needed trust in their community by conversations of daily life, then leading to deeper conversations of their need for a Savior. This takes time.
After the ground is prepared and planted, seedlings will emerge. Over time, those seedlings will need to be watered, fertilized, and pruned. They will also need to be protected from the elements, weeds, and insects (aka the enemy.) So, the relationships that are built will need careful attention, compassion, respect, and protection. Eventually the seedlings will grow to be healthy, flourishing creations of botanical beauty. It is then that parts of the plant can be removed carefully and rooted as new plant growth. Spiritually speaking: Disciples Making Disciples. The purpose of each church plant is to grow a body of believers who will go out and multiply the work for the Kingdom by planting other churches. Continual growth for the glorified Christ.
If you would like to follow the church plant by the Barthelmes Family in Portland, visit their website at: forPortland.org We look forward to their eventual church opening in a couple of years. In the meantime, let the anticipation for harvesting begin, even as the soil is being prepared.