It’s summertime for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, but there’s plenty going on all over the world. If you haven’t had a chance to see what we’ve been up to recently, here’s a brief rundown of how God is at work in church planting in global cities.
First of all, please pray for our senior staff Jay Kyle, Mark Reynolds, and Gary Watanabe as well as church planters CS Tang (Sydney), Gordon Huang (Taipei), and Stephen Um (Boston) as they spend four weeks in Asia with nine future church planters for our second Asia Intensive. The training takes place in the cities of Taipei, Hong Kong, and Singapore where participants can also observe the ministries of church plants a few years along, an essential part of the training.
Meanwhile in Africa, Hope City Presbyterian Church in Cape Town, South Africa launched on May 19 with 140 people in attendance. This year marks the 200th anniversary of the first Presbyterian service in South Africa. We're also celebrating with Le Phare in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo as their congregation grows.
Also in June, Tim Keller served as guest speaker for a national gathering with over 1,000 pastors in Mar del Plata, Argentina. Please pray for the ongoing work in Buenos Aires, which includes a new church launching in the up and coming neighborhood of Palermo, and the wrapup of our first Church Planting Incubator outside of New York (also happening in Santiago). For your enjoyment, we shared some highlights and photos from Tim’s trip.
Over on our blog, Shari Thomas, founder of Parakaleo, explores important — and often unknown— truths about the need for coaches to “come alongside” church planting spouses. Sharing her own story of being a church planter’s wife in Spain, she takes us through the process of discovering her calling to start a ministry that would provide the support network needed for effective ministry — both for the church planter and his wife.
Gloria Furman, author of Glimpses of Grace, gives us a beautiful vision of the reality of God’s grace in all of life, even on a chilly desert night in Dubai. In her blog post, The Lord’s Prayer Sung by a Fountain, she illustrates how—even in the most unconventional and unexpected time and place—Jesus’s ancient words can be proclaimed to generations of people who hear with their ears and see with their hearts that Jesus is the ultimate answer to that very prayer.
And last but not least, in Part 3: Change and Grace of his blog series, Blemishes in Christian Character, Tim Keller encourages us that if we are going to grow in grace, we must stay aware of being both sinners and loved children in Christ. Because, in the end, it’s the joy and wonder of the gospel that will change us permanently.
Finally, The Atlantic posted an article called Listening to Young Atheists: Lessons for a Stronger Christianity that sparked quite a social media discussion among our church planters. We think it’ll provoke parents, youth ministers, and church leaders to think too.