Wow! When taking a look at this last year, I am truly amazed at everything God has done and everything He has allowed Laura and I to be a part of. Our family continues to live as missionaries here in our own local context in an effort to help the people take steps towards Jesus. Also, through Waken Ministries, the non-profit entity we established 2 years ago, we continue to help waken all Christ followers to their full kingdom potential and to their own missionary calling and identity. When we first started out on this journey, we could have never imagined all that God would have done in just a few years’ time. While there are so many wonderful things I could share with you, I would like to share a few highlights from 2012:
Our Partnership With Forge America
Waken Ministries has been blessed with the opportunity to partner with FORGE America, a mission training organization, to bring missionary training to individuals across the country. At its core, Forge seeks to train individuals to live as missionaries in the places that God has already placed them. This past year, both Laura and I joined the Forge America Team. Each member of the Forge America team, including us, raise support so we might play a part in seeing this type of training continue to spread. Laura and I assist Forge America in replicating the missionary training and residency that we have done here in Dallas to other locations across the country. This training is now happening in El Paso, Joplin, Raleigh, Portland, Huntsville, New Jersey, Sacramento, & Knoxville. In each city there are anywhere from 6-18 individuals being trained to help the people in their everyday life take steps towards Jesus. Our hope and prayer is that we will see a movement of Christ Followers who fully embrace the God given potential for world transformation that is already in them. Serving alongside the men and women of Forge has been a humbling experience for both Laura and I.
Forge Dallas & Waken Ministries
Forge Dallas is a DBA of Waken Ministries and serves as the training arm of Waken Ministries. In May of 2012 we completed our first residency. The Forge Dallas Residency exists to train individuals to live as missionaries in the places that God has already placed them. Nine people walked through this 9-month training and as a result, have begun to connect with people who may never walk through the doors of a church building. Also, 2 of our residents have decided to move to East Asia to be missionaries to an unreached people group. In September of 2012 we started our second cohort of residents. We are half way through this residency and can not wait to watch how God will use these individuals to impact their neighborhoods, businesses, play groups, apartment complexes, and sport fields.
This past fall, in conjunction with our Forge Dallas Residency, we launched a Church Transition Residency for church leaders and church staffs. This residency is designed to assist church leaders in guiding their faith communities to develop a more missional mindset. We are honored to walk 3 churches through this residency and we are already blown away by the shifts these faith communities are making to better communicate the gospel effectively to those in their community.
Within Our Faith Community
Laura and I continue to journey alongside the families in our missional community. We continue to gather weekly to learn from the Jesus of the Gospels and to encourage one another as we all live on mission as missionaries in the places we do life. Over the last year, we have had several new families join our faith community. Also, there been individuals in our faith community initiate faith communities with those they live alongside. We have learned so much from one another and we look forward to what God has in store in 2013.
As we look back over the last year, there is so much that we have to be thankful for. We are so grateful for the journey in which God has taken our family on and we are so thankful for all that He has allowed us to be apart of. We are also very thankful for those of you who have journeyed alongside us in this last year. None of this would be possible without the prayers, encouragement, and financial gifts of friends and family. Thank you for your partnership in the gospel. You fill our hearts with joy and have blessed our family beyond imaginable.