Tuesday of this week I had the privilege of taking the train to Baltimore for a partners meeting with The Gallery Church Baltimore. It is hard to believe that a church that is still in church plant mode itself could be instrumental in planting another church, but that is exactly what The Gallery Church of Manhattan has done. Church Planter Ellis Prince and his wife Ginger along with their kids moved to NYC for about six months for training and have now been in Baltimore about 9 months planting The Gallery Church Baltimore. Ellis is a man’s man yet with visible compassion for the people of Baltimore. God has already begun to establish the work of their hands in a variety of wonderful ways. It was thrilling to sit in TGCB’s partner meeting Tuesday hearing testimonies and updates at what God was already doing. It is amazing what God does, when a group of people commits to living for the glory of God, the advancement of the gospel, and the good of a city while persevering through whatever comes their way. It takes missionary resolve. God has granted Ellis and his team just that as he shared at their partner meeting,
“We have had vehicles broken into, bikes and scooters stolen, home windows smashed, children rushed to the hospital because a junkie left a needle in a play area, people shot outside our homes, drugs sold from our steps, work environments from the gates of hell, and marriages challenged…our team has weathered and is weathering these types of storms.”
Maybe you are considering planting your life in a strategic urban center like Baltimore or New York. Pray that God will give you missionary resolve like Ellis and his team in Baltimore have. Should we expect better treatment than our master?
The pace is full on. It doesn’t matter if your check card has come in, or if your internet is working…the city rages on…very quickly.
We sprang out of bed yesterday morning @ 5:30 to a very loud beeping noise. We quickly discovered it was our Carbon Monoxide detector. Unfortunately it was not the battery light that was flashing…it was the detector. I called the front desk and think I woke up Gregorio who doesn’t speak great English. He said he would call someone but I couldn’t quite make out what he was saying. We frantically looked through stacks of papers that we have not had opportunity to file yet to find the CM detector instructions. Reading the instructions only made us more concerned. We were able to silent the alarm for a minute by holding the button down for several seconds. I called 911 (for the first time in my life), (the instruction book said to), and then got Jack out of bed and told Susan to wake Hannah up…as if the alarm was not sufficient. 2 seconds after I make it to the lobby 3 fully suited firemen with ax type tools in their hands come in. Jack in my arms, blankie over his head, I lead them to the elevator apologizing the whole way. The elevator opens, Susan and Hannah get off, I pass Jack to Susan and board the elevator with the team of firemen. They were very kind and understanding. In a matter of moments after entering our apartment one of the firemen was able to tell me he was not getting a reading. So they said it was just the battery and took it off the wall and yanked the battery out. After sharing with them that Susan had been cooking a big pot of vegetable soup on the gas stove for a couple of hours, they changed their diagnosis and said that definitely triggered it despite not getting a reading. We love cooking on gas, but not when it triggers your CM detector 7 hours later. There was no going back to bed for Jack, so we all started our day a little early.
That launched us into the weekend that I would spend with Jack, just the two of us. I sent the girls off on a women’s retreat to the Jersey shore. Jack and I’ve been kickin it…he’s gotten to see rabbits and birds at the pet store a couple of blocks down and got to play with sticks and rocks in central park where we saw ducks. It’s pretty funny watching Jack as he runs on the track around the JKR (lake) in Central Park…you’ve got all these intense serious runners and then short little Jack running (usually against the flow). It’s good stuff.
My heart is beginning to take hold of the task in a fresh way. I find myself praying as we walk the sidewalks, asking God to show me what He sees. My heart absolutely broke last Sunday night as I walked around the block that our church meets on. There is large homosexual population in the neighborhood of our evening service. I have known for some time about this, but walking the street and being in the midst of it absolutely nailed me.
Please pray today that God grants us favor with our neighbors and the folks we’ll be meeting and engaging in the coming days.