Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Around the World Wednesday: GUEST POST from the USA.
Hello from a McDonald’s in the East Bay---Fremont, California to be more exact!
When you live in one of the most expensive areas in the United States, sometimes one cannot afford luxuries such as internet at home….but hopefully, that will not be the case much longer! Anyway, let me introduce myself. My name is Brook. I am a single, 29 year old woman that is currently working for North American Mission Board and living and serving in the Bay area. The reason I mention that I am single is because I want to show that marital status does not affect God’s calling on your life. He has great purposes for single and married women alike. Purposes that are made for each one of us, individually, and He can use us to do great things for the Kingdom! I have a heart for people. Long ago, God called me into ministry. Because of this calling, I have gotten to live in China for two years and gotten to travel to places like India, Burma, Ethiopia, and Liberia. And now, I get to serve in the San Francisco Bay area.
Why San Francisco Bay area? Because only 68% of residents here claim to be Christian, making them the least likely to do so. 44% of the people have not attended church in the last six months, making San Fran the most unchurched city in America. With large people groups from countries such as Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Burma, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Iraq, Iran, Latin America, and other refugee populations, these statistics grow. In a city like this, sexual orientation is related to church status as well. 49% of the homosexual public meet the unchurched criteria. With numbers like this, it makes it hard to deny that darkness overwhelms this area---which boasts a bigger population than 39 U.S. states!
Though I love traveling overseas and one day hope to serve long term again, God has placed the world at our doorstep…literally. Currently, I love with a couple from Afghanistan. All I have to do to cross cultures is step into the hallway! Fremont is home to more Afghanis than any other place in the world (excluding Afghanistan and Pakistan). My roommate has a heart to go to Afghanistan someday, but she is getting to openly share the Truth with Afghanis that may never have heard had they still been in Afghanistan! Many more unreached (less than 2% Christian) people groups populate this area. In fact, most of the time I feel like I’m in a foreign country because wherever I go I am a minority as a Caucasian.
So what is my job? I am actually training to be a church planting strategist. I am learning the ins and outs of how to successfully plant churches and get the unchurched into the Church. I get to do all sorts of things like make newsletter, network, evangelism, and help out new church starts. In fact, this past Sunday I got to attend a church launch. After two years of hard work, this church was having it’s first weekly service. With over 100 in attendance, a standing room only crowd, I saw the Holy Spirit move and God speak powerfully to hearts. What was cool about this church in particular is that in the Summer of 2009, I led a group from my church in Fort Worth on a trip here. We prayer walked and did research for a new church plant in an area called SoMa. The church I attended Sunday was that church! It was cool to see something that was prayed for two years ago come to fruition. Also, because this is one of the most expensive places in the country to live, I had to get another part-time job. I work 18 hours a week at a tutoring program for Chinese (mostly) students. So far, God has used it to provide not only financially, but also for opportunities to share.
The Bay area is unlike any other place. It is so unique. It’s people, it’s style, it’s thinking. It is full of culture and art, and business and ideas (Apple, Google, Craigslist, and other major technical corporations are based here). Most people who come here fall in love right away at it’s natural beauty and captivating spirit. However, even in all this, millions of people are walking in darkness. They are disenchanted, uninterested, and flat out rebellious of the Christian faith. I hope that all of us workers here will learn how to love with unconditional love and be selfless in our service to those around us. How absolutely incredible it would be if this creative, passionate, and genuine culture would be filled with God’s love and light! I think if the Bay area could be transformed for Christ, then many other unreached parts of the world would be reached. Please pray for the people of the San Francisco Bay area. Pray that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth so that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will (2 Tim. 2: 25-26). Pray for church planters, servants, and the Church here. Pray that we would be the aroma of Christ (2 Cor. 2: 14-16) and that we would be His image by clothing ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience--but most of all love (Col. 3:12-14). Pray for opportunities around you. Pray that each of us dearly loved children of God would seek to be obedient everyday in whatever He asks of us in every situation of life.
Finally, did you know that an estimated 73 million American adults are unchurched (100 million if you count children and teens). “To put that into context, if the unchurched population of the United States were a nation of its own, that group would be the twelfth most populated nation on earth!?!?! That’s a lot of work in our own backyards. So here’s my challenge to each of you: Find out from God how He wants to use you to reach thhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gife lost---and do it….wherever that may be (Japan, China, Texas, California, Oklahoma, or small town America!)
Thank you all for your time! I hope this gave you a glimpse into place that can reach the world, right here in America!
*All my statistics come from the Barna Group website.
To read more about Brook's ministry and adventures in California please check out her blog at http://girlinthepinksunglasses.blogspot.com.
Written by Amy Lynd at 4:20 PM