Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding,
in all your ways acknowledge him
and he will make your paths straight.
This has been our most recent memory verse. As a young boy, I remember an old man giving me a Gideons New Testament with that verse reference written in the cover. Little did I know then that this passage would be a tremendous encouragement and reminder that my life belongs to the Lord.
Having fully entrusted our lives to the Lord, we are excited to share with you all that he as done over the past three months!
1. The Ministry...In August, we were officially invited to serve as church-planters with Southern Europe LEAD Team of the International Baptist Convention (IBC). "The IBC is committed to planting relevant, reproducing English-language churches in international population centers around the world!" This was an answer to prayer as we knew that God was calling us to International people. They are a wonderful team of churches with a clear vision to reach the transient people of the world with the hope of the Gospel! http://www.internationalchurchplanting.com/
2. The Agency... in order to serve as church-planters, we would need to be sent through an established missionary sending agency. Praise the Lord! In September, we were officially accepted for missionary appointment with Commission to Every Nation in Kerrville, Texas. "CTEN is a servant organization which helps missionaries fulfill the unique vision God has given them." They provide invaluable administration and pastoral support for us while we are on the field! Any donations will be received through our sending agency... www.cten.org/lorenholland
3. The Church Plant... Now, where was God sending us to, specifically? In June we took a trip to Southern Europe to ask God to show us the answer. Although we were happy to go wherever He sent us, our hearts began to be drawn to the transient people of Rome, Italy. At the end of October, we were officially invited to pastor Rome International Church (RIC) in Rome, Italy. RIC began two years ago and will be needing a pastor this coming summer. Despite the presence of the "Church" for hundreds of years, the transient people residing in Rome are starved for the Gospel and a solid community of Christ-followers. We are excited to jump into this work and see the Lord build his church! http://romeinternational.org/
4. The Bonus... How could it get any better? The task of church-planting is arguably one of the greatest challenges a minister of the Gospel will face. By the grace of God, he has brought another couple into our lives to serve alongside us in this ministry! The Hendrix family are friends from seminary that felt called to missions long before they met us. During our time in seminary, our families realized the potential for long-term teamwork as we served together at our local church. We are so excited to have our families serve together in Rome!
Get to know the Hendrix at... http://hendrixlife.com
TOGETHER FOR THE KINGDOM
We are excited to be a part of what God is doing in Rome, but we are also overwhelmed! We are looking for others who will commit to partnering with us. Will you pray about how God may be calling you to join him in this work?
Here are three tangible ways you could be a part of this calling...
Prayer... gather a small group of dedicated individuals that would commit to regularly praying for us, RIC and Rome. We would be happy to Skype with you regularly to share prayer requests and updates. Request to be added to our closed Facebook group where we share our personal prayer requests.
Going... one of the greatest blessings in a partnership is laboring together. This can look like sending us short term teams, individual interns, other families sent to work along side us.
Giving... We are at 20% pledged support right now and hope to reach 100% before June, 2017. Would you consider being a part of our financial support team?
Giving Link: http://cten.org/lorenholland/